Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Friday, December 01, 2006

anger, frustration, and despondency...

I've been grappling with the rightness/wrongness of a comment I made in here the other day (the one beginning with "GS, what's the point of a "democracy"..."

I've lost faith in democracy.

I've lost faith in the people's wisdom.

With democracy, as it is presented to us at this time, I see only a road to hell with no way back.

But I don't really think a non-democratic government is the answer either.

I don't really think killing those whom you oppose politically or ideologically is the way to go.

I'm just utterly frustrated and very angry that democracy is so subverted by a myriad of conflicting forces in "our culture". What a fucked-up Petri dish this Western "society" has turned out to be!!! And I see no way to avoid the shit we're headed towards.

Global warming? This is a juggernaught which will over-run us even if we all "go green" today. The amount of heat ALREADY stored in the oceans, the land masses, and the atmosphere, right fucking now, is enough to tip us, irrevocably, into a whole new climate paradigm.

Peak oil? That will just add more fun to an already side-splittingly hilarious situation.

Over-population? Who's going to stop fucking first? Who's going to dismantle the "survival through family" paradigm? Who?!?!?! Not anyone YOU know... So, we're going to keep breeding like fucking rabbits till we've trashed the planet and then we'll die in very large numbers due to catastrophes of our own making.

In our desperation and egocentrically twisted "will to survive" we'll wage wars over ever-dwinding resources and the meanest and the most brutal will dominate the gene pool of a "brave new world". To top it all off, these "winners", these "champions" who have killed all who stood in the way of "our interests", will be certain that it was ordained by the anthropomorphised, insane ego-construct they've reified as their God so that no one dare argue with them over the evil crap they speak and the havoc they wreak.

You want me to be all sunshine and light?

You want me to be "positive"?

Based on fucking WHAT ?!?!?!


Blogger phil said...

Well, based on your use of the word 'reified' to start with. Anyone who uses reified in a blogpost has gotta have something going for them...

Anyway I'm a lot less optimistic today than I was when I last commented. The Rudd challenge will ensure the continuation by our feudal masters for a while yet. Yeah, puke and all that.

To take you at your word, I don't 'want' you to be anything. You put some stuff out, you get some stuff back. In my lesser experience of blogging, you can't foretell what you're going to get back and that's fun in itself.

I just wish I could figure things out better, but I can't so I just muddle along. Assisted, at the moment, by a bottle or 3 of brew number 9.

December 01, 2006 8:44 PM  
Blogger Unsane said...

The heat is killing me.

December 01, 2006 9:16 PM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

Brew No.9, that should bring on a few paralysing REM Intrusions, sleep well Phil.

December 01, 2006 10:56 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Phil, you lucky bastard, you're allowed to drink. The ALP? Not even worth talking about. They won't get into power. And even if they did, they'd get "spoken to" by the "suits" out of America and it's spawn, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO. They'd be read the Riot Act by these people, and like Latham, they'll go nuts after realising that even though they're in office, they don't make the rules anymore. Dream on, my little luvvly...

Nothing short of a revolution will tear us away from the clutches of America and the globalised capitalism it seeks to invoke.

By the way, I reckon that you, like 95% of Australians, don't actually know what's wrong with capitalism and why it is in essence a vamped-up form of feudalism?

And forget about the crap that's dished up and called "democracy". That's another shell game as well!

Rise up, Phil !!!!!!!

Jennifer, the Unsane, get used to the heat. "You an't seen nothing yet..."

Jennifer, the JahTeh, I read your post on the paralising REM intrusions. My partner used to have them. I say used to have them, because she hasn't had one in ages. But Phil's Brew Number Nine got me thinking about this wowserised life I'm now supposed to be living...

I think I'd rather be a depressed drunk than a medicated, depressed zombie. Yeah, the medication seems to not actually get rid of the depression, it just gets you into a state of apathy about your depression (and a whole lot of other things, like blogging, like ranting, like being as mad as hell at what's going on!

I think anti-depressants are a way of shutting down dissent and social criticism. You have no idea about the hundreds of blog items that just never got written because I just couldn't be bothered since I've been on these wonderful pills.

December 02, 2006 10:38 AM  
Blogger phil said...

I wrote quite a long response and then had to sign in again on the google a/c and lost the lot. Bugger it. It's too hot to rise up.

December 02, 2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Damn, Phil, I would have loved to read your comment. I've learned to always do CTRL-C before pressing the comment submit button. that way, when shit happens, you just call up anopther empty comment box and go CTRL-V and, bingo, your comment re-appears. Of course this only works in Windoze. The again, Macs and Linux would have similar keystroke shortcuts I'm sure.

December 02, 2006 11:44 AM  
Blogger phil said...

All right, I signed in first. It was along the lines that my work over the past 10-15 years has brought me into glancing contact with the multilateral trading system. I understand what you're saying, but to me the answer is always in the middle. In this case, that means that all protestations that free trade will make us all better off are horseshit, as you point out. Yes, it increases trade flows and yes, it exposes companies to competition which is often unfair (ie based on slave wage rates, no envrionmental protection etc) but it also comes at a cost to communities and individuals. One of the reasons I left that world was that I was always reading stuff by in-house economists that said "there w ill be some adjustment costs." Those "adjustment costs" were other people's jobs and nor was there any interest in doing something about it. Let 'em rot.

On the other hand, I get a bit distrustful of real conspiracy theorists about global corporate domination. At heart, all companies want to be monopolies. However, the global economic system is simply way too complicated for genuine conspiracies to take place.

Now, all that said, yes, the US runs on its military spending which pervades/leeps afloat most communities so all claims about the land of free enterprise needs to be taken with a big grain of salt.

Bodies such as the WTO, IMF etc are simply the aggregated desires of their members, they do not make the rules independently. And because the major players, Australia included, have been in the grip of Freidmanite monetarism for the last 2 decades, that policy approach (economic rationalism) has been installed everywhere, from the WTO down to the State governments here is Oz.

Now, would an incoming Labor government be taken aside and told the rules of the game? In a sense yes, you are correct. In another sense no, they understand this very well already (esp a policy wonk like Rudd). What probably would come as a surprise is the extent to which we are beholden to the US through military contracts and intelligence arrangements. Now, that stuff is genuinely scary, imho.

Mate, I don't doubt how deeeply you feel about this stuff now how wrong much of it appears to be, and actually is. What we should be on about is getting some balance back in to government policy that does not take as its starting point the uncontestable necessity of running a surplus budget every year (even when the policy says over the business cycle). That's why we get no investment in people or infrastructure and when we do, we get 'black box' solutions like PPPs.

It's a lot cooler now...

December 02, 2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger phil said...

I really should spell check. Most can be deciphered but this one should read "you feel about this stuff nor how wrong much of it appears.."

December 02, 2006 7:41 PM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Reify...dang, Gerry: I'm impressed, too. I had to look that one up.

December 03, 2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Brilliant comment, Phil. You've moved in circles I've only read about.

About conspiracy theories though... I have this to say: I too am wary of clearly unfounded, implausable, sheer speculative theorising about conspiracies, but...

But let's have a look at what the word conspiracy actually means: It means two or more parties conspiring or colluding for unlawful purposes.

Now, with your experience, please tell me when there ever were NOT at least two or more parties, be they indivduals in corporations, or corporate bodies, trying to manipulate "the game" in ways which are at least technically illegal? I would extend the meaning of "conspiracy" to include "unethical" or "immoral" alongside "unlawful".

It's my take on global corporate behaviour that one would have to be utterly naiive to assume they are not colluding, conspiring, or plotting something mega-unethical or mega-immoral, even if there are no laws they are breaking.

So, yeah, in my world view, there would HAVE to be HEAPS of corporate conspiring going down EVERY DAY !!! So that makes me a conspicay theorist. Sorry, Phil, but I'm not naiive enough not to be one... Guilty as charged, yeronner!!!

December 03, 2006 7:49 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Kurt, as kids our mum endlessly drummed into us the need to always look up words we didn't know the meaning of; so, I regularly did that. It was always going to be only a matter of time before I would bump into the world "reify". And the rest, as they say, is history... ;-)

December 03, 2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

And for the pedants among you, let me correct myself by saying that should have read, in part, "...the need to always look up words of which we didn't know the meaning..." I hate smartarses!!! :-)

December 03, 2006 8:05 PM  
Blogger phil said...

Gerry: "Now, with your experience, please tell me when there ever were NOT at least two or more parties, be they indivduals in corporations, or corporate bodies, trying to manipulate "the game" in ways which are at least technically illegal? I would extend the meaning of "conspiracy" to include "unethical" or "immoral" alongside "unlawful".'

There's that quote by Adam Smith, so well-loved and misinterpreted by the right: "People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice."

So, what I say next will either claifiy what I meant or metamorphose into a bigger shovel, with which to keep digging a hole for meself!

I don;t beleive in these vast international banker/corporate/everyone's in it together conspiracies. But I do believe that indiviudal companies and peak bodies - there is a key US one, can't remember the name but it's like our Business Council of Australia - that lobbies, and undoubted bribes, the US government into adopting policy positions that suit US corperate objestives. Happesn here too: DFAT mainly consults with people who share the same economic rationalist world view. I was at some consultations they did up here in the lead up to the Seattle WTO fiasco. It was hilarious: we had the One Nation/League of Rights rightwing nutters, people who just don't like representative democracy (however imperfect it might be, I agree) and a bunch of smelly anti-globalisation students from Griffith Uni. The DFAT blokes didn't have a fucking clue how to respond.

The key criteria in your challenge are the words 'moral' and 'unethical'. None of their work gets anywhere near being ethical or moral. But it does seek to maximise shareholder value, as per the book.

So sorry if I don't wholly buy the argument from either side. On the other hand, I didn't have to go to war in defence of something that turned out to be these interests (failed the medical just like our exulted PM, but don't go drawing any inappropriate conclusions from that!!!). If I did, I may well feel differently.

December 03, 2006 8:19 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

I didn't have to go to their war. I volunteered. I was in the thrall of the anti-communist propaganda. I believed their crap. That's what I'm angry about. I'm angry that I was lied to, spun to, and brainwashed into taking part in one of the biggest mass murders in history, on behalf of "free trade" and "democracy". The bastards turned me into a murderer for the corporation!!! A murderer to further the corporate agenda. A murderer to satisfy the whims and paranoia of some lunatic Yanks. They fucked my whole life up!!!! But don't worry too much about me, what about the three million murdered Vietnamese? What about the traumatisation of the whole Vietnames people? And the fucking Yanks still haven't had to answer for it in any International Court. Fuck the Yanks!!! Arrogant, ignorant, selfish, expoitative pricks! I have not one ounce of sympathy for them. May they rot in a hell of their own making! Trouble is, the hell that they've created is going to fry us all! Bastards! [sigh] That feels better...

December 03, 2006 10:53 PM  
Blogger phil said...

Ahh, good, now we know where the 'on' button is.....

As a general comment, I'd agree with you re Seppos and you have probably seen them at their worst. As a race...eugh. But as always, individually is a different thing. The various Yanks I knew while working overseas (they were State department people) were probably the most professional representatives of their country you could wish to meet. Highly trained, good fun when not on duty and always willing to help where possible.

December 04, 2006 10:36 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

People are great everywhere. Yeah, Yanks are great people. So are Russians, Vietnamese, Chinese, etc. I understand that most Germans in Hitler's Germany were nice people. So?

Kurt's nice. GS and DS are nice people. Rocker is a nice person. And still Globalisation, America's spawn, is raping the planet. Still America bullies and exploits the world. America, the most resource-wasteful and resource-hungry nation on earth just steals what it wants. America, the country which wages war to try impose it's "free enterprise" on nations who wish to do things differently. America, the country which, more than any other in the last hundred years, has meddled murderously in the internal politics of other countries in order to stuff its own pockets.

I could go on and on, the list of their evil deeds is almost endless, but it's pointless to recite it. There's no attention-span for it.

However, it is absolutely appropriate to despise America. It is truly the world's most dangerous rogue state. The world should unite to freeze the bastards out of global affairs till they learn to eat a bit of humble pie.

I still want to hear people everywhere shout YANKEE GO HOME loudly and proudly whenever they become aware of a Yank in their presence.

It's only when millions of Yanks go home and tell their friends and neighbors just what the world REALLY thinks of them, and why, that Ameircan governments will formulate foreign policies which seek to respect and not bully or manipulate other countries.

But I dream...

December 04, 2006 11:54 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

It would be easy to agree with you Gerry, if for no other reason than the largely counterproductive choices allegedly "free" people have made.

I aint giving up yet. and while I can't think of more potent examples that argue for hope than you could muster to argue against it, I know the declaration of defeat is a pretty sure way not to win.

I meant to be nice...but its not that easy. even I have to wonder if I am making a difference and just now, I fancy I am in a tiny tiny way.

December 05, 2006 8:29 AM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

What about a country that does the same as America but is sneakier about it.
My cousin has just come back from travelling in Laos where the Chinese have been trading in native birds, legal and illegal. He has a degree in zoology so birds and animals are of interest in all his travels but there are no birds to be found here without a long hard look. Crossing back over the Thai border, the first thing is hearing birdsong. The Chinese not only trap the birds for pets but for food and medicine, they eat and use everything.
Vietnam is not as bad as they don't like the Chinese but the bird life there is still recovering (or not)from the hideous Agent Orange. While America exports without conscience, China imports without conscience.

December 05, 2006 11:57 AM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

by all I've heard, that is fair point and well taken Jahteh...US has probably done more damage to the world than any other country but I see the capacity to ransack the world as pretty much proportional to a nation's ability to generate disposable income and I am not sure it makes much difference whether the consumers spend it or the government spends it..makes the bastards see the world their buying as disposable too.

December 05, 2006 1:59 PM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

I received a short survey from my US senator with the final question being:
"How do you think the Progressive Patriots Fund can promote a progressive foreign policy agenda?"
Care to give me an answer I can use, maybe three or four sentences? (you know they don't have big attention spans)
Be firm and serious, but be nice.

December 06, 2006 7:19 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

JaheTeh, there's shit everywhere. So I should be kinder to the American agenda?

GS, at the end of the day, it's globalisation and consumerism, those two powerhouses of "the economy".

Kurt, here's my contribution: Get Israel back behind the Green Line and stop giving it aid until it gets back behind the that line. Get Israel to dismantle ALL settlements in the West Bank. Stop giving Isarael military aid until it stops it's insane act of punitive reprisals. Support the UN instead of trying to nobble it. Support countries who want nothing to do with globalisation. Instead of trying to run roughshod over the planet, the US should try being an exemplary global citizen. Instead of trying to control the world's oil, we should move right away from being dependent on it. Support Parecon
[] as an economic alternative to capitalism. Drop sanctions against Cuba. Get the heck out of the middle east. Stop bullying the world, especially the weak countries. Undermine consumerism, gobalisation, and predatory, expansionist capitalism. Build an alternative economy which is more sustainable and planet-friendly. Do something about rolling back the population explosion. Forget the empire, save the planet from our consumption-crazy, resource-wasteful lifestyle.

[Obviously my comment is too rich and spicy. You'll have to tame it a bit, Kurt.]

December 06, 2006 10:35 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Amen, Gerry. I'd be heartened to see even one of those suggestions turn into enacted policy. There are none there I would not support. The move to stop our economy from mainlining oil and being strung out on it is one I carry out in my personal life except for the occasional use of a car.

Is your general gloom and dispair exacerbated by a suspicion [a certainty?] that the present crop of human beings are constitutionally incapable of enacting any of your menu of, shall I call them "counter-globalisation", changes? Are the present crop of humans too willing to be herded to the comfort and the convenience that exploitations offer?

[image: line of fattened cattle streaming in the back door of McDonald's and line of portly customers streaming in the front door]

December 07, 2006 2:55 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

Thanks for your input, Gerry. I will do my best.
If you wish for only a few simpatico Americans like me to hear your viewpoint, keep publishing in your blog.
But I think you might do more: if you wish for more of America to hear your viewpoint, email some thoughtful (and non-confrontational) letters to OUR Senators and Representatives over here in the US. And keep doing it. Again and again. Somebody might just be impressed that an articulate, reflective Australian VietNam veteran has written them a letter.

December 07, 2006 4:34 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

GS, yes, and yes. I now use only one quarter of the petrol I used a year ago.

Kurt, I blog because it's my way of raging against the machine.

I wrote a really detailed response to both of you but I hit some other key and my comment disappeard without warning, so I give up. Sorry.

To put it briefly, we're stuffed and we won't be able to unstuff it, becasue to do so would crash the economy and we're not allowed to crash the economy. The economy will soon crash anyway, but it will then be rebuilt by capitalists who will capitalise on the crash, and the game will start all over again.

YOU change the world, guys; I've quit! I merely heckle this insane state of affairs from the sidelines. I don't kid myself for a moment that we will act appropriately, or in time, to prevent the apocalypse we're creating. If I'm still alive when it gets really bad, I'll just top myself and youse can all kiss my arse.

December 08, 2006 12:09 AM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

I understand, Gerry.

December 08, 2006 1:42 AM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I'm vegetarian, I don't eat dead things let alone kiss their arse.

Keep raging Bear, all that unleashed energy must be doing something, probably battering a butterfly to death in Brazil.

December 08, 2006 9:45 PM  
Blogger Kurt Reply said...

I got a huge laugh from an email this morning. It's the winner of the Bush vs Bush Photo Caption Contest: There's a small photo of George W. Bush with his father; they are talking with one another.

Bush Senior: "Son, you're making the same mistake in Iraq that I made with your mother.

I didn't pull out in time..."

December 09, 2006 1:35 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...


December 09, 2006 9:19 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Ok, for those who didn't "get it", ROFLGO is an acronnym denoting "Rolls on floor, lauching (his) guts out."

Alles klaar, Herr Kommissar?

I suppose you're waiting for another post, are you? Heh!

December 11, 2006 11:54 AM  

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