The door is closing. This was a threat from a random guy that wanted me involved in some moneymaking scheme or business opportunity. This was his lure. Truthfully, I merely want a roof over my head in a home with working utilities. I want time to pursue my life’s passion. I want to learn and create. Continue reading Peace Together – July 23, 2016
I believe that human needs can be boiled down to three: Physical or material, psychological, and spiritual. After all, for what purposes is spirituality a tool? It is an explanation for the unknown and provides comfort, connection and community.
We all know the story of Weed, AKA cannabis, marijuana, pot, the assassin of youth. In truth, that assassin is adulthood and definitely not to be confused as maturity. Her story is woven with lies, deception and conspiracy. Weed, unbeknownst to most, is the victim. Continue reading The Story of Weed – March 29, 2016
Why is flicking a cigarette butt out the window and onto the street considered normal? Put simply, it’s littering. Yet it is also the most toxic thing thrown away on a daily, if not hourly, basis. The Tobacco Control website states that over 4000 chemicals are introduced to the environment through cigarette tar and smoke. Continue reading Butt Out – July 22, 2015
Welcome to my world. I only say this because nobody else seems to want to lay claim to it. Who could blame them? This place is a mess, and any reports from the powers-that-be only show things getting worse.
What I mean about laying claim means nobody’s willing to proactively change my world. Everyone’s waiting to see what the others are going to do so they can follow suit. Such expectations have placed us at a standstill.
As the standstill extends, we eventually forget what we’re waiting for, getting distracted by what everyone else is doing. And when that standstill becomes the norm, nobody dares to break lockstep in fear of standing apart. I’m waiting for things to get better, meaning I’ll be waiting for quite a while.
It is essential that I take ownership, rather than to passively hold my seat. It’s not like we’re taking a quick jaunt across the choppy sea of life, aiming our prow to the glistening shores of Utopia. Utopia isn’t a place where all is provided and perfect. How boring would that be?
No, Utopia is a state of mind where answers are always available, but the level of difficulty varies. Utopia is that feeling of victory when you solve the problem, not when you receive the prize.
So, welcome to my Utopia. Don’t expect to sit back and throw your feet up. Maintaining it requires vigilance, where the payoff is the fact that Utopia still exists.
So when something goes wrong, I am the only one who can return Utopia to its glory. This could require some action, but can also be accomplished with a shift in expectations. That is, after all, what sets us on the quest for perfection to begin with.
My actions and my leadership will bring us towards Utopia. So will yours. The only certainty is we will never reach it as passive passengers awaiting decisions from people who care not for your Utopia, only their own. Utopia is in reach if we turn our backs to the false barriers that we call limitations.
Ultimately, I want to save the world, but who doesn’t? The bewildering array of problems that need fixing would make Gandhi throwing up his arms in disgust. Where does one begin? In the early 2000s, my initial focus took on global warming as it was called in a lost age. Now monikered climate change, a more all-embracing expression, it looms over us like a snake on a hypnotized hamster.
What are we to do? Distract ourselves with some talent shows and YouTube videos? My studies indicate that this is the main source of our psychic problem. This instrument infests the mind with commercial drivel, surrounds us with archaic Madison Avenue graffiti, and wears down our sense of self-worth with unobtainable values. This blend brews a whole lot of discontent, making these people targets to even more invasive material.
How does this relate to climate change? Consumerism. The amount of energy that we waste, namely petroleum, to buy items with tyrannosaurus-sized carbon footprints that are designed to break down or go out of style in a month or two is choking us out. I’m talking about pollution. Not only in the waste which we toss into the landfill, but the resources required to gather and process the materials. Followed by the most-likely overseas transport before trucking it inland, the tally refuses to end. All of it is driven by the commercial detritus that leads us to forsake our character for our appearance.
There’s a purpose to all this. The economy must grow no matter what stands in its way, behaving much like a tumor. The rules are written so that every incorporated industry must grow larger every year. If not, they are fined because pissing off the investors is a no-no. How does it grow? By decreasing the consumer’s willpower, tickling their emotions, and instilling a sense of ‘MUST HAVE.’ This is where the corporate heads turn to Mr./Ms. Madison Ave to create the right lure to pull in the greatest amount of fish. While this once was the basic television commercial, they now have more covert methods to delivering their virus.
Commercial culture has ransacked our values, having us believe that we need to be driving near-illegal sport cars and wearing jewellery that could budget a small village’s needs for a year. The need for bling erodes not only our values, but our bank accounts. Now let’s be clear. Our money is our lifeblood, what we toil our time and lives over. In olden days, our earnings were meant to reflect our legacy. Something to pass on to the children. Now we have let our cars, accessories, and property define us. Are we seeing the problem here?
We’re ensnared in a trap, and it does all it can to keep us from reaching fulfillment. Have you ever felt buyer’s regret? You get home and within a couple of hours or days you’re feeling like maybe it wasn’t the best idea. Then something better comes up and we pounce on it like it was something precious.
In this age of self-gratification, where is there room for community? You know, taking part in activities that are outside of your circle of close associations? There are parts of the world out there that require your participation. The world isn’t going to run itself.
What if, when people thought of you, images of something you’ve done and stood up for come to mind rather than what model of car you have? Half of us can’t be bothered to vote. When’s the last time you volunteered? Offered help? Even something as simple as making someone smile can make a difference.? I’ll let you in on a secret: The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
As I dug deeper into the marketing operations, I found that they were targeting our kids and building up a ‘pester power’ for everything from toys up to vehicles. They corralled in psychologists to determine the best way to push the ‘consumer’ button, and the economy blossomed like a nuclear mushroom cloud. The effects were quite similar.
To make all the consumables, resources must be dug up from somewhere. To put those things together and sell so cheaply, the labor must be even cheaper. Their ‘cost-effective’ manufacturing is often environmentally frowned upon in ‘developed’ countries, but ‘developing’ countries are more than willing to take part in the corporate plunder. Oddly, this is also happening in Canada, and we’re ‘developed’.
While these practices take their toll on the environment, the effects ripple to consequences on our health. We have particulates in our air and water, and chemicals subtly destroying the life below our feet. When these end up on our bodies, either through direct exposure or in our food, the results are dismal. And that’s only from the produce.
Our meat and poultry live lives of misery to appease our palettes. Antibiotics have become a precautionary measure, becoming a part of the animal’s nutritious breakfast (lunch, and dinner.) They still get sick, and that spreads fast when you spend day-to-day shoulder-to-shoulder with your neighbour. The feed is literally garbage, and this practice extends to what we feed our pets. None is properly regulated. Our institutes have failed us.
All of these chemicals and drugs filter to our food, and there is no way to extract it before it sizzles on our grills. Add a side of chemically-drenched vegetables, smothered in chemical concoctions from a bottle. In between, we nibble on artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners that tax the body even further. What does this do to our minds? It’s not pretty.
There has been a movement towards limiting these chemical supplies in our food. I tried some of the improved formulas and they ruined my childhood. When I studied into where these amazing tastes came from, I gagged. Our minds may be saying strawberry, but the internal organs are saying WTF? Why would we have a problem with eating these items? It involves evolution. Our bodies were built up and nourished by natural foods, whereas these chemical additives began the invasion in the early 1900s, starting with refined sugar.
Coinciding with our chemical intake were rising disease statistics. Much of what sickens us comes from our body’s inability to properly synthesize what we eat. Some get stored, and some get excreted, but the whole time our body is confused by this alien entity.
When it gets stored in our bodies, it goes to the liver or fat cells, which itself should be harmless. All these chemicals have been proven safe in a human environment. The problems arise when these chemicals cross each other in the storage units. Chemicals have ways of reacting with each other, let alone that some metabolize into carcinogens when they first take a seat. From this, obesity and disease result.
We’ve been getting sicker from our food and medical miracles, aside from many other lifesaving technologies that have undoubtedly helped. Fortunately, another arm to this chemical culture has come to the rescue. For a price. For every illness, Big Pharma has a fix. They can control everything from our cholesterol to our thoughts. Have you ever wondered what got us to this place? Perhaps we’re taking better pre-emptive care of our vehicles than of our bodies. Why do we so devalue ourselves? Who feeds these standards into our minds?
A large part of the problem begins when those food chemicals scoot past the blood-brain barrier. That barrier’s in place to keep poison from entering our brain, yet our confused body has let some pass. As a worrying aside, other chemicals are out there wreaking havoc on our hormones, and they control almost all of the body’s processes. As for those renegade brain invaders, there are a whole slew of different chemical concoctions to soothe those mental ills. The overall understanding of how the brain operates is incomplete, but Big Pharma feels what they offer is…good enough? I questioned if they really wanted us to get well.
The financial reality told me no. To truly cure the patient is to put a bullet to the head of the consumer. If sales ended because the cure was no longer needed, the whole system would crash. So, what about the institutions that are supposed to be protecting us? These government-funded agencies are like beaver dams trying to stop a glacier.
They were put in place to stop the snake-oil salesmen. They successfully kept their reign on the drug industry. Then the profit motive stepped in. Soon there weren’t enough funds to oversee the thousands of chemicals produced each year. The tables soon turned, and funds were needed from the developers; a fee that soon became the agency’s budget. When you become reliant on your funders, you tend to let certain rules bend. All of this done to the appeasement of the almighty stock holders. Now we have puppet regulations, put together in cooperation with the industries. These rules are supposed to protect the public’s health and well-being, yet the profit motive conflicts with this ideology.
These same industries make billions of dollars by making us sick and then treating us for it. The only time the public becomes aware of a problem is when the media issues a recall. Food tampering, explosive motors, and food-borne bacteria make for painful headlines. Deadly drug side effects, even worse. Sometimes.
Before the public is acknowledged, the accused is obscured behind some public relations fluff, softening the blow to the industry. This fluff is then provided for free to the media, and they swallow it up and spit it back at the public in an either light-hearted or panic-inducing way. The number of deaths matter. Panic is really a big part of the media backbone.
Fear creates doubt, it perpetuates a false sense of urgency, it makes us tuck our heads in our shells, it focuses our hopes on the storm blowing over. There is no plan on what to do after the storm passes. Fear prevents us from taking part in the real world, as our personal hopes for our world are constantly placed in jeopardy and require our constant surveillance. Fear prevents us from stepping beyond our self-contained world, from reaching out and giving what we have as gifts. Rather, we take and hoard our possessions, ‘the meaning of me’, and cage it up in case someone comes and takes it. Call it another symptom of consumerism, I call it paranoid narcissism.
Sorry, that’s getting bitter. What I’m getting at is that this isn’t us. This isn’t the behaviour of a superior civilization. I started off talking about saving the world and climate change. Somehow I’ve gone into the psychological effects of commercialism. How to reconcile this? To start, climate change is the resulting accumulation of each and every one of our actions, and there are seven-plus billion of us inhabiting this planet.
We are wasteful. A light left on by one is hardly considered a waste, but when one percent of seven billion do this, that’s still 70 million lights left burning. And how likely is it that only one percent has this habit? Granted, not all seven billion have electricity and that’s not a good thing either. How grateful should we be for this electric culture we’re in? Sadly, it is nothing more than background noise; a part of modern life. These engrained habits, this loss of wonder, has left us in a state of hyperstimulated burnout. It’s no wonder so many of us flock to the flatscreen. We need the distraction.
I guess what I’m saying is that it’s not your fault. The food’s been playing tricks on your brain, the drugs to treat that are adding icing to the glazed problem. And the media that we’ve been depending on is in cahoots with the industries that are poisoning us. It’s a tough prison to break free from. You may notice I didn’t speak about politics. I hoped to keep this brief.
So how do I save a world in such dire straits? For one, I stay open to chance meetings out in the real world. I went out and started a group called Community Minds. It didn’t accomplish much, but I haven’t counted it out. Everything’s a process for me.
That’s the second part: Always be open to whatever’s presented to you. Within limits, of course. I’m not talking about anything extreme, but of those moments that peak your curiousity. If your first thought is, I haven’t don’t that before, then try it. On the other end of the spectrum, when you’re worried about something that might be, ask yourself: Is there anything I can do about it right now? If yes, do something. If no, drop it for the time. Don’t waste your energy.
I suppose if I wanted to save the world, I’d would get everyone to eat better. Take back your health. Treat your body with the same reverence you do your car engine. You don’t wait for it to break down before taking it in to the garage. We get tune-ups and oil changes. Our bodies are no different. Clear out the toxins, go on a fast food fast. Drop processed foods from your menu and see if it makes a difference. I’m not saying go cold turkey, because I sure didn’t. But I don’t eat junk food like I used to and I feel great.
So turn off the computer, go outside and find someone to have a conversation with. Help mow someone’s lawn, move furniture. Be a Boy (or Girl) Scout. Eat right. Read good books. Gaze at nature’s beauty. Regain a sense of wonder and the bling will lose its appeal. Life is too short to worry about the future or fret about the past when there’s so much change going on around you. Expose your spirit through the vehicle you’re given, connect with others and build that network of change. Perhaps someday it will intersect with mine.
And so we reach another strike. Our teachers are unhappy and want to negotiate better pay and improved class conditions. Meanwhile, the Liberals are looking for ways to retain their tax-collection monies. After all, do you know how much a night at the oyster bar costs these days?
Taxes are the fees we pay to ensure a functioning society. We want to ensure our health, wellbeing and longevity. The dilemma is how to keep an operational level of our social services AND prepare our children to replace our workforce positions at the same time. Who requires education more?
Our students jump through the hoops and achieve straight-As, only to find that their studies were toward an occupation that’s either saturated or defunct. After many years of schooling, they enter the workforce to be trained or retrained so they can make the proper fitting cog in the machine.
Is it not the employers who demand that we hold at least a high school diploma to get a foot in the door? Is it not these same industries that demand tax breaks and government subsidies? These same industries contribute nothing while demanding everything; it sounds like a certain anti-welfare argument. Anyways, the words ‘bloodsucker’ and ‘leech’ come to mind.
Now, I’m not talking about letting these industries anywhere near our curriculum. That would be like locking the hacker in with the mainframe. We need the industries as a part of the tax base, underscoring their connection to the community. If industry refuses to contribute to the education and societal kitty, they have no right to demand minimal education requirements from their employees. After all, they’re the reason that we seek these degrees, whether they get used or not.
In the end, the strike should have nothing to do with the industries or the teacher’s salaries. It is about the children and their future. If we insist on sending them to learn for eight hours a day, is it wise to seek out bargain-basement prices? Is there not a price for quality, and why aren’t we willing to pay it? If it’s the money, I’ve already given my two cents.
I haven’t written in a while, so I thought I’d drop you a line. I’ve become quite concerned about your behaviour as Prime Minister. Your country is having a breakdown, both democratically and with its Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You may want to go back to the books, take a peek at what your duties really are. And put away 1984, it’s not a playbook.
The People are not happy. They talk as if you’ve become an autocrat. Remember in your youth, when Canada represented peacekeepers and defenders of the environment? Back then, our international representations used diplomacy rather than bullying to reach agreements. We drafted peace accords and hosted environment-focused conferences. What happened? You’re party is acting like a bunch of drunken eighteen-year-olds do when the parents leave on holiday.
Some blame your Conservative party for curtsying to the petroleum execs’ needs more than to the citizens’. And, I’m sorry to say it, but you’ve got to turn this tar sands thing off. It’s embarrassing. It’s an inferior product that barely makes up for the costs of refining it, and it’s literally killing us. Did you know that a leader that purposely lets his own people die has a name that starts with a D?
I realize that your oil pals give you a nice little pocket-stuffer for giving them so much free access to the land. Who wouldn’t be grateful? But I think that you’ve given over just a bit too much? I mean, who invites the neighbours over to dig up and toxify their back yard? That doesn’t build a very strong relationship. So why not put that little project on hold and look for something else to occupy you and your economic buddies. We can survive without turning our prairies into a wasteland.
Apparently, the truth hurts. Why else take a swipe against science, muzzling them like your MPs and silencing them like a despot? Unlike you, I like science. It’s done the body good. These people do important things and try to save our asses from our own doings. And yet you’re trying to stop them? What gives? And who benefits?
You’re a deceiver, and it robo-looks like you’ve swindled your way into your seat as well. And now you’ve thrown in a Fair Elections Act to take a few more citizens out of the democratic equation. Didn’t I say put that book away?
I’m sorry to hear your whole ‘senate reform’ got shot down by the Supreme Court. It looks like your little ‘appointment’ app is on the fritz. But I imagine you’re already making loophole notes for the next omnibus budget. You show that Supreme Court who’s the boss! You know that’s a whole other load of bitumen you’ve been cramming down the democratic throat.
You need to take a break. From what, I’m not sure because it hasn’t been happening in front of the cameras like it used to. Did you learn this from the Chinese propaganda minister or from watching Rob Ford’s exploits?
Take some time off. We can find some temporary foreign worker to fill in. Just leave them some notes. The same with those ever-obedient Members of Parliament, I think we can get anyone to represent clapping monkey toys that echo whatever script you give them. I don’t know about you, Stevie, but I might have to call this whole friendship off. Sorry pal.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said? These pipelines are a danger to the Nature that we rely on in order to feed an economic system that provides us a miniscule proportion of it benefits. So are we here solely to display our unease, projecting dissatisfaction with the government’s favoring of the oil, gas, and economic sectors rather than improving our wellbeing? Where can we go from here that will increase our influence?
We’re here to raise awareness of the issue. I also believe that everyone here has a good understanding of the pipeline dilemma. If not, ask the person next to you. We come here, also, to deepen our understanding of how these projects impact our wellbeing. We come here for the solidarity, knowing our concerns are not only our own but of the entire community’s.
In those terms, we’re also here for the future. Personally, I want to ensure that an ecology remains for our children, grandchildren, and beyond to flourish in. We are living on the legacy of thousands of years of improvements, and it looks like all of those efforts are starting to go to waste. To end this ravaging, we must expand, reorganize, and become a community that we can be proud of.
Our hope lies in our action. By now we realize that our Conservative government will not be working towards the same goal. Just as likely, the media has drawn a line to how in-depth it can cover the damage from the petroleum industry. They do have advertisers and sponsors to appease, which is more their bread-and-butter than the bare truth.
So we are the bullhorn, we must spread the word because there is nobody else. We can give each other these great speeches, but we must now give them to those who won’t listen. This requires different tactics and most likely a huge voluntary organization to reinforce our actions. This is possible, and I have no doubt that our answers lie in our nest of ideas. We consist of a variety of backgrounds and professions, all with different perspectives of how the problem affects them. If we gather and discern the most sensible direction, we have a strategy for winning.
We must speak to our school systems, our business community, and our spiritual societies to energize the cause. We must provide our support to the other causes as they must support us. After all, while we’re fighting for the environment, the anti-Monsanto movement is fighting for food security, the Cannabis movement for fairer laws, and the anti-poverty movement for a better economy. Combined, that’s a lot of support to back our causes.
A larger group bears a greater impact, so we must expand. Social media is too easy to scan and pass over. The best impression comes from eye-to-eye contact, person-to-person. In a way, we must take on the door-to-door fervor of certain religious organizations and spread the word.
Our greatest strength is having the truth as our backing. Peering through the spin, the web of deception, we must look beyond what we’re shown. Continuous study and discussion are vital to keep a step ahead of the competitor. Only then can we distinguish their motives on which to plan an effective response. Again, government assistance is unlikely so we need massive support.
Our biggest obstacle lies within the economics of the situation. How can we take on that much power and that many lawyers? This is where we test our democratic might, requiring politicians with the resolve to fight for the rights of the citizens. We haven’t yet entered that arena, but an election is coming up in 2015, and we can change all that. We must put someone in power who will work with us toward our goals. On a grander scale, our fight isn’t just against the oil industry, it’s for our democracy.
So why are we here? To rally the troops, to recharge our will, to reclaim our land, and protect our wellbeing. And what can I ask of you? Spend some time talking to a stranger, or the person next to you, about what their greatest concern is. Start a community group, a lecture circuit, a contest. We’re a bright group of people, and we must empower our most creative ideas.
From here, we build up our numbers. We gather support. We create a game plan and decide on our counter-offensive. We must also provide the alternatives. Can we create an economy that will protect and sustain our communities, environment and well-being? This question is too big to cover now, but it should direct our questions to the next step.
We are here to influence our fellow citizens, as our representatives have become accustomed to the status quo, with very little vision of a future that reflects true prosperity. If our goal is clear, our facts unblemished, and our will immoveable, we will prevail.
One day I woke up to find out that … I was eating Zombie Food. It tasted like food, but that was just a chemical slight-of-hand played on my brain. It looked edible but they can reproduce any colour of the spectrum, including Nature’s hues. It even smelled good, but I used to think the smell of a fresh shower curtain was nice. The look, taste and texture were all the workings of amazing chemical formulas! So what was I eating if it wasn’t food?
For starters, the food companies take their food and wring out as much product and profit as efficiently possible. Nutrition takes a seat as the active ingredients in whole food are also the main cause of decay. The remedy is to kill off the life support that can potentially spoil their profit margin. These obstructions are the whole reason behind why I eat. The nutrients which cause rot are the nutrients we need. So why are they destroying the healthiness? The short answer is: To extend its shelf life. Convenience is a process for marketing the product, not the wellbeing of the consumer.
And yet, the food industry must appease and convince us to buy their affordable product. Welcome to the world of synthetic enrichment. All those benefits they leached from the whole food have a chemical formula. I was fortifying my health with their made-up vitamins, omega-3s and other such enhancements.
Like Frankenstein’s laboratory, the undead components of food are re-invigorated with an electric jolt of imitation fortification, giving processed food the illusion of benefits. Did I truly benefit? I can’t see how. With the whole food beaten to within a gasp of its life, dismantled, and then reassembled to act like food, I remembered something about being what I eat.
Industry standards demand, unlike Nature, that all their junk look alike. They demand consistent products from our toys to our food, and then trained us to expect it back from them. Food scientists delved into chemicals like a spice rack to accomplish this. One layer must stay in place; this colour has the best test market; taste, look, smell and texture had to be identical from one shipment to the next. Artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, emulsifiers, and an endless array of laboratory leftovers are another multibillion dollar industry layered atop the food companies. As my food lunged for longevity, the implications to my health became questionable.
I figured that there were authorities who protected my health. The United States has the Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture, while we have the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada to regulate what gets sold as food and pharmaceuticals. However, the funding for these agencies is a mere pebble compared to the food industry’s avalanche of lawyers and lobbyists. How safe is our food when the claims on the labels are lobbied and bought off by the corporations?
As they weakened the standards, my safety became but a thin veil protecting me from the tempestuous assault of Capitalist growth. A side effect being the risk this diet exposes to our health. This well-calculated economic benefit tethers the ever-growing food industry to Big Pharma. The latter has a fix to help us remain functional throughout all the self-inflicted damage we do.
If these two industries ever stopped growing, it could have disastrous implications on the global economy. Our best chance to stay healthy is to grow our own food; an act that goes against economics on par with a lack of patriotism. These industries’ greatest fear is that we stop buying their products and start getting healthy. How concerned should we be for an economy that is dependent on our illness and disease?
The benefits drained from our food cannot be equally synthesized in the laboratory. They can’t reproduce life in the fashion that Nature can. Our bodies require bionutrients, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins from whole food. The body and mind require protein, cholesterol, fiber, carbohydrates and fat to function. The only proper access to these, in a way that the body understands, is to consume organic produce and grass-fed meat.
True food equals true health, and no chemical crutch can improve this function. Our health should not be something that we pursue (and is always just beyond our reach), it is something we should embrace and nurture. In return, our health rewards us.