September 30, 2023

7 Techniques of Propaganda/Advertising

We are swimming in propaganda. Drowning in it, more like.

Psychologists have described propaganda as, 
"manipulative persuasion in the service of an agenda" or communications that "induce the individual to follow non-rational emotional drives."

The Institute for Propaganda Analysis was formed in 1938. It identified seven main techniques of propaganda to be aware of:

1. Name Calling: A device to discredit an opponent without refuting his claim.

2. Glittering Generalities: A device that identifies a position with “virtue” by use of words like truth, freedom, democracy, liberty, etc.

3. Transfer: An appeal which seeks to carry over the authority, sanction, or prestige of something we respect.

4. Testimonial: A device to use the opinion of an expert authority for propaganda purposes.

5. Plain Folks: An appeal to win confidence by appearing to be like the common people being addressed.

6. Card-Stacking: An appeal that uses under-emphasis or over-emphasis to dodge issues and evade facts.

7. Band Wagon: An appeal that encourages us to follow the crowd because “Everybody is doing it.”

These techniques are also known as logical fallacies. In other words, they indicate faulty thinking. When this is intentional, is it also known as lying.

Interesting that all of these techniques, and more, are used not just by governments manipulating voters, but are also used extensively in advertising.

"Advertising", said H.G. Wells, "is legalized lying."

That is what it takes to get shoppers to spend money they don't have to buy things they don't need.

If their ideas, plans, and products are so good, why do they need to peddle faulty thinking and lies to sell them to us?

Protection from this scourge is gained by recognizing the manipulation for what it is, and thinking critically and independently.

With so much propaganda going around, nothing is ever what is seems. Eventually reality as we knew it ceases to exist.

Understand what they are doing to try to influence us, follow the money, learn from truth-seekers/revealers, ask questions, and dig deeper.

Most of all, be skeptical, and take a good long pause before buying anything, whether it is a product or a narrative.

September 27, 2023

Dumb Consumer Item Of The Month - Needlessly Complex Vehicles

Today's cars and trucks come packed with some pretty spiffy features. Most drivers will never use them, or even know that they have them. But they will pay for them.

Vehicles these days are needlessly over complex. They are overpriced so that regular people can no longer afford them without stressing the budget to the max.

The vehicle I might be interested in buying would not have any features or extras, just the low tech ability to move me across the landscape.

So, no, I don't want:

- an advanced driver assist system 

- smartphone integration (I don't own a smartphone)

- a 31 inch theatre screen

- a fold out desk

- the ability to travel far beyond the legal speed limit

- a button to push on the key fob so the car drives itself out of a tight parking predicament

- heated seats and steering wheel

- navigation systems (I love paper maps, and can fold them, too... usually)

- reverse cameras and parking sensors

- USB charging outlets

- multi-zone climate system

- all of this complexity adds up to an average car price in my country of $66,288. That means a lot of new vehicles are even more than that.

I don't own a car any more. I might if I could get one that doesn't do anything except transport me from point A to point B, and cost $10,000 dollars or less brand new. 

The cost to run it would be minimal, and most repairs would be simple enough for the owner to complete themselves.

Here is what I would want in a car:

- seating for up to 4 people

- space for a few bags of groceries

- steering wheel

- gas and brake pedals

- hand cranked windows

- four wheels

- a simple and efficient propulsion method not dependent on computer chips (like a horse... carrots not included)

That's it. I might go for the optional floor mats, but probably not.

September 25, 2023


Wish you weren't here. That is the message.

People around the world that live in popular tourist destinations are asking potential gawkers to please stay home.



Destinations are being loved to death, bringing a reduced experience for tourists, and the destruction of local's way of life.

But not everyone travels. This problem most likely adheres closely to the 80/20 Rule. If it does, that means 80% of tourism is done by only 20% of the population.

That means that most people either don't travel, or do so in a modest manner.

I think back to reading during the summer about people in a remote northern community in Alberta being evacuated because of wildfires encroaching on their community. 

What got me was that some of the evacuees had never been out of the community. Never. 

It took a while for that to sink in, even though I have been enjoying not going much farther from home than my bike can take me for the past 20 years.

Rather than feeling excitement about "getting out" for the first time, the fire evacuation victims reported feeling traumatized about having to leave their chosen spot of Mother Earth. 

My take away from that was that not everyone is obsessed with being a tourist and travelling endlessly. Some people actually love where they live, and have no desire to leave.

People invested in the industry are trying to figure out how tourists can see the places they want to without destroying them.

I know a way.

Why not help out the people that live in tourist destinations, stay home, and look at those places on the internet. There are many very nice pictures and videos available.

I also heartily recommend taking the time to enjoy the place you live. There is plenty of beauty no matter where you find yourself.

Save the world - stay close to home. Who knows, you might even enjoy it. 

I have learned to love living a hyper-local life over the past two decades. Let's face it, travel can be stressful. 

My years of living more simply, which for me implies more locally, have allowed me to discover some of the benefits and joys of being in one place. 

Along the way I have been saving heaps of money and lowering my carbon footprint, not to mention helping improve the socio-cultural fabric of the over-visited tourist destinations of the world.

Where's Waldo? At home with his feet up. 

This is a scene that might make even Waldo shudder
and go back home.

September 24, 2023

Military Consumerism Killing It

If WWIII broke out, and I hadn't used any platform available to me to speak out, I would regret my inaction. 

In that light, a few thoughts concerning the insanity of a system that needs a thriving military consumer complex to function.

* Military consumerism, when governments go shopping for weapons to murder their enemies, is the worst type of consumerism, and it has the largest, most destructive and terrifying ecofootprint of all. But no green plan I am aware of is suggesting we tackle that contribution to climate change. They will, however, ban you from using your gas stove. Why not ban war instead?

* You don't fight for peace. You peace for peace.

* A person doesn't really support peace if they simultaneously support any state's declaired right to unleash violence on peaceful peoples.

* Follow the money. War is one of the most profitable ventures going, and always has been. The lucrative violence will continue until we stop that.

* If all military spending was repurposed for peacetime projects, there is no challenge humanity couldn't meet.

* Whatever violence a state is allowed to unleash on people of other countries will eventually be used on its own people.

* We are all Palestinians now, in one giant open air prison complex. They see us as potential terrorists first, hosts for their parasitism next, and citizens/voters last. 

* Do what you are told or you will be labeled a far-right, fascist, anti-science nazi and will be deplatformed, debanked, fired, and unhoused. 

* If that state sponsored violence doesn't shut you up, expect to be falsely charged, convicted, and jailed. Assanged, in other words.

* What those of us in formerly semi-democratic nations used to call a peaceful protest is now viewed as a riot or insurrection by power-hungry governments. In my own country, Canada, a peaceful protest in Ottawa was seen as the greatest threat to the government since the beginning of this sad state, and an emergency of the highest order was declared in order to violently force peaceful citizens down. Why didn't they just sit down and talk with them?

* The largest purveyors of misinformation, malinformation and disinformation are all state actors. This is commonly used to advertise and market wars. Governments call it "governing". But when they say you are spreading lies, you will be charged and convicted of a crime.

* Trust is gone, leaving only illegitimate rulers and institutions teetering on the brink of extinction. Or revolution. Or both.

* Fighting for peace. Ukrainian officials say, "The weapons plan is the peace plan", which is just a variation on War is Peace. Some plan.

* George Carlin said long ago, "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity." 

* Canada has given more than $8 billion dollars to Ukraine's failed War is Peace program, and has just pledged almost $1 billion more. That's a whole lot of peace. Surely there will be a resolution, soon. Right?

* Military consumerism is the most disgusting, destructive brand of consumerism ever. But they are just killing it this year. The death and destruction market is having its best year ever, reaching a record global high in spending - $2.2 trillion. Profits have never been higher. At the same time, regular consumer spending has dropped as people pull back in the middle of a cost of living crisis in order to afford essentials like food and rent. I wonder if these are somehow connected...

* War and military consumerism will not stop until we, the people, stop it. How many more trillions of our money, and how many more lives will be wasted before we take action?

May peace be with you. The change begins with ourselves, bringing our inner peace to the world as a gift to all.

Let us look forward to the time we hear, 

"After massive global protests and general strikes, peace has broken out! 

The military consumerism complex is being dismantled forever in favour of things that actually benefit all of humanity, and not just a small parasitic group that use to profit off of global death and destruction."


Peace before profits.

September 20, 2023

Green Magic

Is the electrification of transportation an actual workable solution? Or will the green magic of electric vehicles just mean a whole lot more car-nage for our ailing planet?

Tim Morgan, in The Way We Live Next has a few of his own questions about what the green wizards are promising.

"We’re assured that a solution exists to climate hazard in the form of renewable energy, principally from wind and solar power. Many critical questions remain unanswered in the wider world.

Here are some of them:

1. If transitioning to renewables is undoubtedly going to be costly – USD 130 trillion seems a reasonable estimate – what are we going to do without in order to pay for it?

2. This sort of money equates to enormous amounts of raw materials, most obviously steel, copper, lithium, cobalt and other minerals – do they even exist in the requisite quantities, and how much environmental damage are we going to cause by mining and processing them?

3. What source of energy are we going to use to access and utilize these raw materials, and, again, what other uses of energy are we going to relinquish in order to make this possible?"

I would not be surprised if the average electric car has a greater carbon footprint from cradle to grave than an equivalent internal combustion model.

It is widely accepted, for example, that car batteries are not recyclable. If that is the case, then the whole electrification project is a major waste of time, money, effort, and resources.

People who actually want positive change more than profit would be talking about solutions like enhanced public transit (electric buses/trolleys), and improving rail lines and service. 

However effective that may be, such a platform is unlikely to get one elected. 

Many people say they want to solve environmental problems, but very few are willing to drastically change their behaviours to make that possible. 

That makes me doubt the green magic they are pushing, whether it is the electrification of transportation, or any other their other elaborate, and ineffective solutions.

The most effective spell that could be cast over high consumption muggles of the world would be "livius simplius!" 

That is the only green magic that has the mojo to make a better world.

September 17, 2023

Cutting Coffee

"Greedflation is a term that refers to companies increasing prices purely to drive up profit margins. It implies that greed is the underlying reason behind a rise in the cost of goods and services and suggests that the price increases aren't justified by a legitimate need for a price increase, such as a rise in the cost of materials or labor."

Food greedflation has been crazy. It hasn't been this bad since the 70s, and back then my parents were the ones providing my meals.

When I started buying my own groceries,  a large order would have been around $100 dollars. Gradually over the years that went to $200, and all of a sudden it went to over $300. 

Something had to go to avoid having a large order go over $500.

In my home one of the things that went is coffee. Gasp!

Considering coffee is expensive, doesn't have much of a nutritional benefit, and comes from far, far away, it was a bit of a no brainer.

Not that we ever drank a lot of coffee. But there was a time that Linda and I would share 3 cups of coffee every morning.

Then we cut back to 2 cups. Then zero cups. 

But we found that we still wanted to enjoy a hot drink in the morning, so we tried tea.

It was black tea of a very generic, no-name, inexpensive variety. But it was good enough.

At first we were preparing and sharing 2 cups of tea each morning. Now we share 1 cup.

Each package of tea contains 100 two cup bags, which equals 200 servings. Sharing one cup per day means 200 days of a hot beverage from one package. 

All for $3.50. 

So we went from about $240 dollars/yr for coffee to $5 or $6 dollars/yr for tea.

We will use our savings to buy seeds and other things for next years garden, decreasing the burden of the inflated grocery bill even further.

Best of all, we have hardly noticed the switch from coffee to tea at all. We are grateful for the tea, and don't miss the coffee.

What have they made you not buy as a result of their runaway greedflation? 

September 13, 2023

Vitamin D

One of the most effective, safe, and cheapest ways to protect your health is also extremely simple. 

If you live far from the equator and don't get regular sun exposure, take a vitamin D supplement.

Most people have chronically low levels of this important determinant of health.

How important is Vitamin D? It is the only vitamin for which there is a receptor in every cell in our body.

And how important is Vitamin D in preventing and treating covid19? According to our governments and their Big Pharma associates, not important at all.

However, even the relentless disinformation campaign that pharmaceutical companies have waged against this vital vitamin, the truth is coming out.

And the truth is, if Big Pharma had  anything as effective and safe as vitamin D, it would be hailing it as a miracle drug and it would cost $40.00 a tablet instead of .04 cents.

pre-print paper in the Lancet showed an 80 per cent reduction in admission to intensive care units among hospitalized patients who were treated with large doses of Vitamin D, and a 64 per cent reduction in death. 

The study found no side-effects even when mega-doses were given short term to the hospitalized patients.

It isn't just covid. This important vitamin, that most Canadians are deficient in, is also effective for many other health conditions, including depression, dementia, and cancer, to name a few.

This immune system support is cheap, and it is effective, and yet, governments and the health care complex continue to either ignore Vitamin D, or spread disinformation about it in order to maintain our ill health and robust corporate profits.

Try asking your doctor about vitamin D during your next visit and see what they say.

If you don't like their answers, do your own investigation and come to your own conclusions about your health and what is best for it moving forward.

Dr. John Campbell's channel on youtube is a great place to start. He calls taking Vitamin D a "no-brainer". 


September 11, 2023

7 Of Our Favourite Waste Prevention Practices

We used to talk about throwing things away, as if they just disappeared. But they didn't go away, they went to someone else's here.

The best way to deal with waste is to not generate as much of it.

That is something I have noticed about living simply - it is a low-waste way of living. 

Not much in - not much out.

Unlike the landfill economy which depends on the production of waste for its very survival, an economy based on need not greed would sustain more people with fewer resources.

That must be why curtailing our overconsumption is never a serious part of the green agenda.

"That is not up for negotiation", said a former leader of the free world, showing his support for lifestyles with more stuff that will need to go away at some point.

But there is nowhere that isn't someone (or something) else's back yard. 

7 Of Our Favourite Waste Prevention Practices

1. Home cooked meals from scratch.

2. Make do with what we have.

3. Wear things out, then mend, repair, and fix them.

4. Grow a garden.

5. Compost

6. Don't use disposables.

7. When making purchases, choose options with the least packaging possible.

September 6, 2023

An A-Z Guide to Our Wonderful Simple Future

A - Amish Amoire

B - Bicycle

C - Chickens

D - Downsize

E - Energy Efficiency

F - Freedom

G - Garden

H - Hand tools

I - Ink

J - Jury-rig

K - Kitchen

L - Lentils

M - Moneyless

N - Nature

O - Oatmeal

P - Peace

Q - Quilt

R - Root cellar

S - Soil

T - Train

U - Udder

V - Vitamin D

W - Walk

X - Xyrophites

Y - Yoga

Z - Zoo-free

September 4, 2023

Our Wonderful Future?

There was a time when people were promised a wonderful life looking forward. The future was so bright, they told us, that you had to wear shades.

We were on an upward trajectory, and all current and yet-to-be-revealed problems were solvable with our whiz-bang infallible technology.

Like how labour saving devices were going to make work obsolete in favour of all kinds of lazy leisure time.

However, the dream was never what it was cracked up to be, and now we are counting down the days before the technological nightmare runs amok and ends us all.

Instead of shades we might consider wearing a helmet and flak jacket.

Perhaps our wonderful future will look much different than what the priests of the techno/surveillance/control wet dream have laid out for us. 

Why wouldn't, given the choice, the people get together to build a doable, sustainable, simple and enjoyable alternative to our "leaders" dystopian vision?

Why wouldn't each of us in our own communities start the work of rebuilding a simple, peaceful, and compassionate world? 

The People's vision will honour the good in all humanity, and usher in an era of cooperation and understanding. 

One that offers a life of enough for all human beings that is fair and equitable.

Or we can do nothing and accept the loss of our rights and freedoms on our way to a technological/medical fascism that got underway in earnest in 2019.

But even if in our inaction we passively allow the later, we still won't have flying cars, robot servants, or food for all. 

Also missing will be peace. 

The choice is ours.