Babel-on-the-Bay: Does President Trump have an agenda?

It is hard to get your mind around this one. There was an opinion piece in a major Canadian newspaper by a political science professor who posited that President Donald Trump and his henchman Steve Bannon have a plan to split the world with Vladimir Putin. You would have a hard time imagining this plot. ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: One man’s tweak.

Maybe we can just tweak this situation while discussing the twits who Twitter. And why does Donald Trump’s White House menagerie remind us of that awful daytime TV serial, The Young and the Restless? Quickly though, before the next episode in this ongoing saga, did you cotton on to Donald Trump’s strategy with Prime Minister ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: May comes; May goes.

Did you see that lovely picture of British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump holding hands outside the West Wing? It was all the lady came to Washington to get. And it was all she wanted. You really do not think anything substantive was agreed to, did you? It was entirely a public ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Butt out Ms. Fonda.

While it is so very nice of actor Jane Fonda to lend her celebrity concern to the rape of the environment for tar sands in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canadians should certainly say ‘Thank you.’ It all helps, but celebrity endorsements and support can come across as self-serving and really do not carry much credibility. Celebrities ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Roman God Janus is smiling.

Looking both back and forward is a trick of a God such as Janus. Humans find it easiest to look ahead as we enter a new year. We have already written off the year behind us as a bad dream. And we have much excitement to look forward to in 2017. In North America, the ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Sending cannon fodder to Latvia.

In 1941 Canada came to the aid of the British Empire and sent troops to Hong Kong. The Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers were supposed to be a deterrent to war. Of the 1975 Canadians who tried to help defend Hong Kong, quite a few less came home after War II from ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Trump – Thatcher triangle.

Trump finally did it. He lost it all over a mosquito. It was enough to make you wonder if the mosquito was real or imagined. And it was an example of the root cause of our society’s problems. Out of a 70-minute speech, social media lit up with 15-seconds of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Amigos, meet the elephant.

The so-called Three Amigos met in Ottawa this week. It was nothing more than a public relations exercise. Nothing substantive could be resolved. The American, Canadian and Mexican leaders simply tried to ignore the problems their countries face. They certainly did not want to talk about the elephant in the room; Donald Trump. With Barack ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Scotland the brave will carry on.

You have to admit that there might just be more smarts in Scotland and Northern Ireland than in the rest of the United Kingdom. With a 62 per cent vote to remain with the European Union, Scotland is unlikely to go the route of Brexit. And if the only way to remain is to separate ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is there life after Brexit?

While Babel-0n-the-Bay was urged to produce a morning line on the Brexit vote, the decision was made that it was far too close to forecast. And it was. Along with the disappointment of the morning after, the in-box contained a 1900-word diatribe on our ‘pompous’ Brexit commentary. Never has 400 or so words of comment ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: BREXIT is not a breakfast cereal.

It is supposedly friendlier to call it “Brexit” than it is to refer to it as telling the European Union to “Get stuffed.” Yet it is amazing how the polyglot peoples living on those beautiful isles have been squabbling on and off since the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Most recently our Scots cousins had ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Tried and found wanting.

If there was a God, would He not be looking down on us today in dismay. Would He be pleased with the state we are in? Would He be pleased with the way we are destroying this beautiful world? Can He be pleased with how casually we kill ourselves and each other? Is it a ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Vote Reform Primer: Proportional.

The following is an up-dated version of the discussion on proportional voting in the Democracy Papers of 2007. This is the second of the series. There is no denying that proportional voting in its many variations is the most common voting system in the world. This works very well in countries with many languages or ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: When controlling media, look like you’re not.

The other day Lisa LaFlamme of CTV News was actually gushing when she said she was reporting from Northern Iraq. She was flattered and delighted to be reporting from just down the road from where the dreaded Daesh, or ISIL or ISIS, or pretenders at being an Islamic State are holed up in the Iraq ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: No honours for Elizabeth at 90.

If the Brits really get lucky, Queen Elizabeth might outlive her son Charles. It seems that the British monarchy is holding up better than the country’s membership in the European Union. Mind you if that green little island gets cut adrift from Europe, there is no telling what will happen. One of the worst-case scenarios ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The snob appeal of Brexit.

Babel-on-the-Bay has decided not to do any Morning Line handicapping on the question of Great Briton voting to leave the European Union in the June 23 referendum (commonly referred to as Brexit). Unlike the Scottish referendum a couple years ago, we have no emotional ties to this argument. While there is no reason to think ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Did Le Pen expect rose petals?

What did Marine Le Pen president of France’s Front National Party expect? Canadians are hardly about to strew rose petals in her path when she decides to come here and tell us what we are doing wrong. We are open-minded people but we are not particularly interested in people who spread bigotry and fear. Who ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Saudis are not Canada’s friends.

If you wanted to find opposites in the world of international relations, you could not find countries as contrary to each other as Canada and Saudi Arabia. When people refer to the Saudis as the Kingdom, it is not a friendly term. It is reality. And a country such as Canada is anathema to everything ...

womanatmile0.wordpress.com: COP21 falls short in addressing climate change for the South Pacific Islands

Research done for the Pacific Peoples Partnership, Victoria BC  Vulnerability in the South Pacific Islands The South Pacific Islands are one of the most vulnerable areas in the world to the effects of climate change. The risks are not a matter of inconvenience, but a matter of survival. Failure of food systems, drinking water contaminated ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Justin, Justin, Where have you been?”

“I’ve been to London to see the Queen.” And that was it. Our fealty assured, Prime Minister Trudeau went on to Downing Street to meet the guy who really runs things in England. These meetings were scheduled ahead of the Malta meeting of the heads of the British Commonwealth of Nations. There is little time ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: “Fear us,” said ISIL. But should we?

“Fear us,” said bin Laden’s al-Queda. And the Americans feared them. They involved the West in foreign wars that nobody has won. The people who call themselves an Islamic State say “Fear us.” And they have involved the West in foreign wars that nobody can win. Did we learn nothing back in the time of ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Leave it in the ground says Obama.

President Barack Obama has finally let the shoe drop on the Keystone XL pipeline. His rejection of the partially built pipeline was expected. It is now the answer to many other pipeline proposals emanating from the tar sands of Alberta. Keystone XL was just the stalking horse. What the American President said was that if ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is it the Trans-Pacific Profit Protection Pact?

There is a disquieting trend emerging in all these trading partnerships that are being negotiated around the world. Who do they benefit? The right wing talks about all the potential jobs but what guarantees do we get as to where those jobs might be? That seems to be left out of the plan. Does Canada ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: First-Past-the-Post debate ignites Brits.

A sudden influx of hundreds of readers can make any blogger’s heart go pit-a-pat. Since last week, Babel-on-the-Bay’s readership has reached new heights. It was not because of our sage advice on Canadian elections but something written eight years ago at the time of the Ontario referendum on voting reform. Our latest surge of new ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: ISIL: the cancer on contemporary Islam.

They call themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. What they are is vultures tearing at the heart of modern Islam. They are brigands and murderers, thieves and cowards, fools and braggarts. They promise a new Caliphate but their membership is drawn from the scum of those who only profess to follow the ...