Third Paradigm is an out-of-the-box thinktank on community sovereignty and regenerative economics.
We look at how to take back our cities, farmland and water; our money, production and trade; our media, education and culture, our religion and even our God.
We present a people's history of the Bible and a parent's view on how to raise giving kids in a taking world.
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New World Notes
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Some people may call this is a soup to nuts approach, going from care and compassion to conspiracy theories. I'm not certain myself what I believe. But I find that I learn a lot from watching someone or something's detractors. There's a formula for how to discredit someone while skirting the substance of their argument. First you attack the person's credentials or lack thereof. Then you set them up to "debate" an expert, whose rebuttal consists of things like, "I just can't believe that anyone would do that." They don't engage on any of the specific points, and they shift the discussion to personalities rather than research. When I saw this pattern emerging with an interview of Dr. Boyd Graves, I wanted to look at the facts myself.
Another area where I recommend a deep-dive into the facts is in charitable giving, with AIDS or anything else. I have a friend who asked my recommendations for his end-of-year contributions. I named three that I work with closely, and that my student group has raised funds for – the Quixote Center, Rights Action, and Grassroots International. My friend responded that Charity Navigator had given them a mere 2, 3, and 4, respectively, out of 10 stars. So I took a look at how Charity Navigator does their calculations.
Their first measures are the amounts spent on programs vs. administration and fundraising, based on the charity's own tax reporting. If they call 10% or less of their expenses administration, they get a 10, even if 100% of their overseas aid ends up in the pockets of US employees or corporations. Then, if their fundraising brings in 10 dollars for every dollar spent, they get another 10. Commissioned telemarketers are good for this, or the trick of putting a nickel, a packet of seeds, an angel medallion, or a stamped return envelope in direct mail solicitations. They know how hard it is for us to throw out something useful rather than sending it back with a donation. Thirdly, there's what they call "capacity" – if an organization keeps over $250 million or one year's operating expenses in the bank, they get another automatic 10. They write:
Then, their final measure is growth. To quote:
So charities have to continually bring in more money year to year in order to get a good rating. No wonder the charities I support don't rank. They'd be mortified to have a year's operating expenses sitting idle when it could make the difference for people resisting a military coup. My advocacy groups live hand to mouth. But Charity Navigator doesn't rate salaries, perks, and bonuses. They don't look at how much overseas aid actually stays in the US. Transportation costs aren't factored in, or amounts that come from and end up in the hands of corporations. After looking at how they determine their rating system, I think I might take the inverse of it as a good sign.
There's something else that the charities I support do exceptionally well: they listen. They listen to local organizers, to local farmers, to the families of the disappeared, to the victims and to the patients. Let's hear three poems about listening. These are "Finding What You Didn't Lose" by John Fox, "Waiting In Line" by Nick Penna, and "The Winter of Listening" by David Whyte.
The statistics, however, give a sharp contrast to the lighthearted photos.12 million children in sub-Sahara Africa are the survivors of their parents' deaths from AIDS. Two-thirds of the world's HIV population, or 22 million people, live in sub-Saharan Africa with only a fraction having access to anti-retrovirals. By this year, 2010, the number of children without parents will swell to 20 million – more than the entire continent of Australia.
The issue of AIDS orphans first engaged Karen in 2002 when she traveled to Nairobi's notorious slum, Kibera, to photograph youngsters. She visited a makeshift children's shelter in what had been a schoolroom. Children had been abandoned by parents no longer able to care for them. They mugged for the camera, but went to bed hungry because the shelter had run out of rice. When she came back and looked at the faces emerging in her developing tray, she knew she had to do something.
She began mounting exhibits of her photographs, speaking to schools, religious and community groups, and raising funds for grassroots organizations in Africa. On her own, she collected $70,000. But she didn't stop there. She turned to her graduate school roommate from Stanford, Ruthann Richter. As a medical writer, Ruthann had covered AIDS before it had a name, in the 1980's. She would visit with patients at Ward 86, the clinic at San Francisco's General Hospital and ground zero for the epidemic. Before we return to Africa, I'd like to take a moment to remember what it was like not so long ago. Antiretrovirals have brought AIDS into being a manageable disease, but it seems like yesterday that it was a death sentence - sometimes appealed but ineligible for parole.
To honor the strength and community that was born in our society out of the tragedy of AIDS, I'd like to play a song from Rent that I found moving. This is called "Will I?" from the original Broadway production.
[Rent – Will I]
For Ruthann Richter and Karen Ande's favorite African charities, including the excellent one in Santa Cruz, go to Ande Photos – Take Action
Another grandmother pressed into service is Marion Cloete from the Dream Out Loud documentary called Angels in the Dust. Marion was a successful Johannesburg therapist who raised three children. When they were grown, she and her husband decide to liquidate their savings and build Boikarabelo, a village and school that serves 550 children impacted by AIDS. As a therapist, Marion is no shrinking violet. She confronts parents and bullies them into sending their kids to school rather than keeping them home to work. At one point she graphs out a flow chart of one man as a weapon of mass destruction, tracing the partners that he infected and moved on from when they died. The village runs active grieving sessions and talks frankly about death, in a way very similar to the Rent life support group, which is the scene in which they sing "Will I?" Sometimes they're talking about the deaths of their parents and sometimes they're facing their own.
The most compelling character is a little girl who looks to be about ten but talks like an unusually mature adult. Marion encourages her to tell her story. She explains to the audience how a man, a so-called "friend" of the family, rapes her when they're alone in the hut. Her mother refuses to believe it. The girl calmly tells the audience about the superstition that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS, and how it's created an epidemic of rape for young girls. Later in the show, she decides that she's emotionally ready to find out if she's HIV-positive. But to have the test, she needs her mother's permission. In a heated scene, Marion is unable to convince the mother.
[Dream 0ut Loud – Angels in the Dust]
The film also follows a different type of orphan. The government practice in South African national parks is to kill adult elephants to control the herd size. This is called "culling." But elephants have a complex social culture not unlike the close-knit African village before it was violently disrupted by colonialism. And so orphaned elephants grow up with gang characteristics – attacking and goring rhinos or attempting to mate with them. Elder elephants have been brought from elsewhere into the herds of adolescents in an experiment that seems to be working.
Now let's ask the question of whether AIDS was a deliberate technique of human culling. If true, we would be going from angels to the most craven form of evil – bioterrorism against homosexuals and non-whites to reduce their populations. In 1946, when Time magazine still did journalism, they ran an article called, "Science: Better than the Bomb." It reported a routine House debate on naval appropriations, in which the Navy was trying to one-up the army for the atomic bomb. One Congressman said, "We have something far more deadly than the atomic bomb. We have it today–not tomorrow–and furthermore, it's in usable shape." Another chimed in, ""This nation is in possession of scientific factors which place it in an enviable position. The scientific factors at hand would result in devastation equal to, if not greater than, the atomic bomb. Remember, there are different kinds of devastation."
In another 1969 House Appropriations hearing, the DoD's Biological Warfare division requested funds to develop through gene-splicing a new disease that would both resist and break down a victim's immune system. It was approved. In 1972, the World Health Organization published in their bulletin, "An attempt should be made to ascertain whether viruses can in fact exert selective effects on immune function, e.g., by ...affecting T cell function as opposed to B cell functions. The possibility should also be looked into that the immune response to the virus itself may be impaired if the infecting virus damages more or less selectively the cells responding to the viral antigens." Then, in the mid-70's, the WHO conducted a smallpox vaccination in Africa, including 14.000 Haitians on UN assignment to Central Africa. According to the London Times in 1987, the timing and locations of the first AIDS infections coincide exactly with this smallpox vaccine. I also read years ago about whole villages wiped out by AIDS because they'd been paid to give blood that was taken with dirty needles. At the time, this was seen as mere accident.
AIDS is ethno-selective, with twice the rate of infection for Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans as whites, and death coming two to three times as swiftly. 80% of children with AIDS and 90% of infants are non-whites. In 1978 a Hepatitis B vaccine study called for only non-monogamous males. It gave homosexuals a different serum from heterosexuals. By 1981, 25-50% of the first reported AIDS cases in New York had received the '78 vaccine. By 1984, 64% of recipients had AIDS, before the Department of Justice sealed the study. The same year, the New Delhi Patriot newspaper published detailed charges about AIDS as a weapon. Soon after, the chemical leak of Bhopal Union Carbide distracted their attention.
In 1999 a flowchart was found for a federal program called The Special Virus of the United States of America (1962-1978). Funded with $500 million, this is exactly what the Pentagon acknowledged to Congress that they were making - a synthetic biological agent for which no natural immunity could be acquired, designed to deplete the human immune system. In 2002, Chief of Staff Anthony Traficanti from Ohio called for an investigation. It never happened. For the past 15 years, Dr. Boyd Graves has called on the Supreme Court, Congress, the UN, and NGO's around the world to investigate, and now he plans to call on Obama. Based on Obama's past actions, I'm not holding my breath.
This has been Tereza Coraggio with Third Paradigm. Thank you to Dr. Boyd Graves and to Waves Forrest for the article, "Designer Diseases: AIDS as Biological & Psychological Warfare" published on abovetopsecret.com. Thank you to Mike Sirocco for web production and thanks to Skidmark Bob for sound and for finding our closing song. Bob is a searchable jukebox – throw out any topic from Judas to AIDS and he's got a reference. This one's called AIDS is a Four-Letter Word by the TVTV$. As a broadcast advisory, it's not the only four-letter word. And as a disclaimer, I don't agree with them about shooting a politician. It wouldn't do any good. Let's hit them where it really hurts – aim for the off-shore tax havens.
Thanks for listening.
Ruthann Richter has been writing about medical issues, including HIV/AIDS, since the early 1980's. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Stanford University and has received awards from the American Cancer Society, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. In addition to her Africa projects, she is the director of media relations at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she works with media from around the world and covers HIV/AIDS issues. source
Thank you for listening.