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Saviolo

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Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:34 PM
Number of posts: 274

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Something finally occurred to me.

I see so many people who just feel stultified by the inability to act. People living hand to mouth who feel paralyzed by inability to get anything done. It's not just having not much money... there's lots of people who've been very successful coming from little or nothing. But it seems to be rarer and rarer these days, why is that? What's going on now that's different?

People still have good ideas. There's always the fear that there are no new good ideas, that everything's been done. That's not true, there are lots of great ideas that people can still accomplish. So, what is it, now? Those of us living paycheque to paycheque, getting by with increasing debt, credit card interest rates, etc... are just decried as lazy do-nothings. Takers.

With all the recent talk about the Swiss idea of giving all adults a guaranteed minimum income monthly, regardless of their employment status, it finally struck me. It's something that's happened to me, much to my dismay. I've been forced for so long to say, "Well... I just don't have the money to implement that project or this idea, I guess I'll have to put it off." And then the next idea gets put off. And the next. Until you find yourself just stultified and unable to even form ideas any longer. I used to have some great ideas for things to do. Projects for the future. But I live paycheque to paycheque. I work in a retail travel job, and don't make a whole lot of money. I pay down my credit cards when I can, I'm not super-deep in debt. But I don't have the funds to start new projects, and when I come home from working long retail hours being talked down to by many customers, I don't have any motivation left for new ideas. I read. I watch TV. I'm anesthetizing myself. So are so many of us.

Why is it? Because community is only for rich people now. No, I'm serious. The wealthy have networks that get their family members into jobs, into schools, into anywhere they need to be. And the "libertarians" and Ayn Rand worshipers have been trying to convince us for years that it's all about your own individual impetus to become a success. That we don't need the help of others, and we should not help others. But that's not how the wealthy work. Again, I'm using broad strokes here, and there are of course self-made men and women who struggled up with no wealthy benefactors, etc... but as time goes on, it's harder and harder to do that. Why? Because we're bring told that doing it on our own is the only way to do it. Getting help from community or from government is just this side of COMMUNISM! And that's the worst possible thing! How well do your know your neighbours? How well connected are you through your place of work, or your local community centre? Volunteer work?

The wealthy don't have any of these worries. They have the funds and the network and the community to accomplish all of these things without deciding, "Do I start this project, or skip meals for a couple of days?" or, "Do I gas up my car or feed my kids this week?" Income disparity may be the biggest issue currently facing us, and we're told over and over that it's no big deal. Why doesn't anyone seem to have any money? Because it's all in the holdings of the mega rich. It's not in the economy. It's only making more wealth for those that hold it.

So, this has been long and rambling. It probably doesn't make much sense, but I had to get it out and off of my chest.

Some information about income inequality (some we've seen before, I know):

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R) helps gov't shutdown, says park ranger should be ashamed

From the Washington Post:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics-live/liveblog/live-updates-the-shutdown-showdown/#bcb4af5e-4ed7-450b-b8fe-135798bb1399

“How do you look at them and say — how could you deny them access?” Neugebauer says at the World War II Memorial. “I don’t get it.”

“The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves,” Neugebauer says.

“I’m not ashamed,” the ranger says.

“Well, you should be,” Neugebauer says, before walking away.

He is then confronted by a man who says he is a 30-year federal government employee who is out of work. The man tells Neugebauer that the ranger is just doing her job, and that Congress is responsible for federal parks and memorials being shuttered.


Holy crap on a crap cracker. They really do want to have it both ways, don't they? They want to be able to pull the lever to shut it all down, then blame those that they've furloughed for the results. I don't understand how republicans' heads aren't just exploding from cognitive dissonance.

The good news is, it looks like they're just killing themselves on this.

Why not WalMart? - Why are people still defending them?

For some reason, I can't read an article about this without getting into an internet argument about it. Someday I'll learn, I guess.

So, here's a fellow making sort of vague hanging points about middle class vs. working class, and how WalMart is actually going to help people, because the small businesses in the Kensington Market area aren't paying better, and... aren't the local economy?

I'm sorry, I can't follow, so I'll link you to the article here:

http://www.randomhouse.ca/hazlitt/blog/why-not-walmart-case-chain

The smug tone of it just reeks of the currently popular hipster-hate. A sneering "those hipsters are just -so awful- aren't they?" that just makes me angry. Yes, those are my fairly angry comments at the bottom down there. It's my neighbourhood, so I'm a little passionate about the situation.

I wish people would just stop defending WalMart. They a) don't need it and b) don't give a shit about you. Am I just way off base here?

Lots of people rely on homeopathy. Can they all be wrong? Yes

From the article:

Homeopathy has nothing to do with herbal remedies, many of which have legitimate uses. It is a practice hatched in the dark ages of science based on the idea that substances that cause symptoms in a healthy person can cure those same symptoms in an ill person. (So, for instance, onions, which make eyes itchy and tearful, can be used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.) There is no logic to this, but this is not where it stops. Homeopaths, defying everything we know about toxicology, believe that diluting a solution containing a homeopathic remedy increases its potency. In fact, to potentiate the remedy, dilutions are carried out to an extent that the final product in most cases doesn’t even contain a single molecule of the original “remedy.”

Obviously it’s easy to make fun of homeopathy. The concept is absurd. But millions of people around the world do rely on homeopathic medications. Can they all be wrong? The simple answer is: Yes.

It is hard to understand how this has happened, since the directorate’s stated goal is for “all Canadians (to) have ready access to natural health products that are safe, effective and high quality, while respecting freedom of choice and philosophical and cultural diversity.”

Safety is not an issue with homeopathic products, because they contain nothing. I’m not sure what “high quality” means in this context; presumably that the pills are produced in an environment free of contaminants. But what about efficacy? There is actually no requirement that homeopathic producers demonstrate this — which is lucky for them, because no proof of efficacy is to be had for homeopathic mercury, arsenic, “Berlin Wall” or, most alarmingly, homeopathic “vaccines” and mosquito repellents.


Homeopathy isn't the same as herbal remedies or legitimate alternate therapies, it is pure snake oil. It's not unsafe in and of itself, but as indicated in the article, people are passing off homeopathic vaccines and mosquito repellants that will not actually do anything. This is actively dangerous if you're going into an area that has a danger of West Nile (the example in the article) or Malaria.

Read the article from the Montreal Gazette here: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Right+Chemistry+Debunking+homeopathy/8852871/story.html

And as Tim Minchin quotes in his fantastic poem Storm:
It's a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while it's memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it's had in it!


Read the whole poem here: http://www.lyricsmania.com/storm_lyrics_tim_minchin.html

Stephen Harper to seek prorogation of Parliament (AGAIN!)

From the CBC article:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed he will ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until October, when his Conservative government will introduce the next speech from the throne.

"There will be a new throne speech in the fall, obviously the House will be prorogued in anticipation of that. We will come back — in October is our tentative timing," Harper told reporters in Whitehorse Monday. Harper is in the Yukon on the second day of his annual summer tour of the North.

The Prime Minister's Office later clarified that Harper will ask for Parliament to be prorogued before the scheduled return of the House on Sept. 16, meaning Parliament will not sit again until after the throne speech in October.

It will be the third time since Harper took office in 2006 that he has sought prorogation. He first used the tactic in 2008 to successfully out-maneouvre the opposition's attempt to unseat him and form a coalition government. He prorogued again in 2010 in the midst of a controversy over Canada's treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan and ahead of Vancouver's hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics.


Why does he need to do this? He's got a -majority government-!!! He doesn't face a vote of non-confidence! This is absurd beyond comprehension. Time to hand this man his pink slip.

Full article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/08/19/pol-harper-commons-prorogation.html

Fracking: Meet the town that’s being swallowed by a sinkhole

From the article on Grist:

Texas Brine’s operation sits atop a three-mile-wide, mile-plus-deep salt deposit known as the Napoleonville Dome, which is sheathed by a layer of oil and natural gas, a common feature of the salt domes prevalent in Gulf Coast states. The company specializes in a process known as injection mining, and it had sunk a series of wells deep into the salt dome, flushing them out with high-pressure streams of freshwater and pumping the resulting saltwater to the surface. From there, the brine is piped and trucked to refineries along the Mississippi River and broken down into sodium hydroxide and chlorine for use in manufacturing everything from paper to medical supplies.

What happened in Bayou Corne, as near as anyone can tell, is that one of the salt caverns Texas Brine hollowed out — a mine dubbed Oxy3 — collapsed. The sinkhole initially spanned about an acre. Today it covers more than 24 acres and is an estimated 750 feet deep. It subsists on a diet of swamp life and cypress trees, which it occasionally swallows whole. It celebrated its first birthday recently, and like most 1-year-olds, it is both growing and prone to uncontrollable burps, in which a noxious brew of crude oil and rotten debris bubbles to the surface. But the biggest danger is invisible; the collapse unlocked tens of millions of cubic feet of explosive gases, which have seeped into the aquifer and wafted up to the community. The town blames the regulators. The regulators blame Texas Brine. Texas Brine blames some other company, or maybe the regulators, or maybe just God.

Bayou Corne residents need only drive a quarter mile down Highway 70 to see the worst-case scenario. On Christmas Day 2003, a methane leak from a Napoleonville Dome salt cavern storing natural gas forced residents of Grand Bayou, a neighboring hamlet, to evacuate. Dow Chemical, which owned the cavern, bought out the mostly elderly residents, leaving only concrete slabs behind. In places like Barbers Hill, Texas, similar leaks have turned once-thriving neighborhoods into ghost towns. A 2001 cavern leak in Hutchinson, Kan., spewed 30-foot-tall geysers of gas and water and caused an explosion that left two people dead.

“I hate to say, but it’s not an unusual event,” says Robert Traylor, a geologist at the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator. “These things happen. In the oil business, a million things can go wrong, and they usually go wrong.”


And the corporations in charge are just passing the buck. Not that it would make much difference if they were indicted, because the maximum fines for destroying entire towns would likely be barely a blip in their bottom line.

Read the article here:
http://grist.org/business-technology/meet-the-town-thats-being-swallowed-by-a-sinkhole/

Inequality: Why are the rich getting richer?



... and is it too late to change?

Halliburton admits it destroyed Deepwater Horizon evidence

From the article:

As emergency workers scrambled to control oil that was spreading from the Deepwater Horizon site in 2010, Halliburton had other damage-control priorities on its mind: The company was busily destroying the results of computer simulations that suggested it shared some blame for the disaster.

Halliburton, BP, and rig owner Transocean (which has also obstructed the federal investigation into the disaster) are all on trial in a civil case in New Orleans, where they’re trying to shift blame from themselves onto the others. The New York Times explains how Halliburton’s plea deal could affect that case:

Legal scholars said the guilty plea would probably work against Halliburton in the civil trial in New Orleans to determine the share of damages owed to the Gulf states and businesses affected by the spill.


So which evil oil company are you rooting for?


Which evil oil company indeed...

And here's the real tragedy of it all. The environmental and human cost of the whole fiasco is not only incalculable, it is still ongoing. And there have been new spills and explosions since then that are adding to the problem. Welcome to the new normal, kids. Whatever money the courts manage to get any of these enormous corporations to cough up will be a pittance both to their bottom lines and to the relief efforts and victims, but will still be used as an excuse to raise prices on oil and gas. There is literally no way that the we as consumers can win.

Full article from Grist here: http://grist.org/news/halliburton-admits-it-destroyed-deepwater-horizon-evidence/

Hate letters threaten gay couple in Canada

From the article:

A same-sex couple in Kingston is the subject of a hate crime after they received two threatening letters Thursday, urging them to move out of town or face physical violence.

Some of the group’s younger members would “have fun chasing ‘lesbos,’” the second letter stated. “We have brought them BB guns and today they are going to target practice, so they can hunt you down.”

The group said they “know (the couple) and have been following (them) for the past several weeks and we wish for you to leave this city before it’s too late, for (them),” adding that they should relocate to Vancouver or San Francisco.

The group claims to be “energized by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage,” and has a head office in the “Deep South.”

The couple, who notified police upon receiving the letter, has also reached out to local LGBTQ activists to find more information about the assailants.

Kingston police said they “are aware of,” the letters and a report has been assigned to major crime detective, Const. Chris Gobeil.


I've always felt like I have a comfortable buffer because I live openly in Toronto, but this is around the corner from me, less than a 2 hour drive away. It's just crazy to me that this is even a thing. It smacks to me of some young trollsters who want to stir up some shit and make a big noise and get some attention for it, and as such, I'd rather make this post in solidarity of the couple that has been threatened, and not focus on the shit disturbers that are trying to cause FUD.

Read the article here:
http://www.thewhig.com/2013/07/19/hate-letters-threaten-gay-couple

Hate letters threaten gay couple in Canada

From the article:

A same-sex couple in Kingston is the subject of a hate crime after they received two threatening letters Thursday, urging them to move out of town or face physical violence.

Some of the group’s younger members would “have fun chasing ‘lesbos,’” the second letter stated. “We have brought them BB guns and today they are going to target practice, so they can hunt you down.”

The group said they “know (the couple) and have been following (them) for the past several weeks and we wish for you to leave this city before it’s too late, for (them),” adding that they should relocate to Vancouver or San Francisco.

The group claims to be “energized by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage,” and has a head office in the “Deep South.”

The couple, who notified police upon receiving the letter, has also reached out to local LGBTQ activists to find more information about the assailants.

Kingston police said they “are aware of,” the letters and a report has been assigned to major crime detective, Const. Chris Gobeil.


I've always felt like I have a comfortable buffer because I live openly in Toronto, but this is around the corner from me, less than a 2 hour drive away. It's just crazy to me that this is even a thing. It smacks to me of some young trollsters who want to stir up some shit and make a big noise and get some attention for it, and as such, I'd rather make this post in solidarity of the couple that has been threatened, and not focus on the shit disturbers that are trying to cause FUD.

Read the article here:
http://www.thewhig.com/2013/07/19/hate-letters-threaten-gay-couple
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