Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Today's News: News from all over

First, in Canada, the Mass Casualty Commission into the 2020 Portapique massacre is continuing with RCMP testifying today
Here's the worst of it: as shown in Tim Bousquet's hearing coverage this morning, RCMP seemed overly focused on crafting Perfect Tweets to warn Nova Scotians about Wortman's murderous rampage -- they were afraid that trigger-happy Nova Scotia yahoos might shoot at real RCMP vehicles, and that chatty cathys might pester 911 with trivialities. So RCMP PR staff were hyper-concerned about getting every detail precisely right regarding the replica RCMP car before sending out the news. Also, chain of command delays. Also, nobody understood how to use the Alert system. Also, nobody thought to issue a Shelter In Place warnings by local radio or TV ... When this is over, I don't think there will still be any mystery about why the federal and provincial governments seemed reluctant to hold this inquiry.

Here's another Canadian story:     
Canada has a history of making art from disaster (Come from Away, The Sweet Hereafter, Tagged) and now we have another example.  In 1907, the Quebec Bridge Disaster killed more than 50 Canadians, including many Mohawk ironworkers. 
The horror and sadness about what happened is recounted in Maclean's Magazine article The Black Day The Quebec Bridge Fell 
Of the dead workmen, twenty were Americans, twenty French Canadians, and thirty-five were Indians from the village in the Caughnawaga reserve at Lachine, outside Montreal. Nearly every house in the village had at least one man to mourn. To this day the womenfolk there speak of the fall of the Quebec Bridge simply as The Disaster. And to this day the Caughnawagas, reckoned the best high-steelmen on the continent, are bound by a promise the women exacted when The Disaster happened—that never again would so many of their men work together on a single construction job.  
But now there is a multi-disciplinary theatre production about this event and what it means for Canadians still:
Looking next to America, the congressional Jan 6 Committee hearings will be blanketing American networks Thursday night and next week -- except, of course, on Fox News.
I just hope these hearings will do some good -- the US Department of Justice and the FBI should have been holding regular press conferences since February 2020 to maintain focus and educate the American public about the Jan 6 insurrection. Instead, they really let American down, releasing nothing except a series of Wanted tweets, but never creating a narrative to explain what happened and why it matters. After almost a year waiting, Congress stepped up. Finally we can hope that Americans will learn the Jan 6 story.
Next, in Uvalde:   "We start by making the loss of these lives matter." Moving to Ukraine, some useful perspectives: In recent news coverage about the possibility of expanding NATO, I think we are seeing now that the pressure against expansion will be significant -- particularly if Turkey does not negotiate in good faith but instead tries to do Putin's bidding. 
I am afraid the US may find itself facing the choice of abandoning the Kurds it they want to to get Turkey on-side with admitting Sweden and Finland.