Friday, 25 November 2011

Cannabis - FRANKs campaign of fear



During a random sweep to review cannabis articles on the internet, I decided to visit FRANK, a government funded, drug advice website, to find out what their advice, expertise and experience with cannabis and users are. After a quick scan of the content regarding cannabis, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry with disbelief at the stereotypical parody, particularly the overstated effects. Talk about pre-war caricatures set in a seedy flat and preying on people's fear! Maybe masturbation will turn me blind and insane after all. Then I came across this article: http://www.talktofrank.com/drug/cannabis

"The regular use of cannabis is known to be associated with an increase in the risk of later developing psychotic illnesses including schizophrenia. If you have a family background of mental illness, you may have an increased risk of developing a psychotic illness using cannabis."

Aside from selling me the idea that cannabis carries the same effects as tobacco (Total fabrication of truth and using a bong removes the harmful element altogether) AND that cannabis makes you hallucinate (Something that has never happened to me in 25 years), I was particularly angered because there was no opportunity to reply. Comically there is a huge 'YES' button asking if the article helped. It appears they aren't interested if you question their logic. Without being able to question the statement online, I wrote to 'FRANK' by quoting the statement and adding;


"Please can you forward the source of your information for this statement. Thank you".


The following day they wrote back:

"Hi,
Thanks for getting in touch with FRANK regarding the information on the website.
You have come through directly to a FRANK adviser. We do not carry the research material for the website. The best way to access the information would be via http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk We hope this has helped. Kind regards, FRANK"


Well, um, FRANK (Is this a real person?), not really. I had expected more to be perfectly honest and not just referral to the generic Home Office site. I did track down information regarding cannabis on the Home Office site. It is mostly about the classification of cannabis and the punishment for the possession and for dealing. I finally located a paper hidden away, after trawling through their search box. It associated cannabis alongside general hard drug use, like injecting heroin. It also highlighted non-scientific 'persuasion' of the aforementioned ill-health effects. I wrote back to FRANK.

"Hi,
Thanks. I'm disappointed. Whenever I put information on my site it is based on research and experience. If you are just pulling information from the government aren't you worried that the information is biased and political rather than scientific. If you hand out advice that isn't independent how can you be an honest point of reference. Basically do you actually have any experts or knowledge to advise me on my original question?"

I haven't heard back from FRANK but what is clear about FRANK is that it will tell lies. It is simply a government propaganda website filling teenagers and their parents with fear. Remember too how, The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) advised against upgrading cannabis to a class B drug and how FRANK stated, on its site, that the ACMD backed the upgrade. Thus it does what it believes the government wants it to do and is clearly vetted. I even considered if it is run by direct government employees. There is no debate, no open forum, no opportunity to debunk or refute the information. Information is forced fed to its readers. This government funded site sells fear through biased one sided stories of woe that cannot be challenged.



There is no scientific evidence in existence that cannabis causes psychotic illness or schizophrenia. There are no known direct deaths linked to cannabis. This site is channelled to fuel fear into the people reading it. This is not the friendly, honest advice I was hoping to see. When a medium produces dishonest articles then who knows where the sources behind the readers' stories come from too. There is no way this site is regulated independently. If somebody wrote to the contrary that cannabis had reduced their pain through use or they had been using it for 30 years without adverse ill effect or offered real advice regarding caution over excess and supply or simply wanted to share great experience using cannabis the information would be deleted, left unused in the FRANK email tray or sent back to the government to keep records on you. Undeterred I wrote back to FRANK.

"Dear FRANK,
As I doubt I am likely to hear back from you, offering me any real advice based on scientific facts that cannabis has proven links to psychosis, here is my advice for you. 1. Please do research cannabis independently and base your findings and advice on science and experience and not on politics. 2. Please give your readers the right to reply by setting up a forum for open debate. 3. Please offer your careful advice to include drugs like alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and prescribed artificial drugs. Until then I will not be advising anyone to use your site."




I am still waiting for a reply.

Other related blogs by me:
http://philosophical-ranter.blogspot.com/2011/10/marijuana-is-safer-than-scaremongers.html
http://philosophical-ranter.blogspot.com/2011/11/be-clear-on-cannabis.html

Be CLEAR on cannabis


Which one is justified here? :


Downloading 800 child pornography photographs that include rape(800), a judge decides that this man obviously has no previous history and is no threat to children. That if he went to prison he would come out worse so there's the logic.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2065272/Paedophile-downloaded-extreme-child-porn-spared-prison-judge-says-make-WORSE.html


Or giving a two year sentence, for growing a substance to use and sell, that causes no significant harm to anybody using it. This guy clearly will not come out of jail worse for mixing with the criminal element.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/cannabis-grower-jailed-for-two-years-16082437.html?r=RSS


This is just a simple example of the ridiculous inequalities and injustice within our legal system and the lies and propaganda spewed out by our media, to scare everyday folk into believing cannabis is the same as all drugs. I could litter this blog with them. Following the propaganda in the Daily Mail, a young girl commits suicide. Her mental health issues tipped her reaction when she was revealed to having been using cannabis.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2065289/Tasmin-Dalton-16-hanged-clinic-staff-sent-cannabis-letter-mother.html?ito=feeds-newsxml


It is unbelievable that a substance that in direct contrast to cigarettes and alcohol is causing no harm to others, is treated by the law as worse than dabbling with the likes of child pornography. That can cause the death of a teenager because of the shame she felt for using a substance that carries such a socially unaccepted stigma. This is a sick tiresome world we live in and it is wrong.


Please get your weight behind legalising cannabis by supporting the bodies who work very hard to try to make this happen. Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR) http://clear-uk.org/ and Peter Reynolds @tweeterreynolds http://www.peter-reynolds.co.uk, are the main voice in the UK for the legalised use of cannabis. Much of the push surrounds the medicinal use of cannabis and for controlled use, akin to cigarettes and alcohol.


CLEAR have set out clear guidelines http://clear-uk.org/aims-objectives/ which I have set out below:


1. To end the prohibition of cannabis.
2. To promote as a matter of urgency and compassion the prescription of medicinal cannabis by doctors.
3. To introduce a system of regulation for the production and supply of cannabis based on facts and evidence.
4. To encourage the production and use of industrial hemp.
5. To educate and inform about the uses and benefits of cannabis

http://clear-uk.org/how-you-can-help/

Edited from their website, CLEAR is registered as a UK political party. It gives credibility, respectability and, during elections, a right to fair coverage in the media. They do not seek to win seats in parliament because they are concerned with only one issue. They aim to support politicians who will support a safer, more responsible policy of tax and regulation of cannabis. They will work against those who support prohibition.


I joined today!


If you are interested in this article please visit the CLEAR and add your signature to the petition as set out below. Thank you.



CLEAR Cannabis Law Reform
http://clear-uk.org/ Legalise cannabisResponsible department: Home Office A desire for the House of Commons to give a comprehensive debate regarding the merits of legalising cannabis. A need for Parliament to discuss the consequences of legalisation on health, the police force, the economy and our civil liberties. An aim to classify cannabis in line with drugs such as alcohol and tobacco. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29




Other related blogs by me:
http://philosophical-ranter.blogspot.com/2011/11/franks-campaign-of-fear.html
http://philosophical-ranter.blogspot.com/2011/10/marijuana-is-safer-than-scaremongers.html






Wednesday, 23 November 2011

So what are you angry about?


These are the rantings of an angry man!!!



I am sick to death of how we are all taken for a ride by corrupted governments, greedy bankers and overtly self-promoting corporations.




I am staggered by the corruption, conspiracies, legalised theft and lies that are common.




I'm amazed at how cruel capitalism is and how it creates poverty and death.




I detest all racism, discrimination and bullying




I'm perplexed by ridiculous laws telling people how to live.




I am sickened by the reasons for war and how we all just join in.




I detest the inappropriate level of advertising and commercialism.




I am fed up of insurance companies that will rob you blind and give little back.




I am tired of energy companies and other services ruining our environment.




I loathe 0845 numbers and all their exploiting sister numbers.




I'm baffled by the inhumanity and backwardness of all religion.




I'm pissed off with viruses and malware being inserted on my computer.




I hate the media and all its bias, lies and misleading reporting.




I couldn't give a damn about spoilt celebrities or made up soap drama and trash TV.





and finally and most of all...



I am frustrated by us, the people who allow all this to happen.



So what are you angry about?

Zeitgeist - Not so innocent beginnings







The clip above is part one of the movie "Zeitgeist" in collaboration with The Venus Project. If you would like to view the movie in its entirety check the links to the right of this blog. There are three movies in total and a fourth in the making. The Zeitgeist Movement (Zeit) is run by Peter Joseph and The Venus Project (Venus) is run by Jacque Fresco. This section of the film is tackling religion and the mythology behind it. Rather than just being about religion, the movies are much more than that. They are about social and political consciousness, the corruption and greed within and look at new social economical solutions through resource based economies as opposed to monetary systems.



I advise you to watch them all with an open mind. You'll never view the world again in the same way. They certainly had an impact on me. Personally, I found these movies inspirational and they challenged a lot of the questions and doubts we may ask ourselves. However, a word of caution. I'm not so blind that I believe everything I heard and saw in these movies, in much the same way as reading ' The Da Vinci Code'. I do accept that much of the evidence is tangible and many of the messages hold weight. It delivered us a message to wake up and look at our world, but the solutions come across as too eccentric and futuristic. I'd advise anyone viewing not to take everything you see here literally and carry out your own research. Don't want another Jared Loughner on our hands, do we?!


Tucson, Zeitgeist and Madness: The Obsolete Politics of Jared LoughnerUPDATE: Another E-Mail From a Zeitgeist Follower; Movement Leader Issues ‘Message to Members’

Posted on | January 15, 2011 |

http://theothermccain.com/2011/01/15/tucson-zeitgeist-and-madness-the-obsolete-politics-of-jared-loughner/

With regard to the conspiracies shown, I do buy into a lot of what has been said, but with caution. Capitalism is simply a label attached to an ideal. An economic system in our culture developed to acquire wealth in a free market by whatever means necessary, innocently or by underhand measures. This is my problem with the UK, Europe and the US today. It's that they have developed this USSR version of Capitalism which controls wealth for the privileged few while many others, suffer, starve and/or die. In truth most every culture has a hierarchy, corruption and an uneven division of wealth and material. There is no ideal standard. Where there is personal gain there is always greed and apathy towards others. We are merely spectators to those who control our economy and can only hope to ensure the people running the show are honest, which will always be very unlikely! Unfortunately the people who have power, are there because of the way they are. They are in power because they want the power. It has little to do with fairness, patriotism or simply looking after 'their' people.

Although I support the message of how the West has ruined many lives throughout history for its own welfare, I do find much of the solutions set out in the movie, too far out there. Hypothetically, if we had been born into a world that had never used a monetary system then the whole concept of working together as one, trading products and sharing resources would at best, only be possible with coercion, given our human tendency of  'one-up-man-ship'. As we do not, the logistics of changing to this resource based system would never happen. In it's implementation it would create major war, thus leading to human right issues, genocide, poverty and other abuses - all in the name of creating 'Utopia'. Starting to sound a lot like 'The New World Order', Super-humans and Eugenics now doesn't it?  It would never happen even if the economy crashed so hard that no one owned anything of value. Right or wrong, the nations would simply start all over again, revaluing the economy, currency and trading structures. Its a question of balance. Justice and equality can give rise to opportunity for everyone. The more we are all educated, the faster technology progresses, the better our survival hopes rise in the millenias to come.

Most of the movies' economic 'solutions', belong to Jacque Fresco of  'The Venus Project'. However, earlier this year the two groups split as they had a conflict of interest. I believe this was because Fresco and Co.,  felt that Peter Joseph (Zeitgeist) had become a law unto himself and was not promoting 'The Venus Project' enough. I understand Fresco wants to make a 'Venus Project' movie and was expecting funding and support from Joseph. This suggests to me that Joseph used 'The Venus Project' to nicely round off his movies with a solution, without truly believing in their ideology. I believe that Fresco also felt Joseph was passively passing off much of the ideas 'The Venus Project' has advocated for many years, as his own.




I applaud both groups for their efforts but am left feeling disappointed. They show us the problems with our world, the inequality and the corruption. They then offer up solutions, such as redesigning cities for maximum efficiency and super machines building everything, which to be honest starts feeling 'culty'. This is the major fail here for me. I would have liked these two groups to have been always kept separate. Together they have undone themselves. That these two groups have fallen out in relation to a concept that can only be described as 'hypothetical' is pretty sad. Boys, it's simply a nice dream that is not feasible because of our history and in truth, our inherent competitive nature.


If you enjoy these movies, I also recommend you watch "End of Poverty", "Inside Job" and "Food Inc". Oh and basically anything by Michael Moore such as "Farenheit 9/11" "Capitalism: A Love Story". Look out for "The Big Fix" too a follow up to the excellent documentary "Fuel".




Friday, 18 November 2011

The Incredibly Persuasive Wizard of Oz



"There's no place like home, there's no place like home..."

I consider myself semi-intelligent. I had a moderately good education. When it comes to sociology, politics, philosophy, economics or pragmatism, I am mostly self taught. Particularly as any teaching I did have on these subjects often focussed too much on individual theories and came from an angle, which was gobbledegook to me (great word).

Therefore I do not have an intricate knowledge of consumerism or all the economical rules to a finite level. Nor do I know the policies for banking and politics. I don't understand the red tape within the legal systems or its loopholes. Nor do I need to and nor am I supposed to. Let's face it a lot of these things are put in to baffle the average man into submission. It is all just smoke and mirrors. However don't let this dissuade you from getting involved. We do not need the over-educated pomposity to grasp a generalisation of right from wrong. We need only to be conscious of the world around us. We need only to be aware and to support our understanding through balanced objective information.


For all my understanding of world history, there is an undeniable and sinister link between all things; religion, politics, war, poverty and social economics. As I go through life educating myself on the ways of the world, I cannot help but be continually astonished at just how corrupt the ruling class really are. I have developed the holistic view of the ruling classes having limited conscience when it comes to limitless corruption, in order to acquire more and more power. I recognise that I am explicitly lied to and exploited by successive governments, advertising, business, religion and media, in order that I remain submissive to their needs.

But that isn't my focus for this rant.

Many of us do recognise that there is injustice and inequality in our world and that banks, corporations and the government achieve all manner of immorality, in a never ending quest for capital, acquisition and power. However, nothing angers me more than the absolute acceptance, the sheer ignorance, the ironical mocking or the complete apathy towards all these things by the people living it. The strongest supporter of capitalist oppression. YOU!


The absolute truth is this. The real power in the world belongs to the people. By sheer weight of numbers the people can overthrow governments, social structures, religions, etc. In fact any system the people disagree with can be opposed and got rid of. The people can do this through active protest and demonstration. Or they can do this by simply not participating. People power has at times shaped policy and rhetoric.

For the good it did, look at the short term success the boycotting of petrol pumps had when people stood together at grass roots level. I use this example because we can empathise with this and recognise our own dissatisfaction. I'd discuss people-power in the Middle East and how revolutions have overthrown governments but many of you may dismiss this as anarchic, militant or maybe even just get bored and stop reading.


Most cultures know the story of 'The Wizard of Oz'. You can either take this as a mad, meaningless story and on face value or you can question the thinking behind the book by Frank L. Baum in 1900. Some say it was a snipe at the rich who wanted to add silver to the gold standard (yellow brick road). Others throughout the century have used to suit their timeline. I will allow you to do your own research into the history of the story and the implied references. If you got this far you possibly will.  Indeed you can still use it today as an allegory for many subjects. For my blog it highlights people's reaction to the smoke and mirrors. So...

Dorothy represents the activist libertarians challenging the world and whisked off by a whirlwind of revolution. The witches represent political movements. The Wicked Witch of the East are the restraints to Liberty that have been opposed successfully (Communism). The Good Witch of the South (Libertarian Republican) encourages us to follow the yellow brick road (the route back to sound money) to find Oz (Fake Socialist) in Emerald City(Crony Capitalism, where they make money from thin air). She also gives us silver shoes (Money - They are silver shoes in the book :p). The Wicked Witch of the West is constantly throwing fear at us to try to stop our progress (Rival Republican). The final witch is not mentioned much at all (Possibly The Green party or the Loony party and all other marginal groups) - Give me a break, I'm making this up as I go along!


Along the yellow brick road we meet the general public! The Scarecrow (the manipulated and uneducated) The Tin Man (the uncaring, apathetic and passive) and The Cowardly Lion (those living in fear and who dare not question the law). We try to convince them to join us. As we get closer to our objective, Winged Monkeys (self regulating members of public, crony capitalist, media, police and military) keep attacking us to stop us from challenging the system. (Shut up they shout. Pah!)


We finally get to Emerald City and challenge the all powerful mighty Oz. With fear we ask for his help to bring back Liberty but he will not help us. Not unless we vote him back in, then he will gladly put our issues on his agenda. If we agree his rival The Wicked Witch of The West will melt away. We agree but on our return we discover that we've been lied to. We were manipulated to believe Oz is all powerful, but he isn't. He is self-serving, corrupt, weak and a greedy fat puppet run by Emerald cities bankers and corporations and keeps order by making us all live in fear. Dorothy, the voice of the people, demands Oz to grow a pair and help us. Ooh and this is the best bit...



Along with sentiment, sound-bites and well wishes, Oz hands out; A brain to the ignorant - 'made of bran, which he mixed with a great many pins and needles'; A heart to the apathetic - 'made entirely of silk and stuffed with sawdust'; Courage to the cowardly - 'A square green bottle of liquid???'

So basically, tokenistic changes to appease and yet have no real worth to us. Oz doesn't have anything real to give us but get this - EVERYBODY is happy! (Mr. Baum, you are so idealistic!)Or at least after all the demonstrations and objections and effort, nothing really changes and everyone settles back down. Even Dorothy who represents the Libertarian revolution is silenced by this illusion. Why? Not only because humans are corruptible and selfish or easily confused but because they generally given up. We get our dose of bullshit and are elevated into the vague clouds and go home. And Oz simply goes back to fooling everyone until the next Oz is voted in.



And the moral of the story is... There is one?

Even when people are provided with the truth and there is ample information providing it (9/11 and JFK, CIA and drugs, control policies, poverty through greed, lying media, banking that only creates debt, corruption within our financial system, illegal wars murdering millions of innocents etc., etc., etc.), the people will continually do nothing. The true power belongs to the people yet they do nothing and not because they can't organise themselves. The people are, The Scarecrow, The Tinman, The Cowardly Lion and the Winged Monkeys. They are passive, confused, uneducated, resistant, uncaring, apathetic, lazy, corrupt, violent and fearful. And those who do resist are also  corruptible, marginalised, brutalised, smeared or even got rid of  (shh). In any case people will continually fall for the illusions of Oz because he baffles the average man. It's all smoke and mirrors to help the rich stay rich. And that's what makes him so clever.

Ok  Breathe....calm, calm. Aaaaah. And rest.

Now. Did I mention Alice in Wonderland and Horton hears a Hoo? Well....

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Poppy Day Racists

Have been reading a lot of information and history regarding remembrance day and wearing a poppy 'with pride'. It does hold value and makes me proud. However, I have also noticed some aggressive notices amongst the messages. One which annoyed me most said, more or less, "...if you don't like our poppy fuck off out of OUR country."

I respect those who died and those who survived the wars and indeed anyone who struggles through adversity. I am also all for the many cultural and traditional beliefs that make up our nation, as well as every nation. I believe in embracing the colourful world we live in, regardless of what my own beliefs are.

I disliked the message in its totality and believe it serves no purpose today. Nor does it honour those who served and died in that war. It's a personalised, pointedly racist statement at a imagined cultural enemy that has no merit and even detracts from the ideal of remembering our nations loss.

Education, to the moronic, is dull and time consuming. They kid themselves they are superior to others, through a manipulated belief inherited from our historic leaders and forefathers. We English are so arrogant to believe that our wartime losses, our parades, our traditions etc., hold more value than any other nation's own identities, sufferings and victories?! Trying to bring people together through culture, national pride and education is lost to the racist.

Now I'm not unread enough to believe that there is no contempt towards the English from other communities and cultures in and outside of the UK. Of course there is. These are the people who share the same destructive thoughts as our own morons.

The morons grab an idea and pass it around without having come into any contact with cultural hate or negativity at all. This is sheer racism through the inherited hate of people they don't understand.

Incredibly most of the morons DO know these people on a micro level. Some will be friends, colleagues, even family from the supposed opposing communities they are spouted nonsense at. Irrational, suspicious, thoughtless, mindless drivel.

In truth, the ethnic minorities have better reason to hold the English in contempt, considering that we helped ourselves to their resources over the centuries and left many nations with dodgy leaders, no infrastructure, poverty and death. And when I say WE, I do mean OUR masters. These same masters who still send soldier-servants to die for their wealth and benefit today.

We, fortunate (or not ), live the commercial, celebrity, capitalist world we were born into. We just don't question it, but do look down our noses at those who were less fortunate to be born in a country we rape, every time we see them protest against corruption and dictatorship in their own lands.

I do believe in tradition and culture but also in an education, so that we can better understand the truth behind the world and its order. At the same time, tradition belongs to history and is no use today because it also belongs with ownership.

'OUR COUNTRY' is a divisive message creating an obstacle to a better message 'OUR WORLD'. Our world is simply a matter of rock formations, minerals and resources. This is why we fight each other.

A peaceful and fair world sees everyone get fed, have electricity, clean drinking water, tarmac on the roads, street lighting and homes where pretentious celebrities preen themselves on the telly. There is absolutely no reason why that couldn't have happened at the same time as our land was developed and can be happening today other than for corporate greed and corporate manslaughter.

Wear your poppy with pride? Absolutely.

Embrace national pride and cultural difference?
Without question.

Ignore and eradicate destructive morons from every culture?
Definitely.

PS. If you get time viewer, watch this movie. It's an excellent history lesson.

http://t.co/i0rMrQ9e

Monday, 14 November 2011

Open letter to the enemy of progression




Open letter to the enemy of progression

Updated 05/12/11: The videos below are not uncommon of a right wing view toward the Occupy movement. A movement that is beyond political persuasions and fights for social awareness, social conscience and a fairer system. My reply to these videos are set out  below in this blog. As yet I haven't received a reply.











http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2qqRFYv3ao&list=LLF85XUsZdxA_wrh1dclEgKw&feature=mh_lolz


I've written on some of your videos before but have brought my overall comment here, where it is easier to digest. Firstly though, I watched your videos and feel that your utter contempt for a certain social group(young, unemployed, overeducated socialists), is shrouding your view and blocking any real message you may want to deliver. It's also allowing you to avoid the actual message being brought forward. Please focus on the issues and not on a pointedly directed attack on some of the people conducting this movement through the Occupy protests. Many people supporting this movement are at home and not on the streets. We are not only, "young, unemployed, overeducated hipsters" but of all ages and cultures; employed and retired; working and middle class; and from many nations. We certainly do not fall into your narrow social categorizations in a crude attempt to stereotype this movement as socialist. Also the majority of supporters, probably 99% have not ever been down to the protests. This movement is worldwide, not just in your city and not just in the street. Please try to get beyond your political stance and your prejudice of who you believe is supporting this, because it will constantly cloud your opinion on the subject, leaving you unreasonable. Focus on the issues that are being discussed and make a fair argument against it, if that is your wish .................
Some of your points are interesting. I do agree with some of what you say regarding corporations and  commercialism. To my understanding this is a movement in its infancy and needs more direction. I believe the Vietnam movement took 3 years to really get organised before 50% of the country were behind it and against the war. I do understand your anger too at the way some protestors conduct themselves. I'd be angry too if it were my place and people were creating a mess and committing crime, which obviously detracts from the message and is sad to hear.  I do hope you are open to the argument from the other point of view too. Without getting too long winded, capitalism is being challenged by the people that live within it. That means something's wrong. So what's wrong? Well the crux of the matter is simple. This is about corruption, greed and inequality, how the economy has been raped and how this imbalance has a direct effect on people, the environment and poverty. It's not just local to you, it's worldwide. People understand that their money is wasted, they understand how they are being lied to and they understand that millions of people die needless deaths every year.  They understand colonisation and corporate slavery and even the exploitation of the Asian workforce for commercial gain. Those supporting this movement will have varying agendas as to what their priority for change is, but everyone is agreed that the greed and corruption, at the top has to stop.

Over educated unemployed student?




My angle on fairness begins with assisting third world countries to the level we enjoy. To improve their infrastructure and to develop trade and relations. Nobody needs to die through lack of food. This simply does not need to happen. I live within a culture of consumerism and commercialism and by doing so I affect the lives of those in less fortunate countries. Ultimately, I allow people to die so that I can live the life that I do. My conscience asks, 'what can I do about it?' Give all my possessions away? But then my family would go hungry and would hate me and I’d achieve nothing. Volunteer for charity? I have done much of this over the years, along with millions of other thoughtful, caring people. That doesn't seem to make much difference or even scratch the surface either. In fact, there is more people living in poverty today than there was forty years ago. That's before all the popular charitable events and organised concerts and celebrity aid programmes even started.

Occupy Wall Street elderly department


How can that be?  I must educate myself and find out why. Oh right! Well shame on me and the rest of Western civilisation. We don't just let people die by turning our backs. We are also directly killing them too. Not just neglect. Manslaughter and murder. We've been raping other countries through our banks, corporations and governments ever since we could sail any distance and claiming their land and property. I feel ashamed that we as civilised people are allowing other people to die so needlessly. It is backward and unforgivable of us as intelligent beings. We do this, as a society, through various ways, indirectly like ignorance and neglect, and directly like stripping the assets from their lands, buying third world leaders, deception, assassination, war, sabotage, murder, conspiracy, propaganda, creating impossible debt, corporate theft, land ownership, slavery, manufacturing chaos (I could go on). All this before we can get into dumbing-down education or pharmaceuticals or Federal Reserve or CIA or religion or 9/11 or terrorism.  

84 year old lady, pepper sprayed by police at the Occupy Wall Street site.

Even prior to that, the rulers were doing this to their own people and actually, they still are and the wealth inequality gap is getting wider and wider and those who do work hard, even the two parent working families, are on benefits to supplement their wages? And you know what. I am as big a hypocrite as the rest . Otherwise, I'd live in a wigwam with my knitted clothes, eating vegetables, which I grew myself, out of a clay bowl that I created in my homemade kiln. But then, if I was and so were all the other supporters, you'd say, don't listen to these gypsies, hippy new age travellers or communist and blah, blah, blah.  But… we aren’t. We are capitalist questioning capitalism. Forget political persuasions and prejudices. This is social conscience, not socialism.

Occupy Madrid

You and I DO mean to stereotype you as the typical arrogant conservative capitalist, who because you're doing 'alright' cannot possibly understand anybody who does not. The type that will always find reason, not to dip their hand in their pocket to help a charitable cause! You, along with all the passives (people who don’t care enough or  who fear the law), the materialists (people that only care about themselves and  their image), the uneducated (people who just don’t understand) and the imbeciles (immature haters who write vile provocation on everything just to amuse themselves) are the true obstacles to change. And you my friend are at the absolute pinnacle (and I do hope you are just too blinded by your own smug bias and affluence and aren’t just an imbecile hater), because you are intelligent and you understand the issue. You are the worst because you self govern and even police, without the need for government intervention or direction. You are a bigger obstacle than getting the banks to assist the poor, because through pressure they could be prompted. Where as you are so set in your ways, it is nigh on impossible for you ever to see beyond your own narrow view on life.

Occupy London

Change, can't happen over night, so designer clothes and other corporate material are not going to just go away and besides which, that’s not what this is about. To be frank though, I certainly wouldn't miss many of them and I'd be much happier with 95% less commercialism surrounding me everyday AND for the money saved on advertising to go to the third world. I do believe profit is necessary and materials are fine. As long as we're in a monetary system that's what it’s all about. But there has to be a sensible limit to individual wealth, power and ownership. Life could change for the better but firstly millions of people (like yourself) need to believe and care about fairness. Denying this movement is harmful because it continues to see people dead, making a video against a movement challenging an unfair system, in order to eradicate greed is thoughtless and to stereotype the people who follow this movement, as being unemployed and over educated is false, narrow minded and misleading.

Occupy Milan

I'm on philosophicalranter@gmail.com or alternatively, godfather_cwq@yahoo.com and I'm on twitter as @godfather_cwq. If you or anyone wants to discuss this I shall happily find time to reply to polite discussion.  I found your video through a comment made by an American, after watching Zeitgeist 1 and 2 on YouTube(see links). He was a young educated, American male who wasn't crude, ill-informed or bigoted and that gives me hope that the kids might actually alright. 

Occupy Seoul, Korea

And finally, just to assist you with your demographics further, I am 44 years old, a white, working middle class male, from England, married with 4 children. We are both employed. I’m in health, my wife is in education. We live in a semi-detached, drive a Honda Jazz and I’m writing this on my iPhone. (The parts, of which are assembled in China. Something we both should take that up with Apple because like thousands of other Western companies, it’s wrong, it hurts our economies AND that's your pocket, mate).

Friday, 11 November 2011

The torch; be yours to hold it high

 I agree with some of the sentiments I have read regarding Rememberance Day but not with the reasoning. I understand some of the ill feeling, and where it comes from, but let me say this. It's wrong. There is much resentment be it, cultural, political or religious. Some consider 'The Poppy' to be 'symbolised imperialism, some say it is disrespectful to other cultures. I disagree with a lot of this nonsence. I also disagree with the flag waving mindset of ownership that incites division and conflict.

For me it simply is this. The poppy was chosen as a symbol by popular demand to represent Armistice day after a poem, called, 'Flander's Fields' by John MCrae, was sent to the magazine 'Punch'.

Armistace day itself was a concept created, following an open letter to the London Evening News was sent by Edward Honey. This was through collective pressure from the public who didn't know how best to celebrate the anniversary for the END OF WAR.

 He 'had been prompted to make the suggestion as he had been angered by the way in which people had celebrated with dancing in the streets on the day of the Armistice, and believed a period of silence to be a far more appropriate gesture in memory of those who had died at war'. He also suggested the date, which was honoured the following year.

In short, 'The poppy' and 'Rememberance day' was created by the people, for the people and belongs to the people. It is specifically chosen to represent this particular war (WW1) alongside others within our Western culture, so that we remember. They symobolise a way to respect those who fell, away from the rhyme and reason, away from the bureaucracy and hypocrisy, away from denial and lies.

Yes this war and all wars are a tragic waste of life and have caused much pain and suffering and anger for those who remain. We are all serving the nation in some way, like it or not. This is not adverse to that struggle. You may have a personal battle or a sense loss and anger. You may view the poppy with political intensity because of that loss. Yet it serves it's purpose. It forces you to remember and sets a specific time to do so collectively, as a nation.

 How other cultures remember their loss, whatever symbolism they use, whatever ceremonies are observed, is irrevelent to this war and how we remember it. That doesn't in any way demean their losses or their culture. Personally if I were on my travels and came across a remembrance ceremony in a different culture with symbolic gesture, I would embrace it with respect.

Remembrance Day and The Poppy is not intended as a symbol of division or political statement or racial hatred. It's intended so that those who died are respected and remembered in our own personal way. The message isn't to glorify war it is to mourn our dead. It should help me and you to oppose future wars because without these symbols the message is lost. 'Lest we forget' is a message for the people to remind those who are in  'positions of privilege' not to go to war.

Use remembrance day and the poppy to remember your loss, not for a reason to home in your anger against it. Use it to support your feelings. Oppose it and risk losing it and forgetting those needlessly lost.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

John McCrae