Mr. Sacha Distel: may his memory be eternal, twenty years postmortem

The late French singer-songwriter, guitarist, composer, and actor Sasha Distel died on July 20, 2004 (https://shorturl.at/0OXXC). This brief post will honour him with his own beautiful voice.

Bambi used to listen to Mr. Distel’s songs in Beirut during her childhood and teenage years. She likes many of them, particularly the Christmas related-ones and a song, which celebrates the ocean. It is entitled “Le bateau blanc” [The White Boat]. How could she not like the latter when it reminds her of wonderful summers, despite civil war, with family and childhood friends. Indeed, she grew up by the most beautiful sea (yes, she remains biased about the Mediterranean sea; so what?). Anyhow, even if she left the latter 34 years ago, she is lucky to currently live near the majestic Atlantic ocean?

Of note, Mr. Distel who had an “internationally” charming smile sang in German, Russian, Italian, and English in addition to French (as you can notice below). May his memory be eternal, today more than ever.

To conclude this post, Bambi will offer Mr. Sasha Distel’s last love song entitled “Les mots stupides” to Bente, if she happens to be reading this post. The reason is simple: she sings it very well, bravo to her. Who knows? Maybe she will practice it again, if she wishes :).

Authentically charming Warsaw, Poland: the beauty and nice vibes you sense from the air is what you get on the ground!

I fell in love with Warsaw, with its sweet people, and with the delicious Polish food!

Bambi and her spouse just returned from a week-long business and fun trip to Warsaw. In her case, it was her first time visiting Poland, the country of Mr. Marek Halter, one of her favourite (Polish-born) French novelists when she was a teenager growing up in Beirut. She discovered him, thanks to her late mom who had several of his books.

Perhaps like you too, Bambi loves languages, including Yiddish, the mother tongue of Mr. Halter’s parents. She does not know about you, but she likes the first name “Marek” a lot (equivalent of Mark or Marc). Indeed, she will allow herself to share a little secret with you now: the latter happens to be one of the several names she considered, in her mind (or was it her heart?) when she had expected, had it been a full-term pregnancy with a male newborn. However, life decided differently with three recurrent miscarriages.

Anyhow, to come back to Warsaw, this post does not pretend to be fair by sharing its charm, some of its moving history (e.g., Jewish Museum, Museum on Communism, old buildings with memorials about massacres from World War II), the kindness of people, even in a different language, and hospitality of residents (i.e., with the 1-2 million Ukrainian people who escaped the tragic war), the elegance of women in their beautiful dresses, sometimes even while biking, and/or impressions about the DELICIOUS Polish food AND candies. Mmm!

What this post will do instead is to share ten pictures Bambi took from the airplane, a time and a space between geographical places and on top of clouds. Is there anything more promising than the existence of such temporary (even when long) time and space, close to landing, where we know our origin and imminent destination, but where we remain in almost surreal moments? She hopes that you will enjoy the scenes as much as she did.

As for you, beautiful Warsaw, “dziękuję” [thank you] for the wonderful memories until hopefully next time… God knows when ❤️!

A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024
A picture taken by Bambi before landing in Warsaw, Poland, on July 13, 2024

“Mabrouk”/Congratulations to Dr. Roula Azar Douglas!

Bambi has all the reasons of the world to be proud of Roula, her highly inspiring sister. Indeed, some of you may recall that on May 12, 2024, there was a post on this blog devoted to the successful defence of her doctoral dissertation.

Well, with the highest distinction of “Very Honourable”, Dr. Roula Azar Douglas has now officially graduated with a PhD in Humanities (or Human sciences), Specialty in Information and Communication Sciences [“Doctorat en sciences humaines, spécialité sciences de l’information et de la communication”]. This moving moment is captured in the official brief video shared below. The latter will be followed by a musical must: yes, the “Mabrouk” song by the talented Mr. Ramy Ayash.

As a reminder, Dr. Azar Douglas’ PhD dissertation is entitled: The Lebanese press through the prism of gender: from the visible to the invisible. Analysis of the representation of women in an-Nahar and al-Akhbar (January 2019 to February 2020 [“La presse libanaise au prisme du genre: du visible à l’invisible. Analyse de la représentation des femmes dans an-Nahar et al-Akhbar (janvier 2019 à février 2020“]. For more details, and if you are interested, you can consult the earlier post, which is shared at the end of the current one.

With MUCH love, and to conclude this brief yet heartfelt tribute, Bambi has the utmost respect for Roula who had one of the most challenging year at the personal, familial, and national levels. May she keep shining. Lebanon, along with the world, needs her light!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Canada’s Minister Marc Miller’s office vandalized in Montreal over Hamas-Israel war: “Child killer”, seriously?

The picture to the left was taken from CTV News

Mr. Marc Miller, Federal Immigration Minister, is right and Bambi stands in FULL solidarity with him and with his staff: vandalizing his office is criminal and thus unacceptable.

This being said, it is a bit ironic that the current Government of Canada is filled with wokeism and extremists from this movement keep terrorizing it (i.e., likely ANTIFA, as per the symbol of the upside down triangle). This sad and shocking new development in Montreal is making Bambi think of what happened to Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante a few days ago, as per an older post shared further below.

Our levels of governments, like us all, are far from being perfect. However, to accuse Ms. Valérie Plante of providing weapons to Israel and now Mr. Marc Miller of killing children is pure delusion.

This story could be read in English on CTV News (https://shorturl.at/zu0iR) and watched in French on TVA Nouvelles.

Once again, why are we using the Palestinian cause, to self-destroy our beautiful cities? And how will this serve the Palestinian children, can someone tell Bambi please?

Had they been alive, what would have Mr. Jack Layton and Mr. Nelson Mandela thought of Canada and our world?

Did you know that Mr. Jack Layton and Mr. Nelson Mandela were both born on July 18?

Indeed, Mr. Layton was a Canadian hero who was born in Montreal, Québec, on July 18, 1950 (https://shorturl.at/5nVIa). Being a highly inspiring politician, he led the New Democratic Party (NDP) from 2003 to 2011 (https://shorturl.at/5nVIa). Canadian respected him. They loved him, even those who may have not fully endorsed the vision of his political party. How could they not to when he demonstrated that he was principled, authentic, and caring in his public service and political leadership?

As for Mr. Nelson Mandela, the HERO of his people (https://shorturl.at/wcGIJ) and the eternal worldwide source of inspiration, he was born on July 18, 1918 in Mvezo, South Africa (https://shorturl.at/FI7cm).

On this July 18, 2024, Bambi could not help not to wonder what would have these two men thought of our troubled Canada and world, had they been alive?

For instance, we live in a troubled country and/or world where many people are scared to express their authentic opinions. They self-censor themselves out of fear of not being politically correct. They walk on eggshells in order not to offend anyone who may professionally and socially cancel them or try to prevent them from earning a living.

We also observe that many politicians are disconnected from the population (luckily not all of them). Some are even disconnected from the best interests of their country. For instance, their loyalty may be to an external source or a to a group of interest.

Who are or would be the next “Jack Layton” and/or next “Nelson Mandela” of the world? Who would dare working for the freedom of their people and for peace in our world?

Bambi will stop her questions here as she is getting sleepy now. Please feel free to share any opinion on this blog or more privately, if you prefer. Until then, this post will end with some famous quotes by both Mr. Layton and Mr. Mandela. May their respective memory be eternal. May fairness, peace, and love triumph over the dark forces of hatred and violence. May everyone live in safety and harmony, whether in Canada or abroad.

Jack Layton

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world”.

“Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world”.

“A prime minister’s job is to make sure the government works for those who have elected him, and not for big corporations”.

To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope”.

Nelson Mandela

“A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of.”

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favour. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.”

“Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

“Quand il s’en va” [When it goes away]: how much do you like Mr. Mario Pelchat’s duet with Anggun (Ms. Sasmi)?

Have you heard this duet by two great artists with warm voices, Mr. Mario Pelchat (singer-songwriter from Québec, Canada; https://shorturl.at/WLbiL) and Anggun (an Indonesian-French singer-songwriter and TV personality; https://shorturl.at/FqX26)? Bambi discovered their sad yet beautiful song a few days ago. She thought of sharing it with you today. For your linguistic convenience, a quick English translation will follow the YouTube video, thanks to Mr. Google Translate‘s loyalty, regardless of Bambi’s geographical location :).

I feel on the other side of the world
Already in the arms of another life
I hope that dawn will deliver me
Will save my soul

Can’t you hear the love that falls
The footsteps of my heart that flees
I couldn’t (know how) to love everything about you
Keep the flame

But I would do anything
To rekindle the shine
So that my desire for you returns
Love sometimes has to die like that
And leave only a long sigh
When it leaves

It will surely have the effect of a bomb
It’s your heart that will take two
But between us where the fire must live
Nothing catches fire anymore

But I would do anything
To rekindle the shine
So that my desire for you returns
Love sometimes has to die like that
Leave room for other desires
When it leaves

I should tell you everything
That here for me there is nothing more
The certainty that after us
There will be better tomorrows

But I would do anything
To rekindle the shine
So that my desire for you returns
Love sometimes has to die like this
Maybe to come back better
When it leaves
.”

Mr. Rudy Ayoub: how about some lightness and laughter with him?

About a month ago, Bambi discovered Mr. Rudy Ayoub’s talent, thanks to a dear reader, Mr. Fred Klein, as per the older post shown below.

Tonight, she felt like having fun before bed time. She thus searched Rudy’ new content and discovered two short videos she had not seen earlier. She will share them with you in this post, hoping this YouTube content would put a smile on your face.

As a reminder, “there seems to be a theme in Mr. Rudy Ayoub’s humour: the highly narcissistic dad who embarrasses the son in public or who insults him while also apparently caring for him (in addition to his image). There is also Clark, the friend, and Rudy’s dad who cannot remember his name. All these characters are played by Mr. Ayoub himself“.

Please keep on being creative, Mr. Ayoub. The world needs humour and lots of laughter!

Mr. Richard Martineau: “«Dommage qu’il l’ait raté»? [“Too bad he missed him”?]

Despite its aspirations for democracy, Bambi’s birth country is sadly known to be a land of impunity. Indeed, throughout its modern history, there has been many political assassinations, including the horrible 2005 killing of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri (along with many innocent citizens). The country is currently highly divided and it remains without a President since November, 2022.

Perhaps because of the above, in addition to valuing tolerance and democracy everywhere, while having both love and respect for the USA, Bambi’s heart was sad when she heard about Mr. Trump assassination attempt. This would have been her exact reaction had the target of this failed crime been Mr. Biden or any other American politician. Indeed, as a reply to a reader on this blog to her post of best wishes on the 4h of July, she wrote: “Presidents come and Presidents go. Countries stay. All the best to the USA… and to our troubled world too”.

When we attempt to assassinate a politician, we assassinate his or her entire country, not just the individual in question, by targeting its most treasured value: democracy. Thank Goodness for him and for his family, Mr. Trump survived. Whether he will eventually become the next President of his country again or not, he surely showed courage in his spontaneous hand gesture of defiance after having been shot. Bambi’s understanding is that the shooter who was shot after his act, lost his own life. Will we ever know what happened? Did anyone encourage or exploit him or did he act on his own initiative, likely as a troubled person? Regardless, this (and any other) political violence is worrisome.

Bambi will stop her own thoughts here to leave you with a quick English translation of what she thinks is a thoughtful column by Mr. Richard Martineau, which was recently published in the Journal de Montréal (https://shorturl.at/Sbz60). As usual, thanks to Mr. Google Translate for his valuable assistance in the translation.

Healing, peace, unity, and love to ALL the Americans as well as to you, dear readers whether you are into American politics or not. Of course, Bambi’s wishes are independent of your own thoughts about this story or about any other one related to our troubled yet beautiful world; yes, beautiful despite its ugliness at times. Let’s know how to enjoy this external beauty and, perhaps more importantly, let’s be, remain, or learn to become full of inner beauty. The latter is what will keep shining at all times and especially in the darkness.

Too bad he missed it”?

Citizens of a country do not settle their disputes using weapons

Admit it, you heard this sentence the day before yesterday.

You may have even said it yourself. Or at least thought.

Telling yourself that if we could jump in a time machine and kill Hitler, Stalin and Mao in their cradle, or just before they took power, we would do it without a second’s hesitation.

For the good of humanity.

VERY BAD NEWS

This reaction is completely understandable.

Still, what happened in Pennsylvania is unacceptable, deplorable and worrying.

First, because even though he is a grotesque, odious and, yes, dangerous character, Trump is neither Hitler, nor Stalin, nor Mao.

Second, because we live in a democracy, and democracy implies that we respect the people’s choice, even if we believe that the people were wrong.

(After all, isn’t that what Trump is accused of? Accepting the people’s choice only if the people vote for him? Accepting the democratic process only if it brings him to power? Otherwise, contesting the results of the vote and cry about theft, conspiracy?)

And third, because this assassination attempt against a former president who is moving, thanks to the senility of his opponent, towards a second victory which risks being even more resounding than the first does not bode well.

When we tell you that the United States has never been so disunited, so divided, so close to a possible civil war, well, that’s it.

It’s exactly that.

Someone takes a gun and shoots a candidate.

Thanks to polarization.

Thanks also to social media, to echo chambers, and to extremism, which pushes, pushes, pushes, both left and right.

VICTORY ASSURED

And then there is another element.

Thanks to this assassination attempt, Trump probably just won his election.

He has now joined a small, select club that includes JFK, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and Robert Kennedy.

Not to mention Ronald Reagan who also narrowly escaped death.

I am also sure that as you read these lines, people who “did their research” are saying that it was Trump himself who organized this set-up to ensure his victory.

If he was not the victim of a Deep State conspiracy or a group of pedophile Democrats.

The Big Orange always presented himself as the Savior. And the news has just proven him right.

What more could he ask for?

He rose to the rank of victim in a country that has never revered victims so much!

All this, for a little piece of ear sacrificed.

This is what we call a good “deal”.

THE 60S

This scene makes us recall the 1960s, when Americans stood up wondering who would be shot today.

Even if you hate Trump, this is bad news.

Citizens of a country do not settle their disputes using weapons.

Those who said “Too bad the shooter missed” are not part of the solution. But rather of the problem.

Democracy is like freedom of expression.

It’s also good for idiots“.

Ms. Maria Mourani: “Un système de justice pour les personnes noires” [A system of justice for black people]

Like Ms. Maria Mourani whose column is translated below, Bambi is a strong believer in the principle of laws for ALL. In addition, she finds the designation and divisions of Canadians as “black” and “white” as being both ridiculous and insulting to “so-called” black or white people and to our collective intelligence, despite any good intention behind the policies established by our governments.

To begin with, there is no such thing as a homogeneous group of so-called black (or white) people. As she has mentioned many times on this blog and during former interviews, including the most recent one with Mr. Tart Vader (https://shorturl.at/lZsyW) , there are unfair or poor living conditions for this or that individual from this or that group (including the so-called white and silent majority). For instance, if you are the personal assistant or political advisor of Mr. Trudeau and you happen to have black skin, you are likely not living in the same socio-economic conditions as someone with the same hue of skin who is homeless or who is a refugee or an inmate, etc.

There are also cultural or ethno-linguistic differences among and within each group. We cannot call all Canadians with darker skin black (or white). A local (so-called white) québécois from Chicoutimi who speaks the French language and likely comes from French-Canadian culture is not like a (so-called white) Toronto-based Canadian who may or may have not been born in Ontario. There are rich and more privileged or poorer and more socio-economically disadvantaged individuals within in each group.

There are African Canadians who are of Haitian heritage. Others locals from Nova Scotia. There are adopted kids with black skins who may have been born in this or that country or who maybe come from just another nearby neighbourhood. Are all these people the same in terms of life opportunities?

With the differences in personalities or in current life circumstances or in early adversity, thankfully, we all can learn to exert personal agency on our own lives to become better versions of ourselves. Of course, we can also all go through crises in life or encounter temptations or sometimes find ourselves attracted to or stuck in certain toxic ways of living or in potentially bad relationships for us, etc.

Despite all these differences, or nuances, that are mentioned above (along with many others, which may have been omitted), Ms. Mourani is right when she writes that one thing must remain unchanged in a democracy: it is the concept of laws, including criminal ones, for ALL (even if we take into account mitigating, or maybe aggravating, factors on a case by case basis in court decisions).

Even if we want to fix an overrepresentation in jails, for the sake of fairness to all (including the overrepresented group itself), we must stick to the basic principle of a law for all. If we start changing the latter, even in the name of more equity, we risk becoming like those third world countries where connections to this or that powerful group could make the difference in determining who goes to jail or not.

Bambi is convinced that the scenario of favouritism mentioned above is not the intention of our government, but sadly this risk being the outcome of such unwise criminal policies in the long-term. Bambi is saying so, regardless of the group in question, of course.

This being said, Ms. Mourani expressed herself in clever and more elegant way than Bambi who will stop sharing her insights here. With the assistance of Mr. Google Translate, she will now translate Ms. Mourani’s column, which was published yesterday in the Journal de Montreal (https://shorturl.at/Ybv3Z). You may or may not agree with this expert and experienced politician. However, her text is surely worth reflecting upon.

Last June, the Trudeau government’s Department of Justice produced a report on its Canadian strategy for justice for black people.

Although it starts from a good intention, namely to act on the overrepresentation of black people in the judicial and prison systems, this report includes several aberrant recommendations which de facto create a two-tier system.

On many points, the framework of this report is more akin to a political pamphlet from a group of activists than to a real analysis of the judicial and prison systems.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Justice seems to have adopted these 71 pages of wandering.

If certain recommendations are not bad in themselves and are obvious, such as offering training on racism against black people (and why not on racism quite simply) to professionals in the justice system, some on the sentencing is discriminatory and contravenes section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states that the law “is no exception and applies equally to all, and all are entitled to the same protection and equal benefit of the law, regardless of any discrimination.”

It is still ironic that a report concocted by a group made up mainly of racialized people results in discriminatory recommendations against other racialized people and the French and English Canadian majority.

Sentencing with variable geometry

In my column of May 18, 2022, I already denounced the excesses of the Trudeau government with its Bill C-5, the objective of which was to eliminate minimum sentences for several serious crimes.

The reason this government then gave was that the “excessive incarceration rate of Indigenous people, black Canadians and members of marginalized communities” required this type of measure.

One of the recommendations found in this report is therefore to “remove all mandatory minimum sentences provided for in the Criminal Code.”

Does this mean that there will no longer be a minimum sentence for murder?

Their demands do not stop there!

In the Criminal Code, there is a paragraph (718.2e) which requires the judge when determining the sentence to take into account circumstances specific to Aboriginal offenders, taking into account their colonial history and its consequences.

As a matter of fact, one of the recommendations is to add black people to this paragraph in the name of the segregation of which they were victims in Canada.

Let’s push the logic to the end. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander [translation of “Si c’est bon pour Pitou, cela doit aussi l’être pour Minou!“]! We would then have to add to this paragraph the long list of immigrant peoples who experienced segregation in Canada, notably the Italians, the Chinese, the Jews, the Vietnamese, etc., and to top it all off, the French Canadians who were dealt with…

Since we are remaking history, let’s do it big!

A single justice?

We live in an imperfect world and justice is much more a concept than a reality. Some have more power, more money, more connections. But one thing must persist in this jungle of the absurd: the LAW. And it must be the same for everyone.

Ultimately, it is the only and true justice”.

Disconnect between wokeism and reality: the most leftist/woke of Québec’s mayors, Ms. Valérie Plante, is now accused of providing weapons to Israel. Is there anything more absurd than this?

From the 98.5 radio station, Bambi learned the following: “during his press review on Wednesday, host Louis Lacroix discusses various current issues, including the evacuation of Valérie Plante from the City of Montreal council on Tuesday. “Around fifteen pro-Palestinian demonstrators were invited to this council meeting. They chanted slogans like: ”Israel is bombing, Valérie is supplying the weapons”. The demonstrators have repeatedly accused [the governments] of Canada and Quebec as well as the administration of the City of Montreal of being complicit with the Israeli regime” (https://shorturl.at/pKYzb).

Thus, for security reasons, it was “decided to evacuate Valérie Plante as a safety measure. Subsequently, the demonstrators were escorted out of the building and the council was able to resume its activities” (https://shorturl.at/pKYzb).

We may accuse Ms. Valérie Plante of political incompetence, of neglect out of fear of extremists, of partisanship, or of being too ideological. We may easily recognize that both Québec and Canada are far from being optimal, but to accuse the latter of being complicit with Israel in its conflict with Hamas (or even with the Hezbollah), this is absurdity 101. Can we please collectively regain a bit of touch with the nuances of reality?

To conclude this post, Bambi will end with a famous Lebanese song by Fairuz called Mayor of the Mayors. If she may, she would like to offer it to both Mayor Plante and the activists.