Day 91. Very Disturbing

Money really is the root of all evil.  Yesterday I read a most disturbing article that someone had posted on Facebook.  Even more so, because tomorrow Americans go to the polls to elect a President.  So today, I’m compelled to write about ethics (which, coincidentally, begins with an “E”).

I am including a link to the story I’m referring to, but essentially it’s about Mitt Romney who, it alleges, has violated the federal Ethics in Government Act by improperly concealing his multi-million dollar windfall from the auto industry bailout.  It seems that he and his wife made anywhere from $15.3  million to $111.5 million through their investments in a hedge fund, Elliott Management, which held a stake in the auto bailout recipient, Delphi Automotive.

If this is true, not only did Mitt Romney make a fortune from the misfortune of others, he failed to disclose his profits.  Which happens to be in contravention of the law that requires presidential candidates to disclose their personal finances.

According to the article, The United Auto Workers, the Service Employees International Union and other groups plan to file an ethics complaint against him. And apparently, they’re holding a press Continue reading

Day 75. A Nailbiter

Saw a terrific movie yesterday.  “Argo”.  It’s based on the true story of the Iran hostage crisis that took place between November 4, 1979 and January 20, 1981.  At the time 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran.

How ironic that his film would be playing at a time when, once again, the U.S. Embassy in Tehran has been so recently under attack.

In the film, which is directed by Ben Affleck (and produced by Affleck and George Clooney), six diplomats escape from the embassy and narrowly miss being captured; and they take refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor.  When none of the State Department options for getting them safely out of the country seem viable, they call in a CIA specialist, Tony Mendez, played by Affleck, as a consultant.

That’s all I’m going to tell you, because I don’t want to give it away.  This is definitely a should-see movie.  Suffice to say, you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat.  In the theatre I was in, you didn’t hear a pin drop.

Of course, as a Canadian, I was also feeling very proud of the role we played.  I remember Continue reading

Day 67. It’s Debatable

Did you watch the debate last night?  I wasn’t planning to.  The first of the 2012 Presidential debates did me in; and I didn’t think I could inflict another one on myself.  But then, by about 8:00 p.m. I thought, “Who are you kidding?  Of course you’re going to watch.”

It wasn’t essential that I watch.  I’m a political junkie, but I’m not an American.  I don’t have a vote.  I’m not one of the ‘undecideds’, still trying to find a candidate I can believe in, and relate to.  But living in Canada, as I do, does make us close neighbours.  Whoever gets elected will make decisions that impact us.  Plus, if the U.S. continues to ‘hurt’, so will the rest of the world, Canada included, despite the fact that so far, we’ve weathered the storm better than most.  Whither thou goest, in other words.

So, yes, I did watch.  I’m not going to dissect every word that was spoken, though.  First, I’m not qualified.  Second, every pundit on the planet will be doing it, ad nauseum.  But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have something to say.  So here goes:

In my opinion, the clear winner last night was Martha Raddatz.  In case you didn’t watch, Continue reading

Day 38. Staying Focussed

Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68.  

While his adoptive great uncle Claudius, who he succeeded, built many new roads, aqueducts and canals Nero, whose interests leaned more toward the cultural life of the Empire, had theatres built and promoted athletic games.  Known for his extravagance, and also as a tyrant, he was responsible for many executions, including his mother’s (so much for the notion that blood is thicker than water).  And on June 9, 68, amid rumours of his impending assassination, he became the first Roman Emperor to commit suicide.

History lessons aside, my real reason for bringing him up, is a story (or rumour, as Tacitus insisted) that goes something like this:  While the great fire of Rome burned for six days, Nero was off, playing his fiddle.  Which, in itself, is technically incorrect.  Apparently there were no fiddles in first century Rome.  He would have been playing the lyre.  But never mind.  The point is, he was doing something else while the Empire, over which he ruled, was being destroyed.

He was distracted.  He wasn’t paying attention.  He wasn’t focussed on what he should have been focussed on.

Sadly, this makes me think of the 2012 Presidential race.  While the candidates, and the parties, are slinging mud at each other, the United States is in one hell of a mess!  And with all this nonsense going on, how is anyone supposed to decide which Continue reading