Wednesday Night #2094

Written by  //  May 4, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

STAR WARS DAY 2022 – May the Fourth be with you!
Did you know that since Star Wars Day became so popular, May 5 has come to be called “Revenge of the Fifth”, a play on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. On this day, fans join the “Dark Side” by celebrating the Sith Lords from the Star Wars series.

Putin’s War
Does anyone understand what got into Lavrov and why he/Putin would want to alienate Israel? Israel outrage at Sergei Lavrov’s claim that Hitler was part Jewish
While Deutsche Welle’s DW’s Miodrag Soric writes that Vladimir Putin has gravely miscalculated in Ukraine, once again, the news from Ukraine is grim. AP confirms that Russia [is] using ‘missile terrorism’ in wide attacks, bombarding railroad stations and other supply-line targets across the country, and Reuters reports that Russian troops enter strategic Black Sea port city of Kherson, and Fierce fighting [is] under way in Mariupol’s Azovstal plant.
Despite denials from the Kremlin, observers continue to worry that Putin plans to declare war against Ukraine and declare a national mobilisation next Monday, May 9, when Russia celebrates Victory Day.

On Wednesday, CBC World at Six examined the divided opinions among viewers of the rehearsal for the May 9 Victory Day parade.

In North America, the release of the draft U.S. Supreme Court decision on reversing Roe v. Wade heralds a far more bitter division that may well have lasting impact on American society and politics, and likely affecting both sides of the border See SCOTUS & the US courts December 2020- Frank Bruni writes in the NYT : “We’re already at peak polarization and fury: The Trump presidency was a ceaseless melodrama punctuated by two impeachments and the storming of the Capitol. That was all before this Roe development. I shudder to imagine the recriminations — and the rage — after.”

The Ohio and Indiana primary results took a distant second place in media coverage, but there will be many more to come and we will have plenty of time to consider the implications.

Doug Sweet writes: “further to this week’s Roe v. Wade earthquake, it brought to mind a Concordia prof I spoke with for an article about the effect of the 2020 U.S. elections on Canada. Here’s the relevant segment:
One of the most fascinating elements of American politics over the last four years has been the remarkable devotion and resiliency of Donald Trump’s base, which includes Christian evangelicals.
André Gagné, a professor in Concordia’s Department of Theological Studies, recently published Ces évangéliques derrière Trump : Hégémonie, démonologie et fin du monde (Labor et Fides, 2020), on the phenomenon of evangelical support for a man whose personal life has largely been lived outside the strictures of the Ten Commandments.
… How could evangelical Christians embrace a man like Trump? The relationship was transactional, Gagné says. [emphasis mine] “They still won. They still got something out of his four years,” including hundreds of conservative judicial appointments, a crucial shift of power on the U.S. Supreme Court from liberal to conservative that could last for a generation and more complete American support for Israel, which is part of the evangelical agenda
There was only a slight decline in evangelical support for Trump between the 2016 and 2020 elections, Gagné says, noting exit polls after the November 2020 vote showed about 76 to 81 per cent support for Trump, against the same 81 per cent of evangelicals who supported him in 2016.
What appears to be happening in the SCOTUS right now is the closing of that deal (and they may not be done yet). Coupled with Tucker Carlson’s nightly diatribes, it shows how a minority in the United States is having its way with the majority. And the majority seems powerless to do anything about it.”

Montrealers -and all Canadians- can rejoice in the announcement that New Moderna facility to spark ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’ in investments: officials
The facility will manufacture a range of messenger RNA vaccines that could combat such respiratory viruses as seasonal flu.
The $180-million plant, which is expected to open in late 2024, will have an annual production capacity of up to 100 million doses, Moderna chief executive officer Stéphane Bancel said Friday at a news conference at McGill University. The Massachusetts-based company will also invest in research and development in Canada as part of a 10-year strategic partnership, he said. The deal comes almost nine months after the CEO signed an agreement with the federal government to set up a factory in Canada — the biotech firm’s first manufacturing site to be located outside the U.S.
We can only imagine what inducements -other than the federal and Quebec monetary contributions- were offered and wonder just how Quebec will square the presence of Moderna with the onerous Bill 96 about which Andrew Caddell writes scathingly this week Get used to it, Monsieur Legault: English is the international language (Hill Times paywall, but Andrew publishes complete text on his Fb page).

Guy Lafleur
Last week we failed to include Andrew Caddell‘s  27 April column Guy Lafleur’s death has united Quebecers in grief
Like Béliveau and the Rocket before him, Guy Lafleur carried the aspirations of Quebecers into the arena, and succeeded.
Indeed, there was massive turnout of all ages and linguistic expression for the two-day public visitation and his national funeral on Tuesday.

Events
A distinguished group of experts, however  a surprising and sad lack of Francophone speakers.
10 May
The Canadian Global Affairs Institute presents
“After the War: What Kind of World for Canada?”
Registration on EventBrite  here.
This conference intends to provoke discussion on the cataclysmic effect Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had on the world and what Canada can do to help stabilize the international order.
10 May
Les vices cachés du projet de loi 96 avec Colin Standish et Andrew Caddell
8-11pm (EDT)
Register for Online Webinar

Long reads/views
What Was the Strategy Behind the Supreme Court Leak?
Regardless of whether the draft becomes the final decision, then, its leak has already vindicated one of its key premises: that trying to remove an issue like abortion from normal democratic politics was always likely to end very badly for the court.

How Tucker Carlson Stoked White Fear to Conquer Cable

Nina L. Khrushcheva: The Origins of Putin’s Totalitarianism
The war in Ukraine amounts to a final repudiation of the power of the security-service figures, the siloviki, who gained power during Vladimir Putin’s early years. They have been replaced by faceless security technocrats – the real heirs to the KGB.

Thanks to Peter Frise who notes “This is a fascinating and compelling presentation on a key issue. There are some very clear signals of strife ahead due to the shifting world population”
Visualizing the Population of the World in 2100
The UN projects a global population of 10,8 billion by the year 2100. How will it be distributed?
When the population in Europe and much of the richer world is declining and the most populated nations in the world, China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh are stagnating, the population increase from today will be concentrated to the African continent.
The high fertility rates in Africa means the continent will almost threefold in just 80 years. Nigeria will reach 700 million inhabitants in 2100, passing the United States along the way and reaching the spot as the world’s third most populous nation. How will this affect the countries on the continent? Will Africa be a case of overpopulation and the growing global population mean our chances of reaching global emission targets are out the window? Or could this bring economic opportunities and prosperity? What influence will migration have?

The Botanist Who Defied Stalin
A Fascinating account of the origins of the “seed vault inside a mountain that sits in the permafrost of Spitsbergen, a remote Norwegian island 1,300 kilometers north of the Arctic circle. But the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is the futuristic version of what Vavilov had begun in 1921. Dubbed the Doomsday Vault, with a proclaimed mission to serve as “a global seed vault to serve as a backup storage facility … to store duplicates (backups) of seed samples from the world’s crop collections,” it opened in 2008, as a repository that would ultimately contain all the world’s crop plant genetic diversity.”

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