Needle Administration At The Jail House

This is just one more example of how your tax money is wasted. Apparently convicts who have supposedly lost their autonomy get to “shoot up” and possess an injection kit in their cells as authorized by your country’s “Prison Needle Exchange Program” (PNEP). Correctional Services Canada is now mandating that guards facilitate to “shooting gallery” and rightfully the union of guards has said no. “This is not our job”. 

I believe in the humanitarian rights of prisoners and your country unfortunately has ethically abused the duration of time in which they’ve permitted prisoners to be held in solitary confinement. This has been addressed in lieu of the Ashley Smith debacle.. 

However; as is common with wrongs made right from an apologetic landscape of a government over extending rights, there is now this new “PNEP” program that you the taxpayer get to pay for. The policy is not only fiscally irresponsible but it’s detrimental to the health and welfare of convicts. When a convict has lost their liberty, certainly they should lose access to illicit mood altering drugs. 

What is Shadow Stats?

It’s a newsletter written by John Williams. John received his degree in economics from Dartmouth in 1971. He considers it his duty to help the interested understand street level economic indicators in real terms as opposed to the terms expressed through nuance by government agencies. For example, John will take the unemployment statistic and incorporate variables filtered out unjustifiably by the U.S. government. If somebody is a “discouraged worker” without a job should we then consider them not to be unemployed? No. John believes as you and I do that this government approach is nonsensical. Hence; he infuses the common sense into his analysis when recalculating economic statistics.

He also has enough experience with the numbers to see trends, trend reversals, and anomalies. When a couple of figures travel in line over time but then diverge, you acquire knowledge of your investing landscape. While CNBC is regurgitating tainted data, you can access Mr. Williams through (www.shadowstats.com) and you need not even subscribe. He gives you some links for free on his page.

I’ve just wrapped up listening to his interview with Greg Hunter and his reference to the sustainability of debt along with the consequences of default. What I like best about Mr. Williams is his hopefulness in spite of dismal statistics as well as his humble disposition. Here’s the youtube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOos-Ae0qGI

Vicious Dogs Not Welcome

It’s happened again. In Cambridge Ontario a young girl has endured nineteen stitches in the face from an attack by a neighbor’s dog. The full extent of the injury is yet to be determined. Common sense suggests that vicious dogs as pets in communities are more of a risk to citizens than they are as benefits to owners. If communities and their bylaws are not going to serve citizens with common sense solutions to unnecessary hazards then the penal code should step in. It’s that simple. I’m all for liberty and rights of the individual but not to the detriment of the quality of life of others.        

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.

Her Smell

The mere brashness of protagonist Becky in full flight fix is something to behold. This ‘90’s grunge band lead woman exposes the darkness of drug induced euporhia and the consequential effect on close relationships.  This movie’s scenes could have been done in one big take because of Director Alex Ross Perry’s apparent affinity for rawness on set. Fortunately, he found an ideal actress in Elisabeth Moss to play this unique role of a rocker gone bad.   

Backstage glam and drama is raucous . Recovery is a requisite for the real. Despite dysfunction, the bond of band mates is visceral with appeal. You’ll be left wondering about that. You’ll be perplexed by the acquiescent demeanour of a manager in quandary over a recording studio overtaken. Then there’s mom infusing support when she can digesting the chaos in context of her maternal past. 

Oh yes, there’s music but it’s secondary to the lifestyle plot and the preponderance of the prized backstage pass.  Consider the flick one ripe tomato.

Ever Been Blind Sided?

One reduces the risk of being blind-sided with awareness. The problem with awareness is that we are lacking it due to the imposition and acquiescence to life’s complexities. Even when one deploys discipline in erecting barriers to special interests, variables outside our control compel us to accommodate for the sake of functional conformity.

So, here we are in the information age where values are being blunted at the edges. Liberties are taken in the name of new culturally perceived norms when in actual fact subconscious minds are at work processing the impact of changing goal posts and impingements upon freedom.

Could there be a “reckoning day” when there’s a return to values in their pure form due to the consequences of such a negative change in behaviour? If so, what would that “reckoning day” look like?  Would it be tripping the circuit breaker of the New York Stock Exchange? Perhaps, it would be the removal of ATMs from banking kiosks? Then there’s the unthinkable but that which is showing up in the news. How about a tax revolt? As we speak, things are so dire in Venzuela that mothers are turning to prostitution in order to feed their kids. A report out today sponsored by Canadian firm MNP espouses that “48% of Canadians are on the brink of insolvency”. That’ right. Supposedly, first world country Canada has financially impaired citizens almost as its majority.

Perhaps it’s time to take the blinders off and examine what is actually happening behind the scenes in the offices of your elected officials, board rooms of banking executives, and line ups in corridors of corporate, environmental, and indigenous lobby groups. Perhaps, it’s time to reflect on the line item detail of government Balance Sheets and the injustice of untried tax evasion of elite cheats with offshore accounts. How about regulatory measures of our fractional reserve banking system in the context of spiralling public debt out of control with no apparent plan to pay back? Did you know that our tax system is over 3,000 pages of fine print?

John Titus has exclaimed that when the money supply retracted thirty per cent from 1929 to 1933, there were hundreds of U.S. financial institutions in play regurgitating financial paper. Right now in the U.S. Citigroup, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America basically represent those hundreds from the early thirties. These four banks are interconnected with derivative positions and they really are too big to fail in the context of what the effect would mean. When there’s deceit inherent within levers of power, there are strong winds ahead.          

The Urge For Adventure

As I write this I”m listening to “The Trip” by Still Corners. Call it up yourself and listen as I contemplate thrill seeking getaways as sources of reinvigoration for the soul.

As the youngest of six kids, I recall my brothers and sister tell tales about how the whole lot of us would pile into a station wagon” rambler” back in the sixties and head down to Michigan from our old home towns of Balmertown Ontario and Esterhazy Saskatchewan. You think there was just the eight of us. Nope…we brought along our border Collie, Smokey, as well. This was a day when there was no such thing as mini vans, walkmans or go-pros – but there was etch-a-sketch.  Mike, he would give noogies, Fred would play peacemaker, Terry would protect Marina, and Lloyd would scheme pranks with Mike. Dad wouldn’t stop for pee breaks until the whining became unbearable and mom was luckily tending to me on her lap. That’s right, no jumper seats or seat belt laws back in those days. Distracted driving with threats from the driver seat is how dad kept the car between the lines. 

It was either Aunt Mina and Uncle Art’s house who lived in Battle Creek Michigan or “the farm” in Reston Manitoba that would be our destinations. Imagine this…..losing your dog on a road trip. With all the excitement of adventure, during one pit stop Smokey must have caught the scent of wildlife and bolted into the woods. It had become hours and hours of calling for him up and down the rest stop until dad had concluded that it was time to go. The tears started flowing and moping kids were directed to pile back into the rambler. Once the engine turned over and the wheels skidded through gravel….of course Smokey came scampering back as if testing the family for its love of the household pet.

My childhood was full of road trips like this many of which were one way to new homes. Balmertown. became Esterhazy. Then Britannia Beach…then Revelstoke. There was Surrey and Cranbrook and Kamloops and Tungsten. There was Tucson. Each destination had a pairing back of kids with lives of the elders taking turns of another kind of adventure – that of career.

Interpersonal bonds grow stronger during times of excitement and play. Accessing nature while in the company of someone else also in the mode of discovery simply fortifies the spirit. The unwrapping of the unknown together in wonder is primal and reminds us of the backdrop of our lives.        

Back In Black At The Jack

Once you get past the imagery of hard rock being played in an opera house (Jack Singer Calgary) and digest the signature rasp of Brian Johnson’s sound alike, you’ll be perplexed and comforted that Classic Albums Live has done their homework in covering ACDC’s Back in Black. Why an all black album cover? It’s was produced in memory of lead singer Bon Scott who died of an “alcohol misadventure”. If you’re fifty plus, you danced to the pulsating beat of “Shoot To Thrill” and “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

It’s worth repeating that finding the on key screech to sing machismo minded lyrics must have been no easy task at auditioning. This man performed with distinction in this difficult role.

The opening was obviously anticipated with the dongs of the bell and the signature opening riff to Hell’s Bells. They weren’t going to master the 1980 studio version considering the work ACDC went through in the Bahamas back in the day to acquire the perfect sound with a real bell and studio tricks at their disposal. However; credit is cast in the delivery of the complementing solo piece which requires precision in developing the riff with timely rests. 

“Shoot To Thrill” is perfectly positioned as the two track. Things really get rumbling with an accelerated tempo and knee quivering trill of this somewhat forgotten gem. 

Having settled in, the next big moment of intrigue was upcoming on track one of the flip side. “Back in Black” has the memorable guitar solo and all three six stringers on stage took their turn on their Gibson SGs –of course. It was evident by now that all three guitarists were versant in playing lead and there was one in particular who was a bit more familiar with particular lead lines throughout the song list.  As we all know, exuberant solos get the crowd going and this rendition of Back in Black had the audience shimmering.

The sound engineer was getting things figured out a few short chords into You Shook Me. He’d moderated the extreme frequencies certainly giving some relief to patrons like me who had forgotten ear filters at home.

“Have A Drink On Me” exemplified the general sharpness of the band and to keep it tight with three six strings competing for attention cannot be easy.

“Shake A Leg” was played with more vigour here than I can remember on the album.  I believe this cover band turned the studio version into something better – not by making changes to the score but by turning up the dynamics.

Jumped free from my aisle seat right before the intermission and headed home after a long day of doing tax work. The audience would anticipate a second half featuring various other hits.              

Trip To Calgary Dance Stampede

Professional social dancers tutor and exhibit their talent once a year in what’s called the “Calgary Dance Stampede”. It’s an opportunity for dancers at any skill level to get acquainted with social dancing and improve their moves. Workshops are hosted throughout the weekend and are very well run. You need not have a partner because rotations are made frequently throughout the one hour workshop sessions.

Yesterday, I attended “nightclub two step”, “cha cha”, and a new innovative line dance called “Music To My Eyes”. After dinner at Bank and Baron, a few doors down from host venue – The Hyatt, I sauntered back and took in the “Jack and Jill” competition. It was a fun filled version of the normally competitive format of the contest whereby partners are paired through a draw thereby testing their aptitudes for adapting to random partners.  Imagine waltzing to a record played backwards. Well, not for the faint of heart for sure.

Over the course of the weekend, there will be 110 workshops with most at the advanced beginner level.  I was impressed by the organization and strength of the instructors. The MC last night at the “Gala” was entertaining while introducing the challenges for the Jack and Jill contestants. Ample time in the evenings are scheduled for practicing those new steps. A Pro-Am, a show case, and a “Rising Star” competition round out the performance element of the event. It’s all sold out for today and tomorrow but do consider the event for next year in the spirit of your good health and the support of keeping social dancing alive.       

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