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Archive for the ‘Folly of follies’ Category

Think about it:

We talk about the wonders of science, technology and medicine, but fail to mention that the majority of the developing world ( especially in Africa ) have actually been regressing since these wonders began to occur.

Someone will respond with the usual arguments and say,

  • “Before modern medicine came to Africa, child mortality rate was very high
  • Before modern medicine came to Africa, people died of simple preventable diseases”

Science has worked wonders in the west, no doubt. The opposite has occurred in Africa. Consider the facts:

  • Life expectancy continues to drop in Africa while it is rising in the west
  • I believe the usual culprit ( HIV/AIDS ) is an exemption ( excuse? symptom? ) rather than the reason. For example, Ethiopia and Somalia do not have high rates of infection.
  • In America, scientist and policy makers are now discussing possibilities using technology to slow the aging process, promising life expectancy of 150+
  • Food shortage is increasing in Africa while there is over supply of food in the west
  • According to APPMA , the 2008 USA expenditure on pets is $43.4B. This includes food, medical care and general well being. There are 71m homes with pets.
  • In fact, most African children would live better lives if they were to be adopted as pets in the west!
  • Perhaps this “petting” of African kids will occur “naturally”, and we will be okay with it, the same way we have no problem with Madonna, BraNgelina, others adopting kids from distressed families in Africa
  • More Africans die of preventable diseases and newer “western” diseases than before
  • More Africans die from unnatural causes ( wars, environmental pollution, etc ) than they did before the introduction of modern technology to Africa
  • Generally, affluence increases in the west, while it generally decreases in Africa

Again, consider that:

As life expectancy rises in the west, newer challenges are coming up. Newer resources would be needed to support this “new” population. The world has a fixed supply of resources, so resources have to be moved around somehow. For example, there is need for more medical support personnel to assist the longer living non-working population in the USA, UK, CA and Australia. So far, it seems, the answer has been to draw these well trained people from developing nations to meet this need.

So, science has greatly benefited people in the developed world. The benefits of science, technology and medicine is very minimal for the vast majority of Africans.

Given that A1=Advancement in science, technology and medicine, L1=Better Lifestyle in the West, L2=Better lifestyle in the Africa, H1=Good Health in the west, H2=Good Health in Africa, G1=Increased longevity in the west, G2=Increased longevity in the Africa

I posit that:

A1 Directly proportional to(L1)(H1)(G1),

A1 Directly proportional to 1/(L2)(H2)(G2)

The Constant of proportionality includes such things as negative impacts of ethnicity in Africa, uneven playing field for scramble for limited resources, race and politics and human to human relations between the west and Africa.

It is also quite obvious, that while the practice of science helped reduced poverty in the west, it’s application is increasingly becoming expensive and out of reach for poor people. Science has become very expensive. How then do you buy it, and use it to drive youself out of poverty?

Perhaps it is time Africa stopped believing that the current practice of science is beneficial to her, and found newer ways to practice science, technology and medicine. Ways that worked for her.

But will anyone listen? No, we shall continue to drum and shout about the wonders of science, technology and medicine.

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This blog was never meant to be political commentary, but the last several posts have been very much so. Perhaps it is because, i, like most Kenyans, have been slowing waking up from the nightmare we went through recently, and can’t resist to find someone to blame.

Again, i have of late been very critical of ODM and their leaders and people. I hope this is the last of such posts.

I find it sickening, that ODM and PM Raila would want to hold a homecoming party. Party? What are they celebrating? I do not see anything to celebrate. But then again, there is everything for them to celebrate.

  • ODM and has the premier position.
  • Many of them folks are ministers ( Oburu, KaJwang’, Otuoma, Ruto).
  • They get over $20,000/month tax free to burn around, for doing absolutely nothing.
  • They get chance to influence and “eat”..

William Samoei arap Ruto i can excuse. At least he has been behaving in a manner likely to suggest he is busy working, provisioning Billions of shillings to Farmers, in Eldoret North, and the Rift valley, and Nationwide.

How about his Nyanza and Western counterparts? What are they doing? Heard any statement from them that may promise something new for Western/Nyanza? Has Ny’ong’o talked of establishing referral Hospitals in Kisumu or Kakamega to help solve the mega health problems in Nyanza and Western? How about Modern Medical Centers in all major Western Kenya towns?. How about coming up with an infrastucture that enables those supposedly very good ( Luo/Luhya -and other well wishers ) doctors to offer their services to the community every weekend or so?

What new Ideas does Dr. Otuoma have for the Fishing Industry? Dr. Oburu’s constituency is a Fishing community. What plans does he have for his people? Nada. Nada. As long as he can get a cool drink at Ndori, everything is perfect.

Once a Luo/Luhya, always one. Party. Party. Party. Brag to your friends how important you now are. Feelanga important and good. Flaunt your big titles and cars. As for working, they most likely will defend themselves thus:

Who said i was your employee, you uneducated peasant!”.

I am a minister who works for the Nation, not just Nyanza

Do not expect handouts, you must work. I worked very hard to be where i am.

Perhaps, but what is the reality on the ground? Yes, one may be a Minister who serves the whole nation, but history has shown us that the Minister’s influence can be used to at least raise the standards of life of “his” people. Surely the Nyanza and the Western people are at the bottom of the pecking order, so no one in his right mind will complain if they see a Minister using his good offices to improve the lives of these poor Kenyans, and Kenya as a whole.

I will cuff my wrists so that i do not write about these people again. If i do, the first reader who informs me within 1 day of the post appearing, will get $10.00 cash**. Promise.

**Small Print: Must be residing in Kenya. ( Of what use is $10 if you are out side of kenya?). Must have a paypal account. Paypal account email address must be the same as the commenter’s email. Beneficiary bears cost of paypal transaction fees. Payer not responsible for Forex fees, if any.Payee may substitute the cash prize for 1 minute of code development in Assembly, Machine language or lower similar lower language. Reader must have previously left a comment on the Blog before, the said comment appearing not less than 5 days from the date of the winning comment. I hold the final authority to decide on the winner. My decision is final and shall not be contested in any court of law on earth or space known to man at the time of writing, the said time being the 9th day of May, in the year of our Lord 2008 .

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First, i have loved Luos, love Luos and will always love Luos. But it never ceases to amaze me how Luos think, and talk.

To the point:

  • Luo Thinking: “this is nothing, i will do it”, whether he has considered the problem or not
  • Luo Speaking: bravado, bravado, bravado.

Raila singlehandedly solves the IDP problem without support from RV MPs

Listen to Raila on IDP problem: “I will make it my personal responsibility to make sure the IDPs are resettled”.
Now, that would be wonderful thought. But why not keep it to yourself, and think about the root cause of the problem and talk in general terms ( what good is there in making a promise that you may not keep? ). Now consider:

  • Who caused the problem that now appears as the IDP problem? Not Raila. It was Kibaki and Moi and Kenyatta, and some pale skinned Queen in a far far away land. For those needing some learning, there is a problem similar to the Kenyan situation. It is known as the Israeli-Palestinian land problem.
  • The Kalenjins supported Raila in 2007, hoping he would help them deal with their enemy ( i am not saying the Kikuyu are the real enemies of the Kalenjins, but the Land issue has made them be the visible enemies ). But now, they listen to Raila’s words they think “Is he for us or against us”.
  • Whatever good Raila has attempted, Kibaki has thrown chairs into his path. Why does he not concentrate on something else, and let Kibaki deal with the land issue? Surely there is enough work to be done ( ensuring Fishermen of Lake Victoria have a fair market for the produce, helping Western Kenya Farmers benefit from their sugar cane farms, etc) Why do the dirty job for Kibaki? Will he thank you? Will the IDPs thank you ( and vote for you )? Will you still have your support from the Kalenjin?
  • Listen to Moi: Perhaps you should heed Moi’s advice, when he said about you and your pledge to tackle the RV land issue: “Ilinishinda. Unafikiri utaweza?”

On the Mungiki Problem, Raila says “Lets talk about your problem. It is economic.

Your enemies said that you talk too much. On this point, i tend to agree with them. Perhaps “too much talk” was Ok when ODM was campaigning, but know things have changed. Every Kenyan hates the Mungiki ( except perhaps for the unfortunate Mother or Wife whose man is a Mungiki, and some Kikuyus who have not been touched by their evil and still believe the Mungiki is their secret army defending their rights). 99% of Kenyans will not lose sleep if all the Mungiki were rounded up, millstones tied on their necks and dropped in the Indian Ocean.

That notwithstanding, something to think about:

  • The Mungiki hate you. To them, you are a boy who is trying to take from them what they have worked hard to achieve.
  • The Mungiki problem is not just a “youth without jobs” problem. As one of them said, they run a billion shilling extortion enterprise and what not. Furthermore, youths in other parts of Kenya face worse unemployment than those in Central, but they do not resort to doing the “mungiki” thing.
  • You may not fully understand the spirit behind the Mungiki, so you can not solve their problem. Michuki, Karua, Kibaki, Saitoti and Kenyatta understand Mungiki. It is their child. Let them deal with their wayward child.

In just 2 years, Orengo reverses the 100+ years of land injustice

Now listen to Orengo yap

“he will forcibly repossess grabbed land where evidence of graft has been cited.”

“He said all public land allocations will not be done orally and said that even the President will have to put down such requests in writing.”

“He said he will not consult the Attorney-General for advice on such obvious matters, adding that he shall proceed to right historical injustices inflicted upon Kenyans by the previous regimes.”

Phew.( The Bold text is mine.)

Now, listening to Orengo, one would imagine he had the powers of the president of the United States of America. One would imagine the Courts of the land were loyal to him and would do his bidding. One would imagine that all the enemies that he would create would somehow be unable to touch him. He is an intelligent man, no doubt and is just blowing hot air, otherwise, we all know, if he began to effect even just 1% of what he says here, we would soon say of him:

“so much promise, so much vigor. We hardly knew thee”.

Understanding Luospeak

Luos speak talk big. Perhaps other Kenyans would not be too wary of their ways if they realised that Luo speak is much ado about nothing. Among the Luo, there is something known as “Pakruok“, which loosely translated means, “bragging rights”. All those “Agwambo”, “Owad gi Akinyi”, “Tinga”, “Chuma liet Kimak” are just that, pakruok. Hot air. ( The site jaluo dot com even has a section labeled Od Pakruok or “Where people Brag” ).

So, how does the Brag help them? Luos like to “feel-anga good”. Such talk makes them feel good. People say Luos are proud. But i do not agree. Proud of what? Wealth? Achievements (Which?)? They are simply engaging in self promotion. They never are as important as what they would want you to believe. Unfortunately, other Kenyans do not know this, and the Luos themselves are blind to the fact that their attitude comes out as pride, and it scares others away and closes doors to them.

But sometimes, if you engage in too much Pakruok, you may start believing in those things you say about yourself. Let’s just hope that Orengo is not confusing his “paper” powers with real power that solves land problems on the ground. Lets hope that Raila does not believe that he is indeed “Agwambo” and that his PM position has powers that will enable him to set Kenya on the right path. If his PM powers had money and fire-power, he would, but, he has neither.

So, dear Kenyans: Ignore all that attention seeking bravado.

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There are only two ways ODM can make it in this coalition intact:

  • -by the good grace of the Lord, God
  • -By sheer brain and brawn by ODM and Raila

Why?

If Kibaki (or Mt Kenya Mafia, PNU, the kitchen cabinet, or whatever you call them ) had the guts to violently rob power from Kenyans in broad daylight, he certainly did not intend to share it with others. Whatever concessions he made, he certainly was forced to. But, really, he has not ceded much control-considering what ODM has been given.

Now, this is what surprises me. Raila seems to believe ( and i know optimism is a good thing ) that he now has power to make things work well in Kenya. One wonders how he will achieve that; He neither has the purse strings nor the fire power to make “his” ministers from PNU work.

Second, Raila has said that he will personally make sure the IDPs are ressetled and have their lives back. Again, how will he achieve this? The same way Kibaki stole power and has kept it, is the same way most RV kaleos think about the displaced IDPs that are Kikuyus. They are not about to embrace them as “brothers and sisters”, as much as that is desireable. And supposing he actually delivers and the Kikuyu IDPs get resettled OK, i do not see them ever singing the praises of mjaruo Raila for “saving” them, neither do i see them ever voting for him, if he were to run again.

Third, the way the ministries were split up, ODM has shell ministries. For instance, what does ODM’s Medical services ministry do? Set policies, perhaps, for PNU’s Public health Ministry to implement ( Public Health, who has all the money it needs for HIV-AIDS, etc ) . You can immediately see that it will take a miracle for an effective and coordinated effort for these ministries to work.

Fourth, how will ODM ensure that corruption does not occur in the new government? Take fellow ministers to Kibaki’s (or Karua’s and Amos Wako’s and Gicheru’s ) courts?

So, as others have noted, i see 2003 all over again, only this time, since Kibaki may not have fire power over ODM’s ministers, he has effectively neutered them. And given that they are not different from their PNU counterparts, they will perhaps be contented to just seat and “eat”.

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I was listening to the initial trial of the 6 Florida girls who beat their peer senseless, and uploaded the video they recorded of the beating to youTube, and as i expected, you get the idea that these girls have no idea what hit them ( i mean , if they even had a clue, that what they were doing might have be wrong, they would not have uploaded that video ).

One of them, with her freckled face, kept shaking her head as she hears the Judges words:

charged with kidnapping, battery.., you will not use the internet/chat room.. including but not limited to mySpace, youTube,. will not go anywhere near (high school function), curfew.., house arrest,..

To these girls, electronic communication and the love of “freedom” to participate in school activities is their life, and those words are their sentencing already began.

I hear the mention of “possible life” sentence, and i think. This is so so cruel.

Why? Because these girls did not understand that what they were doing was wrong ( if they did, there would not have been a youtube video). These girls are innocent. Period.

Normally, to know, you must learn. These are the sources of such learning information:

Parents: Traditionally ( as is still the case is most non-developed and “uncivilized” societies ), parents serve as the teachers of morality. They tell their kids what is wrong and what is right. “Johhny, do not touch the candle!” “Ashley, you can not hit your brother!”. Alas, not any more in America. Most parents in America believe they have developed enough to the point that they do not require such old fashioned ideas being shoved down their kids throats. There is no absolute truth. The kids will determine for themselves what is right or wrong when they grow up.

The Schools: American schools have no moral right or authority to instill right and goodness in kids. They are free to teach them anything under the sun, except how to be a good and moral person in society.

The Church: The American church has lost its moral authority to teach anything. In any case, the church is made up of the same Parents. American church is a “feel good society”. Nothing more. Woe unto you if you even try to point out that a certain action is sinful or not moral scripturally. You will be labeled a “condemner” of people, a “holier-than-thou” and hater of people. And, if you happen to be an outsider from Africa like me, you get that silent look of “what do you know?”. In any case, there is no such thing as sin. Deep inside, we are ALL good. We make mistakes, because of our human “flaws”. Sin? That is laughable.

The Bible: The only book with moral ideals, has been thrown outside the school compounds in America. Yet, the very laws that are now being used to judge the girls, are pulled right out of the Bible ( the so called Judeo-Christian teachings on which most western society’s laws are based )

Now consider the voices that the American kids listen to for instruction: Broadcast Media, social online sites, fellow ignorant peers, video games. In fact, as instructed by video games ( which only a fool would deny is a great teaching tool for kids ), how do you deal with your enemies: beat them up or shoot them!

So, is it not cruel, to raise these kids, telling them right/wrong is relative, and providing them with absolutely no tools or idea on how to make distinctions between what is right and what is wrong, then, when they act according to what they think is right ( right/wrong is all relative, in any case ), the law suddenly descends on them with full force?. At what point in their lives are they expected to understand that beating an “enemy” senseless is wrong? Wrong according to whose standards?

In all fairness, the following people should also be in that courtroom standing side by side with those poor girls: their Parents, their teachers, their Media creators, their priest and pastors, the social opinion shapers, etc.

American, and most of Europe, is reaping the results of ignoring the existence of an absolute set of standards. Standards not based on human thought and experimentation, but standards based on the belief of truth external to humans.

My fellow Kenyans, in your deep and senseless desire to be “white”, you follow along without question. This is deep folly without salvation.

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It seems, that anytime, anywhere, any day, ODM ( and Mr Odinga ) will be outsmarted by PNU ( and Mr Kibaki )!

But first things first. I will not repeat what everyone has said about the monstrous cabinet. I will instead suggest ways ( i know, i am a dreamer, for who cares?) to gain some good out of a bad situation:

(1) Let there be no assistant ministers. We do not need the buffoons.

-what job do assistant Ministers perform that a PS and the multiplicity of directors in the various departments of the ministries can not do? Last year (2007) they (the assistant Ministers ) themselves complained of lack of duties.

(2) Let the Ministers take pay cuts. They can get their cut from the deals they will make as they continue to sell off Kenya. If they need lessons, they can learn a lesson or two from Mr Kirgit.

(3) “Ordinary” Kenyan, as long as you expect someone else to do your dirty job for you, it will not get done.

  • -so, roll up your sleeves and change your own country. Nothing good comes without hard work and sacrifices. Kibaki is not gonna change it for you. He has enjoyed it for 40 years. Raila may be tired of fighting. he has to live also.
  • -look at history gentlemen, very bad systems get changed by people ( and unfortunately, through much suffering ) not by politicians making treaties.

(4) It is possible to have your cake and eat it too

  • -All want to control finance, and security and Provincial Administration, right?
  • -Simple, divide up the country in regions having their own strong state governments, and everybody will be placated
  • -Actually this is also good, in that we may have a better system that way.

( of course may favorite thesis is that the country should be divided into n independent countries ).

Now, back to the outsmarting thing. I need not go into history how ODM (and previously Raila and Odinga ) have been outfoxed before. But consider this current one; if it is indeed true that they (ODM) will not get the Finance Ministry and the internal Security Ministry, there is absolutely no effect they will have in the new government. Nada.

I mean with Money and Force, PNU will do anything they like and nobody will do a thing. So, say ODM’s Road Ministry gets allocated $20B in the budget. If Kimunya fails to hand it over to the Roads minister, what will that Minister do? Nothing. And, 4 years down the line ( assuming the marriage lasts that long ), Mungatana will wag his tongue (or is it tail?) and say, “see, they had the Road Ministry and the roads are still in bad shape”.

Now Consider PNU’s other catches:

-Information and Communication: the next Biz frontier. The only new way to really empower new biz. There is the very valuable optical cable project, and supporting systems that are coming up ( BPO etc ). These all open new biz opportunities.

-Justice and Constitution: There will be no new meaningful constitution ( or if any, ensure it favors Karua and Company ). Implement the findings of post election violence and prosecute Ruto, etc

Ok, i will give ODM some slack. If you consider events since the 2007 election theft, one thing stands out. The ODM folks (and Mr Odinga specifically-i know, some PNU die hards will scream) have a heart. PNU is heartless. Having a heart is good, it shows you are not dead. The problem with that is, in a war situation, you can not afford to have a heart. Difficult decisions must be made in such situations. You let your heart rule you, you lose out.

So, ODM’s goodness is their downfall.

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According to the standard,

The Dominion Group of Companies has threatened to close a rice farming investment in Siaya District and move to a neighbouring country.

Mr Calvin Burges, the president of the US company, said he was fed up by intimidation and extortion by politicians and residents.”

Good riddance. I think he should leave. Or renegotiate. Why?

(i) There is no worthwhile economic benefit to the people of Bondo/Siaya at all

  • -these people are not shareholders of Dominion, so Dominion’ s success is not their success
  • -Dominion’s products are for export (rice and the fish )
  • -purchasing of the oranges, rice and fish from the Farm is not subsidized to them (as expected)

(ii) The environment will no doubt be affected by the chemicals and pesticides Dominion uses in the farm

  • -who will clean up after Dominion? Dominion never cleans up, even in America ( Operating as Cimarron Pork Inc, they left a pig mess in OK, USA. In USA, Calvin Burgess builds Prisons, not rice Farms )
  • -the resulting adverse health on the “already poor and unhealthy people” will be multiplied

(iii) There is no technology/knowledge transfer

  • -as with most projects of these types in Africa, there is no useful technology and knowledge transfer to the people/kenya
  • -once Burgess leaves, if at all, the Bondo people won’t be able to recreate Dominion

(iv) Once Dominion’s Fish Farm succeeds, what happens to the local fishermen?

  • -They will be employed as factory hands in the Dominion Fish plant
  • -Dominion’ Fish will be cheaper than theirs (being mechanically harvested, etc), so they lose out

The people of Bondo/Siaya ( and their counterparts in Kwale ) should really favor a deal that makes them co-owners. All they need is a mere 25% of the Farm. After all, the inputs,local resource, is theirs. It is true that the technology and know-how is is Dominion’s. But what worth is that technology without the raw materials? I do not think the $$$$ people were being paid to relocate and give up control of their resources was sufficient compensation.

For those who would argue for Dominion, give me reasons why the investment is good for Siaya and Bondo residents.

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