Blood Diamond and American Consumerism

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Kalns, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. Kalns macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    May 16, 2006
    #1
    I know I'm a bit behind. Never caught the movie in theaters, but I just saw it on dvd. Does watching this make anyone else feel absolutely SICK about the state of affairs in America? I mean the consumerism we have in this country is truly disgusting. So many people around the world suffering right this second and we're thinking about the new Macs, a new car, whatever. Am I alone in this?
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #2
    Nope. Not alone. Unfortunately, there's a lot of disinformation out there, so even for the well-intentioned, it's difficult not to buy or do things that harm other people. Still, worth the effort. And the reality is that even little changes are worth it. Aggregated, they can make a huge difference.
     
  3. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #3
    I don't even want to buy a car anymore because I don't want to support the oil companies.
     
  4. Queso macrumors G4

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    #4
    It really hit me when I went to live in South Africa back in the late 90s. So many things that we take for granted here are off the scale luxuries for so many. A flushing toilet, a refrigerator, electricity. Really makes you appreciate just how wealthy we are.
     
  5. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #5
    It's just really startling to think that what we call poverty here would be luxury to a lot of people elsewhere. And what we call middle class would be off the scale obscene to many people.
     
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #6
    Wealth vrs poverty is one thing, but the real issue is how they are interconnected. Take Japan for example. They do an amazing job protecting Japanese forests. Japan is like 70% woodland. It's beautiful. So to make wood products they buy wood from China, Indonesia, Australia, etc.

    The big questions are, what behaviors can we change that can have real impact on the lives of other people? What are the trade offs for each of those decisions?
     
  7. Queso macrumors G4

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    #7
    Yeah, but the Western standards of poverty are still valid. You can't eat the roof over your head if that's all you have, and there's also people who live on the streets to think about.
     
  8. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #8
    Well apparently conflict diamonds themselves are still quite a big issue. I just read that in the muslim controlled African countries that the illegal diamond trade helps fund terrorism and has even been linked directly to Bin Laden himself.

    Fifty years ago DeBeers set all of this in motion when they moved to skyrocket the value of diamonds and make sure that every bride would have one on her finger. We have to reject that.

    Basically any operation that is linked to obscene amounts of money needs to be examined very closely.
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    The Christian church, for example?
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

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    #10
    Are you not putting a Western bias into the issue by concentrating on Bin Laden and ignoring the civil wars in places like Angola, Liberia or Sierra Leone? Conflict diamonds bought a lot of weapons there, resulting in a lot more death than Al Qaeda has ever managed.
     
  11. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #11
    That was a low blow, but you're absolutely right. American Christianity is the worst culprit of all. How can Christians build these "mega-churches" when that money could have been used in Africa or India or China? It's despicable.
     
  12. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #12
    well I want to know this....are any of the terrorist groups linked to the militant Muslims in Darfur? Where is their money coming from? I don't even know if this is accurate, but according to what I read about a quarter of a million people have died there. This is outrageous that these things are happening and it's not being stopped.
     
  13. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #13

    My understanding of the situation is that the Janjaweed are unofficially 'operating' on behalf of the Sudanese government.
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    And the Sudanese government are being bankrolled by the Chinese. Or is that FUD?
     
  15. Kalns thread starter macrumors regular

    Kalns

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    #15
    China eh? Here's one thing that can be done....even if only for symbolic reasons. Boycott the 08' Olympics.
     
  16. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #16

    The Chinese do appear to be very keen in securing oil supplies from around the world, whatever the country and whatever the 'cost'.
     
  17. Queso macrumors G4

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    #17
    I was under the impression that the Sudanese government was actually funding the militant muslim groups. Darfur is far more complicated than that. It basically goes back to the way the colonial powers partitioned the continent according to their administrative needs rather than historical or tribal divisions. Certainly even without a penny of conflict diamond money, the whole region would still be a bloody mess.

    EDIT: That'll teach me to go make a cup of tea rather than finishing off my post :D

    Doesn't their current main supply come from Iran, which is about to undergo infrastructure crippling sanctions? I'd be looking for alternative suppliers under those conditions.
     
  18. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    #18
    or used down on the skid row of their own city
     
  19. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    Terlingua, Texas
    #19
    "I don't even want to buy a car anymore because I don't want to support the oil companies."

    Er, uh, got a computer? Cell phone? TV? Got a bicycle? Is the plumbing of your house PVC? Do you use electricty? Got a toothbrush? Drink milk?

    You're dependent on those guys who drill Very Deep Holes, and those folks in the world of petro-chemicals.

    Plastic.

    :), 'Rat
     

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