Tag Archives: 2020

Reopen America: Reloaded

Let’s step back in time a lit­tle, and see what 30 days of hind­sight have provided.

Remem­ber the armed pro­test­ers who were lead­ing the “Reopen Amer­i­ca” move­ment, clad in plate car­ri­ers and AR-15s, spew­ing patri­ot­ic non­sense and threat­en­ing law­mak­ers to the extent this even­tu­al­ly result­ed in clo­sure of a gov­ern­ment building?

Yeah, those protesters.

It turns out — and real­ly, to no one’s huge sur­prise — that the back-to-work move­ment at odds with major­i­ty pub­lic opin­ion on the COVID-19 lock­down end­ed up being as fake as a three-dol­lar bill. While it may have racked up a few fol­low­ers here and there from the gen­er­al pub­lic, at its core it has always been orches­trat­ed and fund­ed by deep-pock­et­ed lob­by­ing net­works seek­ing to throw their weight around, and it remains so.

… or, in the more com­mon par­lance, astro­turf­ing.

Bird’s Eye View of a Burning Empire

Our hearts are on fire, our cities are on fire.

As mas­sive coast-to-coast protests con­tin­ue in the Unit­ed States in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and dis­plays of sol­i­dar­i­ty spring up around the globe, it’s safe to say this out­pour­ing of grief has firm­ly switched gears.

What began as an out­cry over insti­tu­tion­al­ized racism in polic­ing has, over the last few days, evolved into a wider move­ment encom­pass­ing the gen­er­al­ized pain of the tragedies of COVID-19, the inad­e­quate state of Amer­i­can polit­i­cal lead­er­ship, the decay of Amer­i­can insti­tu­tions, and the tox­ic lev­els of socioe­co­nom­ic inequal­i­ty that have col­lec­tive­ly led to esca­lat­ing polar­iza­tion and regres­sive stan­dards of liv­ing for so many citizens.

On the mat­ter of the protests them­selves, the excess­es of law enforce­ment, and the sys­tems that sup­port those excess­es, news vlog­ger Phil Defran­co put togeth­er a nice­ly bal­anced video sum­ma­riz­ing the sta­tus quo, so I want­ed to share that:

Con­tin­ue read­ing

COVID-19 Megapost Update

My COVID-19 resources page has gone live! You can click the link in the main nav­i­ga­tion menu to view it. For now, the first two sec­tions have been com­plet­ed (imme­di­ate focus on BC and Cana­da, the remain­der will be added lat­er).

If you have infor­ma­tion and resources that would be help­ful to add, please con­tact me with the details.
Strict vet­ting and qual­i­ty con­trols will be in effect. (Yes, that specif­i­cal­ly means I don’t want your con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries or polit­i­cal man­i­festos, there’s already enough of that crap float­ing around on Facebook.)

*ALERT ALERT ALERT *

Over the past week, social media reshar­ing of a large num­ber of the same memes, web­sites, and news arti­cles by many indi­vid­u­als and large groups of peo­ple has led Face­book’s algo­rithms to mis­tak­en­ly flag a lot of impor­tant info­graph­ic memes, med­ical web­sites, and gov­ern­ment resources as spam.

In par­tic­u­lar, I have been UNABLE to post the URL for the BC Gov­ern­men­t’s online COVID-19 Self Assess­ment Check­list, which allows peo­ple to assess com­mon signs and symp­toms and deter­mine whether they will require fur­ther action in the form of a pre­booked COVID-19 test.

Because the Face­book plat­form is fail­ing to func­tion nor­mal­ly under these unex­pect­ed cir­cum­stances, these resources are fre­quent­ly get­ting flagged as Com­mu­ni­ty Guide­lines vio­la­tions — with­out an option for review — even though they are ful­ly com­pli­ant with the Terms of Ser­vice. There sim­ply is no way to appeal them, no way to fix the error at the end-user lev­el, and no way to force the plat­form to accept those memes and links.

I am not with­out a back­up plan, how­ev­er.

As of next week, I will begin post­ing impor­tant COVID-19 sto­ries and resources to this domain for wider dis­sem­i­na­tion.

With the URLs being unique for each blog post, hope­ful­ly this can act as a suit­able workaround and let us to get the word out about vital resources while not being mis­tak­en­ly affect­ed by var­i­ous social media plat­form con­tent fil­ter­ing sys­tem.

Stay tuned. We’re gonna be kickin’ it old school …