Some Numbers And A Lot Of Questions

Today is Valentines Day, a day to celebrate love. Nobody loves uncertainly and today I want to get into three cases of it.

Turkey and Syria were recently hit with a major earthquake. In fact, the first aftershock would have been a major quake in its own right. As of this writing, (you’ll see that phase a lot today), the death toll exceeds 36,000 and the smart money is betting it will increase.
Politically this presents a plethora of challenges above and beyond just the aftermath of a huge natural disaster. I’ll take Syria first because it is the “easier” of the two to dissect. Syria is far from a U.S. or Western ally. It is also in the midst of a long civil war. Syria was to a great degree a basket case and the quake only exacerbated that situation. This is a case where morals trump politics. We need to aid Syria where we can effectively simply because this is a humanitarian crisis. Easier said than done but the mission is clear.

Turkey is a NATO member, which complicates things. In my option Turkey is the key to the Middle East simply because of the position on the map that it occupies. You don’t read much about it but simply look at Turkey’s proximity to Ukraine. I’ll let you connect those dots. All that said Turkey isn’t exactly Canada or the UK when it comes to being an American ally! The politics dictates that we send humanitarian aid to Turkey as well as the moral case does.

Is any of this easy? Heck, no! Will the death toll rise? Heck, yes.

Let’s come back home for my next situation. I have been critical of the Biden administration’s “leak” that it plans to declare the COVID emergency over on May 11th. This is a case where I certainly hope I am incorrect!

As of this writing, the 14-day roiling average of new COVID infections has been 39 thousand and change for the last seven days. To be honest that is an improvement over recent numbers but far, far from an all clear. The other good news is that the trend line is headed south albeit at a rather modest rate. There is a long way between the present and May 11th let alone a legitimate all clear situation. I’ll be monitoring the numbers and I’m certain I will not be alone.

As of this writing four objects have been shot out of the sky in American or Canadian airspace. The initial identity of the first one is incomplete and somewhat in dispute. (I tend to believe the Americans, not the Chinese.) The other three “balloons” – that is the word we are currently using to refer to them – are in a much murkier status.

My guess is that they are some sort of spy crafts, but I could be wrong. We know that adversaries have been spying on each other using airborne technology since at least the Eisenhower administration. (Remember the U-2 incident?) I also believe that the American and Canadian governments know much more than they are releasing to the public, and perhaps for good reason. One of the top obligations of a democratically elected government is to keep its people safe (too bad a certain former president didn’t do that). Keeping us completely informed isn’t always in our best interest.

Well, there you go; a lot of numbers and a lot of questions. Are you glad you don’t have Joe Biden’s or Justin Trudeau’s job? I am.

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