Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Blocks on Democracy

We live in a world where there is 'Democracy' and 'Dictatorship'. I am for 'Democracy', but as it was intended.

Alas, we rarely see such a concept (as it was intended). Within most 'Democratic'  Countries we see power struggles and interlaced corruption. Our world has many problems but the most pressing of all is the threat of Global Warming/Climate Change.

No Country in our world seems to be able to adequately address this problem. Most of the 'Rich' Countries have most of their wealth concentrated in less than 10-15% of their population. Some are even worse than this.

True 'Democracy' suffers as a result. The 'Rich' want to keep rich and, obviously, at the expense of the rest of the population. Anything that threatens their 'status quo' will be opposed. This is so entrenched that most Governments turn a 'Blind Eye' to any scientific statements related to climate change because it does not suit their agenda.

Oil and other natural resources so often rule in the economies of such countries and so often the emphases on these will be against any movement toward the alleviation of Climate Change/Global warming.

Is there actually any hope for us on this planet?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Thought about Climate change

We are at a dilemma here. Most of us who care are under political systems which hardly address the situation which the threat of climate change poses.

We have right wing, middle, right and far-right systems besides left-wing in the spectrum of modern Politics.

None of these adequately address the issue of  #ClimateChange and its future effect on our planet.

The "Green" parties rarely have enough votes to wield any power and so we have a 'pendulum' forever swinging between the rich who want to keep rich and the poorer who want to simply "make ends meet".

Politics cares little for the good of ALL, only for their perception of 'good' inherent in their specific platforms. And even then, most of the intentions seem to get lost or fade in their potential effectiveness. So, what real hope is there?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Some comments on 'Brexit' Issues by a friend of mine

And if you have never heard of "Brexit" don't bother to read this!

Here are some statements or recently stated issues with a following comment on each:

The UK is the 6th biggest economy in the world?

This is entirely misleading for two reasons. A. in terms of GDP per capita (which is what really counts), the UK is around 26th in the world and only in 10th position in the EU. B.  What IS true is that when the UK joined the EEC (as it then was) it was famously “the sick man of Europe”. Recovery took some time, but in the 25 years up to and including 2017, the UK was the fastest growing economy in the EU largely as a result of some of the sweetheart arrangements made on joining, in particular with respect to services. C. The current economic distress in parts of the UK is nothing to do with the EU and everything to do with the market fundamentalist policies of successive UK governments which ran down our manufacturing base and sold most of it to foreign companies.

2. Subservience to the Euro?

This is a red herring since we didn’t join and were not obliged to (an example of autonomy NOT of subservience to Brussels).

3. Control of our laws, our money, and our borders?

Let’s take each in turn:

A. Laws. I have yet to meet any Brexiter able to name a single law “imposed” by the EU that they don’t like. They can’t. Here’s an excellent thread that provides a good analysis of what laws we’re really talking about: https://twitter.com/mac_puck/status/1087360379691380736

B. Money. What money? Well it’s presumably the amount we send to the EU to help run its institutions. The amount is the equivalent of 0.07% of annual GDP, about the same as we spend on international aid. We also send money to NATO, to the UN, to the WTO etc. to help run them. It’s what responsible member countries do. And for the EU, it’s peanuts in relation to the size of the economy.

C Borders.

Since the UK is not in the Schengen area, we control all our borders except one.  The famous Freedom of Movement which is cited as “proving” that we don’t control our borders merely allows anyone in the EU to seek and obtain work in any of the member countries. It also allows members to expel EU citizens who fail to find work or provide themselves with an income sufficient to live in the country of which they are not a national.
UK governments have signally failed to make use of this facility - but that’s not the fault of the EU.  The one exception is the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland where total, uncontrolled, free movement is guaranteed with no right of expulsion.  This, however, has nothing to do with the EU. It’s written into the Good Friday Agreement which has brought peace to the region. It has even been stated that "millions" of  EU citizens are claiming political asylum; when, actually, none have any right or claim to this.Those claims come mainly from conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa or countries stricken by natural disasters or peoples fleeing repressive governments.  The EU has no policy on asylum seekers applicable to member countries & if it tried to develop one it would have to face the right of individual countries to veto it or not to approve it. So, this argument is nonsensical. 

D. Control of trade.

This is to do with the right to make our own trade deals with third countries. We don’t need this right because the EU takes care of it on behalf of the entire European Union which, because of its size has a level of leverage which we can’t hope to achieve alone. Moreover, on leaving we will not have the benefit of any of the existing trade deals - including the ones just signed with Canada and Japan.

Brexit is the will of the Country?

It isn’t. Only 37% of the electorate voted for Brexit. That was over 2.5 years ago. The public knows far more now about what it involves. Moreover, another 2.5 million young people are now eligible to vote, almost all of whom, according to the polls, would vote Remain. Also according to current polls, 56% of voters are now in favour of Remain with only around 40% in favour of Leave.  The will of the people argument, by the way, is precisely the one used by the Nazis as they took over control of Germany.  The will of the people was used to undermine democracy - a danger we are seriously facing in the UK as politicians and the media increasingly threaten violence and mayhem if Brexit is stalled.

The UK is a Country that Brexit will impoverish not just economically but politically, socially, and culturally. I think it probably will mark - at long last (and this IS a benefit) - the end of British imperialistic fantasies about its place in the world. But I find the sentiments that it has aroused both foolish and ugly.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

On Naturally derived alternate chemical treatments and legally accepted drugs in medicine.

A friend stated:

“In an era of misinformation, alternative medicine needs to be more tightly regulated.”  
And I replied:

 “Then they should make sure that the regular medicines are neither too conservative (beyond reasonable safety requirements) nor ridiculously expensive due to the large drug company's monopoly. These drugs should also be free of harmful side effects. Science is never absolute and many so called "studies" are often proved to be flawed.

Scientific method is a common thought/behavioural process of all intelligent people. It can be performed in remote rain forests and has been performed back in History and even Prehistorical times.  For example, before ‘Aspirin’ was developed and legally tested the chewing of willow bark was commonly used as an analgesic. Willow contains a chemical which is similar in its effect and chemistry as that found in ‘Aspirin’. Recently, when we were on a tour of part of the Amazon basin we stayed in a native village. Here we were introduced to several plant derived natural remedies which had been in use for countless years. Their efficacy  is well established, accepted and respected.

The modern science of medicine is just one aspect of S.M. conjunction.

Modern medicine has produced many legally tested drugs, many actually facsimiles or stereo-isometric versions of naturally discovered drugs (This is necessary for satisfying patent law). Often these result in unfortunate side effects. Science is not perfect ever, even if the best we have".

Friday, December 14, 2018

A letter to our Squamish Council..."This and that"

To all Council members:

A couple of things for your ‘new’ Council:

  • Regarding curbside pick-ups of recycling etc. I am reading the latest Squamish Chief Newspaper which has a ‘revised’ page outlining what will be picked up, on what week, for 2019. I note that there is NO Kitchen waste/Garden waste pickup scheduled at any time on a weekly basis. All are bi-weekly.
This is a regression from last year. This is, in spite of recent correspondence between me and you. Last year we enjoyed (at least) weekly pick-ups of Garden waste/ Kitchen waste for most of the  spring/summer months until the end of October. I made a request that weekly pick-up might extend to November 30th. with the amendment that June and July could be bi- weekly to off-set the cost. YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED. Very sad!

  • Regarding the dangerous, ill-planned intersection at Lower Kintyre and The Boulevard, near the roundabout:
This is becoming extremely dangerous. To get out of Kintyre Drive to the Boulevard from 8:00 am to 9:00 am, it is becoming impossible unless you actually break the law and force entry (in other words it has become a “free for all”). With the present trend in development to the east, the situation can only get worse. We need this intersection redesigned. We also need a new access road to the University to reduce the bridge traffic and the feeder traffic mentioned above. This could easily be done by putting a road (a short road) from the Golf-Club to the new development just south of the Quest University.

In addition to this, I would like to comment on your recent statement in the media that you are not happy with the recycling behavior of our citizens regarding recycling in the totes. You state that, because of this laxed behavior, extra cost could be levied to the tax-payer to pay for these lapses, You also mention fines. I say that you should levy the fines, even heavy fines, before you raise the cost to the taxpayer. Do not be squeamish about this! Why should I pay for other’s transgression when you  can remedy it in advance?

I would like your reassurance that you will act according on this. I will await your reply (individually or collectively) before I expand debate on this in our local media.

Respectfully, Dave Colwell, Kintyre Drive , Garibaldi Highlands.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

On a recent controversial post on Facebook regarding the split in our First Nations Council support of Woodfibre LNG 

What we have to do here is separate 'Racism', 'Culture' and 'Politics'.. Racism is irrelevant. We are all mixed up. None of us should claim purity in race, which does not exist and probably hasn't since our emergence from Africa. 

Culture does, and for our local FN's and it is championed by Tsawaysia Spukwus .Well done Alice! 

Politics drives our Cultures apart. But then it drives any group apart a lot of the time. Then there is Education, Intelligence and Ignorance... These can heal, or in the latter case, destroy. 

History can fool us all. History, at worst, can be one of the greatest 'Scapegoats' which so many fall back on for support in their arguments.We should be very wary of this as it often disintegrates so much good. 

Some background:

Here is a summary of the Deal between Squamish FN and WLNG (click here)

And some random quotes:

"There was no consult with the members.....only a meeting where we were told we were lucky because this was the first time that the opportunity arises for us to be part of.....that we have a say as members in what was going to go on with LNG. We really did not have a say in whether or not it was going to happen....that it was going to happen"

"As I see it....publicly council said and acted like they where against the LNG happening.....and behind closed doors they did not listen to the community....saying no to LNG....and in the end they get into it. NOW HOPE THIS MEANS WE WILL HAVE A COMMUNITY REFERENDUM TO HAVE SOMETHING HAPPEN THAT WE WANT.....because it is all of our monies".

" Excuse me, but not ALL SN members had a say in this. Like your politicians, majority if the shit is just done behind everyone's back. So enough of the lumping all of the natives together like that."

"This was a split vote by Squamish Nation: 6 were opposed, 6 were supportive, 2 abstained (which counts as supportive), the chair expressed opposition but did not vote, and one was absent. 

The bigger issue here is that the Provincial government is yet again propping up a fossil fuel industry by gifting crown land and other money (yet to be disclosed) to Squamish Nation to entice them to accept this agreement. 

We respect Squamish Nation's decision - it was a difficult one, and we're sure that each band council member made their decision based on what they thought was best for their members. 

My Sea to Sky will continue to oppose Woodfibre LNG, we will continue to fight, and speak on behalf of the nearly 18,000 people that have signed the Howe Sound Declaration."

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Some comments on Universal Consciousness.

If we want to consider universal consciousness we need to think in terms of the simplest situation. We need a simple model.

Take a circular boundary. Draw a diameter and place two points on the line so that each is the same distance from the edge of the circle on either side. Imagine a ball of the same size, weight and density at each point. Imagine that each ball is fired toward the edge of the boundary at the same velocity. Each will bounce off the edge of the circular boundary following a similar trajectory and continue bouncing forever assuming there is no external influence (friction, gravity etc.)
The ‘fate’ and ‘experience’ of each ball will be the same at any point in time. For this we will assume that each ball is indestructible. Also, if we assume that each ball is capable of ‘consciousness’ and ‘data accumulation’ purely related to the situation, we have a simple model of duality….albeit perceived duality of consciousness in both space and time because the space for each ball is at the same time and in the same (perceived position) in relation to the boundary of the 2-dimensional space. ( Yes, the balls will collide if released at exactly the same time, so allow a split second difference...just don't be picky OK! If this were to happen, I guess it would be a momentary 'merging of the minds', which is a good thing sometimes :-))

However, if we bring in any other factors, the perception will vary for each ball to a degree related to the complexity of the applied factors.  But if we simply change the boundary to a sphere, we will have a three-dimensional space and the direction of the two trajectories can differ out of choice. The experience will be apparently the same however (to each ball). Change anything else and the experience will change…the two consciousness will diverge. As consciousness depends on data accumulation (memory).

So, in our Universe we have apparently different consciousnesses. But, where do these differences lie? I say that they merely depend on the external factors present in the time and space where the consciousness resides. We are only ‘different’ from each other because of these ‘additional factors.

Humans can move toward a duality by choice and we see this in close relationships (marriage, co-habitation etc.). Such situations reduce the changing ‘factors’ and so we come closer to the simplicity of consciousness. Long married couples claim similarity of thought and behavior. We also see this simplification in identical twins. Here is a very good example of a mirroring of some of the essence of duality. 

The ‘wedge’ which pushes duality apart is memory, our position in time and space and the multiplicity of mutating factors all around us.

Yes, we are all the same and are bound by the Universal Rules but our perception of this is clouded by the complexity around us.

But what when we die? Well we leave the consciousness we talked about here behind, but it remains in its collective form in degrees from the very simple to extremely complex and in the Universe it never dies. So, do we, actually? Remember that everything you do, say or write will still stay part of the shared consciousness you leave behind forever. Just you being changes everything and everyone's consciousness. Think of the 'Butterfly Flapping its wings' thing! And 'Change changes change'.

Please realize, I am not considering varied thought or behavior at the core of this, only awareness of being in its simplest form. Yes the former are driven in their variety by the genome but in this thesis, the awareness of being, albeit subject to a wide range of degree (and of course not exclusive to man) is a shared thing. I believe that it is possible to be conscious even when stripped of most senses. The sophistication of this would range from the simplest life forms to the most advanced….and where would you draw the line? Some would even extend this to the inanimate and further to the quantum level. All of life and all of the interactions in the Universe are merely chance interchanges and locations of energy/particles in space and time. In short, the Universe or Universes are a summation of possibilities. The Religious might say that God made these possibilities. Lots of fun! Time for a beer!😊 Perhaps Descartes 'would turn in his grave' regarding this!