Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday musings

So, a few American news sites report that Fidel Castro of Cuba has had a severe stroke and is expected to pass on within a few weeks. Seems strange that this same news has not spread to major TV networks or international news organizations. If true, it is the end of and era in world history. And definitely the prospect of a new era in American-Cuban relations.
The young Pakistani girl cowardly shot by the misfits from the Taliban is in London recovering from her wounds. The other day she was able to stand and write to those attending to her. Speaking is not possible due to a breathing tube that was cut into her throat. There are indications of minor brain damage and the danger of infection remains but the outlook for a recovery is looking better all the time.
Kind of a funny saga in Canadian politics this week. In Ontario the Premier of the province, just over a year in his third mandate suddenly resigned saying that it was time for a new leader to come forth. This comes a couple of days after the proverbial poop hit the fan in the provincial legislature when another release of documents in what is termed the “power plant gambit” entered the legislature. This is after the government had earlier declared that all correspondence had been given to the Members. The story behind the cancelled power plants is that during the last provincial election, in a desperate attempt to win 2 seats for the ruling party, a power plant under construction in each riding that was drawing considerable controversy with the electorate, was cancelled in the hopes of retaining the seats for the government. Every time the government was asked about the costs incurred in the cancellation, they came back with excuses as to why they could not reveal the amount. Then when they did, it was a figure later proven to be woefully low and blatantly wrong. Then the Minister in charge of that portfolio became involved in contempt of parliament charges and whispers of wrongdoing throughout various levels of the government inner cabinet emerged. To many people the abrupt resignation and fleeing the parliament is a tacit admission of culpability and possibility also of guilt from the soon to be former Premier.
And politicians wonder why the voter is so cynical?
So Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney had their second televised debate this week. Both men were more aggressive and it made for a bit of entertaining viewing, but the biggest complaint from the media experts was the conduct of the moderator. Would they have been so critical and nasty if the moderator was a man?
Probably not I think.
Media reports indicate that now the momentum has swung behind Mr. Romney. 
Interesting isn't it? 
This has all the makings of a tight race. The cynic in me says – I don't think so. History will determine the victor and the spread of victory. 
If the pundits are wrong – will a Mea Culpa be issued or will they go on to the next story that they think is important?
You and I know that answer don't we?
Has it really been a year since the Occupy Movement exploded on the world scene? And what have or did they accomplish? Other than the totally incorrect phrase “the 1%”, anything?
Didn't think so.
Meanwhile in Cuba, a new policy will go into effect this coming January where exit permits will be eliminated. This in theory will allow Cubans to travel abroad more easily. The down side to this is that of course there will always be “exceptions” to this where certain types of professionals deemed important to the country will not be allowed to go and of course, it probably means that the favoured few – i.e. relatives of party big wigs and senior military types will go to the head of the line as well as the likelihood of having to pay vigorish is almost a given.
You know, the stand off between the United States and Cuba will end one day. Many people predict that will only occur with the death of Mr. Castro, and that is probably true. There is too much real and possibly imagined anger and angst among the Cuban American electorate for a rational compromise to emerge. But, the winds of change are blowing and with the major Cuban players aging, I think we will see dramatic events unfolding on that island in the sun in the next few years.
One would think that people would think things through in matters where oil based products and open flames are mixed. It seems that the maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is in the process of recalling over 1/2 million or so bottles of their product. Apparently people spray it on and then get too close to an open flame with reports of a number of people doing so. Like, really? Do these people not make a connection between an oily type of spray on and the fact that just maybe, it might ignite if exposed to an open flame? About as smart as throwing a cup of gasoline on a wood fire to make it burn better and higher and then being astounded at the large explosion that follows.
Smart, really, really smart.
Meanwhile, in Bremen, Germany, starting this past 19th to November 4th, the 977 year old Freimarkt has started. This festival places the entire city centre in a period of open-ended fun and excitment, thrilling crowds into the wee early hours of the morning. This is one of Germany's oldest folk festivals and regularly draws over 4 million people to the Burgerweide area. I have had the pleasure of attending this festival many, many years ago and have fond memories of it to this day. You have not lived until you have eaten fries with vinegar and curry ketchup!
Trust me on this....
With my birthday coming up in the very near future, I have come to the startling observation that Mr. Putin and I are almost the same age, twins one might say. With his outstanding physical prowess and my apparent lack of same, if you recall the movie Twins, he would be called Arnie and I would be Danny, sigh.
Fall is almost over here on the Island yet there are still signs that amaze a “former” prairie flatlander. We went for a walk around the area today and took this photo of a solitary cyclist on the path in the woods by our place. Feels so different. Even the fact that there are still leaves on the trees amazes me.
 Oh, yes, we did make it to Ladysmith this week to have our lunch date with our "eldest daughter" and what a great time that was. Fine caring people like her are rare and we are pleased that she considers us friends, or as I like to say - her "adoptive" parents. Of course we had a small adventure while there. My better half left her leather  (purple of course!) gloves in the pub style restaurant (Saltair Pub-well worth the visit) and after we returned home called to see if they were still there. Of course they were gone and so the next day we trundled off on a 6 store mission to find a replacement pair. Came home, removed all tags, preservative sprayed and ready for the world - only to discover a voice mail telephone message from the restaurant informing her that the gloves had now been found! So back the following day to Ladysmith to pick them up. On the positive side, now she has a back up pair in case she loses one set...sigh... wish I could do that with power tools!
Take care out there,
flatlander 52 

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