Tuesday, November 29, 2016


The Malthusian view is that rapid population growth adversely impacts a country's economy, and globally, hinders development. It is an alarmist view that has not yet been proven. What we do know is that population density (resources ratio to people) does not always equate scarcity and crisis. Western Europe is densely populated and has high rates of urbanization, but is reasonably well  able to provide basic necessities to its population.  But this is probably because Western Europe relies on relatively  cheap imported goods produced by cheap labor in non European countries. Ironically, the masses of people in developing countries , precisely the ones whose labor were producing goods for the West,  were seen as a threat by such as t he World Bank, the UN and  American philanthropic foundations, such as the Ford and Rockefeller foundations. In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson made aid dependent on population control.I n 1968, the American biologist Paul Ehrlich sounded an alarm with  his bestselling book, The Population Bomb, In 1974, Prime Minister Ghandhi of India imposed a birth control sterilization program. Eight million Indians were sterilized, some say, forcibly or through bribes. In the 1980s, there was a backlash, based on religious grounds in the US. President Reagan Reagan  removed financial support for any programs that involved abortion or sterilization.  In 1994, a UN Population Control Conference in Cairo changed the ideology by declaring that 20-year plan of action, known as the Cairo consensus, which called on countries to recognize that the interests of women  - rather than demographers and politicians - should be at the center of  population strategies. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


A student wrote about the crime of forced prostitution (the so called 'comfort women) by the Japanese government against Korean women in WW2. "The acts of war rape that women have had to endure for the many decades is something that I think is taken too lightly.  So what I mean by that is there is usually no punishment for the crime and if so it's so minor that it doesn't make the statement of it being unacceptable.  My question  is...do you think that there is any forms of punishment that would ever satisfy such a horrible crime? "
I answered "you raise a very interesting question about how a state is punished. The problem is that sometimes, you can't punish a state without punishing its people, as we saw with the sanctions policy against Iraq 1990 to 2003. What 's left is the United Nations International Criminal Court. The International Criminal Court prosecutes individuals who have committed genocide and other major war crimes. Over 120 countries support it. It's been heavily criticized. African countries point out that so far, only leaders of poor countries have been subject to trial by the ICC. Gambia will leave the ICC by 2017. Russia is upset because it's been identified as an aggressor by the ICC for its reunification with Crime through a popular referendum. And the US has simply refused to join the ICC. Analysts think it's  because the US is viewed as an aggressor nation around the world, and the US is afraid that its military leaders and soldiers might be persecuted by the ICC. Publicly, the US says it's because international law can't supersede domestic American traditions and laws."
But sometimes states can be taken to task within the human rights bodies of the United Nations or through the media. For example, the human rights attorney Karen Parker has spoken against Japan for denying compensation to the so called 'comfort women'.  See this http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/09/665_185891.html