Wednesday Night #2102

Written by  //  June 29, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2102

The 2022 Summer Summit Season is upon us:
The Commonwealth Heads of Government(CHOGM),  followed by the G7 and NATO – all dominated by Putin’s War
Meanwhile, while we were hardly noticing, Xi hosted the 14th BRICS Summit enjoying the company of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This report from Xinhua makes for entertaining reading – unlike the western gatherings, it seems these fine fellows enjoyed sweetness and harmony throughout the meeting.

The fractious family of 54-and-counting Commonwealth nations adopted the ‘Living Lands Charter’ while Prince Charles tells Commonwealth leaders dropping Queen is ‘for each to decide’ saying any move by members to become a republic can be ‘without rancour’.

Jeremy Kinsman & Larry Haas address the major question facing the G7 and NATO Ukraine’s war of Survival: is the West Doing Enough? and debate how and when the war will end. Jeremy is adamant that Europe must wean itself from its dependency on oil as G7 leaders push to cap oil prices.
For background we suggest The Future of the West Is in Question – Without more forceful intervention in Ukraine’s war, the consequences for the U.S. and Europe could be devastating.

A New Task for Biden: Readying Allies for a Long Conflict in Ukraine
In March, talk of victory was in the air. Now, maintaining unity against President Vladimir V. Putin is looking harder, with President Biden heading to Germany and Spain to rally Europe.

The Canadian attendees at these meetings are fortunate that they can by-pass the disgraceful crisis surrounding air travel, starting with the problems of renewing/obtaining passports and extending throughout Canadian airports and airlines systems. The passport SNAFU is being addressed by the Feds with the creation of a new task force to help tackle major delays with immigration applications and passport processing.
The headline (did Sandy write it?) says it all: “What a f**king mess”: Baggage chaos, flight delays wreak havoc at Canadian airport ( with videos). On Wednesday, Aéroports de Montréal chief executive officer Philippe Rainville called on the airlines to cut flights to ease travel issues, adding that amid delays, cancellations, lineups and lost luggage, “it’s clear that we need to restore balance in the logistical chain.” And all of this coming to a head on the eve of the 2022 Jazz Festival.

Andrew Caddell is back from BC and writes this week I am still proud to be Canadian (paywall, but available on his Fb page)
“The dark clouds on the horizon both here and in the United States are a warning sign for us to hold to the principles of fairness and openness that have characterized modern Canada.” before republishing the love letter to Canada he wrote 22 years ago when living in Geneva, titled “On Being a Canadian Abroad.” “It reflected my five years living in Switzerland, and working for the World Health Organization and UNICEF in Côte d’Ivoire, Macedonia, and Bangladesh.”

The revelations from the Tuesday hearing of the January 6 Committee border on the incredible: Donald Trump tried to wrest the steering wheel of his limo away from his Secret Service agent to join the violent mob, a former aide testified.. As Peter Frise said “This is a ‘John Dean’ moment”, but with great concern for the safety of Cassidy Hutchinson.
As always, Heather Cox Richardson offers a clear, concise summary and analysis and provides supporting links to media coverage. If you read this, you don’t need to read any other reports.

Gloria responds to Sandy’s previous question about a movement to switch party affiliation, with a referral to This former Republican senator just called Donald Trump a ‘spoiled brat’ while noting that “Wyoming is not an open-primary state; one can only vote there in the primary of the party with whom one is registered. According to this piece, Liz Cheney’s campaign is courting registered Democrats to help with her difficult August primary; the campaign is supplying Democrats with information on how to switch their party affiliation to help Cheney.”

Bill 96 effects
Toula Drimonis: Bienvenue au Québec, you have six months to learn French
La partie probablement la plus offensante de loi 96 est qu’il fait tout son possible pour rendre encore plus difficile ce qui est déjà un processus très difficile.
Émigrer signifie que tout dans votre monde devient nouveau, étranger, inconnu. Dans de nombreux cas, une nouvelle langue, une nouvelle ville, une nouvelle façon de faire les choses, de nouvelles références et une nouvelle façon de tout naviguer. C’est effrayant, déroutant, solitaire, stimulant et souvent décourageant au début.

Devastating news.
McGill’s Conservatory of Music plans to close as enrolment drops
Faced with rising operating costs and a drop in attendance, McGill’s Schulich School of Music said Tuesday it will close the conservatory for good at the end of the summer.
Founded in 1904 as the McGill Conservatorium, the conservatory was a community program of the university’s music school, providing education through private music lessons to McGill students and the broader Montreal community for students of all ages and abilities. While classical music was the main focus, the institution offered instrumental and theoretical instruction in many styles, including jazz.
COVID-19 “has dramatically changed the reality of operating the conservatory,” says the dean of the university’s music school. “The trend is as clear as it is unfortunate.”

In deference to all the non-Quebecers, we will refrain from any more references to Bill 96, etc. and indulge our Conservative friends with a couple of items concerning the leadership race:
Jake Enwright: The truth behind skyrocketing Conservative party membership sales
Party growth can’t be explained by any one leadership candidate’s appeal. There are other factors
Gary Mason: Are the federal Conservatives heading for a cataclysmic rupture?
‘I’m very worried’: Former Tory Senate leader on Poilievre, convoys and the party’s future

Rina had volunteered “to brief myself about the background to current Israeli electoral issues by talking with my brother Ron Kampeas, a DC journalist specializing in Jewish affairs.” Unfortunately, she will not be with us this Wednesday, but in preparation for a later discussion, she suggests reading a helpful backgrounder Ron co-wrote on the matter last week; A 5th Israeli election in 3 years? Here’s how we got here and what happens next. and a link to a good piece from France 24 that is up-to-date as of yesterday: Israeli parliament passes vote to dissolve, hold new elections

Favorite animal stories this week
Hungry herds of goats are front-line workers in wildfire prevention around the country
Unlike picky cows or horses, goats will eat a variety of vegetation down to the ground, creating an open space to help stop a fire
While over a dozen states—including Nevada, Oregon and New Mexico—regularly use goats for fire management, they’ve now also become a popular method around the country to remove invasive plant species. The Riverside Park Conservancy in New York relies on goats to control unwanted plants such as English ivy and mugwort.
‘Tigger come back’: B.C. house cat chases black bear out of family’s yard

Long reads
The Future of the West Is in Question
Without more forceful intervention in Ukraine’s war, the consequences for the U.S. and Europe could be devastating.
‘What have we done?’: six years on, UK counts the cost of Brexit
Sectors from fishing to aviation, farming to science report being bogged down in red tape, struggling to recruit staff and racking up losses for the first time
Does Hungary Offer a Glimpse of Our Authoritarian Future?
American conservatives recently hosted their flagship conference in Hungary, a country that experts call an autocracy. Its leader, Viktor Orbán, provides a potential model of what a Trump after Trump might look like.
Two Murders in the Amazon
Bolsonaro’s actions have proved devastating for the Indigenous people in the Amazonian reservations, provoking a surge of invasions of their lands and a wave of killings of community leaders.

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