Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Only in the midwest...

Is it 70 degrees and sunny at 4:30pm Tuesday evening and 27 degrees next day at 1:00pm with 1/2 an inch of ice on the roads. Of course the weather advisory last evening indicated the ice storm was going to be further east and wouldn't affect us. Right now we're on an ice storm advisory. And pray it stops soon because all that ice, plus another day below freezing tomorrow means trees will come down and we will have power outages. Last time this happened we were without electricity for 3 days and I was amongst the lucky ones. Did I tell you how much we need electricity to stay warm?

The streets of Nairobi, oh how I miss you right about now!

Perks: School's closed.
Unperk: This lesson is going to be covered online. I'd rather be in class with my interesting crazy classmates.

Perk2: Leave early from work
unperk: Deadlines weren't shifted so really it means work from home.

I guess working from a laptop under some warm covers isn't as bad as working in this cold freezing building. Why do they always delay turning the heat up?

I'm off to hot coffee, covers and layers of clothes. Stay warm!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Is it or Isn't it...

A civil war? NBC, amongst others, say it is. Bush says it isn't. Related Fact: Sunnis and Shiites are at war with each other in Iraq.

A religious war? Is this about Christianity versus Islam? Related Fact: Iraq is an Islamic community with cultural practices inherited from the Islam religion.

A war against Terrorism? Related fact: W. Bush's government once insinuated that Saddam had ties with Al-qaeda which were ultimately found to be baseless.

A war about oil? The US once upon several decades ago entered into their mantra that they will stop at nothing to ensure that they have enough crude oil. Related fact: Iraq is the world's 2nd largest exporter of oil.

A war about the Euro? Rumor has it Saddam was determined to break OPEC's dumb ruling that all oil should be traded with only the dollar and was looking to sign treaties where he could sell oil in euros. Related fact: OPEC wouldn't like that.

A continuation of the gulf war?

A plan to attempt continuity of world domination gone bad?

Time for the troops to leave Iraq?

Time to deploy additional troops to Iraq?

A result of underestimating the world in general?

A grave error?

A method to control crude oil prices so the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep getting poorer?

Another day in Iraqi civilian lives?

The beginning of an actual real war between the Christians and the Muslims?

The result of utter stupidity?

Necessary to begin with?

A window into the reality of "reaping what we sow" ?

Affecting your life directly or indirectly?

Is it, or isn't it?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Women in Kenya have become very good at fighting for their fair share of properties and their rights from their (estranged) husbands. I'm guessing what I was expected to note from this story was that this man has amassed some billions of shillings somewhere. True, it struck me as odd. But there are so many overly rich people from the previous regimes that within that context, this kind of wealth has to fit within normal confines. Still, $10M in a bank account is way too much money. Especially when you shouldn't have afforded it. This was the problem with the previous looting. It was absolutely ridiculous. They stole, collapsed projects and kept stealing, like people possessed with a stealing demon. Plenty of investments there, Mr. Gichuru.

And what's with the vodafone 35% and mystery non existent company 5% and of course the remaining 60 % with the government story on Safaricom? OK, if Mobitelea does not exist, does the government then not have the right to claim the 5% shares unless someone or some company can legitimately claim them, within say 30-60 days? So the people involved in this scandal will either unveil themselves (doubtful) or at least lose some of the 5% shares they own in Safaricom and those earnings hopefully are diverted into projects that build the nation.

As a result of moving to blogger beta, I'm unable to leave comments on other people's blogs. I'm just in no mood to go about searching for the solution to this issue. However, I have done a little digging around and I'm aware that this issue is not uncommon. I'm just irritated that google, a company with shares prices that hit over $500 a share, should be putting out such major issues out with their beta products. I'm allowed to expect better here. And just when there was so much to comment on.

I'm in search of a really good juicing machine from a Nairobi store and an average cost from anyone who knows enough to enlighten me on this one. Also can anyone tell me if they have grapefruits anywhere in Nairobi as well? My father has cancer and we're trying to get him into a healthy eating lifestyle. So if you have any helpful information on this end, I'd really appreciate it.

On to the great thanksgiving week(end) here. I'm sure there is plenty to be thankful for. The only food store open all day on this day is a whole foods store I frequent so I'm pretty pleased about that. It's great to know I can spend thanksgiving shopping. Last time I was at this store they served an entire meal from soups to dessert. It was a Tuesday evening and I believe they were advertising for their thanksgiving dinners that you could then place an order for. Chicken, beef, seafood, dairy, pies, coffees and dessert. Those were the food sections out there. Talk of a free dinner! And unexpectedly. And this from an organic store where all food costs an arm and a leg... yeah. I was pleased!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Flying and a MUST read for all 3rd Worlders!

Northwest airlines almost got a clean bill of health from me. Until I missed a connecting flight. I could see it, but the lady had stopped boarding. This didn't make sense to me for several reasons. First, the flight was scheduled to depart its gate at 5:00pm. It was 4:55. I had been waiting at the counter for 2 minutes while she was inside the doors. I don't know how long before she had been in there with a closed door behind her. One might argue that since passengers are supposed to have boarded 15 minutes before, she is within her rights. I disagree. Why? Because I was a connecting flight passenger. My flight had been on the ground for at least 20 minutes, 7 of which we spent parked at our gate while waiting for the doors to be opened so they could let us disembark. So, if anyone had cared about customer care, they would be waiting for me at the counter because they are expecting me, still have time before the flight departs and they're sure the flight is at its gate, so they don't expect random delays by choosing to wait for me. More annoyingly, the connecting flight was only 1 gate away. They weren't concerned about the amount of time it would take me to get to the correct gate.

I'm convinced the fact that this was a flight where I had chosen to upgrade to first class played a role in this. First class space is limited and they are always trying to give these seats away to passengers that want to upgrade using their miles. So I assume that it was a good opportunity to do so. Either that, or flight crew going home also love to use the first class section and would jump at an opportunity to find a suddenly freed up seat. So the lady at the counter tells me my plane has left. I tell her it hasn't, just page the pilot and open the door. She spends a precious 60 seconds arguing and at that moment, the pilot backs off. I waste no more time arguing with her on this one. "get me home, today!" I bark at her. So she gives me some random new path journey that allows for 20 min between connecting flights. I flat out refuse to take it. I guarantee her that would be another opportunity for a missed flight since all their flights have landed and or disembarked late. So I sent her searching again. Eventually, she sends me back on the plane I just came in, back to where I came from. From there I can catch a flight back home. The only good news here is that this flight gets me home 1 hr earlier than her earlier proposed flight plus it gives 45 minutes between flights. Which it turned out I really needed as air traffic slowed us down midair.

I was too angry to sleep despite my very fatigued state. So I started reading. The book is "Confessions of an Economic Hit man" by John Perkins. At first sight this book seemed like a book that might tell me about how the author embezzled dollars or helped finish companies. So I thought I wouldn't be interested. But for no good reason at all, I picked it and read the back and what it was about. Well, it's about how the 4 main companies in America are working "privately" from the government to enrich certain families by economically crippling the targeted countries, the LDCs. This is their lingo, I guess used elsewhere as well for the Less Developed countries.

On September maybe 11, maybe 12, maybe 13, 2001, I was watching Discovery channel when they declared the Mau Mau to be early times Terrorists. I have never bought into the war against terror because of that. I have always wondered what Osama's side of the story was. However, I have always emphasized that his methods are wrong. That he is hurting the innocent, despite whatever provocation he might have. By page 10 of this book, I understood 2 things. I was right, Osama is a counter terrorist, not a terrorist. Additionally, the loss of innocent lives is related to the methods used by the original terrorists. The starving of nations to make them so poor that they can be easily manipulated. It leaves tons to die from hunger and disease. It's the reason why these group of people insist that there are no innocent people standing by their targeted areas. This is not specifically mentioned in the book. But it's easily deducible.

As far as this book goes, this is all I have to say. No one should consider themselves worthy of leading/ruling a 3rd world country without reading it. Additionally, the whole oil drilling situation going on in Kenya now, just as it starts to see the end of its debt plays perfectly into the methods employed by these knucklehead companies and their political counterparts. I would suggest it is stopped immediately.

This book will not be a shocker. Nothing so far fetched that you hadn't thought about before. It's beauty is in how much it seals the cracks in the jigsaw puzzle of manipulation of the 3rd world countries the world has become aware of. This book is also not a new release. Its newer in paperback but it has been out since 2004. I'm not even halfway reading this book but I have such clarity of issues, I'm amazed. The author has also bothered very much to provide reference materials one can look up in libraries and public records.

Pick this book up. read and be bothered. Be very bothered. More importantly be very aware of your actions and comments. Watch what your opinions are and what person from the west implanted them there. Read this book before you next allow yourself to criticize a government that said no to military bases and investment opportunities to the great US of A. Allow yourself to see how you too have already been used. Then edify yourself and become a better citizen.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Midtacular Elections

So I went to bed last night all worried and disappointed because it seemed McCaskill was losing to Talent by 10%. Forget that only about 2% of the total votes were in. It was super depressing. Since I was determined not to get emotionally engaged with these results, I tuned into Bravo and watched the crazy women crack jokes, or attempt to anyway. This versus my usual Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert choice. They were covering elections. Soon I was in lalaland.

Fast forward to this morning and I resist as much as I can to check the Dems vs Republicans results. I finally give in to what is over and above curiosity and WHAM! Do I see McCaskill ahead by 3% with only 2% of the precincts not accounted for? I'm feeling better. And what is that? Oh yes, The Dems seem poised to take control of the senate. Well contingent to the Virginia and Montana vote tallies coming in.

Nice start to this morning. Especially after I went to bed with this weird "can't live through this another 4 years" feeling. Will keep you posted.

pssst.... Did I mention the Talent team had started a small victory dance last night? What is it they say about he who laughs last?

Update at 2:15 CST
Already, the first major rewards of the Democratic rule days. Rumsfeld has been forced out. Finally. My day continues to go well.

It seems we are confident enough to declare a win for the Democrats in Montana but not yet ready to do the same in Virginia as far as the Senate goes. Looks like they are winning here as well. And the day gets better.

Random Observations:
-Last evening, despite crude oil prices going down, the pumps shot gas prices up by 10 cents. Are we in for major gas hikes so that they can come down same time 2008?

-I have always thought I'd comment on Bush and a regrettable legacy some 2 years from now. It seems like I might have to start now. The comments coming in from the world in regards to his 6 years as American President seem to be forcing me to discuss the importance of doing right, versus being right with the rich. Still I choose to hold on to give an in-depth personal analysis on this one perhaps in 2008 sometime.

-Myself and many others fed up with a lot of crap going on had a conversation. We are not idiots and therefore don't think the democrats to be gods. We just want the lesser evil. We're hoping that in 2008 the ticket will run as H. Clinton and B. Obama as running mate. Obama could use some exposure before running for the white house. (Dear Obama: Of all things stupid to do, do not announce your decision to run, if at all, on the Oprah show. You must show your charisma, your independence, intelligence and your belief in yourself by standing on your own cloud, not Oprah's. Please take heed.) Worthy opponent from the Republicans? McCain.

- On the stem cells vote held in Missouri; Belated education. Stem cells can be harvested from grown adults. However, by doing this, the cells would be free and there would be no profits for the drug companies. That's why they are pushing for embryos. This bill to legalize stem cell research passed. Have I mentioned that I passionately dislike the pharmaceutical companies? Oh how I wish the ads had educated people on this instead of bashing each other.