Sunday, August 28, 2005
  Honoring Our People?

The late Morris Thompson was Athabaskan, born and raised in the Yukon River Village of Tanana. He had a colorful career in both the private and public sectors, and was known as one of Alaska's most prominent business leaders.

Morris served as special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior during the Nixon administration and, at age 34, became the youngest Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Morris was a former president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, founding Vice-President of Commonwealth North, co-chairman of the Alaska Federation of Natives, and a cabinet-level officer in Alaska Governor Walter J. Hickel's first administration.

Employed by Doyon Limited Regional Corporation since 1981, Morris was originally hired as Vice-President and, in October 1985, he was appointed President and Chief Officer. When Morris took over Doyon in 1985, it had an operating loss of $28 million. When he retired, it was generating $70.9 million in annual revenues, had 900 employees and 14,000 stockholders.

One month after retiring from Doyon, Morris passed away along with his wife, Thelma, and his daughter, Sheryl, on Alaska Airlines flight 261 returning from a vacation in Mexico.

And what has this got to do with Jakartass you might reasonably ask.

A couple of days ago I outlined the difficulties we have communicating with the drones who supposedly retain our website domain name and the resultant loss of communication due to the loss of our emails.

Being of a positive frame of mind ~ we'll sue the bastards ~ and with the exercise of a bit of lateral thinking, I've opened a new Jakartass email account.

With great excitement I awaited the first missive to my inbox. I found it had been filtered out and this is part of it:


I am Mr.Akram Mahmoud Ali Branch Manger of national Bank of Abu Dhabi I am writing following an Opportunity In my office that will be of immense benefit to both of Us. In my department I discovered an abandoned sum of $12, million ($12, 000, 000, 00) United state dollars) in an account that belongs to one of our foreign customers, Late Mr. Morris Thompson an American who unfortunately lost His life in the plane crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261 Which crashed on January 31 2000, including his wife and Only daughter.

You shall read more about this story visiting This site. Since we got information about his death, we have been Expecting his Next of kin or relatives to come over and claim His money because we cannot release it unless somebody applies For it as next of kin or Relation to the deceased as indicated In our banking guidelines.

Unfortunately I learnt that his supposed next of kin being his Only Daughter died along with him in the plane crash leaving Nobody with The knowledge of this fund behind for the claim. And the banking law and guidelines here united Arab emirate That such money remained after five years the money will be Transferred into banking treasury as unclaimed funds.

etc. etc.

Mr. A.M.I. is a dishonorable person. What's more, the five years are already up.

And why am I blogging this? Because it is symptomatic of greed and venality, the curse of the 'developed' world.

Today's Jakarta Post gives prominence to the shooping habits of the rich and shallow.

Who needs new malls?

The intensified construction of malls is now capitalizing on the consumption-driven economy, in which lenders believe that injecting their money into the financing of new malls would quickly generate profits, rather than engaging in more risky production-side activities such as the construction of new factories.

People do a lot of things in malls

It's like there is no getting enough of them. There are a couple of them five minutes away from where we're standing now and another one seven minutes away, a friend said when I asked about the idea of banning the building of any more malls, particularly in the "swamped" capital of Jakarta.

No, my friend was not complaining.

He said it was just fascinating to see the abundance of options, even if only to taste the different atmospheres in branches of Starbucks, McDonald's, Sport Station or the 21 cinema in each mall.

Good news: There is still room for more malls

City Spatial Agency head Nurfakih Wirawan said that the city spatial plan would be made and revised in the best interests of business in the city.

The city administration apparently has turned a blind eye to the fact that the construction of new malls continually encroaches on the green areas and other public spaces.

A construction of new mall is now underway at the entrance of Senayan Sports Complex, which will swallow up a green field that is already diminishing due to the existence of a four-star hotel nearby.

Residents in Cibubur, in East Jakarta are now complaining about the massive traffic congestion in their neighborhood ever since the construction of a new mall kicked off in the location, while a trade center in Central Jakarta stands accussed of occupying a public road connecting a nearby neighborhood.

Nurfakih claimed that compared to other cities in Europe, America and Asia, Jakarta has cleaner air.

"If you fly above Jakarta, it still looks green. It's even greener than Paris, New York and Tokyo," he asserted.

Jakartass is beginning to despair of humanity. This isn't about honouring people; it's about consumerism of scarce resources and exploitation of a society losing its identity and soul.

Choice? A green city?

Bullshit. It's lies upon lies.

There are still green oases of sanity. I pause and reflect upon the whereabouts of Son no.1. He's up at Hotel Rimbo having his brain washed. If I can hang on 'til Xmas that's where I'll be too. Have a look at the banner photo, the view from my yet-to-be-built studio.

There is still hope that this aging hippy won't turn into a grumpy old codger.




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