Talking Points 15 April

Zimbabwe’s main opposition party the MDC has called on workers in the country to strike, to stay away from work – in protest into the delayed announcement of the election results..This past weekend saw the meeting of Southern African leaders with South Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki saying – ” There is no crisis in Zimbabwe”. Why will nobody stick up for Democracy in Zimbabwe? 

Debate about the International growing food crisis continues…The world bank’s Robert Zoellick, said (over the weekend) rising food prices could drive 100 million people in the poorest countries deeper into poverty. Hundreds of thousands will starve..if we free the markets will the food crisis get sorted out? 

A US report (Pew) says fewer people are feeling better about than they did 4 years ago? What about the rest of you? Is this report a reflection on YOUR lives? Are you feeling better or worse than you did 4 years ago?

And..Italy’s best known political figure, Silvio Berlusconi has swept back into power…The victory gives him a 3rd term as prime minister.  He promised women would occupy a third of cabinet posts if he won, but he also says “the left has no taste, even when it comes to women” He went on to say women candidates in his party were more beautiful.  Do politicians have to look good? 

10 Responses to “Talking Points 15 April”

  1. April 15, 2008 at 12:01

    The case of Zimbabwe illustrated vividly: 1) For democracy to be successful in operation, it has to be coming from within, not enforced or coerced. 2) Evolution at their own pace, in their own time. This is to facilitate the setting up of civil structures,ie the laws which spell out the divisions of powers. The free press and freedom of expression. The pressure groups etc.
    I have a great deal of contempts for human right organisations for their santimonoius interferences, sitting on high horses, their terrible lack of insight.

    Recent events in different countries proved beyond doubt that NO DEMOCRACY OR PARTIAL DEMOCRACY IS INFINITELY A LOT MORE SUPERIOR THAN PHONEY DEMOCRACY.

  2. 2 VictorK
    April 15, 2008 at 12:33

    Re the food crisis: the article you linked to said hardly anything about free markets (though the comments that followed it were something of an eye-opener). The following link gives a fuller account of how the interaction of the rule of law, property rights and free markets underpins economic (and agricultural) production.


    The food crisis is largely a matter of mismanagement. Australia, Canada and the USA are (or are potentially) food self-sufficient. The % of arable land in each of those countries is 6.15%, 4.57% and 18% respectively. They are all, of course, countries in which the rule of law exists alongside firmly entrenched property rights and a system of free market economics.

    Note, as a matter of comparison, the % of arable land in the countries mentioned in the article you linked to where there have been food riots: Haiti (28%), Egypt (2.92%), The Philippines (19%), Ivory Coast (10.5%), Ethiopia (10%), and Indonesia (10%). With the possible exception of Egypt, all of these countries are at least as well placed to be self-sufficient in food production as Australia and Canada, while the Philippines and Haiti are also better placed than the USA.

    This is another instance of what was discussed yesterday re ‘acting white’: it is culture and conduct that make the difference between being a successful well-fed nation and being one in which food riots occur. And just to drive the point home: Zimbabwe has 8.2% arable land and prior to Robert Mugabe’s land reforms (characterised by lawlessness, violating property rights, and interfering with the workings of a free market) Zimbabwe was a net exporter of food. Today it, too, is haunted by hunger.

    I thought I’d get a few facts in before others started to use this topic to vent their now familiar hatred of capitalism, the West, whites, etc, while demanding that the same hated Westerners should start feeding the world’s hungry.

  3. 3 steve
    April 15, 2008 at 12:35

    The Pew reports are rather worthless, because as time progresses, people become more materialistic, and if people are materialistic, they are never happy, and add getting 4 years older, they will be less happy.

  4. April 15, 2008 at 13:03

    Are you feeling better or worse than you did 4 years ago?

    I feel better than I did four years ago. Four years ago I was in college with no sort of direction in my life, working on my first Bachelors in International Business Management.

    I now own my own home, have a great career, I’m on my second Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering, I’m doing alot better and as such I feel alot better.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  5. 5 john in Germany
    April 15, 2008 at 13:23

    In Zimbabwe, and in Twenty Years there has been no sign of any democracy.

    Why should the leeches become democratic to the blood suppliers, as long as they can suck them dry.

    Every bit of Democratic help with good intention is needed in such countries, so that at least some of the poor people obtain help to get medical attention, food, and education for the children.

    In twenty Years nothing has been achieved, except the rich have become stinking rich, and the poor poorer, the sick, have died, and the children of the rich have been educated in America and Europe.

    America has promised 200 million dollars to help with the supply of food. Is that undemocratic or Phoney democracy. Europe will follow. And we all will hope that some of this money turns into food for the hungry, and not weapons, or new cars for the corrupt.

    Grow up growingworldcitzen, or you will be dragged down in the no democratic moor, and the odds of getting out are very low. As i said before Ravens don’t bite the eyes out of other ravens. That is reality, in the none democratic world of some of Africa.. God bless those that are in Africa, and have the backbone to say what they think, and she is a lady.(Democrat).

    John in Germany

  6. 6 selena
    April 15, 2008 at 14:13

    Democracy, partial democracy or no democracy, that is the question?

    Perhaps we are nearing a time when existing organizations will be forced to consider the negative outcomes of their actions. Democracy is useless if people do not have enough to eat. Starvation is as bad as war because it, too, creates long term effects.

    Personally, my sense of well being does not depend on objects. Therefore, there is no difference in the way I feel now that the way I felt 4 years ago. But I don’t live in a war zone and I have plenty of food.

    Still, I do see a change in the attitudes of people around me. There is a fear growing and that could, at some point, take on a life of its own.

    The big question now is: are we being led around by the nose? Is there really a food crisis or are the speculators doing a number on us, once again?

    Is it time to look closely at the word *democracy* and what it entails? Is there a better way?

  7. 7 Xie_Ming
    April 15, 2008 at 14:16

    Growingworld (above) is probably correct, reflecting the natural development of culture, whereas most of us are habituated to repeat the mantras of an ideological system with which we have been indoctrinated.

    “Democracy”, like “God”, is something that evanesces as one seeks to define it.

    An author made fampus the idea that “the majority is always wrong”. Perhaps we can discuss the reasons for this one day.

    On WHYS, there is a tendency to pose a question designed to elict an emotional response. That response count then becomes a figure of merit.

    Thus is psychic inflation and bizarre action potentiated.

  8. 8 john in Germany
    April 15, 2008 at 17:36

    Any one of us if asked to define a Democracy is will have a different answer, The same persons asked to list truthfully un-democratic countries will mainly come up with the same answer,

    Some will say hanging people for next to nothing is democratic, others no. Treating the poor like dirt is ok, others no. Sometimes the answer will come according to the circumstances of the answerer. Reality is we all know what happens to people in un-democratic countries, and a lot of us are prepared to accept that as being ok.

    Are we prepared to agree?. Its ok if children die of sickness, and hunger, when there are people in the same country living in the lap of luxury, through corruption and criminal activities. That women are raped and put through torture by so called soldiers of the corrupt. That this is happening- not to strangers or enemies but to there own nationality. That has nothing to do with sympathy, but to reality. Good even murderers are entitled to a lawyer.

    John in Germany

  9. 9 paul
    April 16, 2008 at 15:58

    I think this is a great check on western notion of beauty. ITs foolish to preach that it is
    beautifull to be extremely thin. In africa its quite the opposite.

  10. April 17, 2008 at 00:19

    It interesting to note that Mugabe fought smith so the black majority could be enfranchised and to end racism? Well there is now extreme racism and the black majority still have no vote. Plus ca change……….

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