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Comments

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Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

JOrgePeixoto Your theory does not fit the facts (818 comments)

Pro Life is not about life, it's about male dominance

What is the evidence for that? In reality, more women identify as pro-life than pro-choice. See section "Gender agreement" in
http://www.gallup.com/poll/118...

Pro Life is not about life, because it's OK to physically attack and occasionally kill people who work at abortion clinics. Casualties of war!

This is an outright lie on your part. Abortionist assassination is widely condemned among pro-lifers. And have a sense of scale: there have been 8 activist-caused abortion worker deaths over 40 years in the US. This in a country where 14100 people are murdered per year, which means that 8 people are killed every 5 hours.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Resigning was an offer he couldn't refuse (1746 comments)

Saying that you're judging actions and not people is sophistry.

You lack a basis for that affirmation. I just said a particular action was immoral. I don't remember saying that these people are evil, or even that they should be punished. They may be misguided good people, for all I know.

Judging actions is something we do several times a day. Whenever one, for example, says that emitting greenhouse gases is wrong, one is judging actions. It is one fundamental difference between we and the animals.

Aside from that, consider the actual situation. Eich was wealthy before he won (and lost) that job.

So it is OK to create a glass ceiling for people with wrong political beliefs?

If you want to look for something actually worthy of wagging your finger at, complain about what the wealthy are doing to literally steal the future of the majority and their children.

You don't know my other political beliefs. The topic in this discussion is the Mozilla affair. Slashdot asks us to stay on topic.

It's rather unseemly to express such sanctimony in public as you are doing here.

Personal animus is no help here.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Resigning was an offer he couldn't refuse (1746 comments)

In a situation where people choose to express their opinions by withholding business I don't think you have the "moral" high ground to judge them.

I am not judging people, I am judging actions (which is good and necessary). Punishing a technical professional because of a small private political donation, 5 years ago, not using the company brand, and not intersecting with the company mission, is immoral. It disrespects individual conscience. Imagine being demoted from your tech job because abortion activists (either pro- or anti-) found out that, 5 years ago, you donated $1000 to the other side of their abortion campaign. This is not the society we want.

Ideas need to be debated based on their merits, not based on punishment and reward.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Resigning was an offer he couldn't refuse (1746 comments)

I might disagree with the people who led the boycott, but would accept it as one of the attributes of this still relatively free society. Remember when Focus on the Family led a Disney boycott over "gay days"? Meh - I think they're unevolved dopes, but I would defend their right to be as dopey as they like.

I am not objecting to the legal right of this kind of boycott. I am asserting that it is immoral, because it punished a man for personal political activity he did more than 5 years ago, not using the company brand, and not intersecting with the company mission. This was illiberal.

I am not saying this Mccarthyism should be punished by the state. I am saying we the citizens should solve this problem and defend freedom of speech and freedom of political activism.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

And that whistle-blower will never be hired by anybody else again. All future potential employers will "just happen" to find a better-qualified candidate than someone with a history of antagonizing their employers.

You think that, in the web industry, an employee would probably be stigmatized for making public an possible case of homophobia? More likely, he would be treated like a small hero.

Really, there is no need to treat Eich as guilty a priori here.

The ballot is secret for a reason, and small donations should be secret too.

$1000 is more than the average American makes in a week.

I'm not saying the limit for anonymity should be $1000. It could be lower (such as half a minimum wage, or maybe one third). If that was in place, Eich could have chosen to limit his donation and gain anonymity. So it would be win-win: donors would have an option to be anonymous, and _small_ donations would be incentivized, which is good for democracy (we don't want big money to skew the democratic process).

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

Ethics has nothing whatsoever to do with the personal choice to boycott something that one disagrees with.

So is it ethical to boycott banks controlled by Jews?

Here people boycotted an organization based on the private, past political activism of its CEO; he was eventually forced to resign. The ballot is secret for a reason, and small donations should be secret too.

I am using "ethical" in the sense of "morally correct", not in the sense of the philosophy branch called ethics.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

With Mozilla giving benefits to same-sex couples and having outreach programs for homosexuals, it is hard to see how an anti-gay culture could build up. And, it is impossible for such a culture to build invisibly; these days ideological hiccups regarding homosexuality are cast out.

If and when Eich harmed an employee, that employe could be unable to legally prove his case, but could easily make the case public, thus causing Eich's demise. There is no need to preventive strikes.

Besides: would you support this Mccarthyism regarding other controversies about rights? Should we, for example, force pro-life CEOs to resign because "they are unfit to lead women"?

Ideas need to be debated based on their merits, not on punisment and reward. The ballot is secret for a reason, and small donations should be secret too.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto This is peculiar to the homosexuality controversy (1746 comments)

I have not seen this Mccarthyism applied to abortion, the death penalty, censorship of pornography, or other controversies in which one (or both) side claims it is about rights. For example, in the abortion controversy, one side claims to be fighting for the recognition of the human right to life (the most important human right) while the other claims to be fighting for the woman's right to her own body (a very important human right indeed). Yet I don't see any figurehead resigning because they donated $1000 to NARAL, 5 years ago. It seems to be accepted that a person's private political activism, done off-work, quietly, not using the company brand, and not against the company core mission, is their own choice. This should apply to the homosexuality controversy too. Ideas need to be debated on their merits, not on reward and punishment.

Political donations below a certain limit (say, half a minimum wage) should be allowed to be anonymous. The ballot is secret for a reason, and small donations should be secret too (except for aggregate statistics).

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

Eich worked to criminalize what people do privately.

Hyperbole.

It wasn't his marriage that got revoked.

The original post is still hyperbole. He wasn't proposing that the state punish people for having illegal sex, which is what the original post was implying. He was proposing that the state does not institute (with tax benefits, shared guard over adopted kids, etc.) marriage between people of the same sex. He wanted same-sex couples to be in the same situtation as polygamous groups: ignored by the state. You may disagree with that, but if you have good arguments for your disagreement, then you don't need to attack strawmen.

In the current corporate legal environment that leans heavily in their favor, there can be no expectation of separation of the public and the private for management. They simply have too much power over the lives of others to pretend anything else is possible.

It would be understandable to boycott Mozilla if the CEO actually harmed an employee. It is unreasonable to perform a preventive strike, reasoning that "he will never be able to separate his beliefs from his work and therefore he is guilty a priori.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto How about abortion, or the death penalty? (1746 comments)

It wasn't just his political activism from 5 years ago that was the problem. If he had disavowed that behaviour, apologized to his employees and make an act on contrition (such as donating a significant amount of money to a pro-gay marriage organization or campaign) they could have buried the hatchet. However, apparently he still does not believe that his gay employees should be fully equal to the heterosexual ones. Effectively, he chose to step down rather than admit he was wrong.

Would you make the same demand of political conformity for the figurehead of an organization who donated $1000, 5 years ago, to the side you disagree with, in a political campaign regarding abortion, the death penalty, censorship of pornography, religious freedom, or other controversies where one (or both) side alleges to be defending human rights? If so, that would be a massive boycott... And if not, why not?

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

It's all perfectly legal

Legal is different from ethical our correct. I have the legal right do deny the Holocaust. But that would not be right.

Eich worked to criminalize what people do privately.

Hyperbole.

The CEO is the brand.

Not when he's doing a private donation, which is only publicised for legal reasons. Would you be happy if he had to resign after, say, pro-lifers found out that he donated $1000 dollars to NARAL, 5 years ago? Both sides of the abortion issue claim that their position is about human rights.

People should debate ideas based on their merits, not based on reward and punishment.

about 8 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

Each of those employers (in an at-will employment state/country) could fire someone for those beliefs.

You are mixing the concept of "legal right" with the concept of "ethical".

For example, denying the Holocaust may be free speech (and therefore the government should not forbid it) but it is not correct.

Firing, demoting, or forcing someone to resign because of their private political activism 5 years ago may be legal, but it is not ethical.

We don't want a society where every anti-ethical thing is a crime.

about 9 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

You're wrong, actually. We as citizens are just as free to voice our views as Eich was to voice his. We're saying we disagree with his views. Are you trying to suggest that we be disallowed from that basic freedom?

One thing is to have a legal right, another thing is to be correct. You are legally free to boycott a company whose CEO, say, donated $1000 to a political campaign regarding abortion (either pro- or anti-), 5 years ago. That doesn't make it ethical.

about 9 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

Yet many places have explicit rules about political activisim

certainly not draconian enough to demote someone because of a private $1000 donation 5 years ago.

If a principal was "caught" for some minor sex-crime (we can use "indecent exposure for using a gay glory hole" for an example if you like, but the details don't matter much)

I am speaking of political activism. For society to be free, ideas need to be debated on their merits, not on punishment and reward. Thus we need freedom of speech, political activism, conscience and religion. Other kinds of freedom (e.g. freedom to use drugs or to contract a prostitute) can in some situtations be regulated.

So firing a principal which was caught in a sexual orgy is not the same thing as firing a principal who, say, donated $1000 to some side of the abortion issue, 5 years ago.

And stepping down isn't "demoted".

See http://slashdot.org/comments.p...

about 9 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Resigning was an offer he couldn't refuse (1746 comments)

He wasn't fired, he chose to resign as it was in the best interests of Mozilla. As CEO he was the figurehead of the company, and he simply cannot distinguish his private beliefs from those of the company in the same way as a rank-and-file employee can. No one cared that he worked at Mozilla - they cared that he _led_ Mozilla.

Would you think it OK if the figurehead of a technological organization had to resign after boycots from those who objected to a $1000 donation, 5 years ago, to some side of the abortion issue, or the death penalty issue?

about 9 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

JOrgePeixoto Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

People should be free to engage in politics according to their conviction, without punishment or reward. The ballot is secret for a reason.

Political donations are publicised as a check against a few billionaires distorting the playing field. To see how much money influenced the election. It was not meant to be a tool for personal retribution.

Freedom of political activism doesn't cease to apply when it is about rights. Imagine if this happened in other controversies about rights:
Employer 1: "Oh, you are pro-choice? You want to deny unborn children the right to life. Fired!"
Employer 2: "Oh, you are pro-life? You want to deny women the right to self-determination. Fired!"
Employer 3: "Oh, you support the death penalty? You want to deny felons the right to life. Fired!"

This is wrong. People must never be demoted because of political activism they do privatly, not using the company brand, and not related to the company mission.

about 9 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

JOrgePeixoto Re:Ad hominem doesn't help your case (824 comments)

Supporting prop 8 (i.e. supporting legislation that would remove equal rights from a particular group of people), is perfectly consistent with the definition of a bigot. It's name calling, but it's accurate name calling.

In a political debate, you may accuse the other side to fit the definition of "bigot" or "immoral" or "rearded" or "dork" or whatever, but that doesnt change a simple fact: rational political debates are about debating ideas, not name-calling people. Name-calling only serves to make the debate irrational. Do you really believe that it is mature to insult just because you think the insult is "accurate"? Most name callers think they're accurate; that doesn't make it OK.

I support the right of free association,[...]

No one if denying the legal right to free association. We are saying that demoting someone based on his personal, private political activity is anti-ethical.

One thing is to have a legal right, another thing is to be correct. You have the legal right to deny the Holocaust, or to claim that a person should be demoted from an technological organization because of his private political views. That doen't make it ethical.

about 9 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

JOrgePeixoto Ad hominem doesn't help your case (824 comments)

Supporting prop 8 makes you a bigot.

Ad hominem attacks don't help your case. Politics is supposed to be about which ideas make sense; its is not supposed to be about which side is better at name-calling.

I have yet to see a coeherent argument for why it is OK to fire or demote someone who disagrees with the institution of same-sex marriage, while it is not OK to fire someone for any other personal beliefs. Some people try to say "he is on the wrong side of a civil rights issue", but that is incoherent and inconsistent. If we allow whitch hunts when "it's about civil rights" then the powerful will simply define their pet causes to be civil rights issues.

Oh, so you support abortion? You want to deny the rights of the unborn. Fired!
Oh, so you support the death penalty? You want to deny the right to life of felons. Fired!
Oh, so you are against the independence of Quebec? You want to deny the right of political self-determination. Fired!

I, on the other hand, prefer that political, philosophical and religious speech should be free from punishment.

about 9 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

JOrgePeixoto Fire all pro-choicers! (824 comments)

You are speaking of a mere difference of opinion. If the boss actively campaigned to strip Republicans of their rights, then yes, it would be quite similar.

So pro-choice people should be fired, because they support stripping the rights of the unborn.
People who support the death penalty should be fired, because they support stripping the right to life of criminals.

Or maybe we shoundn't fire people because of their views.

about 9 months ago
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Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

JOrgePeixoto Punishing actions is different from punishing word (824 comments)

remember when the world blacklisted apartheid South Africa and its supporters? That was terrible wasn't it?

Punishing actions is radically different from punishing words. For example, it is understandable to boycott states with the death penalty. It is not OK to demand people to be fired or demoted merely because they support the death penalthy.

Ideas should be debated freely, without fear of retribution. People should express the ideas they believe in, not those ideas that will get them rewards (and refraim from expressing ideas that would be punished).

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Emacs 24.1 released

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  more than 2 years ago

JOrgePeixoto (853808) writes "Emacs 24.1 has been released. New features include a new packaging system and interface (M-x list-packages), support for displaying and editing bidirectional text, support for lexical scoping in Emacs Lisp, improvements to the Custom Themes system, unified/improved completion system in many modes and packages and support for GnuTLS (for built-in TLS/SSL encryption), GTK+ 3,
  ImageMagick, SELinux, and Libxml2.

See http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/"
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GCC 4.3 released

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  more than 6 years ago

JOrgePeixoto (853808) writes "The GCC team has released GCC 4.3.0 . GCC has been integrated with the MPFR library, allowing it to evaluate and replace at compile-time calls to built-in math functions having constant arguments with their mathematically equivalent results. With MPFR GCC can generate correct results regardless of the math library implementation or floating point precision of the host platform, independent of the compilation configuration being native or cross-compile.

Among many optimization changes is a new forward propagation pass on RTL, awareness of stack frame consumption by the inliner heuristics and enhancements in interprocedural optimization. Some of the changes enhance compilation speed and memory use.

Also new is tuning for Intel Core 2 and AMD Geode and support for SSSE3, SSE4.1 and SSE4.2 built-in functions and code generation. Some targets have been removed and some added, including the SPU of the CELL, ARMv7 and Thumb-2.

C has gained fixed-point data-types and operators, better checking and better warnings.
Fortran has gained better Fortran 2003 support.
The integration of Eclipse Java compiler and enhancements in libgcj provide better Java support.
C++ gained better warnings, a parallel mode and some support for C++0x and TR1.
Also the update and enhancement of the documentation are among a huge number of changes ."

Journals

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All Slashdotters must read: how not to show your crazy over the internet

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  about 2 years ago

The following article is comical, but also insightful. It helped me to not just concel my crazy, but actually tame it internally.
I strongly recommed everyone read it.
http://pjmedia.com/blog/tips-for-not-appearing-crazy-on-the-internet/

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Do not be obedient to a political party

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  more than 2 years ago

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Landis This man is a slashdotter who is a scientist at NASA.

See what he wrote in http://www.geoffreylandis.com/politics.html
Specifically,

Right at the moment, I think that the liberal/conservative divide is the single most harmful thing about American politics. Politicians don't seem to care about solving problems, they only want to know whether a particular idea is liberal or conservative, and then, presto, they are for/against it.

I don't agree with him 100%, but I do agree with the principle that we would be more open to ideas from people whose overall ideologies we do not share.

Look what happens in the abortion debate, for example. Pro-lifers have been deemed "anti-woman" and therefore _every_ proposal they make, such as requiring parental permission for a young girl to have an abortion, is immediately discarded.

People should debate looking for Truth, instead of trying to prove that the opponent is stupid and evil.

Also, people should not commit themselves to one specific political party.

Just because you are worried about AGW, it does not mean you should become an obedient Democrat.

Just because you are pro-life, it does not mean you should become an obedient Republican.

Republicans are sometimes right, Democrats are sometimes right, and often they're both wrong.

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Negative income tax

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I don't understand the minimum wage legislation. By forcefully mandating the minimum wage to be M, the government ensures that people whose productivity is lower than M will be unemployed. This is specially true for youth and unskilled people. And unemployment among youth can create a vicious circle: he is unskilled because he never worked, and he cannot find a job because he is unskilled.

If the government allowed a young man to work for less than M, then he could gain the experience needed for getting a better job.

So it seems that the minimum-wage legislation only achieves unemployment and dependency.

Would it not be better to let a poor person work for less than M, and help that person with a negative income tax? That is, the government would give the person r * (M - W), where M is the minimum wage, M is his actual wage, and r is a positive real number smaller than 1.

This way we would encourage people to work, and gain the experience to get a better job.

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The Catholic Church is not right-wing

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  more than 2 years ago

The Catholic Church is often libeled as a right-wing organization, which is preposterous.
In economic matters, the Catholic Church is quite leftist. In immigration and environmentalism too. Regarding "affirmative action" it seems to be neutral, because I have never seen a priest or bishop touch this subject. It opposes the death penalty. In foreign policy, it seems to be non-interventionist (Pope John Paul II opposed the Iraq War, many bishops oppose the Cuban Embargo, etc.).

The Catholic Church is only conservative regarding life and family values. It is not a right-wing organization by any sane measure. This includes Opus Dei, which is a faithful Christian organization.

The Left libels the Church as being "right-wing", and Opus Dei as being "far-right", because the Left only accepts opposition in economic matters. Their view of a healthy political environment is one where the Left supports economic socialism and cultural Marxism (gender ideology, abortion, homosexualism, affirmative action, etc.) and the Right supports economic liberalism but agrees with cultural Marxism.

That someone dares to think outside that box, and oppose cultural Marxism (as the Church does) is seen as preposterous. The Left will even censor it (via "hate speech" laws) wherever it can.

In short: the Church transcends politics, and no political party represents the Church.

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Richard Dawkins suppors infanticide

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Found out about this today. Richard Dawkins supports not only abortion but infanticide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWkJ6cZ0FY8

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Moderation abuse against conservatives and faithful Catholics

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  more than 2 years ago

See the following comments of mine:
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2999311&cid=40749863
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2999311&cid=40745031
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2999311&cid=40744963

Also click on "Parent" to see them in context.

Can they really be described as "Troll" or "Flamebait"? Are they against Slashdot comment guidelines?

Slashdot is a very biased place. If I praise open source or bash Microsoft, then I easily get moded up, even if my post is uncreative and mediocre.

But if I defend the right to life, or the preservation of marriage, or religious tolerance, then I get modded "troll" or "flamebait", even if I am honest and reasonably polite.

If I wanted to play the game, I could simply write twenty "Linux rocks!" comments for every "religious freedom is a human right according to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights" comment. Then I would have infinite Karma.

But I do not want to do that.

* Note 1: not all conservatives are faithful Catholics and not all faithful Catholics are conservatives, but I happen to be both.
** Note 2: I _do not_ claim to be a _good_ Catholic. That will be judged by Jesus. I only claim to be a "faithful" Catholic. By that I mean that I support Catholic teaching, support the Church itself, and frequent the sacraments.

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Overpopulation is a myth

JOrgePeixoto JOrgePeixoto writes  |  more than 2 years ago

There is no global overpopulation. Some places (such as Japan) are already experiencing population aging and decline, which is bad in many ways. Other places (such as the USA and specially Europe) already have sub-replacement fertility rates, and their population only grows because of demographic lag and immigration. It is predicted the the European Union population (now at 503M) will reach zero natural population increase by 2015 and zero total population increase in 2035 (at 520M), then start declining.

The USA will grow from 310M in 2010 to 403M in 2050. [1]
Asia will increase from 4.2B in 2010 to 5.1B in 2050, then start declining. [2]

The only region that is really growing is Africa. It will increase from 1B in 2010 to 2.2B in 2050. [2] Then its population density will be 73/km2. [3] Compare that to the current population density in Portugal (115/km2), in South Korea (487/km2) and in Taiwan (641/km2). [4]

Global population is predicted to grow from 7B in 2011 to 9B in 2050 and 10B in 2100 [5] and start falling soon after [6].

And according to [7], 40-50% of America-produced food is thrown away. According to [8], 1/3 of the world food is thrown away.
And this does not take into account that people eat, just for pleasure, excessive quantities of resource-intensive food (such as meat). If Americans/Europeans want to help the poor, an easy way would be to decrease (say, by 30%) their diet of meat. This will immediately reduce food demand and, for double bonus, the saved money can be donated to charity. And much arable land is wasted on subsidized inefficient corn-based ethanol. You can lobby your government to stop that.

Plus, there does not seem to be a negative correlation between population density and GDP per capita. [9]

African hunger is not caused by overpopulation. It is caused by corrupt and authoritarian governments, and by guerrillas/terrorists motivated by Marxism, Islamism, ethnic hate or simply greed.

Overpopulation fear-mongering is very old - at least as old as Malthus. One of its more recent incarnations was the 1968 book "The Population Bomb", which predicted mass starvation to occur in the 1970s.

Anyway, for better or for worse, there is already strong action taken by individuals, foundations, and Western governments, to restrict fertility in Africa.

1 : http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Analytical-Figures/htm/fig_11.htm
2 : http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Analytical-Figures/htm/fig_2.htm
3 : According to [2], Africa will have 2.2B people in 2050, and according to Google[10] and Wikipedia [11], the area of Africa is 30,221,532 km2
4 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density
5 : http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Analytical-Figures/htm/fig_1.htm
6 : http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Analytical-Figures/htm/fig_6.htm
7 : http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/news/ng.asp?id=56376-us-wastes-half
8 : http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/74192/icode/
9 : http://sanamagan.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/population-population-density-gdp-per-capita-ppp/
10 : https://www.google.com.br/search?q=africa+area
11 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa

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