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Old 11-19-2003, 09:17 AM   #16
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Originally posted by Blacksword
I also love how the lack of helth delivery systems card is played yet again. Gott love it when people assume Africans are too dumn to take their medicine. Yet another bit of proof that Western paternalism isn't dead.
i dont think its as simple as Africans remembering to take their medicine. i will not claim to be knowledgable on the subject, but significant provisional infrastructure needs to be in place: education, facilities, medical professionals and equipment.
i think that is what the author is referring to.

this column, and many others like it, miss something that is essential to the argument put forth by bono and the rest of the crew. and it is something that is missing partly due to bono, in my opinion.

the corrupt past of the continental political leaders is something that is sad and regrettable. it is also the point most often raised by critics of the plan but it is also one which data addresses as far as i know and it should be directly addressed more often by their spokespeople and champions of the cause, such as bono.

over the long term, governance reform will be a revolution as great as the provision of aids medicines or the forgivance of debts. they just have to advertise it better.
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:23 AM   #17
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Criticizing Bono, or any other socially/politically active famous person, begs the question: would we rather they stay in their mansions and spend their money and not give a shit? I mean, maybe their knowledge of the issue isn't as thorough or it puts a famous/pretty face on the issue, but think of how much attention Bono has garnered for the cause of AIDS in Africa and Third World debt relief. That's a good thing, and he didn't HAVE to do it.
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Old 11-19-2003, 08:48 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by kobayashi


i dont think its as simple as Africans remembering to take their medicine. i will not claim to be knowledgable on the subject, but significant provisional infrastructure needs to be in place: education, facilities, medical professionals and equipment.
i think that is what the author is referring to.

this column, and many others like it, miss something that is essential to the argument put forth by bono and the rest of the crew. and it is something that is missing partly due to bono, in my opinion.

the corrupt past of the continental political leaders is something that is sad and regrettable. it is also the point most often raised by critics of the plan but it is also one which data addresses as far as i know and it should be directly addressed more often by their spokespeople and champions of the cause, such as bono.

over the long term, governance reform will be a revolution as great as the provision of aids medicines or the forgivance of debts. they just have to advertise it better.

DATA responds to the corrupt past issue, and Bono also did in his recent speech in Canada.

http://www.data.org/aboutdata.htm?1069292545671

From the Data link:

Drop the Debt
Every African country that has a debt problem should have the chance to show that, if some or all of its debt is canceled, it can do a better job of fighting poverty. The first step is for countries with debt problems to show that their governments are democratic and accountable, so people can be confident that money is well-spent. They also should have clear and budgeted programs for fighting poverty with the extra money they would receive.

When African countries succeed in setting up those plans, the international community should respond with debt cancellation that is extensive enough to make a real difference - and that will allow countries to go several years without the fear of slipping back under a crushing load of debt.

If the United States alone spent just $1.70 per year for every American, the debts of 22 African countries which have already done the work to qualify for debt relief could be canceled.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't remember his exact words during the speech, but Bono did bring up "if the country has become accountable, please let's drop the debt" - and he also made a comment about how people shouldn't have to pay for their great great grandfather's mistakes.
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Old 11-19-2003, 10:38 PM   #19
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Yes, good points. I believe Bono's words during the speech were something along the lines of, "If we can show through clear and transparent process that the money is going where it's supposed to, let's finish what we started and cancel the debts."
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Old 11-20-2003, 02:34 AM   #20
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I'm am so torn about this whole thing. Part of me can support what Bono is doing. The other half wants Bono just to shut up, like some critics. And, bottom-line, yes, I guess it is because he is a multi-millionaire and I'm thinking of myself, that I can hardly give a red cent to help if I wanted to.

Who, exactly is he expecting to pay for all this? Ultimately, me, not himself.

Yes, that tax-free state he lives in is QUITE annoying. A whole other subject altogether. If I lived in Ireland I'd be very annoyed at that and most likely doing just what Bono says Irish people do...say I was going to get the guy who lives in the big house on the hill.

I still don't really get how getting the drugs to the AIDS victims is going to end AIDS. It's not. The problem is in the society itself and in religion.

Just my two cents. I just can't help it, I can't keep quiet when part of me is slightly annoyed when Bono is praised without restraint BECAUSE he is the lead singer of U2.

Don't get me wrong...I like Bono a lot!
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Old 11-20-2003, 02:54 AM   #21
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Hi Soul Always,

I suggest you check out the DATA site.

http://www.data.org/

The organization is looking for people to get ahold of their government officials to make a change. It isn't really looking for your personal donations. If enough people ask more of their governments, then change can be made.

The other way to look at Bono's activisism is - hey - this guy is a multi millionaire that could do anything he wants to. Why does he spend so much time - delay album releases even - to help Africa? He did not make the choice to not pay taxes - Ireland did. It just isn't something to hold against him personally - like he is dodging something. I can understand you being annoyed if he moved to an area to avoid paying taxes - but this isn't the case. No one truly knows how he spends his money, but I guarantee that he puts a good amount back to his community even if he isn't doing it through taxes.

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Old 11-20-2003, 03:11 AM   #22
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Old 11-20-2003, 03:16 AM   #23
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Originally posted by Soul Always
And, bottom-line, yes, I guess it is because he is a multi-millionaire and I'm thinking of myself, that I can hardly give a red cent to help if I wanted to.

Who, exactly is he expecting to pay for all this? Ultimately, me, not himself.
Well, actually, another way of looking at it is we have already given the government our tax dollars for all sorts of things. In the case of Africa, we'd simply be giving the government permission to spend some of it wisely on the poorest people on Earth.
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I still don't really get how getting the drugs to the AIDS victims is going to end AIDS. It's not. The problem is in the society itself and in religion.
You're right. The drugs won't end AIDS. However, surely you must agree that AIDS is a treatable and preventable disease, correct? We prevent it and we treat it in the Western world. Why can we not teach the developing world to do the same? Why can we not make drugs affordable to the developing world so that they can do the same? The goal is to alleviate the problem, and to educate, so they can undertake these initiatives for themselves. Affordable drugs for Africans would save millions of lives. It would cost about 20 cents to give one AIDS infected pregnant mother a drug called Nevirapine - which would help prevent her from passing on AIDS to her newborn child. We wouldn't think twice about doing this for a mother in the Western world, so why shouldn't we help an African mother with the same plight?

As far as debt relief goes, it has been shown with even the little amount that has been cancelled so far, how much it has helped. Nearly three times the amount of children in Uganda are now going to school because of debt relief and other instilled programs. The results are there to see, and that's why Bono is excited about his cause - because he knows if the world moves on this, a huge difference will eventually be made, a difference that could spell the biggest and most important shift of the 21st Century.

I think if people know where the money is going - like Bono says, through clear and transparent process - than people will want to help. A world with a stable Africa is the goal. Such a world would be a much healthier, stronger, and safer world, as we are all interconnected on this planet.
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Old 11-20-2003, 03:18 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by BostonAnne
Hi Soul Always,

I suggest you check out the DATA site.

http://www.data.org/

The organization is looking for people to get ahold of their government officials to make a change. It isn't really looking for your personal donations. If enough people ask more of their governments, then change can be made.

The other way to look at Bono's activisism is - hey - this guy is a multi millionaire that could do anything he wants to. Why does he spend so much time - delay album releases even - to help Africa? He did not make the choice to not pay taxes - Ireland did. It just isn't something to hold against him personally - like he is dodging something. I can understand you being annoyed if he moved to an area to avoid paying taxes - but this isn't the case. No one truly knows how he spends his money, but I guarantee that he puts a good amount back to his community even if he isn't doing it through taxes.

BostonAnne
I have checked out the site a little bit. Yeah, I know it's not his fault that Ireland chose to do that but it's still annoying that he takes the break, I guess. I know, I know, I know...I'd probably do it, too.

It's just really hard to sit and be lectured to by a man who has more money than I'll ever see in a lifetime about my government needing to use my tax money, which I can barely afford to give to help out another country when it doesn't seem we can even take care of our own population properly. I know that sounds selfish, but then I start thinking about all the homeless people I see around here, and all the decaying buildings and roads, etc. Not to mention the decaying public school system and the crappy wages teachers make, and how kids in our own country can shoot up their schools.

It just seems like we're doing a half-baked job here, as well. It's hard for me to imagine how we can afford to give it away. A rich multi-millionaire who can spend 3,000 on some wine and doesn't have to pay taxes just cannot comprehend that the world isn't so easy for most, even in western society.
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Old 11-20-2003, 03:40 AM   #25
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Originally posted by Michael Griffiths

Well, actually, another way of looking at it is we have already given the government our tax dollars for all sorts of things. In the case of Africa, we'd simply be giving the government permission to spend some of it wisely on the poorest people on Earth.

You're right. The drugs won't end AIDS. However, surely you must agree that AIDS is a treatable and preventable disease, correct? We prevent it and we treat it in the Western world. Why can we not teach the developing world to do the same? Why can we not make drugs affordable to the developing world so that they can do the same? The goal is to alleviate the problem, and to educate, so they can undertake these initiatives for themselves. Affordable drugs for Africans would save millions of lives. It would cost about 20 cents to give one AIDS infected pregnant mother a drug called Nevirapine - which would help prevent her from passing on AIDS to her newborn child. We wouldn't think twice about doing this for a mother in the Western world, so why shouldn't we help an African mother with the same plight?

As far as debt relief goes, it has been shown with even the little amount that has been cancelled so far, how much it has helped. Nearly three times the amount of children in Uganda are now going to school because of debt relief and other instilled programs. The results are there to see, and that's why Bono is excited about his cause - because he knows if the world moves on this, a huge difference will eventually be made, a difference that could spell the biggest and most important shift of the 21st Century.

I think if people know where the money is going - like Bono says, through clear and transparent process - than people will want to help. A world with a stable Africa is the goal. Such a world would be a much healthier, stronger, and safer world, as we are all interconnected on this planet.
Okay...this is all great! But, I still have one bee in my bonnet! What about the homeless people around here? Is their plight any less pitiful than those people in Africa? If I were homeless I'd feel like it was so. Why not give that tax money to help end homelessness in America? If they did that...if I saw they were making efforts and waves there, then I think I'd be more friendly toward the notion of giving some away to Africa, as well. I just think that you can't ignore one completely while giving to another.

There is very little focus being placed on the plight of homeless people in America (or Ireland). Maybe Bono should mention that, too, and then I'd feel better. Speak up for those people, as well. Bono is choosing one problem, but there are so many others. It's all rather one-sided. I won't forget the homeless people I see on the streets every day.

I guess, ultimately, my crusade is different from his.
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Old 11-20-2003, 03:54 AM   #26
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I see what you are saying, but Bono isn't saying not to help the homeless in America or whichever country we happen to live in. There's nothing stopping the G8 governments from doing more than one thing at a time. It's all about priorities. Some world leaders spend most of their money on things like the military. Some don't. In the end, they are supposed to do what we the people elect them and pressure them to do. I can't speak for Bono, but I suppose if he has seen the abject poverty in Africa first hand, nothing else at home could possibly compare to it, even though there is great poverty in the Western world as well. The difference is, in Africa, often times the poverty is in a vacuum, with no governmental aid whatsoever, where as in the West, as bad as it can be, there is much more immediate help surrounding the poverty. In Africa, over 6000 people die every day. The situation is much worse in Africa, all things considered. But that said, we should be working on issues in our homelands as well, I agree.
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Old 11-20-2003, 04:07 AM   #27
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Originally posted by Michael Griffiths
I see what you are saying, but Bono isn't saying not to help the homeless in America or whichever country we happen to live in. There's nothing stopping the G8 governments from doing more than one thing at a time. It's all about priorities. Some world leaders spend most of their money on things like the military. Some don't. In the end, they are supposed to do what we the people elect them and pressure them to do. I can't speak for Bono, but I suppose if he has seen the abject poverty in Africa first hand, nothing else at home could possibly compare to it, even though there is great poverty in the Western world as well. The difference is, in Africa, often times the poverty is in a vacuum, with no governmental aid whatsoever, where as in the West, as bad as it can be, there is much more immediate help surrounding the poverty. In Africa, over 6000 people die every day. The situation is much worse in Africa, all things considered. But that said, we should be working on issues in our homelands as well, I agree.
Thanks. Yeah, I'm sure that a lot of people would change their stories if they could see the poverty in Africa firsthand and like you said, the vacuum that surrounds it. However, it seems to me that there's quite a vacuum around people who can't afford things here in America, such a decent healthcare, or a house, etc.

Obviously our politicians priorities haven't been prioritized properly, have they?

I just don't know what to think. Sometimes I get in these situations and I think they're hopeless. You need money for Africa, you need money for America, etc., there's only so much money that can go around. You can take away from the military but will that ultimately lead to a weakness that can prove detrimental? It's like a no-win situation and my head spins round and round. So, where should our priorities be and where should we spend the money?

These kinds of questions make me throw up the towel and walk away. All I know is that things aren't getting any better here, as well, for the homeless. Maybe they have more help than Africans, ultimately, but I'd rather not have their life, either.

I can see why Bono goes out there and does something for Africa...because he can afford to fly around the world, and CAN. I just wish there was such a great spokeperson for the homeless people among us.

I just don't like to see one fall through the cracks while another is getting all the focus. Yes, 6,000 are dying a day, and that's hard to comprehend and awful. It makes you feel like wringing your hands and try to get things done. Perhaps their situation in general is more urgent, though who is to say? Homeless people die daily as well from cold, hunger, violence, lack of love It makes me sad.

I better go and dream up a better way that I can help them. I'm afraid I still have a hard time authorizing my leaders to give my money away when I can so easily see the faces of the people who need it here.
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Old 11-20-2003, 04:14 AM   #28
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Don't throw in the towel. Every little bit helps, even if it's in your own backyard, right? It doesn't have to be Africa. I just wanted to express the other side of the coin, and possibly (in part anyway) show why Bono might be so passionate about the issue, that's all.
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Old 11-20-2003, 04:22 AM   #29
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Originally posted by Michael Griffiths
Don't throw in the towel. Every little bit helps, even if it's in your own backyard, right? It doesn't have to be Africa. I just wanted to express the other side of the coin, and possibly (in part anyway) show why Bono might be so passionate about the issue, that's all.
Yeah, you helped me to see more clearly again why he might be so passionate about his issue. It probably tears at his heart-strings like nothing else.

For someone who pretty much owns the world, in a sense, Africa is pretty much his backyard.

Even so, I just can't help feeling a bit, well, like a cat rubbed the wrong way, with how Bono goes about things.

I like him, though...I want to make that clear. I do think that Bono has one of the biggest hearts on the block.
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Old 11-20-2003, 09:06 AM   #30
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Hi Soul Always!

Michael and Boston Anne (how ARE you girl??) have made some really good points. I'd add a couple more.

1. Remember, the Irish government has a great national statement on debt cancellation. It's not just Bono who sees this issue as important, it seems to be an Irish thing. My guess is, he feels like he has a duty to use his fame for some greater purpose than himself.

2. Remember, Africa's problem is NOT simply a lack of money. Bono could round up every friend in Hollywood and London that he's got and EMPTY their bank accounts and his, and it would not solve the problem, because the debt crisis is systemic. By that I mean, the problem is the very nature of the SYSTEM the world's international financial systems, like the IMF and the World Bank (who are priority creditors) , use to calulate, manufacture and restructure debt. Unless that system changes, no amount of $$ will help, because it will all go down the debt drain.

3. The tax free thing would piss me off too. Just tell yourself Bono prolly makes up for it in private charity contributions.

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