Monday, January 24, 2022

CONSERVATIVE WHITE MALE IGNORANCE

 In Canada, Saskatchewan's Scott Moe is trying to take his position in the hall of fame, of conservative white men who believe things are the way they say they are, because they  said that's how they are. Dispite the increasing number of cases, increasing hospitalizations, increasing test positivity, increasing infection levels at schools, increasing absenteeism and decreasing economic activity, Moe continues to disregard the advice of professionals, and cries of help from his healthcare workers and says he doesn't need to impose restrictions to bring a rampaging Omicron wave. 


Again on Monday morning, after a weekend of record breaking positive test results and increasing hospitalization rates Mr. Moe insisted there was not enough benefit to be gained. This flies in the face of requests from the healthcare providers who are begging for something to be done to slow the onslaught.

Future governments are going to have to look into legislation that provides the public a means of redress when the people they have hired to manage the affairs of government operate in a manner that is so obviously grossly negligent. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

LONG HAUL SYMPTOMS AND PERMANENT DAMAGE ARE COVID-19 ISSUES MANY DON'T GRASP

 In the quick talk around Omicron and hopes for an end to the pandemic, many stay fixated on the number of deaths and hospitalizations as the sole measure of the progress of the battle against the disease. Like any battle though there are fatalities and there are wounded. At many levels we are forgetting about COVID-19's wounded, both past and future. Not only COVID long haulers, who carry symptoms for months, in some cases, but the increasing evidence of permanent long term disabling damage.

The Mayo Clinic among other medical centers report on some COVID-19 patients with a range of symptoms including weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness among many. A link is included to the Mayo Clinic site.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-long-term-effects/art-20490351 

On top of the long haul symptoms increasing numbers of people are ending up with permanent damage to organs and systems other than the respiratory system. The increasing number of variants of COVID-19 continue to develop as is the nature of viruses. The approach of several governments in the west has-been and continues to focus on hospitalization and death rates, but this doesn't seem to be the only issue around COVID-19 related disease. It is yet to be seen what the scope of the long term disabilities is going to be. Mitigating the impacts on the economy and society in general looks to be saddled on future leadership.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

IS A RUSSIAN MOVE INTO UKRAINE GOING TO COORDINATE WITH A MOVE BY TRUMPISTS IN THE US?

 There is little doubt about the involvement of the Russians in America's election in 2016, nor is there any doubt about who they were interested in supporting. There is little doubt as well about the interest Putin had in the outcome of the election in 2020. Even if you believe there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign, you can't be oblivious to the control Putin had over Trump.

As Russia continues its build up of forces on the border of Ukraine and rattles against NATO as though NATO is a threat to the security of Russian territorial integrity, are there forces at play inside America? If so, will they be acting in coordination with Russian moves, or simply taking advantage of the chaos and increased attention that is going to be required with the outbreak of war in Europe?

In denying the assessments of western leaders that it is looking for and perhaps manufacturing a pretext to invade, Russia believes everyone is as playable as Trump supporters they manipulated leading up to the 2016 election and beyond.  The continued use of social media to spread propaganda and foment division is one way the Russians could create a distraction for American officials at home while not directly involving Trump. There could also be a quiet understanding that things are in the works. This is of course, all speculation at this point. There may also be planning taking place outside of Russian planning to seize the opportunity to create more distrust and division in America. It serves the purposes of bad actors in and outside of America.

Western governments are already sounding the alarms about anticipated Russian cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. With the harmony of its people and trust in democratic institutions rattled in the state's already, such attacks will have much greater impact on America than would have been the case in the past. The question remains whether these attacks are going to be unwelcome by everyone in America, or if they will serve the needs of some domestic groups. A further question will remain in the event of such an attack, whether the attack was not just welcomed, but requested and aided in.

Monday, January 17, 2022

IS MEDIOCRE EVERYTHING GOOD ENOUGH

 That's the question. Is it enough to have a few nice things as long as you get to lord over people who have nothing.This is the choice being made by people who continue to court the fragile ego of Donald Trump. Are they asking themselves what am I willing to give up, and what might I gain?

In a Trump autocracy what is allowed that does not benefit him? What does Las Vegas look like when no property is allowed to better a Trump property? What does television look like when no program is allowed to better his ratings? These are but small examples of the new order under a man as fragile and frankly dim witted as Trump is. This is what it means to the people that get into it with a measure power and wealth now. No real business options or opportunities, unless he is involved on some level. Nothing like what they have come to know.

Further down the chain are the minions and victims who have been taken in by the not so elaborate scheme playing out. It is not and never has been complicated. 1. Get them mad with some sort of lie. Once mad they are more susceptible to the next lie and just keep piling it on. The bigger and more unbelievable the lie is, the more likely they are to believe it. The lie about the 2020 election isn't even "The Big Lie". The big lie is that any of the little people have anything to gain off of the presidency becoming a Trump dictatorship. For that to be the case he would have to care. He will not care, for that matter, will have no need for, any, if he gets what he wants. What he wants is all that matters.

As Europe stands on the brink of war with Russia on the border of Ukraine it is worth pointing out, the conflict there is all based on the whims of one little man. Putin is a little man, with skills, but nonetheless a little man. Not only is he a role model for Trump, he is also a driver. As Russia's young men prepare to pay the price for one little man's frail ego it is worth looking at what the future looks like in autocratic America.

Trump is desperate to look important and strong. That manifests in a couple of main ways. First, the iron fist with his own people. His gut response to any protest was it needed to be crushed. In a democracy,  protest is communication. In a dictatorship it's defiance. Any objection to his rule will be met violently. Secondly, a nation that shows any objection will be no different to him than one of his own people's "defiance". Conflict will be inevitable, simply to boost the frail ego.

There is so much to lose at all levels. From luxuries that are currently common place, to basic freedoms and lives, people need to think very hard about what they believe they have to gain by continuing to appease one frail, broken little man.


Sunday, January 16, 2022

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTINUES TO CODDLE TRUMP AND HIS SUPPORTERS

 Between allowing them to continue to post Trump's statements in the easiest step around to being banned in history to suspending people for calling them out in aggressive ways, Twitter continues to coddle Trump's supporters. The disinformation pushed by FOXNEWS, AONN,NEWSMAX Alex Jones  Steve Bannon etc. continues. Whether it's pushed by friends, bots or people looking to get easy hits, the endless drumbeat if lies bent on dismantling western democracy goes on and on with minimal or no consequence.

People telling lies that undermine democracy and democratic values need to be treated with the same urgency and force as words that describe people in an unflattering way. DEMOCRACY IS DYING and people trying to fight for it in Twitter's arena are being held to a higher standard of decency than those who are seeking to destroy our way of life.

I was suspended in late 2021 for posting that a man who was on camera from several angles while throwing things around and pushing security officers, in the Miami airport, should have been tasered. I was, in their view "targeting and inciting to injure". I don't believe I was being unfair when  pointing out the fact that a black man would have been, in all likelihood killed in the same scenario. 

As a case in point to Twitter coddling Trump supporters,  the above post of mine did not rate action, but a post referring to Steve Bannon as " Greasy White Trash" resulted in a suspension within (not exaggerating) fractions of a second. I will admit to an obvious intent to picture Bannon in a bad, even hurtful tone. How, though , did the system make such a quick decision and take action so quickly.? Again, fractions of a second from clicking "tweet" and being suspended is not an exaggeration.

Let's be clear. Twitter is a private business that has every right to manage the way its business deals with its customers and the environment on its platform. Like any store and restaurant has the right to remove anyone from their private business who they feel is causing a disturbance as long as no discrimination is applied. In Twitter's case though, causing a bit of a disturbance is part of the product base. 

If they insist on allowing people to post content from persons or entities that have been, air quotes, "banned", and holding others to a higher standard of civility, Twitter will have to accept their fair share of blame for the demise of democracy. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

REQUIEM TO EXPERTISE

 There was once a level of respect for the expert. Not grovelling, just an understanding, we would not be in the place we are without people who have dedicated their lives trying to know and understand their subject matter, as much and as well as humanly possible. Medical doctors and related specialists, engineers, geologists, geographers, constructors.... the list goes on.

Starting with the unfortunate truth about climate change and working our way through COVID, expertise has been getting in the way of some people in power. The irony is that they have turned to experts in propaganda and behavioral science to power their attacks on the expertise getting in their way,...and it's working.

The constant drum beat of faux doubt and belittling has diminished moral and actual authority of people who legitimately know what they are doing and talking about. Most whose only motive is to use their expertise to help people. It is not unfair to provide these people with reasonable compensation for their effort and sacrifices to get where they are, but for many, money is not the primary driver. 

Carry this issue through to your life, to where it would effect your livelihood. Many reading this have careers. Some of those careers are involved and professional, others a little more basic, but nonetheless important to some aspect of the economy or basic life. Is your experience and expertise as disposable as that of the health professional, or the environmental professional? How easy would it be for someone to dismiss the value of your efforts?

Expertise has:-advanced medicine-advanced aviation-advanced computing-made food safer, and tastier.  Expertise is why we are have washing machines and video games and amazing experiences at movies and theme parks, and why your kids can video message with your parents. We give up so much of what we have come to expect out of our society when we turn our backs on expertise.

Sorry, but you have to take a blunt look at why the influencers who are steering you away from trusting the knowledge that has advanced us this far, are doing so. We also need to be even more blunt on why it appeals to us to turn so much power over to people whose vision of the future is so much rooted in the least inclusive corners of our past.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

FAR DARKER AND MORE DISTURBING THAN 9/11

 The first anniversary of the Rigt Wing, white nationalist, terror attack on the United States Capitol Building is closing in. The only recent event that it compares to its severity is the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. There are many of you screaming right now about the difference in loss of life, and some who are clenching because the 2001 attack was carried out by foreign actors who had brown skin. What makes the January 6th attack darker and more disturbing?

September 11th, 2001 was an attempt to damage America and diminish its standing in the world. While its impact was huge and far felt, it was never destined to bring down America. January 6th, 2021 was an attempt to destroy America as we know it. Not only did it come perilously close to success on that day, the forces at play have not been curtailed. This anniversary then, is as much a rallying point for America's enemy within as it is a memoriam on what happened that day.

Supporters of the insurrection, not within the political elites of the right wing, mistake this as a movement about preserving the American dream and the America of "Happy Days". They have been groomed and mislead. They are not destined to share in the glories that the elites are dangling in front of them. Their choices they have come accustomed to are in doubt. Places like Vegas will be greatly diminished. Little luxuries that make being American an envious position in many places in the world will be the exclusive domain of the ruling party.

Far darker, this attack was intended to end America. The instigators are still committed to destroying America and she needs to defend herself.