Thursday, July 24, 2008

How we live, impacts people around the world

One aspect of the building of community is living with an understanding that how I live, what I do, who I am, impacts people in other parts of the world.
As the saying goes hindsight is 20/20, here is an article that dramatically illustrates this principle in a sad, negative light. A rare metal, of which I have never heard, coltan, is used in certain electronics components such as some capacitors and the Congo is a major source for this metal. According to Toward Freedom, in the 2000 launch of the Sony PS2, high demand of this metal by Sony helped fuel the astronomical rise in price from $49/pound to $275/pound. And this sharp increase in price helped fuel conflict and slave labor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Involved were players such as Rwandan government sponsored militias to western mining companies, all funded by a debt-based, consumer materialistic mindset in "rich" nations.
The demand for coltan has cooled but if we are shortsighted and motivated by personal gratification then there will always come another point of conflict over the supply of some other resource to meet the demand.
We have got to be aware of how our desire for the latest, greatest, fastest whatever might be affecting people in other parts of the world. Questions such as this come to mind - Can my brother in the Congo afford one of these? Can he afford to buy food for his family to eat while I enjoy my latest luxuries?
How many are giving their lives in conflicts to mine the raw materials necessary to make this thing?
This is why we must increase in our knowledge of the truth and have the wisdom and foresight to be led by internal principles of what is right not what is merely convenient or desirable, so that we can avoid this situation of looking back at what went wrong.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Who's your Daddy? - The raw milk issue.

I'll tell you who your Daddy is not. Your Daddy is not "Big Brother", the civil government that has gotten so big and powerful that it thinks it is our all-knowing benevolent father. And the real problem is that many, MANY people are quite content to look to civil government as their daddy. Some people are diligent and work hard to keep "Father" happy, others see civil government as their "Sugar Daddy" that will give them all they ever want or need but both generally believe everything "Daddy" says and when it comes right down to it, pretty much fall in line with what is expected of them. We must take personal responsibility to be informed and make decisions based upon Truth and the personal light and understanding we have. We must understand that God has given us responsibility for our own lives before Him and no one else. Part of this responsibility is to govern government not ignorantly submit to all the politicians and bureaucrats say but that is a rather deep subject, maybe a later post. But below is a case in point.
I saw this article about the controversy between raw and pasteurized milk and what some civil government agencies are doing to "protect" us from raw food and it rather inspired me. Here is one particular stirring quote that looks at the superficial panacea of pasteurization:

Around the time that Chicago passed the first pasteurization law in the United States, in 1908, many of the dairies supplying cities had themselves become urban. They were crowded, grassless, and filthy. Unscrupulous proprietors added chalk and plaster of paris to extend the milk. Consumptive workers coughed into their pails, spreading tuberculosis; children contracted diseases like scarlet fever from milk. Pasteurization was an easy solution. But pasteurization also gave farmers license to be unsanitary. They knew that if fecal bacteria got in the milk, the heating process would eventually take care of it. Customers didn’t notice, or pay less, when they drank the corpses of a few thousand pathogens. As a result, farmers who emphasized animal health and cleanliness were at a disadvantage to those who simply pushed for greater production.

It is amazing how all problems really go back to the root of lack of personal responsibility and love for others. And man looks for the easy superficial solution rather than having to address matters of the heart.