Vote Buying In Face of Corrupt Leadership

That’s Trudeau folks. Our Prime Minister is as corrupt (SNC Lavalin – evidence is clear) as Donald Trump (election interference – evidence is clear). Your first world ideals are under attack by ambivalent weak leadership, right now. Your only hope in a democracy is your vote. You stand for the ideals of individual autonomy or socialism. You stand for pay based on merit or income redistribution. You stand for reduced taxes or increased taxes. You stand for strong law enforcement or weak law enforcement. You stand for fiscal prudence or deficits and debt. You stand for limited government or an overbearing one. You condone corrupt activity with your vote or you do not. If you believe in you, vote conservative. If you’re compelled to turn to the state for your needs, vote otherwise.   

Perturbations Arising From Technology

It’s happening. Behavioral patterns are being negatively impacted by technology and perturbations are arising. The full deployment of Artificial Intelligence is rapidly approaching and there is relatively little push back in the context of understanding consequences. Few have read any study regarding the impact technology will have on relationships as we delve mercilessly into the AI age. Decorum, etiquette, empathetic response, expressions of subtlety and anxiety are all variables of communication which possess linear paths to a non-digital centre of human sentient which no computer should be expected to calculate.  Yet, objectives will be programmed mechanically in a stale environment free from considerations of nuance. The machine will be granted credit instead of crafty hands gifted in experience. Time made available to under employed workers non-resilient to economic change will choose causes detrimental to the health of humankind. The moral compass will be eroded with citizens’ sense of power through work and contribution eroded.

As we speak, legislators have proven to be indifferent to mass murder. The suicide rate in the U.S. has increased 24 percent from 1999 to 2014. Metro cultural zeal has waned in place of commercial real estate interests. Inner cities are being routed in favor of profitable single family dwellings in suburbia where few know their neighbors. Police departments regularly turn a blind eye to civic infractions. The western hemisphere now also identifies matters of corruption specifically. Intransigence between special interests and the common good is alarming. Personal insults by politicians are apparently deemed positive for the campaign trail. Tailgating is now epidemic with zero appetite for enforcement. Drivers spurn distracted driving laws with tinted windows all around. Bullied kids still have no advocate to affect justice.  Hockey parents lose their mind over a bad call. Politicians grant subsidies to millionaire athletes and billionaire owners in lieu of a populous apparently charmed by idolatry instead of their own creative pursuit. 

I remember Canada differently than the aforementioned prior to the new millennium. I contend that the evolution and deployment of technology in our lives without the capacity of the person to restrict its usefulness is one variable among others which have contributed to civic decline. Oh yes….I did not use “Grammarly” to write this piece. In fact, I’ve come to learn through my relationships that kids are now no longer taught how to hand write in school.    

Comments on The Industry of “Personal Growth”

Before I start….let me premise with the statement, I believe in “personal growth”

 Here is where I differ from folks who circulate in the industry of “personal growth”. We do most of our learning as humans between the age of 0 and 15 years of age and for developing success habits our parents indeed played a large role in our growth….like it or not.  Somewhere along the line in our formative years we were learning about consequences to our behavior. We were learning about rewards emanating from work and behaviors which would lead to successful relationships. We were learning right from wrong, etiquette (maybe), how to overcome, and skills necessary to complete tasks. We were learning adaptations and workarounds. We were up to challenges or we weren’t. If we were not, then we ran the risk of isolation. We learned when not to say what we were thinking. We learned to speak with strength in the right context. We learned how to assess environments with our intuitive senses and feedback mechanisms. All this was going on prior to the age of fifteen. A tremendous amount of stimuli came our way.    

So, this personal growth industry wants you to believe that you need to be remade or remove much of what you had already learned or discard baggage or eliminate dysfunctional relationships. Some other person is going to do a quick assessment on your weaknesses having not lived through your years of development assumedly by injecting a bag of tricks from the self help domain in order to make you new and improved.

I suggest that if you believe you need to find a better version of “you” that you assess your situation and work it backward for yourself for starters. Then entertain bringing in somebody else to assist with your own assessment.  You do have the capacity to be honest with yourself but you must do so in the context of some reading or watching / listening to course materials in the area in order to stimulate regions within you that yearn to be fortified. Engagement with a practitioner will be much more fruitful having researched yourself first and identified sources of trouble.

It’s difficult to witness the disingenuousness of unqualified people prescribing without the authority to do so. It’s even worse to watch the low esteemed subject themselves to others when they’d be better served in solace with abundant materials available. The kinds of people one wants to see more of in the personal development space are those who have achieved what they’re espousing.

Is Canada Corrupt?

Is Canada corrupt? You go to work every day and pay your taxes. Your taxes are intended to provide services which benefit the public good. Naturally, human resources are required to administer such services. Your government also assesses your country’s standing in the world and maintains relationship with other nations in the context of preserving freedom and quality of life for citizens. 

Then we have a system of commerce which operates under the guise of “capitalism”. In a capitalist system, small businesses and large businesses operate with particular reasonable regulations relevant to their industries and such regulations are imposed also in the context of the “public good”. An inherent trait associated with “free enterprise” is the right of business to “fail” due to whatever underlying factors are confronted. It is not the business of governments to pick and choose winners and losers through political bias, personal relationships, or preferential treatment due to the geographic jurisdiction of stakeholders. If such a landscape was permitted to exist, free enterprise would lose its appeal as a viable commercial system to engage with freewill unencumbered by systemic bias. 

Today, as learned through an ethics report – your country has failed you because in spite of you playing by the rules, you’ve come to learned that your federal government has a interfered in the legal process of a defendant charged with improprieties in the name of “picking winning and losers” in the capitalist system.  One must ask, as a nation, are we any different from third world countries which make ever day habits of conducting affairs on such terms?    

Music Training Beginning in Adulthood

Apparently the plasticity of the brain is lesser in adulthood. Hence; you are going to be more challenged to identify pitch. In fact, musical scholars are claiming that an adult may not be able to develop perfect pitch but with training and could obtain proficiency in “relative pitch”. So, don’t despair, this relative pitch is what we need the most when picking out the next chord in a progression. A key has limitations with respect to which chords are available and consequently the adult brain now gets to work with finite possibilities in relative terms. 

My youtube channel has one song which I posted that I knew didn’t sound right but given the nature of my channel oriented around progress and learning, I didn’t think much of it during the upload. Today, I revisited the song and searched around on “ultimate guitar” (website) to review some reader feedback  associated with the chord structure of the selected piece and discovered two flaws. Somebody with a better ear than mine not only knew it didn’t sound right as scored but he was able to offer the two corrections. I now look forward to the “redo”. The process gives me comfort in that I may be going from the phase of “not knowing what I don’t know” to “knowing what I don’t know” in the context of chord recognition. At this stage of my development, I am still only reaching for a chord because of a memorized sequence and not because of ear sense.  This contrasts to a professional musician who made an exclamation on his youtube channel that he showed up at a weekend festival and was introduced to 18 new songs of which he went right to work on learning and in short order played rhythm for the band in support. The take away is that I must listen more carefully to the sounds instead of anxiously searching my memory.         

Recreational Bike Riding

I am what you could call a normal bike riding enthusiast. I don’t have the best bike and I don’t go the fastest but I break a sweat and burn calories in the spirit of active living. The occasional trek gives a non-competitive cyclist such as myself much to ponder while travelling the trails of North East Calgary.

Today got me thinking about common courtesies and the urge to rush. Occasionally, we’ll run up behind a pedestrian. From experience we’ve come to learn that mankind seems to have this propensity to deploy technology at every opportunity. In this case it would be the “bike bell”. I can see reasons to use it but not in every situation. When it’s a quiet morning and a pedestrian is sauntering along in thought, I’m inclined to find a way around like a wide pass that doesn’t jar him / her out of their serenity. Call me strange but I’m just not in that much of a rush. Then there are those vehicles which offer a wide pass when it’s safe for them to do so. You know they’ll be looking back in their rear view mirror. I’ll give them a wave. 

Many drivers have an urge to rush and this behaviour is elicited by vehicle incursions at intersections and through cross walks. You know they feel guilty when surprised by a bicycle. Traffic regulations require vehicles to stop in advance of the stop line or in absence of a stop line, slightly in front of the stop sign. If intersection visibility is unclear, drivers should then sneak forward.  When folks cheat, pedestrians and bicyclists can be put at risk. Law enforcement seems to have better things to do than patrol this poor driving habit. Always be on guard at intersections.

Distracted driving is a reality and it is a material hazard. Pedestrians will not mind sharing a sidewalk with a bicycle if the bicycle yields to pedestrians always, passes with care, and slows down while passing. It simply makes good common sense to use sidewalks when road conditions such as narrow shoulders are unsafe to share with drivers.     

Cursory Review Calgary Arena Deal

I’ve seen some initial reaction to this deal and thought…why not take a closer look at what is available for information. Did you know that there is a “land option” within this deal whereby the Flames have the “option” to acquire and develop nearby lands which have not been wholly disclosed in total? What’s the option price and the current market value of such lands? The “majority” of event revenue will go to the flames and it appears by induction we are lead to believe that this “majority” amount will be 98 per cent with 2 per cent ascribed back to the city as a “facility fee” capped at $3M for the first five years. CTV news has me believing this is all the city is going to get with respect to revenues. Just so this is clear….Calgary will pay half building costs and receive back 2 per cent of revenues. No parking. It’s Just 2 per cent of aggregate revenues. You best hope that people still like hockey in 20 years. 

Break even cash flow is what’s going to prevent a tax increase.  I’m suspect….yet the city apparently is promising no tax increase in lieu of the deal. The facility fee would be the biggest single revenue source with respect to the city’s interest and this is a huge variable dependent upon the Flames ability to book events in addition to its hockey games. The naming rights are chump change. Would there be finance charges associated with the City’s construction and demolition component? How is the non-sporting taxpaying Calgarian supposed to benefit from a non-descript “community engagement program” or “community sports funding”? Are these payments back to the city indexed for inflation? What if the Flames organization runs into financial trouble and becomes ill equipped to pay these amounts which are the second most material source of city benefit? Yes, benefit and not cash given the funds would be allocated to special interest group(s) and not available to appease shortfalls.  As for accessory tax revenue from adjacent businesses – well in theory alternative developments would also generate such revenues.

What Is A Market Maker?

A market maker was an investment industry professional who had a responsibility to create a market in an environment of low liquidity. This was manual job when automated trading was not fully deployed. The market maker represented a firm with a seat on the exchange and would put up a bid or sell order in order to create the market among stock issues of low or nil volume. With fewer retail investors looking to trade, the market maker has taken up business elsewhere. Why is this topic relevant you ask? Well, Jim Rickards – author of Currency Wars claims that when the next stock market crash arrives, it could be a quick turn south without market makers stepping in to purchase during a panic. Sure, there are triggers to seize trading amidst a panic but what about when the light turns green once again.

In a market which quickly turns negative, mutual funds would be relying on fund managers to be decisive and quick at the switch – but with mutual fund’s exposure to such large relative weighting in one stock compared to a retail investor, how orderly could an exit be? The mechanics of trading in a stock market are worthy of anyone’s attention. Are there hedge’s available to you, the retail investor, which are not being disclosed to you because of a misconceived “fiduciary duty” which a broker thinks he possesses. That is, a notion that you lack sophistication to understand a hedge. Education in finance is important to all. Bankers should not be suggesting you lack capacity and of course you’re familiar with your responsibility to manage your finances.     

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.

Tennis on The Board

So, your game of the week got cancelled but you still want to work on your strokes. Do visit the board at your local community centre but practice with it the right way. The right way you ask? Since the set up is crucial as a prefix for delivering a ground stroke, it makes no sense to be scrambling with the board since the ball returns so quickly. Instead, feed the ball to the board –make your stroke and only set up for another stroke if in control and set up properly. The purpose of this practice is to develop consistency without producing bad habits which can arise when chasing down errant balls.

How important is this? It’s critical because the neural pathways need to be developed without the impedence of experience associated improper mechanics. Similar to golf, tennis is difficult to pick up without basic fundamentals learned from somebody. The teaching of tennis has positively evolved to incorporate larger more forgiving balls and smaller racquets for youngsters.  Becoming versant in fundamentals is definitely a prerequisite before approaching a board without a playing partner.  There is also no denying the strength in some of the youtube content. For those who have good coordination and average athleticism but lack a playing partner, the board can be a great resource having picked up fundamentals from youtube.  Naturally, there’s good and bad content on the net but it’s mostly good so fear not. You can always hire a tennis teacher because it’s only in the one on one setting whereby your strokes can be observed and corrected.

Yes, that’s right – I, Blair Sveinson, am a certified tennis instructor with Tennis Alberta and I invite adults to reach out if keen to take up this wonderful game. I can be reached at 403-397-3110. I’m in Calgary.

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