ethics, government, human rights

A Fantastic Political Ad

Republican politicians in the States have found that making extreme statements somehow motivates deplorable voters to show up on Election Day.

Democrats are typically more restrained in their ads. Those are often boring.

Here’s Charles Graham who’s running for Congress. I feel like moving to North Carolina so I could vote for him. #inspiring

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

economics, government, health & fitness, things getting better

Who invented the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine?

Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, a married couple, are both now billionaires. 

Financial Times People of the Year for 2020.

In 2008 Özlem co-founded the biotechnology company BioNTech, which in 2020 developed the first messenger RNA-based vaccine approved for use against COVID-19.

How many lives have been saved by their vaccine? 

How much illness reduced?

They first heard of Covid on January 8th, 2020. And instantly switched from the Cancer therapy they had been researching for two decades — to Covid. 

By March 2020, they had five vaccine candidates ready to test in humans, and by November 2020, results indicated that the vaccine was more than 90% effective.

mRNA could be used for future vaccines even more quickly next time. BUT we should build manufacturing capacity NOW to be ready for the next one. 

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube

ethics, government, health & fitness

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack?

Until about age-30, I assumed I’d die from nuclear radiation.

Now age-63, I’m still surprised each morning to be enjoying life.

A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) weapon is designed to be detonated far above the Earth’s surface.

The explosion releases a blast of gamma rays into the mid-stratosphere, which ionizes as a secondary effect and the resultant energetic free electrons interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to produce a much stronger EMP than is normally produced in the denser air at lower altitudes.

Just one such weapon could kill everything electronic for months or years.

COULD YOU SURVIVE IN A TENT WITHOUT POWER? FEED YOURSELF FROM THE LAND?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

economics, ethics, government

Should BILLIONAIRE$ pay less tax than YOU?

Someone in the American IRS leaked to Propublica:

  • Warren Buffett ~ 0.10% true tax rate
  • Jeff Bezos ~ 0.98% true tax rate
  • Michael Bloomberg ~ 01.30% true tax rate
  • Elon Musk ~ 3.27% true tax rate

What’s your true tax rate?

American politicians write complicated tax laws which result in loopholes used by the richest donors.

BUT — can it be fixed?

The best summary of the issue I’ve seen is the second podcast in this list.

Qaddafi's Son is Alive, and He Wants to Take Back Libya The Daily

Before the Arab Spring, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, the second son of the Libyan dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, was establishing himself as a serious figure internationally. Then, the Arab Spring came to Libya.His father and brothers were killed and Seif himself was captured by rebels and taken to the western mountains of Libya.For years, rumors have surrounded the fate of Seif. Now he has re-emerged, touting political ambitions, but where has he been and what has he learned?Guest: Robert F. Worth, a contributor to The New York Times Magazine. Love listening to New York Times podcasts? Help us test a new audio product in beta and give us your thoughts to shape what it becomes. Visit nytimes.com/audio to join the beta.Sign up here to get The Daily in your inbox each morning. And for an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. Background reading: In his first meeting with a foreign journalist in a decade, Seif al-Islam Qaddafi described his years in captivity — and hinted at a bid for Libya’s presidency.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 
  1. Qaddafi's Son is Alive, and He Wants to Take Back Libya
  2. A Showdown in Chicago
  3. How a Single Senator Derailed Biden’s Climate Plan
  4. The Life and Career of Colin Powell
  5. Why Are All Eyes on the Virginia Governor’s Race?
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”. 😀

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder by a white cop. 

I’m hopeful things have change for the better.  

BLM haters have been more muted since their racist President departed for the golf courses full-time. 

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”. …


government, TV

Borgen – Season 1 (2010)

Lists of BEST NATIONS typically include Denmark close to the top.

But their government seems as chaotic as any.

Borgen is a Danish political drama television series. 

In DanishBorgen, lit. ’The Castle’, is the informal name of Christiansborg Palace where all three branches of Danish government reside: the Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Supreme Court, and is often used as a figure of speech for the Danish government. …

… against all the odds, Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (Sidse Babett Knudsen)—a minor centrist politician—becomes the first female prime minister of Denmark. …

On Netflix the English voice over and captions are hilariously bad. BUT I did enjoy the characters and story lines. It gets great reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

Newsweek called Borgen “the best TV show you have never seen”.

NY Times:  “bleaker, Nordic version of The West Wing

A U.S. remake of the series is planned.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

cycling, ethics, government, health & fitness, hiking, travel

I’m fully vaccinated

😀 Send me ALL the vaccine passports.

I got dose #1 of “Covishield”, the Indian version of Oxford–AstraZeneca, March 18th. NO — I’m not worried about blood clots.

I was in the first 7.76% of Canadians to get jabbed.

When Alberta started allowing the second dose of AstraZeneca after only 4 weeks, I signed up. Got jab #2 on April 16th.

Sounds like Vaccine Passports are a terrible idea.

But it’s inevitable that something like this will become required for international travel for many months. Or years.

books, ethics, government, human rights, TV

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Faceless Killers is a 1991 crime novel by the Swedish writer Henning Mankell, and the first in his acclaimed Wallander series.

Happily, the audio book is read by one of my favourites — Dick Hill — of the excellent Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch series. Hill has 542 audio books, last time I checked.

Inspector Kurt Wallander is called out to a seemingly senseless and brutal murder on a Swedish farm.

Wallander is forty-two-years-old. His wife left him unexpectedly 3 months earlier. He’s constantly worried about his estranged daughter. And unsure whether his own elderly father can continue living alone out on another farm.

Also, he’s gaining weight.

Uncoordinated. Accident prone.

Near broke.

Troubled, to say the least.

Author Henning Mankell was a left-wing social critic and activist. 

But the themes of the book include Sweden’s liberal attitude regarding immigrationracism and national identity. The character Wallander is conflicted.

Kenneth Branagh is one of the actors who’s played Wallander in adaptations.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.