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Showing posts from September, 2021

The Politicization of Vaccines

Before this year, vaccines were mostly apolitical objects. The vast majority of people viewed getting vaccinated as a morally right thing to do, to protect both yourself and those around you. There has always been a small anti-vaxxer minority, but before 2021 they were inconsequential in both public health and politics. Then in early 2021 murmurs began in the political world, mostly from the left, proposing vaccine mandates, including so-called "vaccine passports." The concept was roundly rejected by leaders as discriminatory, unnecessary, divisive, and counter-productive. In January Prime Minister Justin Trudeau argued against vaccine passports, calling them "extreme measures that could have real divisive impacts on community and country." In April the Biden administration also argued against vaccine passports.  The World Health Organization, which has consistently opposed travel restrictions throughout the pandemic , also voiced their opposition to vaccine passp

The Legacy of 9/11 – a Zeitgeist of Fear

On September 11th, 2001 the Twin Towers fell and the world changed. In the United States, Canada, and much of the Western world a culture of fear set in and came to dominate the next 2 decades.  This was primarily a fear of Islamic terrorism, but 9/11 also brought about a general sense of uncertainty and fear that continues to this day. For the next 20 years  our politics, media, culture, and Zeitgeist as a whole would be characterized by a strong sense of fear, often bordering on paranoia. 9/11 triggered a wave of xenophobia in both the US and Canada. Islam, immigrants, and anything seen as foreign were treated with suspicion and fear. Unfortunately this attitude never really went away. Even now Islamophobia is still a major problem . Over the last 20 years apocalyptic media has become increasingly popular, with dozens of movies depicting apocalypses and post-apocalyptic worlds. In 2005 Steven Spielberg included imagery reminiscent of 9/11 in his film adaptation of  War of the Worlds