Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday musings

So the G8 leaders met in the United States and came out with yet another vague statement about how Greece should stay with the Euro and somehow the European Union will prosper as a result.
You notice that for the last 4 years as the economic crisis around the world and specifically in Europe has run its course, that the leaders of Europe have adopted a cowardly strategy of mouthing platitudes and blowing smoke out of all their orifices and actually doing diddly squat? They are more concerned with their cushy jobs and re-election that trying to create an actual program to help their country's economic future. Now with the rise of both extreme right and left wing parties all across the continent, the politcos are scrambling to placate the masses. There is a retreat from stern demands that Greece follow the austerity program it adopted in order to get loans. Now it seems that the course is to reduce the cuts and maybe add some stimulus money to prime the economy. It seems that the extreme right wing leader in Greece was right in saying that the European community would back down and “give” the Greeks more money to buy their way out of their fiscal problems.
Internet company Facebook issued shares to the public this week and made gazillionaires people like Mark Zuckerberg. I cannot understand a couple of things about this. First, being why people use Facebook at all – it is mainly a gossip page where people list intimate details of their private lives and assume that only a select few people will view this. A select few? Like advertisers who pay Facebook for access, like hackers and when desired, law agencies armed with warrants (hopefully that is, as it seems to be a growing tend of law officials to want sweeping powers to snoop on people with no safeguards anymore. They always raise the specter of the events of 9-11 to justify these desired abuses of democracy. Something like George Orwell's 1984 world.) as well as so called friends that love to blab any and everything to the whole world. The second is why such a thing as Facebook is worth money. It is an entity with no physical body – it exists solely on the Internet. Yes the company has offices that house staff and machines but there is no product made – period. Not at all like when you spend hard money on say, a deep freezer. There you get something that actually does something and performs a function. It is not something that is parasitical.
Here in Canada 2 items of interest.
In Quebec the government has passed a law that suspends – not cancels – the school year in an attempt to end the student “strike” against proposed class fee increases. Also in the law is a section where it is now illegal to were masks while protesting. The government has no courage at all and is backing down from the students. They should have cancelled the school year and that would have forced to striking students to redo the year lost – and pay the extra costs as a result. This way the students get to pass with no penalty. Fat consolation for the majority of those students that did not strike and went to classes and endured violence from the strikers. It seems in Quebec, doing illegal acts pays off.
Something is really off kilter in the mindset of those students.
Federal socialist Opposition Leader, Mulclair seems set on his plan to divide the country politically. He wants to pit the East against the West. In Canada the East is dependent on manufacturing and suffering from the world depression and the West is booming with its resource based economy. He spouts divisive nonsense about how the petro dollar is inflating the value of the Canadian dollar and harming the exports of the East. Say what? He is actually saying that they only way that goods from the East can compete in the world against efficient manufacturing in other countries is to subsidize this inefficient industries with an artificially low dollar. Load of crap. He speaks of oil production as a horrible polluter yet he has never been to the oil sands district to see what is done there. And of course, since the socialist NDP is mainly represented by seats from Quebec in Ottawa with almost none from the West, he does not complain about the flooding that the hydro power system in Quebec has done or how that province has basically screwed its maritime neighbour provinces when it comes to selling power to them.
Bloody hypocrite!!!
Sad news for my German friends, Chelsea beats Bayern Munich on penalties in Champions League final in football news. Only good thing about that is at least David Beckham was not involved on the Chelsea side. Oh for the days of Beckenbauer!
Also, the respected German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, famed for his performances of Schubert's song cycle Winter Journey, died at the age of 86.
In the state Of California, projections are for a 17 billion dollar deficit. That is correct – 17 BILLION! And, due to some arcane voter mandated funding formula, increases to the education system are on the way. Of course there will be cuts to welfare and healthcare for the poor. I am still struggling with a deficit of 17 BILLION – try and tell your banker that this year you will be running a deficit of , let us say, $30,000 dollars – when he stops laughing do you think he will move to repossess your house really fast? And yet governments like California -hello Ontario – have no problem doing this and the politicians doing this suffer no censure or penalty, they still get paid and believe they are doing good work .
Is the world going crazy?
Former Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic went on trial Wednesday in the HAGUE,accused of carrying out a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing and Europe's worst massacre since World War II. And the next day the trial was adjourned indefinitely because the prosecution somehow forgot, for crying out loud, to supply some required documentation to the defense attorneys.
Here I go again with the same word -incredible.
You want to either laugh or cry at this stupidity.
Ah, but it is Spring and time to talk of better things. Amazing how the return of warm weather brings blossoms to the trees and green to the once brown grasses of the lawn isn't it? We – actually my better half planted the garden and we look forward to the harvest this fall. Already I have mowed the lawns a number of times and sweated rivers and cursed like a drunken sailor over the effort. But they sure look good though.
I have spent most of the week tearing out all the carpeting in the basement in anticipation of the arrival of replacement carpet next week. Over 1000 square feet and underlay as well, I must have sworn a thousand oaths at our old cat Timmy for this going away present from him. This had to be done as he had some “problems” in the last month he was with us and just cleaning the carpet was not an option unfortunately. Sure wish that I was 20 years younger when I did this chore!
However on the positive side, the house is looking soooo clean these days and I have been getting rid of so much accumulated detritus that has gathered over the years that I am almost giddy about it. Perhaps it should be mandatory that people do a major clean out of possessions every 3 or 4 years.
In history, 1932 Amelia Earhart leaves Newfoundland 1st woman fly solo across Atlantic, 1902 Cuba gains independence from Spain.
Just thought it might be of interest.
And remember, take a few minutes for yourself and enjoy being the person you are!
Take care out there,

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