And if the ground's not cold, everything is gonna burn

I’m worried about getting the Delta variant so I’m just licking things these days. Hand rails, cups on restaurant tables, door handles. Any high-touch surface. Get it over with, you know? I have my vaccines so I should add that good natural immunity too. Better than the anxiety, right?


The pandemic is over* and now the healing can begin. The starting point, as is with all conservative governments, is to take out a hand-scythe and start hacking away at public employees’ money-throats. To make sure they’re not playing favourites, the UCP is poised to go straight to the pockets we stuffed with praise and overtime to get us through a period that has seen a couple thousand Albertans die officially and maybe 5-15% more than that unofficially. The coldness of the gesture is almost admirable, like when you see a farmer kill a chicken and appreciate the jobs you don’t have to do to eat food, but then the farmer starts laughing and drooling with pleasure and you start asking even more questions about your life. We’ve all been there.

There’s surprisingly little to say about nurses facing the big boot of fiscal restraint theatre as it crashes down into their nose cartilage. They’ll push a Murder of a cut, face some sort of half-measure job action championed by kitten-soft union execs and everyone will settle for a Manslaughter cut. The example made the government will move on to teachers and down the line to firefighters and dog catchers until everyone is pissed and sad and various departments are pruned and put into private hands until their budget doubles by 2030 so shareholders can buy wakeboard boats and Palm Bay. This is the way it works.

So let me face this new-old situation with a comparison that will get me terse emails and a deserved talking-to from my hot/smart wife - this feels like the health labour equivalent of the Newtown school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. The rhetorical sigh following that brutal and disgusting act was this - if gun control doesn’t happen now in the United States, it never will. 26 dead children will either spur the most sweeping action on gun ownership in the U.S. since Independence or it will never happen. Nothing happened and mass shootings in that country have continued apace.

2307 are dead of a pandemic (at press time, more tomorrow) and medical professionals are held in what might be the most acute peacetime esteem ever. If a massive strike isn’t undertaken in response, if public sympathy isn’t near total and overwhelming, and if the Alberta government doesn’t fold like a wet towel, then I’m not sure what circumstances could ever invigorate the labour movement among medical workers in this province, or in this country. If union officials don’t grab the leverage they have right now, I don’t think they ever will.

The rank and file appear to be frothing for a fight. The damage done by polite negotiation might be far worse than the resulting material punch to the jaw, and felt far after the bruises fade in memory.


📣Everything is good and normal in Alberta. We totally won’t break our power grid, our bridges won’t collapse, we won’t bake to death in our homes.

🎴An oil company jacked up the economics on a refinery and is about to start losing money hand over fist so the UCP will just throw the better part of a billion dollars at the problem and put us on the hook for its continued shittiness for the rest of our natural lives.

💱Alberta wasn’t the only place to relax environmental protections under the cover of COVID economic recovery and that broad shrug of the shoulders is going to bake the planet even faster.

🛃Nobody wants to learn how to be an Albertan oil sheik, says nervous-looking university with many buildings and theatres named after oil companies.

♻️Theron Fleury, one time big-shot in Calgary for excelling at a sport for children, has a long history of suckling at the Canadian art grant teat and is going to court to seek his future earnings from taxpayer dollars.


💟An Inuk woman who has avoided the poison of speaking French now has the ability to veto bills in Canada. She should veto everything until reserves get clean water and spark the Constitutional process this country so richly deserves.

✂️The most clear-headed thinking about the future of climate change sometimes comes from the U.S. security state because they have to be honest with themselves about how many bullets they’ll need.

🧸The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan ends with a midnight move-out.

🎏BIPOC Member of Parliament successfully harassed out of politics by Trudeau and his Dummy Brigade. Sure, her politics are lame but you still hate to see it.

🧲The threat of mortality and a weird spike in public assistance is pushing people to look at their dogshit jobs with garbage bosses who treat them like human debris and say, no, fuck you. Bosses are scared.


⏰Genocidal fucker on your cash? Take it elsewhere, settler.

🪔If Calgary city council keeps scoring points with the Calgary Sun by laying off civil servants, it is the duty of those civil servants to punish council with insane overtime charges.

🏭Print the names and their home addresses.

💺Thin blue flame.

🥁BLM Toronto is now neighbour to the United Steelworkers.


📉I went on the Off Court Pod to talk about Deshaun Watson and the serial abuse of women by the NFL.

🎧The podcast kids looked at the most Communist fly-over town in Alberta - Blairmore!

🔇The Progress Report takes a strong stance on making Canada go away.

🎚️Sweater Weather interviews the cool Andrew Jackson (not the bad one) about his book about democratic socialism.


⛷Alberta businesses are tired of psychopaths saying safe injection sites are bad for adjacent businesses, so they’re organizing and buying Narcan and sending open letters. Support them!

🤿Get a lawn sign to support nurses.


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Our editor is Clinton Hallahan. Newsletter subject lines are stolen from these songs.

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