News Commentary – September 28, 2021

I am beginning a little experiment. Every day, like so many other people, I read and hear a lot of news reports. Like not as many others, I try to keep track of these reports. Now I’ve decided to share a commentary, my thoughts on what is happening around me, drawing out a few highlights.

Proverbs 5 warns against committing adultery and you may ask what this has to do with my commentary today. It goes on to say, “For your ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines your paths.” I believe that the only way out of the predicaments in which we find ourselves today is by taking a good look at how God views our lifestyle.

We are in trouble. I’ve wanted to be positive and say that things aren’t so bad. But they are bad.

I believe the only way out is by paying attention. Pay attention to how we, as individuals, are living our lives. Pay attention to our physical, mental and emotional health. Pay attention to our relationships. Pay attention to our need to provide for ourselves, and our need to stay strong and not give up. To keep walking forward. To stay above water and not drown. Maintain the faith that you can do this, and that, with God’s help, you can do it well.

In my previous article I wrote that writers are needed. You may have a message burning in your heart that we need to hear. You have a unique perspective and a way of saying things that is yours alone. It needs to be added to all the other voices.

I want to share something personal before I dive into my commentary. I edited my ‘About’ page and gave a summary of things which have affected my writing in recent years. I’ve been distracted by what is going on in the world around me. I’ve been busy trying to expose myself to information and to make sense of things. In the process, I have not always been understood. I’ve had the impression that what I was doing was not appreciated by everyone. I believed, and still believe, that the truth will come to light. And I believe I have a responsibility to be faithful in what I feel I am called to do, in the face of opposition.

Since this is a new endeavour, I may be tweaking things as I go along. For now I will just dive in.

The backdrop, to the news I want to discuss, is a book I am reading which came off the press recently, entitled, Willful Blindness, by Sam Cooper. It is a must-read, much more fascinating than a fictional crime thriller. On the back cover Calvin Chrustie, RCMP, summarizes the contents this way, “Canada is a haven for nefarious national security and trans national organized crime networks, and our democracy is at risk.”

The most recent big news in Canada is the release of Meng Wanzhou. Here is the initial CBC article. A Global News article clarifies, “In a statement, Canada’s Department of Justice said that there was “no basis” for proceedings to continue after the U.S. extradition request was dropped.” It adds, “Speaking Friday evening shortly after Meng’s departure, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that both Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were on their way back to Canada after spending over 1,000 days in detention in China.”

For three years we have waited for this issue to be resolved, while the two Michaels languished under trumped up charges, in a prison in China, in what China denies was a related ‘tit for tat’ arrest, although they were arrested on espionage charges days after the Huawei executive’s apprehension. Now China claims that the release of the two men was similarly unrelated to Meng’s release and Chinese officials state the men are out on bail due to health reasons and can be required to return at any time.

In a National Post write-up we read, “In a post on her Wechat account reported by state media, Meng called China her backbone and said her freedom was thanks to a powerful home nation.”

An article by yahoo!finance reflects on the significance of Biden dropping the charges, “The agreement opened U.S. President Joe Biden to criticism from Washington’s China hawks who argue his administration is capitulating to China and one of its top companies at the centre of a global technology rivalry between the two countries.”

The Guardian reports the view of some that “the intended victim, a global bank, knew the truth even as it was allegedly being lied to.”

Meanwhile, the headline in the Georgia Straight, a local Vancouver newspaper, reveals another detail, Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou loved Vancouver and has two homes worth at least $18.2 million.

Meng, as a “prisoner” in Canada was surrounded by security in her home and wore an ankle tracking bracelet, but was free to come and go as she pleased. The Canadian government even brought her family over to visit on one occasion. The Michaels did not have these luxuries and it was reported that the lights were left on 24/7 in their cells.

Yesterday we read this in a Global News article, Canada, China trade barbs at UN General Assembly over 2 Michaels, Meng Wanzhou. I don’t think this is the end of the story.

What do I conclude? I have no conclusions. I only know that the night before the releases I prayed that it was time. Did this have an impact? Maybe.

I think a shout out should go to Canada’s ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, who was responsible for ongoing negotiations that brought about these events.

It’s not just statues that are toppling in Canada

Jordan Peterson: The activists are now stalking the hard scientists | National Post

Ben Mulroney steps down as host of CTV’s ‘etalk’ to make way for Black, Indigenous voices | National Post

UBC board of governors chair steps down after ‘liking’ anti-Black Lives Matter tweets – BC | Globalnews.ca

In Canada it is no longer acceptable to question or dislike violent anti-racisim protests and anti-police protests. It is apparently not acceptable to “like” Trump tweets either, or Republican talking points. And you can lose your job, simply for liking a tweet. I saw a revealing video commentary regarding the resignation of the UBC board of governors chair, Michael Korenberg, but today it appears to have been removed from YouTube.

Here is an opinion piece by Rex Murphy who has also been a target, as I wrote about recently: Rex Murphy: The right to your own opinion is a keystone of a true democracy | National Post

And another matter of concern, that may or may not be related, is this article, Why CSIS believes Canada is a ‘permissive target’ for China’s interference – National | Globalnews.ca Here is a quote:

The committee’s report named two countries — Russia and China — among those conducting “sophisticated and pervasive foreign interference activities against Canada.”

But intelligence officials and former diplomats, including Canada’s former ambassador to China, believe China is the greater threat, in large part because the country has been successful in “elite capture.”

“China is the No. 1 threat to Canada and has been for some time,” David Mulroney, former ambassador to China, said in an interview.

China has used its economic leverage to secure “the voices” of political and business leaders in Canada with “sweetheart business deals” and “various inducements,” including lucrative board positions or honours in China, he said.

This week we have seen new pressure from the media on our government to intervene on behalf of the two Michaels that are being held in China. Our Prime Minister insists that our judicial system is independent from the government. The CBC (the official, government funded broadcasting station) featured a legal expert who claims it is within the power of the government to interfere in the Meng Wanzhou extradition case. Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were arbitrarily detained in China following the arrest of Meng who faces extradition to the U.S. on charges of bank fraud and covering up Huawei’s violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Meng, is “deputy chairwoman of the board and chief financial officer (CFO) of telecom giant and China’s largest privately-held company, Huawei, founded by her father Ren Zhengfei.” (Wikipedia) It is curious to me that the CBC presents a view that appears to side with China, over our Prime Minister.

While Meng is under house arrest in Canada and has every luxury, including the freedom to travel in the lower mainland during the day, with surveillance, the two Michaels sit in detention with the lights on 24/7. This is a form of torture, make no mistake. One can only imagine the psychological damage of being in confinement under trumped up charges, without contact with family, and experiencing sleep depravation and hormonal disruption for 550+ days. A simple flick of the light switch, twice a day, could make their lives much more tolerable. I’m wondering what the response would be if Meng were treated in the same way–even for a week.

The two Michaels have now been charged with espionage and stand little chance of avoiding conviction. This is clearly a very delicate situation. Kelly McParland says, We all want the two Michaels back, but Canada mustn’t give in to China.