Wednesday Night #2050

Written by  //  June 30, 2021  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

30 June is the last day of  National Indigenous History Month 2021
On Thursday the 25th, as hockey fans were hopefully preparing to celebrate the Habs’ semifinals victory, Sask. Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme announced the discovery of 751 unmarked graves near the former Marieval Indian Residential School where children from First Nations in southeast Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba were sent to the school. The month ends with news of 182 unmarked graves discovered near St. Eugene’s Mission School in Cranbrook, B.C. Indigenous outrage has been met with a divisive range of political statements, commentariat opinions, unwelcome attention in international media, denunciation of long-dead leaders (with calls for removal of statues, renaming of institutions, buildings), expressions of solidarity and regret that Canadians in general were either ignorant of, or simply ignored, the anguished testimony expressed through the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. We can offer no solution and sadly, neither does our leadership. See more: Canada and Indigenous peoples 2021

In light of all of the above, Calls for Canada Day to be cancelled have been met with various degrees of support, skepticism, or counter argument. Notable is Christopher Dummitt’s opinion : This Canada Day, let’s cancel the cancellersThe social media campaign is rooted in an astounding ignorance of history

At the risk of being considered flippant, perhaps we could urge our friend Terry Mosher/Aislin to reframe his famous “take a valium” cartoon.

Andrew Caddell is uncharacteristically gloomy about the future of Canada. In Cancel Canada Day? Perhaps we should just cancel Canada (paywall), he writes:
“As each day goes by, Quebec nationalists attack Canada and carve out their own narrow space; Ontario uses the notwithstanding clause; Alberta plans a referendum on equalization. Others look at past leaders and call them “genocidal murderers” without the slightest hesitation. … So, who will defend Canada? Not the prime minister or the party leaders who have sold their souls to the right-wing CAQ government of François Legault. Not the opinion leaders or academics, who are willing to toss great Canadians overboard. Not the media, whose investigative instincts have been sacrificed to political correctness.
There is clearly no longer a national will for Canada, so I think we might as well shut it down.”
However, he also shares: Christopher Dummitt’s This Canada Day, let’s cancel the cancellers

While Canada Day (we have said before, we really think ‘Canada Day’ is a silly term – can you imagine July 14 as ‘France Day’?) festivities will no doubt be muted, global attention on July 1st 2001 is directed to China’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party.
Gwynne Dyer’s excellent piece Vulnerability marks 100 years of the CCP
“The Chinese Communist Party is celebrating the centenary of its foundation tomorrow and most people in China accept the origin myth that justifies its dictatorial rule. China was a horrendously impoverished and unequal society in 1921, the official line says, and owes its current prosperity and freedom from foreign rule to the Communist revolution of 1949.
The implication, never stated explicitly, is that without the Communist revolution China would still be poor and vulnerable to foreign meddling. But Japan and Korea, which share the same basic East Asian culture, have per capita incomes three or four times higher than China’s, and they are also democracies.”

A footnote to China news is How A Chinese-Built Highway Drove Montenegro Deep Into Debt, another possibly devastating outcome of the pervasive Belt & Road initiative. For more, see China geopolitical strategy June 2020 –

Jeremy Kinsman and Larry Haas Diplomatic Community, June 29; Iran and the nuclear deal: end game?
In the wake of the predictable -and regrettable- outcome of the Jun 18 flawed Iranian elections,
Jeremy’s views on the possibility that agreement would be reached were in line with those of the NYT’s David E. Sanger and Farnaz Fassihi that the next six weeks before a new government takes office in Tehran may be a unique window for clinching an agreement that Iran’s leadership has been delaying. Larry Haas was less sanguine, agreeing that the situation is dynamic, and adding ‘dangerously dynamic’.

Donald Rumsfeld, the architect of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan died on Wednesday. His legacy includes the ‘never-ending’ war in Afghanistan where the deteriorating situation was underlined by Austin Miller, the top U.S.  general in that country. The Taliban has been overrunning Afghanistan’s districts in rapid succession, many of them in the north of the country, the traditional stronghold of many former mujahedeen leaders who have been a dominant force in Afghanistan since driving the Taliban from power in 2001 together with the US-led coalition.

Last week we mentioned elections in Ethiopia, but not the bloody conflict between the federal government and rebel forces in Tigray that has been going on since last November. It is a complicated story that the BBC covers extensively in Ethiopia’s Tigray war: The short, medium and long story

$1.9B a year to address natural disasters in Canada among 4 takeaways from federal climate report
With British Columbia recording its hottest temperatures on record, the federal government released its latest major report on climate change, probing how a warming planet will impact everything from infrastructure to tourism and geopolitics.

Varia
A fascinating new version of historical truth.
Historian reveals Aztec history through their own words (audio)
Camilla Townsend won the 2020 Cundill Prize for her book, Fifth Sun: A History of the Aztecs
Historian Camilla Townsend turned to obscure, and often ignored sources written by the Aztecs themselves to see how they saw themselves and their place in history.
The annals, as scholars call them, were an accident of history. The colonizing Spanish taught the Roman alphabet to young Aztecs in the years following the Conquest, in order to disseminate the teaching of the Church. But their pupils also recorded the oral histories of their people, using the alphabet they’d been taught to represent the sounds of their own Nahuatl tongue.

We’re Learning the Wrong Lessons From the World’s Happiest Countries
Hygge alone will not save us.
…somewhere, other people are doing things that make them much happier than we are.
This disturbing thought has contributed to the rise of a genre of lifestyle content that aims to help unhappy Americans emulate the daily practices and philosophies of happier places, whether that means taking a dip in frigid water or making your living room super-cozy. Wanting to copy the happiest people in the world is an understandable impulse, but it distracts from a key message of the happiness rankings—that equitable, balanced societies make for happier residents. In the process, a research-heavy, policy-oriented document gets mistaken, through a terrible global game of telephone, for a trove of self-help advice.
NB: Canada falls to its lowest point ever in World Happiness Report but ahead of U.S.

Long reads
Canada in a Changing Climate: National Issues.
Covering legal risks, shipping routes, farming, migration and more, the 734-page report was released on Monday afternoon.
The rise of the truth industry
Hundreds of fact-checking organisations have mushroomed over the last decade. Can they succeed in holding back the tide of disinformation?
It’s past time to move on from “both sides” reporting and stop worrying about faux cries of bias
There Is an Open War on Facts and Truth. That’s Why We Need Accountability Reporting in Political Stories
It’s past time to move on from “both sides” reporting and stop worrying about faux cries of bias
If you are ready to read something -anything- about DJT, this is a riveting minute-by-minute account
Donald Trump’s January 6 The view from inside the Oval Office.
By Michael Wolff

Finally, with thanks to Wanda Potrykus, a lighter note: May I have a word about enjoying a spot of sabrage instead of being a sillytonian?
Precious things, words. Neglect them and they all too soon disappear. I was reminded of this sad truth when I read a caption in a newspaper last week: “Nick Lane, of Defined Wines in Canterbury, practises the Napoleonic tradition of extracting a cork ahead of a sabrage competition among British winemakers.”

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