Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday musings

Talk about brain cramps. For the last 2 weeks I decided to list the date on my blog - and now after looking at last weeks came to the astounding realization that the date is also posted automatically - duh! Really - sometimes I wonder about my thought processes.
Oh well, back to no date stamp.
I was so thrilled to hear that the UN has said that the "conflict" in Syria is now civil war. I am sure that all the murdered peoples relatives are relieved to hear about this upgrade. What a farce the UN is. They have stood by and did squat about this war and yet have no problem in blacklisting Israel or appointing rogue leaders to humanitarian boards or to criticize countries like Canada for perceived problems. Where are the Arab countries in this anyway? Is not one of the tenants of the Muslim faith peace and charity to people? You would think with all the petro dollars floating around that they would be in the forefront of efforts to improve life in their region. Instead they do squat and build resorts massive skyscrapers and golf courses in the dessert. Great priorities indeed.
I read where a group of women in the Middle East are organizing a movement to restrict the ability of "western" women to dress in the way they are used to at home while in the Middle East. Instead they want the women to dress "appropriately" - in other words as if they were also Muslim.
Interestingly there is no outcry about this attempt to restrict women's right of dress from so called libertarians in the West, whereas they immediately jump to the attack when attempts to stop the spread of the hajib and chadri in the West occur.
Typical of these hypocrites I would say.
 You know my feelings about the upcoming Olympics in London and the following 2 stories show how out of date this circus is today. First the American political right has discovered that to their horror the uniforms for their country's athletes were manufactured in China! Oh the shame! One august person said that the uniforms should be burnt! OK, that is so rich, if this was such a big deal, where were the self same patriots when the companies set up shop in countries other than the United States? They were actually in the forefront of passing laws to maximize profits and reduce taxes for these companies - which probably were major money donors to their election campaigns.
The other story is, as in the famous scene in the movie Casablanca where the police inspector states that he is " shocked" to discover gambling while pocketing his winnings at Ricks' Bar, that the company responsible for the security of the Games has been "shocked" to discover that they are 1200 people short of full staff for the Games! Shocked I say! And they find this out now? So of course the British government will have to station armed forces as security for the event now. And all the while all the money given to the company for the security contract will have been paid and will probably not be returned and the owners/ shareholders will profit quite handsomely and not be held accountable in all probability.
Ah this modern world where accountability is no longer a sacred trust.
In the United States the Presidential election race continues and yet at this time, it seems that only media such as CNN and Fox really care whereas the rest of the country suffers under an extreme heat wave and drought. A report the other day listed the per person debt of several countries and that of the States was in the top 3. And the debt continues to grow and the lawmakers sit on their butts and blame everyone but themselves for the mess they are in. Many say that the problem started with the Bush era tax cuts, done at a time when the country was actually running a surplus and lawmakers were concerned about having too much money in the bank! No one has the courage to let these so called temporary measures stop - they think it is easier to bribe the voter with on the surface "tax cuts" while actually deferring the day of painful reckoning to someone else. Preferably after they have retired with a fat public paid for pension.
Where is the leadership that once was a hallmark of the American political system?
Would something like the New Deal or the Marshall Plan for Europe ever happen in today?
We both know the answer, and that is cause for sorrow.
What country will fill the moral and political leadership role in world affairs that the United States seem to be retreating from?
I despair.
In a country I have enjoyed visiting ( and yes, visiting is different than actually living there ) Cuba, an outbreak of cholera has been reported and authorities say that it is no longer spreading. Hopefully this is accurate. Cholera is a terrible disease. A report also has come out where in a sign of improving relations between Cuba and the United States, a shipping line has reopened after 50 years between the 2 countries. A ship called Ana Cecilla carrying humanitarian aid from the US to Cuba is set to be a weekly shipment, sailing some 16 hours from Miami to Havana, include charitable, religious and humanitarian groups, as well as relatives of people living in Cuba.
In Argentina a bus strike by the union UTA has ended and now people can take their mid winter vacation break by visiting the countryside resorts. Hard to believe it is mid winter there while here in Canada we bake in mid summer heat.
 On the home front, our house keeps getting emptier by the day. Today sees the departure of our 110 year old dining room table and chair set to family members from out of town, to leave a hole in the dining room and in our hearts. Two bedrooms are vacant and many cupboards are empty. Almost like living in a ghost house. It feels a little strange going through the motions of maintenance and yard care to know that in little over a month and a half someone else will call this place theirs.
The roses are in full bloom and we even have a robin who built a nest on our roll out awning ( which we cannot now open because of his construction site) as a neighbor. Every day my better half has a "chat" with her/him - not too sure about the sex of our avian friend.
 This past few days have seen the annual Big Valley country and western jamboree held at a town called Craven. For a short time this town becomes the provinces fourth largest city with all the campers and visitors. Rivers of beer are consumed with gallons of insect repellant sprayed while country music supplied by local, national and international stars is enjoyed by the sunburnt and probably slightly tipsy spectators. And every year there is remarkably very little mischief done at the Jamboree.
I would be remiss if I did not offer happy birthday greetings to KHK in B.C., a faithful reader who will be celebrating ,  I believe his 25th birthday (OK- maybe a bigger number actually!) among friends and relatives.
I lost another dear friend this week, this is happening more and more these days and I know will accelerate as time goes by. No one every tells you this when you are young and invincible do they?
On the fun side, we purchased new flatware for the new place in Nanaimo this week. Ooohhhh, I never realized how fun something like this is! Really? Really? Time to look at power tools to get back to the real world I think. I bet you Harrison Ford (70 this week!) never was excited by buying flatware.
 Well, time to shut this column down for another week but before I do, an update about the newest book from my favourite author, Deb Dalton. Her latest book is, as we say in the publishing industry, at the printers and will soon be available for purchase. Once this happens, I will shamelessly post a link again to her site so if you want to order it, you can. I promise you will not be disappointed!
Take care out there,

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