From a humanitarian perspective, this should be an easy decision

“What the Post fails to mention—indeed, what most American reporting on this subject has neglected to make clear—is that other countries are simply asking for the right to manufacture vaccine doses of their own, as opposed to drawing from existing supply in the U.S. for their own larders. …

“Since last year, 57 countries, along with organizations like Oxfam and Amnesty International, have been begging the WTO to temporarily waive patent protection for the vaccines, so that countries such as India and South Africa might be able to produce their own Covid-19 vaccines and other treatments, which could be more affordable and available to the developing world. And since last year, rich countries, led by the U.S. the U.K., and the European Union, have been blocking that demand. The latest attempt to get them to reconsider failed just last week. …

“Vaccine distribution is being spoken and written about as a zero-sum game because of the conditions of artificial scarcity that our government has created and is presently enforcing. If more Americans actually knew the substance of the requests being made by other nations, they’d have no reason to worry about losing any of “our” vaccine doses. Instead, they would understand that the only thing at risk—and only temporarily at that—are some potential future profits of Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and the like. It’s hard to believe many of them would side with our government’s position on the matter. The lack of interest by the American media means we’ll never get to find out.”

Nations across the world are demanding the right to manufacture their own Covid-19 vaccines. Why is the U.S. saying no?

Views: 95

Poem of the day

A Dialogue Between the Soul and Body
by Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)

O who shall, from this Dungeon, raise
A Soul inslav’d so many ways?
With bolts of Bones, that fetter’d stands
In Feet; and manacled in Hands.
Here blinded with an Eye; and there,
Deaf with the drumming of an Ear.
A Soul hung up, as ’twere, in Chains
Of Nerves, and Arteries, and Veins.
Tortur’d, besides each other part,
In a vain Head, and double Heart.

O who shall me deliver whole,
From bonds of this Tyrannic Soul?
Which, stretcht upright, impales me so,
That mine own Precipice I go;
And warms and moves this needless Frame:
(A Fever could but do the same.)
And, wanting where its spite to try,
Has made me live to let me die.
A Body that could never rest,
Since this ill Spirit it possest.

What Magic could me thus confine
Within another’s Grief to pine?
Where whatsoever it complain,
I feel, that cannot feel, the pain.
And all my care its self employs,
That to preserve, which me destroys:
Constrain’d not only to endure
Diseases, but what’s worse, the Cure:
And ready oft the port to gain,
And Shipwrackt into Health again.

But Physic yet could never reach
The maladies thou me dost teach;
Whom the first Cramp of Hope dost tear:
And then the Palsy shakes of Fear.
The Pestilence of Love does heat:
Or Hatred’s hidden Ulcer eat.
Joy’s cheerful Madness does perplex:
Or Sorrow’s other Madness vex.
Which Knowledge forces me to know,
And Memory will not forgo.
What but a Soul could have the wit
To build me up for Sin so fit?
So Architects do square and hew,
Green Trees that in the Forest grew.

Views: 32

Poem of the day

by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896)

Parsifal a vaincu les Filles, leur gentil
Babil et la luxure amusante — et sa pente
Vers la Chair de garçon vierge que cela tente
D’aimer les seins légers et ce gentil babil;

Il vaincu la Femme belle, au cœur subtil,
Étalant ses bras frais et sa gorge excitante;
Il a vaincu l’Enfer et rentre sous sa tente
Avec un lourd trophée à son bras puéril,

Avec la lance qui perça le Flanc suprême!
Il a guéri le roi, le voici roi lui-même,
Et prêtre du très saint Trésor essentiel.

En robe d’or il adore, gloire et symbole,
Le vase pur où resplendit le Sang réel.
— Et, ô ces voix d’enfants chantant dans la coupole!

Views: 43

Poem of the day

Soldiers of Freedom
by Katharine Lee Bates (1863-1929)

They veiled their souls with laughter
⁠         And many a mocking pose,
These lads who follow after
⁠         Wherever Freedom goes;
These lads we used to censure
⁠         For levity and ease
On Freedom’s high adventure
⁠         Go shining overseas.

Our springing tears adore them
⁠         These boys at school and play,
Fair-fortuned years before them,
⁠         Alas! but yesterday.
Divine with sudden splendor
⁠         —Oh how our eyes were blind!—
In careless self-surrender
⁠         They battle for mankind.

Soldiers of Freedom! Gleaming
⁠         And golden they depart,
Transfigured by the dreaming
⁠         Of boyhood’s hidden heart.
Her lovers they confess them
⁠         And, rushing on her foes,
Toss her their youth—God bless them!—
⁠         As lightly as a rose.

Views: 32

Game of the week

Views: 38

Poem of the day

Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
Is also great,
    And would suffice

Views: 37

Poem of the day

Michelangelo und seine Statuen
by Conrad Ferdinand Meyer (1825-1898)

Du öffnest, Sklave, deinen Mund,
Doch stöhnst du nicht. Die Lippe schweigt.
Nicht drückt, Gedankenvoller, dich
Die Bürde der behelmten Stirn.
Du packst mit nerv’ger Hand den Bart,
Doch springst du, Moses, nicht empor.
Maria mit dem todten Sohn,
Du weinst, doch rinnt die Thräne nicht.
Ihr stellt des Leids Geberde dar,
Ihr meine Kinder, ohne Leid!
So sieht der freigewordne Geist
Des Lebens überwundne Qual.
Was martert die lebend’ge Brust,
Beseligt und ergötzt im Stein.
Den Augenblick verewigt ihr,
Und sterbt ihr, sterbt ihr ohne Tod.
Im Schilfe wartet Charon mein,
Der pfeifend sich die Zeit vertreibt.

Views: 30

Poem of the day

A Psalm of Life
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
         Life is but an empty dream!—
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
         And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
         And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
         Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
         Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
         Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
         And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
         Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world’s broad field of battle,
         In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
         Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
         Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
         Heart within, and God o’erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
         We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
         Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
         Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
         Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
         With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
         Learn to labor and to wait.

Views: 497

Poem of the day

To Rebecca, who slammed doors for fun and perished miserably
by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

A trick that everyone abhors
In little girls is slamming doors.
A wealthy banker’s little daughter
Who lived in Palace Green, Bayswater
(By name Rebecca Offendort),
Was given to this furious sport.

She would deliberately go
And slam the door like billy-o!
To make her uncle Jacob start.
She was not really bad at heart,
But only rather rude and wild;
She was an aggravating child…

It happened that a marble bust
Of Abraham was standing just
Above the door this little lamb
Had carefully prepared to slam,
And down it came! It knocked her flat!
It laid her out! She looked like that.

Her funeral sermon (which was long
And followed by a sacred song)
Mentioned her virtues, it is true,
But dwelt upon her vices too,
And showed the dreadful end of one
Who goes and slams the door for fun.

The children who were brought to hear
The awful tale from far and near
Were much impressed, and inly swore
They never more would slam the door,
— As often they had done before.

Views: 43