Panama Papers

“The outrage that greeted the Mossack Fonseca revelations (actually, rather few so far) seems to me to partake more of joyous spite and hatred of the rich than of any real desire to improve the world, the latter being a much weaker emotion than the former. If the rich could be deprived of their wealth, even if no one else benefited thereby, I think many people would want it.”

Theodore Dalrymple

Pygmies

“The Rev. Jean-Maryce Mbemba-Moussosso, a Bantu and the parish priest in Enyellé, didn’t mask his surprise when Bokodi entered his office with a Western reporter.

‘You’re a Pygmy?’ the Catholic priest asked Bokodi, staring at his clean button-down shirt and slacks.

‘I’m an indigenous person,’ Bokodi said quietly.

‘You mean a Pygmy?’

‘An indigenous person,’ he repeated.

‘You’re a Pygmy and you speak French?’

Bokodi’s jaw clenched, but his voice remained timid. ‘Yes.’

The priest’s eyes then dropped to Bokodi’s hand.

‘A Pygmy with a telephone?’

Finally, Bokodi exploded. ‘What do you mean by that question?’

The priest rolled his eyes and changed the subject.

No matter how hard he struggles, it seems, Bokodi will never be accepted as the Bantus’ equal. But that doesn’t stop him from trying.”

Katie Thomas

US Army in Afghanistan

“In one area we visited, we observed a multi-million dollar unfinished ‘road to nowhere’ cut into the side of a mountain. The project was constructed at considerable risk to the U.S. engineers who took fire during its construction. When asked why the project was started and then left unfinished, the answer was telling. The Army built the road because President Karzai asserted that roads were a high priority in Afghanistan. The Army thought that a road in this particular area would help the locals get crops to market and thus contribute to their economic well-being. The problem was that the locals were subsistence farmers and did not want or need a road—they wanted a well for clean drinking water. Because the Army built something the locals did not want, the locals did not protect it. Rather, they allowed the Taliban to come to the area and take shots at the engineers until the Army realized the project‘s futility and stopped construction.”