End of What?

End of What?

africawhatisitAnything happen this year?

Sorry. Perhaps a poor attempt for just a bit of relief. End-of-the-year analyses are coming out. I sit in a little world of Africa news and things, but I expect all the little worlds feel the same thing I do: the universe is tanking. Now if you’re sitting at a big desk on Wall Street you see it otherwise, because the rich world is doing just fine. But time’s have changed. The world is starting to move as one, and how Africa or Taipei or the Ukraine or Latvia goes, so eventually does the whole world, even eventually the rich.

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Whoisit Now?

Whoisit Now?

WhoisWho is Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma? Well, she’s a presidential candidate in South Africa. But after she appeared at one of her scheduled political rallies recently, and not a person showed up but her own team, South Africa’s most provocative political publication asked Who is Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma?

There’s a very important election in America, today. But I’m wondering – like Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma – if elections as we currently endure can really tell us anything about what the electorate wants? Do elections matter, anymore?

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Promises Promises

Promises Promises

promisedmethecountrySummer is coming with a vengeance to Zimbabwe. The sky builds with rain.

Only ten days after the fall of Mugabe Zimbabwe trembles. The new regime born mostly of the old vies with long-suppressed and long-stoked groups each ready to kill one another.

First indications are that the new president, the former vice president and close double-crossed Mugabe confidante, is having a very hard time.

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Two Doth Tango

Two Doth Tango

donttellThere are multiple ways to distort news. One of the most effective is to get rid of the person who gathers it. It’s a harsher step than simply bellowing out untruths like Fox News but the latter often foreshadows the former.

Two weeks ago journalist Azory Gwanda was kidnapped and hasn’t been seen since. He was a reporter for a Swahili-language Tanzanian media company that was often critical of the current president, John Magufuli.

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Early Visions

Early Visions

terrainYesterday “Little Foot” had her coming out party. Little Foot is an Australopithecine, an ancient hominid who fell into a cave in southern Africa where she remained until meticulously exhumed 3½ million years later.

Little Foot is the third almost complete skeleton of a very early hominid. The chances of this are so infinitesimal as to be mind-boggling. It’s a testament of course to remarkable technology but also to the very astute critical thinking and unique dedication of modern paleontologists. If you’re a whiz kid looking for the most exciting scientific career, I’d look down as much as up.

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Reasoning Above All

Reasoning Above All

mooreandgorillaMountain gorillas love wild celery. It’s their favorite food. They learn early on that it grows best at forest edges. So they often forage forest edges hoping to find patches of wild celery.

But men go much further. Men harvest and cultivate seeds. They know that if they pollinate the best stalks they can ultimately harvest a much better form of celery. Gorillas can’t do this. They can’t think that far.

The greatest difference between men and Africa’s great apes is this complexity of syllogistic thinking, reasoning a series of logical truths to form a conclusion. The Republican National Committee and the supporters of Roy Moore are not syllogistically thinking unless they mean to lie.

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Battle to end Battles

Battle to end Battles

africaaschina“The West’s loss of moral authority… has created a vacuum,” says Nairobi’s Daily Nation today. “The rise of far-right movements… and the election of President Donald Trump… has buoyed the anti-democratic forces in Africa.”

Digital and financial connections were developed in the west. Free speech and aggressive, daringly imaginative entrepreneurship was born here. Emerging nations were attracted by these bold opportunities. Africans especially loved everything western. Now that’s changing.

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Mānuka Mess

Mānuka Mess

manuka honeyOn Saturday, September 30, Kathleen and I drove our black Jeep Grand Cherokee from Taos west on highway 64 through Dulce, New Mexico, past a facility that aliens had built under the ground to conquer the world. With a prolonged drought depressing South African honey production, the government has removed restrictions on the importation of mānuka honey, which purports to better many antibiotics and is natural.

The first item of fake news is amusing and mostly benign. The second item of fake news can kill South Africans. Like zero tolerance for sexual harassment the cultural revolution needs to debunk one just as ferociously as it debunks the other.

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Trusting Tribe

Trusting Tribe

winterscomingWinter’s coming: Fatigue in the blood-shot eyes of the activist. The man who couldn’t stop jumping for joy when Mugabe resigned. Grandma endlessly flapping her flag after the court annulled Kenya’s election.

Mothers pushing baby strollers at the Womens’ March. Old people in wheelchairs storming a Congress trying to rescind Obamacare. Tribalism strangles Africa. Now it’s gripped its evil tentacles around America. Please take heed.

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Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

Today begins the long Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. (Canada celebrates it earlier.) Technically on Thursday, many households begin preparations today as relatives from distant places begin their traveling to the Thanksgiving home. For many Americans this has become a bigger holiday than Christmas and other end-of-the-year celebrations, which are considered more religious than familial.

In both Canada and the U.S. the holiday is characterized by copious amounts of food featuring seasonal recipes and lots of sweets. The traditional meat served at the feast is turkey.

The holiday originates with the first permanent settlers to the New World, people who called themselves “pilgrims” who were fleeing England’s restrictive laws on religion. They arrived the northeast coast of America between 1620 and 1621.

They faired poorly in the beginning until two local native Americans, Wampanoags of the Algonkian-speaking clans, both of whom spoke English (because one of them had previously traveled to England in 1605) befriended the settlers. The “Indians” taught the pilgrims how to farm and build homesteads, and the summer planting season was so successful that the pilgrims invited the Indians to a “Thanksgiving” harvest dinner in November, 1621.

Click here for much more information about the history and meaning of Thanksgiving by a native American school teacher, who dispels not only the myths about the “primitiveness” of native Americans, but also about the pilgrims’ history and beliefs.

Beware the Knife

Beware the Knife

beware the guillotineGermany’s Nazi party was one of the craftiest, most patient political apparatuses ever created. Unable to win a federal election outright it concentrated locally, slowly and assuredly consolidating national power until it was in complete control of Germany by 1933.

Nazis masterfully used democracy to end it. What’s happening today in America, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and many other places is a version of this with one critically important difference. The consequences of not recognizing this are as dire as they come.

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Stick it to ’em!

Stick it to ’em!

elephant tusk ban rescindedHere’s the thing: we should all be upset with USFW’s reversing a ban on importing elephant tusks, but it’s not quite the story you think. As described below I could see a Hillary administration doing the same thing.

What Ryan Zinke did (please let’s stop pinning everything on the moron Donald Trump who doesn’t even know the difference between African and Indian elephants) will definitely set back wildlife conservation in Africa, but in the panoply of so many other anti-conservation actions in the last few years, it’s minor. It’s the panoply which is major, which makes every minor move that much worse.

You need to focus on the facts. Stick with me.

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Chief Moore

Chief Moore

roymooreIn 2013 after a lifelong success of writing novels about his native East Africa, H.R. Ole Kulet was awarded the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for literature. His short novels are now an essential part of the history of East Africa.

Ole Kulet described life that was changing so fast that today young Kenyans can’t fanthom his characters or his plots, including such things as rich old chiefs sexually assaulting young teen girls.

Get where I’m going?

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