Reality check on power

We didn’t really prepare for this emergency.  In fact, we didn’t even really react to this emergency (we were kinda busy at the time with a gimpy knee).  If we have done anything in the way of responding to Covid-19 it has been to ‘keep doing what we were doing’.

Mind you, I contend that no one can actually prepare for a catastrophic emergency situation anyway because – by definition – that emergency is a surprise.  Ergo: little or inadequate preparation can to be expected – at least at the personal level. 

To be truthful, we kinda think we are somewhat prepared.  A bit.  You know, being OTG and all?  Couple of cases of refried beans.  Extra coffee.  Bag o’ rice.  More toothpaste than God!  But we are – if judging from others – woefully ill-equipped in the toilet paper department.  And there is no such thing as having enough wine and scotch.  So, our main fear is eventually being dirty-bummed and sober – with a dry cough.  Maybe attacked by Otters.   It’s gonna be hell!

Anyway, that is not really the point.  This is:  C-19 is yet another wake-up call.  You are very much on your own.  We pay the government to (in theory) protect us and keep us safe.  Of course, we pay them mostly to keep us safe from them but the protection racket is the protection racket and that is all government really is – at the core of it’s business is the protection racket.  “Oh, you have to pay us money.  We’ll buy guns and hire soldiers and police to keep the bad guys away from you.  If the bad guys never come, consider us doing our job well.  We’ll protect you from the other ‘gang’ with their territory just over the border.  Oh yeah, pay us more and more…the danger is getting worse and worse!”

And, when there is – actually – a real and present danger, the government always seems to respond poorly.  They are always protecting us using lessons from the last invasion.  The next one is always new and different.  The truth is they are not really very good at providing protection in any way.  Their main response to provision of anything is compensation.  “Ooohhhh….that river flooded your neighbourhood!  We’ll get you some money!”

The government’s main response to danger is to let it happen and then pay compensation.

They call the money quantum.  In court, money is quantum.  In the courts – and with regard to contract and tort law – the means by which the victim (who has lost something) is ‘made whole again’ – is with money.  “Lost a leg due to negligence?  Here’s some money?  Lost family members?  Here’s money. 

“And it works to some extent in criminal law as well.  Been bad to others?  Pay us a lot of money?”

So, we, the hoi polloi, pay money (taxes) for some indefinable form of general protection and rarely get it.  Why is that?  Are they all crooks?  Well, yes.  Of course they are.  But that is not the real reason.  The real reason is that all emergencies are surprises!  Even the smartest doctors didn’t know which epidemic was next coming down the pike.  No one saw HIV-Aids, Sars or Mers either.  They knew something infectious this way would come but they didn’t know what.  What could they have done?

Answer: there is a lot they could have done but not after-the-fact.  Our governments are not pro-active, they are reactive.  Like the police, they only seem to show up AFTER the the incident to collect information. They are NOT leaders.

Put another way: will anyone be surprised if the Red River floods Manitoba again?  Or that an oil pipeline or tanker causes a spill?  A terrorist incident will happen? That more people will become homeless?  That tornadoes and hurricanes will cause havoc?  Think we’ll discover more pollution?  More endangered species?  Does anyone really think this is the only pandemic we’ll ever see?

Of course, Trump made matters worse by disbanding the special department established for just such a pandemic purpose but, really, government moves slowly at best.  In the wrong direction as well, as a rule.  They stumble.  They trip.  They fall.  They make matters worse (often as not) as has been demonstrated in the War on Drugs and the War on Terror.  Eventually they get out of the way and the locals put things back to together (see Katrina.  See Puerto Rico).  Government is a heavy-handed, deaf, dumb and blind one-trick pony.  And the one trick is to cut a cheque.  They eventually just give people money.

“So, Dave…, what are you saying?” 

I am saying that C-19 is gonna be your struggle.  Only yours.  Don’t get it.  Don’t share it if you do get it.  Take care of yourself.  And do not go anywhere near a hospital if you can avoid it.  The government is not going to take care of you.

I am also saying, ‘the only thing your government will do for you, is to spend the money they took from you in the first place’.  And, in a corrupt/capitalistic system like ours, the money will go to the rich, the elite, industry and enforcement.  Maybe a few ventilators.  If there is any way in which you can dip into that pool of compensation, you might think to try.  I wouldn’t bother.  It is like joining the bastards and, in that sense, I’d prefer to stay at least two kilometers away.  They are a dirty, virulent bunch.

18 thoughts on “Reality check on power

  1. With most of what you have said, I find myself in respectful agreement.

    In workers compensation circles, paying money to fix the problem is known as “applying the green poultice”. Works to a point, but, kinda’ like NSAIDs, it wears off and requires fresh application.

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    • I know…that opinion was somewhat simplistic…but the basic concept is right…no remedy for tragedy except by way of money. How sad. How corrupt. How tragic.
      And THAT is a part of the problem. More to the point, our ‘thinking’ is always so reactive, and not pro-active. We really have to look at our ‘repeat’ problems and approach them from a different perspective.
      But, like, who do I think I am…? Mike Pence?

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    • Now, Paul….no one NEEDED that. That was just me being me being cynical and putting some limits on our Disney-esque like expectations. I do not trust the ‘system’ in oh, so many ways, but sometimes they are being the usual conniving bastards stealing from me and sometimes they are just idiots screwing everyone over (when they are called to step up). I really do NOT count on government for much of anything.
      I know, I know, Sal got a new knee….and THAT is impressive. I am and will be forever grateful. And, some day a cop might actually serve me instead of hassle me. I know that the system is NOT ALL BAD. I really do know that. But I will never rely on it. And, if I do, my expectations will be minuscule. Really…you should have shared the conversations I recently had with the local hospital and their cleanliness protocols. A robot would have been more responsive. It actually TOOK a pandemic before one of the mindless imbeciles to say, “With Covid -19 we have upped the cleaning protocols.”

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  2. Entirely off subject, but did anyone see the report that Site C was shut down? Read it in the MSM news? Of course not! A little insider information (which I trust) has advised Camp Hilton has been divested of 2000 employees..
    Of course this will help the budget because we won’t be paying their wage(or we will ) insert question mark here because my computer refuses to.
    As for staying on schedule, there was a provision for extraordinary delays and the schedule will be resumed once the 2000 union employees return, if they haven’t gone else where. Provided the river doesn’t rise. And as soon as oil returns to$58 a barrel, we’ll be steaming on towards prosperity! ‘cept it’s not, and we’re not.

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  3. Not sure what hating on the government achieves or pissing on institutions in general. The Anarchists are possibly filled with joy as the “failures of some governments to act fast enough pile up.” See, see, here they have failed again. In a country where most wrongs perceived or actual wrongs are expected by some to be assigned a monetary value so that many folks have come to expect a cheque in the mail by way of mitigation. Currently about three million Canadians are not in Canada. The government is being criticized for ‘not acting fast enough’ to get these persons home? Once the plane carrying 444 Canadians arrives in Montreal from Morocco will one atom of appreciation be shown? Let’s hope they do but …! Or will hands be out?

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    • Complaining may not be a positive force in the world. Cynicism, criticism, insult…how can any of that do any good? And, to be fair, it is NOT the route I take when wanting to make change in said institutions. I go to their face. I present the facts, the problems and a possible solution. I am not just a whiner. I show up.
      Having said that, I think a small part of the overall cynical review is to educate others. I have found way too many people ignorant of how and why things work and, while my perspective is not perfect, it is somewhat right, some of the time. At least worth sharing. The issues are worth raising.
      That government is reactive is NOT news but most people only expect reactive government and I am advocating for proactive government. That most of our institutions operate with so many conditions and rules they are clearly ‘job narrowing’ and end up simply mouthing platitudes rather than doing them is also not news but the people should speak up when that happens. All I am really saying is do not stand quietly in line waiting for your turn in the oven.

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    • Hahahahah….pro-active, I think. They are PRE-pared to act. ‘Cept no one really knows what’s coming so maybe they are also a bit delusional…? Not to put too fine a point on it, any constructive action taken in anticipation of an event qualifies as proactive in my books. And dead-head hospital doofuses who have to be told to ‘up’ the cleanliness protocols are definitely NOT proactive.

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      • Are you forgetting the poor Canadian over burdened Conservative voters in Alberts and Ontario who wanted cuts to health care budgets to lower their personal taxes. In light of the virus spreading in Alberta and Ontario the health budget cuts are being reversed much to the chagrin of the low information voters who think the virus is a hoax. Do you think a little face time might enlighten them? Proactive, reactive, inactive, reductive. Remember what Forest Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does!”

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      • I am a petty, I told-you-so kinda person and I am only too eager to find a Trumpeter (Kenney/Ford-type) in whose face this would all be mashed…’cept for one thing: Trump doesn’t accept any responsibility. Neither does Ford/Kenney. Instead, they will blame welfare mothers or immigrants. Or, the Chinese! Those imbeciles have no idea how to say, “Geez, what was I thinking? Everything I believed is now obviously proven a lie. I was a fool! I better go help others and apologize to people for my lack of critical thinking.”
        Do not hold your breath waiting on that.
        Ask a Trumpeter about Trump and they say, “He’s doing a great job. Stocks are up. Gas is down. Them Chinese got ticked paying our tariffs so they invented this disease. Act of war! I say, we gotta nuke ’em. And get ’em to pay for the wall!”

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  4. Have you heard that Senator Rand Paul has tested positive for the C 19 virus? Is that Karma? Paul was at the senate gym recently spreading his disbelief.

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  5. Definitely Karma but, if there was true karmic justice, Moscow Mitch would soon fall over and die. Maybe take Nunes with him.
    Quite frankly, I was hoping Trump would continue to do rallies…step ’em up…two a day…let us get them KKK’ers up on stage…another medal for Rush or Hannity….ooohhhhh and someone REALLY sick should kiss Kelly Anne Conway right smack dead on the lips…and linger there just to make sure….
    The problem with deplorables is that no one wants to kiss ’em.

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  6. Tonight the US Senate tonight defeated a two trillion dollar package to fight the the C 19 virus and its economic fall out.

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    • And……. over to you, Putin……
      Not passing a spending bill to help people is NOT a surprise. NOT passing a bill that pumps money into industry would be a HUGE surprise. What? That bill gave free food, rent relief and free medical care? Was that it? THAT won’t fly. But Boeing? The oil industry? The military industrial complex? Banks, first, of course.

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