Tag Archives: conspiracy theories

Ignorance on the rise

Posters and flyers in Moncton recently depicted two women in politics as tethered to the whims of men. This is, of course, absurd in a putatively enlightened and generally progressive society.

Still, stupidity appears to be on the rise in this democracy of ours. What did the late, great Prime Minister of England, Winston Churchill once say, presciently? “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe,” he once reflected. “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Naturally, no one is perfect, least of all those who, last week, deposited handmade paper missives against New Brunswick Finance Minister Cathy Rogers and Liberal candidate for Moncton Northwest, Courtney Pringle-Carver. According to a report by Brunswick News Inc., “The message carried by hundreds of posters strewn about Moncton, insinuating two female provincial politicians are controlled by their male colleagues is insulting, says one of the victims of the caricature.”

To be clear, the report continues, the caricature displayed both women under the direct sway of the political boys of summer. All of which is broadly offensive and lamentably emblematic of an uptick in harsh and ill-informed speech. Is this the way we are suddenly leaning in this province?

Let us hope we are not. But, I fear, we might be turning that way. After all, we can’t seem to resist the western world’s latent lust for demagoguery, intolerance, outrage and sheer imbecility.

The evidence of a new enlightenment is sketchy.

Trumpism south of the border has galvanized, if not created, a seething disbelief in everything that is empirically provable. Consider these excerpts from a report a year ago by Canada’s public: “A study co-authored by University of Montreal researchers suggests that while 79 per cent of Canadians do not doubt the reality of climate change, 39 per cent don’t believe it is caused by human activity. . . Survey respondents seemed to be deeply divided on what is causing climate change. For example, only 33 per cent of people living in the Fort-McMurray – Cold-Lake riding in Alberta believe climate change is partly or mostly caused by humans. That compares to 78 per cent in the Quebec riding of Laurier-Sainte-Marie, where the rate is the highest.”

Meanwhile, another study conducted by the Ontario Science Centre over the summer concludes, and I quote, “Nearly half of Canadians believe science is a matter of opinion”. Specifically, “Canadians are hungry to learn about new science but their trust in science news has declined to alarming levels. . .While Canadians understand the basics and have a desire to deepen their knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes, their mistrust in the way science is covered in the news has serious implications for society.

“This breakdown in trust has serious consequences for Canada because our future health, prosperity and security all depend on making important, sometimes difficult, decisions based on scientific findings,” said Dr. Maurice Bitran, CEO and Chief Science Officer, Ontario Science Centre. “If we don’t trust the sources, or don’t understand the information we are receiving, we can’t make informed decisions. The findings of this 2017 survey demonstrate a vital role for authentic scientific voices in public education on critical issues that affect public policy and human health and wellbeing.”

Good luck with that. Stupidity and intolerance tends to stick like fly paper, even here, even now.

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Sitting up for the real truth

The truth has gone to ground

The truth has gone to ground

In the immortal words of Fox Mulder, the fictional FBI agent in the ‘90s cult TV show, The X Files, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. I used to turn that aphorism on its ear: Just because they’re out to get you, doesn’t mean you’re paranoid.

At the time, that seemed to make more practical sense to me as I watched not one, but two, of my employers go bankrupt overnight, victims of shadowy forces they barely perceived, let alone feared.

Lately, though, I’ve come to believe that Mr. Mulder had a point. Conspiracies swirl. Threats are extant. The men in black wear double-wide sized 9s and stand at the foot of my driveway, sifting through the confetti my shredder produces.

Oh yeah. . .the truth is out there people, but trust no one to tell you exactly what that is. (Is it coincidental that the actor, David Duchovny, who played the G-man is exactly the same age as my wife, to the date and year, and that she finds him oddly off-putting? I think not. There’s more to this than meets the eye. But, I digress).

Let’s talk about sitting.

Just released is another in a long line of studies that “prove” that resting on one’s derrière for long hours a day is not only bad for you; it will actually kill you as surely as an assassin’s blade.

Late last year, The Guardian had this to say about the hazard: “Sitting for more than three hours per day cuts about two years off your life expectancy. . .Watching more than two hours of TV per day will cut your life expectancy down another year. An even bleaker discovery? Moderate exercise doesn’t seem to offset the effects of this excessive sitting either. ‘It’s not just about getting physical activity in your life,’ Dr. Peter T. Katzmarzyk of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, told Businessweek. ‘Just because you’re doing 30 minutes of physical activity, what about the other 23.5 hours. Don’t just sit the rest of the day.’”

That sounds like good advice, until you consider the source: The globally interconnected medical establishment.

By now, it knows that most people don’t trust it. (How else do you explain the rise of homeopathy and the latent terror of vaccinations)? Therefore, most people will continue to sit around on their arses, watching, say, reruns of The X Files, despite, or, indeed, because of, the expert warnings.

That plays magnificently well into the hands of Big Pharma, who can expect record profits accruing from the drugs they sell to cancer-ridden, diabetes-debilitated patients, ministered to by – you guessed it – the medical establishment. Let the kickbacks commence.

But the conspiracy doesn’t end there. In fact, it’s diabolically nuanced. Think office furniture. Are you getting the picture?

Physicians know that a percentage of people, though in the minority, will actually heed their warnings and immediately shell out hundreds of dollars each for the latest, spiffiest “standing desk” and workplace treadmill so as to avoid stroking out at his keyboard. What’s in it for the doctors? Prescription and post-it pads for life. I kid you not. You can’t make this stuff up.

Yes, gentle reader, the dark confederacies are everywhere.

Just ask Jesse Ventura, former pro wrestler, Minnesota governor, author and occasional actor. (He actually played a man in black in several episodes of The X Files. So, he should know a thing or two about cover ups). “Hidden power, secrets, corruption,” he said at the top of his short-lived TV show, Conspiracy Theory. “You think you know the whole story? Think again. I’ve been a Navy SEAL, a fighter. I’ve heard things that will blow your mind. And now I think it’s time that you get the whole story.”

On the other hand, we may never really want to know the whole story.

The truth may be out there. But you can keep it to yourself, especially if it’s boring.

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