Category Archives: Philosophy

Pleasant Surprise From The Press

Evidence of lethargy in journalism was witnessed in the latest U.S. election campaign.  The Washington establishment was either ambivalent or oblivious to the plight of marginalized factory workers in the rust belt States.  Lest it be said that the sentiment surrounding these shut down towns may have deserved more journalistic attention.  Lately it seems a road rage incident will make front page news but a decade doubling of violence rates in Canadian prisons is muted due to some perceived notion that an editorialist may believe Canadians’ tolerance for the statistic to be acceptable.  What Donald Trump has espoused as bias in the media may more aptly be described as mere arrogance.

When the news should be reported at face value with a semblance of organized hierarchy in terms of relevance, I’m afraid that the media has lost its way in the context of a populous deemed impressionable by commercial interests and media promulgated opinion. I don’t know how many times I’ve responded responsibly via comment over at editorials published by a Postmedia only to see my comment nixed seemingly because my opinion differed from that of the author.  On the one hand they provide a commenting platform for readers and on the other they overtly breach their industry creed of “freedom of expression”.

However; yesterday while running an errand, I stumble upon a coin box filled with editions of the Epoch Times.  Pleasantly, I’ve garnered a favourable first impression and renewed hope that independent journalism is not yet down for the count.  Society does transform but not necessarily positively with adherence to a group which conveniently has access to your mind.

One Tough Woman

The “one tough woman” phrase gets me thinking.  Yes, it’s arisen in the context of one newbie politician attempting to walk back insults directed toward his adversary.  However; the basis of female toughness deserves scrutiny.  Call me old fashioned but I like a woman that’s not tougher than me.  I like chivalry in places and I like the interpersonal dynamic of a woman in my company who’s not fighting for equality at every turn.  Bonding is beautified in the context of protection.  The act of protecting is goodness in men’s nature and I’m suspicious of any particular woman’s compulsion to equate in the most ridiculous of situations.  I admire those women who are in fact mentally sharper than their husbands but have a skill in managing their prowess in the context of the relationship.  Genuine joy is predominant in softness as opposed to toughness.  Life requires toughness but couples require softness in order for chemistry to endure.  We are caring when our emotional posture moves like a free flowing pendulum in our daily lives ensuring that we mirror our environment existentially.

Kindness Crisis

There is a kindness crisis according to a poll conducted by Sesame Street.  Seventy per cent of parents claim that the world is unkind to their kids. This adult senses it on the street – literally in traffic. I sense it in our political discourse and I sense it in the voidance of cordial gestures of etiquette. I sense it at the poker table and in the board room. I sense it in transit and telephony systems. I sense it in the body language of souls transfixed by their electronic “devices” and in the spoken language of those perhaps ill equipped to reach for an empathetic word when “f@ck” is at the tip of a tongue. It’s as if a new substandard came into being precipitated by a confluence of events imperceptible to the naked eye producing a cultural shift engineered by a generation naive to the values of their forefathers and the historic deeds undertaken to sew a landscape of autonomy.

Materialism as a precursor perhaps forms an element. The great divide between the haves and have-nots has never been greater. A tempestuous outreach in order to “acquire” may brew in the hearts of some looking to hurdle through patronage, political partisanship, and indifference. Perhaps, it’s a proclamation of entitlement to rudeness in the face of perceived injustice casting out emotional residue to a society dumbfounded.

TFSA’s Are In The News

Recently, the Globe and Mail has been writing editorials on merits of the Tax Free Savings Account.  I find it remarkable how so many so called enlightened folks can rationalize bad from good. Your Canadian government put the plan in place in 2009 for your benefit largely with an understanding that now a larger proportion of the populous is without a “Defined Benefit Pension Plan”.  As you are likely aware, it is folks in the public sector who are largely the sole remaining participants of this “guaranteed” form of pension which has the effect of burdening taxpayers with legacy like costs.  The Globe now has insinuated that your government treasury can’t afford the tax loss of having you receive “tax free” investment income inside the TFSA.  Allow me to espouse the one gargantuan fact regarding contributions to TFSA’s.  The contributions are made by taxpayers who have already been taxed once on the funds headed toward the plan.  Any hard working person has been taxed on income derived from their labor in our country and little do most folks know that this form of taxation was only supposed to be temporary to pay for our efforts in the First World War.  I would have no issue at all at taxing investment income (passive income) if it wasn’t taxed first through employment earnings or dividend income derived from active business.

The highest marginal personal tax rate in Alberta is 39 per cent and Alberta is amongst the lower taxed provinces in Canada.  While Albertans despise the notion of a “sales tax”, a sales tax in my estimation is less insidious than a tax based on someone’s contribution to their country and service to mankind.  The Canadian Income Tax Act approximates 3,000 pages of fine print and certainly detracts from our citizens’ ambition to innovate, produce, contribute, and ultimately actualize a benefit worthy of service.

Ain’t No Such Thing As A Good Job

Okay, this header is a direct quote from a mentor Dave Severn. Apparently, back when he had good English (Ain’t) he was broke.  In fact, the whole theme of this post reflects on Dave’s famous speech, “Pigs Don’t Know Pigs Stink”.  Dave has always been charismatic with his metaphors.

I started my own company back in 2002.  My disposition has always contrasted with a corporate culture loaded with onerous dogmatism and self celebrated ego.  If it’s a rat race, do you really want to participate?  Call it what it is and then get off your rusty dusty (thanks for this one too Dave) and do something about it.  The pilgrims with Columbus didn’t board up on three ships and come to America to get a job (defer once again to you Dave).  So, what’s holding you back?  Is the responsibility of self employment too much to bear?  Is it the prospect of running at least a couple of calendar quarters in the red?  What about the spouse?  Can he/ she eat wieners and beans during the last few days of the month in the beginning as a compromise for fulfilling a freedom dream?  I can’t remember the last time I showed up at the office before 8:30am.  How ‘bout you?  Believe me – sleeping in on weekdays really is a good thing. Rush hour traffic only became a reminder yesterday upon traveling to see a friend play tennis.

You can change jobs if you don’t like your situation.  You might just be going from bad to worse once you become witness to the underlying dysfunctional subculture of your new company.  These kinds of intangibles don’t tend to rear their ugly heads until y’er about two weeks in and good luck attempting to discern them during your job interview.  Then bite the bullet (Dave, you master of alliteration) and hang on for the ride….perhaps some sleepless nights and frustrations manifesting on the home front.  In the mornings while shaving you can rehearse the mantra, yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.  May just help you cope.

Capitalism doesn’t get taught in schools as you know.  Have you ever met a wealthy professor (again, your line Dave)?  The brilliant capitalists often tend to drop out of school because they have too much to offer and are anxious to get on with it.  Who develops the curriculum?  You guessed it and it’s a fat chance that they’ve ever drafted an invoice or sold a commercial good.

Your best years of your life are before 65, wouldn’t you say, so………?

Should You Compete

Should you compete?   I contend you should.  Mankind’s betterment and the fulfillment of one’s individual aspirations are served by competition.  The motivating instinct is bread from dissatisfaction.  Should it be the Jones’ next door that you source as your opponent.  No, but it should be someone who has what you want so that you can get your own or better so long as the target  is inherent to yours or society’s common good.

The notion of not competing puts one on a path of contentment which can be instilled from feedback accumulated over time that one may not deserve victory.  Your boss certainly doesn’t want you to compete.  He doesn’t want you to take his job.  Your spouse doesn’t want you to compete for fear that the relationship becomes imbalanced.  Your pastor doesn’t want you to compete lest it create anxiety around scripture interpretations.  Your teacher doesn’t want you to compete considering  it might make work by stressing curriculum boundaries.  Yet, our system of economics in western civilization is set up for you to compete and some lack want of a win. Regressing from competition is akin to defining oneself by losing when in essence losing should be considered a seed for future growth.   We were all born to win but the aforementioned feedback loops creates sideline dwellers.

When teams are destined to miss the playoffs, players don’t become motivated to lose as an incentive to earn a better draft pick.  Players fight for a victory in pursuit of excellence and pride for what they do.  It is an instinct of the human form which cannot be denied.  You are no different with exception to possible cognitive forces arising from environment.

The zero sum game doesn’t always apply.  Win win relationships and transactions are created everyday by people keen to compete.

 

Proud To Be in the X Section

The Stampeders game last night was something to behold. I’ve never seen fans like those carrying Rider pride from Saskatchewan. They pretty much consumed our X section at McMahon last night….and they got just what they came for. It was looking a little bleak for them after a touchdown was called back with time becoming dear in the closing minutes but with the wind in their face, a well time throw put a galloping wide out in the end zone with a mere minute left on the clock and a one point margin of victory. I didn’t envy the event staff attempting to banish the rider pride flag waving.

The wind gusts that blew down the stage at Camrose’s Big Valley Jamboree last night briefly hit us in the stadium albeit with less intensity. Condolences to families affected by the event’s stage collapse at Big Valley and also the parents of the toddler downtown Calgary whom lost their young one due to falling building debris.

In The Shadow of Others’ Dreams

Feb 3, 2008
Today at 6:30 pm EST, tens of millions from around the world will tune into watch men thrust themselves at each other at what’s called the “line of scrimmage”. It’s a place where two teams of 5-7 people exert physical pressure at this notional line with the goal of assisting the advancement of a ball carrier or defending against him. Nothwithstanding interceptions or fumbles, it’s a struggle where ball control and time of possession and the ability to convert field position into “touchdowns” can lead to victory. Meanwhile, the lives of desperate souls looking for meaning in an otherwise mundane world of shift work and routine throw their spirits into something that will mean nothing to them on the Monday after. Humankind’s ability to foster faith and hope in a sporting event where oftentimes none exists in a professional life is something to behold. A culture void of substance at the community level appears readily eager to become enraptured in the circus of a media driven football game heavily interrupted with station breaks. Theses commercials are carefully crafted with the aim of pilfering the pockets of beer chuggling men whose minds may be absent from concrete goals or aspirations but if fulfilled could someday put them on a similar centre stage.

Quiet Life of Desperation

Aug 30, 2007

Was out for a run this morning before sunrise and was shocked to see the major arteries filling with cars at such an early hour. Thankfully, my inspiration and guding light has paved the path of self determination instead of a quiet life of desperation. An associate and I were exchanging thoughts last night and she confirmed the depth of fear that she has been encountering in the lives of people holding jobs. Upon concurring with her assessment, I am comfortable exclaiming that for most, the prospect of plunging into a commitment based on resolve of the self in the spirit of ultimate entrepreneurial expression is too much of an undertaking. Most people have not brought themselves to the threshold of demanding change. Excuses have often worked so well over time that they continue to be a good crutch.

“If you are an employee and feel out of control, consider what you can do on a part-time basis (ie. start a part-time business) to change that. You will be amazed at how quickly your confidence increases, just from feeling more in control of your life.”

– Donald Trump –