Leaders and Dictators

Leaders lead people, Dictators dictate to people – without people, there are no leaders nor dictators.

So when we the people have the opportunity to vote and select our leaders, we need to ensure that we are selecting for leadership and not allowing dictators to slip under the radar and dictate to us in defiance of the form of government and the social contract that defines and binds the country.

There are people who seek to be leaders for actually good reasons – but they tend to be naive and idealists – easily crushed by the masses who prefer to hear what we want to hear, rather than object truth, which is harsh and unpleasant.

Marx’s manifesto was such a document, but it was perverted and corrupted by other people for greed and self interest. Age and experience will always trump youth and ideals; which is why there’s never been true communism, Marx was naive.

Luckily, fixing the problems of the globe aren’t hard – we just have to stop trying to fix anything and let the balance be restored – but it’s harsh. Nature is red in tooth and claw.

The reality is that we’ve lost the fight against bacteria – we were in balance until we introduced penicillin – the bugs got better than the medicines because they have a new generation every 20 minutes, their evolution has outraced our artificial selection and artificial impact to the natural environment.

Instead of killing off the susceptible bacteria – to re-balance humans and bacteria, we need to allow the bacteria to kill off the susceptible humans, if we don’t the bacteria will continue to evolve until there’s no human left to be able to withstand them.

So, it’s easy to fix, just hard to get agreement and action on.

Instead of trying to feed everyone in the world, we have to reduce the human population down to the level where it’s matched by the food we can produce – and produce locally.

It’s not cheap produce when it has to be shipped and trucked across the globe – we didn’t do badly eating seasonally according to our region – in fact, we were all healthier and fitter.

We can’t allow for mono-crops and low diversity agricultural – we have to stop with the pesticides that disrupt hormones, because hormones are the same whether it’s bugs or people – we are agriciding ourselves to death.

We nee people in lower density and agriculture more diversified – more bio diversity, not less – more diversity means more things survive drought, disease and extinction-death.

The bees will stop dying when the agricultural diversity is restored – and they are not limited to single foods.

Biodiversity means competition and it’s competition that makes for a strong system.

There’s not a food chain, but a food web – everything is interconnected – and humans have upset the web along all the key support lines:  we’ve over-fished, under-planted, over grown our habitat and left every few places wild and untouched.

Humans will be the extinction event unless we change our ways to sustainability; because  mere existence is the path to extinction;  it is survival that is sustainable.

Right now, humans are not sustainable. Not without the will of the people and moreso, the will of leadership of said people.

To be a leader, one must be popular and popularity is at odds with truth. Specifically, at odds with telling the truth, because we the people don’t want to hear it – we want to hear that things will be okay, even when they won’t.

But they won’t be okay as long as we deny truth – because then, we can’t solve problems when we won’t identify the problems.

This is again were religion points us in the wrong direction – life is special, of all the planets that we know of, ours is the only one with life on it. But the lives of individuals aren’t special or magical or sacred – life itself is.

We are too human-centric in thinking that the universe is our plaything or made just for us, and if we’re good little obedient creatures how don’t play inappropriately with our genitals, then we’ll be rewarded. We are going to die no matter what and who we do with our genitals.

We cannot insist on saving everyone we can, we have to consider the longer picture and think about the people who are only not born, but their parents and their parents and their parents that aren’t conceived yet.

We do not inherit from our ancestors, we borrow against our children.

W e borrow from the future for today – but if we continue to defer the bill, there won’t be a future with humans in it.

Allowing our technology to outstrip our ability to manage it in a way that doesn’t displace people is to doom ourselves tro extinction

How many Easter Islands do we need to see?

Civilizations that used up their resources in worship rather than in sustainable works? Principals and ideals ahead of people do not serve the needs of the people.

The stone heads are interesting, and we know how they were made – but no one is left to tell us why they were made and the making of them – the destruction of the forest for lumber – is what lead to the destruction of the civilization – no forest reduced the biodiversity, lead to soil erosion, lead to famine, to extinction of that culture.

We cannot allow technology to replace human labour and leave nothing for people to do –  this is why the Egyptians didn’t do anything more than discover steam power – it was too costly to figure out how to make use of the power of steam – but also, too costly to figure out work for the displaced workers.

And displaces workers are discontented people, and discontented people tend to revolt and overthrow a system that excludes them.

People with meaningful work are meaningful people, contributing people, people do not sow revolution of the society that they are participating in.

Religion occasionally gets a few things sort of right, but only to ensure that there’s some truth to be found in order to control the masses.

Idle hands are the devil’s playthings, because when you have nothing to do with your hands, it means that you have time to use your mind – and more likely, you will use your mind to see what an evil blight that religion is on the land – and the end of religion is what religion fears the most. It was, after all, the fruit of knowledge that was forbidden.

This is why athiests are a threat to religion, because not only do you not need religion to be good, religion is no good, so no good can come of religion – any good within religion is down to the individual good that people are – it’s despite the/ir religion.

So, bringing it back to election time and leaders and dictators – we the people decide who leads us – either by voting or revolting.

There is an upper limit of how much people can stand a society wherein the social contract is a lie.

This is why no one can win in Afghanistan and we’d been better off to not have gone – change in a nation must come from within – must come from the people.

People won’t change or do anything unless tricked, forced or bribed in normal circumstances and in extraordinary ones – such as we are in in these times of massive social change across the globe – until the truth is less distressing and preferable to the truthiness and lies we generally content ourselves with.

It is time to put aside and away the dictators and lead as we the people. One for all and all for one. Inclusion, multiculturalism, consultation, bottom’s up.

We need leaders who will consult, consider and work cooperatively.

We don’t need wannabes with secretive and controlling agendas who want to be in the big chair and cost us time and money that we don’t have to spend.

So, this Canada Election – remember Danny Williams and mark your ballot – anyone but conservative.

Melting Pots and Mosaics

I have never understood why republicans take Jesus as their moral guide and life coach – and why him above and beyond why anyone would look to something external to not only themselves, but also to something far removed from their own life experiences and the context that that experience arises from (ie, why look to bronze age people for moral guidance when the bronze age is far removed from the information age when even the Industrial Age’s work week doesn’t work for us anymore –  given that Jesus wouldn’t have joined the republican or any power party
and his idea of family values was to abandon the birth family and join with him and his followers as your family.

Very Manson-y and culty when you think about it. Very. Maybe more Heaven’s Gatey than Mansony, but still creepy.

Jesus was also quite vain: remember the slave-woman who poured expensive oil all over Jesus’ feet, instead of donating that money to the poor? Even Jesus followers thought that excessive. But not the vainglorious Jesus, who reveled in the attention…

Ever think about how hard it must have been for Joesph to step parent Jesus? How could he possibly respond to Jesus’ teenage angst – you’re not my real father!

Seriously, it begins to make sense why men generally don’t date single women with kids – they would never have the father authority over the household and live in constant fear of being found lacking and less than the absentee father, built up in the children’s minds to sainted status – an unresolvable dilemma, for if the father was all that was good – however the child has defined good –  what then does it say about the child, left behind?

It seems that the most devoted followers of a thing are in opposition to what the thing/person actually stands for. Lincoln was a republican party member – he signed off on the laws to free the slaves to economically attack the South’s labour pool in hopes of recruiting the slaves to fight against the white Southerns from inside the system.

Ending slavery turned out to be good for actually moral reasons and the idea had such popularity, that eventually, people believed it was the moral reason and not the practical war tactics reasons of why the slaves were freed – because it let people collectively feel better about themselves – but, the lack of truth to the matter is what keeps the US society from moving beyond that dynamic – and now the sides are entrenches in a perpetual and childish battle of “you hurt me” on one side to “i already said I was sorry and look what I did to make it up to you and you’re ungrateful” back to “I didn’t ask to come here and that you started to treat me halfway decent when it was in your interest doesn’t make up for it” and back and forth like bickering children or a couple who stays together for the fight, rather than for love or the children.

But the slavery issue is more complex – the original slaves in the US were from the UK, and were referred to as indentured servants – indentured servants had two problems – first, they were time limited as it was servitude to repay a debt, so the servitude had a time limit on it – and second, since they were also Caucasian, when they escaped – they were not easy to recover, because they could blend into the free population.

So the simple version was that the US then looked to Africa for easily identifiable slaves and the real story is a lot more complicated – the US and UK certainly bought people in Africa and imported them to various spots in the world to use as slaves – but they weren’t the ones rounding up the young men and women – that was largely the tribal leaders, dictators who sought to disrupt the natural order of their society by eliminating those who most threatened and would agitate against the dictator’s continued dictatorship.

So, in one very important sense, the people who were rounded up to be slaves elsewhere, were pretty much slaves at home. There was no option in the society they were taken from, they just didn’t have a basis for comparison or it didn’t feel like slavery when it was just the tribal structure and the stone age existence was normal.

In the sense of awareness, they weren’t slaves until they were in the US and didn’t get to live like everyone else – since everyone else didn’t live the same way.

The tribal structure of chief and everyone else was simple and understandable – everyone knew their place in the pack.

But, in the US, there are so many social strata, that the unequal distribution of privileged and wealth was suddenly noticeable between the haves, have some, and have nots.

Slavery in a sense, was the banishment from choice and options – the very foundation of the USA. Sad and appalling is the return to basics that the Republicans now define that banishment of choice to be the hallmark of a real American – my country right or wrong, god first, nation second – you have free will, but only if you don’t use it – as if by using it, you run out or leave less for everyone else.

So, the republican journey, which essentially began as ending slavery and saying that personal freedom and choice matters, is now entrenched in the original position of making people into slaves, clockwork orange teabaggers – patriotism is the political version of the religious zealot – and more as dangerous, since it has access to government power by definition. Whereas, religious zealots are government power in theocracies, but in democracies, can only indirectly access government power by voting blocks and lobby groups, but more often remain small and self solving like Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate.

Democrats, who were hardly the party for slavery, moved to copy the republican tactics of increasing rights by running with that, albeit slowly and only when absolutely forced to by the courts or the threat of their social change oriented voting base to stay home and not vote – in fact, to keep their base, the Democrats have to also slow the inevitable social changes – otherwise, if they push for total equality, then the prize bag is empty and they won’t have any promises left to offer in exchange for votes.

As long as the US is mired in a two party system, they will be forever fighting the civil war of who has rights and who does not – over and over until all the subcultures and groups that should have rights, finally do.

So, if America wants to move out of a perpetual teenage angst state  they need to have more than two parties, enforce the laws that are in place – everyone equal under the law with equal access and treatment – that means gay people on par with straight people – in legal reality, because in social fact follows the legal reality.

Which hasn’t worked for ethnic minorities because, the battle of who gets rights, who gets choice is still being fought – women are not socially equal to men when men continue to try to control women’s bodies by characterising women who have sex as sluts and then punishing them by withholding abortion services.

Ethnic minorities are not socially equal to the dominate white culture as long as neither side can move beyond the sense of being imported or voluntary immigrants – they simply are not assimilating because the melting pot is not a viable metaphor – but the idea of a mosaic quilt – of adding your distinctness and having it value added like Canada’s metaphor is – rather than being distilled to the lowest common denominator that melting results in.

To the US, you are at a crossroads where continually fighting the past is not serving the nation into the future – Obama represented a global hope that the US would fulfill it’s intial promise to be the light of human rights – for in Obama, you have a president of both sides – half white and half black – but even then – the US public debate fails to recognize the reality of what he is and what he represented.

It’s no wonder the presidents turn grey and age 20 years a term – the idea of finally getting to be was is globally acknowledged as the most powerful person on the planet and the biggest task is babysitting people who continue to fight battles that are already forgone conclusions.

We the People spoke, and we the people said, let there be rights.

An Evergreen Guide for Undecided Voters

I never understood what an “undecided” voter was.

As a child, I didn’t understand how the grown up who got to vote, wouldn’t already know how they were voting – when they seemed to know everything else. It was unsettling that all knowing grown-ups wouldn’t know something as vitally important to our society – given that our society is defined by the population’s right to vote.

To me, it was always a clear choice, either you vote or you do not. How could you not know?

As young adult, I continued to not understand how other adults didn’t know how they were going to vote – after all, it was simple, you voted for the person standing in for the party that most matched your values and beliefs – basically, the party that best pandered to you; I see in retrospect.

It is true that things are only simple when you look at them with a simple framework so everything really is as complicated as we care to make them.

Now I understand that parties are not monolithic – at least, no party that is worth voting for and is trustworthy is monolithic. This is why this voter guide is evergreen.

If the political party is an ensemble – that is to say, there is a leader who assigns the parties members into positions where they are best able to perform and offer expert advice – then this is the party for voters who want to ensure the most options and most information is considered before decisions are made.

If the political party is a leader with minions – that is to say, a party where the leader is the only person the leader respects and listens to – then this is the party for…..well, voters who agree with whatever that one leader person says. Because in this party, they are monolithic and decisions are already made and it’s a matter of forcing the policy to comply with the decision.

The other important hallmark of this kind of party is that there is an empty field for possible next leaders; because a party that cannot function to generate platforms regardless of who is in charge, is not a party that is sustainable when the leader is no longer leader.

Worse, a leader who actively cripples the party’s supply of future leaders, is clearly no capable of actually leading and providing a direction, they are merely getting while the getting is good. This is never good for taxpayers; just the leader and their favoured cronies.

A political party is largely a framework and you can identify which parties are about solving problems by which party has the open framework where many voices are heard and considered, versus a party where the framework is about imposing solutions, as these tend to be the parties with the one leader with yes-minions and the solutions being sought is how to impose their solution on the public sector.

This is why, as former Progressive Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark said in 2004 that:

“I would prefer to go with the devil we know,” Clark said Sunday in an appearance on CTV’s Question Period, explaining that he is “extremely worried” by Harper’s ideological views.

“I am that concerned with the imprint of Stephen Harper, not only what he stood far in the past, but the way he has led this party,” Clark said.

“I don’t believe that the Harper party can get away with the masquerade that it is the Progressive Conservative party that was broad enough to attract support from a wide cross-section of Canadians.”

Mr Clark is correct. If we look at Stephen Harper’s past statements, his only consistent message has been that he needs a majority for his agenda. It’s why he is constantly accusing the liberal party as scare mongering against his secret agenda – because he is trying to distract the public from that secret agenda.

If Harper’s agenda was in fact reasonable and most Canadians would support it, then he would be able to lay out that agenda clearly and the opposition parties would have little recourse but to endorse it, to vote with actual confidence for it; rather than having to vote non-confidence in good conscience and with confidence.

He has not. Instead, Harper does little but to complain that everyone is against him – the public service who carry out the business of the government, the judges and courts who act as a check and balance of the government, the senate and even the constitution i.e. the actual government, is against him and preventing him from bringing forth this wonderful one size fixes everything agenda that he cannot see fit to share even with the people who he wishes to impose it upon and from whom he expects to be given a majority governments from which to do it.

So, unless you are in on what the secret agenda is, we could all be very concerned. Although, really, it’s not hard to extrapolate what it would be: America Lite

For the first time in US / Canada history, the US Democratic President (not the party; just the president) is to the left of our conservative Prime Minister.

This is something that should be of great concern to all Canadians, since, with very few exceptions, what constitutes “right Wing” in Canada is far left of what is “left wing” in the USA.

We need to only look at the longest undefended border in world history and see that we now need papers to cross the line to our formerly amiable neighbour and troubled sibling nation.

If we think of Canada and the US as sibling nations – the USA a child of the British Empire and Canada, the child of the British Empire and France – second child with a  different father – our entwined history snaps into sharp focus.

The USA wanted to stand on their own as a nation, revolutionarily ran away and declared themselves a nation, violently separating from the motherland.

Canada stuck with the parents and tried to resolve the matter of which side of the family did we best take after and settled into an uneasy and unbalanced relationship between our Anglo and Franco halves; leaving the separation as a nation to later diplomatic means and we retained symbolic connections.

Aside: How America and Canada dealt with their respective aboriginal populations is another matter, but a reflection of the seedy underbelly of the same character of overt and covert violence.

The matter for Canadians has become critical with Stephen Harper’s conduct and his American style smear campaign ads – which largely amount to smearing the Liberal party for doing exactly what Harper maneuvered them into doing.

Canadians do not want this election and we did not want the last election – Harper attempted to pander to this by passing legislation setting fixed election dates – and he has broken his own unconstitutional and illogical law at every opportunity.

A fixed election law makes no sense in a government system where a failed confidence vote can trigger an election. Passing a fixed election law and then conspiring to ensure a loss of confidence at every opportunity demonstrates what little respect that Stephen Harper has for the laws of the land – even when he was the architect of the very law he is subverting.

So we need to ask Mr. Harper firmly and repeatedly, until we get an answer – what is it that Mr. Harper cannot do without a majority?

What is it that Mr. Harper seeks to do as the government of the day when he has demonstrated no respect or regard for the laws of the land, the format of the government and for any Canadians who are not the group he is most pandering to – married couples with children.

Well, let’s look at the actions that Mr. Harper took upon gaining office.

He first cancelled the Liberal plan that provided a subsidy to all families and replaced it with a plan that only benefitted some families.

He removed “equality” from the mandate of the Status of Women – which, in the Canadian Charter of rights, gender equality trumps all other rights – and then he gutted the department’s budget and further reduced the mandate; leaving very few offices with no money to fulfill the revised mandate.

He also canceled the Charter Challenge program. This was the program that allowed a variety of groups who have historically been disadvantaged to seek redress at the Supreme Court level on high level legislative matters – matters of equal rights and access to said rights.

So, Mr Harper is asking for a majority government of the day to allow him to impose an agenda that he won’t share, and given what he has openly done with his successive minorities; we can’t afford to give Mr. Harper a majority to further erode the rights and freedoms that all Canadians enjoy just for being Canadian.

And, we can’t afford to give Mr. Harper another minority just to teach the Liberals that they don’t have a blank cheque for self promotion – when Harper has demonstrated his utter disregard for not only the foundational laws of Canada, but also the laws that he has passed as part of his vaguely worded but increasingly transparent agenda; the so called fixed elections date law.

We cannot financially afford any more allegedly fiscal conservative governments leaving Canada in a state of constant elections.

Do we stand together as Canadians – a mosaic multicultural society which is civil despite our differences because we value individuals enough to provide as level as possible a playing field for everyone to participate to their interest and capacity?

Or do we stand apart as Americans Lite – a melting pot of diverse people with no social safety net, no level playing field, and everyone for themselves and very few being concerned with actual equality and most being I got mine so the line ends here?

In so much as a tv beer commercial can summarize a political position – I Am Canadian.