Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
Posted by Dave King at 12:07
In 1794, a slave uprising began and within ten years the French were expelled and Haiti became the only nation in the world’s history to be born of a successful slave revolt.
France, refusing to let her “rights” to the land and its inhabitants go uncompensated, posted warships off Haiti’s coast, and after 25 years of international isolation and threat supported by the U.S. and Europe, Haiti agreed to take out a loan from a designated French bank and pay compensation to French plantation owners for their loss of “property,” including the freed slaves. The amount of the debt – the modern equivalent of 21 billion dollars – was ten times that of Haiti’s total 1825 revenue and twice the price of the Louisiana Purchase, paid by the United States to France (a year before Haiti’s independence) for seventy-four times more land.
This imposition of compensation by a defeated power and reimbursement by freed slaves of their former owners is unique in history and violated international law even in 1825. The 1825 agreement began a cycle of debt that has condemned the Haitian people to poverty ever since whose government has some years paid up to 80% of it’s annual revenues to service debt. Needless to say, money for the most basic infrastructure enjoyed by most western nations was not available. Haiti did not finish paying the loans that financed the debt until 1947. Over a century after the global slave trade was recognized and eliminated as the evil it was, the Haitians were still paying their ancestors’ masters for their freedom.
Now that sounds like a deal with the devil.
From Steve Bell's Debt, Dictatorship and Disaster – A brief history of Haiti. As seen on Bene Diction Blogs On.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Posted by Dave King at 21:58
Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up in Christ by Eugene Peterson is coming out in February. The title comes from a Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry. The final stanza reads
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Posted by Dave King at 12:10
On Friday Ed hosted a party for Calgary friends of Lisa and Luis to meet Mateo. Mateo really was the star of the party, he was very good natured and soaked up the attention with joy. It was my first meet the baby party, had a great time. I've posted more Mateo pics on flickr.