backyard crowing



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abby's 21st!

I can hardly believe my weekend is almost over. Tonight Abby, Sarah, Fabi (who I haven't met) and I are going out to eat to celebrate Abby's 21st! I bought her a cool disposable camera made by the lomography company. The flash is in red, so your pictures turn out with a funky reddish hue! I also made a mix cd themed around alcohol, birthdays, and friendship, and I also bought her a $2 "Choose Your Own Adventure" book which I literally hadn't seen since I was in elementary school.

I never had one of those books when I was a kid, but I read one in the library and couldn't put it down. I always wanted one, so now Abby has one ("House of Danger") and I have another ("Space and Beyond.")

Since Sarah and Abby are of age, they will drink. However, Sarah is only having one drink because she is the driver.

Abby informed me of this--I told her that it was safe so long as Sarah made sure to drink early in the evening and ate some food. Abby is so excited...and no wonder! I can't wait either! ...and we're all so organized, itís insane.

The party theme is "Sex and the City," and we non-drinkers are having virgin somethings. I'm thinking the "Limoncello Lemonade," which the website describes as "A frozen blend of lemonade, Smirnoff Citrus Vodka and Caravella Limoncello - an Italian lemon liqueur." I love lemons, and this seems to be a drink that the bar wouldn't say, "This is stupid why are you ordering this?" to. I just want something that tastes good, and that I won't get me a funny look. Fortunately Fabi is going virgin with me. :) Yay!

Listening to: Coldplay, I haven't heard them in quite some time.

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"I came here with a load, and it seems so much lighter since I met you. Honey, you should know that I could never go on without you, Green Eyes."
-Coldplay, "Green Eyes"

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Kurt Vonnegut died the other day. Dad says he wrote for no one but himself, and a few random people who would understand him.

I told him about how my poem on Tuesday went over badly, and tried to comfort me with his words. They did comfort me, to some degree, but he didn't know how grammatically screwed up that poem was. Then again, improper grammar in poetry can have meaning.

...e.e. cummings, I love you...

...Kurt, I need to read you...

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I also want to tell you about John Benson Brooks, who I admire greatly. He's incredibly obscure, and I can hardly find anything about him on the internet. He's not even on Wikipedia! Something tells me my Music teacher will change that--or if not him, I.

*more later on who the hell John Benson Brooks is and why you need to know*

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I'm also ignoring my roommate in all forms lately. By "lately," I mean the past few days, and it's killing me. I want to apologize, and I know I should.

Some communications major, eh?

I'm trying to figure out how to let my guard down. I don't know if she'll forgive me. I don't know if I should apologize...no, I should apologize. I just don't know where to begin.

She came in drunk last night screeching about how she wanted "blue lights, blue lights!" and slurring about how she thinks black people have the advantage because of how the world discriminated against them.

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Today I watched John Pilger's documentary, "The New Rulers of the World." I want to give you a brief account of that video. If I post my notes, does that mean Iím a dork? Yes, yes it does. Read or ignore, itís your choiceÖ

Here are my notes:

-this film is primarily about indonesia
-Globalization-has turned into a huge movement
-GM is bigger than Denmark, and Ford is bigger than S. Africa
-"Global Village"
-Multinational corporations are taking over--now instead of of kings, we must worry about companies, who are the new rulers of the world
-Indonesia should NOT be poor--it has lots of gold, copper, lumber, and oil
-the gulf between rich and poor is widening
-the Indonesian elite is spineless
-the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) dictate to Indonesia
-70 million people in Indonesia live in poverty
-In Indonesia, the minimum wage is about 1 dollar per day
-Unemployment in Indonesia is high, so people feel lucky to have a job
-in one factory that Pilger investigated, workers must produce 3,000 pairs of shorts per day
-36-hour shifts are a reality
-Pilger posed as a potential buyer (fashion industry big wig) to learn more about the working conditions

-In one factory that produced mainly Gap and Old Navy clothing, a worker told Pilger that sometimes Gap/Old Navy big wigs would come to the factory--only ONCE did the big wigs investigate the working conditions, but BEFORe this occurred, personnel at the factory warned the workers not to say anything bad about working conditions, particularly the extremely long shifts

-the Gap Co. says that the maximum work week in their factories must be 60 hours, and that workers can refuse to work overtime without any penalty. However, this is not enforced. Workers said that if they refused to work the long shifts, they would be punished.

-16 hours a day standing is common

-NO company rules or codes of ethics are shown to the workers, and they aren't hung anywhere in the factory

-out of a $100 pair of shorts, a worker gets 40 cents

-workers an't speak out w/o being victimized

-Gap supplied this statement: "We can't force them [the factories] to comply [to our code of conduct]."
(in other words, stop buying Gap clothing)

-Gap also said that sometimes they refuse to do business w/factories that don't meet their code of conduct standards, but that's a lie

-When we are about to buy an article of clothing, we should ask the retailer where and under what conditions it was made -- we should write to companies like Gap and make our voices heard

-one million Indonesians were murdered to help the rich get richer--this has been kept a huge secret

-Early October 1965 - a gang of thugs murder a headmaster in his school in Jakarta -- the headmaster was suspected of being a communist
-Teachers, students, civil servants and peasant farmers -- one million of these were murdered
-now, people search the ground for relatives' bones
-it was mass murder, a holocaust
-with all of these people dead, Indonesia's economy was redesigned, making it easier for the west to take advantage of Indonesia

-General Sehato took power in Indonesia in the mid 1960s
-General Sehato was secretly backed by the US, Britain, and western businesspeople

-Akmed Sekano - a nationalist who believed in financial independence for the Indonesian people
-he was the modern day leader of Indonesia
-he threw out the IMF and World Bank to help Indonesians

-BUT, General Sehato brought both IMF and World Bank back

-5,000 Indonesians were shot
-they washed up on the shore next to the British Consolate--the British DID know what they were doing

-TIME called the holocaust "The West's Best News In Years"
-the holocaust was also called in another paper "A Gleam of Light In Asia"

-There was a conference held in Switzerland
-TIME/LIFE Corp. hosted it--it was 3 days long and included several big name companies which I can't now remember
-the conference hammered out how western companies would control Indonesia
-for western businesses, this was the start of a gold rush
-the conference designed the legal infastructure for investment in Indonesia -- the companies explained what they wanted out of Indonesia
-There were several rooms in the conference, each pertaining to a different sector:
1. Mining
2. Food Services
3. Light Industry
4. Banking

-Mass murderer General Sehato was welcomed to England by the Queen of England

-The World Bank and IMF were created after WWII to help Europe rebuild itself. Later, they started giving loans to poor countries, but only if those countries privatized their economies and allowed western corporations free access to their raw materials and markets.

-IMF and World Bank are located in D.C.

-the poorest countries are trapped in an unending cycle of poverty b/c of their debt

-What's the difference between Tanzania and Goldman Saks?
-Tanzania has a Gross National Product of $2.2 Billion which is shared among 25 million people
-Goldman Saks is an investment company that makes $2.2 Billion and is shared among 161 partners

-The World Bank claims to help poor countries, but they are helping poor countries to be poorer
-the poor countries can't keep up with paying the interest, they're lost in an endless cycle

-General Sehato was asked to step down
-he had stolen about $15 million
-he also had a monopoly on the taxis in Indonesia
-he ruled for 30 yrs.

-17 million people called for a debt cancellation in poor countries who are borrowing from the World Bank--this would make them more able to get back on their feet, but Stanley Fischer, the First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF says, "no, the countries need to provied health and education to their people and that will help them get on their feet." (that's not a direct quote, but a summary of what he said)

-people have protested the situation, but only VIOLENT protests are covered in news. This gives the public the impression that people who protest this situation are violent, unruly people.

-WTO - World Trade Organization - in Geneva

-Let's abolish the WTO, World Bank, and IMF and REPLACE them w/a democratically accountable organization

-We are not required to accept this situation for our children

-there IS another way, we can change the situation

-Let's cancel the debts that condemn poor countries like Indonesia

HERE IS THE VIDEO IN ITS ENTIRETY:

- saturday, Apr. 14, 2007
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