Week of February 14

What caught my attention the Week of February 14

New Words (at least for me):

Hellacious – very great, very bad, very overwhelming.

Example: The pandemic was hellacious.

Chris Selley, National Post of February 14

Selley addresses the need to manage and police protests with consistency. So, he calls out Justin Trudeau for attempting to negotiate an end to the 2020 rail blockades. The implication – he should have attempted some sort of dialogue with the “Freedom” convoy. 

He is much more explicit about Pierre Poilievre’s (“PP” – now that is an unfortunate moniker) hypocrisy. “These blockaders are taking away the freedom of other people to move their goods and themselves where they want to go, and that is wrong” thundered PP during the rail blockades of 2020. Two year laters, he showed up to support truckers and continues to support demonstrations “taking away the freedom of other people to move their goods and themselves where they want to go”. 

Why the difference in attitude. Well, he doesn’t like demonstrations about indigenous rights or the environment. However, bring him a cowardly rabble protesting about freedom without responsibility and waving Nazi and Confederate flags. He likes them. What does this say about PP? He may win the Tory leadership but how can anyone in the Ottawa region vote for him again? He has promoted the abuse of their city and its fellow citizens.  

Yes, I did call the Freedom Convoy cowardly!

The Freedom without Respsonsibility convoy

They:

  • Hide behind children
  • Lock themselves into weaponized eighteen wheel trucks
  • Bully regular Ottawa citizens just trying to get on with their lives
  • Defecate on front gardens and the tomb of the unknown soldier
  • With threat of “gang” violence, force homeless shelter workers to feed them all the while hurling racial slurs at the security guard.
  • Intimidate Ottawa children on their way to school

Are these people your heroes? If so, give your head a shake!

Beijing’s Kilted Musicians – The New York Times, February 14

Everyone loves the Scots! The bagpipes thrill and can send chills down the spines of the enemy. At the Olympic curling venue, the pipers are all Chinese from Beijing. They dress in full highland regalia and they profess their love for the pipes. But what do they wear under their kilts? Well they find it to be a wee bit chilly so they wear their undies. 

Pipers on the Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Linked-In

I have started my personal journey into blocking politicians on Linked-In. It has to be an equal opportunity block so first two up:

  • Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre

Others will follow. I am also starting to block people who just get things wrong. Examples:

  • Blaming the Feds for things that are Provincial jurisdiction. And, of course, vice versa. 
  • Use of obviously stupid stats. I don’t want to see you in my feed. Example from a recent post: “Millions of Canadians have lost their jobs due to vaccination mandates.”  If the writer had said thousands, I could have lived with that and may have continued reading. But millions – really? Using 90% as the vaccination benchmark amongst eligible Canadians, would mean that at most about 2 million Canadian workers are unvaccinated, most of whom are not affected by mandates. Even unvaccinated truckers who did trans-border work were offered intra-provincial routes until vaccine requirements were lifted – on both sides of the border. 

If the writers can’t get the basics right, it destroys any credibility.

On the Edge of a Polish Forest Where Some of Putin’s Darkest Fears Lurk 

The edge of a Polish Forest

This article in the New York Times sets out the root cause of the current situation in the Ukraine. I have linked the article in the heading but it is probably behind a pay wall. If free to you, it is a worthwhile read. I am not a Putin apologist. However:

  • December 2001, President George W. Bush infuriated Putin by pulling out of the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty considered critical to preserve mutual vulnerability
  • March 12, 1999 – Poland joins NATO
  • March 29,2004 – Romania joins Nato
  • 2007 – US establishes an Aegis Ashore missile base in Romania
  • In 2016, the US started construction of another missile base in Redzikowo, Poland 0nly 800 miles from Moscow.

The US may not be sending troops to the Ukraine but it has bolstered its troop numbers in Romania and Poland. 

Putin is a despicable despot aligned with despicable despots but I think I understand his Ukraine obsession a bit better after reading this article. Oh! and the west has its favourite despicable despots! Saudi Arabia anyone?

Lets celebrate: 

  • The 90%+ of truck drivers working this week 
  • Doug Ford as Bonhomme Carnival
  • Bad grammar – some of the commentary on social media sites is just so badly written that it is funny. 

Big raspberries to:

  • The Freedom (without responsibility) Convoy
  • Justin Trudeau 
  • PP – and if you don’t know who I mean, Pierre Poilievre. I know, it is juvenile but I can’t help myself.  
  • The fickle attitude of the US to international treaties.
  • Vladimir Putin
  • And now and forever: François Legault

Quote of the Week

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”

Søren Kierkegaard 

That’s it – and I know it is early – for the week of February 14.

The Co-working Concept, Issue 80

January 22, 2024

Co-working space came to mean the notorious We Work model. When I had been asked to opine on co-working I tried to steer the conversation away from the Adam Neumann / Softbank  flimflam growth model. Instead, I suggested that property owners look at usage and users. While I doubted We Work’s ability to survive I […]

The Affordable Housing Conundrum

October 3, 2023

Before I fall completely into the trap of opposition politics, I have decided to take a break from never-ending criticism and to start suggesting solutions to the affordable housing conundrum. Do I have a plan? No, more a collection of ideas To start with, I think there are three key issues: Home ownership is not […]

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]

Vienna on Top Again

June 25, 2023

Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]