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sh*t no one tells you about being a caregiver

i've been a full-time caregiver for close to six years. that makes it sound like it's a full-time job, which it is and also like it's full-time employment, which it isn't. the difference i'm making between those is how the work is valued by society as a whole: a job is something that needs to be done; a job becomes employment when it's important enough that we're willing to pay someone to do it. as much as canadians take pride in the medical care we provide citizens and permanent residents, our positive results are often built on an institutionalized fudging of numbers that hides who's really doing the work.

when it comes to caring for those with ongoing medical needs, the vast majority of care [roughly 75%] is provided by unpaid workers. 8.1 million people in a country of 37.59 million offer unpaid caregiving services at some point. some of those unpaid caregivers are lucky, in that they can afford the time it takes to look after someone else without …
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debate-a-thon 2019: the very last democratic debate of the decade!

yes, i took a debate off. there was a democratic candidates' meeting in november and not only did i watch it but i made notes about it. i still have the notes. but i never did get around to writing up a post because stuff happens and while there were some interesting political points discussed, the november debate never felt terribly consequential; everyone on the stage did fine, no one really did a lot better than that. was last night's debate more earth-shaking? i wouldn't say so. but it was notable for having only seven people on the stage, meaning that everyone got to talk more. how much more varies by candidate but every candidate who made it onto the stage got to speak for longer than they had in any previous debate.

i'll say off the top that i don't think anyone had a bad night. no one got caught floundering for an answer, losing their temper or misstating something they or another candidate had said. i thought that the questions were substantive and issues…

too many cooks

ok, i missed commenting on the last democratic debate by some length. part of that is actually because i started another post related to the american election and was focused on that during the time that i had free for the blog. another reason is that last week we had a federal election in canada and that took a fair bit of my attention even though i didn't write about it. it's become a sort of a thing that i don't have time to write about the things that i'm following because i'm too busy following them. and no, i'm not just talking about politics, as any skimming through the past of this blog when i actually wrote more on it will reveal, but it's hard to deny that the political world has morphed into some sort of warp-speed nightmare. it's getting so that no one writing for anything other than a daily newspaper has any hope of being able to keep up with everything that's going on unless they want to limit commentary to twitter length or shorter. …

imperfect ten

whatever you've heard about the democratic contenders' debate that happened thursday, i would hereby like to tell you to ignore it and, if you have the time, go and watch as much of it as you can [stand]. the biggest story coming out of the debate should really be the appalling talking points that the mainstream media have latched onto, especially the ten-second battle between julian castro and joe biden over healthcare. that literally might have been the least consequential thing that happened all night and i'm including the ad breaks.

ten candidates is still too many a lot but this is the first time that we've had the heaviest hitters all hitting each other. at the same time, they also took somewhat stronger shots at donald trump than they had before [some more than others]. the debate was a full three hours but, unlike the cnn debates where i spent the last half hour or so throwing money at my television in a desperate bid to bribe the moderators to wrap it up quic…

worldwide wednesdays :: peace and prosperity through... socialism?

every year an organization called the institute for economics and peace produce a highly regarded report that rates 163 countries on their relative level of peacefulness: the global peace index. i happened across an online post about this year's report that made me do a double-take. although i'm a frequent critic of the united states, i am aware that they are one of the most developed countries in the world; nearly all americans of all are functionally literate, most have access to healthcare, most have access to potable water, freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution, etc. many, many countries can't boast these things. so imagine my shock when i saw in the summary of the report that the united states ranked 118th of 163 countries. i couldn't imagine how that was true and, indeed, it was wrong.

they rank 128th.

how the hell is it possible that the united states is less peaceful than countries like honduras [consistently one of the most violent places in the …