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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some things never change!

We are all hearing on the news about the fact that the world may be currently in an economic recession or headed for one. However, this has not stopped "Big Oil" from making loads of money off of all of us. I say this because one of the largest oil companies in the world, ExxonMobil, issued a press release today stating that the company shattered its own record for the biggest profit by a U.S. corporation, earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter!!! Bolstered by summer's record crude prices, the company said net income jumped nearly 58% to $2.86 a share in the July-September period. That compares with $9.41 billion, or $1.70 a share, a year ago.

The previous record for U.S. corporate profit was set in the last quarter, when ExxonMobil earned $11.68 billion.


Source:http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/earnings/2008-10-30-exxonmobil_N.htm

Some senior citizens in our world are forced to eat cat food, because they cannot afford anything else, yet large corporations like Exxon, are not required to pay more taxes on their extravagent profits.It is time the governments of this world put caps on the the amount of profits Big Oil can make, in order to ensure that the wealth of the world is much more fairly distributed.

The facts about the World's poor cannot be disputed:

"Over one billion people around the world are poor, living on less than one dollar a day.
Many of these poor people survive with much less, say half a dollar a day, and live a very vulnerable life in nearly permanent hunger.
In the year 2000, more than 800 million people were food insecure, and this number has not changed much over the last seven yearsThe prospect for the immediate future is that 700 million people in the world will still be poor by 2015, and 600 million of them will probably not have enough to eat every year.

A very high proportion of those left behind are the children and youngsters, men and, not least, women of Africa. But also a great number in South Asia, maybe as many as 200 million people, will stay in poverty."
(source:http://www.ifpri.org/2020ChinaConference/chconfycstats.asp)

The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income (source2007 Human Development Report (HDR), United Nations Development Program, November 27, 2007, p.25)

According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.” (sourcehttp://www.globalissues.org/article/715/today-over-26500-children-died-around-the-world)

"Water problems affect half of humanity:

Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.
Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day.
More than 660 million people without sanitation live on less than $2 a day, and more than 385 million on less than $1 a day.
Access to piped water into the household averages about 85% for the wealthiest 20% of the population, compared with 25% for the poorest 20%.
1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometre, but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 litres per day. In the United Kingdom the average person uses more than 50 litres of water a day flushing toilets (where average daily water usage is about 150 liters a day. The highest average water use in the world is in the US, at 600 liters day.)
Some 1.8 million child deaths each year as a result of diarrhoea
The loss of 443 million school days each year from water-related illness.
Close to half of all people in developing countries suffering at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits.
Millions of women spending several hours a day collecting water.
To these human costs can be added the massive economic waste associated with the water and sanitation deficit.… The costs associated with health spending, productivity losses and labour diversions … are greatest in some of the poorest countries. Sub-Saharan Africa loses about 5% of GDP, or some $28.4 billion annually, a figure that exceeds total aid flows and debt relief to the region in 2003." (source:2006 United Nations Human Development Report, pp.6, 7, 35 )

What does this table say about our priorities in this world?

Spending in the world 1998

Global Priority $U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States 8
Ice cream in Europe 11
Perfumes in Europe and the United States 12
Pet foods in Europe and the United States 17
Business entertainment in Japan 35
Cigarettes in Europe 50
Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105
Narcotics drugs in the world 400
Military spending in the world 780

Source:http://volunteernow.ca/take_action/issues_consumerism.htm

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.