Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday musings

Well, the slow crumbling of the European economy continues this week. One of the largest banks in Spain has pleaded with the government for emergency funding as it basically has run out of money. Depositors in Greece continue withdraw euros at a frantic rate and as my friend in Germany says, the people of Germany are not happy at all and know that the poor countries of Europe will continue to suck money from them to prop up their own economies.
A Mr. Porter from BMO Nesbitt Burns in a column in the Globe and Mail said that the crisis in Europe has cost the European economy over 2 TRILLION in the 3 weeks since the Greek election happened!
You ever stretch a rubber band just a bit too much and have it snap in your hands unexpectedly? Do not look now but the European economy might be at that point.
Here is a thought – what if the Germans say that enough is enough and that they will leave the Euro?
In the United States, the leader of the House majority party, a Mr. Boehner is gleefully promising the same budget impasse as last year which only resulted in a credit downgrade of the American credit rating. This just had the effect of raising interest rates and the cost of borrowing which resulted in cuts to many social programs that hurt the poor, elderly, sick and impoverished minorities – the exact opposite of the rich cat Republican party supporters who continually bemoan the horrible tax rate they pay. However if you look back to 1944 the tax rate on the so called wealthy was 94% compared to 34% in 2008!
Still believe the rhetoric from the Republicans, Tea Party folks and quack journalists like Rush Limbaugh?
The fact is that the wealthy should pay more but also that the American society has to rethink its social contract with the people. Health care is criminally expensive yet almost anyone can get a marijuana smoking permit (hello California!) or it is apparently ridiculously easy to get a medical disability income for things like a “sprained” back that never gets better or a number of other system abuses that never get caught. Sadly there are way too many people that actually need this kind of help but the number of scofflaws is destroying the system. And taxes do have to go up to help rebuild the country's infrastructure and pay down the accumulated debt. One way to start might be to look at military costs and war actions out of country. Maybe the rest of the world could actually start to carry their share of fiscal and physical responsibility in keeping the world safe.
Hello Africa and Europe and the Far East.
How about you taking over keeping South Korea safe? Or footing the whole bill to get rid of the pirates from Somalia and the rest of that region? Or how about getting rid of the useless United Nations? Or instead of Africa spending money from oil resources and diamonds on guns and warfare, spending the money to improve the life of people in Africa?
How novel!
The iconic Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco celebrates its 75 birthday this week – wonderful structure, a rare piece of beauty in a world of too many ugly construction projects.
In Syria the bloodshed continues unabated with over 32 children being murdered in the area called Houla this week.
The world still sits on its hands.
Where is the Arab League in this? Do the yanks always have to do the heavy lifting in these matters?
Seems so, what a crock!
I see where the great democratic country of Pakistan has sentenced a doctor to 32 years in prison for aiding the Americans in finding Osama Bin Ladin and terminating his existence. And they riot against Americans and still gladly take money in military and economic aid from the United States? In this case maybe the Americans should re-examine this relationship because it does seem to be one sided doesn't it?
So the butler to the Pope is in Vatican jail facing charges of leaking confidential documents to the press.
First off, since when does the”humble parish priest of God” need a butler anyway? Secondly, maybe this is a good thing as it seems that the church is not accountable to anyone in the way it turns a blind eye over the years to the sexual abuse of boys by their priests. Indeed when these “men” are caught – they usually get promoted or disappear into the inner sanctum of the Vatican never to be seen again or to serve any punishment at all. Sort of a prime example of an old boys network looking after themselves and the hell with you or a case of do as I say and not as I do!
In Russia President Vladimir Putin steered Dmitry Medvedev into the chairmanship of Russia's ruling party today and demanded reforms to the flagging organization he will rely on to keep his grip on the country's far-flung regions. Another example of a corrupt old boys network would you not think?
In Argentina, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner apparently indicated that she will not be running for re-election. That is a story that will bear following as it unfolds.
So we went out the last couple of evenings and bought annual flowers to plant around the house and yard for the year. The ritual of doing this brings a sense of fulfilment in that yes, Spring is almost over and we can look forward to a nice summer and enjoy the outside for the few short months we have in Saskatchewan. My northern ferns are slowly starting to emerge in their corner of the rear yard and I look forward to the abundance of leafy green they will provide, as well as the fond memories they stir of happy times camping and fishing in the north of this province.
We had almost a full week of mist and rain before it cleared this past Friday and normally when I cut the grass I manage to get 2 – 3 bags of clippings. Not this time, after hacking my way through the underbrush I ended up with 6 bags!
Oh well, in another 6 months snow might be on the ground.
In this day in history, 1944 Jean-Paul Sartres "Huis Clos," premieres in Paris and in 1907 Bubonic Plague breaks out in San Francisco.
Well, that is it for another week my friends.
Take care out there,

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