Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Make that Canada and Quebec is a Coalition of Conservatives Separatists and Socialists

So, almost half a year later, after Liberals under Stephane Dion supported a Coalition of Socialists and Separatists, it seems Tory Stephen Harper is dead in Quebec, absolutely occurring after supporting fully Liberal Jean Charest, all this particular strategy has done is create scenerios where, on the very same day, Adquistes joined Pequistes to now try and defeat Charest by forming their own coalition with Pauline Marois being the Premier, forcing Charest to find extra support thus aligns himself closer to a more popular fellow Liberal Michael Ignatieff and that freezes the unpopular Conservative Prime Minister Harper in le belle province after he basically gave the Action Democratique du Quebec his kiss of death in the last election.

The amount of chickens who come home to roost in all of these situations does not even come infinitely close to explain the backroom and grassroots winks, nudges and nods of understanding to say no more we see here.

The openly burning of political bridges, which have been going on between Harper, Charest and Dumont, now adding Marois and Ignatieff into the mix, has been beyond both hilarious and stupendous, way past the colour pale of Canadian federal and provincial party politics, as federal Tories work along with Bloquistes and Socialists in the New Democrats to keep Parliament going while their Quebec clones do likewise with the Parti Quebecois back in le Assemblee Nationale, all in all, this leads to a Harpercritical Entente Cordiale federally and provincially that may remind others perhaps of a Mulroneyish Beau Risque, yet one must wonder just where the honour and dignity is and how one can ever gain it from any of this.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Betting on the Bottom Dollar in Sports

I remember playing against Adam Cuomo, who is from Hamilton and was the start running back for the Burlington Braves, in the championship final game for the Ontario Football Conference way back when I was playing for the dynasty era Windsor Alpha Kai Omega Fratmen. Memory also holds that he got knocked out quick, when he got rocked into a light standard at Windsor Stadium, immediately sent for to hopsital in a big game where he could have made the difference, as it came down to a Canadian single if I do remember correctly. Being a sparingly used running back on the other side in my rookie season, I looked at Cuomo as the kind of back you wanted to be the league, like our own Craig Carter, to dominate and never stop running.

To read today on ESPN, the Toronto Sun and Hamilton Spectator, that Cuomo, then a little used University of Toledo running back who made the academic honour roll, was part of a Detroit based point shaving gambling scheme over a three year period is sad in two ways, one, Canadians never seem to get their shot in the big show no matter how talented, and two, no player who still feels worthy or a real teammate would ever take part in gambling while playing, as this is just as bad as use of performance enhancing drugs in the eyes of others.

His Detroit gambler is as good as a pimp, using Cuomo as his prostitute, but I still feel in someway, the program in Toledo let down Adam too, somehow the Rockets helped to bring him to such a point in his life, where his loyalty was no longer with the program, but with the gambling pimp. Quite evident was his remaining within the situation after his eligibility was exhausted in 2003, upwards to 2006, which obviously by then had meant much more to him than playing, thus he lost his edge and love for playing the game. Having only recently lost his job in the steel industry in Hamilton, as his cousin tells ESPN, this federal criminal investigation by the FBI will not help things, along with an issue of indictment and extradition proceedings to begin soon this summer, but hopefully a lesson can be gained by not just Cuomo, but also the Rockets program, or any other football and other sports program in other universities or colleges, that being if you are a band of brothers, then make sure your father, the coach, and your uncles, the staff, make it known by speech and action that you are indeed a family.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Participatory Democracy or Electoral Porkbarreling

The backbench Member of Provincial Parliament from Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, Bill Murdoch, who I have worked along with in the past, has been allowed back into the caucus of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, a place he himself has not been a member of since last September, when the provincial Tories booted into him into the Independent seats. Coincidentally, this only happened after former party leader John Tory announced he would become host of a new CFRB call in show every Sunday aptly named the John Tory Show, as Tory removes his economic boosting presence from campaigning provincially to municipally in the City of Toronto coming next year. But Backbencher Blues, a forty minute segment from the Agenda on TVO, gives some indication that Murdoch's fight for particpatory democracy seems to be misconstrude by his former pals Chris Stockwell and Frank Klees as electoral porkbarreling.

Sadly, there seems to be a problem between party loyalty and constituent demands, as Steve Paikin aludes to, but also party machinations upon the representative of the constitutent, where Murdoch was not given the right to vote on an issue that every member should be allowed to do, thus why be there ever, which seems to be his major beef.

Now, there is a prime lesson here to be learnt, but can the mistake be recognized as being made, in this situation, I do not think anyone can actually see it and therefore will not be rectified now for any future gain. Watching both Stockwell and Klees turning on their pal Murdoch on the issue of representative democracy is quite unfortunate, with John Tory not living up to promises he made to members within, not listening to all of them leaves his personal campaign mantra of leadership matters without, all of which really does lead to all leader, Premier or Prime Minister who solidifies power, makes decisions and just simply repeats the same old status quo government like the last one and to be the next one. Unwhipped free votes would be a great idea legislatively, but having leader, whip and members all working together by consensus to make the big decisions in caucus as government, or even opposition, seems to be a futuristic dream of the grassroots that will take some time for us to sort out properly through policy development, so do not hold you breath anytime soon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

E Motional Month

The sudden engulfment of the three Es, essays, exams and Easter, have combined to make this month quite an emotional one. Jokingly, I have been stating after that of this closing E and E month for the winter session, we get one of R and R, rest and relaxation, but instead reality sinks in, as it will be maybe half a week and then back on the academic trail for spring course load. Giving out a special prop to my iron works partner and cycling trainer, who I said so long farewell auf wiedersehen to last night, CRC Sea to Sea 2008 Tourist Christeena Nienhuis of Sarnia for a hard year on the bike and weights too, for a restful summer on and off the road and then an even harder year this coming September on those absolutely inconsistent stationeries in the corner of the cellblock. Now, in the meantime, I will be hopefully picking up the aforementioned History of Film course here at Redeemer in Ancaster, so feel very free to visit me at Luther Court if you are still around, because right afterwards, it will be back to the real estate grind yet again!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Predestination of Free Will

After completing a few great Reformed theology courses at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada, other than getting the earful from the department about its North American rivalry with both the Knights of Calvin in Grand Rapids, Michigan with its track and field and the Defenders of Dordt in Sioux Center, Iowa with its football and baseball, the big issue was always the five complete points of Calvinism from the Canons of Dort, sometimes referred to by the acronym T.U.L.I.P. It would seem that some Calvinists of the Reformed faith believe the the limited atonement should be an unlimited kind, though unconditional election remains, as none can believe on their own, thus must be elected into faith in Christ. Many it would seem, coming into the 500th anniversary of the birth of the French born but Dutch adopted Reformer Jean Cauvin ou John Calvin soon, see predestination and free will as two separate entities, however, I think it truly is both through the free will of predestination or perhaps the predestination of free will.

I know this seems impossible, but if I can try and explain it, I believe God allows for both within His plan.

God is sovereign over all, including over His created, ordered and predestined world, humanity's creation and the cultural mandate, however with it, He gave His own humanity complete and total freedom of choice to do good and right or wrong and evil. Though He knows the big picture script, metanarrative or worldview by His ultimate determination, our small picture lives are still decided by us, as He knows what hardwiredwise we are going to do by His creation of us, therefore we do not really change things, as they were already going to be changed. In other words, the future will depend on what we do in the present, but the present was determined by what we did in the past, all within the sovereignty of the almighty God. Looking at the early church fathers, as Augustine answered, God, being Omniscient, made the future thus knew in advance the saved and the not, furthered by Luther's Salvation by Faith Alone not Good Works and extended by Calvin's belief that God, not only knew through grace, but decided what choice every person would make in his life, as people had no free choice or will. However, individual free will and choice must be allowed, for all of those, with their hearts known to God, to make their final choice by themselves. So, I hope that solves that mystery, as many have asked me what I thought on the issue, took awhile to get it out there, but just before exam week seems the right time now to speak on the issue.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Midnight Rollerblading Sonata

As totally weird and beyond real as this is, I rollerblade at night, actually more accurately, usually right at midnight especially. Now, as we are coming up to exams, with good weather to boot, I lace them up and go out with the baroque, classical and romantic sonatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms and Joseph Haydn, to name a few, going on up in my head. I started the practice while playing junior football, as I used to night bike at midnight in my youth, but without a bicycle away from home and only rollerblades on the road, I just replaced the mode within the practice and voila.

Shocked however I was to find out, there were actual Midnight Rollerblading Clubs, akin to the popular Fight Clubs, going on around the world, in Paris, Rome, London and even Minneapolis of Minnesota as this snippet proves. Personally, I totally understand the idea, the activity gets the mind racing, as it also soothes the soul, with songs of joy, sadness and other emotions in between filling your inner being, the complete lift and exhilaration one gets from it, you simply do not turn back. True, when a game, match or competition is on, I blade to rap and hard rock in the day, but come night, nothing but that classical sound of piano, violin and organ get me in the mood to go, do and act out into the night.

I waited impatiently for the snow up here in the Great White North to quickly disappear, quicker in the Niagara region thankfully, but when it came time, out I went gliding into my first midnight skate. Coasting from the sidewalk to the laneway from main building to Augustine Hall, I could feel that inner flow from within to sail along with, as I bobbed, weaved and skimmed from southern Garner to western Kitty Murray entrances, the pure feeling and sensation of complete awareness and consciousness brought total excitement. This is what the Creator's creation, order and the mandate is all really about here on earth, our respect, responsiveness and responsibility to it, if that is not how we feel then we must react at the lack of receptiveness we feel without any true reflection on the life we love to live.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Greater Good Government meets the Criminal Code of Canada

The Sixties Babyboom Generation of Love, Peace and Dope introduced abortion, the method of birth control after the fact, to make free love, or more open sex, freer. Like the music, media and medications around and abound, Babyboomers also never though much of abuses within the restrictive traditional family, where father knew best, or eventually when the work around the clock mother left the unworkable marriage, which gave into divorce and opened up relationships with other men without marriage, common law or even other women homosexually, men too separating to create partnerships outside the old way. All legalized with Canada's Criminal Law Amendment Act in 1968-69 by Liberal Prime Minister Lester Bowles Pearson and his Minister of Justice Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Bill C-150 was the omnibus bill, following those of similar initiative in European nations at the time. Introducing major changes in decriminalization of previous illegal activities like homosexuality, abortion or contraception, regulate lotteries, gun possession, drinking and driving offences, harassing phone calls, misleading advertising and cruelty to animals to the Criminal Code of Canada, as "there is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation" since "what is done in private between adults does not concern the Criminal Code of Canada". The Dominion free itself in one sense, however enslaved itself in yet another, but the colony's blunder would not reveal itself until later.

Revisiting and reflecting upon this point in Canadian political scientific history, I am yet again reminded of what my old poli sci prof, Dr. David T. Koyzis, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, Professor of Political Science at Redeemer University College, once said that, you can only know what kind of a conservative one is by asking them the question "what are you trying to conserve?", similarly, I extended this logic, saying you can only know what kind of a liberal one is by asking them the question, "what are you trying to liberate?", either side knows who they really are. Questions, issues and policies from the Big C Party Member Conservatives and Big L Party Member Liberals may not be the same one supported the small c platform voter conservatives and the small l platform voter liberals, in some cases, a Conservative may vote with a liberal and a Liberal may vote with a conservative, so the difference has truly become miniscule to the point of possibly not mattering anymore. Odd that for many in both movements, the letters L, F and M either stand for life, family and marriage between opposites or liberty, freedom and market between competitors, but neither together, perhaps the old politics of polarization has indeed defeated the new politics of realignment, where a Green or Reform, heck even a New Democrat or Bloc Quebecois, can not make a difference because of their lack of power, from the grassroots to the backroom, or as it now is vice versa!

The 2010s Babybust Generation of L, F and M is deciding which one they are, seeing both set of values as incompatible with each other, just as the generation before did, like the generation before them, but Generations X, Y and Z will have to understand there really is no political left or right here, no polarized debate between the blues and the reds, instead taxpayers, citizens or just regular everyday people will have to decide what is best for them. Can they find the extreme middle ground, away from the same old ideological status quo, pragmatic in debate and deliberation and principled in action and leadership, or is this a dream of the past? Can we expect government to protect its citizens from what endangers their mental, emotional or physical well being, in using reasonable and probable cause to provide both peace and order and what really constitutes the greater good government Ottawa supposedly provides us for the price, monetarily or not, we pay daily for it? When natural population increase by birth was replaced by artificial population increase by immigration, some people saw a cultural rebirth of a New Canada, yet others saw a cultural war within their Old Canada, ironically those of the bicultural Old Canada refused to admit an Older Canada of the third, or shall I say first culture that outdated both, ironically too it was the support base of that bicultural Old Canada people that created the situation we have today. Will Canadians, all of them including Gen Xers, Yers and Zers, finally decide to reject the bicultural Old Canada clique, so we can merge the monocultural Older Canada with this multicultural New Canada and finally move forward past the political divisiveness, dissention and discord, instead towards cultural unity, harmony and completeness!