Archives For Personal Writings

Surveying Early America

September 20, 2018 — Leave a comment

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Je souhaite une belle journée à tous les Acadiens! Aujourd’hui, nous célébrons la plus vieille communauté francophone d’Amérique du Nord. Bonne fête nationale de l’Acadie!

A lot of interesting revelations and happenings took place over this past week and because of my desire to write more I figured I would give a short summary and my personal conclusions as to the purpose and level of importance. In the future I will try to make time to write both English and French translations but will do simply English for now.

Alfie Evans: Alfie Evans was in the news quite a bit in the UK but not so much in the US. Evans was a couple years old child who developed a degenerative but undiagnosed brain disease which reduced his functionality down to 30%. The story made news because the UK health services ruled via courts that the boy ought to be taken off life support and denied nutrition in order to speed up the eventual death. Naturally his family were very much against this notion and fought the courts by taking their fight to the public. The Evans case brings a lot of questions up that unfortunately are not going to be answered. For one it calls into question who ought to have the final say on matters of a childs care: the parents or the state. Yes I am aware that the NHS isn’t technically part of the legislative area of the UK government but lets not get bogged down in semantics since the government enforced the court’s rulings. Another important question that the case raises is whether or not its better to go through life in pain or simply to go through life in comfort. Many started pushing forward a very quasi-euthanasia perspective with the phrase “die with dignity.” I have yet to see where the dignity is in simply giving up on life when for most people, especially religious believers, life is considered incredibly precious and worth fighting for. The problem was only exacerbated more by the attempts of the Italian and Vatican envoys to bring the child to their hospitals since the courts mandated the UK hospitals cease care of the boy. Overall this was a terrible look for state sponsored health programs and the over use of bureaucracy when common sense clearly points to a better alternative option. I could understand the state stepping in to advocate for the boy if the family was refusing care but it seems patently absurd for the state to be the ones to refuse care. If it was the family refusing care then the state would consider it criminal which is why its only right we hold the health care system and government to the same standards.

Kanye West: Kanye West was in the news but I didn’t follow this story too much. Essentially Kanye decided to bring out his inner Trump supporter much to the chagrin of the mainstream entertainment world who believe they have a monopoly on the discourse. If anything he served to show how ridiculous left leaning ideologues are when they expect to have your vote simply due to your position or skin colour. That being said I don’t particularly care what West has to say about anything and I am not a fan of his music. But by all means please shatter peoples’ bubbles.

North Korea: North Korea has decided to do a complete reversal of their policy or at least it would appear that way. The North Koreans have been conducting diplomatic talks with the US and South Korea as they seek to allegedly bring an end to the Korean War stalemate officially and to cease their nuclear program. I have never been a fan of the sunshine policy of the Moon government so I am incredibly skeptical of these talks given the North’s track record. Furthermore I am of the belief that the North Koreans have already gotten to the level of nuclear technology that they desire so testing isn’t important for them at this point. I will be monitoring this story as it develops.

Baseball: Baseball season is back but it has not been the greatest start for my Royals who are almost at 20 losses. Hopefully this tanking and transition from the World Series team happens sooner rather than later. But it is nice to be able to watch baseball games again.

Movie pass: Movie pass has decided to change their policy from unlimited movies to 4 essentially one free movie a weekend for $10 a month. I have been very pessimistic about this service for a while and still not sure how they will eventually monetize to make the investment worth it. A good concept but I am not a fan of the company.

I haven’t been writing my own pieces much as of late so I’ve decided to make a more concerted effort to write original thoughts and posts in the future.

 

That being said lets discuss the current happenings on the geopolitical stage. The US along with allies France and Great Britain decided on punitive action via surgical strike against the forces of Bashar al-Assad in response to a chemical attack that took place there. Many took to social media to either show their clear enjoyment with the proceedings particular the news media who thrive off this sort of coverage. Others seemed to have this hyperbolic reaction which appears so common place in today’s political discourse where things must be taken to an extreme length. And there were those that condemned the attack either due to principles or more self serving motivations for not supporting such endeavors. I will try to address all the different viewpoints.

Firstly nothing in the past 24 hours has suggested that the conflict will as of yet escalate to world war or even simply war proportions as of yet. No leader has suggested the utilization of ground forces or that the air strikes will be continuous so long as Assad doesn’t further employ the use of chemical weaponry. Therefore I feel that calls for world war three are simple hyperbole. In today’s discourse everything is a call back to some momentous historical event. Everything is the next civil rights movement or everything is the next prelude to a new world war. This is utter nonsense and illogical. Moreover the strikes carry minimal risk due to advanced weaponry and the knowledge that Russia and Iran won’t counter in direct action because 1. they can’t and 2. it would be foolish.

I have much more sympathy for those who question such action because of their principles either they are against armed conflict under most circumstances or they simply want more information on the planned military actions before they occur. I empathize with both since governments are known to practice withholding information from the public. I too believe that governments should be more transparent on these matters. However if the action is limited, the evidence is clear, and the conflict is not escalated then I feel that the actions are perfectly reasonable and can be supported.

Here are some figures from the strike: US Tomahawk launch count: Cruiser Monterey: 30 Destroyer Laboon: 7 Destroyer Higgins: 23 Submarine John Warner: 6 Additionally: JASSMs launched by B1B bombers. Missiles additionally launched from French Frigate Aquitaine, French Jets and UK Jets. Syrian forces fired close to 40 counter missiles but did so in an ineffective and ineffective manner.

Its 2018 now and we are at the midpoint of the NHL season thus as an attempt to write more pieces in the new year I figured I would give some thoughts on the season having watched most of the games. First thing to bring up is the incredible rise of the team from a lowly 48 points last season to the current 47 at the midpoint. At times last season it seemed almost a guarantee that the team would lose and given the team having the sudden coaching change and change in team philosophy, the season was a lost from the start. During the off season GM Sakic did a good job of removing bad contracts and older players from the team in an effort to construct a faster team which took into account hockey analytics. This has paid huge dividends as the younger and faster Avalanche play a far superior system this season both in the offensive and defensive zones. The power play went through some rough stretches earlier in the year but has come on strong rising up to 7th as of this write up. The penalty kill has been sensational particularly in the month of December when the Avalanche killed 36 consecutive penalties. This success can largely in my view be attributed to the players buying into the system of coach Bednar.

The first 10 or so games were a bit of a mixed affair with the team appearing competitive some nights and unable to put forth a solid effort other nights. This appears retrospectively to have been caused by the rift of Matt Duchene still having not been traded in the off-season. But Sakic was able to get the huge haul of assets that he desired including defensman Samuel Girard, a product of the LHJMQ which pleases me, along with 3 or 4 picks for the upcoming 2018 draft. This has given the Avalanche a great situation to be in as a team with many flexible options to choose from whether it be trading the picks for assets or further development of those picks. Personally I would like Sakic to get some of the good players in the LHMJQ such as Groulx, Zadina, Dobson, etc. But we shall see what he decides. Being a product of the WHL he has shown an affinity for those particular players as of late.

I’m not going to spend all that much time covering the player achievements simply because that would take a while and everyone has outperformed last years numbers by the midpoint of this year. The question now is will this team of young inexperienced players jump up into the playoff picture a couple years earlier than expected or not. Personally I don’t think so only because goaltending has been average from both Varlamov and Bernier this season. They will need some stretches of exceptional goaltending in my view. Furthermore a couple of key pieces will be free agents this summer and ought to be moved before the trade deadline which could cause a decline due to more inexperienced players needing to fill rolls. But one thing is for sure this team is one of the more entertaining teams to watch this season which is a huge step up from last year. Its nice to see them able to skate with any time in the NHL and battling in these meaningful games. Its fun to be an Avalanche fan once more.

I recently was entangled in a contentious discussion with a mutual acquaintance in which a political topic was dissected namely whether there is more credence with the social selection versus the Darwinian sexual selection theory. At the conclusion of this discussion the individual proceeded to espouse the belief that I am not only bigoted but not taking politics seriously and thus giving off “bad vibes.” To this balderdash I am perfectly content to not have this individuals approval. I believe that everyone ought to not seek the approval of other men but rather the eternal and this is why I have no qualms with disagreeing with anyone in my life even those I love. On the surface it may seem a bit rigid of me to not concede a point in an attempt to be conciliatory but I believe in standing behind your convictions. If there is anything I have learned from my walk in life as a 21st century Christian is that certain tenets and positions are not going to be wildly accepted by the masses and I accept this reality. In today’s relativistic society we live in it is viewed as a moral imperative to not judge others on their actions or question the popular activist ideologies of the day. The political left leaning ideologies in particular have shown an intolerance to evidence that counters their dogmatic claims about how societies are and function. They place human pleasure, disguised as personal autonomy, higher than anything else. To be accepted in public life as a good person, any man or woman must publicly accede to certain pillars of secular faith, above all personal autonomy in matters of sex and cohabitation, (and drugs). This is why I am not particularly interested in serious political discussions nor do I take them especially serious. Often they involve discussions between opposing views that are so entrenched that neither is willing to step off their ideological cliff into the abyss which leads to a stand still from the start. Moreover these discussions involve a particular party in the discussion appearing to be interested in conversing but in actuality is more interested in attempting to set an ideological trap under the guise of genuinely being interested in your thoughts. These kind of silly games that take place on social media disinterest me which is why I rarely if ever commentate on the postings of others. The political landscapes and evolution of political ideas interests me greatly but in practice it is merely dreary and dull partisan games. Furthermore I see constantly on social media platforms where individuals are clearly far too emotionally invested in the particular topic to discuss it in any meaningful way. This is why although I can empathize with the individual I am addressing I am in large part unable to be that emotionally invested in a position even one where I am personally effected. Many cannot do this.

I thought in this second part I would address another personal happening which is that lately I have had multiple sources relate that I make someone uncomfortable either due to body language or otherwise. This seems to be a new phenomena which I have not really dealt with but I will do my best to explain my thought processes. Firstly I often feel that I am living in a bygone age whilst still trapped in the modern society that we have today. I believe this is in large part manifested by my love of antiques as well as history coupled by the fact I learned the classics in school (Roman and Greek). My rather stoic demeanor was in large part effected by the environments which I lived in and the experiences that I had during my childhood. When I was younger I like many people was a very talkative individual who spoke when it was not wise and refused to be quiet unless told. However this greatly changed as I have matured over the years. I have since become far more introspective of a person and much more prone to thinking than talking. After all countless proverbs give the great wisdom which I agree with that silence is often one of the greatest tools that you can use. vir sapit qui pauca loquitur (that man is wise who talks little),  qui moderatur sermones suos doctus est (He that hath knowledge spareth his words), stultus quoque si tacuerit sapiens putabitur (Even the fool, if he holds his tongue, is considered wise), si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses (If you had kept silent, you would have remained a philosopher.) These are just some examples off the top of my head. This is in large part why I am rather cautious when speaking around groups of people especially if the topic of discussion is something outside of my knowledge or expertise. Unfortunately this approach seems to be getting construed as an inability to conduct conversations or address individuals at all which I believe is utter nonsense. I simply speak when I have something to say and believe that by saying little it magnifies the impact when I do speak. I reject the idea that I must behave in certain ways to appease individuals whose approval I care nothing for. Other than my significant other whom I adore and cherish I have little desire to be predictable for others to digest easily. I see no issue with listening intently to conversations and contributing what I see fit. 

Apologies for the rather long screed but I felt compelled to write these thoughts down as I reflected on this interaction and respective feedback. Perhaps if I can think of more to address I will add a part two.