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JFK Geldoff & Live 8


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Maybe

I'm Not as old

as Paul McCartney,

but I'm getting there.

Thanks to AOL I saw

highlights of Live 8

Geldoff Bono & the Beatles

carry on but it brings us back

to good old JFK

The Long Twilight Struggle

Against Poverty

and War iself

Ray

"Do not block the way of inquiry" C. S. Peirce

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one campaign

Global Campaign Uses Celebrities to Raise Awareness

By Melissa Charbboneau

White House Correspondent

CBN.com – EDINBURGH, Scotland – It was an American invasion on British soil.

A delegation of staffers and volunteers from the "One" campaign flew into Scotland to convince the world's richest nations to eradicate extreme poverty.

Financial heavyweights such as Virgin Atlantic's Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and George Soros raised the heat on G8 leaders by funding "One" activists.

“We can end this problem. We can do it,” said Melissa Fitzpatrick, an actress on West Wing. “But, we as citizens of the United States have a responsibility, and that's to let our officials, our elected officials know we want this.”

Hot off a Live 8 mega-concert in Philadelphia, the "One" volunteers came for the star-studded lineup. And they wanted to President Bush a message.

“So proud to be here, history is being made,” said Paula Abdul, a judge on American Idol. “I couldn't imagine being anywhere else…"

Artists and actors have rallied America to act, touting their symbol of unity by wearing the "One" wristband.

“I think the meaning is One, we all are one, and we are all equal around the world, and we should all start paying attention to this,” actor Chris Tucker said.

Live 8 organizer Bob Geldolf said the 1.3 million Americans who signed on to the "One" campaign can persuade G8 leaders to pony up

“We've never been wealthier. We produce surplus in every single area, including food,” Geldof said. “Yet an entire continent will go to bed hungry. That makes no sense, it's grotesquely immoral.”

Geldof and his vast array of celebrity colleagues said it is time Africa's plight made it to the global stage.

“It's not good for the world if 6,300 people - principally children - are dying every single day in Africa,” musician Dave Matthews said.

“The leaders of the developed world need to come together,” actor Djimon Hounsou said. “They know the issues.”

“Volunteerism is the new black,” Jon Bon Jovi added. “Everyone should get up and volunteer. That's what it's all about, giving back to your local communities and the world's communities. Everybody's reaching out today, performing here but there's one united message because we're trying to save some souls.”

The driving force behind the "One" campaign is Irish superstar Bono of the band U2. The rocker-turned-lobbyist has become a political force in Washington, visiting members of Congress with Bush's Secretary of State, and the Oval Office.

Bono's three-step proposal is debt relief, increased aid, and fair trade for Africa. His co-founder Bobby Shriver of the Kennedy Clan said "One"'s outreach has seen a surprising political convergence of the left and the right.

“It's important to get along with the Republicans because even when President Clinton was in office they had a lot of clout in Congress,” Shriver said. “So we started off on that strategy, sort of inadvertently, and when we realized it was going to work really well, you know Bono and Jesse Helms, Bono and so-forth, we stuck with it. And that's why Pat Robertson and Puffy (P. Diddy)…get people to pay attention.”

“No matter what Christian, or religious background you come from, or if you're in rock-and-roll or pop music,” Dan Haseltine, from Jars of Clay, said. “When 30,000 people are dying everyday from issues surrounding poverty - stuff that's preventable, everybody feels that. And so I think it's easy to put all the other differences aside and say okay, we all can unify for this.”

When Bush and other G8 leaders arrive at the summit tomorrow, members of "One" and other anti-poverty activists will wait in Edinburgh to make sure they shine a global spotlight on the plight of Africa.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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I heard one report today on the radio--not sure, but it might've been Paul Harvey who said it--but the US is, according to this report, ALREADY contributing more money to the nations of Africa than the next 15 contributing nations COMBINED.

Hunger and drought and the resulting famine, coupled with repressive regimes that withhold food and medical supplies from needy citizens, have made much of Africa a poster for what true suffering actually is. But in many cases, merely flooding the shores with aid doesn't place the food and medicines in the hands of those who desperately need them.

In the 1960's, the Peace Corps was a vehicle [not the ONLY one by any means] that attempted to place the assistance into the hands of those who needed it most. For that, JFK and Shriver deserve a big pat on the back. But their efforts didn't solve the problems, and I'm not sure that there actually IS a solution. [in the Christian world, there is Jesus' statement to the effect that "the poor will always be with us."] Corrupt governments and the whims of nature conspire to make and keep people poor and undernourished, despite the best-intentioned efforts of the rest of the world.

So, while I applaud Geldoff and his cohorts for keeping this issue top-of-mind, I simply don't see their efforts as being effective in "turning the tide."

Edited by Mark Knight
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I heard one report today on the radio--not sure, but it might've been Paul Harvey who said it--but the US is, according to this report, ALREADY contributing more money to the nations of Africa than the next 15 contributing nations COMBINED.

You can see the latest figures for overseas aid here:

http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/D...to07%ofGNPToAid

The US does provide the largest amount but that is because of the size of its economy. When you look at it as a percentage of GNP then US falls to 22nd position.

The US and the UK have been criticised because they often link aid to certain conditions. For example, Bush and Blair have used this aid to force countries in Africa to privitize water supplies.

Another way of looking at overseas aid is to compae it with defence spending. Again, the UK and the US do very badly in this. For every dollar the US spends on overseas aid it spends 25 on defence. The UK is the next worse with ratios of 1-8. Countries like Japan, Germany, Canada and Italy have over the last few years reduced military spending and used these savings on overseas aid. Whereas the US and UK have increased military spending. For example, between 2000 and 2004, in the US military spending increased from $1,170 to $1,549 per head. In the UK it increased from $698 to $790 (£450).

Of course if the G8 countries decided to redirect, say 10% of military spending, to overseas aid, we could prevent a child dying every three seconds because they do not have the food, water and drugs that we have in the developed world. However, that is a question of morality. Our political leaders prefer using money to kill people. That might well be linked to the fact that their political parties rely heavily on donations from companies that make vast sums of money from the arms trade.

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Mark,

Its not just about aid, its about cancelling debt and opening trade barriers, cancelling the money european and US farmers get which makes it impossible for african countries to trade properly.

Aid is the least of africas problems. If it can't trade it can't develope.

At the moment Bush will not commit to anything because of crooked governments, though the press are now saying more and more that the US was more than willing to trade with oppressive regimes when it was in their interest, most notably suharto in indonesia where paul wolfowitz was ambassador and praised suhartos governing methods.

John

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Guest Stephen Turner

Asking G8 leaders to help reduce the levels of poverty in Africa, is akin to asking the guy who stole your car to help you locate it. Pointless, All Geldoff, Bono and the usual celeb suspects do is allow Bush, Blair etc, to look cool in their prescence. G8 cant and wont solve these problems,Their the guys causing them..

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I realize that trade barriers and overwhelming debt are huge barriers for these small impoverished countries to overcome, but until the people can feed and clothe themselves--and drought is nobody's fault, but everyone's problem--the idea of international trade is folly.

Left to folks like the Bush administration, if they could send troops under the guise of liberating an oppressed people--and there are a lot more oppressed people in Africa than in Iraq--they might be persuaded to "help," but only in the militaristic sense of overturning the existing government. But what then? In Iraq, which sits upon one of the richest oilfields on earth, the American forces can't manage to keep the lights on and the water running...so American "help" is actually turning BACK the progress of civilization there. [Of Mussolini, the fascist dictator, it was said that he at least kept the trains running on time.] So of what benefit would such "aid" be to a backward nation ALREADY without a power grid, running water, or basic sanitation, other than helping KEEP them under these conditions? Frankly, you win allies--and gratitude--by feeding the people, clothing them, and taking away the elements of misery that they face.

The US has a distance to go in removing agricultural subsidies to farmers, and in the lifting of tariffs and other trade barriers. But after seeing the effects of the NAFTA agreement on sending US jobs abroad, I believe that any congressional action on that front will proceed with caution. As for debt forgiveness--a true act of kindness by any nation--I don't expect to see that out of the current US administration, as the bankers and the financiers to whom these debts are owed are the very ones whose campaign contributions put this administration in office. They simply won't "bite the hand that feeds them," no matter how righteous the doctrine of forgiveness is.

But my argument was that trade and jobs don't mean much if you and your family are dying from starvation and disease...and how can one expect someone in such a predicament to work at a job producing products to trade with other nations? You have to take care of the humanitarian needs first, as I see it...but then the other needs should also be attended to as well. It's not that I disagree with you, but merely that I see the priorities differently; i.e., get them fed and healthy first, and THEN give them jobs [agriculture, manufacturing, whatever].

Edited by Mark Knight
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Just saw the great news about the success of Live 8.

I am just soooo proud of rock and roll today.

Bono actually sat in on this!!!

Wow, who would have imagined it?

I remember last weekend someone saying to me "what good do you think a damn rock concert can do"? I just said "we shall see".

YEA!!!!!

Dawn

today the world feels a whole lot more united.

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I remember last weekend someone saying to me "what good do you think a damn rock concert can do"?  I just said "we shall see".

YEA!!!!!

Dawn

today the world feels a whole lot more united.

It is good to see young people campaigning to “Make Poverty History”. I also have a lot of respect for some of the leading figures behind this campaign (although some are more concerned with the PR impact of appearing at a “free concert”). However, some of the statements made by these rock stars show a terrible naivety about how politics works. There were some promises made at the end of the G8 conference. If the past is anything to go by, these promises will not be kept. For example, at the end of the 2000 G8 conference George Bush promised billions as a result of a new millennium fund. So far, less than a $100,000 has been paid out of this fund. Bush and Blair know this is a risk free strategy. The media lap up this mutual back slapping. The people feel good about themselves as a result of signing their online petitions. But the politicians know that by the next election they will not lose votes if they do not keep their promises about overseas aid. Instead they will resort to the policies of self-interest. They will not be offering to do anything that will hurt the electors (or more importantly, their financial supporters). The truth of the matter is that we can only help the Africans if we hurt ourselves (increase taxes, reduce farming subsidies, increasing public spending to fund overseas aid, etc.). That is something politicians are not willing to do.

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