Category Archives: Philosophy

Misinformation Maelstrom

The cost of a college education in the U.S. has been beyond the reach of most Americans unless students were willing to take on large debt to finance. Do we now have a misinformation maelstrom? Consequently, the majority of Americans have not received an undergraduate degree. Access for Canadians has been better. Collegiate level courses do impose an investigative burden on students to undertake the meaning of research in a critical way. In accessing such research citing references for formulating thoughtful response, a logical representation of assertions are presented oftentimes via term papers. This proactive pursuit of analyzing research data in the context of any shortcomings of research parameters or controls lends credibility when drawing conclusions or recommendations as does any acknowledgment of bias by the academic.

Academics have come under intense scrutiny with the proliferation of social media platforms. Politicians lacking in integrity have capitalized on the majority of a populous who have not been through any formal process of scrutinizing research through higher education but are amenable to the convenient mechanism of messaging through social media. A scholarly approach is to embark openly with objectivity, candour, and transparency whereby a non-scholarly approach may infuse personal bias, undocumented study, unsubstantiated assumed external influence, or hearsay.

Unfortunately, society has taken a dark path of late and a case can be made that ignorance from a lack of access to higher education deserves some blame. We’ve been witness to a segment of the population which believes that evil lurks at every turn and that liberty is under threat by government and /or elite covert entity(s). After all, if elite high net worth families are accessing off shore corporate accounts in order to avoid tax with impunity while my politicians continually exercise poor judgement on behalf of the electorate, and the gap between the rich and poor forever widens, then shouldn’t the common one be suspicious of any vaccine?

It’s hard to blame one unaccustomed to the scientific process of discovery to have faith in procedure when the canvass of a society is tainted by corruption, deceit, and legal largesse. What price is now being paid for a society of which for the most part has been blocked from access to higher education? We seem to be facing issues not necessarily anticipated through social media technology as a perceived by a net negative. Such a perception will not be calming to the ears of executives at Facebook, Alphabet Inc. (Google), or Twitter.

Consequence of Distractions In Government (Afghanistan)

I need not tell you of the major international news today. Let me say this. Lives and enormous treasure were committed to overthrowing Afghanistan in 2001 via the ill conceived policy of George W. Bush following September 11th. Now the Taliban has it back and international security along with the liberty of Afghan citizens has been weakened. Strict Sharia Law will be re-imposed. The resolve of the G7 and the Afghan government with its militia was insufficiently strong and it should be considered a failure that the Taliban has regained control given the history.

What is the backdrop in which all this has taken place?

  1. Increased government debt
  2. An American populous justifiably concerned about funding the defence of a nation other than their own
  3. A Donald Trump presidency plagued by scandal, deceit, incompetence, and self interest over public interest along with mistrust by allies
  4.  A pandemic along with associated political haggling and resource uptake
  5. The weakening of NATO and the United Nations under the Trump administration
  6. An Afhani army equipped with 300,000 troops (trained and funded by G7 nations),an air force, special forces, and heavy equipment compared all compared to 175,000 Taliban fighters armed by means not fully verifiable

Intelligent Voices On Mute

Have you ever noticed that it’s the quiet ones oftentimes most cerebral and wise? Have the intelligent voices been put on mute? In this social media oriented environment, unfortunately society is not well served by having their voices “on mute”. The megaphones seem to be in the hands of the blasphemous and irrational.

My blog serves as a conduit to broadcast my occasional philosophical rants. I do so in the context of a politically correct theatre whereby professional organizations muzzle their members, stake holders are intimidated by the bureaucratic maze, government officials show up unimpassioned in the comfort of their home office. 

Then there are the news organizations keen to report a traffic accident or a tawdry affair of a public figure or the banality of a Stevie Nicks decision not to tour in the face of COVID but absent in the context is the reporting of the Taliban regaining a foothold in populous Afghanistan cities with the departure of G7 troops. The editorial boards frustrate public debate with their protective bias with a justification that contrasting opinions are tainted with a compromise of their community guidelines. Cutting opinion coloured with sarcasm and eloquence is mistaken for personal attack. Editorialists are now too daft to know the difference.       

The intelligent either puts up a blog like mine in appeasement of intellectual vigour or steps away with indifference in character of the disposition of prototypical Canadians. There’s always letters and emails I suppose if one possesses intense follow up protocol.  If you are a borne and bread Western Canadian in the middle of your life having not attended French immersion as a child during a time when so little of it was available – you most likely won’t be seeking federal political office.

The megaphones are abundant but you shake your head at what comes out of them. It is so bizarre that you need to possess through training – acumen for idling the rational mind instead of joining the chorus of folks now trumpeting the “mental health” mantra.     

Word For The Unvaccinated COVID Paranoid

Your governments have spent oodles of money to get you free vaccines. For those unvaccinated covid paranoid…many of you who think you apparently know so much about physiology and medical science who have decided not to vaccinate and not heed your governments’ recommendation, the consequences of your decision are illuminating. Doctors in Alberta now whine about policy in lifting the vast majority of restrictions. Albertans have all had the chance to set appointments and vaccines have been available for all except children. Children have the best tolerance to handle an infection. Albertans have been looked after by governments with subsidies, vaccines, and work from home allowances. You doctors making the big bucks from the public purse having spent a ridiculous amount of time in school have most likely never operated a small business or been faced with managing a payroll. Now you whine. 

You see once we hit adulthood we get to deal directly with consequences of our conduct. If you choose not to vaccinate against a killer virus and you get infected and die…that is a consequence of your conduct. Society cannot go around protecting you from a decision which you take to risk your life in the face of arduous measures undertaken to protect you of which you reject.   

This Is Your Life

Bill Murray exclaimed “this is your life” in his interview with Charlie Rose. “There is no dress rehearsal”. It’s true. You do not get yesterday back. It’s gone. You have decisions to make today and the compilation of such decisions will form your destiny. The decision to lurk on the internet , couch surf with the “game of the week”,  research an investment opportunity, or teach a grandchild some tennis are all examples of activities with differing rates of return. You have the power to decide what to do. Then there is also the prospect of “working”.

You work because you have duties of responsibility. You must pull your weight in order for a society to flourish. Your contributions make a difference and just rewards are due you for your output. You’ve come to learn this innately through growth and maturity but what’s not so evident is an intangible resource pertaining to your uniqueness that is oftentimes overlooked because of its suppression.

In the same Charlie Rose interview, Bill Murray refers to his desire to be more “in the present”. This was in his response to what he believes he most wants that he doesn’t have. If you are “present” you have much more probability of accessing the intangible resource of uniqueness within you in order to give it a chance for expression. Your mind cannot be muddled with rationalizations and interpretations of your life history and whatever current day concerns or fears lurk. You need to have the confidence that your precision in executing life’s duties is strong in order to give your mind the freedom to find “presence”. Alcohol or drugs are mechanisms of escape for the aberrant without confidence to free the mind of its noise. You can access presence through conscientiousness, confidence and integrity. There is no free lunch. You get to work at it.

Once we have discovered improved liberty of the mind, we are then positioned to access that portal to our essence. That is…our makeup which will prosper in definition having been fertilized readily.   

Catholics, Residential Schools, Continued Indifference

Although I ‘m not a fan of Justin Trudeau,  I absolutely endorse his request that the Catholic Church step right to the plate and acknowledge the Residential School  horror in Kamloops, B.C. There should be full disclosure, humility, accountability and explicit detailing of records. This should happen now.

If we are absolute in ensuring that this never happens again – then controls need to be put in place along with mechanism(s) of accountability and whistleblower protection. 

As I craft my blog posts along with correspondence to political figures and the Canada Revenue Agency, I often think that I’m a rare breed as someone who actually lifts a finger when things are awry. In fact, of my 105 facebook friends, I’ll be surprised to see more than five who shout out in the comments in profound approval of this message.    

Within the past week we’ve seen all this reaction to the horror. Facebook profiles get symbols of victim family support but that which we need more is letters and petitions and personal outrage directed directly at political figures. We need you to be operative with injustices today speaking with power and conviction instead of deferring because you may sense that your voice is too small in and of itself.  We need you to do more than tweet about it or comment in an editorial. You need to draft arguments and deploy official means to forward feedback ensuring that you follow up and follow through.

The next debacle of society is waiting to happen. I’ll give you a few clues of challenges you can address.

  1. Monopolistic tech companies not reciprocating fairly in their relationship with you.
  2. Unsatisfactory service levels and Service Canada and the CRA.
  3. Illegal money flow from foreign countries (money laundering).
  4. Indifferent police forces and poor enforcement
  5. Cyber Crime
  6. Cronyism in political circles
  7. The subsidization of the wealthy
  8. Complicity around homelessness
  9.  Exorbitant government debt and fragile monetary system
  10. Drug overdoses

There is a list of ten things off the top of my head….one of which you could put your attention on now. You cannot do it all yourself but you can be one voice on one topic so that in twenty years we’re all not scratching out head wondering how did this all come to pass like the Residential School Horror. 

Canada In trouble “UBI”

If you value work for pay instead of a government handout….you may now be a minority in Canada. This is how things seem today as federal liberals gather online to debate a “Universal Basic Income”.

When I left my home to go to work today, I took a look at the full parking lot at my residence and speculated what percentage of my complex is receiving some form of social assistance. Given the demographic of my neighbors –they are not the kind of folk to fire up computers and logon to Zoom. They are more of the marginalized class of Canadian. 

Why shouldn’t the marginalized want “Universal Basic Income” if they’ve failed to meet the test of capitalism? They’ve come to believe that they deserve a free lunch so of course they’ll be looking to you to keep them mummified in their thumb sucking ways.

Yes…that’s the term I’ll use – the “marginalized class” because it’s less likely to get me in trouble with the politically correct. You see in Canada….it’s become fashionable to get a government cheque because with a government job…governments still have this old “defined benefit pension plan”.  Parents in a practical sense may not fathom entrepreneurial pursuit given the risk reward profile matched against the comfort of government bureaucracy. 

Somehow within the equation of this “UBI” debate someone from the nosebleed section may just rise to the occasion and ask where governments think they are going to get the money. Someone may be astute enough to ponder whether those in business who can execute are going to be willing to continue to subsidize a lazy Canadian populous. Virtually every natural resource project in Canada is gobsmacked with regulatory hurdles in getting approved with debt financings contingent upon layers of red tape much of which is unreasonable. Factor in the mountains of government debt already needing servicing and we see a nation in trouble.        

Canada is already a country fully entrenched in socialism. My confident characterization of our culture took place during the first term of the Trudeau era when the federal government began fully subsidizing the rearing of children through the lucrative “Canada Child Benefit” program. This direct subsidization of parents has apparently become the envy of any special interest groups and such program has likely had much to do with the onset of a Universal Basic Income proposal.   

The Oversensitive

I’m starting to see a lot of victimhood and oversensitive reaction as I read the press. Let’s start with the Julie Payette matter. Irrespective of what you think of her credentials to run the Governor General’s office, I’m wondering why she was permitted to get away with bullying staff at the very first instance. Why would anyone in a workplace tolerate abuse?! I’m perplexed because there are protocols that all employees in every job can undertake to ensure their safety and civility in the workplace but they fear retribution and they are unwilling to fight the good fight until a form of group think is established amongst many. Then suddenly there’s a movement. It’s wimpy and was evident in the Julie Payette debacle.

Next up we have Governor Cuomo from New York. I’ve watched the guy in action when he was dealing with the New York COVID problem and I viewed him to be a pragmatic leader. It’s looking like his conduct around women was not always dignified. I make no excuses for him but it’s not news to you that particular cultures have a manner of machismo that has been condoned for decades without consequence. He is a smart man and in his position should have been able to stifle any impulse to act on any Italian culturally laden proclivity. My question is why are these women not smacking him and don’t give me the “I might lose my job sob story”. Need we open a committee or investigation to deal with the oversensitive?

Now we also have Meghan Markle accused of bullying staff. This was an actress for God’s sake with no experience in management.  What was she doing leading people? How can you blame her for a situation she was thrust into without the tools for the job. Now she’s gone – so what’s the problem?

I’m sure you’ve seen much more than these three examples of wimpy whiners who fail to call out conduct at the first instance and then look toward society for redress years later. Some of it is frankly absurd but the lawyers are lapping it up. 

Impeachment Again

Here we go again. At the outset….let’s be clear. Trump should have been removed from office in 2020 due to Trump’s solicitation of an investigation into political opponent Biden’s son by a foreign power in exchange for releasing the withholding of financial aid to Ukraine. It was an abuse of power and there was clear evidence to prove the abuse. Furthermore, when subpoenas were issued and requests for documents, the White House obfuscated. The obfuscation obviously corroborated wrong doing. 

The only Republican senator voting in favour of the articles of impeachment was Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is a man of vast financial means. When you think about 51 Republican Senators all having heard testimony of overwhelming evidence with only one Republican Senator voting in favour…..you know there was more than the cerebral evaluation of evidence at play when these men and women cast their vote.

Here we are on January 9, 2021 and five people lost their lives in an assault of the Capitol building incited by Donald Trump, one must ask the question – do these Republican Senators other than Mitt Romney have blood on their hands as a result of the event played out in Washington on January 6, 2021? Would Trump have continued his infantile “tweets” inciting violence had he been removed from office? Would Twitter have come to its senses earlier by banning Trump permanently had he been convicted during the impeachment proceedings thereby preventing the January 6th incident? They are all reasonable questions. I suggest that Trump was as successful at intimidating people in the halls of the Capitol just as he was at extorting money from contractors in business or bribing women of whom he had salacious sexual liaisons. I was not unique in assessing this man of being very weak in character and my regard for the citizenry of our neighbour to the south has been lessened for bestowing upon him a role to administer public policy never mind the Presidency. 

Now what will these Republican Senators do should this second impeachment vote come to pass prior to his scheduled exit? I’ll be watching with interest.       

Capitol Hill Incursion

In the fall of 2013, yours truly was in Washington D.C. and was surprised to get in for a tour of the Capitol building in lieu of a government shut-down at the time. I was standing across the fountain and thought….why not just ask around to see if the tours are still on. I was in luck. I strolled around the back (photo) and entered. There was no line up because everyone else may have been also presuming that tours were off because of the shut down.

I was certainly impressed by the architecture. We were seated in a min-theatre to watch a movie of the construction. There was the “rotunda” which is a picturesque dome of immaculate design and within the circular landing the perimeter is decorated in statues of historic political figures. Although, the House of Representatives was not sitting, the guide still offered us an opportunity to sit in the gallery to stare at the emptiness. I took her up on the offer unlike most of who declined. This required an extra security measure. I had thoughts of my mother (school teacher) who put much attention on things of civility and justice. You’ve all seen the exterior in pictures. Much work has been put into restoring the exterior in recent years. I came away thinking that much care had been placed in developing this material beacon of democracy unlike the care recently displayed by protagonists within its halls to serve its purpose.   

So….as I watched the course of events on ABC news yesterday when Trump loyalist stormed the Capitol building, I was obviously dismayed. I wasn’t outraged because I admit to having grown somewhat impervious to incidents tied to Trump. Even my shock regarding friends / acquaintances support of Trump over the years is wearing off. Is there a final chapter of irony to the Trump debacle to be played out via impeachment at the last hour when Republicans couldn’t bring themselves to vote their conscience on impeachment during the first go ‘round. It will be interesting to see. 

Trump should be everything that America should not stand for and he became their President. It’s embarrassing to have watched this fiasco unfold. Those idiots who stormed the capitol will still be snivelling about how in their minds life has cheated them and potentially how to execute their next pathetic display of victimhood.