Thursday, October 16, 2014

don't listen to Africans

Cardinal Kasper of Germany, who is attempting a pc takeover of the catholic church, complains that African bishops want to remain true to the bible

excuse the poor posting, I am using my tablet. Ditto for lack of problems.  I finally bought a new kne two days ago so may restart blogging.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Lots of nonsense and propaganda out there about ebola, and a lot of it with a hint of racism or politics.

So go rea this report on the sisterblog of the National Catholic Reporter, about how the church there is coping with the problem.

As fear and confusion gripped the country over how to deal with the killer virus, Liberia’s already shaky health system collapsed. In small local clinics, sometimes entire staffs of eight or 10 people were killed within days. The Catholic church’s biggest hospital in the capital of Monrovia, which employs over 185 staff, was forced to close after nine of their top doctors and administrators died of the virus.
According to World Health Organization statistics from Oct. 3, there have been 7,492 Ebola cases and 3,439 deaths in the current outbreaks. Liberia has been the hardest hit, accounting for 3,834 cases of Ebola and 2,069 deaths.
“The crisis now is health services have come to a standstill,” said Brilliant. Compounding the problem, in August, borders closed and cargo planes refused to land, meaning that things like personal protective equipment (PPEs), the spacesuit-like outfits that protect health workers from the virus, could not arrive. Some organizations pulled their international staff out of the country, but other experts and doctors who wanted to come to Liberia to assist found land borders closed and airports not functioning.
“This past month it’s been a disaster, and the government knows this,” said Brilliant. “Having said that, it’s understandable, because coming out war, the health system was not strong, there was no supply chain management. It was a disaster waiting to happen and it’s happened. The health system is shaken, not dead, but shaken.”
(Liberia’s civil war, when Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia overran the country, lasted from the late 1980s to 2003, when Taylor fled the country for Nigeria. Approximately 250,000 people were killed during the fighting, and the country’s infrastructure was decimated.)
As the country struggled through the early days of the virus in August and September, the Catholic church kicked their network into high gear. The church has 18 clinics and hospitals in the diocese of Monrovia. Even in the worst days of the outbreak, they kept 15 open. Across Liberia, there are approximately 600 hospitals and clinics; 300 are privately run and faith-based, Brilliant said.  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

How bad are things in Central Africa?

It's so bad that even the pygmies have their own militia to protect them.

scroll down this report on StrategyPage

The Katangan separatists and a Pygmy militia fought in May 2014. Pygmies, because of their short stature, have long been persecuted and tend to live by themselves deep in the jungle. There they acquired a reputation of being experts in getting around the bush and as hunters. The wide availability of cheap firearms since the 1990s has evened the combat odds and the Pygmies are now able and inclined to shoot back when attacked.

one is reminded of the Shona proverb: Even a small snake has a tooth...

Sunday, July 27, 2014


StrategyPage has a long article on NGO's.

The red cross is the "oldest" NGO, but they note:

 Actually, the Catholic Church could be considered one of the first major NGOs, as it organized large scale charity efforts over a thousand years ago.
 ah but the problem?

 Several decades ago, the main thing these outsiders brought with them was food and medical care. The people on the receiving end were pretty desperate, and grateful for the help. But NGOs have branched out into development and social programs.
These new activities caused unexpected problems with the local leadership. Development programs disrupt the existing economic, and political, relations. This is especially the case if the NGOs try to change the way things are done. The local leaders are often not happy with this, as the NGOs are not always willing to work closely with the existing power structure. While the local worthies may be exploitative, and even corrupt, they are local, and they do know more about popular attitudes and ideals than the foreigners
so although one sees a lot of criticism of churches that push religion with aid, a lot of NGO's push western ideas with aid instead.

. NGOs are no longer seen as just charitable foreigners come to help. The local leadership often sees the NGOs as a potential threat. While the material aid the NGOs bring is appreciated, the different ideas are not. And there are more NGOs showing up with more agenda than physical aid

Pushing birth control as part of the agenda is a big thing: I had to laugh when the flooding in Manila left many taking shelter in schools, and the UN came and gave out condoms...the locals were insulted, because it implied our women were sex crazed and couldn't refrain themselves. Then the UN defended this by saying it was because of rape, which locals got even more upset, since it implied Filipino men were sexually crazed rapists.

of course, if the aid is given to local politicians etc. a lot of it ends up in their pockets.

Yet paying huge salaries to western aid workers increases the overhead cost too.

 Often more than a third of it disappears into the pockets of government officials, their kin and friends. But letting the donors, and NGOs (Non-governmental organizations, like the Red Cross), handle the money also sees about the same portion lost. (italics mine)

This is because these donations often come with requirements that much of the money be spent on goods and services from the donor nation. This particularly bothers the locals as it means a lot of highly (especially by local standards) paid Western aid workers are supervising whatever is done in in the aid receiving nation. The higher NGO pay standards are very visible because the Westerners tend to live much better than locals.

StrategyPage is observing, not criticizing. Without the NGO's and church charities, the place would be worse, especially in times of disaster.

Crossposted from my main blog

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Africa update

Mugabe is throwing out the last of his "white" farmers.
Well, they stole the land fair and square so expect them to yelp.

But the rest of the Africa headlines are furthur north, where the war on terror is brewing a religious war (actually a war between the farmers and those who herd cattle).

And now, Ebola.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nigerian troubles

a good story on locals vs the terrorists  from the WAPOST

In fact, residents said a riot did break out briefly between young Muslims and Christians near the market after the blasts, but community leaders quickly helped police contain it and the tension subsided. “There will always be youths who drink or take drugs and act out, but I think we have reached a level of understanding among the leaders,” Begu said. “They know that Boko Haram is not made up of local Muslims.”
On Wednesday, as rescue workers and survivors picked through the rubble of more than 200 destroyed shops, a pall of horror and grief lingered in the smoke-
tainted air. Muslim-owned carpet stalls lay in ruins next to Christian-owned appliance shops. Hajjia Aisha’s snack stand was a charred shell; so was the Father X-Mass shoe shop next door.
Gabriel Ucheodum, 32, pointed to blackened yams and oranges in front of his electronics shop where a pair of elderly women had been selling produce when the bombs exploded. The first woman’s head and legs were blown off in front of him, he said shakily. The second woman was torn in half.
“I can barely believe God let me live,” Ucheodum said. “I saw such horrible things and I lost so many neighbors. Some were Christians like me, some were Muslims, but none of them deserved to die like this.”
Nearby, Muslim trader Alhajj Harun, 55, fingered his prayer beads and peered into the blackened shops. He said he had lived through some of the area’s ugliest sectarian clashes and then helped work to overcome them. He proudly mentioned that he had been to Jerusalem as well as Mecca and that he had three daughters in college or in professional jobs.
“There were problems between us, but everyone has worked hard to manage them, and things have been calming down,” Harun said. “None of us want to have our religion and our country blamed for these terrible things. If these barbarians want to divide us, let them die trying.”
© The Washington Post Company

Monday, May 12, 2014

ANC wins election inSouth Africa

One party state: what could go wrong?

Al Jezeerah link here.

Boko harum

The elites in the US just noticed them, and the Islamophobes are upset that the press there doesn't dare say they are radical Islamicists.

Uh, yes, and like other radicals wanting to impose Islam from the 8thcentury, they kill "moderate" Muslims, not just Christians... and the prophet would disown them too.

and they are so bad that even AlQaeda has disowned them.

Full background at StrategyPage includes this snippet:

Nigeria uses Britain as a model for its military, as Britain was the former colonial power in the region and helped establish the Nigerian military half a century ago. But the corruption that is endemic to the region eventually had its way with the armed forces. Leadership and training have suffered. But U.S. training teams (to improve peacekeeping and counter-terror skills) have been in Nigeria during the last decade, and report that the armed forces are not completely demoralized and debilitated by the corruption, and with some intense training, and elimination of the most corrupt officers, combat capabilities would be much improved.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A new tool to fight the tsetse fly

After 10 years of effort, a team led by scientists at Yale has finally decoded the genes of the tsetse fly, a bloodsucking scourge of Africa. With that knowledge, they hope to find new ways to repel or kill the insects, whose bite transmits sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease that, like rabies, drives its victims mad before they lapse into a coma and die. The flies also carry nagana, which weakens or kills cattle and renders whole regions of Africa inhospitable to most livestock.

it is a major cause of disease, but the real benefit would be to open large amounts of land so that it can be farmed.

Get rid of the tsetse fly and bring in irrigation, and Africa could feed the world. which is why China is buying up farmland and investing in Africa.

Tsetsefly collars for cattle? this Xinhua news story of a European funded initiative to stop cattle deaths:

Since time immemorial livestock farmers in most parts of Kenya have been forced to lighting fires to smoke away tsetse flies every day.
The well to do farmers have been using drugs (trypanocides) to help repel the flies away from the grazing fields and within the homesteads.
Because of this circumstance, the farmers have been forced to graze their livestock late in the morning hence completely avoiding early and late evening grazing everyday when tsetse flies, a routine that is hard to keep given that livestock especially cattle feed a lot.
But in a bid to help farmers solved this menace, the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) has developed a repellent collar that is tied around the animal's neck and in the process repels tsetse flies.
"The repellents have been identified from odors of animals avoided by tsetse, like the waterbuck, a big antelope species that is common in tsetse-infested areas of eastern Africa but which is rarely fed on by the flies," the Principal Investigator of the project Dr. Rajinder Saini said.
He noted that these repellent collars slowly dispense the chemicals in them, thereby protecting the animals and their herders from the flies.
Saini observed that the disease levels in protected cattle had been reduced by more than 90 percent and that repellent collars performed better than traditional traps that had been used by the institution in areas such as Lambwe Valley in Homa bay County.
and that story notes why this is important

These flies carry the trypanosome parasites that cause human African trypanosomosis, commonly called sleeping sickness, and the livestock disease nagana.
The problem of tsetse and trypanosomosis thus lies at the heart of Africa's struggle against poverty.
About 60 million people are at risk of getting sleeping sickness in Africa and more than 300,000 are infected yearly, of whom 95 percent do not receive any treatment because of the remoteness of the affected areas.
Trypanosomosis currently causes annual losses of some 1.5 billion US dollars and over the long run has had the effect of limiting Africa's agricultural income to some 4.5 billion dollars a year below its potential level.
About 3 million cattle die annually due to the disease. The flies are one of the main reasons why 80 percent of the continent's land is still tilled by hand due to the absence of draught-power.
Few livestock also implies less availability of manure that could be used as organic fertilizer, consequently leading to lower yields of crop and fodder plants.
Almost more than any other disease affecting people and livestock, trypanosomosis thus straddles the ground between human health, livestock health and agricultural production, and thus rural development.

radiation has also been used to control the fly. from the VOA

After the sterilization, a plane spreads thousands of non-productive tsetse flies every Wednesday in various parts of Ethiopia, especially along riverbed breeding grounds. So far, more than a million laboratory flies have been released. Now sterilized flies outnumber fertile flies, eight to one.

Sacrificing children to get ahead.

BBC article on child sacrifice 

sigh. When I worked in Liberia, newspapers reported about two mangled bodies were found and one teenager managed to run away and talk to the press.

When HIV started hitting the elites, many went to these shamans (not witch doctors: witch doctors DIAGNOSE witchcraft...those who do things like this are witches).

headsup TurtleBay and beyond blogspot, who note that Americans and Europeans have no problem sacrificing children so they can succeed...the difference being, of course, that Americans and Europeans sacrifice their own children before birth.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Central African Republic

It's not a "religious" war unless it is pay back for previous atrocities.

From StrategyPage

Most of the mayhem is in the largely Christian south and especially in and around the capital, where most of the Moslems are in the south. This all began when the capital was captured by Moslem rebels in early 2013. That was followed by rebels engaging in extensive looting and other crimes. Most of their victims were Christians. This included some deliberate attacks on churches. That resulted in Christians forming militias to fight the rebels. In the last year over 2,000 people have died, most of them in the last six months. Now the Moslems remaining in the south are arming themselves and fighting back at Christian civilians. This caused the number of refugees in and around the capital to go from 20,000 to over 200,000 in March.
The Christian militia are also angry because the peacekeepers failed to curb rebel violence against Christians last year. The general chaos of the last few months has caused over a million people (a quarter of the CAR population) to flee their homes

Friday, February 28, 2014

Punishing the poor to force Africa to be PC

From the (gov't run) Zim Herald:

An article about Uganda passing an "anti gay bill"

In a speech after signing the law, President Museveni warned Western nations not to meddle in the east African nation’s affairs — and that he was not afraid of aid being cut.
Some donors were quick to punish Kampala by freezing or redirecting aid money, while Sweden’s Finance Minister Anders Borg, who visited the country on Tuesday, said the law “presents an economic risk for Uganda”.
The Netherlands froze a seven-million-euro subsidy to Uganda’s legal system, while Denmark and Norway said they would redirect around six million euros each towards private sector initiatives, aid agencies and rights organisations.

expect those "rights" organizations to push to change the law.

But Opondo said Uganda’s government was not worried.
“Western ‘aid’ to Africa is lucrative and (a) profitable trade, they cannot cut off completely,” Opondo said.
“Slave trade, slavery, colonialism, imperialism, and exploitation, Africa must stand up to Western domination.”

expect China to fill in the gap.

This 2010 article from Xinhua new agency says China is the second largest invester there.

This 2009 article from the ChinaInAfrica website notes how China is active in the Ugandan economy.

Another field to benefit from Chinese interest is agriculture. China has evolved the best technique of growing rice to yield bumper crops, and has passed on this technique to Uganda as well. The first rice-farming project has been in Kibimba in eastern Uganda spread over 1721 acres of land.
China is interested in the oil deposits recently discovered in Uganda. As of now Uganda exports leather goods to China, along with timber, agricultural products, cotton, copper and fish. The total trade between the two countries amounted to $247 million in the year 2008. However, this includes Chinese exports amounting to $230 million, and Uganda has the remaining share of $17 million. The present division is extremely lopsided, and this is not perceived as advantageous to Uganda. Chinese goods have also replaced the domestic products since they are so much cheaper.

so all the "greens" who work with aid agencies are pushing organic and natural ways of growing traditional methods, while China is actually changing their agricultural infrastructure.

And Chinese shops are all over, replacing the previously owned shops run by immigrants from India and their children that were widepspread in colonial days.

This is bad and good: cheap goods can make local manufacturing wither (as we see here in the Philippines), and the ability of Chinese immigrants to money (in the past, via family links these shops essentially took over the small business shops in SEAsia) mean they crowd out locals trying to run such businesses. (cultural problem too: A kid brought up by business oriented parents will be more likely to succeed, and as I noted in colonial times, the opportunities for locals were limited due to the Indian, this is not "racist", since in places like the Philippines, where only locals could own land or businesses, the merchants quickly intermarried, which is wny many of our families who run the place are part Chinese).

This article discusses the resentment against this neocolonial push:

from the WATimes (Right wing US paper):

KAMPALA, October 3, 2012 - Chinese, the renowned ‘investors’ in Africa have shifted positions, turning to small retail trade in massive numbers.  This is especially true in Uganda’s capital Kampala, where they are suffocating the local traders who are calling for government intervention through regulation of trade to foreigners.
Taking advantage of favorable terms of trade and reduced costs of imports, Chinese traders who are widely present in Kampala’s arcades sharply cut prices for their products, undercutting the prices charged by local traders.
The loathed Chinese cheaply import from their home country to the detriment of Ugandan traders who import the same products at much higher prices from China.  The local sellers lament that the practice is completely unfair, and that they need government support to even the playing field.
Ugandan traders bitterly complain that they are on the verge of losing their businesses, thanks to price slashing by their Chinese competitors.  In July, the traders staged a demonstration against the increasing Chinese suffocation, calling for the government to intervene before local traders are forced from business.

 the Monitor (Uganda) discusses this from a local viewpoint, published Feb7 2014:

“China gives aid without political ties. African leaders don’t want to be dictated upon. That is why they like China not the Western countries which insist on democracy and social freedom,” Prof Makara said at a workshop organised by Makerere University department of Journalism and Communication, Bergen, Norway and Chr Michelsen Institute with support from the Norwegian Embassy in Kampala.
“Over dependence on China exploitation of natural resources is unsustainable in the long term. Taking minerals and oil to China doesn’t create jobs in Africa and Uganda in particular. They are Chinese who benefit. They are exporting our minerals to China. If they are exported and they are over, will they still need us? Sustainable development may not be realised in the long term.”

also on that paper: There is an anti obscenity law and the police have had to save women from roaming mobs undressing women  to punish them for wearing miniskirts.
This is happening in Iganga which is a city in the SE area of Uganda.
According to Wikipedia, that is an area with a large Muslim population.

the Iganga District in eastern Uganda has the highest percentage of Muslims. The rest of the country has a mix of religious affiliations.[107

and although the US activists point to "fundamentalists" for being behind the "anti Gay" law, the population doesn't have a large percentage of them. Again, from Wikipedia:

Religion in Uganda[2]

Other or None

Church in Entebbe
According to the census of 2002, Christians made up about 84% of Uganda's population.[106] The Roman Catholic Church has the largest number of adherents (41.9%), followed by the Anglican Church of Uganda (35.9%). Evangelical and Pentecostal churches claim the rest of the Christian population. There's a growing number of Presbyterian denominations like the Presbyterian Church in Uganda, the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Uganda and the Evangelical Free Church in Uganda with hundreds of affiliating congregations. The next most reported religion of Uganda is Islam, with Muslims representing 12% of the population.[106]

 and, as the local paper the Monitor points out: While you were being distracted, lots of other scandals are going on.

mainly economic problems but this one caught my eye:

* We heard that about Shs40 billion of your taxes and mine given to the Presidential Initiative on Bananas is missing. This was always going to be an exercise in modern-day alchemy; what large global market is out there for banana flour? Why not spend it on coffee or tourism?

 Two items in this snippet:

One: Notice the money gone missing? One of the biggest problems in Africa and Asia (including the Philippines and China) is graft and corruption.

Two: the "initiative" is "modern day alchemy" because the local scientists are using gentic modification to try to save a threatened banana plague.

ALL bananas have a narrow genetic spectrum, and could easily be wiped out, resulting in a famine resembling the Irish Potato famine.

The UKGuardian, which is a left wing paper that usually pushes the green agenda, has a nice article on that here.

In recent years a devastating bacterial disease has swept across Uganda and, to a lesser extent, neighbouring countries, causing annual banana crop losses to the region of more than $500m (£310m). The rapid spread of banana Xanthomonas wilt, or BXW, which destroys the entire plant and contaminates the soil, "has endangered the livelihoods of millions of farmers who rely on banana for staple food and income", according to an article in the journal Molecular Plant Pathology last year.
With no resistant varieties or chemical cures available, growers such as Kamenya have been forced to destroy large sections of their plantations. For smaller farmers the damage has been so severe many have given up on the fruit.
But local scientists have not. On a sprawling campus outside Kampala, Wilberforce Tushemereirwe and his colleagues at the National Banana Research Programme have been on a quest to defeat the disease by building a better banana. This has involved adding to the fruit a sweet pepper gene that has already improved disease resistance in several vegetables.
There are plenty of human rights problems in Uganda, but essentially the law is popular because of the perception that gays are predators.

Like other rural areas, often kids go to boarding schools, which have a bad reputation for letting kids be abused, be they the "fagging" in the UK public school system, the abuse of Canadian Aborigenes that got a lot of publicity there (not as much in the US, since most of the schools were Anglican etc). This article discusses the abuse of missionary's kids at African boarding schools (presumably for the elites.) And yes, I know a missionary whose son was abused this way in South America at a Christian boarding school

Christianity today has an article here.

this is of white kids in Christian boarding schools for the elites.

Are we supposed to think that black kids weren't abused?

The reason I think there is a big story here is:

One: Homosexual rape was probably common in pre colonial times, but we have no documentation except for the case of the Uganda martyrs, whose major "sin" was refusing to be abused by the king and his court.

Two: Many British families sent their problem sons to Africa in colonial times. The sexual shennanigans of the colonists was notorious in the more chaste Bantu neighbors, who have taboos on who you can and cannot sleep with. (I have no information on the Nilotic or Masai tribes, except to note that the high rate of infertility in Masai women was from STD related PID, which is why in the good old days they kidnapped and/or married the women from other tribes).

Three: It is a hierarchical society, where you obey your superior. This includes your teacher, your relatives, and of course your employer. So if your employer "hits" on you, you say "Yes"...and although this is more common with women (which is why tribes only allowed "houseboys", I know of cases where the boys were used sexually by their employers).

Four: by taking men from their villages and making zoning laws that didn't encourage women to accompany them (and tribal laws that meant you lost your land if your wife didn't work it for you), you encouraged not only family breakup but homosexuality in the huge worker's dormatories.

Five: There have been wars and revolutions in Central Africa including Uganda.Female rape has resulted in a lot of reporting, but male on male rape is also being done, mainly as a way of punishment.
Time magazine report here. 
NYTimes article here. 
UKGuardian report here.

and few of these rapes are reported, because of the stigma.

Six: Sex tourism. All sorts of sex tourism, because of all those lovely beaches. If you google, you will find articles on western women seeking love from local men while on vacation (reminds me of the film "Shirley Valentine"). But it also includes the nasty problem of enticing poor children into a risky life of prostitution. Western liberatarian see this as a free choice, but hunger sort of obscures the free choice part.


If you are gay or lesbian and wish to travel to Africa it is wise to do a little research before you plan your trip. Homosexuality is illegal in almost every African country (bar South Africa) and is considered a criminal offense in several top tourist destinations like Egypt, Morocco and Kenya. 

and the BBC in 2010  asked for comments on pedophilia in Africa: read the comments and weep.
most of this is about girls, but the boys are at risk too.

A lot of this depends on when you decide it's pedophilia or if you count sex with teenagers over whom you have power. That too can result in great rage by the boy but often he keeps quiet from shame.

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