National Newswatch

Surrealistic Politics: A President for Our Season?

Jun 28 2020 — K.W. Grafton — What a long, strange trip the past three and a half Trumpian years have been. Outgoing President Obama’s statement in November 2016 that Donald Trump was “uniquely unqualified to be President” unfortunately turned out to be more than mere partisan hyperbole. The veracity of Obama’s statement has been confirmed repeatedly in virtually every action, statement […]

Ouija Board Economics – COVID-19 Recovery Plan

Jun 17 2020 — K.W. Grafton — On June 4th Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) awarded a $3 million services contract to Deloitte LLP of Ottawa for the provision of Task and Solutions Professional Services to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), in connection with COVID-19 economic recovery planning. The description of the requirement stated in the Tender Notice […]

Returning to the Cave: Risk-Aversion in the Age of Fear

Jun 11 2020 — K.W. Grafton — Rhetoric surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic has set a new bar for irresponsible fearmongering, and the resulting mass hysteria is evidence of a receptive audience. The incomprehensible spectacle of lone drivers wearing face masks is now common on urban streets. Even in a group setting, face masks are not recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), and a recent study suggests […]

Surveillance Capitalism: The Digital Dream Darkens

Jun 4 2020 — K.W. Grafton — “Surveillance Capitalism” is a term coined by Harvard Business professor Dr. Shoshana Zuboff in her 2019 masterpiece “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism – The Fight for a Human Future at the Frontier of Power”. It is defined as “a new economic order that claims human experience as free raw material for hidden commercial practices of […]

‘Coronasteria’ – Groupthink and the Psychology of Epidemic Hysteria

May 25 2020 — K.W. Grafton — For months now the world has been subjected to a relentless “infodemic” of COVID-19 media coverage, some of it sensationalistic fearmongering. Conflicting information is rampant, and the real threat of fake news to global health has prompted governments and health authorities to take action to shield the public from harmful misinformation. According to PEW Research, 48% of Americans report seeing […]

Trump as Strategic Distraction – White House, Straw President?

May 17 2020 — K.W. Grafton — The April 23rd White House Press Briefing, during which President Trump unveiled his controversial “Bleach Theory” for combating coronavirus, caused a global gasp of horror; but not as much disbelief as one might expect…say if President Obama had said it, or…any other past President for that matter (maybe Dubya). One certainly couldn’t imagine Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, or […]

The Cost of Freedom – Inside Looking Out

May 13 2020 — K.W. Grafton — How easily freedom is lost. A few microscopic parasites…and it’s gone with a cough. Freedom is the product of Democracy, and Democracy is fragile. It is easily broken, and too often taken for granted. Our freedom is precious and hard-won, the envy of countries without it. In Canada, our freedoms are established in the Constitution […]

COVID-19: What are the Odds, Really?

May 12 2020 — K.W. Grafton — The massive news tsunami surrounding COVID-19 has produced an overwhelming “infodemic” of often sensationalistic and conflicting information, resulting in a global state of mass panic and uncertainty. According to Time, “…throughout January 2020, the first full month of the outbreak, more than 41,000 English-language print news articles mentioned the word “coronavirus,” and almost 19,000 included […]

A Lesson in Leadership: What Not to Do

May 6 2020 — K.W. Grafton — Leadership is an elusive quality. The military, who arguably know a thing or two about leadership, sometimes refers to it as “the mystery of command”. Some have it, many don’t. The April 23rd coronavirus press briefing, during which the leader of the free world suggested that ingesting toxic bleach and exposure to carcinogenic ultra-violet light could […]

On the Outskirts of Infinity – POTUS Rides the Crazy-Train, Again

May 3 2020 — K.W. Grafton — As the world now knows, on April 23rd, during perhaps the most surreal press briefing of all time, the leader of the free world suggested that ingesting toxic bleach, warm temperatures and exposure to carcinogenic ultra-violet light could cure coronavirus. As White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, stared uncomfortably at her shoes, President […]

Infodemic: COVID-19 News Tsunami Begs Responsible Journalism

Apr 28 2020 — K.W. Grafton — “The 2019-nCoV outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ – an over-abundance of information –some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.” – World Health Organization There were approximately 56 million deaths globally during 2017, according to […]

Divergent Data Covid-19: Mortality Rate All Over the Map

Apr 22 2020 — K.W. Grafton — Global data for COVID-19 mortality vary widely by source and country. The extreme range of Case Fatality Rates (CFR) questions the validity of the data. The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University maintains a COVID-19 Dashboard which aggregates data from multiple sources to track global infections. Data is updated in […]

The Psychology of Isolation – COVID-19 Despair

Apr 20 2020 — K.W. Grafton — “It is likely that more people will see impacts on their mental health and well being than will suffer serious physical affects of the illness.” – Canadian Psychological Association. With public concern focused primarily upon the risk of infection from COVID-19, little attention is being afforded the psychological impact of forced isolation. Homo sapiens is a social […]

Trail of Broken Promises – The Psychology of Gullibility

Apr 15 2020 — K.W. Grafton — Daily stories abound of fake news reporting on COVID-19, and governments around the world are cracking down on fake news hawkers. Health services and Government agencies are working with social media in an effort to promote reliable information. Canada’s cyber-intelligence agency, the Communications Security Establishment, confirmed it is acting to dismantle fake COVID-19 information websites […]

Divided we Fall – Will COVID-19 Cooperation Be Contagious?

Apr 14 2020 — K.W. Grafton — The fractured Canadian Parliament united in the wee hours of March 25th to pass Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act. Agreement was reached following a marathon all night session, during which opposition members successfully prevented the Liberals from including provisions to grant broad spending and taxing powers to Cabinet without parliamentary oversight; described by opposition members as “a […]