Via BoingBoing, an excellent Star Wars satire of the US War on Terror in the form of a news story: “Obi-Wan Kenobi is Dead, Vader Says“. Many of the comments cleverly continue the joke.
I would like to see more Internet artefacts from other worlds. If I had the creative skill, I would be writing fake Wikipedia articles and calling it art.
Haiti is an ongoing humanitarian disaster. The earthquake, which the Haitian government lacks the infrastructure to recover from, is just the latest chapter.
Canada has already declared our intention to affect real change in Haiti. We have the means, motive and opportunity. Many of our diplomats and soldiers speak the same language; Quebec has a large Haitian-immigrant population. Canada lacks a foreign aid focus and a common cause to unite our peacekeeping dreams.
But disaster relief will not reform Haiti into a functioning state. In 2003, we lead a conference to plan the overthrown of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and instillation of interim President Boniface Alexandre. Why meddle from the shadows when both the Haitian population and the international community would probably support our above-board involvement?
Michaëlle Jean should propose annexation to the Haitian population: we’ll never have a better ambassador. Members of our government should explain to the leaders of Haiti that being a member of a federation is very different from being a French colony. Thousands of under-employed and altruistic Canadians would sign up to help the relief effort.
The under-developed countries are currently in Copenhagen, begging the developed countries not to destroy the planet and retreat into domed cities. The under-developed countries are worried that their lot is going to get worse.
Not that long ago, the under-developed countries were most worried about agricultural subsidies. This was the chief topic of the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Round that started in 2001. The hope was that a fair market for food would drag the under-developed world out of poverty. The under-developed world has the land and manpower to compete on agriculture; they don’t have the skills or capital to compete on anything else.
The Buy Local movement is another form of market failure just like agricultural subsidies. Every time you buy from a local farmer, you’re not buying from a farmer in an under-developed country.
Local farmers don’t need the money. Canada offers plenty of other careers. Many of the farms within 100 miles of my location aren’t even profitable enough to be a sole source of income: the gentlemen farmers dabble in argiculture in order to get property tax breaks on their estates (an agricultural subsidy). Only small organic farms are economically sustainable, which is another market failure.
The just thing to do is to buy from the poorest farmer. You might buy local because it gives you pleasure (never mind making you cool), but don’t pretend it’s a righteous thing to do.