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EDITORIAL: Cheers and Jeers June 29

The RCMP supplied this edited version of the Facebook posting that led to charges against a Gambo man.
The RCMP supplied this edited version of the Facebook posting that led to charges against a Gambo man. - Contributed

Jeers: to stupidity on several levels. When you’re drinking a beer in the passenger seat of a car — with a child in the back seat, you probably shouldn’t post a selfie of your behaviour on social media with the caption “sucking ‘er back Honda way to the beach.” It might end up like this: “Glovertown RCMP located the man a short while later travelling as a passenger in a van, leaving Eastport Beach.” Who knew the police could look at the internet, right? Leave aside the fact that drinking in a vehicle is illegal, don’t forget this maxim: don’t put anything on social media that you, well, wouldn’t want anyone to see.

Jeers: to continuing to deny the obvious. June temperatures in Siberia would normally average around 13 degrees at the end of June, but they’ve been above 30 degrees for the last week, and spiked at 38 degrees, the highest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle. Think about this paragraph, from the Financial Times: “Warming temperatures are threatening to drastically change the way of life in mineral-rich Siberia and Yakutia. Melting permafrost is destroying roads and weakening the foundations of longstanding industrial sites, contributing to disasters such as last month’s enormous diesel fuel spill in Norilsk. Wildfires have also broken out across the region, prompting Russia’s emergency services minister to warn last month that they had spread as much as 10 times as far as a year earlier. ‘Since last year, we now have wildfires because of this. That never happened before,’ (Evdokaya) Gulyaeva said.” Maybe people think we should just echo Donald Trump’s see-no-evil “If there was no testing, there’d be no COVID-19” mantra and throw away all the thermometers. See? Look – no records being broken anywhere now… Forget the fact that the same article says residents are collecting long-frozen woolly mammoth remains from rapidly-retreating glacial ice. The fact that centuries-old ice is melting is just, you know, mere circumstance.

Cheers: to the right response to a bad idea. Canada is holding high-profile Chinese businessperson Meng Wanzhou on an extradition request from the United States: two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, were arrested by the Chinese days later. After suggestions from the Chinese that, if Wanzhou was freed, the two Canadians would be, too, a group of Canadian lawyers, former parliamentarians and diplomats suggested Canada should do just that. So far, the federal government’s saying no — that getting involved with such swaps would just put more Canadians at risk in other countries. That is, unfortunately, exactly the case: once you submit to a blackmailer’s demands, you can expect new demands — and new attempts at blackmail from other players. And, frankly, if it works with Canada, you’d have to expect China to start trying the same gambit on other western democracies.

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