If Mr. Harper was a control freak, what is this?

Bambi would like to quickly comment on the following article by Mr. Rex Murphy in the National Post and the video by Mr. Ezra Levant:

It is shocking for Bambi to read this story and watch the video below. Why? Because it is absolutely against the essence of her blog, which is all about freedom of thoughts.

We seem to be living in a soft dictatorship, if we stop and think about it. Today the Liberals are in power. We do not know what tomorrow will bring. Indeed, governments come and go. However, countries stay. To do so, national institutions must remain independent and at equal distance from all citizens (e.g., Commissioner of Canada Elections, etc.). Bambi is saying this, regardless of the colour of the actual government. This is secondary to the main issue here: FREEDOM.

Mr. Levant has the right to write any book he wants. We are free to purchase it or not, to agree with him or not.

The last time Bambi checked the world’s map, Canada was in North America, not in the Middle East (thank Goodness). So, why is the current behaviour dangerously similar to other practices elsewhere? Why don’t we keep on setting a good example of tolerance and freedom to populations that so desperately look up to us?

How to keep hope alive in times of bank runs?

There are times when collective life becomes too difficult. One of them is when we hopelessly see the economy of one’s country suddenly beginning to collapse (i.e., its supposedly strong banking sector). This what happened in Lebanon on October 17, 2019.

As a result, people panicked; a bank run occurred, which means that people tried to withdraw more money than the banks can provide them. The population took the streets, revolting against ALL their corrupt politicians; with the clever slogan of “Everyone means everyone”. Frustrated by capital control, some turned their anger on the banks.

Three months later, no serious measure seems to have been officially taken (yet?) by Lebanon to navigate its way out of the crisis.

Even with a new government in place, the situation remains ambiguous as Lebanon’s debt clock ticks (March, 2020).

How do the people of Lebanon keep hope alive? How do they keep faith in their country in such circumstances? Bambi wondered when reading the news. With this question in mind, she received two interesting links from her sisters living in Beirut.

In the first one, she enjoyed the lucid explanation about the Lebanese bank run by Mr. Pierre Jovanovic (French content), even if it is sad to hear:

The second link is a brief video, by Ms. Dana Hurani, more fun to watch called “Do not worry. This is Lebanon”.

To conclude this post, Ms. Hurani’s artistic production reminded Bambi that hope is a choice. Hope is process (re-choice over and over, even after moments of despair). Hope is a risk… yet it is a must.

Bambi’s Mideast peace counterplan

Bambi has said it before. She sadly thinks that the Israeli-Palestinian peace may perhaps see the light when her grand-children will die (P.S: Bambi does not have kids).

After reading the latest developments, namely Trump’s so-called deal of the century (https://www.whitehouse.gov/peacetoprosperity/), Bambi decided to present a counterplan to it as follows:

  1. Enough of hatred, blood, and stupidity. Both parties must commit to peace and justice immediately, despite the tragic history/actual reality.
  2. Two separate states: Israel AND Palestine.
  3. Israel should stop the colonization NOW, period (not just freeze it for the next five years).
  4.  Jerusalem will be the capital of neither Israel, nor of Palestine. This is necessary to extract the religious component from the conflict, to be fair to everyone, and to calm down all the religiously overzealous folks on all sides. If need be, Jerusalem may be put under UN administration (from neutral countries) for the next five years to calm everyone’s spirits. If both parties are mature enough, no need for such a measure.
  5. All the Palestinians abroad (refugees) will have the personal choice of: (5a) Returning to Palestine, if at all realistically possible and if they wish so; (5b) Deciding to become citizens of their host countries (including Lebanon); or (5c) Immigrating to North America OR Europe, if they prefer.

End of Bambi’s peace counterplan ?.

Welcome Nokar to your new home in Canada!

Bambi would like to quickly comment on the beautiful article in the Sackville Tribune by Ms. Katie Tower entitled “Brother reunites with refugee family in Sackville after three years apart”:


“Mabrouk” [= Congratulations] to the Hussein family for this happy reunion! Bambi is happy for them! Once again, she says welcome to Nokar, wishing him all the best.  

Bravo to the “Sackville Refugee Response Coalition” and the St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church for making this story a happy one.

The generosity of Sackvillians (and by extension Canadians) is to be commended.

As for the Middle East that Nokar left behind, Bambi’s heart aches when she stops to think of the sad catch 22 reality of that region of the world, at least in several of its countries. What is the lesser evil: Dictators or Islamists? Is there a way of fixing the Middle East’s issues at the source to avoid human suffering?


Saltwire Network: “A deer enjoys the Truro snow”… and no, it is not Bambi

A contributed picture, Cindy Day’s article (January 25th, 2020)

The beautiful picture above was published in the following article:


This post is of personal interest to Bambi (it is always nice to see relatives featured in local newspapers :)). More seriously, Bambi is always fascinated by wildlife. We are well served across Canada, especially in our beautiful Atlantic provinces.

As of Truro, in the nearby Nova Scotia, Bambi loves this place: https://www.truro.ca/ .

It is hard for her to put a finger on the exact reason but she often finds herself literally “dreaming” of visiting this town with her spouse. A couple of times, she has convinced him to do so and they had a great time there. No, it was not only because of Truro’s delicious fish and chips (Murphy’s!). It is a charming place to discover. Plus, they have wonderful memories with Bambi’s parents there. They also enjoy the town even when they have to drive there to visit its hospital. Last but not least, it is the half-way point between Sackville, NB and Halifax, NS. What a nice stop to refresh, whether we are driving or commuting by bus or by train.

All this being said, deer do not really distinguish between provinces and territories. They are all over a natural habitat by definition. Sometimes sadly, they are dead bodies on highways, hit by cars or trucks. Other times, they are delicious meat on our plates.

To conclude this post, Bambi would like to thank all the deer of the world for their existence. Mind you, her (human) mom and dad also appreciate deer. After all, they chose her own name (the real one), based on an Arabic poem honouring a deer that a hunter (the poet) could not kill. Because he found it too cute, he preferred to set it free at the very last minute. This is how he ended up writing a famous poem about it.

France 24: Interview with Mr. Ayman Mhanna, Executive Director of the “Samir Kassir Foundation” on the 100th day of the Lebanese Revolt

In the interview below, Mr. Mhanna talked about citizen awakening. He also highlighted the crying need for strong anti-corruption signals in order to restore national and international trust. He also acknowledged that the “the new government does not represent the aspirations of the demonstrators”.

These are interesting insights by a journalist who is a natural defender of the freedom of the press and of free speech.

Indeed, without being familiar with Mr. Mhanna’s own work, Bambi has the utmost respect for his foundation, a legacy of Mr. Samir Kassir.

Mr. Kassir was a Lebanese-French professor of history at Saint-Joseph University and a journalist. He was cowardly assassinated in 2005.

From a Wikipedia page, we can read the following: “Kassir was assassinated using a car bomb in a Christian part of Beirut on 2 June 2005, just a few days after the general elections. The investigation into his assassination is still underway, but to date no one has been indicted. Since he had been constantly receiving threats from Lebanese and Syrian Intelligence Officers, there is widespread speculation in Lebanon that the perpetrators were the Lebanese-Syrian security apparatus or remnants of this force (as Syria has claimed that all its intelligence officers were out of Lebanon; in addition, the head of the Lebanese security forces had resigned). The Syrian government has denied these charges”.

This being said, best wishes to Lebanon in both the short- and longer-term. May fiscal accountability, democracy, justice, common sense, and… peace prevail.

Nadine Labake’s “Capernaum” movie is a masterpiece!

Although Bambi’s family decided not to exchange Christmas gifts this year (due to the economic crisis in Lebanon), everyone kindly sent with her souvenirs to her spouse, all made in Lebanon. This is how Bambi got to watch “Capernaum” with him this evening, a Lebanese movie subtitled in English and/or French (thank you Roula :)!).

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and nominated for an Oscar in 2019 , Director Nadine Labaki’s most recent movie tells the story of Zain (“Zain al Rafeea”), a Lebanese street boy who sues his parents for “the crime of giving him life”.

As shared by Ms. Labaki in the interview above, Zain is a Syrian refugee boy in real life. What a talented boy! An what a beautiful smile in the very last scene (contrasting with his sad eyes throughout the movie).

All the actors and actresses, younger and older one, are remarkably skilled (yet mostly, if not all, non-professionals). The movie is captivating, to say the least, in addition of being brilliantly moving.

Bravo to Ms. Nadine Labaki!

ABC News, Australia: “Rioting and violence in Lebanon persists after new Government elected”

Will Lebanon know how to get rid of its cancerous corruption at the top management level?

Will it show serious efforts of transparency, fiscal reforms, and better governance?

Will it provide evidence that it deserves an external helping hand to save it from economically falling apart?

When will the people of Lebanon finally get basic services (i.e., electricity 24 hours per day), like in any normal country?

When will the Lebanese political class accept to change a failed sectarian system they exploit, hide behind, or pretend to dislike but… cannot change?

Will Lebanon’s political leaders, now hiding behind this new government of apparently smart folks (of technocrats/academicians), be politically interfering behind the scenes? Or enough with their shenanigans?

Whether they are/will be interfering or not, will they all finally learn to put their country first, that is before any other loyalty?

Talking about loyalties, will the powerful players in the region remain powerful in the next few years? And if so or not, how will this affect tiny Lebanon?

Last but not least, what if this new government surprises us by succeeding in winning the confidence of the Parliament, the street, and of the entire world? Will Lebanon truly learn to maturely move forward once and for all? Or will it keep surviving from one crisis to the next?

Bambi’s brain is full of questions right now. Like everyone, she is holding her breath, hoping for the best for this beautiful country.

“The biggest spender” by Mr. Mario Dumont

This post is a translation of the following article published today in the “Journal de Montréal”:


Mr. Justin Trudeau

“The Fraser Institute has just released the level of federal spending per capita for the past year. Conclusion: by spending $9,066 per citizen in 2019, the Trudeau government will have peaked since 1870.

The Institute dates back to 1870 in its measure of government spending per capita, data adjusted for inflation in order to compare apples with apples.

If the Trudeau government was the biggest spender in Canadian history in 2019, it is interesting to look at the next two years in the rankings. The other two spending peaks occurred during major global crises: First, in the heart of the Second World War. Second, during the financial and economic crisis of 2009.

That says a lot. The two previous cases are directly associated with key moments when the explosion in state spending can be explained. For the war effort or to put the economy on artificial respiration. But why in 2019?

What explanation?

What would justify federal spending in 2019 exceeding that of the previous 152 years since Confederation? No objective criteria. Only a government with an outrageously spending tendency, which arrives in an election year and which exaggerates even more in its “orgy” of spending, namely by writing checks.

We will have found all the formulas of political language to justify spending so much. Canada “invests in people,” says Justin Trudeau. These pretty linguistic twists do not conceal reality. Canada is skyrocketing dollars, and to get to spend that much, our government is borrowing heavily.

Good economic growth in recent years has helped prevent the debt-to-GDP ratio from deteriorating. This is where they try to reassure us. However, there is a certain hypocrisy behind this supposed security. Because it’s obvious that at the slightest economic slowdown, this house of cards will collapse.

The concern

Let’s imagine a recession. Economic growth stagnates or declines, at the same time government revenues plummet and spending increases automatically. In no time, the deficit will explode and the debt-to-GDP ratio will do the same. To govern is to plan. It seems to me that we cannot ignore the dangers of this scenario.

What shocks me the most is that this torrent of spending does not even coincide with an era of dramatic improvement in one area. Canada is not revolutionizing its transportation systems with investments in state-of-the-art public transportation.

The downturn in the western provinces’ economy should be a wake-up call. The end of the oil economy within a few decades will cost Canada dearly. Other countries have taken advantage of the good years of oil wealth to put money aside. This is not our case.

I hope that in the closed retirement of Mr. Trudeau with his ministers, someone asked these questions. But I’m not sure at all.”

Lebanon has a new government: Will it get the Parliament confidence… and what’s next?

Some people are excited by the number of women in this new Government (6 out of 20). Some may even say, men or women, these are new faces; at least with expertise in their fields.

More specifically, one can think: Wow, kudos to Lebanon for nominating a woman as the Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister. Well, Bambi did not think so. She was rather curious to see whom got this position. She found her bio online, which reads as follows ( https://information-international.com/page/37/founders):

“Mrs. Zeina Adra has more than 20 years of practical, management and research experience. As a Partner and Executive Director for Information International, Ms. Adra leads the Beirut-based research and consultancy firm in survey research, database collection and analysis of projects for the Arab World and the Near East in the areas of health, education, agriculture, infrastructure facilities and demographic and socio-economic studies (including project evaluation and impact assessment).

In addition to working with Information International, Mrs. Adra is Founder and Program Director of the Social and Cultural Development Association (INMA), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that services clusters of villages and specific neighborhoods throughout Lebanon. For INMA, Mrs. Adra directs national, sustainable projects in tourism and agriculture that focus on health, education, environment, cultural and income generating activities.

Mrs. Adra has significant experience working on international development and donor-funded projects, through which she has conducted needs assessment, reviews of literature, qualitative and quantitative studies, structured questionnaires for surveys based on random sampling, field visits, training and supervising of field surveyors, analysis of data and preparation of reports. She has also established and maintained close contacts with international donors, NGOs and UN agencies, local banks, financial institutions, auditors and Government of Lebanon ministries and local municipalities, which provide her with the ability to coordinate and meet with key stakeholders and city officials throughout Lebanon.

Mrs. Adra has participated in trainings at a number of workshops and symposiums, including (but not limited to) the Credit-Finance Workshop in Amman, Jordan, the International NGO Working Group on Refugee Women in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, the Micro-enterprise Credit Workshop in Beirut, Lebanon, the Food Commodity Workshop for USAID-Washington in Washington DC/Idaho and the Management/Strategic Planning Workshop in Cairo, Egypt. Mrs. Adra has also participated in numerous tourism and agricultural exhibitions in Lebanon and abroad including New York Fancy Food Show, ANUGA, Horeca, Garden Show and others.

Mrs. Adra holds a BS degree in Social Sciences in Marketing/Management from the Lebanese American University (formerly known as Beirut University College)”.

End of the biography. Bravo to Ms. Adra for her interesting professional journey.

However, with all due respect to her professional skills and/or potential to learn, her training and expertise has NOTHING to do with “defence” :). So, why was she nominated for such a key and prestigious position, along with the role of deputy Prime Minister?

Could it be for ties to the President of the country, to the Prime Minister maybe, and… thus indirectly (or directly?) to the Hezbollah?

Mind you, with her professional background, she could have perhaps contributed to another ministry, no?

Anyhow, maybe Bambi is wrong in her non-expert analysis. Maybe this lady will excel in her job, if we give her and Lebanon a chance?

Best wishes!