Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cops Seize Opportunity To Steal Guns

While the 12,000 residents fled their homes amid a mandatory flood evacuation in High River, Alberta, RCMP were busy breaking into their homes and stealing guns owned by law abiding citizens, trampling all over the Bill of Rights that grant us our freedoms.

The shameful actions of RCMP, who should have been helping evacuate stranded citizens, has not gone unnoticed in worldwide mainstream media, drawing criticism from all corners of the political spectrum, and forced the provincial and federal governments quickly into damage control mode. The RCMP, meanwhile, claim they have done nothing wrong.

High River is no stranger to floods or evacuation orders. Its location in southern Alberta that makes it such ripe and productive farmland also makes it a victim to frequent flooding not unlike those of the Mississippi and the Nile. However, this is the first time it was reported that members of the famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have broken into people’s homes to steal their guns.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Now Is The Summer Of Our Discontent

With apologies to Shakespeare, this otherwise apropos title may be an omen for Canada’s most tense season in its relationship with its First Nations. With more broken promises from Canada’s government in its dealings with First Nations across the country, the inevitable response will be in the form of confrontation – planned to be civil and non-violent, but almost inevitable to end vastly different.

Much of the mainstream media has focused on high profile acts of civil disobedience and propaganda from some of Canada’s more notable leaders in the aboriginal community, such as hunger strikes and the prolific Idle No More movement that brought long standing issues between Canada and its aboriginal people to the forefront.

Holding itself out as a peacekeeper in the global community, where civil unrest and strife fill the front pages of daily newspapers and lead headline television news, Canada stands to lose more than just face if it cannot cool down the boiling tensions on its own home turf. At stake is possibly the worst civil unrest Canada has ever experienced, paling that of Trudeau’s administration in 1970 when Martial Law was invoked during what is now known as the October Crisis.

Is that where we’re headed?

From broken treaties to environmental issues, from land use consultation to Bill C-45, from launching a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women to respecting aboriginal rights, these form the backbone to aboriginal demands of Canada as a nation. And what makes this summer so tenuous is the planned “non-violent direct action” by aboriginal communities across the country designed to “increase tension”.

As one monster power ballad of the early 1980’s screamed, “We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks”. We only have to look at America’s civil rights movement to see what kind of reaction governments spew on non-violent direct action.

It is time for Canada to act with honor in resolving legitimate concerns of its aboriginal people. Otherwise, with the summer’s planned unrest, what is now a clear collection of grievances easily has the ability to explode into full scale civil war, where we will all have to take more than just a moral stand.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Space, The Final Frontier

History repeats, this time as an opportunity presents itself as only it has once before in mankind.

Pillaging every square inch of territory it could land a ship on, exterminating every culture and heritage that would not conform, and spreading untold disease and destruction in its path, now doors opened with heavy front end investment by taxpayers are being kicked down by the private sector.

In the days of colonial Europe, it was seen as ‘exploration’, unless you were the ones being explored, or more precisely, exploited. Voyages funded by monarchs and business groups alike, set sail and marched armies to plant their flag on new territories in the name of insert-deity-or-monarch’s-name-here.

With America’s mighty military budgets being directed largely to corporations who successfully dismantled NASA into a former shell of itself, the invitation has been laid at the feet of Wall Street to fund explorations (there’s that word again) to Mars and beyond. With government blessing in place, corporate greed is fuelling plans to harvest the bounty which Mars may possess, with major emphasis currently being place on mining for minerals thought to exist in unimaginable quantities.

Of course, the exploration (again?) for minerals will benefit us on Earth at the cost of destroying every ecosystem we touch on Mars. Truth is, nobody knows about the exact status of life on Mars, although the prevailing thought seems to lean toward the current existence of some simple mosses and plant life. Regardless, we will plop our equipment and resources wherever it suits us and dig until the money runs out or the project no longer provides enough fruit for our labor.

Then, after considerable time has elapsed, some rogue historian, scientist, or eccentric baron will stumble across the inevitable eureka moment when we realize we destroyed yet another planet. Only this time, it will have taken mere decades. We do seem to get better with practise, don’t we?

Interestingly enough, while wealthy nations with power are downgrading their space programs to mere facilitation status, Canada, on the other hand, has just appointed its recently retired top army officer to head up the Canadian Space Agency. Yes, an army guy to run a space program.

Now, we here at The Aphelion Times are no fortune tellers, but you must be thinking the same thing we are. Why would Canada be bucking the world trend to reduce the taxpayer’s burden for its space agency and signal a complete change in its mandate with the appointment of a military big-wig as its director?

It’s a move that the departed Ronald Reagan would be thrilled to see and probably tried to install during his administration in the White House. Could this be the rejuvenation of a space war agency for the western powers?

Only the puppeteers can know for certain.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Justice in Saskatchewan

All Hail Saskatchewan Justice!!!

In a decision that can only be described as courageous, warranted, overdue, and monumental, Judge M.D. Acton awarded Luciano Branco, a Saskatchewan welder, five million dollars compensation after insurance mammoths AIG and Zurich failed to process his claim for 10 years.

Judge Acton called the actions of AIG and Zurich "reprehensible" and "abhorrent" in their dealings with Branco. The Judge further admonished AIG and Zurich characterizing their actions as "outrageous", "cruel", and "malicious".

Let us all remember this as our insurance policies come up for renewal. If it can happen to Luciano Branco...

Margaret Thatcher. 'Nuff Said.

She gave safe passage to Pinochet, rather than send him to a war crimes tribunal as he should have been destined, commenting that the UK owed him and his henchmen a debt for Chile’s part in aiding England during the Falkland’s War in the early 1980’s.

She was outrageously outspoken, publicly chastising those who did not agree and conform to her ultra conservative principals.

She reigned over British politics with the fortitude and single-mindedness that earned her the moniker The Iron Lady. Some say she destroyed the country’s economy. Others claim she rescued it.

She is reported to have called Nelson Mandela a terrorist. And certainly, she had few friends among the Irish.

Yet, tributes poured in for Baroness Margaret Thatcher upon her recent passing at 87 years old. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper even went so far as to comment that she was a “giant among leaders”. Many would likely agree that she was indeed a giant, but would use the term as an adjective, rather than a noun, preferring to add a rather disagreeable noun of their own instead.

Obama released a statement saying, “The world has lost one of the great champions of freedom and liberty”.

Poppycock!!!

So, who were her friends? Not labor unions, not the working class, and on balance, nobody who truly cares for liberty and freedom.

Like when they discover the next door neighbor was a serial killer, the sound bites only hear what a normal person he was, so it is true of Thatcher, remembering her political reign as somehow beneficial to the world at large.

Thatcher’s embrace of her ideals is nothing short of heroic. She did for the 1% what none before or since ever could, advancing policies domestic and foreign that were purposely designed to deflate hope in the vast majority while inflating the coffers of her contemporaries.

And as a final kick in the groin to Britons, she will receive a state funeral with full ceremonial honors without the benefit to the Brits of a competitive private sector bid.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

When is a Penny Just a Penny?

The demise of the penny this month in Canada is being touted as a cost cutting measure by The Royal Canadian Mint, the federal crown corporation responsible for producing and circulating money in the country.

What this means to those using cash (remember cash?) is an unwarranted and discriminatory price increase for consumer goods.

Who uses cash anymore? Consumers unable to obtain a debit or credit card are the largest users of cash. Generally, that means poor people. Those least able to afford any price increases now must shoulder an additional cost on their purchases. This translates to increased and unwarranted profits by retail establishments as they round up consumer cash purchases to the next nickel. Statistically, this cash grab will also increase the monthly cost of living index, a major indicator of inflation rates, from which countless other benchmarks are derived.

As financial institutions and their government pawns force us to rely less on cash and more on computer entries for our currency, consumers will be more enslaved to the whims of these mammoth ogres, including forfeiting additional personal information to be shared as seen fit from the boardrooms of their ivory towers.

It all starts with the envelope pushing like eliminating the copper penny. One map, different ways to get there.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Just Say Neigh to Horsemeat

When was the last time you enjoyed horsemeat? Well, if you live in the UK, chances are you have unwittingly enjoyed remnants of some nag last week.

The revelation of horsemeat being combined with beef sold in Ireland and England has major grocery supermarkets on a huge defensive in an attempt to claim ignorance that suppliers have been including horsemeat and ‘beef trim’ (whatever the heck that is) as beef. In fact, Ireland’s food agency, the Food Safety Authority claims that recent testing revealed up to 29% of the contents labeled as beef actually contained horsemeat. Britain’s Food Standards Agency claim to also be investigating.

The Silvercrest processing plant at the heart of the scandal is under the microscope for supplying supermarket giant Tesco with beef burger products containing horsemeat. Another supermarket giant, The Cooperative Group, conducted its own DNA testing and determined 17.7% horsemeat in particular beef products.

According to sources, beef is Ireland’s number one food export, and Tesco is Ireland’s number one customer accounting for almost 10% of the country’s €1.9 billion annual beef exports.

Politicians, activists and civil servants alike are now calling for accurate food labeling laws to protect consumers from the nefarious practices of those who include filler products. But one must wonder how such practices can occur unchecked for so long. Isn’t it reasonable to assume that these mammoth supermarket chains have employees within their fold who must have known the practice was occurring?

It turns out that including horsemeat in beef products is not illegal, so long as it is appropriately labelled as such. This means when all is said and done, violators and their corporate partners will, at best, face infractions for failing to properly label their beef products – the proverbial slap on the wrist.

What this also means is that consumers who purchased ‘beef’ overpaid dramatically and that Tesco and The Cooperative Group profited by the same degree. Follow the money, criminal investigators will tell you, and motives will soon become crystal clear.

Who Pays for Freedom?

Recent troubles in Syria have an unexpected consequence on the friendly nation of Sweden, and the price of being so generous is inflated government spending on immigration and asylum policies that some Swedes believe is bordering on the absurd.

No other western nation has opened their borders to the plight of those of Syrian nationality than has Sweden, despite repeated requests to members of the European Union to follow suit, although it can be said that Germany has made significant inroads in an attempt to ease the Swede’s burden.

Imagine a country of only 9.5 million inhabitants permitting 8000 new Syrians in 2012 and projecting a doubling of that amount to 16,000 for 2013, and what that does to the infrastructure and society of such a small country.

Some of the backlash appears to be racially motivated, while others feel the pinch of rising cost of living due to supply and demand. Others criticize the ease at which Syrians are able to immigrate to Sweden. Showing up on an airplane to clear customs is enough to be granted asylum for Syrians seeking Swedish citizenship. With asylum comes the meal ticket paid for by Swedish citizens and many Swedes resent that their generosity has been usurped.

It is estimated that 7000 Syrians currently live in temporary accommodations in Sweden such as hostels and tents, as regular apartments and living accommodations are filled to saturation levels. The exploding budget for housing immigration seekers alone has already topped $115 million. And that is a number Swedes feel is difficult to live with, despite their willingness to contribute fairly to those affected by the conflict in Syria.

Only a few years ago we were blaming Syria for contributing to world terrorism by harboring and training extremists whose goal was to create havoc, disrupt economies, and cause death and destruction to western nations. Now it appears the Europeans have forgiven them and are prepared to have their economies adversely affected by essentially paying their living costs while harming the pocketbooks of its own citizens.

So who should pay for the freedom and standard of living for Syrians fleeing their homeland? With Swedes growing increasingly reluctant to shoulder the financial burden and changes to their culture and society, and European Union members adverse to grant even one asylum visa, one has to wonder why the brotherhood of what we know as the Middle East is not opening their arms to Syrians in their time of need.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Unlocking the Big Brothering of the Vatican

Hold on to your skeleton keys Batman, the Vatican is embracing swipe technology!

The world’s smallest state is being retrofitted with high tech gizmos and gadgets as part of its modernization plan to beef up security and track employees. Some suggest this is a direct response to the scandal that has become known as Vatileaks.

Regardless of the intent, it certainly runs counterintuitive to the rest of the Vatican’s thinking process. It would appear that maintaining currency and relevance applies only to those areas not directly connected to selling the product of religion itself.

While Catholic priests continue raping children with the knowledge and complicity of those in a position to eradicate such perversion, while the Catholic Church maintains archaic positions that are literally killing their followers (i.e. forbidding condom use), while the Catholic Church continues to practice exclusionary religion, and while the Catholic Church hoards ill-gotten riches far exceeding the wealth of many sovereign states while claiming poverty, they have decided to leap into the 21st century by installing security measures auspiciously as a contemporary prudence.

It would be easier to digest the Big Brothering of the Vatican as merely good business sense if their theological thinking was also in keeping with the times. However, it is likely closer to the truth to view recent demonstrations and uprisings in Italy, Greece and other parts of Europe as a wake-up call for the Pope and Company to further erect barriers between themselves and those they purportedly serve as a form of protection from the anger erupting at their doorstep.

Lord knows Vatican Army with their shiny spears are in no position to defend such a den of iniquity.