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Local to me they've imposed additional measures, or additional half-measures, due to the resurgence of the pandemic. We're not quite an Ontario hot spot for COVID-19, we're not Toronto, but we're not doing as well as, say, the north or some of the more rural areas. So, we shall call these half-measures, regardless of the premier's urgent tone.

And overall we're in better shape, at least psychologically, than the United States. The mind still reels at the events of a week ago. I was celebrating selling a short fiction collection-- I'll post about that later this month-- a bit of positive amidst the positive tests, when protesters decided to breach the U.S. Capitol. How on earth did security not see it coming? Trump had been encouraging them for weeks. He told them in the rally the day that Joe Biden would be certified as the next president that Mike Pence had some imaginary power to stop that process. He repeated, multiple times, his unsupported claim that the election has been stolen, and told the crowd to do something about it. Why was security so bad? The media attention tends to be on the clowns taking selfies and souvenirs, and the self-appointed, self-deluded "Qanon Shaman" in the horns and war paint. That crowd, however, had several dedicated, fast-moving individuals, clearly trained, who carried weapons and zip ties. You do not break into the building where a government is sitting, bringing weapons and restraints, unless you're intent on insurrection.

Check the bowels of the internet, though. Trump's had four years in office with his party controlling the Senate and the judiciary, but apparently, the rioting in Washington is the fault of his opponents. Everyone arrested has a long history of alt-right activity, activity they continued with social media posts from the middle of a riot, but somehow, it was "ANTIFA" agent provocateurs who caused the mess. Many of the summer protests started peacefully, not infrequently were marred by vandalism and violence in the evening, but never directly tried to take possession of the government of the United States, while they were in session. However, they're apparently the real issue we need to be discussing. At many of these sites, the easily-disproved notion that no one was ever arrested at Black Lives Matter protests has bewildering currency. Of course, disproving it would require them to believe things like news reports and police records.

It's all about the media. Quoth the Trump to his crowd: "The media is the biggest problem we have as far as I'm concerned, single biggest problem." Yeah, we need to go after the reporters.

Football players taking the knee during the anthem. C'mon! That's more serious than a mob trying to stop the democratic process. You elect a president to comment on celebrity protests, right?

We flipped, a week ago at my house, from CBC to BBC to CNN and other American sources. One protester positioned himself behind a CBC reporter. "Black Lives Matter are terrorists!" he shouted. I hope he won't be too disappointed to learn that there's no "Coupies" awards for outstanding achievement in irony.

And if there was, he'd have heavy competition.

Shortly thereafter, the same reporter was surrounded by protesters and CBC stopped broadcasting from that camera.

She made it to safety.


Bent and battered, with water damage imprinting the signature mirror-imaged on the opposite fold, Graham's Christmas card finally arrived from Australia, January 11, 2021, a day after my wife took down the cards she'd posted in the living room. He confirms in an email that he snail-mailed it early in November.

We don't know what that card went through. We'll never know. Doubtless, things that no holiday missive should experience. It has received a place of honour. That card represents 2020 better than any other could. And we still hope (the miseries of Coup Season notwithstanding) for a better 2021.

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