C'est nous qui brisons les barreaux des prisons, pour nos frères, La haine à nos trousses, et la faim qui nous pousse, la misère. Il y a des pays où les gens aux creux des lits font des rêves, Ici, nous, vois-tu, nous on marche et nous on tue nous on crève.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

The Joys of Privatisation

The family of a teenage girl who died after a health insurance company delayed approving her liver transplant has accused the insurer of putting money before their daughter's life. (source)

Maybe that invisible hand isn't so 'efficient' after all.

Xmas Greetings

Posts have been few and far between from me in recent times, though I hope, in the New Year, to provide some posts on Naomi Klein's latest book.

In the meantime, best wishes for the festive season to all who have loitered at this blog.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Imbecile Watch

Oh dear.

Those of you who thought the Cold War was over may not have noticed that some of the footsoldiers are still down in the bunkers, fighting for liberty, justice, and hotdogs.

To that end, I give you idiot of the week, 'La Russophobe'.

There are plenty of reasons why we might be concerned about contemporary Russia, not the least of which is the conduct of the recently re-elected authoritarian, 'oligarchic' Government. There is also the rise of the radical right, and concomitant bigotry directed towards blacks, Jews, gays, and Asians. There is the oppression of Chechnya, and there is also significant poverty.

Any of these things, along with several others, no doubt, would be pretty good grist for the mill for a Russia-watching blogger, with an eye on Putin and politics.

Sadly, La Russophobe goes further. She divides the world into 'Russophobes' (those, like herself, who oppose the Rooskies) and 'Russophiles' (everybody else, particularly Russians themselves). This black-and-whitism should give you a bit of a sense of the sort of George W style of 'logic' this blog contains.

The author explains the raison d'etre of her charming blog:

Don't forget: The main reason La Russophobe hates Russians is because they
are destroying themselves, in particular their innocent children...If Russians
want to shut La Russophobe up, all they have to do is stop failing.

Here the author uses the old Lovejoy rationale - Won't somebody think of the children!
Russia isn't the only country with a few problems at the moment. In fact, given the many conflicts occurring around the world at present, I doubt Russia is the first nation that comes to mind when it comes to people 'failing' their 'innocent children'. I mean, the US, for instance, has over two million people in prison, and this would seem to be a pretty harsh indictment of the ills of its society. But no, our anti-Tartar friend only 'hates' the Rooskies.

She also attempts to debunk several supposed myths about Russia, such as the following:

MYTH: Boris Yeltsin was loved by the ignorant West but hated by

REALITY: When Yeltsin told Russians to vote for Putin, they did so
without hesitation.

Actually, Yeltsin was more beloved of the West than the Russians themselves, and is possibly the only person in human history too drunk to get into Ireland. After his corruption and incompetence, Putin's accession is almost understandable.

MYTH: Russia tried capitalism and it failed.

REALITY: Russia has never
been governed by anyone other than a king or a person raised under Communism. It
has certainly never been governed by a capitalist.

I think we need to ask some questions here of our authors' take on 'reality'. Last I heard, Putin and his cronies weren't exactly Marxists, and still less are they hippie commune types.

MYTH: Russia is the land of great literature and science.

REALITY: America,
famous as a land of hillbilly morons, has far more Nobel prizes for science and
literature than Russia.

Actually, both countries have their share of backwoods types. In any case, it's a rare treat to read a blogger with such fine taste in the arts. It's about time those hacks like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were put in their place, so we can catch another episode of Girls of the Playboy Mansion.

MYTH: Russians are brave, and have shown it struggling against winter
and invaders.

REALITY: Russians are extraordinary cowards, and have shown it in
consistently refusing to oppose their own government. Russians fought foreign
invaders because the were more afraid of their own government than those
invaders, and because of their latent hatred of foreigners. Russians live with
the climate because they have no choice.

Venturing into the land of the truly unhinged, the author now seems to be forgetting those extraordinary cowards like Lenin and the Bolsheviks who, rightly or wrongly, stood up to Tzarist rule, or the millions who perished in WWII.

We shouldn't be surprised that, despite being a good candidate for an emergency psychiatric admission, this blogger is quoted with much approval on the right-wing blogosphere.

It's been a while since we've had such a stellar nominee for Idiot of the Week, and in the case of La Russophobe, the moniker is thoroughly deserved. Come on down and accept your padded cell!