Pox on Vax

Pox on Vax

Is naming anti-vaxxers who die of Covid a moral strategy for promoting vaccination?

No, says Elizabeth Bruenig in this month’s Atlantic. Yes, counters University of Cape Town professor Nicoli Nattrass.

The “Death Shaming” controversy is on big time. It’s on because Delta is mowing down those who flaunt it, and it’s on because the madness that denies vaccine science can just as readily deny the anti-vaxxer’s obits.
Read more

20 Years?

20 Years?

Nine-Eleven is a bookmark for me as I’m sure for many others. Whether it deserves the attention Americans are giving to it is a hot question in Africa, where there are effectively nine-elevens quite often. The surprise hurt, loss and lasting grief from a strangers’ act to individuals and communities occurs at the same or greater scale all over the developing world with a frequency many Americans deny.
Read more

Afghan Parts

Afghan Parts

Chinua Achebe, author of “Things Fall Apart,” was a greater seer than any of his characters: Today Africans across the continent are filled with worry, nervous with a sense of helplessness. Across the continent it feels like things are falling apart.

“The Americans wanted revenge over the 2001 September 11 attack on the Pentagon Building,” Nigeria’s largest newspaper, The Sun, says today in its lead editorial. “What they now have is a defeat.”
Read more

Afghan Apprehensions

Afghan Apprehensions

“U.S. abandoning Afghans sends terrible message” is the headline in South Africa’s BusinessLive. The Daily Maverick calls it an “unmitigated disaster.” Kenya’s Standard: “U.S. Government has let down Afghanistan.”

None argue that America should stay. The criticism is entirely for abandoning the tens maybe hundreds of thousands of Afghans who live in mortal danger because of their American connections. And for the stupidity of having extended the original mission:

“The purpose of armies is war, not peace,” writes BusinessDay this morning in Johannesburg. “The failure of military intervention [in Afghanistan] shows the time has come to disband Nato and US bases around the world.”
Read more

Weary Wars

Weary Wars

It took a Democrat to be so fooled. Either Biden knows a lot we don’t or he was totally snowed by his reach for the future and didn’t realize what has happened would.

If the former he’s guilty of not telling. More likely the latter because one of Democrats’ greatest failings is their blind faith in what’s right. You’ve got to work to make things right.

Read more

Delta Details

Delta Details

Travelers are growing weary of Delta and I’m not referring to the airline. What exactly is your risk, especially if you’re contemplating a far-away journey?

Voluntary travel is rarely determined by facts, alone: It’s how you “feel” about the trip. But the more you’ve invested the more you need to understand the facts. If you cleared your calendar, made a deposit, bought airline tickets – well, then, go a little bit further than just how you might feel after watching the evening news.

Read more

Hell’s Hesitancy

Hell’s Hesitancy

So which would you choose as the best protection against Covid? (1) Surrounding yourself with a portable plexiglass outfit; or (2) getting the shot? The quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings proposes the former.

Vaccine hesitancy is worldwide and you might be surprised that the U.S.’ vaccine hesitancy rate is actually relatively low worldwide. African hesitancy is relatively low too, Mideast (excluding Israel) is the highest, Asian hesitancy (excluding China) is moderate, South American hesitancy (excluding Ecuador) is on the high side and European hesitancy is just a little bit greater than America’s.

Read more

Wannabe Wanes

Wannabe Wanes

Will a democratically-removed former head-of-state lead an armed rebellion to avoid jail and return to power?

We’ll see in less than two weeks when Jacob Zuma’s final judicial ploys end with him being stiff-armed into prison.

I know. You thought I was referring to Trump. In many ways I could have been…or I could have been referring to the leaders of Brazil, Israel and India, and most of Eastern Europe. This is an age of wannabe despots with mad, armed supporters, and the earliest incident finally coming to fruition is in South Africa.

Read more
Fourth of What?

Fourth of What?

Most younger nations in the world celebrate several independence days: the transfer of power (“Jamhuri Day” in Kenya) and the day self-rule began (“Madaraka Day”). South Africa’s “Freedom Day” marks the transition from post-apartheid rule. The variety of celebrations reflects the complexity of achieving and implementing self-governance.

We don’t like complexity in America, particularly during these Information Wars. Like the old man I am, the simpler my day looks, the better! We celebrate only one day to mark the end of British colonialism, July 4th, the date our bold Declaration of Independence was signed.

Read more
No Good Man

No Good Man

No good person can change the world.

Abiy Ahmed Ali is a good person. Barack Obama reversed years of foreign policy to support Abiy in his bid to head Ethiopia, flew to Addis, delivered a rousing speech and increased American aid to a billion dollars annually. When Abiy became head of state in 2018 congratulations flew around the democratic world. When Abiy made peace with long-time enemy and neighbor, Eritrea, the Nobel committee awarded him the Peace Prize. How fooled the world was.

Read more
What’s Wrong

What’s Wrong

Foreign involvement in local wars seems to be ending worldwide in spite of the possibility that withdrawing these powerful forces recharges terrorists.

Americans worried that ending the Afghan war infuses the Taliban with new power are joined by Kenyans and other of Somali’s neighbors as foreign forces retreat from fighting al-Shabaab.

Read more
Reflect & Repair

Reflect & Repair

Should people, governments, companies pay large amounts of “reparations” for slavery and similar centuries-old torture? Does it matter if a government “apologizes” for long-forgotten atrocity? We can’t change the past.

Just in the last month, France, Germany and Angola have each separately announced either large restitution payments or policies of deep apology for atrocities, some of which were nearly as old as slavery in America. Why?

Read more
Tale of Two

Tale of Two

Comparisons with the 1918 flu pandemic are problematic, but there is no other relevant history that might give us any insights into the future of the coronavirus. We’re stuck with it, and I’m struck by how similar so far the histories of the two pandemics seem to be.

And I’m aghast by the possibility of Africa smashing the similarities to smithereens.

Read more
Raucous Royal

Raucous Royal

What do Africans think about the Harry and Meghan interview? Watch South Africa’s Josh Pieters’ You Tube with four prominent media experts on the royal family who critiqued the interview, as if it happened, before it happened. Click here to enjoy then…

Realize that comedic relief from really horrible situations is an underprivileged people’s art form. Laughing is common when there’s no confusion about the situation, no equivocation on its wrongness.

Read more
Daktari’s Birthday

Daktari’s Birthday

I missed his birthday, again. This time I really feel bad about it; the other times didn’t bother me as much as it bothered his wife.

His birthday is February 21, and nearly every year for four decades we were on safari somewhere together on his birthday. It was my responsibility to organize the cake and staff dancing and singing and drumming that would raucously hop the birthday cake into the mess tent after dinner. I think I missed them all.

Read more