Summer 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.
There 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.
Yesterday “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.
Mountain 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.
Sports that kill, and oh by the way eradiction of so-called invasive species, are hardly my cups of tea, but what do you think might soften my aversions? How about falconry clearing pigeons from monuments?
“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.
On 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.
Winter’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.
The #MeToo campaign is sweeping across Africa, just as GOP “just-say-no” techniques have infused the failed Kenyan opposition and the Chinese governing model takes hold in Zimbabwe.
What we’re seeing is the inception of a single global society. We’re a long way from a single government, but the seeds have been planted.
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.
Germany’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.
Here’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.
In 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?
Events are moving quickly in Zimbabwe as the regime changes.
The Army is control. A credible news source, ZimNews, confirms that the President’s wife, Grace Mugabe, despised by the Army and the focal point of the coup, has fled to Namibia.
Emerson Mnangagwa, the vice president “deposed” by Grace several weeks ago, has slipped back into the country and will likely assume power. The 93-year old dictator, Robert Mugabe, is expected to address the country later tonight or tomorrow.
Another two tourists were killed by elephant Saturday.
There are conflicting accounts of the deaths. The official Zambian police report claims that the 57-year old Belgian woman walked “too close” to take photos. But family members of the two killed told the Lusaka Times “the duo were looking at the giant mammals from a distance” and were charged unexpectedly.
In the big scheme of things, here’s why the details matter less than you might think.