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Posts Tagged ‘opinion’


Major Fossil Fuel PR Group is Behind Europe Pro-Hydrogen Push

Posted December 9, 2020 by Anonymous

Read time: 7 minsThe recent deluge of pro-hydrogen stories in the media that tout hydrogen as a climate solution and clean form of energy can now be linked in part to FTI Consulting — one of the most notorious oil and gas industry public relations firm…

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Green Groups Call On Future Biden White House To Overturn New EPA Rule Announced With The Heritage Foundation

Posted December 9, 2020 by Anonymous

Read time: 5 minsDuring a virtual event on Wednesday, December 9 hosted by the Heritage Foundation — a conservative free market think tank backed by polluters like the petrochemical Koch empire — the outgoing head of the Environmental Protection Agency…

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Saturday Stories: What We Should Be Doing While Awaiting Vaccines, How To Make The Best Of Vaccines, And Our Shameful Failure With Our Racialized Neighbourhoods

Posted December 5, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Zain Chagla, Sumon Chakrabarti, Isaac Bogoch and Lynora Saxinger, in The National Post, on what we should be doing with vaccines on the horizon.Helen Branswell, in STAT, on how we might make best use of the vaccines once they arrive.Jennifer Yang, Kat…

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Dogs! Lots of dogs!

Posted November 29, 2020 by Anonymous

For a delightful change of pace, here’s some of the best dog videos now on the web:

Crazy agility by Pink the border collie..

Come for the speed – stay for flying hug…

— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 27, 2020

Gm tweeties, happy hump day! Enjoy your day everyone.

— ༺🦋༻ᗰᗩƳᖇᗩ༺🦋༻ (@LepapillonBlu) November 25, 2020

His favorite toy

— The Feel Good Page ❤️ (@akkitwts) November 23, 2020

ok it is time to remember when three dogs thought it was just another day and it turned out to be a great day they are so happy tbh

— darth™ (@darth) November 11, 2016

These two are Branch Managers..

— Land of cuteness (@landpsychology) November 27, 2020

Don’t mind him. He’s just trying to fit in..

— Land of cuteness (@landpsychology) November 27, 2020

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Saturday Stories: Rapid Home Testing Could Save The Day, Pandemic Winter Rules To Rule Them All, And Yes, Kids Transmit COVID19

Posted November 28, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Michael Mina, in TIME, on why he thinks cheap, rapid, testing could dig us out of our holes long before vaccines start going into arms. James Hamblin, in The Atlantic, with the most important rule to follow to protect yourself from COVID thi…

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My #Movember Alex Trebek Tribute Moustache And Why I Almost Didn’t Bother

Posted November 24, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Plainly, 2020 has been an awful year.And I know that I haven’t been blogging, but it just feels wrong to be writing about nutrition, medicine, or weight management in the face of our tragic new realities.I do hope this post finds you and yours healthy…

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The tweet of the year

Posted November 24, 2020 by Anonymous

This is from September: Aliens: “Take us to your leader.”Me: “I would wait.”— Jesse Lifson (@DoYouEvenLif) September 12, 2020 Turned out to be pretty good advice.

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Saturday Stories: Antarctically Cold Vaccines, Cancelling Thanksgiving, And How Vermont Succeeded

Posted November 21, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Selinia Simmons-Duffin, in NPR Shots, on why Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be kept at temperatures lower than an Antarctic winter.James Hamblin, in The Atlantic, on honouring the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday by cancelling it this year.Julia Belluz,…

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Funny stuff

Posted November 16, 2020 by Anonymous

You know how when you’re going through an intersection and someone runs the red but luckily they just click your bumper on the way past, and you are shaken but OK and you just drive on?
That’s how I feel about Trump’s defeat.
America has avoided fascism by the merest click.

— Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 😷🏳️‍🌈 (@CathieCanada) November 8, 2020

Everyone needs to chill out please. They still have to count all of Hunter Biden’s laptops, Greenland, the lost city of Antifa and the hidden suburbs behind the revolving ObamaGate.

— Jesse Lifson (@DoYouEvenLif) November 13, 2020

Johnny Cash spent decades trying to warn us about this.

— Steve Reilly (@BySteveReilly) November 11, 2020

From the ‘Crap wildlife photography’ group on Facebook #womensart

— #WOMENSART (@womensart1) November 11, 2020

When you see your ex and try to play it cool.

📹: Imgur user anlyin

— Paul Bronks (@SlenderSherbet) November 15, 2020

Ever since the owners got this trampoline, the dog spends more time on it than the kids

— ༺❆ᗙ Martin 🏳️‍🌈 ᗛ❆༻ Party time🍷 (@KlatuBaradaNiko) November 10, 2020

Obstacle course skills…

— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 9, 2020

This good boy thinks the guys throwing darts on the TV are playing fetch with him…

— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) November 15, 2020

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Saturday Stories: We Know How To Control The Virus, There Is No Casedemic, And There Won’t Be Natural Herd Immunity

Posted November 14, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Tomas Pueyo, in Medium, explains what could be done by countries like Canada and the US to control the virus if they actually wanted to do so as evidenced by the successes of Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, Austra…

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Oh happy day

Posted November 8, 2020 by Anonymous


— Brittlestar (@brittlestar) November 7, 2020


— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 7, 2020

You may want to mute this account for a while because I feel I may have to individually insult every member of the outgoing administration in crude and personal ways

— Hari Kunzru (@harikunzru) November 7, 2020

I drew this thinking of Georgia and Arizona. #Election2020 #TrumpIsLosing #TrumpMeltdown

— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) November 7, 2020

People were ecstatic when Obama won too, but the energy was really different. That was like we were all on the cusp of a bright new future. This is more like we just beat the Nazis.

— Jan in the Pan (@mswhatsit) November 8, 2020

No joke: I’m in rural Mexico and cheers just erupted throughout the town

— Justin C. Cohen (@juscohen) November 7, 2020

From church bells in Paris to fireworks in London, Europe & beyond, America’s allies across the world are celebrating Donald Trump’s defeat and the election of President Biden and VP Harris! ❤️🎉🍾

— Minh Ngo (@minhtngo) November 7, 2020

And finally, this:

Reminder: Hillary Clinton gets to cast one of the electoral votes that throws him out of office. 🙃

— Dennis Mersereau (@wxdam) November 7, 2020

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Saturday Stories: Complacency’s Price, and Minks

Posted November 7, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Andre Picard, in The Globe and Mail, on the price we’re paying for complacency with COVID.Helen Branswell, in STAT, with some reassurance on Danish COVID minks. Yes minks.
       Related StoriesSaturday Stories: The E…

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Saturday Stories: The Election, The World Series, And The Expectations

Posted October 31, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, predicts what the future of COVID in America will look like following a Biden or a Trump election win.Jeff Passan, in ESPN, discusses how this year’s World Series was a metaphor for 2020 America.Helen Branswell, in STAT, on h…

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Saturday Stories: Respecting Uncertainty, Rapid Home Testing, And Herd Immunity

Posted October 24, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

George Davey Smith, Michael Blastland, and Marcus Munafò, in the BMJ, on how when it comes to COVID, certainty is a red flag.Amy McDermott, in PNAS, on how it’ll likely be rapid home COVID testing that brings back some sense of normalcy – it can’t com…

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RDs! We’re Hiring! Looking To Fill A Full-Time Permanent Position With My New Venture Constant Health (Telecommuters Welcome!)

Posted October 22, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Since 2004, Constant Health’s expert team has been at the forefront behavioural weight management, and now, by leveraging the best that technology has to offer, the goal is to share that expertise while eliminating geographic boundaries. Our headquart…

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Of course its a matter of confidence

Posted October 20, 2020 by Anonymous

Promoting the conceit that setting up a “corruption committee” to harass the Trudeau government isn’t really an issue of confidence in the government is just silly. Of course it is. The Tories had initially billed the committee as one focused on “…

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Saturday Stories: The Scamedemic, The “Great” Barrington Declaration, Sweden, And The John Snow Memorandum

Posted October 17, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Tony Scott, in SFGate, on how he used to call it the ‘scamedemic’. He doesn’t anymore. Marc Lipsitch, Gregg Gonsalves, Carlos del Rio, and Rochelle P. Walensky, in The Washington Post, on the why the so-called Great Barrington Declaration i…

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Posted October 13, 2020 by Anonymous

This is the best public health messaging I’ve seen all year. #Covid19— Gerald Butts 🇨🇦 😷🖐🧼🤚 (@gmbutts) October 9, 2020 Well, as a matter of fact I DO know what to do with a pencil and a cassette tape. But we survived our…

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Saturday Stories: Vitamin D, The New England Journal of Medicine, Toxic Masculinity, And Super-Spreading

Posted October 10, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Gid M-K, in Medium, tells us what we do and don’t know about Vitamin D and COVIDThe Editors of and in The New England Journal of Medicine, on with paragraphs of fire regarding the coming American election.Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, on how toxic masculi…

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just look on the sunny side of life

Posted October 5, 2020 by Anonymous

You have to be creative to stay in business during a pandemic.— You Had One Job! (@_youhadonejob1) October 5, 2020 Lincolnshire Wildlife Park has recently been forced to remove five African grey parrots from the main p…

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Saturday Stories: Vaccine Chaos And What Did You Expect?

Posted October 3, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Sarah Zhang, in The Atlantic, on why vaccine chaos may be loomingDavid Frum, also in The Atlantic, asks, what did you expect?
       Related StoriesSaturday Stories: Vaccine Collaboration, Racism and COVID Coverage, a…

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Saturday Stories: Vaccine Collaboration, Racism and COVID Coverage, and Nonsensical Athletes

Posted September 26, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Julia Belluz, in Vox, on the 156 countries teaming up on a COVID vaccine (without the US and China).Indi Samarajiva, in Medium, on the overwhelming racism of COVID media coverage.Karim Abdul-Jabbar, in the Los Angeles Times, on athletes, COVID, and no…

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An Outstanding UN Speech from Trudeau

Posted September 26, 2020 by Anonymous

Trudeau addressed the United Nations today and his speech was simply outstanding: Other people have posted, but ICYMI10 minutes worth watching. Headline Politics: PM Trudeau Addresses UN General Assembly – September 25, 2020 | CPAC…

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Farewell to the United States

Posted September 19, 2020 by Anonymous

Its difficult to realize that a governmental system that seemed to be so strong and healthy is actually so weak and brittle that the election of one man and the death of one woman could destroy it.  But that’s the way I feel right now about t…

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Saturday Stories: Considering Risk and Great Fences

Posted September 19, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Aaron E. Carroll, in The New York Times, with a useful read on how most of us have been considering and responding to risk backwards.

Tomás Pueyo, also in The New York Times, on the need for great fences.

Photo: Ongayo / CC BY-SA (https://creativeco…

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Saturday Stories: COVID Winter, Circular Errors, Mutations, And Obesity

Posted September 12, 2020 by Yoni Freedhoff

Irfan Dhalla, in The Globe and Mail, on COVID and the rapidly approaching Canadian winter.

Ed Yong, in The Atlantic, on the recurrent errors being made that hamper progress on COVID.

Edward Holmes, in The New York Times, covers the mutating SARS-CoV2…

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Voting for delusion

Posted September 12, 2020 by Anonymous


As I read this short piece at No More Mister Nice Guy, I felt increasingly horrified: 

It’s often said that Trump’s approach to everything is “transactional.” I think Trump’s approach to reality is transactional. The truth is the truth when it serves his purposes. In those moments, Trump believes in reality. But in other moments, not only does he walk out to a podium and contradict reality, he does so without necessarily believing that he’s lying. As I’ve said in the past, Trump doesn’t believe in truth. There are (as we see them) facts, lies, and true and false interpretations of reality, but to Trump they’re all equally valid. He’ll use any of them to shape reality, and he’ll believe whatever he’s saying at the time, even if it contradicts what he said six hours ago. In part this is because, as Yastreblyansky says, he believes in the Power of Positive Thinking and therefore thinks confidence can shape reality. In part it’s because it’s important to him to be his audience’s daddy, someone who dominates us the way his father dominated him.

This is the man that millions of Americans voted for. And will vote for again. 

I’m reading more stories now about Americans who don’t believe COVID is actually real – they think its all a Democratic plot, and that millions of Americans are just getting the flu, and hundreds of thousands are dying of something they already had like heart disease. 
I don’t know what they think people are getting sick from in other countries around the world, but probably they aren’t even aware that other countries actually exist.
And I’m reading stories now about how people in small towns in Oregon and Washington and California think that Antifa, not campers or lightning, is the cause of the fires that are destroying their homes.

I hear from friends in Oregon that, per local media, some claims ‘antifa is starting forest fires’ have been traced to magabros hearing ‘blm’ on radio scanners and not realizing it means Bureau of Land Management

— David Burbach (@dburbach) September 11, 2020

Its absolutely crazy.

Anyone else make this mistake recently? 😳#climatechange #wildfires #apocalypse2020 #motordumb #yycbike

— REWORKS (@ReWorksYYC) September 12, 2020

Apparently AP style now says you can use “less” even when “fewer” is correct and so 2020 continues to plumb new depths.

— Jonathan Gitlin (@drgitlin) September 11, 2020

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Posted September 7, 2020 by Anonymous

Yes, I know in the overall scheme of things, the sinking of some of the boats in Trump’s boating parade this weekend is pretty trivial. 

But there’s nothing like trivial to make Twitter come alive. 
The hashtag of the event is #Dumkirk:

Over the weekend, five boats sank at an event put on by Trump supporters near Austin, Texas. The traffic created choppy waters that submerged several boats.

— NPR (@NPR) September 7, 2020

This is the worst defeat the Confederacy has suffered in 155 years.

— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) September 6, 2020

— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) September 7, 2020

“Cascading failure through unintended consequences is a perfect metaphor for the Trump presidency.”

— Jacqueline Keeler (@jfkeeler) September 6, 2020

Boater fraud?

— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) September 6, 2020

The new Trump ad needs work.#Dumkirk #TrumpBoatParade #BoatersForTrump #LakeTravis #BoatParade #sink #Texas #MAGA #laketravisboatparade #MAGAts

— John Óg (@johnogpdx) September 6, 2020




— CeCeResistance (@gumboqueen3030) September 6, 2020

I have never loved a picture more.

— Lauren Hough (@laurenthehough) September 7, 2020

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End of August Doldrums

Posted August 31, 2020 by Anonymous

What a strange week! 

I’ve been trying to decide what to post here for this week, and haven’t really got anything organized.
Down South, the Republican Convention came in like a lamb and left like a lamb too, and nobody seems to really remember anything about it. 
Hurricane Laura came and went too, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Two more hurricanes are on their way. Oh, great!
More Black people were shot needlessly, and more protests are underway, and now Trump is talking about going to Wisconsin and nobody wants to see him there. I wonder if he ever gets embarrassed by how useless he is at any kind of leadership? 
Following the example of the Kenosha shooter – who was just “helping the police” by killing two people and wounding a third – we are seeing more MAGA people driving their pickup trucks and waving their flags at the protests, and so more people are getting shot. This isn’t going to end well. 
 As Twitter keeps mentioning, it’s bizarre for Trump to be talking about how the protest violence is Biden’s fault, when it is happening under Trump’s watch. Of course, Trump never takes responsibility for anything so why would he ever take responsibility for the violence of his own supporters? 
And here in Canada we have a new Conservative leader — Erin (AKA Eric) is not making a good first impression as he refuses to confront the haters in his own party. You know, I seem to remember that it was Trudeau, who is supposedly just a whimpy drama teacher according to the Cons, who didn’t hesitate to boot people out of the Liberal caucus for any accusation of misconduct, and who refused to let anyone run under the Liberal banner if they were not pro-choice, and who refused to give federal money for student employment to any organizations that preached against abortion. 
O’Toole doesn’t seem to realize that a leader who goes along with jerks and assholes because he doesn’t want to offend anyone is not a leader that Canadians will respect or support. 
And now school is getting underway, and it will be a disaster. Give it a week or two, for COVID to start passing between children and teachers and the families, infecting and killing across Canada. 
COVID is the honey badger – it don’t care
Everybody basically KNOWS this is going to happen. But we all seem to be in some sort of mass-hypnosis fugue Tinker Bell state where we think if we just BELIEVE hard enough and WISH hard enough and HOPE hard enough then everything will be JUST FINE. 
Yesterday the Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer said we have to change our “summer bubbles” when school starts — basically, what he was saying in an incredibly convoluted and indirect way, is that Grandma and Grandpa have will have to stop seeing the grandkids once they go back to school.
Oh, what a week!

But then I watch this:

Some things you need to stand back and just watch. Bald eagle 🦅 being released back into the wild. 🤩

— Jim Osman (@EdgeCGroup) August 8, 2020

and this

I’m melting seeing them.

— Life on Earth (@planetpng) August 22, 2020

Now I feel better.

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IDEAS THAT MATTER: The COVID Crisis–Are The Youths Trying to Kill Us?

Posted August 22, 2020 by bigcitylib

I have often felt sad over the state of The Youths.  What with robots coming for their jobs and Climate Change, their future seems lacking.  But by the time its obvious that their lives will be a dystopian dead-end I will myself be retired an…

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We’ve got a goddamn plan!

Posted August 22, 2020 by Anonymous

  • Chrystia Freeland is going to be a great Finance minister. 

    The first thing she will have to do it get a grip on the pro-Morneau leaks from her department. 
    Like the one this week about Trudeau Chief of Staff Katie Telford’s husband Ron Silver phoning up to see if the Finance Department would change some part of the pandemic benefit programs to benefit his employer:

    The most bonkers part about this story isn’t the content itself (though it’s a legit thing). It’s that very few people could have provided the info. And the fact that they chose to, which burns (if indirectly) the PMO, is kinda … wow.

    Someone is not happy with the boss.

    — Matt Gurney (@mattgurney) August 21, 2020

    At Routine Proceedings, Dale Smith writes

    For the past two weeks, as the leaks about Bill Morneau started coming out in advance of his departure, we also saw a number of warnings over social media about Liberals being their own worst enemies and that now was really not a good time for a civil war within the party. The fact that there were anonymous leaks to both VICE and the National Post about this incident shows that someone is suddenly awfully keen to talk, hoping to possibly embarrass PMO in some way, and considering that the leakers are showing how virtuous they were in standing up to Silver might make one assume that those leakers are loyalists of Morneau who are trying to, if not burnish his reputation, then certainly tarnish his detractors. I do wonder if this is a limited screw-you to Trudeau, because I haven’t yet seen camps loyal to Chrystia Freeland and François-Philippe Champagne forming and trying to oust Trudeau so that one of them can take over just yet. That said, this year has proven to be full of surprises, so we’ll see.

    I don’t expect Freeland will have any difficulty with the Finance bureaucrats. Listen to her putting down David Akin for being annoyed on behalf of the opposition parties who are being forced to put up or shut up:

    Global News reporter David Akin asks Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland why she hasn’t tabled a budget yet

    I mean she has been Finance Minister for

    48 Hours!

    Plenty of time according to Akin #cdnpoli

    — G.T. Lem (@gtlem) August 20, 2020

    The next thing Freeland will do is get to work on Trudeau’s grand plan for Canada. I do believe there is an untold and unnoticed (by the WE-obsessed Canadian media) story of the Moreau resignation: Trudeau intends to use the COVID crisis to greatly improve Canada’s social welfare system. Moreau wouldn’t do it, but Freeland will. 

    I think the Morneau resignation, whether forced or not, provided an opportunity for Trudeau to make changes to Canada that he has long wanted to make — I wondered if Morneau was resisting these changes, and THAT, as much as the WE issue, was why he had to leave. 
     Here’s Trudeau using a reporter’s question about government pandemic support to talk about his plans:

    A winning message from @JustinTrudeau . If the opposition parties want to force an election this fall, this is the Liberal plan they will be objecting to.

    — Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 😷🏳️‍🌈 (@CathieCanada) August 22, 2020

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    More funny stuff

    Posted August 14, 2020 by Anonymous

    One of the things I love about Twitter is the funny people on it:

    I ate a box of Thin Mints, didn’t get thinner. I don’t think they work 😡

    — Hear Me Roar (@Stop_Trump20) August 12, 2020

    Tucker Carlson thinks it’s cool to mispronounce Kamala Harris’s name.

    Hmmm. What sounds like “Tucker”?

    — George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 12, 2020

    Check me out guest hosting @JimmyKimmelLive tonight 🤯

    — Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) August 12, 2020

    A priest, a minster, and a rabbit walk into a bar. The rabbit says, “I think I’m a typo.”

    — Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 6, 2020

    If you voted for trump because “he’s not a politician”, then I hope your next colonoscopy is done by a plumber.

    — Mo Bella🌊 🌊 🌊 🌊#VoteBlueToSaveAmerica (@Mocraig13) August 6, 2020

    Feeding 10 dogs at once is like going through Game of Thones every single day with the plots and betrayals and double-crosses and backbiting and frontbiting and dominance and submission and a finale that feels rushed and leaves everyone dissatisfied.

    — William K. Wolfrum (@Wolfrum) August 5, 2020

    They catch the fish and then let it go. They don’t want to eat the fish, they just want to make it late for something.

    — mitch hedberg (@mitchhedbot) July 31, 2020

    — Scrappy McBuckyball (@ScrotieMcB) August 14, 2020

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    School Daze

    Posted August 8, 2020 by Anonymous

    From Reddit:

    — Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 😷🏳️‍🌈 (@CathieCanada) August 6, 2020

    Oh dear, I think we’re in trouble now.
    The Sask school plan is based on wishful thinking – it imagines that COVID is symptomatic, that students with symptoms can just stay home or go home, and that nobody else (teachers, parents, staff) will get sick.

    — Cathie from Canada 🇨🇦 😷🏳️‍🌈 (@CathieCanada) August 5, 2020

    I don’t have any children or grandchildren in school these days, and thank heavens for small mercies.

    One thing that really impresses me about Saskatchewan is how consistently we’ve been able to come up with the worst plan in Canada on a broad range of policies, from suicide prevention to school reopening. Truly inspirational.

    — glengarry glen busey (@birlios) August 5, 2020

    I think this mom has it right:

    After a lot of conversations & thinking, we have decided the safest thing we can do for our son is keep him home in Sept. He will be learning via the CBE online hub. I will have to give up my job as they require me back in person as of Sept, but I know this is the right choice.

    — Lucy 🇨🇦 (@TheBlueGem3) August 7, 2020

    The School Safe “plan” in Saskatchewan is based on wishful thinking:

    What I don’t understand is why employers in the business sector are not demanding a better plan for schools. If their employees cannot be at work because they have to stay home with their kids, won’t that cause the economy to shut down again? #skpoli #sasked #covid19sk

    — Maren Beaton (@maren_beaton) August 7, 2020

    Parents aren’t happy:

    What I am curious on (if it’s been mentioned anywhere, let me know) is what happens if one staff or kid tests positive? Is every single person in school that has come into contact with that one positive case going to be sent for testing and isolation till test results come back?

    — Bort (@Kfb28) August 7, 2020

    Neither are doctors:

    Saskatchewan’s doctors press for safer return-to-school plan – Premier Moe says he’s open to changes: @SMA_docs @keepskkidssafe @GordWyant Dr. Shahab @SaskHealth @CBCSask

    — Dennis Kendel (@DennisKendel) August 8, 2020

    I am concerned that the Sask Party seems to be reducing the whole School debate to a discussion of whether or not to make masks mandatory, while the Sask Medical Association is asking for a much broader look at school problems:  

    [SMA says]“Closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded spaces with many people, and close-contact settings with close-range conversations are not uncommon in schools and these realities need to be front and centre in back to school plans.” Education Minister Gord Wyant said Friday that, in response to the association’s concerns and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the province is looking at making masks mandatory. 

     And it is, of course, not just the schools themselves that are problematic. Its also the impact that COVID increases in schools would have on the rest of us.
    I spent four months staying away from people, stores, restaurants, everything. So will I have to go back to that kind of life if there is community COVID spread here again? Yes, I’m afraid so.

    I spent my evening sobbing in the park with my husband and mother-in-law about how it will now be unsafe to see our families as soon as schools reopen.

    There is no plan.

    Our province has failed.

    — Amy (Lawson) Empringham (@lawsonames) August 5, 2020

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    August funny

    Posted August 2, 2020 by Anonymous

    OK, its been one of those weeks, so here’s some funny stuff:

    My son is wearing a MAGMA cap and a Vote Trump 2020 button. He’s been spat on, punched and verbally abused. I hate to think what will happen when he leaves the house.

    — Humanist. (@kennuck) August 1, 2020

    I sunburn easily.

    — Brent Butt (@BrentButt) August 2, 2020

    Republican politician Louie Gohmert, who claims to have caught COVID-19 from wearing a mask, is now claiming he got pregnant after several people told him to go fuck himself.

    — Middle Age Riot (@middleageriot) July 30, 2020

    If you are not wearing a mask because you are afraid your brain won’t get enough oxygen, I’m sorry to tell you, that ship has sailed.

    — Chip Franklin (@chipfranklin) July 29, 2020

    “Jesus Christ, what’s Trump done NOW?”

    — Harry Turtledove (@HNTurtledove) July 24, 2020


    — Meanwhile in Canada (@MeanwhileinCana) July 30, 2020

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    Button, button, who’s got the button?

    Posted July 26, 2020 by Anonymous

    Well, this is a little strange. 

    Today the Globe and Mail published a story about how Canada’s pandemic early warning system within the Public Health Agency of Canada has been muzzled under the Harper Conservatives in 2014, and how the Liberals had said they would change this but then they never did. So as a result, the epidemiologists in the early warning system, called the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), were silenced just when Canada needed them the most.
    Other than not actually telling us which the individuals or offices are responsible for the muzzling, its an explosive article:
    Early detection is as much an art as it is a science. 
    The disease is hiding, but the signals are detectable. 
    Acting quickly can have a big impact on the outcome. With COVID-19, the signals began small, but grew louder. 
     “We all had enough warning,” she said. “We saw what happened in China, in Italy,” Dr. St. John agrees. “The signal was there,” he said. 
     However, few people outside GPHIN knew Canada’s early warning alert system had effectively stopped working, just when it was needed most. 
    When Ms. Thornton, the vice-president in charge of the alerts, appeared before a House of Commons committee in May to face questions about Canada’s handling of the pandemic, she was asked how the government had tracked the spread of the virus. 
     Ms. Thornton referenced GPHIN and the work it did. Though she made no mention that GPHIN had not issued a single alert in the previous 12 months. Nor did she mention that analysts had been assigned to other work, or that GPHIN had not sounded any further alarms on COVID-19 developments after the outbreak became known – even though the department’s own guidelines required as much.
    As far as the committee knew, Canada’s surveillance system had been operating as it always had. 
     It’s not easy to know the consequences of such decisions, but Mr. Garner, the former senior science adviser at Public Health, says he believes Canada’s early response to the outbreak – which has been criticized for being slow and disorganized – was a product of the many changes he saw made to the department. 
     Those changes helped move Public Health’s focus away from science, he said, which slowed down its ability to react effectively – and with maximum urgency. 
     “All of these things have tragically come home to roost,” Mr. Garner said. 
     “Not to be overdramatic, but Canadians have died because of this.” 
    A pretty damning indictment of the Public Health Agency of Canada, and of the Canadian government.
    But then I also found this: in April, the CBC published a story that said GPHIN had been undergoing a technical upgrade in 2019, and that’s why it hadn’t issued alerts about COVID19 until the end of December.

    CBC News has obtained a series of internal public health agency documents and slide-presentation decks — including one given by a senior epidemiologist from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) last November on the eve of a pandemic that has since killed tens of thousands and crippled the world economy. 

    The documents bring into sharper focus the kind of information key decision-makers had at their fingertips as the outbreak started in China and raise questions about how seriously global pandemic preparedness was being taken within the federal government. 
    The records show GPHIN was in the middle of a long-overdue technology upgrade as the virus was spreading. 
    Despite almost four years of work with the National Research Council of Canada, the early warning system was — as of last fall — still in need of “improvement in the geographical and time tagging algorithm,” according to a Nov 12, 2019 presentation to a WHO conference in Seoul, South Korea by senior epidemiologist Florence Tanguay. 
    That algorithm is crucial to the system’s ability to sort through as many as 7,000 online articles per day to spot disease outbreaks around the globe. 
    The network also was awaiting an “expansion to new data sources,” such as social media feeds. 
    From its inception in the late 1990s, GPHIN had relied on news wire services and later local media articles posted online.
    So now I’m not sure what was going on in Canada last January and February.  
    Maybe GPHIN was issuing timely and accurate reports on the emerging virus but Public Health Canada was minimizing their analysis and not sending the reports up the ladder to government. 
    Or maybe because GPHIN was basing its alerts on wire services, its reports were no longer regarded as reliable enough for PHAC and government to count on.
    Either way, it does sound like somebody maybe dropped the ball, doesn’t it?
    And I hope there might now be some attempt to figure out what really happened.
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