Saturday, June 23, 2018

Is This Really Something To Be Proud Of?

I find myself these days thinking about the beasts that have been unleashed upon society. In the United States, of course, it is Donald Trump who has made it acceptable to openly hate, mock, exclude and even kill. In Ontario, citizens have selected Doug Ford as their new premier. While both Trump and Ford masquerade as "for the people," they are really devoted only is unleashing the beast that resides in all of us, the most selfish and destructive aspects of humanity, for their own gain. All they have to do, as time goes on, is to find new targets for their diabolical agenda.

I was out walking, and a question occurred to me: What is it that people feel when they have had ample opportunity to spew their bile, vent their prejudices, vituperate a particular group or cause, or given the middle finger to succeeding generations by vociferously opposing any measures that might help mitigate the climate change that is quickly overtaking all of us? At least when we do something positive, whether it be a contribution to a cause, support for an issue, a personal kindness or gesture that recognizes and acknowledges our shared humanity, we are left at least a little enlarged, a little bigger inside for what we have attempted, maybe even a little more fulfilled.

What do those who choose to embrace the darkest paths feel?

Perhaps an appropriate frame, if not an answer, can be found from an episode of Breaking Bad, a series about a high school chemistry teacher who turns his resentments and the fact that he is dying into a crystal meth empire, one that ultimately costs countless lives. It was a show I was addicted to (no pun intended, well, okay, maybe a small one) despite the fact that it was the darkest meditation on human nature I have ever seen.

In the following scene, Jesse Pinkman, seduced into the crystal meth business by his former teacher, Walter White, have a discussion:
And this is where Jesse now found himself. Sat in his partner's living room, trying to set himself free from the life he could no longer be a part of, with Mr White not willing to allow him to go.

Finally, Walt spoke up again, his words hard and determined. And upon hearing them, Jesse knew he was fighting a battle he couldn't win.

"Jesse, you once asked me if I was in the meth business or the money business.” Walt looked up from his glass, and eyed Jesse. “I'm in the empire business.”

Jesse gaped back at him, and managed a small shake of his head. Bringing a hand up to cover his ever worsening head ache, he replied, “I don't know, Mr White. Is a meth empire really something to be that proud of?”
And that is the same question I pose here, in this later part of my life, looking at a world gone mad:

Is your embrace of a darkness that does nothing other than to weaken and to destroy really something to be proud of?

Friday, June 22, 2018

This Is What They Are Fleeing

While Trump and his apostles demonize the migrant families seeking sanctuary in the U.S. as rapists and drug dealers, here is a part of their reality the profoundly intolerant choose to ignore:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Distemper Of Our Times

For one who naturally inclines toward dark brooding, these are not good times. But then, if people follow the news and keep themselves reasonably well-informed about our headlong plunge toward environmental and climate disaster, I cannot imagine too many being in a celebratory mood. Except perhaps in Ontario, where the populace turned its back on anything resembling responsible and mature government by electing Doug Ford and his 'Progressive' Conservatives.

Now they are starting to get what they paid for, although the long-term cost may ultimately lead them to buyer's regret. As Martin Regg Cohn reports,
The premier-in-waiting has declared an end to carbon pricing in Ontario — no cap and trade, no carbon tax, no fuss, no muss, no nothing. No matter.

Never mind Earth’s rising temperatures. Ontario’s gas prices are coming down, and that’s a Ford promise (forget rising world oil prices).

Ford vowed in the campaign that he is “for the people.” His victory surely proves his grasp of the political environment — if not the planetary one.
Populist that he is, he seems quite happy for citizens to pay upwards of $30 million in a Supreme Court battle against a federally-imposed carbon tax:
Win or lose, he triumphs either way. If the federal carbon tax is upheld and imposed in Ontario, Ford will earnestly claim that the devil (the Supreme Court) made him impose the carbon tax dreamed up by that other devil (Prime Minister Justin Trudeau). The Thirty Million Dollar Man will cast himself as the Thirty Million Dollar Martyr.
And what about the money from the cap-and-trade that was used to combat climate change? Gone.
The program’s website was been reduced to one page Tuesday. Under the headline “The following programs are closed,” the site now lists everything from residential solar, window and insulation rebates to smart thermostats and programs for businesses.
Also about to be terminated are the rebates for buying electric vehicles, which paid out as much as $14,000 to defray consumer costs and encourage non-polluting transportation.

Of course, some might argue that Ford Nation and the other quislings who voted for Dougie and his brood are simply taking their inspiration from the United States, which shows no signs of retreating from its own madness under Trump. The Hill reports the following:
President Trump is repealing a controversial executive order drafted by former President Obama that was meant to protect the Great Lakes and the oceans bordering the United States.

In his own executive order signed late Tuesday, Trump put a new emphasis on industries that use the oceans, particularly oil and natural gas drilling, while also mentioning environmental stewardship.

The order encourages more drilling and other industrial uses of the oceans and Great Lakes.

The order stands in contrast to Obama’s policy, which focused heavily on conservation and climate change. His policy was written in 2010, shortly after the deadly BP Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling explosion and 87-day oil spill.
As my literary hero Hamlet said, "The time is out of joint." Too bad so many are busy worshiping the golden calf to notice.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Days Like This

There are many days when I think that words no longer fork any lightning, and this blog would be more useful if I simply aggregated, without commentary, news items that seem important to me. This is one of those days.

Should you wish to read about this dreadful desecration, please click here.