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Old 03-26-2009, 01:35 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by purpleoscar View Post
Most European governments have come to this conclusion very slowly. They worry that they can't continually fund their programs without some tax alleviation somewhere. The balance they have usually is high personal taxes with low corporate taxes. I think the balance is even better with lower spending, and lower taxes across the board. This though will have to include a change in culture that prizes individualism and self-reliance. That would mean people would have to exercise more, take less drugs, work 40 hours a week and save a portion of their income for emergencies and in the long run: retirement. The safety net would only be for those areas of infrastructure, health care and education where people can't afford the basics. Yet at some point health and education would have to have some competition somewhere or else there would be bad quality services.
So many words, so many contradictions.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:13 AM   #32
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we've had thirty years of individualism and self reliance.

Somehow, I think more individualism isn't what we need right now.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:08 PM   #33
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Regular exercise at the gym, 3 days a week
Getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries at ease
Eating well, no more microwave dinners and saturated fats
A patient better driver, a safer car, baby smiling in back seat
Sleeping well, no bad dreams, no paranoia
Careful to all animals, never washing spiders down the plughole
Keep in contact with old friends, enjoy a drink now and then
Will frequently check credit at moral bank, hole in wall
Favors for favors, fond but not in love
Charity standing orders on sundays ring road supermarket
No killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants
Car wash, also on sundays, no longer afraid of the dark or midday shadows
Nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate nothing so childish
At a better pace, slower and more calculated, no chance of escape
Now self-employed, concerned, but powerless
An empowered and informed member of society, pragmatism not idealism
Will not cry in public, less chance of illness, tires that grip in the wet
Shot of baby strapped in back seat, a good memory still cries at a good film
Still kisses with saliva, no longer empty and frantic like a cat tied to a stick
Thats driven into frozen winter shit, the ability to laugh at weakness
Calm fitter, healthier and more productive a pig in a cage on antibiotics
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:36 PM   #34
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a cat tied to a stick
Thats driven into frozen winter shit
Are you turning into a left-wing rock 'n roll singer with hypomania now? I could easy replace his lyrics with global warming schtick, solar panels on the moon, and vegan diet recipes.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:43 PM   #35
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Are you turning into a left-wing rock 'n roll singer with hypomania now? I could easy replace his lyrics with global warming schtick, solar panels on the moon, and vegan diet recipes.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:19 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Regular exercise at the gym, 3 days a week
Getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries at ease
Eating well, no more microwave dinners and saturated fats
A patient better driver, a safer car, baby smiling in back seat
Sleeping well, no bad dreams, no paranoia
Careful to all animals, never washing spiders down the plughole
Keep in contact with old friends, enjoy a drink now and then
Will frequently check credit at moral bank, hole in wall
Favors for favors, fond but not in love
Charity standing orders on sundays ring road supermarket
No killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants
Car wash, also on sundays, no longer afraid of the dark or midday shadows
Nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate nothing so childish
At a better pace, slower and more calculated, no chance of escape
Now self-employed, concerned, but powerless
An empowered and informed member of society, pragmatism not idealism
Will not cry in public, less chance of illness, tires that grip in the wet
Shot of baby strapped in back seat, a good memory still cries at a good film
Still kisses with saliva, no longer empty and frantic like a cat tied to a stick
Thats driven into frozen winter shit, the ability to laugh at weakness
Calm fitter, healthier and more productive a pig in a cage on antibiotics
I think i might be the only one here who recognizes what this is.

I will always be fitter and happier heheheh
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:30 PM   #37
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I think i might be the only one here who recognizes what this is.

Yeah, probably not...

Radiohead is probably one of the more popular bands in this forum.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:53 AM   #38
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YouTube - Thom Yorke laughs funny

Jonny Greenwood actually proposed this:

Science Netlinks: Science Updates

I wonder if they thought about the reason why there are large craters on the moon.

Maybe Dr. David Criswell is this Criswell:

YouTube - Criswell Predicts : Plan 9 From Outer Space Intro
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:00 PM   #39
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Dead Aid, Live Debate by Kevin Williamson on National Review Online

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Dead Aid, Live Debate
Critics refuse to address Dambisa Moyo’s main argument on government aid.

By Kevin Williamson


Why would a humanitarian nonprofit organize a public-relations attack on an illuminating book about developmental economics in Africa? In the case of One, the organization founded by pop singer/shades aficionado/New York Times columnist Bono, the answer appears to be an alloy of ignorance and malice. Bono’s target is Dead Aid, the much-remarked-upon polemic against governmental aid to Africa by Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo. One hopes that One’s donors are aware that their funds are being spent on advertisements denouncing books.

One’s website contains a half dozen different attacks on Moyo and her work, including the ugly and inevitable criticism that the young author is insufficiently authentic in her Africanness; one critic says she “should come back to the real Africa” and see how misguided she is. There is something head-clutchingly wrong about an organization whose public face is Bono’s, pale to the point of translucence, hectoring a Zambian woman about “the real Africa.”

Moyo, in her writing and in interviews — and in a letter to One’s management — has made it clear that she does not oppose temporary humanitarian efforts, much less private charity. What she has in her sights are permanent government-to-government payment schemes, executed through bilateral programs or mediated by multilateral agencies such as the World Bank.

The effects of such programs have been studied and understood for years. As Moyo puts it: “Foreign aid props up corrupt governments — providing them with freely usable cash. These corrupt governments interfere with the rule of law, the establishment of transparent civil institutions, and the protection of civil liberties, making both domestic and foreign investment in poor countries unattractive. Greater opacity and fewer investments reduce economic growth, which leads to fewer job opportunities and increasing poverty levels. In response to growing poverty, donors give more aid, which continues the downward spiral of poverty. This is the vicious cycle of aid.”

But there is a kind of wonky romance attached to the notion of aid to Africa. Michael Gerson, writing in the Washington Post, insists on arguing with the book Moyo has not written: “Moyo dismisses [humanitarian] efforts, stating that her book is ‘not concerned with emergency and charity-based aid.’ But America’s AIDS and malaria programs are more than ‘charity.’ They herald a new approach to foreign aid — focused, centrally directed and results-oriented. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), for example, a program I advocated while I worked at the White House, has helped more than 2 million people get treatment for AIDS.”

Note that Gerson reiterates that Moyo’s argument is not addressed to humanitarian programs of this kind, and then ignores that fact. He is entranced by his own marketing language — “herald a new approach,” indeed; how many new approaches to Africa have been heralded and imploded in the past six decades? President Bush’s approach to AIDS was commendable, and possibly the best that we can expect from a program of this sort. But it was hardly the sort of thing to radically alter the moral calculus of development aid, and in failing to account for that reality Gerson invites an uncharitable rejoinder for his promise of a “focused, centrally directed and results-oriented” program. The administration in which he worked was not one of those things when it came to its signature issue — national defense — much less on Africa, a secondary concern addressed in a desultory fashion.

Gerson, like One, refuses to chew the meat of the argument, which is supported by the better part of a century’s worth of evidence and experience. Moyo notes that some $1 trillion in development aid has already been spent in Africa and that this aid has not only has failed to provide positive benefits but has, in fact, done harm to Africans.

Much aid money, 85 percent by one World Bank estimate, is diverted from its intended purposes. This will be a familiar story to those who followed Claudia Rosett’s endlessly fascinating exposé of the Oil-for-Food program, which Saddam Hussein used to procure weapons, to fund his secret police, and to purchase the support of corrupt foreign politicians. Money from this humanitarian program bought the chains that festooned Saddam’s rape rooms. Unquestionably, Iraqis were poorer for this, and so are the Africans who languished under the heel of such notable aid clients as Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, and Mobutu Sese Seko.

Bono’s organization, defending government-to-government aid, argues that Moyo is taking a blinkered view, citing as evidence the fact that “between 2005 and 2007, in Rwanda and Ethiopia malaria cases and deaths were more than cut in half thanks to a dramatic increase in bed nets and access to anti-malaria medication.” It is a remarkable indictment of this celebrity-based movement that such a high-profile organization finds itself unable or unwilling to ask the logical, and necessary, follow-up question: How does a nation become so poor and backward that it cannot provide something so simple as a mosquito net?

Moyo asks, and she finds her answer in the corrosive influence of easy money in the hands of politicians not held to account for its use. The data is ample and the argument is not difficult to follow — unless one is not inclined to do so. Moyo deserves listening to; for the sake of a more sensible development policy, let us hope she meets open minds.

— Kevin Williamson is an NR deputy managing editor.

YouTube - Dambisa Moyo & Alison Evans 1

YouTube - Dambisa Moyo & Alison Evans 2

YouTube - Dambisa Moyo & Alison Evans 3
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:28 PM   #40
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Like domestic, national arguments about welfare and poverty programs, everyone wants to minimize dependence as much as possible and has a different economic/political agenda to getting there.

ONE and DATA have always seemed to me to be about helping African nations transition from crisis and aid dependence to independent, healthy economies in part by demanding more transparency and accountability from African governments for aid provided either directly or through debt relief.

ONE is still a young movement and it will take years to reverse decades of aid corruption and properly build infrastructure capable of sustaining economic investment and growth.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:55 PM   #41
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Kevin Williamson doesn't like aid? What a shocker...
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:30 PM   #42
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Perpetual aid with no accountability is what's been going on all along. Sure the aid saved many people but how many people could be saved if they could make it on their own if they had the institutions we take for granted? Dambisa also wants a lot of the current aid to not go straight to these governments who waste it (see above videos from Mwenda) and have it go to more trustworthy institutions to implement the aid. Spending money on helicopters and limosines is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Alison Evans also looks two minded when she agrees and disagrees at the same time. By having caveats over the market system and it's potential because of the current financial crisis shows she doesn't get how much government is involved in moral hazards in this same crisis and ignores how other countries developed in the historical record.

The area where I would criticize Dambisa is her knee jerk reaction to get China involved in a big way. It's obvious that China uses their economic clout as leverage to squash dissent against their human rights abuses. Even Canada is dumping their stance against those human rights abuses because of China's economic leverage and Canada's fear that the U.S. can't be relied as much upon economically. Talk about giving enough rope for the capitalists so they can hang themselves. Democracies should stick together.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:22 AM   #43
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Obama's Trash Talk
Stop telling Africa what to do. Lectures are part of the problem.



by Andrew M. Mwenda
Foreign Policy (magazine), July 15



On his recent visit to Ghana, U.S. President Barack Obama condemned war, corruption, tribalism, and all the other ills that have bedeviled our continent. Many Africans in Africa and the diaspora were moved by the speech, as were many Africa observers in the West. The speech captivated imaginations because it appealed to people's basic common sense.

That is where its positive contribution ends.

Rather inconveniently, all the attention Obama's speech has gotten disproves his opening remark: "We must start from the simple premise that Africa's future is up to Africans." It is not the speech of an African leader on the future of the continent that is exciting debate in the media and finding space on the blogs; it is a speech by the U.S. president. This very simple contradiction reveals the world's collective tendency to seek Africa's solutions from the West.

Beyond its many good phrases and populist appeals, Obama's speech did not deviate fundamentally from the views of other Western leaders I have read throughout my lifetime--on aid, on civil wars, on corruption, or on democracy. Obama repackaged the same old views in less diplomatic language. He had the courage to be more explicit on Africa's ills because, due to his African heritage, Obama can say as he wishes without sounding racist--a fear that constrains other Western leaders when talking about Africa.

Even so, Obama said nothing new. He assumes that African countries have been mismanaged because leaders on the continent are bad men who make cold hearted choices. His solution is thus to extend moral pleas for them to rule better. Yet it is not the individual behavior of Africa's rulers that demands our closest attention, destructive as that behavior may be. It is the structure of incentives those leaders confront--incentives that help determine the choices they make. Using this logic, we can start to ask more-useful questions. If the choices made by Africa's rulers have destroyed their economies, under what conditions can they develop a vested interest in growth-promoting policies? If Africans are going to war much more often than other human beings on the planet, what causes them to do so? When is peace more attractive than military combat?

Governing is not about making simplistic choices on who is right and who is wrong. It requires making complicated trade-offs, some of which might be costly in the short term. Take negotiated conflict settlements, for example, a policy that has stabilized Liberia and Sierra Leone after the two countries' brutal civil wars. That same policy wouldn't have worked in 1994 in Rwanda, where it would have produced an unstable power-sharing arrangement between victims of genocide and their executioners. The lesson: We cannot have one blueprint for all of Africa's problems. Even "good" moral decisions, such as those so often urged upon us by the West, can be bad sometimes.

Obama assumes that the fundamental challenge facing Africa is the lack of democracy and the checks and balances that come with it. But how does he explain why authoritarian Rwanda fights corruption and delivers public services to its citizens much better than its democratic neighbor, Uganda? In fact, the Ugandan brand of democracy has spawned corruption and incompetence more than it has helped combat them. The country's ethnic politics makes patronage and corruption more electorally profitable than delivering services. Obama's preferred models of successful development, Singapore and South Korea, were not democratic when they rose to prominence. His proposals on ending corruption--"forensic accounting, automating services strengthening hot lines and protecting whistle-blowers"--are technocratic in nature. But the real challenge is how to give Africa's rulers a vested interest in fighting corruption. In most of Africa today, corruption is the way the system works--not the way it fails.

The lesson for Obama is that Africa is likely to get better with less meddling in its affairs by the West, not more--whether that meddling is through aid, peacekeeping, or well-written speeches. Africa needs space to make mistakes and learn from them. The solutions for Africa have to be shaped and articulated by Africans, not outsiders. Obama needs to listen to Africans much more, not lecture them using the same old teleprompter.
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:48 AM   #44
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Mwenda makes a number of excellent points in that piece.

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under what conditions can they develop a vested interest in growth-promoting policies?
Good question.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:30 AM   #45
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Mr Mwenda didn't seem to mind. It was an open discussion forum. Everyone will have their own opnions about history. Bono is just a very passionate person, that's all.
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