Wednesday, June 23, 2004

in a funk...

What a crappy few days. It seems that I've been spinning my wheels the last few days trying to get anything done. Everything seems disorganized, and the more I try to organize it, the worse it gets. It seems Anya's visa to come visit could be in doubt (after I've already bought the tickets!) and the only solution seems to be to send a bunch of money to her so that she can show that she can pay for the trip herself. Which seems to be just raising the stakes on an already difficult situation. My HHT research seems to be at a standstill. I have to figure out how to send the blood and who will take it and if they're honest and if the candidates even have the stupid disease! Studying seems to be at a standstill, I haven't been running very much, I'm not happy with the 'friends' around me, nor my ones from Nevis who I couldn't contact to meet me in St. Maartan after they had made such a big deal about meeting me there this semester... THAT MEANS YOU VIJAY AND JESSICA AND EVEN YOU RRRRRRRAHUL!!! I HOPE YOU SEARCH FOR YOUR NAMES ON GOOGLE AND SEE THIS YOU BBBBBBBBBBASTARDS hehe... just kidding, sort of... :)
The three day weekend was a bust, just went out on Saturday night and got too drunk and stupid for comfort (I still need to pick up my backpack and liquor bottles from Robert's house). The internet connection doesn't seem to be working with Anya, so that trying to talk on internet phone is frustrating at best. The marriage visa is on hold for now, as are the wedding plans. Oh yeah, and my sleep schedule is all f***ed up. ...good thing I don't have a dog; it'd probably die...

What else. Oh yeah. Friggen Google doesn't seem to want to list my website so all the work that I've done on it seems to be just for my own shits and giggles. And that’s ok I guess, since the content parts of it are all haphazard and f***ed up still anyway. I checked yesterday; yep, I'm still the only one who’s ever seen the thing.

I do like this venting on the web thing, just wish I had something creative to say on it.
...which reminds me, I should take my St. John's wort now.
I wonder, if I died, how long it would take my family to get around to calling and find out. 2 weeks? a month? Assuming that the medical school for some reason didn't call them and let them know, like if I was hiking around the island or something and nobody knew what happened, I think they would probably email a couple of times after a couple weeks to ask where I am., it would take longer than that, I've been out of touch for a month or so before I ever remember getting an email. I'd bet 2 months would be the limit before they'd check on me. Although now, Anya would probably find out pretty quick and... no; it'd probably take her a couple of weeks to figure out that something was really wrong too. And she might have a hard time getting a hold of anyone anyway. Funny, I set them all up with internet phones that I made sure worked and showed them all how to work them when I was at home. interesting.

I'm really developing a loathing for the way a lot of people work. No, not my family and Anya, new subject. That is, politics and news about the world around us really gets me mad these days. How is it that we aren't helping the more than a million people in Darfur that are being burned out of their villages? Kofi Annan (that f***ing bastard) said that he's "not prepared to call it genocide yet." F*** HIM. He knows that the term genocide is a legal term necessary to give the UN the authority to go in and stop the thing. He knows that even if we go in today we won't be able to save everyone. He knows that the Sudanese government is working with the militias to burn the villages, rape the women, and poison the wells. He knows that... anyway.

I don't see how people aren't disgusted by every person in power. There is no good man who has stood up and said "we will not allow this to happen, we will commit the full resources of our government to stopping this from happening!" The US is spending 100 billion dollars (give or take) to make war in Iraq against a "brutal dictator" and yet we haven't committed anything worth while to Darfur! FUCKING BASTARDS. Where’s the moral accountability, where's the justice? But of course Kofi Annan is not really the problem in this case. He's just a symptom like all the rest of them. The world was looking for something to give them an excuse not to act. Had he not provided fodder, they would have found it elsewhere. The leaders of the world have no intention of going charging in to Darfur with tons of food and medicine and military strength to guarantee that it gets to the people who need it. They'll deliberate and debate and make comparisons to Rwanda in 1994 and look for a "political solution." Colon Powell himself set the precedent years ago when he called for an "even handed" approach to the "conflict" in Sudan. WHAT "even hand?" There's no even hand to be had in this situation! One side is, and has been driving the other out of its houses and villages.

Eventually, far too late (it already is) they'll send a small UN "peacekeeping" mission to the region to allow themselves to continue taking the high road when they debate ethical issues in public. They needn't bother. They've lost it already. They lost it in 1994 when they let a million die in Rwanda, they lost it in Yugoslavia when they let thousands be 'cleansed' from their country, they lost it in Liberia when America refused to stop the fighting when BOTH SIDES were asking them to help. They lost it in Iraq when they left Sadam in power in 1991 and when they sanctioned the economy of the country for a decade instead, they compounded it when they showed the world that they could spend 100 billion dollars on war without batting an eye, yet couldn't devote a fraction of that amount to building anything. France and Russia are showing it when they negotiate to make the new government pay back most of Sadam's debt. India and Pakistan show it when they build nuclear arsenals to aim at the other rather than giving the people of Kashmir the freedom to choose their future. The Arab world shows it when they continually feed their people scenes of horror regarding the west and Israel while refusing to acknowledge the evil of their own brutally (what kind of bastard saws a man's head off!!!!). The democrats even showed it when they selected Kerry, a man born of the same breed of politicians as Bush. Didn't they know that he supports the war in Iraq? If the war in Iraq is wrong, why would they support a man who refuses to oppose it; just because it was (somewhat) popular at the time? Are the democrats too willing to sell their soul for what they think will bring them votes!?? Of course they are. As a group we've shown that we all are. As a group we support each other's psychoses. We give each other the impression that there is meaning and structure and validity to the irrational behavior that we all have created.

"...those who write out evil writs and compose iniquitous documents, to subvert the cause of the poor, to rob the rights of the needy of my people, that widows may be their spoil, and fatherless children their booty: what will you do on the day of punishment, when the calamity comes from afar?"

I don't see it. My mother always told me, if it looks like a rat and smells like a rat...

I am not an idealist; this is life, this is TRUE. There is nothing we can say which can make the words actions of the governments of the world right. Go ahead! Vote Bush out of office. See if Kerry gives you peace of mind. When Kerry is president, will he devote thousands of troops and billions of dollars to the millions dieing in Sudan?

This is what I wrote this morning:

(Using numbers off the top of my head) The world has a maximum of 10% of the population who have the resources available to take care of those who are suffering from within the other 90%. The US, for instance, has 250 million people. Of those, maybe 150 million have sufficient resources to contribute significantly to those around. Assuming the rest of the world has, at maximum, 450 million people with the same capability; our world has 600 million people with significant extra resources available to help the others.
Not all of the rest of the world is poor. A large percentage have enough to get by, without having much extra. Still, we are left with perhaps a third of the population, 2 billion people, with fewer resources than they require. This means that for every 1 person with substantially more than they need, there are 3 or 4 with less.
Most of the "adopt a child" programs that I've seen advertised estimate that it costs $1/day to support a child in sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest population as a whole, in the world. This comes to $30/month. So, assuming that it's the moral responsibility of those with extra to assist those with not enough, the person with extra resources must give, at very minimum, around $100/month to those less fortunate.
This number assumes that every person with extra money does his/her part. This is not the case. Most people, whether they realize it or not, are bastards. So to say that it is our responsibility to cough up $120/month, and no more, is inadequate. Just to make up for the jerk next door, a person must double the amount. It also assumes that costs for sub-Saharan Africa are standard. They are not. $1/day goes a long way towards food and medicine in Africa, but that number can only be a small fraction of what it costs to root poverty out of the world at large. That said, it goes without saying that even $500/month would not too much to ask of our wealthy brothers and sisters. That’s like asking them to make a car payment to the rest of the world. Not all that much...

I'm not a communist, and I'm not a socialist either. I'm not even a liberal. In fact, it seems that the very foundations of conservative ethics are what require us to make these sacrifices. At what point did "if you will be perfect, go see what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come follow me" become "buy an SUV and follow me to church"? It doesn't make sense to me, and it shouldn't make sense to anyone else either.

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