Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday musings

The story continues to unfold by the day in the Ukraine.
First the President "disappears" from public view (only to surface at weeks end somewhere in or near Russia) and then Russian forces - albeit stripped of insignias and unit markings occupy a couple of airports in that country to protect "ethnic Russians" that live there. Of course these "unknown" forces drive Russian machines, carry Russian weapons and speak Russian but wink wink, they still remain of "unknown" origin.
Almost 150,000 Russian soldiers based near Crimea in the Ukraine, are mobilized for war exercises but apparently that has no bearing on the events occurring there.
The Russian Parliament rubber stamps Mr. Putin's' request to be allowed to intervene in the internal affairs of the Ukraine with the Russian military if he deems it needed. He proclaims nothing but peaceful intentions.
The EU mumbles platitudes and does nothing.
Canada mumbles and Russia snickers.
The United States speaks darkly of actions taken in retaliation if fighting results between the Russian military and the military of the Ukraine
And for sure more people will perish.
And somehow some politicians of the Republican bent in the United States loudly claim that all this is vindication of the failed Vice presidential candidate in the last election where she proclaimed a vote for Mr. Obama was a vote for Russian involvement in the Ukraine.
Lord politicians in the States are a strange bunch aren't they?
Just as in Canada, these politicians forget that they are in opposition and part of their JOB is to offer constructive alternatives to the governing party/individual. Not just rabid opposition regardless of thoughtful dialogue.
Too much to ask for I suppose.
 It is not too much to say but the entire face of Europe is in danger these days with the events happening in the Ukraine. But one wonders about the possibility that what might occur could be a re-run of the "anschluss" of Austria by the Reich of Germany in the 1930's. Europe stood by then and will they do a repeat if Russia takes over the Ukraine? If so, we know where this path might lead don't we? Because regardless of what certain left wing peace at all costs (remember Mr. Neville Chamberlain by any chance?) activists say, Mr. Putin's record is not one of peaceful intentions. In that he more closely resembles the mythical Russian Bear of folklore. There is no back down or appeasement in that individuals character. He once was head of the feared KGB and you do not get to that position by being a pacifist do you?
You have to ask if there are any politicians in the world that have the courage to deal with this crisis in the making?
Over in Argentina, the wage increase of 22% offered to the teachers by the government has been rejected as well as a subsequent 25% increase offer! And the President then accuses grocers who have increased prices of some goods as being "looters" of the country.
Unbelievable isn't it?
Not enough tears in the cosmos for what lies ahead for that once great land I fear.
Venezuela has had extreme civil unrest now for over a month and there is such a miniscule trickle of news reporting on this that one has to wonder where the hell the world media is these days - oh - forgive me, the Oscars are this weekend - how could I forget this occurrence of earth shaking importance? One suspects there will be an overly long tribute during those ceremonies to the late actor Mr. Hoffman who died of a massive drug cocktail overdose. Self induced in his case. But the media will sob over that while people are killed in Venezuela and the Ukraine.
I repeat - Unbelievable isn't it?
So, have you followed the story of the invisible, or properly known as virtual (non physical) currency called Bitcoin? Supporters said it was currency not controlled by government and it meant "economic" freedom from government manipulation of currency. These supporters brought this Bitcoin into mainstream usage with of course the result that drug lords can use it without any trace to them making money laundering perfect for their evil gains. And of course the supporters wanted no government oversight or involvement. So the result is that a virtual currency worth pennies originally became worth in the thousands of dollars and you guessed it, one of the majour virtual exchanges "lost" all their Bitcoins to theft by "someone" and now has filed for court bankruptcy protection from the same authorities they had no need for. You ever notice all the loud yappers in the world that denounce governments for being so evil are usually the first ones to demand aid/support/subsides from the same governments they despise?
And of course they want it for free don't they?
 There is a discussion in the United States these days about racism in their National Football League. A proposal is in the works that will ban the use of the so called N word by players with a penalty. For those unfamiliar with the term N word - it stands for the word Nigger. And this is where I am puzzled and I think I speak for many folks on this. I understand and agree that the historical use and meaning of the word is racist and should not be used in this modern world. That would place it in the company of other words no longer used openly such as Wop, Dago, Chink and the like - they are all wrong. OK, then why is it acceptable and promoted by so called rap artists in their music? Or when black people (mainly in the United States it seems) call each other that but change the word slightly to come out as  "nigga"? That makes it right? And only black people can use it? Do you understand it? Or is this a case of where time has indeed passed this blogger by?
Also in the States, the governor of Arizona has vetoed a legislative bill that would have allowed shop owners to refuse service to folks that offended their religious beliefs. Many saw this as an attack on gay rights by the legislators. what these legislators refused to understand was that this proposed law could impact them as well. For example, Sharia Law could take precedence over American civil law because it is fundamental to the religious beliefs of some. What about the beliefs of those that promote multiple spouses? Sometimes what is thought of as an "easy" fix to a problems can create a wicked backlash instead. One would have thought that the era of what a person does in their own bedrooms is only their business was well established but apparently the struggle continues.
Do those folks so virulent against the rights of all people forget that we are talking about "people"?
One feels some pity for them.
Remember a while ago where I mentioned about the travails of the biggest city here on my Island in regards to its sewage treatment program? How it seemed that goals were put into place without a plan on how to get there? these bright folks in charge of the sputtering plan have decided to ship all the organic foodscraps collected to the Lower Mainland for processing for the next 20 months at a cost of only about $5 million bucks! Foodscraps - the kind of stuff you can feed to pigs and they enjoy it (no cost here!) foodscraps - the kind that, well, you know, decompose naturally and enrich the soil! Honestly, do those swivelstool bureaucrats have poop for brains? Money means nothing to these "rocket scientists"? And I do earnestly apologize to real rocket scientists by the way.
Makes you miss the Three Stooges doesn't it?
Anyway, Spring is a coming here on my Island, and in spite of a ghastly snowfall last weekend (oh the horror!!!!) which thankfully melted away almost as fast as it came, and all the trees are starting to bud out and the walking paths are a treat to travel again.
Take care out there,

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