Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday musings

Hmmm, number of things to comment on this week, just not too sure where to start.
OK, in the United Nations this week, speaker after speaker from Muslim lead countries has demanded that world countries enact laws to stop depictions and comments on the prophet Mohammed. Maybe these pleas would have more traction if not for the mob frenzy of their citizens in their virulent and violent demonstrations and yes, murders in protest against so called blasphemers. It seems to many that it is very convenient to stage mob protests against real or perceived insults on a religion while using that pretext as a front for true anti American hatred and hatred against what might be termed Western values.
A convicted terrorist by the name of Omar Kahdr, who claims Canadian citizenship who had been held for over a decade in the American detention prison in Guantanamo, Cuba ( that is correct, an American military base exists in Cuba – the country that successive American Presidents and politicians of all stripe have installed boycott laws against and vowed to help overthrow the Communist lead government – that Cuba!) is now back in Canadian penal hands.
He says he is very, very happy about this.
I wonder how this will play out. Will he be released at some point into the general population? Do you think he is no longer a “child terrorist” at heart anymore? Will he become a productive member of society or will he do like many released terrorists, and that is return to the ways of terror?
Time will tell.
In Canada, a meat processing plant in the province of Alberta has its products linked to a e coli outbreak with nine people affected to date. The border has been closed to the United States for this product and industry people are not sure when it will re-open. Many people are wondering why it took the government, which discovered the problem on Sept. 4Th, until after Sept. 16th to inform the public.
One of the casualties in any process of meat recall are the people that cannot afford to go to local butchers or deli shops for custom cuts of meat and instead rely on items such as “chub” ground meat product, and bulk tray packs of value priced meat cuts for their food selection. The affluent can and do switch suppliers with little to no inconvenience but the less well off are the ones who lose a source of food until the plant is re-opened.
In American politics the circus is well underway and accusations fly about with no regard for accuracy or at least admissions of bias. A favourite tactic of the Republican party is to call all media (except Fox) biased in favour of the Democratic party. They call the media “lamestream” and paint themselves as the true patriots in the country. One wonders if they would pass laws restricting the media if they achieved party in both parts of the government as well as the Presidency? One commentator has speculated that the change in media reporting may be attributable to the 24 hour news cycle the world lives in now as well as the fact that the main emphasis on reporting itself has gone from the so called evening newscast to the morning shows. And also the fact that there is such a vast amount of media coverage on any and everything these days that many times news is “slanted” or manipulated by media people to change from a ho hum story to one with sound bites and controversial opinions and statements. This does make sense to me. Take the way the stock markets are connected world wide these days and the fact that they running virtually 24 hours a day as well. Bad news travels in a blink from Tokyo to Moscow to Zurich to Washington in a heartbeat. Automated computer algorithms immediately buy and sell stock/shares in a nano second if a market tremble is detected or even calculated to possibly happen in the near future. Many speculate that the fiscal crisis in Europe would not be so deep or have happened so quickly if these programs and communication lines were not in place. There is a movement afoot where some lawmakers are proposing bans on programs like this but you know..... money talks and this proposal will soon disappear because it threatens the profit of the money makers. Rest assured, I am a believer in the capitalist system, but I think the time has come to place some restrictions on the way the stock and money markets operate. At one time it was possible for anyone to dream of getting a bigger and better piece of the fiscal pie, but lately, that seems to be disappearing amidst more and more restrictions and taxes on the vanishing middle class.
And all the while the Republican Party in the States is saying that the rich need more tax relief. When companies like Apple store their money offshore and use factories out of country to minimize labour costs at the expense of the American worker who buys their product, you have to wonder, don't you?
In Venezuela reports indicate that gunmen shot and killed two local leaders of parties backing presidential challenger Henrique Capriles Saturday in the worst violence of a volatile campaign before Presidential election to be held next week. If Mr. Chavez looses the election, there may be bloodshed as a result. I cannot imagine that he would go quietly into the sunset if defeated. One way or the other he will not accept defeat and will do all he can to retain power.
In Argentina reports indicate that construction starts fell over 8% in the month of August. A troubling indicator and it raises concerns about a depression hitting the country on top of recent programs against the American dollar in the market place and taxes on purchases done by Argentinians abroad- a very unpopular law.
In Canada the Federal Liberal Party is in a tizzy over the soon to be declared candidacy of a Mr. Justin Trudeau for Leader.
OK, in deference to my comments earlier about American media “creating” news, here in Canada we are seeing the same. The majority of media is Eastern based and they have always loved the father of Justin Trudeau, and he was Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a former Prime Minister of Canada. The fact that Pierre Trudeau instituted a much reviled National Energy Program that basically screwed western oil producing provinces by making them sell their oil to eastern markets at well below world prices – in effect welfare state subsidy of the economy of the East at the expense of the West matters not to these media experts. The fact the name Trudeau is still considered a swear word in the West does not impact their narrow little minds it seems. And the fact that Justin Trudeau is a political lightweight – and that is actually a compliment – matters not to these media pundits. Because they proudly proclaim – he has charisma!
Please, somebody give these media experts a new job somewhere, anywhere but not in the media!!!
I see where the trial of the Popes' butler for leaking private documents is now underway.
You think the Catholic Church is just a little, no – a lot – full of itself and what it thinks its place in the world is?
I wish they would go after sexual predator Priests or allow women to become priests with as much enthusiasm and determination.
In European news, a young man wielding a plastic gun fired pellets at Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Friday, but caused no injuries. How in this day and age of terrorism and intensive security was this allowed to happen? Apparently the man was dressed in commando styled clothes and actually walked away after “shooting” the President. One has to shake their head at this stupidity of the security force but maybe there is more to this than first appears. Perhaps the man did not act alone?
Syria – the murders continue yet it seems the focus of the world is no longer on that poor battered country. You wonder why I am not a fan of the United Nations? Prime case of action by inaction.
Speaking of the United Nations, a report comes out of that bipolar body that indicates that the proposal to tax the wealth of certain countries – read United States, Canada, Germany and give the money to less wealthy countries. You know, like Somalia – gun runners anyone? Nowhere is there indications that countries like Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and the like are to be taxed – perish the thought!!!!
So, I said I was going to look at hybrid cars now that I am an Islander on the West Coast. Conservation, recycling and the like is a lifestyle – not a add on when convenient or trendy as in other parts of the land. So, I went to my local dealer and asked about availability and cost. Well, talk about a rude awakening! I was told that hybrids were a no go here and this dealer had only sold 2 this year! OK, I then went on line and looked for a used unit, just to see what they were like and if I could see myself in one at some point. Found one in a place abut 35 minutes from Nanaimo so off we went on a day trip to check it out and then tour the area. The sales person seemed intent on making sure we knew that that it was a privilege to be allowed to pay a premium of about $5,000 for this used vehicle as compared to a gas model of the same make. So, I pay $5,000 MORE and the gas savings would be about $800 a year compared to a conventional gas model. Divide $5,000 by $800 and that is a little over 6 years before cost savings occur. The sales person then mentioned that with this unit being 3 years old, a new battery in about 7 years would be about $2,500 or so! When I asked about recycling the old battery, he would or could not give me an answer if this was possible.
So, I think I have to rethink my possible conversion from gas to hybrid.
My better half has signed up for swim and fitness programs the other day and then innocently asked me when was I going to do the same? Excuse me – me exercise? Is it not enough that we go for a walk nearly every day? Really, next thing you know, she will expect me to get fit!!!!!
Oh well, on that note, time to sign off,
take care out there,

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