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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Sending cannon fodder to Latvia.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The Trump – Thatcher triangle.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Amigos, meet the elephant.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Scotland the brave will carry on.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Is there life after Brexit?
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: BREXIT is not a breakfast cereal.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Tried and found wanting.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Vote Reform Primer: Proportional.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: When controlling media, look like you’re not.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: No honours for Elizabeth at 90.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The snob appeal of Brexit.
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Did Le Pen expect rose petals?
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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The Saudis are not Canada’s friends.
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 […] . . . → Read More: womanatmile0.wordpress.com: COP21 falls short in addressing climate change for the South Pacific Islands
“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 […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: “Justin, Justin, Where have you been?”
“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 . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: “Fear us,” said ISIL. But should we?
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 . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Leave it in the ground says Obama.
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 . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Is it the Trans-Pacific Profit Protection Pact?
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 . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: First-Past-the-Post debate ignites Brits.
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 . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: ISIL: the cancer on contemporary Islam.
If it was good enough for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to bring his election campaign to Jerusalem, why should Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not try it? The difference is that Jerusalem to the Jewish leader is Washington. With an Israeli election in three weeks, Netanyahu has pulled out all stops.
But even if . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Netanyahu buys into Harper election tactics.
Even if your ancestors left Scotland more than 200 years ago, you can still rise to the skirl of the pipes, honour a haggis with other fans of Robbie Burns, sing along with old Harry Lauder recordings and dance the Gay Gordons at a ceilidh. What you cannot do is read the mix of emotions . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Scots, Wha Hae.
Compare and contrast with recent events.
“A civilian jet airliner shot down by US Navy surface to air missiles on 3 July 1988 as it flew over the Strait of Hormuz at the end of the Iran–Iraq War. The aircraft, an Airbus A300B2-203 operated by Iran Air, was flying from Bandar Abbas, . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: All You Need To Know About World Politics in One Picture.
It can happen. In our eagerness to support democracy, we sometimes get put in a position where we appear to be supporting causes that we would never support back in Canada. This is obvious in the enthusiasm and support Barrie’s Conservative Member of Parliament Patrick Brown has displayed for India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi. . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Canada supporting racism in India?
In 1555, Bishop Stephen Gardiner wrote a treatise to King Phillip II of Spain, in which he borrowed (aka plagiarized) extensively from Machiavelli’s The Prince and The Discourses. Gardiner did not credit Machiavelli or attribute any of his quotes, but rather copied some of Machiavelli’s content verbatim or very closely. This was less than two . . . → Read More: Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Machiavelli and the Elizabethans