Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Quick Hits

I've done a shit ton of writing in the past week, none of it for public consumption. Everything is either okay now or (I hope) on its way to being okay.  But I don't have much energy for writing.

I don't have much energy, period, really. Rode to work today in a rain/snow mix that turned to heavy rain. It puts a literal damper on one's day. Ah, well...I shouldn't complain. It's just one of the prices you pay when you don't drive. Still, I try to maintain at least the illusion of independence.

Some quick hits for today on a variety of topics.

Municipal election: didn't vote. I never have. It's shameful of me, I know. I vote without fail in provincial and federal elections, but I actively tune out the tier of government that's closest to me.

Excuses? I have a couple. One is that no matter who gets elected, the snow will be cleared and the garbage and recycling will be collected. The only other issue I care about is public transit, and really, no vote of mine would have changed our light rail transit into something any less disruptive, much less made it debut on time. They chose Bombardier to build the trains, because they'd rather have a Canadian company than a competent one, I guess. It was supposed to be operational this past spring: I doubt it will be up and running next spring.

Two is that I have nothing but contempt for the sheer amount of government up in this here place. Doug Ford would have been better served taking the axe to this particular municipality: we have three city governments for what is in effect one big city (don't tell people from any part of the City of Kitchener not named the City of Kitchener this, of course, but we may as well just rename it Kitchwaterbridge. Or Camenerloo, if you like that better). Then there's a regional government to govern anything the other three governments forgot to govern. See? Every once in a while a Conservative jumps out of me. 


Work is going reasonably well. I got a bonus for the month of August and I'm working on one for October. I have a shift change coming up: starting November 5th, I begin and end my shift an hour later. It's still Monday to Friday, which is the most important thing, This was my third or fourth choice of shifts (ideally I'd be 8-4:30). They change up the shifts every three to eight months so that people don't get stuck forever on a shift they hate. 12:30-9pm isn't ideal--it means I'll see even less of Eva, and potentially less of Kathy because the Friday night handoff probably won't happen that late in the winter. But I have to think positively: it's better than working weekends. I don't miss working weekends at all.

Excellent article here on a topic I have discussed before: America's next civil war and how close it is. Thirty one percent of likely American voters believe it will take place in the next five years. I have said within two-three electoral terms, so this is sobering. 
The biggest point we need to take from this article is that Trump is a symptom of the radical polarization of America, not its cause. If Hillary Clinton was in office right now, the disconnect between red and blue states would be just as gaping. Democrats and Republicans no longer have any common ground: they're almost different species. 41% of Democrats and 45% of Republicans see the other party's policies as a threat to national well-being. When those numbers get about 50% -- and they will -- expect massacres. I'm not talking about metaphorical massacres: I'm talking about people gunning other people down for the heinous sin of being Democrats. (The Republicans have most of the guns, so three guesses who'll come out on top in this mess.)

I agree with this article in that a president, either Trump or his successor (if there is one...there's a scary thought) will be assassinated. Quite frankly, I'm shocked it hasn't happened already. Should it come to pass, all bets, and I mean all bets, would be off. 
Point: a substantial percentage of Americans already worship the military. Could we see a military coup d'├ętat? What will the ever-accelerating forces of climate change have? What about the next economic crisis, which I truly think is coming very soon?

Boy, am I glad I live where I do. American friends, you may want to live where I do before too long.

Northrop Frye once wrote that Canadians are Americans who reject the revolution. When the next revolution comes, we will need to be ready to reject it with everything we have and everything we are.

At the top of this page, you'll see a button that says "Buy Me A Coffee". (I could use a few literal coffees today...) This button takes you to my Ko-Fi.com page, where you can (if you've a mind to) support me and my writings, in tiny little $3 chunks. I'm going to make this interesting: anyone donating can leave a comment on that page (anonymous or not) looking for a blog topic and I will promise my best effort on that topic in a timely manner. So if there's anything you'd like to see me tackle, personal, political, polyamorous, or what have you...Ko-Fi takes PayPal and major credit cards.

Doug Ford has forced me to work while I'm sick. The new labour laws allow for two sick days, two bereavement days, and three personal days...all unpaid. In other words, zero. Nothing. Nada. I ask you, in all seriousness, what is the point of a sick day if it's not paid? I will now have to come to work no matter how sick I am, infecting everyone else here. I will now have to miss your funeral (unless you're kind enough to schedule it on a day when I'm off)...so you'd better not die on me. No news as yet whether I'll have to go to the doctor and pay $25 plus  to collect my nonexistent sick pay. I wouldn't put it past them. 
News that the minimum wage will be tied to inflation as of 2020 is welcome. News that it's frozen until then...isn't. 
And this is just me. The repeal of regulations requiring employers to give reasonable notice of an employee's schedule, the re-classification of part time employees as second class employees...it's all out of some incredibly perverse, Conservative demonization of the working poor. I used to believe Conservatives, once upon a time, when they attacked people on welfare. Turns out it doesn't matter if you work or not...if you're in the wage class. you're scum.

And people voted for this. Never let anyone suggest to you that Donald Trump couldn't win in Ontario, or Canada. Some incarnation of him already has.

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