Thursday, March 26, 2020

How contradictions may help evaluate Coronavirus

In her third video, Betty discusses how 'contradictions' can help us think about the life cycle of social and political systems and why it may help us understand what the world will look like after the Coronavirus.

-The Editor

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Are the times really gone for good?

Are the times really gone for good? (with acknowledgement to Merle Haggard)

Listen here.

In this second video, Betty talks about what is happening now, the idea of 'dialectical materialism', and hard labour of giving birth to a new age. It's a bit longer than usual (9 minutes). She promises shorter videos in the future. - The Editor.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Betty begins video blogging


These are deeply troubled times. Given the rapid global changes that are happening, I am switching from my usual writing habit and instead will be doing short regular videos. I hope that you find them useful - in equal parts comforting and challenging.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Canada vs Coronavirus

A traveller wears a mask at Pearson airport arrivals, shortly after Toronto Public Health received notification of Canada's first presumptive confirmed case of novel coronavirus, in Toronto, Ontario [Carlos Osorio/Reuters]

Betty Krawczyk here. 
So much is happening so fast that my head is spinning. And I think there are probably a lot of other spinning heads out there trying to digest the drums of doom beating louder every day.  The Coronavirus is creeping over the border from the US (most bad things come to us via the US so I am blaming the Coronavirus on them too, especially the Trump administration).  I also think the Democrats are doing what they do best, in my opinion, and that is, making corruption safe for America.  Given that, it is Donald Trump and his buddies who are especially responsible for gutting the government programs that provided for the event of a global pandemic. And when we consider that the US has such a sorry record of health care by avoiding a universal health care system like poison except when they want to raid Canada of our much cheaper pharmaceuticals, they are now caught with no testing equipment (or few) and a populace that have been unprotected and freely infecting each other for weeks or months.  Who knows? There has been extremely little testing.
Canada has a wonderfully functioning universal health care system, aside from some unacceptable wait times that are constantly being worked on. Good for us.  But we needn’t be smug. We suffer from some of the same medical shortages that the US does.  Shortages of masks, hand sanitizers and surgical gloves aren’t the half of it. China also manufactures most of the medicines and medical equipment that Canadians use daily.  From 80 to 90 per cent of all medicines lining our drug store shelves are made and exported from China, medicines such as insulin and even aspirin.  When China’s production is halted or slowed by the Coronavirus then our own national health is in jeopardy.  We have to ask…why is it that 80 to 90 per cent of Canadian medicines and medical equipment is dependent upon China?  Especially since our relationship with China hasn’t exactly been sterling.
Our Canadian leadership has more or less followed in step the US trade war on China, treating her as a hostile country.  The Canadian arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the CEO of Huawei, who had not broken any Canadian laws and then continuing to hold her at Trump’s demand gives China a bloody nose for the entire world to gaze at. And yet the entire world at the moment, both medically and economically, seems to depend largely on China.  This scenario takes me back to my childhood in the backwoods of Louisiana.
My brother and I were playing with our little black friends who lived down the road from us. This day we were playing in their yard. Their parents were friendly with our parents so we switched around playing in each other’s yards.  However, this one day our play mates had an aunt visiting them from Baton Rouge.  When she saw us all playing happily together she came out to the front porch and yelled at her niece and nephew: “You young’uns get in the house this minute. You can’t play with white kids.  They’ll lick the molasses off your finger and then call you
            Indignant, my brother and I ran home and told our mother what the aunt had     yelled.   
“We weren’t even eating biscuits”, I protested.  We were frequently given cold biscuits with a light spread of molasses in the center for a treat. “What did she mean?” My mother sighed.  “It’s just a saying some black folks have.  It means that in certain things white people can’t always be trusted to treat other people right”.
More next time.