Am down with a cold that hits me on an of and on mode. Some moments I'm fine, others I'm not. Not exactly the most cheery of moments, particularly when your eyes start to tear as it makes you look like you're at the perpetual funeral of a loved on .
Things are a little teary on the finance front. Arab News posted a cheque latter than usual, thanks to the Haj holiday in Saudi and one PR firm I did a bit of work for has decided to go into hidding when it comes to making payment. I guess I'm discovering what Dad always new - agencies take their time to pay while clients are a little bit better as paymasters. Anyway, I shall have to sit and endure this for a little while longer as cash should be on the way soon. Fabulous Tan, 3M, Absolut and Alcon should all be kicking in their little contributions to my welfare - which leads me to think, perhaps I should start a side line as a career beggar and find ways of trying to get hold welfare and benefits from the state.
Hell, the government has decided that its time to raise the goods and services tax (GST) by yet another 2% to a small rate of 7%. It's not too bad when you compare things to European standards - Finland its 22%, in the UK its 17.5%. To be fair to the government, its offered some extra goodies and one has to realise that if you want the government to provide you with goodies, someone has to pay for it and it usually means you the tax payer get stiffed with the bill. I also have to give the governent credit for admitting that this is an unfair tax and its increasing the tax burden, unlike John Major's government in the UK during the 1990s who ingeniously cut income tax on the rich and raised VAT and claimed it had cut tax. - Still, it worries me that we are slowly but surely reaching a level where we have European taxes without European benefits and so we as tax payers have not only an obligation to pay the darn taxes but also to lap up every ounce of benefits offered to us.
Edited a rebuttal to my belief that the increase number of US troops in Iraq is not going to solve things. It was refreshing to look at the other side and think of the arguments on the other side. The young man was obviously passionate about his stand and quite appauld by mine.
Unfortunately supporting the usual knowledgeable American stance on the world outside Oklahoma won't do the trick. Having a cowboy in the White House play more games with troops lives will also be futile. Extra troops on their own won't do the trick - unless the idea is to clear the jails and immigation counters. The American and British Public was decieved into invading Iraq.
Saddam Hussein was no angel but the point remains, he did not have the WMD that Bush and Blair claimed he had and was the reason to go to war against him. It does not speak well when leaders of two of the world's greatest nations in human history lie to get into a war where they have no strategic interest and are caught lying by the rest of the world.
Til today, I'm stunned that the American public will alow Congress to Impeach Clinton for a blowjob but won't impeach Bush for violating their civil rights and starting a war on false pretenses. Clinton may have lied about his blowjob but that didn't kill anyone, the economy continued to grow and we had a good laugh at his expense. Bush's lies on the other hand has killed a mere 3,000 American troops in Iraq alone, reuined countless of lives in Iraq and the US economy, particularly the US dollar has been in the shit can. It wouldn't be so bad if the War on Terror actually reduced terrorism. Instead, his understanding of the world outside his ranch in Crawford Texas has become the perfect recruitment ad for terrorist.
A little sensetivity to Muslim societies might actually help. An understanding that terrorism is a tactic used to achieve an aim rather than an independent ideology would be even better. Putting fundimentalist Christians like Jerry Falwell and John Hagee in the same ship as Osama Bin Ladin would actually be a step in the right direction. Another step in the right direction would be to have Ariel Sharon classified as a War Criminal in the same league as Saddam Hussein. It's not enough to sit there and say,"I'm bigger and stronger than you so you better do as I say." You may be bigger and stronger but until you act better people will find a way to get to you and hurt you. Nobody attacked the US forces in Japan because the US actually kept order, behaved itself and actually contributed to society. In Iraq, they've lectured Arabs about human rights and then got caught with Abu Gharib, lectured the Muslim world about the value of democracy until the Palestinians took them seriously and voted for Hamas, which lead to the US endorsing theft of revenues which rightly belonged to Hamas. Still you have people who support the right of the blackmailer.
It's a funny world we live in and in between the sniffles, its good to find the time to laugh at the way things are.