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Happy Trails

If we were Obama today, we’d do one of two things: fire the head of the secret service or go  buy a baseball bat to protect myself. News that the secret service did not want leaked came out today. It appears that the dude who jumped the fence a couple of weeks ago got into the White House, with a knife no less, and had plenty of time to run around most of the ground floor. He was caught not by those on duty, but by an off-duty Secret Service agent who was coincidentally in the house and leaving for the night.

In other details that have come to light, the intruder penetrated at least five rings of security protecting what is supposed to be one of the world’s most secure properties.The United States of America is in much bigger trouble than they even know they are. From the president on down and through all the layers of security and so-called leadership positions within the government, no one seems to be taking ownership of their job.

Are we the only one who thinks that any details of the magnotta trial are unnecessary for anyone to hear? He did it and no matter what the outcome he’s obviously a psychopath with no conscious. It serves zero purpose for the public to continuously hear the gory facts. Some stations are a bit more sensitive to this, others for whatever their reason, insist on giving every morsel. We wonder where the line gets crossed and who decides. Not sure about you, but when we hear this coming up on a newscast, we simply lower the volume on our radio.

Hong Kong is quite the happening place these days with riots stopping traffic and causing chaos. Today a six-lane highway was beginning to be blocked by protestors. To jog your memory, Britain handed control of Hong Kong, one of its former colonies, to China in 1997. Issues were expected at some point and, lo and behold, they’re here. Here’s the scoop on what’s going on:

Why: In late August, the Chinese legislature’s standing committee ruled that it would not allow open nominations in Hong Kong’s 2017 election for chief executive. Instead, potential candidates must be endorsed by a special nominating body in Beijing before securing a spot on the ballot.

Who is protesting: It started with students and has escalated to include Hong Kong residents.

What are their demands? The protesters want fully democratic elections when they cast their ballots for the next chief executive.

What is Beijing’s role? When Great Britain handed over Hong Kong to China the two governments negotiated a so-called “one country, two systems” method of government that ensures Hong Kong remains free of China’s socialism. Hong Kong’s basic law promises its capitalist system will remain untouched for 50 years. Many are now saying that Beijing is backtracking on that promise. How has the government responded? With a very heavy hand shooting tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets at the protesters, something unusual for the  usually polite Hong Kong police. The demonstrators are one up on the police however as they came equipped with umbrellas to ward off much of what is tossed at them. In fact, when the umbrellas are turned inside out the pepper spray hits back at the police. Ergo this demonstration has been dubbed The Umbrella Revolution.

What happens next? Seems to be at an impasse. No surprise that the Chinese government is unwilling to negotiate on details important to the pro-democracy movement. Also no surprise that the protestors are not backing down. Could get ugly. Time will tell.

We saved PKP – Pierre Karl Peladeau for the bottom of the news where he belongs. A poll was taken of PQ members as to whom they would like as their new leader to replace princess pauline. To our delight it was PKP by a landslide. He is the one almost solely responsible for the quick and mighty demise of his party. When introduced on a Sunday in February, he pumped his fist and said he wanted a country for his children. That remark sparked the independence debate, something the PQ did not and does not want to talk about even though it is the essence of their being.

In the past few days PKP has outdone even himself when comparing the repatriation of the Constitution to the imposition of communist rule in East Germany. What prompted this brilliant comment  was German President Joachim Gauck who came out in favour of a united Canada during an official visit to Quebec City.

In case you thought you had nothing to worry about when traveling, think again. Posted on a popular travel webpage: How to prepare for an earthquake while on vacation. Great.

If you’re lolling around in bed late in the morning reading a book, take your pillow and put it over your head. If there’s a desk in your room, maybe go under that. Forget about getting dressed. OMG. Stay away from windows, hanging mirrors, or heavy light fixtures. That could also be a problem if you’re lying in bed. Oh well.

You’ll love this next one: ask your hotel ahead of time about its disaster preparedness plan: are there generators and emergency lighting? If it’s near the water, is there a designated safety point at higher ground?

And finally, travel with the basics, like a flashlight, a small first aid kit, and a laminated copy of your emergency contacts. Don’t say blanche isn’t informative. Happy trails.

We’ll talk…

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