Winter is always coming when you live in the north, and it’s still a surprise. Every year, the first snow blankets the landscape and like magic, I forget what not winter looks like. The world is just white and frozen, and it feels as though it has always been so. Green and leaves are not even memories because that’s how deep winter penetrates.

I have ever mentioned that I hate winter? It wasn’t always so. As a child, I loved snow. Maybe it’s part of being born in a winter month or maybe it’s just that winter is so easy when you aren’t responsible for adulting while enduring it. Being an adult certainly killed the joy that was winter when I was young.

When I was ten, I raced outside every night after supper to play in the snow. Sledding until my corduroys were frozen stiff and my mittens were crusted with ice. It’s a wonder I never suffered from frostbite.

During the pandemic, I regained a bit of that winterish outdoor joy. I walked in the snow every day. Properly bundled, of course. Perhaps it was the lack of worldly obligations that made it more delightful? Like when I was a kid? I was not compelled to be anyone. Risk anything on icy roads. It was snow day after snow day.

Now that the powers that be have declared the pandemic over (though the evidence suggests that is more than just wishful thinking) there is pressure to risk when we should stay put.

My elderly self is not as winter hardy (or foolish) as my ten year old self. A fall would likely break something. Thinner skin less likely to weather a bout with frostbite.

I need a place to winter now where winter isn’t a hazard, but I am afraid snow-birding is not a thing in this “post” pandemic world for those of us who don’t think as magically as others.

I have pretty low hopes for America. Latest polls say the House of Representatives will turn over to the GOP and that means Kevin McCarthy as Speaker. Oh my god, what a conspiracy driven revenge fest that’s going to be. They are already talking about impeaching Biden though they don’t know what they will be charging him with yet. I’m sure that will go well.

The US Senate might actually tip 51 to 49 in favour of the Democrats. Worst case scenario, however is status quo, which is still a Dem held Senate. This means whatever QAnon nonsense the House gets itself up to can’t go anywhere because the Dem Senate will simply block it. That’s not great for Americans because there is actual work to do and nothing is going to get done. It will be Obama’s second term all over again. Americans love stalemated government when they truly need progress and majority rule when they can give conservatives and libertarians a blank cheque to fuck them over. It’s astounding how much suffering they will accept if it means people they hate suffering even more. The American dream in reality.

Among my family and friends, there is a fairly even split between those who’ve stopped voting, those who vote Democrat, and those whose not terribly hidden misogyny and homophobia (throwa bit of racism in there too) keeps them voting Republican. I’d say racism was the biggest driven this year, as it has been since Obama won, but transphobia and Roe V Wade narrowly edged it out for the moment.

I have been warning my friends for years that the US was sliding quickly into a kobayashi maru, but they simply don’t want to deal with it. Covid accelerated it even more than electing Trump did. This is bad for the world. It’s terrible for Canada given that we share a completely unprotected border with them.

Someone on Twitter (no, it hasn’t imploded and disappeared in a supernova yet but that’s coming), is speculating we are heading into a lost decade. I agree. The next decade is going to be very hard and what does (or doesn’t) happen will set the stage for the future our grand-kids may, or may not, have.

Anyway, happy US election eve. No one country should have this much impact on the world. Particular one with a population that is so very small. But here we are. Good luck to all of us.

While Americans gear up to, hopefully, vote out the insurrectionist faction of their federal government, Canadians are in day upteenth of the mandatory inquiry of the use of the Emergency Act that cleared our capital city of coup loving squatters last winter.

Though not as dramatic as the January 6 assault on the U.S. Congress, the convoy of those who love freedom for themselves but not for others was a serious threat to our country for weeks. It rolled out into the provinces in the form of weekly truck parades for racists and anti-vaxxers. It blockaded at least two border crossings and included at least one fairly organized plot to assassinate RCMP officers in Alberta.

The inquiry into whether or not the federal government was correct in using the Emergency Act, which replaced the War Measures Act during the Mulroney era, is mandated by the act itself. Any government that deems it necessary must then allow an independent inquiry to ensure that it was.

The vast majority of Canadians (and nearly the whole of Ottawa, which bore the burnt of the occupation) will say “fuck yes it was necessary”. But there are still pockets of white nationalists and their anti-vaxx comrades who are still smarting from the general rebuke they received. Their plan to force the sitting government to resign and allow them to become dictators in their place wasn’t greeted with accolades and gratitude from those of us they want to rule over with a white nationalist fist.

The inquiry has been all manner of what the fucks. Police corruption and complicity. Provincial government abdication of authority and complicity. Bafflement that people as dumb and disorganized as the konvoy klan managed to last a day let alone weeks. Revelation after horrifying revelation, really.

Image and narrative damage for occupiers, however, is really killing their cause. So much so that Preston Manning emerged from the mothballs to announce they would be holding their own inquiry into the matter. A people’s inquiry. Of people. Real people. Not experts or journalists or people who think they are nutters. I’m sure this won’t be a circus.

It’ll be a circus. Probably a travelling one ferried from province to province by a parade of trucks.