Sunday, August 19, 2012

The bike, the bike! and a rant.

No, not that sweet ride I saw last week, it was my own Estela. As I was up and around this morning I was thinking my back was feeling better even than yesterday. During the stretches I tried a new one. Lie on your back, knees up, heels near your butt. Do a mini crunch, with hands reaching toward your heels. Now twist a bit so the right hand touches right heel or ankle. Then left, repeat. During that I got a faint but distinct click, but didn't think anything of it. Now I wonder if I put something back where it thinks it belongs.

I was feeling so much better I thought I'd try an easy ride, and test it out. After getting all ready I headed out, and I was astonished how much better it felt. My last ride, every little bump and crack in the road went straight to my low back and hurt. Now it was fine. It was wonderful to be on the bike again.

There was no telling how long it would last of course, and the last thing I wanted to do was overdo it. So I kept the spin light and easy, not too fast, not too slow. Rode around the neighbourhood a bit, was out and around 37 St, Anderson Road, and Wood something or other. Yes, I rode through the Allen intersection, as I now think of it, and no, I don't know the name of that street, even though I've lived here nearly 30 years. I was looking at vehicle mirrors to see where they would come on me. I suspect that what hit him had to be a fairly high truck, a big SUV or pickup.

Half an hour was enough. It felt great! No, strike that. Some of you are old enough to remember the old Tony the Tiger cereal commercials. It felt GRRREEEEEAAAAAAT!!!!!!  It's still not completely right though. I could feel my right hip complaining a little bit. Ran off the bike 20 minutes, and did a good stretch.

I'll tell you the depths of despair that I was sinking to. I was beginning to think about setting up the trainer, so I could ride sitting up. The trainer. In August. A beautiful warm sunny August. Yeah.

Julian Assange is in the news again. I've been following this off and on for a while now. I love me a good conspiracy theory, and on the face of it, Assange has a dilly. That the sex related charges are trumped up to get him to Sweden, and then they will turn him over to the USA, where after a show trial he will be executed for espionage. The thing is, the more I think about it, the more I think he has some valid fears.

Let's start with the USA end of things. People have gradually come to notice that the USA has become a vile country. It tortures prisoners. It's sends people to torture and possible death, including a Canadian citizen. It kills known enemies in targeted assassinations, which is a bit of a gray area during wartime, I admit. But it also kills it's own citizens through drone attacks in other countries. It denies prisoners, even Americans on American soil, some of the fundamental justice rights, like Habeus Corpus. It is one of the few countries in the world that still does capital punishment, and they seem quite happy to put to death people they know are innocent, the mentally handicapped, and are especially happy if it's a person with dark skin.

As a brief digression, I am repulsed by the killing of Osama bin Laden by Executive Order. Now it's killing people like him. Then it will be accused "terrorists". It will gradually, and fairly quickly, become people who annoy the President. He signs a piece of paper, and some very highly trained people follow orders. Maybe they kill the victim, or snatch them for a show trial, or just disappear them. It's happened elsewhere. Maybe Obama won't do it again. Anyone want to take any bets that Romney would have any hesitations about signing such a piece of paper for anyone that wasn't a Mormon?

Now lets look at Sweden. In some ways it's much like Canada. Nobody pays much attention to Sweden. Most couldn't find it, or Ecuador on a map. (Sweden is between Norway and Finland, while Ecuador is north west part of South America, just below Columbia.) It mostly minds it's own business and goes about providing it's citizens one of the highest standards of living in the world. Recently, like many other countries, Sweden has been having some tough economic times.

I find it interesting that Sweden is so zealous about this particular rape charge. Quite honestly, it seems that most police departments in most countries couldn't give two hoots about a rape charge, especially if the alleged perpetrator isn't in their jurisdiction and they don't have any evidence beyond she said, he said. Ecuador has offered to host discussions with Swedish officials, in the Ecuador embassy of course, so that they can question Assange. They have refused. Why?

And Britain is now talking about revoking Ecuador's ambassadorial status so they can invade the embassy with military force to arrest Assagne so they can deport him to Sweden. Why on earth is Britain even talking about such an extreme measure? What has their knickers in such a twist? Bear in mind that neither Soviet Russia nor China ever talked about such measures, even when they knew full well during the Cold War that many embassies, especially the Western ones, and particularly the USA ones were a hub of spying activities.

What is the common thread behind all this? An embarrassed and enraged USA that has had some of it's dirty tricks revealed. They certainly have the clout to lean on both Sweden and Britain. They don't have so much clout in South America anymore, having used up most of it on bananas on behalf of the United Fruit Company. Or maybe the South American countries are more willing to stick together against the evil gringos.

In one sense, I hope that the Ecuadorians do not find a way to smuggle him out of Britain. Ecuador is pretty much a backwater in some ways, and all sorts of stuff could be made to happen there. But London is one of the major centers of the world, and the Ecuador embassy is about a kilometer from Buckingham Palace. Much harder to make something happen there.

And yes, I believe the USA wants to give him a show trial and execute him. I think it's the only reason they are keeping Bradley Manning alive. But if they come to believe it won't happen, I believe the USA will send a hit squad after him. I didn't use to believe the USA would do things like that, but there is now too much evidence to the contrary. No matter how much the the USA might insist otherwise, it has no moral authority left on these and other topics.


  1. Congratulations on your back! And I agree, 100% with the moral compass of the US Government. However, I find it odd that people are only now noticing. It's been like this since the beginning. As I recall, when President Obama was running for office, Guantanamo was supposed to be SHUT DOWN. Obviously, this hasn't happened. I try to keep hoping that eventually, this country will grow up, but right now we are still in the "control the masses with spectacle" era, and it looks like it's here to stay for a while.

  2. I think they hid it better a long time ago, and there was a certain expectation that the USA government was what it said it was. I think the first big crack was Watergate, and it's just got worse and worst. Candidates for office spout the most obnoxious and stupid claptrap, and a significant percent of the audience believes them. I remember listening to a press conference when Belinda Stronach changed parties. This was a crucial tipping of the minority government balance of power. She went into Cabinet of course, and the government of the day said that post had nothing to do with her decision. They let the sound track go for a few seconds so we could hear the press corp laughing. That's what needs to happen to these bloated windbags, they need to hear people laughing at them. Mocking them. Calling them on their lies. As long as some people believe that they can get someone else to pay for their entitlements, the game will continue.


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