Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bitcoin's importance explained

Here's a good explanation of Bitcoin and its relation to 'real' money:

http://original.antiwar.com/Nozomi_Hayase/2014/10/08/bitcoin-rises-in-the-death-throes-of-empire/

Obviously any government issuing money does not want Bitcoin to succeed, and that explains why we peasants always hear negative things about Bitcoin from 'official' sources.

The key element of Bitcoin is its independence from government influence and the ability to verify/thwart counterfeiting attempts.  It cannot eliminate crooks, but at least you would know when something has been stolen.

Canadian Government regularly violates the laws of Canada

This article states that our current Canadian government is regularly in violation of international treaties to which Canada has subscribed dealing with privacy rights.


https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/15/un-investigator-report-condemns-mass-surveillance/

And silly me used to think we were a nation subject to the rule of its laws.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

9/11 Scorecard, again

Here's a good summary of the effects of the 9/11 events on the western world:

http://www.unz.com/proberts/911-after-13-years/

and for further consideration:

http://original.antiwar.com/lucy/2014/09/12/never-learn-anything-from-911/

I'm struck by the level of ignorance, incompetence, greed, malevolence, willful blindness, political opportunism, and savagery that has been displayed by our governments in response to the 9/11 incident.

I am saddened by the degree to which our rights to privacy, freedom of association, free speech, freedom of movement, and basic rule of law have been subverted in the name of keeping us safe from the people whose resources and countries the west has been violently pillaging for over a century.

I despair over the opportunity costs that are associated with our governments' actions.  Canada has spent over $22 billion on its Afghanistan debacle.  That money could have been spent on medical research to eliminate things like malaria, leprosy, or even ebola.  It could have been used to create refineries so that the tar sands oil profits would stay within Canada and our energy independence assured for the relatively near future.  So many opportunities lost, along with our vaunted military capabilities that were dumped into the Afghan deserts.

We are behaving like stupid serfs inside an American empire.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Finally, some rational thinking about the Middle East ...

... and it is not uplifting:

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/07/22/beautiful_dream_of_israel_has_become_a_nightmare.html

Why is it that none of the loudmouth politicians/leaders who open their blood-stained mouths to justify their actions can see things as clearly as the author of the article above?

Perhaps they do ...

 ... and that is truly terrifying!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Your government is giving your country away to foreign corporations

Check out this article:

http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Global-Action/Scholars-Speak-Out-Against-Troubling-Corporate-Courts-ISDS-in-TTIP

If the TIPP is signed in its current form, citizens will have no control over their own country's laws, assets, or resources but will be left to take care of all the residual damage that industries inflict on the lands in which they operate.

Wow!

Friday, July 18, 2014

John Hubbard, musician, RIP

I just learned of the death of one of my friends from Hong Kong, John Hubbard.  Here's one article:

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/article/1502519/blue-notes-robin-lynam

John was a great player who was also instrumental in the formation of The Discovery Bay Jazz Band (1996-1998) and introduced me to many of Hong Kong's finest players and its musical 'culture'.

I'll miss him.

Here's a pik of him with his Victoria Jazz Band at Grappa's Cellar in Hong Kong, Nov 2, 2011 when we revisited there.  Click on it to see it - in its full, grainy glory.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Chomsky clarifies the Snowden effect

Noam Chomsky reflects on what has been revealed by the Snowden documents.

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/24071-noam-chomsky-edward-snowden-the-worlds-most-wanted-criminal

Does anyone still believe that their government is working for the good of the little man?

What was won in Iraq?

Here is one version which resonates with me:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/05/23/iraq-the-biggest-petroleum-heist-in-history/

Big oil would seem to have a lot to answer for, according to this author.  I submit the same forces are driving many other foreign policy initiatives of the so-called western world.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The end of the republic?

If this is the case in the US, can Canada be far behind?

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/05/13/the-american-republic-is-dead/

Harper's boys have been only to happy to do everything that the US says and does so far, and I cannot conceive of them showing any restraint on his government's power grabs at this stage of the game.  Far too much money and resources still to be given to the corporations.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Another loss of our privacy, ...

... this time to the private sector that then sells the info to the government and police, and ANYBODY ELSE WHO PAYS.  Read on:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/03/17/1756license-plate-tracking-database/

Here is how the ACLU sees this technology being marketed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZTWOL_U-OMg

It's nice to know that someone cares about what I'm doing, have done, and might do. 


Monday, February 24, 2014

Cancer harm is caused by doctors diagnosing it!

That remarkable conclusion is the sort of thing that results when people accept the reasoning described in the following article:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/21/judge-tosses-muslim-spying-suit-nypd-saying-damages-caused-reporters-exposed/

Similarly, I suppose that someone embezzling your money causes you no harm until you become aware of the fact that the cash is gone.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

More about our governments' love of free expression

Just in case you ever thought that our governments welcome debate and discussion, here's an article about recent activities designed to shield us from knowledge about the activities undertaken by taxpayer-funded organizations that claim to be working for our good:

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/02/18/snowden-docs-reveal-covert-surveillance-and-pressure-tactics-aimed-at-wikileaks-and-its-supporters/

A subtle thug is still a thug.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

So here's how the first free trade thingy (NAFTA) panned out ...

for Canada and for workers:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/21370-the-workers-scorecard-on-nafta

Wow!  Who would have guessed that the only beneficiaries of NAFTA would be corporations?  I bet that won't happen when the next pair of secretly negotiated free trade agreements kick in.

Your government working on your behalf (NOT!!!!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Free Trade Pacts turn over your country to corporations

The secret negotiations being conducted wrt free trade agreements always contain what is called "investor-state" provisions which effectively mean that corporations can override any laws or regulations in any country if they might limit that corporation's possible profits.

Details are in this article:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/10/another-reason-hate-tpp-it-gives-big-content-new-tools-undermine-sane-digital


Some inconvenient truths about the west's involvement in Iraq

Here's a summary of what Iraq has experienced under the benevolence of the American influenced world.  Read it and be proud:

http://www.unz.com/article/the-american-legacy-in-iraq/

Canada did all it could to support this barbarity at the time, and still does to this day.  My tax dollars at work.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The usefulness of our military in Afghanistan...

has been summed up in this article:

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/after-12-years-390bn-and-countless-dead-we-leave-poverty-fraud-and-the-taliban-in-afghanistan/

which reveals that the only thing that happened was we got to call our soldiers heroes for spending all that money to destroy an already destroyed country.  Hurray!!!  Bring on the drug lords.

Meanwhile, our own first nations do not have adequate drinking water, education or housing.  I guess the money wasted in Afghanistan would not have made any difference here at home.

Why do our politicians we not demand answers which explain why this happened?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Chris Hedges muses on the America that recently been revealed to us all

Some ideas worth considering

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/21052-chris-hedges-the-last-gasp-of-american-democracy

The same tendencies exist in Canada, Britain and most other former so-called liberal democracies in the world.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The insanity of the war on terror

Here is an article reacting to the recent LAX murder:

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/lax-shooting-not-a-random-event-110113

The extract below struck me as instructive:
 
"There is nothing "random" at all. We have chosen insanity over reason. We have done it with our eyes open. It is time for me to walk out of the airport now. I am leaving behind a terrible event. But I am not leaving behind something accidental. I am leaving behind what America has determined must happen from time to time, if we are to be a free people. I am leaving behind what America has determined is part of the cost of being an American. I am leaving behind the blood that I am told I must accept as part of the price of being a member of a free society. I am leaving behind a place of death, and I am joining my fellow citizens, as we make an odd pilgrimage out of a place that is now another altar of the blood sacrifice that I am told we must make, regularly, in order to be truly free. I am a free citizen, I am told, of the Republic of Murder, my rights guaranteed by the Constitution of Moloch."
 
Considering the trillions of dollars wasted on the war on terror over the last decade or so, why would the US not direct that money to solving the problem of gun deaths in the USA?  Certainly thousands more Americans are dead as a result of Americans 'randomly' shooting Americans than from any actual terrorists attacks.  Why are these dead people not given the same respect as the 9/11 victims?  Why has the US government taken away everyone's freedoms - the right to privacy, due process, habeus corpus, freedom from arbitrary arrest, search, seizure and even torture etc., etc.,  - in the futile attempt to reduce terrorist attacks, and yet they will not restrict anyone's right to bear arms inside the USA?

Pierce's article also reveals the depradation of the American love of freedom, when he doesn't even recognize the irony when he claims: "I am leaving behind the blood that I am told I must accept as part of the price of being a member of a free society."
 
You are no longer a member of a free society, Charles, you are living in the USA in 2013.
 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Here's why you cannot always trust the news you see, hear or read.

This little article is an important exposé of the shadowy censorship under which we all live:

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/19759-wikileaks-mediastan-the-true-fifth-estate-bringing-the-first-amendment-to-the-world

The whole story is often never exposed, trivialities occupy the front page, and gross obscenities are hidden from view.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Our Government is breaking our laws

Consider this analysis of our Treaty obligations wrt spying, and we can only conclude that our government is carrying out illegal operations.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/10/martin_scheinin_u_s_u_k_surveillance_programs_violate_iccpr.html

The persecution of whistleblowers by government seems like Al Capone knocking off rival gang members.

Do you still believe in the rule of law or is the government free of such passé restraints?

Monday, September 30, 2013

Us vs Them: Where do you fit in?

Here is an interesting article by Chris Hedges that discusses how our world actually works these days:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_sparks_of_rebellion_20130930

He makes some very good observations and then presents us with the choice:  carry on into dystopia or change things so that humans can survive.

Occupy or Submit?  Your choice.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

So you think bankers are your friends ...

Check out this under-reported (non-?) story from Geg Palast:

http://www.gregpalast.com/larry-summers-and-the-secret-end-game-memo/

As Greg says:

"The Memo confirmed every conspiracy freak's fantasy:  that in the late 1990s, the top US Treasury officials secretly conspired with a small cabal of banker big-shots to rip apart financial regulation across the planet.  When you see 26.3% unemployment in Spain, desperation and hunger in Greece, riots in Indonesia and Detroit in bankruptcy, go back to this End Game memo, the genesis of the blood and tears."


Monday, June 10, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A police state at work

FYI

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order

If this is true, then perhaps the government should provide everyone with free phone service in the interests of national security.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The FBI comes a-calling ...

... and the result doesn't seem to pass the smell test:

http://www.monbiot.com/2013/06/03/innocent-until-proved-dead/

This really seems to represent the depths to which the rule of law has fallen in the US.

Anybody feeling safer yet?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A revolutionary OLD concept: the CommonWealth

Here is a reasonable starting point for a discussion of the horrors inherent to unfettered privatization and corporate growth:

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/16329-our-common-wealth-the-hidden-economy-that-makes-everything-else-work

Many of the profits that currently accrue to corporations should actually be returned to the common wealth from which they were derived.  It is frightening that so few people feel that they have a common wealth to which they are entitled.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Is this a defining moment for our descent ...

.. into fascist totalitarianism?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/27/bradley-manning-sf-gay-pride

The rather extensive exploration by Glenn Greenwald (see link above) of what should be a minor event in life's little drama reveals the extent to which mindless obedience to authority has pervaded our culture.  I see a parallel to Jews turning in gypsies to the Nazi death squads during WWII quite clearly.

Governments should never be viewed with reverence, and certainly not with unquestioning obedience and acquiescence.  They are formed for the sole purpose of exercising the brute force that is sometimes necessary to allow a culture to defeat thugs, thieves and organized gangs of such people.  Constitutional and democratic governments try to limit the government's use of such power to those occasions for which violence is the last resort.

Dissent and discussion have been found necessary to the health of any truly free society, and nothing guarantees that freedom more than the ability and willingness to prosecute anyone, including and particularly government officials, who violate the laws designed to protect everyone's right to live in freedom and peace.

The little saga of the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade's Grand Marshall detailed above shows haw low our culture has fallen in dealing fairly and courageously with those who would attempt to shine some light on the sins of those in positions of authority.

We are all in danger because of this willfully blind mindset.

Guns don't kill people, bullets do ...

... so who do you think is buying a really monstrous number of bullets? ... ... ...

... why it's ... ...

The Department of Homeland Security!!!

http://news.antiwar.com/2013/04/26/enormous-dhs-bullet-usage-defies-common-sense/

I don't make this stuff up!

I suppose that Canada's Vic Toews (The Minister of Public Safety) will be signing off of the bullet requisitions any day now.  It only makes sense! (in a post 9/11ish, cowardly, bullying, ignorant, lapdogish, wanna-be-tough-looking sort of way).

Friday, April 26, 2013

A necessary study

The recent report from the Constitution Project in the US confirms in great detail that the US government, from its top officials on downward through the ranks, has committed war crimes with its handling of prisoners.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-necessary-reckoning-with-torture/

It seems that only by prosecuting those responsible will our society regain its moral compass.  Canada's governments have been compliant in this evil process as well, and there are no shortages of people in need of prosecution up here.

We have to enforce our laws and Treaties uniformly with respect to all classes of society.  The past decades have shown that the bad guys are often those in high office or with great wealth.

Time to restore the equilibrium in our little experiment in democracy.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Time to look into the mirror ...

 ... to see who the real bad guys are.  This article pretty well nails it:

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-criminal-iraq-war/

So, if we wish to live under the rule of law, there seems to be a lot of prosecuting to do, particularly amongst the ruling classes.

However, as most people don't seem to care about these niceties, due to the the true nature of our world it would be wise to hook up with a strong gang of thugs to ensure your security.  Don't trust the gummint, those guys are taking care of themselves first!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Gulf Oil Spill might have been prevented ...

if only people had listened to Bradley Manning!

Here's a remarkable story about the sort of information that was leaked from US State Department files by Manning and which should have been acted upon by the 'authorities':

http://www.gregpalast.com/bradley-manning-the-deepwater-horizon/

BP and the US gov't concealed information that proved that the reason for the blowout at the drilling rig was fully explainable and happened simply because BP was too cheap to do the job right.

Another example of the rich corporations being above the law, with the full complicity of those who should be enforcing the laws.

Friday, March 29, 2013

More thoughts on priorities

Here's a paragraph from a discussion by Spencer Ackerman (http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/03/trillion-dollar-wars/) that is worth serious thought:

"Money, ultimately, is power. In context, it would take a nuclear strike on the United States to inflict the kind of economic damage that the wars have reaped. The only nations capable of inflicting such damage are disinclined toward doing so; and no non-state actor will plausibly obtain the capability to match such a threat. All of that damage is the result not of what bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or the insurgencies that began in their wake did to America, but because of how American strategiests chose to respond. As Radiohead once sang, you do it to yourself, and that’s why it really hurts."

The people running the US and its allies in the WOT can only be considered as suicidal morons to have done so much damage to their own countries.  Imagine what could have been accomplished if the resources wasted on these wars had been instead spent on education, medical research, medical care, infrastructure repairs and improvements, poverty reduction, etc., etc.

Consider also that the freedoms guaranteed in the American Constitution are now all history, and that, therefore, Osama bin Laden has achieved his stated goal - he has destroyed the American Republic and effectively created a presidential dictatorship enforced by the military.  Wow, that's efficacy for you!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Priorities

If these statistics are true, 9/11 is just a dust spec in the haystack of US mayhem.  However, it has resulted in their government destroying other countries, killing thousands, wasting trillions of $$$ and shredding their own constitution.  Wow!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Canada officially becomes an international pirate

Here's an article form the Montreal Gazette explaining that Canada jumped into Libya's civil war so that Canadian businesses could get control of Libyan valuables.

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Government+plan+ensure+commercial+return+military+investment+Libya/8116497/story.html

I guess Canada is trying to join up with the big boys now.  Forget all that helping the downtrodden stuff, there's resources to be plundered!