Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Obama hashtags Congress My2K+2H for the USA to axe taxes

As the fiscal cliff debate down south begins to get louder, President Barack Obama created the hashtag My2K+2H for Americans to cyberlobby via Twitter against the estimated $2,200 tax increase each American average middle class family of 3.7 that earns $250,000 or less without the old Bush tax cuts, which now as we move closer to the cliff Obama supports. Favouring corporate executives over union leaders in his push to prod upper income bracket earners into pay higher tax rates, Obama appears to be looking for as much support as possible from Bay Street and the Corporation Trust which has been America, especially since its boom after World War II. But a tax raise on the wealthy can not be in the cards, as the wealthy of today have no concept of the principle that is noblesse oblige and will not concede those hard earned profits they gained since the 1950s onward and enjoyed since the 1980s up, as just like Mitt Romney says their "job is not to worry about those people."

So, if the wealthy refuse to help, by paying in some of the profits now that came from those who paid out then, and those without can not pay, or may not have proper gainful employment or remain too poor to pay income tax, where does that leave middle class America?

It seems obvious to me, ever since the beginning of this concussive economic climate, that as the wealthy and poor usually do not vote, as the middle class do, that both the wealthy and poor likely will not pay either, bringing up that old American sociopolitiecomic axiom that fundamentally remains in their collective hearts, minds and souls being there is no taxation without full representation. Perhaps this is the essential starting point for America, true representation will finally bring real taxation, which includes honest politics, transparent communication and accountable servicing that is efficient, effective and equal for all citizens, whether regular, rich or poor. Watching, listening, thinking, hoping and praying for the best and that each, every and all Americans are preparing for the worse, realizing this is not the dirty 1930s Great Depression, thus progress can be made, change is possible and a new America for the better is not over the cliff, but just around the mountain!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Municipal politics is serious and should be treated as such

Losing mayors is not just a Québécois thing, examples in the Cities of Montréal and Laval where made earlier this month, now in these later days of November we see that Ontarians from both the Cities of Toronto and London are quite susceptible to exactly the same politicus modi operandi, perhaps at a more reduced rate and style, however similar in professed substance they may be. Corruption, virtuelessness and lacking of integrity at the worst and basically running the show as though you were beyond and above the conflict of interest rules, regulation and laws of the land at the best. Playing from a political method of operation game playbook that is not allowed for any other average upright citizen of the country, given advantages others could never even dream of at the more parochial and anecdotal level, but nevertheless an even more insulated and controlled community position of leadership by those on the throne which then can be used, abused and misused by them to a point we the people all refuse to go along with it all.

All of these high profile mayors, being Gérald Tremblay, Gilles Vaillancourt, Rob Ford and soon enough Joe Fontana, will have fallen late this year on the same kind of alleged ethics, or lack thereof, which has creates the individual situations each are embroiled deeply within and yet still create a collective symptom, that holds the voting public and its civic infrastructure, like a social Stockholm syndrome.

Extra compassion and care for the municipal political agenda by each likely could have avoided their separate demises, by carefully looking at the agenda, listening to other political colleagues whether friendly or foe for advice and thoughts then finally stepping away from any pitfalls whether probable or possible for their municipality, none of these situations would have went past a first stage alert. One of the first rules of political operations, electoral organization and campaign management is that any global, world or international issue, brand or body that is political originates organically or locally, so whatever small pond they believe they are swimming then polluting unnoticed in likely is not the case. As Olivia Chow, Doug Ford, Adam Vaughan, Doug Holyday, Michael Layton, Giorgio Mammoliti and John Tory all prepare to flip through each of their electronic rolling memodexes, one should wish that each hopeful from Hogtown thinks about the pressure of higher political standards and ethics now placed upon them by their predecessor, as he takes his varsity high school football yeam to the 31st Metro Bowl O.F.S.A.A. finals in the same domed stadium in which the T.O. Argos sacked the Cowtown Stamps 35-22 for the 100th Grey Cup, because though you have to be in it to win it, you should also check yourself before you wreck yourself and that at the end of the day always balances out just right.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saying goodbye to Canadian professional athletics

I think it really is appropos to say goodbye to Canadian professional athletics, just as the Canadian Football League celebrates its 100th Grey Cup this weekend in Toronto, to be played in the Skydome or I guess Rogers Centre where a repeat of last year's Mcmaster University Marauders double overtime defeat of Université Laval Rouge et Or 41-38 was naught and the 11-0 Macman lost their Vanier Cup and national crown falling down to an 11-1 Laval 37-14. They have taken so much attention, interest, effort and of course funding away from amateur sport, where a win is worth so much and the people involved still care more about the game, rather than how much it pays them back in greenbacks. I guess when you look over at where things are at for the old 0 for 4 Super Bowless Buffalo Bills, who could be bringing back over the National Football League franchise into the Niagara-Hamilton-Golden Horseshow region of Ontario anytime, as well as the failed experiments in the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball outside of Toronto, read the Grizzlies of Vancouver and Expos of Montréal, you just have to simply throw up your arms to say forget about it and move on.

So once more, the first absolutely full game, as I watched bits and pieces of the ones earlier, of the Canadian Football League's Grey Cup I watched as a child was the 79th Grey Cup in 1991, the league championship game where the Beast of the East Toronto Argonauts went to cold, snowy and windy Winnipeg Stadium in Winnipeg, Manitoba to face the Best of the West Calgary Stampeders, as we all watched the marquee all star $4.55 million per season rookie Rocket Raghib Ramadian Ismail record a 87 yard touchdown on a kickoff return on his way to winning Most Valuable Player and helping the Argos defeated the Stamps 36-21!

Those same franchises meet again, except this time in Toronto, yet the same excitement is not there, perhaps due to a crumbling facade that was tradition, such as the loss of the epic unique history in Hamilton, as the Ivor Wynne Hamilton Civic Stadium faces complete demolition, leaving another deeper and darker shadow over the community on the corner of Beechwood and Balsam Avenues, or maybe the greediness of professional sports like hockey, where another strike by the National Hockey League shows us it really is all about the almighty dollar. All I really know is that professional athletics has always left a little bit of a greasy, gritty and commercial feel to me personally every time I came up close and personal with it, something that always made it easy for me to retreat back to amateur status as quickly as possible, I think I am pretty close to realizing the reasoning, but not being sixpence the richer, I can safely still say at least I played hard, with heart and left my honour on the field doing what I did. As I say goodbye to to Canadian, American and the rest of the other world professional athletics, an other world that plays the game of name, big dollar and even bigger pride with prejudice and without talent necessarily, I ask just a simple question, so can you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday creates dark families

I know it is Fitness Friday, but our psychological fitness is as important as our physiological self thus every single year without fail, there is always some kind of sad consumer story that comes out from Black Friday, the day after the American Thanksgiving, quite like the Canadian tradition of Boxing Day after Christmass. Our annual boner begins with a Massachusetts man who took home a Black Friday bargain of a brand new 51 inch flat screen television, but left his common law girlfriend's 2 year old son in a car hunting for it, then somehow did a bait and switch with the old boy and the new television. Police were alerted to all of this, removed the child and sent him to the hospital for a precautionary measure, bottom line is that one family may not see their child for awhile, with a charge of reckless endangerment to a child being perhaps a toll he did not bargain for.

Whether consumers are being crushed by doorbusting crowds, cashiers are being overworked and underrested at the register till or producers are bring asked to drop their prices to a impossible rock bottom one to even compete, Black Friday and Boxing Day always forgets these people are people who need to recreate on Saturday and Sunday.

Something happen when the family days, or now weekend, replaced the recreation, relaxation and restful or playful leisure of the happy family, with the non stop production, distribution and continued laborious consumption of the dark family under the days and ways of Black Friday or Boxing Day. We lose our faith in clan, church and community, instead rely on the masses, media and market, we lose a little bit of our hearts, minds and souls with each purchase we make for ourselves, forgeting about the others we could be walking, talking and enjoying our time with. Perhaps Black Friday now past us, we can think something about this before Christmass, so we can doing anything about it after Christmass, so we can all have some real holydays to enjoy our clans, churches and communities, during what should be our time of year.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bungeejumping of our Precambrian Shielded fiscal cliff

Preparing for American Thanksgiving this week, hearing for the numbers from the most important Black Friday the United States will likely bet the farm on and then watching Europe start its union budget summit which likely will amount to an open attack upon the southern states like Greece by the northern nations like Germany, I think Canadians should be thankful once again for the rebound in job creation, venture capital, economic output, fiscal management and innovation that might balance the budget for the fall of 2015. Beating the recession back to its basics has been a challenge, one made especially daunting by the fact that, in less than six weeks, American will be facing their fiscal cliff of automatic tax hikes, service cuts and budget deficit reductions in half. Canada does not face anything even remotely close to all of this, however does still remain on the same on the same continent, thus Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the federal Tory addition of $97.6 billion and almost $600 billion altogether in national debt will face a smaller Canadian Laurentian Plateau, if the American economy does not start growing, whether at 1, 2 or 3% per annum for a little less than a decade.

Canadians, traditionally resilient, tough and hardy folk full of grit, zest and pep, rarely stay out from a fight if one is to be had, with this economy and its direly weak outlook and continued direct program spending by the federal economic action plan, may just get it from these normally cautious and prudent people on their own.

Perhaps Wilfrid Laurier was off by a century, a country high burdened with oil, metals and other natural resources and resource based commodities, though world market and prices remain low, will eventually find its way, perhaps through the Orient Express to the People's Republic of China, India or Japan. No matter how, revenue for the government will be right back to where it was, those restarts in job creation, capital innovation and increased economic input will rebuild the federal tax base, allowing more room to budget after the deficit and then debt begin being repaid off and retired out via a specially planned premium, charge or tax in the future to get to surplus by the fiscal year of 2016-17 and end the debt by the fiscal year of 2021-22. No matter what and despite the fiscal cuts and economic cornering found in the next budget, all current projections and prognostications show a likely $150 billion jump off the Precambrian Shielded fiscal cliff for Canadians will not be a collective fall of the nation, rather will be a bungeejump that may take awhile getting back up after the bounce of a lifetime, but the Dominion still will survive.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hostess without Twinkies is not the mostest

Ding Dong dang now that word coming out from Irving Texas is that the Schiller Park Illinois created Continental Interstate Baking Company cream filled golden spongecakes are no longer, corporate need for greed and rocket towards profit int he pocket plus union ruining labour with a penchant for more pay, perks and pension above the average, led to the fall, demise and extinction of the tasty treat. The former Kansas City Missouri company and its Teamster based Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International union could not agree on terms, something we are seeing more and more between both Blue and Red Staters way down south, the lack of bipartisanship and bipartisanship across the aisle cooperation towards the betterment of a greater society for the goodness of its citizenry. Overall, it has lead to a decline in the cultural greatness of a superpower among leading world nations, to even think we are making these comparsions because of the bankrupcy of a snack cake dessert whose workers and management refused to hi Ho Ho hi ho ho off to work and go make more for America.

But confectionery seems the right place to find America's decades of decadence and centuries of corruption, leaving the average diet one filled with not just cream, icing and flour, but sugar, starch and salt, with enough bad low density lipoprotein cholesterol saturated and trans unsaturdated fats to clog the national clogs the arteries of the nation white with foam from sea to shining sea.

Twinkies may yet still be saved, as the iconic brand will never be forgot in the minds of all generation from the days of Depression to this race from recession, but those Americans still using the ingredients of this Made in the USA invention as the daily fabric of their diet and health may not. As unions and their workers and corporations and its management continue clashing over the profits they make together, the average joe citizen remains the victim, with a monopolized lack of competition that culminated into a lack of choice, change and chance at an America faster, stronger and better. So the defense of the Twinkie is less about the fall of a once great brand for branding and economics reasons and not so great product for our fitness and health at the end of the day, instead one should likely argue, Twinkies which once help make a nation great fall as the lustre, leasure and luxury of that same nation lower too.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A new Canada ahead with Anglophone mayor in the largest Francophone city

Interim mayors will be selected for Montréal and Laval respectfully, as Gérald Tremblay and Gilles Vaillancourt have now resigned amidst scandal, with the likely successors to being are Michael Applebaum and Alexandre Duplessis, though Richard Deschamps, Helen Fotopulos and Jacques St-Jean also have chances to succeed. Regardless, if Applebaum is elected as the new interim mayor for the second largest city in Canada, he will be its first Anglophone mayor since half French and half Irish James-John Edmund Guérin in 1910, which is a huge feat for federalist in a city known for its proud Francophonic heritage. Coming from the Borough Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce of Ville de Montréal, Applebaum can obviously speak French but it was not his mother tongue as an allophone, which made the nationalistic idea of linguistic, racial and cultural preservation and unity within the pure laine ideal a possible issue.

That said all internal council polling show these anti corruption and council unity candidates to be the ones selected, completely on the reasoning that each are well above reproach in cleaning up a dirty machine, something that can now be aptly used for both under the circumstances.

Change is usually a good thing, in between the electoral idealist and populist surges for both Obama down south and Layton here to the north, Ithnāʿ Ashariyya or Ismaili Shia Muslim Naheed Nenshi, a South Asian newcomer to Canada from Tanzania and an associate professor at Mount Royal University, using his grassroots based social media campaign network like Howard Dean, Obama and Layton to go from 8 to 40% popular vote support, becoming the first Muslim to become mayor of a major Canadian city being Calgary. Like today with Applebaum, Nenshi promised three major themes in his platforms, being reform the way city council is presently run, lowering property taxes, eliminating the deficit and end any debt held by the city along with public works freezing, and increase funding for needed public transit and fix the broken public transportation system for the good of the people, which interestingly find simple concordance between the ecology and economy of our own world. Perhaps we have finally made out way to a new Canada, one where a Muslim is elected in the largest metro in Mountain Western Canada and an Anglophone is elected in the largest metro in Québec, one can hope that progress has been made but only time will tell.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Faith in your sacrifice for what you believe

Science is a representation of reason and rationality, so much so that it has the faith of many adherents in different facets of life, from the professional to the personal. However, more and more we learn that, life is full of mysteries unknown, unexplained and unsolved, ones that leave us staring blankly at our computers, calculators and rulers wondering how it all is or what that was. It can be during these trying times when one turns themselves towards hope, prayer and meditation, all of which are foundations of faith.

Today on Remembrance Day, in memoriam we give thanks in our pause to all those who have fallen and made the ultimate sacrifice, allowing we that continue living to enjoy the freedoms, responsibilities and shared common values that define our democratic society as one that is not the same as those we fought and hopefully never will be!

A test of faith can also be an examination of science, both cause us to look at our humanity and dig down deep into our soul to do what is right, or at least what at that exact time seems to be the right thing for us to do. As humans we are fallible, make errors and mistake, but recognize that repentance and forgiveness in all our sins, debts and trespasses, which is why in all of us, we have the ability to do right, good and just, even when the opposite in action is made. Like those fallen soliders and living veterans, we need to make, not break, faith with the past sacrifice and continue believing in it into the future, so we do not end up asking was it worth it?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Partying like it is 1996 with Kennedy led Ontario Liberals of 2012

4:25 in the morning of December 1 on the floor of the old Maple Leaf Gardens, on the northwest corner of Carlton Street and Church Street in downtown Toronto, the 1996 Ontario Liberal Party leadership convention chose the new Leader of the Official Opposition after a lengthy six month ground battle on the fifth and final ballot, after various technical difficulties and failures hanuted the old house from noon the day before onward. Though divisions remained strong among the provincial Grits, who had been just recently whipped by a united Ontario Progressive Conservative machine that ran under the Common Sense Revolution brand name with Mike Harris as its leader and brand new Premier of Ontario, this long camapign and longer still convention actually led to a party unity in of itself for the Liberals, who had been in dire need of any form of it. But the man that lead the whole night by approximately 200 votes in each of the final four ballots, a charismatically left winged social activist Gerard Kennedy, lost out on the fifth by roughly that same number to a bland right winged fiscal restraintist Dalton Mcguinty Junior, despite the helping hand given by Mcguinty rival Joseph Cordiano, looks to be trying his hand politically once again.

But things have changed drastically for Kennedy, making his first leadership foray look as though it was just a simple walk in the Parkdale—High Park riding, compared to any recent jaunt he may now take.

Having now lost the Liberal leadership both provincially in 1996 and a decade later federally in 2006, Kennedy goes into the race with the majority of his campaign team currently working for Justin Trudeau on his federal campaign for leadership of the Grits in Ottawa, which already puts him behind the eight ball, likely would work hard against him to be as successful as he could be. Also losing the federal Parkdale—High Park electoral district to the New Democrats in the last election simply makes him a private citizen, neither a current Member of Provincial nor Federal Parliament in either legislature, running for an office that needs him actively on the ground as soon as he is elected leader and becomes the Premier, which makes his run one seen as going long or going home, as he will not be MPP of Parkdale—High Park or York South—Weston without the crown. Now perhaps the lessons of former Ontario Liberal Premier Harry Nixon, former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin Junior and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be viewed through the lens of the current provincial leadership race for the Grits with a Kennedy win, where even a Ernie Evesesque avalanche awaits, but much of this depends on Trudeau and the federal Liberal rebuild in Ottawa and how it goes in the new year.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Liberal braintrusts from Ontario and Québec work well with Trudeau

Now that America has shown its colours for another couple years, Democratic presidency and majority Senate with a Republican majority House, we move back to the federal and provincial scene here in Canada. Being stuck in the middle with cabinet ministers Kathleen Wynne, who defeated former Ontario Tory leader John Tory in Don Valley West, and former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray who now provincially represents Toronto Centre where Bob Rae does federally, doing their best post Halloween impressions of Lyn Mcleod and Gerard Kennedy respectively, we look up to Ottawa to see what is more interestingly going on elsewhere. Where else could we see the unification of former chief of staff for the Premier of Québec Jean Charest, Daniel Gagnier, and former principal secretary for the Premier of Ontario Dalton Mcguinty, Gerald Butts, in the federal leadership campaign of Justin Trudeau to lead the Liberals and begin bringing back the long lost grand old Canada?

This superpowerful meeting of the minds by majority government braintrusts from these twin towers of the Canadian political, economic and societal identity, also known collectively as the elite Laurentian consensus, have united behind Trudeau to advise, develop and implement policy and real principles Justin still does not have over his many platitudes and great personality.

Both Gagnier and Butts saved provincial governments in Canada, both Lower and Upper, using different political gifts, gimmicks, gadgets, gizmos and games, protecting the vision of a tight knit high crust group of the who is who of the nation along the St. Lawrence watershed and the belief that it is the centre of power from sea to sea. Obviously, Ontario and Québec are strengthening up together to take back the Liberal brand as theirs, along with the Atlantic East, leaving Alberta and the Pacific West to recalculate back to the Tories through Stephen Harper and the remaining Reform rump, or what is believed to still be as such.  The demographically loaded question now is does the Mountain, Prairies and even the whole Atlantic move towards those typical geopolitical centres of Calgary, Toronto and Montréal, or do fundamental political shifts, like Québec youthful dallance with the néo démocrates over their former love bloquistes or Ontario immigrants looking to the Tories as newcomers too in keeping their conservative values and faith over the more liberal Grits, continue to change the political fabric and landscape into a new Canada?

Monday, November 05, 2012

Obama will edge out Romney but what about Beijing?

Tomorrow on Tuesday from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire to North Slope, Alaska, the world will watch as Democratic nominee Barack Hussein Obama II repeats his feat in moving forward and winning the presidential election, just barely over a valiant effort from the Republican nominee Willard Mitt Romney who ran on essential economic issues in key swing states. This year Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Michigan were all added as places to watch, but just like 2004 slowly but snowy Ohio figures to be the only legitimate contender to change the vote by just an inch. Interestingly since the 1960s, Ohio has been known not just as a swing state but a rouge register, as it split from the nation and voted for Richard M. Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960.

But the real change in geoecoleconpolitics and world power will not be made in the United States of America tomorrow, rather those People's Republic of China will be holding a leadership selection next Thursday which could more likely make this presidential election pale in comparison, with the world's most populous nation and fastest growing major economy where growth rates average 10% over the past 30 years despite being a communist one inside a capitalist society.

How this matters to the upcoming National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and current fourth generation and longest serving General Secretary and President Hu Jintao is that the present and fifth generation Vice President and the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping is being setup to become the heir of the nation itself, now that scandal has taken Stephen Harper favourite Bo Xilai, the transportation train accident which took out Liu Zhijun of the running for higher ground and those standing issues of current Premier Wen Jiabao's hidden American wealth. The idea that Hu will step down as both the general secretary and president would allow for the idea that the Beijing born Xi could jump on in without any possible impasse. The hope Washington, Ottawa and other Western powers that be have in a Xi's Beijing is that greater, freer and more open trade, investement and enterprise will bring everyone more opportunity thus freer capital and greater success, that is a new leaf turn over everyone can welcome.