Thursday, July 23, 2015


Lies, deception, falsehoods, fibs and prevarication.

If someone tells you the world DOESN'T run on lies, they're lying. I get so upset when we see a young innocent flat out lie and we ask, "Where did Junior learn that?" If a young innocent were to tell the truth even though he/she would get into trouble, THEN, "Where did Junior learn that?" is appropriate!

Lies are not all flat out lies. We have the playing dumb lies. Big business and politics are experts at this. Like when Canada protests Nestle taking B.C. water for $2.25 per million litres and Nestle hires people to say, "Here, here, B.C. sign this petition against Nestle taking OUR WATER FOR $2.25!" YEAH!!! Big cheer. Thousands of signatures. Did anybody read it? It actually says Nestle will keep on taking B.C. water for $3.25 per million litres. B.C. says, "Hey, wait a minute..." Then the corporate dumb act kicks in. Nestle says, "What? Isn't this what you wanted? You have to be more clear. We have a petition signed by thousands of people that says they want us to take the water at $3.25 per million litres. How are we supposed to understand what you guys want?" Because when Canadians have a problem with a European company taking Canadian water from the land we live on and pay taxes to live on and the people we pay taxes to ALLOW them, nay, ENCOURAGE them to sell that water back to us at a million times what they paid for it, the big business dumb act kicks in and they say, "It must be the price point the people are protesting." Big business is not that dumb. It's just an act.

Same thing happened with the occupy Wall Street and the occupy anything movements. All these confused looks from politicians, bankers and businessmen, "We just don't get a clear message of what you are protesting. We don't understand..." It's just an act. Banks are not that dumb.

Cotton plantation owner pays his slaves barely enough to survive. Plantation owner goes out and gambles away a fortune. Next day he forces the slaves to give him some of their subsistance wages to cover the loss. They're supposed to be satisfied with the explanation that without the good and honourable plantation owner they wouldn't have any wages at all. Well explanations like that don't satisfy. You can't eat them. So the slaves protest. They say, "We don't want to work for this jerk-off any more. We want freedom!" The government says, "Oh, oh, oh, oh, ha ha ha ha. I know what you're saying. Right you are! Freedom! We shall give you freedom." So they're released. They don't work for that jerk-off any more. But they have to find jobs. The only place hiring is the sweat shop where they make cotton shirts. (out of that jerk-off's cotton) But they pay a whopping 7 bucks an hour! "That's WAAAY more than that jerk-off paid us! We're free!" Then tax time rolls around and the slaves realize they're still slaves.

War profiteers from rich countries selling weapons to both sides where there are clear cut conflicts. Muslims and Christians. Shiites and Sunis. Hutus and Tootsies. Sandanistas and Contras. Good guys and terrorists. But that's not all they sell. They also sell fear and hatred. The fear and hatred builds until the two opposing sides USE the weapons sold to them. The conflict escalates so they need MORE weapons. The war profiteers in the rich countries get richer. But then people protest. "Stop the violence," they shout to the profiteering countries. Then the politician dumb act kicks in. "OH, oh, oh! We read ya. Loud and clear. HUA! Heard, understood and acknowledged. You want us to sell weapons to OUR military and send OUR soldiers into the fray. Our peace-keeping forces. Well we can do that. And while we're at it we can get some of the spoils that come the victors' way. They have oil, don't they? Diamonds? Ivory? Sure we'll peace the shit outta this country!"

While "peacing the shit outta" countries people are killed by the war profiteering country's military. Unfortunately innocent people are killed. Resources are taken. Jobs are lost. Homes are blown up. Cities are turned into rubble. Futures are destroyed. The people of the country getting the shit peaced out of it begin to despise the peace-keeping forces. They begin to tally in their heads all of the losses forced upon them by that country. They begin plotting revenge. They organize. They buy weapons. From, in all likelihood, that very SAME war profiteering country. They attack that country. They can't declare war but they engage in small attacks from time to time. Unfortunately innocent people are killed. The people protest. "Stop the violence," they cry. Then the political dumb act kicks in. "Oh, oh, right, right, right. We hear ya. These people who are attacking us FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER are terrorists and they need to be stopped! We need to fortify our forces in our own country to guard against them. Carry the three... that'll require at LEAST a gojillion dollars worth of our arms. But we're in luck. This month chemical weapons are 25% off..."

Folks there's only one real kind of terrorism that I've noticed in the world. And it ain't the kind the lamestream media is so invested in getting everyone to think. They would have us believe that somewhere right now someone is sitting around in a place where there have been no attacks, no deaths, no cause for anger or revenge and thinking, "Sigh. I'm bored. Think I'll strap some dynomite to my chest, find a highly populated area full of Americans even though I have absolutely no reason to hate them, detonate the dynomite killing all those wonderful Americans and myself even though I have no reason to hate Americans and I am perfectly happy and have no desire to kill myself. Yeah. What better way to spend a Friday afternoon?" If there is such a person, he or she is not a terrorist anyway. He or she is batshit crazy.

No, the real terrorism is more like this: France sitting around one day in 1830 going, "Sigh. I'm bored. Look at Algeria over there. Lots of fertile, empty land. We could plant cotton there. Cotton is hot right now. It's like the oil of the future. Probably. I don't know because it's not the future yet but probably oil will be valuable. So why don't I go into Algeria, kill the Muslim men, rape the women and force the kids to all pick cotton for me?" So France does so. And as recently as the 1940's were STILL killing, raping and enslaving Algerians. THAT is terrorism. And its cause is money. Capitalistic terrorism is the only real terrorism I have found. But you have to dig deep to find that out. It's well hidden. If you discover it, the best it will be accepted as is you opinion. A theory. A conspiracy theory. The terrorists know it's all true. But they act like they don't. It's just an act. They're not that stupid.

Incidentally, two of the "terrorists" who without any reason whatsoever, copletely unprovoked, out of left field attacked Charlie Hebdo offices in France. From Algeria.

Let's do the alien attack thing again. Aliens from the planet Buttox attack the earth. They pillage the natural resources, kill the men, rape the women, and make the children work as slaves extracting natural resources from the earth so they can be flown back to Buttox. Then they leave the earth in shambles and the citizens to start a civilization all over again. Well they do. And in a thousand years the society is technologically advanced enough to send a squadron of warships to Buttox and attack it. Then the alien dumb act kicks in. "What a completely unprovoked terrorist attack!" They kill all the humans so no Buttoxians can hear the reasons the "terrorists" had to attack. But more humans come. Then more. The government of Buttox incites fear of the humans. They create in the humans a fictional terrorist enemy. The citizens of Buttox shout out, "Stop the violence!" The Supreme Commander of Buttox, who also owns controlling shares in the laser company Sizafitz and the munitions company Lackheed Martian, says, "Oh, oh, oh, oh, ha ha ha ha ha. I read you comrades! You want me to fortify Buttox against any further terrorist attacks by purchasing more lasers and war machines. Carry the three, that'll be a hillion billion buttbucks." And now the UNIVERSE runs on lies!

Back down to earth I have friends who are being put through hell by some asshole who has lied for money. He sued them for 70 grand. They are completely in the right and everybody knows it. The asshole is completely in the wrong and everybody knows it. But it makes no difference. They will have to hire a bunch of lawyers to hash it all out in court or arbitration or whatever before they come to the conclusion that the asshole is an asshole and my friends are in the right. And with the court system the way it is nowadays, there is no guarantee that that will be the final ruling. Best case scenario is that bringing out the truth will be expensive. Worst case scenario will be that the asshole will earn some money for his lies. And the lawyers? They always win. Lawyer and liar. Practically the same word.

I'm going through the requisite lie fests that in the business world are called interviews and applications. "Please give us an idea what you're looking for in our school." "That's easy. I want to make a lot of money and I don't want to work too hard. Oh yeah, and I want to work for a school that does what they say they will do and doesn't break the contract." XXXX AAANNNNHHHH!!! "You fail! You do not get the job. You are HONEST! We don't want honest people working for us."

"Oh geez, you're absolutely right. Okay let's see, I want to work hard at improving the enrollment and reputation of my new 24-hour-a-day family at City English School. I promise to employ the educational strategies of the businessmen who run it, and the control freak mothers of the students therein abandoning any and all educational teachings and teaching experience I have garnered over my many years in the field. I will work sick. I will sacrifice holidays and/or pay when the school is struggling. I will satisfy myself to bask in the glory of City English School." "Well okay then. You're hired."

Ever notice how similar a job interview is to a first date? And you get asked the same questions. Not really word for word but the same questions. Like I always get, "Why have you changed jobs so often?" The dating equiivalent would be something like, "How long was your longest relationship?" or "How many partners have you had?" You gotta be careful answering this question, and by that I mean you gotta lie. I usually say, "I have left most of my jobs to move up to a better work situation. Better pay, more vacation etc." XXXXX AAAANNNNHHHHH!!!! That's just like saying, "I left Jody for Iris because Iris had bigger jugs. Then I found Rosie. She was WAAY better than Iris in the sack!"

I find it's better to say something like, "I had to return to Canada for a family tragedy. That's why I left my last job." The dating equivalent is something like, "Iris died. She got hit by a car. Tragic when they go so young and busty." Girls and employers like loyalty better than truth. And employers like the family tragedy answer. But if your Grandmother dies and you ask for time off to attend the funeral, they will have forgotten this conversation.

"Are you an ambitious person?" Employers love people who love money. It's a comfort to them to know that this employee will cancel his plans to go to the one and only superconcert of Led Zeppelin and AC DC with the temporarily re-animated John Bonham and Bon Scott to work the weekend if you throw him an extra hundred bucks. "I like a man who knows what he wants and goes out and gets it. Are you like that?" There IS no right answer to these questions. Employers and women like you to be upwardly mobile but don't want to be stepping stones. You can't win.

"Once I get the visa from you I'll be a lot more employable and I'll probably transfer to a much better school before our one-year contract is up." XXXX AANNNHHH!!! "I know what I want and right now that's you. I'm gonna reach out and take you. But in a month I'll want another girl because I don't believe humans are naturally monogamous so I don't want you to be upset when I reach out and grab another woman. You just said you like that quality in a man." XXXXX AAAANNNNHHHH!!! The best answer is something like, "Yeah. I'm like that." Even if you're not.

Sigh. I'm a little bummed by people responding poorly to my honesty. And employers and women BOTH wonder why they end up with asshole workers and asshole boyfriends! THEY FORCE US TO BE ASSHOLES! Lying assholes. And that's the truth.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I Am

It bothers me when people assume I'm stupid. People should never assume. Because it makes an ASS... it ASSES... it ... well UME just shouldn't do it. Heh heh.

Oh there are stupid people out there! Maybe more than ever. But it occurs to me that somehow we have been socialized to believe thay're everywhere. Like the computer geeks might say the default setting for intelligence expectation has dropped. I think computers just might have something to do with that. Let me explain:

Ever have trouble with a webpage? I'm looking for work right now and going to all kinds of sites where you are supposed to be able to upload your resume and thousands of prospective employers will be able to view it. The trouble is I fill in blanks for half an hour then press the "upload resume" button and nothing happens.

There are also job ads that ask for pictures, resumes, cover letters, email, passwords. employment histories, transcripsts, passports, criminal record checks, degrees, certificates, references, seals, stamps, apostilles... then you send them all this and they get right back to you with, "Please fill out our application form." The application form asks for pictures, resume, cover letter, email, password, employment history, transcripts, passport, criminal record check, degree, certificates, references, seals, stamps and apostilles. The exact same stuff. Then when you finish filling in all the blanks and press send or save or finish or whatever you get a message like, "there is some difficulty with your email and password." So you try every combination you have ever used in your life but none works. You tell the employer their online application is not working correctly and you don't get the job because the fault MUST be with YOUR computer skills.

I even applied to a company to get my criminal record check all taken care of for me. THEY had a website too and the same thing happened. I spent hours and hours filling in the information that they need to put on the RCMP criminal record form and the address they need to mail it to and the credit card number they need to receive payment and every time something went wrong.

And sometimes you get sent to a registration page after filling in all this information. The registration page just asks for all the same information. But you figure maybe the site will work if you are a registered member. So you fill in the registration blanks and register. I have NEVER EVER EVER filled out a registration form that didn't work! Hmmm. Mysterious isn't it? Anyhoo, you get all registered and sent back to the page with all the blanks you've filled out. The blanks are blank once again so you fill them in again thinking that now that you are filling them in as a registered user it will make a difference. You press send or finish or continue or whatever and again nothing happens.

There are lots of other situations like this when websites don't work. You've experienced it. Everybody has. It's because there are a LOT of flaws in these stupid websites. Some are designed to work with certain operating systems and not with others. They probably receive funding from rival operating systems to be like this. How are we to know if a website supports Internet Explorer or Google Chrome? They never tell you. You have to waste all the time and energy finding out yourself.

Then there's Skype. Can someone PLEASE tell me why everyone can use this but me? I froze two computers downloading it! Froze. Like had to restart in Safe mode and nuke it from there. Even the one or two times I have managed to get it without destroying my computer it comes with so much axtra shit I'm getting rid of programs for months. And I'm sure I don't even notice all of them. AND it takes up almost all my RAM. EVERYTHING is slower! AAAANNNNDDD it's annoyingly in your face. I haven't put in the effort to learn the ins and outs but the first trick I'd like to know is how to shut if off. I HATE that it's always going and that there is no user friendly way to shut it off! That's a sure sign to me that I don't want or need that program. AAAAAANNNNNNDDDDD then, when I use it the stupid thing shuts down all the time. I've had exactly ONE entire conversation on Skype without the thing shutting down on me. But people in the biz look so cool and modern with their Madonna headphones and face mikes! They LOVE Skype. Please!

And then comes my personal favourite part: you find an email address, "If you have trouble just email us at So you send them and email explaining that you filled everything in, pressed SEND and nothing happened. Here's what you get: "Have you located the power button on your computer, pushed it and noticed some whirring noises and things lighting up?"

Right? Because it can't possibly be the website that their ingeniusness designed. The problem MUST be with the moronic member of the general public trying to use my perfect website. Or, "Have you registered?" Right? They ask that because this is where they make their money. THAT is why registration always works. They make money because once you register your info will be sold, no matter how many times they say it won't on the website, it WILL be sold or given to people that you don't want to have it. People like spammers, hackers, your government.

So in this way and for this reason are we NOT stupid? Do we NOT deserve to be treated like the dummies we are treated as?

Well that's not fair. I am looking for work. I HAVE to use these sites. That's where they get us. There are times when we have no choice but to do what it is THEY want us to do. Banking, work, official documents, immigration, registration, certification, taxation, enumeration... we're all just doing what we're told. We're free! We're free! We believe we're free! But really we're just free to do what THEY tell us to do.

Again, aren't we as dumb as they treat us if this is indeed the case? We're like that elephant tied to a little stake in the ground with a thin piece of rope. We're only NOT free because we're told we need to live like this.

Here's an interesting way of looking at it: If aliens came down and just helped themselves to natural resources destroying the environment, we'd attack them, wouldn't we? If they then forced us to work for them and give them at LEAST half the money we earned, we'd fight back, wouldn't we? If they kept us working long hours for subsistence wages, we'd be pissed, wouldn't we? Then if they called an election and asked us to choose between Kang or Kodos to be our leader, we'd think it was a fucking joke! Wouldn't we?

NO! No, we wouldn't. We'd vote. We'd vote for Kang because he's going to lower taxes to 45%! Or we'd vote for Kodos because he's going to let us work 9 hours a day instead of 10.

So, the next time I am treated like I am an irretrievably vacuous numbskull with the I.Q. of a turnip, I guess I shouldn't get so upset because I am. I AM!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Election Time in Chinada

When I was a kid I was always outside. I either went out on my own volition or was booted out by my Mom. Either was okay. It was where I wanted to be. Not kids nowadays. In fact it's pretty much social suicide in some places to be the parent who boots their kids outside now. You need to accompany them! Or at least make sure they are supervised. In extreme cases I've heard of people having their kids taken away for sending them out to play unsupervised! That's neglect, right? You are endangering your kids, right? Hogwash! You are allowing them to develop some things that are sadly, sadly lacking in the kids I see today. I'll give you one example: democracy.

What? How can I say such a harsh thing? Well it's true. And it's sad what passes as democracy nowadays and even sadder that kids believe it's been like this forever. It hasn't. We had real democracy when we played outside in the days before we were even old enough to vote. We practiced what we hoped it would be like to make fair decisions based on the majority. We knew that the majority was not always right, but if 5 friends wanted to play football and 6 wanted to play hockey, we played hockey. And the 5 football fans were not that disappointed because the alternative, that is the losing vote, was still pretty good even though they believed things would have been better the way they voted. Furthermore, we all liked hockey AND football so sometimes the footballers would win the vote. I don't know of any friends I had that would only vote for football or for hockey even when conditions were perfect for the other one. If Donny got a new net and Jerry got goalie equipment for Christmas, we'd probably play hockey. If the weather was rainy we'd likely play football because it's more fun to play in the rain than hockey.

Then we got older. Then we got Canadian politics and the vote. We got Canadian politicians. And suddenly democracy was shattered. Now it seems even if you WIN the vote you get shafted! And the alternative, that is the losing vote, is even crappier because we usually believe things would have been better the way we voted. Not MUCH better because we don't like the Liberal candidate OR the Conservative candidate, but at least sometimes our candidate won the vote. Let's be honest, in a system like this, the only folks who win are the candidates, because through your vote you have enabled their behaviour and affixed your stamp of approval to the broken system that gives their lives false meaning. If one of my childhood friends had the arrogance to say, "I am the one who will decide which sport we play every day from now on. Vote for me," my friends and I would have pummelled him into submission with our hockey sticks. And rightly so. A lesson in humility brought to you by letting your kids play outside unsupervised and use their own brains to work things out. And their hockey sticks, as it were...

So why do we accept this exact same thing now that we're older? Why do we think that it's not good for our small group of friends to have one person calling all the shots? Because there is a better chance of that person being a narcissistic asshole who wants to control us and take advantage of our support to get what he wants than that person being someone who truly cares about us and is much smarter than the rest of us and will ultimately do what is best for us all. And this is among FRIENDS! Kids!

How is it then that adults, who are generally more cautious having had the requisite burns life lays on all us trusting people, will settle for a vote for a total stranger every election year as their sole means of democratic exercise, (real or imagined), even though it usually, (or always), becomes just one more burn to knock a little more of the life and hope out of us? Just look at who we have driving the political bus in Canada now. Or should I say the political "omnibus?" I'm not going to go over the mess Stephen Harper has made of Canada in the 7 plus years he's been goin' all Kanye West on it, you can read past posts or Google something like, oh I don't know, "Why Harper should be shot." You may not think that, but why do you think that most of Canada's waters have been deprotected; that it's harder to get a job and harder to get relief if you lose one; that our vaunted Canadian healthcare system is a shadow of its former self; that we have more oil than Norway and their citizens are all sitting on million dollar pensions while we likely won't even get pensions; that environmentalists are screaming at us from the welfare line-ups; that green energy plans have been proven massively popular amongst Canadians yet are blocked; that B.C. water is sold to Nestle for $2.25 per million litres while the province needs that water to put out massive forest fires; that it costs 10 times what it used to for a university degree while in some countries they're free; that journalists are being silenced; that there are more oil spills than ever in Canada and fewer people who know how to clean them up; that Canadians are unable to take advantages of more and more priveleges offered to people from other countries; that Harper is such a hero in China he has food named for him; that a house in a major Canadian city costs a million bucks; that Canada is the most sued nation under free trade agreements for oil, water etc.; that the workplace has become young kids in front of computers wearing headphones and mics Skyping each other in orgies of mutual cybercirclejerks and getting promoted while the real workers get the real work done in real life and real time; that if you make half a million a year you shouldn't pay taxes and if you make a mil., you don't; that our entire country has become a corporation; that you need a certificate to get a certificate to get certified to do anything; that our own spoken word poet, Shane Koyczan, refused to read his "hooray-for-us" poem called "We Are More" on Canada Day? Why? Because we are LESS! Maybe this ALL can't be blamed on Harper and his government, but this is what he meant when he said, "You won't recognize Canada when I'm through with it." But with the typical positivity at election time that makes fools of us all every four years or so, (four times in seven years in Harper's case), people thought he meant he was going to make things better for Canadians, not rich foreigners.

Here's a scary thought: a politician was once asked how much the average person knows about what really goes on in government. His reply was about 1%. Then he was asked how much he knew about it. His reply was about 2%. So the awful things that we know have happened during Harper's reign of terror, may only be the tip of the iceberg! There may be a lot more political doo doo to clean up for whoever replaces Harper than we, or even they know about. And then you see something like this:

I suppose the signs are upon us. It's election time once again in Canada. And people are getting election fever. That wave of foolish positivity that washes over the nation at election time and makes us say and think things like, "THIS time it will be different!" Why do we do this? It boggles the mind! I guess it's just one of those things we do. Like banking. Getting married. Paying outrageous prices for cable. Having kids. School. Work. Having a lawn. Just things we do. Not necessarily good or smart things... just things we do.

And then there are things we say. Like if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about government. Rock the vote. Or this gem being waved around by this guy in the pic. Who is he anyway? Probably just some dude trying to get laid. There, I said it. But at this time of year one of the things happens that makes a mockery of democracy, and this sign puts a fine point on it. That thing could be called "tribal mentality" or "populism," numbers 9 and 8 on this list. Now don't get me wrong! I already told you, I love democracy. I miss it really. But there are weaknesses in the way it is practiced in democratic countries around the world. The biggest weakness: people. Politics involves trillions and trillions of dollars and untold power. Expose a less than saintly person to that and he/she becomes part of the problem and not part of the solution. The biggest problem I see in politics is that it needs to be made less attractive to the people who are attracted to it. People who love money. Well, that may be an understatement. People who lust after money. People who roll around naked in money. People who would love to have money instead of hair growing out of their heads. You get the idea. Let's see, is Harper one of these people? He once called the Kyoto Protocol, "A socialist scheme designed to suck money out of rich countries." It's said with the assumption that we all believe, as he clearly does, that thinking about society, (socialism), is an inferior philosophy to thinking about money, (capitalism).

Then voters, because they are fragile, weak, flawed human beings, take these insanely greedy people, usually two or three of them, and vote for one. "Vote," like they would vote for their country in something like, oh, let's say a meaningless game of women's soccer. Do Americans like soccer? No! Do they like WOMEN'S soccer? HELL no! But wrap the players in stars and stripes and somehow attach some patriotism to it and between 20 and 25 million of them will watch it on TV hating the other side and loving these girls they've never heard of before. Just over 7 million watched the Stanley Cup finals! Why? Not NATIONAL teams playing. Wonder how many American guys had the investment of 40 bucks in a U.S. women's soccer jersey pay off when a cute girl in a bar joined them in celebration of the win. Folks, don't judge me. Millions of men everywhere think this way. Don't shoot the messenger. And don't assume this guy went to the trouble of making that sign JUST because he may believe it.

At any rate, let's get back to the message on the sign. It erroneously assumes that there are other candidates who would not only do things differently than the bad politicians that get elected, but that they'd do things BETTER than the bad politicians who get elected. Well let's use the baddest of the bad. Does anyone even remember who Harper ran against last election? Does it even matter? My position is no on that one. For all we know that other guy DID win. The election was fraudulent. Harper cheated! Should there be a royal commission on electoral reform and party financing? Sure should! Did Harper de-fund the office that could make that happen? Sure did! Was he found guilty in a court of law? Sure was! Was he removed from government or stripped of his office? Sure wasn't? Somewhere Ben Johnson is going, "What de fuck mon?" Well apparently, yes, Harper cheated, but it didn't affect the outcome. Maybe Ben Johnson being roided up didn't affect the outcome of the 1988 100 m. final or his 9.79 world record. But the Olympics are more fair than Elections Canada I guess. More olympian. And how many of you would even TRY the argument with your partner, "Yeah, sure, I cheated, but it didn't mean anything, honey, I didn't love her/him," if you were caught cheating? Not only was he convicted of cheating, but he has repeatedly done things in secret, often while in China, that he KNOWS the Canadian public doesn't like. That is, he has done undemocratic things. He was found to be in contempt of parliament for crying out loud! A 156-145 vote of no confidence for failing to disclose the full financial details of his tougher crime legislation, corporate tax cuts and plans to purchase stealth fighter jets is what lead to the election he proceeded to win through cheating. And he has continued to thumb his nose at Canadians and do whatever the hell he wants, (which is usually whatever we DON'T want), while in office.

Not long before that another cheater won the presidency of the United States. And what a presidency! Harper is doing his best to top the disaster George Dubyuh wreaked on America. And what is happening is people are noticing that now you don't even have to WIN the leadership of Canada or the U.S. As long as you get in, you're fine. This attracts even more of the worst possible people for the jobs. So, no, sign holder, no, the non-votes of good people DON'T elect bad people to office. Cheating does. And this makes for governments that do almost everything the people DON'T want. This is the absolute opposite of democracy.

And now, Harper is actually running AGAIN!!! And here's an article that describes how he actually might WIN again!!! What are his tactics? 1. Research on small groups of voters that could be persuaded to vote Conservative. Not the kind of research you or I can do, the research you need heightened policing tactics to perform. Kinda like spying and snooping. Hence, C-51. So in order to get that he will have to convince the Canadian public of the ludicrous assertion that Canada's terrorist attack possibilities are at threat level red. The fact is there may be a few more people who dislike Canada but only because of recent acts of the Harper government to strengthen our international anti-terror stance. So that's 2. Convince Canadians to never not be afraid. Of terrorists. Who all have relatives living in Canada. Possibly training in Canada. Come on! 3. One of the groups of people who CAN be convinced to vote for this douchebag is the newcomers to Canada group. There are unbelievable advantages being given to foreigners, (and paid for by Canadian people). Investments, as I have pointed out before, for foreigners are sometimes half as expensive and completely tax free! I have to pay 10% to buy a condo in Vancouver. Foreigners pay 5%. If its value goes up I pay 70% capital gains tax. Foreigners pay zilch. There are investments, not just in Hongcouver, all over Canada from which Canadian citizens are excluded! The majority of the foreigners to whom Harper is catering are, you guessed it, Chinese. This is why I call Harper's Canada, "Chinada." And 4. The Conservative party have perfected mud slinging. Easy to do if your opponents provide you with mud to sling.

What needs to be done is pretty simple. Back at the beginning I talked about real democracy. The kids in my neighbourhood weren't voting for people, we were voting for ideas: hockey or football. The time has come. We have the technology. Let's vote for ideas. The only people who say it's economically and logstically unfeasable are the overpaid liars whose jobs will be eliminated and whose power and riches will thereby be lost.

Or at the very least we need to make politics less attractive to the scumbags that are attracted to it by removing or at least limiting the corruption. If anything it's getting worse and so are the candidates. This is a view of politics that is becoming more and more attractive to me. If voting changed anything it would be illegal. I don't side with old Churchill in believing that our system of democratic government is the worst there is, except for all others. I think there are better ways to do things. Me with my crazy optimism again!

So good luck, Canada on the election. I will be withholding my vote because I don't support the platforms of any candidate, nor do I think any candidate will stick to their platforms. And I will continue to complain about the government of my country BECAUSE I didn't enable the election thereof. I wish the whole country would wake up and see things the way they really are instead of the 1% we may or may not know.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Calling the Shots

How long has it been since you watched that movie, "The Fugitive," starring Harrison Ford? That was great wasn't it? The movie came out in '93 so it's 22 years old. Geez, age check! But there was a TV series that came out in 1963! 52 years ago for crying out loud! In the '93 movie a one-armed man, Fredrick Sykes, kills Dr. Richard Kimble's, (Harrison Ford's), wife and Kimble gets blamed for it but on his way to the chair the prison bus goes off the road and then gets hit by a train just as Kimble jumps off of it. We know the ensuing manhunt that results when Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, (Tommy Lee Jones got the best supporting Oscar for the role), searches every warehouse, penthouse, greenhouse, whorehouse, doghouse, shithouse, etc, etc.

But the part of the movie that is most interesting and topical to today's blog post is the part about Kimble's colleague, Dr. Charles Nichols and the fiendish, murderous plot he devised to allow for the drug "Provasic" to be released by pharmaceutical corporation "Devlin-McGregor." Member that? Dr. Kimble had experimented with Provasic in the past and found conclusively that it lead to liver damage. But the drug stood to make Devlin McGregor, AND the diabolical Dr. Nichols a lot of money. So it turned out that the one-armed man was actually sent to kill Richard Kimble and he showed up late to his own murder leading to his wife's collateral damage death and two hours worth of running, hiding, helping people and not being recognized while getting to the bottom of the whole mess.

Yeah, it was a bit unrealistic, but not the part about the drug company and the evil that an expensive drug can lead to. Or a highly profitable sickness, as it were. I read this article about the world's most expensive drug, Soliris the other day. It's about a drug called Soliris, which is used to fight two very rare diseases, PNH and aHUS, which both cause anemia, organ failure and ultimately death. The drug is not a cure but has shown to be astoundingly effective! Some doctors call it "miraculous." It is suggested in the article that the real cost to make the drug, including research and development, is probably about 1% of the actual price of the drug. Given that it is now as high as 700,000 per person per year in Canada, and the drug then is estimated to have cost 7000 dollars, it is concluded that the price was set by pharmaceutical company Alexion, which makes it and holds a monopoly on its production until 2017, to be simply what the market would bear. And what would a person with anemia and organ failure pay for a miracle drug that fixes his/her condition? What would a parent pay to stop his/her kid from suffering organ failure and anemia? And what kind of scumbag would charge that much?

No doubt the people at Alexion, a corporation, would hide behind the old, familiar, "It is our feduciary responsibility to the shareholders to exact the maximum profit from our product." I read in Forbes online magazine about the Steven Squinto and Leonard Bell, who started Alexion and are regarded as heroes in the article. They and their shareholders are laughing all the way to the bank while Alexion shares are up 600% and the company is outperforming Apple. They are described as unassuming and self-depracating in the Forbes article, but are these guys Jonas Salk or Charles Nichols? Jonas Salk, as you SHOULD know, was the inventor of the Polio vaccine. He, unlike the two shrewd businessmen above, did NOT patent the polio vaccine and it is estimated that he lost a cool 7 billion bucks for being a good human being.

I don't guess I have to tell you that my expectations were more to the Charles Nichols, murderous, sickness profiteer possibility so I admit going into this investigation with a bias. Nonetheless, I think you'll find my results compelling. At least a good illustration as to why Big Pharma should take a little bit more of their fair share of responsibility when it comes to the mistrust people have of drugs, vaccines and doctors and the resulting comebacks of many diseases once eradicated. Including Polio believe it or not! I watched the documentary, "Vaccines: Calling the Shots," and there is a dude in there who, in America, got Polio! Not so long ago!

At any rate, back to Soliris. The drug was released in 2007 and found to be amazing in the treatment of PNH. It was released later as a treatment for aHUS like around 2010ish if I remember correctly. Of course different countries, different drug administrations, different release dates. But when I say, "released," I mean there were doctors ruling on its safety and trusting in its thorough testing and readiness for the safe use by the public. Well a not so funny thing happened in the use as a treatment for aHUS. It was found that Soliris caused the immune system to function less efficiently and lead to a high occurrence of meningococcal virus in its users. This is not a pleasant thing to have. It is a life-threatening virus. Here is a letter from a doctor in the Netherlands written in 2011 about the spectacular results of Soliris but the high incidence of meningococcal virus and to get more technical, the fact that the treatments to combat the meningococcal virus to that point in time were not very effective in combatting the meningococcal B strain. It is a suggestion for the creation of a meningococcal B antigen. A vaccine was required to use in conjunction with Soliris in order to continue getting such amazing results and to stop the incidence, or more accurately the drug CAUSING more meningococcal B in its users. Now this, as I said before, is not just a minor side effect. Read this. 5-10% die despite rapid treatment!!! Also brain and nerve damage, loss of limbs, not nice.

As late as 2014 Soliris was declared unsafe by many countries until, in October of 2014, what a coincidence, ha hah haha... the invention of the extraordinarily timely meningococcal B vaccine! And in November, a huge effort made by Soliris to maintain the massive profits the recommendation to the medical professionals, and they included it on the box, was to give patients the newly developed meningococcal B vaccine 2 weeks prior to the prescription of Soliris. Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines Trumenba, (made by Pfizer) and Bexsero, (made by Novartis), were on the scene saving the multi-billion dollar drug Soliris in the knick of time! And despite being approved only for ages 10 to 25 they are now being used in patients of all ages. In fact babies are being vaccinated with them.

Now, knowing all of this, would you be a tiny bit leary of these vaccinations? I mean the price fixing; the neglect of patients who couldn't afford the most expensive drug in the world; the obvious release of the drug too early to capitalize on the patent Alexion has until 2017; the unknown number of patients who contracted and maybe DIED from meningococcal B virus BECAUSE of Soliris; the INCREDIBLY fast development and distribution of a meningococcal B virus vaccine that previously didn't exist; the INCREDIBLY fast progress of this vaccine from 10-25 year olds into regular baby vax...

Call me a conspiracy theorist but I sure as fuck don't want it! But now the well established, however jeuvenile, ubiquitous defence against all of my research: "ANTI-VAXXER!" You see, society at large, and unbelievably, the scientific and medical communities both have espoused a kind of "If you hate one vaccination, you hate them all" way of pressuring people into getting vaccinated. They completely discount the ability people have to think for themselves, do research, use the internet or even, gasp, read books and assume we need to be bullied into getting vaccinated. I completely understand people who don't trust vaccinations. I will consent that many have been proven effective and should be trusted. Like Polio, Measles, the ones you ALWAYS see in Pro-vax documentaries and/or arguments. But I contend that the medical profession, doctors and drug companies have many many many secrets. How hard is it to get a list of ingredients on your vaccination? The fault is not with people who don't trust vaccinations. Dispicable behaviour by the medical community DEMANDS our mistrust. It also demands more transparency and honesty. Profits be damned, I want anything that goes directly into my blood stream to be well tested, safe and labeled. I believe I have that right. I don't just want some ignorant professional, who may have just come back from a holiday in Tahiti financed by Pfizer to just TELL me to spike up and quit being such a conspiracy theorist. In many cases the doctor or nurse giving you the shot knows just as little as you about what the hell is in it. This has got to change.

In conclusion, don't be fooled by the ever inelegant arguments against questioning the medical profession. They, like all professions, need to be kept honest. Don't just trust your doctor, demand that he/she knows his/her stuff. And for the sake of yourself and your children, do some research on what you pump into your bodies. How can anybody be telling you that's wrong to do unless they're trying to sell you something? Something that may be 99% too expensive!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Job Update

The following will be another one of those posts that is written down for myself at a later date. Hopefully my gainfully employed, snickering self saying, "Oh man, those were tough times. I can't believe things ever got that bad. Certainly NOTHING like now..."

I have now been in Korea since April 18th. That's pretty much 10 weeks. I can remember John from Wall Street in Indonesia saying to me, "Just go over there for a couple weeks while we get your KITAS settled here and then we'll bring you back. Of course John said he had found me a month of full time work for the month of January. Well that fell through. Then he said I should pay my rent at the kost where I was staying until the end of February and by then he'd have me working part time at one of the Wall Street locations for a week or so while my KITAS was being processed. Well that didn't happen either. But while all of this was happening I was teaching some classes privately and I was losing students because I was telling them that I'd soon be working at Wall Street full time. I kept getting, "Just a couple more weeks," from John and I kept losing students. Then it got to the point I've described in this blog already when my visa had to be renewed for the fifth time. It was a one-year business visa and I had to go to Singapore to renew it every two months. Immigration had already expressed their suspicions that I was working in Indonesia when I had renewed it the fourth time. They were POSITIVE I was working illegally the fifth time. I had to lie my ass off because Wall Street had brought me over to teach under false pretenses. I was not told that I'd be brought over on an illegal visa. I still have the email sent the day before I got on the plane from John saying, "By the way, if Immigration asks, just tell them you are here going to meetings and doing training." That was the first clue I got of these shenanigans. Then I had to stop working at Wall Street cuz the government found out, I found another job in Indo where I was promised a KITAS and never got one, I quit that nightmare job and went freelance, Wall Street patched up its problems with the government and I signed contracts with them again in late December or early January. I signed contracts with Wall Street to do a REAL year with them with the PROPER visa, and I waited. And waited. About 2 months of waiting before I had to renew my business visa for the last time.

But John said, "Don't worry, your KITAS will be ready before your visa runs out." I was renewed for another 2 months. SURELY 4 months would be enough for a visa! So I lived with my friend Mr. Jang, worked a minimal number of private classes illegally because I had no choice, and believed John that Wall Street had things under control. "A couple more weeks." I don't know how many times I heard that from John but one time he said it was when I only had one week left in my visa. So then came the suggestion to go to Korea. I could have gone anywhere but Korea was a short, cheap trip, I had friends there who would let me stay with them, I could look for work there just in case Wall Street was just stringing me along, and I had a couple friends who said they'd lend me some money. Problem was I had to borrow money to GET to Korea. I didn't even have enough for the trip. I asked Wall Street to pony up since they HAD brought me over illegally without my knowledge and it was because of that that I was in this mess. Nothing. They would rather I ended up deported or in Indonesian jail. I had to borrow money from another Korean friend in Indonesia just to buy my ticket. I flew over to Korea and was there 5 days before I heard anything from Wall Street asking if I was, you know, like incarcerated or not.

To review Wall Street hired me knowingly on the wrong visa and kept that information from me until I had invested all my money into the move from Canada over to Indonesia to work for them. It wasn't cheap. They got busted and left me in a position where I had to take whatever job I could get in the one month I had to find one. They offered me a plane ticket back to Canada at THAT time but stiffed me when I had to vacate Indonesia in order to allow visa processing to work for them again. The two months I spent working for Wall Street were great. I didn't mind the work and I had no problem with traffic because I lived right next to Pondok Indah Mall where I worked. The other ten months were spent broke, lying to the government and illegally working with the specters of deprotation and/or jail hanging over my head every day.

Well guess what, my KITAS is ready! And it only took 6 months!!! John has been increasingly apologetic in his emails and, though it hasn't been HIM really lying, cheating and screwing me around, he has done so on behalf of Wall Street, rightfully so. In this latest email he says he's sorry for the ridiculous wait time I have been put through and he knows I've all but lost my faith in Wall Street, but come back and work for us ASAP! In fact he mentions ASAP three times and "quickly" once. Like I'm supposed to drop everything and jump back onto that sinking ship. He says, "I know you'd probably like to give me an earful, but I have been working my ass off trying to get you back over here." I have a feeling his ass is still on.

The offer in Indonesia will not even be the offer I signed up for. I wanted, after my experience with English Today driving all over Jakarta in the world's worst traffic, to not work in Jakarta at all. I was offered a position in Alam Sutera where my friend, Annemarie lives and where I have access to everything without the brutal traffic. I was also told that most teachers there live in an apartment right across the street from Wall Street. No taxi, no traffic. But that's not what I'll get. I will get posted at one of the OTHER Wall Streets and will get a place that won't likely be as close as the place I was in when I worked in Ponkok Indah. So I will have to suffer another year of Jakarta and its traffic. It will only be a couple times a day but still, not the premium offer I signed up for. And only 17 million RP which is about 1700 bucks a month. Before taxes. And Jakarta, as opposed to Alam Sutera, is expensive.

Now compare this to Korea, where I am now. I have had some hard luck here finding my way through the new and improved barriers Korea has thrown up to keep foreign workers unemployed and frustrated. Not to mention my usual impeccable timing, I have arrived at the height of the MERS hysteria here. So let's see I have had one camp cancelled because of MERS. That was 3 weeks with room and board paid and 3 million won. That's 3 thousand bucks. I have had one 18-day camp at Gwangju University and a 5 week teacher training gig given to me and then snatched away by the new and improved bureaucracy here. You see neither place knew of the C-4 visa and how complicated and expensive it is. Both jobs would have been SWEET and both say that I fit perfectly for the positions and that they really wanted to hire me, but here I am. So that's a total of 7,600,000 won. Over 7 thousand bucks down the shitter so far.

But I'm not finished! I was actually offered a job at Pagoda in Seoul as well. I worked for two years at Pagoda back at the beginning of my career. It was a lot of work but I worked with some awesome people so it was pretty good. This time around I got a distinct feeling that Pagoda wouldn't have been much better than Wall Street. They wanted to hire me part time though the hours I'd have been working were certainly not part time. I'd work 4 hours in the early morning and 4 hours at night. I'd be starting at 7AM and off at 9 PM. So that means, (and I did this before), up at 5 or even earlier if there's transit involved, and home at 10 or later depending on transit. That's if I live in I Tae Won, where I would want to live. But because I would have been part time I would not be given the accomodation that full timers get. Not even the key money. This was the deal breaker. The minimum key money would have been 5 thou. That's a kind of downpayment. And THEN I would have paid rent. It's now much more expensive than it used to be in I Tae Won so even though I'd be working long hours I'd be making less, paying more and without key money it wasn't even going to happen. So that was another big pile of money that I had and then it was taken away. I also would have had to get the C-4 visa for that position with my own money. I didn't know it yet but that involved a 3-day stay in Japan. That's not cheap.

So where does that leave me? I have given up on the short-term work here like camps and intensive courses because of the damn C-4 bullshit. So my options are either I take the job in Indonesia and go back to a country I like a lot less to work for a company that I don't trust as far as I can throw it. I am inclined to stay in Korea. But if I do I will need to do one of two things I don't like doing: I will either have to take a job at a private learning institute here ideally teaching adults but I may have to settle for kids, sign a one-year contract and then break that contract in late August when I get an offer from a much better university gig. OR I could find a few under-the-table contracts like I did in Indonesia and freelance illegally until the uni gigs come around. This I don't want to do because I could get booted out of Korea and I don't want to jeopardize my chance at a uni gig. I have some places interested in me and in the ensuing two months while universities are losing hope that doctorate holders who look like Brangolina will accept their positions, I will get more interviews.

GIFLE in Pyeongtaek, where I get a nice apartment on campus, 2.6 mil/mo. (2600 bucks) and it starts in either July or August is interested. I was supposed to hear from them this week but nothing yet. MERS???

Dongshin University in Naju, near Gwangju where I get an apartment, work a dozen hours a week, get over 4 months of paid vacation and make 2.1 mil a month, (2100 bucks), is interested. I can also watch Kia Tiger games! I will hear from them next week. Dongshin actually signed me to a contract in 2010 but I couldn't do it because I didn't have my criminal record check. It came 2 days after the deadline. I got an email from a guy who knows that and he knows me. There's no reason why I wouldn't be signed by them again. Here's the contract:

The Naju City School Board is interested in having me teach in public middle and high schools in Naju, where I am half an hour away from Champions Field and Kia Tiger home games. I don't know the details of the deal yet but it will be the standard free apartment and 2.3 or 2.4 mil a month for 20 hours a week probably.

There are other places that are possibilities as well and new ones popping up every day. Nothing is definite though. Indonesia IS definite. It's the one and ONLY thing Indonesia has going for it.

What do you think I should do? I'm in an apartment in Incheon now staying for free by myself for the next few weeks while Amber and DB are vacationing. I am not in as big a hurry as Wall Street is. I can wait and see what GIFLE and Dongshin say. That's just one more week. And in that week, who knows what OTHER offers may come? I think that's what I'm going to do although John wants me to book a flight to Singapore and meet him there on Canada Day, July 1st. Maybe by Canada Day I'll be legally employed here in Korea.

I think I just might reply to John's email and say that if I don't get free accomodation within walking distance and if I don't get to work in Alam Sutera, no deal. I'd say they owe me at LEAST that much. But what if they agree to that???

With any luck some GIFLE or Dongshin will offer me jobs and I won't have to worry about that. We shall see...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

We Don't Need Another Zero

There are a few things bouncing around in my brain these days. One being the old Tina Turner tune, "We Don't Need Another Hero," many thanks to Amber for that! But have you ever listened closely to the lyrics of that song? I can sing about half of the lyrics to half of the songs of the 80's but some of them I have never consciously considered as the poetry they are. Have you ever done that? I'm showing my age here but I've known songs for decades before actually paying close attention to their lyrics and getting their message. Ever hear an old favourite and go, "Oh, yeah! 'Your friends don't dance and if they don't dance well they're no friends of mine.'" That's so deep!

Okay maybe Men Without Hats wasn't the greatest example. But how about this:


BOOM! I wonder when we are ever gonna change... We'll come back to this.

Another of the strands in old Duder's mind these days is something a great deal of people are thinking about: the Charleston church shooting and its perp whose name I don't need to type because of the resulting celebrity that comes with any such actions. We all know his name. Hell, we already know so much about this zero that we know he was treated to a meal by the police at Burger King. Hungry work, shooting people! I have yet to read the details of what he ordered for that meal but they are probably out there. Why do we want to know if this psychopathic kid who "wanted to kill black people" prefers Whoppers to chicken burgers? Here are all the details.

What we really SHOULD know is what Adreanna Prussia or Craig Nelson had for THEIR last meals. But we don't know who they are, do we? They are local business owners in the Charleston area that used their businesses, a bakery and a bar respectively, to drum up some dough for the families of the shooting victims. Now I know that these charitable actions can probably be used as tax write-offs and actually not cost the businesses anything. I know that Starbucks and other corporations donating to the cause are probably doing so for tax purposes. And because big business greases government and legislators to write tax laws so that things like this can happen, it's all part of the plan. So the REAL heroes are the people buying beer or cupcakes, but my point is, why don't we hear about this? Instead we get news of bad cops taking this multiple murderer out for burgers.

I understand the outrage of people when they hear that he complained of hunger and was given some BK to ease his suffering. He has brought a great deal of suffering onto so many people that maybe his punishment should have started with a few hunger pangs while the bodies of his victims were still warm. Call me crazy but I think perhaps this kid has lived a life without a lot of things that might have gone a long way to the avoidance of his crime, and three of them were hunger, suffering and punishment. I'm sure his upbringing, personality, home life, school life, the entire 21 year history of this young nothing will soon be a matter of public record, (if it already isn't), and although he is no better than the contents of a used tissue, people will ravenously devour every word of it. And I'm guessing that he has lived a life with little to no responsibility. He's a high school drop out with no job. Wanna bet he didn't do much around the house either? He was involved in drugs and tresspassing or breaking and entering I think it was. Could it be that idle hands, in his case, were the devil's playground and he was just so bored that he got into trouble?

I often wonder at the criminals who return to the scene of their crimes. The bombers who take responsibility for bombings. The kids who push the expensive knick-knack to the edge of the shelf and despite looking directly into the eyes of a parent warning, "Don't you dare do that," they dare to do that and push it off the edge knowing full well that there will be consequences. Then I hearken back to Psych 1100 where I learned that to some psyches the craving for attention becomes so strong that the differentiation between positive and negative attention is almost irrelevant. In fact I was recently watching the Dog Whisperer and he said something identical about dogs! In any case, human or canine, the absolute worst thing that can be done is to over-react and feed the craving for attention with hysteria. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't think that Whopper, (even if it was a double), did half as much to feed this young zero's hunger than the news stories, internet fame, publishing of his manifesto, and pics of him burning the American flag and holding the confederate flag, and the many other examples of hysteria have done to feed this kids narcissistic desire for attention. And here I go feeding it again...

Maybe this kid is just a bad seed. Maybe his parents were very good at not over or under-reacting to him getting kicked out of school, buying firearms, getting into drugs and crime, burning flags, joining racist and violent groups etc., but I'm betting there could have been something done to nip this in the bud. And I'm betting that in a society more concerned with social issues than monetary ones, the parents would have had more time, education and ability to deal with their troubled child. And in such a society maybe the racial issues wouldn't be so bad or the firearms so readily available to coddled 21-year-old racially confused wannabe martyrs. I'm quite certain that in such a society his mixed up manifesto might not have been published on the internet where other young, confused, bored kids could read it and jump to woefully uninformed opinions. Or maybe it would have been. It just would have been seen by the well-adjusted, properly educated kids who read it as the pure sewer sludge it was.

Now they're saying that it's shameful how many people are using this terrible crime as a means to further their personal opinions and platforms, but I think this and all the other radically violent shootings around the U.S. need to be treated as an indictment of a broken society. And the sooner the better. It's no accident that most of these things happen in the U.S. and before these attrocities stop happening or even become less frequent, the general public and the media will probably become bored with them. What an incredible thing to say! There seems to be only one way to stop this downward spiral. The world doesn't need - AMERICA doesn't need another zero like this. What we all need IS a hero. We need people in positions in which they can affect positive changes that will make for more harmonious, less violent societies that aren't someone's private castle in the air or friggin Thunderdomes. We need more, scroll up, love and compassion and less greed and selfishness. But the people in positions of power in this world are bankers, CEO's and politicians. Either of the first two would be neglecting what is their feduciary responsibility to the customer or shareholder by exhibiting any kind of love, compassion or reason. And if you have read this blog more than once, you will probably know I have practically no hope for the third category either. In fact upon hearing the recent news of the bombing outside the parliament buildings in Kabul, Afghanistan and hearing that none of the MP's were injured my feeling was less of relief than disappointment. Terrible isn't it? But through many years of life and much research I have come to the conclusion that it's the same kind of people who rise to the top in all four of these areas. Banking, CEO's, politicians AND killers are far better off being anti-social psychopaths because that sort of personality fits the job description, or what the job description has become. It is perhaps the most depressing sign of the times that in all four categories anti-social, sociopathic, even murderous behaviour is treated by society as heroic!

I see but one ray of hope.

I'm going to give my eyes a great big roll and say something that millions of people have said to perpetuate all the problems that come from or are related to the corrupt corporations that most modern governments are: THIS guy seems different. He seems genuine. I believe he will do what he says. Ugh, I just threw up a little bit in the back of my mouth. But if I were American I reckon I just might buy one of these shirts and, yes, even WEAR it! Take a look at what he's saying and you won't find much difference applying the priciples to any country. We're not that different from country to country. We all want the same things and our governments, banks, and bazillionaires are making the laws, writing the rules and running our countries so that we don't get those things. I think we all want that to stop. At least those of us that are still in touch with reason. And I firmly believe that if we change just that about our countries, we will see a drastic drop in incidents like the Charleston church massacre and the kind of deranged mentality that lead to it. I believe Bernie Sanders' policies are good for the financial AND mental health of the U.S. and they will be modeled in other countries when they start showing results. Here is just a small taste of what I'm talking about:

Bernie Sanders writes on "family values":

When my Republican colleagues talk about “family values,” what they usually mean is opposition to a woman’s right to choose, opposition to contraception, opposition to gay rights, and support for abstinence-only education. Let me give a somewhat different perspective on family values.

When a mother has a baby and is unable to spend time with that child during the first weeks and months of his or her life, that is not a family value.

When a wife is diagnosed with cancer and a husband cannot get time off of work to take care of her, that is not a family value.

When a mother is forced to send her sick child to school because she cannot afford to stay home with her, that is not a family value.

When a husband, wife, and kids, during the course of an entire year, are unable to spend any time together on vacation, that is not a family value.

The Republican agenda for families is really an attack on everything that a family is supposed to stand for.

When it comes to basic workplace protections and family benefits, workers in every other major industrialized country in the world get a better deal than workers in the United States. That should be an embarrassment to anyone who wants to talk seriously about family values in this country.

I'm running for president because I will stand for real family values. Please join our campaign now to help make paid family leave, sick days, and vacation days a reality for every working person in America.

It is not enough, though, to simply oppose the Republican agenda. That's why I'm proud to tell you what I think is a true agenda for family values.

Every worker in America should be guaranteed at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. That is a family value.

It is insane that low wage workers in McDonald’s who get sick are forced to work because they cannot afford to miss work. Workers in this country must have paid sick time so they don't get coworkers or customers sick on the job. That is a family value.

Every person who works for a living must have at least 10 days of paid vacation. Making sure families can afford to take some time off, without having to worry about going broke -- that is a family value.

Let’s be clear: in terms of protecting the needs of our families, in many respects, the United States lags behind virtually every major country on earth.

Last place is no place for America. It is time to join the rest of the industrialized world by showing the people of this country that we are not just a nation that talks about family values -- but that we are a nation that is prepared to live up to these ideals by making sure that workers in this country have access to paid family leave, paid sick time and paid vacations.

This is scary to the few, the sociopathic, the well armed of the world and this is why I fear for Bernie's life if he starts looking like he'll be the next president, but if he does get elected, I admit, I will have a little bit of hope in politics and politicians again. And it will restore a lot of lost hope in mankind altogether.

FEEL THE BERN everybody!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Continuing Korean Chronicles

This post will be as much for me in the future as it will be for any other reader. If I ever need to remind myself that staying employed is better than the HELL it is trying to find work and that maybe there are problems at work but they pale in comparison to the Herculean tasks set upon the unemployed by those who want to use our skills, personalities, abilities and expertise to make themselves piles and piles of dough, well I'll just have to refer back to this post.

Now I'm not one to complain, but...

I'll let that stand on its own. Come on, Korea!!! Could it be possible for them to make it even more difficult and tediusly time consuming than it ever was to get a friggin' job here? Answer: apparently.

Where to begin! Let's start with applications. I've been applying to jobs since getting to Korea and the information I include in my resumes, self-intros and cover letters is more than enough to get a good idea of who I am. But some schools want more. They either want to know more about you and don't trust their own interview skills, or they just want to see the level of tedium, useless, personal, impossible and sometimes illegal questions and/or requirements they can expose a prospective employee to before that employee gets either brain-numbed or offended enough to pack 'er in. Not an un-clever technique, just unconscionably diabolical. The end result is only people with high tolerance for anally retentive busy work, impolite, rude, unnecessary questions and other such assholery will make it to the interview portion of the job hunt. And if that IS the intent, I'm pretty sure it's gotta be because the job requires just such pain thresholds. And frankly, even though I am desperate to stem the inexorable flow of money in my life into the spent column and not the earned or saved, I don't want such a job. I wish I could give you some examples in full.

Here's one: I was all set to apply to Dongguk University today because the job sounds like a decent one. Then I perused the application requirements. You have to download and complete an application. The first three questions of said application are name, date of birth and religion. Well, 66% of these questions aren't supposed to be included on the applications of, how shall I word this... reasonable companies because they would tend to indicate either age or religious descrimination in said companies. Here in Korea, well they're just not reasonable I guess. The application goes on to require names and dates of education and employment. A common application request. But then there's a little blurb at the bottom saying, in my own personal paraphrasing, "We don't believe anything you write on this application so we require proof that is costly, difficult and sometimes impossible to produce." You need your degrees, diplomas and criminal record checks to be stamped, sealed or apostilled by people who have absolutely no way of verifying their authenticity, for example notary publics or workers at Korean consulates or embassies. The reason does not SEEM to be, it IS nothing more than making things less convenient for foreign applicants for work in Korea. Period. The geniuses at Dongguk U also request something that is difficult or not possible to get: official records of employment from previous positions. I have never received one of these from any of the many places I have worked here in Korea. I have requested one long after having worked there and received word that it would be sent, but never received it. The people at the administration offices of these places just have a million other more important things to do. But, as Dongguk University application authors say, "If you do not submit those documents, you will be excluded from the screening." I just said, "Well screw you then, Dongguk, I don't want your stupid job!" And thus, they eliminated a candidate who was probably possessed with a bullshit threshold the level of which is insufficient to perform the job at Dongguk University adequately. That is to say, a perfectly NORMAL bullshit threshold.

Other job ads state that "Christians will be given preference" or in the ad title state that such and such school is looking for a Christian employee... I saw a kids' camp advertised for a school that I know to be Seventh Day Adventist. They pay well! But no smoking, swearing or alcohol consumption will be tolerated during the camp. Talk about increasing the challenge level! They have the right to limit certain behaviours in their employees I guess, but does smoking, drinking or swearing make a person bad? Or does it necessarily indicate an inability to teach effectively? And while we're on the subject, what is it with the Korean form of Christianity that makes them feel so comfortable asking, "Are you Christian?" Because they do this at the interview too!(And at introductions, at the workplace, on the street, just about everywhere!) And although I have no way of knowing how much weight this holds as a criterion, I'm inclined to give a positive answer to it whether or not it's true. I'm sure there are a lot of people like that. This should not be the case on the grounds of proper behaviour as well as, believe it or not, religious grounds. I was walking down the street in Seoul the other day and a big, African man came up to me and invited me to take a flyer from his church and encouraged me to go to it. He asked me if I believed in Jesus. I said I did. He asked if I had ever heard John 3:16. I said I had. He then quoted the verse where it says where two or three are gathered in God's name there He is in their midst. And he started, no he was way past starting by then, he CONTINUED hounding me down the street even though I was saying things like, "Me and Jesus are just fine," or "Dude, I'm not gonna go to your church," or "I prefer the verse about worshipping in secret and not for the benefit of others but for yourself."

How many people know the Lord's Prayer? How many Catholics say it at least once every time they go to church? Tons and tons! But how many of us know where it is in the Bible and the context of it? Not many, right? I think it's because if word got out that Jesus actually taught people how to pray and worship and it bears little to absolutely NO resemblance to what is expected of so many "Christians" in so many churches today, well those churches might have difficulty, how shall I word this... making money. Check it out folks:

Matthew Chapter 6:1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.9 “This, then, is how you should pray..."

And it goes on, as we all know, "Our Father, which art in Heaven..."

I was not impressed by this big, black dude trying to pressure me into his church. In fact I was annoyed with him. I feel exactly the same when people in Korea make religion part of job acquisition. You know who I was impressed with? Daniel and Henrik Sedin. The twins who play for the Vancouver Canucks. There was a story in the news not so long ago exposing one of their long time secrets to the public: for years they had been secretly giving money to the Vancouver Children's Hospital. And nobody knew because they did it anonymously! THAT is the kind of thing that impresses me! I'm not impressed by religious bullies. And answer me this, shmarty pants, if Jesus owned a language school, would he give preference to Christians?

Anyway, let's move on. On to the visas and immigration. The bain of my former existence in Korea and I'm sure it will be no less frustrating this time around. It has already cost me a camp position. I had an interview with a camp in Gwangju University a couple of days ago. I had to miss the final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs to travel there! And because the dude in charge of the camp had no idea what he was doing, he didn't know that I needed a visa to do his camp. He actually hired me and gave me a contract before I mentioned the visa and he said, "Oh yeah. That's pretty important." So he left it up to me to get all the information about the visa, both MY responsibilities and the camp's, do everything and let him know. That's what Amber and I did yesterday. We walked to the immigration office in Incheon. A nice, sweaty couple of hours. Good way to burn off the beer we may have had the night before. We get to the immigration office and I go up to the agent at the desk with a whole list of questions. She was able to verify that my visitor's visa is indeed the 6 months that we Canadians get here automatically. I was confused cuz the airport immigration agent wrote something that looks like "03 M." So at least THAT was good to find out! Then I asked about the C-4 visa. Amber and I had both done some digging and discovered that this is the appropriate visa for me to get if I want to teach at camps. It's a temporary work visa. Good for 90 days. I can't work on my visitor visa at all. So I need to go out of the country, (almost always to Japan), and change to a C-4 visa. I wanted to know how much it would cost, how long it would take, could I have multiple employers, if I also get an Alien Registration Card with it, you know, the pertinent questions. The agent looked at me with a strange look and said, "C-4? No C-4 visa. You have visitor visa." So I explained to her that I want to work so I want to change my visa. She, (of course), then said I'd need an E-2 visa. This is what we normally get for the one-year contracts. So I explained that it was part time, short term work and, (like I had said 10 minutes ago), would need a C-4 visa to do it. So she went away from her desk, talked to some of her co-workers, looked at a book, maybe made a phone call or two and got back to the desk and said, "You can not change! Can not change your visa." It reminded me SOOOO much of the Indonesian, "Cannot!" I said wait a minute, what do you mean I can't change. I want to work. I can't work in Korea? Is that what you're saying? Then I thought of all the immigration workers I'd encountered in Korea and how profoundly unqualified they ALL were to be in the positions they were in and I said, "I want to leave the country, go to Japan, change my visa, then return to Korea and work." So she goes away from her desk again and comes back again, "You need to go Japan to get C-4 visa."

Well I was so relieved! It's like when I go to the doctor in Korea with my summer skin rash and tell him/her "It's a sweat rash and I need Sporonox. I take it for a week and it's gone." They poke and prod me for a while, ask a few unrelated questions and say, "You have a sweat rash. You need to take Sporonox for a week. That'll be 150,000 won." Or when you hire a lawyer to do something you tried to do but couldn't for the sole reason that you are not a lawyer. I am not an immigration officer but I've met exactly zero of them who know as much about their jobs, (at least pertaining to me), as I do. I have also met zero of them who will believe that even after I prove it to be the case. In fact that just pisses them off. So I sez to the agent, "Thank you very much. Here are a few questions I have about the C-4 visa..." She quickly says she can't answer them. Nobody at the immigration office can. She tells me there is an office nearby where I should go. Then she picks up the phone and calls them for me. That was very nice of her. Unfortunately all THEY did was pass the buck on to yet another person. They said I had to call the Korean embassy in Japan. Well during our research Amber had stumbled across this strategy and tried it. There were messages in Japanese and Korean but no English. Anyway, Amber and I went out for some genuine Thai food. It was really good! And after ordering Amber called again. This time she got through to someone who forwarded her to someone who passed her onto someone else who put her on hold and got someone who speaks English to help her. So I handed Amber the list and she asked all the questions. Easy peasy Japanesey!!!

The C-4 visa costs 4800 Yen, (about 50 bucks). It takes THREE days to get! THREE! I used to get a visa and go home the same day! I need passport, passport sized photo, signed contract, certificate of employment, (those things I've never yet seen even from a legitimate full time job), and a business licence number. As for multiple employers: maybe. If I want to transfer to another employer after the 18 days, (which I would have), another 3-day trip to Japan and I would need all the same dox and another 4800 Yen. It doesn't come with an Alien Registration Card so I STILL won't be able to get a bank account or rent an apartment legally. Which makes me wonder why they have camps like this one at Gwangju U. that DON'T offer accomodation. Again, the guy had no idea what he was doing. The guy on the phone wasn't even sure that the Fukuoka embassy could do it. He said he thought pretty much all the embassies could but knowing my luck...

So long story short, I would have made 720,000 won at this camp. I would have spent more than that to get the visa to do it. And that's not including food and lodging in Gwangju, which I would have to pay for, the lodging being illegal. Illegal work and illegal lodging are two things I don't really want to get into at this time because next week I will hear from a FULL time job I interviewed for in Pyeongtaek. It's at a place called GIFLE, which is the Gyeonggi-do Institute of Foreign Language Education. I'll be teaching teachers and writing curriculums that will be used all over the Gyeonggi-do province of Korea. It's a natural progression in my career that would come with an entirely new set of responsibilities and lots of new experiences. This means a helluva lot more work, but it also means a lot more variety and interest for me. I'm sure that will keep me well motivated to get the work done! Here's hoping...

And all I did for that job was provide them with a sample curriculum, a couple lessons, all my legal documents, resume, two cover letters, criminal record check and a personal interview in front of a panel of four. Piece of cake, really! I'm not kidding! They didn't request anything impossible to get; they didn't ask me to write any essays or paragraphs with vaguely worded topics like this one for Jungwon University. Amazing, isn't it? "Inducement to apply and teaching plan if you are appointed." "Introduction of your teaching career. (include performance, exhibits, etc.)" Isn't this all just repeating what you undoubtedly wrote in your cover letter? And what you will undoubtedly tell them in the interview? And I have it on good authority that nobody will EVER read your entire application from cover to cover. Anywhere. And this is all stuff you do for jobs you may not even get! May not even get a P.F.O. letter for if you're declined! I have taken several hours on several of my application packages only to hear absolutely NOTHING back from them.

So what I'm saying is most of what I've been doing for the past two months has been a complete waste of time! There will be a tiny miniscule amount of all the work I've done that will get me my job here. The rest, I coulda been watching TV or going to the ball game or drinking beer! But, once again, I've never been one to complain...