Wednesday Night #2106

Written by  //  July 27, 2022  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Pope Francis in Canada: Full itinerary of the papal visit
On the eve of Thursday morning’s mass at the National Shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupré, the papal “penitential pilgrimage” continues to be met with a range of reactions from politely positive to ungraciously negative. See Canada and Indigenous peoples 2022
One action that would seem to be relatively easy to accomplish and certainly qualifies as the right thing to do is the revocation of the Doctrine of Discovery of 1493, which, with its 1494 companion piece affecting The Americas –the Treaty of Tordesillas– formed the basis for the exploitation of ‘undiscovered’ lands in Canada and around the globe.
Close to home: Resilience Montreal calling for concrete actions, not just an apology
Other times popes have apologized for the sins of the Catholic Church

As Putin’s War continues, there is no doubt that the Russian leader is the wiliest of all leaders of major countries, as he continues his campaign of blackmail by cutting gas flows further as Europe urges energy saving and betting that the more prolonged war in Ukraine will eventually wear down the commitment of the NATO and EU allies.
David Frum’s assessment of the gas crisis in Europe and possible short-term and long-term solutions: Putin’s Big Chill in Europe
Putin is constraining [the natural gas] supply again, this time apparently intending to push European countries into outright shortages over the winter ahead.

Ian Bremmer: Has the Jan. 6 committee killed Trump’s 2024 chances?
No, but it has certainly hurt them.
Jennifer Rubin: More Republicans are dumping Trump. But the GOP still imperils democracy.
…while it’s true that some Republicans are moving on from Trump, his two legacies — authoritarianism and ethno-nationalism — still dominate the GOP. The threat to pluralistic democracy remains.
And don’t miss
What Donald Trump Got Out of His Divorce From Ivana
What Trump learned from his divorce is that there’s no such thing as bad press. Only that you can never have enough of it.
The funeral for the first wife of former President Donald Trump, Ivana, took place on a hot July day at St. Vincent Ferrer Roman Catholic Church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, not far from the townhouse where she died at the age of 73. Her golden casket sat next to a large poster board of her 1992 Vanity Fair cover, which read Ivana Be a Star! The story, by Bob Colacello, chronicled the junketing and jet-setting that went along with Ivana’s effort to reinvent herself after her 1990 divorce from Donald.

An intriguing argument
Quit, Joe, Quit! Biden could save the midterms with a one-term pledge.
By Steven L. Isenberg
(WaPo) President Biden should announce now that he will not run for reelection in 2024. He should not ask the Democratic Party, or the nation, to assume the risk of a second four-year term that would begin after he reached the age of 82.
Here’s why the decision not to run should come promptly.
And then on Wednesday came:
Joe Biden’s Presidency Is Suddenly Back From the Dead
Joe Manchin pulls an about-face, comes out for Inflation Reduction Act!
(New York) Less than two weeks ago, Joe Biden’s domestic agenda appeared to be completely dead when Joe Manchin backed away from the domestic policy bill he had been negotiating. But now, in a shocking turnabout, Manchin has made a deal with the Biden administration on a major bill.

Bravo, Andrew Coyne, for the devastating reaction to Stephen Harper’s endorsement, Winner of one majority in five tries says Poilievre has what it takes

Marc Nicholson has recently returned from a three-week business trip to Hong Kong; he says that the perceptions in the West are inaccurate – we hope he will join us to explain further and perhaps comment on the news below.
Hong Kong activists in Canada, U.S. and U.K. announce plans to form exile parliament
A group of Hong Kong activists living in Canada, the United States and Britain say they will hold elections to a parliament-in-exile next year, aiming to create a democratic body to represent Hong Kongers around the globe as China continues to crack down on political freedoms in the former British colony.

C Uday Bhasker sent this article by his daughter Swara (apples/trees!) for consideration
India’s uncanny Iranian connection
Like in Iran, jail, in new India, is a real possibility for anyone
“I finally understand the sadness that seemed to always surround my Iranian friend. I recall when he told me that we Indians were lucky because we had no worries. I want him to know that we now have the same worries too!”

Ken Matziorinis writes “I am proud of the publication of my daughter’s latest scientific article in the prestigious journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences on the effects of music on Alzheimer’s patients.” The promise of music therapy for Alzheimer’s disease: A review
Anna Maria Matziorinis, Stefan Koelsch

Growing Chez Doris: How One Montreal Women’s Shelter is Tackling the Surge in Homelessness
Marina Boulos-Winton
(Policy) Between the “she-demic” and the inflation economy, more women are being marginalized. The director of Montreal’s downtown women’s shelter, Chez Doris, reports from the front line of economic precariousness.

Long reads
Portrait of Bravery: Ukraine’s First Lady, Olena Zelenska
(Vogue) Before the war, she’d already become an advocate for the vulnerable, especially children with special needs, and also worked to raise awareness and fight domestic violence. She brought in a renowned Ukrainian chef to overhaul public school cafeteria nutrition, introducing more fruits and vegetables to a diet largely of meat and potatoes, and helped negotiate the introduction of Ukrainian-language audio guides at major international museums. Zelenska has continued this work, not least because millions of Ukrainians are now living abroad, especially in Europe. The schools initiative has shifted because the question is now whether children can go to school at all—Russia has been bombing schools and not all have adequate bomb shelters—or have enough to eat. In her speech to Congress, Zelenska compared Russia’s strategy in Ukraine to The Hunger Games.

West’s leadership crisis is about to get worse
It’s a cliché to lament the inadequacy of those in power but Europe and the US seem unable to escape rule by third-raters
The inadequacy of the men and women at the top of the big democracies is global. The landscape of western leadership is not even like Disraeli’s famous range of exhausted volcanoes. It is more like a flat field dotted with dull molehills of varying sizes.
Take the G7. The man who runs Germany looks and sounds like he’s trying a second career after peaking in a regional bank at middle-manager level. Canada is run by a man-child. Italy is once again looking for anyone to run it. Japan’s only seriously visionary leader of the past 50 years was just assassinated. France has a president elected twice only because the alternative was so frightening and who couldn’t even persuade the voters to give him a co-operative parliament. Then of course there is the United States. Polling this week shows President Biden’s approval ratings have hit a new low for his presidency. Remarkably, he has dropped below the point that Donald Trump bumped along for much of his term.

From Trump to Putin: Why are people attracted to tyrants?

Blots on a field?
(Science) A neuroscience image sleuth finds signs of fabrication in scores of Alzheimer’s articles, threatening a reigning theory of the disease
“The immediate, obvious damage is wasted NIH funding and wasted thinking in the field because people are using these results as a starting point for their own experiments.” – Nobel laureate Thomas Südhof

Climate Science Meets Geopolitics
Giulio Boccaletti
(Project Syndicate) Amid rising geopolitical tensions and accelerating deglobalization, governments will need to ensure that they have the infrastructure and human capital necessary to maintain a comparative advantage in earth sciences. Superiority in this field could prove decisive in any new cold war.
LONDON – Climate science matters in more ways than you might think. It has set the pace and targets for the most ambitious economic transformation since the Industrial Revolution: the transition to a carbon-free economy. Ever since the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, climate data and models have been a global public good – an instrument of economic power with growing normative value. Climate targets are increasingly being enshrined in law and cited in jurisprudence.
Climate science is also a necessarily global discipline, because it uses mathematical physics to predict the combined

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