Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Greed is the Creed

The science of the study of Anthropogenic Global Warming is often characterised as a religion by the vested interests that stand to lose if corporate behaviour is forced to change through recent legislation.

This characterisation of AGW as a cult is a worldwide phenomenon, but it has its epicentre across the Pacific, and is frequent fodder for the shock jocks.

The Yanks have a tendency to drop religion front and centre into any discussion about freedom and democracy. A road trip across the US is particularly revealing of the number and variety of religious organisations that infest the land of the free. Every second radio station is of the God-bothering kind. There is a strongly held belief that the path to heaven is via the cash register.

The most refined version of this thought, the most pervasive religion of all, and the one that presents the greatest danger to world peace, is also centred in the USA. That religion is Market Fundamentalism. It could also be described as Neo-Materialism or Corporate Greed and transcends borders, both national and international.

Its basic tenent is that the market should be left completely unfettered. According to this creed, this will allow for wealth creation and prosperity for all.

We saw where that got us a few years ago.

I would argue that the world government conspiracy, touted as a threat by those who despise the United Nations, is already with us, through the spread of transnational corporations that respect neither international boundaries, nor basic human rights.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters aren’t politically sophisticated or consistent with their demands, but a large part of what they’re unhappy about stems from the growing disparity between rich and poor worldwide, but particularly in the USA.

Maybe they have a point.

Consider, for a moment, the following
The recession has hit middle-income and poor families hardest, widening the economic gap between the richest and poorest Americans as rippling job layoffs ravaged household budgets.
The wealthiest 10 percent of Americans — those making more than $138,000 each year — earned 11.4 times the roughly $12,000 made by those living near or below the poverty line in 2008, according to newly released census figures. That ratio was an increase from 11.2 in 2007 and the previous high of 11.22 in 2003.
Household income declined across all groups, but at sharper percentage levels for middle-income and poor Americans. Median income fell last year from $52,163 to $50,303, wiping out a decade's worth of gains to hit the lowest level since 1997.
Poverty jumped sharply to 13.2 percent, an 11-year high.

The clearest communication about this issue is best achieved graphically. Go to this series of graphics over at Business Insider to understand the dimensions of this problem.

 The “Find America” visual is pretty shocking to those of us conditioned by stories told at Grandad’s knee about the rewards for hard work and innovation available across the Pacific. The sad fact of the matter, is that using the Gini Coefficient, a well-recognised statistical measure of inequality, the USA is ranked at 96, indicating a greater rich-poor gap than stellar performers such as Turkmenistan, Mali and Uzbekistan, to name a few. Australia is ranked 24th by the way.

Strangest of all, two one-party states with “Communist” governments (Vietnam and China) are way ahead (62 and 83 respectively) and have much less of a poverty gap than the home of the free.

Tell me it isn’t so….

Friday, 28 October 2011


       It usually means "what's it to ya". Only Blot knows what he meant.

Out Tambo Way

This trip I was out Tambo way, at the extreme northern end of my area.

Looking at the map, you’d wonder why it is part of Roma district, but apparently the locals like it that way. It’s closer to Longreach than Roma.

Years ago, I was based at Mt Isa and came into this country from the North, rather than the South. I always feel at home in this part of the world, no matter which direction I enter it from. It’s more open than the country to the South, and strange as it sounds, it smells different.
Near Morven

You could blindfold me and take me out here, and if it’s early morning or late afternoon, I’d tell you where I was within 100kms of the location.

Big sky country

As the sun comes up and the land warms, the soil and vegetation release very characteristic smells that locate you immediately. In the evening, the land breeze gets up, and you get a different, but intense combination of perfumes.
Emus off to call home

It’s easy on the eye as well, although at the moment they’re having a hard time with fires. The best wet for decades has meant strong growth which has browned off. Dry storms, during which lightning starts fires, have done the rest.
Augathella ahead

There are a few emus about. I came across a couple in Morven intent on making a phone call. I have no idea who they were calling. You just never know with emus.  

I stayed in a local motel at Tambo, and wandered across the road for a meal. Their steaks were great, but the salad was a bit sad.

The school is a construction site with the last of the BER work underway. Out here, it takes a lot longer to get the builders organised. When it’s done, any kids out here who are in wheelchairs will be able access school without hassles. That’s a first for this part of the world.

By the time I’d arrived home, I’d travelled about 2000 kms, and was suffering a mild case of white line fever.
Sunset at Tambo

When I was young, I could drive these distances without needing a day or two to recover. Not any more.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Putting it in Perspective

Couldn't find a pic of a digger

Given the continuing North Atlantic (US and Europe) financial crisis, this website puts one way of spending money in perspective.

Iraq has cost over the US $800 billion so far. It will be interesting to see what the final bill will be by the time they leave at the end of the year.

The war is "won" apparently, but Iraqis are still dying at the rate of over 200 per month. This is no longer reported in the MSM. It's not news.

It would be a fascinating exercise to post the same figures for Australia, and to break it down state by state and city by city.

By 2007, Iraq had already cost us more than $3 billion.

That was four years ago, and we've had Afghanistan since then. 

Blot's Bloopers (contd)

This person thinks he's a journalist?

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