Maybe I need a Powerwall….? Elon?

I need something.  My enthusiasm is waning.

Why am I all of a sudden so bored of it all?  Trump.  Trans Mountain.  Climate change?  (In the old days, I’d get bored with it but nowadays young people say ‘bored of it’……which – me just saying that – is kinda boring, don’t you think?)

I think Sal is feeling the same way…….“Sweetie….we need to ‘do something’ like…oh, I dunno….let’s get on the motorbike and go for a ride?”

“That your inner biker-chick talking or are you channeling Nancy Moon?”

“I’d just like to, you know, let ‘er rip!  Take me through the trails and down to hidden places….that kind of thing.”

“The idea of a 70 year old zipping you through the forest so fast you scream out loud sounds appealing to you?”

“No!  DON’T GO FAST!”

“Have to.  It’s part of the deal.  Speed.  Getting airborn.  Leaping ditches.  Zoom zoom.  Engine screaming, biker chick screaming…..crashing, bleeding………all part of the deal……well, that and a picnic lunch, of course.”

“Well, maybe.  I guess.  But…………ya know….if Netflix was just better……I dunno……maybe it’s me…..maybe I just need to do a new quilt.”

“We have chores….?”

“Screw chores!  Sometimes a gal just wants to have fun, ya know?”

“I hear the opening dialogue in the next Charlie and Nancy book.”

It’s almost Fall.  The solar panel array soon gets adjusted.  The garden gets ‘put to bed’.  We actually DO the chores we need to.  We don’t buy to stock up anymore, we start to manage to ‘eat up’ what we have.  We are putting ‘closure’ on the season.  We begin to notice the changes in the weather, when the sun goes down, how many boats go by. What are the ravens up to…what are the neighbours up to?

We even start to harden up winter plans.

Fall/Autumn is weird for me.  It’s my favourite time of the year but there’s a quiet angst about it as the daylight diminishes, as the temperature drops.  In a sense, I have that old ‘back-to-school’ anxiety, that post Labour Day expectation of lifting bales and toting barges to a schedule.  Make a buck.  Keep appointments.  Pay mortgages.  THAT doesn’t happen anymore, of course, but I still have the inner clock…..

…..but not the inner energy that should come with it.  Weird.

I mention all this because there is an old, tumbledown, heritage building a couple miles up the way and the local regional district bought it.  They are likely to give it to us (the community organization) in some way (lease) and we’ll be expected to ‘save it’.   It’s a good plan.  It needs to be ‘saved’ and only locals can do that sort of thing.  Outsiders at market rates would take up a day’s wages just getting here and back.  It pretty much has to be us.

I have supported this idea (and variations on it) for years…maybe a decade…I am onside.  And I will help.  It is the ‘right thing to do’.  Exciting?  No….more in the ‘chore’ category.  And I am already thinking about energy…..weird….

 

 

Just do it!

Canadian politics.  Apologies.  No choice.

We have laws.  They are painstakingly considered, drafted and passed – or so the story goes.  Then, we enforce them.

Well, we enforce them AGAINST the people, anyway.  AGAINST the people.  But NOT SO MUCH the corporations.  NOT SO MUCH the institutions.  And, lo and behold, NOT SO MUCH AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT ITSELF!

Consider the National Energy Board (NEB) (itself a flawed institution embarked on a biased mission for a corrupt industry).  It goes about undertaking a permitting process for Kinder Morgan (KM) to build a pipeline.  And, despite obvious bias, conflict of interests and blatant violations, this corrupted body rubber stamps the permit and KM starts to build.

Surprised by that?  No one was.  We saw that evil acted out on Northern Gateway.

But the naughty ‘people’ also stood in the way this time, too.  They protested.  They sued.  They defied.  They resisted.  Some of them even went to jail (Jean Swanson), others were charged and were fined (Elizabeth May) and countless hundreds of others were harassed, charged, convicted, have records and are ‘known to police’ (not to mention having lost time at school, work and at home).

But, lo and behold: the courts eventually agreed with some of the protesters arguments, declare the NEB process flawed (and, by association, government actions and maybe even corporate actions also NOT 100% law abiding) and order everyone to ‘do it all again’.

“Do the process over, guys.  You did NOT even follow your own rules.” 

To be fair, that is NOT the biggest part of the problem.  Checks and balances.  Mistakes will be made.  Life’s not perfect.  The courts stepped in.  What’s not to like?

The problem is that the government did so many more things wrong, not the worst of which was the NEB process.  And the worst was done AFTER the ruling!  Probably the worst, by far, is that Trudeau promised the pipeline again and Alberta wants the promise kept.  Kinder Morgan saw a sucker and sold the useless, worthless mess they were stuck with to a hapless idiot (Trudeau) who probably bid and lost on the Brooklyn Bridge, too.  He overpaid by a gazillion of the ‘people’s money’ for a 65 year-old pipe.

But, even that is not the WHOLE of the worst part.  Governments pay too much for just about everything.  He is just carrying on a long tradition of lining corporate pockets at taxpayers expense.  His is just another abysmal moral failure in a long line of ugly acts from reneging on electoral reform to unkept promises on climate action and environmental protection.  Justin simply oozed MORE slime.

The part that prompted this blog is even more cynical….Trudeau and Notley are promising to ‘rectify’ this awkward situation.  Quickly.  Notley wants it done NOW!  Trudeau tells anyone who will listen that “The pipeline will be built!”

Unh…….what about the law, Justin?  What about the law?  What about the court ordering you to ‘do it all again and do it right’…?

“Never mind that!  We’ll pass new legislation if we have to.  We’ll find a way.  We’ll ignore the law that is used against the people all day, every day.  We’ll continue the pipeline work and we’ll just re-write a new law on this pipeline-thingy to suit us.  Whatever.  Never mind due process.  Fuggedabout about obeying the law.  We are going to ignore the ruling.  We will build this pipeline and there is nothing you or the law can do to stop us!”

Do you want any more of a reason to see the government of Canada as corrupt?  Or Trudeau’s and Notley’s, anyway?  I think you YOU MUST include Harper and the Cons in this.  It was him and his corrupt NEB board and process that was the rotten apple in the barrel that rotted everything from the get go.

Boring?  Not worth a blog?  You may be right…..but……..

……try this, dear reader: go break the law.  Do it in public.  Get charged.  Get convicted.  Then ignore the courts and go do what you wanted to do anyway.  Do it publicly.  Make promises.  How long do you think you’d last?  How long before you are arrested or even shot?  How long are you gonna be in jail – NOT for the crime – but for contempt of court?

Go ahead…I dare you.  You wanna see the deep corruption?  Go protest the pipeline, the NEB, the permits issued……. and, even tho it is NOW recognized as a corrupt process…..go see if you do not still get arrested.  You will.  Trespassing.  But that’s not the real test.  The real test is to ignore the subsequent court order after that.  Defy the court order.  GO ON.  Be like Justin.  Be like Rachel.  Just do it!

You will be in jail.

Justin will not.

 

 

How living this way has changed me

Of course for this blog to make any real sense, you would have had to know me before I moved off the grid.   Consider that missed experience a blessing…..

It is obvious that I am now 15+ years older…… but, in that vein, I am stronger for my age than many……much healthier than I would have been had I remained on the martini circuit and watched TV.    I am still stiffening up like the elderly do, but I think this lifestyle keeps me more flexible than I might have been – hard to say when you are only as supple as a firehydrant.  Mind you, I still move Shrek-like across irregular surfaces and I still do awkward jobs – albeit poorly.  I confess that Sally’s regular yoga is something I count on now…..for doing some of the chores I used to do.

Attitudinally, I am slightly easier-going.  Still grouchy and impatient but now I avoid most human interactions and forgive more of the infractions of those I encounter.  So, technically, I am easier-going on an incidence-counted basis.  Being late, for instance, is not such a big deal to me anymore (for THEM.  For me, I am still just as obsessive about being on-time).  I am even somewhat pleasant to BC ferry workers who previously held very low status but, because of the ‘humanity’ of our local crew, are now much better tolerated.  I am just a smidge better, actually.  It is still tolerance, after all.  LOCAL tolerance.  And that’s still a precarious relationship, too.

Philosophically, I am both happier and more depressed.  I see clearly that ‘central’, rich nincompoops affect my life through a systemic commitment to greed and power and a panapoly of stupid and primitive belief systems.  On the other hand, that has always been so and at least I am further away.

Sal and I agree: we are NOT FAR ENOUGH!!

Spiritually, I am good.  Basically at peace with myself…..well, relatively speaking, anyway.  I still get antsy.  Wanna do stuff.  Different stuff.  Always wanna do different stuff.  I used to want to travel ’cause of the different stuff.  Now?  Not so much.  Maybe it’s just age….. I am not so inclined to ‘travel’ these days.  Plus a lot of the different stuff is NOT SO different anymore.  McDonald’s in China?  Part of it, too, is that I just like ‘here’ so much that I am happy ‘staying’.

Probably my biggest personal change is spending more time in the present.  This is now much more a life spent not ‘in my head’.  Of course, there is thinking and planning and all sorts of ruminations but, for the most part, one can step out into nature and do some physical thing and enjoy and benefit from the ‘present moment’ of it all.  The best part?  The ‘present moment’ can last a few hours.

I built a frame for a cement casting the other day.  Screwed it up all along the way, changed it, fixed it, did it again.  Finally got it close-enough to be ‘right’.  Simple, basic, rustic, poorly executed carpentry project.  Took me three hours!  But the time flew.  It just went by so nicely.  Weather was good.  Sal was in the garden.  Boats went by.  Ravens sitting nearby commenting occasionally on my work.  Next thing you know……..it’s late afternoon…….I heard a bottle of wine calling my name….

“Oh, Dave, you are just getting old!”   

I think you are right about that but, it is clear to me that my ‘getting old’ out here is a lot different from the path to getting old in the city.  To put a pathetically sad story to that: a friend of a friend is moving back east to move into an old-folks extended care facility.  She is a bit older than me at 72/73.  She is ambulatory.  I guess she has a few ailments….but the main reason she is moving there is because she is lonely and has nothing to do in the city.  She is just existing, not living.  In her 70’s, she is done…….

And that is just not me.  NOT Sal either.  I doubt that it will ever be me or Sal.  Maybe if we reach 100.  Even then – NOT Sal!

In the meantime, we have too much to do.

 

So….I met an old guy….

Nice guy.  Early eighties.  Professional.  Tall, healthy-looking. D was still with it.  And he was looking for a job.

“Geez, D, I’m hardly the guy to ask.  Haven’t worked officially since I was fifty-five and, to be honest, mostly faked it until then.  Probably never worked a real day in my life ‘cept for building a house.”

“Well, I still have what it takes.  Not full-time, of course.  But a day or two a week.  Need to keep busy.”

“Thought of golf?  The garden?  Building ships in bottles?  Post-eighties is getting on, man.  I should know, I am post-seventy and I’m practically beyond getting on!” 

“No.  Hate golf.  And my wife is in the garden.  Never been much into sailing.  But I walk every day.  A few miles, actually.  I’m pretty fit.”

“Well, I’ll keep my eyes open but, you know, I live on a remote island and even with both eyes open, I rarely see anyone.  But, forgive me for asking . . . you’ve been a successful professional all your life.  Long time.  Productive time.  I mean, do you really need the money?” 

“Well, yes.  Yes, I do.   A few marriages, ya know.  And they came with extra kids.  Some are still with me. And I’m still supporting a few.”

I immediately jumped to the image of the wife being in the garden . . . but he seemed sane.  Then I thought . . .“hmm . . . maybe all three wives are in the garden . . .” 

All that is really just a segue to my main topic.  I’m getting into health care these days.  No, I don’t mean drinking less wine or exercising more.  I am NOT crazy!  I mean volunteering in the community to help create a better health clinic.  And, with that work, comes some information about the folks out here.  The bit that I am focused on is the stats on our local demographic.  Seems 46% of the local population is over sixty-five.  Practically half the people out here are old!

And that has ramifications for health care.  Worse, our ‘cohort’ is poor, having less income than the average BC’er by far.  And we drink and smoke, too.  Seems I’m living in a poor section of the wilderness with a lot of old people with bad habits.  No wonder fit 80 plus year-olds are looking for work; they’re the labour pool!

If anyone asks, I guess I’ll just refer them to him, but I kinda feel obliged to check out his garden first.  Just how does his garden grow?  Maybe I’ll go check while he is on one of his long walks.

 

Quickies:

Smoke is bad.  Half a km visibility.  I can taste it.  NOT good.  Fewer boats, of course.  Less outside time for doing anything.  Nothing like a visit from one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse to get your attention.

Bad guys went by in a boat the other night.  Fired maybe twenty rounds of automatic, heavy caliber fire in the general direction of our house.  Smidge shocking.  I did not take it personally.  It was just bad guys.  But NOT just naughty boys…but real bad guys.  They are known to authorities.

The RCMP are all over them all the time (or so they say).  But – for us – we had our first visit from the ‘madding/zombies crowd’ and the ‘drive-bys’ and our response (similar to our neighbours in town I guess) was a bit odd….“Yikes! what’s that?”  Or, “Sounds like gunfire…no?  Must be fireworks, eh?”  My closest neighbour ran to the top of his property to get a good look but immediately assumed the low-profile position when it became obvious what it was.  “Geez, my first response was to present a target!”  Take-away: we are not accustomed to the usual evil in the world and had very little in the way of a proper response.

That may have to change.

Book club invited me (and Sal but she is already a member in attendance) to talk about our book.  Thirty-something women.  And me.  One room.  I lasted about half an hour, maybe forty minutes.  It was fun.  They were very nice.  Supportive of our effort and all.  But book club is a concentration of estrogen and I am more like a stain on a white shirt there.  Be polite.  Smile a little.  Thank them.  And get out.  Still, our community is very good that way.  They support our efforts and it was very nice.  I like them.

Maybe in fewer numbers…….

Health clinic work is still going on.  We are meeting and politicking and strategizing and juggling logistics since everyone is a volunteer with a busy life attached.  Every day with the emails and the phone calls.  Funny, really.  Being a volunteer is a costly and time consuming hobby.  I figure approximately $50.00 a visit for a meeting or something.  And we are twice or more a month right now…one way or another.  Maybe six to eight hours a week with emails…?  Crazy hobby.

Is it just me?  But there is a our boy, Justin marching in Gay Pride.  All smiles and pink shirts and all.  Fine.  No problem.  You go, guy.  But then, a week later, there he is again marching in yet another gay pride thing.  I am not sure but I think he marched in three (Vancouver, Edmonton and Toronto).  Maybe more.   Is that the way our Prime Minster should spend his time?  Marching in pink shirts smiling and waving?  One is fine.  Shows inclusiveness and all.  But flying across the country covering Gay Pride events?  C’mon….that’s silly.  One is good.  Two is too much.

And the proposed national holiday for the victims of Residential Schools?  I do not think that is a holiday-type thing….if you wanna ‘celebrate’ our First Nations, find something positive and uplifting…..I dunno….it could be me….getting a bit tired of all the apologizing and moping over history…..sorry, maybe I am bad…..but I do not think statues of John A McDonald should be taken down either.  That he was inclined to be genocidal in his policy making is nothing to be proud of but history is history and, to make it right, you just add a bronze plaque to balance the message.

Or am I wrong again?

Speaking of WRONG……..I have a horrible feeling the Donald is gonna get a pass.  NO QUESTION Manafort is dirty.  Conviction or not, the evidence at his first trial showed tax evasion at the very least and likely treason to boot.  But that exposure was to be expected.  I didn’t have the evidence but the circumstances were enough to guess that outcome.  BUT NOTHING else crawled out of that pile of slime!!??  There are Russians crawling all over Mar-a-Lago, Trump Tower, the Trump campaign, Trump accounts, Trump beauty pageants and all the Trump cronies – not to mention the internet being trolled by Russians for the election…..but something BIG and UGLY should have been presented by now.  I think.  Maybe I am just being impatient?

Or as Alberta John might say, “Hey!  The guy is totally innocent!  Lilly white.  It’s a witchunt on a really smart and stable guy!”

  

 

 

Weird thoughts

As most readers know, Sal and I have now written three books.  Hardly even mediocre literature but fun for us.  By doing so, we have exposed ourselves (and our friends) to strange new thoughts, emotions, feelings, imaginations and, surprisingly, a pathetic level of little-boy sensitivity (little-girl sensitivity?  No, not Sal.  She’s OK).  It turns out I kind of care what people think…who knew?  It is not like I ever acted as if I cared…….

Anyway….Charlie and Nancy are the heroes of our new book, ACCIDENTAL FUGITIVES and, even tho it is NOT selling like hotcakes or even cowpies, it is stumbling and crawling off the shelves and, of course, the first buyers are our friends, neighbours and acquaintances.

I live for their feedback.

Translation: I am dying here.  

Well, that is NOT QUITE true.  A few have responded and I am eternally grateful.  What is true is that the poor accidental friend who encounters me unexpectedly is immediately put on the defensive.  “So…?  Read ‘Fugitives’, have you?”

“Huh?  What?  What fugitives……?”

“The ACCIDENTAL ones!  You know….?  ACCIDENTAL FUGITIVES?  OUR NEW BOOK!”

“Huh….oh, yeah…well, yeah…….well, no actually….I was gonna.  Fer sure.  But, like, I was just waiting for it to be released, ya know…?”

“Oh.  That.  Well.  It was released.  June 4th.  But I understand.  June 4th is really like BC Day, kinda.  August first…same thing.  So, I take it that you have NOT read it….not that there is any pressure or anything….?”

“Sorry, man.  I’ll get to it.  Honest.  I really wanna read it.  I love off the grid stuff.”

“This is not off the grid.  This is adventure suspense.  This is cheap B movie crap.”

“Oh, I really love cheap B movie crap, man.  Cars blowing up and stuff.”  

“Yeah.  So better get on it.  The first edition is already a collector’s item.”

“Really?  That’s great.  Man, that is so cool.  A collector’s edition, you say?  Can I get it at the library?”

“Yeah.  Soon.  They take awhile to process book titles, ya know, but then it’s not a collector’s edition.”

“Why not?”

“Cause you have to give it back.”

“Right.”  

And so it goes.  What becomes the centre of our universe for at least a year is really just another mosquito of attention-getting for others that is usually ignored or successfully swatted away but sometimes just keeps buzzing …..like I do.

Like this is…….

Maybe I am not QUITE that bad.  NOT quite.  Maybe worse……

We currently have two young Kiwis Woofing here and E decided to read the book and stated quite sincerely that she liked it.  That’s nice.  Meant a lot to me.  We gave them the day off.  That evening, she repeated the compliments more generously and – you guessed it – they have today off, too.  They are out kayaking and I am making them sushi for dinner.

It’s pretty sad.

But the really weird part is that my mind, when idle now, turns to more plot-lines for Charlie and Nancy.  Today, I imagined a young woman escaping naked from a second story window ledge afraid to drop to the ground because the ground was covered in a bristly bush.  And, well, since she was naked and not looking forward to the bristles, she was stuck just hanging there.  Charlie was walking by the house she was dangling from and immediately went to her aid.  After analyzing the situation from every angle – twice or more times – Charlie opted to turn a garbage can upside down, stand on it and raise himself high enough for her to get her weight on his shoulders.  Then, both being careful to keep their balance, they carefully coordinate their positions with her slowly dropping to his shoulders and then climbing far enough down his steadied position to put a foot on the garbage can and leap to the grass a few feet away.  Of course, her leap throws Charlie off balance and the two of them tumble in a heap onto the lawn.

“What has that got to do with any kind of plot?” 

“Nothing.  That is just the way my mind works.  I just like the scene so much, a whole novel will likely come from it.  A few chapters at least.

I am really going to have to spend more time fantasizing on this….in the interests of literature, of course.

Who knew?

A jaguar escaped from it’s cage at the zoo recently (New Orleans) and killed six or nine animals it could get at.  No reason.  Just killed ’em.  It simply exercised it’s power.  Out here, mink will get into a chicken coop and kill all the chickens.  They don’t eat ’em; just kill ’em.  Power.  Opportunity.  Thrill.  It’s instinct, I guess.  Basic instinct.

We like to think that animals don’t kill except for survival but that is simply not true.  And, of course, that savagery is true for humans, too.  We are animals first.  We have basic instincts too but, like the Disney movie, we like to think we are a bit more evolved.  We have morals.  We have ethics.  We are better.

If the current state of affairs in our world is anything to go by, that is naive.  Power corrupts and every kind of power corrupts every time.  In everyone, it seems.

You probably knew that.  I did not.

The first estate is/was the church.  The second is/was the nobility (now read: government and .01%-ers) and the third estate is the hoi polloi, the commoner, Joe Average.  The fourth estate is the MSM (main stream media) the ‘news’, institutional journalism, the New York Times, the Washington Post.  And the fifth estate is the NON-mainstream media, the out-there critics, the Mother Jones, Slate and, dare I say it….?  FOX?  If not Fox, then Brietbart and Alex Jones.  The fifth estate is anti-MSM.

At one time or another, they each had or has power.  And each was/is morally corrupted by it.

But you knew that.  What you may NOT have known is that there is now a Sixth Estate.  The sixth estate is social media.  It is, in effect, Everyman, Jack and Jill Commoner, Joe average, all with their OWN media!  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are the portals to the sixth estate.

“So?  Who cares?  What’s it to you, Dave?”

Well, in one way, I applaud the little voices having a chance to squeak and tweet.  But, in another, I am a bit taken aback.  The much awaited power of the people is being realized in a new sixth way and, sadly, that power is already corrupt.  It is first being exploited by Russian trolls and QAnon and hackers and others with their own base motives – usually money-getting, power getting, bullying, titillation..  ‘The people’ are, so far, not being noble with their power.  They are being coarse, crude, evil and destructive to appeal to the madding crowd and their dollars.  Greed and crude seems to rule.  Then perversion.  Certainly NOT higher moral standards.

Originally, only the elite had power.  Religion and Royalty.  The common people had only numbers but, after rioting and rebellion got tedious for everyone, they reverted to the fourth estate to keep the elite bastards accountable, in check.  The journalists became our fighting heroes.  They were the check and balance on power.  There was no power to the people.

But . . . they (the fourth estate) sold out.  They were corrupted.  They went the way of the corporation.  They got shareholders and traded journalistic ethics for infotainment and cash flow.  Like our police, like our armies, the heroes sold out for a pension and a bonus.  I am not so sure that is permanent but it is what happened.

And so ENTER the fifth estate, the voice of criticism, the counter to the mainstream media, the corporate swamp-creatures who now make up the propaganda machine.  No longer did we believe the Walter Kronkites and the Dan Rathers.  Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner owned them.  We wanted the REAL voice of the people.  Like Michael Moore.  Like Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee.

But they had to make a buck…..

And then . . . well . . . then we-all got a Twitter account (I got a blog – same idea).  NOW WE REALLY HAD A VOICE!  PEOPLE POWER!  Finally!  NOW we were gonna tell the truth!  And hear the truth.  In the common people, we had trust.  You go, girl!

Everyone had a stage, everyone had an opinion and, YIKES!  Quel surprise!  It turns out that unleashing that power was not unleashing higher standards.  They, too, are corrupted!  They lie.  They sell. They cheat.  It’s NOT working!  It seems NOT everyone is truth-telling and truth-seeking but, rather, speaking out and ‘getting’ for themselves!

Yikes!

What did the sixth estate do when it came into power?

Well, I think they went nuts.  We got porn.  We got trolls.  We got drugs.  We got hacked! We got the dark net!  We got lies.  We also got an erosion of the basic Judaeo – Christian ethic and respect for institutions.  And, oddly, we got huge erosion of Christian principles by none other than mainstream Christians.  How does that happen?

But then again, I am one of them.  A bit too close to the fire, maybe?  And I just don’t know why – without pressure – we chose the low road, the jungle.  Why did we choose to kill the chickens and not just leave them be?

“Dave!  What is the point?”

When we had the single and dual, all-powerful ‘DIVINE’ and ‘ROYAL’ estate, all was a big lie and all of it was about control and much of it was corrupt and chaos reigned.  But it was kinda simple.  It was kinda clear.  And it WAS kinda controlled.  The beast was caged.

When some kind of accountability in the form of media manifested, religion lost a lot of power and so did royalty and the common man gained some.  The pendulum swung.  Public opinion started to mean something.  The beast had some room to move.  As the centuries marched on, more and more power has trickled down to the people.  Public opinion took the form of consumer choice/buying power but it is still much the same thing.  Little guy casting his vote, voice, dollars added up to influence.  We commoners are now more free to make a few choices.

(Theoretically, anyway.  You have few REAL choices when you are enslaved by real slave-owners (18th and 19th centuries) or by more modern and subtle companies (slave-drivers) and mortgage holders.  Hard to be a free-jaguar when you’re always in debt.   In a perverse kind of way, the beast was in chains.  Still controlled.  Freer but still caged.  Maybe. like the N’orleans jaguar, all that savagery just got pent up……)

Still, the freer we got the more disruption to the status quo ensued.  And that is the point.  The beast now runs amok.  Now we have a lot of different voices and a helluva lot more information and, surprise, a helluva lot more lies.  Who knew that lies would multiply?  I didn’t.  I honestly thought that more eyes on the issues and more minds on the challenges would result in more honesty and more truth.

I was a fool.

Well, maybe not a complete fool.  The potential for progress is still there.  And FACTFULNESS (Rosling) suggests that some of that potential is being realized.  But, in the meantime, the trolls and the liars, the deplorables and the swamp-creatures, the jaguar and mink are fighting over the new medium.  That is NOT good.

And the people who now have access to standing up and being counted are shutting up or selling porn and drugs to make a buck.

Who knew?