Are You Paying Attention?

Your complacency is killing me! I use to wake up in the morning looking forward to my coffee, blueberry bagel, check my news feeds and follow-up with my social media requests. I’m a news junkie, I don’t deny that but I am dealing with an increasing number of friends and relatives who don’t want to check the news anymore because of the COVID19 healthcare crisis. And although I understand I am very concerns about it. My analogy to that is like being tested for cancer but then refusing to book a follow-up doctors appointment out of fear of the results. Burying our head in the sand will not make this crisis go away, in fact, not knowing the preventative expectations of your community will only add to the severity of this crisis.

As I said I use to get up looking forward to my coffee, bagel, blah, blah, blah. Now I get up to e-mails of ire, Facebook comments decrying my ideology (not sure how wanting knowledge on a healthcare crisis is ideological but whatever), a Twitter feed of conspiracy theorists and the latest news showing how much the wick has been turned down on the kerosene lamp of rights. If you are not paying attention you are contributing to the crisis and every twisted political ego out there knows that. Trump isn’t the only one twisting this to his advantage, we have Premier Kenney and the UCP fascists doing the same thing.

A blank poster with the words "I want my friends to understand that "staying out of politics" or being "sick of politics" is privilege in action.  Your wealth, your race, your abilities or gender allows you a life in which you likely will not be a target of bigotry, attacks, deportation or genocide.  You don't want to get political, you don't want to fight because your life and safety are not at stake.  It is hard and exhausting to bring up the issue of oppression (aka "get political").  The fighting is tiring.  I get that.  Self-care is essential.  But if you find politics annoying and you just want everybody to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety.  You might not see it but that's what privileged does".  I have caption this with "If you are looking for "cute kitty" videos you are in the wrong room.
If you are only looking for “cute kitty’ videos you are in the wrong room

I survived one pandemic already (in 1952 the polio epidemic was declared a pandemic). Polio was considered an epidemic up to its peak in 1952 when they called it a pandemic for that one year. That year there were over 57,000 reported cases with 3,145 deaths. I faced that one and due, in part, to people wanting to ignore it I went untreated for ten days before it was acknowledged that, yes, I had polio.

So I am not very patience with those who choose to turn their backs on the news. Complacency doesn’t sit well with me especially when it is used to disguise ignorance. If you don’t understand “voluntary isolation” you don’t do it, if you don’t know what “social distancing” is you don’t practice it, if you don’t know why businesses are closed you are running around looking for something that isn’t there while running the risk of picking up something unexpected, like the Coronavirus. You can limit your news but I do not have a “Google” stamp on my head, quit using me as your news source particularly if you are just going to ignore it. This isn’t shit and giggles to me.

Picture of Martin Luther King, Jt stating "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemy, but the silence of our friends".  I have captioned it "Your silence is deafening"
Your silence is deafening

You know who else knows you are not paying attention, the ideologists pretending to be politicians. I watched Premier Kenney’s very public (optics) on the news last night patting himself on the back for the great job his government is doing fighting this pandemic. He touted the “extra” money his government is making available to fight this health crisis. He fails to mention the $100 million taken out of the nursing and doctor budget in the UCP November 2019 budget. He doesn’t mention the 47,000 seniors who will be taken off of the seniors drug plan or the $11 million cut to ambulance services. I could go on but why, people don’t seem to want details. That is substance, not optics.

I am not only a news junkie, I am also a history buff so imagine my horror when I looked at what Kenney and company had “quietly” push through the legislative process the night before. When a government with this one’s background the idea of something like Bill 10 is frightening. If you haven’t been following the news (and I know most of you haven’t) Bill 10 allows this government to do just about anything without going through the legislative process.

I have fought too hard in my lifetime for “disability rights” to sit back and let a government, whose moral compass is suspect at best, take complete control of a herd of sheeples. We have a Premier whose leadership was under investigation (Kamikaze scandal), a Health Minister who tore up the provincial agreement with doctors, the same Minister of Health who went out of his way to drive to a neighbours (2 miles away) and berate him (the “neighbour” happened to be a doctor). Then Minister Shandro finishes his month by using his “position of privilege” to by-pass the “Protection of Privacy” process to obtain the private residence phone number of another outspoken doctor. The message here was “no matter where you go I can find you” and laws be damned. #ShandroMustGo This is not democracy, it’s fascism in growth.

When Kenney gets in front of the public and rattled off a list of former Premiers worth emulating and fails to mention Peter Lougheed but includes Ernest Manning, there is something wrong with his “hero list”. Manning was the longest sitting Premier in Alberta’s history (25 years and 7 months) and in that time was never able to severe his state relationship from his church affiliation. Manning, the same Premier who felt it quite acceptable to forcibly sterilize the disabled as right up to 1971.

It was the Lougheed Conservatives that repealed that piece of legislation after decimating the Social Credit government and taking the rein of democracy in the 1971 election. Church and state were quickly separated moving Alberta into the waning era of the civil rights movement. Any politician with a wall of hero’s like that should not be given the type of carte blanche over our rights afforded through Bill 10.. Our rights are precious and hard fought for. In the last week I have had discussions with a numerous people talking about “the death of democracy“, that perhaps we should accept the idea of democracy as an old pipe dream and go back to the days of “survival of the fittest”. Let business run the province, how did that work out for the disabled seniors of the Dorval’s Residence Herron?

Does History really need repeating

Again review your history. Fascism did not happen in Germany over night. It was the Reichstag Fire Decree that opened the door for the Enabling Act. With the trumped up case of the Reichstag Fire Decree (later the person blamed was discovered to be a “patsy”) being rushed through a kangaroo court, a severely failing economy and the Enabling Act the German table was set for the rise of tyranny. These are the same conditions we are facing today in Alberta.

To give Kenney and company unfettered control would be the equivalent of throwing the whole kerosene lamp I mentioned in my opening into the lake. We already have more than amble examples of how little respect this government has for the democratic process let alone human rights, do we really want to throw fifty years of fighting for human rights away to an ego dressed up in a suit? I don’t…


One thought on “Are You Paying Attention?

  1. You are correct in posing the tyranny and fascist history that leads to fear and chaos. I’m not sure if the UPC government agenda can be stopped by anything other than citizen action.
    The UPC have control of the police and the media so maybe it’s time for the citizens to do what citizens have always done, go underground with peaceful resistance. It will be a few more years before a general election if the UPC allows that to happen. In that time the people of Alberta will have seen the effect of poor planning and policy execution by a half dozen autocrats that run this government.
    We will be beaten down by many restrictions to our freedoms and rights but taking away democracy is not an option.!
    This post should be noted by every politician in Alberta, especially elected ones. Now is the time to consider opposition to this tyranny by raising our voice to friends neighbours and MLA’s.
    Everyone who reads this post by Terry, I urge you to write and speak out.

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