Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label politics. Show all posts

Sunday, July 17, 2016

It should be a woman THING!

Unrestraint commentary of the US Presidential Election
by a non-voting, Canadian, woman who represents the bleeding edge into the abyss of Baby Boomers who are starting to fade, lost a lot of their gumption, the only eye on the ball they have is when they're on the golf course or by all accounts the others are gun slinging hunters, card-carrying pistols n handguns owners, NRA card toting proud majority who fear more the threat of changing the constitution than upsetting bang bang shooting away the loss of gun wisdom.


Hillary Clinton by golly by gal
 SHOULD be leveraging the female, woman card!  She is an exceptionally smart woman who is breaking the bar and smashing the ceiling.  Who in her own right had a thriving career for many many years helping the downtrodden without any recognition back then.  As a young lawyer, her options back then would have been get married and have kids over climb a ladder to rise up among the guys and the boys clubs.  How can you even say she isn't amazing?


It must be an aging thing.
It has only been the last two elections in the US that I paid any attention to.  Not even a regular channel changing, I would have changed the channel is the news or broadcasts about the US Presidential elections, debates nor issues.

It could be sprouting from that training that I started in my early 20s when I went into the magazine field.  Yeah, Gail took a chance on me, but gruffly told me that all she needed was the right mindset, ability to learn and absorb new information quickly.   I don't really think I hesitated.  Because my first interview with Donna (the sales director) and Bob (the editor) was so relaxed, like a visit, not even like an interview.

I sure got the love of magazines back then.  In fact, really close friends of our family, my parents, then like an older sister to me said:  "Jeannette, you should be on TV doing the news" and I thought "yeaaaaahhhh right, as if that's going to happen" and "she must be really biased"

SIDEBAR
Amazing how 15 to 20 years later I say the same thing to
my daughters and the one just smiles and looks "aw
shucks" the other is ranting almost the identical words to
me.  It is amazing the life 
lessons that pop out in your 
50s.  Like all those failures
or painful experiences uncork
when you hit the ripe old age
or the young age of 50.  That
depends on your attitude.  I 
do recall hearing those words
not realizing that after multiple
times of hearing it from my 
daughter aggravated me.  Now I know
 why. I'd heard them before, they were just
displaced.  Coming forth at a time when you think
 wisdom is such a curse. If you are wise or said to
 have wisdom, it usually means that you overcame
 some unsurmountable odds of succeeding at something.
At the time you were in achievement mode, you were more likely
 in DOING mode.  They didn't always mean there wouldn't be bruises.
  Just filed away and pop out when you hit 50 and take it as wisdom.  Wishing or swear if given the day again, you'd probably do things exactly the same again.  Absurd?  Crazy you say?  Hardly, I say. 
 Think about it, you are ONLY in your 50s, not your 60s.
  Now is the wise time to burst forth.


The Wild Card
Donald Trump can't be called anything else.  Oh goodness me, can you imagine the book after this if he were to win:  "The Deal of the Century".  As a Canadian, I can only embrace, then recoil in horror, then lean in a little closer to watch the deal play out.  What deal you ask?  It's surely obvious by me, a mere Canadian gal, more preoccupied with her kids, her husband, her career spin around to see them climb high and then feel low.  I just really used to be into sales.  


Firing on all cylinders
The American Presidential Election is mesmerizing if you look at it like a deal:  two (fierce) competitors with their eye on the prize pulling out all the stops to win.  How can that not be sales-like?  Both (and I will call them this) competitors are trying to boost their own value while minimize the other contender to ashes.  In the best sales deals, both opposing parties have a undisclosed amount of respect for their competition.  They may have won one and lost one to this other entity.  Or they just knew about the other in a sphere to which neither traveled in at the same time.



Putting it all in perspective
I really admired Hillary Clinton during her quest to beat President Obama in his march to the White House.  I was rooting for Hillary, even bought the Biography which still sits on my bookshelf, back in those days.  Then she looked far from stellar a few times when dumb blondeness erruptitis struck her on the side of the head:: you forgot that the "rules don't apply" only when it's men.  I mean seriously US citizens, you don't think that any one spouse (always a woman at the Capital) hasn't blipped the security screen?  Or even worse turned a blind eye when they knew that icon of state cheated on him or mumbled top secret information after imbibing in a dozen too many?  The digital world we live in, in its ever-increasing pace, is open to mistakes.    


Where white is white
Were she not a woman would she even have the "woman card" to play?  I'd say 1000 percent NOT!  (Although rumour has it that politicians always have leanings towards cross-dressing and being dominated -- portrayed aptly in the TV hit series BILLIONS -- I can't wait until it airs again) {side note to look up next season's start date and time HERE}  


and Black is BLACK
In a country where a black man can be President
why wouldn't it by now have had a woman president? I hate to be the one to tell ya, if you don't know by now, that the UK just got its next aka 2nd Prime Minister.  


Social revolution
In a time when black and white hatred is the most unrest exploding south of my border, even ahead of terrorism attacks in far away lands.  What a hotbed of disgruntled citizens, electorate in turmoil, political virtues cynical, the big proud America is now.  You guys really have to get a handle on things.  I wrote to you on my optioneersJM blog right after the Wall Street calamity was exposed, and the financial climate going around the world was cold to icing off like an iceberg appears in the ocean.  I suggested of all things that maybe you needed some mediating, and why not from a Canadian, to get your house in order, get advice from the one country that seemed to barely shake from the earthquakes in country capital.  That was Canada.


The UK pays attention
Yet how I have no idea.  Do I have such an instinctive recollection of all that knowledge I gained from Gail, selling magazines and even publishing one?  Now that our very own Canadian Treasurer glided over the ocean to the UK, and is trying to save that country from financial devastation after the collapse of its citizenship split over a far reaching decision.  Mr. Carney is getting noticed now.  So typical of Canadians.  Immensely talented, seemingly quiet compared to so many others, absorbing, taking it all in, observing and learning from a great many avenues.  



UK's 2nd Woman Prime Minister
The US can't afford to lose its position of leader in the free world.  They are recovering, while lagging behind the UK economically.  {INSERT/FIND graph that had been published on the net on mere hours as the citizenship turned, the UK pound dropped while the US dollar climbed.



1st Woman President of the United States
It really should be Hillary Clinton.  Who comes from a dynasty that led two generations and possibly another one in the works?  Yes, Donald Trump has led two empires:  his holdings/companies and his celebrity from The Apprentice.  Both pretty competitive odds on what could be favored don't you think.


The World Revolves Around Money. 
 Yet this election is not so much about money as it is about wits.  Who is smarter, planning better strategies, on point in front of the media or rallies?  They both are.  We went from watching a number of tennis matches, the ones long before recent Wimbledon :: between Hillary and Bernie, between Donald Trump and that Bush guy (yeah, lol, I know Jebb :: but that about sums it up).  Then Donald and Mario, then Donald and Cruz (my hometown boy who denounced his citizenship and denying his roots here in Calgary).



It's Show Time
Plenty of warm up has been taken and given from either side.  They've been training and practicing against some pretty worthy opponents (not Ted-grudge-MAN).


The McCoys :: SOURCE :: GOOGLE images

Families Stacking Up on Either Side
like the Hatfields and McCoy.  Except this time they're not hillbillies in the mountains, lost touch with reality and in love with their guns.  These two BIG contenders have heavyweight family support.  Their children are successful in their own right:: with their careers, their own life partner and families, uphold strong family values.  And .... taDA ~ their kids represent the Millennial generation.  It hardly gives a much better scene than that.



The Plot Thickens
A Former First Lady versus a Wealthy Businessman.
Last time we watched anything like it, we were enraptured by Dallas and the show that Joan Collins dominated in {INSERT ... or don't bother ... let readers go on a scavenger hunt, and the first one back to comment with the right answer gets to write a blog for all THREE of my blogs as a guest}.  Seriously, since when has their been any plot nearly as good?  



Bernie Sanders, Guest Starring Role
Who certainly wins supporting cast member in a leading role.  The guy who turns things right around when you think you have figured out the climax to only be proven wrong because of the curveballs this contender brang.  A character who will never be forgotten and perhaps even remembered long after folks will remember who was against who in this election.  

Time For a New Twist
There isn't better a time to elect the United States first woman President.  For anything, one needs to examine the skillset and then the attitude.  Both hand in hand, yet independent of each other.  One always more important of the other.  

Resume resumation
Hillary Clinton has some pretty impressive credentials.  That, even compared favorably over Donald Trump.

Side Bar
Just like I did with Hillary Clinton
the last election, I let President Obama
step in.  Definitely charismatic with the
right image:  family, values with a sprinkle
of controversy that forced you to pick sides
and not dwell in the middle.

Sleeping Beauty
At the start, like I would imagine many
of us, we were captured by the Cinderella
Story of Donald Trump.  He seemed to say
more things about what people were thinking
than the usual political rhetoric.  Then it went
to his head and it went from unusual philosophy
to objectionable opinions. Where slander, slurs, shocking statements percolated the public opinion.
So I slowly and hesitantly started to turn my head
towards the other party ~ Hillary Clinton.  I started
to warm up to her when I saw her with her daughter.  Just once.  I can't even remember when.  Like Sleeping Beauty, I was kissed by that amazing moment.  I started to let her win.  Let people truly believe that a WOMAN can become anything.  Just like a black man could become President. :: or a Canadian could become the head of the largest financial institution in the world.



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Friday, September 18, 2015

Politics: An open classroom


Are you like me -- tired of the nonstop theatrics by politicians from both sides of the border?  It is going to go on for a lot longer.  I am embarrassed for some of the candidates' blunders from either country.



As a Canadian, many of us pay attention to both sides of the border.  Sometimes, I have to admit that the US Republican Party volley for power is ten times more entertaining.  The stats support this.  CNN's airing of the debate hosted 20+ million American viewers while Canada's meagre 60,000 tuned into the Globe and Mail's debate.

Statistically, overall, those are not impressive numbers when you consider the population of America:  320 million compared to Canada:  36 million rounded up.  In either instance, the viewership was less than 10 percent.  With what is at stake:  economy, education, health, security - you'd think more would be tuned in.  Then again, thanks to the internet and social media, one can always catch up.  Even if it is skewed by those that are the loudest or tweet the most absurd.   




Does that mean that both countries citizens are apathetic?  Or, does it just mean that they're tired of hearing about Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau's theatrics?  I had a chuckle when I heard that someone tweeted that Canada needed a Prime Minister, not a rock star.  Granted, it appears obvious to me that Justin is appealing to the Millennials and The Donald is quite simply entertaining.  


It doesn't look great when we are merely being entertained when we should be considering who we should hand our futures to?



The nicest part, for me, on the cusp of two age distinctions, Generation X, 35-54 or 54+ Baby Boomers, was watching the debate with my 26 year-old son.  He represents the Millennials while my husband represent Generation X mostly.  We represent the smallest bubble of population, faced with security issues (both employment and terrorism) and financial woes (saving for retirement, paying for kids' education).




There were some major impressions that I got for Canada, and living in the oil-bust city of Calgary, is that our incumbent Prime Minister cannot be blamed for the oil recession in our midst.  We should be examining how the oil prices were driven lower before we start to point fingers.  It is a mistake that the other two debaters seem to be missing what is obvious to me.  I wonder if others think the same?  I'm undecided while wondering if I should support staying the course?  After all, the experts say that Harper's finesse comes from a background in economics.  That would seem to be a good enough reason to pay heed.  Personally, I'm not looking for handouts, I'm just looking for a brighter future.  That future looks like stability.  



On the other side of the border, I have an opinion because I'm aware that whatever happens there seems to impact us, whether we want to admit it or not.  Again, where I live is directly linked to the US because of our head office count cross-sectioned with Houston, Dallas, Texas.  A wise mentor long ago, when I was working for a US corporation, advised smartly, to anticipate what will happen in the future, you should keep an eye on the south, politics and Wall Street.  They have a habit of trickling over to us.  

The coolest part was having both my son and I agree on one thing:  Carly Fiorina was a stand out.  If I could vote right now, I'd be all in with her.  She stood steadfast, very poised, never waivered once.  She showed class and demonstrated tremendous leadership by staying on point, and understood her positions on many, if not all the issues, the others were jockeying position for.  

I'm not a feminist while I am a champion of strong examples for our young women to look up to.  I pulled from You Tube, the following example: 


Regardless of your political stance or views, tons can be gained from watching these debates.  You can decide what type of person you identify with, regardless of party or politics.   It is an open classroom for all to learn from.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Talking taxes benefits




"In matters of truth or justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same."
~Albert Einstein

A discussion erupted in my home city Calgary recently because a local law enforcement officer was written about because she has gone on record to having to leave our city because topped benefits isn't good enough.  For most Canadians, they are given a percentage of their wage for a certain number of months leading up to and after giving birth.   What topped up benefits means is getting the company or organization to add to that based on tenure and wage -- sometimes in return for the mother to agree to return to her same job, responsibilities, title and wage she had before leaving on maternity.  In addition to  her federal benefits.

An article was posted by MetroNews Calgary inspired me to respond with my own opinion under their comments:

Having your benefits topped up is a dangerous precedent and expensive one.  It is one thing to be pro-women and pro-mothers, I applaud that.  However, we need to take a look at the big picture -- how realistic is it for mothers to gain the same benefits city-wide?  I like the discussion simply because it is about how our taxes are being used.  When I had my THREE kids maternity leave went from 3 months federal benefits to 6 months.  We've come a long way to allowing a year.  However, topping up is not something that every new mom is afforded.  Unless it is legislated for everyone, it shouldn't be an elite squad's right.  Once again, do I have to repeat ... it is our taxes that we're using to support this.  There are far many ways this could be coordinated ... like, child bearing aged moms and pops put into a fund (like we older folks do for retirement) and that fund is used as child benefits.  A la carte, chosen based on needs i.e. maternity or child care.  The young'uns don't want to fit the bill for retirement unless it is their own, then us elders, don't want to fit the bill on what we cannot benefit from.  Perhaps benefits and tax breaks should be chosen by each citizen based on where they need the help?  Just thinking out loud (which is more than I can say for those that come up with buying votes and managing our tax dollars).

Like it or not, we all have to face it that our population is widening between generations with major age gaps.   It is going to become an ever-increasing dilemma to any governing organization trying to please the populous.  When you have a broad gap between Baby Boomers (age 55 plus) and their kids of Gen-X/Melinia (ages 18-35 specifically), you're going to have a nightmare trying to keep everyone happy (and get the votes centered).



I'm just about smack in the middle.  I had my child-bearing years and am now facing the daunting task of looming retirement.  Safe to say, both milestones in life are important.  We need to keep the young people working while the older ones keep saving as much as they can for safekeeping and to avoid being a burden to the tax base in 10 to 15 years.

I was even at the tail end of child extra-curricular tax benefits.  When the Harper government in Canada introduced a tax credit for parents of children who are enrolled in sports mainly were given a break to compensate for fees associated.  I applauded the idea because, although I had had to pay for that on my own, I also recognized that kids who are in sports tend to stay out of trouble which can be a burden on resources and funds.  I always said that being a figure skater for many years, was an expensive way for my parents to keep me out of trouble.  Later on as my skills improved, the cost for ice time, coaching, private lessons, competitions, shows, skates, etc. got really expensive, I got a PT job to contribute.  I think that was a brilliant move on my parents' part because it demonstrated how keen I was to skate because I loved it, not because my parents could afford to give me the best tools to become good at it.

We should all look at the big picture.  If the government funds a select group, the other groups will want their own piece of the benefits.  Like I said, although I don't argue with the many merits of the various tax breaks, I have been disappointed to miss the mark to gain any pay off.



Let's take a look at just voting.  Statistics were given that in Canada only 34% of the age group of 18-24 vote, whereas 65% of the 65 plus age group do.  That is a huge balancing act to be sure.  So what do politicians do?  They appeal to the segment that garners the most votes.  That isn't rocket science.  Then they poll and speculate that they had better appeal to the other age segment that may wake up and realize that their vote can cause change and make a difference in their present lives in their future. 

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon where you fall, many of the benefits fall in the middle.  The child-bearing, child-rearing age group, child care paying, population.... who get maternity benefits, child care subsidies (in some areas), and parents of kids 8-16 year olds get breaks for being a model parent.  Ironically, my math shows they represent 1% of the voting populous while reaping a good 85% of the tax funding.

Then there is the 18-24 year old group that get breaks to squirrel away to put a down payment on buying a house.  Again, I'm saying that is a good idea because real estate transactions fuel the economy -- buyers get loans from lenders, builders get funds generated by building which sweetens the economy.  When buyers stop buying, the economy rolls to an abrupt halt or swiftly slow downs.

Sounds like a lot of imbalance if you ask me.  Then there is the other part of the equation.  The one group that tends to help the investment community is from the older age segment.  Then investment, gives money for banks and such to lend money.  A different spiral.

If you have two spirals working in opposite ends of the economy it is no wonder the ones in the middle get a lot of dust.  But then again, that is where the government focusses a lot on their funding and tax breaks.

Okay, so I've gone on and one and painted a very real picture.  What do we do?  Seems pretty simple to me.  Take an example from an employee's insurance benefits offered by the best corporations:  you get a certain percentage of your wage to be used as YOU wish it to be used.  You have a say in how much you contribute (usually between 1-5%) which the company matches.  Sounds like the ideal company to work for doesn't it?

I'm getting to my point:  why doesn't the federal government use the same process.  Instead of the expense, studies and pushback on deciding on where tax breaks go, let the individual citizen make the decision themselves.  For example, everyone gets 5% of their wage to go into a federal tax fund/break.  Each individual gets to decide themselves where that fund goes:

  • 18-24 year olds into education, saving for a house, starting a business, saving for when they have a child (income top up and child care)
  • 25-40 year olds can put it towards putting their kids into sports programs, buying down their mortgage, saving for their retirement
  • 40-55 year olds use it for paying off their mortgage, to give them more disposable income to do other things that fuel the economy, like make investments, plan their retirement, buy a vacation property
  • 55-65 will hopefully have paid off their mortgage and use the left over funds for investment and planning their retirement
  • 65+ are allowed to spend their hard saved cash with little penalties because they do not burden the rest of the tax system, they are rewarded if they help their kids or grand kids buy a house, pay for their education -- all which society benefits from.
Sometimes you can't see the forest because you are only looking at trees.  Let's pressure our politicians and leaders to have more integrity and use our votes to the benefit of everyone, not a select few. 

The onus would then be on citizens to elect those that appeal to the big picture, not greedy with power or backfilling their own agenda. 



Sounds like Utopia to me.  Doesn't sound too difficult to me either.  What may be the most difficult would be to hold ourselves accountable on how we vote, who we vote for, and then only approve those that have the integrity to benefit society as a whole. 

This is not socialist thinking or communism.  We would still be using the democratic process.  The pay off would be when everyone, not a select few, gets a piece of the action and benefits.


"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
~George Orwell