profiles in courage

by John F Kennedy.

I have for the last 7 years since I wrote this post been meaning to read this book to see if I was wrong in my conclusions then. I am persuaded I was right then in my conclusions as I still am now that whilst men and women have committed great acts of courage, these were only possible if they stood to benefit. Don’t be hasty to think of benefit only in terms of public recognition- no- the greatest beneficiary of our actions is the self, that one master you cannot go against. In times of great turmoil or crisis, it is that master that must be served.

Many might not have read this book by JFK, but I recommend it highly. Not because of the profiles, which are great by the way, but on its lessons on government. And why, for democracy to continue to work, we must all participate in politics. It is also the eye opener in why many or most of us are frustrated by the decisions the politicians make. We have elected them to be our representatives and expect that their votes will represent our will. JFK reminds us that we have also entrusted them to act impartially, with integrity in the hope that they will be led at al times by public good, however you define it.

As I wrote many moons ago asking what happened to the US of A of men such as Robert G Ingersoll, Lewis and others, I can add to the list such men us E Ross, Calhoun, Houston, Taft, Adams and others- who, my friends living in the Uneducated States of A know much more than I can ever know. It appears, to us, who watch from afar, that party obedience trumps everything else and that we see very few men and women who dare challenge the party. But then, yours truly, is not a politician.

In my neck of woods, such profile maybe hard to build in our present climate. However, there have been men and women who have defied the government of the day and suffered dearly or lost limb and life in defense of their principles- but they have been few and far between-. We remember Waangari Maathai (Prof) for her fight to save our forests for which she paid a personal price. Or those few men of courage who stood firmly with Oginga Odinga when in 1966 he formed Kenya People’s Union- the first Azimio Party- after resigning his office as Vice President. Of note is Bildad Kaggia who for this defiance was detained by then president in HomaBay (I think) for several months. Since then, we have only been electing scoundrels to the no longer August House. We have elected representatives who will sacrifice everything to remain in office. But maybe I am wrong and I expect too much of politicians.

So, again, as I did then, 7 years ago, I ask again today- is selflessness possible?

I don’t think we get the politicians we deserve

But if we do, my fellow citizens really did choose from the bottom of the barrel.

First is the circus that is Nairobi County. The governor was impeached but he is still calling shots from out of office. Before that he made a joke of the constitution by failing to nominate a deputy following the resignation of one Polycarp less than a year(?) into the office.

Still on the same Nairobi County, the electoral body gazetted Waititu who was impeached as governor in a different county for among others abuse of office! This despite the constitution having a chapter dedicated to conduct of public officers.

While still on the constitution, the powers that be who have failed in implementing the constitution we fought so hard for have convinced themselves and are now trying to convince the rest of us that it is the constitution that ought to be changed and not that politicians should change.

And while on politicians. I don’t know who they represent. In April or May last year, the government announced a raft of tax holidays or reliefs to put money into people’s pockets following the disruption occasioned by Covid. These reliefs expired on 31st Dec and then parliament convened in an emergency session and passed legislation to do away with the reliefs and holidays like the economy was now full throttle. I can’t believe Kenyans queue for hours to elect these fellows.

And finally the ministry of education is an example of how incompetent this government is. Schools were closed last year before the end of term one because of covid. One would think because of the requirements for keeping people apart, more classrooms would be built or more teachers employed but lo and behold, we are busy campaigning on whether we should alter the constitution that is not even an adolescent yet.

I am convinced that politicians serve their interests. That the state exist for the benefit of the few. And the rest of us must find ways to get along in the process.

Politicians and the church in Kenya

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca

There is a storm brewing in my backyard, but it is all smokes and mirrors.

For some time now, churches have always invited politicians, including the dee pee,  and the well to do in the community to their fundraising activities. You all know god wants money. So one would ask, why is there trouble? One, the dee pee question (if you know, you know). Reports show he has been too generous leading many people to question the source of his wealth. Well, we generally have an idea but we would want to hear him say it.

Why is the storm all smokes and mirrors? A section of the church goers are complaining that politicians have taken over their pulpits. But this is a half truth or just a plain lie. Churches, clergy and the general population in most events treat politicians as demigods. They get deferential treatment at gatherings and are usually offered opportunity to speak wherever. In church, you have a captive audience and any politician would use such an occasion to push his agenda.

After receiving millions of shillings from politicians and other bureaucrats, clergy and their sheeple have now developed a conscience and do not want this money. Well, not happening. The good archbishop of the ACK church has said they want the money, but please be quiet about it. A cross-section of the population have however interpreted this to mean the good bishop is saying no to politicians and any stolen money. One would think only politicians are guilty of sleaze, but this is not true.

My fellow countrymen and women should stop being hypocrites. We all know god wants money. And wants a lot of it. For what I don’t know. Out of 175 countries ranked, Kenya is ranked 144. And it is not the case that only the political class is driving this corruption. We all are. And last I checked, the world factbook gives this break down of religious affiliation Christian 83% (Protestant 47.7%, Catholic 23.4%, other Christian 11.9%), Muslim 11.2%, Traditionalists 1.7%, other 1.6%, none 2.4%, and unspecified at 0.2% of the population, as estimated in 2009, which can only be translated that it is driven by religious people. They make the majority. So why pretend that you don’t want dirty money in your churches?

I say. let the religious people stop pretending they have developed some spine. Moi always went to a church, was thought of as one of the most religious people in Ke but presided over plunder, unsolved murders and so on. Kibaki no different. Muigai and Ruto are all Christians but have presided over plunder of a nation not seen before in this country since the beginning of self-rule. Well, maybe not as much as Kamau wa Ngengi grabbed land. Just keep inviting the politicians to your churches, we understand your gods/ parsons want money,  and the politicians want a captive audience, which the church provides. It is win- win. God/ parsons get money. The politician gets a captive audience.

End of Thursday sermon.

thoughts out of season

We all die, this is certain. Maybe not. Some are born dead and some never live.

Each life is just as important as the next.

Why do politicians walk around with bodyguards? Does this phenomena happen only here in my neck of woods or elsewhere?

What type of idiot walks around another idiot to take for them a bullet should one be fired?

What loss do we suffer if a politician idiot is killed other than having to go for elections? Shouldn’t we, to keep these thieving people in check, take away their security details? Maybe they may just become reasonable.

It’s a chilly morning here, with some showers. I don’t know how it is wherever you are.

Wishing you all a godless Sunday.

Saba saba

For those who have followed the local news, tomorrow there is a planned political rally dubbed Saba Saba [ 7th of July]. Years back at the clamour for multiparty, a rally was held on the 7th of July and the police acted in the way we have expected them to always do this side of the equator, with reckless abandon and violently. One can almost compare them to a starved dog [ I mean no disrespect for dogs] defending its master to the death. I digress.

Tomorrow, I can guess that some lives will be lost. I want to know, these lives will be lost for what cause?  The politicians will be safe away from teargas and water cannons fired by cops who live in shanties and are paid meager salaries to keep them alive. I never understand how stupid people are. Is it part of cop training to not reason? How do you follow a command to shoot at your fellow citizens who are unarmed?

And while on it, we receive silly text from one of the mobile service providers to attend a church service to pray for the nation. There have been so many prayer sessions for the several things that ail this country, I don’t know if those doing the prayers have ever taken an inventory of which prayers were answered and which haven’t. I think such evaluation is needed so they may see what a massive waste of time they it is in and start to do something meaningful. Maybe it is time the clergy started to ask the government to implement the Ndungu commission report on land and others, the Truth and Justice commission’s report, the massive corruption and tribalism in the state departments. Maybe then I will listen to the clergy, until then, they should shut the fuck up.

One of my good friends has brought to my attention an idiot politician whose names are [sic] hon Moses Kuria. This fellow can’t help being silly.

If this is the type of person some people expect to be their representative, they are all a bunch of assholes. If they can’t tell him to shut the fuck up, they all should check in with their doctors to find out if they are still ok, mentally that is.

While we don’t know how this dialogue will be and what the content is, we encourage them to go ahead and have their say. They may not have their way, but at least they must and should be heard. After tomorrow, life will continue. Those who import sugar while killing local companies will continue. Al Shabaab will still attack whenever they feel so, people will die of hunger and the clown at statehouse will appoint a crony or village mate to a government post and then tell us to shun tribalism. For those who pray, your god shall still be non-existent and invisible answering no prayers.

Lastly, I know the majority of those who will be standing in the scorching heat of Uhuru Park do not visit this blog, if any of them does, should there be any sign of running battles with the police, keep safe. There is no great cause worth dying for, especially in this country. Live to fight another day. The politicians will be safe in some hotel planning the next rally. We will bury you and forget that you were.

We support all forms of civil disobedience. We don’t know whether they will result in a change for the better. Nor do we believe that politicians or the political class we have any vision farther than their noses.