Wednesday Night #2032

Written by  //  February 24, 2021  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

President Biden has had a busy week on the international front, with virtual appearances at the G7 and Munich Security Council, the Thursday announcement that the U.S. stands ready to rejoin talks about reentering the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal; action at the United Nations aimed at restoring the policy to what it was prior to Trump; and the confirmation of Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the United States ambassador to the United Nations just in time to assume the leadership of the U.N. Security Council next week.
But, for Canadians, the big news was the Biden/Trudeau virtual visit on Tuesday.
On Diplomatic Community Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas outdo one another in their enthusiasm for Tuesday’s Biden/Trudeau meeting
Jeremy: the Biden-Trudeau Summit love-in: for real? (I think so)

Manwhile, Canada’s MPs voted on a motion presented by Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole to label China’s persecution of Uighurs a genocide, thus incurring the wrath of China.
While we know of no-one who was not in favour of condemning the treatment of the Uighurs, the question of whether or not it is appropriate to term it genocide is being actively debated, although Irwin Cotler urged the use of the term in his testimony before a House of Commons subcommittee last July.

The disastrous winter storm that hit Texas last week, causing huge power failures has revealed major weakness in the much vaunted absence of annoying regulations.
The side bar story that grabbed many headlines concerned the despised-by-many Ted Cruz.
Ted Cruz Abandons Millions of Freezing Texans and His Poodle, Snowflake While, in contrast Beto O’Rourke’s actions stimulated talk of a new political life — and, perhaps, hope for the governorship.

Canada continues to fumble the ball on the Covid vaccination program project with each province touting a different approach and Quebec making life as confusing and difficult as possible.

In his weekly Hill Times column, Andrew Caddell addresses the Trudeau government’s discussion paper on official languages, “Towards a Substantive Equality of Official Languages in Canada,” and he is not happy … “a shameful sacrifice on the altar of political expediency.” For non-subscribers to the Hill Times, the full text is posted on his Facebook page. Well worth reading, discussing and acting on.

When Montrealers organize to meet the needs of less fortunate members of the community, they do a great job. Please participate in the Montreal Miracle Food Drive March 13 / – see also Denrées attendues pour le Miracle du 13 mars. It’s a lot easier -and more rewarding- than getting vaccinated!

Currently, the City of Westmount is considering Westmount Park: Revitalisation Project, a report from Stantec.
Note comments from several Wednesday Nighters, including the Ratzers, Mark Roper and newly-returned Andrew Caddell.
Wanda Potrykus‘ thoughtful piece for Westmount Magazine dissects the good, the bad and, yes, the ugly of the proposal and suggests some creative alternatives.
What’s right with Westmount Park /1.
Although many of us do not live in Westmount, at some time or other, almost all of us enjoy (or have enjoyed) the benefits of Westmount Park -whether for a stroll, a meeting place for a chat with friends, a happy place for young visitors from out-of-town, or a magical performance of Shakespeare-in-the-Park. We encourage everyone with a vested interest -which means even the casual visitor from beyond Westmount’s borders- to weigh in.

In the category of apps you did not know you needed.
Apps Recreate the Soundtrack of Pre-Pandemic Life
(Bloomberg City Lab) Ice cubes clink. A blender whirs. The hum of gossip carries. People shout to be heard over the din.
Can you hear it? Do you miss it? You’re not alone. There’s a whole genre of auditory environments like this that have all but disappeared over the past year: other people making little noises around you. In bars, coffee shops, and even open offices. Ears yearning, people in lonely apartments all over the world have tuned into new sites that turn that low background hum of life-in-public into a soundtrack.

Mark Carney seems to be popping up everywhere. In case you missed this item newly available from the BBC:
2020 Reith Lectures: Mark Carney – How We Get What We Value also see CBC Radio Ideas Feb 22 and 23.

For our economists, bankers, followers of high finance and/or magic:
Le Luxembourg a un Incroyable Talent

Long reads
China: Baseless Imprisonments Surge in Xinjiang – Harsh, Unjust Sentences for Uyghurs, Other Muslims

Biden declares ‘America is back’ in welcome words to allies

America’s Future Is Texas 2017
The state is as politically divided as the rest of the nation. One can drive across it and be in two different states at the same time: FM Texas and AM Texas. FM Texas is the silky voice of city dwellers, the kingdom of NPR. It is progressive, blue, reasonable, secular, and smug—almost like California. AM Texas speaks to the suburbs and the rural areas: Trumpland. It’s endless bluster and endless ads. Paranoia and piety are the main items on the menu.

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