Keeping it Real…

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If You’re HAPPY and You Know It …. Tell the UN?

March 19th, 2018 · 30 Comments

It’s the latest costly “news” emanating from/for the United Nations … and once again, in my opinion, another waste of money that will do little or nothing to actually repair much of the unhappiness suffered by so many people on the planet.

“The annual World Happiness Report, which analyses 155 countries and ranks them in order of happiness, attempts to “survey the scientific underpinnings of measuring and understanding subjective well-being”, according to the UN,” reports the British journal The Week.

“It uses six components: per capita gross domestic product (GDP); healthy years of life expectancy; social support, as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble; trust, as measured by perceived absence of corruption in government and business; perceived freedom to make life decisions; and generosity as measured by recent donations.”

Who pays for it?

“The Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG Fund) is an international multi-donor and multi-agency development mechanism created in 2014 by the United Nations to support sustainable development activities through integrated and multidimensional joint programmes,”  explains its website.

“Its main objective is to bring together UN agencies, national governments, academia, civil society and business to address the challenges of poverty, promote the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve SDGs. Convening public-private partnerships for SDGs is in the SDG Fund’s DNA.”

Why?

Will the UN actually concretely act against the worst violators of human rights, corruption and poverty that affects the happiness of their citizens?   Not really … because many are part of the oppression-ridden Arab/Muslim bloc that holds sway in the General Assembly or on its corrupted “human rights” committees/organizations or are protected by a veto-holding ally on the Security Council.

Of course, not. In fact I contend it could even be argued that the UN has a history of ignoring, even excusing some of the world’s worst oppressive, abusive state regimes and even aiding proven terrorist groups …. especially those pushing radical extremist Muslim agendas.

Maybe they should read and start paying attention to obvious but uncomfortable truths for some UN members in their own  expensive document!

The top 10 Happiest countries:

1. Finland

2. Norway (1st last year)

3. Denmark

4. Iceland

5. Switzerland

6. Netherlands

7. CANADA (reached 5th in 2015)

8. New Zealand

9. Sweden

10. Australia

First thing I noticed is that the happiest countries in the world have certain  … VERY politically incorrect but unavoidably obvious …. common denominators: they ALL have European historical/cultural backgrounds; they were ALL founded and developed very predominntly by whites; and, they are ALL democracies; and, they have ALL have well-developed degrees of personal/political freedoms.

Perhaps readers can  see other similarities or particular qualities or sources that may explain their rankings?

The study SHOULD shame most UN members … especially those with vast oil riches, huge developed resource bases and highly profitable agricultural/manufacturing economies …. but still have inexcusable wage gaps between the rich and poor, or even their middle class.

So much for all those palaces, diamond encrusted limousines and jets, man-made luxury islands, marble and gold-encrusted  hotels in the Arab  oil kingdoms; the billionaire corporate boosters and land magnates and huge manufacturing conglomerates celebrated in Asia; and even the boasting of ”the greatest country in the world” in their own mind, the United States.

The US came in 18th … DOWN four positions from last year’s Happiness Index.  Fake news?    Disney will no doubt have to now change their slogan “Happiest place on earth!” But don’t bet on it.

Russia came in at 58th.  Take that, Putin!  China was ranked 86; Britain at 19; United Arab Emirates 20th.

Countries from sub-Saharan Africa came in at the bottom: people in Burundi are the unhappiest in the world.

Can hardly wait to see what the UN will do with this information. LOL!

The money/resources spent on gathering/interpreting/reporting this information would have done more good in actually helping the unhappy … rather than have well-paid statistician/bureaucrats officially tell them they’re unhappy.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 30 CommentsTags: British Columbia · International · National

China’s TOTAL DICTATORSHIP Move Exposes Canada’s Hypocrisy

March 12th, 2018 · 47 Comments

So much for “quiet” diplomacy; so much for behind-the-scenes “progress; so much for any pretense that Canada’s dealings with China is NOT endorsing, supporting and encouraging the trampling of even basic political and human rights.

President Xi Jinping this past weekend destroyed any charade that China is moving … even at a turtle’s pace  … to a more open, more responsive, more humane society.

In a scene that reminded me of those massive applause-filled phony endorsements of Joseph Stalin or Saddam Hussein  (first one to stop clapping was the first one to be arrested/shot), China’s National People’s Congress voted to remove the two-term limit in  the country’s Constitution.  Xi, 64, who was previously required to step down in 2023, can now rule for life.

“This marks the biggest regression in China’s legal system since the reform and opening-up era of the 1980s,” said Zhang Lifan, an independent Beijing-based political commentator in an interview with The Washington Post.

But Xi has been at it for years now … concentrating power in himself, ignoring even the guise of collective leadership”.

“Xi has appointed himself to head bodies that oversee national security, finance, economic reform and other major initiatives, effectively sidelining the Communist Party’s No. 2 figure, Premier Li Keqiang,” the Post reported.

In fact, Xi spent his first term “purging the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of any faction that challenged his omnipotence, while dialing up censorship, amassing more than a dozen separate leadership roles and assembling a budding cult of personality“, according to Time Magazine’s Beijing reporter.

The evidence of China’s RETROGRESSION on the human rights and democracy fronts has been front and center for five years now  …with any hint of dissension quashed, anyone who dares to express rights guaranteed in the Chinese Constitution harassed, arrested and imprisoned, with democracy advocates beaten, imprisoned, churches destroyed, defiant pastors sent to jail for years …. all amidst such widespread news, information and Internet censorship that China’s population is not only oppressed but literally repressed as well.

And all the while, Canadian federal and provincial officials, along with our business leaders have been eagerly extending, expanding and encouraging closer financial and business ties with China.

I get it.

Our moral compass has been buried; our ethical posturing has become a sham; and our principles have given way totally to principals.

It’s ALL about money … spending, investment, and foreign sales …. and it’s about time Canada started admitting THAT’S what we hold dearest: all the talk about tying “progress” in human rights etc to increasing economic ties was/is a sham.

It’s worse NOW for human dignity and political and even artistic freedoms in China than even during the regime of Mao Tse Tung.

Think about that the next time you see our business and political “leaders” smiling and shaking hands with Chinese state officials and companies.

Canada …. and we … should be ashamed.

Harv Oberfeld

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