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.

It’s Rapid and It’s Positive

The Car Guy likes things to be cut and dried. Once the Frog in his Throat became a cough, the logical thing to do, in his mind, was to take a rapid antigen test to see whether he has Covid or not. He ordered a test kit on Amazon – it arrived in two days.

Other than the discomfort of putting a swab up his nose, the test was straight forward and fairly fast. Within 15 minutes, he had his answer. He was positive for Covid.

I didn’t bother taking the test. If I gave the virus to him, I was probably going to test negative because I am over two weeks away from first symptoms. If I didn’t have the virus then I am going to get it from him in short order. Either way, we’ll both test in about a week. If we test negative, we will be ‘good to go’ visit some of our friends who are at higher risk if they were to contract Covid.

Meanwhile in Canada

The big news in Canada is the Truckers Freedom Convoy. (I did two posts about it at my other blog, Counter Current.) Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau, the man who proudly marched with BLM in 2020, 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 are a “fringe minority” who hold “unacceptable views.” (He also says he has tested positive for Covid but is feeling fine. He has ‘holed up’ at an undisclosed location.)

The foundational cornerstone of liberty is the free exchange of ideas. Without that, we don’t really have liberty. And that means putting up with a lot of things you disagree with.
And here’s the great thing about freedom of expression – someone else gets to try and convince you of how wrong you are. And all the ideas get to compete. And at some point, enough people will provide enough verifiable information, that hard, irrefutable facts will emerge. But as long as nothing is ever challenged, we will never know if those “facts” are irrefutable or not.
Regie Hamm

This is the same Prime Minister that called a Vanity Federal Election (that was midway through his term and cost taxpayers $610 million) during the Fourth Wave of the Pandemic

Getting back to the truckers, they are equally peeved with American President Biden. Trudeau and Biden have, at this very late date in the pandemic, declared cross border truckers now have to be fully immunized. The truckers, who for the past two years have made it possible for the elitist ‘shelter at home’ people to ‘stay safe’, have decided they have had it with mandates that smack of political virtue signalling.

 

The Fluronacold Racing Season

The 2021-2022 Fluronacold Racing Season has been an exciting one! Team SARSCoV is leading in points with the Omicorn1 superbuggy ahead in overall points, though Omicron2 has been moving up in the standings. Team Flu has pinned their hopes on the normally strong ACatH3N2 . Their BCat  has been sidelined for most of the season. Team Cold has two strong entries, Rhino and Corona. Both Team Flu and Team Cold were more or less sidelined last year due to new restrictions that affected their ability to even race. Fluronacold officials have been under extreme pressure to reinstate all the restrictions, but there is strong evidence that the restrictions have caused some serious collateral damage…

On a personal note, I am on day 17 of ‘Fluronacold’ symptoms. (I do not know which virus I had so I made up the word ‘Fluronacold’…)  I’m inclined to think my current muscle and joint aches and pains are virus related, but as I am constantly reminded by the ‘Correlation is not Causation‘ approach to life, this may not be so.

The Car Guy, he of the Pea Pod and Black Coffee school of health, now has a Frog in his Throat, but is otherwise feeling fine.

I’ve looked at the chart of ‘Fluronacold’ symptoms (below) and I have to say that my symptoms fit all the viruses to some degree and none of the viruses completely.

Source: https://fortune.com/2022/01/12/omicron-delta-cold-and-flu-symptoms-chart/

Meanwhile in Canada:  here is my take on the The Canadian Truckers Freedom Convoy.

Pea Pods and Black Coffee

Green Pea Pods

My Virus Update – a cold, the flu or Covid? Don’t know and stubbornly don’t care. The medical treatment (so far) is the same as it has always been for a cold/flu and the isolation/masking is socially required these days…

The Car Guy and I have not been tested for Covid yet and we hope to make it through the whole pandemic without having got one. Call it Baby Boomer defiance to the last two years of government mandates and mass media fear mongering…

So, I’ve made it through the sniffles and the cough and now I’m at the tired stage. I wouldn’t say fatigue, just ‘walk around the block and then lay down for a while’ tired.

The Car Guy has not succumbed to the virus at all. I didn’t think he would. He never gets colds or flu. There are too many variables to figure out why this is, but in the true spirit of finding spurious correlations and claiming them as causes, I present raw green pea pods and black coffee. He consumes both in significant quantities. I don’t. So there you have it.

Frog in my Throat

“A Frog in my Throat”

I have been invaded by a virus. I have a runny nose, a scratchy ‘frog’ in my throat, and a dry cough. I don’t know if I encountered the virus while still in Alberta, or if it caught up with me during the three day drive from Alberta to Arizona. I don’t know if it is a common cold or if it is one of the Covid variants like Omicron.

I do know that medical advice in both places says stay isolated at home for 5 days after the start of symptoms and don’t clog up the medical system unless the symptoms are well beyond what I’m experiencing. In Alberta, PCR tests are not available unless you are deemed to be severely sick. I’m assuming the situation is similar here in Arizona too.

What isn’t the same in the states we traveled through to get here, is mandates. In Canada, we have been ‘mandated’ up to our eyeballs. Today, if The Car Guy or I wanted to get back into Canada, our vaccine status alone would not be good enough; nor would a promise that we would drive immediately to our home and quarantine for 2 weeks. No, we would also have to have proof of a negative molecular test OR we will be fined $5000 per person. (When we crossed into the USA from Canada we didn’t have to provide any proof of even having been vaccinated. The restaurants and motels we used did not have mask mandates, though some had mask recommendations that few people were following.)

To put this difference between Canada and the United States into perspective (recognizing there are state/provincial/municipal differences), I’d like to start with  a section of a post from Mike Rowe (Mike Rowe Works Foundation):

How much more mandating are we willing to endure to avoid a virus we’re all going to get?

…I’m worried that we’ve become irrationally averse to risk. I’m worried that mask mandates will lead to vaccine mandates, and vaccine mandates will lead to vaccine passports, and vaccine passports will lead to QR codes on our phones, which we’ll all need to present at every restaurant, every gym, every library, every theater… everywhere we go.

Yes, I’m also worried about overcrowded hospitals and stressed-out healthcare workers. And of course, I’m worried about those who won’t survive this thing. But I’m more worried about the path we’re headed down… and that path is paved with mandates.

In my province (as in most Canadian provinces) Mike Rowe’s fears have mostly all come to pass. We have to wear a mask to enter all public settings and workplaces. We need to show our vaccine passport (with a QR code) to enter restaurants, theatres, concerts, fitness facilities etc that want to operate at normal capacity. We can’t board a plane or train without our vaccine passport… and we can’t enter our own country without a vaccine passport…

“I’m worried that we’ve become irrationally averse to risk. – Mike Rowe. Graphic Source: https://xkcd.com/

On a safety spectrum, I’d say much of Canada is highly Safety first. Some parts of the USA – maybe not so much. Which makes it kind of funny that the
Canada Travel Advisory is to Avoid Non-Essential Travel to the United States; the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory: Canada – Level 4: Do Not Travel Due to very high level of COVID-19…

My post on A Safety Third Philosophy in a Safety First World

Cold – When Centigrade and Fahrenheit are Equal

JUST HOW COLD IS IT?
Weather wise, it has been a cold Christmas/New Year here in Alberta. Temperatures have hovered in the sub -20C (-4F) range, but dipped to -40C (-40F) several nights. (Yes, at -40, the two temperature scales collide and agree that it is too cold to go anywhere, assuming your car will even start…)

There is nothing as bad as being alone and too cold.
You become totally ice-olated and cut off.
– Author Unknown –

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF SNOW PLOW SEASON
Twelve snowplows in Chatham-Kent (a Municipality in Ontario, Canada) are sporting new names, thanks to a naming contest:
Anita Shovel
Gordie Plow
Blizzard of Oz
Darth Blader
Pillsbury Plowboy
Sled Zepplin
Buzz Ice-Clear
Qunuk (Inuit word for snowflake)
Flurrious George
School’s Not Cancelled
Snobi One Kenobi
Sleetwood Mac

IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS
Yes, this is how we kept our feet dry inside our boots. Winter boots were often rubbery things that we pulled over our shoes, then buckled up. Spring, summer and fall boots were the same pull on rain boots that we buy today. All boots eventually leaked.  Hence the bread bags that we wore over our feet, inside our boots. (I think we used Sunbeam bread bags.)

Cold? Go Stand in the Corner. It’s 90 degrees.

DID YOU EVER WONDER

Why are there no dead penguins on the ice in the Antarctic? Where do they all go?
Well, Penguins are very ritualistic birds that live extremely ordered and complex lives.
If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, family members and their social circle will dig a hole in the ice with their little wings and beaks. When the hole is deep enough, they will roll the dead bird in to it, then fill the hole back up.
Then the penguins will gather in a circle around the icy grave and sing:
“Freeze a jolly good fellow.
Freeze a jolly good fellow.”
… you really didn’t believe that I know anything about penguins, did you?
– Author Unknown –

If you rarely drive on snow, just pretend you are taking your grandma to church. There’s a platter of biscuits and 2 gallons of sweet tea in glass jars in the back seat. She’s wearing a new dress and holding a crock pot full of gravy.
– Twitter advice from @Chadsu42 –

HAVE YOU HAD THE SNIFFLES YET?
Another kind of circulating cold is the OmiCold. Oh, I know that isn’t what this Covid Variant is being called yet, but when you have mild symptoms (cold, flu or even covid like) and your government tells you to just stay home (isolate) AND you are not mandated to get tested, then it seems like Omicron is being lumped in with its sibling cold coronaviruses – 229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1.

 

https://xkcd.com/

For up to date and non-scare mongering advice, I consult my Doctor and watch the videos posted by Dr. Zubin Damania. His Alt-Middle vision of health and communication is refreshing. His latest take on Omicron is Omicron and the Endemic Phase of Covid.

I did an analysis of Covid stats in my province: ‘Rona Virus – The Alberta Picture. Yes, Covid is ‘real’ – but we now know it targeted some groups much more severely than others.

RETURNING TO THE WEATHER
You can read more quotes about the weather at “Weather and Season Quotations”.

Spike and the Variants – Will Omicron be the New Lead Singer?

Spike and the Variants – a Zentangle by Margy

‘Spike and the Variants’ continue their highly successful world tour, though their lead singers continue to be ousted and replaced by members of the new generations. In Alberta, Alpha finally stepped back (for the good of the band) and let Delta lead the climb to the top of the charts for the second half of 2021. Today there are rumours that Omicron might push it aside, but time will tell whether the new upstart has what it takes to lead a new wave of ‘dispopularity’.

What Doesn’t Kill you… mutates and tries again…

… doesn’t this sound like elections too?

12th Blog Anniversary and 1000 Posts

Two milestones to celebrate – my 12th Blogging Anniversary and my 1000th post on this blog; (another 87 posts – the more serious and political ones – are at my alternate identity, Counter Current)!

Highlights (and a few low lights) of the past twelve years:

Morgan or Montana Moose – though Mandate Moose would have been a better name…

How many people can say they get frequent visits from the  Munching Moose Tree and Hedge Maintenance Service?
_____________________________

Three Great Horned Owlets

Our property was also home to a Great Horned Owl family that nested in a large spruce tree on the edge of our driveway.

I also did 138 Wild-life stories that document all the birds, bugs and animals I saw and 88 posts about Plants.
_____________________________

On the Humour front, I did 95 posts of funny Quotations and 1000 posts that had at least one moment of happiness embedded in the verbiage.
_____________________________

I’ve posted 45 Craft Projects.  The interior decor of the Red House reminds me of the front of the family fridge when there were school age kids in our house: a bunch of crafts that sometimes only a ‘mother’ can love…
_____________________________

“Into each life a little rain must fall.”

In 2012, The Car Guy was in a bad motorcycle accident. Man and bike both recovered, though the Harley looked like new after the restoration and The Car Guy  – not so much.
In 2013 there was a lot of rain. Our entire Cabin Community was destroyed. Though we weren’t able the save much from our cabin, the Car Guy did manage to salvage   our old lawnmower!
_____________________________

My review wouldn’t be complete without a mention of  Covid-19. I did about 40 posts about the virus, none of which went viral…

2, 4, 6, 8… Who Needs to Isolate?
My blogging life started in November 2009 during the peak of the second wave of the novel virus H1N1pdm09 pandemic. It was also known as the ‘Swine Flu’. The Cornell Daily Sun joked about the pig connection with the headline: ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It, And I Feel Swine…’

I’ve also lived through two other relatively serious pandemics – two Avian flus: the  Asian flu of 1957-1958  and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968-1970 . How did all three of these pandemics compare to Covid-19? No one will ever really know. Covid cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been tracked differently and the collateral damage from lock downs, reduction in non-covid medical treatment and school closures will be difficult to measure.

Is “Baby It’s Cold Outside” a Deeply Offensive Song about Climate Change Denialism?
My blogging ‘career’ also coincided with COP15 (Conference of the Parties) which was held in Copenhagen in late 2009. COP26 (the 2021 version) is in full swing in Glasgow.  21,000 delegates, 13,000 observers and 3,000 members of the media will talk about how to cut emissions… do they understand the irony?

I’ll end this retrospective with this:

My blog is a collection of answers people don’t want to hear to questions they didn’t ask.
― Sebastyne Young –

‘Rona Virus – It Feels Like the Movie ‘Groundhog Day’

Do you remember the movie ‘Groundhog Day’? Bill Murray portrays Phil Connors, a cynical television weatherman covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He becomes trapped in a time loop, forcing him to relive February 2nd repeatedly

Welcome to the ‘Groundhog Day’ Pandemic

Here in Alberta, we are in the fourth wave of ‘Spike and the Variants’. Like the previous three waves, it is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. For the past 18 months we have been subjected repeatedly to  ‘short sharp lockdowns’ that aren’t short. The difference with the fourth wave is that now we have enough vaccine for everyone – except not everyone has chosen to get jabbed and not everyone who got jabbed has the same immune response. Thankfully we haven’t been put into another ‘lockdown’ but we have been mandated back into masks, have restrictions for gatherings and need vaccine passports to enter some venues, etc, etc.

On the plus side, The Car Guy and I are surrounded by vaccinated family and friends whose risk tolerance is similar to ours. We live carefully, but a bit more liberally, than the more fearful do.

The ‘Groundhog Day’ Election

Canada’s Federal Election (#44) was held on September 20, 2021.  Prime Minister Trudeau called it mid way through his term. He hoped he would get a majority government.

The election cost the taxpayers $612 million (the most expensive election in Canadian history). What did we get for our money? Same old, same old. Justin Trudeau is once again the Prime Minister of a minority government  but with the new distinction of having the slimmest share of overall electoral support in Canadian history (32.6% of the popular vote.)  The voter turnout, at about 62% is one of the lowest since Canada’s first election in 1867 (maybe having an election during the fourth wave of the pandemic had something to do with that).

Journalist Tristin Hopper probably summed it up best:  at $36.02 per vote,  16,991,074 voters might as well have bought a  24-pack of Molson Canadian Beer instead.

Unlike this election result, at least the movie Groundhog Day was rewarding.
– Tasha Kheiriddin –


Fortunately, there is still a lighter side to the ‘Rona Virus:

Prime Minister ‘No Intention of Triggering an Election’ Calls an Election

May 2021: There Will Not be a Pandemic Election in Canada: A motion in the House of Commons was supported by all but one of Canada’s parliamentarians. It denounced a pandemic election and agreed that the government should prevent it from happening. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reinforced that the Liberal government had no intention of triggering an election before the pandemic is over.

June 2021: The moment Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cut his ‘quarantine curls’ and shaved his greying beard, some pundits speculated that he would call an election. Others said Trudeau would uphold the intent of the May motion and that he wouldn’t put the lives of Canadians in danger with an unnecessary pandemic election.

August 2021: There Will be a Pandemic Election: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a snap election for September 20 in the midst of what Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says is a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, now being driven by the Delta variant.

Are you a politician or does lying just run in your family?
– Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe –

Why would Trudeau call an election? He wants more power. Justin’s Liberals won only a minority government in October 2019. Though they have been supported  by the other left of centre parties (which has allowed them to govern as though they have a majority) he wants a Liberal majority government. The health cost to those who will be involved in this campaign, and the financial cost to the taxpayers, apparently isn’t a concern to him.

Trudeau says “Canadians need to choose how we finish the fight against COVID-19.” The election comes as Canada is experiencing a new wave of COVID-19 cases, driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus. Trudeau called it “the fourth wave amongst unvaccinated people.”
– ROB GILLIES, Associated Press –