Wednesday Night #2173 with Peter Berezin

Written by  //  November 8, 2023  //  Wednesday Nights  //  Comments Off on Wednesday Night #2173 with Peter Berezin

For a brief shining moment, we turned away from the dire events in Israel/Gaza, Ukraine and other parts of the world to enjoy (at least for non-Republicans) the results of the off-year general election
November 7, A night of historic firsts.
Playbook: What last night means for Joe Biden
See 2024 U.S. elections primaries & campaign for more.

and check out Ian Bremmer’s less than euphoric Where does the US presidential election stand one year out?

And so, back to the Israel-Hamas war which is more insoluble every day, despite the heroic efforts of Antony Blinken
If, in light of the brutality and appalling death and injury statistics, your sympathies have shifted slightly from the Israelis, this post is a harsh reminder of the atrocities carried out by Hamas on 7 October. Matt Gurney: This time, Twitter was real life
Some few of us have watched a livestreamed pogrom. But most have maybe glanced at a headline or two. We live in different information universes. That can’t work.
Still, most of us strive for balance, recognizing that the vast majority of the 10,000 who have died in the Israeli attacks on Gaza were innocents – like those slaughtered by Hamas. The time for the historians to apportion blame comes later. Meanwhile what happens to Gaza once the conflict is over (Israel cannot reoccupy Gaza at end of conflict, says Antony Blinken) and what about the West Bank?

Thursday, 9 November, Atwater Library Lunchtime series
On Tuesday evening, Alan Hustak informed us that he “couldn’t get the plane out of Regina, so don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to Montreal. Another Air Canada screwup.” Apparently no luck, so Alan will be coming in via Zoom. Register here for Alan’s talk on his book Faith Under Fire: Frederick G. Scott, Canada’s Extraordinary Chaplain of the Great War

Welcome back, Peter – we all look forward to your wisdom.
With the Bloomberg gathering underway and APEC at the end of the week – there is lots of international and geopolitical heft to the discussion.
Marc Nicholson – any insights?
The sixth annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum returns to Singapore 8-10 November
This year’s theme, “Embracing Instability,” highlights the challenges confronting the global economy and underscores the opportunity to better understand and address underlying issues such as persistent inflation, geopolitical tensions, the rise of artificial intelligence and the precarious state of the world’s climate. Some 450 leaders for a series of discussions that bridge the divides between East and West (as well as between the Global North and Global South).

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet this weekend at the APEC summit in San Francisco, their first meeting since the G20 summit in Indonesia last year. Could a new Panda lease be on the agenda?
The Giant Pandas Have Left the National Zoo. What’s Next for U.S.-China Relations?
The departure comes amid intensifying relations between Washington and Beijing over security, economic and humanitarian issues.
The pandas’ departure from DC leaves Zoo Atlanta as the last home for the bears in the United States, with those pandas expected to return to China in 2024.
A former U.S. ambassador, Bodine explains the history of panda diplomacy, whether the pandas could be used as a bargaining chip when President Joe Biden meets with President Xi Jinping and the surprising ways other countries have used black labs, koalas and other animals as diplomatic tools.
Check out Tasha Kheiriddin: Can Biden-Xi meeting ease tensions?

Three compare-and-contrast Media stories
‘Are you sitting down?’ The windfall that transformed NPR 20 years ago.
In a stroke, the late philanthropist transformed the fortunes of NPR, a nonprofit that had struggled since its founding to keep its transmitters humming. The contribution — which ultimately hit more than $230 million once the final amount was transferred several months later — was by far the largest in public broadcasting history and, at the time, the largest monetary gift to any American cultural institution. …while NPR still dutifully pays tribute to Kroc’s generosity — via those regular announcements acknowledging “the estate of Joan B. Kroc” — it may have dissuaded other donors. Some listeners get the idea that Kroc’s estate “is still writing checks,” said Lisa Napoli, the author of “Ray & Joan,” a 2016 biography of the Krocs, as well a book about the history of NPR.
In contrast to the happy story of the lasting effects of NPR’s windfall – From the Nieman Lab: In the last decade and a half, the U-T has experienced nearly every ownership stage possible in the great decline of American newspapers.This is the beginning of the end for The San Diego Union-Tribune recounts the by now all-too-familiar story Under new owner Alden Global Capital, there’s no plan for the future. There’s just revenue extraction for as long as a generation of older newspaper subscribers live to keep paying their bills
“The death of a city’s major journalism outfit isn’t a tragedy only if you’re one of those blessed souls who holds some deep reverence for the fourth estate. If you care about education, your schools just got less accountable and more opaque. If you care about local parks and beaches, the corruption of your local officials just got easier. If you care about democracy, your neighbors just became less likely to vote.
“If you care about your neighbors, you’re about to know less about them, and have less in common with them.”
The Great Social Media–News Collapse
Big Tech’s relationship with journalism is much more complicated than it appears.
By Charlie Warzel

We should spend time on the dispute over the Quebec political follies, and in particular the proposed tuition hikes at Quebec English-language universities, but suggest that the QCGN publishes a daily round-up that is far more comprehensive than anything we could assemble. At the least, subscribe to the weekly update
‘The ball is in their court’: Quebec’s English universities made a historic proposal to Premier Legault in response to tuition hikes
Text of proposal
Graham Carr, President and Vice-Chancellor of Concordia University
Quebec tuition: English universities make ‘historic proposal’ to Legault
In meeting with the premier Monday, Bishop’s, Concordia and McGill “committed to being an ally in terms of francizing the student population who don’t speak French on our campuses.”
And in return from our gracious politicians: Tuition hike: Quebec government suggests it has rejected offer from McGill, Concordia

Hon. David Lametti recently toured the Canadian Centre For The Great War in his riding, and was impressed by the “Connections Remembered: A Great War Pop-Up Exhibit”. He encourages everyone to drop in to visit this historic pop-up and tour. He also congratulates Caitlin Bailey -whom some of you will remember from her visit to WN- and her team from the Vimy Foundation, who continue to do a fantastic job of bringing the past into the present.
Ottawa’s lack of support for Montreal bid for global Internet conference is a win for autocracy
Instead, the 2024 meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is heading to authoritarian Saudi Arabia. Canadian companies say the decision is a missed opportunity, while international advocacy groups say it is an alarming win for autocracy.
The IGF is the United Nations’ main organization devoted to internet governance. While it is not a regulation-making body, it is regarded as a significant meeting and a rare chance to connect civil society, industry and government. The founding documents to the forum say that it is essential to managing the open internet.
Fika, four-week holidays – and zero overtime: Sweden’s stunningly healthy work culture
From wellbeing allowances to generous parental leave to a bonus in your pay packet when you take a break, the Scandinavian country has a lot to teach the rest of the world
Gym classes, massages, mood boosting hobbies; it’s no secret that staying “well” can be prohibitively expensive. But not necessarily in Sweden, where many employers offer their workers a so-called “wellness allowance”: up to 5,000 SEK (approximately £372) tax-free a year to spend on pre-approved wellbeing-based activities.
First introduced in 1988, the allowance can be used for endeavours ranging from horseback riding to smoking cessation programmes, and Swedish employers have stuck with it, with many increasing their offering over the years. But the allowance, it turns out, is just the tip of Sweden’s workplace wellbeing iceberg.

With thanks to Kyle Matthews
Montreal International Security Summit
Missed the inaugural Montreal International Security Summit? Happy to share the opening panel “Ukraine Under Attack”.
The event focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the war’s impact on global security and human rights. Panelists include Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada Yuliya Kovaliv, former Liberal MP Andrew Leslie, Naomi Kikoler (director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, U.S. Holocaust Museum), Liberal MP Ali Ehsassi, and Serge Schmemann (writer and journalist, The New York Times). Journalist Lisa Laflamme moderates the discussion.

Long reads
The Lessons Israel Should Have Learned in Lebanon
If Israel is going to have any strategic success against Hamas, it needs to do three things differently from conflicts past.
What happens to Gaza the day after the war ends?
A reformed Palestinian Authority or a multinational force have been mooted as solutions for security in the territory, but both proposals have met resistance
The Global Consequences of the Israel-Hamas War
Mark Leonard in Project Syndicate
The impact of the Israel-Hamas war will reverberate around the world, with consequences for the Middle East, Europe, China, and the United States. While the specific challenges vary, none has an interest in drawing out or widening the conflict.
Who remembers that we entertained a Lonely Planet writer at WN many years ago, and were rewarded with a mention in the next edition
5 big travel lessons and one ‘mistake’ from 50 years of Lonely Planet
Co-founder Tony Wheeler shares his best advice from half a century of publishing guidebooks
Wheeler and his wife, Maureen, founded Lonely Planet guidebooks 50 years ago. In 1972, the newly married couple bought a ratty old car in London and drove east, across Europe, and then farther east, to Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, where they sold their vehicle. In Australia, their final stop, one adventure ended and another began.
An ancient missing continent was finally rediscovered 155 million years after it vanished
The continent of Argoland, which seemingly vanished after splitting from Australia 155 million years ago, has finally been discovered, according to a new study.
A chunk of land that broke off from Australia 155 million years ago seemed to have vanished.
Seven years of research helped scientists trace the landmass back to Southeast Asia.
It could help explain an invisible barrier across Indonesia that animals don’t seem to cross.

Comments are closed.