Allard Welter allard at
Tue Aug 17 10:06:32 PDT 2004

On Tuesday 17 August 2004 09:34, Rainer P. Feller wrote:
> On Tue, 2004-08-17 at 07:15, michael wrote:
> <snip much realy bad stuff>
> whoa! bad things are happening in the world!

Indeed, I thought South Africa was bad and understated in the media. The 
kind of stuff mentioned by the Michael should receive media attention 
but doesn't - ostrich phenomenon I guess (which is a myth btw - despite 
not being the brightest of creations, they don't avoid danger by 
putting their heads in the sand - they run, and if necessary kick with 
formidable force). Such things anger me greatly. During the days of 
apartheid SA was in the news daily here. Every little violation of 
human rights was dealt with in detail on the news and talk shows (and 
rightly IMO). After the victory by the ANC the only remaining news was 
praise for the ANC and Mandela (also rightly). However, no mention was 
made of the escalating crime and inept/corrupt  beaurocracy until much 
later, and then only matter of factly and out of context. Ditto for HIV 
infections, although this is underreported in SA as well. I have 
friends in SA who work in rural hospitals who give a more accurate 
picture of the statistics than the media (similar stories of cues at 
hospitals - furthermore, most beds are occupied by aids patients. To 
make matters worse, patients have the right to refuse an aids test and 
do). Thankfully SA doesn't have the drug/mafia problem to the same 
degree that South American countries have (some African countries are 
cursed with diamonds which I suppose is similar).

> I didn't thought that it is that bad in Brazil.
> Why the Hell don't some parties cooperate?
> Are they that different or don't they "just" want to
> share the power?

Ha - I came across a quote once which seems appropriate (can't remember 
who it was alas) "It's not that power corrupts, but that power attracts 
the corruptible". There are many problems as I see it - hang on, this 
could take a while.

In no particular order:
In my experience the "have-nots" aspire to western coca-cola, burger, 
cadillac and snappy-shoes culture. I suppose we should blame the 
marketeers and proponents of consumerism and the myth of sustainable 
growth here. The media predominantly show healthy people living ideal 
lives. Little mention is made of stress, heart disease, obesity ... 
Politicians use this, and somehow manage to raise the hopes of these 
people with promises.

We tend to forget that "educated" and "enlightened" people are a small 
minority. The majority of the people on this planet are not really in a 
position to make a rational or informed decision regarding democracy 
(SA, being one of the more advanced countries in Africa still has voter 
education, which basically involves informing people that their votes 
are really secret - it's anyone's guess what democracy really means to 

People with a common heritage tend to stick together. The developing 
world consists predominantly of artificially created borders containing 
many peoples of different cultures.

Oddly, people who have experienced poverty and manage to get out of it 
tend to turn their backs on the slums they came from. Perhaps they 
think "well I managed to get out of it so you can too" - I dunno. The 
champions of the poor generally come from an advantaged background and 
are sadly overshadowed by the champions of the rich.

Family values are being (deliberately or not) degraded.

The current system of democracy (4 year term -> elections) has the 
effect that parties make only short term policies that will "buy" 
votes. Confuscious says: "If you plan for 1 year, plant rice. If you 
plan for 10 years, plant trees. If you plan for 100 years, educate your 

I'd better stop. There's lots more, I think I've been in Holland too 
long as I seem to be losing track of some of these issues.

> And as far as I remember "nothing is off topic in lfs-chat"
Right - perhaps I'll open a new thread regarding my opinions on drug 
policies ... Got to start getting ready for nightshift now.

Regards - Allard.

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