Archives for the month of: December, 2010

Bernie Sanders imageWatch Senator Sanders’ awesome speech blasting income-inequality in the US, where he goes so far as to identify it as a war (I concur).

Wikipedia says “Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, and has praised European social democracy. He is the first person elected to the U.S. Senate to identify as a socialist.” So he’s the odd one out. Not a coincidence, probably. I hope he doesn’t end up assassinated, like the only catholic president they ever had, or harassed and demonised like their first openly black president (although apparently as many as five presidents before Obama likely had black ancestry, by the way)…

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White crossThe way this video from April 2010 unfolds is deeply disturbing, especially considering it happened to a citizen who was entirely correct about this session of the Hawaii State Legislature breaking the law (by not maintaining a separation between church and state). What’s more they then charged him with disorderly conduct, yet he wasn’t breaking any law by speaking out non-violently in the senate chambers. Even the courts agreed with him. This is disturbing for two reasons. Firstly, occurrences like this are hypocritical in the extreme, coming from a nation (USA) who invade other countries without UN authorisation, and retrospectively take the moral high-ground by thrashing around “news” articles demonising religious (non-Christian) extremists for trampling civil-liberties, in a last-minute attempt to drum up sympathy for their illegal “wars” when no OBLs or WMDs magically materialised on request. The second disturbing aspect is that this is yet another example of how heavy-handed violence from authorities is becoming almost a daily occurrence in the US recently, especially in the years since Bush Jr staged his little Cowboys & Indians farce (which is surely no coincidence). It seems a new kind of slavery is rearing its ugly head across the “Land of the Free”…

My guess is that the reason we are seeing a general increase in wild and erratic behaviour from authorities in the USA is because the fundamentalists are panicking, as their beloved hegemony is now sinking fast – due to the Euro becoming a logical alternative for the international reserve currency. This spells disaster for the US because their empire has primarily been built on the seldom-mentioned fact that (due to the US historically being the prime consumer of oil), US dollars have been the international reserve currency since 1945. This has allowed the US to continually spend far more than it earns while the rest of the world has had to earn far more than it spends. What’s really silly is that logical solutions (which could still avoid the US economy belly-flopping into the gutter overnight) have been floating around for a long time now, like installing a dual or triple OPEC oil transaction currency standard (US dollar, Euro, Yen/Yuan) as proposed by William R Clark back in January 2003. Even countries less sympathetic with the US want the US economy not to fail catastrophically, because they know the ripple effect would cause a global recession/depression (far worse than the present one) as a consequence. The problem is that the neocon Axis of Authority firmly embedded at Washington (visibly, and insidiously) will never let that happen, even if Obama begged them, ultimately because they’re greedy and myopic. They’d rather take their country down in flames than let go even an inch of their beloved yet illusory status as “Economic Superpower”.

It’s interesting too that religious fundamentalists in the US are showing the worst lack of self-restraint. I would have thought that they should follow their own advice about “trusting in God to provide”, if they really believed what they were saying, yes?

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Following the uncharacteristically fast reactions of various “leaders” in the US to the recent unprecedented Wikileaks public-service – the exposure of a quarter-of-a-million diplomatic cables, I have several thoughts circulating around my head:

  1. What would have happened if there had been such a motivated and prompt reaction to the BP Oil disaster?…
  2. Since when did politicians and corporations take over the legal role of the courts? (a comment from this page posted at the The Student Room says: “Whether the death penalty should be given for murder is a political decision. Whether someone was guilty of that crime is a judicial decision.”)
  3. Are Amazon, EveryDNS, and PayPal setting dangerous and cowardly precedents [amazoneverydnspaypal articles], which large numbers of others will reference as excuses for behaving similarly, invoking the “to protect our profits” mantra and cloaking their actions in sanitized business-jargon to dilute the fact that when on ethically complex and exposed ground they merely chose to roll over?
  4. Will the above point leave those with the courage to expose the truth increasingly unprotected and isolated?
  5. Will attempts at maintaing data havens be hobbled by geographic limitations (having to protect every single cable connection to the nearest routers, and the nearest connections from those routers etc…), or by centralised organisation?

Reporters without Borders have strong opinions about the situation. Also, as always, slowly but surely, people keep finding new methods like anonymous hosting and new architectures like P2P DNS to dodge the bullets of the corrupt and immoral “leaders”…

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I just watched “Beware: Killing Ads”, a well-made documentary (with English subtitles) by Manolis Andriotakis, about the out-of-control situation with illegal advertising street-billboards in Greece, the corrupt people who keep them there in spite of the law, and the disturbingly large number of families destroyed by the fatal accidents they have caused.

As a side-note, the statistics alone in this film serve as a sober reminder of not only how important it is to fight the pervasive corruption undermining so many aspects of our society (especially in Greece), but also as a reminder of how vulnerable we are on the roads, and how we must be sensible and conscious at all times, because adding an element which creates even a moment’s distraction can have the cumulative effect of thousands of deaths on the Greek roads. Your car may weigh a ton and be constructed of steel, but your body is not. And neither are the people in the cars around you.

I want to reiterate something I have said for years – Don’t leave learning the value of a seatbelt until you are already flying through your windscreen. By then it’s too late. I mean that literally (when driving), and figuratively (when condoning corruption, which is a social cancer that eventually becomes incurable and unstoppable).

© 2010 rowanthorpe.wordpress.com. This RSS Feed is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Greece License. If you believe the version of this material which you are reading infringes this license, please send details to rowanthorpe(at)gmail[dot]com so legal action can be taken immediately.