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Devion's Views #231

STUFF - GOOD, BAD AND STUPID (posted April 21, 2021)

These so-called "interesting times" we are currently living through are more aptly described as "shambolic times".

With each passing day, it's becoming more difficult to recall what life was like, before the pandemic changed everything.

Remembering when 'normal' was so routine, it was considered (by many) to be 'boring'. How we yearn for those familiar, boring times to return.

The waves of virus has altered priorities; focusing on the really important things in life, family and health.

Canadians receive a daily dose of COVID updates. Information and advisories coming from federal, provincial and territorial authorities are confusing many because they are inconsistent and constantly change.

The absence of a common consistent message leaves the impression everybody and nobody is in charge; no one body is driving the bus, and 'collectively' everybody (in charge) is riding off in all directions, at the same time, i.e. shambolic leadership.  

As a result, ordinary people stop paying attention.

As that grand master of malapropisms, famously known as "Yogi-isms", baseball Hall of Fame catcher, manager and coach, Lorenzo Pietro "Yogi" Berra, cautioned decades ago, "If you don't know what you are doing, you'll end up in a bad place."

And who among us wishes to end up in Yogis bad place?

                                                    A warning for those who refuse to get it...

1) This thing can kill you.

2) Nobody is immune, nobody.

3) Don't travel, stay close to home.

                                                                THE STUPID STUFF

Venue: Chez Devion

Time: 6:45 a.m.

Ring-ring, ring-ring, ring-ring...jolted awake from a deep sleep...thinking, a FAMILY EMERGENCY!

Pleasant male voice: "Hello, I'm calling on behalf of a volunteer organization."

Monsieur Ronald: "What?"

Male voice, cheerfully: "We would like you to join us."

Ronald, now wide awake: "Pardon, join you?"

Voice: "Yes"

Ronald, anger rising: "You've got to be kidding. I don't know where you're calling from but you just woke me up!"

Voice: "I'm very sorry sir, please excuse me but we would like you to join us reading a verse from the Bible, to start your day."

Ronald, now curious: "What organization do you volunteer for exactly?"

Voice: silence.

Ronald, ready to explode: "Listen very carefully pal, I'm only going to say this once. If I join you in reading a verse from the Bible, a lightning bolt will come down from the sky, directly from Thor's hammer, to strike you dead. Comprende! Call this number again and even Jesus won't be able to protect you from what Thor and I have in mind for you. Comprende! I pray the rest of your day sucks." End of call.

We've all been bothered by early morning and dinnertime calls from scammers, cons, fraudsters, telemarketers, fake charities, pollsters, etc..

However, to be harassed at 6:45 a.m. by religious cultists was a first for Monsieur Ronald.

For obvious reasons, you likely don't want to be reminded that on September 30, 2008, following the passage of Bill C-37, the CRTC announced the operation of a "National Do Not Call List" (DNCL); in our other official language "Liste National De Numeros De Telecommunication Exclus"...to prevent cranks, cons, telemarketers, crooks, fraudsters, scammers, religions, et al, from harassing Canadians by phone.

Bill C-37 put a stop to some of the illegal activity, right?

No and non. It actually got much worse in the intervening 13 years. Offshore groups joined the domestics in using phones and online devices to prey on the elderly and the vulnerable, robbing them of millions.

Why hasn't the CRTC caught and prosecuted the miscreants?

Because, like several other CRTC regulatory initiatives, the Bill C-37 "DNCL" is a useless, costly disaster.

And good luck trying to find one MP who cares enough to actually do something about it.

                                                                    THE GOOD STUFF

It's not all gloom...the Great White North has something to celebrate.

For the first time, Canada takes top spot overall in the 2021 Best Countries (to live in) Report, a ranking and analysis project by U.S. News & World Report; BAV Group, a unit of global marketing communications company VMLY&R; and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Japan and Germany finished #2 and #3, respectively, while Switzerland, the previous #1 overall country, falls to #4. Australia remains as the #5 overall country followed by the United States, which rises one position to #6 overall.

So smile, we live in the best country on the planet.

                                           A STORY TO REMIND US ABOUT THOSE "GOOD OLD DAYS"

A group of Canadians traveled by tour bus through Switzerland (country #4 above).

As they stopped at a cheese farm, a young tour guide led them through the process of cheese making, explaining that goat's milk was used.

Shepherding the group outside the processing plant, she pointed at a lovely hillside where many goats were grazing explaining, "These are the older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produce."

She asked the guests, "What do you do in Canada with your old goats?"

A spry elderly gent standing at the back shouted, "They send us on bus tours!"

Hopefully, we will all be doing that again and soon.

Anybody remember? What's a federal or provincial balanced budget? And, get used to hearing about trillion dollar deficits.

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory