Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday musings

Well, I am at a loss to try to understand what the heck happened at the meeting of the 27 heads of state from the European economy on Friday. 24 of the 27 countries and the main holdout of the three was England, agreed to bolster the Euro by integrating budgets to penalize countries that ran deficits.
That was it.
On this wonderful news, the world stock markets rose and all was wonderful in the world.
I do not get it.
This is akin to tossing a wet towel to a man with a kitchen on fire and telling him that the fire can be controlled with it.
Interest rates are at an all time low and yet there is little indication of economic recovery or increased manufacturing. People are living off savings or credit cards or a combination of both. In Canada there are persistent stories in the media where so called housing experts are predicting a majour slump in the house and condo market. I can attest to this because I have out of curiosity been following the markets in Toronto and Calgary and Vancouver and early indicators seem to support this. Of course here in Saskatchewan, where the economy is booming, prices continue to rise by an average of 7% per year.
I think that the true story will emerge in the next 6 months, and for some less fortunate parts of the world, the story will indeed be grim.
I still think that the Euro as it exists today is doomed.
I see that the Americans somehow lost a super secret spy drone over Iran and it somehow survived the crash almost 100% intact. Images broadcast on Iranian TV seem to confirm this. I am sure that the Russians, Chinese and North Koreans are lining up with checkbooks at the ready in order to get their hands on the advanced technology that is in the drone.
It is funny how such a supposedly decadent country like the United States still produces technology that is far in advance of other countries, isn’t it?
Here in Canada the court case of a man, son and second illegal wife accused of murdering their daughters because they somehow besmirched family honour by having boyfriends, wearing makeup and body piercings is now in the hands of the jury. The father has been quoted in police interviews as saying that “the devil should sh­_t on them” for their bad behavior. And as he tells the jury-he believes that he is a liberal Muslim, interesting thought I would say.
Earlier this year he Government of Canada was re-elected with a majority, thereby allowing it to present and pass, hopefully prudent in scope, legislation. One of the election promises was to restructure the Canadian Wheat Board so that farmers wanting to sell grain to buyers on their own rather than through the marketing board, could do so. The legislation was introduced and is making its way through government. However the government ignored a law stating that the farmers would be allowed to vote on whether they wanted this change or not. A court has found the Minister in charge of the Board guilty of ignoring the law. Sadly the government seems to say – so what – we will do what we want since we have a majority.
This is not the way democracies are supposed to run. Governments are elected by the people to serve the interests of the people in a just and fair way. This is just wrong.
This week the government also announced that Canada was withdrawing from the Kyoto Accord. They were just stating the obvious, yet all the greenies were shocked.
 Bunch of hypocrites.
China, Russia, USA and India – biggest producers of carbon emissions are not part of Kyoto so the treaty is useless anyway without their participation.
And by the way, when it comes to protesting against the so-called tar sands – how come the greenies never protest against the biggest carbon emitter of all?
That’s right, electricity pollutes much, much more.
In the United States, Republican presidential nominee hopeful Herman Cain has dropped his bid and withdrawn due to intense media pressure over alleged affairs with women in his past. Like I said last week, the standards with which Americans judge their politicians bewilder me. To think that someone like Newt Gingrich with his history of spousal “escapades”, financial adventures and lack of world knowledge is now considered a front runner for the same party that ate Herman Cain is astounding to say the least.
The Russian elections went as expected and pre-predicted by the Russian government itself, with Mr. Putin’s party getting re-elected. However a strange thing happened  on the way to the ballot box and many people objected to obvious ballot box stuffing – videos circulate showing this and voted for a strong opposition. Indeed this past weekend demonstrations are happening – and that is an unheard of thing in Russia. Open, vocal dissent has not been permitted in that country for centuries and this is a story that has great ramifications and will not end any time soon.
In another country with a long and rich democratic history, Zimbabwe, the leader, Robert Mugabe declared that at the age of 87 he would continue to lead the country against the undeclared white man’s war against the country. Of course, he stopped short of indicating when elections would be called and under what conditions of transparency would they be held.
Remember the tsunami that hit Japan earlier this year? Well here is a picture of some of the island of debris that is floating towards the coastline of British Columbia and due to hit late 2013 – early 2014.

And yes, beside the roof of a building you have the hull of a ship! And that is only a tiny bit of the debris. Reports indicate that much of the plastic that is in the field is dropping to the ocean floor and may be the start of new reefs – and would that not be a great thing, that out of such a tragedy something good would emerge?
For as we all know that the oceans reefs are under siege these days and any help they get is good.
Incidentally, reports are emerging that the nuclear meltdown in Japan was much, much more serious than reported and that there was a core breach and only a great deal of luck, not technical skill, saved the country from a horrific disaster.
Nuclear power can supply much needed electricity but the more one hears of near disasters and lack of controls and oversight, maybe it is time to revisit the discussion and come to new safety protocols or abandon the industry itself. I believe that the coal industry, if cleaned up and given incentives to do so, is the best option for the foreseeable future. Solar and wind have 2 big drawbacks – namely one being solar works during the day only and usually the wind dies at night and the power grid demands power 24/7. Also there are many reports of sound issues with wind turbines and avian disruption as well.
I had a laptop bite the dust the other day. Lost all my e mail folders and addresses. Web bookmarks. The horror, the horror! You do not realize how integrated with your machine you are until it fails you. Bastard!
So I spent 2 days slowly, painfully rebuilding everything on another machine. Of course I learned a lesson that I preach to others – back up your shyte you fool! Well, now I have and I laugh!
So my question to you is this – do you have your bookmarks, passwords, e mail addresses copied and in a secure position if your computer – shudder – ceases to operate? If not, take some time and do it, you will never regret it. But for crying out loud, do not back the information up on the computer itself- put it on a USB drive and secure it somewhere.
However with this being the Christmas shopping season, have you looked at the price of computers and TV’s? It makes you want to go out and buy one just because the prices are so darn good.
Here in Regina the weather is quite unusual for December, that is to say there is hardly any snow on the ground and today the temperature was plus 3c. Usually there are three foot snow banks and the temperature is minus 25c or worse. In fact there is a possibility of a semi brown Christmas this year and that would not hurt my feelings at all. Only in the movies do you get the cute fluffy white snow that is gentle on the skin and the temperature never seems cold- just watch White Christmas with Bing Crosby to see what I mean.
Well, that is it for another week. Sometimes it is funny how when I sit down to do this blog, all I see is white space and wonder what the heck I am going to write about. Then after a few minutes I look up and see that I am over the 1500 word mark or so.
I have been charged by some that I dwell too much on age but I beg to differ. Age is one of the most wonderful gifts you can get. Yes it brings sad changes to the body but the learning, patience, wit and dare I say wisdom you gain is priceless. In fact I have always said that you should retire at the age of 25 to enjoy your health, travel and do wild and wonderful things and then un-retire at age 60 and work until you drop!
Take care out there,

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