Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fading Animal Planet

Leading causes of species extinction, deforestation, ocean dead zones, and water depletion are the meat and fishing industries. That is, meat and fishing industries have a massive impact on environmental degradation which impacts climate change.


Reflecting on the all-important natural environment might provide greater motivation to reconsider a meat-heavy diet. 

Many cheers for your consideration.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bureaucrats a leading cause of death in Nepal?

"Nepalis Pay Up to Rs. 25,000 To Get Work Done" (Kathmandu Post, 24 December 2015)

With high unemployment and low wages, the high cost of bribery and corruption is easily a leading factor in disease and death. People sacrifice time and funds to unethical government officials and middlemen that would otherwise go to essentials (e.g., food, fuel, health care, education).

Without a doubt, corruption is a leading cause of suffering and lost opportunities for people with few rights.

#bribe #corrupt #freenepal



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waive Visa Fees to Boost Arrivals?


Yes! Great idea, and in the process, why not eliminate all government sectors that charge fees without providing legitimate services?

Likewise, eliminate I/NGOs that feed these illegitimate bureaucrats and leaders, empowering them over citizens with few rights.

As financial barriers to tourism drop (e.g., visa fees, trekking permit fees, restricted area fees, temple entry fees, TIMS card fees, taxes on guides, taxes on outfitters, airport departure taxes, airline operating taxes), tourism will experience a spike. 

As tourism increases, revenue will spread to all sectors who earn it from city taxi drivers to remote lodges and all phases in between -- the honest, hardworking people providing real services and products will receive their due share with a fair profit margin that is not pinched by illegitimate means.

Revenue previously taken improperly and without a return of value by the ruling establishment gang would then go to people who actually deserve it. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Rampant Smuggling?

The Kathmandu Post calls it smuggling...is it smuggling or merely re-fueling and supplying? 

Supplies of petrol are unavailable in Nepal due to leadership and government failures. Therefore, people are simply going to the nearest source available.

Do we really need to brand these people as smugglers when the real gangsters (dysfunctional elements of bureaucracy and unethical politicians and the foreign agents who back them) are a main cause of the fuel crisis and a litany of other problems that a long-suffering people endure and have endured for decades.

Supplying fuel provides one solution by the people to mal-governance. Perhaps these people should be praised for assisting their ailing country (unlike unethical leaders including some executives at the Nepal Oil Corp) rather than portrayed as smugglers.

Friday, December 18, 2015

"The only thing worse than an expert...

...is someone who thinks they are an expert." -- Aly A. Colon

"The problem of poverty is not a problem of experts, it is a problem of rights." --Pablo Munoz

Unfortunately, aid 'experts' often empower dysfunctional elements of the ruling establishment. This dis-empowers the people who have few rights.

Welcome to the world of I/NGO's operating with little oversight.
Transparency and hard evidence are difficult to come by with expats working to effect change in far flung lands.
Transparency and hard evidence are kindly requested of foreigners who feel the unquenchable need to try to effect change in far flung lands. Especially, now in Nepal more than ever with billions of 'aid' dollars at stake--disturbingly, that amount could potentially scar Nepal indelibly if in the hands of the wrong people. And it looks likely that it will wind up with the usual suspects, bullies with undeserved privilege and with the best interests of themselves and their personal entourage first.

Certainly there are foreign agents having a positive effect. They deserve a lot of credit for their hard work. From, anecdotal experience, these I/NGOs and exceptional individuals are extremely rare. Many if not most foreigners fall into the syndrome of longer expat is in Nepal, less knows about country while believing knows more. Despite the best of intentions, the cultural ethos has been severely damaged and a long-suffering people continues to face lethal effects of poor governance. 

Without transparency and hard evidence, then who has the time and energy to investigate and stand up to a prurient ‘confederacy of dunces’? Even if someone had the time, energy and interest of mind to track such an insidious situation and phalanx of accomplices, virtually all who are involved don’t see the light and will likely never see the light…intent on perpetuating a dysfunctional system that harms millions upon millions of innocent people.

From my observations in Nepal, foreign 'aid' is a main impediment to liberal democracy and development.

Like it or not, good intentions or not, aware or ignorant of their effects, blood is thereby on the hands of many aid entrepreneurs for the suffering caused by endowing a dysfunctional system and ruling establishment that oppresses the majority and begets chronic poverty and drives hazardous behavior of the people including emigration overseas to places where they do not have representation...approximately thirty Nepalis a month returning home in body bags having died while working abroad.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Six shooters and six packs ad libitum (but no name changes allowed)

I can buy a six-shooter and six-pack of hard cider around the clock in the States but cannot change Facebook name for sixty days.

Facebook has a cooling off period after a name change...even when changed in a lost moment of artistic dullness--I changed it to my first name repeated twice...

Try it out for yourself, then wait sixty days...in the meantime drink away troubles while shooting your guns off (at inanimate objects).



Worst thing since sliced bread?

Inarguably, the worst thing since sliced bread -- RICE PUNCH (see photo below)

The worst thing since sliced bread?



#rice #punch #sliced #bread #worst

Saturday, December 12, 2015

UFC 194 -- McGregor vs Aldo

Fascinating piece on Conor McGregor in the Wall Street Journal (7 December 2015) that captures The Notorious' essence and meteoric popularity. Lot of showmanship and moxie backed up by fierce talent and a prescient mind.
He and Aldo have otherworldly fighting skills. Highly anticipated clash.

#mcgregor #aldo #ufc194

Friday, November 27, 2015

Guardians of development??

Agents of Aid tend to (knowingly and most often unknowingly) abet dysfunctional elements of society and that keeps honest, hardworking citizens oppressed and without an opportunity to pursue their own talents and dreams.

Isn't it best to ban these uninformed 'guardians' of development who often become obstacles to opportunity development, sucking up time, resources and energy while working with precisely the wrong people?

....better to not invite bureaucrats and officials into positions of greater leverage...better to neither request nor allow indefinite aid schemes to operate in Nepal. 

Thanks for your greater consideration on this important subject for the freedom and well-being of the people of Nepal. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's the ecosystem smarties (with your precious heads buried deep in drought-parched sand)

Leading causes of species extinction, deforestation, ocean dead zones, water depletion, and wider environmental degradation are the meat and fishing industries. If no other reason to give up animal flesh, then reflecting on the all-important natural environment might provide greater motivation. The natural environment has a critical link to climate change and affecting one will affect the other, hopefully for the better...Many cheers for your kind consideration.


The great scourge of planet earth, Homo sapiens sapiens
#climateimpact #climatechnage



Tuesday, November 24, 2015

All Nepal for All Nepalis -- 'The Time has Come'

"Nepal is not here to satisfy your saviour-complexes or act out your political adventures. Colonial lords should know this." Tweet by Rubeena Mahato, 19th November 2015
https://twitter.com/rubeenaa/status/667346976187351040

Indefinite aid is not in the best interests of Nepal. Nepal needs less foreign interference (from both near & afar). After nearly six decades, isn't it time to consider phasing out foreign aid schemes run by people non-fluent in language and culture?

Time for all of Nepal for all Nepalis.

The Time Has Come
A Fact's a Fact
It Belongs to Them
Let's Give it Back
--from Beds Are Burning, protest song by the Aussie band Midnight Oil

Rockabilly cover of Beds Are Burning 

Say 'Cheese' Part II

Compelling evidence that present technology is stranger than fiction





Monday, November 23, 2015

Say 'Cheese'

Unfortunately, summarizes how I've felt for foreseeable past but not without dazzling, exceptional people appearing now and again (hard-bitten author of following is unknown)


(on lighter side, again, author unknown, although I disagree with first bullet--'life is actually the number one cause of death' and not death itself)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Baltimore Sun Throwing Shade on Nepal

Cheers for the coverage of Nepal (Another Crisis Looms for Nepal, Balitmore Sun, 2nd November, 2015). With all due respect to the esteemed author, it seems more a weakly disguised plea for donations than a news piece about Nepal.

Nepal needs less foreign interference (from entities both near and far) not more. Perhaps commerce and business can be given a chance in lieu of indefinite aid which entrenches the wrong people and contributes to the country’s endless political and economic woes.

Aid has not only dis-empowered people but has damaged the country's ethos while endowing a privileged gang with unmerited entitlements. Decades of aid interference has left Nepal (and many other developing economies) without measurable progress on economic development and without reduction of poverty among other critical metrics.

Aid entrepreneurs tend to (knowingly and most often unknowingly) abet dysfunctional elements of society and that keeps the citizens oppressed and without an opportunity to pursue their own talents and dreams.

Regarding the earthquakes over five months ago, only a relative fraction of Nepal was severely affected then, and the worst hit areas have been and are receiving attention. Unfortunately, earthquake relief has become another political game. An unsatisfactory constitution was rushed through by a ruling establishment motivated by ‘aid’ funds dangled as a carrot—that is, foreign interference (despite good intentions) played an unsavory role, and it led to an eruption of protests backed by India and a supply crisis in urban areas of Nepal, most significantly Kathmandu…although the well-looked-after aid entrepreneurs are not likely to feel the pinch relative to most Nepali people.

Another bone of contention with this story, I don’t know of any “high altitude areas” requiring “delivery of urgently required supplies such as food and shelter materials” before being “cut off with the onset of winter”. In fact, I cannot think of any villages at all throughout Nepal that might be “impossible to access” unless an ungodly amount of snow fell.

Even then, if such villages do exist, and if there is some unexpected heavy snow early in winter that temporarily blocks trails to villages that implausibly do not have enough supplies to cover for a few days, then, in that extremely unlikely scenario, helicopters are the logical delivery means for urgent supplies until trails re-open within days.

Alarming stories and photos are damaging one of the largest and most hardworking industries of Nepal, tourism. The tourism industry can immediately benefit Nepal and the many people who rely on if for work rather than the very few who rely on the top-heavy donor industry (which tends to support only the wealthy ruling elite). Continued tales of disaster and crisis are turning tourists away unnecessarily. Most if not all of post-quake Nepal is open for tourism and has been for a long time. The people are ready and eager to receive visitors.

In my humble reckoning, it seems foreign interference is a cause of many of the difficult issues that Nepal faces including lack of preparedness for a natural disaster -- a result of a lack of development and progress for the foreseeable past in spite of nearly six decades of ‘aid’ and over 50,000 I/NGOs now operating in country…instead of a nation dazzling like Norway or Switzerland, it is wallowing in troubles...and that begs the question...what are tens of thousands of I/NGO’s doing in Nepal? Transparency is paramount, especially in dysfunctional systems...can these I/NGO's reveal their operations, pay scales and data regarding their activities?

All the while, most aid entrepreneurs enjoy a lifestyle in the upper crust of Nepali society (despite claims of hardship) and reside in luxuriant housing, often with servants, and revel in posh comforts not dreamed of by the majority of Nepalis. Most aid workers are enjoying high-living at the very top economic echelon of Nepal. Even more curious, most do not have local language and culture skills for the country that they are working in.…giant, red flags all around for those wishing to operate in a place that has for decades ranked in the bottom tiers of transparency and corruption indices.

Simply put, despite the best of intentions, aid agents tend to endow dysfunctional elements of society including the ruling establishment and a privileged gang with unmerited entitlements. That tends to prolong the very issues ‘aid’ aims to serve--severely hampering issues of development and progress--with fatal results for the disenfranchised population.

To these INGO’s, please cease and desist. Quitting Nepal might be the very best thing imaginable right now for the benefit of the honest, hardworking people of Nepal. Or, if you absolutely must do something, if you cannot resist traveling overseas to effect change in a faraway land, then only try to clean up governance and not abet and endow dysfunction directly and mostly indirectly. With a decent government, then the people of Nepal will be free to do for themselves what aid aims to do for them. Better yet, leave this beautiful and tender culture and its people alone. Focus on the home front and the (many) problems closer to your own homes. Cheers and good-speed. Come back soon as a tourist to enjoy the endless natural and cultural wonders of Nepal and help uplift the economy the right way.

As a side note, the Tharu ethnicity, mentioned in the Baltimore Sun story do not have “close ties with India”. Tharu are considered to be an indigenous, malaria resistant people of the jungle plains. They have a distinct culture, traditions and lifestyle and they identify very little with India. The Madhesi do tend to have ties to India but by no means “occupy the bottom rungs of Nepali society”. Many top political posts have been filled by Madhesi people including Ram Baran Yadav, president of Nepal from July 2008 to October 2015.
Delivering 'aid' to a developing economy is about as precarious as crossing the log bridge pictured above--better not to try. Photo by Alonzo Lyons

Friday, November 6, 2015

First Nepali Woman to Stand Atop Everest

Building-sized portrait of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, first Nepali woman to stand atop Sagarmatha (Everest). More on the trekking in the Sherpa homeland of Solu-Khumbu here, The Best Little Guidebook to the Everest Region.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Nepal is in crisis, and it has nothing to do with the earthquake"

Nepal identifies culturally with India much less than might be suspected especially while nationalistic and devout Hindu Narendra Modi is at the helm of its meddling neighbor, The hills people of Nepal have a distinct culture, traditions and lifestyle, including the janajati Tamang, Magar, Gurung, Rai, Limbu, Kami, Tharu and other ethnicities such as the Sherpa, Thakali, Manangi and Bhotiya with origins and close ties to Tibetan culture. All of these aforementioned groups identify little with India.

The groups that potentially identify with Indian culture have a growing disgust towards outside interference. Modi has blundered here, and China is stepping in to the void on Nepal’s request. At the very least, opening supply lines to the north for landlocked Nepal will increase flexibility.

That said, the energy crisis is mainly in urban areas, especially Kathmandu Valley. In rural areas, people rely much less on cooking gas, petrol and products from India.

Still the many aid organizations headquartered in the valley seem to want not for resources that the majority of citizens have been suffering for. These aid entrepreneurs are enjoying a lifestyle in the upper crust of society as they impinge upon Nepali society in petrol guzzling SUV’s, reside in luxuriant housing, often with servants, and enjoy posh comforts not dreamed of by most Nepalis. Still, they claim hardship while enjoying high-living at the top economic echelon of Nepal.

Notwithstanding the protests raging in the plains and the Indian embargo, foreign agents are a key component of the problem that has Nepal teetering on the brink of failed state status and lacking in development and progress for the foreseeable past. Aid agents tend to endow dysfunctional elements of society including much of the ruling establishment and a privileged gang with unmerited entitlements.

Decades of interference by foreign agents including an indefinite aid paradigm has damaged Nepal severely--most significantly by keeping the wrong people in power while aid agents try to cover for a broken system (despite the best of intentions, many aid workers operate without local language skills and are blind to local culture).

Banning INGOs might greatly assist in pulling the financial carpet out from under the deadweight, malignant political establishment and that might be the best anyone could possibly imagine for development. That might allow the honest, hardworking Nepali people the freedom to pursue their own dreams with their own capabilities and efforts unencumbered by donors, diplomats, politicians, an entitled gang and meddling countries near and far.

Indian embargo has led to a fuel crisis in Kathmandu Valley. Commuters riding atop minivan, photo by Alonzo Lyons
Lumbini, Nepal, birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama, later known by the title of Buddha. Photo by Alonzo Lyons

Sunday, November 1, 2015

"INGOs, show us your numbers"

Nepalis deserve the right to see the detailed expenses of money coming in to help the earthquake victims. We want to know what kind of expertise and knowhow was brought in at $10,000 per day, and how useful those experts have been during the crisis. Are the international organizations willing to hold themselves to the same standards of transparency that they propose for Nepal? Are they willing to submit to a review process for evaluating if these contributions are effective, not in terms of their own internal agenda, but by the standards and requirements of the people on the ground whom they claim to serve? It's doubtful that the very agencies that are ignorant of our organic and highly organized systems of self-government will be capable of the kind of ego-less rigor required to truly understand if their contributions are effective. But if these huge agencies insist on participating, they must be held accountable.

The whole saga only looks like one more example of greed, using natural disasters as an occasion to prop up a well-oiled industry of paid professionals invested in maintaining dependence and justifying their own existence. This is a familiar story, a phenomenon that is real and decades old, and rooted in racism and classism.

The underside of all this grief-tourism is disturbing at many levels. The approach that the international community is taking is fundamentally unsettling for the spirit, expertise and wisdom of our people. It appears that our ideas and leadership are hard to acknowledge for the international organizations operating here, let alone accept. Our resilience and our unwillingness to become another Haiti, a pawn of the international aid regime, must be frustrating to many "international experts" in Kathmandu. If they are serious about helping us, this sorry saga must end now. - See more at: http://myrepublica.com/opinion/story/22748/commentary-ingos-show-us-your-numbers.html#sthash.V3Nel6Mp.dpufVery well said by Subhash Ghimire with valid questions for INGO's participating in a dysfunctional system:
Very well said by Subhash Ghimire with valid questions for INGO's operating in and thereby, abetting a dysfunctional system (read the whole article here):

"Nepalis deserve the right to see the detailed expenses of money coming in to help the earthquake victims. We want to know what kind of expertise and knowhow was brought in at $10,000 per day, and how useful those experts have been during the crisis. Are the international organizations willing to hold themselves to the same standards of transparency that they propose for Nepal? Are they willing to submit to a review process for evaluating if these contributions are effective, not in terms of their own internal agenda, but by the standards and requirements of the people on the ground whom they claim to serve? It's doubtful that the very agencies that are ignorant of our organic and highly organized systems of self-government will be capable of the kind of ego-less rigor required to truly understand if their contributions are effective. But if these huge agencies insist on participating, they must be held accountable.
The whole saga only looks like one more example of greed, using natural disasters as an occasion to prop up a well-oiled industry of paid professionals invested in maintaining dependence and justifying their own existence. This is a familiar story, a phenomenon that is real and decades old, and rooted in racism and classism.
The underside of all this grief-tourism is disturbing at many levels. The approach that the international community is taking is fundamentally unsettling for the spirit, expertise and wisdom of our people. It appears that our ideas and leadership are hard to acknowledge for the international organizations operating here, let alone accept. Our resilience and our unwillingness to become another Haiti, a pawn of the international aid regime, must be frustrating to many "international experts" in Kathmandu. If they are serious about helping us, this sorry saga must end now." - See more at: http://myrepublica.com/…/commentary-ingos-show-us-your-numb…

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Make them laugh, otherwise they will kill you"

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

And the costs --socially, financially, culturally, politically, economically  -- of indefinite aid?

Can anyone translate this very well-endowed double-speak at the Five-Star Yak & Yeti Hotel?

Java on my mind in Kit-Katmandu

I'm ready.

today's beginning

Nepal's Flying Snow Leopards

Their only option was to leap off the wind-battered summit of Sagarmatha (Everest). Surviving that lion-hearted feat, Sano Babu Sunuwar​ and Lhakpa Tshering Sherpa relished a Himalayan air safari with perhaps the best views in parasailing history…more here:



Ace Flying Snow Leopard Sano Babu Sunuwar piloting Alonzo Lyons -- Parasailing the Himalaya

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Modi Snoozes, India Loses

More flexibility and freedom for Nepal...

From The Times of India article, China Sends Oil to Nepal, India Loses Sole Provider Status (29 Oct, 2015):

"China will supply fuel at international rates, which Kathmandu might find cheaper than its imports from India. To begin with, China will fulfill at least a third of Nepal's requirements."

Fuel for Nepal is better than dubious foreign aid. #FreeNepal


Monday, October 26, 2015

The Iceman

Fascinating interview of Wim Hof (http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/wim-hof). 

Hof is referred to as The Iceman for mind-blowing ‘super-human’ feats in extreme weather and extreme conditions. The inspiring discussion goes above and beyond pranayama, meditation and general yoga and invokes natural spirituality while breathing new life into human potential and especially recovery to wellness and health -- including hacking depression...Hof’s wife killed herself while facing depression in 1995, and that personal tragedy compelled him deeper on a sacred voyage of internal and natural secrets and discoveries. 

The conversation includes elementary steps to immediately improve quality of life -- exponentially.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Worship of Mammon

A wild Age of (Extreme) Materialism, this era when Mammon reigns as deity lording over feverish devotees. 

"When it's a question of money, everybody is of the same religion."  -Voltaire

“Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money.” - Grandpa George of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl


Jesus arm-wrestling El Diablo-- photo by Alonzo Lyons in Gatomandu (Kathmandu), capital city of the Himalaya, Nepal

Friday, October 16, 2015

Nobel Prize Winner Gets It...and you, gentle aid agents?

"Mr. Deaton is a strong critic of foreign aid. He believes that the approximately $5 trillion given by governments of rich countries to poor countries over the past 50 years has undercut good governance by making poor countries’ leaders less accountable to their own citizens." --excerpt from piece by David Henderson, The Wall Street Journal

Angus Deaton, 2015 Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences, gets it. How about you gentle aid agents? With all due respect, please be sensible and awaken to the reality of the stifling effects of aid despite decades of good intentions.

Unfortunately, aid tends to endow (knowingly and most often unknowingly) dysfunctional elements of the status quo including ruling gangs with unearned status and leverage. That perpetuates and prolongs the very problems that aid is endeavoring to solve and dis-empowers people. Despite the best of intentions (which are not in doubt), the people endure chronic poverty and its lethal effects.

For once, will the aid industry at least consider that they might be doing some harm? This question is not unreasonable, especially when hundreds of millions of people are suffering every day and have been suffering for decades upon decades for want of progress, health and opportunity. Might intervention be causing harm? Should not that be the first question of all before an aid entrepreneur packs his/her bags to effect change in a distant foreign land?

Until then, until we see clear, transparent, and objective proof worthy of trillions of dollars and years and years of critical time gone--lost time and lost opportunity borne by an impoverished people--people without a defender, without an advocate, without a champion, without representation--then, I will continue to believe the aid machine is generally misguided and tends to abet the very people keeping the poor undeveloped and paralyzed in failed governance and failed aid folly.

If foreigners truly want to assist and cannot resist trying; if they believe that they can effect change in a far-flung land (typically, enjoying high salaries that put them in the 1% of the very people that they aim to ‘aid’), then the best thing imaginable for development and progress would be to free the people from oppressive and corrupt governance including unethical bureaucrats from top to bottom and entitled gangs with unearned privileges. Without state and foreign interference, then the people could pursue their own dreams and ambitions with their own talents and capabilities.

Wall Street Journal - VIDEO (most interesting from 2:30)

Structural representation of the folly of aid? photo © Alonzo Lyons, all rights reserved 
#Angus, #Deaton, #NobelPrize, #Economics, #AidRiddenNepal, #DonorDarlings, #FreeNepal, #DambisaMoyo, #AidBully, #AidEntrepreneur, #Corruption, #DeadAid, #HowtToRobAfrica, #LetMyPeopleGo, #Nepal, #YellFire, #UNDPNepal, #SNVNepal, #USAIDNepal, #DFIDNepal, #WorldBankAsia

Saturday, October 10, 2015

'Blockade Politics in Nepal'

Another interesting piece by Thomas Bell (Blockade Politics in Nepal, Al Jazeera, 09 OCT 15), although I'm not sure that any country deserves (or wants to claim) much credit for a torturous “10-year peace process” resulting in an unsatisfactory constitution.

Most diplomats and politicians in Nepal play a self-serving game of realpolitik as salt is pouring into the heavy wounds of the year--shamefully as Dashain (Nepal's most important festival) approaches.

“Like the snowy Himalaya
The virtuous shine from afar.
And the wicked move unseen
Even When Near
Like arrows in the night.”
– from the Dhammapada (Pakinnakavagga) of Sakyamuni Buddha born in Lumbini, Rupandehi District, Nepal


Photo by Alonzo Lyons

#Nepal, #ThomasBell, #Dhammapada

Friday, October 9, 2015

'SOS, Inc. -- The Tricky Ethics of the Lucrative Disaster Rescue Business'

Ben Ayers is an acquaintance and a fascinating and talented guy. He is quoted in this article, "The Tricky Ethics of the Lucrative Disaster Rescue Business" (by Abe Streep, WIRED magazine, August, 2015). “There is the issue of those flights going to pick up wigged-out tourists instead of going to pick up really fucked-up people in Gorkha.” 

I agree with him while humbly contending that indefinite aid to Nepal has severely crippled her politically and economically and even damaged the cultural ethos. 

Of course, assistance is necessary in a humanitarian crisis. Unfortunately for Nepal, foreign agents have been operating since the 1950's with little oversight beyond toothless internal reviews that often overlook and reinforce mistakes and errant campaigns. Ironically, decades of 'aid' contributed to the pathetic situation of complete unpreparedness for a natural disaster and inability to respond for lack of essential infrastructure including roadways, medical and civil facilities and other networks and operations managed by skilled and knowledgeable people.

In reality, prioritizing 'aid' over commerce all these years has severely hampered progress and development and indoctrinated a donor mentality with adverse effects worse than any virus or natural disaster for that matter. It has wounded society to the core. In particular, foreign agents tend to abet and endow dysfunctional elements of the status quo (knowingly and most often, unknowingly). If the talented people of Nepal had been left to their own initiative for the last six decades without the interference of foreigners and the ruling establishment as well as a privileged gang with unmerited entitlements then the dazzling Himalayan skyline and beyond would have been the limit. Nepal would be a paradise for the locals and not just transitory tourists. Instead of paradise, it has been led astray and is continually teetering on the brink of failed state status. 

With all due respect, if foreigners truly want to assist, if they believe that they can travel overseas to effect change in a foreign land (typically enjoying high salaries that put them in the 1% of the very people that they aim to ‘aid’), then the best thing imaginable for development and progress would be to free the people from oppressive and corrupt governance including bureaucrats from the Mechi (eastern border) to the Mahakali (western border). Then the people could pursue their own dreams and ambitions with their own talents and capabilities.

Any other actions other than cleaning up governance tend to do have the opposite effect, i.e., endow a dysfunctional system and privileged gang with unearned entitlements. More power and leverage to the wrong gang has been prolonging issues of development and progress with extremely dire consequences for the honest people of Nepal including an inability to cope with a natural crisis and the pox of chronic poverty with its lethal ills.

Nepalis deserve better. Poor governance for the foreseeable past put them in a position of vulnerability. Apart from post-disaster humanitarian relief, Nepalis are more than talented, knowledgeable and capable enough to do what needs to be done in their homeland…if foreign agents and organizations and the political establishment would simply be willing to get out of their way for once after six decades of stifling interference that has dis-empowered the people.

As Dr. Dambisa Moyo cries out about her own motherland, “Let my people go!”


Painting of handcuffed anjali mudra, i.e., 'namaste', by Barnaby Codling, all rights reserved.
#NepalQuake, #Nepal, #AidBully, #AidEntrepreneur, #AidRiddenNepal, #DeadAid,  #FreeNepal, #DonorDarlings, 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Billy the Bully?

Bill Gates' harsh response to a thoughtful, ethically valid question reveals how out of touch he is with data-driven evidence on African aid (despite a fishy claim of reading Dr. Dambisa Moyo's book, Dead Aid).

Dr. Moyo obviously is not against vaccinations and saving children’s lives. Framing it that way is Bill's intimidation tactic that unjustly attacks Moyo and overlooks a compelling message about the downside of aid that she points out with very well-spoken scholarship (surprising for an economist) with credible documentation.

With all due respect, Bill might be more judicious than to allege her book 'promotes evil' (whatever evil means to him or anyone). It is not only off the mark, it smacks of colonial self-righteousness, doesn't it?

Bill is a foreigner trying to effect change in faraway lands while relying on biased people with vested interests (i.e., people keen on his payouts). He does not come anywhere close to Moyo's expertise and experience. Dr. Moyo is Zambian and backs up what she is doing with first-hand experience living in the African continent, prima-facie observation and reliable research full of hard-hitting facts.

Moyo's scholarship is not devaluing all of  Bill's campaigns -- read the book, Bill, listen to Dr. Moyo; you are doing good work, too. It is not  you versus her…again, read the book and consider the fact-filled evidence before commenting about it-- if not, then continue to be blind to her revelations and the reality on the ground -- a deathly reality for those in dire situations facing the pox of chronic poverty that aid often abets, especially by endowing dysfunctional elements of the status quo.

Moyo is a solo voice of reason opposing many others including players with deep pockets and moneyed interests. Countervailing the overbearing power and leverage that money infuses those players with takes moxie. She is championing long-oppressed people and is ringing the alarms about what has been happening for decades in her homeland continent of Africa.

Over a trillion dollars of aid has not proven to increase economic growth and reduce poverty. On the other hand, aid funds have, in large measure, helped to entrench dysfunctional systems that dis-empower the very people they are meant to uplift. "Let my people go!" she cries out. 

She is clear and lucid for an economist, and Bill will understand her if he tries. I expect more of this intelligent, talented and kind-hearted guy. He is uninformed about the soul-crushing downside of aid that kills development and growth with profound, lethal repercussions in the lives of the local people. He would do well to get beyond a do-no-wrong bubble and consider Dr. Moyo's wise views and abundance of evidence if he truly wants to serve the people of Africa.

Isn't it time to start giving priority to commerce over indefinite aid that debilitates rather than inspires? Let the local people chase their own dreams and ambitions with their own talents.

Moyo heroically connects development issues directly to aid using real evidence -- not easy to do with a swarm of outside interests and well-paid bullies tearing her down.

She is totally brilliant and the ad hominem attacks are shameful.



#BillGates, #AidBully, #DeadAid, #GatesFoundation, #DonorDarlings, #GroundOnDown, #HowtToRobAfrica,  #LetMyPeopleGo, #DambisaMoyo

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Two pathways diverge at sunrise

Two pathways diverged in the Boise foothills at daybreak






video

#tworoads, #twopaths, #Boise, #BoiseFoothills

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day! 
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

art of latrine building in far-flung lands

Posted in response to a piece by Barbara Frost (Chief Executive of WaterAid since 2005) on The Huffington Posthttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/why-opening-a-new-community…
With all due respect, I would hope the first question might be, ‘Why aren’t the local people building latrines for themselves?!’ Often, there are deep cultural issues at play. Does it really take a (high-powered and high-salaried) foreign organization to travel overseas to do it for them? From my experience in Nepal, mis-governance is the real obstacle, not a lack of knowledge and will power.
Unfortunately, indefinite foreign aid often underwrites dysfunctional elements of the status quo and thereby, indirectly funds mis-governance which actually prolongs the very problems that aid is trying to solve. Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions (which are not in doubt), that spells lethal results for the oppressed population facing dire, chronic poverty.

In my humble opinion, aid organizations would do best, if they must do something in countries that they’ve traveled overseas to effect change in (often without language and culture skills), to aim their efforts at cleaning up governance. Freeing the local people from mis-governance would be the best aid imaginable for development and progress. Then the population could pursue their own dreams and ambitions with their own talents and capabilities.

As Dr. Dambisa Moyo of Zambia pleads, “Let my people go!"

More posts on the tragedy of indefinite aid to Nepal: http://alolyo.blogspot.com/search/label/%23AidBully


 #LetMyPeopleGo, #AidRiddenNepal, #DambisaMoyo, #DonorDarlings, #FreeNepal