rich getting richer, the poor poorer

Why is that?

Many of the rich (Cheap-Labor Conservatives) like “cheap labour”.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Though former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich overstates a bit, his key points are true.

Click PLAY or watch a trailer for Robert Reich’s documentary on YouTube. Inequality for All.

I can’t see why any poor or under-employed person should vote for the Republican Party. The American Tea Party hates the poor. Despises any program that gives one dollar to the poor. Yet wants to waste hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in the Middle East.

I’m still trying to find a national American politician who’s a true fiscal conservative.

Films for Action – The Cheap-Labor Conservatives’ “Dirty Secret”: They Don’t Really Like Prosperity

Selma – a review

Selma is a 2014 American historical drama film …

It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches

Selma has received universal acclaim from film critics. Praise has gone particularly to the film’s acting, cinematography, screenplay, and direction. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a rating of 98% …

Click PLAY or watch a trailer on YouTube.

It’s an important movie. A good history lesson.

Martin Luther King Jr. emulated my personal hero Gandhi. Non-violent resistance. The best way for an oppressed minority to challenge a privileged majority.

It worked.

But as a film I found Selma average. Too preachy. The dialogue often not believable. The good guys too good, the bad guys too evil.

It might have been better as a documentary.

Instead it’s a Hollywood fiction based on a true story. I know not all the facts are exactly right. But John Lewis, being bludgeoned in this photo March 7, 1965, feels the film gets enough right. To him the film is true to the story.

DAVIS

Alabama Governor George Wallace was a prototype segregationist. During his final years, Wallace recanted his racist views and asked for forgiveness from African Americans.

I visited Alabama for the first time last year. Surprised and pleased to see no outward signs of overt racism.

Sooner or later the echos of American slavery will be entirely forgotten.

In the meantime, Selma is a reminder of how far we’ve come. And how far we have not come.

related – Neil Young – Southern Man

anti-vaxers are wrong, wrong, wrong

The New Jersey Governor, normally a smart guy, bungled this one. It seemed to me he was pandering to the anti-Obama, lowest common denominator base of the Republican Party.

Now he’s trying to back-pedal.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Holds News Conference To Address Traffic Scandal

Chris Christie’s Terrible Vaccine Advice

Watch A Discredited Vaccine Study’s Continuing Impact on Public Health on the NY Times.

It’s not uneducated people, but rather wealthy L.A. and San Francisco area parents. Jenny McCarthy fans, I wildly speculate.

If you don’t want to wade through the specifics of why anti-vaxers are wrong, Penn and Teller will give you a graphic explanation.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

That all said, I agree that we should be researching vaccines. Finding the best. Looking for side effects.

But to not vaccinate your kids for measles is near criminal parenting behaviour.

the world IS getting better

More people are going to school for longer

Access to the internet is increasing

Solar power is getting cheaper

Beer consumption going up ??? :-)

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

details on vox

(via Bill Gates)

Africa – Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness is a short novel (1899) about Charles Marlow’s life as an ivory transporter down the Congo

The story is a complex exploration of the attitudes people hold on what constitutes a barbarian versus a civilized society and the attitudes on colonialism and racism that were part and parcel of European imperialism

Joseph Conrad acknowledged that Heart of Darkness was in part based on his own experiences during his travels in Africa. In 1890, at the age of 31, he was appointed by a Belgian trading company to serve as the captain of a steamer on the Congo River. …

He reportedly became disillusioned with Imperialism, after witnessing the cruelty and corruption perpetrated by the European companies in the area. …

heartofdarkness

Leopold II (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909), second King of the Belgians, was responsible for the deaths of an estimated 2 to 15 million Congolese. Yet very few remember him as one of the worst mass killers all time.

A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
– Joseph Stalin

In 2014 Africans are quick to blame European imperialists for … everything.

Yet in 2014 if you see something of QUALITY in sub-Saharan Africa, you assume some foreigner is involved. Africans have been – in the main – very unsuccessful in moving themselves from tribal cultures to modern societies.

Long term, I’m not optimistic for Africa. Despite tremendous economic opportunities.

For example – Bill Gates – Can the Asian Miracle Happen in Africa?

To move forward, Africa needs clean drinking water, education of girls and good leadership.

Will that happen?

In nations like Congo Brazzaville, the richest Africans move money out of the country faster than foreign aid comes in. They steal as much as they can, moving their families to Paris or London.

With African leadership like this, what future for Congo?

Corruption is killing African potential.

The most corrupt nations in the world 2014:

Somalia
North Korea
Sudan
Afghanistan
South Sudan
Iraq
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Libya
Eritrea

One bright spot, I hear, is Rwanda. A British woman living there told me the nation is moving forward rapidly. Internet is faster than in London.

If another dozen nations make progress like Rwanda, over the next ten years, then there is hope. Those nations will thrive, draw business investment. Forcing the corrupt, less efficient nations to compete.

In the end, it’s competition that improves the world.
___

related – The 10 least corrupt countries in the world:

Denmark
New Zealand
Finland
Sweden
Norway
Switzerland
Singapore
Netherlands
Luxembourg
Canada