As Toronto gets set to host the next round of G8 and G20 gatherings, the media continues to focus on the amount the Canadian government is estimating for the cost of security.
In a world that is almost a decade into the post-9/11 era, along with the protesters and their obligatory vandalism and general mayhem that we've come to expect at such international events, why the astronomical dollar figure would be a surprise to anyone is curious.
As long as the leaders of the industrialized nations continue to physically gather in one location, and the throngs of mostly leftwing nutjobs and unionists continue to equate said leaders with the world's evils, safety and security will continue to be a concern.
Naturally, if these anti-capitalist, anti-individualism, anti-free market groups worked within the system for change instead of ritualistically devolving into mindless drones with moronic signs, chants, Molotov cocktails, etc., you'd see the cost for security drop significantly.
But that won't happen, in part because most of the protesters are there for the thrill, not because they actually believe in any socio-political agenda. Many are there just to cause strife.
The fact that our leaders stubbornly continue to insist on these photo-op gatherings instead of joining the 21st century doesn't help. Do any of our leaders know what 'teleconferencing' is? The total cost of security: the approximate cost of one anti-virus software package.
As for Toronto, I thought it best to be fair and look a little deeper into some of these protest groups. While we can expect the usual - animal rights groups, enviroNazis, various anti-American groups (what did they do with all the leftover anti-Bush signs?) - I decided to research one of the more fringe groups, just to get a better idea as to the kind of people we are talking about.
And what better group to represent the fringe than Jacque Fresco's The Venus Project. They want to make changes to our society by changing society itself. How? Why, by government by automation, of course!
There isn't enough space here to go into great detail about the VP platform, but the upshot is a world run by computers. I guess the thinking is, since humans have failed to resolve the world's ills, we should leave it up to the microchip to solve those nagging irritants like poverty, the environment, and war.
In essence, we would live in a Matrix-like society which would be nothing more than a cybernetic police state. We would become, in effect, subjects of an electronic dictatorship.
And I thought living in North Korea sounded like a bad time. I'll take the blue pill, thank you.
I spent as much time as I could on the Venus Project website before I just couldn't take it anymore. I kept having to remind myself that this is an actual group, not some online joke or college prank. As scary as it is to believe, there are people who buy into this stuff.
I will admit my mind did change in one way after learning about VP and various other groups which have indicated their intent to show up in Ontario.
Maybe the problem isn't the message or how those protesting are choosing to deliver it after all. The problem could be that the G20 protesters really are the unemployed, naive, slightly retarded dolts we'd thought all along.