In Africa south of the Sahara, the despots know how to remain in power: arrest anyone who washes videos of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt; rig the elections: or if you lose, refuse to give up the office of “President for Life.”
In Zimbabwe, several people, students, trade unionists, and political activists gathered to watch videos of the protests going on in Africa north of the Sahara were arrested by President Mugabe’s police. The meeting was illegal because apparently the videos might have motivated the participants to overthrow the legal government of Zimbabwe (in other words, no body was gonna get rid of Mugabe like they got rid of the tyrants in Tunisia and Egypt). A law professor at the University of Zimbabwe who was arrested with his students alleged he was tortured.
In Uganda, the ruler for 25 years, President Museveni, won another five year term. How does he do it? Buy votes, establish personal patronage networks, and make sure you reward the military officers, cabinet members, and ministers in your government so that will not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. In other words, keep enough people happy and they won’t see you as a tyrant but as a benefactor.
If all else fails, do as the president of the Ivory Coast in West Africa is doing: if you loose the presidential election, simply refuse to give up the presidency.
The dudes in North Africa could take a few lessons from those south of the Sahara.
Human beings all over the world do crazy things, sometimes even irrational things. Take Africa for instance__
In Nigeria, you had better be very careful about what you say about a government official on Facebook. Man, there ain’t really no freedom of speech. A man ranted about the governor in January on his Facebook page, which has since be removed. For speaking his mind, he was arrested for traumatizing the governor so badly, the gov had to be hospitalized. Read about here. The dude called for Allah to curse the governor and his friends. Hey, man in Africa, you don’t put no curse on nobody cause they take their curses serious.
The BBC website reported on it website that in Malawi the government has proposed a law against farting in public. Hey, man I want that law brought to the shores of the good old US of A. one person was quoted as saying the government criminalizing the “release of intestinal gases…is a joke of democracy.”
How in hell the question of democracy has anything to do with farting is beyond me.
“Sarah Palin’s supporters and critics need to calm down. She’s a celebrity, not a future president”, is the sub-headline of an article in The Christian Science Monitor on February 3, by Walter Rodgers.
In the article, he lets all of you Dear Sarah funatics and you haters, too, that Dear Sarah is good copy, good for TV. She is, he says, “like a good movie that you don’t want to end.”
For me, a Dear Sarah watcher, I have tried without success to stop watching. She is an addiction because you wonder what she will say and do next. Rodgers is right, only I see her as a funny sitcom, and I wait anxiously for the next episode.
Of course she isn’t presidential material. No matter, the other hopefuls will treat her as if she is the front runner for the Republican nomination for 2012.
In the history of presidential elections, she will be a minor footnote.
All I can say is run, Sarah, run.
After his speech honoring those in Tucson who were killed and injured and those who acted to subdue the lone gunman, the talking heads and radio mouths praised President Obama’s speech. Even those morons at Fox news got in on the praising.
The part of the speech that I liked best:
“But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.”
If only the politicians on the left and right would heed his call for civility in the debates that will take place this year and in 2012 during the presidential election.
And some of you bloggers need to tone down your language, too.
During the war in Iraq, we never read any negative reports on the progress of the war. I suppose that in wars, it is the natural reaction of the administration to report only good news—the military is always progressing in its drive to defeat the enemy.
The Obama administration is no different. In the report recently released to the public, it claims progress is being made. However, certain of the President’s words should raise red flags. He said that progress hasn’t “come fast enough,” and the report describes the progress as fragile. The timeline for withdrawing troops next summer is on track.
Some reasons why we should leave as soon as possible: The President of Afghanistan is a crook, and runs a government based on corruption.
The Afghan people do not trust government, any government.
The Taliban and al Qaeda continue to have a safe haven in Pakistan.
Most of all, we can’t do what England and Russia failed to do: make Afghanistan a western-style nation.
The president’s critics on the right deride him as a radical socialist seething with anti-American rage. To them, he’s a frightening success who has transformed the federal government, ruined the economy, and undermined national security. To the left, Obama is a tragic failure who squandered his chance for dramatic change: no single-payer health-care plan, no heated battle against Wall Street, and endless war in Afghanistan. If the president is struggling these days, the critics say, it’s perhaps because he’s out of touch with Americans, and even at odds with his own principles.
In his article in Newsweek dated November 17, James T. Kloppenberg, defends President Obama’s presidency. As he notes, critics notwithstanding, Obama “is doing exactly what he said he would do.” He refers readers to Obama’s two books Dreams From My Father (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006) for confirmation.
The purists on the left and right accuse the President of not doing what they think he ought to be doing. They in effect want to tell him what he must do in the name of the American people (always be skeptical of anyone who says he or she is acting for the American people, or even more dangerous, acts as if they know what the American people want).
For those on the right, the main goal is to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections. This means demonizing him and any policy he favors. Their idea of bipartisanship is to just say “no” to anything the President wants to do. Why? Because the American people don’t like what this President is doing.
The left’s self-defeating attitude is if the President doesn’t do exactly what he promised or, better yet, what they think he ought to do in the name of those nonrich folks, they’ll abandon him in the next election. Man, that’ll teach him and the next Democratic president a lesson. That this course of action will return the governing of the nation to the Republicans and Sarah Palin and her ick seems to have escaped them.
The right-wingers ain’t gonna change their attitude. But you on the left remember this: politics is the art of compromise.
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