Greedy clowns strike again

While doing some research on my new art course, I came across something that shocked me. It turns out that if you transfer from a level 3 FE course to a level 2 FE course, you can’t get ALG. Apparently the people who run ALG expect students like me to go from level 3 to a higher-level course in order to keep receiving funding.

pound coins

We happen to need that money, so this is basically a massive kick in the balls.

That, to me, is bullshit. Why should I have to suffer just because I made a different choice in life. I think the government simply hates young people and wants us to rot until we’re on our knees, ready to become their little puppets.

The idea is fairly simple. The government knows that going to university is expensive, but their lackeys in the media constantly try and make university or higher education look good, so that nearly every young person will try and get a place, presumably at their parents’ expense. On top of all that, it looks as though ALG is trying to coax 20-year-olds like me into progressing into a higher education by cutting off our funding if we don’t.

The people who run ALG honestly believe that I can’t be coaxed into not doing a lower-level art course by putting money on the line. They honestly believe that I’m a materialistic airhead who thinks money is more important than anything else. I’d rather feel the sting of poverty than betray my principles.

What really pisses me off is that I’ve found a path I’m really going to like, but the big bad government is trying to ruin it for me. If government really can see this site, then I have a message for them. They’re nothing more than a bunch of lying, greedy scumbags who thrive off the misfortune of others, and if any of them are thinking they’re going to get my vote, then they’re as blind as decaying bats.

I also have a message for all the young people. Don’t let anyone, not even the government, use money to coax you into doing something you don’t want to. You’re in charge of your own life, and you have the power to do what you think is best for you. All the universities want to do is persuade you to attend their courses so they can take money from you or your own parents.

Remember, this abhorrent greed will never stop unless we all tell the men behind the curtain that we won’t tolerate it anymore.

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Free-to-play: What’s wrong with tradition?

free to play

Or is it?

Lately there has been a rise in video games that operate under the “free-to-play” model, as major publishers are beginning to embrace it. For those who don’t know, free-to-play is a business model where you can play most of the game for free, while the company who made that game can charge you for certain other parts of the game.

I don’t trust “free-to-play” at all. What’s wrong with the traditional “one-time purchase” model? In the traditional model, you’d only have to pay once, and then you get to enjoy your game. It’s been like this since the 1970’s, when the console games industry started, and now it looks as though big companies are trying to change things just for the sake of making a mint.

The free-to-play model is quickly gaining prominence. Even Soul Calibur, once a mighty fighting game franchise, has given itself over to the free-to-play model. Personally, I think it’s only being accepted because it gives big companies an opportunity to be even greedier than before. With the free-to-play model, companies can charge real money for in-game items, or even advertise in their games.

times square

Do you really want this in a video game?

Of course, I should consider the fact that there are several kinds of free-to-play games. For example, there are “freemium” games, which offer the “full version” for free, while utilizing micro-transactions for purchasing virtual items with real money. Some games, released as freeware, don’t charge the user at all, but are usually released as proprietary software.

For me, the traditional one-time purchase model was perfectly fine, and it was ultimately more satisfying because you were paying for a finished game (usually). If you ask me, I’d rather pay full price for a game that was finished, than pay several times in a game that isn’t even complete. That’s almost as bad as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which offered the true ending as DLC that you had to pay for.

Also, if some of these free-to-play games had you keep spending money in order to keep playing them, how long will it be before video games morph into something eerily similar to gambling addiction.

Thankfully, companies like Nintendo continue to have faith in the traditional model, standing firmly in opposition to companies like EA, who believes that freemium will be dominant, and that micro-transactions will be a part of every game. If you ask me, it’ll be a cold day in hell before EA is even remotely right.

Money, ego, and the rise and fall of Justin Bieber

justin bieber mugshot

This couldn’t happen to anyone more deserving.

Over the past few days, there’s been a lot of buzz around Justin Bieber’s criminal behaviour. About two days ago, he was arrested for drunk driving, driving with an expired license, and resisting arrest. He later admitted to also smoking pot and taking medication. Of course, all this is a serious threat to his clean-cut, teen pop image.

This is obviously a sign of the end of Justin Bieber’s annoying career. All celebrations aside, I can’t help but think that this is a matter of Justin’s ego spiralling out of whack. Even after he’s been arrested, I can just tell that he thinks he can get away with it just because he’s a rich pop star with an army of fans.

Speaking of money, I’m a firm believer that Justin Bieber’s entire career was based around greed and exploitation. His career started when his mother uploaded a video of him singing a Ne-Yo song on YouTube, which was eventually spotted by a record producer interested in signing him to record label. Once the kid became a success, everyone started milking it. Even his parents didn’t seem to mind. In fact, I think they had the most to gain from it.

Naturally, he became a celebrity, but also a darling of the teen pop industry. However, the success went to his head, and now he thinks he’s better than everyone else. Perhaps he was tired of the fact that he making the same hollow pop music for so long that he acted out. Perhaps Justin wants his career to end, and he doesn’t really care how he does it.

Of course, his fans aren’t having any of this. Millions of fans are talking about it, and there’s even a campaign which aims to free Justin Bieber from jail. Personally, after all he did to music, I think he should stay in jail, because it would prove that being a pop star doesn’t give you special treatment from the long arm of the law, and in the long run, this is better for us than we realize because it could mean the end of horrible pop musicians being treated like gods.

The politician’s curse

politician

He looks happy, but he really isn’t.

You might see politicians a lot when you watch the news, you will see them trying to make themselves appear to be what they are not. Most importantly, they give off the illusion that the top job comes with the sweet life. If you think that the life of a politician is any good, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Sure, politicians make lots of money, and they can buy whatever they want. But remember, that money technically comes from us, the taxpaying public. This is the reason why we get outraged whenever the politicians misuse their money. Therefore, if you as a politician want to succeed, you have to suck up to the very people you want to persuade into voting for you.

Call me crazy, but cozying up to common sensibilities just to get ahead doesn’t sound like a dignified life to me. It’d be a life that’s dedicated to lying to the community in order to get what you want, and that’s just as far as you need to go if you just want to be elected into a political office at all. The lows you have to sink in order to get the top job of Prime Minister are even worse.

In order to get the top job, you’d have to lie to the entire nation in order to guarantee your success. Why do you think you see politicians giving little kissing to babies? It’s a common tactic that plays on the sentimentalist judgements of the public in order to garner votes. In addition to that, you have all sorts of lobby groups coming at you to try and bribe you into doing what they want.

The life of a politician sounds glamorous if you only focus on how wealthy they are, but it begins to sound even uglier when you understand how they get that far in life. The life of a politician, in essence, is actually something of a curse, in that you do get lots of money and a nice house, but many politicians have to suck up to the big corporations in order to gain their support, and maybe get money from them.

Also, I highly doubt that a politician has any real friends. Lets put this into perspective. Many of us don’t have a vast amount of riches, but our lives our enriched because we have our friends. They’re people who make your lives better because you have people who care about you. Nobody really cares about a politician, because when you’re a politician, you begin to see the political process as a game, while losing awareness of the consequences of your decisions. Also, politicians can’t really be friends if they spend all their time arguing with each other.

If years of observing the world around me unfold say anything about politics, it’s that it’s basically just a game where the people who play it lose all their integrity and morals in favour of achieving absolute wealth and power, such is the curse of a politician’s life and career that the politician places on his/herself.

Now that you know what happens when you become a politician, don’t do it.

Why I don’t trust organised charity

charity hands

With Comic Relief in full swing, I think I should raise my opinion of charity. The major charity organisations always release the same ads every year? Years ago, I saw tons of charity ads airing on my favourite cartoon channels, and they tried everything to guilt trip me into giving me my hard-earned cash.

The funny thing is, I’ve been seeing these ads for about a decade, and those issues have still not been resolved. I must wonder, what’s going on?

Well, as it turns out, most charity money does not actually go to charity. When you give money to charity, only about 20% of it goes to the needy. The other 80% goes to paying the staff, equipment, and making the bosses rich. When they say you’re doing a good thing by giving to charity, it is, unfortunately, a tragic lie.

The worst part about it is that the near endless stream of ads launched by global aid charities basically amounts to poverty porn (when the media exploits the poor’s condition in order to generate sympathy and donations), and they aren’t even ashamed.

Being that this is the day of Comic Relief, I think I should shed some light on that. The TV and radio companies charge £1 for every text made to them, and 70% of that £1 goes to the Comic Relief organisation. The other 30% (30p from millions of people is a lot) might go the people who need it. Think about it, 70% of your £1 for Comic Relief is keeping the BBC rich.

Given all that, are Jesse J and 1Direction really doing the right thing? Maybe they’re paid to believe the delusion.

1 way or another

Just awful. Even worse considering the Comic Relief scam they’re serving.

When I was a kid, I kept seeing ads for NSPCC (and I still do today), and they guilt-tripped me into wanting to donate. On my mom’s advice, I didn’t anyway. When I learned of how much a scam the big charity organisations are, I now dislike NSPCC, because they manipulate people’s emotions, and hide behind a noble cause to make money, indifferent to all charity organisations.

But there’s something odd. If you’re a good old fashioned con artists, society frowns upon you, and paints you as an immoral monster. However, if you’re the head of a charity organisation, society loves you, and views you as a saint. The thing is, charity organisations and con artists are really no different, but if you don’t give to charity, and openly admit it, society either views you as an idiot, or a complete monster.

I guess society just picks its con artist. Sadly, the Christian-influenced notion of charity is ingrained into our culture, and in a capitalist society, that leads to tons of companies appearing ready and willing to exploit our sense of guilt in order to get filthy rich.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against the idea of helping others, but donating to an organised charity will not help much. In fact, all the money accumulated by big organised charities could have been used to cure AIDS or cancer, end poverty, or develop a way to go faster than the speed of light.

The life, work, and death of Steve Kangas

steve kangas

This post is dedicated to Steve Kangas, the obscure author of the website Liberalism Resurgent who died on this day 14 years ago. Why? Some of his articles contributed to my beliefs, and, despite not being a full-on liberal, those beliefs still persist today, 2 years after I first discovered his articles in 2011.

This post will talk about his life, his work, and the strange mystery surrounding his death in 1999. Now, this is not a biography, and I am not a biographer. This is just a way to spread the word of the late Steve Kangas, and his website. Without further ado, let the commentary begin.

Steve Kangas was born May 1961, as Steven Robert Esh, to a conservative Christian family. After graduating from high school in 1979, he joined the army, where he worked for military intelligence. During his time, he spent a year learning the Russian language, before eventually being shipped off to Grenada, after then-president Ronald Reagan ordered the invasion of the Central America nation in 1983.

He was eventually shipped off to Berlin on the following year in order to electronically eavesdrop on Soviet units in Eastern Europe. Whilst there, he learned that it would be impossible for the communist Soviet Union to invade Western Europe, because the Soviet soldiers lacked certain skills (according to Steve Kangas, they lacked driving skills). In spite of this, Western leaders were trying to convince us of the grave threat of a Soviet invasion of Europe.

Later, Kangas bore witness to the terrorist bombing of a discotheque in Berlin, which he said was a few blocks away from his living quarters. It was this terrorist act that led Ronald Reagan to order the bombing of Libya, in spite of the lack of evidence that Libya was responsible.

The moment which led him to abandon his conservative beliefs, he wrote, was the assassination of Major Arthur D. Nicholson, a fellow intelligence officer whose funeral was attended by Kangas. When talking about his beliefs, he wrote:

“The image of his 4-year old daughter clutching a Cabbage Patch doll throughout the entire service is one that is forever burned into my memory. This was a pivotal moment in my life, causing me to question my conservative beliefs and take a more serious look at the costs and benefits of the arms race.”

He also witnessed the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, after which Berlin was bathed in nuclear radiation. In the same year, he flew back to California with an honorable discharge. Once there, he attended the University of California in Santa Cruz, a city in California which was a frequent target of Rush Limbaugh’s right-wing fury.

After some time, he created the Liberalism Resurgent website (dated 1996), which he made as “a response to the right”. The website itself is highly critical of business propaganda, the right-wing media, the American overclass (a powerful and privileged social class), and the CIA.

Since he’s done so much that I have yet to read, I’ll give you the links to the articles I’ve read and have been influenced by in some way:

The website itself is very well done for something out of the 90’s. Kangas researched his arguments very well, almost like he was writing a thesis in university, which I guess is not surprising considering he went to college after leaving the army.

It was rumored that was planning on writing a book on CIA atrocities, when on February 8th 1999, he was found dead in the men’s bathroom on the 39th floor of the One Oxford Center, inside the office of one Richard Mellon Scaife, the political enemy of Steve Kangas.

The police ruled said death as a suicide, but since Scaife sent his own private investigator, Rex Armistead, to investigate the “suicide”, it became the subject of conspiracy. There are two theories as to how Steve Kangas died:

  1. Steve Kangas went to the One Oxford Center to try and kill Richard Mellon Scaife, but was himself apprehended by Scaife’s men, and then killed.
  2. Steve Kangas went to the One Oxford Center and killed himself in order to incite the authorities into launching an investigation of Scaife.

Let’s look at a few things. Richard Mellon Scaife is a staunchly conservative member of the wealthy elite who was known for being reclusive, and vindictive. He is quick to use lawsuits and private detectives against his critics, so when he got wind of Kangas’ website (which is scathingly critical towards Scaife), he hired his own private detective Rex Armistead to investigate Kangas and his website. Keep in mind that Rex Armistead is a private detective hired by Scaife and other anti-Democrats to smear Democrat politicians. Also keep in mind that Rex Armistead has an expertise in organized crime.

In the 60’s, Rex Armistead worked to enforce racial segregation laws. After a distinguished career in the 70’s, he was later hired by people like Richard Mellon Scaife to run smear campaigns against Democrats on behalf of the Republican party. Most famously, he ran a smear campaign against Democrat Bill Allain, in which Armistead spread rumors that Allain was having a homosexual relationship with three transvestites, until the plot was eventually uncovered by ABC’s 20/20.

With that in mind, I have come to the conclusion that Richard Mellon Scaife personally held a grudge against Steve Kangas, and therefore ordered his murder in order to eliminate him as a political enemy.

richard mellon scaife

Look at the face of evil.

Of course, that’s just theory. But Armistead was a real private investigator, and Scaife definitely had something against Kangas, the perfect motive for murder. Then again, there has been no real answer. Why? Because if Scaife really was responsible, then he would use his wealth and power to cover up the incident, meaning there can be no answer until Scaife dies (he’s 80, so that shouldn’t be long).

I believe that Steve Kangas was wrongly killed, and that his death should be avenged, and properly investigated by an independent body. Kangas had a good website, with scholarly arguments that you can actually rely on. The good news is that his site still lives on. If you want to see it for yourself, click here.

I think that the whole thing actually makes for a great story. Now if only a Hollywood scriptwriter got a hold of it…

Capitalism hasn’t failed, it’s just been mishandled

capitalism

Oh grow up will you?

Capitalism has had a pretty bad reputation lately, and this is mainly because of vocal opposition by liberal celebrities, and naive university students who know nothing about economics. I’ll admit, I don’t know even half about economics, but that doesn’t mean I have no opinion on capitalism.

Obviously the reasoning behind this vocal opposition has come along due to the financial crisis of 2008, with millions losing their jobs, and many companies going under. Many people now think that capitalism has failed, and that a new system should be put in place. In reality, they couldn’t be further from the truth. You see, capitalism is a concept, created by humans. Therefore, it can’t really be put at fault for when it goes wrong.

If you’re thinking: “Well if it’s not capitalism, then who’s fault is it?”

I think I can tell you with a straight face. It’s not capitalism, it’s the people who exploit the system in order to be super-rich. The bankers, the CEO’s, the war profiteers, they are all the one you should blame. Why? They took all the money. They wanted more money to buy things that they really didn’t need to begin with, and look what that’s done. If you want to blame anything, you should be blaming corporate greed.

I’m sure the government knew full well that if the plethora of corporate conglomerates were allowed to commit sleazy business practices, then the world would go to hell. I’m also sure that they also knew how to stop them, just that they have been bribed by various corporate lobbyists. What’s a lobbyist? It’s person hired by a corporation to persuade politicians to act in their whim. Corporations use lobbyists to alter the decisions of politicians against popular opinion, and thus corrupting our political system, and damaging the integrity of democracy itself.

What I’m trying to say is that capitalism hasn’t quite failed. Yes, capitalism is quite a bad system, but the question is, what could be better? Communism has seen Asian countries turn to dictatorships, socialism hasn’t been fully tested, and I don’t quite trust anrachism, nor the anarcho-syndicalist commune.

dennis

But then again, this guy isn’t really the best advocate.

Capitalism can be good, it just takes plenty of competent regulation, whether or not it comes from the government. Even if it did, then who cares? Government complacency allowed this mess to happen, and if they want us to have faith in them again, then maybe they should be teaching the big corporations who runs the country. That’ll make us happy.

All I’m saying is that if the big corporations are guilty of extremely immoral acts, then they should be punished. We need to bring an end to their reign of pillaging and exploitation. Regulating big business may not sound comfortable for those who really value freedom, but it’s either that, or we allow history to repeat itself again and again until civilization collapses under the weight of our unchecked mistakes, all while the greedy cash in their ill-gotten paychecks. I assume we don’t want that.