September 06, 2009 | Ronda Jambe

West Bank Story

Last night we saw Canberra Philharmonic’s production of West Side Story. Maybe the music and the singing weren’t quite Broadway, or even Sydney quality. A young woman behind me was chatting about all the shows she saw while living in London, clearly some passionate performers present. But the heart was there in the production and the audience. An ageless story, stretching back to the Capulets and the Montagues, right up to the gangs of New York. Someone is always sunny (the ones in power), and others are shitty (but they’ll have their revenge). Our species are good haters, as any member of the ALP can confirm. It doesn’t stop, and were some of those mobbing and fighting scenes intended to remind me of a scrum?
Those looking for continuity in human affairs need look no further than the West Bank. Foreign Policy mag tells me that while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ‘open’ to the idea of a settlement freeze, he first wants the government to approve construction of hundreds of new apartments on the West Bank, in addition to the 2,500 units currently being built. Just like the Jets and the Sharks agreeing to ‘rumble’ hand-to-hand, but then bringing knives.
In the blur of urgent news (earthquake, fire, civilian deaths, captive children) we would optmistically like to think Obama is different. Well, have a look at David Swanson’s Common Dreams: Obama as Bush’s Third Term.
It’s hard to know what to focus on, in terms of action. While some of Jennifer Marohasy’s posts offer a cheerful minimisation or dismissal of environmental concerns, others fuel robust discussion about mitigation on fire or floods. This is just as important as recognising the problems exist. If only I could be cheerful, rather than an aggregator of doom. Even SBS has now mentioned the ‘perfect storm’ of environmental catastrophe.
The focus I see in all the stories is one of governance. The more complex the problem, the more the governance matters. Take this one seriously, and think about Australia’s sad water management history, surely a failure of governance:
ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire- (WORLD-WIRE) CivicUS, the leading continuous advisory service firm for leadership in state and local government, recently released “Water Utilization: Awareness First” and “MS4 Permits: Playing Catch With a Live Hand Grenade.” Both Research Notes advise state and local leaders on water as an emerging threat that state and local governments and private enterprise must address.
Or take Obama and health reform, for example. What good is insurance, if claims are denied? From the Institue for Public Accuracy:
The Real Death Panels
More than one out of every five requests for medical claims for insured patients, even when recommended by a patient’s physician, are rejected by California’s largest private insurers, amounting to very real death panels in practice daily in the nation’s biggest state, according to data released Wednesday by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee […]
Claims denial rates by leading California insurers, first six months of 2009:
* PacifiCare — 39.6 percent
* Cigna — 32.7 percent
* HealthNet — 30 percent
* Kaiser Permanente — 28.3 percent
* Blue Cross — 27.9 percent
* Aetna — 6.4 percent
Think hospital stuff-ups in NSW, don’t even think about social services failures in protectng children. These are not separate issues, they are all about our governments, and our blissful belief that our democracy ain’t broke.
A high-flying developer shot dead in front of his son, a mysterious tape with allegations of corruption. Think Jets and Sharks, knives and tears. Like Candide, I have no choice but to cultivate my garden. I have dirt under my nails, mulch on my raspberries, and the start of a green doll house. More Sondheim, more Bernstein.
bike solar panel.jpg

Posted by Ronda Jambe at 8:16 am | Comments (1) |

1 Comment

  1. Rhonda ,if you really want something to get passionate about see, Our Govt will not allow our ABC to air this,but this was shown on national Danish TV in April this year.
    Obama is just a puppet of the corporate global powers.We can make the world a better place if we all seek the truth.

    Comment by Arjay — September 21, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

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