Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday musings

Here in Canada, for the last year and a bit, the media has been flogging, what to them is a GREAT story, that being of the doom ahead for this bucolic country when the dreaded mortgage interest rate charged to prospective home owners as well as those refinancing, climbs and how that will devastate the Canadian economy.
Followed by massive unemployment...
Then by riots...
And followed by a visit from the horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Week after week these banner headlines have trumpeted this and oh so many pundits gleefully chimed in and probably got whiplash from the vigorous head nodding that ensued.
OK, a tiny, tiny item on the back section of a financial posting this week said the home mortgage rates have climbed since February from 2.99% to 4%.
Deafening silence from all the “experts”.
No riots.
No breadlines.
No horsemen.
Sometimes, the whole aspect of this 24/7 news cycle smacks of a certain type of “wrongness”.
I fully agree that news is important and that the more informed a person is, the better they are able to view things and interact with others. That being said, there are so many people, frankly, that hear selected bits of information and do not completely and properly process it, that many false and dangerous attitudes and beliefs can be fostered.
Remember when the American economy tanked a few years back and how the auto industry warned of ruin and crippling of the economy because people would stop buying cars and as a result got massive “loans” and outright non repayable grants? I think upon examination one will find that this seemed like a great way to get interest free loans and grants to retool at the consumers expense.
How about the hateful media campaign against Ms Paula Deen in America because of the reported racial comments she made and the court case by a former employee alleging racial discrimination? Her business was devastated and her reputation is ruined. By the way – the suit by the former employee was dismissed due to lack of any supporting evidence and the fact that the former employee is white!
But the damage is done and it was fed by continuous media reports of the same storyline over and over again.
And no contrition from any in the media.
Or here on the Island where immense focus is devoted to the "any moment now the big one” will happen.
Earthquake that is.
Some people have an agenda to have every structure built to super strong capabilities – whatever the cost and the taxpayer be dammed. Media reports hammer home this viewpoint with nary a murmur of disagreement. Well, history has shown that no matter how strong a structure is built, a severe earthquake usually wins the battle. But many folks are left feeling and believing – that the “big one” will happen in the next 15 minutes after being constantly hammered by the professional Cassandra's who are the darlings of the media.
Is balanced and objective media reporting dead these days?
Is it all about ratings and the truth be dammed?
You be the judge.
This week saw the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's “I have a dream” speech. While much has changed for the betterment of black people in the United States, much has remained as bad as then. Indeed, it seems like more and more groups of people are falling through the social and economic cracks of that great country.
So, President Obama might be thinking of doing “something” about the carnage in Syria.
It seems the whole world wants to fault him personally for the lack of any response and yet, how come no one asks Great Britain, France, Russia, Argentina (you get my drift?) why the heck they aren't doing anything either?
Oh, I forget, we have the Useless Nations, sorry, United Nations and golly, they sure act promptly don't they?
Why is it that the Americans always have to clean up the world anyway?
And why is it that the world always love to hate the Yanks?
Admittedly, the Americans can come across as inward gazing and some may say somewhat arrogant, but hey, show me a perfect country then!
The CEO of Microsoft will be retiring soon. According to reports, when he took over from Mr. Gates, the company was worth over 6 billion and now has a net worth of over 2 billion. If correct, not a lustrous legacy is it? The once predominant tech company is now in a three way dogfight with Android and Apple for industry dominance.
He will probably get a hefty financial going away gift. Strange how that works isn't it? His company loses a whack of its value – so he gets an “Executive” payout, BUT if you do that at work – ya get fired and don't let the door hit your butt on the way out!
The battle over the implementation of changes to the American health care system (termed Obamacare by the critics) continues to rage. A report credited to Forbes magazine says that Delta Airlines expects its health care costs to rise $100 million dollars in the year 2014.
These are some scary numbers being tossed around. If correct, the hit on the economy will be severe, if not, then the degree of possible dis-information is horrible.
Either way, no wonder so many people are frightened by this in the USA.
Now here is a terrible stat regarding suicides in the United States. And I post this not to approve or disapprove of the act but rather to point out with sadness how life can overwhelm people and the tragic consequences of that. The statistics tell us that about 150 Americans commit suicide every day, and that somewhere around 38,000 will do so this year.
Damn, that is so tragic in all aspects.
Meanwhile, in Germany, a house renter in the town of Diepholz in Lower Saxony bought a self-inflatable air mattress as he had no furniture in his new home. But the mattress was leaky, so he used an industrial strength puncture repair spray to try and fix it. Some of the spray escaped from the mattress as he was pumping it in and it reacted with the built in electric pump, causing a violent explosion which threw him across the room, ripped doors off their hinges and smashed windows.
Charges may be pending – but really, how cool is that?
Only in Germany I suspect.
Back in Canada, the Leader of the Federal Liberal Party has admitted to smoking pot recently. Of course the governing party is all out on the offensive against this information, portraying him as “a bad person”.
Ooh la la indeed.
Most people do not care one way or the other apparently. The one aspect of the discussion about pot that all parties seem to ignore is the danger of second hand smoke – just as is the case of cigarettes. Somehow no one seems to care how the smoke in public will affect non smokers – strange. Also, not a peep on impairment charges as many studies indicate pot usage can possibly cause impairment to a degree approaching that of alcohol. I am not too sure about the prospect of even more pot smokers “toking” and driving, but does any one else care?
Seems not.
Ironic indeed.
Showing that they have their priorities right on my second favourite Island, that being Maui, police arrested a Lahaina man after he was seen going onto the Pacific Whale Foundation's Ocean Quest vessel and leaving with a can of beer early Thursday.
Bail was set at $1,000.
Remember last week I “talked” about exceeding the maximum height requirements for a glider ride (OK, that and weight too) and instead was looking at Zip lining instead?
Well......seems the local Zip line here has some silly type regulation of the max mass allowed as well....OK.....maybe I will have to go on a mass density consolidation program (otherwise known as a diet-sigh) so that come our trip to the Sandwich islands, I can go on the Zip line at Haleakala crater – now that will really be cool!!!!

take care out there,

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