Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday musings

In the province of Alberta, Canada, a massive series of rain spells created a flood whose size has not been seen in over 100 years this week. Over 100,000 people were evacuated from the city due to flooding and will not be able to return to their homes before mid week at the earliest. Damage estimates range in the 1/2 billion plus range. Sadly, Canada's foremost environmentalist jumped into the public discourse by proclaiming that the floods were a result of mans impact on the environment. Many people were outraged by the insensitivity of his remarks in the wake of this disaster when compassion is required, not criticism. One could find more fault with civic administrations that have allowed settlement in historical flood plain areas instead while in the continuing reach for more tax revenue and expansion.
Iraq is in the throes or more internal car bombings that are killing scores of innocents. When did society change where such evil is allowed and not rooted out and destroyed? The line of "one mans terrorist is anothers freedom fighter" sure wears thin when the body count always involves women, children, and the elderly.Many ask why there is such a difference in reaction from authorities and people when these attacks occur in countries such as the United States as compared to Iraq. When an attack happened in Boston and now in Irag. Totally different reactions and results. Some pundits point to the difference in cultures both politically and religiously. I do not know if this is correct, all I know is that the people who were murdered did not deserve to die that way.
I mentioned the other week that the Greek government decided to immediately shut down the national state run TV networks as part of its austerity drive.The results were predictable as some of the coalition parties have quit supporting the government in protest. and now reports come out indicating that some 2,000 of the fired 2,600 workers will be hired for a "new" state run TV network.
So what savings did this action and reaction really accomplish anyway?
Government action by inaction and shuffling of the chairs seem the preferred method of operations for all governments these days.
Not too much in the news about Cyprus and Spain these days is there?
A feature of today's media is how quickly it loses interest in a topic in pursuit of the ratings and advertising money.
Pensioners in those countries continue to suffer, students are still underemployed and immigrants still face hostility and rage.
That has not changed at all.
These people are no longer the "flavour of the week".
 On a brighter note, a mens underwear firm in France has released a new line of fragrence scented briefs. Really good to know that the French are on top of the biggest problems facing mankind.
Kind of makes you sleep better at nights doesn't it?
And now for your great German word of the week - Kummerspeck.
Speaking of flooding, many parts of Germany, France and India also are being hit with devastating results. One German politician wonders if rather than trying to restrain rivers with dikes and concrete channels, that allowing them to run along their origional courses would be better. Many would agree with this. At least let the construction of mega dollar homes on the edge of rivers be curtailed. Or just cancel any insurance for those that want to build in this areas. As if any politician would have the termitity to try such a thing!
Speaking of hyperbole, ever notice how the media now always speaks in terms of "storm of the century" or "trial of the century" or as in the case this weekend of a wonderful sight of a full moon larger thand normal in the night sky ' a "SUPERMOON"? What gives with that?
Anyway, we went up island this week for a ride on a restored mid 20th century steam engine triain. It went for a trip through a forest to a "living museum" sawmill and logging site in a small town called Port Alberni. The mill and logging site do not produce product for the consumer market but rather run when the tours come through to show people how trees were cut down and then cut into boards for export. A fascinating trip back into a rugged and yes, dangerous era but well worth preserving and seeing.

There really is a "cool"factor to riding the rails. I remember with fondness my trips on them in Europe when I was so, so much younger and sharing meals and wine with complete strangers in a companionship of travellers, great times indeed.
Today we are off to another farmers market in the hamlet of Cedar in the search for freshly harvested strawberries and creamed honey - way too much fun this life on the Island!
take care out there,

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