Random thoughts 7

Taken directly from page 4 of the Thursday, January 4th edition of “Metro” (a free Vancouver newspaper):

Fee ruling top freedom of info story
The B.C. Supreme court’s ruling that extra school fees are illegal would not have come about without documents obtained through Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation. That decision topped a list of 2006 news stories based on FOI documents compiled by the Campaign for Open Government, which accuses the provincial government of blocking access to public information.

If we do in fact have an open and fair government, then why in the world do we have programs like Freedom of Information or the Campaign for Open Government? Obviously a group of people have something to hide, and in order to do so they’re passing laws to block that information from getting out to the public. But really, does the public care? I think they’re too busy watching reality TV and drinking on the weekends to care at all what the government is up to. If the people REALLY CARED, there would be massive protests, mobs, and maybe even lynching. More people would be doing more research that would lead to a lot of citizen’s arrests. But the majority of people here in the West really don’t care because we’ve been sold on the idea that we are the ultimate free people in the world, and to celebrate that freedom we have the choice to watch movies or TV shows, buy products that smell good (or make us smell good), and eat food that may or may not have come from a cow that was pumped full of steroids and then slaughtered in a germ-contaminated factory. I’ve spent time with people and listened to them talk about what’s important in their lives and seen large groups of people in bars, clubs and at festivals; they’re more interested in enjoying the freedoms that they have than fighting to keep the freedoms that are being legislated away by a tyrannical bunch in government whose long-term goal is to get rid of the lot of us.

Some of us are lazy. Some of us don’t care. People (like myself, for example) want to care, but we see the giant mountain of information to go through and we realize that it’s WAY too much of an effort when we could be out enjoying our freedoms like the majority of the population. In this day and age, with technology that makes almost everything instant, our attention spans have been shortened and made us irritable when the answer is not immediately presented. The sleuths and detectives of the old days are gone, replaced by a single news team that reports what information the government gives them, and all the other news teams take bits and sound bites from that single report and create numerous other reports that are all slightly different in format but all give the exact same message. Who do we trust? Which news agency tells the truth? One of the problems with this ‘pick-and-choose your product’ culture we live in is that choosing the type of news you want to hear is like choosing from the many types of candy bars on the shelves. It’s true that the vast majority of news outlets and media channels are owned by a small number of companies. Every time I hear a story on TV or read about one in the paper, my first thoughts are, “Which way are they spinning this story? What is their ultimate goal? How are they trying to make me feel? What person/place/thing are they wanting me to root for/against?” Facts are supposed to be told in the context of what actually happened, but when you start adding things to make the story go in a controlled direction to get the viewer to a certain conclusion, you’re no longer reporting the news…you’re releasing propaganda. When you’re trying to sway public opinion in your favour (or your boss’s favour), you’re doing deeds that Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels would be proud of.

If you’ve got spare time, please do yourself a favour and look for “Weapons of mass deception” (1 hour and 38 minutes) and “JFK II: The Bush connection” (1 hour and 30 minutes) on the Internet; if you’ve got some peer-to-peer file-sharing program, you can look for the videos there (that’s my ultimate recommendation). Some people are quick to dismiss alternative arguments as ‘conspiracy theories’ but why? If you’ve got questions, you should be listening to ALL arguments. However, the facts should remain intact in all these arguments. As long as you’ve got the facts, plain and clear, you can choose to listen to whoever/whatever source of information you want to, but don’t sit there asking the wall or your dog who shot JFK, find out for yourself (instead of believing that silly “Magic bullet theory” which may have fooled people in the 1960’s but is absolutely ludicrous now).

The tagline in the Lotto 649 advertisements is, “Always be nice to people who play Lotto 649”, which should transcribe to, “Always kiss the asses of those who may APPEAR to have more money than you, because faking nice to people who are/may be wealthier than you is something you’ll have to get used to later in life when the middle class is abolished and everyone becomes either rich (the elite of society: the bosses, the CEO’s, the managers and corporate heads) or poor (the slave portion of the state that serves the upper class).”

Maybe it’s just me being a crazy, paranoid, conspiracy nut, but could the reason for so many billions of dollars going into the making of movies and music and other forms of entertainment be to keep us all occupied, in the dark, or ‘asleep’? After all, we human beings (with our ever-expanding curiosity) are always looking for something to keep us busy and/or occupied. Do you wonder why so many millions of dollars are pumped into the advertising industry? Where does all that money come from? If we didn’t have celebrities to gossip about, movies to watch, or music to listen to, what would we turn our attention to? Politics? How we’re being governed by a select few? Could THAT be why the entertainment industry is a billion-upon-billion dollar industry? Or could it be that most of us aren’t interested in politics and therefore elect a certain few to do that sort of caring FOR us? Real democracy isn’t simply going out and voting for a new leader every few years; communities as a whole should make decisions on pressing issues that DEMAND attention, such as what to do with the homeless (instead of merely putting them into the back of a cop car and driving them out of the city, as some allegedly have done in the GVRD). People nowadays don’t want to be bothered with politics, either because it’s too boring or it would take too much time out of their lives and they just want to enjoy the time they have on this planet and not be surrounded by paperwork or be stressed by decisions that could shape society as a whole. They just want to enjoy the luxuries of technology that have been afforded to them, and there’s nothing wrong with that…BUT the problems in society that they choose to ignore and let someone else deal with will only concern them when those problems begin to affect THEIR way of life (e.g. the high price of gasoline, your child fighting a war in Iraq, having your store being broken into and ransacked because you sell French’s mustard, etc, etc).

Today (January 25th, 2007) I read that Wal-mart is agreeing to pay (probably to avoid a lawsuit, the cheap bastards) thousands of employees the overtime that had not been previously paid (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2546343620070126). Is there ANYONE out there who still believes Wal-mart is a good company to buy from (or be employed by)? One of the arguments voiced by people who don’t want a Wal-mart in their community is that “it kills small businesses.” Could it be that the people have a choice, and they CHOOSE to go to Wal-mart because of the low prices? Perhaps, but that’s the fault of the people, not Wal-mart. However, the quality of goods at Wal-mart is (in my opinion) far below that of a ‘Mom and Pop’ store. Better quality means paying more money; that’s how it is. In my humble opinion, Wal-mart sucks, and you can read similar opinions here. Also, if you can find the following videos, please watch them:

Wal-mart: The high cost of low price (2005)
Store wars: When Wal-mart comes to town (2001)

Why is Wal-mart against unions? http://wakeupwalmart.com/facts/#Wal-Mart%20Anti-Union%20Policy Decisions like those should be in the hands of the people, but big business doesn’t seem to think so.

Quoting the front-page story of the February 1st, 2007 edition of the “Metro” newspaper (headline: “B.C. seizes 3 sextuplets”):

B.C. government social workers seized three of four surviving sextuplets on the weekend so they could receive blood transfusions over the parents’ religious objections and Supreme Court of Canada precedent, the family’s lawyer says.
But the province abruptly handed control of the infants back to the parents yesterday when they challenged the seizure in court. CBC News online has reported that two blood transfusions were performed before the infants were returned.
The parents, who cannot be identified under a court-ordered publication ban, are Jehovah’s Witnesses whose beliefs forbid blood transfusions, even to save a life.
…Lawyer Shane Brady said the parents did not oppose “mainstream” medical treatment. But they expressly ruled out blood transfusions, indicating they wanted to seek medical alternatives.

I thought it was a good idea that the government stepped in after two of the sextuplets died. But then they give the kids back when the parents challenge them in court? I’m sure the government has enough lawyers on their side to twist the language of the law to their benefit to keep the kids out of the hands of these J.W.’s. I’m not opposed to Jehovah Witnesses, but if these kids had not received blood transfusions and they died, I hope it would have opened the eyes of those religious nutbags who should have realized that the reason for science is not to defy religion, but to aid the human race when it comes to keeping people ALIVE. Have your religion, that’s fine, but what’s the problem in educating yourself in the ways of medicine and science? If religious folks will have no problem reading up on the benefits of scientific procedures that go against the beliefs of their religion, then I will read a Bible as a trade-off. If your religious beliefs are so important that you’re willing to let a human being die, then you are not thinking as a human being in the 21st century should, and you should therefore be charged with a crime that fits the punishment. Now, bringing prostitutes out to your pig farm, slaying them, feeding them to your pigs, leaving DNA evidence all over the damn place and then DENYING it….that’s just plain silly!

From the same edition of the “Metro” newspaper: on page 10 there is a picture of a pregnant woman wearing a Chicago Bears jersey and the words “uBid.com” painted onto her exposed midsection. I believe that when we donate any part of our bodies to the evils of advertising, we have reached the bottom of the barrel. I can remember listening to 99.3 The Fox one day and hearing of a woman naming her child something silly in order to get FREE TICKETS TO SEE THE ROLLING STONES (when they came to Vancouver in 2006). These people are SAD individuals. Who else out there has stories of this nature? Reality TV not withstanding, have we in the free world completely lost our sense of decency?

I had watched many news broadcasts concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but never understood why those two groups were fighting. If you’re in the same boat, you should watch the film “Peace, propaganda, and the promised land”:
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-6604775898578139565&q=peace%2C+propaganda%2C+promised+land

I had read somewhere that linking is illegal in Australia; along with ‘Net neutrality’, this is the dumbest thing that old codgers who don’t know the true nature of the Internet have come up with (so far). Since I can’t find the article, here’s a related article on linking: http://www.cybertelecom.org/ip/link.htm

“Only you can prevent forest fires”…from starting; once they’ve started, however, it’s out of your hands unless you happen to be sporting a high-powered fire hose and thousands of gallons of water. It’s probably better for both you and nature (in the long run) that you leave your silly-assed ideas of camping at home while lying in your barca lounger.

Another great place that you’ll find hordes of stupid people (besides malls, in cars on the road, and tourist traps) is COSTCO. Grab a shopping cart and let the adventure begin! Here are some of the warning signs:

– The stupid person in question will suddenly stop pushing their cart in the middle of a busy walkway, LEAVE IT WHERE IT IS, and wander off to the side to look at an item.
– They will suddenly change their direction 180 degrees and give you the “What do you think you’re doing” look when they crash into you.
– Their direction changes multiple times in the course of their travel, and they end up blocking you and/or many people off from getting to where you and/or many people have to go because the stupid person in question is not aware of what is in the immediate environment (the ‘what’ being MANY PEOPLE!).
– The stupid people will fill their shopping carts, bring them to the check-out counter, and begin pulling out items (to discard) that they all-the-sudden cannot afford.
– In the parking lot, they will drive/park where yellow paint CLEARLY DENOTES THAT THERE IS NO DRIVING/PARKING IN THAT AREA (specifically in the immediate area preceding the outside storage of the shopping carts).
– In the parking lot, they will stop/park in the alleys between the parked cars and wait (sometimes up to five minutes) for another person to empty the contents of their shopping cart into their vehicle and drive away, merely to get a parking spot that is as close as possible to the building’s entrance (because walking any sort of distance is just a ridiculous notion even though they could have parked further away, walked in, shopped, and walked out to their vehicle in the same time that it would have taken to wait for a parking spot closer to the entrance).
– The stupid people will stop pushing their full shopping carts and cross in-between the massive traffic of other shoppers in the main aisle to get to the other side in order to reward themselves with a tiny morsel of food that’s being handed out for free (instead of continuing on to the check-out counter to pay for their BULK FOOD THAT THEY CAN TAKE OUTSIDE AND STUFF THEIR STUPID FACES WITH).
– Stupid parents will let their stupid children run amok and then give YOU dirty looks for almost hitting the stupid children with your shopping cart.

Costco may not be the only place where acts of idiocy like this may be observed, but in such a large place where the consumption of massive amounts of items is encouraged by low prices, I believe this company will eventually harness a greater amount of morons, tumbleweeds, and pie plates than any other large chain-store. Feel free to add your own stories to the comments section.

I predict that, by the year 2050, one out of every four people in North America will have been tasered by law enforcement due to violation of minor offences upheld by Draconian laws (‘Draconian’ meaning heavy punishments given out for breaking small offences). There’s a scene in Aaron Russo’s “America: Freedom to Fascism” where a woman is tasered twice because her driver’s license has expired! Once she had received the effects of one taser shot, she was on the ground, unable to move. The officer then told her to place her hands behind her back. She was unable to do so because she had been TASERED! In that particular case, I think the police officer had resorted to extreme measures and I do not believe he was doing his job properly (the term ‘over-excessive force’ might be appropriate here); in my opinion, the man should have been fired. He’s a police officer who appeared to be completely sober and was SUPPOSED to take control of the situation in a responsible manner. Tasering a woman because she was driving with an expired driver’s license is an act of irresponsibility, and it would not surprise me that more of these kinds of incidents might occur in the future. Take care of yourselves out there, and if you ever find yourself in a situation with a police officer that you feel might be going out of control, remember these few steps:

– Talk to the officer calmly and speak clearly,
– Keep your hands where he/she can see them,
– DO NOT make any sudden moves; instead, ask permission (e.g., “May I reach into my left pants pocket and retrieve a piece of identification for you to see?”),
– Look the officer directly in the eyes and do not look away,
– If possible, have a witness (or two or four) with you so that if something DOES happen and you are injured/attacked/killed by the officer, there will be witnesses to testify to exactly what happened (remember that an officer’s word is ALWAYS taken before a civilian’s in court because the officer is viewed as ‘upholding the law’ and is therefore seen as more credible).

Take care, and be careful.

Check out this story from The Vancouver Sun (this was the headlining story on February 14th, 2007):
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=6a004230-e626-4ef0-8fe8-666ac9a3dfc5

“‘If you have an open wireless system across the city, as a bad guy I could sit on a bus with a laptop and do global crime,’ Fenton explained. ‘It would be virtually impossible to find me.’”

What all that means is: ANYONE WHO HAS A LAPTOP HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE A TERRORIST. It wouldn’t surprise me if cops started checking out people’s laptops in public because of this. And I wouldn’t doubt that laptop use would be banned (or at the very least, restricted) the closer the day to the opening of the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver. I see this as just one more way of restricting our freedoms. Another big one will be reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the ozone, which means that YOU CAN’T DRIVE YOUR CAR! They’ll use crafty language to explain that we should all get used to public transit, thus reducing our freedom of travel. So if we can’t access the internet from absolutely anywhere we want and we can’t drive anywhere we want, what will they restrict next: the number of news organizations in circulation, how late we can stay out on evenings/weekends, what programs we can watch on TV, where we can go in our spare time, etc. Is “1984” becoming a reality or what?

What would you think if it was revealed that there was a ‘North American Union’ in the making? This means that the borders between the U.S. and Canada, and the U.S. and Mexico, would be erased. Please be advised that this is NOT a conspiracy theory. This is being discussed behind closed doors and the public is not supposed to know about it; but not all human beings can keep a secret (hence, some people know). By the way, the guise for this idea is that it’s supposed to increase trade between the three countries. Isn’t that what NAFTA was all about? And what the hell prevents these three countries from doing more trade than they already are? I’ve heard that Canada and the U.S. do about a billion dollars worth of business each day. Now, if the word ‘business’ could be clearly defined, we might have an idea of why so much money is being transacted between these two countries on a daily basis.

Did you know that just after World War 2, the United States captured (employed) hundreds of German scientists (some of whom created the V-2 rocket, including Werner Von Braun) to aid the U.S. in the Space Race with Russia in the 1940’s and 50’s? German scientists, some of whom had performed ghastly experiments on the Jewish population (and let’s face it: most of the medical advances in biology and the human body were made at that time because the Nazis were experimenting with live human beings that they had rounded up), were inside the United States, a country that was FIGHTING Germany in World War 2! It’s been said that the Bush family fortune spawned from Prescott Bush (the grandfather of George W. Bush) receiving 1.5 million dollars in compensation from the dissolving of the Union Banking Corporation (UBC) in 1951 (Prescott was on the board of directors and held a share in the corporation). UBC was doing business transactions for profit with Nazi Germany even after President Roosevelt signed the “Trading with the enemy Act in 1941 (the assets of UBC were seized on October 20th, 1942, and returned when the war ended). So Prescott Bush (along with many others at Brown Brothers Harriman) helped to finance the Nazis, and they were not charged or put in jail for it (even after the publication of the horrible atrocities that the Nazis committed). And the U.S. was using German scientists to keep up with the Russians in the Space Race (which was just a big dick-waving contest to see who could say, “Ha ha, I put a satellite/rocket/dog/man into outer space/on the moon first! Ha ha!”). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prescott_Bush#Bush_and_the_Union_Banking_Corporation

For those of you who may read this and think I’m too pessimistic, it would do you well to keep in mind that if you want to make the world a better place, you’ve got to see what’s wrong with it. The truth may hurt, but many have been killed for trying to tell the truth. One must get their hands dirty in order to make the place clean.

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