Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday musings

I feel like I am raging against the instant communications that the Internet provides these days.
I will give a couple of examples as to why to you.
First, there is the news that the former Prime Minister of England, Ms. Margaret Thatcher passed away this week of a stroke at the age of 87 after suffering from dementia for a number of years. The world media is awash with in depth, almost gleeful coverage of the reaction of some Britons. These “people”are rejoicing in her death and have promoted the song from the Wizard of Oz that was originally sung about the evil witch in that film – Ding Dong the Witch is Dead on music charts.
History will pass judgement of her term in office, no doubt about that.
But the glee about her death and the media coverage are almost obscene.
What is wrong with these people anyway?
Another example is the truly tragic suicide of a young woman in Eastern Canada as a result of allegedly (and I use this word because as of this day no charges or convictions have occurred, and not in a disparaging way) being raped by 4 young “men” (no male deserves to be called a man if they rape anyone BTW) and then having photos of this posted throughout the school they went to. The torment and abuse spewed her way as a result by both male and and yes even female co-students drove her to take her life. Almost immediately a continent wide outpouring of rage via social networks came forth. At least three internet postings via online newspaper sites posted the thought that this was the fault of not just the four individuals but indeed – was the fault of you and me as well.
I am sorry, but that is wrong.
You cannot assuage your anger or guilt by lumping all of humanity into a guilty party such as occurred here.
That is wrong.
I grew up believing that you should always try to consider how your actions might affect others before doing so. In the case of the late Ms. Thatcher, one has to ask why from those celebrating her passing. Do they feel better now?
I doubt it.
In the suicide tragedy, assigning guilt to society does not help change people or their behaviour, it only makes the person casting blame feel better about themselves.
If people want to affect change, join groups, become political, donate time to good causes instead of lashing out at others.
The world has in some cases become too small for its own good.
The 24 hour 365 days a year news cycles exploit the sad, bad, evil, tragic news of the day and completely submerge any mention of anything positive. No wonder so many young are emotionally giving up on society these days.
This is our modern day sorrow.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad resigned on Saturday after a lengthy feud with President Abbas. Highly regarded by the international community, his departure will hamper the continuing statehood aspirations of the Palestinian people. It also increases the power of the Fatah Party in the area. For sure Israel will not look favourably upon this development.
SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary, Canada is asking a student not to bring her medical marijuana vaporizer to classes and she has so far refused. In Canada medical marijuana usage is legal while usage of non medical marijuana is illegal. This is not to get into the debate about whether or not to legalize the drug but where the heck do the people that promote its use get off by blowing the smoke from the consumption into the open air anyway? You see large protests every year in large cities where these folks gather and puff away in defiance of existing laws and they do so without any regard to those passerbys that do not want to inhale said product. Go to any music concert or large event and the smoke haze and smell is incredible.
What about the rights and health concerns of the non smokers?
Venezuela will have the election of a new President this Sunday. All indicators point to the election of the man Hugo Chavez anointed as his successor. That will probably bring huge sighs of relief in Cuba as the Cuban economy has been supported for years by Venezuelan exports of oil at rock bottom forgivable prices and now appears set to continue. Indeed, in all likelihood the American administration probably will not be too upset with the result as it assumes that it might be able to deal with the new President. Do not forget that America has a long history of  importing oil from that country.
Speaking of Cuba, this week 2 grossly overpaid American singers travelled to that country in spite of laws forbidding American citizens from going to that country. Another example of 1 set of rules for the average person and another for the rich and politically connected?
Beijing has reported the first human case of a new variant of the so called bird flu this week. Health experts around the world are watching these developments with concern, but really, what can be done if this flu becomes widespread? In all honesty, probably very little and any new vaccine if required will take a few years to develop unfortunately.
The boiling pot called North Korea is still bubbling merrily away and the rest of the world just kind of watches. It is almost starting to resemble the fable of the little boy who called wolf once too often. That being said, this is a country with the atomic bomb and an extremely large and very well equipped military so they cannot be dismissed out of hand.
The consequences are unthinkable.
Will the Chinese actually do something?
They seem to be the only country that the North Korean leadership might actually listen to.
A man in Belarus has reportedly died after being attacked by a beaver that he was attempting to photograph. Hmm, and this rodent is the national symbol of Canada? I can hear the marketing slogan now from Tourism Canada, “Attack us and we will chomp you to death!”
Nope, won't work will it?
Of course this bit of news from France is, well, bizarre. A report of a study of 320 women over 15 years concluded that wearing a bra was bad for the womans health. Hmm, does that fact the report was done up and administered by men make the results a little suspect?
Oh France......
Speaking of the United States, have you noticed how all the gloom and doom and despair about the end of the country because of the “fiscal cliff” has abated? Where are the non stop media TV roundtables that were so prevalent just a month ago? Or is it the fact that the American economy seems to be surviving reasonably well these days have anything to do with that? Reports indicate that house prices are starting to slowly climb and employment numbers look better as well. Indeed some large American banks are now saying that inflation is becoming a concern. Strange, I grew up in times (not that long ago actually) where when a recession ended, it was followed by a couple of years of no growth or quiet economic activity and then the so called boom times emerged to run for a number of years again. This cycle repeated over and over again. Now it seems the world crashed, depression set in, people suffered and in a blink this ended and inflation has returned. Did all the unemployed find jobs again by the way? I don't think so. Something has dramatically changed here in the economic equation and yet no one is talking about it. We see a generation of almost permanently unemployed young people emerging and that is now acceptable?
If that is the case, boy are we in trouble, maybe not today but surely in the not so distant future.
So I have gotten some e mails from folks in Saskatchewan cheerfully snarling about the continuing grip of winter and the forecasts that say temperatures will remain below normal until the 24th or so of the month and then as soon as things heat up, a massive flood of almost biblical proportions is being called for. 
And ouch again. 
The flood of 2011 laid waste to vast swaths of land and devastated many small communities that just now are getting back on their economic feet. A new flood will be tough to say the least. Hopefully this, if it does occur, will not be as severe as thought.
Here we are fortunate. I am so amazed at the sight of blossoming trees. There were very few in Regina and I never imagined the beauty of such a thing.

We have a couple of trees in the back that will be flowering in a week or so, just in time for the arrival of some friends (and yes, he is my golf buddy that I have mentioned before!) from the Prairie Flatlands for a looked forward to visit by all parties.
Take care out there,

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