Friday, December 31, 2010

What Would Julian Do?

Q: Do you see yourself… as some sort of messianic figure?

JA: Everyone would like to be a messianic figure without dying. We are bringing some important change about what is perceived to be the rights of people who expose abuses by powerful corporations and then to resist censorship attacks after the event. We are also changing the perception of the west. 
Q: You want to change the world?

JA: Absolutely. The world has a lot of problems and they need to be reformed. And we only live once. Every person who has some ability to do something about it, if they are a person of good character, has the duty to try and fix the problems in the environment which they're in.
That is a value, that, yes, comes partly from my temperament. There is also a value that comes from my father, which is that capable, generous men don't create victims, they try and save people from becoming victims. That is what they are tasked to do. If they do not do that they are not worthy of respect or they are not capable.
Right on brother! Not only do generous individuals try and save people from becoming victims, they also try and prevent nonhuman animals from being victimized by man's cruelty and/or ignorance. It's all about reducing the amount of suffering in the world, baby!

As Paul McCartney once said:
Hey Jules, don't make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better...
and that's exactly what Julian Assange is attempting to do. He's taking a corrupt situation and trying to make it better by exposing the injustices and "fucking dishonest bullshit" (to quote the Judy Davis character in Woody Allen's Husbands and Wives) of those who hold a position of power.

To quote another movie, this one from Julian's homeland, Australia...Muriel's Wedding, "You can't stop progress." That's right, the progress of a more just and fair world through openness and transparency.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bill C-311 Voted Down

In voting down Bill C-311 (The Climate Change Accountability Act), which sought to bring greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, the Canadian federal government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper is saying not only to the Canadian people but to the world that it is okay to pollute and destroy the environment as long as it makes money for the already obesely rich! Is this a good example to set for our children or to the rest of the world, that greed and thoughtless selfishness outweigh any moral responsibility we have to all other beings who share the planet with us now? And what of all those who will come after us? Do we not have an obligation to them to see to it that we don't leave the world in a more polluted and wretched condition than it already is in?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Idling Pickup Trucks

i was at safeway today and when i arrived, there was a man sitting in his oversized male enhancement pickup truck with it running. no, it was not cold outside especially by redneck-central edmonton standards. over 1/2 later when i came out, the man was still sitting in his truck with it running. what is the mindset of someone who first off buys such a gas guzzling monstrosity and secondly has so little regard for clean air that he would leave it idling for no reason other than pure thoughtlessness and laziness!? they might as well just have a bumper sticker (alongside their "support the troops" one and a canadian flag waving majestically in the breeze from their vehicle window as they advertise that canada means oil pollution, cutting down trees, hunting and buying disposable tim horton's coffee cups contibuting to already garbage laden streets and overflowing landfills) that says, "i don't give a shit about the environment"; and the city council in edmonton can't even trouble themselves with implementing a no idling bylaw like so many other municipalities have. even hinton, the hub of mining, has the good sense to pass such a bylaw. if these people love their polluting, cancer causing, child-killing destruction machines (there was a story a few years ago in edmonton about a man in a large pickup, who ran over a small child in a crosswalk because his truck was so big he couldn't see the child) i invite all of them, individually or in groups, to sit inside a garage with their precious truck running and breathe in the shit spewed out that everybody else has to endure outside, for oh say 1/2 hour to 45 minutes and we'll see how much they enjoy it!
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unfortunately, far too many edmontonians, albertans and canadians in general act on the guiding principle that if an activity makes money, creates jobs, and stimulates the economy then that action is the morally right thing to do; completely ignoring the far more important point that an action is wrong if it causes harm to other beings who are capable of suffering! or even if a person would pause to consider the kantian categorical imperative which states, always act by that maxim through which you can at the same time (and under similar circumstances i would add) will to become a universal law, we would all live in a far more considerate and cleaner city, country and world.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Uncritical Force of Habit is Ruining Our Planet (a fractured sonnet)

accepting superstitious notions; blindly
making bad decisions based upon
some fatalistic view excusing what we
do. pretending that it isn't wrong
to hunt and kill, 'cause our genetic makeup
built into our brains the way we think;
and therefore justifying (for the sake of
greed or entertainment) every thing
we do; including war, pollution, selfish
gain and other wicked deeds. but what
if there's a kind and thoughtful act pray tell? is
this an aberration...or as much
a part of our inheritance as all those
evil things we nourish, letting grow?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Show Me Something Beautiful

yesterday when i arrived at work there was a lady pulling up "weeds" that were growing in the cracks from behind the building i work in. she came up to me and asked if she could have some water. i thought perhaps she was thirsty and said sure. then she said she wanted the water in order to use it with the poisonous chemicals that she and her partner were going to spray around the building in order to prevent any further growth. for one thing it will not permanently prevent them from growing again and more importantly, what is more harmful, these weeds or carcinogenic chemicals sprayed in the air and on the ground? why must such a health hazardous method be used to remove these plants. i can understand that perhaps some people do not want these weeds growing there. fine, just remove them by picking them. stop poisoning the earth! and because it was a hot day i would have had the back door open and been breathing in this toxic shit.

her partner was at the front of the lot with a gas powered leaf blower, blowing the dust off of the parking lot. not vacuuming it up, blowing it away into the street and elsewhere. how exactly is this cleaning? this is simply pushing the dirt from one area to another and making it someone else's problem to remove if they choose to do so. but the ridiculous thing about it is there is garbage on this lot for weeks on end, thrown there by thoughtless people who don't give a damn about keeping the neighborhood clean. and the vast majority of this garbage is fast food junk garbage eg tim horton's cups and hamburger wrappers...crap that's garbage for the body now it's garbage on the ground. now i will try to do my part by picking up some of the trash in front of the store but why don't these so called "cleaners" pick up the garbage on a daily or even a weekly basis, never mind the dust that's on the lot! yet the most important thing it seemed was to make sure that the dust was blown away by using a polluting, noisy gas powered blower.

then when i got into work there was a tim horton's cup of coffee in the fridge. the person who brings this in is an overweight, diabetic old man who comes in practically everyday simply to hang around a pornography store (yes that's right, i'm the manager of a pornography store) while doing a crossword puzzle. i don't mind a fella coming in and just hanging around but here's the catch...he brings in two cups of tim horton's coffee in disposable cups, in a bag, along with a tim horton's cookie...in another bag. the only person who drinks the other cup of coffee he brings in is a fat man who only works a few shifts a week, the rest of the time it get's dumped out. so now it's a waste of money as well as being just another piece of garbage. he also brings in two copies of the free daily newspaper...more garbage...so that he can do the crossword. he says "one for you and one for me" even though i have told him i do not want this paper (which is another thing that is strewn about the lot as litter). i have told this person, "please do not bring in this coffee, you are only creating unnecessary garbage". he could easily use a reusable cup and use the same bag to put his cookie in but he chooses to disregard the amount of garbage he is responsible for making and dismiss what i say as unimportant and so he brings in two disposable cups (sometimes four if he comes in twice) each day along with his two newspapers (if he wouldn't patronize this free paper, less copies would be printed and there would be less garbage because let's face it most people do not recycle it, it's easier and more convenient to just throw things away). after a month there is already a garbage bag full of just tim horton's coffee cups and bags and this is just from one man! think of the thousands of thoughtless canadians who each day buy coffee in these cups, sometimes using two so they don't burn their little fingers...yet tim horton's is committed to reducing garbage and is concerned about the environment...what public relations ROT! if tim horton's were so concerned about the environment and the amount of garbage they produce they wouldn't even offer these disposable cups to this thoughtless man and the thousands more just like him who show no concern about how much they consume and the resulting garbage they create in our throw away culture and the toll that this is taking on our world. in addition, my goodwill toward this man has been deteriorating over the years because of his not infrequent bigoted, sexist and racist comments as well as his view of nonhuman animals as mere pets or commodities to be exploited and used as we see fit in order to make a profit.

to make a long story even longer. i was already upset with the lady who was going to spray poison around the building and the man who was using a polluting leaf blower to blow dust hither and thither but when i saw the tim horton's cup of coffee left from the day before i freaked. i picked it up and hurled it against the back wall. nobody seemed to give a damn about how polluted the planet is and how personally responsible each one of us is for contributing to that by our everyday actions and the choices we make. all anyone seems to care about is how much money they can make and it doesn't matter who or how many have to suffer in order to achieve that end. everything was fucked up and ugly. i felt powerless to do anything about it and i needed out. i phoned my boss and told him i had to leave.

i had to get away from this ugliness and surround myself with something beautiful, so i drove out to the mountains about six hours away. (yes i drove a car, it pollutes, but i tried to make the most ethical choice for my budget in buying a used 2006 corolla...it gets 44 miles to the gallon on the highway.) i hiked up a mountain ridge amidst the pines and wildflowers and at the top, above the treeline, i was able to have a beautiful panoramic view of glaciers and mountains and breathe in clean air (well as clean as it's going to get these days anyway) while sitting on a jutting rock all by myself. yes, for a few fleeting moments there was beauty and i was able to enjoy some of the ever dwindling bits that still remain in the world. i thought, it's a good thing those "cleaners" aren't here otherwise they might try to poison these lovely wildflowers.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

The Virus Of Patriotism - a sonnet

it seems the only real way to be
apart from those who putrefy the world
is understanding everyone who sees
the milk of human kindness being curdled.
you want that i should wave a silly flag
for god and country singing 'tis of thee.
with guns and ammo blazing they will brag;
their heroes make another child bleed.
so wear your ribbon on your pickup truck.
pollute the air, defile the land and sea.
destroy the planet just to make a buck.
not in the name of freedom but for greed.
the patriotic virus shows its face,
as it brings down the "mighty" human race.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If It Weren't For You

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if it weren't for you
the world would be a much better place
we could all be proud of the human race
and enjoy a walk in the rain

if it weren't for you
the air would be cleaner all the time
we'd all have what we need even if we didn't have a dime
and avoid living life for gain

the land would belong to everyone
no animals would be our slaves
we'd all stop to consider everybody who would be harmed
by the choices we make

if it weren't for you
we'd be happy getting out of bed each day
stand up to injustice and not be afraid
to show that love is the way

the land would belong to everyone
no animals would be our slaves
we'd all stop to consider everybody who would be harmed
by the choices we make

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's Real Hard to be Free When You are Bought and Sold in the Marketplace

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You know, this used to be a hell of a good country. I can't understand what's gone wrong with it.

Man everybody got chicken, that's what happened man. Hey we can't even get into a second-rate hotel, I mean, a second-rate motel, you dig? They think we'd cut their throat. They're scared.

They're not scared of you. They're scared of what you represent to them.

All we represent to them is somebody who needs a haircut.

Oh, no. What you represent to them...is freedom.

What the hell's wrong with freedom man, that's what it's all about.

Oh yeah, that's right. That's what it's all about. But talking about it and being it that's two different things. It's real hard to be free when you are bought and sold in the marketplace. Don't tell anybody that they're not
free, because they'll get busy killing and maiming to prove to you that they are. They're going to talk to you and talk to you and talk to you about individual freedom. But they see a free individual, it's going to scare them.

Well, it don't make them running scared.

No, it makes them dangerous