I believe there is an ancient Chinese proverb that goes: don’t mess with China.
China, a country we are trying desperately hard to establish firm trading ties with, is still PO’d about their Huawei executive being arrested on Canadian soil. They have already arrested two Canadians on trumped up, if not entirely false, charges. Now, they’ve upped the ante. A Canadian idiot who is in jail on drug smuggling charges has had his sentence of 15 years in prison changed to … death! A Chinese court, which apparently usually takes months to make such a decision, pronounced the death sentence in mere hours. I don’t have any great sympathy for this great Canadian drug dealing ambassador (he has previously been convicted of drug dealing in Canada, so this guy is clearly a slow learner), but again it’s clear that China doesn’t play by any existing set of rules.
China is in full-on evil superpower mode right now. The Chinese ambassador to Canada, Lu Shaye, told reporters that Canada’s arrest of a Huawei Technologies executive was an act of “backstabbing” by a friend, and warned of “repercussions” if Canada bars the firm from its new 5G network for security reasons, as have three of its intelligence-sharing allies. He also accused Canada of being a white supremacist nation. Nice talk from an ambassador.
China is showing its true colours. While it is an unquestioned economic superpower today, we overlook the fact that it is a vicious, brutal Communist regime that quashes any form of dissent. This is a dangerous, dangerous country – but there’s money to be made, so we still have to play with them.
Meanwhile, the country now ironically known as ‘Great’ Britain is lurching towards full-fledged crisis. Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal as to how to leave the European Union – a.k.a. Brexit – was defeated in the House of Commons in what has been called the worst parliamentary defeat in British history – and this from a country that invented parliament.
I’m not going to bore you with details about repercussions of Brexit (mainly because I don’t understand them), but suffice it to say they are bad. There are stories of panic amongst some members of the public who have taken to hoarding food (I hear there’s been a run on spotted dick). May survived a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons, but the Brexit deadline is fast approaching, and there is no deal in sight.
A provincial election is just a few months away here in the People’s Republic of Alberta, and the rhetoric (and government spending) is ramping up. Consider this statement from the insufferably arrogant Environment Minister Shannon Phillips. While predicting the election campaign will be the nastiest in Alberta history, she criticized the UCP, saying “… white supremacists make great campaigners, and racists make good candidates.” I guess that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As you know, sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s what you don’t say that matters. Here’s an example. Last week’s Edmonton Sun (owned by the shell of what was once Postmedia) carried a story about Postmedia finances. The story ended on a hopeful note: “The company posted its eighth consecutive quarter of double digit growth in digital advertising, which increased by 10.1% … to $32.7 million.”
Well, things sound good for Postmedia, don’t they? But the Edmonton Journal, also a Postmedia paper, carried the same story, but with a few extra paragraphs. Right after the happy news of double-digit growth in digital, the Journal reported: “The gains in digital, however, were not enough to offset losses in print advertising and circulation of $14 million and $4.3 million respectively … total revenue dropped to $171.3 million from $189 million.” Oh, did we forget to mention that, said no one at the Edmonton Sun.
Boo, 12, the Pomeranian dubbed ‘the world’s cutest dog’. Boo had 16 million followers on Facebook, and was the subject of four books … Carol Channing, 97, effervescent Broadway star with the squeaky, little girl voice, best known for performing the lead role in Hello, Dolly a staggering 5,000 times.