Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday musings

Another week, and more rivers of blood and death in Syria. The madness continues and the world stands idly by. What a tragedy and will the victims ever forgive us for ignoring them?
I doubt it, and we do not deserve such forgiveness for allowing this horror story to have happened.
Shame on the world.

I see where Greece has given a financial “haircut” to private investors to the tune of 70% loss on loans. I find it interesting that the loans from other governments were not touched in the same way. With such a precedent can countries like Spain, Portugal and Ireland be far behind in demanding the same concessions? The downward drag on global economies will happen starting this summer as money markets drawn down and the fragile global economic recovery will probably stall in its tracks.
In the midst of this, banks in North America continue to raise fees and post record profits.
I sometimes wonder if the economic protesters of last fall did have some justifiable complaints in the way today’s economic systems are structured.
Indeed, in the United States it seems that the Republican Party is determined to eliminate all tax responsibilities of the uber rich on the dubious claim that the wealthy re-invest in the economy thereby promoting employment for all. I know from experience that those with lots of money tend to keep it very close to themselves and rarely plow it back into the general economy. Indeed the only ones that seem to spend  all their money are the young athletes in professional sports with no money sense who splurge their sudden windfalls away to relatives, hanger ons and sometimes to various drugs and the like. These same athletes after leaving the sport that made them rich, leave broken in body and in poor financial situation and many end up on depending on others and public support programs.
I see where a video has been posted on YouTube in regards to a terrorist by the name of Kony of Uganda. He is head of the Lords Liberation Army which over the years has kidnapped thousands of children and turned them into child soldiers to kill and destroy through the countryside in an attempt to overthrow the government. The video has been posted to spur efforts to capture him. It is sad that this happens now rather than 10 years ago when the whole debacle started.
And in America, the seeming endless race to choose a Republican Party Presidential candidate continues. And all the candidates seem to actually hate each other and continue to promise whatever they think will get them nominated – no matter how right or wrong it is. Take for example the situation in Iran with economic sanctions slowly impoverishing the country into opening up their nuclear sites for inspection to verify that weapons are not there. Well, bombs away some of them say – to hell with the consequences. Any and everything to save Israel and the rest of the world from Iran. This approach is probably the best way to get the entire Arab world united into some form of retaliation against the West. Whether through military means or as simple as ending all oil exports, that could happen. But these dudes do not care. Anything to get rid of Obama and get themselves elected in his place. Well like in countless other elections, once you become the government, things are different and suddenly all the wonderful things you promised with gobs of money that supposedly is there waiting to be spent, well, this does not happen as usually the cupboard is bare and once you give a penny to one interest group, countless others line up at the self entitlement trough to demand their share.
Be careful what you wish for – you might get it!
Hey, did you know that it has been a year since the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan? Also the nuclear reactor meltdown there as well?
Check on the 'net to see the progress of the debris stream from there, it will surprise you. Also, have your views on nuclear power changed? I know that I am of a different mindset now. Before, I never gave it a thought as we do not have one in this province and the effects of a meltdown seemed so far away. But now, I do not know, it seems that safety measures have stood still in the '70's and safeguards are inadequate nowadays. Surely science and industry can and must do better if it is to survive as a power source.
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela had another surgery to remove a second cancerous growth, from the same region as an earlier one. Once again the surgery was done in Cuba – a testament to the skill of the doctors there. One must wonder at his long term outlook. And yet he has indicated, in a number of typically long winded speeches that seem common to South American politicians, that he intends to run in this years Presidential elections again. Sad news for extreme right wing American politicians!
Over in Russia, protests continue over the re-election of Mr. Putin as leader of the country. The next couple of years for that country will be interesting as he has stated that he wants to increase the military and political clout of Russia in the world to the level that it had in years past. I wonder who will pay for all that? It just might be a problem to achieve now that the people have higher expectations for their own standard of living and expect more from the government and seem less willing to follow blindly along party dictates.
Time will indeed tell.
So, International Woman’s Day was this week. I remember years ago when we were visiting Cuba, that we went on a tour of a cigar factory. There, row upon row of women were sitting at long tables hand rolling cigars for export and sale to other countries. In the middle of the tour a buzzer sounded and groups of men came in and handed out handfuls of roses to the male tourists to give to the ladies (and get kissed in return!) in appreciation of them. One brief ray of sunshine in what normally was a dull and dreary workday for these women.
That memory has never left me.
I hope that you took a moment to express your appreciation to your lady on that day – they deserve that and more.
It has been 2 weeks since we have returned from Buenos Aires, and this is the first time in a very long time where I am still having difficulty returning to the routine of life at home. There is a sense of restlessness that I have not had when done with other vacations. Not even the advent of snow melting days has eased this feeling. I should be looking forward to yard work, golfing and other spring and summer events.
Yet, I do not.
Time to change things?
So, Apple has unleashed the latest iPad version on the world. Better display,better battery life, more data consumption (hurrah shout the telco's!). And of course pre-orders are sold out and before it goes on sale there is a waiting list – again. Apple sure does have their consumers well trained don't they?
But then again, they have more money in the bank than the American government!
Well, that is it for this week. Next weeks column might be a little late in posting as we have to drive to Calgary on Friday to visit a old friend who is not that well, and...well enough said.
Take care out there,

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