Just looking at these monstrosities makes my back hurt.
(Thanks to The Manolo)
Just looking at these monstrosities makes my back hurt.
(Thanks to The Manolo)
Bob Owens's piece at Pajamas Media elicits nothing but a hearty "amen" from me since it's something I've been circuitously trying to point out for sometime now, via the fact that Obama and I have nearly the same origins but diametrically opposite political views.
Is Barack Obama black enough to be president of the United States? Is he too black? Does he belong to a church that is too radical? Is he too unpatriotic? Too Muslim? Is he too...Somali?Bob goes on to list some of the whisper campaigns which have erupted--some which are more serious than others. (The fact that Obama has ties to infamous terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn--husband and wife--most assuredly falls into the 'more serious' category.)
These are but a few of the tangential charges leveled against Barack Obama in what could be dubbed "the politics of personal distraction."
But Bob might as well be talking to the wall in some cases. Being in my unique position has reinforced an old lesson, one magnified countless times since the inception of this blog back in 2003: there are some people who are unable to separate what matters from what doesn't. There are some who cannot separate what an individual does from what he/she is.
Several people I know have observed that the amount of available information seems to have varied directly with the amount of crazy/stupid/willfully ignorant people. I wonder if this is true. It could be that the amount of said people remains static, but because of the Internet, we "normal" people have more access to such people. Or it could be that the explosion of information coupled with generally poor formal education (including mine; Known Unknowns) produces people who don't know how to interpret information--don't know how to separate the bull from the bull byproducts, as it were and don't want to know (Unknown Unknowns). In this way do conspiracy theories gain adherents.
At any rate, I’m not above considering the fantastical and the improbable if given enough verifiable evidence as to the truth of the matter(s). All too often, however, people aren’t willing to wait around for evidence of the truth to come out. In their impatience, they will make up their own “truth.” I’ve seen some of it regarding Obama’s and Ochieng’s African lineage—that our tribe—Luo--is composed of mostly Muslims (false), that this same tribe is forcible circumcising both men and women (Luos historically do not practice circumcision or FGM). And, as a result I’ve been the target of bigotry and some racism from so-called allies on the Right, likely prompting Lefties to taunt me with “we told you so” (and thereby making an analysis error of their own).
As I said the other day, those who are able need to learn to separate what is proven from the apparitions found in nightmares. An additional wall needs to be built between what’s proven and one’s ugly little prejudices; to stop elevating those prejudices into virtues and stop pretending that those prejudices are anything other than personal shortcomings.
(Thanks to Donald Rumsfeld)
Air Chief Marshal Jock Stirrup, chief of the Defense Staff, said he decided to withdraw the prince after senior commanders assessed the risks, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. [SNIP]The article goes on to describe Harry's youthful scrapes, which is well as it serves as contrast to his honorable if short service.
British officials had hoped to keep Prince Harry's deployment secret until he had safely returned, but they released video of him serving in Helmand province after the leak. The Australian women's magazine New Idea reported on Harry's deployment in January. The news appeared Wednesday in the U.S. Web site the Drudge Report, and media around the world subsequently reported it. [SNIP]
Harry conceded in an interview filmed last week that when he returns to Britain he could be a "top target" for Islamic terrorists.
"Once this ... comes out, every single person that supports them will be trying to slot me," he said.
But he said his deployment was a welcome chance to escape from paparazzi and hostile headlines. He said it was probably the best chance he'll ever get at being a normal person.
I saw someone suggest that Harry should henceforth be called Prince Hal. Shakespeare would understand.
Kibaki and Odinga sign the agreement ending the unrest in their country.
Under the deal brokered by chief mediator Kofi Annan and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, the leaders agreed to form a coalition government which will radically alter the way Kenya will be governed .Hats off to Kofi Annan. Let's just say that my expectations were low.
Mr Odinga is almost certain to become independent Kenya’s second prime minister after Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who held the post at independence in 1963.
Thursday’s agreement, which came after two days of intense diplomatic activity states that the post of Prime Minister will be created to co-ordinate and supervise affairs of Government. The premier will be leader of the largest party or coalition in Parliament.
Here the Daily Nation's report, Thus Far Has Kenya Come--a retrospective of the crisis.
To fight alongside his countrymen in Afghanistan and to be "a normal person" if only for a few weeks.
Prince Harry has been fighting the Taleban on the front line in Afghanistan, the MoD has confirmed.Well it's out there now. And I can't help thinking that this experience will set Harry a cut above many members of his family when it comes to character.
Harry, 23, who is third in line to the throne, has spent the last 10 weeks serving in Helmand Province.
The prince joked about his nickname "the bullet magnet", but said: "I finally get the chance to do the soldiering that I want to do." [SNIP]
In a statement, he said: "I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us.
"This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations."
Keep your head down, Harry.
(Thanks to Mememorandum)
From this missive at Political Gateway--a press release from a blogger(?) named Andy Martin--one might conclude that the McCain story below is a bit of return fire, if an ineffective volley:
“For our ‘Obama Week’ leading up to Barry O’s announcement on Saturday that he feels qualified to lead the free world, ContrarianCommentary.com unleashed a worldwide team of constitutional law experts to delve into Kenyan law and the question of Obama’s citizenship. They were also participating in our CIA-style psychological profile of Obama that will be released Saturday in Chicago. And what we discovered was amazing, a political blockbuster,” says Executive Editor Andy Martin.Having been born under the exact same circumstances as Obama (native-born American, American mother, Kenyan father) and in the same year (1961), does that mean that I'm a citizen of Kenya? I'm sure that the United States Air Force--who granted me a security clearance once upon a time--would be interested to know that.
“Under the Independence Constitution of Kenya, Obama became a Kenyan citizen on December 12, 1963. He has never renounced his Kenyan citizenship. On his senate web site, Obama tap dances around his own dual nationality when discussing his father. Obama obviously knows, because his father told him, that he also held/holds Kenyan nationality.
A few years back, my father suggested that I petition for dual citizenship--something I'm eligible for by Kenyan law, having one Kenyan parent--but I declined for both loyalty and practicality reasons. However, the fact that I would need to apply for it suggests that the citizenship isn't a done deal for someone who wasn't born in Kenya and who has never lived there.
Obama obviously knows [that he is a citizen of Kenya], because his father told him, that he also held/holds Kenyan nationality.Really? The idea that Obama was concealing such an obvious thing from the public is an interesting conclusion for Mr. Martin to come to. See, from personal experience, it would have never occurred to me to mention such a thing to the public unless someone else brought it up. Like now. It is simply a non-issue because I am an American and have never thought of myself as anything else and neither has my government.
“Once again, we find Barry O concealing fascinating information about his identity. There is nothing unusual about dual nationality. Indeed, ancient Roman Law doctrines of jus sanguini and jus soli come into play, because both Kenya and the U. S. recognize dual nationality. Once again, the issue is not ‘legality.’ The issue is the cover-up; Obama’s concealment of his own identity. From us, and most of all from himself.
If Mr. Martin is questioning Obama's citizenship, then he is questioning the citizenship of all native-born Americans whose parent(s) were born and/or have citizenship in other countries; countries where the citizenship rules are different than those in this one. Like the NYT with the McCain non-story, such people are banking on ignorance and hitting collateral targets.
Addressing these whisper campaigns is like playing "Whack-a-mole." Get to the issues!
(Thanks to one of Dan Riehl's guests)
Some would argue that by virtue of having a Kenyan citizen as his father, Obama "became" a Kenyan citizen back in 1963, even though he was in Hawaii at the time and did not visit the country until much later in his life. Others would argue that that would only apply to those born in the UK or its colonies (and I have no idea whether the United States qualifies as a UK colony under Kenyan law).As I said in the comments at HA (not directed at Allahpundit or Geraghty), are we conservatives suddenly in favor of following International Law when it damages our opponents?
Of course, Barack Obama has never claimed to be a Kenyan citizen, nor has he, to the best of anyone's knowledge, ever claimed dual citizenship.
Having said that, a serious effort to argue that McCain is disqualified from being president will attempt to establish that a child of one American and one foreign-born parent is eligible for the presidency, but a child of two Americans, one a serving member of the U.S. Armed Forces, born in a U.S. territory (Coco Solo Air Base in the then-American-controlled Panama Canal Zone) is not.
Dear Democrats, please go down this road; Team McCain would like to ensure that their candidate's share of the military and veteran vote goes from 90 percent to 100 percent.
That title could go to presumptive GOP front-runner John McCain who was born in the Panama Canal Zone. It would explain quite a bit.
The New York Times is, yet again, banking on the historical ignorance of the majority of the American voting public.
Mr. McCain’s likely nomination as the Republican candidate for president and the happenstance of his birth in the Panama Canal Zone in 1936 are reviving a musty debate that has surfaced periodically since the founders first set quill to parchment and declared that only a “natural-born citizen” can hold the nation’s highest office.Do we really want to bar from becoming president millions of Americans who were born at overseas military installations while their parents were defending this nation?
Almost since those words were written in 1787 with scant explanation, their precise meaning has been the stuff of confusion, law school review articles, whisper campaigns and civics class debates over whether only those delivered on American soil can be truly natural born. To date, no American to take the presidential oath has had an official birthplace outside the 50 states.
“There are powerful arguments that Senator McCain or anyone else in this position is constitutionally qualified, but there is certainly no precedent,” said Sarah H. Duggin, an associate professor of law at Catholic University who has studied the issue extensively. “It is not a slam-dunk situation.”
Mr. McCain was born on a military installation in the Canal Zone, where his mother and father, [the latter] a Navy officer, were stationed.
And if people born in U.S. territories--such as Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Panama Canal Zone circa 1936*--aren't natural born citizens, then what are they? And what are they doing voting in the presidential elections?
"Did IQs drop sharply while I was away?" (Oh wait. I've been here all along.)
I really hate having to be in John McCain's corner on anything. This defense isn't just for McCain, however; it's for the children of my friends--children born in places like Ramstein Air Base, Germany or Misawa Air Base, Japan.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at NYT's behavior anymore, but I am.
(Thanks to Protein Wisdom)
*Jimmy Carter gave the Zone back to Panama in 1977; the deal was done by 1999.
AFTERTHOUGHT: Weren't the first few PsOTUS born in some other country? (Not really asking.) And don't forget, Alaska and Hawaii didn't become states until 1959. What about people born before then? Are they not allowed to become POTUS? Stupidity reigns.
At NRO, of course. The best one is saved for last. See ya later, Mr. Buckley.
Well it appears as though Kofi Annan's "go-along-or-else" tactic worked.
NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenya's rival politicians reached an agreement Thursday on a coalition government after weeks of bitter negotiations on how to end the country's deadly postelection crisis, mediator Kofi Annan said. [SNIP]
"We have come to an understanding on the coalition government," Annan told reporters. He added: "All I can say is that we do have an agreement."The devil will surely be observable in the details.
This post is guaranteed to be updated.
The [power-sharing] agreement creates the post of prime minister who will have authority ``to coordinate and supervise government functions,'' former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said at the signing ceremony in the capital, Nairobi. The prime minister and two deputies will be included in cabinet, Annan said.
The prime minister will be chosen by the largest party in Parliament, Annan said. That is Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement, which won 99 seats in the 222-member legislature.
Have you ever been looking for a word to describe a concept that you’ve been observing for a while but didn’t know whether a single word or a two-word phrase for that concept existed?
I had been wondering whether there was a word for a certain way of viewing history; one in which history is obsevered as a chain of interconnected events—where the occurrence and nature of events are dependent upon what came before. This view is in opposition to the view where each event is a standalone occurrence and has little-to-no relation to events occurring before or afterward. (To apply the concept: I’ve had several visitors surf in here to one of my Kenya posts and believe that that particular post was an isolated “nod” to what’s going on over there rather than a dependent unit of an event-chain. As my regular readers know, I have been known to correct that assumption in a less-than-subtle manner.)
As luck would have it—or did Grace have it?—I happened to be reading an interesting text in which the context of a single word implied that it might be equivalent to the above definition. So I looked it up and—Jackpot! The word? Holistic. And I have heard the word used for years. But it had become one of those buzz-words; those light-switch words that will cause a listener to switch off because she has been overdosed with it. Analogy: the effect of the word ‘paradigm’ when the Air Force was indoctrinating its managers with TQM training.
Anyway, I'm excited to have “re-discovered” the word ‘holistic’ but I promise not to use it too much.
Things like this make me happy! Yes, I know.
(Thanks to One Cosmos, a daily visit)
Ace calls this Obama campaign video an advocacy for a McCain presidency. Maybe.
What more could the Give Peace a Chance crowd--or America's Enemies--ask for?
NEW YORK - William F. Buckley Jr., the erudite Ivy Leaguer and conservative herald who showered huge and scornful words on liberalism as he observed, abetted and cheered on the right's post-World War II rise from the fringes to the White House, died Wednesday. He was 82.Kathryn Jean Lopez at the Corner:
His assistant Linda Bridges said Buckley was found dead by his cook at his home in Stamford, Conn. The cause of death was unknown, but he had been ill with emphysema, she said.
I’m devastated to report that our dear friend, mentor, leader, and founder William F. Buckley Jr., died this morning in his study in Stamford, Connecticut.Jonah Goldberg:
He died while at work; if he had been given a choice on how to depart this world, I suspect that would have been exactly it. At home, still devoted to the war of ideas.
As George Will once said, "before there was Ronald Reagan there was Barry Goldwater, before there was Goldwater there was National Review, and before there was National Review there was William F. Buckley."UPDATE: Buckley versus Gore Vidal circa 1968. Heh.
(Thanks to Hot Air)
UPDATE: As good an epitaph as any:
He wasn't necessarily my cup of political tea but I'll probably miss him more than Mr. Beck, mainly because he was good at making chowderheads feel the pain of their ignorance, plus the very mention of his name could cause a hippie's head to explode if dropped into the conversation at just the right moment. Good entertainment that doesn't insult my intelligence is going to be harder to come by from now on.(Thanks to Rustmeister)
Annan stops the talks in order to jump-start them. Will it work? Not with people who really donât want to talk.
To the news that Kibaki's PNU and Odinga's ODM have failed to reach and agreement regarding power-sharingâspecifically failing to agree as to the duties and scope of a theoretical Kenyan Prime Minister--the Daily Nationâs columnists react in frustration, among other emotions.
Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai enumerates the individual signs representing the downfall of her country and the dearth of leadership which spurs it ever forward. Meanwhile, Odingaâs ODM gears up for more protests, set to begin Thursday. I suppose that he thinks that doing the same the over again will yield a different result than the last time. Calculate the odds.
From David Kayumba at the African Executive, Sovereignty or Responsibility: Kenya at the Crossroads.
Recently the Kenyan Justice Minister Martha Karua asked the international community to stop pressurizing her government because Kenya is a sovereign state. Karua's understanding and application of âsovereigntyâ when Kenyans are slaughtering each other yet her government has failed to guarantee security of persons, needs to be challenged. [SNIP]Condoleezza Rice say that there's no excuse for Kenya violence and the US is prepared to penalize Kenya for its leaders' obstinacy, whether the penalty ison purpose or not.
We should not be begging juntas and cliques to hold people at ransom simply because they possess coercive instruments of power!
State sovereignty derives its legitimacy from peopleâs sovereignty and as such, the role of a state is that of an agent. The preservation of the latter cannot be done at the expense of the former. Individual sovereignty is a natural right that man comes into life with. Man is by nature a sovereign citizen of the earth and by this status, his/her inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property are inviolable. [SNIP]
How many Africans live abroad as refugees simply because of failed states that keep on boasting of sovereignty!? These Africans, though refugees, enjoy a level human dignity in their host countries. They are the sovereigns of themselves.
(Note: Since most of this post was composed yesterday, there is a higher chance than usual of an update being in the offing.)
UPDATE: A good development-- At Annan's request, Odinga postpones the announced new protests.
Did you know that we’ve been at war for fifteen years today? Andrew McCarthy reminds us of this fact.
On the morning of February 26, 1993, Islamic militants steered a nondescript Ryder van through the winding darkness of the parking garage under the World Trade Center. They had spent years planning this moment in secret meetings at mosques and jailhouses, in rural outposts that served as paramilitary camps, and in safehouses where explosive compounds were mixed in makeshift labs.
Loaded into the van’s rear compartment was a 1,400-pound chemical bomb.
As we know, Islamists had wanted to do then what they finally succeeded in doing eight and a half years later—topple two symbols of American success.
McCarthy lays out the specifications of the bomb, its intended purpose and why it “failed.” He also remind us that
the silver lining [so few deaths] caused us to miss the ferocity and determination of our enemies.and that they learned from their failure and ours.
While creatures like those in the two posts below bluster anonymously, hurl epithets and scream counter-Jihad at everyone--including their fellow citizens who aren’t sufficiently radical—from behind their computer screens, real men and women are out there waging real battles; martial, informational and personal. Civilian journalists and bloggers like Michael Totten and Bill Ardolino are putting their lives aside to go to Iraq, see what’s really going on and bringing the information to the rest of us.
But again I ask this: are the efforts of these honorable persons in vain? Are we at war with Islamists or with Islam; that is, all Muslims?
Because if it is the latter, then we should pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan and break all ties with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, etc. and stop pretending that we want the best for these people. However, if it is the former, then we should restrain the nasty rhetoric and verbally denounce those who traffic in such. Why? Because it is the mouthy nutjobs who contribute to the deaths of our men and women abroad—contribute just as much as those who exhort us to tuck tail and run from the mission to which we’ve already dedicated ourselves.
The question remains, however. Which is it?
...all of a sudden...
Not Ready to Make Nice:Both Odinga and Kibaki find ways to dash the hopes of their countrymen by continuing to bicker over the role, function and duties of a proposed PM—the creation of which would require an amendment to the Bomas Draft aka the Kenya Constitution.
My father: Constitutions were made to be amended—especially when life and limb are at stake.
In a Letter to the Editor at the Daily Nation, readers contend that the ICG has endangered the lives of Kenyan runners—almost all Kalenjin--by claiming that they’ve participated in some of the massacres.
...for Americans--especially conservatives--who believe that we are at war with Islam: do you believe that our efforts in two Islamic nations--Iraq and Afghanistan--are in vain? Because if you do, you ought to be voting for whomever the Democrats nominate.
Don't forget, both Senators Clinton and Obama want us out of Iraq immediately and I contend that they're building up to calling for the withdrawal from Afghanistan--that's what Obama's contention regarding ammo shortages in Afghanistan was about. He heralded the beginning of a narrative.
UPDATE: We're falling into the abyss, folks. This stems from me trying to correct disinformation on Kenya and about myself. I'll admit to being less than polite, but the disinformation was purposeful.
Hi, racist black female muslim. Sorry, no, no re-directs from there to here. Your recent comments have been deleted. You aren't welcome on my blog. Bummer, huh?Four and a half years of blogging and a lifetime of defending this country and this what I get for defending my own ethnic heritage. Our willfully ignorant population will be our end.
UPDATE: Getting a lot of hits once more is my Warning to the Right.
I can't imagine why.
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe accused the Clinton campaign Monday of "shameful offensive fear-mongering" by circulating a photo as an attempted smear.
Plouffe was reacting to a banner headline on the Drudge Report saying that aides to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) had e-mailed a photo calling attention to the African roots of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
"The photo, taken in 2006, shows the Democrat front-runner dressed as a Somali Elder, during his visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya," the Drudge Report said. [SNIP]
Plouffe said in a statement: “On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election.The dervishes started their whirl about this yesterday in conservative blogs. I remember thinking “this will be a losing proposition for anyone who runs with it.” But if this particular aspect of the Obama-is-really-a-Muslim Whisper Campaign was ginned up by the Clintons, then Senator Clinton more desperate than we may have thought.
Back to conservative bloggers and their assertions about Obama’s religion. Many of them tend to try to figure out how Obama’s religion—whatever it may be--fits into his Kenya Luo heritage, his visits to Kenya, his relationship with Raila Odinga* (his second cousin), the present political and social chaos in Kenya and all of the other issues concerning the senator’s ties to that country. The problem with much of their analysis is that they tend to shape it to fit the conclusion. Therefore, since they “know” that the man is an undercover Muslim, then anything he does points to his being a Muslim—including having the temerity to meet with a relative and not being able to predict that the person will misbehave later on; including visiting a culture and being open to wearing their traditional dress.
There’s even some clown that’s claiming that Obama isn’t even an ‘African-American,’ but ‘Arab-American.’ Still others, expound from their wealth of knowledge and logic, want to claim that the senator isn’t ‘African-American’ because he isn’t a descendant of American slaves. (This sort of legalistic Bravo Sierra is why I prefer terms like ‘black,’ ‘black American’ or ‘black African.’ Also, I heard a Tuskegee Airman used the term ‘African-descended American’—very good.)
Of the several sites devoted to exploring Obama’s background, I’ve found only one that presents uncovered facts and lets the reader come to conclusions (the preamble notwithstanding). He is also open to correction.
Don’t get me wrong. I think that it’s reasonable to check into Obama’s past—including his religion. As a matter of fact it’s crucial to question the senator’s ties to Trinity United Church of Christ—whose About page makes no mention of the Sacrifice and Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the Salvation offered there from, and whose platform is remarkably exclusionary and similar in tone to that of the Nation of Islam. (TUCC also has ties to Louis Farrakhan, who talks up Obama whenever he can.)
I just think that it’s best not to operate from fear and the Right’s fear of Obama is palpable. Fear is what terrorists are selling and it also makes one blunder, conservatives. Ask Senator Clinton.
Learn to separate what is proven from the apparitions found in your nightmares.
And if Robert Spencer isn't worried, should you be?
*There is this document which is supposed to have been signed by Odinga. It is a Memo of Understand which promises Kenya’s Muslims—10% of the population—that, if elected, Odinga would enact Sharia law. Many Kenyans seem to think that it’s a forgery, but no answers are forthcoming. A lot of actual research was done by Eric Scheie with links posted in this comment.
*After all the talk of a deadline imposed by the ODM and the talk of a final resolution to the Kenya crisis being imminent, what does ODM’s Raila Odinga do? He leaves the country, headed to parts unreported.
Causing the other principals to break with no deal made.
*Kenya’s Red Cross Society has registered 420 missing children.
*Members of Athletics Kenya, an organization whose purpose speaks for itself, stand accused by the International Crisis Group (ICG) of funding many of the killings. The body’s chairman, Isaiah Kiplagat, disputes this.
[F]ar from promoting violence, Rift Valley athletes were known for their involvement in local competitions promoting peace.*And, an individual Kenyan athlete is thankful to be back home—in Kentucky.
"I am sure no single athlete was involved in promoting violence as reported," Kiplagat said.
"They are busy training for coming competitions and they would not have that time for those things. In fact, as we speak, many are abroad training because of the problems here."
Security details at Barack Obama's rally Wednesday stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.
The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security. [SNIP]
"Sure," said [Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W.] Lawrence, when asked if he was concerned by the great number of people who had gotten into the building without being checked. But, he added, the turnout of more than 17,000 people seemed to be a "friendly crowd."What. The. Flock.
Do you know that if something happens to that guy that there will be Hell To Pay in this country?
(Thanks to Larry Elder)
UPDATE: Karl at Protein Wisdom points to a follow-up report in the same newspaper, the Dallas Star-Telegram, while taking the Left blogosphere to task for pimping the Obama-martyr meme. :::shrug::: I think the Dallas Police Chief--if quoted accurately--is the one at fault.
“There were no security lapses at that venue,” said Eric Zahren, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington. He added there was “no deviation” from the “comprehensive and layered” security plan, implemented in “very close cooperation with our law enforcement partners.”(Thanks to Hot Air)
Zahren rebutted suggestions by several Dallas police officers at the rally who thought the Secret Service ordered a halt to the time-consuming weapons check because long lines were moving slowly, and many seats remained empty as time neared for Obama to appear.
“It was never a part of the plan at this particular venue to have each and every person in the crowd pass through the Magnetometer,” said Zahren, referring to the device used to detect metal in clothing and bags.
*Women in White: The phrase "Women and Children Hit Hardest" is usually deployed in a sarcastic manner here in the USA; the purpose being to mock the purveyors of Identity Politics and of Nanny-statism. With the Kenya Crisis, however, the phrase carries none of its sarcasm and all of its horror: women and children--the most vulnerable groups--are the victims of not only quick deaths, but slow ones. Deaths of optimally functioning bodies, souls and spirits.
Kenyan women wearing white clothes to symbolise peace vowed on Thursday to surround the venue of crisis talks until a solution is found to the east African country's worst turmoil since independence.*Kenya's religious leaders--Christian, Muslim and Hindu--call for new elections. Their statement is here.
Many women and children have been among the victims of post-election violence which has killed at least 1,000 people and forced more then 300,000 from their homes in a country previously seen as one of Africa's most stable.
Cases of rape and sexual violence doubled within days of trouble erupting, according to the United Nations. In refugee camps, traumatised children in makeshift classrooms have been drawing burned houses and beheaded people.
"All of you -- wear your white dresses, carry your food. Tomorrow (Friday) we shall go to peace house," said Violet Mavisi, an activist with the Coalition of Women for Peace and Justice, referring to the Nairobi hotel where talks are ongoing.
"We will circle their cars and make sure that those guys do not come out of there without a peace settlement."
*Odinga’s ODM threatens to resume protests if Kibaki’s PNU remains intransigent on changing the constitution to create the post of prime minister. The position was abolished by Jomo Kenyatta, independent Kenya’s first president. The government calls the threat a ‘bullying tactic’ since the all of the other protests resulted in many deaths. ODM has given a one week deadline.
The PNU responds by naming the threat: blackmail.
*Clashes in Kenya’s Mount Elgon are going on unabated. In fairness, these clashes have been going on sporadically for years, with the main actor said to be a group called Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF). The bone of contention? Land allocation and distribution from the government. The grievance sounds familiar if you've been paying attention.
"Mt Elgon is a reflection of the country. If we had taken this [the Mt Elgon crisis] as a case study then maybe it would have helped solve the current crisis in the country," she added. ['She' is the National Council of Churches of Kenya coordinator for the western region, Florence Makhanu.]*Kenya’s woes are destabilizing the entire East African region.
Before violence erupted after the disputed December 2007 election, Kenya was the region’s hub, with many people in neighbouring countries traveling frequently to the capital, Nairobi, for medical treatment, holidays, trade and education. IRIN spoke to a cross-section of people in Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania and Sudan to gauge how the crisis was affecting them:Remember what Douglas Farah said: a destabilized Kenya is an opportunity for a “stabilizing” force.
“Most consumables in Rwanda are imported, so delays in delivery from Kenya mean shortages, which translate into price hikes, which of course have an effect on our pockets,” a young Rwandan executive, who requested anonymity, told IRIN. “The sooner Kenya can return to a normal state of affairs, the better for us all in the region.”
UPDATE: Peace deal done? Almost.
Kenya’s rival political parties have nearly completed a deal to end the crisis that has kept this country on edge for almost two months, with the government agreeing to create a prime minister position, one of the opposition’s chief demands, a high-ranking government official said Thursday.
Not all the details have been worked out, the official said, but lawyers were drafting language on Thursday evening that would outline the job description of the prime minister position and how it would be incorporated into Kenya’s political framework.
An opposition official [ODM] confirmed that a deal was close, but was a bit more cautious, saying that the amount of power given to the new prime minister position had not yet been pinned down.Odinga has said that the bare minimum he would accept is a post as PM--a position that was abolished by President Jomo Kenyatta in 1964.
“It’s a major achievement,” said the opposition official, on the condition of anonymity because both sides had been asked by international mediators not to speak to the news media. “The next challenge will be to put meat on the bone.”
Last week Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. Today, Serbians respond…by setting the American Embassy on fire.
Serb rioters set fire to an office inside the U.S. Embassy Thursday and police clashed with protesters outside other embassy buildings after a large demonstration against Kosovo's declaration of independence.
Masked attackers broke into the U.S. compound, which has been closed this week, and tried to throw furniture from an office. They set fire to the office and flames shot up the side of the building. [SNIP]
More than a dozen nations have recognized Kosovo's declaration of independence, including the United States, Britain, France and Germany. But the declaration by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership [Muslims, BTW] has been rejected by Serbia's government and the ethnic Serbians who populate northern Kosovo.Alright. Where's the next outbreak of human nature going to occur? Any guesses?
For several days, Kosovo's Serbs have shown their anger by destroying U.N. and NATO property, setting off small bombs and staging noisy rallies.
On Thursday, the neighboring Croatian Embassy also was targeted by the same group of protesters at the U.S. Embassy, and smaller groups attacked police posts outside the Turkish and British embassies in another part of the city but were beaten back.
Help! Does anyone know how to open the old-fashioned can version of John McCann's Steel-cut Irish Oatmeal (pictured)? I had to stoop to eating Quaker's this morning. Not that I haven't stooped to it before, but I bought the McCann's because it has no sugar in it.
Oh. Did I mention that I've been on a diet? The South BeachTM type. I'm feeling pretty good, having lost fourteen pounds in three weeks. Oh yes and then there's the exercise (again). This isn't the first time that I've been able to exercise myself down in weight, but I've never been able to stick to a diet before. The quick results, however, are encouraging.
A friend of mine--an ex-boxer--says that if I start jumping rope, the weight will drop off even more quickly. I don't know. I wasn't that coordinated back when I was jumping rope on a regular basis and now I'll have to strap down a pair of assets that I didn't have back then. Send armor.
And, no, there'll be no video.
UPDATE: Three and fifty (I'll let you guess).
UPDATE (2/22/08): Opened.
Oh my. As I was searching the Internet for a “Kenya Facts” page I’m composing, I happened to come upon Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga’s 2007 presidential campaign page. Check it out and scroll down! The question: did Odinga ‘jack his Cousin Obama’s shtick or vice versa? Considering that Senator Obama has been known to borrow with consent a few lines from his friend Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA), I'm guessing the latter.
RELATED: At WSJ, Daniel Henninger says that the Clinton camp betrayed its desperation when it made a big deal out of the words that Obama and Patrick seem to willingly share with each other. The real story, according to Henninger, is "the greatest seismic shift since Bill Clinton came out of Arkansas in 1992"--the roll-out of the new generation of Black American Politician.
[W]hat you have is Sen. Barack Obama, who is 46, and Gov. Deval Patrick, 51, as but two of a generation of black politicians cut more or less from the same mold. Add to the list Newark Mayor Cory Booker, 38, who first lost to and then defeated the Sharpe James machine there; Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, 37; and Harold Ford Jr., 37, who lost a 2006 Senate race in Tennessee by three points. From the GOP side, let's include former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, 49, and former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts, 50. All are well-educated, very smart and able to articulate ideas with clarity and power.
Cory Booker embraced Obama's candidacy in the New Jersey primary, as did Adrian Fenty in D.C.'s. Both are virtually political, even personal, duplicates of Obama. Political scouts had identified Obama, Patrick and Booker as presidential prospects off in the future. Barack Obama jumped the gun. He is like a qualifier at Wimbledon. Now he's in the semifinal and one win from the final match of his life.
Remember Army Lt. Colonel Allen B. West? Well he's retired now and running for Congress in Florida's 22nd District as a Republican challenger to Democratic Rep. Ron Klein. Regardless of whether the colonel wins or loses, I'm sure that there are many people cheering for him--including me.
(Thanks to The Anchoress)
Yesterday, Michelle Obama stirred up a storm when she declared that “...for the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country. And it’s not just because Barack has done well, but because people are hungry for change.” (That last sentence of hers was an obvious non sequitur—an unsuccessful attempt at covering the self-centeredness of the first.)
Now, various critics have pointed out that Mrs. Obama must not have been keeping up on current events, historical documents or on her own charmed life during her 26-year sojourn as an adult (she’s 44). Perhaps.
However there’s one particular event that should be standing out in her mind right now and that event's resolution should make her very proud of our country. And the fact that the resolution did not stick out in her mind says a lot about her. What am I talking about? I’m talking about this country’s peaceful reaction to the contested 2000 presidential election.
Contrast that reaction to the violence resulting from Kenya’s contested 2007 presidential election.
For two obvious reasons, the comparison should have been foremost in her mind when it came to deciding whether to be proud or really proud of our country. Curious that it did not.
UPDATE: At Protein Wisdom, Darleen Click masterfully breaks down the speaking performance of the Better Half of the Obama Union--the hair, the dress, the jewelry, the body language, the rhetorical choices and flourishes. Wow!
This time it's Saul Alinsky's biography.
Okay, I hadn't heard of the guy either until a few months ago. As it turns out two of the four presidential candidates have some sort of tie to the famed Chicago Community Organizer. (Side note: every time I hear/see those last two words together, I cringe. It reminds me of those mind-numbingly boring summer "jobs" I used to have--the ones in which the tax-payers funded endless teenage games of Spades.) To put it simply, Alinsky was one of the Twentieth Century's most ardent proponents of the Unconstrained Vision.
Can you guess which two candidates have ties to Alinsky?
RELATED: Some pinhead berated me for using the word 'communist' in relation to Senator Obama's political education and heritage. To that person, I say again...
Okay, not. However, please read the fascinating article entitled "Obama's Communist Mentor," that mentor being one Frank Marshall Davis. Obama mentions Davis briefly in Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, but Cliff Kincaid contends that the influence was more substantial.
(Thanks to Memeorandum)
So when I heard on the news this morning that 81-year-old Fidel Castro, El Presidente y Comandante en Jefe de Cuba, was resigning in favor of his 76-year old brother Raúl, the only place I planned to check on the web for commentary was Val Prieto’s Babalu Blog to see what he and/or his co-bloggers had to say about it. Val does not disappoint.
We're going to hear hopes that this is the beginning of change in Cuba. We're going to hear arguments for the lifting of the embargo. We're going to hear wishy washy eulogies and praise for the bearded bastard. We're gonna hear a lot of crap today and in the next few days. Cuba experts will be coming out of the woodwork with their own particular theories and there will most certainly be editorials galore. [SNIP]Now here is where some actual change--rather than the rhetorical type which certain other politicians are espousing--is needed.
The day there is real change in Cuba - and not a carefully choreographed one - will be the day when every single Cuban on the island is allowed to know who Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet is. When every Cuban is allowed to know exactly and truthfully why he, and so many like him, have been rotting away in putrid jail cells for years.
For fifty years, the Cuban people have been physically, mentally, spiritually, ideologically, culturally and emotionally emasculated. Today's news is just another snip in a surreptitiously planned and meticulously orchestrated surgery.
* “Don’t tell us what to do.” The Kenyan government’s pride comes to the fore as it coolly welcomes US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Wasn’t that same pride the problem in the first place? Rice met with Kibaki and Odinga separately and with Kofi Annan. Rice: “[T]he time for a political settlement was yesterday.”
* Some of the reforms may include the return of the office of Prime Minister. The office was abolished by Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta , in 1964.
* “God welcomes everybody”: Normally a Christian missionary transport service, the Mission Aviation Fellowship has been evacuating Kenyan refugees from areas of heavy violence and it has done so without asking about tribe.
During these flights, passengers were sometimes eye to eye with members of the opposing tribe. [SNIP]
"The first thought, as a Christian, that you would have is ‘How can they kill each other?'" Terlouw said. What is happening here is absolutely horrifying. The church has called for reconciliation, but leaders realized that even their request was "preaching in a way that supported their own tribe."
The church made a leap forward recently when they confessed this. Terlouw said church leaders made a new statement of reconciliation: "Whatever our tribal background is, we belong to Jesus, and we want peace at any cost. We want to reconcile with anybody, whatever tribe, whatever color. And for the first time I think, that was not just lip-service, but that was real."* With the 2008 Olympics on the horizon, Kenya’s team—whose members come from various tribes, of course-- may have to train in another country.
* A prominent Kenyan journalist—not my father—refuses to return home from a trip to New York. Interesting: he’s ODM’s Communications Chief.
* Six people have died of cholera in Kenya’s Mandera region.
* Meanwhile, the proverbial "youths" don't want to compromise.
The youths from [Odinga's] Luo ethnic group who burned buildings in Kisumu in the wake of the election say they will accept little in the way of compromise. The stones in the road – marking the spot where one their friends was shot by riot police – could quickly become missiles.
"We voted for a president, not a prime minister," says one. "The least we can accept is an interim government with a revote in six months."
The young men, who spend their days drinking or smoking bhang, the local name for marijuana, are typical of the dispossessed from whom Odinga draws much of his support.
He campaigned on a policy of majimbo – a form of devolved government that promised to share the benefits of Kenya's booming economy with those who felt they were missing out to members of President Mwai Kibaki's Kikuyu tribe.
In short, he offered his supporters hope.
Jaguba Nyabanda Anyango, a mechanic, says: "[Mr. Kibaki] has taken his people to the government. Now we want [Odinga] to take all Luos to government and provide jobs."
Without Odinga in the State House, they all say they will rip up their voting cards and turn their backs on Kenya's political system.
But first, they will burn what is left of Kisumu's once pretty city center.
"That is automatic if [Odinga] betrays us," says one of the young men.
President Bush and Mrs. Bush are in Africa this weekend (a six-day sojourn), with the intent to visit the countries of Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda and Tanzania. It's the president's second trip to the continent; let’s hope that he’ll skip the dancing. Among the objectives of trip are to highlight the US projects which aim to conquer AIDS and malaria and to scout out a site for the headquarters of the newly-created Africa Command. The only government which has offered to host the new command is that of Liberia.
Kenya had been on the itinerary but the president purposely avoided countries with unstable governments and, therefore, that leg of the trip was canceled for obvious reasons. Instead, the president sent Condoleezza Rice to Kenya. The SOS will arrive on Monday but will only be there for a few hours--just enough time to convey the president’s call for an end to the violence and his endorsement of a power-sharing agreement; basically to cosign on Kofi Annan’s efforts to convince Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga to take that option.
Maenwhile, the people long for normalcy:
"Why are [Kibaki, Odinga and Annan] not hitting the main issue so we can have a normal life in Kenya?" 35-year old taxi driver Dan Omondi told The Associated Press in the western city of Kisumu, which has seen some of the worst of the ethnic violence sparked by the political dispute. "When you are hungry you need food, not appetizers."But others recognize that it isn't up to the Big Wigs to give life--real life--to the citizens. It never was.
In the case of Kenya, blame at this point would serve no useful purpose. Hundreds have died and thousands are displaced. We must focus on resolving the crisis. The U.S. and other Western countries have suggested direct face-to-face negotiations between Odinga and Kibaki. This Western approach NEVER worked in Africa.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, and AU Chairman, John Kufuor and others have all suggest Government of National Unity (GNU) but that NEVER worked anywhere in Africa – not even South Africa after apartheid was dismantled. It is time for a NEW APPROACH – an African approach.
It starts by recognizing that the crisis is now beyond the capabilities of Odinga and Kibaki to resolve. When two elephants, it is the grass that gets hurt, says an African proverb. [SNIP]
The crisis in Kenya now is for ALL Kenyans to resolve. A sovereign national conference must be convened with representatives drawn from all sections of Kenyan society: political parties, religious bodies, tribal groups, professional groups, student groups, etc.Here are a couple of excerpts from Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer's press briefing while enroute to the continent. First there's an overview of Global Peace Operations Initiative.
I think that it's important to know that our -- that we have a major initiative that's intended to build the capacity of Africans, themselves, to respond to conflict. That's the Global Peace Operations Initiative. It's called GPOI. And that was an initiative that the President pushed the administration to develop. It started in 2005. It provides $660 million over five years to train 75,000 peacekeepers worldwide, with a focus on Africa. To date, we've trained about 39,000 Africans in peacekeeping, and also equip them. And of the Africans deployed around the world in peacekeeping operations -- of which the majority are, again, Africa -- 80 percent have been trained by the United States. So we think that this is a major contribution to conflict resolution on the continent.Then the situation in Kenya is addressed.
Q Do you feel like President Kibaki feels too comfortable in his U.S. support, his support from Washington, and that might make him less likely to make compromises that he might otherwise?And, finally, here are some excerpts from another excellent and very sad article on the origins of the Kenya conflict and the lastest effects: Balkanization.
AMBASSADOR FRAZER: I think that both President Kibaki and Raila Odinga appreciate the strong support that the United States has provided to Kenya, and they see the United States as key to helping them to resolve this crisis. And so I think that both have heard our message that it will not be business as usual, and that any individuals who are seen as obstructing the effort towards a peace process, a power sharing agreement, as the President stated, will be subject to possible further sanction by the U.S. We've talked about a visa ban, but there are other issues and ways in which we can try to encourage them to negotiate in good faith.
Q Do you have a concern there's an impression -- perhaps a misimpression -- that the President is not engaged in solving conflict?
AMBASSADOR FRAZER: I think that there's some people who don't know what the true record is. And especially when you're in Washington, we need to step outside of the politics and look at the record.
Luos have gone back to Luo land, Kikuyus to Kikuyu land, Kambas to Kamba land and Kisiis to Kisii land. Even some of the packed slums in the capital, Nairobi, have split along ethnic lines.
The bloodletting across the country that has killed more than 1,000 people since the election seems to have subsided in the past week. But the trucks piled high with mattresses, furniture, blankets and children keep chugging across the countryside, an endless convoy of frightened people who in their desperation are redrawing the map of Kenya. [SNIP]
Whatever deal is struck will have to address the growing de facto segregation, since a resettlement of the country may further entrench the political and ethnic divisions that have recently erupted. Shattered trust is much harder to rebuild than smashed huts, and many people say they will never go back to where they fled.
“How can we, when it was our friends who did this to us?” said Joseph Ndungu, a shopkeeper in the Rift Valley, who said that men he used to play soccer with burned down his shop. [SNIP]
The roots of the problem go deeper than the disputed election, in which the incumbent president, Mwai Kibaki, was declared the winner over the top opposition leader, Raila Odinga, despite widespread evidence of vote rigging.
At the heart is a tangle of long-festering political, economic and land issues. Part of the trouble is the winner-take-all system in Kenya, which happens in much of Africa, where leaders often favor members of their own ethnic group and in the process alienate large swaths of the population. Many people in Kenya saw this coming even before independence in 1963.
“We were worried about the smaller tribes getting dominated by the bigger ones,” said Joseph Martin Shikuku, a 75-year-old opposition figure. “And you know what? That’s exactly what happened.”The Kenya Crisis
From 11AM this morning LA’s KCAL 9 has fully devoted its coverage to the funeral and burial of LAPD SWAT team member Randal Simmons.
Simmons, 51, died Feb. 7 in a gun battle with a man who killed three relatives inside a Winnetka home. He was the first Los Angeles Police Department SWAT officer killed in the line of duty.Officer Simmons’ funeral was held at Crenshaw Christian Faith Dome, not far from my home, so I know from witnessing that his send-off was impressive. I got a glimpse of Antonio Villaraigosa in the crowd and Arnold Schwarzenegger is said to have been there. And that is as it should be.
It’s a far cry from when Cobb and I were lamenting the lack of attention paid to the murder of LA Airport police officer Tommy Scott and while I’d rather that no one have to die in such a manner, I’m glad to see that lessons have been learned. For the few bad seeds in police forces around the country, the many good ones should be honored, especially when they give their everything.
Godspeed, Officer Simmons. Well done.
Being American-born and -raised and Kenyan Luo descended via my biological father,
Having given the bulk of my adulthood into the service of this great nation,
Having been open in my embrace of the Free Gift of Salvation from Jesus Christ,
Having wondered whether my biological father is dead or alive as he flees his own countrymen,
Having never met said biological father face-to-face,
Having attempted to dispel some of the ignorance regarding the contemporary chaos in Kenya and regarding the Luo tribe—membership of which Obama and I happen to share,
I, nonetheless, have to put up with crap like this from an alleged ally:
You seem pretty unhinged and living in your own fantasy Baldilocks. Communists? They don't practise FGM do they? [Neither do Luos.] I hear all the Mungali [sic] leadership have reverted [sic] to Islam [sic]. Why are you covering for Islam? [Actually the last two sentences require one big SIC umbrella. -Ed.]In reply, BL@KBIRD, I cordially invite you to do something for me...
Go fornicate yourself.
With Senator Obama having won eight of the nine primaries/caucuses occuring in the past week while Senator Clinton regroups, Confederate Yankee Bob Owens makes the case against Obama. This time it’s a case filled with substance rather than ignorance-fueled innuendo--with the ignorance being of the willful variety.
For all the hype, Barack Obama is making his way though the Democratic nominating process by merely lip-syncing old liberal standards borrowed from those who came before him. When potential voters begin to notice the lack of originality behind the hype, the “change” candidate may find his fall to be just as meteoric as his rise.Of course, most Conservative observers already knew that Obama’s record was light-to-nonexistent and that, of the known record, his stances on nearly every issue are invariably Far Left (has the word Communist become outmoded?) in nature and not exactly original. However, I think that the Liberal observers know this also. The thing is this: most simply don’t care. I predict that there will be no 'fall.'
Obama is visibly the candidate of ‘Change.’ That he manifestly is not the agent of substantive ‘Change’ matters not a whit to most of those who want to see him become POTUS. It is the real prospective of an openly card-carrying Red in the White House backed up by a solidly Democrat-controlled House and Senate—not some Jihadis-under the-bed apparition—which would be the most frightening; if I were frightened, that is.
Does that mean that Conservatives should coalesce behind the presumptive GOP nominee, John McCain? Frankly I don't think that it will make a difference whether we do or not, so it's best the vote one's conscience, as they say.
Change is in the air. I can smell it--when I'm not holding my nose.
Twice in the past year, I have awakened to a non-functioning/improperly functioning computer with one of those times being yesterday morning. To make a long story short--after being patiently walked through the trial and error process by a Microsoft guy via the telephone, we finally hit upon the solution.
A benediction: may the country of India remain fertile and evergreen and may its tribe(s) continue to increase.
These past few weeks seem to be ones in which the older members of my family require extra attention from their children. Today is one of those days (no worries). I’ll be back later.
Here's today's rant from one of my parental units. (I have more than two, but you know which one.)
It is the mind that instigates the crimes that we commit, including the chauvinism which leads you to attack your neighbour on account of his ethnic affiliation. The upshot is that, in the war on crime, mental education is a hundred times more effective than a hundred manacles.
The chief failing of all [Kenyan] upbringing – including the classroom formality that we claim to be “education” – is that it does not attempt to remove from our minds any of the groundless assumptions, sentiments and thoughts that we hold against one another as ethnic communities.
THE CHIEF CULPRITS ARE OUR PARENTS, OUR teachers, our priests and – by the favouritism with which they hire and fire – our government officials. If these are members of our most “educated” elite, how can we expect our mass of peasants and proletarians to know any better? [SNIP]
The police may have prevented much of what has happened. They may arrest us and the courts may sentence us to stiff punishment.
But they cannot arrest and detain or jail the parochialism that hag-rides us as races, tribes, genders and religions. It is not their duty. Appalling is the revelation, since December 27, that, since independence, Kenyans have not moved even a flea-hop in the direction of mental education, uplift and refinement.
Nothing is more embarrassing than to listen to PhDs from one community, seated at the counter of a pub, uttering the most fetid drivel about other tribes. They demand “revolutionary changes” in the body politic but only if these changes are manned by members of their tribe. At the counter – that’s why I call them counter-revolutionaries.
FOR IT IS THEY WHO OUGHT TO PLAY THE VANGUARD role in our seemingly insuperable task of creating a single national mind out of a conglomeration of disparate ethnic minds. Yet since December 27, I have not seen even a single suggestion from the academic community that tribalism is our national bane number one – leave alone how to tackle it. [SNIP]
No, December 27 has not intensified our parochialism. It has merely removed the outer coating of our small-mindedness. It has merely laid us bare.The Kenya Crisis
Now that the Republican nominee for president is sure to be John McCain, the real battle begins.
...Information shows that [John McCain] made over 32 tapes of propaganda for the Vietnamese government...In case you're the lone reader who doesn't know, McCain was a POW during the Vietnam War.
(Thanks to LGF)
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Kenya's ruling party and opposition have agreed to form a power-sharing government in an effort to end weeks of bloodshed that have engulfed the country since a deeply flawed election, an opposition lawmaker said Friday.This deal was brokered by Kofi Annan. Question, Kenyans: Why do our brethren need Kofi to give them a reason to stop murdering and raping?
The two sides were still discussing who would lead the government and what roles each party would play, said William Ruto, a lawmaker from the opposition Orange Democractic Movement.
"We have finally agreed that there is a problem in the country and neither side can proceed on its own," Ruto said. "We have agreed to form a joint government. Details of that government, its time and how to share it are under discussions."
Even so, observers--including this one--are cautiously optimistic.
UPDATE: And, right on cue, my father posts his English grammar column. The words of the day are 'sometimes,' some time' and 'sometime.'
What is it with people? I’ve asked Kenyans to comment on what’s going on in their country while repeatedly acknowledging my knowledge and contextual deficiencies on the background of the crisis there. But I‘ve only received two Kenyan commenters. One “chastised” me for having no experience on the ground in that country (that’s a difficult feat to achieve from my office in South Central Los Angeles, California, USA). The other, after apparently reading only one post from the thirty or so Kenya posts I’ve written since January 1st and assuming that the post in question was the lone missive on the subject, ridiculed me as being a “faddist.” [2-9-08: In this case, an apology was offered and accepted.]
(I should like to be pat on the back for not playing the “do you know who my father is” card and would forget all this if either of them—instead of illogically sniping because someone who isn’t Kenyan cares about what's happening to that country--could tell me where he is.)
Know this, Kenyans: I’m not getting a whole lot of hits for my series on Kenya. My primary audience from this 4 ½ year old blog consists of Americans—conservative and military. I’ve diverted from my usually fare and my site-meter count has plunged as a result. You see, Kenyans, after Rwanda and after Bosnia, most Americans are tired of those who refuse to learn from the bad examples of others; they really don’t give a rat’s a** when a group of people are short-sighted enough to murder their own future. So the assertion that my Kenya posting is some sort of fad would be laughable if it weren’t an indication of something else: shame. You are ashamed of the behavior of your countrymen and you should be. (As your kinswoman, I know I am—as I often am upon revelation of crimes committed by my American kinsmen.) I mean why else would two Kenyans come to this blog and criticize a non-Kenyan for trying to keep track of what’s going on over there?
Well, check this out, Kenyans: even if I do go back to posting more lucrative fare, you all can’t hide the crimes that our ethnic brethren are committing against each other. The days during which that could have been achieved are over. So instead of stupidly bashing me for being fortunate enough to have been born and raised American, how about showing some National Will and stop murdering and raping each other? Failing that, how about sending my father and the rest of his family out? Alive? If you can do either--and, preferably, both--I will acknowledge your superiority.
UPDATE: National Will is not visible on the horizon (emphasis mine).
President Mwai Kibaki has claimed victory in the December 27 vote but opposition leader Raila Odinga says the polls were rigged. Even the international observers have cited serious flaws.Fools.
About 1,000 people have died in ethnic clashes, riots and looting since then.
The ethnic clashes have fueled [Senator Barack] Obama fever, with members of the Luo ethnic group rallying behind Obama [in his bid for the US presidency], whose father was a Luo.
''Obama!'' a group of Luo men shouted in unison, as they stood guard at a makeshift roadblock near the entrance of Kibera, Kenya's biggest shantytown outside Nairobi.
''We are supporting him here. We want him to win the election,'' said Mohammed Noor, 27.
''Did you know that Obama's father is also Luo?'' he added.
Behind Noor, young men yelled: ''Tell Obama we want guns!''
(Thanks to This Ain't Hell)
UPDATE: Breakthrough? We'll see.
Robin Roberts, Good Morning America host and breast cancer survivor, joins the Baldilocks club.
Robin looked fabulous strutting down the runway bald, in a brick-red sequin dress from [Isaac Mizrahi's] Fall '08 collection.
"This is who I am," Robin said with a smile about her decision to ditch the wig.
(Thanks to Crunk & Disorderly)
We cannot allow the next president of the United States to retreat in the face of evil extremism.--Mitt Romney on why he dropped out of this year’s GOP presidential nomination race
The fact is that both of the Democrat front-runners—Senators Clinton and Obama—have vowed to pull out of Iraq immediately should either be elected president. The fact is that, in spite of all his RINO-ness, his pricklyness, his McCain-Feingold-ness and his McCain-Kennedy-ness, Senator McCain has been a stalwart proponent of seeing OIF through to a successful conclusion. For his own part, Governor Romney asserted that bailing out of Iraq prematurely would be the great disastrous move of our age and I agree. Such a move would be an open invitation to Islamists to have another go at the Great Satan. (And you know that they won’t drop by uninvited unless they had the opportunity to top 9/11. As my father and many others have noted, you can’t fight when you’re dead.)
Mitt Romney has his priorities straight and he’s one classy individual to boot.
At this turn of events, one wonders what Governor Mike Huckabee’s next move will be. Just days ago he was all puffy-chested, using prize fighter metaphors while vowing to stick out his candidacy up to the time of the GOP convention. Since any interested observer could see that the governor was acting as McCain’s dogsbody in order to hinder Romney’s campaign, what purpose would the further existence of the Huckabee campaign serve other than to front as if he weren’t McCain’s flunky?
UPDATE: Huckabee says that he'll stay in the race.
“We know it's an uphill climb, but we knew that a year ago when we announced,” said Kirsten Fedewa, a Huckabee spokeswoman.Prediction: he'll be out after his next loss, just to make himself not look like McCain's boy.
As to what I'm going to do, glad you asked...I don't know.
UPDATE: The Corner has video of Romney conceding.
UPDATE: Mitt Romney just called it a day. The CPAC attendees are PO'd, but not at Romney.
The problem? It's white women. I knew it all along. :-P
Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) suggests that Berkeley, CA be denied federal earmark funds as a result of the Berkeley City Council’s decision to give USMC recruiters the boot. And, in response to the City Council’s attempt to intimidate the USMC by granting Code PINK a permit to protest in front of one of the recruiting stations (heh), Move America Forward will protest in front of the City Council on February 12th. Background here. (Thanks to Blackfive)
Senator Obama’s presidential campaign projects that, by June 7—the date of the last primary—its delegate count will be nearly tied that of Senator Clinton. Meanwhile, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) has his DNC super-delegate status stripped due to his endorsement of Senator McCain as president. (Thanks to Memeorandum)
Borrowing a concept from the UK, Stephen A. Dubner solicits a six-word word motto for the USA. Lots of ‘Hate America First’ in the comments, mixed in relatively equally with some gems. Here’s one: “Could be worse: could be Mogadishu.” Here’s another: “Piss us off at your peril.” I think I’ll shop there for a new tag line when I get time. (Thanks to Hot Air)
Shocker: There are almost 12,000 Republicans who live in my district! I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have to wear a Scarlet 'R.' I took the neighbor mentioned in the last part of this post with me to the polling place. (Mr. Leo had a fall recently and must use a walker or a cane.) There was no poll station drama in contrast to some previous occasions. Good thing too--Mr. Leo would have defended my honor with his cane. The poll worker did, however, hand me a Democrat ballot without asking. But I don't demand perfection...well, not usually.
I did my part for Mitt Romney, but, unsurprisingly, John McCain prevailed. I’m glad that the professional and amateur conservative pundits are exercised about McCain’s general perfidy. I suppose that I would be also if I didn’t have other things on my mind.
One day after a goodly portion of this country helped to decide which two people will stand as the final candidates for POTUS, it’s good to contrast our mostly peaceful process against the type in which the result means more than the consistent process—one in which the axiom of “Any Means Necessary” to gain or preserve power means more than the lives and dignity of one’s countrymen.
Kenya emerged from its struggle for independence in the 1960s as a corrupt one-party state under Jomo Kenyatta. Daniel arap Moi prolonged that state of affairs after 1978. Under these rulers, Kenya became—to use the words of [Ghanaian economist] George Ayittey [quoted] in the recent book Making Poor Nations Rich—a “vampire state.” But then Kenya opted for a transition [in 2002 when Kibaki was first elected] that seemed to set it apart from much of the continent. Now when it looked as if Kenya was leaving behind its authoritarian politics, Kibaki, with a single stroke, has managed to make Kenya look no different than most corrupt and violent African states.On Kenya's ODM presidential candidate Odinga:
In doing so, the Kenyan ruler has followed the worst tradition of African politics of the last half-century.
Odinga's ODM had been "supremely and idiotically naive" to think they could run a civil disobedience campaign without it leading to violence, [Oxford University's Professor David Anderson] said.And this:
And Odinga's poor judgement plus lack of gravitas in handling the crisis had shattered his would-be image as a pan-African statesman able to carry Kenya forward, he said.
Kenya's opposition has threatened street protests if a meeting of regional foreign ministers, chaired by the government, goes ahead while talks to end bloodshed in the country are under way.(Side note: you'll note that this last link is from Al Jazeera. That organization has taken keen interest in what's going on in Kenya and, as a result, doing a top-notch job of reporting--at least on this subject. A sensible person--rather than an alarmist or an ignoramus--can give credit where due and estimate that, while the situation itself has nothing to do with Islamists on the march, Islamists very likely may be viewing a fallen Kenya as an opportunity. All those who are looking for the "hidden Muslim hand" guiding the turmoil in Kenya need to recognize that.)
Negotiations between the rival factions continued on Tuesday, as fresh violence claimed 12 more lives.
The opposition attacked plans to hold a meeting of foreign ministers from the seven-member east African regional bloc IGAD, chaired by Kenya saying it would "legitimise Kibaki's position through the back door".
The foreign ministers are due in Kenya on Wednesday, with talks due the next day.
"If the IGAD meeting goes on in spite of our call for it not to go on," said Anyang Nyongo, secretary-general of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), "we shall call upon Kenyans to come out in their big numbers for a peaceful demonstration in Nairobi to strongly protest."
The government has banned street protests, and earlier ones have led to looting, rioting and a crackdown by police.
Am I “lording it over” those who don’t have the benefit of a culture which values the rule of law? There’s no need to. Anyone who takes even the most cursory mental journey back into our own history is reminded of the many and sometimes bloody struggles that our forebears had to live through for us to enjoy the victories of process—rule of law--over results. (Oh yes and I know that this particular war is one that will never be won since eternal vigilance is the weapon that need be always at the ready.)
Aside from wanton killing and my personal considerations, the most frustrating things about yet another African country falling to chaos is to observe as its leaders behave in such a ridiculously short-sighted and callous manner and to observe as they fail to learn from they myriad examples of power-mania on their own continent much less those existing elsewhere.
I was listening to radio talk show host Mark Levin last week and, on the subject of McCain, he opined that “everyone is selling perception.” Well, everyone wouldn’t be selling it if it weren’t such a lucrative commodity—if no one were buying. In Kenya, the perception that the only way to change economic and societal issues is to murder one's neighbors and relatives and/or drive them out of their homes has been sold. And that perception has given birth to the perception that vengeance has some purpose other than feeding on itself; it has been sold as well. It's up to Kenya's "leaders" to become actual leaders--to make another perception seem more appealing than the old one and its progeny.
Either of the Kenyan leaders could reshape the perception of themselves—and their country--from that of the stereotypical Third World autocrat-kleptocrat to potential savior while saving some lives in the process. Either could look like the statesman who rose above his personal considerations and his pride for the good of his people. And since it is personal pride that both seem to care most about, either could play the hero in the eyes of their countrymen and in those of the world--by putting forth some sort of compromise that is crucial to the actual implementation of rule-of-law.
Mature strategic thinkers these two are not, however. So UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon must play the parent.
“I told Kenya’s leaders, President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, that they bear a particular political responsibility for the future of Kenya. I stressed to all the Kenyan leaders the need to stop the unacceptable violence and killings and to resolve their differences through dialogue and the democratic process,” Mr Ban told the Council, according to a statement from his office.:::shrugs:::Ban may be talking sense, but since when do Third World “leaders” listen to the UN?
The UN chief said political leaders should think beyond their individual interests or party lines, and to look to the future of Kenya as one country. [SNIP]
He said the UN supported the mediation process championed by [Ban’s predecessor Kofi] Annan and announced that a trust fund had been established through the UN Development Programme to support it in addition to assigning several UN staff.
Here’s the rare bit of good news, though; indeed it does seem to be a result of the UN's intervention: the Kibaki government has lifted its ban on live broadcasts. Please read the op-ed which explain how the government was able to implement the ban in the first place.
Meanwhile, I have not heard from my father. But no worries; I remain hopeful.
UPDATE: From All Africa:
The East African Community is considering sending a peace-keeping force to Kenya as one of the options in case the situation deteriorates, reports Anne Mugisa.Rwanda and Burundi, eh? The irony is thick.
"Currently, there are negotiations within the East African set-up. A decision has not yet been reached but negotiations are on," Fred Opolot of the Uganda Media Centre told journalists yesterday.
The East African Community, chaired by President Yoweri Museveni, is made up of Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Kenya.
Ten MPs are among prominent people facing an imminent travel ban to the United States following the country’s post-election political crisis.
The US accuses these people of being behind the violence in which nearly 1,000 people have been killed and more than 350,000 others have been displaced.
And Wednesday, America’s northern neighbour, Canada, followed suit by stating that it would also write demand letters to the same individuals with a view to blocking them from stepping on its soil.
US ambassador Michael Ranneberger Wednesday confirmed the drastic step, stating his country “decided to apply our travel restrictions on individuals who we believe participated in the instigation of violence, violation of human rights and breaking of democratic practices”. [SNIP]
“The ban will affect their families — their children who are studying in the US and their spouses. The individuals will also be affected.”Members of both the PNU (Kibaki's party) and the ODM (Odinga's party) are on the list.
Thirty more people, he added were being investigated.
Normally, I don't post full articles/essays. But considering the by-line and the subject, you'll understand why I made an exception in this case.
Live for your country, don’t die for it
Story by PHILIP OCHIENG
Publication Date: 2/3/2008
I am a displaced person. Originally, I refused to move. After dispatching my family to various places, I locked myself up in my house to go on with my work. I had convinced myself that finishing the books I am writing was much more important than my safety.
Moreover, I thought that, at 70, if I died I would have lived a full life. But how illogical I was! If a fanatic killed me, how could I now dedicate my books to society? I recalled the philosopher’s admonition that no cause at all is worth dying for.
If you are so convinced that an ideal is vital for your society, then shouldn’t you make it your duty to live long enough to help your society to realise it? Once you are dead, of what use are you?
Thus only dastards can join battle with such swashbuckling as: “I am ready to die for democracy,” or: “I will die fighting for Kibaki.”
Nobody denies you your right to fight for Kibaki (or Odinga, Musyoka and Ruto).
The point is to do it intelligently. None of these individuals is worth your life.
Isaac Asimov, the American biochemist, once produced what he called “Three Laws of Robotics” to be written into the logico-mathematical pathways of each of his “positronic brains” to ensure that robots served human beings absolutely safely.
The third law is that a robot must keep itself intact every time it is deployed — unless this contradicts the first law (which is never to cause or allow any harm to a human user).
All the laws are actually central to all tool-making in human history. The third one makes the boomerang of the Australian native the most ingenious of all the tools ever made.
But, clearly, a soldier is much more important than a tool. That is why the law on self-preservation is even more significant to humans. Sure, a good soldier fights bravely in battle. But his bravery must include every stratagem that helps him to return to base unharmed.
Only then can he be available for another battle. Hence the saying: Live for your country: never deliberately die for it.
Patriotism is mental and manual commitment to one’s country for as long as possible. To die willingly, even in your country’s name, is treason.
To go to battle with chest-thumping carelessness – making yourself an easy prey to the enemy’s shrapnel — is to succumb to Shakespearean resignation: “Come what come may/Time and hour runs through the roughest day.” This is fatalism. Time has become your master, whereas time must flow in your own terms.
That is why, in the destructiveness of the present battle, you must protect yourself. There is no cowardice in dashing into hiding when necessary. Whatever the immediate factor, you save your life and make yourself available for a much more worthwhile battle.
If you die, I lose the chance to convince you that, at the moment, your weapons are aimed in the wrong direction. It is not the Kikuyu or the Kisii who have plunged us into Armageddon.
And, whoever it is, his targets are not the Kalenjin, the Luhya, the Luo or the Swahili.
No. Only individuals are guilty. Though they seek to hide under tribal labels, they have not done it to benefit their tribe but only themselves as individuals.
By taking arms to injure other Kenyans on the basis of their tribes, you are only making it easier for the culprits to hide under those labels. If Mr Samuel Fulani is the culprit, why attack the Swahili?
Indeed, you endanger your own lives. The crisis has revealed how desperately interdependent we are as tribes. Everything we do to another tribe boomerangs badly on us. However powerful its leaders may be, no tribe lives in a castle surrounded by a moat.
Every time you attack members of a tribe living in your area, you are digging the graves of your own relatives living in other tribal areas.
Once the revenge game begins, there can be no end to it. Why have we failed to learn even a single lesson from Somalia right next door? Yes, we wronged innocent Kikuyus and Kisiis. But, as Lewis Nguyai, my new MP, was telling my fellow constituents, a small spark of stupid reprisal is sure to turn into a national conflagration in which the arsonist himself is most likely to burn.
In other words, not a single tribe can gain even pesa nane from it. That was why I ran into safety – to be able, through writing, to continue to offer such advice. Maybe Robert Frost had Kenya and myself in mind when he wrote:
The wood is lovely, dark and deep;
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep.
Former President Clinton is going to be here in South Central assuming a familiar position: puckering up to kiss black booty.
On Sunday he is scheduled to visit black churches in South Central Los Angeles, where he's expected to offer a mea culpa to those who "dearly loved him" when he was their president, Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.) says.I'll keep my eyes peeled. Somebody watch my six.
Watson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus who has endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), tells us she'll usher the former president to more than half a dozen churches in her district where she says he needs to "renew his relationship" with congregants who were turned off by his racially tinged comments in the days leading up to and following the South Carolina primary.
I know that the former president won't be at my church for two reasons: it doesn't have a predominately black congregation and it correctly doesn't concern itself with politics. (And could MSM types stop calling churches with predominantly black congregations "black churches"--as if no one of other races is allowed membership or as if all such churches are preaching "blackness?")
Looking at Rep. Watson's district--in which I do not reside--I'd bet my own unkissed backside that one of the churches to be visited is this one--a church that has many successful black entertainers in the congregation. That means the former president will be near the money, honey.
(Thanks to Hot Air)
The Kenyan government and its main opposition group have agreed to a four-item agenda that includes a promise to end the violence that has wracked the country for more than a month, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced at a news conference Friday.UPDATE: In the comments to this post, BL@KBIRD writes:
The first three items, to be completed within a 15-day period, are: stopping the violence and restoring fundamental rights; taking immediate measures to address the humanitarian crisis; and promoting “reconciliation, healing and restoration,” Annan said. The fourth item, which could take up to a year, aims for a resolution to the political crisis, the former secretary-general said.
So, what is the PC approach to Kenya this week? Still not allowed to say M****m or I***m?
You know what, BL@KBIRD? You don't even have to come here if you just want to insult somebody. This isn't Hot Air. And, yes, I consider the assertion that I am PC an insult--especially by somebody who who patently doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground with regard to me, my father's country, the work I've done on the crisis in Kenya or the work I've done on this blog for four and a half years.
My father and step-mother--who are Luos, who are not Muslims, whose tribe is not made up of mostly Muslims (in spite of a Free Republic ignoramus-authored comment to a post) and who are the same tribe as Odinga and Obama, the communists--are trapped in Kenya and could be killed simply on setting foot outside or being pulled out of their car. You see, after the Luos and the Kalenjin (you do know who they are right?) set upon the Kikuyu, the Mungiki (you do know who they are right?) understandably want revenge. They’ve already taken in upon at least one MP, so what do they care about one old journalist—even one who continues to call for an end to the massacres?
So you’ll forgive me if I don’t indulge your Islam versus Christianity fantasies or those of all the other ersatz Kenya experts out there on the web. I don't claim to know the nearly enough about the situation. That's why I study the situation every day, gather facts, look at every angle possible on what might be happening, try to come to conclusions on the smaller issues and try to delay the larger ones until the facts and how they fit together, are in.
Too bad others are not following this method and are, therefore, talking out their ass about things they wouldn't care about if they couldn't spin them.
If you were smart, you'd be more worried about the communists right here on your doorstep rather than the Islamists under your bed. If you were smart.
Have a nice weekend.
UPDATE: And the idiot is still trying to tell me that all Luos are Muslims. Now I see what I'm dealing with.