brave enough to be the light

Today Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States and it’s no exaggeration to say the world sighed in relief. In his inaugural speech he did not hold back, excoriating trump’s utterly failed administration on all fronts. Then, with barely a pause, he was off to sign 17 executive orders reversing some of trump’s most damaging racist and anti-environmental policies and advancing plans to combat the nightmare damage of Covid-19. The US is rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization. In one day he has already done more to unite and heal the country than trump did in four years.

This is what today looks like:

Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate. “The Hill We Climb”

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished
We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promise to glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

you get what you pay for

“Canada Will Get Covid-19 Vaccines After Other Countries Due to Lack of Manufacturing Capacity” — First: the headline is misleading. Canada has *some* capacity for manufacturing vaccines, just not as much as we wish we had *right now*. Second: this shouldn’t really come as a surprise. We have a good medical system, but we outsource a lot of manufacturing to other countries, generally speaking. That’s not even a bad thing, generally speaking. It’s cost effective for the things we only need occasionally, or in smaller amounts than would be practical to produce at scale for a relatively small population spread out over such a large land mass. Especially when it comes to what we’re willing to fund with our own tax dollars. We have good trade relationships. That’s how we roll. So when Trudeau points out that this is kinda how we all wanted it, it’s disingenuous at best to get all up in it. If we want something we have to be willing to pay for it, and maybe now taxpayers will look more kindly on their tax dollars going to this sort of emergency preparedness. Small comfort right now, I know. Meanwhile, we DO have the capacity to produce a quarter million doses per month and more capacity is under construction, and we should be pressuring Trudeau to manifest THAT — with a quickness. And by all means hold him accountable for that. AND for continuing pressure on the manufacturers in other countries to produce for us. Anything else is just political posturing from Conservatives or fear mongering by the press, and should be ignored.