The Future

The Future

Last weekend I received my LSAT score back and it was not what I had expected. It got me thinking about what I really like doing and to a greater extent what I want to do.

Lately I have been obsessed with words of the day on various online dictionaries and one of my favourites Wiktionary had the word “tranquil” on Saturday when I first opened by LSAT score e-mail. It became a matter if irony of that words full definition in relation to the experiences of the weekend.

Wiktionary defines it as “Free from emotional or mental disturbance.” which has firmly been at odds with my passions, in fact I have had to turn down many paths to make this transition fit. Paths that would have led more to the path that destiny seems to have written.
In the class Modern Europe History: Renaissance to the French Revolution one of the main figures in Protestant Reformation is John Calvin. John believes that our salvation or destiny is predetermined to the extent that our actions cannot make a difference and that we can cannot fight nature. Which is interesting with tranquil or brought further tranquility the calm inspired by nature, can further derive that by fighting nature will prove fatal.

It brings us all to finding a balance or equilibrium in our path. Economics also agrees greatly with this matter. When Dr. Young C. Jing started the first class of Intermediate Macroeconomics, it was an example of the Marginal Costs and benefits of going to School at a younger age, which is a surreal example if the way things are at with my life at this moment in time.

Thought Piece

Thought Piece

When reviewing the subject of the course I am reminded of when I started to research something a while back. I started writing and entry for my blog on whether the “Digital Revolution” was really or not a revolution that lead to a bigger philosophical question of other revolutions throughout history. Then, I started to ponder the question about revolutions in general. What does it take to make enough people to take the big jump to start the revolution?

The larger question that also I keep asking myself if it was considered before a revolution begins: “Will the king end up dead, and do we really care?” I then proceeded to start an introduction that was never finished. It is suited to be used here since these are some of the questions that I am hoping to be able to answer by taking this course.

Over the course of recorded history, revolutions have changed the course of the future to countless Peoples. To these ends certain questions would be asked, and answers pondered. The first question is why would people change the comfort of the things as they are to instate change. How bad do things have to get for revolution to happen? What is required to meet that turning point? Does success or failure matter at the turning point of the situation? Is an end game plan necessary to avoid a splintering of the effort? How far can it be taken before it becomes a “bad” regime? What justifies a revolution?

Out of curiosity some of the situations that fascinate me include the French Revolution, Bolshevik Revolution, the military coupe in places like Uganda. I am also extremely curious about events like the “5 October 1910 revolution” in Portugal and others the ended eras monarchies, more to ask of what caused to people to flip and change to the conventions of centuries of orders.

I think that a revolutionary is a person that wants or needs change. Perhaps it could be a forward seer or one that sees the winding path up the steep rocky mountain to the peak of hope. Whereas, a radical would be someone who wants change and does not need the slimmer of success. I think of a radical as one that antagonizes others or one that will do anything for their cause without thinking the situation through.

From my experiences during a Student Debt rally during budget day in 2002 outside the Legislative Assembly in Fredericton I think the “Big angry shouting mob” as the revolutionaries where especially the 150 or so that sat in the Member of Parliaments office for an hour, where the radicals were the 20-30 that started to shake Minister Margaret-Ann Blainey’s truck as she was drive to the Legislature as we were parading. Or the guy that climbed the flagpole and cut part of the flag off to symbolize getting our fair share.

Radical seems to defiantly be negative term, mostly since it gets intertwined often with a fanatical or terrorist, or freedom fighter. Whereas, revolutionary does not seem to be as bad. Revolutionary is a good person in my perception as they are looking for the change. The revolutionary does not even have to really believe in the cause they just have to believe that doing something is better than doing nothing. Some examples of revolutionaries that I feel made a large difference would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States of America, Mahatma Gandhi in India, and Nelson Mandela’s movement in South Africa. A radical, is more of having nothing to lose, or not really caring about what they would lose by a fanatical belief that their God told them it was a good idea.

From my past being in University during the aftermath of September 11th and over analyzing what a terrorist is, I would say that a Radial could be a terrorist, but does not have to be a terrorist. The persons living in fear may be limited to those in the highest power. Do you think the common people during the French Revolution lived in fear, no! They were part of the angry mob.

Then again, it seems that the revolutionaries could not be terrorists if the “Angry Mob” is the majority of the population. Using the terms as extremists would seem to fit more of the radicals, but the King or those in power could also be the extremist resulting in the cause of the average person of the population becoming a revolutionary, or depending on haw bad the conditions were a radical.

I think revolutions are very good and necessary. It interests me when governments do whatever it takes to keep power and how far they will go. Some prominent recent examples would be Adolph Hitler in Germany, Ide Amin in Uganda, or Vladimir Lenin in the Soviet Union. The necessity or desirability depends on what the majority of the population feels on the status of the current government, regime, or system. Including those that don’t care or don’t take sides. If the government is doing well, the population is doing well, and the economy is doing well then there is no reason to change. Change for the sake of change cannot be guaranteed to be good or bad in the end.

I think it is when peoples’ lives become so intolerable are usually because external forces be it an oppressive or uncaring overlord or natural condition and offered no help there is nothing else to lose. It is like backing a wild animal into a corner, it has nowhere to run but to attack. Sure they may lose everything, even their lives they feel it is more productive for the whole then to find a corner and kill themselves to make the emotional pain go away.

As, I was writing this it seems that losing everything may go beyond religion. Religion is what people turn to during the bad times, to make them feel better. Losing everything must also mean losing sight of the beliefs that keep you warm at night turning one into a radical, where a revolutionary changes their belief to better their situation. Perhaps a revolutionary has not lost their beliefs and morals then, they just decide that the hope of better is greater than the cost of what would be lost.

Barron writer does not understand nature of Saint John

Barron writer does not understand nature of Saint John

A real breakdown of Saint John
A real breakdown of Saint John

Today I picked up a copy of The Barron, UNB Saint John’s student produced paper. I came across the article “Travelling around Saint John: what you need to know” by staff writer Simon Jack. It does not take long for one to realize the writer did not understand the history of Saint John or the Transit system.

The first point so a can move on was the reason he did not find information on the “Night Owl” run was that it was canceled in Spring 2008.

Now to the areas of Saint John, to refer to drawing a random line to determine the limits of both Millidgeville and South End is vastly poor research. The boundary for Millidgeville dates back to the 1950’s era boundary of city limits. Basically the official boundary is if a line was drawn from Somerset Street and Sandy Point Road westward to Pokiok Point that was the city limits pre-amalgamation in Saint John.

To define the South End one has to go much further back in time, back to 1785 (the beginning.) In the Royal Charter that created Saint John defined the 4 wards of the “South Central” peninsula was split into quarters at Duke and Sydney Streets. The upper class mostly lived in the west side of the harbour, or northern two central wards. The poor (very broke poor) lived to the southern wards of Duke Street making the “South End” boundary Duke Street. Through the next 20-30 years the South-enders made money suing the rich for literally everything. Leading to the creation of New Brunswick’s first Law School, that lead to UNB’s School of Law, as there were not enough lawyers to handle the workload.

In conclusion, it also needs to be pointed out the reasoning for the layouts of the streets have much to do with them being planned before those areas were part of Saint John in many cases.

Open Letter to my MP on Fee for Carriage

Open Letter to my MP on Fee for Carriage

Today I checked my e-mail hand found this letter from my cable television provider Rogers Cable.

Dear Rogers Cable Customer:

{snip}

I am now writing to inform you of yet another broadcasting policy proposal that is under consideration by the CRTC

After rejecting it twice, the CRTC has reintroduced the idea of having a fee-for-carriage: a payment to Canadian over the air broadcasters that could ultimately end up costing cable and satellite TV subscribers between $5 and $10 per month!
The proposal is being championed by over the air television networks such as CTV and Global (Canwest Media). These companies also own highly profitable specialty channels, such as TSN and History, and therefore overall are financially healthy.
Furthermore, the CRTC has suggested that if the cable and satellite distributors don’t go along with the fee-for-carriage scheme, the television signals of American network stations, (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS) which we have distributed since cable TV began, will be taken away.

The “fee for carriage” proposal is strongly opposed by Rogers and most other cable and satellite distributors.
You as a cable TV customer can take a definitive position to oppose this new tax, called “fee-for-carriage”.
To do so you should contact the CRTC before September 14.

Simply tell the CRTC what you think of the idea of “fee-for-carriage” by clicking on this link: http://support.crtc.gc.ca/rapidscin/default.aspx?lang=En
• Then Click on the 2009-411-3 under the heading “Notice # / Deadline Date”
• Select the “Comment” option in the drop box
• Fill out your comment.
• Follow the remaining instructions until you are done.
You may also contact your Member of Parliament by e-mail, regular mail or telephone. MPs always appreciate hearing from their constituents.

Philip B. Lind
Vice Chairman, Rogers Communications Inc.

So, I’m going to put the following letter in the mail on Monday:

Mr. Rodney Weston
Member of Parliament – Saint John
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6

September 4, 2009

RE: Fee for Carriage

Greetings Mr. Weston

The proposal before the CRTC concerns me greatly. Many of your constituents rely greatly on power of television as one of the only sources of knowledge and entertainment. With the coming decommissioning of analogue TV signals across Canada and that fact that digital signals do not have the range of an Analog signal many are or will be forced to bring in signals via the use of an intermediary such as a Cable, Satellite, or future IPTV provider would be not only a benefit but a necessity.

It is also not level in fairness either since many of these stations provide their programming or parts of as streams or downloads via IPTV (over the internet). If a fee for carriage is introduced it should also come with an opt-out to receiving those selected channels or be charged to users the receive OTA (Over the air Signals) as it is not fair to charge some of the potential viewers of the signal and not others.

In addition, this is a tax on the poor in out community, demographic research proves that largest demographic of viewers in Canada is the low to fixed income bracket. It is proven that this area of the population of subscribers subscribe to Cable and Satellite services, as it is one of the more affordable means of entertainment for larger families. This is truly a significant proportion of your constituents in Saint John.

In conclusion, the local television content providers not only should but also must find a different model of producing content. This must not be allowed to be it.

Yours truly,

Charles E. Frees-Melvin

Change

Change

Me and my hat.

As you can see CEFM.ca has a fresh clean new look. It is a metaphor for things happening in my life now. I am preparing for the bittersweet life of Academia. I am returning to UNBSJ in a little over a week only this time I have a plan. I am intending to complete my BA with an Economics Major and History minor.

I am also going to take a stab at the LSAT next month. I haven’t started studying yet for it. C’est la vie of the eternal procrastinator.

I am also happy to announce that the goals I have set to lose weight are moving in the right direction. I have not been able to get to the gym this week, my old back injury from High School just came back. However, it did a big snap that really hurt Wednesday while running for the bus and is tender but it feels like it repositioned in the right way for the first time in a long time. I should be able to head back next week.

I’m considering moving my Gallery section to Gallery3 however it is not ready yet and there are no themes at the current moment that meet my PHP knowledge level to modify to the new WordPress theme that I am using now.

King’s Landing and Fredericton Market

King’s Landing and Fredericton Market

Dripping Water at King's Landing.
Dripping Water at King's Landing.

Over the weekend I rented a car and took my aunt Rena out to King’s Landing. While I was there I took this picture of the water pouring from a horse water feeder. This has got to be one of the best depth of field close-up pictures I have ever taken.

I really like King’s Landing there is gust something about history, especcial social history that just totally fascinates me.

Again on the way we stopped at the Boyce Market in Fredericton. The absolute best feature of the market is the German bakers. There is absolutely not a better makers of really good foods then the Germans.

WordCamp Montreal and Other Things Montréal

WordCamp Montreal and Other Things Montréal

Subway Graffiti
Subway Graffiti

Getting here to Montreal, I had decided to get the bus. (Orleans Express/Acadian Lines) Thus it presents this opportunity to write this long detailed encounter as I have the remainder of the 13 hour bus trip to finish.

After arriving here in Montreal I took a nice stroll down Ste-Catherine to the train station. It was on this trip through the eerily quite streets of the jazz festival site that I ran across the first image. Although to is common to think of those in the financial services industry as “wanks” someone thought it would be a great idea to draw one on the two sided of the corner of the building.

After the fist day of sessions at word camp there was this crazy man that started yelling at me in french, I think he though I took a picture or something. The funny part that is so not like me is the fact that I started yelling back at him in English and he did not seem to understand me at all. That make id kind of funny then he ran off and I went off to catch the subway to the hotel.

The subway in Montreal seemed to be quite different than Toronto. Especially the automated stalls after paying the guy handed me a little card, and I did not get originally how the doors opened, then he started yelling the what I think are the instruction in French. After looking further at the stalls I give the yelling guy the “I have no clue what you are saying look. Then he explains the put the card in the slot in English. I then proceeded to the hotel.

On the way in one of the Subway stations there was a sign in French only that part of the platform was closed for constriction bit it was graffitied with “Montreal is supposed to be Bilingual” to which some one wrote; “We wish!”

Me at the after party. Eva Blue Photo.
Me at the after party. Eva Blue Photo.

I thought it was amusing. One can tell mush about a society by the appearance of the graffiti. Especially, considering the prior instance of “art.”

One great thing about my iPhone is the fact that it really saved me from the being lost. Well kind of. The Google walking and transit directions are really good for Montreal. It was still a difficult city to find things in. I missed the first subway stop without realizing, thankfully my GPS on the iPhone found me the next one just in time.

The last tale before I finish is the tale of the pigeon. After the final sessions of WordCamp we went to an outdoor patio bar that had some of the most amazing natural and architectural design of any patio bar. While standing outside talking to some some interesting people like KimValee.com this word pigeon was doing a very weird dance on the windowsill across the street and everyone mentioned the crazy pidgin was about to top itself as the guy pass is the bird flies into bar right behind them and everyone starts chasing after the bird. Classic comedy movie scene.

Saint John Transit Changing Routes

Saint John Transit Changing Routes

Over the past few weeks I have heard discussions on the bus about these upcoming changes. Some of the things I hears sounded stupid but look to be true. Now that I have seen the changes as a whole it makes a lot more sense.

Basically the routes I use are only changing by about 5-10 minutes and better evening runs. I really would not call this a major change, with the exception of the East-West and University runs and addition of a few routes. But the numbers are. They are now grouping lines by area where the old system had numbers all over the place.

These changes are taking effect August 9th, 2009. Please leave comments below on what you think of the changes. www.saintjohntransit.com has more information.

Time to pull Mayor Court

Time to pull Mayor Court

One of the major articles from the Telegraph-Journal this week that had caught my attention (Petition would oust Mayor) was the petition by Gerry Webster to recall the mayor. All I can say is where do I sign. No don’t say that I don’t agree with democracy, in fact I believe that petitioning to recall the Mayor is very democratic. I gives everyone the chance to vote on whether to keep the Mayor or pick someone better. Ivan Court in my opinion has not kept up the standard in the first year of his reign that this city needs, and is in fact going to be severely detrimental; as his and councils policies do nothing more than chase businesses out of the city.

On the other hand I see that Fredericton would be probably the most likely and willing to nail the tomb on Saint John. In a historical perspective the city of Fredericton was created because of all the morons and poor decisions of Saint Johners.

It would be very interesting to see who would come out of the woodwork that could beat Mayor Court. The fact that it only takes 15% of the electorate is a good number that that people will not pull the Mayor as that number mean the “do not rock the ship” people will need to convert to pull the mayor. Which I think people believe the Mayor needs to go if not because of what he done but because the Telegraph-Journal told them so. (Follow-up on the Mayor won’t quit) (Follow up article if it was legal)