Category Archives: Philosophy

Crass With No Class – That’s Trump

Yes. This is Donald Trump and he holds the highest office in the United States of America. You cannot defend the assertion of “crass with no class” by simply deferring to an alignment with his public policy. This is what’s been done over the past two years among those who have been defending him. You see, I actually draw a correlation between personality, personal conduct, derogatory references to minorities, and the potential for leadership mistakes. I also empathize with voters who have been disenfranchised with Washington lobbyists and governmental mismanagement leading up to a radical choice in the Republican nominee. For context, we have the latest “tweet” pertaining to the Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley, Tlaib “squad” suggesting they return to their countries despite three of the four who have only known the United States.   

The biggest trouble with these crass twitter remarks is the lack of condemnation by his peers. It’s apparent that his political peers are either afraid to rebuke his tirades in fear of reprisals or fear of becoming the actual target of yet one more of his rants. Oh yes, then there’s the fear of a defamation lawsuit in the back drop of man who threatens like a school yard bully.  It’s dysfunction at its finest and in spite of being conservative in my ideology, I’ll be looking deeply into the eyes of those who dismiss Trump’s abounding personal insults as frivolous. The evidence of him being intolerant is abundant within the public domain during his short tenure as President never mind any private relational discord he would have encountered prior.  

 Lindsay Graham has remarked but there was no rebuke. This is the same Lindsay Graham who endured insults from the tongue of Trump during the contest for Republican nominee. To be quiet amidst undeserving personal attacks of peers seeming to be racist is to condone if travelling in circles around the President. When a nation cannot conduct debate with dignity, good faith and confidence erodes.      

If “values” matter as a principal in governance, then Mr. Trump fails. If U.S “financial solvency” becomes the primary bench mark in which Trump presides and somehow his leadership facilitates the return to fiscal prudence, he’ll have a success. Or, his experience in bankruptcy and his capacity to offend may actually serve him well should the U.S. federal debt become unserviceable during his tenure.

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?  

State Has No Business In The Bedrooms of Canadians

Your tax money is getting spent once again on a special interest group. I am not prejudiced against whomever fits into the acronym of LGBTQ and whatever other letters get added in the future. In fact, I don’t think there’s consensus yet with respect to which letters should fit at the end. However; I am strongly against sending money to Ottawa in order to appease a group who may have legitimate social challenges in the context of the expression of their identity. I do not elect a government to propagate social construct. However; I do expect my governments to enforce common sense law including legislation around “hate”. If a parent responsible for the livelihood of someone associated with this elongated acronym fails to provide the necessities of life in consequence of the individual’s sexual preferences, then parent’s wages should be garnisheed to pay for public housing in association with said parent’s discriminatory conduct. Not the taxpayer. 

At every turn, our current federal government operates as if it has a moral authority superior to yours. It apologizes, acquiesces, and spends as if there are no limits to your capacity to pay tax. Our current federal government lacks the backbone to say no to any special interest group likened to themselves on the political spectrum. 

It was Justin Trudeau’s father who in fact stated that the government has no interest in the bedrooms of Canadians. Today his son sank your money into a program aimed at appeasing yet another group claiming victimhood but this time because of the group’s alternate sexual appetites.    

Judgment, Diatribes, and Social Media’s Evolution

Let’s premise this whole thing. If you’ve accessed this through facebook and I’ve engaged with you over the past six months, you’re not identifiable with characteristics below.

The most fascinating revelation arising from the phenomenon of “social media” has been the propensity of more folks than expected to wield insults and criticism thereby deploying a sense of personal power on a stage unavailable to previous generations. When these same folks wouldn’t dare make such radical broadcasts at the dinner table with their grandmother, they’re all over the internet. Occasionally a healthy debate breaks out on a “thread” whereby not one individual insults while presenting an argument and I shimmy in my home office chair thinking there may be hope.    

The second most fascinating revelation is the vanity expressed by some. I wonder about the staleness of some homes responsible for nurturing the self esteem of children and what happens to the emerging adult whose vitality has been stifled during youth. I think to myself that “social media” serves as a conduit for actualizing lost lustre of neglect from formative years.  I wonder while unconvinced. Don’t be confused by all those nice pictures of you and your family, activities and such. Keep ‘em coming.

Could these platforms also serve to simply feed the egos of some who didn’t pursue higher education but now have a forum to display their smarts? I believe this to be partly true in some cases with other aggregating motives.

My confidence in the human condition has been weakened when I aggregate the behaviour that I see on “social media”. I can’t help putting the term in italics because I consider the term “social” to aberrant of the actual interactions foundational to the platforms (exception of note – my membership in an imaginary band). Although weakened, I take solace in the fact that people for the most part are followers because they haven’t been taught nor nurtured in how to lead with moral strength. The lessons of our forefathers in characteristics such as duty, pride, dignity, compassion, tolerance, and respect have been lost on many. Yes… many and their foolishness is now more transparent than ever.   

On the topic of politics in social media, I’m intrigued by formative arguments here or there. However; I believe that anybody whose lifeblood on politics is poured into the feeds of social media should really consider running for office especially if the tone is akin to one long diatribe. Otherwise, at the minimum one might balance posts with other areas of interest. If posts number more than two a day, I’m thinking you have an agenda rather than a healthy sincere compulsion to share.

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.