Here is a hope that your Christmas was/is a good one this year. And if you traveled to be with friends or family, that the roads or skies were safe.
Here in the City we had an incident where a Salvation Army Christmas money donation kettle was stolen with over $800 in it. The money was intended for aiding the less fortunate. The next morning the community, after hearing the news, rallied and raised over $10,000 to replace the money. Nice story.
Maybe there will be time to take a moment’s pause to reflect on those less fortunate and perhaps make an effort to dedicate a small financial donation to an aid agency for those suffering in areas like Haiti, the Horn of Africa and countless other places of misery.
And some things stay the same - the Pope issues his annual lament against the commercialization of Christmas. As if that will ever change in this society!
Prince Phillip of England underwent minor surgery to have a stent inplanted in his heart to open up blood flow in it. He is 90 and next year is the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's ascension to the throne of England. The changes that have occurred during her tenure are mind boggling to say the least. Her formative years were during World War 2, ascended the Throne during the Korean war, saw the launch of television, microwaves, lunar landings, Kennedy assassination, Bay of Pigs, the Beatles, fall of the Berlin Wall, Lady Gaga, and the Arab Spring. And yes, sadly, also Justin Bieber.
Ah yes the Arab Spring. One country that was in the forefront was Egypt with images of masses of people crowding the main square in Cairo demanding the downfall of the country leader Hosni Mubarak. Pictures of troops with flowers embracing the protesters were shown constantly.
Some things never change however. And it seems that this may be the case in Egypt.
A recent demonstration saw troops beat, strip and abuse a woman that will be forever known as the woman in the blue bra. In a society where female modesty is valued to have had the troops partially strip her in public was a horrible thing to do. Of course the army said the perps will be prosecuted - fat chance of that occurring!
In the United States, a 2 month extension of a tax cut was passed after daily posturing between President Obama and Speaker Boehner. A lot of anger over a supposed saving of $40 per worker. With all the trillions in debt that the American politicians are mismanaging - they have the audacity to squabble over a measly $40? So how about it my American friends, that for your sake and indeed that of the entire world, make next year one where you hold the politicos feet to the fire and force them to stop playing to their egos and instead work for the good of the country. It may be some short term pain but the results will be good for country long term and that bodes well for the rest of the world. It needs a strong and vibrant America. There are way too many despotic countries wanting to expand their corrupt sphere of influence not to have a counter force for the good. And never think that Europe will step up to the plate willingly, they would rather debate armed intervention to death and then hope the Yanks will step in to do the dirty work once again.You ever notice that India, one of the most populous countries with an extremely large military – never participates in so called police actions or humanitarian efforts? Same for the Chinese.
Speaking of Christmas presents, I did receive a rather nifty one. It is a little gizmo that is shaped a little like a small rectangular chunk of wood but actually is a cool plastic metal combo that is a portable scale for weighing your luggage. No more standing on the bathroom scales with the luggage and deducting your weight to maybe, hopefully, doubtfully get the proper weight.
Really cool thing, just in time for Argentina.
I have only one more vaccination shot to go and then will be ready for any type of water, salad or strange food – bring it on!
So North Korea has a new leader. The son of the son of the man who founded that country in the early ‘50’s. This may be the first case of a nuclear “monarchy”. Pictures streamed of people screwing up their faces in order to “cry”.
Real tears or not? You be the judge.
I just wonder when the Chinese will finally bring this rogue nation to order and impose some sort of decent living conditions there. Strange to imagine that the Chinese form of government would be possibly the best for North Korea – but I cannot imagine what kind of war would result if democratic ideals were to be imposed on a nation that has been so conditioned to state and one man rule over generations.
With this being the last weekend of the year 2011, I think that I will try to review and revisit some columns for next week’s blog.
So with greetings to readers in the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Nicaragua, I extend my wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year.
Take care out there,