A young girl in British Columbia committed suicide this week and left a haunting video message on the internet before doing so. The country reacts in shock, Twitter fills with messages of grief and support. Experts loudly comment on the evils of bullying and politicians hop on the public bandwagon hoping to score points with the electorate. Firstly, the death of the girl is sad news. No one should feel so alone and vulnerable to have to resort to suicide to escape the pain. That being said, it is a pointed commentary on this obsessive all intrusive shock news driven media and its mission to "top" the last sensational news bit. Does society need to hang onto every word and deed of a non productive or contributing person such as those that are called "reality" stars? Or the continual criminal doings of glorified criminals called rappers? The saga of abuse and bullying has been part of society forever. Sadly it will never be eliminated. Posting feel good messages and vocal "outrage" by politicos does diddly squat to stop that. Perhaps if adults took back their responsibility to their children instead of giving it away to educators, TV and social media, results might be forthcoming. Too often over the last couple of decades parents have forced school boards to assume their responsibilities, whether it be in after hours sport activities, longer school days, in school lunches, sex education and then also denying the school authorities any discipline controls because punishment might traumatize the little tykes when they do wrong. So now kids know that they can get away with all kinds of mischief , disobedience and actual harm with no repercussions. Small wonder that bullying is on the increase with no one holding children accountable. And yes, I fault parents here. They have been lazy and want others to do their job, yet they had no trouble creating children, they just do not seem to want to be bothered with actually becoming parents. It interferes with their lifestyle apparently.
Hugo Chavez did win re-election in Venezuela this past week with a 55% approval vote. Probably the American government is breathing a sigh of relief over this. The thinking being that even though he is a "pest" in the view of bureaucrats, at least he is a known commodity and can be contained. Something like the way successive American governments have out waited Castro in Cuba I assume. You think that maybe this policy of trying to destroy Cuba by crippling economic sanctions is as wrong as it appears? If memory serves me right, the successive American governments had steadfastly supported such bastions of democracy like Afghanistan, Haiti, Iran, when the Shah ruled, Egypt with its military run government, I think you get the picture. Oh, speaking of trade, how come it is OK to trade with Communist China (also the banker of choice for the American Government when it comes to borrowing money these days) but not OK to trade with Communist Cuba? Surely pandering to the vote rich anti Castro lobby in Florida has nothing to do with this, does it? Then their are all the wealthy American families that lost their virtual fiefdoms in Cuba that still demand restitution over lost land and industries in Cuba - they still want their goods and money back, conveniently ignoring the fact that they treated their employees in Cuba like slaves compared to what they had to pay staff in America at the time.
Speaking of Cuba, good news in that Yoani Sanchez, a blogger who I mentioned last week, has been released from police custody. She relates her experience on her blog and for those insulated from the "real" world, it is enlightening to say the least. Well worth the read (her link is posted in last weeks blog)
In the American Presidential elections, this past week there was a televised debate between the 2 vice president candidates. Of course all the "experts" proclaimed that the results were a draw with neither candidate winning or losing. Say what? Come on, there always is a winner and a loser in a debate such as this. It seems that in the rush to install drama in the campaign and retain viewers, nothing such as reality can interfere with the opinions of these talking heads. Face it, in most elections, the majority of voters have decided well in advance who they will vote for. The election usually hinges on the small amount of truly undecided and the number of decided voters that will not turn out to vote either due to apathy or lack of interest or resignation to the thought that no matter who they vote for, nothing will really change and their lives will continue to get worse.
For an example, look back at Canadian history when a rookie politician named Pierre Trudeau became leader of the governing federal Liberal Party. The media fell head over heels in love with this "swinger" of a politician. He was young, he spoke both official languages, was single, good looking - and he was going to make Canada a great place to live in. Well, ask the people of Western Canada about his legacy now. A large number would view him as probably one of the worst Prime Ministers in history. One who crippled the western economy in order to buy votes in the more populous east. Did the lives of the werterners get better or worse under his tenure? Most will say they got worse.
And the media wonders why the general population distrusts them.
So the Nobel Peace prize went to the European Union. Is it me or does everybody think that some years when there is no real choice for this award, that the selection committee grabs a bottle or two of booze, gathers in a room and says, let's pick someone or something to justify these phoney baloney jobs? No disrespect to Mr. Obama, but he was only 3 months or so on the job when they gave him the peace prize.
You want someone that really deserves this prize instead of some self serving bureaucrats?
How about Malala Yousafzai? The brave young girl cowardly shot by Taliban thugs for expressing her view that women deserve education just like men. How about her?
Then again, considering that the Nobel prize was set up by Alfred Nobel, you know, the Swedish inventor who perfected mass production of dynamite, introduction of the navel torpedo, mass production of nitroglycerin - all those "peaceful" things that have greatly benefited mankind, that Alfred Nobel - perhaps giving the "Peace" prize to some nameless white men instead of a brave young girl from outside Europe makes sense.
Turkey has upped the tensions between it and Syria this week by forcing a Syrian airliner flying from Russia to Syria to land in Turkey under military escort. According to Turkish authorities, the civilian plane was carrying military supplies which is a no no apparently. Of course the Russians are "outraged" (shades of the military inspector in the great movie Casablanca when he pockets his gambling winnings and then discovers that there is gambling going on in the same place) over this and the Syrians are similarly affected. This so called internal Syrian terrorist matter - which many call a civil war - slowly but surely is spreading in the region and soon will explode into multi country conflict.
And the United Nations assembly sits on its fat butt and does nothing.
What a waste of space and money the UN is.
Time to get rid of it or at least for countries like Canada to get out of it.
So the operators of the nuclear power plant in Japan that had a partial meltdown last year now say that that could have been prevented. And proponents of the nuclear industry wonder why so many fear and distrust the industry? I used to think nuclear energy was a safe alternative to fossil fuel power energy generation, now, I am not so sure. I also wonder about the disposal of the spent fuel sources as they are still radioactive and most seem to be stored in water filled concrete pools or deep underground. Is that a real solution or just a serious problem waiting to happen down the road for future generations?
Amid predictions that Spain will apply for money loans in November, more strikes and protests occur in Spain. Unemployment among youth is at 25% and things just do not look good for the future. Greece continues to struggle. And I have been talking about this for almost a year and a half and things just are not getting better there. Instead attitudes against foreigners are hardening and attacks on immigrant workers and their families are on the rise and authorities do little if anything to stop this. A wise man said that those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. Many see similarities between events in parts of Europe to events that unfolded in post WW1 Germany with the rise of the National Socialist Party as a response to the devastated economy that existed as a result of the war and crippling peace terms impose by the victorious Allies. Just look at the Golden Dawn party in Greece for example.
Speaking of Greece, with the visit of Ms. Merkel of Germany, riots and protest did happen as I predicted. Some say that if the Greeks worked as hard at paying taxes and actually working as they protest and complain, that there would be no Greek crisis.
In celebration of the 60th birthday of Mr. Putin, it seems that he had been awarded the Eighth Dan by the International Judo Body. Next I assume we will hear that he has discovered a cure for AIDS while hang gliding over Mount Everest!
In Cologne, Germany a dominatrix has been ordered to pay a fine of 200 Euros after a client, an undertaker claimed she, quote "hurt and humiliated" him. Excuse me, isn't that what a dominatrix is supposed to do? Is this political correctness gone crazy or what?
Well, on the home front, I can say that things are almost in what could be called the new normal. Expenses are finally back to reasonable levels with nearly everything needed for the new place now purchased and that is a good thing. This week we will be driving to the town of Ladysmith to see our "eldest daughter" for the first time since earlier this summer. We hope to have lunch with her, sadly it seems that the local Legion does not offer such fare as she highly recommends the establishment but we are sure we will find a suitable alternative.
Hard to believe but we are at mid October already with Halloween just around the corner. Already the candy purchased for the door to door trick or treaters has been attacked by yours truly and sadly we will have to run to the store to refill the larder. The chocolates and candy taste so darn good unfortunately.
So, take care out there,