Illiteracy Retarding Growth in Africa

I whole heartedly agree with the basic premise implied by this article that a lot of problems Africa faces are due to the fact that Africa has very high rates of illiteracy. Unfortunately many African leaders (and I use that term rather loosely) have not really stepped up to the plate when it come to providing education (and health and security too) for their citizens and these countries will not go anywhere if they don’t have a population that is educated… It would be nice if these leaders had a sense of responsibility, some humility and the desire to leave a positive legacy… I think that would motivate them to really show true leadership…

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars Documentary

I just finished watching an amazing documentary about Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, a band for musicians formed in a West African refugee camp where they had escaped to during the brutal ten year ‘civil’ war that ravaged Sierra Leone and its people.

One thing I really liked about this movie is that even in the midst of inhumanity, oppression, persecution, poverty and desperation, you find that there are those who are not willing to sacrifice their humanity and dignity by sinking to the depths of sub-humanness that many are so quick to do. Many of the rebels, bandits, militia in Africa who prey on the local populations don’t seem to realize that war tends to be a lose-lose proposition especially when they claim to be ‘fighting for freedom/rights’ yet all they do is kill innocent civilians and plunder/loot the meager resources of the local populations and the land.

But what really inspired me about this documentary is that after watching it, I came away convinced that no matter the evil that some do in Africa, there are always those who (even despite their fears) will tirelessly work for a better future for others, their families and their community and country. I believe that there is still hope for Africa simply because there are people that still care about their fellow brothers and sisters…

I plan to buy the DVD and talk more bout this documentary in more detail… But let me once again say, this is one of the best documentaries I have seen in a long time!

and that is that… the end

“…and that is that… the end.” That is how Tony Blair, Britain’s former Prime Minister ended his last speech at the House of Commons just before he resigned from his post as Prime Minister of Britain for the past decade… And so begins a new era with the new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown…

What Does the Future Hold for Darfur?

Though I haven’t really spoken much about what is going on in the Darfur region and the conflict that has being going on, I wanted give a mention to the attack on the African Union force that is currently stationed there that happened back in late March or beginning of April as an illustration of the perils the persecuted in the region face.

Five soldiers, members of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping force stationed in Darfur, who were guarding a water well were attacked and killed. Four died immediately while the fifth died due to the inability of the AU force to rescue and evacuate him… When I read this story the first time I was really shocked considering that these soldiers were peacekeepers and not the enemy. But then I realized that the attackers are the same who have been been involved in the displacement, torture, rape and murder of innocent and defenseless women, children and men. So this should not be surprising.

So the question arises, why all this violence and carnage? What do the perpetrators really hope to gain in the long run by killing, torturing, raping essentially defenseless men, women and children? By perpetrating genocide on these populations, do they believe that life will get better for them?

On the bigger picture, what will it take for there to be peace in that region? And even if there was to be peace, what about the rehabilitation for all those hundreds of thousands for whom life can never really be ‘normal’

First and foremost, peace must be brought to that region. Yet to be honest, I came to the conclusion long ago that the countries (read the West), who really do have the power to go in there and bring about the peace (of the kind like the safety/no fly zones that were created in Iraq helped protect the Kurdish people), are not likely to do much besides wringing their hands over this issue…And what about the rest of us, do we simply sit bak and think “gosh that’s awful”, then continue on with our lives?

Real Heroes: Chinue ‘Sempo’ Sugihara

Sugihara Book Cover

I have read this book twice and I find this story absolutely incredible and very inspiring. This is the true story of Sugihara, who was a Japanese diplomat (consul) in Europe just before and during World War II.

He is notable for helping hundreds of Jews escape the murderous Nazis by granting (against the wishes of the Japanese government) the Jews visas with which they were able to travel to Japan and from there to counties of safe haven… What is even more incredible in his case, and I think in the cases of many other heroes like him is that in doing what he did, he went completely against the grain. Besides the fact that many in Europe at that time seemed to either not care or simply condoned what was happening to the Jews and other ‘undesirables’, there was also the fact that he went against the wishes of his own government which is rather remarkable considering that the Japanese mindset would have been one not standing out, not going against the current. Keep in mind too that at that time, the Japanese were allied with the Nazis.

The other remarkable thing was that not only did he bring his wife into his decision to help the Jews but he also sought her blessing on it. She immediately agreed. I am very sure they knew the possible consequence of his decision with regards to his career, his family and possibly severe repercussions.

I will update this post and give a more detailed summary and what the book meant to me in the next few days..

Central African Republic: Life in the Bush

 

Cenral African Republic: Life in the bush is a multi-media presentation by Melissa Winkler of the International Rescue Committee, documenting the lives of displaced and fearful villagers in the spiraling violence in the Central African Republic, relatively small nation in Africa located north west of Congo.

As more often than not, these villagers, like many of the poor and defenseless around the world, are the once who suffer under the cruel and heartless hands of those whom I can barely call human and hardly no one ever comes to their defense or aid…. that is the sad and pathetic fact of life, that even we, who tend to think of ourselves as ‘moral’ do not seem to care about those like these…

EU Agrees on the Amendment…

They did it. The BBC is reporting that the EU leaders have agreed to the Amendment…

“The new treaty preserves much of the planned EU constitution, which was rejected by French and Dutch voters during referendums in 2005….” BBC article

In other words, ‘we don’t need no stinking voters…’. and so even though they are calling it something different, it looks like the EU ‘constitution’ will be formed and in place by mid-2009.

Each of the member states need to ratify the treaty, but its really likely they all will… So, does this mean that the EU superstate is one step closer to reality? Wow… this is huge news!

The World failing Darfur Say Rice

“I will be very frank. I do not think that the international community has really lived up to its responsibilities here…” US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

I wholeheartedly agree with this statement by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking ahead of the Paris summit on Darfur.

I hope and pray that somehow, sometime soon, that the international community is going to get off its butt and do something … rather than wait and some years later look back and say, “we should have done something”. In addition to Darfur, I would also add the Congo region as well… This is one region that seems to have been completely ignored

‘Amending’ the Constitution for the EU Superstate

This article, Secret New Plan for EU Super State, totally caught my interest when I found the headline link via Drudgereport. What’s the article about?

In a nutshell, the article talks about the intent of Tony Blair, the outgoing Prime Minister of Britain, to bring back the EU constitution that failed in a public referendum two years ago. The French and the Dutch rejected the referendum then but now the German chancellor Angela Merkel has proposed to bring it back but instead of calling it a constitution, they would call it an ‘Amending Treaty’. The brilliance of this maneuver is that the ‘Amending Treaty’ is not subject to a public vote which is likely to be rejected by the British, the French and the Dutch again.

So what is the big deal about all this and why am I interested? Well the main reason is that I am really interested in biblical prophesy and especially end-times prophesy since I believe that there is no other time in history like this generation today where many of the things that would be needed to fulfill what the bible says in the book of Danial and also in the book of Revelation are in-fact in place, in existence or are highly feasible. For example, with the internet today and global banking and finance, it would not be hard to set-up a one world economic system with one universal currency. This would actually solve a lot of problems for certain countries like Zimbabwe whose economy is basically trashed. The one world economic system is prophesied in the bible. Also prophesied in the bible is the one world government. Now think about all the failed states and all the states in many third-world countries who’s citizens are being totally screwed by their leaders. Many of these citizens would probably have not problem being part of a global government system of governance if they could have some peace and a chance at a better life in their own country.

There are many other events and conditions that the bible predicts will happen and I look around the world today and wonder if these are indeed the beginnings of some of these events…. I will talk about some of my observations of these in another posting… In the meantime, I am interested in whether this ‘amendment’ will really happen

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