Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Given all the talk about "health care reform" at the state and federal government levels in the USA today I was really impressed by the introduction of Dikembe Mutombo by President Bush during his recent State of the Union address. Mr. Mutombo is the center for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association but he was NOT recognized by President Bush as a sports star but as a humanitarian who reportedly raised $29 million -- donating $15 million himself -- for the construction of the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinshasa, Congo. For an overview of Congo please read this excerpt from the website listed below:

"Established as a Belgian colony in 1908, the Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire."

This hospital is being built in memory of Mr. Mutombo's mother who "........died nine years ago when civil unrest and a curfew prevented her from getting to a hospital." (Source: Houston Chronicle) I hope readers would draw at least these important conclusions from this story:

1.) Compared to Congo the USA clearly does not have a "health care crises" which requires even MORE government intervention -- instead we need consumer choice not more regulatory agencies.

2.) "Curfews" are imposed by governments (failed governments that is) thus it is fair to say that Mrs. Mutombo's death was caused by the Congolese government.

3.) Granted, we don't all have Mr. Mutombo's financial resources and celebrity power to open other peoples' checkbooks but we can and should volunteer more than we do today.

4.) European post-colonialism -- Belgian in the case of Congo -- has still left several dysfunctional governments around the world. Given the wealth in Belgium today perhaps their citizens should build a few hospitals in Congo today to help compensate for their past imperialism.

Charity is alive and well,


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