Tuesday, May 08, 2018

An Irishman's insight on Africa

Kevin Myers (born 30 March 1947) is an Irish journalist and writer. This essay appeared in The Irish Independent some years ago:

Somalia is not a humanitarian disaster; it is an evolutionary disaster. The current drought is not the worst in 50 years, as the BBC and all the aid organizations claim.
It is nothing compared to the droughts in 1960/61 or 73/74.  And there are continuing droughts every 5 years or so.

It's just that there are now four times the population; having been kept alive by famine relief, supplied by aid organizations, over the past 50 years.

So, of course, the effects of any drought now, is a famine. They cannot even feed themselves in a normal rainfall year.

Worst yet, the effects of these droughts, and poor nutrition in the first 3 years of the a child's life, have a lasting effect on the development of the infant brain, so that if they survive, they will never achieve a normal IQ .

Consequently, they are selectively breeding a population who cannot be educated, let alone one that is not being educated; a recipe for disaster

We are seeing this impact now, and it can only exacerbate, to the detriment of their neighbors, and their environment as well. This scenario can only end in an even worse disaster; with even worse suffering, for those benighted people, and their descendants. Eventually, some mechanism will intervene, be it war, disease or starvation.

So what do we do? Let them starve?

What a dilemma for our Judeo/Christian/Islamic Ethos; as well as Hindu/Buddhist morality.  And this is beginning to happen in Kenya, Ethiopia and other countries in Asia, like Pakistan.  Is this the beginning of the end of civilization?

AFRICA is giving nothing to anyone outside Africa -- apart from AIDS and new diseases. Even as we see African states refusing to take action to restore something resembling civilization in Zimbabwe, the begging bowl for Ethiopia is being passed around to us out of Africa, yet again.

It is nearly 25 years since the famous Feed The World campaign began in Ethiopia, and in that time Ethiopia's population has grown from 33.5 million to 78+ million today.

So, why on earth should I do anything to encourage further catastrophic demographic growth in that country? Where is the logic? There is none. Now they want to move to other countries to continue to breed and commit crime.

To be sure, there are two things saying that logic doesn't count.  One is my conscience, and the other is the picture, yet again, of another wide-eyed child, yet again, gazing,yet again, at the camera, which yet again, captures the tragedy of children starving.

Sorry. My conscience has toured this territory on foot and financially.  Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there.  The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a low IQ, AK 47-bearing moron, siring children whenever the whim takes him and blaming the world because he is uneducated, poor and left behind.  There is no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory and dysfunctional economic,  social and sexual system but I do not know what it is.  There is, on the other hand, every reason not to write a column like this.

It will win no friends and will provoke the self-righteous wrath of, well, the self-righteous hand wringing, letter writing wrathful individuals; a species which never fails to contaminate almost every debate in Irish life with its sneers and its moral superiority. It will also probably enrage some of the finest men in Irish life, like John O'Shea, of Goal; and the Finucane brothers, men whom I admire enormously.

So be it.

But, please, please, you self-righteously wrathful, spare me mention of our own Irish Famine, with this or that lazy analogy. There is no comparison!

Within 20 years of the Famine, the Irish population was down by 30%. Over the equivalent period, thanks to western food, the Mercedes 10-wheel truck and the Lockheed Hercules plane, Ethiopia's population has more than doubled.

Alas, that wretched country is not alone in its madness. Somewhere, over the rainbow, lies Somalia, another fine land of violent, AK 47-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently tumescent layabouts and housing pirates of the ocean.

Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually hyperactive, illiterate indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive because of help from the outside world or allowances by the semi-communist Governments they voted for, money supplied by borrowing it from the World Bank!

This dependency has not stimulated political prudence or common sense.

Indeed, voodoo idiocy seems to be in the ascendant, with the president of South Africa being a firm believer in the efficacy of a little tap water on the post-coital penis as a sure preventative against AIDS infection.  Needless to say, poverty, hunger and societal meltdown have not prevented idiotic wars involving Tigre, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea etcetera.

Broad brush-strokes, to be sure. But broad brush-strokes are often the way that history paints its gaudier, if more decisive, chapters.

Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 20th century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any part of Africa. They are now -- one way or another -- virtually all giving aid to or investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast Savannahs and its lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.

Meanwhile, Africa's peoples are outstripping their resources and causing catastrophic ecological degradation.

By 2050, the population of Ethiopia will be 177 million; the equivalent of France, Germany and Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly Protein-free wastelands of the Great Rift Valley.  So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally devastated and economically dependent country?

How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger, violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such wide-eyed children, with comparably jolly little lives ahead of them?

Of course, it might make you feel better, which is a prime reason for so much charity!

But that is not good enough. For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa.

It has sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed.

It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade.

It is inspiring Bill Gates' programme to rid the continent of malaria, when, in the almost complete absence of personal self-discipline, that disease is one of the most efficacious forms of population-control now operating. If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts.

Oh good: then what? I know, let them all come here (to Ireland). Germany and the rest of Europe is already inundated and there are literally millions queuing up who want a hand out, taking in refugees because you feel sorry for them will end in the demise of those countries taking part.

You will note that; No Gulf State is taking any refugees, and the head of the human rights commission is Saudi Arabian !?!

Now Mr Men and Little Miss stories are branded sexist: Study says the simple tales portray female characters as less powerful

The Mr. Men books are great. We had a collection of them when the kids were young. I am rather absent-minded so when I forgot something the kids would inform me that I was "Mr. Forgetful".  It helped them not to get bothered by my frailties

There's Mr Tickle, Mr Bump, Mr Messy and now apparently...Mr Sexist.

Roger Hargreaves’s simple tales of the Mr Men and Little Misses portray the female characters as less powerful, according to a study of the books.

The Little Miss characters have to be ‘saved’ in the stories more than half the time, compared with less than a third for the Mr Men, the study found.

And the male characters also have more to say in the books – with an average of 12 extra words.

The study claims that even the names of some characters, such as Little Miss Bossy, pictured below, might play to gender stereotypes.

It also cites examples of ‘stereotypical’ passages including ‘I know what that naughty little lady needs’ and: ‘She managed to find herself the perfect job. She now works for Mr Lazy! She cooks and cleans for him.’

The findings, based on an analysis of 47 Mr Men and 34 Little Miss books from 1971 to 2014, were presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Nottingham.

The University of Lincoln study concludes: ‘Generally female characters were more passive, had less direct speech and relied on being saved more than male characters.’

The series, aimed at children aged two and older, started with Mr Tickle in 1971. The Little Miss books followed a decade later.

Researcher Madeleine Pownall assessed the direct speech of characters in the books and found females were given an average of 53.5 words per story, compared with 61.5 for males.

She also found that as stories progressed the Little Misses had to be saved by another character in 51.5 per cent of cases, compared with 32.6 per cent of cases for Mr Men.

Egmont, which publishes the books, did not respond to requests for comment.


Trump Initiative Protects Religious Rights, Faith Groups’ Equal Access to Federal Dollars

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Thursday focusing on protecting freedom of religion and exploring new ways faith-based agencies can partner with government to effectively provide services.

“The prayers of religious believers helped gain our independence, and the prayers of religious leaders like the Reverend Martin Luther King—great man—helped win the long struggle for civil rights,” @POTUS says.

“We condemn all crimes against people of faith, and today we are launching another historic action to promote religious freedom,” Trump said at a National Day of Prayer ceremony in the Rose Garden before signing the executive order to create a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

“The faith initiative will help design new policies that recognize the vital role of faith in our families, our communities, and our great country,” the president said. “This office will also help ensure that faith-based organizations have equal access to government funding and the equal right to exercise their deeply held beliefs.

“We take this step because we know that, in solving the many, many problems and our great challenges, faith is more powerful than government, and nothing is more powerful than God,” Trump continued.

The White House initiative will be made up of faith leaders and experts on charity and religious freedom from outside the government and will be led by the newly created position of adviser to the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

It will make recommendations about providing services to the poor and to apprise the Trump administration of any executive branch failures to comply with religious liberty protections under law.

During his remarks in the Rose Garden, the president talked about the Rev. Billy Graham, the legendary evangelist who died earlier this year, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the iconic civil rights hero assassinated 50 years ago in 1968.

“Today, we remember the words of Reverend Graham, ‘Prayer is the key that opens us to the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings,’” Trump said. “Always beautiful, and when he said it, it meant so much. When I say it, it means something, but I liked when he said it better. … I think he did that a little better than I do.”

Trump continued:

The prayers of religious believers helped gain our independence, and the prayers of religious leaders like the Reverend Martin Luther King—great man—helped win the long struggle for civil rights.

Faith has shaped our families, and it’s shaped our communities. It’s inspired our commitment to charity and our defense of liberty, and faith has forged the identity and the destiny of this great nation that we all love.

Trump signed a religious freedom executive order last year at a similar Rose Garden event.

A Family Research Council analysis released Wednesday found the religious freedom executive order Trump issued in May 2017 allowed charities and other entities to provide up to 13.7 million people with health care and other social services, and enabled at least 44 schools that provide education for more than 148,000 students to continue operating.

“The announcement of President Trump’s faith initiative is further evidence that this administration is not only committed to protecting our first freedom, but in also acknowledging that our faith in God contributes to the guidance and well-being of our country,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a social conservative advocacy group.

“I look forward to working with the president to make sure the community of faith will be able to bring hope and help to people in the United States and around the globe,” he said in a statement.

However, Americans United for Separation of Church and State contends the executive order will instead trample on religious freedom.

“Our government should protect religious freedom, not use it as a sword to harm others,” Rachel Laser, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Our country is strongest when we are all free to believe, or not, as we see fit and to practice our faith without hurting others.”

Executive departments and agencies will designate a liaison to the White House faith initiative.

Similar initiatives were begun under the previous two administrations.

President George W. Bush established the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. President Barack Obama continued with the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Both focused on charity. Trump’s version extends the focus to also protecting religious freedom.

The executive order on Thursday shows that Trump understands the benefit of the government partnering with faith-based groups, said Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal adviser for the Catholic Association, a group advocating the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

“The order also restates the government’s commitment to protect freedom of conscience and religious liberty by increasing oversight of federal programs,” Picciotti-Bayer said in a statement. “Everyday Americans respond to God’s call to serve, offering their time and talents to aid and assist their neighbors. People of all faiths, and those with no faith at all, find compassion and professionalism in the care they receive from groups motivated by faith.

“Today’s executive order hails their work—a wonderful product of the rich religious pluralism of our country,” she said.


PFAS chemicals not linked to disease but health effects 'cannot be ruled out', expert panel finds

PFAS is the latest false alarm from the disastrous Erin Brockovich

There is limited or no evidence to link exposure to PFAS chemicals with human disease, but health effects cannot be ruled out, an independent panel has advised the Australian Government.

An expert health panel was set up in October 2017 to advise the Government on the potential health impacts associated with exposure to the chemicals, which were historically used in firefighting foams, and to identify priority areas for further research.

It found there was "mostly limited or no evidence" for any link with human disease and there is "no current evidence that suggests an increase in overall cancer risk".

While it concluded there was no increase in overall cancer risk, it did note the "most concerning signal reported" in the scientific studies was a "possible link" with an increase risk of testicular and kidney cancer.

Per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS chemicals, were used in firefighting foams at 18 Defence bases across the country starting in 1970.

Use of the foams was phased out from 10 years ago but caused widespread contamination in the soil, groundwater and surface water around some of the bases.

Since revelations about contamination, residents who live near Defence facilities in Katherine in the Northern Territory, Williamtown in New South Wales and Oakey in Queensland were offered blood tests, and some offered alternative sources of drinking water.

Katherine was exposed to the chemical from firefighting foam used at the nearby Tindal RAAF base in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Voluntary blood tests got underway in Katherine in March this year, following an interim human health risk assessment that warned against eating local seafood and home-grown produce.

The entire town has been on water restrictions since August 2017, while a permanent solution for an alternative water supply could take up to two years.

PFAS chemicals build up in animals and humans, and remain in the body for many years, the panel report said.

"Importantly, there is no current evidence that supports a large impact on a person's health as a result of high levels of PFAS exposure," the report found.

"However, the panel noted that even though the evidence for PFAS exposure and links to health effects is very weak and inconsistent, important health effects for individuals exposed to PFAS cannot be ruled out based on the current evidence."

The panel reviewed 20 recently published reports and academics reviews.

It found that "although the scientific evidence on the relationship between PFAS exposure and health effects is limited, current reports, reviews and research provide fairly consistent reports with several health effects".

The panel noted, however, the level of health effects in people with the highest exposure was generally still within "normal ranges" for the whole population.

Considering all the evidence before it, the expert health panel advised Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt any health screening for exposed groups should be for research purposes only.

"The evidence does not support any specific health or disease screening or other health interventions for highly exposed groups in Australia, except for research purposes," the report stated.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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