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Showing posts from January, 2006

We Care About Africa - Really

Over Christmas break I was at my mother-in-law's, and during a down time browsed through a Time magazine she had from the holiday season last year , 2004. The cover story was something about the birth of Jesus, but what caught my attention was the last page essay by Simon Robinson commenting on efforts by gatherings of renowned musical artists such as Band Aid to sell original Christmas music and use the proceeds to advance African relief efforts. The previous home page piece on my website The Catholicist Nation was a critique of One.org's valiant but futile attempts to bring prosperity to Africa. (You may read that critique here ) I brought up items that were confirmed by Robinson's piece, and I just wanted to draw attention to them. He elaborates on something we should all know but don't get, that the real issue is not environmental but spiritual, it is their sin that causes the lack, not the other way around. He says, "the continent's famines are caused b

The Racket

Anyone been paying attention to the legal situation involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff? It is actually big news because it may bring to light the corruption of several high-profile politicians. But I don't know if many are really watching because his activities are thought to be so complicated. What he did is not a whole lot different than running a racket, essentially an operation in which people are persuaded to pay big money because they are fearful that if they don't pay it, bad things will happen. In this case-- at the cost of being overly simplistic-- Abramoff convinced Native American tribes that they could get cool government things (to keep them from having those bad things happen) if they gave him a lot of money, and he in turn paid Congresspersons to get those cool things, who took the money (sometimes in the form of "perks") because they wanted their piece of the action. Abramoff skimmed his cut off the top, elaborately lied about it, and will now be going