The Litter That’s Killing Everything and Everyone

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Four and a half trillion. That’s how many cigarette butts are estimated to be littered every year on our streets, sidewalks, parks, downtowns, parking lots, lawns, and everywhere else smokers feel entitled to leave them. That’s 4,500,000,000,000 pieces of toxic, non-biodegradable, chemical-soaked plastic waste that smokers — and smokers alone — pollute the earth with every year. That’s litter deliberately left to poison the water, kill plants and wildlife, and remain in the environment for more than a decade, doing their damage. An estimated 1.69 … click below for more ↓

Why Local Media Has Failed Us

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The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024, released this week, identifies the biggest short-term risk to the planet is from misinformation and disinformation, even above extreme weather events. The risk is highest during the next two years when “more than 3 billion people due to head to the polls in 2024 and 2025, including in major economies like the United States, India and the United Kingdom” where rightwing dictators and fascists like Trump, Putin, Poilievre, and Modi will be on the political stage.* What … click below for more ↓

The Book of Knowledge: 3

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Back in the Mesozoic of my life, I came across a quotation from Giacomo Casanova that, as far as I can remember these days, went “No man can know everything, but every man should attempt to.” For many decades, I didn’t know the source, or whether it was misquoted, misattributed, or simply a fake as we experience so often on most internet quote sites (aka clickbait sites). But it stuck with me. I recently found a more fulsome translation of his words from Chapter V … click below for more ↓

Milton Was Wrong

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In 1644, the English poet and pamphleteer John Milton wrote an impassioned defence of free speech (or, more factually, against censorship of print and in favour of restriction-free publication) called the Areopagitica. It was subtitled A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England. In it, Milton argued that, given the choice between truth and lies, people were wise enough to see what was true. And that people’s character grew stronger when presented with a wide variety … click below for more ↓

Smith, Rock, and the Trivialization of Western Culture

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If Neil Postman were alive today, sitting in a bar or café with Chris Hedges, I wonder which one would say “I told you so!” first after seeing social media this past week? The story that clogged the social media pipes this week was the slap one actor gave another on stage during the performance of the annual onanism festival called the Oscars. And as soon as it happened, even while it was occurring, a shitstorm of comments, opinions and reportage flooded social media. Every … click below for more ↓

Conservatives Eat Their Own

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So the alt-right segment of the Conservative Party dumped Erin O’Toole, its latest leader, for being too moderate. Too much like a human, methinks, and that made him vulnerable. The alt-right members are dragging the party into the Repugnican side of politics: an authoritarian, pseudo-Christian, racist, and separatist/libertarian ideology. The elect-then-dump-’em routine would be comical if it weren’t scary because one day these neo-fascists might become the government. And, seeing the disaster of Trump’s four years when the alt-right had power, it scares the crap … click below for more ↓

Don’t Blame the Liberals

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Risible rightwing piffle still circulates online about who is responsible for the rising costs of fuel and food. Conservatives and libertarians love to blame the Liberals, but that’s self-serving claptrap from people who love to give handouts and tax cuts to corporations and billionaires and then wonder why governments have no money. Oil and gas prices are set by the oil corporations (most of which are offshore entities) mostly based on what OPEC decides on for per-barrel prices; our government taxes on gasoline are added … click below for more ↓

Jail the Unvaccinated

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In a recent opinion piece in Macleans Magazine, Scott Gilmore wrote what I expect many vaccinated Canadians felt about those who still refuse to get vaccinated and help end this pandemic: We need to begin treating the vaccine holdouts as the fools they are. It is not fair that reasonable and responsible Canadians should pay the price for their deadly selfishness. No more soothing tones and patience. Time for the stick. The stick in question that Gilmore suggests is withholding services and access to the … click below for more ↓

A Quick Word for the Internet Trolls

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For the social media trolls and whingers who never take the time to read, or listen, or check facts before spewing out their bile, here are a dozen points to consider before you bloviate further (yes, I realize the chance that the hard-of-thinking will actually read this is slim, but I live in hope): The judicial inquiry (or as it’s known locally, the Saunderson Vindictive Judicial Inquiry or SVJI) was NOT a criminal investigation. It was an examination of processes. No criminal charges resulted. No … click below for more ↓

We’re Doomed. Doomed, I tell you.

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While walking our dog recently, we encountered another couple “our age” (somewhere between 65 and 90) also walking their dog. While the two pets sniffed and frolicked, we chatted with them (at a safe distance, of course). And, as might be expected during a lengthy pandemic, one of the first questions we asked them was, “Have you had your shot yet?” Shockingly, they both answered, “No! And we’re not going to get one.” My first thought when I heard this, “We’re doomed.” These are people … click below for more ↓

We Need New Names for Stupid

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I was reading a story in CollingwoodToday about another anti-mask/anti-lockdown protest recently — this one in Barrie, Sat. April 24 — and thought to myself that our language does not have the appropriate words to describe the combination of selfishness, stupidity, and ignorance that fuels this sort of event. Sure, we have lots of individual words to describe these people, but it seems the pandemic has brought out a unique combination of attributes that deserve their own vocabulary.  This was the seventh such rally in … click below for more ↓

The COVID-19 Vaccination Screw Up

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For a long time during this pandemic, Susan and I were in the “not eligible” age bracket for the COVID-19 vaccination (65-79 years old) here in Ontario. Why our age group was left out I have never been able to uncover. Maybe some politicians felt we were more expendable than other groups. But late last week, the provincial government finally announced it had expanded eligibility to our group. Whoopee! So we immediately went online to book a slot. The Ontario government site, however, directed us … click below for more ↓

Remembrance Day thoughts

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An article on the Global News site titled “Fewer Canadians plan to wear poppies this Remembrance Day, poll finds” made me think again about what Remembrance Day is for. The article opens: Fewer people plan to participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies or wear poppies this year, according to a poll from Historica Canada that also suggests knowledge of Canadian military history is dwindling. To be fair, I’d suggest knowledge of pretty much everything factual is dwindling. One only need look at social media posts from … click below for more ↓

Post-election musings

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Media reports suggest that, like me, most Canadians breathed a large sigh of relief when Joe Biden won the US election and ended the proto-fascist regime in the USA. Not that I think he’s some sort of saviour of American politics: for all the rhetoric the Trump campaign spewed at him and his party, the Democrats are not leftwing, let alone radical. The most “radical” of them all — Bernie Sanders — would barely qualify as a centrist in most Western nations. And most of … click below for more ↓

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