Archive for April 27th, 2015

27/04/2015

Today, 865000 People Will Either Die or Be Injured Doing their Job

Human Wrongs Watch

Geneva, 28 April 2015 – Today, 865 000 people will either die or be injured doing their job. Every year, 2.8 trillion US$ dollars are taken up by lost working time, treatment, compensation and rehabilitation of occupational injuries and diseases. Ensuring decent, safe, and healthy working conditions and environments is the responsibility of us all, warns the International Labour Organization (ILO) marking World Day for Safety and Health at Work

Rana Plaza, Two Years On | Source: ILO

Rana Plaza, Two Years On | Source: ILO

The news is punctuated periodically by intense coverage of dramatic, heartbreaking stories that capture global attention: health workers infected while caring for patients with deadly diseases, trapped miners who may or may not resurface, factory building collapses, plane crashes, explosions of oil rigs and nuclear accidents, ILO Director-Generals Guy Ryde stated.*

While the media eventually move on to other topics, working in hazardous conditions is actually a daily, routine and unseen affair for many workers. The numbers are striking. Over 313 million workers suffer non-fatal occupational injuries each year, equating to 860,000 people injured on the job daily.

27/04/2015

The West against Itself

Human Wrongs Watch

By Johan Galtung*

27 Apr 2015, Jondal, Bergen, Kristiansund, Norway – TRANSCEND Media Service – The West–North America and Europe to somewhere in Mexico and Ukraine– declines, outcompeted economically, defeated militarily, confronted politically, contested culturally. But still strong on all four, with much to offer in a more egalitarian world. No need to fall further by working against itself.

Johan Galtung

Johan Galtung

Take the 70th anniversary demarcation of the victory over nazism, take thousands of Africans drowning in the waters around Lampedusa, Italy, take the Islamic State, take Ukraine–and a country up there in the high North of Europe, Norway.

Elections have moved the country from “red-green” to “blue-blue” coloring of the same color blind foreign policy: follow Washington, Our Father, lest Satan should come.

Yes, the Red Army came and liberated Kirkenes 25 October 1944, the northernmost city.

Everybody knows Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s three-pronged attack toward Leningrad (the siege), Moscow (to beat–Napoleon?) and Caucasus (oil); but not the war for the ice-free harbor of Murmask, from Kirkenes. King Haakon VII, a Dane elected king in 1905, made a remarkable speech in London, distributed in leaflets through the air:

          “Fear of Russians is not a recent phenomenon.–New was the fear of bolshevism, added after the Russian revolution. But up till this date we are missing the slightest proof that Russia has had aggressive designs on Norway.

          What we are not missing are the proofs that the fear of Russians and bolshevism is propagated by powers and groups that themselves had aggressive designs on Russia. The proofs are abundant in the political history from 1918 till today.”

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27/04/2015

Millay's "Epitaph for the Race of Man"

Human Wrongs Watch

By John Scales Avery*

The beautiful red-haired American poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), is known for her lyric poetry, but she also wrote some of the finest sonnets in the English language, combining classic form with modern imagery.

**Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) | Author; Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q312851 | Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

**Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) | Author; Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q312851 | Public Domain | Wikimedia Commons

Many of these sonnets are based on the emotions that she experienced in her love affairs with both men and women.

However, my own favorite is a serious sequence of eighteen sonnets, “Epitaph for the Race of Man”, published in 1934, just as the catastrophe of World War II was about to engulf our planet.

The basic premise of Millay’s “Epitaph” is that we know from the evolutionary history of life on earth, that no species survives forever.

She speculates on what will be the final cause of the extinction of the human race, and concludes that Man will die by his own hand, since none the innumerable disasters that nature has thrown at us over the millennia has persuaded humankind “to lay aside the lever and the spade, and be as dust among the dusts that blow”.

Here are a few of the sonnets from the sequence:

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