The aged: lovely in theory, disposable in fact.




The Queen’s coronavirus message was clearly intended not just to bolster the spirits of her weary nation, but to remind it that once, in living memory, things were also very bad and people did not grumble quite so bloody much. She put it more gently than that, of course. It’s her job, and she’s had a few decades to perfect her poker face.

“Those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterize this country.” She ended with a line that would remind everyone she had been a teenaged truck mechanic during the Second World War, learned her legendary frugality in the time of ration books, and survived it all: “We’ll meet again,” she promised.

Dame Vera Lynn, the artist who sang We’ll Meet Again, turned 103 last month. Astonishingly, a version of her wartime classic, rerecorded with Katherine Jenkins to raise money for NHS charities, is currently a hit in Britain. When I interviewed Dame Vera in 2009, I asked her how everyone around her kept their spirits up during the dark days of the war: “People accepted the situation, and did what they could and adapted to make things a little easier for themselves,” she said. “That’s how we managed to get through six years.” It helped, she said, that no one was getting new shoes. The pain was shared.

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When I lived in England, there was a romantic fixation on the wartime generation’s toughness. Keep Calm and Carry On posters adorned dorm-room walls, and a book called Eating for Victory: Healthy Home Front Cooking on War Rations was on the bestseller list. Its many delightful recipes, including Welsh Wonder and Mock Fried Egg, are unlikely to become pandemic staples, yet so many other Blitz-time solutions are finding a new moment. People are planting victory gardens, baking their nan’s chewy old fruitcake (likely abandoned for good cause) and hauling the sewing machine down from the attic.

And there’s a renewed interest in preserving and reinvigorating the wisdom of these survivors, and in honouring the gritty determination, literally born of another century, of old soldiers such as Britain’s Captain Tom Moore. When the 99-year-old Second World War veteran set out to do a hundred laps of his garden in his walker to raise money for charity, he couldn’t know that the world would respond by making him a celebrity and donating £14-million (around $24.6-million) to support National Health Service workers.

​While it’s incredibly uplifting to see these heroes of an old war find renewed purpose, it’s also filled me with a deep unease. It’s as if we’re able to celebrate the elderly among us as individuals, so long as they have the good fortune to stay healthy, the means to look after themselves, and the good taste to give us something to root for. We’ve not been so charitable to the seniors warehoused away (often for someone else’s profit), disproportionately stricken by COVID-19, and sometimes literally left to die.

If we’re keen to maintain the knowledge and experience and wisdom of this generation, and to celebrate their victories over hardship, surely that also includes the experiences of people who are, through no fault of their own, in long-term care. If the pandemic is exposing fault lines in society and separating the haves from the have-nots, the servers and the served, it is glaringly obvious in the way we treat some of our most elderly and vulnerable citizens.

As Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, said this week: “I’m truly concerned about the devastating impacts of COVID-19 that we are seeing at our long-term care homes. These are affecting our loved ones in the community.”

Nearly half of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths have occurred in retirement or nursing homes. The situation in some of those facilities has been described in horrifying detail in the media. For example, Terrie Laplante-Beauchamp, a University of Montreal master’s student in microbiology and immunology, described to The Globe and Mail her work as an orderly at a long-term-care facility in Montreal.

“The place reeks of neglect,” she said. She tried to help patients who were in despair, saying they wanted to die, ignored by overworked staff. The facility’s employees were left with little in the way of direction or personal protection, and the residents’ families were beside themselves with worry – for good reason. The situation in Quebec is dire, with Premier François Legault asking for health-care professionals to come and work in the province’s hard-hit nursing homes.

But it’s not as if this was a problem that fell from the sky. Quebec’s care homes were undermined by a culture that underpaid and overworked its staff, and left them scrabbling for full-time hours. In Ontario, the system of oversight saw shocking lapses: A CBC investigation showed that last year only nine of the province’s 626 long-term care homes received the full inspection the province mandates.

Now we’re paying for the ways we devalue people who are approaching the end of their lives. The message couldn’t be clearer: Yes, we respect our elders, so long as they’re rich enough to afford stellar care, or genetically blessed enough to be able to ride out their final journeys on their own. If that’s the case, we’re interested in their stories, their wisdom, their grit. Otherwise, forget it: Out of sight, out of mind. We talk about remembering the lessons of that famous war. We should worry about learning the lessons of this one.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is putting a call out to doctors who are usually specialists and general practitioners to lend a hand at shortstaffed long-term care homes.THE CANADIAN PRESS

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The Effects of COVID-19 and Human Disease on Wildlife

Laura Putman Nature Photography

The way animals are thought of by people has to change. With our intellect and ability to reason, we can take the necessary steps to shift to a more thoughtful, harmonious and balanced way of living with nature and animals.

We must resolve to rekindle the sentiments that the earth is sacred and we are its beneficiaries, filled with wonder at the magnificence of life on earth and the enormous responsibility this bestows on us to ensure its wellbeing. Jonathan and Angela Scott, the Big Cat People

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In America, we are not safe – from the virus, nor our dire political crisis

This is a remarkable piece of journalism and let’s not pretend it only applies to the United States.

A shopper lines up to enter a Home Depot store while practicing physical distancing to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, in north St. Louis, Missouri, on April 4, 2020.


Sarah Kendzior is the co-host of the podcast Gaslit Nation and author of the newly released book Hiding in Plain Sight.

“What’s the last ‘normal’ thing you did,” a friend asked, “before coronavirus changed our lives?”

“I voted,” I replied. “It felt like the last time.”

On March 10, 2020, I cast a vote in the Democratic primary in Missouri, the Midwestern state where I live. This was during the week when everyone knew COVID-19 had come, but U.S. officials were too terrified to admit its severity – a state of mind that encapsulates not only this dark era but the decades that preceded it. Fear of seeming alarmist overpowered the need to sound the alarm. Refusal to admit that the worst was possible all but ensured that it came to pass. There are professionals who spend their lives refusing to look the other way: epidemiologists, climate change experts, scholars of fascism. But there is no comfort, these days, in being right.

The building where I voted closed down the following week. It used to be our community centre, but today community – the strongest defence against encroaching authoritarianism – breeds contamination. Our community in St. Louis was always fragile. Our region never recovered from the 2008 global economic crash and it’s clear, now, that we never will. We’re a mostly black region in a mostly white state, a mostly liberal community in a mostly conservative state. We are the outlier, always struggling, now decimated anew.

When a person votes, it’s with an eye to the future: to freedom and accountability, to a better way. When you enter a voting area, you are at one with your community in a way you rarely are otherwise, united in a hard-fought ritual. Most people who voted alongside me didn’t have the right to vote a century ago owing to race or gender, or both. Under the Trump administration, and under the Republican government that took power in Missouri in 2016, our rights became ever more tenuous.

St. Louis is not a place where people take things for granted. It was always obvious how easily things could collapse. We see vestiges of prior collapse in our endless empty spaces, the storefronts and homes that required no quarantine because their inhabitants had long ago fled. We know what it’s like to feel abandoned and maligned at the same time. Over the 21st century, many Americans came to know that feeling, as they struggled with the consolidation of wealth and the demonization of vulnerable citizens. As austerity and authoritarianism grew in tandem worldwide, other countries came to feel that loss, too – a grief not for the past, but for the future. Yet we still could not fathom how much we had left to lose.

A person walks past the words ‘Rent Strike’ written in large letters on the side of the Compton Hill Reservoir wall on April 2, 2020, in St. Louis.

Jeff Roberson/The Associated Press

It didn’t have to be this way. The Trump administration was warned by U.S. intelligence in January that coronavirus was a major threat. By early February, the outbreak in Wuhan had made the front pages of U.S. newspapers. Viral videos from Chinese, Iranian and Italian doctors emerged on social media, begging the world not to repeat their mistakes.

But U.S. President Donald Trump and his team lied about the virus and let it spread across the country while refusing to order much-needed medical supplies. Some Republicans, such as Senator Richard Burr, used classified intelligence on the pandemic to allegedly carry out insider trading, making a killing on the stock market off the killing of Americans. Other officials remained merely inadequate, clinging to popular myths – that COVID-19 isn’t as bad as the flu or young people aren’t affected by it – to justify their desperate commitment to maintaining the façade of normal life.

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The problem is that most of us have never experienced normal life in the first place. Normal life is a rumour I was told about as a child. Normal life happened to other people. Normal life is not a condition but a fantasy, the comfort we craved over the past five years of record-breaking fires and floods, of unprecedented venality and boundless theft, of the flagrant shattering of norms and laws by a corrupt elite.

The desire to go back to normal is the yearning for the weight of corruption to not only be lifted, but to be acknowledged as existing at all. How many of us, over the past few years, as we debunked lie after lie and absorbed scandal after scandal, felt like we were doing the job of Congress, of law enforcement, of anyone officially tasked with keeping these crises in check?

How many of us would like to shed that burden of hyper-vigilance, which far exceeds the standard of civic participation, but know we cannot, because if we aren’t warning others, who will? A warning is, in the end, a confession – a declaration of what you value and who you will fight to protect. COVID-19 may be novel, but the mentality needed to battle it – constant attention to crisis, refusal to abandon those you love – is old news.

The coronavirus pandemic is not only a public-health crisis, but a political one. Its origin might be natural, but its spread and exploitation are not. The virus emerged in a world of rapidly consolidating autocracies: the United States, Britain, Russia, Israel, Hungary, Brazil – and that is not a comprehensive list. The leaders of these countries seem apathetic as to whether their citizens die. In Russia, oligarchs are hoarding ventilators. In Israel and Hungary, corrupt leaders use the virus as an opportunity to consolidate power. In Brazil, the President proclaimed, “We’ll all die one day,” and let the virus spread. In Britain, the Prime Minister encouraged “herd immunity” – and then found himself in the ICU with coronavirus. Now, the country is shut down.

Has there ever been a time in world history where so many people are this vulnerable and are ruled by so many sadistic elites? Perhaps, but the toll of their malice was never so well-documented. Separated by social distancing, our sense of community comes through our cellphones – the deep grief of a mounting death toll, livestreamed minute by minute. It’s hard to look at, but it’s harder to look away.

In this era where few officials express the most basic empathy, you feel a desire to bear witness: to acknowledge every life, every loss, as profound. You do not want anyone to feel abandoned, because abandonment is how we got here. Those in charge abandoned accountability and then they abandoned the truth.

Playground equipment is wrapped in crime scene tape to prevent its use as part of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, on March 31, 2020, in St. Louis.

Jeff Roberson/The Associated Press

The truth is the virus of autocrats and criminal elites. They cannot stomp it out, and they scramble to keep themselves from being exposed. They do this by commanding the mechanisms of power and, once in office, rewriting the laws so they’re no longer breaking them.

In the United States, they were able to do this because officials refused to enforce accountability for the crimes of the wealthy and well connected. That’s why you see the same names – Donald Trump, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Bill Barr, Jeffrey Epstein, Rupert Murdoch, John Bolton – repeating throughout decades of horrific American scandals. Watergate, Iran-Contra, the war in Iraq, the 2008 financial collapse, and the illicit foreign interference in the election of Mr. Trump share many of the the same participants.

But it’s not solely the GOP that’s to blame – it’s everyone who looked the other way, everyone who waited for someone else to sort it out, everyone who settled for false stability over real justice.

Avoidance is a dangerous strategy. It doesn’t actually keep the peace; it turns elite criminal impunity into elite criminal immunity, as the corrupt pack the courts and order their own exoneration. These tactics have been most blatant during Mr. Trump’s rule, as he dispensed with even the pretense of serving the public good. But it was true of every administration of my lifetime, dating back to the Reagan era. The 2020 election offered a fleeting chance to tackle institutional corruption. But it’s uncertain now whether that election will even be held. As election integrity experts push for voting by mail as the safest method to employ during the pandemic, the Trump administration is trying to shut down the post office.

The other day, I looked across the street at the community centre where I cast what may have been my last vote. My neighbourhood was silent. Missouri spring in all its beauty – the blooming dogwood trees and wildflowers make my downtrodden region a hidden treasure. You’d never know death was in the air.

Corruption is like that, too – invisible until it shatters your life. My comfort in this time is that the same can be said of truth. Truth is still out there, hiding in plain sight, and its revelations can rearrange the world.

There are people to blame for these crises of corruption, but there’s a difference between vengeance and justice. To tell the truth is to try to bring justice to the vulnerable, to protect people from further harm. These days, the vulnerable is all of us. No one is immune – not from the crisis of public health and not from our political crisis, because they are one and the same. What was predictable was preventable, and no one deserved this fate.

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If Seeing the World Helps Ruin It, Should We Stay Home? – The New York Times

In the age of global warming, traveling — by plane, boat or car — is a
fraught choice. And yet the world beckons.
By Andy Newman
June 3, 2019

I think this was rather prescient almost a year ago!


The glaciers are melting, the coral reefs are dying, Miami Beach is slowly going under.
Quick, says a voice in your head, go see them before they disappear! You are evil, says another voice. For you are hastening their destruction.
To a lot of people who like to travel, these are morally bewildering times. Something that seemed like pure escape and adventure has become double-edged, harmful, the epitome of selfish consumption. Going someplace far away, we now know, is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change. One seat on a flight from New York to Los Angeles effectively adds months worth of human-generated carbon emissions to the atmosphere.
And yet we fly more and more.
The number of airline passengers worldwide has more than doubled since 2003, and unlike with some other pollution sources, there’s not a ton that can be done right now to make flying significantly greener — electrified jets are not coming to an airport near you anytime soon.
Still, we wonder: How much is that one vacation really hurting anyone, or anything?
It is hard to think about climate change in relation to our own behavior. We are small, our effects are microscopically incremental and we mean no harm. The effects of climate change are inconceivably enormous and awful — and for the most part still unrealized. You can’t see the face of the unnamed future person whose coastal village you will have helped submerge.
But it turns out there are ways to quantify your impact on the planet, at least roughly. In 2016, two climatologists published a paper in the prestigious journal Science showing a direct relationship between carbon emissions and the melting of Arctic sea ice.
The square feet of Arctic summer sea ice cover that one passengerʼs share of emissions
melts on a 2,500-mile flight.
Each additional metric ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent — your share of the emissions on a cross-country flight one-way from New York to Los Angeles — shrinks the summer sea ice cover by 3 square meters, or 32 square feet, the authors, Dirk Notz and Julienne Stroeve, found.
In February, my family of three flew from New York to Miami for what seemed like a pretty modest winter vacation. An online carbon calculator tells me that our seats generated the equivalent of 2.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Throw in another quarter-ton for the 600 miles of driving we squeezed in and a bit for the snorkeling trip and the heated pool at the funky trailer-park Airbnb, and the bill comes to about
90 square feet of Arctic ice, an area about the size of a pickup truck.
When I did that calculation, I pictured myself standing on a pickup-truck-sized sheet of ice as it broke apart and plunged me into frigid waters. A polar bear glared hungrily at me.
Calculating the harm:
And what of my vacation’s impact on my fellow man? Actually, academics have attempted to calculate that, too. Philosophers, not climatologists. But still.
In 2005, a Dartmouth professor, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, wrote in a journal article
provocatively titled “It’s Not My Fault: Global Warming and Individual Moral Obligations” that he was under no moral obligation to refrain from taking a gas-guzzling S.U.V. for a Sunday afternoon joy ride if he felt like doing so.
“No storms or floods or droughts or heat waves can be traced to my individual act of driving,” he wrote. Conversely, “If I refrain from driving for fun on this one Sunday, there is no individual who will be helped in the least.”
Other philosophers questioned his reasoning.

As Seas Warm, Galápagos Islands Face a Giant Evolutionary Test Dec. 18, 2018
Saving Scotlandʼs Heritage From the Rising Seas Sept. 25, 2018
Climate Change Is Killing the Cedars of Lebanon July 18, 2018
Professor John Nolt of the University of Tennessee took a stab at measuring the damage done by one average American’s lifetime emissions. (The average American generates about 16 metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent a year, more than triple the global average.)
Noting that carbon stays in the atmosphere for centuries, at least, and that a United Nations panel found in 2007 that climate change is “likely to adversely affect hundreds of millions of people through increased coastal flooding, reductions in water supplies, increased malnutrition and increased health impacts” in the next 100 years, Professor Nolt did a lot of division and multiplication and arrived at a stark conclusion:
“The average American causes through his/her greenhouse gas emissions the serious suffering and/or deaths of two future people.”
Then Avram Hiller of Portland State University used Professor Nolt’s approach to derive the impact of Professor Sinnott-Armstrong’s hypothetical 25-mile ride.
“At a ratio of one life’s causal activities per one life’s detrimental effects, it causes the equivalent of a quarter of a day’s severe harm,” he wrote.
“In other words, going for a Sunday drive has the expected effect of ruining someone’s
Multiply that joy ride by a three-person Florida vacation and you’ve ruined someone’s month.
Something to ponder while soaking up UV-drenched rays on a tropical beach.
Ships? Even worse:

There are alternatives to flying, of course. Perhaps a cruise? After all, there’s more ocean than there’s been in thousands of years. With the Northwest Passage now mostly ice-free in the summer, new vistas have opened. One cruise company runs polar bear tours to check out “the Arctic’s ʻposter boy.’”
Perhaps not. Bryan Comer, a researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation, a nonprofit research group, told me that even the most efficient cruise ships emit 3 to 4 times more carbon dioxide per passenger-mile than a jet.
And that’s just greenhouse gas. Last year, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the air onboard cruise ships was many times dirtier than the air nearby onshore.

The amount of carbon dioxide the most efficient cruise ship emits per passenger mile when compared with a jet.
“Some of the particulate counts were comparable to or worse than a bad day in some of the world’s most polluted cities like Beijing and Santiago,” said Kendra Ulrich of, the advocacy group that commissioned the study.
While most cruise ships run on highly polluting heavy fuel oil, many have begun using
“scrubbers” to remove toxic sulfur oxides from their exhaust. But the scrubbers discharge these and other pollutants into the ocean instead, and they’ve been banned by seven countries and several U.S. states.
A spokeswoman for Cruise Lines International Association, a trade group, said that the scrubbers comply with the new 2020 standards for air and water quality set by the International Maritime Organization, a U.N. agency. The spokeswoman, Megan King, added that it was not fair to compare emissions from ships and jets because a jet is just a transportation vehicle while a cruise ship is a floating resort and amusement park.

There’s always driving, which is less carbon intensive than flying, especially if there are multiple passengers. But “less” is relative, and most long trips are out of practical driving range anyway.
Considering carbon offsets

Maybe there is a justification out there somewhere: Personal decisions alone won’t stop global warming — that will take policy changes by governments on a worldwide scale. Tourism creates millions of jobs in places starved for economic development. Carbon offsets can effectively cancel out our footprint, can’t they?
Carbon offsets do seem to offer the most direct way to assuage traveler’s guilt. In theory, they magically expiate your sins. You give a broker some money (not a lot of money either — carbon offsets can be bought for $10 per metric ton). They give it to someone to plant trees, or capture the methane from a landfill or a cattle operation, or help build a wind farm, or subsidize clean cookstoves for people in the developing world who cook on open fires. All these things help cut greenhouse gas.
But nothing is that simple in practice. Carbon-offset people talk about concerns with things called additionality, leakage and permanence.
Additionality: How do you know the utility would not have built the wind farm but for the money
you gave them?
Permanence: How do you know the timber company that planted those trees won’t just cut them down in a few years?
Leakage: How do you know the landowner you just paid not to cut down an acre of rain forest won’t use the money to buy a different acre and clear that?
While certifying organizations go to great lengths to verify carbon offset projects, verific ation has limits.
“Whether someone would have planted trees anyway, or taken some other action like building a housing development, is ultimately unknowable and something you have to construct,” said Peter Miller, a policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council and a board member of the Climate Action Reserve, the country’s biggest carbon offset registry. “It’s an endless debate.”
Some carbon offsets are surer bets than others. “With methane capture,” Mr. Miller said, “once you capture that methane and you burn it — you’re done. It’s not in the atmosphere, it’s not going in the atmosphere. You’ve got a credit that’s achieved and you’ve avoided those emissions forever.”
Not flying at all would be better, Mr. Miller said, “but the reality is that there’s lots of folks that are going to do what they’re going to do.” For them, offsets are a lot better than nothing.
But some climate experts call offsets a cop-out.
“It’s like paying someone else to diet for you,” said Alice Larkin of the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, who has not flown since 2008.
She said that while governments do need to take tough action, they derive their courage to do so from the conduct of citizens. “In my idea, people move first,” she said.
Offsets, she said, encourage a break-even mind-set when what’s needed to avert disaster is to slash fossil-fuel consumption immediately.
Her colleague Kevin Anderson says that when you buy a ticket you’re not buying just a seat on a plane. You’re telling the aviation industry to run more flights, build more jets, expand more airports.
“Offsetting, on all scales, weakens present-day drivers for change and reduces innovation towards a lower-carbon future,” Professor Anderson wrote in 2012. Lately, a grassroots anti-flying movement has been gathering momentum in Europe, particularly Scandinavia.
But the world still beckons
I’d like to be able to tell you that knowing what I’ve learned reporting this piece, I have sworn off long-distance travel.
But actually this summer, we’re going to Greece, with a stopover in Paris. Carbon footprint of plane tickets: 10.6 metric tons, enough to melt a small-apartment-sized piece of the Arctic
The increase in airline passengers worldwide since 2003.
We committed to going months ago, but I suspect we would make the same choice today. We’re going because last year we canceled vacation to come home and watch our dog die. W e’re going because the New York City public high school application process was an ordeal. Mostly we’re going because of things we saw last time we were there. The tiny beach at the base of the towering cliff. The playground where the little children played past midnight while their parents and grandparents sat chatting. Chubby partridges pecking around the ruined temple of Poseidon.
Before we go, we will buy enough offsets to capture the annual methane emanations of a dozen cows — that’s several times what is needed to balance out the carbon effects of our flights. May they help keep a polar bear afloat.
Andy Newman is a Metro reporter for The New York Times.
A version of this article appears in print on June 9, 2019, on Page TR1 of the New York edition with the headline: Travelʼs Climate Problem

National Wildlife Week – Discover Nature in an Unusual Time (4 images)

We all need a little nature every day if possible.

Laura Putman Nature Photography

From bees and butterflies to bears and beavers, the beauty and diversity of wildlife is all around you! This National Wildlife Week (April 6 – April 10), the National Wildlife Federation is working to show how connecting with wildlife and the outdoors can help children and adults thrive during these unprecedented times. National Wildlife Federation

Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary measures, with a world in a state of confusion and the unknown, isn’t now a great time to explore and recognize the wildlife and nature in your neighborhood or yard?

During National Wildlife Week and this phenomenal time for humanity, how are you connecting with and enjoying the great outdoors?

A Canadian Goose sunning near a pond in the nearby wetlands

Just being surrounded by bountiful nature, rejuvenates and inspires us.“– EO wilson (Theory of biophilia)

A bumble bee gathering nectar

I go to nature to…

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A message of hope for a world in need

A little retrospective on the CBC show The Greatest Canadian and what we could learn from it today.

Robby Robin's Journey

This weekend brings messages of hope in several significant ways, including the messages of hope offered by Easter and Passover for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Even though self-isolation means no gathering in churches and synagogues and of course no big family meals, people can still take great comfort from the messages of hope and gratitude that define these events and the rituals that accompany them.

Before these important religious observances came into being celebrations of the rites of spring had occurred around the world for centuries if not millennia, welcoming the rebirth of the earth after its winter hibernation. Another message of hope.

Mind you, in my part of the world, as I sit looking out at the results of a ‘late winter’ storm last night I find myself humming the verse from the Dr. Zhivago theme song:

Somewhere my love there will be songs to…

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After Covid-19 – humanity at the crossroads

Thanks for a well written article and I would like to believe we are on the cusp of something better, more egalitarian and fairer to all. However, my pessimistic side kicks in here when I read about the current bonuses being paid to executives while employees are being laid off with little if any benefits from the company. Then it appears our government is willing to assist those same companies to keep them in business? I fully believe executives should be the first to feel the pain plus any compensation to Board members in these circumstances should be curtailed. Just wonder if any government anywhere even considers such an option? I do believe it is time for a huge economic shift as the inequalities currently existing need to be erased.

Matthew Wright

One of the ironies of the past few months, for me at least, has been the way most western governments have – after two generations of hands-off, market-driven neo-liberal indifference at the plight of the people – suddenly ‘switched on’ old-style Keynesian support systems. The fiscal faucets have opened, and money is pouring into the economies of nations that, one after another, have been forced to lock down their populations against the pandemic.

I confess that after two generations of neo-liberalism, I am cynical about the motives. It is just possible that governments around the world have genuine care for the people in their policy-making. I can think of one that does. But for the rest – well, I doubt it. I suspect the main reason why one government after another has been forced to engage in support packages despite still, for the most part, having an ideological foundation in…

View original post 1,123 more words