Shine the Spotlight on Liberians

On the Liberian national symbol thingie, it says “Love of Liberty Brought Us Here.” A shining piece of evidence of what a lack of freedom the country its founders were fleeing – The USA – embodied in the late 1800’s. And then the history books and wikipedias tell us that the republic was doing great up until 1980 when there was a coup and everything went to shit and now unemployment is at 80%. 80%! That’s alot of people just hanging out, trying to survive without an income.

And so the man who put the W in warlord, president Richard Taylor, ran off a year or so ago and is hiding out hoping the world will forget about him much like they’d long forgotten Liberia. Now they’re having elections, and despite not being a citizen of Liberia, never having been there, and not having to live there afterwards, I like the two main candidates in this election:

In this corner, from the slums of Monrovia, international soccer (or football depending on what english you speak) star and all around national symbol of success – Former FIFA player of the year and huma nrights advocate, Mr…. Geooooorge Weah.

and in this corner, direct from Harvard where she got her masters degree in economics (i think). The pride of the World Bank and City Bank where she made a name for herself, former exile and political prisoner, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

As of this moment it’s a runoff and the results aren’t clear. The word is that the voting has been pretty good, transparent, and hey – considering the state of democracy these days – thats pretty good. I’m pullin for George. Though Id love to see the continent’s first female prez, I don’t dig her banking background… last thing we need in this world is citybank pushing credit card debt on more of us. 😉

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My Friend in Malawi

If you study in an international place like Amsterdam at an international school for social sciences, you find yourself living with some insanely ambitious and worldy people. I’m talkin bicyclemark and his 4 or 5 languages and dual nationality is basically considered average. And of course, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s also a situation where people are constantly passing through, moving on, moving out. And just as frequently, they come back to visit.

That’s my segway to talking about my friend Cecilia, who graduated around the same time as I did well over a year ago. She’d long been saying she wanted to do work with an organization in Africa. Never specified where really, for her any corner of the continent seemed worthy of her attention and prescence.

Recently I got that classic email many of us get when our friends move somewhere new and exciting. C had arrived in Pretoria, South Africa (if I recall correctly) and she was on her way to Malawi – her final destination for a new project. Malawi. I went directly to wikipedia. I know tons about African history. I can name 96% of the countries and their capitals. Most of their prime ministers too. But I didn’t remember where the hell Malawi was or what the situation was there. And so I read up.. and now Im a fairly informed podjournalist.

Fortunately, and I’d like to think my influence helped, C has a started a weblog. Which is perfect for me (and you) to read of her experiences and see her photos of Malawi and all the wonderous journeys she’s be making during her new life there. Another bit of proof showing the uses and power of blogs; I’m now a concerned observer of life/politics in Malawi, and I’d like very much to visit.

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Step Two:

After awhile it becomes boring to just echo what all the other follow-the-leader bloggers are yappin about. So go somewhere else to read about how little scooter is done for. And this is certainly not nuff, I want so heads to roll next week as well please.

What they really should fire/disband is the whole CIA. It is a pathetic agency. I repeat PATHETIC. Intelligence? They don’t seem to have a clue about the world in the last few decades. They don’t know who is developing nuclear weapons or who is eating yellow cake or where attacks are going to be launched or anything. They are useless. And worst of all, they have a BLACK BUDGET. Meaning they can spend as much as they dam well please and no one ever gets to know about it. I’m betting majority of the CIA is on vacation the whole year round faking they’re investigating something. Yeah, get me a plane ticket, I need to go investigate fine wine and beautiful people on the Fiji islands. It’s top secret, so don’t tell any regular citizens.

When you add to that, the fact that they’ve single handedly toppled governments and assasinated elected leaders around the world, I’m thinking they have the shittiest record of any so-called intelligence agency in the history of the world.

The firing of scooters and harry it’s is very cute and loads of fun. But really, this is a drop in the bucket and I demand they cut to the chase and disband the group of thugs that have helped to create a rediculously violent world filled with half-assed information (like this blog). FIRE THE CIA! HOORAY.

Podcast after I’ve returned home victorious tomorrow as my indoor frisbee team the “A’dam and Eve’s” takes on the BFrisbee2’s and other wakka-wakka named teams in Nijmegen tomorrow… err… later today.

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bicyclemark77: Jazz Legends Remembered, and East Timor Revisited (REPOST*)

(REPOST Due to hurricane damage)Shirley Horn and Elvin Jones Remembered. While East Timor seems to have been forgotten.

AudioCommunique #77(mp3)
28min+, 80kbps, 16Mb+

Discussed:
Shirley Horn Died
Elvin Jones Died and Carlos Santana Reflects on Popular Culture’s Ignorance
East Timor – The Post-Colonial History
Henry Kissinger and the invasion of East Timor
The mass murder of Timorese with no US, Portuguese, or Australian Intervention – 1975
The Trial of Henry Kissinger (documentary)

All Music from the Shirley Horn Album: The Main Ingredient

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