January 13th

Let’s take a walk around the world and see what is happening…(A lot is the answer)..

One of the violent thugs who invaded the US capital had a taser down his trousers. He died of a heart attack. A policeman died when hit on the head with a fire extinguisher. Another woman was shot dead. Two others died. Police have found bombs and weapons. They have also uncovered plans to execute a number of politicians, including Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Trump was, it is reported, delighted with the invasion of the capital and rang Senators while it was happening to encourage them to continue with his putsch. He was impeached again in the House – the first President ever to be impeached twice.

Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have banned him, leaving just Trip Advisor as a platform for sharing available to him. Trump is beside himself in anger and bitterness, lashing out at anyone who is against him. Ivanka is angry, since her father’s antics are destroying her dream of becoming President. His business associates are angry, especially now that the banks and others are cutting off the Trump organization from access to funds, events or revenue. Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jnr have no clue what is going on – no significant change there.

Donald has made plans to fly to Scotland on 19th January to play golf at his club in Aberdeenshire and to avoid the inauguration of the next President of the United States. He has been advised that he will not be permitted to do this, since Scotland is on a full lock-down and unnecessary travel is banned. He could be arrested on arrival for violating public health orders.

One of the lawyers on the call Trump made to Georgia asking them to cheat, lie and practice voodoo – Alex Kaufman – has been forced out as a partner of Fox Rothschild for his behaviour. Another – Ms. Sidney Powell – is being sued for $1.3 billion for spreading falsehoods about Dominion Voting Systems. A third – Rudi Giuliani – is facing debarment from the NY bar and an investigation by DC Attorney General for sedition. A fourth, Lin Wood has been declared “not of sufficient character” to practice law by a judge in the Delaware Supreme Court. He went on to say of his behaviour that “it is exhibited a toxic stew of mendacity, prevarication and surprising incompetence” – a neat summary of the entire Trump Presidency.

Meantime, almost forgotten now, two democrats defeated two sitting US republican senators in the Georgia run-off elections held earlier this week, giving Democrats control of the House, Senate and White House. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler have both conceded their respective elections. David Ossoff becomes the youngest Senator in the US Senate and Rev Raphael Warnock is the first black person to enter the Senate for this great State.

Significant concerns now centre on the 20th January inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The FBI and others are sure there will be an attempt to disrupt the event, possibly by a repeat of what happened at the capitol but also disrupting every State capitol across the US. The FBI actually uses the language “potential civil war”. Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump will attend.

Also in the US, Kim Kardashian West and her husband Kanye West are beginning the process of divorce – she is reported to “have had enough” of his behaviour. She waited until after the Presidential election, in case she found herself as First Lady. Since she isn’t, she’s off. She is also chatting with Melania – they are exploring the idea of cost-sharing legal advice.

Brexit is done – signed, sealed and delivered. Borish is claiming that Britain is Back, despite the fact that we all know it’s not been anywhere.  Not everyone is happy. Fisherpersons in Hull are not, but those in Cornwall are. People who work in financial services are not, but those who work in manufacturing are. It turns out that the “tariff free” deal is not in fact the deal that was signed – there are tariffs on some items and huge amounts of costly red tape. Boris’s Johnson’s father Stanley is seeking French citizenship. What more do we need to know?

In Alberta, most of the government seems to have been abroad or absent over the holidays. The Premier’s Chief of Staff was in London picking up the new COVID-19 variant while many of his colleagues were in Hawaii, Arizona or Mexico. They each recorded messages to the “plebs” advising them to stay at home, stay safe and not to engage in unnecessary travel. In Ontario, the finance minister was caught on a sunny island, returned to Canada and then resigned. We have a hapless, helpless and inept Alberta Premier who took a week to secure resignations and demotions and placed the offenders in his naughty book. Since we’re all in his naughty book for asking questions and challenging him, nothing makes any difference. You can’t change stupid. There will be a serious conversation about where the UCP party goes from here at the next UCP Luau to be held on the Big Island.

After three years, Jodi Whittaker is signalling that she is leaving Dr Who TV series where she plays the 16th Doctor – a role she has played for three seasons. The writing / production team will begin to search for the next Doctor. Jodi is reportedly being considered as Biden’s head of the US Space Force. Ivanka is considering auditioning – she is, after all, a space cadet.

Lewis Hamilton, world champion racing driver, was Knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours List. Arise Sir Lewis. Sheila Hancock, a great actress, is named a Dame – well deserved.

January 16th

Let’s take a walk around the world and see what is happening…

The National Rifle Association in the US – the ANTIFA of the right – has filed for bankruptcy protection. Thoughts and prayers. This follows years of corruption by the leadership of the NRA and a growing use of populism, lies and deception to increase revenues. Their new plan is to move to Texas where guns are so common you often mistake them for a Taser.00

Rudi Giuliani, ever gullible (just watch the new Borat movie), has fallen out of favour with his “best” client – Donald (“I Won”) Trump. Trump is both refusing to take his calls or pay his $20,000/day fee. Realizing that Rudi lost over sixty court challenges to the election results and is now likely to be cast-out of the world of lawyering for his incitement of an insurrection, Trump is doing what he always does to trades people: shaft them.

The guy who dressed up as one of the Village People with horns, skins and gloves and painted his face  – Jacob Chansley who likes to be called Jake Angeli – has an interesting defense. He suggests that “he was invited to attend the Senate and House by the President” – not exactly true, but not entirely untrue either. His attorney suggests that Trump owes him a pardon. His name has been added to the list, which is headed up by Don Jnr, Eric, Ivanka, Jared, Melania and the Donald himself.

There are now more troops patrolling or on stand-by in the US capitol than are stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined – 20,000 men and women are assigned to secure the inauguration of President Biden. Just 5,000 are available to support the fragile situation in the Middle East. This is how Trump has made America great again. (He has also enabled Democrats to take control the White House, Senate and House of Representatives).

The “Stop the Steal” campaign has moved from the US to Uganda.  The results show that the sitting 76 year old President Yoweri Museveni (in power for over 35 years) won easily are now being challenged by rapper and musician Bobi Wine (38) – real name Robert Kylagulanyi. Bobi, first time Presidential candidate, who has suggested widespread fraud and voter suppression and is thinking of hiring Rudi Giuliani for legal challenges. Sounds familiar.

In the Netherlands the government resigned over the way in which it mishandled the payments made to families related to COVID-19. They wrongly accused some families – mainly immigrants – of taking money they were not entitled to. The outgoing Prime Minister summarized the situation: “innocent people have been criminalized and their lives ruined”, said Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Over 10,000 people were threatened with a need to repay up to €48,000 (£42,000 / Can$73,000).

In Britain, COVID 19 patients in London are being taken to Newcastle for treatment – a 300 mile drive (longer if one goes via Barnards Castle). Overall, the lock-down appears to be working as the R rate (the number of people one person with C-19 is likely to infect) is falling below 1 in many parts of the UK (it is below .065 in London), though the UK wide R-rate remains high (between 1.2 and 1.3) – it needs to be below 1. Cornwall and both the North East and West of England remain hot spots.

In Canada, the vaccine roll-out is not going as fast as it should, with shortages now occurring in several Provinces. The population herd immunity is not expected to be secured until, at the earliest, September 2021. Some Provinces are delaying the second injection required by both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to 90 days rather than the 21-28 days which the clinical trial suggested was the most efficacious. It could be that this is too late to secure the 90% C-19 protection – we just don’t know. (In the UK, some seniors (including Baroness Joan Bakewell) are taking the UK government to court over these delays). Around 20% of the Canadian population indicate that they will refuse to be vaccinated, just 2-3% for medical reasons. The primary reason for their refusal: ignorance and conspiracy theories and a liking of country and western music.

A competition to identify the best name for a business produced some interesting examples: Vlad The Inhaler (e-cigarettes), Planet of the Grapes (wines and spirits), Lino Ritchie (floor coverings) amongst them. My own favourites are Treewisemen (tree services) and Tequila Mockinbird (drinks and canapes) with Surelock Homes (locksmith) coming a close third.