Category Archives: Lifes Lessons

Governments and Gambling

So it used to be the case that gambling was considered sinful , aberrant, immoral, and an affront to family values. It was something done by the low lifes (degenerates) of society with an addiction. However; in the context of today’s new world order – for one – you can’t make a reference to a “low life” because you would be condemned via political correctness as being prejudicial in one way shape or form or simply insensitive to  another’s presumed plight as opposed to their self inflicted harmful behaviour. Secondly, in Alberta and in other jurisdictions in North America…resource royalty revenues have fallen so low that the gambling stream of revenue is now considered essential for sustaining exorbitant social programs and government budgets. Hence; it’s more culturally accepted than ever that we don’t condemn the gamblers for their devious ways in the context of keeping society afloat. Nowadays, what you’ll find in casinos are flowery programs for the addicted installed through regulation in order to soothe the cognitive impairment of the addicted. Governments apparently need them so we might as well placate them with niceties.

The question goes begging “who are we as a people if we must rely on people’s weak character exhibited through gambling in order to sustain government finances”? I suggest that it didn’t have to be this way if governments weren’t so weak with their fiscal discipline over decades. When one looks at the behaviour of governments over decades in absolute terms pertaining to the handling of your taxes….it didn’t have to be this way.  Alberta’s online gambling site was apparently just launched yesterday.       

The Wake Up Call

Bob Woodward exclaimed to MSNBC on Thursday before revelations from the NY Times regarding Trump’s tax returns, “I don’t know Where (when) the wake-up call comes to the country” in response to Trump’s notion of not committing to a peaceful transfer of power.

It’s quite astonishing but as Woodward insinuates through his words, this pitiful man, Donald Trump, could still in fact be awarded the White House via the electorate despite his contemptuous, deceitful, patronizing, and immoral behaviour. I’m aghast and have refrained from writing on the Trump indiscretions as they regularly occur just because it’s become so banal and disheartening.

Among the latest news, we have the New York Times representing “years of tax avoidance” when characterizing Trump’s tax returns. It’s hard to imagine a man who flaunts such wealth as one who wouldn’t be left with some net income to pay tax but this is what’s been revealed by the Times.

At this point, the only nugget of conscionable defence one could muster in casting a vote for Trump would be the “either/ or” argument that the opposing political ideology is so unpalatable that Trump’s behaviour as characterized is tolerable in context.

If the United States of America returns this man to power in spite of everything they’ve learned about him through his words, his manner, his questionable relationships with Russians, his treatment of decorated military officers, his revolving door of staffers, his midnight tweets, his mocking of the disabled, his withholding of aid to Ukraine in exchange for political dirt, his payoffs of women, his bungling of COVID-19 while lying about it, his disrespectful reference to war captured veterans (McCain), his associations with the criminally indicted….all within the backdrop of a national debt advancing, race relations abysmal, and a quality of life in decline then the plight of man in the first world is deserving of whatever fate comes hither.      

So Smart Yet So Wrong

Throughout social media we’ve had these colourful dialogue boxes espousing COVID-19 denial. The President of the United States with his manhood expressed so succinctly to Marco Rubio during the GOP nomination process wouldn’t be seen wearing a mask in contrast to the official recommendation of government officials’ position on them being an effective tool. Then there was this reference to “mind control”. Oh ya. The mask would be seen by some self esteem lacking individuals as a symbol of repression during a pandemic. Try squaring that logic.

Now we have these Republican governors out of Texas and Florida back tracking on their perverted sense of referencing civil liberties in the context of extinguishing a virus. Now in the face of overbearing case statistics, these chest beating Trump bimbos have needed to reverse course on their misplaced usage of libertarian ideology and actually implement recommended protocols. It’s really something to behold how political hay is being made out of a pandemic. The radical right needed even a pandemic to push its agenda of civil liberties.

Unless people return to an era of common sense and objectivity in tackling problems in real time proactively instead of reactively consequentially, I’m afraid that the quality of life for masses of people is going to continue to decline. Yes, I said “continue” because 2020 has materially impacted life quality negatively and either politicians learn from errors or continue to drive unproductive narratives based on ego rather than logic.      

Globe Reporting Of Flynn’s Exoneration

In spite of the bit being brief, it was balance reporting. The Globe however neglects to mention that Michael Flynn was in the business of deploying his experience and contacts and an ex-military officer to consult / lobby foreign diplomats. Trump hired him during Trump’s campaign for the White House. What did Trump want from this man when he was campaigning for President? Kind of nice to know the context from which he confessed to lying to the American people. Of course, while this investigation of election meddling was going on, you had not only Flynn on the radar of investigators but Paul Mannafort, Roger Stone, Rick Gates, and Michael Cohen – all indicted. Here you have Trump claiming some kind of witch hunt when this was the company he was keeping.

The matter of deliberation specific to the lie as described by the Globe and Mail was in my opinion unrelated to the investigation of election meddling but must also be put in the context of Flynn pleading the fifth prior to a deal being struck for his cooperation. 

I suspect that Mr. Flynn was leveraging his experience as a decorated military man and didn’t quite know the character of the man who had retained him during a presidential campaign.  Flynn wasn’t doing himself any favours by apparently flirting with Russian women while on assignment and he apparently was administratively deficient in filing paper work associated with receiving pay from foreigners.    

COVID BUNGLING

  1. Let ‘em fly. Maybe you shouldn’t have.
  2. Forget the masks. Oh. I guess we should be wearing them.
  3. Don’t let the cruise ships port. Oh. I guess we compromised their civil liberties.
  4. Marginally pay those long term care workers. Oh. I guess some of those exorbitant doctors salaries should have been budgeted there.
  5. Speak in monotones. Oh. A little passion for corrective measure would have helped.
  6. Ignore the problem and blame oversight on impeachment distraction. Head shaker.
  7. Forget the inventory of PPE. We have doctors to pay.
  8. Implement regulation and then fail to enforce. How many tickets have been issued?
  9. Cell phones as tracking devices. Who pays those cell phone bills?
  10. Codify financial lingo to disguise the effect. I.E. “purchase bonds” vs “print money”.

Pandemic Potpourri

  1. So ah, take out delivery. Don’t you have tons of time on your hands to cook
  2. Something like seven years to get a doctors degree and still so much contradictory opinion about wearing a mask and defining etiology
  3. Idiocy of downplaying potential and then actualizing the black swan.
  4. Still selling toilet paper in packages of 18 rolls weeks after discovering supply chain issue.
  5. Much talk and little real leadership from particular politicians.
  6. Few people exercising outside and you know they’re headed for a weight gain dilemma.
  7. Human rights reflection in failing to permit cruise ships to port.
  8. Potential for infringing on civil liberties with cell phone tracking permissions.
  9. Discounting any semblance of common sense and government dictums with bulletin board notices and patronizing ads about staying home.
  10. Instances of misplaced sense of authority over others’ conduct.

Untimely Elimination of Epidemiologist Position

There was an untimely elimination of an epidemiologist position in China back in July of 2019. You know how much Mr. Trump liked to exclaim “you’re fired” back when he hosted “The Apprentice”. It’s Reuters and four of their sources who expose this stunning revelation. The key post administered through the American Centre for Disease Control was bestowed the duty of identifying disease outbreaks in China. Dr. Linda Quick served in the role prior to it being extinguished. This woman actually trained Chinese field epidemiologists in concert with monitoring the public health landscape. Chinese American Bao-Ping Zhu who served in the role from 2007 to 2011 expressed his dismay to Reuters. The four sources also confided to Reuters that no other foreign disease experts were embedded in China after the departure of Dr. Quick.

Who would have thought during the taping of “The Apprentice” that the term “you’re fired” by one, Donald Trump would one day come back and haunt hundreds of thousands of people around the world whose health depends on the early detection of deadly viruses? Were there other variables associated with the outbreak? Yes. One very important variable would have been the strength of the relationship between countries and the goodwill of China in communicating issues around public health to the U.S. and the World Health Organization. I’ll leave it to you to speculate whether Trump fostered trustworthy relations with the Chinese. If these sources are correct, the World Health Organization may have also failed in its duty to deploy resources inside China. 

The matter of corporate interests in the aviation sector, the “travel bug”, and duties of repatriating citizens, and limitations of airports in dealing with crowds have also been key elements associated with this pandemic of COVID-19. The aviation industry as we see it today and the negative consequences we’ve come to realize were likely unimaginable to the Wright Brothers as they pioneered motorized flight.        

The Cyber Medium of Control

This is what’s on my mind today as I receive emails pertaining to COVID-19 from those compelled to exhibit their interpretation of this virus in the context of their platform / agenda / business relationship with you / notion of how think you now need to operate in the context of their interpretation of the public health message. 

Everybody’s got an opinion and they have needed to learn how to type in order to convey it through the internet. Thanks god I took typing class in grade 9 with all the girls while my friends took shop as their elective. What were they thinking?

Anyway….I’m amused by superfluous posts and reposts of value driven dogma which percolates occasionally on internet threads. Suddenly an audience is illuminated through a key stroke when the more difficult gesture would be a letter to a member of parliament (yes, I have written them in case you wonder).

Then there’s the internet companies who literally dictate terms and then await the fall out. I guess Apple app developers receive automated bots for feedback on why their apps disqualify for hosting. I’ve had a copyright claim on youtube within the first 30 seconds of upload. They couldn’t have possible got through the full 1:58 in order to fully digest the material.  I’ll be at their mercy with my 28 subscribers having uploaded to “private” never intending to monetize the video.

 Then there’s the government with its tax collection and system of correspondence now pretty much dictating communication through the internet as opposed to a live person. If you really want to talk to somebody, you’ll have to navigate the phone auto attendant just to find the queue to wait in for 30 minutes. Your music will certainly be interrupted frequently with messages of education hoping you’ll  find some nugget of information thereby reducing the probability of being redundant when you finally get through to talk to that agent. This agent will need to provide you their agent ID number. Have your pen handy for those 30 minutes ‘cause they spout it off quickly hoping you’ll not catch it thereby potentially not being liable for the conversation.

You get the drift. We have all these phones now but folks don’t want to talk on them for anything relevant to their business or professional life. Email or text only please – I’m now conversation inept having been raised behind a computer screen. 

One must ask, are we now more efficient? I suggest yes at times and no oftentimes. Nobody wants to be controlled but they do want balanced reciprocation. People know when they are being controlled and they will resent it. When communication is compromised – so is the relationship.

Newsy Week Eh

From the stand point of the stock market, this is a lesson that so many folks needed to learn. Your investment advisors are simply people with vulnerabilities like the rest of us. The buy and hold mantra has cost you money. You must put attention on your own investments and you must actively manage your portfolio with input from financial people who know more than you. You must be the torch bearer of your own financial destiny. You must be in a mode of “continuous learning”. What about locked in accounts and government pensions you ask. Well, you are at the mercy of portfolio managers but you still have access to your accounts with a right to know what you own.

So….how do I find the time to manage my own investments? You fit it in. You stop succumbing to the bosses request for overtime. You put boundaries around your schedule. You stop being a pushover when it comes to your calendar. This might mean helping your spouse understand that that second vacation within a calendar year goes bye bye.  Boo hoo! What would you rather have  – an earlier with compounded accelerated rate of return and an earlier retirement or that second vacation just because your kids get a spring break?

Now that I’m on a roll ‘cause I put this together having just returned from an empty gym ‘cause of the psychology behind avoiding sweat boxes now that we’re dealing with this corona virus, I expound further.  Have you seen the chart on the Dow 30? The thing has been going straight up for years. Did you not think that it was overdue for a major correction in response to some kind of Black Swan event? Hell….I simply took a look at the incompetence of governments in running budgets given deficits and debts and on that basis alone considered the market over heated. Have you not perceived the weakness currently in our North American political leaders??  There’s another factor right there in and of itself worthy of shorting the market or running for the hills. 

Passenger Rights For Ocean Cruisers Next?

I’ve thought much of the passengers stranded on cruise liners in the Orient over the past couple of weeks. I was definitely suspicious of the quarantine protocol thinking that these cruise vessels would not afford the degree of isolation required in order to prevent the transmission of a virus. Not that I’m an epidemiologist but in every piece that I’ve read since the threat of the coronavirus, it seemed that the health professionals didn’t have strong confidence in how exactly the virus spreads and they didn’t provide much assurance that healthy passengers on a quarantined cruise liner would be protected. It seems now that the rights of health cruisers were superseded by an overzealous quarantine effort and an obvious void in protocol perpetrated by an international lapse in cooperation.

When we elect leaders who lack a moral compass or who are irrationally swayed by ideology over practicality, we should expect the occasional debacle to arise. We should expect intransigence, indifference, and ambivalence. Great leaders have a knack for anticipating problems and establishing control mechanisms. Great leaders do not patronize administrative bodies designed for international cooperation (United Nations, World Health Organization). They seek ways to strengthen the foundation. Great leaders do not find themselves distracted by issues of personal accountability thereby compromising their attention toward matters of international importance. Great leaders do not find themselves isolated due to pettiness in their bargaining or vindictive with opponents. Great leaders do not find themselves enthralled in meetings over the mundane.     

Health workers fighting disease and treating patients on the front line need administrative competence as a pillar of their support. They need courageous leaders cognizant that the proliferation of international travel and trade has made nation to nation cooperation paramount in protecting lives and potentially fostering higher living standards.