Wednesday Night #2017

Written by  //  November 11, 2020  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

A particularly poignant Remembrance Day 2020; the commemoration of the Armistice with special emphasis on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II was curtailed everywhere thanks to Covid. Only a hundred or so dignitaries, active service members, veterans and members of the public gathered at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. However, the ceremony was somehow the most memorable -and moving- we have witnessed, perhaps because there was such a direct focus on each part of the event, and every word spoken.

Remembering the invisible wounds of war
By General Romeo Dallaire and Dr. Shelly Whitman
This 11th of November, let us remember the fallen, but most especially let us remember those who continue to live with the lifelong effects of violence and war, while we find proactive and preventative solutions to addressing their moral injuries.
In a unique partnership, the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security is joining forces with researchers from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the University of Western Ontario, and the MacDonald Franklin Operational Stress Injury Research Centre to conduct a multi-phased project studying the mental health impacts of exposure to children who are recruited and used as soldiers during military service through the first-hand accounts of military service-members.

The past week has been marked by the deaths of three beloved public figures whose lives and example have influenced several generations of Canadians and many beyond Canada’s borders..
O Captain, My ‘Jeopardy!’ Captain
When Alex Trebek stepped up to the answer board, night after night, class was in session.
‘He was fascinating’: Lisa LaFlamme reflects on Alex Trebek’s legacy
Howie Meeker, Hockey Star and Colorful Broadcaster, Dies at 97
Remembering Howie Meeker’s journey from Canadian soldier to hockey legend
Father John Walsh
Beryl Wajsman’s tribute in The Suburban Father John Emmett Walsh: We shall not soon see his like again sums up his extraordinary life and achievements, while Alan Hustak, who collaborated on his autobiography, God Is Calling, Don’t Put Him on Hold, wrote this about Rev. John Walsh: He was a remarkable Christian, by his own admission was a “subversive priest,” who at times seemed to be ministering everywhere, to all religious communities.

On a brighter note, the feeding frenzy surrounding the vice president elect typified by this CTV headline Kamala Harris becomes first Westmount High alum ever elected to American vice-presidency. Both Premier Legault and Mayor Plante have rushed to cover themselves in reflected glory. Will this translate into better treatment for English-language education? We doubt it.

And so we move to the riveting and stressful week in U.S. politics. Only on Saturday were results announced confirming the Biden/Harris ticket’s win in terms of popular vote and electoral college numbers. That evening, as supporters celebrated, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden gave the kind of speeches we have been longing to hear for the past four years – well argued, grammatical, measured in tone, and outlining a vision.
It seemed all was well with the world, but wait … Trump has no intention of going gently into the good night and ever since Saturday’s news, we have been deafened by fact-less assertions of fraud, threats of legal action, mean-spirited accusations and denial. “Trump allies are claiming in many high-profile forums that the lawfully cast votes of millions of Americans are illegitimate, largely to create space for him to process his rage and grief over losing.”  Trump refuses to concede. The world looks on in disbelief as Secretary of State Pompeo refuses to acknowledge Biden has won election, sparking furor and ‘disgust’ among diplomats. More damaging still is the sabotaging of the transition process by  GSA [General Services Administration] chief Emily Murphy. Throughout, President-elect Biden is going about the business of preparing to govern with dignity. His first act on Monday was to announce the coronavirus advisory board (Rick Bright, Atul Gawande on Biden’s covid task force  and an updated strategy that researchers say follows the science.
Of course, Pence tried to take credit for the Pfizer vaccine – but was immediately disabused of the idea by the drug companies. It would be funny if not so pathetic.

The key dates leading to the official end of the presidential race (January 6) and the Inauguration (January 20) both on Wednesdays(!), thanks to Robert Reich’s November 9 post Trump’s Last Attempt to Steal the Election Won’t Work. He does not mention this year’s special date of January 5th – the date of the Georgia Senate runoffs – and key to control of the US Senate now that Alaska has given the Republicans their 50th senator. From here on, our theme song will be Georgia on my mind – who will produce the first parody?

Anne Applebaum: Trump Won’t Accept Defeat. Ever.
His forever campaign is just getting started.

Glimmers of hope?
Pfizer announced on Monday that early analysis showed its vaccine candidate for Covid-19 is more than 90 percent effective at preventing infection. Still a way to go, but encouraging news!
Key Justices Signal Support for Affordable Care Act
At a Supreme Court argument on Tuesday, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh suggested that striking down one provision would not doom the balance of the law. We have great hopes that Roberts will resist every effort to turn SCOTUS into the Trump court.
Andrew Caddell‘s column When slogans become policy, everyone suffers looks at the pervasive influence of Trump talking points, developed by the president, tweeted and re-tweeted and then repeated on Fox News.Bumper sticker slogans may be clever, but as the last four years have proven, they are no substitute for genuine policy. He concludes “But in a divided America, there have to be people across party lines who will seek to step back and work for a return to civility. This should start with intelligent, articulate defences of policy.” In somewhat similar vein, The results of our national election may tell a story of division. Ballot measures tell a different tale points to state ballot propositions that “show Americans agreeing about significant priorities, including a fundamental remaking of our justice system. There is much to be grateful for here, and something to build on.”

One of the more bizarre stories to emerge involves Fox News calling the Arizona election and the Trump team’s attempts to have the network reverse the call: The long love affair between Fox News and Trump may be over. Here’s how it all soured last week.
Steve Bannon‘s outrageous call to behead Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray resulted in permanent banning from Twitter, and later Facebook (after it was ‘outed by Axios) took action when he was Caught Running a Network of Misinformation Pages on Facebook.
Looking forward to Tristan Brand’s adventures in “Stop the Steal”.

Good reads
America’s Dangerous Interregnum
Outgoing US President Donald Trump’s behavior between now and the inauguration in January of his successor, Joe Biden, is likely to be as obstructionist as his administration was chaotic. Biden should draw two lessons from a previous incumbent US president who didn’t handle defeat well.
Biden-voting counties equal 70% of America’s economy. What does this mean for the nation’s political-economic divide?
The Case for an EU Development Bank

Of course, the REALLY BIG NEWS is that the Bidens are headed to the White House with Champ and Major, who will be the White House’s first shelter dog. Several animal welfare agencies posted about the news, including the Delaware Humane Association, which captioned a photo of Major: “First Dog Elect.”

After a tight race, a French bulldog was elected mayor of this small Kentucky town

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