Wednesday Night #1958

Written by  //  September 25, 2019  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

The dominant story of the week (until late Tuesday afternoon) has been Climate change/crisis/action moving from the world-wide climate action strikes on Friday the 20th to the UN Climate Action Summit on Monday, where Greta Thunberg delivered her excoriating speech,  and on to the General Assembly, as world leaders of every political hue speak about whatever is on their mind or agenda.

However, that was before Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.
It is only the opening gambit in what promises to be a very long game and there are many risks for both sides – and both political parties. We can be assured that reams will be written and spoken about this for months to come.
Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas comment on CTV’s Diplomatic community
And that was before the release of THE Transcript that shows Trump offered U.S. assistance to Ukraine [in return] for Biden investigation

Back to Climate Action. Greta Thunberg is receiving so much coverage that Canada’s Autumn Peltier, was overlooked by most Canadian media, although she has just been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2019 by the David Suzuki Foundation and is also speaking at the UNGA, as she did last year.
Meantime, the World Bank environmental commission delivered reassuring findings on Monday that Pricing pollution won’t kill growth.
On Wednesday, the IPCC presented the Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate on Wednesday morning. It states that
“Extreme sea level events that used to occur once a century will strike every year on many coasts by 2050, no matter whether climate heating emissions are curbed or not, according to a landmark report by the world’s scientists. The stark assessment of the climate crisis in the world’s oceans and ice caps concludes that many serious impacts are already inevitable, from more intense storms to melting permafrost and dwindling marine life.”

While Canadians fret over Justin’s blackface/brownface (see lower down), other leaders have far greater challenges.
Bad days for Boris & Bibi
Top of the list would be Boris, Brexit and Britain, for whom the other shoe has dropped and pretty spectacularly!
Boris will not be cozying up to Donald Trump and others during the UNGA, but has been forced to fly home to deal with the fallout from the UK Supreme Court decision that Suspending Parliament was unlawful. Our favorite Speaker, John Bercow, announced that the Commons would sit from 11.30am on Wednesday and while there would be no prime minister’s questions on that day there would be scope for urgent questions, ministerial statements and emergency debate applications that could hold Johnson to account.

Any bets on how long this will last?
Benjamin Netanyahu has invited centrist rival Benny Gantz to join forces in a unity government, saying neither has enough support from respective allies to secure a majority of 61 seats in the 120-member parliament. Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party and a possible kingmaker, said on Monday he believed the only obstacle to such a government was the unresolved question of whether Netanyahu or Gantz would serve first in a rotating premiership.
Imagine the damage this headline must cause to Bibi’s self esteem:  Benjamin Netanyahu Is No Longer Israel’s Indispensable Leader. As The Atlantic points out, “Netanyahu will not be representing Israel at the United Nations General Assembly this week, nor will he be meeting with Trump, seeking to play up his role as Israel’s essential leader. In fact, that strategy—pushing his indispensability and his relationship with Trump, in particular—is a principal reason he just lost the most important election of his life.”
A lesson for others?
Ukraine‘s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, will certainly attest to the dangers and potential embarrassment of trying to cultivate the Trump administration, after he was caught in the middle of the attempt to discredit Joe Biden. [What Actually Happened Between Joe Biden and Ukraine, Explained]
Nor can we imagine any of the serious players in Afghanistan lining up to be Trump’s BFF before or after the elections on the 28th.

If you were looking for some resolution to the Iran nuclear deal at the UNGA, forget it.
Iran’s Rouhani says open to discuss small changes to 2015 deal if sanctions lifted
Rouhani told media in New York that he will be open to discuss with major powers “small changes, additions or amendments” to nuclear deal if sanctions were taken away. And  Donald Trump, …  said on Tuesday that he had no intention of lifting sanctions on Iran.

Across the globe, the Hong Kong protests are turning ugly (Hong Kong protesters are ‘baying for blood’ as mobs attack civilians). One Wednesday Nighter theorizes: the recent violent acts by a small group of “demonstrators” destroying property et al. seems to be a triad-operation. Beijing makes a deal with a triad which sends their thugs to do the job. Hong Kong administration cannot control the situation and asks for help. China sends in troops/police (already waiting)  to help. Suddenly an annexation is a Fait accompli. Outlandish? – not in the opinion of several international observers.

All of which puts into perspective the Great Blackface/Brownface Scandal of the Canadian election campaign.  We have been impressed by these two (in our opinion) intelligent responses from highly respected representatives of the offended communities.
Calgary’s Muslim mayor, Naheed Nenshi writes in the Washington Post: “Even in Canada, people of colour (or color, if you prefer) don’t quite live in the same world as others. We sometimes have to work a little harder, we have to prove ourselves a little bit more, we have to put up with occasional irritations. But it’s part of the deal to live and have great lives here. And we’ve got jokes to help us sort awkward moments: Go back to my camel, you say? I don’t have one. It’s 2019! I use a camel-sharing app!”
He continues, attacking the darker actions of some Canadian political parties, and particularly the odious Bill 21.
On RDI « Blackface » : une affaire de politiciens blancs, dénonce Dany Laferrière
Celui-ci est d’ailleurs catégorique : le geste posé par M. Trudeau n’est pas un acte de « blackface ».
« Il faut qu’il y ait une volonté certaine de vouloir ridiculiser et déshumaniser l’autre, et dans le cas de la première image que j’ai vue, où il était accompagné d’une jeune femme magnifique, et où il avait un très beau turban, et les femmes ne semblaient pas effrayées par sa présence… Aux États-Unis, quand on faisait du “blackface” pour ridiculiser, on mettait un regard effrayé, de grosses lèvres, des yeux un peu entourés de blanc pour obtenir un regard à la fois effrayé et effrayant. »
De fait, pour l’écrivain, l’affaire est avant tout politique.

Are you reeling from the dizzying number of election campaign promises being thrown at Canadians from all sides every day? We are waiting for someone to relieve our stress and compile a LIST. On Monday, Liberals, NDP promised increased health care spending and not to be outdone, Greens’ Elizabeth May commits to funding mental health, which she says is affected by the climate crisis Meanwhile Conservatives targeted home owners, saying they would review the mortgage stress test for first-time buyers and remove it for mortgage renewals. And that was all in one day.
Assessing Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government,” detailing the LPC promises in the previous campaign, will be released next Monday. The experts found that by March of this year Trudeau’s government had entirely followed through on about 50 per cent of its pledges, partially delivered on about 40 per cent and had broken roughly 10 per cent.

Wednesday’s Globe & Mail carries a disturbing -all too credible- story Montreal-area MP says Liberals forced her out for not lauding Trudeau as a feminist. We have seen this ugly underbelly of ‘sunny ways’ before.

Thank you, Brett House for calling our attention to the fact that You don’t have to wait for the advance polls or Election Day to vote. Find your local electoral office and do it any day of the campaign before Election Day itself. Search for your office here: https://www.elections.ca/home.aspx .

Varia

Boeing 737 MAX revisited
Indonesia finds design flaw, oversight lapses in 737 MAX crash: WSJ
(Reuters) – Indonesian investigators have found that design and oversight lapses played a key role in the October 2018 crash of Boeing Co’s (BA.N) 737 MAX jet … The draft conclusions, expected to be the first formal government finding of flaws in the design and U.S. regulatory approval, also identify a string of pilot errors and maintenance mistakes as causal factors of the Lion Air crash, the WSJ here said.

Good reads
From the always-reliable Brookings Institute: The challenging politics of climate change
“If natural disasters don’t affect attitudes toward climate change, partisanship does.” See: Pew Research U.S. concern about climate change is rising, but mainly among Democrats.

Five questions with…. retired Lt.-Gen Roméo Dallaire
Dallaire speaks with OpenCanada ahead of 6 Degrees this week, where he will receive the 2019 Adrienne Clarkson Prize for Global Citizenship.
“The life and career of… Dallaire is an urgently needed reminder of the very real consequences of inaction in the face of growing divisions in Canada and around the world,” the 6 Degrees announcement said.

In a completely different vein, this article by Andrew Sullivan may make many readers uncomfortable and may enrage others, but it raises questions that need to be thought about and discussed seriously.
When the Ideologues Come for the Kids
“… Having taken one form of religion out of the public schools, the social-justice left is now replacing it with the doctrines of intersectionality.”
“One of the key aspects about social-justice theory is that it’s completely unfalsifiable (as well as unreadable); it’s a closed circle that refers only to itself and its own categories. (For a searing take down of this huge academic con, check out Douglas Murray’s superb new book, The Madness of Crowds.) The forces involved — “white supremacy,” “patriarchy,” “heterosexism” — are all invisible to the naked eye, like the Holy Spirit. Their philosophical origins — an attempt by structuralist French philosophers to rescue what was left of Marxism in the 1960s and 1970s — are generally obscured in any practical context. Like religion, you cannot prove any of its doctrines empirically, but children are being forced into believing them anyway.”

My Grade 8 teacher said I had no useful skills (as a girl). Somehow I made it to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada”
A delightful excerpt from Truth Be Told: My Journey Through Life and the Law by Beverley McLachlin

We usually seek out something humorous to sign off Wednesday Night, but amusing items are sorely lacking this week. To relieve the dismal outlook, we can only advise aficionados to see the Downton Abbey movie. As always, Maggie Smith delights.

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