‘Speaking’ of the Speaker of the House

The U.S. House of Representatives finally elected the Speaker of the House after 4 days of deadlock and 15 votes. Prior to the final vote, the satirical website  Babylon Bee commented:
“In a shocking overnight vote held by the House of Representatives, the QAnon Shaman, aka “The Buffalo Guy” has received the majority of votes required to become Speaker of the House.”

Several months ago a ‘portrait’ of Buffalo Guy surfaced again on Twitter. (He was one of several thousand protesters who breached the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021).

Cartoonist Scott Adams, in a satirical tweet, remarked “The Jan6th Committee reminds America that we can never again allow a small band of unarmed protesters to conquer the largest military power in the history of human civilization by sauntering through the Capitol rotunda and taking selfies. We were so close to losing everything.”

When Thousands of People Refuse to Comply with Lawful Orders

In light of the 8700  George Floyd Protests in 2020,  (574 with violence and 624 with arson) there was concern about the potential for disturbance  at a rally at the Capitol on January 6. The Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division (IICD) issued a Special Assessment on January 3, which acknowledged there would be extremist groups attending the rally; the groups would be armed; they would target Congress and the Joint Session Certification process; and there was a threat of disruptive actions or violence. The Report was shared on January 4th and 5th with multiple security agencies including the FBI and the DC National Guard.

They apparently underestimated the power of several thousand determined people, eighty seven or so who were carrying  baseball bats, fire extinguishers, wooden clubs, a spear, crutches, flagpoles, bear spray, mace, chemical irritants, stolen police shields, a wooden beam, a hockey stick, a stun gun, and knives. Two had hand guns. They overpowered 1200 officers in a confrontation that lasted about 4 hours.

Further reading:

A Comparison of Injuries, Damage, etc of the 2021 Capitol Riot and the 2020 George Floyd Riots
United States Capitol Police Report
After-Action Reports on the Riots of 2020
What Weapons Did Rioters Carry?

My Kitchen, My Choice

The Gas Stove Story

The American public is being prepped for possible action by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission who say they are reviewing possible health hazards posed by gas stoves and will likely take action to regulate the appliances at some point in the future.

Oddly enough, Canada isn’t jumping on that bandwagon yet, but… early days…

Are Gas Stoves Really Responsible for 12.7% of Current Childhood Asthma Cases in the US?

Recently there have been stories about the risk of childhood asthma caused by natural gas stoves. It has been suggested that this news was one ‘trial balloon’ to influence public opinion on gas stoves.

Pushback about the validity of the Gruenwald Asthma-Gas Stove Research paper came from independent sources such as this:

… the Gruenwald et al paper seems to have some clear challenges that would typically preclude it from consideration in a policy-making process. Its underlying data is of low statistical power. Its conclusion is directly contradicted by more recent studies with significantly greater statistical power and it relies on a statistical tool that is considered invalid in situations with confounding variables yet it is being used to analyze an association that is absolutely rife with confounding variables.
– Blair King, Professional Chemist, Analysis January 12, 2023

How Much Pollution?

Stanford Researchers estimate, (based on a study of 53 California homes) that  methane leaking from natural gas-burning stoves inside an estimated 40 million U.S. homes has an annual climate impact comparable to the annual carbon dioxide emissions from about 500,000 gasoline powered cars.

This suggests one stove releases emissions equivalent to .0125 gasoline-powered cars.

To put this into perspective, The U.S. Department of Energy has calculated the annual well to wheels emissions for vehicles (they used an average driving distance of 11,579 miles per year.). An All Electric vehicle emits 2817 pounds of CO2 equivalent. A gasoline vehicle emits 12594 pounds of CO2 equivalent.

By extension then, a stove would emit 157 pounds a year, though that doesn’t include emissions from manufacture, etc. Put another way – each year a gas stove releases the equivalent emissions of driving a gasoline car about  144 miles.

In response to the possibility of any mandated ‘mitigation’ strategies, this comment appeared on Twitter a few days ago: “My kitchen, my choice”. I thought this variation of “My body, my choice”  was quite funny and apropos!

“…we currently live in a political climate that prioritizes grand symbolic gestures without regard to unintended consequences or even whether they will achieve their purported goal.
– Tristan Hopper, National Post: You want to ban me? A gas stove makes its case

The Babylon Bee, a satirical news site, offered this story:  “Biden Calls for Two Weeks of Not Cooking on Gas Stoves to Flatten the Curve”.

Other Reading:

Steve Everley, Managing Director in FTI Consulting’s Energy & Natural Resources, Current Research

Time: The Best Stove for Your Health and the Environment
Gas-Stoving America
Do Gas Stoves Cause Childhood Asthma

Data Sources:
U.S. Department of Energy Emissions from Electric Vehicles
U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data
Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Climate and Health Impacts Natural Gas Stoves
Study on Natural Gas Stove Emissions in 53 Homes

We’ll See What Happens

Scam, Spam and Phishing
My recent post, 13th Anniversary of Blogging, was reblogged without my permission by someone who I think might be a phishing scammer (though I may be over-reacting.)

I contacted WordPress about this and asked them to take the reblogged post down. The Happiness Engineer (HE… or maybe HER) suggested I fill out a Copyright Infringement Complaint. I don’t see how that would do me any good because WordPress is the one that provides the reblog tool that lets people take your content.

I had left a comment on the site that had reblogged my post, asking them to take it down. The reply from the blogger was: “Pls am sorry and I will happy if you can guide me too on this WordPress blog to become famouse and get money there easily pls Mrs Amusive pls contact me on what’sapp +(234xxxxxxxxxx) so we can talk more pls”

So I  filed a complaint of scamming  – which was a lot faster and easier than a copyright infringement complaint. We’ll see what happens.

The Response to Elon Musk Buying Twitter

The big news in Social Media is that Twitter has been purchased by the richest man in the world, Elon Musk. His expressed reason for purchasing it is because he wants “civilization to have a common digital town square.” By common, Musk says the company would allow “all speech that the First Amendment protects”. Getting from ‘what Musk now owns’ to ‘what Musk wants it to be’ has been a bumpy ride so far (as opposed to the ride you get in one of his Teslas…)

This has created an uproar with people who want Twitter (or Facebook or YouTube) to decide what is misinformation or hate speech (for example) and do not agree with Musk’s opinion that better decision making comes from more open debate. We’ll see what happens.

Quiet Quitting

This is a new term to me. It means “doing the minimum requirements of one’s job and putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary.” I’ve read that this trend is popular with Gen Z who believe working will lead to on-the-job burnout if they do more than what they think they are being paid to do.

This has apparently led to Quiet Firing where the employer does the minimum required of them – which does not necessarily include giving raises, increased opportunities or promotions to employees who don’t do more than what is absolutely necessary… etc.

The Employer could, of course, escalate things to ‘UnQuiet Firing’. Apparently Musk has fired about half the Twitter work force. Speculation is that Amazon will lay off 10,000 employees and Zuckerberg is cutting 11,000 employees.  I suppose it is possible that some of those laid off were quiet quitters… We’ll see what happens.

 

Canadian Conservatism is on the Rise

Conservative politics are attracting young Canadians, according to recent polls.

A recent Abacus Data poll showed that 37 per cent of 18 to 29 year olds were prepared to back the Tories — a larger base of support than for either the Liberals or the NDP.
Abacus also found that a plurality of 18-44 voters are favouring the Conservatives for the first time. Previously, the category was reliably dominated by the Liberals.
Tristin Hopper, National Post August 10, 2022 –

Pierre Poilievre, a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party,  is getting much of the credit for this trend. He is appealing to a young demographic that agree with his message of freedom. This includes his opposition to the federal governments vaccine mandates, which he says are unscientific and discriminatory. He is also highly critical of a news media that he says has protected Trudeau from responsibility for failed measures.

Millennials and Gen Zers consistently share with me that they face various pressures to conform to liberal orthodoxy. In school and on college and university campuses, students are being made to feel as though there is only one acceptable point of view on identity, patriotism, economics, community, family, faith, business, and the role of government in our lives. And that one acceptable point of view is unreasonably critical of Canada, bows down to wokeness, denies the positive benefits of capitalism, ignores any wisdom in our traditions or history, and values government programs over community and family relationships.
Jamil Jivani, president of Canada Strong and Free Network (formerly the Manning Centre, National Post article, August 12, 2022 –

Count how many ways this denigrates a person and a political party.

Chris Selley posted this on Twitter – an Example of a ‘Cartoonist’ trying to make Canadian Conservatism look like it is a  ‘Far Right’ party and/or is affiliated with President Trump’s politics (neither of which is true).

Poilievre has disavowed social-conservatism, pledging his support for both same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive freedoms, and vowed never to raise either issue in Parliament.. He’s part of a sudden and welcome backlash within his party against Quebec’s Bill 21, but otherwise seems perfectly comfortable with asymmetrical federalism…
“’Woke’ voices on the edges of the left and ‘populist’ voices on the fringes of the right are sucking up all the oxygen in what passes for political debate in Canada,” Peterson writes on the CIC website. “These loud and fringe voices dominate Party politics, creating tribal divisions and fierce debates over issues mainly long-settled in the minds of most Canadians.”
– Chris Selley, National Post, July 27, 2022 –

Bullying on the Political Playground

Most of the bullying tactics that politicians use are the very same ones that middle school and high school students use:
– Blame-shifting when they want to deflect attention away from themselves.
– Calling another person names.
– Sabotaging someone’s reputation.
– Spreading rumors or planting gossip about someone.
– Threatening others either by subtle warning to an outrageous declaration of what might happen in the future.
Very Well Family

Does Prime Minister Trudeau fit the Criteria of being a Bully?

– In Sepember 2021 he said, “There are also people who are fiercely against vaccination. They are extremists who don’t believe in science, they’re often misogynists, also often racists.” Compare that to the statement he made a few months earlier: “There are medical reasons, there are a broad range of reasons why someone might not get vaccinated…”

– In the past month he has said the trucker protesters were “very often misogynistic, racist, women-haters, science-deniers, the fringe.” Contrast this to a statement he made in earlier years: “Openness, respect, integrity – these are principles that need to underpin pretty much every other decision that you make.”

– He recently accused protesters at the “Freedom Convoy” of spewing “hateful rhetoric” and “violence” , despite media reports that the massive weekend rally was overwhelmingly peaceful.

– He said he would not meet protesting truckers because of their ‘hateful rhetoric’. Instead, he went into hiding, in contrast to a statement he once made: “My father raised us to step toward trouble rather than to step away from it.”

– This week Trudeau replied to comments and questions (made by a female Jewish member of Parliament) by accusing Conservative party members (and by extension her) of standing with people who wave swastikas and standing with people who wave the Confederate flag. (Yes, there were fringe minorities at the march. Organizers and leaders of the convoy condemned extremist groups, and asked that participants report lawbreakers to the police.)

– He invoked Canada’s Emergencies Act, which gives the federal government broad powers to restore order. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland warned they can tow away vehicles; freeze truckers’ personal and corporate bank accounts; and suspend the insurance on their rigs. The government will also broaden its anti-money-laundering regulations to target crowd-funding sites that are being used to support the blockades. Compare that to this statement Trudeau once made: “One of the things with Canada is we’re of a modest enough size that we never feel that the ideal outcome of any given deal is, we win and you lose.

The most honest statement he once made, though is this:

I think it’s hard to know how one deals in situations of confrontation until you’re actually in there, so I’m not going to speculate on what I would do.
– Justin Trudeau –

Not to be outdone by the politicians, Mainstream ‘Legacy’ Media – Canada’s CBC – suggested maybe Russia is involved:

“… given Canada’s support of Ukraine, in this current crisis with Russia, I don’t know if it’s far fetched to ask but there is concern that Russian actors could be continuing to fuel things, as this protest grows, but perhaps even instigating it from from the outset,” CBC panelist Koksal said.

For all my posts on this story, see Truckers Convoy.

Single Most Successful Human Rights Protest In A Generation

“We want freedom,” the truckers are saying,” freedom from mandates.” It’s a very straightforward ask, but so far the truckers don’t have that freedom and so their blockade continues.

It’s hard to overstate the historical significance of what we’re watching right here. The Canadian trucker convoy is the single most successful human rights protest in a generation. If nothing else, it has been a very useful reminder to our entitled ruling class. The working-class men can be pushed, but only so far. When they push back, it hurts.

Now there is an obvious way to fix this problem. Manuel Moroun, who is the owner of the Ambassador Bridge into Michigan, just spelled it out for Justin Trudeau, who is not terribly bright. End the vaccine mandates and the bridge reopens. It’s not hard, but Justin Trudeau won’t, and he’s decided he doesn’t have to because the truckers, as he’s explained, have no legitimate complaint. They’re racists, so we’re not required to listen to them.

When you dismiss, your own citizens as racists and conspiracy nuts and try and shut them down for long enough, at some point, they are apt to revolt. Once people realize they’re citizens, not serfs, you can’t really know where things go from there.

– Tucker Carlson, February 11, 2022 –

Will Prime Minister Trudeau be able to put his Ego on a Shelf and become a Statesman?

Ceaușescu’s balcony will forever be a symbol of elite cluelessness. Even in the face of the gravest danger, a certain kind of ruler will never be able to see the last salvo coming, if doing so requires any self-examination.

Trudeau is becoming the ultimate example. Truckers last month began protesting a January 22nd rule that required the production of vaccine passports before crossing the U.S.-Canadian border. Canadian truckers are reportedly 90% vaccinated, above the country’s 78% total, a key detail that’s been brazenly ignored by media in both countries determined to depict these more as “anti-vax” than “anti-mandate” protests… When an angry convoy descended upon the capital, Trudeau dismissed them in a soliloquy that can only be described as inspired political arson:

“The small fringe minority of people who are on their way to Ottawa, who are holding unacceptable views that they are expressing, do not represent the views of Canadians… who know that following the science and stepping up to protect each other is the best way to ensure our rights, our freedoms, our values as a country.”

A near-exact repeat of the “basket of deplorables” episode, Trudeau’s imperious description of “unacceptable” views instantly became a rallying cry, with people across the country lining the streets to cheer truckers while self-identifying as the “small fringe minority.” Everyone from high school kids to farmers and teachers and random marchers carrying jerrycans of fuel joined in as Trudeau’s own words were used to massively accelerate his troubles.

– Matt Taibbi, Justin Trudeau’s Ceaușescu Moment

Canadian Truckers: ‘Please Use Science and Facts’

The Canadian Truckers Freedom Convoy has been in Canada’s Capital city, Ottawa, since January 28, 2022. Many truckers have had enough of Government imposed mandates, whether they be vaccinations, vaccine passports, masking, curfews, lockdowns, etc. The truckers believe that the recent vaccine mandate imposed on cross border truckers by both the Canadian and American governments is not consistent with current medical science.

Only in Canada – a protest sign that starts with the word ‘Please’… it’s time to start using science and facts over fear.

Isn’t Prime Minister Trudeau accusing the truckers of doing the same thing his Liberal government has been doing to Canadians for the past two years?

Individuals are trying to blockade our economy, our democracy, and our fellow citizens’ daily lives—It has to stop,” asserts Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he speaks in an emergency House of Commons debate concerning the ongoing trucker protests in Ottawa.

The Conservatives think the Trudeau government is the root cause of the alienation

“We are at a crisis point not only with what’s going on out the doors and across the country, but the country overall,” Bergen said Monday night. “And so much of it is because of the things that he has said and done.”
– Interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen –

Even Members of Trudeau’s Liberals think their government’s Covid policies are increasingly questionable

Quebec Liberal MP Joel Lightbound called out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, accusing him of using the pandemic as a political weapon to turn Canadians against each other, adding other Liberal MPs feel the same.

Likely setting fire to his political career, Lightbound, first elected in 2015, said he was speaking for hundreds of constituents in his riding of Louis-Hebert, many of whom are vaccinated but are concerned about the imposition of poorly-explained federal and provincial public health measures that often appear arbitrary and cruel, introduced without explaining the purpose or providing the scientific data backing them.

“I’ve heard from people worried that those making the decisions seem at times to have been blind to the fact we’re not all equal for lockdowns, that not everyone can earn a living on a MacBook at the cottage. I’ve heard people worried that a few might have lost sight of the quiet … suffering of the many.”
– Toronto Sun, February 8, 2022 –

Who has been most severely impacted by those restrictions?

Who has most carried the hard weight of the COVID regime imposed by their governments and the protected class? Everyone knows the answer to that question: those in precarious economic positions, the independent, the unpensioned, blue-collar workers. Family and small business people, service employees, the staff of hotels and restaurants. The old and the very old, most cruelly those ill and in care, who were not only the most exposed and least protected, but who were cut off during their most difficult days from family contact. Anxiety was deepest, the burden greatest — as seems always the case in this world — for those least equipped to bear it.

The current protest is the marker of that unfortunate divide. A sign, too, of a new divide in our governance, where politics has swollen into a kind of moral marker, or an identity tag, where what should be simply a disagreement or an argument over this issue or that, has taken on the character of a shibboleth. Sign on here, you are good. Sign on there, you’re a wastrel and a pirate.
– Rex Murphy, National Post, February 8, 2022 –

Hockey rinks and that dangerous Bouncy Castle

As of Monday, Ottawa is still effectively in the hands of Freedom Convoy. The truckers used the weekend to further entrench their presence in the capital by erecting wooden buildings, piling up firewood , setting up impromptu road hockey rinks and even bringing in the occasional sauna and bouncy castle.
– Tristin Hopper – National Post, February 8, 2022 –

‘Disruptive and unlawful behaviour’ during ‘Freedom Convoy’ protest

CTV Ottawa issued this report on the 450 tickets the Police had issued in the first week-end of the protest. Serious stuff:

Excessive noise
Use of Fireworks
Failure to drive in marked lane
Red light violations
Driving through a No Truck Route
Seatbelt violation
Driving a motor vehicle on a sidewalk
Cellphone
Disobey sign
Improper muffler
Tint (too dark)
Obstructed license plate
Failure to produce documents
Stunt Driving (vehicle seized)
Suspended license
No Insurance

The GoFundMe Debacle – If Only the Truckers had said it was a BLM protest

Nearly $10 million had been pledged at GoFundMe to support the Freedom Convoy.  $1M was released to Convoy organizers. GoFundMe then decided that the convoy had evolved into something they don’t support – a stationary protest, an occupation – and would not release any more funding. GoFundMe asked donors to submit a refund form and said that any funds not returned to donors would be donated to a charity chosen by the Freedom Convoy. After an immediate outcry, GoFundMe announced they would skip the request process and refund donors automatically.

GoFundMe says they support peaceful protests but do not support occupations with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity unless, apparently, it is under the auspices of BLM. GoFundMe supported a project in CHAZ/CHOP, a police-free perimeter that encased several neighborhoods in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district in 2020. What initially started as a local curiosity, eventually took a turn for the worse. In nine days, the area saw four shootings, two deaths, arson, and several alleged sexual assaults, not to mention damages to buildings.



Ottawa Police try to find ways to oust the Convoy that they knew (for weeks) was coming but didn’t think it was going to amount to much

The Ottawa Police Service warned on Sunday that “anyone found bringing fuel to the demonstration trucks in red zone could be subject to arrest and charges. This is effective immediately,”
– Rebecca Cohen, Insider, February 7, 2022 –

The Canadian Truckers Freedom Convoy – Beyond Mass Media Spin

There are been many negative stories about the Convoy in left of centre Mass Media (and repeated in Social Media.) Here are a few excerpts of positive stories and other ideas:

… the pickings (of trucker supporter wrongdoings) seemed somewhat slim given the many thousands of people who were in attendance… This included a viral photo of a few protesters parking their cars close to the National War Memorial cenotaph — which was quickly followed by Ottawa Police assuring everyone that the drivers had promptly moved the cars as soon as they’d been asked. Much was made of a Terry Fox statue being “defaced” — until it was pointed out that the protesters had merely dressed him up in hat and flag, as part of a failed stunt to suggest he’d be on their side.

In true Canadian fashion, protesters even began policing one another’s behaviour. This included setting up ad-hoc litter patrols to clean up everyone else’s mess — leading to the unintentionally hilarious spectacle of CBC reporter Hannah Thibodeau trying to drum up outrage with a tweeted picture of neatly arranged garbage bags.

One particularly McCarthyist Instagrammer, Kelsey Grace, has been curating a published list of Ottawa businesses that are “actively supporting” truckers. The catalog of accused entities includes (and I am not making this up) a french-fry truck, a restaurant that specializes in shawarma (that favourite delicacy of all white supremacists), and a diner with a sign reading “20$ trucker special.”

But the last few days have provided an instructive spectacle — a microcosm for the larger, profoundly off-putting phenomenon by which progressives lazily default to labelling anything they dislike or disagree with as a manifestation of bigotry. We’ve been seeing examples of this for years, of course. But what took place over the weekend was unusual, as it didn’t involve any of the sacred cows (BLM and residential schools, in particular) that have otherwise served to stigmatize dissent. It was basically just a bunch of very privileged (and very white, by the way) elites loudly and unapologetically reminding us of just how deeply contemptuous they are of anyone who doesn’t read from their psalm book.

– Jonathan Kay, National Post

One myth that was busted right away was the striking diversity of the protestors starting with the two main organizers, Benjamin Dichter, who is Jewish and Tamara Lich, who is Metis. Far from being a uniformly disgruntled group of white Canadians, not that there is anything wrong with being that, one saw Indo-Canadians, Arab Canadians, Chinese Canadians, Black Canadians and just about every other ethnic Canadian under the sun.

People had different reasons for joining the protests. One couple from Cambridge, Ontario, whose nephew died by suicide due to depression during the lockdown, said that they were here to make their voice heard for kids, including for their daughter, who was with them, locked out of schools, physical activity and social life. Recall, as I’ve written about earlier, Canada has had amongst the harshest of all restrictions among advanced rich nations, and Ontario has been harsher on average than the rest of Canada, especially for children.

As vaccines were being rolled out, recall that surveys told us that vaccine hesitancy was highest among Black Canadians and other racialised groups that, for entirely legitimate reasons, have fraught relationships with authority. Perhaps that’s why there were so many Black Canadians at the weekend’s protest? Of course this doesn’t necessarily imply they’re unvaccinated, but certainly oppose government imposed vaccine mandates. How did elite Canadian opinion go from compassion for marginalized groups fearful to be vaccinated, toward hate and vitriol, that such people should be ostracized, imprisoned or fined, in just a few months? This increasing extremism among the ostensibly mainstream should give us reason for pause.

– Rupa Subramanya, National Post

One of the concerns that has been expressed by many is: what are the exit conditions for ending the Covid-19 mandates? Often these have not been clearly expressed by governments. People fear that politicians will hang on to the control they have gained during Covid and will be reluctant to let it go.

The rules and regulations keep increasing every year. Rules and regulations are immortal, they don’t die. Occasionally you see some law with a sunset provision, but really, otherwise, the vast majority of rules and regulations live forever…Eventually it just takes longer and longer and it’s harder to do things. There’s not really an effective garbage collection system for removing rules and regulations. And so gradually this hardens the arteries of civilization, where you’re able to do less and less over time. So I think government should be trying really hard to get rid of rules and regulations that perhaps had merit at some time but don’t have merit currently.
– Elon Musk –

 

The Canadian Truckers Freedom Convoy 2022

Since the beginning of this Pandemic, Truck Drivers (like so many other people) have been designated Essential Workers. They have transported the goods and materials that kept society functioning and allowed so many people to work from home.

After nearly 2 years of truckers not having to be vaccinated in order to cross the Canada/USA border, both Canada and the United States have now decided that they must be vaccinated. Neither government seems to have produced data to show that licensed cross-border truck drivers have been causing a disproportionate increase in Covid related disease compared to, say, the 15-20 million people who marched in Black Lives Matter Protests or the fans who today attend sporting events in large stadiums.

Many truckers have had enough of Government imposed mandates, whether they be vaccinations, vaccine passports, masking, curfews, lockdowns, etc. That is what led to the Freedom Convoy.

Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau did not meet with the truckers when they arrived at their destination in the Nation’s capital. Why? He has reportedly said that the convoy members and their supporters hold “unacceptable views.”

Speaking of unacceptable, on the World Covid-10 Stringency Index, Canada’s score is 78.24 (out of 100) with only a few countries having higher levels of school and workplace closures, travel bans, cancellation of public events, gathering restrictions, stay at home requirements and restrictions on internal movement. Since I’ve lived in the midst of it all, I can understand why some people have had enough of what they think are ‘unacceptable’ levels of government imposed mandates and are now expressing those views.

“The Canadian food system really rides on the back of a truck because of our short growing season,” he said of the C$21bn worth of food imported from the US each year, and trucks play a key role in moving it.
In many way, Covid-19 has exposed the necessity of the trucking system as well as headwinds within the system, including a shortage of drivers.
“At the end of the day, we need more trucks on the road. If everyone came to the table for an honest discussion about this, rather than making political statements, it’d be better for everyone”.

– Simon Somogyi, University of Guelph, study of food business and supply chain management –

Baa Baa Black Sheep

CBC’s list of words

CBC News Ottawa recently published a list of ‘banned’ words according to the anti-racism and language experts they consulted. Some of the phases contain the word ‘black’ which the experts said can be hurtful to people because of the negative historical and cultural background of the word. (Some people would like to add Black Friday to the list).

My Black Sheep Tangle

I was surprised to see the term Black Sheep.  Historically, black sheep were less desirable than white sheep only because the black wool could not be easily dyed colors. The phrase eventually evolved to refer to the oddball member of the family who did not fall in line with the others.

What about blackmail? It was first used in the 16th century in Scotland where it was a payment exacted by plundering chiefs in exchange for immunity from more pillage.

While in the current context, both words have evolved into negative portrayals, the word ‘black’ can also be a positive or powerful word, such as black belt, black diamond, black coffee, black pepper, black ink, etc.

The word white can also have an undesirable connotation – white elephant, white lightnin’, white out, white trash, show the white feather…

Hopefully, some day black and white will no longer be a source of conflict – Yin Yang will prevail.

Moving on, I’d like to know why CBC didn’t put the word ‘short’ on their list. If I was a sensitive ‘vertically challenged’ person, I would object to the many phrases that contain the word ‘short’: short changed; short end of the stick; the long and the short of it; a day late and a dollar short; one brick short of a load; a few sandwiches short of a picnic; draw the short straw; short circuit; short fuse; short sighted…

Rex Murphy, of the National Post, responding to the CBC list, constructed an editorial about these words by using them all: Rex Murphy: Tongue-tied by CBC’s 18 words you can’t say

Alas, it is the case that the rich tribe of consultants employed by the CBC to make sure Canadian English never falls into bad-speak is being pilloried on Twitter and elsewhere as lame , and even (shudder) tone deaf .

Other even more savage criticisms are raining down on the corporation, such that its executives and high-profile personalities have been called together in a kind of public relations powwow , to brainstorm some way of responding to the crisis.
– Rex Murphy –

Normally I would ask you what your thoughts are on this subject, so here goes: Do you think the legs I drew on the Black Sheep look a bit like piano keys?

Update: thanks for your comments about the Sheep’s legs. As per your input, the Sheep has now been named ‘Little Piano Legs’.