Expulsion from NATO

Yes, I am referring to Turkey – something long overdue and for the same reasons that EU was reluctant to include them.

It seems there is nothing in the NATO charter to allow giving somebody the boot.

Other international organizations such as the United Nations and European Union have legal mechanisms for suspending and even removing members, but NATO does not, said Jorge Benitez, a NATO expert with the Atlantic Council think tank.

“The issue has been raised several times before, when the behavior of a NATO member is in conflict with the values of the alliance and the spirit of the Washington Treaty, such as (past) military coups in Greece and Turkey,” Benitez said.

Should NATO ever decide to remove a member, it would have to amend its treaty. And that would mean getting unanimous support from all members, including Turkey.

How about the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties?

Article 60
Termination or suspension of the operation of a treaty
as a consequence of its breach
1. A material breach of a bilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles the other to invoke the
breach as a ground for terminating the treaty or suspending its operation in whole or in part.
2. A material breach of a multilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles:

Perhaps the termination can be done on the basis of not following the NATO guideline for spending 2% of the GDP on defense which in this case looks as follows. Currently that number is 2.72% but has been lower.


Then how about this strategy which was suggested for use against Hungary?

Moreover, the treaty’s Membership Action Plan—signed in 1999, as several central and Eastern European countries (including Hungary) petitioned to join NATO—stated the point much more firmly and set forth some rules, which Orbán is now breaking.

“Future members,” the document stated, “must conform to basic principles embodied in the Washington Treaty such as democracy [and] individual liberty.” Aspirants, it added, “would also be expected … to demonstrate commitment to the rule of law and human rights.”

Media memes

Media tries to convince us how they are all fiercely independent and strikingly original thinkers. Even a superficial read of the daily news will convince you otherwise. As an example, see BBC and CBC play tag below.

After decades, the media has suddenly found that there “systemic racism” all over the place. Now that the whitey-is-a-racist theme is starting to run out of steam the field has been expanded.

BBC, April 28, 2022 : Why the West is reckoning with caste bias now

CBC, May 16, 2022: How prejudice rooted in an ancient social system has migrated from India to Canada

Then there are the obligatory reports on precocious black females.

BBC, May 15, 2022:  Her father went to prison – so she went to law school

CBC, May 12, 2022: She’s 19 and just finished law school. Now she wants to fix the U.S. education system

Hey Hayley, congratulations on graduating at 19 which based on “research done by her family, she is also the youngest Black student to graduate from any law school in the United States”. How about starting with a modest goal; forget the national level and also forget the state level for now. Go to Chicago or Detroit, reform the school system there and then report back to CBC when you are done or retired. Whichever comes first.

COVID-19 transmogrifies

From the ever reliable CBC we learn the following.

After she lost her hair from COVID-19, 7-year-old Regina girl excited for 1st vaccine dose

Cedar Herle lost her hair, while her mother suffered small stroke from disease

Cedar Herle’s hair started falling out after she contracted COVID-19 in December 2020. The seven-year-old Regina girl was seeing specialists and undergoing testing for her hair loss at the same time as her mother had a COVID-related stroke.

Lest you think this is being posted by some intern at CBC, here is the brief biography of the reporter.

Bonnie Allen is a senior reporter for CBC News based in Saskatchewan. Before returning to Canada in 2013, Allen spent four years reporting from across Africa, including Libya, South Sudan, Liberia and Sierra Leone. She holds a master’s in international human rights law from the University of Oxford. @bonnieallenCBC

We have top men [and women] working on it now. Top men [and women].

Is the CBC’s 3.9% rating because of “Covidism” and “Catastrophism”, as exemplified above, or because of it is “full of lame, non-competitive Canadian programs and have nothing to do with its political bent at all.”? I hereby invoke Hanlon’s razor – never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.





Covid-19 – just the stats

By the numbers.

According to Public Health Agency of Canada data, there had been 7,773 Covid-19 deaths in Canada as of June 7. Federal Chief Medical Officer Theresa Tam has confirmed that 81 percent of them were linked to long-term care facilities. Of the remaining 1,482 deaths, most were people over the age of 70. Only 229 of the total deaths were aged under 60 and almost all of those had pre-existing health conditions. There have been zero deaths of children under age 16 in Canada

This revolution is voluntary and will be streamed

It is amazing how the received wisdom of yesterday is airbrushed away in a flash. Of course I refer to “social distancing” – not that it is going to lead to any calamity. As the co-blogger Rebel Yell has pointed out, “the fatality rate [from] the coronavirus [for] 0-49 years old: .05%”. Despite the image of a 75-year old professional protester, who is a member of “Witness Against Torture” and “Western New York Peace Center”, and was on the receiving end of an attempt by two policemen from the Democrat controlled city of Buffalo to jump-start his brain, this is primarily a young crowd of rioters. But I digress.

One cannot help but notice the parallels to the Chinese Cultural Revolution where ritual public humiliation was the order of the day. Fast forward to today and we have the following.

Is The ‘Go Bald For Black Lives Matter’ Movement Real?

Yes, it is real alright. Does anybody recall the pictures of Parisian women at the end of WWII? It is hard to believe that this is entirely voluntary.

Of course NYT is never far with this advice: “Texts: To your relatives and loved ones telling them you will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until they take significant action in supporting black lives either through protest or financial contributions.”

In this agitated state none of this will be ever enough with kneeling being another example. You might as well prostrate.

When a high-ranking Los Angeles Police Department commander kneeled with protesters outside of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s house earlier this week, it appeared to be a moment of solidarity. However, many protesters and organizers say they don’t want police officers to kneel, with some calling it a “PR stunt” that doesn’t contribute to the movement.

Then there is the obligatory white-bashing.

NPR Advises Readers to ’Decolonize” Their Bookshelves by Removing White Authors

Book burning can’t be far behind. You could read about the history of Cultural Revolution and notice the parallels with one significant difference. This is all voluntary. Nobody knocked on their door in the middle of the night to coerce them to do this. It is very similar to Havel’s greengrocer, who has been cowed into submission. This perspicacious article by Goldberg from way back in 2008 provides an interesting perspective on all these tirades.

“The White Man is the Jew of Liberal Fascism”

A few other headlines that make you shake your head include this from BBC.

27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London

I would love to write more on this topic but I have to run and stock up on popcorn, especially with defunding of the police, before gun toting right-wingers show up at the stores and start stockpiling it.

Nattering Nabobs of Negativism Everywhere

The Guardian hyperventilates as follows regarding Ecuador.

‘They’re leaving us to die’: Ecuadorians’ plead for help as virus blazes deadly trail

Dead bodies kept in homes or dumped on roadsides as authorities and hospitals are overwhelmed by Covid-19 in Andean nation’s second city

It has been three days since Reynaldo Barrezueta passed away at his home in Ecuador’s biggest city – and still his body lies in a coffin on the sitting room floor.

“The authorities are just leaving us to die,” said his son, Eduardo Javier Barrezueta Chávez, who has spent the last 72 hours pleading with authorities remove his father’s corpse – so far to no avail.

Barrezueta is not alone. In recent days the coronavirus has swept into Guayaquil with deadly force, overwhelming local authorities, funeral homes and hospitals and leaving families such as his facing unthinkable horrors.

Photographs and video footage emerging from this crisis-stricken coastal city look like images from the aftermath of a natural disaster: bodies wrapped in sheets and dumped on the roadside or outside houses; desperate families begging for help after being forced to keep their loved-ones corpses at home for days in temperatures of more than 30C.

Good grief!! What has gone terribly wrong in Ecuador? Let us head over to worldometers for some stats regarding this terrible situation.

Total deaths: 172

Deaths over the last 5 days in chronological order: 4, 17, 19, 22, 25.

Does that seem like something that would overwhelm a country of 17.3M people? In 2013, the last year for which the records are available, Ecuador recorded 3,164 deaths annually due to traffic accidents. That is an average of 8.7 deaths/day due to traffic accidents.

Weather and spread of COVID-19

One of the mysteries regarding the spread of COVID-19 is that the African countries and India have been largely spared. In fact worldometer finds that so far, India has had a total of 332 cases with 5 deaths with the last death being that of a 69-year old Italian tourist. Why is that the case?

A study by University of Maryland, which is referenced in this article states that:

The University of Maryland mapped severe COVID-19 outbreaks with local weather patterns around the world, from the US to China. They found that the virus thrives in a certain temperature and humidity channel. “The researchers found that all cities experiencing significant outbreaks of COVID-19 have very similar winter climates with an average temperature of 41 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit, an average humidity level of 47% to 79% with a narrow east-west distribution along the same 30–50 N” latitude”, said the University of Maryland.

“Based on what we have documented so far, it appears that the virus has a harder time spreading between people in warmer, tropical climates,” said study leader Mohammad Sajadi, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine in the UMSOM, physician-scientist at the Institute of Human Virology and a member of GVN.

There are two graphs from study that are particularly relevant with the first “image below, the zone at risk for a significant community spread in the near-term includes land areas within the green bands.”

The second image below is of relevance because “as of right now reported cases as a function of latitude, about one-third of the world’s population is below 22.5°N yet has not experienced meaningfully high levels of infections.”

Does the same correlation exist within US, i.e. the virus is more prevalent in the North? Based on the above image one would think so. This study collected the population data from:


The latitude data is from the following two websites:


The latitude data from the two sites differs slightly with mean difference of 0.21 and standard deviation of 0.81.

If we then divide the data into two bins of above 41N, which includes the states of Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Wyoming, Oregon, Vermont, New Hampshire, Idaho, Michigan, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Washington, and below 41N, whilst discluding Alaska, you get the following numbers.

Below 41N

Total cases 9,099
Total deaths 127
Total population 249,756,021
Total cases/1M people 36.4
Total deaths/1M people 0.51

Above 41N

Total cases 15,668
Total deaths 161
Total population 77,812,978
Total cases/1M people 201.4
Total deaths/1M people 2.07

The numbers are markedly different. Of course The Economist tries to stoke the fear by stating:

Fears are rising that the world’s second-most populous country might be on the brink of a big covid-19 outbreak. Until now India has been lucky with this coronavirus. It has relatively few visitors from the early centres of the pandemic—China, Italy and Iran. And Indian governments, at both federal and state levels, have been strikingly forceful in their response to the virus, with public-information campaigns saturating the television airwaves, and recorded messages pushed to mobile phones. So the number of Indian cases so far can be counted in the scores. But India has so far tested only a few thousand people, and some experts think it already has thousands or tens of thousands of cases. If so, decades of under-investment in public health have left India ill-prepared, with not enough doctors, beds or equipment for its 1.3bn people even in ordinary times.

Based on the Univ of Maryland study this is unlikely. Of course what it does imply is that the areas below the equator will suffer a similar fate in their winter.


Paul Canniff – As I remember him

Our paths crossed several times but we never conversed as we really didn’t know each other. Then one day I was in the World Exchange Plaza, where I had parked my car. When I got to the elevator Paul was already standing there to get to his car. That is the first time we spoke and in our conversation he mentioned that he worked on the, not his words, “World Wide Web”. At that time internet was an exotic technology and I didn’t know anybody who worked in that field. I was curious, so I asked him if he could give me a brief introduction to it. Paul was his usual gracious self and invited me to his home office, located above the garage which was separate from the house. He proceeded to tell me how he was working on the website for the Canadian Embassy in Washington. I recall leaving the meeting and us standing on the driveway, where he made several obscure and disparate cultural references which surprised me, but I was soon to learn were central to his character.

As Dalwhinnie noted below, Paul went through some difficult periods which were exacerbated due to medical issues as well as limited career options as he was a trained Kremlinologist. He soldiered on and I think it is fair to state that after a long journey, he was able to vanquish his internal demons. His remunerative work in Regina brought a degree of stability and an active membership in Masons brought him immense joy. It is surprising that it took him that long to join the Masons given his fondness for organizations that are based on strict and formal order, such the Governor General Foot Guards of which he was a part.

The most amazing thing about Paul was his memory and the ability to recall obscure facts, along with wide knowledge of contemporary cultural references, both relevant and irrelevant and lowbrow as well as highbrow. With the right pedigree he could have easily edited a literary magazine. There are not many people who can claim to be able to do that, whilst boasting a complete Chelsea FC tattoo.