Do you remember American President Obama saying that there is “a red line” in Syria that cannot be crossed without dire consequences? Well, this week the line apparently was crossed with the long known but now publicly confirmed (ha!!) chemical weapon usage by the government on opponents. The dreaded response?
Would it be as swift and crushing as what was done to Iraq with its suspected weapons of mass destruction?
Instead there will be some mortars and RPG's (rocket propelled grenades) supplied at some point by the Americans to the opposition forces.
Even former President Clinton is now questioning the resolve of Mr. Obama in situations like these now.
This does not bode well for American influence in many parts of this troubled world sadly.
Argentina has had another majour rail line crash this week. Just a year after the last one. Once again fingers are pointing everywhere but at the real reasons for these crashes. Say what you may about unions, but they are correct in stating that lack of funds for maintaining and refurbishing and replacing rolling stock that in some cases is said to be 100 years old is the likely cause.
And that is the fault of government.
Plain and simple.
Now, no government plans to kill citizens through actions of neglect but that is what happens when money is tight as a result of inflation, corruption – you name it as officials spend money on things like police, military, mega projects, and hope that needed infrastructure work can wait a year – then another – and then another and then........
And then it hits the fan and people die.
Sometimes governments do act very quickly, which is surprising as they seems so addicted to opinion polls and making sure that the least number of people get upset over an action. This was the case in Greece this week when it was announced on TV that the State broadcasting Corporation would be shut down due to the ongoing fiscal crisis. And a couple of days later in the middle of a news broadcast, the plug literally was pulled shutting down the system and resulting in the dismissal of all staff without recourse and apparently without compensation.
Of course here in the province of British Columbia, the newly re-elected government, just a day or so after getting sworn back into office, showed how sensitive they are to the economic problems of the taxpayer by signing off massive increases to senior staff (some whose titles changed from Manager to Chief of Staff – La De Da indeed!) many who were defeated party hacks in the election and hired because of their “superior” qualifications (do they think voters are really so stupid as to believe the shyte they spout BTW?) immediately after said election?
Heck, some even earn more now than the elected Members of Parliament.
Nope, wrong, a day later it seems that in a show of stern stuff, the raises were rolled back a couple of thousand dollars so they were just a little less than the MLA's.
And people used to speak about South America as the land of Banana Republics!
Welcome to Canada my friend.
Federally in Canada Senators continue to be exposed for creative usage of lax rules of account reporting.
And the sad thing about it all?
None will ever be charged with fraud or theft of public funds.
If the average citizen did this, the Police would be knocking at their door and charges would flow swiftly.
Once again, one set of rules for the politicians (notice how many are lawyers by the way?) and one set for the common folks.
Iran has a new President now. It is difficult to get too enthused over a possible thaw in the relations of that country with the rest of the world as the real and final power and say still remains firmly in the hands of the clerics.
France once again will try to start discussions with employers and unions about changing pension benefits. The government wants to increase the amount of years that the worker must pay into the state plan in order to claim as well as raise the retirement age levels.
Good luck with that.
The sad part in all this pension “reform” is that the older worker has little job security at all these days and after they retire, to return to the workplace is almost impossible. So how does a person who has retired a couple of years ago find work after his pension is cut and he/she needs more income? And after all is said and done, when it comes to overgenerous pensions – it took 2 sides to agree to them. Both the worker AND the employer.
Not quite fair is it?
And once again, it seems easy to take money from a retired person with little political clout and at the same as a legislator, ensure that you have a wonderful pension, retirement transition fund and other little goodies – all tax free of course.
OK, we know Spain has had a tough time these past few years but really this?
Police in the port city of Cádiz have complained the 'uncomfortable situation' of having no toilet paper in their headquarters and are urgently awaiting supplies. It seems the supplier of record has been changed and one thousand new rolls have been ordered but it may up to a month before the delivery arrives.
From the land of lederhosen and curry ketchup comes the latest wonderful strange word – Quadratlatchen
Yes indeedy do, wild and very descriptive.
Another report from Germany indicates that 80% of people looking for jobs apply on line only. What a drastic change in the way employment is looked for. When on line job posting first came out, many employers were very dubious of applicants and rarely even interviewed any people that did apply this way. The times, they are a changing....
It has been over 6 months since that horrific massacre of children in a school in a town in America called Newtown. Immediately afterward, the American President and many other politicians spoke strongly against the proliferation of automatic weapons and the need to restrict their use – ostensibly for the sake and safety of all children in America. They said future generations would look back at this moment and judge accordingly.
Well.... nothing has happened has it?
So... pretty easy to figure out how the future will judge the courage and mettle and integrity of those people isn't it?
But did anyone expect anything other than inaction to occur?
Naw, didn't think so.
Oh the children...
It seems that the innocence of people using the Internet knows no bounds as there is so much “outrage” over revelations that governments in America (ha-in all honesty this is world wide and not just in America) are gathering data on messages and other data from the 'Net and its majour companies such as Microsoft, Google and the like ( or so it is alleged by media folks).
Really? Did anyone think this is and was not being done?
If you are that naive, then someone somewhere has swampland in Arizona for you to buy.
Face it , anything you post on line is forever.
Just like postings on Facebook or Twitter or any social networking site, what is posted there stays there forever. And a word spoken in haste, stupidity, anger or plain ignorance can and will be stored somewhere by someone. And that can come back to haunt you, rest assured. And saying that you were joking, just does not cut it in this world anymore sadly.
The Web is amazing both for the incredible good it can do but as well as for the incredible harm it can and does do to people.
Life was easier when all we had was the telegraph machine wasn't it?
This week, on my second most favourite Island, that being Maui, we will see the launch of the 14th annual Maui Film Festival. With outdoor screenings under the stars and set in between palm trees and backgrounded by the sound of the gentle beach surf – what better locale than that can one imagine?
Maybe one year.....
Meanwhile, here on MY Island, Spring is giving way to Summer and so far it has been a great year in the weather department. We (that is, my better half and I) went to the local Street Fair/Festival this Saturday and were suitably impressed. A large number of outdoor displays with many local food wares and displays with a number of different ethnic groups proudly represented. A feature of Canada to be proud of I believe. One can be proud of their heritage and not cowed into complete assimilation and be a great citizen still.
By my count we have found at least 8 walking parks here and our list of great eating establishments continues to grow. I figure with every pound dropped from all the walking I gain them right back from the superb eateries!
Take care out there,