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do you not know what you do not not know?

i've been meaning to get back on the blogging bandwagon for ages but i've been lousy at focusing. i mean, i'm never great at focusing but it's been particularly bad lately. i've also made the horrific mistake of following the news too closely, not just in the last few weeks but in the past several months. i realize now that that isn't healthy. [no pun intended.] my head has been so wrapped up in politics that shifts from moment to moment, half-baked debates about social policy, trying to track what's happening behind the smoke and mirrors of the biggest news stories because we all know that those are the things that are really going to affect how we live. there are few things worse for anxiety than knowing that your dark fears about the chaos of the world are actually pretty close to the truth; and the thrill that comes from being able to say "i told you so" is remarkably short-lived.

however, it's pretty much impossible to deny that we'r…
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the post-iowa raucous

in the words of a better-known canadian: why'd ya have to go and make things so complicated?

seriously, political people of iowa, there is something seriously wrong with the way that you vote and count and make decisions based on your counting. you've now had three bloody elections to sort out your shit [after the republican mess of 2012 and the democratic clusterfuck of 2016] and it kinda looks like things are getting worse. making the bizarre process of the caucus a little more transparent actually served to make it seem more open to corruption as we all tried to figure out the "delegate math" that saw pete buttigieg, who ran second in both rounds of voting, get the largest number of delegates.

is it that bloody difficult to have people mark a piece of paper with a pencil?

i'm still not sure that we know the final story in iowa as we roll right on into new hampshire but we did have a debate on friday to distract our attention.

i skipped covering the last debate…

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 …

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…