Requiem for an Empire

Britain’s dominant tribe, the Conservatives, has been hoisted by its own petard. Long live the Queen. As Shakespeare might say they’ve undone themselves. Kikuyu Kenyans, American Republicans, Le Pen Français and ANC South Africans better take a very hard look, because tribalism simply won’t work in today’s world. British conservatives preached a stew of tribal […]

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Goose Steps in Nigeria

Democracy’s principle flaw allows the right to choose something that’s wrong. Mature societies seem to handle this OK. Young and troubled societies are twisted apart. For the last decade Nigeria’s GDP has been the highest in Africa exceeding $1 trillion in just the last few years. It has more than half as many people as […]

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Refugee or Reprobate?

My first job after the anti-war movement was in Paris with UNESCO. Diplomats were aghast back in 1971 that before the end of that year there could be one million refugees under the responsibility of the United Nations. Yesterday the UN announced it was handling 65,300,000 refugees. That is one out of every 113 people […]

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Of Tea & Vultures

So maybe our tea is OK, but Carbofuran is still for sale over the counter in Kenya: Lions are being poisoned with it, vultures picking on the carcasses are going extinct, and so human diseases are spreading and there’s an epidemic of rabies among the growing population of feral dogs. Nature’s complicated. It’s unconscionable that […]

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No Longer a Trophy

Sports hunting impedes conservation and may contribute to species extinction. The Democratic staff of the House Natural Resources Committee says so in a press release issued a few days ago about their 25-page report, “Missing the Mark.” The report infers that the killing of Cecil, the lion, was an inflexion point in U.S. legislators’ positions […]

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Soweto Anniversary

Today perfectly demonstrates how America helps lead Africa out of the ignominy of racism and bigotry. Africa often moves with about a ten to fifteen year lock-step delay to America’s own progress on cultural rights. Today is the 40th anniversary of the Soweto uprising that began the last great offensive against apartheid. Twelve years earlier […]

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Wildly Good News

Wild dogs are on the rise throughout sub-Saharan Africa and there is probably no better marker species for the overall health of the wilderness. Hey. This is a very good news story! Together with a number of wildlife organizations reporting significant decreases in poaching, I think it’s fair to say the African wilderness has taken […]

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Gimme a break!

When asked if going on safari was safe my rejoinder has been, “Well of course it’s not as safe as Disneyland.” Everything’s perfectly arranged: an angry son of an Afghan immigrant who most psychotherapists think is a closeted gay man; high-powered weaponry you can buy online; an obese anti-terror bureaucracy incapable of stopping carnage; wildly […]

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The Largest Panda of All

People with deep faith in the good work that they do sometimes develop blinders that become destructive. This may be happening today with the world’s largest and most revered wildlife organization. We all know – or think we do – the World Wildlife Fund. In fact it’s actual name isn’t the World Wildlife Fund, but […]

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Don’t Go? Just Do It!

So what do you do? Play cribbage? Watch Re-Runs? This week the U.S. said there was credible evidence that a terror attack is imminent in South Africa, France, Poland and … the U.S.: In fact, basically all over the whole damn world. Britain and Australia issued similar warnings. This sounds like a spoof. Is there […]

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Poaching Politics

Richard Leakey’s conservation organization just announced that “poaching rates [in Kenya] have decreased dramatically” and that “Kenya’s elephant populations are now on the rise.” This is, of course, good news but the May 25 press release was bereft of references or statistics. “Dramatically” needs to be substantiated, and frankly what I intuit here is that […]

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Yipes! No, Yelp!

How do we get rid of bribing? We get rid of tipping. Use your cell phone! Bribing is a universal, world-wide phenomenon … sometimes called tipping. Africans have been unfairly cited by westerners all my life for bribing while it’s actually they who bribe ten times more each day than an African ever could. We […]

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Trump TP

Increasingly worried by Trump, Africans are beginning to explain his errant behavior in terms of all of America, not just one crazy individual. “We thank madman Trump,” writes Nairobi journalist Charles Obbo, editor of the influential Mail & Guardian. “He has opened the eyes of many.” What Obbo and others are arguing is that Trump […]

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Blame or Responsibility?

Neither Rin Tin Tin or Baloo are real, folks. The gorilla was and it had to be killed. The mother was negligent. And the Cincinnati Zoo’s gorilla display isn’t safe enough. A good portion of my life has been spent teaching the dangers of anthropomorphization: Everyone involved from the zoo to the mother and child, […]

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Anti-Teach

Political extremism cannot be taught against. There is a huge movement right now, from Kenya to St. Paul, to teach “anti-extremism” in schools. Last week a number of media outlets featured a finalist for this year’s Global Teacher Prize, a man in Nairobi who promotes school programs designed to convince teenagers to stay clear of […]

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