"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Moe ministers, Moe problems

Reading a story like this one https://leaderpost.com/news/saskatchewan/toddler-with-spina-bifida-another-lesson-for-health-minister naturally horrifies me as a parent and a human being -- No parent should ever have to read the phrases "Blake’s most recent brain surgery was in May. She has a shunt in her head that could fail at any time." about their toddler.

As someone who works in media and watches politics closely, it is also sort of horrific to see the response of the Saskatchewan Party and their health minister, which today basically consisted of - and I'm paraphrasing here for the sake of brevity - "harumph, shrug, well we are trying to prioritize cases, reviews are being done, harumph, very concerned, shrug, goddamn socialists, harumph" and exit, stage far-right. It is as if communications for Health Minister Paul Merriman are being handled by Montgomery Burns' less-talented twin brother. And it isn't like he suddenly got blindsided by this mother and her child just showing up at the Legislature in Regina - the opposition NDP have been bringing in someone nearly every day for over a week to confront Merriman over the government's completely inept handling of the covid pandemic. Earlier in the week it was a 25-year-old who needs a kidney transplant and can't even get the on the list due to covid overwhelming the province's health care system.

And calling it inept is being polite. When the senior public health doctor in your province breaks down in tears at press conference, as chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab did earlier this year, it is not a sign that things are going well. Intensive care wards have been overwhelmed this autumn, with patients being airlifted by the military to Ontario and army medical personnel being sent in to try to ease the shortage of critical care staff, especially nurses -- and they are already talking about a fifth wave after Christmas

 Saskatchewan has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with vaccination rates in some rural areas barely topping 50 per cent. Watching the provincial government there trying to handle a pandemic that many of their supporters don't believe exists has been like watching a couple of especially clumsy moose attempt to compete in Olympic pairs figure skating. It would be hilarious if you didn't know it was all going to end with them sliding in the crowd and trampling a lot of people into pulp. 

Premier Scott Moe has exhibited a level of cluelessness that makes Jason Kenney and even Doug Ford look nearly competent. This was the province that hosted Mad Max Bernier's election night party with the far-right People's Party of Canada which was notable for the number of maskless idiots who got together in a hotel ballroom to infect each other and congratulate themselves on winning zero seats in the most recent federal election and earning about a dozen people very expensive tickets for violating public health rules. And while he has spoke in favour of vaccines and masks, those are undeniably Scott Moe's people

Obviously, it is hard for the Saskatchewan Party to stand on their record in dealing with covid, but sending the health minister out day after day to grope and flail in public is not helping. Former premier Brad Wall wasn't particularly savvy or clever, but he looks like the second coming of Winston Churchill compared to Brad Moe right now. Which is good for Brad Wall, since he appears to mostly be keeping his powder dry and stoking the anti-Trudeau bonfire out west until the federal conservatives kick the hapless Erin O'Toole to the curb. Moe, on the other hand, is looking more and more like the best thing that has happened to the NDP in Saskatchewan since Tommy Douglas. 

NDP leader Ryan Meili - a physician - has been working over Merriman and Moe like Muhammad Ali in his prime coming up against a blind drunk one-legged Klansman. I don't have much sympathy for losing side in the beatdown, but it is a little bit cringe-worthy to see someone get punched in the nuts over and over again, even metaphorically.

Moe is currently holding a flaming paper bag full of dogshit, useless cabinet ministers and crazy antivaxxers and doesn't seem to know whether to ruin his shoes stomping the flames out or let the fire spread to the whole house. The worrying part for the people of Saskatchewan is than no one around him seems to have the sense to tell him to take Merriman out for a swim in Wascana Lake with a couple of cinderblocks and start listening to actual doctors instead of conspiracy-mongers, Jesus freaks and right-wing grifters.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

It's not easy being blue

With apologies to Frank Oz, whom I'm sure smells good and has a light touch.

This made me laugh a lot


even more than this did

 Now, if I can just find a video of Beaker singing "Long Way Home" or "Old '55" my day will be worthwhile.

And the horse you rode in on...and it's mother, too

I've been off work for a a couple of days due to an eye injury (scratched cornea, if you -like my employer - feel you must know) but I will be back in the news trenches tonight. Not because I am fully recovered - I am not - but because my employer has decided it requires a "doctor"s note" if I am going to take any more time off. 
When, and not "if', I get the name of the genius in "Human Resources'  (I am not a "resource" I am a human being) that has decided that I need the permission of my personal physician, homeroom teacher or mommy to come to work, we will have a "full and frank discussion" about who signed which contract that exchanges my labour and expertise for a salary. (Helpful hint for those in the "human resources" department - it was me that signed that contract, not my doctor, not my homeroom teacher and certainly not my mother - she's way smarter than that, and believe me when i tell you, you couldn't afford to hire her at half of what she would be worth).
The notion that I need provide some sort of proof that I have a reason not to come to work is insulting, patronizing, demeaning and just plain dumb.
My employer and I have a contract. I work, they pay. If my inability to work becomes an issue, then I would not expect to continue that contract. If however, I decide I am unable to work on a given day due to illness or injury, our contract says I still get paid up to a point. That point is considerably further away than three days. And more importantly, the decision is mine, not my doctor's or your lawyer's or my mother's or even your imaginary parent's or Conrad Fucking Black's. Mine. I own my own labour, you fuckers just rent it.
When I allow you to. 
I don't need to show you a note or a badge ("Badges? We don't got no badges...I don't got to show you no stinking' badges!") or a permission slip from my scoutmaster or the head prefect. I decide whether to sell you my labour today. You can decide if you want to pay for it or not, but you don't get to demand a note from my physician if I decide to withhold that labour for a couple of days, the decision about whether I will work is mine, and mine alone.
I get it, you have beans to count and beans need to counted. But I am not a bean and just because you pay me, it doesn't mean you own me or get to make decisions for me about whether I am able to work or not. You are entitled to notification that I can or cannot fulfill my previous agreed upon duties, but you don't get to ask me to supply a third opinion. 


http://www.wikio.comI'm watching Casablanca for the elevntry-seventh time and I'm reminded of the profound conversation I had with my unilingual Japanese father-in-law in which we agreed that Ingrid Bergman in 1942 was the the second most beautiful woman in the world. 

We differed, only slightly, over who was the most beautiful, but in time he conceded I might be right, but that her mother was a very close second. I stand by my pick.
For the record, I have no idea who that skinny, brown-haired goateed kid is, but GODDAMN, that is the nee-plus ultra of what we talk about when we talk about beautiful women. 

And sometimes, even after more than 20 years of my bullshit, she even makes coffee in the morning. Clearly, I was born lucky.

http://www.wikio.comI've been laid up with an eye injury for a few days and this has been stuck in my head. I'm not sure which version is better. But it is absolutely better than last week when I had the opening lines of Springsteen's Atlantic City stuck in my head.