Monthly Archives: January 2021


Erin O’Toole is not very bright. But sometimes he drops down to moronic. Attempting to kick Derek Sloan out of the CPC caucus – on the pretext that Sloan’s leadership campaign accepted a donation from one of Canada’s three Nazi adjacent minor character who donated under an unrecognized name – is idiocy on speed.

Where to start? Well, it appears that the donation in question slipped through without questions being raised by the Sloan campaign. This makes sense as the donation came from a Frederick P. Fromm which Sloan and his campaign were supposed to recognize as an alias, or maybe little used first name of….drum roll, Paul Fromm. How, exactly, they were supposed to recognize Fred as Paul is mysterious but O’Toole sees the acceptance of the donation as ““far worse than a gross error of judgment or failure of due diligence.” It is pretty much evil all the way down if there is a well-known white supremacist involved even if you do not have a clue at the time the donation is made.

Our Erin is having none of this sort of behavior in his “modern” Conservative Party. He promises to use his power as leader to prevent Sloan from running under the CPC banner in his riding. And just to make sure that no one thinks this is a mere clerical error, Erin turns the virtue signal dial to 11 with this ringing declaration, “Racism is a disease of the soul, repugnant to our core values. It has no place in our country. It has no place in the Conservative Party of Canada. I won’t tolerate it.” Suitable for MLK Day.

Sloan is too much of a socon for me to be a big fan but I am pretty sure he is not a racist. I might be wrong about that, but it does not matter one whit to our Erin: the opportunity to kiss up to the media establishment was too tempting. And, realistically, is there any place for Sloan in a “modern” Conservative party. Sloan is not actually a liberal in blue camouflage. He has been known to have strong views and, horrors, has been on Rebel Media. Double Plus Ungood!

Sloan has a substantial following among the deplorable socon wing of the modern Conservative party and our Erin is just dumb enough that he might think he can get rid of those dreadful people by firing Sloan. Fat chance.

Sloan himself has been rude enough to point out that if he, inadvertently took Nazi dollars, so did CPC HQ because 10% of leadership donations flowed through to CPC HQ. The cheek of the man!

But the very dumbest part of our Erin’s political calculus was forgetting that Sloan has an alternative party to go to: the PPC. Max would be delighted to welcome the PPC’s first sitting MP. And the PPC is a broad church in which socons are welcome. Max himself is more a libertarian but, no matter, if Derek Sloan wants to be the PPC’s Deborah Grey he’d be welcome.

As O’Toole’s stupidity becomes manifest his inability to come even close to Justin and the Libs’ polling numbers is causing many CPC members to do the following calculus: O’Toole can’t beat Trudeau, O’Toole is simply Liberal lite, voting for O’Toole will not get rid of Trudeau….Maybe I should look at somewhere else to vote. If Sloan came over to the PPC he might very well bring a lot of disgruntled CPC members and voters.

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Mandate of Heaven

The American Presidency is an odd institution. Partially political, partially ceremonial and more than a bit symbolic. At the Founding, George Washington was reportedly offered the kingship of the new American nation. He turned it down and became the first President. But there are elements to the American Presidency which owe more to the idea of kings than the ideals of democracy.

The bow tie brigade is fond of pointing out that the United States is a Republic rather than a democracy and, to a degree, they are right. The founders were not especially enamoured with democracy. They saw the states as having most of the power and designed a system in which Senators were appointed by their state and the Electoral College was a deliberative body appointed by the states as well. The Senate arrangements were striped away by the 17th Amendment and the Electoral College has evolved into a rubber stamp. But there remains a sense that the Presidency transcends the hurley burley of partisan politics. “Respect for the Office” if not the incumbent, was an important, non-partisan, American value.

This all changed with the advent of Donald Trump. From well before his election, the American establishment, Democrat and Republican refused to accept The Donald as America’s President. They spied on him, ran the phony Russian collusion investigation, impeached him for suggesting that the Ukrainians investigate Joe Biden and his errant son Hunter, impeached him again for so-called “incitement” and generally refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of his election. The political and media establishment were perfectly willing to trash the Office in their lust to get the man.

Which is why the Biden Inauguration is being held behind 30,000 troops and 12 foot high, razor wire topped fences. This defensive perimeter is not required to fend off irate Trump supporters furious at what they believe was a stolen election. Rather it is required to add some mystique to a doddering, corrupt little man who is being installed as President.

As I remarked to a friend, Presidential campaigns with their rallies and speeches and debates and endless travel are, as the Biden “victory” proves, entirely superfluous to ballot harvesting in a mass media age. In terms of votes a two million dollar ad buy is more valuable than a campaign tour whistle stop. However, campaigns, actual campaigns, serve another purpose: they connect the candidate to actual Americans and, more importantly, Americans to the candidates. Trump established a connection to millions of Americans who voted for him and millions who did not. Biden did not.

Apparently over 80 million Americans cast their votes for Biden. Yet in a deeply Democrat city surrounded by blue states, instead of worrying about how to deal with huge crowds of supporters, the Biden Inauguration is in a defensive crouch.

Now assorted commentators point to the rally of January 6 with a million well behaved Trump supporters and a couple of thousand yahoos as necessitating the security measures. There is no strong evidence that Trump supporters have or had any intention of attacking the Biden Inauguration. No doubt more than a few might have shown up to heckle the man, but that is simple democracy and no threat.

The fact is that Biden’s total lack of campaigning has left him without any connection to Americans. People did not vote for Joe Biden, rather they voted against Donald Trump.

Those 80+ million people (assuming that they actually exist and actually voted) would, normally, have given Biden a mandate, a popular endorsement. However, because Biden did not campaign, took no unscripted questions, didn’t bother to travel much, his mandate, the endorsement of his voters, is very fragile. The current security theatre in Washington is an attempt to buttress Biden’s claim to the Presidency, or rather the legitimacy of that claim.

I very much doubt it will work.

Lockdown + Curfew + ?

Vitamin D and COVID 19

Our friends in Quebec are under a lockdown plus, now, a strictly enforced curfew. Manitoba and Ontario are locked down.

There is not a great deal of science behind the lockdowns other than pointing at Australia. But there is some logic in that if you are not outside your house you are unlikely to catch or transmit COVID. The problem being that there are a lot of people for whom “just staying at home” is unrealistic as they have “essential” jobs.

In Canada we have something on the order of six months to go before a really significant proportion of the population is vaccinated. (And, yes there are questions about exactly what the vaccines do – apparently they do not confer absolute immunity and such immunity as they do confer may not last all that long. But better than nothing.)

So it appears we are going to be dealing with lockdowns and curfews well into summer. And they seem to be the only tool in the public health box. But are they?

I realize I can be a bit of a bore about Vitamin D, C and zinc. Not to mention getting outside and taking a bit of exercise. But in the daily news conferences where public health officers announce cases number, hospitalizations and deaths there is no mention of the simple measures which have shown promise in reducing the incidence and severity of COVID infection.

I understand the need to stay on message and encourage compliance with current public health measures, but adding D,C, zinc and outdoor exercise to the wash your hands mantra could well improve outcomes. Even more to the point, making arrangements for D,C and zinc to be available free along with suggested dosing instructions at pharmacies and grocery stores would not be very expensive and might improve immune systems. A program like this could also be targeted at communities which appear more vunerable: First Nations, black and South Asian communities, for whatever reason, seem to be at increased risk from COVID.

Lockdowns and curfews and mask mandates have not proven terrifically successful outside Australia. Adding another layer of defence by improving the immune systems of significant numbers of people might well be more effective. It is certainly worth a try.


All over but the shouting?

To my not very great surprise Mike Pence has indicated that he’ll be counting the electoral votes as presented. While there will be objections to various states’ electors those are unlikely to be sustained by either the House or the Senate. Which will mean that, likely by the end of today, Joe Biden will be President elect and Trump will be packing up his White House.

I have never been an all in Trumpist. When he was elected I supported him simply because Hillary was so dreadful. Biden is not nearly as dreadful and, while I will miss Trump’s anti-Swamp activities, the election of the thoroughly corrupt Biden is, in itself, a major disaster. Biden will nod along and the assorted loons in the Democratic party will fight among themselves.

What is a disaster is the fact that there was, apparently, nothing either Trump nor the Republican Party could do about the rampant cheating which led to Biden’s astonishing vote. Ballots in the night, the Dominion voting machines’ algorithms, the dead, non-resident and illegals voting, the mass mailing of ballots: nothing moved the needle.

The needle stayed put because the American media had absolutely no interest in what was and is the most significant political story of my lifetime. Not because they loved Joe Biden, rather because they hated Donald Trump and the people who supported him.

As I write the hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters who have flooded into Washington are, apparently, breaching the Capitol Building grounds. Where that goes will be interesting. Right thinking bow tie Republicans will see this as “deplorable” and it is. But the complete bad faith of the American ruling elite, the corruption of the voting systems, the resolute unwillingness of the Courts to hear actual evidence and the failure of the Vice President to find a way forward leaves those deplorables with very few choices.

They are inside the Capitol now and both the House and the Senate are recessed. This is not the day Joe Biden will be President Elect.

We’ll see how this turns out: there is a fair bit of shouting left to be done in Washington.

Update: It looks like the Capitol has been cleared and the Joint Session has recommenced. The great and the good have deplored “violence” and “riot” and Twitter has suspended President Trump’s account.

Unfortunately, a woman was shot and killed at the Capitol. Exactly how and by whom is unknown.

Washington insiders have closed ranks to push Biden across the line. Functionally, this should be enough to have him achieve a Presidency of a sort. Biden will start with the asterisk of a stolen election and an absence of any real personal support. There will be no inauguration parade and, I suspect, citing COVID and security, the actual swearing in will take place behind closed doors.

Will Trump retreat to the golf course and lick his wounds? Perhaps, for a while; but everything I have seen suggests that Trump will be back.

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