Georgia on my mind – gangsters, oil and blood

August 16, 2008

Warning: this post contains some AO language and is not really about taxi drivers at all.

I have a lot of respect for cab drivers. Most of the time they’re really well-educated and they’re all very, very¬† street-smart. Last night I got a ride home with Ahmad. He’s from Afghanistan and he was listening to the BBC World Service.

There were items about the conflict in Georgia and so we got to talking. It was quite funny to realise that my chat with Ahmad was the perfect dessert to my main course argument with my colleague Wayne at the Brooklyn.

Wayne and I had been talking about Russia, Georgia, gangster capitalism, transnationals and failed or failing states. Ahmad segued straight into that line of thinking off the back of the World Service reports from Georgia. Ahmad has been all over the world. He thinks the Russians are crazy and hates the American presence in his homeland. There’s a nice, balanced logic to his position and I’m instantly drawn to a stranger who’s making my journey smooth on a soggy Auckland night.

My conversations with Wayne and Ahmad¬† led to this little tome: gangster capitalism, the looming resource wars and ‘regime change’.

What happens when you give gangsters access to new-killer weapons of mass distraction?

Read the rest of this entry »


Boycott Beijing Olympics coverage

August 10, 2008

I’ve decided (in fact, Moac convinced me) that our household is going to be Olympics-free for the next 14 days. I didn’t watch the opening ceremony; I don’t care about the rowing, soccer, swimming, horse riding or any other shit.

I’m with the rebels of Xinjiang and the Falun Gong. China has a repressive regime, a crap record on human rights and it’s not right that the rest of the world is in thrall to these gangsters.

I’m going to join the blogring boycott too. I found out about it from this dedicated blog: Boycott 2008 Olympics

I’m not going to watch TV1 for the next two weeks, I won’t be catching any highlights shows on skysport and I won’t be reading about the medal count etc in the newspapers, I will be turning off Morning Report when they cross to Beijing for sport stories.

The fun and games in South Ossetia are much more interesting and important.

Read the rest of this entry »