40 years of faulty wiring

Canadians’ Well-Being and Permanent Poverty – Living the Canadian Dream

Welfare: the right to well-being, security and safety, including fulfilling basic needs to ensure survival. This is the general idea behind the term but welfare carries with it a negative connotation:  those lucky enough not to need it imagine lazy folk who simply won’t work for a living, or who aren’t trying hard enough to find jobs.  Poppycock.  This may be true for a small percentage of Canadians and landed immigrants, but guaranteed this is not the norm: most people want to work; are skilled and educated enough to work; and do not want to live with the stigma of receiving welfare.

Racism being what it is in Canada, many Caucasians believe it is landed immigrants and minorities who are bleeding the welfare system dry through a lack of initiative and illegal manouevers.  Not so.  There are more Caucasian multi-generational Canadians receiving welfare (including those who are not in need of it) than there are minorities and LI’s. As subjective as my own experience is, the only people I know who rip the system are Caucasian Canadians whose family have lived in Canada for generations. In fact, many Canadians receiving welfare once belonged to the “middle class”, evicted from their homes after job loss during the start of the recession. Others do not receive welfare for more than one or two months to keep them afloat until (presumably) they find another job. watch judy graves on why welfare matters to everyone

Many people who receive welfare are known as the “working poor“.  They  have jobs but through no fault of their own, are employed part-time, or they work for the paltry minimum wage of $10.25 an hour: hardly a financial means for raising a family. In fact since Harper’s House of Horrors came to be, social assistance is nearly non-existent.  Why, you ask?  Duh.  You voted for him and then you wonder why so many hard-working Canadians ...  oh never mind.  I’ll just get all in a tizzy.  What was I saying? Oh yes. Harper’s agenda is not for individual citizens, such as you (who voted for him) and me (who did not).  It is for large, multi-national corporations, the recipients of his glorious tax breaks and other financial incentives to keep them afloat during the recent recession. Well there’s always May 2012 for you to get it right (although you probably won’t).  Enough blasting my faithful blog followers of precisely one (hi Damien).  Watch income inequality and child poverty in Canada

To receive welfare in Ontario you must earn or live on $800.00 a month or less.  The website doesn’t tell you that of course but if you want to test my theory give your local welfare office a call and inform the clerk that you currently receive $850.00 or $900.00 per month to live on. She will interrupt you to tell you that if you live on more than $800.00 a month you are ineligible to receive financial assistance. If you live on $810.00 or more you are out of luck.  In the event you do live on $800.00 a month or less you are entitled to …  not much.  You might get $200.00 or slightly more a month but you won’t be laughing all the way to the bank. Poor no more – there is a way out

Along with receiving absolute minimal financial assistance for the working poor, anything these people have in the way of financial assets has to be depleted before qualifying for welfare:  RRSPs, homes, cars.  It may seem as though this is reasonable: if you can afford a house, you can afford to live without assistance.  But is it reasonable to tell people to spend their RRSPs in order to receive social assistance?  What happens when it is time to retire?  They must continue to ask for more assistance and never get off the treadmill.  How about a car?  If a person needs a car to get to work where they make that $10.25 an hour, how will they be able to hold a job after selling their cars? Ditto houses.  Rentals are not cheaper than ownership depending on where a person lives. Like it or not, everyone needs shelter. watch homeless middle class

The Canadian welfare system is not designed with dignity in mind. Nor is it designed to truly assist anyone.  If assistance comes with the price tag of losing one’s retirement security, transportation and shelter in a safe, secure part of town, I’m betting many people would hedge their bets on going hungry and losing sleep at night over their bills, if they’re lucky to avoid eviction.  In Canada, it’s a better guarantee for one’s well-being.

March 13, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Finance, money, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Dangerous Method Leaves Freud Turning Over in His Oedipal Grave

This scene reflects the open adoration the young Jung displayed towards a middle-aged Freud and which dissolved around the time Jung ventured into private practice of his own: Jung began to realize that Freud’s overemphasis on sexuality as the root of his patients’ psychological struggles caused far more psychological damage than that which they endured before encountering Freud. Ultimately he and Freud had a parting of the ways as professional colleagues and personal friends (later in life both married men admired and bedded the same woman, although whether this was due to her feminine appeal or merely more fuel for the Freud-Jungian feud remains debatable).

Watch A Dangerous Method – “Made A Mistake”

 There are simple explanations for Freud’s many theoretical errors. For a man of his obvious brilliance he missed key characteristics in his almost exclusively female patients. Freud’s theory of “penis envy” was a misguided assessment of the social status of women in the Victorian Era. Women didn’t have much to celebrate during that time:

  1. most were denied post-secondary education and in fact were fortunate to graduate from high school
  2. they were not permitted to own property except in unusual circumstances
  3. marriage was mandatory unless a woman chose to be a spinster or to be considered unscrupulous (whore)
  4. women were at the mercy of their husbands in the Western world then as much as women in the Middle East are today: one didn’t argue with hubby or she might end up thrown out into the street without financial means
  5. women did not have sexual urges – they were expected to perform sexually solely for the purpose of reproduction and at their husband’s whim. It was expected that their husbands would take a mistress or regularly visit prostitutes while women remained sexually loyal to their spouses.

Freud was the father of psychoanalysis, meaning the act of listening to one’s patient and engaging with her in verbal discourse, rather than merely preaching psychological theory. The problem was Freud didn’t truly know how to listen to his patients: he predetermined women’s situations and offered advice based on his sexually based perspective.  When women informed him they were victims of incest, this became the catalyst for the Electra Complex, wherein a little girl fantasizes about having sex with her father for a variety of psychosexual reasons. Wrong again, Doc.

Freud’s Dream Interpretation theory ventured too far into the treatment of psychological suffering. True to form, Freud sexualized every symbol in women’s dreams possible. Here are a few of the more ludicrous misinterpretations:

  1. stairways were metaphors for sexual intercourse because of the rhythmic action in walking up or downstairs
  2. syringes and injections were symbols for the penis and sexual intercourse
  3. hallways, bowls and tunnels were the female genitalia since they were hollow and meant to accommodate other objects
  4. anything slender or elongated (cigar, knife) was the male genitalia

To be sure my explanation of Freud’s Dream Interpretation is extremely simplistic: I make no mention of free association, the manifest and latent content of dreams, and the “wish fulfillment” that characterizes his theory. For my purposes however, this isn’t necessary. If you want to learn more about it, see the movie, which is exactly what I intend to do. I look forward to Hollywood’s no doubt bastardized version of the professional war between Freud and Jung. Reading Freud gets a bit dry over time. I would like a more animated view of his life’s work.

I’ll probably watch the flick whilst chewing on a Mr. Big chocolate bar. Stop snickering, you: sometimes a cigar, rather like a chocolate bar, is just a cigar.

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Pop Culture | , , , | 1 Comment

How to Get Out of Debt – Forget About It …. It Won’t Happen

Read this:

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/3-steps-debt-now-181805934.htmle

Now take every piece of advice in that article and flush it down the section of your brain reserved for intellectual sewage. Canadians and Americans will NEVER be debt free and the reason is so simplistic (and nauseating) that it could be tattooed on your forehead every time you look in the mirror:

  1. The Middle Class – rapidly deteriorating due to credit card debt, variable mortgages, and the Republican Party of Canada and the U.S.A.
  2. Your neighbours, friends, acquaintances, and strangers on the street.

What’s that?  The Republic Party of Canada you say?  Harper and (formerly) Bush were political bedfellows.  It’s all about the almighty American and regressing Canadian dollar and always will be.  I am well aware that Obama is one of my own, a Democrat, however it isn’t enough: Bush and Harper relations secured doctrines protecting Republican interests that even the good man Obama cannot undo. What does this mean to you, oh Canadians who were so happy to vote Harper in again even after the scandals that rocked his feeble-minded Harper House of Horrors 2 years ago?

  1. Corporate tax breaks means higher taxes for the little guy, in other words we of the disappearing Middle Class.  Who do you think is picking up the slack?  No you’re not aware of any additional taxes levied against your income in the previous 5 years.  You do if you’re a senior living on a fix income fund: you know, that retirement fund that Harper promised during his first ever campaign that his party would not tax then within the first year of his reign of terror he taxed it?  Maybe you aren’t a senior. So what? No wo/man is an island.  Taxation for seniors who cannot afford a tax levy means seeking other means to increase one’s livelihood: what other choice do these fine people have but to apply for welfare so they can enjoy a nourishing can of cold beans now and then? Whose paying the additional (if utterly meagre) financial assistance for these people (and rightly so, you’re the ones who voted for Big Brother, ye of the Ministry of Non-Truth).

2.   To continue to quote John Donne: we are all a piece of the continent, a part of the main.  You and everyone around you are
part of an intrinsic network, a human internet if you will.  Let’s say you somehow bail yourself out of all consumer debt and are now
living a puritanical lifestyle, strictly on cash and good intentions. Your neighbours and strangers are still up to their eyeballs in debt.
Their debt is your debt. Their debt continues to enable the mechanics of the recession, thereby increasing inflation rates.  Their debt
means your job is on the line due to lay-offs as much as theirs.  Their debt is your debt.  The bell tolls for thee as much as anyone else,
friend.

You were forewarned in so many media by so many financial experts, financial writers, and humble bloggers such as myself.  So many people warned you to be careful about what you vote for, in the event you might get it. You are getting it now (although I won’t say where).

Sieg Heil, Republicans.

March 11, 2012 Posted by | Finance, money, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Cancer Society Warns Itself Against Issues Beyond Belief

The American Cancer Society does indeed do the public a favour with ongoing discoveries about cancer research, lifestyles and products that can lead to cancer.  Now its warning itself about three major issues:

  1. Atheism
  2. Public Relations
  3. Money

Twould seem the Foundation Beyond Belief (comprised of secular members, including atheists, agnostics, non-believers and the like) offered half a million dollars to the ACS for its research.  The ASC’s response?

No thanks.  We can’t tell the public that we take money from you non-believers.

Perhaps it’s beyond belief that the ACS won’t take a donation from the Foundation Beyond Belief. Perhaps the ACS worries that the possible negative PR fallout from taking FBB money will make people doubt the afterlife and really, that makes perfect sense:  with so many of the ACS’s clients dying so often, who wants to have them questioning whether or not they at least get a kick at the can in the next life? Perhaps cancer patients are stressed enough right here without worrying about the hereafter.

So Young Turks and the like, lighten up on the ACS; have some patience with the ASC and their patients.  The abyss and cancer just are like drinking and driving…not a good mix for some folk.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Human Biology | , , , , | Leave a comment

Couch Surfers Should Stick to Being Couch Potatoes

Recently a Quebec man in his early 20′s died in one of the stupidest accidents in Quebec history: he was couch surfing on a public highway, when the couch he was on collided with an oncoming car.  Let me clarify couch surfing:  an ordinary sofa or couch is set on wheels and tied to the bumper of a car or pickup truck.  A couch surfer (as they are known, personally, i call them idiots) hops aboard and hangs on for dear life while the driver takes to the road doing the speed limit or above.  In this case, the couch spun out from behind the car it was attached to and hit an oncoming vehicle.  Imagine the mess of the couch surfer….well perhaps we shouldn’t imagine that.

The driver, about as mature as the couch surfer but with a tad less loyalty, determined his friend was dead, took off from the scene, no doubt with a squeal of his tires and still pulling the couch in tow, (only now it was decidedly unoccupied), and hightailed it home. Later of course, cops caught up to him and charged him with reckless driving causing death and leaving the scene of an accident.  Not only does the driver face a criminal conviction and jail time, he has just helped to kill his friend during a useless stunt only young men with too much time and not enough brains could possibly conceive.

I know males are generally risk takers.  I know this is the result of a number of factors:  abundance of testosterone, hard-wiring for thrill-seeking, an outlet for sexual frustration if Freud is to be believed, a misguided sense of immortality, and a warped sense of fun and humour.  Perhaps mental incompetence factors in there too. The fact that young male culture obsesses over the next stupid stunt helps generate idiotic TV shows and believe it or not, movies, such as Jackass (I’ll say), glorifying stupidity at its finest.  Check out this blog posting called Stupid StuntsAt least most of these guys were kids when they did this stuff. A 20-something year old should know better (apparently not).

One thing I will say for 1000 Ways to Die – a show simultaneously glorifying and demeaning stupid and bizarre deaths – it belittles those stupid enough to die at their own hands for entirely unnecessary reasons.  Watch 1000 ways to Die R & RIP Young men, teens and couch surfers take note.

March 9, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Crime and Punishment, Human psychology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Didn’t Deliver the Goods Against American Poverty

In 2009 Obama declared that it was corporate excess that accounted for the economic crash in the U.S. of A.  People backed him, believed his claims that America’s problems “would be met.” In fact he was elected on that promise. But in 2011 Obama lost control of Congress and has been reduced to compromising with the Republicans – America’s corporate regime. Newt Gingridge, a Republican Presidential candidate, actually forwarded the idea of reinstating child labour in America, declaring that children in really poor areas “have no work habits…what if they mopped the floors and cleaned the bathroom.  And you paid them?”  Perhaps the Republicans could model Gingridge’s proposal after child labour laws of the Industrial Revolution, where children worked a minimum of 12 hours a day, worked dangerous jobs, held the same responsibilities as adults yet were paid far less?  That ought to bring down the American deficit and keep the poor happy in the process, in spite of a surge in youth health problems and a decline in secondary school enrollment. Watch A Hidden America:  Children of the Mountains

Equally impress is Robert Rector’s claim that where the poor are concerned “half of poor people have computers. about 40% of them have widescreen HD TV’s, they have totally adequate food to eat.”  Where are these poor located?  In the documented homeless people’s hotels? The water-logged tunnels beneath Las Vegas?  The tents that are springing up across North America? The lines at food banks and soup kitchens?  Rector would have us believe that the concept of poverty in America is a huge conspiracy: perhaps there needs to be a distinction made between the poor and the abject and homeless poor in America, but both classes of poor certainly exist.

There is indeed the working poor: people who work their 40-hour + work week but cannot afford both food and rent.  They must rely upon the scant assistance of welfare programs to increase their income to a figure where both shelter and food is possible.  However, new clothes, Christmas gifts, regular meals are unheard of in these homes.  These people live at the poverty level (in Canada this is approximately $26,000.00 a year total household income).  Try raising a family on that number.  If there are computers in these homes, they must have been donated to organizations such as the Goodwill.  If there are 40-inch HD TVs I’ve never heard of them.

I work in a high needs community: average income is probably in the minimum wage or slightly higher range.  The community is filled with subsidized housing and even these homes prove challenging for families to afford.  New clothes for children are a rarity. Participation in school trips can and does become a financial issue and these trips cost as little as $15.00: the cost of a bus ride and admission to the Metro Toronto Zoo, for instance, at a school discounted rate. This is the situation for people who have jobs. The abject poor are those who live in tents and hostels. For them, even a full meal a day is a blessing. We offer a free breakfast program to needy children in our school for a reason. Read Speakers Announced for Childhood Poverty Forums 

Perhaps the increased poverty rate is a direct result not only of continued job loss in America but also the type of attitudes displayed by Gingridge and Rector.  Power and Republican should never appear in the same sentence:  it’s a death knell for poverty-stricken Americans.

March 2, 2012 Posted by | Finance, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And He Came So Highly (pun) Recommended….

Can you believe that rant?  Who says “politically correct” is the order of the day?  Apparently not if you’re a SouthWestern airline pilot.  This young, bull-headed, pilot didn’t realize he had a stuck open microphone and that air controllers, other pilots, and anyone with a CB Band-type deal (but airborne) could hear.  Of course these things always end up going viral on YouTube and that’s where I got the link.

The pilot was suspended without pay but oddly enough a senior employee claims the pilot wouldn’t have been suspended had “they” (whoever they is) held audience with various protest groups beforehand, but the suspension couldn’t be overturned.  Presumably the airline would have fired the pilot then….oops…they goofed.  Happens.

Who says SouthWest needs to play movies on board?  Just keep the mics open.  That’s entertainment enough and here’s proof:

editor’s note:  the pilot has since been fired from his job with SouthWestern Airlines and is no longer flying with friendly spies, oops, skies.

March 1, 2012 Posted by | Bizarre yet True, Crime and Punishment, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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