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About Down But Not Out, its beginnings, why it came to be and where it is heading
addiction is rampant in Canada. The primary contributing factor is disaffection with a social system that has placed the accumulation of wealth ahead of any moral integrity.
best is a random selection of my best photography & art that can be viewed as a slide show
contact Ronzig by email or visit Ronzig's other web pages or explore related websites.
contribute Do you have a story about poverty, homelessness or addiction that you would like to share? This is the place to get it off your chest.
economics The financial cost of ignoring moral integrity is reflected in the precarious state of the world economic system.
environment Global environmental issues, Climate Disruption, Right to Water, extraction methods used by the Mining and Oil Industries.
events Rallies, protests, symposiums public forums and training sessions that you may wish to attend.
health homelessness is synonymous with disease and premature death. Denial of the right to housing is a death sentence.
homelessness a view from our perspective
internet The internet is our best hope to take back control from the power brokers.
media coverage by mainstream and independent media sources of current events & issues that are of concern as we enter the 2nd decade of the new millennium.
new content recently added to this site.
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politics How the government is addressing the issues we must deal with to move towards a more just and sustainable society.
portfolio Ronzig's portfolio site where you will find a large selection of photography and art created by Ronzig.
poverty is the main cause of most of the problems that our society struggles with, including homelessness.
society how we think, feel & act as a society will determine how history judges us.
speaking Ronzig will speak to your group about social issues, art or photography
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war Canada's role in promoting Imperialism
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Digital photoArt by Ronzig depicting signs of social unrest plus articles and commentary by Ronzig about modern social trends and their relevance to human behavior. Also on this page are 3 You Tube playlists, "Police State", "Police Allow Vandalism" and "Conspiracy" which depict some alarming trends in our society the we should all be concerned about.
added Mar 12/13
21st Century Slavery
University graduates forced to work for absolutely
nothing at what is euphemistically called internships. Often they will waste
years at this nonsense with not even a promise of a real job at the end.
Eventually the corporate slave masters will
find a way to make the internship permanent.
added Mar 12/13
Mandatory Ethics Classes
The single most important change that we could make to improve virtually all of the societal malaise that threatens to destroy us is to introduce mandatory classes in ethics beginning in the early years of public school and continuing until graduation from high school.
I have lived in the GTA for over 2/3 of a century and am dismayed to have witnessed the decline in virtually every aspect of the social fabric, not only in Toronto, but in every community on the planet.
I am convinced that the root cause of this societal malaise is the shocking fact that the vast majority of all God's creatures anywhere on Earth just don’t know any better and act in a selfish and destructive manner because nobody has ever properly taught them how they are supposed to behave.
We can classify every person into one of three basic categories to describe the condition of their soul if soul is the word we use to describe who we are at the very core of our being:
1. Good: These people always try to do the right thing according to what they believe that is. When they do bad things they are not aware that they are bad because they have never been taught the difference between good and bad. Actually the predominant religion of the day, Capitalism teaches. “Let the buyer beware” thereby justifying dishonest behavior as quite acceptable. If one allows that a person who does bad things without knowing they are bad things is a good person as long as he does not know that his actions are indeed bad, then the vast majority of the Earth’s population is good. Their conscience is clear even though they may predominantly act in a bad manner.
2. Bad: These people will do whatever suits their purpose even going so far as to deliberately ignore their understanding of what is good and what is bad. They may frequently experience feelings of a guilty conscience as a result of their actions but will do what they know to be immoral for financial gain, increased power, a better position in the workplace, repay a real or perceived act on the part of an acquaintance or any other cause that they may wish to achieve.
3. Evil: These people are amoral and do not care about right or wrong, do only what they want to do regardless of social norms or even laws. They have no conscience whatsoever. Fortunately they are extremely rare; I have only met one in my life. Although they are rare, when they come on the scene they reap such destruction that they must be included as a distinct classification.
You may prefer to add a 4th category, saintly. I prefer not to add this category because in all my life I have only met one person that I could even consider using that word to describe. That person was my step mother’s mother, Muriel Littlefield who took on the burden of raising me my half-brother and my step brother and who I can honestly say never once to my knowledge did anything even resembling bad in her life. Since the category is so sparsely populated I prefer not to call it a classification at all.
Good or bad is a matter of choice. One may be tempted to do bad things but if he knows they are bad and he chooses instead to decline or to do something good instead that person should be called a good person. If he does no know they are bad he is not presented with a choice and will take the action without disturbing his conscience. That being said, the question remains, “What defines good or bad to the particular individual?” My hypothesis is that a person who does bad things because he is not aware they are bad and declines to do bad when he is aware that the action is bad is truly a good person who only requires instruction in ethics.
But does the same hold true for the person we define as evil? Absolutely not. The evil person does not recognize either good or bad. Even if he did it would not influence his actions whatsoever. He does not require a reason to do bad or evil things. He does them because they are expedient or he likes to and no amount of education or other external influence will ever change this. It is what he is and that cannot be changed. He has no conscience to guide him and a missing conscience cannot be implanted.
added Mar 12/13
Ethics and Success
On my first day as a real estate salesman the manager of the office took me around to meet all my new co-workers. I as the newest salesperson in the office of twenty five sales reps was given advice from a few of the more successful members of the sales team. The last person I was introduced to was the top salesman of the office consistently every month prior to my arrival. I asked him how he feels now that he is the second highest producer in the office, insinuating that I would usurp his position as number one. The advice he gave me was quite simple; “You cannot succeed in real estate unless you are dishonest.” I replied that I would prove him wrong. This brought a chuckle from those who overheard our conversation for I didn’t own a suit or any other presentable clothes and was wearing my best attire at the time, a ragged pair of blue jeans, a stained t shirt and scruffy sneakers. Not to mention that I didn’t even have a car. I was a month in arrears in my rent and virtually penniless.
I was the top salesman in that office the first month I worked there and nearly every month afterwards until I left to open my own office a few years later. Within ten years of that memorable day when I began my new career, I was a millionaire and I’m proud to say that throughout my career I never acted in an unethical fashion but made it a point to maintain my honest approach to my profession activities regardless of the outcome.
During that ten year period I was witness to numerous dishonest people who entered the profession and became overnight wonders making those who watched their incredible success envious. I found this envy quite humorous from the beginning since I had complete faith that ethical practices would result in success while unethical activities would precipitate failure. Needless to say, my convictions were proven accurate and virtually every overnight wunderkind eventually nose-dived into oblivion as his reputation precede him while my career flourished without my even having to advertise as word of mouth brought me more business than I could handle.
added Oct 15
The OCCUPY MOVEMENT
We are living in times where there are so many unacceptable injustices committed daily that a national/international movement will inevitably include individuals and groups with infinitely diverse agendas. It is apparent that obtaining consensus on the minutiae will be next to impossible, but it is absolutely crucial that consensus on the overall issue of social justice be officially adopted by the movement if we are to avoid justifiable ridicule by mainstream media.
That said I applaud the long overdue convergence of a broad base of Canadians who have one thing in common; they recognize that our current social structure is unjust and unsustainable and change is inevitable. We must be extremely careful though; for the change we bring about could very well lead to a new totalitarian world order rather than a new Democratic realignment of society that acknowledges and actually protects the basic human rights of each and every individual. It is a certainty that the powerful elite will never abandon their stranglehold on society without a major struggle and we must prepare ourselves for a prolonged battle if we are not to be appeased by superficial tinkering with the system that will in fact be meaningless.
The Hippie movement of the 60's came close to achieving a remapping of social direction towards a truly Democratic society. Unfortunately the movement was centered on the Vietnam War and when that conflict came to an end the movement lost its momentum and eventually dissolved. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new movement that will be more sustainable and actually succeed in the creation of a new just society.
added March 19
Revealing Conservative Lies About Corporate Tax Cuts
The Conservative Government of Stephen Harper has reduced the federal income tax rates of Canadian corporations to the point where they are among the lowest in the world and intends to continue reducing them even further. He uses the catch all slogan of “keeping Canada competitive” as his excuse for this outright theft of your lifestyle expectations which he then transfers into the offshore bank accounts of his friends in the corporate elite.
The general corporate income tax rate has been falling since 1960 when it was arguably too high to be competitive on the international market. On Jan. 1, 2011 it fell from 18% to 16.5% and is scheduled to fall to 15% on Jan. 1, 2012.
PricewaterhouseCoopers expects the ongoing federal reductions to corporate tax rates to be maintained as planned in Tuesday’s budget.
When compared to personal tax rates, the scheduled reduction in corporate taxes to 15% will result in corporations being taxed at the same rate as the lowest level of personal income tax. That means that Canadians with the lowest earnings in the country will be paying the same rate of tax as the wealthiest corporations in the country and far less than anyone who has higher income than the poorest of us.
Federal personal income tax rates for 2011 are:
· 15% on the first $41,544 of taxable income, +
· 22% on the next $41,544 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $41,544 and $83,088), +
· 26% on the next $45,712 of taxable income (on the portion of taxable income between $83,088 and $128,800), +
· 29% of taxable income over $128,800.
Let us not ignore another crucial factor. Corporate taxes are payable on net earnings, (actual profits after deducting all expenses) while personal taxes are calculated on gross income, (every cent you receive from any source whatsoever regardless of expenses)
It is important to understand that our government has to have a certain level of revenue in order to maintain its credit worthiness on the global marketplace. If it does not maintain an acceptable level of revenue, its ability to borrow on the international market will be hampered or ultimately terminated. Since the primary source of government revenue is income tax, both corporate and personal, a reduction in revenue from one of these sources will automatically result in pressure to increase revenue from the other source, You and me!
Federal Tax Revenues and Social Security Contributions,
The question remains, “Is this disparity between what the rich corporations pay and what the average Canadian pays really necessary to maintain our competitive position in the global marketplace? Let’s look at the facts.
Statutory Corporate Income Tax Rates, Selected Countries,
In the following graphs we see that at the turn of the Century, Canada was outperforming our strongest competitors in both imports and exports when measuring International Trade. Since the rurn of the century we have indeed seen a decline in our competitive advantage towards a more reasonable comparison. However we continue to maintain the top position in exports with a slight decline in imports which in my view is healthy, for our balance in trade. see graphs below International Trade - Imports of Goods and Services for Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States and International Trade - Exports of Goods and Services for Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States
In the graph for Current Account Balance, which measures the ratio of imports as compared to exports, it is notable that there is a sharp decline in all countries except Japan which maintains rigid controls on imports. This decline is measurable in virtually all industrialized countries and is the result of globalization. The industrialized nations of the world have allowed corporations to export the manufacture of their products and many services, such as customer support to third world nations where labour rates often remain at slavery levels of approximately 1% of our labour rates. That’s ONE percent folks. There is absolutely nothing that will compensate for this imbalance in labour rates and no tax incentive will ever induce corporations to return their operation to the developed countries as long as this disparity in labour rates exists. As the following charts show, Canada is doing far better in the balance of trade area than all of our competition except where strong restrictions on imports are maintained as they are in Japan. see graphs below Current Account Balance for Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States and Current Account Balance for Euro Area, France, Germany, and Italy
I’m not alone in opposing corporate tax cuts. You should read this recent Globe and Mail article which strongly denounces further cuts. Five reasons to say no to more corporate tax cuts
The bottom line is that as long as we allow corporations to export our jobs to countries with labour rates that we cannot compete with and resist instituting import restrictions as Japan has, our balance of trade will suffer. Our government knows this and any explanation they use for continuing to reduce corporate tax rates that quotes competitive advantage is an outright lie.
The real reason is far more sinister. Reducing corporate tax rates and placing an ever increasing proportion of the burden of paying for operating our government on the average middle class tax payer is one of the primary tools in the arsenal of the elite to eliminate the middle class altogether and create a global two class society; the elite as world rulers and the rest of us who will live as economic slaves to do the grunt work for these masters.
We Canadians will soon be having a federal election. It behoves each and every one of us to remember this when we cast our ballots. Stephen Harper is no friend of the middle class. His agenda is clearly to destroy our socio/economic democracy and replace it with an oligarchy of elitist masters and their economic slaves.
added Feb 17
Scientists have actually created a synthetic living organism that is living and replicating in a laboratoy in the United States.
Because I am by nature an optimist, my first thoughts when I learned that synthetic life is now a reality were of the wonderful potential of this breakthrough. Wow, this has the potential to solve many of the planet’s most pressing problems, from environmental collapse to incurable diseases.
But then the rational thinker in me took over and all we need to do is reflect upon the history of each and every great new so called advance. Without exception powerful individuals, governments or institutions have found a means of mutating the very purpose of the development from beneficial to the betterment of mankind into a new means to exert oppressive influence over humanity as weaponry or coercive power. There is no possible way that the development of synthetically created life will be an exception and because of the magnitude of the potential in either direction it very likely will lead to the end of natural life on this planet.
added March 1
Ronzig Interview on Ryerson TV
added Feb 1
Thank you Aaron McCollum
In June 2010 after the storm troopers in Toronto trampled Democratic rights and used banana republic dictator tactics to terrorize the peaceful protest to the G20, I called upon all police in Canada to resign if they were not at heart terrorist themselves. Unfortunately I have no way of tracking to know if any followed my request. It heartens me to see that you have taken this action upon yourself and gone beyond resignation to actively oppose these tactics. God Bless You!!!
The photos and commentary you posted on this page needs to be viewed by EVERYONE and I will do my part to help ensure that this happens.
The uprisings of ordinary people in these countries to protest the tyranny of their governments is a clear indication that the world will no longer tolerate persecution of any nations citizens, but I fear that until the people fortunate enough to reside in the industrialised nations take to the streets in support, the struggle will be a long and bloody one.
added Feb 21
On this player are 46 conspiracy videos that will shake anyone out of the dream state we've been indoctinated into thinking is reality. Watch if you dare, but you'll never be the same again. The NEW WORLD ORDER is upon us.
added Dec 31
Natalie Alcoba, National Post · Friday, Dec. 31, 2010
Mayor Rob Ford is softening his opposition to the massive Lawrence Heights redevelopment plan, saying he will leave it in the hands of the local councillor as he prepares to meet with friends and foes of the project.
The last City Council approved the Lawrence Allen Revitalization Plan, in principal, over the summer. Mayor Ford was one of three councillors to vote against it, saying it was being "rammed down [people's] throats" without proper consultation. In an interview this week, however, he said he won't take the lead fighting it.
"I don't want to step on Josh Colle's toes. If he wants to reopen it, I'd be more than happy to support him on that. If he doesn't, well, then that's his prerogative, that's his choice, that's his ward," Mayor Ford told the National Post. "I've had very few people call me to talk about it."
The project intends to overhaul the rundown North York housing complex known as the "Jungle" by tearing down buildings and opening up streets. The plan is to sell off parcels of land to private developers, and then use the proceeds to replace the 1,208 subsidized units run by Toronto Community Housing Corporation.
In turn, an additional 4,792 market units are slated for construction, increasing the density five-fold over the next 20 years and prompting a loud outcry from area residents, who fear the influx of people will overwhelm the surroundings.
Claire Ciss, a longtime resident of the area and a member of a group called Save Our Streets, said she supported Mayor Ford in the election because he took their side. She expected him to follow through. "He did say, 'If you want to stop it, we will stop it,' " she said.
Added Bernard Spiegel, who represents the local Cardo Ratepayers and Residents' Association, "We would be shocked if Mayor Ford would have changed his position so radically," and they don't believe he has.
Mr. Colle, who won election in Ward 15 (Eglinton-Lawrence) in late October, is hoping there is some flexibility on the number of units slated for construction. He wants to see Lawrence Heights redeveloped, but he's just not sure what that is going to look like. "The current situation [in Lawrence Heights] is unacceptable for everyone in the area," said Mr. Colle.
Opponents insist it has to go back to the drawing board. They say the infrastructure in their neighbourhood is already maxed out, citing "horrific" traffic congestion, sewer back ups and brown outs.
"We have to start from scratch to think of how best to come up with a solution. While it is clear that something has to be done with the Lawrence Heights community, that it is hurting, the proposed [plan] will create many more problems and nightmares for everyone involved," said Ms. Ciss.
Mr. Colle has struck a 12-person "review panel," slated to meet the first week of January, to tackle the major grievances, most of which centre around density.
''The meat of this plan and the real decisions that will shape the eventual development still haven't been made. That happens through the secondary plan and the individual zoning and applications," he said. That said, he stressed he will "use whatever procedural avenue we have to get people's concerns addressed."
A spokesman for Toronto Community Housing said it is continuing with its planning applications for the first phase of the development.
One of the few things that Ford promised when running for mayor that I strongly supported. And now he’s backpedalling. Lawrence Heights is one of the rare examples of what a community housing project should look like and they are planning to destroy it. I did this photo shoot for Claire Ciss to help her with her opposition to this travesty. http://www.flickr.com/photos/9326442@N08/sets/72157625716781784/
I think I should shoot a video too. I’ll speak with Clair about it and hopefully shoot it soon.
Lawrence Heights is one of the exceptional examples of housing that works. The residents are happy there and now the city wants to tear down their lovely homes, many with nice gardens and lawns and put them into stacked high rise boxes with only a fraction of the living space that they are used to.
True, there are problems with the existing situation, but they are minor and could easily be remedied without destroying this neighbourhood. The main problem is the city has ignored maintenance and repairs are in order. They should fix the existing homes, not destroy them to make room for more condos.
added Dec 21
A Toronto police officer has been charged with assaulting protestor Adam Nobody at the G20 summit this summer.
The provincial Special Investigations Unit announced the charges against Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani Tuesday after a probe into allegations of excessive force.
In video footage posted to YouTube, Mr. Nobody, 27, is shown being tackled and punched by police during a summit protest at Queen’s Park. A previous SIU probe was unable to identify the perpetrator, but the police watchdog reopened the investigation after new footage surfaced.
Andalib-Goortani, who has been charged with assault with a weapon, is scheduled
to appear in court next month.
Well finally the authorities are responding to the unrelenting pressure that has been mounting in the wake of the G20 atrocities. We give fair warning that we will not be satisfied with a few scapegoats while the real criminals go unscathed. We will keep the pressure on until the people in charge are brought to justice for orchestrating this outrageous behaviour at the street level.
added Dec 14
By Norma Greenaway, Postmedia News
OTTAWA — Too many Canadians are being forced to deplete bank accounts, retirement savings and get rid of other assets to qualify for welfare, a new national report says.
The rules imposed on welfare recipients in most provinces are overly restrictive and counterproductive, says the report released Monday by the National Welfare Council.
The combination of low social assistance rates and low earning and asset limits produces a "perfect" poverty trap with no escape hatch, especially for single people, council chairman John Rook told a news conference.
"For most Canadians, it's almost unimaginable to have no income, to see your savings disappear, and having to reach a point where your housing is at risk and you are down to your last few dollars before you will be considered for welfare," Rook said.
"The absence of shock absorbers and springs that can help people help themselves is completely counterproductive."
The report said social assistance is harder to get now than it was 20 years ago, and that more people — many of whom exhausted employment insurance benefits in the aftermath of the 2008 economic recession — were forced into destitution to qualify for welfare in 2009.
The report said asset exemption levels were generally low, ranging from $150 to 200 for a single person for most provinces.
Manitoba was held out as a striking exception, allowing $4,000 worth of assets per person for all family types, thereby reaching $16,000 for a couple with two children.
"Over time, many asset exemption levels have eroded," the report said. "When indexed for inflation, 1989 amounts were often higher than 2009 amounts."
The council, which has issued annual reports on the state of social assistance across Canada since 1986, said that despite some improvements, most welfare incomes in 2009 remained "far below most socially accepted measures of adequacy.
Only lone parents in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador and Saskatchewan have "cracked" or come close to the poverty lines, it said.
For single employable people, annual incomes from social assistance ranged from a low of $3,773 in New Brunswick to a maximum of only $9,593 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The range for persons with a disability went from $8,665 in New Brunswick to $12,905 in Ontario. Lone parents received between $14,829 in Manitoba and $19,297 in Newfoundland and Labrador, while couples with two children got from $19,775 in New Brunswick to $24,045 in Prince Edward Island.
The incomes of single recipients were only 15 per cent to 38 per cent of the average after-tax income for Canadian singles overall, "making it apparent how excluded some social assistance recipients are from mainstream Canadian life," the report said.
Rook said many Canadians learned — after they exhausted their employment insurance benefit — that they couldn't qualify for social assistance until they had depleted almost all their savings and got rid of most of their assets.
Don Drummond, former chief economist of TD Bank, said the report shows Canada's welfare system is a "box with a tight lid" that requires people to become destitute before they can qualify for assistance.
"But the record shows once you become destitute you tend to stay in that state," Drummond said. "You have no means to absorb setbacks in income or unexpected costs. You can't afford to move to where jobs might be or upgrade your skills."
The report says there is wide variation across the country on how much income someone can earn and still qualify for social assistance. The gamut ran from full to partial to no exemption at all for earned income.
In other words, the report says, getting a job is not the answer it should be.
Five provinces — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia — reduce a welfare applicant's benefit by the full amount of the earnings.
"If welfare is reduced dollar for dollar for the amount earned, that's like a 100 per cent tax on your earnings, and you are left worse off once you've paid for transportation and other costs," Rook told reporters.
The welfare council is an independent body established to advise the federal government on poverty and social policy issues.
It’s nice to see yet another report telling us what everyone already knows, but when are the cynical politicians going to take steps to remedy this untenable situation? It doesn’t take a genius to understand that if a person is forced to lose absolutely everything he has before he can expect any help whatsoever, he will never be able to get back on his feet again and will remain on social assistance for the remainder of his life. If he is not allowed to build a nest egg to cushion him as he returns to the work force his chances of successfully returning will be close to zero and since social assistance claws back such a large portion of any earned income he may receive if he finds work, the extra income he actually gets to keep is in most cases less than the added expenses he incurs just by having to maintain certain standards in order to continue with his job. It seems clear to me that official policy is designed to permanently keep an ever increasing portion of society completely at the mercy of the bureaucracy because he is far easier to control when he is in a perpetual state of absolute dependence. Contrary to popular myth, the majority of people on social assistance want to re-join employed society, but are being prevented from doing so by policies deliberately designed to enforce a state of dependency and obedience upon them.
The proof of my assertion that the policy is designed to deliberately perpetuate this dependency is the following rule which can have no other purpose.
Ontario social assistance requires that if a recipient receives a loan from any source, it must be reported as income and will be subjected to the same claw back that would take most it from the person if it was earned at work.
The effect of this policy is that if a person has an emergency that results in expenses that he is unable to cover because he is not allowed to have any meaningful assets, he is forced to borrow the funds and most of what he borrows is clawed back so that not only does he have to repay 100% of the borrowed funds plus any interest, he will actually only be able to use about 40% of the money because the rest will be taken from him by the government.
added Dec 12
From OUR TIMES Vol. 29 | Issue 4 | AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2010
Excerpts from: DIARY OF A G20 DETENTION - OUR TIMES WHEN JOURNALISTS BECOME PRISONERS
By Lisa Walter
Upon her arrest,
Amy had been told: "You're going to be raped.. . . . We're going to wipe
the grin off your face when we gang-bang you."
In case you’re wondering what all the fuss is about as activists and civil liberties organizations continue to denounce the roles of all levels of government and police at the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto, the quotes above are indicative of the brutality and illegal actions of the police and security forces at the time. The violence experienced and/or witnessed by Lisa Walter is a small indication of the true magnitude of what happened here.
The Ombudsman’s G20 report cites civil liberties violations confirms these allegations and there can be no doubt that our leaders; municipal, provincial and federal share responsibility with the forces that subjected unarmed and primarily peaceful civilians and journalists to a viciousness that is unacceptable even towards armed criminals or terrorists once they have been disarmed.
We will not allow this to go away unanswered at the highest levels.
added Dec 10
Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to announce the release of his long-awaited report into the conduct of the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services leading up to the G20 summit.
The 127-page document paints a problematic picture of overblown police powers and civil rights violations. "For the citizens of Toronto the days up to and including the weekend of the G8/G20 will live in infamy as a time period where martial law was set in the city of Toronto, leading to the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history. We can never let that happen again."
Those who were responsible for the trampling of civil rights are relying on the fact that none of the investigations that have been authorized to date have any punitive authority and most have no jurisdiction to even look into the fact that the responsibility for illegal police and security activities lies primarily on Stephen Harper without whose authority it could not have happened. They expect that we will forget as time passes and it is our responsibility to keep up the pressure for true accountability in this travesty.
You can download the full Ombudsman’s G20 report pdf by clicking the link.
added Nov 19
Get a Job!
Who Needs One?
Jobs are merely a form of economic slavery. That is why the majority of working people hate what they do each day. The time has long since past when we needed each member of society to toil at a job while we built an industrialized society. We are now at a point where most of the production of the goods we need or want can be produced with a minimum of human toil, yet our social structure has failed to keep up with progress and remains stagnated with a philosophy developed at the outset of the industrial revolution.
At the beginning of the mechanization era we were promised a near Utopian world where the main problem we would face would be what to do with all our leisure time. We would have the means to purchase everything we need and most of what we want while working a 2 or 3 day work week. There would be no hunger in the world and certainly no homelessness.
So what happened?
GREED won the day and the evolution of society was abandoned. We currently have the means of producing everything we need, (by we, I mean everyone in the world, not just those of us lucky enough to live within the borders of one of the rich nations). We should be creating a system where the work we do can be a choice we make without the consideration of our financial requirements.
What about the work ethic? The current mindset declares that without the threat of starvation nobody would do anything and we would become a society of degenerate lazy imbeciles. I suggest that this is entirely inaccurate and is merely one of the disinformation tactics that the elitists have duped us into accepting. If it were correct, the very people who propose this intentional misrepresentation of human nature would presently be nothing but a slothful, decadent group of useless individuals themselves, for they certainly have no need to work to survive. Quite to the contrary, the vast majority of them actually do work harder than the average person. I believe that this is because they have the luxury of choice. They can choose not to work or to work and it would may no difference whatsoever in their ability to survive. The fact that most of them choose to work is because they have the luxury of being allowed to decide what to work at, a luxury that is denied 95% of the population which can only select a career from a limited list of choices that are offered them. Given the luxury of true choice in what we work at most of us would find ourselves doing something entirely different from what we do at present, but we would definitely do something. Otherwise boredom would become the norm and the vast number of people going back to school as well as abundance of hobbies that exist in our culture is proof that we would not accept that state of existence.
Visualize an education system that concentrates on teaching people to think rather than to become efficient slaves, where we would learn to advance the cultural and material state of society instead of concentrating on job skill training. What an enlightened world we would live in!
Picture a world of unlimited choices where we have time to do what we love.
Artists could create art rather than work in a factory or at MacDonalds or WalMart and our world would see an upsurge in high quality fine art, live theatre, music, novels and more. The visual pollution of ubiquitous advertising in public spaces could be eliminated and the space utilized to feature the works produced by these emerging new artists. Free concerts and live theatre in public spaces would become daily events where we could appreciate marvellous new performances to enlighten and entertain us.
Inventors would be free to tinker in their garages or workshops at their leisure and obtain the tools and supplies they need to advance their projects without the necessity of going to a traditional job every day. They would produce ever more technological advances and perhaps bringing forth an era of new Isaac Newtons, Thomas Edisons, Albert Schweitzers and Albert Einsteins. New advancements in medicine, and a plethora of innovative technologies for the greening of the planet and enhancement of our lives would become part of our daily experience as these pioneering discoverers explored possibilities unencumbered by the need to merely make a living. Climate disruption, (global warming) could be brought under control with advancements made in someone’s basement! Imagine THAT!
We would have time to develop true friendships rather than having a list of mere acquaintances that we call friends and we would reclaim the joy of parenting in a loving home environment where family activities are not ditched in favour of job requirements. Imagine the assured reduction in crime, mental health complications and addiction that would accompany a social system that allowed time for meaningful human relationships while eliminating the desperation of economic slavery as a necessity for survival.
The possibilities and probabilities of a social system where everyone has a fair share of the planet’s resources are limitless and the few I mention here are merely the tip of the iceberg. I predict that under such a system, advancements we have never even imagined will become the standard as humanity finally actualizes its full potential and evolves towards a truly Utopian model.
How could all this be accomplished? The answer is simply to adopt an economic model based on a form of guaranteed income for all. That of course would require a radical new approach to wealth accumulation and distribution. The current system where less than 10% of the population has been allowed to monopolize 95% of the planets resources makes poverty, starvation, homelessness, addiction, war, mental health afflictions and most of our social ailments inevitable while simply by instituting a system of guaranteed income, the majority of these issues would be eliminated forever.
Imagine a world view where individuals do not own the resources that Mother Earth has provided for us in abundance, but merely become stewards for the actual owners, the general population. These resources, under responsible stewardship are more than adequate to ensure the type of society that I envision here.
added Nov 16
I've just stumbled upon a wonderfully exciting movement that I'd like to share. It's the Transition movement and towns all over the world are becoming Transition Towns. It's a grass roots movement towards locally grown foods and away from fossil fuel dependency at the community level. AND IT WORKS!!!
Video cedido para su difusión por "Transition Culture / Transition Network-org" con subtítulos en español.
added Nov 4
Financial Post Staff November 3, 2010 – 1:35 pm
Ontario’s new electricity advisory panel makes little room for consumers — even though consumers are paying for it all in more ways than one
Back in August, I posted an article, “Power without the people,” pointing out how influential the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) has been in setting Ontario electricity policy, including Ontario’s costly feed-in tariff system. OSEA, a collection of green activists, community groups and industries, had successfully lobbied the Minister of Energy, Brad Duguid, to reverse a plan to reduced prices on solar power tariffs that promised to save Ontario ratepayers $1-billion. In effect, Mr. Duguid killed the savings at the request of OSEA. As part of that effort, OSEA also proposed that the government create a “council similar to the Egg Marketing Board or the Wheat Board.” OSEA’s Executive Director, Kristopher Stevens appealed for the panel in his letter to Duguid and in a YouTube video:
Stevens got his wish. On September 14, 2010, a 19-member “Program Advisory Panel” was announced.
Seven of the members named were founders of the Green Energy Act Alliance, the group that lobbied for the creation of Ontario’s current electricity policy.
No individuals are named to the panel, just institutions. They include OSEA itself and Environmental Defence, once chaired by Bruce Lourie, a current director of the Ontario Power Authority. Community Power Fund (created by OSEA) and First Nations Energy Alliance (a member of OSEA) along with Agri-Energy Producers of Canada, Ontario Federation of Agriculture and York University professor, Jose Etcheverry. Four others named are current members of OSEA, including the wind industry group CanWEA and CanSIA, the solar power industry group, as well as the Ontario Solar Network. Representing the Province on this list are the Ontario Power Authority, the Ministry of Energy, Hydro One, the Electricity Safety Association and the Independent Electricity System Operator. Representing municipalities are Chatam-Kent Hydro and Powerstream. Rounding the membership out are Ontario Waterpower Association and, oh yes, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, presumably representing the poor besotted consumer.
Speaking of “green”, that August article referred to above indicated I had filed Freedom of Information (FOI) requests with 7 government institutions to see what OSEA and members were getting in respect to financial support from elected officials and the organizations they created. I have had a response from all 7 with the OPA the last to respond.
What I can tell you is that approximately $2 Million of taxpayer/ratepayer money was paid to OSEA in the last two-plus years based on my research and the FOI information. That represents more revenue then appears on their “Statement of Operations and Net Assets” for the two years their annual report covers. The information included OSEA’s March 31, 2009, annual report.
This report confirms that OSEA used 97% of its net assets, about $3-million, to fund the Community Power Fund in that year, leaving less than $100,000 to carry them through the next 12 months. That’s either a gutsy move or they were confident that were going to get money from other sources. I don’t think they were expecting it from their membership as the membership contribution for the 2009 annual report indicates less then 3% of their gross revenue ($30,000) came from members. They even moved to larger premises in 2010, obviously confident that money would be available to pay the rent. This begs the question: From whom?
Meanwhile, more “green” news: Elections Ontario documents released by the NDP show that various local utilities—Essex Power, Oakville Hydro, Newmarket-Tay Power—donated money to the Ontario Liberal Party. A sample: Newemarket-Tay gave the Liberals $2,350 in 2009. The utility’s CFO. Ian Clinton, told the Globe and Mail the were used to buy tickets to fundraisers and for speeches by then-energy-minister George Smitherman.
The numbers are small, but still fascinating: Money is circling around in and out of government agencies, political parties and monopolies, activists and industry groups, feeding the feed-in tariff system and promoting scores of costly programs. And all of it comes from one source, ratepayers and taxpayers.
Parker Gallant is a retired Canadian banker who started looking at his Ontario electricity bill and didn’t like what he was seeing. Read his other postings Ontario’s Power Trip.
Although the opposition to green energy harps on the issue
of initial costs, they neglect to consider the fact that cost of building and
maintaining nuclear power stations with the inevitable overruns is far greater
and as the price of fuelling coal, gas and nuclear facilities just keeps
increasing there is no cost to supplying the fuel to hydro, solar or wind
energy stations and maintenance is negligible. A few years down the line,
consumers will be grateful for the comparatively low cost of green energy and
we get the added benefit of being able to breathe the air, drink the water and
reduce the threat of a nuclear accident or leakage of nuclear waste into the
added Oct 18
My Role in the Struggle for a Just Society
Our society is rife with problems and inequities that threaten our very existence as a species. The difficulties we face seem insurmountable; war, famine, environmental collapse, racial and religious prejudice, starvation, disease, natural calamities, depletion of the Earth’s resources, and on and on and on. I say our society, both in the local and in the broader sense, for mankind is one large integrated society and the troubles we face at the local level cannot and will not be resolved unless we consider the full impact of our actions at a global level.
What can one person do in the face of these seemingly insurmountable difficulties? This is the real dilemma. It appears that each and every one of these threats to our existence is beyond the scope of the individual, but that is not the case. Individuals have for far too long left it to the so called authorities to find the solutions that are critically required to save us, yet time and time again these authorities have failed us in their responsibility to work together at resolving this quandary. It is clearly evident that a new approach is necessary.
Let us consider humanity in the organic sense. In any organism, if any single part of the body fails to work as it should, the whole organism is placed at risk. If the lungs cease to function, it would be irrational to expect the central nervous system to do their job for them. I propose that the human race equally cannot expect the authorities to replace the functions or responsibilities of the individual. Ever since the very beginnings of the human race, our survival has been wholly dependent on the principle that each and every individual must primarily consider the well-being of the tribe above and beyond the well-being of the individual. To neglect this principle was to lead to certain extinction of the whole tribe. This is no less true today than it was in the days of our cave dwelling ancestors, only now the tribe is global in nature. Therefore, the actions of each individual have a direct impact on each and every person in the world. With that in mind, it behoves each of us to take an active role in ensuring the survival of the species, otherwise our children will not have a future. No small task!
Each of us has a sacred responsibility to our descendants to take an active role in safeguarding the survival of the species. That was always the case since our very beginnings and is no less imperative now than it has ever been, for the direction in which a society moves is dependent, not on the leaders of society, but on the individuals that are part of that society. No leader has ever been allowed to lead without the express or implicit approval of the members of the society. If our leaders fail to find solutions it is only because we allow them to. That said it is obvious that taking an active role individually is the only possible means to finding a resolution to our dilemma.
Where do we begin? Fortunately, we are living in the information age. The advent of the internet has brought the total knowledge of mankind to our fingertips. With a few keystrokes we can research virtually anything. Not only that, but we can establish and maintain contact with almost anyone, anywhere. With such a powerful tool at our disposal, it is a simple matter to find answers and share ideas. Nobody can resolve any of these issues alone, they’re far too big for that but he/she can break an issue down into a specific small area of interest and work at seeking a resolution at that level. There are myriad groups of individuals worldwide and locally who have joined forces to address virtually every issue that requires attention. Activism and advocacy will succeed only if it attracts great numbers of supporters, but the key is not in attracting a multitude, it is in attracting the individual. All you need to do is decide where you can help and get involved, or do as I do and act as a resource for others who seek information or ideas.
For many years, I have made it my responsibility to learn as much as possible about the issues we face and to think about new approaches to finding solutions. My website, Down But Not Out which has recently been ranked the 11th best blog about homelessness by Masters In Public Health began as a study into the issues of poverty, homelessness and addiction. It has evolved over the years and now addresses the social inequities at the root of these and a multitude of other social ailments, for I have come to realize that these issues are merely symptoms of the broader disease that has gripped our world. I bring together information, ideas and media coverage along with my commentary and experience as an ex homeless addict in an attempt to provide a resource that will assist others as they seek solutions. Frequently, someone will tell me that I have changed the way they think about an issue. When I hear that I know I am succeeding in being part of the solution and that is my contribution.
You say, “It’s not my problem.” You’re right, it’s not, but if you expect the human race to survive, you’d better make it your problem. As the great jazz artist Joe Henderson put it in his 1970 album, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” Get involved, or we all perish.
added Oct 19
October 18, 2010 – 6:30 pm
Two years after the Prime Minister offered a formal apology to the survivors of Canada’s native residential schools, many Canadians would be shocked to learn the legislation governing education on most reserves remains the Indian Act of 1867. The sections on education gave the government the legal basis to intern native children under the policy of assimilation pursued at the time.
“The Indian Act’s provisions regarding education are completely obsolete, colonialist and an embarrassment to Canada,” said Michael Mendelson, senior scholar at the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, who has long advocated a First Nations Education Act to fill the legislative void.
If the move is toward a National Indian Education Act as this article suggests, I pray that it will be a flexible one that allows individual bands the right and duty to set its own standards and curriculum. The one size fits all mentality of centralization as reflected in some of the comments here is definitely the wrong approach. Native education should and must include a strong component of native history culture with a further emphasis on local band history and culture. Canada is strong because we celebrate our diversity and nowhere is that more important than with our first peoples. The history of the European approach of assimilation and enforced adherence to European standards is the most destructive element in the history of our relations with our original peoples. The move to allow autonomy in education for individual bands is the brightest star I have seen in our relationship with these folks who have had a strong and wonderful cultural background long before this continent was discovered. We of European descent could benefit greatly from learning a lot more about these cultural differences which in many ways could help lead us out of the mess we have created of our society.
The courts set unconstitutional bail conditions that deprive people of their rights and threaten to criminalize activities that are guaranteed guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in our Constitution.
In this letter to Attorney General Bentley, Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Expresses concerns about the practice of setting bail conditions that effectively curtail a person’s rights and freedoms in spite of the fact that they are guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in our Constitution.
CCLA Letter to the Ontario AG re: Bail Conditions of G20 arrestees
I am extremely happy to see that finally people are taking issue with the fact that the courts have for years been using bail conditions to curtail peoples’ constitutional rights. It has become standard practice to impose bail conditions restricting homeless people from entering huge sections of the city, thereby making it illegal for them to go to the places that offer crucial services to these people, such as showers, meals and clothing as well as computer access and counselling. Because these restrictive conditions that effectively remove a person’s constitutional right to freedom of movement have been primarily directed at homeless people, there has been no constitutional challenge to the practice and its widespread use continues daily. I would hope that now that these practices have been utilized in a higher profile group of case, a constitutional challenge will follow. Ms Des Rosier’s perceptive mention that if current bail condition practices are allowed to routinely continue and escalate, it will effectively criminalize a large number of people who ARE innocent until proven guilty when they fail to observe these unconstitutional conditions and are consequentially arrested . I recommend that one of the fine lawyers who work at preserving society’s rights take this on as a constitutional challenge.
added Sept 21
This video explains what I've been talking about for the past 50 years. The death of Democracy, economic slavery, and the dictatorship of the corporate elite are merely symptoms of the corruption at the root of Capitalism.
added Aug 3
G20 What Was All The Fuss About?
In the following open letter, Nikki Thorne clarifies what happened and why it happened at the G20 Summit protests and explains the social significance of these events to Canada and the world. Included, are links to substantiating evidence and corroborating reports.
I was present for 2 days of the protests and posted 12 videos from those 2 days at http://www.youtube.com/user/RonzigsGallery
I was personally subjected to several illegal police actions which although they were of a minor nature are still alarming in the fact that they occurred at all. I also witnessed police threatening people who were doing absolutely nothing illegal and police confiscating personal property illegally even though possession of these items was completely legal after conducting illegal searches.
The police made a total mockery of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and would never have done so without approval from the highest levels of government.
Follow the link below to see the original posting of Nikki’s letter and find more important links to help with your understanding.
By Nikki Thorne, Toronto Media C0-0p
What went on in Toronto during the G20 was incredibly traumatic for many of us. We lived under fear of being beaten at peaceful protests, of being thrown into jail for nothing more than walking around in the city. We were scared when our friends didn’t come home or return phone calls because in some cases they had been grabbed from the streets and thrown into unmarked vans by plainclothed police officers who didn’t identify themselves. We had tasers pointed at us, we were shot at with ‘less lethal munitions’ at point blank range. Some of us were sexually harassed or assaulted by groups of armed police officers while locked up, with no recourse. We were pulled out of bed by police who had broken into our homes without showing us warrants. Some at gunpoint. The city was unsafe. We are still traumatized. Those of you who were not here: We need you to read this. We need you to realize what happened, and we need you to take it seriously.
First, why did we even protest the G20?
The G20 is the meeting of 20 leaders from the 20 richest countries in the world. They meet to discuss and implement economic policies. There is no administrative body, and the G20 is accountable to no one. The one thing that came out of this G20 meeting in Toronto was an agreement on ‘austerity measures’.
In a nutshell, austerity measures is another way of saying cuts to public spending in order to bail out banks and corporations, which are the reasons for economic crisis in the first place.
A lot of people have been talking about neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is a cluster of policies or an ideology based on belief in the free market: that the market can best regulate itself, and should not be subject to interference. This includes taking for granted the assumption that capitalism is a good thing and that it’s necessary. Capitalist enterprises such as corporations involve increasing profit by whatever means necessary: the responsibility of corporations is to their stockholders, not to those who are affected by corporate policies.
For example, a U.S. based oil company with operations in Ecuador is responsible by law to its stockholders, and not to those who reside in the area of its operations. Thus, as the company flourishes, people with stocks make money, while people who live near the toxic waste of polluting plants, where safety regulations are typically not enforced, get cancer. [I could link a lot of articles but here is a link for some documentary that I think get the point across: “Crude”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duFXuRnd2CU; “The Corporation”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pin8fbdGV9Y ]
Neoliberal policies and practices have resulted in the economic crisis that we’re currently in the midst of–where folks are laid off work, factories close, or companies move overseas where they can capitalize on more cheap labour to increase their profits.
Rather than questioning the roots and assumptions behind neoliberal policies, the G20 leaders have decided that the solution for neoliberalism, is, in effect, more neoliberalism. Rather than taxing banks or corporations, they are taking public money to bail out these institutions, which are by their nature unsustainable. Put simply, this is taking money from the poor, to bail out corporations and banks, which result in more money for those who own the companies or the people who own a lot of stocks.
This is a big part of why we protest the G20. Because we disagree with a small population imposing policies that make a few richer, while increasing the divide between the rich and the poor, and continuing to harm the majority of the world’s population and the environment.
Background: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Whatever your opinions are about what happened throughout the G20 protests, there are some rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by Canadian law. These include but are not limited to:
Context: What happened in Toronto during the G20?
The Debate on Police Reactions
Popular debate right now seems to be centered around whether the police acted in an acceptable manner towards protesters in Toronto. There has been debate as to whether the protesters deserved what they got. There has been talk about ‘some good and some bad’ on both sides.
Throughout the Week
All week long demonstrations took place to highlight issues such as ecological justice, gender justice, immigrant rights, and indigenous rights. Throughout the week (i.e. before any vandalism on Saturday), citizens felt the increase in police presence and increased intimidation. Contrary to section eight, police arbitrarily searched people on their way to lawful demonstrations in public places. Again contrary to section eight, police confiscated items such as signs, banners, and flags throughout the week, at peaceful, lawful demonstrations, which is illegal according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Activists were ID’d, targeted, and profiled throughout the week. By law, ID only needs to be given if one is being detained, and we have the right to not be detained arbitrarily. A reason is expected for any detainment. On Friday, a deaf bystander was beaten and arrested when he did not respond to verbal commands from police officers.
[There are many videos documenting this throughout the week, but here is one example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZgjX5vHt2o ]
Saturday & Sunday: Vandalism versus Violence
On Saturday, for several hours, a group of several hundred people including ‘the Black Block’ broke away from the labour march, and continued towards the fence. Windows of corporations were smashed. Windows of several small independent businesses including a jewelry store and a strip club were also vandalized. Police cars were set on fire.
To be clear, whether you support or disagree with these actions[i], they are acts of vandalism. Whether you support or disagree with the actions of the black block, the vandalism of a couple hundred people is not equivalent to the presence and actions of 19,000 armed police and a security budget of 1.2 billion tax dollars in Toronto, police who repeatedly ignored their own laws throughout the week in a complete suspension of civil rights. Additionally, whether you support or disagree, recall that the police crackdown did not occur at this march. Rather, this crackdown occurred at other times, other days even, in other places throughout the city. Those rounded up included passersby, transit workers, and mainstream reporters as well as others who had absolutely nothing to do with any vandalism on Saturday. If anyone taken during these mass arrests was part of the black block, then it was purely by chance.
Whether you support or condemn the actions of the black block, these actions are not equivalent to the largest mass arrests in Canadian history, in which over 1000 people were arrested contrary to section 9 which states that citizens are to be free from arbitrary arrests and detainment. Vandalism is not equivalent to beating people at peaceful demonstrations with batons, and other weapons [http://www.vimeo.com/12903946 ]. It is not comparable to threatening, sexually harassing, and sexually assaulting women in the temporary detention centre [journalist Amy Miller speaks about sexual harassment in the detention centre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcXhEd_mDt4&feature=related ]. It cannot be compared with armed, night time raids, in which guns were pulled on sleeping people [http://mostlywater.org/node/91779 ]. It can’t be compared with police shooting less lethal munitions point blank into peaceful crowds[ii] [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiLt40d_AbU&feature=player_embedded ].
Despite public pressure, Toronto city council has voted to commend the police for the way they have handled themselves in Toronto, and downplay calls for a public inquiry into the behaviours of the police.
Some people have been brandishing about the word ‘fascism’. This seems really extreme: how can we take these allegations of fascism seriously?
People protesting the neoliberal policies of the G20 in Toronto this weekend have been treated in ways that can be compared to the violent suppression of political dissent in fascist governments. It does seem like a very strong claim, and hardly seems believable, based on what Canadians are taught to believe about their rights in Canada[iii]. The violent suppression of dissent and the attempted silencing of the media (alternative media and mainstream reporters alike were intimidated, beaten, and arrested throughout the weekend) that has occurred in Toronto during the week of the G20 is almost unbelievable, to the point that it seems made up. It simply does not fit with what most people believe about human rights in Canada. We have been taught to believe that Canada is a place where people are treated fairly, where their rights are not violated at the drop of a hat, unlike elsewhere, out there, where people do not have rights and are treated unfairly.
The word fascism conjures up images of Nazi-Germany. The kinds of images that spring to mind are the scapegoating and mass executions of those who dissent: Jews, scapegoated as vermin responsible for economic crisis and the troubles of the majority of the population. Jews, queers, and political dissidents rounded up and executed. Gas chambers. The SS. Book burnings.
This kind of violence escapes comprehension. We think of it as something that happens elsewhere, and we think it could never happen here. Sometimes I think we forget that those caught up in these extreme practices of violence and genocide didn’t necessarily believe it could happen to them either, or that they could ever be involved in such things. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to how fascism begins, and how it is perpetuated.
One element of fascism is the violent suppression of political dissent. Fascist government and those who support them tend to believe in strong leadership and unity of ideology. Beliefs that don’t match what is dominant and accepted are simply not tolerated. People who do not conform to those beliefs are silenced. Activists are always among the first to go.
In Toronto this weekend, activists–those who vocally disagree with policies we see as harmful to humans overall and to the planet that sustains us—have been rounded up, illegally searched, detained, beaten, and mass arrested. We have been threatened and harassed by 19,000 people permitted to use violence, armed with guns, tasers, tear gas, rubber bullets, and batons as well as other experimental weapons. Some police seemed perfectly ok with their new powers to arrest and detain without cause [i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGMTm3QRwEc ]. Others seemed to be reluctantly following orders. Despite apparent reluctance, however, they did not intervene when their colleagues were engaging in violence against unarmed, peaceful demonstrators.
Following orders, obeying authority without questioning the legitimacy of the commands and information given, is part of the slippery slide into fascism. ‘Following orders’ was in fact the excuse of many Nazi’s involved in the persecution and mass executions of over six million people during the Holocaust. During the Nuremburg trials ‘following orders’ was not deemed to be a legitimate excuse for violence and genocide.
While I am not suggesting using that using less lethal munitions (i.e. rubber bullets) and beating and criminalizing activists in Toronto is equivalent to the Holocaust, I am suggesting that there are certain alarming parallels with the beginnings of fascism and that we need to be incredibly cautious and wary. We need to be informed and cautious about the directions in which our society is heading. Increased police presence and militarization at the Vancouver Olympics and the Toronto G20 is not an exception. It is the beginnings of increased police and militarization policies set out by NATO. I think it would be very dangerous to let this become the new norm.
Not speaking out against atrocities in their beginning stages is something that allows repression to flourish. Not thinking critically about what is going on, and speaking and acting out against rights violations is part of being complicit in these violations. A complicit, silent population that does not pay attention or resist allows the development and rise of fascism. Another element in the rise of fascist governments is effective propaganda campaigns. As your niece, daughter, cousin, granddaughter, sister or friend, I implore you to be cautious, and think critically about what you are told, especially when it comes to scapegoating relatively powerless people to justify the violent actions of those in power.
I love you, and hope we can talk more about this soon. xoxo
Endnotes//Important points that we can discuss later:
[i] While I did not personally participate in any vandalism or arson, I will not condemn anyone who did. While I definitely agree that these kinds of actions deserve honest criticism in terms of their effects and efficacy, (like any other tactic,) I believe that the most effective place for this conversation is during the planning and lead up, and that these conversations need to happen with respect. I would be happy to discuss this more with family, but I’m only including it as a footnote here, because I feel as though getting stuck in these conversations draws attention away from the more fundamental issues, (to which I feel the question of the legitimacy of vandalism is ultimately irrelevant) and I want to start by coming to an understanding on the issues that I feel are fundamental—I would be happy to discuss this (and probably respectfully disagree on it) later.
[ii] These were not isolated events, but became common place throughout the weekend. I was at these peaceful events, where without provocation police grabbed people from the crowd, tackling them to the ground and hitting them with batons. I had tasers shot at me from about a foot away. The shots that go off it that last video about the peaceful jail solidarity demo: that was fired just feet away from me to the right. I saw the wounds on the girl who was shot point blank with the ‘less lethal munitions’. I want to emphasize: this wasn’t a few isolated incidences with a few bad cops. This was occurring all over the city, and to people who didn’t break any laws. To people’s families. To your family.
This brings me to another point that I know will be more controversial and that we can discuss at a later time: the role of policing. And the uses to which it is frequently put—usually more visible in parts of the world other than Canada.
Overall, we are taught that police serve a beneficial role in society: that they uphold law and order, and that they serve and protect. In Toronto, during the G20, it was easy to see through this. Police, who are supposed to uphold the law, broke their own laws while telling us that it was for our own good, and for our own safety. And almost all the injuries that occurred throughout the G20 protests were caused by police. [Here is a story by the medics: http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/story/medics-speak-out-against-systemic-roots-police-violence-during-g20/4065 ]. During the G20, policing was used to repress citizens and to protect 20 leaders from the 20 richest countries in the world. The way the police reacted during these demonstrations was not an exception. A young black man was beaten to death by the police in Toronto two months ago. During the chaos of hurricane Katrina police shot unarmed people on a bridge. In other parts of the world though, the statistics of police shooting people, including children, in the back is absolutely overwhelming, and again, it doesn’t even seem believable. We need to think critically about the benefits of giving a group of people guns and power, and we need to think critically about the uses to which this can be put, and whether it is to the benefit of citizens at all.
[iii] Again, this is perhaps a conversation for another time, but throughout my research and experiences it has become clear that some of the things we are taught about Canada are simply untrue. We are taught that everyone is equal in Canada for example. However, the legal rights of indigenous peoples in Canada are repeatedly denied and pushed aside. I would be happy to elaborate on this at some later point. For now, see http://www.mediacoop.ca/story/2415
Stephen Harper is the most evil, anti Democratic leader that has ever come to power in Canada
The fact that he had the absolute audacity to authorize widespread illegal police tactics in seeking to thwart Canadian citizens' constitutional rights of dissent and assembly is a blessing in disguise. Never again will he and his elitist cronies get away with hiding behind a smoke screen of propaganda, lies and misinformation to deny their fascist agenda. I cannot imagine anything he could have done to help unify the Canadian public in opposition to these greedy, evil murderers who stop at nothing to inflict a master - slave regime on our society.
If Iggy continues to support Harper's agenda by refusing to defeat the government in a vote of NON Confidence, Canadian citizens must come to the conclusion that the same powers that pull the strings of the Harper Conservatives have a firm grip on the Liberal Party as well. It is intolerable that Iggy has allowed Harper to rule Canada like a banana republic dictator with a mere 20% of the popular vote in the last election. An election will come eventually and when it does, I urge all voters to REMEMBER that if Iggy was doing his job, Harper would have been defeated long ago and the trampling of civil rights at the G20 would never have happened.
The Police Are The Enemy
As of June 25, 2010, each and every police officer in Canada is NOW AN ENEMY OF THE CANADIAN PEOPLE. I call on ALL DECENT MEMBERS OF THE POLICE to resign immediately. When the police attack, brutalize and arrest innocent Canadians for simply exercising their RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, it is clear that they are no longer our protectors, but out persecutors. RESIGN NOW OR FACE THE WRATH OF HONEST CANADIANS.
When the Rule of Law no longer applies to the Canadian Police, the Rule of Law no longer applies to the Canadian Public
You say you want a Revolution Weelll you know
We all want to change the world.
that it's the CONSTITUTION
Weelll You know We're all doing what we can.
Back when John Lennon sang this, I agreed, but now I am
convinced that blood will be spilled before any change can come to
Steven Harper's trains to Auchwitz will begin soon if we do not stand and fight. I expect to be on the first train, but I will continue the fight to the very end.
The following video asks WHOWHO gave the orders?
WHO got the cash?
WHO is next to be attacked by police?
This YouTube playlist explores Canada's accelerating shift toward a Police State. The recent outrageous trampling of protesters' legal rights by the polic and condoned by our political leaders bode ill for the Freedom and Democracy the Canadians have for so long taken for granted. If we don't speak out loudly and in great numbers, to demand accountability at the highest levels of authority, we can count on our rights and freedoms being curtailed even further and we may live to see an end to Democracy in Canada.
Click the arrow at the bottom right hand corner of the player to view the other videos in this playlist
Resources for G20-related complaints
June 29th, 2010
We are receiving a constant stream of calls and emails regarding incidents that happened during the G20. We are extremely concerned about many of the incidents we witnessed, as well as individual stories that are continuing to emerge. We welcome honest accounts from members of the public. If you witnessed an event that you are concerned about, or feel your rights have been violated, we encourage you to contact us and fill out an incident reporting form – download it here. We will keep the information confidential unless you specifically give us permission to report what happened. Once it is complete, email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or fax it at (416) 861-1291
You can also file a formal police complaint:
Against the RCMP – use the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. You can
find the online complaint form here.
There are also several other reporting projects that are ongoing – we encourage everyone to use all these resources.
I'm so very proud of each and every one of you
In spite of the rain and a subdued beginning, attendance increased rather than dwindled on June 26, the second day of protest. Clearly threats by the Integrated Security Unit with their Sound Cannons, Tear Gas Grenades, Guns with Rubber & Plastic Bullets, Batons, Horses, New Holding Cells similar to livestock pens & a Rainy Day could not diminish the determination of 30,000 dissatisfied citizens to be heard. And I am so very proud of each and every one of those 30,000 concerned citizens of this troubled planet. Just when I was beginning to lose hope and believe that apathy would succeed in blinding the people of the world to the evil that a group of arrogant, greedy, selfish monsters was perpetrating in every corner of the world, 30,000 of you wonderful people came out and made it clear that we are not alone in our intention to thwart that malevolence which threatens to end our existence. God Bless each and every one of you.
Protest the G 20
On June 25, 2010 30,000 unhappy people converged on Allen Gardens to protest the G20 meetings being held here. We marched from there West on College St towards Queen's Park where we had expected to express our dissatisfaction with the injustices that the leaders of the G20 have consistently inflicted on the world's population and to demand that they abandon their elitist pursuit of a New World Order. Unfortunately the police had other ideas and herded us into a cul-de-sac where they corralled us and kept us prisoner for over 20 minutes before forcing us back to Allen Gardens. This was only the first of many illegal tactics that the police used in an attempt to instigate violence so that they could justify the 1.2 Billion Dollar cost of security that Canadian taxpayers had to shell out. fortunately, in spite of the many abuses of our constitutional right and the prevention of our continuation of our approve plans to march to Queen's Park and hold a rally there, the protest remained peaceful and on this first day of action, the police were thwarted in all attempts to instigate a riot.
G20 protest march June 25 Parts 1 thru 4
On June 25, 2010 30,000 unhappy people converged on Allen Gardens
to protest the G20 meetings being held here. We marched from there West
on College St towards Queen's Park where we had expected to express our
dissatisfaction with the injustices that the leaders of the G20 have
consistently inflicted on the world's population and to demand that
they abandon their elitist pursuit of a New World Order. Unfortunately
the police had other ideas and herded us into a cul-de-sac where they
corralled us and kept us prisoner for over 20 minutes before forcing us
back to Allen Gardens. This was only the first of many illegal tactics
that the police used in an attempt to instigate violence so that they
could justify the 1.2 Billion Dollar cost of security that Canadian
taxpayers had to shell out. fortunately, in spite of the many abuses of
our constitutional right and the prevention of our continuation of our
approve plans to march to Queen's Park and hold a rally there, the
protest remained peaceful and on this first day of action, the police
were thwarted in all attempts to instigate a riot.
In this video Ana was shooting me at work and captured the police attacking someone without warning.
This YouTube playlist explores the disgraceful inaction of police at the G20 protest where 20,000 police in downtown Toronto allowed a handful of vandals to run rampant, destroying private property. Several police cars were left unattended after having their radios, computers and other equipment remove as bait to encourage these vandals to destoy them, which the fools did. This was clearly a deliberate attempt by the police to incite vandalism in order to justify the incredible 1.2 Billion Dollar security budget that we have to pay for. With 20,000 police in the immediate area, the damages cased by these vandals to private property is directly the responsibility of the police for allowing it to occur.
Click the arrow at the bottom right hand corner of the player to view the other videos in this playlist
This YouTube palylist explores Conspiracy Theories that if proved factual are extremely alarming. Many of the proponents of these theoriers are extremely well educated, well informed and highly respected members of society, many of whom hold or have held highly responsible positions in business or government.
Click the arrow at the bottom right hand corner of the player to view the other videos in this playlist
We were set up
By now, we've all seen the photos and videos: Burning cop cars, smashed windows, a small contingent of Black Bloc and not a cop in sight. Later we see the cops: water cannons, cracked heads, sound cannons, hundreds of arrests and no Black Bloc.
And in case you didn't notice, the cop cars were abandoned on the roads with no defence and they were stripped of all their equipment. That's right, no radios, no computers and no weapons in the trunks. And where were the 3000 cops that were amassed in the area? The liar, Chief Blair said they were required at the security fence, all 3000 of them. They couldn't spare a couple of hundred cops to protect the property of taxpaying citizens? They weren't concerned about the destruction of those abandoned cop cars even though there was never any real threat to the security of the elitist bastards behind the fence? Why is this?
I'll tell you why. The police and the Integrated Security Unit along with their bosses including Prime Minister Stephen Harper wanted violence and vandalism to justify the 1.2 Billion Dollar cost of this outrageous security fiasco. They also wanted an excuse to try out their new toys, the sound cannons and water cannons and tear gas launchers and they wanted to fill up the temporary holding cells they built for the event.
None of this needed to happen and 900 mostly peaceful protesters never needed to be arrested and deprived of their constitutional rights. Many innocent people will eventually be convicted of trumped up charges and the record of those convictions will follow them the rest of their lives and deprive them of many of the advantages that we take for granted. And all because Harper wanted to show the world what a powerful little twerp he really is. Don't kid yourself. this was no accident and has nothing to do with an incompetent police chief, although incompetent he is. This fiasco falls directly in the hands of one man, Stephen Harper.
Yes, we were set up and the mainstream media has been accomplices in perpetrating this fraud on the people of Canada and world. Instead of asking these questions, they have by and large spewed the doctrine that Harper wanted, that the police did a good job, all protesters are criminals and the 1.2 Billion Dollars was well spent.
give me a break. How dumb do they think we are?
Canwest News Service July 2, 2010 – 5:35 pm
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuilty will not call a public inquiry into the way police handled protests during last weekend’s G20 summit in Toronto.
A spokesperson for the premier said McGuilty feels an inquiry “isn’t warranted.
“It was a federally led summit and it would be a federal government decision to review any aspects of the summit,”the spokesperson wrote in an email to Canwest News Service.
More than 900 people were arrested or detained during the demonstrations which, at times, turned violent.
This past weekend, marches were held across the country to protest the manner in which demonstrators were treated, with protesters calling for an independent inquiry and the resignation of Bill Blair, Toronto’s police chief.
“Hindsight is always 20-20 and given that tens of thousands of people took part in protests over the G20 weekend, the police did a remarkable job under the circumstances,”the spokesperson said.
She said McGuinty has urged those who have complaints against the police’s actions “to come forward and voice them under the existing complaints system.”
Many of those who marched in Toronto Sunday said they were held by police last weekend and claim they witnessed police brutality, including instances of police denying detainees food, water and the ability to make phone calls. They also claim police packed as many as 40 people into a single cell.
One protester said he was on a date with his girlfriend on the Saturday of the summit when they were both arrested while walking in downtown Toronto. He said the portable toilets in the cells had no doors and people were forced to use them in front of each other.
Nathalie Des Rosiers, general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said her organization has received multiple complaints alleging police misconduct — including harassment, assault and wrongful imprisonment. Des Rosiers said the CCLA is considering a joint lawsuit against many of the police forces involved.
The Toronto Police Service says the force is unaware of any “specific allegations” of officer misconduct during the G20 protests.
- With files from National Post
We can't trust our officials
It is clear that Canadians can never again trust what our officials tell us. Not only did Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair lie to us when he told us about the new law to make it illegal for protesters to come within 5 meters of the security fence at the G20, but he actually authorized his forces to make arrests under this fictional law. As a result hundreds of innocent Canadians were subsequently placed in custody, denied access to legal counsel and even deprived of food and water for over a day. Not one of the politicians who were elected to protect our rights under the constitution spoke out against this outrageous act even though most of them had to be aware that no such law had ever been enacted. The silence of these politicians makes them complaisant in this. I name all members of Metro Council including the Mayor, all MPPs including the Premiere and all MPs including the Prime Minister in this accusation of perpetrating an illegal and fraudulent act of terror against the protesters at the G20, for if they were doing their jobs and been aware as they should have been, they were responsible to the Canadian public to stand up and tell the truth. Instead, even after the truth has been discovered, where is the outrage that our politicians should have been unanimous in proclaiming?
Unfortunately, Chief Blair has been set up as the fall guy even though he is nowhere near intelligent enough to have come up with this outrage himself. It is clear that the source is much higher.
A full public enquiry is required immediately and the full extent of involvement at the highest levels must be revealed and everyone who had knowledge of this and did nothing must be prosecuted to the full extent to the law. If this is not done. Canadians can never again trust their government or the officials therein and anarchy is the only alternative.
Petition re police atrocities on U of T campus
To: University of Toronto AdministrationJuly 1, 2010
President David Naylor
27 King's College Circle, Room 206
Toronto ON M5S 1A1
Prof. Cheryl Misak, Vice President and Provost,
27 King's College Circle, Room 225
Toronto,Â ONÂ M5S 1A1
It is with deep concern that we, the undersigned faculty, staff, and students at the University of Toronto write after witnessing the G20-related events unfold in Toronto this past weekend. We are shocked by the deplorable actions by the Toronto Police and Integrated Security Unit (ISU) in concert with the massive spending on security. As concerned members of the University of Toronto community, we ask that you join us in condemning these actions and pushing for a full independent inquiry.
We express our grave concern about the indiscriminate use of aggression by the ISU against peaceful protesters, many of whom were our fellow students, faculty, and staff. We denounce the misinformation surrounding the Public Works Protection Act and the disregard for civil liberties exhibited by searching and arresting protesters and bystanders without warrant or warning.
To ensure the University of Toronto is not implicated in this assault on democracy we strongly urge the University to:
1. Condemn the
police raid on the Graduate Students' Union (GSU) building and the arrest of
two executive members and billeted demonstrators. It is lawful to provide
accommodations to those who exercise their democratic right
toÂ participate in a legal protest.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
This YouTube playlist features videos related to the emerging threat of Canada moving towards a Police State which has been developing over several decades and came to the surface in frightening police trampling of constitutional rights during the G20 in toronto June 2010.
Schedule of G20 Protest Events
If you are organizing an action during this time, please contact the Toronto Community Mobilization Network immediately to ensure that all actions are safe and supported.
The Toronto Community Mobilization Network is supporting mobilizations for:
Organizers percieved level of police interference
* 18-20 June 2010, All Day, Forum, Ryerson: 2010 People’s Summit
21-24 June 2010: THEMED DAYS OF RESISTANCE (BUILD UP)
J21-24, Various times/locations, Reel Solutions Documentary Film Series
J21, 1pm, Harper's Attacks on Reproductive Rights at home and abroad, 25 Cecil Street, OCAC email@example.com
** J21, 2pm, Allan Gardens, March: "All Out In Defense of the Rights of All"
** J22, Various Times/Locations, creative civic transformations and street theatre for Gender Justice
J22, 4:30pm, Yonge and Queen St, Creative Queer Resistance to the G20
* J23, 7pm, Ryerson Student Campus Centre (SCC115), 55 Gould St: People's Assembly on Climate Justice: Moving Forward from Cochabamba (Poster) (Facebook)
** J24, 11am, Queen's Park, March: "Canada Can't Hide Genocide: Indigenous Day of Action" (Poster Image)
J24, 5pm, Toronto Underground Cinema 186 Spadina Ave, "Six Miles Deep" Documentary
25-27 June 2010: DAYS OF ACTION
J25, 12:30pm, Allan Gardens (corner of Carleton and Sherbourne), G20 Feminist Picnic and Politics
** J25, 2:30pm, Allan Gardens (Carlton Street between Jarvis and Sherbourne Street) Free the Streets! March. Block Party. Tent City: "Justice for Our Communities"
* J25, 6:00pm, Forum, Massey Hall: "Shout Out For Global Justice"
*** J26, 1:00pm, March, Queen's Park: "Get Off the Fence"
*** J27, Time/Location TBA, Autonomous Direct Actions: "Getting Down to Business"
* J27, 1pm, Corner of Bloor and Spadina, Bike Block action
** J27, 2pm, St James Park (on King St. between Jarvis and Church), March: "Prayer Vigil"
*** J27, 5pm, Bruce Mackey Park (Dundas and Wardell), March: Fire.Works.For.Prisons
All we need is one small change
With one small change in the way we perceive our relationship to each other, we could build a truly Utopian society. I have learned to abandon the self serving ideal and replace it with a primary desire to serve. When I did that, my life changed and I began to understand the true meaning of happiness.
Try it, you’ll like it.
Each of us needs to be informed citizens
Being informed CAN NOT be accomplished passively. Watching the news on television and reading newspapers will not make you an informed citizen. All the commercial main stream media sources strive to do is provide you with a hint of what is happening. Because of time, space and financial constraints, they leave it up to us to take the effort to do the research that will enable us to understand the underlying events that lead up to any given situation. Unless we take responsibility for acquiring this information, we can never expect to make informed decisions about what’s going on around us. This is the primary reason why the internet is so crucial to the evolution of civilization towards a more equitable and just global society. Never before in the history of the world have we had the information we need to become informed at our finger tips.
Satisfaction with our own personal situation is not enough. We need to ensure that everyone on the planet has the potential to attain satisfaction with their personal situations. We also must keep in mind that things change and even if today we are living in comfort and security, tomorrow we may be at risk. So it becomes a matter of personal protection when we take measures to ensure that others are protected, for tomorrow we may be one of those others at risk.
Whether you are concerned with poverty, religion, starvation, war, climate disruption, drug abuse, human rights abuse, animal abuse or any of the other myriad problems that effect our lives, we should recognize that each of these issues is related. Each of them is a human problem that requires human solutions that are within our reach.
Only by becoming informed and by actively advocating solutions will we succeed in progressing from a medieval master/slave society with all the limitations and suffering therein to one of realization of the limitless potential that is our destiny. Only by ensuring that each and every member of the human family has the opportunity to reach his/her full potential can we ever expect to achieve the utopian world that both the industrial and the information revolutions have promised.
Speak out. Add your voice to the chorus. As every day more voices are being added, eventually we will be heard.
As we go about our busy lives, it behooves us to remember those who are not so lucky.
The principle of Yin and Yang is that nothing can exist without it’s opposite also existing. The difficulty is in keeping the opposites in balance, for when that balance is upset, both halves of the equation will cease to exist. When one side of the scale believes it is becoming dominant and defeating its opposite, it is merely ensuring its own destruction. It seems that the evil side of mankind is approaching the point of dominance wherein it will ensure its own destruction and our extinction.
To those who still believe in the system
I’ve been clean and sober for over 4 years and I know what I’m saying is right. Unfortunately, too many people have bought into the elitist propaganda that says there is nothing wrong with the system. Just take a look around and you can’t help but see it is failing on a massive scale. The economy is collapsing everywhere, the environment is on the brink of irreparable damage, hundreds of species of life on the planet are becoming extinct each year, the slaughter of innocent people including women and children has reached epidemic proportions, people who struggle to maintain an alternative way of life are called terrorists and hunted down and destroyed, world wide poverty is increasing exponentially in the midst of the greatest wealth that has ever existed on the planet and addiction is rampant in every part of the world. If the system that created these disasters is not a menace to life on this planet, then perhaps in your wisdom, you can tell me what is, for something on a monumental scale has gone wrong. It’s time to wake up and look beyond the propaganda. Start thinking for yourself and analyse the world around you. You may yet find freedom and meaning in your life as I have.
The conversation continues.
An emerging friendship and partnership?
I’m in awe of your wisdom my friend. I take inspiration from your missives. As I said before, “Now is not the time.” I too hope the time will not come, but knowing the way the power structure works, I fear that the time will come. We will not be the ones to start it. So saying, it is wise to think and plan for all eventualities. If violence can be avoided, that would be my preference, but I don’t intend to be cut down unprepared if it can’t and I won’t fight blindly.
In the mean time, I’m progressing steadily with my next stage in advocacy. I got the latest Adobe Mater Suite CS4 and upgraded my computer to utilize its new features. Now I’m learning the video editing features in anticipation of producing some powerful documentary clips. But wow, the learning curve on this shit is huge! If the pen is mightier than the sword and a picture is worth a thousand words, then combining the two and adding motion has got to be mighty indeed.
Glad to hear your beard is coming back. Mine is longer than it’s ever been and my hair is almost as long as it was in the 60’s. Guess we both must look like throwbacks to the 60’s. I’d love to have a picture of the 2 of us together. Maybe, God willing, we’ll be able to meet face to face sometime soon. Hope so.
In the mean time, I keep getting drawn in so many directions that it takex a force of willpower to keep on track. Shit, there are so many things that need fixing in this fucked up society that it’s hard to keep from spreading myself so thin as to be ineffectual. I’ve spent the past couple of years concentrating on homelessness, poverty and to a lesser degree, addiction, but these issues are only symptoms of the greater problem of a society that has lost its way. I don’t know what to do. Should I continue working on the symptoms of redirect my efforts towards the social malaise that causes them? The easy way is to continue as before, but I’m getting the sense that along with my planned switch to video as my media instead of the written word and still photoArt images, it may be time to rethink the whole structure and direction of my work. But damn, if I change, where do I begin, how do I approach it and most important how do I focus when there is so much fucked up out there? The one shortfall of video is that it limits the creative flow into what must be less and therefore more compelling information. That is hard to do. Citizen shift has improved its format and now can host 150 mb videos, so I won’t need to pay for hosting any more. I’ll try to produce 10 minute clips that will show in good quality on the site. I won’t have anything new to upload until I learn more of the new programs and do some more filming, but here’s the link to my old page that I put up a while back.
I didn’t put much up there because back then the site was pretty limited, but it’s better now. They’re developing some pretty good dossiers too, so click the dossier link if you get a chance and check them out.
Shit, dude, we're two pea's in a fuckin'
pod, believe me!
My God Steve, you vocalize my feelings with fine precision when you say, “So, we're both seeking the greatest return for the least input cause that's all the time we have left. We ache to contribute and make it all count for something IN A BIG WAY to prove to ourselves, [our higher, our HIGHEST,] selves that we were not a useless waste of space in this most beautiful of creations. PLUS WE ACHE WITH EMPATHY FOR OTHERS AND WISH TO HELP THEM OUT OF THEIR MISERIES, make them Free as we cause till we're all free none of us are completely free...RIGHT?”
Talking with you really helps me get into focus man. Wish we were both living in the same area. It would be so great to hang together, maybe even work together.
As for damning the pusher, Steppenwolf was right on target way back when.
I’ve been lucky. I managed to survive the shit until I found a way to make it work for me. Now I have a subsidized apartment, and a disability pension that takes getting money out of the equation, leaving me free to work at something meaningful instead of slaving for the man to eek our an existence. I do feel guilty though. I am one of the few who have it good and there are so very many others who are nowhere near as fortunate. The dream of the old sci-fi writers of a utopia evolving as we created machines to do the work has been hijacked by the elite who hoard all the benefits of the labour saving devices we have developed, leaving the masses to continue living at the edge of the precipice. What kind of shit is that? Capitalism has betrayed us all because, like all isms it fails to take into consideration the avarice and selfish greed of any asshole that gets a little power. The frustrating thing is that I have not been able to articulate a workable alternative to these isms and remain stuck in the rut of bitching about what is instead of working towards a specific and definable alternative. That my friend, is where all activists seem to fall short of gaining widespread support. It just isn’t enough to condemn the existing system. We need to be able to define a workable alternative and so far no one has been able to do that. All of the ones that have been tried have failed and perhaps this failure to develop a working model for society will result in the demise of the human race. Wait a minute, I’m wrong there. We HAVE a workable model. It was described in the old sci-fi stories. It just doesn’t have a name with ism on the end. The scenario is so simple it has eluded my desire to define it until now.
But how can we accomplish this when the result will be that the slave masters will no longer have human beings’ lives completely at their disposal and under their command? Perhaps it is too soon to expect a total transition. We have not mastered the creation of machines to replace human servants yet, but they are coming soon. We’re almost there. Working prototypes are as we speak being perfected for this very purpose, i.e. the bank machine that has replaced many of the human tasks with mechanized ones or the robotic vacuum cleaner that is under development to eliminate one of the least palatable chores of housework.
In the mean time as the transition moves forward, what is necessary is a new way of structuring society so that the people whose jobs are now being done by machines, and this includes not only those who were employed at those jobs, but also, those who would at some time in the future be so employed, are no longer forced into a limbo because we have not thought about what to do with them once the machines take over. They deserve the right to live in freedom, security and dignity and it is society’s responsibility to ensure that they have it. That means the replacement of Employment Insurance and all current social assistance programs with a universal guaranteed income plan that provides for these criteria.
This would not result in the immediate demise of Capitalism. What it would result in is a more humane hybrid form of Capitalism that would itself be a transitional social structure until the time comes when we have all the machines necessary to move on to a social structure that is not based on a monetary rewards system.
Thanks Steve. You helped me to focus and I think that I can see where my efforts must be directed henceforth. I need to narrow my efforts to the concept of instituting a guaranteed income system that provides for each individual’s right to live in freedom, security and dignity. If this can be accomplished without creating violent opposition from the elite, we may yet avoid blood on the streets. I’ll have to research what is presently being done in this direction and add my efforts to the cause.
Let me know what you think. I find that your wisdom is very helpful during this period in my life when I have come to the realization that my efforts could be better utilized with a change of focus.
Hey mannn, I'm 2/3's of the way thru this
you wrote and I got fuckin' chill bumps running up and down my shit..
Lots to respond to here my friend. Guess I’ll take it from the top so I don’t miss anything.
Yep, done thousands of hits of LSD. It saved my life man. If I hadn’t found it I’d have killed myself before I reached 25. Didn’t get the God experience back then though. It took crack for me to go there, but once anyone’s been there, everything is different. Tried all the other drugs, but only sparingly. Note: I don’t classify pot as a drug per say. Done a shipload of that though.
Of course, you’re right when you say, “NEVER SANCTIFY YOUR VICTIMIZATION.” The problem is that most people don’t even realize that they ARE victims. The slave masters are too smart for that. They camouflage the slavery by giving the slaves some nice toys to dull their minds. But each of the toys, i.e. fancy car, big house, fine clothes, all bought on credit, becomes another link in the chain that imprisons them. It would be easy to end the victimization if the victims only realized, like we do, that it exists. People are unhappy and angry and they don’t have the eyes to see the cause, so they blame each other. As I perceive it, our job is twofold.
First, we must work at educating people to open their eyes to their own debilitating dependence on the toys the slave masters lend us. I say lend, because that is part of the chain of credit purchasing. Once they get the toys, they don’t want to give them up and then they are trapped. In order to keep the toys, they have to do what the man tells them. If we can help people to realize that the toys are merely links in the chains that bind them in slavery, they will begin to break free. If they remove their own debt, and only accept the toys that they have the funds to pay for, the strongest links in the chains will be broken.
Second, we must work to unglue the slavers’ hold over the means of acquisition and retention of the toys. When the threat of losing them is removed, the stress and frustration and anger that clouds the issue will vanish and people’s minds will be free to experience the joy of the freedom they so willingly, though unknowingly relinquished. The malaise of dissatisfaction will dissolve. This involves a redistribution of wealth and must begin at the bottom with the guaranteed income concept, but will only be complete when it is no longer possible for an individual to amass or hold so great a portion of the world’s wealth that it deprives others of their freedom to enjoy their right to live in freedom, security and dignity.
One step at a time though. We must attempt
to address the issues at a level that is surmountable. If we attempt to reach
too high, we doom our efforts to failure. I believe that now is the time and
This is developing into a manifest of sorts. Wow!!! I think by linking our thinking, we are locking into the stream of consciousness as a team far more clearly than is individually conceivable.
Your comments about never playing cops and robbers but instead playing shamen and layfolk is right on. Throughout my life, I rarely asked God for anything for myself. I would ask for His intervention to help others often, but for myself, all I would ask for was wisdom. I do believe He has answered my prayers and granted me a small measure of the stuff, as he has you. With wisdom though comes great responsibility. It is our duty to help others to attain their own wisdom and clear vision. Haven’t you felt the compelling urge to enlighten as I have? Yes I’m sure you have.
You mention our ability to fly. Many years ago I studied Astral Projection and eventually mastered it to the degree that I flew out of my physical body just once. I wasn’t ready for it then. It scared the shit out of me and I never did it again, but as a kid and adolescent, I had one constantly recurring dream. I was always not only flying with my mind, but teaching others how. This was long before I ever did drugs and the concept seemed so natural to me that even when not asleep, it was difficult to remind myself that it was only a dream and was not possible. Now that I am older, I know that it is not only possible, but quite natural, It is something that we have been conditioned to unlearn by those around us. Possibilities are not worth enumerating. They are boundless and limitless. The delusion of Impossibilities is our only limitation.
Yes, I can see your smile as we converse. I need only look in the mirror.
I have tons of research to do as I embark on this next phase in my mission. I’ll definitely look up the references you gave me. Thanks for that.
Speaking of governance, I believe it is also time to return to a truer form of participatory democracy. Because of the cumbersome size of our modern society and also because of laziness, we have delegated our right and responsibility to others by creating a form of representative democracy which has very little to do with truly democratic principles. With the advent of the internet, the preventative unwieldy size of our society is no longer an excuse for us to forfeit this right and obligation. Size of society is no longer a viable excuse. We can, should, must create a web based system of governance that encompasses every level of society, from the town hall to the United Nations. If we create a system of monthly virtual meetings to discuss and vote on important issues at each level of government and then send the results of our decisions to the appropriate representatives, we can regain personal responsibility for how we are represented. With this, we will relinquish the excuse that it’s the government that did it, not me. Each of us, you, me and every other individual in the world will have a voice in matters of import and will bear the personal responsibility for the results of these decisions whether good or bad. I’ve given this a great deal of thought and have been busy creating a format that I believe is workable where meetings are scheduled separately for each level of government and every individual in the world could be registered as a voting member in his own local, with the right to vote at each level of government, from the town hall of his neighborhood, which would align with a riding in Canada to municipal, to provincial or state to federal and finally to the United Nations or whatever form of world government we decide is appropriate. In order to make democracy accessible to everyone, those who do not have internet access would be able to attend in person at the local town hall. The elected representatives would be compelled to act upon the decisions that are formed at these meetings under threat of being replaced in the next election.
Your comment about reality as exemplified by The Matrix quote is right on. I believe that the reality we perceive is merely one of infinite possibilities, the one we have jointly agreed to condition ourselves to accept, thereby creating it from our own group mindset.
When you speak of returning to the realm of light from whence we came, it brings to mind one of my more memorable LSD experiences. I had let it be know that I wished to purchase a couple thousand hits of acid and then I crashed. One of the chemists sent a friend to me with a special test sample. When she got to my apartment which I never locked, she found me sound asleep and placed the blotter in my mouth. Later I woke up higher than I’d ever been and still climbing. I went for a walk and as I passed the door of someone else’s apartment I heard some great music. I just walked in and sat down by their speakers and tripped. Now here’s the important part. For the next 48 hours, I was pure intelligent energy travelling through space! I believe I had returned to the realm from whence we came.
Back to the subject of abilities that we have that we don’t recognize, I’ve also learned that if I am receptive, inanimate objects will speak to me. Here’s an example of what I mean. On several occasions I have been with someone who has misplaced something they felt was important. While they were desperately searching for the object in vain, I just sat quietly and apparently unconcerned. After a brief period, without even looking in the direction, I would point and say “It’s there.” My friend when looking where I pointed would be amazed to find it really was there. Now this I have done many times and it works even when I have never seen the object in question or been present when it was placed in its concealed location. Pretty wild eh?
Another thing I have sometimes been able to do, but have by no means mastered yet, is seeing in total darkness with my eyes closed. On several occasions I have been able to get a clear picture of my surroundings in my mind’s eye even with my eyes closed when it is so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face.
Now I do not think that any of these so called magical abilities are unique to me. I believe we all inherently have them, but we deny their existence and refuse to use them or trust to their use and they do need practice. The human species is on an evolutionary cusp. We are ready to evolve to a point where we will be able to use many magical abilities and learn eventually to take them for granted, the same as we do seeing and hearing. You have hinted at your own experiences and I suspect that there have been many. History documents many masters who have developed abilities far beyond what the average person is capable of and it does not mean that they are any different than the rest of humanity; they just worked at developing what is lying dormant within us all.
KEEP YOUR MOTOR RUNNING my friend.
Happy to know we’re on the same wave length ALL the way. Even happier to find that you have done much of the necessary research we will need to proceed. That will save me a lot of time searching and reading. Hope you don’t mind if I use you as a reference tool and pick your brain on matters where you have spent more time than I on learning. Yes, I can and will help you and you, I hope will help me and together we can help make a difference, much more so than either of us alone.
There are a few advantages to our separate locations.
Fortunately, our knowledge and abilities although parallel are not duplicated and so being, will enhance each other’s. We have both been faltering because the size of the task is too large for any single man to accomplish. There is great truth in the saying that the power of the whole is far greater than the power of the sum of its parts. Working together we will accomplish infinitely more than either of us could alone.
It may be a good idea to use messenger when immediate feedback is necessary, I’m on Yahoo Messenger at present. Copies of Messenger communications can be kept for reference too.
I’m planning to add a dedicated page to my website for guaranteed income and another for the internet democracy idea. Although both of these have been around for a while, (I knew about guaranteed income, but wasn’t aware of internet democracy. Thought that was my own idea.) Timing is everything and perhaps now is the right time for both. Could you, would you write a preamble for each of those pages that would explain the concepts succinctly? Since you have more prior knowledge of both, and apparently reference material on hand I believe you could do a better job of creating simple explanations of them that would enlighten readers. Wherever possible, it would help to include links to sites that can give more detailed information. I’m thinking that we could co-author these 2 pages and thereby present a continental message that would appeal to people in both of our countries, thereby expanding our audience. At first I thought of creating a whole new website and that may be the best approach still. I could promote the new website with a link from my current ones and thereby direct my current following to them. Since my hosting and site creation service is free, there is no monetary advantage to adding pages to my existing site rather than developing a new one, but my existing site is full of useful and mostly relevant information and is large enough not to seem too simple. What do you think?
I use Ronzig as a nom de plume on the internet and it may be a good idea for you to create one for yourself. Ronzig has become a trademark of sorts and is more widely known than my real name.
I guess what this all amounts to is that I think we’ve spent enough time feeling each other out and I believe we both agree we can and should work together, so we should get to it. We really do need each other.
All I can say is;
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
[For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
You will invariably find me reciting the above at times of greatest
peril which produces an inward calm. But immediately I'll move into;
I think that...I know that...to feel sorry for the process unfolding in
that picture is to miss the point. And end up selfish in ourselves.
I've one more picture that blows me away but I'd have to attach it. And
I don't want you opening it first.
Like all isms, Anarchism and Libertarianism look fine on paper, but I’m a pragmatist. Long ago I learned that the value of any theory of social organization is only as good as its ability to function as designed in the real world. From the beginning of human social interactivity, it was clearly recognized that some form of government was necessary to the very existence of society. Without government society can not function and we are left with each person standing alone and at odds with all others. If humanity could be relied upon to act responsibly and harmoniously towards each other, there would be no need for government, but that is not reality. If it is accepted that there is a need for some form of government, the question becomes one of determining a form that will function as designed, providing the least possible amount of restriction and conflict amongst its members. To that end I believe that a truer form of Democracy wherein laws restricting the individual rights of its members are restricted to only one criterion, “Will this law protect society’s members from individuals infringing on their rights with the minimum amount of infringement on the freedom of activity or the individual?” If a law does not meet this criterion it is not valid and should be stricken from the books.
To ensure that this principle is maintained, the primary responsibility of the judiciary should be to monitor all legislation, measuring it against this criterion and to strike down any law that does not meet the criterion.
I am familiar with Libertarianism, another ism that looks good until it is put into the context of human nature. Therein, if it is not qualified with the aforementioned caveat it becomes unworkable.
Now I admit that Democracy can and will lead to gang rule if not kept in check. One need only examine our present form of Democracy to realize this. However, I am optimistic that with a Participatory Democracy in place, the participating members of society will be able to prevent this. As I mentioned previously, the size of our population and the vast areas involved with the nation states we have created had previously make Participatory Democracy unmanageable and Representative Democracy evolved to address this problem. It is evident that Representative Democracy does not work and we must revert to Participatory Democracy. Fortunately, with the advent of the internet, the restricting factors of size of population and geographic area are no longer valid arguments for maintenance of the Representative system to the exclusion of the Participatory system. A new hybrid form of Democracy is now both possible and necessary, a combination of Representative and Participatory Democracy. This is the function of the internet government that I envision. We will retain representatives in government, but they will be subject to the will of the people through the voting structure at the Participatory level.
The criteria I set to determine whether or not I should advocate any change are,
I believe both Internet Democracy and Guaranteed Income fulfill these requirements and that is my reason for becoming a proponent of each.
You’re right and you’re wrong. During those
days I didn’t quite get it like so many others. There was just too much
happening to absorb it all as fast as it came at me.
Before I could get it, I had to go back and become a citizen again. I had never really been one before as I was too young when that whole thing took me over. Having gone back, I was able to compare the philosophies and then I could judge and reject the establishment for what it is. My greatest pain is the fact that most of the hippies who like me went back never took the time or responsibility to make the comparison. They were too busy becoming worse that the things they were protesting in the 60’s. They sold out for a BMW and a job at IBM when if they had kept the faith, we could have won the struggle and the world would not be in the mess it’s in today.
The siren song of the establishment was too powerful for them to overcome. It almost got me. It’s not right to judge their failure though. The temptation of the (Good Life???) is pretty overwhelming!
What I meant is it’s wrong to condemn them for their blindness. We can condemn the system they adhere to, but they are victims as much as oppressors and they really don’t understand. It’s our responsibility not to condemn them for their blindness, but to open their eyes to enlightenment.
Steve sent me a couple of photos to remind me just how evil this society is. These things could never happen in a world not completely immersed in evil.Not sure where the photo came from but if anyone can say, I'll gladly credit the photographer
Life and death, brother.
Yep, when I think we have it bad I just have to remember what it's like in other parts of the world. Most of the people in the world would think they'd died and gone to heaven if they found themselves homeless here.
When will this end? Not sure where the photo came from but if anyone can say, I'll gladly credit the photographer
A student has some questions for me
Hello Mr Ronzig,
I am a student in
I just wanted to write to congratulate on your website and share some of my thoughts, if you would not mind. I was very shocked to see what you have gone through but amazed that you were able to recover yourself from the drugs. I also had no idea that shelters were bad and help was so scarce.
I wish a lot more people were interested in seeing websites like yours so they open their eyes to what goes on in a homeless person's life. I feel sorry for homeless people and always think of ways I can do to help. From my point of view, it must be the most terrifying feeling to reach at night and have nowhere to go. I do programs in my building, volunteer and do cloth/food drives to homeless charities in order to try to open people's eyes, which sadly is a hard thing to do since most 'lucky' people do not even care placing themselves on someone else's point of view.
So I would love to hear from you: what can I do? I feel extremely bad passing by homeless people and pretend I do not see; I do not give them money as I know they can be addicted; sometimes I give them food but also don't want to 'humiliate' them; I wish I could sit down and talk to the homeless but everyone say they are 'dangerous'. How can I know if that person really wants to be helped? Hopefully your advice will guide me better than listening to what most rich people say.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for writing Priscila. When I hear from people who have learned from my experience and my work I feel gratified.
In answer to what you can do, FIRST please don’t pretend that you don’t see them. That is the most painful thing we experience out there. It’s a denial of our existence and serves to drive home the feeling that we are less than human. Even if you don’t wish to give them a little money, a smile and a kind word will help them greatly. Just tell them you can’t help today, but that you wish them well and give them a smile and you will be improving their day. You are right to be aware that some, although not many can be dangerous. Many have serious mental health issues and all feel resentment towards a society that allows their situation to exist.
Please understand that by denying them a little financial help you are not preventing them from servicing their addictions. They will take care of that need before eating; for once a person becomes an addict the need for drugs supersedes even the need to eat. By denying them a little financial assistance, you do withhold help with the many other things that they need such as food and medicine and cigarettes and so on and so on. Yes, what you give may very well go towards drugs, but it may free up some cash to buy a meal.
If you want to talk with one of them, you could start by giving a dollar or two and asking how they’re feeling. Would they like a coffee or something? You would be surprised how desperately most want and need someone to talk to. If you take them for a coffee or bring them one and one for yourself, I’m sure most would be happy to share a little time and conversation with you. If you’re uncomfortable with that approach, you might try volunteering at a drop in centre or shelter. In those places, you will have plenty of opportunities to talk with them.
I commend you on the good work you do with clothing and food drives. It’s important and with the current economic situation supplies are getting desperately low as even more people are forced into homelessness.
It’s sad, but true that far too many people don’t wish to understand. It’s far more comfortable for them to ignore the situation or to condemn the victims of homelessness than to try to understand. But as the situation continues to escalate, more and more are coming to the realization that something must be done. It is obviously not acceptable in a society as rich as ours to allow this to continue. You can help by writing letters to the editors of you local newspapers and to your political representatives at the municipal, state and federal levels. On the internet there are many sites that have forums on the topic that you could contribute to. All discussion in these areas will increase the pressure to make a change.
Thanks again for you email. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to write.
I’d like to post this communication on my website with your permission. I think others will benefit from what you had to say and from my response. If you wish to remain anonymous, let me know. I usually use the first name only when I post, but would be happy to withhold your name if you prefer.
Hello Mr Ronzig!
I definetely will take your advice and put in practice. Everytime I see a homeless person I indeed want to sit down with them and hear their story. It will be somewhat hard to do this as I also don't have support from friends, workmates and family, who tell me to stay as far away from homeless as possible. They tell me things such as "but these people choose to be homeless", "they don't want to be helped", "if you help only one it will not end poverty anyways" or "they're too lazy to get jobs" (the discussion that was in the Change.org website). I just cannot understand how people find reasons to close their eyes, as if it was extremely easy for a person with mental and health problems to just get up and get a job immediately, not to mention the problem with addiction and hunger. One day I told my friends that I was giving food to homeless people and they replied "you should stop doing that. They will remember you and get angry at you when you don't have any more food another day".
There was also one day I as in an ice cream shop and a homeless man came in and asked for some change; I didn't even reply and the shop keeper stood in front of me and asked him to leave, like he was something evil that was ruining the image of the ice cream shop. When I did the food/cloth drive in my building - which by the way was next to Christmas season - many people replied with a fun tone "I don't even have money and food for myself, how am I going to give to the others?" My heart was so torn by such coldness, most people fail to see there are people in far worse situations.
And what should I do if I see not someone asking for money, but simply lying on the street? Those are the times I feel worse, that person might as well not be sleeping, but fainted or even dead. And people simply walk by, as if it was completely normal to have sick peolpe just lying on the street. I wish I could stop and wake them up, but again, what might their reaction be? Should I call 911 regardless?
Is it a good idea to instead of giving money I just buy them a sandwich and a drink? I would feel more confortable doing this. On the other hand I never thought of writing to the authorities, that is definetely a good advice I will put in practice. I will also keep researching on the Internet about homelessness. And is there something I can do to try to prevent them for using more drugs (I mean, I was amazed when you said you decided to go to the detox center; how many homeless would have this initiative?)
Again, thank you very much, Mr Ronzig.
And thanks for using your time to answer all my questions!
Thanks Priscila. Glad you like my art. I use several programs in my art, but the primary ones are Faststone Viewer and Photoshop. Many of the homeless people I depict are friends from my days on the street and many more are people I met after being housed. I still keep a close contact with the community and find more friendship within that community than the so called normal society. These people are more real. Once you get past their urge to scam a few dollars to get high, they cut the crap and communicate more freely than many uptight so called normal people.
I would be honored to have you share my words with others. On my part, I don’t mind sharing my email address either, but will keep yours private.
As I began to see the power of the internet and the potential that lies therein to wrest control of information from the elite, I decided I had to be part of it. As I mention on my site, I believe the internet is our best hope of moving society towards a more compassionate and humane structure. If we hippies had the internet in the 60’s, we might not have failed to achieve the social change we struggled for back then. Most of us gave up, sold out and became worse than what we were protesting. Of course, there were not nearly as many hippies as there were hangers-on who only thought of the movement as a means to be popular and get laid, but I digress.
I must emphasize care when approaching a homeless person. You must not show fear, but you must be alert to the individual situation and be prepared to withdraw pleasantly if your approach is not wanted. Before bringing food or coffee, it is important to ask if he would like it. No one appreciates assumptions being made about them and homeless people are extremely sensitive to them since the majority of society relates to them from a series of ill conceived assumptions. I do recommend volunteering at a drop in centre first. In this way, you will be able to become comfortable with them and learn what is and is not appropriate, while in a safe environment. There is not much danger, but I want you to feel at ease while remaining alert when you approach someone.
Quotations such as "but these people choose to be homeless", "they don't want to be helped", "if you help only one it will not end poverty anyways" or "they're too lazy to get jobs" are just the cynical shortsighted attitudes that I and others like me are seeking to educate people against. It makes me wonder how in this so called Christian society, we have moved so far away from God. Truly we as a society are seriously ill and if we don’t find a way to cure this illness, we will deserve the inevitable consequences.
As for drug use, that really comes down to each individual’s circumstances. No-one can make someone decide to quit. What you can do is become familiar with the services that are available in your area for drug rehab so that you can mention that if they are interested in quitting you can guide them to places that can help, but don’t shove it at them. Only they can decide when the time is right.
Definitely if you see someone who seems to be in distress or in need of assistance, call 911. That’s what they’re there for. Don’t try to deal with it yourself though. Leave it to the professionals. You would learn a lot by staying to watch how they handle it.
Again, thank you for caring. Strange as it seems that caring is so unique that thanks are deemed appropriate for what should be a basic part of the human condition. Best wishes and God’s blessings.
Growing up in
But mostly I remember
And I wonder
Good fun, good fellowship and good works.
Anyone who thinks there's a scarcity of goodness in the city should drop by 14
Elm Street, where the St. George's Society of Toronto – the city's oldest
charity – continues on in the same benevolent spirit that has characterized its
work since it was founded in 1834. Named after the patron saint of
Yonge and CollegeSt in Toronto
A digital conversation about homeless women and addiction
Helen wrote from the
Sorry, to hear of your illness and hope you are on the
recovery road now and about your own friends. You really are on the cutting
edge of this subject. Not enough is done in our country about the ever growing
problem of addictions. Alcohol is too easily available here and there are just
not enough specialist clinics that can help.
Addiction and homelessness are often confused as synonymous, mainly because one will often, but not necessarily, follow the other. They are two completely separate symptoms of a single disease.
We take so much pride in being a classless society when ironically our capitalist system is based on the clearly defined classes.
The upper class, which controls everything it can and constantly seeks more power to dictate how everyone should conduct their lives.
The middle class, which has grown so large and so prosperous, that the upper class now sees it as a threat.
And at the bottom of the scale, the ever expanding lower class, which in terms of per capita share of available resources, is getting poorer and poorer as the world gets richer and richer.
This class system uses economic slavery to maintain its integrity. The upper class hoards the lion’s share of resources and directs world functions on both the macro and micro levels. The middle class is used a lieutenants to carry out the policies set by the masters in return for an elevated level of existence. The lower class provides most of the labour in return for a subsistence level of existence.
What has kept the system functioning is the illusion that upward mobility in relation to class status is possible.
Historically, there has been a large gap between the upper and middle classes, with a narrow and often blurred gap between the middle and lower classes, but there has been a shift resulting in a narrow and blurred gap between the upper and middle classes and an ever widening gap between the middle and lower classes.
Therein lays the current problem. As the middle class moves inexorably towards achieving upper class status our society is evolving into a two class system with an unbreachable gap between them.
This shift has resulted in a clash of momentous proportions. The upper class, in order to maintain its power must crush the middle class assault on its lofty position. As the clash between the mighty few and the slightly weaker, but far more numerous interlopers develops, the lower class rapidly becomes a casualty of war. The walking wounded of this clash are the addicts and homeless. All hope has been rescinded and they have become dehumanized to the point where even fellow members of the lower class despise them.
You might say that addicts come from all classes, and so they do, but the underlying causes of the addiction shift when the addiction comes from the higher levels of society. Instead of desperation and escapism as is prevalent in the lower class, debauchery and irresponsibility are the main roads to addiction among the wealthy.
I fear that the class struggle will lead to ever increasing levels of violence unless radical changes are made soon. People without hope have nothing to lose and anger will escalate to rage on an ever increasing level. That is why I work so hard to make people understand.
If we don’t change the system, we are surely destined to follow in the footsteps of all the previous empires in history. Western civilization will collapse inward upon itself and self destruct. The enemy is not out there. It is within.
Hi Ronzig, What an
amazing and incredibly intelligent reply. Both my husband and I read this and
printed it. We can't dispute anything you have said here. I believe that with
ever increasing expectation and the need and desire to do better, have more,
celebrity status and even with pop idol and fame shows, more and more people
want the good life now, better, faster, more, which breeds resentment and
discontentment when "they" realize that not everybody can be famous
or rich. You are right the middle classes strive to get into the chosen set and
step on anybody/thing that gets in the way. The ruthlessness of the work place
is one such example. Obviously we don't subscribe to these things. People
compare themselves all the time to the next and depression is at its highest levels
I have personal experience with the dissatisfaction you speak of.
In 1978 I was on welfare and behind in my rent, at the very edge of homelessness. I got my real estate license and in less than 10 years I was a millionaire with 100 people working for me. To get there, I worked 14 and sometimes 18 hours a day, 7 days a week without a single day off. I became a slave to money and I was not at all happy. When I went bankrupt as a result of my addiction to crack, instead of feeling bad about my loss, I was relieved.
What followed was a rapid decline into homelessness, but I have to tell you, during my 10 homeless years I WAS HAPPY. I learned that the goal of financial advancement which society worships so intently is a trap which can only lead to despair.
Regarding your questions about homeless women, my friend Spirited Away will be visiting me Saturday and I’ll ask her opinions on your inquiry.
From my own experience, I can tell you that there are far fewer homeless women living rough as they call it. (meaning on the streets rather than in shelters) And I suspect there are fewer homeless women in general. I perceive two possible reasons for this.
1) It is far more dangerous for a woman out there. They are more likely to be raped or brutalized than men.
2) Sex. A woman is more able to find a member of the opposite sex to support her in exchange for sexual comforts and she is more likely to be able to support herself through prostitution. As distasteful as it is, a woman has more options than a man at that level of existence.
I’ll have more to tell you after I see my friend.
I am saving these digital conversations to post on my blog and I suggest you do the same. They are definitely revealing insights that people should be aware of.
I spoke with my friend about your questions and she will give the matter some thought. she has acute agoraphobia and has a great deal of difficulty expressing her deepest feelings and I suspect the subject is so close to home for her that she is having difficulty responding. Also, I have put a great deal of responsibility on her of late, so I'm sure you will understand her hesitance to make a rapid reply. I'm SURE THAT SHE WILL RESPOND ONCE SHE HAS TIME TO ABSORB THE QUESTION AND GIVE IT SOME THOUGHT.
She is homeless and a very caring and loving person with a marvellous talent for expressing raw emotion through her photography. You can see her work here......
I had a gallery showing of my work and invited her to show her work with mine as a joint show. I printed and framed a selection of her work for the show
I AM SO PROUD OF HER. SHE STOLE THE SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!
Everybody loved her work and she sold TWO of her photos. I sold NONE.
Joe Fiorito, a reporter friend from the Toronto Star did a long interview with her and I'm sure he will say wonderful things about her in his column.
She usually panics when people approach her, but there was no panic yesterday. SHE WAS WONDERFUL. She spoke with the people who came to the show, most of whom were total strangers to her, without a trace of panic AND she was obviously having a wonderful; time.
So, the show was A TOTAL SUCCESS.
I can't seem to find your blog again. Please send me the link one more time as I thought I had bookmarked it, but apparently not.
I found the link http://onethoughtfulwoman.wordpress.com/2007/09/
The abandoned Canada Malting site at the foot of Bathurst St
Affordable Housing is NOT the Answer
get so pissed off at these groups' short sighted approaches to the problem. It
seems that everyone is clamoring for creation of more affordable housing.
Governments have been trying to solve the housing problem with subsidized
housing for half a century in
When will the fools stop trying to whip a dead horse and seek solutions that have at least some hope of working?
A scene from The Brickworks in the Don Valley.
OCAP NEEDS YOUR HELP IF IT IS TO PAY THE RENT
Although I don't agree with everything they do, we would be far worse off without their efforts, so if you can, please help keep them going.
The Toronto skyline looking from Ward's Island towards the Redpath sugar plant
A Digital conversation with a new friend
Good to hear from you brother. Thanks for taking the time. I hear you about trying to ask Big Brother to be anything but evil, but I gotta keep trying. You’re so right when you point out that the more you accept from them the more they think they own your ass. That’s why I and many of my friends chose to live outside the system. At least on the streets you can retain your sense of freedom. I only came in because I was dying and I wasn’t quite ready for that trip yet. But there are far too many who want and need a home and I feel it is my mission to do what I can to get them one.
I agree that this whole socio-economic system is doomed to collapse under its own weight. But that won’t be for a while yet and I doubt if I’ll live to rejoice in the downfall. In the mean time I do what I can to advocate for a decent life for the multitudes that are forced to suffer under economic slavery. If the fools who support this tyranny could only realize that they too are slaves they might be more compassionate. The disheartening aspect to all this is that no matter what system of society we try there will always be a division between the strong and the weak. Unfortunately the strongest are also usually the greediest and therein lays the flaw in human nature that condemns us to exist in perpetual suffering.
You mentioned that Helen, the poet in the video was extremely down. She’s not always like that, but it just had to be a bad time for her. I’m presently working with her to create a live production of a piece she wrote that is so perceptive that I intend to create a video of it for my site. I’ll let you know when it’s up. An actor friend of ours will be the voice on this video so the presentation will be much more compelling.
Thanks for pointing out ways for me to improve my own presentation. I liked your take on my bit about exclusion. Glad you felt it was a bit threatening. That’s part of the message I want to convey. Ya gotta let them know that the shit’s about to hit the fan and they’re gonna get hurt if something isn’t done.
Any links to Abbey Hoffman you think I should check out?
If you will give me permission, I’d like to post our conversation on my site. Anonymous if you prefer. Let me know if this is OK with you.
Keep Your Motor Running my friend.
More from Steve…
You’re right about the real estate company. I sold out man. But I was never happy in that scene and I did leave it behind. The whole real estate period of my life was 10 years out of a total of 63, so in the end I have to say in my own defence that I did learn my lesson.
It’s not just
No offence taken. We’re not exactly the same of course, but we do have enough in common to understand each other. I can agree with most of your statements so far, except I don’t believe legalizing the killer drugs is the right way to go. For the other drugs, I agree that legalization is the only righteous answer.
I am an old head of sorts, and it is to my shame that I sold out like most of the rest of us. But I did see the light. Many apologies for my lapse.
More from Steve…
Two paragraphs in my friend and I
gotta go. But I'm digging what I read.
It didn’t really throw me. It just jogged the guilt I have been feeling ever since.
Please, my brother, far be it from
me to judge. I've done MANY things that to me is worse than 'selling out'...we
all compromise daily in countless ways. Succeeding in their world is no reason
to think less of yourself.
I took a quick look at your
PS. At least I learned something from my period in real estate. I believe that most of the brothers that sold out are as unhappy as I was. Like me, they just got overwhelmed by the bullshit and lost the dream. Now instead of being mad at them, I pity them.
LOL...I FEEL YA!
I got 10 years on ya man and let me tell ya IT ONLY GETS WORSE!!!!!
I have arthritis all through my body and the pain never lets up. I have the same strain of Hep C as you and it’s virtually incurable at present although there is a new drug being tested that looks promising. I have emphysema too and still smoke. I have a blockage in my intestine that makes the shit back up until I puke it out my mouth. They were supposed to fix it with an operation, but they closed me up without doing anything. Said they thought it fixed itself. Bullshit. They were 3 hours late getting me into the operating room and I believe they ran out of time and just said fuck it. Close him up. He’s expendable.
I hear you about your computer. Let me give you a little brag about my puppy. P 4 quad at 2.6 MHz. 2 terabytes of hard drive with another terabyte on external SATA. One 32” monitor and one 19” monitor and lots of pirate ware. Just now working on going semi legit in that area. Got a friend who is going to get me the whole Adobe CS4 Master Suite at the student rate. Adobe should feel privileged. I could pick it up pirated for 10% of what I’ll be paying.
I agree about the internet being great. Now the people have a voice. The media is no longer exclusively in the control of the enemy (enema) lol They really are a load of shit. I’ve had thousands of people from all over the world visit my site. Never before has the thinking man or woman been able to be heard through the bullshit. THERE IS HOPE!!!!
We should do something to hook up others of like mind with us. Can you imagine a world wide network of old heads who still give a shit working together? Could be fun.
It ain't my website, it's Dale Gowin's
and I'm helping much as possible. Yeah, I'll definitely bookmark your site.
Shooting pigs is no answer. They
are merely pawns in the game and there is a never ending supply of
replacements. The only worthy targets are the politicians and their bosses. You
could look at not being on the most wanted list as a sign of success. It takes
a lot of wisdom to be an anarchist for so long and still be amongst the living.
Anarchy does not necessarily need to be expressed with violence. As the man
said, "The pen is mightier than the sword." AND we're both too old
for that shit now. Guns are a kids game. If they want to, let them play with
our blessings. I don't believe there is any hope of peacefully achieving a
Utopian world short of total destruction of this one and probably not even then
given human nature. All I strive for is to make a small part of the world a
better place for all. The problem is that there is no available measuring stick
to see if I am succeeding, but I have faith that I can help make things a
I was born
Hey Steve, I’ve been thinking about the idea of a world wide network of activists like ourselves and the more I think of it the better it sounds. If you’re interested, we could set up a website and invite fellow activists to join the network. The site could be divided into regions and events could be posted on it as well as making it a meeting place for people of like minds who want to do more than think about this shit. What do you think of the idea? Would you like to help set it up?
Ronzig the wizard preparing to close a Black Hole
One Solution to City Owned Slums
I live in a wonderful rent geared to income apartment in a well maintained building owned by the city. Conditions here are excellent. You can’t imagine how surprised I was when I visited a friend who lives in another building with rent geared to income that is also owned by the city and realized that it was a dangerous slum. Even more surprising was the fact that the apartments were almost identical in design and layout, having been obviously designed and built during the same period by the same people for the same purpose. To help you to understand the vast dissimilarity in these two buildings, let me point out that my building is so safe that I never lock my door when I am at home and often leave it unlocked when I go out for a short time whereas my friend told me that her neighbour, an elderly gentleman, in the apartment beside her had recently suffered a home invasion and been beaten severely. Where my halls and elevators are always spotless, hers were dirty and smelled of urine.
I wondered why such a difference in two similar buildings and after thinking about it, I may have an answer. My building has a mixed tenant base, some paying market rent and the rest paying rent geared to income while I believe hers is wholly occupied by rent geared to income tenants. I believe that this is the predominant variation that results in such divergent conditions. Because the city rents a substantial proportion of the building at market rates it is forced to keep maintenance at a high level to attract tenants and because of the extra rental income the market rent tenants provide, the budget allows for this added level of maintenance. But more importantly, the high standards in my building encourage all of us, including those who are not accustomed to a quality environment to take pride in our homes and put in the extra effort it requires to ensure that the standards do not decline. No tenant here would dream of pissing in our elevators or tolerate visitors fouling our home.
I think that the city should embark on a program of renovating its rundown buildings and converting them to a mixed tenant base with enough market rent tenants to ensure standards are not let slide and all future properties developed by the city should have a mixed tenant base as well. In order for this to work without decreasing the rent geared to income housing stock, it would be essential for the city to embark on a program of new development which is so desperately needed, since there appears to be no intention of doing the right thing and ensuring that social assistance rates and minimum wage levels are adequate to pay market rent.
There used to be a swing here where we would sit and smoke a joint. The authorities removed it and fenced the place off. I guess they prefer seeing us smoke in the school yard instead.
While reading The Gates of
Ivory by Margaret Drabble, I came across this passage which sums up the sorry
state of our modern civilization.
“Capitalism and competition have triumphed, religion has withered away, and there is no longer any place in the West for self sacrifice, dedication, brotherly love, compassion, community. In the sixties, it had seemed that the West would soon be sated, that it would fall sick of its own greed and glut. The agencies whose representatives now clustered around Stephen had been founded to cure this excess, to redress the balance, to purge the system and lance the deadly swelling, to level the food mountains and to shake down the superfux and to spread around the good things of the earth. But it had appeared that they had all been misguided. They had acted on false premises. For there was, it had turned out, no superfux. There was no limit to man’s greed. He could eat and eat and swell and swell and yet want more and more. This was the lesson of the eighties. Avarice and greed have no natural limits. Man can eat on and on and never burst.His appetites demand rarer and more exotic fruits, fruits shaped like moons and suns and stars and fishes, fishes shaped like fruits and still he eats on and on. Appetites have no natural limit. They cannot be sated. There will never be a point at which men agree they have enough, and that the other lot can have the leftovers for free. The devil will always take the hindmost. This is what makes man great.This is what radiates the candiola. This is what sends him to the stars.”
To learn about Margaret
Drabble follow the link below.
Instesd of building weapons of war to keep others out, we should be building bridges to bring them into the family of man.
This is a digital
conversation I had with a very wise 19 year old recently. She has been a street
kid for a number of years and traveled to many of the places I visited in the
60’s as a hippy. She prefers to remain anonymous here. Please take into consideration
the fact that at age 13 she had already been homeless for some time and has not
had the benefit of a formal education. Her writing skills although limited by
lack of education are clearly adequate to convey exceptional intelligence and
wisdom in someone so very young.
Dude... no need to tell me
Wild story. You're lucky you didn't run into a few of the idiots who get their jollies from laying a beating on defenseless kids.
I dunno. in TBay
The way is in practise... and
what do they lack now that was so talking about, from then?
i didnt get fucked up on
drugs until everything changed again, i ended up comming back and there was no
one to talk to...
I'm an old hippy from the 60's. We almost changed things. We could have made this world a better place, but we sold out our dreams for a BMW and a fast paced job with IBM. The hippies became yuppies and were far worse than the people they were protesting against in the 60's, not only in lack of morals, but worse because we knew better and still sold out.
Just Passing through.
Index of Ronzig's web pages
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 and 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
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.
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, economic
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.
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 relevant 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.
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
an 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 honest 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.
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.
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
year 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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 assortment 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.
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 assortment 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 unique 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 requirements.
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.
All Rights Reserved No part of this page may be copied without the express written consent of the author Ronzig