In Fascist Fields Where Hate Does Grow

For some reason I woke up at 3am this morning with the song “Romper, stomper, bompar boo” floating in my mind. Why that should have been there is beyond me. I was a few generations ahead of the TV show “Romper Room” but the tune was stuck in my head. I knew I wasn’t getting back to sleep so rather than lie there pretending I COULD go back to sleep while slapping myself around for being such a fool, I got up to do some writing. There’s a lot of material to write about so why not make the most of a good thing. Somebody has to speak out and the way I see it there is no one left for me to alienate so here goes. Let’s see who else I can piss off.

I’ve mentioned this before but it is well worth reiterating every now and then. I am not a journalist, a political pundit or even a professional writer. However I am a concerned citizen with something to say which is why I blog. As a polio survivor I had to learn to adapt quickly to almost every aspect of life. I have a life time of people expressing surprise and amazement over the day to day issues faced by my segment of the community, the disabled. Then I watch as they go back to their “comfort bubble” to completely forget our interaction. This is why things never get done. Very few people push and I’m just a “special interest guy”. Even the City turns its back on accessibility because nobody but “special needs groups” speaks up about it..

Unlike Kenney and his gang of backroom dealers, I am not trying to pat myself on the back here but the most successful disabled make being adaptive look natural and unplanned. It’s actually a form of “muscle memory” and requires a natural flow of “critical thinking”. I still do that and it shouldn’t take a genius to recognize how the UCP are ripping this province apart. They know how to use optics and now, conveniently, they have a healthcare crisis to hide behind.

While Kenney and his minions are going out of their way, at tax-payers expense, to destroy this province by hiding behind the veneer of a “healthcare crisis”, the “real” issues are being totally ignored.  Those who protect us, “the healthcare professionals”, are being decimated and caught up by that little ideological leprechaun’s ego and the even worse ideological idiots who make up his cabinet.  When we have a Health Minister, Shandro, who appears to be more interested in the financial returns of his wife’s “private health care” insurance business, we no longer have democracy, we have autocracy. 

I came into this world and face down the polio epidemic, I’m a survivor but I refuse to “quietly into the night”. Now, due to some dude who needs a stool to stand on behind his diaz so he can reach the mic to scare monger, I am challenging his campaign of misinformation. His use of feigned concerns of “life support” for a dying industry is much more apparent than his concerns over keeping the citizens of Alberta “off life support”.

I will not run the risk of losing all dignity like those poor unfortunates in the Dorval Residence Herron. That was a horrific criminal (in my mind) act and still Kenney (and he’s not the only Premier) push for privatization of senior care while removing oversight. He has already shown his disdain for oversight by removing the need for the energy sector to submit the environmental reports that use to be standard. I don’t disagree with his “red tape reduction” strategy but it has to be fair, equitable and it shouldn’t threaten public safety, particularly when a pandemic crisis is active. All tools, including air and environmental quality information is important.

Picture of nose and naval cavity being swapped as test for COVID19 virus
Nose swap to check for COVID19

We are just getting past the potential threat of returning snowbirds. It will be at least a month before we fully see the results of that. Kenney has already used his authority to remove a powerful tool from the infection control community. The coronavirus lives in the interior chamber of the nasal system making the swab difficult, uncomfortable but needed.

The next big threat (and I can almost guarantee Kenney hasn’t given this any thought as his “suspension” of environmental conditions shows) is the “spring allergy” season. A lot of sneezing, what pollutants are where, where are the environmental issues, etc is needed to identify and track potential “hot-spots”. As long as Kenney has suspended reporting those working on mitigation and trying to plan for what may be coming have just lost an important tool.

Good information is needed, not Kenney’s “misinformation” and rhetoric. As I said earlier I came into this world faced and beat the polio epidemic. I am not going to sit back while some fat little idiot more interested in the Koch brothers support than he is in the protection of ALL Albertans by putting profit before pandemic take me out of this world. People need to look past the optics and get to know the substance, how the ripple effect will affect everybody regardless of what silo you are in.

“I’m feeling more frustrated than a one armed man in a wall paper hanging contest. We are being told constantly that we “all have to do our part” and I am 100% behind that. In fact there is a certain amount of pride in how well most Albertans are pulling up their socks and make sacrifices but, again, Kenney uses this tragedy to hide behind and advance his agenda for the oil patch as well as environmental protection.

This is a time when we need as much environmental information as we can get. This is one of the tools used by infection control specialist to track “hot-spots” so not only is Kenney giving disproportionate amount of financial support to an industry on life support, he’s ignoring the support for programs meant to keep people “off” of life support systems.

Meanwhile our frontline #HealthcareWarriors are under attack by the Kenney government as a result of Bill 21. Health Minister Shandro’s used this bill to rip up the existing agreement with the Alberta Medical Association and it all took effect April 1. What kind of reasonably thinking compassion person intimidates and threats the very people working so hard to protect Albertans from COVID19. Our doctors and healthcare staff risk their life’s every day to protect Albertans from this pandemic crisis.

Not only themselves but their immediate families and loved ones. Is this the type of government you voted for? A government more concerned with the bottom line of “one” sector of the economy while threatening those who have dedicated themselves to protect us. Show our doctors that you DO care and sign the Change.org petition asking for the rights of Alberta doctors to be protected. They need some encouragement to know Albertans are standing behind them. Sign and share today…

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for good people of good conscience to remain silence" - Thomas Jefferson captioned "Are you part of the solution or a contributor to the problem
Are you part of the solution or a contributor to the problem

This is how fascism grows, when a military uprising can’t happen those despots incrementally dismantle the existing tools of protection. Baby steps leads to marathons…”

New Decade, New Direction

I just got back in from a quick wheel around the community. It is still warm enough (the sun is bright) to do a good wheel and not lose too much air out of my tires. However, based on the numbness of my fingertips it was chillier than I thought. But they are forecasting a drastic drop in temperatures in the next couple of days so I grab those outdoor moments when I can. Anybody that knows Calgary understands just how fickle our weather can be.

When I got back into the comfort of my condo I flipped on the news. Big mistake with the current conditions of the world these days. Between the fires of Australia, the craziness of the middle east, the insanity of Brexit and the twisted ideology sweeping across Canada flipping on the news was a huge mistake. So then I switched over to my computer monitor to hit some social media sites.

While catching up there I was quite please to see the 2020 “Best of Calgary” list has been released. The four nominees for “Best Civic Activist” were Jason Ribeiro, Mike Morrison, Mark Hopkins and Hannah Kost. One I know, two I’m aware of and the fourth was a new name to me. Regardless activism is in my blood so I pay attention to those and congratulate all four of them. Voting starts Jan 15th so Calgarians pay attention. If you visit the voting site you can really realize just how much of the City has changed. I would never even have thought of “Best Ice Cream or Gelato” shop, Best Coffee, Best Night Spot and the list went on. Calgary has moved a long way since the 80’s and I use to know every spot out there. I have lost touch with the City that I love.

I traditionally wrote a weekly “Monday Meanderings of the Mindless Myth” blog which was dedicated to advocacy and activism. I was beginning to feel like I was talking in a vacuum so I pulled back about two months ago. However in light of recent political events in Alberta I have come to the realization that now is not the time to back off. I am witnessing the continuing erosion of so many things my generation of activists fought for now is not the time to quit. There are four good nominees for the Best Civic Activists on the City list however they all lack history.

This being the first Monday of a new year in a new decade I am refocusing my energies and changing the direction of my blog. I am going to be examining advocacy and activism by decade rather than years. It has really been hammered home to me recently that the new generation of activists have little knowledge of why we are where we are. Rights are being eroded and many activists have no understanding, in part, because those rights were already here. They’ve never known anything else so how would they know what they are loosing.

A generational chart showing a dozen generations from the Lost Generation (1890) up to the most current Gen Alpha born since 2013
Where we fit in the demographics can often determine our commitment to activism

Education, healthcare, community inclusion, cultural protections, federal transfers, the Canada Pension Plan, and the list goes on are all under attack these days. These development made in the past sixty years are very generational and that is reflected in how we vote, who we put in power. The generation that fought for those programs are now becoming seniors just to discover so many things they fought for have been whittled away. Each generation has their own belief’s when it comes to politics. Where you fit on the political spectrum is usually dictated by the rights and programs your generation could access based on the work of the generation before you. The generation before me died on the battlefields of Europe so my generation would not have to face fascism and have access to a better standard of life than those that came out of the “Dirty Thirties“.

I want those four “Best Civic Activist” nominees to understand the ground their work is build upon. This is where words matter and being an “activist” should not be confused with advocacy or lobbying. Words are powerful and the power of an activist is found in the strength to their commitment. It is based on their understanding of the details that come from out history and that history could be as recent as ten year ago. It is often build on the graves of others.

A black and white picture of an elderly lady holding a sign reading "I can't believe I still have to protest this fucking shit"
A true activist does not let age dictate their commitment

So I am back with my Monday Meanderings but I will be adding more. From my perspective we are facing a provincial government that no longer cares about people. They have given repeated indications that all they care about is what they can impose or take away from us. And they can only impose if we, as the voters, don’t take a stand and speak out. We need to support our activists but we also have to be vocal. We have to let OUR politicians aware that they work for us, the VOTERS. So I am back and I am speaking out. I am here to remind people of the decades that went on before many of you arrived and not just what has happened in the last year. History is more than 365 days and civic involvement doesn’t end at the polling station. So until next time be loud, #WordsMatter…

If you have any questions or any matter of particular interest to you, leave a comment. Plus the “donation” button is meant to be more than decorative, with Kenney deleting so many supports for seniors and persons with disabilities I have just resorted to the times of the 50’s and 60’s. Except instead of a “begging bowl” I’ve gone upscale with technology and now present a “Donation” button…