Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday musings

What a difference a wonderful day can make to a stressful week. This past Saturday was a picture perfect Spring day. Nice clear skies, temperature in the low teens and unbelievably there was little to no wind! This in Saskatchewan, the windiest part of North America historically.
We did a pile of outside yard work and trimmed the grape vines of the left over bunches of grapes from last fall. All the birds were ticked off over this but in the same instance, all the black flies that were also feasting on the grapes had to leave and find a new source of food.
Even our old cat managed to drag his butt outside a couple of times to check out the yard.
I see where the government in Syria has proclaimed that the rebellion there is over. Sure glad they implemented the cease fire they have twice agreed to – who am I kidding? They never had any intention of doing so and the world stood by and let them get away with this travesty. Iran is kindly giving the Syrian government an oil tanker to take crude oil to China, thereby earning about 84 million US for the regime. Great humanitarians the Iranian and Chinese, their leaders day of reckoning will one day come.
Here in Canada the Federal government delivered an operating budget and it really on close inspection was a middle of the road balanced approach. Forget the ignorant bleating of the opposition New Democratic Party, they who say the usual crap about destroying the lives of the young , the old and all in between. Yes, changes will be coming to a program called the Old Age Supplement,( a cash grant to provide additional income) raising the age of eligibility to 67 from 65 – this starts in 2023! It does not affect those 55 or older, so this gives younger workers time to budget more for their retirement. Indeed, one of the basic rules we followed is that one should not expect a penny (now discontinued by the way) from the government when you retire. Indeed if there is any money, that should be considered as a bonus.
A large number of government employees will lose their jobs, but the reality is that most of this will be done by retirement and generous payout packages – much better than any one would get in the private sector. In fact these days, only government employees get that kind of a retirement deal. Also government employees' will eventually be required to fund their pension plans 50/50 with the employer – something that is common in the normal world where one can get a pension plan and that is not a given or a supposed right of employment. Of course the generous indexing of their pensions to inflation will continue. Sigh, something the rest of us wish we could have. Oh yes, at some point in time the Members of Parliament and senators may also one day follow the same path – do not hold your breath on that happening in the near future – bunch of hypocrites!
Of course most eastern based media are starting the process of promoting articles attacking the resource based wealth of the western provinces because apparently -ask the premier of Ontario about this whopper of a fib, the better the west does via the petro dollar, the more it harms the east.
Horse manure!
About as realistic as students in Quebec expecting free tuition in university and that is to be paid for by money flowing into the province in the pattern of equalization payments.
I remember when Saskatchewan was on the receiving end of equalization payments for many years, we were constantly reminded by the eastern media of this and how we sod busting farmers should be eternally grateful for the largesse being bestowed on us by big brother Ontario. Well, confederation supposedly is about wealthier regions assisting less well off ones in the name of Canadianism, and I support that. However a bit of appreciation directed out west by the eastern media would be appreciated.
I see where President Obama figures the west has enough oil supplies to enforce a tougher ban on Syria – remember the so called quelled revolt there that no one helped the people with? If that is the case, and actually it is correct, how come gas prices continue to go up?
Speaking of pensions – forgot to mention this earlier but I received notification this past week that I will be getting my Canada Pension this winter after my birthday in later this year.
Great isn't it?
Getting older and getting paid for it?
Not that it is much but what the heck, it will be appreciated.
In the United States the furor over the death of a young black man at the hands of a white – whoops, media got this wrong – Hispanic man continues. Here, so far away the facts seem confused. Also the reaction, at times it has seemed almost being done without reason, is virulent and racist against the white population of the States. There appears to be a lynch mob mindset with some people and a desire to ignore due legal review and process.
Strange indeed.
The Pope has visited Cuba and as a result this year Good Friday will be a holiday on the Island. How wonderful – all that money and pomp and nonsense and this is the result of pressure on the Communist government? Perhaps the Catholic Church could try to become relevant again by electing a Black or Asian person as Pope rather than a tired, old mean spirited white man from Europe?
Ah, never happen.
Don't look now, but the American economy is picking up steam and the stock market is at all time highs. Too many pundits who should have know better, but of course didn't are going to look foolish for dismissing the American people and economy as third rate. The worlds' number one economy still has a lot of energy left in it.
Apparently in China, the demands of workers for better wages is causing manufacturers to look at relocating factories out of country to lower paying regions in the world. The old saying of what goes around comes around seems to be bearing fruit in this case. The China haters in the American Republican Party will soon have to find a new whipping boy to rail against.
And lastly, in Denmark, a rally against Islam by a right wing fringe group drew about 150 supporters who had to be bussed to safety after about 2,000 counter demonstrators showed up to attack them.
A pilot for an American airline,Jetblue, had a mental breakdown this week while the plane was en route to Las Vegas. Quick action by passengers help avert a tragedy. With the incredible amount of flights around the world on a daily basis, such incidents are a true rarity and speak highly of the training and dedication of these people that safely transport masses of humanity without incident.
Have a good week,
and take care out there,

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