Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Blame Fast Foods for Climate Change

I was fortunate to view “Before the Flood” when it was first released for free on the National Geographic Channel.  The documentary examines climate change and the various challenges that make it difficult to stop/reverse the damage that has already occurred.  Interviews with “experts” present the viewer with the full impact of the decisions made by our so called “leaders” as well as us, the consumers.  Unfortunately, the website does not provide the stats referred to in the documentary.  However, I was able to take note of points that stood out to me.

In summary, “Before the Flood” suggests that it is the conglomerates that control the money and politicians and, as a result, direct the policy related to climate change.  Fossil fuel producers dictate the science and politics through disinformation and scare tactics, all to ensure that they make as much money as possible as quickly as possible.  Worse still, they control the alternative energy resources.  Last but not least, the fast food producers are the worst carbon footprint creators of all!  For example, mathematician Gidon Eshel, Ph. D, outlines the extreme environmental costs associated with the consumption of certain fast foods.  He states that the production/consumption of every 1/2 lb burger is equivalent to the carbon footprint of 24 hours of A/C use or 200 hours use of a 60W light bulb.  Simply put, beef production is the most inefficient of all food sources.

The documentary proposes that the solution to climate change depends on us.  So, what can we do to reduce our personal and collective carbon footprint?  Simple: change our diets and stop eating burgers and other fast foods!  Are you ready to do so?  Can we count on each other to make the necessary changes to save our planet?  I sure hope so!  However, if we turn out failing, we have a fallback plan, which is somewhat legitimate in this case: Blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

To shoot or not to shoot

While browsing the news, I came across an interesting piece.  In her Huffington Post article entitled, “Quebec Police Defend Decision To Stun 9-Year-Old With Taser,” Rhianna Schmunk describes a situation where a nine-year-old boy, apparently out of control, was brandishing a 10-inch knife in one hand and a six-inch knife in the other.  He had apparently made several holes in walls before his mother called for help.  The police tried to talk the boy down, but not wanting to risk the well-being of the boy and others, when the nine-year-old headed toward a room with other family members, the choice was made to taser him.  Although the kid was brought to the hospital, he was uninjured.

Several comments were made concerning the incident.  Some suggested that the boy should have been physically overpowered by the police.  Others stated that if the events were to have unfolded elsewhere in the world, the boy would have been shot (likely dead).  In either case, someone could have or would have been injured.  These comments aside, what the heck led the boy to resort to this type of behaviour?  Does the boy have psychological issues?  Some would say, absolutely!  Is this entire situation a result of a lack of parenting?  Perhaps!  Might it be a combination of the two?  Likely!

So what is behind this?  To me, it’s simple.  Out of pure ignorance or plain stupidity, the parents, not wanting to “mistreat” or “abuse” the child, let him have his way throughout his nine years.  The kid, used to having his way when faced with any type of obstacle to him getting what he wanted, reacted in a manner that he knew would assure him of getting his way.  So, it’s a combination of lazy parenting and a selfish child.  And where can parents be lazy and kids be selfish?  The holy grail of evil: fast food restaurants!  Blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pet Ownership and Control

For the past week, I’ve been doggy sitting for a family member.  The dog, a Bouvier, is a great and generally well-behaved dog that is rarely any trouble.  The only concern is that he is difficult to control when he sees small, wild animals (e.g. squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, etc.) because he wants to chase them and tells you he does with his entire 100 pound frame.  He’s not aggressive at all, but since he’s an only dog that hasn’t been overly socialized, he can be a bit excitable around other dogs.  Anyway, that’s the back story.

I was walking the dog this morning, and about 1/4 of the way through, I heard a grunt come from some bushes.  It sounded like a quiet dog bark, but after looking around as I walked past the bushes, I couldn’t see anything.  I kept going on my way.

About 15 minutes later, I went past the same area, but I was on the other side of the road.  In the general area where I heard the noise come from, I saw what I think was a Basset Hound (or similar breed).  The dog was unleashed with no owner in sight, and it started crossing the road and walking (more like hobbling) towards me and my dog.  My dog started whining at me and pulling as the dog kept walking towards us.  I sped up the pace at which I was walking away from the other dog while monitoring its distance and trying to keep my dog in check.

After the dog had crossed the road and walked 10 or 20 feet along the sidewalk, the owner finally came out calling for her dog.  The calls were completely half-assed, she hobbled without any pace/urgency, and the dog clearly had no respect for its owner as it completely disregarded the calls.  I yelled to the person, “Where’s your dog’s leash?!  Your dog is supposed to be on a leash!  Come get your damn dog!”  With a completely oblivious tone, she said, “OK, I’m going to get the leash.”  It wasn’t until I was about a quarter mile down the road until she finally got to the dog.

Now, to be completely honest, I was really annoyed by the whole situation.  There I was, walking my dog, following the law, and minding my own business.  Meanwhile, this lady was not following the law and didn’t give two _ _ _ _s about it.  In the moment, as a conscientious person, I was thinking: What should I do if the dog gets too close?  Should I kick it?  How close is too close?  What am I supposed to do?  What do I do if the dog attacks my dog?  Do I try to protect my dog or attack her dog?  What do I do if this is the one time that my dog decides to be aggressive?  With a massive, excitable dog and the added responsibility of caring for it for a family member, that lady put me in a really difficult situation.

About a month ago, the exact same thing happened with a different dog.  As a result, it made me think: How on earth are these people allowed to own pets?  Based on statistics quoted by The Humane Society, there are 79.7 million households with a pet (cat or dog) and about 163.6 million pets.  Roughly 6-8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year, of which around 3 million are euthanized.  Thus, depending on opinion and as a general estimate, about 3.8%-10.0% households that own pets are incapable of properly caring for them.  That’s an awful lot.

I looked into my county’s bylaws to see what the penalty is for leaving a dog unleashed.  It’s only $80 for the first offence and $150 for all offences thereafter.  Moreover, it’s only $80 for not having a dog license and $80 for not having a dog tag on your dog.

So, anyone can own a pet, a notable portion of the population can’t or won’t care for the ones they own, and the government does very little to prevent any of it.  In turn, we’re killing millions of thinking and feeling creatures, negatively impacting the lives of others, and costing society billions of dollars.  We’ve known this for years and yet we stand there, staring blankly as our unleashed dog crosses the road to get hit by a car, killed by a bigger dog, or kicked in the head by a stranger protecting himself and his property.  But, actually doing something requires work, and why do anything when you can just not?  Instead, take the path of least resistance and blame it on fast foods.

- Steve

Thursday, September 08, 2016

To have kids or not to have kids—that is the question

In her article entitled, “Just Because You Can Have Kids Doesn't Mean You Should,” Sara Starkman outlines how she isn’t sure how she feels about having children.  Appropriately, she recognizes the importance of not becoming a helicopter parent—“being involved in a child’s life in a way that is overcontrolling, overprotecting, and overperfecting, in a way that is in excess of responsible parenting”—and how such parenting only serves to create monsters.  She also points out that some parents go off the deep end when discussing having children themselves or wind up living vicariously through the children of others.  When asked about having children herself, comments in response to her answer, “I’m not sure,” verge on insanity, suggesting that she is selfish if she chooses not to have any.

I must say that I enjoyed how she encapsulated her perspective on having children.  Here is how she put it:

“Why does me not wanting to have kids seem so outrageous?  I’ll tell you what I think is outrageous:

1) Contributing to our gross overpopulation problem.  (Sorry, I’m not into monsoons or only eating foraged seeds for the rest of my life thanks.)
2) Having children when you don't really know if you want them but having them anyway because you think you should (we have enough sociopaths do we not?).
3) Having kids before you’re ready.  (I found a five-dollar bill recently and nearly creamed my pants.  How would this child survive?)
4) Worrying about EVERYTHING for the next...OH YAH FOREVER (I cannot bald.  My hair is all I have!)
5) Having to pretend to like douche bag kids that my kids play with because they haven’t yet learned what standards are.
6) Doing SOMEONE ELSE’S homework instead of having sex.
7) Needing adult diapers sooner than anticipated.
8) Having a moment in time where my asshole and snatch are one. I give you, the snatchhole.
9) Giving up sleep for, probably, the rest of my life (GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE guys, for real).
10) Thinking that working hard, travelling, volunteering, caring for my partner and our animals or having more time and money to spend with my parents is selfish.  It’s just different.  So suck it.”

There is no question that many parents should not have been/should not be allowed to have children, since dysfunctional parents tend to produce dysfunctional children.  Some would pipe in by saying that a licence should be required to have children (along with a qualifying process).  Many would argue that it is their right to choose one way or another.  Turning back to Sara’s comments, others could justifiably point out that putting her needs first is indeed selfish.  Then others might suggest that for a lot of parents, having children is simply “keeping up with the Joneses.”

Where do I stand on matters?  My answer is: I don’t know!  Certain aspects of all of the above comments ring as true.  What is my conclusion on this matter?  You guessed it: Blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

Friday, August 05, 2016

Sports and Doping

I came by an article in The Huffington Post’s “The Blog” titled, “The Solution To Doping Is To Extend The Blame Beyond Athletes.”  The article underlines the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in Olympic and professional sports.  It goes on to say that the numerous bans (and potential bans) could make the Rio Olympics an event with the lowest number of delegations in recent history.

The article explains how the bans levied by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) work on the premise that the athletes are deemed guilty regardless of whether or not they were aware that they ingested a banned substance.  The article points out how, in professional sports, the sanctions that are imposed don’t seem to make a difference.  Some suggest that the solution is to legalize doping as long as PEDs are used under medical control.  Others say that this solution would not stop the clandestine use of PEDs.  Yet others say that assigning liability to those who wield power over the athlete(s), entourage, or team would be a good and practicable alternative.

An important question remains: Why is doping so prevalent?  The article offers an answer.  It indicates that researchers present how this is due to the “payoff matrix,” where the rewards such as prize and sponsorship money, records, fame, and the rest outweigh the risks of doping.  This includes not only being caught and punished, but also the physical harm that could occur following the use of PEDs.

I take the payoff matrix one step further.  I believe that doping in sports is but another manifestation of the distorted mentality that is prevalent in our society.  In fact, it’s its own sport; it’s a competition to see who can use the most PEDs without getting caught.  People want to win and get the better of others no matter the cost.  They want everything that’s coming to them, and they want it now.  It’s all at the path of least resistance because: Why work harder for something when you “don’t have to”?  There’s nothing better than getting something without having to work for it.  For this shameful character trait found in people today, you know who is to blame: blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

Thursday, June 02, 2016


Now that we have had time to digest the circumstance, I'd like to talk about the event that happened in the Canadian House of Commons recently: Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, à la WWE, delivered a “flying elbow” to a female Member of Parliament (and yes, exaggeration intended).  Actually, the title of Michael Enright’s article, “What the prime minister did was supremely dumb, but so is the reaction,” adroitly summarizes the whole affair.

As Mr. Enright states: “You can usually weigh the serious or silly elements of a political scandal by the time it takes the media to apply the word “gate” to it.  The shorter the length of time, the sillier the scandal.”  So in this case, it took but a few hours for the term “Elbowgate” to get thrown around.  The Prime Minister did not drop or kill someone with a single blow in a supreme act of violence and in total disregard of the pain inflicted.  In actuality, Trudeau accidently bumped the lady, but she was so traumatized that she had to remove herself from the Chamber, thereby leaving her constituents “high and dry” when she missed a vote on an important matter; that’s to say she believed the bump was bigger and more important than fulfilling her responsibilities to the people regarding the subject of the vote.  Some representative!

This is but another example of how low our society has gotten, when so many people purposefully “make mountains out of mole hills.”  Why?  To advance their own agendas, while trying to present themselves, or “look,” better than all others who might not be sympathetic to their belief or cause.  Everyone else is a three-headed monster that is out for everyone else’s blood.

So, what is behind this?  In my view it is quite simple: The “me-me-me” mentality that is so prevalent in our society creates people who are self-centered, self-absorbed, and egotistical, believing that the entire world revolves around them.  This has been manufactured by the conglomerates who continue to sell the idea that the world is theirs for the taking.  They do this by brainwashing citizens into believing that they must get everything that their hearts desire yesterday because they are entitled to it rather than required to work for it.  It’s a perpetual mindset of total disregard for others and what is real.

I feel as if I am headed toward another tirade!  If you too are starting to do the “slow burn,” I think it might be time to resurrect a term that was popular after Trudeau’s father made his own faux-pas.  Therefore, I emphatically say, “fuddle duddle!”  If that is insufficient to appease anyone’s anger, then we might as well blame it on fast foods.

- B. J. T. Pepin

Friday, May 20, 2016

A “Double Darwin Award,” Anyone?

I am confident that the majority of readers have heard of the “Darwin Awards.”  For those who haven’t, Wikipedia suggests that the Darwin Awards originated in Usenet newsgroup discussions, recognizing “individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions.”

While researching articles dealing with the stupid things that people do, I came across one in particular that stood out.  Why?  It involved two people acting in concert who paid the ultimate price for their ill-advised actions, resulting in the “Double Darwin Award.”

The story outlines how two intoxicated men from Rotterdam dared to test their courage versus a train.  By positioning himself between the tracks, one man was set on proving that the train would pass over him.  The other believed that by kneeling next to the track, the train would go by him.  As it turns out, the fast moving train was lower and wider than the men thought, resulting in their instantaneous deaths.

Although the story is both tragic and stupid, it serves to illustrate how often people engage in activities devoid of any forethought as to the consequences of their actions.  Some might say that the men’s ingestion of alcohol played a significant role in their lack of good judgement.  Others would say that their lack of judgement originated with their decision to start drinking.  Yet others would suggest that since alcohol acts as a disinhibitor, it freed them to act on their impulses.  At this point, you might be asking: What does this have to do with fast foods?  I submit to you that the same is true about the consumption of fast foods.

The parallels are rather simple and straight forward: People begin by “tasting” or eating fast food due to its convenience (handiness, ease, expediency).  The poison/chemicals/drugs that the creators of the fast food put in such items further contributes to disinhibition that, in turn, leads those people to continually gobble down mountains of the slop, ultimately leading to their demise.

As was the case in the story, the continued consumption of fast food is both tragic and stupid.  In my view, it is crystal clear that you must blame it on fast foods.

- B. J. T. Pepin

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Fraud in the government?

In an article entitled, “Fraud: government credit card used for spas, restaurants,” Dean Beeby outlines how a Health Canada employee had charged close to $20,000 to his/her government credit cards for spa visits, restaurants, clothing, and home improvement items, as well as performed cash withdrawals.  To make matters worse, this same employee collected and pocketed charitable donations solicited from co-workers.  Auditors found evidence suggesting personal financial stress, so they concluded that this individual shouldn’t have been given the credit cards in the first place.  (Wow!  What a revelation!)  Apparently, this person had been counselled against personal use, but 60 separate transactions later, this case illustrates lax controls and follow-up.

So how did Health Canada resolve the situation?  The worker’s pay was docked in instalments, but Health Canada wound up paying outstanding balances of $11,210.  As for the theft of the donations, there was no payback.  Later, the employee was fired.  And this is considered a resolution?!  A “head-shaker” if I ever did see one!

As a citizen, if I knew that this situation was just an isolated case, I would have chalked it up as an exception.  However, further investigation by the CBC revealed that in 2014-2015, credit-card fraud by public servants was estimated at $180,000, occurring at least 76 times.  Reportedly, in most cases, at least part of the loss has been recovered.  For sure!  Let’s hear it for effective sanctions!  Here we go, round and round on the merry-go-round.

How is it that this kind of fraud/thievery happens in the first place?  Some would say that it’s rooted in a bad combination of personal circumstance and opportunity.  Others would say that personal characteristics are really at the root of this kind of behaviour.  I would like to offer the following hypothesis: Since most, if not all, politicians are liars and thieves, those in power make sure that the sanctions for acts of fraud and theft in government are rather lax.  That way, if ever they are caught for such behaviour, they too are able to get away with it.  Nothing like the truth to set us free!  If you disagree, you can always blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

Monday, March 14, 2016

Raising our children to be junkies!

To my disbelief, I found out that PBS is launching 24/7 children’s TV this fall.  Recently, the Toronto Star published an article written by Lynn Elber of The Associated Press that outlines how this “free, 24-hour offering will provide child-friendly fare during prime-time and other periods that draw kids…[and] member stations now get up to 12 hours daily of kids’ programming.”  The service will also be available online.  As Lyn puts it, “young insomniacs are in luck.”

What are we coming to?!  As soon as this becomes available, you’ll see countless mothers and fathers using this “service” under the pretext that it is good for their children.  So, rather than, you know, actually doing any parenting themselves, parents will choose abscond from their responsibilities.  In essence, this wonderful little solution allows one to position a child in front of the “boob tube” and let PBS handle their “programming.”  What’s more is that there isn’t a time limit; that is, the brainwashing is now available all day long!  Indeed, the tube is certain to turn our children into “boobs”!

In my opinion, the whole story is quite telling.  Basically, it amounts to feeding an addiction, whereby the children can get their “fix” whenever they want it.  And of course, for the providers of this programming, the younger the better!  By allowing our children to “consume” these “drugs” at such a young age, as they grow up, they’ll become “junkies”!  In my view, this is just another reincarnation of the fast-food mentality and the approach taken by conglomerates to control the masses!

What can we do about it?  It’s really quite simple: Turn off the bloody TV!  Take the time to speak to and with your children!  Take responsibility for their education!  But, if you don’t feel up to it, use these services.  Then, when your children become mindless drones, continue along the path of least resistance and…blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

Sunday, February 07, 2016

A conspiracy? You be the judge.

For those of us who believe that we are at grips with various conspiracies, I came across an interesting article written by Dr. Mercola, entitled “How the Oil Industry Conquered Medicine, Finance, and Agriculture.”  In the article, he refers to the investigative journalism of James Corbett, who exposes how the oil industry has shaped and is ruling our world.

Dr. Mercola maintains that “Big Oil” is an industry founded on treachery and deceit.  After John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil, he became the world’s first billionaire.  His father, William Avery Rockefeller, was known as “Dr. Livingston” and “Devil Bill,” a so-called “snake oil salesman” and con-man.  He allegedly taught his son, John D. Rockefeller, all the tricks of the trade.  Quoting Corbett: “The world we live in today is the world created in ‘Devil’ Bill’s image.  It’s a world founded on treachery, deceit, and the naïveté of a public that has never wised up to the parlor tricks that the Rockefellers and their ilk have been using to shape the world for the past century and a half.”

As Dr. Mercola suggests, others have followed in the Rockefellers’ footsteps (the Nobels, Rothschilds, Dutch Royal Family, etc.).  Through people’s dependence on oil for most all aspects of life, the result is that these early “oil barons” became wealthy and gained power and influence.  Were it not for these folks’ manipulation and squashing of competition, oil could have been replaced by other resources (electrical engines and public transportation, alcohol and alternative fuels, etc.).  This hold allowed them to control and impoverish the educational establishment. It has contributed directly to the shift from naturopathic-based herbal medicine to a medical industry that uses oil-derived pharmaceuticals.  Their financial power allows them to control the financial system and has served to create a food monopoly by controlling food production.  Their end goal is to monopolize life itself!

The fast food industry is a creation and offshoot stemming from the control exerted by these “oligarchs” (“government by the few”; “a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes”).  It’s no wonder why the fast food industry has such a hold on the populace.  They make you want it and need it.  Enough is enough!  This has to stop!  It’s time for all of us to speak up and out!

If all of this fails, blame it on fast foods.  That or you can join me in blaming the oligarchs!

- B. J. T. Pepin

Saturday, January 09, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions 2016

As is usually the case at this time of year, many folks reminisce about their hopes and desires for the past year(s).  Some are struck by their accomplishments, while others long for what they could have, should have, or would have done.  The result is that many folks make applicable resolutions for the coming year.

The word “resolution” is defined by as: “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.; the act of resolving something.”  In essence, people who make resolutions hope to rectify what they haven’t been able to resolve.  So, on that note, I thought that it would be fun to review some “words of wisdom” on the topic of New Year’s Resolutions (as offered by The Huffington Post UK).

“A new year's resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”- Anonymous

“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions.”- Joey Adams

“You know how I always dread the whole year? Well, this time I'm only going to dread one day at a time.”- Charlie Brown

“Good resolutions are simply cheques that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”- Oscar Wilde

“This year, let's resolve to make better bad decisions.”- someecards

After pondering about the subject, many decide never to make resolutions. What is my stance on the matter?  Well, I believe that resolutions have their place, so make them!  Resolutions serve to guide us along a desired path that we have set out for ourselves.  But, as we all know, things don’t always turn out as planned.  If this happens, you can always fall back on the best backup plan out there: Blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin