Archives For Personal Writings

 

This month is the annual novelist writing month known as NaNoWriMo in which novelist attempt through perseverance and will to complete a first draft of a novel. I had hoped to complete this challenge, but don’t feel that I am in a position to do so up to my standards for two reasons. Firstly, I simply don’t have a story idea in mind and didn’t put in the adequate time in preparing to construct a novel. While I could write and let the pieces fall as they may, I don’t believe the end product would leave me satisfied to say the least. Secondly, I would at some point attempt to try my hand at constructing a historical fiction novel of some kind. This endeavor would require extensive research on my part and thus I must attempt it I believe next year after doing the appropriate research and formulating my story. That doesn’t mean, however, that I have no intention of writing at all, which is why I created this page in the first place. Therefore, I will simply try to post new thoughts and musings on my site for the duration of the month. My hope is that I gain some good habits that I can keep going forward. I’ve done the same thing with my Goodreads reading challenge which I’ve done a fairly good job at catching up on and maintaining throughout the year.

The 2018 congressional elections are taking place tomorrow and it would be pretty remarkable to not know this was happening at this point. It seems to me that its getting to the point of borderline harassment when it comes to people telling you to vote. Constant bombardments from emails, ads, and the patricians telling people to vote in my mind seems like a complete waste of energy. What if one does not wish to vote? And why should one be party to a ridiculous electoral system that gives two marginally different candidates and feeds into the current moral crisis? I believe it should be ones prerogative to do so. Moreover I think that its somewhat silly to expect people who have no knowledge of the political system to have undue influence on political proceedings. Its not that I wish for them not to exercise their right, rather I don’t see the rational behind voting uninformed. Perhaps its time to say only those qualified to vote are able to do so. While this idea won’t be popular with certain people, I think its actually quite sensible that certain expectations are met when wanting to perform civic duties.

It appears that most Americans have abandoned their senses and are being consumed by politics in an unhealthy way. For example its not satisfactory to merely disagree and wish to take an opposing political position in today’s society. Today its been deemed perfectly reasonable to infer how people are thinking based on their political leanings and to confer upon people the most vile and nefarious characteristics. I see it rather regularly in social media exchanges where the end goal is simply to get as many views and likes, which is simply a form of self affirmation, as possible leaving no discussion to be had. I’ve not heard a single policy position being bandied about by either party. Republicans were hyper focused on getting their tax cuts which they now have and appear to have run out of ideas. I suppose they could push to defund Planned Parenthood but I don’t see that occurring. Nor do I see a concerted effort to completely repeal and replace Obama care i.e. ACA which leads me to believe that Republican enthusiasm will be diminished. Democrats will appear to be highly vocal and emotional on the back of their 2016 electoral defeat but appear to also be out of ideas outside their extreme dislike concerning President Trump. From my observations they appear to be a ship without a rudder and completely incapable of utilizing Trump’s boorish personality to their advantage. Furthermore they seem to be perpetually outraged over the most absurd things but never long enough for them to do any damage to Trump politically. Notice how all of the post-election Russian collusion talk has suddenly died down and is completely out of the news cycle along with Mueller. I don’t think this is a coincidence. We saw the same thing happen with the Kavanaugh confirmation coverage.

But that being said I’ve not quite decided what I will do for this election. Traditionally I have not participated in the past in mid-term elections mainly out of dismay for the political process. Additionally I live in a largely Republican congressional district and Democratic senatorial state which likely won’t see any changes anytime soon. Therefore my vote likely won’t decide any elections this year barring a historic collapse which is not projected to happen. Don’t be fooled by people saying this is the most important election in the history of this country. Are people so historically illiterate that they believe an essentially meaningless election in 2018 is up there in the pantheon of elections like 1860, 1828, or 1912? This one won’t hold a candle to those. Its also a bit jarring to see people so completely disgusted by Trump that they are willing to abandon their ideological and political policy positions just to go against him. This seems to not only be unprincipled but a case of cutting off the nose despite the face. Do these individuals really believe that partisan rhetoric will die down with deposing Trump? It appears some naively do. I there lies my biggest disappointment with this electoral process. These are state and district elections taking place yet everyone is making the election revolve around the President. This is either an indictment of the office of the presidency holding too much power or people losing perspective because they are no longer connected to their surrounding communities. I would suspect a bit of both.

At various points throughout the year I decided to tune out the news coverage because it was getting to the point of sheer boredom. The constant lies everyone was telling and the forced outrage was not why I ever was interested in politics and current events. Moreover, I find the more emotionally invested people are becoming in the political process the more I have found my own views becoming more apolitical. Why must I be emotionally invested in man’s political games of power? As a Christian I find this utterly reprehensible and a completely digression of human interaction which is ironic since most feel they are far more advanced and progressive now. Rubbish I say. I predict that people will look back on this period and be highly confused as to what happened as they see a country deeply divided but not sure why with so much growth and prosperity. They will view this period as largely unremarkable in the annals of time.

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Surveying Early America

September 20, 2018 — Leave a comment

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.