Monthly Archives: November 2004

Oh, the irony… I forgot Poland!

A couple entries before this one I talked about the Ukranian election, and commented on how Canada was the first country to recognize the Ukraine's independence. My friend Gosia (that's a picture of her with the text of course) who lives in Lublin, Poland (near the Ukraine border) reminded me that I forgot Poland (who actualyl were the first) and had the following local comments of her own:

OK, so the fucking pro-Russian forces won in the Ukrainian elections… It definately was not fair — come on, facts like 105% people attendace in some regions seem at least QUITE STRANGE. The basic rules of fair elections were broken all the time.

HEY YOU, THE AVERAGE AMERICAN

The whole world cares about the circus you call the US Presidential election… A rat race to choose the one who'd rule the world, in which a few guys with IQs far below 100 compete.

Know that there is a poor European country where there is no democracy, and people of political opposition and “NOT-pro-governmental” journalists (even no ANTI, “NOT-pro” is enough!) disappear from time to time. It happens so close to me — the border is about 50 miles from my hometown!

This country is the Ukraine, our Slavic brothers. They had a great chance to become FREE, to get rid of the politicians who are slaves of Russia.

I don't usually like such a vocabulary — “brothers” and so on — but, thou I cannot remember it, it was the same here! Decades under the Russian control, but Poles didn't lose their chance to become “independent”. Ukrainians lost it… for some time at least. I'm afraid that now the “new-old” politicians will take care not to give so much freedom for the opposition. I mean, the opposition had great support to win this election, so now they'll be more under control. I guess the present government will prefer to prevent the situation, which is dangerous for losing their influence.

Election results:
49,7% Janukowycz (pro-russian)
46,7% Juszczenko (opposition)

Comments

International writer collision (I'm the amateur)

The thing about coincidences is that from a statistical point of view, they are exceedingly common, as backwards as that may seem at first. Yes, it's true that a specific and pre-selected coincidence has a slim chance of occurring, but if you're just looking for any coincidence, you can bet one will occur. A “lucky” person is a person who recognizes those coincidences and integrates them positively into their lives.

This morning in the mail I got thirty copies of my friend Ryoichi Maeda's new book (you may have read his Japanese translation of my own book, but this one is all his). Anyway, I walked the boxes down to the post office so BMEshop can get them in stock (by Friday probably). I tend to have good relations on the whole with my postal workers — the old Bathurst postman was a BME reader and I've bumped into my current one socially, and the store near me gives me discounts for no apparent reason other than a lot of smiling and politeness (although they're not so nice to Rachel).

The boxes I was shipping in were labeled with JapanPost and as I was finishing up I was approached by an immediately charming woman who told me she'd just returned from Japan herself. We talked a little and she told me that her most recent book — the most recent of eleven — in fact was about the lives of Japanese women. It turns out I was talking to the artist and writer Patricia Morley, which was really super cool (although I admit that my artschool brain with its drug-destroyed memory didn't clue in to exactly who I was talking to until five minutes after I left).

Anyway, I've met my fair share of celebrities, and I far prefer encounters like this one where you meet really obviously wonderful people and later realize that encounter as “star studded.” I hope I didn't make too much of a fool of myself, I was pretty wired and must have seemed really scatterbrained and kooky. Oh wait, that's probably an accurate assessment of me anyway.

The Orange Revolution, Toronto

Canada was the first country to recognize the Ukraine when it declared its independance. As I write this I am still in Toronto, living in the heart of a Ukranian community, so I thought I ought to write a little about what's going on. This rainy morning I decided to go for walk to see what people in the neighborhood had to say about the recent elections back home.


I live next door to the Ukranian Canadian Art Foundation, to put my location into context.

These signs were taped to a van just up the street from me.

As is the norm when people ask for democracy, police were everywhere.

Utterly convinced that Yushchencko won the election, contrary to the “official” numbers.

Part of the issue is that the Ukraine is a “new democracy”, having gained its independence only a decade and a half ago, and only recently ditching communism. Because of this, idealism is running high since they've been told that democracy means power to the people and many thought that this election could give them “the perfect leader”. There's a good MeFi discussion with loads of links here, but to put it in simple terms, the Ukrainian election was only slightly less fraudulent than the US election, but because idealism is still high in the Ukraine, people are freaking out over fraud.

As you may know, the Ohio recount back in the US just got nixxed, and the University of Berkeley's study has gotten almost no press — you know, the one showing that Bush was fraudulently awarded as many as a quarter million extra votes in Florida alone, half of those being what are called “ghost votes” where the e-voting system simply gives Bush extra votes for people who don't even exist. Given that objections to the fraud of 2000 got nowhere, it's no surprise that Americans have apathetically accepted this coup… I'm not sure there are many people left with the backbone for liberty.

"Nun, Volk steh auf, und Sturm brich los!"

The English Left maintain that the German people Americans have lost faith in victory. I ask you: Do you believe with the Fhrer and us Bush and the Republican Party in the final total victory of the German people Democracy? I ask you: Are you resolved to follow the Fhrer Bush through thick and thin to victory, and are you willing to accept the heaviest personal burdens in the fight for victory?

Second, The English Left say that the German American people are tired of fighting. I ask you: Are you ready to follow the Fhrer Bush as the phalanx of the homeland, standing behind the fighting army and to wage war with wild determination through all the turns of fate until victory is ours? Third: The English Left maintain that the German American people have no desire any longer to accept the government's growing demands for war work. I ask you: Are you and the German American people willing to work, if the Fhrer Bush orders, 10, 12 and if necessary 14 hours a day and to give everything for victory?

Fourth: The English Left maintain that the German American people are resisting the government's total war measures. They do not want total war, but capitulation! Never! Never! Never! I ask you: Do you want total war? If necessary, do you want a war more total and radical than anything that we can even imagine today?

Fifth: The English Left maintain that the German American people have lost faith in the Fhrer Bush. I ask you: Is your confidence in the Fhrer Bush greater, more faithful and unshakable than ever before? Are you absolutely and completely ready to follow him wherever he goes and do all that is necessary to bring the war to a victorious end?

Fhrer Bush command, we follow!”

Sixth, I ask you : Are you ready from now on to give your full strength to provide the Middle Eastern Front with the men and munitions it needs to give Bolshevism Islamists the death blow?

Seventh, I ask you: Do you take a holy oath to the front that the homeland stands firm behind them, and that you will give them everything then need to win the victory?

Eighth, I ask you: Do you, especially you women, want the government to do all it can to encourage German American women to put their full strength at work to support the war effort, and to release men for the front whenever possible, thereby helping the men at the front?

Ninth, I ask you: Do you approve, if necessary, the most radical measures against a small group of shirkers and black marketeers who pretend there is peace in the middle of war and use the need of the nation for their own selfish purposes? Do you agree that those who harm the war effort should lose their heads?

Tenth and lastly, I ask you: Do you agree that above all in war, according to the National Socialist Republican Party platform, the same rights and duties should apply to all, that the homeland should bear the heavy burdens of the war together, and that the burdens should be shared equally between high and low and rich and poor?

I have asked; you have given me your answers. You are part of the people, and your answers are those of the German people. You have told our enemies what they needed to hear so that they will have no false illusions or ideas.

Image Update + Economic Comments

I've just posted an image update with just under 1,700 new pictures for today. I'm sorry, I don't think the cover model has an IAM page (correct me if I'm wrong) but you've seen his full Japanese body suit in the galleries before. As always, thanks to him and all the other contributors for their help on today's update.


The rest of this entry about the future so stop reading now if you don't give a damn about your flaming demise. Some rather disturbing predictions came out from the folks over at Morgan Stanley… here's what their chief economist had to say (more):

America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic "armageddon". America's record trade deficit means the dollar will keep falling. The result: U.S. consumers, who are in debt up to their eyeballs, will get pounded. Household debt is at record levels ... a "spectacular wave of bankruptcies" is possible.

None of this is a secret — Morgan Stanley is not some conspiracy-driven anti-capitalist collective — and anyone who understands the basics of economics sees it not only happening, but getting hugely worse due to Bush's reckless spending platforms. Where it gets “funny” is when you look at them from the start (as in y2k onward), they almost seem designed to drive up these problems, as nonsensical as that must seem at first. While one might be able to explain market fluctuations and downturns, trying to explain Bush's apparently suicidally indulgent economic policies is not so immediately simple.

That said, let's try and explain why Bush is doing this, and why instead of lowering spending as he promised during the “election“, he's continuing to increase US spending and debt levels.

Skipping over “he's an idiot” (more) or “he's a religious nut” (more) type explanations, there is only only one good reason for Bush to take the economic steps he's taking that actually serve the interests of his constituents who as you may remember he described jokingly as “the haves and the have-mores”. The end effect of a “spectacular wave of bankruptcies” is not that America itself evaporates and becomes Afghanistan. The end effect is that most private property and assets (and even public assets as they are privatized) are transferred into fewer and fewer — and richer and richer — hands.

I believe the current economic downturn is designed to steal the remaining assets of the poor and middle class into the hands of the ultra-rich ruling class, who will be left with perfectly legal slave ownership (and lives of luxury) as a result. They'll have additional power to do so because of Bush's only-for-the-rich tax cuts and corporate welfare policies stuffing their coffers pre-collapse… Unless of course the Americans have the courage and sense for liberty of the French that is (more), which unfortunately I doubt in these beaten-down and intellectually oppressed modern times.

“Parea non servin,” you say? Somehow I doubt it…

I've included the above picture mostly to make people not feel like total crap after reading all this. But please think about what I'm saying, and feel free to double check it for yourself.