Livin’ out of the back of my ‘97 Camry

Quiet week with not much going on. Sorry for the lack of content.

Watching the government response to COVID-19 is an exercise in not writing fan fiction. (Or whatever the opposite of fan fiction is. Detractor fiction?) The response at every level from every actor has been kind of baffling, and even the dumbest citizen has a pocket full of ideas that rival anything we've seen in action thus far. I can't imagine even the most callous working class citizen could dream up things like CERB clawbacks/penalties or CEWS paying corporate dividends because most realize the truth - the pandemic's casualties are broad and the little guy could use some help.

Every day brings a little more speculative fiction. Wouldn't it be nice if the money printer sang for us instead of the horse farmers of Ontario? Could we have a little rent relief instead of investing in a pipeline that can be cancelled with the stroke of a pen in another country? Instead of watching deaths and infections climb because the workers we don't care about - from factory workers to retail workers - are forced into essential and fake essential labour to pay their bills, could we coordinate and fund a couple of comfortable lockdown weeks to eliminate as much of the virus as possible? Cops could deliver food and drugs to the vulnerable and hospital workers could catch their breath. The Liberty Death Cult would mewl but I think their numbers would be much lower if their jobs and mortgages were guaranteed through the period the government required to prevent some death and sickness. Maybe kids could go back to school this year without being ground zero for spread.

See, there I go again. Every decision made by our governing bodies points to some arcane knowledge that says saving a small business makes more sense than saving the retirement funds and savings of the old, preventing eventual and imminent evictions, or encouraging isolation with direct assistance. Actually just materially helping citizens seems like political treasure with no protections, just asking to be grabbed by whichever principal decides they want to be the most popular politician in Canada by default. Can you imagine Justin Trudeau deciding to directly shore up the finances of every Canadian with immediate universal cash payments and until things were under control? What if he told Pfizer to go fuck itself with it’s protection racket move their orders to Moderna or, even better, nationalize some capacity to make vaccines like we used to? I don’t think it’s crazy to say that the minority of debt psychos screaming about managing a federal budget like a household would be drowned out by millions who appreciate not going bankrupt because of a global pandemic.

Centrist politicians in Western democracies are so petrified of being seen as “spendy” or financially irresponsible that they just watch a crisis unfold, find the line they can cut closest to doing nothing at all, and aim to the conservative side of it. The fiction starts flowing out of desperation, everyone forced to imagine what they would do if they had the power to help their country and neighbours in significant ways for the cost of a little inflation or a stern letter from the eunuch viziers at Moody’s. Every idea trails off as you look at what is actually being done and begging the questions: what the fuck are you doing? What are you thinking? What the fuck are you doing?

👿A worker was killed seemingly because driving a bulldozer on an iced-over pond is a thing that Suncor deems safe. Suncor, of course, has had similar problems in the past and they don’t much care about dying workers.

🎃Overcrowding in Edmonton schools are a thing of the past now and all other issues have been dealt with so some land earmarked for public schools has been sold to build a new private school!

🐔The UCP tried to brand a miniscule cancellation of coal leases as a victory for opponents. In reality the areas protected were a tiny fraction of planned exploitation of a worthless resource from the Middle Ages and it’s basically business as usual.

🌝“Left” party supplicate themselves to capital masters for umpteenth time.

🍖Edmonton emergency services have no solution for trains after a century.

🐙The province reclaiming probation services from the city of Calgary isn’t a huge story, but its eventual privatization will be. Personally I can’t wait for someone to find profit margin in the supervision of minors.

🍩Tyler Shandro held an outdoor press conference without his usual precautions in place, causing huge amounts of damage.

👣Some Edmonton police decided to do some kickin’ rad Fast and Furious stunt driving to honour a fallen officer and instead crashed into each other and wrote off some vehicles and looked like buffoons.

👽Greenpeace threatens to sue the province for alleging they are far cooler than they actually are.

🦛UCP man sorry but the intern did it, I swear.

🏉Shithead teacher messes with the bull and gets the horns while screaming “I swear that bigoted thing I kept saying doesn’t mean I’m a bigot, I’m just Catholic I swear! It is YOU who is INTOLERANT!” Give it up for Zoomers who take no shit.

⛲️The Calgary hotel market is weirdly ultra-saturated, with hotel after hotel erected from the airport all the way to Okotoks at a frightening rate for the first two decades of the 2000s. It got so bad the people who want to maintain value in hotel bookings told them to knock it the fuck off already Jesus Christ. Faced with that huge inventory and inexplicable “shaming of travel” (weird what would cause that) some Calgary hotels are looking to convert to affordable housing. Who knew the answer to housing the homeless and working poor was to attack the profits of hotels. Of course!

🐗That’s a pretty nice vaccine you got there. Be a shame if somebody…delayed shipments until you pay up.

🧛‍♂️Julie Payette is so bad at her non-job and made it such a shitty place to work it’s spawned like, four separate scandal cycles. This is like when Meadow Soprano’s boyfriend screwed up that no-show construction job by actually doing work. What absolute imbeciles. Just take the paycheque and bask in your utter uselessness, it’s fine, stop being earnest, you’ve been to space, Julie, you’ve done enough. Right before press time she stepped down.

🦡If a pandemic can’t inspire the ruling class to pay for you to stay home when you’re contagious, they just don’t want you to fucking have it.

🧇The most attention-grabbing protest in a generation was enacted by total dullards so here is a cool tool to scrub through videos of it posted to Parler.

🍄Signal is probably a CIA op so, you know, careful with that.

🥜If a journalist stops talking about a politician it either means they’re getting sued or getting a job.

It will all be exactly the same lol your vote did nothing.

🧖‍♂️There are no dumping laws in space so pretty soon it will be hard to even leave the planet without getting shredded by old toilets and shit. Oops. Sorry to all the “Future is On Mars” Musk fans out there. I’m sure it will improve when Elon-sama puts a thick blanket of satellites in the air to provide 5 Mbps down internet to places like Great Falls.

🎱At the start of the Biden administration a country destroyed by the Obama/Biden administration might have a way to end the civil war that started because Barack and Hillary Clinton wanted to bomb their way to peace or something.

👜Please read some other books.

🎲 The cult of the taxpayer has roots in white supremacy.

🪕Remember when the NDP was doing pretty good in B.C. but fumbled the endgame?

🦊Friend of the network Andray curated this poisoned well of liberal reactions to the inauguration of the GOOD GUY rapist.

📉Alberta Advantage showed some real intolerance for the KKK this month. It’s great honestly.

🎧OffCourt had its debut episode and, well, wow.

🔇The Blood Tribe is fighting coal development in the Rocky Mountains and The Forgotten Corner has an interview.

🎚️Worse variants of COVID are coming and Alberta is just stuffing fingers in its ears. Progress Report…reports.

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

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