|1 Aug 2004 @ 16:09, by John Ashbaugh|
“the future of one of the earth's most vital resources is being determined by those who profit from its overuse and abuse. A handful of transnational corporations, backed by the World Bank, are aggressively taking over the management of public water services in developing countries, dramatically raising the price of water to the local residents and profiting from the Third World's desperate search for solutions to the water crisis. The corporate agenda is clear water should be treated like any other tradable good, with its use determined by market principles.”
Blue Gold (Hardback)
The Battle Against Corporate Theft of the World's Water
Authors: Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke
Let’s see if I got this straight here now. Of the one hundred largest economies in the world, fifty-one of them are corporations. The 475 wealthiest billionaires in the world have more amongst themselves than half the population of the globe. To tell the truth, throughout the entire recent presidential primary season, I had not the slightest idea what any of the democratic nominee aspirants actually said or stood for, except for Mr. Kuchinich’s proposal for a department of Peace, about 228 years overdue, but we all knew that didn’t have a snowball’s chance in a volcanic crater.
I buy the Albuquerque daily newspaper every morning, and scan nearly every page, catching the update on how many people have been killed, tortured, maimed, run-over, shot, for political or domestic reasons, beheaded, knifed, threatened, cheated, ripped-off, or otherwise mentally, sexually, or physically abused. Especially compelling are stories of those who are done-in, ripped-apart, buried, burnt, or brutalized by loved-ones, people-who-didn’t-mean-it, patriots who burnt down villages in order to save them, wedding parties decimated by friendly fire, and other regrettable incidents. By chance, there might be a thoughtful editorial or two on some local, national, or international issue. If not, I’ll go straight to the paltry one page of comics where characters familiar from fifty years ago share printspace with more contemporary creations vying to stimulate my sense of irony with some pithy observation. Tarry not long in the sports pages, noting in passing that my old hometown team, the St. Louis Cardinals, are on top in their division, although I couldn’t tell you the name of a single player. If the Cardinals are on top, then the world is o.k. If the Democrats have got themselves a nominee, that’s peachy keen. Perhaps he will balance the national budget. Is that going to create an equitable economy? Perhaps our dear government will stop using depleted uranium in its ammunition. Is that an issue? We are engaged in a permanent military escapade. That much is acknowledged. And we can expect to live for the rest of our lives with a color-coded backdrop somewhere between yellow, orange, and red. You can kiss blue and green goodbye. Alongside our daily weather report, which way has somebody decided the clouds are going to blow today? Alongside our Smokey the Bear postings for the latest forest fire threat conditions: medium or high or extreme, and rarely low.
Now I will pay little attention to the presidential campaign, just as I paid little attention to the presidential primary campaign. Haven’t skipped a presidential election since 1964, fulfilling my patriotic obligation to make sure that my voice and opinion would be heard and accounted for in the crafting of the national agenda. Now our Supreme Court has determined that it is not really necessary to count our votes accurately, and the intent to manipulate election results with black-box voting machines is not even a secret. I should go down to my polling place in November and punch some buttons with the full understanding that that vote may or may not be counted according to someone else’s whim and fancy. This is like some kind of amusement park or casino. Put your quarter in and pull the lever and see how the lemons come up. I have my subscription to The Nation and Rolling Stone, which will provide sustenance to my continuing curiosity about the complex shenanigans of our national and international economic and political policy makers. There is also, thankfully, the continuing discussions and links to sources provided by the members of this site.
The planet is a big round ball of water and plants and animals and humans, and while many of these humans are peaceable and enlightened beings, there are just enough cutthroats, swindlers, rascals, rapists, control-freaks, and hate-mongers to create meaningful disruption and enough waves to keep the big boat rocking. Recollection from some readings on the Russian revolution some years ago. Before 1917, when the Bolsheviks, and the Mensheviks, and the Social Revolutionaries and whoever else were partying around in the Duma, Lenin remarked that if his own Bolshevik party was not to be victorious in a given electoral event, that he would not wish that one of the other left-wing parties should be, but that the most extreme of the right wing parties should win, for they should then exacerbate the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the workers at an accelerating rate, and thus hasten the day when conditions would be ripe for the true revolution he was looking for. Does this apply? Are we going to have an early twentieth-century style revolution, or even a mid-twentieth style revolution, or are we going to have something different? There is a very big house of cards out there, rotten to its primeval core, and one problem is that all the bad apples and all the good apples are all mixed up in this big barrel, so there isn’t going to be any sorting out and picking and choosing, which, even if it were possible, still would not solve the problem of how to influence the fundamental ingrained attitudes of that entire component of the human experiment. There is nothing really all that new about the idea of a New Civilization. There have been people working tirelessly for peace, and understanding, and reconciliation ever since neighbors started butchering neighbors. It is a demanding project, requiring relentless perseverance, and there is Hope, and that is its driving force.
1 Aug 2004 @ 21:18 by : Blue Gold
As Lily Tomlin said, no matter how cynical you get it's impossible to keep up. I just read an article posted by Alana on Cognitive Dissonance & They Just Don't Want To Know which gets right to the crux of it. Jack Knickolson said it so great in "A Few Good Men" about how we can't handle the truth. Maybe I'm just more optimistic than I have a right to be, but I think that 90% of the people on this planet know very well what is going on, and wouldn't have a problem at all with this whole mess being resolved. Quite simple really, just get rid of the Pax Americana Imperialism, and then let the details work themselves out at the local level. A big question is if it would be ethical to get rid of 10% of the population to save the remaining 90%. It's a lot smaller number than given by the Club Of Rome let's genocide all of Africa and Asia crowd. Wouldn't be much of a loss because all the first world makes these days is money and bushel basket for bushel basket money is quickly becoming worth less than toilet paper. But I don't think we would even have to genocide fortress NA, all it would take would be for the rest of the world to put them on a strict economic sanctions and watch them burn up their remaining oil as quickly as possible before doing themselves in. Only trouble is that it would probably turn out more like a murder suicide with NA taking down the rest of the world before they themselves drank the kool-aid.
Whatever. A country doesn't have a fascist government unless the majority of that countries citizens want a fascist government, and I think it is becoming clear that they do. There is an election coming up and the vote is between Bush, who is at least honest in his desire for armageddon, and Kerry who is promising to be a more efficient Bush. Notice how it has already been decided by everybody that the wars will continue. The fourth reich jugernaut is picking up speed and I think the only thing that will stop it is a lot of American cities getting the Dresdan treatment.
Damn, but I wish Canada wasn't right next door.
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