Sunday, 24 May 2020

Trump Needs A Miracle.

Trump should be laughing what with Biden being just like him, a walking, talking disaster. Two gaffe-prone machines...and it doesn't ever get better. How I miss Pete.

So, normally voters would go with the dolt they know rather than the one they don't -- but not this time. This race is all economy, all the time and that's why Trump's goose is cooked. Biden leads with a comfortable margin in recent polls and seriously, do any of you really think Trump can make it back between now and November??? There's a reason Trump is pissing all over mail-in ballots. He'd rather find some illegitimate reason to delay the election rather than vote. (Even the village idiot knows Trump has blown it.)

But for the serially deluded, here's a few basically uncomfortable and highly inconvenient facts: over a 40% GDP drop expected; 40 million unemployed with the real deal stat more like 58 million; at least 25% unemployment with perhaps as much as 50% of the workforce.

Expect Trump and his minions to scream fake news! Too bad the jig is already up with most people seeing right through those phoney baloney alternative facts.

Guess The Fed did Trump no favours with its 7 Trillion in counterfeiting. Too bad that.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

JoAnn MacKenzie 1930-2020.

If you're truly lucky in life, as I was, you not only had the tremendous benefit of wonderful parents but also had them in your life as friends. That's how it was with JoAnn MacKenzie and Frank M. O'Dowd. With my Mom, it practically clicked from Day One, frankly, like pretty much two peas in a pod. With my Dad, it only came later after his retirement, you know, the period when you're no longer working for him. LOL.

What I hope I inherited from both of them is their incredible toughness. I marvel how tough they both were. For my Dad, my most vivid recollection is when I ran in front of him as a young kid while he was using a circular saw to cut industrial pipe. He turned to see where I was while the saw started to cut into his leg. He never uttered a word, what with his leg stuck out the rear door window of the station wagon as my uncle hurriedly went down St. Cyrille Boulevard toward the hospitals located close to there. I will remember that towel covered in blood until I die. I could give you so many other examples, but I digress.

My Mom was to the very end just as tough or even more so. It all started when she got breast cancer for the first time while only in her thirties, with four young sons at home. She would take the bus home bandaged up after her surgery and during much of her subsequent radiation treatments. Cancer would return again in the same form in her fifties. That was eventually followed with her double dementia diagnosis, part Alzheimer's and another Vascular Dementia.

She struggled with it for years, without complaint and with an almost constant smile on her face. Says something. She's didn't even complain when her first CHSLD almost killed her with their criminal negligence -- fortunately, she moved out of there as soon as she left the hospital.

But back to Saturday night: as you all know, we haven't been able to see our elderly relatives and friends for months. They finally relented last Wednesday so we got to spend four days with her. Ten days before she had lost the ability to speak and had pretty much forgotten us. (We were grateful for that part.)

What struck me most of all was her iron will, even in a truly demented state. Doped up on regular morphine doses (Thank God.), she struggled to breathe and stay alive. It was time to die but a combination of instinct and mental will seemingly had resolved that she live. And so it was until the inevitable hit on Saturday. For a person clearly in the final stages of double dementia, that was extraordinary. The lady was to private life what Thatcher was to politics. And good on her.

In closing, she would want me to help the rest of you out: the Quebec Assisted Dying Law automatically excludes all cases of cognitive impairment. Trust me, that's wrong. So, that rules out a high dose of morphine to stop the heart. So, what you end up with is serial regular doses at precise intervals with the possibility of additional doses at the same strength.

Here's what they didn't tell us: when our Mom would transition on a daily basis from slow and irregular breathing to fast and labored breathing, that meant that the morphine dose had become insufficient to maintain les soins de comfort.

Yours truly assumed that it was solely due to survival instinct and some form of mental determination that my Mom was still trying to stay with us. Apparently not. Add to the mix that the average morphine injection can take an hour to be fully effective and those circumstances are suddenly not at all like they were first cracked up to be. So, watch for deep, laboured breathing, sometimes accompanied by snoring. And then do something about it, fast.

The other thing to know is when the rubber meets the road your loved one will go into a period of apnea, which was not previously typical in her case. That was the mother of all clues that the end was near. So, as we say in the legal profession, govern yourselves accordingly.

Farewell dear Mother, and may you rest in peace. Hopefully, if there's any fairness in life, the best is yet to come for her and countless others.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

Trust Us: It's For The General Welfare. Really?

Is this the sleeper? Smart-phone-based digital contact tracing by a central authority? Theoretically, what happens in countries if legislation was (is) changed to make it mandatory?  GPS vs. Bluetooth health surveillance...

Symptoms, then testing, and if positive, a possible rigorous and mandatory health examination of your network: your private circle of family, friends, acquaintances and work colleagues.  Then what if in-country legislation modifications call for mandatory and involuntary removal and isolation (to where exactly?)...?

Something to think about in 2020, the debut year of widespread adoption of such apps.
Interesting, and somewhat disturbing regarding privacy issues and potential surveillance limits. A Health-Care Big Brother, oddly "comforting"?

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Wet'suwet'en MOU: Turning Lemonade Into Lemons...

For God's sake, what the hell is happening here? Like so many, I've pushed relentlessly for First Nations to be viewed politically and in law as equal stakeholders with governments and project proponents going forward.

Now this: the Hereditary Chiefs reach a draft agreement with the federal and provincial governments on rights and title. For that, all involved deserve our praise and appreciation. But then we find out that Elected Chiefs and Councils were not consulted regarding the MOU, nor were any of their representatives engaged in the talks. In short, the agreement that Hereditary Chiefs have now ratified had not previously been the object of a wide-ranging consensus across the Wet'suwet'en First Nation.

Got to say that Elected Chiefs have a pretty fundamental point. So, what can I say other than to urge all parties to do whatever it takes to get that consensus on board. Nothing is more big-picture than rights and title. And if it takes third-party first nation mediation by the AFN, or anyone else, then please do whatever is necessary to successfully solve this dispute. Your ancestors are watching. The least all of you owe them is to make them proud.