Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday musings

I was reading an on line article the other day that struck me the wrong way. Heck, awkward phrasing but anyway, in the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, a citizen filed a protest at city bus transit over the fact that the electronic message boards at the front top of city passes were in addition to flashing destinations, also flashed the message Merry Christmas. He claimed this religious advertising made other religious groups and atheists feel like second class citizens and should be stopped immediately.
First off, as a non religious person who respects and enjoys the Christmas Season and the messages of peace and love that it promotes, I have no problem with these type of messages and am sure others like me feel the same way. Also, for sure I do not feel like a second class citizen. And I also say to people like this – get real, this type of nonsense does no good whatsoever. Maybe instead of getting into a false righteous snit over perceived slights you could do some things for the less fortunate?
Honestly, with all the horror in the world this is a big deal?
Grow up.
Speaking of growing up, there are over 20 some young children in the United States that will never see another day because some insane person broke into the school they were attending and shot and murdered them.
And the NRA (National Rifle Association) and others bleat the same old refrain – guns do not kill people, people kill people. And the airwaves are full of people solemnly saying that “this is not the time to talk of gun control”.
Well, excuse me but when the Hell is it time?
If these gun promoting people, who declare that they have the right to own guns -as promised in their Constitution, want to have weapons, then let it be so. BUT let it be the guns that were available at the time this declaration was done – muskets, flintlock pistols, swords, bows and arrows and cannons. I somehow believe that the original framers of the declaration would be appalled at the way firearms have developed and how horrific the carnage is possible with modern weapons. Tell me again why a hunter needs an AK 47 type of weapon to hunt deer or ducks? Or why do they have to have body armour, or bullets that can pierce armour?
You know what will be the result of this massacre?
Nothing, nothing at all.
America, you should be ashamed.
You let the safety of the people matter less than that the power of the weapons lobby.
A wiser person than I asked me- since when did killing children in schools become so widespread? There have been a number of these horrors recently in the States, one a few years ago in a college in Canada, the carnage done in Europe by the madman in Norway last year. My friend says that a factor in this might be the lack of proper parenting by the last couple of generations that have abdicated child parenting, guiding and training to the TV screen, day care, and non supervised graphically gory and violent video games that teach that there are no repercussions from violent acts but rather a reset button to start again. Even the detail shown in violent TV shows is so much more than years ago.
Absenting parenting generations, is this possible?
I dunno, but there seems so much “instant now” for everything that the ability to stop and think about responsibility and consequences has been lost today and replaced by aimless postings of photographs of people in narcissistic poses and listings minutiae of moments in their lives. As if by doing so people say “Hey I matter”.
Sadly it only shows how little they really do.
And this problem does not only exist in the States. It is throughout the world. But only the Americans broadcast and debate such things so publicly, other countries try to pretend that these things never happen in their land, but only in the States. This way they can maintain their so-called higher morality compared to the Americans.
At least the Americans do try to do something about their problems!
This past Wednesday, in Brazil, a soccer match between a home club and a team visiting from Argentina was called after half time when security officials entered the visitors dressing room and beat the living day lights out of many players.
And Brazil is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup of soccer. How wonderful and reassuring this bit of news must be to soccer agencies around the world. And what a great indictment of the sport in Brazil and the civil authorities.
It seems that maybe the economic malaise in Europe may be slowly lessening with the acceptance of a central agency to monitor all banking operations there now. Also Greece has gotten more money and Italy is slowly coming to grips with its fiscal insanity. On that point the Italian Leader, a Mr. Monti has declared he will soon resign as a result of intransigence of a large number of Italian politicians. Indeed the disgraced Mr. Berlusconi has indicated he will run again for the top office. This man is the one who many say is responsible for a great portion of the problems facing the Italian economy. As well he has been tried a number of times on various serious charges and convicted of tax fraud.
How reassuring this must be for the Italian people.
In Venezuela, the President, Mr. Chavez underwent another operation for the pelvic cancer that has stalked him for a while now in Cuba. Reports indicate that it was both a long and very difficult operation. Government officials indicate that he may not return to the country before the official swearing in date for him in January. This could cause problems as the laws are very clear on this and the consequences if not followed properly. The time left to Mr. Chavez seems very short now. And ironically commentators who have railed against him, now worry about the possible strife that might happen in the country when he is gone.
Elections are being held in Japan where polls indicate a return to right wing politics is coming.
The probable winner of Sunday's election,will be Shinzo Abe, who became prime minister in September 2006 and served for a year in office.The country essentially finds itself trying to return to the past.
In Poland, extreme right wing parties are gaining in support. Also in France, Greece, even murmurs of this are happening in Germany.
I believe that this is a sign of the fear people have in these troubled economic and strife filled times.
There is a growing tide of fear of loss of job, money, housing and savings and hope for a better future that is displayed in support for laws that roll back wages and benefits for workers that the public deem as spoiled, protected and self entitled. Not that it will make the proponents lives any better, it will make more share in the misery and despair and that makes them feel better.
This is so wrong in so many ways but no one appears ready to stand up and say so.
The era of compassion and a willingness to share “wealth” appears so far distant now. I doubt if things like Medicare and Employment Insurance programs would ever see the light of day these days.
No wonder so many of todays' “boomers” desperately long for the days of their childhood when the world seemed so bright and full of promise and anything, yes anything was possible – you just had to try.
I miss those days as well.
I was walking in a mall the other day and saw an interesting sight. At this time of year, every mall has a “Santa Claus” in residence and parents take their very young children there to have pictures taken of them (the children, not the parents!) with Santa. Usually it is a scene where a terrified youngster with tears in their eyes and squirming and howling to get away while Santa gamely holds on and the parents have a silly goofy smile on their face. Probably reliving the days when they went through this process and happy to inflict this on another generation. Well, I saw this one crying child who was not even near Santa but crying apparently because other children were crying, whose turn came, turned her head, saw Santa and let out a wonderful cry of joy and struggled madly to get away from her parents and run to the waiting arms of the fat old elf, oops, Santa that is! Laughing and smiling this child had a wonderful time and in that split instant, gave a poignant reminder to me of what the spirit of Christmas was about.
Magical moment.
If you are still looking for a last minute gift for someone special, a good book is always a good thing in my opinion. So, I offer a link at, of my favorite author, Deb Dalton to you -
As well, I also have a link to another author, Libby Heily as well, whose work you might enjoy -
Great writing/reading is a gift that will endure forever and we should all enjoy and promote it.
This week we are off to Regina for a short while to visit family and friends and extend our seasons greetngs to them. While not exactly over Christmas, (flight availability and hotel room space was almost non existent back in September!) we look forward to this time with them. 
Take care out there,
flatlander 52

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