Monday, December 27, 2010

Why are Muslims and Christians destroying property and killing one another in Nigeria?

On Sunday, 26 Dec 2010, the Associated Press published an article entitled "Pope Lunches With Poor, Denounces Church Attacks."  He denounced the Christmas day attacks on Christians in the Philippines, Nigeria and Pakistan.  

Mr Akawu wondered "Why Christians?" 

As a human rights activist, I deplore all of this violence too.  But somewhere along the line, we must analyse why this constantly occurs.  Please note that groups of scientists who are atheists do not riot against one another and kill one another. Most likely, scientists who are still practicing a religion are also not involved in such violence. That said, why are Muslims and Christians destroying property and killing one another in Nigeria? 

In India, some months ago, Hindus rioted against Christians because the former disapproved of the Christians' proselytising Hindus.  This is a matter of money.  Fewer Hindus, less money to Hindu priests, priests get very angry, sermonise about this during worship services, and as soon as services are over, Hindus go on a killing rampage against Christians.  Even though news reports (created by journalists with a religious belief of their own to protect), do not explain the underlying cause of these endless killing sprees between religious groups.  What can be said about the violent relations between Hindus and Christians, also explains the violent relations between all ideological groups against one another. 

News articles written by religious journalists are far more biased than those written by atheists.  Atheist journalists are more apt to report objectively, but religious journalists have their own theological agenda and biased view of the world.  

But to answer Mr Akawu's question, Christians also have a history of committing gross violence against Jews.  Recalling from memory, it was around 1891, after an Easter sermon, Christians in Pinsk, Belorussia poured out of their church that afternoon and broke into the homes of frightened Jews, maiming and murdering dozens.  The reason: the claim by the Christian priest that Jews killed Jesus.  (So silly, since "Jesus" is only a mythological character.)  This was the basis of many pogroms of Jews before the rise of Adolf Hitler.  The Pope is really not in a position to condemn Muslim killing of Christians.  
We have the reverse now, with Muslims arrogating unto themselves the Divine right to kill Jews, Christians and all other "infidels." So when we think of atheists and scientists who do not start wars against our religious neighbours or against each other, Christians will jump up and remind saying "Josef Stalin was an atheist, and he killed MILLIONS!"  This is true, but there are some fine points here.  Stalin grew up in a Russian Orthodox culture and attended for three years Tiflis Theological Seminary in what is now Tbilisi, Georgia, about 87 km from Russia.  I see this among atheists all the time.  They rid themselves of the god belief, but still retain so much of their earlier life's indoctrination which colours their view of life. Some male atheists are still oppose to abortion, some are still anti-LGBT, some are still male chauvinists, etc. 

What is an atheist?
Like Robert Mugabe, Josef Stalin was intelligent and a bully. Had I been an atheist under the Stalin regime, I would have feared him and joined others to fight his murderous oppression. 
Is Robert Mugabe an atheist?  No, he is still a Catholic and a bully.  Nonetheless, it's not that hard for bullies to substitute one ideology for another.  In Stalin's case, Marxism became his religion--plus the fact that he was an ego maniacal force unto himself.  In 1996 "Mugabe and Marufu were married in a Roman Catholic wedding Mass at Kutama College, a Catholic mission school he previously attended." --Wikipedia 
Atheism is not an ideology.  Words ending in "-ism" are usually ideologies of some sort.  But "atheism" is the opposite because the "a-" is a Greek prefix meaning "without."  Atheists are without "theism" or a god belief.  Greek "god" is Theos. Atheists are simply people who don't believe in a god.  From there, atheists are many other things.  Most of us are rational people in that we see no need for violent conflict between people, and we seek peaceful solutions to problems--including practices leading to population stabilisation. 

Overpopulation caused by religion

The Philippines is 90% Christian, 90% of which is Roman Catholic.  It has a population of 80 million presently.  In 1962, when Uganda became independent, the population of the Philippines was 28 million.  This very rapid population growth is due to Roman Catholic opposition to abortion and artificial birth control.  Catholic women who practice "natural birth control" are called "mothers."  

The land area of the Philippines is 300,000 sq km.  For comparison, Uganda's land area is 2,698 km, and we have 31 million people.  The Philippines has 266.6 people per sq km.  Uganda has 11,490 people per sq km.  When I saw these figures on my calculator, I thought I made a mistake.  But yes, double-checking, my calculations are correct.  I knew Uganda was overpopulated--but good grief!!  No wonder half the population of Uganda is starving!  
And this is my point: hungry people have a choice: a) to peacefully lie down and die, or b) form armed groups and kill perceived enemies.  Religion provides the justification for violence--since there are so many stories of violence in the Old Testament and the Qur'an. Religious violence is caused not only by disagreement over theological interpretations, but by dwindling resources--water, food, land being the most basic. 

Increased population leads to soil degradation and progressively lower annual yields.   India's Green Revolution, starting in 1965, has been overwhelmed by continued population growth and soil degradation.  Today, 230 million people in India are undernourished. "Foodgrain harvest during 2008-09 is estimated to be a record 228 million tonnes. However, the requirement for the national population would exceed 250 million tonnes by 2015."

As an atheist with a focus on ending violence and food hunger, I see it necessary to substitute science education for religious belief.
My favourite quote: "For every morsel of bread given to a stranger in need, hundreds have died from diseases whose cures were thwarted by organized religion's traditional opposition to science."  --Charles Sutherland 

A scientific approach to life would be to look at the world as a whole, to look at 7 billion people and population growth in Third World countries and why these countries remain poor with unchecked population growth. This becomes a vicious cycle.  For certain, the Roman Catholic pope is one root cause of the world's misery.  But let me say that all other religions are working with the pope to continue this suffering of the world's peoples--while these pious scoundrels call for suffering people to keep faith with their oppressors so that they can continue their oppression. This is also called: Mass Insanity. 

To conclude: Your religious belief and your financial contributions to any religious organisation is harmful to everyone--religious and non-religious alike.  Religious belief is selfish, irrational and cruel. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

"How should we handle gays in Uganda"?

Following a strong debate on GLBT rights in Uganda,my online friend sent me this note and I thought,though am not mentioning his names,I thought it will be good for my online communities to read it to. Below is my reply to him.

"Thank you for your commenting about gay rights i never even thought of the perception of many people.thanx to facebook now i have a broad mind .my work as a teacher has made me confront gays and i have expelled some boys in an effort to curb this what is the way forward?? how should we handle gays in Uganda?"

Thank you sir--,  for your email.

1 You made a big mistake for expelling those boys based on your concept of "vice."  A century ago, Webster's defined vice as such:

2. A moral fault or failing; especially, immoral conduct or habit, as in the indulgence of degrading appetites; customary deviation in a single respect, or in general, from a right standard, implying a defect of natural character, or the result of training and habits; a harmful custom; immorality; depravity; wickedness; as, a life of vice; the vice of intemperance. [1913 Webster]

"Immorality; depravity; wickedness," -- right out of the Old Testament. 

What I would like for you to do is to find all those you expelled and bring them to a meeting so that you can apologise for what you did, in the mistaken belief that they were wrong and you were right, based on old European superstitious beliefs.  Meantime, Europe has, for the most part, thrown off the shackles of Christianity--but we, the colonialised, have not. 

As a human rights activist, I see the value in people's brains--or minds--that need to be educated as much as possible.  If all these boys did was to show affection, or sexual affection, to one another (which is far better than boys fighting and injuring one another), then your actions were very harmful and unjust.

I would like to attend this meeting so that all of us, you, me and the expelled boys, can discuss what human rights is, the value of education, and the harm done by religious beliefs. 

At the end of the meeting, I hope that the boys can be returned to school to finish their education, and because they were victims of discrimination based on religious belief, they will make a commitment to devoting the rest of their lives to reforming Uganda toward a more secular nation. 

In David Bahati's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, it is stated: "This legislation further recognizes the fact that same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic."

Notice how the word recognises is spelt with a "z".  That's because this bill was written up by Americans, by members of The Family, a radical Christian group in Washington, D.C. 

There are at least 1,860,000 men and women in Uganda who are 100% homosexual.  A larger, additional percentage are bisexuals.  All these people are oppressed because of religion, the condemnations of same-sex affection expressed by the European god in the Old Testament and St Paul in the New Testament. To the fundamentalists, the literalists, St Paul is as much of a god as is Jesus.

It is claimed by religious gays that Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.  In a literal sense, that is correct, but Jesus (a fictious character, not an historic figure), said the following in Matthew, Chapter 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true.

5:18 Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with -- not until the end of all things.  

We have in the Good News Bible, 1976, Leviticus 18:22 No man is to have sexual relations with another man; God hates that.

In the American Standard Version, 1901, this interpretation reads: "And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." 
 In theocracies, such as Uganda, if there is to be a discussion on homosexuality, it must be condemnatory.  This gives people like MP David Bahati permission to advocate total genocide or elimination of all gay people.  The Bible tells him so. 

To speak in favour of human rights, including the rights of people who were born gay or bisexual, is to go against Biblical condemnation.  In other words, people like me are regarded as evil or Satanic because I'm going against "God's Will."

Elsewhere in the Bible, this European god destroys whole communities that go against his will.  

So religious people are filled with fear to speak the opposite of what is stated in the Bible.  And this is why the topic of homosexuality is taboo--except for ministers of religion and ardent religionists like Bahati who must condemn gay people.

What is so promising, however, is that the science and technology which lead to the development of the Internet and facilitated easy communication, is breaking this taboo. 

In Europe's Medieval Ages, there was no science.  Finding facts through scientific methodology didn't develop in until Francis Bacon. 

What is the scientific method?  From Wikipedia:

Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Who is Francis Bacon?  From Wikipedia:

Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. His works established and popularized inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method or simply, the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.

As opposed to Bahati's condemnation of millions of Ugandans (including all those who actively support equal rights of all citizens), an inquiry amongst the people of Uganda to explain their sexual attactions, all will tell you that they discovered themselves based on how their body and mind responded to certain individuals.  In probably the majority of the population, that response will be toward the opposite sex, but in a large minority, individuals find themselves responding to members of both sexes. And in a minority--about 6%--the response is exclusively toward the same sex.  

Sexual attraction is not a matter of will or of good character.  It is genetically-based responses.  The "right woman" is not based on a formula you developed when you were an adolescent.  Your attractions are not based on a list of intellectual or physical expectations of a woman.  In fact, your responses are based only on emotions--some part of your brain is turned on by the right facial and body features, which is what an individual discovers.  "Wow, when I saw that tall, slightly plump woman--my heart went crazy!"  Emotional response directed by the brain--which behavioural scientists are still analysing. 

It matters not whether a man is in a whole village filled with young ladies, if his brain responds to a member of the same sex, there's nothing he can do about it.  That's part of his genetic make-up.  He cannot will a change any more than a black man can change himself into an albino, or a short man into a tall man.  We must accept who we are, and we must demand that society accept our neighbours, our brothers and sisters, just as they are. 

The discrimination against gay men and lesbians is no less painful than what blacks experienced in racist South Africa, or the Deep South in America.  Discrimination based on something one cannot change is very painful.  It can destroy a person's will to apply effort toward reaching his maximum potential.   This is understandable because any effort toward self-development will be destroyed by the bigots around him.  This results in a tragic loss for Uganda.  Gay people, like straight people, have considerable value.  We must protect and nourish their abilities to contribute to their own happiness and the betterment of Uganda. 

Bahati, and most ministers of religion, are destroying Uganda by destroying the lives of millions of people--turning ordinarily happy people into frightened and despressed people because of colonialism--because of adhering to the cruel and superstitious writings of the European holy book.  

I know about discrimination because of my being an indigenous African who sees every day how Indians and Europeans are treated with respect and given preferential treatment here in Kampala by National Resistance Movement, while we indigenous Africans are treated like dirt--in our own country!  From there, I see how women are treated brutally by men, treated with contempt by men.  So from there, I see how gays and lesbians are treated with even greater contempt by the larger religious-heterosexual society.  

As our national motto says: "For God and My Country."  Is Uganda my country when I'm treated like a second-class citizen because I'm indigenous African?  Is Uganda the country of people who were born homosexuals?  Of course not.  Bahati wants to kill them.  Others want all homosexuals to leave--like Adolf Hitler wanted all Jews to leave Europe.  But the world, at the time, didn't want more Jews in their country, so Hitler's staff developed methods of exterminating Jews, homosexuals, Roma, trade unionists, and others.  This is what Bahati has in mind--and so do most member of Parliament.   

And where does all this red-hot hatred come from?  Again, American colonialism that most Ugandans are mindlessly embracing.  This hatred comes from America's right-wing Christians--the same fascists we can read about in Germany's Third Reich. 

  In other words, we're not for the people in this nation, we're for something that doesn't even exist!  A European god. And we punish so many solely because they aren't superstitious.  Again, as an atheist, I know the pain of being a rational person with an appreciation of science in a nation that has only a 50% literacy rate, while the Christians are behaving exactly like the Islamists they so self-righteously condemn!  

There's not a dime's worth of difference between Islamists and fundamentalist Christians (Catholics, Lutherans, Pentecostals, Baptists).  So, in our meeting with the boys you expelled, we will discuss the source of bigotry and hatred in Uganda.  This can be our beginning to reverse Uganda's march to persecution, if not genocide, of a harmless minority group.  We will discuss the importance of education and to devote our lives to human rights and freedom from oppression. I hope to read another reply from you.

© Qs


Sunday, December 05, 2010


 I posted this article here sometime back,but it seems my blog had a problem
and it appeared half published.Am republishing it.

The pope changed his mind about condoms--just a little.The Catholic
Church used to claim that condoms were ineffective in preventing the
transmission of HIV viruses. So now the Church is claiming that condoms
are effective in preventing the passage of viruses.Why the sudden change?

The Church has been losing members and money. The Pope rails against the
secularisation in Europe, but the people continue to question church
doctrine, and more and more are looking to science which is far more
credible.More people are finally realising that religion--any
religion--is a cruel joke. People who cling to religious belief and follow
the Church's dictates are afraid of freedom--the freedom to think on their
own and to direct their own lives.

Everything that any church does is about money. The reason the Church
condemns contraception and family planning is that the Church wants more
Catholics who are poor, illiterate and submissive to the Church. Educated
people create their own purpose in life. Uneducated people with weak
characters and little imagination depend upon religion to give them a
purpose. With particularly the Catholic Church, that purpose is creating
babies--even when parents cannot afford them, even when overpopulation
drives wildlife to extinction.

In a visit to a West African country last year, the pope said that the use
of condoms will make the HIV problem worse. But now he's saying that he
was wrong, that the use of condoms by prostitutes prevents the spread of

The question for everyone shouldn't be "when may I use a condom?" But
"under what circumstances should I not use a condom?" The only time I can
think of when condoms are unnecessary is when there is sexual activity
that does not involve penetration--as in foreplay and masturbation.

A few months ago I did a personal survey of the availability of condoms in
Kampala. I was very disappointed by my having to spend a lot of time
searching for them. Condoms should be cheap and everywhere--if we're
really serious about curtailing the spread of HIV.

The other question is: Why does anyone listen to the pope? The Catholic
Church has been responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS with their
condemnation of all contraceptives. That in itself should be enough
reason for the Catholic believer to excommunicate the Church from their

The Pope’s concession that condoms may be morally justified to prevent the
spread of HIV is a significant modification of the Vatican’s traditional,
hardline stance against all condom use.

The Pope seems to be admitting, for the first time, that using condoms can
be morally responsible if they help save lives. Until now, Benedict XVI
has always insisted that the church’s opposition to condom use was a
fundamental, non-negotiable moral absolute that could never be changed.

This new policy is a volte-face. It appears to be a response to the
widespread criticism of the previous Papal policy, including criticisms
from many Catholic clergy and lay people. Most ordinary Catholics have
long rejected the Pope’s dogmatic, unyielding rejection of condoms. They
realise that using condoms can help protect people against HIV.

Pope Benedict seems to realise that his unrelenting, blanket opposition to
condoms has damaged his own authority and that of the church.

If the Pope can change his stance on condoms, why can’t he also
modify the Vatican’s harsh, intolerant opposition to women’s rights,gay
equality, fertility treatment and embryonic stem cell research?

This new stance shows that the Vatican now realises that it’s earlier
policy was untenable and unsustainable

If we want to rid ourselves of colonialism (which I hear all fellow
Africans claim) we start by ridding ourselves of Christianity and Islam
that NOT ONLY enslaved us for over 400 years,its continuing making our
lives miserable.

Afraid of being sent adrift without religion? There is no reason to fear.
Join and support the Atheist Association of Uganda and its activities.
God will not save you because there is no God at all. Join our family
because only we can save ourselves and each other.

Not the Child My Grandmother Wanted

I have read more and more stories about Prophet Mohammed,these stories are written by EX-moslems and I have observed that, Prophet Mohammed had a mental weakness on addition to his religious cancer in his brains. I would like to read how my Islamic and other religious friends online justify the suffering of this kid mentioned in this article.

December 2, 2010
Not the Child My Grandmother Wanted

One of the earlier and most remarkable memories of my youth is a conversation with my grandmother. I had many conversations with her, or rather monologues, but this particular one stands out as she imparted the most important insights of her teachings. It was the moment when I understood how much I was worth. My value was approximately the same as a piece of sheep fat in the sun.

We were on our front yard of white sand. It was a hot day, like almost all days in Mogadishu. There was nothing unusual about the flies that irritated us or the ants that I avoided for fear of their sharp, agonizing bites. If they happened to crawl under my dress or I sat on them accidentally they would punish me with a sting that made me shriek with pain. That shrieking and hopping about would earn disapproval and even a slap from Grandmother.

I think I was 6 or 7 on that day, maybe younger, but I know I was not 8 because my family had not yet left Somalia. Grandmother was moralizing as usual. On that day, like all other days, she was admonishing me to remember my place.

“Cross your legs,” she said, “lower your gaze. You must learn not to laugh, and if you must laugh then see to it that you don’t cackle like the neighbor’s hen.” We had no chickens but the noise of the neighbors’ hens screeching and hooting and trespassing was enough for me to get the message.

“If you must go outside make sure you are accompanied and that you and your company walk as far away from men as possible,” she said.

To my grandmother’s annoyance, I responded with the question: “But Grandmother, what about Mahad?” My brother Mahad never seemed to invite this kind of endless preaching from Grandmother. She answered me like the obtuse child she decided I was.

“Mahad is a man! Your misfortune is that you were born with a split between your legs. And now, we the family must cope with that reality!”

I thought: There was yet another thing I did wrong and I did not have the ability to set right. If only I wasn’t so dimwitted; if only I understood how I was to blame for the flaw that granny abhorred so much.

“Ayaan, you are stubborn, you are reckless and you ask too many questions. That is a fatal combination. Disobedience in women is crushed and you are disobedient. It is in you, it is in your bone marrow. I can only attempt to tell you what is right.”

Grandmother pointed to a piece of sheep fat on the ground. It was covered with ants, and flies were zooming above it, landing on it, sucking it. It was a vile piece of meat that was being warmed by the sun, and a trickle of fat seeped out of it. She said: “You are like that piece of sheep fat in the sun. If you transgress, I warn you men will be no more merciful to you than those flies and ants are to that piece of fat.”

A lot has changed in my life since those days in the sun with Grandmother. Today when I look back I see that I have proven her wrong. I disobeyed, true to my nature, I transgressed, but I avoided the destiny of the sheep fat.

Sitting in an airplane, I have on my lap the memoir of Nujood Ali. The title of the book is “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.” My reading list contains another book, by Elizabeth Gilbert. It is called “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia.” The reason I associate the two books is because of their description of marriage and divorce, and particularly the word “painful.”

Nujood was 8 years old when a delivery man approached her father in Sana, Yemen. After the initial expression of hospitality, the delivery man stated his business: He was looking for a wife. Nujood’s two older sisters were already married, so she was the logical bride, regardless of her age. Her father accepted $750 in dowry money and gave away his 8-year-old daughter. When Nujood’s mother and sisters appealed to him, pleading that she was too young to get married, the father responded with the excuse used by all Muslim fathers who marry off their daughters before they come of age: “Too young? When the Prophet wed Aisha she was only 9.”

In fact, Muhammad wed Aisha when she was 6. According to Scripture, the Prophet waited for Aisha to begin menstruating before consummating the marriage. Nujood’s new husband, Faez, showed no such restraint.

In painful detail, Nujood describes a real nightmare on her wedding night: How she runs away, how she seeks help, how she struggles, how he touches her and she wriggles out of his arms, how she calls out to her mother- in-law. “Aunty,” she screams, “somebody help me!” But there was silence. She describes how he gets hold of her, his awful smell, a mixture of tobacco and onions. She recounts the childish threat she makes — “I will tell my father” — and the husband’s reply: “You can tell your father whatever you like. He signed the marriage contract, he gave me permission to marry you.”

From the time Nujood was able to gather her wits about her she set about planning her escape. The story is recommended reading for anyone who seriously wants to understand what Muslim women can be subjected to.

In Yemen, Nujood’s father, her husband, the judges, the policemen and the broader society — with the exception of a very few — view her situation as normal. And Yemen is by no means unique.

When I turn to Elizabeth Gilbert’s description of a painful divorce it becomes clear to me what feminism has accomplished in the West. Gilbert decides to divorce her husband not because he was forced upon her, but because there is something intangible that he cannot give her. She chose to marry him. Every decision she made was voluntary: to marry him, to buy property with him, even to try for a child. Yet still she felt unfulfilled.

The deep sense of dissatisfaction leads her to abandon her marriage, the life of a privileged woman. She goes to Italy to find a piece of herself, the pleasure of eating. She goes to India to find another piece of herself: the pleasure of devotion. In Indonesia she finds yet another piece of herself: the balance between the pleasures of eating and praying. In India she finds a guru who answers her spiritual needs.

Gilbert’s story shows what feminism can achieve elsewhere, especially in the Muslim world.

But her story also demonstrates something else. Those women in the West who, like Gilbert, have harvested what the early feminists fought for have almost no affinity for women like Nujood — and like me when I was a little girl.

This is not to pass judgment on Gilbert. On the contrary, I admire her intellectual honesty and her pursuit of self-knowledge. The woman I have become in the West now feels closer to the Gilberts of this world than the Nujoods. But I find myself asking as I read these two books: What can current Western feminism offer the Nujoods?

I often am asked by my Western audiences: “Where did feminism go wrong?” I think the answer is staring us in the face. Western feminism hasn’t gone wrong at all — it has accomplished its mission so completely that a woman like Elizabeth Gilbert can marry freely and then leave her husband equally freely, purely in order to pursue her own culinary and religious inclinations. The victory of feminism allows women like Gilbert to shape their own destinies.

But there is a price for this victory: The price is a solipsism so complete that a great many Western women have lost the ability to empathize with women not only in the Islamic world, but also in China, India and other countries; women whose suffering takes forms that are now largely unknown in the West, save in the ghettos of immigrants. They are too busy hunting for the perfect prayer mat or pasta to give two hoots about a case of child-rape in Yemen.

The best we can hope for is not for the West to invade other countries in the hope of emancipating their women. That is neither realistic nor desirable (and remains our least plausible war aim in Afghanistan).

The best we can hope for is a neo-feminism that reminds women in the West of the initial phases of their liberation movement. Those phases not only highlighted the subjugation of women, they set out to dismantle the foundations of their cages. For the dream of liberation to come true for women in the East it is imperative that we seek to shatter the underpinnings of their subjugation, which are now enshrined in religion and custom.

 Ayaan Hirsi Ali escaped an arranged marriage in her native Somalia by immigrating to the Netherlands. She now lives in Washington, where she is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The suffering of this Kid moved me.

The mother of this kid (in picture below) appeared on NBS’ Ttitie’s show. She was so desperate about the future of her kid, given that her elder kid died at the age of six, which not only destroyed her cohabiting marriage, but severely punished her emotionally. I will not focus on the life of the mother and how she lived her life, I picked interest in this child and the show (I rarely tune in to this show, its full of crap). According to the woman, her kid is suffering from an unknown disease and from her words, she wasn’t on the show to fundraise for treatment but to seek answers to the number of questions she had about the health of her kid.

The father of the kid disowned her. He claimed that the disease is originating from her ancestral fathers and that she is also a Murundi (Ugandans of Burundian descent).The woman have done everything to secure the health of her kid like a loving mum. She claims that she went to Mulago hospital and EXPERTS couldn’t trace the disease, (the religious and superstitious host of the show, lacks the ability to investigate, critically analyze and examine issues, so there was no verifiable document to prove that the Medical experts in Mulago hospital failed to find the illness) she turned her attention to superstition both in churches and shrines, to name it where she become a victim and being conned. I took interest to try to ask her several questions of which she was not able to answer right. Death of this woman's first child must be taken in stride. In other words, one must resign one's self to this outcome.

I called the woman, and requested if she could share with me the picture of the kid and if it’s okay to share it with my online community and she agreed, she gave me a go ahead. I have seen the kid, she is disfigured (this pictures presents the illness in its initial stage).She is in great pain. No one seems to understand the kid’s life and suffering at the moment. The Host  of Ttitie's show should have engaged a medical professional from both the Ministry of Health and Mulago hospital.

I was puzzled as to why Ttitie didn’t go to Mulago hospital and investigate if it was the case that the mother was there and that medical professionals couldn’t find the cause of disease.

Why didn’t the TV host, before she presents superstitious victims to the superstitious audience, seek the Ugandan Government observation on most the issues she presents?

This was a health issue that can affect the whole society, so why didn’t the host seek answers from the Ministry of Health?

For several reasons, I have chosen to say that Ttitie's show, instead of helping societies to seek answers and apply critical examinations of anything, it's doing the opposite.  At the end of the day, it does more harm than good to the general public.

As you observe and take a critical look at the picture, what do you think the problem is? Have you seen it before? Do you have any good links to help us understand this illness?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Uganda we missed: 8 Million Maximum population.

A commenter to this blog disagreed with my sustainable population figure of 8 million for Uganda when he read my previous articles on populations’ growth. But he failed to suggest another number.  I will stick with my 8 million figures. 
The concept of human population so often is focused on area and how many humans can occupy that area.  When I think in terms of overpopulation, I think in terms of forests and wildlife that we depend upon, as well as water resources.  I also think about *Why* should we have more than 8 million humans in Uganda? Uganda has approximately 31 million people today. 

Consider this: The population of the United States is about 310 million now in this 2010.  In 1940, the population was 131,669,275.  The next year (1941), the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour which lead the USA into wars against Europe and Japan.  They mobilised effectively, producing all the materiel needed to defeat their enemies.   Now the USA has more than doubled in population.  Are they twice as powerful?  No, they are not.  Many would argue that they are actually weaker. (For another day, we can argue that the USA is weaker because of their foreign wars, plus their incredibly suicidal drug war, with locking up 2.5 million people currently, most of whom are in prison just for experimenting with drugs--but I don't want to digress here.) 

EDUCATION:  Then consider this: The Jewish population of the USA is about 1%, and yet, because of their culture emphasising education, they wield considerable political power.  

If everyone in the United States had a four-year college education, or an equivalent in technical training, the United States would be a supremely powerful Nation with a 1940 population.  If just the amount they spend on their drug war were, instead, funneled into education, this would be quite possible to achieve.  

Likewise with Uganda.  If we had a population of eight million educated people--people with college degrees--we would have an ideal democracy (which requires an educated populace) and would not need to accept foreign charity. (call it AID) 

 This brings me to the issue of accepting money from compassionate donor nations.  If Uganda had achieved population stability at the 8 million level, we could then support ourselves.  But our population continues to grow at an appalling rate of 4%, which is further exacerbated by government corruption.  

Donor nations see this corruption, and cut back until we end government corruption.  But donor nations should ALSO see our population growth rate--and END donations until the religious leaders’ stops encouraging people to have children. This can be done--if donor nations acquire the guts to demand this. 

I keep reading conflicting reports.  On the one hand, donor nations are threatening to cut off funding (and some already have cut back), and yet I read this article of four years ago: 

"The Ugandan government is receiving so much foreign aid that the economy is unable to absorb it. Treasury bills have to be used to suck the money out of the system. As a result, the Central Bank is holding $700m in treasury bills, and the interest on that per annum is $120m - which is incurred by the tax payer." -- BBC news, 7 July, 2005

One thing I can tell the readers of this blog: none of this money has trickled down to me! Nothing has changed in my villages. Many people are becoming more desperate and unable to live better lives as the result sky-rocketing prices steming from the alarming populations growth.  Instead of giving us money as "foreign aid" why not spend US$1 billion by building classrooms and paying college instructors to teach us things we need to know to qualify for an accredited bachelor's degree.  Residents of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) can enroll at the Univ. of DC and pay much lower tuition than students going to your average university in the United States. 
Because of stomach-turning corruption in the Ugandan government under NRM (National Resistance Movement), there must be a way to build those college buildings and pay scholars to teach without having one shilling go to our government. Why hasn't this been done? 
I would love to have a college education, but since I was a kid, I've been struggling just to stay alive. I never had the money to finish my education to get an Advanced level certificate and then go to University.  My life is being wasted because of religion and government corruption.  So let me ask this question: What's the purpose of living in the first place if I am prevented from developing skills commensurate to my abilities?  

I tell you, 8 million people in Uganda with a University education would make for a powerful nation.  A nation where people would have the intellectual wherewithal to work and live together with far fewer conflicts, such as tribalism, Nepotism and the scourge of religion.  

WATER:  Uganda is stressed by its inadequate fresh water supply for people, wildlife, farming and hydroelectric power.  Even though Uganda borders Lake Victoria--the largest fresh-water lake in Africa--people in Kampala, right next to the lake, must store water in jerry cans because of limited supply of clean water. all this is so because of the overwhelming population growth which Ugandan President is embracing.  

FORESTS AND FARMS:  The commenter mentioned that most of Israel is desert.  12% of Uganda is defined as mountainous.  But between "mountainous" and "flat" is a large area of Uganda that is "hilly."  As we have been seeing for the past several years, more people are cutting down forests on hills for farming and living space.  

Here is an example of the problem which is not uncommon.  Henry Wanambwa, the LC I chairman of Kubehwo village that was partly swept by the Bududa landslide, has three wives with whom he sired 24 children. With only one acre of land, he is not able to cultivate enough food for them. He has married off two girls but still has problems feeding the others. 
As the boys grow up, he sends them uphill to find more land to cultivate. "I advised them to cultivate on the steep slopes where there is still some land," he explains.  

When Bududa was made a district about two years ago, its population was about 146,000, according to district statistics. However, this has grown to over 300,000 people. 

As that article notes, Uganda is suffering from overpopulation.  Not just this particular area, but the country as a whole.   For Bududa, which has doubled in population in just two years, how do we go back to 146,000?  Any reduction would bring instant howls of protest from Catholic priests.  George Bush's idea of promoting "abstinence" only guarantees that the problem of overpopulation will continue.  I'm grateful to Pres. Obama for re-funding the International Planned Parenthood Federation.  The US Congress should write this into law so that future Republican presidents cannot reverse it.   
Overpopulation creates and expands poverty, and poverty drives people to war over limited resources.  Overpopulation decreases the security of all of us.  Yes, that includes the United States of America.  
Further, overpopulation increasingly limits the space for wildlife.  Soils at the equator are not rich in humus (black organic material needed for good crops) because of the constant heat and bacterial activity.  Once forests are destroyed to make way for farm land, that area runs the risk of desertification which leads to high erosion.  Then where does the wildlife go?  Well, they don't really go anywhere. They are also forced to compete for limited supplies of food in a decreasing living space--and they simply die out.  In temperate regions, farm land can easily be turned back into forests.  In tropical areas, that is extremely difficult to do--as we are seeing in Brazil and Indonesia.  

WILDLIFE:   When I think of Uganda, I think of our place in the world of nations. Israel does not have the rich wildlife that we have--which is being depleted by way too many hungry people who raid our forests for "bush meat."  It pains me greatly that our monkeys, gorillas, chimps are killed for human consumption.  This is happening all over Africa--because of overpopulation.   Overpopulation is destroying the once-rich biodiversity that we had a generation ago.  The United Nations has warned: "Despite about two decades of conferences, conventions and commitments, the earth's biological diversity -- or biodiversity for short -- steadily erodes as ecosystems suffer and species die out."

In other words, as the Roman Catholic Church and other religions seek to protect life by opposing sex education, birth control methods and abortion, the High Priests of Superstition are killing all of us.   They're killing all of us the way the white settlers in America killed the Indians: not so much by killing Indians, but by killing the buffalo the Indians depended upon for food.   Yes, two and a half years ago, the pope said, "Our earth speaks to us, and we must listen if we want to survive"--Pope Benedict XVI, July 24, 2007.  Okay, is the pope listening to an overpopulated earth and the groans of dying wildlife and humans?  Absolutely not and no pope ever will.   How do the victims of Catholic theology die? (see photo of an African child below.) 

WASTE:  And then there is the problem of waste.  A few years ago I was visiting a friend's friend who collected old West African magazines.  I was paging through one of them, dated 1985 or 86, and came across an article about an Italian waste-dumping company that paid a poor Nigerian landowner to *store* a number of barrels of something toxic in exchange for a sum of money. They didn't tell the farmer what was in the barrels which, at the time, looked okay.  Eventually, the barrels rusted enough to allow a foul substance to started leaking out of them.  So I tried to find an article on the Internet about this--since I no longer have access to those magazines--and I came across this article

In this New York Times article of 3rd Sept 1988, I found both situations--waste being picked up from Nigeria, and this paragraph:

''There's an awful lot of waste floating around Europe,'' said Anthony Brenton, a senior adviser to the European Community's Environment Minister. ''There's rising public concern about it. A number of channels that existed in the past, like dumping in Nigeria, will be closed in the future.''    And: "The ship, the Karin B, picked up the waste in Nigeria on July 30 [1988] and has been searching for a place to unload it ever since."  Twenty-two years later, the problem is even bigger and more desperate.  

Note: European countries have achieved something close to population stabilisation, and they STILL have tonnes of trash they don't know what to do with.   And that's because Europe is overpopulated.  

When you think about the number of people dumping trash in Uganda, 8 million people dumping trash is still an awful lot of trash.  And yes, we do have recycling programmes.  But with a 33m population, even the best recycling programmes are overwhelmed.   Also, recycling programmes work best amongst educated people.  Our literacy rate hovers around 50%, according to a United Nations report of 6 May 2007.

MARRIED WITH NO CHILDREN:  And isn't it so tragically ironic that the very people who produce no children (outside of artificial means)--gay men and women--are to be condemned to death, driven to suicide, or life imprisonment by David Bahati--the German Nazi of our place and time.  Gay people are the very ones who can show us how to lead a productive and enjoyable life without children.  One does not have to invest their identity in children.  

As I said previously, abortion is good.  It is not "a necessary evil" as some have said.  Very limited abortions are permitted in Uganda--and even they are condemned by the Catholic Church.    In a Guttmacher Report, we find this: "Under Ugandan law, induced abortion is permitted only when pregnancy endangers a woman's life. Legal abortions are very rare, given the restricted grounds, the demanding process for obtaining approval (for example, providers typically require certification from three doctors, even though the law does not require this)."

The Catholic Church is quick to point to a passage in their holy book: "Thou shalt not kill" to explain their vigorous anti-Choice propaganda and political actions.  But the Pope is completely silent on David Buhati's Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 which advocates the execution of some gays and the imprisonment of all others who reveal their sexual orientation--and even heterosexual human rights activists who advocate public discussions on this issue.  

The Catholic Church says that life is so precious.  In fact, it is not precious at all if each and every individual born does not have a healthy diet on a daily basis.  Without a healthy diet, the child risks growing up mentally retarded.  In addition, education, including college, must be made available to African children and teenagers--just like European and American children have.  

Life become precious only with education.  And this cannot be realised in an overpopulated country like Uganda.  When these and many other factors are taken into account, 8 million was about right.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From African in Africa :The hypocrisy of black Americans.

This isn't just about one man who happens to be a raving hypocrite.  This article reflects the attitude of most black Americans. Most  black Americans voted for George Bush in 2000 and 2004 because Bush promised a Constitutional Amendment "protecting traditional marriage."

  And here you have it right in this article. Bernice King is an active anti-gay bigot.  The three closest aides of Dr. Martin Luther King were also anti-gay bigots: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy, and Rev. Walter Fauntroy.  So what would that tell the average person about Dr. Martin Luther King himself?  I would say more hypocrisy.  It's common for black heterosexual males to wax self-righteous when it comes to discrimination against black heterosexual males.  They not only condemn gay people, they also preach that women are to submit to their man.  So when Dr. King preached "All God's Children" he came across as a hypocrite as Eddie Long does today.

Why can't we live, work and love one another as equals?  And answer is -- in the Bible.  Instead of the Bible, people should be reading just as assiduously the works of Abraham Maslow.  They should be reading George Orwell's Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, both which explain double-speak and hypocrisy. 

If you can't practice what you preach, then what you preach is meaningless and self-discrediting.

As for Coretta Scott King, she was a wonderful person. I commend her for standing up to the bigots in her family, in her church, and the anti-gay bigots in the nation as a whole.   But her advocacy for human rights for gay people was pushed aside--after all, she was "just" a woman--and "you know how women are . . .?" say the male chauvinists.

And let me not fail to include Rev. Jerry McAfee who is viewed as the black American community's spokesman and representative   in Minneapolis--an ugly bigot who shamed my best friend  in public (Tuesday, 17th February 1998 at Lucille's Kitchen) because he is atheist and gay. And being white didn't help him either. Shamed him on KMOJ-FM radio when he wanted to volunteer to be a tutor in the black community.   That was more than 12 years ago, and since then  he have contributed nothing to the black American community because of their bigotry, hypocrisy and violence.  In Washington, D.C. he was beaten up badly by black heterosexual males--1968, 1969 and 1985 resulting in hospitalisation (1968) and out-patient treatment for the other two.  Physically, he healed, but the psychological impact remains intact with him.

Black Americans lament: "White America is insensitive to the needs of her black citizens."  And when a white American steps forward to contribute his time and experience to black members of "The Village" he's slapped down with derision and public shaming.  And when you're on the other end of such hatefulness, it has an enormous emotional impact.  Lessons are learned: for a white man: "Stay away from black Americans.  They're very punishing people."

Yes there's bigotry in white America too, but one have a much better chance of being viewed as an equal human being by whites than  by black Americans.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

USA Pastor has right to burn Quran!

When an American follower of my blog sent me these photos of a Confederate Flag below, I knew I had some advice for the world.
Some guy in Hinckley, Minnesota, at a business not far from a Subway Sandwich Shop, put up various blankets for sale, one of them was of this racist flag. 
Hinckley, a squat little town in the middle of essentially nowhere is about 250 km south of the Canadian border.  The American--who wished to remain unidentified--was sitting in a car taking photos of this blanket. Yes, the American was annoyed with this.  But in America there is freedom of expression and he realised that this white man was using the emotions attached to this flag as an advertising gimmick.  For those who aren't familiar with this controversial flag, go to Wikipedia, under "Confederate Flag".
True, there are many other images that can attract attention, such as the face of Marilyn Monroe or Shaquille O'Neal, but somebody decided to make a blanket of this racist flag, and the man you see decided to buy it and put it up for sale--along with his other blankets.  Even if the Confederate blanket doesn't sell, if it attracts attention and customers to buy his OTHER blankets--the purchase and display of the Confederate blanket was a good investment. 
Now that this white man's face is on my blogsite, will anyone make a big issue of this?  My advice, as a black African, is to simply ignore the white man and silently boycott his business.  Likewise with Pastor Terry Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center, of a state in the southeast corner of the USA.  Americans have in their constitution a First Amendment which guarantees freedom of expression (free press, free speech, free Internet, and even the right for an American to burn an American flag).
Until just recently, I didn't even know who Pr Jones was.  But now every one in the world does.  My advice is to just let him burn copies of this paper holy book and ignore him.  Further advice: boycott all religions.
What puzzles me is this: "The top US commander in Afghanistan has warned that troops' lives will be in danger if an American church sticks to its plan to burn copies of the Koran.  Gen David Petraeus said the action could cause problems "not just in Kabul, but everywhere in the world". BBC, 7 Sept 2010.
What is America trying to do with its many wars in the world? Are they trying to protect something?  Maybe spread some sort of ideology by force onto other countries? From their many contradictory explanations, I read that one of the reasons is to protect democracy.   Democracy must include freedom of unpopular expression.  The US Supreme Court has upheld the right to burn an American Flag, and even though conservative congressional representatives tried to make a law against burning the American flag (which their Supreme Court would strike down anyway as unconstitutional), the law was never passed.   So if an American can legally burn their flag, then they can legally burn the Judeochristian bible and they can legally burn the Qur'an.   And that's the way it should be.
But various bleeding heart christian liberals in the United States are crying out for all of us to respect people's religious beliefs.  They are nuts!  ALL religions promote violence. I'm sorry, as long as I have any remnant of sanity left in me, I will never respect any religion and the human division, hatred and violence that all of them promote.   I am an atheist, I am a humanist.
People in East Africa are sick and tired of Christian fanatics like Joseph Kony, the white American fundamentalists who come to East Africa to teach Africans to hate and kill one another, and here in Uganda and Kenya, we still haven't recovered from the Islamic-led bombings of people watching TV football.  More than 80 people have died here in Kampala because of the 11th July 2010 bombings.  And we're suppose to respect the moslem religion?  Truely, all those who call for respect of people's religions are silly and should be dismissed as lunatics.
When I tell xtians that I don't respect their religion or the moslem religion, they instinctively say: "Well, then there's no reason to respect your religion."  One problem: I don't have religion.   I don't have a soul to be saved, I am not going before any god on "Judgment Day", I won't be going to "heaven" or "hell".  In short, religion is nonsense.  Worse, religion is hateful and violent.  I respect human rights, democracy, and peace--and religionists don't.
So don't be telling Pastor Terry Jones to not burn the Qur'an.  It's his constitutional right to do so in America.  If moslems don't like it, they should burn copies of the Judeochristian bible.  It should be their right to do so.  As an atheist, I do NOT approve of destruction of property and people's lives as an act of protest. 

Some guy in Hinckley, Minnesota, at a business not far from a Subway Sandwich Shop, put up various blankets for sale, one of them was of this racist flag.