Sunday, March 29, 2015
|Just returned from another bus trip with a bunch of youth from a Calgary Church. The folks visited the West Edmonton Mall and had an overnight stay at a church. Next morning we all went for brunch at the Buffet Royale at Gateway Blvd. in Edmonton. As a driver I was invited and boy, did I relish that lunch. One of the better places I have ever seen. Excellent food, friendly people and they had something I have never seen in “real life”, a chocolate fountain.
You put some fruit, (quite a variety they had) on a small stick and hold it into the running chocolate so it gets coated with that nice stuff. What a dessert!
Ice cream was very good as well, so of course, I had to try that too. I had the feeling I barely fit behind the wheel afterwards.
I am now on a one week “vacation” as upcoming Easter makes for bad business in the charter industry.
Our recent snow has all disappeared and we are back to a spring-like weather here in Edmonton. This week is also the end of March which gets us into the last month of our delightful stay in this house.
On the other hand that brings Campobello and a trip east into focus. But yet it is still way too early. After all we don’t want to get into shoveling snow again, and that’s what we would have to do back home.
This morning I was perusing the book of faces and stumbled upon an article about the Swedish Foreign Minister WALLSTRÖM who has stepped into some hot waters. She has dared to sharply criticize Saudi Arabia for how they treat their women. They are not allowed to drive a car, marry without consent of their father and are often being forced to marry older men when they are at teen-age. Women are Play-things in the Arab world. And that’s what the Swedish Foreign Minister addressed.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström
One would think that she earned a lot of support in the western world. Not so! After “Je Suis Charlie” became so popular one wonders where all those people who condemned islamistic behaviour are hiding.
Saudi Arabia reacted by barring Swedish business men from receiving visa for the UAE. And they are rallying for more Islam countries to join them. But
not only is Wallström not getting any support but she is also facing massive political pressure as Sweden is the world’s 12th biggest weapon exporter meaning that there will be massive losses of trade volume in the aftermath.
So this is what we got. Peoples rights are not important if the economy is suffering.
For balance I like to say that the Arabs are not the only ones telling women how to live their life. There are countless religious groups in the U.S. and Canada who are pursuing (and achieving) their goal to keep women behind the hearth, even though they don’t take it quite as far as the Arabs are doing.
I will leave this with you to ponder about.
(link to the story)
Have a great Sunday!
Thursday, March 26, 2015
|By now we have all heard about the disastrous crash of a German Airliner on its way from Spain to Germany. As it appears the airplane was crashed deliberately by the co-pilot being alone in the cockpit. The pilot himself had been locked out by his co-pilot and apparently has tried to smash the door in an attempt to get back into the cockpit.
This information was derived through the black-box recordings.
Everyone who has flown with a commercial airline has a certain idea of what terrible situation ensued in this case.
If this despicable act is not the result of any organized terrorism it must be the action of a “Lone Wolf” who thought he had to contribute to damage the West. It is not known whether this man had made an attempt to contact any terror organisation prior to making plans to down the airliner. His motivation might be a different one and I am sure that investigators and police will make any attempt to find the cause of what was going on.
There is no meaning in speculating too much about it without having hard facts.
However, the emerging question is whether or not we can trust that airline employees are screened carefully prior to employment.
Ever since after 9-11, authorities have made passenger access to airplanes much more restrictive. Security checks at all airports have all but eliminated terror acts on board of planes.
But is there a loop-hole in the system? Could under-cover terrorists get jobs at airlines to do massive damage? The disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 comes to mind. Where did it go, what happened?
We will never be able to rely on that technical failures cannot happen, but when people’s reliability is involved, we should be able to trust them.
But can we?
Monday, March 23, 2015
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Friday, March 20, 2015
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
|Alberta has often been compared to Texas. Mainly because of its oil based economy, but also because of its population which seems more American-style than in any other province.
Yet, Alberta as the 51st U.S. State is most likely never gonna happen. After all, and luckily, there are still significant differences in ways how Albertans have organized society, compared to their southern neighbour. And just that might be something American author Peter Zeihan might have missed in his book, where he expresses his opinion that: (citation)
"Alberta as a U.S. state would not simply be rich — the richest in the Union, in fact — but would have a vibrantly well-financed and diverse economy that would put its former (and a lot of its new-found) countrymen to shame," writes the American author in The Accidental Superpower.
"Alberta produces more energy than the rest of Canada put together, their primary export market is the United States and a merger would eliminate everything from tax liabilities to foreign currency fluctuations.
It’s like saying Donald Trump is gonna “shack-up” with the poorest 10 Million of Americans in order to increase his power and wealth.
For one thing I have no belief in that Albertans would want to put up with the American Congress and its rather childish behaviour. Neither some U.S. Senator’s general opinions rooted in the middle ages would seem attractive to Canadians. And last but not least with Albertans enjoying free health care membership, the prospect of forking over 1000 bucks a month or more to an American-style health insurance would definitely ruin Zeihan’s idea of turning Alberta into an American State.
Even though Zeihan’s focus on monetary benefits cannot be dismissed entirely, it doesn’t need to go hand-in-hand with a political union. Mentioned benefits like no currency risks and no trade barriers can easily be reached by creating a common North-American currency. (See EURO within European Union) Even less probable seems the idea of Saskatchewan joining in on “shacking up”
I would recommend Mr.Zeihan spends some considerable time between Canadians on the grass-root level, before he writes a book about a sensitive topic like a political union with the U.S.
The entire CBC-article can be found here: https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/alberta-richer-shacked-u-171715055.html
Monday, March 16, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2015
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Saturday, March 7, 2015
|While the Keystone XL pipeline discussion continues, another crude oil rail transport has derailed in Ontario, causing rail cars ending up in a river and a blasting fire. I think it’s safe to say that rail transport of oil is not secure. Maybe companies take shortcuts on safety. Already we have heard voices demanding that rail lines would have to avoid populated areas.
The alternative to rail would be more pipelines, but Pres. Obama has fired a strong salvo towards Canada. (see CBC link down below)
Needless to say it wasn’t received very well in Canada. Would the American reaction be the same without having discovered oil on U.S. territory? Maybe not.
Meanwhile, Alberta’s Premier Jim Prentice has said that Albertans “should look in the mirror”, meaning the entire population is at fault for causing the economic slow-down. Or did he really mean the excessive use of public funds for exclusive luxury expenses the Alberta government thought to be entitled to?
It’s gotta be the gaffe of the year. Angry Albertans have been meeting with mirrors in front of the legislative building demanding the Premier to look into HIS mirror. How can a Premier say something so stupid??
Jim Prentice must be utterly dismayed over Pres. Obama’s latest announcement, especially after lobbying American politicians for goodwill towards the Keystone XL which might have helped Alberta’s economy.
Yup, Alberta is in turmoil.