There are days when all you can do is shake your head.
The Vatican: The Pope on a trip to Cameroon and Angola, countries hard hit by AIDS, has announced that the world cannot" ...resolve the issue with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary. It only increases the problem" The Vatican believes abstinence is the only way to fight the disease.
I wish this new conservative, even in papal terms, leader of the Roman Catholic Church would get his head out of the sand long enough to take a look around. I am not holding my breath by the way.
Ottawa: Those who thought that being an ostrich farmer qualified Gerry Ritz to be Federal Agriculture Minister must be the same ones who figured that being a chiropractor was background enough for Gary Goodyear to hold the position Minister of State for Science and Technology. To make things worse, now it appears that that same Gary Goodyear is a creationist. Or, at least won't answer questions about the questions. That is a bit like the president of the Flat Earth Society being responsible for the Space Program. Isn't it?
Perhaps it makes it easier to slash scientific research funding when you are a pseudoscientist, not a real one. Perhaps Little Stevie is brighter than I give him credit for.
I wonder who the Minister of the Environment is? Oh I remember, Jim Prentice. He is the guy who just announced, in Calgary, the Government is waiving environmental assessments on new projects for the next two years.
As a Canadian, I'm just embarrassed.
Bay Street: I for one an getting a little fed up with people, our Minister of Finance included, who claim that "No one saw this economic downturn coming." What a crock!
A year or so ago and before I retired I several times rebuffed efforts by employers who were looking for long term collective agreements to carry them through the boom times. Basically they didn't want employees to keep coming back asking for their share in the profits. I always refused saying that the American economy was so over extended that there was bound to implode and, that any collapse in the USA would hurt Canada badly. "Just too risky" I said.
Only greed kept the economic experts, who are the same ones who are trying to find the "fix" by the way, from seeing that the collapse was inevitable. Not much comfort there.
Canada: Despite the above, I would never claim to understand economics. In fact I am not sure that economists understand economics.
We have all been told that one of the real problems has to do with the fact that in the USA, the banks were too reckless with their money. They lent small fortunes to people who had no possible was to pay them back.
In Canada we are told, "Our system of banking is more stable There is less risk here. The banks are more prudent here in Canada." How is it then that the Minister of Finance keeps pressing the banks to loosen up credit?
We are told that Canadians carry too much debt and that we have to move away from this model of consumerism but, how can we get out of the economic crisis? Spend, spend, spend. Come on Canadians, get out there any buy a new car.
The other think we all complained about last year was the raising price of oil. We all had a fit each time we filled up our cars or, in a particularly cold winter, when we looked at our heating bills. Governments were right with us. Prices too high everyone screamed.
Oil prices have dropped and those same governments are bemoaning the low prices. It seems they were depending on their cut of that high oil to pay the bills.
Toronto: I had to laugh a bit at Jeffrey Simpson's piece in the Globe and Mail today. I liked what he had to say about us having a Prime Minister with no vision. So true, and particularly evident these days when compared with the new leader in the USA.
I did think Simpson fumbled the ball a bit however when he was ripping the Harper Government and the PMO for the way they handle "announcements." Excuse me Mr. Simpson but isn't it your colleagues in the media you should be wagging your finger at? This is the way it seems to work.
- The Government announces a new program in the House.
- The media reports on it.
- The Ministry announces that they have an announcement to make and the media rush to cover the story.
- The minister or the Prime Minister announce the same program along with an appropriate backdrop and a couple of hundred of the Party faithful.
- The media reports on it as if it is a new program.
- Sometimes they make the same announcement several times.
- The media announces it as a new program every time.
I am not sure what that says about the media.
Montreal: There was a violent protest in Montreal over the weekend to protest police violence. I am all for demos but I'm not sure I get this one.