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Organized religion makes people stupid.  This is a tale of a church and congregation in Alberta that kept going without following any public health guidance, as if we were not in a pandemic and that everything was right as rain.  Reminds me of the religious wisdom available circa 1347:

Not exactly the best strategy for dealing with an infection disease.  Yet, in the here and now of 2021 the religious persist.

“AHS [Alberta Health Services] said it has attempted to work collaboratively with the church for months to address ongoing public health concerns.

Steps taken before Wednesday’s physical closure include:

  • An order issued by AHS on Dec. 17 requiring the church to comply with restrictions ordered by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
  • A Court of Queen’s Bench order obtained Jan. 21 requiring the church to comply with the previous order.
  • A closure order issued Jan. 29 requiring closure until compliance with the restrictions was attained.
  • On March 27, AHS sent a letter to Coates providing him with information on the continued spread of COVID-19.
  • Last week AHS invited Coates to meet virtually to discuss the risks presented by COVID-19, but the church has not provided any dates to meet.

GraceLife Church “has decided not to follow these mandatory restrictions, nor have they attempted to work with AHS to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” AHS said in the media statement.”

Finally GraceLife church was shut down.

“Alberta Health Services has closed GraceLife Church in Parkland County west of Edmonton.

In an emailed statement to CBC News Wednesday morning, RCMP confirmed they were on scene, assisting AHS as they closed the church under Section 62.1 of the Alberta Public Health Act.

As of 8:30 a.m., police vehicles and unmarked SUVs were blocking entrances to the church parking lot. 

In a media statement, AHS said it “physically closed” the church and has prevented access until the church “can demonstrate the ability to comply with Alberta’s chief medical officer of health’s restrictions.”

It only took a year and a bit to nip this cluster of superspreaders in the bud.  Our current government has demonstrated repeatedly (until now) that it will not enforce public health regulations so we should not be surprised with the length of time involved with this particular case of religious inanity.

The United Conservative Party of Alberta has consistently chosen the ‘middle road’ when it has come to policy decisions between keeping the economy open and locking down the province to combat the COVID19 virus.  The result has been a roller coaster of half measures and half steps that instead of getting the transmissibility rate down to 0 we are following the historical pattern – experiencing first, second, and now third waves of infection (with a fourth coming as in the USA, because of the dithering of the government).

The Gracelife debacle illustrates how the government in pandering to its ‘base’ is only prolonging the epidemic in Alberta, and ultimately, allowing more people to unnecessarily die.  It is policy position that is illogical, science denying, and morally unconscionable.

Unfortunately for Albertans, this is par for the course for this government so fully expect the shit-show to continue.

 

[Source: cbc.ca]

 

 

 

This is what happens when you let gender magic guide your policy decisions.  The results are almost always bad for women.

 

 

This is the end result of the hyper partisan nature of the polity in the United States.

“Yet on Wednesday, a record number of Republicans sanctioned their party’s most popular figure — some of those lawmakers were old, some were young, some from heavily conservative districts, some from swing districts.

Adam Kinzinger of Illinois is now being deluged with threats of a primary in his Illinois district from voters livid that he helped impeach Trump.

But the 41-year-old Air Force veteran said he felt at peace, having done the right thing.

Jaime Herrera Beutler, a 42-year-old recently re-elected for the sixth time in a conservative-leaning Washington State district, said she was choosing not to be afraid as she cast her vote against Trump.”

When doing the right thing garners threats against a person…  Wrongdoing, even by “our team” is still wrongdoing and people should face the consequences of their actions regardless of which party they happen to belong to.

“People like Doug LaMalfa, who accused Democrats of trying to silence half the country by humiliating Trump: “You hate him,” he said.

Andy Biggs of Arizona referred to Democrats as “the beast” trying to devour Trump, harbouring an unsatiated craving to crush him through investigations, false allegations and impeachment.

“Your craving was never a Biden victory, nor even a Trump defeat. … You don’t merely seek victory — you seek obliteration of your nemesis,” he said.

A young pro-Trump congressman from Florida, Matt Gaetz, also derided Democrats for remaining silent when rioters burned city buildings and looted businesses.

Gaetz said Trump has weathered unprecedented hatred — “from big media, big tech and big egos.”

Everything except accepting responsibility.  The American system is in serious trouble.

 

 

 

The UCP continues to fail at governing the province of Alberta.  We look to our public representatives to set an example of how to act properly during these pandemic times.

Apparently traveling to the likes of Ariziona, Mexico, and Hawaii are the behaviours the citizenry should be modelling.  Because air travel is safe:

 

“Two more Alberta MLAs are returning home from holiday trips abroad.

Pat Rehn, the MLA for Lesser Slave Lake, posted a statement on Facebook Saturday confirming he is on his way back to Alberta from a trip to Mexico.

“Residents in our riding have done a tremendous job reducing the spread of COVID-19. We must all work together to get past this pandemic and get back to normal life,” Rehn said.

“Given this, I apologize for the fact that I recently took a previously planned family trip, following a busy legislative session. I am returning home to Alberta and will ensure I follow the premier’s new travel directive.”

A photo posted to Rehn’s Facebook account on Dec. 24 shows Rehn wearing a T-shirt in a cave, with tropical plants in the background.

Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer-South, is also returning from a trip to Arizona. In an emailed statement Saturday, Stephan said he flew to Phoenix on Dec. 31. He said he bought the ticket in October.”

This sort of behaviour from the party of ‘personal responsibility’.

“Allard said she has spent Christmas in Hawaii with her family for most of the past 17 years. She also said she felt she was keeping with the current health mandate through the international border testing program, which allows for a shorter quarantine period following a negative COVID-19 test.

“With all that said, however, as a minister of the Crown, I know that I’m held to a higher standard and in retrospect, I definitely made the wrong decision.”

Kenney said Allard was the only cabinet minister who left the country. The premier also confirmed Friday that Jamie Huckaby, his chief of staff, had travelled to Britain last month.

Kenney said Saturday that he takes responsibility for not being clear about travel rules.

CBC News has also confirmed that Calgary-Klein MLA Jeremy Nixon was also in Hawaii over the holidays. It is not clear when he left or whether he has returned.

Calgary-Peigan MLA Tanya Fir said on social media Friday night that she had recently been to the United States visiting her sister. In a Facebook post, she said that she has since returned and will abide by the new travel directive.”

So of course our besotted Premiere knew about his MLA’s leaving the country during a pandemic.  He has never been in tune with the people of Alberta or the sacrifices they are making to stop the spread of the virus (gutting the healthcare system during a pandemic).  This is a clear illustration of one set of expectations for the populace, and another for the political class.

Certainly the rules currently do not forbid international travel but why even take the risk in these unflattened curve times?

Is it Arrogance? Hubris? Or just plain stupidity?

I hope Albertans remember the mendacity demonstrated by this UCP government come election year.

 

This is an example of what happens when a society loses its base set of common values.  Healthcare professionals are leaving or being chased out of small rural communities because they are espousing the evidenced based protocols (wearing a mask) that are based on the best available medical knowledge during a pandemic.

Living in Canada we are not immune to segments of society that have been inoculated against evidence based medicine – witness the anti-mask rallies being held in my home province.  But, as in most cases, the United States is well ahead of us in terms of committing to stupid actions based on political ideology rather than empirical fact.   (Although we’ve gone off the rails with bullshit laws and pending laws like bill C-16 and bill C-6 {8} ), those are another post)

 

The virus infecting thousands of Americans a day is also attacking the country’s social fabric. The coronavirus has exposed a weakness in many rural communities, where divisive pandemic politics are alienating some of their most critical residents — health care workers.

“The values of hard work, the value of community, taking care of your neighbor, that’s what small towns shout from the rooftops, this is what we’re good at. We are salt of the earth people who care about each other,” Darnauer says. “And here I am saying, then wear a mask because that protects your precious neighbor.”

But Darnauer’s medical advice and moral admonition were met with contempt from some of her friends, neighbors and patients. People who had routinely buttonholed her for quick medical advice at church and kids’ ballgames were suddenly treating her as the enemy and regarding her professional opinion as suspect and offensive.

[…]

“Hard things should bring us together,” Darnauer says. “And instead, this hard thing has driven a wedge between us.”

That wedge is splitting off health care workers from communities that desperately need them.

More than a quarter of all the public health administrators in Kansas quit, retired or got fired this year, according to Vicki Collie-Akers, an associate professor of population health at the University of Kansas. Some of them got death threats. Some had to hire armed guards.

“These are leaders in their community,” Collie-Akers says. “And they are leaving broken.” Collie-Akers notes these professionals also leaving at a terrible time. The pandemic is still raging. Vaccines still need to get from cities to small towns and into people’s arms; public health officers are as important as ever.

[…]

“In community after community, after community, all I hear about is workforce, workforce, workforce losing clinical staff, trying to attract clinical staff into these communities. It is taking up the full time of our members right now,” Morgan says.

Closing rural hospitals, Morgan says, cuts health care to places where residents tend to be older, sicker and poorer than average.

[…]

Merrett says towns that let pandemic politics drive medical professionals away are choosing what he calls “toxic individualism” over the common good”

 

People seem to be willing to die for their beliefs, even when they do not correspond to reality.  The pandemic has brought to the forefront the necessity of a set of shared common values for a society to function properly, as we can see the evidence of what a fractured combative society entails.

The mask has been at least partially ripped off in the UK.  The use of puberty blockers on children has been stopped and now requires the court approval to prescribe the experimental drugs (with no evidential link to their benefit) to children.

 

 

“Now, it may be that there is a genuine unmet medical need among adolescent girls of which clinicians had previously been unaware. It may also be that gender dysphoria and autism are co-morbidities that require an integrated approach to treatment. The problem, however, is no-one has done any research, so whether or not either is the case is simply unknown. It is entirely plausible for Tavistock to return in future litigation with a much stronger argument. For that to happen, however, research simply has to be done. You and I may be able to fly by the seat of our pants, but courts cannot and doctors should not.

Relatedly, the administration of puberty blockers progressed with a grim inevitability to the use of cross-sex-hormones; they did not provide “space to think” but rather seemed designed to ensure that future surgical interventions were more effective. Evidence from the Netherlands indicated, of the adolescents who started puberty suppression, only 1.9% did not proceed to cross-sex-hormones. Tavistock offered no alternative treatment paths, an aspect of the modern (and similarly unevidenced) fashion for “affirmative” treatment of gender dysphoria.

It’s worth making an aside here and noting the general problem of poor record-keeping and cavalier attitudes to evidence and data across a number of British institutions. Over and over again the EHRC, in its report on Labour anti-Semitism, observed a failure to complete the most basic administrative tasks. The same issue emerged in the Home Office during the Windrush scandal, and — as I wrote last year — in the Government’s frankly contemptuous behaviour before the Supreme Court in last year’s prorogation case.

A number of commentators noted that charities Mermaids and Stonewall were refused permission to intervene, and said this looked unfair. They made these observations without realising interveners are there to assist the court, and must provide evidence that is different from that already tendered. If all they do is repeat what Tavistock has already said, they serve no purpose apart from wasting court time, and court time is expensive.

What Mermaids and Stonewall wished to enter into evidence were accounts of positive experiences from young trans people treated with puberty blockers. However, Tavistock had already provided these; they are quoted at length in the judgment. Much of the would-be interveners’ argument was based on the idea that “the voice of the child” must be heard, repeatedly if necessary.

Bell’s lived experience was a tiny part of her case — and, indeed, by choosing judicial review rather than medical negligence, she made her personal circumstances (and those of other people) even less salient. A tort claim would have put her on the witness stand and investigated her treatment pathway because “pain and suffering” (one of the traditional heads of damage) is assessed subjectively when calculating potential damages in such a case.

It has become fashionable, of late, to valorise ‘lived experience’ from people keen to parade both their victimhood and their virtue. Unfortunately, lived experience by itself is not evidence in a court of law. Nor is the argument made by Mermaids that “every young person has the right to make their own decisions about their body” – something more is needed.

It is the role of medicine to heal the sick and leave the well alone, which is only possible via careful recourse to the scientific method and disinterested research. If this does not happen, it then becomes the law’s duty to ensure each and every litigant gets his or her due.”

This gender bullshit has to stop.  The sooner the better.  I only hope that Canada wakes the heck up and looks to the court precedent set in the UK before passing any more disastrous legislation (bill C-6).

It is tough to illustrate sometimes what feminists have to deal with when trying to discuss politics and policies that directly affect them. Here is an example of a correspondence between a feminist and a ‘tech writer for the Atlantic’ on a piece that, when published, amounts to little more than hyperbole and trans-propaganda.

 

Link to the shite article in question.

Link to this conversation.

On 2020-12-04 18:09, Kaitlyn Tiffany wrote:

thank you for these! To clarify, when I say “hate speech” I’m talking about language that dehumanizes, slanders, or diminishes trans women based on their identity, so for example, in this thread: a trans woman is referred to as a “creature.” I’ve recently seen people joke cruelly about how absurd it is that they’re expected to accept “men in lipstick” as women, and people writing that trans women are mostly “narcissists” or that they’re often “pedophiles.” In the post I already sent you, several women were making fun of the Trans Day of Remembrance, which is an annual observance for trans people who have been murdered in hate crimes.


On Fri, Dec 4, 2020 at 7:35 PM Mary Kate Fain wrote:

Hey again –

Thanks for providing these examples for context to your question! I think it’s a real stretch to classify any of this as hate speech, though. It’s telling that you’ve not been able to find a single instance of actual expressions of hate, calls for or glorification of violence, threats, organized harassment, or doxxing in the gender-critical online community (all things that women experience online daily). Instead, we’ve got some rowdy feminists making jokes, participating in armchair psychology, and a bit of name-calling that would be considered tame anywhere else on the web. Women put up 1/10th of the fight of men online and we get labeled “hateful”?

Honestly, and I say this with all due respect, the constant classification of feminists’ online participation as “hateful” simply because it is not ladylike, or, more specifically, doesn’t conform to the patriarchy’s current demands, is gaslighting. Patriarchy is what’s hateful. I think you’re scrounging a bit for examples to justify the narrative that you’ve been told and that, to be fair, you’ll have to re-tell or else risk being called “hateful” yourself. I get it. Being canceled isn’t easy.

The truth is, and I think you probably know already this, that there is no way we could disagree with gender ideology nicely enough to be “allowed”. It’s not about our tone, our crude jokes, or schoolyard name-calling. It’s because we disagree with the fundamental premise that a man can become a woman simply because he says so. That is why we are called “hateful”. I know this because I was labeled “hateful” for statements that contained nothing even remotely joking, namecalling, or crude. As was JK Rowling, and as were scores of other women.

The reality is that gender critical women, as a whole, are not hateful. Women as a class pose no genuine risk to men as a class; and women do not replicate patterns of male violence either on or offline at any meaningful scale.

I hope this clears that up, but I’m happy to continue to talk it through if it’s helpful. The topic of free speech and censorship online is obviously very important to me, so I’m grateful for the work you’re doing on this piece to raise the issue.

Have a great weekend,
MK

 


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