Baghdad, Clinton, Lovelock, JPEPA
BAGHDAD — On a recent Sunday, I was buying groceries in my beloved Amariya neighborhood in western Baghdad when I heard the sound of an AK-47 for about three seconds. It was close but not very close, so I continued shopping.
As I took a right turn on Munadhama Street, I saw a man lying on the ground in a small pool of blood. He wasn't dead.
The idea of stopping to help or to take him to a hospital crossed my mind, but I didn't dare. Cars passed without stopping. Pedestrians and shop owners kept doing what they were doing, pretending nothing had happened.
I was still looking at the wounded man and blaming myself for not stopping to help. Other shoppers peered at him from a distance, sorrowful and compassionate, but did nothing.
I went on to another grocery store, staying for about five minutes while shopping for tomatoes, onions and other vegetables. During that time, the man managed to sit up and wave to passing cars. No one stopped. Then, a white Volkswagen pulled up. A passenger stepped out with a gun, walked steadily to the wounded man and shot him three times. The car took off down a side road and vanished.
No one did anything. No one lifted a finger. The only reaction came from a woman in the grocery store. In a low voice, she said, "My God, bless his soul."
the good guys talking in the Upper West Side
..designed to inspire action. Every participant must pledge to take a specific action in one of our focus areas. These commitments have ranged from $100 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, to a donation of 20,000 bicycles in disaster-torn Sri Lanka, to 100 hours volunteered in an interfaith youth group.
Energy & Climate Change
Global Public Health
Mitigating Religious & Ethnic Conflict
Well I have just come back from the barrio, a million people on the side of a hill with no jobs, and no prospects.
I can report that shabu (methamphetamine) has fallen from popularity, cheap alcohol is still big, cheap cigarettes have left me with cloudy sputum and a shorter life. (I know you've been dying to learn that).
Having babies is still the main diversion. There is nowhere to grow food - I expect my dozen banana trees will be cut down and shacks built there any day now. Fat frogs in the bathroom indicate that toxins haven't yet totally permeated the scene.
It is true that urban poor are atomised, apolitical and apathetic about change. The kids are doing surprisingly good at school. One of the chief reasons that people desert the countryside and settle in barrios/favelas is security. When the state offers only venal police, isolated houses are in danger. To crowd together offers the security of many eyes and many voices to shout. A couple of weeks ago a guy was garrotted and stabbed to death a stones throw away. men carrying guns pass my door at night. Obviously crowding is not total protection, but its the best you can do when the police are just another gang. I have deadlocks and bolts, steel grills on the windows, an uncle who is a Major in the NBI. So far I'm still alive. Uncle Buboy, the Major, is making noises about a loan. I hope he will be satisfied with $5K, I'm not a rich man. So thats it folks, its not so much jobs that sucks people into slums, its the security offered by the proximity of many others. And when the Urea ( petrochemical) runs out on the farm, the nutritious septic tank seepage on our hillside will run to waste in streams lined with colourful plastic bags. 2 out of 3 Nitrogen molecules in the proteins in a Chinese child come from industrial Haber-Bosch natural gas. Hard to ship the stuff to Malibu when the movie stars wont allow a port.
But I an increasingly with Lovelock, Oil+coal induced climate chaos is about to perturb our crops. Our deluded sense that we have transcended the organic world is about to descend into world-wide Rwanda-Darfur. Perturbing our crops aint no joke.
Nothing now can prevent this, even if we abandoned our oil fired 100kph chariots and our coal-fired ducted heating, its too late.
My prediction for the successor intelligent species: bats. I reckon that in a few million years smart bats will be building radio telescopes to announce to the galaxy that intelligent life has arrived on Earth
"Our global furnace is out of control. By 2020, 2025, you will be able to sail a sailboat to the North Pole. The Amazon will become a desert, and the forests of Siberia will burn and release more methane and plagues will return."
oops it looks like Jim Lovelock was 14 years off in that "sailing tho the North Pole"
AFP September 20 ..
..Arctic ice cover had disappeared so much last month that a ship could sail unhindered from Europe's most northerly outpost to the North Pole.
..images were acquired from August 23 to 25 by ..Envisat and EOS Aqua..
Perennial sea ice – thick ice that is normally present year-round and is not affected by the Arctic summer – had disappeared over an area bigger than the British Isles, ESA said.
Vast patches of ice-free sea stretched north of Svalbard, an archipelago lying midway between Norway and the North Pole, and extended deep into the Russian Arctic all the way to the North Pole..
March 22nd, 2006 in VOIP.
China is a wonderful country where everything can just happen without a reason (well, apparently they do have a reason, read on). In order to protect its fixed telephone line business, the Chinese government has imposed a ban on free Internet telephone services for at least two years, the Financial Times reports.
"Japanese Garden" Luzon
Bilateral "Free Trade" agreement the neo-neo-imperialism?
Japan-RP economic pact brings dubious gain
IBON Foundation 9/10/2006
The Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) will bring dubious gain to the local economy while severely limiting government’s policy options to develop domestic industries.
..under negotiation away from public scrutiny for the last four years. Officials provide few details but it is reported that the agreement will cut import tariffs on industrial goods by 90% within 10 years and provide concessions for Japanese direct investment in the domestic automobile and electronics industries.
The Philippines will abolish tariffs on at least 60% of its steel imports from Japan. Tariffs on Japan-made cars will also be fully eliminated in 2010. In exchange, Japan will lower tariffs on Philippine bananas and pineapples,..
.. the dangerous first step towards complete government renunciation of developing the Philippine economy.. . . the country’s first full-fledged bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), the benchmark it sets for liberalization will determine the shape of all FTAs to come...Japan has already signed or is negotiating FTAs with Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Vietnam.
Baghdad Clinton Lovelock JPEPA