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Poverty Point Anniversary Video

Poverty Point Anniversary Video

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Poverty Point anniversary video, UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Capitalism’s Triumph

‘E ntrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.” That statement came not from a tea-party leader or a congressional Republican, but from Bono, singer, celebrity, and global anti-poverty activist, speaking to Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative last year.

As we mark the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street this week, it is worth recalling just how much Bono is right and OWS, at its anti-capitalist core, is deeply and profoundly wrong.

Occupy Wall Street did have a point when it took to criticizing the crony capitalism that helped precipitate the economic crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed. But that unholy alliance of Big Business and Big Government, a dog’s breakfast of regulation, guarantees, and bailouts, has nothing in common with free markets and entrepreneurial capitalism.

OWS was and remains hostile to the very idea of capitalism. “Capitalism is tyrannical, exploitative and dehumanizing it’s intolerable . . . Capitalism IS the problem,” proclaims the main OWS website.

Yet capitalism has done more to empower people and raise living standards than any other force in history.

Throughout most of human history, nearly everyone was poor. Even our wealthiest ancestors enjoyed lower standards of living than ordinary people in America today. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that the masses started to enjoy real and growing prosperity.

What was the difference? Capitalism and its offspring, the Industrial Revolution. As Charles Murray explains, “everywhere that capitalism subsequently took hold, national wealth began to increase and poverty began to fall. Everywhere that capitalism didn’t take hold, people remained impoverished. Everywhere that capitalism has been rejected since then, poverty has increased.”

The transformation occurred first in the West, which was quickest to embrace capitalism, but is spreading now to the rest of the world. In the last 20 years, for instance, capitalism has lifted more than a billion people worldwide out of poverty, while the share of people in developing countries living on less than $1.25 a day has been cut in half. In China alone, 680 million people have been rescued from poverty, and the extreme-poverty rate has gone from 84 percent in 1980 to less than 10 percent today. In Africa, inflation-adjusted per capita incomes rose by an astonishing 97 percent between 1999 and 2010. Hunger in India shrank by 90 percent after the country replaced 40 years’ worth of socialist stagnation with capitalist reforms in 1991.

One can simply look at the difference between countries that embrace free-market capitalism, to varying degrees, and those with rigid state-controlled economies. Recall the classic comparisons between East and West Germany before the Wall fell, or now, between North and South Korea.

But perhaps more telling than such extreme examples is the fact that countries in the top quartile of the Cato Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of the World Index had an average per capita GDP of $31,501 in 2009, compared with $4,545 for those nations in the bottom quartile. The poorest 10 percent of the population in the most economically free nations had an income more than twice the average income in the least economically free nations.

Milton Friedman points out that “the only cases in which the masses have escaped from . . . grinding poverty . . . in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that.”

This shouldn’t surprise anyone outside of OWS or the Obama administration. It is capitalism that unleashes and incentivizes innovation, creativity, and discovery. People become rich by providing goods and services that are desired by others. And those who devise new or better goods and services are likely to become richer faster. A third of the wealthy “1 percent” in America are entrepreneurs or managers of nonfinancial businesses. Nearly 16 percent are doctors or other medical professionals. Lawyers made up slightly more than 8 percent, and engineers, scientists, and computer professionals another 6.6 percent. These capitalists don’t just create wealth they provide us with the goods and services that make our lives longer, better, and more comfortable.

And capitalism doesn’t just produce wealth, it creates opportunity. In a capitalist system, an individual’s future is not fixed by caste or hereditary social status. Consider that 80 percent of American millionaires are from the first generation of their family to obtain such wealth.

In fact, many of the earliest critics of capitalism disdained it because it allowed merchants and others to rise above what was considered their natural station. Capitalism threatened the old social order. And it still does so today. Race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation are irrelevant, enabling individuals to rise above social attitudes and historical discrimination. To cite just one example, despite America’s deplorable history of slavery and racism, there are at least 35,000 African-American millionaires today.

And finally, it is important to remember that capitalism is based on voluntary interaction and exchange. It is the antithesis of force and violence. Systems based on “spreading the wealth around” inevitably must impose themselves on at least some people. If I dislike Corporation X for some reason, if I think they make lousy products, or are poor corporate citizens, or whatever, I can refuse to deal with them. Try telling that to the IRS.

Certainly this country, like much of the world, has been through a tough few years. But if we want to once again set our feet on the path to growth and prosperity, we would be better off listening to a bit more Bono and a bit less Occupy Wall Street.


Welfare Hits Record Levels After 50 Years of War on Poverty

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson announced the “War on Poverty” during his first State of the Union speech. Under the Obama administration, however — five decades, countless unconstitutional federal welfare programs, and more than $20 trillion later — poverty levels remain largely unchanged even based on official numbers, and dependence on government has reached unprecedented new heights.

In reality, Americans’ economic fate is far worse than even bogus government statistics would suggest. Even more troubling is that analysts say the trends look set to accelerate as Washington, D.C., intensifies its failed efforts to supposedly achieve “victory” in the “war” while the Federal Reserve conjures ever greater quantities of currency into existence.

Since Obama took office, 13 million more Americans have become dependent on food stamps, with the numbers now hitting a record 47 million — about a third more than when he was sworn in. In 2007, there were 26 million recipients. Spending on the scheme has more than doubled just since 2008. The explosion of the program, along with other welfare schemes, has resulted in countless commentators and critics labeling Obama “the Food Stamp President.”

By 2011, Census Bureau data released last year showed that the number of Americans receiving means-tested federal welfare benefits outnumbered those with year-round full-time jobs. Almost $1 trillion annually goes to the programs, with over 100 million Americans receiving some sort of benefits — not including Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment. Under ObamaCare, with its massive subsidies even for those earning many times more income than the poverty level, dependence is expected to surge even further.

As the number of Americans dependent on government was growing, so were the ranks of the unemployed. As a Fox News report pointed out, in 1964, when Johnson declared “war,” almost nine in ten men between 18 and 64 years old were employed. By 2012, less than three-fourths of adult males in their prime working years had jobs. Obama and some members of Congress are now working to drive those numbers even higher with a proposal to prohibit employment at any wage under $10 per hour, all but ensuring more dependence on government if the scheme is approved.

Meanwhile, between 2009 and 2011, a shocking one third of Americans slipped below the federal poverty line for at least two months, data show. Under the Obama administration, the Washington Post, citing the recession, noted that persistent, chronic poverty rose from three percent to 3.5 percent even as many more Americans experienced brief periods under the official line — currently $23,492 per year for a family of four. Also, the median amount of time spent below the poverty level surged from 5.7 months to 6.6 under the current administration.

Federal measures of how many Americans are below the official “poverty line” are largely meaningless, according to critics — especially because politicians can simply move the goal posts if they think it will advance their agenda. Making the data even more troubling is the fact that the line is raised annually based on the government’s deeply flawed and widely criticized measure of “consumer price index,” or CPI, which critics say drastically underestimates the real erosion in the dollar’s purchasing power caused by central bank machinations.

The official measure of “inflation,” which very poorly purports to measure price increases rather than expansion of the currency supply, also does not take into account the fact that production costs are going down in real terms. As labor productivity and technology advance, of course, it takes less effort and less work to produce goods and services. In other words, the economic misery being foisted on Americans by government and central bankers is far worse than official numbers aimed at camouflaging the problem would suggest.

In fact, in real terms, an analysis by Gold Standard Institute President Keith Weiner published by Forbes shows that Americans are losing ground at a rate wildly beyond what official statistics reveal. “The bottom line is that, in terms of gold, wages have fallen by about 87 percent,” he noted. “To get a stronger sense of what that means, consider that back in 1965, the minimum wage was 71 ounces of gold per year. In 2011, the senior engineer earned the equivalent of 63 ounces in gold. So, measured in gold, we see that senior engineers now earn less than what unskilled laborers earned back in 1965.”

Even using the extraordinarily flawed criteria established by Washington, D.C., however, reveals that there were some 36 million Americans under the poverty line when the “war” was launched. Today, with the population having grown significantly, the ranks of poor, as defined by federal bureaucrats, have grown to almost 50 million. Using another methodology, data shows that, even relying on deceptive official measurements, the number of Americans with non-welfare income below the poverty line has grown from 26 percent in 1967 to around 30 percent in 2012. Analysts said the data suggests it is becoming harder to break free from poverty, too.

Unsurprisingly, Obama and much of the Democrat Party are calling for more of the same failed policies — raising the minimum wage to over $10 per hour, for example, along with more borrowing and more spending on welfare programs. One Democrat in Congress even proposed re-naming welfare to “transitional living fund.” On the 50-year anniversary of one of American history’s most radical shifts in the role of government, Obama was busy pleading with Congress to put the public even deeper into debt to extend unemployment benefits further — again.

Despite five decades of the War on Poverty and $20 trillion spent, with no sign of victory in sight, Obama said the “war” must be stepped up. “In fact, if we hadn’t declared ‘unconditional war on poverty in America,’ millions more Americans would be living in poverty today,” Obama claimed in a factually challenged speech marking the 50th anniversary of the so-called war. “Instead, it means we must redouble our efforts to make sure our economy works for every working American.” Among other schemes, he proposed “expanding access to education and healthcare.”

Another expansion of unemployment benefits, costing taxpayers more than $6 billion, is at the top Obama’s agenda. Conservatives, though, promptly lashed out. “The mere fact that we’re talking about extending unemployment benefits again is a proclamation that the economic policies of this administration are failing,” observed Rep. Steve Southerland II (R-Fla.), who is working with other House Republicans to rein in some of the vast federal welfare juggernaut and encourage looking for work in exchange for taxpayer funds.

“As we mark the 50th anniversary of America’s War on Poverty, it’s clear we are instead locked in a battle of attrition that’s left more people in poverty than ever before,” noted Southerland, who chairs the Republican Study Committee’s Anti-Poverty Initiative. “The Big Government ideas of the past aren’t working. History has taught us that bigger budgets aren’t going to solve America’s poverty challenges.”

Other GOP lawmakers jumped on board the government “anti-poverty” bandwagon, although mostly without offering serious solutions. Instead of real reforms, prominent Republicans called for tinkering with existing Big Government strategies — supposedly to deal with poverty and perpetually growing dependence on a ballooning government that is foisting ever greater amounts of debt on already-struggling taxpayers. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for example, called for “fundamental change” in the war. Most of his actual policy proposals, though, fell far short of that ambitious statement.

“Our current government programs offer, at best, only a partial solution,” Rubio claimed. “They help people deal with poverty, but they do not help them escape it.” While he proposed shifting some of the federal welfare schemes to state governments, the Florida Republican also advocated “streamlining most of our existing federal anti-poverty funding into one single agency.” Indeed, under Rubio’s proposal, state governments would merely administer the federal welfare regime. Despite some better ideas — reducing the national debt, simplifying the tax code, cutting regulations, and more — he also implicitly accepted the statist Democrat talking point about “income inequality” being a “problem” for politicians to address.

Liberty-minded Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), meanwhile, suggested that freedom was the real solution to poverty. “For more than 200 years, the United States — through trial and error, through good times and bad — has waged the most successful war on poverty in the history of the world,” he said, blasting Obama’s vision of government as the supposed “solution” to all problems. “This discredited mindset — which insists collective action can only mean state action — is itself a kind of poverty. It rejects social solidarity in favor of political coercion, and voluntary communities for professional community organizers.”

Of course, Obama is hardly the only one responsible for the ongoing problems plaguing the U.S. economy. Congress, of course, must approve all funding. Plus, the current administration has merely followed the decades-old bi-partisan pattern of perpetually expanding the cost, size, power, lawlessness, and intrusiveness of the federal government.

In fact, even though Washington, D.C., has played a crucial role in the ongoing impoverishment of America — and Obama has certainly poured plenty of fuel on the fire — the single most important culprit has unquestionably been the privately owned Federal Reserve cartel established by Congress 100 years ago. However, by granting the banking cartel a monopoly on debt-based currency and allowing it to conjure infinite amounts of it into existence to be repaid with impossible-to-pay interest attached, the federal government retains ultimate responsibility.

In the end, like virtually all of the unconstitutional “wars” lawlessly declared by presidents — on drugs, terror, cancer, foreign countries, and more — the unconstitutional “war” on poverty has been a miserable failure. True solutions, though, are hardly complex: Restore honest money and free markets while allowing private charity to aid those in need. Ending government incentives that encourage out-of-wedlock births would help, too.

Most Americans already want to slash federal government spending, polls show. If voters insist on welfare, though, state and local governments would certainly be a better alternative — not to mention the only constitutional option absent a properly ratified amendment to the U.S Constitution. Still, with honest money and free markets, abundant prosperity would drastically reduce the need for charity and welfare in the first place.


Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record

Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama.

Aides said Mr. Obama doesn’t plan to commemorate the anniversary Wednesday of Johnson’s speech in 1964, which gave rise to Medicaid, Head Start and a broad range of other federal anti-poverty programs. The president’s only public event Tuesday was a plea for Congress to approve extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, another reminder of the persistent economic troubles during Mr. Obama’s five years in office.

“What I think the American people are really looking for in 2014 is just a little bit of stability,” Mr. Obama said.

Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty. A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.

The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.

About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2012 as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.

President Obama’s anti-poverty efforts “are basically to give more people more free stuff,” said Robert Rector, a specialist on welfare and poverty at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“That’s exactly the opposite of what Johnson said,” Mr. Rector said. “Johnson’s goal was to make people prosperous and self-sufficient.”

The president’s advisers defend his policies by saying they rescued the nation from the deep recession in 2009, saved the auto industry and reduced the jobless rate to 7 percent from a high of 10 percent four years ago.

Gene Sperling, the president’s top economic adviser, said Mr. Obama has pulled as many as 9 million people out of poverty with policies such as extending the earned income tax credit for parents with three or more children and reducing the “marriage penalty.”

“There are things that this president has done that have made a big difference,” Mr. Sperling said Monday.

The White House again is pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage, this time advocating a Senate bill that would raise the hourly rate to $10.10 from its current $7.25. Mr. Sperling said that action would lift another 6.8 million workers out of poverty.

“It would make them less dependent on government programs. It would not add to the deficit one penny, but it would reward work and reduce poverty,” he said.

The president is expected to use his State of the Union address Jan. 20 to pressure Congress to raise the minimum wage. He made the same pitch a year ago.

Democrats are advocating issues such as unemployment benefits and the minimum wage especially hard this year as the class-warfare rhetoric heats up to frame the congressional midterm elections. House Republican leaders oppose increasing the minimum wage and want unemployment benefits to be paid with savings elsewhere in the budget. Mr. Obama is insisting that the benefits be extended without offsets.

The president last month declared the widening gap between rich and poor as “the defining challenge of our time,” and Democratic candidates are expected to pick up that theme on the campaign trail rather than debate deficits and the complications of Obamacare.

In spite of the administration’s anti-poverty efforts, however, the government reported this week that poverty by some measures has been worse under Mr. Obama than it was under President George W. Bush. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that 31.6 percent of Americans were in poverty for at least two months from 2009 to 2011, a 4.5 percentage point increase over the pre-recession period of 2005 to 2007.

Of the 37.6 million people who were poor at the beginning of 2009, 26.4 percent remained in poverty throughout the next 34 months, the report said. Another 12.6 million people escaped poverty during that time, but 13.5 million more fell into poverty.

Mr. Rector said the war on poverty has been a failure when measured by the overall amount of money spent and poverty rates that haven’t changed significantly since Johnson gave his speech.

“We’ve spent $20.7 trillion on means-tested aid since that time, and the poverty rate is pretty much exactly where it was in the mid-1960s,” he said.

The liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in a report that some trends have helped reduce poverty since the 1960s, including more Americans completing high school and more women working outside the home. But the group said other factors have contributed to persistent poverty, including a tripling in the number of households led by single parents.

Mr. Rector said too many government anti-poverty programs still discourage marriage, factoring into statistics that show more than four in 10 children are born to unmarried parents.

“When the war on poverty started, about 6 percent of children were born outside of marriage,” he said. “Today that’s 42 percent — catastrophe.”


Pacific Islanders In Communications Celebrates 30th Anniversary

HONOLULU (PRWEB) May 04, 2021

This May, celebrate Pacific Islander stories and storytellers with Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC). This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the media organization and their global collective of established and emerging content creators throughout Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and diaspora communities. PIC is the only national public media organization that is committed to supporting, advancing, and developing Pacific Island media content and talent that results in a deeper understanding of Pacific Island history, and culture. To amplify the legacy of films and filmmakers in the collective, the PIC will screen a diverse collection of films will be available in various virtual platforms starting this spring and throughout the rest of the year.

“Pacific Islanders have the unique challenge of being both invisible and hypervisible at the same time, especially as part of a widely diverse group of peoples,” said Leanne Kaʻiulani Ferrer, Executive Director of Pacific Islanders in Communications. “This is why it’s important to engage multiple communities and bring them together with Pacific Islander media makers to enrich the cultural landscape. Despite the Pandemic, and having to shelter in place, we value this opportunity to share our Pacific Islander stories virtually across the ocean. When we cultivate new audiences we expand the spaces where our full selves are reflected, honored, and respected.”

During May, a wide selection of films will be available for audiences via virtual film festivals. Using a platform of cinema, these films continue a rich tradition of storytelling that is the center of many Pasifika cultures. Some highlights include:

DISTANT LEARNING
Directed by Elena G.K. Rapu, Sergio M. Rapu
A Rapanui filmmaker and father living in the American Midwest never imagined he would lose his ability to return to the land of his ancestors.
Playing in: CAAMFest (Program: Pacific Showcase)

E HAKU INOA: TO WEAVE A NAME
Directed by Christen Hepekoa Marquez
A young multiracial Kanaka Maoli woman sets out to discover the meaning of her lengthy, 63-letter Hawaiian name from her estranged schizophrenic mother.
Playing in: Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase (Program: Daughters of the Ocean)

O A‘U ‘O LE TAUPOU
Made by PIC American Samoa Filmmakers Workshop
A young Taupou (sacred maiden) must find the balance between Samoa traditions and her modern way of life.
Playing in Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase (Program: Daughters of the Ocean)

THE TRIBUNAL
Directed by Nå Maka o ka ‘Åina
A fascinating legal study of justice under occupation, THE TRIBUNAL documents the Peoples’ International Tribunal Hawai’i 1993, during which the United States and the State of Hawaii were put on trial for crimes against native people.
Playing in: SDAFF Spring Showcase (Program: SOVEREIGN CINEMA: THE POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY OF NĀ MAKA O KA ‘ĀINA)

Audiences in the US can also watch the new season of PACIFIC HEARTBEAT on Youtube. Now in its tenth season, PACIFIC HEARTBEAT is an anthology series that provides viewers with a glimpse of the real Pacific – its people, cultures and contemporary issues. The series features a diverse array of programs that will draw viewers into the heart and soul of Pacific Island culture.

These films reflect a long line of films that have received funding support from PIC. Through the work of PIC media makers, these films trace the community, visibility and work of Pacific Islander stories and storytellers to understand how these narratives can lay the groundwork for the future power and visibility. Looking ahead to the next 30 years of filmmaking, PIC continues to improve the ways to support media content by and about indigenous Pacific Islanders and to adapt to growing needs in the filmmaking community. Doing so, PIC has launched the Shorts Fund, that includes a filmmaking collaboration with ‘OHINA.The Shorts Fund will support electing projects for public media digital distribution and television broadcast.

“Storytelling is vital to Pacific Island culture.” said Cheryl Hirasa, Managing Director and VP of Programs of Pacific Islanders In Communications. “It's a way for knowledge to be passed from one generation to another and to honor who and where we've come from to help navigate us to a future grounded in harmony, integrity and respect. The Shorts Fund is one way we support this vision and this year we're very excited to announce our collaboration with ‘CHINA this year, which will maximize opportunities for filmmakers with fiction projects, including the chance to participate in the 2021 ʻOHINA LABS development hub for short content. The Lab is an intensive filmmaker education workshop that provides mentorship from Hollywood screenwriters, producers and directors in a variety of key filmmaking fields, including script development, honing pitches, production support, project guidance and more. “

PIC will continue its 30th Anniversary Celebration with a series of special artist conversations, available for audiences around the globe. The conversations, scheduled for May 20, 2021, will feature acclaimed musician and actor Stan Walker and filmmaker Mitchell Hawkes as they discuss the documentary film STAN. Additional conversations will celebrate films and TOKYO HULA and FOR MY FATHER’S KINGDOM.

For more information on all of the films and programming, please visit https://www.piccom.org/

A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE
Directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson
A PLACE IN THE MIDDLE is the true story of a young girl in Hawaiʻi who dreams of leading the boys-only hula group at her school, and a teacher who empowers her through traditional culture. This kid-friendly educational film is a great way to get students thinking and talking about the values of diversity and inclusion, the power of knowing your heritage, and how to prevent bullying by creating a school climate of aloha – from their own point of view!
Playing in: Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase (Program: Daughters of the Ocean)

CROSSING SPACES
Directed by: Lola Bautista
As the newest group of Pacific Islanders to arrive in the Hawaiian Islands, Micronesians aspire to the same dreams as every new immigrant group before them. Similarly, many face discrimination and poverty as they struggle to build new lives. Despite these obstacles, higher education remains the key to unlocking the American dream for themselves and their families. Crossing Spaces is a series of three documentary shorts profiling three Micronesian women in Honolulu as they grapple with the challenges of higher education and work to enact meaningful change for their families and communities.
Playing in: Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase (Program: Daughters of the Ocean)

DISTANT LEARNING
Directed by Elena G.K. Rapu, Sergio M. Rapu
A Rapanui filmmaker and father living in the American Midwest never imagined he would lose his ability to return to the land of his ancestors.
Playing in: CAAMFest (Program: Pacific Showcase)

E HAKU INOA: TO WEAVE A NAME
Directed by Christen Hepuakoa Marquez
A young multiracial Kanaka Maoli woman sets out to discover the meaning of her lengthy, 63-letter Hawaiian name from her estranged schizophrenic mother.
Playing in: Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase

EATING UP EASTER
Directed by Sergio M. Rapu
A native Rapanui (Easter Island) filmmaker explores the modern dilemma of his people as they face the consequences of their rapidly developing home.
Playing in: Asian Pacifc Virtual Showcase

HOW TO CATCH A TAOTAOMONA
Directed by Neil Tinkham
As Raph wanders through the jungles behind his house, he encounters a human figure that resembles the taotaomona, an ancestral spirit from Chamorro mythology.
Playing in: CAAMFest (Program: Pacific Showcase)

HAWAIIAN SOUL
Directed by ‘Āina Paikai
Against the backdrop of the 1970s native rights movement, George Helm, a young Hawaiian activist and musician must gain the support of kūpuna (community elders) from the island of Maui to aid in the fight of protecting the precious neighboring island of Kahoʻolawe from military bombing.
Playing in: CAAMFest (Program: Pacific Showcase)

KAPAEMAHU
Directed by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson
Long ago, four extraordinary beings of dual male and female spirit brought the healing arts to Hawaii and imbued their powers in four giant boulders. The stones still stand on Waikiki Beach, but their true story has been hidden - until now.
Playing in: Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase (Program: Pacific Cinewaves)

KUMU HINA
Directed by Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson
Kumu Hina is a powerful feature documentary about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values within the Westernized society of modern day Hawaiʻi. It is told through the lens of an extraordinary Native Hawaiian who is both a proud and confident māhū, or transgender woman, and an honored and respected kumu, or teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader.
Playing in: Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase

LET’S REMEMBER OUR ANCESTORS (TA HASSO I MANAINA)
Directed by Neil Tinkham
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a Chamoru cultural foundation attempts to continue its mission by having members create a new chant together, while they all remain in isolation.
Playing in Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase (Program: Daughters of the Ocean), and CAAMFest

MAHALO COVID-19
Directed by Matt Yamashita
When a filmmaker and his small island community take on the pandemic, they unsuspectingly find a clearer path towards self-reliance and a stronger connection to each other and nature.
Playing in: CAAMFest (Program: Pacific Showcase)

MARIA
Directed by Jeremiah Tauamiti
An ailing Polynesian matriarch must find the strength to lead her family one last time.
Playing in: Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase (Program: Daughters of the Ocean)

O A‘U ‘O LE TAUPOU
Made by PIC American Samoa Filmmakers Workshop
A young Taupou (sacred maiden) must find the balance between Samoa traditions and her modern way of life.
Playing in: Asian Pacific Virtual Showcase (Program: Daughters of the Ocean)

ONE VOICE
Directed by Lisette Marie Flanary
This is the story of the Kamehameha Schools Song Contest through the eyes of the student song leaders. Every year in Hawai'i, nearly 2000 high school students compete in the Song Contest where students direct their classmates in singing Hawaiian songs in four-part harmony, acapella.
Playing in: CAAMFest (Program: Pacific Showcase)

THE TRIBUNAL
Directed by Nå Maka o ka ‘Åina
A fascinating legal study of justice under occupation, THE TRIBUNAL documents the Peoples’ International Tribunal Hawai’i 1993, during which the United States and the State of Hawaii were put on trial for crimes against native people.
Playing in: SDAFF Spring Showcase (Program: SOVEREIGN CINEMA: THE POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY OF NĀ MAKA O KA ‘ĀINA)

About Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC):
Established in 1991, Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) is the only national public media organization that supports media content and its makers to work together to promote a deeper understanding of Pacific Islander history, culture and contemporary issues that define our communities. PIC addresses the need for media content that reflects America’s growing ethnic and cultural diversity by funding independently produced media, and by providing hundreds of hours of innovative media by and about Pacific Islanders to American public television including its flagship series Pacific Heartbeat. For more information about Pacific Islanders in Communications and Pacific Heartbeat, visit http://www.piccom.org and follow us on social media: Twitter: @PICpacific | facebook.com/piccom | Instagram: @picpacific

About Pacific Heartbeat:
Now in its tenth consecutive season, Pacific Heartbeat is an anthology series that provides viewers a glimpse of the real Pacific—its people, cultures, languages, music, and contemporary issues. From revealing exposés to rousing musical performances, the series features a diverse array of programs that will draw viewers into the heart and soul of Pacific Island culture.


'Workshop of the world'

Yet after Mao's death in 1976, reforms spearheaded by Deng Xiaoping began to reshape the economy. Peasants were granted rights to farm their own plots, improving living standards and easing food shortages.

The door was opened to foreign investment as the US and China re-established diplomatic ties in 1979. Eager to take advantage of cheap labour and low rent costs, money poured in.

"From the end of the 1970s onwards we've seen what is easily the most impressive economic miracle of any economy in history," says David Mann, global chief economist at Standard Chartered Bank.

Through the 1990s, China began to clock rapid growth rates and joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 gave it another jolt. Trade barriers and tariffs with other countries were lowered and soon Chinese goods were everywhere.

"It became the workshop of the world," Mr Mann says.

Take these figures from the London School of Economics: in 1978, exports were $10bn (£8.1bn), less than 1% of world trade.

By 1985, they hit $25bn and a little under two decades later exports valued $4.3trn, making China the world's largest trading nation in goods.


Poverty Point Anniversary Video - History

As the international community embarks on the Third Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, an estimated 783 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2013, compared with 1.867 billion people in 1990. Economic growth across developing countries has been remarkable since 2000, with faster growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per capita than advanced countries. This economic growth has fuelled poverty reduction and improvements in living standards. Achievements have also been recorded in such areas as job creation, gender equality, education and health care, social protection measures, agriculture and rural development, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. [Resolution A/73/298]

Impact of COVID-19 on Global Poverty

The estimates of the potential short-term economic impact of COVID-19 on global monetary poverty through contractions in per capita household income or consumption show that COVID-19 poses a real challenge to the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ending poverty by 2030 because global poverty could increase for the first time since 1990 and, depending on the poverty line, such increase could represent a reversal of approximately a decade in the world’s progress in reducing poverty. In some regions the adverse impacts could result in poverty levels similar to those recorded 30 years ago. Under the most extreme scenario of a 20 per cent income or consumption contraction, the number of people living in poverty could increase by 420–580 million, relative to the latest official recorded figures for 2018. [WIDER Working Paper 2020/43]

Why do we mark International Days?

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.


Louisiana State Parks

The 2,700-acre, man-made lake that is the center piece for Poverty Point Reservoir State Park offers visitors an outlet for a variety of watersport activities and a scenic backdrop for waterfowl migration each spring and fall.

The reservoir, just three miles north of Delhi in Richland Parish, was created in 2001 as a water resource for the area and outdoor recreation outlet.

The site name is derived from a nearby Native American site consisting of complex earthworks and artifacts. Dubbed the Poverty Point culture, its people settled on the banks of Bayou Macon, near what is now the community of Epps, between 1,400 and 700 B.C. Park guests are only 20 minutes away from Poverty Point State Historic Site for day trips to what has become a focal point for archaeological research since the mid 20th century.

The fish and wildlife species inhabiting or migrating through the reservoir are numerous. Anglers can fish the lake year round for largemouth bass, black crappie, blue gill and channel catfish. The region falls within the Mississippi Flyway for many winged species. Depending on the season, visitors will see cormorants, ducks, geese and pelicans.

Special attention should be given to any Louisiana black bear sightings on or near the reservoir. The eastern edge of the park, along Bayou Macon, contains attractive bear habitat and visitors are cautioned to keep all exterior cabin areas and day-use areas cleared of accessible food products and refuse. Bear-proof containers are provided for waste disposal throughout the park.

Hours of Operation: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday. All park sites close at 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and days preceding holidays.

The North Marina Complex, off La. 17 on the northwest corner of the lake, features a swimming beach area, boat launch, marina with 48 covered boat slips, concession area, fishing pier and fish cleaning station. The marina complex will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closing at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday).

The rental boat slips in the marina complex will be available on an annual lease basis and distributed to the general public through a lottery selection procedure conducted by State Parks. Lease rental fees range from $75 (per month) for those choosing to use the slip for storage only to $150 (per month) for watercraft with overnight accommodations that will be used for overnight stays. Each boat slip provides connections for electricity and water.

The two, four-lane boat launches, one at the North Marina Complex and one at the South Landing, provide access to the water. Both gated launch areas will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., including weekends and holidays. A fish cleaning station is provided at each launch area for visitor use.

Boats includes 2 paddles and 3 life jackets.Canoes includes paddles, life jackets.

The North Marina Complex, off La. 17 on the northwest corner of the lake, features a swimming beach area, boat launch, marina with 48 covered boat slips, concession area, fishing pier and fish cleaning station. The marina complex is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. (open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday).

The rental boat slips in the marina complex are available on an annual lease basis. Lease rental fee information can be obtained by contacting the Reservation Center at 1-877-226-7652. Each boat slip provides connections for electricity and water.

Black Bear Golf Course (253 Black Bear Drive, Delhi) - A ?must play? on Louisiana?s Audubon Golf Trail, this course is located near Bayou Macon and offers various levels of challenge to golfers. After the 18th hole, enjoy a meal and refreshing beverage at the Waterfront Grill.

Poverty Point State Historic Site (East of Monroe and north of I-20 on LA 577 northeast of Epps) - The site is considered one of the most significant archaeological finds in the country. It has a complex of Native American ceremonial mounds built between 1700 and 700 B.C. A museum and guided tours interpret a culture that once flourished on the site.

Chemin-A-Haut State Park (East of US 425, 10 miles north of Bastrop) ? French for "high road," Chemin-A-Haut is a 503-acre state park situated on a high bluff overlooking scenic Bayou Bartholomew. The park offers 26 improved campsites, 14 vacation cabins, a day use area with a swimming pool, picnic area and 7 playgrounds. Two barrier-free nature trails and a conference room make this a popular area year-round.

Lake D'Arbonne State Park (5 miles west of Farmerville on LA 2) ? A fisherman's paradise, this 655-acre state park is nestled in a pine forest and rolling hills along the shores of Lake D'Arbonne. The park features 18 cabins, 65 improved campsites, a visitors center, a swimming pool, 4 tennis courts, picnic tables and grills, 3 fishing piers, a boat ramp and a fish-cleaning station.

Jimmie Davis State Park at Caney Lake (Off LA 4 southwest of Chatham, on Lakeshore Drive/State Road 1209) ? Situated on an outstanding bass-fishing lake, the parks offers 73 improved camping sites, picnicking, 19 cabins, a group camp with a capacity of 120, 2 boat ramps, a fishing pier, swimming beach and is an ideal spot to launch biking expeditions.

The Cotton Museum (Hwy. 65 north, Lake Providence) ? Visitors can get a first-hand look at the day-to-day operations of a plantation where cotton was the major cash crop.

Panola Pepper Company (1414 Holland Delta Drive, Lake Providence) ? Established in the mid-1980s, this company offers over 30 sauces, seasonings and condiments. Open for tours 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Tensas National Wildlife Refuge (Off I-20 via US 65 [Tallulah Exit] or off I-20 via LA 577 [Waverly Exit]) ? This refuge encompasses 57,000-acres of bottomland forest. Hunting, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, canoeing, interpreted trails, a boardwalk and educational programs abound.

Handy Brake National Wildlife Refuge (6 miles north of Bastrop on Cooper Lake Road) ? Wildlife viewing is made easy with an observation tower. The site is open daylight hours only.

Bayou Macon, Russell Sage and Georgia Pacific Wildlife Management Areas ? Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a variety of activities including waterfowl and game hunting, day-hiking, birding, fishing and camping at these nearby areas.


50 Years of Poverty

While government programs have kept millions of people, especially the elderly, from falling into poverty, rates remain high for many groups of Americans, including children, blacks and Hispanics.

The sheriff and other members of McDowell County’s small elite are not inclined to debate national poverty policy. They draw conclusions from what is in front of them.

“Our politicians never really did look ahead in this county for when coal wouldn’t be king,” Sheriff West said. “Therefore, we’ve fallen flat on our face.”

Returning for Neighbors

Not everyone with an education and prospects has moved away. McDowell County has a small professional class of people fighting long odds to better a place they love. Florisha McGuire, who grew up in War, which calls itself West Virginia’s southernmost city, returned to become principal of Southside K-8 School.

For Ms. McGuire, 34, the turning point in the town’s recent history was the year she left for college, 1997, when many of the 17-year-olds who stayed behind graduated from beer and marijuana to prescription pill abuse.

Many of the parents of the children in her school today are her former classmates. In some, emaciated bodies and sunken eyes show the ravages of addiction. “I had a boy in here the other day I went to high school with,” she said. “He had lost weight. Teeth missing. You can look at them and go, ‘He’s going to be the next to die.’ ”

Ms. McGuire, who grew up in poverty — her father did not work and died of lung cancer at 49 her mother had married at 16 — was the first in her family to attend college. On her first morning at Concord University in Athens, W.Va., about 50 miles from War, her roommate called her to breakfast. Ms. McGuire replied that she didn’t have the money. She hadn’t realized her scholarship included meals in a dining hall.

“I was as backward as these kids are,” she said in the office of her school, one of few modern buildings in town. “We’re isolated. Part of our culture here is we tend to stick with our own.” In her leaving for college, she said, “you’d think I’d committed a crime.”

As the mother of a 3-year-old girl, she frets that the closest ballet lesson or soccer team is nearly two hours away, over the state line in Bluefield, Va. But she is committed to living and working here. “As God calls preachers to preach, he calls teachers to certain jobs,” she said. “I really believe it is my mission to do this and give these kids a chance.”

Ms. McGuire described War as almost biblically divided between forces of dark and light: between the working blue- and white-collar residents who anchor churches, schools and the city government, and the “pill head” community. As she drove down the main street, past municipal offices with the Ten Commandments painted in front, she pointed out the signs of a once-thriving town sunk into hopelessness. The abandoned American Legion hall. A pharmacy with gates to prevent break-ins. The decrepit War Hotel, its filthy awning calling it “Miner’s City,” where the sheriff’s department has made drug arrests.

When coal was king, there were two movie theaters and a high school, now closed. “Everybody worked,” Ms. McGuire said.

She turned up Shaft Hollow, where many people live in poorly built houses once owned by a coal company, their roofs sagging and the porches without railings. At the foot of Shop Hollow, a homemade sign advertised Hillbilly Fried Chicken. Another pointed the way to the True Light Church of God in Jesus Name. “This is one of the most country places, but I love these people,” Ms. McGuire said. She said it was a bastion of Pentecostal faith, where families are strict and their children well behaved.

She and others who seek to lift McDowell County have attracted some outside allies. Reconnecting McDowell, led by the American Federation of Teachers union, is working to turn schools into community centers offering health care, adult literacy classes and other services. Its leaders hope to convert an abandoned furniture store in Welch to apartments in order to attract teachers.

“Someone from Indiana or Pennsylvania, they’re not going to come to McDowell County and live in a house trailer on top of a mountain,” said Bob Brown, a union official.

Another group, the West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, is working to create a home visitation service to teach new parents the skills of child-rearing.

Sabrina Shrader, the former neighbor of Marie Bolden in Twin Branch, has spoken on behalf of the group to the State Legislature and appeared before a United States Senate committee last year. Ms. Shrader, who spent part of her youth in a battered women’s shelter with her mother, earned a college degree in social work.

“It’s important we care about places like this,” she said. “There are kids and families who want to succeed. They want life to be better, but they don’t know how.”


20 years after the genocide, Rwanda is a beacon of hope

I n July 1994 Rwanda was a shell of a nation. Some 800,000 people had been killed, over 300 lives lost every hour for the 100 days of the genocide, and millions more displaced from their homes. Its institutions, systems of government, and trust among its people were destroyed. There was no precedent for the situation it found itself in: desperately poor, without skilled labour and resources, and the people demoralised and divided.

Very few expected the country to achieve more than high levels of sympathy. But under the leadership of President Paul Kagame, Rwanda decided to start afresh to begin a unique experiment in post-conflict nation building, which would steer it away from intractable cycles of killing. This year, as Rwanda marks the 20th commemoration of the genocide, it is remarkable to see the progress the country has made.

For the last five years, my foundation – the Africa Governance Initiative – which provides countries with the capacity to deliver practical change, has been operating in Rwanda. Though there have been criticisms of the government over several issues, not least in respect of the fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the progress has been extraordinary.

There was no grand theory when the new government took power in 1994 the primary concern was to guarantee that the extreme ethnic divisions which caused the genocide would never resurface. Security and stability came first, alongside basic humanitarian relief, and, slowly at first, then with greater speed, improvements in health, education and incomes. There was a belief that by uniting its people behind the common cause of progress, they could construct a new national identity: Rwandan, rather than Hutu or Tutsi.

Over the last decade economic growth has exceeded 8% per annum. Investment is flowing into Rwanda – it has nearly tripled since 2005 – and investors are made welcome. Even without many natural resources, the country is economically vibrant.

In little over five years more than a million Rwandans have lifted themselves out of poverty. The proportion of children dying before their fifth birthday has more than halved, and when they reach seven years old, they can nearly all go to school. Most of the population is covered by health insurance, and malaria deaths have fallen more than 85% since 2005. Crime is very low. Women can walk the street at night safe.

Some international observers underplay these achievements, emphasising the role of foreign aid in the country's success. It is clear that aid has significantly contributed to its development. But it is because the government has deployed it effectively that we can point to the achievements the country has made. It does a disservice to Rwandans to suggest otherwise – and at a time when many in western nations are questioning the use of aid budgets, we should look at Rwanda as an example of how to use aid well.

The government has also faced criticism for some of the policy choices it has taken. For instance, the Gacaca system of community justice was introduced to try the perpetrators of the genocide. It has been attacked for not meeting international standards. But with limited resources, nearly 2 million people potentially faced with court proceedings and a need for the population to heal its wounds, Gacaca was the only practical solution to the transitional justice the country so badly needed.

And the population needed this. Because 20 years on, the social effects of the genocide are still being felt. Communities are still trying to build a liveable peace, in unimaginable circumstances – with murderers and their victims families living side by side. No wonder that trust is fragile. And building trust is made all the harder as the country's quest for justice is not over many of those who committedthe genocide are still at large. It was only this year that France tried the first suspect living on its soil. Pascal Simbikangwa, a former Rwandan intelligence chief, was sentenced to 25 years for his role in the slaughter.

It means that hard choices still need to be made. The country has ambitious economic targets – Rwanda aims to become a middle-income nation by 2020 – while political and social transformation continues. Last year, media and access to information laws were passed, while the genocide ideology law was loosened. A law criminalising gay people was rejected. And in 2017, the presidential elections will take place.

Rwandans are increasingly united. There is a strong patriotism and belief in the government – almost nine in 10 say they "trust in the leadership of their country". They can never forget their tragic past but do not want to be defined by it. The older generation already know all too well the cost of failure, but a majority of the population, born post-genocide, has inherited the possibility of a different future.

We should remember the lives that were lost. We should recognise that this government undertook, and continues to undertake, a historic exercise in nation-building, and seek to understand the choices the country has made. And we should stand with them as they write the next chapter in their history.


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