Monday, November 30, 2009

Ideology As a Form of Madness

A person is deemed insane if they are delusional, that is if what they believe has no connection whatsoever with the real world around them. An important contemporary form of delusion is the pseudo-science of economics, most especially its neo-classical form, dominant these last three decades.

The latest Monthly Review in an article titled “The Paradox of Wealth and Environmental Destruction” has a number of quotes which show just what raving nut cases these “economists” are.

Oxford “economist” Wilfred Beckerman in his book Small Is Stupid (who is stupid?) claimed that if US agricultural output fell 50% it wouldn't mean very much since it only represents 1.5% of the US GDP. Hence global warming wouldn't have much of an effect.

Thomas Schelling a Nobel prize winning “economist” wrote along similar lines- Agriculture is practically the only sector of the economy affected by climate and it only contributes a small percentage ... of national income. If agricultural productivity were drastically reduced by climate change, the cost of living would rise by one or two percent, and at a time when per capital income will have doubled.

It never occurred to these idiots that if you decreased the food supply by 50% prices of food would shoot way up and millions of the most vulnerable would starve.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Olympic Torch Protest - the so-called marble throwing incident.

I have waited 3 weeks to do this story to see if anything new came up – so far nothing, so here goes...

On the night of the anti-Olympic protest the Victoria TV station was screaming about “cowardly protesters throwing marbles at police horses” and that “a young man with a back pack full of marbles had been arrested.” This way they drummed up hate among the sheeple against a rather successful protest.

Then the Times Colonist got in the act too with a similar line. Funny thing, the story then dropped out of sight.

Even odder was the fact that no one was arrested. Surely if the police had gotten their hands on someone who tried to throw marbles at them, they would be dragged off bleeding to the hoosegow.

Odd too, is the idea that NO2010 would somehow endorse such a stupid, counter-productive tactic. Of course they didn't.

Turns out no one actually threw any marbles, rather they were dropped. But then it gets muddy. Who did it and why did they do it?

There are a number of different viewpoints. First two letters to the Times Colonist:

Just a note on the 'marble fiasco'. Maybe the media could take a second and follow-up on their so-called 'sources' (the police, and a woman who found a handful of marbles on the street) on marble THROWING. Being at the protest, I saw what happened with the marbles. None were thrown. Someone had them in his pocket (I would like to know why, but since carrying marbles is not a crime, I didn't feel it necessary to ask), his pocket broke and they FELL OUT. A number of us stopped to pick them up, and because we were afraid of being separated from the group, we weren't able to get them all. Many thanks to the woman who got the rest. I would like to see one person step forward that actually SAW anyone throw anything at the horses, because from my perspective, it didn't happen. Stop being lazy reporters, and do your job. Lover of Horses Nov 2

"Protesters also threw marbles at the feet of horses used by the Vancouver police mounted squad."

This is a lie. I was there when the marbles were released, at one of the intersections on Cook Street where we stopped for ten minutes or thereabouts. My friend and I commented on what a stupid thing that is, dropping marbles onto the street so that the horses, already enslaved and wishing they were in a warm barn somewhere, might slip on them. Others nearby expressed similar comments. We were at the back of the crowd, where I stayed for most of the route, and there were several police officers within earshot. It was clear that the officers were made aware of the marbles. The horses passed without incident.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the marbles were released by agents provocateurs, who have been proven (and those from Montebello may actually go to jail for inciting violence) to be planted into crowds for the purposes of disrupting otherwise peaceful acts of civil disobedience. Janine Bancroft Nov 2

Global Television weighs in on Nov 3:

Anti-Olympic protesters say it was not them, but the police themselves, who threw marbles at police horses during the Olympic torch rally in Victoria Friday. They say a police "provocateur" planted among the demonstrators did so to discredit them.

The police, meanwhile, say the allegation is ridiculous.

"The public saw marbles coming from the crowd -- and Victoria police officers saw it," said Sgt. Grant Hamilton of Victoria police.

Tamara Herman, an organizer for the group No2010, said one of the protesters saw someone who was not part of their group drop marbles in the roadway.

Herman said she could not name the witness or offer other details. Nevertheless, she contends that a plainclothes police officer was trying to discredit the protesters.

"The Integrated Security Unit [responsible for Games security] stated they wouldn't rule out using provocateurs. Organizers at the back of the march saw someone they didn't recognize dropping a bag of marbles," Herman said.

The Martlet (U Vic paper) gets it partly wrong:

Despite fears of a potential police crackdown on protesters, there were no arrests. The only visible attempted violence came when some protesters- who were not known to No-2010 organizers- threw marbles at the feet of the seven horses being ridden by the mounted squad The Martlet Nov 23

What really happened? Some kid who plays marbles had his pocket split? Police agent provocateur? Or could it be a free lance provocateur? Don't put it past the far right to do such a thing. One thing for certain is that the media will seize upon any incident real or imagined to intimidate and discredit the forces of progress.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The following aphorisms are the result of my 64 years on this planet.

Ninety percent of human problems are artificially created.

To find a traitor, look for a flag-waver.

Few are more naive than the self-styled pragmatist or realist.

If it is something we want, they take forever. Something they want and it's rammed through in hours. Something we want and there is not enough money, something they want and the purse is wide open.

Capitalism is the state socialism of the rich.

If you think everything in government, the media and the economy is a racket, you will be correct in most cases.

To find the source of a problem, ignore the excuses and follow the buck.

Two little words will make many an Anglo Canadian don a bed sheet - “Indian” and Quebec.

If a desire for vengeance is the chief negative trait of Americans, hypocrisy is the chief Canadian trait.

The worst Satanists are those who think they are Christians.

Few people consciously lie, most live in a state of denial.

Kill someone and they call you a murderer. Kill ten people and they call you a monster. Kill a million people and they call you Mr. President.

Democracy” is the right to chose which of two similar parties will bully and exploit you.

Our rulers will kill as many people as they find necessary in order to maintain their wealth and power.

Free enterprize has nothing to do with freedom.

Free trade is the freedom of corporations to control the global economy.

Few freedoms are universal. One person's freedom may be another's slavery. One person's slavery may be another's freedom.

The poor and the powerless are always deemed responsible for their acts. The wealthy and powerful are rarely so.

Contempt of court? Few institutions are more worthy of contempt.

People are enslaved through ignorance of their own history, which is why it is not taught in schools.

A true skeptic has an open mind. A pseudo-skeptic is a believer, but of the negative kind.

If you want to do something, do it. Don't let anyone tell you to do otherwise. Many lives have been ruined by people not following their true will.

People are motivated by hope for a better life, which is why the system and its toadies spare no energy in seeking to kill hope.

State socialism is an oxymoron, just like capitalist democracy.

Nothing exists in isolation. Thus, everything you do ultimately effects everyone and everything else. Live your life accordingly and suffering will be minimized.

The fragmented, disconnected world-view is the viewpoint of the stupid. Wisdom consists in seeing the underlying unity.

Nothing is free, everything comes at a price, that which is human effort.

The spiritual consists of metaphors. The foolish take those metaphors literally, and are thus guilty of idolatry.

All creative acts are acts of rebellion.

Everyone has heard of Beethoven. Who has heard of his critics?

No god punishes us. We punish ourselves.

To the eye of eternity, even the worst human being is but a fleck of foam on a vast ocean.

Considering yourself “saved” is the worst example of the sin of pride.

If competitiveness and a desire to dominate were the major aspects of human nature, early humans would not have survived a week.

True leadership is by example. Coercing people into doing your bidding is not leadership, but the attribute of a school yard bully.

Capitalism regulates what should be left unregulated and leaves unregulated what should be regulated.

Humanity will be liberated when it realizes the dominator minority is criminally insane and treats it accordingly.

If we simply must have rulers, let them be worthy of us.

If people understood the logic of argument, most politicians would be laughed off the podium. This is why logic is not taught in our schools.

Socialism is the simplest thing in the world - those who do the work own and control their places of work. The complication arises from all the false definitions that have been foisted upon the word.

The commandment says, “Thou shalt not kill.” It does not say “Thou shalt not kill except when some sleazy politician or greedy corporation boss says its OK to kill.

Outside the human, evil does not exist in the world. Attributing evil to the non-human world is a form of psychological projection.

Given the right conditions all people will act in a brutal manner. Given the right conditions all people are capable of altruism.

The ultimate reason for the proliferation of conspiracy theories is systematic lying on the part of governments, corporations and the mass media. To eliminate conspiracy theories, eliminate lying.

Human reality is one of shadings of gray, of contradictoriness and complexity, and only the stupid reduce everything to black and white.

Every person who trumpets how rational they are, displays some gaping irrationality, obvious to everyone but themselves.

One cannot deny the importance of reason, yet a person completely devoid of the non-rational would be merely a machine of flesh and blood.

Genocide of the First Nations should surprise no one, given the attitudes of the era. One would be more surprised had genocide not occurred.

Private property is absolutely sacred... unless it is the property of First Nations, people of colour or the poor. Then it is free for expropriation.

Let's not be too hard on the Germans. The Nazis only took the racist, social Darwinist and eugenicist ideologies dominant in Europe and North America to their logical extreme.

All cults require as a condition of membership, the acceptance of some irrational belief. If you affirm this belief now, you are more likely to swallow any lie, no matter how outrageous, later on.

Given the nature of life a century ago, given the time that is needed for the generations to work through such insanity, is it any wonder we have serious problems today?

An explanation is not the same as an apology, though bigots like to pretend this is so.

That every situation has a cause or reason for its existence other than innate virtue or innate evil, ought to be a trite observation, but the statement needs constant repetition in the Fox News era.

Socialists are as envious of the wealthy as a man with intestinal parasites is envious of his tape worms.

The economy exists to serve the people, the people do not exist to serve the economy. This should be elementary, but it is not.

That you "consented" to being an employee is a sick joke. The choice is narrow - either voluntary slavery or starvation. Of course, if the only choice available is being beaten with a broomstick or beaten with a 2 by 4, people will always favor the broomstick, but it doesn't mean they necessarily enjoy getting beaten.

Envy and fear are the chief motivations of the poor person with right-wing views.

The word economics is a synonym for ideology.

Where science agrees with popular prejudices, everyone is for science. Where science disagrees with popular prejudice, people reject and condemn it.

The central problem of the left - you win all the arguments but then still convince no one, for most people's beliefs have an irrational basis.

Not pursuit of wealth, but a desire to dominate is the chief motivation of the rulers. Wealth is only the means to that end.

People with Dark Age ideas about biology, geology or physics are happy to have their lives saved by the practical results of that same biology, geology and physics.

The problem with the economist's claim that humans are motivated by self interest is that self-interest is taken in its narrowest and most limited sense – immediate material gratification. But self-interest also includes clean air, community, security and culture, aspects which require a long-term view, not found among those corporate apologists.

What exactly do conservatives wish to conserve? The true conservers are found on the left. They seek to protect community, culture, the small farm and the environment from the predatory conservatives.

Climate change deniers will be the first people to yell for help when they are subject to the disastrous effects of the climate change they deny.

Conventional politics – the stupid led by the psychopathic.

All states, no matter how seemingly benevolent, ultimately rest upon a foundation of violence.

Peasants or hunter-gatherers never freely give up their land. Their property is expropriated by outsiders through violence or the threat of violence.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vancouver Anarchist On-Line archive

I was just sent this new anarchist archive of material relating to Vancouver history. See


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What Is Your Energy Footprint?

While I do not think that individual action is the solution to the burgeoning environmental and social problems, we certainly ought to practice what we preach. I have always thought that if people in the developed world lived the counter-culture life style the problem would be minimal. Now I have some proof for my claim. The average Canadian uses the equivalent – if everyone in the world lived this same way – of 5.68 Earths worth of energy, agricultural land etc. Your typical 3 car garage, McMansion suburbanite uses 7.75 Earths. Turns out my score is 1.02 Earths.

My low score shows how untrue the right-wing claim is that living an enviro-friendly way requires us to live in poverty. I have everything I need and eat better and live better than people with twice my income. I have not cut out the necessities, but only the unnecessary – the excess. Much, if not most of people's excess is pretense anyway and has nothing to do with need. Few people, other than those with a lot of children or a vast extended family need a 4000 sq. foot house. People buy these barns because it makes them think they are important, instead of the suckers they really are. A near-new sweater from Value Village looks just as good and is just as warm as one bought new from an expensive boutique.

Take the test yourself at

Vancouver Yippie Site

Due to Geocities shutting down, the Vancouver Yippie story can be found at

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Winter Olympics - Passivity When There Should Be Outrage

The Olympic torch has passed hand to hand up Vancouver Island. Crowds gather by the thousands and cheer the spectacle. Nothing wrong with this display, in principle, if the Olympics was a voluntary effort. But we, the citizen, are stuck with a bill for an estimated $6 billion. (How bout a tee shirt saying "$6 billion and all I get is this lousy torch?) Meanwhile people lie in the streets for lack of housing and the Children's Festival was canceled, since the govt would not come up with the measly $40,000 due to cut-backs. $6 billion in corporate welfare to the mass media, construction and real estate industries, cut-backs on the real needs. Critics such as ORN and NO2010 are condemned by this same media with all the deceitfulness, pompousness and arrogance that the propaganda machine can churn out. And the masses – or at least a high percentage of them, rejoice. Where is their outrage about being doubly robbed by the government and the corporations it whores for?

At the same time people this spectacle runs on,are lining up by the thousands to get their swine flu shots. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent by the government on this corporate-made vaccine. Swine flu is the direct result of corporate "factory farming". The corporations create the problem, and the corporations make money off correcting it. The people in those line-ups ought to be jumping up and down with anger that their lives have been threatened by a corporate-greed produced virus.

Taking an airplane flight is a totalitarian nightmare of humiliation and degradation worthy of Orwell's 1984. Terrorism is the result of US meddling in the Middle East. The obvious solution to terrorism on aircraft is to eliminate its cause, that is cease the meddling. But people seem to put up with this – even though less are flying – and there does not seem to be any ground swell of anger directed at the true cause of terrorism and the resulting degrading procedures at the airport.

Are today's problems so overwhelming that people have just decided to swallow the Kool Aid? Is the ability to make changes now so limited that people have given up?

Before sinking into despair, I would like to point out that today's passivity is different from that which existed during my childhood in the 1950's. Back then people believed in the system and gladly accepted what was done to them in the name of progress, democracy and free enterprize. They might go along today, but they go along sullenly. The crowds cheer the Olympic torch, but I suspect many do in the spirit of an editorial in our local paper which said, yes, we are paying a fortune for it, the govt is cutting back on essential services, but it is there and we might as well have good time with it. Essentially,"we are getting screwed anyway, we may as well enjoy it."

If hope for a better life can be re-introduced to the mass of ordinary people, perhaps this sullenness can be turned into positive action, like it has at other times in our history.

Monday, November 02, 2009

B.C. Counter-culture

Geocities is no more, so I have moved my BC Counter-culture Web site site to a new location. For anyone interested in this (hopefully) ever-expanding file of articles, links and photos see:

Blogging Change
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