Showing posts from December, 2009

I like the Publishers Weekly cover

Some people are angry about this cover of Publishers Weekly.
As a Kenyan-Canadian novelist, broadcaster and community activist (and former school teacher) who's performed anti-racist and multiculturalist work for decades, I want you to know I liked your cover choice a great deal. The only thing I didn't like was the exclamation mark (possibly because they're so rarely used, they seem insincere when they are).
Part of the negative response to the issue may be that, in my experience, many North Americans of non-African ancestry discuss Afros as if they were ridiculous; certainly many of my students asked over the years if, "back in the day," I wore a "'fro," which I tended to regard as a silly if not a patronising question (it was posed in the same context as asking whether I wore clothing that was now deemed unfashionable; these young people were far too young to understand any of the social politics and significance of the Afro).
I suspect the tendency …

Ralph Nader on Barack Obama's Nobel Lies

"'Just War' is Just Words"
by Ralph Nader

President Obama, the Afghan war escalator, received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, and proceeded to deliver his acceptance speech outlining the three criteria for a “just war” which he himself is violating.

The criteria are in this words: “If it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.”

After 9/11, warmonger George W. Bush could have used the international law doctrine of hot pursuit with a multilateral force of commandoes, linguists and bribers to pursue the backers of the attackers. Instead, he blew the country of Afghanistan apart and started occupying it, joined forces with a rump regime and launched a divide-and-rule tribal strategy that set the stage for a low-tiered civil war.

Eight years later, Obama is expanding the war within a graft-ridden government in Kabul, fraudulent elections, an Afghan army of northern tr…

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Tariq Ali on Obama’s Af-Pak Syndrome

6 PM Mountain Time
88.5 FM Edmonton Worldwide
Download or stream

While most Canadians seem unaware their country is at war, and CBC coverage almost exclusively sugars over our government’s war by calling it a mission, as if combat were peace-keeping, the people of Afghanistan face the daily reality of occupation and war.

And they’ve been facing both continually since 1979. Indeed, their country has known both for millennia, stretching back through Soviet, British, Moghul, Mongol and Greek occupation and massacres.

For various reasons, the governments allied in NATO are possessed of the hubris to believe that they can do what Alexander, Jingis Khan, the British Empire and the Soviet Union couldn’t do: keep Afghanistan.

NATO’s war against Afghanistan is bloody and costly, and like all wars claimed to be fought for someone else’s interest, is yielding very little for the interests of the Afghan people. Furthermore, the undeclared American sister war against Pakistan is threatening inst…

Ralph Nader's statement on Obama's escalation of the American War in Afghanistan

Misusing professional cadets at West Point as a political prop, President Barack Obama delivered his speech on the Afghanistan war forcefully but with fearful undertones. He chose to escalate this undeclared war with at least 30,000 more soldiers plus an even larger number of corporate contractors.

He chose the path the military-industrial complex wanted. The military planners, whatever their earlier doubts about the quagmire, once in, want to prevail. The industrial barons because their sales and profits rise with larger military budgets.

A majority of Americans are opposed or skeptical about getting deeper into a bloody, costly fight in the mountains of central Asia while facing recession, unemployment, foreclosures, debt and deficits at home. Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), after hearing Mr. Obama’s speech said, “Why is it that war is a priority but the basic needs of people in this country are not?”

Let’s say needs like waking up to do something about 60,000 fatalities a year in …

TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Want to Get Rich? Invest in Africa

6 pm
FM88.5 E-Town worldwide
Tonight is part 3 of our series on African economic development. Prevailing stereotypes depict 54 African countries as if they were a single country, and an economic basket case at that. While of course, poverty continues to afflict hundreds of millions across the continent, economic realities vary considerably.

There are nearly 1 billion people on the continent. According to some reports, cell phone use is more widespread in Kenya than it is in Canada. Materially, Africa is the richest continent, selling more oil to the US than does the Middle East. Modern technology, from DVDs and digital cameras to laptop computers, would be impossible without coltan, mined almost exclusively in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Shocking to many, GNI or gross national income per capital is higher across Africa than it is in India. At least a dozen African countries have a higher GNI per capita than China. And as the continent’s middle classes grow, telecomm, banking…