Category Archives: Philosophy

Nike’s “Believe In Something”

I agree. Believe in something and while doing it, undertake the process for change available to every other citizen in your country rather than grand standing at the sidelines of a sports venue.  Western democracies are endowed with the right of speech freedom. This right empowers citizens irrespective of race, sex, or religious affiliation to express themselves in the public domain. What is the public domain? Well, you can write a letter. You can recite your beliefs on a street corner. You can visit a government official. You can attend a political rally.  You can start a political party. You can espouse your beliefs in conversation. You can light up the twitter sphere with one liners. You can form an organization as a form of lobby. As you can see, the opportunity to freely express oneself has many outlets.

Colin Kaepernick had chosen a method of expression convenient to him in an apolitical domain – the football arena in a football uniform employed by a football franchise in the spotlight broadcast around North America via television. He chose an outlet reserved for an occasion other than politics and it was his right. The interesting thing about his behaviour is that his employer has the right to sanction him accordingly for behaviour not in accordance with his duty.  His behaviour will obviously impact the perceptions of other potential employers.  Some citizens loyal to his cause may empathize with his plight and even lavish him with praise of courage. However; it would be misplaced. I view Colin Kaepernick as a career martyr deserving of his plight. I consider him lazy for not pursuing the outlets of expression available to him with the same vigour in parallel to the apparent passion he brings to a cause.  

As for Nike’s endorsement of him, I’ve been avoiding Nike in stores for decades.

Being In The Know

We often think we’re in the know when we really aren’t. We come to know because of what we’ve been told but who has been doing the telling and why? In spite of the profligacy of information on the internet, we are deservedly suspect. The question becomes “what do we do and where do we turn?” if information has relevance in designing our lives. 

Conspiracy theorists appeal toward our insecurity of knowledge. Through their inflammatory portrayal and oftentimes sharpness in intellect, they can even dislodge us from sound judgment. We can only harbour outlook through experience, education, reason, and observation. However; what we lack is information deliberately kept from the public domain.

From the period 2004 to 2007 I took the time to digest insights from speakers adept in the field of Austrian Economics. Having studied basic economics through my financial education, I have been rather fascinated about the contrast in the Keynesian model versus this Austrian model and whether there would be any implication to me directly in the context of these models duelling alongside future economic events.

This brings me to Jim Willie of his Golden Jackass website. Jim is a no nonsense fellow with a P.H.D. in statistics. Jim showcases himself as an economist without the credentials of an economist. He has an interest in world affairs as they relate to our monetary system and speaks with an inflammatory style typical of someone imbued of conspiracy yet logical and charismatically intelligent. His stories mostly correlate to postulations. One wonders about the worthiness of his sources but his ability to incite in my estimation supersedes any laxity inherent to his research. 

He was one gentleman that struck me the deepest during this period of my economic inquisition. This weekend with the Dow Jones Industrial Average approaching a double topping chart formation, I wonder if elements key to Jim’s world view will trigger the next market correction.

During the past two weeks, I have immersed myself in learning specific market trading mechanics pertinent toward portfolio protection. I’m happy to share. Simply subscribe.      

 

           

The Success Sabotage Game

Having just about put a wrap on a very good book this weekend in the personal development genre, I reflect on experiences and relationships all while laying down a new guitar riff. I have things in the office to do on this beautiful summer weekend but the philosopher in me has taken over.

I took up Dean Graziosi on his offer to attend a free seminar and get a meal and book on him. I enjoy seminars as a way of gauging my mindset in the context of others who have achieved successes and wish to share while prepared for “the catch”. Typically, presenters deliver on their word as has Dean.

I’ve yet to gain a full understanding of the man’s history but I certainly do appreciate his sincerity in his book, “Millionaire Success Habits”. What I do know is that he put real estate to work and applied Tony Robbins’ principles in acquiring results. While others were challenged by the no doc mortgage debacle and economic pessimism in 2009, Dean apparently snapped up properties.

My message today surrounds the power of the pragmatic mind developed through failure and the social acclimatization toward risk avoidance. Frankly, the attendance of a seminar pertaining to wealth related concepts in Canadian society is mostly viewed as gullible or naive as opposed to entrepreneurially provocative. The propensity to defer to a messenger’s motive syncs with the suspicion entrenched within a society’s affinity toward liberalism. 

You know that folks seek solace in the shortcomings of others.  You hear it at work and you see it in headlines littered through websites encouraging your clicks. Marketers even target your need to be soothed.  There is a cultural aberration at play which must be called out and identified in your mind in order for the full force of your individualism to be actualized. I’m talking about the influence of this phenomenon in your mind as young as preschool. Negativity abounds and you are better equipped to handle it when you become attuned to its source.

Oh ya…the book, “Millionaire Success Habits” by Dean Graaziosi.              

Those Applauding The Budget

Imagine sitting in the House of Commons as an elected representative watching your colleagues clap to the conclusion of a budget speech which has implied yet another large deficit and no plan for paying down the national debt. Your projected national debt will be going up while your household cuts and compromises.  I never actually saw the speech because I was tending to taxpayers but I can just imagine that there was some peer pressure at work amongst liberals inciting smiles and applause. There is this justification of relative debt to GDP which apparently provides the rationalists with comfort. 

Our society has morphed into a “me first, where’s the gravy train” mentality with victimization as the root cause. Strident individualism has been superseded by “group think join the cause” deference. In apathy of a justice system unworthy of amicably resolving civil matters expeditiously, it’s now bestowed upon you the taxpayer that society through wealth redistribution will right all wrongs.

You, the taxpayer, have become a conduit for wealth redistribution. That’s really how your government views you. You are patronized by your government if self employed having taken risk. If you win, you’ll be penalized for victory through increased taxation. Hence; your aspiration may be muted thereby tempering the national pulse. In fact in time, government surmises that since it has sucked the wind out of free enterprise that it may need to invest commercially in the face of subdued capitalist interest despite banking profits at record highs.

The human spirit takes notice. It heeds the subtle intrusion of a civil liberty here and there.  It watches ego at work on the big stage. It digests impudent behaviour by those in the spotlight who dismiss legitimate claims of misconduct. Gratefully, the well endowed human spirit void of chemical inhibitors continues to elicit presence manifesting a message amidst aberrant policy.             

    

Canadian Winter and Homelessness

This is one particular story I tend to follow every year because I use it as a metric with regard to the state of the nation, humanity, and political will in a society which has continued to see the growth in disparity between the rich and the poor. Toronto is in the news today.   

Most homeless people in my opinion are homeless because of addiction, abuse, and mental health issues. They are often stubborn people who have refused help when requested to abide by certain simple civil rules in order to secure their welfare. Where their right to liberty is respected, they can find themselves on the street. Some of these folk lack the capacity to make rational decisions for themselves in a month like July when faced with the prospect of cold snap in January. Hence; we the taxpayer in good conscience humbly step forward because rightfully we disdain the discovery of a frozen lifeless body in the wee hours of a minus thirty morning. 

On the one hand we do not want to normalize homelessness by systematically adding and tracking resources because this process in and of itself expresses the frailty of the human condition. On the other hand, if we do not facilitate a structure of care then we risk failure in tending to our most vulnerable thereby blighting our reputation as compassionate souls. It is this duel that keeps us ambivalent with the issue buried beneath other supposed topics of priority. 

I, for one, am lucky enough to sit tonight behind a computer in a warm home articulating a problem that we face as a country with sound mind free of addiction and I’m blessed. I’m fully cognizant that it could be me scuttled on a mat in a putrid dank corridor of a public building fearful of the loss of one sentimental keepsake. In 1982 our country adopted the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In spite of the strengths enshrined by this Charter, could this one issue be well served by a possible amendment? Could there be others? Could we redirect some wasted public money to this cause without one cent of increased tax? Could we penalize civil infractions more forcefully thereby directing proceeds to the cause? Could our tax system incentivize builders for the construction of affordable housing units?         

Exercising Your Rights As A Citizen

Apparently our federal Minister of Sports and Persons With Disabilities has come under fire for behaving less than professional and he’s being held to account.  This is a good thing. The job of politics comes with the inherent task of responding to the beefs of constituents while potentially implementing worthy recommendations. Additionally, this responsibility comes with the task of eliminating roles where the government does not belong. Societies evolve and priority lists should hence follow suit. I can cut my government officials some slack now and then if they lose their cool while responding to a constituent in the heat of executing the important duties of their office.  However; there is losing one’s cool and then there’s the display of outright disrespect.

Increasingly Canadians feel impotent in jumping through the channels of government in order to have their voices heard. Hence; they understandably become emotional. I expect my government officials to be in tune with the frustration faced by Canadians because of inherent inefficiencies and bureaucracies associated with the law, legislative process, processing times of inquiries, and access to politicians. Naturally, our government has limited resources as it should and has delivered with particular protocols to aid the public but in an environment where our federal government expects to be all things to all people, folks will consequently reach out their hand for what they deem to be theirs having witnessed benefits showered upon their neighbours. When liberalism extends to socialism, this is what happens. 

I encourage Canadians with legitimate concerns to exercise their voice through the precise channels that governments make available while following up and following through administratively on their initiatives. I have experienced some success in my tax practice helping authorities understand administrative problems more fully. They have in fact thanked me for providing feedback. One’s credibility is well served having finely documented courses of action and progressive steps in resolving matters. Consequently, if a matter needs elevation, then an activist is well equipped in support of a louder voice. When society realigns with the ideals of a libertarian philosophy instead of a socialist one, these problems should be ameliorated.            

Eric Francis Response To Flames Quest For New Arena

I’m not sure that the Sikh, the Muslim, the single low income mother, or the senior on a fixed income get much civic pride out of the Calgary Flames Eric. You’re a hockey fan and I believe someone who has earned a livelihood in one form or another from the good ‘ol hockey game with an apparent bias toward a new rink when this city already has one. The demographics in this city are changing and the aforementioned groups don’t jump like city councillors at some bargaining tactic by Ken King. The utilization of tax money for special interest groups has been with us for far too long and the appetite for tolerating this form of “extortion” has evaporated! Nenshi’s notion of tax money for the public benefit of all is a credible principle of which this proposal breaches. No teary eyed victim like threat from spokespersons of multimillionaire owners are going to trump the spirit of fairness owed to taxpayers.

CSIS Lawsuit and Your Tax Dollars

Here we go again. Now that Khadr has been awarded $10 million dollars in lieu protections inherent to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, next up is some malcontents working over at Canada’s spy agency.  Apparently a group of four is looking for $35 million from you the taxpayer because they were called names in the work place.  They were likely bullied. It’s probably true. Unlike other Canadians who have been in such situations who would have tendered their resignation and moved along, these folks have learned some things that I bet you never picked up in grade school regarding “The Charter”. Forget free speech or supervisor’s incompetence in dealing with complaints. Now it’s “The Charter” which could potentially impact you the taxpayer for years and years to come because of the evil nature of some of your fellow Canadians.

This will be a very interesting case because it could be precedent setting for any employer and not just the civil service. Employers dismissive of deploying proactive positive work place climates or who become lax in executing such measures could be faced with law suits from the “victimized”. This could be just one more overlay of business risk which would likely disenfranchise many employers from hiring. Obviously I do not condone or tolerate racism, bigotry, harassment or discrimination in the work place but I am one Canadian who believes in the free enterprise system and the activities inherent to keeping such a system vibrant.  I believe that any Canadian who does not feel that they are treated properly should seek out a climate or create one that does. I also believe that any organization which tolerates behavior of the aforementioned is doomed for failure because of the inherent morale and productivity issues that consequently arise. Whistle blower legislation providing employment security for complainants in the civil service is a reasonable measure.

This taxpayer is getting sick and tired of paying off the malcontents.  If you don’t like a situation, leave it but don’t come looking for my wallet because you were too lame to put the free enterprise system to work for you.

Growing Indifference Toward Infractions

I think it’s high time that attention is drawn to petty civil infractions.  This morning I’m sitting at a stop light when some imbecile ahead drops a tissue from his driver side window onto the pavement.  In Cincinnati a child lies unconscious from a bullying incident inside a school entrance.  Whether it’s spitting on the sidewalk, short cutting through private property, irresponsible driving habits, untimely texting, or impatient outbursts with service agents, incidents of intemperance and aberration are reducing our quality of life.  With every act of social selfishness and disdain for the public’s interest, we reduce ourselves to beings absent from moral consciousness.  Ultimately social fabric is weakened when the perception of fellow man loses appeal.  As bylaws go unenforced, apathy pervades and a frustration builds in the ideologue engulfed in quizzical awe of mankind’s mediocrity.

The City of Calgary will no longer incarcerate for by law enforcements.  Politicians focused on income tax receipts are blind to the potential for revenue from civil fines.  With municipal budgets overly honed on police pickup trucks and pension plans, our officers neglect to monitor our traffic intersections.  Photo radar targets the inconsequential, while drivers engage in crosswalk incursions.  Self centered unionized civil servants maybe working hard at defining their retirement but maybe less so at preserving a quality of life deserving among high tax paying citizens.

My recommendation for public officials is to get serious about convicting criminals irrespective of the severity of a crime while enacting strict monetary penalties namely the garnishment of wages.  The legal profession must do its part in processing cases in manner of time that represents common sense and affordability.  The long term effect of failing to administer justice is the degradation of a nation.

Thoughts on New Leader Kenney

Frankly I think Alberta would have been better served by someone different.  He’s a crony of the by-gone elitist Harper era on the federal scene and is polarizing on the controversial matters of same sex marriage and abortion.  While being taxed exorbitantly (47 per cent highest marginal rate with the new tax bracket), Albertans have little patience for their leader to be preaching social policy from a righteous pulpit.  Albertans want absolute action on fiscal responsibility so that tax rates can be lowered measurably.  While a minister in the federal government of Canada, I heard little from Mr. Kenney on the topic of measurably reducing core tax rates for Canadians.  It may have been a belief of his at the time but Mr. Harper liked to keep the media in the dark and his round table muted.  The old Harper administration tinkered with tax credits for families but did little to incite the capitalist spirit in our country for free enterprise.  I do admire Mr. Kenney’s passion and sincerity for his work but at a time when the current administration has lost control of our finances, the last thing Alberta needs is an ultra idealist being long winded on how he thinks we should run our lives. I hope I’m wrong and this man will find a way to shelve his dogma surrounding your bedroom and your doctor’s office and appeal to centrist thinking Albertans along with Wildrose supporters in a way that propels him to success in uniting the right.  As a reminder to you staunch Wildrose supporters, Danielle Smith sold out on you.  She crossed the floor – remember.  The movement is dead.  Get on board.  The alternative is socialism forever.