Keeping it Small and Simple

2008.04.28

My birthday :-(

Filed under: Personal — Tags: , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 12:19

Okay, so I’m yet another year older. Now I’m 37. That means I have three years left until I’m 40, the age when humans turn into vegetables. I have got to try to enjoy the few years I have left before I fall into the abyss of old age and stupidity.

2008.04.23

Uncle Sam wants rapists

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 01:32

… for the U.S. Army. You can read about it here.

I sure hope these noble recruits aren’t going to be doing prison guard duty.

2008.04.22

Thank you, Evo Morales

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 00:47

You have stated the obvious, but it needs to repeated again and again. Capitalism harms the planet. Capitalism harms life. Capitalism harms, period.

Capitalism is just a tool used by the rich to dominate the poor, by the few to enjoy the work of the many. Capitalism supports and benefits from other structures of oppression. Capitalism takes delight in war and destruction, because profits can be made. As long as the capitalist system exists, there will be no end to racism, colonialism, sexism, war, famine or injustice. Intolerance will continue to thrive because it keeps the masses blind, keeps them divided. As long as they are divided they can be dominated. And the rich can get richer.

Capitalism must be blown the fuck off this planet.

Is it for freedom?

Filed under: Music — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 00:19

If you watch Democracy Now, you will no doubt have heard this wonderful song by Sara Thomsen, called Is it for Freedom?

Note that the YouTube video I linked to contains some rather disturbing images. I think you should watch them while you listen to this song. You really need to watch them. You really need to see what bringing democracy to Iraq looks like. You need to see what exists behind all the propaganda you hear from the criminals who started this whole mess.

Now I have an extremely varied taste in music. Some would say that I have a weird taste, which I shall not deny. But Sara Thomsen represents the kind of quality music that could get me to put an end to my long-standing refusal to support the music industry. I have not bought a single music CD or video since the early 1990s.

You can find out more about Sara Thomsen at her website.

2008.04.11

The war on war

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 03:32

We don’t need a war on drugs. People can drink alcohol, so they should be allowed to smoke pot.

We don’t need a war on terror. Instead of fighting terrorists, we should be fighting the poverty, the inequality, the hopelessness that causes terrorism in the first place.

We do need a war on war. War causes nothing but suffering. This war should have no causalities. It should be a peaceful battle against the forces of destruction.

Make love not war, or in a more modern version: don’t kill, fuck.

The food crisis

As has been reported in the news, the price of food has become a big problem in many countries, among them Haiti, Bangladesh, Egypt and The Philippines. In Ghana too, food prices have been rising and life is getting harder, especially for the poor. This raises several important questions.

First of all, wasn’t globalization supposed to make the world a better place? Jobs are disappearing in the so-called developed world because companies are relocating production to the developing world. Here they can pay workers less, demand that they work longer hours and under far less safe conditions. But, the end result of this will be that people will be better off, or at least so argue the proponents of globalization. My question then is: which people will be better off? Certainly not the American and European workers who are losing their jobs. And certainly not the new work force that isn’t even earning enough to feed themselves and their families.

The American and European workers have of course brought this upon themselves. They got seduced by the ideas of global capitalism and chose to vote for politicians who wanted to destroy them. What the American and European workers should have done was to overthrow their incompetent governments. That is the peoples right when government no longer cares for them. Not only is it their right, it’s their duty. They won’t do it because the working classes have become docile and obedient.

Some countries regularly have problems with food production due to their geographic location. Some parts of the world, like Bangladesh, see frequent floods that can destroy crops among other things. A different type of globalization, one that was focused on global cooperation instead of exploitation, could help people in crisis areas to overcome things like food shortage. But of course, there are more profits to be made from exploitation. And the rich do need to get richer, even if a few million poor people have to starve to death.

Not only food prices have risen, but the price of oil as well. This affects the food price since it becomes far more expensive to transport food. But the oil companies are making record profits. So I guess we can conclude that the fact that people around the world are starving is a small price to pay for a small selected group to go from extremely rich to even richer. One might wonder what the price of oil might have been if the Bush administration hadn’t launched its illegal war and occupation of Iraq. Or what would happen to oil prices if the U.S were less antagonistic towards oil producers such as Iran, Venezuela or Russia. What might happen to oil prices if living conditions for people were to improve in the oil producing regions of Nigeria?

Another factor that is affecting the food price is climate change. There is a big debate about the extent of climate change, and the extent to which human actions are the cause of climate change. The Decider didn’t want to sign the Kyoto protocol because he felt it would have a negative impact on the profits of American corporations. Again, the survival of the poor in the developing world is far less important than the profits of the filthy rich. In this case the survival of the whole planet is of less importance than corporate profits. One might wonder what the rich are going to do with all their money if all live on the planet dies.

We have people who claim that climate change is real and caused by human activities, and we have people who deny this. (Note that we are destroying the world’s environment in many ways, even if climate change were somehow not taking place.) Both sides are able to present arguments and counter-arguments. As long as we do this, nothing changes. The consequences if climate change is indeed happening because of human activities are so dire that I’d think it would be better to play it safe. If we don’t, the current crisis can only get worse, and will eventually affect more and more countries.

I am of course pretending that the researchers who are denying climate change are not being funded by big corporations who are making huge profits at the expense of the health of Mother Earth. I am certain that the environment is damaged by human activities. And I think that we will be paying a heavier and heavier price for that. It’s the most sinister gift we can give to our children: a dying world.

The long-term solution to this problem is obvious. The people of the world need to launch an attack on their corrupt, incompetent leaders and overthrow them. Then build a new society, with a completely different set of priorities. The new societies will need to prioritize things like the environment and food production, and focus on global solidarity instead of global capitalism. Capitalism should have died together with its twin brother, Leninism. It survived, but now is the time to kill it.

The new societies would have to recognize is that to be human means the same thing regardless of if you are in America, Europe, Africa, Asia or Australia. They would have to recognize this because otherwise we would just start another cycle of exploitation which got us into the mess we are currently in. The right to live a decent life should be guaranteed to all, regardless of where they happen to call home. Anything else is injustice and should never be tolerated.

It may cause some pain to overthrow the current regimes. It will cost some blood. It will even cost some lives, no doubt. Those are the unfortunate birth pains of a new, better society. Yet, we must go ahead, because if we don’t, we will all live in misery. And we will still die. And the rich will still get richer. And our leaders will continue to lie to us. And Mother Earth will continue to bleed until she can bleed no more. Then she will die and take all of us along.

The short term solution to the food problem is this: if there isn’t enough food, eat the rich!

2008.04.10

Ron Paul’s questions to Petraeus

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 18:23

You can watch Ron Paul’s excellent questions to General Petraeus here. Of course, these are questions that the administration should be forced to answer.

We all know what the president thinks about bombing Iran without approval from Congress. He is the Decider, after all. Neither Petraeus nor Crocker wanted to answer this question, although they should both know the answer. How can Petraeus be qualified to be the commander in Iraq if he doesn’t even know the Constitution? That should be a basic requirement for anybody holding a position such as his. If he is given an order that is unconstitutional, he must refuse to obey that order.

The same goes for Crocker. How can you represent American interests abroad if you don’t even know what the Constitution has to say about who is allowed to authorize war? If the Constitution were at all respected, you would imagine that every official representing the U.S. would have a good understanding of how the Constitution works. That should be a basic requirement.

We need more people like Ron Paul asking relevant questions.

Philosophy interviews on YouTube

For anybody who is interested in philosophy (and who isn’t?) and enjoys listening to philosophical discussions in addition to reading philosophy, I recommend user flame0430′s channel. Here you will find Bryan Magee discussing different philosophical topics with various famous philosophers.

You can watch Magee discuss Wittgenstein with John Searle, Hilary Putnam talking about the philosophy of science, and much more. I especially find the interviews with John Searle really interesting. I hope more of these interviews will be uploaded soon. I am particularly interested in the ones relating to Hume, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Heidegger.

I understand that these interviews were conducted in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It’s amazing to see how much television has degenerated since. We are currently seeing this happen with the Internet. As soon as commercial interests begin to dominate, cheap entertainment is all you will be served, anything useful is cast aside.

2008.04.08

Not only NATO needs to be disbanded

The Democratic Party needs to be disbanded as well. Democrats love to make fun of the lack of intelligence among Republicans, but maybe it’s time for some inner reflection. Nancy Pelosi, to take but one example, manages to make utterances that make your average beetle appear intelligent.

The Democratic nomination process is turning into a farce. Sorry, it was one from the start. It’s turning worse. What is more important to the Democrats, finding a presidential candidate early or letting the people have their say? The latter would of course be the democratic alternative. And where do the Democratic candidates actually stand on issues that matter? Bring the troops home? Nope. The military industry owns Democrats as well as Republicans.

The Republican Party was hijacked by non-Republicans a long time ago. Either it gets back to republican values or it should be dumped into the cesspool of history. The so-called neocons can leave and form The American Empire Party, The Fascist Party of America or maybe just The War Party. Ron Paul is one of few Republicans with Republican values, and should have been their candidate. I don’t agree with many of his ideas, but at least he is a Republican.

Fortunately, there are alternatives, like The Libertarian Party and The Green Party. While I don’t see The Green Party doing well, the Libertarian Party probably has the best chance ever to really stir things up. They don’t have the big lobbyist support, but it’s the people who are going to cast their votes. If the Libertarians can really reach out to all the people who think the whole process is nothing but a bunch of humbug, they could really make a dent in the machinery.

There should have been a strong workers’ party. Something on the lines of European social democratic parties, which are all far to the left of the Democrats, who are not very left at all. Of course, most European social democratic parties have also taken quite a few steps right over the last ten or so years. The Labour Party in Britain is a good example of a party that has been directly hostile to the very groups of people they claim to represent. There are many other examples.

As I have mentioned many times before, Ralph Nader is the candidate the closest represents my own personal viewpoints. I just wish he were running for the Green Party. Although Nader doesn’t stand much chance of winning the race, his importance cannot be ignored, as the Democrats have learned. He stands a decent chance of forcing the other candidates to actually listen to the will of the people they are meant to serve.

Disband NATO, it outlived its usefulness a long time ago. Disband the Democratic Party, it gives the word democratic a bad name. And while you’re at it, place John McCain in a nice little retirement home. Somewhere quiet, where he can relax and not cause any damage.

2008.04.06

A storm is coming my way

Dear reader:

I have a strange feeling that tragedy is once again headed my way. This time I’m not sure whether or not I’ll make it. If in a few days this blog goes quiet, then you can safely assume I’m yet another unimportant part of history.

I have let down a lot of people. I have let my anger damage my own and other peoples lives. I have stubbornly refused to change, even when change was necessary. I have hurt and been hurt. I have always been vindictive.

I have tried my best to share as much as possible of the little that I know. I have done so because I believe that knowledge should be shared. It must be shared. This world really could be a better place. But it will require a lot. There are forces that are trying to destroy it all, because of greed. Don’t believe the bullshit. Capitalism is not natural.

My advice to anybody who would bother to read is this: learn as much as you can. Make the most of the life you have. Be prepared to fight for freedom and justice. And love. Fight for those things, because they are the only values that actually mean something. All the other things don’t really mean anything. Borders are man-made, you don’t want to die defending those things. Religion can be a good thing, but only if you tolerate another person’s right to also practice their own religion, or to not practice any religion at all. You surely wouldn’t want to go to war over religion.

Most of you are little more than slaves. And you will always remain slaves, until you learn to unite with each other. If you can see beyond differences in color, religion, language, favorite food, etc., then you can unite and overthrow your masters. Otherwise you are all doomed.

Why do you think your jobs are going? Immigrants? It’s not immigrants. It’s the nature of global capitalism. Read and learn. The very people who you think are your enemies would be your greatest allies, because they are stuck in the same hell as you are. If you really want to get rid of immigration, get rid of borders. Without borders there can be no immigration. And then people would be as free to move as capital is.

Go and read the statistics. Look at the wealth of any of the richest 100 or so people in the United States. Then look at the combined wealth of the poorest 40% of the people. Dig further. Look at how income distribution has changed over time in the world. Do you think that is right? Is that the kind of world you want to live in? Capitalism works. Sure it does, but for whom?

Most of the developing world is stuck in misery. Developing countries cannot progress, because they are forced to open up the markets for cheap imports. These are measures enforced by bodies like the IMF and the World Bank. Local industries cannot survive against this competition and have to close down. Unemployment follows. So the countries need more help and have to open up even more. It’s happening everywhere.

If you have a textbook understanding of what this means, I suggest you come to a developing country and see what the consequences actually are. When you come, come and really live in the society. Interact with people. Find out what is happening. Don’t just come and work with a foreign company or an NGO. They won’t show you anything. They will keep you caged up in “safety”. Come here, and find out how people’s lives are changing for the worse.

In the news, you hear much about “river pirates” in the Delta region in Nigeria. That is a lot of bullshit. The people in that region happen to live on some of the richest soil in Africa, maybe the richest. Yet, they are treated like dirt, so that Shell can make there profits. These people just want justice. They want to be able to live decent lives. Since the profits of big corporations matter more, these people will continue to live in misery and continue to do the only thing they can to highlight their situation and to try to get something out of it all. They are no more criminal then the people who destroying their land in search of riches.

So much research and development goes into the production of machines of destruction. We as humans seem to delight in finding new ways of killing each other. Did you every hear of research and development going into love? No. Only time you heard of a love machine was when W.A.S.P. sang about it. Devastation. That is what we are good at. Love? It doesn’t stand a chance. But you can change that, if you learn to love those who you have been brought up to hate.

War. We have this idea in our heads about brave warriors that will fight with honor to defend a bunch of values that are nonsense if you think about it. But how honorable is war in this day and age. With the industrialization of warfare, you can’t say that warriors look each other in the eye anymore. That was gone a long time ago. We read about and admire the Spartans for how we think they were. But we don’t conduct warfare that way. Long range missiles, fighter jets, mines, etc. keep warriors away from each other. And they can cause massive devastation. Not to mention the nukes.

Water. Future wars will be fought over water. Drink it while you can, because soon it will all be privatized, and most of you won’t be able to afford it. How in the fuck can they privatize something that is a basic necessity to sustain life itself? Because we let it happen. We obediently nodded our heads when they told us that privatization is good, the it leads to more welfare. Welfare for whom? Clean, drinkable water is becoming scarce.

A few authors that I recommend as a starting point are Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and Michael Parenti. (There are many more good authors, don’t limit yourself.) If you don’t like reading you can always search for them on YouTube. By all means, also read their critics. Read both, but when you do, look at your own situation and ask yourself which side best represents the life you are living. Also look around you. Where are we all headed?

I have two children (although for a while I thought I had three), Enrique and Vanessa. I love both dearly, and would have wanted to be there to see them grow up. My only remaining dream now is that they will be able to live in a world that is more tolerant, peaceful and loving than this current one.

Enough of my sentimental bullshit now. Make the future.

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