Showing posts from April, 2021

Single Dose Vaccines Leave You Vulnerable to Variants

  Our government's failure to source Covid vaccines may leave Canadians in for a grim surprise. Most Canadians who have been vaccinated are told they'll have to wait for four months to receive the booster. The idea is that'll hold you in the meantime. A UK study finds this single-dose regime may leave Canadians vulnerable , not so much to Covid Classic, but to the steadily emerging Covid variants. And that's for the Cadillac of vaccines, Pfizer's. Researchers in Britain have found that one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides insufficient protection against new variants of the COVID-19 virus and urged public health officials to be vigilant about ensuring that people receive a second injection. “We’re looking rather vulnerable to variants after one dose,” said Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London who co-authored the research. There's an important exception - those who have received one dose after having had an asymptomati

We Don't Want to Know.

  Nobody wanted to know.  That might be a fitting epitaph for the human species. They didn't want to know. This blog used to have almost daily posts on the climate emergency. Used to. Not so much anymore. It's not that climate science, research and analysis, has dried up, anything but. Hardly. It hasn't gotten old. Not at all. You would be hard pressed to find a subject more fluid, evolving.  It's just that nobody wants to know. Some do but it's a dwindling following. I still maintain an extensive collection of links to environmental and climate web sites - governmental, academic, NGO and informal. I review them. I just try not to post on their findings. My blog numbers show that people don't want to read these posts. They're beyond unpopular. So be it. Today, an exception. I want to pass along a few important thoughts on the climate emergency from an essay written by Jeff Goodell. The industrialized nations of the world are dumping 34bn tons or so of carb

Those Who Play with Covid Fire Deserve the Consequences

  It can be infuriating to read of these scofflaws who organize Covid parties or anti-mask rallies that, like moths to a flame, draw the village idiots to gather and expose themselves to the increasingly contagious virus. Covid, of course, is highly transmissible. Those who defy public health requirements can put not only their health but those of innocents they subsequently deal with in undeserved jeopardy. A perfect example was last summer's Sturgis motorcycle rally where bikers not only became infected but carried the virus home. Society may not have the right to compel people to accept vaccination but we do have the right to demand that they not pose a public health menace, worsening and prolonging this infernal pandemic. A good place to start is with those who host Covid parties that lead to the deaths of partiers or, worse, others be charged with manslaughter . People who break health rules by holding parties that lead to death from COVID-19 should heed the warning from a Bri

"Equitable Climate Resilience" - What?

  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency is teaming up with cities in 11 states to map "heat equity." Extreme heat kills more Americans than any other weather event , but not everyone’s risk is the same. Within the same city, some neighborhoods can be up to 20°F hotter than others and, due largely to the practice of historic redlining — discriminatory, race-based lending and housing policies in the 1930s — these hot spots are often home to poorer communities of color. To learn where action is needed to protect vulnerable populations now and in the future, NOAA’s National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) and partners are launching new community-led campaigns that will map the hottest parts of cities in 11 states across the country this summer. The communities include Albuquerque, New Mexico; Atlanta; New York City; Charleston, South Carolina; Kansas City, Missouri; Raleigh & Durham, North Carolina; San Diego; San Francisco; and parts of New Jersey,

A Reporter Under Siege Writes from India's Charnel House

  Three things emerge from Jeffrey Gettleman's report from New Delhi - fear, desperation and helplessness. Crematories are so full of bodies, it’s as if a war just happened. Fires burn around the clock. Many places are holding mass cremations, dozens at a time, and at night, in certain areas of New Delhi, the sky glows. Sickness and death are everywhere. ...I’m sitting in my apartment waiting to catch the disease. That’s what it feels like right now in New Delhi with the world’s worst coronavirus crisis advancing around us. It is out there, I am in here, and I feel like it’s only a matter of time before I, too, get sick. ...New Delhi, India’s sprawling capital of 20 million, is suffering a calamitous surge. A few days ago, the positivity rate hit a staggering 36 percent — meaning more than one out of three people tested were infected. A month ago, it was less than 3 percent. The infections have spread so fast that hospitals have been completely swamped. People are turned away by

Canada's Coal Hypocrisy

It's called the Powering Past Coal Alliance and it's led by the UK and Canada. Well done us. Except that it's just more greenwash. Paul Schreiber, the author of the report from Reclaim Finance, said: “The PPCA may be well-intentioned, but it is not fit for purpose. It could be helpful, if done right, but today it is not helpful [to global carbon reductions]. Members are not following up on their pledges. It serves as a greenwashing engine for financial institutions.” Canada is continuing to develop scores of new coalmines , which will be used to export coal for use in power plants in other countries, despite remaining within the rules by planning to phase out coal domestically. Phasing out coal is essential to the fight to prevent runaway global warming. However, like bitumen, that means leaving coal in the ground, unburned. Canada has to be held to account for flooding world markets with cheap, high-carbon, low value fossil energy, particularly bitumen and coal. Our gover

Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel of the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution

  One reason I jettisoned my affiliation with the Liberal Party was when I realized there wasn't much liberal left in it.  Nothing made this so apparent as the Liberals fulsome embrace of Netanyahu's brutal regime, its blatant war crimes and the general persecution of the Palestinians. Now, Human Rights Watch is shining a bright light on Israel's abuse of the Palestinians . Human Rights Watch has accused Israeli officials of committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution, claiming the government enforces an overarching policy to “maintain the domination by Jewish Israelis over Palestinians”. In a report released on Tuesday , the New York-based advocacy group became the first major international rights body to level such allegations. It said that after decades of warnings that an entrenched hold over Palestinian life could lead to apartheid, it had found that the “threshold” had been crossed. “This is the starkest finding Human Rights Watch has reached on Israeli conduc

Isn't it Time to Cry "Uncle"? If Not Now, Then When?

  I don't believe there's a snowball's chance in hell of something of this enormity happening any time soon. That doesn't mean it shouldn't. Covid-19 has brought us face first into a brick wall and we're on course to visit that wall over and over again. Some of these encounters are already happening and go unnoticed. Some may eclipse the coronavirus pandemic in lives and treasure lost. The brick wall represents the finite limits of nature, the biosphere that supports all life on the planet, Spaceship Earth. Covid-19 demonstrates that, when you go beyond those finite limits, bad things are bound to happen. Covid 19 is a public health emergency. Just one of several that we are creating in our role as Masters of the Universe. Here's another looming emergency - food insecurity, i.e. famine, caused by the degradation of our stocks of farmland through excessively intensive farming, heavy applications of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and excessive exploit

Pushing Back. The Greek War on Migration.

  We're entering an era of mass migration. There are several triggers - conflicts, climate change, food insecurity, alone or in combination.  These migrations sometimes pit desperate people, struggling to survive, against governments and societies determined to preserve what they have. Humanitarianism, it seems, only goes so far. Our liberal conscience has its limits. This dynamic is now playing out in Greece where the country is repelling refugees while they're still at sea.  The policy is called "pushback" and it has landed Greece in the European Court of Human Rights over an incident last October said to be one of many. The suit, filed by the NGO Legal Centre Lesvos , centres on an incident in October last year in which a fishing boat set off from Marmaris in Turkey for Italy carrying about 200 people, including 40 children and a pregnant woman. The boat ran into difficulty in a storm off the south coast of Crete, leading the captain to radio for assistance. The

Without Us, Covid-19 Would Be a Big Fat Nothing

  We've learned a lot about Covid-19. Compared to other viruses it's easily transmissible. It's very contagious, easily spread. It's also pretty lethal, far worse than seasonal influenza, which makes it disruptive to highly organized societies. And so we need vaccines, periodic lockdowns, and measures such as masks and social distancing. But what has stood human civilization on its ear over the past year is not so much the virus as what its host, mankind, has done with it. Without us, Covid-19 would be nothing. We have unlocked its lethality. We have transformed it into a global plague. We have recklessly overpopulated the planet. That has caused us to intrude on wilderness or what remains of it. We used to hype the Amazon rainforest as a source of unknown plants and organisms from which we would be able to develop all manner of new products, especially medicines. Then, as our numbers swelled and demand for products such as palm oil soared, we began deforesting ancient

Is India a Threat to Us All?

What happens in India does not stay in India. Thanks, in part, to a rightwing government that downplayed the Covid pandemic, India's limited healthcare system has been overwhelmed . Out of beds, out of equipment, out of essential medical-grade oxygen, the pandemic is beginning to run wild. India's problems are every nation's problems. Other countries, for their own wellbeing, need to rally to India's side. That will require countries to look beyond their own health crises to see that the pandemic could still get much worse without intervention. Experts have repeatedly warned that allowing the virus to circulate unchecked increases the risk that dangerous new strains will emerge and prolong the pandemic. The reality is that the magical thinking displayed by the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s government – which claimed the pandemic was in its “endgame” in March as the country careened towards a second wave of infections – was not much different from the mistakes of

See, they are crazy. Tory MP Equates Covid Lockdowns with WWII Internment Camps.

And the Nutjob du Jour award goes to some dude named David Sweet, Conservative member of parliament for the riding of Flambo-Clusterf**k.  The Tory shadow minister for international rights and religious freedom says Covid " ain't no thang. " Sweet says there's no evidence that lockdowns work. He says they're the "greatest single breach of civil liberties" since the internment camps of WWII. Sweet says he's read "dozens of papers" (Facebook?) proving that lockdowns don't work.

NYT - Covid Too Critical to Be Left to the Private Sector

Back to the future. Move over, Big Pharma. It's time for governments to take the reins in times of catstrophe. Today's New York Times editorial urges a greater role for the public sector over corporate giants in times of global emergency. They're right. Low- and middle-income nations are facing an unconscionable shortage of coronavirus vaccines that threatens to upend progress against the pandemic. So far, this global shortage has been obscured by pockets of vaccine abundance in wealthier countries like the United States . But if the shortage isn’t addressed soon, the trouble will become all too clear. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will continue to get sick and die, even as the pandemic recedes in richer nations. The most fragile economies will continue to teeter, and gains made elsewhere will eventually be imperiled: The longer the virus spreads, the greater the chance it mutates into something even more contagious, deadly or vaccine-resistant. ...Nea

Oh Dear. Biden's Done It. Erdogan Will Be Livid.

  President Joe Biden has recognized the 1915 Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Turks. Today, April 24, is the anniversary of the atrocity. While other nations have recognized the genocide as fact, Washington has always refrained from offending Ankara - until now that is.

People are Asking. So, What Do You Think?

In recent days I've run into a recurring question - in telephone conversations, while getting a haircut and in a pollster's online surveys. People, it seems, want to know when the pandemic is over whether we'll get "back to normal." On its face the question seems a bit absurd. It assumes the existence of a form of stasis that defines what once was as normal when humanity in modern times is in a constant state of change. We tend to quickly forget what once was and substitute the present as normal. There's a term for it, creeping normalcy. I guess the question should be, once the pandemic is behind us, how closely will daily life resemble what that was in early January, 2020? Will we emerge greatly changed or somehow find our way back to what once was? My guess is that most will carry on in a more or less altered reality. Some, those who succumbed to the virus, won't be around at all. Some will have lost family members.  Some may find their pre-pandemic empl

Bolsonaro "Brewing Covid Variants, Left, Right, and Centre"

Rightwing politicians have a pretty lousy record of handling the Covid-19 pandemic. From Trump to Bolsonaro to Modi, to any number of Red State state houses and our own Kenney and Ford, their insistence on prioritizing their economies over the public health issues have led to predictable calamity. Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro is the brashest of the far right loons. As Covid swept his country, Bolsonaro told Brazilians to "stop whining." Like Trump, he compared the virus to the flu. Now Brazil has turned into a pandemic threat to Latin America . Brazil keeps churning out new variants including the deadly P1 that is spreading through Latin America. “It’s not just a much more contagious variant but it also increases the levels of reinfection, which reduces the efficacy of vaccines,” said Antonio Quispe, a Peruvian epidemiologist who said P1’s “rapid and violent” spread was dire news for the region. “The Europeans are right to be afraid about what is happening in Brazil,” said Mar

India's Peril

India closed out yesterday having logged just over 330,000 new Covid cases. One doctor told the CBC he hopes they can confine the pandemic to the cities because, once it escapes to spread in the country, there'll be no way to control it. Hospitals are running out of medical grade oxygen, forcing them to stop admitting Covid victims.

Canada Suspends Air Travel With India

  After giving the public false assurances that our government had the Indian Covid threat under control, the feds have announced that flights from India and Pakistan will be banned for 30 days . That took long enough. Long enough for the Indian variant to reach Canada. It's been known for several days that a double mutant and possibly a triple mutant variant had emerged in India. It has been reported that these variants may be antibody and vaccine resistant . India is reeling from these variants, recording 200,000 daily infections about a week ago, 295,000 yesterday and 314,000 new cases reported today. Yesterday the prime minister, Narendra Modi, delivered a speech in which he decried the idea of lockdowns. Today, India's Supreme Court ordered the government to produce a "national plan" to ensure adequate supply of medical oxygen, essential drugs and a method of widespread vaccination.

Canadian Banks Conspicuous by Their Absence

  Yesterday, banks from around the world launched a global banking coalition for net zero emissions . The only financial institution from Canada to sign on was VanCity Credit Union. Canada's Big Five gave it a pass. None of Canada’s big five banks were founding signatories of the UN-convened Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) that promised April 21 to align investment portfolios with science-based climate targets starting in 2030 . The alliance currently counts 43 banks from 23 countries, representing US$28 trillion in assets, including global giants HSBC, Barclays, Bank of America, Citi, Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, Santander, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank. Mark Carney, UN special envoy on climate action and finance, is chairing the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (GFANZ), which also launched Wednesday and counts the banking coalition as one of its arms. At a virtual launch event, Carney said GFANZ will also involve other arms for asset managers, donors and insurance compa

Why India Matters

  The prime minister assures us that there's no need to halt flights from India to Canada due to the risk of spreading Covid-19.  Mr. Trudeau says his government has all the bases covered. They already have all the needed measures in place. We've seen Covid variants, mutations, from the UK, Brazil and South Africa. They tend to be more transmissible, i.e. more contagious. India, the peril du jour , has its own Covid mutation, not one but two mutations .  It has two critical mutations that could lead to an improvement in the ability of the virus to bind with human cells. This makes it more effective. The B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV-2 carries two mutations, E484Q and L452R. Both are separately found in many other coronavirus variants, but they have been reported together for the first time in India. What is more worrying is that this variant is showing the ability to escape the human immune system and evade antibodies created by a prior infection or by vaccination . But wait, the

Hard Numbers on Climate Crisis

  The fossil energy industry relies on political collaborators to thwart meaningful action on greenhouse gas emissions. These Carbon Quislings routinely warn that the sky will fall without fossil fuels and, so far, they've been pretty effective. When it comes to making sense of climate change, the canary in the mine is often the re-insurance giants like Munich Re or Swiss Re. These are the companies that commercial insurance companies use to cover their bets. It's insurance for insurance. When these re-insurers speak it's wise to listen . Rising temperatures are likely to reduce global wealth significantly by 2050, as crop yields fall, disease spreads and rising seas consume coastal cities, a major insurance company warned Thursday, highlighting the consequences if the world fails to quickly slow the use of fossil fuels. The effects of climate change can be expected to shave 11 percent to 14 percent off global economic output by 2050 compared with growth levels without cli

Nobel Laureates Call For a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

  101 Nobel laureates have signed an open letter demanding an urgent switch to renewable energy , not just in the affluent nations, but in every country. The signatories are experts in the fields of peace, human rights, security, economics, literature and the natural sciences and say they “are seized by the great moral issue of our time: the climate crisis and commensurate destruction of nature”. “ The solution is clear ,” the letter adds. “ Fossil fuels must be kept in the ground . Leaders, not industry, hold the power and have the moral responsibility to take bold actions to address this crisis.” Of course, if you're planning to construct new and expanded pipeline projects, keeping fossil fuels (such as bitumen) in the ground probably isn't want you've got in mind.   The letter calls on the powerful nations to help ensure everyone around the world has access to renewable energy. “Climate change is threatening hundreds of millions of lives, livelihoods across every contin

Canada Will Cut GHG Emissions by Oodles Vows PM!

  Compared to their peers, the Brits have achieved fairly good results in cutting their greenhouse gas emissions. They not only promised - everyone does that - but they delivered. On climate change, as in many other areas, the Canadian government has issued plenty of bold promises but all that shows is that talk is indeed cheap. Too often these promises end in a heap of "We tried. We can't. We're sorry." Today is Joe Biden's "virtual summit" of 40 world leaders on slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Trudeau dutifully brought his offering. Canada will cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030 - somehow, maybe. The Brits realized the only way to achieve targeted cuts is to make them mandatory. You have to bind the government to achieving specific results. That means details, concrete figures, exacting time tables. Could Canada deliver the promised cuts? Maybe, but it wouldn't be easy. Cutting our GHG emissions by almost half within just nine years

Justice for George Floyd Waits Until August

Derek Chauvin was chump change. He was convicted in what seemed like a slam dunk case.  One bad cop heads to the slam. Big deal. The real deal comes in August when the three other cops, Derek Chauvin's bystanders, stand trial.  ...three other former Minneapolis police officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — are scheduled to head to court in August. The three men face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter. Like Chauvin, they could each face up to 40 years in prison for the aiding and abetting murder charge, but sentencing guidelines could limit the maximum sentence to around 15 years. At a Minnesota Court of Appeals hearing scheduled for next month, the state will attempt to add a third-degree murder charge for Thao, Lane and Kueng. When a cop murders a civilian, it often occurs in the presence of other officers. Invariably no action is taken against the bystanders. When Forcillo emptied his pistol into Sammy Yati

Is Nothing Holy?

 If Vancouver had a High Holy day it was yesterday, April 20 or, to stoners, 420. For many years 4/20 has been the day when members of the weed culture gathered to celebrate and indulge while the police turned a blind eye. This year's gathering, however, was crashed by the anti-vaxxer/anti-mask brigade. The “official” 4/20 event was cancelled this year and in 2020 because of the pandemic, but that didn’t stop people from gathering at Sunset Beach, where an informal marketplace was set up hawking cannabis and other related goods.

Conservatives - a Bunch of Dangerous Know Nothings! Take Ibbitson's Word for It.

 I did a double take when I read the opening lines of John Ibbitson's latest column: Conservative politicians are sometimes suspicious of advice coming from experts for good reason: The experts just want them to not be conservatives. But sometimes, their suspicions cause them to ignore good advice. This may have led Ontario Premier Doug Ford to take actions that could doom his government. If so, it won’t be the first time. Former premier Mike Harris’s determination to keep cutting regulations, despite the warnings of experts, contributed to the deaths of seven people in the town of Walkerton, and to the Progressive Conservatives’s defeat at the next election. Mr. Ford may face the same fate, and for the same reason. So let's unpack Ibbitson's unintentional confession. Experts, those with knowledge and experience and invaluable advice, are rarely onside with conservative politicians.  The experts' knowledge, experience and advice is treated by conservatives as suspicious

Do Ya Feel Lucky? Do Ya? How About a Covid Lottery?

  In Ontario they're considering setting up a lottery for those in need the Covid drug, tocilizumab , as stockpiles dwindle. The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table is asking the provincial government to prepare for the day hospitals run out of tocilizumab, an anti-inflammatory drug that physicians are already administering in smaller doses to make limited amounts go further. Andrew Morris, an infectious disease physician and one of the co-authors of the new brief, said he and his colleagues hope a lottery won’t be necessary. “But hoping isn’t a plan,” Dr. Morris said. “In a thoughtful, methodical manner, you need to plan for the possibility of a shortage. This is a drug that is life-saving.” The hard reality is that there is not enough of Tocil or other Covid drugs to meet demand. 'Better late than never Ottawa' has responded by setting up a critical drug reserve. The federal government has purchased an initial three-month supply of 12 drugs. Tocilizumab is not on th

Max Boot - Republican Party Now Completely FUBAR'ed.

  Conservative columnist, Max Boot, grew estranged from the Republican establishment during the Trump era. Now he's gone from estranged to divorced. Boot says the Mark of Cain, Trumpism, is on the GOP and it's indelible. Three of the major tenets of the Trumpified GOP have been on public view the past week — if you can bear to watch. Hostility to science: Watch the video of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) yapping at Anthony S. Fauci, one of the nation’s leading infectious-disease experts, like an enraged chihuahua. “Dr. Fauci, when is the time?” Jordan kept asking. He wanted to know when it was “time to pull back on masking” and “physical distancing.” “When do Americans get their freedoms back? ... What is low enough? Give me a number.” Fauci tried to explain that restrictions could be lifted as infection rates got lower. But for Jordan, this had nothing to do with eliciting information — it was all about showing his contempt for a leading scientist and demonstrating that he is much

Chauvin Guilty as Charged

  Former cop, Derek Chauvin, has been found guilty of all three charges in the killing of George Floyd. Manslaughter 2, guilty. Murder 2, guilty. Murder 3, felony murder, guilty.  Sentencing is scheduled in eight weeks.  Chauvin's bail was rescinded and he is remanded into custody.

Verdict Reached in George Floyd Killing Case

  The jury in the Derek Chauvin trial has reached a verdict. The decision will be read out this afternoon. It sounds like a clear conviction.

Standing In the Path of a Runaway Train

President Biden is holding a virtual summit this week to encourage world leaders to unite in the fight against runaway climate change. "Runaway." There's a word you don't hear much these days. I hope Mr. Biden succeeds. He will first have to tame an unruly Congress and face opposition in both parties. There was a time when, in the face of grave danger, Congress would fall in line behind the president. This might be the exception. Canada offers a master class in how to suck and blow at the same time. We're all for taming the carbon beast to save the planet but we're also dead keen on building multi-billion dollar pipelines to flood world markets with our uniquely high-carbon, low value, climate killing bitumen while decrying Mr. Biden's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. Let's not get into those multi-billion dollar direct and indirect subsidies the Trudeau government lavishes on the energy sector. Suck and blow, suck and blow. Getting world leaders

A Budget or Aspirational Theatre?

In this era of grave uncertainty it can be nearly impossible to judge a budget beyond the "what's in it for me?" test. Is this the hill the Liberals are prepared to die on, i.e. trigger an election? Or is this just political theatre, a wish list to run the gauntlet of minority government? The CBC's Andrew Wherry sees it as exorcising the ghosts of Reagan, Thatcher and (sorry Brian) Mulroney, the beginning of the end of the neoliberal era . Up the Revolution! If it is then kudos to the prime minister and Ms. Freeland. I'm not convinced. Neoliberalism isn't ready to die just yet and it will not be going without a fight. Over at the National Post there are dire warnings of the return of centralized state planning and collectives. No surprises there. The Globe's Coyne frets that the budget doesn't create a path for economic growth.  The word “support” appears nearly 1,000 times in the budget; “benefit” or “benefits” more than 1,300; “gender,” 740, “Indigen

Will Justin Fish or Will He Continue to Cut Bait?

  The master of over-promising and under-delivering, Justin Trudeau, will need something better than glib assurances and fanciful aspirations when president Biden convenes his virtual summit on climate change this week. Between Biden's summit and the COP26 climate conference in Britain this fall, world leaders and would-be leaders will be expected to produce concrete plans to slash emissions in the dwindling time remaining. Targets are just weasel words, readily forgotten. We've been playing that game in Canada since the days of Jean Chretien. Meanwhile, as our leaders fiddle the planet burns. The World Meteorological Organization has just released its State of the Global Climate 2020 report.  It makes for grim reading. “ All the key climate and impacts information in this report highlight relentless, continuing climate change, an increasing occurrence and intensification of extreme events , and severe losses and damage, affecting people, societies and economies,” said Petteri

There's Yer Problem - Trudeau, Legault, Kenney, Ford, Horgan and Moe.

  A year into the Covid pandemic we're still dealing with a yo-yo of openings and lockdowns, openings and lockdowns, that, as new variants emerge may continue well into the future. The Tyee's Andrew Nikiforuk writes that our ongoing misfortune is largely man-made, the handiwork of our premiers and prime minister . Nikiforuk uses Quebec premier Francois Legault to illustrate how feckless our premiers have been. “We’ve had no choice but to lock down, reopen, lock down, reopen,” protested the premier last week as he acknowledged how fed up people are with Canada’s disastrous yo-yo approach to COVID-19. “The idea is to try to find a balance,” added Legault. “When we lock down, it’s to protect people’s physical health; when we reopen, it’s to help their mental health.” “Some people think there are too many restrictions, others say they aren’t enough,” added Legault who talks like the political riddle he is. “I would like to please everyone, but that’s not possible.” Legault’s pitif

Washington Post Calls for Doug Ford to Resign

  Doug Ford needs to go - now .  Washington Post columnist and Ottawa U. professor, David Moscrop makes a compelling argument for an immediate change in provincial leadership. As Ontario Premier Doug Ford sat down at a Friday afternoon news conference to announce his plans to extend the province’s covid-19 measures, social media feeds erupted with posts from around the province, from around the country, uniformly expressing outrage, frustration, shock and despondence. Ford opened by blaming the federal government for not providing the province with sufficient vaccine supply, abdicating his responsibility for a pandemic that was never going to be solved immediately by vaccines. He moved on to the absurd claim that Ontario has the toughest measures in North America, which is untrue. He said he was restricting outdoor gatherings ( which tend to be far safer than indoor gatherings ) while permitting factories, food-processing plants and warehouses to operate, intimating that a seesaw is a

It's a Matter of Supply and Demand

Pity the United States where they're awash in Covid-19 vaccines but can't drum up demand. The proportion of the population who've received at least one dose is almost twice as high as in Canada , and it's 10 times higher for the fully vaccinated. The vaccine supply in most states has ballooned to more than one dose per adult — that's allowed half of adults and nearly 40 per cent of the total U.S. population to have received a shot. The big problem facing America is "vaccine hesitancy." Not surprisingly it's more acute in Red State America.  Pity Canada where we have plenty of demand but we're dangerously behind on supply .  President Biden is working to persuade more of his countrymen to be vaccinated. In Canada we're told to be patient. They'll get around to us - eventually, maybe. That's the way the cookie crumbles. One government has over-promised. One government has over-delivered. Care to guess?

First Dose, Second Dose, Third Dose, More...

  Canada's Nobel Prize winning virologist, the University of Alberta's Dr. Michael Haughton, warned almost from the outset that Covid-19 is probably here to stay and, like influenza, might need annual vaccination. Now the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, confirms Dr. Haughton's assessment. Covid vaccination may become an annual thing .

A War We Fought to Lose

  Joe Biden has announced all American and NATO troops will be out of Afghanistan by September 11. You may commend Biden's courage. You may condemn Biden's fecklessness. Doesn't make a damned bit of difference. The only thing Biden had to decide was how much longer America would continue to lose its war of folly in Afghanistan. America's longest war. America's most futile war.  I think it was a North Vietnamese fellow, perhaps Brother Ho himself, who said that America had all the watches but the Vietnamese insurgents had all the time. Eventually mainstreet America would grow tired of an unwinnable war and would demand their troops be brought home. That's precisely what happened. Afghanistan was never the charnel house that Vietnam was for America. Afghanistan has claimed under 2,400 American dead. Vietnam tallied over 50,000. The Afghan war was waged with an all-volunteer army. Vietnam was fought largely by draftees. During Vietnam, young people flooded America&