In the past two years, natural disasters have rocked various nations around the world, from a Japanese earthquake that was so powerful it shifted the earth on it's axis, to overwhelming floods filling Queensland, Australia.
Various governments have betrayed their citizens and constitutional laws, from the passing of the NDAA bill, to Europe's ACTA which became a signed deal before millions worldwide had heard of the bill that would censor the internet.
Rather than citizens, the world has filled with people just trying to survive each day. In a cave of their own making, they cling to vanishing democracy and live on a meager diet of dreams.
Yet none are in a sadder state than the citizens of a country called Canada.
Walk with me for a little while, and I'll give you a tour of the cave from the view of a Canadian who watches the news carefully.
CBC and Fox Canada
When I first found out a petition was circulating to protest selling the Canadian Broadcasting Company sometime last year, I rushed to post the link on Facebook. I was then mocked, ridiculed and questioned as a human being by my fellow Canadians.
I was shocked.
The most common sentiment was, Why should I care?
The first small rock in the cave crumbled and fell to the floor without a sound.
I'm still being mocked for supporting the CBC even though I don't watch TV, glean news from reliable sources on the internet, and I'm without a self-serving agenda.
By way of comparison, let's look at MuchMusic. When I was younger, I loved MuchMusic. It was the resource for current and classic music. Unfortunately, it has long since gone the same route as MTV – all reality shows and no music. Nowadays, I can't stand MuchMusic and won't look at it. That's my choice.
However, if MuchMusic was threatened with being sold and replaced with a pseudo-American proposed network called Fox Canada, I would still protest. Fortunately, for now, Fox Canada is not happening... for now.
It's symbolic, you see. It's not about the CBC, which I agree has degraded in recent years, it's about the fact it's Canadian. I immediately saw the far-reaching potential for total annihilation of everything that defines Canada as the free country it is.
Only one little piece to shake the foundation for freedom of speech, but that's all which is needed.
Walk with me to the next section of the cave.
Super-prisons and Crime Omnibus
September, 2009. Harper proposed, as ridiculous as this sounds, Super-prisons as a means to deal with criminals in Canada. This made absolutely no sense to me. Most people I had spoken to about this simply shook their heads, clucked their tongues, and said, unbelievable. And then a few just saw it as fodder for comedy.
Canada has a much lower crime rate in comparison to the U.S., our prisons are not over-crowded by any means, so why would there be a need for Super-prisons?
September, 2011. Among other things, Harper's Crime Omnibus, aka "hard on crime" bill, involves giving a longer sentence for pot growers than for pedophiles.
Idiocy, said one American observer.
Humiliating, says this Canadian.
Dec, 2011. Harper's Crime Omnibus fast-tracked and cleared before any of us could blink.
Here we can see in the cave the true intentions of the "Wrong Dishonourable" Stephen Harper to build prisons first, create criminals second.
Don't give up now, walk with me a little further.
IP Redesign and Bill C-11 (SOPA/PIPA/ACTA)
In 2007, ten million dollars was funded for a four year project to redesign the internet for a more secure protocol. Meetings continued. As an avid internet user, I kept my eye on the developments for the next two years.
News reports dwindled. I didn't hear of anything until federal bills censoring the internet began to surface.
The internet, as it is, was never designed for what we use it for today – a vast, powerful and global communication tool. The internet is insecure by nature. Enforcing federal laws to provide an illusion of security and blocking access when in fact the protocols simply needs to be redesigned, is a violation of human rights.
As of right now, we can't have a more secure internet without ceasing all digital information exchange. It's quite a paradox.
And here comes a bigger fish who doesn't want to be fried.
International corporations like Norton and Microsoft, to name two out of many, are built on the insecurities of the internet, such as anti-virus software. With a redesign of protocol looming in the shadows, such corporations face bankruptcy.
I suppose the perverse part of my mind kept a close eye on the developments of the internet redesign because I was looking forward to seeing the effects on corporate monopolies.
Yet the four years are are almost up, and there's no word about the internet redesign.
January, 2012. Ah, SOPA, what a coincidence. SOPA was never about a clash between Hollywood and Silicon valley as rumored. PIPA isn't and neither is ACTA or Canada's Bill C-11. Any anti-piracy federal bill is a lie. None of it is about piracy. All of it is about protecting outdated schemes generated by global corporations which happen to be U.S. based.
Hollywood just didn't help much, that's all.
End result, multi-billion dollar monopoly over freedom of communication.
And the cave continues to crumble.
CPP and Healthcare
January 27, 2012. Harper proposes cuts to the Canadian Pension Plan, which is not all government money, but paid contributions made by the employed. It's not his money to cut.
As you can see from the articles above, Harper is a bad cyclist and a worse back-pedaller, now claiming there won't really be cuts.
Cuts to both the CPP and the OAS (Old Age Security) were never mentioned before, not even during his campaign. The announcement wasn't even made on Canadian soil.
Harper has been repeating – and using as a shield – the argument that Healthcare is provincial, telling the provinces they're just going to have to figure it out on their own. "It's not federal responsibility."
It's most definitely federal responsibility to ensure balanced Healthcare among all provinces. It's called running a country.
Cutting both CPP and Healthcare leaves Canadians vulnerable, and prunes the weak from the strong.
Just a little further now, the last stop in this cave tour which goes back in time and completes a circle.
March, 2011. Harper purchases fighter jets. Fighter jets? For Canada...? Why would Canada have a need to buy more fighter jets? As international peacekeepers, we have enough.
Think about it.
Are you thinking?
Let us return to the mouth of the cave and go over all that we've learned.
1 - The threat of eliminating Canadian arts and culture, freedom of speech and communication access.
2 - Population control.
3 - Citizens becoming vulnerable, prune the weak from the strong.
4 - Fighter jets.
Why would Canada ever have a need for more fighter jets?
To start a war.
Now we exit the cave, go back to our lives and keep asking the same banal, rhetorical questions. Why should I care? What does this have to do with me?
"Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes..."
The Allegory of the Cave, Plato.