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Pass The Caviar, Please!!

At the World Food Summit in Johannesburg, attended by a bunch of United Nations left wing elitist to stamp out famine and hunger, it appears the only hunger that was squashed was their own.

"...While South Africans are starving in slums just a few miles away, Morgan bragged of the delicacies the delegates would feed on, including:
5,000 oysters, more than 1,000 pounds of lobster and other shellfish, buckets of caviar, 450 pounds of salmon and 220 pounds of "a tasty South African fish called kingclip."
piles of politically incorrect paté de foie gras.
more than 2 tons of steak and chicken breasts and more than 1,000 pounds of bacon and sausages.
Naturally, taxpayers of the participating nations, including the U.S. and Great Britain, are picking up the tab for the $53 million extravaganza..."

This farse is taking place in Sandton, the richest suburb in Africa at the five-star Michelangelo Hotel. All the suburban shopping malls, restaurants, and villas are fenced in to keep out the "undesirables".

A few miles away is the shanty town of Alexandra, were the inhabitants are living in poverty and dying of starvation and contaminated water. This event has outraged even hard-core liberal groups like "Friends of the Earth", calling the affair "deplorable"!!

Yes it is, but with liberals who care more than anyone else, it's "do as I say, not as I do!"

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Hmmm, I haven't been paying close attention to this issue, so I must have missed it: did these attendees to the Summit on Hunger or whatever, buy their food from the poor people mentioned in the story? Was the caviar fished by Russian villagers, the clams harvested by poor fisherman from Africa? Are the South Africans at this hotel being lavishly tipped? Will the proceeds from the fine wine purchasing going to start-ups in Africa or wherever? Or is this summit a networking opportunity for Africans who wish to start their own business, and engage in trade with the First world? I see in one picture they have an African doorman. Very good, do any of his countrymen own shares in that hotel? Perhaps in the catering service for the Sultan?

I've searched the original source, and the one Bankins posted...I must have missed my answer, because I didn't see it. Very peculiar, I do apologize if I've missed it.
Originally posted by B Bankins:

. . . but with liberals who care more than anyone else, it's "do as I say, not as I do!"

B Bankins - I'm finally starting to "get" you. You're smarter than most of us and really just "messing with our heads", right? The premise of your argument above is so warped that its really funny! You know I say that will all due respect and affection! smile Just like with your NAACP rants - I ask you two questions:

1) Where would you host world leaders if you were holding a global conference. Motel 6?

2) Do you think Motel 6 has the physical accommodations to even be able to host a large conference like that?

Oh yeah - and I'll throw in a third question ( probably the most important): what is the disconnect in your mind between world leaders enjoying appropriate accommodations and also strategizing about hunger?

You're not really a Communist are you? smile You know, take from the rich, give to the poor? Isn't it OK for folks that can afford to live in luxury to do so? Why is it somehow disengenuous for those same well-off people/leaders to also care about those less fortunate and want to help them? Please help me here BB!

Here's the $64,000 question though: Since you've attacked liberals, what the heck are conservatives doing about poverty? Is it even on their radar screens? Do they even care? Oh yeah, I forgot - let's lower the minimum wage, reduce taxes, minimize government, just get out of the way and let people help themselves. Did I get it right? wink

P.S. You know if you read a bit more "balanced" media you might not get yourself all worked up like that as much. smile

Onward and Upward!

[This message was edited by MBM on August 28, 2002 at 12:50 PM.]
I suppose if I attacked conservatives, my POV would be more "balanced", eh? Funny how no such condemnation is fowarded to my concern for the upcomming war in Iraq.

So when I post blatant liberal hypocrisy, I need to be more "balanced". When I agree where conservatives are wrong on things, I don't need "balance". OK, I got it now.

Mr. MBM, I am conservative. You knew that when I joined That means, my opinions are conservative, my perspectives are conservative. I do not post things to appease liberals, no more that a certain member who compares black conservatives to wildebeast. I guess that member needs to be "balanced" also.... wink

But we clearly need balance, so let's go back to my posted link for some. How about this.....

Limousine Liberals Destroy
Hundreds of Trees

And then there's this gem from the Sun: "in another ironic twist, hundreds of trees have been felled around the conference centre so fleets of limousines will have unhindered access."

Mike Childs, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, fumed: "They are living it up while not taking action for the millions around the world who will die because of inaction.

"How can delegates sleep soundly in their beds knowing such suffering is just down the road?"

Sir Teddy Taylor, a Tory member of the British Parliament, denounced the summit as "absurd."

I guess Friends Of The Earth spokesman Mike Childs, along with Sir Teddy Taylor, need more "balance"... smile

Oh, and Lea, this may answer your question....

from the article.....
The globalist boondoggle is centered around Sandton, the most exclusive suburb in all of Africa. Its streets are lined with expensive restaurants, shopping malls and villas - gated, of course, to keep out the undesirables.

"Yet close by, families scratch a desperate existence in the sprawling shanty town of Alexandra," the Sun reported.

"The average weekly wage for the few who work in the township is less than the cost of a vintage brandy at the Michelangelo."

Not a dime of any of this gorgefest is going into the community outside the gated fence. Those people are starving and desparate and left to fend for themselves.

How easy it is to "care" when your belly's full!!

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Yes B Bankins, you are conservative. I respect you for that! The reference to balance was directed at the article you quoted from. Certainly you acknowledge that there is media from the right, the left, AND THE CENTER. I'm sure you also realize that the further toward either extreme you get, the more slant/spin you get on something and the less NEWS.

Radical thought, but why not check info from the body that organized the summit - the Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN . CNN has been known to be a rather credible source of news as well. A quick search there yielded quite a few articles.

B Bankins - what is the real point of your post? Are you critical of efforts to eradicate poverty? What's your real motivation other than playing Jedi Mind Tricks on us? smile

And again, how would conservatives approach the problem? Would they be guests at the nearest shanty town? Would they meet down at the Job Corp? DO THEY EVEN CARE?

Onward and Upward!

"Folks that can afford to live in luxury"???

Did you miss the part about these folks not having to pay for this $53 million affair? That it comes from tax dollars of participating nations?

I think the point he was trying to make was the irony in their choice of location and their choice of fare. Could have kept it simple, but they added things like caviar.

And spending $53 million on a meeting to talk about solving hunger? Seems to me that money could have been better spent directly on those they're talking about helping.
1) Where would you host world leaders if you were holding a global conference. Motel 6?

2) Do you think Motel 6 has the physical accommodations to even be able to host a large conference like that?

Oh yeah - and I'll throw in a third question ( probably the most important): what is the disconnect in your mind between world leaders enjoying appropriate accommodations and also strategizing about hunger?

(1) Why do you need a "global conference" to address hunger?? Why not just FEED the people and help them help themselves?? Why not show them how capitalism can inprove their lives??

(2) Again, if you're really concerned about feeding the hungry, who cannot even afford a meal at a Motel Six, why is caviar, steak, and choice of wine so important?? If you really believe all these delegates would show up just out of concern for the poor, I know this bridge in Brooklyn real cheap.

(3) The disconnect is, it's all a sham!! You and I both know when the day is done and all the delegates are home snuggled comfortably in their beds, those living in that shanty town will continue to die of hunger and contaminated water.

And somewhere you popped that tired worn line about what are the conservatives doing about hunger. The ultimate defense of liberal hypocrisy.

I do not speak for all conservatives, or the elite. I'm too busy earning a living so as not to end up like the shanty villagers left to the flinging good graces of phony liberals who say they "care". I practice what I preach so my family will never be dependent on anyone but themselves.

I can only take care of my corner of the world and give my family the same inspiration and zest for living that I have. It's not enough to say you care about hunger, it's better to set an example of how to avoid hunger and poverty. When conservatives do this they are called uncaring and unfeeling.

Any more questions??

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First - just because an arch conservative rag says that they had caviar doesn't mean didley.

Second - so what if they did had caviar? Does someone eating caviar somehow disqualify them from being able to be concerned about others? Please explain this.

Third - if the millions spent on the meeting creates solutions that generate billions of dollars of food for the poor, isn't that a worthy investment?

roll eyes

Again - I think this is just a smokescreen to mask your real issue which is people concerned with helping others.

Onward and Upward!
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa --Up to 5,000 people gathered for the first of two demonstrations in the South African capital to protest at the gulf between rich and poor nations.

The demonstrators held banners revealing a variety of protests against the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), CNN's Jeff Koinange said.

Many, upset at President George W. Bush's refusal to attend the summit, carried anti-U.S. banners including one which branded the United States as the 'United States of Aggression.'

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to march on the Earth Summit in South Africa on Saturday.

Up to 20,000 people are predicted to join the two marches from the shack-ridden township of Alexandra to the conference venue in the glittering nearby suburb of Sandton.

The first march made its way past the open stench-ridden sewers which, under the broad heading of sanitation, have been one of the issues discussed at the talks.

Police reinforcements have been brought in from around the country to secure against violence at the marches, which will be two hours apart, police said.

About 8,000 security personnel along with armoured vehicles and dogs have been deployed around the venue since the conference started on Monday.

The convention centre itself is ringed with concrete and steel barriers.

But South African authorities say they are not concerned the demonstrations will turn into the kind of street violence that marred anti-globalisation protests in Seattle and Genoa, Italy.

"There is a security strategy in place to deal with any eventuality," Charles Nqakula, South Africa's safety and security minister, told The Associated Press. "We don't expect to encounter any problems. Those who commit illegal acts will be dealt with."

The 10-day summit has been focusing on ways to get water, electricity, education and health care to the world's poorest while protecting the environment.

About 1.2 billion people lack clean drinking water around the world and two billion are without sanitation.

Work continued through the night into Saturday morning trying to find consensus on a 71-page draft that seeks to find a balance between pulling the world's poor out of poverty and easing environmental damage to the planet.

None of the agreements that come out of the meeting will be binding but 14 sticking points remain ranging from water, agriculture and energy.

It was hoped some agreement could be found before about 100 political leaders arrive on Monday.

But as negotiations intensify at the development summit, environmentalists and social activists claim the conference's commendable goals are being watered down.

Civil society groups are meeting at a parallel forum to the summit to deliver the message that "sustainable development is possible," said Muzi Khumalo, spokesman for the main march.

He criticised the "posturing of U.S. delegates in Sandton" whom he accused of blocking any real efforts to combat poverty and preserve the environment.

The organisers of the second march, an alliance of anti-globalisation groups, say they wanted to "unmask" the summit as a farce.

The United States is continuing to resist specific targets and timetables being included in the summit's action plan, arguing in favour of broad commitments to bring sanitation to the developing world, increase the use of renewable energy sources and preserve biodiversity.

"We believe there are multiple paths to be pursued here," said Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky, head of the U.S. delegation.

But Claude Martin, director general of pressure group WWF International, told Reuters: "Negotiations have fallen dramatically short of the kinds of commitments that would ensure a sustainable future for our planet and the people who live on it.

"The economic interests of the rich are being put before poor people and the environment."

Delegates say the remaining disputes may well continue throughout the weekend, risking the displeasure of heads of state who expect subordinates to forge the necessary compromises and may not relish wading through the fine print of how to protect the world's environment.

The European Union pressed on Friday to accelerate moves on contentious issues like sanitation goals and anti-corruption measures -- taking them out of the hands of negotiators and sending them to top ministers to decide.

Officials pressed the U.S. on Friday after Paula Dobriansky, leader of the U.S. delegation, told the conference: "No nation has made a greater contribution and a more concrete commitment to sustainable development." (Full story)

"This just isn't good enough," Danish Environment Minister Hans Christian Schmidt told reporters. "Either more issues are solved faster at the technical level or we must move them to the political level."

"It is the next two or three days that are vital," British Environment Minister Michael Meacher told Reuters.

Copyright 2002 CNN. All rights reserved.

Onward and Upward!
About the "environmentalists," at the summit, saw something amusing:
And the BS award goes to...

Tail-end trophy for Greenpeace

Lizel Steenkamp

Johannesburg - African and Asian farmers, and hawkers from across South Africa handed over a "Bullshit Trophy" (yes, that is the trophy's real name) to Greenpeace, the Third World Network and BioWatch for their contribution to the "preservation of poverty" in developing countries.

The trophy comprises of a piece of wood on which two heaps of dried cow-dung - "unfortunately not elephant dung" - are mounted.

Barun Mitra of the Sustainable Development Network (SDN), a coalition of non-governmental organisations which believes, among other things, that sustainable development is attainable only through free trade, officiated at the symbolic handing-over in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

Mitra denounced the three NGOs as parasites which "prey on the blood of the poor" and did not help to improve agricultural productivity in the Third World.

"They are not interested in famine or poverty. This lot is concerned only about their own interests.

"They sit here at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in their rich man's hotels and romanticise everything," he said.

Hawkers furious at banning

Seven hawkers' organisations, including the Gauteng Hawkers' Association, and seven farmers' associations from South Africa, Kenya, the Philippines and India, protested under the banner of the SDN outside the Sandton conference centre on Wednesday morning.

The demands of the farmers' associations relate to, among other things, access to the best technology, to enter into trade inside and outside their borders and to sell their products at a price that has not been determined through agricultural subsidies, tariffs or quotas.

The hawkers demanded the right to enter into trade where and with whom they wanted, without the government's interference, and the right of self-regulation.

Both memorandums were handed to Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota.

Leon Louw, secretary of the Informal Business Forum to which most of the hawkers' organisations belong, said on Wednesday that it was a disgrace that hawkers were prohibited from sitting along the roads in Johannesburg and Soweto selling their products during the Earth Summit.

About 20,000 hawkers in Johannesburg were losing "millions of rands" as a result of this ban, said Louw.

I think that CNN's version of the Earth Summit is maybe a little too sanitized. Clearly Ted Turners old news organization supports this summit and is leaving out a few details. I did find this rather revealing though....

from the CNN article...
Work continued through the night into Saturday morning trying to find consensus on a 71-page draft that seeks to find a balance between pulling the world's poor out of poverty and easing environmental damage to the planet.

No problem here. The delegates are doing what is expected of them. But this next paragragh is very interesting.....

None of the agreements that come out of the meeting will be binding but 14 sticking points remain ranging from water, agriculture and energy.

Not binding??? Ladies and gentlemen, be honest. "Not binding" means there is no real commitment to helping the poor in Africa. I would think as black Americans, we know all too well about agreements that are not binding. So do those poor shanty towns in Johannesburg.


Thank you.

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[This message was edited by B Bankins on September 01, 2002 at 02:22 AM.]
By Manoah Esipisu and Nicholas Kotch

JOHANNESBURG (Aug. 31) - Thousands of protesters marched on the Earth Summit on Saturday to demand world leaders end the "global apartheid" dividing Johannesburg's poor shanty townships from the summit halls in a wealthy white suburb.

A rainbow coalition of the disaffected, numbering 10,000 or so, marched without incident under massive police guard from the shacks and open sewers of Alexandra township to the towering complex of chic restaurants, hotels and opulent shopping malls in Sandton, eight km (five miles) away yet worlds apart.

"Hello Sandton!" organiser Virginia Setshedi yelled over the razor wire around the summit. "It's a pity you're barricaded, preventing us from coming in and showing you the real world!"

For all the inflammatory slogans -- "Osama bin Laden! Bomb Sandton!" was one -- and fears of the summit mayhem that hit Seattle and Genoa, eight hours of rallies passed off peacefully, delighting the hosts of South Africa's biggest international event since the end of its apartheid-era isolation.

Inside the negotiating rooms, beleaguered ministers and top officials from nearly 200 governments haggled throughout the day to narrow differences, notably between rich and poor states, on a sweeping U.N. plan to reduce poverty and save the environment.

"We are in... the end-game of the negotiations," South African Environment Minister Valli Moosa told Reuters. "Very hard-nosed negotiations are going on at this stage."

Poor countries want more cash and other help while the rich world is demanding less corruption and more democracy in return.

There was some progress with the end of an abstruse dispute over the wording of a mention of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, delegates said. But they remained deadlocked on issues from "green" energy and farm subsidies to sewers in the Third World and ministers prepared to talk through the night to try to clinch a deal before their leaders arrive for Monday.


South African President Thabo Mbeki told a separate, pro-government rally in Alexandra, which drew just 3,000 people, that the short walk to Sandton symbolised the "global apartheid" dividing a few rich from the legions of the world's poor.

He said the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which winds up on Wednesday, should put an end to that: "There is no reason that the poor of the world should be poor for ever," he said in a speech at a stadium. "The time has come for action."

The government supporters also later set off for Sandton from Alexandra, where more than one adult in two has no job.

Marshalled by battalions of heavily armed police deploying helicopters and armoured vehicles, the main march featured red-clad local land rights activists who accused Mbeki's "imperialist" African National Congress (ANC) of failing to give land to the poor since ending white-minority rule in 1994.

Reaching the summit venue, the protesters booed Mbeki's top aide when he came out under police escort to accept a petition.

The march also included several hundred Palestinians as well as environmentalists and anti-globalisation protesters.

Some of the summit's non-government participants from foreign green groups also joined the marches: "This summit is being hijacked by trade and the corporate agenda," said Michael Brune of the California-based Rainforest Action Network.

"Factory Gases and Waste are Killing," "Hands Off Iraq," "Globalise the Intifada," "Stop Thabo Mbeki's AIDS genocide" or "Bush, you belong in the Bush" were among banners and T-shirts.


South Africa's police are shaking off the reputation for brutality they gained during the apartheid years. But they came down hard last week on minor, unauthorised protests.

"What shocked me the most was to see the same kind of vehicles that were being used in the street as we saw in the apartheid museum," Canadian marcher Zonibel Woods said.

But Director of Police Services Henriette Bester told Reuters there were no arrests or confrontations. She said one marcher was taken to hospital after suffering a heart attack.

"It is very pleasing," said Essop Pahad, Minister for the Presidency, who is effectively Mbeki's senior aide.

"People are quite happy and they want to articulate their views," South Africa's Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi said. "It's a good thing if their views peacefully."

Among the first foreign leaders to arrive was Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in defiant mood about his policy of taking land from white farmers and giving it to landless blacks.

His Information Minister Jonathan Moyo blasted former colonial power Britain for suggesting mismanagement was behind a looming famine, saying farmers were simply starved of rain: "God is not something in the control of the British...You cannot define the success of the land programme by the drought."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is to address the summit just an hour before Mugabe on Monday.

Delegates said movement on the section on the Kyoto pact in the ambitious U.N. action plan on poverty and the environment was a small but welcome step forward after days of stalemate.

The treaty against global warming grew out of the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 10 years but has been rejected by the United States. After much wrangling, ministers agreed a form of words in support of Kyoto without embarrassing Washington.

Delegates are also trying to reconcile U.S. and European Union opposition to demands from developing nations that the rich states do more to cut subsidies to their own farmers that help keep Third World imports out of their markets.

08/31/02 14:27 ET
September 4, 2002

JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 4 "” Jeers, boos and shouted protests interrupted Secretary of State Colin L. Powell today as he defended the United States' record on the environment and help for the poor at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Delegates from American and Australian environmental groups repeatedly interrupted him, shouting "Shame on Bush!" Some held up banners reading, "Betrayed by governments" and "Bush: People and Planet, Not Big Business."

The secretary's address came after an early-morning agreement among diplomats, following a week of intensive negotiations, on a plan intended to reduce poverty and preserve the earth's natural resources.

"The United States is taking action to meet environmental challenges, including global climate change," Secretary Powell insisted as the heckling persisted. He also said there was a deep desire in the United States to "help people build better lives for themselves and their children."

Breaking off from his speech he said: "Thank you, I have now heard you. I ask that you hear me." But the boos continued when he said later that the United States was taking action to address climate change.

President Bush, who has been criticized for not attending the meeting, angered many leaders last year when he rejected the Kyoto Protocol, which would set the first binding restrictions on releases of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases by industrial nations.

Mr. Bush maintains that it could harm the American economy and that it is unfair because the required emissions cuts apply only to industrial powers, not to fast-growing developing countries like China and India.

On Tuesday Russia announced it would ratify the treaty, virtually ensuring it would go into effect despite its rejection by the United States.

As the heckling of Secretary Powell continued today, South Africa's foreign minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was chairing the session, shouted at the protesters to stop, calling the outbursts "totally unacceptable."

The heckling started when Secretary Powell criticized Zimbabwe for pursuing land reform policies that have pushed "millions of people to the brink of starvation."

He also criticized Zambia, which is also facing a food crisis, for rejecting genetically engineered corn of the kind that Americans eat every day.

"We have plans to end the despair and offer hope," Secretary Powell said. "Now is the time to put those plans into action to expand the circle of development to all God's children."

The breakthrough on an agreement came after diplomats worked late into the night on Tuesday to resolve a dispute over language in the conference's plan on health care for women.

Canada wanted the words "in conformity with human rights and fundamental freedoms" linked to health care to avoid condoning practices like female genital mutilation. Representatives of developing countries initially opposed the language, but backed down this morning.

"We're very pleased," Kelly Morgan, a spokeswoman for the Canadian delegation, said. "We are finished."

The plan is meant to set the global agenda for coming years. It calls on nations to reduce by half the number of poor people who lack sanitation by 2015; to commit to the sound management of chemicals with the goal of minimizing their adverse effects on health and nature by 2020; and to reduce significantly by 2010 the number of animals and plants having endangered status.

The plan calls for the reduction of agricultural subsidies in wealthy countries, which, poor nations say, protect farmers in the United States and Europe from competition. It also urges nations to promote renewable energy sources like solar and wind power as well as to expand access to energy services by the poor.

Officials from the United States and the United Nations praised the document, but it was sharply assailed by environmentalists and advocates for the poor, who complained that wealthy countries had weakened the language.

The United States, along with Canada, Japan and oil-producing countries, blocked an effort by the European Union to set a target and a timetable for the conversion from oil and gas to renewable sources of energy. The Europeans had sought a commitment to ensuring that renewable energy sources would account for 15 percent of the world's total energy production by 2010. But American officials opposed the target, saying they preferred concrete action to goals that might ultimately prove meaningless.

In the end, the nations agreed to promote an increase in renewable energy, but rejected the specific target and time frame, officials said.

The United States praised the plan and the negotiations that preceded it. "It's a message of hope to impoverished areas of the world," said John F. Turner, assistant secretary of state for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs. "I think it builds an excellent framework for going forward."

But Brooks Yeager of the World Wildlife Fund said most environmentalists were disappointed. "We're particularly disappointed at the outcome of the energy discussions," he said. "In terms of setting a framework of goals for the next 10 years, we could have done better."

The secretary general of the conference, Nitin Desai, emphasized that leaders had succeeded in finding common ground in difficult discussions. But he, too, acknowledged that the plan was weaker than many hoped. "In some areas," he said, "I wish we could have done more."

Russia's decision was hailed as a step forward in the struggle to prevent the droughts, floods and agricultural disruptions many experts think is caused by climate change.

Prime Minister Mikhail M. Kasyanov said Russia planned to ratify the Kyoto treaty "in the very near future." Diplomats said they expected ratification by the end of the year.

The treaty would set the first binding restrictions on releases of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases by industrial nations.

Copyright The New York Times Company |

Onward and Upward!

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