Saturday, May 15, 2004

More and more these days, I find that I'm turning back into a night person, a nocturnal man as I lived in my twenties, even sometimes into my thirties, except for the migrant worker years. Last night I went to sleep at 02:30. Among other things, posting some observations on the present Crusace or Jihad, however you want to call it. Maybe we should call 'Osama v. Bush, Jr." Hey, why don't they just take their differences to the World Court, in the form of litigation? Or arbitration? Maybe save us much more grief, loss of life, damage and loss of property, environmental damage, etc.

In the post today, I got brochures and an invoice-request for a donation to UNICEF. Hugh Downs is the Chair Emeritus. Some of the points he makes is that the southern African region is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis "unlike any other." Hmmmm...one might ask, "since when has that area NOT been in crisis?" Let's read further...

Up to 14 million people are at risk of starvation...The hunger is made worse by the HIV epidemic...Today, approximately 25% of people ages 15-49--considered the 'productive age groups' are living with HIV. So fewere adults must support more people. Over 13 million children have been orphaned by AIDS, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa...

UNICEF lists six countries affected by this combination of drought, poor harvest, political instability, and HIV epidemic; Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique,Malawi, Swaziland, and Lesotho. UNICEF estimates the needs at $27 million. Only $5 million has been received up to date. I wonder, does CARE work in that area? And Catholic and Lutheran charities? Certainly, this query has interesting possiblities for the graduate student in economics.

As I pursue this query, filling out this sketch with some links for you to pursue, I find another invitation to participate by communication to our representatives in the Legislature.

Apparently, Oxfam too, does work to alleviate hunger in South Africa. Those of you on the other side of the Atlantic may want to check Oxfam's UK site, whereas others may find Canada's or Australia's more to your choosing. I recall some students of Knox College, in Galesburg, Knox County, Illinois, were active in the Oxfam back in the early 80's.

I would welcome anything which any of you may know on that area. And consider the many other poverty-stricken areas of the world! Certainly, with the Earth's problems and human frailites, a belief in G-d, or however you want to call her/him--Allah, ha-Shem, Dios, Bog--might help one overcome despair and existentialist angst.

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