Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Arrests for corruption?

 Zimbabwe's former minister of finance and economic development has been denied bail in his corruption trial....Ignatius Chombo, an ally of ousted Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, is being held "in the interests of his safety" and to prevent any interference with state witnesses, a magistrate's court said on Monday evening.

then there is this:

Shortly before his arrest on the weekend, Chipanga, a close associate of former First Lady Grace Mugabe, was confronted by protesters who shouted threats at him for his pro-Mugabe stance.
He faces charges of fraud and slander for his criticism of the head of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, General Constantino Chiwenga.
The charges carry a potential 20-year prison sentence.
Chiwenga had cautioned the then president against carrying out a series of purges within his ruling ZANU-PF regime, shortly before the military action that led to Mugabe's resignation.

Yes, Africans, they actually mean you

The New Yorker (magazine) has an article on an "anti natalist".

David Benatar may be the world’s most pessimistic philosopher. An “anti-natalist,” he believes that life is so bad, so painful, that human beings should stop having children for reasons of compassion. “While good people go to great lengths to spare their children from suffering, few of them seem to notice that the one (and only) guaranteed way to prevent all the suffering of their children is not to bring those children into existence in the first place,” he writes, in a 2006 book called “Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence.” In Benatar’s view, reproducing is intrinsically cruel and irresponsible—not just because a horrible fate can befall anyone, but because life itself is “permeated by badness.” In part for this reason, he thinks that the world would be a better place if sentient life disappeared altogether....

and he lists a lot of the frustrations of first world, affluent materialistic yuppies as the reason behind his screed:

He provides an escalating list of woes, designed to prove that even the lives of happy people are worse than they think. We’re almost always hungry or thirsty, he writes; when we’re not, we must go to the bathroom. We often experience “thermal discomfort”—we are too hot or too cold—or are tired and unable to nap. We suffer from itches, allergies, and colds, menstrual pains or hot flashes. Life is a procession of “frustrations and irritations”—waiting in traffic, standing in line, filling out forms. Forced to work, we often find our jobs exhausting; even “those who enjoy their work may have professional aspirations that remain unfulfilled.” Many lonely people remain single, while those who marry fight and divorce. “People want to be, look, and feel younger, and yet they age relentlessly”: They have high hopes for their children and these are often thwarted when, for example, the children prove to be a disappointment in some way or other. When those close to us suffer, we suffer at the sight of it. When they die, we are bereft.

so why put this in my Africa blog?

Because Benatar was born in South Africa in 1966. He is the head of the philosophy department at the University of Cape Town, where he also directs the university’s Bioethics Centre, which was founded by his father, Solomon Benatar, a global-health expert.

and his father was indeed a big shot at that school in the good old days, and involved in global public health policy.

according to the magazine, the guy is an atheist.

yes, without God you are an isolated individual.

The only reason I don't call the guy a Nazi for pushing nazi ideas is because Solomon and David are ethnically Jewish names.

But are they "Jewish/jewish" or part of the anti religion Jewish types who became rabid socialists/communists and gave conspiracy types ammunition for their own anti semitism?

With God, you are part of a family, and everything that happens works for the good.

and the NewYorker writer, who also has a Jewish name, made sure they passed the monument to the Irish who died in the potato famine... they read a few of the quotes from there, but that didn't get much of a rise from the good professor.

Why no: The professor probably would see the monument as proof why his philosophy (don't have kids: they'll only be miserable) is true, whereas most Irish Americans (and Jews and American Blacks) would see the monument and say: No, it is a warning to philosophers that ideas have consequences.

Because the reason the Irish died is because too many Brits believed in Malthus: that the poor overbred and helping them stay alive only meant more poor people, so don't help them.

so they died: Of starvation, of disease, in "coffin ships" fleeing that land, etc.

and like a lot of Yanks, we remember our heritage.

I checked the author of the magazine article, and he has a Jewish name. They also suffered from bad ideas (the holocaust was based on social Darwinism and Eugenics ideas of the early 20th century):

the population bomb hysteria is not new: if you read Eugenics  history, the breeders they disliked back then tended to be the Irish in England, and the Jewish/Irish/Italian and Eastern European immigrants and blacks in the USA). And of course Jews and Gypsies and Slavs in Germany. Especially Jews.

but now, of course, the population control freaks are aiming at Africa.

In other words, not a new idea, but repackaged for affluent types.

Nothing new of course: When I worked in Zimbabwe, every village had a "pill lady" but no safe water or WHO Rehydration fluid until we supplied the money for these things.

And China's one child policy was from Ehrlich's population bomb ideas.

And here in the Philippines, the US pressured us to supply free contraceptives to all women (but one third of our women deliver with untrained birth attendents, one reason for the high mortality.. and even when midwives are "free" they ask for gifts: pre eclampsia is dangerous here, but few get prenatal care. Sigh).

and even the Vatican let a lot of these death promoting population types into their latest conferences.

But the, the joke "is the Pope Catholic?" is, alas, no longer  joke.

headsup AnneAlthouse

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Mugabe: asylum? Money?

South Africa will face a lot of opposition if they allow him asylum.

Maimane said allowing Mugabe into South Africa on political asylum would be in contravention of the Refugees Act.
 Maimane pointed out that the act excludes individuals from asylum if they had committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity, among others. "Mugabe has, like many other leaders on the continent, turned from liberator to dictator, with human rights abuses and crimes against peace being committed under his watch," said Maimane. "As such, he ought to be denied refugee status as per the law," Maimane said. "As long as Mugabe would not face torture or death penalty in Zimbabwe, the South African government must exclude him from asylum."
Ghana is thinking about it though.

the big question no one is asking: who gets the money?

UKGuardian lists his wealth.

According to some estimates, Robert Mugabe has about £1bn-worth of assets, much of it invested outside Zimbabwe.
 2001 US diplomatic cable, later released by the whistle-blowing organisation WikiLeaks, quoted this figure, and said that while reliable information was difficult to find, there were rumours that his assets “include everything from secret accounts in Switzerland, the Channel Islands and the Bahamas to castles in Scotland”.
Grace Mugabe is said to have bought a number of properties in the affluent Sandton suburb of Johannesburg and there are reported to have been property purchases in Malaysia, Singapore and possibly Dubai.

and move over Imelda Marcos:
The first lady is reported to have the sort of designer shoe collection that might be expected of a dictator’s wife and, notoriously, is said to have spent $75,000 (£56,000) on luxury goods on a single shopping spree in Paris.

Mugabe resigns!

BBC reports Mugabe, under threat of impeachment, has resigned.

The ruling Zanu-PF party says former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa will succeed Mr Mugabe, in power since 1980.
Mr Mnangagwa's sacking earlier this month triggered a political crisis.
It had been seen by many as an attempt to clear the way for Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband as leader and riled the military leadership, who stepped in and put Mr Mugabe under house arrest.
After the resignation announcement, lawmakers roared in jubilation.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mugabe still won't resign

in other news from Zimbabwe: No, Mugabe still refuses to step down despite Sunday's protests.

the locals worry tlat "Gucci Grace" will grab power... instead of the main opposition leader, Vice President Mnangagwa, aka the Crocodile who was fired so Grace could step in and steal his job.

Culling elephants

Zimbabwe Herald points out that elephant conservation actually benefits both the elephants and locals. It means culling the population to prevent overpopulation, stop elephants from roaming and destroying local crops, and of course, is a source of income for the country. Without this income, locals will just look the other way when poachers kill the beasts.

Zimbabwe boasts the world’s second largest elephant herd after Botswana, much of it crowded beyond capacity at the Hwange National Park in the country’s south-west.
A CITES study notes that elephants in Zimbabwe have climbed sharply in the past 40 years due to prudent conservation.
Aerial surveys show there was an estimated 46 000 elephants in the country in 1980; at least 58 600 in 1989; and some 64 000 in 1995. These figures are, however, disputed by other conservationists.
But the Great Elephant Census says the number of elephants in the country dropped 6 000 to 82 000 in the three years to 2014 due to poaching.
The animals have become difficult to manage, often destroying homes and food crops. Deaths from conflict with humans living near conservancies and parks have been reported, as habitat gives way to urban development and agriculture.

more HERE.

  But the rich white American animal lovers are pressuring Trump to stop the cull.

no, I don't hunt: But our area of Pennsylvania closed down on the first day of hunting season... better to hunt the deer carefully than let them die as road kill or from starvation...

Friday, November 17, 2017

what is going on in Zimbabwe

UKTelegraph article is confusing:

Neither Mr Mugabe nor the presumed mastermind of the coup, former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, have issued statements or been seen in public since. The military has not commented since Major General Sibusiso Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, denied a coup was underway and appealed for calm in an address on national television in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

One of my friends there, a Mugabe supporter, posted this:

Much Respect to the Zimbabwe Defense Forces for stepping in & giving direction to our country. We where headed into the abyss.

Someone had to STOP Amai Dr. Stop It!!

presumably the problem is that Mugabe is  old, and his younger wife is trying to grab power.

Here is an article about her plans in the Herald, a pro Mugabe paper.

mai Mugabe said President Mugabe was an anointed leader by God and only the Almighty could decide his fate and not some ambitious people who wanted to take leadership positions through unorthodox means. “You are anointed, President. Hakuna anokubvisai. Kana nguva yaMwari yakwana, zvichangotika according to God’s plan,” said Amai Mugabe as she quoted biblical scriptures. She implored people to pray to God and accept that which they could not change in life.
Speaking at the same occasion, Zanu-PF Secretary for Youth Cde Kudzanai Chipanga said events in Bulawayo, where people booed the First Lady, were a result of infiltration by unruly elements.

but the UK Papers are wondering if China had a part in the military's plans.

UKGuardian report.

Those ambiguous comments will do little to dispel suspicions that Chiwenga may have travelled to Beijing to warn China’s leadership of the impending move against Mugabe, or perhaps even to seek its blessing or help. Li Zuocheng, a rising star in China’s 2.3 million-member military, reportedly enjoys close ties to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping...

“It seems to me that they just realised – like everyone has realised – that the situation in Zimbabwe was increasingly untenable, that a direct succession from Robert Mugabe to Grace Mugabe was a recipe for disaster,” he said. “China doesn’t have necessarily an ideological attachment to democratic government or to non-democratic government. The only thing China is generally really, really focused on is stability.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Zimbabwe miltary coup?

"To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover of government. What the Zimbabwe Defence Forces is actually doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in a violent conflict.
"We call upon all the war veterans to play positive in ensuring peace, stability and unity in the country.
"To members of the defense forces, all leave is canceled and you all to return to your barracks with immediate effect.
"To our respected traditional leaders, you are our custodians of our culture, customs, traditions and heritage and we request you to provide leadership and direction to your communities for the sake of unity and development in our country.

There is growing uncertainty in Zimbabwe.
Soldiers on Wednesday took over the headquarters of the state broadcaster ZBC and blocked access to government offices, but the army says this is not a military take over.
President Robert Mugabe, who leads the ruling Zanu-PF party, is safe, an army spokesman has said.
There was no official word, however, from the Mugabe family as to their whereabouts.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Marburg and Pestis (links only)


Not only Black death/PPestis epidemic spreading from Madagascar to mainland Africa, but now thepress has noticed the Marburg epidemic.


since Drudge linked to the UK site, it will be noticed.

Ironically, we had to keep an eye out for plague when I worked in New Mexico (a couple cases a year on Indian reservations, usualy from prarie dogs)but this outbreak appears to be pulmonary, which can kill quickly.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Central Africa update

StrategyPage has a long essay on Central Africa.

The good news: Rwanda is at peace and flourishing.

The bad news: The rest of the area still has a lot of problems.

. The key in Africa and throughout the world, is a population where enough people are willing to avoid corruption and violence and basically get on with your life. So simple yet so rare. Kagame may yet wreck the country by refusing to leave office when he can no longer win fair elections. That is common, especially in Africa. But the exceptions to the centuries old chaos and misery that led Central Africa to be dubbed “the heart of darkness” in the 18th century are signs that it does not always have to be that way.

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