Archive for 2008

Victory in Iraq!!!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

A short video about how a small group profits from war when everyone else in the world loses. This video could be considered an addendum to the blog entry from two years ago called Bush Was
Right: Mission Accomplished
.

Cost of Iraq War

War Profiteers

Military Industrial Complex

End Of Starvation Blog

What Next For Us, Part 3

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Yes, its finally here! The final installment of the widely acclaimed series “What’s Next for Us?”

In this part, I talk about the 2 pitfalls that could prevent us from getting to this awesome future that awaits us.

One pitfall is extinction, where we all die. To avoid this, we need to get along as a species on a global scale, as one family sharing this earth.

The second pitfall is totalitarianism, where the system has total control over everything. To avoid this, we need to:

A: Empower the individual
B: Strip power from the system

Things that empower the individual are:
-Exercise
-Peace
-Love
-Knowledge
-Hope
As well as broader things like democracy, social services and accountable governments.

Things that empower the system (things we want less of) are:
-Violence
-Hate
-Ignorance
-Fear
As well as broader things like fear mongering, suppression of information and unaccountable governments.

Ultimately, we need to stop giving in to fear. We need to stop abandoning our rights and relinquishing our power to a system in exchange for the illusion of security.

Have hope, feel empowered and share these feelings with others. The future is going to be awesome.

Notes:
Yes, I say “Uh” about 1000 times. I will work on it.
Yes, I recognize the hypocrisy of spreading awareness of these two pitfalls can be considered fear-mongering.

Whats Next For Us, part 2

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Here is part 2 of my new video series. The goal of this series is to inspire hope by showing all of the amazing things that will be available to us in the near future (within 10 to 20 years).

A playlist to the issues I reference can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=A8009859BC5E349E

Whats Next For Us

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Here is Part 1 of my new vid:

There is annotations in this video, as well, but to see them you need to visit the video on youtube. Click here
to see it. You can also visit the playlist of reference videos here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=6C3A9DCACB1C0098

Obama Vs. McCain

Friday, May 9th, 2008

The US presidential election is not an example of real democracy in action.

The race for the Whitehouse is a dog and pony show that parades around a handful of rich people… rich people who will say and do whatever it takes to both stay in power and rise to higher positions.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because the news media will anxiously cover the entire process for years that it means anything. Sure, they enthusiastically report all the polls and scandals, and even take sides, but it doesn’t mean the US political system has any real gravitas.

No… these politicians will never have any real power, no matter how high up they rise. This is because, even though politicians are themselves rich, they usually have little money compared to those who fund them – billionaires and powerful groups like corporations.

The US political system only serves to create a buffer between the will of the people and the underlying power of the nation. This political system (as per many of the world’s systems) only gives the illusion of choice. The people are duped into thinking that by voting and campaigning that they are letting their voices be heard.

Sure, their voices may be heard to the point of getting a politician elected (or ousted), but it rarely goes beyond that. Real democracy is the voice of the people. When the voice of the people gets heard, the system will inevitably provide more for them.

This means that, to really be heard, Americans, just like people everywhere, need to stop waiting to for a politician to say the things that they agree with… and say it for themselves!

We all need to speak out on the issues that we care about.

Feel empowered! Exercise fearlessness! Speak out!

Marijuana March 08

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

On Saturday I had the pleasure of participating in the Calgary chapter of the International Marijuana March. The event is held annually to promote legalization of marijuana, and to spread information about the medicinal benefits of marijuana.

We rallied around a speaker who talked about the benefits of legalized marijuana.

These two were arrested for smoking pot.  They were taken away in hand cuffs.

We marched for several blocks downtown, shouting “Free the Weed” and “Smoke Pot!”.  There was a lot of weed being smoked.

The police presence was quite noticeable.  There was about 30 police officers, and about 500-700 activists.

The large majority of the people taking part in this March were teenagers and people in their early 20′s. While it is great to see youth involved in issues they care about, I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed in the turnout of an older generation – such as the parents of the kids who were taking part.

In Canada, marijuana is used regularly by 16.8% of the population (according to the 2007 World Drug Report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime) which is over 5.5 million people. Marijuana is smoked by Lawyers, Doctors, Teachers, Politicians… even those who enforce drug laws enjoy toking up.

Yet I didn’t see any of these people standing up and letting their voices be heard. None of them were speaking out against an unjust law that is keeping a relatively benign plant from being consumed legally.

Of course, this is Calgary which is a Conservative city, in Alberta which is a conservative province, so I suppose the turn out wasn’t that bad when that is considered. I imagine that Vancouver’s Marijuana March had a much different atmosphere.

Still, we need to speak out and FREE THE WEED.

Marijuana is a safe medication with countless benefits, and it is easily grown pretty much anywhere. But to make matters worse, the criminalization of marijuana is also stifling the hemp industry.

Hemp can be made into so many things that it is one of earth’s few superplants (see this short video). With the demand for biofuel on the rise, the time is nigh for hemp to be allowed back into the marketplace as an excellent source of ethanol.

Its time for our antiquated prohibition laws to be abolished, and for our criminal justice system to catch up to facts and face reality.

ZeitGeist

Friday, March 7th, 2008

This is a documentary that shakes the very foundations of society.

If only this movie could be summed up to a 30 second clip of a guy getting hit in the balls…. then it would be seen by enough people to effect change.

Information Should Be Free

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Information should be free.

Movies, books, magazines, software, news items, music, pictures… should all be made free and accessible to everyone in the world. With the exception of personal info (like our PIN numbers) and high-risk information (like a recipe for the Anthrax virus), anything that can be digitized and distributed via the net should be.

Now, you (or someone you know) might read this and say “but then how will the creators of said information be compensated?” The short answer is… they won’t. Not directly anyway.

But look at it this way… If information was free, you could have all of humanity’s knowledge at your fingertips, and all it would cost you is that you make free whatever information you create/discover in your life.

Wouldn’t you be better off with such a wealth of knowledge? Wouldn’t we all be better off? As one of the millions of Google users, I know that I’ve been enjoying the virtual omnipotence that it can provide.

Instead of progress being stifled by individuals (and corporations) hoarding information and protecting their intellectual property, we could share our information freely and expand our knowledge base at an accelerated pace. We need to abandon the paradigm of “us vs. the world”, because it is only holding us back from our true potential.

We are at a cross-roads where we will decide, as a species, if we want our information to be free, or if we want to let our information be controlled and regulated to protect the selfish interests of those who want to hoard everything for themselves.

Singularitarian

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Buddhism Vs Terrorism

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Given that terrorism is a persistent threat in our world, we could benefit from looking for effective ways to deal with it.

One response, which we can presently see being tried out with little success, is to lash out in the general direction that the terrorism comes from. But it would be irrational to believe that this could ever work against terrorism.

Terrorism does not come from one person or from one group, and this makes it impossible to target terrorism directly. Terrorism comes from ideas that condone hate, and hateful ideas are only reinforced by violence. This means that terrorism, once it exists, cannot effectively be decreased using violence. Like trying to cut the head off a hydra, you cannot kill a terrorist without creating several in their place.

So instead of wasting time and resources fighting terrorism, we should focus on eliminating some of the contributing factors to terrorism, like poverty and war. The fewer humans living in extreme poverty and/or living in a war zone, the fewer terrorists we will have in the future.

Still, we need to recognize that there may always be terrorism. Without a microchip in every one’s brain that checks for terrorist thoughts, there would be no way to stop all forms of terrorism.

Considering that most of us would like to keep being alive, it can be hard to learn to accept living with terrorism. This is where some Buddhist thoughts can help.

Embracing the notion of non-attachment and defenselessness can be effective ways to live with terrorism. When we no longer fear losing whatever we have to lose, we can be free to enjoy what we already have as well as what we will attain.

While this notion may seem absurd to one who’s never encountered such thoughts, practicing techniques to relinquish attachment and be defenseless – while still remaining hopeful and optimistic – can be extremely effective tools to fight the effects of terrorism.

If we don’t waste our time living in fear and squandering our resources protecting ourselves from mostly imaginary threats, we can devote our energy and resources towards positive and productive things. This way we can enjoy our lives fully until the day we die, which in all statistical probability, will near our average life expectancy.

Let us not worry about death from terrorism or anything else. Instead, let us focus on what we need to do to live our lives to the fullest.