Now the drama begins in Venezuela now that Hugo Chavez has passed on.
Ignoring the constitution and with approval of an apparently cowed judiciary, the Vice President had himself sworn in as President and announced the Presidential election for April 14th. This allows him to remain front and centre in the public eye with generous air time support from all forms of media. Critics claim this is illegal but it is going to happen no matter what they say.
The new President announced that Mr. Chavez will be embalmed and lie in state forever in a clear crystal case viewable by the general public. Confirming to many critics of the late Leader that he was in the vein of Lenin, Stalin, Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong – all quite non Democratic leaders to say the least.
Reports are also trickling out that Mr. Chavez knew well before the recent election that he was terminally ill but decided to conceal this from the electorate in order to win his Presidency again.
Here in Canada some pundits liken it to the fate that befell a certain Mr. J. Layton, leader of the Federal NDP that emerged from the last election as the Official Opposition rather than the usual position of a distant third ranked party in the parliamentary chambers.
One has to ask where being honest with the general public fits in with the actions of these 2 people and in fairness, others that have done the same in politics over the years. Are the concepts of honesty and integrity now passe and out of fashion?
In America, reports are emerging how senior government officials are directing staff to enforce to most aggravating and visible public service cuts due to the”SEQUESTERIZATION ACT” in order to goad opinion against the Republican Party and promote passage of the fiscal goals of the President. Efforts to minimize these impacts and find ways to spread the “economic” pain throughout each department are ignored or decided against.
How is that in the public interest?
Where is the honesty in that?
In Canada reports state that a First Nations Chief in Saskatchewan, Roger Redman, who represent a band of 443 people takes home more money than the Canadian Prime Minister. He claims that is not true but provides no data to support that claim.
Is this fair?
And First Nations people wonder why so many other people in Canada distrust them and offer little support for their claims.
Many wonder how 4% of the population can so affect the lives of the other 96%.
After the mess that was the result of the elections in Italy where no party won a clear majority, financial rating agencies cut the country's credit rating this week. Just what the country needed as it continues to struggle to reclaim control of the economy and its debt obligations. One of the men running for President was convicted in court of wiretapping charges and sentenced to one year in jail. Under the Italian system, he does not actually go to jail but will be free while he appeals and the odds are that no matter what the outcome, he will never set foot in jail. Such is the Italian way for the rich and famous people that live there. So, the possibility that a convicted “felon” will possibly become the President of Italy is very, very real.
And that in itself, is so very, very unreal.
Speaking, OK, writing, of Italy, all the Cardinals of the Catholic Church have finally made it to Rome to start the election of the next Pope in the coming week. Wonder if, when they huddle in the Do Not Disturb secret voting room or Enclave, will they order in pizza when it drags on or will they order fried chicken? Yes, this is an irreverent thought, but then again, what do they do for food in those sessions? Of course minor issues like, say, sex scandals, a bank that has no control/oversight running amok and unaccountable, gay and female phobia to name a few matters, well those will be ignored and swept under the carpet as usual one supposes.
So, North Korea is going to unleash a “rain of nuclear fire” on Washington via missile attacks any day now according to them?
Like, really, really??
Oh those poor buggers, they will feel like the bug and not the windshield if and when that nonsense kicks off. Their missile attack will never make it to American shores but any that make it off the ground and into the air will at best make it over Canada before they are shot down to fall on Canada – oops, just a case of collateral damage to Johnny Canuck. Then all hell will probably envelop the Korean peninsula as a solid wall of flame, fire and radioactivity will incinerate any and everything there (sadly probably including most of innocent South Korea and a good chunk of China as well). Of that there can be no doubt.
But at least the North Koreans will have shown the Americans what for, right?
Over in Germany, a disabled man in the town of Schwedt in the state of Brandenburg was driving home on his scooter when local police pulled him over for going faster than 6KPH. And not just one police officer but 5! They must have been really scared of this disabled man one supposes. Anyway, they made him walk the rest of the way home, pushing his scooter. Definitely not like the police in some American cities where many stories are reported in news media where “stars”/rappers etc. are pulled over for illegal vehicles/driving, etc. and only given a “stern” warning and off they go and do it again.
Here is a little reported story that will bear watching as it develops over the year in France.
The French Prime Minister had directed all agencies to effect a reduction in costs of 5 billion Euros next year. This sounds like an impossible task especially when the French President just announced plans to pay expectant fathers (actually spouses of women expecting) bonuses!
Unbelievable, here one top official says cut costs and the other says, in essence, money is no object.
Almost like the fiscal relationship between the province of Quebec and the rest of Canada one supposes.
Speaking of the environment, you ever wonder why most of the world media jumps all over countries like Canada for its “dirty” impact on the air quality of the planet yet not one of those so called ethical media outlets has the courage to pound away with the same ferocity at the governments of India and China for what their countries are doing? Have you seen clips where Beijing is shown with all its citizens wearing face masks walking in the streets under orange skies (dust borne wind aided pollutants) or the same from India? No media slams them for the ever increasing new dirty coal burning power plants coming on line almost monthly.
No, the environmentalists are given a pass on this aren't they?
In Canada, check out the actions and politics of the Suzuki Foundation and that of its founder.
OK, got my first golf game of the year this past week.
What a joy, what great heights and also at the same time, what depths of despair did I experience.
Yup, it is wonderful to know that even though I now can golf almost 2.5 months earlier than I could on the Prairies, my game still is the stuff of legends. A tale of heroics and at the same time a tale of horror.
But on the plus side, while I had great and not so great shots, I did not lose a single ball!
And that is wonderful, almost a miracle and will not be forgotten, that is for sure.
And yes, I did send these pictures back to folks on the Prairies just to torment them and I would like to say I am sorry for doing so, but really, just cannot.
Anyway, take care out there,