A Facebook discussion/argument about the current state of Poland and Hungary

Me: Why are all my favorite countries going backwards? USA, Poland, Hungary. Damn you democracy letting the uninformed and idiots vote. Carry the torch and save us from ourselves France and Germany. And New Zealand just keep minding your own business and being awesome down in your corner.

Them: Is there something wrong with democracy in Poland? Oh wait, you mean those fake news? I wish the democracy was over, unfortunately it is sound and safe in my country.

Me: I am not in Poland at the moment so I cannot speak first hand about it but my other friends there disagree with you. And I’m sorry to hear that “fake news” has spread beyond the USA. So since the Economist, news channels, and my friends are all lying what is the real story?  I can speak first hand about Hungary becoming a shitty place. Everything the news and Economist report about my new home are true, so I find it difficult to believe they are lying about Poland having a shitty government. It is difficult to believe that the EU is making stuff up about Poland as well. A simple rule of thumb is that if the whole world is telling you that you are wrong then you probably are.

Them: well, many friends of mine both in Poland and in Hungary disagree with you too but we are probably “bigots”, “fascists” and you tell me what else, as the one enlightened by the Economist and CNN. Oh, you probably still believe in so called “independent” media.  “Eat shit, millions of flies can’t be wrong”

Me:  That escalated quickly. I was actually asking your opinion of what the lies are in Poland. Your response doesn’t help your point much. Plus a comparison of flies liking shit to humans judging humans is well played and effective. Excellent job of having an enlightened conversation. I have always considered you a friend and don’t mind if you have different beliefs. But you must be able to defend them instead of being aggressive and stupid.

Them:  Please, think independently. Don’t follow fake news just because the source makes itself look “cool”. You can do better than that. Read your comment on “thumb rule” again and then read mine so you’ll understand my point. Hopefully. I’m not saying that Polish government is great, I personally didn’t vote for them as they’re socialists and I am clearly not. But the whole furious attack from media, obviously independent, (the fact that they represent Germany’s political interest is a total coincidence and don’t even dare to think differently) is just outraging. The same with the UE institutions. They’re so ultra democratic, right? So why they can’t stand a democratically elected government, still, even now, supported by vast majority of Polish people? How does it work? Democracy is when all goes smoothly like Germany wants but when the majority of citizens in another country wants something else, it’s a threat to democracy? Erdogan in Turkey, if needed by the UE, is ok, he’s a very nice guy, respecting democratic rules and so on, but in Poland, where everybody is free to express his/her opinion and protest against whatever he/she pleases, democracy is in danger? Our government is finally trying to kick some mafias’ butts the opposition is throwing a tantrum simply because they’re loosing their privileges, that’s all. People, get a life! The UE should focus on solving its real problems. The West is unable to protect their own citizens from stupid attacks, but focuses on “national egoisms” in Eastern Europe instead.

Them:  Nobody respects or likes Erdogan, but right now he fills a need of the EU so they put up with him. It isn’t exactly a bombshell that countries and people do what is in their best interest at the moment, even if it makes them hypocritical. But Turkey is not part of the EU. Poland is, and Poland is not following EU rules, which are quite an important part of being a member. And that is why the EU is not “minding its own business”. If Poles do not want to follow the rules they should give back all the EU money they received, exit the union, and take their chances with Russia. That is an extreme example and I believe not what most Poles would want, but hopefully it gets my meaning across. Poland is EU business. But this is all vague chit-chat. I am still interested in the fake news part of your belief. Please pick any Economist story from the past year and tell me exactly what was false in it. Facts only please, no “some people said”, or “some people believe”. Remember that just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t make it “fake news”.

Them:  Sorry but I’ll pass here. I simply cannot argue with someone copy-pasting already digested media coverages, ready to use, without need to question them. It’d be an easy job for you as you’re constantly being provided with what to think and say. That’s why I’m so much agains the democracy as it’s just too easy to manipulate the public opinion. My tip: take extra care whenever in an article you see words like “nationalism”, “fascism”, “far-right” and other such commonly misused terms (often by your beloved the Economist to which “far-right” is virtually everything by now), especially if they come from sources defending “the only right opinions an intelligent, elite part of the society is expected to have”. If something is making you feel angry or outraged, it because it’s meant to do it. And regarding not following EU rules, don’t bother yourself with Poland, where Poles themselves want changes and support their government, which doesn’t have any implications on the other EU countries at all. Look what Germany is doing, accepting (inviting!) thousands of people from outside of the UE, without checking who they are and consulting other UE members. By not accepting them we (Poles, Hungarians etc) are the ones respecting the EU rules. Regarding leaving the EU and giving the money back, if we do so, will Germany give back the money they actually made in Poland? If the Economist and the other “enlightened” ones kindly shed the light on this topic and how many local businesses went bankrupt, instead of insisting that the EU cares so much about the democracy and wellbeing of Poles in general, let me know.  and regarding fake news: first thing coming to my mind, could you show me the Economist’s explanation on why they’re calling PiS (Law and Justice, the ruling party) as “far-right” and “winning the election because of spreading conspiracy theories” (the Economist, just after the elections and at least 3 times later), which theories PiS is spreading, what makes the Economist think they’re conspiracy ones? Being professionals they must have given some examples and clarifications, right? It must be me who missed that part. Obviously, the current situation is also explained in details, with all the historical background on how Polish juridical system has been formed after the communist era, with all the corruption scandals and other reasons which led to the current situation. Or they skipped that part as it would be just too long to read? Or maybe they just don’t want to touch it as the opposition, backing the corrupt judges, is pro German? Just a few things to keep in mind while watching news next time.

Me:  It is amazing how the whole world has split into two sides and cannot discuss or have moderate opinions. Please stop with the vague rhetoric and let us pick one topic to discuss. How about PiS and the Economist calling them far-right. They say this because the government is passing laws to exert control over the media, civil service, prosecutor’s office, police, and other offices, which in a democracy should be independent. Is this true or not? A simple yes or no please. Is the government trying to control and influence these institutions. And I do not remember reading that the Economist calls them far-right. I believe they say that the government is leaning to the far-right or heading that direction. I haven’t looked it up yet but will go through my old issues to check. And I’m sorry if you think so but Poland is no longer an independent country. It is part of the EU. It wasn’t forced upon you and you get the benefits of it so suck it up and accept the drawbacks as well. EU law says you must accept refugees to ease the burden on Italy and others so accept the damn refugees or fight to keep them out in EU court, but you cannot just refuse not to take them in. No picking and choosing what rules you like and which you don’t. It is all or none. An exact parallel is with the Muslim ban that Trump pushed through. It is ridiculous, sad, and illegal but it is currently law and being enforced while it goes through the court system. Sadly instead of going through the courts Poland and Hungary just refuse to take immigrants. So the system is still working in the USA(thankfully), but not in Hungary or Poland.  If you could explain to me exactly where the news is lying about Poland I will change my opinion and accept the Poland is doing great, but vague statements about Germany, the EU, and fake news are not convincing me.

No response from them……

 

 

 

USA Paris Agreement

My dearest Mr. Trump and idiot supporters,

I was extremely distressed to hear of your recent decision to pull out of the Paris agreement. I admit my reasons for the agreement to be successful are somewhat selfish but I believed it was in everyone’s interest to come together and make this happen.  I understand one of your main reasons for exiting is to save or create jobs.  I am finding difficulty in this.  I gave you coal in order to advance the civilization in the 19th century. I believe it was named the Industrial Revolution.  Looking at my calendar I can see it is now well into the 21st century.  You are now able to harness the unlimited power of wind and my friend the sun.  Why are you trying to create or save jobs of a dead industry?  Let these few people retrain and find new jobs, perhaps in the renewable sector, instead of devoting undue influence to them.

Why must the human race be such a hurry to destroy me?  Is it the materialistic culture that has taken over?  Everyone needs more money to buy the newest iPhone, or the biggest and newest SUV.  Or perhaps it is that trait of only being able to see things from your point of view.  It is still cold where I live so global warming isn’t happening.  The ocean looks clean when I vacation in Mexico so what they say about plastic filling the sea must be a lie.

I have tried to provide the best I can for your species.  Beautiful forests, coral reefs, snow-capped mountains, clean and cool rivers, cute and fluffy animals.  Sadly none of this has been enough.  My forests get torn down, coral reefs are disappearing, my most remote mountains are being covered in refuse, rivers have been turned to sludge, and animals obliterated.  All for what?  So you can watch videos of cute animals on a screen instead of in the open.  It is enough to make a host upset, and make now mistake about it, you are a guest.  Would you be the same kind of guest in a hotel room?  Of course you would, I have seen how you treat things that are not yours.  So I shouldn’t be surprised that you abuse and use me, but remember one thing, I am in charge.  No matter how important you think you are I am the one in charge.  When I get fed up all I need to do is shake, start a fire, make it rain, or conjure up some wind and you all become helpless.  Judging by this current decision of the most important of your countries(and the desire to get rid of my beloved EPA) I believe I will have to be more active in the name of self defense.

Forever(I hope) yours,

Earth

Healthcare and Death

The worlds irrational fear of death has made healthcare unpractical.  No healthcare system in the world is viable.  They all lose money at incredible rates.  From Europe’s universal systems to America’s insurance system.  It doesn’t matter if an emergency room visit is free as in the UK or if an aspirin in an ER costs $60 as in the USA.

The major problem relates to our current culture.  Namely that every life is precious and death should be avoided at all costs.  Both of which are wrong.  We all have a price and death is no where near as important as quality of life.  Death is our curtain call.  Every show must end. Hopefully we have entertained and been entertained and leave with dignity as the curtain falls.  Nobody enjoys a show that ends badly or drags on.

Our healthcare systems should focus on two points.  Taking care of the young so they can contribute by working, and preparing the old for death.  But let us progress from birth to death.

At birth we are all equals.  There are no Hitlers or Einsteins.  So there should be a very straightforward process.  If you are born premature where you need an incubator nature should be allowed to take you.  Spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars and living in a little oven for months is ridiculous.  I’m sorry that some mistake was made but your parents can try again.  The same if you have a crippling disease.  It is selfish of parents to tell a doctor to do everything to keep you alive, especially when it is known that you won’t live long and those days will be in extreme pain.  No, if you cannot survive on your own at birth you should be allowed to die.

Next come children and adults.  Some will have issues such as asthma, allergies, and others.  No problem.  We have cheap medications where they can live normal lives at a reasonable cost to society.  Bones will be broken and trauma had.  This is normal and easy to fix.  No issues with a healthcare system covering these issues.  Other rare diseases would be on a case by case basis depending on cost and outcomes.  Call them death panels if you will, but we all have a worth.  Very few people would be worth millions of dollars for treatment.  A cancer removed by surgery is cheap and effective.  If that cancer becomes systemic and costs millions of dollars in chemotherapy treatments then it does not become worth it.  You may throw out all the miracle stories you wish but it is the odds that matter in this, not the individual.

Old people need palliative care.  An 80 year old getting a $100,000 hip surgery is not practical.  The use they will get out of it is not worth the cost.  Instead of extending life we should respect when it ends.  On a personal note I refused to see my grandfather once he developed dementia.  I did not want him to treat me as a stranger.  I wanted to remember him as the excellent grandfather he was, not some crazy old man who didn’t recognize me.  I was ticked with the half my relatives that made him get a pacemaker, which just extended his unhappiness.  He wished for death in his lucid moments and I hate my relatives for doing that to him.  On the flip side my aunt is 106 and still kicking.  Amazingly she lives at home alone and has never had a serious surgery.  It is the quality of the persons life that matters, not the length of it.

Old people, seniors if you wish, take up a huge percentage of healthcare funding.  If we would change our beliefs and honor and accept death we could make a healthcare system that works for all.  On our present course in just a few decades the solution will be much more intense and severe.  It will be much scarier than death ever is.

The End

Terminators, epidemic, nuclear war.  How would you prefer to see the world end?

The end must be near for a simple reason.  We are advancing too quickly.  Place our scientific advancements on a graph and it will be near perfectly flat up to the past fifty years.  Then it will go near vertical.  We advance in a day what used to take a hundred years.  There has to be a limit.  An end.

Advancement will not slow, that is impossible.  It can only get faster and faster and someday it will reach its limit.  Perhaps the Internet of Things and AI will combine to make Terminators.  Maybe gene splicing or CRISPR will produce an invincible bacteria.  All these advancements are happening so quickly that if problems arise we will not be able to combat them.

Perhaps I am wrong.  The end of the world gets predicted every decade, but I really don’t see how we can continue on this path, and to be honest, I’m not really sure I want to.  The human race as an experiment is a failure.  We destroy everything we touch and use emotions instead of reason. Global warming doesn’t exist because it is still cold where I live.  The Chinese are stealing our jobs(instead of the natural progression of job loss.  Sorry coal miners, your days are numbered, same as lamp lighters, butlers, and thousands of other jobs through history).  I shouldn’t have to pay for healthcare(until I or a family member gets sick or hurt and then it changes to why isn’t this free), and all the other stupid arguments the human race can throw up.  We are a selfish unthinking race and it disappoints me to try and have conversations(except with people that already have similar beliefs to me).  Maybe we are going to break off into two separate groups and evolve into different species.  If you don’t believe we evolve you are in the other group(but you should already have known that from the global warming comment earlier).

You can’t argue with stupid, they have had years of experience.  I try to remember this everyday but oh how frustrating it can be.  I try to use facts and reason and sometimes make mistakes and the wrong choices, but to be woefully ignorant and just parrot what you hear from the news or other people is unbelievable.  2017 and the world is flat! That is all the proof I need for welcoming the end of the world.

So I hope for a nuclear or biological end game.  Terminators just seem much too scary.   Nature might get in on it and throw an unexpected curve ball.  That would be fun.

 

San Bernardino

And yet another mass killing by a married couple. When will the USA wake up and realize the danger of these terrorists? We need to start monitoring churchs and courthouses where they congregate and hatch their evil plans. Donald Trump, use that huge mouth of yours and back me up by calling for the registration of all these evil couples. Ben Carson and Jeb Bush, help me in requiring that all married couples be same sex since these man and woman couples are so dangerous. Am I the only one able to see that our way of life and freedoms are at risk!!!!!!

Is this absurd? Of course it is, but no less absurd than blaming all Muslims for the terror attack in Paris.  I have a huge issue with the knee jerk reaction that most people have to incidents like these.  Yes, it is sad that a dozen or more innocent people died while out enjoying themselves and not hurting anybody.  But what worries me more is in the pictures of the aftermath.  The militaristic looking police officers and military vehicles on scene.  San Bernardino is not a war zone.  It is a community that has crime like everywhere else but that can be fought with normal police cars and bulletproof vests.  Belgium was the same last week.  Locking down an entire city is absurd.  Let the people go and enjoy a coffee at a cafe and watch a film.  If we keep taking away rights and being scared we lose.  The secret to terrorism is in the name, Terror!  If is frightens people it works.  If we aren’t scared and continue our daily lives as normal then it fails.

Paris and San Bernadino make no difference.  They are incidents that affect those involved greatly, but should not affect the rest of us.  Carry on enjoying your life, spend time with your loved ones, and take advantage of what your city has to offer. You may get hit by a bus tonight or be involved in a terrorist attack.  Life is full of surprises so enjoy it while you can and take what may come. But never give up your freedom for security.  There is no such thing as security.

Russian Warplane Shot Down

Why do people refuse to learn from history?

Let me explain what I mean.  Just a few hours ago a Russian fighter plane was shot down over the Turkish-Syrian border.

Could this have been foreseen?  Of course.  There are many examples of similar incidents happening. It has even happened to civilian airliners(See Korean Air flight 007).

Why did it happen?  Very simple.  One country was defending its territory.

Will it get worse?  Absolutely.

What we have here is a well known and dangerous situation.  Many different cultures and nations pursuing different agendas are operating in a small area.  Throw into the mix a terrorist organization that has the world on edge and we have a critical level of danger similar to the beginning of World War I.  Actually, let us look at World War I for comparison.

Europe was extremely nervous and distrusted its neighbors.   I believe we can fit this into the modern situation perfectly. Think West-Russia, West-Iran, West-Syria, Sunni-Shia, etc etc.  Everyone is scared and distrustful of everyone else.

An arms race.  Europe had an arms race to build the best killing machines and show them off as a deterrent(Which is an idiotic idea that we still believe in).  While that arms race has always continued we can say it is serious now between Russia and the USA since Russia wants to prove its power.

How about a grouping of nations in the name of self defense?  NATO, check.

Nationalism helped fuel World War I.  Do we have that now?  Of course.  IS is helping promote this and we are fueling it.  Just look at Americas reaction to the French attacks.  Lock the country down and keep Arabs out.  So we have Nationalism.

And since I mentioned IS how about the terrorist aspect.  Yup, here we also have a perfect connection.  A terrorist act actually set off the spark that started the war.  Could IS possibily be that spark.  If you don’t think so you have a truly serious sight problem.

So we have all the ingredients for a major conflict and it isn’t getting any better.  France is sending an aircraft carrier as well as more planes, America is sending special forces, Turkey is getting more involved, Russia is in deep as is Iran.  With so many different nations and cultures more incidents will happen.  IS will just fan the flames creating more nationalism, hated, and fear, and the world will get ugly.

I don’t want it to happen, but unlike most people, I read history books and think.

Why I Hate All Religions Equally

First off, let me clarify what I mean but hating all religions.  I mean organized religion.  The Holy See and so on.  I have no issue whatsoever in believing that there is a higher being.  So with that foundation let me begin.

I wish someone could point out a single good dead an organized religious organization has done without an attached negative, for I cannot think of one.  I will use Christianity since it was what I was around growing up.  As a child I noticed that the kids going to church were no different than the children that did not.  They would hurt animals, smoke, drink, and all the other things children do, and they would hide it just the same as normal kids do.  So no difference there. Expect that the parents of the religious children always thought their kids were more righteous, sometimes not allowing them to be friends were children that didn’t go to church.  Jews are the worst about this.  They really make themselves outcasts by not associating with those of other faiths.

So a religious upbringing makes no difference on how good or bad a child is. Now let me discuss the scariest day of my life.  It was not being attacked and robbed in Moscow, or being spit on in Saudi Arabia for not being a Muslim, or even crashing my motorbike and being cm from having my head crushed by a car tire.  No, the scariest day of my life was attending an Easter celebration at a park in Poland.  At the moment the Bishop had thousands of people repeating what he said with an eerie silence between I understood how Nazi Germany could happen.  Blind following scares the hell out of me.

How about the church running soup kitchens and providing for the poor.  First off, I believe that soup kitchens are run by local leaders and not the church.  These people would be good citizens and try to help even without the church as cover.  Beyond this, the church is the one asking people to give what they can, making it sound like an option in the same way it is optional to tip at a restaurant.  Usually it is the poorest who give the most.  I cannot understand why this is but I can see the results. The poor stay poor or get poorer while the church is bathed in jewels, property, cash, and all ungodly things.

I could continue this rant for hours but it has all been said before.  If you believe in Jesus or Allah, great.  But don’t give your money or allegiance to a person or group.  The Vatican has enough solid gold statues, they don’t need the money you should use for your house payment or a piece of bread.  And Muslims don’t drink beer if you really believe Allah doesn’t want you to, but don’t go out and get drunk on vacation.  Follow YOUR beliefs, not what others TELL you your beliefs should be.

Lost my focus at the end there but it happens once I get started about religion.  I just cannot believe that this day in age we can still be told what to believe and how to act by organizations and people that don’t even come close to following what they preach.  “Do what I say and not what I do” is not an acceptable way to run a religion in my opinion.