Wednesday Night #2147

Written by  //  May 10, 2023  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2147

Honourable Marc Lalonde RIP
It was an honour to have known Marc and a privilege to have counted him among our Wednesday Night friends. A brilliant intellect and an achiever in every task he undertook.
Marc Lalonde died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones on May 6, 2023. He was 93 years old.

Britain, the Monarchy & the Commonwealth
No matter what your attitude towards the British monarchy, it would have been hard to avoid the news, videos, photos and assorted commentary surrounding The Coronation ceremony and celebration. Once again, the Brits have proven that they are unsurpassed in the art of putting on a good show. Coronation of HM King Charles III and Queen Camilla in full
A few random observations:
Guidelines needed!
Foreign royals attend the coronation ceremony of King
a clear indication that nobody prepared a how-to-dress guideline for the ladies, including prohibition of large (fascinator) hats – what were those women thinking?
Glorious music!
details of every piece played at the Westminster Abbey service.
The King personally commissioned 12 new pieces for the day, including a Coronation anthem by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a Coronation march by Patrick Doyle.
Gorgeous horse!
The RCMP’s gift to the King
How an Ottawa horse named Noble became a gift for King Charles
And with great thanks to Jonathan Levinson for introducing us to Ed West’s Wrong Side of History
The worst coronations in history
“Whereas so many traditions are 19th-century inventions, as any student of history knows, the coronation of Britain’s monarch is a rare example of a truly ancient custom, dating to the 10th century in its structure and with origins stretching back further, to the Romans and even Hebrews. As Tom Holland said on yesterday’s The Rest is History, it is like going to a zoo and seeing a woolly mammoth.”
The Feast of Fools at Westminster Abbey – delightful – well written, well argued, well grounded in history, and with large doses of common sense.

As the news that Pakistan has been plunged into yet another crisis with the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday in Islamabad even as he was preparing to appear at the local High Court, we are grateful to C Uday Bhaskar for the timely clarification of the issues

It is hard to know what is credible regarding Putin’s War. What we do know is that the Victory Day parade was scaled back. There appears to be major squabbling between the Wagner Group and Russian military
By Wednesday evening, Ukraine Claims Gains Near Bakhmut as Deadly Fighting Continues – Ukraine’s military said it had reclaimed about three square miles outside the eastern city of Bakhmut, which would be its first significant gains there in weeks.

In the category of you can lead the horse to water… two ceasefires seem to be going nowhere.
Israel-Palestine conflict: Fighting ongoing as ceasefire falters – The hostilities amount to the heaviest fighting between the two sides in months.
US ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Sudan ceasefire talks
Clashes and air raids intensified in the capital Khartoum and surrounding areas on Wednesday despite the talks in Jeddah, residents reported.

The Canada-China story becomes more intense as each government has now declared one diplomat persona non grata. Guy Saint-Jacques sees this as a positive development (The diplomatic expulsions could provide a welcome reset of Canada’s relationship with China) and let us hope that he is right, because Ottawa’s dithering cannot have impressed any friends or foes.
For those who have not been following the twists and turns of this story, the BBC gives an excellent summary China expels Canadian diplomat in tit-for-tat move

Chrystia Freeland talking to Americans
Paul Wells continues his make-nice columns. This time he is writing about the first meeting, in Washington, of the Canada-US Energy Transformation Task Force.
He asks How big a deal is this task force?. And answers: “Well, at the table with Freeland (third from the front on the left) and Hochstein (fourth from the front on the right) are Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s ambassador to Washington, and David Cohen, the U.S. ambassador to Ottawa. Michael Sabia, the deputy minister of finance, is to Freeland’s right, or rather, to the right of whoever got up from the table to take the photo. Leslie Church, Freeland’s chief of staff, is next to Hillman
Clearly this meeting, and the process it inaugurated, were a big enough deal to get Sabia and Cohen on flights to Washington. It would be surprising if it were otherwise. The “energy transition” from higher- to lower-carbon sources is Job One in Justin Trudeau’s Ottawa, and Challenge One is ensuring the Americans don’t get too far out ahead, or leave us behind. This is why there is a $13 billion battery plant. Probably nobody at the table had something more important they were sorry to be missing.”

You might want to do some background prep for the G7 Summit (May 19-21)
Issues to be addressed at the G7 Hiroshima Summit It is being preceded by a series of ministerial meetings to lay the groundwork on a number of important topical issues. As the current cold war atmosphere between the U.S.-led Western allies and China centers around technology competition, the G-7 digital and tech ministers’ gathering in late April took on special importance. (G7 Digital Ministers Preview Summit’s Focus on Tech Competition With China)

We are delighted to announce that “Blackberry” , the biopic based on the book “Losing the Signal: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry” by our friend, former Wednesday Nighter Sean Silcoff and Jacquie McNish — will be released on 12 May – can’t wait to see it! Sean has promised to join WN, but first we need to see the film (at Cineplex)
Good review by WaPo’s Ann Hornaday: ‘BlackBerry’ traces the arc of a ubiquitous-then-gone device; Director Matt Johnson re-creates the excitement that followed the invention of the first smartphone, amplifying the atmosphere of chaos that surrounds an industry run by brilliant but immature young men- Variety; How We Got Here: Matt Johnson on BlackBerry By Brian Tallerico

Electric vehicles
Thanks to John Buchanan for this contribution from Mark P. Mills to our on-going debate regarding the (dis)advantages of the rush towards EVs: Electric Vehicle IllusionsNo one can really say whether widespread adoption of EVs will cut carbon emissions

We rarely follow, or even mention Sports. Many of you enthusiasts will keep the rest of us up to date on whatever we need to know to participate in the conversation, however, this week is an exception as we deplore the events surrounding the 2023 Kentucky DerbyAt Churchill Downs, Humans Failed the Horses Again Despite recent efforts to make horse racing safer, seven horses died at the track in the lead-up to the race — prompting an investigation into the deaths and fueling outrage from animal rights activists. Whose fault was it?
Dark week at Churchill Downs sparks questions about horse racing’s future.
What a tragic way to mark the 50th anniversary of Secretariat‘s Triple Crown win – the first leg was May 5th 1973.
Let us hope that NPR’s prediction is right, that Horse racing is on the cusp of major changes in the U.S. after years of scandal, and long overdue national standards will be introduced and enforced.
On a happy note,  Buddy Holly Wins Best in Show at Westminster. The first petit basset griffon Vendéen (PBGV) to win the top prize at Westminster, Buddy Holly held off six other group champions to triumph. Check out the video, he is enchanting!
And yes, to our surprise, we learned that dog shows – at least Westminster- are considered Sport by the NYT.

In case you missed this story associated with last Wednesday’s World Press Freedom Day
Where there is a will…
Finnish newspaper hides Ukraine news reports for Russians in online game
Newspaper uses secret room in first-person shooter game Counter-Strike to bypass Russian censorship
The newspaper was bypassing Russia’s censorship through the first-person shooter game Counter-Strike, where gamers battle against each other as terrorists and counter-terrorists in timed matches.

Long read
Beyond Ukraine’s Offensive
The West Needs to Prepare the Country’s Military for a Long War
As the Russian winter offensive reaches its culmination, Ukraine is poised to seize the initiative. In the coming weeks, it plans to conduct an offensive operation, or series of offensives, that may prove decisive in this phase of the conflict. This is not Ukraine’s only remaining opportunity to liberate a substantial amount of territory and inflict a major defeat on Russian forces, but the upcoming offensive may be the moment when available Western military equipment, training, and ammunition best intersect with the forces set aside by Ukraine for this operation. Ukraine is also eager to demonstrate that, despite months of brutal fighting, its military is not exhausted and remains able to break through Russian lines.
Policymakers, however, have placed undue emphasis on the upcoming offensive without providing sufficient consideration of what will come afterward and whether Ukraine is well positioned for the next phase.

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