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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It would seem that we're not through meddling with the Middle East yet.. As the violence against those protesting the government of President al Assad continues, and frenzied attempts by foreign 'neutral diplomats' appear to have less and less impact, the reaction ranges from the French stance that 'violent intervention could be a possibility' to the Russian's saying they would veto any such a move in the Security Council, the 'Arab Spring' continues in that strife ridden country..
After all this time, it would seem that perhaps the West should let this scenario run it's course.. let those in Syria deal with their own problems.
Gods know we have enough on our own plates to keep us occupied..
UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan says the six-point international peace plan for Syria was not being implemented "as it must be".. but this effort to rein in that particular government is reminiscent of Cervantes.. and we have neither time nor resources to be tilting at such windmills..

We have among us now, a man who was a Labour Cabinet Minister, Allan Millbank, tasked with examining 'social mobility' among professions the likes of medicine and journalism.. to name just two..
Allan says their is a widening gap between the 'haves and the have-nots' in many professions.. and he wants the government to remedy the situation..
Just how, he does not explain.. but it might be put forward that increasing the literacy rate, and improving our education system, might be a good start.
Long has it been said that 'you can't make a silk purse from a sows ear'.. No more can you make a doctor, or a journalist, or a machinist for that matter, from those who haven't the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. We have lowered the bar about as far as it will go in an effort to prop up the old standards of education in this country.. and we have come to the point whereat we accept the lowest common denominator as the norm. Until schooling becomes a competitive process again, we will pump out those with little to offer, even when equipped with National Certificates or Degrees. One must accept there are those who are capable of no more than manual labour, and there are those who will excel in higher learning... Until that becomes commonly recognized within our society, there will always be those who, by using the system with cunning, reach positions beyond the scope of their incompetence..
Perhaps we should start by examining those in the Commons itself..

Barack now knows who he'll be up against come these next elections.. Mitt Romney has won the Republican nomination as their candidate..
But.. It's unanimous... A panel of renowned astrologers predicts Barack will win re-election in November.. That's the word from the last day of an astrology conference in New Orleans that also forecast earthquakes, explored the impact of lunar cycles on American stocks and demonstrated how to use planetary charts to find a job..

And finally, for the now.. author Sir Terry Pratchett is to have a pig named in his honour after winning the 13th Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction..He won for his 50th book Snuff, which has become one of the fastest-selling hardback novels since records began.It is the first time the 64-year-old has been chosen by judges, having missed out on three previous occasions..
It's about bloody time, too.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It has been said recently that the most toxic drug available to today's youth, indeed to the general population, is mass media. There are cogent arguments to defend this stance.. we are selectively fed the news which will direct us, either emotionally or physically, towards a certain end.
To wit.. the number of television programs developed over the past couple of years dealing with the supernatural.. Not merely confined to spectres or ghosts, these include 'superhero's' long confined to the pulp paper of comic books.. or if you will, 'graphic novels'..
And the hero, while finding him/herself in perilous situations, always wins..
It's as though we're being prepared to endure unusually hard times, with the strength one would expect from a taciturn Batman, or an indefatigable Superman; with stolid faith that by our endurance, our sacrifice, we will endure..
While it has always been, that we have been misled, even blatantly lied to by those 'in control'.. it is disturbing that we are being presented with basically the same tripe that our ancestors put their children to bed with.. entertained and informed by those bogymen who walked the imaginations of those millennia..
A disturbing trend, aimed at the lowest common denominator, and having some great deal of success..

Sunday, May 20, 2012

There have been times the Muse has simply disappeared..
Then, there are times that which might be reflected could simply illuminate the ennui which has enveloped most of those on this Island..
We have the 2020 Commission recommending a straight 30% tax rate, right across the board, as if we live in some Utopian State wherein the rich would give up their havens to the chant of 'the good of the many outweighs that of the few'.. We have a former Chancellor of the Exchequer saying European finances are "in tatters".. and that being Europe is our largest market, we are "dangerously exposed"..
Now those are not comments to inspire hope for better times to come anytime soon..
Greece appears to be the albatross around Germany's neck..
The two parties that had dominated Greek politics for nearly four decades .. the conservative New Democracy and the Socialist PASOK party .. were punished by anti-austerity voters in the polls, losing huge numbers of seats in Parliament. The Coalition of the Radical Left, known as Syriza, finished in a strong second, dramatically reshaping Greece's political landscape. But no party won enough votes to form a government.. This new unified radical leftist party Syriza fouled nearly all of the coalition plans, saying it didn't want to form a government with anyone who supported the memorandum of agreement between Greece and international lenders.. Those lenders .. the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund .. have given Greece billions in bailout loans, but the money has come in exchange for painful austerity measures that have devastated the economy.. a deep recession is now in its fifth year, the unemployment rate has reached 21 %.. and tens of thousands of businesses have closed.. And the prospects of improvement under any regeme, are doubtfull..
And oh joy, yet another former Soviet bloc country is pushing for entry into the EU..
Opposition leader Tomislav Nikolic, a former ultranationalist last in power when Serbia was bombed by NATO in 1999, declared victory in a presidential run-off today and pledged to keep the Balkan country moving towards the European Union.. At least, while struggling economically for the moment, Serbia has an infrastructure.. There is profit to be made, if there is capital investment in existing manufacturing..
Now.. Nepal's parliament was elected in 2008 with a mandate to write a new constitution but lawmakers have missed several deadlines to agree a federal structure and decide which system of governance the country should adopt.. the Supreme Court has ruled that no more extensions will be allowed if the assembly again fails to draft the constitution by a week today.. Parliament could be forced to make way for fresh elections if there is no agreement.. And to further tip the weights of karma.. security has been beefed up at the residence and monastery of Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.. following recent confirmed reports of possible threat to his life.. According to a report received in October 2011, the Chinese intelligence agencies have stepped up their covert efforts to collect all inputs on the status of the Dalai Lama's health, as well as garner samples of his blood, urine and hair..
Now really..

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Ahhhh.. one can always count on the French to bring a smile..
President Sarkozy faced off in fine style with his opponent in Sunday's run-off vote, Francois Hollande..
It was only missing the commentary usually heard at big-time wrestling matches..
 Sarkozy fired the label "little slanderer" at Hollande.. Hollande countered with an inside blow saying Sarkozy ran from his responsibilities.. Sarkozy defended his financial policies, saying he kept the country out of recession.. Hollande said 'nonsense..the country's going through a serious crisis and can't attract foreign investment..
Tell the truth, it could have been an exchange heard in any of the EU member countries.. Britain included..

It seems somewhat odd that we're hearing less and less about the upcoming American Presidential elections.. It's almost as though those editing our papers and newscasts don't think it has any importance, in light of what we're facing over here..
It takes a bit of digging to keep abreast of Barack's second whack at the pinata..

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