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Everything posted by SpankyMcFarland

  1. Chrétien was a great politician but his public speaking in English was ropey at best. After JT we seem to have developed a distrust of polished rhetoric.
  2. The point I’m making is that Mulroney was a pretty good speaker even in casual conversation or other unscripted situations like interviews. To lump him in with Chrétien is way off.
  3. Polievre is excellent at this kind of thing.
  4. Randy Andy could easily have been in line to be our next head of state. In our system we still seem to hope that the Mother Country will sort all this out for us. Let’s face it - we were lucky with QEII. When it comes to monarchs females should be favoured over the lads: greater longevity and fewer scandals. Sexual affairs, when they occur, are usually age appropriate and being ‘massaged’ by young strangers isn’t a story we have to fear emerging from the woodwork. Long before social media and 24/7 news emerged, male royals were being ridiculed for their behaviour. Here's a quote from Joyce's Ulysses about Edward VII:
  5. In fairness, Harvard is a world leader in darn near any academic field one would care to mention. Hordes of Nobel Laureates hail from there and even some of the drop-outs excel, e.g. BillG and that awful social network guy. The question remains; why wasn’t Epstein ‘cancelled’ long before some honest academic simply expressing their opinion?
  6. I think more rest would be a major cause there.
  7. Johnson was a good choice but the PM shouldn’t be making this decision. Post-QEII the GG will be our de facto head of state and it’s time that person wasn’t an appointee of the head of government. The main challenge would be engineering something that wouldn’t require constitutional wrangling. Perhaps a less formal version of the German or Israeli systems could be rigged up where a tradition was established for the PM to ‘consult’ with federal and perhaps other legislatures via secret ballots before making a decision? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Convention_(Germany) You’d still have human nature to deal with: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/mar/22/moshe-katsav-jailed-seven-years-rape
  8. We shouldn't have the memorials, obviously, but I'm glad I wasn't a young Eastern European man in WWII. There were no easy choices to make. As pointed out above, Ukrainians died in their millions under Stalin and the SS was fighting the Russian invaders. I certainly don't deny the unique evil of the Nazis but a world war is a complex matter. Even countries in Western Europe like Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland that stayed neutral still get a lot of stick from some predictable quarters of the anglosphere. Finland comes in for less criticism than Ireland even though Finnish forces did invade the Soviet Union alongside the Germans. In fairness, they only took back what they considered to be Finnish territory. I guess the reality of previous Soviet aggression is undeniable with Finland. An elderly Hungarian friend told me a story from Budapest at war's end. Her father had heard a crazy rumour that the Americans were about to arrive before the Russians, so he ventured out of the house to greet them. When he returned crestfallen and without his watch, nothing more needed to be said.
  9. At least Mulroney spoke in fully formed sentences most of the time, even when he didn't know he was being taped by Peter Newman. His delivery was impressive. Chrétien was famous for not being great in either language, not that it held him back. I was happy with both of them as PMs, esp. Chrétien.
  10. Some encouraging news from Iran. People are objecting online to arbitrary executions. Apparently as a result, three have been postponed.
  11. America’s maximum pressure campaign left the regime with very few options short of surrender. The mullahs appear to have decided that agreeing to a 400 billion dollar, 25 year deal with China is the least painful choice: This would be a serious blow to India and its efforts to open a route to Central Asia through the Iranian port of Chabahar: Chinese naval facilities in Djibouti, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar will be sending an ominous message to New Delhi and Washington.
  12. Basically, the Russians, supplied by the US, did the fighting in WWII. No other country wanted to join them in facing the Wehrmacht while it was still a formidable fighting force. To this end, Churchill was constantly looking for another Gallipoli in Europe's underbelly and the Allied invasion of France only occurred when German resistance was crumbling in the East. The Western Front gets way too much attention in the anglophone media because American forces were involved.
  13. This virus has been with us a few months. Caution is warranted in making definitive statements about it when so many are listening to the advice.
  14. This isn’t obvious and has been debated for months. The microdroplets referred to here are aerosols. This means that covid virus could infect somebody minutes to hours after the person who expelled them has left the room.
  15. The debate on how Covid spreads has figured in this thread for a long time (although still only months). Droplets are certainly involved but what about aerosols, smaller particles that can linger in the air much longer and travel farther too? Well, it seems the consensus is shifting on this. Aerosols do seem to be a factor in Covid transmission:
  16. Nobody is going to argue at that extreme end but the law in many Western countries also protects underage females from exploitation without violence. Some of these offences occurred in remote locations like Epstein’s island or other properties which were not possible to leave immediately. Under such circumstances, there was an implicit threat.
  17. Epstein was doing more than simply attract girls. He was actively luring them through an organized network of women run by Maxwell. They were spotted outside places like high schools and given all sorts of stories to pull them in. Benefits were offered, including money. In many jurisdictions, coercion or physical force are not required to find a person guilty of trafficking if the victim is under 18.
  18. I should have added above that AFAIK France does not extradite its own citizens which is a bit ridiculous. Instead they can sometimes be tried in France. Both Poland and Switzerland refused to extradite Polanski when the Americans tried. He's safe in those three countries.
  19. Isn't trafficking any person under the age of 18 a criminal offence in Canada? https://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/AnnualStatutes/2010_3/page-1.html It certainly is in the UK now. The recruitment operation run by Maxwell for Epstein's benefit does not look like a regular boyfriend-girlfriend situation. There are other potential offences under Canadian law here as well: https://lop.parl.ca/sites/PublicWebsite/default/en_CA/ResearchPublications/201724E#a3-12
  20. In the first instance they want him as a witness. He was a close friend of Maxwell's and visited Epstein's mansion on numerous occasions. It is pretty clear he is not fully cooperating with them. All should be equal before the law.
  21. I agree. Polanski should have been extradited to face justice decades ago. Failing that, he should at least have been shunned by Hollywood.
  22. She's a survivor. It must be a worrying time for his buddies, though.
  23. It’s notable now that Harvard failed to consider Epstein’s history of outlandishly fraudulent financial deals, never mind the rumours of ‘girlfriends’ on the younger side, before pocketing millions and, even more preposterously, appointing him as a Visiting Fellow. Worse than that, he was allowed to continue an official association with the institution long after his conviction. I know I shouldn’t be naive about these things but I remain surprised by what a mega-rich psychopath could get away with at America’s, and the world’s, leading university. After considering this case, one might conclude that all the warehouses of worthy SOPs on appropriate behaviour are applied in a fashion inversely proportional to one’s wealth. But that is not the case. Right? https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/5/5/editorial-what-harvard-sold-jeffrey-epstein/
  24. Hard to believe, but that was the style back then. Ivanka got her looks and height from both sides of the family. I can’t fault her there. By contrast, in the comeliness department, Donald was fortunate to take after his mother more than papa.
  25. Why did they lay hands upon him in the first place? He was walking home from the store and was clearly terrified when they started grappling with him. He was no threat to anybody and certainly not the police.
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