“What can a poor boy do, ‘cept for sing in a rock and roll band?” – Rolling Stones
Now that rising to the top of the incompetency scale has been reached by both Prime Minister Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama, given recent mundane occurrences such as parliamentary recall and relentless congressional tea party style accountability, it’s apparent once again that like cream, idiocy can actually rise. You must pardon me for denigrating our democratically elected leaders but simply put, they’re dull, slow-witted cretins unaware of reality. True enough, they put together teams of well meaning citizens and a good organizational structure to get elected, but like a “somebody done me wrong” song, polls suggest less than ego building numbers when the next popular pulse is taken. The reason for this is as plain as the look on Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s face. He, like Obama, has been to Harvard for so long that he’s almost forgotten how to wipe the soup slurp off his lips by himself without first checking the polling numbers.
At first glance, being either leader of the free world (Obama) or his little brother (Harper) is a no-brainer. So why all the dumb mistakes? Trying to impose democracy and the rights of women on countries who are clearly not interested in either is wasted time, effort and money. Pretending that people who hate you deserve civilian rights in lawyer-enriching courts mocks the honest contributions we pay as taxes. Whether Afghan detainees were mistreated doesn’t matter to you or me but parliamentarians are supposed to know. Hardly! Earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Turkey or wherever. We say we care, but what’s the weather forecast for next week, maybe we can get the golf clubs out?
With the economy still shaky, unemployment high and the next nasty surprise just around the corner, can we look to our MPs for guidance? Apparently not, judging by the actions of two cabinet ministers at airports. While governments impose new restrictions upon travellers, Cabinet Ministers Helena Guergis and Jean-Pierre Blackburn had hissy fit tantrums being late and/or trying to smuggle booze. Don’t they know they should follow the rules too? In the U.S., Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner didn’t even want to pay his income taxes last year. We should all be so lucky. No wonder the PM and the Prez are greying fast.
Mr. Harper thinks that a $55 billion dollar deficit this year is OK. Mr. Obama has now put the U.S. into a $12.7 trillion dollar hole. There’s no way to pay this back. The Chinese who lent most of the money are understandably worried but they’re in trouble too because if they don’t lend any more, hundreds of millions of their people will be out of work. That many angry workers could cause even the Communist Party to fall. It won’t happen.
Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain (the PIGS in economicus vulgaris) are the sick men of Europe through overspending. The Germans responded by raising their retirement age to 67 so that the Greek workers can retire at age 58. The good news is that the European vacation we all deserve is now cheaper while a trip to Vegas for the weekend is a steal at current Canadian dollar levels. Complain? Me?
Boring old Canadian thriftiness is a virtue relative to the profligacy of other nations. It’s like going to the bar, stone cold sober at midnight watching the antics and wondering, “What the heck?” One can either shake one’s head or belly up or join in. They seem to be having a good time. Is there any one of us who can resist temptation?