WorkKing

WorkKing

Worldwide the pandemic response was a society — like a house with windows — pulling down all its blinds. As we cautiously pry open the levers what will we see?

In the developing world we’ll see how young societies fared without the heavy influence of world powers. In normal prepandemic times there was hardly a move that an African government made without first running it by a host of global powers. That didn’t happen the last two years.
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Brake-Through

Brake-Through

The malaria vaccine is continuing good news in the battle against disease in Africa, but it’s not a cause for great celebration. I’m a bit peeved, in fact, with the PR-rollout of Mosquirix by GlaxoSmithKline which strikes me more as an attempt by the pharma to remain relevant after the failure of its Sanofi–GSK Covid vaccine.

Here’s the thing. Mosquirix has been around in some form since 1987. Much improved, its efficacy is still as low as 26% (the highest in any study was 50%) and only for toddlers. It’s not effective against young adults and older.
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People Day

People Day

Technically today is a federal holiday called “Columbus Day” but it’s rather confused. Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont have all banned it and replaced it with “Indigenous Peoples Day.” Many more local counties have done the same or as President Biden did this morning simultaneously order the celebration of “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

NBCNews put it best, “Columbus Day is not a holiday the U.S. — and Italian Americans — should celebrate” …because?
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Ants

Ants

Almost a half century ago Kathleen and I drove into remote southwest Uganda sneaking precious, banned textbooks (on mathematics) to one of the few schools that until then had managed to survive under Idi Amin.

We drove past a football field littered with the bodies of 48 teens, their bodies torn apart by dum dums. Our hosts were in hiding. When one young teacher snuck into the room where we were he pleaded in whispers to steel him away. Did anybody read Eugene Robertson’s op-ed in the Washington Post today? “How Dumb Can a Nation Get and Still Survive?”
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God’s Will

God’s Will

No doubt that Paul Rusesabagina, fictionalized as the hero of “Hotel Rwanda,” supports the revolutionary group that successfully blew up tiny bits of Rwanda over the last five years. But was his tricked kidnapping by a wicked priest for a show trial in Kigali the right way to keep Rwandans from massacring each other?

Rusesabagina, now a Belgian citizen and permanent U.S. resident, was sentenced to 25 years in prison yesterday for treason against Rwanda. His story reveals better than most the extraordinary supremacy of authoritarianism over the complexities of truth and history.
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Labor Day Lies

Labor Day Lies

RaisedFist1Today marks the extended “Labor Day” weekend holiday in the United States, Thursday-Monday. America’s ‘May Day’ is officially Monday but everyone takes the whole long weekend off.

Vacations end, schools reopen, the fall sports season begins, the culture season with operas and symphonies begin in the great cities… Well, not now. Covid continues to wreck havoc on America; only about half the country is fully vaccinated. Some vaccine is going to waste. How could this be?
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Social Media Accelerating

Social Media Accelerating

South African leaders are in a slow about-face with regards to charging Zuma, his friends and family, with inciting the July 12th insurrection, just like everyone from Mueller to Biden was reluctant to hand-cuff Trump and family and probably for the same reason: it’d just make things worse.

At the same time South Africans are coming down hard on social media, something unthinkable at the moment in America.
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Streets of Anarchy

Streets of Anarchy

In a scene that could well be that of Donald Trump in a few years, Jacob Zuma was put in jail Wednesday, and the days and weekend that followed exploded in violence. The South African military has now taken to the streets to contain the fighting especially in Johannesburg and Durban. Six protestors are confirmed dead and many more assumed hurt.
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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.

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Heady Aches

Heady Aches

Excited about the increasing depth of the Trump criminal investigations?

Don’t put too much faith in the law. A good portion, but not too much. And while you’re at it take a quick look at what’s happening with Africa’s Trump, more than four years after he slid from power.

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Nonemployment

Nonemployment

Is “unemployment” an important metric? Very similar controversies in the United States and South Africa throw this goldmark standard for economic planning into question.

Both countries currently suffer from chronic waves of refugees exacerbated by a wry mixture of politics with pandemic. Both countries’ fairly liberal policies towards refugees are at contentious odds with large parts of their citizenry. Both deal with growing social unrest that many argue impedes difficult struggles with institutionalized racism.

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Suluhu under Virus

Suluhu under Virus

The world’s most mutated Covid-19 variant has been found in travelers from Tanzania. The discovery was announced three days ago by the Krisp Institute, which first discovered the South African variant.

Krisp is growing the virus to determine any effects of the mutations. There may be none but there is concern that several mutations involve the critical “spikes” that bind the virus to its prey. Several other of its specific mutations have been confirmed in many different virus samples from around the world, reflecting the natural selections that give the virus advantage.

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