Foreign Aid: what it is, some of the controversies surrounding it, and where the U.S sends aid the most

By Penny Hoffmann

Foreign aid is a controversial topic for many reasons. One objection to foreign aid is that it can be delivered to the wrong people on purpose or accidentally (for example, theft). However, giving aid can produce many benefits: it can improve the relations between nations and rebuild living standards.

What is Foreign Aid?

Foreign aid refers to humanitarian, international, and usually inter-governmental figures or groups that give economic, military, financial or technical resources, such as weapons, to a nation or nations. This aid can be in many forms, such as bilateral or multilateral.

Some examples of aid programs include George Marshall’s Marshall Plan that began in 1948, the Point Four Program, and the UK’s Commonwealth Development Fund.

This is how the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development defines Official Development Assistance (ODA):

“ODA consists of flows to developing countries and multilateral institutions provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies, each transaction of which meets the following test: a) it is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective, and b) it is concessional in character and contains a grant element of at least 25% (calculated at a rate of discount of 10%).”

In order for foreign aid to work, it must cater to the climate of the receiver of the aid. This means that the hardships of the suffering location or the receiver of the aid must be analyzed to select the correct type of aid and to deliver it at the appropriate time. The objectives of the aid must be specified and the most suitable solutions must be chosen to ensure that the aid will not be given to the wrong people or area that needs improving.

Foreign aid can be used to improve the conduct of allies, to reward a nation for its conduct, or to eventually get a repayment of some sort from the nation receiving the aid.

Types of Foreign Aid

Bilateral Aid

Bilateral aid involves two nations where one government sends aid to another government.

Multilateral Aid

Multilateral is where funding is delivered by two or more nations to international organisations such as the World Bank (also called the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) or the International Monetary Fund who have the role of improving suffering nations.

Tied Aid

Tied aid is a bilateral agreement where the donor nation delivers a loan or grant to the nation receiving it, but specify the nation in which the funding is spent.

Project Aid

Project aid is given to improve a certain project, such as a school.

Military Aid

Military aid is where a nation delivers weapons and the like to nations

Voluntary Aid

Voluntary aid usually refers to charity. One example of this is Doctors Without Borders, “an international humanitarian non-governmental organization best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries affected by endemic diseases.”

Who Gives The Most Aid

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, these nations gave the most Official Development Assistance (ODA) in total in 2015:

 Foreign aid: These countries are most generous

However, when considering it as a percentage of gross national income (GNI), the ranking order of the countries is different:

 Foreign aid: These countries are most generous

The top ten recipients of U.S foreign aid in 2018 are as follows:

10. Iraq – $347.9 million

9. Nigeria – $419.1 million

8. Zambia – $428.9 million

7. Uganda – $436.4 million

6. Tanzania – $535.3 million

5. Kenya – $639.4 million

4. Afghanistan – $782.8 million

3. Jordan – $1 billion

2. Egypt – $1.39 billion

1. Israel – $3.1 billion

Current Foreign Aid Controversies

There are academic disagreements regarding the efficiency of giving foreign aid. These include; the factors that influence the economic efficiency of foreign aid; whether aid should be measured empirically; whether aid should be given to non-government organisations and groups, rather than governments, who then improve the economy from the bottom up; the opposite, top-down approach by delivering aid to governments, the World Bank, and the UN who rebuild suffering nations; and whether aid givers truly know what is needed by aid receivers.

BOW TO LGBT OR ELSE

On February 12th at the National Assembly in Paris, the French Parliament voted on a bill passed by president Emmanuel Macron (REM party). The bill banishes the words “mother” and “father” from official paperwork in the education system to tackle discrimination against same-sex parents. A child’s document will refer to parent 1 and parent 2 instead of the traditional format. President of the AFDH, the French association for same sex parents (D) Alexandre Urwicz questions “who is ‘parent 1’ and who is ‘parent 2’?” He also says it could create a hierarchy among parents.

The passing of the bill has angered many conservatives and Christians as reported by RT, who argue that the bill sends out a signal of the country lacking morals. The bill currently does not have the support of some liberals and the education Minister, Jean Michel Blanquer. Conservative, Mp Xavier Breton said ”When I hear people say this is an old fashioned model, I would remind people that today among unions celebrated, civil or marital, some 95% are man-woman couples”. Also Conservative, Fabien Di Filippo denounced the move and said it was a “frightening ideology”.

This is not an occurrence only happening in Europe but also around the world and rapidly in America. On February 14th 2019, Democratic Reps Judy Chu (CA-27) and Andy Levin ( MI-09) introduced the Equal Dignity for Married Taxpayers Bill that would remove gendered language. According to them the bill would greatly affirm the dignity of the LGBTQ married couples. This new Bill according to those in favor ‘is to advance America’s stance towards equal protection and inclusion under the law. Congresswoman Judy Chu says “Tax filing is often difficult enough already without also making LGBTQ families feel prejudiced against”. “This is a simple common sense fix that acknowledges LGBTQ couples as equals. The Supreme Court has recognized that love is love, no matter your gender identity. It’s time our tax code does the same.” says Chu.

The Assembly Concurrent Resolution 260 (ACR 260) was won in a bipartisan vote of 7-0 and was authored by Assembly member Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), who is also Chair of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. The ACR 260 was also co-authored by all of the members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus. Assembly member Evan Low also stated “California is home to the largest LGBTQ population in the country, many of whom identify as non-binary,”. “By using gender-neutral pronouns in legislation and policies moving forward, the State of California celebrates its non-binary community.” The ACR 260 pressures the state to be more inclusive for transgender, gender neutral and non-binary individuals by adopting the use of gender-neutral pronouns. This also includes the removal of California’s legal and traditional gendered language pronouns “he” and “she.” Since many citizens do not identify with binary gender definitions they find themselves feeling removed from the concept of gender entirely.

Canada has participated in this same movement when in June of 2017 they passed the C-16 Bill. It was also added to a section of the Criminal Code that targets hate speech — defined as advocating genocide and the public incitement of hatred — where it joins other identifiable groups. The bill enshrines the rights of transgender Canadians by including them under human rights and hate-crime laws. Critics voiced concerns that the law will penalize citizens who do not use specific pronouns when referring to gender diverse people. Brenda Cossman, law professor at the University of Toronto and director of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, stated “The misuse of gender pronouns, without more, cannot rise to the level of a crime,”. “It cannot rise to the level of advocating genocide, inciting hatred, hate speech or hate crimes … (it) simply cannot meet the threshold.”

In an article from the New York Times, they stated that Employers and landlords who intentionally and consistently ignore using pronouns such as “ze/hir” to refer to transgender workers and tenants who request them — may be subject to fines as high as $250,000. This has much to do with the passing of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act in New York. The Commission on Human Rights’ legal guidelines mandate that anyone who is providing jobs or housing must use the individuals’ preferred gender pronouns. As the regulations which have now been updated, point out that some transgender individuals prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers.

October 2017th, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation against health care workers who “willfully and repeatedly” decline to use a senior transgender patient’s ‘preferred name or pronouns’. Those who refuse to change their vocabulary and use the pronouns preferred by these individuals could face punishments ranging from a fine to jail time under a newly signed law. Harvard and Duke Graduate, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, has argued adamantly that nobody is going to be criminally prosecuted for using the wrong pronoun. Sen. Scott says “It’s just more scare tactics by people who oppose all LGBT civil rights and protections,”. Yet the Legislation has been passed, in other words as a “scare tactic” as said by Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener. One opponent of the law, the California Family Council’s Greg Burt said to the California Assembly Judiciary Committee in August “How can you believe in free speech, but think the government can compel people to use certain pronouns when talking to others?”, according to CBN News.

Not only are pronouns under attack but so are businesses who refuse to comply with the demands of the LGBTQ community. As many may remember, Jack Phillips the Christian man who refused to bake a cake for a Gay Couple also returned to sue the state in August 2018 for their attempts at forcing him to bake a Gender transition cake. Jack, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver claimed that Colorado officials are on a “crusade to crush” him because of his religious beliefs according to a federal lawsuit filed. Jack Phillips won his case, when he wouldn’t bake a cake for a same sex marriage v. the State of Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Does it end at small businesses? No, also Chik-Fil-A has had its quarrels with the LGBTQ community in the past. When the Christian Fast Food Giant decided that within the next 5 years they’ll open 15 stores in Toronto, LGBT+ rights advocates said they planned to boycott the chain. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also came under fire on Twitter after revealing he ate at Chik-Fil-A during LGBTQ+ pride month. In 2012, Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy had a huge backlash after Cathy told the Baptist Press the company was “guilty as charged” for supporting “the biblical definition of the family unit.” “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” Cathy said. The companies controversial Christian stance on marriage has became the forefront reasons as to why the LGBTQ community advocates are against the chain. The outcome of the controversy was neither win or loss, as Chick-fil-A’s sales rose up by 12%, to $4.6 billion. Regardless, Chick-fil-A released a statement in July 2012 on their Facebook Page stating, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena”. Not all in the LGBTQ community engaged in the bashing of The Chains Religious beliefs.

Who decides that sexual preference or gender identity is more important than religious rights and the freedom of speech? Not only is speech and businesses being legally affected by LGBTQ’s fight for equality but the Church and Education System as well. In December of 2018 The city of Austin, Texas defended the lack of a religious exemption for churches in its new LGBT anti-discrimination law. This was in response to a lawsuit by the church, arguing that the law “reflects our values and culture.” This law would ultimately force churches to hire homosexual and transgender employees, if not then face fines or jail time. “Nondiscrimination is a core value in Austin and we need to defend it,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler told KXAN-TV. President Dave Welch of the US Pastor Council Chapter warned that if the ordinance is enforced, it will be just a matter of time before protections of the First Amendment collapse in the US. He told the Christian Action Network “it’s time for churches across the country to stand and fight”. Welch noted that ‘Christians can’t wait and watch on this issue, because this puts the church at large at a disadvantage’… “In the past, we have too often waited and watched from the sidelines, silent,” Welch told CAN. “We decided that – that is not possible anymore, that’s not acceptable.”

December of 2018th in WEST POINT, Va. — A Virginia high school teacher refused to use a transgender student’s new pronouns and was fired from his job. Over the summer, the ninth-grade student’s family informed the school system of the student’s gender transition to male. They did not imply that the 47-year-old West Point High School French teacher deliberately referred to the student as a female in the student’s presence, but in conversations with others. Witnesses described that the teacher had a “slip-up” when the student was about to run into a wall and Vlaming told others to stop “her.” When confronted about the incident by administrators, Vlaming made it clear he would not use male pronouns for the student, a stance that led to his suspension referral and disciplinary action. The West Point School Board voted unanimously to dismiss Peter Vlaming after a four-hour hearing. The student was not involved in the hearing. The school reported in a statement saying that Vlaming was fired due to insubordination. “I can’t think of a worse way to treat a child than what was happening,” said West Point High Principal Jonathan Hochman, who testified about letting Vlaming know he had to use male pronouns in accordance with the student’s wishes.

Regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference+ don’t we all fall under basic human rights as human beings? The thought of some how giving certain groups of people ‘human rights’ that we all don’t share doesn’t sound like human rights at all, is it? At what point does self identification stop being, self identification and becomes an ideology that is forced on everyone regardless of how they may feel? Persecution, bullying, or injustice against anyone for any reason is wrong but there’s a fine line between letting someone live their life and forcing everyone to agree with their life. The Question everyone should ask themselves is it really a crime or legally acceptable to fine a person, to jail a person for the misuse of pronouns or their held beliefs. Is the Government going to far in creating an inclusive world for the LGBTQ community that it’s forgotten we all don’t live the same way but should be able to coexist? Is the LGBT community above all other groups including religious groups? Can Jack Phillips, who refused to bake a cake because of his beliefs now fine the Gay couple $250,000 for attacking his faith or does it only apply to the LGBT community members? It seems like the LGBTQ community is favored and protected by Laws and Rights that the majority of us as citizens are not granted. When this reaches your door step, your church, your class room and it imposes itself into your life is that really letting ‘YOU’ live your life? Ironically Tolerance and letting people live their life is what LGBT advocates for until it doesn’t agree with LGBT.

  written by Jazmin Minier

Chemtrails, Operation Snow White, Operation Mockingbird, Operation Midnight Climax, Watergate, and Project Montauk

Operation Midnight Climax

Operation Midnight Climax is a CIA program where U.S citizens were victims of psychotropic drug testing and experimental torture in order for the CIA to develop mind control and interrogation techniques. The project began in the 1950’s and was a response to Soviets trying to develop the same mind control tools. The CIA admitted that their Director, Richard Helms, destroyed nearly all MKUltra evidence in 1973.

Operation Mockingbird

Operation Mockingbird is a scandal where the CIA employed and compensated journalists at media companies who, in return, collected information from and disseminated information to the public via news coverage. Reportedly, the CIA did this because journalists had access to places where the CIA could not enter.

Watergate

Watergate is a U.S scandal that resulted in the resignation of at-the-time President Richard Nixon. The plan by the Committee for the Re-election of the President (CRP) was to infiltrate the Democratic National Committee (DNC) offices of the Watergate Hotel and steal documents and the like in order to win the election. The burglars were caught the second time they broke in. Watergate is about the cover-up, not the burglary. Nixon had tapes which were requested by the courts, but he refused to hand them over, citing executive privilege. The tapes were checked and released in 1974. An 18-minute erased section and the revelation that some involved in the break in had received compensation for their work raised suspicions. The “smoking gun” tape revealed that Nixon knew about the cover-ups since mid-1972. Nixon was then forced to step down or face impeachment. He chose to resign.

Operation Snow White

In 1966, the Church of Scientology infiltrated the U.S government in an attempt to protect the interests of Scientology by finding and purging government information relating to their church or the founder, El Ron Hubbard. Up to 5,000 operatives infiltrated up to 130 branches of the U.S government over the next decade. Then the Church of Scientology successfully sued and harmed the reputation of the IRS for not recognizing Scientology as a religion and not giving them a tax-exempt status.

Chemtrails

Chemtrails are the white tails behind planes. Ut is suggested by some that they are government-planted mind-control spray chemicals that are expelled to fall onto the public. Two main theories that conspiracy theorists believe is evidence are the long-lasting trails and the analysis of water and soil that would absorb the chemicals as they fall to the ground.

Project Montauk

Project Montauk began in 1943 when the destroyer U.S.S. Eldridge traveled through space and time in a top secret US government invisibility project to foil radar. This is known as the “Philadelphia Experiment”. When the destroyer returned, many of the sailors were damaged physically and mentally. Dr Neumann, a mathematical genius and inventor of the modern computer, continued the Philadelphia Experiment to find out why inter-dimensional travel for humans is harmful to them. Brookhaven National Laboratories, located on Long Island, became his base. To finance his work, he was sponsored by the Military Industrial and Congressional Complex. He also had access to an advanced database of Nazi psychological research. Neumann created a virtual mind reading machine that allowed psychics to implant thoughts to control them. The project ended in 1983.

A Sad Loss for the United States

By: Gabriel E. Miller

Richard Arvin Overton was the oldest living World War 2 veteran and the oldest man in America at the extraordinary age of 112. He passed away in Texas on Thursday night due to his battle with pneumonia that put him in the hospital.

Overton was born on May 11, 1906 in St. Mary’s Bastrop County and later enlisted in the United States Army during the 1940s (different sources write he either he enlisted in 1940 or 1942). He served in the 188th Aviation Engineer Battalion, which was an all-black unit that served in various operations in the Pacific theatre. During a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery in 2013, former President Barrack Obama, honored Overton for his military achievements. The following Monday, Obama said, “To see one of the oldest living veterans of World War 2 bear witness to a day, to the progress of a nation that he thought might never come.” This referred to the time period where the United States was still under strict segregation laws.

During that 2013 ceremony, it was noted that Overton was in Pearl Harbor after the attack. He served in combat at Okinawa, and Iwo Jima.

Overton told NPR, “It was difficult. I’ve never done that before. Uncle Sam called me in. And I went there, and I had to do it.”

Regarding Overton’s time during the war, he told NPR that he was grateful to have not gotten home with any major injuries. He said, “I’m glad I didn’t get like some of the others. Some got their arms off. Some got their leg off. Some lost their body. Some lost their soul.” 

During the interview with the Austin American-Statesman he said that during one of the assaults, “We got in the foxholes, and bullets were coming over our heads.” He had also mentioned that he tries to forget about what he saw, but remembers removing bodies from battlefields and surviving through heavy enemy suppression of friendly forces.

Overton had been honorably discharged as a technician fifth grade. He then went on to live in the house he built for over 70 years. He worked in some furniture stores and then at the state treasurer’s office when Ann Richards, a  former Texas Governor, ran the agency.

Richard A. Overton was a very well-known member of his community. He was known for smoking his cigars, drinking his whiskey, and sitting out on the porch giving a warm greeting as they passed by him. Part of the street, according to KUT, where he lived was named after him. Overton’s birthday was also known as “Richard A. Overton Day”, as proclaimed by the Austin City Council.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that Overton “made us proud to be Texans and proud to be Americans.”

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton Appointed National Security Advisor

By Stefan M. Kløvning

Washington, Politics – Former UN Ambassador John Bolton was appointed as the new national security advisor by President Donald Trump on Thursday, replacing H.R. McMaster, who has served Trump in the position since February 2017.

Mr. Bolton is also said to have been considered for Secretary of State in the end of 2016, but was eliminated from the running because Trump didn’t like his mustache. ‘Donald was not going to like that mustache. I can’t think of anyone that’s really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes,’ a Trump associate told the Washington Post.

That objection seems now to have been resolved, perhaps due to John Bolton having a similar nationalist attitude to Trump, having a strong focus on putting America first both economically and politically, for instance regarding the threat of trade war and shutting off the nuclear deal with Iran. In 2000, he published an essay called ‘Should We Take Global Governance Seriously,’ where he categorized the American people into two groups: Americanists and Globalists. He claims that the latter is getting increasing control in American politics, and goes on to criticize nearly every single multinational convention.

The decision to appoint him has turned out to be quite controversial. According to Politico, Bolton is a ‘unilateralist ideologue who has spent his career spitting in the face of global cooperation.’ He has also been called ‘one of the most radically hawkish voices in American foreign policy,’ having proposed a first-strike military procedure on both North-Korea and Iran, and has also been accused of manipulating U.S. intelligence to favor his own ideological policies. One of the accussations come from congressional sources claiming that Bolton had ‘sought to punish two State Department officials for disagreeing with him on nonproliferation issues.’ Even during his time as an ambassador for the UN, he publically despised international law, telling the World Federalist Organization that ‘There’s no such thing as the UN. If the U.N. Secretariat building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit difference,’ and later declared that

It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so—because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrain the United States.

He has been severely criticized for what he has done in the past, and many are concerned he will continue this behavior as a National Security Advisor. One notable critique is by Senator Bernie Sanders, who spoke strongly against his interventionist ideology:

Another critic is Professor Richard Gowan of Columbia University, who has studies Bolton’s career. He claims that Bolton ‘hates the State Department,’ ‘portrays US diplomats as closet Democrat appeasers,’ and ‘raised hell at the UN.’

Vox has called Bolton ‘the Fox News-ification of foreign policy,’ as he became an influential figure and writer on the newssite following his resignation as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in December 2016. He became so popular there, they exclaim, that he considered running for president in 2012 and 2016.

How will John Bolton do as a national security advisor forward? His history provides some clues, and suggests that the war-mongering, interventionist and protectionistic ideology of Bolton will be anything but a positive influence on U.S. foreign policy and the president. Both libertarians and left-wingers seem to think so. Christopher Preble, the vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute said that ‘I operate on the assumption that John Bolton should be kept as far away from the levers of foreign policy as possible. I think I would rest easy if he was dog catcher in Stone Mountain, Georgia. But maybe not.’ Mieke Eoyong, the vice president for foreign policy at the center-left think tank Third Way, agrees, exclaiming that ‘Bolton is so much of an ideologue, that I don’t think he would accurately portray consequences [of policy options] to the president.’ She added that ‘The United States has not hit rock bottom in our international relations,’ but with Bolton as National Security Advisor, ‘we could go lower.’