Category Archives: Lifes Lessons

Kaepernick Debacle

Colin Kaepernick had a very good 2013 season with the San Francisco 49ers. It’s been tough to miss him through the news cycle since. Kaepernick rightfully latched onto the civil rights issue associated with the Rodney King incident and other precursors galvanizing support toward the Black Lives Matter movement. Unfortunately, he decided to use his celebrity as a football player on the sports field as a means for showing his support for the cause while connecting the matter with disloyalty toward his country. He got black balled and he should have seen that coming.  You see, employers in a free capitalist society have the right to hire based on their variables deemed important for success. Disloyalty toward country makes a character statement and potentially correlates with potential behaviour when it comes to “team interest”. When the going gets tough, are you going to fold up tent or fight within the means available to you under a constitution? He chose to whimper in the easiest form of protest conveniently available to him. I wish him well. He seems sharp and I suspect he will be able to translate his sporting competitiveness into another avenue of success.     

A Word On Don Cherry

The man has always been a blow hard advocating violence on the ice while goading groups against one another whether it be the Players Association versus the NHL, Swedes vs Canadians, fighters versus non-fighters or referees versus players. It’s what Canadians have apparently wanted due to the ratings on Hockey Night In Canada’s first intermission for three decades. I for one have always seen him for what he is and that is a personality looking to bait fans from a pulpit that has always frankly been in place for him due to questionable decisions on every occasion when it’s time for executives to renew his contract. Politicizing the game of hockey on a Saturday night or talking player contracts when sitting in front of the TV with family has never made any sense to me. In spite of my admiration for Ron McLean he has always operated as a fuel hose for Don during the HNIC segment which in and of itself seemed dysfunctional. Am I surprised that Ron has been caught in the crossfire? No. He appeared to be nodding as usual while Cherry ranted about poppies and “you people” in spite of what I believe is not actually what’s in Ron’s heart. Frankly, this is what media executives should expect when ratings and a populous perception of a personality become superimposing variables in personnel decision making.

Now to the words themselves. Don believed in what he was saying. He believes that people on the streets of Mississauga are not wearing poppies like they used to and it’s obvious that the ethnicity of Mississauga and downtown Toronto has changed immensely over the decades because of immigration. I don’t think he’s wrong in what he’s said in reference to the prevalence of poppies given my experience in North East Calgary. I also believe that with every passing generation, memories will fade and the sense of sacrifice of WWI and WWII veterans will lessen irrespective of skin color. I absolutely witness forgetfulness in government policy particularly with respect to the infringement on freedom via tax and regulatory policy. Referencing people as “you people” is not politically correct and could be viewed as racist. The reference is distasteful as is his character which I came to perceive early on in his days as a commentator in stark contrast to the viewpoint of so many white men. This is his schtick pitting people up against each other. This is an 85 year old man with a limited time spot in order to articulate a message in which HNIC executives unfortunately have condoned simply by renewing his contract and having experience with his history for brashness and off-ice faceoffs. However; I still deem their apology sincere. BTW….still thriving from having cut off my cable TV in 2014.

Not Achieving? Consider This

First of all, you are most likely achieving more than you think you are but society’s norms, customs and feeback mechanisms oftentimes communicate negatively. Hence; the conditioning you receive is not necessarily congruent with your output.  Unfortunately, there are also a few who overestimate their contribution as well. Then there’s your government with its officials who think they know who should be bestowed awards based on criteria unbeknownst to those too busy raising children, volunteering modestly, and invigorating their workplace with passion and commitment. Last time I looked, it was a hockey player receiving the Order of Canada. I’m sure she’s a nice lady. 

Here’s the thing. There is much repression in the spirit of those who have over reached with financial responsibility thereby compromising the pursuit of unique latent talent. The kicker is that it’s not just the variable of “keeping up with the Jones’” which has many stymied but also the subliminal familial and social suggestion that you are “not really good enough” or ‘how dare you be adventurous” with career when there are mouths to feed.

Here’s the other thing. You’ll never get yesterday back. It’s gone forever. If you spent yesterday by keeping your biggest aspiration tucked away in that dark closet of your mind, it’s one less day you’ll have available in fertilizing its fruition. You will have a legacy. What will it be?  

Ever Been Blind Sided?

One reduces the risk of being blind-sided with awareness. The problem with awareness is that we are lacking it due to the imposition and acquiescence to life’s complexities. Even when one deploys discipline in erecting barriers to special interests, variables outside our control compel us to accommodate for the sake of functional conformity.

So, here we are in the information age where values are being blunted at the edges. Liberties are taken in the name of new culturally perceived norms when in actual fact subconscious minds are at work processing the impact of changing goal posts and impingements upon freedom.

Could there be a “reckoning day” when there’s a return to values in their pure form due to the consequences of such a negative change in behaviour? If so, what would that “reckoning day” look like?  Would it be tripping the circuit breaker of the New York Stock Exchange? Perhaps, it would be the removal of ATMs from banking kiosks? Then there’s the unthinkable but that which is showing up in the news. How about a tax revolt? As we speak, things are so dire in Venzuela that mothers are turning to prostitution in order to feed their kids. A report out today sponsored by Canadian firm MNP espouses that “48% of Canadians are on the brink of insolvency”. That’ right. Supposedly, first world country Canada has financially impaired citizens almost as its majority.

Perhaps it’s time to take the blinders off and examine what is actually happening behind the scenes in the offices of your elected officials, board rooms of banking executives, and line ups in corridors of corporate, environmental, and indigenous lobby groups. Perhaps, it’s time to reflect on the line item detail of government Balance Sheets and the injustice of untried tax evasion of elite cheats with offshore accounts. How about regulatory measures of our fractional reserve banking system in the context of spiralling public debt out of control with no apparent plan to pay back? Did you know that our tax system is over 3,000 pages of fine print?

John Titus has exclaimed that when the money supply retracted thirty per cent from 1929 to 1933, there were hundreds of U.S. financial institutions in play regurgitating financial paper. Right now in the U.S. Citigroup, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America basically represent those hundreds from the early thirties. These four banks are interconnected with derivative positions and they really are too big to fail in the context of what the effect would mean. When there’s deceit inherent within levers of power, there are strong winds ahead.          

Complexity Theory And Airplane Automation

Does the human mind have limitations when confronted with multiple variables presented during short time windows requiring a life and death decision? I took a course in third year university called “Human Performance” and in the course we pondered the question of “reaction time”. It was postulated by our professor that when a football team was confronted with a “third and one” (American rules) scenario that the offensive team should be guaranteed a first down because of their advantage of snap count cognition. However; any fan of the game has witnessed the defence putting on the stop. After all, a quarter back sneak requires execution after the snap.

Airplanes now have all this automation which is predicated on electronic data flow. In fact, some of the data flow is initiated from conditions exterior to the fuselage. Ice pellets, rain, snow, wind, lightning and thunder are all conditions which airplanes may encounter and hence require the pilot whether automated or not to interpolate. But wait…shouldn’t these automated systems adjust for the conditions? Hasn’t every imaginable metric been created to account for weather events which have now been deployed within electrical circuit boards and decision switches?  Has it not been established that auto pilots can now drive the plane from just after take-off to just before landing? Does a pilot dare interfere with the scientific deployment of automation when his / her instinct has been aroused? Has the human mind been compromised through excessive deployment of automation in an environment which carries living souls through the air in a cargo machine?

The Feeling of Corruption in Canada

Your Attorney General of Canada claims that your Prime Minister placed undue influence on her with respect to a prosecutorial decision in lieu of criminal evidence. In my mind this amounts to “obstruction of justice” subject to the penal code. It’s apparent that Justin Trudeau was motivated politically to save an engineering firm, namely SNC Lavalin, from consequences arising from their apparent conduct. The firm is based in Quebec. Trudeau is a Quebecer. It’s postulated that pensions would be saved by interfering with the prosecution of the firm and somehow that would philanthropically justify such immunity. I suppose Canadians are now expected by our Prime Minister to rationalize the penal code depending on circumstances of a person, or a company? This in my opinion makes our country’s leader unfit to lead. Now that he has cast away Jody Wilson-Raybould from her post as Attorney General in lieu of her steadfast integrity, the next incumbent will be faced with an office stained of its independence. Canadians are asking whether our justice system is now not only pitiful in its timely and cost effective execution but also lacking in credibility. If our Prime Minister is not ousted from office in the short term, I will be asking whether Canada is any better than corrupt Venezuela. 

All This Hatred

I woke up this morning to a USA Today headline “The man is pathetic”: Giuliani attacks Cohen. My gut tells me that those spewing such vitriolic comments likely have ethical dilemmas themselves which brew underneath a bravado like facade.  This seems to be the new normal in politics. In an era past when differences of opinion could be debated with intelligence and unwritten rules of conduct, it’s now all out unfiltered attack based on emotionally planted self centred ego driven applause seeking irrationality.

It’s quite obvious to the bystander that Trump’s ex lawyer Cohen succumbed to heat applied by Trump during tenuous transactions arising from Trump’s business and personal conduct. In the remote chance you haven’t been witnessing Trump’s bully like conduct and visceral need to react intensely to any slight against him through his twitter account, never mind his propensity to litigate contractors in business, you can easily formulate through a “paint by numbers” like puzzle that this seems to be a man who takes every occasion to wield financial power regardless of ethical implications. Now, he is facing the music as he deserves. I had actually seen enough simply through his conduct in the election campaign that this was a man unfit for office. In spite of nepotism rules, Trump somehow determined that his daughter and son in law despite their youth and inexperience in governmental affairs would be apt “Advisers to the President”. I actually believe the man has some merit and humanity behind his veil which has unfortunately been voided by aberration.  

I suggest that Mr. Giuliani’s propensity to defend thePresident has more to do with his own need to have his ego stroked than anymisplaced loyalty. There are men who reach their twilight years and still donot discover the means to bypass this ego laden short circuitingmechanism. 

Upon posting, I thought this might go in my blog categorization of “personal development”.  Wink.

Twenty-Five Per Cent of Canadians Say They Face Economic Hardship

This is what an Angus Reid poll has concluded from a sampling of 2,542 Canadian adults. I’m not surprised and below I make some attributions for the troubling statistic:

1.       Trade school not seriously introduced to 16 and 17 year olds in our           system of education

2.       Liberal culture unsupportive of propelling the individual toward                 entrepreneurship

3.       Propensity to defer responsibility

4.       Proliferation of employment agencies and head hunters buffering             effect of take home pay

5.       Opportunity cost associated with young adults pampered at home             by their parents

6.       Inconvenient and costly legal system incapable of expeditiously                 handling contract disputes

7.       Poor partnering of industry and education system

8.       Absent household budgeting / undisciplined allocation of after tax             dollars

9.       Psychological compulsion to showcase lifestyle undeserving of                   income

10.   Employer payroll costs effect on tempering wages

Good Samaritan Alert

After a strenuous bike ride today, I disembarked at the Marlborough station and started walking the bike down the off ramp. Upon hearing a bang, I looked into the parking lot below and a man had just turned a sharp looking white car into a large lamp post with a cement base. It was either an absent minded moment or he was distracted by his phone. He was alone in the car.

After one circle around the off ramp, I turned again to see how we was handling the assessment of the dent on the passenger door panel. By this time, a middle aged woman had arrived on the scene having exited her teal Mitsubishi Mirage and I’m intrigued. She must have seen what I heard. I make my way down and I just have to check this out. As it turns out, this woman had seen a young Jamaican man in emotional distress by the circumstance and felt compelled to console. It was that simple. She had also perceived that the young man may have been new to Canada and that he may need help in navigating the insurance system and claims process.  I complimented her sense of exemplary civics and rode home refreshed from the fatigue of a long bike ride.    

Jermaine Gresham and American Airlines

In spite of the gesture being relatively small in the big scheme of things, there is a succinct take away. A young lady was going to miss her flight for $50 over the cost of a new American Airlines policy of charging for carry-on luggage. Her credit cards weren’t working because of an international restriction and American Airlines wouldn’t take cash!

This behemoth of a corporation was about to deny a woman her flight because they wouldn’t take a perfectly legal form of payment in lieu of a new charge policy.  This good Samaritan football player, Jermaine Gresham, not only saw through the ridiculousness of the situation but stepped forward in generosity.

There is way too much of this idiocy happening at all levels of human interaction.  Workers want to feel empowered but when they’re put into a position to showcase the corporate image of customer service and goodwill, they inevitably fail for reasons of misplaced ego, stubbornness, closed mindedness, or unfortunately the ugliest of reasons –  rigid staunch policy dictated from aloof management teams. 

These large corporations patronize from their oligopoly and expect you to forget instances of brain cramp. On the one hand, these corporations want to empower their people but when the unique situation arises to display sensitivity at just the right time, companies and employees fail.  On the one hand it’s amusing to witness the faltering as an expected response to a digital faceless world but on the other hand, it’s disappointing to see the so called professionals lack professionalism at every turn.

Should a corporation be required by law to accept cash as a means of payment when cash is the purest form of money? Oh, it’s not the purest form you say? Hmmm…..a topic for another day.