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Archive for the tag “Blood Diamonds”

Opinion: The rich are so poor nowadays!

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”Franklin D. Roosevelt

Well, this time in history will be remembered, in the times that the multi-national corporations have most of them fled their regional scenes and put their headquarters and main operations into tax havens. Therefore, with this in mind, the states and republics that actually is where they make the profits get less tax and get fewer monies to spend on public services. That does not make them poor, but smart someone might say. This is legal and the openness of the economies let them do it, but to be frank, we should question this big giant corporations for their fleeing fortunes abroad.

The corporations are not alone in all of this, the rich people themselves cannot sustained this, they cannot afford to pay reasonable taxes, and they need tax-relief so they can salvage their Monte Carlo and their Lamborghini’s. They have their massive mansions and stalls of cars, but cannot pay the percentages on the tax as ordinary working-class do. In addition, the working-class use decades on end to pay down the mortgage on the house and loan on their Ford Fiesta. If they can even afford a house and a car at his point.

The American enterprise and experience is really seeing it, as they plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, because the wealthy are too broke or to selfish to help the working-class who made them rich. That the working-class and industrial worker are falling behind as new schemes to outrun their possibilities. The corporations and the believers of free economies want more flexibility, but do not give equal wages or compensations. Therefore, the loser in the transactions are the workers and not the companies. Secondly, the states earn less without added productivity.

It is naive that the businesses care about other things than the bottom-line is vicious, like the wealthy have the capacity to share the spoils, which they have earned on the commoners and the citizens. Therefore, the spoils, which in some industries entails sweatshop workers and exports to the Western hemisphere with grand profits for the clothing and appeal giants. Something that the workers in Bangladesh or Pakistan doesn’t see anything delivered back, than a filthy industrial complex and possible health hazards for their hours work on end for a lousy T-shirts.

The others are the ones who are doing mining and extraction for the technology and IT businesses that has no issues with the illegal and militias taking controls over mining fields and black-market trading of rare earth minerals or cobalt for that matter. As long as the giant companies trading computers, smart-phones and whatnot get their profits. Certainly, the CEO and other leaders in the corporations should worry of the implications and the lives destroyed while their businesses are earning loads of monies. There should be some sort of certification of the weak trading points; if they knowingly paid, some of the monies on technology could fund militias and illegal armed conflicts.

This is real poverty, that we have systems, salary structures and imports that hurt local areas, while the businesses earn fortunes, that again is flying on the merry to a tax haven in the pacific through a shell-company set-up by lawyers in Panama. In addition, this is legal and just, by law and in society. That the same companies telling their workers that they cannot afford more wages, since they have to stack millions upon millions in the British Virgin Island. So that the shareholders and stakeholders can earn profits for the toils and sweat of fellow workers.

So when I hear that the workers cannot ask for bigger salaries, while the states and republics create tax-holidays and tax-breaks, incentives for “investments” while the big-men are doling away vast fortunes in the middle of the day. Like a legal heist, a theft of both tax and salary, the salaries that could be used more in the system to gain growth, and secondly the added tax that could build roads and infrastructure that the company could need. However, hey, we do not need proper roads and wages, as long as the rich can travel to Monaco and St. Tropez whenever they feel like it. We are foolish to think otherwise!

When you hear that the rich has to get tax-breaks and their taxes cut, know that they are poor in spirit and heart. They may have vast fortunes and riches, but their hearts are empty. They do not see the problems of the day-to-day basis of the ones creating their empires. They do not see the people who buys their labeled products and services. They only see the bottom-line, the empty shells companies’ accounts and the schemes to hide the monies. That is because these wealthy people are so poor; they cannot afford to be like the rest of us.

The wealthy are so poor, they are so poor that they have to avoid taxes or pay taxes, because if they were paying taxes they would be like us. They would have the same responsibilities and have the same understanding of welfare and public services. Therefore, since they do not need the public service, they can afford to travel abroad for health-care; they can afford to send their kids to private schools and can afford to import goods. Then they do not need the support and the base line of the republic or the state. Like you and I do. Therefore, with that in mind, which is why they are so poor. Their poverty is in the mind and in their spirit; they cannot be a part of us, because they want to shield themselves from us. Still, earning our monies and taking our cheap labor, no problem!

This poor people need help, they need guidance, their riches might fall out of their hands, might be lost in coup d’état or worse than they get bankrupt. Than they need the states to salvage their business or their bank, with our tax-monies, without any hesitation, but when it was booming. That was the time they had no need of paying taxes or paying amends to the state through the regulations. Like we do and pay for our right to live and use the needed services of the states.

In these interesting times of ours, we have the riches seeking to pay-less, while the working-class is footing the bills or trying too. While the republics and states make it harder for public service and make it more expensive to pay for the needed services. This are all made in the hands of the wealthy and the multi-national corporations, without considering the implications of the commoner, the working-class nor the middle-class that are all sinking on the behalf of the rich. Certainly, the belief that the trickle-down economy should be a project avoided, but to many still have faith in the paradigm. While very, few have any social mobility or have the capacity to go from one class to the next. Peace.

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EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

President Trump: “Presidential Memorandum: Suspension of the Conflict Minerals Rule” – Legalizing export of questionable minerals from the DRC!

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My letter to Electronics Producers who are responsible for supplying money to militias and guerrillas of the DRC!

Illegal Mining DRC

Dear Electronic Producers of end-products as Mobile Phones and such, I write to you in haste!

Then I mean the likes of Foxconn of China, Apple, Hitachi, Sanyo, NEC Tokin, Kemet, AVX, Vishay, Flextronics, Celestica Sanmina, Asustek, Jabil, Hewitt-Packard, Dell, Acer, IBM, Samsung, Motorola, Canon and Nokia. Also other suppliers who deliver the needed products for you too label and sell to the global market.  

I write too you with urgency, do you want your names to mentioned in blood, as your greed for the profits are no embedded with warlords and thieves of East Africa, as the exported mineral resources as Coltan, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten. These minerals are needed in your production to make your phones, your electronics and others.

There been warlords, been warriors and presidents that have looted the Southern and Northern Kivu of Democratic Republic of Congo. They have all used AK-47 and other weapons while taking territories, towns and villages. These are the places, where the militias and guerrillas are raping the woman, burning villages and taking over mines even with child-labor if needed.

All the deaths and wars since the fall of Mobutu Sese Seko in the end of 1990s, where the proxy war of Uganda and Rwanda in the Kivu’s where the mines are; and you have accepted this as you vouch for their armies and their militias taking the area, eating of the minerals, eating the stones and lifting the burden they have to buy ammunition to continue their thieving. The thieving and capturing the miners, destroying and taking the minerals, the minerals you use in your products, the end-products you want to sell to me and the world.

DRC Minerals

What is the pride of your fiscal profits, knowing you were securing payments, securing buying of small-arms and killings of fellow men and woman, on your watch, on your payment and your production? The initial end-game of Electronic Products is that as long as we know that, the Laptops, Smart-Phone and others are tainted with blood; they are tainted with the operation of warlords.

That cannot be gone away in silence, as long as the President of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, they are all in on it, and enjoy the monies with their proxy armies controlling various mines and different minerals, the issues and stages of exploitation of the Kivu’s.

If more people care, they would be aggravated, they would wonder if there was ways of producing the smart-phones and laptops without the minerals that are fueling the guerrillas and militias of Kivu, which is not extending the reign of Kabila, Kagame and Museveni. They are the reasons for these killings and these groups who extort this violence.

Kagame-Museveni-Kabila

The nonsense non-action, the deliberate assault for these minerals, and your plenty of usage, while knowing where it came from, with the extent of the force that it taken from the ground and into the factories, before sold with pop-song on the local TV-Station with a fancy name and image; that image should be tainted with the knowledge of how the minerals for it came to light of day, with the injustice, the impunity and dissolved society where the fear of violence, reckless warlords, relentless soldiers and murders keeping at bay the illegal logging of minerals of the Kivu’s. That is what the price of the profits.

The brave and Nobel men of the boardrooms of the companies, the men and woman of the PR firms, and the consumers, should be enlighten, should take a stand and we all should try to find ways to absorb and not buy the tainted electronics, or least spread the names of them who take the supply of blood-tainted minerals and make products for profit. That should be stopped, as the killings, the continued presence of militias and guerrillas, they are all been kept and fed by your money. The money you have supplied them, so they can continue to get guns and ammunition.

FARDC Beni May 2016

This money comes from the people, the citizens of the world, they should now and should extend their hands, if they about the atrocities and violence of the Kivu’s. They are serving your profits, the profits made on the guerrillas and militias controlling the mines and exploitations of the provinces with the enriched minerals of the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is what should be known, the silent and sudden killer of it all, the ones that responsible for the presence of modern technology, are militants and guerrillas who are fed on the violence as they export to industries that take it without questions.

It should be questioned and the people should care, the knowledge of these actions should be in the open and spoken more about. Last time the blood-diamonds movie and Leonardo DiCaprio played a reckless man who sold diamonds in Sierra Leone… maybe if they did the same with blood tainted minerals from the DRC, then the world citizens might care and asked for change of policy, but the average man don’t, they just want to enjoy 3G and 4G while surfing to read Tabloid papers and other madness, instead of using their waste opportunities to gain the needed knowledge of the affairs that is happening from afar with the technology at hand.

There is time to question; there are and been more than enough massacres and deaths happening in Beni, in Goma and in Kivu’s for the needed minerals. Time to ask the Electronics Companies and the Suppliers of these minerals to take actions, as their need for this is the reason why the atrocities and killings are happening. They are happing on our watch and with our knowledge. It is time to do something and ask for change, to pressure the DRC Government, to pressure the Electronic producers to use other suppliers if possible and stop fueling their profits into the warlords of East Africa, as they are responsible for their existence, as they are the ones giving them money and plenty to continue to harass and kill their fellow brother and sisters.

Best Regards

The Writer of Minbane

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