For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Home is Where the Central Cardio-pulmonary Organ Is, and see what else has been going on.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Remember, occupiers; this is what you wanted

Ah, the logical inconsistencies and magical thinking of the occupiers.

Groups of people squat illegally on public and private land in cities all over the place.  They openly call for revolution and our very own version of an "Arab spring."  When told to leave, they repeatedly refuse.  Their cause is greater than law and order, apparently.  They seem downright offended that anyone should expect them to leave (and equally offended when these freeloaders discover that homeless people have been sharing their bounty).  In their magical world, they should be free to break whatever laws and regulations they want, with impunity, and the rest of the world should bow down to their wisdom and do all the stuff they want us to.

The more fanatical among them have been looking for their Kent State moment, and they got it.  I expect them to milk this for every drop of sympathy they think they can get.  Oh, the outrage!  The brutality!  Never mind that they were repeatedly told to leave.  Never mind they had plenty of warning.  Now, someone is injured - an Iraq war hero, no less (let's forget that these are the often same people who otherwise consider soldiers to be brutal killers of innocents, acting on the orders of that warmongering GWB).  Now they've got their bloodied hero to wave before us all, claiming victim hood (I'm sure it would have been much better for your cause if he'd been killed).  Those evil, evil police, terrorizing peaceful protesters. 

h/t Moonbattery

Peaceful protesters?

If you are truly peaceful, pack up your tents, clean up your mess and go home.  Then get proactive about change by doing something effectual.  I realize this might involve something you don't believe you should have to do - namely, work.  Believe it or not, work is not a dirty word, though from what I've heard from occupiers, such things are beneath you. 

The world does not owe you anything, no matter what your Marxist professors and liberal/progressive teachers seem to have taught you. 

And our cities are not required to bend to your will, allowing you to break our laws, because you think your cause demands it.  You have been shown far more leeway and patience than you deserve. 

If you repeatedly break the law, while making it clear you have no intention of obeying the law, while calling for "revolution" and so on, what the heck to you expect to happen?  Do you really believe that the rest of the world will just sit on their hands, letting you continue having your little power struggle?  Then when they finally come to arrest you, you act all surprised, resist and people get arrested, bloodied, bruised and even seriously injured.  Why do you even pretend to be surprised by this?  This is what you've been asking for.  This has been what you've wanted all along.

This is your revolution, folks.  And in revolutions, people get hurt.  People get arrested.  People get killed. 

From what I've been hearing, this is what you've been after all long.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Catch phrase activism

I've got a photo heavy post for you today.

Youngest and I headed over to the library this evening.  Our usual routine, when the budget allows, is to sit for a while in the Second Cup that is in the library, chat, do some crochet, whatever.  Unfortunately it's closed for renovations right now, so we were going to go across the street to a fair trade coffee shop.  On finding it was going to close within 10 minutes, we headed into a nearby mall where we thought we might get some bubble tea.  Everything there was closed.  We still wanted to go somewhere, so we headed a couple of blocks over to a Tim Horton's we knew would be open later.

It just happens to be directly across the street from where the local Occupy group is squatting in a private park.  They were supposed to be gone this morning, but from what I read in the paper, they apparently had an hour-long meeting and decided they wouldn't leave.  The owners have granted them an extra day, but there's no word yet on what's going to happen tomorrow.

We couldn't see much of what was going on.  It was rather dark, so all we could see were a few signs and the edges of tarps and tents light up by the street lights, and shadows in the background.  It's a small park holding a small group of people.  We didn't go across to see more.  I wasn't comfortable with the idea of going past there in the dark with my 15 yr old daughter.  My older daughter, sure.  Eldest is a more assertive, confident type that people tend to leave alone.  Youngest, unfortunately, has the sort of demeanor that has every passing drunk shouting "yeehaw!!" when they see her walk by in her cowboy hat and duster, and every aggressive panhandler aims for.  I have less concerns about her walking along past the federal prison near us at night than walking alone down the main thoroughfare downtown.  The types of people that come out are very different.

Though we didn't go across the street, we found something else.  Leaving through a different entrance, we found a bunch of chalk writing on the sidewalk.  Only in front of the Tim Horton's, though.  I found this interesting, since there's a CIBC at the other end of the complex.  I thought the occupiers were against banks?  Perhaps walking to the other end of the block was too much effort.

For those outside of Canada, the CIBC is the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The complex is even called Commerce Place.  It's tenants include not only the Timmies we were at, but everything from a radio station, corporate offices and retail outlets, including an organic restaurant/bakery/mini-grocery store that specializes in all natural, sustainable fare.  It's always a very busy place, too.  An excellent example of capitalism, actually.  Among the services it offers is a meal delivery service, where people can order prepared, hot organic meals for regular delivery.  They know how to give their customer base what it wants, and are very successful at it.

Speaking of capitalism, here's one of the sidewalk phrases we found.

It reads, "capitalism kills love - you decide - love kills capitalism."

In interesting sentiment.  According to this, people have to chose between love and capitalism.  Either choice is violent, resulting in the death of the other.  Fascinating.  False dichotomies like this are really popular.  It makes me wonder what the writer thinks capitalism is.  Somehow, I don't think they mean the organic food store I mentioned above.

This one reads, "we'll see you at the barricades."  I didn't see any, but it was dark.  There may have been some across the street, but I've no idea where.


I'm not sure what this means.  It could be a reference to communism as a form of government.  Or it could be suggesting we all live in communes.

 "Cynicism of the intellect
Utopianism of the will."

What the heck does that even mean?  I am catching the vague Marxist/Leninist reference, but that's about it.

Two phrases in this one.  "Destroy capitalism" and "the kingdom of heaven is among you."  I find the juxtaposition of destruction with a heavenly biblical reference amusing.

 Another dual message and biblical reference.  "Occupy everywhere" and "the meek shall inherit the earth." 

Uh huh.

 "Without love no one would care enough to act in defence of our society!"

What was I saying about false dichotomies again? 

"CNT-FAT You do the work they get the pay."

I have no idea what the CNT-FAT refers to.  Actually, I don't know what they're referring to about people working while someone else gets paid for that work, either.

"Freedom should be free."

Actually, freedom is bought and paid for with blood and sacrifice.  Freedom in never free and needs to be fought for and defended.  Strange that people living in one of the freest countries in the world do not seem to appreciate, nor recognise, their freedom and the price others paid to bequeath it to us. 

 Love is greater than money.  Another false dichotomy. 

 Oh, the next few I find hilarious!  First...

Here is one of a couple of free papers available.  This one, put out by the same company that sells the Journal next to it, if I remember correctly, is labelled good.  The paper is free because it's paid for with advertising dollars.  In other words, we get this paper for free thanks to capitalists.

 Here is another free paper, put out by a competing company.  It, too, is labelled good.  I assume because it's also free.  It could also be because of the content.  If you click on the image to see it full size, you'll note the front page reads "Bad teacher," with an apple labelled "Eat me."  We stopped reading this paper because of the high sexual content.

Note that this paper, labelled good, is owned by Quebecor.  Quebecor also owns this paper....

 Yes, this paper that is labelled as "lies."  Three times, even.  It's part of the Sun Media group.

So, free paper full of sexual content, good.  Sun newspaper, owned by the same company, is filled with lies.

Got that?

No, I don't get it, either.

This smudged out writing reads "Edmonton Sun = Fox News."

So not only is the Sun filled with lies, it's Fox News.

This is actually an inadvertent compliment.  It turns out that Fox News is the most balanced of the big news sources.

Opponents of Sun Media are a fairly amusing lot.  They insist, no matter what the facts, on equating them with Fox News.  Fox News, of course, is the source of all things evil and hateful, according to them.  I don't get the channel, so I have no idea.  I don't watch any of the other big news channels, either.  For Canadian news, Sun News Network is the only thing I watch now, though any tv watching is rare for me.  I'm more likely to watch clips online. 

SNN has nothing to do with Fox News.  Never did.  There is no connection between the two, except that they are both admittedly right leaning (unlike the other news sources that are left leaning, but won't admit it).  This is enough, however, to have them branded as the source of all things terrible by people who admit they never watch either.

So this particular bit of sidewalk wisdom is not only an inadvertent compliment, it's perpetuating a falsehood.

This one is funny.  It has the words solidarity and love spelled out, with the peace symbol and anarchy symbol scattered around for good measure.  I read this and I suddenly start hearing this.

I don't think the people who wrote this understand where Solidarity comes from.  Being of Polish descent, the movement and its accomplishments held great meaning for my family.  For a group of people who openly advocate communism, Marxism and socialism, I find the expropriation of the Solidarity movement both ironic and disgusting.

 You'll have to click on this one to see it full size.  I did my best to put together 5 photos to get the whole thing.  It has two messages.  The long one reads "Be careful or the media will have you hating the people being oppressed and loving the people doing the oppressing."
Under that it reads, "transcend without transcendence."

The first part is inadvertently funny, while the second part sounds like New Agey spiritualism.

 Another merging of photos gives us a quote from the band, Billy Talent.  "You can turn your back or you can plant the seed.  You can choose compassion or universal greed."

Yet another false dichotomy, but it's lyrics from a famous band, therefor it's wise.  Right?

I think I should swing by these guys during the day with a camera - if they're still there - and see what other nuggets of wisdom they have to share.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A little entertainment

Dude.  Take a valium.
h/t Eye on a Crazy Planet

Gonna save America, huh?

Random thoughts on the OWS claims

Just a few random thoughts that have been passing through my mind as I see what's being shared back and forth among people I know, both left and right of the political spectrum, about the OWS protests.  Funny thing is, I've been away from home a lot and not keeping up with my usual news routine, so almost all of this is stuff that's fallen in my lap, so to speak, when I check my facebook, emails and the few blogs I manage to squeeze a visit in.

Question.  Those going around saying, "I am the 99%", do you really believe there even *is* a 99%?  I've been looking through the site, reading the placards, and watching a few youtube videos.  You know what?  You're not part of any 99%.  First, your representation of a 99% vs a 1% is a false dichotomy.  Most of the groups you claim are part of the 1% aren't, and your definition of what the 99% is has no basis in reality.  By your definition, I'm one of the 99%, yet I don't know anyone who fits your description, including the people who've lost their jobs, etc, nor do you represent me or my views.  You are not the 99%.  If you're liberal, you are part of a roughly 50%.  If you are unemployed, you are part of a 20% (US) or 9% (Canada).  If you've lost your home, you're part of a US national average of less than 3%.  It's the same with health insurance, debt, etc.

The 99% is an illusion.

To those of you complaining about bailouts, do you not realize that it was the government that did the bailing out?  Did you know that some companies tried to refuse bailout money, but had to take it anyways?  As for those that did take the bailout money, if you have someone offering you millions of dollars, wouldn't you take it, to?  I totally agree that there shouldn't have been any bailouts, but you're aiming your rage at the wrong target. 

Oh, and while we're at it, how is it that when the Tea Party folks complained about the bailouts, it was a bad thing, but now that you're against the bailouts, it's a good thing?

For those who think that capitalism is the problem, just what do you think of when you picture capitalists?  It seems to me that what you're actually talking about is crony capitalism, which is fake capitalism.  You seem to think capitalism consists only of big banks, big corporations, big companies.  You know what capitalists really look like?  Check out the next street food vendor you see, selling out of a truck, with lines of people eager to indulge in their delicious offerings. Those are capitalists.  Think of that small, family owned bookstore or convenience store in your neighbourhood.  Those are capitalists.  Think of your favourite coffee shop or tea place.  Even if it's a franchise, they are still owned or run by individuals who have invested time and money to provide you with a place to sit, enjoy a hot beverage and get free wi-fi.  Those are capitalists.

So when you say you want to destroy capitalism, say goodbye to your favourite book store, your grocery store, your coffee shop.  Say goodbye to your laptops and cellphones and tablets.  Say goodbye to street vendors and those funky little boutiques where you get your hipster clothes. 

To those who say you want socialism, have you spent any time looking at history?  Every single society that has gone the socialist route has failed, or is in the process of failing right now.  At best, socialism is expensive, and is incapable of paying for itself for long, as we are seeing in Greece.  At worst, it eliminates personal freedoms, individual rights and leads to the sort of death and destruction we've seen in the likes of Stalin, Lenin, Mao and Hitler, and continue to see now in North Korea and China.  This is not to say some things considered socialist do not have value; just as communism can use capitalist principles and make money, democracies and use socialist principles with some success.  The difference is, one is forced and controlled by the government while the other is chosen by the citizens and the government is acting on their behalf.  If you want a fully socialist society, say goodbye to democracy, freedom and individual rights.

Another question I have for OWS supporters.  Those of you who went on and on about how the Tea Party were just shills for big business (ignoring the fact that the Tea Partiers were against crony capitalism and bail outs) and that they were all astroturfed by the Koch brothers and so on.  Why are you so content to ignore the fact that the OWS is astroturfed, complete with paid protesters?  If you're so upset about corporate corruption (and rightly so), why are you not equally upset about union corruption, and union money funding OWS?

While in the same vein, how is it that you're so upset because some people got pepper sprayed, or a police officer apparently punched a protester, but you aren't upset when protesters are violent?  Why is it okay for the protesters to break the law, while you expect the police not to do anything about it? 

For those who think this "movement" is big in any way, you might want to get a look at this.

Click on it for a larger size.  You see that tiny little smudge on the right?  That's you.

For those of you with your trite little saying on your placards (and those sharing photos of some of the "best" ones), did you misrepresent things on purpose, or are you really that detached from reality?  And let's not forget how incredibly self-centred and spoiled some of your "demands" are.  I gotta tell you, some of you folks haven't just gone off the deep end.  You've been there a while and are doing the backstroke.

To those of you going on about how great the OWS is now, but were against the Tea Party protests in the past, please explain this.

Tea Partiers got the proper permits for their demonstrations. There were no arrests, no violence, no drug use, and when they were done, they left the areas they used in better shape than when they started.  They had a clear message, stated it, then went home to their lives and jobs.

The OWS folks are occupying private property illegally, their mess has gotten so bad I'm starting to wonder when the cholera outbreak will start, there have been many arrests, they've broken a number of laws, there is rampant drug use, noise, public sexual activity, while freeloading off of donations for about a month now and vow to continue even longer.

How is it that the Tea Partiers are the bad guys, but the OWS folks are the good guys?

Oh, and a lot of those "rights" you are demanding?  They're not rights.  They're privileges.  You don't have a "right" to a job.  You don't have a "right" to own a home.  You don't have a "right" to an income.  You don't have a "right" to have someone else pay for your medical care, your tuition, your mortgage, and so on.  Yes, times are tough and it's hard to make ends meet.  Yes, it's good to have a safety net for those truly in need.  They still are not rights.  I am also at a loss as to how OWS will in any way improve circumstances for anyone.  You're protesting the wrong place.

I've got other questions and observations, but I'll save those for another post.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who is what?

I haven't been going out of my way to follow the situation going on with Occupy Wall Street (OWS).  Despite that, I'm still learning more about this than I ever wanted to know.

Of course, the usual folks are practically creaming their jeans over this US version of the "Arab Spring."  Somehow, they forget that revolutions have a tendency to leave hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent people dead and many more struggling.

For now, there's just one area I want to focus on about the OWS folks and their supporters.  That is their "we are the 99%" thing.

According to these folks, there're two types of people in the world.  There's the 1%, who are all evil capitalists stealing money from and taking advantage of everyone else, with the everyone else comprising the 99%.  They've even got a website up where people share their tales of woe, which is all because of those dastardly 1%'ers, forcing them to take on loans they can't pay, buy houses they can't afford, and generally keeping a boot on their throats.

There's a slight problem with this issue.

First, though they talk about that 1% being comprised of "the rich" who control almost all the money in the world (they tend to swing back and forth between "the world" and "the US" a lot), that 1% represents the wealthiest of the wealthy.  A few years back, the numbers were that 5% of people controlled 95% of the wealth.  Then I heard it was 2% and 98%.  Now it's 1% and 99%.

The point being that that 1% is a tiny minority of the world's richest people.  According to the Forbes list of billionairs, the No. 1 slot is held by a Mexican named Carlos Slim Helu and his family ($74 billion).  He's a self-made billionaire, meaning that he didn't inherit his wealth or win it in the lottery, nor did he get make it as an employee of someone else.  He started his own business.  No. 2 on the list is Bill Gates ($59 billion), another self-made billionaire.  Warren Buffet  ($39 billion) weights in at No. 3, and is another self-made billionaire.  No. 4 gives us Bernard Arnault ($41 billion), a purveyor of luxury goods.  No. 5 takes us to Larry Ellison  ($33 billion), yet another self-made billionaire.  No 6 brings us India's Laksmi Mittal ($31.1 billion), No. 7 is the Spanish Amancio Ortega ($31 billion), No. 8 is Brazillian, Eike Batista ($30 billion), No. 9 brings us back to India with Mukesh Ambani ($27 billion), and No. 10 brings us back to the US with Christy Walton and family ($24.5 billion).  That's just the top 10.  You can see the full list of the world's billionaires here.  The list of the top 400 Americans is here. 

What you'll note about these people is that they are all billionaires.  And only the top numbers of these people, worldwide, consist of the evil 1% of the world's wealthiest people.

You know what that means?

The 99% the OWS protesters claim to represent includes all the millionaires and low-end billionaires that didn't make it to the top 1%.

A blog worth reading.

Alan Caruba gets it. 

Tell me again?

For all those people telling me that there is no persecution against Christians, and that we're just playing the victim card, read this.  Then try to tell me that Christians aren't being persecuted.