Thursday, July 17, 2008

Staring death's career in the face

Yanks Thump Sox

By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, June 22, 2008; Page W32

If you are like I, you are pretty sick of reading articles about how the financially-troubled newspaper industry is making desperation budget cutting moves: Downsizing its products, laying off staff, buying prostitutes for advertisers, and so forth. But believe me, you'd be even sicker of it if you were INSIDE a typical American newsroom these days, where it's sometimes hard to hear over the 200 decibel background drone of human whining.

One frequent newsroom complaint is that they are cutting back drastically in the use of copyeditors. It's true, but I for one am not complaining. I say good riddance.

Rest of the article here.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Naughty Anglican Boy runs back to Mommy

So Anglicans are running back to Mother Rome? The wonders of the world never cease, its mysteries to fathom. Honestly, I'm not surprised. The Anglican church has its roots in Roman Catholicism and to claim they are running back is not really true. They share so much, including Sunday worship, a thing Rome boasts about instituting without scriptural support, the creed and many other doctrines.

The comments on that article are quite interesting. Even the ones from atheists.

No, the CoE is not returning to Mother Rome; she never really left in the first place.

Accusing the Vatican?

This image is not computer generated. It was taken as the pope passed through immigration somewhere in the US. I do not know what they suspected him to be carrying.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kibaki has to fire Kimunya and do the RIGHT thing

Kenyan newspapers today have given us a glimpse of what happened in Palriament yesterday, chiefly the passing of a no-confidence or censure Motion in the Finance minister Amos Kimunya.

Kimunya is a confidante of Mwai Kibaki, who is president by virtue of a hotly contested election whose integrity is under probe as we speak. About the Motion, The Standard suggests that:
"The Grand Regency saga went to the floor of Parliament as furious members censured Mr Amos Kimunya over the sale of the hotel even as he put up a spirited defense of his actions. By adopting the censure motion, Parliament was asking that either the Finance Minister resigns or the President picks the cue and fires him. However, the President is not under obligation to go by Parliament’s decision."

The Daily Nation suggests the same thing.

For us to place the issue in context, let's go back to 1995, to the land of milk and money. Wikipedia tells us that Israeli Prime minister Yitzak Rabin had been murdered, and Bill Clinton was returning from the funeral with Senate majority leader Newt Gingrich. On the plane, Clinton ignored Gingrich, so to show his might, the angry Gingrich organized a clever plan that shut down the US govt literally. He simply forced a budget crisis, the kind we could easily witness in Kenya today.

A Cabinet sub-committee chaired by AG Amos Wako has also recommended that Kimunya resigns. Kibaki can ignore that without serious consequences, but not Parliament. No government can operate without a budget.

The only catch is that MPs might not be paid their salaries, a prospect they would not accept without a fight. That's Kibaki's only consolation, but judging by the mood of parliament yesterday, it would not be totally far-fetched to see MPs taking that option.

But Kenyans must ask what next. Suppose Kibaki does fire Kimunya, which as I have shown he has to do (if Kimunya does not resign first). Kimunya must be asked to explain, probably assisted by handcuffs and a sabbatical at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, where the Grand Regency money went. Did it finance PNU elections last year as claimed by The Nairobi Star this week?

If so, who received the money? And if Libyan blood money (yes, blood money since many Kenyans have died as a result of the theft of Goldenberg money that birthed the Grand Larceny in the Grand Regency saga) financed PNU's campaign last year, doesn't that not logically lead us into the conclusion that Kibaki's alleged victory in last year's election is dripping with the blood of Kenyans? If Kimunya must go, what about Kibaki?

Kibaki has to fire Kimunya, and even if he resigns, the questions should only stop after Kibaki does the RIGHT thing. By now it should be fairly obvious what that is.

Two editorials and a man under siege

Kudos Kenyan MPs, power to you! Kudos to Bonny Khalwale, mover of the censure Motion, and Ababu Namwamba, seconder. Shame on you, Kalonzo Musyoka, the lone dissenting voice.

If you are a Kenyan like me, you must know by now the fate of Finance minister Amos Kimunya (pictured) lies with Mwai Kibaki, the man who claims to be president of Kenya by virtue of being 'duly elected' and hurriedly sworn-in by a discredited Electoral Commission in January.

Kibaki's Finance minister, whose retention in that docket was hotly contested by ODM, Kibaki's partners in the grand coalition, is toast. Kaput. He has to resign or be fired, and Kibaki has no choice in the matter. While The Standard claims Kibaki "does not have to go by Parliament's decision", the truth is that the president really has no choice. I will discuss that in the next blog post.

What is intriguing is the approach by two newspapers in the country. While The Standard opines that the Kimunuya censure Motion is 'a warning to the Cabinet', its chief rival, the Daily Nation, moans the death of the Cabinet consensus. The Nation says: "It remains of paramount importance that the coalition remains in place until it has accomplished its primary mission – to secure peace and stability and ensure that the country is never again driven to the point of disintegration by political and ethnic rivalries."

In other words, the coalition must remain in place, and the govt must be seen to speak with one voice, even in a scandal like the Grand Regency larceny. Bah!

The Standard, takes a slightly different view: "The Executive, on studying the details of the transaction at greater length during a Cabinet meeting scheduled for today, may agree with most parliamentarians or reach a different conclusion from them as to whether Kimunya’s actions were lawful and what actions are necessary beyond the reprimand."

I go with The Standard. Simply because it places the Kenyan people first, not some academic concept of Cabinet consensus. We know only too well that decisions taken by the Cabinet, which meets in camera, are not open to the public. Congratulations to Lands minister James Orengo who chose to trample Cabinet consensus underfoot and placed the interests of the Kenyan people first by exposing Kimunya.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

You Bloody Idiot, Stupid Questions

Beware of a cornered Bim.

The larceny perfected

New twist in hotel saga

Published on July 1, 2008, 12:00 am

By Standard Team

The Grand Regency Hotel sale saga took a new twist as it emerged that the hotel changed hands at Sh1.85 billion and not Sh2.9 billion as claimed by the beleaguered Finance Minister Amos Kimunya.

The Minister for Lands James Orengo made the revelations late at a news conference, even as Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Kimunya, who is at the centre of the storm over the controversial sale of the hotel, remained locked up in a meeting at Treasury building in Nairobi.

Read the rest of the story here.