Missiles to the picket fence
Somebody should really tell Justin Trudeau that a lot of Canadians are
a few hundo away from being totally screwed
? Is this not common knowledge? Does he subscribe to this newsletter? He probably should, he has some quarantine time on his hands each day before and after he delivers his robo-speech.
COVID-19 has all but shut down the economy and forced most of the country indoors. Without a job it’s hard to do things like pay for food and shelter. This has made the federal CERB (Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit) an important ray of hope while the economy takes a smoke break. Most applicants will be left hanging. If you’re in full-time education and didn’t make $5000 in the last 12 months, you’re probably out of luck. Maternity leave just run out? Also probably screwed. Freelancer? Eat shit!
The glory of means testing is that the loopholes are many and the justifications are few. Fiscal responsibility? I mean, no, that usually goes hand-in-hand with some worship at the altar of national debt, and when the money printer sings that all goes out the window. COVID is an unprecedented public crisis that screams out for barrier-free, universal programs and the Trudeau Liberals seem content to do their usual hoop-and-dog show to avoid giving people the cash they need to live.
It makes no sense in any other context. Imagine, for a moment, that the problem wasn’t a stubborn virus but a huge rising of vampires. Human-eating knights of Lucifer have opened up the screen doors on the porches of hell and overrun the world, starting near their home base under Orlando and slowly spreading out in the cardinal directions. Soon they blanket the skies and avenues like crows on power lines and people are getting turned into fetal blood prunes in the thousands. San Antonio streets ankle deep with pensioners white as sheets, Moscow Russian-sicles in rigor fighting off a long-gone sanguisuge, Albanian bunker owners typing out haughty “told ya so” tweets regularly. It’s a major problem, these vampires!
It turns out that stakes are very effective at exterminating these vampires, even more than the popular fictions would have you believe. If you have a piece of sharp wood in the rough shape of a pokey pyramid you’re golden. A little prick makes a vampire go boom, exploding the vermin like a popped balloon. But the general public can only pump these things out so fast and, listen, there so many goddamn vampires. They are pouring out of what used to be Orlando. Epcot contains a full-on katamari of vampires. It’s full. But as it turns out the world is FULL of stakes and the government has a 3D stake printer that can print stakes at will. Because of stake seigniorage and modern stake theory it’s actually profitable for the federal government to make and distribute as many stakes as possible, to say nothing of the self-defense benefit of having stakes in as many hands as possible. People out there need to be making stake houses, stake garbage cans, stake cribs, stake universities. A whole class of people hoard stakes at their mansions and offshore in Bermuda but the feds won’t just expropriate those stakes for redistribution so that humanity can win a war against a night-dwelling species of human eaters.
Instead the federal government has decided that there has to be some sort of stake rationing to maintain the stake economy after the vampire threat has been dealt with. Universal stake support would be the quickest way to help everyone, yes, but some people just don’t need all those stakes, right? So you need to apply and show that you have had a certain amount of stakes this year and can’t get more stakes because of the vampire threat. If you are unlikely to encounter a vampire in your locale (you will, they’re everywhere), or if you are not in a blood-essential trade your stake allocation will be lower. You should have been a more productive member of pre-vampire incursion society or currently should live in a more infested locale. Sorry. Maybe just move?
This stake austerity is universal, proving the feds can do something like that if they want. Unless you’re a vampire hunter. A class of vampire hunters will be well outfitted to enter the vampire’s castle in Florida, a solution statistically unlikely to outperform full population stake penetration, but the Van Helsing family has deep pockets and the hunter lobby is suddenly ascendant. But the pain will be felt universally past that, they promise.
Well, unless you're a corporation. Vampires are bad for employment. The feds are going to give you unlimited stake bonds, stake loan guarantees, and will pour equity stake money into your projects and then sell as soon as the threat has been quelled. But we’re all in this together, we’ll all feel the economic slowdown equally. Well, except for people building a stake pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
This all has a predictable result. The stake market mostly stays the same with the safe staying safe and the stake-challenged trying everything they can to get around the stake shortage. Garlic oil Super Soakers, rice-counting barricades, hastily constructed mirror houses, arson-proof brutalist forts, UV lamp-guns, mutual stake cooperatives. Deaths rise to the millions but maybe, just maybe, the world is better off without so many delicious morsels. We’d protest the government response but in this time of vampire surplus you have to have priorities. You can’t demonstrate in Ottawa when you have kevlar scarves to sew for the jugulars of the young and elderly. There’s a chorus of stake radicals screaming at the top of their lungs that the stake rationing is a dumb response to fake scarcity, but when you’re barricading your doors against the para-dead and their enslaved familiars (the Hemo-goblins), the revolution is going to be postponed to a more survivable period. Maybe that’s the point.
And your landlord still wants rent. Fucker, can’t you see I’m packing shells with silver bearings to buy one more morning for my family? It’s a slur these days but could you stop being such a blood-sucker? God damn, dude.
🧛Where to fucking start. Yeah, we bought a portion of another fucking pipeline when WCS hit historical lows. The oil companies have a big wishlist and the feds say they want to give them the world. They also don’t have to do any environmental reporting until who knows when. I bet they’ll say it worked just fine without reporting during quarantine so why bother bringing it back? So, yeah. All we really know is that your employer will be taken care of and you’re on your fucking own.
👨👩👧To pay for your new pipeline your kids need to suffer, as usual. They say the teachers and assistants will be hired back, but with Telus offering app doctors and Shaw offering app-classes and the former having a mole on the council of shadows guiding our smooth-brain fuck prince, who knows.
🤳The city wanted to house the homeless in empty hotels during the quarantine, but the province said no, use the Telus Convention Centre. Apparently it’s roughly the same cost but there was concerns about suicide proofing? My guess is that the convention centre had friends in higher places.
🥠Tip everyone and try and support local business as much as you can. It might be your last chance.
🦊There is no fucking way the Stampede is happening.
🥍Tyler Shandro called his neighbour out to the bike racks after class.
⛳Local landlord describes his Bret Easton Ellis-style quest to ruin a woman over a pittance.
🏏Doctors are an elite caste, yes, but maybe delay their pay cut until after the giant mega killer sweeps through town? Please?
🧨Who would have thought that warehouses for the elderly that we barely regulate and fund, and where we import precarious immigrant labour to because we don’t pay carers shit for shit, would be a hotspot for disease and death! Crazy!
⚗️Canadian republican aspirations dashed once again by modern medicine.
🎨Our southern neighbours and Alberta are in lockstep making pipelines the poster child for protest crackdown laws.
🏴Rest In Power, Mel Watkins.
🧟♂️In normal time you pick my lettuce and I try to get you deported back to Guatemala to get murdered by that gang that hates you. But this is corona-time baby, so you get a brief reprieve so you can pick lettuce like a hero!
🦌Step one, lobby for inadequate medical coverage for everyone on the planet. Step two, treat the symptoms of the stress poor coverage with a hum-dinger of a proton pump inhibitor. Step three, you get cancer which will probably cause more heartburn.
🥘Prison populations are rife with COVID but you can get money and PPE if you dig some graves for your cellmates! Innovation!
📟The very normal response to an international disease outbreak? Threaten the guy telling you how to not die and anyone who looks Asian.
⚔️Workers in India are getting totally fucked. COVID is running rampant and their jobs typically provide some sort of housing. No money, no housing, and you’re a migrant worker from a rural part of the country? That means you’re standing in kilometers-long lines to get on a packed train to get home. Community spread writ large.
🎃The U.S. military is pretty well funded I’m told, and they use that money to dream up ways the U.S. military might be threatened in the future and how prepared they are for something like that. So back in 2017 they were talking about a hypothetical new respiratory virus that could spread…
⛑️Plastic interests are attempting to use the “sanitation” of single-use plastic during a pandemic to push back against bans.
🐞Compare and contrast how China builds a hospital in two weeks versus how Brits put cubicles into a conference centre over two weeks.
🦸Quarantine is good and all but being arrested for “failure to provide travel reasons” feels pretty fucked up.
🖍️Right when corona was breaking out, Americans bought almost as many guns as that time a bunch of kids got murdered and they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to buy as many guns.
🦍Totally trustworthy tobacco company says they can produce a coronavirus vaccine months faster than anyone else, which is not at all suspicious. I’m sure they won’t ask for millions in funding and just shrug when their shit doesn’t work out. I’m sure they won’t have a totally legit stock buyback right after.
🦔Tracing pandemic spread is a good time to roll out some dope surveillance software that can track the phones your phone has been near.
🍧Wealth is a vector. Wealth is a vector. Wealth is a vector.
🧉When you send everyone home from work, sometimes that means you take away a reprieve for abuse victims.
🌭Both DJ Jazzy Jeff and Scarface got COVID, proving that this virus is racist against golden age hip hop legends.
🍱Whole Foods workers, who were told to donate their sick days to quarantined colleagues, are spottily striking in the United States. They work for the world’s richest man. Delivery drivers and shoppers for Instacart are also taking various strike actions.
🗽Sanitation workers in Pittsburgh are sort of striking over lack of PPE, changing city name pronunciation back to the proper “Pitts-burra”. Same in Raleigh.
🎲Only a debt jubilee can help people and maybe help the economy.
🔮Yeah coronavirus capitalism is marching hard but maybe something better can emerge from these ashes.
🏵️Some GE workers would rather build ventilators than, uh, nukes.
🧼COVID tells us what we already knew: economic planning is badly needed.
📉Medicine Hat zaddy Jeremy Appel started a podcast and it is big, shiny, and good.
🎧The biggest mass layoff in Alberta history happened just last week and The Progress Report takes you through it.
🔇New York gets all the attention but did you know that leaders in Los Angeles are fucking up just as hard? The Insurgents has Josh Androsky on their show (RIP to his podcast I Am Ready For Some Football) to discuss just how dumb and bad things are on the best coast.
🏴I swear we will put something in here when we figure out what Discord-Marxist demonstrations looks like.