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WASTE and WAR and WANT

Buying and selling of U.S. governance while Africa suffers needlessly
Excerpt, editing and comment by Carolyn Bennett

[IMAGE: A Somali woman holds a malnourished child waiting for medical assistance from the African Union Mission in Somalia]

There is money out there, more than enough for all people to live in dignity, free from want. But a few are hoarding it and passing it around among themselves. They buy and sell governance and government officials. Some of the Center for Responsive Politics' latest figures illustrate this shameful buying and selling of U.S. governance, even as peoples of the world (including U.S. citizens) languish in unspeakable misery.

2012 U.S. Presidential Candidate
Fundraising Summary

On July 15, 2011, most major-party presidential candidates filed campaign finance reports with the U.S. Federal Election Commission. Below are OpenSecrets.org highlights of candidates' growing chest for the chase.

Barack Obama (D)
Raised $48,662,185
Spent $80,235,455
Debts $412,878
Cash on Hand $37,110,346
See Bundlers at OpenSecrets.org
End Date June 30, 2011

Mitt Romney (R)
Raised $18,284,223
Spent $5,575,690
Debts $0
Cash on Hand $12,715,495
End Date June 30, 2011

Ron Paul (R)
Raised $4,514,166
Spent $1,547,989
Debts $0
Cash on Hand $2,966,177
End Date June 30, 2011

Tim Pawlenty (R)
Raised $4,473,673
Spent $2,472,583
Debts $1,915
Cash on Hand $2,001,090
End Date June 30, 2011

Michele Bachmann (R)
Raised $3,636,523
Spent $257,456
Debts $364,120
Cash on Hand $3,379,067
End Date June 30, 2011

Herman Cain (R)
Raised $2,552,835
Spent $2,070,941
Debts $0
Cash on Hand $0
End Date June 30, 2011

Newt Gingrich (R)
Raised $2,094,866
Spent $1,772,644
Debts $1,030,628
Cash on Hand $322,222
End Date June 30, 2011

Rick Santorum (R)
Raised $582,098
Spent $352,983
Debts $0
Cash on Hand $229,115
End Date June 30, 2011

Fred Karger (R)
Raised $266,511
Spent $264,208
Debts $0
Cash on Hand $2,304
End Date June 30, 2011

Gary Johnson (R)
Raised $180,237
Spent $174,230
Debts $227,360
Cash on Hand $6,007
End Date June 30, 2011

Buddy Roemer (R)
Raised $95,635
Spent $76,577
Debts $10,000
Cash on Hand $19,058
End Date June 30, 2011

Thad McCotter (R)
Raised $33,055
Spent $54,637
Debts $0
Cash on Hand $478,780
End Date March 31, 2011
Center for Responsive Politics

Others, however, languish in unspeakable misery in places where these men and women of power and its abuse wage war against them and around them causing them to flee, to suffer, to lose their lives and their future.

In an effort to try to curb the crisis (war and conflict, global warming, epic drought conditions, famine and disease), to keep it from growing into an even ‘greater catastrophe,’ the United Nations last Monday (July 29, 2011) appealed for an added $1.4 billion to save the lives of an estimated 12 million people across the Horn of Africa.

More than 12 million people – in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti – are in dire need of help.

Up to 100,000 internally displaced people have arrived in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, over the last two months in search of food, water, shelter and other vital humanitarian assistance after fleeing famine-hit areas.

The number is growing by the day, with daily arrivals averaging 1,000 in July, said Vivian Tan speaking to reporters in Geneva for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

It is fair to say that corruption and unconscionable waste and war perpetrated by top public officials and those aspiring to high office in U.S. branches of government are, in a real sense, the cause and perpetuators of other peoples’ languishing in want, disease, consequences and fallout of war.

What activist Ken O'Keefe said about Gaza can be said as well about sub-Saharan Africa:

The people “are more than capable of taking care of themselves” [but] they need self-determination, to profit from their own labor, their own natural resources, and resourcefulness. Once their import and export trade is established, they will no longer need handouts, alms from the mighty.

As it stands now, countries of Africa (these old civilizations) have been forced open to other countries’ and their corporations’ profit heists. “The darker-skinned people,” as O’Keefe puts it, “are used like modern-day slaves, and this is happening all around the world.”

So, in the face of real tragedy, what is happening in the United States and in other Western countries, particularly in government and mass media, is beyond shameful.

It doesn't have to be this way.

Sources and notes

NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2012 election cycle and based on U.S. Federal Election Commission data released electronically. NOTE: This profile is based on a preliminary analysis of second quarter data for 2011 and does not yet include second quarter contributions made through joint fund-raising committees. Feel free to distribute or cite this material but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/summary.php

UN News Agency reporting on the Horn of Africa, July 26 and 29, 2011, http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39146&Cr=Somali&Cr1=
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39189&Cr=horn+of+africa&Cr1=

Continent to the south

WEST
Western Africa is the region lying south of the Sahara and east and north of the Atlantic Ocean. Western Africa is divided latitudinally into two parallel belts of land: the western portion of the Sudan, a geographic area that stretches across the entire width of Africa, and the coastal region, or Guinea Coast. Each belt has its own geography, cultures, and history.

The nations of the western Sudan include Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta), Cape Verde, Chad, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. The nations of the Guinea Coast are Benin, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

EAST
Eastern Africa is part of sub-Saharan Africa comprising two traditionally recognized regions: East Africa (made up of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda); and the Horn of Africa (made up of Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia).

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Articles also at Bringing Women a Global Voice: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire Bennett's books available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; The Book Den, Ltd.: BookDenLtd@frontiernet.net [Danville, NY]; Talking Leaves Books-Elmwood: talking.leaves.elmwood@gmail.com [Buffalo, NY]; Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza: http://www.bhny.com/ [Albany, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY]; LONGS’ Cards and Books: http://longscardsandbooks.com/ [Penn Yan, NY]
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Posted by Bennett's Study at 6:44 PM

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