Zimbabwe’s Hyperinflation 101

The BBC is running a great article on how Zimbabwe’s economy, which is the worst performing economy in the world, came to its current state. With serious food shortages and an inflation rate that has reached 5000%, the Zimbabwean government introduced a 200,000 Zimbabwe dollar note this week.

It is interesting to note that as a result of this hyperinflation, the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange is one of the best performing stock exchanges in the world… and that makes sense in a way because that is probably the only place where Zimbabweans can place their money and not lose it due to hyperinflation…

Shocking Sexual Atrocities Being Committed in Congo

“Sexual atrocities in Congo’s volatile province of South Kivu extend “far beyond rape” and include sexual slavery, forced incest and cannibalism”.

Yakin Ertuk, the United Nation’s special investigator for violence against women

I have come to the conclusion that a great evil has settled over the Congo. Honestly, I cannot describe it any other way than a great evil. How else then one describe the continuing sexual atrocities, the war crimes and crimes against humanity that are being committed by the militia and in come cases the government troops and police forces.

Yakin Ertuk, the United Nation’s special investigator for violence against women, who came back from an 11 day mission to South Kivu reported on Monday says that the situation in the Congo is the worst she has ever seen in the 4 years she’s has been the special investigator. This is how she sums up the level of these atrocities…

“These acts amount to war crimes and, in some cases, crimes against humanity,”

The report details the atrocities that are being committed, many of which are simply beyond comprehension, imagination or belief and point to the fact that these perpetrators have become completely and utterly vitiated.

Erturk will be reporting her findings in September to the U.N. Human Rights Council. I really don’t know what to say except that I pray that the UN will take some form of action…

That Tragedy Called Central African Republic…

Abandoned Child

Image: IHT -( By Michael Kamber for The New York Times)

“The rumble of engines, any engines, is the signal for the villagers here to flee, leaving behind smoldering pots of wild roots and leaves, a meager afternoon meal. Their haste was so great on a recent afternoon that they left something else behind — a little girl in a filthy white shirt. She wailed as she sat, utterly alone, struggling to stand, much less flee, on slender, uncertain legs.”

Lydia Polgreen – International Herald Tribune

The picture above in many ways sums up the tragedy that is the Central African Republic. This is a picture of a child that was left behind by the villagers who fled when they heard the sound of a UN convoy, having mistaken them for militia forces in the area.

When I was a kid in primary school (or elementary school for you Americans), I remember a couple of times waiting after school for my mother to come pick up my brothers and I, and being terrified that something had happened to her because she was at least a couple of hours late to pick us up. With this in mind, I cannot imagine what would be going on in the child’s mind as she has been abandoned. Looking at the picture, you can see that the little kid is obviously terrified and utterly helpless.

In addition to this, what if indeed the noise had turned out to be militia, what would have happened to the child? Would they have killed him? Would they have kidnapped him? Would they have simply left him there and let nature deal with him… if the parent(s) did not return?

The other tragic part of this story is the fact that the local populations in the region are no being terrorised by the militias that are using the Central African Republic to launch attacks in Chad and the Darfur region of Sudan. In addition, there are the homegrown rebels that the CAR government is fighting and these local populations are getting hit in the crossfire.

“We are living in the bush like animals,” Leontine Makanzi said. “Our children are dying. We are eating nothing. We have no security.”

This, according to the linked article is a direct quote from one of the villagers commenting on what like has become for many of these people. Hundreds of thousands face starvation, and about 50,000 have fled to refugee camps in Chad.

The most tragic part of this situation is summed up in this quote, in the article, by Sister Désirée who is a Burundian nun working at a Roman Catholic mission in Ndim, in northwest Central African Republic.

“It is as though the whole world has simply forgotten these people. I always ask myself, why does no one besides us come to help these people? But I find no answer.”

That I think is the biggest tragedy of this whole affair… and one day in the future, many of us will be haunted by the fact that in our lifetimes we ignored these and other such tragic situations around the world and instead flipped the channel to find out the latest on Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears.

That Feeling of Blah…

These past couple of evenings, I have been feeling rather blah…

I feel like I have a lot of stuff that I want to get done, stuff that I have been neglecting for the past few weeks due to being really busy. However, now that I don’t have much work related pressure and I can relax more in the evening, I find if hard to do anything. I feel like I probably need to take a week off just to relax… or get really busy at work on some high stress project…

Even though I don’t want to admit it, I am beginning to think that maybe I really work better under stress, rather than working on easy ‘no-brainer’ type projects…

UN Peace Keepers Behaving Badly

Ok, this is getting to be rather ridiculas

First we heard about the allegations of sexual misconduct (to put it mildly) by UN peace keepers stationed in the Ivory Coast. Then we heard the same in Congo, in Cambodia and in Haiti. How we hear the Moroccan peace keepers are at it in Ivory Coast… I thought they were there to protect these people, not to molest under age girls…

Hopefully the UN will be tough on those who are guilty… and if sent back to Morocco, their government will do the right thing…

As Human Beings Sink Deeper Into the Cess Pool of Inhumanity…

Further proof that human beings continue to sink deeper into the cesspool of inhumanity and callousness… Three reports within these past two or so weeks showing how human beings will go, for almost no other reason seemingly than for the pleasure of it, to watch the suffering of animals that have done nothing to them, and cannot defend themselves…

The first is that of two 15 year old girls in California who allegedly poured flammable liquid on a little kitten, set it alight and laughed is it burned. The kitten was rescued by a little boy and is now in the care of vets. The kitten suffered burns over 75% of its body and the vets had to amputate its tail and the tips of its ears. What is controversial about this case is that some people were upset because someone offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the assailants claiming that a 16 year old boy was shot and killed in the area and no one took any notice…

The second story is the indictment of Atlanta Falcon’s Michael Vick, on charges that include sponsoring a dogfighting ring. The details are rather disgusting, disturbing and horrifying, and I am interested in seeing the outcome of this case when he has to face a judge next week. If he is found to be guilty, this will ruin not just his reputation (which I think has already be shredded) but his career. I doubt that most of the NFL fans could really look at him the same way again. It seems that the case against him is pretty strong due to the fact that some of these fights were staged on his property and there was evidence that it was happening, that he could not simply ignore.. All I can say is, this is another 50 steps back for African Americans.

Then the is the third story of a man arrested for torturing a tortoise….

To be honest, these stories make me really sick with disgust. It sort of reminds me of those who abuse, torture, molest those within our society who are too young, too old, too afraid or are simply unable to speak out or even defend themselves… And to be honest, I think people who do things like these to animals are really not that far off from doing the same to human beings. This is why I find it rather silly when some people complain that we seemed to be more concerned when you hear cases of animal cruelty than human tragedy…

DJ Bailey on 1Xtra: 15-July-2007

DJ Bailey

Once again another superb show put on by Bailey on his weekly drum and bass show on BBC’s digital radio station, 1Xtra.

On this weeks show, my favorite tracks played where

  • D Bridge – Freedom Club (Exit Dub)
  • Break & Silent Witness – Kick Back (Quarantine Dub)

I was having problems with the network so I was unable to listen to the whole show, but since its online for the rest of the week, I will catch-up with the rest of the tracks. There’s more stuff by/featuring D-Bridge, Breakage, Doc Scott, D.Kay, Tech Itch, Ed Rush & Optical so you this show means business…

I’ll let you know what I thought…

This is America. Please Speak English When Ordering

The sign at Geno’s Steaks, the Philadelphia cheese steak stall states, “This is America. Please speak English when ordering.”

A little ridiculous if you ask me but hey…. what do I know?

DJ Flight on 1Xtra: 11-July-2007

Its been awhile since I posted my regular updates on my favorite Drum and Bass shows… these being ‘Future beatz‘ hosted by DJ Flight and ‘Intabeatz‘ hosted by DJ Bailey, both on the digital radio station, 1Xtra. In addition, there is the Fabio and Grooverider weekly drum and bass show on Radio 1, hosted by… Grooverider and Fabio. Both 1Xtra and Radio 1 two of a number radio stations owned by the BBC and can be streamed online from the BBC website.

Anyway, this past week, Flight as usual held it down with an outstanding show, playing a mix of prereleases, current and a few old but serious drum and bass tracks..

In this weeks’ show, my hands down favorite tracks were

  • Lynx – Reverse Engineering (Soul:R Dub)
  • Craggz – Flick The Switch (Dub)
  • Break – Heads Up (Metalheadz Dub)
  • Spirit – Fall (Inneractive Dub)

Other notables, my favorite DNB producers whose tracks were played included…

  • Doc Scott – Zulu Dawn (31 Dub)
  • Redeyes & Generic – Back To The Future(Dub)
  • Jonny L – I Wrote You A Bassline (Dub)

Oh… the previous week’s show (4-July-2007) Flight was out sick and so Alix Perez & Sabre covered for her. Those boys played a killer show. Unfortunately for me, there were a number of tracks they played that I wanted to note down but I was unable to capture the titles before they changed and archived the show… hopefully I will be able to get to hear the titles later and figure out the names of the tracks that I really liked….

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