Wednesday Night #2160

Written by  //  August 9, 2023  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2160

For those of us who rely on Facebook to communicate bits and pieces of information one at a time, and tagging individuals who will be affected or concerned, the fact that the Facebook squeeze has begun is frustrating, annoying and also increases the time spent conveying timely information.
We, Doug Sweet and Andrew Caddell have all been victims of the meta retaliation for Bill C-18.
So far the silliest censorship we have suffered was over a frivolous piece -hardly news- about the Queen Elizabeth hotel’s newly redecorated ‘Barbie suite’.
We are working our way around the restrictions. While we cannot post links to news sources, we can at least identify sources by name without link.
Meanwhile, we cannot even protest by posting this link:
‘Disaster’: warning for democracy as experts condemn Meta over Canada news ban
Retaliatory move against Online News Act is ‘epic miscalculation’ that will promote spread of misinformation, analysts say

Brazil’s Amazon Summit ends with a plan to protect the world’s rainforests, but no measurable goals
Leaders and ministers from eight Amazon nations signed a declaration Tuesday in Belem, Brazil, that laid out plans to drive economic development in their countries while preventing the Amazon’s ongoing demise “from reaching a point of no return.”

We are avoiding commenting on day-by-day reports of Russia and Putin’s War, unless there is something remarkable, or horrific to highlight, but there are a couple of excellent pieces linked from long reads, below. Also this piece by Galiya Ibragimova, published by the Carnegie Institute may be of special interest to some Wednesday Nighters, including Alex, Sam Stein, Sandy and Paule
Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Has Rocked Moldovan Politics
Sensing the changing mood, many left-wing parties and politicians in Moldova have begun criticizing the war and reversing their pro-Russian positions.
And we are not sure what to make of this: UAE President wants to arrange Zelenskyy-Putin talks — report at the behest of Pope Francis. Citing sources among Western and Arab diplomats, Lebanese newspaper L’Orient-Le Jour reported officials aim to arrange the meeting during the UN conference on climate change, taking place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 in Dubai.

So good to have Gloria with us again last week and to know that we have our favorite Georgia observer available as Atlanta begins to brace for the potential of a new Trump indictment as soon as next week
4 takeaways from rejection of Issue 1 in the Ohio special election
Red-leaning Ohio becomes the latest in a succession of states to deliver a setback to antiabortion forces after Roe v. Wade was overturned last year.

There is concern that China is tipping into deflation as efforts to stoke recovery falter. Anxiety is rising that China is entering an era of much slower economic growth akin to the period of Japan’s “lost decades”, which saw consumer prices and wages stagnate for a generation, a stark contrast to the rapid inflation seen elsewhere.

Andrew Caddell was blocked from posting a link to his weekly Hill Times column
[the late] Denise Bombardier was complex, controversial, and cantankerous – Bombardier had no real equivalent in the rest of Canada, or even in North America.
He concludes “There is no question Denise Bombardier was an exceptional person. But she lacked either self-discipline or a moral compass to recognize the antediluvian nature of the things she wrote and said. Given the egregious nature of her opinions, she shouldn’t be feted as a role model. It will be interesting to see how history regards her legacy.”

Andrew also forwarded the link to Andrew Griffith’s piece that tackles an issue close to our hearts and minds for some time: Canada badly needs an immigration reset
The recent cabinet shuffle allows the federal government to take action so that housing, health care and infrastructure aren’t unduly strained by new arrivals.
The government has largely ignored the impact of high levels of immigration on housing availability and affordability, health care and infrastructure. Belated recognition that current policies are not working to the benefit of all Canadians may be the reason behind the appointment of a new minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, and the reassignment of the former minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser, to housing and infrastructure.
Note that the problems of infrastructure and facilities being overwhelmed by immigration are not limited to Canada. Massachusetts governor Maura Healey declared a state of emergency on Tuesday as shelters housing migrants and refugees reached capacity, and called on the federal government to help.
Be afraid- be very afraid
Surging support for Conservatives now has Poilievre in sight of a majority
While one pollster’s projection of 165 Tory seats is still short of the 170 needed to form a majority, it would be enough to defeat any new attempts at a Liberal-NDP coalition

This is a very long read
Robbie Robertson, lead guitarist and songwriter of The Band, dies at 80
The Band profoundly influenced popular music in the 1960s and ’70s.
Canadian Robbie Robertson, The Band’s lead guitarist and songwriter who in such classics as “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” mined and helped reshape music, has died at 80.

100-day strike: Hollywood writers show unity and anger on picket lines
The strike began on May 2 after negotiations between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the major studios reached an impasse over compensation, minimum staffing of writers’ rooms and residual payments in the streaming era, among other issues.Writers also sought to regulate the use of artificial intelligence, which they fear could replace their creative input
Animal actors are on strike, too. These are their stories.
The animal folk of Hollywood are finding themselves in a double bind. Artistically, they’re more aligned with the actors, stunt performers and puppeteers who are members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). But trainers and handlers who work on the West Coast are, like film-industry drivers, eligible for membership in the Teamsters union, in part because they are responsible for transporting their animals. Not only are they taking a financial hit from their animals being out of work, but they also won’t earn protections in the contract that eventually emerges from the strike — because they aren’t members of SAG-AFTRA.

Petting other people’s dogs, even briefly, can boost your health
Research on the health benefits of human interactions with animals – especially with dogs – has exploded in recent years, thanks to funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Waltham PetCare Science Institute. Though the field is still young, Gee says the quality of the evidence is improving all the time, including more randomized controlled trials looking at short interactions.
A favorite source for us is Bloomberg’s City Lab news with frequent references to exciting new developments in city planning, architecture and/or urban living.
One of Europe’s Hottest Cities Rediscovers an Old Cooling Technique
One of the coolest spots in Seville, Spain, is the site of CartujaQanat, an architectural experiment in cooling solutions that relies not on air conditioning but on natural techniques and materials.
Paramount Agrees to Sell Simon & Schuster to KKR, a Private Equity Firm
The deal, for $1.62 billion, will put control of a cultural touchstone in the hands of a financial buyer

The Separation

Evan Solomon: The bedrooms of the state: Where the personal and political meet
The blurred line between the personal and political is only getting blurrier. In the US, the health of Joe Biden is a personal and political issue, and the sexual indiscretions of Donald Trump have long been part of his public life. There can clearly be a political benefit for politicians oversharing their private lives – they need to be “relatable” – but the costs of doing that are high.
Years ago, Justin Trudeau’s father said, “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” Does the nation now have business in the bedrooms of the state?
Somewhat unkind, but not unrealistic and quite entertaining
Dispatch from the Front Lines: A separation in Ottawa
And a spread in, uh, People magazine. Lord help us.

Mark your calendars
MIGS just published the August newsletter Check out past and future activities of Kyle Matthews, Marie Lamensch and other friends. Especially, note:
6 September
Kyle will speak at the Commission for Environmental Cooperation about “Unleashing the Power of AI for Human Rights and Environmental Preservation”.
11 September
MIGS will host Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, author and China reporter at Axios, to discuss disinformation, foreign interference and her latest book “Beijing Rules: How China Weaponized Its Economy to Confront the World”. Register

Long reads
Leigh Sarty: Russia is further than ever from becoming a normal country
There are sound historical reasons why Russia has been wary of the West, but under Putin’s direction, the country has become a shrill, paranoid, and destructive dictatorship.
Putin’s Age of ChaosThe Dangers of Russian Disorder
By Tatiana Stanovaya, Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center; Founder and CEO of the political analysis firm R.Politik
The mid-Summer issue of Policy including
Senator Peter Boehm: Whither the Gs? Summitry in a Time of Disruption
Jeremy Kinsman: Bucolic and a Little Less Barmy: Seeking Respite in Post-Brexit Wiltshire

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