Rock Star



Is this your idea of leadership? The eye of hurricane Katrina missed New Orleans. Had it hit head on, nothing could have spared that city. It is true that Bush can't stop the force of nature...but nobody expects him to or hold him responsible for that. However cutting federal funding needed to fix the levees, flood control projects and the lack of National Guard troops and their equipment needed for evacuating the citizenry fall squarely on his shoulders.

There are Bush apologist out there telling the rest of us that this is not the time to place blame. Let's leave politics out of this; we have people to take care of, they kept reminding us. Since when did telling the truth becomes playing politics. Have they read what Walter Maestri has to say:

It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to
handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we
pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing
everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for
us.


How about this article published in New Orleans City Business in June of this yearUS Army Corps of Engineers funding troubles. The big kahuna however is the lack of National Guard troops. No Louisiana do have a national guard. The only reason for their absence is that they are out there in Iraq fighting Bush's immoral war.

What difference will it make to have the Louisiana National Guard back in their state doing the job they're intended to do? A whole lot. The military vehicles would have been extremely helpful in evacuating residents before the storm hits. The Guard would be even more helpful in the aftermath...days like today. But thanks to Bush and his imperial mentality, there are thousands of Guards from Louisiana, watching helplessly from the desert as the lives and livelihoods of their families and friends are flooded and destroyed.

Is there somebody to blame for the lack of resources and the subsequent loss of life and property? Dear leader off course. While he is playing rock star thousands of his fellow citizens are drowning in the swamps of new orleans. It's obvious that I'm angry. No, I take that back, I'm furious about all of this. I hope this country finally opens its collective eyes to the so-called leadership this sociopath have provided.

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Don't call them Looters



Why is the NewYork times and the rest of the media calling these poor souls trapped in New Orleans "Looters"? Why is some hungry flooded human being going into flooded, filthy grocery store to get something to eat looting? What do they want them to do? Starve to death?

Looters usually break into stores to steal TVs etc while their owners are force to flee violence...but calling hungry people scavenging in grocery stores for food looters. Baghdad in March '03 and L.A. after the Rodney King trail...now that is what I call looting. These poor flood trapped folks are wading through toxic water to get their hands on some damn provisions, which for all we know might be contaminated as well.

Which store owner is coming to his/her submerged store claiming damn they are stealing the doritos? In any case they are insured and the pepsi that some thirsty person drink will be bad by the time all is said and done. Frankly the damn provision will float away, or rot if these hungry, thirsty homeless people didn't use them.

Stop calling people stuck in an inhabitable city who must eat Looters. It is not like the corner store is open for business in any part of New Orleans to me.

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Farmer Jammeh?



Can you say slave labor? How many Gambian farmers with the luxury of free labor at the disposal of dear leader will not produce what he does on his Kanilai farm? I only wish my old man had such an abundance of able body people willing to help on our "sulu-dinka" farms...he would've died a rich farmer...oh well life bites. However if you listen to our comedian in chief tell it, he is the best farmer Kambia has ever produce.. I am not making this up :

Dr. Jammeh said he is a natural farmer who believes in leadership by example.
"If I tell people go to the land and am sitting down, they will say; after all,
he is telling people to go to the land but what is he doing. After all, there is
no law that says the president cannot be a farmer. So I lead by example and I
think that is why the people heeded my call,"


But wait a minute here. How much are you paying this women to till the land for you while you hold unto your walking cane and prayer beads? Do any of these women farmers stand a chance competing against you when they are working for you "Li lahi wa-rasul" ( for free)? Shouldn't they be working on their own fields?

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Please indulge me

Mr. President, Dr. Alhagi etc..

I am a cynic who believes in the inhabitancy of something good in every human being. Having said that, I'm really trying to understand what's going on inside your head. I desperately need you to try and explain something to me.

For starters, I must admit my reflexive cynicism when it comes to anything dealing with politics, but for the moment, I'm putting aside that attitude and I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. Starting with your motivations for striving to become the President in the first place. How did you out smart or talk people like Edward Singhateh, Sanna Sabally and the rest of the purported coup leaders into making you the leader of an adventure many belief you only played a side kick in? I'm assuming you made them felt that you were the man for the job because you care, you have a vision for our nation, and that you feel deeply that you have the understanding and the wisdom to lead the country in the direction it needs to go. That's right, isn't it? Correct me at any time you feel like I swayed from the truth.

Mr. President, reasonable thinking people can disagree on whether the coup that brought you to power and ended the three-decade rule of Sir Dawda was necessary. On hindsight many a supporter of yours at the outset are wishing you never grace the helm of the ship called the Republic of the Gambia. There can be no real disagreement that things are not going well at all for the citizenry of that nation…again don’t forget to set me straight any time during this write up that you feel I am impugning your character, success or whatever your dictatorial psyche compel you to do. A majority of Gambians by any measure of progress have never been this destitute in their life…thank you very much sire.

This finally brings me to my question:

Mr. President, how can you possibly even THINK about going on an annual leave/vacation when you never show up for work in the first place? How do I know that? Well the last time I was in the Gambia, you didn’t show up for work in Banjul for the duration of my stay. Isn’t that where your office is supposed to be? Is it a matter of emulating that crazy Texan who send his country’s finest to die in messopotamia (iraq) while he clear brush on his ranch? I just don't get it. If I were President and made the gut wrenching decisions that wrought so much socio-economic, near destitute havoc on the citizenry, saying I am going on vacation to Kanilai (or saba in my case…yeah dream I can) will be my last thought. No?

With all due respect, your behavior continues to bear out that my cynicism about your true motivations and your true character is logical and warranted. What you maybe wondering is this cynicism is all about? Well I believe your only motivation is to rack up billions of dalasis for you and yours and the rest of the nation be damn. No?

Please explain it to me, Mr. President. I'd truly like to believe that, though I might disagree about policies, my president is a moral person with some character who has the interest of his people at heart. (I was hallucinating on the last sentence). It is comical if the issues confronting my people are not so serious.

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Successful Professional?

I always read the Daily Observer’s stories especially those dealing with Gambian opposition leaders with a great deal of suspicion. That is the same approach I am taking to the following story pertaining to Ousainou Darbo and his “call” for the IEC to screen aspirants to public office.

My expertise in Gambia’s electoral code is virtually non-existent. However I don’t think it is the IEC’s role (nor do I believe it should be) to screen and only allow “successful professionals” to run for public office. Gee…haven’t the so-called professionals from the doctor Jawaras to sedat Jobes and the rest of them serving in Jammeh’s government today screwed us enough?

Does Corruption in political office have a correlation to one’s financial background prior to ascendancy to the said office? Sure. Has successful professionals; entrepreneurs become corrupt after assuming public office? You betcha.

Gambians are in a whole lot of trouble if one of the names thrown around to lead the opposition alliance has such bigmanist ideas. Gambians should have the right without any regards to socio economic or professional background to contest for electoral office. The electorate my friend should decide who is worthy of their votes. And yes every Modou, Pateh and Kebba on meeting the constitutional requirements should be allowed to run for public office irrespective of whether they are as Mr. Darbo is quoted as saying “Successful professionals”. Independent mindedness has little to do with how successful one happens to be in a given career…come on people.

Again I digress if in fact the observer’s reporting is inaccurate. Here is a link to the original story and a copy in case the observer went off line:

Darboe urges IEC to screen political aspirants

Mr Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), has called on the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to ensure that only people who are already successful in their professions are allowed to run for political offices
in the country.Darboe, who was speaking in an interview with Daily Observer,
explained that only such people would not be lured by financial desires or lust
for power in the discharge of their duties.

“This will help end any temptation to corruption, as those politicians would have already had means of good survival,’’ he said.

One way of doing this, he suggested, is for the IEC to put into practice important requirements, such as the declaration of assets by candidates and other qualifications, so that not every Tom, Dick and Harry “can just jump up and say I want to contest without meeting the stipulated requirements of the constitution.” He emphasised: “Successful professionals would be more independently minded.”

But a political analyst, who spoke to the Daily Observer, disagreed with Mr Darboe, arguing that “a professional can also use his political influence to better the cause of his vested professional interest, destroy or frustrate his former
professional competitors with his new-found power. The bottom line is, anyone
can be a good or bad politician. It depends on the individual.’’

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Father of the Nation?

Yahya Jammeh in a recent interview claimed to be the father of the nation. Ahem…allow me to clear the lump that forms in my throat while I revisit this absurdity. Father of the nation huh? Isn’t he taking bigmanism to the extreme here? Yeah Jawara had the same title bestow on him by his supporters (baba Jawara they affectionately called him), but he has more claim to the title than Yahya Jammeh ever does. He was part of the Gambia’s independence movement and eventually became for most of us the only ruler we have come to know growing up. This might sound authoritarian, and authoritarian some of mister Jawara’s edicts are, but the end of his rule has been anything but good for Gambians. Murder, arson and corruption to the hilt has become a familiar cliché. But the single biggest development since Yahya came to power is the growth of a new class of “Bigmans”. Bigmanism is not a new phenomena in Gambian society, but this new crop are far more arrogant and brutal in their operations… does Baba Jobe before his fall from grace ring a bell?

The big man has become a government unto himself. He lords it over others for the simple reason that he can afford a balanced diet where millions are cap in hand begging for food. The big man triumphs because he can afford mansions, in a country like ours where countless people are homeless, sick and naked. And there is no form of social security to cater for unemployment, old age or ill health. A caring government can do so much by creating an enabling environment to work a majority of our people out of want and by so doing melt the chasm between the uncaring rich and the shackled poor.

The big man is an embodiment of human rights abuses. When he employs you, in his company, he will make you work like a jackal and pay you peanuts. If you are a woman, your case is different. Your growth in the establishment will be dependent, not on what you can offer, but on how willing you are to compromise your dignity and give in to his unreasonable demands. He does not take "no" for an answer and the fact of marriage, means nothing. After all, he has the cash and for him, it is "cash and carry".

Furthermore, the culture (bigmanism) encourages corruption and in fact it is the main cause of corruption in the Gambia. The rich and liberated that, more often than not, find themselves in positions of trust have been feasting on the common wealth in order to maintain their status. Politics for them has become a do-or-die affair. This is the main reason for violence and election malpractices. The rich have hijacked the ballot box, which should be used to elect people to occupy positions of trust. The votes of the shackled poor no longer matter. That is, if they are allowed to vote at all, since even the village alikalo (head) and district chief are imposed on them…

Another evil effect of this bigman culture is that it obfuscates the greatness in all of us. We undervalue people, because they are poor. By doing this we deplete the development energy in our country and raise serious question about our understanding of citizenship. This uncalled for divide between the rich and the poor has made some people to believe that we do not have equal stake in the country. This is dangerous. The critical question, to ask is; do we have a remedy to this malady? Do we have the will to confront this indefensible culture of bigmanism that is impeding development in the country? My answer is yes… a change in the political landscape and an adherence to the rules of fair play as laid out in NADD’s MOU will go a long way in eradicating this cancer, since judicial independence will be the corner stone to creating a just society.

Law, I mean, the rule of law is a potent antidote to the excesses of the conscienceless rich. If we can strengthen the legal and judicial system and solve the problem of judicial corruption, we will be doing a lot of good to the Gambia’s development. We need to demonstrate on a consistent basis, that one's wealth or poverty means nothing to the law.
In the Gambia today, many people question if mother justice is not faking "blindness", since the rich exudes confidence that the law will be silenced even when they do wrong.

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Hyprocrites and Liars

“Now I am being vilified and dragged through the mud by the righties and so-called "fair and balanced" main stream media who are afraid of the truth and can't face someone who tells it by telling any truth of their own. Now they have to twist, distort, lie, and scrutinize anything I have ever said when they never scrutinize anything that George Bush said or is saying. Instead of asking George or Scotty McClellan if he will meet with me, why aren't they asking the questions they should have been asking all along: "Why are our young people fighting, dying, and killing in Iraq? What is this noble cause you are sending our young people to Iraq for? What do you hope to accomplish there? Why did you tell us there were WMD's and ties to Al Qaeda when you knew there weren't? Why did you lie to us? Why did you lie to the American people? Why did you lie to the world? Why are our nation's children still in harm's way and dying everyday when we all know you lied? Why do you continually say we have to `complete the mission' when you know damn well you have no idea what that mission is and you can change it at will like you change your cowboy shirts?" …Cindy Sheehan.

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NADD...at a Crossroad

The point newspaper reported last week that NADD is in disarray… oh but wait a minute that was after Ousainou Darbo whose party reportedly withdrew from the coalition denied any knowledge of it and before they could get in touch with Halifa Sallah who coordinates the activities of NADD; resulting in a subsequent byline in the same paper titled NADD not in Disarray.

The initial reporting started a firestorm on Gambian forums. Opinions ranging from outright support for NADD to the conundrum that NADD will find itself to their seemly lack of message control. The likes of Ebou Jallow, who could explain anything under the sun but what he did with the $3million dollars he allegedly absconded with, were all over the map. Allgambian’s Yero Jallow (aka Dalton) also wrote a piece that was all over the place. It was supposedly a message for Darbo and the UDP that end up? … Well read for your self.

So what is a layman to do? In the midst of all these analysis one commentator’s analysis of the situation caught my eye. It is a poignant treatise that deals with the situation that NADD found itself in post Supreme court decision and what steps they could possibly take to make a difference come 2006. Without further adieu I present LJDarbo’s piece:

NADD, the By-elections, and the 2006 General Elections

In light of the adverse Supreme Court decision on the four opposition National Assembly seats, and considering the stated intention by the leadership to contest the September by-elections, it is incumbent on NADD to undertake a fundamental reassessment of direction if it is to even come close to achieving its key strategic objective of capturing the State House in 2006. All indications suggest the NADD high command is already so engaged, but supporters not privy to those consultations are legitimately worried about the troubling signals clearly discernible from that process.

In the titanic struggle for a nation's soul, fourteen months does not constitute enough of a window to remove major road blocks in time to arrive at the aspired destination ahead of a well-resourced incumbent. NADD's unresolved issues centering on the Supreme Court decision are due for urgent solution. Otherwise, it is unclear how the September by-elections can be contested under a NADD, or for that matter, any other opposition banner, without the Alliance coming apart at the seams.

As stakeholders, NADD's base of global supporters are entitled to a say on how the Alliance extricate itself from its evident internal impasse, occasioned - among other, but lesser, considerations - by the Supreme Court decision. It is my view that, as the intended beneficiaries, NADD is our enterprise. The party leaders, constituting the executive, and crucial to the ultimate success of the enterprise, are nevertheless mere trustees of a vital national project. Their duty is to the people they intend to liberate from the clutches of tyranny. Their duty is to us.

What, it may be asked, is the nature of NADD's duty to the people of The Gambia? Overriding all subsidiary considerations is the absolute imperative for the Alliance to remain committed to the vision underlying its formation. I reiterate my contention that the September by-elections, threatening the very survival of NADD - even as they remain insignificant in the larger scheme of its vital political project - are best left uncontested. If NADD must contest the by-elections, it is duty bound to explain how it proposes to do this in conformity with the Supreme Court decision even as its fundamental features remain at odds with the minefield that is section 91 (1) (d) of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.

The Supreme Court decision, tailored to the limited issue of the status of the four opposition National Assembly seats, was nevertheless broad enough in its seismic implications to unhinge NADD. As contended by the IEC – and this view was endorsed by the Justices – UDP, PDOIS, and NRP, "had been subsumed under the new political party known as NADD". Logically, this position extends to the PPP, and NDAM. The question is whether, by itself, this Supreme Court endorsement of the IEC position is sufficient to safe NADD as an entity? Not if the full force of section 91 (1) (d) is brought into play.

The Constitutional provision is controlled by a proviso, and at least two of the party leaders relied on this proviso pre-litigation for the untenability of the first, and third defendants' position. Interestingly, the legal team protested at the hearing that the party constitutions did not prohibit a merger. After the decision, another party leader argued that there is no party whose constitution will prohibit a merger with other parties.

The constitutional command is explicit in its requirement that parties wishing to merge at the national level must be permitted to do so by their individual constitutions. The only reason why plaintiffs failed to rely on their most lethal weapon - the proviso - was because the party constitutions were at best silent on the question of merging with other parties.

If this permission was not available, there could be no merger, and if there was no merger, then to all intents and purposes, there is legally no NADD. Although the IEC relied on its secondary legislative authority pursuant to section 127 Elections Decree 1996 to register NADD, that was an inconsequential act when juxtaposed against the compelling argument of an explicit constitutional command.

In any case, even the IEC's Elections Rule , Rule No. 1 of 2005, conforms with the constitutional mandate that parties wishing to merge must be authorised by their constitutions to do so. It is unclear why the IEC registered NADD without checking that this critical precondition was complied with. As the document itself appears to be undated, there is no indication whether it was promulgated before, during, or after the Supreme Court case.

The merger threshold was set so high that those who drafted section 91 (1) (d) knew that navigating its requirements was never going to be an uncomplicated process. However, we are confronted with a national emergency, and the party leaders must now demonstrate the selflessness we all along assumed they possessed, individually, and collectively.

Clearly, we have not yet arrived at the unfulfilled terminus of the NADD project, but none of the available options for the journey's successful completion are painless. In light of the complicated, and multifaceted, nature of the scenarios confronting us as a people, it is not acceptable to blame any one party should NADD disintegrate. To blame any individual, or party, we must first take the entire leadership to task on how they propose to respond to some options out of the evident stalemate.In my humble opinion, and pursuant to the Supreme Court decision, NADD's options may be in two broad categories:

1. Deregister NADD with the IEC by abandoning the "Agreement in Law", and opt for a loose coalition of parties. This calls for cooperation in the sense that the opposition pools its support for a presidential candidate selected by one party to contest against Jammeh in 2006. The NADD coordinator considers this unwise, using APRC's informal marriage with the NCP, and what that means for the latter.

2. Formally disband the constituent parties of NADD (UDP, NRP, PDOIS, PPP, NDAM) by each party deregistering itself with the IEC. To implement this, NADD must first be deregistered, and then the individual parties would amend their constitutions to allow for mergers in conformity with their internal procedures for amendment. A fresh application will then be submitted to the IEC for registering NADD as an "Agreement in Law". The current IEC must first commit in writing to accepting the existing secondary legislation on mergers without amendment. After the 2006 general elections, the constituent parties of NADD may re-register in their individual capacities.

I urge all supporters of NADD to reject the insinuation that one party is committed to driving the Alliance off the road. On any analysis, this sounds too simplistic. We should instead lobby the party leaders for a commitment to one of the available options, or variations thereof. As voluntary, strategic withdrawals, NADD will then re-enter the race for No. 1 Marina as a lethal force. If it is compelled to disband, the psychological implications may sound the death knell for all hope of a national democratic rebirth come 2006.

The longer we delay in applying the requisite pressure on the NADD leadership, the nearer we are to the day when they announce their intention to go their separate ways. In that eventuality, the September by-elections will be a picnic in the park compared to the certainty of monumental tragedy in 2006.It is time to constructively apply pressure on the NADD leadership to stay the course.

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Crawford Bound

Los Angeles, CA - This weekend, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) will travel to Crawford, Texas to lend her support to Ms. Cindy Sheehan who is attempting to meet with President George W. Bush during his month long vacation at his ranch. Ms. Sheehan's son, Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, was killed in Baghdad on April 4, 2004, less than a week after arriving in Iraq. Ms. Sheehan wants to meet with the President to ask him why her son died and to voice her concerns about the war in Iraq.

Part of me is happy that she is traveling to Crawford to show her solidarity; but knowing how politicians operate, this woman’s defiant stance in the face of wing nuttery could turn into a circus. Maxine should continue what she is doing in Washington and let common folks like Cindy Sheehan cower bush into whatever it is he do on the ranch.

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Ubuntu Linux

I am a techie who has never blog on technical issues on this site before. I have been focus on politics ad infinitum since I started this blog sometime last year. But I do have a fetish and it encompasses any flavor of that free software first developed by Linus Torvald...called Linux.

Ubuntu an ancient African word, meaning "humanity to others" is the name chosen by the Debian Project for their complete open source operating system built around the Linux kernel. With the havoc that viruses and lately spy ware is leveling against Windows, folks need to take a second look at Linux. There are numerous easy to use Linux distributions that don't have these problems and Ubuntu Linux is the new kid on the block.

Ubuntu Linux is a simple to use Linux distribution that comes with all the basic software you'd need - a word processor, a mail client, a web browser and much, much more. It has an active community which is responsive to its members.

Go here to pick a download site. Once there you can either download an "Install CD" or a "Live CD." The Live CD can run entirely off of your cdrom drive. That means it will not change your computer and will allow you to take Ubuntu for a test drive.

Most Linux distributions are easy to configure and a joy for the inner geek,but there is a learning curve. Switching to Linux is not for the faint of heart and definitely not for a computer novice...it might drive some people crazy since you have to re-learn how to solve problems that you've already learned to solve on Windows a long time ago. The file structure is completely different, and so most people will be confused and end up just installing everything to run out of their /home directory, if they can install anything at all.

Personally I use and adore Linux, but I really don't think Linux is ready to be a mainstream desktop operating system yet (this is a regular debate topic on Slashdot). So as sad as I am to say it, I don't think you should switch your computers to Linux unless you know what you doing because you'd have to learn a whole new set of software - as Linux versions of what you currently use in windows (assuming there's some specialized software for your field) almost certainly don't exist. There's also no Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign. There are some decent copies, but they're just that – copies.

So choose but choose base on your skill set. If you are tired of the malfeasance that comes with windows and have a decent computer know how then Linux is the way to go. But if you are a click and go kind of guy or gal stick with windows and pray that the redmond demons will stop calling on your computer so often.





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Look out

Raw story has a teaser on it's web site about an impending expose that has the intelligence committee led by Kansas fiddler Pat Roberts shifting blaim for Iraq intelligence failures from the white house:

MASSIVE REVIEW FINDS SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE PLAYED KEY ROLE IN FIXING IRAQ INTEL, QUIETLY SHIFTING BLAME FROM WHITE HOUSE... EXTENDED RAW STORY EXCLUSIVE.


I hope this is the beginning of the end to Pat Roberts mediocre and costly chairmanship of the intelligence committee. (yeah, I dream a lot)

Update:
The raw story piece is out....Read it here

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Erred

I had to pull a post from my blog yesterday because I didn't source it right and for the cardinal sin that followed never give the author credit. The mistake is mine and I deserved to be chewed for it. To err is human and I am admitting to my shortcoming. I only hope readers of this blog will forgive me for my transgression.

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Beyond Vietnam

"These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment
when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own
folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best
suits his convictions, but we must all protest."

While doing some research today, I came across this magnificently poignant and prescient speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967. It got me to thinking…hmmmm just juxtaposed Vietnam with Iraq. The more things change in Iraq, the more they stay the same. Isn't that the truth? While George Bush stubbornly stay the cause in a fiasco that is getting worse. If the cause is so noble why hasn’t the Bush twins enlist to fight their father’s war? Or why didn’t daddy ‘o encourage them to do so?

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Grow Up

Hey, we've all acted petulant at one time or another but most of us realized what we were doing and that our behavior was wrong, We apologized and did our best to grow up. Some wayward deviants turn their lives around and eventually became titans of business. Alas, not everyone demonstrates such maturity and sadly, one such miscreant became president of the Gambia.

Yahya Jammeh the tyrant that is wretching the Gambia fits the bill. He views the Gambia as his personal hacienda (to borrow a phrase from Cherno Baba), When what he said and did wasn't automatically deemed as 'absolute truth,' Yaya lied, he lashed out and displayed an 'I don't have to explain anything to anyone' insolence. Sound familiar? Bush has the same spoiled, bratty behavior.

Bob Woodward, in his "Bush At War" book, has a very telling quote that demonstrates George Bush's personal stuntedness:

"I'm the commander in chief, see, I don't need to explain, I do not need
to explain why I say things. That's the interesting part about being president.
Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel
like I owe anybody an explanation."

Now swap the name George Bush with Yahya Jammeh. The same penchant and dictatorial analogy applies. They both present a persona that is: peevish, vindictive, prevaricating, a lack of worldly curiosity. It goes on and on. Feel free to add your own adjectives.

I took it upon myself to write a short campaign snippet for Yahya Jammeh. It goes like this :

I am running for the presidency of the Gambia because I need this position
to compensate for my personal frailties. I have no great, uplifting, uniting
vision to offer this country. In fact, the axes of my entire life have been
insecurity and fear and, if elected, I will take the citizens of this country
under my wing and scare them enough to get re-elected till kingdom come.

Sarcastic aside, Yahya Jammeh has reached the pinnacle in that nation, one that provides all the 'cover' necessary for his personal demons. Unfortunately, Gambians are paying the price for the weaknesses of this one time Gambia High school below average performing student. Could someone tell him to grow the F up. Because he can’t hear me.

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Is it Science?

There are some fantastic stories in the books of the Abrahamic faiths that as a kid I was enamored with but as an adult I become a lot skeptical about.

I mean, come on, the Red Sea just parting for Moses? Yeah, that doesn't wash. The entire planet flooded, and only Noah and his ark full of humans and animals surviving? The world created in just 6 days? I rather believe William Jennings Bryan's theory in the Scopes Monkey trial that a day back in biblical times could have lasted millions of years.
But, while I am willing to accept the Bible as a book of stories narrated by Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, there are others who treat it as the literal word of God, which is the absolute truth and cannot be questioned.

They constantly struggle to bend and twist new scientific discovery and fact so that it fits with the word of God, even though it is quite obvious the Book of Genesis is a story that cannot possibly be taken literally. Am I to believe that the only two humans on Earth were Adam and Eve? That's it. And they had two sons, Cain and Abel. Yep...those were the only humans on Earth because God created them first. Yep. Huh. Well...then who did Cain and Abel marry? Apes? Yes, look right here, the book says they had wives. Hmmmm. Well I digress.

To those who believe in the absolute truth of Creationism, the Darwin theory is heresy of the worst kind. For years, they have struggled to implement a return to Creationism and now they found a fancy name for it… the Intelligent Design Theory. And our Georgie been into fancy words and all is advancing their cause to have it taught besides science curriculum. Sort of an alternative… What the …is the school system now a madrassa, or divinity school?

The Intelligent Design theory is not scientifically proven, for it cannot be scientifically proven. How do you prove that God exists? You cannot. Instead, the theory attempts to burrow holes in Natural Selection. A wingnut guy I encountered recently told me that Darwinism cannot explain the explosion in life during the Pre-Cambrian period since evolution depends upon the slow modification of the fittest species over millennia to better adapt them to their environment. He says to me, "what say you to that?" I say, "I don't know." He says, "That's right, because God is the answer. He caused that explosion of life."

My problem with teaching Intelligent Design, as an alternative to science is that it is not science. It does not seek to prove anything. It does not seek to explain anything. As such it isn't a scientific theory and it isn't an alternative to natural selection or any other scientific theory. Science always seeks to discover "how." ID does not seek to discover "how." It wants to tell us "why." That mindset belongs in a religious class not a science setting.

If we teach kids in a science class that the universe came to be as a result of intelligent design, what is the next step? We cannot ask God how he designed it. So we give up on understanding. We give up on knowledge. And perhaps that is what the absolute believers want us to do. Obviously, the more science learns and advances, the more allegorical the literal translation of religious texts becomes.

The point that absolute believers have to get into their heads is that science is not the enemy of God. Science does not seek to disprove the word of the Lord. Science seeks to explain the world. To tell us how it works. If you are a believer in the glory of God, (I count myself as one) then God can always be the reason why, but never how, for then you shut the door to all knowledge.

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Detroit Mayoral

This is the night before the Detroit Mayoral primary and a Survey USA poll has Freman Hendrix maintaining a 10 point lead (42%) over incumbent Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who is holding steady at 32%. Sharon McPhail and Hansen Clarks trail far behind at 13% and 8% respectively.
While Kilpatrick trails in the polls, an incumbent Mayor in Detroit always wields a hefty political machine. That combined with the help from the old Coleman Young organization and his mother, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick will pull him neck and neck with Hendrix when the votes are counted. And considering the election is being run by the very old and very corrupt Jackie Currie, I'm sure the Mayor will be happy with the "surprise" result tomorrow night.
As for whether it's enough for November, that remains to be seen; but if the last three years of Kilpatrick’s maladministration hasn’t taught Detroit voters anything then they deserve the decay that is befalling the city.

Update:
Freman Hendrix won the primary. The mayoral elections are due in November. I hope Detroit voters don't fall for the negative ads that Kwame and his cronies will bombard them with from here on. Change is good and in this case the only thing to do. Detroiters should vote for anybody but Kwame. He reminds me of those third world dictators.

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