Posted by: Asmodeus | September 27, 2008

Liberta Togo Against Gnassingbe

There is an abuse of power going on in the country of Togo at the hands of the ruling Gnassingbe family. The military is being used to keep the people in line and the corrupt government in power. Why are these abuses being allowed to continue?

The world should be more active in stopping atrocities like this. It seems like unless the Western countries have an interest in protecting oil land or some mining operation, they are not interested in helping. Togo needs our help in stopping Gnassingbe! You can learn more about the situation there and what you can do to help at the Liberta Togo Gnassingbe website. It’s a disturbing, but much needed photo fact presentation of what is going on there.

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Posted by: Asmodeus | August 11, 2008

China Beijing Olympics

I just wanted to add my 2 cents about all the controversy over the olympics being held in Beijing, China right now. The protestors there are protesting over human rights violations by the Chinese. They want China to “Free Tibet” and loosen control of the communist rule over the country in general.

While I certainly don’t disagree with the demonstrators and those who are making a stand, there have been episodes of escalating violence and terrorism, which I don’t support. The problem is made worse, ironically, by the Chinese authorities trying to silence these protests which really just proves the point of the protestors themselves at a time when the world is watching the country and its actions during the olympic games.

The best course of action for the Chinese government would be to allow the demonstrations to take place publicly to show the world that they don’t suppress human rights and free speech within their country. Trying to stop the rest of us from seeing what is really going on there at this point is just making it worse for the government. It will be interesting to see what ultimately unfolds during these world games. Keep watching…

Posted by: Asmodeus | May 31, 2008

Rich Greedy Bastards

There is a saying that the rich need an abundance of the poor to survive and I think this is especially true with the recent skyrocketing cost of living. Pretty much no matter where you live you’ll notice a jump in the cost of everything you buy.

This is greatly attributed to the cost of oil and the gas used to transport the products to the stores in which we purchase the goods. Where I live in Canada, the government puts a whopping 35-40% tax on gas, which is ridiculously high. I’ve read in the news many horror stories of poor people having to choose between heat and food in the winter. No one should have to make that kind of choice!

There was a local story about a man who literally froze to death on the floor of his home because he could not afford heat last winter. This angers me greatly because it’s completely preventable. The reason people can’t afford the NECESSITIES of life anymore is simple: the rich greedy bastards are now ruling the world in which we live.

The constant excuse I hear from these rich greedy bastards is that they are getting hit with the same soaring costs that we are and they have to raise the costs of their consumer products because of this higher production cost. Bullshit! They’re making poor people poorer instead of just taking a hit on their own rich pockets.

I read about a company reporting $10,000 less for the 1st three months of the year, put still posted a one million dollar profit (no losses!). Instead of the big company eating the 10,000 less, by perhaps lowering the 7 figure CEO salary, they passed it directly to the consumer, who make considerably less than 7 figures a year.

To me this is unacceptable. People scraping by on a few thousand a year shouldn’t go hungry because a millionaire or billionaire is too consumed by greed to accept slightly less on his own salary. Some of you may be asking “Well, why should he if he doesn’t have to?” and I’m all for people succeeding if they work hard, but there’s an extreme balance in today’s world that needs to be addressed.

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely” and there’s the crux of the problem, in that these rich assholes don’t want to give up ANYTHING, even when people are DYING because of it. The man who froze to death could have been saved if the govt had just lowered the taxes to make at least home heating fuel more affordable. Their response? “Not our problem!”. And now the power corporation wants to raise it’s rates AGAIN!

Because of all these hard times, there are many busy charities. Charities that have had to turn people away because they ran out of food or money and shelters than are overflowing with those in need. Here’s another point that bothers me. I see many big corporate stores offering charitable donations on behalf of their customers, instead of helping people directly.

The clerk will ask a customer if they wish to donate to a charity on top of their purchase, putting the customer on the spot and making them look like a heartless bastard in front of everyone in line if they say no. This isn’t fair. I’m all for giving to charity, but you should be able to do it on your own terms, to the charity of your choice, without being blindsided at a counter while picking up some milk and bread.

What’s worse is the big stores take the credit for it! They can say “look at how much we raised for charity”, but it’s actually the poor people who didn’t want to look bad in front of other people who donated the money. If the company really wants to donate money, then they should do it out of their own profits, or have a donation box on the counter so people can donate on a volunteer basis, instead of being felt pushed into it during the transaction.

If the company simply donated from the profits (even just a small percentage) out of the purchases made, then they could truly take credit for actually giving (“real” charity) and the buyers could feel good in knowing that by buying from that store will also benefit a charity. The stores would even potentially attract more customers with this approach and no one has to feel bullied. It’s a win-win situation.

While this may seem like a rant, there are so many cases of greed consuming people in power that I now want to make this the focus of my blog with the new category “rich greedy bastards”. I’m not referring to small “mom and pop” stores with a donation jar to raise money for a local child’s kidney transplant or a small company that is doing well for itself through hard work and patience. My posts will be specifically about companies who are consumed by greed and making more money than they need while other people are homeless and starving. 

It’s about excess. It’s about small companies that become big and forget where they came from. Specific companies, such as Google, who went from a scrappy little upstart several years ago taking on Yahoo (the search engine giant at the time) and winning, to now dominating the internet to the point where surfers and website owners are now slaves to the Google search engine whims and Adwords extortion. This, by the way, is why I’m ranting on WordPress, since it has a tag system whereby even if Google buries my blog or bans it, my posts will still be read and, hopefully, spread by other WordPress readers.

But I’ll leave my Google rant for another post. And my Paypal rant. And my Ebay rant…ah, so much to write about! At least I know there will never be a shortage of corruption to expose. Please leave comments and suggestions. Wish me luck!

Posted by: Asmodeus | May 7, 2008

When A Mormon Comes A Calling

Yesterday, my doorbell rang its mournful tune – I think it plays the “Funeral March” now – and when I answered there was a lone woman carrying a Bible staring at me with fear and trembling. She handed me a Jehovah Witness Awake magazine and read a page from her Bible, standing at a distance as if she were conducting an exorcism.

Now, perhaps it was my imposing appearance (I stand out in a crowd). Perhaps I invoke fear in others. Maybe she just sensed that I wanted to throw away her Bible and teach her the many merits of hedonism myself. No matter the reasoning, this woman was clearly terrified.

Usually the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons do their converting rounds in pairs, but I noticed that, unlike the Mormon’s (The Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints folk) who travel in male pairs, the Jehovah folk are generally female. Was she afraid of me as a lone female out in the country, or was it religious fear?

Years ago I used to invite these people in to my home to have a lively debate over their way of thinking, until they stopped coming. I found out later that one of them had confessed to a relative that my debates had her seriously questioning her faith. I felt good about that.

Is “door to door religion” going the way of the old soapbox preachers, almost gone but still hanging on for dear life? Even though I don’t agree with them, or the concept of converting the “unwashed” (shouldn’t that have died out hundreds of years ago?), I think I would miss my debates with them. They are well trained drones and I enjoy poking a hole in their bubble now and then.

In a day and age when we clearly NEED more tolerance and understanding for society and it’s views, these people have no call to impose their religion on others. While I respect their right to think as they do, I think door to door religious solicitations should be banned altogether. We all have different points of view and I don’t want anyone telling me how I should think.

The woman at my door could sense this. She didn’t bother trying to waste my precious time (and all our time is truly precious). She just read her required Bible quote and scampered away. Perhaps it wasn’t fear she felt. Maybe it was curiousity. Maybe she went home to prepare. After all, the last thing I said to her as she hurried along was “there’s a religious war a comin’!”. Poor girl doesn’t stand a chance…

Posted by: Asmodeus | April 13, 2008

The True Cost Of Wealth

It was once said that the rich need an abundant supply of the poor. This is becoming even more evident by the widening gap between the rich and the poor and the squeezing out of the middle class in between. The economy is not getting any better.

Sure, a constant series of wars is one way to stimulate the economy and employ those who might otherwise be working menial low paying jobs. It worked for Hitler. It worked for George W. Bush. But how long can the economy possibly sustain itself off a limited supply of human sacrifices for the “greater good”?

I remember many years ago when I was an innocent and naive 18 year old from a small town travelling to a large metropolitan city for the first time. It was the first time I had every truly seen poverty. Everyone in my home town made roughly the same amount of money and lived in the same type of houses and worked at the same factory that employed most of the town. There wasn’t much diversity and most were white, middle class families.

However, within 5 minutes of being downtown in the big city, my eyes were forced wide open by the reality unfolding in front of me. Homeless people literally living in cardboard shelters or using newspapers for blankets. Hungry people with no money for food picking half-eaten burgers out of garbage bins outside a McDonald’s.

Then there was the other side, in the visions of the many rich people driving by in their Mercedes and Beemers or walking by in their $1000 designer suits. I had never seen such economic extremes before. It sickened me to watch a rich business man casually walk around a homeless man sleeping on the steps of a bank, of all places!

The extremely wealthy should be made to share their wealth with those less fortunate. We are not a humane society as long as there are people worth billions while other people are starving from lack of money to buy food! I understand the concept of capitalism and striving to acheive a better life, but at what point does it become too much? Once a business person is successful how many more millions is really needed?

Perhaps we could allow the billionaires to keep an even billion dollars, just so they can still show off their acheivement and still call themselves billionaires, but then all the money after that should be donated to charity. There are some people so rich that they could personally sponsor an entire third world country and save all its citizens.

Yes, there are philanthropists who donate to charity, but they tend to be selective charities. Bill Gates gives scholarships to students who will be using computers with Microsoft products. It’s mostly indirect charity as well, in the form of scholarships, buildings, foundations and the like. They should really be giving money directly where it’s immediately needed.

No one should be homeless and freezing outside in the cold or starving to death while others are rich beyond all practicality. Freedom and democracy come at a cost. Unfortunately, it’s always the poor who pay that high price. Perhaps it’s time we changed that…

Posted by: Asmodeus | January 8, 2008

Ranting 101

Got your attention? Excellent!! While I do have a few other blogs, I wanted to make this one about things that actually matter and are socially relevant. I don’t want it to become a daily diary of how pissed off I may or may not be, as this tends to water things down over time. I see a lot of blogs that get written in every day, whether or not the person really has something important to say, and it gets to the point where there are some really bland posts just for the sake of filling space. I hate reading a crap post about how nice the weather is outside or how great you feel about your new shoes, and I dont wish to fall down that same path.

I’m telling you this so as not to expect regular posts with this blog. I’ll only post when something seems worthy enough to warrant my time typing it to you. That’s not to say that there aren’t days when the weather IS nice outside…just that I know you don’t care. You’re here to read my rants, and I DO rant. There are MANY things that piss me off on a pretty much daily basis, and I shall share some of those things with you…

Stay Tuned!!

Posted by: Asmodeus | December 20, 2007

Christmas, Brought To You By Walmart

So, I guess by now everyone is well aware of how consumer driven society has become, and the evidence is made even clearer during the holiday season. Christmas has become a sponsored event, really. Every store is trying to squeezed that last dollar out of you and they want you to “shop ’til you drop”. To that end, they stay open virtually 24/7 up until the 25th, and kick start your holiday brain by playing holiday music a full 2 MONTHS before the actual holiday! It’s quite dizzying!

I watch the mall frenzy with a mixture of alarm and amusement and often wonder why everyone seems so much in a panic. I notice it’s like that just before a storm as well, as if you are going to really starve if you are unable to get to a store in 2 or 3 days! People act as though that HAVE to buy something. They are programmed to spend, and in a way, this is somewhat true. We are raised to believe the measure of our success is in what we have. That being in our subconcious thoughts has lead us to WANT more, and we showcase this belief during the holiday season. It’s no longer about whether or not we believe in a religious basis for the holiday, but more so a chance for us to show off that new i-whatever gadget to our friends. The bigger and more expensive the presents, the better the holiday!

For those of you who love a good government conspiracy theory, there is an excellent website with a video illustrating the history of our voracious consumer appetite. According to this video, we have been programmed to consume goods at an ever increasing rate by a collaborative effort between big business and the government as a way to feed the economy for the past 50 years. Things are now purposely made to break down within a year or two so that you have to go out and buy a new one. I read all the horror stories about iPods and other gadgets that people had received as Christmas gifts that broke before the following Christmas had even come around, leaving people to get them as gifts again just in time for the next holiday.

I remember when a big appliance like a washer and dryer would be warranted to last 25 years or more. Now they ask you if you want to buy an extended warranty past a year or two. That doesn’t say much about the products you pay big money for. Even houses are now made out of cheap pressboard material that is made to fall apart after 25 years, or less. Imagine locking into a mortgage for a house for 25 years (the average mortgage length) and, after paying for it, with interest, for most of your adult life, the place starts going to pieces. I’ve seen some houses just built a few years ago in the 1990’s already rotting out, yet my house is a 200 year old country house still standing because it’s made out of REAL wood! Look at how many old antique tools and such from over 100 years ago are still usable.

Same thing with cars. I have a 1954 Chevy Bel Air that was been abandoned for the past 50 years out in my field, yet the chrome is like new and the body, while rusty, is still solid. If that were a new car it would disintegrate into dust within a few years if left out in a grassy field. It takes an average of 4-5 years for most people to finish paying off a new car, but instead of having a few years to enjoy their purchase, the average new car falls apart just after its paid for. If you look into it you’ll find that most consumer products are like that. They break down right after they are paid for or the warranty runs out. Nothing is made to last anymore.

We have Walmart to thank for that trend. They started the push toward cheap, disposable consumer goods. You can read more on that here…

http://www.storyofstuff.com/

Ah, time for me to go fix some things….

Posted by: Asmodeus | December 14, 2007

My Humble Apologies

I know I must seem like a right bastard for starting a blog and then not posting anything for almost a month later, but it’s been a bit crazy for me lately. I plan to keep a regular blog schedule after the holidays, but for now I’d like to direct your attention to a video I made awhile ago on Youtube. It is controversial and was removed from the Flixya site. I was only presenting some facts about the war overseas, but I guess not everyone appreciates the truth. It features a song called “Coma” by Buckethead with Serj Tankian (from SOAD) and Middle Eastern singer Azam Ali. It’s a very powerful combo!

Here’s my antiwar fact video called “Just A Statement (About War)”. Feel Free to let me know what you think of it!

Happy Holidays!

Update Note: The bastards at Warner Bros made Youtube take down the video for Copyright Violation a few days ago (Jan. 2008). Far from trying to take away their royalities, at just over 2 minutes of an 8 minute song, it was more useful to them as promotion than anything, but narrow-minded record execs quite often miss the big picture while busy counting their money. It’s a great and powerful song, which I recommend buying through a download service like iTunes or Puretracks, so as to not give the execs so much profit buying their grossly overpriced CD’s (You DO know it only costs then less than a dollar to manufacture a CD, right?). All this bullshit really takes away from the message of the video though, which is we need to stop wasting so much money on war and start redirecting it to people who need food, medicine and other essentials. Although, when it all comes down to it really, it’s still always about money and powerful corporate bastards anyway, right?

Posted by: Asmodeus | November 17, 2007

Asmodeus, I Am

The name Asmodeus is often described as a demon of carnal desire, but I like to think of myself as a rather approachable guy, really. I can be quite talkative, even though I grew up painfully shy (perhaps even socially retarded, if that can be said). I always have something to say and I’m not afraid to say it. I do have other blogs on other sites, but they all seem to have such a Fisher Price toy feel to them that I can’t see them as a serious platform for social unrest. Plus I always felt I had to tiptoe around the Google Gods for fear of incurring their wrath. Oh, please great Googly Moogly, don’t take away my PageRank for displeasing you! Ack!! That’s why I picked the name Asmodeus. It sounds powerful and wrath inducing. Maybe now I can poke at Google and others just a little bit more confidently. Here, at WordPress, I feel I can say what I want to. At least I think so. We’ll see. To be continued…

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