Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Season of Anarchy

The Season of Anarchy
We’ve gotten used to the anarchy that has swept over the Middle East and North Africa by now. The killing and property damage occurring daily is nothing more than a statistic. It’s a means of keeping score, that’s how inured we are to it. We root for the underdog as though it were a game with little regard for the destruction of human life. It is after all, so far away. It’s so impersonal that we aren’t affected by it.
There was a slight stirring of concern last year when anarchistic protests began to spring up in the Western world, particularly in the European countries, upset with the burden of the economy being placed on the backs of working people. Somehow it wasn’t the same though. The governments weren’t killing people so it wasn’t taken seriously. It was just seen as a grumbling on the part of the protestors at having the will of governments imposed on them. Had there been killings, it might have been different. Mind you, there was one fellow, a former pharmacist who, having exhausted all his means of survival with any degree of dignity, committed suicide in public and caused quite a stir.
But the Europeans are civilized. They don’t kill people en masse. They just call in the cops – all kinds of them to put down these protests, and so far it’s worked. Mind you, this all adds to the cost of running a government and cuts further into the economic status of any given country, running it further into debt. So the whole exercise is a saw-off, a whole lot of trouble for nothing.
Things started to get a little uncomfortable for the Americans and Canadians last year when all of a sudden people began to occupy Wall Street and it spread from there. But ultimately the cops prevailed and it seems to have simmered down. But nothing was solved.
Then out of the blue, university students in Quebec struck fear into the hearts of the establishment in Quebec. They said they were protesting the raising of tuition fees and took to the streets by the thousands. They stayed there too and their size grew by the day. And these buggers are militant too. They don’t mess around. At first they were protesting tuition fees. Now they’re protesting the restrictions and consequences of their protests. Who knows where it will go from here? They’re even barring students who want to attend class from doing so. Vandalism and property damage are quite acceptable to the protestors.
The government in the meantime has met with the ringleaders time after time and all their overtures have so far been dismissed. By now it’s not really clear what the protestors want. So in the meantime they pulled an all nighter and began putting restrictions on protests and laying out fines etc., all of which are met with impunity and distain. It seems they are now protesting just for the sake of being a pain in the ass.
Quite frankly, the students have the right idea. It’s just that they don’t seem to be sophisticated enough to express it. And the government has absolutely no idea of how to deal with it.
Never one to bitch about a problem without having a solution, here’s a couple of good suggestions:
Except for the foreign students who are a cash infusion for the universities, who benefits from all this post-secondary education? Well of course the students who are then able to get better jobs. But who are the beneficiaries of these highly educated young people if not business and industry? So how come they get a free ride? Why are they not involved in the education, training and shaping of these careers? Of course, it would never occur to them to offer assistance, nor would it occur to governments to demand it. How do you think Japan rose up out of the ashes to become the dynamic nation it has. It’s just in the last few years that it has become an old boys club again and look at the consequences. A system like this certainly makes education more industry specific, all to the benefit of industry (and governments). I really think the students (and their parents) across the country should put the boots to the authorities having jurisdiction under threat of going on social assistance at the age of sixteen or continue being dependents of their parents forever. Let the buggers pay for that and outsource all their manufacturing, or import all their labor.
But who would think of such a thing? The government would more likely close all the universities completely and tell the students to go study somewhere else. All those buildings and all that green space could be turned into housing, much like many of the churches in Quebec. That would create a positive cash flow, and what after all are a few thousand students as opposed to the positive cash flow developers could generate?
The short sightedness of combatants in these situations is both predictable and disappointing. I guess they don’t have a university of common sense up there in Quebec. At least, that’s how it looks to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin’.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Great Mis-tery

The Great Mis – tery
I didn’t know what I was going to write about this week until somebody who was caught telling a big fat whopper of a lie admitted that he had ‘misspoken’. I think it was Elmer McKay’s kid, Peter- our Minister of National Defense. I think what he meant was misrepresentation, but that of course would infer a lie now wouldn’t it? Somehow, if you misspeak something, it mitigates the deliberate lie into an accidental misuse of words. I gotta admit, the kid’s got talent.
Ever since he deep-sixed David Orchard during the Conservative Party’s leadership campaign, he’s been movin’ on. There was the business of his being on the board of directors of Beaver Lumber that he just never thought about. Then there was his helicopter use from fishing camps to government meetings etc. Not to mention the cost of the F-35 fighter jets, which is even more of an embarrassment. Oh and the cost of the Libyan campaign, now that was a real humdinger. Well, and Afghanistan wasn’t exactly a smooth ride either and it’s not over yet.
I tell you, the guy has a boilerplate hide, I’ll give him that. He has to have with the number of times he’s been caught ‘misspeaking’. To him, misspeaking is different than misrepresenting. Misrepresenting – now that would be an outright lie. But misspeaking on the other hand is merely having said the wrong thing (or the thing wrong) in the first place. It’s much more dignified and doesn’t imply any harm having been done.
I never understood until now why Stephen Harper, himself a misspeaker of the highest order, kept this dunce in in his cabinet for so long. Of course, it’s obvious if you think about it. The hot water McKay continually finds himself in is a perfect ruse to keep opposition members busy on the attack in one direction while he goes about his business doing other things that don’t favor the Canadian people. He can mismove here and there and nobody will ever even notice. Mind you, he’s getting pretty close to the precipice with that high tech deal with China. I wonder whose door he’s going to nail the consequence of that on.
Well, I may have misspoken on the subject, even on the people, but I don’t think so. Ask Belinda Stronach. She saw right through Peter’s pretty obvious plans and dumped not only him, but the whole damn Conservative Party in the process. And she isn’t even the brightest light on the Christmas tree.
If I misrepresented Peter McKay’s character or his actions, I must have misspoken, so there’s no need to apologize. Well that’s the way he does it. At least that’s how it seems from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Depression - The New Disease

Depression – The New Disease
How depressing! Doesn’t the medical profession have enough to do without raising up another dilemma to medical status. Good Lord! Has nobody ever been depressed before? But it’s reaching frightening heights they say! Well of course it is. Look at how many more people are around these days for heaven’s sake. That certainly accounts for greater numbers, but it doesn’t elevate it to a new status of an official disease!
Well from a marketing standpoint, I suppose depression is a good product to latch on to. There’s a huge inventory of whiners and complainers out there to be serviced. By making it an official disease, you can prescribe drugs, have support groups and sell all kinds of depression products and create a whole industry, much as they did with Aids/HIV in the eighties. Look at the money they made with that! This depression business could be even bigger. Look at all the things you can be depressed about. You can even get depressed about being depressed.
Of course, what they play on is sympathy and we fall right into it like sheep being led by the Judas goat. Before you know it we’re on a two hundred dollar a month prescription for anti-depressants and silly pills. Might as well have a lobotomy.
Well let me tell you what my daughter said to me just today. I don’t know how we got on the subject, but she reminded me that she has what is diagnosed as an imbalance of seretonin in her brain and is subject to depression and anxiety attacks. She was on all kinds of medication for that. But she was determined to get off the meds. She analyzed the situation and saw that she had two options: either stay home, get fat and die – or – get out, enjoy life, laugh and live life to the fullest. Holy Cow! Now there’s some kind’a medicine!
Nobody said that it was easy, least of all my daughter. But as the English and the Indians would say “Bloody Hell”! That’s good medicine! The only thing is it doesn’t benefit the medical profession or the drug companies.
Why do we listen to these idiots anyway? Well, for starters, we go to them for advice. Secondly, their education is supposed to give them the tools to give proper advice. Quite frankly, if there were an office you could go to when you are depressed and there was a great big guy there with steel-toed boots to kick your sorry ass and send you on your way, you would be much better off. At least, that’s how it looks to me from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Human Hybrid

The Human Hybrid
I guess you never compared a car or airplane to a human body. Neither did I until the other day. Well then a number of people I know started having strokes. Mini, mild, medium strokes seem to be the latest fad in how to get sick. Nobody knows it’s going to happen until after the fact, but you sure get a lot of attention afterwards. One of the people I know has had a number of mini strokes over the last ten or fifteen years without ever even knowing it. But it shows up in the MRI tests he had to do. It seems he wasn’t as invincible as he’d thought.
What does all this have to do with cars? Well, hybrids, that’s what. It’s just a comparison of sorts. I mean, you got these electric cars these days that have got everything hooked up from a GPS system to gauges that give notice when the oil is low and even automatic parking for heaven’s sakes. And it’s all run off a two hundred forty-dollar computer. The only fly in the ointment is the battery. You can only go so far or so fast until you have to charge the blamed thing up again.
Well, that’s the principle. It just happens that the human body already has it’s own operating system: that is to say, it runs all the time. You might say the heart would provide the service of an alternator. In other words, it’s charged up all the time. No need to plug yourself in anywhere. You’re body is always charged up. And the wiring is pretty good too. But sometimes there are surges causing malfunctions or even short circuits from time to time.
What’s needed is a regulator to override such surges like the cause of a stroke or a heart attack. That would be good. You could even install an inhibitor to dull the senses when you have a craving for chocolate or booze.
My God! The possibilities are endless. Just think, with the miniaturization of electronics, it would be possible to implant one of these little regulators into the body of an infant at birth and it would immediately be in control of ensuring that the human wiring is adjusted in conformity of what was originally intended. Thus one would expect to live a normal long and healthy life without the worry of illness, unhealthy cravings or behaviors during the course of it.
Well, you could call this tinkering with the human system – genetic modification, as it were. I don’t think so. I think in fact that the opposite is the case. It’s un-tinkering of the bad habits that civilization has foisted upon us, a correction of all those bad habits to a state of perfection that was the norm in the days before we became civilized.
Just think what this little regulator would do. The medical profession would no longer be necessary. Neither would the drug companies. The whole food industry would adjust itself to healthy eating. And if we were inclined to become peaceful, the arms business would disappear. Imagine that. A little gadget would roll us back five to ten thousand years, and ahead by who knows how much.
It’s not as though nobody has never thought of this before. They have indeed. For a long time people have been tinkering with the electricity of the brain. In fact, one fellow even drew a schematic of the basic wiring system in the brain. But all these people were project specific. Some were concerned with Parkinson’s disease, others with Alzheimer’s, and so on. Nobody has worked on an overall fixer upper gadget though, and that’s what’s needed. At least that’s how it looks from up here on the top shelf.

Just sayin’.