The DSC News Bulletin Services
Fun times were had by all during the warm up to the Santa Parade. Hot Coffee kept party goers comfortable while the winds of winter howled through Portage and Main. Strange tribal beats filled the downtown core as Winnipeggers danced and took in the final gusts of somewhat fresh air before being locked in doors for the next 4 months.
The DSC News Bulletin Services
In our previous posts we covered the creation of The Bank of England and the development of the wealthy banking Dynasties. We now turn to the New World.
By the mid 1700’s the British Empire was about at its peak, however it had fought four costly wars since the creation of its privately controlled central bank. To finance these wars the British parliament borrowed heavily from the bank, a total of £140 million. Surely, the greatest debt the world had ever seen at this time. In an attempt to recoup some of these monies, the British government launched a program of taxation on its colonies. Speaking of America…
In America, there was no central bank… yet. In mid-1700’s America, the population was still relatively poor (as compared to Europeans) and there was a shortage of heavy metal coins that were used in trade for goods. Because of this shortage, the early Americans were forced to experiment with their own form of paper money. They printed their own money. Some were successful, others were not. Benjamin Franklin was an advocate for the colonies’ printing their own money. In 1757, Franklin went to London where he stayed for nearly 18 years until the start of the American Revolution. During this time, the American colonies issued their own paper money called Colonial Scrip. This currency helped to unite the colonies. It was just paper, not backed up by silver or gold. It was a total fiat currency. When responding to a question asked by an official of the Bank of England, regarding the prosperity of the colonies, Franklin replied in 1775:
“That is simple. In the colonies, we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Scrip. We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry to make the products pass easily from the producers to the consumers. In this manner, creating for ourselves our own paper money, and we have no interest to pay to no one.”
Well, of course the soul-less vultures did not like this. So, the British parliament was cohorts into passing The Currency Act in 1764 which prohibited colonial officials from printing their own money and required them to pay all taxes in gold or silver coins. Benjamin Franklin would later write in his memoirs:
“In one year, the conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity ended, and a depression set in, to such an extent that the streets of the Colonies were filled with unemployed”.
Franklin went even further in his autobiography:
“The colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction. The inability of the colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the international bankers was the PRIME reason for the Revolutionary War”.
Yeah, but you’ll never read that in any American text book.
When the first shots of the war were fired on April 19, 1775 in Lexington, MA, the colonies reserves of gold and silver were completely drained by the taxation imposed on them by the British parliament. Therefore, the continental government had no choice but to defy the British parliament and print their own money. At the start of the war, the American money supply was roughly $12 million, at the end of the war, $500 million. The currency was, in effect, useless. Shoes sold for $5000 a pair! Unlike its predecessor, Colonial Scrip, which was issued just enough to ferment the trading of goods, this currency was printed in abundance. Over printed. Out of control. Kind of like today, huh?
“A wagon load of money will scarcely purchase a wagon load of provisions”.
In our present time, those who advocate for a return to a gold (or silver) backed currency point to this period of U.S. history as a reason to denounce fiat based currencies. However, remember that the previous currency worked so well in times of peace that the Bank of England had parliament outlaw it. It was only because of the war that the currency was worthless. War uh-uh what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!
(Part 5 HERE)
Sorry that it has been a while… I was lacking inspiration for a bit there… but am starting feel it again and now seems a good time to troll with an update on the 2014 Winnipeg mayoral election. Below are some random thoughts, written quickly, and in no particular order.
Running for mayor simply to gain name recognition is nothing new and may be done for advertising (e.g., Brad Gross the real estate agent, 2010 election) or to gain a more notable public profile to assist in future endeavors such as tweeting, writing, and advocacy (e.g., Kaj Hasselriis, 2006 election). In this election for this category of candidates we have David Sanders, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, and I would include Paula Havixbeck as well:
- David Sanders, because in the future when he speaks as a citizen at council and committees, he will garner more attention as people would then have heard of him before.
- Robert-Falcon Ouellette (RFO) has done much writing, blogging and podcasting on aboriginal issues… but has apparently only lived in Manitoba for less than a handful of years… after this campaign he’ll have gained province-wide name recognition and some dedicated supporters… I think it is likely he will marshal that in the world of aboriginal politics (such as the Assembly of MB Chiefs or other such lobby/advocacy groups) or become an author or motivational speaker (or all of the above).
- Paula Havixbeck, as I speculate that she decided that politics was not really for her… it’s better for name recognition to play it safe in terms of policy/not offend and lose in a mayoral election, than to simply not run again after a single term as a councilor (she’s holds and MBA and taught at Asper School of Business… look for her to open a consultancy group, I’d predict).
The opening of Portage & Main to pedestrians seems to be the #1 issue for hipsters… but did Bowman make a strategic error and rely too heavily on Tweetin’ Hipsters’ feedback which led to his stance on opening up P&M? Likely will cost him a few percentage points in popular support. Hipsters are not reflective of most Winnipeggers… sure, they’d love the visibility they’d get from walking across P&M after a visit to Parlour Coffee waving their coffee cup around… but an overwhelming majority of Winnipeggers would disagree that opening P&M is the #1 issue facing Winnipeg, and disagree that it would be the sole magic needed to totally revitalize downtown.
Bowman a ‘business owner?’ At the Downtown Biz mayoral forum (which I attended), he first indicated he is a “business owner” downtown… the later, a “part-owner.” What came to mind was him owning and standing behind the till of a cute little boutique shop or something. But, if so, that’d be all over his campaign material. No, he must’ve been referring to being a partner at his law firm. While perhaps technically true, it is unusual for a partner at a law firm to bill themselves as a “business owner,” so says my lawyer buddies.
Whatever happened to the Doggie Lobby? I was hoping to troll that group a bit more as the campaign unfolded. Oh well.
Annoying voices... this election, many people are likely asking themselves “whose voice would I hate to hear the most over the next four years… Judy, or Bowman?” Scoff if you will, but these things do matter in politics. Bowman in particular would probably be up a few more percentage points if he only had a voice coach.
Gord is courting the narrow-minded suburbanite vote, which answered my question from a few months ago: “Where on the spectrum is Gord Steeves today?” With Bowman trying to take the centre vote, Gord is trying to appeal to those who would take property tax freezes above all else. He also wants to frame his candidacy as a referendum for Phase 2 of bus rapid transit (BRT). He knows most of the suburbanites he is courting have no interest in Phase 2, and is counting on that sentiment as a driver (pun intended) of their voting intention. But moving about the spectrum as often as he does also makes it seem that you can’t trust him to stay true to any position.
Not much new to say about Judy, the Queen of Selfies, her policy platform has essentially been lackluster all campaign. We know she wants to increases taxes and have that increase aligned with inflation. We know she is yapping about infrastructure as often as she can, as that is seemingly the #1 most issue for most voters this election. And like Bowman, we know that she supports expanding BRT without a clue of how to pay for it. With some vote-splitting on the right, she is likely to win, though she has some vote splitting working against her too now, with RFO taking some of the ‘latte sipping ivory tower leftist’ vote away from her (note how many puff pieces and gushing op-eds the Free Press has been giving to RFO).
Mike Vogiatzakis, sort of disappointed to see him out of the race… he was a troll, and I obviously respect that. In particular, I enjoyed the moment at the Downtown Biz debate where he interrupted the debate, declared it bullshit he was not invited, and indicated that people can come talk to him at his gigantic RV parked outside.
Michel Fillion may still be the leading candidate for the Donald Street Collective Official Endorsement, though the Sub-Committee on External Politics is stalled as it has still not been able to agree to terms on its Terms of Reference.
For further related reading, you can find my previous Winnipeg election posts here andhere and here and here.
The Midtown Troll
(continued from HERE)
Your boss is better than you. The corporation recognises this and awards your boss with more money than what you earn. More money means he/she is valued more than you. In turn, you are better than your underlings (direct reports). Know your place. Know your worth.
The corporation permits the evaluation of your job performance and character. Poor performance is a reflection of your status as a person and employee. If you do not live up to the expectations set by your supervisor, you are considered uncooperative, unmotivated, not a value-add and, you impede the growth of the corporation. If it was not for the Labour Code you would have been fired long ago. Keep that in mind.
Demonstrate a greater commitment to corporate ideals. Regardless of what is going on in your personal life, you ought not to leave the office after a full day’s work. Work a couple of extra hours every night of the week. Make sure that when you do, you are visible. Drop by Saturday and Sunday, finish up some paper work, speak to others who may be there, and send some emails as they are date and time stamped. Appearance is reality.
Conform to the language and manner of the corporation. Human Resources and your supervisor will provide some guidance should you fall short. Difference or showing some unique characteristic is fine as long as it is something that others find appealing. It will motivate them to improved job performance. Don’t be too different.
Attend corporate events, fundraisers and community activities. You are the public face of the corporation. Lead by example. You don’t want underlings at these events without your presence. That would be a most unfortunate situation. Have issues with a campaign, an initiative or social cause? Keep it to yourself and attend. You are not paid to have your own beliefs and values.
Corporate citizenship is demonstrated by how much effort you put into community fundraising activities. If you give 1000.00 to the United Way you get a pin to wear which shows others that you gave a 1000.00 to the United Way. Like the Scarlet Letter, it serves a purpose.
Find an appropriate way to express anger and distaste, unless you are a senior executive. They are usually exempt from any HR behaviour guidelines.
Fifty hours this week at the office? Nice, but not enough. You are required to demonstrate commitment to your profession through continuing education or volunteering with some professional association. The corporation does not want workers so much as career minded professionals willing to sacrifice any spare time. Remember, lead by example.
Encourage the wage earners to adopt corporate ideals. Coaching, feedback, seminars and training sessions will help. You are required to benevolently enforce conformity. Let them know it’s not just a job; it’s a home of like-minded individuals working for the common good. Convince the workers that they can only benefit by adopting the corporate vision, values, and mission statement. In so doing executives will see a positive return on revenues. Belonging is profitable.
(Continued from HERE)
1. Potency regulation: Think about this the next time you’re at the liquor store. Spirits are either 20% by volume or 40%, with one or two exceptions. Beer and wine are subject to similar limits, though beer seems to be moving beyond the standard 5%. Would similar standards be applied to THC? Required minimum and maximum standards would be regulated and policed.
2. Similarly, would there be only approved strains? Strains and potency outside the government established standards could be rejected and declared illegal.
3. I would be surprised if Canadian authorities eventually permit recreational use. If anything, there may be changes to the existing medical use laws. Otherwise it will be business as usual for the recreational users.
4. Health Canada has “experts” who currently inspect licensed grow facilities. Where did they obtain this expertise? What counts as being an expert? I suggest that it’s about inventory control and accounting for every gram and plant produced. Each plant may be identified by bar code and tracked. It’s all about security, command and control. Perhaps the government has standards for all of the processes involved with production, packaging and distribution.
5. With regulations and controls as they are in the medical weed community, are smaller growers making decent money? I doubt it.
6. In the Canadian market, foodstuffs named “organic” are roughly twice the price of mass produced fruits and vegetables. Would we see an organic weed market develop? Users with higher than average incomes could afford this more pure product. Medical users on disability pension or those of lower income would not have access (of course, this assumes that organic weed is “better” than its alternative).
7. Development of new marijuana products. These would be subject to proposals, fees, trials and controls. Who is permitted to develop products should this new economy be further opened up? I am uncertain about the current processes. It is secret knowledge, apparently.
8. Marijuana paraphernalia. Head shops have been operating in Canada for many years. Their businesses have been thriving under the current legislation. They would get a boost should more lenient legislation be approved in the House of Commons.
9. The children, won’t someone please think of the children? Under the current laws studies have demonstrated that more Canadian children and teens have used marijuana than ever before. If there was a change in the laws similar to Colorado, there would be a large government expenditure on educating youth and their parents on the hazards of use and abuse. Education or propaganda. Time will tell.
10. Research. There are many claims (in popular culture these are anecdotal) extolling the virtues of medical marijuana and only a handful of acceptable studies are existent. There will be calls for more studies (biological/social/economic) yielding contradictory evidence. This is a political issue and, as yet, has little to do with actual scientific data. That research is still nascent.
11. Backlash. In Canada, we do not have a clearly defined religious right that votes as a unified block. With a growth in religious fundamentalism, I suspect that these groups may merge in a concerted effort to resist the current trend in marijuana politics.
1. Marijuana culture is populated and will continue to be populated by the criminal element. Undesirables.
2. Marijuana is readily available in most areas throughout Canada, even given the current laws. The folks involved in this trade are, by definition, criminals. Canada has many of them.
3. Any revision or reform in the current legislation will threaten the lives of Canadian youth/children leading to inevitable societal breakdown.
4. Applications for medical marijuana grower’s licenses are slow to be processed. Three hundred pending, two approved during the summer of 2014. Approximately 1000 applications were received.
5. The medical marijuana lobby is a thinly veiled attempt by potheads and undesirables to corrupt Canadian society.
6. If reform or revision is approved and marijuana is taxed and controlled by the Government of Canada, they might benefit from a new revenue stream. Our governments already make buckets of cash from alcohol, tobacco and gambling so we best not add to that mix of vices. Canadians have enough of them already.
7. Job creation. Tory’s enjoy economics as politics but not this type.
8. Marijuana could become big business. This would mean that patents will be made on seeds, genetics and grow methods. Marijuana commerce would then start to benefit the business owners. Frontline growers will become wage earners. Owners will become wealthy. Grow-ops will be bought out. Monopolies will form. Hard to believe Mr. Harper would dismiss that future.
9. Government regulation and big business will lead to increased prices for potent weed and lower prices for the rest of it. Ready to pay 100.00 a quarter for Purple Kush? Perhaps the government will regulate the prices too, just as Apple does with their products (BTW, the Apple Watch is lame).
10. Would Agriculture Canada, through Statistics Canada, conduct grow-op surveys on yields, storage and revenues? They’ve already thoroughly pissed off the Canadian farmers and irritated the Canadian public with their invasive questions. Get ready, it's coming.
11. Marijuana will only be grown and purchased in government regulated outlets and operations. Licensing fees! More taxes!
12. Age of majority cards. What would the legal age be for marijuana smokers? What about growers? Penalties for violations.
13. Mr. Harper enjoys living a drug free life. No caffeine, alcohol or aspirin. He is a great man.
The media's political correctness on this Lorrie Steeves comments about drunken native guys is pathetic. It's not their fault, they were tortured and abused in the residential schools. A CBC guy even asked one of them, "were you abused in the residential school?" Can't these people handle any responsibility for there disgusting behavior?
Look at these bums I photographed today. Sitting right on Portage and Donald passing the sherry bottle back and forth. They were starting to catcall the ladies walking by. Can't these clowns find a more discreet place to get loaded and obnoxious? No, they like it in the action, they like getting drunk in the middle of the big city.
This week many pundits have all but declared Gord Steeves’ campaign dead in the water. As we all know by now, Gord’s wife wrote a Facebook post out of frustration, four years ago, about constantly being harassed and feeling threatened in downtown Winnipeg. Her mistake? Aside from the obvious (having a Facebook profile), she generalized all vagrants and panhandlers as being native. Of course, not all vagrants are of aboriginal decent. She forgot to qualify by writing “often,” etc. Perhaps she was just trolling!
Either way, I get the sense that this whole issue may actually boost support for Gord’s campaign.
Downtown Winnipeg can be a dangerous place. Run of the mill random assaults and muggings don’t even make the news anymore, they are so common. Yours Truly was once jumped and assaulted by a pack of four young ‘aboriginal in appearance’ thugs on a downtown sidewalk in daylight. Punched, kicked, choked, spat upon… but as I didn’t have any money on me at the time to be stolen, it was not classified as a ‘non-commercial robbery’ and as such, didn’t even get an icon on the city’s CrimeStat website. Other members of this blog also had the misfortune of being mugged and/or assaulted downtown over the years as well.
Winnipeg’s delusional civic cheerleaders make claims and fallacies such as “I’ve never had a problem downtown, so obviously there has never ever been problems downtown.” However, most Winnipeggers do not wear blinders or have an agenda to make the city seem safer than it actually is. They remember the many news stories out of downtown such as that very public stabbing/murder on Canada Day Eve at Main & Broadway this year witnessed by Happy Suburbanite Families on the way to Canada Day Fireworks, or “Homeless Hero” Faron Hall assaulting a female doctor in front of her young children. Such awful stories particularly form a person’s opinion of downtown safety and are not forgotten such as the guy who was assaulted for simply wearing the wrong colour, the teenagers randomly attacking multiple innocent people with a hatchet, or a group of ten men mugging someone and then slashing the victim afterwards just for good measure. And these are just a small sample of downtown crime stories. Yikes!
While not an accurate poll, try sorting comments on news sites or Reddit by popularity/agreement on stories about the whole Lorrie Steeves Facebook flap. Those comments that are most popular are usually in support of what she posted and Gord wanting to ‘clean up downtown.’ And what effect is there in Gordon Sinclair and Dan Lett having orgasms over the whole Facebook post and wasting barrels of ink over it? Well, those guys are so out of touch with your average Winnipegger that when people read such op-eds, they are likely to think ‘wow, if Sinc/Lett believes this, the opposite must actually be true.’
Remember when former Alberta premier Ralph Klein made a drunken visit to a homeless shelter, tossed money on the ground and yelled at them to get jobs? That didn’t hurt his popularity one bit, it gave him a boost. Why? Because many (if not most) Albertans were in agreement, even though it wasn’t politically correct.
If a Winnipegger has not experienced violence or felt threatened downtown personally, they more than likely know of someone close to them who had such troubles downtown. My guess is that most Winnipeggers can empathize with the frustration that Lorrie Steeves felt, even if they were not a victim themselves, and they’re not going to hold it against Gord. People can also be understanding, as who hasn’t written something in the heat of the moment that they could have worded better?
As regular readers may recall, I have been critical of Gord Steeves before and am in no way a supporter of his campaign. I’m just providing analysis as I see it, and my instinct is telling me that this may not have been a bad week for Gord’s campaign, in fact, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if he gets a boost of support from it.
The Midtown Troll
For related reading here at the DSC, check out “Please… Don’t Give the Bum Anything!” by Angry Downtownite.
As always, the DSC has uncovered the news behind the scenes, the lies within the hushed silences, and the complete ridiculousness of living in prison cell boxes that scum lords pass off as "apartments". When the ticking of your tock is washed away by the sounds of your downtown neighbours visceral digestions and ejaculations, when you look for answers to the strangeness that is downtown Winnipeg, the DSC will be there to provide the news that matters.
As reported earlier, there was an afternoon occurrence at 87 Smith Street that had coppers, paramedics and old ladies living across the hall, collectively shaking their heads. The DSC very early on collected some important details about the event, namely, the involvement of a human head, a cat, and a freezer. These three components seem to be the players in the Smith Street fiasco.
It has been uncovered that a hapless Downtownite decided to save 20 cents and get his pet cat cheaper food. Big mistake...according to police. Constable O' Penbottom stated,
" The cat was apparently very picky about what food it would ingest. As the days went by and the cat rejected the food, the feline turned hunger into anger."
The crazed, famished cat had taken enough of its "owner's" selfishness and attacked his face. The dumb struck 30 something year old Winnipegger attempted to console and remove the cat from his head but was unable to do so. He eventually thought it would be a good idea to stick his head, with cat, into the freezer to try and relax the feisty feline. Constable O'Penbottom continued,
" As the man waited for the cat to be affected by the cold of the freezer, his profusely bleeding head froze to the inside of the freezer. When we arrived on the scene, we saw the tenant standing completely limp, held up by the head in the freezer with an ice ball mixture of blood, drool, and the cat."
Paramedics managed to crack the ice off the mans head and the tenant was rushed to hospital where he is recovering from multiple face lacerations and frost bitten ears, nose and gums. The frozen, starved, barely living cat was sold to one of the many food trucks parked on Broadway.
DSC News Bulletin Services
As emergency crews work to prevent further situations, it would seem a bit of a mishap occurred at 87 Smith Street Apartment Block at around 2 pm today. While details are scant, we here at the DSC News Bulletin Services will work diligently to present you with the fallicies of facts that will undoubtedly be uncovered. Early word states there may be a human head, a freezer and a hungry cat involved. Stay Tuned!
Eccentric Harvey referred to himself as an "old resilient bastard" on the radio the other day. The 78 year old is ready for another run for city council. He was elected to the Winnipeg City Council in 1980 for the division of Sargent Park, retaining his seat until 1986.
In the provincial election of 1986, Smith was elected in the Winnipeg riding of Ellice, defeating Progressive Conservative Seech Gajadharsingh by over 2,000 votes. He was not appointed to the cabinet of Howard Pawley, and lost to Liberal Avis Gray by 724 votes in the 1988 election.
In 1998, Smith came out of political retirement to run for the Winnipeg City Council again, representing the Daniel McIntyre Ward on city council. In 2002, he was re-elected over Maureen Pendergast by almost 3000 votes. Despite being the incumbent candidate, Smith lost the endorsement of the NDP going into the 2010 civic election in favour of Pat Martin's constituency assistant Keith Bellamy. Smith decided to contest this decision and ran as an independent in the 2010 Winnipeg civic election.On October 27, 2010, Smith won a narrow victory over four other candidates and retained his seat as councillor for the Daniel McIntyre ward.
In 2004, he filled out the NDP nomination forms for a provincial by-election in the riding of Minto, but soon withdrew from the race. Harvey had a secret...
CBC April, 2007:
The apartment of a Winnipeg city councillor has been deemed insanitary by the city's environmental health services department.
Harvey Smith, who represents the Daniel McIntyre ward in Winnipeg, has moved out of his suite in the Marie Apartments on Alverstone Street in the West End neighbourhood he represents.
Building caretaker Normand McKay says earlier media reports that Smith was evicted are incorrect.
"He wasn't evicted, and if he would have cleaned up, he'd still be living here," McKay said.
"If you don't abide by the health rules, by the health department and stuff — like, they even told him to clean up because it was unsafe for anybody to live in.The way it was, I wouldn't even let my dog live here."
McKay says he found mouse droppings and year-old food in Smith's apartment.
"I filled out three bins of his garbage and I'm still cleaning up the apartment, the way he left it," McKay said.
The closing order for Smith's suite indicates inspectors found a "large accumulation of household garbage, debris, filth and hoarding of items throughout the suite," according to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press.
For his part, Smith says he's not surprised his apartment was ruled unfit for human habitation.
"I mean, I agree with it. It's the walls. It's the physical condition of the apartment," he says.
"When the roof leaked, they repaired the roof but they didn't bother repairing the wallpaper where the water had come down."
Smith admits he had a lot of belongings, including thousands of books, records and old furniture, such as an old radio from the 1930s.
"But it was all neat and clean."
Smith believes he was forced out of his apartment by the landlord after he stood up for another tenant.
"I made the landlord angry… because I went to bat for the tenant across the way," he says. "They tried to evict him and the Rentalsman's decision quoted me as saying the tenant was quiet and responsible."
I wonder if Harvey has strange odours?
(previous Cyberspace Artifact HERE)
I should have taken Cheryl shopping more often: she was always unfulfilled.
I should have beaten that customer to death rather than pretending I cared. Fuck all those customers. Their time is coming. Come, taste death, assholes.
I am glad I managed to clean the bathroom each week. My toilet was always crystalline perfection. Who’s going to clean it now?
Tomatoes are on sale for 1.59 per lb this week. One should never miss deals like this. We find the heroic in the everyday.
Yes! I closed the McKellar deal and managed that account! So deeply satisfied. Death is easier now.
Wasted time waiting for cabs, busses, flights and rides. Did I make use of the time? Consciousness became time. I waited, only waited. Waiting to die, now.
I wish I had spent more time with the upkeep of the house. That seems so important now.
Not sure what was more pleasant: terminal cancer or those fucking romcoms Cheryl insisted I watch. Yeah, let’s watch Knocked Up again. Sounds fun.
The Queen is not dead. Makes no difference. She has a replacement. Wake up Canada! Dump her. Build your own heritage and future.
If coughing makes me shit, is that bad?
Religion offers no comfort. The morphine drip does. Death rarely comes at the right time but at least I'm high.
How much alcohol did I drink? Certainly three bottles a week for nearly four decades. 6240 bottles not including the good stuff. Good time for a drink.
Glad to have spent most Sunday dinners with Cheryl’s distasteful family. 22 years of unspoken bitterness. More indigestible than her mother’s food.
Dying with Mr. Harper at the helm is gratifying. Strong governance, fiscally conservative and socially progressive. Canadians are blessed.
The DSC. Their words and images I shall always remember. Well, at least until I am dead, which apparently won’t be long now. To blog is to live.
How much time did I spend waiting for Cheryl? Was it years? Late for every event. Always fucking late. Dying early, that’s my revenge.
I’ll miss the opening of the CMHR. The history of the oppression of the world’s people presented in Friendly Manitoba. ‘Welcome to MB, would you like to see some pictures of genocide?’
Good afternoon and thank-you for your kind thoughts during this precarious recovery period. Due to the pending cases I will not be fielding questions. I am very weak. I have been advised to say the following:
An altercation took place. I was injured. Those facts may or may not be related. I was attacked by a person that appeared to be angered by my provocations. Again, that has yet to be confirmed or denied in the courts. The injuries sustained by me were the result of my assailant using a spoon; something I haven’t used or seen since. The assailant was a man and he hurt me. The courts will determine whether he hurt me or not. The Crown agrees with my version of what now is a “story”. We know where the event occurred and that there were 17 witnesses. Some of these witnesses may or may not be discredited. Justice is lofty. I am not interested in justice. That’s the Court’s issue, not mine.
You think I was angry before? Well, the bar has been raised. When I return to work I intend to unleash my blind rage on all meat eaters, the meat and automobile industries, global warming deniers, Mr. Harper’s Government, and any local restaurant that fails to satisfy my dietary expectations. This horrific event has provided a sharper focus for my vitriol. Few outside my inner circle will escape my wrath-laden words.
I want your money, not your sympathy. My besotted friend, Herr Doctor, is accepting donations on my behalf so please speak to him at the close of this statement. This has been a difficult time for all involved and my gratitude to those of you who showed concern as my gut sac spilled gently onto the floor. Special thanks go to the guy with the shop vac and plastic bags. I appreciate the gesture. No, really.
Thank-you and Good Day
Your salary is based on 2080 hours. You are expected, of course, to work more than that without pay. A few extra hours worked on weeknights and the weekends are well spent. Work/life balance means spending more time at work and less time with your personal life. The balance is always in favour of your employer.
Each year middle management is expected to deliver more: more hours, more positive results, more success, more revenue... but you will receive the same pay.
Salary caps allow the Board of Directors to further line their pockets with gold. This is your duty: make them wealthier. That is a demonstration of strong corporate citizenship.
‘Professionalism’ is a word used to suppress difference and dissent. It is similar to ‘dignified’ and ‘auspicious’. It entails adhering to the values and norms of the moneyed classes (white and protestant), especially if you do not belong to them.
Corporations believe perception is reality. They are philosophically illiterate and have never seen David Blaine.
Corporate dress code: If a customer service rep wears a necktie, his job performance will improve. Profits go down when ties come off.
Cuss only when the door to your office is closed, otherwise people will hear you and would be offended if not threatened. The ruling classes do not swear. That is the language of the less than privileged classes.
Drinking at a corporate event is unacceptable. A glass of wine at dinner is enough. At all times you are to demonstrate leadership qualities. Behave as if you are attending a church (an austere one).
Merit increases are related to performance reviews. Ensure that your best performer (that is the person who always delivers your results) only gets a small increase; a point or so above the rest of the team. Glowing reviews do not lead to improved performance. Profits would flat line otherwise.
Micromanage. Get waist deep in your team’s performance. Question everything about their work. Keep them unsettled. Drive your results. This is your career; don’t let them ruin it. Don’t give them breathing room. Create the illusion that they have independence. Manipulate.
Employees must give up their values for those of the corporation. To respect people in and of themselves is not the goal. Respect them because if you do not you will lose productive hours in HR meetings and disgruntled employees. That is not money well spent. Higher morale is good for profitability.
Be grateful that you are working for the corporation. However, the corporation is not grateful you are working for them. You are a disposable resource. Productive or not, if profitability can be increased by eliminating your job, it will be done.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God had created and made.
Book of Genesis Chapter 2:1-2
-Standard King James Version
How would God bless and sanctify this day? On day seven, religious bureaucracies, officers, and clergy were nonexistent. No one was authorized to witness, accurately record, interpret, and administer these holy acts. Adam and Eve (as images created in the likeness of God) are about a day old. Right now they know shit; especially as they have not yet eaten from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Similarly, the Word has not yet been created. Communication must have been tenuous if not impossible. These were acts that must have carried no meaning for them. They were still reeling from the events of the past few hours, unaware of thought; existing without self-awareness and only receiving perceptual stimulus. I suspect that Adam and Eve missed the events of day seven but, if they were present, they would have had no context by which they could comprehend what God enacted.
On day seven, God’s energy expenditure would be more casual, less forceful; an afterthought or add-on at the end of a busy week. The sort of energy required to bless and sanctify must require less effort than bringing physical reality into being. As God needs rest, he cannot be omnipotent. There may have been gaps in the plan. One can’t predict every contingency; any introductory course in project management and implementation would clearly demonstrate this. Blessing and sanctification are more traditional religious events that appear at the end of God’s project. Here, the spiritual follows the physical. Adam and Eve may have been created in the image and likeness of God but they had yet to receive a proper religious education. There is no mention of prayer, fasting, service or whether the first couple was interested in ‘spiritual’ pursuits. The practical acts of blessing and making holy must have been met with bewilderment or indifference.
I suspect that God’s labour on day seven may not have taken all day. What was a full day’s work in those early moments in Judeo-Christian history? My grandparents worked much longer hours than I ever did and that was only several decades ago. Day seven’s efforts did not require twenty-four hours, did they? That’s not rest. If God needed to rest, he set the precedent for active rest as he was engaged in some activities. Once completed, what did he do? How much time did he have left before the beginning of his next work week? What does a less than omnipotent spiritual being do to rest? As rest is recovery from energy expenditure, I wonder what kind of energy God utilized. Consider the forces required to create the earth and heavens and all therein. That’s got to be exhausting. He laboured for six days and, given the scope of the project, he didn’t give himself much time for recovery. How was his energy replenished? That is, what is restorative for a god of his status?
Maybe he was engaged in quiet prideful reflection on the events of the past week. Though, I don’t see how thinking about work on a day off is restful. We learn later that God is proud and vengeful so he is subject to more flaws than a basic lack of power would suggest. Active rest is important so maybe he also took a walk in the garden, went flying or spent time at the beach and ate mangoes. As he was near omnipotent he could do just about anything he wanted. Unfortunately there is no record of his time out of the office. Maybe he just sat on a deck, beer in hand, and watched the world go by. That is time well spent, indeed.
As the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is nearing its opening, we’ve been getting bombarded with puff pieces and tweets about an urban and economic renaissance that is said to surely follow in Winnipeg. This is simply out of touch with Winnipeg’s reality and character. Winnipeg is not now, nor will it ever be, the next great metrosexual paradise, and the CMHR will not change this fact one bit. Winnipeg is best represented by Salisbury House, not Trendy Hipster Coffee Parlour. And that’s okay.
Our city’s character is clear to most Winnipeggers, so it is laughable how out of touch some so-called urbanists and CMHR proponents are with the city. A new building will not go up on every surface parking lot because of the CMHR, nor will people choose to move to Winnipeg and buy million dollar condos because of it. All the propaganda about such an upcoming renaissance is designed to make taxpayers feel they will be getting value for the $300+ million of public money going into the CMHR.
For example, Brent Bellamy, the “On Architecture” columnist at the Winnipeg Free Press has at least twice (1,2) posited that Winnipeg will experience the ‘Bilbao Effect.’ In short, the idea is that Winnipeg will see the increase in tourism and become an urbanist mecca like what happened in Bilbao, Spain, following the opening of their Guggenheim Museum in 1997. Of course, Winnipeg is no Bilbao. Fortunately, two excellent and rational Winnipeg bloggers have previously responded to this claim and detailed key differences between Winnipeg and Bilbao (see these posts at Anybody Want a Peanut and The View from Seven).
I’ll hammer home the point that when people choose vacation destinations, they usually choose fun and/or relaxation, not somber experiences. An exception to this is if actual notable history happened at the site, such as visiting Auschwitz. ‘Interactive video screens’ with minimal actual artifacts are unlikely to be a big draw. It is doubtful that multiple and justified controversies will be a positive way bring out the tourists (e.g. ‘come to this taxpayer-funded shrine to political correctness, and human hypocrisy and ego’). Tourists may visit such a museum if they already happen to be a tourist in a city. However, Winnipeg does not have any substantial attractions to lure tourists to it from outside of this region (sorry, The Forks is just not all that special or unique, and the only out of town visitors coming to IKEA or Jets/Bombers are likely from rural Manitoba).
For its first year, sure, many people from Manitoba will visit the CMHR out of curiosity. Yours Truly is even going to see the darned thing (with reviews to follow here at the DSC). After Year 1, I predict most visitors will be students on forced fieldtrips and some Canadian armed forces personnel as part of their training. The CMHR has tried to put one over the public previously by sneakily including online visitors in their projections of “visitors to this museum.” No doubt they’ll feel the need to manipulate the visitor stats again; this is something that seeing it once is enough, it’s not the sort of attraction people would normally make a yearly visit to so the real visitor counts will quickly decline.
How is it then that many of the so-called ‘urbanists’ who sing the Gospel of Jane Jacobs and spend much time thinking/tweeting about Winnipeg urban issues do not recognize these truisms, parrot the CMHR propaganda, and believe that a single and dubious government mega-project will rejuvenate the city? Because for them, support for the CMHR is entirely about adding a tall glass spire to Winnipeg’s skyline – at any cost.
The Midtown Troll
For other related DSC reading, see "The Museum of Human Hypocrisy (or The Shrine to Ego" by Angry Downtownite.
The DSC-NBS always has its ears to the curb and eyes to the street, and it just so happens that while looking on the street we discovered a top secret government memo. It is our duty and privilege to share this revealing document to you, the DSC Readers.
While unsurprising, it would seem apathy and corruption continue to haunt the public sector. This particular memo "reminds" employees of the public sectors core values, which include fear and intimidation and self sabatoge. We at the DSC do have empathy for the current environment confronting federal employees, but the reality is, the whole public service industry has systemic issues that need to get worked out, one way or another.
Remember, when your put on hold for 45 minutes while a government worker looks up your file, there is a specific reason for it...and you heard it here first, at the DSC!
The DSC News Bulletin Services
Note: Due to the ongoing legal issues and, in order to ensure the safety of the victim, the Court has recently lifted a legally imposed publishing ban. Some details are now available.
The DSC’s own Angry Vegan, the most recent addition to the DSC Blog Team, has been convalescing at a local ashram after multiple reconstructive surgeries and a lengthy stay in hospital. The medical team is pleased with his progress and has released him under medical supervision. Locals said he was savagely beaten by a meat eating, women-hating, limp-dicked, sclerosis-ridden workingman. Local police described the carnage as the kill floor at your favourite abattoir. Witnesses also describe watching what appeared to be a butcher gutting a calf. When Police and Rescue arrived at the scene the Angry Vegan was a trembling, quivering sack of dislodged meat.
The perpetrator of this heinous act had overheard the Angry Vegan make a disparaging comment about grain fed beef. Witnesses state that he also claimed that certain American beers, made under license in Canada, were flavoured and made, in part, with corn. The Angry Vegan appeared to enjoy provoking Burt Geddoe, 35, of Tungsten Grange but things went south quickly after Mr. Vegan proclaimed that Ford, GM and Chrysler were foreign cars in Canada just as a Toyota was. The Angry Vegan is well known to the residents of the area; many of whom were deeply shocked that their loveable curmudgeon was subjected to such cruelty. However, some did say that though they were fond of AV (as he is known); something was bound to happen eventually given the provocative and confrontational nature of his personality.
Though Police have yet to release full details (it is uncertain if they will ever be permitted by the Court), Geddoe has been charged with aggravated assault, unnecessary use of force and improper use of a spoon. He faces a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. Lobby groups from the federal and provincial meat industries, and the American car manufacturing sector are providing Geddoes with legal and financial support. The Angry Vegan is using a Legal Aid lawyer for the pending civil cases launched against him.
We expect a public statement from the Angry Vegan once lawyers manage to set clearly defined parameters for trial and police report press releases. It’s possible that even given the horrendous violence to which he was subjected, Mr. Vegan could face millions of dollars worth of legal costs and owed settlements to the interested parties. The civil cases are being built as the criminal trial proceeds. The criminal trial is expected to last six weeks.
The DSC News Bulletin Services
(reaction to comments posted HERE)
A team of international scientists led by noted Egyptian Psychiatrist A.P. Eman have released a study designed to determine if blind faith to Biblical texts hinders intellectual growth and development in adherents. Preliminary results suggest that evangelicals or “born-again” Christians are more apt to resist advances in scientific knowledge and culture to the detriment of themselves and, by extrapolation, to the society in which they reside. “The study is still underway, and we have more to learn” says Dr. Joost Dunn, Project Lead in Analytics. Eman and Dunn look forward to the results of the CAT scans of the respondents brains before and after they are presented with certain types of documented and valid scientific data.
Assessing and accepting new knowledge does take time and the brain processes involved are complex. “What is unique with our test subjects is that the reaction to the stimulus is dominated by more primitive brain centres; indicative of a time when scientific knowledge simply did not exist and societies were less organized”, states Eman. By comparison, the control group displayed dominant use of higher brain functions when presented with the identical stimulus throughout the test period. This group held little or no fundamentalist Christian beliefs and was randomly selected.
Drs. Eman and Dunn have emphasized that, though preliminary, the results are pointing in the direction they initially suspected. What is unique is that in many cases the subject understands the concept but will resist it even if it’s valid and true. Born-again Christian belief utilizes primitive brain functions and adherents are subject to displays of anger and, in some cases, violence, when presented with stimulus that is counter to ingrained beliefs. “We have observed respondents in deeply aggravated states as they struggle with “new” knowledge. We are seeking further funding for peripheral but related studies as we move ahead. This is a rich context for research and development that holds significant implications for policy development, societal institutions, and general social cohesion”, notes Eman.
The initial phase of the study subjected respondents to a valid scientific presentation (the stimulus) and were then asked to fill out a questionnaire. “These results are based on statistical analysis and will be further confirmed through brain mapping”, says Dunn. Though the questionnaire was not released with the press kit, the team did include a typical example of a stimulus. We reprint it here with permission:
1. All species reproduce to an extent that their population size could continue to grow indefinitely.
2. Populations of species remain the same size (under normal conditions).
3. Resources (such as food) are limited which leads to competition.
4. Individuals are never identical; there is always difference, variation.
5. Variation is inherited through the organism’s genes.
6. The next generations are the results of organisms who have survived conditions. They survive to reproduce. Those organisms born with variations and did not survive were unable to fit the environment into which they arose. Variations and environments are in unique balance. This shapes populations and determines survival success.
The international team, sponsored, in part, by various humanist, scientific and skeptic organizations conducted the tests at various academic institutions in North America, Australia and Europe. The team is divided into a number of smaller groups led by experts in cognitive science, medicine, anthropology, sociology and psychology. The study is expected to continue over the next three to five years depending on funding. According to Eman, “This study will provide insights as to how adherents of these belief systems impede their own intellectual progress as well as the advancement of societal institutions and projects”.
With blockbuster flicks ripping up the theatres and making many a suit very rich, it is time to look at the trends that are dictating the future of social entertainment. Social entertainment always evolves based on trends, music and arts, and restrictions that are usually in place, but it always remains that you get multiple people in a specific environment, enjoying some form of group entertainment, seemingly together. Think concert or street party, zombie walk or boat race, Protest or Riot. Some change more than others over time in their expression, but the groups of people still seethe and writhe in the comfort of the mass. The songs they dance to and the light shows they watch evolve and adapt to best suit the flavours of the herd in that specific era.
The future of going to the movies has changed dramatically in recent times. Going to a theatre was an event, a social melting pot where a group of people can experience a film and laugh together, cry together or get pissed off at having wasted money on a studio fiasco...together. The Drive-In evolved from the same ilk but took on a multi-faceted social role of additionally facilitating car and specifically youth culture. With home theatres and mega sound systems now being embedded in people’s homes, the monopoly held by movie theatres withers. Hence the feigned importance of 3D, super sound and IMAX, that big studios and movie theatres are inundating us with. Studios are hard pressed to maintain the audience in public theatres when most people have equal in quality theatres in their own living rooms. But now, a new trend is forming. A blending of the three biggest entertainment distractions ever invented by distraction loving humanity; movies, gigs and games, and it is taking place right under our noses.
Video Gaming as BIG Entertainment
Why would people go to a multiplex, wait in line, be forced to endure other viewers coughs, stenches and obnoxious laughing at key moments when they can sit at home at watch the flick on their big screen, in the comfort of their own stench? This is the question studios ask themselves at least once a week (sometimes more if their releases bomb). How can we get these darn kids into the theatre and more importantly, how can we get them to spend more? There is a lot of money on the line and the studios want to collect, as always. Torrents have made the uniqueness of releases not so special when we can watch a cam of the latest crap the night of release. There is nothing special about first run anymore. Hence the big brains at your favourite studios have come up with a solution...blend two sub cultures together and get the benefit of a double payday. The theatre going crowd is now a sub-culture of the varied entertainment mediums we are constantly exposed to. You see other sub-cultures evolving like the “glasshole” tech heads, ready to document the mundaneness of their lives. The studios are focusing on two sub-cultures that can garner enough profit to justify the effort. The above mentioned theatre culture and the now imbedded Video game culture. Two entertainment properties that will go together like P&J, or bits and bytes... if you like.
Actors have become unrelatable and foreign to most people. Yeah, they strut up and down the red carpet and espouse some bullshit political view, but the public feels removed from that 20th Century royalty that has more money in their pocket than they will ever see. Studios are frustrated as well, having to pay ridiculous amounts for someone to spout lines on film. The executives and marketing leeches have looked at you and what is selling. Movies still have a force within theatres but it is declining, while the video game industry is worth billions upon billions. The studios firmly believe that people will pay to be in a theatre, with seemingly like-minded people, and watch an action packed unique experience on the big screen, played out by a gamer super star. Geeks that game better than most will be brought to prominence as important cultural phenom’s and they will be propped up by the studios as touring entertainment figure-heads. Gamers are your average people, at least at this point, and relatable to the viewers. The presentation of a gamer, performing to the orchestrated digital images will take 3D, interaction and mind numbing tech ejaculations to whole new heights, and the public will be part of the action, sounds and bright lights, right then and there. As these conductor gamers are presented as having mythical reflexes and uncanny awareness of digital baddies, the Studios are counting on the viewing public, you, wanting to pay cash to witness this event. Competitions will be held to determine who the master gamers are, sponsored by dwindling soda pop Company’s that will jump on the band wagon. On an international level, a circuit of competitive gamers and sponsors will arise to showcase the battles to be the best. The warriors of gameness will be the new stars of the digital age. People will pay to see these comps play out, right down to the IMAX presented finals between the Japanese SHMUP champion and the American upstart, with the incidental talent tours of these gamers bringing the game action to you! The gamers will be positioned at the front of the “converted” theatres and throngs of insulated, anti-social soft asses will pour in to watch the contest unfold. The crowd will get excited in shared bliss they experience gaming sensory overloads that warm their loins. Games will be sold alongside t-shirts and other varieties of gaming franchise junk. Don’t forget the increased sales of chips and soda to the couch loving viewers that want the luxuries of their game cave replicated in the theatre. It’s a rock concert...it’s a big movie...its gaming greatness, and it’s the hybridization that only studios could come up with.
This is just the beginning though as the various feeders that orbit industry and money will begin to make their presence known. The gaming viewing throngs will make bets and select their gaming stars while supporting them through intricate franchising contracts and side deals. The game-theatre culture will pop up on digital magazine covers and you tube ads. Several subcultures, like the mentioned gambling culture, will blend in with the new industry. New opportunities will arise to meet the demands of the audience. An audience that will become something bigger than the individual parts that make it up, the trimmed pieces of the gaming culture, theatre culture, performance culture and junk food culture. What we will have before us is the entertainment of our time to satiate the masses, the opiate of the group, the evolution of the entertainment industry as it adapts to the attention spans of the consumers. If gaming wasn’t a part of your life, not to worry, it will be.
Joystick ‘n’ Hand
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