How do you sue an airline

This is the question I have asked myself since morning. I have turned it around my head many times it is now tender. And can that charge sheet include lost sleep, loss of business, time wasted, emotional trauma and all? You see, I had a reservation for Mogadishu on Fly Ade scheduled to leave Nairobi at 6:40am. Since I live 40minutes, on a good day, away from the airport, I had to wake up early and all. These fellows cancelled the flight after 7 and without notice. I called our travel agent who didn’t know or if they knew, it must have been while I was at the airport. Maybe I should enjoin them in the case. The only question I have for them is what did they know, when did they know and what did they do with it. SB, the ball is on your court.

In a different story, I got to reflecting how dignitaries those who move around in a convoy of cars with outriders and chase cars feel. You see I was in this situation where I am in a armoured car, with armed outrider and chase car cruising fast through the streets of Mogadishu and I am asking myself whether I feel more safe that way or would it be much better if I were in a nondescript car without guards? My preference is obviously for anonymity whenever it is possible. I know this is strange since this blog is a contradiction to my preferring anonymity. Life is what it is, so they say.

In still a different story, I have been reflecting on the negative effects of armed conflict and looking at the state of the city of Mogadishu. Humanity must find a way to resolve its problems without resorting to war. 25 years of civil war is bad. It will take lots of work to have a working government in this place.

In unrelated news, I am reading a book on the assassination of Martin Luther King and the cover up is beyond shocking.

Related to the unrelated news is the situation in Venezuela which seems as a calculated attempt by some countries to overthrow a legitimate government. But this is a story for later, though one could read this and this.

proof for god

You can’t win with apologists. First, they had logical proofs for the existence of god(s). Once it was shown that while the arguments could be sound and valid, that was just one hurdle. It’s one thing to have an argument and another to come from that argument to reality.

The author of this post argues that the proof for god cannot be arrived at through logic but

offer an ostensive argument: Open your mind and reach out to the transcendent. You’ll find something supremely good. Call it what you like. But call it. It will answer your call.

and how do you arrive at this?

Through prayer or meditation, we can try to open our minds to a reality beyond our ordinary experience. And most of us find something there, a feeling of transcendence.

And I hope among the things we can point to include a bird trapped in a forest fire without a chance of escape, or a zebra dying of asphyxiation having been attacked by a lion or people trapped in a hurricane. But we all know this is not what they mean. They want us to think about butterflies, roses and a beautiful scenery.

Is death bad for us?

Epicurus would say no. In one of his famous letters, he writes death is nothing to us, for when we are, death is not with us and when death is come, we are not. Lucretius is of the same view; before we were, it didn’t bother us, after we stop being, it should likewise not bother us.

I generally believe death, sometimes, is a great good, for it is a release from suffering. For example, for those terminally ill and in pain, death is a release, even though most people even in such circumstances want to prolong their lives.

Benatar, in Human Predicament, argues that there are ways in which death is not a good, to the person who is dead. Death, he writes, deprives us of meaning, if for example, our life had meaning because of our associations or the projects we were doing.

Death, he adds, is also bad because it obliterates us. Annihilation that comes with death is a bad in the whole. It is here also that he disagrees with Lucretius. The argument by Lucretius proposes a symmetry between not having been and not continuing to being. He says the two are not symmetrical. Not having been born doesn’t cause you harm. But to stop being, as a result of death, is not a good for one, it deprives you of possible goods you would have continued to experience, among other things.

Is death a good or a not?

Critical mass Nairobi- February edition

If you are a cyclist and live in a city with other cyclists, you can all meet up once a month for a critical mass event. It helps to create awareness to motorists that there are other legitimate road users who may not necessarily be driving. And this is important especially in countries where planners, city managers and road engineers have never thought of integrated road design that takes care of non motorised users.

In the video below, for those who want to meet the face behind the blog, my bike comes into focus towards the end of the clip and disappears.

discrimination, poverty and ignorance

In this 2012 production, Hadji, who has been living in the USA is arrested following intel that he has been funding or directing terrorist activities from US soil and is set for deportation to Turkey to face trial.

He tells Firat, the cop from Turkey, mankind has three problems; discrimination which can be solved by love and compassion, poverty,  by sharing and ignorance which can only be resolved by education. He had escaped ignorance at Bitlis to go to the US and sadly, he dies as a result of ignorance, in Bitlis.

Hadji says there is one irrefutable truth to every human; to be born and to die. Life is but a bridge that links these two ends and we spend a lifetime trying to bridge this gap.

The acting is generally good. Becker of the FBI thinks all Muslims are terrorists and I don’t know how he expects to get answers from the same Muslims when he goes all macho into a mosque during prayer time and starts barking orders.

If you have 115 minutes to spare, and don’t know what to do with it, then here is something you could do with it.

And a poem

On the day I die, when I’m being carried
toward the grave, don’t weep. Don’t say,

He’s gone! He’s gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and

the moon sets, but they’re not gone.
Death is a coming together. The tomb

looks like a prison, but it’s really
release into union. The human seed goes

down in the ground like a bucket into
the well where Joseph is. It grows and

comes up full of some unimagined beauty.
Your mouth closes here, and immediately

opens with a shout of joy there.

Pedophilia

In Nabokov’s Lolita,Humbert Humbert is attracted to a 12 year old girl.

Mark Greif in Against Everything, suggests that those who dreamed of sexual liberation did not go far enough. They should have said, he writes

Sex is a biological function—and for that reason no grounds to persecute anyone. It is truthless—you must not bring force to bear on people for the basic, biological, and private; you may not persecute them on grounds so accidental. You must leave them alone, neither forcing them to deny their sex nor to bring it into the light.

He, Greif, asks why is there an allure in youth and answers

Youth is more effective precisely because it is something all of us are always losing.

When we look back, we were once youth, it is the familiar. When we look ahead, all adults (those older than us) are strangers, for we have never been old.

Then comes this TEDx talk

This should be an interesting discussion. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this.

Christ myth

By Andrew Drews.

By the 19th century, if not earlier, critical scholarship on Jesus of theology had returned a verdict of non existence. Theologians and their followers, however, still maintain a belief in a historical Jesus.

How is it that religion is so resistant to evidence? How come little of the critical scholarship seem to permeate the publics and majority of believers take it on the word of their shepherds that the Jesus of theology is a historical personage.

There has been argument by others, religious and secular, that the Christ of theology is based on a historical personage. This admission however annihilate any possibility of the historicity of the Jesus of theology. He just doesn’t exist.

And so the verdict must stand that the Jesus of theology never walked this good earth.

questions for atheists

In my Monday morning tour of the webs, I hit upon this 10 new questions about atheism

1. How do atheists name their children, if most names have some sort of religious background?

I don’t know about your village, but in mine, we are named one, as to time of day we are born or if an important personage happens to pass through the village at the time of birth or a catastrophic event or after a dead grandfather. In fact, it is only with the coming of the missionaries that people started giving their children names with some religious connotations.

2. Is atheism a form of Satanism?

Yes, the brand that eats babies, christian babies especially.

3. Why has atheism become so popular in the 21st century?

As Percy B. Shelley wrote in his defense of atheism; ignorance brought us the gods, knowledge will ruin them (I paraphrase).

4. Why do atheists choose atheism?

We don’t chose. There are those lucky people born in families where the parents are atheists so it is a matter of course. Many others come to atheism after having been believers in woo and finally seeing the light.

5. Are atheists a threat to the United States?

I don’t think so. But in a certain way, yes. As one writer wrote many eons ago, the person of ideas is a threat to received authority.

6. How do atheists keep a positive outlook on life?

Mostly by eating bbq.

7. Why do some atheists insist that atheism is not a “group”?

Because it’s not.

8. Why do so many atheists fail to understand that belief doesn’t require proof?

On the contrary, we do understand this quite well. Believers have insisted they have proof. We are only asking them to provide this proof they have.

9. What is paramount for most atheists?

I wouldn’t know.

10. Is it difficult being an atheist?

Depends on where one lives and the people around you. Try being an atheist in Saudi Arabia and not be discreet about it and see how long before someone finds a reason to drag your ass to a court.