With so many journalists (including me) obsessed with writing about the morbid coronavirus pandemic, it’s getting harder to maintain a good sense of humour. Some might even feel that mirth of any kind during such a plague is inexcusable and inappropriate. But jokes and puns should never really be impermissible. Take Robespierre, for example. As … Continue reading Laughter in the middle of a pandemic not a cure, but helps us endure it
In a recent letter to the editor of the Ottawa Citizen, D. J. Phillips disagreed that everyone should be compelled to wear a face-mask. “It is your right to wear a face-mask,” Phillips conceded. ”However, it is not your right to inflict your preference on anyone else. If you feel better, use one, but don’t … Continue reading When so many practise individualism and spurn collaboration, prospect for global anti-virus campaign dim
Politicians and corporations in the United States and Canada have started to open up their economies and relax strict safeguards against the spread of Covid-19. This is happening even though the coronavirus remains prevalent in both countries. In the U.S., the pandemic still proliferates in several states, where the rates of infection and fatalities continue … Continue reading Have business and political leaders decided to co-exist with COVID-19 instead of seeking its curtailment?
Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer, Yves Giroux, recently estimated that the federal deficit incurred from funding pandemic virus relief measures -- now about $260 billion -- could soar as high as $900 billion by this time next year unless curbed long before then. “Such measures will have to be temporary,” he cautioned. “If they are maintained … Continue reading Bleak post-pandemic future looms as govt. keeps borrowing from private banks instead of from the Bank of Canada
Ten years ago, Pat Armstrong, a sociology professor at Toronto’s York University, released a study of long-term care of the elderly in Canada. She exposed the abysmal lack of staffing required to provide quality care. “Residents sit in soiled diapers because there are no workers available to answer their call. They often miss regular baths, … Continue reading Canadian governments have ignored abominable abuse of the elderly despite care-givers’ repeated alarms
As some Canadian provinces (and American states) relax their pandemic-driven social and economic constraints, many thousands of hitherto housebound citizens are flocking to stores, playgrounds, and beaches. Governments are urging these suddenly mobile people to maintain their self-distancing and keep wearing masks in crowded assemblies. But the enforcement of such restrictions is clearly impossible. Now … Continue reading Result of re-opening the economy will not create the “new normal” but just resume the capitalist “old normal”
Is the coronavirus now encircling the globe Mother Nature’s desperate attempt to stop rampant capitalism from destroying sentient life on the planet? With most of the world’s political leaders still blatantly committed to abetting the reign of terror by the multinational corporations -- and with so many workers dependent on capitalism for their livelihood – … Continue reading There’s a much worse global pandemic than Covid-19: global capitalism
Recent photos taken by astronauts in the orbiting space station show an amazing improvement in Earth’s atmosphere. The sharp reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from factories, motor vehicles, ships, planes and fossil fuels reveals a planetary surface whose clarity had been obscured by industrial pollutants. This long-delayed abatement of global warming stems from the Covid-19 … Continue reading After Covid-19 passes, our future will depend on whether governments prevent or permit more environmental vandalism by large corporations
Back in the 1970s, chemist James Lovelock, with his associate microbiologist Lynn Marguilis, developed what they called the Gaia hypothesis: the theory that our planet is a sentient organism dedicated to promoting and protecting all forms of life. Gaia is the ancestral name of the primal Earth goddess, whose regulation of all organic components of … Continue reading Is Covid-19 Mother Nature’s latest effort to rid herself of the virus of humankind?
In the early 1960s, while I was working for the Canadian Labour Congress in Corner Brook, the paper mill unions won a 5% pay raise for the mill’s workers – much to the dismay of the town’s business owners. When I next shopped at our neighbourhood grocery store, the manager complained to me about “overpaid” … Continue reading Corporate attacks on public sector and public employees inflict just as much harm on the private sector