Sunday, March 8, 2015

Calgary summer is happening now, but a mini-rant

Today is summer out there. It might well be the only such day until June, or even July. You just never know with Calgary. Lots of people out biking and walking today. Even a few runners. A few skateboarders, and even, (gasp) a roller blader. We don't see them much any more.

There was a nice rant last week that took up lots of energy and emotion to write. Friday I dragged my tail to the pool. A swim meet was starting but I managed to sneak in a pretty good half hour swim. Mostly going short and hard.

Saturday was clear, but still cool. I was out for a short run, a little over 2K. It didn't feel particularly good and I didn't push it.

Sunday I was in the pool for 2 hours almost. I don't understand the Acadia pool. Stand beside it and looks clear. The bottom is clearly visible. But get in and try to look down the pool, and at best you can see half way. This makes it tough to see what people are doing. Part way through I was surprised when someone did a fast flip turn as I was standing right beside the rope talking to Michelle. One of the swim club guys was going slumming, I guess. He had a great stroke. We watched, shamelessly.

I was out tidying in the garage, and cleaning a few layers of gunge from the barbecue and enjoying the heat. It was warm enough that I was almost thinking I should be wearing a hat, but I wasn't out there long enough.

I thought about going for a bike ride, I really did. But I've still got the trainer tire on Estela and I'm feeling, I don't know, not up to changing the tire. My last ride was only 15 minutes on the trainer, and my legs were feeling it. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so perhaps I'll go for a run then.

In the meantime I've been musing about terrorism and bill C-51, along with Harper's naked scare tactics. I am seriously thinking that Canadians have lost their minds if they think terrorism is a threat. Here's some facts. True facts, as opposed to Harper "facts":

  • In 2012 there were 2077 motor vehicle fatalities across Canada. 
  • In 2011 there were 2006 motor vehicle fatalities across Canada.
  • In 2010 there were 2237 motor vehicle fatalities across Canada.
  • In Alberta in 2012 (population 3.7 million people) there were 345 people killed and 18,220 injured in 135,595 collisions.
Source is Transport Canada collision statistics, Alberta Transportation, and Municipal Affairs Alberta.

Now, Harper would have you believe that terrorists are an eminent threat to us. But how many Canadians have been killed by terrorists in Canada? I don't know exactly, and the number depends on exactly what you call terrorism. 

In any case, speaking broadly, the number is going to be a small number of dozens, at the very most, going back decades to include the FLQ. Now go back and look at the last 3 years of motor vehicle fatalities alone. More than 6,000. A tiny handful (admittedly very sad for the people involved) compared to a good sized village worth of people killed. If the Canada wide ratio between killed in injured is the same as Alberta, then almost 320,000 people were injured in vehicle collisions. That's almost the entire population of London, Ontario, a good sized city.

Are you a driver? Are you a passenger on a regular basis? You run a real, measurable risk of death or injury in a motor vehicle collision. Any random trip to Co-op for groceries could be your last action on earth. You could be driving in to work, dreading the Monday morning blahs, when suddenly you aren't feeling anything at all. Driving across town to visit friends could cause you a life changing injury.

As one CBC reporter put it, "More people are killed by pythons in Canada than by terrorism." You are more likely to win the lottery or be struck by lightning than be killed by terrorism. Or a cow. I couldn't find specific Canadian figures, but some estimates say that 50,000 people are killed worldwide by cows. A Canadian is more likely to be killed by a cow than a terrorist, and most of us never see a cow from day to day. The last cow I actually saw was in Bermuda of all places with a very rickety fence between me and it.

Yet what do people worry about? Terrorism. Idiots. Harper is good at pushing the buttons, and he'll push any button necessary to gain and hold power. Do you really think Michael Sona was a rouge staffer, acting against the wishes of the party to run an honest election? You do? No wonder you think terrorism is a threat. Please don't vote until you learn to think.

As for the rest of you that do know how to think, DO IT! Look at what is being done to your country. Phone or write your MP. (Mine is Harper himself, and he certainly won't be getting my vote.) Join protests while you still can. All tyrants worry about riots in the street. As long as the army is willing to shoot protesters, the tyrant will stay in power. But they worry about the army too, and rightly so. Bodies in the street are the only thing Harper worries about. The media might report that. He's been losing court cases, so he doesn't want to charge people. But wait, what does C-51 say about disappearing people? Has he learned that trick from the Americans yet?

Maybe he worries about what is going to come out at the Duffy trial, but that's another blog.

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