ONE campaign


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One year ago, America and the world's richest countries, the "G8", made historic promises on debt, aid and trade for Africa and the world's poorest countries.  On July 15th, 2006, the G8 meets again in Russia. It is important to me that America's life-saving G8 commitments are kept, both at this year's G8 and back at home where it's up to Congress to keep those promises.

The ONE campaign put together a petition asking Congress and the President to keep the promises America made a year ago.  I think you should sign it (anyone from any country can, btw).

Click here to sign the petition

Posted by Aleiav @ 6/29/2006 09:40  |    15

Discussion

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2dgamers (Level 1 Jukyu) @ 7/30/2006 13:20
Aleiav, I noticed a pattern in your news stories, they have nothing to do with pixel art or games. Instead of trying to push your personal, religous, or political views, dig up some  game-related or pixel-related news for us. I'm not mad at you, (notice no caps were used,) and I know you consider everyone here your friend... but talk about the stuff were all here for. 

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Tremulant (Level 1 Gangster) @ 7/2/2006 16:04

I think you've made the best point in your last comment, Aleiav. Even if it's all for nothing, at least we can try. I've been noticing in myself lately that I have the "just one man" problem, meaning that I usually figure "my contributions aren't going to save the day so why bother?" A horrible, or at least a bit of a cowardly, trait to be sure, and one that I'm not real proud of.

I've been thinking alot about it lately though, and maybe it's time to stop worrying about it. I mean, so what if I don't help anything? It doesn't hurt to try. Also, your point about knowing who your'e donating to is an excellent one. As long as you pay attention to the watchdogs and whatnot, you're money probably is, despite my earlier comments, going to (or at least close to) the place you intend it to.

On a related note, I can't afford the fancy shit myself . Not to say I'm poor, as that would be both a lie and a disrespect to those who actually are, but I live off my cheques (and that isn't to say, like, my cheques pay the cell bill.. it's more like, a summer's work pays for school then I'm effectively broke for the next 10 months). Maybe people like myself should be contributing in other ways, though, like through community service, or participation in events (e.g.: the aforementioned AIDS walk).

I'm getting off track here, but this has made me think. Not to be over dramatic, but maybe it's time for some self-examination, if not a bit of change. I'll stop rambling here, but first feel thanks are in order for the maintenance of the maturity level here. Usually these kinds of conversations degenerate pretty quickly and this one, well, hasn't.


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Aleiav (Level 2 Quiet One) @ 7/2/2006 15:09
I don't think you were completely overstepping your bounds Tremulant. I do think understanding an issue is important as well as donating. It's hard to really understand every issue because there's so many different perspectives... you don't really know who's telling the truth sometimes, you know? I don't live in Africa so I don't truly know if the situation is in fact hopeless or if our promice to the G8 can make a huge difference.

What I try to do is look at what organizations I donate to stand for and who supports it. The ONE campaign is heavily supported and it fights for something I agree with, so I'd take that risk for them.

I think donating money is like donating time to say... do the AIDS walk. Maybe AIDS isn't curable? Maybe we're no where near enough money for scientific research to get there but... at least I'm trying, you know?

I mean, I can't even afford to buy Abercrombie jeans. :P But I do give some money to charities because I'm hoping it will help. I do the same assuming when I see rich people. I assume that because they're rich they're self centered, when actually a lot of celebrities donate regularly to charities. Everyone assumes. I think it's human.

I think Sam said it best in LotR when Froodo said "What are we holding on to Sam?" and Sam said, "That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for." Maybe my 15 minutes isn't worth much, but my 15 minutes plus sedge's, plus maybe 100 others if they donate could do some difference. And I'd rather take the risk of putting my money in there than blow it on something else I don't need like alcohol or something.

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sedgemonkey (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 7/2/2006 13:49
Tremulant:  I don't think anything you've posted is really offensive or callous. All your points have validity (even the 15 minute bit).  It's something we all feel at one time or another --I should be doing this or that to help.  

Just enjoy your life, treat every human with compassion and give what and when you can.  I'm by no means religious, but I believe if we all lived by Karma/The Golden Rule all the world's problems would solve themselves.

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Tremulant (Level 1 Gangster) @ 7/2/2006 12:24

You're right, Sedge, and I feel I've overstepped my bounds here. My personal experience with people who are, for lack of a better term, "compassion posers" may have led me to shoot my mouth off prematurely, and I apologize. Aleiav, to you, too, I'm sorry. This whole fasle compassion thing is one of my hot button issues, and, as I said, past experience has led me to jump to conclusions. Of course you're both right (and know that I'm a bastard who never backs down, even when he's wrong, so congrats :P), and you're doing what you can, which is, as you've both mentioned, the best most anyone can be expected to do.

I also may have taken exception to what I interpreted as assumptions about my own compassion levels, which, admittedly, may have hit a bit close to home. Truth is, I don't do enough on this front, and when it comes up, I'm reminded of that. Sometimes my dissapointment in what I see as personal failures (in this context, anyway) manifests itself in the form of callous or unnecessarrily harsh comments.

While I still maintain what are perhaps certain... alternative opinions on the matter, I agree, on the whole with what you two have said. Finally, If either of you would like to take the discussion further, I'd be more than willing to do so (it, in all seriousness, could be enlightening for me, if nothing else), but feel this isn;t the place for it. PM me, or something, and I'd be glad to discuss it.

Again, all apologies for any offense.


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sedgemonkey (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 7/2/2006 11:33
I have to disagree with your assertion that in order to care for something you need to dedicate your life to it (15 minutes a day is more than enough for me to think about one tragic issue).  People can't be expected to drop their lives for every issue they are concerned about.  Global warming, destruction of the rain forest, animal extinction, blood for oil, animal cruelty, corrupt companies, corrupt governments, recycling, pet overpopulation, scam charities, freedom of speech, big brother, lonely elderly, foster care, potential pandemics, crime, pollution, DRM, war, poverty, homelessness, mental illness, cost of medicine, religious zealots, intollerance for homosexuals/race/gender/religion, etc... local, state, national and global issues are neverending.  What the hell can you do besides donate money/time to a few worthy causes and do your best to convince your representatives to do the right thing? 

We can't all be Mother Teresa, but I don't think that means people who don't dedicate their life to a cause don't have compassion. 

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Tremulant (Level 1 Gangster) @ 7/1/2006 23:03

No one suggested that the alternative to monetary donation was war, nor did the news post (which, I asumed, was the topic at hand) suggest donating to charities such as the international red cross or the Peace corps. What it focused on was pressuring the G8 governments (actually, the US government specifically) to "keep [their] promises", and offer debt relief and aid to African nations.  The implication,then, (or at least the way in which I understood it) was that the US government should offer monetary relief to the Governments of said nations.

On another note, it really make my blood boil when people make claims about caring so deeply about the state of said nations, but in reality, spend virtually no time actually thinking about it save for when the time comes to take 15 minutes out of your day to donate, or it is brought up in conversation, and you feel compelled to show your 'compassion' (again, not saying YOU specifically do this, it's just the way most people are). Like, we sit here, comfortable as possible, pretending to understand or be empathetic, but examine your own life... how many 50 dollar pairs of pre ripped Abercrombie jeans do you own (metaphorically speaking, of course)?

But I'll withdraw, and say that I agree with you. Something must be done, yes, that is a given, and donating to independant (independant of corrupt governments, that is) charitable organizations is probably realistically the best thing most of us (myself included) can do.

Apologies to anyone this may offend. I know this is not a popular opinion, and I probably now look like a total ass, but I've said what I believe, and that's all I can do... Again, I mean no offense to any specific person, and I hope no one will take it as such.


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Aleiav (Level 2 Quiet One) @ 7/1/2006 17:01
It really aggravates me when people make me out to be self centered because I donate to charities. I'm not saying that was your intent, but it just makes my blood BOIL when people suggest that I donate just so I could feel better about myself or that I even DO feel better about myself by donating.

I don't do it so I can feel better about myself. In fact, I feel like crap because I wish I could do more. But aside from giving up everything and moving there, that's as much as I CAN do.

I definately don't agree with giving funds directly to governments. Of course not. But when you donate to charities like the International Red Cross or even Peace Corps, those are people who USE your money to GO to these countries and GIVE people food and water. I'm not expecting an increase of funds to create peace or even fix the country, but, to me, if one family is saved because the Red Cross or another organization came in and was able to give them food and help them it's worth it.

I doubt most of our money is pumping anywhere into foreign aid for other countries. As far as America goes, if our money is going anywhere it's into war. I'd much rather be pumping money into a country for a good cause than pumping money into a country so we can go over there and blow up people.

If you donate to charitable organizations that do more than just give the money to the government, but actually use the money to provide, as sedge said, basic services, your money isn't wasted.

Of course it's going to take more than money. The ONE campaign itself stands for more than just donations, but also for diplomacy. I'm not the type of person that believes we can all get along all the time. Sometimes war is the only option people want and will take. But helping some people, if just a small village that's willing to take food and water and medicine.. I just think it's worth it. Even if it doesn't solve the country's problems. Who knows? Maybe the person who has what it takes to start more peace talks is living in one of those villages and near starvation.

The world can't exist without problems. I'm not expecting them to go away. But I think if you can blow 50 dollars on some Abercrombie pair of pre-ripped jeans, the least you can do is try to donate to some organizations that help people.

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sedgemonkey (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 7/1/2006 00:38
Providing basic services like water, food, medicine and shelter takes funding so there really isn't any hope of bringing Africa out of its tremendous hole unless there's debt relief.  Money isn't the only solution, but you can't solve anything at all without it.

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Tremulant (Level 1 Gangster) @ 6/30/2006 14:05

I think the point big brother was trying to address was the fact that charitable donations aren't really helping, as the bulk of the money is never used for the intended purposes. It's easy to sit here and talk about "doing something", but in the end, donating money/rallying for government donation is really only self serving. It may make us feel better about ourselves, but does it really help?

Aleiav, you talk about enforcing respect for life. I agree entirely that such a concept is important, but the news post mentions only enforcing western 'commitments' to trade, aid and debt relief, essentially meaning monetary assistance. Pumping funds into the continent isn't going to stop the conflicts or improve the infrastructure.

I may be way off base here, and like I said, I know very little about the situation. What I do know is that we have been pumping money into places like Africa for years, with little result on the whole. Not that we shouldn't help; we should definitely do so, but maybe it's time to approach the matter from a different angle?


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sedgemonkey (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 6/30/2006 13:46

Europe and America made a mess in Africa over the last several centuries and they should help clean it up.  The former colonial powers pillaged the continents natural resources (including the native people) and people wonder why they can't get their act together.  We can't just turn our backs on this troubled region. The entire world would benefit enormously if these countries had stable governments, a majority of people in the middle class and control over their own resources.  


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Aleiav (Level 2 Quiet One) @ 6/30/2006 10:24
I found that essay completely ridiculous.

So the problems there are big and we should just shrug our shoulders, let people suffer, and give it a big ho hum?!

What if our governments decided to do that in our own country. "Oh well, big hurricane Katrina, we can't do anything about it so we'll just let them handle it".

Apathy is passive violence. If we're going to just let millions of people tear eachother apart we might as well go over there and start some more wars there too.

If Europe WAS in the state of African and GOT better, who's to say that Africa can't improve to? I'm not saying we should haul in there and make them be like us, but if we don't enforce the respect of the life of others from people, who will? It's not going to come out of thin air.

And just because this guy has lived in Africa for a long time, doesn't mean he has the right idea on how to solve issues. Bush has lived in America for longer and yet he doesn't seem to have the right ideas on how to solve issues.

No, I'm not saying Africa can be fixed overnight. Of course it's going to take some work. Of course it's not going to be easy. Of course there are both man made and natural obstacles in the way. Africa doesn't have to be just like Europe. But at little less starvation, poverty, famine, and war never hurt anyone and isn't too much to ask.

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big brother (Level 11 Admiral) @ 6/29/2006 12:41

It's a noble sentiment. Subsidizing Africa has been trouble in the past, since the bulk of donations tend not to make it past the corrupt governments of the individual countries.

I found this article below to be an interesting counterpoint, especially coming from a guy who grew up in Africa and lived there for 30 years.

http://www.theothersideofkim.com/index.php/essays/36/

It's funny how there can be two sides to such a charitable issue.


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sedgemonkey (Level 11 Master Assassin) @ 6/29/2006 09:49

If anyone is interested in the G8 you should check out the HBO movie The Girl In The Café.  It's a heartbreaking look at the process.


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