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December 15, 2009

Western Nations Pledge Millions In AYDS Relief

Everything seemingly is spinning out of control:"Obesity is becoming more common among poor city dwellers in Africa....


Posted by Kate at December 15, 2009 8:45 AM
Comments

A group called & asked that I donate my clothes to the hungry in Africa - I told them to bugger off. Anyone that fat isn't hungry!

Posted by: the bear at December 15, 2009 9:09 AM

I blame Sally Strothers

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at December 15, 2009 9:17 AM

On the way to making obesity an international crisis affecting developing countries and worthy of more wealth redistribution and concert support from Geldoff and Hewson (Bono).

Posted by: rroe at December 15, 2009 9:33 AM

Interestingly enough, the same "global citzens" who anguish over the plight of Africa's poor, are also the rank and file true believers in the AGW Copenhagen climate rip-off which will deeply impoverish these starving nations with carbon taxing - to a point where the food supplies in these starving nations will be further rationed killing many millions who cannot afford the inflation of food prices by carbon offset taxes.

Hypocracy thy name art "progressive".

Posted by: Bill at December 15, 2009 9:41 AM

Tracing the roots of Oprah's thyroid condition....

Posted by: Eskimo at December 15, 2009 9:45 AM

Kate: here's an idea for a juxtaposition:

Story 1. Toronto: Area kids are breaking limbs falling onto hard surfaces from playground structures. Researchers suggest sand is a better/safer surface.

Story 2 Africa: Obesity on the rise in poor, urban centers. Lack of exercise 9as well as cheap, fat food) cited.

Solution: send Toronto kids and their playsets to Africa.

Posted by: PhilM at December 15, 2009 9:46 AM

So, if I under it correctly, the new artifact of poverty is fat people.

Posted by: Paul at December 15, 2009 10:06 AM

The comments here and in the preceding thread are absolutely hilarious, especially bear's and Texas Canuck's. This all goes to granting me a merry and happy Christmas and New Year. You gotta laugh else you'd cry!

Posted by: larben at December 15, 2009 10:45 AM

You'd think that here in Western Canada where we have four months to gather our crops from start to finish, we'd have way more trouble feeding ourselves than in a country where they can drop a seed in the ground year-round and have something to eat in six weeks. And WE feed THEM?!

Posted by: kdl at December 15, 2009 11:13 AM

Firstly, I know enough about Africa to not give a rat's ass about Africans.

A couple of points why obesity may not be all bad.

- It helps us to identify poor people by their big fat bodies. A form of profiling so you know when you are in the wrong neighborhood.

- If everyone was obese, who would be fit to go and fight a war? That one would please the progressives.

- We would all be able to outrun pan handlers and other poor criminals.

On the downside, lesbians who seem to be mostly fat, may not like being mistaken for the poor, since most of them seem to have well-paying government jobs. They just like living in the wrong neighborhoods for the cheap character homes and lofts that they can decorate and decorate and decorate.

Posted by: Abe Froman at December 15, 2009 11:34 AM

Abe Froman said "A form of profiling so you know when you are in the wrong neighborhood."

I live in a working class neighborhood and I never ever see those little scooters around. I work in a poor neighborhood and the sidewalks are congested with fat people smoking cigarettes and driving around on the scooters.

Posted by: gord at December 15, 2009 11:47 AM

Come on, people. Let's have a little compassion.

I agree with 99.9% of what's on this site. But that article did not say there was a lot of obesity among Africa's urban poor, only that the rate was increasing. Going from 1% to 3% is a big increase, but it's not like there's not starvation in Africa.

I've worked in the Kipsongo slums in Kenya. We frequently visit an orphanage which is doing its best to be self-sufficient (it farms and exports french beans to the Netherlands; it's started a fish farm; it's started construction companies), and the kids there arrive severely malnourished. They have gotten their food from garbage dumps since they were 4. I saw an 8-year-old who weighed 23 pounds. She looked 2. She was close to death, but they rehabilitated her.

Yes, Africa's governments are corrupt. The Kenyans would be the first to tell you that! But don't paint all Africans as horrible. We've been working to start microbusinesses with teenage mothers who were gangraped after the violence in Eldoret. They have nothing else, but they want to stand on their own two feet. They eat meat maybe three times a year, but they eat lots of maize and kale. And they're making plans to support their babies. They are the last thing from obese you can think of.

We have so much here in Canada. We are blessed with a government that as much as we complain about, at least has checks and balances.

Don't go trash talking people who are desperate. How would you like to be alone in the world at 5 years of age because your mother died and your alcoholic step-father didn't want you? How would you like to be desperate and looking for food in the dump, while police chase after you? Or how would you like to be a 13-year-old girl picked up for being homeless, put in prison, and then raped by the guards every night, until this orphanage rescued you?

People in this world live awful, awful lives. Much of it is caused by the government, and by the evil of their own countrymen. But please show a little compassion, at least around Christmastime, and stop sounding so hateful to a continent with so much suffering, especially among children.

Hate the government if you want to. I do. Hate the police if you want to (among the most corrupt in the world). But remember that there are honest innocent people suffering, and please be mindful of that in your tone.

You who are parents, picture your child at 5, alone on the street, and then see if you can sound as hateful as most of the above posters have done.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 2:26 PM

SheilaG- If I could picture my child starving, and alone, I wouldn't have had children.

Of course they're fat. They haven't done an hour's work in 3 generations, and we keep sending them money.

I urge, no, I implore you, stop sending money to Africa. Get busy, urging your MP to stop the madness. If they want to breed, they should be able to feed. It's nature's oldest, and most sensible rule.

Posted by: dp at December 15, 2009 2:34 PM

Oh ya, Shiela, I don't believe your sob stories. I've been bombarbed with sob stories from Africa for so long, they just go in one ear, and out the other. Lies, lies, and more lies.

Posted by: dp at December 15, 2009 2:37 PM

SheilaG, there are huge problems in Africa, not unlike some of the things you described. I won't dispute that those things happen and are horrible.
I also believe that Africa's problems are largely cultural. How can a continent with the resources it has be poor? Corruption, violence and tribalism are the true problems, not cynical posters.
Just my thoughts.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at December 15, 2009 2:40 PM

dp--

Don't be a jerk. I'm not making this up. My living room is covered with pictures of my kids with the kids there from our last two trips. The home is Mulli Children's Family in Kenya. We're leading a medical team in March. You can see the website here: http://mcfcf.ca. My mother was there when they rescued that little 8-year-old girl, and we have video.

Yes, the problem is cultural. Yes, it's because of tribalism, and the inferior view of women, and corruption, and violence, and alcoholism, and spiritism, and all kinds of things. I don't dispute that.

But none of it changes the fact that children are starving, being raped, and being left for dead.

If you truly believe in free-market principles (which I do, and which I assume all of you do if you read this blog), then why not try to use free-market principles to help Africa? I don't give money to the government, or through large NGOs. I go over and do it myself.

But if you can't go over, there are great sites that help with micro-businesses.

It's easy to dismiss the world because it's just a hellhole, and what's the point?

But is that really how you want to be? Do you really want to not care that children are dying or being raped? Are you all really that hateful? Do you want to just make fun of African orphans, and think that that somehow makes you superior or cool?

Of course the place is a mess, but I do believe that free market principles, if they are implemented, can help. And we have seen that happen. We've seen girls start a hairdressing business in Mombassa. Not glamorous, but these girls who were once forced into prostitution by their aunts and uncles are now supporting themselves honourably. To me that means something.

If you all think that these people don't deserve help because the nation is pathetic and the culture is pathetic, than that's your prerogative. But I hardly think that's good publicity for conservativism. If conservativism is practical and workable, then let's export it and help others wiht it. But let's not let conservativism be equated with hatefulness and lack of compassion for those most desperate.

They are most desperate because the country doesn't know anything about true conservative principles. So if we are true conservatives, then we would at least applaud those who are trying to help using those principles, rather than just hoping all those kids over there die because they deserve it.

Try showing a little compassion, at least at Christmas.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 3:04 PM

Africa is worse off now than when I was a child in the '60s.
The Canadian Maritimes are worse off then when I was a child in the '60s.

What, SheilaG, do these 2 places have in common?
Welfare, that's what.

Socialism doesn't work and neither do people on welfare.
You aren't part of the solution, SheilaG.

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 3:05 PM

I don’t think that the point of Kate’s post is about Africa. It’s about Reuters, “researchers” and professional do gooders who use Africans to line their own pockets either with money or “moral” vanity tokens.
Good on you Sheila, for helping even though it must have been a discouraging situation.

Posted by: Cal at December 15, 2009 3:07 PM

Hey, don't yell at me and don't give me the saccharine treatment! There are problems, as I said.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at December 15, 2009 3:12 PM

I absolutely agree that welfare has hurt Africa. I don't support welfare. But business loans are not welfare, and they do work. And low-interest loans for some of these kids to go to university is entirely different from putting a whole country on welfare.

Talk to Charles Mully, a Kenyan who runs the Mully Children's Family, and he would absolutely agree that countries should stop giving money to kleptomaniac African governments. He doesn't want welfare, either. Neither do some other really amazing conservative entrepreneurs in the continent who are trying to make things better.

But don't dump all aid into the same category. It isn't. And what conservatives need to do is figure out a way to help people rise up through capitalist principles, rather than leaving them to languish in pathetic governments because somehow they "deserve what they get".

Give these people a chance, and you will see how they will change the government. But they can't do it when they're being gang-raped at 14 in a refugee camp.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 3:57 PM

Sheila

Been there, done that.

I to believe that if you are giving assistance to Africa it must be given directly to those in need and not to the agencies or government intermediaries. If you must do charitable works, that is the least harmful direct assistance.

I myself think it is up to the local population to make the necessary change. That means they need (a partial list):
- real education (not the anti white and anti developed world propeganda that passes for education in most African countries),
- real rule of law (not democracy because that is just another way of selecting the big man),
- real freedom of expression (not government controled and influenced media and political parties),
- the population excercising control over the powers that be (responsible government and bureaucracy),
- the do gooders doing good elsewhere (at home with their families is preferred) (aid welfare is just providing them with fish)

But getting back to the main post - this portends the development of a new scare for the world government to address. Obesity is now an iternational plague affecting even Africa. Surely now the UN must step in and money must be taken from the rich countries and redistributed to the poor (just so long as some fall into the right hands along the way).

Posted by: rroe at December 15, 2009 4:10 PM

Obesity is caused by all that CO2 in the soda pop.
What?
You say soda pop has sugar in it?
Well, it's the CO2 that forces the sugar to make the drinker become obese./CO2 scarmonger

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 4:27 PM

Agree SheilaG. I like what Muhammad Yunis has done with microcredit. dp and Oz, you're not striking the right tone, sorry! Oz, saying that SheilaG isn't part of the solution is crazy talk.

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 4:41 PM

We just got done wiping out $40 billion in debt to Africa, a continent full of dictators, cannibals, communists, Muslims, and tribal genocides, and you call me crazy, Erik Larsen, for saying Africa can't be helped SheilaG's way?

Look in the mirror, buckwheat.
Africa isn't my problem, but SheilaG and you think it is.

You are wrong.
My problem is my government throwing my tax money down a dry well.
My problem is crazy commie tools like you handing the government a mandate on a silver platter to do it.

Have you read the book "IQ and the Wealth of Nations"?

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 5:03 PM

The problem is caused by "cheap low quality food". Well, the solution to that is easy, make the food expensive and voila the problem of obesity is solved.

Reminds me of one of PJ O'Rourke's books when he was visiting the USSR and his guide told him with a straight face: "Our two main problems here are trying to buy food and losing weight".

People who eat mainly carbohydrates tend to consume a lot more calories/day if they have access to food in amounts greater than they need to live on (one study showed that the caloric difference between the Atkins diet and a high carb diet was 1500 calories/day more for the high carb diet). This suggests that it's time to start getting more protein in their diet and less carbs. Obviously they're not getting that much exercise either. I'd be curious about how many of these poor obese people do any work at all. If the spherical patients I see here who are on welfare and constantly complaining about not having enough money for food and their being overweight (often in the same sentence) are representative then the best thing for them would be to put them to work doing manual labor as it would probably improve their mood, get them to lose weight and keep them out of my office.

Posted by: loki at December 15, 2009 5:14 PM

This was obviously by design so that Opera could sell them diet remedies and set up private liposuction clinics across Africa.

Anyone who believes any of the starving baby African propaganda is a ………fool.

Africa is simply a money sinkhole capitalized on by big business, lefty idealism and religious zealotry. The Africans don’t care, just keep it coming.

40 years of western interference has created bigger tribal wars with modern weapons, more starvation, massive aids infected populations, generational welfare dependence and huge organized crime syndicates. All of which prey on YOU for sustenance, much of which we now import wholesale.

Keep up the love.


Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 5:20 PM

AP should know. Journalists all over the western world sit in front of computers regurgitating the pap that has been force fed to them. While some of their predecessors actually got up and went out investigating the stories they wrote, the current crop sit awaiting the next political plum that may come their way. This particular kind of obesity makes them fat from the neck up.

Posted by: blackash at December 15, 2009 5:25 PM

By the way Kate - love the double meaning on Aids with AYDS.

Posted by: rroe at December 15, 2009 5:27 PM

Oz, you just aren't listening to what SheilaG is saying. And, nice invective [not].

The shouting and contempt I'm reading here makes me think I've stumbled on a left-wing forum.

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 5:36 PM

Posted by: rroe at>

“this portends the development of a new scare for the world government to address”…………..“Surely now the UN must step in and money must be taken from the rich countries and redistributed to the poor (just so long as some fall into the right hands along the way).”

You were joking of course?

I do find it funny that people who really do feel that way, never mean their own money or wealth. It’s always someone else’s.
The little CYA add-on the end of your statement was especially typical of the lefts flighty rationality “(just so long as some fall into the right hands along the way).” Yea right! Like that will ever happen, and what is “so long as SOME fall into the right hands along the way”? I suppose that it really doesn’t matter if you don’t feel that it’s your money being handed over to corrupt UN officials or murderous warlords, so long as SOME of someone else’s money goes to the right place.

“this portends the development of a new scare for the world government to address”

A one world government is a good thing?

Why don’t countries clear off their opposition parties, senates, and congress’s etcetera entirely? Just allow the biggest African warlord who can murder his way to the top (on our money) to claim victory as leader of the next World Government. Then no more elections and no more worries, right?

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 5:50 PM

I am not going to respond to Oz because he is being deliberately inciteful and hateful, and I don't think that's representative of SmallDeadanimals at all.

I'm almost sorry I started all of this; I know this wasn't Kate's original point, it's just that the comments were devolving into a "we hate Africans" thing, and that really makes me mad.

Erik, thanks for the kind words.

I, too, believe that local populations are the solutions to most problems. That's what happening at the Mulli Children's Home (and many like it that are growing all over Africa, using his model of self-sustainability). But one thing he isn't is entirely local, because local means tribal. Charles Mulli has children in his home from every single tribe in Kenya. He is working to end tribalism, and let's remember that "local cures" in Africa often means tribal ones, which perpetuate the problem.

They are building on self-sustainability; I'm excited by that and want to participate. And though local communities should be the solution, that's hard when there's no real infrastructure and a drought going on. Sometimes a gift of a bore hole so a community can have clean water can go a long way in empowering those local solutions.

Okay, I'm off of my soapbox now. Like I said, I agree with what Kate writes; it's the comments here I found completely out of place. Like Erik said, it's as if we're on a left-wing blog, not a right-wing one where we honestly want real solutions for everyone's betterment.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 5:56 PM

Sorry, one more thing, and then that's really it.

When did I ever say I approve of government giving aid? I don't. I think PEOPLE should step up to the plate and lend a helping hand through microbusiness loans. Government, when it tries, usually messes things up. With individuals, there's more accountability.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 5:59 PM

Good for you, SheilaG.

I'll still support my girl in Senegal and see her happy face when she is able to buy rice with the extra gift I send the family. And the animals.
And the school supplies. And the school fees. And the mats to sleep on. And the flipflops to walk to school. And the oil lantern so the kids can do their homework. And the...
Oh, what's the use.

Give to your local food bank. The smokers and drinkers in Canada need your help also.

Posted by: gellen at December 15, 2009 6:11 PM

"Oz, saying that SheilaG isn't part of the solution is crazy talk."
~Erik Larsen

Look, Erik Larsen, SheilaG is whining and puling about African "children...starving, being raped, and being left for dead."

Well the place is unstable and a chaotic third world toilet.

SheilaG and you are not part of the solution.
If there is a solution it is Ann Coulter's solution:
We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

That I'd be willing to spend taxes on because it would be an attainable solution.
Going there and helping a few individuals start micro-businesses isn't going to stop the raping and killing and being left for dead.

Loaning money to people in such circumstances is giving it to them as welfare because they aren't going to pay it back and pretending they will is a flat out lie.

SheilaG called dp a jerk, you, Erik Larsen, called me crazy(crazy talk comes from crazy people) and you are the ones who are wrong.

"I saw an 8-year-old who weighed 23 pounds. She looked 2. She was close to death, but they rehabilitated her."
~SheilaG

Rehabilitated?
Yeah, about as rehabilitated as you can get someone who has brain damage from malnutrition.
Get a grip on reality.

And don't pretend I started the invective, Larsen.
Everyone can read what is upthread.

SheilaG, calling people "hateful" is a typical socialist ad hominem attack which usually follows the realization that they have lost the argument.

SheilaG, your Leftist talking points are banal, trite, and larded with useless appeals to sentimental images.

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 6:13 PM

Posted by: gellen>

“Give to your local food bank. The smokers and drinkers in Canada need your help also.”

Wow, now there’s some real empathy, national pride and patriotism all rolled up into one neat little package.

“Those damned grubby little Canadian Indians, nothing like the imperial satisfaction of giving $1.00 a month to Africa”.

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 6:21 PM

Oz, you are still not reading things correctly. I did not call you crazy. My comment re "crazy talk" was directed towards your posting, whereby you said that someone who was providing aid directly to people who required it was not part of the solution.

I've read a fair bit about microcredit, and while initially skeptical, I think it's a useful way of solving a lot of problems. It is a direct counterpoint to conventional "foreign aid".

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 6:27 PM

Why would the powers that be care about soaring death rates due to obesity? Don't they want the population drastically cut to mitigate climate change (TM)? There you go.

Posted by: M.K.Ulrich at December 15, 2009 6:48 PM

Let's see, in the past little while, I've been called a twit, buckwheat, a socialist, and I forget what else. . . . by people who are in theory politically similarly like-minded to me. So I'll keep on my roll, with my following comment:

Knight99, sometimes I enjoy reading your posts, sometimes I don't. I know that this will likely not affect your world, but your post above I do not enjoy. Thanks for considering my comment.

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 6:49 PM

Look, Eric Larsen, if people want to give any aid they want I can't stand in their way.
It's putting a band aid on a sucking chest wound, but hey, it's their money.
If they want to pretend to "lend" their own personal money that is never going to be repaid to someone on the other side of the world who could be killed along with 100,000 others in the same unstable place in the next tribal genocide then fine.
Oakley dokely.

The thread is about the government taking my money and throwing it away.

Nobody is going to tell me Africa or anywhere else is my problem and get away with it, especially if it will be used as an overture to coerce my taxes to pay for it.
And it will be used as such an overture, many of the current evils in our own society started out as voluntary efforts, just like SheilaG's and then those volunteers got all self righteous and forced us to their cause as if none of us have causes of our own.

We have enough problems here in Canada, over taxation is one of them, and misuse of tax funds is another.

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 6:55 PM

Oz, I agree with you re overtaxation and misuse of tax funds. I think sadly a lot of foreign aid is just for "Bono-pleasing purposes".

I mentioned microcredit - the interesting thing is that the repayment rate is 95-98%, which is way more morally justifiable than giving money to kleptocratic dictators. I hate the argument that "well, some money filters down to those who need it". Microcredit is direct aid.

I wouldn't be surprised that with microcredit, and subsequently improving the quality of life there, reproductive rates would also decrease, solving a variety of other problems.

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 7:04 PM

Posted by: Erik Larsen>

I agree with you. It’s like SDA has been hijacked by a pack of lefty loons since I’ve been AFK for the last couple of months (Travelling many of these same cesspits, without full internet access).

I would also commend SheilaG, because she sounds like someone who cares to help others on her own dime with her own time. Nothing wrong with that, everyone can make their own choices in life and it’s commendable when someone puts their energy, time and money where their mouth is.

Unfortunately others commenting here are spouting off about one world governments and distributing the wealth of so called rich countries. Even going as far as citing Bob Geldoff and that world renowned megalomaniac nutball Bono from U2.

Bono quote “I do not give of my own money, but do give of my time”!

*This is a super multimillionaire who lobbies your government for mandatory taxation to go directly to Africa. In the meantime he has moved his multimillion dollar music empire out of Ireland to Holland because of changes to the tax exempt status he enjoyed for years for “artists” there. He owns everything from 5 star hotels, restaurant chains, co-owns Forbes magazine along with another 15 companies and financial trusts………….But he “does not give of his own money”!

The fact that others would righteously quote this hypocritical crank as a justification of their misguided ideologies on SDA and not be properly challenged is disheartening to say the least.


Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 7:12 PM

Thanks Knight99 - you said things way better than I did, and I tried hard.

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 7:17 PM

Posted by: Erik Larsen>

“…….but your post above I do not enjoy. Thanks for considering my comment.”

Considered! Sometimes I do not enjoy the outcome of some of my own posts either Erik!

As with anyone, there are good days and bad, at times things meant to be said appear to have an almost opposite meaning once re-read in print.

I suppose if you elaborated as to which post or comment I made that was “not to your liking” I could give a proper rebuttal or explanation.

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 7:19 PM

Speaking of Bono, I was sad to hear that the clapping story was not true - distilled down:

At a concert, Bono started to rhythmically clap, and said "Every time I clap, a child in Africa dies"

"Stop clapping then" someone yelled

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 7:22 PM

The one about the Indians. I think I understand your point, but it just doesn't sound right. I don't want to start another major discussion though! I think I've said too much here already. :-)

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 7:27 PM

re. Oz - I don't think any non-troll here wants to deliver taxpayer money to Robert Mugabe's Swiss bank account. But what on earth is wrong with micro-loans?

However screwed up Africa is politically, which is of course for the most part very, what is the problem with helping ordinary people accumulate a little hard-earned wealth? What's "leftist" about that? Even in Africa, you know, everyone isn't constantly being massacred.

SheilaG makes all the sense in the world.

(Erik @6:49 - a few days ago I called you a schmuck, but in a nice way.)

Posted by: Black Mamba at December 15, 2009 7:47 PM

I would also commend SheilaG, because she sounds like someone who cares to help others on her own dime with her own time. Nothing wrong with that, everyone can make their own choices in life and it’s commendable when someone puts their energy, time and money where their mouth is.
~Knight 99

Yeah, commendable.
But she played the guilt card and lost the commendation:
You who are parents, picture your child at 5, alone on the street, and then see if you can sound as hateful as most of the above posters have done.
~SheilaG at December 15, 2009 2:26 PM

"It takes a village to raise a child."~insipid traditional African saying

Too bad SheilaG can't understand that, unlike Africans, the people on this thread take care of their own children.

SheilaG puts herself up on a pedestal and pretends that the people who are upthread and angry because the government is going to take their taxes and throw the money at Africa, AGAIN, should feel guilty because, in addition to her taxes being ripped off, she gives personally to Africa.

Well SheilaG, commendation revoked!

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 7:51 PM

Posted by: Erik Larsen>

“The one about the Indians……”

Oh – Ha ha……….Yes that was one that probably came out wrong.

My intended comment was twofold. First, Gellens earlier comments came across to me as very sanctimonious and secondly veiled racism. Veiled racism in the way of typical self loathing white hating racism. He cryptically stated that somehow poor Black Africans are more worthy of his magnanimous charity than supposedly beer swilling, tobacco chewing poor White dregs on Canadian society.

My response was intended to be a returned cryptic reply pointing out the typical lefty hypocrisy in his tongue in cheek comment. The fact I was trying to point out - was that it was not just poor white people that he was besmirching but also the little brown people who also have needs back home. Knowing of course that the radical left only see’s racism as a one way street, and that they are somehow above it if they throw themselves at Africa with self serving 10th century indulgences.

I will agree with you though, the comment most probably will be seen by many in another light.

Nothing wrong with pointing that out to me Erik - Thanks!

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 7:56 PM

re. Oz - I don't think any non-troll here wants to deliver taxpayer money to Robert Mugabe's Swiss bank account. But what on earth is wrong with micro-loans?
~Black Mamba

Not a thing wrong with microloans, especially if they are loans and are being repaid.
I'm not convinced that they are.
If they aren't being repaid they are microwelfare.

The thread is about our governments giving our taxes to Africa, again.

Ask SheilaG if she understood that was what the thread was about, not her and her microloans or her pet cause.

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 7:59 PM

Okay, I've got to say something else.

Oz, to repeat, when did I ever say that I thought the government should give aid? Why do you keep saying that I think the government should? Get your facts straight and read what I wrote.

I'm glad everyone on this thread looks after their own kids. So do I.

Many, many in Africa don't. Many abuse their children. Many sell them into prostitution. Many gang-rape teenage girls and get them pregnant.

Of course they should look after their own kids. Of course they should stop having so many kids if they can't afford them. No one disputes that.

But it doesn't change the fact that there are millions of children out there right now who are not being cared for, and many millions more with parents who would like to care for them but can't because they have no money and the country is in a drought.

You may not care about them. That is your prerogative. But I do, as does anybody with a heart. You may think it's okay to say that because African ADULTS don't look after their kids (or Cambodian adults, or Brazilian adults, or Haitian adults, or whatever), we shouldn't help the KIDS at all because they'll just grow up to do the same thing. You may think it's okay to let little kids starve or get sold into prostitution.

But I do not think it is okay. I have a hard time comprehending how anybody cannot be moved by their plight. Do you think foster kids in Canada are to be blamed for their parents, too (yes, we've done emergency foster care work, too. I guess that makes me part of another problem, too, by perpetuating the foster system in Canada or something according to your logic).

These kids are not to blame. They desperately need help. And from what I've seen, they do incredibly well when given the chance. They try at school. They succeed. We've seen former street kids go through university and start businesses.

Microbusiness and microfinance helps, as does simply building wells in areas with no water. I don't think it's the government's job to do it. I think it's our job, as it should be for anybody who cares about this world.

You may not fall into that category, and that's okay. But personally, I'd rather fall on the side of those who helps orphans and abused children than the side of one who thinks they should fend for themselves because it's all their own fault. Or whatever point it is you're trying to make.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 8:07 PM

Thanks Knight99 - I bet I've misread more than one of your posts - good to know.

Oz - I don't know why I'm so argumentative tonight, but SheilaG isn't sanctimonious, and not off-base.

And microcredit is totally on topic. And as I said, 95-98% of the loans are repaid. Much better than giving big lumps to governments, and waiting for the crumbs to reach the people who need it.

and blackmamba - I am a schmuck

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 8:12 PM

Hey, SheilaG I've got a heart, I've got a mind to go with it.
I was abandoned as a child too.

Africa isn't my problem.
I resent you for implying that it is, and I resent that you imply that if I don't see it to be my problem that I don't have a heart because, in your words:
"You may not care about them. That is your prerogative. But I do, as does, anybody with a heart."

I have my causes, foreign nations and the people that populate them aren't among them.
So take your judgements and your guilt trips and stick it where the sun doesn't shine you self righteous harpy.

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 8:17 PM

Additionally, SheilaG, the guilt cards you are playing are the exact same cards that are played, and rather successfully, to coerce other people to socialist causes, first through voluntary action, and then when they get enough volunteers they lobby the government for legislation to force everybody to support their cause.

Posted by: Oz at December 15, 2009 8:24 PM

Posted by: Oz>

Yea, I wouldn’t personally go as far as revoking her good honest work and deeds over a few thoughtless comments.

I will agree full stop, that the “guilt cards” played by the emotional cranks along with their sleazy predator pimps have long run their game out!

It’s strange to me that people can stand in the middle of anarchy and have completely different viewpoints of what’s going on, similar to witnesses at an accident. The fact that intelligent people can chime about cultural and tribal differences in Africa as authorities on the subject but have absolutely no idea what they are truly talking about is amazing to me.

They wear their emotions on their sleeve and their “down to earth” judgments are clouded by their personal ideologies. Take “rape” in Africa for example: It’s been cited several times in earlier thread comments as the horror of horrors over there. Yet when you spend enough time in Africa, you realize that this is typical business as usual in most of its cultures and a widely accepted source of barter. Oh I know how that sounds to us – but there is no surprise to most Africans when stated, unless there is a “sympathetic con” going on. They indeed know our culture much better that we do theirs, so in turn they know which buttons to push and who among us is an easy mark.

The entire problem of Africa is because of western “Do gooders”. People starve and want because of western influence and interference. The more we interfere the worst it will become. The more underdeveloped and third world immigration we fill our own societies with, the worse we will become.

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 8:27 PM

Knight 99 let me try again to make myself understood.

My take on this "finding" (from the article referred to (The data chimes with findings from the World Health Organisation, which said in October that being overweight has now overtaken being underweight among the world's leading causes of death)) is that the "powers that be" at the WHO are in the process of discovering another global cause that can only be fixed by a UN intervention supported by concerts promoted by Geldoff and Bono. Gosh, the headline even refers to AYDS (the appetite suppressant of the 80's).

What cause could be more deserving of our tax dollars than contributing to the reduction of the global obesity crisis? (SARC!!!)

And how better to ensure that the problem is solved than to get the world government of the UN to manage it SARC!!!!)

And we all know that our tax dollars given by our government to the UN to be distributed to reduce poverty all go to the poor and none of it disappears in the UN hands of the UN bureaucrat who manages the crisis or the local kleptocrat who governs the country with too many fat Africans (SARC!!!!!!)

I agree with the tenor of your comments, but think your tone has not been helpful.

If my way of speaking has required you to double your meds - my bad and I am sorry.

Posted by: rroe at December 15, 2009 8:27 PM

Oz--

I don't mind if you don't give money to Africa. There are a ton of problems in this world, and we each need to give to the ones we feel the most called to. There's tons of stuff I don't give to that's worthy, so I sure hope someone else is giving there. So no problem at all if you don't feel called to give to Africa.

My problem is that you said that I was part of the problem BY giving to Africa. You insinuated that it was WRONG to give to Africa, and that is what I am reacting to.

You give to what you want to give to, I give to what I want to give to. What's wrong with that? To say that I'm somehow part of the problem by giving and that we should just leave them alone is where I think you went too far.

If that makes me a self-righteous harpy (in your words) so be it.

But I sure hope that most of Kate's readers aren't like that, because I've been reading for years and I've always enjoyed it. I hate to think I'm in the company of tons of people who think that compassion on an international scale is somehow wrong, even if it's done on a personal level and not through governments.

Glad to see, Erik and BlackMamba, that I'm not entirely alone. But I must say I thought conservative Canadians were a far more compassionate bunch.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 8:29 PM

Oz - for what it's worth, here's Mohammed Yunus' famous Grameen Bank. Yes, I realize there's a picture of him being felt up by Obama. Yes, I realize he's named "Mohammed". Yes, I am instinctively wary of anyone endorsed by Jimmy "goofy-tooth" Carter. None of these are amongst my favorite things. But if you're really interested in this stuff, click the links at the top, especially Methodology.

You might even check out SheilaG's site while you're at it. From my impression of you she strikes me as being your kind of person.

Erik - 'twas spite. Artistic envy. You were published first, you are more talented, and therefor I am Salieri to your Mozart.

Posted by: Black Mamba at December 15, 2009 8:30 PM

Posted by: rroe>

A full out apology rroe! As Erik Larson misread me, I obviously misread you.

No med’s – but I am fighting a bit of a hangover today. Anyway it’s been fun venting on some lefty ideology regardless, to bad your sarcasm was misconstrued as real.


Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 8:36 PM

BlackMamba--

I think I love you. :)

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 8:38 PM

Sheila I'd like to know your take on Dambisa Moyo's book "Dead Aid". And what about President Kagame of Rwanda's policy to become independent of foreign aid within 5 years?

I too have been in Africa. Based on that experience, I think that we do cause problems when we give to Africa - unless it is done right.

My family volunteered and worked in an ophanage. We gave (and continue to give) direct to those in need and did not contribute to any NGO, government department or charity that put itself between us and those in need. But if we weren't supporting children, I'd be taking a long hard look at the kind of charity I contribute so as to ensure I don't perpetuate the problem or make it worse.

Posted by: rroe at December 15, 2009 8:40 PM

Black Mamba - I'm kind of a Sussmeyr-ish Mozart, sadly, and you're more talented. (Cooly blows on fingernails for his own awesome cultural reference)

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 8:54 PM

I love Moyo's book. Her thesis is that welfare has allowed governments to get stuck in this welfare-dependency mode, killing more people in Africa than if the Western world had done nothing. It has also allowed governments to increase corruption to such a scale that they basically control their populace (Kenya, for instance, has the most corrupt police in the world). And corruption is far harder to fight against than poverty, because there's a power imbalance, and the people who have power don't want to share it because they're getting rich off of it. So not only have western governments encouraged welfare, they've encouraged oppression of the populace.

Moyo instead wants to see micro-finance increase, which is what I've been talking about.

We give directly to an orphanage (and visit it) too, but I wouldn't necessarily advise everyone do that unless you have a very good way of ensuring where the money goes. I know lots of Canadians who have sent over $20,000 so someone can buy a bus to transport children in need only to find out that someone built a huge house for themselves out of it. I think to some extent you need to go through some organization with a Board that requires financial accountability. I just try to stick to very small organizations with little overhead, so that I can see where it's going and make sure that the aim is self-sufficiency, not enrichment of the person who's running the charity.

That being said, there is amazing work going on in Africa. When I've been over there, I leave with such a sense of hope, not despair, because the people we've seen are working so hard. We've seen 22-year-old men bunched into school desks because they've never been to school, so they're now in grade 9. And they're trying so hard to learn. And they are learning.

I don't agree with government aid, and the Kenyans I'd met wouldn't either. They want to be self-sufficient (as the president of Rwanda wants). If we really wanted to help, we'd stop government aid altogether to try to put a lid on the corruption, and then try to start more micro-businesses. Help people be self-sufficient and kill the corruption. That's the route for health in Africa.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 8:58 PM

I guess I'll be the evil one here. The most compassionate thing we can do is let the kids die. If you save 200 kids, statistically 100 will be girls. Those girls will grow up and put out at least 5 kids each. It's their culture. Now, you have 500 starving kids instead of 200. What have you gained by your compassion? 300 more starving kids. It's cruel. It's terrible, but if you want fewer starving kids, let the current ones go.

Until Africa is allowed to finish its decent into ashes, sustaining it like we are will just add more people to a miserable situation

Posted by: Chris at December 15, 2009 9:03 PM

Sheila - Perfect. I couldn't agree more. Your last paragraph nails it!

Posted by: rroe at December 15, 2009 9:12 PM

Okay, let's see - like Erik (curse him! Who's Sussmeyr?), I find the mood tonight argumentative.

Knight 99 - normally I think you're groovy. But please don't - just don't - put rape in Dr. Evil "quotation marks" (@8:27). I am not a complete naife; I know that the prevalence of rape in Africa is horrifying. It's an African cultural problem, and how. How does that sync up with 'The entire problem of Africa' being 'because of western "Do Gooders"'?

p.s. - sorry about the hangover, but Sheila and I are in love and she hasn't made any "thoughtless comments" that need absolution.

@7:56 - And since I'm apparently going out of my way to pick fights, Knight 99, (and honestly, I usually like you); have you worked or volunteered in a soup kitchen or food bank? I do. Most of the "clients" are mentally ill/alchohlic/drug addicts (no surprise there, I think) who usually throw out half of the food they're given.

I'll keep volunteering; but if I could give those meals instead to hungry African kids, I would, in a heartbeat.

Chris - yeah, you're right, that is evil.

Posted by: Black Mamba at December 15, 2009 9:19 PM

Posted by: SheilaG >

That last comment made your point well.

All the power to you! I suspect that an independent attitude as yours will rally many other independent supporters.

No one likes to be forced to do anything, whether through forced taxation, or guilt saturation with bleeding heart third world stories. Africa is such an oversaturation that has desensitized the western conservative with overwhelming and never ending neediness.

As you well know Micro Finance has worked marvelously in parts South East Asia to improve the lives of the impoverished. The only way for the economies of the planet to sustain themselves is through self sufficiency. Otherwise you have condemned the economies of the world to feeding an exponentially growing illiterate class of parasitic life form. This is a harsh way to view humanity to be sure, but it is accurate nonetheless. Viral growth due to the benefits of a healthy host with no hope of improvement leaves only a pathetic existence of eating, sleeping, breeding and suffering.

Aid will only magnify the third world into a larger third world in a never ending cycle of dependence and poverty only larger and more pronounce with each generation. This is because the checks and balances of natural selection have been removed by western generosity.

So again, good on your endeavors!

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 9:25 PM

Chris--

Intellectually I see your point. I don't agree with it, but I do think it's valid, and I think you've thought things through.

I guess what I can't get away from is that those are living, breathing, human beings you're talking about. And I, for one, refuse to believe that things really are that helpless. It doesn't take a lot to bring clean water to a village, and that makes such a difference. Micro-business loans don't cost much, and they make such a difference, too. Maybe, before we write off an entire continent, we should try micro-finance grants and other capitalist (and conservative) efforts that have not yet been tried on a large scale.

Yes, what we've done hasn't been working. But there are pockets of encouraging signs. Perhaps if we replicated those pockets on a much bigger scale, we'd see some real results. And then those millions wouldn't have to die now, and the offspring they will have wouldn't hurt so much, either.

Let's also remember that much of sub-Saharan Africa has suffered from Muslim-Christian wars. Let the Christian nations die off (as you're suggesting) just gives the militant Muslim nations more of a foothold demographically. So it's also a matter of our own self-preservation, and not just theirs.

Posted by: SheilaG at December 15, 2009 9:28 PM

Posted by: Black Mamba>

Nope, not looking for a fight Mamba. Just expressing a few viewpoints mostly because I’m unable to function far from the keyboard today.

I suspect that the last comment I made to SheilaG sums up my overall feelings about western influence in Africa. No sense in repeating. In summary I have nothing against “Do Gooders” but I do believe “the road to hell was paved with good intentions”! As is the case with resource rich Africa.

Again I support SheilaG in her personal endeavors, so no chivalry needed on your part. My overall concern is never Africa or anywhere else for that matter except the preservation of our North American culture and way of life. The defensiveness on my part derives from the erosion of that way of life through the mindless misuse of our wealth by pandering to foreign powers, mostly corrupt.

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 9:43 PM

Knight: "Wow, now there’s some real empathy, national pride and patriotism all rolled up into one neat little package."

Just watch the people who use food banks on the days their cheques are cashed leaving the beer store carrying a case under each arm, plus the smokes (any kind). If someone needs help, I give it to them personally.

Also I've known people who quit working at food banks and and serving food for the needy because of the abuse. They started out with the best intentions but realized they were enablers, not making a difference.

BTW, my will gives a percentage of my income to the Salvation Army in order that they can continue their good work as and where required. I'll match my empathy, pride and patriotism with yours any day. I've been at it longer.

Posted by: gellen at December 15, 2009 10:10 PM

Chris, evil sums it up.

Raise the standard of living, and people have fewer kids. With microcredit, women can start businesses, get some wealth, don't have to worry about kids dying, get more freedom, and probably therefore have fewer kids. Good all around.

BlMa - Sussmeyr (or meyer) was the guy who finished Mozart's Requiem after M died. Not as skilled, and some of his stuff is pretty clunky.

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 10:33 PM

SheilaG:

I would never disparage your experience or thoughts as some have. You saw misery and you tried to help; I don't know how anyone who professes to be Christian could criticize you for that.

And I believe in many of the things you suggest: micro-loans, small scale farms, water wells and irrigation - these are things I can get behind. A study back in the 1980's showed that one of the best things that could be done for a central African community was to provide it with telecommunications, so that they could be aware of market prices and forces far away. The company I worked for, MITEL, actually developed the "SkySwitch" - a compact phone system (smaller than a dishwasher) coupled with a satellite link that used less than 75 watts of electricity (so easily powered by even older solar technology). But a funny thing happened - the Canadian government made a few grants to African countries to help them purchase these switches, but somehow the purchase orders never arrived. The grant cheques got cashed though.

The combination of tribalism, post-colonial Western guilt, and honest compassion has been deadly to Africa. When Ian Smith ran Rhodesia, it was known as "the breadbasket of Africa". Now, many people starve, and Mugabe's thugs rape and pillage at will (as reported in this week's National Post). The artificial borders imposed by the colonial powers worked when the Europeans were there to impose order and justice. Once they left, the power vacuum and tribal rivalries meant a descent (dissent?) into civil war throughout the continent. And post-colonial guilt meant we sent them scads of money, very little of which was used to feed or educate people, and very much of which was used to feed the bank accounts of tinpot dictators and build armies and airforces of unnecessary size and cost.

Now we have good-hearted people, who see the horror, and feel they need to do something about it. I understand those feelings, I really do, but this is where I part ways with "liberals". One definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over, and expecting different results. We've done the African aid thing over, and over, and OVER, and we get the same results every time - corruption, crime, personal enrichment, tribal slaughter, and the continued general deprivation of the people. More aid is not the answer - tough love is. Get tough, or cut them off. You can bet the Chinese, who are searching for resources, won't play with kid gloves if they invest in oil plays in Nigeria, and then some local tribe starts disrupting things - the Chinese will send in troops, guns, and planes, and kill indiscriminately to protect their investment. We have, apparently, no stomachs any more (as the Afghan prison nonsense attests) for standing up to anyone, anywhere.

Our policies, no matter what emotion they are based on, have failed everywhere and every time. So of course Bob Geldof asks for more, the drunken Irish sot. I respect what you saw, I respect what you did, and I respect your feelings. But I will personally be damned before I'll agree to another cent going down that sinkhole.

Posted by: KevinB at December 15, 2009 10:35 PM

gellen - I don't want to get too off topic here - but here's a story that really bothers me, related to what you wrote.

Dumping milk for the glass bottle refund.

http://gwendally.livejournal.com/408584.html

Stats say one in eight Americans receives food stamps, and apparently one in four kids is a recipient. That to me says the US is in a mess.

I'm sure there is a strange seperate economy with food stamps

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 10:38 PM

Posted by: gellen>

Whoa, back up there cowboy.

Don’t misunderstand that I am all in favor of food banks for the lazy crappers in our society either. I’ve heard all the stories about people showing up at the food bank in Hummers around Xmas.

I was pointing out that there are needy in our society every bit as much as Africa and as a Canadian I believe that charity should start at home first. Again that’s just my belief, do as you may with yours and your money.

Myself I give ZERO to charity. When asked I direct people to the Canadian government which has already deducted mine in the form of tax’s. They in turn distribute my taxes to all kinds of third world countries along with their dictators and corrupt UN officials.

I will “help” those that try to help themselves; this is my belief system which manifests in other ways than government approved charities.

The point I made earlier is directed at people who feel that somehow their charitable welfare pumped into a sinkhole like Africa while neglecting real issues of poverty at home is somehow more honorable. Africa and other destitute nations are nothing without our strength as western nations. When we fail, they will all fail and we are not improving our lot as strong democratic societies anymore, but in decline.

They will fail because Islam and China will not support the Third World as they rise to power. Indeed look who is killing off the indigenous blacks in Saharan Africa, and who is buying up the minerals and resources.


Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 11:01 PM

Posted by: gellen>

PS: What makes the difference between the Canadian freeloaders and the African freeloaders that is so unpalatable to you?

At the end of the day it’s all the same – take something for nothing attitudes that the Liberal elite have instilled in modern society.

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 15, 2009 11:12 PM

"Chris - yeah, you're right, that is evil"
It is PRACTICAL. It is the most practical solution. It is already happening. All we're doing by sending money is making it take more time and harm MORE people. Turn off the emotions and look at the facts. We can't send enough money to rescue a continent that is sitting on the majority of the worlds resources and can't make a buck on it.


"Chris, evil sums it up.

Raise the standard of living, and people have fewer kids."

Bull. By what means do you measure the willingness of people on another continent to stop having kids when you give them money to support the ones they have? Look at the welfare states around the world and here and in America. Do you see smaller families when they are given money for their kids? No, you don't. You see a culture born of the gimme mentality that is passed down from generation to generation.

"With microcredit, women can start businesses, get some wealth, don't have to worry about kids dying, get more freedom, and probably therefore have fewer kids. Good all around."

Sure. I'm sure the continent is dying for an Abercrombie and Fitch or a maybe a Sears Auto Center. What business do you think they can open that the warlords won't extort? You can only have so many hairdressers. You can have only so many cooks. We're not talking people with access to higher education. We're not talking people with access to education period. They won't be building factories or employing people with microcredit. Most haven't even heard of it and can't use it.


This is a wonderful idea. Let's rescue the kids. But we know that the tribal warlords and the muslim governments are the cause of the pain and they take most of the money that is sent. Only direct help like Shelia is doing does any good. The problem is that won't do anything that was suggested for them. Won't raise their standard of living. Won't make them employable. Etc. What it does is allows some more child factories to continue to produce more starving kids.

Until you remove the governments and the muslim leadership of the countries that are oppressing the continent, you will have poverty and starvation. Simple as that. No, we can't go Ann Coulter on them either. As America is being shown in Iraq and Afganastan, invading and killing is a lot more difficult than it used to be.

You get more of the behaviour that you reward. As they plop out more kids to feed, the money will get to a point that it isn't helping and has to be increased. Eventually it has to max out and when it does a whole lot more will be starving than now.

Posted by: Chris at December 16, 2009 1:14 AM

Aside from one brief mention by Oz near the start of this thread, no-one seems to want to bring up the primary reason why Africa is such an abysmal failure despite seemingly endless money being dumped into it. The reason can be found in the book IQ and the wealth of nations.

In Africa an IQ of 90 is quite high and, to have a modern industrial society, one needs an average IQ of about 100 and preferably higher.

In university I used to party a lot and there were a lot of international students at the university and one thing that struck me then was that the African students weren't intellectual. We used to have fun drinking together, kickboxing and playing soccer but there was never anything of any intellectual substance discussed. With the Canadian grad students I hung out with we might be staggering drunk but would be arguing over points of quantum chemistry and the relationship of Bell's theorem to precognition as a couple of random examples of late night discussions.

When I read The Bell Curve about 1995 suddenly everything fell into place and all of those random observations I had made over the previous decades suddenly fit into a harmonious whole. The "international Jewish conspiracy" was the simple consequence of Ashkenazi Jews having a mean IQ of 120 which explained why so damn many of my profs had been Jewish.

The problem of low black IQ's is the 2000 lb gorilla in the middle of the African aid picture that everyone tries to ignore. As a simple gedankenexperiment think of all of the countries that are completely run by blacks that are a success; if you can't find any in modern times go back up to 2000 years and find what African empires existed that were as advanced as corresponding European civilizations at that time (Egypt doesn't count as they weren't black). I haven't found any but I'd like to know if anyone has.

Haiti is a country that has had all black rule for over 200 years. The slaves revolted over 200 years ago, killed anyone that was white, and have had a long time to come up with a modern society. Haiti is one of the worlds basket cases and on a satellite photograph it is easy to see which part of the island is Haiti and which part is the Dominican republic.

Rhodesia was once a model for African food production until they got black rule. I suspect that within another decade S. Africa will be following the example of Rhodesia.

One doesn't need a very high IQ to maintain a small tribal society. Primitive tribal societies don't do a lot of thinking and rely on tradition. Most people even in Canada don't use abstract reasoning very much in their daily lives and depend on habitual responses and traditions to run the bulk of their lives. When one sees a difference is when something unexpected happens. Just compare how people reacted in New Orleans when Katrina hit and in a number of midwestern states that got flooded. The situation in New Orleans (mainly black) was one of complete disorder and chaos with no self-organization whatever in the bulk of the population whereas the flooded midwestern states spontaneously came up with groups of people acting together to fight the floods with a virtual lack of criminal activity.

There are a lot of white S. African doctors practicing in the interior of BC and it is amusing to ask them about why they came to Canada. Most of them are liberal and anti-apartheid but they all go on about how S. Africa just isn't working any more and they can't understand why. They go on about the increasing incompetence and crime they see everywhere and how they want to get out while they are still alive. The usual response I get is that "things will work themselves out eventually and then I'll go back". Only one of the S. African doctors I've talked to was aware of the IQ discrepancy between European whites and African blacks. He's also the only one that said things were a lot better for the blacks under apartheid.

When one gets into groups of people that are larger than small tribal collections, one needs people with greater abstract reasoning powers to run things. I suspect Africa was a far more peacefull place when it consisted of a number of colonies (with the exception of the Belgian Congo).

Every African I've talked to blames the problems of Africa on "colonialism". They also get quite angry when I ask them why former colonies like India, Hong Kong, Malasia and Singapore are doing so much better. I haven't found a way to bring up Haiti in these conversations yet without inciting violence. I do sense some of the same welfare-dependancy type thinking that I get when talking to dependant American Indians but this is only a small part of the problem.

The concept of race and IQ seems to be a very taboo one which is curious when addressing this problem would probably do more to solve Africa's problems than anything else that has been done so far.

Democracy won't help as a population incapable of any significant degree of rational thought will end up electing people like Obama (hopefully the last affirmative action president of the US).

So SheilaG, go ahead and do what you think is right but it won't make the least bit of difference in the long run. If you were doing the same thing in an African country which was a European colony your actions might have some lasting effect but in a country run by Africans any local benefit you create will be undone by the wetware deficiencies of the people you're dealing with. I'd like to be proven wrong, but thus far I haven't found a single counter-example.

In the long run I suspect that the Chinese will recolonize Africa as it is unlikely that any western country will respond militarily to stop the Chinese. China used to import slaves from Africa in the past (although I have read that only castrated male slaves were allowed in China) and it wouldn't surprise me if the Chinese see Africa as one of their ancient domains.

Posted by: loki at December 16, 2009 1:48 AM

Posted by: Chris>

Take it a step further Chris. When do Canadians wake up and realize that they are in a multi cultural matrix of cultural bias against themselves - which they have overlooked trying to “save” the third world from itself.

Where do you fit in the Hindu cast system for example? Well of course you don’t know but your dentist does each time he lift’s his eyebrow to your mundane questions. Or what about the fact that chumps with hoodie’s step in your way as you head towards the local market you used to frequent. Yup, Islamic youth gathering their territory to build a no-go zone as exists in much of Europe today.

Illegal flags of Hezbollah or Tamil Tigers rallied at your local city hall and Main Street? No problem its cultural sensitivity and you must obey, because their rights as third world immigrants trump yours! Regardless of the fact that they identify with known terrorist groups that kill your preferred foreign charity recipients for pleasure!

So much for grandpas & grandmas devout sacrificing during WW2. Why did they build a social assistance program, why a Canada Pension Plan? Most immigrants over 65 will receive more tax payer benefits than anyone who has worked their entire lives in Canada.
Yet we continue to bust our own economic bank by throwing money at the third world. Then receive the worst the third world has to offer, including ex Nazi’s and African warlords along their families. CISIS claims publicly that there are over 50 known terrorist cells operating in Canada.

Now how did that come to be?

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 16, 2009 2:12 AM

Posted by: loki>

You said it “the 2000 Lb gorilla”…………..

Everyone knows it, but no one dare say it. At the end of the day actions speak much louder than words.

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 16, 2009 2:18 AM

Chris seems to picture Africa as a vast rural expanse of welfare bums being hunted by warlords. As if nobody in the whole continent worked or owned a business or a farm or anything like that.

Godwin's Law alert: "It is PRACTICAL. Is is the most practical solution... Turn off the emotions and look at the facts." Thank goodness we have a praktische loesung then.

For what it's worth, I am convinced that democracy can't co-exist with real tribalism, and therefore won't work right now in most of Africa. Were I a South African, I'd probably hate apartheid and the ANC about equally. Were I a white farmer in Zimbabwe, I'd probably have a picture of Ian Smith on my wall, assuming I still had a wall. Africa's a mess. Europe was a mess in the Dark Ages.

But you know, I think you're right, Chris; you're just not thinking big enough. We're all in pain. Let's solve Global Warming and the problem of human suffering all at once and just starve ourselves off, shall we?

It's kinder in the long run, and it'll make Diane Francis happy.

Posted by: Black Mamba at December 16, 2009 10:03 AM

loki - Both of your references/authorities do explain a lot. When you remove all other possible explanations but one, and it is the only one left, it might be the one.

Black Mamba - I too think that tribalism is part of the problem. Whatever else is in the IQ argument, even that argument says that there will be folks 2 or 3 sandard deviations out from the norm and they should be able to find themselves in positions of power and make the necessary changes. In fact I have met many of them. The problem is that their culture (including tribalism and he big man syndrome) and their environmnent do not select for higher IQs.

Posted by: rroe at December 16, 2009 2:31 PM

"Raise the standard of living, and people have fewer kids. With microcredit, women can start businesses, get some wealth, don't have to worry about kids dying, get more freedom, and probably therefore have fewer kids. Good all around."

Posted by: Erik Larsen at December 15, 2009 10:33 PM

That has to be the dumbest thing I've ever read. The only way to slow down the birth rate of impoverished African nations, is to drop the weights out of every male who can't support a family.

What do you think drove the North American baby boom? I'd have to think it was the higher standard of living, after the war. It wasn't til the real standard of living dropped, and women had to go to work, that Canadians quit having children. These things get spun in so many directions, people start overlooking the obvious.

Posted by: dp at December 16, 2009 7:04 PM
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