Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: About Occupy Wall Street

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  • Lilith __, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Cubans have the same life expectancy as Americans. Free and universal healthcare is provided by the communist state. Cubans may be disadvantaged in some ways, but longevity ain't one of them.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yes and their response is to buy politicians that will change that law and where that isn't possible challenge every detail legally or simply ignore the law and dare the govt to do anything.
    Yes I think a demonstrably untrustworthy group should not be trusted. But I think the way to change that is to replace them with trustworthy people who have been taught what (long term) ethics really are and get tested before they are allowed to be in positions of responsibility.

    The problem is also one of sheer numbers. A fried who worked in IT on the fringes of Wall Street both pre- and post- the dotcom bubble and burst once noted that he knew a lot of small/medium size fish who got away with what had been some fairly blatently illegal behaviour in the run-up to the burst simply because post-burst, the SEC didn't have enough lawyers and other warm bodies to prosecute them all - they had to focus their limited rescources on the big fish.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Lilith __,

    Cubans may be disadvantaged in some ways, but longevity ain't one of them.

    Careful, you'll be tempting the arrival of James Bremner with some spurious link to illustrate just how ill informed we out-worlders are.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Careful, you’ll be tempting the arrival of James Bremner with some spurious link to illustrate just how ill informed we out-worlders are.

    Got no idea what you're referring to. My point was just that there's more than one way to have a thriving population.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich Lock,

    One of the lesser tragedies of 9/11 was that all those movements were basically killed stone dead just as they were gaining some mainstream traction. I reckon you could put together and argument that these current protests have their roots in, and are rising from, the ashes of the anti-globalisation movement.

    I was a doubter of the anti-capitalist protests. They were often incoherent. The same march would have people demanding trade barriers for developing countries be dismantled marching alongside US steelworkers and farmers demanding protection via increased tariffs and subsidies. Their demands were incompatible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I was a doubter of the anti-capitalist protests. They were often incoherent. The same march would have people demanding trade barriers for developing countries be dismantled marching alongside US steelworkers and farmers demanding protection via increased tariffs and subsidies. Their demands were incompatible.

    Yes, but there were certain common threads at the core, despite the flakiness at the edges (which may have received more media attention than it warranted), and it’s arguable that they may have got more coherent and focussed as they matured.

    And as you say in your original post:

    Weird and confusing is right….I’m wondering if Occupy Wall Street, rather than being a polar counterpart to the Tea Party, is begining to blend at the edges

    We can draw some parallels, no?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    Cubans have the same life expectancy as Americans. Free and universal healthcare is provided by the communist state. Cubans may be disadvantaged in some ways, but longevity ain’t one of them.

    Public health performance is most creditable in Cuba -- as is its amazing public literacy initiative.

    But we should remember that at the same time the Cuban government was conducting political executions, torturing prisoners of conscience and persecuting homosexuals.

    Some things have improved in recent years, but Cuba remains at or near the bottom of all global measures of press freedom. It remains a very depressing place in many, many respects.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Lilith __,

    Got no idea what you’re referring to.

    PAS in-joke. A certain republican cheerleader turns up occasionally to sermonise and try to convert all us lefty heathens to the One True Path.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It remains a very depressing place in many, many respects.

    Not least because it has suffered a constant trade embargo from the most powerful capitalist nation in the world since the revolution. If the USA decides you must suffer for your beliefs, then suffer you will.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to BenWilson,

    Indeed. One wonders what exactly Cuba would've been like if big brother had long ago engaged. The Cubans were open to doing so.

    Then, many of the engaged 'free' nations in the region have hardly been bastions of civil rights or the good life for their peoples in the years since Castro tossed out the US corporations.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    (Republican) House majority leader Eric Cantor starts to walk back his words on the occupiers.

    Interesting!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Indeed. One wonders what exactly Cuba would've been like if big brother had long ago engaged. The Cubans were open to doing so.

    Yes. Similarly, I have to wonder what the Soviets might have achieved if there hadn't been the Cold War for 40 years. Or what Vietnam could have been like if it hadn't been bombed with more munitions than were used in the entirety of WW2.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Or what India/Pakistan/Afghanistan would have been like if not arbitarily called into nationhood by some Brit drawing lines on a map (see also: Africa).

    Or if the UN hadn’t intervened in Korea. Or if the French hadn’t had a revolution (too early to tell?). Or, or, or….

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Public health performance is most creditable in Cuba – as is its amazing public literacy initiative.

    And that didn't stop Rodney Hide from effectively saying that autobahns are bad because Hitler made them work.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5439 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to BenWilson,

    Similarly, I have to wonder what the Soviets might have achieved if there hadn’t been the Cold War for 40 years.

    For that to work you have to posit a Stalin-free Russia, and then WWII goes in very different directions, and with a different WWII...this is a very fun game, expressed beautifully in a growing body of fiction, but at the end of the day you still get left with "But what if?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Rich Lock,

    (see also: Africa)

    And Malaysia/Singapore and Indonesia - divided in 1820 by a ruler in Whitehall so that the Dutch and the Brits could stop fighting and exploit the spoils.

    Ironic when one considers that hating Malaysia is a national obsession these days in Indonesia - they are essentially the same place racially, linguistically and culturally.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    “But what if?”

    Down the other leg of the Trousers of Time, as Terry Pratchett so beautifully puts it.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Or what this nation could be like by now if our Pakeha ancestors had worked together with Maori rather than fighting to take their land, and continued the economic path of Waikato's communal market gardening and integrated export fleet.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    they are essentially the same place racially, linguistically and culturally

    Well, the history of the planet seems to be tightly woven with struggles between factions that to the outside eye are indistingushable, for causes that are incomprehensible. Civil wars are generally the most vicious.

    they are essentially the same place....linguistically and culturally

    Must be why so many Kiwis like hatin' on the Ozzies, eh?

    <gets coat and hides>

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Grigg,

    Indeed. One wonders what exactly Cuba would’ve been like if big brother had long ago engaged. The Cubans were open to doing so.

    Then, many of the engaged ‘free’ nations in the region have hardly been bastions of civil rights or the good life for their peoples in the years since Castro tossed out the US corporations.

    Haiti certainly hasn't been a barrel of laughs.

    But let's not let the Castros off the hook that easily. As Human Rights Watch points out, anyone who advocates for human rights reform is still likely to be summarily convicted under bogus charges and indefinitely imprisoned. It's horrible, still.

    HRW continues to argue for the lifting of the embargo. And it's worth noting that Obama eased it just a little this year.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Or what this nation could be like by now if our Pakeha ancestors had worked together with Maori rather than fighting to take their land, and continued the economic path of Waikato's communal market gardening and integrated export fleet.

    Yes, we might be a republic already.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    And a really well-off one, in so many ways.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19735 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Haiti certainly hasn't been a barrel of laughs.

    Nor much of Central America.

    But let's not let the Castros off the hook that easily

    Yep. I'm uncomfortable as hell with the notion that Fidel gets some sort of a pass just because he's done certain things well. The Cuban exiles in Florida though seem to be - and this is a broad generalisation - an odious bunch that the nation is well rid of.

    Che, too, was less of a hero than a million wall posters from the 1960s would have you believe.

    Vietnam is another - their rights history is appalling even when balanced against the huge advances they've made in other ways.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to BenWilson,

    Yes, we might be a republic already.

    I reckon we should think of ourselves as an essentially Maori society. Look at Te Kooti. He took what the Pakeha had to offer and used it. Just as the Pakeha took what the Maori had to offer and used it. We end our sentences with 'eh', we take food and drink round to the barbie, we raise our eyebrows when passing people on the street. We're still pretty violent.

    Te Kooti was the foundation of our society. He showed us the way to the promised land. Ngati Pakeha.

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DCBCauchi,

    I reckon we should think of ourselves as an essentially Maori society.

    One thing I became very aware of when I lived in London was that British people had a very different attitude to home, visitors and the sharing of food and drink than the one I'd grown up with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

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