05.06.2021 04:41 PM

Something I think about a lot these days

21 Comments

  1. irreversable road map to freedom says:

    I blame the voters. They were adequately informed that Ford and Trudeau were wildly incompetent and unprepared to do their jobs even in the best of times. If voters want leaders they can take seriously, they can pay better attention.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      IRMTF,

      Well, if Trudeau and Ford are wildly incompetent, what does that make Trump? Maybe the negative adjective required to properly categorize him just doesn’t exist — yet. At least on his best day, Trump definitely deserves the entirely accurate assessment as an unyielding POS.

  2. Peter Williams says:

    Why has trust in government communications eroded?

    1. Early on the experts and politicians lied. Remember Team Trudeau saying COVID does not present a serious risk to Canadians? Travel bans were racist? Masks don’t work?

    2. Politicians and medical experts have not explained the rationale for keeping big box stores open while shutting down small stores.

    3. When talking about shut downs, the expression “only two weeks to flatten the curve” did not make sense.

    4. The expression “We’re all in this together” does not make sense for those who are out of work.

    5. Politicians giving themselves raises during the pandemic: Justin Trudeau for example “We’re all in this together, but I got a nice raise.”

    6. Politicians diverting money to pork projects during the pandemic. Nancy Pelosi comes to mind.

    7. Justin Trudeau making endless vaccine procurement announcements (remember I’ve secured 400 million doses?) and then failing to deliver vaccines in a timely manner.

    8. Justin Trudeau initially putting all his vaccine hopes with China. And then delaying telling people the deal fell flat.

    9. Politicians of all stripes playing games. For example; paid sick leave.

    10. Justin Trudeau shutting down Parliament, when most other democracies/legislators found ways to keep going.

    I suspect others can add to the list.

    • Andy Kaut says:

      These are dancing references to symptoms. The symptoms are the mistrust on the public’s part, and the sheer insanity from the ruling class. And though we’ve never talked about politicos in terms of class in Canada, it’s time we did. Because we’re on the receiving end of the largest example of government overreach in Canadian history.

      When Trudeau Sr. militarized the streets of Montreal, he did so to save the lives of politicians that were going missing at the hands of a terrorist organization. These people were up to no good, no matter whose friends they were.

      Trudeau Jr. restricted the movements of the entire nation while heading to the cottage for the weekend. He has repeatedly shown incompetence, as has every politician at every level of government, for the last 15 months. Symptoms, all.

      The disease is that we thought that politicians, doctors, vaccines or masks could cure Death. We’ve raged against the dying of the Light, yes, as we should have. But in that we’ve forgotten that some risk is acceptable when we get in the shower in the morning, and yet we’ve taken greater risks daily by declaring some folks’ livings (and therefore some folks’ beings) as non-essential.

      The disease is that we’ve believed the lie that is public health- there is no better way to stop people from dying but to keep people from living in the first place. We are in the midst of a mental health crisis across the nation. We are in the midst of an opioid crisis across the nation. We are in the midst of an economic melt-down. And the lie is that government, which has been the cause of all three of the above states, also holds the solution.

      We’ve long trusted government to solve all our problems, that was the deal. We put them in charge, and they figure it out and get back to us.

      Only now, a minority of a minority puts them in charge. And they’re the least effective, least useful members of the herd. Those who can’t live, lead. Until we stop being so fucking lazy and start being the change we want, ain’t nobody gonna do it for us. Because if we abdicate that responsibility (to our fellow man and his safety, economy and health!), government isn’t the best equipped to solve it.

      In fact, the more power we give them, the more time they take off, the more businesses they close, and the more tickets they write to pastors who are trying to, amongst other things, offer the hope that these assholes have shorted us of. When is it enough that we can leave off hoping things will get better and make them better?

      Oh- and in the meantime, Trudeau gets away with important scandals. Sexual harassment and assault at the highest levels of our military. Bribes to media outlets he wants to survive. No-bid contracts awarded to his pretty friends.

      You ask why we aren’t trusting politicians any more. Why the fuck would we have ever trusted them in the first place?

  3. To quote John Kenneth Galbraith, “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” Canadians have been severely let down. We needed the kind of leadership that countries like Australia and New Zealand had (and still have). Tell the bellyachers to shut up, make the tough but informed calls, and stick with the plan. It seems no-one, including members of the public service, were willing to address the issue of the pandemic the way it needed to be addressed. All of the scientific evidence was there; what we needed was leadership to do the right thing.

  4. Peter says:

    It’s a consequence of the concentration of government power in the PM and the huge expansion of the PMO. Also the transformation of everyday jobs and responsibilities into discrete “specialties” that demand training and credentials. Work expands to fill the time allotted to it, but also to the number of people hired to perform it. And it’s not just government or any particular government. We live in a world of spin. The mere fact that your tweet references “communication” as if it were a discrete subject or vocation points to the source of the problem. I like people to communicate with me through intelligent fact-based information and discussion, but nobody seems to want to do that, or appear capable of it.

    My bank regularly sends me e-mails that suggest strongly that their quest for profits pales beside their deep concern for my financial health–every one of them. Most of the media has pretty much abandoned any pretensions to objectivity and are hellbent on delivering polemics to me 24/7 rather than information. Modern robber barons like Zuckerberg embrace t-shirts and woke causes to deflect criticism of their predatory behaviours and tax avoidance/evasion efforts. I grew up expecting this from somebody trying to sell me a car or soap, but now I experience it from any institution I deal with, and with pretty much every politician out there.

    As a Boomer, I like to think I have the education and experience to see through the drivel and retain a semblance of critical judgement. I would like to think millennials can too, but I’m not sure. It’s all they’ve ever known, no?

  5. A. Voter says:

    What’s going to happen when Canadians realize how screwed up our vaccine program is? The second shot is need 21 days after the first. Five European countries have found high risk groups-cancer patients, the elderly, people with serous health conditions-need the second shot at 21 days. Study groups in Qatar have found protection plunges 21 days after the first shot. The head of one of the vaccine companies has said Canada is practicing “bad science” with its vaccine program. Diane Francis is writing about this in the Financial Post.

  6. Brine says:

    I agree Warren, and would go further:

    The pandemic has caused a total collapse in citizens’ trust in the media, who have degenerated into shameless propagandists.

  7. The Doctor says:

    It’s also partly because a pandemic is not a perfect analogy or comparison to a war. The big problem with a pandemic, that a war doesn’t have, is the uncertainty of science. There is this slice of the population that (quite unreasonably in my view) expects science to be perfect and operates on the utterly ridiculous assumption that all things that can be known are known to science. Of course if you put that directly to these people they would deny it, but it’s the way these people roll.

    Thus when the early views from our scientific experts came out stressing fomics/surface transmission and that turned out to be not-so-correct (because it turned out that airborne transmission was the real, bigger threat), a lot of these people concluded that the experts are all a bunch of fuckups etc. That’s not the way science works. Science is a process. And humans are fallible. A lot of people have unrealistic expectations of science and can’t accept this.

    I’m not exonerating everyone on this count, I’m just saying we need to chill a bit and pare back some of our unrealistic expectations about what science and scientific experts can do and can know. They’re not omniscient and we shouldn’t expect them to be.

    • Peter says:

      Well said, Doc. The experts did not start with anything like perfect knowledge at the beginning about what were were facing and how to face it. But the early missteps were mercilessly short and, despite maddening inconsistencies and stop-and-starts about some of the details, they have proven to have got the basics right. Is there any reasonable person who would disagree today that strict isolation, distancing , masks and especially vaccines are the way to go? The only major unsettled question seems to be the fastest way to herd immunity, but dissenters on that one seem to be prepared to spend some lives to save others, which is not an option I would countenance at this point. I’m critical of so-celled scientific consensus’s and the hubris of scientists on some issues, but not this one, and I try not to fall into the trap of thinking my skepticism entitles me to decide on my own what the real story is. Still less to act unilaterally on it in the name of ‘freedom” or some other convenient abstract. We have been, and are being, well-served. but they are scientists, not gods.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Medical practitioners and scientists have to ask themselves across the globe whether preventing panic by withholding basic facts is the way to go or concealing them to avert a hot war is worth it, period. Of course, COVID-19 originated in nature and of course, it was quite deliberately modified genetically for future military purposes generally and a specific conquest context specifically. End of story. No doubt this virus was genetically re-engineered hundreds to thousands of times, thereby providing for unforeseen mutation rates both in frequency and negative effect. We are only now moving into an environment where the semi-consistent morbidity rates will ultimately skyrocket due to advanced mutations. People need to get it in their heads that vaccines in the current environment are crucial but will lose effectiveness as new mutations develop that are quite deliberately designed to kill in mass numbers. Brazil and India are but a preview of the coming show. And the final shoe to drop with be the eventual ineffectiveness of herd immunity: any military scientist worth his or her salt will have genetically manipulated variants to overcome the effectiveness of traditional herd immunity. Meanwhile, the world sleeps not so soundly as the politicians withhold actual pandemic origin information…skeptics will know I’m on target when we reach the five and ten year marks and various variants are still a huge threat to good health and individual survival, even after receiving multiple vaccine doses designed for previous variants that will have long gone dormant.

        I’ve never had top secret security clearance so I can sound the alarm as fully as necessary. Quite obviously, others cannot.

  8. Yet Another Calgarian says:

    The Cholera Riots in the 1830s are a perfect example of what happens when the trust really goes.

    Add in the flat job numbers in the US and their coming eviction crisis and things could get even crazier to our South.

    Which bodes ill for Canada’s recovery given how linked we are to the American economy.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      YAC,

      Government statistics are at best, misinformation and at worst, outright lies. And yet the business press are more than willingly complicit in the BigEconomicLieTM: yeah, yeah, GDP is up 6.4% in the first quarter. What a fucking joke: GDP only dropped 32.9% previously. Sentient people will know that the United States was never in a V or U recovery. It’s an L and the economy will be dead and flat-lined for perhaps as long as a decade.

      • Yet Another Calgarian says:

        I would agree with the decade plus recovery time estimate. Assuming nothing else goes wrong in the mean time of course. No chance of that I’m sure.

        And I am forced to wonder how many more Archegos Capitals are going to show up over that time period too. No or stagnant growth over a decade is going to play merry hell with most of the assumptions baked into our financial system. I would not be surprised to discover all that “wealth” they want to tax to never have really existed in the first place.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:

          YAC,

          And now the whispers are spreading about ARC and Cathie Wood. No idea if the rumours are baseless or not. But as you’ve said, it’s more of the drip, drip, theory for sure.

  9. Peter Williams says:

    So now we are all tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists according to our Dear Leader. Or should I say Dear Exaulted Leader?

    https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-trudeau-believes-opponents-of-internet-censorship-wear-tinfoil-hats/wcm/821718f5-63b6-47e2-8425-c533a1140a79/amp/?

    Remember anti-Soviet agitation? Is this where Justin is going?

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:

      Peter,

      On their best day, this Prime Minister and his ever faithful minions in the PMO are classic textbook case idiots. May their inept force continue. I look forward to their thumping repudiation in the next election. Again, hopeless morons dig in and keep shoveling. Trudeau and Company will continue to do that with gusto. Thank God!

      • Phil in London says:

        The idea of a thumping repudiation sounds great, sign me up! …….Now that I have had my morning coffee the only repudiation I see at present is the other parties being given less of a voice to oppose the government. I just don’t see what will cut the bloom from the stem with this group?
        The vast majority of Canada may not trust, but they do insist the government largesse is the only solution to their problems. Maybe if our distrust can grow sufficiently we will be motivated collectively to do more to care for ourselves and our neighbours. I am not pining for some form of extremism, just a space where most of us are able to live most days without dependence on one government decision or another.

  10. Campbell says:

    I would frankly urge us all to consider whether this phenomenon has more to do with the decline in journalism and the rise of social media, than it does any of the myriad other explanations advanced here.

    • The Doctor says:

      Oh I think you’re on to something there for sure. This whole “do-it-youselfism” that you see on social media, those people (often idiots and kooks) who lead off a statement with the fateful words “”I’ve done my research, and . . .” etc.

      I saw somebody refer to himself as a “google scholar”. This is one of the downsides of the internet, that a lot of people have lost sight of the value of elites, authoritative sources and expertise. It’s interesting I think that when the internet was still in its early infancy, Jeffrey Simpson among others was spotting this tendency in Canadians to reject the old “elite accommodation” model that had governed much of Canada since its inception, and this was instead being replaced by “Charter Canadians”, who were distrustful of elites and much more populist in their outlook. Simpson was writing partly in reaction to the rise of the Reform Party.

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