Monthly Archives: March 2008

10 Worst Foods of the Year

Full Story Here.

All foods that should be subject to a health tax:

1. Carl’s Jr Western Bacon Six Dollar Burger
2. Pizza Hut Double Deep Pizza
3. El Monterey XX Large Chimichanga
4. Denny’s Meat Lover’s Scramble
5. Hardee’s Country Breakfast Burrito
6. KFC Chicken & Bisquit Bowl
7. Starbucks Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino Double Creme
8. Pizza Hut P’Zone
9. Wendy’s Baconator
10. Denny’s Extreme Grand Slam

Most of these dishes seem to be an American phenomenon, but honestly: who the hell would buy this stuff when the cost of health care in the US is so outrageous?

Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

The Next Buddha Will be a Collective

What a fascinating article:
Full Essay Here.

It’s a long read, but well worth it. Michel Bauwens (the author) argues that with today’s peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace, all of the individuals with an interest in spiritual development will mature as a collective.

… this turn to the collective that the emergence of peer to peer represent does not in any way present a loss of individuality, even of individualism. Rather it “transcends and includes” individualism and collectivism in a new unity, which I would like to call “cooperative individualism.” The cooperativity is not necessarily intentional (i.e. the result of conscious altruism), but constitutive of our being, and the best applications of P2P, are based on this idea. Similar to Adam Smith’s theory of the invisible hand, the best designed collaborative systems take advantage of the self-interest of the users, turning it into collective benefit.

…the balance is again moving towards the collective. But if the new forms of collective recognize individuality and even individualism, they are not merely individualist in nature, meaning: they are not collective individuals, rather, the new collective expresses itself in the creation of the common. The collective is no longer the local “wholistic” and “oppressive” community, and it is no longer the contractually based society with its institutions, now also seen as oppressive. The new commons is not a unified and transcendent collective individual, but a collection of large number of singular projects, constituting a multitude.

All in, a pretty cool article. Of course, I’m an a-religious person, but I can see how the discussion and structure as applied to religion has similarities with pretty much anything else, from soccer to music to economics to advertising.

Category: the future | Tags: ,

Death of the Bees & GMOs

Full Story Here.

North America needs bees. They are the most prolific pollinators of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Without them, anywhere from 30 to 40% of our food production will be at risk. If these numbers are hard to fathom, imagine 1 out of every 3 people around you not eating.

The article provides very specific descriptions as to how certain excuses made by mainstream media simply don’t wash.

The conclusions are posted here:

The proof is obvious that one of the major reasons of the bees’ decline is by the ingestion of GMO proteins. This is problematic, as there is such an increase of indigestible foods in humans and bees. The situation of colon cancer in humans is somewhat similar in occurrence. This is only a theory but leaves one to wonder what are we eating en mass. The external or complementary good of the bee is obviously a rise for a global concern. The long-term economical and environmental impact has yet to be completely understood.The Ecological Impact of horizontal gene transfer and increase of rampant disease is not fully examined and if so, is kept silent by these Conglomerates. The Economic impact of the bee colony collapse would mean inflation, scarcity of agricultural commodities, and ultimately the collapse of North American agriculture.

The Environmental Impact of scarcity and increased demand for resources, will beyond doubt have severe repercussions for our long-term food security. The bio-diversity of the bees causes positive economic and ecological externalities. The negative externalities have yet to be fully grasped or understood.

Organic crops: still relatively untouched
The truth is that organic farming is relatively untouched as the bee crisis is concerned. Organic farming maintains the diversity of the eco-system and preserves the quality of the foods produced. The economic impact that the scarcity of bees will potentially have on our society as a whole is very worrisome. In the end, only our children will fully realize; that it was greed that destroyed our beautiful blue planet.

Category: The Corporation | Tags: , ,

“We’re OK with it all …”

A very interesting closing speech from the show Boston Legal:×19-Stick-It-ClosingArguments.asx

The original reference was with What Really Happened.

I have a theory as to why “we’re OK with it all”. It has to do with demographics. The bulk of the North American population was ‘young’ in the 1960s. What do you worry about when you’re young? Nothing.

Now, that generation (the Boomers) is well into their 60s, which means they’ve got everything to lose.

Or so they think. A time will come – very soon, I believe – when most people that grew up with 60s ideals and stuffed them into a closet while they bought cars and assumed mortgages and raised kids and invested in stocks and lost money on stocks and bought cottages and then bought SUVs and so on and so on, will come back in a severe a overwhelming pendulum-like crash. Their sense of commitment to finally changing the world will kick into full gear and we’ll see change like we’ve never seen it before.

Soon, they’ll realize that the one thing they have to lose will be their sense of purpose, their morality. Their immortality or legacy. When they realize this, and hopefully not too late, they will push forth with a tsunami wave to all that’s ugly in the world.

Yes, I’m an optimist. And I think we can all convince each other that it’s worth being inspired by something like James Spader go on a little rant about the state of the States.

If we don’t, our collective sense of purpose will be lost.

Category: the future | Tags:

Canada’s Wealthy Benefit Most from Tax Cuts

I’m sooooo glad that Dwight Duncan focused on investment and spending policies in the Ontario provincial budget instead of implementing tax changes, as Flaherty was bullying him to do.

Full Story Here.

While our economy falls apart due to tax cuts for the rich and tar sands exporters, enjoy your potholes and old smelly buses.

Here are some details from the story:

Canada is among a minority where most of the relief has gone to high-income earners and the least to lower-income workers, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

“Across the OECD, tax-burden changes have tended to favour low-wage earners,” the Paris-based organization said in a report on changes in the tax burden on wages in its 30 member countries.

“But in a significant minority of countries, tax reforms have mainly benefited high-income groups,” it said in the report, citing Canada, and a handful of other industrial nations, including the U.S.

… in Canada the drop in the tax burden for single workers ranged from a hefty 2.3% for those earning 150% to 200% of the average wage to a 1.6% reduction for those earning 100 to 150% of the average wage to just 1.0% for those earning between two-thirds and 100% of the average wage and to only 1.1% for those earning one-third to two-thirds of the national average wage.

… Further, the report deals with the 2000-2006 period, and tax changes since, including the tax-free savings account in the latest federal budget, are tilted even more in favour of better off Canadians.

The best places, where changes favoured a more progressive approach: France, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.

Category: Canada | Tags: