Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday musings

You may recall how I have commented on the fiscal cliff that faces America?
Well, it seems possibly that something positive has emerged from Washington this past week. And that is an action plan supported by all parties and one that will actually pass through all levels of the government.
Will it solve the money woes and help those in fiscal despair?
But... and this is a big thing, it gives hope to all those that despaired of any form of action by the politicos and that is huge.
A hopeful sign indeed.
In Canada, in the province of Saskatchewan, a strange thing is happening which puzzles and even alarms one to a degree. That province has been in the middle of a population and economic boom for over a decade now. The crash of the world markets barely created a ripple in that provinces economy. And yet... this week a report was issued by the ruling government where the Finance Minister blamed countries like Russia and Belarus in their price reduction for the potash mineral which Saskatchewan is one the worlds largest exporters, as the reason for the province dipping into a special savings account (the Rainy Day Fund) to balance the fiscal books. How is it possible in the midst of unparallelled prosperity and taxpaying population for this to happen? What happens when the boom, as all booms have in history, either slows or stops for a period of time? Something smells here when a province in the midst of record cash inflow has to jiggle the books to appear fiscally responsible. And the ruling party figures that the people that elected them are fooled by the smoke and mirrors now being used on them?
This does not feel good at all.
And the loser will, as always, be the taxpayer.
Over in Italy, proof once again that the country is impossible to govern.
Italy's president is asking young centre-left leader Matteo Renzi to become its youngest ever prime minister after a party coup that forced Enrico Letta to resign as premier of the euro zone state struggling to pull out of recession. This on top of the fact that Italy is the second highest taxed country in Europe - only just behind Sweden!
Have you read where in Venezuela more and more violent clashes are happening as people rebel against the government and its lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis? And with the charismatic Hugo Chavez gone and his memory fading, acceptance of the status quo is also fading. The future there looks a lot grimmer now than it did a year ago and there is no easy solution is sight.
In the Central African Republic people are being hacked to death with machetes, shot dead or lynched as religiously-motivated violence escalates. And yet, you notice how this horror is not even making the news reports at all?
Instead we get news of the Olympics.
What is wrong here?
It seems the weather gods have really taken a dislike to both England and parts of the United States this past couple of weeks. In England flooding of incredible magnitude has devastated large areas of the land. This is the worst flooding in centuries according to experts. And in the USA, winter snow storms continue to hammer the South and Eastern areas and many areas that just never ever see any snow at all except for the odd year where a trace or two might happen. Of course the climate change folks says this is a result of climate change. Since their forecasts of winter disappearing as a result of global warming were wrong, well now they change the reasoning to reflect the reality of the events.
Obtuse reasoning to justify ones charges is so tiring.
That being said, can one imagine living in Beijing these days as photos and reports of the incredibly polluted air emerge. And stories indicate this "cloud" is slowly expanding across the Pcific to the shores of America.
Perhaps nuclear war or mass starvation or global climate change will not finish of man - the culprit will be the ever increasing pollution spewed into the air.
Can any government say no to bad industry and penalize it?
Doubt it.
As long as the consumer wants cheap inexpensive goods that can be produced somewhere else in the world - regardless of the damage to that part of the planet, it will continue.
As the cartoon character Pogo said - "we have met the enemy and he is us."
OK, over to Spain for some comic relief even though it is understood that the person involved in this incident is not amused and rightly so - but it still is funny.
A woman in a bar in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter suffered second and third degree burns to her legs when the toilet she was sitting on exploded from underneath her.
According to the official police report, the blast was caused by the unhygienic conditions of the septic tank and the lack of ventilation in the lavatory.
When the woman switched on the light, a spark acted as a trigger for the methane gas which filled the toilet.
As the victim was sitting down, the gas was compressed therefore causing a strong blast.
Hmm, enough said!
 The latest round of peace talks in Syria is reaching absolutely nowhere and some world leaders seem surprised at that. How do these folks get elected anyway? A 10 year old could have predicted that Mr. Assad would only use this reprieve as a means to replenish his armed forces (hello Russia, thanks for the weapons!) and renew the bloodbath. Reports abound about parachute bombs being used on civilians. Sure they are illegal - but who is going to stop this barbarity? The world will have a hissy fit if the Yanks step in right? As for anyone else with integrity?
Aint gonna happen.
No way.
Well, regardless of the weather in many parts of the world, here on my Island, Spring is slowly coming. Many of the trees have buds formed and some are starting to open and leaf out already. The rhododendron are full of buds and within a week or so will also bloom. Time to start the long walks again but hopefully not of the 10,000 steps that I endured while on the Sandwich Islands last month!
On another note, I notice that a couple of postings ago, that it was the third anniversary of the blog coming on line!
I never thought for a moment that I would be writing for such a long time or that there would be people willing to read it for more than once or twice and to think that you have been doing it for three years?
And I truly thank you.
take care out there,

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