Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is Chris Rock trying to get killed?

Chris Rock has decided to take the path to black hell by making the documentary Good Hair. Its getting some good reviews at the Sundance film festival.
Personally I am glad that he given his social standing has taken on this touchy issue.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Selfish Gene's Richard Dawkins oblivious of Human Breeding

Scientists increase our levels of doubt when they display ignorance of certain basics. Worse is the fact that their ignorance is in areas they purport to be experts. One often wonders if its worth the effort to consider the Theory of Evolution.
The culprit scientist of today is Richard Dawkins, a biologist and popular science writer of the famous, The Selfish Gene. Here in a BBC documentary he is talking about his book. An audience member asks him the question about the merits of genetics engineering and why we don't leave it to the selfish genes to sort themselves out rather than the selfish scientists. The good biologist defended the scientists by saying that Humans have been genetic Engineering animals like horses, dogs, cows etc but never humans! And that to him that seems in order.
Ok, the idea of genetic engineering is a little out there for me, my beef with this guy is his either, sincere lack of knowledge or selective memory regarding human breeding for the purposes of improving the offspring of black slaves. Another alternative could be that this guy doesn't consider the breeding of blacks as breeding of human beings. Who knows. And this guy is supposedly an expert on matters of biology and a raving atheist. Not that I am against atheists but for one to go out of his way without proof to write authoritatively about the non existence of God, its no surprising that their take on history would be a little skewed.

Here is the documentary.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama eats chief: Why we didn’t see him cooking

Here is one of my favorite African Political analysts Charles Onyango Obbo writing about Obama's victory and the African attitude towards anything Western. Very thought provoking but as usual spot on. I cannot get enough of this guy.

Last night, Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African-American president. For many Africans, there was the additional significance that his father was Kenyan, and therefore he is one of our own. In fact, if you climbed the tallest tree in my village in Tororo, across in Kenya you can see Kogelo, where Obama’s father is buried (at least you can if you let your imagination fly).

There is probably no American president of whom so much has been written during the campaigns, and the nearly three months he waited to be sworn in.
The Obama story, though, will never be “finished”. To some of us, there is something small and important about seeing Obama sworn in.

Since before independence, most Africans have been prisoners of a protest, anti-colonial, anti-imperialistic, and ultimately anti-white culture.
A lot of “great literature” in Africa had common themes; a heroic Okonkwo-type character in Things Fall Apart fighting against evil colonialists, and either winning against all odds, or being ultimately defeated by the might of the “white man” but going down in a blaze of glory.

This existed along with caricatures of black people “trying to be white” and, sometimes, being more white than white. Good satire, but not deep exploration.
Studies of politics were also divided along these lines. There were various radical, anti-colonial, anti-imperialist schools. They were ranged against others that didn’t place emphasis on the role of colonialism and imperialism, speaking of universal values and so forth. The radicals denounced this school as “apologist” and “racist collaborators”.

Then, a third trend we saw in literature, art, political science, and religious studies was one that went to the other extreme, and extolled Africa and its old ways as the best. Ancient African society was portrayed as heaven on Earth.
All Greek and other European knowledge and art was, this school held, stolen from Africa ages ago by white people who claimed it to be theirs. One of my favourites was Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi who, some years ago, claimed that William Shakespeare was a north African Arab writer called Sheikh Sepia and the mzungus just stole his works.

The caricature of Africans who are more English than the English was not fanciful. Confronted by the many problems and failures of Africa, quite a few Africans escaped by refusing to be associated with all things black. A variant of this are the Africans who never see anything beautiful and hopeful about Africa. Their strategy is that by being so scathing of Africa, it lifts them into a special class of people who are very enlightened because they are not afraid to criticise their continent and its miseries, and therefore makes them blameless for its failures.

We need this honesty, but it can be shallow because it’s often just showmanship and barren because it doesn’t bring any new solutions to the table. And, yes, there is an honoured place for grievance and protest literature and scholarship, but when it becomes the only reality it impoverishes the intellect. African libraries and scholarly collections are full of this angry material, and the vicious exchanges between the pro-African, the extreme traditionalists, denunciations of the “white system”, and other railings against imperialist injustices.

The result is that we have very little quiet-toned reflective writing that examines the African story in any sophisticated way. This tradition of angry and fighting scholarship so deformed the African intellectual space that even when it moved away to other subjects, the mindset remained. So most African female writers will have a strong matriarch battling evil men, or a heroine overcoming rape by, including sometimes, her father and other relatives, to be a phenomenally successful woman.

An African woman who is raised by regular parents, sings in the Sunday choir, passes her exams with flying colours without sleeping with the teacher, and gets her job without being exploited for sex by the employer, and finds success is almost non-existent in African literature. If you didn’t know better, you would think that there are no African women who haven’t been raped (though rape is a scourge on our continent), or abused by cruel stepmothers and fathers.

We have paid a high price for this. Because everything was war and argumentative, and if you didn’t take a position on colonialism, imperialism, African tradition, or the “good” side of colonialism, you became an intellectual orphan (shunned by both the left and right), we have spent very little time thinking of alternative ways of dealing creatively with our various problems and relationship with the rest of the world.

Whatever explanation one might have for why Obama won, in the end it looked simple really. The mountain of evil white people whom we all believed would never let a person of colour become American president, turned out to be only an anthill.

Obama taught us that we can choose to spend the rest of our lives standing outside the stadium throwing stones in; or we can enter the game and win. It is an embarrassingly old-fashioned moral about life.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What some kids do to go to school.

Once in a while I come across such heart wrenching stories of school children and I promise myself to start a school fees fund for African Children like Malinga. I hope to get my ish together soon and start one.

When his parents died, all they left him was a donkey. One would, therefore, expect 10-year-old Moses Malinga to sit at home with his grandmother.

But not Malinga. He fetches water for households, restaurants and hotels to make ends meet. He loads the jerrycans on the donkey’s back.

Malinga is in P3 at Chekwasta Primary School in Bukwo district.

“My dream is to stay in school and become a teacher. I cannot achieve that if I do not do anything on my own,” he says. “My relatives are too poor to help me; they are also busy looking after their families.

I had to discover a way out. I never wanted to become a beggar; I do not like free things. I know I will succeed if I work hard.”

Every day at 5:00am, Malinga wakes up to fetch water from River Bukwo, 10 km from his home. He carries two to four jerrycans of water per trip. “I have to make 30 trips daily to make enough money,” he says. “But during school time, I make about 10. I do not want to miss classes.”

On a good day, he can make sh800 per trip.

“I load water on the donkey and direct her to where the water is needed. To reward my donkey, I give her at least two hours of rest per day,” he says. “She is always cheerful and this makes me happy.”

Malinga’s customers always pay promptly. “I have never been cheated. It seems they understand my situation,” he says.

He uses the money to buy uniforms, scholastic materials and household items like sugar and salt.

Malinga, who lives three kilometres away from his school, says although he gets exhausted sometimes, his work has not affected his concentration in class. During the end of year exams, he was 9th out of 90 pupils in his class.

“On school days, I wake up at about 5:00am to do five trips. By 8:00am I am in school and by 4:00pm, I am back to do another five,” he says.

His teachers are proud of him, but believe he can perform even better. Alex Mwanga, his class teacher says: “If a Good Samaritan could help him financially, he would top the class.”

Benna Chemusto, Malinga’s grandmother says she always prays for her grandson to succeed so that he can provide for the rest of the family.
Peter Chekwchi, a restaurant owner and one of Malinga’s customers is proud of him. “He is young but with a clear vision. He has big dreams,” he says.

“With his determination, he will succeed.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Feminism gone too far?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, kisses Justice Minister Rachida Dati after delivering his speech at the Cour de Cassation, France's highest judicial body, Wednesday Jan. 7, 2009 in Paris. Sarkozy announced major justice reforms. (AP Photo/Francois Mori; Pool) (Francois Mori - AP)

The French Justice Minister returned to work attending a Cabinet Meeting 5 days after giving birth by Cesarean section. And oh, she was wearing stilettos. I hope women across the world rain down on this woman with criticism. What exactly is she trying to prove?

The Associated Press
Thursday, January 8, 2009; 2:02 PM

PARIS -- She's out of the maternity ward and into a Cabinet meeting, dressed in elegant black and stiletto heels _ five days after giving birth at age 43. Justice Minister Rachida Dati, single and guarding the daddy's name like a state secret, doesn't stop surprising the French.

They like her, even though she has fallen out of favor with magistrates, lawyers and reportedly her boss, President Nicolas Sarkozy, who propelled the ambitious daughter of Moroccan and Algerian parents to the lofty Justice Ministry as his emblem of diversity.

Even if the star power of the glamorous judge, partial to Dior clothes and expensive gems, is dimming among the power elite, she knows how to make a comeback.

Just hours after leaving a private Paris clinic Wednesday with little Zohra bundled in satin in her arms, the perfectly coifed Dati joined other ministers for the weekly Cabinet meeting, then attended Sarkozy's traditional New Year's address at the Court of Cassation.

The president greeted her with a big embrace.

Dati had said she would be off the job only briefly, but few guessed the hiatus after a Caesarean section would last but five days. Her week's agenda is full. Newspapers loved it, splashing Dati's return on their front pages and prompting reader debates about what message she is sending to other working moms.

Guessing the identity of the father has become a pastime for the press, and names of high-ranking personalities in France and abroad have been publicly offered up. But Dati is keeping her secret.

"I have a complicated private life," she said in September, her only public words of explanation.

Dati has built her career on defying the conventions of France, the traditions of her Muslim parents and her own humble beginnings.

One of 11 children who grew up in a housing project in Chalon-sur-Saone in southeast France, Dati's life has been marked by determination. She wrote letters to Sarkozy seeking a job and served as a spokeswoman during his presidential campaign.

Appointed to the Justice Ministry _ a top Cabinet post _ in June 2007, Dati became the toast of the town and graced numerous magazine covers.

Then the fairy tale began to sour with allegations that she had misrepresented a diploma, and was unprepared to handle the intricacies of her charge and her personnel. A succession of top aides resigned amid reports that Dati was too authoritarian.

Her determination in enacting major judicial reforms ordered up by Sarkozy pitted the nation's corps of attorneys and judges against her.

Dati's Achilles heel may have been her close relationship with Sarkozy's former wife, Cecilia, so close that Dati joined the presidential couple on a U.S. vacation.

The couple divorced in October 2007, and Sarkozy and his new wife, singer and former model Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, vacation without Dati.

Still, the French like her. In a December poll, Dati ranked among the top 10 women of the year.

Media reports maintain that Dati could soon lose her job in the Justice Ministry. The leftist daily Liberation reported Thursday that Sarkozy has asked her to run in European Parliament elections in June.

She publicly reiterates her loyalty to Sarkozy, dubbed the "omnipresident" for his nonstop work style. As she says in a book of conversations with a journalist called "You be the Judge": "I study Nicolas Sarkozy ... and I assimilate him."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Crimes of Passion gone global

Seriously, you can't look at the news anywhere these days without a story of a jilted man murdering a woman plus some because of a relationship gone bad. In the last weeks of 2008, in Uganda there were 7 successive spousal murders. All victims were women and the culprits men. Here in California we had Santa Claus gone bad on Christmas eve leaving behind 8 dead.

And now we have another story of a security guard at a local bank who had a beef with his ex working as a cleaner at the bank. Seriously, what is going on with men all over the world? Is it global warming?
Well at least this particular culprit did everyone a favor and took himself out and explained his actions in a note relieving those that had been arrested for attempted robbery.

Shooting at Standard Chartered Bank linked to failed love affair
Ephraim Kasozi & Alfred Nyongesa Wandera Kampala

Five guards belonging to a private firm, Security Group, who were arrested during the shooting at Standard Chartered Bank branch at Garden City Mall in Kampala on Monday, were released yesterday.

Police Spokesperson Judith Nabakooba said the quintet, who had been guarding a bullion van that had brought money to the branch, was released after the police found that they had no connection to the incident in which two people died. “We (police) thought they had a connection because they were leaving the premises at the time of shooting but after our investigations and viewing the CCTV cameras from the bank, we released them,” said Ms Nabakooba.

She did not identify the five who were arrested by security operatives comprising of Police Rapid Response Unit and Anti-Terrorism Unit. The police described the Monday morning shooting that paralysed business at Garden City premises as a crime of passion to clear earlier allegations of attempted robbery.

Tobby Omara, a guard at Standard Chartered Bank’s branch shot and killed Juliet Birungi, a cleaner in the same bank before shooting himself dead. Ms Nabakooba said the police recovered a suicide note from Omara’s body expressing anger against Birungi.

According to Ms Nabakooba, Omara’s letter to “viewers and mourners” was written to express his dissatisfaction with the way Birungi had treated him in their love affair. “This lady has been a liar. Let my body rot on the street but I was seeking for straight forwardness,” the note, a copy of which Daily Monitor obtained, states.

Ms Nabakooba said the letter, together with another note recovered from Birungi’s body, will be taken to a handwriting expert to confirm that it belonged to Mr Omara. According to the note, Omara accused Birungi of aborting twice and deceiving him that she did not have a husband yet her husband was in prison.
The police publicist said Ms Birungi’s letter informed Mr Omara that she was ditching him.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Update; Justice Served!

Angelina Kyomugisha

This was a story I blogged about last year about a woman who caught her neighbor attempting to defile her daughter and with her knife she had been working with promptly dismembered the guy. She had a lot of public support including lots of Ugandan men who thought she was a hero. Well, she is now free to go on with her life while the defiler is literally less of a man.

By Abdulkarim Ssengendo
in Mbarara

COURT in Mbarara on Monday dismissed a case of a woman who chopped off the penis of her neighbour.

Angelina Kyomugisha, 37, accused Geoffrey Mugarura of allegedly defiling her 10-year-old daughter in June last year. She had been accused of causing bodily harm to Mugarura.

Court, presided over by the Grade One magistrate Matthew Tumwijukye, said prosecution had failed to produce the complainant and other witnesses. If convicted, Kyomugisha would have been liable to imprisonment for five-years.

After acquittal, an excited Kyomugisha smiled and waved to the people in the courtroom.

Asked to comment about the matter, she broke down and cried as she said: “I could not expect this; God is great to see that I am also going to settle with my children without court stress. I was about to fail to report to court every month as I was required because transport fares had increased.”

Kyomugisha is a resident of Rugyerera village in Rwanyamahembe sub-county Kashari county.

She said she was weeding her banana plantation and she heard her daughter shouting for help. She rushed to the house and found Mugarura on top of her child.

This, she said, prompted her to chop Mugarura’s genitals and throw it in nearby bush. The crowd searched for the penis for hours in vain.

Later, a dog was seen trying to run away with the organ. Residents chased the dog, recovered the penis and handed it over to the Police. It was later taken to Mbarara Central Police Station as an exhibit. A bleeding Mugarura was rushed to Mbarara Hospital.

He did not regain his manhood because doctors failed to re-attach it. The stump was refashioned so that he can pass urine.

When Kyomugisha was arrested, women lawyers from FIDA stood her surety and she was bailed out of prison. The lawyers also met Mugarura’s medical bills and reconciled both parties.

Child elopers' Africa plan foiled

The three were trying to travel without passports or money

What a cute story.

Two German children - aged five and six - have been stopped by police from eloping to Africa to tie the knot in the sun, reports say.

The budding lovebirds, identified as Mika and Anna-Lena, packed bathing costumes, sunglasses and a lilo and headed for the airport.

They even had the presence of mind to invite along an official witness - Anna-Lena's seven-year-old sister.

The three got as far as Hanover railway station before police intervened.

The young couple were "very much in love" and had decided to get married in Africa "where it is warm", police spokesman Holger Jureczko told the AFP news agency.


The idea for the getaway wedding was born as the children's families celebrated New Year's eve together and Mika regaled the two girls with stories of a recent holiday to Italy. They can still put their plan into action at a later date

Holger Jureczko
Hanover police spokesman

The following morning, as their parents slept, the intrepid trio walked 1km (0.6 miles) to the local tram station at Langenhagen, where they hopped aboard a tram for Hanover central station.

But the group aroused the suspicion of a guard as they waited for a train to the airport, and police were called in.

Officers persuaded the children they would not get far without tickets and money, but consoled them with a free tour of the police station, where they were shortly picked up by relieved parents.

Although any marriage plans have been put on hold for now, police did not altogether rule out the possibility of an African wedding.

"They can still put their plan into action at a later date," AFP quoted the spokesman as saying.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Uncles please find another gig

In this Dec. 17, 2008 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, pirates aim weapons on the deck of the Chinese ship 'Zhenhua 4' in the Gulf of Aden, Nine pirates armed with rocket launchers and heavy machine guns boarded the ship