Sunday, November 08, 2009
5 months after blogging about the then new swine flu issue I came down with a pretty strong bout of sickness myself. For the better part of a week I slugged around our suite - feeling like a zombie and cursing all those who had breathed on me recently. I never saw a doctor and don't know if it was swine flu, but I had certainly not been that ill since my sister and I had the chicken pox in elementary school.
Currently, Canada has ordered a dose of H1N1 vaccination for every citizen, but delivery has been slow and problematic - doses are late getting to doctors and clinics, and que-jumpers are sneaking past children to get it (ie. Calgary Flames players). Most people won't get it before the flu peaks, and it will probably effect the upcoming Olympics as well.
A few co-workers have become sick as well as several people I know, but an actual diagnosis is rarely given, or needed and life goes on.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
'In politics, a an organized minority is a political majority' - Rev. J. Jackson
The Governor General didn't do democracy any favors when she ruled to prorogue parliament a few weeks ago. Not that we should've expected anything different from the PM-appointed Queen's representative; we don't exactly have a ideal democratic process for picking our absolute head of state. I'm no expert at Parliamentary procedure, but it just strikes me a problematic that a minority-elected PM can suspend Parliament at his own discretion, and yet continue to govern unchecked during the suspension - in this case probably 7 or 8 weeks. Things are happening quickly in these 'uncertain times', but now we've lost one of the few tools we have to put politicians under the micro-scope during them, the parliamentary Question period. Since the GG granted Harper his request (to essentially avoid an imminent opposition-coordinated non-confidence vote) he has continued to make critical decisions to the welfare of the country - offering a multi-billion dollar bailout to Detroit automakers, and then appointing several new Senators - that are now outside the scope of formal questioning. Does anyone else see this as an issue? Isn't this what more despotic regimes tend to do - quash public questioning of government? Actually - I seem to recall that there have been more than a few English monarchs that have similiar issues in the past, so maybe we shouldn't be surprised at what has now transpired here in the colonies. Historically however, such acts by monarchs would be met with riots in the street and peasants with pitchforks, but here and now we're happy to be left alone by the politicians while we rush around finishing our gift and liquor buying for the holidays.
Monday, December 01, 2008
What would life be without an employer for a paycheque, without a landlord or bank for shelter, without a truck from Ontario for food, without electronic pulses for entertainment? I can't say for certian that I would, over time, be worse without them. But maybe just a few short years ago we wouldn't have bothered asking this, but maybe this year we do. And maybe next year we ask further, 'what would we have to do if we were to meet all our own needs?'. Maybe the year after we learn to do those things. The future is uncertain, but maybe our choices need not be.
In any event - shop 'til you drop!
(next year in Jerusalem!)
By now I'm sure everyone's heard about the results of our neighbour's elections, and I'm not referring to old Mrs. Finlay being elected to the diocese CWL as sec-treasurer (although I think here position on mark-to-market accounting will give the incumbent a run for her money). Just a few notes then on the US election where Democratic candidate Obama easily defeated Republican John Mcain to become the 44th US president, and more notably the first African-Amercian president.
That Obama, a relatively young Illinois senator (but of course a fossilized troglodyte is young compared to Mcain) with a background in community development and constitutional law, literally demolished his opponent at the polls (winning several key Republican strongholds, and the overall popular vote) running on a change platform is not surprising, given that his country has been - how we say in Canada - run up a shit creek without a paddle, for a number of years. Watching the events unfold on our cathode ray tube TV on election night was great fun; it played out like a Oscar aiming Hollywood flick scripted for Denzel Washington, but without the required clan lynching scene. The surprising piece was the just how fervently his supporters/fans/groupies embraced the change - mucho!; how high expectations are of change - grande!; and what kinds of change are anticipated - everything!. I can see why he ran on that plaform - of course it was going to be a hit with voters, and he may even believe that change is needed in some areas and that he can actually deliver said changes, but he's still a politician. Look at who he's tapped for cabinet positions - a re-hashing of former Clinton and Bush regime power players; not exactly the band of outsiders storming the bastions of the capital. I'm afraid that there's going to be a collective let down next spring when people realize that he cannot deliver on any major changes in Amercian socio-economic life. And what happens afterwards? When Amercians realize they have created, or consented to the creation of a state, that cannot follow the will of the people? That the tools to care for "we the people" have been wrested from them by greedy princes of consumption-based capitalism and the military-industrial complex and their elected hangers-on. Or what happens if they don't realize this?