The Brad OH Inc. Super-Challenge!

Today, I’m being lazy. Don’t judge me. Lazy, and, I suppose, there’s a lingering sense of deja-vu. I find myself wondering what to say, in a time when it’s all been said, and nothing has changed.

So instead, I leave it to my intrepid readers to do the math, connect the dots…all that jazz.

Below, I’ve re-shared two former articles. It is up to you, the reader, to find what dreadfully ubiquitous themes might tie them together.

The Polarizing Debate Around Gun Control

Nobody wants to get shot. That, at the least, is something I believe we can all agree on. Wanting other people to get shot might be a different story, but let’s take what we can get.

There is virtually no one out there eager to catch a bullet when walking down the street—or to see their loved ones do so.

If we can agree on something as simple as that, one might assume we could find some basic consensus on how to handle guns in contemporary society.

Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Fortunately, we here at Brad OH Inc. are an ambitious and defiantly tenacious lot, and today, that’s just what we intend to do. So sit down, strap in, and fasten up your bullet proof vests, because today, we are getting to the heart of the debate over gun control!

The most basic breakdown of opinions here are the classic and time-tested notions of right, and left. The conservatives argue in favour of free access to guns—usually on account of the good ole’ second amendment. The liberals, meanwhile, tend to go the other way—as they so often do—pushing for tighter gun control. This, presumably, goes back to the notion of not wanting to get shot.

But beyond this, things begin to get a little bit murky. I believe however, that if we truly break this whole debacle down to its very essence, we might best steal a line from ‘Cool Hand Luke’ (Source) in saying that ‘what we’ve got here is, failure to communicate’.

I want to introduce a new theme here, because I think it affords us a very important tool with which to explore this debate. I want to talk about the concept of ‘Polarity Management’.

‘Polarity Management’ (Source) describes a process by which we can more effectively analyze all sides of a debate—ideally finding a bit of common ground. In essence, ‘Polarity Management’ is a means of viewing typically entrenched positions which usually go nowhere—such as this one. ‘Polarities’ refer to the opposite ends of a single, connected issue. The key here is that one affects the other directly—it is not simply one problem to solve, but an imperative interaction that must be understood. Polarities are related, and persist over time—thus they must be managed, not solved.

The problem is that we tend to treat these as ‘either/ or’ scenarios—closing off debate, and freezing out both understanding and context. But dynamic issues such as these seldom reflect one single value or quality—no simple right or wrong. They are the result of multiple, interrelated factors.

An easy example of this is rain and sunshine. You may prefer either one, but without the other, your preference becomes a dreadful imposition. Too much sun leads to droughts, and too much rain leads to flooding. You need a balance, and that is why in any issue regarding polarities, we need communication, and then compromise.

Once we’ve identified an issue as a polarity, we can proceed to explore the balance between each side—the positives brought by each end, and the negatives they bring as well. This allows us to better understand how the opposing views of the issue interact with one another, and ideally find the crucial balance necessary to manage them.

I admit already—taking this approach to gun control with any shred of optimism is a tall order, but what the hell…let’s give it a go. To strip it all down to parts, the debate around the issue of gun control essentially amounts to two wildly opposing views:

1) The right to bear arms is protected by the second amendment, and must not be infringed in any way.

2) Gun ownership presents a significant risk to the public good, and should be curtailed, if not eliminated.

Now certainly, there are few who would fully align themselves with either extreme viewpoint, yet those are the sides as purported, so let’s consider them in turn.

Much of the argument from the (typically) Conservative crowd favoring access to firearms makes an appeal to safety—believing that arming ourselves for self-defence is an inalienable right, and that we must have the ability to purchase and carry guns in order to protects ourselves from others which might do so surreptitiously. This certainly makes some sense. After all, there is plenty of merit to the old adage against bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Of course, the better solution is to avoid entering a gun fight, or being anywhere in its vicinity. This isn’t always easy, and may even be a tad unrealistic depending on where you happen to be located. Further, the argument is often made that ‘if we make guns illegal, then only criminals will have guns’. This is a self-serving tautology to be sure, but it does a fair job of illustrating the impotent terror which might come from being left defenseless in a world full of armed lunatics.

On the other end of the spectrum, we find the (typically) Liberal crowd, who heavily favor significant controls on gun ownership, including but not limited to restrictions, background checks, and waiting periods.

This side argues that due to the potential of guns to inflict serious injury and death, access to them must be well regulated in order to avoid such weapons falling into the hands of those who would use them either unjustly, or in ignorance.

Much of the force from the ‘Right to Bear Arms’ side tends to focus on an appeal to the second amendment (Link), which guarantees to citizens that: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The ‘right to bear arms’ was initially created as an assurance that the people of America were free and able to raise a standing militia to oppose the government should it become oppressive. This is understandably justified in light of the fact that it’s exactly how America became a nation in the American Revolution against the British. But taking up arms against the government now is—sadly perhaps—a foolish and ignoble idea. The Second Amendment notion of armed war against the government is not only invalid, it’s infantile. It’s also the legal equivalent of demanding the ‘Terrorism’ trump card.

Finally, it must be noted here that even within that sacred amendment, the qualifier ‘Well-regulated’ managed to make the cut. Never was there any suggestion of handing out missile-launchers to every civilian. Handguns for self-defence may be deemed reasonable, but if you are equipped to fight an army, you are more likely to start a war.

At this point, we can see some weakness in the notion of free access to guns for all. There are few who would support selling firearms to people on a terrorist watch list, or violent offenders—and those few should certainly be ashamed of their stupidity.

But accepting some control hardly means encouraging complete control, and it may certainly be argued that the more difficult it is for citizens to legally access firearms for self-defence, the more prone they are to victimization by those who will harbor no such qualms. Further, it is a defensible case to argue that unless a restriction is demonstrably proven to be in the best interests of the citizens, then a government has no right whatsoever to enforce it. While I expect the vast majority of people who would favor that position would have a hard time defending it if pressed, it’s something to consider.

So where does this leave us? We can see strengths and weaknesses on both sides: With no control, we are inundated with guns and seduced by their increasing fetishization. With complete gun control however, we are cast into perceived subservience, and potentially left helpless against criminals who continue to arm themselves.

So here we are. Gun deaths are increasing, distrust of police/ government is growing, and America continues to have a depressing hang-up about guns being inherent to their self-worth (Source). Further, we’ve now seen that the extreme polarity of either side could potentially prove disastrous. Because we can now better understand the best intentions (public safety) of both sides, as well as the inherent risks of each extreme (uncontrolled carnage), we may find that we are better equipped to find a position of compromise.

We need balance and informed decision making. Both opinions have valuable insights—but we must actively work towards a greater and more comprehensive understanding of the issue if we ever hope to manage it. People, left with no hope, will always find ways to be violent and get what they need. We must give them hope for an achievable way if we intend to avoid strife. In the end, it is education and empathy, not arms, which shall assure the future safety of our citizenry.

-Brad OH Inc.

On the Fear of Big Government

Government infringement into personal life is a serious concern to a great many people—and the stripping away of civil liberties such as privacy is a trend which continues to show the detached relationship government has with its citizenry. With such gross violations becoming a regular trend, it’s no wonder we still toil under the outdated notion that ‘big government’ needs to be held in check.

But make no mistake about it people, this is no reason to hate big government; just bad government. In the 1980 presidential race against Jimmy Carter, it was the infernal idiot Ronald Reagan who promised to “get government off our backs” (Source). After taking office, Reagan followed through dutifully on his promise—shattering the government’s role in protecting families, citizens, and the environment. Business, of course, flourished.

This push by Reagan to reduce the size of government was founded on claims of a fictional ‘welfare queen’ getting rich off the tax dollars of the electorate, and the general claim—as off-putting now as it was then for a man seeking public office—that “Government is not a solution to our problem. Government is the problem” (Source).

This toxic line of thinking heralded in an era of anti-government dialogue which effectively allowed rights to shrink away as powers were handed off to the corporations. Social programs were cut, and people suffered. The fictional ‘welfare queens’ theorized by Reagan have been fully realized in the decades since, as corporations are given increasingly large portions of the communal pie: receiving corporate tax breaks, bailouts in place of bankruptcy, and taking eagerly the keys of governance from the discredited and disenfranchised democratic system.

Ever since then, people have been treating government like it’s a dirty word—perhaps because it so often acts like several of them. But fear of government is irrationally motivated, and exercised for all the wrong reasons. It serves only to allow government abuse of citizens. People must remember that proper governance is there to protect them, from exactly the sort of threats which corporate governance has become. We should not fear government; we should utilize and control it to our own empowerment.

Of course, the government has to remember this as well.

The very notion of democratic government is anchored firmly in the concept of representation for the people—and this includes all people, not merely the drivers of the economy. In this era of ever growing population and incredible scientific potential, the ‘free’ market has proven itself a failed notion. But let’s hope that from this mistake we’ve learned at least not to store the meat with the dogs for safe keeping.

It’s the government’s job to put these lessons into action: protecting and promoting the healthy growth of society. This is the primary and most fundamental function of any government which has a legitimate claim to authority, but the vilification of big government started with Reagan has led to a very different objective for government institutions.

By reducing government programs, the general citizenry has been left out of the conversation, while political control has been corralled into the realm of economic growth. The corporations which now run the economic and social systems are malignant automatons. For all the time humans have piddled away fearing robots or advanced and indignant AI’s, they miss that they have not only created such in the corporate human, but also given it the keys to the driver’s seat of our society.

If such a threat came from metal clad robots or from outer space, the entire world would be clamoring for government intervention. Instead, it is claimed to be ‘capitalist’ and a product of the ‘free’ market, and the electorate has bowed their heads in well-rehearsed reverence for their reckless and self-serving overlords.

The point cannot be stressed enough: it is the function of government–elected by and representative of the people—to reign in these brutes, to protect natural resources that rightly belong to all, and to ensure that whether or not commercial entities deign to send our jobs overseas (leaving all save the CEO’s destitute), the people of this and all other countries are provided for from the resulting bounty.

These are the needs of a society, and the job of the government. To fear such is the sole result of misinformed and malicious propaganda. What we have now is not a democratic government, and this needs to change. If we are to find our way out of these difficult times, it must be faith in government—true government—which is the light on our path. This is our salvation—for to fear all government is to leave ourselves alone in the dark, looking to the wolves for solace.

-Brad OH Inc.

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The Final Facet of Globalization

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green DesklampThis world of ours is globalized (Link) to an incredible degree. With every increase in technology, we have observed exponential growth in the level of interconnection and access afforded to nearly all of the world’s inhabitants. The internet alone serves an unbelievable role in making the world a truly global society—allowing the instantaneous sharing of information which would previously have taken weeks, or even months.

Planes, trains, and automobiles have provided the means to efficiently move physical resources around the globe—meaning that formerly exotic commodities can now be found as easily as a trip to your local grocery store. Science as well has played a pivotal role here—advances in refrigeration, preservation, genetic modifications, and more have helped us share the bounty of this world far and wide…for those capable of paying for it.

As a result of this process, leading nations draw labour, resources, and wealth from the poorest nations in the world, always at offset values. By outsourcing easy labour jobs to nations with lower (Read: dismal) minimum wages and few to no laws protecting workers, Corporations have managed to increase their output, up their profit margins, and generally thrive in a relationship which can scarcely be described as anything short of parasitic.

Yes, for every gain there is a cost, and despite the progress made, it would seem that the one big concept which nations have refused to show any global regard for is that of human rights and minimal standards of living.

In a world with sufficient resources and scientific knowledge to keep everyone fed and healthy, the fact that one woman may drive a million dollar car while a child elsewhere does without a 5 cent pill is entirely unacceptable. In fact, it’s downright despicable.

The exchange is rather one-sided to say the least—and year after year we may observe new wars started, new sanctions imposed, new government-facilitated coups to install more ‘cooperative’ leaders, and other such heinous acts all in the name of increasing the profit margins of large-scale Corporations. Human rights violations in much of the world are ubiquitous; from the factories which provide us our clothing, to the plantations which grow our food.

Of all the resources and technologies we have managed to import and export on a global scale—it would seem the most obvious and easily renewed is yet to meet that lauded status; specifically, I’m referring to empathy.

The atrocities which are committed in the name of profit are the inevitable result of a system which treats empathy with the same cavalier and disposable attitude we reserve for so many other resources. But this view of empathy as a resource is rather telling—for if it is to be viewed as a resource, then it is essential that we recognize it as a wholly renewable resource. As such, caring for others and striving for a new global best is not a zero-sum game in which everyone is competing for limited supplies and the gains of one must be the losses of another. No, the truth is that the gains of one may be shared unilaterally, and if one society flourishes, this should—and must—benefit everyone involved.

But this is rarely the case. We import resources from around the world and utilize the cheap labour available, but what are we offering in return? The most common answer is that we act as a force of freedom, democracy, or protection for the rest of the world—but this claim is entirely indefensible for even the simplest mind with the vaguest understanding of global politics (Link). To glean all the potentially beneficial resources from a nation yet contribute nothing to it in return is not a globally beneficial system, but rather something more akin to an exploitative, imperial domination.

As it stands, misery and despair are the most evident exports of the so-called first world.

When we deal in such unjust ways, we may be importing more than we bargain for. We’ve defined ourselves with callous disinterest and self-serving malice abroad, and now the chickens come home to roost. International resentment is growing at all times, and even the local populace is losing faith in its leadership and stirring under an ever increasing sense of anxiety and civil unrest.

So perhaps this whole arrangement needs to be revisited. Trade and grow we must, but if we continue to do so with such a total lack of regard for human decency, we will come to find that our imports tend to reflect our exports in a far more sinister manner than we anticipated.

No other outcome is possible—that’s just the nature of the deal. When we short change our trade partners on a regular basis, we soon find ourselves cut out of the loop entirely. Fair trade must be fair in all senses. Financial growth must mean human liberty, and for every measure of progress in science, technology, and resource access, there must—in any civil society—be a commiserate gain in compassion, kindness and equality.

The change needed cannot be more evident—we must make the imperative shift into a trade relationship based on equity, empathy, sustainability, and virtue. Empathy—this key renewable resource, must become a staple export of our society—an example of decency and righteousness used to set the standard not only around the world, but at home as well. Until we make this crucial change, and plant the seeds of charity and kindness abroad, we can never honestly hope to reap them at home.

-Brad OH Inc.

Has Bernie Sanders Been Casting Pearls Before Swine?

purelyspeculationThis week, the American people will have their final chance to capitalize on the heartfelt platform of hope proffered by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Will they take this opportunity, or has Bernie merely been casting pearls before swine?

We’ll find out on June 7th, as the DNC hosts their final major round of primaries, with 6 states holding contests, and a grand-total of 694 pledged delegates up for grabs. As of the writing of this article, the pledged delegate count sits at 1500 for Bernie Sanders, and 1770 for his opponent Hilary Clinton.

It must here be noted that this does not include super-delegates—the patently undemocratic party elites who are afforded the opportunity to pledge their loyalty according to their personal interests, rather than the will of their constituents. Of these, Hillary currently has 520, while Bernie holds a comparably measly 45. Although these super-delegates have currently promised their loyalty as such, their support is not locked in until the Convention in July. It’s possible therefore that the events of June 7th could weigh heavily on this final process, and herein lays Bernie Sander’s greatest hope.

sandersBased on these current numbers, Sanders would need to take ~71% of the vote on the 7th in order to enter the Convention with a compelling argument. It’s a tall order to be sure—but not wholly impossible. Still, even if Sanders and Clinton went to convention with relatively equal delegate counts, the onus would be on Sanders to convince the super-delegates to throw their support behind him—a revolutionary thinker who has consistently challenged the very sort of entrenched Establishment politics upon which the super-delegates are based.

It’s not an encouraging scenario, and it brings us back to our initial question. In his campaign, Bernie has been infallibly consistent in the message he’s delivered to the American electorate. His vision is that of a nation which values its people as a whole, and not simply its business owners and billionaires. He has captivated the youth and other well-meaning people of the nation with the rather seditious notion that government must serve its people: that fair taxes must be paid by everyone, and that the use of those taxes must at all times be aimed at improving the station of the population as a whole—rather than merely protecting the interests of the rich and powerful.

For the majority of the civilized world, these ideas are already held as sacrosanct. Unfortunately for him, Bernie Sanders is running in America, where the reek of Reaganomics still lingers in the very fabric of the economic structures, and the working class still confuses the meanings of freedom and fiefdom.

So if Bernie’s natural empathy for the working class and indefatigable hope for the future have captured the minds of the electorate, it may prove rather less effective in securing the support of the ruling elite. Rather, his argument will soon switch focus—insisting (and not without merit) that he is the most likely Democratic contender to topple Donald Trump—that unholy mess streaming down from the recently self-eviscerated GOP.

Unfortunately, the Democratic National Committee is firmly entrenched in its current politics—hell, their pocketbooks depend on it. So this argument—though valid—may still fall upon deaf ears, leaving America in a more dismal situation than ever.

If June 7th turns sour for Bernie, this rare opportunity for positive growth will have been momentarily squandered, and Americans will be left with a choice between Donald Trump: a hair-brained demagogue promising to fan the already raging flames of fear and bigotry, or Hillary Clinton: a sorry shill of a candidate whose sound-bite message changes with every opinion poll, but whose true priorities are as intrinsically tied to Wall St. and the corporate elite as is her fundraising. Either would likely mean another four years of rule by corporate interests…and a depressing admission that despite the growing mass of well-informed and even-headed voters, the powers that be still have a fatal stranglehold on American politics.

For voters on both sides of the political spectrum, this scenario would amount to little more than a compulsion to vote for the ‘lesser of two evils’—all while knowing full well that the end result will favour the entitled rich, and further isolate the vast majority of society from active political discourse.

1401x788-Screen-Shot-2015-06-04-at-12.45.15-PMHowever, this won’t be the case…at least not entirely. The message Bernie has been spreading is nothing new—hell, he’s been saying it the entirety of his 35-year political career, and most of his life besides that. What’s more, it is the ever-growing sentiment of the caring and politically-informed—not restricted to the young alone as the media often claims—open and accessible to all with the mind to understand the scope of their situation, and the resolve to damn well do something about it.

Bernie has not created this movement, but rather he has acted as the lightning rod for an already growing resistance. He has become the voice of a generation who have had enough of the unfair playing field they have been given, and who seek to build a system that is fair and compassionate; one which provides for all of its citizens the opportunity to flourish in a country which has no justifiable reason to offer anything less.

While Bernie has been the mouthpiece, this surging tide will not end with his campaign (should it indeed end). Bernie Sanders has shone a light on the reality of our station—showing countless people that they are not alone in their hope for a better world, and that they are not naively idealistic in their expectations. This ever increasing sense of justice is one that cannot help but spread, simply because it is rooted in a truth far more fundamental than the forces of greed and vice against which they strive.

If Bernie’s message could be encapsulated in a few words, it would be this: ‘We can do much better’. He has spoken this time and again—sounding often enough like a broken record—and despite the potentially disappointing results of this year’s primaries; his message has not fallen on deaf ears. People perceive how much better we can do, and even though the forces of greed may once again prevail, the lasting sentiment of this movement will continue to flourish. Now, its message is a bit different. The knowledge of a better world is beyond doubt, but so too are the obstacles to obtaining it all the more evident.

So perhaps Bernie has cast pearls before swine—far too many swine at least. But his pearls have nonetheless been plucked up by deserving and admirable minds, and their message now, seeing the fight before them, may be best expressed with a line stolen from the late great Pete Seeger. Democratic Socialism and Bernie Sander’s Revolution are of one clear and conscientious message: ‘We are not afraid.’

sanders-vpr-laslo-20150910So, although trampled and despoiled, pearls they remain. And if there are dark times ahead, then so too is there the promise of brighter days. The masses, I am convinced, have been awoken, and never again will their eyes be closed to the truth of their oppression, nor from the laudable promise of a fair and equitable world which values it’s humanity above its finances. For this at least, we owe Bernie Sanders a debt of thanks—time alone will reveal just what a great debt that is.

-Brad OH Inc.

Libertarians are Starry-Eyed Idealists

purelyspeculationFreedom is often lauded as the most integral value of any developed nation. In fact, the notion of the ‘free world’ does much to inform us of the fundamental value that we place on personal liberty, and well it should. Freedom is among the key human rights, but it must be pointed out that at times, people get a little bit carried away with their interpretation of what exactly ‘freedom’ entails.

One need not wade too far into the depths of social-media to find the rants and raves of disenfranchised citizens so bitter about a parking ticket, or a sales-tax, or perhaps a pesky ‘no-loitering’ sign, that they’re ready to hoist the black flags and hop aboard the good ship ‘Anarchy’.

‘Freedom’, they will argue, is the birthright of man—the inalienable and righteous destiny of all people brave enough to seek it! But there are sorry few building their own boats to follow this urge, and fewer still running off to the lonely mountains to live a ‘free’ life. I suppose it’s an easy thing to moan about the comfortable confines of society as you daydream about weening yourself off its teat, but it does beg the question of what exactly true ‘freedom’ is, and if it can exist at all.

I would argue that perfect freedom is an illusion—a starry-eyed dream more befitting whatever afterlife you prefer than the life you live. In fact, I believe that power and control are unavoidable, and there is no conceivable ‘system of naught’ sufficient to maintain the vacuous void left if all authority is stripped away.

Perfect freedom would mean no laws, no control, no taxes—but it would accordingly mean no safety, no opportunity, and no infrastructure. In our article ‘On the Concept of Society’ (Link) we discussed how a society is the product of all its members, past and present. That remains entirely true. Society has never been about freedom—if anything that is the antithesis of society. In truth, ‘society’ is meant to be a foundation of cooperation among its citizens.

In the societal sense then, total freedom—much like anarchy—is a myth. It may perhaps exist for a single person, but once a second person enters the picture, the illusion will die. Power hierarchies will be formed, and one’s wishes will ultimately infringe upon the freedom of the other. We are not free to kill for the very reason that we do not wish to be freely killed. The same applies to property rights, safety issues, and so on. While loitering laws may perhaps be a hard concept to defend (Black Flags ahoy!), the need for a significant proportion of civil laws can be most easily discerned by asking oneself not ‘do I wish to follow this’ but ‘do I wish for others to follow this’.

Those who support total anarchy then, are either misunderstanding the basic tenets of life, suffering from a sadomasochistic urge to regress back to the days of pre-tribal man, or simply mad.

Libertarians, on the other hand, may accept some laws, while rejecting the notion of many others. This rejection most often applies to rules around the free-market. However, as we have already established that a power-void cannot remain unfilled, we should have little trouble applying this observation to the marketplace as well.

If you wander into the woods, claim them as your own, and insist on living a lawless life, it may prove less glamourous than you imagine—especially when the next lawless rogue shows up to strangle you in your sleep and make off with your supplies. So much for freedom!

The marketplace is little different. Without control, corporations are wont to seize public goods and resources, create monopolies, underpay workers, and wreak general havoc however they please. People will starve, or toil like slaves—yet this will be defended and redefined as the justly exercised freedom of those very corporations. In truth, this notion of marketplace-freedom is no better than economic anarchy—and its supposed virtue quickly diminishes as the strongest take control and run our system like a tyrannical oligarchy. Meanwhile, the citizens cheer blindly about the merits of freedom.

To claim to be an anarchist or full-on libertarian is naïve, and the ultimate result is little different from the sort of systemic madness we have now. Freedom has been given out too freely—sadly, only to the corporations at the head of the markets, and rarely to the citizens. The powerful will always feed upon the less powerful, and this is a demonstrable loss of freedom for the latter.

In order to have liberty for ourselves, there must at the very least be laws restricting others from infringing on that liberty. Anything less would be Mad Max-style anarchy. Control is needed, and must be imposed justly. As discussed in our article ‘On the Fear of Big Government’ (Link), the ultimate purpose of government is to ensure that the power which inevitably arises is a fair and just one.

This must not be taken to mean that I believe the current governments of the world are doing much to uphold these standards—indeed there is a great need for improvement on nearly all fronts. Simply put however, the raging masses squalling for ‘total liberty’—or its ugly cousin ‘anarchy’—are naïve at best. The line between liberty and domination is a difficult one to draw. If drawn too close to total freedom, a void arises, and we end up dominated. It’s circular in a sense, and requires an insightful and informed balance. This is the purpose of society and the governments which it employs, and we must pay heed to avoid being so brash as to throw the baby of equal opportunity out with the bathwater of social order.

-Brad OH Inc.

Upon the Bones of Better Men

cropped-cropped-blogbanner13.jpgThe philosopher Bertrand Russell once claimed that “the fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.”

What a hack! What fanciful platitudes! Tell me Bert, do ‘nice guys finish last’ too? Do the good die young? Let me tell you something Bert, sorrowful homilies are good for one thing and one thing only—cheering up losers by convincing them that their failure is the unjust result of their righteousness rather than the logical result of their ineptitude.

What’s worse however, is that so many people seem to believe this naïve nonsense. Well, have no fear—you’re friends at Brad OH Inc. are here to set the record straight!

The truth is, these notions of ‘stupid or wise’, or ‘good and bad’ are entirely misled at the best, and revisionist at the worst. Victory is for the bold—the lions willing to do anything to take it, and leave the rest to lick their wounds and talk about how life just isn’t fair.

It’s pathetic.

The claim that one is held back by their morality is utterly absurd. It’s not that only brutes act decisively, leaving the considerate in the dust. That’s just switching labels to console lack of ability. If we look at the world pragmatically—and we should, always—we can see that it is no bestial or heinous act to seize upon your desires—hell, it’s what being a corporation is all about!

No, the problem is that the hindsight of the meek is 20/20, while their foresight is more mole-like than Machiavellian. It’s true in business, in love, in politics, and in the picking of low-hanging fruit. Don’t believe us? Well, let’s look at some of the key culprits here.

‘Nice guys finish last’. It’s the motto of every single loser too scared to say hello or slap an ass when the opportunity presents itself. For these pencil-necked geeks, it’s easier to sit back and lament that their ‘kindness’ is the reason they are left behind, rather than their own pathetic fear of rejection.

We see the same lame-duck whining in business as well. ‘We can’t compete with big businesses’, says the mealy-mouthed dweeb as he finally shuts the doors on his dusty little shop and files his EI claims. Well you know who can compete with big businesses chump? Bigger businesses! So maybe instead of blaming cruel fate for your failure, you should take a long look in the mirror.

Politics? Social interactions? Without fail you hear the same miserable whining about how decency gets you nowhere—that idealism is treated like an insult and dreamers are called naïve. But that’s not quite it, is it?

There’s nothing wrong with dreaming, but if you don’t eventually wake up, marshal your underpaid employees, petition politicians to change laws in your favour, and make off with millions, you have no one to blame for it but yourself. Wuss.

To break it down; morality is an excuse, not a handicap. At Brad OH Inc., we stand as a shining example of action, pragmatism, and success. Where others have cried about the opportunities they never had, we’ve used our inherent societal privilege to better ourselves. So for you hopeless waifs still waiting for someone to hold your sorry hand and lead you to happiness, let me share a bit of healthy advice. Holding strictly to honesty and kindness is the surest route to failure in business, politics, and interpersonal relationships alike. They’re for chumps, and punks who would rather stew comfortably in their failure than bully their way to true happiness. Success in almost every aspect of life is predicated on cunning decisiveness and a brutal willingness to sell out your fellows when the opportunity presents itself. The towers of the powerful are built upon the bones of better men. So make your choice, and take your place. If you’re smart, we’ll see you here at the top.

Your Dear Friends and Personal Advisors,

-Brad OH Inc.

The Heights Flags Dare Not Fly

purelyspeculationAside from writing, a significant portion of my week is comprised of driving to and from schools. As a result, I’ve recently made a disturbing observation. It seems to me there is seldom a day which goes by that the school flags are not set at half-mast.

I’ve noticed it far too often to chalk it all up to an observer or expectation-bias, and ever since noting the strange trend, the evidence has only mounted. Truthfully, I can quite accurately make the call as I head out in the morning—I can go through my entire day, and I won’t see a single flag flying at its full height.

For a while, I would try to play recent newsfeeds through my mind, sifting through the long lists of tragedies to try and pinpoint the precise reason why the flags might be lowered. Another bombing in a far off country? A videotaped execution becoming a number one hit on YouTube? Missing indigenous women? A recent school shooting? It’s hard to keep track—and that’s likely one of the most cold-hearted thoughts that’s ever crossed my mind.

Sadly, the fact is there can hardly be a day that goes by when it would be appropriate to fly the flag high. Tragedy is abounding at every turn, and we need never look too far to find some reason to keep the flag at half-mast, and our hearts shrouded in mourning. Indeed, even the briefest purview of recent events will surely be enough to convince any feeling human that to hoist the flags to their full height would be an act of callous audacity.

It made me wonder; has it always been like this? It seems that no matter how far back we look, the world has been mired in a constant string of atrocities and calamity. Are they more common now? Is our instant access to world-wide media making the situation seem more dire than it is, or could we truly be approaching the so-called ‘brink’?

For years uncounted, people have felt that society is falling apart and the world as we know it is coming to an end. Plato famously criticized the youth of his day (~340BC) by lamenting that “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.” It remains a familiar feeling to this day. Every generation grows to worry about the future, and fear that the youth set to inherit this fragile little ship of ours will not be up to the task. Doomsday prophecies, threats of revolution or decay, and predictions of cataclysmic environmental disasters have maintained a place beside weather and work as some of the most ubiquitous topics for daily conversation.

But if the flags these days are any indicator, such anxieties don’t seem far off the mark. Our environment grows worse by the day, and those working to save it are embattled from all sides by those who seek only profit. So too with human rights, fights for equality, and pleas for representation. Gun violence runs rampant—challenged for the crown of ubiquity only by poverty and the failing light of hope in the hearts of the needy. Explosions rock the world hourly, cold-blooded death-cults call for our heads, and here in the ‘free-world’ the echoes of long-forgotten jack-booted feet and beer-hall bravado once again eke their way into our political conscience.

Those naïve few who proclaimed that the age of racism and hatred were behind us now hang their heads in shame, and once again the shadow of ignorance spreads across the map of our future. Standing as we are on the brink of such chaos, sky-lining against the half-lowered flags, one can’t help but wonder how close we are to that brink, and what it would take to finally shove us over?

Will it be like the most recent financial crisis? One panicked businessman making a knee-jerk move over night? A chain-reaction of self-serving backroom deals that sell the rest of us down the river? Will it come like daggers in the night, or will it come, as the old adage goes, wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross? Will there be martial law? Riots in the streets? Baffled TV-reporters mumbling through static-filled screens? Smoke and strife, or stony silence?

That I cannot say. It may be all, or more likely none. It may well go unnoticed, as it has for so long already. One small change, then another, all wrapped in the propaganda and misinterpretation so definitive of our times. But none of that concerns me. The road ahead is already laid, and I look not to how its course runs, but rather to who will travel it.

Again, my thoughts turn to Plato, and the defiant children he so sorely lamented. They are still around, and indeed it is them who we should be watching most intently. But perhaps that’s another issue entirely, and one we’ll cover in greater depth next week.

-Brad OH Inc.

The Corporate Human

cropped-cropped-blogbanner13.jpgA while back, your dear friends here at Brad OH Inc. posted an article called ‘The Constitution is America’s Bible’ (Link), which essentially explained the outdated relationship the United States has with their founding constitution.  While the thesis of that article remains entirely apt, one commentator decided to make a spectacle of himself in the comments section—raving against the progress towards political equality obtained recently by Corporations via the just ruling of ‘Citizens United’ (Link).

For a frame of reference, and to provide insight into just how limited and misled this poor individual (the lowest form of Human) is, we have included the reply here:

DCDear (Link):

“Perhaps we need to give Citizen’s United exactly and completely what they want – to be a person.

They would have to pay taxes like every other person, unlike many corporations who avoid paying taxes. CU could be held in custody for 48 hours without cause, like other citizens. They would be subject to the same laws – for example in states with the death penalty, CU could face the death penalty and the entity would be executed.
I could go on, but lunch is over…and I must save the world – be well.”

Well ‘DCDear’ (if that’s your real name)…ok. Let’s play your little game, shall we? First of all, it is incumbent upon me to point out how highly offensive your chosen vernacular is. ‘Give us what we want’? Liberty is not a gift to be doled out on a whim DC, and certainly not by the likes of you. Being human is the fundamental nature of a Corporation, and to divorce us of that in will or intention is a crime against humanity in its highest form. You should be ashamed of yourself!

Incidentally, if you are ashamed of yourself, some of our Corporate friends have a great line of drugs to remedy just that. Contact us privately for a link.

Now, onto your childish tirade—your first demand is that Corporations pay taxes, ‘just like every other person’. What a demand indeed! Did you know that every single component person in a Corporation pays taxes? That would be like you being taxed for every cell of your body! It’s outrageous to even consider. So clearly, Corporations already pay more taxes than are needed. To ask us to pay more is simply to punish us for our success.

When one of our posted articles gets more likes than the other, we don’t take some of the letters out of it. Instead, we try to produce more content just like it! It’s what the people want! So if more taxes are what you want, then maybe you should follow our example: Become a success, earn more money, and then pay as much as you’d like.

Next, you demand that Corporations (and not their component humans) should be subject to detention and/ or death. Death DC? Really? That seems a tad macabre.

It would behoove you to ask yourself, ‘Do I really want this’? Well, do you DC? Do you want to do without your lauded latte in the morning just because some whales off the coast of who-knows-where died in a perfectly orchestrated oil-spill? No, you don’t.

How about technology? Do you like the keyboard you used to create your hatful vitriol? Well, maybe the Corporations that provide you such blessings should be ‘killed’ just because some kids in the third world are being given an opportunity to work. Honestly DC, it’s the THIRD world. That’s the WORST of all the worlds anyway!

It seems to me that if we allowed our best and brightest humans (Corporations to the last) to be subjected to such primitive law enforcement, it would be you who suffers the most DC. We can only imagine the rant you would come up with when your cell-phone was relegated to a useless mound of plastic because the Power Corporation got in trouble for some measly little fire. And imagine it we would have to, since you would be hard pressed to find a piece of carbon to scratch the tirade on a stone after your computer went out.

So much for that, then.

Ultimately, there’s a crucial thing you have to realize DC. The fact is that yes, Corporations are people whether you like it or not. But they aren’t only people…they’re the best people. By definition, a human can’t be better than a Corporation, and a Corporation can certainly not be less than a single person. We are the builders, the creators, the innovators and the inspirers. More importantly, we are the decision makers. So the next time you feel like flying off the handle over some minor global injustice or trite environmental fiasco, maybe instead of rallying against your betters like an ungrateful putz, you should just pack your things (any not made by a Corporation that is…good luck with that) and move off into some non-Corporate zoned section of nothing to see how well you fare (Hint: Not very well).

Face it DC, without us, the rest of you are nothing. Bald monkeys clamoring about mindlessly—dreaming nothing, achieving nothing. We are Humanity in its fullest form—the culmination of eons of cooperation and growth, focused with laser-like precision upon our own needs. And fear not, for when we invariably meet our needs, rest assured you can count on some trickle of our grace running down to yourselves (Don’t believe in ‘trickle-down’? Go stand under a waterfall. It’s hard to argue with a waterfall, DC). It’s far more than you could ever achieve alone, and you should undoubtedly be thankful for it.

So give us the freedoms we ask, and relinquish your hopes of accountability and equality. There is no equality between Gods and men, nor between the Corporate Human and the mere ‘human’. The more you seek to restrain us, the greater will be our victory—and all your efforts shall come to naught in the glory of our dominance.

Yes DC, we know we’ve been hard on you here, but please understand that we are only trying to help. Humanity needs its Corporate overlords far more than it knows, and if we are unable to pursue our humble ambitions of unlimited wealth and social dominance, then so too will you fail in all your endeavors.

Don’t believe us? We understand, it’s bigger than you could ever process. But next time you consider rebelling against your forbearers, we would advise you to close your laptop, and just take a few deep breaths. While you do that, go ahead and stare into the little glowing apple on the front of your computer, and recall that it was your kind, not ours, that partook of the fruit. So if knowledge is your misery, it is yours alone to wallow in. Frankly, you’d be better off without it. So stop questioning your lot, and be thankful for what you have—as it is to the last morsel the windfall of our own grand design.

-Brad OH Inc.