27 Mar 2008

Kenya Airways and the US Elections.

On the face of it, there would seem to be zero relationship between the state of Kenya Airways and the US Presidential race in which the Democrats seem poised to mount a very serious challenge to regain the White House. In this contest, there is no doubt that 95% of black American votes will go to Barack Obama should he be nominated or around 85% to Hillary Clinton should she squeak by.

This has been the black American tradition since around 1940. Previously blacks, most especially those in the South, voted Republican. Most people would be surprised to know that Martin Luther King was one. That's because most people, and almost no Kenyans, have any idea that the Democratic Party in the USA was the party of the slave owners and fought for segregation after the US Civil War right up until the late 1960's. Kenyans are amazed to hear that the Democratic Party supported the Klu Klux Klan and denied blacks all voting rights for 100 years after the end of slavery. They would almost fall over if they learned all the southern state Governors in the time of the great 60's civil rights crusade were Democrats. Yet African-Americans now vote against the Republicans, the party of Abraham Lincoln?

The explanation is the Democratic Party was split between southern and northern in the USA with the south following a racist brand and the north a non-racial type of Democratic Party politics. Most blacks lived prior to 1940 in the south but the Great Depression forced millions to migrate to northern cities in the 1930's where the northern Democratic Party was in control gave them welfare and other forms of assistance they had never seen in their lives under the southern Democrats. Thus black Americans switched allegiance from the Republicans to the Democrats and have kept that allegiance, besides a rare 10% Republicans like King, ever since.

Voting for the Democratic Party has not helped black Americans so much as destroyed large parts of their former independence, thrift, marriage rates and hard work ethic. From the hard bigotry of the southern Democrat , black Americans ran into the soft bigotry of the northern variety. This "kindness" allows for very low expectations of black Americans. They were the subject of endless handouts in welfare, socially ruinous policies that paid them more for having illegitimate children than for marrying, and affirmative action that allowed blacks to have high placement for lower achievement than others academically and professionally.

All of these Democratic Party practises seem to be "progressive" but have a message: "You are not to be held to high expectations because of the past". This is not very far from a hidden message of, "You are not to be held to high expectations because you can't reach them" - hence the soft bigotry.

Politically the Democrats have used every trick in the book to block welfare reform, to prevent the faith based help of the older African-American society, to offer school choices to inner-city parents and replace affirmative discrimination with helping raise the educational standards of black Americans so they can be independent of welfare.

What has this got to do with Kenya Airways? Here is a black run company with under 0.05% expatriates in the work force that was privatised a decade ago when it was a shoddy Government run corporation. Consistently it beats the profit records and service standards of other African airlines, including South African Airlines which has a very high percentage of "white" employees. It is voted often as the best airline in Africa and as a preferred carrier to European ones like British Airways or Air France.

Kenya Airways works to the high expectations of strict international airline standards, not a low expectation that Africans need extra help or are otherwise incapable of running an airline. Instead of being in confrontation with non-African airlines the way black Americans are in confrontation with the entire range of Republican values (self reliance, non-affirmative, small government, anti-welfare), it partners with a major European airline and shares ideas and expertise.

This story is repeated with black Kenyan hotel management as another example. Our large tourism industry meets international standards, not the local standards of small hotels. Consequently, Kenyan hotel managers can be found in Dubai, Europe, Asia and America running hotels and often 5 star ones of exacting international quality. But what if promotions in our local hotel industry, which is the springboard to an international career, met only Kenyan standards which are lower than international?

It remains a tragedy for black Americans not that they should ever vote Republican en masse, but that the Democrats, while offering to help them have actually added to the low esteem and dependency culture that prevents many of them, racism aside, from prospering. If the split between the parties in the black American community was more 60/40 or 55/54 as in most other communities in the USA it would mean a healthy internal debate and dynamic between the endless dependency of affirmative welfare the Democrats offer and the non-affirmative conservative social and economic values of the Republicans.

That would be good for all of America and especially African-Americans. There seems to be no sign either Democratic candidate in 2008 is willing to shift an inch away from the failed past the way Kenyan Airways did.

Losing Her Grip

Harvard University has allowed sexual segregation at it's gymnasia and public Islamic calls to prayer from the Harvard Yard. Many are disturbed and some outraged, but there will always be blind liberals to spring to to the defense of conservative Islam. Thus Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post labours like Obama over Pastor Wright to make moral equivalence between her private Jewishness and someone else's hijab-wearing public segregation mentality. According to her, those objecting need to "get a grip".

She writes, "Muslim women who enroll at Harvard and turn up in hijabs at its gyms reflect a strand of Islam that society ought to encourage". What a breathtaking repudiation of the Enlightenment. Muslim women enrolling without hijabs, and showing they are the same as the rest of students not in nun's habits, 18th century Jewish Orthodox peasant woman's dresses, Hindu temple saris or chastity belts - all outward signs of a primacy of religion over secularism - would be an encouragement.

Just like Obama's glaring error in equating his grandmother's private worries to Pastor Wright's public utterances, she fails to see any difference between what all religious people may think in private (as she says, that their creed is the best or true one) and the preaching of Islam's "superiority" in a public place, Harvard Yard. Marcus cannot see her Orthodox relatives personal refusal to shake her female hand as not the same as a secular gymnasium being publicly out of bounds to males - or a loudspeaker blaring "Allah Akbar" in a public square.

It is Marcus that needs to "get a grip" and not those exercised by creeping religious separatism, since the steady advance of "soft" sharia in the form of seemingly innocent setting aside of sexually segregated gymnasia times, for example, is merely the precursor of the demands of hard sharia to come. This is the precise experience of Europe and having allowed the erosion of their values by giving in to "soft" sharia, they find themselves singularly unable to prevent the advance of the hard version. As the cretinous prelate Dr. Rowen Williams of Canterbury recently showed, they may have no alternative but to advance it.

Her article is one more example of the suicide of the Western intelligensia when, having so long fought for sexual equity (let us imagine the response if Christian men at Harvard had made the same request as the hijab-wearing women), they are quite willing to sacrifice the gains and benefits for a one sided "tolerance" of intolerant religious sexism.

19 Mar 2008

Obama - Mixed Race, Mixed Message

In many ways Obama's big speech on race was courageous, novel and forthright in a way political speeches rarely are, but his failure to denounce Pastor Wright fully is revealing. The first time we have heard him talk openly about the white half of his family, he managed to throw his grandmother under the bus for her occasional remarks, whilst refusing the denounce Wright for his frequent ones. One has to imagine what would be the reaction were he a white person on the conservative side and running for President whilst taking spiritual nourishment from someone like Pastor Wright, with the racism reversed.

It strains credulity that Obama was for 20 years able to have the most intimate mentoring by Wright and not absorb his “Hate America” and the dollops of crypto-marxist “Black Liberation Theology” doled out at his church. Indeed, it could be thought that it is precisely this hard-left, hate America, down-with-capitalism and collectivist underpinning of Wright's version of religion that actually brought the atheistic, but highly political, Obama into church in the first place. Obama argues such talk is common in black American churches but if it is as wrong and totally repugnant as his speech claims, it seems not to have bothered him till the other day.

Of course, to get elected on a Democratic party ticket where there is a big black urban vote, as Obama had to in Illinois, you simply have to spout such anti-American, anti-white nonsense, or at least give it a nod and a wink or you won't get the vote. So is it cynical realism that made Obama join an "Afrocentric" church that spews race-hustler talk every Sunday? It would be a sad mark on his hopeful and fresh character were that the case.

Are Americans going to be happy with a President and First Lady who have lapped up angry anti-American and occasionally racist comments for years in the same pew? Michelle Obama, Ivy League super-grad on top tier salary and black, has never had anything to be proud of in America except Barry in 2008 - as she told the press recently. Not even the silver spoon she fed herself with to now.

It needs to be asked, if in his speech he says he “never” agreed with many of pastor Wright’s virulent, racist ideas ( one that white people “invented” HIV to decimate blacks - straight out the Nation of Islam hatebook), his visits to dictatorships like Libya with Farrakhan and other anti-American baggage, why then did he stay in the church for 20 years, bathe his children in Wright's ideas that says now he thinks totally wrong, yet not find another church?

He is trying to be too clever by half, damming his pastor with faint praise for the “causes” of Wrights rants, whilst offering collectivist and class solutions ( the “poor whites” bit of his speech) and all straight out of the soft-left catechism.

I admire his eloquence and a certain amount of courage he displays but dislike his faint heartedness and his sidestepping of an issue if he truly wants to get all Americans and not just the Democratic echo-chamber on his side, he will have to do better. Obama is an exceptional politician that only America, the sole truly revolutionary country that has ever worked, could produce. However America's success is due not to it's collectivism but it's individuality, nor to a statist political philosophy but the breath of freedom that inspired it's founders.

Nothing changes from Obama being an inexperienced but highly gifted young politician bathed and imbued with the standard ideas of the American left, ideas which only a fraction of Americans embrace. Republicans and independent voters want race to cease to be an issue and remind themselves that the Democratic party once stood for slave owners and Southern whites-only politicians and has always been the party to play the "race card". We shall see, perhaps Obama is America's destiny, in which case nothing can stand in his way but I remain unconvinced.

16 Mar 2008

More Boomer BS Bites The Dust

My generation, the notorious, narcissistic and flaky "baby boomers" are of course the authors of beatnikery, hippiedom, Che Guevara worship, the 60's, the "New Left" and many other feats of social and intellectual tomfoolery. Never has a generation less deserved the fruits of the sacrifices of our predecessors, the magnificent "Greatest Generation" of World War II veterans. Another of our highlights was the "sexual revolution"...well, one can't say that one has been entirely dull now that I think of it.

However it's been a rigorous dogma of most boomers that somehow abortion is good for you and always preferable to the "unwanted" pregnancy. International folklore wisdom thinks this is nonsense, but what do those ignorant savages in the Third World know? Then there is this from The Times Online

"Women may be at risk of mental health breakdowns if they have abortions, a medical royal college has warned. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they are counselled on the possible risk to their mental health.

This overturns the consensus that has stood for decades that the risk to mental health of continuing with an unwanted pregnancy outweighs the risks of living with the possible regrets of having an abortion....................

The controversy intensified earlier this year when an inquest in Cornwall heard that a talented artist hanged herself because she was overcome with grief after aborting her twins. Emma Beck, 30, left a note saying: “Living is hell for me. I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum. I want to be with my babies; they need me, no one else does.”

3 Mar 2008

Kenya After The Clashes (1)

Donald Kipkorir’s articles are always entertaining and thought provoking but his “After the grand coalition” (March 1st) makes an uneven case for fragmenting Kenya into tribal enclaves as an act of “positive ethnicity”. Such positivism can only come from that which unites people of all cultures and races, not that which narrowly divides them.

One of his proposed tribal regions is the Kalenjin-Maasai -Turkana , a putative “Nilotic” jimbo.* Yet these tribes have historical enmity. Do Sudanic origins long ago make them suddenly compatible? Why not include the Luo in this “Nilotic” micro-state? Other proposals, like for a coastal “Mji-Kenda” state ignore the complication with numerous WaSwahili and Kenyan Arabs, the former slave owners.

North Easterners do not consider themselves one people, despite joint Cushitic origins and languages. Would “forcing” them into an instant micro-state really be better than prodding them, with all other Kenyans, firmly in the direction of Kenya first, tribe second?

And where can one find a place for the Kisii, Samburu, Taita and other large tribes? If they are not to have their own “micro-states” then they must be thrown in as perpetual minorities among larger groups. Where will all this dividing up start, or end?

The example Mr.Kipkorir gives of Germany is misleading. True Germany is federal, but the German tribes were historically and linguistically one people divided by regional differences or religion. They cannot be compared to the diverse and radically differing Kenyan ethnic groups.

Those who emphasize “ethnic diversity” rarely point out that federations, like the USA and Germany, are expressly designed to unify previously sovereign people by making them free to live, work and open business in any part of the federation. If the Kenya tribal proponents wish this, why bother with the expense and complexity of tribal regions? We already have this freedom in Kenya’s current law.

One would be happy to see a Kenya Federation where any Kenyan can work and live, own property and act in politics as they wish, all enforced by the Army and a Kenya version of the FBI. Try preventing a Californian from opening a business in New York and see how fast George W. Bush sends the Federal Marshals to lock you up. This is not what most “ethnic diversity” advocates have in mind but the opposite, namely perpetual superior empowerment of one group, based on where it was geographically circa 1898.

The unity of Kenya may not be a perfect solution, but excessive regionalization could lead to more negative tribalism. There are few signs enough people understand devolution except as a tribal “winner-takes-all” game, as post-election events have sadly shown. This is a trend Mr. Kipkorir probably deplores but is nonetheless a logical consequence of this ideology.

*jimbo - a region or province