Raise the price for those who still won’t get vaxxed

‘The responsible majority of citizens are fed up to their locked-down ears with the anti-vax tail wagging the dog.’


Christian Dubé

Reason hasn’t worked. Statistics haven’t worked. Pleading, begging, scolding and shaming haven’t worked.

Those refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 are doing great harm to the majority of responsible citizens, to Canada’s health-care system, to the overburdened men and women who work in it.

It is their irresponsibility that is largely to blame for the restraints under which Canadians are currently required to live.

It is no surprise, then, and largely to be applauded, that exasperated jurisdictions from Quebec to countries in Europe have opted to raise the cost of demonstrably anti-social behaviour.

In Quebec, the province’s health minister Christian Dubé announced this past week that, as of Jan. 18, Quebecers will have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access provincial liquor and cannabis stores.

Excerpted from a statement by the Editorial Board of the Toronto STAR.

Anti-Vaxxers refused service at Trump Grill – no proof of vaccination!

A group of anti-vaxxers protested outside Trump Grill in New York City on Thursday after they were denied entrance to the restaurant.

A police officer was recorded trying to reason with the handful of protesters, who appeared to be in the restaurant’s lobby.

None of the individuals involved in the argument were wearing masks, or practicing social-distancing.

‘Trump is a fraud if he’s enforcing this!’ said one of the men in the video…

In New York City, people aged five and older are required to show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for indoor dining, including restaurants, catering halls, hotel banquet rooms, bars, nightclubs, cafeterias, coffee shops, fast food restaurants and grocery stores with indoor dining.

Har! Ask Trump if he will support principles over profit, eh? Not in his lifetime.

Um…Restorative Justice Mediation


Booking photo, police officer Julia Crews

Criminal charges against a St. Louis County police officer who shot a Black woman were dropped Monday after the victim requested a restorative justice mediation that focuses on repairing the harm caused by an offense.

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said Ashley Fountain Hall asked that assault charges be dropped against former Ladue, Missouri, police officer Julia Crews, 39. The charges stemmed from a dispute that took place on April 23, 2019, outside a Schnucks grocery store.

Crews mistakenly drew her firearm instead of using her Taser to restrain Hall and shot her in the torso, leading to critical injuries, the office said. Hall lost part of her spleen and suffers with post-traumatic stress disorder, prosecutors said.

The prosecutor’s office said Crews immediately realized she drew her gun when she intended to use her Taser, then administered aid and apologized “profusely.” Crews, who was captured crying in her booking photo, immediately resigned, and her response to the shooting “all played a part in the push for mediation,” the office said…

“This was a unique opportunity where the defendant immediately realized she had made a terrible mistake in shooting the victim, and both the defendant and victim reached places where they could see a resolution for this incident outside of the criminal justice process,” said St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell. “In this instance, justice is served by Restorative Justice, and this doesn’t happen without Ashley being 100% onboard.”

The process seems to have worked as it should. I have to say the name, the legal title for the process is something only a lawyer could love!

High-speed internet is now legally essential as water and electricity

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law by President Joe Biden on Nov. 15, 2021, was hailed by the White House and advocates as a historic investment to improve internet access in America…

In the law, Congress finally recognizes that “access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband is essential to full participation in modern life in the United States.” In other words, broadband access is like access to running water or electricity. It is essential infrastructure, the lack of which is a barrier to economic competitiveness and the “equitable distribution of essential public services, including health care and education…”

Many studies…have documented how investments in fiber-optic lines and related next-generation broadband infrastructure are going to more affluent communities, often bypassing low-income residents in highly urbanized areas such as Los Angeles and Detroit. The law not only empowers the FCC to monitor and correct such practices, but also helps align private investment incentives with public benefits by creating the Affordable Connectivity Fund, a permanent broadband subsidy for low-income households.

So, check in with your friendly neighborhood politicians. Make certain they’re up-to-date on the importance, usefulness, benefits to society provided by broadband access. Especially to middle and lower-income communities. It’s the law!

‘Meta’ Science Company is killed off on Day of Facebook becoming “META”

Are we supposed to believe Zuckerberg Inc didn’t make the decision to become META back before they bought the company which owned the rights to the name?

Thursday marked a new chapter in Facebook’s ongoing attempt to deal with the fallout from recent revelations about its inadequate content moderation role in sparking a mental health crises, decisions to prioritize engagement over safety, facilitation of genocide, and more: it changed its name to Meta Platforms, Inc—”Meta” for short…

As it turns out, changing Facebook’s brand to Meta required sunsetting an identically-named academic software company

Meta is a Canadian scientific literature analysis company that was founded in 2009, bought by the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) in 2017, and on the day of Facebook’s rebrand the Initiative announced it will shut down by 2022. Meta was the first acquisition of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and controls the URL meta.org. Notably, Facebook—er, Meta—owns meta.com.

Jeff MacGregor, CZI’s vice president of communications for science, told CNet that the organization’s assets were being transferred to Facebook but didn’t offer any specifics about the deal…In a statement explaining why its reasoning for shutting Meta, CZI alluded to “focusing” the energies of its staff, bringing “immediate value” and “greater opportunity for outsized impact” to the table.

Folks who believe these explanations, rationales, are also likely to be sitting around next April waiting for the Easter Bunny. Yum! Chocolate Meta-eggs.

OECD reaches landmark deal on a global corporate tax rate

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Friday announced a major breakthrough on corporate tax rates, after years of disagreement.

The group of developed nations agreed to a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15%. This marks a huge shift for smaller economies, such as the Republic of Ireland, which have attracted international firms — to a large extent — via a lower tax rate…

“The landmark deal, agreed by 136 countries and jurisdictions representing more than 90% of global GDP, will also reallocate more than USD 125 billion of profits from around 100 of the world’s largest and most profitable MultiNational Enterprises to countries worldwide, ensuring that these firms pay a fair share of tax wherever they operate and generate profits,” the OECD said in a statement Friday…

The breakthrough comes after some changes were made to the original text, notably that the rate of 15% will not be increased at a later date, and that small businesses will not be hit with the new rates…

Countries now have to work out some outstanding details so the new deal is ready to kick in during 2023.

Most of the hard work for most of the countries ready to sign on to this extraordinary deal is done and dusted. Part of getting to this announcement included the tweaks needed to bring on the broadest coalition possible. The agreement is between experienced international negotiators with a strong voice in enabling the process in their home countries.

We’re going to have a unique problem here in the GOUSA. Changes in tax relationships with other nations can only become reality via treaty law in the United States. Anyone ready to hazard a guess on whether you think the United States can sort out an international treaty of this scope in the next two years?

Think you and your kids are safe?


Timberview High School parking lot, Arlington, Texas

Watching the news, this morning. Shooting in a classroom in a Texas high school has come to this view. Dozens of cop cars…they’re trying to find the shooter.

“Let’s put it out on the local news and tell parents to stay away.” You know what’s going to happen, right away. Every parent who hears that jumps in the family cqr (or pickup) and heads to the school. Except the cops have already setup road blocks because they knew what would happen.

So, the freeway is backing up because parents are getting as close as possible to the school…and then simply parking along the edge of the freeway to climb over the railings, fence, to run to the school to help their kids, to help the cops.

Except, this is Texas, after all. Everyone learned how to be a hero from watching John Wayne movies. So, now – the biggest danger is from all the parents who grabbed their rifles – bring ’em along to help the cops, right?

I am so glad my wife and her kin moved out of Arlington and Texas, years ago.

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Yes, I realize the TV reporter who told us about parents carrying their rifles to the school – might just be full of crap. All part of it, folks.

Costa Ricans Live Longer Than We Do. What’s Their Secret?


Álvaro Salas Chaves

Life expectancy tends to track national income closely. Costa Rica has emerged as an exception. Searching a newer section of the cemetery that afternoon, I found only one grave for a child. Across all age cohorts, the country’s increase in health has far outpaced its increase in wealth. Although Costa Rica’s per-capita income is a sixth that of the United States—and its per-capita health-care costs are a fraction of ours—life expectancy there is approaching eighty-one years. In the United States, life expectancy peaked at just under seventy-nine years, in 2014, and has declined since.

People who have studied Costa Rica, including colleagues of mine at the research and innovation center Ariadne Labs, have identified what seems to be a key factor in its success: the country has made public health—measures to improve the health of the population as a whole—central to the delivery of medical care. Even in countries with robust universal health care, public health is usually an add-on; the vast majority of spending goes to treat the ailments of individuals. In Costa Rica, though, public health has been a priority for decades.

The covid-19 pandemic has revealed the impoverished state of public health even in affluent countries—and the cost of our neglect. Costa Rica shows what an alternative looks like. I travelled with Álvaro Salas to his home town because he had witnessed the results of his country’s expanding commitment to public health, and also because he had helped build the systems that delivered on that commitment. He understood what the country has achieved and how it was done.

Decades ago, I worked in and around the medical community in New Haven, Connecticut. Never as a provider. Most often in one or another support system. I had many friends who were undergrads, graduate students, faculty…ranging from Yale Med School to their superb Public Health School. And it all reflected the characterizations in this article. Public Health in American politics has been and continues to be a lesser add-on to the “more important” medical care system. At best. If that’s changed, I’ll be pleased to hear about it.