Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scary CNN

Apparently George W Bush revolutionised health care in Africa making extremely popular across the continent in a way that he is not anywhere else in the world.This courtesy of a CNN bulletin today. In fact he is so popular based on this report that the incoming Obama administration could not match this in any way. The only evidence alluded for this broadcast is the comments by a retired US diplomat and a reporter from South Africa. I suppose anything is possible since Africans are the 'wretched' of the earth. You must really wonder if CNN actually thinks Africans are from a parallel universe. George Bush follows Bono and Bob Geldof another white male saviour for the hapless Africans.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Harry and the pursuit of British Education

So Prince Harry calls his fellow soldiers Paki and Raghead what is new? Anyone whose children have had a British Education in recent years is either blinded by its brand or acutely aware how truly inadequate it is for a successful 21st century mindset. This is especially true of those of us seduced by a romantic notion of the British 'Public ' or Independent School system. I had to learn the hard way. Like most middle class Nigerians dreams of acquiring the frisson of British 'proper' education was part of my aspiration and did I play with my children's life for that B.S. The short version is that the education system is not designed for the emerging multi-polar or interdependent world. The more exclusive the school the greater the possibility that your child is being indoctrinated into 19th century pseudo-victorian world view with dubious intellectual grounding and extreme dollops of self loathing. I have stories about lectures still categorising people into Caucasian, Negroids et al or the everyday class profiling especially of the working classes. This perhaps would be insignificant if the core curriculum were truly about evolving young minds but bully by the time they are finished Africa is an Aids factory, they know more about the wives of English Kings than any awareness that Chinese Industrial revolution pre-dated western one by centuries.

None of the above would truly not matter if it was really truly preparing them now for a world smaller, interdependent and globally competitive. Whilst such a limiting education might work for a white British child cocooned into reflected glory from the past it is intellectual death to any African child with any eye for 21st century leadership potential. I actually do not believe the damage is ever truly repaired but it can be tempered by an active effort to de-programme. The shame is that many Nigerian parents are throwing good money after bad . There has to be an alternative to British education and we have to find it fast. Just look at Harry.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It breaks my heart to see Israel's stupidity by Rabbi Lerner

Read via the link below . It is consistent with all the postings on these pages.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

If Obama is serious he must get tough with Israel

When in the middle of writing an article someone more eloquent gets it right you concede. Here is such a piece from Newsweek magazine by Aaron David Miller . The link is below.

Eyes of the heavens shed tears of blood

I often wonder what hardens the heart of people to the pain and destruction that war delivers that they choose it as a position or policy on which to build a future. I also wonder how the strong and powerful find justification in the humiliation of the weaker competitors? I wonder what memories we expect the children of Palestine to take away from the humiliation and destruction of their already wretched communities? Then there is the incoming President and I watch how is two beautiful black girls glide down the staircase of the plane to Washington DC whilst two similar sisters wrapped in cloth are carried through the streets of Gaza. I feel impotent, paralysed and heart broken. It hurts so much this time more than other times. I know now that cynicism has taken the Presidency away from Obama , I sincerely hope that he can find ways to get it back. Below is a voice of Wisdom from the Isreali part of this conflict.

From - Israel News ast update - 02:05 04/01/2009

And there lie the bodies

By Gideon Levy

Tags: Israel, Gaza, Hamas 

The legend, lest it be a true story, tells of how the late mathematician, Professor Haim Hanani, asked his students at the Technion to draw up a plan for constructing a pipe to transport blood from Haifa to Eilat. The obedient students did as they were told. Using logarithmic rulers, they sketched the design for a sophisticated pipeline. They meticulously planned its route, taking into account the landscape's topography, the possibility of corrosion, the pipe's diameter and the flow calibration. When they presented their final product, the professor rendered his judgment: You failed. None of you asked why we need such a pipe, whose blood will fill it, and why it is flowing in the first place.

Regardless of whether this story is legend or true, Israel is now failing its own blood pipeline test. As Israel has been preoccupied with Gaza throughout the entire week, nobody has asked whose blood is being spilled and why. Everything is permitted, legitimate and just. The moral voice of restraint, if it ever existed, has been left behind. Even if Israel wiped Gaza off the face of the earth, killing tens of thousands in the process, as a Chechnyan laborer working in Sderot proposed to me, one can assume that there would be no protest.

They liquidated Nizar Ghayan? Nobody counts the 20 women and children who lost their lives in the same attack. There was a massacre of dozens of officers during their graduation ceremony from the police academy? Acceptable. Five little sisters? Allowed. Palestinians are dying in hospitals that lack medical equipment? Peanuts. Whatever happened to the not-so-good old days of Salah Shahadeh? When we liquidated him in July 2002, we also killed 15 women and children. At least back then, moral qualms were raised for a moment.

Here lie their bodies, row upon row, some of them tiny. Our hearts have turned hard and our eyes have become dull. All of Israel has worn military fatigues, uniforms that are opaque and stained with blood and which enable us to carry out any crime. Even our leading intellectuals fail to speak out on what havoc we have wreaked. Amos Oz urges: "Cease-fire now." David Grossman writes: "Hold your fire. Stop." Meir Shalev wants "a punitive operation." And not one word about our moral image, which has been horribly distorted.

The suffering in the south renders everything kosher, as if the horrible suffering in Gaza pales in comparison. Everyone is hungry for revenge, and that hunger is excused by the need for "deterrence," after it was already proved that the killing and the destruction in Lebanon did not achieve it.

Yes, I know, war is war. After all, they brought this on themselves. They are a terrorist organization and we are not. They want to destroy us and we seek peace. Still, is there nothing here that will stop this blood pipeline? Even those whose hearts are hardened by "moral righteousness" will have to momentarily halt the bombing machine and ask: Which Israel do we have before us? What will become of its standing in the world, which is now watching the events in Gaza? What are we inflicting on the moderate Arab regimes? And what of the simmering popular hatred we are sowing throughout the world? What good will emerge from this killing and destruction?

It is doubtful whether Hamas will be cut down to size as a result of this wretched war. Yet, the face of the state has been cut down to size, as have civilian elites who are apathetic and scared. The "peace camp," if it ever existed, has been cut down to size. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz authorized the Ghayan killing, regardless of the cost. Haim Oron, the leader of the "new left-wing movement," supported the launch of this foolish war.

Nobody is coming to the rescue - of Gaza or even of the remnants of humanity and Israeli democracy. The statesmen, the jurists, the poets, the authors, academe, and the news media - pitch black over the abyss. When the time comes for reckoning, we will need to remember the damage this war did to Israel: The blood pipeline it laid has been completed