There is an old saying that starts like this "better the devil you know than....." and it is obvious that the political parties in Italy are determined to follow it as they have settled on a new coalition government and a strong supporter of former Prime Minister (convicted felon, young girl-child womanizer Silvio Berlusconi) has emerged as the Deputy Prime Minister.
As with most feeble parties in a system that encourages ruthless leaders that fear no back bench revolts, this person is merely a surrogate for Berlusconi himself so the specter of that persons ruinous policies returning has emerged.
Italy will in all likehood be in for troubling times.
Spain has admitted that the effects of the depression gripping the country is worse than forecast. Instead of the economy contracting .5% it is now expected to contract at least 1.3% with some analysts forecasting even worse. The deficit will not be 4.5% of economic output but rather 6.3%. And of course the European Commission has extended the grace period for the economy to get back on its projected path without any penalties.
So, what indeed is the difference between this and the collapse in Cyprus?
Do you see the hypocrisy at work here as well?
Here in Canada in the province of Quebec, labour unions, students and some community groups banded together to set up a march in Montreal for Monday to protest the changes in the Federal Government's reforms to the workers unemployment wage loss program ( a program to assist those who lose the jobs with a financial bridge until they find new employment) called the EI Program.
Spokespeople say the changes unfairly target seasonal workers and make it too difficult to qualify for employment insurance.
It is amazing to many other Canadians that a province that elects a government whose raison d'etre is to destroy the country by succession has such a deep attachment, some would say dependency, of social welfare programs paid for by the rest of that hated country.
A clothing factory in Bangladesh collapsed this week killing scores of workers and trapping many in the rubble. This factory remained open even though it had gotten orders to close from civic authorities because inspections had revealed many deep cracks in the building itself. Many groups around the world have called for a boycott of the companies that used this factory to supply consumers in, mainly Europe, with cheap clothing products.
Well, that is a problem folks.
First off, if the products and the factories are boycotted, then the factory owners will just close the factories, fire all the staff and relocate in another country in the eastern world sector. Thus the workers, who earn pathetic wages indeed, will now earn nothing, worsening their economic state. The governments of these areas turn a blind eye to these abuses because if they did enforce wage standards and decent, humane, safe working conditions they know that the factories will disappear as the owners relocate elsewhere. Thus depriving the economy of needed money and helping in a vey small way the lives of the workers. This is not to say that this is right but saying that the real world is not black and white but filled with many shades of grey and good and evil.
Is there a solution at all?
As with environmental health, probably not. Who is going to tell China to stop polluting the air with its coal power plants? Or Spain, who once embraced the "Green Way" when prosperous, now having abandoned it, is scrambling to restart less expensive to run coal power plants? Or countries in the Far East with their water polluting factories discharge or Argentina in the city of Buenos Aires with its own factories spilling into local rivers?
Reports are coming forth saying that the use of chemical weapons in Syria by both sides of the war (only a wimp would call it "civil unrest") and yet the world stands by idly. And yet the manufactured "truth" by nameless officials in the employ of the British and American governments about possible weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prompted an invasion almost overnight.
The lack of response is a true showing of the hypocrisy of world governments isn't it?
Speaking of hypocrisy, my favourite world body, the United Nations (such a paragon of nobility-HAH!) had a forum the other day where such countries that are such champions of virtue such as Pakistan, Cuba, China, North Korea and Iran have attacked Canada on its human rights efforts internally.
This proves how much a waste of space, time and money the UN is these days doesn't it? It is now dominated by countries that deflect their horrible record of treating their people by attacking other countries. Like Canada, the USA, many in Europe. Indeed the countries being attacked are the ones that pay the bills for the UN as they are assessed much higher "dues" than the others biting at their heels. And yes, these countries are not perfect - but look at the records of the accusers and tell me where you would rather live OK?
By the way, how come we let let politicians lie to us anyway? We would call out anyone that told us such bald faced lies as they do but instead we give them a free ride.
They stand in Government Chambers or in front of TV cameras and with a completely straight face say black is white and have no fear of any consequence. They promise all sorts of freebies to get elected and then say-oops the cupboard is bare, we will have to raise taxes instead. They call a budget balanced but cook the fiscal books in such a way that the tooth fairy would smile.
But no consequences. In BC the dreaded HST was repealed but no politician said that some infrastructure grant money would disappear with its removal forcing projects to be cancelled - or have taxes raised yet again to pay for them. Oh no, they were silent when asked or fudged the answer. Once again, no consequences for them.
A pox on their houses......
2 musical legends from different genres passed recently. Rita MacNeil in Canada and George Jones in the United States. Look them up, listen to some of their music and then mourn their passing and our loss.
Great news from the Great Frozen North of Canada-namely Saskatchewan. It is now official, the winter that started 7 months ago is over! Wahoo for the people there! The temperatures are reaching normal levels now and the accumulated snow packs are melting quickly away. Indeed spring flooding is underway in areas with some grid roads being affected by washout conditions. As this rate they golfers will be on the course by the 3rd week of May. And it is about time as they have endured a winter of numbing proportions this year. I bet the citizens cannot wait for the snow to fall in October again!
We had our friends from Regina visit us this week and it is safe to say that a great time was had by all. We toured many areas, ate waaay to much rich and varied food and literally walked our feet off! My golf buddy and I got in a couple of games and we both were in mid season "fibbing" form, that is to say our excuses were of Olympic quality! And the malls never knew what hit them when the ladies descended upon them!
That being said, remember time and life is short, so when you have an opportunity to enjoy life and people, do so because you may never get such a chance again and you do not want to regret that.
take care out there,