The Real State of the Union

On January 16th, the 2019 State of the Union address was announced to be delayed. No matter, for this year the world got a more effective representation of the current state of American society than any mono-syllabic speech could ever hope to provide.

While evidence of his collusion with Russia goes largely ignored, the hot news out of the cesspool called America this week focused on President Trump’s celebration party with the Clemson Tigers—this season’s NCAA Football champions.

It is traditional for victorious teams to be wined and dined at the Whitehouse—after all, there are few greater distinctions available to the American populace than being good at (American) football.

That notwithstanding, teams are usually greeted with a fine dining experience in the Whitehouse to honour their victory, but this year—partially due to the government shutdown, the Clemson Tigers received something a little outside of the norm.

Served up on silver platters, and lit by golden candelabras, Trump offered a smorgasbord of (presumably cold) fast food—Big Macs, Wendy’s, Pizza—a veritable dream-spread for a 6 year old designing their own birthday party.

Leave it to America to be split right down the middle—was this a classless gaffe, or was it fulfilling the deepest desires of this pack of finely tuned young athletes?

Some argued that Trump gave them a far more fitting meal than the ‘caviar and wine’ any other president might offer, whereas others saw it as a crude and vulgar gesture, utterly unfit for large men who are good at throwing balls.

It should go without saying that this is one of the more idiotic debates of the year, although it would of course have steep competition. But no matter where you sit on the dinner, one thing cannot be denied—it may be the most fitting metaphor for the current state of America we’ve seen in quite some time.

Fancy décor, huge controversy, embellished claims, and a smiling idiot unaware of how absurd he seems. Silver trays offering items barely passable as food, given to successful athletes who are prized above the doctors, teachers, and firemen who truly serve the nation. A self-defeating celebration with a pompous air of self-importance to it.

It was cheap, unhealthy, embarrassing, and presented with endless lies and self-aggrandizing.

When it comes to empty promises and dishonest representation, the President is truly king, and this fancy façade is a more potent image of the state of the Union than just about anything I can imagine.

What do you think?

-Brad OH Inc.

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America’s Wall

Throughout his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump made a lot of wild promises which no reasonable person could expect he would really accomplish. From banning Muslim people from travel, to erasing the memory of Obama, to making America ‘great’ again, he promised a veritable cornucopia of achievements suitably grandiose yet vague to make any self-conscious, fear-addled white man foam at the mouth with vindictive anticipation.

Of course, none of these promises were more discussed than his strange claim to build a wall along the border, and make Mexico pay for it.

Let’s not even get into that bit about Mexico paying for it. That’s not the point.

Beyond all the bluster and hair-brained grandstanding, the Wall became the great theme of his campaign. Now, it is a more nebulous thing. It’s not talked about as much these days, but that’s the way with a grifter. Let the details fade once the price has been paid. Blur the lines, and redefine what it means to be successful—to be honest. Was it about a wall? Or safety? Safety, or fear?

If you didn’t realize that was rhetorical, let me spoil it for you. It was about fear. It’s always about fear.

The Wall was a bracer against the fear of lost privilege, and although the physical wall seems to be a distant memory, the barrier Trump promised continues to be built brick by brick with each hateful tweet, each insult to justice, and each scorned plea for decency.

Nations around the world are beginning to see this Wall tearing up the skyline, and have taken the point. America is no longer the trusted ally that it arguably used to be. Less so each day. They are unpredictable and cruel. Hateful of all others, and loathing of themselves.

Of all the destructive, strange claims Trump has made in vain, it seems the famous promise of a Wall may indeed come true. Of course, in typical rat fashion, it will come true in a significantly different way than promised. That’s the way with conmen…and enchanted artifacts, I think.

Is that isolation what’s best? It’s hard to say. Short of some miraculous about-face not only in the politicians of America, but in the politics of its citizens and media, America is poised now to settle into the mire and rot it has made for itself—abandoned and abjured behind a wall of fear, anger, and spite.

A wall of its own making.

-Brad OH Inc.

Re-Share: The Misled Goal of Job Creation

Today, we are re-sharing an older article, which is becoming only more relevant by the day. Sadly, it seems we have failed continually to learn our lessons, and the need for such solutions grows more urgent with each passing moment.


In this troublesome economic climate, people often wonder what can be done to keep the majority of citizens gainfully employed. The most common solution bandied about is the creation of jobs, but I’m not convinced this is the correct answer. As a matter of fact, I’m not even convinced it’s the right question.

Creating jobs is an unsavory and archaic notion for any true politician of the people. The implication buried within the notion of job creation is that there is a scarcity of work, and therefore an abundance of people struggling to get by—desperate for any job that might put even a few extra dollars in their painfully neglected wallets.

This shift towards job shortage is not a new trend; there have been myriad elements contributing to job reduction for centuries. From assembly lines to industrialization, technological changes in society have always had a significant impact on the need for labour. On the other front, remaining jobs are continually outsourced to countries unable to protect the rights of their workers, allowing corporate profits to skyrocket while jobs previously available to our citizens are doled out to foreign workers for a pittance of pay.

With the impending shifts inherent to burgeoning fields like 3D-Printing and nanotechnology, the number of jobs is only poised to shrink even further, leaving more and more people out of work and desperate for money.

In this scenario, we must view labour as a societal need and resource both. Living wages however, must be taken as a right. Thus, there exists a clear need to balance the two intelligently.

The creation of low-paying jobs, capable of keeping people occupied while failing to supply a living wage is a deeply flawed solution. The notion that one must toil in obscure and needless positions just to get by is counter-intuitive in a society poised to benefit unilaterally from our continued advancement.

Make no mistake about it; the high functioning state of societies output at present is due to the cumulative effect of human progress, not the ingenuity of a few thousand people at present. The corporate executives currently pulling the strings have benefitted from being in the right place at the right time just as much as business savvy or vision.

Still, history has shown us that the trend is to consider ‘job creation’ an invaluable resource mercifully allotted by these high-level executives. This perspective is entirely wrong—the resources we must now be focusing on, finally, are our human ones.

So, if job creation isn’t the answer, what is? Well, once again, we must consider if we’re asking the right question. The initial quandary was how to keep the majority of citizens gainfully employed—but I don’t think this is the right goal.

If we as a society have reached a point where we don’t have a need for everyone to be working, then forcing it is illogical and unnecessary.

With profits booming, and CEO’s taking home ever-increasing bonuses, perhaps the solution instead is to ensure that every available job is sufficient for a person to support themselves and their family.

It’s not a difficult idea, but the implications are further reaching than may be apparent.

A significant increase to minimum wage would allow for more stay-at-home parents—an investment in our future the worth of which is beyond measure. Further, with increased pay, the working class would have significantly more money to pump into the economy, which would only benefit the businesses.

Therefore, the result of increased wages would be two-fold. First, the number of jobs necessary to keep society fed would be decreased by as much as half, while the function of society (Raising healthy, well-adjusted children to carry it on) would be served all the better. Secondly, the economy itself would boom with the injection of blue-collar spending dollars, creating more robust business opportunities.

Now, I can already hear the incensed chattering of right-wing loons and business moguls, decrying how this would slice into their profit margin and collapse the free market.

Bullshit.

While the economy has struggled and stagnated for the majority, corporate profits have been doing just fine, and high-level executives continue to line their pockets with the fat of the land.

The concept of protecting profits is a misnomer, and while these executives would like you to believe that increasing minimum wage would castrate their ability to function as a business entity, in truth the only thing being hurt would be the paycheques of the top 1%–a notion I am entirely comfortable with.

So, there we have it. Rather than the ubiquitously heralded goal of creating jobs, the real solution may be to fix wages. By doing so, we could again create a society where kids have parents to come home to, where people aren’t forced to work 60 hours weeks just to rent a basement flat, and where the greed of the few does not necessitate the squalor of the many.

It’s really not such a bad idea, if you think about it.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Key To Improving Our Collective Future

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

Of all the various topics covered here at Brad OH Inc., perhaps the most ubiquitous theme is our interminable conviction that despite all evidence to the contrary, this world can be better. We’ve covered the notion incessantly, and put forth several potential suggestions for how to achieve this lauded goal. Our ideas have ranged from the online management of resources (Link), to more informed protection of our environment (Link), and even to ‘The Uncomfortable Issue of Population Control’ (Link).

Yes, if there is to be any hope of improving this world of ours, there are unquestionably a tremendous number of considerations to attend to. We’ll need to figure out how to better manage our resources, how to feed our masses, how to improve our governance, how to avoid conflict, and how to escape the iron-grasp of our corporate overlords. And that’s just to get started!

But have no fear. Of course, we here at Brad OH Inc. will continue to work tirelessly in finding solutions to each and every one of these quandaries, but if we’re being entirely honest here, well, the truth is we just may not have the time. It’s quite the list after all, and even Corporate-Persons are subject to the rigid confines of mortality…for now.

Either way, this brings us to our topic today—and what a timely topic it is! If we are sincere in saving the world, then the first step is to agree on the single most important step to improving our collective future. And the key to that, in my mind, is unequivocally a greater investment in education.

While it is—admittedly—a long-term investment, significant support and improvement to our educational system is the most important change available to any country when considering the prospect of its future direction. While it may not arouse the sort of public fervor that a tax-cut or an increase in jobs (not necessarily an ideal goal–Link) would, the eventual payoffs will outshine any other source of investment ten-fold.

While all the other goals listed are certainly relevant sources to invest in if the objective is a sound society, the most essential point here is that in order to face the challenges of the future, we will absolutely need a dynamically informed populace: a generation of children fully capable of rationally considering the key issues of their time and critically evaluating the platforms of competing politicians. Therefore, education will be the most important factor in improving the woes of society.

No matter what other issues you may consider the key burdens on society, we will be unable to address them to the best of our abilities so long as we continue to be easily distracted and divided by petty corporate-politics. Without an informed and critical populace, we are doomed to be washed away again and again in whatever waves of popular trends the mainstream media establishment seeks to drown us in.

To escape this cycle, we need thinkers capable of solving problems rather than merely seeking distractions from them. It’s not a cheap solution to be sure. This notion would require not only significant dollars, but also a major overhaul of the educational curriculum. The leaders of the future will need strong foundations in philosophy, politics, critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal communications, and so much more which we can hardly imagine. The world increases its pace each and every day…and we need our children to do likewise.

It seems simple, and it should be self-evident that we could truly solve many of the world’s ills if we invested half so much energy into education and science as we do marketing and deception. Yet unfortunately, that’s not the way the tides are turning (Link).

So here’s to the teachers, who continue to weather the storm. Though the rains come strong and the winds blow heavy, they keep their hand on the wheel and eyes on the stars—steering the youth of our world towards a place and time more hopeful than our own. And it is because of this unerring will to improve the generations to come that we here at Brad OH Inc. and many others the world over may maintain our own faith in the future.

So let’s teach the children to think, and pray that they do so better than we have.

-Brad OH Inc.

Dry Rot and a Consideration of Our Terrestrial Prospects

purelyspeculation“Your house has dry rot.”

There is no phrase more dreadful to a home-owner. It’s a terrible verdict—an indictment which carries a sentence of severe financial and emotional penalties.

‘Dry Rot’, also known as ‘Brown Rot Decay’ (Link), is a fungal infection of wood which eats away at the parts which give the wood its strength and stability. It starts as a simple spore. But exposed to sufficient moisture, the spores grow and spread, infesting the wood and eventually flowering to produce new spores. The infection only grows from there—compromising the integrity of the wood and causing significant problems for the longevity of even the best built houses.

The funny things about Dry Rot, and that which it shares with so many other potentially catastrophic conditions, is that for the most part it’s pretty easy to ignore. When it’s merely a collection of spores, it can appear as a collection of fine orange dust. Sweep it away, and go about your day.

As the spores grow, they will take on the appearance of fine white strands, stretching over the surface as they continue to spread the infection. But this too can be passed off—rationalized as spider webs, dust, or a litany of other excuses which don’t require significant financial investment to address.

It’s no different from a chest pain passed off as gas, or an engine rattle excused as debris.

…Or overwhelming scientific evidence of ‘Global Climate Change’ passed off as liberal hysteria.

The thing is, it’s an easy urge to understand; among the easiest. When faced with something too big to comprehend or too threatening to deal with, our first and most natural inclination is denial. After all, why stress over some distant potentiality when it can as easily be brushed off with a flippant ‘it’ll be ok’.

With Dry Rot, this can be a fatal mistake.

Often considered a cancer to buildings, if left untreated, Dry Rot spreads rapidly through timber, eating it away until it is deteriorated to the point of crumbling between the fingers. For a building, this clearly can cause significant problems. With sufficient warning and proper treatment, the infection can be isolated and cured. But if the Dry Rot makes its way to structurally integral wood, the entire building may be lost.

The prognosis then is simple—act fast to fix the problem, or risk having nowhere to live.

For any informed decision-making adult, the choice is abundantly clear. It seems almost self-evident that when faced with a choice between an untimely demise (or in this case, homelessness), or an admittedly costly investment, there should be little choice remaining—take the hit, but save the whole.

But even in the case of illness, humans have a way of rationalizing away what’s important in defense of what’s comfortable. We ignore the complaints of an ailing body, but lament when we learn our neglect has caused greater harm.

We see the same thing with our world. As technology has grown and society has evolved, so too have the conditions to which we’ve exposed this planet of ours. Just like a home-owner ignoring the damp, dark places of his house, we’ve gone on our merry way, oblivious to the potential effects as our lifestyles have caused sky-rocketing atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels.

Now, the evidence is irrefutable (Source). The climate is changing. The ice caps are melting (Source). Even if most of us have not yet detected the rust-like dust of its impending arrival, the inevitable decree of an environment neglected for too long is slowly making itself known. The rot has set in!

Yet still, denial is omnipresent. Even when we’re rational enough to admit something is wrong, we eschew any responsibility, choosing instead to bury our heads in the sand. In a disturbing instance of this ‘Wait and See’ mentality, the US Senate recently acknowledged that the climate is changing, but fell short of acknowledging that humans are responsible. (Source). In doing so, they served also to rule out the logical conclusion that humans must start working on a solution.

But this is still among the better reactions. Far more depressing, there are countless sources (most of them supported by big oil, or other environmentally destructive enterprise—Source) clamouring to attribute the rumbling of disaster to mere myth. With a glib grin they point to a snowy field, overwhelming proof in their simple minds of the misguided nature of such ‘sci-fi’ notions.

But this is tantamount to the homeowner wrapping a fist against his kitchen counter to prove that Dry Rot has not infested his foundation. It’s an ignorant knee-jerk reaction at best. At worst, it is an intentional misdirection motivated strictly by greed. In the case of climate change, I’m inclined to suspect the latter.

In truth, we’ve waited far too long already. The rot has set in, and the question is no longer whether this might be a threat, but rather how bad it is, and more importantly, what our prospects are from here.

Ultimately, we don’t know. A good guess would be: ‘bad’, but guesses aren’t worth much in a scenario like this. Action is what counts. The first action—as with any well-implemented endeavour—is to understand fully the extent and prognosis of the problem itself. To this end we must turn to science. Instead of trying to shirk responsibility for this impending travesty—although there is certainly much blame to be placed—we should be investing research dollars into finding real solutions.

It’s time to take a good look at this home of ours, and start a discussion about how to salvage it. This will require immediate and likely extreme changes—not limited to the consideration of seeking resources elsewhere in the universe. It is an expensive notion, no doubt, but the alternative is to let the foundation crumble to the rot; which would mean finding ourselves homeless in a universe that is exceptionally inhospitable to such arrangements.

-Brad OH Inc.