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All the Stuff you didn't need my opinion on
the next-door neighbour has a filter to filter out the sulphites in red wine. apparently they give her a headache. maybe I've written about this in a prior journal entry? but as a recovering alcoholic this is pretty amazing stuff. she was just over the other day and imbibed a little over 3 glasses of red wine in less than 2 hours. and I'm not talking normal size red wines. I'm talking sloppy, drunken housewife day-drinking sizes. the size of these wine "glasses" (which is a generous term for the troughs these things are) is truly baffling. she had to mostly hold the wine glass with both hands.
at no solicitation from anyone present she also informed us that she has three of these filters. one at her home (naturally), one in her purse (for when she goes out) and one in her car. now it was the one in. her car that prompted me to ask the question, "why do you have one in your car?"
at which question she lowered the massive wine glass momentarily, scrunched her mouth together and, in what seemed to be a tone of admonishment informed me, "well just in case I forget the one in my purse!" makes sense I guess.
so here are some things you never knew you needed my opinion on:
voting rights. I'm reading too much of the news. anyways. voting rights. I am pro mail-in ballot and pro voter id. I think that voting should be made accessible but I also believe you need to have safeguards in place. while making accessibility is a concern, it should just as much be weighed against the integrity of the voting system itself. I understand that some people argue that voter id laws are de facto discriminatory against minorities who seemingly do not possess valid government issued id. but this isn't a Jim Crow requirement with some trumped up test. I think it is fair to require id for voting. how else can you combat duplicatie ballots, ballots cast by fraudsters (in the name of dead persons or just in the name of others). voter rolls are always seemingly behind so someone can easily assume a vote in the name of a deceased person. so for voter id in mail in ballots require a signature on the ballot and a copy of the voter id (with signature). I know that people can still duplicate signatures but this isn't a panacea. I just think that, even though I don't agree with them one iota, it is disconcerting to say the least that somewhere around 55% of republicans think that there was voter fraud (in spite of the fact that there is no evidence or proof of it). the integrity of the electoral system has to have safeguards to withstand plausible scrutiny. if you can't come up with a valid government id then I'm sorry, it may be harsh but it is a sacrifice I think is necessary to ensure electoral integrity and it really seems like quite a minimal requirement.
teacher's unions. not a fan. right now they have these districts by the balls. and I can appreciate, as any good attorney can, what you do when you have the power in negotiations. you twist the balls in your hand. "never let a good crisis go to waste" and the teachers unions are making sure to use this one to extort as much as they can out of the districts (who are stuck between a rock and a hard place). aren't we supposed to follow the science? didn't the cdc say that schools could safely reopen with their guidelines (masks, distancing and ventilation)? private schools have been open without outbreaks. furthermore, the cdc states that children are not as great a vectors for the disease as adults. look, I can concede that teachers should be a priority for vaccines. but not more so than actual health care workers. and why are teachers more important than the "essential" workers at the check out in the grocery store? the ones who have to toil in the minimum wage jobs? one could argue that they are at a greater risk of exposure than teachers. but their union isn't as strong as the teachers' so that's why the teachers are "more important".
speaking of minimum wage, I am for increasing it. why? because it breeds creative destruction. I think it is wrong for companies to rely on cheap labor. it creates inertia against innovation. one silver lining of the pandemic is that it has spurred innovation and new ways of thinking. remote work, once viewed with great waryiness is now acknowledged as doable. online shopping is getting more accepted amongst the masses. innovations in delivery services. I understand that the CBO stated that there would be a loss of 1.4 million jobs, but the ones remaining will be higher paying. and also think that the jobs that are being lost are not ones that people are relying on for careers. most (and I know this isn't the case for all) minimum wage jobs are entry, stepping-stone jobs for teenagers or the unskilled labourer. business always wants the status quo. they don't want change unless it comes specifically from them (look at carbon taxes or any environmental regulation and the bitching and titty-twisting it elicits from the business world). being uncomfortable spurs change, adaptation. that's why I like the minimum wage increase - spur change, force companies to adapt from complacently using cheap labor.
and finally, genocide. there's been some pussy-footing about whether or not to call what china is doing to uighurs genocide or not. I understand that that term should never be used lightly but I would say what is happening is genocide. if you are actively sterilising a population you are committing genocide. you are essentially trying to wipe out a population. I understand that the definition of genocide mentions a "deliberate killing" but when the aim is the same: "destroying the group" are we really going to hem and haw about the means used to achieve that aim?
and look at Tigray, that may not be genocide, (yet) but what is happening to those poor people is just as horrible. mass rapes, indiscriminate killing, targeted campaigns of starvation.
so why don't we do anything? sure we can boycott, but why don't we invade? where are the heroics of WW2? well the answer is evident. as long as you are staying within your borders you are free to kill. why? the guise of sovereignty. both china and Ethiopia brush off any attempts at condemnation by saying that foreign nations shouldn't meddle in internal affairs (i.e. "don't infringe my sovereignty). once a nation invades another, it is hard (actually impossible) for it to hide behind that defense. unpopular opinion - if the nazis had never invaded another country, but simply targeted jews and homosexuals and gypsies and everyone else they so damn well pleased within their borders, they probably would have gotten away with it. but they didn't keep their genocide in-house.
I will end it with this. nations should absolutely boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. it is the least (and I do mean VERY least) they could do. sure it's nothing but a symbolic (and some may say, hollow) thing to do, but is it really? china cares so much about how it is perceived in the world. it wants to be a legitimate superpower who can throw its weight around. it, like all countries want to dominate the geopolitical domain. however, the first step to domination is at least some form of acceptance. Berlin got it in 1936 when it hosted the summer olympics, let's not give it to Beijing in 2022 with the Winter Olympics.
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