Tuesday, September 18, 2012

China arms Zimbabwe

From StrategyPage:
September 14, 2012:  The African dictatorship of Zimbabwe opened a Chinese built and run military training center. China loaned Zimbabwe $98 million for the construction of the center and the loan will be repaid with diamonds from Chinese operated mines in Zimbabwe. China has supplied the dictatorship in Zimbabwe with weapons and military training in return for economic opportunities. The Zimbabwean government has ruined their economy and the Chinese provide help, with no questions asked. This has been a successful Chinese tactic in Africa, at least with the remaining dictatorships there.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Marriage and custom marriage?

From the BBC:

Poor PM Tsvangirai...one of his girlfriends (who is part of ZANU PF of course) is claiming she is his wife under a "customary marriage" act.

But customary marriage requires family agreement and a payment of lobola (bride price). So what it means is that she slept with him, period, and is now claiming a "common law" marriage.

Ms Tembo, 39, a commodity trader and sister of a Zanu-PF MP, had demanded $15,000 (£9,310) a month in maintenance expenses from the prime minister.
In November, Ms Tembo and Mr Tsvangirai reportedly held a traditional wedding, and Mr Tsvangirai had paid a bride price of several hundred thousand dollars.
Shortly thereafter, Mr Tsvangirai said their relationship had been "irretrievably damaged" after it was "hijacked" by his opponents, including state security agents.
Ah, but if it was a traditional marriage, you don't need a paper to dissolve the marriage, and if she hasn't had a baby, that would be one reason to demand back the bride price....

Friday, September 14, 2012

Miner strike in SA continues

from aljazeerah:

The killing of strikers and the aftermath has gotten zero attention in the US press/TV.
The leader of a major protest by South African platinum miners has called for a national strike in the sector, deepening an industrial crisis that has escalated over the past few months, and spurred violence that left 45 people killed at the Lonmin operated Marikana mine.
Miners from the Anglo American platinum mine (Amplats), joined forces with their colleagues from Marikana at the Blesbok stadium in the heart of the platinum belt near Rustenburg, 100km northwest of Johannesburg on Thursday in a show of solidarity against low wages.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Environmentalists killing Africans since Rachel Carson

Article on the Greatest Man you never heard of:
In 1999, the Atlantic Monthly estimated that Borlaug's efforts, combined with those he trained and equipped, saved the lives of 1 billion human beings.
Shockingly, the Green Revolution was almost entirely funded by developing countries and private charities (notably the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations), rather than by the governments of prosperous nations. At the time, the overwhelming view of academic and political elites in the wealthy countries was that it was already too late.
Biologist Paul Ehrlich's 1968 bestseller "The Population Bomb" typified this attitude. Ehrlich wrote, "The battle to feed all of humanity is over ... Required reading at many colleges, Ehrlich's book stated that it was "a fantasy" that India would "ever" feed itself...
In spite of Ehrlich's claims, Borlaug had India feeding itself within a mere five years of his book release. .... Towards the end of his life, Borlaug was working to institute his agricultural revolution in Africa.
No good deed goes unpunished, so we shouldn't be surprised that Borlaug was attacked by proponents of the trendy new faith of radical environmentalism because Green Revolution farming requires some pesticide and lots of fertilizer. Gregg Easterbrook quotes Borlaug saying the following in the 1990s:
"(Most Western environmentalists) have never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for 50 years, they'd be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists in wealthy nations were trying to deny them these things."
Borlaug was correct: "Environmentalists" and their allies pressured the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the World Bank and Western governments to drop funding and support for the great humanitarian as he was trying to expand his efforts into Africa. As a result, it is no surprise that the continent is doing the poorest at feeding its people.

related item: Greenpeace's Crime Against Humanity.

Greenpeace has openly and aggressively spread misinformation about Golden Rice since it was first invented and has continued to do so at every opportunity. They claim that there are better ways to alleviate vitamin A deficiency, such as vitamin pills and “home gardening”. Yet Greenpeace is doing nothing to implement alternative programs for the millions of victims, claiming the cause of vitamin A deficiency is “poverty”. One might ask if purposefully condemning millions of children to blindness and early death perpetuates poverty rather than alleviating it. Academies of Science around the world endorse the use of biotechnology, including genetic modification, to improve the nutrition and productivity of our food crops. There is zero evidence of any possible harm from these improvements.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

African Union Vs UN Peacekeepers

The UN might give up their ineffective peacekeeping in the Congo and let the African Union do the work.

From StategyPage, whose article is cynically called "we want to help ourselves to your stuff"... 
(referring to Zimbabwe's history of plundering the minerals when they were in the force).

if the AU takes over, it could have long term geopolitical effects...maybe toward a lose African confederation similar to that once proposed by Ghadaffi (but unlike his suggestion, not run by white Arabs of the north)...

but this part of the article is about Zimbabwe:

August 21, 2012: The government responded to critics who argue the Zimbabwe should not be allowed to deploy peacekeeping troops in the Congo. 
The government said that Zimbabwean troops contributed to stability when they deployed into the Congo during the Great Congo War. 
Others remember Zimbabwean participation quite differently. 

The Zimbabwean forces reportedly committed many atrocities and plundered Congolese mineral resources. Zimbabwe sent troops to the Congo in 1998 and only withdrew them in 2001. A UN study found evidence that Zimbabwean Army officers and senior members of Zimbabwe’s governing ZANU-PF party made money by selling and smuggling Congolese resources...

At the time Zimbabwe’s dictator, Robert Mugabe, justified sending troops because he contended the Uganda and Rwanda had invaded the Congo. In 2009, the Angolan government stated that SADC’s Standby Brigade was ready to intervene in the Congo, if asked. SADC has 15 members, Malawi, Angola, Congo, The Republic of Congo, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius, Lesotho, Mozambique, Madagascar, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the Seychelles. (Austin Bay)

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