Thursday, July 08, 2004

better out than in.

It's St. Bonaventure (1221 -1274) today.  Doctor of the Church, Minister of the Friars Minor, biographer of St. Francis and friend of St. Thomas

There is a report that there will be an investigation into the death of the two marchers at the demonstration in Kisumu last week. Apparently the police on crowd-control duty ought not to have been issued live bullets.

Sir Edward Clay, Her Majesty's High Commissioner to Kenya,
expressed his dismay at the undiminished levels of corruption in NARC's Kenya in highly undiplomatic language (at a lunch held to encourage investment in Kenya, no less!) :

"We never expected corruption to be vanquished overnight. We all recognised that some would be carried over to the new era. We hoped it would not be rammed in our faces.", and [referring to Francis Muthaura, head of the Civil Service] "He is perhaps trying to whistle up his courage, aware that we know a lot, but perhaps uneasily aware that he does not know just how much we know."
After which, all hell broke loose. The Foreign Office has backed him, Chirau Ali Mwakwere (Minister for Foreign Affairs for about twenty minutes) has had Sir Edward in for a little chat, the US and Norwegian ambassadors have added their voices to the anti-corruption chirping and our hero has announced that he regrets any offence caused, while standing by his sentiments.
The Churches, most civil society groups, and Transparency International have all come out in favour, as have any number of reasonable Kenyans. Still, it's a little worrying, this sudden outbreak of good sense in the British diplomatic corps, also I can't help but wonder whether this disagreement might better have been saved for a little later in the administration' s life.

To general surprise, African leader speaks African language at African leaders' summit.
The Butler report is just out.  I haven't looked at it myself, but the Guardian, and the Times, seem to have good coverage.  For what it's worth, my view is that even if Mr. Blair did not act in bad faith, he was culpably negligent in relying on such inconclusive evidence for his going to war.  The Normblog has, as always, something interesting to say about it.
Barack Obama will make the keynote speech at the Democratic party's National Convention.  Should he be elected, he will be only the third nonwhite person during its history to sit in the Senate.  Wallace Kantai's perceptive rant:
"More importantly, we have little claim to Obama as a Kenyan...We are psychologically and politically predisposed to rejecting outsiders. For Kenyans, whether as official government policy or as evidenced in our private interactions, refugees are a bothersome lot of people – poor, smelly folk whose sole mission in life is to compete with us for scarce resources. We keep them in refugee camps in places that are out of sight. For the few lucky ones who manage to make it into our cities, we put them into ethnic ghettoes such as Eastleigh, hoping they will keep to themselves...Kenyans are entitled to support Obama and to celebrate the proximity of a Kenyan descendant at the centre of American power, but they should do so in the full knowledge that they are hypocrites.
  • Resonance fm, London's first radio art station.
  • EveTushnet's perceptive musings on God, violence, isolation,  and American literature:
    "So many American stories have this sense of radical aloneness, the ferocious quest to find out whether there's anyone else out there...
  • A logician a day...
  • Fahrenheit 9/11, despite Michael Moore's ineptitude finding an ending, or indeed a coherent argument.  So, Ok, it's propaganda, but counter-propaganda propaganda is good propaganda.
  • Ratzinger's confidential note to the American bishops on the matter of pro-abortion politicians and the sacraments.

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