Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Problems with Haiti, Sri Lanka's Bid For Dictatorship, Goodluck John To The Rescue In Nigeria

Andrew Sullivan
Shahien Nasiripour
Robert Reich

"We were very impressed with the job her hand did at the Tea Party Convention," - Roger Ailes
"What wouldn't Sarah Palin lie about if she felt she had to?" - Andrew Sullivan
"Sarah Palin is a f**king retard." - Stephen Colbert
Andrew Sullivan has the skinny on Ms Palin, the other two links above are related to economics for dummies like myself.

The ugliness is beginning to happen in Haiti, and I am amazed how often people will seek to benefit from other's misery, even down to the neighborhood level, where counterfeit food coupons are being sold to starving mothers. The UN also reports that many hospitals are charging their patients when its too obvious that they have no money to pay. Boatloads of attempted refugees are being stopped in Caribbean waters, and the delusions of one American woman who thought she was going to help save children may cause the deaths of many more. Almost all of the people who Ms Silsby convinced to come with her to Haiti have signed a letter saying that she had misrepresented herself to them, pretty much leaving her and her ex-nanny holding the bag. How quickly Christians turn... Now, in order to fly a child to a hospital in the US, a pilot has to have certain paperwork or they can be fined $400,000 and have their pilot's license confiscated. Many pilots of small aircraft are refusing to take even severely injured children who could die within a 72 hour timeframe, unless the paperwork is done. In the recent past the proper paperwork was often finished after the flight and surgery was completed, but the level of paranoia and distraction of the abduction case has been raised past an absurd height.

The judicial investigation of the abductors began yesterday. the judge is listening to each person's individual story, then tomorrow he will meet them as a group, with some kind of determination coming by the weekend. The US government is keeping its hands off, even though the Haitian government allowed that they could be transferred and tried in the US. So far the only visitors they have had have been missionaries, who have fed them and made sure that they also have clothing and medicine.
“I have faith in God, but maybe the U.S. government could help a little more, too.”

I went onto the web site for the UN's world Food Program, which is administering and coordinating the Haitian relief. They are also sending food to over half of the countries in the world. In the South American region, they are also feeding people in Bolivia, Columbia, Cuba, Equador, El Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru. If there is another world crisis on the level of Haiti, they may become tapped out. Already countries around the equatorial belt are experiencing severe drought. Venezuela is having problems making enough electricity, over 70% comes through hydroelectric generators, and causing severe blackouts and rolling brownouts in the major cities, enough that they are thinking of shutting off the lights after 7 pm throughout the whole country...

shri lanka...
The latest person to bid for personal dictatorship, is the newly re-elected president of Shri Lanka. In moves that seem to come straight out of a Shakespearean tragedy, Mahinda Rajapaksa has arrested his longtime friend and dissolved the Parliament.

Rajapaksa originally was elected on a platform to end the 26 year insurrection of the Tamil Tigers. He enlisted General Sarath Fonseka, who successfully did just that, in a bloody campaign that ended only recently. The General retired, then ran against Rajapaksa in this last election, losing by 17 points.

Rajapaksa has arrested Fonseka this morning, saying that he was corrupt when he was in charge of the armed forces, and dissolved parliament, which means that new elections for each seat will have to take place. President Rajapaksa is hoping that his margin of popularity will enable him to fill a new parliament with his supporters, if the citizens all behave like good sheep. Otherwise, more will go to be slaughtered...
“Democracy today in Sri Lanka is nonexistent, it is very tense here today.”

more nigerian scams... 
I have been receiving emails from the FBI, telling me that they have finished an investigation where I have won $800,000 from a foreign lottery, and that the money has been put in an ATM account at Bank of America. In order for me to get the money, I should send as fee, $500 to a gentleman in Lagos, Nigeria. This spurt of Nigerian scam e-mails has led me to believe that the situation in Nigeria is worse than previously thought, and it is going through a governmental meltdown....

Since November, the country's President, Umaru Yar-Adua, has been in a hospital in Saudi Arabia for a heart condition. He has not been able to communicate and the country has been directionless, causing a cease fire in the Niger Delta region to unravel. Today, the Parliament has passed a resolution letting the number two man in charge step up and take over until Umaru's situation improves. His name is Goodluck Jonathan, and could be a character out of a Joyce Cary novel. From the blog Things Nigerians Love and Hate is this explanation of what's in a name: "Who can separate the Nigerian man from his name? How can a Nigerian be anything if they have no name? Names are the heart and soul of our people, and by our people, I refer to ALL Nigerian peoples, and pretty much ALL African people. Our names have purpose, they have meaning, they are sacred, they can make you, or break you, win you fame throughout the land, or warn strangers that you are to be scorned and shunned, they are special and terribly, terribly important....."

Nigeria is divided between a Christian dominated South, and a Muslim dominated North. In the North there is a super conservative Muslim cult named the Boko Haram, which, of course, means "Western education is prohibited" in Hausa. They clashed with government forces, and as many as 1000 people died. Unfortunately, there were some extra-judicial killings on the part of the Nigerian military, and now there is a tape showing the killing of some innocent people: "Aster Van Kregten, a Nigeria expert with rights group Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera that the group's research suggested extrajudicial killings were widespread in Nigeria. An estimated 1,000 people died as police and soldiers battled Boko Haram fighters [AFP] "Our research shows that the Nigerian police are getting away with murder, they killed hundreds of people a year without any investigation - any investigation on whether the use of force was lawful or not," she said.
"What we saw on the footage happened seven month ago and we haven't heard anything from the government whether they have arrested anyone and how far the investigation is going."

At this rate, the President may not want to come back, and Goodluck Jonathan will need all of his namesake to keep the country from violently unravelling. Maybe he'll go the Shri Lankan way, but I hope that his name will be beneficial for the whole country...

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