This argument keeps getting repeated because it sounds complex – but it’s actually simplistic bullshit. You can’t blame everything on some power conspiracy and the media.
Hitler needed to die. Saddam needed to be spanked. ISIS needs to be wiped off the face of the Earth.
Someone a lot smarter than me once said that ‘war is politics by other means’ – that at some point all the pretty words and good intentions will mean absolutely fuck all and that violence is the only way to achieve a better world.
To think anything else is childish and naive.
There are monstrous people and entities out there in the world that will not listen to reason… will not answer the call to be civilized… will not value human life and dignity – and the only way to fix the problem is to forcefully remove them from their positions of power since no megalomaniac will just step aside when you ask nicely.
Let’s examine my three examples from above.
Yes… in many ways Hitler was the almost unavoidable result of the restrictions and penalties that were slapped upon Germany at the conclusion of The Great War (World War 1) – which in itself was a wholly avoidable conflict that sprung from complex and nefarious machinations by a several political entities… but it was a war that happened all the same, and Germany was by far the worst offender.
In short, the Allies reaped the whirlwind.
But… but… Hitler used this excuse to further his own agenda by co-opting the anger and destitution of the entire German population so that he could “cleanse” the world of people he did not care for: primarily the Jews, but also Gypsies, Negroes, homosexuals, those with mental or physical handicaps, etc etc etc.
Terrifyingly, Hitler and his Nazi pals would have succeeded if it hadn’t been for two things… a major blunder on his part, and something happening on the other side of the planet that he had no control over.
At the start of hostilities, Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviets – essentially promising Stalin that Nazi forces wouldn’t attack bona fide Russian territory as long as the USSR stayed out of Germany’s way.
It sounded nice on paper, full of flowery language that established Nazi Germany and the USSR as best of pals – but as with all promises, it didn’t carry a whole lot of weight with one of the parties: Adolf engineered the pact for the express purpose of gaining territory without worrying about Soviet resistance… and when the Nazis had conquered pretty much all of Europe, they tore up the pact and attacked Russia with everything they had.
During The Great War, the Russians had lost something like 14 million fighters – which lured Hitler into thinking that Russia would be easy pickings, but he failed to understand how much the Soviets loved their snow-ridden country, and how they would muster 12 million more soldiers to fight for their Motherland (8 million of which who would die).
Also in World War 2, the Nazis were allied with Imperial Japan – so much so that the two countries were constantly swapping gold reserves to prop up each others economies… despite the fact that Hitler held a great deal of disdain for Asians of all colours.
Unfortunately for Hitler, the Japanese decided to attack the U.S. of A. four years into his battle for world domination – which only enraged the Americans and brought them into World War 2 properly (they had supplied weapons to Britain and its allies for quite some time).
It became quickly clear that the Nazis were going to be fighting wars on both the Western front (the British, the Americans, the Canadians, etc.) and the Eastern front (the very angry Russians, who had more fighting men/women than the entire Third Reich) – which was a tactical situation grave enough to give any leader a moment of pause… but not Hitler: he doubled down on all fronts because he was not going to give up any of his ill-gotten territory, nor was he willing to give up the opportunity to commit genocide.
In the face of daily briefings by the German Wehrmacht that Nazi forces were getting their asses handed to them by the Allies, Hitler refused to accept reality – and it was at this point that it became clear that Hitler needed to die.
Hell, even members of his own Nazi party wanted Adolf dead – trying on a few occasions to do it themselves.
Thankfully, Hitler himself did humanity that favor by blowing his brains out after his wife Eva had poisoned herself – but only after realizing that the war was truly lost… which had been made evident by Allied forces breaching Germany’s pre-WW2 borders.
Could the bloody, wholesale violence of the WW2 conflict have been avoided? No chance whatsoever.
Let me say from the outset that Saddam didn’t need to die – so I’m going to restrict this section to the First Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991) and not the latter Gulf War II that eventually lead to his capture and execution.
The First Gulf War was really the end result of the cessation of American-Russian Cold War posturing when the former Soviet Union collapsed.
You see, throughout the Cold War, countries in the Middle East were used as pawns by the American and Russian governments – sometimes to great effect, but mostly it was a draw… maintaining a power balance between Communism and The West.
For example, the Americans armed Iran with the best weapons the U.S.A. could export – that is until the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Iranian royal family (The Shah) in favor of strict Islamic rule.
Fun fact: to this day, the Iranian Air Force still flies F-14 Tomcats that were gifted to the Shah – despite that the Americans retired the aircraft from service a number of years ago, which means there are no new spare parts to keep those planes flying once they break down… not that the Americans would ever let Iran buy said parts.
Anyhow, Saddam’s Iraq vacillated back and forth between the Americans and the Soviets – essentially choosing whoever would give him the most toys for his military… which in the end was the Soviets: there used to be a running joke that Iraq had more Russian-made T-38 tanks than the USSR did.
By choosing to accept the Soviet “philanthropy”, Iraq alienated itself from The West – and the The West made good on this by drastically slashing the amount of oil Saddam was allowed to sell on the open market (yes… Iraq sold a lot of oil to their Russian benefactors, but Soviet currency wasn’t worth a whole lot).
When the Cold War drew to a close, The West continued to see Saddam as a nuisance and thusly kept the oil embargo in place.
At this point, Iraq was the equivalent of the spoiled brat who throws a tantrum when nobody pays them enough attention – despite their having every toy in the Sears Wishbook.
Seeing that he had more tanks than any of his neighbours, Saddam decided to invade Kuwait – not really for the territory, but for the oil wells that the Kuwaitis possessed… oil wells that produced a good deal of the crude that made the world run.
His reasoning was pretty simple: by controlling the Kuwaiti oil, Saddam could pressure OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – but you can call them the Oil Cabal) into lobbying their Western patrons for lifting of the embargo on Iraqi oil exports.
If Kuwait hadn’t had any oil, it’s highly unlikely that there would have been a military intervention by The West… but Kuwait did have oil, and that oil went towards powering big American SUVs, European diesels, Italian sports cars – while also being turned into the plastics Asian nations turned into manufactured goods.
With OPEC charging more money for less oil, a military coalition was formed to free Kuwait.
At this point, the war was still avoidable.
Saddam could have seen reason and pulled his forces back into Iraq – but he had surrounded himself with “yes men” by executing anyone who disagreed with him… which meant that there was nobody in his cabinet to point out that all his Soviet-made military hardware had a glaring flaw: The West had spent decades developing weapons and tactics designed specifically to destroy the Soviet military.
And so, Saddam needed to be spanked… to be forcibly shown the error of his ways.
Oh… and just in case you’re asking why Western forces didn’t warn Saddam about his out-of-date military, let me assure you that they made that very clear before shipping a single HUMVEE to the Middle East – warnings that fell on self-assured, deaf ears.
The rest is history: within 6 months, Iraq’s military was blown to bits… its military morale shattered… and its forces driven back inside Iraqi borders.
Despite being thoroughly beaten, Saddam was still defiant… ordering his war chiefs to mount continual attacks with what little armaments that they had left – and to set fire to the very oil wells that Iraq had invaded for in the first place.
If you can’t win the war, you might as well punch Mother Nature in the cunt, right?
It took a further month to negotiate an end to hostilities – and by that time, the Iraqi forces were pretty much stuck with throwing rocks at Coalition troops.
Was it all about oil? No: Saddam had shown the world his willingness to commit genocide by using chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels in Iraq’s northern territories – but it was mostly about oil… and Saddam’s monumental ego.
Of my three examples, the First Gulf War was the most avoidable… and the Second Gulf War was a crime committed by the American Republican Party (for which nobody was punished, by the way).
If Saddam had had a single, discordant voice of reason in his political cabinet, he might have been convinced that invading Kuwait was pure folly.
If the world hadn’t entrusted the pricing of oil to the OPEC Oil Cabal, there would have been less impetus for squabbling over Iraq’s seizure of the Kuwait oil fields.
However, we must also take into account the feelings of Kuwaiti citizens – who were, for the most part, overlooked in the conflict: a Kuwaiti person had every right to refuse Iraqi rule… the right of every sovereign nation to be free of harassment by foreign powers.
So, in the end, the war had to happen.
Finally, we have ISIS.
The rise of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh was a foregone conclusion – the direct result of the Second Gulf War… which, as I stated above, I think was wholly avoidable.
By the very nature of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, rogue Islamic groups were not allowed to form in Iraq – since they would be seen as a threat to the ruling Baathist party… which necessitates the destruction of said Islamic movements by the elite Republican Guard.
There’s probably no way to determine how many Islamic factions were put down by the Iraqi government – what with most of its leadership dead and all – but with all that violence, a particular type of anger began to fester in one extremist vein of Islam… and unfortunately, it was the most dangerous.
You see, groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban are all about strict adherence to Islamic tenets – but a very narrow interpretation of Islamic texts that can be lumped into a catch-all called Sharia Law.
While the implementation of Sharia Law is both brutal, inhuman, and anachronistic – the jihadis that follow Al Qaeda and the Taliban have a fairly well-defined end game: possess a territory and rule it.
Yes, expansion of that territory is always an option – but global conquest isn’t the driving force, regardless of how much Osama bin Laden called for the death of Western infidels.
This is where ISIS differs: while they have the same adherence to Sharia Law, ISIS also wishes to conquer the entire planet… just so that they can usher in Ze End Of Ze World.
Yes, folks: ISIS is a Doomsday Cult Of The First Order – but this time around, the bad guys want the entire planet to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid.
When asked, an Al Qaeda jihadi fanatic will tell you that ISIS is much too fanatical for their tastes: while 72 virgins in Heaven sounds like a good idea, how are they supposed to get those virgins if the entire human race is dead?
And because of this fundamental goal… the whole foundation of their existence… it will be forever impossible to negotiate with ISIS: your desire to keep living is incompatible with their desire to kill you and everyone you love.
Fun fact: ISIS has taken possession of territory from other Islamic nations – and then proceeded to destroy Islamic historical sites located therein… purely because ancient Islam wasn’t Islam enough (which is a form of logic so preposterous as to defy explanation: Mohammed, source of all things Islam, wasn’t tough enough – despite ISIS waging war in his name).
Want another fun fact? ISIS agents specifically recruit mentally handicapped persons to employ as suicide bombers.
And of course, there’s all the raping and murder of children… but who’s counting? Certainly not the liberal Peaceniks who think these ISIS animals can be reasoned with.
I’m not a bloodthirsty guy.
If a sensible peace can be arrived at through non-violent means, I will always vote for that – but if you take away any hope for that kind of pie-in-the-sky resolution, then by His Noodliness, I’m 100% for shooting every single last ISIS jihadi in the face… or bombing their encampments into a fine, bloody paste.
Yes, we are reaping the whirlwind that the Second Gulf War set in motion… but that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and let these savages have their way with the world because some of you out there lack the intestinal fortitude.
That’s the thing about war: it happens whether you agree with it or not… especially when it’s for the simple right to exist.
Do I agree with all wars?
There have been some really tragic, drawn-out conflicts that were mostly avoidable – mainly Korea and Vietnam.
Those two conflicts were such drawn-out affairs because of the Cold War… proxy battles between the United States and the Soviet Union (via its fellow Communist nation, China).
Let me be clear: the wars themselves were unavoidable as both the South Koreans and South Vietnamese had the right to defend themselves against the newly aggressive and Communist North, but the wars could have remained regional without international involvement.
However, The West didn’t see things that way: Communism was too dangerous to let spread, so major offensives were required to drive it back… with such large military operations only able to be waged by a military that built solely for that purpose – and The West had been predicting Communist invasions of Continental Europe pretty much since the end of World War 2, and therefore had a surplus of troops and weapons.
I should take a moment to point out that the Korean War was fought with weapons not much advanced from WW2, and hence the combat dragged out for years just as before – but this time, there was the real threat of nuclear exchange hanging in the air.
In the end, no real peace was attainable – and so the Koreans have been managing a cease-fire for sixtyish years… with the threat of war resuming being quite real.
Vietnam, however, was its own thing: military hardware had advanced (we humans never tire in our wish to kill each other more efficiently – right on up from the first caveman to use a club instead of throwing rocks, to the team who first conceptualized the MIRV nuclear warhead) and the Cold War had reached its most deeply entrenched period where both sides had developed firmly seated ideologies that dictated war being fought by third parties on behalf of The West and Communist nations.
The problem with the South Vietnamese was that the financially poor sub-nation wasn’t really equipped to fight Communism at a level of vigor the United States found acceptable – which, at least in the beginning, meant that France, Biritain, and America subsidized the South Vietnamese with weapons and professional soldier training.
But, in an effort to screw Atheistic Communism as hard as Jesus demanded, American boys were eventually drafted for Vietnam to fight a war that America hadn’t spent 20 years preparing for – which essentially turned the conflict into a meat grinder that chewed through 60,000 U.S. soldiers before it was realized that winning was not a possible outcome without using nuclear weapons.
And while Jesus hated Communism, Americans wouldn’t support Nuclear Armageddon – and honestly, they should have said “enough is enough” a lot sooner than their elected officials.
Yes… the tie-dyed, LSD-imbued, and Bob Dylan-powered hippy movement was a direct result of the Vietnam War – but, ultimately, guitars do not beat bombs.
(But rock guitars did win the Cold War – and to argue the point with Americans will just garner you a dismissive eye roll)
So, yeah… war isn’t a simple concept.
People who blindly regurgitate anti-war sentiments are the same ones who are anti-gun – which is just as infantile as a mantra, but that’s an article that I’ve already written before.
The world is a big, ugly place.
It’s a place where there are far too many skin colours, religions, political ideologies, and even genders for there to ever be true peace.
Everyone – and I mean everyone – hates somebody… whether they want to admit it or not.
And with hatred comes war.
We’ve gone an amazing 70 years without a truly global conflict.
How much longer do you think that will last? Honestly?
And for the last goddamn time: War is good for business… Peace is good for business. Two sides of the same coin.
Boeing makes more money on airliners than it does on fighter jets.
There is a meme that’s been floating around the interwebs for a number of years that is a screencap of a question posted to Yahoo Answers (always a fantastic place to go if you need to be reminded of what a pitiful species we humans are) where an apparently religious parent is concerned about their son or daughter turning into an atheist.
As is the problem with these sort of images, the picture has been posted, downloaded, re-posted, downloaded, re-re-posted etc etc etc to the point where the text has become almost illegible due to the fact that sites like Facebook compress each image that you upload – and every time an image like a JPG is compressed, bits of information are lost… sort of like if you took a photo and photocopied it and then photocopied that 1st photocopy and then photocopied that 2nd photocopy: each generation becomes worse than the one before it.
It’s a good little message, so before it gets to the point where the text is completely beyond human comprehension, I figured I should transcribe it here to the Omniversal Blog – with a little editorial polish: even my own articles here go through subtle revisions in the days after they go live as I re-read them and break down clunkier concepts for the sake of understanding and word flow.
Okay… here we go.
Q: What Is The Best Way To Stop Your Child From Becoming An Atheist?
A: Do not educate them, or expose them to critical thinking, logic, or science.
Lie to them constantly about how the world works. Feed them a steady diet of mumbo jumbo dressed up like real knowledge – jumbo jets are really the whirlwind, for example – and pretend that it is deep wisdom.
Make them loathe their own natural bodies and functions. Convince them that they are small and weak and worthless and in need of redemption. Tell them everything enjoyable is grievously wrong to even think about, and that their only pleasure in life should be grovelling to an invisible friend.
Ensure that they resent anyone who is not like them in every way – skin colour, nationality, political opinion, and especially creed. Make such people out to be evil and vile and give all of those impotent minorities the fictional power to somehow oppress and persecute the vast majority who think exactly like you do.
Teach them to laugh at and dismiss out of hand any faith but their own. Early on (as soon as your child can speak), make sure that they are taught the difference between superstitions: where one raving lunatic in the desert telling the truth about a capricious God who kills people is a sinner, but that another raving lunatic is the desert telling the truth about a benevolent God that kills people is telling the eternal truth.
Instruct them, with all the severity and importance that you can muster, to never ask questions… to never think for themselves… to never live their own lives… to only seek answers from one (just one) particular set of semi-literate Bronze Age folk tales.
Above all else – and this cannot be overemphasized enough – make your child easily identifiable as a True Believer by making sure they cannot spell, use correct grammar, or understand basic English words.
If you do all of the above things, you should be in luck!
The answer was submitted by a mostly anonymous Answers user that goes by the handle of ‘David M’, and I would like to think that the ‘M’ stands for Magnificent.
Let me be completely forthright off the bat: I am an ex-Mormon – I was born into the church to a family full of True Believer Mormons (TBM) – who left the church after 22 years.
The reasons I left are legion – but foremost among them is The Church’s (Morg members shorten the formal title ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ to simply ‘The Church’ – and for the sake of avoiding unnecessary keystroking, I’ll do the same) completely batshit approach to reality, its financial shenanigans, and its backwards gender roles.
Many people – who only know Mormons as a peculiar-but-harmless religion that occasionally sends young men knocking at their doors – who find out that I used to be one of the Morg (‘Mormon Organization’… but also a somewhat clever play on Star Trek’s nearly unstoppable villains The Borg) often ask me what The Church is all about and why I now hold it in such low regard.
So, in trying to make a complete and thorough answer, I’m constructing this blog entry with all the pertinent facts about Mormons, Mormonism, and the overall Mormon church.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are a currently practising Mormon who intends to trash this article in the comment section below, be aware that your comments will be immediately deleted – and if you persist, I will blacklist you for harassment.
To those Mormons who read this without the intent to abuse me, I ask you to consider everything I write with an open mind that’s capable of critical thinking – not with one where you only enter into thought processes approved by The Church.
I hold no ill-will towards the average, individual Mormon church member as they are decent folk who try to be as morally good as they can… and I used to congregate with some stellar people in various wards – but I hold priesthood members of the Church hierarchy in strict contempt due to their perpetuation of such a deceitful, biased, bigoted, and misogynistic system.
So, without further ado, on with the show.
Exhibit A: Church Origins
To get to the root of the Morg, one has to look back at it’s early 19th century architect – a young man named Joseph Smith, Jr.
Born on December 23, 1805, Joseph was a rather unremarkable man according to contemporary accounts (that haven’t been purchased and later deep sixed by The Church – which is the organization’s M.O.), with the only things drawing any attention to him was his frequent run-ins with law enforcement.
You see, Joseph was a flim flam artist (a ‘Glass Looker’ in the parlance of the day) before his upgrade to Prophet: he was arrested three times for the glass looking, arrested for being an imposter once, charged on numerous occasions for bank fraud and counterfeiting money, and was held in general low-regard among law enforcement officials of the day due to his many attempts to get locals to invest in his ‘get rich quick’ schemes that usually involved his using a divining rod to locate buried treasure.
Most of the newspaper articles regarding his criminal exploits have been either stolen from the regional archives or purchased outright by The Church’s historians and then either destroyed or sequestered in Church vaults where The Church hopes the stories will never see the light of day again – but the information is still available to those who are willing to wade through the court documents of the era.
By the mid-1830s, Joseph had come to realize that his life was going nowhere and that he was doomed to be just another American frontiersman with a meagre family land plot in New York state – never fulfilling his desire to be a rich, powerful babe-magnet that wouldn’t have to deal with the ordinary folk around him ever again.
It’s not known exactly when he came up with what I will call the ‘Prophet Plan’, but in June of 1830, Smith made the first recorded statement that he had been contacted by an agent of God – an angel that went by the name ‘Moroni’ – in 1823 that was subsequent to a vision he had of God and Jesus in 1820.
Prior to this supposed event, Joseph had made known to various family members and friends that he was dissatisfied with how Christian faiths were being managed – in particular, Methodism, since it was the predominant church in Smith’s area – but he had never claimed to have any divine insight.
At around the time of his first ‘vision’, Smith and his frequent partner-in-crime Oliver Cowdery were trying to get people interested in their new Church Of Christ – a church that eschewed common church practices in favour of things Smith and Cowdery deemed more important.
I’m guessing that there weren’t too many takers to the new religious format, which lead Joseph to implement the Prophet Plan… as that’s what makes sense when you take into account the man’s personal history.
Anyhow, Moroni told Joseph where to find a cache of buried ancient artifacts (*cough* buried treasure *cough*) that had been secreted away under a hill in Manchester, NY by the last member of an ancient tribe of Jews.
According to official Church teachings, these artifacts were composed of:
a large book of gold pates with inscriptions on them (in really fine print if you take into account the length of the Book of Mormon)
an old breastplate from the armour of one of the long-dead American Jews
a set of magical stones that allowed a layman such as Joseph to translate a language he had never seen before (That’s pretty convenient, don’t you think? Very thoughtful of this pre-Christ American Jew).
The morning after the ‘vision’, ol’ Joe tried to dig up the gold plates and drag them back home (seriously, gold is heavy), but Moroni came back and smacked his hands.
Over the next four years, Joseph made numerous trips to the hill where the plates were hidden so that he could translate bits of the text, not having the patience to sit in the dirt and do a full-on, cover-to-cover writing – but, finally, on September 22, 1827, Moroni said “Whatevs, dude” and let Joseph dig the plates up, put them in a locked chest, and take them home.
PLEASE NOTE: Not one single person other than Joseph ever saw these gold plates, despite claims to the contrary: all supposed witnesses were either extended family members, close friends, or persons with a financial stake in seeing Mormonism succeed – and many of them had belonged to Smith’s former cadre of treasure seekers.
It’s unknown if he had his new wife Emma drag the chest containing the gold plates behind her, but that wouldn’t be out of the question considering The Church’s treatment of womenfolk.
At the same time, some of his old treasure-seeking pals had grown tired of Joseph not hanging out with them anymore and decided to ransack his house in search of the hidden treasure – which forced Joe and his wife to skip town, moving from Palmyra to what is now Oakland, Pennsylvania… taking the gold plates and the magic stones with them.
In short order, various lackeys were employed by Joseph to write down the stuff he “translated” from the plates as he hid behind a curtain and used the magic stones and a stove pipe hat to convert the Ancient American Jew scribbles into Ye Olde English.
Seriously, the Book Of Mormon was written into The King’s English… The King’s English of 1611.
In fact, Joseph so closely mimicked the language of the King James Bible (despite the fact that NOBODY talked like that in 1830s – what with all the ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ and other anachronistic terminology) that he inadvertently copied whole passages from The Bible into his ‘Book Of Mormon’ – which has been explained away by The Church as being universal truths laid down by God, so naturally they would be worded exactly the same… irregardless of the King James version of The Bible not being the most accurate translation of that source material.
Anyhow, despite all the mysterious translating, and the fact that Joseph took the plates back to that hill in Manchester to re-bury them where they have remained ‘hidden’ to this day (it doesn’t hurt that The Church has purchased all of the land that makes up the hill and fenced it off so nobody could ever look for these gold plates), an ever-growing number of people started to believe in what Joseph had pulled out of his ass.
Thusly, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was born.
In the early days of The Church, there was a lot of drama and murder and arson – with The Church being forced from town to town until 1844, when a group of Joe’s old associates started causing a stink in Nauvoo, Illinois, which had become the central hub for Mormondom.
The commotion grew into such a tempest that regional authorities – who had tried to quash the Mormon movement – finally had no choice but to arrest ol’ Joe and throw him in the near-by Carthage Jail… the act of which made Mr. Smith an easy target (he had been protected/hidden by the Mormon faithful up to that point).
On the night of June 27th, 1844, an angry mob camouflaged themselves for the dark by applying blackface (ironic since, later on, Church doctrine labelled people of the African-American persuasion to be cursed by God) and attacked the jail, killing Joe’s brother Hyrum with a shot to the face, and finally cornering Joseph Smith, Jr. – which he remedied by attempting to jump out a 2nd story window… but not before being riddled with bullets.
He died shortly after hitting the ground, but for good measure, the angry mob shot him several more times.
No word on whether they asked “Where’s your God now?”, but I like to think that they did.
Exhibit B: The Modern Church
If you’re going to make up a new religion, and you need it to take on legitimacy, there’s no better way to pump up the church membership than to give them a martyr – and the angry Nauvoo mob did just that.
After Joe was murdered (the term ‘lynched’ hadn’t been invented yet), the Mormon movement lost its appreciation for the quaint woodsiness of the Upper East Coast part of the still-young United States of America, so they all piled into a wagon train and headed west – all the way to the mostly unexplored area of the country that would eventually become Utah.
The Church was happy that there wasn’t a human population for hundreds of miles in any direction, allowing them to develop their new fiefdom in private – away from the prying and judgmental eyes of the unclean masses that made up the rest of the world.
Being an unimaginative lot, they named their capital Salt Lake City after, well, the Great Salt Lake nearby.
In or around 1853, The Morg started work on the Salt Lake Temple – the mother ship of Mormondom and a religious icon that took 40 years to build (because apparently Stone Masons were persona non grata in Mormon Land?).
Over that 40 years, The Church pretty much dialed in what it is today, based on the babblings of Joe Smith and subsequent Godly revelations through the modern-day prophets that are the church presidents.
These were the basic tenets of the Mormon faith:
The Church was the only “true church” of God… naturally
The indigenous native population of North America were descendants of those Ancient American Jews
The President of The Church is God’s only legitimate voice on Earth (naturally), akin to the Pope of the Roman Catholic faith
That The Book of Mormon and its companion books (The Doctrine & Covenants, and The Pearl Of Great Price) are the last word in all matters – you know, aside from all that stuff written by bored sheep herders that eventually became The Bible
That human kind isn’t born guilty – unlike, say, Roman Catholics
10% of every dollar you make should be given to The Church in the form of tithing (no collection plates for The Morg)
Black people were ancestors of Cain – the son of Adam & Eve who murdered their other son – and were unworthy of any type of church office (despite Joe Smith being cool with black dudes)… but they were welcome as church members
Women are not designed to gain The Priesthood (The Priesthood being male specific set of powers that come from God, and is open to every male church member over 12) and cannot attain high church office
Baptism by water is the only way to receive the Holy Ghost (the tertiary spirit of God) and one cannot attain The Kingdom Of Heaven without it, but don’t worry if y’all haven’t been baptized: you can be baptized after you die by zealous Morg drones in one of their temples – irregardless of your religious views (Ann Frank? Yeah… she’s been posthumously baptized a half-dozen times just in case being killed by Nazis wasn’t bad enough)
Young men are expected to fulfill their Godly duty to mankind and go on a 2-year mission around the world to spread the gospel and recruit new members
Consuming certain foods and plants will bar you from Heaven (a list of which is contained in The Word Of Wisdom… which is sorta like Life For Mormon Dummies)
Touching your genitals for the purpose of self-pleasure will bar you from Heaven
One must only eat foods when they are in season
Every Mormon man is meant to have multiple wives so he can populate the Earth with as many Mormon children possible
On the verge of the 20th Century, these were the beliefs held by the Mormon faithful – but, as you can imagine, there’s going to be 1 or 2 problems.
The first major problem for The Church – outside of the all the murder committed by those against The Church and by those people in its employ – was that in order for Utah to become an official American state, the Feds demanded that Mormons stop practicing polygamy (the act of having many wives).
So, in spite of the fact that he had previously commanded all the Mormon men to shag as many ladies as possible, God – totally by coincidence, yo! – whispered in Church President Wilford Woodruff’s ear that polygamy wasn’t cool in 1890, and he ordered it stopped at once.
When The Church demanded that all the polygamous nookie be stopped, whole factions of The Church resigned membership from the main Mormon body and set themselves up with what they called the ‘Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ (because the church name wasn’t long enough already) – and today, they’re the ones you see on TV in shows like Sister Wives or Big Love.
With the Feds appeased, Utah achieved Statehood, and The Church was no longer faced with any dire impetus to change – and they generally haven’t since 1904 when Joe Smith The Second told everybody that The Church was serious about the whole one wife thing… for realsies.
Exhibit C: Racist Religiosity
In the early days, African-American people who joined The Church were allowed unfettered access to The Priesthood – and in fact, two of The Church’s first high poobahs (Elders Abel and Lewis) were black, and Mr. Smith never said a single thing about it.
However, when ol’ Joe met his untimely demise and was replaced by Brigham Young (of the university’s name) as president and prophet, The Church’s viewpoint radically changed: being in favour of slavery and having a diminished view of the negro, Young decreed the above part about blacks being the descendants of Cain – whose skin was turned black because of his role of being the world’s first murderer.
Nobody in The Church, or in communities where The Church operated, rose an eyebrow because blacks were imported slaves… and having slaves was the shit, so condemning them to non-Priesthood was really a non-issue: who wanted Godly niggers? (note: I’m not fond of that word, but ‘nigger’ was the term of the day).
Just in case people misunderstood him, Young repeated this stance in 1849 – 12 years before the American Civil War (as of 1860, there were only about 50 black people in the entire Utah Territory – which made it a remote governance item at the time) that put the issue of black slavery to an end, but not the innate American racist attitude that permeated the Deep South and Mid West.
On a side note, it’s rumoured that Young was forced to make his beliefs public because a black Mormon dude named William McCary claimed to also be getting Tweets from The Heavenly Father – but since there could only be one true prophet, it was best to just condemn the whole race.
Young went so far as to say that black men could only obtain The Priesthood after they die (“In the Kingdom of God on the Earth the Africans cannot hold one particle of power in Government.”) – which I guess means there are A LOT of pissed off Priesthood holders in Heaven that got lynched in this lifetime during the Civil Rights struggle.
The funny thing was that Young couldn’t come right out and endorse slavery because Joe Smith & Friends had included in The Doctrine & Covenants the idea that “it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another”, and included that all people are children of God and “he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female” into the Book of Mormon.
So, his hands were tied… and he also didn’t want to bar The Church from gaining new members via missionary work in 3rd world countries overseas – which, incidentally, had large populations of non-white people.
That Native Americans were allowed to obtain The Priesthood – in spite of their non-white skin – was endemic of Joe Smith’s basic church dogma that American Indians were descendants of those Ancient American Jews who had fled to the Americas by boat from the Holy Land due to persecution (why or how he decided to make Native Americans into Jews is a mystery, but I have a feeling that he may have seen an immigrant Jew once and noted that the person had darker skin than white guys – and since Indians were somewhere between black and white, it made sense to call them long-lost Jews).
(As a further bonus for Native Americans, joining the church would let them become “white and delightsome” over time – as long as they were good Morg sheep.)
In 1949, Church President George Albert Smith directed The Church to address the ‘Negro Question’ thusly:
“The attitude of the Church with reference to the Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the Priesthood at the present time.”
This anti-African American stance actively remained on The Church’s books until 1978, when Church President Spencer W. Kimball officially called for an end to the discriminatory practice:
“He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the church may receive the Holy Priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that follows there from, including the blessings of the temple.”
However, there was still institutional sluggishness within The Church up until quite recently – mainly due to the fact that the upper hierarchy of The Church is mostly composed of Old White Men®, who were brought up in the era when The Church was openly racist.
In 1995, black church member David Jackson had to practically beg the church presidency to verbally repudiate the declarations of church prophets and church administrators that African-Americans were worth less than their white counterparts.
In December of 2013, the Church Presidency directed administrators to release the following, simple statement that hoped to put the issue to rest permanently:
“The Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavour or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.”
Maybe it’s true that The Church has turned a corner on this issue, but given that The Church is still presided over by Old White Men®, I find it hard to believe that racism has been completely expunged from the organization.
Exhibit D: She Wants The D And Not The Priesthood
Blacks can now hold The Priesthood… YAY!
However, if you were born with a vagina, no Priesthood for you!
The Church has a very simple mandate for you if you are female:
Look as pretty as possible – which means wearing a nice dress to church on Sundays
Attend the ladies-only Relief Society (lots of singing, baking, sharing parental tips… like Good Housekeeping: The Musical) classes once you hit your teens
Marry a returned missionary
Have lots of babies with said returned missionary
Foster a talent useful to The Church – like singing or playing the piano/organ
Grow old and teach Relief Society classes
See? Doesn’t sound so hard, does it?
…If your only goals in life were to be married, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen while waiting for the washing machine to stop.
Women are 2nd class citizens in The Church – despite all the carefully worded church literature that makes it sound like being female is the next best thing to being God.
The gift of indentured servitude to a man who will bore you with the stories of all the places he went to on his 2 year mission – which may or may not include exciting locales like Boise, Idaho or Bancroft, Ontario.
“Spread ’em and then make me a sammich, Sweetheart! Don’t forget the bacon. ”
As a young boy in The Church, I never really paid much attention to how all the heifers were herded off into their own section of the church building after the main worship meeting (the part of the Sunday program where everyone sits together and sings hymns, eats sacrament, and listens to long boring sermons).
But as I grew into a young man, I began to notice how classes had turned into a total Sausage Fest.
As a guy who’s a big fan of the ladies, this began to gnaw at me – so I casually inquired why things were the way they were… and invariably, I got an answer that paraphrased that book passage that I posted a couple paragraphs up.
In essence, the attitude is “Don’t bother yourself with it, young sir. The girls you used to hang out with in Sunday School are off learning how to be a better wife for you – after you spend 2 years at The Church’s mercy as they shuffle you around to random places.”
Now, missionary work is a peculiar hitch in church philosophy as young women can actually go on missions of their own – in fact, one-quarter of all Mormon missionaries are girls… but what they do on their missions varies greatly from their male counterparts.
The greatest goal for a male missionary is to baptize new converts into The Church – but since women can’t hold The Priesthood, female missionaries can’t do all the exciting stuff like that.
Typically, girl missionaries are the “Reconnectors”: they parachute into wards that have above-average lists of “inactive members” (members who don’t attend church anymore but haven’t gone through the motions of formally resigning from The Church) and move through the local community in attempts to get those inactives going back to church and paying their 10% tithing.
In the end, the life of a young woman on a mission is more clerical (concerned with or relating to work in an office, esp. routine documentation and administrative tasks) than clerical (relating to the clergy) – which explains why there’s 3 male missionaries for every 1 female: I can’t imagine many young ladies hoping to be a travelling secretary.
Oh… and over the length of my Morg life, I honestly can’t recall meeting female missionaries among the 20,000 male Elders (the formal title for male missionaries).
Church women are meant to be baby factories that mint new, tithing-paying church members… and if they can’t find a returned missionary to marry – or anyone else for the matter – they end up being the outwardly cheery (you can see the loneliness in their eyes) spinsters who bake food for the various Strawberry Socials that each church ward has every year.
Exhibit E: A Scientific Approach To Vagueness
How many of you watched the recent Bill Nye Vs. Creationism debate that transpired a few weeks ago?
Let me say firstly that The Church doesn’t belong to the ‘Young Earth’ group of religious weirdos – the type that believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old.
But… but… they do believe that God created the Earth in seven days as it’s laid out in Genesis.
At this point, you might be asking “How does that work?”
Well, this is where the official church line gets fuzzy (and it’s not the only scientific matter that goes for a walk in Whackadoo Park) when you ask your local bishop or Sunday School teacher: they will get a little uncomfortable as they have to reach deeply into their memories to course prep materials or the information that’s stored in the official Bishop’s Handbook before they come up with the standard answer.
In the New Testament, Peter says that in the eyes of the Lord, a day is a thousand days as seen by men… but Joe Smith did one better and included in either the Book of Mormon or The Doctrine & Covenants (I can’t remember specifically as this is an answer I got a very long time ago) that one of those God days equals 100,000 Earth years – or perhaps that was the bishops’ own interpretation of the scripture in question.
Either way, The Church skates by the Creationist cabal in an effort to look progressive.
And, to be fair, The Church has a generally embracing attitude towards modern science: there are no sermons preaching the evils of men trying to understand the works of God.
However, The Church has gone to great lengths to establish its own centres for scientific research and learning to redirect the good Morg sheep into material that seems scientifically sound but fully supports the bullshit that Joseph Smith laid down in the Book Of Mormon… and to a lesser extent, The Bible.
These schools try to offer up convincing archaeological and DNA evidence that Native Americans are actually descended from Jews who fled Jerusalem and sailed to the Americans around 2,000 B.C.E. – despite the fact that these theories do not pass muster in the realm of peer-reviewed science.
FACT: There are absolutely no archaeological sites in the Americas that support the stories laid down in the Book Of Mormon – which posits that these ancient Jews (who split into two factions, the good guy Nephites and the bad guy Lamanites) built enormous cities all over what is now the U.S. of A… complete with massive walls and temples.
FACT: DNA analysis performed by recognized universities has determined that Native Americans are descended from Mongolian stock that crossed the land bridge that connected Siberia and Alaska before the last Ice Age.
With these two incontrovertible bits of information, the Book of Mormon falls apart completely, and for The Church, that simply will not do… so they get “scholars” from Church-owned colleges and universities to write reams of worthless paper that sound scientific in their approach – with all kinds of diagrams and photos that purportedly support their findings – to firm up the beliefs of any Morg drone who might have a hard time reconciling what The Church teaches and what is written about in National Geographic.
Oh, and that DNA evidence? Apparently God magically changed the DNA so it would confuse the story – but good church members will pray about it and the truth will be made apparent.
Exhibit F: Financial F*ckery
Remember how I said that church members are required to give 10% of their income to the church?
That money contribution is to prove that you’re a humble person who’s worthy of The Kingdom Of God… or some bullshit like that.
As of 2012, The Church had 14,782,473 members enrolled.
Let’s say that 30% of those members no longer actively attend church or pay their tithing – which leaves 10,347,731 people.
Now, let’s assume a median income of $15,000 per year for each of those active members – allowing for many of them to be married to each other or for a lot of them to be teens working after-school jobs.
That nets the church member population a yearly grand total of $155,215,965,000.
All those people dutifully give away 10% of all the money they get to the church, which adds up to $15,521,596,500 every year.
I admit, my numbers are fairly soft since the church doesn’t release how many members actually pay tithing or how much money comes in from tithing, but let my ballpark number sink in: fifteen billion dollars a year.
For the sake of argument, you could +/- $1,000,000,000 and still be left with an epic shit tonne of money.
It should scare you to know that the majority of Morg drones don’t give it a second thought – or even a first one for that matter.
All they know is that giving away money somehow makes their chances of kickin’ it with God better after their lives end i.e. they’re happy to buy their way into Heaven.
Again… where does that money go?
Well, as you’d expect, there are a number of answers – some good, some bad.
First, the good: The Church has a number of social programs that legitimately improve the lives of certain members, despite the largest of them not being well-known outside the group of people who needs it.
Mormons are of the belief – not that it’s a bad one – that they should always be ready for the impending apocalypse: every household should have stores of canned and dry goods to eat, candles and matches to light their homes when the power goes out, etc etc.
Sure, the more well-to-do members can do all that shopping at Walmart or Home Depot with their own money – but what about the poorer members who don’t have extra money that’s not going directly to the food they eat every day and keeping a roof over their heads?
The Church provides… and in this instance, it’s in the form of canned food (fruits and vegetables) that are cultivated on church-owned farms all over the U.S., Canada, and other countries around the globe and labelled with The Church’s Deseret brand imprint.
I, myself, have spent a summer working on one of these farms in Jordan Station – a small hamlet outside of Niagara Falls in Ontario.
These farms are manned completely by volunteer labour donated by socially minded church members in an effort to do their part in making the world a better place – which is an admirable thing, don’t get me wrong.
One side-effect of all of this farming and canning is that there is a large surplus year-to-year because not every Morg household is as diligent in planning for the Second Coming as they should be, and that means warehouses full of canned goods that aren’t being used.
To solve this, The Church runs a food welfare program for low-income families and individuals who are at risk of losing their housing because they’re forced to choose between eating and having shelter.
Every two weeks, these people receive a box or boxes of canned food and dry goods manufactured by The Church, and supplementary frozen and baked goods like bread purchased with church money on the open market.
Recipients are urged not to make being on this welfare program a continual thing, but the program is managed at the ward level by the bishop and he has full autonomy on its dispersal.
It’s a good use of church funds – in fact, it’s probably the best thing The Church does with any of the monies it rakes in.
Another program is The Church’s official adoption agency that finds homes for children born to unmarried Morg girls who decide they can’t care for the child – so, it’s not much different from publicly funded/available adoption services… and, I’ve heard that they even adopt children out to non-members, but I have no data that supports that notion.
One of The Church’s much ballyhooed programs is Disaster Relief: church members are told that Mormon relief workers are often the first on the scene after a tornado or hurricane strikes, or an earthquake levels a city – but, in reality, that’s hardly ever the case.
In North America, it’s usually The Salvation Army that’s the first to roll out – or Canadian Tire in Canada.
7% or less of church money actually goes to Disaster Relief – but the stories The Church tells it’s members makes them feel good about all that money they’re bribing God with.
So far, we’ve accounted for 15-20% of church income: $3,104,319,300 – and don’t forget that churches are tax exempt.
Where does the remaining $12,417,277,200 go?
Well… The Church currently has 15 temples under construction around the world, and the average cost of one of these temples is $30,000,000 – with some costing more, some less.
There goes $450,000,000 – barely a drop in the bucket, and let’s be realistic: temples aren’t paid for all at once.
Currently, there are two temples under renovation – so let’s say the total cost for the two renos will be the cost one 1 brand new temple.
The Church has 14 temples in the planning stages, which I will presume requires land purchases – say $1,000,000 for each.
Still humming along with eleven billion dollars.
Did you know that The Church has quite the real estate empire that’s not related to religious service?
Multi-billion dollar shopping malls… condo towers and apartment complexes… and 2% of Florida’s total landmass that was recently purchased for $500,000,000 – most of it made up of worthless swamp land that will continually become more worthless as sea levels rise.
Let’s say that The Church spends $8 billion a year on property maintenance, acquisition, and land taxes.
We’re left with $3,000,000,000 – and I can’t figure out where that goes.
I can think of quite a few worthy federal, state, and provincial government bodies that could use $3,000,000,000 – but it disappears inside Mormon coffers instead.
Oh, and let’s not forget all the money The Church spends on political agenda items – like Proposition 8 in California that would have banned gay marriage.
NOTE: Bloomberg recently pegged The Church as being valued at approximately $350 billion
Exhibit G: Great Mormons Are Great
When you live a day to day life that’s managed by one of the most peculiar Christian religions on Earth, you can begin to feel a bit inferior when compared to your neighbours who regularly go out for coffee (BANNNED) dates with their friends… or the ones who laze about in their back yards during the summer and guzzle down ice cold Coca-Cola (BANNED)… or the ones who have bicthin’ parties every 3rd Friday where everybody is drinking beer (BANNED), booze (BANNED), wine (BANNED), or champagne (BANNED).
Honestly, it’s enough to give you a complex.
With that in mind, I bring to your attention one of the Morg’s more harmless quirks: their loud (and often) identification with fellow Mormons who make it big – in sports, movies, TV, politics, or business.
At any given time, all Mormons can name at least 6 famous Mormons – whether the celebs are practising members, were formerly practising members, were brought up in Morg homes, or are married to a Morg.
Think about the 2012 U.S. Presidential election: do you have any idea how unbearable Mormons would have become if Mitt Romney had become President Of The United States? It would, in one master stroke, validate everything they believed in – and Mormonism as whole being the only truly American religion.
In the 1970s, Morg kids publicly identified themselves with the Osmonds – and that habit hasn’t changed… even if the stars have.
Ken Jennings, a famous Mormon in of himself, would run the board on JEOPARDY! if the category were Notable Mormons – spitting out names like Gladys Knight, Wilford Brimley (The Word Of Wisdom didn’t save him from the diabeetus), Orson Scott Card, Roy Halladay, and James Talmage.
That all of the famous Mormons are known names – and are accepted by the world – somehow reaffirms the Morg drone’s belief system and deludes them into thinking they’re just a little bit famous, too… you know, by proxy.
Yes, I know The Church has other issues than the ones I’ve outlined above – which are all independently verifiable if you’re willing to put in the effort (and by effort, I mean clicking some links from Google search) – and I could probably go on for umpteen more sections, but I have to end this somewhere.
This is the point where I stop.
My endeavour here has really taken up more time than I’d have liked – wasting what precious little life we have in this world on something that really doesn’t mean anything tangible to me… tangible beyond the bitterness I have of pissing away my first 2 decades.
However, I encourage you to keep seeking the truths – they’re out there and I have certainly given you directions to look in.
Let me say this first: the Occupy movement has already failed.
In the first handful of days at the Occupy Wall Street event, there was something interesting going on – there was a hopefulness that a message could be made loud enough to catch the much-derided 1%’s attention at the top of the capital food chain.
It seemed like a situation that could spark to a sort of Arab Spring uprising that would force changes.
But… the message was quickly lost as everyone (and their dog) who had ever had a grievance with the system of capitalism showed up with a cardboard sign.
Immediately, the movement became a hodgepodge… a cohesive mess of the needy that lacked any sort of focus.
Just as quickly as the Occupy movement spread to other cities, this terminal protest disease spread out to the new locations… and nobody seemed to notice or was willing to do what was necessary to heal the organized group organism.
Instead of a single, collective voice calling on the rich to change their ways, the Occupy movement mutated into something that required not just the ears of bankers and investment brokers, but the attention of every sort of executive that had ever been in contact with money: bankers, investors, insurance agents, HMOs, Hollywood types, retirement fund operators, school board trustees, mayors, execs at restaurant chains, dental surgeons, toy makers, taxi operators, and the list goes on almost indefinitely.
In a few quick and easy steps, the Occupy movement had gone from relevant (good) to super relevance (bad).
To have an effective message, it has to be concise and to the point… something that can be carried by the masses with a unified voice.
The Arab Spring protests succeeded in overthrowing the governments of countries like Egypt because every person who picked up a stone to throw at the government’s forces in the streets wanted the same thing: they wanted the ruling party and it’s corruption gone – end of story.
It’s a model that could have made the Occupy movement truly revolutionary and the Western world would be on it’s way to change.
But, instead, the Occupiers maintain an incredibly fractured front with nearly every person at these protests wanting a different form of change… and it’s that kind of behavior that those in power can effective ignore pretty much forever.
It’s sort of like someone on Facebook creating a group that sets out to draw attention to one thing that would seem very important – let’s say the abuse of raccoon dogs in China – and then proceeds to flood the group with links about Nike sweatshops in Thailand, the amounts of trans-fats in KFC chicken, and the failures of the American political system.
That Facebook user meant well, but is left wondering why he or she doesn’t have anyone joining their online cause and it’s simply because they couldn’t stay on message.
It’s the same in politics: the politician who’s most likely to win is the one who has a set number of priorities and then hammers away at them on the anvil of the public stage – instead of jumping around from issue to issue as each voter mentions a problem during the campaign.
In fact, in the brief history of the Occupy movement, there’s only been one time that protesters got to the verge of getting some concessions made.
Several days ago, a group of Occupiers from the Los Angeles movement managed to shut down one of the United State’s most important ports by sealing off the entrance: trucks that would normally have picked up goods made in China and hauled them away to Walmarts across the nation couldn’t get in or out due to the mass of protesters standing in their way.
This ‘stand in’ lasted for about 4 hours before the Occupiers drifted away to their usual encampments… which is quite unfortunate.
Four hours may not seem like a long time, but when you take into account the amount of freight that goes in and out of the Port Of Los Angeles, even seconds of inefficiency cost shippers and receivers millions of dollars in lost revenue because those lost seconds propagate forward through time and can eventually turn into minutes and then hours.
So, when you make a four-hour stand, the collective sphincters of shipping magnates and the companies like Walmart or Target – who depend on their goods being delivered on time – clamp shut hard and then those execs start sweating as they start seeing the money they normally make slow down.
If those Occupiers had maintained their presence at the Los Angeles docks, and then got protesters from movements in other port cities to do the same, the very people who the Occupy movement is supposed to be targeting would become very uncomfortable – and would start thinking of ways to assuage the angry mobs.
Of course, that would depend entirely on the commitment of the people in the Occupy movement since those billionaire executives would put pressure on elected officials (that most assuredly received campaign contributions from companies controlled by said execs) to crack down on these protesters via legal means through the deployment of riot squads or military personnel.
If the Occupiers are willing to be arrested, pepper sprayed, tased, shot with high-speed bean bags, hit with sound cannons, bombarded with tear gas canisters, and beaten with billy clubs – all in sufficient numbers to completely overwhelm the legal mechanisms that were deployed on behalf of the 1% – then they could indeed successfully create change.
Governments that are freely and democratically elected have no stomach for bloodshed in the streets, especially at the behest of billion dollar corporations that could afford to lose some money if it meant that people’s lives would get better.
The Occupy movement lacks that focus… that honest desire to change things.
The extensive camps across North America have become love-ins for the economically disenfranchised… meccas for every hipster, Gen X slacker, unemployed teacher, and general malcontent that doesn’t have anything better to do.
For these people, the message is the act… instead of the message leading to an act – which is why Occupy will eventually fail.
Media outlets focus on the Occupy movement mostly because it’s become a sideshow, but also because it provides some political drama as various city councils try to cope with the public disruptions.
In fact, the media are the only people honestly paying attention to the Occupy movement since the 1% have decided the Occupiers present no threat to themselves and their money-making empires.
So let me say this to you, Occupiers of the world: change your strategy or go home.
If you’re not actually interfering with the 1% by removing money from their pockets, you’re of no real consequence.
Gather up… firm up your resolve… solidify your message… and declare war on the 1%.
Block access to major ports.
Physically prevent people from shopping at major retailers.
Stop buying Starbucks coffee on your way to the Occupy camps.
Take your money out of the major banks and commit to a local credit union.
Honestly threaten the 1% by taking away their money… instead of being a bunch of dirty hippies standing around clapping each other on the back for a job well-done when you actually haven’t accomplished a single thing.
In the words of my progenitors: shit or get off the pot.
For all it’s faults (byproducts that have to be sequestered for half a million years, for instance), nuclear energy is amongst the best ways to generate electricity known to mankind at this time – discounting any future advances in fusion or solar power generation.
Nuclear doesn’t generate the greenhouse gases that spew forth from coal and natural gas power plants… isn’t effected by cloudy days or winter seasons like solar… has no problems when the air is still and fails to turn the windmills… and it doesn’t reroute entire aquatic ecosystems like hydroelectric dams.
But yes… there is that need to protect humankind and all our friends in the wild kingdom from the nuclear waste on scales of time that are longer than civilization has existed on the face of the planet.
Regardless, nuclear energy’s benefits are vast and every facility constructed to harness the power of the atom is a boon to society as it generally means there are less coal-burning plants toxifying the air we breath.
The problems with nuclear energy fall into two categories: environmental, which I’ve touched on above… and political, which I’m going to talk about below.
Nuclear reactors can be harnessed for electricity generation, yes… but they also can be used to create fissile material like plutonium or enriched uraniums that are necessary to create an atomic weapon.
Generally speaking, the technology required to build a nuclear power station is only affordable to nations that are more or less responsible enough to be trusted with any nuclear weapons that they might create – countries with governments that subscribe to the reality that deploying such weapons in anger would not be in their best interest.
Even the two most volatile neighbor countries that have nuclear weapons – India and Pakistan – realize that exchanging atomic potshots at each other would never be a small, localized engagement… that other nuclear powers greater than their own would most likely intervene with punishments of either military or political varieties.
With India being aligned with the Western superpowers like the United States, Great Britain, and France (don’t laugh… nukes can be dispatched from Parisian bunkers), a marginal country like Pakistan – who’s alliances aren’t clearly defined – would likely be struck with thermonuclear warheads carried by ICBMs or cruise missiles fired by New Delhi’s friends in the event Pakistan somehow came out on top.
The biggest check in the nuclear weapons business is that both the United States of America and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to end human civilization as we know it (or possibly altogether), with China, Great Britain, and France following behind them… and this is clearly enough to discourage smaller countries from developing any sort or atomic weapon.
There would assuredly be dire consequences for launching any sort of nuclear attack – no matter how much you hate the guy you’re pointing them at.
However, reality isn’t a universal concept in some corners of the globe.
There are a few governments that are so removed from society that they have become pariah states – the ones that nobody ever invites to the New Year’s celebrations at the United Nations, and ones that are perfectly happy with their status.
In the context of this discussion on smashing atoms, I’m focusing purely on the communist nation of North Korea and the middle eastern country of Iran.
Both countries eschew the global community (and the realities embraced by it) and have created unto themselves their own version of reality… one that generally places themselves at the center of the universe and deludes the ruling parties into thinking they’re untouchable/invincible.
In the case of North Korea, Kim Jong Il and his buddies (I use ‘buddies’ loosely since there isn’t a person in the country he wouldn’t shoot – including family members) rule the land in an almost empirical manner that really hasn’t been seen since the great dynasties of history: it’s taught to every North Korean child that Kim Jong Il is in fact a God.
In fact, North Korea barely qualifies as a communist state, and it can be argued – I’d imagine quite successfully – that it’s more in line with the leadership of Egypt’s pharaohs… just without the bountiful empire: North Korean citizens are probably the poorest out of any of the developed nations.
Kim Jong Il is so crazy that even his biggest (read: only) supporter at the United Nations, China, keeps him at arm’s length… and even then, they barely touch Pyongyang with their fingertips while wearing eight gloves on each hand.
The fact that this nutbar has access to nuclear weapons is entirely indigestible – and quite hard to fathom when you take into account that North Korea has no real money to speak of to pay for any sort of research program… but I suppose you can afford just about anything when you don’t actually have to pay the people who work for you.
Kim Jong Il is a god, remember? Don’t do what he wants and he’ll smite your ass… and probably your entire family while he’s at it.
If there’s any consolation, it’s that his atomic weapons are very basic and shoddily constructed: when testing them, they have a tendency to fizzle – more of a runaway nuclear chain reaction than an actual detonation.
These North Korean atomic bombs are barely in the same class as those deployed by the United States against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II… and nowhere near as advanced as even Pakistan’s.
But even the most rudimentary nuclear weapons are devastating… either through their explosive force (see photo below) or through the mass radioactive contamination of the target area.
In terms of instability, North Korea is like the guy who was arrested for killing his neighbor because he though the neighbor was telepathically raping his wife.
Nothing said by Kim Jong Ill or his government makes any sense, and North Korea has no qualms about threatening anyone with total and complete destruction… promising a war that will end Western civilization – despite lacking any way to follow through on these threats, even when including the estimated 5 to 8 nuclear weapons that Pyongyang possesses.
The North Korean military may have one of the largest standing armies on the world when compared to it’s national population, but the equipment they are outfitted with is barely any more advanced than it was during the Korean War in the 1950s – at best, it’s equivalent to Soviet designs from the mid to late 70s.
This irrationality is alarming for two reasons:
1) Technically, North and South Korea are still in a defacto state of war since the Korean War ended in a cease-fire treaty – a truce that’s been in place ever since… if only barely on some occasions – and that war could pick up at any time, and that becomes more and more likely as North Korea becomes more and more impoverished.
2) Pyongyang has made no secret of it’s willingness to help political entities that have similar designs to destroy the West… and has routinely shipped weapons and military equipment to those ideological comrades, and it’s not a stretch of the imagination that North Korea would share nuclear weapons technology – or even a finished atomic bomb – with those same comrades.
The only silver lining in the North Korean situation is that ships leaving North Korean waters are some of the most scrutinized vessels afloat: any tub that can carry anything bigger than a refrigerator is fair game for random inspections by South Korean and American naval assets – which makes shipping nuclear weapons, fissile material, or technology to create either of those things by water not really a winning strategy.
This of course doesn’t rule out shipping illicit weapons by land or air…. but similar searches are carried out against trucks leaving North Korea by Chinese and Russian agencies (how effectively, nobody in the West can say for certain), and all air cargo from North Korea is thoroughly screened at airports abroad.
There is only one destination outside of North Korea that North Korean ships and aircraft are welcome – and it also happens to be the other rogue nation with nuclear ambitions: Iran.
I’m sorry, Tehran… were you hoping I’d forgotten you?
In many ways, you’re worse than those nutjobs in Pyongyang – mainly because, even though you’re batshit crazy, you’re also very focused on the destruction of those you hold in ill regard.
In Iran’s case, that’s most notably Israel.
There isn’t a day that goes by that Iran’s puppet government and it’s religious masters don’t call for the total destruction of the Jewish state, and it works on a daily basis towards that goal by funding terrorist organizations that operate in Palestinian territories.
If that wasn’t problematic enough, the Ayatollah also sends money to terrorist outfits – including Al Qaeda – that attack other Western nations that are allied with Israel.
And while the Ayatollah isn’t necessarily as committed to destroying the West as Osama bin Laden was, his plans call for weakening the resolve of Israel’s allies by hopefully making it more bother than it’s worth to the United States, Britain, and others.
It’s this fanatical devotion to destroying every single Jew in the Middle East (and everywhere else in due time) that makes Iran more dangerous.
While North Korea is more reactive – as in it puffs itself up and makes threats when it perceives itself to be threatened – and can be calmed down with offers of candy (financial and food aid), Iran is completely proactive in it’s plans… spending nearly all it’s money on weaponry and armed forces.
It should be noted than Iran has a lot of money to use for it’s own military and the funding of terrorism around the globe, and that money comes from the export of oil to the countries that need it – both the export of Iran’s own oil assets, and money from neighboring countries’ oil sales who are agreeable to the Iranian way of things… primarily certain factions inside Saudi Arabia.
While Western nations don’t conduct a lot of oil business with Iran, countries like Russia and China don’t make that distinction and gladly take any oil Iran can send their way to fuel their own economies.
Russian and Chinese weapons technologies have also readily been made available to the Iranian government, and this is why the Iranian military possesses weaponry that’s equal to the West’s technology of the late 1980s to mid-1990s.
You may not think weapons circa 1989 to 1995 would be all that dangerous to Western targets using weapons made in this millennium… but keep in mind, those Iranian weapons are equivalent to what the U.S. defeated Saddam Hussein with in the first Gulf War – so they aren’t to be ignored by the wise.
With all that oil money, Iran has been able to afford a fairly modern nuclear energy program – one that Tehran insists is for purely peaceful purposes and that they’re not at all interested in making fissile material for making atomic weapons.
You know what? Put a kid in a room with both a dart gun and a target to shoot at, he’s going to shoot those darts at the target the second you turn your back – no matter how much you tell him not to, and how much he denies his intention to do so.
The fact of the matter is that Iran has far more centrifuge units required to enrich uranium than are needed for the modest civilian-purposed nuclear reactor that Tehran claims is the only beneficiary – and these enrichment facilities are spread far and wide throughout the country, with some of them located underground in hardened facilities that would be problematic to destroy.
If you’re producing far more enriched uranium than you could possibly use in your nuclear electricity generation reactor(s), then that surplus uranium has to go someplace… and the two options that come to mind aren’t acceptable: a covert weapons program, or for export to other political entities that also have covert nuclear ambitions – Al Qaeda, for example.
The nuclear situation in Iran puts Israel – and by extension it’s Western allies – in a bind: while Iran potentially acquiring nuclear weapons capability is completely unacceptable, unilaterally attacking Iran in a pre-emptive strike would be heavy-handed and most likely to ignite a war that would spread like wildfire across the entire Middle East – and the forces of the Western allies are already exhausted from a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Which leaves Israel to act on its own – and one must also keep in mind that Israel has an arsenal of nuclear weapons of it’s own if the situation got out of hand.
However, while Israel might have enough thermonuclear devices to level Tehran and a few other Iranian cities, the fact is that Iran is the 2nd largest country in the region… and Israel is the smallest, and therefore extremely susceptible to being destroyed in a single nuclear strike.
There’s also the small matter of delivering those nuclear weapons to Iran as – as far as anyone in the West knows – all of Israel’s nuclear devices are in the form of gravity bombs and not mounted on long-range missiles, meaning that Israeli attack planes would have to fly through potentially hostile Lebanese, Syrian, Turkish, or Iraqi airspace before even getting to Iran.
The same holds out for any non-nuclear intervention raid Israel might want to stage against Iran in hopes of derailing the Iranian nuclear program like they did when they pounded Saddam Hussein’s atomic facilities into dust back in the 1980s – there’s just too much territory to cover from Israeli airfields to targets in Iran unless those Israeli pilots commit to a one-way suicide mission… and I wouldn’t put that past the Israeli people as they know the value of sacrifice and are a hardened people after decades of being under attack from all sides.
And yet… all the logistics of attacking Iran pale in comparison to the destructive potential of either the Islamic Republic Of Iran Army, The Army Of The Guardians Of The Islamic Revolution (the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard), or any other Iranian military body – or any paramilitary body the Ayatollah deems satisfactory enough to share with – possessing nuclear weapons when they are ideologically tuned towards destroying Israel and the Western world.
The situation is untenable and will need to be resolved prior to Iran developing nuclear weapons technology – and that time isn’t all that far into the future.
Am I being an alarmist?
Everything I’ve said here is absolutely true and cannot be argued by anyone outside North Korea and Iran.
The world has been under the illusion up until now that only the big players could afford nuclear weapons, and to be honest, global opinions should have changed once India and Pakistan developed the Bomb.
But we’ve fooled ourselves into complacency again… that we can send strongly worded letters to Tehran and Pyongyang and they will simply throw up their hands with a smile, saying “Well… it was worth a try, right?” before packing their whole nuclear infrastructure up in crates and shipping it to Russia for disposal.
Without total regime changes in North Korea and Iran, localized or global nuclear attacks aren’t just probable – they’re an almost forgone conclusion because both countries stand today as spiteful (in Pyongyang’s case), hateful (Tehran), and wholly irrational states.
Kim Jong Il and his son to follow him will continue to develop their primitive atom bombs into more effective hydrogen bombs by working their researchers to death at gunpoint while the citizens throughout North Korea – who depend on the government – starve to death in the streets (while Pyongyang’s resident god drinks Hennessy and collects expensive toys).
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his boss, the Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will continue on their path to nuclear weapons while they continue to hate on the Jewish people and deny the Holocaust – which was the reason the state of Israel was formed in the first place from land ‘donated’ from the surrounding Arab states – in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
To me, that’s the sure sign of Tehran’s insanity and the reason they can’t be trusted: to completely deny the Holocaust when it was thoroughly documented by both the Allies when the camps were liberated, and by the Nazis themselves with their meticulous records of the methodical extermination of the Jews who they deemed as sub-human… and the continued existence of facilities like Auschwitz and Dachau to remind humanity that the Holocaust was real.
It’s the equivalent of Ahmadinejad looking up and telling the world that the sky is in fact purple and that we’ve been duped by the Jews into thinking it’s blue… which I’m pretty sure he’s already claimed once or twice in his hateful stand-up comedy routines at the United Nations headquarters.
Folks… these are people who can not EVER be trusted with the nuclear genie.
You should be alarmed… you should feel a sense of panic.
These people aren’t going anywhere and won’t change their ways unless we make them.
And believe me… they’re not going to blink when we send them angry emails from the United Nations’ Gmail account.
I’m straight, and probably you’re straight… and chances are your neighbor is straight, too.
This makes you, your neighbor, and I middle of the road – the sexually commanding majority that has existed since the dawn of time (one has to make the assumption that the first two humanoids on Earth weren’t gay… or else that would have been a very short story indeed).
Our individual straightness may have a few interesting quirks (Kinsey noted that a lot of straight women dig pornography of two or more gay men together), or we may be the most boring heterosexual homo sapiens that ever lived in the history of the world (which probably makes you either Jahova Witnesses or Mormons… zing!).
Regardless of the gender who’s orifices you prefer, the sexuality of another human being has very little effect on you.
A straight man standing at a public urinal next to a gay man in the same washroom isn’t suddenly going to go find the nearest gay bar and suck twenty dicks as soon as he’s done draining his dragon.
Homosexuality is not a communicable disease that you can avoid by wearing one of those CDC full-body condoms like you see in just about every movie that’s been about some new contagion.
You are either born straight, born bisexual, born homosexual, or born asexual (that is completely uninterested in sex of any kind – which must be such a boring life) – and you can’t be converted to another sexuality through exposure to someone who’s sexual orientation is different than yours.
The ignorant members of the human population would stand up and call BULLSHIT on that previous paragraph simply because there are many cases of men and women suddenly switching their sexual allegiances at fairly late stages in their lives – well into their 20s or 30s, or even at 88 years old.
Make no mistake: these aren’t cases of switching sexuality.
Those are cases of people realizing they’ve been fulfilling the gender roles that society has foisted on them through media and peer observations, and not what’s been wired into their genetic code from the beginning.
Everywhere we go in life, heterosexuality is promoted in about 5 million different ways: straight people on TV, straight people in movies, straight people hosting radio shows, straight people in magazines, books about straight people, music made by straight people, etc. etc.
We are even led to believe that our civic leaders – either political or religious – are the perfect paradigms of heterosexuality… at least until Senator Bruce was caught at a motel with a male campaign staffer, or Father Probert had been found to be playing tonsil hockey with altar boys.
So, it’s no small wonder that everybody feels the pressure to be straight – even when they’re not entirely certain that’s what they’re interested in when they look inside themselves: straight people are the ones with families, good jobs, homes with white picket fences, and all the things that society says they should have when people grow up.
After a lifetime of self-doubt or self-loathing, Steve may realize that he’d be happier sticking his penis inside another man’s arse than he has been while politely going through the motions of putting it in his wife’s vagina.
Carol-Anne has been sleeping with every guy on the high-school football team in hopes of quashing the daydreams she has about tasting her best friend Jenny because her social structure insists she have a wealthy husband and six children someday.
Gender confusion has been a leading cause of suicide amongst young people for a very long time because they’ve never felt like they could belong… that they would be a monumental disappointment to their parents… that all their friends would abandon them if they came out of the closet.
Even in today’s ‘enlightened’ society where we’re told it’s okay to be gay, kids are bullied into ending their lives just because they like persons with the same genital configuration as they have.
What does being gay have to do with you if you’re straight?
How can you be threatened by that so clearly that you feel the necessity to lash out?
There aren’t many – if any at all – ways that homosexuality could be dangerous to the truly heterosexual people in your town or city, and to fear some vague notion that there is can only be pinned on mass hysteria.
Are you afraid that the queer folk are gonna snap up all the fabulous clothes at the mall?
That they will drink up every last drop of cafe au lait at Starbucks?
Or that gay men and women will suddenly, en masse, raid every adult novelty store in the country and buy up the world’s supply of dildos?
C’mon now! Give your friggin’ head a shake!
The only way a gay, lesbian, or bisexual person could really change your sexual outlook is by forcing you to realize that you are one of them and have been since the day your mother gave birth to you – at the bare minimum, you come around to the fact that you’re bisexual or omnisexual (attracted to all genders and sexual orientations depending on your mood – gay one day, straight the next, and fapping to tranny grandfathers the week after).
But I suppose that’s where the fear is: the uncertainty of uprooting your carefully constructed heterosexual image and not knowing how to be successfully homo- or bisexual… and I can understand how scary a concept that might be.
Change is terrifying for the majority of humankind.
However, it’s absolutely no excuse to single out, shame, bully, harass, or make fun of someone who doesn’t share your ideals.
I can’t remember any incidents of gay/lesbian/bi people beating up on a hetero male simply because he likes getting head from his girlfriend Stacy – and there’s a single reason for this: LGBT (Rainbow Coalition) people are self-aware enough to accept everyone for who they are and not what they’re supposed to be.
Gay or lesbian members of society don’t judge you on your sexual orientation or gender identification – they judge you on whether or not you’re a douchebag i.e. if you’re a decent human being who is worth knowing.
Even straight people aren’t homogeneous in their sexuality.
Myself, I have a thing for chubby or fat women… and most of my peers would prefer fantasizing about stick-thin bimbos with gigantic fake tits because that’s what’s pushed in beer ads and the issues of Hustler they purchased at 7-11.
Some straight guys like dressing up in women’s clothing… or getting spanked by their girlfriends… or dressing up together in leather fetishwear.
At the end of the day, sexuality can never been clearly defined in black and white – there is always room for shades of grey when it comes to what floats your personal boat.
Let me finish this blog with a question – call it The Human Decency Test.
One day, out of the blue, your son or daughter comes home from middle school and tells you they’re gay.
Do you still love them?
How you answer that question defines you… not who you like to fuck.
Ontarians – from border to border, and from Hudson Bay to the Great lakes – are on the verge of going to the polls again.
How and who they vote for will shape the government of Ontario for the next 4-5 years, and that is no inconsequential responsibility: North America is pretty much three inches and a market fart away from falling back into an economic recession that will no doubt put further pressure on the unemployment safety net as thousands of workers are let go.
The province of Ontario is a very complex machine… and when a machine breaks down, you want the right tools in your hands to fix it, right?
Unfortunately, Tim Hudak is just a tool (in the most derogatory sense).
During the 2011 election campaign, Mr. Hudak has tried to paint himself with Mike Harris’ left over cans of Tremclad Rustoleum in the supposedly trendy colour of ChangeBlue™… but he’s failed to realize that colour has been out of style for more than a decade.
While LiberalRed™ is still the preferred colour of the Ontario electorate, they’ve also developed a hankering for Andrea Horwath’s truckload of LaytonOrange™ – at least in small doses.
Tim Hudak may be good at mugging for the cameras, but he’s been overly terrible at public policy ideas – a failing that’s always terminal in a politicians’s case, and one that can make you a laughing-stock at what’s supposed to be your defining moment.
At the start of the campaign, everything was coming up roses for Timmy and his merry band of Harris leftovers because Ontarians thought that change would be nice after 8 years of Premiere Dad – and that’s bound to happen, no matter who’s been holding on to the province’s keys: people like change now and then.
Instead of always getting the pepperoni pizza, sometimes you go out on a limb and get the Hawaiian with extra pineapple.
After a week or so of glad handing voters around the province, Hudak firmly took his campaign off the rails by repeatedly saying the word “foreigners” – and in a province that only grows with the importing of landed immigrants from other countries around the world (because the Canadian birth rate is abysmal), that was just the wrong thing to focus on.
Suddenly, Tim Hudak was all about white guys – despite him looking out over Toronto sidewalks that skewed a bit more towards yellow and brown.
On top of that, the Progressive Conservative party – that’s led by Mr. Hudak – has always been the champion of big business.
So… Tim Hudak is all about rich white guys.
And yes… I’m using white guys on purpose since the PC party has never really been on board the women’s rights train – paying lip service to it when necessary, but always mumbling quietly about finding ways to outlaw abortions.
The funny thing about the “Foreigner” debacle is that, by and large, the immigrant population are the people most likely to agree with the PC platform since most of them have come from moderately- to radically conservative countries… which makes them more likely to drink the HarriBerry Blue™ Kool-Aid.
The idiocy of Hudak’s derailment is based on one glaring fact: they have no serious issues to grab the undecided voter’s attention.
Television advertisements paid for by the PC party have only harped on about taxes: Dalton McGuinty and his Fiberals are supposedly raising taxes every other week and twice on Christmas.
While it is true that taxes have gone up in Ontario, they’re not disproportionate to the rate of inflation… and there’s been a concrete need for any taxes implemented by the Liberal government over their past two mandates.
Evil Tax Number One a.k.a. The Health Care Premium: Do you have any idea how much money is needed to care for the rapidly aging Baby Boom generation? To care for the existing senior citizens? To battle health concerns like SARS and swine flu? Billions of dollars… billions of dollars that can’t be completely extracted from the amount of money brought into public coffers through various levels of personal and retail taxation – so the government needed a way to continue paying for our universal health care without digging itself further into debt.
Evil Tax Number Two a.k.a. The Eco-Tax: More than a million metric tons of used electronics used to go into landfills across the province before the turn of the century, and many still do… but that’s changing under the auspices of the Ontario Stewardship (a program that was itself set in motion by the previous PC government as a way to boost their environmental credentials) – and the money that’s required to start complex recycling programs province-wide has to come from somewhere… and where better to get that money than at the point of sale for the widescreen LCD television that you will discard in the next 5 years? That way, you’ve already paid for it’s recycling long before it’s necessary… instead of the government having to dip into it’s already strained and tattered pocketbook.
Evil Tax Number Three a.k.a. The HST: I’ve already explained why the HST is a necessary evil in previous blogs, so there’s not much I can add here. At the end of the day, Ontario needed to have the HST so it’s businesses could compete with other business entities around the world in our Global Economy because other jurisdictions in Europe, Asia, the U.S., Mexico, and South America already had in place single-point or so-called “value added” tax systems that made paying corporate taxes easier and more streamlined… and therefore cheaper over the long run.
With that Evil Tax Trifecta, surely Hudak could have made a better case for lowering taxes for the masses, right?
No… he couldn’t – and didn’t.
The HST couldn’t be revoked without activating a ‘poison pill’ scenario that was inserted by Hudak’s Conservative cousins in the federal government: if the province of Ontario were to revoke the HST, it would have to pay back $4 billion dollars in equalization money that’s already been sent to majority of Ontario citizens by those four special cheques you found in your mailbox over the past year – which would immediately be added to the province’s debt load and sinking the S.S. Ontario further into the Sea Of Red Ink… and would necessitate a rise in income taxes.
The best Hudak could promise on the HST front (and to be fair, Horwath has said the same things) was a modification of items that were included on the list of items taxable under HST – mainly removing the federal portion of the taxes on heating oil and electricity bills.
I suppose that would be nice, but hardly practical since it would cause a headache for the taxation department – a department that would eventually find a way to make up the difference from some other way of taxing you.
Onto the Health Care Premium.
Has Mr. Hudak said he would do away with those?
Nope. In fact, he’s said – very quietly and far away from voters waving little blue flags – that he will keep those in place because they do what I said they did a few paragraphs upwards from this one.
At the end of the day, the only one of those three Evil Taxes that Mr. Hudak and the PCs could tamper with in any meaningful way – and the meaning wouldn’t be necessarily good – would be the Eco-Tax.
However, as I hopefully made it clear up above, that would simply be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul – letting you off the hook at the point of purchase and then raising your personal taxes to maintain funding for the recycling facilities for your disposable iPods, Blackberries, flat screen televisions, and laptops… and to also pay for the water purification plants that remove the chemicals you put down the drain every day.
Outside of he Evil Tax Trifecta, Hudak doesn’t have a platform.
Healthcare? It can be argued that Ontario’s health care system is in the best shape it’s ever been in.
Yes… there are still crowded emergency rooms at hospitals across the province, but the wait times are getting better on the whole – especially for surgeries that can change people’s lives… or let them continue their lives as whole persons.
A few years ago, I was in serious bicycle accident and I snapped my leg in three places – something that would have been seriously debilitating in decades and centuries past…. even so bad that amputation would have been considered in more primitive times.
Guess what? The accident happened just after 1 o’clock in the afternoon… and I was in surgery to have a titanium rod permanently inserted down the middle of my tibia with attending screws and other hardware required to regain structural integrity – allowing me to walk on it again within several months – at 6 o’clock in the evening on the very same day.
So, I went from mangled to mostly fixed in five hours… and I didn’t have to pay a single cent – not even for the ambulance ride.
No… our healthcare system may not be perfect, but it’s still pretty damn amazing when you consider how much it has to struggle when it comes to finances.
The Progressive Conservatives, during their last stint as the province’s controls had taken a slash n’ burn approach to healthcare – firing doctors and nurses, and closing nearly twenty hospitals across the province… which caused such systemic damage that Ontario’s healthcare system was amongst the worst in the country, and it’s only now (2011) that it’s gotten back to the top.
Hudak & Pals don’t have any where to go with education, either.
The Liberals under Dalton McGuinty have made some radical improvements to public education in Ontario.
More students are sticking it out all the way through high school, graduating with marks that they can be proud of.
Smaller class sizes have helped students get the attention they need from their teachers, which means they get the help they need if they need it – either in that same classroom, or in more specialized learning environments.
The biggest change, of course, was the implementation of full-day kindergarten for all youngsters – which had two effects: the first being that children started experiencing a constructive learning environment sooner than most other children in North America… and it eased the financial burdens of working families that would have otherwise had to pay for daycare or babysitting services.
There’s very little to complain about when it comes to Ontario’s public schools.
In fact, there’s very little for Ontarians to complain about on the whole as the province simply works.
Compared to the Mike Harris years – an era where nearly every public sector union in Ontario was on strike – that Tim Hudak clearly yearns for deeply, Ontario is firmly planted in the Garden Of Prosperity.
Yes… there are many people across the province who are out of work because of the current global financial climate that isn’t particular to Ontario.
However, there are many people who’ve either regained or retained their employment because of programs that the current Liberal government forced into being with their majority… programs that cost many billions of dollars, but had very clear and tangible results.
Sure – the bailing out of General Motors and Chrysler (now owned by Fiat) was a popularly unpopular move… but it kept those two massive companies who employed thousands of Ontarians (either directly or through companies G.M. and Chrysler depended on to build their cars and trucks) alive.
The manufacturing sector in Ontario – and the world at large – has taken a beating as money becomes tight for consumers.
Companies that face certain peril if they don’t downsize their workforce have no choice to let employees go… and this is not the fault of the Ontario government.
It’s the fault of American banks and financial institutions who squandered and pissed away more than a trillion dollars in crooked investments and other equally worthless endeavors – actions that had a ripple effect across the entire world of stock exchanges and investment banking from New York to Tokyo.
The current hard financial times facing Ontario are not something that was caused in Ontario, and is most definitely not the fault of the McGuinty Liberals.
However, Tim Hudak has done his best to blame Dalton McGuinty for it… and in the end, the blame hasn’t stuck.
Maybe because the average Ontario voter is smarter than that… and I would really hope that’s the case.
However, I think the Ontarian electorate is sticking with the Liberals because Ontario is in a better place than a lot of jurisdictions in North America – and even the world.
Dalton McGuinty goes on television and shows you all the good things the Liberals have done over the time they’ve been in charge – most of which I’ve discussed here.
…And Tim Hudak challenges McGuinty and Horwath to a BBQ cook-off.
If that wasn’t a sign of non-existent political platform, I really don’t know what is.