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Posts Tagged ‘corporate-motivated stupidity

Nails in the Coffin

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So the Republican-dominated U.S. congress has decided to cut massive amounts of funding to various sex education and sexual health initiatives, heavily crushing female-oriented programs, all in the name of balancing a budget crippled by wonky priorities  and satisfying some knee-jerk reactions on the parts of their looking-for-someone-to-blame constituents. At the same time, various states are trying to crush unions representing public sector workers, again in an effort to save money and impress scapegoat-hungry voters.

In a time where there are active concerns about whether the U.S. will be able to maintain its status as one of the world’s leading countries, these are all excellent, decisive moves.  These actions will seriously degrade the quality of life of current and future workers, open up the possibility of public services being fulfilled by corporations with questionable goals and hiring practices (OK, not questionable: “Profit Margin”), and ensure a generations of uninformed and clueless teenage moms and STD victims.  All wondering about the State’s future status is erased: Third-World status is assured.

This troubles me, because, despite American inclination to view their issues as their own and no one else’s business, the health and mental stability of such a large and pushy nation/economy very directly effects the outcomes for every other nation and being on the Earth.

The Future

One of my biggest concerns is that the knee-jerkers will not remember that it was their instant-gratification-serving political candidates that put them in this situation.  The mitigating possibility is that eventually in the distant future they’ll get over the finger pointing, or the economy will improve to the point they’ll decide it would be nice if the government would take care of educating people on sex, improving the quality of health care, and dealing with the crappy  services provided by understaffed or corporately-run fire, police, and city departments by making them attractive places for appropriately trained workers to work.

My biggest concern is that this right-wing,  unthinkingly-culturally-retro-romanticist, selfish-rich-guy and corporately sponsored sideshow will continue to poison the Canadian political process through our unavoidable shadowing under the American media bubble.


Everyday Alphabet – Ff – Factory Farm

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Factory Farm

Larger version (for detail nuts)

Everyday Alphabet – Mm – Malicious Money

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malicious money

Written by balloonhed

January 15, 2011 at 11:02 pm

The Holiday Season Always Fills Me With the Urge to Deface Public Advertising

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OK, the holiday season and forgetting to take my meds.

For better or worse, however, I’m a responsible member of society with kids,  who aspires to having a job again some day, so I refrain.  I’m also ill-prepared to do it properly, since I feel defacement should carry a message for those who don’t care to think about the negative aspects of the stuff they buy and look at, or are just plain ignorant of these aspects.

Going home and dropping into a grocery store after dropping one of the kids at daycare, for instance, brought the following editorial possibilities to mind:

  • A splat of some undesirable substance on a poster for a “extreme fighting” bout to be shown at a local pub, featuring two guys that look like something out of a GI Joe cartoon (the white guy had Kanji tattooed over his heart – i wonder if he just thought it looked cool, or actually knows what it said).  And/or the statement “watching this will NOT turn you into one of these guys”.
  • “repackaged and neutralized subculture for your pathetic efforts to buy cool”  stickers for placement over the logo of a omnipresent corporate colonialist coffee shop.
  • “sacrifices newborn health for profit$” stickers for displays of product by an unnamed multinational corporation and its many stealthy affiliates and brands.
  • “slavery and environmental disregard saves YOU money”  for a certain american mega-retailer, and, well, most other retailers.
  • “Because penis enlargement might hurt and would definitely take too long” banners to be added in front of luxury car dealers.
  • “Because you’re important enough to warrant the use of large ships that sail around leaving a trail of sewage and garbage that would make a town proud” banners for travel agencies that tout cruises.

Wikileaks and Canadian Asbestos

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So International politics and diplomacy is dirty stuff. Wow, I didn’t see that coming!

I an totally appreciate the value of Wikileaks revealing nonsense in a military operation like that in Afghanistan. We need to know  the truth about a situation that is costing people their lives and quality of life.  If we’re being snowed, we need to have real details so we can adjust our expectations and responses as citizens of involved nations.

However, in the case of diplomacy – Governments tend to provide what is expected by their citizens (or, increasingly, expected by their corporate citizens, but that’s another can of maggots). We citizens of North America various expect (in no particular order) to have one of the highest standards of living, be militarily and economically dominant (necessary, I guess, to fulfill all the other expectations), have the most oil to burn up, the most disposable consumer garbage, the best and most plentiful selection of food, etc etc.  Fulfilling these expectations can be difficult to fulfill in a world where the majority can’t expect this stuff, and where other participating governments may be motivated by goals other than the expectations of their population, impossible to do honestly and ethically unless the expecting populations are willing to lower their expectations to a reasonable level.  International politics are delicate and nasty. Many governments and governmental functions are still fueled on personal prestige, influence, ambition and jealousy, and in order to continue supporting us in the manner we’re accustomed, our governments have to swim in this stuff.  Governments are also like people – The Chinese leadership may have been considering reigning in North Korea, but like anyone, they no doubt hate to be figured out by a rival and potential enemy. I can see China radically changing its approach to North Korea to negate American Diplomat’s leaked suspicions China isn’t as supportive as it used to be. Congratulations, we’re all in the know,  but one step closer to war with a dangerous rogue state with nuclear capability.

My favourite Canadian example: Once upon a time, (I still recall this when I was in grade school in the 70’s) Asbestos was the wonder substance, an insulation that also prevented fires. We Canadians were blessed i that Quebec had tons of the stuff buried in the ground. A huge industry developed around extracting, refining, and exporting it. Eventually, however, it was revealed that it causes cancer. Canada and other first world countries banned its use and now millions of dollars are spent each year removing asbestos from buildings. However, as noted above, an industry has developed around its production – banning its production entirely would anger business interests and the workers involved in asbestos. So, the Canadian government bows to its population’s demands and allows its continued sale to countries with lower standards of safety. This is kind of like allowing car manufacturers to re-sell recalled cars to places that aren’t as worried about driver safety as Canada or the U.S.A.

Similar to the Asbestos situation is the recent defeat of a bill to ensure some of our at-home mining expectations are fulfilled where Canadian corporations mine in developing countries.

If we’re going to expect governments to continuously and entirely behave in a manner that we can respect, We should expect it of other aspects of our civilization.

  • Food retailers should be required to have monitors displaying live video feeds of the production of the food in question over each food section (including the facilities where the livestock are raised, transported/unloaded, and slaughtered).
  • Banks and Financial firms should be required to list the questionable or ethically shaky investments your money will be used in , whether you want to hear about it or not.
  • Any retailer that sells stuff that contains metals such as copper must have a “jumbotron” in their entry area showing the average copper mine in a third-world country where the metal  came from, as well as (anonymous) interviews with employees of the mine.
  • Consumer junk retailers should be required to have similar video feeds of the third-world production of the junk in question, as well as piles of the same product cluttering some place’s landscape after we’re done with it.

Our politics and relations with the world are just reflections of what we expect, as a mass of humans. We have a lot of cleaning to do before we can expect our representatives to behave in a sparkling manner.  Lots of evil is done on our behalves every moment. It’s up to us to stop ignoring it.

Black Friday

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I haven’t researched the source of the name, so I chose to interpret “Black Friday” as a negative thing. It sums up all that is repugnant in the collective behavior of the citizens of the U.S.A. – Full blinders-on self indulgence, ignore your collapsing infrastructure, abandoned houses, unemployed masses, sick and uncared for young and minorities, deny the impact your crazed consumption has on the social and environmental health of the rest of the world as it is hypnotized by the false images you splash out and tries to become you. An imbecile sitting in front of a leaking dam masturbating instead of trying to fix the leaks before the whole thing collapses.

I also seek it as a compression of the behavior we all indulge in, especially those of us living in North America. The fact that Black Friday is still so huge and various parties are trying to import it to Canada indicates we still have a lot to learn.

random stupid things done by governments probably under corporate influence #1

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As part of the `war on drugs` the US bankrolled the spraying of coca-producing regions with a brand-name herbicide and the experimental release of modified versions of a fungus previously known for almost destroying the banana industry in Panama. The results – resourceful coca growers have made a herbicide-resistant coca strain by breeding the plants that survive such sprayings, and the fungus has predictably jumped to non-coca jungle plants. Coca and cocaine production reduction: negligible. Oxygen and biodiversity-providing jungle reduction: excellent potential.

The “war on drugs” concept got a good government boost way back in the  early-mid part of the last century when hemp was showing good potential to replace wood pulp as a source of paper. Hearsts and Du Ponts and similar creatures with hooks into the US government were concerned about their holdings in the tree-killing and processing industry, and thusly lobbied for the criminalization of the whole pot family tree. Thanks to this bit of corporate/rich guy self protection, the whole world has to suffer under the american holier-than-thou anti-pot pose. thanks, guys.

The `war on drugs`consistently seems to use weapons with warped sights . . . everything around the intended target (law and order, justice and truth, economies, cultures, villages, families, traditions, flora and fauna) gets shot instead of the target. the `war on drugs`appears to be yet another example of actual humans and the stuff they depend on being sacrificed in the name of abstract (and usually obsolete, partisan, and downright silly) ideals held up by right-wing and monied interests (are they the same? hmmm). legalizing cocaine kills the motivation for organized crime, reduces crime associated with funding and distribution, introduces the concept of revenue through taxation, gives currently imperiled coca farmers a legit line of work, negates the need for billions for `the war on drugs, allows for the product to be regulated and controlled dosage-wise, and may even satisfy right wing elements as the user base kills itself off with legal overuse. It`s a win all around!

Written by balloonhed

April 27, 2010 at 10:12 pm