Archive for the ‘Main Blog’ Category

Revolution Everywhere

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Mass upheavals have been toppling corrupt rulers all over the world, proving that we the people still have the ultimate power. Unfortunately, whenever the glorious revolution does occur, all too often one evil tyrant will fall only to make way for the next.

What we’ve been missing is a key piece to the puzzle: how do we roll out a functioning democracy over top of an old, broken establishment. Lucky for us, this key to unlocking lasting democracy around the world is in the process of being made right now.

This tool, still embryonic, will be an open-source, upgradable system of people, mechanisms, technology and software that will constantly glean consensus from entire populations to develop better policies and rules of governance. so that we can hold our elected officials to the utmost accountability.

How exactly will this work? That is yet to come, but it will work with the instantaneousness of twitter, the self-governance of forums like reddit, the connectivity of Facebook, while being imbued with selflessness like Wikipedia. Politicians will know what their electorates want, and the people will be involved, knowing their voices are being heard, and watching their leaders respond accordingly.

This democracy-in-a-box will be something that can be implemented anywhere, for any size population – so that when the people rise up against injustice, instead of repeating the old cycle of inevitable hypocrisy, they have this system which can be put into effect and live forever free of tyranny.

It will take a group effort to make this happen, as it will really be a monumental accomplishment to create something of this magnitude. But it’s entirely possible and in many ways has already begun.

Drive-By Politics

Friday, April 5th, 2013

This week the US passed an emergency bill to avert the looming threat of sequestration. Tucked away in the 500+ page bill were several last-minute additions, one which dealt a pre-emptive strike against anti-gun legislation,  the other – dubbed the Monsanto bill – worked to limit restrictions on GMOs. These secretive laws were penned anonymously from behind closed doors unbeknownst to most of the senators who signed the bill into law.

A handful of politicians/corporate shills sneaking through undesirable laws, hidden by the fog of an urgent bill which was only made into an emergency by the institutionalized ineptitude known as the US political system.

Here in Canada, we face a similar tact by the conservative party. They take all their new laws and roll them up into a giant turd called an omnibus bill. By slow-feeding the media key talking points and ensuring all their party is on board, they get this growing ball rolling, gaining momentum up to the point when the deadline nears. Then, even though people will point out the many pieces of crap legislation being passed through without due discussion, the whole thing is moving with such inertia that no one is able to stop it lest they be covered in shit.

It’s ridiculous. This isn’t democracy. At least not as good as democracy can get. In the age of the Internet and social media, governance could be so much more than it is today. We could have way more transparency. Way more accountability.

The sad part is, every time government makes some baloney move that chips away at our individual freedoms and it goes by without an uproar from we the public, they gain power while we lose it.

And our silence is all the consent they need.

 

 

Epidemic of Silence

Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Why does it seem like people in positions of power are too scared to speak their minds? Is it the same reason the vast majority of us don’t always stand up for what is right? There are these tremendous tasks ready to be accomplished, yet no one seizes the reigns. Reigns which are just waiting there idle, well within anyone and everyone’s willing grasp.

I speak to these blights on our world which, if we had our shit together as a species, would have been eradicated decades ago. Extreme poverty. Mass starvation. A behemoth industry that profits off the very war it creates. This faux-democracy perpetuated by businesses and their puppets within the political system.

We cannot afford to wait.

Especially when millions of lives are hanging in the balance daily, and the only ingredient missing is enough people willing to take action. We have the resources. We have the know how. But we don’t yet have the get-off-our-assedness enough to breach the threshold.

Take modern warfare, as an example. It is completely unnecessary  It serves no purpose, other than charging entire nations billions of dollars to kill a high percentage of our fellow global citizens. We don’t need it in our world to survive. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite of what our world needs. Yet war, as so often is the case, remains absent from mind and mouths of the mainstream media, politicians, and most importantly – we the people. We know it’s wrong but we haven’t risen to the occasion and stopped it.

And speaking of war, the war on drugs is a proven failure which – thanks to conservative governance – we continue to pursue with greater ferocity than ever. What the hell, people? It’s like in the movies where a boulder or car is barrelling down from behind, and our only inclination is to run faster in the same direction when a step to either side would see our problems end.

The evidence is overwhelming. Making drugs illegal has done nothing to stem the harm they can cause society. If, on the other hand, drug prohibition is a means to institutionalize racism, reinforce poverty, and bolster a militarized domestic police force, then the war on drugs has been a resounding success.

But I digress. My point is that all of these institutionalized mistakes can be readily fixed, if only enough of us were to speak our minds. Just look at Women’s rights and minority rights. It works for them. And right now LGBT rights are at the crux of their struggle for same rights on Facebook and elsewhere. Plus, marijuana legalization is making some great headway.  All this happens because a big enough collective  of people found ways to share their voice.

It’s not that these injustices went unnoticed for generations. It’s that we regular people have been too scared to campaign against them with enough determination to make change. Only now, when for years just a handful of brave souls would dare to make noise, does the majority hop on board and then make what’s right become integrated into society as a whole.

Still, we have yet to reign in the banks, gain way more accountability over global corporations, clean up the collusion and corruption in the news media, end the war on drugs and then dismantle the whole war machine for good. And… oh yea, I’m gonna need us to go ahead and end world hunger while offering every human, at the very least, the most basic necessities for life. That’d be great.

These goals are quite clear. The sooner we get them done, the better. So what the hell are we waiting for?

Crashing America’s Military Drones

Friday, February 8th, 2013

3500 humans have been snuffed out since 2004 by unmanned US aircraft. Many of these were innocent civilians (children included) caught in the cross-hairs of a war machine run amok.

Even though Americans will not be made safer by manufacturing new generations of people to hate them, their government insists upon expanding the militarized drone program. They see it as the future of warfare – it’s faster, cheaper and offers less short-term risks than a boots on the ground war.

The US Defense Department doesn’t care that the program wont make Americans safer, for that’s not actually their objective. Instead, they work to protect their own job security, and the millions employed in their death-dealing business. Stir up the hornets nest, keep poking those bears. Anything to conjure up some fright-inducing yet easily subdued foes to scare up the US population. This way the billions and billions of taxpayer dollars keep rolling in while the war-profiteers can stay fat and happy atop the growing pile of bodies.

The ruling class of America don’t want any wars to stop, and drones offer a new frontier of ongoing bloodshed. Just watch the video above, as protesters expose the suffering inflicted upon fellow humans… the rest of the attendees kept their heads down, in silent shame.

You shouldn’t be able to just kill people with no due process – not on any just and civilized planet. They know it’s wrong, but they do it anyway. That’s why there is so much secrecy surrounding the drone program.

Were too many Americans to find out what their government is doing – engaging in long distance mass murder –  the outpourings of dissent might overcome the corrupting influence of an entrenched military industry. Then they will have no choice but to stop cease their crimes against humanity, and peace will gain a stronger foothold over our planet.

While this may be bad for those whose livelihoods depend upon ongoing conflicts, for the rest of us it will be awesome. So let’s keep working to make it happen. Be involved in the movement. Keep spreading awareness about the drone program and give support to others who do the same.

Wars have been on the decline for centuries. A few more years, with enough people involved, war as we know it will be done away with for good.

Doomsday Averted

Friday, December 21st, 2012

So it appears we wily humans managed to skirt disaster once again. Truly fortunate, seeing as how existing – as opposed to not – is pretty sweet.

For thousands of years humans have been predicting the end of the world. And you know what? None of them ever come true.

Well, it is a fact that all those people did eventually die. But life itself always finds a way to go on.

So even though at any given moment the world and every single one of us could be wiped out of existence in a flash – a reality of being alive as we know it – this persistent potential demise needn’t be feared.

Instead, embrace the impermanence of life so that every second alive is one cherished as precious. This way you’ll be ensured of getting the most out of your time here.

Israel Up to Same Old Atrocities

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

One of the world’s leading human rights violators – the State of Israel – is in the headlines once again, positioning their military along the Gaza border while murdering innocent Palestinian civilians.

And yet again we see the blatant double-standards in Western media coverage: “Israel has a right to defend themselves from the Palestine aggressors who’ve been launching hundreds of rockets.” Every time we hear about Israel bombing Gaza, the reporter always – ALWAYS – frames it as if Israel is ‘reacting’ to Hamas’ attacks.

It’s as if history conveniently goes back just to the point when Israel ceased their last attacks and the Palestinians hadn’t.  Always neglecting to point out how one side are firing makeshift bottle-rockets in the general vicinity of their targets (Palestine), while the other side uses state-of-the-art weaponry from one of the world’s biggest arsenals (Israel).

But never mind the fact that this battle is egregiously one-sided. It would be nice if the media were to at least acknowledge fault on both sides of the conflict, but we don’t even get that. Every single time, Israel is the good guy simply protecting itself and Palestine is the evil terrorist destroying the peace and threatening the world.

Some of this is due to Israel’s powerful PR campaign which has infiltrated much of the Western world. They’ve bought our support. Somehow we see them as victims and their enemies as bad. As well, it’s likely that there’s some inherent anti-Muslim sentiment tied up in there as well.

Cenk from the Young Turks offers an excellent analysis of this hypocrisy in the video released yesterday. It’s a little long, but well worth watching, especially if you’ve never been exposed to the alternate viewpoint that maybe the State of Israel isn’t exactly worthy of our support:

The best point that Cenk makes – one which so often gets ignored by the press – is that Israel simply refuses to make peace. They stifle the Palestinian’s peaceful attempts at diplomacy through the UN. They are unwilling to accept truces and ceasefires. They do not want the conflict to end.

See, Israel’s true agenda is expansion. For 70 years now, Jewish settlers have been stealing Palestinian land. They bulldoze Palestinian homes, burn their crops, bully their children, and forcefully evict them under the pretence of religious destiny.

And only under the fog of war – by having armed men fighting – can Israel continue to rob their neighbours of land without too much opposition from the International community. If Palestine was recognized by the UN as a state, or if Hamas militants stopped their acts of defiance, Israel would no longer have the pretence they need to further their institutional genocide.

So here’s the sad truth: even if Hamas were to stop firing rockets, it really wouldn’t matter. Israel would simply send their own troops into Gaza, disguise them as Palestinians, and have them fire upon their fellow Israelis. That way their necessary war stays perpetual, and Isreal’s illegal and immoral agenda remains on the table.

This leaves the only practical path to peace as a global awareness campaign. Once enough of the world’s people see Israel for what it is – a warmongering bully – international pressure will continue to mount against them. Then, just like with Apartheid in Africa, Israel will have to stop their campaign of wholesale racism and death if they wish to remain part of the modern world.

Time to Stand Up

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

CEOs from a handful of the world’s largest corporations have been meeting in secret, penning blueprints intended to tighten their stranglehold over our planet and further conform our species into complacent consumers.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – once ratified in under three DAYS TIME!!! – will give global businesses the means to supersede domestic law, imposing pro-corporate legislation on all complicit countries.

If you already know about the World Trade Organization and how they often bully smaller nations into accepting detrimental financial regulations desired by stronger nations, then you’ll recognize the TPP as a further extension of that same mechanism.

This corporate pact – the latest in an unending quest to privatize the world – ultimately seeks to strip regular people of power. Less ways to hold businesses accountable. Fewer means to challenge the authority of big money. All this, plus a fundamental erosion of democratic processes by global forces overpowering sovereign will.

So if you care about your freedom, if you want choice to be more than just an illusion, if you think that people should take priority over profits, then you need to take action. Do something, anything. Even if it’s just signing a petition.

The sooner enough of us stand up to our burgeoning oppressors, the sooner we can reclaim our destiny from the hands of the selfish few.

I’m Okay With Bronies Now

Monday, August 13th, 2012

If you’re the sort of person who frequents the outskirts of the Internet then there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled upon  the curiosity known as a Brony. If you haven’t, they’re the 16-34 year old male whose frightening devotion to the children’s cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic takes awkwardness to new heights.

And for the longest time – ever since I heard of Bronies on whatever cesspool of humanity’s website it was (4chan I’m looking at you!) – I just couldn’t accept them.

It seemed ludicrous, absurd even, for grown men to act like girls in preschool. Worse still, they wouldn’t just do it quietly. They had to be loud and in your face with it, begging for someone to give them the equivalent of a high-five, the bro-hoof /)

And perhaps most innervating was the apparent growth of the Brony population. It just wouldn’t go away. If anything, Bronies (and their female PegaSis counterparts) are more prevalent than ever before.

So, for the longest time, I stood beside the average teenage gamer and Youtube commenter, condoning the open ridicule and scorn of anything Pony related.

But then I had a moment of clarity. An epiphany, if you will.

These Bronies represent something that makes me feel awkward. It’s not about what they are doing… it was about how it made me feel – uncomfortable –  because no proper human male behaves as such.  And it was this realization – that my own indoctrination about acceptable social norms was prejudicing me – which exposed the fear-rooted negativity being roused by the Brony population.

Why can’t a man openly love a cartoon show about magic ponies and then gather frequently with other like-minded men to watch something that seems to be written for little girls? If it’s not hurting anyone, then there is no harm.

So now I can accept Bronies. I still don’t approve of their lifestyle choices. But it’s their choice and whatever they do will no longer evoke hateful emotions from me.

And if you yourself are a Brony, thank you for exposing me to my own prejudices and challenging me to expand my horizons. While you’re unlikely to get a bro-hoof back, at least you’ll no longer get a bro-slap.

Democracy is Working… in China!

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

Democracy is more than just voting for one figurehead or another every couple of years. It’s more than simply slapping some bumper sticker on your car or sticking some sign in your lawn. There’s more to democracy than what happens on election day and at the ballot box.

Real democracy is about taking issue with what’s most important to you. It’s about starting or joining a movement. It’s about getting people involved, out in the streets and on the interwebs, in big enough numbers to force change on to the political system itself.

The Arab Spring. The Occupy Movement. Even the Tea Party. All of these are fine examples of democracy in action where hundreds of thousands – even millions – of engaged individuals worked diligently towards a shared goal. And the best part is that they’ve all made a lasting impact on the world’s political system.

Now this very essence of democracy – this coordinated will to power by the masses – has sprouted up on the streets of China. Outraged at the prospect of a giant sewer running through their backyards, angry citizens clashed with police and rioted in the streets, offering a rare glimpse into China’s ripening revolution.

But here’s the kicker – the protests worked! Officials have scrapped their plans for a waste pipeline. Wow! If only the Quebec government was that quick to fold under pressure, student’s would have free tuition by now.

Here’s hoping for more protests in the days and years to come. Not just in China, but everywhere on earth as our world’s people comes together and rises up against the forces of injustice and inequality that have persisted for far too long.

Democracy for Hong Kong

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

When free markets and democracy get skewed by the power and influence of large business, we get the bastardized version of capitalism called corporatism. And when corporatism is allowed to run amok, the top 1% of 1% of the people consistently get richer and more powerful while everyone else systematically grows poorer.

Case and point, Hong Kong. Touted as one of the world’s freest markets, it is producing a record number of new millionaires. The formation of these newly rich comes at a heavy toll: the bulk of the Hong Kong people facing a 30 year high for income inequality.

Given that the corporate stranglehold over their government is set to tighten, they have little hope to reform their state using existing political channels. Any politician that rises to power will already be part of the corrupt game, and any real revolutionary figure would be weeded out well before taking a seat in office.

This leaves few options. One thing the people of Hong Kong could do is unite. By taking the streets, coordinating and mobilizing online, they could forge an entirely new democratic mechanism and channel the warranted angst from the vast majority of the people into tangible political clout. Only then will their voice be heard, and only then will they get the reform they desire.

What the Hong Kong people are going through serves as a microcosm for what the bulk of humanity is experiencing. Right now, powerful forces are subtley yet steadily stripping power away from the entire human race in order to widen their already mind-numbingly fat coffers.

For years now, every single one of us has been under threat of an impending corporatist plutocracy. Only with unity and solidarity will we have any hope to overthrow our billionaire overlords and their minions.

Fortunately, this is already happening. The world’s people are waking up. Slowly but surely, our global eyes are opening, allowing us to see ourselves for the first time. And one thing we will quickly learn is just how powerful we can be when we work together. After that, it’s just a matter of steering our species towards a more just civilization for all.