Thursday, August 11, 2011

Car 54 Where Are You?

It seems that they're taking it to the streets all over the place.

There have been a week of protests and camping out in gallant l'il Israel for the past 10 days, over 'social inequalities'. It is a 'welfare state' for the Hebrews, but some of the wealthier ones don't need welfare and, like their American cousins, don't see why they should have to pay for somebody else's. The 'somebody elses' are out on the street.

The Brits are 'going nuts'. This is being laid to a number of reasons, from the need to 'refit with some valuable new 'kit' for going back to school',  to the 'protest of the marginalized at a harsher and more restrictive social welfare policy in a diminishing economy'. Some rather civilized areas of London have been affected and the unrest seems to be spreading to trendy shopping areas of northern cities. A real 'run on the stores' is underway.

The Greeks have been protesting all summer about the Euro-imposed draconian measures required to have the government qualify to borrow the money needed to keep on paying the interest on the national debt.

There have been protests about the same thing in Portugal and Spain.

The Arab spring has morphed into the Arab summer. Tunisia seems to be settling down as somebody announced that bikinis would be welcomed  again - preferably wrapped around Swedish tourists and that booze would be available for the ferenghi - heads up Brits! Egypt seems on the point of another melt-down but this time the 'enemy' is less distinct, although it could be the Army. The Syrians are embroiled in on-going anti-government 'protests' and government protest suppression. And the Libyans are still 'discussing' the pros and cons of Muammar Ghaddafi with heavy artillery, anti-tank weapons and rigorous NATO humanitarian bombing. Let's hope things cool off in the Fall.

What is marvellous in all this is that the people who should be out on the streets, demanding that their government stop the jacking-around, are all at home running garage sales and kajiji -ing the 'toys' to raise cash. When you're trying to figure out how you're going to make your next credit card payment with another maxed-out credit card, there's not much time, or use, to be smashing the windows in upscale stores and stealing the kids some new Keds. The closest America has come to 'disorder' was this Spring's Wisconsin protest by public servants. That soon stopped when the 'Governator' 'bought off' the police 'protestors' with a new contract. Americans are just too 'American' to complain that going to the Mall and not being able to buy much isn't any fun.

Achmedinejad, the 'rogue' leader of Iran,  popped-off again to-day about the topic. He was wondering, out loud, where the UN Security Council was in the face of the British riots? For we all know where the UN was in the face of the Arab disorders - fixing it so that some world powers could be executing their 'obligation to protect' the rioters. The UN so far isn't siding with the Tottenham rioters, or perhaps that's only because it hasn't been asked.

I think we're going to see more rioting in future as food prices, and prices in general, continue to rise. There are parts of the world where starvation because of the inability to afford to buy food is becoming a growing reality. It's only a matter of time before the folks who can't afford a $25 baseball cap or $80 jeans will be hitting the streets, too. They might even do that sooner if they can't afford the school lunch program.

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