Technically not the very first flakes, but definitely the first that decided to hang around for more than a few minutes. Enough, at least, for me to dust off the ole camera.
Archive for November, 2012
Not long ago I was accused of being brainwashed because I follow politics. I tried to get more information about my alleged brainwashing from my interlocutor and was bluntly told that I never used to follow politics, so why now?
This person also reads (or at least used to read), TCL, so really would’ve been fairly familiar with how long I’d been following politics; and when I look back through my old posts I realize it’s been for a lot longer than I’d been “brainwashed” for. In fact, the only real thing that’s changed is that I’ve become critical, begun to dig a lot deeper, and think about things a lot more thoroughly.
In other words, I’m “brainwashed” because I now think and express myself a lot more freely.
I have regular discussions about politics with this person and am often confronted with their obstinate support of the Harper government. This, at least in part, is one of the reasons I’ve been so vocal (if the word can be applied to writing), about my criticisms of the numerous ways that he and his gang are trying to destroy freedom in Canada.
By “freedom” I’m not alluding to some vague notions of self-expression (though that is certainly true), I’m talking about simple physical freedoms like being able to walk down the street without fear of arbitrary arrest, or being free to express simple opinions and truths without having the government crack down on you, harass you, or spy on you secretly.
This same person, the one who accused me of being brainwashed, came from a repressive communist country where such things were a regular thing, so I assumed that this kind of thing wouldn’t sit well with them. Yet when faced with stark evidence like Bill C-38 or Bill C-11, and expecting at least a modicum of thought, some skepticism, maybe a willingness to dig a bit deeper, even if just to prove me wrong, I instead got derision.
The best retort they can muster is to call me dumb (and brainwashed), and to demand to know why such things concern me.
The real question is, why don’t they concern you?! (And I’m brainwashed)
It’s not tough to imagine, then, with people willing to live with their eyes and ears covered like this, that Harper continues on his merry way to making Canada a massive repressive regime within which citizens are expected to cower in fear and dare not speak ill of the government lest they be “disappeared” into some dark dungeon, indefinitely, with no trial, judge, or jury. The same citizens are actually fully supporting such moves, and they sure don’t want to hear how such things could possibly be bad (even if they’ve lived through such terrors themselves). Heck, why would you even need evidence at that point?
If you’re still paying attention, though, there is still some hope.
In the US, the NDAA (innocuously disguised as a recurring military funding bill), includes a variety of passages that allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens (in fact, anyone at all), without trial, in military Gulags not unlike Guantanamo Bay. With Bill C-38, Harper has allowed the US to legally waltz across the border with complete impunity and “remove” people at any time they wish.
Not to be outdone, of course, the Harper government is introducing Bill S-7, the “Combating Terrorism Act” (the catch-all term for everything and anything designed to separate you from your rights and freedoms these days), which has many of the same features as the NDAA. Here are some highlights to expect should this thing make it through:
- People may be put under “preventive arrest” for up to three days.
- The “preventive arrest” may be due to an alleged association with a “terrorist” (which may include everything from environmentalists to anyone critical of the government), alleged knowledge of a “terrorist” or their dealings, or — my favourite — being suspected of future involvement with terrorists.
- As with all good Kafkaesque schemes, those arrested are not allowed to know the details of their arrest or know any of the evidence against them.
- Those arrested must stand before an “investigative hearing”.
- A judge can jail those arrested for up to year if they don’t enter into recognizance, which is a fancy term for a conditional release — you have to appear regularly before a court, may have to wear a tracking device, etc.
- Such arrests can occur without any charges being laid. In other words, they don’t really even need a good reason, just that something didn’t seem right about the person.
- Any evidence that is used against the arrested person (which, of course, they are not allowed to know anything about), can be obtained from foreign sources or through torture.
- These changes would become part of the Criminal Code of Canada — everyone would be subject to them.
It’s interesting to see how the October 23rd vote on this bill went down: unanimously voted in by both Conservatives and Liberals. I’m sure I’ve stated my belief more than once that they’re now essentially one and the same apparatus (McGuinty’s latest escapades also illustrate this quite well). Literally anyone outside of these two parties voted against it.
It’s also worthwhile to read the discussion at the second reading of the bill, even just to get a sense of the basically blasé, done-deal rhetoric that proponents could muster (when they could be bothered to speak on such trivial matters at all) — oh, and don’t forget 9/11!
To me it seems self-evident that anyone and everyone should be at least slightly concerned about such laws and, moreover, the types of government that would be continuously bringing them forward. The only way to avoid concern is to be completely oblivious to everything when presented with it, to deny reality when it’s staring you in the face, and to sing the praises of our glorious leader even as he’s setting up mega-prisons and the means to fill them with anyone who doesn’t toe the line.
But I guess I’m just brainwashed.
I received a chain email yesterday:
The day that Albert Einstein
feared may have finally arrived.
Having coffee with friends.
A day at the beach.
Cheering on your team.
Having dinner out with your friends.
Out on an intimate date.
Having a conversation with your BFF
A visit to the museum
Enjoying the sights
You may have seen this already. Apparently it’s been making the rounds on a number of websites in various versions.
Whether or not you’ve seen it, though, it’s obvious that what this is is a not-so-subtle, inter-generational jab at the youth of today. And, at first blush, it has the appearance of being backed by one of the world’s foremost thinkers.
But once you dig a little deeper you quickly realize that this take on the “idiots” of today’s generation is really more of a reflection on those who perpetuate it.
Take the most obvious point, for example — the Einstein quote. It’s a fake. This is demonstrated on site after site; and really the thing that Einstein feared about technology is how dangerous it has become (in the form of things like the hydrogen bomb, for example). In fact, use of the word “idiot” by Einstein seems highly unlikely. Additionally, the quote in it’s current incarnation doesn’t seem to exist anywhere prior to 2012 (and I remember a reference to something similar dated to around 2000).
In any event, it ain’t Einstein. And you know how people could verify that? Technology, for starters!
But lets assume that the quote is correct, regardless of who said it.
A “generation of idiots”?
The pictures show kids on mobile phones — disconnected from the world around them, maybe, but what about this makes them “idiots”? Well, if a two-way interaction with a screen makes them “idiots”, what does it make the generation that precedes them?
Spending quality time
Yeah, that knife can cut both ways, and the older edge goes just a little deeper. Besides, the progenitors of these “idiots” are the ones responsible for making them that way (either that, or they’re a bunch of irresponsible goofs).
I also couldn’t notice the use of the acronym BFF in one of the images — something that came about as a result of the need for brevity in text-based conversations on small screens. Kind of ironic. Almost as ironic (maybe intentionally — if only it had been communicated with finesse), as one of the replies that to the thread that was broadcast back out to the email herd:
“Sad isn’t it
Sent from my “contract free” BlackBerry® smartphone on the WIND network.”
I rest my case.
This fall has been just amazing for myself and our family.
First off, I got to have the birthday’s of all birthdays! I honest to God did not expect that I got to have 3 bday celebrations thx to the bestest man in the world! (my birthday was October 1).
Friday, Saturday, Sunday (I treated Him to a private brunch!).
That brings us to Monday, Oct 1, 2012, the best surprise gift day I ever got!!
What was so special? Patrick made reservations forTwo at the Fairmont Royal York!
Brunch was beyond words amazing and fairly priced to boot!
We have since gone to Kit Kat on King West, etc etc.
If you’re in town hit me up and we can go to great places together!
Love is healing my heart body and soul AND throw in some good food then you have it made!
PS: follow your life’s passions and have a drink to celebrate!