October 13, 2006

Nobel Peace Prize Misses Opportunity

Yesterday Cindy Sheehan announced that she was a finalist for the Nobel Peace Prize, but today we get the sad news that she did not win. I wanted her to win just to show how ridiculous the Nobel Prize Committee had gotten, as if making a previous award to Jimmy Carter wasn't enough proof. Anyway, just having her as a finalist says enough.

Usually, people get extra consideration for the prize if they show a disdain for America and especially the Bush administration. I was sure that Cindy Sheehan was a lock and that this was a great opportunity for the Nobel Prize Committee to stick their collective thumbs in the eye of President Bush.

Oh, the guy who did win, a Bangladeshi professor named Mohammed Yunus, developed a loan program titled "Microcredit" for poor people who can offer no collateral or other financial security. Sign me up! Maybe they'll give Ms. Sheehan one despite her high paying job to stalk the President.

Here's what U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said of the loan program:

"Microfinance is not charity. It is a way to extend the same rights and services to low-income households that are available to everyone else."

Look at that again. Kofi Annan said that unsecured loans are a right. Try telling that to my bank, which only gives loans to people who can prove that they don't need them. I demand my rights!

Posted by Woody M. at October 13, 2006 10:50 AM | TrackBack


This posting is most unworthy of you. While Cindy deserves to be hoisted on her own petard, your headline and your leading the posting with Cindy just give her the undeserved attention she craves.

Worse, it detracts from the meritorious winner of this year's Nobel. It looks like the Nobel Committee got it right for once.

Also, your snark about microfinance is out-of-line. The people running these operations are sound lenders who, despite their unconventional lending criteria, have repayment rates higher than most conventional banks. I know of microfinance operations in the Phillippines and among Untouchables in India that have transformed lives into productive business operators who otherwise would have ended up on the refuse heap of society. I've never heard anyone involved saying that the loan programs are a right.

Please look more into microfinance. Social networks in the third world are different than in Atlanta. While not a panacea, microfinance has been one of the shining success stories of private capitalism in the third world, a beacon amidst the wreakage of mismanaged and corrupt governmental initiatives.

For more commentary, see here.

Posted by civil truth at October 13, 2006 10:52 AM

Civil Truth, until today, I had never heard of Micofinance aka Microcredit. It may be quite worthwhile, but I don't consider it a "right" as does the head of the U.N., as revealed in the quote that I offered. Other than that, I have little knowledge and no opinion on the program.

I don't hold out good feelings for the Nobel Committee just because they didn't choose the usual "Bush hater" this year. I would have to see a more consistent pattern of reason from them before I throw out accolades. Just nominating Cindy Sheehan shows me that they are not totally redeemed.

Posted by Woody at October 13, 2006 11:50 AM

Better luck next year, Cind.

Posted by Jeremayakovka at October 13, 2006 11:34 PM

I know of microfinance operations in the Phillippines and among Untouchables in India that have transformed lives into productive business operators who otherwise would have ended up on the refuse heap of society.

I'd think any true conservative would have to just be thrilled over this kind of program. It's everything that Welfare programs aren't. Not sure if such a model would be workable in America or not but it seems to work very well in third world countries.

Posted by e. nonee moose at October 17, 2006 11:35 AM

The U.S. has SBA loans for small businesses, but even they require that you pledge your children as collateral. I wonder if the culture in India makes the microfinance programs work because of the humiliation of not paying back a debt. I really am just speculating. I do know people from that country who wanted divorces but did not follow through because of the cultural stigma attached.

Posted by Woody at October 17, 2006 12:31 PM

How do we know she really was a finalist?

Posted by DRJ at October 18, 2006 12:32 PM

To suggest that Sheehan wasn't a Nobel Peace Prize finalist would be the same as calling her a liar or dillusional. Hmmmm. Maybe you have a point there.

Posted by Woody at October 19, 2006 07:01 AM

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