Down, But Not Out

An introspective examination of the tragedy of homelessness in the richest society ever to exist on Earth

Homelessness is not an accident. Homelessness is not a problem. Homelessness is a political agenda. Why else would there be so many homeless people in the richest country that ever existed on the face of this planet.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Federal Election 2011

We are currently in the middle of one of the most crucial Canadian elections of recent times; one that threatens to irrevocably alter the very fabric of Canada for all time. I urge each of you who has the right to vote to research the facts educate yourselves and think carefully about what kind of country we wish to live in and then Exercise YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE responsibly.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Index of Ronzig's web pages

Index of Ronzig's web pages Website: Ronzig's Galleryhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif Go to Ronzig's Gallery digital photoArt, photography, video, photographic & video recording services, Mini Video Tours of Toronto, Collector Series Postcards featuring an assortment of his best images and art on ceramic tiles top home page. Learn about Ronzig and Ronzig's Gallery: What is digital photoArt? Ronzig's guerrilla photography and video. Art on Ceramic Tiles. Collector Series Postcards featuring an assortment of his best images, Mini Video Tours of Toronto. And photographic and video recording services.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif View some of Ronzig's best work in a slideshow or individual images from Ronzig at Ronzig's Gallery of digital photoArt and photography. You can contact Ronzig's Gallery by email, telephone or by snail mail to his address to inquire about Ronzig's digital photoArt, photography, Collector Series Postcards featuring an assortmenthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif of his best images. video, photography & video recording services, Mini Video Tours of Toronto and art on ceramic tiles or to purchase his products or services. You will also find numerous links to other websites where Ronzig has a presence. Read the Legend of Ronzig the Wizard and his battle with his evil twin brother Ronzak the Sorcerer in the story of the ongoing struggle between good and evil that has been going on since the creation of the universe.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif This is where you can order Ronzig's products and services from Ronzig's Gallery such as digital photoArt, photography & video recording services, Mini Video Tours of Toronto, art on ceramic tiles & Collector Series Postcards featuring an assohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifrtment of his best images. Ronzig creates spectacular panorama works either as photographic images or as Digital photoArt that are available in standard sizes up to 44" x 13" on either canvas or archival quality photo paper (larger sizes available by special order). Ronzig's Gallery will also embed a panorama image into the glaze of a series of ceramic tiles to create a unihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifque wall or floor covering surface to your specs. Ronzig's Digital photoArt & photographic images from Ronzig's Gallery cover a broad array of subject matter and themes resulting in highest quality art works to suit any preference. These images are all available on ceramic tiles & Collector Series Postcards as well a more traditional canvas and archival photo paper in a wide range of sizes to suit your rehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifquirements. All of Ronzig's best work is available on Collector Series Postcards on archival photo paper, suitable not only for mailing a unique greeting to friends and loved ones, but also for framing as a group to hang on your wall. Ronzig has done work for a wide range of clients from law firms to developers, health services facilities and the City of Toronto, all of which would certainly provide excellent references to Ronzig's Gallery. Most of Ronzig's best work, be it video, photography or Digital photoArt is available as stock video clips or stock photo & art images at extremely reasonable prices for royalty free applications that you are producing. Most of Ronzig's best work can be embedded into the glaze of ceramic tiles, resulting in virtually indestructible art works suitable for architectural uses such as surfaces for walls, floors, counter tops, back-splashes, fireplace surrounds or mantlepieces. As home furnishing uses they provide unique surfaces for tables or any other flat surfaced furniture. There is a series of 4" x 4" tiles with a protective backing designed for use as coasters that are bound to intrigue your guests as you entertain. Of course they make timeless stand alone art suitable for framing or placing on a stand for display. Ronzig produces a wide range of videos, including Documentary works, event recording such as children's birthdays, activism and social protest works, art films, Mini Video Tours and special effects clips. Ronzig's Gallery is fully equipped and hahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifs access to support professionals to create original works with multi-camera filming, still photography and custom music for any production. He is presently working on a special fx movie, The Legend of Ronzig the Wizard, for which he the writer, art and costume designer, producer director and star. Website: Down But Not Outhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif As well as Ronzig's Gallery, Ronzig built and maintains Down But Not Out, a website dedicated to social activism and providing information about many of the current issues that threaten to destroy our planet and the social structures we have developed. This link will take you to the Home page of Down But Not Out which was recently ranked as the 12th best website about homelessness on the internet and the following information will explain each of the pages on the website. You will have the opportunity to comment on what you learn here anhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifd read the many comments of other visitors to the site. Learn more about Ronzig and why he created Down But Not Out and why it began as a website discussing the issues of poverty, homelessness and addiction and how it evolved into much more, encompassing issues a wide ranging as politics, war imperialism, conspiracy, economics, health, the environment and more. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif Having been a crack addict for nearly 2 decades, during the 2nd of which I was homeless, I have acquired an in depth understanding of addiction, how & why it begins, what it does to a person, what is involved with getting free of this curse and the social implications of this ever increasing plague on civilization. I disclose some little known and often ignored information and insights that will assist you in coming to a better understanding of what addiction is all about. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif I have created a page where visitors to Down But Not Out can contribute by telling their story about how the issues discussed on the site has affected them or someone they care about. I encourage you to read what others have to say and please tell us your story. You can remain anonymous if you prefer. There is an extensive examination of the economy on Down But Not Out with discussions about the recession, ecohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifnomic collapse, the increasing disparity between the rich, the poor and the middle class. I delve into the phenomena of the shrinking middle class and the emergence of a 2 class society where an economic elite rule and the rest of us are rapidly being relegated to economic slavery. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif Whether you call it Global Warning, Climate Disruption or choose to adopt one of the euphemisms that opponents to addressing this impending disaster use to seek to reduce the significance of the crisis to protect their ill gotten financial profits, it is a scientific fact that our global environment is on the brink of collapse. If meaningful and immediate action is not taken the human race along with almost all other forms of life on the Planet Earth will soon face extinction. Whenever I have time I try to post notices of significant events that you may wish to attend including rally's, protests, political meetings, or other http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifrelevahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifnt items here. I also use this page to post notices of upcoming art shows where my work will be on display. The social, economic and political issues revolving around health and healthcare are currently creating an environment where universal healthcare in Canada is under attack. It is evident that the elite no longer wish to ensure adequate health services for an aging population. They see no need to preserve individual health when there is no shortage of replacement economic slaves to step in when one of us succumbs to preventable illness and dies. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif There is a worldwide epidemic of homelessness that has emerged in the past couple of decades to plague society and the wealthiest nations, ones with more than sufficient resources to provide housing for their populations are the worst at addressing the situation. Having lived long enough to realize that even when our society was steeped in relative poverty compared to today's situation, homelessness was never a significant problem until recently as the elite grab more and more of the world's wealth and resources, leaving the rest of us to struggle just to keep a roof over our heads. With the advent of the internet, hope for a just society has been restored, yet there are sinister powers threatening to crush that hope. Just when internet should be reaching the point of universal global access, these powers are forcing ahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifn increasing internet divide, where surprisingly millions who once could afford access are being economically deprived of this crucial commodity, for a commodity is what it has become and it is for sale at price not reflective of costs, but of what the market will bear. Perhaps we should be considering defining internet as a Necessary Service that is available to everyone at affordable rates of free of charge. With the corporatization of mainstream media, it's difficult to find any hhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifonest reporting in this media, as they tend to stick like flies on flypaper to the elitist party line. However even the most cynical of these outlets of information are forced to include a modicum of honesty in their reports when faced with the vast amount of conflicting evidence distributed freely on the internet. It is beneficial also to be up to date on what they are saying in order to point out the inadequacies and outright lies that they distribute.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif Over the years, Ronzig has been in the news on several occasions, both as the subject of articles and as interviewee. Of course I've commented on many news items as well. you'll find some of these pieces on my news page.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif There is a disturbing trend in politics that is increasingly threatening the very fabric of Democracy, or the sorry excuse for such that we have adopted. I'm speaking of the merging of the Capitalist manifesto into the political agenda to the effect that today's politicians see their job almost exclusively as serving the requirements of capitalism and corporate profits rather than the needs of the citizens who are the true backbone of any nation. Ever wonder how it is possible that in the richest civilization that has ever existed on the planet, extreme poverty is reaching epidemic proportions? The answer is obvious. Every single yearhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif for the past 3 decades the wealthiest 5% of the world's population have taken control and ownership of a greater proportion of the world's resources leaving less for each of the remaining 95% of the people who have to live on this planet. In every industrialized nation the middle class is under attack and is shrinking annually as people are forced down the economic scale into the burgeoning poverty class. The truly terrifying aspect of this is the fact that the members of the middle class which is the primary target of this attack believe that when the middle class is eliminated they will be part of the elite upper class of rulers rather than economic slaves of these rulers. Because of this the middle class votes consistently for politicians who serve this elite ruling class and don't even realize they are voting for their own destruction. http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif In a society which professes to be primarily Christian is it not a paradox that we have created such an un-Christian attitude toward our neighbours? By assuming the philosophy of "Looking our for number ONE", we find it easy not only to allow our brothers and sisters to suffer and actually perish because they can not afford to pay for the basic requirements of survival, nourishment and shelter, but many of us are arrogant enough to hate them for their predicament. How are we to overcome this tide of apathy and animosity which in the end will destroy us if we fail?http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif If you group is interested in Ronzig's experiences and philosophies, I do speaking engagements and will talk on any of the topics covered here. I have had great success with audiences while speaking about homelessness & addiction, Democracy & politics as well as photography & art and would be pleased to accept a request to speak to you group. Primarily because of American Imperialism the world has been in a constant state of war for the majorityhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif of the past 6 decades. Isn't it amazing how we can call making war on another nation a Police Action or Peacekeeping Action to camouflage the fact that we are invading a nation to seize control of its resources or to use it as a staging zone for our aggressive moves on its neighbours, yet we call defensive retaliation Terrorism? We call the slaughter of innocent civilians Collateral Damage to hide the fact that more than 80% of the people we kill in our wars are civilians primarily women and children. I find it disturbing that Prime Minister Harper has eagerly jumped into bed with the Americans and is arming Canada to fight along side our neighbours to the South as we seek to seize control of far off nations. We stand idly by and allow Israel, the puppet state of the Americans which exists solely because of American arms and financing to commit wide scale genocide in its attempt to eradicate the legitimate population of the region from the planet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Check out my new wesite about poverty, homelessness & addiction

I don't have any idea why Blogspot has messed with their system, but they have made it impossible to post a decent looking notice, so I created an all new site using SynthaSite. It's a far superior format and I'm sure you'll like the layout and presentation much better. Be sure to bookmark the new url http://downbutnotout.synthasite.com/

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Results Reported by THE WELLESLEY INSTITUTE

Canada has received both a sharp reprimand and a strong call to action in the preliminary observations of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Miloon Kothari , in his preliminary observations at the end of his fact-finding mission to Canada (October 22, 2007).

“Everything I witnessed on this mission confirms the deep and devastating impact of this national crisis on the lives of women, youth, children and men,” said Mr. Kothari. “ Canada is one of the richest countries in the world, which makes the prevalence of this crisis all the more striking.”

Mr. Kothari’s preliminary observations are a devastating indictment of almost two decades of funding cuts by governments in Canada , not just of housing programs but also income assistance and other initiatives. “ Canada has a reputation around the world for its progressive housing policies and programs, but that is no longer the case,” said Mr. Kothari. “ Canada ’s successful social housing program, which created more than half a million homes starting in 1973, no longer exists. Canada has fallen behind most countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and development in its level of investment in affordable housing. Canada has one of the smallest social housing sectors among developed countries. Along with his preliminary observations, Mr. Kothari has made a series of recommendations to the federal government, including:

- a comprehensive national housing strategy, co-ordinated with the provinces and territories;

- a “large-scale” building of social housing units;

- an immediate extension of the federal government’s affordable housing programs, which are due to expire at the end of fiscal 2008;

- immediate steps to fully recognize international economic, social and cultural rights in all Canadian domestic laws; as part of a national housing strategy, specific initiatives directed at groups forced onto the margins, including women, Aboriginal people, elders, youth, members of racialized communities, immigrants and others;

- an immediate extension of the federal housing renovation program that is due to expire at the end of fiscal 2008;

- a comprehensive fix for the subsidy erosion faced by s.95 housing co-operatives; funding and resources to ensure that all Canadians have access to potable water and proper sanitation;

- an immediate extension of the federal homelessness program, which is due to expire in fiscal 2008;

- a consistent framework of tenant protection and rent regulation laws across the country that meet the standards set by international housing rights laws;

- additional housing allowances as part of a national housing strategy;

- inclusive zoning and planning practices across the country;

- a comprehensive and properly-funded poverty reduction strategy at the federal level, and with provinces and territories; measures to address the urgent, short-term and long-term needs of women;

- progressive legislation to address violence against women;

- creation, funding and implementation of programmes and policies to support women in the area of housing and domestic violence;

- funding and resources to a national Aboriginal housing strategy, on and off-reserve, that ensures that Aborginal housing and services are under Aboriginal control;

- a moratorium on oil and extractive activities at Lubicon until a settlement is reached with the Lubicon Lake Nation;

- specific targets and strategies, and independent monitoring, of the Vancouver Olympics;

- funding and programmes to sustain non-governmental organizations over time;

- the development of proper statistics and indicators for homelessness and housing insecurity.

Over the next four months, Mr. Kothari will continue to monitor the activities of the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and will work with non-governmental organizations in Canada to develop a comprehensive report on housing and homelessness in Canada .

Michael Shapcott, Senior Fellow

The Wellesley Institute

45 Charles Street East, #101

Toronto, ON., Canada M4Y 1S2

Tel. - 416-972-1010, x231

Mobile - 416-605-8316

Fax - 416-921-7228

www.wellesleyinstitute.com

United Nations Condemns Canadian Housing Policy

On Friday October 15, 2007 there was a public forum hosted by the Wellesley Institute, with Miloon Kothari, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, along with representatives of Aboriginal, women and homeless groups. We we were there to hear Miloon set out the details of his fact-finding mission and the international right to adequate housing. Local experts set out the issues and solutions for Toronto. Toronto Star report

The lead editorial in the Sunday, Oct. 28, 2007, issue of The Toronto Star contained a powerful piece by Elaine Carey and backs the preliminary observations by Miloon Kothari, the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, and sets out a strong call to action. The piece is reprinted below. There was consistently good media coverage of Miloon’s mission to Canada , a question was raised in Parliament on Thursday and the media (at least the Star) hasn’t let this important mission fade.

Non-governmental groups should incorporate Miloon’s preliminary observations into our work leading up to the next federal budget.

While Miloon has completed the first stage of his fact-finding mission to Canada with the release of his preliminary observations on Monday, the second – and critically important – stage has begun. Miloon is preparing a detailed country report with a series of specific recommendations to the Government of Canada. This will be debated at the United Nations’ Human Rights Council – the highest human rights body within the United Nations – in a few months.

Miloon has asked for any additional information – statistics, stories, recommendations for action – that non-governmental groups want to pass along. Please stay tuned for details.

Here’s the Star piece:

TOronto STar – EDITORIAL

A 3-point strategy for better housing Oct 28, 2007

Canadians really didn't need a United Nations envoy to tour the country and announce that CanadaCanada 's major cities to overcrowded shelters and rotting public housing buildings. urgently needs to tackle its affordable housing crisis. The signs of it are everywhere, from homeless beggars on the streets of

But the visit last week by Miloon Kothari , the UN's special rapporteur on adequate housing, did shine a spotlight on the shocking lack of affordable housing options in a country as rich as Canada. Successive federal and provincial governments have pledged to address the problem, but all have fallen far short of meeting the growing demand for reasonably priced housing for low-income families and individuals. What is lacking is a co-ordinated federal-provincial housing strategy, in effect a national plan that would ensure every Canadian has a decent place to call home. Such a blueprint must take a three-pronged approach: new construction of affordable homes, rent subsidies and renovation of existing homes. The three areas need to be tackled together, not in isolation or in any prescribed order. Rather, a holistic approach is best suited to addressing the problem. As a key leg of the three-pronged strategy, it is imperative that Ottawa kick-start a renewed national housing program with a goal of building up to 200,000 affordable and co-operative housing units over the next 10 years. The homes are needed in cities, rural areas and native reserves. Ottawa effectively got out of the affordable housing sector in 1993 when it downloaded the area to the provinces. Because of that, only a few major programs have been funded. The result is that in the past decade, fewer than one new affordable rental unit has been built for every 100 new homes. And overall rental construction is lagging. Across Ontario , up to 12,000 new rental apartments are needed annually, three times what has been built each year between 2000 and 2005. The consequences are felt most acutely in the Greater Toronto Area where only 2,000 new affordable rental units have been built in the past five years, while more than 67,000 people remain on waiting lists. The second leg of the strategy should be a greatly expanded rent supplement program. Obviously, new affordable housing cannot be built fast enough to meet existing demand. That's why paying subsidies to put low-income residents into vacant rental units is necessary. While some housing advocates view rent supplements as a short-term measure that does not solve the overall problem, such subsidies do provide temporary support and needed housing for those in desperate need. Currently, a family of four receives a shelter allowance of only $544 to cover rent. However, the average market rent in Toronto has risen to $1,052 for a two-bedroom apartment. During the recent election campaign, Premier Dalton McGuinty promised a new $100-a-month rent supplement program to help 27,000 Ontario families. That is a welcome first step, but it should only be an initial step. More assistance will be needed because McGuinty's plan will still leave thousands of families scrambling for help to pay their rent. The third part of the strategy would be a major commitment to renovate public housing that is aging and falling into disrepair. In Toronto alone, the city's 58,000 units of public housing require an estimated $300 million in repairs. Many of those buildings are now more than 50 years old, with plumbing that leaks and ceilings that are cracked. The preferred way to deal with this issue is for Queen's Park to upload the cost of renovations. When the Conservative government under Mike Harris downloaded the cost of social housing to municipalities in 2001, it refused to give the cities the money needed to deal with repairs. McGuinty should make reversing this policy the first priority of his re-elected government. Together, these measures would form the basis of a federal-provincial affordable housing strategy that would go a long way toward helping the neediest among us – those who cannot work, single parents and the working poor – have a better life.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This Saturday I am meeting with the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing

Topics For Discussion

1) Homelessness is NOT a problem, it’s a political agenda.

2) Economic slavery is the primary cause of homelessness. We are governed by people who owe their jobs to campaign funding from the upper classes. No wonder they refuse to protect poor people who are FORCED to work long hours for wages that are not sufficient to provide food and shelter for their families.

3) Subsidized housing & rent geared to income has created two classes of poverty. Those with government funded housing can live reasonably well and are the fortunate ones. Those without, live a daily existence on the edge of homelessness and have to spend money which should go to food on rent. They can not afford both. It’s either inadequate nourishment or homelessness. It is na├»ve to think that the failed policy of building so called affordable housing will ever come close to solving the homelessness issue. No government can afford to build enough housing units to ever make a difference.

4) We don’t need to build affordable housing; we need to afford the existing housing. There presently exists more than enough vacant housing to accommodate all of the homeless people. The problem is that people on social assistance or working at minimum wage do not have enough income to pay reasonable market rents. Our government has made war on the poor by failing to ensure a reasonable income for either of these groups. A livable minimum wage and reasonable social assistance rates would eliminate most homelessness. If government would give landlords a tax break for setting aside a portion of their housing units to rent at the rate provided for by ODSP or Ontario Works, we could eliminate most of the homelessness caused by affordability problems immediately.

5) Addictions along with physical and mental disabilities are major contributing factors in homelessness and next to economic slavery, are the most significant causes of homelessness. It is unconscionable that in the richest society that has ever existed on Earth, we still condemn sick people from these groups to homelessness and an early death. Any politician who says we can not afford to give these people proper care and a safe home is an outright liar.

6) There will always be a few people who choose to remain homeless, but if we give most homeless people a reasonable alternative, they will pounce on the opportunity and homelessness will be almost completely eradicated.

7) It is incredible that a multi billion dollar industry has been instituted to deal with homelessness when allowing people a livable income would eliminate its need at a fraction of the cost.

8) Police harassment, illegal tactics and brutality towards homeless people NEED TO CEASE IMMEDIATLEY. I could site several examples of police brutality, but the most outrageous is one where two police officers threw a friend of mine off a railway overpass in an attempt to kill him. He lived, but sustained multiple fractures to both of his legs. I watched as two police officers soused my squat and ALL MY WORLDLY POSSESSIONS in gasoline and set them on fire. We need a civilian watchdog to handle complaints about police. When I lodged a formal complaint, there was NO MEANINGFUL INVESTIGATION. Neither I nor a second eyewitness were ever interviewed. Every homeless person knows there is no sense in complaining about these events. Nothing is ever done except often there is severe police retaliation.

9) Homelessness in most underdeveloped countries is also a matter of economic slavery and political agenda. The difference is that there, a third element exacerbates the situation. Many of these countries rely on economic and material aid from the developed nations. Not nearly enough aid is forthcoming and corrupt political leaders and bureaucrats siphon off most of the cream so that little actually reaches the intended recipients. Add piracy to the mix and it’s easy to see why millions of people world wide continue to wander homeless and starving to death.

10) In spite of the lip service and band-aid solutions being offered up, homelessness and starvation continue to increase throughout the developed and undeveloped world at an alarming rate. Will it take violent worldwide uprisings by these desperate victims of social greed and avarice to facilitate meaningful action? If so, beware, for the time is rapidly approaching.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Unacknowledged Addicts

I was homeless for ten years in Toronto. During this period and for several years previous, I was an active crack addict and alcoholic. A year ago I quit using drugs and alcohol, and I recently took up residence in a lovely bachelor apartment. You might say that I turned my life around. I feel that I did. I couldn’t have done it without the help of some very wonderful and caring people, but that is another story, which I will save for another time.

What I would like to discuss now is a revelation which was triggered by a comment a friend of mine made when we met accidentally last week.

I was downtown, walking on Queen St, when I happened to run into Paranoid Pete and Little Davy, two old friends from my homeless addict years. They are both in similar circumstances to what mine were for those ten years.

After hugging and clapping each other on the back, the way people do, who love each other and have been separated for some time, I began telling them about my new life without drugs and alcohol.

At the point in my rendition when I was proudly proclaiming that next week I would be clean and sober for a whole year, Peter said, “We’ll have to have a party to celebrate; no, wait a minute, that’s how it all started wasn’t it?” We all laughed and Davy said with mock sadness, “Relapsed eh?” (meaning relapsed into a state of not using drugs and alcohol) We all laughed again.

Now those two words really shook me. Webster’s New Dictionary of the English Language defines relapse as follows: ‘to fall back or revert to a former state, especially to regress after partial recovery from an illness.’ Its’ most common usage when speaking of addiction is to describe a return to the use of drugs or alcohol after a period of abstinence.

What Davy meant as a very clever joke, got me thinking about lifestyles. I can truthfully say that I did not relapse into an old lifestyle. I am in the process of creating a whole new way of life for myself. One I’ve never tried before, but there is a very real danger to any recovering addict, and that is to relapse into the addiction which plagues most of our society’s so called normal population. It is this addiction which I believe has been unrecognised or undefined up until now which is a major cause of people like my two friends and I rejecting the values of that society and turning to drugs and alcohol.

Up until Davy’s joking comment, I had absolutely no intimation that one of the leading factors which led me, and probably a great many others, to a life on the streets was a rejection of an addiction which nobody officially recognises as one.

I say “Officially,” because the condition is so widespread that several phrases have been coined into our language to describe it, but no-one speaks “Officially,” of its’ threat to our society. “Conspicuous Consumption,” “Galloping Consumerism,” “Keeping Up With the Joneses,” “Shop Till You Drop,” all describe symptoms of this addiction.

Stress, nervous breakdowns, heart attacks, family disintegrations, drug and alcohol consumption, ever increasing debt and bankruptcy are many of the results of this unhealthy urge to spend money one can not afford on products which one does not need and often never uses. People go into unending debt to purchase products which wear out, break down or otherwise become useless long before they are paid for. Products which are perfectly useful are discarded to make way for purchases of more sexy although no more functional newer ones.

The whole value structure of society has collapsed into an evaluation of what you own and what you’ve got. If you have lots of money or lots of things you are a successful member of society. If you don’t, you’re a loser. What you’ve accomplished no longer has merit; it’s all what you’ve got.

If this trend towards materialism is not recognised for the dangerous threat to our civilisation that it is, I fear we will have no power to prevent the ultimate emulation of the Roman Empire. The mighty seem to destroy themselves with their own decadence.

February 26, 2006

Ronzig

The Wasteful Society

If you are an average working stiff like most of us, do you ever wonder why you have to work your guts out year after endless year, just to stay afloat?

We live in times of almost limitless abundance and yet a large portion of the population in the industrialized countries are homeless and hungry while many more are only slightly better off. Not here, you say! Ah, but just look around you. Even rich countries like Canada and the United States are plagued with throngs of homeless people on their cities’ streets.

But why, you might ask? Surely there’s enough here for everybody.

There are two simple answers to this question.

First, even though there is an abundance of resources to draw from, they are not limitless. Every single product that you or I use depletes from the total pool of available resources. In other words, the fact that I am sitting here working on this computer is depriving someone else of the use of the computer, the desk it rests on, the chair I sit in, the clothes I’m wearing, the apartment I live in, the heat, water and electricity I use and so on, for everything I use. This is true for you too. This is the fact that limits every single person in the world. There is only so much to go around. It is abundant, but IT IS NOT LIMITLESS!

Now, it is only natural, and rightly so, that each of us is primarily concerned with our own well being and the well being of those we love. This, by no means limits our responsibility to be concerned for the well being of the billions of other inhabitants on this planet. One of the most important concepts in every religion is the dictum,”Love thy neighbour as you love thy brother.”

Would you let your brother go homeless or hungry?

“But, what can I do?” is the obvious question. Of course you can’t provide for the needs of billions of people, but you can, with little or no cost, become part of the solution and the solution rests solely on the shoulders of each individual in this society. It does not rest with governments. They are powerless, to remedy the situation. Indeed they are an integral part of the cause. Waste is the problem and governments are notorious for waste.

You can make a difference in this world. All you need to do is become “Waste Conscious.” If you will remember, every time you leave the kitchen tap running, that it took resources away from a limited pool of manpower and physical materials to provide that water. That means that somebody else’s dinner is running down your kitchen drain, NOT WATER! Just turn off the tap and you will become part of the solution.

Every time you throw an old appliance into the garbage because you bought a newer model and no longer need this old, fully functional one, you are depriving someone who can use it, who really needs it, from its use. Just donate it to one of the many agencies available and you will become part of the solution.

Instead of throwing away that old dress you no longer wear, just donate it and you will become part of the solution and God will love you for it. And if you don’t believe in God, the person who receives it will love you even if she has never met you.

Every time you leave your car engine running, you are not only polluting the air we all breath, you are wasting the fuel that otherwise may have gone to provide heat for one of the poor people in this world who die annually from exposure. Think about it. Do you really want to be responsible for the suffering of those less fortunate than you are?

Get the idea? A simple change in your thinking will improve the lots of countless others for the rest of your life, and as the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.” Sooner or later the benefits you bestow upon others come back to you a thousand fold and your life will become better. So, remember, it costs nothing to “Become WASTE CONSCIOUS and save the world.”

Ronzig

The Dickhead Awards

Dickhead of the Millennium

You’ve heard of the “two headed monster.” Here’s a twist, the “no headed two bodied monster.” Both bodies carry but one name and one philosophy. The name: George Bush, the philosophy, “nuke em” Both the senior and the junior bodies of this monster remain constantly on the alert for potential targets for their monstrous phallic weapons. Both of them in actuality are wimpy little dickless wonders who have never learned anything except how to be the big bully in the school yard. Since their reign as wanna be gods has transcended the millennium, they get my vote for Dickhead of the Millennium.

Dickhead of the Week

Here’s a target for you George. The world would be a better place if you nuked this guy off the face of the Earth.

Dalton McGuinty could qualify for Dickhead of the Year if he wasn’t such a pipsqueak. Since his effect in world affairs is as small as his mind, he’ll have to be satisfied with Dickhead of the Week.

In his quest to balance the budget on the backs of the disenfranchised, he has disqualified thousands of impoverished people from the special diet allowance increment to the basic social assistance pittance. This stipend was used by social assistance recipients with medical needs to purchase dietary supplements and nutritious foodstuffs. Good ol Dalton has changed the rules so that most recipients no longer qualify or only qualify for a miniscule portion of the funds. It’s back to Kraft Dinners and peanut butter for thousands of social assistance recipients with medical dietary needs, but hey, the budget is looking good.

As if this isn’t enough for our boy to win this coveted award, he has gone even further. In his quest to squeeze every drop of blood from the poor and the defenceless, he has targeted the victims of the government’s negligence in stopping the drug trade, namely the addicts. None of who ever got up one morning and said’ “What should I do today? I know, I’ll become a drug addict.”

Just when the epidemic of addiction is at an all time high and the need for treatment centres drastically under funded, Mr. McGuinty has cut budgets for detoxification centres resulting in closing down several and forcing the ones which remain open to eject their patients after only five days of treatment. This policy results in the elimination of the only true hope addicts had in making a come-back. But hey, the budget is looking good, even if our streets continue to look like those of a third world country with homeless addicts sleeping on the sidewalks throughout the winter.

Maybe Dalton thinks they’ll all freeze to death and eliminate this disgraceful situation. Too bad it’s been such a warm winter.

February 20, 2006

If you have a suggestion for a “Dickhead award,” send us the story. Maybe we’ll have a competition to see who should receive the annual grand phallic trophy.

Ronzig

Stop Wasting Money On Food For Those Useless Kids.

Now, I realise that Poor Billy Gates is hurting, and he desperately needs the more money so he can flog more of his crashing crap on an unsuspecting world. I highly recommend to all the greedy people that are depriving Billy Boy of his due, by using pirated software, PLEASE take next month’s rent cheque and send it to Billy. Of course, you should include the money that would otherwise be wasted on food and clothing for you children. Those kids really are a waste of money!

Who knows, maybe Billy would use some of it to develop an operating system that doesn’t degenerate into an unstable mess within days of installation. He might even include a registry fixer that a layperson can use without completely crashing his system. Better yet, he could develop a registry that doesn’t degenerate in the first place!

I wonder who out there is smart enough to create a foil for that money grubbers latest scam. “The Active Validation Tool”

Keep me posted if there is any progress.