seem to be approaching a critical point in both Egypt and Syria these
Egypt, the President, Mr. Morsi ( I wonder why 99% of the Western
press spell his name that way but CNN does not?) has rescinded the
decree that gave him dictatorial powers and immunity from the law in
case he authored illegal acts and also invited opposition leaders to
discuss revisions to the proposed constitution in an attempt to
defuse protests against his regime by an ever increasing number of
people. Meanwhile counter protests in his favour by supporters of the
Islamic Brotherhood are also occurring with predictable violent
bloody clashes between the two groups.
prospect of a violent quasi religious civil war increases by the day.
Syria reports continue to emerge that with his regime teetering on
the brink of collapse, the President, Mr. Assad apparently has given
the go ahead to prepare deadly chemical toxin based weapons for a
last ditch attempt to defeat opponents or possibly start a “scorched
earth” policy to destroy the land and people rather than giving
way. Other reports that any attempt to convince Mr. Assad to flee the
country are not having any success.
this is true and events continue to unfold, perhaps he is destined to
follow the same path as the late leader of Libya did, to his
in Argentina, tensions are increasing over a controversial radio
licensing law. In short, critics contend that not allowing media
companies to have multiple stations, the government by virtue of it
having the authority to issue license renewal every two years, is
creating a splintered radio community unable to mount any viable
criticism of potential incorrect government laws and policies as they
occur. Indeed the critics contend that with this license control, the
government is creating radio stations that are beholding to them and
willing to turn a blind eye to any problems that may happen.
the changes to the Dollar versus Peso, restrictive bank regulations,
inflation, nationalization of companies owned outside of Argentina
proper - signs that may indicate the slippery road to dictatorship is
so, what a tragedy for such a wonderful country.
the United States, the fiscal cliff hurtles toward the confused land
at breakneck speed. It looks like instead of compromise, the American
President, Mr. Obama seems determined to “break” the Republican
Party. This past week the Republicans backed off their position of no
new taxes and actually endorsed a plan very similar to what Mr. Obama
had advocated earlier this summer.
yet Mr. Obama flatly rejected this!
regardless whether or not the fiscal impasse is solved in the next
few days, three new taxes will hit the US population on January 1st
to help finance the changes to the American Health Care system which
have been called Obamacare. One controversial tax is the one which
will apply to all medical supplies and technologies. Everything from
latex gloves to heart pacemakers will be affected.
that will be passed on to the consumer.
just have to shake my head and want to weep.
rich and the politicians will not suffer, no they are too well
insulated financially. The people who are too poor to have health
plan insurance and savings and a job, how can they suffer more than
they do now?
ones that will be whipsawed relentlessly will be the ever shrinking
you are of a certain age or have access to the TV shows broadcast in
North America in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, you will
remember some of the iconic shows of the day. Ones like Andy of
Mayberry, The Nelsons, Father Knows Best, My Three Sons and the like
spring to mind. In these shows, the lives portrayed were those of
middle class suburban (mainly) families, living the American Dream of
working hard, living right and success will surely come their way -
and in those shows it did. Children of that era watching the shows,
on the main, aspired to attain a middle class life following those
dictates. That Middle Class made many things possible in much of the
world. Things like social programs such as Universal Medicare for all
( sorry America, sometimes social intervention can do good)
Government regulated safety systems such as Food Inspection,
Air transportation, environment protection were started and funded by
the middle class in that time - not by any government, because no
government creates wealth, it only taxes and spends wealth. Now the
middle class is under attack by the so called uber rich and their
legal minions as well as special interest groups and PAC’s
(Political Action Committee’s) in the United States bent on
securing their special status and usually tax exempt standing. All
the while the middle class gets hammered and somehow blamed for this
mess by a media that stopped being true to its heritage of being non
political and beholding to no one or group. Instead most media is
owned by special interest groups with specific agendas and are proud
to flaunt it to people.
really sad isn’t it?
Mandela, age 94 was admitted to hospital this past Saturday for what
has been termed as “tests”. Another icon who will soon no longer
be with us. Giants like him do not seem to be with us anymore these
days. Instead the youth revere people like Justin Bieber and women
beaters like rap singer Chris Brown. Can you name any one that
strides the world stage these days like Mandela, or Winston Churchill
Venezuela, a day after returning from Cuba for hyperbaric chamber
treatment, President Hugo Chavez announced that new tests had found
cancerous cells and that in the coming days he would again return to
Cuba for more treatment. This does not sound very good for the 58
year old leader sadly.
Mugabe, the 88 year old leader of Zimbabwe is noted as looking
eagerly forward to next years election in that ruin of a once
prosperous land. Corruption, political murder and lawlessness
apparently condoned and sponsored by the government has devastated
the economy and decimated the population. It seems like the only time
change will come to that land will be when Mugabe dies, probably in
office which will in all likelihood be a forerunner of a bloody and
devastating civil war that will further impoverish the land.
Germany, auto giant General Motors has announced plans to stop
building the Opel car at the plant in Bochem. Reports indicate that
as many as 2300 workers will lose their jobs when this happens in
late 2013 or early 2014.
across Europe car purchasing has slowed as a result of the financial
crisis of the past few years. People just are not buying cars and
instead making the old ones last a couple of years or more longer.
Or, if they have lost their jobs, buying a new car is not on their
list of anything to buy as food, clothing, health and accommodation
has become the sole focus in life.
in Canada, it appears that the Federal Government may be cancelling
the purchase of a new fleet of military aircraft as costs have soared
from a projected 8 billion dollars to over 45 billion! Can we hope
that sanity has emerged in this process? Did you know that the whole
purchase program was sole sourced? Yes, no bids were solicited from
different manufacturers, just it seems, a wink, wink, nudge, nudge,
“old buddy” verbal handshake to get the best price “possible”
from a favoured supplier. Of course the Minister in Charge of that
portfolio will not resign or be fired but probably get a raise or
some other plum.
this week we had a couple of nights where the local news shrieked at
us that SNOW was coming to devastate the area. Earnest and solemn
faced talking heads endlessly intoned in funeralistic tone about road
carnage, snarled traffic and old people stranded in their residences.
And why oh why have YOU NOT GOTTEN SNOW TIRES YET?????
on it went.
course, it did not snow.
a flurry and not a single flake - but by Gawd, it is on the way!!!!!
At least so they say.
talking to people that have moved here from areas such as the
Prairies or the East of Canada, all well versed in winter road
driving a true story emerges.
snow does fall here, no argument there at all. However that being
said, it does not last for months on end. In fact it melts within
hours. The problem is that they people born here have no idea of how
to drive in snow/slush/ice. They seem to think that if the speed sign
says 50 KPH, then they can do so, no matter what the road conditions.
A sure recipe for slip, slide and crash - guaranteed. It seems the
best thing to do is wait a day so the roads clear and the drivers
have their “normal” roads back.
that is fine by me. I have my chai latte and various power nibbles
stockpiled so I can wait out any disruption!
a little over two weeks until Christmas, and I cannot wait for my
usual cornucopia of presents from my better half.
look forward to the “usual suspects”.
socks, underwear, maybe a new apron?
dunno, with all the changes in our lives this year, somehow gifts are
not such a focus to me as they were in other years.
is a good thing I think.
take care out there,