Occasional Links 3

International Development:

1) NGOs have always faced questions of their accountability. Here’s what a group of big International NGOs came up with: International Non Governmental Organisations Accountability Charter.

2) New Statesman’s Africa: Better off without us?

3) On Agricultural Subsidies by Rich Countries by Gary Becker. Comment by Richard Posner. A Washington Post article on the same topic.

4) Reason magazine’s The President’s Rotten Record on Trade.

Politics:

5) The Euston Manifesto was launched online in April 2006 by academics, bloggers and journalists of the British Left and has created a stir online since then. While progressive and left in orientation, it calls for a “fresh political alignment” in which the left stands unambigiously for democracy, and against tyranny and terrorism. Such a position would differ from those on the left who tend to be sympathetic to tyranical regimes and staunchly against the use of force to overthrow such regimes.

6) The guys at Euston would probably be against Venezuela’s leftist and somewhat autocratic President Hugo Chávez. Venezuela’s ambassador to the US defends Chávez’s benign revolution here. Jeff Cohen tells us not to listen to Venezuela’s and Chavez’s critics but to go to Venezuela to “examine the social transformations for yourself” and to find out “whether his government is improving things.” I would love to one day. I somewhat like Chávez and Castro…

7) Continuing on with Latin America (one of my favorite regions of the world), Nicaragua’s most promising politician – and one with the most potential to get her out of her misery – sadly dies of a heart attack. Speaking of Nicaragua, here’s one of my favorite books: a courageous and inspiring true story of how an ordinary American (Ben Linder) loved Nicaragua so much he went to live there in the 1980s after completing College to help out in the Sandinista Revolution, eventually dying at the hands of the American-backed guerilla/terrorist organization, the Contras. (And they say America doesn’t support terrorism! Right! By the way, for America’s role in supporting the Contras, Nicaragua took America to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and they were ordered to pay between US$12 billion to US$17 billion in reparations to Nicaragua. Of course, America didn’t pay up and who could stop them…) Back to the book, as one of the Amazon reviewers put it, this is “an insightful book that reminds us why people are willing to put their lives on the line for a cause they believe in. ” Respect to Ben, a true hero!

Others:

8) Tyler Cowen on Investing in Good Deeds Without Checking the Prospectus.

9) About the homeless and technology. Also, check out these blogs of homeless people: The Homeless Guy and WanderingScribe

10) Child Free Couples Are Happier! Something I’ve always believed in =)