Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Douche vs Turd Sandwich

I am not as good a talker as I am a writer. My mind works at the speed of handwriting or typing, not quite at the speed of my mouth. That's why I get into arguments with people about things I feel strongly about, have done lots of research on, have a thoroughly informed opinion of, and I sound like a blathering idiot. I organize my thoughts better on paper or in my blog. So this is something I'm writing that was brought on by a disagreement with one of my best friends ever. In fact we were probably agreeing more than disagreeing but because I can't talk properly, it sounded like I was yelling at her. I was raising my voice because what was coming out of my mouth wasn't what I wanted and that's frustrating.

We were disagreeing about the vote. That last bastion of democracy that political workers have done everything from hiring celebrities to Big Brother brainwashing to hammer into our heads that it is some sort of huge privelege and it represents our freedom and democracy. My argument was basically, "PPPpbbbbttthhhhhbbbbttttt!" And that was about as effectively as I worded it. I hope I can do better here. One of the things that came up in our argument was Harper, that THING in charge of ruining Canada right now. If I don't vote along with other Harper haters, he just might be allowed to continue. I didn't explain it well but I believe the vote should be used to get somebody IN not OUT. That's just one of the many ways I think the vote and democracy in Canada has been cheapened over the years. One of my other best friends ever sent me this:

Maybe it's another case of the wise, old Oscar Wilde saying and if I want to convince anyone that our system of government is messed up, I have to do it in a humourous way. Or they will kill me. So there you go. Can't get more accurate than that, can you?

Anyway, it's election time in Canada and I'm seeing a lot of irritating posts on facebook. Most irritating are the ones from Harper supporting friends who are doing the old switcheroo and claiming that people who hate Harper are the ones with cognitive dissonance. Saying that somehow we hate him but we can't prove why. They even give it a medical, scientific sounding acronym, HDF, which means Harper Derangement Frenzy. This ailment is acute in us Harper haters and it impairs our ability to reason clearly. So I'm told. But I wouldn't know because I can't reason clearly.

This must be why I put absolutely no stock in the glowing report Canada got recently from the highly reputable institute called, what else, the Reputation Institute that ranked Canada as the most reputable and admired country in the world. It is only my disability to reason clearly that keeps me from trusting that the most scientific methods imaginable were used to gather data for such an abstract title. Same goes for our number 5 ranking in "world happiness." I confess, my acute Harper hatred has caused me to doubt the hard science that must have gone into this study. Soft power? Social progress? What the hell are these things?

And when Harper supporters claim the #1 spot for "best country for business" proudly, it is only my blind hatred of Harper that brings to mind the statement of Confucius, "In a well governed country, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a poorly governed country, wealth is something to be ashamed of." I don't doubt Canada is the best country for business. I've written several examples before and I am sure there are many others. But it must be my irrational dislike for Harper that causes me to believe that only the rich and selfish, mostly foreign, are benefitting from Canada's world leading business practices. That's why, as explained a few times before, Norway has less oil than Canada, yet every Norwegian has a million-dollar pension because of it and I, a citizen of a vastly more oil rich country, probably won't ever get one.

The exact same thing can be said for our number 7 ranking in the world's most open governments scientific study. It's true. I believe it. Because the government has to be open to allow foreign corporations to steal our country's natural resources and fuck up its fragile ecosystems. I'm certain this has nothing to do with Harper's communication with other politicians, reporters, the public, well pretty much anybody who isn't waving briefcases full of money at him. But that's just the HDF talking.

Job growth, GDP growth, net debt reduction. These are things that are heralded by Harper supporters as evi-dense of his stellar prime ministership. Cited as rock-solid proof is that most fantastically creative annual work of fiction, the national budget. Then I read this article in the Huffington Post called the Top 10 Reasons To Vote For Anyone But Harper.

Look at number 2. It says Harper's economic record and job creation record are the worst of any PM since WWII. And then take a gander at number 5. It says that before Harper's reign of terror, (sorry. HDF spasm), there were 9 consecutive budget surplusses. In his 7 years at the helm there have been 7 consecutive deficits. 127 billion more HDF induced hallucinations I suppose.

Any list of Harper government achievements comes with a list of facts that renders the former list sadly ironic. Almost as ironic as the Harper supporters accusing Harper haters of ignoring reason. It brings to mind a most English of English sayings: "Are you taking a piss?" Or in a more PG13 version, "Are you winding me up?" Even when a Harper supporter talks about something that appears to be good, like the child care credits, we find that they are only available to a choice group of Canadians who need them the least and they are taxed so much that they end up costing more than they are benefitting. One of my friends proudly stated that at least Harper hasn't had scandals like the such and such government before him. Let's just ignore the fact that that statement is making me think of the last time I went to the circus and saw an elephant stand on its hind legs and a LAKE of piss came gushing out... ahem, is that what we are looking for in our leadership? No scandals? "It's okay if he de-protects water and changes laws to facilitate ease of illegal immigration and environmentally disastrous pipeline building despite Canada's environmental protection record going into the toilet, oil spills, including the largest on land ever, constantly being downplayed and kept from public attention, environmentalists being muted and defunded, as long as there are no scandals." It seems to my HDF-addled brain, that any perceived shortage of scandals, real or selectively observed, has more to do with the effective control of media than effective government.

That's the other irritating thing to me about election time: as a nation, and I'd go so far as to say the same goes for America, we have gotten to a point in our histories where we accept such weak, watered down shadows of the democracy we once prided ourselves in having. Those who think they know me well might believe I hate the vote. I agree with Mark Twain who says, "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't allow us to do it." But that doesn't mean I hate voting. People who don't vote aren't just too lazy or too busy or too stupid. This is such a common misconception! And it's a huge weakness in our system of government that bad people depend upon. There is a very real, very well developed, even well nurtured voter remorse in places like Canada created by many years of non-democracy being called deomocracy. Many who voted again and again and again and got a small amount of what they voted for, or even NONE of it, have given up. But don't be deceived. If we had anyone worthy of casting a ballot for, we'd be back. Give us a Bernie Sanders in Canada and I would not only vote, I'd encourage others to do so.

At the same time the Vote has become an untouchable, religious ceremony to Canadians and Americans. Sorry if I insert another Mark Twain quote here that fits quite nicely: "Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool." Now please don't take this to mean I believe that all religion is con men conning fools. I just believe that in the case of the almighty vote, this IS the case. Can you tell me one SINGLE other thing that all politicians agree upon? Why do you think that is so? And who do you think is perpetuating the holiness of the vote? And to re-post that old line once again, "I wonder who would lead us if none of us would vote."

But I don't hate the vote. In fact I use it constantly in my life. In the classroom I let students vote on lessons sometimes. I will agree to a democratic choice of where to eat or drink on Saturday night even if I'm outvoted. I believe whole-heartedly in democracy. That's why I am possibly even more extreme than most in my belief in the vote. I believe that if a politician doesn't get at least 50% of the common vote, the election is not good. Otherwise, we really can't accurately say it's democratic. Though we always do. In fact even a 50% victory is going to fall far short of a true democracy, as our history of voting has proved time and time again, because even the BEST of politicians is only going to do about 50% of what he/she says.

Democracy is voting and letting the majority decide. There has never been, as far as I know, a government in either country in which the people got what 50% or more wanted. That means the majority is not deciding. That means it ain't democracy. The problem is NOT with the vote! I get so frustrated when I see these posts on people's facebook pages stating monumentally misinformed things like, "Bad politicians are elected by good people who don't vote." This may sound like a stretch but bear with me: That is like saying Charles Manson's grandparents are responsible for the crimes he committed. I don't know if anyone can, but let's pretend that we can see back to the time when Charles Manson's parents were dating. Maybe their parents, (his grandparents), told the two lovebirds time and time again not to have sex. They just had a feeling that nothing good could come of it. Maybe even saw a vision of the future. They voiced their opinions constantly, but Manson's parents only listened to them about once every four years when they ran out of money and needed a loan. At loan time the grandparents always said, "Okay, we'll give you just ONE more loan, just promise us one thing: don't have sny kids." Manson's parents always made genuine sounding promises at loan time. The future Mrs. Manson went on the pill. Mr. Manson bought condoms. But they spent their loan money on drugs, booze and sleazy hotel rooms where they could fuck like bunnyrabbits. Well on conception day Mommy hadn't used her pill and Daddy had run out of condoms. Manson was born. He killed seven people and is still rotting in jail for it. Who is at fault?

Manson's parents raised him and probably had some influence on his morality, just like the memebers of municipal, regional, state and provincial governments have some influence on the PM or President. Ideally, they should do what the voters, (grandparents), want. But they rarely do. Still, in these modern times when everything anybody does wrong can always be blamed on someone else, bad PM's and Presidents aren't blamed, nor are the members of their parties or even oppositions. It's the VOTERS' fault??? That's not even right, it's the NON voters' fault. That's like saying Manson's crimes were the fault of a FRIEND of his grandparents. It's ludicrous!

Let's go back to that article I gave a link to. I agree with it, sort of. Harper is bad. What he's done to Canada is equivalent to mass murder. The members of the Conservative party aren't at fault although they have some influence on him. Certainly the voters who voted for him are not at fault because a majority of what he's done was not in the election ads. The ones who DIDN'T vote for him have even LESS blame, but they DID support the system of government that got him elected. The ONLY people whose hands are clean in the midst of the most disastrous governments Canada has had maybe ever are the ones who didn't vote at all. But somehow the politicians want you to believe it's their fault. Why? Because if nobody voted, their jobs would be illegitimate. They'd be like CEO's of companies with no investors. Commissioners of sports leagues with no players. Voting is what keeps these guys in business. If you vote, you participate in our system of government, which, (you knew it had to be about money didn't you?), includes taxation.

Taxation, politics, economics, wheeling and dealing as the Prime representative of Canada. That comes with a lot of money, power and responsibility. This, unfortunately, attracts a lot of bad, greedy, capitalistic candidates because of the MASSIVE opportunities for mismanagement of the country and corruption. So am I only referring to Harper? Absolutely not. In my lifetime, as far as I can remember, there have been zero people who I could vote for that would have given me, and the majority of Canada, what we wanted. That is to say we have never had an opportunity at an actual democracy in our country. I would like to see a Canada that votes for ideas. This would be the most democratic solution. However, I know that not everybody would be willing to read all the details of all the issues. Many majorities would vote for the better options, but some wouldn't. So we'd get bad things because of ignorance.

I DO believe our system can work as we have it believe it or not. The problem is, we need honest and good politicians all the way up and we have to rid the system of its inherent corruption. The fault of our political system is NOT with the voters or the non-voters, it's with the scumbag politicians that a corrupt system of government attracts. Charles Manson killed those people and the legal system is reasonable enough to find him at fault and throw him in jail. But when it comes to politics, where does the reason go? Why are even the people who hate Harper trying to shift blame here? He's the poster boy for the problem with Canadian politics. Period. The fix couldn't be simpler. STOP LYING, CHEATING, AND STEALING. How to change the system is the complicated part. We need stringent rules, laws, checks and balances for the oversight of our politicians. We need candidates who offer what we want as a country instead of a little of what we want and a lot of what we don't want according to party policies.

Folks, voting for "anybody but Harper" will just get us Trudeau and I don't think he's what Canada wants. He's better, but he's still a turd sandwich. Or is he a douche? A turd sandwich vs. a douche. Modern democracy. Yay?

Monday, August 17, 2015

A little more Harper harping

This was posted by a Canadian internet friend today. While last week, this:

was posted by an American internet friend. Does that say, "Socialist" beside Canada? Do Americans think we are a socialist country? Do Canadians?

I sure wish we were! I'd still be there. On another internet post about how if you're broke, tired, overworked and unhappy you may be suffering from capitalism I got a response from someone that is the old stand-by argument: "So are you telling me socialism worked in Asia?" Probably referring to Cambodia's Khmer Rouge disaster or the ongoing disaster called the Chinese Communist Party, (which, strangely, calls itself socialist.) Who knows, maybe Indonesia or East Timor or some other lesser known socialism was what the commentor referred to.

The fact is Socialism, even Communism can work if it is handled properly by the right people. All over Europe there are good examples. Here's one:
I DO think America should follow their lead. And Canada and pretty much every country. You know, sometimes I wish I knew a little less about this sort of stuff. It would allow me to enjoy TV more. I was recently, (like yesterday), watching Ice Cold Gold because I love that kind of show. Reminds me of the summer I spent drilling. Only I don't have to be out there suffering with them. Although I gladly WOULD for the money they're making. Okay, let me explain:

From the beginning I was wondering how a group of American prospectors were just allowed to waltz into Greenland, dig around looking for gold and gems, find them and sneak outta there with them. I wondered how much these miners were paying the Greenlandian government for extracting the minerals from this land they don't live on or pay taxes on. Because of all I know about politics everywhere I guessed that it wasn't very much and if ANY of it at all went to benefit the people of Greenland, it would be a miracle. This, to me, was unfair.

It reminded me of a dead horse I'd like to flog once again here in my blog. $2.25 ring a bell? That's how much Nestle paid to the government of Canada to extract every million litres of fresh water out of the ground in B.C. and then sell it back to Canadians at about a million times what they paid for it. It was even cheaper in Ontario. This too is grossly unfair. And if we had any kind of government it would be stopped. In fact it would never have been allowed in the first place.

But back to Greenland. These miners found a huge deposit of rubies in Greenland at a site they prospected and staked a claim on. It turned out to be about 13 million dollars worth, maybe more. The show was really interesting though. The whole time the men were finding these rubies one after another and finding them in the core they were taking, which meant there were many more, they all KNEW they had struck it rich. They were all millionaires. But none of them were satisfied. They all talked like if they didn't find a rich deposit of gold or blue sapphire, their season would be a bust. They all got greedy. Then they started bickering and fighting. I was disgusted with these guys I had watched for two seasons of the show! They reminded me of that awesome, old movie, "The Treasure of the Sierra Madres."

But then it got even better! They knew the locals knew about their find. They had found a strange chisel on the ruby site. And then there was a strange boat cruising around their base camp. They all got paranoid that somebody would jump their claim and run away with some of their rubies. THEIR rubies. Like that old saying, they were worried that someone would take what they had rightfully stolen.

They gathered up as much of the rubies as they could and skulked out of Greenland. The comment was made by the leader of the group and head geologist, "I'm glad we got back to town with the rubies at night so no one could see us."

At the beginning of season three two things happened. Two shocking things. The group voted out Chad, a sluice miner who they felt had not shown as much worth to the crew as the others. They also mentioned that he did not have the right, go-get-it attitude. Basically, I thought as I watched, he wasn't greedy enough.

And then the real bombshell came. During the winter after the partial ruby extraction, the government of Greenland, who were probably the ones scouting the claim, did some re-zoning and made some new rules and basically said that these guys couldn't mine their claim any more. I'm pretty sure I was about the only person in the viewing audience who said, "YES!" at home while watching.

Greenland has its own flag but I think it is Danish territory. An autonomous Danish dependant territory. So... socialist. And that's how socialists work.

Another dead horse a flogging: Look at the guys at the top of that list. Norway is rich because they don't allow foreign interests to just waltz in and extract their oil. Every Norwegian has a million dollar pension fund because their government is socialist. That is, they care about their society. You can bet the Greenlandians will get their fair share of the remaining rubies that the Ice Cold Gold crew were nice enough to find for them. And well they should!

Meanwhile back in fake socialist Canada foreign interests like Chinese-owned Nexen are extracting oil from Canadian ground, leaving behind the largest land oil spill ever for us to clean up, messing up our beautiful country and what do average Canadians get out of it? An official appology from Nexen. And that's just one of many examples.

Folks, Canada, under the beligerently capitalist governance of PM Harper is nothing like the socialist state we once were and should be proud of. It is now a capitalist paradise we should all be ashamed of. Remember this in October and buy a wristband that has the letters W.W.H.D. on it. Every time there is a political decision to be made, look at that wristband, ask yourself What Would Harper Do and then do all you can to make sure the government of Canada does the opposite. If the new government of Canada is inexplicably Harper again, prepare for the apocolypse.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sotted Sow

Here we go! I am going to record this for posterity. I am not sure what that means but it's so I don't forget. I think maybe you, my avid readers, might find this interesting too. I took pics during the various steps of the brewing process and will describe it here. So don't worry, zombies, no talk about real world issues to bring you out of your zombified states. Like Harper trying to tell Canadians that we can't travel anywhere HE decides is a "terrorist" area. So I've heard he's going to ban all travel to the East Hastings area of Vancouver. Ar ar. See? Say it in a funny way.

Anyhoo, the above pic is the first thing I was in charge of. There were some flakes of maise, yes, corn flakes, that had to be soaked in water for a while. I had to keep the temperature between 154 F and 168 F or something like that. It was pretty easy. I did it on Mike and Heather's stove.

This big, glass jug is the fermentor. It's like 6 gallons. That's water mixed with sterilizer inside it. This time we were determined to be EXTRA sterile so as not to get another 37 bottles of vinegar. I tasted the milk stout. WOW! It was vinegar! Hugely disappointing!

Whilst I watched the cornflakes, Mike went to the I Tae Won Brew Store, right behind the Seoul Pub, and bought some other grains for the Sotted Sow, which is a cream ale. This is just one of the grains. We put them all into a sort of cheesecloth bag.

Then in the big pot, the main one on the outside barbecue, Mike put the sack of grain into the water. 5 gallons of water? Something like that.

Then when the time was right we mixed my corn water in. We left both bags in the water for a while and actually rung them out to get all the grainy goodness we could.

The boil went on into the night. As Mike says, "It takes money to make money and it takes beer to make beer." We had a beer or two during the boil.

Then we added flavour hopps and aroma hopps and soon it was time to cool the beer down. This was the fun part. We put cold water, and ice, into the blue cooler. Inside the cooler is a fish tank pump pumping the cool water through the hose and into a copper coil that we put into the kettle of beer. The cold water goes in and comes out pretty hot. I take jugs of the water to the nearest sewer grate and pour it. When the temperature gauge on the kettle reaches the right temperature, we transfer the beer into the big, glass fermentor. It is emptied JUST before we fill it to maintain sanitation.

This is the yeast that is added to the fermentor to begin the, you guessed it, fermentation process. The yeast eat the grainy goodness and crap out alcohol. Yummy! It's quite a lot of action and bubbling. This time around we put an air lock in the top of the fermentor filled with vodka. This air lock allows the air created by the fermentation to escape, but nothing, like fruit flies, to get into the beer.

So the fermentor is iced and kept cool under camouflage so that the boy, (Kellsterino), doesn't yank the air lock out. This may have been the demise of the milk stout. Now we wait two weeks. Then we add some lactose powder, (I think. To make the cream part of the beer), and some more yeast for carbonation, and we put it all in bottles. Hopefully after two more weeks it'll be fully carbonated and delicious.

So that's how we did it. I'm hoping to get good at this. Maybe do it on my own someday soon. We shall see...

Job update: I got a call from the international school. Sometime this week I will go to the school for orientation and to sign contracts. Then the visa process will hopefully begin. I just hope there are no complications. If I could I'd brew beer for a living, but I can't. Gotta get back to work.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Truth

Here's a sequel to my last post about lies. Typing at 8 in the morning on a Saturday, I'm already on my second cup of tea and thinking about a facebook post that said, "Congratulations on reaching the point in your life when you are waking up when you used to get home on a Saturday." That's some truth right there! I'm not working. Haven't been for some time. Why am I getting up so early for no reason at all? I mean if there was golf or fishing involved, sure, no problem. But all I'm doing today is going to Seoul to help Mike brew some beer.

Ah HA! I think I may have answered my own question. There's another thing about aging: as I get older I need to drink better beer. I was out at what they call in Korea, (and I'm told Germany), a "hof," Friday night and the draft beer tasted like battery acid to me. Not that I've ever tried battery acid but I've got some idea what it would taste like and that beer tasted like it. I bet that beer could turn over an engine. It was nasty. Nasty!

But the old me, or I guess more accurately, the YOUNG me, woulda just plugged my nose for a few beers until it tasted good. Nope. Not any more. I ordered the bottled beer, which was 500 won more. That's 50 cents.

So what I'm saying is life is becoming more expensive as I get older. I should qualify that by saying SOME things are becoming more expensive. When I travel I am staying in nicer accomodations. Maybe it's related to the previous sign of old age. When you go out for a few craft beers, you come home and enjoy the air conditioned comfort of your hotel. Maybe go for a dip in the pool. Then have a nice sleep in a comfortable bed. When you go out for copius amounts of the local swill you come home and pass out for a few hours, then probably have such a bad hangover the toilet facilities are more important than any others. Life.

You may have noticed that I've been neglecting the old bloggage a little bit. I have been noticing a few of my readers have been neglecting it as well. I think that relates to what the most quotable dude I've ever come across, Oscar Wilde said. I find when I start truthing I get these looks:

The zombie apolcolypse is REAL, folks. But it won't be the undead with with limbs falling off craving our brains. It'll be the youngsters trying to get us to stop using them cuz it's too real talking about environmental destruction! It brings them down when you bring up economic terrorism. It harshes their mellow when you tell them they're doing exactly what Big Brother wants them to do. It bums them out when you explain that their drinks are Soma and that loud music is the P.A. speakers chanting mantras like, "Everything is okay," "Don't worry, be happy," "You gotta shake it off. Shake it off," "Work hard for the corporations and escape reality at the club."

I've been working on a story lately. It's a funny story about an ESL hagwon in Korea and the hypocracy of the whole racket. But it's funny. Actually the whole business is hilarious! I don't need to do much more than write about teaching English in Korea and it's a comedy. I haven't seen many books or movies or stories about this yet, but it's begging to be written about. So that's what has kept me away from this blog. And it's likely going to be a lot more readable than the blog. For those of us who don't like taking the medicine of the truth unless it's accompanied by a spoonful of sugary laughter.

As far as the work situation goes, well here's another whole bowl of wrong. Another dose of the truth. It seems the whole country of Korea has to figure out a way of hiring teachers from other countries who are already working here. When it comes to ESL, of course the preferred teachers are from English speaking countries. The E-2 visa you get for teaching ESL actually requires it. But it seems every ad I see is asking for people who HAVE E-2 visas or any of the F visas for Korean citizens who live in other countries and visit Korea, or for foreigners who marry Koreans. To get an E-2 visa you need to be sponsored by a school. To get a job outside the school that sponsors you is either illegal or requires permission from that school, which they don't have to give and are not likely to. I have had camps AND full time jobs get me to the interview, want me to work for them, then ask me about my visa status and it ruins the deal. I have had 10 E-2 visas. They're not hard to get. Used to be, every school was knowledgeable about acquiring them, knew what paperwork was required from them as well as their employee, AND they would pay for the visa run. Now I tell the employer that I am on a visitor's visa and will need sponsorship for an E-2 and they get blank looks on their faces. I haven't yet figured out whether they truly have no idea about this important part of their jobs, or if they just want me to do it all and foot the entire bill for becoming legal to work for their company.

How does this work? I'm really confused. Seriously, if anybody reading this knows, please tell me. You get a school to sponsor you for an E-2 and it's good for a year and a month. Then you apply for one of these jobs asking for people who already have E-2 visas. You will have a hard time getting permission from your current employer if you are any good as a teacher. And you have probably worked at your current job for more than a month so your E-2 will expire before the end of the contract, which is almost always a year. What the hell is going on? Are people supposed to just find an E-2 patsy job, work for a week or two and then apply for a REAL job and hope that the patsy job will release them? Again, they don't have to. I see a lot of crappy hagwon jobs being advertised by the teachers who are leaving. Maybe if they can staff their old jobs the hagwon boss will allow them to leave? That seems like an absolutely assinine way of going about getting work. Doesn't it?

But talk about this and you are a heat score. You're a negative Nancy. You're unemployable because you can't adapt to the hardships requisite to the position.

Anyway, I have a great opportunity to teach science at an international school! The contract will be the best I have ever signed! So why am I not excited? Because after the interviewer said he wants me for the job, he asked about my visa status. He then asked me to give him all the rules and regulations about visas in an e-mail. I actually DID this! Now the ball is in his court because in order to start the E-2 visa process I need a signed contract and some proof of the school's legitimacy like their business license number. Then I can get an official visa number that I can take to Japan to get my E-2. But I've been waiting a week for them to get back to me. He's in Singapore right now and says he'll be back Monday and we'll talk. So I'm still not sure I've got this job. If I get it, it could be one of the best experiences I've had in my teaching career. I think I really could LOVE this job. But if they jam out it will have been a massive waste of time like many other jobs I have applied for here in Korea. If I knew it was going to be so hard to get a job here, maybe I would have gone to Viet Nam or Taiwan or, (good God), even China when I was booted out of Indonesia. I sure hope I haven't made the wrong choice here...

Life. Truth. I should just shake it off, have a dozen beer and quit being such a downer I guess. Right? On that note, I'm going to Mike and Heather's to brew some beerzola! Sotted Sow!

P.S. The first batch of brew I watched Mike brew was foiled by fruit flies. DAMMIT! 37 bottles of milk stout gone to waste! It tasted good even before it was carbonated or chilled. I bet it would have been awesome! Anyway, here are some pics of the first failed attempt at brewing I have encountered. Hope springs eternal, however. Mike and I will soon be at it again. Sotted Sow this time. Wish us luck!

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.