Norway – the most successful nation 2022

I’m in Tromsø, Norway as I post.

Most oil rich small nations suffer from severe economic and social issues — but not Norway (5.5 million).

Norway kept control of natural resources in Norway. In 1990 they created the Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund – today worth about $1.2 trillion.

By comparison, the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund where I live is worth only about $18.9 billion. Norway did it right. Alberta did it badly. The 2015 Fraser Institute report titled Fumbling the Alberta Advantage details the bungling.

Norwegians pay some of the highest taxes in the world — but enjoy some of the best health care, education and infrastructure. Small towns well above the Arctic Circle enjoy a good quality of life.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Airlines NOT Paying Compensation

DON’T ASSUME AIRLINES WILL PAY YOU THEIR LEGALLY OBLIGATED COMPENSATION.

Summer 2022, their lawyers are doing everything possible to avoid payouts.

As I feared, Westjet airlines will not compensate me for being stranded at an airport overnight.

They are pretending there was a delay at my international connection in Toronto — my Westjet flight from Europe landed on time and I planned a long layover just-in-case.

My Toronto flight departed 80 minutes late causing me to miss a connection by about 10 minutes.

The problem had nothing to do with my international connection.

My cost was only about $100 and time — so I don’t think I’ll take Westjet to small claims court this time. But if I did, I’m sure I’d win.

Staying NEUTRAL is Supporting the Oppressor

In Coach Education we have a concept called ETHICAL ACTION.

If you see something you think is wrong, take action.

Record what you saw in a diary. Keep records.

Videotape what you saw.

Notify authorities in a respectful, diplomatic way.

Ideally you ask the (possible) offender: Why are you doing that? I don’t understand.”

People wonder why I’m so vocal about the high crimes of Donald Trump.

Ethical action. That’s why.

Trump inspired smarter people in Florida to enact a law called Don’t Say Gay. That’s like passing a law called Don’t Say Black. Don’t Say Latino.

We should take ethical action against people who discriminate when their Constitution clearly states that ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL.

Support the lesser of two evils if both sides are bad.

Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor. Initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler and a self-identified antisemite. Later best known for his opposition to the Nazi regime during the late 1930s and for his widely quoted 1946 poem:

“First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Listen to Elon

I’m often critical of Elon Musk. Turned off by his egomania.

Disappointed in his juvenile comments from the bully pulpit of Twitter. One of the richest and most powerful men in the world attacking and mocking people who are unable to fight back.

I’m disappointed that a guy who claims he doesn’t care about money is so reluctant to pay more in taxes though his businesses have received billions of dollars in tax subsidies.

That said, I admire almost everything else. His work ethic. His companies, especially Boring and Starlink.

Elon Musk does much more good for the world than bad. He’s scientific and well aware of the risks of climate change. He calls for a carbon tax. Musk endorsed Andrew Yang and expressed support for his proposed universal basic income.

Though the headlines shout that Elon is a “free speech absolutist”, Musk himself says Twitter must abide by the laws of each nation. I doubt much will change in terms of Twitter policy in Canada or the USA.

In fact, I’m guessing Twitter will be better for me with Musk as owner.

Warren had me watch this recent interview. Elon defends his life and ethics quite well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

NO WARS – And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda is the best anti-war song I know. Pete Seeger called it “one of the world’s greatest songs.”

Remind yourself that old men of privilege and power like Putin send young men to needless deaths.

Click PLAY or watch the Pogue’s version on YouTube.

It was written by Scottish-Australian Eric Bogle in 1969.

Bombshell (2019 film)

Great cast. Not much a film, however.

Too preachy. And I felt they tried to include too much. Fewer story lines would have made it better.

 Charlize TheronNicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie star in this film based on the accounts of the women at Fox News who set out to expose CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. …

After co-moderating the 2016 Republican debateMegyn Kelly faces numerous insults from Donald Trump, who is upset because she asked him about his offensive comments toward women. …

Fox eventually paid the victims of sexual harassment $50 million, while paying Ailes and O’Reilly $65 million in severance.

wikipedia

Roger Ailes died age-77 in 2017.

Rupert Murdoch hired him in 1996 to become the CEO of Fox News. In 2016 Ailes was fired, taking a $65 million golden handshake. He was under investigation for sexual harassment from Megyn Kelly and many other women.

Other FOX old men accused of harassing blonde women included:

Fox Sports President Jamie Horowitz
Fox Business Host Charles Payne
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly
Fox News Latino vice president Francisco Cortes
Fox News co-President Jack Abernethy

It was the culture of FOX. Hopefully things are better now.

Personally I wish some billionaire would buy FOX News and fire most of the opinion talking heads.

Never by Ken Follett

As a teenager I loved Follett’s World War II thriller, “Eye of the Needle” (1974).

Follett got even more famous writing historical fiction: Kingsbridge Series ➙ Century Trilogy.

In 2021 he published a geopolitical thriller — Never. Quite a departure.

Never is set in today’s world.

The sprawling saga is a fictionalized story of our world stumbling towards a nuclear war that nobody wants.

It begins in the Sahara Desert. Islamic terrorists, drugs and human trafficking.

The American President Pauline Green is a 4′ 11″ Republican. A former gymnast. Of course she’s challenged on the right by a Trumpy populist. Top of the American agenda is a revolt in North Korea. Rebel military have seized the nuclear weapons.

A high-ranking Chinese Intelligence official offers insight into the mindset of that superpower.

This book is terrifying as you can see how a nuclear war could start. In fact, I’m affected enough to no longer want to travel to Taiwan or Korea for hiking. They are both too close to nuclear attack.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As always, Follett writes great love stories. It’s the human stories that separate his work from other authors.

Click PLAY or watch an interview on YouTube.

Another book with a similar plot is 2034: A Novel of the Next World War (2021).

Martin Luther King Jr in 2022

Would King be happy with what’s happening in the USA?

The murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin has led to some improvements. Here’s what’s WORKING.

The phrase “defund the police” was always stupid. It should have been “reform the police“. Reallocate funding.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

WOW – Don’t Look Up

I rejoined Netflix mainly to watch Don’t Look Up.

Brilliant.

Be sure to watch the credits. There are 3 endings.

Satire that reminded me of both Swift’s A Modest Proposal and Wag the Dog.

Something between a star-studded Hollywood blockbuster and an amateur YouTube documentary. Very original editing.

You’ve never seen DiCaprio like this. He had a lot of input on the script.

The cast is great. Best is Jonah Hill who plays a Don Jr. idiot appointed by his mother as the insanely unqualified  Chief of Staff.

The Republican tribe is urged to NOT LOOK UP at the planet busting comet. And deny what they can see with their own eyes. 😀 It parallels the American idiocracy of covid denial, for example. Apathy, incompetence and self-interest.

Denial of science.

It’s certain ReTrumplicans will hate this film.

This movie came from my burgeoning terror about the climate crisis and the fact that we live in a society that tends to place it as the fourth or fifth news story, or in some cases even deny that it’s happening, and how horrifying that is, but at the same time preposterously funny.[10]— Adam McKay, writer, director, and producer of Don’t Look Up