Open Letter to Shitty People: Part Two – To My Climate Denying Friend/Relative/Acquaintance

I’m not going to use your name. I’m not even going to give a clue to others how I know you. However, when you do recognize that I am talking to you, also realize my attempt to keep your identity, and thus the horrible nature of your personality, secret from others knowing exactly how bad of a person you really are. Also realize how terribly disappointed in you I am.

One would think that at some point in your adult life you would have learned that simply denying the existence of a problem does not make it cease to exist. It will sneak up from behind and tear off a sizable chunk of your ass. Nor is it appropriate to discount the obvious, those things I don’t need to mention because they’re bloody obvious. I don’t know, maybe you’re just eeking out the rest of your life in blissful ignorance of them because you don’t want to think about it.

However, you keep bringing up the topics. The obvious answer is that you do want to think about it. You keep thinking about it and talking about it until you rage about it. It’s partially about the rage, though. You love to rage, it feels good and in the end you have the feeling of triumph. But that feeling of disappointment creeps in, because even though you tell me exactly how wrong and stupid I am I still “don’t understand”.

It does astound me that someone as “highly educated” as yourself still doesn’t accept reality. In fact, I question your true motivations. Is the evidence uncomfortable and it’s just easier to crap all over anything that threatens your artificial comfort zone, or are you deliberately being an asshole? Yes, that last word was necessary. It expresses exactly the kind of person you would be if you were doing all this on purpose.

The pleasantries boat already sailed a long time ago when you shifted to badly hidden insults and lies to wallpaper over the gaping holes of your philosophy. Suck it up or not, the facts – or all the consequences of ignoring them – don’t care whether or not you believe them. I don’t care either.

Open Letter to Shitty People – Part One: To My Racist Friend/Relative/Acquaintance

I’m not going to use your name. I’m not even going to give a clue to others how I know you. However, when you do recognize that I am talking to you, also realize my attempt to keep your identity, and thus the horrible nature of your personality, secret from others knowing exactly how bad of a person you really are. Also realize how terribly disappointed in you I am.

One would think that at some point in your adult life you would have learned some semblance of humanity, especially since you had seen and been through so much of the exact same vitriolic hatred that you so proudly display.

Let’s dive right in, shall we? I don’t know or care to speculate, politically.  I’m more concerned about the failure of basic moral reasoning. What it is that really drives someone to accuse an entire ethnic group of people that they’re “filthy”, “stink”, and are “diseased”? What happens that makes an otherwise reasonable human being become so ignorant and disrespectful for entire populations of other human beings? I would joke and say that so-and-so isn’t racist, so-and-so hates everyone equally.

But that’s not true either, is it? Because you do have your favourites, you announce them with the same hubris you use on those you hate. I can only guess that it’s because you honestly feel that it exonerates you from the dirty, stinking and diseased opinions you have of the others. You ought to reasonably know that it doesn’t actually work that way. Hating someone for no other reason but ethnic background is still discrimination, it is still racism and it is still absolutely wrong no matter how many others you chose to like to make up for it. That’s an egg that cannot be un-boiled.

It’s not even that you don’t know better. You absolutely know that what you are doing is wrong on the most fundamentally moral level. It’s not that you’re stupid either. That you have set up such an elaborate web of cultural biases is a testament to your intellect.

It’s not just wasted effort, either.  It’s the fact that you know you’re charging at windmills that is most concerning.  There were times that I regarded you with high respect for what you have actually accomplished. Now I find it difficult feeling anything but disgust. I’m not sorry to say this, but you’re simply a morally inferior being… and I think you may know that too.

Me Watching US Politics Right Now…

Me Watching US Politics Right Now…
You know, it’s just too damned funny some of the stuff the power elite is pulling and getting away with.  Not the part where they’re getting away with it as much as it’s the people letting them do it for so long, and now they’re feeling the fruits of those labours.  That’s the funniest, right there.


Talk is an Investment in Survival

I am a story teller by nature and the tales I tell are for entertainment. I create works of fiction deliberately. When I do tell a story that is based on truth I endeavor to not distort reality, or fill in blanks with supposition, opinion or judgement. By now you may begin to see the difference between a work of truth and one of fiction. Both are stories, but one has a necessity to be truthful… the other not. We often mix the two while we struggle to perceive what we feel is truth.

I went to the KFC in North Central (Dewdney) the other week and while waiting I greeted an elderly woman. Yes, I did notice that she appeared native. Noticing is not a crime, by the way. The crime is when one invigorates an incorrect theme by injecting fiction into it. The woman and I had a lengthy conversation.  We discussed the last couple of days, shared with each other something personal an unique.  We both enjoyed the conversation… at least she appeared to, and I am not in the business of questioning the obvious.  What I learned is that she was a minor hockey league fan, that her grandson played that very weekend,  that she was very proud of the boy, the work he put into his role on the team and the skill he mastered. There was no necessity to fill in blanks with supposition, opinion and judgement.

Our strength as a species is a combination of our differences and similarities together in the right proportions.  We are humans, and we became the pinnacle of evolution on earth, not by pretending we know a stranger and not by mixing fiction with reality. We became successful because we talked, learned and cared for each other. I know something truthful about another human being, not because I assumed a stereotype, but because we talked.


We Waste the Few Opportunities We Get For Change

How many elections will we allow to pass before we realize that we can no longer wait for the changes that need to happen?  The pattern I see is clear.  An election year arrives, we listen to party platforms, propaganda, flame wars and the kind of dialogue that is unhelpful and divisive.  We place our vote and wait to see who “wins”.  When the party we voted for doesn’t get in we say “oh, well… four more years and we’ll try again”.  We don’t really realize how few kicks at that can we really get.  Hell, I didn’t even realize it until 10 minutes before this sentence, while watching a Real News Network interview.

Let’s do that math now, shall we?  I’m 50 years old.  The legal age to vote in Canada is 18.  So far I have had 32 years as a legal voter in Canada.  Let’s divide that by a typical 4 year term.  The answer is pathetic.  I have had about 8 opportunities to vote in Canada’s federal elections.  I have had 8 opportunities since 1985 (rough calculation but it is very close).  

Back in 1985 I was young, ignorant and hopeful for the future.  That first election was a landmark moment for me.  I mean, I was able to finally vote!  Being a young, new voter I had no clue about the political environment, the nitty-gritty of political issues and how they related to me personally.  Out of the last 8 years I voted for the CPC 3 times, thinking that if mom and dad liked the CPC than I should also.  After all they knew something I didn’t, or so I thought at the time.  The next two elections I abstained from voting, because I reached a conclusion that the Conservatives were not going to be the best for Canada… ever.  

Yet I was still not Liberal and I wasn’t going to vote for them, as mom hated them, and if mom hated them there had to be a good reason.  I felt it was pointless to vote at all, so for a time I just stopped caring about my vote.  I didn’t feel it mattered and my voice was drowned out by a multitude.  By this time I blew away about 5 elections just learning the political environment.  I was 38 years old, give or take.  I became a Liberal supporter shortly after this, because I felt that I finally understood that the state our nation was in was obviously because of the misgovernment of the CPC.  So, in the following 2 elections it was the LPC who I voted for.  As an aside there was that extra one in there due to that proroguing incident that avoided the non-confidence vote against Harper, but that is an aberration in the pattern.  

But then, something happened.  Something broke inside my brain that shattered the illusion of the entire party system.  I refocused my attention with a distrust that I never felt before.  For 7 out of 8 elections I had voted with a level of ignorance that today I find appalling.  This last federal election I voted strategically, with many others, just to get a tyrant out of office.  I voted NDP, and not because I believed anything they said.  By the way, the Conservative candidate in my riding didn’t win.

So, what is the point of this personal history?  Why am I telling you all this?  Out of 40 years as an eligible voter, I only got 8 or 9 chances to have my voice heard.  Each time it didn’t matter what the party platform was, what promises were made/honoured/broken, or what controversy ruled from moment to moment.  Until very recently I hadn’t really realized how untrustworthy and inept every single politician is.  I found that it didn’t matter who was in power, who promised what or who did what behind the backs of the voters.  Our country still seems to be sliding further down Parliament Hill, and if it continues in this manner, it will drown in the raging river of history.  Last election I put in great effort in my writings, cartoons, memes, and social media comments to push this point home.  Because I wasted 8 elections learning this does not mean that everyone has to waste a good portion of their life figuring it out.  Being an optimist, I would like to think that I have about another 12 elections left in me and I’d like to spend the next 50 years of my life in relative security.  

My point is simply that we all only get a few shots in our lifetimes.  I get the feeling that our political system knows this and uses this to keep the same pattern of robbery and ruin going.  I mean, after a while new generations of foolable people become eligible to vote and the cycle begins anew.  So… exactly how many elections are will all willing to let pass until we wake up and demand the change we need?  How many campaigns of lies are we willing to suspend disbelief in, and how many times are we going to play the my-party-is-best game, until we start using our votes effectively in order to kill the status quo?


Since September 11, 2001

It’s not about the Muslims. It’s never been about the Muslims. It’s not even about terrorists, either. It’s about excuses that give permission to corporations, corporations that contract out their own military to the government, to move in and take valuable resources (in this case oil) from those nations. Have you not noticed that every administration has their own war, for their own corporations (republican corporations or democrat corporations) and only in countries that have a valuable resource (in this case oil rich nations)?

Did you not even try to wonder why it is that ISIL exists in the first place? Did you keep yourself blind to the fact that when the US “pulled out” of Iraq that they left behind military hardware, into which ISIL somehow came into possession? Why does this not seem very odd to you?

Okay, did you honestly not realize that the US government uses, non government, military contractors in Middle East nations? That’s what “contractors” actually means, my friends. Did you know that “military contractors” is simply a longer way to say “mercenary”? Well, it is. Now that you know that little truth, that seems to skip by every single news agency (including the “good” ones), you can pretty much deduce that when the US says it is “pulling out” their troops from a foreign nation, they are actually NOT pulling out the mercenaries they hired. Those “corporate” troops get to stay and work for the best interest of, not the American people, not the nations that have been suffering the effects of ISIL, but for US corporations that are only interested in increasing their capital? Did you also not realize that the profit they make NEVER “trickles down” to the people, for the people… and is never handled by the people?

Did you not know that it doesn’t matter if you are liberal or conservative, LGBT or hetero, white/black/hispanic/asian etc., you are still suffering from corporatism? If you have to work 9-5 – and often 7 days a week, just to survive – did you not realize that YOU are not profiting from these wars? You are being used. If you hate Muslims it is because you have been fooled into patterns of thought that misdirects your rage (often invented and not true) toward other people who find these wars – and the hate that is manufactured to support them – despicable?

Conflict is manufactured, for the monetary gain of a few people. It doesn’t matter if you hate or like Muslims or any other ethnic group, because as long as you are busy fighting those who are not in control, you are NOT fighting those who are guilty of the real crimes perpetrated against human beings all over the world every day. As long as white fights against black, poor against poorer, this situation can NEVER be solved. Wake the hell up!


The Wonder & Potential of Trappist-1

When the Spitzer space telescope was launched in 2003 few (if any) imagined that it would be used to find planets orbiting around the red dwarf star, Trappist-1. Yet that’s what the research group, headed by Michael Gillon, astronomer at the University of Liege, Belgium had done. Spitzer was not initially intended to find planets. It’s mission was to observe the universe in infrared wavelengths. The team that discovered the new worlds in Trappist-1, saw the potential in Spitzer and worked toward making this wonderful discovery possible. This find is amazing for many reasons, but those that I see that are at the leading edge are; three of the seven are nested beautifully in the habitable zone of the host star, and the strong suggestion of liquid water.

How water managed to get onto these three worlds is not completely known, however the team theorizes that the planets in question started further out from the star, where water ice was abundant during the system’s formation, and migrated inward to their current orbits. I’ve looked for the reasoning behind this and did not find any. However, I will take a rough stab at it. All seven worlds around Trappist-1 A influence each other gravitationally. They tug, pull and jostle one another as they circle the star in days-long orbits. This aspect of their behaviour tells me that these worlds would have been prevented from forming in the number and sizes they have so close to the star itself. If planets formed that close there would not have been that many. Some of the seven planets had to have formed elsewhere. In the end the matter that we see as seven planets would have formed perhaps three or four larger planets. But, this is not what we see.

Additionally, it is doubtful that water would survive so close to the star in ice form long enough to be delivered to the protoplanetary bodies. The water had to have been delivered further out where the star’s warmth could not melt, and evaporate, that water once the Trappist-1 A protostar began its core-burning, main sequence, life.

Whatever we discover about these planets is guaranteed to be extremely valuable, whether or not there is life on any or all of them. We are certain to learn more about how earth-like worlds form. The conditions required for stable orbiting, water bearing, life sustaining planets is turning out to be a very complicated story. The answers to the questions we ask will definitely lead to more complex questions. Discoveries such as this are the planetesimals that coalesce into a better understanding of how we got here, who and what we are and where we’re going.