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January 31, 2009

Anglican Church considers Same-Sex Marriages

RELIGION/SEX - Toronto Anglican Churches will start blessing same-sex "relationships" during 2009, a move that has thrown gasoline on the fiery and divisive debate within the church.

"One of the chief purposes of the church is to provide care for people who come to the church in a particular need," says Toronto Bishop Colin Johnson.

The move is a first for any diocese in Canada. The move stops short of blessing gay marriages, preferring to refer to them as "stable long-term committed relationships".

Furthermore there will be no pressure on parishes to abide by this new policy. Individual Anglican clergy can refuse to conduct weddings if they want to.

Tonight over in Egypt Anglicans are meeting from around the world and debating the merits of allowing same-sex marriage blessings and gay clergy members. It will also discuss whether to allow conservative Anglicans to split from the more liberal Canadian and USA churches, creating a permanent schism in the Anglican Church.

See Also:
Freedom of Marriage
Rotten Marriages Vs Gay Marriages
South Africa allows Same-Sex Marriages
Stephen Harper flip flops on Gay Marriages
Dick Cheney supports Gay Marriages
Pope against Gay Marriages
Queer Women and Religion

Singles & Board Games

ENTERTAINMENT/SEX - Looking for love but tired of the bar scene? Looking for someone fun and playful?

Young and old singles are turning to board games to meet potential new lovers. Its not a new idea. My grandfather met his new wife while playing Euchre with other senior citizens.

But it is a new idea for young singles to be resorting to finding Mr Right and Mrs Right in the Dining Room with the Candlestick... and the best part is you don't have to wear your high heels.

Or brave the cold winter nights. Bring some wine, snacks, your favourite board games or even go to a bar/restaurant that has its own board games (there are restaurants that cater to this growing market).

Most Popular Board Games
1. Monopoly
2. Risk
3. Clue
4. Scrabble
5. Pictionary
6. Backgammon
7. Battleship
8. Stock Ticker
9. Checkers
10. Chess

And for the geeks out there, there is also Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars d20 and a variety of other Role-Playing Games. And if that's not your thing there's also video games and computer games like Counter-Strike... although good luck finding women who are into violent video games that are NOT taken already.

For people who like playing matchmaker all you have to do is invite all your single friends over for a night of fun and cross your fingers to see if sparks fly. Or not. They might end up fighting over Park Place...

The American recession is also helping push this new movement. Its cheaper than conventional pubs and restaurants and game-maker Hasbro says it is expecting to do brisk business as the economy forces people to think a little more creatively about how to have fun cheaply. Heck, Hasbro's bestseller of all time, Monopoly, was created during the Great Depression.

"Historically, sales have increased during an economic downfall," says Hasbro spokesperson Sandra Paulini, adding, "so we expect this to be the case now."

There's also the nostalgia issue. A lot of these singles grew up playing these games with friends and family. It brings back wonderful feelings and promotes a sense of wellbeing and happiness despite the dismal economic times.

January 30, 2009

The Future of Japanese Robots, now...

TECHNOLOGY - When will the marvel of Japanese robots finally reach the fantasy that we see in Astro Boy and other Japanese Anime cartoons? Already Japan has feeding machines for the elderly, furry therapeutic robotic seals and their own version of "RoboCop", a mech designed to patrol hallways asking for security passes.

The prize-winning My Spoon feeding robot helps older or disabled people eat with a joystick-controlled swiveling arm that shovels morsels from a plate to the person's mouth.

My Spoon is already being sold in Japan and Europe, doesn't force feed. The spoon-fitted arm stops at a preprogrammed position in front of the mouth so users can bite and swallow at their leisure.

Paro is a furry seal fitted with sensors beneath its fur and whiskers that let it respond to petting by opening and closing its eyes and moving its flippers and users claim it even develops a personality. Over 800 of the seal robots are already in use in Japanese nursing homes and in schools for autistic and handicapped children.

There is also a mammoth, automatic vacuum-cleaner-on-wheels designed by Fuji Heavy Industries. It can be programmed to use elevators and clean whole office buildings.

Then there is the Motoman factory worker robot by Yaskawa Electric Corp., which has been designed to replace humans in assembly lines.

Just in time too because Japan's rapidly aging population is facing an impending labour shortage. Low birth rates and xenophobic immigration laws mean Japan's population of 127 million is expected to plunge 30% by 2055.

The Japanese aren't just looking for workers either. They are developing robotic exoskeletons (or mechs) as the first step towards mech-powered infantry, with the exoskeleton adding hundreds of pounds to the force of the human body's muscular movements. Think Iron Man or the Mechs from Matrix II & III.

Two Japanese security firms, Tmsuk Co and Alacom Co. have even developed a Security Guard Mech. The prototype is named T-34 and are selling them to police agencies and corporations looking for a better solution to human security guards.

The T-34 moves at 10 KPH (6 MPH) and can be remotely controlled by a human at a control terminal or via a cell phone interface developed by the company with real time images, allowing them to get involved in combat situations but at a safe distance for the humans.

The T-34 also works a bit like a James Bond car and can throw a net over intruders, has complex motion sensors to detect from possible intruders. Upgraded versions come with more advanced weaponry.

See Also:
101 of the Greatest Inventions of All Time
Japanese Women Bust Out
Anorexia in Asia
Cosplay Restaurant

Whats wrong with Protectionism?

POLITICS - For several days now American and Canadian lawmakers and economists have been bickering back and forth about Barack Obama's stimulus package which calls for all the iron, steel, textiles and manufactured products to be used to be "Made in USA". The United States House of Representatives passed the $819 billion stimulus package Wednesday night that effectively bars foreign materials from infrastructure projects receiving the federal funds.

The idea is relatively simple. By buying only American goods to build American public works projects such as roads, bridges, museums, schools, hospitals, etc. it will boost the American economy dramatically.

So what is wrong with it?

Well, it tends to piss off Canadians, Mexicans and foreigners because it cuts them out of loop and is criticized as being "Protectionist".

Well, what is wrong with Protectionism? Will it hurt competitors in other countries? No, because this is a STIMULUS package. Its above and beyond the normal. The competing companies overseas will continue to do business-as-usual and will be unaffected. What it will do is boost local companies by providing jobs and opportunities to expand.

I am Canadian and I support Obama's idea. I think Canada should do the same thing with its $34 billion stimulus package. An American stimulus package using American steel/etc and a Canadian stimulus package using Canadian steel/etc.

China, India and the EU claim that Protectionist barriers will harm world trade... whoop dee do! Maybe we are trading too much already? Americans have been buying too much crap made in China and overseas and Canadians are equally guilty. There has to be a balance between competition and protectionism, otherwise the system will fall apart due to rapid unemployment like it recently did.

Technically its not even full Protectionism anyway. Foreign substitutes for American-made products will be allowed if the American content drove up the cost of a project by 25% – much higher than the 6% to 7.5% price advantage allowed under current NAFTA regulations.

So will this hurt the regular Canadian steel industry et al? No. Because this is above and beyond the norm. Anyone who tells you differently is really just fussing over nothing or they're asking for handouts.

See Also:
NAFTA II - Expanding the North American Free Trade Agreement
Can Canada's industrial base survive Asian Competition?
American Economy Lacks Manufacturing
Canada's Worker Shortages

Wal-Mart censors Zack and Miri

ENTERTAINMENT/SEX - Kevin Smith's saucy comedy "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" is being rejected by Wal-Mart stores because of the use of "porno" in the title. Last fall, some ads for the film were also rejected in the United States for the same reason.

Wal-Mart says they want the cover of the DVD, set to hit shelves this coming Tuesday, to omit the word.

"I'm just so shocked that the word `porno' meant that much to people in terms of, like, they found it insanely offensive and don't want to see it on display," says outspoken writer-director Kevin Smith, known for such hits as Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

The director worries that some unsuspecting customers will be fooled when they see the shortened title. "Some Wal-Mart-er could buy it and think: `Oh, Zack and Miri, looks lovely,' and pop it in and there's ... some pretty graphic stuff."

"I mean, at least with the word `porno' in the title, you can kind of give people a warning about what they're in for."

In Canada Wal-Mart will sell the DVD with the full title.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as roommates who shoot an adult flick to make quick cash. While the film does include nudity, vulgar content and colourful language, it is not a porno but rather a romantic comedy.

Its not like its a Russ Meyer film... which by todays standards is only rated R.

The Motion Picture Association of America originally gave it its most restrictive rating, NC-17, but later lowered the rating to "R" when they realized it was just a comedy. The MPAA also rejected some Zack and Miri ads, deeming them "highly sexually suggestive," so Weinstein Co. created new posters that had stick figures representing the actors.

Kevin Smith says he was initially "flabbergasted" and now says "I've thrown up my hands at the whole thing."

Kevin Smith also appears as a guest in the 2005 documentary F★ck along with many other celebrities who have used the F-word in their work.

See Also: Kevin Smith at the Eaton's Centre Today.

Catholic Bishop denies the Holocaust

RELIGION - A Catholic bishop has been forced to apologize by Pope Benedict XVI for the "distress and problems" he caused by denying the Holocaust.

Bishop Richard Williamson, who recently denied that 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, is calling his remarks "imprudent" as he expresses his regrets in a letter posted on his personal blog today. Williamson's denial of the Holocaust in an interview on Swedish TV sparked a storm of protest from Jewish groups and human rights groups.

Bishop Williamson was excommunicated by the Vatican over 20 years ago in 1988 because he had been elevated to bishop's rank by a renegade, ultraconservative prelate. Williamson was un-excommunicated by Pope Benedict on January 21st 2009.

Williamson also believes that Jews are bent on world dominion and that September 11th was planned by Israel. He has not apologized for these.

Evidently Benedict might have to reconsider excommunicating him again. Or not. Pope Benedict is a former Hitler youth and despite his public stance against the Jewish Holocaust, Benedict has been strongly promoting the idea of converting Jews to Christianity.

Since becoming the new pope in April 2005 Benedict has reinstituted the Tridentine Mass which includes a prayer for the conversion of Jews, "from darkness to Catholicism." in 2007 and has been critical of Israel's actions in the Middle East.

See Also: Papal Impropriety

Taken Movie Trailer

ENTERTAINMENT - Do you love gratuitous violence?

Well, then you will probably give the new Liam Neeson film "Taken" Four Stars out of Five. If not, maybe only a three or a two if you hate violent films. If you are a fan of Dirty Harry and Die Hard, this is a film for you.

The Survival Muse

RELIGION - Paranormal survival stories:

Charles Lindbergh claims that during the first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight in 1927 he was helped by vague forms aboard the Spirit of St. Louis who offered reassurance and discussed navigational problems.

James Sevigny broke his back, arm, nose and tore ligaments in both knees during an avalanche in the Canadian Rockies that dropped him 600 metres. He claims an invisible being urged him to survive, telling him what to do. He painfully made his way to a camp, where skiers found him.

On September 11th 2001, Ron DiFrancesco was on the 81st floor and the floors below him were on fire and the stairways filled with choking smoke. He was slipping into unconsciousness when a voice told him to "Get up!" and he sensed a physical presence encouraging him. He jumped through the flames and raced down to the plaza before the tower collapsed. He survived, one of only four people to escape from above the 81st floor.

John Geiger, author of "The Third Man Factor", has documented over a hundred cases of a Survival Muse that encourages people to survive the horrific, with some people claiming it was a dead relative, Jesus or Buddha helping them to climb, run, jump or swim to safety.

Spiritual or religious people, no matter the faith, say they were helped by a divine companion, while agnostics see it as a brain function that promotes survival, Geiger says. Religious people are more likely to claim it was a divine figure, whereas atheists and agnostics more likely to describe it is as a helpful presence.

One theory is that it is a coping mechanism, a mental process for calming and separating the person from the horrible experience. "Just as we have a biochemical response to stress through adrenaline, this is a mental process that helps us survive," says Geiger.

Whether it is an angel or alien or a survival mechanism is for people to decide for themselves, he says.

Muses are not just limited to survival. Some people also claim to feel the presence of dead relatives, children have their imaginary friends and even Romanticist artist William Blake claims he was inspired by angels and Jesus.

Join Us for WWL Radio Tonight!

This evening, at 6pm Eastern, join us at WWL BlogTalkRadio as we discuss:

1. Equal Pay - The Lilly Ledbetter Law gets signed!

Call in and let us know if this will effect you, or has effected you in the past.

2. Conyers vs Rove.. Holder vs The Right

Is accountability a pipe dream, or did someone just repack the bowl???

3. Stimulus Package... Is Keynesianism on the Rise, or is this just more Trickle down?

Speak your minds!

Our VERY Special Guest will be OPOL, of Docudharma!!!!

Nothing like One Pissed Off Liberal to discuss with us:

1. we should have listened to the hippies

2. we should cease making war on people for bogus reasons

3. we should re-purpose the MIC to address environmental and energy issues

Tune in and Listen:

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

Call in with comments or questions to:


The link to BTR live chat will be available on the WWL 15 minutes before the show!

Don't forget to plug Lilith News, or your own blogs when introducing yourself on the Air! We raise one of us, we lift us all!!!

I am hoping to get women callers to speak to the Ledbetter Law, with tales of their own suffering and unequal pay.

January 29, 2009

Canadian Political Spectrum Update

Canadian Political Spectrum Update

The Conservative Party - On the run with a lame duck Prime Minister, Stephen Harper can't even get a budget passed without loading it with Liberal incentives and bowing down to Liberal amendments. Does this mean the Conservatives are done for? No, but its becoming increasingly obvious that Stephen Harper will NEVER win a majority.

The Liberal Party - On the upswing because of their skilled new leader Michael Ignatieff (what a horrible name for a leader), boosted by Obama-mania and a sense of optimism, and rising polls that suggest they could win a majority if the Tories continue to screw up. The Liberals definitely have the advantage here because they can just make demands and yet have none of the responsibility of bearing voter anger when the Tory government screws up.

The NDP - Will Jack Layton ever stop complaining about the coalition? It didn't work. Give up on it for now. If Harper's government goes down and then the Governor General offers the Liberals and NDP a chance to make a coalition government then he can fuss about it. Layton is suffering from a bad case of sore loser syndrome and seems to be delusional that he will someday be Prime Minister. Our advice? Layton should learn to just play along and wait for an opportune moment instead of taking every photo opportunity he can to show off how belligerent he is.

The Bloc Quebecois - Boosted by all the anti-Quebec sentiment in December the Bloc are riding high, and the current budget widely ignores Quebec. At least Gilles Duceppe is whining about the loss of the coalition quietly and doesn't have any illusions of grandeur.

The Greens - Surprisingly quiet in the news lately. Maybe its time Canadians finally stopped wasting their votes on a party that will never get elected. Half of the people that vote for the Green Party just want "to make it an official party". That is the lamest reason to vote for a party! The Communist Party has been trying to become an official party for decades, that doesn't mean its going to happen.


The Conservatives won't be able to pass any non-essential bills and will continue to push through budgets loaded with Liberal criteria. We basically have a Liberal de facto government.

The NDP might try to merge with the Green Party in the hope of creating a party that actually stands a chance of winning more than 30 seats (and for the Greens this is a step up from zero seats). The Democratic Green Party? Its possible.

The opposition parties, including the Liberals, will start to make more and more outrageous demands whenever the Conservatives want to pass any kind of bill or budget.

Voters in Alberta will become disillusioned by the Conservative Party because: A) The Tories cannot win a majority; B) The Tories are passing Liberal budgets and are crippled in parliament; and C) The Tories will pass some Liberal-tainted bills that will annoy Albertans and/or the oil industry.

Stephen Harper (or the Conservative Party) will give Barack Obama a chilly welcome or make some kind of horrible gaffe that will harm Canada-USA relations and put strain on both Harper's fragile minority government and Canada's economic situation.

UPDATE MAY 2011: SEE The Canadian Political Spectrum.

Marijuana plantation found using Google Earth

TECHNOLOGY - Swiss police today said they stumbled across a large marijuana plantation while using Google Earth, the search engine company's satellite mapping software. The plantation was hidden inside a field of corn.

Police said the find was part of a bigger investigation that led to the arrest of 16 people and seizure of more than one tonne of marijuana as well as cash and valuables worth $780,000 US.

Officers were just using Google Earth to locate the address of two farmers suspected of involvement in the drug operation when they noticed the illegal crop.

Google Earth opens a new possibility for police around the world to crack down on marijuana/corn farms, also popular in Canada and the United States.

The sheriff's department in Humboldt, California, is one of a growing number of public agencies turning to Google Earth as a law enforcement tool. The county, one of the most popular regions in the United States for marijuana cultivation, uses the mapping service to track illegal growing.

Pirates hijack oil tanker

POLITICS - Today Somali pirates hijacked the MV Longchamp, a German oil tanker off the Horn of Africa. The ship's 13-man crew is alive, but being held hostage.

No ransom demands have been made yet. The ship was seized off the southern coast of Yemen and had been traveling in a corridor secured by EU military forces when it sent a distress signal before dawn that it was under attack.

Ships and helicopters were dispatched, but they arrived too late.

Somali waters are now patrolled by more than a dozen warships from countries including Britain, France, Germany, Iran and the United States. China and South Korea have also ordered warships sent to the region to protect their vessels and crews from pirates.

The warships have helped many cargo ships fight off the pirates, but they were not near the Longchamp when it was taken. The German military reported two more suspected attempts by pirates to attack ships in the Gulf of Aden early today, but were prevented from taking the ships.

Somalia is a lawless nation of about 8 million people does not had a functioning government since warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991. The country is a haven for pirates.

166 crew on nine ships are still being held hostage off the coast of Somalia, not including the Longchamp. Six other hijacked ships have been released this month, including an oil tanker freed for a reported $3 million ransom.

Today's hijacking was the first attack since January 14th. For the past two weeks, strong winds have made it difficult for pirates to launch their small boats, but the weather has now improved.

There have been 15 attacks so far in 2009 and three ships seized. Pirates made an estimated $30 million hijacking ships for ransom in 2008, seizing more than 40 vessels off Somalia's 1,900-mile (3,000-kilometer) coastline.

See Also: Oil pirates drown in rough seas.

January 28, 2009

Don't Fear 'Dem Deficits!

Pull yerself's together peepull! Contrary to popular wisdom, we had sustainable finances all the way up to the 1980s, through the fattest years of the welfare state.

Linda McQuaig's Shooting the Hippo is all you have to read to understand that it was monetarist anti-inflation insanity that produced massive deficits in the early-1980s and early-1990s.

But guess what? Even then, we never reached a "debt-wall." As I wrote yesterday, the modest levels of economic growth of the Clinton years would have been effective at reducing that debt level WITHOUT the painful social service cuts of Paul Martin Jr. and Jean Chretien. That's why I think those two guys were assholes. They put us through the wringer, just because they were as keen to offer up tax-cuts to the wealthiest and convince Canadians that it's better to bankrupt yourself paying for private services than it is to achieve things collectively.

We weren't in any danger from the debt levels of the 1990s and harpo's smoke-and-mirrors budget (which will produce some real deficits) isn't going to drive us over a cliff.


January 27, 2009

Harper's Conservatives Lazy?

CANADA - Interesting Fact: Stephen Harper's Conservative government in Canada has only shown up to work for 14 days between June 1st 2008 and January 27th 2009.

Here's what happened... the MPs went on vacation in June.

They came back in September and announced an election.

They got elected in October.

They showed up for work in November.

They worked 1 week and then Stephen Harper prorogued parliament just so he could stay in power.

Then they returned to work yesterday and announced a budget today.

Now admittedly they do other work they're not in the House of Commons, but its minor work like answering emails and hanging out with their constituents in order to drum up support and get votes.

It makes you realize they really don't spend much time actually governing.

Indeed since June 1st 2008 Stephen Harper's Conservatives have spent approx. 197 days just hanging out and drinking beer or whatever with their buddies... and only 14 days actually showing up for work.

Note: MPs are paid a base salary of $141,000/year. So if they've only worked 14 days during the last six months that is... $141,000 divided by 2, divided again by 14 = $5035.71 per day of actual work.

And during that time have they passed any new laws? Nope, none.

Isn't it time we changed the way MPs get paid? Say knock it down to... $500/day and then only pay them for the days they actually show up for work? Maybe then they'd do some actual work.

Stephen Harper flip flops on arts cuts

CANADA - The minority Conservative government led by Stephen Harper has flip flopped on arts cuts it made in 2008.

The flip flop comes in the form of $160 million in new money for the arts, announced today by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

In the summer of 2008 Stephen Harper cut $45 million/year in arts funding and sparked protests during which Stephen Harper was compared to Hitler and called a Nazi. Harper lost a chunk of his popularity when the cuts were announced which cost him seats in Quebec during last October's election.

In Quebec, where support for the arts is a popular priority, the cuts – combined with Harper's ill-advised remark about arts people who go to so-called glamorous subsidized galas to complain about their grants – was a turning point in the election... costing him enough seats that he only won a minority government.

The $100 million will be spread over 2 years and go towards promoting arts festivals, music and comedy acts across Canada.

The other $60 million, also spread over two years, will be for the Cultural Spaces Canada program: constructing or fixing theatres, museums and other arts buildings.

This new funding is criticized as being just an attempt to smother the arts community and win back votes with cash.

The $45 million cut was an annual figure, and the $160 million investment is spread over two years, meaning it's $80 million a year. That means if its not renewed again in 2010 the arts community will see its coffers suddenly go empty.

And don't forget $60 million of that is really money for the construction industry to build/repair public art galleries, museums and theatres.

So where is this money coming from then? Harper rarely gives without taking something back.

The CBC, Telefilm Canada and the Canada Council had best pray they escape harmful cuts.

See Also:
Stephen Harper Wants to Stifle Democracy in Canada
Censoring Sex, Homosexuality and Violence in Canadian Film

Afghan civilian deaths fuel extremism

POLITICS - Today U.S. commanders traveled to a poor Afghan village and distributed $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed in an American raid. The Americans also apologized for any civilians killed in the operation. The U.S. military regularly makes payments to Afghan relatives of those killed in operations, but the payments are rarely publicized.

In the United States, Defence Secretary Robert Gates told Congress that "we are lost" unless the United States can find a way not to kill so many civilians in the pursuit of militants in Afghanistan.

The issue of civilian deaths is increasingly sensitive in Afghanistan, with President Hamid Karzai accusing the U.S. military of killing civilians in three separate cases over the last month. Karzai has repeatedly warned the USA and NATO to guard against killing civilians, saying such deaths undermine his government and the international mission.

Karzai met Tuesday in the capital with relatives of some of those killed. He told the villagers he has given the USA and NATO one month to respond to a draft agreement that calls for increased Afghan participation in military operations.

Karzai said if he does not receive a USA or NATO response within that time, he would ask Afghans what he should do about international military operations, perhaps even demanding that the USA pull out of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile he USA is doubling its troop presence in Afghanistan this year to take on the Taliban militia; the Taliban and other militants still control southern Afghanistan. Last year, 151 American troops died in Afghanistan, the most in any year since the United States invaded the Taliban-ruled country in late 2001 for sheltering Osama bin Laden.

The issue of civilian casualties appears to be putting a severe strain on the U.S.-Afghan relationship. Every time a civilian is accidentally killed more people join the Taliban seeking revenge or become critical of Karzai's government.

Between 2002 and 2008 approx. 16,000 Afghan civilians have been killed by either the USA or the Taliban. 4,000 of that number died in the first 3 months of the conflict during US bombing raids.

January 26, 2009

Commie Pinko Me

Crossposted from the Wild, Wild, Left

I've written about Democratic Socialism more than once, citing shining examples of European models that work.

But really, I am a good old communist flower child at heart.

I can look at pictures of glistening cities, pristine example of architecture old and new, filled with lovely dining spots and walk to arts and culture and still be sickened.

I always wonder what their alleys hide, where the people serving the affluent there live like.

Preserving cultural advance is important, but I often wonder if there has to be such cost. I bemoan at times, that America tears everything down, and has no sense of history, but I also wonder about the moral lacking of a people who would bookmark millions for each building and let their people live in poverty.

Because in my mind, I know outside most of these bastions of taken entirely for granted excesses, lie slums full of hungry, tired hopeless people.

I hear them say, I love where I live, you can get exotic food from all over the world, feeling all smug and so very Continental. I wonder if they think speaking to a person of darker skins or sampling international food makes them feel like they have clues about the World's true culture.

When people expound joyfully on their "healthy" fresh fruit and vegetable farmers markets, I envision the lives of those who pick these fruits going to bed hungry, while thousands of pounds of discarded "overripe" nutrition are discarded by the elitists for which they work.

The true face of our World is dirt poor and enslaved.

Our excesses have brought the ability to invest in research, yes. But other than when a few philanthropists decide to grant a few vaccines to a few chosen "lessers" mostly those developments are saved for the elites. Those elites are mainly Western Industrial Nations.

Perhaps those ideas of a benevolent "Parent" society assuages the guilt that any thinking person may feel. Not mine. I could never be affluent, I'd give too much away. I know me, I do it poor now.

I am left in the company of one.

Pinko, commie me.

Somehow, we were convinced along the way that sharing is bad.

Somehow, a supposedly "Christian" nation like the United States who taught every toddler to "share" personally, was brain washed into believing grown ups sharing is bad.

Somehow, that greed was masked in the rationalization of "fruits of one's own labors" and the idea that poverty is the result of sloth.

! in 4 American homeless men are veterans. The rest of the world? The reasons are myriad.

I cannot abide.

Even our Constitution, which I speak fervently of upholding, with its lofty words of Commonwealth, Common Good, and Created Equal really, in its measures covers few of those things.

All it makes for is somewhat free slaves to economic disparity and the preservation of assets by the few wily enough to gain them.

The "overtake of the world by Godless Communism" was the boogeyman of my youth.

How does one need a God if he is living a life of care for everyone? That is being in God, a God oneself.

They pointed to the corruption, reminded me I would not have been born, in a World with communism and population control. They pointed to the failed examples of communism enforced by military means.

Have not Democracies failed, have not Empires based on Capitalism?

I call bullshit on the whole premise.

For in my heart of hearts, I know that Communism, in its real sense is merely HUMANISM. Humanism does not accept that there will always be suffering, and my acts cannot overcome that. Humanism knows that my acts can overcome that... for if we all stopped believing we cannot make a difference, we could.

Why is a life in South Africa, Nicaragua or Tibet worth less than mine?

Why in a country that claims to value life, air strikes on villages are applauded?

Why the FUCK do people think its fine to "Die for my ideals" when all that really means is "Kill those who don't do and think as I say?"

I cannot, in my commie pinko skin, abide. I cannot abide the murder of human beings for what amounts to nothing. For what amounts to your own pride, arrogance and false superiority.

You should not ever be willing to die for your ideals, anymore, that means killing for them. Our ideals should be in preserving all of humanity.

Yes, sometimes my brainwashing comes out and I get all "V"... but my soul screams for PEACE, for LOVE.

I don't know how it can be done, but I know it can be done. I know the effort, time, brainpower, think tanks and money poured into preserving a status quo that is on EVERY level unconscionable could find a way.

We could bring health and relative prosperity to every being on this planet. We could have no one live in fear of War, no matter what their religion or social norm. We could.

There may still be broken people who commit crimes against humanity, but there would be far less in a civil World. They could be addressed case by case, rather than whole scale punishment of innocents, as War does.

We could have education that still respects cultural differences.


I stand alone.

I am the FIRST monkey, perhaps, ready to give away everything and go anywhere to get it done.

Social security, national health care, free education, guaranteed housing, employment each to his abilities and each according to their needs.

Gay rights, women's rights, Palestinian rights, Native American rights, Mexican immigrants rights, all those things people with their own agendas decry... these are mine.

I am for HUMAN rights, and I refuse to skim over one, or laugh it off, only to making scathing commentary over another.

Sure, its fashionable to care about Palestinians right now, but how many even read what is done to the natives of this country anymore? It was fashionable a year or more ago to care about Katrina, yet 75% of them are still not HOME.

It is not only the kleptocracy that makes these things possible. It is the ingrained idea of me and mine first that does it. It is the idea of demonizing a group that does it more.

Are people more worried about the Palestinians, or just more ready to demonize Zionists? Were people more interested in Katrina victims, or was it just a new reason to hate Bush?

Sorry. I don't fit in. I never will.

I cannot stop caring about humanity to conquer anyone. I cannot compartmentalize people into "collateral damage" in my fight.

If my fight does not include caring about the individuals, then I have become what I despise. INHUMAN.

I am a Pinko Commie, and I will win, one LOVE at a time, one shoulder, one dollar, one kind act, until people learn to LOVE eachother enough to stop other people from abusing anyone.

The elites will never relinquish their ill gotten gains easily, but how can they stand against an army of humanity, an army of every person on the planet who LOVES every single person on this planet equally?

"They don't stand a chance, against our love..."

Everyone deserves everything, no one deserves to withhold anything they don't need to survive.

Everyone deserves freedom to be who they are, respected.

No more starvation. No more AIDS. No more water wars. No more hoarding resources. No more oppression. No more slavery.

I am the first monkey and I stand alone.

No more. Everything More.

I am a Pinko Commie, and I want to give you the World.


Are you ready to be Monkey Number 2?

Riots in Iceland as government collapses

POLITICS - Iceland's government collapsed today, leaving the country in political chaos amid a recession that has hammered its economy and required an international bailout just to keep the economy afloat.

Riots have gripped the country as people resign, make speeches and argue back and forth over who's fault the government collapse and recession is and squabbling over who should be prime minister.

Prime Minister Geir Haarde said he was unwilling to meet demands from his coalition partners in the Social Democratic Alliance. Haarde has been prime minister since 2006. Haarde had previously said he wouldn't lead his Independence Party into new elections, because he has cancer and isn't likely to live long.

Iceland has been mired in financial crisis since the collapse of the country's banks under the weight of debts amassed during years of rapid expansion. Inflation and unemployment have soared, and the currency, krona, has plummeted in value.

Haarde's government has nationalized banks and negotiated about $10 billion US in loans from the IMF and individual countries. In addition, Iceland faces a bill likely to run to billions of dollars to repay thousands of Europeans who held accounts with subsidiaries of collapsed Icelandic banks.

The country's commerce minister, Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, quit Sunday citing the pressures of the economic collapse. Sigurdsson, a member of the Social Democrats party, said Icelanders had lost trust in their political leadership.

Thousands of rioting Icelanders have joined noisy daily protests in the last week over soaring unemployment and rising prices.

Stephen Harper flip flops on economy

CANADA - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has ditched his conservative principles and is pushing a Liberal-laden budget in an effort to keep his minority government in power.

The new Conservative budget, to be announced tomorrow will be including Liberal measures such as $2 billion to help train unemployed Canadians and $7 billion for Canadian infrastructure and public works projects.

  • $4 billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to help provincial, territorial and municipal governments push ahead with projects like roads, bridges and water and sewage treatment plants.
  • $2 billion to accelerate repairs and construction at colleges and universities.
  • $1 billion so-called green infrastructure fund.
  • $1.5 billion for job training for laid-off workers who are eligible to collect employment insurance as well as those who cannot access EI funds under current rules.
  • $500 million will be earmarked to help retrain laid-off workers who have job experience but are too young to retire.

    Stephen Harper also backpedaled on Senate reform and Senate elections and is spending $34 billion in tax payer dollars in an effort to stay in power and boost the economy.

    Conservative backbenchers and supporters see this as ignoring the party's funding base in Alberta which wants to see less government, not more. The $34 billion deficit is also an issue as Harper promised just months ago there would be no deficit.

    "We will not be running a deficit. We will keep our spending within our means. It is that simple. The alternative is not a plan. It is just the consequence of complete panic, and this government will not panic at a time of uncertainty," Harper told a Toronto audience on October 7th 2008.

    But that was before Harper was nearly overthrown by a coalition government and had to prorogue parliament just to stay in power. Harper's efforts now are acts of a desperate cowardly man clinging to power.

    Harper claims he is just trying to be pragmatic, but conservative critics accuse him of losing his way and sacrificing his principles.

    "Absolutely he has abandoned his principles ... I don't even recognize this person who is the Prime Minister of Canada," said Gerry Nicholls, who worked with Harper at the National Citizens Coalition.

    Harper is a one-time head of the coalition, a non-partisan organization for the "defence and promotion of free enterprise, free speech" and accountable government. "He was a principled small-c conservative who believed that ... conservative politicians should stick by their principles," Nicholls said. "I think he began to care more about public-opinion polls than his principles."

    Harper's flip flops include:

  • The Senate. He was adamant he would not resort to the old politics of stacking the upper chamber with party cronies. But faced with the possible defeat of his minority government, Harper moved fast before Christmas to fill 18 vacancies with loyal Conservatives, many failed candidates or with party ties.

  • Fixed election date. In May 2006, Harper proposed fixed election date legislation that would set the next election date in October 2009, to stop political leaders from "trying to manipulate the calendar." Instead, Harper called an election last September, saying that Parliament had reached an "impasse." But he was also hoping to capitalize on his own promising poll numbers and a weak official Opposition before the economy worsened.

  • Supreme Court appointments. In December, Harper appointed Thomas Cromwell of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court, bypassing a parliamentary hearing process he championed to more openly scrutinize nominees.

  • Government appointments. The Prime Minister had promised to implement a public appointments commission to eliminate cronyism in such appointments. It was to be part of the government's much-vaunted Accountability Act. It never happened and, since winning its first minority government in January 2006, the Tory government has made some 1,500 appointments, many based on political pedigree.

    Tom Flanagan, a former Harper campaign organizer/Conservative strategist, said Harper has transformed into a political survivor on his last legs. Harper has "lost the initiative by provoking the other parties into this potential coalition against him ... and now he finds himself having to put together a budget which is really a coalition budget ... the government's hand is fairly weak right now," says Flanagan, author of the book "Harper's Team: Behind the Scenes in the Conservative Rise to Power".

    There's the also the matter of United States President Barack Obama. With so much hope and change in the USA... its not surprising Canada wants to follow suit. Harper is under enormous pressure both in Canada and from the new Obama Administration to back economic stimulus even when he doesn't want to.
  • USA needs tougher emission standards

    ENVIRONMENT/POLITICS - President Barack Obama ordered the government Monday to re-examine whether California and other states can have tougher auto emission standards, a clean break from Bush administration policy.

    USA emission/fuel efficiency standards are so pathetic the USA can't even sell its cars overseas. The United States needs to come up with tougher emission standards than those imposed by the federal government so that they can compete on the global market with more efficient models built in Asia and Europe.

    Jumping into the seemingly never-ending national energy debate, Obama also directed his administration to get moving on new fuel-efficiency guidelines for the auto industry in time to cover 2011 model-year cars.

    "For the sake of our security, our economy and our planet, we must have the courage and commitment to change," Obama said in his first formal event in the ornate East Room of the White House.

    "It will be the policy of my administration," he said, "to reverse our dependence on foreign oil while building a new energy economy that will create millions of jobs."

    The president wants the Environmental Protection Agency to take a second look at decisions denying California – and the states that followed its model – permission to set their own standards.

    See Also:
    Hydrogen Power
    Green Cars in 2020
    The Eco-Car Battleground
    Green Sports Cars
    Scorpion Hydrogen Supercar

    GM lays off 2,000 in United States and Canada

    CARS/POLITICS - General Motors Corp. said today it will cut 2,000 jobs at plants in Michigan and Ohio, and it will halt production for several weeks at nine U.S. plants over the next six months due to slow sales during the American recession. Besides the job cuts, nine of GM's 15 U.S. assembly plants will have more scheduled "down weeks" in the first half of 2009. One plant in Canada will be temporarily shut down as well.

    About 1,200 workers will be laid off at the Lansing Michigan plant on March 30th, while 800 jobs will be cut in Lordstown Ohio on April 6th.

    GM is operating under an assumption shared by many analysts that the auto industry will sell 10.5 million vehicles in the USA in 2009, down about 20% from last year's sales of 13.2 million.

    GM was awarded $13.4 billion in loans and already has added $9.4 billion of those funds to its coffers. it expects the rest after Feb. 17, when it must submit a viability plan to the United States government that includes cuts in operation and labor costs.

    The Future of Cities

    TECHNOLOGY - In 2007 the UN announced in a habitat report that for the first time in human history, more than 50% of people in the world live in urban areas, and that number is still increasing.

    In Canada the urbanization of the population is closer to 78%, and the majority of the population of Canada lives in the three largest cities, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

    Today cities all over the world are the driving force behind science, technology, and the economy, and are the heart of politics, society, and culture. Despite the unavoidable importance of cities, they are still on the back burner of political will and attention. As a result Canadian cities have suffered massive inadequacies in funding, self-determination and infrastructure whereas in the rest of the world countries have focused on and nutured their cities.

    Hopefully this will change.

    Today a group of concerned Torontonians are meeting at the University of Toronto to discuss raising public awareness of the importance of cities, public transportation such as subways and building smarter cities for the future.

    The meeting will also be attended by the former mayor's of London England, the current mayor of Cambridge Massachusetts, Toronto's current mayor David Miller and past Toronto mayor David Crombie.

    Where: Convocation Hall, U of T, 31 King’s College Circle.
    When: 7:30pm- 9:30 pm, Mon. Jan. 26, 2009
    Cost: Free!!!
    Info/Contact: 416-978-4725.

    Your Chinese Horoscope for 2009

    RELIGION - See Chinese Zodiac Signs


    1997, 1985, 1973, 1961, 1949, 1937

    You are in some kind of conflict. Your money and health signs tend to be weaker. You may be attracted to arts, but should refrain from gambling and speculation. Invest in real estate only for the long term. Try to be more creative in your business, possibly through work connected with arts and design. Your regular income should be stable. In romance, you tend to enjoy seclusion and spirituality. Pay attention to your spleen, stomach and liver. Rest well, don't gamble and don't overwork yourself.


    1998, 1986, 1974, 1962, 1950, 1938

    This is a better year for the Tiger than the Tigress. You appear to have a lot of energy and your signs are helpful. You are imaginative and creative, and would do well in the entertainment or the hospitality business. You could also be marvelous working in the medical field. This is an important year for you romantically, though you will often feel lonely. Be careful of your technique in communication with other people and watch out for thieves and pickpockets. Take special care of your lungs this year. You could be prone to colds and flu.


    1999, 1987, 1975, 1963, 1951, 1939

    There is a "funeral" sign for the rabbit this year. Watch out for your own health and the health of elderly family members. If possible, stay away from burial places; otherwise you may get into unexpected trouble. When dealing with people, keep your distance. Despite these dangers, this is a lucky year for the Rabbit, especially if you are in management. You could do very well this year if your business is related to burials or to the law, but don't change jobs unless absolutely necessary. Watch your savings and don't gamble or speculate. Try to share your feelings with a few close friends. Be careful with your diet this year, get more exercise and try to relax!


    1988, 1976, 1964, 1952, 1940, 1928

    Female Dragons may outperform the males this year. There are signs your life could involve controversy and loneliness, and romantic opportunities may be limited. But open up to others: you can be very persuasive. At work, you could do best in an advisory role, or as a lawyer, a politician or a performer. Money tends to pass through your fingers easily, especially when love comes into it. Be careful about gambling, watch out for accidents and be careful what you eat to protect your health.


    1989, 1977, 1965, 1953, 1941, 1929

    Snake and Ox are joining signs, so this could be a good year to start a business or accept a promotion. You should do well in the stock markets this year, but don't be greedy. While the signs are good for you to boost your wealth, power and fame, you have enemies who will try to stab you in the back. This should be a good year to meet other people and to get married or improve relations with your significant other. Don't overindulge and be sure to exercise.


    1990, 1978, 1966, 1954, 1942, 1930

    Horse and Ox are conflicting signs. This should be a good year for you in love and in business, but watch out for vindictive backstabbers. If you're married, avoid any outside romance; if you're thinking of marriage, better to put it off until next year. You could do especially well this year in the entertainment industry, in public relations, law or politics. If you are self-employed, you may find good new business opportunities, but stay away from new partnerships. They could turn sour. Drive carefully and watch out for sharp objects.


    1991, 1979, 1967, 1955, 1943, 1931

    Sheep and Ox are opposite signs, so this could be a bad year financially. Watch out for accidents and invest conservatively. Try not to change jobs, but the signs are good for you to travel more or engage in mobile businesses such as importing and exporting. Don't expect much romance, and this would be a bad year to consider marriage. Take care of your heart and lungs, and get more exercise.


    1992, 1980, 1968, 1956, 1944, 1932

    Luck is with you this year, which could mean good news in your work and your love life. You could become more powerful, especially if you're involved in politics, the military or the law. Whatever you do in business, act courageously. The signs are good for you financially, especially in the stock market and foreign exchange. If you are single, consider marriage. If you are married, pregnancy may be imminent. Your overall health appears favourable, but watch your kidneys and bladder, and try to keep your weight down.


    1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933

    Rooster and Ox are closely connected, which makes this a lucky year for you. You could achieve a breakthrough in education or competition this year. At work, you could earn promotion or, if self-employed, an expansion of your business. The more creative you are, the better you will do financially this year. This could be a good year to get married or to improve your existing relationship. Drive carefully and beware of sharp objects. Pay special attention to your bladder and kidneys.


    1994, 1982, 1970, 1958, 1946, 1934

    Dog and Ox have conflicts, so this is not a good year to be involved in legal battles or new partnerships. Don't take too many risks; as long as you don't take chances, your finances should stay stable this year. You could do well this year in research activity or in jobs that involve discussion, such as law, social work and teaching. There is a sign of loneliness in your love life, which could make you feel depressed. Think positively.


    1995, 1983, 1971, 1959, 1947, 1935

    This is a good year for you to travel, move or make changes. Keep active, the busier you are, the more money you can make and the more your position in society will improve. Your love signs are stable; if you are single, this is a good year to consider marriage. Your health looks good this year, but drive carefully, beware of accidents or surgery, and keep a close eye on the health of elderly family members.


    1996, 1984, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1936

    Rat and Ox are connected. This is a good year to find new opportunities and to improve your reputation. Your wealth appears unlikely to grow much this year, but your chances of losing money are not high either. You could do well to expand a business involving other people. It's a good year for love. If you are single, think about getting married. If you are married, take your spouse on a honeymoon. You may suffer from the "illness" sign this year, so see your doctor for a medical checkup and watch out for your liver and gall bladder.

    January 24, 2009


    POLITICS/RELIGION - January 26th marks the Chinese New Year and this new year is the Year of the Ox, and investors around the world will be hoping that after one of the worst years in stock market history (2008 was the year of the rat), this will be a year of changed fortunes - the Year of the Bull Market - hopefully.

    The Year of the Ox is conservative, traditional and is not a year to be outrageous, but slow and steady with great strength. The Ox is supposed to bring stability and growth where patience and diligence pays off. It also symbolizes harvest - to reap what we have sown and to take care of business.

    Investors hope that the Year of the Ox is true to its reputation, setting the economy on the path to lasting recovery.

    China and the United States have been hard hit by the American recession.

    See Chinese Zodiac Signs

    Earth in a sea of debt

    POLITICS - Canada's federal deficit is set to soar to $64 billion CDN over the next two years as it combats the global recession.

    The United States is also going to lose over $825 billion on a stimulus package to boost its lagging economy during the American recession.

    And we're not the only ones. Countries around the world are going in debt to boost their economies and spend on infrastructure.

    Lets stop and look at the huge national debts of various countries:

    Canada: $266 billion ($337.294 billion Canadian).

    United States: $10,626 billion or $10.63 trillion.

    United Kingdom: $793 billion (£571.8 billion).

    France: $1,503 billion or $1.5 trillion (1,158 billion Euros).

    Germany: $1,850 billion or $1.85 trillion (1,425 billion Euros).

    Italy: $2,131 billion or $2.13 trillion (1,642 billion Euros).

    Japan: $5,699 billion or $5.7 trillion (507,599 billion yen).

    Its no wonder we're having a credit crisis. Our countries have been spending like crazy (on things like unnecessary wars) when they should be building infrastructure and investing in their economies.

    America: Bully or Friend?

    By Ai Lung Nguyen - January 2009.

    POLITICS - Is the United States a bully or friend? Depends who you are.

    "The rest of the world knows that the USA is the big kid on the block, and that this will likely remain the case for years to come. But our staying power has a great deal to do with whether we are perceived as a bully or a friend. Humility increases America's greatness, it does not weaken it." – U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden.

    The United States is about to relearn what it should already know: Even a superpower needs more than military force to maintain its leadership status.

    According to insiders Barack Obama's administration will be using a "smart-power" approach to foreign policy, flexing the USA's brains and diplomatic strength in addition to its military power.

    Smart power is the integration of hard and soft power, maintaining military strength while using persuasion and example to seed democracy, human rights and other Western ideas throughout the world.

    This is in opposition to the deposed Bush Administration's "hard power" strategy and a "You're either with us or you are with the terrorists" mantra.

    During the election, Obama said he wants a "tough, smart and principled" policy that preserves American pre-eminence as a force for good. Or, rather, given the state of loathing and distrust of the United States in parts of the world, re-establishes it.

    Past examples of smart power:
  • Woodrow Wilson's theory of liberal internationalism (stable democracies are less likely to go to war).
  • Marshall's post-war plan to rebuild a shattered Europe in ways that would repel communism.
  • John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

    Smart power is credited with winning the Cold War with the communists and brought the Berlin Wall down. America deterred Soviet aggression with hard military power, but ate away belief in Communist ideas with soft power.

    The concept was ignored during George W. Bush's "war on terrorism" response to September 11th. Bush's failures in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrates that hard power alone can't secure global or U.S. security.

    In other news... Obama sets up his Wii house

    ENTERTAINMENT/TECHNOLOGY - A Nintendo Wii game console was one of the items moved into the 216-year-old White House. Newly inaugurated President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle bought a Wii for their daughters, Sasha, 7, and Malia, 10, over the Christmas season.

    The popular Wii console will be connected to the television in the mansion's family room, occupied by children for the first time since 1993, when then 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton spent time there.

    So will the Obama First Family choose to play Wii Bowling or go for the real thing? (Richard Nixon had a bowling alley installed at the White House during the Vietnam War).
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