Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday musings

Hmmm, you ever have one of those days (but in my case, here on my Island, one of those weeks) where you blink and the day (week) just zipped by and you are darned if you can remember what the heck happened?
This past week has been like that for me in that after 6 weeks of an incredible summer with cloudless skies, no rain and warm, actually borderline hot days, the “daze” of summer that one had as a child returned to me. You remember those days – a seemingly endless cycle of, sun, fun and harmless activities?
Same here.
Anyway, as always the real world does have a tendency to intrude at the darnedest times and remind you that indeed, you are part of it.
Well, a week after the United States closed 19 or so embassies around the world in response to intercepted InterWeb “chatter” from people associated with the terrorist group Al Qaida (notice how depending on which international news service is reporting on them – that the spelling of that name has at least a half dozen variations?) indicating attacks were soon to commence against those embassies, 18 were re-opened.
Also during the week, a bomb alert closed down the Eiffel Tower this past Friday and was reopened hours later after authorities swept the site and found nothing.
And in Iraq, a wave of car bombings targeting those celebrating the end of Ramadan killed 69 people as a bloody reminder of the inability of Iraqi authorities to stop violence threatening to spiral out of control.
Truly a grim reminder of how violent and evil the world can be at times.
It never will end will it?
In what some observers see as a strange change of victims – a Buddhist mob attacked a mosque in the Grandpass area of the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, leaving at least five people injured.
Isn't it usually a case where Muslim extremists attack other religious groups?
And if this seems like deja vu all over again – it is -  the Syrian government is sending its air force to bomb and strafe villages it suspects of harbouring insurgents. And yes, once again the Useless Nations (oops the UN) looks at its navel and belches and drifts in a fog of somnolent indifference.
Over in Vancouver, an example of the extreme sensitivity of companies to social media emerged this week. A national chain store had for sale for little children, small head dresses in the style worn by First Nations people. Of course the feathers were plastic and rainbow hued – quite similar to head dresses sold years ago all across North America with no complaint. Well, a First Nations lady visiting from the province of Manitoba saw these head dresses and immediately fired of a complaint via social media to the company and to “the world in general”. And of course within hours the product was withdraw from sale to the public. It would be easy to dismiss the criticism and say that the company is too cautious to any perceived slights against different groups but you know, maybe it is not such a bad thing all in all. Perhaps if more care was given to different cultures values, whether in terms of dress or culture and beliefs, less strife and grief might be a net result. Is it such a big deal to respect head gear such as First Nations head dresses or the turbans of the Sikh community? If it promotes tolerance and respect, hey, why not?
Media reports continue to surface about attempts via social media to boycott the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia as retaliation for the passing of some strict anti gay laws recently. So far it has earned one giant shrug of indifference from the Russians. Of course the IOC knew years ago about the progress of the law through various levels of the Russian government but did not bring any attention to that when it dealt the Games to the Russians. Then was the time to stop the law. As well, did you know how many corporate American Companies involved also turned a blind eye to this?
Maybe someone should ask them some pointed questions.
Remember how last week I mentioned about the dire economic situation in Spain?
Well, you wonder why the Spanish people hate the European Union and the IMF (International Monetary Fund, run by those overpaid insular fat cats out of Brussels?) this week the European Commissioner, a Mr. Olli Rehn ignited the fury of Spain's unions, employers and politicians with an article he published in a blog. Rehn appeared to support an IMF report that suggested that Spain slash wages across the board by 10% to promote economic growth and tackle unemployment in the country. Apparently he was dead serious until he was confronted by reporters and then his back tracking was definitely of Olympic caliber to say the least!
Unbelievable isn't it?
The sheer unmitigated arrogance of those with secure non touchable and non accountable to anyone jobs – they displayed what Marie Antoinette was wrongly attributed to say, an attitude of “let them eat cake” stupidity.
OK, now from Germany, which sadly may confirm perceptions of some towards the Germans, a report from the town of North Rhine-Westphalia, where a 79-year-old man caught three youngsters red-handed as they stole plums from a tree in his garden. After repeated warnings that were ignored, he pulled out a BB gun and shot at them, wounding one slightly.
Boy, those Germans take ownership of fruit trees really seriously don't they?
The European Commission is changing rules on labeling products within the EU, prompting fears that the prized “Made in Germany” logo may disappear. It seems that the changes would, for example, enable a bag made in Germany from Tunisian leather brought into the country to have the“Made in Tunisia.” logo stamped on it rather than the German one.
Interesting indeed.
Taking the concept of country of origin used in the labeling of food products to a ridiculous extreme.
Idiot bureaucrats.
Have you heard anything about the political crisis in the Czech republic?
Thought not. Not attractive enough of a story for the media is it?
For 2 months gridlock has halted the work of government as one regime has fallen but all efforts to install a replacement have failed.
That is not good news for the country and indeed, for Europe. Something to look into I think – if you can find any items that is.
Another well known entertainment figure left us this week.
Eydie (interesting spelling isn't it?) Gorme passed at the age of 84.
Great voice, great lady.
And we are now left with the likes of Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber – oh how the gods do weep!
Sometimes it seems like the world is just passing by waaaaay too quickly doesn't it?
Speaking  of the weather....
Have you folks in North America noticed how the sun is setting sooner and sooner and yet at the same time rising later and later nowadays?
And that the nights are not as warm, indeed they have a coolnes to them now?
It is August and as my parents used to say, once the local Exhibition and Fair was over with, then it was time to order the coal for the furnace for the winter and also check the state of the garden to see what we would have for the winter to store in the root cellar.
Is it that time already?
Where has the Summer slipped away to?
Yet I look at the tomato plants we have and I see them loaded with produce and some, heck lots, are starting to turn red already! And the stalls in the local Farmers Markets, while having produce there for sale, are not as filled to overflowing as they were earlier in the season.
I am not ready for Fall, no, not at all.
But...then again.. we have decided to return to the Sandwich Islands when the wet winter rains return and that is truly something to look forward to....aloha!

take care out there,

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