Monday, October 29, 2012

When the frightful horrors of film beccome the fearful terrors of life

Since the beginning of postwar babyboomed America, a suburban living culture used to sleeping with the safety and security of a nightlight while the nuclear monster thing lived under the bed, sparked a unrequited love for film noir, horror movies and spook flicks in the later 1950s and early 1960s. That love created a counterculture that changed the confidently progressive and productive attitude and lifestyle into one less sure, more challenged and thus became regressive and aggressive in its attitude and lifestyle. Starting from Psycho to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror and Halloween to Friday the Thirteenth, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Poltergeist to Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Blair Witch Project, the production, consumption and greater cultural interpretation of the cinematic horror genre has become less about enjoyment and entertainment an area of life not lived and more about epexegesis and enlightenment into a livelihood we all now live. Hauntingly, the lives we live are like those out of Night of the Living Dead, where day in and day out, we do our daily bidding, waking up, eat, do work, drink and go to sleep, but forget the humanity of it all, or rather the reasons and rational behind just being created in the first place.

One thing I remember from my mini film school studies, both at Redeemer during the spring summer session History, Philosophy and Religion of Films program thoughout the mid 2000s and following the Hollywood Old and New Saturday Night at the Movies on Television Ontario film studies program from York during the early 2000s, was that while the myth behind the art sometime alters, corrupts and distorts the magic behind the science, at the end of the day, the reel behind us replicates the real before us.

The plot, theme, setting, character, conflict and consensus of these films have become less exaggerated, with its bloody graphic violence so brightly painted on the big screen that a nation so silently shockingly watched in the dark while it ate its buttered salty popcorn, instead mirrors exactly what is happening outside our own windows. Perhaps like the film Night of the Living Dead, we can see it more in a modern, or postmo, light of the real nature of things through its more recent update from across the pond, Shaun of the Dead. Alienated, in a brand new world that is void of civic community centres and production towards the commonwealth giving being filled by the establishment of bigbox supermarket centres and consumption towards the individual buying, Shaun is unable to move forward in life as an adult, within his various relationships locally and thus remains in arrested development, until a nation wide crisis being a global zombie invasion allows him to stand up, man the deck and preserve the great wave of undead as he and the others try hard to keep living on. During the hard economic times we all live in and struggle through day after day, I would have to say this frightful horrors of film may likely be the scariest for most, mainly because it probably tells of those fearful terrors of life we hold the most, including that ever looming dark shadow behind us, we sometime in the morning see in the mirror, that is just us ourselves.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tory narrowcasting brings in smaller micromanaged catches for the win

Conservatives and their Get Out The Vote Identification and Voter Database Technology Management systems, like their American counterpart Republicans with their Tea Party Revival, have become great at having their ears down on the ground from sea to sea, using a proven model of success for electoral support to win big unthinkable victories and wipe out unsinkable parties. Take gun control for a prime example, Liberal made policy during the days in which the party was in power, with back to back to back majorities, creating an arrogant air that allowed them to totally ignore anyone and everyone which is exactly what they did with metro urban made policy that did not apply to the rest of Canada, especially throughout the rural hinterlands of Ontario. The federal Tories under Stephen Harper, paying close attention to what they heard from below, saw coming down the railtracks and begun targeting and tailoring legislative policy from their ideologic principles and election platform via research, development and implementation of various interdisciplinary data to fit their public opinion and preferences, coming straight from their core base of supporters, gaining their vote and winning their seat, by way of working their core base so they can work for them and their benefits daily.

Tories have micromanaged their federal election victories, incrementally building on short amd silent minorities and changing them into strong and stable majorities, by constantly remaining in election mode while governing the nation state, inefficient with government revenue via wasteful spending that can not be properly funded, ineffective with governmental legislation via intrusive bills that can not be properly enforced, Conservatives across Canada found their bread and butter demographic in every general election since 2006 via the key electoral battlegrounds in various Northern and rural farmland ridings and their belief in traditionalism and those 21 percent for the 21 century superior swing seats in multi suburban ridings and their belief in culturalism, where those core base of supporters, polled as mainly specific groups made up from the upper income bracket, college educated and faith based, predominately older and male and usually of the Anglo Saxon variety, though a larger proportion than usual of visible and focused ethnic minorities too, all combine to make those potential votes positive in swinging the win.

Although it could also be argued that the Tories mainstream media messaged their communication straight to their target share via social, online, autodial robocall telecommunications by way of Responsive Marketing Group, Campaign Support Research or Rack Nine Incorporated and their Constituent Information Management System and local media saturation through area circulation dailies, bypassing the tried and true traditional yet old mainstream national chains of radio, television and newsprint, the main point is that by getting their message across loud and clear without any real static, the next election in 2015 is theirs to lose, especially as they target the babyboom 55 years and older white male with a position that is not built to fit the youth of tomorrow. With the socialist separatist coalition now the Official Opposition led by Thomas Mulcair in the guise of the New Democrats, along with a renewed, rebuilding and to be reformed Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau, Conservatives have a real battle on their hands, especially one where Québec is already lost between both of these and possibly the Bloc, Ontario will begin looking to the Liberals when they finally vacate their Queen's Park and possibly those out East especially Grit friendly ridings from New Brunswick to Newfoundland Labrador.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Harper shows austere leadership during economic hard times

Love him, like him or hate him, Canadian Prime Minister and Tory MP for Calgary Southwest Stephen Harper does deserve some respect for voluntarily cutting his gold plated pension plan, which will likely cost him between a million or two million dollars in tax free cash, money Canadians worked hard to pay and get little of at the end of the day. Paid as taxes, Canadians still pay one of the highest in the world, yet get very little back in the form of services, less so today than years past. As the regular everyday folk from sea to sea begin paying more for their collective retirements, as the baby boom busts its big ballooning bubble, the Members of Parliament, along with the Prime Minister himself, try balancing out the fiscal imbalance between those with and those without, getting less with a contributed $47,000 over $104,000 per annum pension of his yearly $157,731 PM and $157,731 MP salary and waiting longer at the age of 65 over 55 for it.

Further to it, Harper also took out these pension measures from the budget omnibus bill, something which must have been hard for any prime minister with a solid majority in the House, especially when the Loyal Opposition badgered the Government of the Day on the issue, to any politico watching were the signs of the political version of a forced play at second or a fielders choice.

With governments federal and provincial cutting public servants pensions and freezing their pay, while their unions yell, scream and hold their breath until they simply turn blue, the average citizen has to recognize this as a show of austere leadership during these economic hard times we live in. Harper and the federal Tories, despite doing many actions I personally disagree with as they do not seem progressive or democratic or reformed, do well with this kind of tripartisan legislative cooperation versus the usual game of blame, insult and conflict on the Hill. Perhaps this is just the federal Conservatives in Ottawa reading the writing on the Whispering Wall, such as the polls in Québec which now give a Trudeau led Liberals a lead and a second to last place next to the Greens for the federal Tories, but whatever the reason, we should recognize this as a good day for both them and their leader, our Prime Minister of Canada.

Tories really messing around with real estate

Canadian Tory Finance Minister and Whitby—Ajax MP Jim Flaherty is in town today to help fundraise at a dinner roast for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound and backbench Tory MP Larry Miller, with Tories Whitby—Oshawa MPP and Flaherty's wife Christine Elliott and backbench Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker on the side, talking with local Tory politicos, Conservative honchos and the media about the bill for the omnibus budget. However, do not expect him to speak on the real estate market, the municipal infrastructure deficit or even the pension raise in age and pay, nor the possible privatization of the public crown corportation Canada Mortgage and Housing Corpation within this decade, a corporation whose maximum amortization period he just capped from 30 to 25 years. Jim has been talking on the Hill about making the public insurer of housing mortgage and public overseer of the whole housing market a private affair, perhaps spreading out the mortgages so borrowers pay more with an increased annual percentage interest rate and save less over time with monthly mortgage payments that are more manageable, but keep them tied down harder and longer.

Ever since Flaherty started his war on the average Canadian investors on Halloween 2006, starting with his new proposed rule changes for taxation of Canadian income trusts levelling business, while planning to reduce the corporate rate even further to protect us from tax leakage, he has singlehandedly attacked one area of investment while allowing business as usual in other areas.

Perhaps its his hardcore ideologic makeup, or just some tough lobbying in the background he has legislatively bent down to, but Flaherty and the Harper administration have pointed the finger at the wrong area of investment, calling the economic stimulator a debt instigator. Again, instead of looking at the way the banking community works and how investment is done on Bay Street, they are unconsciously lashing out at the real estate market on Main Street, by messing with the mortgage rules for a third time, to both cool the investment market and cut the household debt in early July. When longtime Mississauga Mayor Hazel Mccallion is no longer on side with this federal Conservative government, herself a hardcore Tory in the blue who looks to the Grits and Justin Trudeau as a possible leadership replacement being a young man with a great future, you must know that both Jim and Stephen are looking at the dark end of their majority government tunnel so hopefully they can both start thinking legacy now rather than ideology later.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mcguinty leaves while Mcguinty looks to join

Dalton Junior calls it quits today, just as David signals his beginning tomorrow, so goes the days of the Mcguinty clan. Both moves seemed obvious for those watching, moreso a resignation by the MPP for Ottawa South and Premier of Ontario over a run by the MP for Ottawa South and party critic for Natural Resources, for the Liberal Party of Canada leadership. Though both remained active politically at separate levels, each has left an indelible mark upon this province and nation for the past decade with the work they have done, the question is was all that work positive? Even further on, Ontarians and Canadians may soon ask, who will be the next leader of the provincial and federal Liberals!

I personally do not think you can rule out a crossover of either, Dalton junior going federal for the top spot, while David drops down to run the provincial crown, but now realistically I believe we are looking at a situation where the MP for Papineau and party critic for Youth, Amateur Sport and Post Secondary Education Justin Trudeau and MPP for Windsor—Tecumseh Dwight Duncan, especially after his governmental austerity measures used to reduce by $400 million the projected 2012-13 fiscal year provincial deficit of $14.4 billion and debt of $238 billion in Ontario!

Duncan and his push against public sector works, via a wage freeze to balance the books by 2017-18, twinned with an optimistic projection for economic growth at 1.9 per cent in 2013 and 2.3 the next year, is exactly the kind of ministerial action that makes for provincial leadership platform fodder. Trudeau and his young turks rhetorically turn his campaign platform into a set of platitudes and personality over principles and policy, embracing the emotionally secular and rationally scientific Canada his dad helped to create, again the kind of critical talk which makes for federal leadership platform fodder. Both almost guarantee that the decade and those days within of Mcguinty are behind us as the Liberal repair, rebuild and relaunch into the future, but history was made by each man in their own different way, just have to wonder if Dalton Senior would have approved?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Young gun in constitutional law ready for national unity fun

As Camille Laurin was to René Lévesque and Louise Beaudoin was to Jacques Parizeau on the intergovernmental affairs, cultural development and language portfolio, so now is Alexandre Cloutier for the Pauline Marois administration, which prepares la belle province to begin its uphill fight to regain the right to separate from the Dominion. The bright Chicoutimite has never left the heartland of sovereignty, being the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, just as fervently as its Canadian Shield counterpart Cottage Country Central Ontario region next door is known for its federalism. A lawyer via a bachelor's from the University of Ottawa, a master's degree in public international law from Cambridge University, another master's from Université de Montréal with a doctor's degree from Université Laval both in constitutional law, Cloutier is cut out for the job.

Peter Penashue, the pointman for Stephen Harper, was elected President of the Innu Nation and served as Grand Chief of the Innu for half of his life. The only advantage for the federal Tories with him would be that, being from Innu community of Sheshatshiu, Newfoundland and representing the riding of Labrador, Peter can speak personally about how any physical and emotional separation from the rest of the Dominion would be for he and his people. However, due to his lack of legal expertise and education, Penashue would find himself buried under the amount of research, policy development and legal precedent strategies Cloutier would pull as a former Supreme Court of Canada clerk for the justices, despite also being the President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada in the cabinet.

Basic thought would likely bring Harper to the logical conclusion that an old time Reformer from Alberta, if one exists, or a deeply Red Tory from Ontario, preferably downtown Toronto or Ottawa, should take over the portfolio to prepare for an oncoming attack by the sovereignists. Both Marois and Cloutier are way ahead of their game, in Marois case likely already figuring out how to turn their minority into a majority by spring, but unfortunately the federal government in Ottawa is once again not taking Assemblée Nationale du Québec seriously. This lack of respect by Ottawa is unacceptable, as is the lack of recognition by its higher sibling in Toronto, repeating the federal Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien years and provincial Bill Davis, Bob Rae and Mike Harris years of ignorance on the national question and hopefully will soon be enlightened.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Giving thanks to God for a Canucky fall

Started off with the annual Thanksgiving East versus West Classic crosstown rivalry football game up at West Hill, which for the last half a decade has been rebilled as a Friday Night Lights game played at dusk, which I watched atop the West Rocks just barely over the tip tops of the overgrown trees which have since been quickly removing the old view of the football field from above. First time actually watching a football game from up there, which I was told back in the day was the place to be and spot to watch a WHSS Raiders game, if you move further down the back trail, supposedly there is a makeshift camping place where you could watch the other game crosstown with the OSCVI Falcons, if both were playing out of town opponents being either the Grey Highlands Lions or John Diefenbaker Trojans. After watching the Falcons peck away at the Raiders 26-14, the hardest part was coming down and remembering where all the nooks and crannies of the rocks were, but eventually made it on down, in record time without the help of the sun or moon.

The weekend led to a great time of getting back with family being the brother and his wife and sister, her husband and their two boys, all enjoying the work time off and the beautiful colours across the escarpment, as the leaves fell to wistful blasts of balmy wind. Hearing recent news and old stories from the family, one gets the material to knit the local fabric from these gettogethers, something one would agree being without makes one poorer. Richness is found in the treasure trove of familial verbiage, especially the public school aged nephews who have lots to speak about from their collective days in their various classes.

So today on the actually day of Thanksgiving here in Canada, I actually give thanks for the other 364 we forget to simply thank to Our Father who is in heaven as hallowed be his name, whose kingdom come and will be done on earth as in heaven. For giving us this day our daily bread, forgiving us our trespasses, just as we forgive those who trespass against us and for lead us not into temptation, but delivering us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever amen.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Canada's own Camelot is almost complete

The fables of Arthurian proportions, which powered the Kennedy family to fame and remained strong in the United States, has produced itself here in Canada through the Trudeau clan via its version of Camelot North. Quite like the famed king in the 12th century French romantic fairy tale by Chrétien De Troyes, Justin Trudeau too has launced a medieval styled defense and attack against the enemy, his being the invading political ideologies of New Democratic socialism and Bloc Québécois separatism from within la belle province on former Grit territory. In his quest for the Canadian Holy Grail, being a open, free and just society, he too has enlisted the services of most trusted knight Sir Launcelot Du Lac being his little brother Alexandre Sacha Trudeau as a senior advisor in his campaign.

If it worked well for the Kennedy brothers Jack and Bobby, or John Fitzgerald and Robert Francis, so I would suspect it could the same for those two Trudeaus. Even better as one would believe, as Alexandre studied his philosophy at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf and graduated with degree from Mcgill University, while Robert studied prelaw at Harvard and graduated with degree from University of Virginia, each with the academic background in democratic civil affairs to help their older siblings out. Looking down south, though Robert Francis Kennedy Junior and his environmental law background and similar academic record as his dad RFK, has not thrown his Tilley into the ring yet. Justin, now in the thick of his hunt, must bone up beyond his Bachelor of Arts degree in literature from Mcgill, Education degree from the University of British Columbia and work as a social studies and French secondary school teacher, to have a chance to match up to his father Pierre Elliot. However, like Jack and Bobby, one would have to believe Alexandre was brought in to fill those philosophic gaps in the quest for Canadian justice towards the greater good in public policy.

As many have believed JFK and PET to be modern day forms of the philosopher king Arthur, using Pelagianisic virtues such as a fully controled humanity with free will and good works without original sin or divine grace. Quite like Pelagius, both looked to attain moral perfection in a political vision where a hopeful future full of potential and promise was possible tomorrow, giving speeches and making policies that could make them attainable in our lifetime. But like the line of letting it not be forgot, that once for a brief shining moment at that spot, that was known as Camelot, we all forget that we too are just mortals beloved with but one life to live not long by so long goodbye.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Ontario Liberals get it right with Renovation Tax Credit and Local Food Promotion Acts for Ontario seniors and youth

Hearing of the final royal assent for Bill 2, Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit Act, 2012 by Minister of Finance and MPP for Windsor—Tecumseh Dwight Duncan and the moving of Bill 130, as an Act to enact the Local Food Act, 2012 by Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and MPP for Ancaster—Dundas—Flamborough—Westdale Ted Mcmeekin yesterday was good for the ears, however, watching Tory backbencher and MPP for Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound Bill Walker talk against the first bill last month then vote against it earlier this week truly was not. Following up in the footsteps of Randy Hillier and Jim Wilson next door here, Walker as a principal debaters on the bill was right that, as of 2006, there were more than 45,000 people over the age of 55 in Counties of Bruce and Grey, accounting for one third of its total population, even higher by 20% in Grey and 11% in Bruce as of today, but he is wrong to say that seniors who could benefit from this tax credit, being $10,000 don’t need a tax credit worth up to $1,500 each year HST included, calculated as 15% of up to a combined maximum of $10,000 in eligible home renovation expenses that will help seniors stay safely in their healthy homes. Using the same old Liberal blame game boondoggles throughout his debate, Walker seemed to represent the Ontario Tories in Toronto moreso than our seniors here in the Counties of Bruce, Grey and the City of Owen Sound, stating that all the fiscal mismanagement under Mcguinty that led to the provincial $15.3-billion deficit and a $411-billion debt that doubled in eight years. could have been much better spent on reduction of hydro electricity hike, better health services and debt retirement.

But this is exactly where Bill gets it wrong, those 600,000 Ontarians out of work with another 25,000 added, could use this cash infusion back into the economy via this home renovation tax credit, moreso than any fiscal boondoggle that got back the opposition since 2003, allowing more jobs to be created from the ground on up built upon housing, especially in the riding with such a greyt loud and proud demographic segment group of seniors he supposedly represents.

So while he enjoys his and the Premier's day out at the international plowing match, I wonder if Walker thinks about just how many seniors in the riding have their retirement investments solidly based in the foundations of their real estate, being their own healthy home houses, family first farms and various other commercial, receational or vacant lands elsewhere, how voting against provincial legislation that promotes those retirement investments for seniors in his riding and how allowing his Tory counterparts in Ottawa create federal legislation that attacks the same retirement investment in real estate values for seniors in his riding actually hurts those he loves the most. Likewise, I am not sure Bill understands how important the ideas of agroecogy, food, oxygen and water sovereignty and the 100 mile, klick or kilometre market are for everyone, especially for the youth from Lake Huron to Georgian Bay, right down to Holland Marsh and through the Niagara Grapevines and into the Ontario Food Terminal, so I fear his innocent yet still blissful ignorance may hurt our good things growing, producing and consumption in Foodland Ontario, via local processing and distribution for global sales and marketing, if he votes against this bill too. Speaking from the personal as one who has returned this spring to renew my bonds fulltime with the family first farm just south of Keady in the centre, heart and soul of Bruce—Grey—Owen Sound, now enjoying its evergrowing bounty this fall harvest season from local trade, opportunities and enterprise, I ask him to look at its localmotive food revolution like merits, including the agrifoodstuff shift of $2.5 billion in economic activity and creation of 10,000 new jobs, which can help continue to strengthen our sector of the economy that contributing more than $33 billion to the economy each year and employing more than 700,000 Ontarians from Northern and rural communities across the province, though it may not be progressive enough, or right the past wrongs of the government, recognize it as the right step forward and try not to be a regressive part of the wrong step back.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Free trade and trading freedoms

It was exactly 25 years ago today from atop his Langevin Block office in Ottawa, after negotiating reciprocal economics for years, that Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney finally was able to persuade United States president Ronald Reagan to use his fast track authority to ratify a deal with to create and eventually implement the international Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement. Was free trade a positive or negative entity, in light of the perceived brotherly rivalry between the next door neighbours, or pershaps the different lives and times both live in? I would very humble submit that it was neither a positive nor a negative, rather an inevitable necessary agreement but one not so necessarily, as just only 7 years later Canadian prime ministers Mulroney and Jean Chrétien would sign on with United States presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton and Mexican Carlos Salinas and others to pass the intercontinental North American Free Trade Agreement despite major concerns in the areas of labour, environmental and civil human rights!

A quarter of a century later, free trade without fair trade globally seems to have made us a lesser people, culture and society locally, as national security trumped civil liberty at the beginning of this decade and now the world financial crisis, contraction and recession has created a new societal normal. One that continues threatening the proactive lifestyle movement and its successful approach to enterprise, commerce and business, via reducing expenditure, increasing revenue and other measures of austerity at the end of it. As indebtedness, joblessness and lead us into a this new era of doom and gloom forecasting, one lacking progressive scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts, a more inferior new societal normal without the benefits of a Canadian Greater Governmental Good publically safetynetted by reasonable taxes for reasonable services or the Aristotelian Good Life for those going from college to career into this supposed 21st century path to happiness.

Higher education gaining, family unit building and home property ownership, keys to the good life, path to happiness and eventually the North American Dream or the Canadian Ideal, has become naught in the worst and delayed in the best, as their pursuit became trivial and their flight delayed until tomorrow. Instead of moving forward up, inch by inch, one day at a time, as pre 1945-1965 Baby Boom Generations such as the older Research and Development knowledgeable 1965-1985 born Gen Xers are joining the younger Social Media savvy 1985-2005 Gen Yers in giving up fiduciarily in society, declaring bankrupcy morally before they have the hard dollars and common sense to do so fiscally, which has become the truly troubling state of the Dominion these days. Though the deep green vista once filled with hope, optimism and progress for citizens across the nation from sea to sea has been replaced, at least locally, by fears, tears and beers with no real or clear vision of reform in their distant future, understand that amongst the other legendary nation states globally, Canada still leads in the areas of economic, political, social, labour, educational, cultural, environmental, demographic, and other conditions, thus remember that night is always darkest just before the dawn and indeed tomorrow will soon be today!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Where is the Paul Sauvé Arena of today?

Tomorrow, the whole Dominion of Canada will know if he is in or if he is out, Justin Pierre James Trudeau will confirm he is deep dish down with running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Hopefully, Trudeau will mention how we Canadians are to be the first among equals in our just society of the future, a not so distant or that distinct Canadian dream he will ask us to watch him start to create. Saddest part is that he will likely make the announcement in Papineau at the Centre William-Hingston north central Montréal, rather than in Rosemont at the Arena Paul Sauvé west central Montréal, where the real memories would have been if it still stood tall.

Everyone that is politically minded here in Canada will watch as Trudeau explains his first steps over the ramparts and into campaign battle, fighting the war that will be against the Pauline Marois Parti Québécois provincially and the Thomas Mulcair New Democrats and Stephen Harper Conservatives federally in the Fall of 2015, when all three will be forced to compete with Ontario's trio of provincial political party leaders for the electoral limelight.

Péquistes realize the choice is theirs in how la belle province moves the next chess piece against Ottawa, the wave of change that will be made tomorrow in Papineau could bring some truly positive vibes against the socialist and separatist coalition, but Trudeau has a real chance to create a new Canada for all Canadians. But he also knows the fiscalist Tory agenda of Harper, Jim Flaherty and Peter Mackay is not the solution either, which is why his next move on issues of policy is more important than ever before, in terms of the future of domestic and foreign affairs of this Dominion. In this brand new 21st century world, a pan national 2020 vision will be essential, as will a pan national 2020 plan for integrated governmental action towards Reconfederation that unites all provinces and territories as one Canada.