dear momma

12 years ago, today, you left us. Does time fly in the land of the dead as it does here? We have all left the nest or about to. One of your sons will soon be a priest. I have told him it is not a good idea, but he says there is free food and opportunity for travel so I think he is doing alright. Life is never that serious and besides, I think he can have a girlfriend on the side.

What do you do in the netherworld? Are you busy? Do you have meetings with other ancestors? You know uncle Dam left us not so long ago. Have you met grandmother? Do you know who is coming next? And when they are coming? I hope it ain’t I because I still have some books to read, life to lead, places to visit and family to raise. If you should have any news, let me know.

Mom, there has been an internet revolution. Now information is at our fingertips. In fact it is so much, we don’t know what to do with it. Tell me mom, do you now know all, have you stopped asking or is there nothing to know?

Mom, so many things have changed since you left. I have grown tall, I have grown fat. I have lost weight and now I am just here.

I don’t want to keep you long from ancestor duties. Just make sure you tell me when the angel of death is coming. I don’t want it to be a surprise. Try to see it is not like the Appointment in Samara. That would be too late.

I will write to you again soon.

We miss you.

PS: I didn’t know your current address, so I will just leave this letter here.

I hope you like this song

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wise sayings

by Zera Yacob, philosopher (1599-1692)

on fasting and absconding certain foods for religious ends

God does not order absurdities such as ‘‘Eat this, do not eat this; today eat, tomorrow do not eat, do not  eat meat today, eat it tomorrow. . . neither did God say to the Mohammedians: ‘eat during the night, but do not eat during the day.’ ’’

human beings are all equal because they are all endowed with intelligence and are fated to die.

Truth occurs only when all persons agree on a given matter or value.

On obligations

Thus, the first foundational obligation of human beings is to love others as you would yourself, and not to do to others what you would not do to yourself.

On men

‘‘There are four kinds of men. The person who knows and teaches, he himself being educated: he is a scholar; ask him questions and learn from him. The person who knows and does not teach, although he is a scholar: he is intelligent; remember him. The person who does not know but teaches: he is in need of guidance; teach him and guide him. The person who does not know and does not want to learn: he is a fool; keep away from him.’’

On wisdom

Wisdom is not good if the action is not good.

On sorrow

Sorrow is of two kinds. One type is that of conscience: the rational soul becomes sad out of lack of knowledge. The animal soul feels sorry out of lack of food and drink and the like.

To all the new followers

Greetings and welcome.

Once in a while I write clever things.

Most of the time, I write not clever things.

We are always learning and changing our beliefs

We support abolition of the police and prisons.

We are igtheists.

We cycle.

And we are architects.

We are learning feminism. We are not experts. Maybe, we don’t want to be experts, just want to know.

We hope you will find something you like.

Our comments policy is no insults. You can disagree robustly with the host or those who visit his spot but matusi, haikubaliwi kamwe.

with that, we say, karibuni

Free Bobi Wine

If you own a box, you may have heard of the torture and imprisonment of a young MP in Uganda.

Regular visitors to this spot know of my views on politicians. In case of doubts, I believe they are a despicable lot. And I say this without fear of contradiction. There are a few politicians around the world who may not fit this description but i want to believe they are the exception not the norm (Barry I can see you).

Every day we hear Africans have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to get to Europe. Don’t be fooled to think we like drowning. No, we don’t. It is the conditions we find ourselves in that make us take that treacherous journey to your countries. But it is also to claim that which was stolen from us and continues to be stolen in cohort with our stupid leaders.  Our despicable politicians have maintained colonial structures of oppression that the colonialists left in place. And in all these, members of parliament have unashamedly supported the state. Opposition parties have done very little to change this. Theirs is mainly a pursuit for power for power’s sake without drawing and developing a coherent position that the people can rally around.

Our governments instead of investing in education, agriculture and health are so mesmerized by toys they expend money in buying weapons from Europe and America that are generally used against us. And because we have selfish and greedy MPs, they support such misallocation of resources.

Our governments support border regimes(drain by colonial masters) like those America and Europe have enacted for those they don’t like and think this is progress. Our parliamentarians pass laws that make this possible. Fools all of them. But I digress.

In Bobi Wine, the hopes of a generation lies. In him, the possibility of getting fossil Museveni out of power lives. His torture and detention is slowing this process. Museveni and his family hold no monopoly of ideas and leadership. It is time the people of Uganda and their friends from all over the world make the removal of Museveni from power a reality. It cannot be long postponed. Generations have been lost.

The problem in Uganda is that the army (special forces), trained by Americans (so I have learned) stand in the way of freedom. Bobi Wine is detained in a military facility.  They have the weapons and training to stop any dissent. This cannot go on.

The second problem is that Western envoys speak from the same side of the mouth, never making any statement that supports the masses.  Fuck all of them.

The third problem is the political class.

Here, then, is my dilemma, short of an insurrection, the fossil Museveni, the dictator Kagame, Bongo, the murderous Muigai, Kabila, the idiot in Togo and elsewhere are going nowhere. If this happens, many people will have to die. It should not be this way. I am a coward. I don’t want to encourage people to go to their death in the name of fighting for a great cause. I want people to enjoy the fruits of their sweat. Many lives have been lost on the continent in vain. No greater good has come of it. I want them to take their chances here, in this life, where it matters. I want to them to survive the insurrection to enjoy it. If it doesn’t turn out as they expected, at least, they can say they tried. But I don’t want them dead.

The stupid idea of borders makes working together across borders a challenge. But this is so because those who are classed among us are so afraid of freedom that we would rather work with those who oppress than work to achieve our full humanity by destroying the structures that make our oppression possible.

What is to be done? Boycotts. Sit ins. Write to your embassies. Ask your governments to put pressure on the fossil’s government. And if you can dare to dream, demand the impossible. Force your MPs to cut military spending and instead focus on social services. Demand open boarders. Free markets. Demand that unfair trade policies be repealed. That’s just a beginning.

We can imagine freedom together.

A better world is possible.

Goddammit!


Petition to free Bobi Wine

Is religion a universal in human culture or an academic invention?

Interesting reading from aeon 

From the article

He showed that things appearing to us as religious says less about the ideas and practices themselves than it does about the framing concepts that we bring to their interpretation. Far from a universal phenomenon with a distinctive essence, the category of ‘religion’ emerges only through second-order acts of classification and comparison.

the problem of evil

a solution, somewhat

for those who are not so philosophically inclined, the problem stated simply, reads

  1. If an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient god exists, then evil does not.
  2. There is evil in the world.
  3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient god does not exist.

I am not here to give a new or novel solution but present the solution suggested by Rousseau in Emile as given in the essay of the Savoyard Vicar and ask for your views on the same, whether it is adequate and answers adequately the problem as stated above.

He has the Vicar say

There exists no other evil in nature than what you either do or suffer, and you are equally the author of both. A general evil could exist only in disorder, but in the system of nature I see an established order, which is never disturbed. Particular evil exists only in the sentiment of the suffering being; and this sentiment is not given to man by nature, but is of his own acquisition. Pain and sorrow have but little hold on those who, unaccustomed to reflection, have neither memory nor foresight.

and that

God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. He cannot be mischievous or wicked without hurting himself. A being capable of doing every thing cannot will to do any thing but what is good. He who is infinitely good, therefore, because he is infinitely powerful, must also be supremely just, otherwise he would be inconsistent with himself. For that love of order which produces it we call goodness, and that love of order which preserves it is called justice.

which is to deny the very existence of evil and to reduce it to our passions or judgments. That is to say, evil is a product of our imagination and if we were only to think right, the problem wouldn’t exist. In this view, then, natural evil as elucidated in Rowe’s evidentiary argument doesn’t exist, that is, the death of a bird in a forest fire is not an evil.

The Vicar says of man (moral evil), that

His powers, however, are at the same time so limited and confined, that the use he makes of his liberty is not of importance enough to disturb the general order of the universe. The evil done by man falls upon his own head, without making any change in the system of the world, – without hindering the human species from being preserved in spite of themselves.

In essence, the Vicar has argued that evil, in so far as it exists, is only in our heads and even if we conceded this much it is too minute to affect the nature of things.

Do you agree with the Vicar or is this solution problematic?

 

a question about the Koran

the regular readers of this spot know our position on Jesus H. Christ.

they also know what we think of the bible and by extension religious books.

Muslims think of their religion as the only true™ one.

and of the Koran as coming straight from the gods.

the Koran in many places makes references to H. Christ.

can we not safely conclude it is just a mishmash of stories just as the other religious books, or worse?