INTERPOL targets foreign trade Between Europe, Africa (Lyons, France)
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice" - Senator Barry Goldwater
|Back-wards To Eden.|
Anyone who has lived in Africa knows that a family without formal education dreams of a handful of jobs for their kids. Agriculture (e.g., Fair Trade Coffee picked "by hand"), the army, and working for a multinational like Exxon or Nike, those are considered the "good" jobs.
Poaching elephant tusks, gorilla hands, bushmeat hunting, sex tourism, drug smuggling, and using toxic mercury to delve the rivers for gold... those are the jobs I'd want my kids to avoid.
Of all these jobs, of all the resource-curse jobs, the globalist sweat shop jobs, the finite material mining, the pollution, of all these ways for Africans to earn income, David Higgins of Interpol in Lyons, France, has elevated one of them to criminality.
Reuse and repair of used electronics. That's the bad one.
There's a new idea circulating in Europe for Africa's future. "Back to Eden".
Here's the thing.
|used outfit: confiscate|
Yet I have never, ever, been questioned on the 90% of junk, toxic, crap, obsolete material that I ship to white people.
So please someone, explain this "Eden" solution to me. I'm listening.
Basel Action Network? Electronic Takeback? Interpol? CAER? Really, I'm willing to do whatever you say if you let my friends out of this cage the USA press has put them in. The fake statistics, describing totally false allegations that "most" of the trade is polluting and illegal, keep rattling out of journalists (Herald Tribute publication says only "2%" of imports are reused, citing Basel Action Network, just last month).
"Primitive" and "informal". Those are the words describing cell phone and laptop repair in Lagos. If they can just take those jobs away, Africa will return, perhaps, to the paradise Africans were living in before they purchased and shipped all these used electronics. They can leapfrog backwards into a Heart of Lightness, as easily as American slaves shipped "home" to Liberia in the 1800s.
The goods are seized at ports by Interpol. The seized goods are now, in places like Alexandria, considered "100% waste". Basel Convention meetings in Egypt, in 2011, toured the piles of computers seized by dictator Mubarak's regime in the closing years, as he tried to rope protests spreading like wildfire by youtube, a precurser to Harlem Shake youtube protests... Europeans actually walked around the seized piles and said "tsk tsk". And the American FBI cracked down on USA recyclers in St. Louis who tried to keep used computers flowing into Egypt, by changing date codes. Was it criminal? So was the Underground Railroad.
As Interpol brags about the game it has bagged, and uses discredited statistics about the export trade to justify its boasts, I look for a single reporter interviewing a single African business importer.
The journalists type away, recycling the fake numbers into new headlines, so the anti-export complex can cite them as a new number. Like a constant whipping sound, typed pages fly off paper based printing presses, circulating the news that another African career has been declared ignoble. Life savings are destroyed, amid cries of fear and pain. The Fixers who would replace capacitors or refill ink cartridges are profiled as poisoners of children, importing harm into Eden, or even accused of bringing diseases in the computers (computer virus apparently).
Lies. Fake statistics. Completely false statements. Whip, whip, whip goes the newspaper off the printing line. They are used to justify the crackdown on the one type of job most responsible for the rapid development of economies in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, etc... repair leads to tinkering, to reverse engineering, to contract manufacturing, which in turn creates a society that can afford its own electricity and internet.
"Back to Eden".
They want to somehow put the Apple computers back onto the tree of Knowledge, to take the rare earth metals of our Information Age away from the likes of Joseph Benson (Nigeria), Hamdy Moussa (Egypt), Frederic Somda (Burkina Faso), and Wahab (Ghana) and Miguel (Angola).
Europe is apparently having its own Bureau of Indian Affairs episode, its own Liberia planning. Put the genie back in the bottle. Make Africa more like Eden, less like Taipei, Penang, or Kuala Lumpur. Africans can still be saved from technology. They can work safely upstream, digging the rare earths like coltan from the muddy sides of forested hills, eating monkey.
How about another code name?
Geek Django in Chains.
African consumers scream WE CAN'T AFFORD NEW, YOU IDIOTS. If they can't afford New, and we ban Old because it was old... It's backwards to Eden, or just backwards?
Fifteen percent residue, or damage in shipping, is similar to Wal-mart store returns of used electronics (11%). It's NOT a "witch's brew", it's NOT "ghoulish", its not some kind of toxic juju for dictators to use. Used technology is Africa's printing press. Interpol, you are arresting their Ben Franklins. And you know what? Even the jobs recycling the 15% of waste are not that bad on the list of jobs Africans have been given to choose from. We do hand-disassembly of used electronics in the USA, and if you avoid acid and fire, 99% of the recycling is not toxic.
Conservative and conservationist Barry Goldwater and Walt Kelley of Pogo would agree about this. We have met the enemy, and he is us.