Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Dangers of the Obama Presidency – II
Okay, I admit, I am giddy at the prospect of getting to be critical about the Obama administration. This is so much better than being hopelessly depressed over the Bush administration!
The Dangers of the Obama Presidency - I
HA! We have Obama and you have ….HARPER! HA!
This was unkind. The Canadians in question were from
(In retrospect, my ‘northern neighbors’ now are
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Kenya is ecstatic
Yes, it is true, President Kibaki has named November 6 a national holiday. People are So Proud. It is the only thing on the news, everyone on the street talking about. On my walk to work, I had so many neighbors and people greet me with congratulations and shared expressions of joy. It is a great feeling.
It’s true I missed out on being bombarded by the full Campaign Effect – no commercials, infomercials, or signs in yards. But I certainly did not miss out on the Obama excitement. Someone, I don’t know who, paid for Obama billboards around Nairobi, including pictoral shots on the new Jumbo-tron type electronic billboard that is on the Hallie Sellassie /Uhuru Highway roundabout. The news has covered the elections quite thoroughly (perhaps too thoroughly - see earlier post). In
So today is the culmination of a whole lot of momentum and excitement. I would love to be back in the States, but I can count myself lucky to be here in
Friday, October 31, 2008
I AM excited about Obama...but....
- The Waki Commission, led by a former judge to explore the post-election violence, produced a report that people need to be held to account for what they did, and suggested names of persons responsible for organizing major violence (those names are in a sealed envelope and have not yet been revealed). The report also held that if those people were not brought to court in Kenya, they should be indicted by the International Criminal Court. Yesterday a majority of MPs and the major ODM party came out against the Waki Commission report, ostensibly because there is no need to 'reopen wounds that are just starting to heal', and also because Kenya must 'hold on to its sovereignty' and not give it up to the ICC. But everyone knows, everyone knows that it is because these same politicians would be shown to have instigated and paid for much of the violence.
- In other news, the Kenyan police stopped a bus with a guy who was carrying 600 bomb detonators to a part of north eastern Kenya that is Somaliland, where there has been a lot of violence lately, including human rights violations by police against civilians.
- Oh, and the DRC is descending into chaos extremely rapidly. Thousands and thousands of people are displaced in eastern Congo.
So as much as I am Extremely Pro-Obama, I'm going to question the choice of the news editors last night.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
What I have to say about the US Election
I know what the polls say, but I don’t trust the polls. Don’t trust ‘em in
To folks who are still ‘on the fence’
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Happy World Food Day!
Here is a press release from Via Campesina on World Food Day:
We can end the food crisis!
There are many
Today, the 16th of October, 2008, the FAO World Food Day, the
The crisis is a direct result of the industrial and export-based agricultural model, at the expense of millions of rural workers and the population as a whole, in every region of the world. But the crisis can be overcome if we abandon this model, which drives out rural workers, destroys biodiversity and the environment, and results in hunger and poverty in the world. The food crisis is the most dramatic link in the chain of crises generated by the neo-liberal economic system – the climate crisis, the energy crisis, the financial crisis, the biodiversity crisis, etc.. It is time for a change of direction, starting with agriculture itself.
The alternative is food sovereignty, which allows peoples to develop their own agricultural and food policies, which favour local and sustainable rural production, and equitable distribution of healthy food to support their own people.
The Vía Campesina reiterates this message in the midst of discussions taking place during its 5th Conference in
60% of all food consumed in
Today on World Food Day, the Via Campeina Youth Assembly stresses the urgent need of new generations of farmers to have to access to farm land and means of production. It has become clear that many
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Fever + Moby Dick = Questionable Results
Most of the time I was sick I was: sleeping; lying in bed reading Moby Dick; lying in bed thinking of how to win a million dollars.
Can’t say I’ve spent very much of my life thinking of what I could do with lots of money, but once I started thinking about it (and ‘thinking’ is a strong term for the loose ranging loops of fancy), it was hard to stop. Lots of good causes out there.
But how, you might ask, will you win a million dollars? If I remember correctly, I had a 3 part plan:
1) Win Survivor
2) Win an Olympic gold medal.
3) Win a Nobel Prize. Any of ‘em.
#3 – Win a Nobel Prize – I think this was more of an acknowledgment that it comes with a million dollars. Even in my deepest delirium, I had no plan for how to get one.
#2 – Win the Olympics – Yeah. You know, I’m pretty sure a gold medal does NOT come with a million dollars. But for some reason, I thought it would. So I thought about what sport I could ‘realistically’ master in the next 4 years and compete at the age of 33, and I came up with….the parallel bars.
Yep. I think primarily because the announcers would have so many great talking points on me – wow, imagine, such mastery in just a few years! and at her age! and she doesn’t even have very good depth perception!
#1 – But it didn’t even matter that numbers 2 and 3 were pretty long shots, because I was convinced that I had the winning strategy for Survivor. So the episode of Survivor I saw while eating toast was the last of some season (12? 22? 44?), and it was the usual where you had everyone on the jury complaining about how the final 2 weren’t ‘worthy’ and were ‘weak’ and had just ‘ridden coattails’ to get to the end.
“Oh shut up,” I said in my head. I do a lot of talking out loud in my head when I’m sick. “If you hadn’t bloody well knocked out everyone who seemed to be a threat, this wouldn’t have happened. This show is so predictable.”
Later as I was lying in bed, not sleeping, not reading, just lying there as I do when I’m sick, I came up with my grand strategy. Looking back, it’s a bit thin. At the time, it seemed as deep as was necessary. My plan was to go on the show and tell my fellow contestants: look people, our strategy should be to Make Good Television. Somehow, this appeal to their deeper Televised instincts would inspire everyone to greater heights, and instead of just voting out the obvious, we’d vote out the people who weren’t contributing to the overall structural drama. And my contribution would be from constantly doing meta-commentary on the role of Survivor in American cultural life and how we reflected and impacted American life. Which, in retrospect, even if the rest of my strategy succeeded, would likely not keep me on any island for very long.
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