Tag Archives: conspiracy theories

Laws don’t Protect Consumers

I found this page the other day on Huffington Post about Seattle banning ride share apps. Basically, there are phone applications used to connect riders with drivers and are allowing people to save a lot of money on rides around town. I have never used one of these but have friends who rave about them. Seattle, apparently is a testing ground for these kind things. It seems to be working out well for Car-2-Go as well as the companies listed in the article as well as my friends who use the systems.

rideshareSeattleBut of course, the taxi cab companies already have a foothold in our local political system and have manipulated and pressured the city council into considering a ban on. They claim it’s for public safety, but if you follow the money, it’s clear they are merely trying to protect their income without being forced to re-evaluate their business model for a changing society. Ultimately, consumers are suffering, as we are still being forced to wait 45 minutes for a cab so we can pay $30 to get across town.

It’s just one example out of a myriad of how our government and lawmakers just cause problems for the general population for the benefit of a small minority. Most of the time they sneak these bans in and no one notices. I can’t imagine just how much innovation has been stifled throughout the years by companies who use legislation to stifle their competition instead of working on a fair playing field.

And people try to use examples of how government helps us, claiming consumer protection is so important, but I believe this protection is largely a myth. The government built all our roads for the car companies instead of forcing them to compete with the railroad and bicycle companies on a fair playing field. Now we live in a society where everyone just blindly accepts that cars are the only way to get around, despite how they have forced us to use tax dollars to pave over our wilderness, are destroying our atmosphere and forcing parents and pet owners to keep their loved ones locked inside for fear they will be run over.

I could go on for example after example I think, but I’ll just do one more: almost ten years ago, I tried switching my internet service to a company called Clearwire. When I signed up they promised their internet service was comparable to Comcast, but I soon found that I was unable to watch even YouTube videos and some things wouldn’t connect at all. When I tried to cancel, they charged me over $300 for an early-termination fee, something that was buried in the fine-print of the contract and which the salesman had specifically told me did not exist. I attempted to fight it by cancelling my credit card, but they harassed me until I finally compromised and gave them about $200 to forgive the “debt.” I was rather poor at the time so this was a lot of money for me. People complain so often about Comcast’s customer service, but I tell you it is a world better than Clearwire was.

Now, the other day, nearly ten years after I went through all this frustration, I got a letter in the mail with a check for a little over $14, after a lawsuit settlement against Clearwire on behalf of all the people they did this to.

So even when there are legal successes on the consumer’s behalf, it doesn’t even begin to make up for the problems these selfish and underhanded companies cause for society.

Compare that to my experiences in the unregulated underground marijuana distribution. I mean, I bought marijuana literally several hundred times from dozens of different dealers in quantities ranging from a gram to a pound. Not once was I ever ripped off. Not once did a dealer ever pad a sack with catnip and not once did they ever “just take the money and run”. Not one single time.

So yeah, consumer protection is a joke. The government does far more to protect morally void companies from consumer backlash.

We are Preparing for Massive Civil War, Says DHS Informant – YouTube

Ah, yes, it’s becoming 1984 quite quickly around here. Personally I think Animal Farm does a better job of painting the picture of how our government becomes totalitarian. It’s just that we need to wake up here and realize what’s happening, how power-hungry and sadistic people are dominating our culture and manipulating the masses. And we’re not waking up to see it and try to put a stop to it. Maybe it’s partly because hollywood puts out so many amazingly entertaining movies and tv shows that we never have the time to sit and watch something of value like this video that’s basically a collection of news clips set up to tell the story of how our country is deteriorating into another totalitarian regime, right before our eyes.

Most people say it’ll never happen to them until it does. Then they become unable to deal with it. For many people, sometimes entirely law-abiding people, a run-in with a police officer can be the most traumatizing event of their entire lives, and every year that goes by those instances are increasing in both volume and intensity. Compassionate people should always oppose increases in the police force.

The Arctic Rose Tragedy – The Conspiracy

So I wrote this post several months ago and have been sitting on it, afraid to post it because I feel guilty for not talking about this earlier and also because I’m embarrassed that it might all be totally false, someone just pulling my leg, and because some of my facts may be wrong. Then last night, April 2, 2011, I saw a news program talking about The Arctic Rose Tragedy:

So I guess it’s been ten years as of yesterday since this occurred, so I think this is a good time to finally publish this post.

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Around the turn of the century I was working for an all-you-can-eat fish and chips restaurant, up in Bellingham Washington. We had some of the best and the cheapest fried Alaskan cod in the city.

One day I saw on the front page of the local paper a tragedy had occurred up in the Bering Sea. A ship called The Arctic Rose went down, killing all 13 on board. The ship had been from Bellingham. If you look at this link you’ll see it’s considered “the worst fishing tragedy in U.S. waters for 50 years”.

However, at first I didn’t think anything of it. People die on the highways every day. There’s no reason to think arctic waters are any safer. But then, the manager mentioned the incident, and seemed surprisingly upset about it, and said, “we don’t know where we’re gonna get our fish now.”

“We were buying our fish from the Arctic Rose?” I asked.

“Yup.” He put his finger to his lip. “But don’t say anything. It’s kinda hush-hush… we kinda… well… it’s kinda our fault this happened.”

“I don’t remember reading anything about this place.”

“Of course not. It wasn’t on the books.”

“I read they got way off course or something.”

“Nope. They were right where they were supposed to be, fishing for our cod. Officially though, they were supposed to be miles away fishing for Sole. How do you think we keep our fish prices so low? By not paying taxes or obeying fishing laws. John and the captain of The Arctic Rose had a special agreement.”

“So the investigation is completely off base?” I asked.

“They’ve spent like $100,000 on investigating this, and they don’t even have the basic information about what was going on. They’re probably gonna say officially it was a navigation error which sent them into stormy waters, which is just ludicrous. What we think happened was they over-filled their hull with a big catch, the freezer went haywire and the ice accumulated and they didn’t want to call for help because their hull was filled with illegal fish. They got greedy. But we’re certainly not gonna say anything. John would have a fit if he knew I was telling you about this.”

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I payed attention to the story after that, but kept my mouth shut about what I’d been told. In fact, I haven’t really talked about this until now, and I still don’t know what to think. The manager may have been talking out his ass, making up stories. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d seen him tell a lie, though I had never seen him lie simply for the fun of it. I certainly never discussed this with the owner. However, we did have problems getting fish after that, and we raised our prices shortly after.

I knew if I talked about this, and it wasn’t just a lie, I would lose my job. I was just a prep-cook, and certainly didn’t have the programming skills I have now so keeping that kitchen job was necessary for my well-being.

So over the years since this I’ve thought about what it means to my anarchism.

If not for our system of capitalism I could have talked about this years ago without the fear of destroying my ability to feed myself. If not for our economic system, they never would have had a motivation to fish in such a dangerous and environmentally damaging way in the first place. If not for the fear of governmental retribution, we all could have been open and honest about this incident.

Then I think about all the people out there who think conspiracy theorists are all wackos, that it’s simply ludicrous that, for example, someone in the White House may have known about 911 before it happened, or that the average police officer occasionally frames innocent people.

I was a prep-cook, making $8.50 per hour, and I was–possibly–a part of a conspiracy where 13 people died. Just imagine what kind of conspiracies are possible with people who are trained in the art of deceit and dealing with millions of dollars.