Sex and KFC

November 27, 2007

We can no longer trust our major media to report the news properly any more because of corporate interference trying to sell us hot pants and fast food which, you would think, are fairly mutually exclusive items*- if we’re lucky. The other area where it affects us heavily is medicine. It was pointed out long ago by concerned research scientists that if you put combating disease in the hands of profit-oriented companies alone without having government labs involved what you will get is only treatments- not cures. A cure, after all, is only for Christmas- a treatment is for life.

The first truly awful science of my generation was the way AIDS was handled in the 80’s. Cargo-cult science from a doctor of dubious repute connected a retrovirus to a syndrome and transmission to sex and we were told, with the usual enthusiasm of the tabloid media, of the bodies piled high on the streets come the year 2000. Sex sells. Sex kills. Those alive, paying attention and not out shopping for hot pants holding a bucket of KFC would have caught, at the time, the BBC Panorama documentary which questioned the science and pointed out that the odds on contracting the HIV retrovirus, should it exist, from sex was thousands to one**. The threat increased to one in hundreds only if both partners had an open wound on their genitalia. I personally lack the commitment to have sex hundreds of time with my penis bleeding profusely and even if I did I lack the charm, I feel, to talk another person into rigorous sex whilst suffering from severe blood loss.

Lunatic fringe thinker, I, joined only by Nicholas Regush of ABC News, Harpers, a few Nobel Prize winners for chemistry and around ten thousand scientists outside the USA whose income is not dependant on companies making billions from HIV treatments in thinking there is some less than robust thinking here are now re-joined by the BBC.

The method that has been proposed (but never proved) by which the retrovirus kills our T-cells has as much credibility as a trial lawyer representing OJ Simpson or Robert Downey Jnr. according to, for all my dissing Americans, a study led by Emory University in Atlanta. In reporting the story the Beeb, though, fearful of the American treatment of the English language, decided to get a quote from a trustworthy British scientist at Imperial College, Cambridge. Professor Jaroslav (very British) Stark said: “Scientists have never had a full understanding of the processes by which T helper cells are depleted in HIV, and therefore they’ve been unable to fully explain why HIV destroys the body’s supply of these cells at such a slow rate. Our new interdisciplinary research has thrown serious doubt on one popular theory of how HIV affects these cells, and means that further studies are required to understand the mechanism behind HIV’s distinctive slow process of cellular destruction.”

What’s worrying is this: they decided HIV causes AIDS by killing T-cells without ever understanding or proving the process by which it happens. Then how do you know that HIV is doing it, exactly? There is a word for this kind of thing: it is called a guess. Guessing, as you may conclude, is not great science. Guessing is what loses you huge amounts of money at the track. Guessing is what you do when you try and win the lottery. Guessing is not something you want from, say, a person packing your parachute, deciding on the length of your bungee cord or sending you to a foreign country to find weapons of mass destruction. So filling yourself with toxic chemicals to kill a retrovirus which may be sitting around, chilling, and generally showing the activity and work ethic of a procrastinating grandma on a weeks break in Torremelinos based on a guess may be considered to be less than smart.

The problem is the way we demand answers from medicine. Other sciences get to dabble around and have fun trying to make the universe accidentally fold up or putting new elements together to see how big a bang we can get. We, as individuals, don’t really care so we place no pressure on them. But we want to be cured of every tiny ill. Since none of us really believe in heaven any more we are afraid of death, otherwise we would let ourselves be “taken” at the first opportunity. Lying there, measle-infected, “See God,” we could utter, “it’s not suicide- just your will. See you in a minute- put my sexy birds on ice and pour me a Martini.” So we believe in something new: we have faith in medicine. Which is dumb. Medicine is reason and evidence. And profit. When we substitute reason and evidence for faith we end up with faith and prophet. Possibly one called Mohamed, or Jesus, or Dave The Amazing Faith healer. Or GlaxoSmithKline.

It is really our fault. Our brain seeks conclusions to problems and it seeks them quickly. We are designed to suffer anxiety about the unknown because early humans who were not quick to decide the best option when faced with, say, a large and pretty kitty with sharp teeth and savage claws, never got to decide anything ever again… least of all who to accidentally get pregnant at the prom.

So we get betrayed, every day, by our Selves. Our Selves are not something to be trusted. They will fuck with us at every given opportunity making us think our hair looks bad, our hot-pants don’t suit us and make us buy another bucket of comfort-KFC. We tend to believe what will make us happy and accepted rather than what is inconvenient and, quite possibly, true.

One of those things is: you’re going to die. Get over it. Stop worrying about it. Get laid. And use a condom not because you think you’re going to die from some random infection but because you’re considerate, because you are careful, and because if you have kids they will want you to send them to school and college and will want to borrow your car- which will eat into your drinking money and destroy your social life. Who wants that? Honestly.

*- bridged by the diet supplement market.

**- “Male-to-female transmission was approximately eight times more efficient than female-to-male transmission …The constant per-contact infectivity for male-to-female transmission was estimated to be 0.0009 [Meaning that female-to-male would be 0.00001125 or about 1/10,000]…We observed no seroconversions after entry into the study…No transmission occurred among the 25% of couples who did not use their condoms consistently, nor among the 47 couples who intermittently practiced unsafe sex during the entire duration of follow-up. This evidence argues for low infectivity in the absence of either needle sharing and/or other cofactors” Padian NS et al. Heterosexual Transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Northern California: Results from a Ten-Year Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1997 Aug;146(4):350-7

http://www.aras.ab.ca/

The USA needs heroes…

October 26, 2007

There is one guy running for President in the USA worth anything. He is a whistle blower, releasing the “Pentagon Papers” (information on the Vietnam war being kept secret by Nixon) and the man who effectively ended the draft in the USA during the Vietnam war. The Senator for Alaska is in no-one’s pocket and was just dropped from the Democratic Nomination debates on NBC for not doing things he did and not being rich enough. This would be the second televised debate that he will be excluded from. Gravel is against the war and vocally for substantial cutting the USA military. NBC is owned by General Electric*, the USA’s biggest arms contractor and the second biggest company in the world. The USA spends more on military than the rest of the world combined (even excluding the cost of the Iraq war).

Mike Gravel asks inconvenient questions like “are you genuinely talking about dropping a nuclear weapon on Iran?” Particularly important for Americans since Putin, yesterday, assured Iran that any attack on its sovereignty will be seen as an attack on Russia.

Come a hero: a young multimillionaire, Gregory Chase, who agreed, if necessary, to simply hand NBC the $1million they say Gravel needs to be taken seriously as a candidate and allowed to debate. He says he is happy to buy advertising on their network for Gravel to that amount if but will hand over the money gratis if required. Chase, a man who seems to understand “sound-bite” culture, said: “We could put it (the &1mil) in a fireplace and burn it for all I care, as long as he gets in the debate.”

Chase has also put up $25,000 for the person posting the Mike Gravel YouTube Video that gets the most hits before January 1st 2008.

Oddly enough this story has been missed by The BBC, Sky and CNN.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bryan-bissell/gravel-supporter-puts-his_b_69789.html

 

*- GE was convicted in 1990 of defrauding the U.S. Department of Defence, and again in 1992 on charges of corrupt practices in the sale of jet engines to Israel.- wikipedia

Paranoid Jester

February 10, 2007

big_brother.jpg

An old piece of mine called “maybe I was too quick to damn torture,” critical of the US government, has disappeared off my weblog. This must be some growing conspiracy of the American government because of the increasing influence I have over the four people who read my weblog rather than an accidental deletion on my part or the part of the server.

In it I had a controversial quote only available on my weblog and about 10,237 other sources on the web who, no doubt, have suffered similar abuse and intimidation. This was what it contained…

From the Los Angeles Times:

Since then-CIA Director Porter Goss assured Congress last year that this was a “professional interrogation method,” not torture, citizens should be permitted to bring splintery planks, leather straps and water tanks to expedite discussions with any member of Congress who continues to insist that things are going swimmingly for the U.S. military in Iraq.

Well, as long as it’s a “professional interrogation method.” No-one taught the Spanish Inquisition about spin, methinks.

Remember, Big Brother is watching you.

No, not that big brother, the George Orwell one. You know? From the book, 1984. They made a movie. Had John hurt in it? Oh, for fucks sake, put down that magazine and go and read a damn book, will you. Really, it’s exasperating!

ps. On the subject of the book 1984 I rather liked this image i came accross during my image search…

big_brother_1984.jpg

I was just thinking of a logical extrapolation of my ‘static time’ idea: (1) that time is a set dimension, unchanging; (2) that we occupy a set part of; (3) that we can only experience a small part of at any point in the same way that you only see the bits of the other 3 dimensions that are right in front of you, too. (ref#1)

This must come from a unconcious connection with a theory I read in New Scientist from Nick Bostrom called the “Simulation Argument” (ref#2) from around 2002, shortly after the release of “The Matrix” and “Thirteenth Floor”.

His format is useful here so I will nick it. This theory would assume that we are not, as his suggests we probably are, actually living in a computer simulation run by sentient computers or, alternatively, other humans, plants, hyper-intelligent bacteria, attractive female aliens with beehive hairdos saying “show me more of this earth thing called kissing”*, trans-dimensional beings with an uncanny resemblance to white mice, the Monster Raving Loony Party or any combination thereof.

At least One of the following propositions is true:
(1) the human species will go extinct before mastering the dimension of time and our movement through it; (2) any human civilisation mastering time would decide not to use that ability or technology to interfere with events; (3) post-human beings from the future are now, and always have been, around us affecting events and we now live, and always have lived, in the best possible world that we as a species possibly could at any point in time.

So, if you don’t like it, lump it. Or if you wish to remonstrate with “the management” about how things are going: leave a complaint buried in a ‘time capsule’**.

* Red Dwarf. British Comedy. If you haven’t seen it: do.
** a dull excercise forced on children in the 80s by deluded but well-meaning teachers who thought archeologists of the future might be awed by uncovering a sealed, plastic container containing a Star wars action figure, a picture of the class’ pet hamster, “Harold”, and a half-page synopsis of international affairs written by a 9-year-old.

ref#1: https://midnightjester.wordpress.com/2007/01/11/the-nature-of-time/
ref#2: http://www.simulation-argument.com/

Summary of “Simulation Argument”: his paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

Never, except when listening to religious extremists, have I before come across an argument where ordinary people, doctors and scientists with a differing viewpoint have been aggressively dealt with. I am an adult of the “sex kills” generation. The very first. I was 12, one year away from the terrible teens, in 1987- the year it was announced that a Syndrome causing the human immune system to fail was first linked to HIV. A retro-virus that could be transmitted through blood-to-blood contact and therefore sexual activity.

In 1988(about) I remember a British TV Documentary that went through the solid parts of the theory and exposed the holes and that was the last dissenting view I ever remember being accepted as rational or believable by government agencies or most of the popular press.

Since I heard no further dissent and returned to SA from the UK in 1989 I assumed the controversy was long dead. It was never shown in any mainstream media, for certain. In a moment of boredom while deciding what to write in an email to whatever incompetent company was raising my hackles that week I did a quick “AIDS” web search. One of my friends was studying medicine and a story of hers was fresh in my mind.

I was surprised at the reports of just how many respectable, well known scientists had a problem with HIV-AIDS. I got intrigued and spent, in the end, around 72hours researching both sides. Without being a scientist myself and with what knowledge I have of science being in the Physics realm I cannot comment deeply on the validity of either party’s argument. What i can comment on, however, are their methods of argument.

All good science is based on questioning orthodoxies. If it were not we would have remianed on a flat world circled by a sun and moon. If you are questioned you never answer “the debate is over, let’s move on.” You either provide the answer or, if you have answered it before, refer to the paper in which you (or another scientists) did so.

You do not shout those questioners down. You do not deny them space at AIDS conventions (maybe you set up a stall opposite explaining how they are wrong, but you don’t lock them out). You do not have reporters telephoned an called “babykillers” because they wrote a column saying they weren’t entirely convinced (happened to Nicholas Regush, of ABC News “Second Opinion”, now deceased).

Respected and award winning scientists and journalists have a problem with it but instead of listening the public sides with the bully-boys. When I bring up this argument with friends they are shocked that I would consider having an alternative viewpoint. Somehow I am a kook or an oddball. But these are the same, presumably intelligent, people who when you ask them if they would trust the mainstream news solely for their information would laugh at you. “Of course not”, they laugh, “It’s way too biased by special interest, you need to look for a broader base of information for a vaguely balanced view.”

Today was the day I decided to have another look at what’s happening and the scene hasn’t changed. A multi-billion dollar industry doesn’t want dissent and is as cruel as a multi-billion dollar industry can get. AIDS has, of course, now been re-branded worldwide as “HIV-AIDS” to make it clear there can be no other opinion. Only four governments worldwide make public any support for research in other directions: UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa, and SA’s President got attacked viciously on the international stage for it.

I am always wary of those who shout down others. Especially when those they shout down have just as much right to an opinion and whose education and knowledge base in the area is just as large. Very suspicious indeed. So should you. If you’re interested on what might, one day, be revealed as the biggest fraud in history (making Enron look like a kiddie’s game) you could do worse than visit a few of the websites I list at the bottom of this piece or have a bit of a google.

“The important thing is to not stop questioning.”- Albert Einstein

Oh, and it turns out the guy who discovered HIV is somewhat of a dangerous egomaniac and fraudster.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9E0CEFDA103DF932A05751C1A964958260
http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/srlabrat.htm

some sites:
http://www.duesberg.com/
http://www.redflagsdaily.com/search/node/AIDS
http://www.virusmyth.net
http://www.rethinkingaids.com/

PS. The most frequent retort when I take the side of the argument against HIV causing AIDS at drinks, dinner, birthdays, weddings and wakes (I also do Barmitzvahs) is “what does, then?”.

My answer: I do not know. But I would rather live in recognised ignorance than believe a potentially dangerous lie. It’s why I’m an athiest.

I have no problem with lies that are not potentially dangerous, like:
“I do not have a small penis”
“One more piece of chocolate will be fine”
unless you are a diabetic wanting to act in pornographic movies.

It’s amazing how running accross seemingly unrelated information can suddenly make the world so clear. Being a person who is unafraid of the word “conspiracy” and does not think it’s use automaticaly warrants a visit to the funny farm, padded cell and fashionable jacket included, I though I might share in a moment of clarity.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s in South Africa I was the child of a country whose governmental approach to child safety (and the economy and international relations) involved harassing, making a misery of and sometimes removing the lives of a great many black people living in poverty. Some as little as 10 miles away from me.

Somewhat akin, then, to george Bush’s war on terror in Iraq but with Arabs instead of Africans and a somewhat larger geographical difference, as if that matters in our bright new global village.

But, my point? Do I have one?

I do. I will get there, bear with me. I need to cite the evidence first.

I note that we, as a species, are being weakened systematically throughout our lives (with the USA at the forefront), starting from infancy. First, things that may seperate the wheat from the chaff are being removed. The chaff, is, in fact, being preserved and protected in such a manner that it is indistinguishable from the wheat in almost all circumstances.

When we are in a crib our parents are brow-beaten by Dr. Phil, Oprah, child services and interfering know-nothing friends into putting baby monitors next to a crib to, wait for this, amplify the sound of a screaming child at 3am in the morning. Parents in the 50s wouldn’t have dreamed of it. One of the first things you did when you had a pregnancy (before buying the crib but after the hurried ceremony) was sound-proof the kids room. Between 8pm and 7am the child was placed in a tiny cell with no entertainment and only a small blanket to choke on and left to it’s own devices. Any creature that can accidentally kill itself with a small blanket needs to be removed from the gene pool. I do not want that creature to end up as my driving instructor or even serving me fries at some appalling take-away. One small baby is not that big a deal and it’s so easy (and fun) to make another!

Today, when youngsters are just starting to explore the possibility of danger in the great outdoors, evil safety Nazi’s prevent them from allowing their incompetence as human beings to injure or damage themselves. This piece in Radar Magazine (ref1) details the wonderful destructive and dangerous toys that used to be available for any child old enough to accidentally bruise, stab, blow up or otherwise maim and damage him (or her)self and others within throwing distance. There were darts with 3 inch spikes and heavy weights which you could throw up in the air, radioactive labs for the play-pen, cannibal cabbage patch dolls eager to take a finger off an unsuspecting tyke and flying ballerinas capable of serving up a healthy dose of concussion. A junior game of the quick and the dead. We were given food only at mealtimes, learning to feel hungry before we ate our next meal. Fun ‘snack’ things to eat in the fridge were lettuce, cabbage abd a jar of pickled onions with an expiry date from the 19th century. Hunger stimulates the brain’s ability and motivation to think (ref2).

These days children wear helmets on bicycles, knee and elbow pads on skateboards. Toys are removed from shelves if they can cause damage if swallowed. Parents cushion sharp edges in the home (I couldn’t believe that when I first heard of it) and hide the pretty green washing up liquid so there is nothing to drink while they’re out.

This carries on all through life. A local university recently tried to ban (it was later toned down to: will not officially sanction or allow to advertise on campus) any event run by students for students where there would be alcohol. How is anyone meant to fall off a roof or out of a first story window when sober? Or down the stairs? Or roll a car? Or shag a girl with more facial hair than you? All those things that teach you that when bad things happen it hurts but it will get better (unless you died or broke your neck or got her pregnant, of course).

To confuse matters further, because of this coddling people who could have been weeded out of the system and spent their lives as a hermit, street sweeper (my next job for preference), shop assistant or other person we can choose to avoid if we want- they become politician or, in one case, a school principal and expel a kid for doing completely the right thing (handing in a pellet gun he found in the school’s gentlemans toilets) rather than walking away (ref3). Why did the principal do it? Was it because, as he said: “purposeful possession of weapons is a serious offense” or, perhaps, because he was a melon headed space cadet who, in a slightly more dangerous world, would have taken a job in fecal reclaimation and settled down with a woman the size of a house had he been hit on the head by his sister’s flying ballerina at the age of 12 and spent a week in hospital dealing with his bedpan and a large friendly, nurse called Bertha? The idiocy of fighting the action of darwinist principles within society, once instituted, is self-perpetuating.

And it continues to adulthood. We sit in front of a TV instead of playing sport with our friends. We eat rubbish that fattens us up and never let ourselves become properly hungry. This “food rubbish” slows us down and leaves us malnourished and peevish not to mention unattractive to the opposite sex. Or even the same sex. We do unimportant jobs and we work hard to do them well so we are too tired to do anything but pick up crappy take out and vegetate in front of a TV. We are allowed only govenment approved drugs which (like all things to do with government) have all the side affects without the fun.

I had mentioned a point. I had. I did. I’m almost there now. It was a conspiracy theory-type thing.

Here we go. The conspiracy is to make all of us slaves and it can only be perpetuated by the most craven, underhanded, self-centered, immoral people. Or creatures. Or things.

But no David Icke Lizard people. No worldwide secret organisation cover up. The conspirators are, in our modern world, front page news. They are famous. They are observed and investigated in the minutest ways and we see graphical representations of them everywhere. The conspirators are a macroscopic pair of spiral staircases. The conspirators are our DNA.

DNA does not care for our happiness, it exists to perpetuate itself. It is life looking to make more life. As much more life as it can and it will give you the skills to survive if only because those skills are passed on from others who survived. The biggest survival skills for herd or social animals: blend in, don’t rock the boat, be stable, look for security, err toward the center. Human DNA does not care for freedom. Free creatures get picked off by predators. Human DNA (h_DNA) cares for the quality of the other h_DNA it combines with and will choose the best it can get to make even “better”, newer h_DNA. Human DNA’ cares’ for status, because status gets more mates and better mates and that way the h_DNA gets to make more, and better, h_DNA.

Westerners accept what we are fed as a society because change is dangerous as far as our DNA is concerned, it will want stability and safety. We accept things done for our safety because thousands of years of evolution tell us to. We accept the set of status-rules because our DNA is more likely to spread if we do. But it’s not going to result in happiness. Just more DNA.

How does humanity win? Slaves to the microscopic within our own cells. Betrayed by our history where cowardice survives more often than heroism. Where being a follower offers more consistant security than being a failed leader ostracised by the group? The biggest conspiracy there ever was, completely provable and factual, heading back further in time than human history.

A jester’s 10 point completely unqualified preachy plan

To make the DNA work for us:

Marketing takes control of every base instinct we have and twists it to control our behaviour. It’s their job, it’s practically written on the door. Honesty in marketing.
How about promoting as worthy of status good deeds (this used to happen- a religion called Christianity pushed for it big time and then it all got fucked up because people would rather listen to a good orator or man in a funny hat than read one half of a book and then think for themselves) instead of promoting cars with shiny wheels and big grills and cash as status?

Encourage the veneration of Intelligence AS WELL AS (not instead of) physical prowess. No, we don’t do that at the moment. The ability to make money is not connected to huge intellect. More usually it is connected with ruthlessness (not to be confused with evilness or nastiness). In South Africa, for instance, our scientists do their work for love but are treated most often like 2nd class citizens and are paid appallingly.

Teach children to think critically, not just regurgitate information. This means having teachers who can think critically. You will need to pay them decently (not hugely, though, most critical thinkers don’t value money that highly) and you will need to treat them with respect and trust. Don’t tax them either. My parents taught me from the womb to argue a point and listen to other points of view. Even argue with them. They took the time. If teachers had less useless information to disseminate (major export of Gautemala- who cares?) they could take time to encourage more discussion in the classroom. Debating should be a class on it’s own.

Everyone should be literate whether they like it or not. Every town should have a library no matter if it is unused and censorship should be done away with. In a critical society points of view need not be

To make society work for us:

Everyone in a democracy should have to vote or face 10 days community service. All of them should have to do a (quick, multiple choice) test naming the top 10 policies of any 3 parties running and what their policies were in the last election. They should have to get 90% or do it again and again until they get it right. This will also catch anyone at the age of 18 who has slipped through the literacy net.

Everyone at the age of 18 in every country should do 12 months national service. Not in the military but helping in hospitals, police stations, public transport, fire stations, schools and gentrifying poor areas. Poor people never get to see how much the other classes pay in taxes to help them so there is a disconnect. Get the middle and upper class kids down there and you get two benefits. The poor get to feel the country cares about them because they see the effects every day and the wealthier kids get to see to see the poor as people, not a statistic. Those memories make it easier when you see how much of your paycheck the government gets. And the poor kids get skills, experience and a reference.

No one starves (there is no country that cannot afford this unless they are being attacked by a military force- politics and stupidity cause food shortages, not droughts) and medical care is free to whatever level the country can afford and no further. Make the cheapest things free first? Possibly, I don’t know.

Everyone gets a roof over their heads and a safe place to sleep.

Protect the people from corporate interests: Have a Monopolies Commission with ridiculous powers. You need this in a capitalist state. Any company convicted of price fixing cedes 25% of it’s assets to a state fund. The profits of the fund going into the tax base. States should own assets, it’s not communism it’s just smart. If the government was making the money from the oil/ diamonds/ copper how much less would you pay in taxes? Probably the same but the schools might be better.

Protect the people from government: There must be, in a democracy, a branch of the police (combined with auditors) who randomly audit government officials and departments.

There must also be a free press and television news service. This might be easier than you think. I alone have 3 ideas for someone to poke endless holes in.

Discourage Jingoism in everything but sports.

Tax the purchase of cars to hell but set up a system where they are cheap to hire for the short-term.Public transport should be as near to free as dammit, comfortable, as eco-friendly as possible and does not need to be fast. As long as people can sit down comfortably they will learn to take a book and a portable radio (the book is free from the library and portable radios are a dollar). Free, clean, well-maintained public transport is a quick way to put money in the pockets of the poor and middle class and take it from the rich. If your country can’t afford to make it free for everyone have 2 classes and have no seats in the free section, people will get over it. It’s free (In South Africa where min wage about R6 ($1) per hour transport costs R15- R30 per day.)

Most Important point: Always, always, always remember that idealists with plans and ideas are the most dangerous people on the planet. On no account trust them but do listen to them. Amongst them number Ghandi, Jesus, George Bush, Mussolini, The Prophet Mohammed, Adolf Hitler, Nelson Mandela, The Pope (any of them) and Bill Gates. And a jester. Listen to the ideas, be critical.

ref1: http://www.radarmagazine.com/features/2006/12/toys.php
ref2: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/magazine/10section1C.t-1.html
ref3: http://cbs2chicago.com/local/local_story_348001946.html

Post scripts or: things that didn’t fit into the flow of the piece and/or were badly formed ideas or badly formed arguments or annoying or once slept with my girlfriend and we’re not speaking anymore.

We are being turned into societies scared of everything. Looking for security above all else. We are being programmed that way every day. Brainwashed to want a safe house and a bigger TV and our food delivered. Trained not to question the basics the way my parents did in the 60s and 70s apartheid South Africa. Like others did in the 60sUSA- that wonderful country at the forefront of the ‘love’ movement.

We are not taught politics in school. We all should be. Democracy does not stop at a voting booth. Democracy is 100,000 people marching down a street. Democracy is reminding officials who they represent. Democracy is standing for government yourself if you have to. All this takes time. Time you probably don’t have.

The conspiracy is us. Not standing with each other, not getting to know each other, spending more time watching TV than making our worlds better. The

Fear is control. Scared people don’t question, they like the status quo. Questions that need to be asked, and the answers analysed very carefully:

Every time two $Billion companies merge and people get laid off and there is less competition is it good for you? If it isn’t then it’s the government’s job to stop them. Did they? Did you, personally, do anything when they didn’t?

Why is it better for you if a corporation moves their car (shirt/nose-ring) plant out of your country and to India/China? Did the car price come down? Would I be willing to pay 10% more if my neighbour still had a job?

If I work just 8 hours a day (few do), commute 2 hours a day, take 2 hours to wind down after work, shop an average of 30 minutes per day, take 60 minutes to eat, use the toilet and shower, 30 minutes to keep the house clean and then sleep for 8 hours how much time do I have to myself? 2 hours.

How can there still be illiteracy in the richest countries in the world?

Why are the wealthy countries not topping the world in surveys about happiness?
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-07/uol-uol072706.php
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3157570.stm
http://www1.eur.nl/fsw/happiness/

Are you, personally, being screwed by a situation not of your making?

The world is becoming too safe and we are all in danger of something worse than death. Becoming slaves in crappy mid-level jobs in a society

I approve of alcohol. I want to be able to claim, for all my stupid actions- every damn one, that I was toasted at the time. Pissed. Drunk. Gone. Wasted. Especially to my parents, my boss or the judge if she’s cute.

The USA has had it’s civil liberties raped yet the November senate races were still close. No-one, not a single peron should have voted for the Republicans. Anyone who did should have to shut up when they get to the ‘land of the free and home of the brave’ (paraphrasing not quoting, too tired to google the thing to check) bit.

How are they ever going to learn to deal with any pain or injury.

enron-lay_ken_apr25_06gi03.jpgA man, worth (prosecuters believed) around 43 billion dollars which the Enron Chief screwed out of his employees, clients and the world in general, facing the rest of his life in jail, dies while on holiday in a small community where he is well known and has his autopsy, funeral and cremation all happen within 4 days. The coroner’s report states there was a “Visual and physical identification.” but doesn’t state what “physical identification.” We presume his wife identified the body.

Then the conviction of the Key man in the Enron scandal gets abated (it never existed, not even the indictment- isn’t that sweet) because the poor boy did not have a chance to exhaust the appeal process. So his wife gets to keep all the money barring a civil suite where they will be unable to point to the criminal conviction as part of their evidence. Although we must grant that Kenneth Lay, well known to us all for being a scrupulously honest, down to earth man had declared that his actual wealth was in the negative to the amount of $250,000. Yes Kenny, we believe you.

Not being a conspiracy nut I do want to state that here a conspiracy is all too plausible. If I was a state coroner I wouldn’t say no to a quick couple of million back handed to me. It’s not the best paid job in the world, after all. Then Kenny, alive again just like in South Park, get’s to run off to have fun in the sun somewhere without extradition. Just to make sure.

Let’s find him. I would love to see Kenny die over and over again.

South Park lives!

here is the coroners report: http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:s0TtEWVxI-MJ:hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/_documents/lay_autopsy.pdf+Robert+Kurtzman&hl=en&gl=uk&ct=clnk&cd=10

ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Lay
ref: http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/06/commentary/wastler/index.htm
ref: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/05/AR2006070500523_2.html
ref: http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/17/news/newsmakers/ken_lay.reut/