Top Of The List!
NEW: Change - we know the problem - what the fuck are we going to DO about it is the question...??
(still) NEW!! Ammo - selection of very good commentary from other writers on important stuff; - FAAAAARRRRR BETTER THAN TV!!!
Canadians for Canada Coalition (CCC) - United Left, if you will - but bottom of the line - Get Rid of Corporate Government in Canada - 2004 Federal Election may be your last chance - act NOW PLEASE!!
The Debt Conspiracy Theory Fact - do you believe people who email you from Africa wanting to give you 10 million bucks? No? Well WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THE NATIONAL DEBT IS LEGITIMATE?!?!? (Sorry - I get excited about this...)
911 - as important as the debt scam - ask yourself why you are so afraid to admit the truth here, even when it's been kicking you in the face almost since it happened? When the world you live in is operating under a lie this big and obvious and monstrous, you have no security whatsoever.
Word Warriors and Others of Note
Unbrand Your Life
Hand of Mordor
Happy Canada Day
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human
face - forever.
George Orwell 1984
mama mama who dat scary man mama??!!
030725 I read the news today oh boy....
I've been listening to CNN a bit (know thine enemy) and am more or less struck speechless (I know that's a tad hard to swallow - take it figuratively) by the murder recently of Saddam Hussein's two sons, and the reaction to it being shown on the tv and in the major media - almost everybody from the "civilised" (western) world the media talk to or who comments is saying what a great thing it is RM archive copy of one of these stories, with some quotes. How in the fuck did I get stuck on this planet anyway? I must be working off some really bad karma.
It would seem that George Bush is out to see if he can replace Genghis Khan or something as one of the most despised, heartless butchers of history - with (and this is the part I really don't get) the full backing of most of the world - the largely unsuspecting and/or intentionally blind world, one might say with wonder and fear - will asslickers never learn that it is only a matter of time until the bully turns on them, and the only way to stop one is to stand up to him? Has the name Chamberlain been totally eradicated from the modern mind? - I suppose, given the general state of "education" the last little while, few people even recognize the name, and most of those that do blabber insanities about NOT bombing the fuck out of the latest Satan-of-the-day is "appeasing" him in some Chamberlainian sense, even though comparing someone like Saddam Hussein to Hitler is about as rational as comparing George Bush to a real elected Head of State. But I suppose some of these people will wake up about the time the knife enters their back - or for we lesser types, when the knock comes on the door in the middle of the night (remember the good Reverend Neimuller?).
Don't these people doing and supporting all this killing recognize anyone as human beings but their own kind or something? I mean - imagine the reaction if a band of Iraqis or someone, anyone, had snuck into the US and killed Bush's kids - man, I can see the look of horror on your face now for even thinking it, the redfaced, spluttering outrage on the news channels and from commentators about such a barbaric act, etc and etc - not that they (the Bush kids) even seem to be particularly fine specimens of humanbeinghood or anything, but they've had a pretty hard upbringing it would seem in one of America's premier dysfunctional families, in one of the premier dysfunctional countries in the world, so you gotta give them some slack but - really - you know - you just don't go around killing people like that! - well why in the fuck is it ok for George W fucking Bush to say he is going to go around killing other people's kids, and anyone he fucking well pleases, and then do it - and everybody does nothing more than watch the tv for the latest developments, or, like Tony Blair and the Australian PM Howard, say what a great day it was for the world?!?!? The tv-saturated brain, I suppose, is involved - if it ain't happening here, it don't much matter, and we'll all just react like the tv tells us to - hate Saddam - gotcha pres! - killed his kids - great stuff pres! - fuck it is to be beyond despair.
Were Saddam's kids brutal thugs and murderers and all the bad stuff the press is saying? I don't know, actually - it's certainly possible, but, as noted before, when you KNOW the government and press lie about some things, many things even, then it's pretty hard to believe them about anything else, especially when they have a motive to lie, which the US government surely has in this case, and has been doing so for a long time about everything to do with Iraq, if you haven't noticed, not to mention just about everything else they say - when you are following a hidden agenda, but have to justify that agenda by pretending it is something else entirely, the lies and layers of lies are inevitable, and very hard to maintain, as the Bushies are finding out (and poor George must be going a bit crazy, being eminently unequipped to handle that kind of complexity). But with a compliant, complicit even, media, a government and judicial system totally under your control, and a citizenry who really resembles a herd of sheep in its apparent complete lack of reasoning ability or desire to protest even the worst outrages, it can be done. Obviously. At least for awhile - people like Caligula and Nero managed to destroy the great Roman Empire, but it made a fuck of a bang on its way down.
Let's try to remember - the people who are saying these murdered men were brutal thugs are the same people who told us in apparent shock and outrage a few years ago that the soldiers of this country were so evil they callously tossed wee innocent babies from incubators - which gave the "outraged" Americans of the day enough excuse to start the first gulf war - and which later turned out to be not just an exaggeration of some sort, but a complete, intentional lie, devised for no other purpose than to get people reluctant to go bombing and warring on board. Likewise a few years ago in Kosovo and Yugoslavia (remember, this ain't about Republican-Democrat - it's about Elites and the rest of us - Clinton was just Bush Lite with considerably more intelligence) - the Hitler-of-the-day (Milosevic, if anyone remembers - once they have served their purpose, a common Satan around whom to incite a common fear-hatred to rally support for some military expedition, the media forgets about them pretty quick, and gets on to the next Hitler-of-the-day) was supposedly committing genocide - hundreds of thousands of people being tortured and killed and buried in mass graves - so let the bombing begin!! - but again, after huge destruction had been done to the country, thousands killed by NATO bombs (and just coincidentally, of course!, a government MUCH more willing to lie down and spread 'em to American interests put into place) - why, goshdarn if it didn't turn out that there didn't seem to be any mass graves at all!! Wow!! - although for some odd reason, the "democratic" mass media didn't thunder this TRUTHFUL story from the pages of its papers with the same enthusiasm they thundered the LIES about mass graves - barely noted it at all, actually - the mission was accomplished, I guess, and no need to go into it all again. Anyway, point being, when the Pentagon-US Government starts spreading the word about how evil someone is or was, and the horrible things they have done, I listen with about the same level of belief as I do when I get these emails from people in Africa wanting to give me a lot of money. Right Jack. Hasn't anybody read Chicken Little? - how many times can these people spread the same set of lies and get everyone worked up (they're spinning the wheel again as we speak - listen to the stories coming out of the media and government about Iran, Syria, North Korea - who's it going to be)? Pavlov would have loved it ----
"....weeelllll, we're not sure we want to go bombing anyone this year ....BZZZZZZ HITLER!! MASS MURDER GRAVES!!!!! 911!!! TORTURE ANTHRAX TERRORISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - well fuck go get the bastard!!!" yeah right on. Sometimes I wish Mom had of let them do the lobotomy when I was 15 like they wanted to - I could have fitted in better and not been troubled by all these radical thoughts, and morals and concern about truth and all that shit. I could be liberated by Ritalin instead, and spend 4.5 hours a day in front of the tv like normal people.
Somewhere along the line the last few months I seem to have missed the part where George Bush got elected as judge, jury and executioner of the world - I know he's been doing quite a lot of it, but I missed the part where, for instance, Canada said that as far as "we" were concerned (and insofar as that is legitimate in a "democracy", a decision of that magnitude taken without bothering to ask the people) - well, hey, pardner, you just do what y'all think is right, and we won't bother y'all, y'hear? fuck all them treaties about unprovoked invasion, or not assassinating heads of states, or Geneva conventions, all that shit youdemanGeorge!!! - or anything along those lines. It is unclear to me how this kind of process is different in any way from a Mafia godfather telling his hitmen to go and take out some of his rival leaders, and their fucking kids as well so they don't grow up and take revenge. On the other hand, of course, there are a whole lot of things about the way this society operates that trouble me, but seem to trouble few others. But this kind of thing is a really, really dangerous precedent - we have just said (by our lack of protest) that, at least in certain cases, we are willing to dispense with any kind of formal trial or judgement process, and at some times some people can just go out and kill others - including any children who happen to be in the vicinity - and we'll say ok. So ok - maybe - just maybe - these were two brutal torturers and murderers who deserved to die for their crimes - but how do we really know that without some sort of formal trial process? - are propaganda stories spread by the ruling media of the day to now be accepted as sufficient evidence to condemn people? - and what about the next time? Who decides who is authorised to sanction such killings? The President of the US alone? The thing is, in a legal sense, a precedent has been set - a precedent which basically says the guy with the most guns and bombs (and least morality) can do what the fuck he wants. In the world today, that happens to be George Bush (or those who are pulling his strings, to be more exact), and everyone is saying rah rah rah. Well - what is the difference between what Bush and his soldiers just did, and Hitler's brownshirts, or Saddam's secret service people, or Marlon Brando in The Godfather? - the boss decides someone has to be eliminated, the goons do it. As poor as our current legal system is in Canada and generally in the west (great on paper, but as with so many things in our society, the reality and the theory are a loooooong ways apart), it has to be preferable to letting warlords kill whom they want, when they want, on any fucking excuse they want, validated by nothing more substantial than newspaper reports of the victim's "crimes', by "witnesses" who have never faced any kind of cross-examination by any kind of defence attorney.
(I wonder if this will get in the movies like the Bruce Willis flick I mentioned the last time - the one with a small group of incredibly brave Americans defying and beating literally hundreds of bad guys while on a mission of mercy to rescue a trapped American citizen - but in this case, the "reality" movie was kind of the other way around - it was a couple of hundred "big brave" Americans, and a bottomless pit of ammo and armour and helicopters and firepower, taking out (in a rather more brutal, Mafia-talk sense) 2 or 3 semi-armed civilians holed up in a private house, while taking no casualties themselves - now that's a bit more like the real modern 'Merican way, 200 to 3 (or B-52s from 50,000 feet), with guns and bombs coming out the ol yingyang, as a friend used to put it - and not a fucking WORD in the media or from "official sources" about any perception of overkill, or possible alternatives, or even about taking out a 14-year old kid as well!! - I guess the kid was evil too, as the grandson of Saddam, and thus death was too good for him and doesn't require comment - somehow in my mind there is the thought that we should not be punishing the kid for who his parents or grandparents were - but I guess with the Americans it's kind of biblical - everyone unto the 10th generation shall be cursed!!! And with the added irony, if you will, of Jessica Lynch getting out of hospital on this same day - she, supposedly, a few months ago facing off a whole squadron of horrible Iraqis, but in this case, as the lone, outnumbered, outgunned American being the big hero, fighting to the last bullet, etc and etc. How in the fuck can anybody believe any of this crap?!?!?! - it ain't a fucking cartoon, it's the Americans taking over the fucking world, and we're all gonna be facing them helicopters and rocket launchers if we don't soon stand up and say STOP!!!
What do you think? - if the government gets mad at you for some reason (or the American government, it's pretty much open border here for them right now), do you figure it's ok to go after your kids and grandkids as well - with, as the cute CIA-Pentagon phrase has it, extreme prejudice - with no trial, no chance to defend yourself, just "the word" from "the man" that you are to be taken out, and fuck the side casualties? Seriously, ask yourself that question - and if it's NOT ok for your kids or grandkids - why was it ok in Iraq? If you're having a bit of trouble with the answer, maybe now would be a good time to get a pen and paper, or turn on the old computer, and write a little note to your government rep and ask him or her what the fuck was so great about it over there - a 14-year kid, for fuck's sake, taken out in a 4-hour firefight by 200 "soldiers" and helicopter gunships and 1,000s of rounds of ammo and RPGs and the works, in a planned, pre-authorised execution - care to take a wild guess at that kid's state of mind the last few horrible, bullets-flying, war-zone minutes of his life?!?!?!? Barbaric. And that's probably being insulting to real barbarians. And our leaders gloat about what great warriors they all are, and what a great, heroic deed they did this day. Isn't that just about as fucking sickening as you can imagine? Just who exactly are the butchers in this little "war" anyway?
But Rude, but Rude - the Americans are our friends, and they wouldn't ever do that to us!! Right. You and Lassie. Write from the barn. hahaha
Along those lines, sort of - I was working on a letter before this latest shit hit the fan about a previous incident in Canada, where the "defence" Minister (seriously, I have trouble taking any of these comic book self-granted titles seriously - and although the guy's email is not available, I sent it to the office, and got a little reply that it had indeed been forwarded to "The Honourable..." snifsnif hahaha - in my book, honourable is as honourable does, and at the moment he nor the Canadian government don't have a lot to be claiming honourable about, although they are not in the same league as the Americans, much to the disappointment of the Pispot (just had to get the name in there somewhere this time - RM not mentioning the Pispot would be sort of like a day the Pispot didn't mention LOWER FUCKING TAXES!!! - ohoh lost myself again - ) pontificated that he was sending 1,800 Canadian troops to Afghanistan, partly at least to prevent any more 911s happening in Canada (it wasn't clear from the news story if he actually thought there was some terrorist incident in Canada or not, the way it was worded - I tried to straighten him up about it anyway...) - and how the Canadian government was quite willing to sacrifice our soldiers to prevent terrorism on our sacred soil (sorry, there I go running over into sarcasm again - that was more or less what he said, though, without the 'sacred', which was between the lines, I guess...) - I wonder what the soldiers all think about the government's willingness to sacrifice them for George's wars or cleaning up after them, or Canadians in general - anyway, I wrote a small letter to the man, following:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: troops to Afghanistan
(please forward to Mr. McCallum)
Dear Mr. McCallum,
I am most disappointed in the remarks that were attributed to you when you sent 1,800 Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan last week, wherein you are reported to have said - "Canadians are prepared for casualties among their soldiers in Afghanistan and the government is prepared to sacrifice them to prevent another Sept. 11 from happening in Canada..." (I have added the news story where this is quoted at the end of this letter) RM archive copy
I must say I am very, very unhappy that the Canadian government is using this tactic of fear to try to justify its actions to the Canadian people. What on earth do you mean by "..ANOTHER Sept. 11 happening in Canada...??" - you may recall, the incident occurred in New York City - there have been, as far as I can recall, no terrorist incidents at all in this country (if we don't count numberless Darth-Vader dressed policemen terrorising Canadian citizens with pepper spray and tear gas and rubber bullets and jail and so on for trying to peacefully, legally protest the actions of the Canadian government from time to time, such as at Vancouver, Toronto, and Quebec City, to name three off the top of my head).
It is most unseemly and even approaching dishonest to be making some sort of bogeyman out of what happened that terrible day in New York and using it to try to convince Canadians they should be afraid of some vague, undefined group of people who you tell them might do something really bad here!!!, to justify the actions of the Canadian government - very, very unseemly, and more than a bit insulting, to try to manipulate people that way.
Might I remind you that, as horrific as the events of that day you refer to were, there has NEVER been any kind of official investigation into what happened even yet, almost two full years later - don't you find that just a bit odd?? There has been nothing but accusations - accusations which, when examined against what little is actually known, seem to be a great deal more puff than substance (the magical passport, the people clever enough to plan such an action stupid enough to leave manuals and credit card trails, the mysterious passenger lists, etc and etc). There are also many, many unanswered questions, questions which demand an inquiry before calm and rational people start taking serious actions like bombing other countries and killing their people.
Furthermore, although the government has been making some rather serious policy changes, and proposes more, concerning the overall freedom of Canadians in the name of "fighting terrorism", there has been no investigation of any kind into "terrorism" in Canada, to what extent terrorists are here, or to what extent we ought legitimately to be concerned about terrorists attacks on or by Canadians - all the government is doing is playing bogeyman - 911-terrorism-BOO!!! and everyone should get afraid and let the government pass more and more laws restricting our freedoms in the name of this bogeyman.
It is not the job of the government, Mr. McCallum, to scare the children, to quote a recent British journalist, and I think and believe a rather large number of Canadians would agree with this sentiment. Until there has been some full and transparent investigation into a) the events surrounding the destruction of the World Trade Centre two years ago, and b) what exactly should Canadians know about any possible terrorist activity in Canada, and what a well thought out policy might be for us as a country, I must register my strongest disapproval of the Canadian government taking any action whatsoever in the name of the so-called "war on terrorism". There has been more than ample time for such investigations, and that they have not been held is quite instructive, really - one can only surmise that they are not being held because they will not support the claims of the government, and there are things lurking somewhere in the background that the American government does not want people to know. Wouldn't it be better for everyone concerned to clear these things up?
I would like to also bring to your attention, if no one else has already, that you do not and cannot fight terrorists, to whatever extent they are out there, by bombing poor countries and killing innocent civilians - this will, as many studies conclude, do nothing but increase the problem - you must be aware of this, in your position! One diminishes terrorist threats by removing the things they regard as such serious injustices with no other course of action possible to make their point than terrorist activities. Dialogue and a serious effort to address their concerns will reduce terrorism, not more bombs, Mr. McCallum. And insofar as Canada might be becoming a terrorist target, I would also like to inform you of the idea that it is because we are becoming more closely associated with the American terrorism around the world - that is to say, Mr. McCallum, by sending our soldiers to Afghanistan, you are not protecting average Canadians from terrorists, but putting them much more directly in harm's way - almost every country in the world, in this year of 2003, is looking at America with fear and suspicion, and to the extent that the Canadian government is aligning itself with the current Bush regime, we are attracting a share of that fear and suspicion as well. This is not good for us.
Running the Canadian government on a bogeyman policy will not do, Mr. McCallum, it will not do at all, and what you should be doing is having a serious investigation into what terrorism is in the world and Canada, WHY it is there, and what can be done to reduce it - and I can guarantee you that the solution will NOT be bombs and killing, but food and freedom for the oppressed peoples of the world. It can be done - if there is a will to do so. I would be happy to provide you with details, but that is not the point of this letter, which is already getting a bit long.
If for some reason you are not aware of the great deal of alternative analysis and information available on the events of 911 or the Iraq invasion, I would be happy to provide you with some links. Believe me, most of it is a great deal more credible than the Washington Osama-Saddam conspiracy theories.
CC - some Canadian papers
- we don't hold out any high hopes of being the bearer of the light to Mr. McCallum and the Canadian government - actually, I can pretty much tell you now what the reply will be, having done this kind of thing before a few times - "Dear (Rude Person), we thank you very much for your letter, and can assure you we are taking your opinion and the opinions of all Canadians very seriously in this matter. We are confident that we are taking the right course at this time, and trust completely in the actions the American government is taking and are deeply committed to stopping the terrible terrorists all around the world, and especially in Canada, etc etc etc and etc."
Interesting idea of the moment - - the fact that I have the 'freedom" I do to write and protest is held up by many as a sign that this is a free society - as with most things, alternative perspectives are possible - for instance, we might see it another way - as a sign that the controllers are so certain of their control over the majority of citizens that they let me and others like me loose to prove, in a perverse sort of way, their complete control - in a less authoritarian or brainwashed system, where the controllers are less certain of their power or the people a bit more outspoken and protective of their freedom, people who speak about dangerous ideas must be silenced, as those ideas might spread and endanger the rulers - evidently, the rulers in this system are so certain of their power that no such suppression is necessary. Yet. There are signs this is changing.
Site called Laissez-faire socialism - this guy has a bit of a unique POV, and he is pretty close to a workable vision of how things could be done around here to make them better for most of us, and he writes in plain English. Worth a look - and good enough to copy here, all in one shot (he has, on the site, 10-12 short essays which I have put together - whoops Plan B - my modern fucking HTML stuff won't do it all in one fucking shot - try 2 - ARGHHGHEHH - 3!!! - remember this if you ever cross me - I don't forget and I whine about it far and wide at the first fucking opportunity, proving once again that intelligence is no cure for pettiness... or is that the other way around...?? MOOOMMMM!!!! my beer's almost gone.....) - Laissez-faire socialism Part 1, Laissez-faire socialism Part 2 and Laissez-faire socialism Part 3
And - we have talked about John Kaminski, great great writer, before - a book of a bunch of his recent essays has been published, which you can read more about here - America’s Autopsy Report: The Internet Essays Of John Kaminski - yea, that's what it's called. Some people wonder about my apparent preoccupation with things American - well, I'm not, really, but ya gotta keep a close eye on them, these days - and we're in a worse position than a lot of countries in the world, right next door to the rabid psychotic beast known as the American MIC, and with a lot of people in high places in the country who think we ought to be even closer (can we say BCNI-Pispot Benedict fucking Canuck?) - we fight in and for Canada, because we believe that Canada has a chance to be an important leader to the world in the coming times - no don't laugh, it's true, with decent leadership we could be, we are a very fortunate country, with great riches in natural and human resources, and if we had had leadership the last 20+ years that had any fucking ambitions at all outside of selling us out to the American beast as quickly as possible, who knows what we could have become - and still could, I think - it's one reason Chretien has been such a disappointment as well as traitor, he who was once the crown prince (bad analogy man!) to the great Arthurian Pierre. But it will all be for naught if George and his buds have their way, and turn us all into new-feudal serfs for the few years before they turn the whole planet into a lifeless radioactive desert for the next few million years in a fit of spite when they find out they just can't have their cake and eat it too - they can bomb Iraq and Yugoslavia and Iraq but when they bomb Mother Nature she is going to bomb back - believe it, she already is - like the guy without a parachute, he's just fucking fine until the last inch or so. Anyway, read Kaminski - one of the clearest visions (scary but clear) and best writers in that beleaguered country - and as long as there are people like him there (and there are, a lot of them), all hope is not lost (although he is close to losing faith himself).
ANOTHER FUCKING IDEA!!!! (no it won't save until next time - I'll forget it)
- all of these 'crises' seem to keep us hopping from one to the other, month after month after year after year with no real chance to sit down and try and figure out what to do to get to the root of it all, rather than keep fighting the ongoing small brushfires that break out all the time - somehow I suspect that is not entirely coincidental (we'll have to add this to the coincidence file somehow)
- allegorically speaking, I remember waking up one day some time ago with the realisation in my head that The Beatles were actually part of the problem, not part of the solution (and everybody who knew me when I was growing up is absolutely certain now I have lost it)!!! - they gave millions of us an outlet to sing to at night and refer to when we talked - but also never a reason or way to actually try to do something better - the Beatles generation grew up to be the middle management and small business sector of the Mulroney and Chretien reigns in Canada, under which so many destructive things have happened - if all of those people really believed in the Beatles and John and Dylan and Baez and the rest - how did this happen?
Remember - the Beatles didn't publish their own music - if left to themselves, whatever was left of themselves would have still been playing in the Cavern or wherever in 1969 when they broke up (might have been better for John - no, probably not, the brief but glorious blaze of his candle was a gift to us all, these words notwithstanding) - no, the Beatles were made big by Capital Records at the time, who spent a huge amount of money marketing them and making them the phenomenon they were. The record industry is one of the most corrupt in the great corrupt capitalist society, and why on earth would they promote people or music that was recommending their downfall, the replacement of capitalistic excesses with a more humane world? Short answer - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!! - explanation - they wouldn't, of course - and where is that going? fucked if I know right now ......
So since we do not have an "Imagine" society today, quite the reverse, actually, far more wars and brutality than in John's time, bigger guns, more of them, stupider leaders in control of much more dangerous armaments - does that mean the CWers won or something? I don't think so - I think this is all misdirection - how many of either group are in the Elite - the rich who run things from behind the scenes? None that I can think of, although there are undoubtedly some who move in those circles, such as Frank Sinatra when he was doing things his way - people with a lot of money tend to gravitate to the elite, and most musicians are no exception to the lures of the haunts of the wealthy elite, who are always looking for fresh blood and entertainment. What really happened with the music, though, I think, is that the whole thing was and is just a distraction, like so many other distractions, to divide and conquer - to keep ALL of us out of the political scene, where the real power lies - how much time is wasted keeping up with the latest boyfriends and fashions of Hollywood starlets, for fuck's sake, rather than keeping an eye on the White House and related things? How much time did we waste singing and listening to "All you need is love" or "Imagine" rather than becoming educated about the real problems and the real causes behind those problems, and effective things to do about them? For most of us, none at all - and then the halcyon school days were over, and work beckoned, and the great ideas were left for the record players, later tape players, later CDs, in our cars or at home at night - while the rulers carried on doing what they did and are doing.
And here we are, right on the fucking edge of the end of civilised society - and we better have a fuck of a lot better idea of what to do about it all than "Imagine".
Write if ya want.
What direct action did you take today to do something to get rid of corporate
government in Canada? Do you feel that it was enough, given the situation?
Will you feel content telling that to your grandchildren, should they survive,
and the country, and the planet?
So much left to say, so little time to say it in - probably only a year or so to the next federal election - do you want to try to save Canada in that frantic four weeks when big Paul drops the writ and EVERY friggin advantage is his - or would you like to start now, when we have some sort of outside chance? Canada for Canadians Coalition - get involved.