Sunday 31 May 2015

Automation: The Self-Sabotage of Mankind

One lesson my parents instilled in my sisters and I, was the need and understanding that you must work so you can pay your way and earn your keep.  And they were right.  Money doesn't grow on trees after all.

Some of us live to work.  While others, as my Daddy told me years ago, simply work so they can live.  And there exists every single variety of work days and work weeks in between.  There's day work and night work.  Week work and weekend work.  Full time work and part time work. Commission work and salary work.  Contract work and hourly wage work.  So many ways to earn your keep!

It's really much much more than this though.  Yes, the reason we work is to earn our pay check, but we also do it for that intangible feeling of worthiness, self-sufficiency, and even pride.  I once knew a man who got his first real job in his thirties.  It was boxing VHS videos in a warehouse during evening hours.  This guy was so proud of that job and in turn proud of himself.  He was a happier, more loving person while he was working that job.  It seems to live with contentment in this world, we also need a sense of purpose.

So if work is part of life, part of living, part of being a part of the pack, then why are we actively trying to build and create machines to do our jobs for us?  Don't we get that if we're not doing the work we're not earning the dough?  Isn't that slightly self-sabotaging to your own species to do this? I'm talking small jobs and big jobs, routine jobs and crucial jobs.  For instance, my local grocery store has allowed eight machines to come on in and take away eight human's jobs.  From this point onward I vow to never use those things.

Let's look at a crucial job like the transporting of goods on highways.  Teamsters Canada is the union representing the 120,000 + canadians who drive those hugemongous trucks for days on end.  They're the reason we have any selection at all at our grocers, not to mention almost every other merchant in the country.  Their jobs are about to be taken over by a self-driving tractor transport truck.  Sounds scifi doesn't it?  Check it out here in this CBC article about this very thing happening already in the U.S.  Who does this benefit but an already lucrative and rich company?  It surely does not benefit mankind.  Yes, there will still be a driver, but do you think he or she will still make the same wage if they can read while they work?

I hear on CBC that the plan is to build a entirely separate roadway for autonomous vehicles.  Ummm ... don't we already have that?  It's called a train or locomotive.  Every day we reinvent the wheel in order to increase revenue.  It becomes all encompassing where in the end, there is no longer an amicable employee-employer relationship.  There is only constant pinching and squeezing.  Making each employee do more work for less pay.  Some employers won't be happy it seems, until all employees are replaced by robots they don't have to pay.  How the fuck are we gonna buy your shit then?

If protesting Oil is terrorism in Canada, then wtf is taking away our ability to make money, earn our keep, pay our societal way?  That's domestic terrorism at it's best or worst.  Do they forget that building the economy requires us to buy their shit?  And we can't buy their shit if we have no moolah.

Really ... we don't even need a crystal ball to see the future.  The future is unemployed.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

We Have a Pedophile Culture

**warning:  possible triggers for sexual abuse/rape.

I find it difficult to wrap my head around what it means when people say we have a rape culture.  I get that rape can be used for control and power.  I get that rape can be used as a weapon.  Rape is happening so often now and in so many different ways, that we're immune to it ... is that it?  Rape is just a part of our culture now.  It truly is a sign we've gone over the edge when we take something that should be pleasurable, and we turn it into evil.

There are people who feel that early molestation is more scarring than rape.  I'm lucky to not have experience here.  But I will say that I can see and fully understand how molestation in all of its forms will impact how your brain perceives sex from that point forward.  Many people feel uneasy even if their minds have blocked the abuse.  Sexual abuse is scarring.  And yet it seems to be something that society and the authorities feel is easy to sweep under the rug.

Some recent examples would be Stephen Collins, actor who admitted in an interview with Katie Couric that he molested one of his daughter's friends.  In fact, that girl broke her silence in March about this.  She is 44 now and I wonder if she's been able to deal with this abuse up until now.  I wonder if it haunts her.  I wonder how she feels knowing that we basically believe that he's sorry and that's enough.  It's not enough.  An apology will never be enough.

A more recent example is Josh Duggar from the uber fertile and uber Christian family who have their own show on TLC.  Josh, the oldest son molested four of his sisters and one of their friends.  But he apologized so it's okay.  Or that's how it seems.  His mom says that the abuse gathered their family even closer~yuck~ to pray together for guidance.  And that Josh has gone through therapy.  Many believe he was young and it was innocent.  No. No. No.   I guess this one is still in the works.  Josh should be in jail.  Prayer and therapy isn't penance in any way.

And then there's Graham James.  Remember him?  He was a hockey coach who molested NHL player Sheldon Kennedy for years. Theo Fleury was also abused by James and wrote a book about it. James plead guilty for Kennedy's abuse, and admitted to Fleury's abuse.  He was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.  But sex abuse isn't a big deal ... or so you'd think as in 2007 the Canadian National Parole Board issued James a pardon.  He quickly left the country.  Now he's back ... amid more allegations. What will happen this time?  A harder, sharper slap on the wrist?

And of course, no blog post about Pedophiles would be complete without mentioning the ongoing, over-swept, over-denied, over-forgiven Roman Catholic Church and the many pedo priests out there who simply got moved to another church and another community.  I shame the entire religion for the fact that priests can't marry, and for the fact that from day one with Adam and Eve, the act of sex has been demonized.  This act that is supposed to be pleasurable, now marred for so many.

These pigs are ruining the lives of our kids.  Honestly, being beaten would likely be easier to get over than being molested as a child, and then being made to believe that it's your fault, or that it's normal. In most countries on this planet, the way we discourage people from doing certain things, is our penal system.  We believe that incarceration and rehabilitation efforts will mitigate future crimes.  Don't we?  I guess not in this case.

All I can say in the end is I'm so sorry to all who have been victimized by this pedo culture we live in.  If we live in a "Rape Culture" because rape is being normalized, then we really are living in a "Pedophile Culture" where even when pedos admit their actions, they go uncharged, free to molest again.

It seems we have a culture that will throw you in jail for not paying your taxes, but leave you free if you molest a youth.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Follow-Through, the New Black or #EndSexualViolence Now!

I'm a 41 year old citizen of planet Earth and I yearn to be part of the change.  I recycle.  I pick up my pooch's excrement.  I turn taps and lights off promptly.  I practice the old adage of 'waste not want not'.  I am a droplet in the ocean that surely does hit the shore eventually right?


But damned if I can find my follow through.  Something always distracts me.  I've become a bit ADD in my old age.  Or is it ADHD .... so hard to keep up with the labels anymore!

For instance, six months ago I began working in a small business that doesn't recycle.  Yes that's a travesty, but that was a few blogs back :).  For the first month there, I collected every single recyclable container and did the late night bag-lady walk home.  Yes ... I literally carried a jumbo garbage bag of empty clanking juice and pop bottles all the way home and quietly dumped them into my tenement's recycling bins out back.

The effort made me feel good about myself ... for a while.  But somewhere I lost the momentum.  I doubted that my drop actually hit the shore.  My follow through was nowhere to be found.

I see others with follow through though.  I see them everywhere.  I admire them, wishing I could be more like that.  Want to be more like them.  Like whom you ask?  Well there's my friends in B.C. who, with the help of their extended growing season, grow enough fruit and veggies every season to feed a small country!  Follow through and gardening go hand-in-hand, illustrated yearly by my gardening genius folks who start precious seedlings indoors every February.

Follow-through is everywhere.  It's in the smallest routine moments, and it's in the every daily.  I hear about it on the radio and I watch it on tv.  Today I read about it's presence for the last year on the campus of Columbia University where a student named Emma Sulkowicz showed not only follow-through, but some mad core strength too!

You may remember reading or hearing about Emma.  Her story is here in her own words.  In protest of Columbia University's complacency in regards to reported cases of sexual assault, Emma has been carrying around her fifty pound mattress.  She carried it everywhere this past year.  And she carried it with her when she crossed the floor to graduate on Tuesday.

Talk about taking a life-shattering experience and turning it into a droplet that DOES indeed hit the shoreline!!  Emma made her protest into her senior year art thesis and titled it "Carry That Weight". Thanks to this protest and Emma's incredible follow-through, changes have been made in how reports of sexual assault are handled.  You can read more here.

This one human's follow-through ignited a conversation all over North America about sexual assault on campus and the transparency of all college and university's claims of safety.  I live in Ontario, Canada and I remember this story.  I admired Emma then, though I knew nothing about her.

This gets me to re-evaluating my own follow-through or lack thereof.  If Emma's follow through could do so much, could mine as well?  I mean, do you think if I protested I could make change too? My city makes businesses pay to have recyclables picked up so most go in the garbage. Do you think that little 'ol me could change that?  That clanking bag of recyclables could become my protest!!

Emma Sulkowicz is being the change.  Her actions of vivid follow-through deserve the utmost respect. Can we as a society of loving humans exhibit this same follow-through and end sexual violence once and for all?  I'm thrilled to say that we're well on our way in YGK to doing our part! My local MPP Sophie Kiwala has begun an initiative to extend that follow through in our area of the world.  It takes a community y'know.  Check it out here and take part too :)


Saturday 16 May 2015

Cannabis Law Reform As An Election Issue

I've known for many years that I would and will base my election vote on the political party's views on legalizing Marijuana.

What's your immediate thought after reading that?  Please ... leave it in the comments.

Politics ... I used to see it as sterile and boring and far away from me.  Truth be told, I never cared about Politics at all until I started smoking weed.  How's that for a gateway drug?  It opened me right up to giving a shit about my people, my province, my country, the planet.  Marijuana made me think about that, them, it.  All of us.

And y'know what?  I am not alone.  One of the side effects of Cannabis use is deeper thought.  Please if you agree with this, leave a comment ... even if you simply put  "PPP"  :) (peace, pot, prosperity)

So I know that when I start talking seriously to some groups of people about Cannabis Law Reform as an election issue, their opinions of me change immediately.  Many think it's ridiculous.  But it's about as ridiculous as my mental health is.  It's as ridiculous as having Crohn's and having a day without diarrhea.  It's as ridiculous as not having to take opioids to kill pain throughout the day.  It's as ridiculous as all the wee Angels who are currently being healed by Cannabis Oil~seizures stopped, cancer cells killed.  It's as ridiculous as the BILLION$ of dollars in taxes that could be collected if we legalized, regulated, and taxed this oh-so-easy to grow weed.

Maybe it's not so ridiculous after all?

Dear NDP, Green Party, Liberal, & Conservative parties,

You have an opportunity here that you may never see again, and surely haven't seen in the past.  You have millions of people, myself included, begging you to let them pay you more tax.  You have millions of gardening geniuses who can grow almost anything, and who want to WORK WITH YOU making Cannabis the next big Canadian export.  We grow good shit.  You have others, myself included, who want to buy from you a license to grow a few of these plants for personal use the way we can currently legally grow tobacco.

I'm a tree-hugger so it pains me to say this, but Cannabis is a commodity.  People pay money for it. Even if you grow your own, you're paying money to do it.  Who is making the money off of it right now?  Those dollars could be in Parliament coffers thanks to one of you ... Orange, Green, Red, or Blue!!

Please re-think Cannabis Law Reform and start talking to get us voting!

Sunday 10 May 2015

Celebrating Mom-ness

Happy Mother's Day to all of the great moms out there.

Being a mom isn't just about the fruit of your womb either I guess.

I mean, I've been a mom so many times now.  Mostly to the furry but their love is as real as ours.

Far be it for me to attempt to identify all that this Mom-ness really encompasses, for it evolves.

Mom-ness doesn't even require a womb anymore.

Mom-ness changes, grows, matures, evolves, diversifies.

It is all good.
It is all necessary.

I hope you join me in celebrating it today!

Cheers, Much Love, Slainte & PPP :)

Friday 1 May 2015

Bread, Milk, Budda, and Beer ... get it all here!

Premier Kathleen Wynne recently announced changes to how and where Ontario sells it's beer.
You can read about it in this article.

It took a brief convo with my Daddy to really help me formulate my outrage for Premier Wynne's recent announcement to begin selling beer in grocery stores.  I mean, I've been quite outraged about this possible change for years now.  I signed multiple petitions when the idea was given that convenience stores would have their chance.

For me, there are and were many points of unease where this is concerned.  Why make an addictive, mind-altering substance more convenient to buy?  Wasn't it a mere month ago that the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported that 20% of Canadians drink too much alcohol?  Are we wanting to increase our 50,000 alcohol related deaths per year?  I always feared for the convenience store worker, as I doubted they'd be adding another employee for safety measures.

In speaking with local store owners, they seemed gung-ho!  They wanted a piece of the pie.  One store owner expressed that sentiment very clearly yet through disjointedly poor english:  "yes ... more business" was all he could say.

I feel outrage for the addicts and the alcoholics ... white knuckled or otherwise.  They used to be able to avoid temptation by avoiding the LCBO or the Beer store, and the streets they're on.  At the grocery store, they could use a lane near the front so they'd never know the Wine Rack was there.  But not anymore.  They'll likely now have to walk by the section with the Beer in it.  They'll likely have to smell it, as Beer permeates worse than dairy does!  They'll have to see the uber advertising, and you know it will be there.  Long story short:  they'll be tempted.  That ain't good and that ain't fair.

But as I mentioned above, there's a more concrete reason for my outrage, one a little lighter on feeling and a little heavier on facts.  You see, Premier Wynne's plan isn't going to even the playing field for the convenience stores or even the smaller grocers to allow them a sliver of that higher profit margin Big Grocery gets. No that would have been too fair.  What Wynne is doing here is she's taking this highly profitable product and allowing it to be sold in only the biggest Grocery chains with the deepest pockets.  No doubt the ones that donate the most to her campaigns ~past or present.

So in effect, Kathleen Wynne is allowing capitalism to decide this incredibly vital issue.
Making any addictive substance more available to the masses is a social issue not a corporate one!!

Months ago while getting some Buds for my babe at the Beer store, I noticed another flyer regarding this issue.  I grabbed one and said, "I thought Premier Wynne decided against doing this?".  The clerk simply gave me my change and said, "They're gonna do whatever they're gonna do."  I remember feeling somewhat superior in that moment as I thought to myself ... "c'mon buddy .. we have the power!".

But do we?
Are we being sold out?
Is Wynne just another gd sell-out?

I mean this is a social experiment in the making.  I surely hope someone is taking notes.  If alcohol-related deaths in Canada are around 50,000, how many will there be on the anniversary of this decision?  How many more livers will be scarred with Cirrhosis?  How many more DUI's.  How many more intoxicated drivers, boaters, and atv'ers will there be now that beer is so normalized you can buy it while you buy your bread, milk, and butter?

What message will Ontario be sending to our youth?  That booze is a normal addition to everyone's shopping list?