Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Shame

There's something shamefully wrong with our priorities, Bush, when we manage to rush armies to invade a country suffering under a dictator but somehow fail to do the same with food when a people is suffering famine from the effects of drought. I'm talking particularly, today, about Niger, having seen the all-too-familiar parade of misery on the BBC World News last night: the children with bellies distended horribly with malnutrition, with fleshless arms and legs, and eyes big in their shrunken faces; parents and grandparents too weak with hunger to take care of their young, reduced to scooping out the rotting meat from their dead animals' carcasses with their bare hands, and weeping with the shame of not being able to provide for their families.

It could have been a dozen places in the world. Last night, on the news, it happened to be Niger.

It was a sickening specatacle, Bush. I know it would have sickened you just as much as it sickened me. And I recognize that this is one issue on which many of your Christian evangelicals are doing commendable work. But it's not enough. The hunger in the world not something that can begin to be addressed by the efforts of good-minded charities. We need a change of mind--a radical change in the way we husband this precious and vulnerable planet we all live on. I'm saddened to see you squander your truly unprecedented opportunity for world leadership, as you buttter up the overladen tables of the wealthiest Americans while millions starve, breed the very terrorism that you claim to fight with your ill-advised policies of aggression, and stubbornly ignore the scientific evidence that shows that we in the developed world--and especially we in America--are rapidly destroying it with our misguided devotion to economic growth.

This is leadership, Bush? Shame on you. Shame on all of us, for having chosen you to lead us, out of our national insecurity and boundless arrogance. Shame on us, for allowing you to impose your disastrous lack of vision on a world that deserves better stewardship from its inhabitants. Shame on us, for allowing humanitarian disasters like Niger's to keep on happening, time after time after time. In spite of all we know. In spite of all the advancements of technology. In spite of all our wealth. It's a disgrace.

2 comments:

dennis p said...

Peter, Love Sagan... and Lao Tzu, who also teaches shame and blame. Love quotes too. Here's one by a Brit:

"An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide."
A. Toynbee

There is an exhibition in LA right now showing how close we are coming to "our dream" of AI, producing lifelike robots. Supposedly to fight future wars and mop our floors. - Man will go to great lengths to get out of work.
I know, we could try one out as president,,,,wait, no, we just did that.
Anyway:
What if? When THEY do succeed in making machines as in Spielburg's AI, what if humans then begin to see more clearly that AI robots are an extension of who we are? Indeed, replicants. Someone once characterized us as biological machines.
And what if many more people began to recognize in the behavior of our perfect machines, how robotic our own behavior has been all along? Some may notice, for instance, how their friends act like robots! What a eureka moment that would be for millions. As Geo Carlin would say, Holy Shit!
And what if enough people saw this and it led to a new renaissance of humanism?........ Naaaaaahhh!

the sad footnote:
It's nothing more than a mainstream comedy or a funny commercial.

See the British site http://eatmail.tv Check out the clips inside
the archive section. Because a good laugh is needed every day.
Your new friend, dennis

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