A bit of thread. About unitary vs federal government models during an emergency like a pandemic.

I focus the most on 5 countries, the main Anglosphere:

UK, US, CAN, AU and NZ.

Only NZ has a unitary system. Now, we are small but:
A major weakness in the federal model is exposed by how these countries have fared so far in the pandemic.

The federal model has some important strengths, and is necessary in a massive country like the US.

I'm saying there are more than two options. They're infinite.
In NZ and AFAIK elsewhere, health agencies are leading the response and not civil defence / emergency management agencies.

This is a huge mistake.

And it ties in with the federal vs unitary debate, too.
CD/EM agencies have solid LOCAL networks that can help citizens meet their wide ranging basic needs during and after a major emergency.

Health agencies don't. They are designed for "business as usual." They are also usually one of the least effective agencies in a government.
Health agencies have a very broad remit, and they can never meet the demand for services, because of factors unique to that industry.

So they become more bureaucratic and ignoring of individuals' actual needs. Esp for the disabled or other marginalized groups.
Also, health agencies are partially staffed by former clinicians, who bring the hierarchical paternalistic baggage of the medical field with them. The nursing field is no better, BTW. There's no consumer / patient focus, despite the PR they put out. So,
This all leans toward the recommendation that sub-units of a country eg states, provinces, or the 4 countries within the British nation should have maximum independence to run the pandemic response, because they are closer to the citizens.

When a governor, premier, or first minister bungles their response, it compromises national security. Nat Sec isn't just foreign policy or the military. It includes disasters, law enforcement, & all kinds of things. eg supply chains, telecomms etc. You can't wall off your state.
Changing the balance of power for times of emergency only, is fraught with problems. But I think there needs to be some movement on this issue.

AU PM Scott Morrison is too much of an idiot to realize he should have bullied NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian into acting earlier.
The outbreak in NSW was left to fester and even now the measures trying to limit harm are too weak to be effective.

It's going to worsen things for the rest of AU and all of NZ.

Berejiklian should not have been allowed to do this.
Similar things are happening in the US, best examples are TX and FL.

In other national security matters the country is not held to ransom by one idiotic governor.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding at the core of pandemic response in all 5 countries.
If our pandemic planning had been better, then existing local networks would have been empowered to fight for their own community and be more responsive to them.

It's just like what happened in WWII. Yes we eventually won, but we could have done so within 2 years.
We (our 5 countries) were not ready for WWII. Churchill had been trying to raise the alarm in public but no one listened to him. Like Biden, he had to clean up a mess left by his predecessor. And Churchill lost re-election in 1945, because people are fickle. He came back in 1951.
I'm heartbroken by all the Covid deaths that didn't need to happen. And the Long Covid cases, and kids with neuro damage, and all the various harms of the pandemic.

We have got to lift our game in future. That means every citizen doing all they can, incl. voting choices.
Don't settle for crappy political leaders. Hold them accountable. And, it means more than voting.

Scott Morrison in AU could have phoned Berejiklian in NSW daily about it... I'd have said to her at 48 hours that if you don't get moving before 72 hours I'll publicly shame you.
The way we tolerate cowardly leaders is perhaps our biggest problem.

You can tell a courageous leader by the unpopular things they do that are right for the country.

"All's fair in love and war." - John Lyly (1553-1606)

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9 Sep
Thread: I'm prolife and I agree with every word the VP says in this clip.

She refers to the law as it stands. If you want to make elective abortion illegal, you can seek a constitutional amendment. What TX did was wrong, including for the prolife movement itself.
Firstly, I love that a female VP is in office and can say these things at this time. Thank you to everyone who voted for Biden-Harris. You saved so many lives, and ensured the USA could start the long process of restoring democracy.
The abortion debate comes down to whether you support a woman's right to bodily autonomy, or the baby's right to same (incl 50% who are female.) I want to support both, but I can't. The issue forces us to choose the lesser of two evils. Like most of the big political issues do.
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These 5 WaPo headlines are an insight into the state of play in the US and the world right now. I discuss them below.

Summary: Our opponents are far right fascism AND our own complacency.
We're now seeing at least daily stories like that of the school principal physically confronted and threatened by a far right fascist MAGA cult parent just for doing his job.

These people are dangerous. They are domestic terrorists and we must use situational awareness 24/7.
I advise reviewing all your personal safety and security arrangements with this in mind.

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(1) 18hrs ago 6 innocents were seriously injured when an ISIS sympathizer stabbed them in a NZ supermarket. Police took out the terrorist. They were meant to watch him 24/7... the PM doesn't think they did anything wrong & won't say how many others are on a watchlist.

(2) I'm not criticizing the heroic rank and file NZ Police members who shot the terrorist, saving dozens of lives.

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3 Sep
(1) Thread: Another terrorist attack in NZ

This happened just a few hours ago at 2.40pm. It's 7pm now.

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>known to police and the courts as an ISIS supporter
>a Sri Lankan national who arrived in NZ in 2011
>on a watchlist since 2016

(3) I've said for years a jihadist attack was inevitable one day in NZ. Relieved no innocents died but the 6 injured are forever changed.

The first NZ terrorist attack in my lifetime was the far right fascist targeting of two mosques on March 15, 2019.

51 people killed.
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Please, Twitter, hire me to edit your draft headlines so you stop embarrassing yourselves concerning hurricanes.

It's not "another" storm. It's the same storm #Ida, after it's been a hurricane but is still a hazard until it is well clear of land.

#HWStormWatch #WxTwitter
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1. It's absent of punctuation. They use it in other headlines.

2. This causes confusion bc many people don't know how a post-TC is named.

3. Maybe it was deliberate, to generate clicks.
Imma assume it was an innocent mistake on the part of Twitter. Occam's Razor.

If it was deliberate, then it's one of many examples I've seen over the years where potentially saving lives is less important to them than Twitter marketing.
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I've always supported school choice initiatives on their merits, which can be substantial. But my ideal world would be one in which everyone chose to wear a mask where doing so supported the physical and mental health of others around them during a pandemic such as this.
Parents do not have total rights over the health choices for their children, even in the USA.

Making a school "mask optional" at this time would mean it is pointless for any child to wear one. They reduce the droplet spread from a Covid carrier to everyone else in the room.
A child's health status is not protected by that child wearing a mask. It is protected by OTHER children wearing a mask.

Any genuine concern about the breathing of the mask wearer can be dealt with separately. The issue is simple: Mask wearing slows the spread of Covid.
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