Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sept. 25: smoking, insanity, and our world...

Sixty-four years ago, tobacco company stocks were the yellow brick road to wealth. Then, in 1950, Reader's Digest ran an article titled "Cancer by the Carton", warning of the dangers of smoking tobacco. The tobacco companies reacted quickly. They set up a foundation to do "research" proving that tobacco was harmless.  (Some admitted the danger, but advertised its filter tips as sure protection.) Camel cigarettes ran ads for years that featured pictures of doctors in white coats saying that Camels were recommended by more doctors than any other cigarette. In fact, the ads said they protected the "T zone" of your mouth and throat.

The tobacco companies were lying - and they knew it. In the 1980s, (when I was a smoker), I knew the owner of Canada's largest tobacco company. She cautioned me about the dangers of tobacco. (She was a very heavy smoker).  But she and all the other owners knew, and had known for many years, that they were killing people by the millions. But business is business; and they happily went on killing - while their "expert" scientists went on spinning out the studies showing tobacco is good for you.

Gee. Funny how that reminds me of shale gas and pipelines and climate changes. But that's what happens when you have an economic system based on the principle of pure greed and self-interest. But there's something even worse.

In our world, the rich and greedy have taken over control of the whole society and its government. That's true of New Brunswick, Canada, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France.... The people who have taken over are what are called an oligarchy, a handful of the very, very rich who take over the whole society. And, like the tobacco barons, they have their "research groups" like AIMS and the C.D.Howe institute who churn out propaganda, and they own most of the news media that spread that propaganda.

Democracy is over. Even at its best, it was always corrupted by the rich. John A. Macdonald, our first prime minister, was in politics to serve the rich. One of his favours for them was to deliberately starve native peoples on the prairies to death to make way for the railway and for land speculators. Of course, this is covered up in the popular stories of national histories. In the US, Davey Crockett with his coonskin cap is a symbol of American democracy and freedom.

In fact, he was a land speculator and slave trader who killed Mexicans to take their land. He also enthusiastically killed "them thar Injuns" to get them out of the way of land sales. L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, was a newspaper editor in North Dakota in the 1880s and 90s. He wrote flaming editorials to rouse hatred of native peoples, and called for all of them to be killed. These articles sparked the hatreds that led to the massacre of Wounded Knee at which native men, women, and children, were simply slaughtered. And still he wanted more, a genocide of all native peoples. That was still a popular view in the 1920s. When the Thompson submachine gun went on the market in the 1920s, the ad showed a (presumably) democratic and free American rancher, shooting native peoples with it.

Anyway, here, where democracy has gone, we had a just pretend election. No party had a platform that even mentioned the major problems  facing this province. The real power in this province is the very rich. They own the government, Liberal or Conservative. (Remember how J.D.Irving, the last time around, named himself a member of the government without getting elected? Nobody said poop then, and nobody did in the election.) The province is poor to make a handful of the very rich even richer. They've been getting richer for over ten years, now. Supposedly, it will now trickle down to us. But the very rich don't let their money trickle anywhere.  Government exists to serve all the people. The very rich exist to serve only themselves. And we now live in a system controlled by the rich only to make themselves richer.

An unthinking and uninformed and heavily propagandized people cannot sustain a democracy, and the people in it cannot be free. But that is what New Brunswick voted for. Enjoy.

The Irving press has little news of the rest of the world. And what it has won't help much in understanding it. The whole North American press is on a hate building campaign aimed at Russians and Muslims. Read almost any news story about ISIS, and you will find it described as brutal and evil.. But I have never seen these words use to describe our side. Let's get real. Western armies have never been made up of choirboys. But most of the news makes sure to express its horror at beheadings - nicely ignoring that western killing of Muslims far exceeds Muslim killings of us.

No reporter I have read or heard has thought to answer what should be obvious questions. Why do we need a coalition to defeat the ISIS army? At 20,000 to 30,000, with limited equipment, and with no air force or navy at all, this is pretty small potatoes as armed forces go.

Worse, the decision of the coalition to rely on bombing means killing civilians, children, women on a large scale. (In fact, some  have already been killed - but our news media don't seem to find that interesting. Is it nicer to kill people with a rocket than with beheading?)

Then there's the coalition. Saudi Arabia, the emirates.....really, if you're going to fight people who behead their enemies, why would you ask for the help of the world's most rigid dictatorships - and the ones that use beheading as a common punishment for even minor crimes? (Oh, yes. There's also France doing some bombing.France is a country notorious for its exploitation and its cruelty in the region. In fact, it's one of the reason why ISIS exists)

Then there's the issue about links between all these countries. Saudi Arabia, the emirates, and the US all have histories of supplying  money and equipment to ISIS - as well as to other terrorist groups.

And we Canadians are being sucked into wars that are none of our business. Worse, they are so open-ended that no-one can guess how wide and destructive they will be. Harper's behaviour is very, very odd.No man has talked a tougher game than Harper. But his action - well, there hasn't been much. He has been extremely unwilling to take in refugees He claims to have limited our contribution to a non-combat role so far. Why so coy? Does he secretly disagree with this war?

It sort of makes you wonder. What is this war really about? And why doesn't the Irving press have a reporter or editor with enough wit to raise these questions. -not to mention the other big issue? Hatred campaigns in the press have two purposes. One is to convince people of the need to go to war. The other is to scare the general population so it will accept the loss of even more freedoms, the intrusivness of more domestic spies, and ever greater militarization of the police with armoured cars, heavier weapons, and more of those neat, camouflage pyjamas.

Meanwhile, the US daily kills "suspects" all over the world with rockets fired by drones. Many of those killed are quite innocent. But it's so much more genteel than beheading - so most of them aren't reported at all.
Even the Irving papers carry reports that not much is going to be done about climate change. Quelle surprise!  There is not the slightest doubt that climate change is happening - though fuel industry sources regularly turn out studies showing that it's not happening, or that it's caused by poor disposal of kitty litter. But far, far more people will die from climate change than from tobacco.

That's because, as in the case of tobacco, there's money to be made from killing people. And the rich exist only to make money - and for themselves. They don't understand anything else. They don't understand how to run a society. They don't understand human needs - and they really aren't interested in trying to.

The winners of the New Brunswick election were greed and ignorance. Nor is there anywhere to hide. The world of 1945 in which we were told our soldiers died to protect freedom and democracy no longer exists. It's gone,  long gone.  Instead, we have a world of greed, arrogance, indifference and of unprecedented suffering, neglect, and brutality. It's a world sustained by news media like the Irving press.
As a postscript, the September issue of CCPA Monitor magazine  has a good article on p.14, "Was willful blindness to blame in Lac-Megantic?" It asks the questions the police and the news media didn't ask about why 47 people were killed.

So far, the blame is being attached to the engine driver and two relatively unimportant railway employees No blame whatever was assigned to the owner of the railway. This account focuses on Transport Canada which, it appears, is completely controlled by the politicians. The result is a regulation body that has virtually no regulations, and approves what it's told to approve.

The story is frightening one of utter incompetence, imposed and encouraged by the Canadian government. It's a story of extreme neglect of safety in both trains and rails. Transport Canada was not really a regulator for the MMA railway, but an accomplice in its extreme neglect of basic safety needs. It permitted a notoriously dangerous company to be free of regulations. (Harper doesn't like regulation of private business).  But investigators didn't bother with that.

It is not possible that Irving Oil did not know the severe dangers of using the MMA. Presumably, they used it because it was the cheapest. And somebody at Irving must have known about the false manifesto claiming the cargo to be less volatile than it was.

And that's why 47 people died.


  1. Actually, thats all the media does is usually repeat what they were saying in 1945-that our soldiers were going to protect freedom and democracy. At that time natives couldn't vote. Canada had no charter of rights OR freedoms.

    So its not true now, and it certainly wasn't true then. The nazi's had zero interest in Canada, except that Sudbury was providing much raw materials for the allies, and up until 1936 the germans as well.

    But as for New Brunswick, symbolic victories are worth something. No it won't change the fundamentals, but we at least have the possibility of NB joining the rest of Canada with abortion rights. We will see a moratorium although no doubt its form will be specious, but at least protestors may now be dealing with somebody willing to deal. Well, we don't KNOW any of that yet, but most importantly, what every New Brunswick Premier knows is that if you are going to serve corporate masters, you need to be in a position of power, and New Brunsickers are no longer what they were back in the seventies and eighties, when governments knew they could do what they want because they pretty much had a ten year grace period.

    Brian gallant may be inexperienced, but he knows that he won't have his job in four years if he shuts out the public as Alward did.

    Say what you want, thats something positive, its not a big change, but society advances by small changes too.

  2. Alas, we don't have time for small changes.

  3. Yes we don't have time for small changes and that bozo in the pmo doesn't feel it's fitting to attend the most crucial, largest UN sanctioned meet and greet about climate change. It is far too late to get serious about climate change, but hell, lets try to at least appear to go through the motions. We may yet have some affect upon it's duration. (not that i hold any fondness for the elitist controlled un)

  4. Thats just silly. There is nothing BUT time. Even climate change predictions don't talk about 'the end of the world'. People have been preaching apocolypse for thousands of years, even building religions based on them. In the seventies we were heading for an ice age and the world was full of garbage (here).

    What you mean is YOU and I don't have time for small changes, which may be true, but is no reason not to celebrate them when they come, and try to improve on them.

    1. Where was the word apocalypse introduced into the conversation? There will be severe changes (according to real climatologists, not the ones bridled by the IPCC) and yes, the geopolitical structure does play a significant role in the migration of the masses to climes which will be suitable for sustainable agriculture. Those variables do not mitigate the overall damage of dramatic changes to our weather. Humans have not been exposed to the enormity of this forecast climatic change in recorded history. The planet will be fine, it's current inhabitants may not. Maybe not just NB, though we are a contributing factor, but overall we humans, driven by greed and opulence have become a force of nature. Small steps such as the right to choose, though they are not inconsequential, give us no pause to rest on our laurels and applaud these minor victories.

  5. 1. That's silly. Climate changes talk about severe suffering, starvation. It's not the end of the world. But it's the end of a lot of lives, And awful conditions for the rest. And emissions are increasing. There has been no "small' change.
    2. That's silly. Yes, we have religions based on apocalypse. So what? Are you using that as some sort of proof it can't happen? I don't take those religious beliefs seriously, either. but that has nothing to do with climate change.
    3. That's silly. I was referring also to it being too late to restore democracy. The power has already shifted - and I have seen no response even at this late stage. We are now into what could be a very big war starting in the middle east. That cause is not ISIS. ISIS is a consequence, not a cause. The cause is US determination to seize economic dominance over the region in order to keep Russia and China out. Wars are almost never fought for the reasons touted. They are fought to satisfy the financially powerful. The US has murdered millions in the last fifty years - and with gross brutality and permanent suffering. Anyone who thinks they are fighting ISIS because it beheads people is a fool. We have allies who behead more than ISIS does.

    Celebrate small changes that will have no serious effect on what is happening while we deliberately create even bigger problems?

    That's silly.

  6. 1. Climate change doesn't talk about starvation, it talks about certain areas which grow food may not be able to in the future (and areas where you currently can't grow food we may be able to).

    Starvation is not a climate issue, its a geopolitical issue. There are people starving TODAY, and there were people starving yesterday.

    And in many areas emissions ARE lowering, and in fact climate change would be increased if not for many of the pollutants being emitted which keep heat inside the atmosphere. Watch 'dimming the sun' for that information.

    2. Climate change has ALWAYS occurred, and like I said, climate change doesn't talk about apocalypse, even in New Brunswick the extent is predicted to be minimal, in fact its not even predicted to affect Saint John, which is right on the ocean.

    3. Why is it 'too late to restore democracy'?? Too late? Its not too late to have martian law or a dictatorship but its too late for democracy? By whose clock is that? Since when is it 'too late'? Its only too late if the world is ending. Its never 'too late'.

    We 'may' be at the beginning of a big war, and we may not. Were you saying that in the eighties when the americans were slaughering south americans? Sure, it MAY be a war, and cosmic rays COULD fry us all tomorrow. Who knows?

    As for the last loaded paragraph, it depends on what you are talking about. No 'serious effect' on climate change is a non starter, virtually ANYTHING New Brunswick does will have no affect on climate change. New Brunswick could become a socialist utopia and all wealth could be re distributed evenly and that will still have no effect on climate change. Heck, you could shut down the refinery and it would still have no effect.

    But the 'small change' may mean a lot to women who will now be able to get an abortion, and that might not be a serious effect for YOU, but its a serious effect for those women, so yeah, its worth celebrating when somebody gets their charter rights recognized.

    It won't do all the things YOU want to see done, but it may do a lot of the things a lot of other people want to see done. If a moratorium on fracking is called, then people who live in kent county may see their water protected in a way they never did before. Thats a 'serious effect'-if you live in kent county.

    So you can celebrate small changes when OTHER people are getting benefits even if you are not.

    More importantly, celebrating small changes is a way to increase changes, as changes come from, well, people changing. Your response seems to be don't EVER celebrate, which seems like a prescription for sitting in the basement being angry at the world and not doing anything about it. People LIKE to celebrate, its a GOOD thing, so its better to celebrate more, because when you celebrate more you realized just how nice it is, which makes you want to feel nice more often, which means you want to keep increasing the change.

    Thats a GOOD thing. Or, the alternative I suppose is you can be a manic depressive the rest of your life and think that everything is doom and gloom. Live that way if you want to, but its a personal decision to do that. Everybody dies, but being depressed about that fact just means you never really get the chance to live.

    And I don't know who you mean by 'we'. I didn't vote in this government, either municipally, provincially or federally. I certainly have no effect on what the americans are doing. Like a good percentage of people I am minimizing my footprint as much as possible. I am certainly not deliberately creating bigger problems, thats other people doing that. And your damn right I'm going to celebrate small changes, its not silly at all. Whats silly is thinking that only if change satisfies YOU is it worth celebrating. You can see the glass half empty if you want, or you can be happy there is water there at all.

    1. 1. The world of agriculture is already in deep trouble - and they are people now, lots of them, who can't get food.
      2. Work on your logic. That fact that there always has been climate change has nothing to do with whether this one is a very serious threat. You can have ailments all your life, and still reach a very old age. But if a new illness pops into your life - and it's terminal cancer - old age has to be forgotten.
      3. As to being too late to save democracy, New Brunswick has not shown any great progress since 1867. It has a rate of literacy so high that a majority of people probably don't know what democracy means. JDIrving could write in his paper about three years ago that he was in a coalition with the government. And nobody said a word. Big money controls Canadian governments and, in fact, much of the work our domestic spies do is to tell corporations who the people are (fanatical environmentalists, for example) who are criticizing them. Harper shows utter contempt for democratic process - and he could well win the next election.

      Obama is governing exactly as Bush did. Bush was (and is) a moron, and Obama is intelligent. But both are prisoners of big money in the US. Indeed, I don't know of any period when either the US or Canada was not profoundly involved in pleasing big business. But it has been getting much worse.

      In the US, many of the rights and freedoms in the constitution have been dropped. And nobody says boo. Both american and foreigners are jailed, even executed every day without trial or charge. It's the same in Russia and China - in fact, it probably isn't as bad in Russia and China.

      For all our babble in WW2, we haven't brought freedom or democracy to anybody.

      Whatever democracy we had has has broken down. We're now at the point where we can expect violence. And violence very, very seldom leads to democracy.
      Thank your for your psychological insights on my state of mind. However, they are a trifle simple-minded. I do not sit in gloom in a basement all day. (In fact, I have, since my teens, had many invitations to lead church services. I even, in my teens preached many times in a Montreal church in the heart of the red light and gambling district - and had a reputation for cheering people up. (Out of that experience, I also learned faith healing - though I just did colds and stuff - nothing serious, no broken legs or raising the dead.)

      I celebrate changes that indicate we are making real progress. And you, well, you seem to look at a glass that has no water, and are cheered to see somebody spit in it.

  7. I guess I agree with you all. Certainly having worked and written for a group opposed to shale gas for the last 2 years, I can see the possibility that we might be able to have a new relationship with government and start fresh. Of course I realize this is revolving door politics, but we do have some breathing space and the lawsuit is ongoing, that won't change. So, we who are opposed to s.g. are more of a force to be reckoned with.
    According to the IPCC we have 10-15 years MAX to keep global warming under 2 degrees C, it's now at 1 degree. We need to keep the amount of Co2 and methane in the atmosphere at 350ppm, we are now at over 400ppm. So, we have to make deeper cuts immediately. And, yes from now on in, no matter what we do extreme weather is here and the people living within 5 meters of sea level, and there are 400 million of them, are at great risk of dying. I certainly won't celebrate the small victories, but they do contribute to small moments of contentment.

  8. If the lawsuit doesn't work, we're in real trouble. Most of the people of New Brunswick won't fight shale gas. The showed that in the election. Alward did well, far better than he had any right to expect. And nobody opposed to shale gas would have voted for Alward.

    And if the people of New Brunswick demonstrate against it again, just watch for the SWAT team with its combat rifles, camouflage, and armoured cars. These are a new kind of police appearing in North America. They aren't there to protect us. They're there to keep us in line.

  9. NBASGA fully anticipates that the lawsuit may not find a N.B. Judge that will make a decision in our favor, which means that this ultimately could end up in the Supreme Court. You may remember the lawsuit Hudson, Que. vs Spraytech back in 1990. The small community of Hudson prohibited the use of pesticides, was sued by the lawn care company twice, before it went to the Supreme's. I believe it was 2001 when the final ruling was made in favor of Hudson. That was a first, regarding pesticides and the environment. Interestingly this lawsuit against s.g. is a first as well in Canada. We refer in this lawsuit to the use of the "Precautionary Principle" coined by the S.C., suggesting that we must anticipate and prevent causes of environmental degradation whether or not there is absolute scientific certainty on all counts.
    Half of the adult population in N.B. are opposed to s.g. The election showed that, in that these folks wouldn't vote P.C. and had to vote Liberal. Realistically, the province wasn't going to go NDP. The fact that there was a vocal opposition knocked out the P.C.'s, without that they would probably have won again. N.B.'ers will be opposed, but most will be intimidated and won't engage in peaceful protest. As to your second paragraph, I couldn't agree with you more and it's chilling to contemplate. We are not out of the woods yet.

  10. First, this isn't about the US. Absolutely nothing done in New Brunswick has any effect on the US.

    The world of agriculture has ALWAYS been in 'deep do do', ever talk to a farmer? Times are ALWAYS hard. Meanwhile boatloads of rice, corn, and wheat are dumped in the ocean in order to keep prices stable. Lack of food isn't a problem anywhere in the world, lack of will and transportation questions are.

    As for democracy, you are both right and wrong. The political SYSTEM has shown no real progress in virtually ANY 'democratic' country. Apart from the people it has allowed to vote in it, they are mostly the same. But again, your pespective is showing. Where exactly in New Brunswick did you expect to 'hear' about these things? I don't know if you are on facebook, but while the protest was going on I've never seen such political mobilization. Maybe you didn't make it out to Kent County, but there were people pretty much just parked there and living there. They had speakers coming in from Penobsquis.

    That is not unique, go watch the documentary "Forbidden Forest", its available at the NFB website. There were relatively massive groups of people out protesting.

    You are right that 'so far' the power structures haven't changed, but you are wrong in thinking there has been no progress. Like I said, this would have been a HUGE blow had Alward won, even just psychologically for the activists, who are the ones pushing change.

    And Gallant is as big an idiot as Alward, but he also knows just how quickly NBers can turn on him. Its ironic to hear about your claims about democracy in the past-you mean like 1987 when liberals got 60% of the vote and ALL of the seats? Or how they got less than half the votes every election after but governed for the next decade? Or how Hatfield governed for over a decade on less than 50% of the vote?

    Or for history, you often repeat the comment about Irving 'running the government', well maybe you weren't around for old KC, but in those days they pretty much told Louis Robichaud after losing the mining contract that his days were over.

    I'm certainly not being unrealistic, or even optimistic, I'm saying its worth celebrating the small things because first, small things may be all you get, second, its good for your health, third, its empathic. I'm not celebrating for me, I couldn't care either way, in fact we have property in kent county, we maybe could make some money. But Donna above seems pretty happy, when other people are happy, I say thats worth celebrating. Otherwise your just the guy at the birthday party saying "you know all this means is that your closer to death right?" NOBODY likes that guy.

  11. As for the lawsuit, thats going nowhere. The system is designed to make sure it doesn't go anywhere. There WILL be a lawsuit, but not from NBers, but from the companies. You may have noticed on CBC the gas rep saying "we really want to sit down with Gallant and get him to make a fact based decision", which of course is code for "we want to make sure he knows we will sue the living *** out of this broke province".

    But like I said, its still a step forward even if it gets New Brunswick to adopt some regulatory measures. Shale gas can actually be done with pretty minimal effects-IF it is done very carefully and with a lot of oversight. Under Alward those were non existent, now at least we have a chance to see. Gallant will simply HAVE to honour the moratorium, and will HAVE to make some kind of concessions to not be seen as a complete liar and dictator.

    Of course its already looking bad for big changes, Gallant really is a dolt, or else a better politician than given credit for. He claims he doesn't even know about the Quebec lawsuit, which would either be extremely stupid, or a line given so that he doesn't have to answer the question.

    In either case, the lawsuit at least has a bit of a chance, sort of like the way Lamrocks' education bill was chucked by a judge. The people have spoken about shale gas, and therefore the liberals will not be able to simply stick with the status quo and they know it. Either the voters will chuck them out or a judge will FORCE them to make at least some changes. And change is better than the status quo.

    Finally, the Green victory doesn't really do much EXCEPT show people that a party can succeed when it actually listens to the public. It may be just a Weir phenom, I haven't checked the numbers, but its not a coincidence that Cardy moved his party to the right and didn't win his seat, while Coon did.

    Anyway, like I said, celebrate the small things because they are good motivators. Seeing everything gloomily just makes a person pessimistic. You talk to ANY activist, and its a positive outlook that keeps them going, even when they are realistic.

    But like I said, this is WORTH celebrating....and then sitting down to prepare the next stage. The problem in NB is not lack of activism, thats all over the place, people saying 'boo' everywhere, except of course Irvings papers. In NB the problem has always been a lack of organization, mainly because people simply don't know how to do it. But with the internet they are catching on. And if you think just because a person isn't literate they don't know what democracy is, your kidding yourself.

  12. Oh yeah, keep in mind that people in northern new brunswick couldn't care less about shale gas. People obviously look at their own interests. And given the state of the economy I fully expected Alward to win a majority.

    But for Donna, the precautionary principle has been a non starter in numerous cases. My advice is worthless I know, but the Lamrock case is far better suited. For those who don't know, a court ordered Lamrock to go back for further consultation because his bill had over ridden virtually all of the public input. The judge ordered him to go back for more public input.

    In our 'system' thats virtually all that can be done-short of protest. In this case IF the liberals even only make marginal changes, then it can be seen that they are ignoring public input a la Lamrock. That won't STOP shale gas extraction, but will make more strident regulations possible.

    You simply can't 'stop' shale gas extraction, what you CAN do is force so many conditions (or have enough protest) that it is no longer profitable for the companies to pursue it.

  13. Check out the CBC for yet another reason to celebrate: Picaroons has put out a new 'tabulator beer'- a conservative extra bitter with green hops! Have a couple of those, you'll definitely feel more celebratory!

  14. Gosh! My current intake of beer is about 1 pint a year. But back in my more celebratory days, the best beer I ever had was a Chinese beer called Tsingtao. Its available in New Brunswick - but it sometimes doesn't travel well.

    It's really a German recipe, going back to the old days when many Western countries each had a piece of China. The Germans held Tsingtao, and they built the brewery.

  15. Gosh! My current intake of beer is about 1 pint a year. But back in my more celebratory days, the best beer I ever had was a Chinese beer called Tsingtao. Its available in New Brunswick - but it sometimes doesn't travel well.

    It's really a German recipe, going back to the old days when many Western countries each had a piece of China. The Germans held Tsingtao, and they built the brewery.

  16. That great taste must have been all the formaldyhyde they used to use:)

  17. Oh, you do disappoint me. Shale gas practiced with pretty minimal effects, please, this an industrial technology, it has the same effects no matter where it is "practiced" and no amount of regulations will change the fact that corporations that want to squeeze every drop of oil and gas out of the earth will attempt to do it without giving a damn about anyone's health and well being. You've heard of the Haliburton loophole, keeping the doings of the industry safe from following the regulations set down in the Clean Air and Water Acts. No regulations will ever be enough, because they
    will always be a few steps ahead of the rest of us. But, seriously, you can forget about the exaggerated job #'s, the boom and bust nature of the beast, the sick people living near gas wells and the destruction of 52% of all animal species. None of this matters if we don't stop burning fossil fuels incrementally, starting NOW, especially at the production level. Any future establishment of shale gas or pipelines or whatever from this time forward is taking us one step further towards annihilation. I'm still naive enough to see the little reasons to celebrate along the way before that happens.