May 2, 2021

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

That’s perhaps the most famous opening line of any novel – “A Tale of Two Cities”.

Charles Dickens was talking about London and Paris… but today I’m going to write about a tale of two provinces… B.C. and Alberta… which these days are about as different as those two cities during the French Revolution. It’s interesting though… you read that paragraph, and you might find yourself relating it to present day. It fits.

Here at the 7-day daily new-case averages for the two provinces:

four weeks ago: AB 1,221 / BC 1,122
three weeks ago: AB 1,413 / BC 1,041
two weeks ago: AB 1,573 / BC 942
last week: AB 1,870 / BC 818

You don’t need to graph it to see the pattern, but I’ll describe what it looks like… it’s a big less-than sign (“ < ”) … where AB is going up and BC is going down. As usual, we don’t have weekend numbers here, so tomorrow we’ll get some idea where things are going… but it should be noted we’re entering the period of time where the effects of the latest set of restrictions should start becoming evident. I would expect things to follow this pattern of improvement… or, at least, be no worse. But that’s just here in B.C. There’s no large English-Channel-like body of water between these provinces… there’s barely a border… that you might miss if you’re going too fast and blink at the wrong time. And we’re certainly not at war. We want both sides to win. I hope they figure out and take the steps necessary to control things; it’s a tough spot to be in… and it’s a bumpy ride to the finish. But it’s not as bumpy as the end of that fine book, where the protagonist, Carton, is having some final thoughts as he heads towards the guillotine… “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” That’s a little extreme. Then again, he was about to go get his head cut off. If you wanted to map that closing line to the present day, let’s keep it simple… do, as usual, the right thing… and then get a good night’s sleep.

March 11, 2021

Like many things, it depends how you look at it… and that generally leads to a bit of disagreement.

I happened to be reading a news story about a cassette tape that a girl lost while on vacation in Spain. Twenty years later, she saw it in an art gallery, part of a “Sea of Artifacts” exhibit by an artist who’d been documenting plastic pollution and making art out of it.

The girl contacted the artist, and the tape was sent to a professional audio restorer who managed to extract all of the music from it – an eclectic collection ranging from Shaggy and Bob Marley to a bunch of Disney numbers.

So, what’s the story?

Is it about the variety in musical taste of some random 12-year old girl?

Is it about serendipity, synchronicity and the universe?

Is it about the resilience of cassettes? It’s impressive; lost at sea for 20 years, travelling 1,200 miles in rough, salty seas… and it’s still playable. The inventor of the cassette tape died recently (aged 94) – I’m sure he was impressed.

Is it about how plastic is so ridiculously indestructible that we really need to be aware of what we’re dumping into the ocean?

Like usual, it depends who you ask and it depends on their agenda. Today, on the one-year anniversary of the WHO declaring Covid-19 a global pandemic, I’m thinking back to all the news I’ve heard, read and written… the spins I’ve muddled through myself, trying to figure out what’s really going on.

Today, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a bit of relaxation in restrictions… outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people are now allowed. Also, today, I should point out that our case numbers and ICU admissions are flat… or, keep going up, though not by rates that anyone would call alarming.

It’s been like this from the beginning; somewhat conflicting information that’s left up to interpretation. If you already know the agenda you’re trying to promote, you’ll be able to extract it from there.

I will keep it simple, and this is, as always, only my opinion… outdoor gatherings are probably fine, totally fine. They have been, for a while. Ten people sounds about right, officially, but what does that even mean… if you take over a football field, why not 100. The issue is don’t get too close to someone, and not for too long. You chances of inhaling a lethal viral dose of C19 are next to zero if you’re outdoors. But rules need to be defined, especially because the numbers are not going down… because as straightforward as the rules are, they’re generally not being followed by a significant number of people, and that plays into the math. If 95% of the people stick to the rules and 5% don’t, what can we expect? What if it’s 80/20? What if it’s 50/50?

Once you factor all of that into it, these haphazard-sounding decisions suddenly don’t feel so random or unexpected; they’re not. Like life, it’s all a calculated risk… and the path that’s evident now is one where the numbers don’t get worse, but stay flat or slide downward toward zero… while at the same time slowly and methodically reducing restrictions. It makes sense, though everyone will grab onto the story from different sides and pull in their direction… “numbers aren’t improving”, “see, why did we ever need restrictions”, “I told you it’s ok to get together outside”, “ICU cases keep rising”.

Here’s a generalized suggestion to every single person: Keep doing what you’re doing; we’re all headed in the right direction collectively… you do you, I’ll do me, and we will all eventually hit the finish line. Nobody knows what that percentage split is, but it doesn’t matter… whatever it is, it’s working for us now. If you’ve been sticking to the rules, keep doing so. If you haven’t, I’m sure you won’t start now. And hopefully, that’s all factored into this and it doesn’t matter.

No matter how you look at it, I’m sure we can agree on that.

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December 27, 2020

Here’s another word you may not have heard of… though it’s been very relevant this year, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The word is: Agnorant

Interestingly, the word has been around for a while… more than ten years. Somehow, I never heard it till recently… though I’ve been dealing with what it describes for a lot longer than that. We all have.

“Agnorant” is simply a combination of Arrogant and Ignorant… and wow, are there many examples, especially these days… and the primary topic-du-jour is vaccines, where, magically, thousands of people who’ve researched it (if research means sitting on the toilet scrolling through curated, nonsensical content) have decided they know more than real experts, and will happily and arrogantly shove down your throats the results of said research.

“Did you know the vaccine has mercury in it? Mercury is toxic… why would you knowingly inject yourself with something toxic?”

There’s a lot wrong with that statement, but just for fun, and especially if someone says that to you, here is the response:

“The mercury found in vaccines is in a compound called Thimerosal. Actually, the mercury component of that is itself a compound call ethylmercury… which the body has no problem eliminating quickly and efficiently. Unlike the mercury in fish, the accumulation of which can certainly be toxic, it’s not a concern in this case.

“But it still has mercury in it.”

“And table salt has Sodium, which on its own will kill you. And it has Chlorine, which on its own will kill you. But as a compound of Sodium Chloride, it’s salt. That’s the beauty of chemistry; they characteristics of elements change significantly when you combine them.”

“Yeah, that’s what they want you to think. That it’s safe, but I know it’s not. I read this whole thing about how Bill Gates is making billions off this vaccine. You’re just a brainwashed sheeple like the rest of them.”

“Sure. Also, the Covid-19 vaccines don’t have Thimerosal in them.”

“That’s what they want you to think.”

If you’re reading this carefully, perhaps you caught the moment where it turned the corner from rational discussion to all-out conspiracy nonsense. But either way, the Agnorance is there.

The comments sections below many of these posts have some excellent Agnorant content… but then again, and all comments sections these days can say the same.

It’s been written… “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” – actually, the poem by Alexander Pope begins like this:

“A little learning is a dangerous thing; Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring”

In other words, either know what you’re talking about, or shut the hell up.

Oops… sorry. That probably came across a little bit… agnorant.

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November 23, 2020

One might be a fluke, but two implies some consistency… and three pretty-much says, “lock” – and that is where we’re at with respect to vaccines.

Another announcement this morning from yet another vaccine manufacturer, this one from AstraZeneca, showing an average efficacy of 70%, but going up to 90%, depending on the dosage. Regulators from the FDA and Europe will be having a look at it soon.

From a timeline point of view, the two frontrunners, Pfizer and Moderna… may have their vaccines hitting the streets in the last two weeks of December, assuming the present timeline and FDA approval (set to be discussed Dec. 10th). Pfizer expects to make 50 million doses by the end of the year (and up to 1.3 billion next year). Moderna will have 20 million doses ready this year. Who will get it first? Mostly Americans, I would expect… and, honestly, they need it.

That great American Founding Father Patrick Henry proclaimed, “Give me Liberty or give me Death!” back in 1775. Americans, known for wanting it all, are taking those words to heart… potentially changing the “or” to an “and”.

Over the weekend, over 3 million people passed through security checkpoints in American airports. Something like one in 111 Americans travelled on a plane in the last 48 hours, the majority on their way home for Thanksgiving, where they will mingle in close quarters for several hours if not days… before boarding those same planes and heading back to wherever.

The timing with “vaccines vs. the virus” will be interesting… and will be the grand crescendo of 2020. In fact, let’s call it for a specific day – Dec 20th, 2020, precisely one month before Donald Trump exits, stage left. On that day, many places in the U.S. will be facing a catastrophic and unmanageable surge in cases, with hospitals completely overwhelmed. And right alongside that, there will be the knowledge that the vaccine is out there, and “How the hell do I get my hands on it?!”

The amusing-if-it-weren’t-so-tragic part of it will be the conspiracy spin… from those people who for the better part of a year have been claiming it’s a hoax and it’s all bullshit… who will now be screaming that only the elite have access to it and how come we don’t all get it, like, *now*, and it’s my right to have a vaccine… my *constitutional* right as part of the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Clearly a vaccine fits into that. Like, you know, I don’t want a vaccine, I don’t need a vaccine, vaccines are for crowd control, vaccines are to murder us, Bill Gates, 5G, etc, etc… *BUT*, even so, if I want a vaccine, I should be able to get one. OK.

Keep your seatbelts securely fastened… the roller-coaster has just begun that big downhill. This is the part where you can put your hands up in the air and scream… or just hold on for dear life. Like I keep saying, there’s a finish line… but it’s going to be a wild ride getting there.

Graph for November 23, 2020

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November 7, 2020

There’s that moment in “The Wizard of Oz” where everything goes from black-and-white to colour. It makes quite an impact…and to a great extent, for a lot of people, that’s how it feels today; a four-year journey of black vs. white, right vs. wrong, us vs. them… finally coming to an end. We are once again surrounded with colour. Isn’t it beautiful?

Nearing the end of that movie, Dorothy and her entourage finally come upon The Wizard himself… and pull back the curtain to reveal that he’s no wizard after all… just a fraud, pulling some levers. Far from a wizard… he’s just a failed showman.

But this is where the similarities end. The wizard gracefully exits; he leaves The Scarecrow in charge of Oz, with The Tin Man and The Lion at his side. A very elegant transfer of power. Then he gets into a hot-air balloon, and flies off to live happily ever after.

Our present fraud-wizard-failed-showman won’t be leaving quietly. The hot-air balloon would be a helicopter in this case, but on January 20th, there’s a relatively good chance Trump won’t be on it.

What’s becoming interesting is the method with which the rats are leaving the sinking ship. For four years, they agreed with, acquiesced to, and validated – his narcissistic venomous bullshit. Now they don’t have to. In many cases, these are people with similar personality profiles, so now what? They arguably played along because it served their purpose; stay on his good side or find yourself with a figurative knife in your back, exiled from the kingdom of Trump. That’s no longer the case. In fact, Trump himself has been pissed off for the last few days, wondering why none of those people are Tweeting their support for their soon-to-be fallen leader. The answer is pretty simple; they’re looking out for themselves at the expense of others… a lesson they learned from Trump himself. It’s time to jump ship.

What’s also not black and white is what’s going on here… it’s red… as in cases across the board in Canada… as per below, so… much… red. All rising… sharply. Red alert.

Dr. Bonnie spoke earlier today and imposed new restrictions, in place for two weeks, effective as of 10pm tonight, affecting social gatherings, travel, indoor group exercises and workplaces. And, in that order: don’t, don’t, don’t, and… follow the rules. Let’s see if we can actually stick to that for two weeks.

We are effectively back to late March/early April; it’s Déjà Vu all over again… and we managed to get this under control back then. And, of course, we’ve learned a lot since then… but don’t think that just because of that, and treatment options, and just because we actually have a vaccine around the corner, that we don’t need to take this seriously. We do… because the tornado that can sweep us away to a world of hurt appears quickly and powerfully. Just ask Dorothy. And yes, we all want things to be normal… and we’ll get there eventually… “there’s no place like home”… but unfortunately, just closing your eyes and tapping your feet a few times, and hoping… isn’t going to do it.

HK COVID-19 Daily Report Graph Nov 7, 2020

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November 4, 2020

Yogi Berra liked to say, “It ain’t over till it’s over”. The more sophisticated version of the same saying is… “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings”.

That not-so-PC saying is referring to Brünnhilde, — usually cast as plus-sized soprano — who, after 15 hours of opera (German composer Richard Wagner’s “The Ring”, a 4-part mini-series) has a 20-minute dramatic finale before finally (and spectacularly) burning to death. A somewhat appropriate finale for whatever happens next.

And a somewhat appropriate comparison in that Richard Wagner actually has a lot in common with Donald Trump… numerous affairs, horribly in debt, and terribly racist. Hitler was a big fan. Trump might be as well, though I don’t get the impression that the president gets out to many operas.

So no, it’s not over, though it’s trending against Trump at the moment, and, as expected, he is fiercely lashing out, trying to hold on to the presidency. It was interesting to hear the commentary on CNN late last night, just before Trump spoke, the CNN panelists speculating on what Trump might or might not say. Do you think he’d actually come and question the integrity of the election? Do you think he’d threaten lawsuits? And do you actually think he’d come out and claim victory?

Come on… after four years of this, how can you even discuss it? Of course Trump came out, and did exactly all of that… and even threw out that he’d get the Supreme Court involved.

You know what… I hope he does. I hope he tries, anyway… because one of two things would happen. The first, and by far the likeliest, is that the SCOTUS will tell him to go to hell. Go away with your frivolous nonsense. Every single vote will be counted, period. And that would be a powerful and appropriate send-off to the man who, for four years, tried to stack that court in his favour. Forget the right-wing conservative-leaning court he left in place; he doesn’t care about that. He cares about himself, and counted on these people to save him. And they won’t. Or, at least, they shouldn’t. It would be a final and decisive goodbye, even after the near-corrupt and very hypocritical installation of the latest associate justice.

Or… once again, Trump fools us all and gets the SCOTUS on his side; these jurists who have spent their entire lives upholding the constitution suddenly chucking it all away for Trump. This is exceedingly unlikely, but it’s what would have to happen to somehow declare all votes after midnight invalid in Wisconsin and/or Michigan, but keep counting in places he needs… like Arizona. Of course, none of it makes any sense, but in that scenario… you’d have a corrupt president propped-up by a corrupt court. You’d have a corrupt Executive Branch, propped-up by a corrupt Judicial Branch… which would render the Legislative Branch useless. And at that point, I would agree you’d have to tear-up the constitution, because the U.S. as we’ve all known it is done. Then you start from scratch, once you’ve figured out how to get rid of King Trump; it’d be a nasty civil war because, like it or not, the military would be on his side. Some of them, anyway.

By the way, don’t think this doesn’t happen… the citizens of Chile very recently voted – with an overwhelming majority of 78% — to tear-up their constitution and re-write it.

The thing is… the Chilean constitution they’re replacing was created in 1980 by a military dictator. The new one will be written by committee, pretty much like the American one was written (and has worked quite well ever since) 231 years ago.

Biden is close… but it ain’t over. I can assure you, if Biden loses, he will smile, wave, and fade into obscurity, a long political career done. If Trump loses, he will not go away so quietly… and that’s where things get ugly… but, for everyone’s sake, I would certainly hope that even the most ardent Trump supporters, and his fellow Republicans… Pence, McConnell, etc… would respect the democratic process and support the result, whatever it turns out to be, including shutting down their irrational leader. If he’s voted out, smile, wave, and go face the music that awaits you. The voting wasn’t corrupt. The process wasn’t compromised. The United States constitution isn’t the problem.

It might take a lot of people and a coordinated effort to execute another well-known saying:

“Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.”

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October 29, 2020

An excellent scene in one of my favourite movies, “The Princess Bride” involves one guy continually using the word “inconceivable” … and another guy eventually saying to him, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

But the word we’re going to discuss isn’t that one… the word of the day is “freedom”.

Americans seem to think they have a monopoly on “freedom”. Hey guys… up here – we’re free too, you know. In fact, of the 206 recognized sovereign nations, the vast majority are also free.

On the list of countries that are not so free, you’ll find places like China, North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Venezuela… places that are perpetually in the news, often for the wrong reasons, and that’s why perhaps we never hear about the rest of the world. Uruguay? Bulgaria? Mongolia? They all have their own problems to navigate, like any other sovereign nation… but their people are free, by whatever definition you want to apply. But perhaps since the U.S. isn’t meddling in their affairs, you never hear about them.

Somewhere along the line, the meaning of “freedom” has lost its way, especially by those who’ve never experienced the lack thereof. Anyone who’s been born and lived all their lives in the U.S. (and Canada), no matter how old they are, has never lived under a government that didn’t offer them freedom. Yet even today, more than half the world’s population lives without the basic freedoms we all take for granted.

It’s hard to put it in terms for people who’ve never experienced it, so let’s compare it to something relatable.

I’m old enough to remember well when smoking was ubiquitous. Ten-hour airplane flights so full of smoke you couldn’t even see the screen of the movie playing 20 rows ahead. Tiny no-smoking areas in restaurants, if any. Everyone smoked back then, whether directly or second-hand.

When smoking bans were proposed, there was a huge uprising… and the word freedom was thrown around a lot. It’s my right, it’s my freedom, all the bullshit arguments you can imagine. And it goes back to what I said yesterday; nobody wants to infringe on anyone’s rights. You want to smoke at home? As long as the smoke doesn’t bleed into someone else’s space, go right ahead. You want to smoke alone in the middle of nowhere, go right ahead. You want to smoke in a crowded boardroom because it relaxes you and helps you gather your thoughts? Too bad. Because what you feel you’re entitled to is not as important as other people’s health and comfort. Go outside.

Yes, you will be inconvenienced and perhaps feel offended… but everything about that situation is up to you. You are free to make those choices. And if you still want to scream about rights and freedoms, perhaps a little history lesson… or perhaps, just a present-day history lesson… of people who can’t leave where they are, can’t say what they want to say, aren’t free to participate in the religion or partnership they wish to pursue. *That* is a lack of freedom. Not you having to step outside to smoke where it doesn’t bother anyone else. There’s no issue of freedom there. That’s just part of living in a civilized society that’s decided that the harm inflicted by cigarette smoke is not something anyone has the right to impose on someone else.

Similarly, can we just cut the crap with masks and freedom? It’s not the end of your world to act responsibly for the benefit of us all. You’re not being deprived of some fundamental right, unless you feel that putting others at risk is something to which you’re entitled. This is temporary and this is necessary.

I’m well aware that there are people who’ll read this and still not get it, tossing aside the science and common sense. So just get this…. shut the hell up already with claiming someone is infringing on your rights. Nobody is making you wear a mask when it’s not called for. Smoke at home. Cough and sneeze at home to your heart’s content. But while there’s a virus going around that threatens us all, simply do your part. If you’re around other people, do what’s asked… or, just don’t be around other people.

See how easy that is? You *are* free – free to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t interfere with someone else’s basic rights. I have the right not to inhale your cigarette smoke. I have the right not to inhale your Covid-19. I would hope for most people, this is pretty clear… though I’m also very clear that for a lot of people, this is… inconceivable.

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October 17, 2020

We are exactly one week away from the election… no, not *that* election – that one is 17 days away and approaching quickly… but I’m talking about our local Provincial election… and all I have to say about it is… vote. Just go out and vote. You don’t have to wait 10 hours in line, like in some attempted-voter-suppression ridings in the U.S.

Around here, if you haven’t (safely and conveniently) already mailed it in, you can vote in person. It takes 2 minutes, especially if you vote early and don’t wait until next Saturday. Advanced polls are already open, will be open throughout the weekend, and are around until Wednesday. They are virtually empty most of the time.

It wasn’t that long ago that more than half the people reading this post wouldn’t have been allowed to vote… due to race or gender or some other discriminatory reason. But a lot of people went through a lot of trouble to grant you the right… so the least you can do is exercise it.

And if you’re so out of tune that you’re not even sure what’s going on nor who to vote for, simply Google “BC election cheat sheet” and read that article… it’s as good a starting point as any, and you can walk into that polling booth armed with some real knowledge and ownership that you’re putting you vote toward ideals in which you believe.

October 17, 2020

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October 16, 2020

This is pretty long… not only because I couldn’t make it any shorter without leaving out something I consider important, but because I have a busy weekend ahead and might not get a chance to post much. No new local numbers till Monday anyway, so here’s most of the weekend’s updates in one convenient place… and we’ll start on the opposite end of the country.

About 25km off-shore from Newfoundland, you’ll find a collection of 8 little islands. They’re not very big. Collectively, they’re about 1/10th the size of Metro Vancouver. They’re known by the name of the two biggest islands, St. Pierre and Miquelon. Not relevant, but in case you’re curious… their population of 6,000 has had 16 cases of C19, 12 of which have fully recovered and 4 of which are still ongoing.

That entire population lives on those two islands, where they do a lot of fishing and play a lot of hockey. No big deal, except if you’ve never heard of them, you’ll be quite surprised to learn that they’re not part of Canada. Even though they’re closer to Newfoundland than Vancouver Island is to the mainland, they’re 100% French. Not like Québec French. Like French French.

How they got to that point is a long and interesting story… Indigenous people, Portuguese, Spanish, French, English, American, Canadian… all have laid claim to the islands at some point over the centuries… but, as it often goes with land grabs/invasions/conquests, whoever had it last… gets to keep it.

And that was France, who, despite opposition from Canada, Britain and the U.S., seized the islands during WWII… seized by that troublemaker Charles de Gaulle… the same one whose “Vive le Québec libre” 20 years later started a shitstorm that will never go away.

But since then, these little independent French islands have been happily doing their thing, and for the most part have a very close and functional relationship with their Canadian neighbours. A little border dispute or fishing-rights argument pops up occasionally, but it’s never a big deal. It always gets worked out.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Trudeau suddenly went nuts and invaded those islands? It would be a very weird situation for us, but also for our allies, especially the U.S. and the U.K…. both of which are always on our side, but both of which also completely (and justifiably) would respect the sovereignty of France.

Interestingly, there’s a comparable example.

On April 2nd, 1982, General Leopoldo Galtieri, the leader of Argentina (and last of their military dictators) invaded the Falkland Islands.

Lots of similarities… Search-and-Replace: Trudeau becomes Galtieri, Canada becomes Argentina. France becomes England. St.P & M. become the Falkland Islands, which have been under British Rule since 1833. Interestingly, the U.S. becomes Chile; we’ll get to that.

A brief history of Argentina… leading up to Galtieri, there had been a few other military dictators, the first of which had overthrown the democratic government of Isabel Perón… widow of Juan Perón – whose second wife was the famous Evita (Madonna… “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina…”). Those military dictators slowly eroded the country into a compete mess of economic crisis and civil unrest and violence against those who opposed them. Galtieri, who was disliked by the people more and more as each day went by, decided he needed to show everyone who’s boss, how he was a powerful leader, how he’s got things well-under control. A conquest of those islands… and he’d be a national hero forever.

So… he invaded the Falkland Islands, claiming them “back” for Argentina. As an interesting side-note, similar to how when the Democrats say Zig, the Republicans will say Zag, or pretty-much anywhere where you have strong, opposing political parties ready to criticize anything… when Margaret Thatcher’s right-wing government instantly protested the invasion and began arming the response, the left-wing opposition party in England was a bit torn… between their ideology of being against war… coupled with their distaste for Margaret Thatcher… as opposed to simple patriotism. They stammered incoherently for a few days, going back and forth.

You know, when your country gets invaded, you defend yourself… political ideologies aside. If you don’t like war, it means you don’t throw the first punch. But if punches are going to fly, be sure you’re prepared to throw the last one. Anyway, that led to that memorable headline, “British Left Waffles on Falklands.”

Long story short, Galtieri led his country into a disastrous, unwinnable war by invading those islands… a war which cost the lives of hundreds of young Argentinian men, barely trained and barely armed. It took the British a few days to show up, but they showed up angry and ready to take back what was theirs. And take it back they did. They also suffered some losses, but not as bad as the Argentinians. Understandably, everyone on the planet disagreed with the Argentinian position, including their neighbour Chile… who allied themselves with Britain and cooperated fully, allowing their airports and military bases to be used as staging and refueling areas. Chile turned out to be an integral part of helping the Brits end the invasion quickly. The strange parallel would be the U.S. aligning themselves with France, helping them take back the islands from Canada. I wonder how many minutes that war would last.

From a personal point of view, the whole Falklands thing was strange – it was the first time I had a completely relatable view of a big conflict… very clearly from both, opposing sides.

On one hand, I was in grade 8, at a very British school, where many of the teachers were British themselves. They were adamantly opposed to this ridiculous invasion, and made their views known. Everybody (including me) was in agreement. What a useless, stupid war. Hopefully, it’d be over quickly.

On the flipside, my older cousins in Chile were of the age where if they’d been in neighbouring Argentina, they and their friends might have been drafted to go and fight. I knew a lot of people down there in that age group. It would have been like the grade 12s in my school going off to fight for one side… and, on the other side, it could’ve been my cousins and their friends, or at least guys whose personas and attitudes and everything else – I could easily relate to. Happy-go-lucky Latin Americans guys… suddenly thrown into a war because their leader needed some quick wins; some better approval ratings; some better numbers. No time for debates or town-hall meetings… let’s make a real statement.

The whole ugly episode wrapped up in about 10 weeks, but there were (and still are) some ridiculously short-sighted Argentinean patriots who think it was the right move. The vast majority would disagree with that… and if there was any Argentinian positive out of all of it, it’s that it not only took down Galtieri… but it took down the whole right-wing fascist military-dictatorship infrastructure that had supported him and his predecessors. From the failed war emerged democracy. And a final footnote… in 1994, Argentina adopted a new constitution. In it, they declared the Falkland Islands an Argentine Province. Some people just can’t let it go. The official British response was, “LOL”.

What may be relatable about the whole thing is this; there was a leader who was nearing the end of his tenure… something that doesn’t necessarily happen with military dictatorships. Many of those guys hang in there for decades, because their iron-fisted rule keeps them there. As long as the country is doing ok, it works.
But when it’s all going downhill, and people are calling for your head… well, what do you expect from a military leader… fight or flight? Galtieri knew the implications of leaving power, and they all came to pass. He knew what he’d done. He knew his track record leading up that last gasp. He knew that if he had to one day face the music, it wouldn’t go well for him… and, indeed… the rest of his life was no bed of roses. Arrests, prison, disgrace, legal fights, stripped of everything.

That is what faces Donald Trump, so it should come as no surprise that he’ll do anything to prevent it… and/or at least try everything he can to punt the ball 4 years down the field. The U.S. won’t be invading anyone as a distraction anytime soon, fortunately, but what’s going on is its own version of “last gasp”… an effort that started years ago, and will hopefully end on January 20th… 2021, not 2025.

October 16, 2020

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October 15, 2020

There has to be something inherently wrong with a political system that can so brazenly show everyone the middle finger, with zero care or concern, and face zero repercussions.

The Republicans are blatantly trying to give themselves every possible advantage, legal or illegal, that they can in this election, and while it seems the media does what it can to report on it, the people pulling it off just laugh, don’t care… and just carry on. The shenanigans are blunt and transparent.

The most blatant of all has to do with the infrastructure that’s going to decide the election. Trump himself has made a lot of noise about mail-in ballots and absentee ballots… which for some reason are patriotic and acceptable and honourably welcomed in Republican states, but vilified and fraudulent in Democratic states.

And now, ballot-drop boxes in Republican states are being limited to one per county… but in California, a Democratic state, the GOP themselves are putting up theur own (illegal) ballot-collection boxes. They have been handed a cease-and-desist order… but have chosen to simply… not cease-and-desist.

Can you do that? The last time I checked, laws and court orders exist to uphold some semblance of civilised society. You don’t get to pick and choose which laws apply to you and which don’t; that’s a fundamental point of democracy.

But no… the Republicans, empowered by their “anything goes” and “make it up as we go along” leader, are doing their part. “What will help us win this election?”, they ask… and the answer is pretty simple, depending on where you are; either they will help you cast your vote, or they will help to suppress it. Every vote counts. We are all equal. Until we decide what counts and what’s equal.

To whom are these illegalities accountable? Remember Orwell… everyone is equal. But some people are more equal than others. What does that mean? Well, you’re seeing it play out with your own eyes.

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By |2020-10-15T22:57:55-07:00October 15th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19 Daily Report, Politics, Philosophy, Art & Literature|Tags: , |0 Comments
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