economics, ethics, GOP USA

On the U.S. / Canada border

I’m with the vast majority of Canadians who want to keep the border closed as of October 2020.

The USA has had about 663 deaths / million so far. And is getting worse.

Canada about 263 deaths / million. And getting worse at this moment in time. Not good, but a LOT better than the States.

I don’t want to get the virus. I want to be one of the 20-40% who never get it once herd immunity is reached.

Though Trump totally bungled the U.S. response, almost 43% of Americans still support him.

They are the same ones who told me COVID-19 is less deadly than the common flu. They believed FOX and Trump.

They are the same ones who told me hydroxychloroquine was a ‘cure’. Not even Trump took it when he got sick.

I don’t want that 43% of Americans anywhere near me or my family.

I’m willing to suffer the economic and personal consequences.

Some families are now separated by the border. Canadians can still fly to the States, so it’s possible for them to get together — but that doesn’t work for those who can’t fly.

I might reconsider under a Biden Presidency. But it’s unlikely. Covid denying Americans will be even more agitated.

This morning I spoke with a Canadian who somehow just drove back from California. There are exceptions to the border crossing rule.

Here’s the sign she had to put on her window.

ethics, GOP USA, government, things getting worse

Is the USA still a democracy?

For me a authoritarian regime (dictatorship) is a place where the leader can order opponents murdered, without consequences. Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2020, for example.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) scores countries on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture.

Nations are then classified under four types of governments: full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime and authoritarian regime.

Under Trump the USA became a flawed democracy.

Obviously, the main goal of the GOP under this egocentric toddler is to make the rich richer. Which they’ve done.

Nations still ranking high as democracies include Norway, Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand and Denmark. Canada and Ireland are up there, as well.

Recently a Republican Senator claimed that “democracy isn’t the objective” any longer. Knowing that his Party was likely to lose the 2020 election, it’s part of the GOP plan to contest the results.

That Senator was bored, at home, COVID-19 positive at the time. #loser

I want people to be able to easily un-elect bad leaders. To have more influence in governance, even when they get it wrong. When wrong, they should be able to later easily change again.

The best coverage of this issue I’ve found is from my favourite podcast.

Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are On the Media

Communicable disease has haunted humanity for all of history. As such, the responses to coronavirus in our midst have a grimly timeless quality. In fact, to one scholar, epidemics are a great lens for peering into the values, temperament, infrastructures and moral structures of the societies they attack. Frank M. Snowden is a professor emeritus of the history of medicine at Yale and author of Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present. An epidemic, he writes, “holds a mirror” to the civilization in which it occurs. In this podcast extra, he speaks to Bob about what we can learn about ourselves from the infectious diseases we've faced, from the bubonic plague in the 14th century to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 to COVID-19 today. This interview originally aired as a segment in our March 6, 2020 program, Our Bodies, Ourselves.
  1. Epidemics Show Societies Who They Really Are
  2. EXTENDED VERSION The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon
  3. Believe It Or Not
  4. Rewatching "Contagion" in a Pandemic
  5. Another World Entirely

ethics, GOP USA, government, music

Natalie Maines, Martie Erwin Maguire & Emily Strayer

#respect for the Dixie Chicks

The Chicks (previously known as the Dixie Chicks)  … have won 13 Grammy Awards.

Remember this from 2003?

Anti-war band the Dixie Chicks have hit back at their critics – by posing naked on the front of a leading showbiz magazine.

The Grammy-winning band suffered a massive backlash in America after they said they were “ashamed” President George Bush was from their home state of Texas.

 

ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights, things getting worse

If you support Trump, never speak to me again.

When you challenge a Trump supporter to defend the toddler’s latest indefensible lie, crime or moral outrage, they very often deflect by calling for “civility”. Let’s look for common ground.

That’s bullshit, of course.   I ask that they instead unfriend me instantly.

So far as I’m concerned you’ll burn in the same Hell as this anti-Christ.

The Ugly American

 

Forgive? Sounds good
Forget? I’m not sure I could

I’m not ready to make nice
I’m not ready to back down
I’m still mad as hell and
I don’t have time to go ’round and ’round and ’round …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights

“All Lives Matter” is denial of systematic racism

When your All-Lives-Matter friend has a birthday, be sure to message:

“All Birthdays Matter”. 😀

According to professor of critical race theory, David Theo Goldberg, “All Lives Matter” reflects a view of “racial dismissal, ignoring, and denial”.

Philosopher Chris Lebron describes “All Lives Matter” as a “disingenuous retort” that misunderstands the problem raised by Black Lives Matter proponents.

On Real Time with Bill MaherBill Maher expressed support for use of the “Black Lives Matter” phrase, stating that “‘All Lives Matter’ implies that all lives are equally at risk, and they’re not”. …


ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights

Comedy and White Privilege

A one woman investigation into her White Privilege.

On Netflix.

Best part is when she went to meet her High School boyfriend. He had been in prison for 14 years.  Out and clean for 3 years.

“Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea” follows comedian Chelsea Handler as she confronts and explores her personal and cultural impacts around white privilege.

Handler travels around the country speaking with a wide range of people on the topic of race including fellow comedians Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, and W. Kamau Bell, anti-racism writer and activist Tim Wise, a Republican women’s group in Orange County, CA, college students at an open mic night, and her former high school boyfriend in New Jersey.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

education, ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights

ABOUT those pro-life hypocrites …

I can see the argument for being pro-life.

Nobody wants abortions.

But if you are pro-life you must also have a consistent life ethic:

… an ideology that opposes abortioncapital punishmentassisted suicide, and euthanasia.

Adherents are opposed, at the very least, to unjust war, while some adherents also profess pacifism, or opposition to all war.

The term was popularized in 1983 by the Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin to express an ideology based on the premise that all human life is sacred and should be protected by law. … 

In the States, many who claim to be pro-life also support the death penalty, support the right of untrained neighbours to own weapons of war.

They support wasting any amount of money on the military while denying basic health care and education to the young women who might consider having an abortion.

They are pro-birth, not pro-life.  Once the baby is born they no longer care what happens to the child.

books, ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights, movies

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt is a 2020 novel by American author Jeanine Cummins, about the ordeal of a Mexican woman who had to leave behind her life and escape as an undocumented immigrant to the United States with her son.

Lydia and her eight-year-old son Luca are the only survivors of the backyard barbecue massacre of her family by a drug cartel.

Her husband had been a journalist who was reporting the crimes.

Mother and son become two of the countless undocumented immigrants from Latin America who undertake the dangerous journey to the United States.

American Dirt debuted on New York Times best sellers list as the #1 on the list for the week of February 9, 2020.

The novel has been optioned for a film adaptation.

Oprah loved the book.  I’d agree.

But many, especially Mexican writers, accused the author (American, born in Spain) of exploitation and inaccuracy in her portrayals of both Mexico and the migrant experience.  A planned book tour was cancelled.

Personally, the book was insightful for me.  It’s the closest I’ve ever come to appreciating the experience of a migrant trying to cross the Mexican border illegally.

It’s fiction.  Not reality.  I understand that.

Amazon

 

 

 

bad news, economics, education, ethics, GOP USA, government, human rights, things getting worse

Rise and Fall of the American Empire – Wade Davis

UPDATE – Deanna Kreisel posted a rebuttal to the Wade Davis article:

The Unraveling of “The Unraveling of America”

Wade Davis is a Colombian / Canadian professor of anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia.

One brilliant man.

A recent article of his in Rolling Stone sums up how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era.

In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism. …

No empire long endures, even if few anticipate their demise …

In 1940, with Europe already ablaze, the United States had a smaller army than either Portugal or Bulgaria. Within four years, 18 million men and women would serve in uniform, with millions more working double shifts in mines and factories that made America, as President Roosevelt promised, the arsenal of democracy.

When the Japanese within six weeks of Pearl Harbor took control of 90 percent of the world’s rubber supply, the U.S. dropped the speed limit to 35 mph to protect tires, and then, in three years, invented from scratch a synthetic-rubber industry that allowed Allied armies to roll over the Nazis. At its peak, Henry Ford’s Willow Run Plant produced a B-24 Liberator every two hours, around the clock. Shipyards in Long Beach and Sausalito spat out Liberty ships at a rate of two a day for four years; the record was a ship built in four days, 15 hours and 29 minutes. A single American factory, Chrysler’s Detroit Arsenal, built more tanks than the whole of the Third Reich. 

In the wake of the war, with Europe and Japan in ashes, the United States with but 6 percent of the world’s population accounted for half of the global economy, including the production of 93 percent of all automobiles. … 

COVID-19 didn’t lay America low; it simply revealed what had long been forsaken.

As the crisis unfolded, with another American dying every minute of every day, a country that once turned out fighter planes by the hour could not manage to produce the paper masks or cotton swabs essential for tracking the disease. The nation that defeated smallpox and polio, and led the world for generations in medical innovation and discovery, was reduced to a laughing stock as a buffoon of a president advocated the use of household disinfectants as a treatment for a disease that intellectually he could not begin to understand.

… With less than four percent of the global population, the U.S. soon accounted for more than a fifth of COVID deaths. … 

Odious as he may be, Trump is less the cause of America’s decline than a product of its descent. As they stare into the mirror and perceive only the myth of their exceptionalism, Americans remain almost bizarrely incapable of seeing what has actually become of their country.  …

The Unraveling of America

 

If Trump were gone tomorrow, the USA is still screwed because of FOX News and right wing media. And the GOP.

If a vaccine were available tomorrow, half of Americans would refuse to take it.

Wade Davis:

… even should Trump be resoundingly defeated, it’s not at all clear that such a profoundly polarized nation will be able to find a way forward. For better or for worse, America has had its time. …

BAYONNE, NJ – MAY 3: A wind blown American flag at the Tear Drop 9/11 Memorial flies over the skyline of New York City as the sun sets on May 3, 2020 in Bayonne, New Jersey. (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)