Saturday, August 6, 2016

"Concept vs Reality"

In 1984 I enrolled in a first year Political Science night school course at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. (I was working full time.) My professor was extremely knowledgeable and educated. He was also a very amusing and entertaining individual. He and his brother escaped Nazi Germany and my 'prof' touched down in New York City. He drove a taxi for a living and received his education at Columbia University. One of his lessons was about the United Nations (U.N.). He finished his lecture with his final thought and said "are they (U.N.) really doing any good"?

The U.N. is an organization founded on Oct. 24/45 after the most devastating was in history was finally over...WW2. It's headquarters is located in New York City and had 53 member countries at that time with a $19 million budget. The U.N. tries to promote social progress, better living standards and human rights. Some of the other functions of the agency are refugee protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, enhance economic and social development and maintain international peace and security.

Here are a few facts about the power house institution today as narrated by Rachel Weisz on the video by Guardian - 'how did the U.N. get so big'. The U.N. is located in Manhattan with four buildings spreading over eighteen acres. It consists of 85,000 staff and has a budget of $40 billion a year and incudes a membership of 193 countries.

The C.N.S. news (Dec.28/12) stated the U.S. pays more than one-fifth of the U.N. budget but in another article from C.N.S. news on May 7/15 it stated the U.S. pays over $3 billion a year to the U.N. However, according to Wikipedia the U.S. pays 22% of the U.N. budget for 2016, Canada is just under 3%.

I understand there is hunger and poverty in the world and without a doubt those two elements coincide with each other. The World Food Program states hunger is the number once cause of death in the world...I agree, if you don't eat, sooner or later you die. They also stated there are 795 million undernourished people in the world in 2016.

The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (U.N.I.C.E.F.) proclaims 22,000 children die every day due to poverty...that's over 8 million kids every year. The website DoSomething.org states more than 3 billion people live on less than $2.50/day and more than 1.3 billion live on less than $1.25/day and over 1 billion children live in poverty. I saw a television commercial from 'Save the Children Fund' which announced that 19,000 children die every day in Africa due to hunger...just under 7 million victims every year.

I don't know how accurate those figures really are or how they arrive at those numbers. Maybe they have been fabricated and/or exaggerated, either way if they happen to be authentic it certainly sounds like the U.N. IS NOT taking care of business.

We have all heard of U.N.I.C.E.F....many children would collect money for the agency's crusade when they ventured out to go trick or treating. U.N.I.C.E.F. was established on Dec. 11/46 and their world headquarters is also in New York City. Governments contribute two-thirds and one-third is donated privately for their mission. In 2008 their earnings were, are you ready for this. $3,372,540,239.

A few years ago my Executive Assistant's father showed me an article in the Toronto Sun newspaper about pay salaries and benefits Chief Executive Officers (C.E.O.), Presidents etc. earn from their charities they so dearly cherish. I remember a lot of these social conscience and devoted individuals were receiving enormous incomes 'managing their humanitarianism purpose.'

I discovered a website with similar information called Snopes.com written by David Mikkelson. His article contained top salary earners of charities. He stated for the eleventh straight year the worst offender was Caryl M, Stern, C.E.O. for U.N.I.C.E.F. who earned $1,200,000 a year. Another high priced executive was Canadian World Vision President Dave Toycen who receives a base salary of $300,000 a year, a home valued at $700,000-$800,000 and fully paid amenities from taxes to maid, pool and garden service...even the high definition cable is a freebie.

In Ms. Stern's defence U.N.I.C.E.F. wrote a letter of response on their own website and stated Ms. Stern's salary is only $521,820. Maybe she was thoughtful and considerate and donated over half her salary to the charity she so strongly believes in and adores. Either way, four-fifths of her so called salary now could feed a lot of hungry children.

Near the end of Mr. Mikkelson's article an e-mail from U.N.I.C.E.F. was written and stated Ms. Stern earns $472,891. The Canadian World Vision also replied in the same column and said Mr. Toycen (I believe he is retired now) earns $184,000 and none of his housing costs are paid for and has lived in the same house for over twenty years outside of Toronto, Ontario. If you are inquisitive about the discrepancies I suggest check out the website and you be the judge. It makes me wonder about other agencies such as C.A.R.E., Save the Children and Christian Children's Fund of Canada and their high price administrators.

There are more than a few websites praising the U.N. on their success such as The Flame - Top 9 Greatest Achievements of the United Nations, Borgen Magazine - 10 things accomplished by the United Nations and the United Nations Seventh Anniversary.

These articles are commending the U.N. in such categories as combatting terrorism, containing the world drug problem, fighting hunger and poverty, nuclear weapons peace keeping and human rights.

Many experts believe modern day terrorism commenced in 1968. Maybe they selected that year because Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by Palestinian-Jordanian Sirhan Sirhan on June 5/68. According to 'Our World. In Data' terrorism (observing their graph) started to erupt in the mid 1990's and we can never forget about that horrendous day...Sept. 11/01.

Quite often I will listen to the British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C.) news from London, England on radio station Jazz F.M. 91.1 located in Toronto. There is not a day goes by there is at least one act of terrorism happening in the world...it's a regular event. It doesn't appear to me the U.N. is mending this calamity.

Trying to combat the world drug problem is just a daydream. Ex President Ronald Reagan of the United States declared war on drugs Oct. 14/82 and look at the drug trade some thirty plus years later...a thriving, lucrative and successful business...illegal drugs are plentiful throughout the world.

Fighting hunger has always been a major priority of the U.N. but look how many starving kids are in the world today. The U.N. is attempting to fulfill their mandate but how hard are they really trying?

Supposedly the U.N. has banned nuclear testing and encouraged arms reduction. Meanwhile, India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan have high stockpiles. Five will get you ten Iran has a secret stash hidden in their backyard and I.S.I.S. has access to nuclear weapons.

Peace keeping is a primary issue for the U.N....why wouldn't it be, no one likes war or maybe some do. According to Freedom Outpost (Oct. 26/14) nearly 150 wars with over 100 million casualties have occurred since the birth of the U.N. in 1945.

Human Rights is one of the U.N.'s significant subjects. We all know that some Middle East countries regard women as absolutely inferior human beings and I wonder how often human rights are exercised in China, North Korea and Vietnam...probably nada.

The U.N. has had their share of sex scandals and corruption. In 1990 there were reports from countries of Bosnia, Cambodia, Haiti, Kosovo and Mozambique that areas with peacekeeping personnel saw an escalation of child prostitution. U.N. soldiers would give children candy and small amounts of money in exchange for sex. Get this, the soldiers claimed it wasn't rape because the children were receiving some sort of payment for their "service".

The Congo Sex Scandal as reported by The Trumpet (Feb.2005) stated in 2004 over 150 accusations of rape, child abuse, solicitation and other sexual crimes were reported. Hundreds of images of child pornography were found on a French U.N. civilians laptop.

The Oil for Food program suffered extensive corruption and abuse. It was created in 1995 to allow Iraq to sell their oil on the world market in exchange for food and other humanitarian necessities without Iraq advancing their military capabilities. Profits were conveyed to Iraq and U.N. officials.

The Trumpet (Oct. 20/05) also wrote the U.N. has had rape and murder allegations as well as billions of dollars in fraud and embezzlement on a global scale over the years.

It's a crying shame to see starving children but I believe a lot of people are becoming very affluent off the misfortune and hardships of these skin and bones kids...I find it absolutely FUCKING DISGUSTING!

The Guardian (Sept. 7/15) published an article titled '70 years later and half a trillion dollars, what has the U.N. achieved'. I wonder how much money is exhausted on overinflated salaries and unnecessary perks and benefits...where is the money really going?

Epilogue

The U.N. was formed to conquer and eliminate all the despair in the world. Clearly the belief was wonderful (sounded like a good idea at the time) but it appears that the bigger organizations develop and expand the less effective and successful they are...does that remind you of some other huge and powerful organization...I'll give you a hint, the word starts with the letter G. I don't doubt it for a second the U.N. has kind, warm hearted, caring and compassionate principles, but on the flipside I get the impression they can be devious, untrustworthy and dishonest just like that word that starts with the letter G. I reflect back on my political science professor and ask myself, was he ahead of his time?

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project

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