Thursday, July 23, 2009

The 'Poil' of Great Price

One of the catch phrases notable in to-day's affairs is that relating to price. "Paying a price" or "exacting a price" were expressions historically used by Israeli spokespeople to threaten retaliation to the various evolutions of Palestinian resistance. To-day it's use is extended to any situation where military or economic sanctions might be used. Lately the subjects of 'paying for it' are Russia and Iran.

In to-day's news Vice President Joe Biden, on a protracted visit to gallant little Georgia, had time to explain to a group of schoolchildren the Georgian fable of Russia using a 'pretense' to 'invade' and 'occupy' parts of their native land. He pointed out to the future Georgian freedom fighters that the US was making the Russian pay a high price for their temerity. (What exactly the price was he didn't say, although I'd bet it's more than a Dolce&Gabbana handag at the 'risen-from-the-ruins' Saarkashvili International Airport.) Yesterday, in what could be assumed as a reversal of the price theorem, he was touting Georgia's 'right' to join NATO. After a week in wonderland, there are only so many Georgian highlights to see, and so many issues on which to comment. It's a good thing the Georgian opposition 'backed off' enough to permit the Veep to be welcomed without the smell of burning rubber and tear gas.

Meanwhile further to the southeast, the Secretary of State, on a protracted visit to South Asia, was 'putting the price' on Iranian nuclear development, and on their lack of response to offers of American reason and sensibility. The first was, I imagine, an effort to get their attention, couched, as it was, with the promise of the American 'nuclear umbrella' being stretched over Israel should it come under Iranian attack. The second point was waffled with the lack of response being written-off to the 'disordered' situation of a government beset with 'allahu akbars' echoing across nighttime Teheran.

It was very kind of MS Clinton to make those latter allowances for the mad mullahs' failing, again, to roll over for some American 'rapprochement'. But then, she was equally kind enough to not refer to the Israelis' 'nuclear umbrella' that they may, or may not, already have, and which is lately pointing in the direction of the dastardly Mede. Her comments did draw some ire from Jerusalem, which accused the US 'tolerating a nuclear-armed Iran'. Obviously a massive bombing offensive, in anticipation of the possibility of a nuclear umbrella being required, is a sentiment the Israelis would like the rest of the world to share. But even given the latest political disturbances, Iran seems far more stable, pacific even, than, say, nuclear-armed Pakistan, with which the Israelis don't seem to have much problem at all.

Meanwhile the originators of the notion of 'paying for', and 'paying back' are maintaining the commercial aspect of their peculiar relationships by burning out Palestinian property in the west bank and attacks on Palestinians that would see somebody shot if 'the shekel was in the other purse'. The largely-American 'settler movement' has undertaken to exact 'a price' for each settler outpost targeted for removal by Netanyahu's government. The 'price' is the destruction of all Palestinian property in the immediate locality of the squatters' camp. The principle of 'greater Israel', which underpins the settler ethos, is doing for the middle east what 'greater Germany' did for Europe and 'greater Japan' did for the Pacific - with much the same tactics and effect. Except that this ISN'T an 'official' policy, although it is protected by the military and police.

One has to wonder if these recent geopolitical manoeuvres aren't in some way related to domestic issues in the US? After all, two of Obama's 'big guns' were out of Dodge when the national health boat was launched. Maybe the Veep and SecState are 'paying a price'. Or avoiding one.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Uhhhh - Choo

The Southern hemisphere is engaged in a test run of the 'Swine Flu'. It's 'wintertime' in South America, Africa, South Asia and Australia and theoretically if flu's going to spread, it will happen now. That seems to be the case in Australia.

Australia was one of the first 'outsourcings' from Mexico back in March. Since then the flu has spread widely. No reported out breaks in India, although a unit of the US army was repatriated from Qatar when members fell ill. No significant outbreaks in Africa other than in South Africa. South America remains, surprisingly, unaffected given the travel between there and Mexican destinations. There are enough cases to observe that the major outbreaks will be in 'first world' countries.

The USA and Canada, along with Britain and some other European countries have significant out breaks. Parts of Britain were to-day declared "near epidemic" - with 14 dead. What is interesting is that the summer hasn't ended the outbreak. Par for the course for something incubated in a Mexican 'winter'. Already in these areas the first 'anti-viral resistant' flu has appeared. And a steady number of deaths among otherwise healthy children and young adults is noted. Emergency services are gearing up for what could be a nasty autumn.

Hopefully an anti-flu preparation is in the works. But so far other than 'we're working on it, nothing is reported. Besides the testing for efficacy might have to be done in a real world application. And nobody knows how that might play out.

However, the 'flu' is a non story. Folk are almost as interested in the economy. Stories like Michael Jackson and Iranian protests seem to be more important. The on-rushing advent of Planet X might be still more important, we'll just have to wait and see.

As it is I shudder every time I get near a snot-nosed kid or anybody with a hacking cough.

Bless Me Fadder, for I Yam Good

Guy 'the wunderkind' Giorno and the other fey blades in Canada's Prime Minister's Office are running damage control after Mr. Dopey pocketed the sacred host at a recent Roman Catholic Mass.He may have walked away with the Holy Eucharist but we have only the word of his 'eminences grises' that he actually ate it. I think the resultant smoke and visual puckering would have been an indicator of that event.

We are assured that Premier Daffy had actually attended a Catholic Mass before and really knew what he was doing. Video shot at the scene, shows the sack of spuds take the wafer and relegate it to the palm of his right hand. It makes him look like some sort of simp, or the guy crouched down beside the tombstone and accosted by an early rising passerby, "Morning!" " Nope I'm just taking a dump." It was a funeral Mass.

Also in the news the DuD that's 'newspeek' for the Ministry of Defense is re-announcing the previously announced announcement that they'd be announcing that the Army was getting new panzers. 5 Billion smackeroos - that's more than the Yankees charged for the fleet of gigantic C-17 flying hearses - will be spent of a fleet of LAVs - that's Light Armored Vehicles - which given their size and 'profile' will require a lot of 'up-armoring' if they are every deployed against any forces armed with more than slingshots. Elephantine and top-heavy are an adjectives unwasted on this product of the US 'defense' establishment. But all that's beyond the point, no use discussing this until Flaherty opens the chequebook. And that could take more effort than getting a LAV right-side up again.

Another tidbit is Canada's answer to Ted Baxter newly-minted Minister of Foreign affairs Peter ('I speak news') Kent, advising the legally-elected, but recently overthrown, President of Honduras 'Mel' Zelaya to stay away and save his country for Canadian mining interests. Seems the nasty git had been canceling contracts some Canadian companies had to assist catastrophe-stricken Honduras get rid of some unnecessary natural resources (and avoid future landslides) by digging large holes for them. I wonder if this will net Pete an 'Order of Canada'? If he gets unelected, he could always take a job dealing for Peter Munk.

Last but not least on the righteousness report, is the justifiable backlash against the 400G's in government largesse given to Toronto's alternate sexuality population to 'take 'er out in the street'. Little Minister whomever showed up for a photo-op with the organizing committee. Little did she realize, or maybe she did, that she'd be posing alongside and array of sexual freaks! They pulled out the stops in 'camp'; with a female impersonator, some little Rubenesque 'babydoll', a dwarf and parents of a number of quasi-gendered children. She obviously thought a smile was in order, backed, as they were, by a forest of over-priced "pride banners". Clem and the posse of potentates from out back of the equipment shed at party headquarters (Hind quarters did you say?) in the golden West were not impressed. When she did it again on a lesser scale for 'Brokeback Cowboys' at the Calgary Stampede, she lost her job to Tony 'goggles' Clement.

They probably were more impressed with lesser amounts those free-thinking Progressives slipped into the mattachinists over the last couple of years. Cause they didn't complain about that.