Wednesday Night #1930 with Diana Bruno

Written by  //  March 13, 2019  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Despite the grim news, this Wednesday we have cause to celebrate.

As announced last week, we will celebrate the ‘birth’ of Diana Bruno‘s oeuvre Lexique français-anglais de la cuisine et de la restauration, Lexi to friends. A true labour of love, it is “an innovative reference book specifically designed for the North American context. With 350 pages and over 14,000 terms in each language, it is a must-have resource for food service and hospitality students that will help them communicate accurately and confidently during their studies and internships and, later on, in the workplace.” Presumably, it will also assist frequenters of up-scale restaurants to order en connaissance de cause. We look forward to Diana’s account of the joys and pitfalls of this monumental undertaking and with her help, you will be able to query the culinary Siri/Alexa about your favorite terms. For those who feel the need of support when dining out, Lexi is available in either electronic or print form.

On a not-entirely unrelated matter, we would draw your attention to Soufra, the documentary directed and produced by Marc Nicholson’s great friend Thomas Morgan; Susan Sarandon is the Executive producer. It is the unlikely and wildly inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar – a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon. Mariam set out against all odds to change her fate by launching a successful catering company, “Soufra,” and then expanding it into a food truck business with a diverse team of fellow refugee woman who now share this camp as their home.
Note that the Cookbook “ Soufra” with the most delicious Arabic food recipes is available on Amazon. All proceeds go to the education of children fund of Nawras preschool.
The film is on world tour and we are hoping to bring it to Montreal – it is already on Air Canada’s playlist.

Updates

On Brexit, we now know what happened with Tuesday’s vote – and that we can expect more to come. See Larry Haas’ and Jeremy Kinsman’s take(s)
Also: With the grounding – and banning –  of 737 Max 8 jets by a number of countries, several Wednesday Nighters have been concerned that Transport Minister Marc Garneau did not take immediate steps to do the same (Canada won’t ground Boeing 737 Max 8s despite moves by European Union, Asian and Middle Eastern countries)
However, it appears that he now has second thoughts ( Marc Garneau: Canada prepared to ground MAX 8 if need be )

Ethiopian crash victims were aid workers, doctors, students
The Atlantic asks Is indicating proximity the only way to evoke the empathy of Western audiences? 157 people—the entirety of those on board—died after Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crashed Sunday morning en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. The passengers came from 35 different countries, from Ethiopia to Kenya, the United States to Canada. Some Western media reports cast aspersions on the safety of the airline (on the contrary, EA does not have a “poor safety record”); others, such as the Washington Post’s homepage coverage, highlighted the American deceased in its headline (yet the Washington area has the largest population of Ethiopian descent outside of Ethiopia). We think that generally Canadian coverage has been quite inclusive, although naturally focused first on Canadians, but we would underline the contrast with other crashes that have not involved so many -if any- citizens of North America. Coverage of the Indonesian commuter Lion Air flight, which killed 189 souls would bear this out.

The temporary (alas!) coming together of the world around the news of the tragedy has in no way cancelled or diminished concerns and/or animosities regarding other events.

The White House 2020 Budget Proposal (Trump Proposes a Record $4.75 Trillion Budget) is an appalling confirmation of the mindset of the incumbent and, as noted in the NYT story “the blueprint is a declaration of Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign priorities and the starting skirmish in the race for 2020.” Coincidentally (or not?) Paul Ryan exacts revenge, opining in a public lecture that “The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it.” This could be fun.

The indefatigable WN Davids write on North Korea this week. David Jones notes in U.S. Engages ‘Long and Complex Process’ Seeking North Korea Denuclearization “The critics, however, have taken multiple tacks, for example, lambasting Trump’s personalized over-the-top praise for Kim (almost, but not quite, suggesting that he made the sun rise each morning). They charged Trump with inadequate substantive preparation; with ignoring expert advice from others who have negotiated (but failed); with not seeking specific commitments regarding numbers of nuclear weapons and missiles, amount of fissile material, and other technical detail. Without being entirely cynical, the critics expected him to fail in the professed objective of securing a solid commitment to eliminate all Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons. And they are not essentially unhappy that their predictions of failure have come to pass.” The title of David Kilgour‘s article Bring Human Rights to the North Korea Negotiations sums up his argument that “At both summits, the elephant in the room was ignored—North Korea’s horrific human rights record during three generations of a Stalinist monarchy. A 2014 United Nations Commission report concluded that the regime’s violence amounted to crimes against humanity and the perpetrators should be held to account at the International Criminal Court.” But he concludes “Despite all, the Korean peninsula, the region and the world are probably slightly safer than before both meetings.”

As we write on Tuesday, the Brexit debate is underway. Updates will follow. So far, The Guardian reports Odds of victory for PM slim after ERG and DUP say they will vote against deal

For Canada, the SNC-Lavalin debate continues. If you can bear it, see Four questions without answers about the SNC-Lavalin scandal and for a Quebec opinion that is virulently anti-JWR, Lysiane Gagnon: AFFAIRE SNC-LAVALIN La construction d’une héroïne. In other words, opinion is sharply divided – and for the moment, opinion is the operative word. Will we ever know the truth about the PMO’s role?

Education is a perennial WN topic, sneaking in to many issues.This week is no exception.
First, the appalling Trump White House 2020 budget proposal that requests a roughly $7.1 billion cut in funding for the Education department compared with 2019 – a 10 percent decrease in its budget. Fortunately, as Adam Harris reminds us, the proposed cut is unlikely to go anywhere; like years past, Congress is expected to disregard it for the most part. However, the proposal is an exposition of the administration’s philosophy on education: It is a state and local issue that the federal government shouldn’t have its hands in.
The Stigma of Choosing Trade School Over College
When college is held up as the one true path to success, parents—especially highly educated ones—might worry when their children opt for vocational school instead.
Despite the negative head and sub-head, The Atlantic argues that “Many jobs now require specialized training in technology that bachelor’s programs are usually too broad to address, leading to more last mile–type vocational-education programs after the completion of a degree. The manufacturing, infrastructure, and transportation fields are all expected to grow in the coming years—and many of those jobs likely won’t require a four-year degree.”
Sandy Wolofsky’s beloved alma mater, Hampshire College, a Child of the Sixties, Faces Its “Visioning Problem”. The New Yorker’s Masha Gessen lays out the Byzantine story of recent events at the delightfully unique and quirky institution.
One last item under this heading: Did you know that Female Librarians on Horseback Delivered Books to remote communities during the Depression? FDR’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) created the Pack Horse Library Initiative to help Americans become more literate so that they’d have a better chance of finding employment.

Ron Meisels, our favorite Technical analyst, is cheery:
On Saturday, March 9th, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the start of the current Bull market.
During all this time, pessimists ruled the day!
What did 10 years of pessimism bring us?
A 305% rise of the S&P 500 from the March 9, 2009 low at 677 to the March 8, 2019 closing low of 2743, that’s what!
But the Economist intelligence unit warns “Any further deterioration to the US-China trade relationship would have repercussions felt around the world.”

Good reads
Excellent summary of the sad history of U.S.-Iran relations Iran America’s torch song for Tehran by Kenneth M. Pollack, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Democracy vs. DisinformationEfforts to combat disinformation in the West have so far focused on tactical approaches that target the “supply side” of the problem. To succeed, they must be accompanied by efforts that tackle the demand side of the problem: the factors that make liberal democratic societies today so susceptible to manipulation. and a companion piece by Joseph Nye Is Fake News Here to Stay?

The lighter (than air) side:
Why do we fly kites on Clean Monday?
And the best ‘Nigerian Letter’ EVER
Nigerian astronaut lost in space needs $3m to get home

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