Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday musings

What a whirlwind of events has occurred this week!
Death of a prominent person in Canada and in Germany.
The end of the Gaddafi era in Libya.
Steve Jobs of Apple resigning.
Hurricane Irene storming up the east coast of North America, and an earthquake rattling Washington D.C.
In Canada Jack Layton, Leader of the Federal Opposition New Democratic Party died of cancer less than 2 months after announcing he was removing himself from duties due to the discovery of a new form of cancer, this after successfully dealing with prostate cancer earlier.
There was a nationwide outpouring of grief at this that to be honest puzzles me. This is similar to that when Lady Diana died as well. People who were total strangers were overcome with tears and struggled to express emotions as to the loss of this “great” man. Toronto citizens are being told that they should rename city hall square in his name.
Maybe we should hold on a minute and think this through properly. First off he was a politician that achieved nothing on the Federal scene in terms of Legislative accomplishments or legacy structures. Yes he increased his party standings in the House of Commons – but hey, that was his job!
I find it cynical that as he lay on his deathbed that party hacks carefully drafted a very political partisan letter to the Canadian public to be released on his death under the guise of a farewell letter. It only showed how much a complete political person he was and how the NDP stop at nothing to further their cause.
German humorist Vicco von Buelow, often cited by Germans as proof of their sense of humor and known to the nation simply by his nom de plume, "Loriot," has died. He was 87.
In a nation accused of having no sense of humor, this man showed the world that indeed humor was a fact in German life.
I wonder which of these two men was of more lasting impact and value to their country?
Tripoli has fallen and the hunt is on for Gaddafi. Just last week the rebels were just starting to encircle the city and as quickly did the pro government forces lay down their arms and “melt” into the citizenry. This seems to be one of the most interesting facets of modern warfare in that whole armies disappear simply by laying down arms, changing to civilian wear and going home and facing little reprisal from the victors who cannot distinguish between friend and foe after the dust settles.
I think everyone in the modern world has heard of Apple corp. and its head honcho Steve Jobs. Well this week he retired due to health reasons, and indeed a photo posted on shows a shockingly frail Jobs, and the future of the company is a little less bright now than it was last week. He was the force behind the IPod,  IMac, IPad and other inventions that seem to have defined this brave new age. Sadly one of the dark aspect of all this success is the way that Apple has virtually dominated many markets and as a consequence eliminated competition .
Competition drives the world and the consumer is the beneficiary and when it is eliminated, then the consumer pays whatever the victor dictates.
Washington was rattled by a minor earthquake this week and the Washington monument suffered structural damage as a result. A sign of this era is that when people were interviewed as to their reaction, all first indicated that their initial reaction was that they thought that a terrorist attack was underway and not a natural event instead.
Hurricane Irene is pounding up the east coast of North America and already there are more than 3 deaths accounted for and the cost is mounting and still to be totaled.
In the Province of British Columbia, a referendum was held on whether or not to repeal a tax that blended in a Federal and Provincial sales tax (HST) that was in the opponents view improperly and possibly falsely introduced and implemented. We now have the sight of the Provincial government having to repay the federal government 1.6 billion in “compensation” and face a deficit budget higher than anticipated. This will probably result in higher personal taxes, reduced services and programs, with the blame being blamed, deliciously in my opinion, on the taxpayer for voting against the HST! This is typical of all levels of government in that when they fail to do the job that they were elected to do, they blame the electorate instead.
After a very prolonged wet Spring, we in the Prairies have had a wonderful summer, similar to what we remember from our childhood days. The days were hot and just the right amount of rain at the appropriate time have brought the harvest back to speed and now is at the 5 year average with all crops grading very good to excellent at this point. There are a large number of fields still behind in development but if the weather holds, then all looks good.
 As well the markets are priced well and that bodes good for the farm and provincial economy. Saskatchewan has changed over the last number of years where not everything is dependent on the harvest but rather the harvest is part of a group of strong sectors of the economy. They include, oil, uranium, diamonds and of course our number one resource, potash!
It is little wonder that the provincial economy has been going flatout for the last 4 years and seems to be headed for more to come.
Well, that is it for another interesting week,
Take care out there,

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