Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday musings

Do you know that it is over 13 years since we had the Y2K scare?
You remember, when all the computer “experts” said that there was a fatal flaw in all computer operating systems and that it would crash computers when the computer calendar changed over from 1999 to 2000?
Nothing happened except for massive sales of emergency power generators, survival food and of course weapons.
The just recently “experts” predicted the end of the world because they just “knew” that their understanding of a cryptic Mayan calender said so.
One of the unfortunate consequences of the World Web Web is that good, sound accurate forecast and “guesstimates” are drowned out by a flood of, honestly, just stupid pet theories and idiotic conspiracy theories. Because they make for more entertaining reading one supposes.
Remember that a Nazi German politician once said that if you repeated a lie, and the bigger the better, often enough, then people will eventually accept it as the truth no matter how insane it is.
Am I making a point about something specific here?
No, not really. I think we all can recall some item in the past or just recently that illustrates what I am writing about.
How about some dumb things people do?
In Germany, Manfred Heinz, a professional bird keeper is suing a store for selling him drip trays for his oven that were teflon coated. It seems that he had a 16 and 12 year old set of parrots in the kitchen and when he heated a pizza for a meal and then opened the oven doors when it was ready, “fumes” from the trays killed the birds. OK, almost all birder handbooks warn against having birds in kitchens and he is a professional and should know that. Also, as my dear friend Monty Python would say, the bloody birds are 12 and 16 for crying out loud – they should have bloody well perished years ago anyway!
Then on Vancouver Island a couple is suing 4 manufacturers of natural gas fireplaces over the fact that their 18 month old child touched a hand to the protective glass shield in front of the flames and burnt it because the glass was hot. Well, excuse the heck out of me, but for crying out loud, of course when a fireplace heats up, the glass will also heat up! And where is the responsibility of the parents in not supervising the activities of such a young child?
Come on, since when does everyone no longer have personal responsibility in this world?
It is never their fault anymore, but rather someone else or some company is to blame?
Or the idiocy of pedestrians and bike riders that think that just because the law might say that pedestrians crossings have the right of way or that bikers do not have to obey the laws of the road if they feel like it, that all motor traffic has to yield to their desires? So, morally and legally they are right to stride or bike onto a crosswalk in front of a car or truck doing 50 kph ten feet from them and expect it to stop in a second but maybe that should be carved on their headstone. Technically right but not immune to the laws of of physics.
Common sense folks, that's all.
Use it.
This was the third anniversary of the tragic earthquake in Haiti. Canada recently halted all aid pending a review of what results have flowed from the aid it has provided – and this country has been the third largest donor of funds to that country of any in the world. Of course opposition Canadian politicians have decried this lack of humanity by the government and the Haitian government has also been harsh on its vitriol.
Over 250,000 people still live in tent cities with little or no running water, facilities, hospital access or anything.
So where the heck has all the money gone to?
Someone, anyone give me an answer, I dare you.
Does the term greed, graft corruption of bloody theft ring a bell?
Where did all the money go?
Where is the universal outrage?
Instead lash out at a government wanting to have accountability for the money it spends.
Deny and attack.
Right, apathy rules.
This is also the first anniversary of the sinking of the cruise liner Costa Concordia. Reports indicated that this was the result of “human error”.
Anyway, it seems that the wreck will not be re-floated and salvaged for at least another year now. Guess now that the dead are buried and no longer front page news, clean up and helping the survivors get their lives rebuilt just does not matter does it?
Off the front pages and who cares?
It snowed this week in the Middle East in some areas.
Interesting as the concept one has of the Middle East is hot, sand, camels (for the romantic of mind) not snow.
And yes, the refugees in and from Syria sit and freeze in tents and the world ignores them.
It figures.
I once thought the the upcoming generation would be better educated, more sophisticated and equipped to improve the lot of the world. Maybe I was naive, I do not know. It just seems that they have surrendered without much of a fight. They seemed to have retreated into an electronic cocoon of remote “touching” with so called circles of friends, tweeting and Facebooking intimate aspects of their lives with no regards to personal privacy and security. They hold lawless demonstrations for things like free university tuition and then are outraged at the concept of paying their way in life, assuming that someone else will pay for it, surely not them! And yes, this is not true for all the people. No more than it was for my generation, yet somehow because of the 24/7 instant and overwhelming news flooding the airwaves, it seems so.
I read 2 side by side stories on a National Paper the other day in regards to the state of the “housing bubble” in Canada. One boldly stated prices were going to plummet 25% in an almost cheerful tone. The other said that price reductions have been modest as sellers are withdrawing from the market until prices firm up again and that any correction will be minor or not long term.
Are both of them liars?
Which story will be quoted more do you think?
The swearing in of Venezuelan President elect Hugo Chavez did not happen this week in spite of what is mandated by the countries constitution. It seems the law does not apply to those that make it if it irks them. He is still in Cuba recovering from his 4th cancer surgery. Reports circulate that he is in a coma and denials are immediate. Who really knows? The government is investigating a TV network for its reports on his health on the grounds that it is spreading civil unrest with non supported rumours about Mr. Chavez. One has to wonder at the supposed rule of democracy in that country.
Seems kind of spotty doesn't it?
Ok, back to reality.
A young lady named Emily Lavender this past week while stopping in Regina as part of her cross country tour for PETA, did something either incredibly brave or stupid. Remember that this is winter in the Prairies and in Regina it averaged around minus 25 this week with blowing wind (wind chill factor!) and then there were a couple of ugly snow storms there as well, anyway, you get the picture?
Well, she did a (hopefully a short duration) protest outside a downtown mall clad only in green body paint and green bikini in support of the vegan lifestyle.
Brave, yes, smart – well.....

Meanwhile here on the Island we had a brief dump of snow the other day but happily it is almost all melted now.
It seems that January sees the return of more days of sunshine but the temperature bottoms out around the minus 2 range at nights for a while. We went for a small motor jaunt to a hamlet called Coombs up the coastline and wandered about the markets and had a pleasant day devoid of crowds of people that will return in the Spring. Life really is different here and it is a treat to become part of it.
Anyway, time to sign off for this week,
take care out there,
flatlander 52

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