Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘famine

What kind of food families spend on food per week: Pictures from various countries

ASINUS ASINUM FRICAT posted, on Monday MAY 26, 2008, pictures from various countries of the varieties of food purchased per week by families.

(Do you think the pictures might have changed after 12 years?)

I think the pictures can be sufficient, without comments, on the disparities around the world communities.

Peter Menzel published “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats”

(“©Peter Menzel www.menzelphoto.com. Ten Speed Press, published in 2005), a book of photographs

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Sicily, Italy. Meet the The Manzo family. Their weekly expenditure is 214.36 Euros or $260.11. Note the copious amount of bread.
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Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07.
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United States: The Revis family of North Carolina. Where are fresh fruits and vegetables? Food expenditure for one week $341.98
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Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca
Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09. Note the profusion of fruits & vegetables.
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Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna
Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27
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Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53. Plenty of vegetables?
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Ecuador (Latin America): The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55
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Bhutan (Himalaya Mountain State): The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village
Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03. This feeds a family of 11! Remarkable.
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Chad (Africa): The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23. No comment.
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Kuwait: The Al Haggan family of Kuwait City
Food expenditure for one week: 63.63 dinar or $221.45. Most foodstuffs in this State is subsidized.
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Mongolia: The Batsuuri family of Ulaanbaatar
Food expenditure for one week: 41,985.85 togrogs or $40.06
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China: The Dong family of Beijing
Food expenditure for one week: 1,233.76 Yuan or $175
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Japan: The Ukita family of Kodaira City
Food expenditure for one week: 37,699 Yen or $317.25

Do you think that you may estimate if the people are overweight or underweight, just by analyzing the kind of food consumed per week?

Do you think that the “look” of people in the pictures correlate well with what is displayed on the table?

Do you feel that processed food and soft drinks are conquering the food market around the world?

These pictures show many pieces of intelligence for an entire dissertation.

Can you differentiate between cultures that “eat to live” or “live to eat”?

Five billion people are living on less than $2 per week on food.

Note: Famine is prevalent in the South Sudan, Congo, Yemen, 

Isn’t it a genocide forced on Yemenis?

For how long the US/Israel will go on submitting this nation into famine and slow death?

And for what?

To take total control of the Aden water way, and control of Eastern Africa?

44 Small Graves Stir Questions About U.S. Policy in Yemen

By Shuaib AlmosawaBen Hubbard and Aug. 15, 2018

DAHYAN, Yemen — The boys crammed into the bus, their thin bodies packed three to a seat, with latecomers jammed in the aisle. They fidgeted with excitement about the day’s field trip, talking so loudly that a tall boy struggling to get their attention put his hands over his ears and yelled.

Hours later, most of them were dead.

On Aug. 9, during a stop for snacks in the poor village of Dahyan in northern Yemen, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition with Sudan, Gulf Emirate, Britain, USA and Israel hit nearby, blasting the bus into a jagged mass of twisted metal and scattering its human cargo — wounded, bleeding and dead — in the street below, according to witnesses and parents.

“My leg is bent,” cried a young boy covered in blood, examining his damaged limb. “A jet hit us,” he said in a video taken at the scene after the airstrike.

Yemeni health officials said 54 people were killed, 44 of them children, and many more were wounded.

Yemeni children in the northern Yemeni city of Saada on Monday vented their anger during a mass funeral for children killed in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition last week.

Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Yemen’s conflict began in 2014 when Houthi rebels, whom Iran aligned with after the genocide onslaught, seized control of the capital Sana, and sent the government of Hadi into exile.

In March 2015, Saudi Kingdom paid a coalition of poorer “Arab” nations and launched a military intervention aimed at restoring Yemen’s government. It has so far failed to do so.

The Aug. 9 attack was particularly shocking, even for a war in which children have been the primary victims, suffering through one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises: rampant malnutrition and outbreaks of cholera.

The war has so far killed more than 10,000 people before the United Nations stopped updating the death toll two years ago. (Why this nonchalance from the UN?)

The strike also revived questions about the coalition’s tactics and the United States’ support for the campaign.

American military leaders, exasperated by strikes that have killed civilians at markets, weddings and funerals, insist that the United States is not a party to the war. (During Trump, it is the State department that is playing the role of the Pentagon)

Human rights organizations say the United States cannot deny its role, given that it has sold billions of dollars in weapons to allied coalition states, provided them with intelligence and refueled their bombers in midair.

Congress has shown increasing concern about the war recently.

A defense policy bill that President Trump signed on Monday included a bipartisan provision that requires Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to certify that Saudi Arabia and its close ally the United Arab Emirates — the two countries leading the coalition — are taking steps to prevent civilian deaths.

If Mr. Pompeo cannot provide the certification, the legislation prohibits the American refueling of coalition jets.

Mr. Pompeo raised the bus attack by phone this week with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 34 years old and (effective ruler of this Wahhabi Kingdom) and the kingdom’s defense minister. And Defense Secretary Jim Mattis dispatched a three-star general to Riyadh, the Saudi capital, to press the Saudis to investigate the bus bombing.

In the wake of this attack, individual members of Congress have gone further, calling on the military to clarify its role in airstrikes on Yemen and investigate whether the support for those strikes could expose American military personnel to legal jeopardy, including for war crimes.

ImageA Yemeni man held a boy who was injured by the airstrike in Saada last week.
Credit…Naif Rahma/Reuters

At the same time, however, the defense contractor Raytheon has lobbied lawmakers and the State Department to allow it to sell 60,000 precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in deals worth billions of dollars.

The Saudi-led coalition says it works to avoid civilian casualties and accuses its enemies, the Houthis, of using civilians as human shields.

The day of the strike, the coalition’s spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said coalition forces had hit a “legitimate military target” after a Houthi missile killed one person and injured 11 in southern Saudi Arabia, which borders Yemen.

“All of the elements that were in the bus were targeted,” Colonel Malki told the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya network, saying they included “operators and planners.”

The next day, the coalition said the bombing had been referred for internal investigation after reports that “a bus was subject to collateral damage.”

Human rights groups say that they doubt the coalition would find itself at fault in any investigation.

(As the countless massacres committed by the colonial powers?)

“The Saudis aren’t learning. They’re making the same mistakes they’ve been making all along. And we are not pressing the issue. We are letting them get away with it.” said Larry L. Lewis, a former State Department official who visited Saudi Arabia five times in 2015 and 2016 to help the country’s air force improve its targeting procedures and investigations.

A visit to the site of the attack, interviews with witnesses and a review of videos from the day painted a picture of the strike’s human cost.

The boys on the bus ranged in age from 6 to about 16, and most were from Dahyan, a poor village in Saada Province along the border with Saudi Arabia.

The province is the homeland of the Houthis, and the coalition has bombed it heavily. For their part, the Houthis have used the area to launch attacks on the Saudi border and to fire missiles into the kingdom.

The boys had been part of a religious summer program organized by the Houthis, and the field trip was meant to be a treat.

When they packed into the bus that morning, one boy, Osama al-Humran, filmed his classmates squirming in their seats with his cellphone. Many were wearing sport coats over their Yemeni gowns, dressed up for a special occasion.

مشاهد توثق لحظات ما قبل مجزرة طلاب ضحيان صعدةCredit…CreditVideo by هنا المسيرة

The video then shows them at their next stop, a memorial and graveyard called the Garden of the Martyrs in a nearby village.

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Yemenis gathered last week next to a destroyed bus at the site of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike that targeted the Dahyan market.
Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In a large hangar decorated with photos of men killed in the war, a man led the boys through prayers and chants. A sign next to the door bore the Houthis slogan: “God is great. Death to America. Death to Israel. Curse the Jews. Victory for Islam.”

Some of the boys giggled when Osama filmed them or put their hands over his camera.

Then they ran into the adjoining graveyard, where grass grew on rows of graves marked with white headstones or plastic signs bearing photos of the deceased.

“I am filming!” Osama yells as he walks among the graves.

Two other boys stand next to a fountain and he calls out, “Come here so I can take your picture.” There, the video ends.

The bus was supposed to continue to Saada, the provincial capital, for a visit to a historic mosque. But it never made it.

The group had stopped along the way to buy juice and snacks when the bomb hit.

Ali Abdullah Hamlah, a local bakery owner, said he heard the explosion and saw a huge cloud billow from the site before seeing a young man covered in blood dragging himself away. Mr. Hamlah approached and saw the bodies of seven children scattered around.

“In some cases, only the upper bodies of the kids were found,” he said. The mangled body of one child was found on the roof of a building, propelled by the force of the blast.

Videos shot in the aftermath show the demolished bus with the lifeless bodies of two boys on the floor. Other boys are on the ground nearby. Some struggle to move. Others are dead and eviscerated, their remains mixed up in the street with the detritus from the explosion.

“It was the first time in my life that I have seen such a horrific massacre,” Mr. Hamlah said.

Among the dead was Osama, the boy who had filmed his classmates. His videos were found on his phone after the bombing, according to Yahya al-Shami, who works for the Houthis’ Al-Maseera television station, which broadcast the images. Parents of boys on the bus confirmed the day’s program and that their children were in the video.

A few days later, local security officials showed The New York Times a metal fin they said had been attached to the bomb and had been found nearby. Writing on the fin indicated it was manufactured by General Dynamics and had been attached as a guidance system on a 500-pound bomb. The Times could not confirm that the fin was from the bomb used in the strike.

But the remnants of American-made weapons have frequently been found in the rubble of airstrikes in Yemen.

Trump administration officials say they have no control over the bombs that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates buy commercially from American or other Western defense contractors.

Pentagon officials say they have repeatedly offered assistance to both countries on creating “no strike” lists, but they are not involved in picking targets and do not know the missions of the coalition warplanes that the United States refuels. (Very funny)

At a nearby hospital, Abdul-Rahman al-Ejri comforted his 11-year-old son, Hassan, who was wailing from the pain of a broken leg. He had been on the bus and his father was enraged that the coalition had said it carried military plotters.

“This is the mastermind, along with his companions,” Mr. Ejri said sarcastically. “How can they plot anything? They’re kids and only armed with pens, notebooks and books.”

He did not hesitate to assign blame.

“America is the head of evil, as well as the Saudi regime and the mercenaries of the Wahhabi Saudi Kingdom,” he said.

Shuaib Almosawa reported from Dahyan, Ben Hubbard from Beirut, Lebanon, Eric Schmitt from Washington. John Ismay contributed reporting from Washington.

A repeat of 1915 famine? Lebanon economic situation

‘People will die within months’:

Is Lebanon heading for famine as Corona pandemic accelerates hunger?

And as the colonial powers, headed by USA, sanctioning Lebanon and Syria economy and financial weak conditions?

Hit by its worst economic crisis in modern history, there are fears the country is about to repeat the 1915-18 famine

Note: Hassan Nasrallah, general secretary of Hezbollah, promised that the organization will never let famine set in. Hezbollah maybe the only organization bringing in dollars into Lebanon. I trust in the promises of Hassan.

Greek former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis said:  Lebanese must have the courage to nationalize the banks and restructure the Central Bank, issue a new currency and desist from seeking IMF money…” We have a pseudo-State and a pseudo “citizen” 

The following description of the situation could be accurate from the Pseudo-State perspective of managing the helplessness morale of the 90% of the “citizens”

Mohamad barely looks surprised when his phone vibrates with an update on the devaluation of the Lebanese pound.  

“Great, now my salary is worth $60,” the 30-year-old Syrian economics teacher turned refugee said, shaking his head.

In the past week alone, the Lebanese pound has lost over 40% of its value.

Millions of people are watching their savings and salaries disappear as food inflation hits nearly 200%.

(For example, my retirement monthly wage with the Engineer Order is supposed to be $900. The bank where the money of retirement is deposited is still valued as 1, 350,000 Lira. Practically, with one $ worth 8,000 Lira, my net check is barely $160 today and being devalued repeatedly. Basically, I am receiving 1/6 th of what is my due)

Mohamad stood in the market in Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp, trying to calculate how much food he could afford for himself, his wife and two children.

In the end, he decides on potatoes for dinner: three potatoes sliced up, with half a red pepper and some cucumbers on the side. That would have to be dinner for four.

“Before the dollar crisis, my monthly salary as a freelance accounting assistant would last 15-20 days. Now it’s only enough for five days. I think they will probably make us all leave our jobs at the end of July… my family are already past the minimum that we can survive on. We borrow from the market to eat for the rest of the month.”

Hit by its worst economic crisis in modern history, the Lebanese pound has lost over 80% of its value since October, when nationwide anti-corruption protests began to rock the country.

Despite a decades-long peg of 1,500 to the dollar, people now widely use the black market value of the pound as a reference of the currency’s real worth.

(The Exchange syndicate, legit or not,  is in cohort with the Central Bank and the Banks: They receive the orders and supplies for the exchange rate that devalued to 8,000 Lira to the $)

According to a recent UN report, by the end of April over half of the country was struggling to put the most basic produce on the table as food prices had risen by 56% since October. Preliminary results show that between mid-March and May, they rose by another 50%.

(Actually, all produces and product have more than tripled in price, and the locally prod

Workers wearing protective face masks serve a large crowd of customers at the counter inside a local bakery in Beirut, Lebanon
Workers wearing protective face masks serve a large crowd of customers at the counter inside a local bakery in Beirut, Lebanon CREDIT: Hasan Shaaban /Bloomberg

Accelerated by the pandemic, unemployment is soaring, the value of wages are plummeting and prices continue to skyrocket. Lebanon is also host to around 1.5 million refugees – the most per capita in the world.

And it is no longer refugees and other vulnerable people who are concerned about being able to feed their families as Lebanon’s economic turmoil continues to spiral out of control.

“From aid given by the WFP, refugees could afford some food in the past,” said Martin Keulertz, Assistant Professor in the Food Security Programme at the American University of Beirut.

“They were able to consume some lentils, some labneh and so on, but rarely vegetables. Fruits were difficult and meat was out of the question. What is very concerning is now the majority of Lebanese people are on a similar trajectory,” he said.

Could Lebanon be heading to a repeat of the 1915-18 famine in which the country lost half of the population? “Absolutely,” said Dr Keulertz.

(Germany and Turkey imposed a stop to any import to Lebanon during WWI and hoarded what was still available in foodstuff. Lebanese were forced to go with their mules and donkeys to Syria (Houran province) in order to bring wheat and basic foodstuff)

“By the end of the year, we will see 75% of the population on food handouts, but the question is whether there will be food to hand out.”

“Surely in the new few months we will see a very grave scenario in which people will be starving and people will die from hunger and the knock-on effects of starvation.”

Mohamad Chreim in his butcher's shop
A kilogram of meat in Mohamad Chreim’s butcher’s shop used to cost the equivalent of $11, but now costs $33 as he has been forced to almost triple his prices since October. CREDIT: Abbie Cheeseman

The prospect of widespread hunger in Lebanon also raises increased fears over a second wave of coronavirus, Dr Keulertz explained, as people with compromised immune systems are far more likely to die.

Mohamad is among the more fortunate Syrian refugees in Lebanon in that he still has some work.

According to a survey published last week by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), 3 out of 4 Syrians in Lebanon have lost their job or have no income.

Abdullah Al-Wardat, WFP country director for Lebanon, told the Telegraph that WFP now estimates 83 per cent of the estimated 1.5 million Syrians here are surviving on less than $2.90 per day, the minimum needed for physical survival and a category that is aligned with abject poverty.

After paying rent, Mohamad has the equivalent of $66 to spend on food for his family.

Milk for his children cost $18 before the dollar-crisis began, now even after choosing a lower-quality option, the cheapest he can buy it for is $33. A bag of rice is now $10, sugar is $8. The basic staples he used to be able to buy for those $66 would last his family ten days, now they last two.

Much like the economic collapse, Lebanon has been sliding towards food insecurity for decades.

Crumbling infrastructure, a lack of state investment and political mismanagement have left the agriculture sector contributing just 3% to the annual GDP, despite providing jobs for a quarter of the national workforce.

Like every sector in Lebanon, agriculture is riddled with corruption and powerful traders exploiting both farmers and consumers. Now, coronavirus and the economic crisis have brought Lebanon’s unsustainable approach towards almost every part of its economy crashing down.

The result is that Lebanon imports up to 80% of its food, leaving it vulnerable to price fluctuations and now the collapse of its own currency.

The struggle for food importers is only set to get worse as they are now forced to buy around 80 per cent of their foreign currency for imports on the ever-increasing black market rate, aside from a list of 30 essentials that are subsidised by the government.

There are two initial pillars of food security, explained an official at the UN’s World Food Programme.

Firstly, having enough food in the country and secondly, people having the purchasing power to access it.

Lebanon is facing a double whammy with a hit to both pillars at the same time.

Imports have already dropped by an estimated 50 per cent on last year, said Hani Boshali, president of the Syndicate of Importers of Foodstuffs, Consumer Products and Drinks.

The struggle for food importers is only set to get worse as they are now forced to buy around 80 per cent of their foreign currency for imports on the ever-increasing black market rate.

According to Dr Keulertz, Lebanon needs around $500 million per year for food imports, particularly as only 13 per cent of its land is arable.

“If you do the maths, Lebanon can only feed around 130,000 people per year. The food crisis needs foreign intervention – it is a lot cheaper to save this country than it will be to allow a country that has done Europe a service by hosting refugees to collapse,” the AUB professor said.

Crowds queue to buy bread at a local bakery in Beirut, Lebanon
Crowds queue to buy bread at a local bakery in Beirut, Lebanon CREDIT: Bloomberg

In all corners of the tiny Mediterranean country, the middle class are becoming poor and the poor are sliding into destitution, as food prices are pushed beyond the means of most people.

Sixty-year-old Mohamad Chreim has owned a butcher’s shop in central Beirut for over 40 years. “I was doing well before the crisis, making at least one or two million pounds. I was so busy I wouldn’t stop all day”.

Now Mr Chreim is paying 200,000 pounds per day out of his pocket just to keep his business open. “People who used to buy in kilograms cannot afford meat anymore, so when they come in they buy in the grams.”

A kilogram of meat from Mr Chreim’s shop used to cost the equivalent of $11, but now costs $33 as he has been forced to almost triple his prices since October.

“If the economic crisis continues, who knows, I may not be able to open tomorrow. I am paying out of my own pocket to stay open because I’ll be depressed if I stay at home”.

Like everyone living off their savings, Mr Chreim is unsure how long he will be able to survive this way.

While restaurants went empty, the queues for bakeries stretched over the weekend amid news that bread would stop being distributed to supermarkets and shops in light of the collapsing currency.

(Cost of flour is supposed to be mostly shouldered by the State, but it is Not correct. Anyway, fancy bakeries and sweets are forcing the traditional bread bakery to increase the price of 900 g of bread to 2,000 Lira)

The sight of people searching through bins for food and long queues for aid distribution have become commonplace in a city that was not too long ago a playground for the rich and famous.

As cash runs out and the purchasing power of the average Lebanese continues to plummet, a barter economy is emerging. (Lebanese have no tradition in business barter, just bartering in ceremonies)

With commodities reaching almost triple their original prices, Facebook is slowly filling with posts of people trying to trade their personal belongings for basic necessities.

“Trading for a bag of Oui Oui diapers and a bag of Kleo milk”, one post read with a picture of a set of drinking glasses attached.

  • Additional reporting: Angie Mrad

How Globalization can function adequately for the poorer countries? (Mar. 24, 2010)

            Joseph Stieglitz, Nobel Prize for economics, had written a book in 2002 “The great disillusion” where he critiques the function and ideological unilateral rules of the games of the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization.  I already published reviews in two parts of the book; this post focuses on Stiglitz’s recommendations for the international institutions (supposed to be public institutions) to reform in order to give a chance for Globalization to coming effectively to the rescue of the developing States. Thus, in order for world economy and financial stability be the norm then three urgent reforms are needed.

            First, the international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organization have to focus on collective global problems that require collective participation.  For example, when global market economy is not running satisfactorily; when one State harms others and gets away with it (no indemnisation procedures) then there are over production of certain commodities and under production of others. We have to tackle defense spending that does not generate any public benefits.  For example, public education sectors must be financed by international institutions since private sectors have failed to consider that urgent facet in states’ economy.  For example, we have the environment, oceans, atmosphere, CO2 emissions and the other harmful gases, sanitary challenges and discharges, clean water sources, diffusion of contagious diseases, famine, and natural calamities are becoming global problems that require global resolutions and cooperation.  All the global problems are interrelated: poverty leads to degraded environment and deforestation which in return increases poverty.  There are financial interventions that are beneficial locally in reducing local pollution.

            Second, the mode of governance such as control, management, decision making and administration of international institutions has to be drastically reformed.  The economic and financial interests of developed States have established unilateral set of rules and regulations on how to be applied globally without any serious input from the concerned parties in the developing countries. Developing States were targeted for hegemony behaviors. For example, in the IMF administration it is the finance ministers of the developed States and their central banks governors who are presiding as decision makers. In the World Trade Organization it is the ministers of commerce in the developed countries that run the show: they have particular perspective in matters of global trade.  Who has the right of vote in these international institutions? The poor States and the workers have no representatives in these institutions to offer pertinent alternative feedback as to their difficult situations. The voting rules and representation around the table of decision makers have to be reformed drastically.  The fact is that the IMF is rich because it is the developing countries that are reimbursing their debts at high interest rates.

            At least, reforms in the structures of official direction in the IMF and WB can help in the short term. For example, African delegates should be allowed to participate and be listened to even if they still cannot vote. Participation in meetings can aid the developing State representatives gather pertinent information and intelligence on world problems may partially fill the gap in intelligence dissemination. The IMF and WB should invest in developing “think tanks” institutions in the developing countries in order for their representative to be at par with ongoing discussions.

            Third, transparency within the international institutions administrations have to be made public since they are public. Public pressures should be directed toward greater transparency in management and decision processes; on time data should be available for the concerned parties and not only for the multinationals and the developed State governments. There is urgent need to open the working environment to independent and free press and researchers of developing countries.  Transparency is best catalyst to encouraging democratic tendencies in developing States and fair availability of information in a timely fashion.

            Thus, favoritism in behavior and focus on the interests of the richer States must be examined and expressed by the public before conditions escalate to global problems. As deliberations in international institutions become accessed directly to larger audiences, instead of being held in closed chambers, then the environmental challenges and the interests of the poorer sections in world societies will be heard and discussed openly. The current decision processes are not critiqued and analyzed by the public on a timely manner: it is generally too late to critique wrong decisions before they are applied.  Public access to timely information and intelligence would pressure the IMF and WB to reconsider their debatable economic assumptions and ideology; so far, what is decided is restricted on “what is good to the financial institutions”.  Mass protests in World Forums were mainly targeting the secrecy and opacity of the decision processes. So far, the disseminated information by the current structures of the international institutions is viewed with great suspicion by the poor States; so far, reforms were lukewarm and basically the kind of talked intent for reforms but not effective in practice.

I left my scent in every corner (March 24, 2009)

 

Vera Anderson lived in Medford, Oregon all her life; you may say she lived in a place, and when she married then she relocated to the other side of Main Street. 

Vera had dreamed of touring the world when she retires, but she died before her plan takes off. 

Vera’s testament was to be cremated; her ash was distributed to 241 pouches; 50 to the chiefs of the main post offices in the 50 States and 191 to every recognized States by the UN. 

These pouches of ash were to be scattered to places that Vera would have liked to visit.  All around the world communities assembled to decide of the best locations to visit and her ash was dispersed accordingly.

 

No matter what we claim of what happens after death, deep down no one is certain. 

Otherwise, death would not be the single all encompassing truth that our spirit and thought and actions revolve around, consciously or unconsciously. 

Without death, there would not be that great variety of religions, belief systems, and philosophies. 

I like to be on the optimists’ side and hope that we shall revisit earth.

For what is worth legally, I like to leave on this post my testament:  I want my body cremated and my ash sent to the UN.  The UN should disperse my ash in every region on earth where famine, genocides, civil wars, and utter poverty are rampant. 

It is only fair: like any wise animal, it is excellent to leave my scent in every corner of my domain Earth, in regions I failed to set foot on.

Any dignity left? (December 13, 2008)

 

McCain, that failed specimen of vindictive spirit, thinks that he is in a position to offer valuable wisdom to the Indian people.  McCain is suggesting that the November terrorist attack on Mumbai should be treated in the same manner that Bush Junior performance; he says that the Indian government should attack Pakistan, as if Pakistan is Afghanistan!  There are specimens that never evolve because they cannot learn from failures, especially at an advanced age. 

The concepts of dignity and liberty come in one package deal.  The relative implant of these concepts in the organizational culture guides the trend in any one culture.  You are forced to believe that human dignity and liberty of choices are the main ingredients in an individual belief system.  The mainly unconscious belief system is mostly hard wired in the nervous network that tips the balance on the thousands of daily decisions and only our actions reveal our real values.

            If you tend to accept the above paragraph as making a lot of sense then most probably you have been strongly influenced by the Western colonial culture and tend not to dwell on any definition or discrimination of how dignity and liberty are assimilated and interpreted by other cultures.  In fact, colonialism is fundamentally the imposition of a specific supra-mythical culture on other communities.  Outside the natural sciences, the colonial powers have no interest or need to fine tune the general concepts related to human sciences and much less of dignity and liberty.  The ancient colonial powers are still exercising their influence on other communities and have generally substituted military force by technocracy in banking, monetary reforms, and “world-free” trade and finance, and technology standardization. 

The pragmatic western culture is resuming its well known strategy that says “the best route to transforming other cultures is to install the basic material standards and then, gradually and inevitably, the other cultures will adopt the philosophies of legal capitalism, democracy, modernism, progress and open borders for one world material culture”

Liberty is not just the freedom of selecting a religion or a community to adopt, which is necessary but never sufficient.  A community that values liberty should be ready to genuinely accepts the contributions and values of other religions, traditions and customs. Liberty has for pre-requisite constant dialogue and inter-communication among the various communities and religions. Thus, any belief system is fundamentally wrong because it means to exclude the other beliefs; any reshuffling or modification to a belief system remains wrong no matter what and liberty means accepting variations on sets of values.

 

              There are special individuals like Gandhi and Martin Luther King who are the ultimate political men striving for sainthood through fair non-violent and active struggles for the dignity of the disinherited, the humble, and the common folks. What dignity is there watching swarms of skeletal humans roaming arid and desert lands among calcified carcasses; amid land without a patch of green or a tiny tree on the horizon to taking shelter under, heading toward a camping ground hundreds of miles away for international relief succor?  What dignity is there to experiencing haggard humans fleeing civil war-torn villages to cramp up tent compounds? What dignity when these occurrences are frequent and happening all over the under-developed States?

Respecting human dignity means that we are ready to offer the individual with the tools and opportunities to resume fighting against imminent death, against famine, sickness, oppressions because life is a struggle against the chaos in death.  Respecting human dignity means alleviating the material struggle and thus shortening the necessary resting pauses when people feel the need to believe that destiny is traced at inception: they do at times feel exhausted surmounting artificial obstacles that are not in the nature of things; they do lose confidence in the organizations that constantly defy the processes of living organisms. 

Respecting human dignity is providing the resources to overcome the unnecessary frequent pauses when people are forced to believe in pre-destiny because they are not allowed to experience the little daily pleasures of loneliness, privacy, quality leisure time and self paced working habits.

There is dignity in erecting a school for children so that they might grow with dreams of better opportunities than their present lot.  There is dignity in building a dispensary so that children and the sick grow hope of having their pains alleviated.  There is dignity sharing in the digging of a well and the construction of an irrigation canal, a few necessary infrastructures so that a sense of control over destiny is palpable.  It does not take much investment to increase the level of dignity for changing the mind set to an alternative course for the future.

Man is yet to be formed; man jumped stages and started from considering himself God before he became man.  Man is a sickly creature but is nonetheless constantly inspired by dreams of what he can do and desire to transcend his inadequacies.  Man has proven to stand tall against injustices and fight a non-violent struggle at the expense of his own suffering, pains and even death for the dignity of his fellow man.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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