Wednesday Night #2081

Written by  //  February 2, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2081

Gung hey fat choi!
Happy Chinese New Year of the Tiger! For lovers of astrology: The Year of the Tiger brings with it a fierce, feline energy that encourages bold action and radical independence. The downswing — or other stripe — of the tiger is arrogance and egoism that serves the self at the expense of the whole. This energy will influence all of the zodiac signs this year; read on to learn more about what the tiger’s roar has in store.


Not a very auspicious start for Erin O’Toole ousted as Conservative leader after caucus revolt, while the City of Ottawa is held hostage by the “Trucker convoy”.

In Canadians rise up against PM Trudeau’s vaccine mandate, Cleo Paskal deviates from her usual Asia beat to address the historical constitutional basis of the Trucker Convoy and its implications today. While many of us were looking the other way, “the former Premier of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Brian Peckford, did an interview with Jordon Peterson. … and soon the story was out:: “Last living signer of Canadian constitutional charter of rights sues government over COVID travel ban.”
Meanwhile, in The MOU says everything you need to know about the truckers protest Andrew Caddell analyzes the ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ document, which is the raison d’être of  the Freedom Convoy movement, so you don’t have to. He concludes: The degree of ignorance shown by the leaders of the demonstration of the legitimate authority of the government, its makeup, the Constitution, federal-provincial jurisdiction, is, as one commentator put it, “breathtaking.” Someone jokingly said they wanted to invoke the “Not understanding Clause.”

And what of Groundhog Day 2022? Ontario’s Wiarton Willie predicts early spring, Nova Scotia predicts long winter and in the U.S., Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, meaning we’re in for 6 more weeks of winter

As we scan the news, it seems evident that we should prepare for at least 6 weeks of cold comfort and be very wary of the other stripe of the tiger – arrogance and egoism serving the self at the expense of the whole.

Rise and Shine, Friday morning by 6:30am ET for the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. How to watch the Opening Ceremony from anywhere in the world but beware that other stripe:
Why Putin’s upcoming visit with Xi is the main story of the Olympics so far
While many Western countries, including the United States, Britain and Australia, are diplomatically boycotting the Winter Olympics over China’s human rights record, Putin will join a number of Beijing-friendly leaders at the Games. His talks with Xi will be closely watched for signs of increasing cooperation between China and Russia, which have grown closer as both of their ties with the West have soured.

And what of Russia-Ukraine
As Putin Blames West, Russia’s Military Buildup Continues
Satellite images captured the establishment of tents and shelters for troops near Ukraine’s borders. It may signal an increased “overall readiness level” of Russia’s military.
Wednesday’s Hill Times (paywall) says that Russian minister willing to meet Joly anywhere around the globe. While Moscow has invited Canada to politically engage with Russia to ‘understand’ each other’s position, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says President Vladimir Putin is ‘very familiar’ with Canada’s position on Ukraine. Defense Minister Anita Anand seems to have more visibility recently: Russia can choose negotiations or sanctions, Canada’s defence minister says in Ukraine
Last week on CTV, Jeremy Kinsman‘s position on will Russia invade? was I don’t think Russia is going to attack Ukraine in any conventional military way. Putin wants your attention. I think he’s getting it. Have not seen any further statement from him.
My favorite European observer sent this on Sunday:
“The Russian intrusion further to Ukraine is unlikely. Putin wants to keep up suspension and craves for respect, but a military operation would be too expensive. The Russian society could not tolerate the resulting collapse of the standard of living and the crash of the Ruble.
Putin is holding a pistol at the temple of Ukraine, but will not fire. He has already achieved what he craves most: He is listened to and taken seriously. Every mafioso craves for rispetto.
The crisis and confrontation between two ideologies is not over, but there will not be war in Europe. Not yet, at least.”

In case China, Russia, Ukraine and the Freedom Convoy are not sufficient causes for concern, you might wish to consider Islamic State hits back, aided by power vacuum in Iraq and Syria and related reports on ISIS/ISIL/DAESH 2019

Back to Canada and Quebec to the duplicitous Mr. Legault and the news that Dawson College expansion abruptly axed to ‘prioritize francophone students’ made all the more galling by his smarmy statement when announcing the scrapping of the no-vax-tax that “I understand that this divides Quebecers and right now we need to build bridges,” said Legault. “My role is to try to bring Quebecers together to stay united as a people.”

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of John Drysdale Although failing health prevented him from being with us for the last several years, we have fond memories of his impressive intellect and many thoughtful interventions in earlier years. Our deepest sympathy to his wife, Susan, and family.

Wayne Larsen and Francine Pelletier to helm Concordia’s Institute for Investigative Journalism
The new co-directors bring with them years of award-winning journalism and teaching experience.

It looks as though Punxsutawney Phil was right. Following last week’s  ‘wicked’ blizzard pummels New England – Thousands lost electricity and heat as the storm howled and frigid water flooded streets, Wednesday’s news is Heavy snow and ice storm plastering Midwest, mid-South: ‘Travel could be impossible’

Wordle buyout by New York Times draws backlash from fans
The New York Times Co’s (NYT.N) acquisition of Wordle has created uproar on social media, with fans expressing fears that the popular online word game might be put behind a paywall.
How a Crossword Editor Plays Wordle It doesn’t have the richness of a crossword, but I play it religiously.
Report on Rio Tinto finds ‘disturbing’ culture of sexual harassment, racism, bullying – a challenge for incoming chair (former Canadian ambassador) Dominique Barton

Long reads/listens:
Gerald Ratzer writes: I thought you might be interested in a new peer-reviewed paper published in the Journal of Basic and Applied Science, written by two Wednesday Nighters.
Lightfoot HD, Ratzer G. The Sun Versus CO2 as the Cause of Climate Change Projected to 2050.
J Basic Appl Sci 2021; 18.

Gerald adds: The lead author is a 93-year engineer who has published on many topics and has recently produced and starred in a 1-hour documentary on nuclear energy.  It has been my pleasure to support him with climate research analysis and a literature survey.
The paper is designed for a broad audience, including politicians, climate policymakers and educators at all levels.  For those who want more details, which are very complex in some cases, there are 29 references.
As convoy of truckers and supporters approaches Ottawa, who are the groups involved? (CBC audio)
The convoy approaching Ottawa has been described as beginning as a protest against a vaccine mandate for cross-border truck drivers — but there are concerns more extremist views have hitched a ride along the way. Reporter Justin Ling unpacks who’s involved, and what we might see when it reaches the capital this weekend.
The Putin DoctrineA Move on Ukraine Has Always Been Part of the Plan
The Betrayal
America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan represents a moral failure, George Packer argues.
George Packer recounts the messy withdrawal, and argues that the administration is responsible for “adding moral injury to military failure.” But a group of soldiers, veterans, and ordinary citizens came together to try to save Afghan lives and salvage some American honor.
His entire 20,000-word story is worth sitting with, when you can.
Three key takeaways from his reporting.
1. The United States failed to adequately plan.
2. An informal network scrambled to help those left behind.
3. The administration undermined its own policy.

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