dewline: (bad news)
Considering how Pyongyang occasionally makes noises about how mainland China is a "bad ally", and the fact that Beijing's a LOT closer to NK than the USA and Canada are...mainland China isn't a patron anymore. They're an extortion target.
dewline: (Default)
Up here in Canada yesterday, we had two speeches I would consider noteworthy and related in ideals somewhat. The first by our global affairs minister Chrystia Freeland here in Ottawa-Gatineau, and the second by Barack Obama in his visit to Montréal.

I can't help but feel that something's changed in a permanent way here.
dewline: (Default)
James Laxer goes into some detail into where he thinks DT-45 is headed. His suspicions don't bode well for international law. Even assuming that he's right about said plans going beyond just blowing up the whole infrastructure with a definite goal in mind.

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2017/02/21/the-trump-bannon-new-global-order-league-of-the-three-empires.html

Interesting that Prof. Laxer's got a blog of his own.
dewline: (Default)
...and yes, Hidden Figures was a Damn Fine Movie.

I was both educated and entertained as a direct consequence of watching _Hidden Figures_ tonight. It is my pleasure to note that, at Silver City Gloucester (as I still call it despite Cineplex and Scotiabank plastering the latter's name all over the building), the screening room in which I watched was filled almost to bursting. Maybe 10-15 seats left empty.

Two things about other matters whilst I further marshal my thoughts on that subject:

1. Mark Hamill's let the Trumpster loose again. Enjoy or not, as you will.

2. Frank Jacobs has noted "a masterclass in accidental nation-building" in the matter of San Escobar. Interesting, as a consequence of Poland facing similar issues as the USA, Hungary, the Philippines, and so on.
dewline: (Default)
Paul Goble's Window on Eurasia blog notes the issue that western nations' leaders might see the disintegration of the Russian Federation as a bigger danger than its unity under Vladimir Putin.

I note that Russia's continuing possession of nuclear weapons is a legitimate grounds for the western nations' concern about that prospect. If the collapse has to happen at all, it follows, we want it to happen in a negotiated and orderly fashion. Or, at least, as much so as can be managed under the circumstances of the moment. Seeing the kind of disasters we saw in Rwanda, Yugoslavia or the like, with the addition of nuclear weapons in play to complicate such a horrific mess? Not wanted. At all.

I trust that the relevant authorities have been working on contingency plans to avert such horrors. Whoever those authorities are now.
dewline: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea pointed out an article on Politico by Molly McKew that is giving me the shivers: that Putin's goal - one of them - might be to push our several nations into reshaping ourselves from within to become more like his version of what Russia is or should be. To abandon our own doctrine and traditions as nations. And in the process, undermine our abilities to depend on one another as nations, as peoples...

It's a disturbing thought. And therefore it has merit worth pursuing. Because if the theory's right, then we can counter the strategy it details, and moreover, we should.

It's putting me in mind of several opinion pieces in various corners of several news services, which taken in concert - allowing for their contradictions of one another - might give Canada some means - beginning with inspiration, but hopefully not ending there - with which to help reweave international human society into something more durable for the decades to come.

Of course, whether we recognize those tools for what they are, the possibility that we might do so at all makes Canadian society one more target for Putin's campaign against the idea of a global civil society.

Recognize this: NATO, EU, NORAD...they're the near-term targets. Long-term, it's the UN and its web of satellite institutions as well and the ideals they embody. Why else pull away from the International Criminal Court?

For that matter, we might see the efforts of the political parties making up the ranks of the International Democrat Union in a similar light. But for their competing ambitions, Putin's United Russia Party might well have ended up a member of the IDU.

There are some who see Justin Trudeau as "the last major progressive leader standing", Aaron Wherry among them. I don't know that I agree with that, given Angela Merkel's continued presence despite being seen as a conservative in German circles per Wherry's opinion piece. But certainly, he's seen as a key, by Joe Biden among others.

Some of those others also see Canada as currently being the freest of societies on the planet. Whether you take the admittedly-flattering article on Upworthy at its given word on the subject, and acknowledging Canada's existing, long-standing flaws, it's one more reason why we might be positioned to make a positive difference in this world.

I'm not sure how much further to take this train of thought at the moment, and I'd originally meant to study several kinds of software as part of my ongoing job search. So, I'm going to open the microphone up.
dewline: (Default)
Good morning (Eastern Standard Time), everyone!

[personal profile] rfmcdonald  pointed out a weblog to me years ago that got my attention, called Window on Eurasia. It focuses largely on Russia and her neighbours, which - in the current political context - you might well imagine why people in general might be interested. They may not want to click on the news/opinion/message board links in many cases, particularly the ones ending in *.ru, for the next couple of years...but the material on the blog itself provides some additional context from which to view the situation. Double- and triple-checking is encouraged.

Also, noting from yesterday's Toronto Star, and originally sourced from Andrew Roth at the Washington Post, an article that might suggest worse people than the current management are still a possibility for that country.

More on other topics to follow as the day moves onward.

dewline: (investigation)
Howard Dean to Terry Milewsky on Power & Politics, advising Canadian viewers about NAFTA and US-Canada relations in general:

"This is the time you don't want anyone in Washington to pay attention to you."
dewline: (SHIELD)

At the bottom of the cover we have the following legend:

"Registered by the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Austria, Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Northern Ireland, the United States of America".

That text survives from Monica Fedrick's concept art as shown in in the "Art of the Film" book straight through to the finished movie.

If this was intended to be so despite what the real worlds' map of Earth looks like, this has some interesting implications for the state of the MCU's version of Europe. Yes?

dewline: (Puzzlement 2)
To my eyes, it's a "snapshot" map explaining a particular point in regional history. How these disputes end up resolving...?

*shrugs from a place of uncertainty*

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] strangemaps at A Real Map of the Middle East

Years of war in the Middle East have erased old borders. Here is what the map currently looks like. 



Read More

dewline: (Sketching)
Saša Petricic's analysis for CBC News:
Forget the 'farce' bluster, China received the tribunal ruling it dreaded -
Hague tribunal's ruling could push China to be even more assertive in South China Sea, expert says


http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/south-china-sea-ruling-1.3675714

From The Guardian:
Beijing rejects tribunal's ruling in South China Sea case
Xi Jinping says China’s ‘territorial sovereignty and marine rights’ in the seas will not be affected


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/12/philippines-wins-south-china-sea-case-against-china

What else could the bosses in Beijing hope expect? Surrender from Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and so on?

That wasn't going to happen.
dewline: (edutainment)
We had a bit of a blow-up at a press conference here in Ottawa last week involving Global Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and mainland China's Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi with iPolitics reporter Amanda Connolly. Something to do with whose idea of proper behaviour on the part of reporters should dominate press conferences held in Canada.

In my opinion: one of the more insightful commentaries on the incident and its immediate consequences was written up by CBC's Terry Milewski.

A word he taught me via that essay in the link that I need to remember: hòuyánwúchǐ. Apparently, it's roughly equivalent to the Yiddish word chutzpah.
dewline: (Sketching)
I agree with John Scalzi. Full stop. Same as with the events here in Ottawa last year.

IslamNotDaesh
dewline: (bad news)
Having read the CBC coverage of the verdict against Mohamed Fahmy and his colleagues Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed...I find my anger and fear burning a bit brighter tonight.
Ranting after the cut. )

And I think I'll leave it at that. Hoping to get back to less important topics before I call it a night. Comics or space opera, or maybe the Saskatchewan Roughriders...
dewline: (bad news)
1) Pierre Pollievre's veiled assertion that Latvia and the Czech Republic's donations to the "Victims of Communism" monument project requires Canada to put that monument exactly where he currently wants it.

Note: Pollievre's actual quote is about 2/3 into the text of that first article.

2) Wai Young's assertion that good Christians must support C-51, the "1984 is a how-to-govern guide, no matter what George Orwell intended" bill.
dewline: (Sketching)
What's happening there is not going unnoticed.

Personal opinion: I strongly recommend that the people in charge in Beijing not overreact as the government of the day did in 1989. There's not much I can do to stop such a choice from being acted upon, but I can still make my disapproval of such an overreaction known.

If it happens.

If it doesn't, mainland China might gain much as a consequence.
dewline: (Sketching)
Looking at this on the one hand:

[FORUM] Do you think Kazakhstan will be next after Ukraine?

And on the other, the first two tweets in this posting:

http://ed-rex.livejournal.com/408474.html

Mulling it all over...and thinking that - as I replied to the latter - Russia Today, Fox News, and Quebecor/Sun Media are all doing similar things right now for similar reasons. RT is the only one explicitly backed by a national government, but there is a similarilty to all three.
dewline: (annoyance)

Remembering the G-20 in Toronto from a couple of years ago, and thinking...that this latest imposition by our current Prime Minister upon my home city by choice is not a good thing. Maybe I'm under-reacting here?

You tell me.


http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/07/07/tpp-talks-ottawa-vancouver_n_5564683.html

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