Questioning the Direction of Public Spending

We should do it all the time: ask WTF? when it comes to public spending.

All levels should have a better focus on the basic needs of life and comfort of our lives.

A couple of examples:

Since 2002, we’ve spent more than $260 billion on roads and transportation infrastructure.

Since 1988, Canada has spent an eye-popping, staggering $430 billion on defense.

Add to this that people lose their freakin’ minds when they see a puppy in a car on a hot day AND WE STILL CAN’T SEEM TO JUSTIFY EXPENSES ON THE BASICS THAT SAVE LIVES OR KEEP OUR KIDS COMFORTABLE.

Our kids are suffering in classes when temperatures rise above 25C, let alone the record-breaking 35-40C that we’re currently experiencing.

All we hear about is how expensive new AC units would be.

We installed a ductless air conditioner for $2500.  Given the potential clout that the Ontario government would have over suppliers, I’m sure they could get that number down a little.

Our priorities are messed up.

Just try it.  Just try to show some compassion for our kids for a change.

You might actually feel good about it.

Category: Uncategorized

Sports = Tribalism = Politics

There are many deniers out there that want to believe that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sports and that people who want to make them ‘political’ should just go away.

Example:

Let’s make sure we’re informed about this.  This is 100% about race, despite what Donald Trump says:

A quick search yields many articles which document the background on the issue. I picked this one from the New Yorker magazine.

Last year, before the election, a solitary Colin Kaepernick took to one knee during the national anthem when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, in protest of police brutality against black Americans. The quietness of his action invited loud disapproval. For the past year, the N.F.L. and many of its players have rigorously distanced themselves from Kaepernick, who has been seen as unpatriotic.

This is 100% about black versus white and the actions helped spawn the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement that has swept North American, where citizens of colour are demanding respect from police forces everywhere.

In many cases, it’s also becoming about owners versus players.

Of course now, the kneel is becoming a show of opposition against Trump.

The angry opposition that has emerged as a result of the silent protest is ridiculous.  Here are just a couple of memes making the rounds to emphasize this:

Sports-1

And this …

sports-2

When you distill what modern sports are all about, they represent tribalism at its very best.  Sports pit ‘us’ against ‘them’. Therefore, sports events that feature rivals from different countries or regions are by definition political.

How many times have you seen fights erupt in a different city other than Boston when someone is wearing a Red Sox hat or outside Toronto when someone’s wearing a Maple Leafs jersey?

We encourage it, we profit from it, we televise it endlessly and it consistently does one thing:  distract us.

Yes, sports are a distraction from the real events that chip away at our freedom and mobility every day.

This has been true since the late days of the Roman Empire, when rulers and the Senate wanted to distract us from the crumbling state of affairs.

Trump pissing back and forth with North Korea is just another example of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ stupidity that has nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with tribalism, a line in the sand and an arbitrary ‘team logo’.

Stop complaining about people that are asking us to look at this seriously and start thinking about why we’re so easily whipped into an absurd frenzy when politics and sports are mentioned.

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When Science Isn’t Science, The Wiarton Willie Edition

I’m in a ‘blame the CBC’ mood today because I’ve heard a string of absurd stories on the radio this morning that I simply can’t ignore.

This time, it’s all about the death of Wiarton Willie.

Science, 1; Abiding by myths associated with furry rodents, 0.

In other words, the CBC is perpetuating the stupidity the underlies adherence to ‘traditions’ and ‘superstition’ as opposed to chatting with a meteorologist (who, it can be argued, abide by their own version of ’50/50 chance of anything’).

I know … these are ‘human interest stories’ that knit together the fabric that is our loving and fun society. But really, they’re not.

C’mon CBC. Read your own ‘damning’ statistics about Canadians not trusting ‘science’ and run some real stories.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they go out and interview someone that wants to blame the earthquakes in Mexico on its celebration of sodomy and homosexual rights.

Oh wait … I think they just did.

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When Is Science Not Science?

No, it’s not meant to be a riddle.

I’ve seen several stories of late that are about people’s inability to cope with ‘science’.

This article with the CBC is just the latest in a growing pile of steaming turds that turn my stomach.

What the CBC misses – and perpetuates – is that people don’t trust corporate science because it’s driven by the profit motive, not the public’s best interest.

Occasional, the two overlap, but rarely.

So yeah, I ‘doubt science’ because science hasn’t been ‘science’ for decades.

Agendas have interfered with observation.

Messages have interfered with methodology.

Obfuscation has interfered with unbiased data collection and analysis.

What we have today is ‘corporate science’ driven by profit motive. Data that doesn’t agree with ‘corporate science’ gets tossed and is ignored.

People are told by the media that ‘corporate science’ is good for us. Look how long it’s taken to break through the lies of smoking, carbon, vaccines, pesticides and more.

Unfortunately, the CBC is using public funds to perpetuate this cycle by not digging into some of the explosive stories that are in front of our faces and using it’s brand to cow the public into thinking we should be ashamed because we doubt the junk that’s coming out of someone’s corner office.

This is like burning an atheist at the stake because that person correctly uses unbiased science to show that there is no God.

Today, we idolize the almighty dollar instead of a God.

Shame on the CBC for keeping this cycle going.

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The House Covers the Opioid Crisis

This morning’s ‘The House’ on CBC covered the opioid crisis in Canada.

The full podcast and story can be found here.

I don’t know where to start with this, but here are a few random thoughts:

  1. Most opioids came onto the market as part of a ‘get rich quick’ scheme for a small handful of pharmaceutical companies;
  2. Most doctors bought into the literature concerning highly addictive drugs like Fentanyl and seemed to prescribe them.  By last year, there were roughly 20 million opioid-related, commercially produced pills on the street;
  3. This has become a FEDERAL issue and leadership is needed immediately;
  4. One pharmaceutical company – Purdue – got a slap on the wrist for not advising the medical community about the hazards and addictive potential of drugs like Fentanyl;
  5. Everyone is saying we need more Nalaxone – another name brand product brought to us by pharmaceutical companies – to stock the shelves to help addicts.

Of course, all governments around the world are facing the same crisis.

Here are some thought how we in Canada can address the issues:

  1. Ban the commercial use and distribution of opioids immediately.
  2. Prevent anyone in the medical community from prescribing them.
  3. Sue and pursue the pharmaceutical companies that have profited from creating this crisis. If, in the case of Purdue, we can’t sue any further, block them from the Canadian health care system until they commit to spending every dollar earned from Canadian taxpayers on remediation and treatment programs.  From their own pockets.
  4. Treat the root of the issue as a mental health issue. ANYONE that takes an opioid today should be seen as suicidal given the risks of addiction and difficulty with withdrawal.
  5. If Naloxone or any other preventative kits are to be used by any public authority, the pharmaceutical companies that have profited from the opioid crisis should donate them. While our government ‘gives the kits away for free‘, we know that taxpayers ultimately have to foot the bill for this.  The question is ‘how much?’

These drugs have rapidly crushed the heart and soul of many downtown areas, sent tens of thousands of people into a world of addiction and sorrow and are killing dozens every single day.

The price of the stop-gap solution – Naloxone – has skyrocketed over the past few years, not because it’s a rare commodity, but because of price gougingAnother story here.

One of the producers of Naloxone kits – Amphastar – generated nearly $40 million (US) from the kits.

WIRED Magazine calls the system perverse.

I agree.

We fret about bullshit issues like marijuana and control of alcohol and yet we are so blindly out of control with opioids.

I’m accused of being a moron and a paranoid animal that hates my child when it comes to vaccines, but when I look at how these companies are gouging governments in response to a crisis that they helped create, is it any wonder I’m concerned about their ability to act in the public interest?

They don’t report to me, they report to shareholders.

Shame on those who let it get so far so quickly.

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