Good morning everyone and happy Saturday once again! So how has your week been? Did you attend a parade in honor of your Irish heritage? Color eggs for Ostara? Perhaps go groundhog hunting? What about tonight: Will you be shutting off the lights at 8:30pm for Earth Hour? Yep, it certainly seems like there’s lots of stuff going on.
This week (and the week before that), that’s definitely true as far as what’s in the papers, but not all of it is good. Let’s recap:
- Cyprus bailout: Bank tax plan still unresolved: Don’t know what I’m talking about here? Basically, Cyprus is the Caymen Islands of Europe, and their government is broke because of it. And, because they’re tied to the Euro, Brussells is telling them how to spend what money they have left.
The island nation is located between Turkey and Syria in the Mediterranean and is a favorite banking spot for hiding dirty money of Russian mobsters, among others. It’s usually a great place to visit, but this past week – not so much. Folks living there got a major wake-up call when the banks all closed and told them they’d be taking 7-10% of their deposited money as a tax, or as most folks call it – stealing. They won’t reopen until at least Tuesday, over a week later. The ATMs are all but dried up, and not surprisingly, there’s lots of talk about a “peasant revolt”. One guy even showed up at his bank with a bulldozer to get his money back! Check this out!
Now while I do love my conspiracy theories and would ordinarily lump “bank runs” and “bank holidays” in the mix, well, this is for real, and what’s even scarier is New Zealand thinks this is a good idea. Considering again Cyrpus has been tied to the the Euro since 2008, and that even though this is a country about half the size of Connecticut, it’s casting a gloomy shadow over all Euro countries and again, Russia, too.
So what does this have to do with us? Well, to me anyway, it sets a precedent. If they go ahead and just take peoples’ money like that, whether or not they “get away with it”, they’ll do it again, perhaps with a country people “care about”. As my techie friends would call it, this is a beta test, and I don’t like it one iota. I say they should pull an Iceland on them. What say you?
- Gun shops running low on ammo: Versions of this story have been going around since the holidays (namely after Sandy Hook though sales have been way up since the 2008 elections) and from several sources, so I’m calling it reliable. Since people are in such a panic buying mode buying up as many guns as they can, they’re finding out the bullets they need for the guns, if they can even get them right away, are becoming scarce even for cops. It’s kind of like when Santa got a kid the Teddy Ruxpin doll but with no batteries. Back then, no stores were open on Christmas day, so they had to wait – and patience on playing with a favorite toy staring them right in the face wears thin fast. It’s bad enough people have these “stupid” waiting periods (if, of course, no gun shows or buy-back programs are around):
So yeah, if you think the lines for flatscreens on Black Friday are long, head on down to Bass Pro Shops on delivery day. People used to get ammo delivered to their doorsteps, but lately, the websites that haven’t closed up shop are emailing customers with notices just about everything is out of stock – for several weeks. One could say the guys on Doomsday Preppers who make their own bullets from spent shell casings made a pretty wise investment on the machines. Me, I dunno. While I have no problem with responsible people wanting to own a gun, or several, all this mad rush business has me thinking it’s just getting the wrong people psyched up for that “something big” happening that might not be all that good of a deal for the rest of us.
- Military Tuition Assistance Funding Reinstated By Congress: Well at least I have some good news to report. It seems Congress got the memo taking away school funding for our military is a bad idea, and they’ll just have to find another area to make budget cuts. One of the recent announcements was closing 149 control towers, leaving pilots to fend for themselves. Now I’ve been following a lot of forums about this, asking folks who fly in and out of smaller airports if this is going to be a big deal, and most say no – that calling in isn’t that big of a deal. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how that pans out, hopefully with good results.
- DOD delays sending furlough notices to civilian employees: Well, this isn’t great news, but it’s at least okay given the circumstances. Unfortunately though, the National Guard jumped the gun and sent out furlough notices by mistake, causing a whole lot of needless worry. It almost has me wishing someone would send out the same notices to Congress. Maybe then they’d get the picture.
- Afghanistan, U.S. Reach Deal On Wardak Troop Withdrawal: And yes, I do have another good piece of news. It’s been ten years since the Iraq war began, which I never supported, but I had no problem with our troops going to Afghanistan to look for the rat bastard. And he’s dead now, so our troops can come home. Truly, Mission Accomplished. Thank you!
- U.S. Is Bolstering Missile Defense to Deter North Korea: So does this mean our troops get to come home only to be sent back out to North Korea? I swear, The Imp needs to just take King Joffrey over his knee and spank him with the flat side of a broadsword. Oh wait, I got that wrong – I’m all geared up for Game of Thrones! Nah, the notion can still be applied, so I’ll leave that right there.
- Bombing For Jesus: This is a couple weeks old, but I haven’t had a chance to post this until now. Many of us are well aware evangelicals are widespread throughout the military, and while mass improvements for minority faiths being represented have been made, it’s issues like this that continue to be discussed remind us there’s still a long way to go. It’s kind of funny I wrote an article on this topic about a year ago, and rereading what I wrote, it’s also funny just this morning, I heard the robins chirping again as the sun rose – the first of the year. Perhaps it’s then not at all a coincidence but a strong reminder. We still very much need representatives of our faith to be serving those who serve, and I am sure I speak for many those who are taking up the challenge the tireless work and dedication are very much appreciated. Thank you!
Well, that’s about it for me this week. I have a very busy morning showing apartments, and the first one is scheduled for 9:30am, so I need to start getting ready. Hopefully, at least a few folks actually show up!
Have a great week everyone! And tonight, perhaps you can light your candles, dust off your board games and enjoy an evening with the ones you love. Many blessings to you and yours.