Sunday, July 31, 2022

A random collection of oddities

For Saturday night, here's a collection of odd tweets and commentary from the last week or so:

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Today's News: From All Over

Reconciliation visit: 
The final stop for Pope Francis in Canada was a visit to Iqaluit. The Globe and Mail reports
On Friday, [Pope Francis] met with several school survivors In Iqaluit before an outdoor performance that included traditional throat singing and drum dancing. 
His speech before hundreds began with another apology for the “evil perpetuated” on Indigenous people by church members. Speaking in his native Spanish, Francis’s speech was translated into English and Inuktitut. 
He told them he was sorry in Inuktitut, a meaningful gesture to many in the audience. “I thank you for having had the courage to tell your stories and to share your great suffering that I could not imagine,” he said in Spanish. 
“This only renewed in me the indignation and shame that I have felt for months.” 
The pontiff’s tour has fostered healing for some school survivors and anger in others. 
 ...Early on Friday, before his flight to Iqaluit, Pope Francis held a private meeting with an Indigenous delegation at the residence of Quebec Archbishop, Cardinal Gรฉrald Lacroix. After the meeting, Ghislain Picard, Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Quebec/Labrador, said it will be up to each person to decide if the Pope’s trip met their expectations. “It’s really up to them to take the measure of all this, whether it’s going to provide that kind of way for their healing,” 
Mr. Picard said after the meeting. “It’s going to take time.” 
For some reason that nobody has yet explained, Saskatchewan has asked the feds for the authority to determine which immigrants will be allowed to settle here, and also they want the feds to give us all the money. It ain't gonna happen, of course, but maybe the Sask Party thinks they can gin up another grievance against the Trudeau Liberals?

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Today's News: "Rescind the Doctrine"

The Pope's reconciliation events were in Quebec today - above is a photo of a delegation from the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, where the last Quebec residential school closed in 1991. The group of a dozen people walked 275 km to reach the Quebec City reconciliation events, and included members of the Innu, Anishinaabe, Naskapi, Wendat and Atikamekw communities.
Launiรจre-Mathias, the executive director of the non-profit group Puamun Meshkenu, said the seven-day adventure cultivated a sense of "collective pride." 
"It was teamwork. Each person travelled the kilometres that they could. When they weren't walking, they were supporting each other emotionally and spiritually," he said. "It was a reflection of our communities, our nations."
It was another example, I think, of the remarkable sense of community evident in this reconciliation visit. 
In spite of the words of Trudeau and Simon, below, I don't think we are going to be seeing anything more now from Pope Francis and the Catholic Church than has already been given. 
But this visit created a sense of community among Indigenous people across the country -- it was one of the things that made this visit worthwhile and it will have an impact on the future.  
I also hope the Pope will remember how seriously Canadians believe the Catholic Church needs to rescind the Doctrine of Discovery.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Today's News: "A whisper in our minds"

In the end, the Pope's apology is important, though it will not ease the pain. The apology fell short because it did not deal with the the actions of the Catholic Church overall: 
The chief commissioner of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has issued a blistering critique of Pope Francis’s apology to Indigenous people, saying “it left a deep hole in the acknowledgment of the full role of the church in the residential school system, by placing blame on individual members of the church.” 
Mr. Sinclair issued a press release just moments before Pope Francis appeared before thousands of people at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium for a mass commemorating St. Anne, grandmother of Jesus. 
In 2015, the commission issued Call to Action #58, asking the Pope to deliver an apology in Canada for the church’s role in the residential school system. On Monday, seven years later, Pope Francis heeded the call, but apologized for individual Catholics who participated in the schools, not for the church as a whole. 
 ...the Pope told the delegation [to Rome in April] he was sorry for the “deplorable conduct” of church-members who abused children in residential schools and vowed to bring the sentiments to Canadian soil. 
Many Indigenous leaders had been hoping he would expand on his words in Rome and provide an institutional apology, not just express sorrow for the actions of individual Catholics. 
But the apology reiterated much of what he’d said in Rome. “I am sorry. I ask for forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities co-operated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools,” he said on Monday 
...Spectators gave the speech a warm reception, clapping and cheering after his expression of sorrow. Afterward, however, many onlookers said they expected more. “I’m happy to hear that he said the words ‘I’m sorry,’ but it wasn’t as encompassing as it could have been,” said Kukdookaa Terri Brown, residential school survivor and founding chair of the survivors circle with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation She also noted the Pope declined to mention sexual abuse or the Doctrine of Discovery in his speech.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Today's News: Updates

Papal reconciliation visit:
An apology from Pope Francis. Giving the Pope a headdress is not being well received online, however - I am seeing some negative tweets on this tonight. The apology was generally welcomed, with some comment also that the Discovery doctrine has not yet been revoked. A useful reference: On a side note, an update on the "boil water" advisories - the Trudeau government has made a huge difference. CPC leadership campaign:
So this morning Angus Reid released a poll showing that the Conservatives would have a better chance of winning government with Charest rather than Poilievre. 
And then within a couple of hours, former PM Stephen Harper took the wind out of Charest's sails by releasing his endorsement of Poilievre. 
So, just another day in Canadian politics, I guess.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Today's News: Pope Francis arrives in Canada

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Music and poetry and funny stuff

But first: what a race!
Now, some great dances:
Fred Astaire said this Nicholas Brothers number was "the greatest dancing he had ever seen on film."

This is the number where Rogers said the beaded sleeve of her dress smacked Astaire in the face in their first twirl but they just kept on dancing. 

I always thought the Shoe Shine song from The Bandwagon was one of the greatest dances Astaire ever did. The shoe shine man in the number is Leroy Daniels, who actually did shine shoes for a living.

On to the poetry -  
The problem with Twitter is that everything gets jumbled up and I am not on it often enough to follow every account that I want to, so I am constantly missing great posts. 
So now I have set up several lists, and particularly one I just call "A Poetry List" so I can gather and keep track of what is new. Like these:
Retweeted by Poetry Daily, because its just a beautiful statement:

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Today's News: Ukraine update

Azov Battalion members near Zaporizhzhia eastern Ukraine on July 21. Credit Mauricio Lima NYT

Lots of news from Ukraine lately: 
First, a new deal was announced today to move Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea:
The Lithuania foreign affairs minister: However, some caution is warranted: In other news: I wonder if this can this be true? All of the old arguments about the risk of starting World War 3 still apply, I think, but if Ukrainian pilots can be trained quickly enough this improvement in airpower might make a difference. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Today's News: The elephant in the room

Tonight's Jan 6 Committee hearing made lots of news tonight. But as Brian Stelter reported in his Reliable Sources newsletter tonight, perhaps the most important comment came from Michigan Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger's closing remarks at the Jan 6 Committee hearing: 
The forces Donald Trump ignited that day have not gone away. The militant, intolerant ideologies. The militias. The alienation and the disaffection. The weird fantasies and disinformation. They're all still out there, ready to go. That's the elephant in the room....
Oaths matter. Character matters. Truth matters 

Serious stuff. 

But there was also a little comic relief tonight too, provided by Josh Hawley - he's the doorknob senator who, from afar, raised his fist in solidarity with the mob. but then went running like a rabbit when the mob broke into the Capitol. The whole hearing room laughed: And Twitter posted soundtracks:

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Some great stuff

I had never seen this before, its absolutely hilarious. 
Here's another great Twitter story:
Moving on, one of the bizarre things I noticed about the Trump administration is that things were ALWAYS worse than they first appeared to be. No matter how bad something looked when first reported or exposed - from the Muslim Ban to the Helsinki meeting to the child separation policy to Jan 6 insurrection etc etc - it always turned out to be even more senseless, cruel, abusive, greedy or criminal than it first looked. 
And Trump is still doing this, from beyond the grave, so to speak - it is now clear that misplaced loyalty and. I assume, the promotion of too many incompetents, has compromised the US Secret Service.
Here's the end of a long thread from Rick Wilson plus links that is worth reading - he also talks about Trump's ability to inspire the worst in everyone near him. 
It was Wilson who in 2016 coined the hashtag #ETTD - Everything Trump Touches Dies: And what a grievance-hoarder Trump is:

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

I read the news today, oh boy

Today's news: Meanwhile, there are terrible wildfires and heat emergencies across Europe and in the Canadian Rockies, Hockey Canada is destroying itself, the increasing cost of renting is going to cause economic stress for millions of people, and monkeypox cases are rising exponentially. 
But hey, let's keep talking about news that isn't actually happening - its a lot less stressful. 
Since his haircut, Trudeau is going out and about more -- thus providing even more opportunities for Canadian media to focus on trivialities: This thread about Trudeau-bashing, however, is much more serious: And on a side note, how outstanding is Chef Andres and his World Central Kitchen? They are everywhere when they are needed:

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Today's News: Updates from all over

Uvalde Massacre update: 
The Uvalde preliminary report is out and it is damning. They're talking about the Interim Report 2022 on the Uvalde massacre in May. 
In spite of all the talk in the report about school fences and unlocked doors, Lawrence O'Donnell at MSNBC pinpoints the key sentences, on page 73: 
There was no legal impediment to the attacker buying two AR-15-style rifles, 60 magazines, and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition when he turned 18. The ATF was not required to notify the local sheriff of the multiple purchases. 
As O'Donnell noted in his commentary, it was fear of this armament that prevented almost 400 police from trying to stop the mayhem sooner. We also had news about this self-serving BS. And now even more stuff is coming out: On a side note, this just may result in more realistic views of police: The people of Uvalde are strong, and getting stronger:

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Weekend: Music, and Animal Crackers

Hey, Gangnam Style was 10 years old as of Friday! 
And Psy is still going stong - he has now released 9 albums and is on tour again this summer.

Eine kleine Banjo musik The BC Agriculture Minister Lana Popham heard the Langley Ukulele Ensemble playing outside the BC legislature and she invited them in to play Somewhere Over The Rainbow on her office balcony and Halleluja inside the dome. Beautiful stuff:

Today's News: The Tale of the Ten-Year-Old

The Tale of the Ten-year Old has now become a shameful part of American history for Republicans and for American media. 
This is exactly why abortion should be only a medical procedure, as it is in Canada, not a morals test. And now this sad and ugly story is being followed by bombastic boasting and strutting around from red state AGs about how they're going to pass this law and that law and some other law, all of them against women. 
And then they try to avoid taking actual responsibility for what they are going. 
Very disgusting.
On her substack, Jessica Valenti writes:
It was a glimpse into what we can expect in a post-Roe America: Real life suffering shrugged off as rumor or political fodder, and the picking apart of any experience that might make abortion bans look bad. ...
It’s clear that traditional journalism—and male reporters, in particular—are not ready for the complicated stories that will come out of states where abortion is illegal. Consider The Washington Post’s fact-checking columnist Glenn Kessler, who defended his piece by calling the abortion provider an “activist on one side of the debate.” Why would a police officer’s account, or a state official’s, be more reliable than a doctor’s? Are we to believe that in a state where abortion is criminalized, law enforcement and government officials are objective?
The American system is not set up to believe women or girls—in fact, it’s designed to do just the opposite. Our experiences, especially those having to do with our bodies or sexual assault, are disbelieved, maligned, or relentlessly picked apart for ‘biases’. In a misogynist country, all women are suspect.
So we know what will happen now: Whenever a child is raped, a woman dies, or someone is arrested for a miscarriage, conservatives will deny any of it is happening. They will try to gaslight us into submission. If that doesn’t work, they’ll go on the attack; those who dare to shine a light on the horrors of abortion bans will be targeted. (Right now, for example, conservative media is focusing on the provider who gave the 10 year-old an abortion, posting her picture on Fox News and calling for her license to be revoked.)
None of this is new, but it is about to get a lot more awful.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Today's News: Shot / chaser

The shot: From six years ago  

The chaser: From Friday 

The shot:  So this happened -- the hospital in Kamsack SK is closing its acute care beds, so on Thursday about 200 Kamsack people gathered at the hospital grounds to meet Sask Party rural health minister Everett Hindley, local Sask Party MLA Terry Dennis and a smirking staff aide. The protestors heard the usual bafflegab about how any minute now Sask Health is going to be hiring lots more people, don't worry, move along move along, you can all just use the hospital 40 KM away at Canora instead.
The crowd was not impressed - Brady Lang at CTV reported:
 Dennis and Hindley addressed the rally first just after 10 a.m., for about 10 minutes prior to a tour of the Kamsack Hospital, which just saw its facility lose its remaining five acute care beds, along with shrinking emergency hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. 
“We’re trying to do as much as we can,” Hindley told the concerned citizens.
“Sometimes, we’ve got to think outside the box, because rural health care isn’t the same it was 20 years ago,” said Dennis.
Following the 10 minutes, Hindley’s aid can be seen working to move Dennis and Hindley into the facility, with a smirk on his face.
Those who weren’t smirking, the entirety of the crowd of 200, then booed the Minister and the local MLA.
Yes, it was the CTV reporter himself who used the term "smirking" to describe the demeanor of the staff aide.

Friday, July 15, 2022

Today's News: Whose side are these guys on?

The US story of the day is the news that the Trump's White House Secret Service deleted its text messages from Jan 5 and 6 2021. 
Yeah, sure... People are remembering that Pence refused to get in a car with these guys. And remember when Biden's dog got in trouble for biting one of the White House agents?

Thursday, July 14, 2022

I'm just sittin' here watching the wheels go round and round

 So I saw this tweet tonight: And of course I immediately got lost in all the wonderful lyrics people posted in reply -- basically, I was just watching the wheels go round and round, in John Lennon's great lyric. 
Here was my contribution to the thread:
And here is Joni's song:

Moving on:
Here are some of the serious comments  - first, about Canadian healthcare:
Next, comments on the Ukraine war: Finally, Uvalde becomes even more tragic:

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Today's News: Ain't we havin' some fun now!

The Jan 6 committee held another hearing today - they're taking aim right at Trump now, putting the "fun" in "fundamentally nuts":
But this is still infuriating, too:

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Today's News: Finally!

Well, finally. 
Somebody in the White House seems to have taken charge of the abortion issue -- maybe Harris, maybe Becerra, maybe Biden himself -- and this is actually getting DONE! And so what if somebody sues - OF COURSE somebody will sue, and it will go all the way to SCOTUS because that's the chaos that the Court should have realized it would instigate when it made its awful decision. 
Then the less-rabid justices could narrow the Dobbs decision, if Roberts can persuade Kavanaugh or Gorsuch to go along with him. 
Other impacts:

Monday, July 11, 2022

Today's News: Ukraine update

Here is some recent news from Ukraine: Here is a significant update from Phillips O'Brien about Ukraine troop strength and the intention to take back the south. Also, this: I am amazed at this courage:

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Weekend updates

An historic day of remembrance for Canada's WWI soldiers in the No. 2 Construction Battalion This battalion of 500+ men worked mainly in the forests and lumber mills of France to provide the wood slats etc needed for trenches, construction, and so forth, and they also trained in infantry.