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Skeptic

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  1. Lately there has been much talk on this forum around the need to show paper. That got me thinking and following is a list of paper or plastic that we must show from time to time (most of which are mandatory): 1. Drivers licence 2. Proof of insurance 3. Vehicle registration 4. Proof of age (liquor stores or senior discount) 5. Store loyalty identifcation (for points and or discounts) 6. Discount coupons 7. Passports 8. Boarding passes 9. Travel warrents 10. Credit cards / debit cards and most recently 11. Proof of vaccination 12. Trade licences 13. Fishing licences 14. Hunting licences 15. Firearm permits / licences 16. Proof of immunization (not new to those who travel and need to comply with various countries requirements) to which recently was added the need to include Covid . 12. Negative test results for Covid. When you look at the list, what exactly is the big deal with complying with the last 2? Because they are mandatory? But a number of those in my list are also Mandatory. Social media influence or ????
  2. The Grim News Covid: WHO warns Europe once again at epicentre of pandemic Published 27 minutes ago Europe is once again "at the epicentre" of the Covid pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned, as cases soar across the continent. At a press conference WHO Europe head Hans Kluge said the continent could see half a million more deaths by February. He blamed insufficient vaccine take-up for the rise. "We must change our tactics, from reacting to surges of Covid-19 to preventing them from happening in the first place," he said. The rate of vaccination has slowed across the continent in recent months. While some 80% of people in Spain are double jabbed, that number is lower in France and Germany - at 68% and 66% respectively - and lower still in some central and eastern European countries. Only 32% of Russians were fully vaccinated by October 2021. Mr Kluge also blamed a relaxation of public health measures for rising infections in the WHO's European region, which covers 53 countries including parts of Central Asia. So far the WHO has recorded 1.4 million deaths across the region. The WHO's technical lead on Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said over the past four weeks cases across Europe had soared over 55%, despite an "ample supply of vaccines and tools", and colleague Dr Mike Ryan said Europe's experience was a "warning shot for the world". It came as Germany recorded almost 34,000 daily Covid cases in the past 24 hours, a record rise. While the Covid numbers in Germany are below the UK's latest daily case numbers of more than 37,000, public health officials are worried that a fourth wave of infection could lead to a large number of deaths and pressure on the health system. In the past 24 hours 165 deaths have been recorded, up from 126 a week ago. Lothar Wieler of Germany's RKI institute spoke of terrifying numbers. "If we don't take counter-measures now, this fourth wave will bring yet more suffering," he said. Among the many Germans who have not been vaccinated are more than three million over-60s, seen at particular risk. Covid passes set to stay as Europe heads for winter But as Hans Kluge pointed out, the surge in cases is not confined to Germany. The most dramatic rises in fatalities have been in the past week in Russia, where more than 8,100 deaths were recorded, and Ukraine, with 3,800 deaths. Both countries have very low rates of vaccination and Ukraine announced a record 27,377 new cases in the past 24 hours. Romania recorded its highest number of deaths in 24 hours this week at 591 while in Hungary, daily Covid infections have more than doubled in the past week to 6,268. Mask-wearing is only required on public transport and in hospitals. "At the moment we seem to be hell-bent on a course that says the pandemic is over, we just need to vaccinate a few more people. That is not the case," said Dr Ryan, who called for every country to plug the holes in their response. This week the Dutch government said it would reimpose mask-wearing and social distancing in many public settings as it emerged that hospital admissions had gone up 31% in a week. Latvia meanwhile is imposing a three-month state of emergency from Monday amid a record level of Covid infection. Croatia recorded 6,310 new cases on Thursday, its highest number so far. Slovakia has reported its second highest number of cases and Czech infections have returned to levels last seen in spring. England's deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam said on Wednesday that too many people believed the pandemic was over. However, in countries with the highest vaccination rates, infection rates are still relatively low. Italy has one of the highest vaccination rates for over-12s but even here new cases are up 16.6% in the past week. Portuguese infections have risen above 1,000 for the first time since September. Spain is one of the few countries not to see a rise in transmission with 2,287 cases reported on Wednesday. This article contains a detailed list of countries, deaths, death rate and total cases. Very long listing as you can probably imagine so here is the goto for the complete article Covid: WHO warns Europe once again at epicentre of pandemic - BBC News *Deaths per 100,000 people This information is regularly updated but may not reflect the latest totals for each country. ** The past data for new cases is a three day rolling average. Due to revisions in the number of cases, an average cannot be calculated for this date. Source: Johns Hopkins University and national public health agencies Figures last updated: 1 November 2021, 09:31 GMT
  3. And you are?????????? Awaiting the reveal...........
  4. Global climate conference simply a cop-out Calgary Herald 4 Nov 2021 CHRIS NELSON Chris Nelson is a regular columnist for the Calgary Herald. That strange human subset, collectively called politicians, possesses a quite remarkable ability to never walk their talk. Look no further than the weird goings-on in Glasgow this week, where the world's grasping and garrulous have journeyed to the land of the bravely kilted to display the stunning arrogance of the global elite. No matter some of those merrily flapping their gums about saving the planet from looming environmental disaster possess individual carbon footprints the size of small towns in Africa. Such obvious hypocrisy never crosses their collective minds and regular folk expecting that privileged set to ever murmur the words reuse, reduce or recycle will remain sorely disappointed. It's not their gig, so to speak. Nope, instead, they believe buying a brandnew Tesla as a handy third vehicle for the summer cottage is both a badge of honour, worthy of display to their equally well-heeled neighbours, and a suitable symbol for the rest of us, who unfortunately have to hunt for our eco-salvation among the bargain basements of local thrift stores. Nothing agreed at COP26 will involve a single reduction in the lavish lifestyles of the 20,000-plus Glasgow-goers. Their existence will continue as before, the only change being a pleasing jump in frequent flyer points. Still, they will indeed sing for their no doubt sumptuous suppers, uttering copious odes to the wonders of net-zero carbon emissions as a foil to the climate emergency we currently face. (Apparently, Calgary's soon to be designated as such a threatened metropolis; one about to tumble into some fiery pit if we don't do something that will, in actuality, amount to nothing, so nobody experiences even the slightest inconvenience. Hey, wake me up when our new city councillors start riding the bus to work.) We know this is how it really works, which is why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's latest bit of grandstanding, about capping oil and gas emissions, is simply hot air. A man who flies halfway across a continent for a spot of weekend surfing hasn't the moral authority to judge a biggest-pumpkin contest never mind tell Alberta what to do with its oil. If push ever did come to shove, then we'd just switch off the pumps for a weekend in January and he'd be taking the proverbial knee before you could mutter “freeze in the dark.” We just need a provincial leader who'll walk our talk. The current one won't. Anyhow, if this is indeed a planetary emergency, then why doesn't the Trudeau government put a five-buck-a-litre excise tax on gasoline today? That would cut emissions in a heartbeat and surely it's a small price to pay for salvation? That snowball in hell had better odds than that happening. It's pure theatre at every level. U.S. President Joe Biden waxes lyrical about a green future then calls OPEC in the intermission and begs them to pump more oil. German Chancellor Angela Merkel plays the elder stateswoman one final time while quietly pleading with Russian President Vladimir Putin to send more natural gas to a Europe in the throes of an energy crisis. In the meantime, we'll pretend someday soon — but not just yet — we'll all indeed ride bikes to work in February and wear two sweaters while reading by candlelight, just so China can build more coal-fired power plants across the length and breadth of Asia to use up any resulting carbon slack. Here in Canada, we worship at the feet of an aging TV host whose personal contribution to saving the Earth is buying a holiday home in Australia. Do these people even lose a single wink of sleep engaging in such behaviour? Certainly doesn't seem so. So that environmental can will be kicked down the road constantly, promised salvation always 20 to 30 years away. All we can do is turn the thermostat down a notch, resist buying endless stuff and walk to the corner store instead of driving. It isn't much, but it's still a walk the Glasgow crowd will never make.
  5. Minneapolis voters reject replacing police with new ... - AP News https://apnews.com › article › 2021-election-minneapoli... 13 hours ago — MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis voters on Tuesday rejected a proposal to replace the city's police department with a new Department of Public ...
  6. Opinion: Renewables are making Europe energy-poor © Provided by Financial PostRenewables have more than doubled as a share of EU electricity production, from just over 16 per cent in 2000 to over 34 per cent in 2019. With the recent rise in the price of natual gas in Europe to five times where it was earlier this year, expect to see many more Europeans, including Brits, plunged into “energy poverty” — too poor to pay their utility bills on time and/or keep their homes adequately warm. Why is not hard to grasp: from Greece to Great Britain and everywhere in between, the European electricity grid is increasingly de-linked from reliable, affordable fossil fuels and hooked up to more expensive and intermittent wind and solar projects. When wind and solar are not available, Europeans and others end up chasing the same supplies of oil, natural gas and coal, pushing their prices dramatically higher. Canadians should pay attention. What Europeans are already enduring and will suffer through again this winter will only intensify thanks to government efforts at COP26 this week to mandate an even faster “phaseout” of fossil fuels. But existing policies were causing substantial energy poverty in Europe even before the price spike this autumn. Stefan Bouzarovski, a University of Manchester professor and chair of an energy poverty working group, estimates that pre-pandemic, 80 million Europeans were already struggling to adequately heat their homes. Meanwhile, at least 12 million European households were in arrears on their utility bills. The European Union has attempted to provide an objective measurement of the problem but its best data is six years old. The EU Energy Poverty Observatory’s most recent estimate — from 2015 — showed that 16 per cent of EU consumers faced a “high” share of energy costs, with “high” defined as energy expenditures relative to income that were more than twice the national median. To get a better sense of the challenge faced by European households and energy poverty, we used 2008 as a start year and then compared the rise in household median incomes (with the full set of data ending in 2019) with the rise in electricity prices (ending in 2020) in 30 European countries. We found that in lower-income European countries that have seen strong growth in incomes since 2008 (mainly ex-communist states such as Estonia, Bulgaria and Poland), median incomes rose faster than power prices. Not so in many richer European countries, however. For example, though median household income rose just 19 per cent in France, electricity prices were up 61 per cent. In the U.K income rose just 14 per cent, compared to a 51 per cent rise in electricity prices. In Ireland, income was up 11 per cent, electricity 48 per cent. Worst off was Spain, where median household income rose by just eight per cent, while electricity prices soared 68 per cent. The response of some European governments has been to subsidize utility bills — as in Ontario, which did it to mask the effect of policies that drove the province’s electricity prices dramatically higher. All that does, however, is shift the burden of high power costs from the “consumer pocket” to the “taxpayer pocket.” But, of course, both pockets are in the same coat: so, either way, households bear the cost, or their children and grandchildren do if today’s utility bills are subsidized through government borrowing. Why electricity is so costly in the EU and U.K is clear: policy. Governments there have attempted to “transition” from fossil fuels despite their superior energy density — their “power punch,” as Vaclav Smil, retired environment professor at the University of Manitoba characterizes it — vis-à-vis renewables. The result can be seen in the declining share of fossil fuels in EU electricity production: from about 50 per cent in 2000 to 38 per cent in 2019. Nuclear-generated electricity, which has also been discouraged, has declined from 32 per cent of electricity production in 2000 to just over 26 per cent in 2019. Meanwhile, renewables have more than doubled as a share of EU electricity production, from just over 16 per cent in 2000 to over 34 per cent in 2019. That would be fine, except solar and wind are not exactly inexpensive. They are also not as reliable as fossil fuels, something Brits were recently reminded of when wind power dropped and coal again had to be used to prop up their country’s electricity grid. It’s been said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The policymakers gathered in Glasgow evidently want to speed up the killing of fossil fuels even thought it has already led to widespread energy poverty in Europe. Are they expecting different results? Financial Post Mark Milke and Ven Venkatachalam are with the Canadian Energy Centre, an Alberta government corporation funded in part by taxes paid by industry on carbon emissions. They are authors of Energy Poverty in European Households: An Advance Lesson for Canadians.
  7. Britian thinks Western Canada is important enought to name a new consul-general. Too bad that Justin does not think the same as shown by the makeup of his new cabinet. New British consul-general for western Canada looks to deepen ties between countries | Globalnews.ca
  8. Air Canada suspends more than 800 unvaccinated workers under new federal rules (msn.com)
  9. WestJet suspends nearly 300 unvaccinated employees (guelphmercury.com)
  10. The Big Lie Has Been Proven False. Republicans Can’t Shake It Philip Elliott 38 mins ago Like3 Comments|2 Suspected cyberattack in N.L. hits 'brain' of province's health-care system Elon Musk will donate to end hunger – if UN is transparent This article is part of the The DC Brief, TIME’s politics newsletter. Sign up here to get stories like this sent to your inbox every weekday. © Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Former President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a "Save America" rally at York Family Farms in Cullman, Ala. on Aug. 21, 2021. If you want a quick study on the state of Republican politics, this is a pretty good week to tune in. Rep. Adam Kinzinger ended his own career in the House last week, saying he preferred to fight the Trumpist wing of his GOP from the outside. Glenn Youngkin is heading into Election Day tomorrow in strong contention to become the 74th Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a Trumpian heir to Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. And a politically popular package of proposals like paid family leave and free pre-K care are flailing on Capitol Hill without a whiff of Republican support because, if they succeed, they could give President Joe Biden some tailwinds. This is the state of the Republican Party at the moment: beholden to All Things Trump and fearful of seeming to give him or his allies even a moderate setback. Since Election Day of last year, the GOP has been in sustained panic. Trump lost handily at the polls in an election that saw him compete for bombast but not technocratic accomplishments. Trump banked on the false belief that loud superseded competent and came up short. In defeat, he decided to claim the election was stolen. Trump tried—with zero success or credibility—to argue the whole affair was rigged and should be set aside. Having exhausted even his most ardent allies, he then urged a mob on Jan. 6 to descend on the U.S. Capitol to force Congress to discard the results. Despite some harrowing hours, that attempt failed too, Congress rejected Trump’s antics and Biden was confirmed the winner. Well, fast forward some 10 months, and that terrifying day wasn’t merely a one-off. The GOP remains boxed-in by Trump’s false assertion, which deservedly is known in D.C. as The Big Lie. More than two-thirds of Republicans believe it. For those who watch Fox News, that number is 82%. For consumers of far-right news—think Newsmax and OAN—that number reaches near universal belief, at 97%. These numbers are courtesy of a new study, out today, from the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution. The findings follow a similar May survey from the same pollsters and suggest a hardening of the belief that Trump is the rightful winner of the 2020 vote. In other words, the grievance is growing and the misinformation metastasizing. If the ramifications of these sentiments were limited to what happened with Trump in 2020, this mightn’t be so worrisome. But it pervades the political environment. It’s why Kinzinger, one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 riots and one of two Republicans participating in the House probe of it, has decided to exit stage right. (Illinois redistricting maps didn’t help, either, to be fair.) Youngkin’s embrace of the MAGA agenda in Virginia makes more sense given these numbers, despite its threat to alienate the independents that comprise roughly a quarter of the Virginia electorate. And Congressional Republicans’ refusal to consider the soft-infrastructure elements of Biden’s Build Back Better makes sense in this light as well. The numbers also offer a bleak picture of how Republicans view this country. The survey suggests the GOP is hostile to change. More than half of the Republicans say they feel like a stranger in America and 80% of them say the country is at risk of losing its culture. That anxiety and paranoia can be toxic features in a political space, but animating nonetheless. The survey also includes a rich piece of irony. When asked to define what makes someone “truly American,” a full 96% of Republicans say “respecting political institutions and laws” are critical—just as long as those institutions and laws defer to Trump and his Big Lie.
  11. No doubt who the Chinese prefer to be our Government. FIRST READING: Beijing meddling in election, why a Trudeau MP is voting Tory | National Post China weighs in on Canada’s election after Conservatives promise to ‘stand up’ to Beijing | South China Morning Post (scmp.com)
  12. Covid-19 This was not written by me, but I agree with the content. I'm vaccinated and, no, I don't know what's in it—neither this vaccine nor the ones I had as a child; or what’s in that Big Mac, that pumpkin-spice flavoring, or in hot dogs or chicken tenders; or what’s in other drugs used for other treatments … whether the treatment is for cancer, AIDS, or polyarthritis. I don't actually know what's in Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or other pain meds that almost everyone takes, I just know it cures my headaches and my pain. Or what’s in cough medicine, that allergy nasal spray, insulin, or high blood pressure meds. I also don't know what's in the ink for tattoos, vaping cigs, or every ingredient in my soap or shampoo or deodorants. I don’t know what’s in lipstick. I don’t know the long term effect of cell phone use or whether or not that restaurant I just ate at REALLY used clean utensils, fresh foods, and whether the employees there washed their hands. In short ... There's a lot of things I don't know and never will. I just know one thing: life is short, very short. And I still want to do something with my life other than just going to work every day or staying locked in my home. I still want to travel and hug people without fear and experience more of my life "before.” As a child and as an adult I've been vaccinated for mumps, measles, rubella, polio, chicken pox, small pox, and quite a few others (as an adult I’ve been vaccinated for tetanus and hepatitis, and each fall I get a flu shot that is less effective at preventing flu than the Covid vaccine is at preventing Covid-19). My parents and I trusted the science and never had to suffer through or transmit any of the childhood diseases that used to kill children and adults. I'm vaccinated, not to please the government but: * to NOT die from Covid-19. * to NOT clutter a hospital bed if I get sick. * to hug my loved ones without fearing I may transmit a deadly virus to them. * to NOT have to do PCR or antigenic tests so I can go to a concert, go to a restaurant, go on holidays, and many more things to come. * to live my life. * to have my kids/grandkids go back to school and play sports—safely. * to make these days of Covid-19 become just an old memory. * to protect us—all of us.
  13. No interest in Canadian made vaccine here in Canada but. Everest to bring Canada’s Providence Therapeutics’ COVID-19 vaccine to China | Globalnews.ca Shanghai-based Everest Medicines said it signed a licence agreement with Providence Therapeutics to make and sell the Canadian biotechnology company’s potential mRNA COVID vaccines in some Asian countries including China.
  14. Greece appears to have experienced a very deep recession in 2020 and even under optimistic assumptions, a full recovery will take some time beyond 2021. In addition, the recession and the cost of the measures to mitigate it have already led to a further sharp rise of Greece’s already exorbitantly high public debt. The pandemic and Greece’s debt: The day after | VOX, CEPR ... voxeu.org/article/pandemic-and-greece-s-debt-day-after
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