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Saturday, September 11, 2021

9/11 again in 2021

9/11 again in 2021 in

I saw the first plane hit the first tower on a tv set in an office where I was working with a client.
"Everything has changed; nothing will ever be the same as it was before this moment!" was the sentiment then among all present. And that sentiment  has been forged into historic reality in the ensuring twenty years.


Later that day, I was confronted by a faux educator intent on sucking the public dollars from the public trough in a private career academy (ironic misuse of the long and treasured tradition of the academe)..for two narcissistic and greedy motives: profit and social and political ambition to achieve social status parity with the then president of a real local university.


Enrolment numbers of still-maturing and often vulnerable and insecure young men and women, who themselves were trying to find a "career" without having to endure the trials and stumbles of time and experience, meant dollars and validation of his motives to this glib and superficial "educator".
Teaching ethics to wannabe police officers, I found the most intractable and virtually unreachable concept to convey and to convince these neophytes who were so in awe of the vision of personal power (analogous to and complicit with the owner's life goals)...was the concept of a "clear and unbiased and judgement-free mind-set" in that moment when they were to be entering whatever situation needing their presence after graduation.


The over-riding ethos of the players in that context was to find the shortest path to immediate extrinsic goals.


Any mention of anything that pushed back against the exclusively personal transactional, any idea that superceded technique, or that challenged the view that all circumstances could be managed and manipulated through a menu of method, devoid of perspective, judgement, full of ambiguity, and outside the literal reading if the rules was beyond the walls, the minds and the spirit of that enterprise from top to bottom.


This is not to say that the career academy dies not have a place in a culture where work provides income and sustenance. It is, however, to warn against the spectre of the pursuit of transactional personal selfish goals that  ultimately and inevitably sabotage those pursuing them and all who are complicit in that process.


Those terrorists who pursued their own ultimately selfish and transactional goals of bringing the American capitalist altar to ruin, in order to assert their own unbridled religious hubris, were, and continue to be, engaged in a vain, narcissistic, selfish, and ultimately vacuous goal that can never be considered a worthy definition of meaning, purpose or especially identity for a single person.
We cry out for the preservation of democracy and freedom as opposed to the venal and evil forces of autocracy, dictatorship, terrorism and religious fanaticism.


And then we merge a specific faith like Christianity and Islam as examples of the differences...when it is the human nature's deep-seated need for power, control, dominance and status that has been grafted onto those values that we espouse, teach and incarnate.


Of course, I have contempt for the faux-educator profiting from the glib manipulation of people and dollars for primarily personal greed and status. And yet, the question still remains: have we not succumbed to the reduction of too many if our human agendas to the merely transactional, the merely literal, the merely self-serving and the obviously self-sabotaging?


For all of the vain and assiduously developed defences against the threats of terror in the airports, the planes, the cyber-security edifices we have built, and the laws and bureaucracies to protect us, how many self-reflective moments have we each engaged to assess the degree to which our own lives have fallen for the need for instant and immediate satisfaction of our most superficial and obvious need?
The divide between personal and cultural perspectives of need opens on the clock, the calendar and the universe's notion of eternity.

Immediate personal satisfactions can and will thwart the legitimate long-term and far more resonant and inspiring work and rewards that attends the larger honourable collective need for safety, security and hope.

And the detachment from our shared needs and purposes in favour of exclusively private and personal needs me goals (excessive consumerism, nationalism, religious exclusivity, excessive and isolated self-righteous ness, and pomposity of absolute certainty,) will inevitably bite each if us and the whole world in the butt.

That's not rocket science; it is obvious to any who choose to look.

And that won't be pretty or unpredictable! 

  

Monday, September 6, 2021

anti-vaxxers' ironic discrimination

Some of those protesting Trudeau's campaign events are accusing the prime minister of discriminating and even of fascism because he advocates for COVID-19 vaccinations and a vaccine passport.
Some of us "elderlies" find this framing of the public health issue as a
faux human rights issue not only logically fallacious but morally and ethically flawed.

For starters the virus does not and will not discriminate between targets including both those who are vaccinated and those who are not. The very concept of discrimination is a label fired from the several personal and political canons of those who have and are and  will continue to presume to advocate for personal choice over the public interest and the public good

Feelings of victimhood...being discriminated against...have found a sizeable niche in the public discourse by many who are literally and historically targetted for specific reasons including racism, sexism, ageism, religion, ethnicity, and even social status (the poor, the under-educated, the homeless).
The notion that a responsible political leader would use the "victim" argument to seduce potential supporters by manipulating their feelings of victimhood fails everyone, including especially those who "fall" for their argument.

Of course, we are all on a learning curve in our valiant attempt to rein in the spread and danger  of the virus.
That  includes the epidemiologists themselves and the scientists racing to develop and test vaccines and therapeutics to combat the pandemic.
"Emergency use authorization" is not final and formal approval; however such endorsements are and were and will continue to be necessary in ordern to mediate the impact in terms of cases. hospitalizations and deaths.
Those emergency use authorizations have already demonstrated both safety and efficacy at levels equal to or exceeding those previously tolerated and accepted and even revered vaccines for other serious illnesses.

The culture of trust has however changed radically from those days when medical and scientific professionals were relied upon for guidance in protecting our own and our childrens' health and well being.
Not only has distrust grown into its in own variety of pandemic; it has been fuelled by those steeped in both narcissistic self-aggrandizement in political terms and the pursuit of profit  in both methods and obsession in the be private sector.

Greed is now not only "good"; it has been elevated to a personal life goal stripped of nuance and shame.
Link the cultural obsession with narcissism to the legal cry for individual rights (both lethal forces against the broad and complex and essential public interest) and what results is the latest version of the toxic tail wagging the healthy dog.

In towns and cities small vocal minorities are punching far above their be weight...whether they advocate for pickel-ball courts or radical hate larynxes claiming they are  "protecting our children" from people like Trudeau whom they label as fascist.
Projections of fear, anxiety and insecurity are thrown, sometimes even unconsciously, and certainly personally, at those considered (without reflection and/or identification of personal motivation) to be a danger to their fragile worldview.

Hate, contempt, vile and viscous words hurled at specific targets easily morph into real bullets, as the number of personal threats to politicians has risen dramatically in the last several months.
The society's instruments to detect bullets may exceed our current capacity to detect the morphing of COVID variants. And yet those variants will continue to plague all of us (in all countries and economic classes) so long as the viral words and attitudes and beliefs in personal "privilege" (not right) triumph over the protection of the public health.

Not having a national policy for vaccination mandates and passport introduction is in a word simply inexcusable and irresponsible.
Even fully vaccinated, I am so still a in potential carrier and spreader of COVID-19...and those who refuse to be vaccinated are even a greater threat to my life and health...and to their own.
Opting out is not a human right...iris a deliberate act of defiance of the notion that we are enjoined in a common cause...

And that enjoinment extends to other equally dangerous existential threats...such as climate change and global warming and also the tidal wave of poverty, starvation and criminal terrorist cells.
The UN, while uttering warnings. reports and projections, nevertheless remains merely an agency of moral suasion. In a world where moral suasion is as potent as a quarter in search of a cup of coffee, that does not buy the coffee.

Individuals, each one of us, has nothing short of a moral imperative to consider the public interest as at least equal to, if not occasionally more relevant and important than our personal privileged choice.
When will we waken to prevent our own and our families' demise?

Or is that an IF?