Archive for August, 2006

The Death of Economic Materialism

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

unknown soldier

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Canada has troops in Afghanistan fighting for, according to the government’s Canada-Afghanistan web page, to “defend our national interests, ensure Canadian leadership in world affairs, and help Afghanistan rebuild”. But it seems to me its really about promoting democracy via the barrel of a gun, by fighting and dying to install leaders whose interests coincide with the Canadian leader’s interests.

Whatever the goals, as Canadians, we get to hear about the costs. Our news media covers the death of each solider, each family left behind, every funeral… every story. Our nation mourns our fallen soldiers.

Does the US news media cover their fallen soldiers? I don’t know, for I’m not exposed to enough US news to say for sure. But if can base my opinion on hearsay and conjecture, they don’t. And I can see why. The thousands who have died would mean Americans hearing about dead US soldiers nearly every single day. Covering up the truth, covering up the loss, is a way to try to keep the support of the US population by keeping them blind to the real costs of war.

If more people see the real costs of war, the support for war will shrink. That’s why our media should tell us, everyday, the total numbers of innocent men, women and children, as well as soldiers, whose lives are lost, no matter which side of the war they are on.

If the real costs of war are shown to us every single day, we might be less inclined to support war, and more inclined to find alternatives to solving our problems.

unAmerican

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Some of the ideas presented here, such as those that criticize the American political system, could be called unAmerican (especially by someone from Fox). Well, for starters, I am Canadian (if the .ca domain wasn’t a give away) so all of my comments are Canadian, if nationality really means anything.

Also, please understand that when I criticize the US, I am not against the US citizens, even those with opposing points of view. Most Americans are humans who have had no choice but to be raised in America, and to become Americans, just as Canadian children have little choice but to be Canadian.

Someone might say that Americans should only listen to Americans, and I should just shut my Canadian yap. If it were Portugal, or Yemen, or any other country, I might agree, but the United States is a rogue superpower. The US has the most powerful military force in the world combined with a war-loving government. So it is of interest to every human on earth to pay attention to US politics.

And, since the Internet can reach people everywhere including Americans, it is important to use any peaceful means available to share these ideas with them. For it is up to the American people to rise up and get their country back under control, to stop its crimes against humanity, and to use its great wealth and power to make the world a better place to live.

So, to any American that may be reading, know this:

Americans who criticize the US government are being patriotic because dissent is a way of protecting the country when the government’s actions are hurting America.

News Media = Al Qaeda

Monday, August 21st, 2006

A terrorist is someone who uses violence or the threat of violence against the public to further their own agenda. When one thinks of a terrorist, it is easy to picture a radical ideologue making a martyr of themselves in a crowded place, which creates an immediate increase in terror due to the violence caused by blowing one’s self up.

However, the lasting effects of such terrorist acts – a heightened state of fear in the minds of the population- is the purpose of terrorism. Instilling a lasting fear is what they do… and these effects are just as significant as the actual act of taking innocent lives, perhaps even more so to those whose lives are not touched directly by the people who are killed.

When a politician uses references to terrorism and terrorist acts, like when they say ‘In this post-9/11 world’, they are using fear to further their own agenda. When it comes to politicians, their agenda is almost always to maintain and gain power, and they do so by scaring the population so that they give up some of theirs.

The mere threat posed by an insecure world is often enough for some people to abandon their rights and liberties, and this power can be acquired by the politicians and used for whatever they want (including policies that make the world even less secure).

Just like the terrorists, some politicians instill an lasting sense of fear into the population in order to further their own agenda.

Even worse is the corporate news media. Except for the weather, the sports, and the occasional “feel-good” piece, the news is always bad news… death, demise, debauchery. Chaos and uncertainty… except the certainty of knowing one will be getting a solid dose of FEAR.

Part of the media’s agenda is to capture the viewers attention, and the news media accomplishes this via sensationalism and fear. By inducing a heightened state of fear, the viewer will be both more inclined to tune in later, to see if the coast is clear and all is safe. But it never will be… the shadow of fear can never be cleared as long as their agenda remains the same.

Just like the terrorists, the news media instills a lasting sense of fear into the population in order to further their own agenda.

Make a note of this:

Politicians and the news media, just like terrorist organizations, use fear to further their own agendas.

 

Q: Why are they not being punished? Q: Why are politicians and the news media not being labeled as the terrorists that they are?

A: The same reason why many people will have trouble accepting the aforementioned statement: because we are taught (read:indoctrinated) to trust our politicians and the media.

Both politicians and the members of the media can be like any other human – selfish and greedy- and they have no real reason to have anything but the most thinly veiled pretext of concern when it comes to the population that they rely upon.

What’s worse is how politicians and the news media will even work together to compound their fear inducing tactics, with our political leaders telling us their distorted versions of the truth, and having all the news personnel, who, like mindless parrots, repeat what they are told without verifying the integrity of what they are saying.

It is up to those who see how our fears are being exploited to stand up and let our voices be heard. We need to speak out against corrupt, self-serving politicians and the fear-mongering corporate news media.

If we can gain enough support, we can start to restructure the way we receive news, so that unnecessary fear is not the norm. Once the media’s shadow of fear lifted, we can go on to reform our political system into one where peace and justice and the plight of the masses takes precedence over the interests of the elite minority.

Doomsday Called Off

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

The 2005 CBC documentary Doomsday Called Off presents arguments from a number people from the scientific community who claim that global warming is not a human-made phenomenon, nor will it result in the catastrophes that the global warming activists predict. Along with these scientists, some members of the media and the government (including the oil industry’s buddy – the Bush administration) claim that the facts about global warming are not happening.

Al Gore’s recent movie An Inconvenient Truth presents arguments that foretell the demise of millions of people due to the climate change caused by our emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Along with Gore, countless other activists have been beating the drums of global warming for years, and it is finally getting some serious mainstream attention.

Up until now, I’ve been leaning towards the activist side of the debate, believing that our tiny atmosphere would be no match for humanity’s wrath… but now I’m not so sure.

The debate is not whether or not the earth is getting hotter…the debate is about what is causing the increase in temperature. It is undeniable that the earth is indeed warming. 2005 was the hottest year on meteorological record, which dates back to the 1800′s (or so). But what is the root cause of this increase?

Since the start of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels have risen steadily, and so has the temperature of the earth. Carbon dioxide, being a greenhouse gas, will increase the temperature of the earth when it is in the atmosphere. So it makes sense to associate our pollution with the increase in temperature.

However, recent research has been done to measure what the temperature of the earth was over the past several thousand years. A variety of these tests have been devised, using things like ice-core samples from Antarctica, to carbon-14 dating of peat bogs, and various other techniques, and they have shown that the warming our earth is experiencing is part of a natural warming trend, and not the result of humankind’s C02 emissions.

So, if these scientists are correct, and the earth’s warming is just the result of a normal warming trend, it would explain why the earth is getting hotter, and also explain a lot of the symptoms we are seeing, like more hurricanes, and the ice-caps melting, all without the need to blame humanity’s wretched machines. Of course, even if this is true, we should still look into conservation of fossil fuels, and research into alternative sources of energy.

As I’ve previously stated, I am still unsure as to what I should believe… I will have to do more research and keep an open mind.

One thing I do know is that a source of fear is also a source of power. The media gains power by making us afraid, and our earth undergoing a catastrophic climate change provides them with an ample source of terror. Activists and alarmists can gain power by making people afraid and then providing solutions. Politicians use hot button issues to rally support, helping them to further their politcal careers.

In the end, even if global warming proves to be a false alarm, the threat of it will be exploited so much that we will take precautions anyway.

America the Cruel

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

I had the pleasure of talking to a young American a few weeks ago about life in his town in Virginia. He talked about how everyone is segregated racially, how people are very hostile, how there is a tension in the air, and how people are generally much meaner than they are in Canada. What occurred to me was something I hadn’t really thought of before.

Why, in a country of such wealth and power, do the citizens behave like that?

One answer is that the United States is an imperialist country. Let me explain.

When a dog owner wants the dog to be a mean, ruthless and vicious killing machine, he has to beat the dog, starve the dog, tease it and torment it. And by doing so, the owner will bring out the worst in the dog, making a mean-tempered, killer animal.

In a similar fashion, the US system tortures its own citizens. Even though it is the wealthiest nation in the world, its people are left to starve, to suffer, to struggle and to die. This keeps them on edge, making them more ruthless, bringing out the worst in them, and making them ready to fight. The US tortures its own people in order to breed the warriors it needs to fight in its wars and to operate the war machine.

Therein lies a catch-22 of war: war creates more war. For without war, the money spent on war could go to dramatically increase domestic social services. This surplus could help to take away some of the root causes of people being angry and war-mongering. Plus, some of this money could be spent on foreign aid, thereby decreasing threats from external attacks.

This solution is simple, and would probably work. Implementing the solution, however, is not so simple. It would require the solidarity of a large percentage of the US population… a population that is segregated and hostile due to its own establishment.

In my previous post, didn’t I say I would be spreading optimism and hope? Damn. Well, I supposed we need to understand the problems before we try to fix them.

I’m baaaaaaaack!

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

Hey! I’m back, and to some good news even… a ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel, HIV medications for millions of Africans in need, and a judge has deemed the US domestic wiretapping to be unconstitutional.

Still, as always, we face the ever-increasing threat of the concentration of wealth and power into the hands of fewer and fewer, be it corporation, government, or other institution, and all of the negative consequences, like starvation, unfair legislation, extreme poverty, war, and the preservation of a system that allows for all of these things.

So, visit here often for my philosophical and political insights into goings on in the world. I’ll be sure to update this blog frequently, and I will do my best to remain optimistic and to inspire hope for a better future.

I’m baaaaaaaack!

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

Hey! I’m back, and to some good news even… a ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel, HIV medications for millions of Africans in need, and a judge has deemed the US domestic wiretapping to be unconstitutional.

Still, as always, we face the ever-increasing threat of the concentration of wealth and power into the hands of fewer and fewer, be it corporation, government, or other institution, and all of the negative consequences, like starvation, unfair legislation, extreme poverty, war, and the preservation of a system that allows for all of these things.

So, visit here often for my philosophical and political insights into goings on in the world. I’ll be sure to update this blog frequently, and I will do my best to remain optimistic and to inspire hope for a better future.