Wednesday 28 February 2007

Fashion suicides

Just not good for sight

Surely, my eyes must be deceiving me; does this guy think he is on the beach just wading out of the water as Daniel Craig in James Bond?

It appears we would forever be assaulted by images that have the tendency to haunt and this is about the way people leave their homes to appear in public.

Today, I saw two interesting extremes and I could only shake my head in bewilderment first, then sadness and finally annoyance.

The young man is most definitely a student of the Free University; as he got off at that metro station. His upper garments hardly reached his waist and his designer trousers with an expensive belt were so low one would think he was in the middle of a strip-tease bar the music.

Literally, the boy was walking around in his underwear which he had difficulty hiding because none of his clothes met the standard of decency to conceal ones nakedness.

With this type of "sloppy" dressing becoming the norm, I do wonder if attending a job interview in this state would present the interviewee as hip, in need of a visit from the men white coats or an arraignment in court for outraging public decency.

Everyone is free is dress up as they like, but one would think the purpose of clothes to conceal nakedness first and then cover the undergarments typically, the brassiere, lingerie, trunks, briefs, tangas, Y-fronts or g-strings, whichever suits your fancy - I am sure we do not want to know what diamond underwear you are wearing because smarter people would have spent less and covered up in decency.

Tusks for eyelashes

Then, as I stood that my interchange, this lady walked by and she had eye-lashes that would put drag queens to shame, they were like black elephant tusks, so long and prominent, I was surprised she could open her eyes; talk less of blink or bat her eyelids.

Now, there is nothing wrong with augmentation or embellishments, but trailer eyelashes would not lend themselves to the reflex of wiping ones eyes with the possible risk of blinding oneself - all in the name of fashion.

These are not fashion victims, else they would have been rescued, they are fashion suicides, long dead to reason, immune to decency and zombies that scare the living daylights out of the man in the street.

Tuesday 27 February 2007

Cheney has fled the country

I heard a large boom

And that is what the headlines should have read, how very convenient, he was moved to a bomb shelter briefly when the men he sent to war have to run the gauntlet of bombs, snipers, attacks and dangers indescribable.

Then we are told he heard a loud boom, well, I would wager, that the loudest noise he has ever heard of war or peace apart from when he almost shot a fellow hunter to smithereens.

This is just utterly outrageous, gone are the days when those who called men to war also had to be on horseback in the heat of the war, they had to be generals schooled on understanding that war is no game where belligerence and bluster is paramount and along with protecting ones skin.

So the Teleban when after him to kill him as he visited Afghanistan unannounced; having been to other countries including Australia where he gave praise as the international communities' recognition of Australia's steadfastness in the wars on terrors.

Wars on terrors

I say wars, because it is not clear if America is concluding one in Afghanistan, winning one in Iraq, preparing one against Iran, exacerbating one in Lebanon, praying for one in Syria or content with the one in Palestine - what a mess like Humpty Dumpty and all the king's men cannot put it all together again.

However, the Taleban must have good intelligence to have in the short notice of his being at the Bagram Air Base sent a message of death to the Angel of De'ath - between 9 to 14 people perished for his sake and nary an American tear would be shed for them because the news and anger would be levied at the Taleban for threatening the life of the vice President of the mighty United States of America, the sacrifice of a few locals proves the point.

The man who won five deferments when his generation went to war to die for a principle their nation held supreme has won a deferment from expiration too, even mercy abounds for the unjust.

Well, Mr. Cheney has since left the country.

Sunday 25 February 2007

The first brickbat

The Police's Comment

There were comments to the blog I wrote yesterday, but one elicits further analysis.

Police made this comment,

hypocrite you are

using "locate" for find and so on

lets see how stupid you are. spot ur mistake:

"Then as I was getting off, the bravado of one portly man who was ((((((((((trying to getting))))))))))) the attention of a lady on the bus ..."

Hand up! I messed up on this one; however, there is much to be said beyond this.

The issue is still the issue

I like it when people make use of the word hypocrite because they always leave much more of the muck to throw back in their faces.

As I said in my last blog, I would expect brickbats from my blog, beyond that, whilst there would be comments that address the issues, there are some who would go for the sentimental at the expense of addressing the facts.

Usually, the better view to take is address both such that you can share your intelligence and probably valid concerns, but like we saw with the Kalu Orji Kalu interview, the smart saw he was not smart, but some thought if he had a better accent he would have been smarter - Go figure.

Police anonymous?

So, Police who did not provide a sender's address considering the ability to leave your email or URL when commenting in my blog begins by closing the opportunity to communicate.

My comment about using locate for find and so on left me open to the facetious which is fine, but if you are going to be pedantic, check your views, do not remove the 2 by 4 in my eye when you have a whole forest sticking out of your head - even I can play the role of hypocrite so well.

If anyone deigns to correct English grammar, communication is essential, punctuation is critical and conveying a message clearly without having to resort to abuse is class.

My sin was the use of getting instead of get, easy Freudian slip, I am not writing for the London Review of Books, but police seems to have stepped out of the house just in undergarments, an unkempt ruffian trying to adjust my tie.

Mud cakes for your face

Now, I have to assess the comments.

Hypocrite! You are. (Punctuation failure - 4 errors)

"using "locate" for find and so on" (This is quotation from my blog, it should delineated, forgivable, it is on a separate paragraph)

Let's see how stupid you are; spot your mistake: (Punctuation and spelling - lets is really two words Let us, written as Let's. The statement is a clause, so, should be punctuated with a semi-colon and your is not spelt as ur (sic) - English scholars might differ, however, English is my mother-tongue in that, it was the first language I could speak.

"Then as I was getting off, the bravado of one portly man who was ((((((((((trying to getting))))))))))) the attention of a lady on the bus ..."

Indeed, that was a rotten mistake and I would correct it, a pair of parenthesis would have sufficed.

Hypocrites know themselves

After being called hypocrite and stupid, the police must be sure of the grounds of the arrest, this police-person (Since, gender is unknown) is an impostor. Beware!

Please! No more red-penners, address the issues which were about being reasonable, considerate and conducting yourself properly in public, it still remains the issue of that blog, no matter how you read it.

Never use the word hypocrite lightly; it is like shit hitting the fan with you ready to get the spray whilst others are under the table.

Saturday 24 February 2007

All too typically Nigerian

Assaulted on the bus

I happened on a bus journey from Shoreditch through Tower Bridge, though I have now noticed, if my journey involves more than one interchange I hail a black cab.

So, sitting down I found there wasn't much space for my thigh length but I managed all the same, the journey would only be for a few minutes. As I adjusted myself, a lady boarded the bus and chose to sit beside me as she plumbed herself down with her imitation Louis Vuitton bag hitting me in the arm.

Not a word of apology as she pulled her bag away - I would surmise low quality bags induce such poor social manners.

Hardly had she settled, her mobile phone went off in a happy-clappy gospel tone with an ear-drum shattering 80 decibels, mercifully, she answered the phone and began a conversion that could have read 120 decibels in an accent only too recognisable to those who know.

Sentence constructions only typical of Anglophone West Africa, using "locate" for find and so on, my ears ache.

Church titles a-plenty

She was going to a church meeting, where a pastor was to meet another pastor but the former had gone to pick up the apostle and the brother should help the sister get into the free parking space - well, we had a story painted to our hearing, the irritation of it all began to feel like a comedy in its delivery.

The sister apparently required counselling and had been waiting outside the church gates for almost an hour because entering the car parking space would have required a payment. Sometimes, I think people would get better help from secular therapy than spiritualists who feed voyeuristically on matters that require more determined activity than a surgical Jesus and Amen chorus.

As she conversed, another Yoruba conversation began on another phone and I thought he asked for a second name five times also at the top of his voice, oblivious of all surrounding him.

Annoyance in Diaspora

Then as I was getting off, the bravado of one portly man who was trying to getting {this should have been get as highlighted by police's comments} the attention of a lady on the bus with babe, babe, babe - un-chivalrous to the extreme - I was about the ask the lady if she was having trouble with the man.

As I get all the brickbats for this write-up, what I had witnessed was all typically Nigerian - Nigerians in London and these were not integrating themselves in such a way as to be considerate and reasonable in public, I cannot suffer this for too long - back to the black cab, at least, most of the time, the driver only speaks when he is spoken to.

Friday 23 February 2007

Gosh! I'm in London again

London incognito

My sojourn to London this time is somewhat impromptu and unannounced; even though one had opportunity to announce long before time, spontaneity depending on scheduling and time allowing might just bring me in contact to the realists of my blog world.

Air travel never ceases to amaze, I have been through a time of flying as a kid, getting irrationally scared of air travel to the extent that I forsook my plane at the air for a 7-hour train journey to a point where I can better manage my anxiety, it does not bother me that much anymore.

I'm like a bird

However, when I think of the daring, genius and tenacity that made men put big metal vehicles in the air, take advantage of the air to traverse places and use the same to stop the aircraft, I am just too impressed for words.

Generally, I belong to the jet engine generation; there is no way you will get me to get in a turbo-prop even if I had to escape the savages of King Solomon's Mines, well, it might get me thinking.

But one thing I have noticed about Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is whilst it can be friendly to the elderly, handicapped or parents with young children, in that they can order a concourse vehicle to cart them around the airport, those with canes find that the elevators do not go to the connecting floors and we are not called forward to board flights first.

John Steed, I'm not.

I once had one long cane with a ivory ball for the handle, then acquired another which is quite versatile because I can take it apart - 4 bits that go into the customs check system - mercifully and thankfully, I do not have to take off my shoes.

It makes the cane easy to pack into my bag. So, when we landed at Heathrow and taxied around the runways till we all thought we were lost for 15 minutes we came to a standstill, when usually the impatient cannot wait for the seat-belt sign to go off before they open overhead bins and spill the contents on the sitting party.

I finally got my bag, took out the 4 pieces of cane and proceeded to put them together when another passenger surmised, good weapon - I had to remonstrate vehemently, it is my cane, nobody carries weapons onto planes and please do not get me into deep serious trouble.

Some people have been watching too much monochrome Avengers, that is not helped that I also wear a hat, this time, not my bowler hat, though.

Sign for me properly

Then, the beauty of reading English properly written - Please have your passports ready for inspection as opposed to the literal translation in Schiphol which reads Please keep your passport ready - it narks me off when these foreigners cannot avail themselves of native speakers such that I do not have to be welcomed in London.

I got to my hotel which is beside the British Library, one should walk in and have a look, and much has been said about the architecture and more.

Stranger in my room

Just as I settled in my room, I had a shower, dried off and wist not that I was unclothed because I was covered with glory when my door opened.

Stranger: Oh!

Moi: What are you doing in my room?

Stranger: Reception, gave me this room.

Moi: Well as you can see, it is not your room, it is mine, this is outrageous.

Stranger tries to divert my vitriol to blame the reception for a sloppy job, I am having none of it.

Moi: Please close the door now; make sure you are not sent back here.

Stranger, scolded and angry walks away closing the door rather than slamming it, well, that would have been the end of him as he would have been defenestrated.

Why did I go for the stranger, well, I wanted to make sure he doubly expressed his displeasure at the reception, such that they do not mess it up again?

20 minutes later, my television goes off and a name; not mine appears on the screen, my second call to reception would not hear of the excuses that the system is down, I am having none of this nonsense in a 4-star hotel, it just does no augur well for my custom and their brand.

When I show my face at reception, well, maybe, it is best to leave out the tip when checking out.

What would we do without computer systems, what makes us thorough and meticulous has been lost that excuses suffice for unforgivable simple mistakes - not good, not good at all.

Tuesday 20 February 2007

Amilia against all odds

A dearly beloved soul mate

The miracle baby they call her as her parents arrived to collect her from hospital today, but she is to be kept back for a few more days. [1][2]

A kindred spirit with myself when 41 years ago, auspiciously today, my parents also arrived to pick me up, I came in at 26 ½ weeks, she came in at just over 21 weeks, usually not an age at which doctors expect the baby to thrive.

Well, something medicine and people are yet to understand is the fact that the will to live is a highly developed desire and determination to stay alive against all odds.

Fighter indeed she is

Baby Amilia - meaning fighter and hardworker - is a survivor born to upset the apple cart of convention and bring us to rethink any number of issues about the medical survival of the foetus.

With time we have learnt that babies born at progressively decreasing gestation periods down to about 23 weeks have the possibility of thriving, though there is concern about longer term development - in my case, I started walking quite late at over 18 months and then there minor problems with my sight.

We have also learnt that the foetus can feel pain at an earlier age than the 29 weeks that doctors thought possible.

I was expected March the 19th 1966 at the earliest for a full term baby, I was delivered of my claustrophic recluse on the 21st of December the year before, she was born on the 24th of October 2006.

Outlaw abortion over 20 weeks

Another thing is the issue of abortion, whilst I am liberally of the view that this decision should be between the woman, her doctor and her God, conscience or conviction, aborting a foetus at over 20 weeks borders on the sacrilegious.

How is it after carrying the baby for at least 10 weeks and noticing the differences to the body and mind a decision is left in abeyance until well into the fifth month of gestation, just over half the gestation period?

In other affairs of life, it is unlikely that people spend that much time making decisions of medical importance, if an operation is scheduled as critical; you go in and sort it out pronto.

If a pregnancy is inimical to your health and well-being, you get it sorted before the baby begins to develop form, character and poise, especially with the advances in ultrasound.

We, the early ones have rights to live

And so for those unborn who like me arrived a lot earlier than expected, having hardly fitted into the palm of the hand and were more survivors dependent on the will to live and answered prayer than the grudging confidence of medical science; abortion at over 20 weeks might as well be murder, more proof is developing to the fact that this is patently unacceptable.

Baby Amilia, you are welcome and we all born premature but now maturing in strength, wealth, knowledge, wisdom and purpose in life wish you the best of good health, great strength and magnificent success beyond just being the joy of your parents but a worthy contributor to the earth that needs to see more miracles that defy science and popularly accepted opinion.

[1] Miracle baby homecoming delayed

[2] Premature baby to stay for checks

Time to learn to feel our pain - April 2006

That hair on eBay

This news story is still developing and since I wrote this blog there has been additional information at the bottom under Developing News Story.

Unpalatable use of eBay

Sometimes the quest for filthy lucre is contemptible and appalling, nowhere is this helped more than on eBay where one's chattels and sometimes ill-gotten wares can be peddled for a nickel or two, even some would deign to offer stuff at outrageous prices.

So, reading that Britney Spears' shorn hair is now available on eBay plumbs the depths of absolute depravity in human beings, there is a possibility that what is offered is not certified as belonging to Britney Spears, however, does one then acquire DNA from the principal to prove this fact.

If then someone does really acquire these esteemed locks of troubled celebrity having being shorn off in what might have been the parlous mental state of the principal, would chemical analysis be conducted on the hair to ascertain additional lucre spinning tales to be relayed on unconscionable tabloids?

Beyond that, those who worship at the temple of celebrity might even be able to visit a shrine to view the reliquary of Britney's locks, the whole thing beggars the progress of the evolution of the human species to things less acceptable than the original forebears of the homo sapiens sapiens.

With bids now over the $1 million mark, who craves this trash-able stuff so much and how come they still walk our streets? From a moralist perspective, eBay should remove this thing from bidding - (Which seems to have to been done), however, for the sake of free enterprise, if there are people who so desire this stuff, well, so be it.

Vocations of trust

If indeed, these locks were really from Britney Spears, then it would appear either the hairdresser who might not have been satisfied with the temporal fame of appearing on television with the free advertising of her shop has upped the ante in things unspeakable.

It is also possible that some serf in the shop gathered the hair which was shorn in a corner of the shop and bagged it ready for marketing - unfortunately, sacking such an one would not necessarily be of use if the person stands to make a million dollars that would be frittered away on frivolous stuff long before the money has arrived.

Thankfully, this is not in place where shamans and their expertise in black arts hold sway over people such that I have heard that walking barefoot is dangerous enough as detractors might collect the imprints in the sand offering those as connections to foment catastrophe on the principal or gain superstitious advantage in some other sphere of life.

However, hair contains history and long hair contains even longer history, where you want that revealed to anyone is debatable except in aspects of forensic analysis.

One should be able to trust that visiting the hairdressers makes history of any shorn hair by having the whole lot anonymously mixed with other hairs and dumped in a secure bin where it gets destroyed, if not, then we are in deep trouble.

Developing News Story

This is a developing news story, it would appear it is the hair salon that put up the hair for sale first on eBay probably to prospect the possibilities of a price range for the hair and now on a separate site called BuyBritney’

To Esther Tognozzi - whose enterprising skills are commendable but her ethical mien is lower than a snake’s belly - would go the spoils as she laments the fact that fake offers of the same hair are even appearing on sites in the UK and further a-field.

It would be hard to say that she is bringing the profession of hair-dressing into disrepute, since when have we really considered hair-dressers people of worthy respect or of dependable reputations?

Sunday 18 February 2007

No hair to do

Have they got news for you?

Jostling for prominence this weekend is celebrity news which allows a nonentity whose mechanical crooning, play ground dance steps and wanton lifestyle has had grown-up music executives squander shareholder value in a marketing ploy that leaves many breathless.

There is no point exclaiming, Oops! I did it again, because celebrity and means do not necessarily equate to character, self-control or mental stability in handling issues that pertain to life.

In complete denial

So, Britney Spears checks in and out of Eric Clapton's Crossroads Centre midweek, probably after having the express denial treatment - the shock of being where you are not ready to be sorted out - the centre is known to help treat alcohol, drug or some other addictive disorder. Go figure.

Then goes to her hairdresser where she asks for a crew-cut and between the remonstrations of the hairdresser and hairdresser chatting to Britney's bodyguard, Britney gets the clippers and she is self-shorn (Basically, these celebrities must not be left to their devices, especially when making demands that leave one suspect of their mental state of mind.) - The glory of a woman is her hair and for a moment and longer, this girl is without glory.

A typical news story on Britney Spears, all shorn of hair in a tattoo parlour

Real life nightmare

We get to see this GI-Jane look when she ends up at a tattoo parlour having lips printed on her wrist.

When Demi Moore and Sigourney Weaver sported the shorn look, it is about making films, when that becomes real-life, then one is worried that this girl who was once over-protected by even possibly her erstwhile seemingly inadequate husband and responsibility of motherhood is in need of some sort of protective custody - to save her from herself.

She is for now, not sporting a hair-do, rather, there is no hair to do. It leaves her fans displeased, to which one can say, get a better class of role model and person to fawn your fanaticism over.

I am all my hair - January 2007

Post Comment Addendum

After Nilla's comment wondering about the well-being of Britney Spears, I realise that I might have left out another perspective of this episode; the fact that when a lady takes a radical hair-style change, something serious is happening in her life. To have all hair shorn off indicates that Britney might be undergoing some serious circumstances, which I as a man, might not even begin to understand much less begin to sympathise. It is however a point to note, not that the tabloids would let up to give human interest an airing of sensationalism.

Verdonk disintegrates bill

Slow and sedentary politics

Dutch politics is based on a consensus, compromise and collaboration model simply called the Polder Model. This is understandable because it does take time, effort, negotiation, horse-trading and resources for rival forces to band together to create infrastructure to reclaim land from the sea, seeing that a third of what is the Netherlands land mass was once the sea.

The national elections took place on the 22nd of November 2006 and we are just about to get a new cabinet; a coalition of the CDA (Christian Democrats), the PvDA (Labour Party) and Christian Unie (Christian Union), leaving us with a right-leaning government with a social bias.

Expect, abortion, prostitution, drugs, euthanasia and immigration to get a new looking at especially where certain right-wing politicians have carved a representation in the Dutch parliament, ready to cause upheaval and controversy on any issue to gain media prominence.

Disintegrating our peace again

Talking of immigration, Mrs. Rita Verdonk, got elected for the very first time and retained her ministerial portfolio as part of the out-going cabinet, however, within days of the new parliament being sworn in, Lady Oddjob who has done much to upset the applecart of Dutch politics was relieved of the immigration part of her Integration and Immigration ministry as a sop to the parliament.

In my mind she has been more about disintegration and emigration, but despite all attempts to censure her for activities inimical to societal cohesion, these have failed and rather brought Jan-Pieter Balkenende's cabinet down to its knees leading to a fall of the government and an election, all in the name of keeping the polder together, the Dutch way - other democracies would have summarily sacked her to save the government their blushes.

Anyway, a bill Mrs. Verdonk had submitted to parliament for consideration in her ministerial capacity as one of the last acts of this cabinet had suffered extensive amendments that it did not look like what the strict matron ordered. The story.

After intemperate language and high jinx, rather than have the bill voted on, she created enough discomfort in parliament as she tried to withdraw the bill and then all settled for not voting on it all.

Not really as the Dutch intended

Living in the Netherlands, there are quite a number things I have to adjust to, one of which is, people can express an opinion but must not obstinately stand their ground regardless of the rightness of their views, it is considered disruptive.

What is then termed tolerance becomes a situation where your view is noted and if not acted upon, you allow things to happen.

Some politicians are deviating from this Dutch norm; the premise of the Polder Model is attacked with extreme pronouncements and controversial positions which portend to celebrate the adherence to rules. Mrs. Verdonk comes to the fore on this, just as much as Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali who is now resident in the United States.

So, the parliamentarians resolved this debate by first trying to stop the bickering and then passing the bill on to the next cabinet to consider.

As one Member of Parliament said, of Verdonk, "Everything she does is one big power play. When she used the term "unacceptable," we had no desire to continue with the game any longer."

The power plays would not end here when she reverts to an ordinary member of the parliament, she would still be gunning for the leadership of the Illiberal Party (VVD) and making waves to topple Balkenende's fourth cabinet in as many years.

If I had tears to shed, they would be for those whose lives have been dehumanized by the mechanistic adherence to immigration rules to the detriment of humane consideration of their circumstances.

It is not Good Riddance, but Good Bye and thanks for your service to the country; hopefully, there would be no other opportunity to require your services again.


The Verdonk Blog trail

The Lady Oddjob Blog trail

Wednesday 14 February 2007

Gays may face a 21st Century Nigerian Inquisition

The god-squad and the mob

One might almost abandon hope that any reason, objectivity or compassion would come to play in the bill to ban homosexual activity in Nigeria, all is not lost, a public hearing has been held and there is a delay as reported by Black Looks.

Of all the issues and problems that afflict Nigeria and the need to address issues that affect people's lives everyday, the legislators have found time in the dying days of their tenure to be pre-occupied with criminalising a minority.

The premise being the religious and cultural background of Africans where the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said homosexuality is barbaric and shameful; the National Muslim Centre portends homosexuality is - "immoral, and runs contrary to our cultural and religious values".

See our culture

This leaves out the animists who probably have no representative to lobby the National Assembly. However, I remember when I was in secondary school in Sagamu, Ogun State in Nigeria, the most feared medicine man in town was known as "Adodi", crudely meaning buggerer or sodomiser.

It cannot be said that his mythical and assumed powers were not derived from the practice in promotion of "our cultural beliefs" of medicine men.

I can go on to say that these religions that are pervading our legislative spectrum are alien to our original culture of welcoming, tolerating and accepting differences whilst minding our own business.

A human rights issue

Thankfully, there is voice of reason within the cacophony of the lynch mob set on homosexuals by the bishops and the imams; the deputy chairman of the house committee on human rights says - "We should not be hypocritical here. I think we should deal with this subject dispassionately. While we are trying to protect morals and values, we must also remember to protect people's rights even if they are a minority".

At least, it has been aired that homosexuals are first a minority and do probably have rights.

A doctor with UNAids goes on to say, "Failing to acknowledge that sex between men will only increase the vulnerability of men - and women - to HIV infection, since men who cannot talk about their sexual orientation are less likely to seek appropriate support services".

Punishing what exactly?

Now, that should get a few people thinking, however, that can get overruled by that perception that if homosexuals can go to jail for 5 years, that would take them off the streets.

After five years of punishment, would the homosexual now be cured and have become a fully fledged heterosexual or would the privation of the female sex in jail provide a ready and willing sexual object for the pent up sexual frustrations of the male prison population?

Homophobia is the Western influence

I never got to place a comment in an article posted by Black Looks about Reverend Jide Macaulay whom as a minister and founder of the House of Rainbow - a church that caters for those the church should be ministering to but have rejected, spitting hail and brimstone upon them with vehemence so un-Christianly - who was disowned and disavow with homophobic wrath by his father almost to damnation.

Anengiyefa left a long comment on that blog and something quite succinct was said along the lines of the fact that homosexuality is natural and it is homophobia that is Western in its progeny being foisted by the so-called religious leaders on our public by the contagion of religion.

That is a truth that sits well with the hypocrisy that allows for religious protagonists to persecute and prosecute those of a different persuasion and that in the 21st Century; the Nigerian National Assembly is about to usher in the age of the Nigerian Inquisition, other problems are too insignificant to be accorded any valuable time.

The National Assembly in Nigeria is about to vote to criminalise homosexuality, a few voices have been raised about the human rights and health issues, but against the hypocrisy of moral, religious and cultural values, reason and commonsense probably has no chance.

From boys to devilish young men

Spawn of evil unspeakable

The faces looked out at me with the immensity of the ugliness of their crimes, lips bloated like bodies in the process of decomposition typical of what would not be allowed amongst the living. They would live behind bars for an indeterminate period.

Diamond & Timy Babamuboni and Jude Odigie

Diamond & Timy Babamuboni and Jude Odigie

Boys in their teens trying to be men so fast that they chose heinous crimes that would leave many without breath to air their shocking disgust and appalling rage.

In a time when the quest for more role models of ethnic origin are sought to help our youth see the dignity in labour, the pleasure of education and the joy of service within their communities; these boys give credence to another report that the United Kingdom is the worst place to grow up – it ought not be so.

Nothing could be so evil as to raid a christening, terrify the attendees with the menace of arms and with impunity murder a lady who was shielding her niece from the dastardly event.

They have been sentenced and it only appears too lenient as the news broke today.

From frying pan into the fire

As the judge noted with irony, many of the attendees had fled untrammelled violence in their homelands in Africa seeking refuge, safety and security in England only be to have the same meted out to them by fellow Africans.

It sickens one beyond expression that one of the culprits, having been partner to a murder two weeks before, on the tone and conversation of a mobile phone with a female teenager decided he had been disrespected enough to have to stab her in the heart and kill her.

Whose paps did these evil kids suckle? More so, where of the four, two were siblings who had basically given themselves over to the control of evil so horrid.

The issue of respect concerns me, indeed people need to feel respected but that comes from that person’s contributions in civility that make that person fit into the community to which they belong, it does not fall on you like bird droppings.

Decima Francis on Hard Talk a few weeks ago lamented the growing acceptance amongst young black men of manhood as being able to sire a child at 16. How could that be right?

Respect has to be earned and it is never through unwarranted and extreme violence, and what appears as respect to the seeker is really menace and terror on the part of the onlookers. Whilst you might earn respect through menace, it would not make you respectable.

Ditch civil liberties

Maybe parents, guardians, education and society are failing at making this clear to those who would be the future or if some children have become mules that they are incapable of being productive members of society and their communities, we would have to bite our civil liberty tongues, put them away and throw away the key.

We cannot wait till they have left abominable marks on our welfare and comfort before we are spurred to do what we cannot desist from doing in the name of justice having left victims in their trail.

Of these kids, three were Nigerian, they leave many of us so ashamed of things that we had no hand in, this might also impart negatively on other Nigerian youth who could be viewed capable of unnecessary violence just for the sake of lucre.

My heart is to poured out to the families of Zainab Kalokoh (Sierra Leonean) who was shot and murdered at 33 and Ruth Okechukwu (Nigerian parentage) who at 18 was stabbed in the heart for a mobile phone conversation that apparently was disrespectful to someone who was also 18 – it still beggars belief.

Eventually, these young men might earn their respect if anyone deigns to visit the grounds in which they would be lain when dead, in unmarked graves ready to be dug up by dogs and fed on by vultures – it would be a life behind bars and I would team up to protest any effort to free them – throw away the key and make sure it was done where the ocean is deepest.


Doubts persist over killers' ages

Teens guilty of christening death

Killer admits second murder

The From Boyhood to Manhood Foundation

Tuesday 13 February 2007

Obama vs. Stupid is as stupid does

Generally, I welcome all comments that are made regardling anything I have written in my blog. I have only had occasion to specifically delete two comments because basically the wording was just completely off topic and unacceptable.

In maybe three circumstances, I have taken the comments and created another blog on the content for reasons that people eventually read of in the blog.

It is clear and important to each person that places a comment that they see this notice - Dear Reader, You are welcome to leave comments which might be used in other blogs. All SPAM reported.

However, today I have a comment on my blog that reads like a reasoned opinion but is crass to the extreme and inane bordering on the contemptible it is a display of ignorance most dark, that one may sympathise, at which point it is beginning to sound like praise. Stop!

I had written a piece last month about CNN's typographic error in captioning a picture of Osama bin Laden with Where's Obama - probably an honest mistake by CNN, like the commenter says; the rest just reads like foul effluent.

The comment - unedited

"sorry but obama's name sounds too much like osama. i am black and i would never want anyone named obama to be elected to the highest office of the US. that name, osama, obama instills terror in people. obama is finished because of his name. sorry obama, but that name is your Achilles' heel. and cnn made an honest mistake which will be made often because the names are just too much damn alike. stop playing the race card, brotha."

Associating names with others

When people go to great lengths to think up such stuff, one has to go to greater lengths to debunk such views. Barack Hussein Obama announced only on Saturday that he is in the race for the Presidency of the United States, he made that announcement in Springfield, Illinois on a cold day where a good 15,000 people had gathered to hear his message of hope.

For a while people have been obsessed with his name, but if we did take it apart, this man is 45 years old, his name in 1962 would have meant nothing than the joy of the parents at his birth and that is now his Achilles' heel as the writer says.

Over the years, Barack could now be associated with Hosni Mubarak, the President of Egypt or Ehud Barak, once the Prime Minister of Israel. Hussein could be associated with the late King Hussein of Jordan who many would remember fondly or Saddam Hussein of Iraq who the Americans supported through many atrocities before they pulled the rug from under him and sanctioned his judicial murder.

Then obviously, CNN has helped to associate Osama with Obama, note that one name is a first name and the other is a surname and let us not forget that once Osama and America were good friends when America aided Osama in getting the Russians out of Afghanistan.

These were names that were once sounded in the corridors of power and received taxpayers funding to perpetrate their deeds on behalf of America.

Stupid is as stupid does

"Sorry, but Obama's name sounds too much like Osama" - That is plausible, but are you so hard of hearing not to note the difference? Come on, if those names were used in any context where they were misplaced, dumb people would almost certainly know that terrorism is about bin Laden and the hope of Presidency is about Obama.

"I am black and I would never want anyone named Obama to be elected to the highest office of the US" - Hopefully, America is populated with people who are smarter, this probably feeds into something else that Chxta raised about Barack Obama, some Americans think he is not black enough, that country is rankled with the politics of race it is unbelievable and then I am accused of playing the race card.

"That name, Osama, Obama instils terror in people" - No doubt, it instils terror in stupid people who cannot see beyond their noses, even I would pray that a greater terror come upon them, we cannot have such people walking our streets; their judgment is impaired, their values are corrupt, their lives reprobate, they are beyond therapy and almost beyond redemption.

"Obama is finished because of his name. Sorry Obama, but that name is your Achilles' heel" - I remember many saying the same thing when he was running for the Senate and he won. Does the name of the commenter mean something like fool or idiot? What if he donned a Klu Klux Klan white hood and called himself Nixon - would he be more electable?

"and CNN made an honest mistake which will be made often because the names are just too much damn alike" - CNN probably did make an honest mistake, a mistake that was carried on newswires around the world despite their apology; having denigrated the man as you do now, it is convenient to paint him as a hate symbol and plead innocence. As for likeness, I made my point earlier. Do I allow the use of D*mn on my blog?

"Stop playing the race card, brotha" - On balance, I would prefer to play the race card than the fool's card, but whoever mentioned race anywhere? This so called honest mistake would have been highlighted for any other person regardless of colour. I think you are suffering from delusions of grandeur to address me as Brotha, we do not think alike and we are definitely not of the same stock. The greater disappointment is in how you highlighted our differences by what is atrocious commentary predicated on ignorance.

Surely, Barack Hussein Obama would be attacked from all fronts, but I hope would be at the higher level of principles, values, ideas, policies and motivation rather than tabloid sensationalism masquerading as informed judgment, it is really beginning to annoy me.

Monday 12 February 2007

Obama is one quick wit - Howard trumped

Barrack of hope delivered

I am not writing much about Barack Hussein Obama who declared that he is in the race for the Presidency of the United States yesterday. He gave a speech that would inspire anyone to hope and promise.

Whilst I am still of the opinion that he is in this race too early, I am beginning to think Hillary Clinton would have a dilemma on her hands if she takes the Democratic nomination and needs a running mate.

Methinks John Edwards might not be as fortunate to play the second fiddle on this occasion having not really done much to augment the ticket of the John Kerry partnership of 2004.

However, Mr. Obama who is stridently against the war in Iraq has suggested that all troops be withdrawn by March 2008, however, whilst another man is busy trying to secure his legacy on the sacrifice of more American lives, this might not gain traction.

Nosey parker gets bloody nose

The more amusing development comes from Down Under where Prime Minister John Howard fulminated about the troop withdrawal idea saying it would completely destablise and destroy Iraq, create chaos and a victory for the terrorists – I would not explore that further, we all know how terrorists ended up in Iraq and they wee not there when Saddam Hussein ruled with tyranny.

So, a last question is thrown at Obama about this blast from the antipodean and he calmly acknowledges the recognition from afar with as much as saying he is flattered – then went for the jugular with pin-point accuracy.

I believe we have 140 thousand troops in Iraq, Australia has 1,400 troops, he is so keen on the war, he should send 20,000 more Australians to Iraq. Touché! He is not even asking that he square the numbers.

I am beginning to like this man and well, the moral of the tale is never meddle with a smart arse young and articulate ascendant politician, you might find out that you are too old a dog to learn new political tricks – John Howard has been Prime Minister of Australia for 10 years, surely, he must have seen this coming or he is losing his touch.

Weapons of Mock Translation from Iran

Deja vu

In what is looking like a re-run of the Weapons of Mass Destruction fabrication of evidence against Iraq preceding the war, we are now hearing of weapons being found in Iraq presumably manufactured in Iran.

The US Secretary of Defense appeared on television yesterday without all the evidence to hand to state that they now believe Iran has been aiding the insurgents in attacks against American troops.

Many things do not add up about this developing premise to adopt a belligerent and aggressive invasion of Iranian sovereign territory, we can only hope that such madness would be tempered with the realities on the ground in Iraq.

Suspect evidence

Generally, the Iranians have brotherhood with the Shiites of Iraq who make up the majority of Iraqis and now form the majority government of Iraq. Americans have mostly had trouble with the Sunnites who were the minority ruling Iraq during the time of Saddam Hussein.

It would be a more serious problem if Iran was selling or smuggling weapons to the Sunnites who make up the greater part of the insurgency, however, within the security situation and turmoil in the Middle East, the illegal trade in weapons would thrive, it would not require the legal sanction of the Iranian government for weapons to cross the porous and precarious borders.

However, what is quite interesting is why weapons made and traced back to Iran allegedly have English markings rather than Persian or probably Arabic markings – this is the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official language is Persian when I last looked or is something amiss in this terrifying saga?


Beyond which America seems to be forgetting they are in a war zone, weapons would come from far and wide, like good old granny would say – Get out of the kitchen, if you think it is getting too hot – your enemies would not just fall over like dominoes – wake up and smell the darn coffee.


US accuses Iran over Iraq bombs

U.S. ties Iranian leader to bombs killing U.S. troops

U.S.-led forces show evidence of Iran arms in Iraq

Pentagon blames Iran for 170 US deaths

Sunday 11 February 2007

CNN Exclusive: The creaks (sic) of Niger Delta

Fleshing a barebones news story

Sometimes correspondents do get a bit above their game in the quest for a story, that they plot and playback for our viewing rather than just report the news as is.

When Channel 4 in the UK used to broadcast Drop the Dead Donkey, many viewers would have thought no respectable journalist would file a war-zone report with a reality scene that would turn out to be the local community centre’s unkempt football pitch – if only our skepticism had caught up with our disbelief of make-belief, we might be smarter about the stuff we get fed to us as news, today.

Sometimes, the news might only be in the first 10 words of 15 minute broadcast and the only facts you will have are time and place, the event is dumped in the hands of armchair analysts with expertise in everything under that sun, so what we is get is opinions and suggestions presented as fact and event; by the time the penny drops, the event has been overtaken by other audience grabbing entertainment.

I have the feeling that some news editors now believe we are not interested in the news anymore, they believe we just want to be titillated with tidbits and have our voyeuristic tendencies exploited to the point of needing radical therapy.

It is definitely a given that one cannot just rely on just one news source, in hemispheric terms, one needs all perspectives and just because Western media can put people on the ground with sophisticated equipment to record an unfolding drama does not mean we have the truth.

Prismatic views of the Niger Delta

This is in the light of a report on CNN filed by Jeff Koinange an African-based correspondent under Big Guns, Big Oil Collide in Nigeria, there is no doubt we need multiple perspectives of issue to do with the Niger Delta, its people, its environment and the effects oil exploration on that diverse community.

There are many propagandists with vested interests in the matter, that getting to the truth is very much like sinking another hole prospecting for oil with greater uncertainty for success.

The people obviously are the most affected and nothing depicts that situation better than my February 2007 print edition of the National Geographic Magazine with the title Curse of the Black Gold - Please visit the online Photo Gallery.

A typical Niger Delta Settlement - © National Geographic Online

The oil companies as they rake in profits have to massage the public view of their corporate responsibility by all sorts of green initiatives and platitudes but the pictures persist and the news does not budge.

The Nigerian Government is an apology of governance, social justice and leadership, much can have been done to address the plight of the people of the Niger Delta but whilst we gain debt relief the largest oil-producing nation in Africa is ashamedly remiss and culpable in the rape of our resources and the livelihoods and well-being of the people.

The militants who because of the injustices of first, the impunity of the second and dereliction of duty and responsibility of the third have become a global phenomena, with attacks on oil infrastructure, the kidnapping of personnel and other destabilizing activities that can raise the price of oil, have the international markets in jitters, make insurance premiums for life and property approach that of contractors in Iraq, and basically give the government and companies a bad name and bad press whilst not achieving much.

The CNN Exclusive

So, we are all generally aware of what supposedly goes on in the Niger Delta, however, to bring this reality to the viewers of CNN, it would be difficult to happen upon the secretive activities of the militants if a deadline is to be met to deliver that news piece as part of pre-planned topics of interest for February.

It would appear Jeff Koinange with the generally accepted knowledge we have, wrote a screenplay and sought his dramatis personae first from main militant group called with the acronym MEND and when they could not make his scheduling, he engaged a number of brigands to enact typical MEND activities and relayed that to us as an exclusive.

Publish and be challenged

What is interesting is the strident ferocity of MEND’s rebuttal of that exclusive, the people featured do not belong to the MEND organisation and have no affiliation to them beyond which MEND has threatened to reveal all email correspondence between themselves and Jeff Koinange – now that would be an exclusive, which might be resolved with hush money.

The Nigerian Government, taking a cue from that rebuttal has called the report subversive and demanded an apology. Errr! Wait a minute before apologies start to fly.

The annoyingly photogenic Minister of Information and Communications (read propaganda) in the person of Mr. Frank Nweke Jr. remonstrated with a statement, an excerpt of which appears below.

The report which, also featured some Filipino workers purportedly being held by members of MEND, has been run several times in the past 24 hours by the CNN, to wrongfully denigrate Nigeria and her peoples, send the wrong signals to the international community about the state of affairs in the country, create unnecessary panic, foster the feeling of insecurity, advance an out-dated thesis of neglect of the Niger Delta and portray Nigeria as a country in perpetual crises”.

Yes, up to the point where it appears the good name of great Nigeria is being besmirched, the minister is generally right, however, this - advance an out-dated thesis of neglect of the Niger Delta – I do wish it was out-dated and a thesis of somebody’s imagination, the inability for the government to address this in fairness leads to portraying - Nigeria as a country in perpetual crises – are we talking of the Niger Delta, the Presidential tiff with his vice-President, the efficacy of the EFCC, the political, health, social, security, economic or infrastructure situation of Nigeria here? Almost like Admiral Lord Nelson's oft misquoted "I see no ships" , Mr. Nweke Jr. sees no crises, so there are none.

News today

Sadly Mr. Koinange allegedly took a seriously newsworthy situation, dramatized it and presented it as reality; and I say, without prejudice, that, can be viewed as seriously unhelpful to the cause of the people and blatantly dishonest.

Mr. Nweke, not forgetting the Junior postscript, probably and really does have a grievance which should be aired, we should not have dramas that allow crimes to take place like the abduction of the Filipinos in that exclusive and then relay that as contemporaneous, but he is disingenuous to assert that those pictures in the National Geographic are an outdated thesis of neglect Рthat is a breathtakingly brazen barefaced terminological inexactitude and being seriously economical with the actualit̩.

The CNN Report - Thanks to Lady1


The Niger Delta

Nigeria and Oil

A Whole range of views on the Niger Delta Crises

Oil Companies Complicit in Nigerian Abuses - Human Rights Watch 1999

Nigeria: Corruption and Misuse Rob Nigerians of Rights - Human Rights Watch 2007

Saturday 10 February 2007

Interrupt the pain

Basic entertainment

Sometimes my channel-hopping jaunts find me tuning in to The Tonight Show hosted by Jay Leno followed by Late Night with Conan O’Brien. The humour is low brow enough to be acceptably high brow and whilst some of the stuff might be coarse and suffering from intellectual asphyxiation that one would not notice on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, dare I say, many a laugh has been had.

One show I would have liked to still be on air is Politically Incorrect hosted by Bill Maher who has been interviewed a few times on Larry King Live and always a pleasure to watch.

Only tonight whilst still enduring the masochistic encumbrance of tonsil ache that afflicts me every few weeks, I almost choked as I laughed and gagged at the scene with The Interrupter.

It is a double-act where one finishes the sentence of another an example of which you can see in the video below, the Interrupter being the pleasant nuisance in the period costume. Now, you can see the one that had me in stitches at the bottom.

Friday 9 February 2007

Like a candle in the wind

Another sad story

I was not a fan, but I was shocked to heard that Anna Nicole Smith had died at 39 in her hotel in Florida.

Somehow, once again, this is woman who when a girl had a dream to be a beautiful successful woman, regardless of her background.

Like the American Dream, she got noticed, found opportunity, lived lucky and gained fortune and fame all of which came with their different difficulties and tragedies including the death of her son just a few months ago in seemingly suspicious circumstances in Bahamas.

Apart from being Playmate of the year 1993, she gained greater notoriety with her marriage to a man 63 years older than her and in marrying into a great oil fortune had to fight a vigorous legal battle for the man’s estate when he died 14 months later.

The heir who gave her the most run for the money predeceased her just after the Supreme Court gave her the right to contest a share of the fortune of her late billionaire husband.

Like those women before her, it seems to me she lived her life, like a candle in wind, Marilyn Monroe at 36 and Princess Diana at 36, the lives they all lit up then, now grieve in the darkness of smiles now gone.

Their candles have burned out long before, their legends ever will.

Strength and fortitude to those she left behind especially the little baby girl, may she rest in peace.


Pictures of a life

Anna Nicole Smith – Wikipedia

Anna Nicole Smith dies – Reuters

The presidential library lends out colouring book

The damage of laughter
If my computer desk stool were not a strait jacket contraption that keeps me from overreacting to things I read in the news, I would have brought myself into greater harm than any triage team would have been able to deal with, all from fits of uncontrollable laughter and involuntary spasms.
George W. Bush is proposing a presidential library at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas to be built after his term and many would wonder what it would contain.
Generally, a presidential library would contain the bequest of presidential papers, documents, archives, records and other unclassified information pertaining to a president’s term of office from the time of Herbert Hoover.
Much to read or plenty to colour?
In the case of George W. Bush, being a two-term president along with all the world defining events encapsulated in chapters that would be emblazoned from the twin towers collapsing upon themselves in a hail of dust through the chants of USA, onto the Mission Accomplished “Hot Gun” stunt into Mess-O-Potamia and the kindling of World War III in the Middle East, there must be a lot for any researcher to leaf through long after we have all turned to dust.
Some dons in the university have been raising hackles, they do not want the academic purity of their esteemed institution to be tarnished with such a presidential legacy, and it is unlikely that any other university would be leaping into the fray for consideration.
Wherever that library gets built and stocked, be it in the cowboy corral of the Crawford ranch or some other Wild West memorial where you are welcomed with a Texan twang delivered by a Dubbiyew look-a-like in a 10-Gallon hat, it is unlikely that there would be much to read or research.
Many would leave knowing that all the pages were large blocks of blanking, blacking or blotting out all text that the only thing we would make out would be 2 or 3-letter prepositions or words strung together as “on - by - and - to - who” leaving the every researcher the liberty to fill in the blanks with imagination beyond what this administration has ever dared to think up.
Shush! It is a secret
The reason being, in 2001, the president signed an executive order restricting access to presidential records in library archives, the cult of secrecy that pervades this administration would make a freemasonry look like an open beach on a summer holiday and this ghoulish tendency is expected to live beyond this regime.
The amazing thing about the way humanity and history works is that whatever has been done ever and has been witnessed to by more than one person, even if they are all sworn to secrecy on a blood oath, light eventually gets shone on that pact and through the ingenuity of the seeker of knowledge the truth does get revealed.
History will not be rewritten
Concealing the evidence in those archives with an executive order might keep us from seeing some facts about the workings of the Bush administration, but it would not change the lasting legacy of this regime, neither can it change the course of how history would be written and how this regime would be judged and probably quite harshly eventually.
Knowing that the Bush administration already has form, we can deduce that if a visit to the library does not require taking along your wax crayons rather than notepad, we would know that one of the things this regime did was cart $12 Billion cash weighing 360 tonnes into a war zone – how is that for a trailer introducing the George W. Bush Presidential Library?