Category Archives: Peter Singer
Once it’s out there, it’s out there for good and anyone can read it.
That’s why I want to apologize for my sometimes haphazard spelling and sloppy editing. My brain moves faster than my fingers and I usually think whatever I’ve typed is so brilliant that I can’t wait for an editor to look it over before I press “publish”.
It’s one of my faults.
Anyway, I bring this up because I discovered something quite insane today about where my writing had ended up and why.
A teacher apparently assigned it* as reading for a writing prompt in their AP English class. I don’t know why, but apparently my series on Peter Singer’s Solution for World Poverty was the sort of thing that she wanted her class to read in conjunction with Peter Singer’s actual essay.
What the hell?
Yeah, I’m confused, kinda flattered…but ultimately confused.
I would really like to know how and why my blog was selected for this, but I don’t know if I’ll ever find out.
It’s a cool thing to have happen though.
As my mom said when I texted her about this development: “Ah, teaching critical thought to the youth of America!”
That’s a pretty awesome, if terrifying, thought.
So when you are writing, just keep that in my mind. You never know who you are going to influence.
So maybe one more pass through spell check is called for.**
*I say “apparently” because I don’t know where these kids go to school and none of the entries specified that she assigned my blog. Still, it’s too coincidental that all of them wrote about my blog.
**Also make sure you have your facts straight and do your research.
Now that I’m living in the dorms at my college I usually head home on Saturday to do my laundry at my parent’s place. Yesterday I came over, started a load of laundry, my mom made me a margarita (it was after 5pm and my mom enjoys that sort of thing, so hush) and my mom, dad, and I sat down on the couch.
I had brought Friday’s copy of The New York Times and I was reading them articles out of it. When I got to page A5 there was an article titled “Famine Ravages Somalia in a World Less Likely to Intervene”. (Here is the link to the online version of the article).
We only made it through the first 4 or 5 paragraphs before we had to stop reading and start talking about the article. For me it was especially frustrating, as I’ve just finished a 5 part blog series on Singer’s Solution to World Poverty, an essay that seemed to be close cousins to this NYT article. The term ‘Neo-Idiots’ was something my dad said when I contradicted him after he said that these particular liberals were becoming “Neo-Liberals” (in the same meaning as the term ‘neo-conservatives” is used). I told him he was wrong, because these liberals don’t know what they want.
(His response “So they’re just being neo-idiots then?” And my response “Yeah, basically.”)
The article starts out by admitting that it isn’t so much that the rest of the world doesn’t want to give aid or intervene on the behalf of starving Somalians, it’s that we can’t get the aid to them!
Remember what I said this in part II of my response to Singer’s article?
When we are talking about pension plans and administrative costs it pisses me off, but when the money is vanishing into third world nations that are controlled by warlords and drug lords and terrorists as much as, or more than, by their own governments… Do we really know where most of that money is going? Do you know who has to be paid off to get food and aid to the poor? Do you know what you may be, unintentionally, funding?
Now read this from the NYT article on Somalia.
Is the world about to watch 750,000 Somalis starve to death? The United Nations’ warnings could not be clearer. A drought-induced famine is steadily creeping across Somalia and tens of thousands of people have already died. The Islamist militant group the Shabab is blocking most aid agencies from accessing the areas it controls, and in the next few months three-quarters of a million people could run out of food, United Nations officials say. *
Hmm…sounds similar. We can’t get the aid through because of, essentially, terrorists…who are running the government in Somalia and have a habit of shooting starving people and looting aid trucks for themselves. And people wonder why we might be hesitant to send aid to this country? No one who needs it is getting the aid anyway.
The NYT article goes on to say that this is similar to what happened in early 1990s when another group stopped aid from reaching the people who were starving because of famine in Somalia.
Of course, things were different in the 1990s NYT says.
But in the 1990s, the world was more willing to intervene. The United Nations rallied behind more than 25,000 American troops, who embarked on a multibillion-dollar mission to beat back the gunmen long enough to get food into the mouths of starving people.
But wait…I thought liberals didn’t want us taking military action against countries (or militant groups) that have done nothing to us? Wouldn’t this be just as bad as storming in Iraq and toppling Husein’s regime? After all, he may have been a horrible despotic tyrant, but it was his country and he had every right to run it as he saw fit. We don’t have the right to tell other countries how to conduct their affairs, even when they are abusing the human rights of the people within their country.
At least that’s what I thought the liberal argument was.
Apparently when it’s famine, instead of violations of basic human rights, we have the right to go storming into the country, guns blazing, to help the people. *eyes roll*
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not criticizing the idea. I’m criticizing the fact that liberals don’t seem to be able to understand the concept of “you can’t have your cake and eat it too”. They want it to be okay to storm into some countries and reorganize them as they like, but not all. And I suppose they want to decide which countries are deserving of this intervention.
The idea I like. Let’s storm in, guns blazing, and kill these idiots who are letting their entire country starve for no good reason. Let’s not do any of this namby-pamby “hold them off long enough” shit. Shoot to kill, that’s what my dad has always taught me about gun use, why should this be any different?
(Get a grip, I’ve never shot anyone. My dad simply taught us that if a situation is serious enough to warrant to use of a firearm then you shoot to kill, you don’t shoot to wound.)
And why should we just kill the militants? Because, instead of beating them back and putting a band-aid on a gaping wound in Somalia, we could be feeding them, fixing their infrastructure, creating a democracy, and, hopefully, putting their country in a position where a famine like this will not destroy their ability to feed themselves once a decade.
If we just beat the militants back and allow them to take over again once we’ve distributed aid, then in 10 years or so, when the next drought and famine roll around in Somalia, guess what we’ll be doing again?
That’s right. Beating back more “Islamist Militant groups” to patch up the wounds of the country again.
How is that solution helpful to anyone, except for making our conscience feel a little less weighted, because, hey, at least we didn’t let them starve.
The worst part of the ideals of these particular liberals is what I mentioned in the name of this blog. They want to have their cake (Not have any wars, never send our military overseas to get involved in foreign affairs), eat it too (send troops overseas when they feel it’s right, even when what they advocate will be a band-aid on a gunshot wound), and worse…they want us to bake that cake for them (pay for the aid to go to these countries even when it will have no long-term affect.)
Liberals clearly never heard the story of the Little Red Hen when they were in kindergarten. Someone should send them a copy.
*Emphasis added by yours truly.