Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday musings

Lots a news a popping so away we go....
In Italy, disgraced and convicted, but still in parliament Silvio Berlusconi had members of his party resign from the coalition government in protest. Ostensibly this was done as a result of the direction that the government was taking but a closer look makes it seems like a majour pout from Mr. B. As he seems determined to prove that the laws of the land apply to everyone else but not him.
Arrogant attitude one could say, yet the fellow enjoys widespread support from the populace. Many observers says this support is indicative of the malaise of corruption and indifference that permeates Italian society these days.
An agreement was reached between Ghana and Argentina this week in regards to the brigantine navel training warship, Libertad that Ghanian authorities impounded last year at the command of an American hedge fund. The hedge fund was/is pursuing claims against the Argentine government for its default on loans years ago.
Kind on an interesting way an American company can run a foreign country isn't it? Reminds some of the way Dole and DuPont were factors in the Batista Cuban Government decades ago. Anyway, the ship was held “hostage” until some form of deal was reached. It is assumed details will soon emerge.
In America, well, the old spectre of the government running out of money as one party holds the country hostage in its opposition to the reformed Health Care Law (termed by these opponents as Obamacare) and is prepared to have the government stop paying its legal fiscal obligations as a result of no more money being made available to all agencies. In simply terms, going broke.
Too bad for people and companies and countries owed money by Uncle Sam is their mantra. That will teach Mr. Obama. The question is, what will it exactly teach him? He, as they, will still get a paycheque throughout this mess. Just people like the military, teachers, pensioners, government employees, welfare recipients, doctors – one could say all of American society will be dealt a fiscal body blow. But not those pompous political fat cats. They have principals – just ask them. Did not a famous American once say that politics was the art of compromise? Seems every ELECTED person in Washington has conveniently forgotten this lesson and instead thumbs their nose at their employer – the VOTER.
This is beyond sad isn't it? And the irony of it is that this saga has dragged on for far too long. In comparison, wasn't Iraq invaded and conquered by America in less time than this debacle?
And yes America, the world and the world's financial markets are watching with apprehension and bated breath – what will you decide?
So, Mr. Obama phoned the Iranian President Rouhani while the man was visiting the Useless -oops – United Nations and they had a “brief” conversation. The first diplomatic contact (excluding the usual behind the official scenes clandestine contacts) in over 30 years. Some see this as a sign of weakness on the part of Mr. Obama, others say it shows his grasp of Foreign Policy while the Iranians are proclaiming they are the “victors” in the contact – whatever the heck this means. If this is the start of a process to remove the nuclear arming of Iran by peaceful means, then that is nothing short of a miracle and all should rejoice.
Time will indeed tell the tale won't it?
Also in the Middle East, the Assad government says it will comply with the Russia initiative on turning over its stockpile of chemical weapons. Some governments – hello Canada – openly scoff at this report. Wouldn't it be ironic if this actually happened? What many western “observers” decry as an evil government – that of Russia – actually achieving something for the betterment of the planet? Can this be possible?
Time indeed will tell the tale.
Back to the Useless Nations, oops again, United Nations, it released a report this week saying that it is 95% probable that mans activities has affected the planet. How much did this brilliant piece of deduction cost anyway?
A 3 year could have told you the same thing for free.
No other creature on this planet impacts the environment like man. How many hummingbirds have built skyscrapers? How many turtles have created huge garbage dumps or as it politically correct speak these days, landfills? How many rose bushes have built dams on rivers or clear cut old growth timber? And yes, I am making an absurd point here but it has to be made. Man will always impact the environment, the true test of humanity is from here on in, what will mankind do to minimize and remedy this impact? If man fails, the penalty is simple – extinction of all life on the entire planet including man.
But remedies must be done intelligently and completely otherwise they waste resources and goodwill of the population, which is crucial to any program. Here on the Island, the capital city decided to make dumping of food scraps illegal. The citizens were “educated” to either self compost or bag the scraps separately for pick up by personnel who would take the “stuff” to an approved private enterprise facility for conversion to compost. It seems that the smart folks that came up with this plan forgot a couple of really, really important details. First off, there is not much money to be made in mass composting so hardly any companies are in that business. Then there is the matter that mounds, nay, mountains of food scraps stink and the odour floats over populated areas affecting large amounts of a once supportive populace. So the proposed “temporary” solution is to dig a big hole in the ground and leave the scraps there until someone eventually digs them up and composts them. Sorta like dumping them isn't it? And yes, you can stop laughing now at this lack of thinking but it really is, can I suggest, dumb? More taxpayers money wasted with no redress. And the next time someone suggests composting or the like, wags will say”remember the last time”.
In Germany, the government of Ms. Merkel was re-elected and the economic powerhouse of Europe looks set to continue to chug along. The influence of her government on the operation of the European Community will only continue to expand. 70 years after the complete destruction of the German state run by that mad man Hitler, intent on ruling Europe, we now have a democratic state seemingly doing exactly that.
A report from the Canadian Government indicates that 2 years after the great tsunami devastated Japan, the debris field will finally hit the west coast of the country in the province of British Columbia. Already over 7 invasive species of sea life have been washed ashore and more are expected. This shows you how small this huge planet really is.
In 1997, Burger King (the American fast food chain) closed its last location in France but now reports indicate that Le Whopper will resume its battle with the Big Mac in the French capital of Paris when Burger King opens an outlet again this coming December. Food purists may moan, but in the end, the consumer gets what the consumer wants – correct?
In what can only be termed a horrible report, it seems that prisoners in the time of Chile's Augusto Pinochet were constantly bombarded with recordings of music by Julio Iglesias – oh the inhumanity!
Well, on my Island, life is returning to what might be called normalcy with the departure of our friends to their abode on the Prairie flatlands. And what a time we had with them. We toured our little corner and walked many, many kilometres in a large number of parks and woodlands. We visited the small, picturesque town of Chemainus and had one of those moments where the world stood still. The rain was gently falling as we walked into a small park near the local museum and were surprised by the faint sounds of a pan flute issuing from the woods. We walked into the area and beheld a small natural shaped amphitheatre that had a lone musician standing on the stage playing to an audience of none. Not a single person, not a one. We sat on the rough hewn log benches and listened enthralled by this gifted man. Slowly but surely, more and more people drifted by and stopped and then sat down to listen as well. The musician went from being alone, to the 4 of us in the stands and then to having a small crowd of happy listeners. At the end, we purchased a CD of his music and went our way feeling that we had been part of some small “happening” as the slow smile of joy that emerged on his face as the audience grew became bigger and bigger and lit up a grey day.

Of course during our friends visit, way too much food was consumed forcing me to contemplate starting a diet (never gonna happen!) and as mentioned before, golf was played albeit not up to PGA standards by any stretch of the imagination but still a lot of fun. We look forward to returning the visit to them next year and for sure I will have figured out a more fool proof way of creative score keeping!
take care out there,
flatlander 52

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday musings

As the Rabbit in Alice would say, “oh my, oh my” - I am slightly bewildered by the week that was.
Our company arrived and my stable life is in shambles – but I will “talk” about that later while I attempt to organize my thoughts on the week itself.
OK, the righting of the wreck of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, what an effort and what a glorious result. If you watched the time lapse video (I said that it would be something else and it was!) the entire operation of over 19 hours was condensed into just under 2 minutes and it was enchanting. Sometimes things that huge work the way they are supposed to and this was one of those times. Now the race is on to put some more support tanks on the other side and then fill both with air, float the hulk and tow to a scrapyard – a fitting end to a miserable chapter of total incompetence and unnecessary death and destruction of a once proud vessel.
Another terrorist murder spree occurred in a huge shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya with at least 39 victims, done at the orders of some thug gang – brave men indeed, murdering innocent bystanders aren't they? But if they are ever (doubt it) apprehended, then watch them scream about their “rights”.
Cowards all.
And yet they get financial backing from around the world don't they?
How come the sources are never exposed by the so called “vigilant, truth seeking, no holds barred, no stone left unturned in the relentless pursuit of truth” media?
Ah, we know the answer right?
The Canadian smartphone maker, Blackberry reportedly released 10% of its world work force this week and many question the future of this once trailblazer company. It seems it may follow in the footsteps of the other once great Canadian success story – Nortel into the mists of Time.
Tragic but the consumer favours no one in this modern world, look at the many American companies that once were and now are footnotes in history books.
The Federal election in Germany is at hand with Angela Merkel wrapping up her re-election campaign with an appeal to defend Europe and her center-right coalition against Euroskeptics who threaten to break into the German parliament for the first time in Sunday's election. The results will affect the entire world – and that is a fact.
In America, even with the recent shootings in a navel base and then one in Chicago, it appears from reports that support for tighter gun control laws is dropping.
Some columnists have said for years that the attention span of the average American is short term and short focused and sadly this seems to be the case.
And still the gun advocates insist that guns do not kill people, but people kill people.
That logic I just do not understand.
It ranks up there with the line of “ if all people had guns, there would be no killings”, HUH???
Sigh and sad sigh again.
God help America.
Typhoon Usagi seems to heading directly towards Hong Kong and dire predictions abound as to damages costs which if this comes to pass will have a terrible toll on the local economy. This comes on the heels on massive flooding in Colorado in the States and equally brutal flooding in Acapulco Mexico. Is this more weather change or a function of the global news 24/7 coverage?
In a bit of a head scratcher, in Canada the federal Opposition Party (NDP-New democratic Party) has decided to be really, really tough on any Russian politicians that may want to visit Canada. Any that voted in favour of the new anti gay legislation would be refused entrance here if the NDP gets their way.
Good thing they are not in power though.
Tit for ta retaliation rarely works in world diplomacy but it seems the NDP do not get this basic premise. Usually the way to help a country change incorrect laws is through constructive dialogue, guess no one told those folks that.
Gotta love those Socialists don't ya?
Also in Canada there is an emerging story about a huge uranium based resource company that due to the wording of the federal tax laws seems to be able to pay less provincial taxes than many say it should. By having a branch office in Switzerland, the company can pay a large amount of tax eligible income at a rate of 10% versus 27% in the Province of Saskatchewan where it operates, using local staff, equipment and technology. Interesting news isn't it?
Is this another example of 1 set of rules for some and another set for the common man?
Just asking.
Hey, On Maui, a 4th grocery store operated by the Safeway brand firm has open in Wailuku township and it is open 24 hours a day.
Wow, 24/7 grocery shopping, interesting concept, not to knock it, but it does not excite me that much. I understand that we constantly hear that the consumer is king – but really, is 24 shopping really that needed? One of these days someone is going to think about the people required to work these hours- aren't they?
OK, back to this week on my Island. It seems like my golfing buddy has read my claim last week on my new found ways of creative score keeping. The rotter brought out an independent auditor to keep score when we played a couple of rounds. He is in the picture below.

No matter, we each won a game and even though we had a little rain during the second game,

We soldiered on and had a great time. Even if the deer and ducks on the course took shelter, we persevered!
Take care out there,

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sunday musings

Has the world flipped on its axis or did we enter a zone where everything reversed on us and no one told me?
Russia brokering some form of deal with the Assad regime Syria in regards to the disposal of chemical weapons and Mr. Putin hectoring the Americans via an article in a New York paper and calling them “not exceptional” and invoking God?
And the American President and Government backing down from the use of military force to intervene in Syria?
And there is no response from America except for a couple of politicos saying there were “outraged” and “humiliated”?
I am baffled.
This is the same Mr. Putin whose has his government passing extreme anti- gay laws?
He is lecturing the Americans on morals?
And hmmm again.
And again, I am baffled and just don't get it.
Do you?
Not to rain on anyones parade in this, but have the chemical attacks on the people of Syria stopped at all?
Nope, didn't think so.
Is this a sign of the retreat from the international stage by America that I asked about recently?
Will we see America retreat from South Korea if the North Koreans throw a hissy fit?
Are the critics of Mr. Obama correct is saying he is an ineffective and weak leader?
I dunno.
I do say, that it is so easy for some to sit on the sidelines and savage those who lead. Many that do so – would crumple into snivelling wrecks if they were in the same position of authority. Indeed many of the most vocal and virulent critics of any and everything in society these days are the ones that refuse to accept any responsibility at all, whether in public or private life.
In fact one hears about this all the time. These critics rail on behalf of the homeless – but don't raise their taxes please. They are passionate against “big oil” and “dirty oil” all the while using their plastic based cell phones and computers which all are built on a petroleum base. They rant against those who have worked hard and as a result have wealth – but want more tax cuts for themselves while easily forgetting that the wealthy pay much more dollar wise to to various levels of government than they do. They disparage those living in expensive homes and areas of a city – but easily forget that in those areas the people pay extremely high property taxes as well. And yet these same morally superior people support a school system that no longer stresses pass or fail – as is the case in the real world, but instead says all will pass, regardless of aptitude. They want bike paths and free transit – who is to pay for this?
Of course, not them!
This crushing desire to bring all down to the most basic common level has to end and end soon.
You want an example of how this, when achieved fails those that it was supposed to serve? Look at China these days. I think it would be fair to say that the goal of the revolution was to make all equal and redistribute the wealth to help to poor and disadvantaged. Many would say that the lot of the average person in that country has indeed improved. But the ruling wealthy class that was to be abolished? It seems that more and more stories are emerging from the country itself about the obscene wealth many party officials have and continue to accrue.
The Utopia these professional critics and sceptics demand will never happen, the human condition will not permit it and maybe it is time for people to tell these people that.
In the Province of Quebec, the minority Separatist government has unveiled details of a Bill to enhance the freedom of society and of all people by restricting the rights of some of the self same people.
How like George Orwell's world vision of Hell on Earth is that?
In an honest world one might call this a Bill that promotes Ethnic Purity (hello National Socialism from Germany circa 1936 or so) as it appeals to the basic selfishness, some might say hatred, on anything non white or Catholic of a large percentage of the Quebec people where polls suggest support for this measure is strong. For a province where some want it to become a country in the world stage – how is such a racist attitude towards its citizens possible?
Enough of this, how about Oktoberfest in Munich?
Crafty buggers those Germans, in a move that many hoteliers world wide would and probably do, envy, reports are coming from that city where in some strange occurrence of “timing” - room rates are jumping almost 500% for the days of the festival. As one who had the great pleasure of attending the festival many years ago, I wish that these kind people have a bee fly up their nose or somewhere else for their greed!
Another report from Berlin says that Diplomats from other countries have ignored over 5,000 tickets for driving infractions so far this year. This practice is world wide – so called diplomatic immunity. Well here is a novel idea – stop this BS practice once and for all. Make the buggers pay or boot them out of the country.
Enough already – OK?
Salvage workers will attempt to raise Italy's Costa Concordia cruise ship on Monday, weather permitting, in an unprecedented operation costing more than €600 million, officials said. According to reports, this is what is termed a “one off” opportunity. If it fails for whatever reason, the ship will never be able to be floated and other ways of scrapping it will have to be devised. One suspects the video coverage will be quite interesting.
Over on the Sandwich Islands a sad story came forth this week. Apparently while loading molasses onto a ship for transport, a massive spill ensued with a huge amount of the sweet product being spilled into Honolulu harbour. As a result, large amounts of sea life perished and continues to die from the sugary mass or is it mess? Unlike other pollutants, this will not disperse but instead has sunk to the harbour bottom directly and will affect sea life for a long long time to come. It is not only oil spills that wreak havoc on marine life sadly.
Remember, it seems like yesterday to some, that when Apple Corp. unveiled a “new” product, how the tech world swooned and people lined up for blocks to be the first to buy one? Well, “the times they have a changed” (sorry Mr. Dylan) where as this week there was such an event and it seemed like there was no big buzz, indeed it seemed that the tech world just yawned. Apple stock fell a chunk as well as a result it appears. So what if there is a gold coloured/champagne like model now? And so what if it is a little better than the previous version? Or even the introduction of a “cheaper” (not really when it is costed out) model for the masses?
Has the short attention span of the modern techie been reached?
So....on a walk around a local ocean front park this week, my eagle eyed better half spotted “something” in a tree, oh about 100 kilometres away – gawd she has great vision compared to this old stumbling disaster – and of course I whipped out my trusty zoom lens camera apparatus and got a superb shot of, err, something... definitely not a crow but a big – whatever the heck it is!

This week sees the arrival of our friends from the Flatlands and that is going to be a good time for all I think. While my better half and his explore the area, he and I will be golfing and I have devised myriad different ways of creative cheating to bedevil him with – I cannot wait!
Take care out there,

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday musings

There are those among you that might remember the meeting of what was termed the top nations of the world in so called summits – the G7 was the name of the group and as implied, involved the top 7 in what then was termed “the free world”.
Over the years the G7 has expanded and in recent years spun off a group that now meets annually comprised of the leaders and finance ministers of the top 20 countries throughout the world or the G20 as they are called.
Some people see this group as a somewhat sinister group of countries bent of circumventing the United Nations and “ruling” the world between themselves. If so, then this past week must be a great relief to them as the pressing issue at the summit was what type of global response would be forthcoming against the government of Syria for its use of outlawed chemical weapons on its citizens during the conflict raging in the country. Just as with the United Nations – nothing happened as there was an even split of those wanting and those opposing action.
It seems to many that the end of the world may not be through war, famine or nuclear holocaust but rather death by paperwork and lack of action by all governments of the globe – controlled by the drones working at the UN – determined to do nothing but protect their cushy no responsibility jobs and to heck with the real world.
All the while children die in agony.
Makes you want to cry doesn't it?
In Canada, a federal agency that reports on the state of the economy and specifically the number of jobs created and/or lost every month issued the August report and immediately was savaged by so called “experts” because the numbers did not jibe with their view of how the results should be. After all, they know better than anyone else – just ask them. Anyway, it seems like a large number of job gains were posted and that just did not make the doom sayers happy. It kind of made them look silly, and heaven knows, nothing is more offended and bilious than an expert shown wrong is there?
Also in Canada 2 universities became engulfed in a controversy supplied by first year students attending festivities during the first week of fall classes. In both cases, video was shot and then posted on the InterWeb of students chanting choruses filled with phrases promoting rape of woman and other vile acts. This type of behavior was somewhat typical of the mindset of students during the 50's to 90's one would have hoped. Indeed the prevailing thinking was that in this modern era, slowly but surely such an evil attitude was disappearing. Apparently not so. And you know what really is the saddest part of this whole tragedy?
It is that the people promoting this offensive behavior are not older aged folks, but rather the young people that say they are different than previous generations and they are better and morally superior because they do not have the same racism and sexism ingrained in them as their parents and grandparents misguided generations did.
And sadly, the worst aspect of this all was the fact that these group of losers being fools were comprised equally of men and women!
Women promoting rape – what the hell is wrong with them anyway?
Is all the education that they have been showered with just a complete waste?
Maybe these smug youngsters should look in a mirror and weep – as do their elders.
Ignorance, sexism, racism and hate is not limited to previous generations, the present one is doing just fine.
Oh, the sadness of it all.
In Australia, the Labour party that has governed for the last 6 years was soundly defeated at the polls this week as it appears voter frustration with what is seen as mismanagement of a resource based economic boom boiled over. The boom itself appears to be fading – at least according to so called “experts (probably related to the dudes in Canada I mentioned earlier) and that propelled the Conservative Party to victory in spite of some comments that appeared anti feminist to some.
In America, the madman who imprisoned and raped a trio of women in the city of Cleveland for years apparently could not take the cruelty of life imprisonment and committed suicide after one month.
Isn't this just so typical of these beastly cowards?
On the lighter side, remember the old saying about how a great salesman could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo (nowadays called an Inuk)? Well in a similar vein, news emerges that the land of the legendary coffee grower Juan Valdez, that is to say, Columbia, is to see the opening of almost 50 Starbucks coffee shops in the next 5 years.
Oh the irony of it all.
Just as jarring as seeing a McDonald's in the middle of Paris I suppose.
In a sign of how the times “ they are a changing” (apologies to Bob Dylan!) over on the Sandwich Islands, in Oahu in fact, three Valley men from the enchanted Isle of Maui are officially entered in the Mr. Hawaii contest. Turnaround is fair play isn't it? After all if a Miss Hawaii contest is fine, then why not one for the men?
Maybe one day the so called “beauty pageants” or what some call meat market pageants will disappear.
Not too soon in my opinion.
This next segment is a little different than my normal one in regards to the passing of someone that leaves the world a lesser place.
However not in this case.
The man who was the personal bodyguard of Adolph Hitler up and including the suicide of that twisted mad man, died this week at the age of 92. By all accounts this man, Rochus Mis, was what could be termed, an ordinary soldier. He was not a war criminal in the traditional sense, was never tried for any crime but his real crime was far worse than can be understood.
If I may quote the LA Times, which quoted this from the English Express - "He is the most unrepentant and unapologetic Hitler supporter you could ever have the misfortune to meet," a reporter for the London Sunday Express wrote in 2003.
"It was a good time with Hitler," Misch said in the article, which was based on a 2 1/2-hour interview. "I enjoyed it and I was proud to work for him."
That blind belief and faith is incomprehensible and unforgivable. It serves as a lesson to all how true evil can have many faces indeed.
It is people like that that allow horrors to emerge and flourish.
And the world is not lesser for his passing.
Did you know that it was a year ago that the singer Psy made his song Gangham Style a viral and world hit?
Seems longer ago than that doesn't it?
And now we have Miley Cyrus “twerking”.
Where one was laughable, the other is pathetic.
Oh well, they both have an audience and sell don't they?
And if parents are outraged, why do they not start acting like parents and control the use of smartphones, InterWeb of their children instead of abandoning all their responsibilities and blaming everyone else but themselves?
Sometimes it seems like kids raising kids doesn't it?
Remember a few short weeks ago I posted a before and after shot of some flowers we have in our yard?
Well, now they are gone as the long glorious summer is slowly fading away and their time in the sun has ended. We went, of course since this is the Island, fall flower shopping – surprise! And now I get to look forward to a whole new set of flowers around the yard for the next 6 months or so.

This week also saw the return of my better half from her sojourn east all the way to the hinterlands on the province of Ontario. Apparently the frantic and repeated cleanings of the family abode on my part were successful as there was little comment made and I thought I detected a glimmer of approval in her eyes when we walked into the place – but then again it might have been some faerie dust that I encountered!
Take care out there,

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sunday musings

Are there different messages emerging around the conflict in Syria?
There seems to be a consensus among UN Inspectors that some form of chemical aggression had been used by the Syrian Government on its citizens. This is in violation of international law and treaties and yet the world response is.... interesting.
The American President declared a red line (not too sure why the colour is important but anyway) was crossed and must be dealt with. The British Prime Minister agreed.
And yet...something different happened. Maybe we are seeing a massive change in the collective opinion of people worldwide in matters such as these. Maybe the overdose/or/ lack of media coverage has resulted in apathy or dismissal.
The British parliament rejected all calls to action.
The American President, unlike Mr. Bush in conflicts before, has vowed to ask permission from Congress to commit armed forces to a form of intervention, otherwise he may not proceed at all.
The Canadian Prime Minister, has promised moral support and no logistical support at all.
Indeed, the French Government has said it will support action – a sure sign that any action is doomed for failure.
Indeed, as the failed American politician, Ms Palin has stated – in so many words - “let Allah decide”. In other words, since it is an “Arab” conflict between Muslims – let them finish the conflict themselves. In saying this, she illustrates what many people are thinking and that is – where is the rest of the Arab world in this and other conflicts in the region? They ask, why was it America and other westerns countries shed blood and spent incredible amounts of money in places like Iraq and also in the conflict in Kuwait to name just two? They ask, if the religion of Allah is about peace, then why are the nations that follow those teachings, not helping those nations of similar beliefs in their times of need and strife instead of the so-called “unbelievers?”
A good question indeed.
Are we seeing through the incredible visual and audio barrage of 24/7/365 news an apathy of the citizenry of the planet?
Are people now so inured that they just do not and cannot care and react anymore?
I dunno but if this is the case, then that is a troubling portent for the future I believe.
Speaking of France, once again we see an example of the the French zeal in pursuit of the purity of all words French. Champagne producers are set to go to war with Apple if they attempt to release their new iPhone 5S in a ‘Champagne’ colour, it emerged this week. It wouldn't be the first time the French government language watchdog has taken a company to task for co-opting the iconic label. I suspect that there are some companies in the world that applaud this move. For example, those like Kleenex and Xerox whose tissue and photocopier product name became synonymous with the product thereby causing the word to become generic and lose all commercial value to the company.
Showing that stupidity knows no boundaries, an Ecuadorian in the village of Beniaján, Spain, fell off the balcony of his second story apartment to his death while blundering about trying to find a WiFi signal for his cellphone.
But, it is not surprising is it? You see it all the time these days where people wander almost in a fog while keeping their eyes focused on their cellphones, completely oblivious to other pedestrians or motor traffic. Add to that the large numbers of people with earplugs for the music players playing at such loud volumes that they cannot hear external sounds, say like car horns, sirens and the like, then the carnage that happens daily in cities is understandable. Not to infringe on personal freedoms but how about a law where people who do use headphones while out and about or cellphones on the same premise, then if they are involved in an accident, then insurance will not be provided?
The same for using a cell phone while driving for either calls or texting – if caught, confiscate both the phone and vehicle and sell the vehicle. If an accident is a result – no insurance for the person at fault and also have the person responsible for all costs.
And please, no excuses for using these devices because how the heck did people manage to drive before cell phones?
I thought so.
The flag of sacred personal freedom is being abused to promote and excuse just plain wrong excesses-period and maybe the time is coming when this will be changed.
It is similar to the astonished cries of horror from people when they discover that their governments are looking at things like e mails. Like duh, who said e mail privacy is a human right anyway? Anything posted on line, whether an e mail or like this blog, lose all privacy just by being posted – period.
And that is just the way it is.
Despite a diminished amount of media coverage, reports of continued protests by Egyptian supporters of the imprisoned ex President Morsi keep occurring with predictable violent confrontations with police and military with attendant injuries. Even though the 5 second attention span of the media has wandered away, definitely the story here is not over by any stretch and may explode again on the world scene soon. As mentioned earlier, where the heck are the other Muslim countries in this anyway? Oh, one forgets, they sit mutely on the sidelines, and the majority have no problem in asking for and collecting international (read mainly American) aid do they? One never hears of the oil rich countries helping others out do you?
Ireland lost a great person this week. Seamus Heaney, the winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize for literature, and widely recognized as the greatest Irish poet since William Butler Yeats died Friday at the age of 74.
Poets and writers are a rare and special form of individual and their works should be revered. It is a wondrous gift that so few have and those that share it with the rest of us deserve our gratitude. I feel so fortunate to have helped authors in the production of their work during my working career and feel honoured to call some my friend.
In a world where it seems that the political agenda has been seized by what some term – “whole earth gestalt tree hugger greenies”, a sad example of calculated neglect emerges on my Island here. A few decades ago, the provincial government, driven by the incessant shrill demands of those folks, introduced the Canada Goose – in essence an invasive species. Well, now there is an overwhelming amount of these filthy poop spewing avians in the Capital city, fouling (pun here) lakes, waterways and lawns. Of course there can be no cull of these birds – man has to live side by side with them now. But what about the other bird species that were native here and now are displaced or even extinct as a result? Hmm, no answer to that at all from those folks. The same with the introduction of deer on the Island – or Bambi as all those folks like to trumpet. No cull, no hunting for these folks as these nonnative animals flourish and devastate local fauna and also foul land where people, especially children walk/crawl upon.
One wonders what will happen when the pendulum of public opinion and action swings the other way? And it will as history always shows the old axiom of “ for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction” happens.
Logic and compromise seem like forgotten arts don't they?
And the world is poorer because of that.
Sooooo..... I have been “home alone” for almost 2 weeks now as my better half has travelled east (hmm, east to western Canada - how is that possible anyway? but as before, I digress) to visit friends and family in Saskatchewan and Ontario. I have gained poundage as a cabal of aged ladies have invited me over on different days to have a “light” evening meal – dear lord, “light” is so wrong a word to use in this context, the meals were more like a Bacchanal feast! Now in our abode the floor boards creak, groan and shudder when I traverse them. That being said, it is sobering to see and feel how quiet a house becomes when there is only one person there. Soon I will be at the local airport to greet the better half and horrify her with tales of mountains of laundry, loads of dishes, plugged drains, dead plants and the like awaiting her immediate attention on the slow drive home – all the while knowing the opposite is true - as it is a fool who lets the house get dirty before the return of the other – for her wrath is terrible to incur!

Take care out there,