Wednesday Night #2047 with Lisa Napoli

Written by  //  June 9, 2021  //  Special Wednesdays  //  No comments

Throughout the week we have been consumed by news, reactions and commentary -both national and international- about the appalling discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops residential school. We recommend Questions Unasked About Indigenous Deaths in which Peter Stockland offers a unique perspective. See also ‘Convenient ignorance:’ Canadians’ knowledge of residential schools woefully lacking
And then, on Sunday, the nation was shocked by the brutal murder of four Muslim family members in a premeditated hit-and-run attack in London, Ontario. As Peter Schiefke wrote: “Yesterday, an act of terror ripped apart a family and devastated the community of London, Ontario taking four lives and leaving a child with serious injuries. No matter where we call home, everyone of us, regardless of religion, sexual orientation, or racial identity, deserves to feel safe where we live and work. Islamophobia, discrimination and hate of any kind has no place in Canada.” It is so easy to pat ourselves on the back when comparing to the U.S., but when our complacency is disturbed, the shock -and shame- are great. Trudeau vows to fight far-right groups after Muslim family slain

We are delighted that Lisa Napoli has accepted our invitation for a return engagement with Wednesday Night so that we may celebrate her new book Susan, Linda, Nina & Cokie about the Founding Mothers of NPR. It  has deservedly been receiving blanket coverage, great interviews and rave reviews as NPR celebrated the 50th anniversary on May 3rd of its first on-air original broadcast, All Things Considered.
Lisa, who  -like our mutual friend Sandy Wolofsky- is an alumna of Hampshire College, that small cradle of a remarkable number of talented changemakers, was last with us (Wednesday Night #2003) when we were happy to help her test-run interviewing by Zoom about her then-recently published Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN, and the Birth of 24-Hour News her riveting account of the creation and expansion of the ubiquitous cable news channel and its founder.


Below the Michael De Adder cartoon posted on the Facebook page of the National Press Club of Canada, Virtually Speaking, this comment says it all:
“Let’s see how the major stories are shaping up. Myanmar/Burma – body count – rise of militias – prospects for civil war – oops, no, that’s gone right off the news cycle. OK – Lukashenko, tyrant, torturer – pain in the bottom to have a border with – aircraft hijacker – I guess he is in big trouble – ah, well hard to say – not much in the papers other than YET ANOTHER sanctions resolution quietly passed by the G-7. What about those China Sea islands and intrusions into both Malaysian and Taiwanese airspace – nope – off the boil – closing of the Kerch Strait, cutting the Sea of Azov off from the Black Sea – lifeline for Ukraine – nope – too technical. We get told just enough to become interested but we will rarely know how things turn out unless we hit the foreign policy journals, the strategic studies, think tanks and the military publications (USNI e.g.)”

When is “a right is a right is a right” debatable?
Once a Bastion of Free Speech, the A.C.L.U. Faces an Identity Crisis
An organization that has defended the First Amendment rights of Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan is split by an internal debate over whether supporting progressive causes is more important.
And then this:
Politico Playbook Tapper and Wallace take opposing tacks on GOP election deniers
Jake Tapper: “This isn’t a policy, it’s a discussion I think everyone in the news media should be having. Should those who shared the election lie that incited the deadly attack on the Capitol and that continues to erode confidence in our democracy be invited onto our airwaves to continue to spread the Big Lie? Can our viewers count on these politicians to tell the truth about other topics? This isn’t an easy conversation for some folks — especially for journalists who work for organizations where the Big Lie was platformed — but that’s all the more reason to have this conversation.”
In another First Amendment context: See The Complicated Case of the Pennsylvania Cheerleader The Supreme Court considers thorny questions about free speech, bullying, and whether public schools can discipline students for their behavior/speech online and outside of the school-supervised setting.

Canada will soon crack down on online hate in wake of fatal attack
“Our government is continuing to do what is necessary, obviously working with the social media platforms, to combat online hate and we’ll have more to say on specific measures in the coming weeks,” Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters.

Why local news should be included in the infrastructure bill
Congress should include the proposed $2.4 billion for local news in the bill because local news is, in fact, the civic infrastructure of democracy.

Trust in news has become a public health issue
Trust in journalism factors into decisions to get vaccinated.

The G7 Leaders Summit 2021 – they are off and running:
Colin Robertson: The G7 Cornwall: Back to Normal, with Key Upgrades
While the agenda has evolved annually since its creation in 1975 (Canada joined in 1976) in the wake of the oil shock crisis, the G7 leaders have had two overriding priorities: strengthening the global economy and bolstering the rules-based order.
For this meeting, host British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also invited the leaders of, India, Australia, South Korea and South Africa to Carbis Bay. Together, the 11 leaders represent almost two-thirds of the people living in democracies around the world.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday began his first trip abroad since taking office by hailing America’s unwavering commitment to the NATO alliance and warning Russia it faced “robust and meaningful” consequences if it engaged in harmful activities.
Biden has said he is determined to rebuild trans-Atlantic ties and reframe relations with Russia after four rocky years under Republican former President Donald Trump, whose tariffs and withdrawal from treaties strained relations with major allies.
What Justin Trudeau wants from the G-7
The PM and the president will meet in person this week for the first time since Biden was elected. — What’s on Canada’s radar: Trudeau and Canadian officials are focused on three Cs: Covid-19, China and climate.
Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas on Diplomatic Community discuss the G7 Summit and Joe Biden’s first trip abroad as President

Cicadas Target Biden in Daring Daylight Raid
After spending 17 years relaxing underground, billions of cicadas have emerged from the earth to mate and inundated the country with their signature cacophony of alienlike wails, wreaking havoc along the way. Large parts of the eastern U.S. have been disrupted by male cicadas singing up a storm, ruining alfresco gathering plans … On Tuesday, a swarm of the horny bugs grounded a White House press charter plane for hours, pushing the departure from 9 p.m. Tuesday night until past 2 a.m. Wednesday morning. Somehow, the cicadas clogged the plane’s engines, the New York Times reports. The plane was swapped out, but the mischief did not stop.

There has been a flurry of news items following the Globe & Mail report that Canada held secret U.S. talks in bid to free Kovrig, Spavor jailed in China. While we admire the reporting, we have reservations about publicizing information about strategy and tactics that can as easily be read by China’s ambassador to Ottawa. Please see Canada-China 2019- for more (and be sure to read the comments!) Politico Canada assures us  we may Count on Trudeau to raise the detentions of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor when meeting with President Biden at the G7, adding that Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said this week that Canada has been in “regular contact” with Huawei Technologies, Beijing and Washington about the men.

The FBI done good!
Follow up on the Colonial Pipeline hack story, Federal authorities have recovered more than two million dollars in cryptocurrency paid in ransom to the foreign hackers  …the FBI on Monday seized proceeds from a digital “wallet” that held the ransom collected by the hackers. The ransom was paid in bitcoin. Feds recover millions in ransomware payments from Colonial Pipeline hackers
Heather Cox Richardson elaborates: “Colonial Pipeline…paid the ransom to get their operations back up and running quickly, but they had actually turned quickly to the FBI, which apparently asked them to pay the ransom so its officials could follow the money trail.
And this: FBI-controlled AN0M app ensnares scores of alleged criminals in global police sting
The global operation, known as Special Operation Ironside in Australia and Trojan Shield in the United States, has allegedly exposed criminals linked to South American drug cartels, Triad groups in Asia, and criminal syndicates based in the Middle East and Europe.

No column from Andrew Caddell this week. He writes “ I did not want to be the object of vilification. After four years, that might be it.” We hope he will reconsider the second sentence.

Varia
EU-UK talks on Northern Ireland appear close to collapse on eve of G7
‘Patience wearing very thin,’ says EU negotiator, while Joe Biden expected to raise ‘deep concerns’ about issue at summit

Russian court outlaws Alexei Navalny’s organisation
Court has in effect liquidated the opposition politician’s movement by classifying it as ‘extremist’

In For Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh, a test on Indian defence, C. Uday Bhaskar writes: “This approval [of the acquisition of six conventional submarines for the Indian Navy] has the potential to give a much needed fillip to warship-building in India and, if managed successfully, it will provide substance to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s objective of India becoming a credible interlocutor in the maritime domain that now is a key area of Quad’s focus”.

After outcry, Air Canada says its top executives giving back bonuses – Majority of the $10 million bonus program, held by middle managers, not returned. (For background see Wednesday Night #2046 including Comment from Michel Jutras)
WOW!
Supersonic Travel: United Airlines Signs Deal To Buy New Planes
Shades of the Concorde: United Airlines has signed a deal to buy more than a dozen supersonic planes that could soon jet you to Europe or Australia in half the time it takes now. NBC’s Tom Costello reports from Dulles International Airport.

Canada takes cautious step toward lifting border restrictions, businesses fret
Canadian businesses, especially airlines and those that depend on tourism, have been lobbying the Liberal government to relax restrictions. Health Minister Patty Hajdu made clear Ottawa would act slowly.
Asked about calls from businesses to lift restrictions starting on June 22, Hajdu said: “We do want to be cautious and careful on these next steps to be sure that we are not putting that recovery in jeopardy.”
The Canadian Airports Council said it was “disappointed the new measures were not extended to all vaccinated travellers and that there is still no plan for a restart of travel” while the Chamber of Commerce said much work remained.

Long reads
What Justin Trudeau wants from the G-7
The PM and the president will meet in person this week for the first time since Biden was elected. — What’s on Canada’s radar: Trudeau and Canadian officials are focused on three Cs: Covid-19, China and climate.
What’s the most important thing Trudeau needs to accomplish at the G-7 summit?
— Colin Robertson, former Canadian diplomat: In strategic terms there is Canada’s relationship with the USA, our principal ally and trading partner.
Kenneth Rogoff: A Curse Worse than Cash
Although prominent cryptocurrency advocates are politically connected and have democratized their base, regulators simply cannot sit on their hands forever. Malicious ransomware attacks targeting growing numbers of firms and individuals could prove to be the tipping point.
Netanyahu’s Likely Departure Is Not Easing the Fears of Palestinians
Attacks by settlers in the West Bank have been on the rise for years—and a new Israeli government is no guarantee of change.
China the spectre at the feast as Biden aims to rally democracies on Europe trip
The US president has become convinced that Beijing is the main adversary in a global battle of governance systems
Before setting out on his first foreign trip as president, Biden has made clear that the competition between the world’s democracies and its authoritarian regimes – mostly importantly Beijing – is the defining global challenge of the age, with victory anything but guaranteed for the US and its allies.
How Louis St-Laurent’s visionary leadership was shaped by his Townships roots
The Unexpected Louis St-Laurent: Politics and Policies for a Modern Canada, shows how policies and events he enacted or oversaw still affect Canada today. Edited by political scientist Patrice Dutil, it includes…examinations of his record by some of the country’s leading political thinkers.
Events on St-Laurent’s watch as prime minister include Newfoundland and Labrador’s entry into Canada in 1949; his role in the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); making the Supreme Court the final body of appeal in Canada (further establishing independence from Great Britain) and the system of equalization payments to have-not provinces.

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