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Ted Talks: Paul Pholeros: How to Reduce Poverty? Fix Homes

In 1985, architect Paul Pholeros was challenged by the director of an Aboriginal-controlled health service to "stop people getting sick" in a small indigenous community in south Australia. The key insights: think beyond medicine and fix the local environment. In this sparky, interactive talk, Pholeros describes projects undertaken by Healthabitat, the organization he now runs to help reduce poverty -- through practical design fixes -- in Australia and beyond.


Dark Days Documentary (Underground Lifestyle)

A documentary about the Underground City Life, the hard life of homeless living has changed in some areas known but even to this day the rich get wealthier the por get hardly nothing but small donations forcing others to hustle their way to survive the great repression of any city and system.

How to survive Agenda 21.


Africa for Norway

You too can donate your radiator and spread some warmth!

Imagine if every person in Africa saw the "Africa for Norway" video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?

If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? No wonder, because in fundraising campaigns and media that's mainly what you hear about.

The pictures we usually see in fundraisers are of poor African children. Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. But while these images can engage people in the short term, we are concerned that many people simply give up because it seems like nothing is getting better. Africa should not just be something that people either give to, or give up on.

The truth is that there are many positive developments in African countries, and we want these to become known. We need to change the simplistic explanations of problems in Africa. We need to educate ourselves on the complex issues and get more focus on how western countries have a negative impact on Africa's development. If we want to address the problems the world is facing we need to do it based on knowledge and respect.

The video is made by The Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund (www.saih.no). With the cooperation of Operation Day's Work (www.od.no). With funding from The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and The Norwegian Children and Youth Council (LNU). Music by Wathiq Hoosain. Lyrics by Bretton Woods (www.developingcountry.org). Video by Ikind Productions (www.ikindmedia.com)


One of America's Most Notorious Militias

We interviewed the founder of the notorious Michigan Militia to find out about its ties with Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bombing and more.

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Norman Olson is the founder of the Michigan Militia, the most famous/notorious/we-think-maybe-oldest? group of the early-90s citizens' militia movement. If you're too young to remember, that was this thing where guys in camouflage got together to train with their guns and guys with cameras pretended they were scary and racist. The movement hit a speed bump when it got blamed for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, and Norm Olson didn't do much good for his own group when he tried to pass the blame to the Japanese€”an idea which, if you subscribe to certain theories concerning the earlier sarin-gas attack on the Tokyo subway and the responsible doomsday cult's alleged connections to the Japanese Imperial Family, makes a limited sort of sense, but otherwise sounds like the craziest of all possible answers. With faith already shaken in his leadership, Norm then hitched the Militia's wagon to fears over that Y2K thing and by February 2000 the group was essentially defunct. However, as you may have heard from the Southern Poverty Law Center or one of the hundreds of press outlets who reprinted their press release as a "story," right-wing militia activity is back on the upswing. And never one to look a media jizz-rush in the mouth, Norm and his old compatriot Ray Southwell are using the momentum to try and get a new militia started on Alaska's Kenai peninsula. So far it's been going kind of rough, but that didn't stop Norm and Ray from inviting us in for coffee and a quick flip through his big, yarn-bound book of Militia Mem'ries. Come join us, as we televize the nostalgialution...

Originally released in 2010 on http://VICE.com

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Crash Course WH: Globalization II

Globalization II - Good or Bad?: Crash Course World History #42

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In which John asks whether globalization is a net positive for humanity. While the new global economy has created a lot of wealth, and lifted a lot of people out of poverty, it also has some effects that aren't so hot. Wealth disparity, rising divorce rates, environmental damage, and new paths for the spread of disease. So does all this outweigh the economic benefits, the innovation, and the relative peace that come with interconnected economies? As usual, the answer is not simple. In this case, we're living in the middle of the events we're discussing, so it's hard to know how it's going to turn out.

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Animals Slaughtered for Religious Atonement

Chickens struggling to live after their throats were cut during Kaporos.

Kaporos ("atonements") is a custom preceding Yom Kippur - the Jewish Day of Atonement - in which chickens are ritually sacrificed by many Orthodox Jews. The person "swings" the chicken, held by the legs or by pinning the bird's wings backward, around his or her head while chanting about transferring one's sins symbolically onto the bird. The chicken is then slaughtered and may or may not be given to the poor. Prior to the ceremony, the chickens are packed in crates, and birds not used have been found abandoned in their crates when the ceremony was over.

The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos seeks to replace chickens in kaporos rituals for 3 principal reasons:

The use of chickens as kaporos is cruel. They suffer in being held with their wings pinned backward, in being swung over the heads of practitioners, and in being packed in crates, often for days without food or water leading up to the ritual, which violates tsa'ar ba'alei chaim, the mandate prohibiting cruelty to animals.

The use of chickens is not required by Jewish law. It is not a mitzvah but a custom that originated in the middle ages.

There is an acceptable substitute that not only avoids cruelty but can help reduce hunger and show compassion. Money can be used as a non-animal alternative, and funds raised can be given directly to charities that provide food for the poor and hungry throughout the year, including 13,000 Jewish families living at or below the poverty line in New York City.

EndChickensAsKaporos's YouTube Channel

Eminent Orthodox Rabbis Oppose Using Chickens in Kaporos Rituals on Grounds of Religion, Morality, and Compassion for Animals

"Since this is not a clear duty but rather a tradition, and in the light of the kashrut problems and cruelty to animals, and in the light of all of what our aforementioned rabbis said, it is recommended that one should prefer to conduct the atonement ceremony with money, thus also fulfilling the great mitzva of helping poor people."

--Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Head of Jerusalem's Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim and Rabbi of Beit El, in a letter to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel quoted in The Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2010. http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Article.aspx?id=188106

"Beyond the objections of the Ramban, Rashba and the Bet Yosef to the custom of 'kapparot,' and beyond the warnings of rabbinic authorities such as the Chayei Adam, Kaf HaChaim, Aruch HaShulchan and the Mishanah Brurah regarding the halachic infringements involved in using live fowl for this custom, the latter also desecrates the prohibition against "tzaar baalei chayim" (causing cruelty to animals). Those who wish to fulfill this custom can do so fully and indeed in a far more halachically acceptable manner by using money as a substitute as proposed by the latter authorities mentioned above."

--Rabbi David Rosen, CBE, KSG, International Director of Interreligious Affairs, AJC, and Chief Rabbinate of Israel's Honorary Advisor on Interfaith Relations. Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, August 25, 2011

"A custom must operate within the confines of Judaism's basic fundamental values. The Torah prohibits Jews from causing any unnecessary pain to living creatures, even psychological pain. It says in the Book of Proverbs, 'The righteous person considers the soul of his or her animal.' The pain caused to the chickens in the process of performing Kapparot is absolutely unnecessary. Giving money is not only a more humane method of performing the practice of Kapparot but it is also a more efficient way of ensuring that those who are in need will receive the requisite assistance."

--Rabbi Shlomo Segal, Rabbi of Beth Shalom of Kings Bay in Brooklyn, New York, August 25, 2011


Have you heard of 9/11? - Afghanistan

In the West we take it for granted that everybody knows about the events of September 11th. But is this really the case, especially in some of the places that have been most affected by its consequences?

Amazingly, in Afghanistan, where for ten years a war has been fought with 9/11 as its root cause and justification, not only do many locals claim to be oblivious to 9/11 but it appears that so are the police and even some of the translators working with the US military. "We're farmers, we're just working in our fields. We don't know anything else about the world," they shrug. With high rates of illiteracy, poverty and lack of infrastructure, many Afghans live in what is close to a media vacuum. With American troops set to start withdrawing this year, it appears that they will leave with a huge number of Afghans never having really understood why they came in the first place. For the majority of US soldiers however, it's a different story. "Some of us still have a personal vendetta with the beings that roam here. I still find it very personal."

Adam Pletts


Wis. Suspect Part of 'Skinhead Music Scene'

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group, says Wisconsin shooting suspect Wade Michael Page was a member of the most violent parts of the white supremacist scene: the racist, skinhead music scene. (Aug. 6)


When You Don't Exist

When you don't exist is Amnesty International's campaign for the human rights of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe and at its borders.

People move to Europe for different reasons. Some flee persecution or war. Others leave because of chronic poverty. They hope to find a safer, better future in Europe. But too often they find a different reality.

Europe is failing migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. Negative attitudes to asylum-seekers and migrants are widespread. European countries are stepping up measures to control migration. This can cause serious human rights violations. People on the move have their rights violated, often out of the public eye. They are effectively made invisible.


Ted Talks: Jamie Drummond: Let's Crowd-Source the world's Goals

In 2000, the UN laid out 8 goals to make the world better by reducing poverty and disease -- with a deadline of 2015. As that deadline approaches, Jamie Drummond of ONE.org runs down the surprising successes of the 8 Millennium Development Goals, and suggests a crowdsourced reboot for the next 15 years.