The new Trump Travel ban is not as sweeping or as legally flawed as his previous, but it does nothing to increase security. Yet it has two major impacts impulsive Trump acting on his own was unable to accomplish:
Stops many refugees from entering America. Throws red meat to a deplorable base of supporters.
Clarity on how badly elephants may be declining is at hand. Wednesday scientists began the “2017 Selous-Mikumi Large Mammal Census” which will be conducted over a huge area of nearly 43,000 sq. miles in central Tanzania.
It will be the first such careful animal census of the area since 2014 but more importantly will help determine the much debated viability of the “Great Elephant Census (GEC)”, which tore through the continent a year ago. One of the great criticisms of that inflammatory report was precisely that it ignored areas that the current census will now sample.
Why believe this one?
More and more fireworks followed the sunsets around the world until the Trump administration corrected the misspelling or conflation or whatever, and Nambia ceased to exist in the official record. It was the briefest country ever to exist on earth.
It’s not uncommon for Americans to conflate multiple African countries. It is quite uncommon that conflation makes it onto a prepared document. It’s unheard of these are then actually delivered by a Head of State.
Does it matter?
Last year I was with an American family staying at a small, luxury camp in the Serengeti. There were only three others in camp (or so we thought), including two very well behaved Arab boys who appeared about the same age as the California preteens I was guiding.
My kids exchanged shy glances with the others, then wider smiles and soon were taunting the other boys clearly against their father’s reproofs. So we invited the father to join us to free his kids to run around with ours.
The father was exceedingly polite, introducing himself as a luxury car dealer in Jeddah and a personal collector of Lamborghinis. His English – like his sons – was impeccable. It was our kids not his, of course, that were tempting the dark African bush with preteen mayhem, but he was the one to apologize. He declined our offers of wine but loosened up and began profusely thanking us Americans for supporting the Saudia bombing of anti-Saleh Houthis.
Tourists are going to be floored this season by how expensive Tanzanite has become.
The Tanzanian president’s sweeping dictatorial attempts to reduce corruption are currently focused on the country’s precious minerals. The fight is far from over, but so far he’s struck out with the biggest player, Acacia [Gold] Mining, so he’s set his sites on Tanzania’s small Tanzanite industry.
A video going viral was given leave to emerge into the public consciousness because of the news gap between Irma dissipating and Trump beginning to, again. It was of two stately white reticulated giraffe found in an unusual forest in Kenya.
The excitement provoked a massive use of smiley emoji not used so often, anymore. How ironic this isn’t really good news. So sorry, folks, white animals aren’t unusual. And it’s anything but good news.
You’re still overly cautious, I won’t say afraid, of going to Africa, right? Because you’re worried about insecurity, violence. Of course. You’ve heard or seen on TV those face-capped terrorists that go into schools and offices and shoot things up, right? OK.
Are you afraid to go to Spokane? How about Rockford? Memphis? Philadelphia, New Orleans, Clovis, Plano, Inglewood, Sacramento, Evansville, Gainesville?
System 1. Candidates 0. That’s how I see the current Kenyan situation, characterized by the most juvenile behavior of the presidential candidates imaginable atop a system that is working overtime for fairness.
Perhaps this is true worldwide. Perhaps when touched by the power bestowed on a poor man by its great society, untold richest tempt his psyche. This is precisely the case in Kenya, where both presidential candidates are acting like bulldogs not potential leaders.
Last month British Columbia joined a slowly growing list of governments when it banned big game hunting (of brown bears). The trend is clear and provocative. In Africa it has nearly led to civil war.
Nothing is as contentious in the challenged world of conservation as hunting. Although the majority of any population seem to have no strong opinions about it, the minorities’ strong opinions are fierce.
Words and gestures are gunpowder.
Tanzania’s leading opposition politician was sprayed with bullets yesterday as he arrived home from Parliament. It was a busy mid-day in the middle of a metropolis. The drive-by was a measured, obviously well planned attack. The police say they have no leads.
The president of the country tweeted that he was “shocked.” I’m not.
No surprise under the Trump military regime that the wars in Africa are being significantly ramped up. It started in March and by June Trump’s military had 3-4 times as many soldiers on the ground in Africa and was conducting ten times as many drone strikes in any given period as during the Obama administration.
So. How’s it going?
Diplomats and experts alike are hailing Kenya’s Supreme Court for its decision Friday annulling the national elections as proof that this dynamic emerging nation has firmly sided on the rule of law.
I see it differently: another example that democracy is growing self-destructive. With opposition candidates already declining to take part in the announced election rerun, the chances for widespread violence and major political disruption are now greater than ever.
Today starts the extended “Labor Day” weekend holiday in the United States, Thursday – Monday. America’s May Day is officially celebrated Monday.
Labor Day marks the end of summer when friends and family gather for the last summer barbecue. It vies with Christmas and New Years to be the least worked days in the U.S.
Vacations end, schools reopen, the fall sports season begins (especially American football), the culture season with operas and symphonies begin in the great cities, and everyone prepares to return to serious, long work weeks.
If ever a holiday marked the turning of a season, it’s Labor Day. Read more
Yesterday Kenya joined 40 other countries doing something the whole world — except Michigan — will likely soon be doing: ban plastic bags.
Significantly, Kenya’s law is the most wide-ranging and punitive of them all. Violators can be fined up to $38,000 and jailed for four years. Visitors to emerging nations are not surprised at the move, but they are often surprised when they understand the reasons.
The presidents of Tanzania and the United States are blood brothers in their defiance of law. I don’t think Tanzania and the U.S. are organically connected politically, but clearly both are being effected by social waves of discontent in the same way.
In both Tanzania and the U.S., two so different societies half-way round the world from one another, both leaders came to power democratically with support from people who now think it’s fine to undermine democracy.