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Bernardo de La Paz

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 38,415

About Me

Canadian who lived for many years in Northern California and left a bit of my heart there.

Journal Archives

Deripaska's plane: Aug 2016 meeting btwn Manafort & Russian ex mil intell officer (2018 report)


A Putin ally's jet arrived in the US within hours of a meeting between Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a Russian operative

According to the report, the jet linked to Deripaska landed in New Jersey in August 2016, within hours of the meeting between then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the former Russian military intelligence officer Konstantin Kilimnik. Weeks earlier, Manafort had emailed Kilimnik offering to give Deripaska "private briefings" about the campaign.

Though there was no evidence at the time that Deripaska received Manafort's request or that the briefings took place, investigators believed Manafort's offer created an opening that Russia could exploit to gain a foothold in the US election.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Tue Oct 19, 2021, 02:38 PM (2 replies)

China frees Canada's 'two Michaels', jailed for more than 1,000 days, after Huawei's Meng cuts deal

Source: Washington Post

China frees Canada’s ‘two Michaels’, jailed for more than 1,000 days, after Huawei’s Meng cuts deal with U.S.

TORONTO — The two Canadians imprisoned in China for 1,020 days in what Western officials decried a blatant display of “hostage diplomacy” have been released from prison and are “on their way home,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

The release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor — known here as the “two Michaels” — came hours after Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, reached a deal with the U.S. Justice Department that allowed her to return to China in exchange for acknowledging some wrongdoing in a criminal case.

Canadian officials arrested Meng, 49, in Vancouver in December 2018, at the behest of U.S. officials who sought her extradition on bank and wire fraud charges related to allegations that she misled a bank about Huawei’s relationship with a subsidiary in Iran. Several days later, China detained Kovrig and Spavor in what was widely seen as tit-for-tat retaliation — and sent ties between Ottawa and Beijing into a sharp nosedive.

Trudeau, whose minority government was returned to office this week after a snap election, said in Ottawa that Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Spavor, a businessman, had boarded a plane leaving China at 7:30 p.m. Ottawa time. They were accompanied by Canada’s ambassador to China.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/09/24/canada-two-michaels-china-huawei/

The two political hostages are free. tRump did nothing for over two years while they rotted in Chinese prison. More than that, he and Pompeo slow-walked the extradition process, waiting till the last day for filings in the Meng case while she stayed in her mansion she owns in Vancouver.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Sep 25, 2021, 04:47 AM (4 replies)

sorta kinda except re winners

Everybody got sharp and pushed buttons and were a bit nasty, but O'Toole and Singh got personal. The closest Trudeau got to being personal was accusing O'Toole of being two-faced to base compared to the public on the issues of gun control, abortion, and climate control. The evidence is good that he is two-faced, prompting post-publication revisions of the Conservative Party platform. O'Toole buffoonishly painted Trudeau as "the most corrupt government in Canadian history" (I think that is nearly exact). Singh cynically painted Trudeau as completely self-interested lazy do-nothing ("the rich have had their prime minister, now you can have yours" ).

NDP didn't gain or lose much (hardly any change for six main parties). They held their ground. Jagmeet is personally the most popular.

The biggest loser was the Green Party which suffered internal warfare and their leader came in fourth in her race. I think she was mistreated by her party and her party behaved in a very discombobulated way.

The tRump-esque party, the People's Party of Canada, PPC, were the biggest winners ("freedom, you have rights, no mandates!" ). Though they didn't elect any Members again, not even their leader, their percentage vote became significant and may have spoiled some seats for the Conservatives.

All the parties now have an interest in cooperating and none of them wants to trigger an election and that will probably hold for more than two years. So Trudeau and the Liberals, often along with the NDP and less often Bloc and conceivably even Conservative Party will get some things done. This will be turned into "did nothing" by rhetoric.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Tue Sep 21, 2021, 04:21 PM (0 replies)

It's only a crisis if you make it one. Questions are normal. This is an opportunity, not a crisis

You can't change the past, but you can learn from it. When you review your past, do it with forgiveness and to seek some wisdom, but with no self-flagellation. Forgive yourself for any perceived "errors" or unfortunate choices. Let go of the past without losing sight of it.

Look to the future with hope and with some purpose. If there are ways in the here and now to set past "unfortunatisms" right or improve situations, without contorting yourself into knots, do some of them. But don't fret if there aren't or you've done what you can. The past is done.

There is no reason you can't shift your focus or career or line of work or your outside-of-work goals and activities, if you want to. You don't have to. Second and third careers can begin at 69, 59, 49, any time. New devotions can be acquired at any time.

It doesn't have to be dramatic. You can shift things into new directions bit by bit. You don't have to slam on the brakes, ditch the car and hike off the highway in a random direction.

Pick something you feel is important to you. Say, climate change, gerrymandering, home healthcare, mentoring, whatever, big or small. Doesn't matter. Could be tiny and could be the first of many tiny things or it might be in service of a huge societal goal. If you feel it is important, start on it in small ways. Doesn't matter how big the topic or how small the start, begin making steps. Be sure to appreciate and gain satisfaction from small steps. That keeps you going forward. A couple of years of small steps (don't have to be artificially constrained to be small) and then they start getting bigger and having more impact as you get into it. After 20 years, you will be amazed at what you have accomplished.

This is what I have begun. I had no midlife crisis, but somewhat later I have rededicated myself to a right-livelihood way that is a modification of what I have been doing. It is a way that helps me move society forward, at least a little bit, to get something done that needs doing. I have no idea what I might accomplish, but I know by choosing a good direction there will be some good come from it that doesn't simply benefit me.

Choose a forward direction, and start moving forward. A journey of a thousand kilometers begins with a single step. Focus on each step, with your head held high, looking forward. In other words, don't look at your feet, but be very aware of what they are doing.

Whatever you do, embrace the present. Find joy in the present, even if it is only a butterfly flitting by.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Sep 12, 2021, 06:32 AM (2 replies)

Ahem. Canada does NOT have a President. This is really fundamental knowledge

I was really hopeful you weren't as unaware as it now seems you are. I worded it that you were trying to make some kind of joke to give you a chance to recover.

You need to get a bit of basic knowledge about the USA's best friend and not assume that Canada is kind of America-lite. Canadians find it really disrespectful when Americans assume Canada operates like the US, the way your post assumed. I don't think it was your intention to be arrogant; rather it seems your ignorance has tripped you up.

Canada has a parliamentary system with a Prime Minister. This campaign is taking 34 days. It was called at Trudeau's choosing two years after the last election, though he could have gone the customary four years (less likely because he has a minority government) and could be as much as five years.

Very different from the USA. You need to know these things.

I was polite, gave a clue in the post title, giving you some room to realize your error and affording you an excuse to cover it up if you took it. I did not refer to you personally; only to your words. But you came back with a personal slam about "need to get a grip on yourself".


Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Sep 11, 2021, 06:01 AM (2 replies)

Great article, but very bad linkage of imagination and divergent thinking to "irrational"

It is a big mistake to assume, as the article starts out, that the positive states of "divergent thinking and imaginative mind-wandering" are "irrational".

First, the rational / irrational dimension of thinking is orthogonal to the imaginative wandering dimension. Orthogonal meaning that the dimensional axes cross and are not parallel. We use those processes for different purposes at different times. Presumably "divergent thinking" is akin to "imaginative mind-wandering", though neither are defined.

Second, "irrational" has a very negative sense all around it and linking other dimensions of thinking to something so negative is needlessly giving them a huge burden to get out from under.

But read the article. The concepts of fractal nature and fractal neural activity are important and lead to the idea that thinking itself is fractal. Good article.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Aug 28, 2021, 01:25 PM (0 replies)

The point is to split the RepubliQon party the way it DESERVES to be split, to democratic benefit

... "little d" democratic benefit.

The Republicans who go along with the RepubliQons just to stay in minority power over the majority throughout the nation DESERVE to be forced to split from an increasingly murderous and seditious wing of their party.

Either it's their party or they need a new party.

Schisms in the opposition are doubly beneficial when the opposition is both undemocratic and lethal.

Lethal by endless war and brutally spreading plague.

Undemocratic by needing voter suppression, gerrymandering and dirty tricks to maintain its grip over an electorate that is progressive, liberal, and Democratic, each by straight majority.

Use reality, truth, and shame for ignoring those two as wedges to split the guilty RepubliQon party into at least two pieces. For the sake of the freedom of future elections and freedom of the People of the United States of America.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Aug 28, 2021, 09:40 AM (0 replies)

They are taking ivermectin in the livestock formulation, not in a human-medicine dose

So, yes, they ARE taking the "livestock de-wormer".

100% vaccinated is an illusion. You had best drop it.

Shaming is a powerful tool for achieving your goals. If "double-stupid" people are shamed then even stupid people take note and some wise up.

Further, and perhaps more importantly, shaming stupid RepubliQons makes it more toxic for wobbly middle voters.

I presume one of your goals is to see middle voters view Qonservatives and the GQP as toxic and UNHEALTHY and DANGEROUS, which is the reality. Many here at DU have that as a goal.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Aug 28, 2021, 09:23 AM (0 replies)

Democrats, Liberals and progressives have trued that equation:

Women have a right to choose what to do with their own bodies. Their bodies, their choice.

Anti-maskers & anti-vaxxers do not have a right to medically endanger children and others who CAN'T BE VACCINATED.

Other people's bodies, not their choice!

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Aug 20, 2021, 12:03 PM (1 replies)

"brokenness of conservatism": RepubliQons can't even qonserve their "own kind". . . . nt

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Aug 5, 2021, 09:19 AM (0 replies)
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