Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Saturday morning came very quickly. I slept badly. It’s hard to know what the problem was with the toilet in Room 205. It broke up and started shouting all night long. When I checked it in the morning, the floor of the toilet was full of water and yes, you guessed it right, it was running from the sink into the floor. KK was asleep and he didn’t mind, he was so tired and could hardly hear anything. After I had my morning cold shower, I walked to the reading table to check on the regulations. KK was still asleep. I read on the mart that: If there are damages in the hotel during the visitor’s stay, he/she should pay and no visitors allowed in the hotel room. The list was endless and I decided to call the hotel reception to report the problem and no one was picking up the phone.

The Kisumu hotel has no hot water because they switch it off during day time, return it at 7pm and switch it off at 11pm and they switch it back at around 7am for morning shower and the switch it off at around 9am. I walked out of room 205 and headed to the reception where I reported the faulty toilet. They promised to fix it. From here I walked to the restaurant to have my breakfast which was included on the hotel residence fare. As I was there, KK also came. We had several morning goods to take, from Coffee, sausages, tea, bananas, eggs, and bacon. This bacon surprised me so much that I danced. The waitress looked puzzled why I was so happy when I saw it but, hey I just love that. It reminds me a lot of time I spent in Nairobi with a friend in 2003.

We finished breakfast and it was now time to see how the day goes. At 1pm, KK was to travel to Nairobi and leave me in Kisumu .Still he had not shared with me about what kind of business he was up too. As we walked on the clean streets of Kisumu, we spotted rally cars. It was a motor rally organised by Kenya Commercial Bank. This was the starting point. So I and KK chose to spend some hours just enjoying the cars. This is another game, apart from football, that never attracted my attention. It was lovely seeing Kenyans of all walks of life enjoying this huge game. We took several pictures and am happy to share them with you.

From here, we chose to climb a tuku-tuku ride that cost 50 Kshs for both of us, like those ones you see in India to Impala animal sanctuary. Within seconds, we were at the gate animal reserve. It's very big and modernised now--compared to what I saw there in 2003. We both paid 200 Kshs to enter. They have also exchanged the ostrich for two buffaloes and Zebras. Nothing much was there to be seen, we also went to have a hippotomus spot, and we paid 500 Kshs for a round-trip 10-minute boat ride. I felt like were being cheated by this guy but KK said it was ok and we enjoyed the boat ride very much.

Mr. Hippo spotter told us that hippos are the second massive killer in Africa. I have read these claims by Peter Moore in his book “Swahili for the Broken Hearted” and now the guy was affirming it again. It may be true that hippos are so dangerous but it cannot kill more people than wars and conflicts in Africa, it cannot overtake road accidents and HIV/AIDS. Writers claim that malaria is the number one killer in Africa. I find all these arguments very disturbing. Roads in Africa are death traps, how can hippos overtake them?

We left the park at around 12pm. We were very tired and KK decided that we should walk back to township. We hardly knew the roads but KK insisted walking. After walking for a very long puzzling distance to almost all directions and unable to walk more, KK decided to have a bicycle boda-boda take us to Kisumu Museum. We arrived there in ten minutes. The receptionist demanded us to pay 400 Kshs each. We told her that under the East African Community policy, we are supposed to pay 100 Kshs as local people, she said NO, and I told KK what was there to be seen anyway? We looked at the items they had inside which included snakes, crocodiles, and tortoises. Unimpressed, we choose to call it a day, walked to the market and found superstitious woman trying to extort money from ignorant Kenyans by driving curses and strong holds from them using spirits. We continued to the park. Its here that KK bought his ticket to Nairobi and he was leaving in two hours time.

He gave me 3000 Kshs to travel me back to Kampala on Sunday. We spent the next two hours just walking within the interiors of Kisumu, admiring it and its cleanliness; we even went to the public park and found Kenyans celebrating more of the KCB motor rally. We had our lunch here and walked to the around the park.

It was now time to depart. With saddness, I waved to KK and returned to the Hotel. It was now 3pm and now my own. I certainly enjoyed KK's brief companionship, our discussions--all while being outside of Uganda. What will I be doing through out the night? I didn’t know.. Simply wait for my next segment of this trip.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

HIV Among Gay, Bisexual Men At Alarming Highs In Asia

This is about China.  But it is also about all of Africa. If homosexuality is illegal and punished, then no one in authority (high school teachers, college instructors) can even teach about homosexuality, including the value of masturbation and shunning anal intercourse.   So, the people remain ignorant of this valuable information. This is how HIV spreads from uninformed gays to bisexuals to heterosexuals. 

HIV spreads quickly--exponentially. But people don't know that they have HIV and to be cautious and to start treatment because that would only land them in prison. China will suffer what many African nations have been suffering: the young core of workers in a country, leaving only children and old people.  The result is the crippling of the economy. And all this unnecessary human suffering is promoted by evangelicals and the Catholic Church.
HIV Among Gay, Bisexual Men At Alarming Highs In Asia

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our first day in Kisumu, What did we do?

KK and I finished bathing individually and everything was back to normal after that cold shower on that Friday afternoon. I was still questioning myself what kind of business KK will be doing in Nairobi and if he will meet me back in Kisumu. We have not discussed this in details. It was now time to look for food. KK chose to go and take a fish on the shores of Lake Victoria. We slowly walked that downtown street that led us there. This time, I picked up my camera with hope that it will work. If it fails, we would simply turn to any studio and seek help.

I spot one Vision studio on the same side walk as we were walking on. We walked in. It's so disturbing when you approach someone with hope that she/he is an expert on something, but later end up being a victim of total incompetence. This was exactly the reception--together with her senior.

After failing to receive any help, we decided to simply walk in any supermarket. Nakkumatt was closer to us, so that's the one we choose. We bought battery cells at 145 Ksh (4060 UGX). I was frustrated and feeling so lost because of the camera's failure to switch on. I inserted the cells which failed to activate the Camera. I decided to forget everything after calling the owner three times and he, too couldn't figure out what was the problem. I and KK were now convinced that the camera was in bad mechanical conditions since its owner lends to almost all his friends with no worry that anyone can use it badly, hence damages. But I was at fault, too, by not taking at least one picture in the presence of the owner.

It was grey as if it was about to rain when we finally landed to the shores of the lake. It looked beautiful. The air was fresh. However, now that the population had doubled since 2003, we were warmly welcomed with every waitress trying to win us to buy their fish.

I usually relax whenever many people try to gain my attention, because when you respond too quickly, you can end up with a raw deal. That's what we did. While they aggressively tried to sell fish, we turned the offer down until when we were sure of the place. KK spotted a much cleaner place and that's what we choose. Although the waitress who welcomed us was relatively unattractive, she was warm and interestingly friendly and I now know that this was the magic why she was having many more customers, than her prettier counterparts.

We paid for our bigger fish escorted by 0.5 Kgs of Ugali (Swahili word meaning posho made from maize flour) and sukumawichi (kind of soup made from green vegetables).This cost us 550 Ksh (15400 Ugx). We then ordered a single 0.5 littre of fanta orange at 40 Kshs (1120 UGX). We waited for around 30 minutes.

A lady served us with a smile. She brought warm water to clean our hands. KK liked the fish and he whispered to me that "you wouldn't find any of this in Uganda (Entebbe) at the same price. I wish if I could always travel to Kisumu to enjoy this fish" I nodded my head in disbelief. I must say it was palatable and tasty. Since our camera failed to function, KK took pictures using his phone.

Kenya is now promoting a huge campaign for the Katiba (Swahili word for Constitution). The "Yes" camp is led by the Government and some religious fanatics are for "NO" camp. As we enjoyed our fish, the landing site was jammed with more matatus and buses carrying campaigners. These added some warmth on the landing site. It was just lovely to watch Kenyans doing their thing. We walked around the shores of Lake Victoria. It started raining on and off, so we stayed in the place where fish was being sold, but the rain ended so quickly.

We decided to walk back to the hotel. As we climbed some ups. I choose to try the camera one more last time. As I pulled it out in its bag, KK shouted to me "Hey let me help you this time" I answered him that wait. I exchanged the cells and re-organised them. When I switched on, the Camera lighted up. I jumped and jumped like a dog that have spent a week not seeing its master. I smiled and laughed with that African big laughs that you know well. KK felt happy for me and we immediately went on a photo taking spree. We even went back to the landing site to take pics of Kenyan campaigners. We found that most of them left, but now my life was at its fullness. Pictures mean a lot to me. I was happy taking more and more pics.

As we waved while walking to the hotel, we met several aging men. They were discussing issues. They noticed us taking pics and believed that we were visitors, so one brave guy approached to inquire who we were; I told him that we are from Uganda. This guy immediately asked "are you Bantu speaking people", he meant to ask if were Baganda because he rephrased his question. When we answered yes, he jumped around as if he was looking for a gun somewhere to hit his enemies. "You are migingo island" or "you want to take our land" the guy continued to be aggressive towards us, apparently they were discussing this, just before they saw us. Uganda and Kenya created world headlines about this disputed piece of rock in Lake Victoria and from media houses. Kenyan politicians were even calling for war with Uganda.

Photo of Migingo

Youth in Kenya even derailed the route that was bringing in Ugandan goods and the tensions were rising each minute. Several diplomatic meetings took place between Kampala and Nairobi, trips of dignitaries were sent to that rocky island which resulted into a commission from both countries to resurvey the boundaries and have a new look on the map. Recently media houses reported that Uganda has given up on it and that now it belongs to Kenya but we have no official communications from the Uganda Government over that issue. This rocky Island is extremely good for catching fish.

According to the Independent newspaper (UK), "Migingo's wealth lies in its proximity to some of the richest remaining deep-water fishing in Lake Victoria." I think the fish we had was also from there, because it was fatty and nice looking. We cooled down and didn’t want any more discussion about this issue, the migingo guys again asked if were to print pictures and if we will give some to them, we all answered “Yes” and walked on to run for our dear life. I strongly think that these bullies were just looking for a fight for any reason. I was just lucky that they didn't snatch my camera.

We decided to spend our last few hours of the day touring the docks. We followed a rail line and as were about to reach the entrance, we were stopped by two younger men. One of them was called David. They were security guards and told us not to continue walking, but rather go back and use a different route. I spent almost forty minutes convincing David that photos are mine and that am Ugandan who will not sell his pictures to the daily newspapers, after viewing my passport, he agreed to allow me take his picture, he even opened up to say that he lived in Kayunga district (Uganda) for a year, he even played football in a local team and he spoke some broken Luganda. This is out in public and it's not a nuclear reactor or a military base. What's the problem with David? I questioned myself. I didn’t have an answer why he opposed me from taking his picture and I didn’t ask him why it was a turbo .

I and KK walked a few meters back to the suggested route by David. We diverted to the docks side. When we arrived at the docks, we paid 40 Kshs both of us. We walked to the oil ferry and took pictures. KK wanted to do a 1997 Titanic move, he recalled it in that movie, but I warned him to be extra-ordinarily careful since the waters looked deep and if he falls in, I will hardly save his life.

Nothing much was there to be seen after we were stopped from accessing other interesting-looking ships. The security guard said that, "that was a different entity and that if we like to tour it, we must come back tomorrow". We simply left and as we were about to get out, I saw a Kenyan immigrations police and Immigrations department, I wanted to take a picture of it, but KK stopped me. I don’t know why did KK stop me and I didn’t ask him why he wouldn’t like me taking pictures of the immigrations. Was it because of prior experience that he knew the police do not like for people to take pictures of them? The police in Africa are too aggressive. In Western Europe, one can take photos of the police--in fact, many will pose for photographers because they know that income from tourism helps pay their salaries.

We walked out of the docks and headed to the hotel. We arrived at the hotel around 8pm and were too tired to think of having dinner,we simply picked two bottles of 350ml fanta and headed to our room. We were still okay from our fish and Ugali that we ate few hours ago. We rushed to our room 205 and retired. Our first day in Kisumu had finally come to end. It felt good to be in our beds. It was nice resting after a long journey. Please dare not miss my next segment of this trip. Your comments and question are welcome.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Kenyan Tribal divide lines

We have arrived in Kisumu safely, but there was something that was eating on my mind and I wanted to have Charles’ view of it. I have campaigned against tribalism both in my physical presence, writings, debates and of course in my cyber world. With no offence intended, I wanted to know what Charles thought of it. I asked him, “Apart from English and Kiswahili, do you speak any other language?” His answer was “Yes I speak Luar”. This is one of the 50+ tribes in Kenya and its indigenous presence is mostly found around Eldoret.

I told him that he resembled Akamba, this is also a tribe found mostly in Akamba provinces accommodating towns like Makueni, Machakos and many more. He replied “No” then I asked him if the Akambas get along well with Luars, his answer was disturbing, but I called it a day and waved goodbye to him. Kisumu is dominantly home to Luos and this is the home for Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Obama’s ancestral home.

I and KK crossed the huge park whose name I cannot recall. It was clean and lively. We passed though street vendors busy selling second hand shoes, clothes and everything you can think of to be found in Kisumu. We were extremely tired and hungry. We got a bicycle boda-boda ride that cost 40 Kshs for both me and KK to Imperial Hotel that KK suggested was a good hotel. Most boda-bodas are motorcycles, but some are bicycles. As you can see in the photo, it can be a tight squeeze for two people to sit behind the boda-boda (a term used for both rider and vehicle). Each of us took a private seat that cost 20 Kshs.When we arrived there, we asked ourselves why we didn’t walk in the first place because it was a short distance. We felt cheated but, on second thought, it was fine since we were too exhausted to walk anyway.

We arrived at the Imperial hotel’s reception. No one was around to welcome us, not even a receptionist. The security guard was standing in the far side of corner and didn’t pay attention to us either; so we walked right to the notice board where they listed the prices for staying in this hotel. The prices went from 6750 Kshs (189,000UGX) single bed, but not luxery to 10,000 Kshs deluxe, including a luxurious bed. KK said this was too expensive, thus walking out to check for another place.

We walked the streets trying to look for lodges, but was unable to spot one. We tried engaging Kenyans on streets, but maybe they thought we were Kenyan beggars disturbing them. No one stopped or even dared to inquire about the problem we had. I have traveled several times, so I do have a small experienced on how to deal with people in strange corners of the World. I told KK that the only option we have is to walk directly to a security guard or policeman and ask for help. I spotted one and walked to her quickly. She directed us to Kisumu hotel which was 100 meters away. We walked there as though free gold were being handed out.

When we arrived there, the hotel’s interior looked marvelous and lovely, and we were welcomed by a Kenyan lady who was at the reception desk. She presented us with a warm smile that attracted my attention and missed a heartbeat in me. The prices were more friendly to our wallets, ranging from 4000 Kshs single bed, and the same bed was being offered at 5500 Kshs for two people. KK chose to check on the rooms before he paid. He liked them and paid for one night. They gave us room 205.

The room was nice and smelt good inside and was cooled by AC. All day it was so hot outside, so I rushed to have a shower. When I came out, KK said that he will be leaving me in Kisumu tomorrow for his continued business trip to Nairobi about which I had no idea--and didn’t ask for details either. But one thing I knew was that, I will enjoy more for being alone on my own. I felt sad because, I didn’t know what was up with KK and he wasn’t willing to share more, I decided to say that “Some things are better not known” and cooled down.  The story is just getting started, dare not miss my next segment . . . .

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Busia to Kisumu,the harder way to take on a day time journey.

We had been in Busia-Kenyan side for now 30 minutes and we have spotted everything a stranger would spot on arrival in a new town. There was nothing much to keep us in this township. We made a choice that we will eat our lunch in Kisumu. We calculated time and made a mental note that by 1pm, we will be in Kisumu. It was now around 10:45am. There were many matatus heading to Kisumu and all other major towns in Kenya. We made a mistake by simply jumping into the next matatu without checking if there were other matatus that had several passengers than this one.

We were influenced by the fare which was 250 (7000 UGX), we thus felt that heading to the taxi park will make us pay more. There was a passenger in the front seat which accommodates two people, when the matatu touts  sensed that we wanted the front seat, he requested the other passenger to swift to the back seats.  I was frustrated by this, but later learnt that other passengers were not heading to Kisumu.  They were short distance travelers and he didn’t want to miss this opportunity. The matatu had only four passengers and was moving up and down,if we were in Kampala,we would have had a reason to feel unsafe. Currently there’s much robbery in Kampala matatus.  You must be very cautious of those matatus that have only three to five passengers; chances are very high that you will be robbed.

The Driver of this matatu impressed me by hitting the road without full board passengers and was wondering how he calculated his moves and fuel, but that was none of my business, I kept quite. He drove like a kilometer while his co-driver is shouting for people walking on the side of the road if they were going to Kisumu. None of them was heading there. I knew that we have made  mistake but couldn’t have a way of jumping off this matatu. After sensing that no passengers, he made a U-turn and got back to the starting point, thankfully, when we got to point A, there were some travelers heading to other towns like Luanda, another municipal town which is bigger before arriving Kisumu.

The driver was a darker average guy who spoke very good Luganda. I asked him if he was Ugandan driving matatus in Kenya and he said yes he was, I asked why? His answer was that it was easier to make money in Kenyan than in Kampala; and from my observations, he was right. There were more people traveling in Kenya than in Uganda. It felt good to be on the road to Kisumu. I was in the front seat and felt depressed because the camera was not working, I had bought new batteries from the Ugandan side but what in the hell stopped it from being switched on?!  So I will not be able to take photos of outstanding scenes.  This was most unsettling.

After being on the road for some minutes and drove like 10 kilometers, the matatu stopped for a group of people that looked like a bandits. I know Kenyan roads has this problem, but I wasn’t worried for one simple reason, this was a day time taxi and the driver looked presentable and very calm, so there was no reason to worry.  Instead it turned out to be that the driver was handing the job to another guy. This is also very common in Uganda.

The new driver was a brown guy, looked more like an Ankole guy from western Uganda. He put on a cream-coloured T-shirt. He looked more peaceful, healthier, friendly and logical guy than his counterpart. His names were Charles Omondi. He spoke good English. We discussed almost everything. He narrated how life is harder for matatu drivers; apparently the Local Admnistration had introduced new taxes on matatus.

Every time a matatu enters a township, the driver is charged 50Kshs in road taxes (1400Ugx).  The other vehicles were exempted from this tax which I found to be unfair. The road was in its worst state: full of potholes as deep as ancient St Goorge churches in Lalibela  in Ethiopia. I asked why then do local government  introduced this tax? Charles’ answer was "corruption".

Apart from paying huge taxes to almost all towns in Kenya, from my count, this matatu paid 300 Kshs (8400 UGX) for the journey from Busia to Kisumu without what they gave the Police officials. There’s a huge number of traffic and Police officers who wake up very early in the morning simply to grab money from trucks, matatus and buses for no particular offense and most drivers in Kenya consider giving these officials money as an obligation. I hate to say it but my heart goes to poor matatu drivers in Kenya. It’s too much compared to what we complain about back home (Uganda).

We cruised through large and small villages that had electricity and looked more organised and civilized than their opposite in Uganda.  All villages and towns on the road had electricity and some kind of business activity than in Uganda. It looked nice to see women burning maize on strange charcoal stoves on the roadside.

It was refreshing to see the greener environment and hilly tops that represented good life to the other side of the hill. I asked Charles why there was almost no food in Kenya (90% of food that feeds Kenya comes from Uganda) yet the soils looked fertile and it was raining, his answer was that people own very small piece of land, hence only grow food for home consumption and those who had huge chunks of land were extremely lazy.  I asked myself, "What incentives get Ugandan farmers to produce that are not present to get Kenyan farmers to produce?" I had no answer.

As we approached Yala township and Yala River, Charles wanted to share with me about his Jesus. I listened to him and when I revealed to him that I was atheist, he felt sorry for me and disturbed, but discontinued the evangelisation mission and resorted to share with me about his home village which was good.

He grew up near Yala. He felt proud to be telling about his life. He also shared with me about his marriage of five years now and had three biological kids and those other laggage (read children) from his extended family that he takes care of. This is very common in Africa where relatives simply create babies and send them to other relatives simply because they cannot take care of their offspring.

This beats my understanding why one would procreate when one is very poor to raise a decent child.  What I don't understand is how two people (or even just the mother) can fail to realise that bringing a child into the world is a very serious matter.  If you don't have the resources to be able to feed the child well so that its brain develops, enabling the child to be as intelligent as possible, and then to make sure that the child is well educated, then why have a child at all?

KK spent most of this journey taking pictures with his phone camera.  The camera I had was useless weight--and depressing me to a degree.

As we approached mid-day, we arrived in Luanda and Charles diverted to the local taxi park to drop some passengers. Luanda Taxi Park is the photocopy of Entebbe town Taxi Park.  Before I said anything, KK noted that and shared it with me. We spent few minutes in and got back to the road. It's in this town that KK paid our fare to Kisumu, apparently the conductor was aggressively asking money from us in the initials of the trip, but we told Charles, we will only pay the money after covering half of the trip. Luanda was between Busia and Kisumu. Charles approached us and politely asked if it was okay to pay.  KK agreed, and handed him a 1000 Kshs bank note. He then brought our balance.  Charles was refueling at the only Petrol station in the area.  I took upon myself to take the balance which was a 500 note--Kenya money.

As we drove off the station, I spotted an aging Kenyan woman shouting “Njugu..njugu…njugu” Swahili word for ground nuts. I like taking boiled seeds of Gnuts.  She had both roasted and boiled ones.  I shouted to her  "Njugu..njugu" and she came running as if I was buying a kilo of it. She didn’t have small notes to change the 500 bank note I had, so Charles ordered his conductor to pay 20 Kshs (560 UGX). The initial cost of a cup of Gnuts was 10Kshs, so Charles paid 20 for me and KK .  He told me not to forget return the 20 Kshs on arrival to Kisumu. I answered that I will not forget. He smailed back to me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
I must say that I enjoyed riding with Charles.  He was warm and friendlier than I expected. Most Kenyans who are not educated are so rude and my readers that have traveled to this beautiful country will agree with me, but we rarely hear one refer to people like Charles who are working very hard to secure a better reputation of Kenya. When we were about to reach Maseno, Charles said "I will point you to the Equator".  I felt happy for this.  I have traveled to Kenya several time and never spotted the Equator. Maseno is a small agricultural town right on the Equator.

At this point, the conductor requested me to pay his 20 Kshs that he lent to me to buy Gnuts. I gave him a 500 bank note, he gave me 470 instead of 480. I wanted to let him take my 10 kshs, but knowing that we were on a budget trip, I felt it like it was not wise to leave money behind. This is a very common habit in Kenya, even in restaurants; they pay half of less money, especially when the change cash accommodates coins. I truly feel that this habit is dishonest. I requested my 10 Kshs and he paid it back to me. I smiled to him and he replied “sawa” Swahili word for ok.

Maseno township celebrates its association with this bit of geographic trivia by naming several businesses in town after it. There was an Equator kiosk, Equator butcher shop, Equator coke and many more. There was a time when this sort of thing would have interested me. I probably would have stayed a few days to search out any equator moments, conducting experiments to see if water did go down the plughole in different directions (the Coriolis effect) on the different sides, but we wanted to reach Kisumu by 3pm and I was tired. The Equator point in Uganda is well developed and I had visited it before and done all the experiments.

Maseno also accommodates Maseno University which was a teachers college before. As you leave Maseno, you start seeing the outskirts of Kisumu. It’s a lovely scene. We drove very quickly from Maseno and arrived in Kisumu 15 minutes to 3pm. We were indeed tired, but honestly, I expressed my appreciation to Charles  by saying thank you to him for being a good driver who was very careful on the bad road. He answered that “You have made my day and made me proud, you are the first passengers to thank me” We were now in Kisumu. The air was fresh and lively. 

Look for my next edition of this trip.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I and KK went through Ugandan Immigrations. KK carried a Ugandan National passport and I carried the East African Passport both issued by the Ugandan Government. The law states that when a citizen of any these countries namely Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda  and Burundi carrying an East African passport, he/she should let her/his document be stamped at the entry point once in six month unlike the National Passports that requires you to line up in long queue waiting to go through Immigrations. 

Nonetheless, the requirement for the East African passport discriminates against most people--particularly those who are below a certain middle-class level.  For example, if a poor person (as most Africans are) wanted to visit relatives in Kenya for an annual get-together (to place flowers on a relative's grave, celebrate a child's birthday), if the law was followed, they'd have to purchase a new passport five years.  Why can't the law read "stamped every fifteen months"?  If we really had democracy in East Africa--or anywhere in Africa--we the people would probably have the law changed so that our East African passports need to be stamped once every four years.

I have used the East African passport several times and I see no reason or benefit in carrying it since this law that puts it in place is dormant and authorities don’t follow it. I have gone through Immigrations and lined up almost to two hours with nationals that carry National Passport. My last visit to Kenya was in December 2009 and I again used this passport. They stamped it at the Ugandan side and the stamp was not clear, but I didn’t notice it by that time.  Why on earth we are still stuck using mid-19th century technology?

Now I was in Immigrations of Uganda and moments after I handed my document to an official, he forced it to the reading machine and from my observation, the machine proved that my passport was genuine. The official, nonetheless, was with doubt.  I asked what the problem was and instead of answering me, he chose to pass my passport to his senior official which caught the attention of KK, but later he approved me and waved me on.  After he finally stamped it, it felt good to be leaving the immigrations.

I took a closer look at my passport to find out what the problem was. I noticed that the stamp that I got during my previous crossing was watery and almost run out.  This is what attracted the attention of the Immigration officer.  Surely, if East African countries are sincere about fighting forgeries, then much greater care and the use of modern technology should be in order.  With the high rampant fraud and forgery taking place in Government and private entities, the official thought that may be I also forged the stamp. I didn’t feel threatened because my path had been always clean. Am a good global citizen who respects the law almost to a fault.

I wanted to take a picture of both the No man’s land and the border fence on the Uganda side. I had borrowed a camera from a friend back in Kampala. I was so disturbed when the switch failed the camera with no clear reasons why it turned up so. Immediately as I pulled the camera again to see what the problem is, the lady sitting on a small chair called us to present our passport for her to prove that we have gone through the immigrations correctly. I was busy fixing the camera and KK was also eagerly looking on to see what’s happening with it, then when I looked up, I saw this lady on the chair trying to wave to us to make it known to us that she wanted to see the passport but she didn’t utter any word.  KK had both passports in his hands, so I pointed out to her, he walked and presented the two passports and she waved us ahead to Kenya.

There was an overbearingly arrogant guy that was standing next to the lady. He was too full of himself just like the NRM (National Resistance Movement led by President Museveni and been in power for now 25 years) officials you see in Kampala. They are too proud yet they have no performing capacity to transform Uganda.

He wanted to let me know that he was around, so he shouted to me “You are NOT allowed to take pictures”. I asked why? “I am a security officer and if I say you are not allowed to take pictures, that’s it” he barked like a jumping dog. I calmly told him that “ If I had taken pics at Entebbe Airport and on board, what about this rotten, dusty, full-of-trash Ugandan border?. KK looked calmly as usual and being a peaceful person, he initiated the walking with hope that I will ignore the man and move on. I did exactly as he hoped.  

We walked to the Kenyan Immigrations. We had no trouble. It felt good to be in Kenya. We were so hungry and didn’t really know what to do next. There were thousands of people transacting all sorts of business. The Busia side of Kenya looked livelier. It was dirty just like its opposite in Uganda, but the sound of business on the Kenyan side proved that if there was anyone benefiting from the East African free trade agreements, it was Kenya. It’s offering more business than any other East African region and that’s why its currency beats all the other four currencies. Each East African nation has its own currency.

Standing at the pavements of the rotten and dirty roads while watching Uganda pass by to the other side and observing the tricks of the working ladies (call them Prostitutes) proved that there’s so much more to enjoy life than simply staying in Kampala. I have passed through Busia thousands of times, but all at night. Now, I was getting the bigger picture of what it meant to have your lunch in Uganda and have your next bottle of water from Kenya. Both sides of Busia are full of street kids busy begging from passengers crossing from both sides. I used to be sympathetic to them but now, I'm not. I hate the growing populations that are making life harder. 

The failure to embrace safer contraceptives in Africa have resulted into youth who are not productive to any country in Africa. The church and all other religions are busy telling people NOT to use condoms or other kinds of contraceptives. All the contraception process we have is from other countries. 

African governments are not doing enough to fund its own research on population control. Thanks to the Kenyan politicians that are now suggesting making abortion legal under the supreme law.  I am for abortion on demand, because I support the right of the woman to make a decision on whether to have an abortion.  Abortion is not murder. The African governments must put in place safe places where women like those in Busia can go for abortion legally instead of allowing them to create humans that will end up being a menace to the whole world.

The men of overpopulated societies end up being a serious menace simply because they can be easily lured into terrorism activities because they have less money.  Yes, we know that young men of the middle-class can be lured into terrorism as well, but I've been taking note of young men in Central and Latin American countries who, out of poverty, join the armed forces of tyrants.

Even in America, young blacks give as their reason for joining the Armed Forces is because of poverty and the promise of education after their service is completed.  In other words, kill other people first, then the American government will grant you some money for education.  Americans now know that they were killing Vietnamese in the 60s and 70s for no good reason. 

Former Department of Defense Robert McNamara admitted that he lied to the American people.   For more details given by Gareth Porter, in his article "Exclusive: Robert McNamara deceived LBJ on Gulf of Tonkin, documents show," go here.

Poor citizens of any country have nothing to lose. No one cares for them. They are not educated, they have no hope. They struggle to put food on table and worst of all, they have grown to manhood and now busy making babies supported by the Church/mosques and other religions, but at the same time, they are not willing to see their offspring take the same route and suffer just as their parents did and this is where trouble will begin. More articles on the definition, description and consequences of overpopulation will appear on this blog. Keep on checking.

You are fee to comment on this post. Until then,do wait my next edition of the trip.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Easing Stress by getting out of Kampala

I had a very troubled week both in my physical and cyber world especially on face book. At first it looked little more like just a chat and exchange of information on both sides on the world, before I knew it, stress was all over my face. My close friends started asking me, what was the problem and I could hardly answer.

Yes I faced it tough struggling with money and life but also kept a closer eye for my steps since there were suggestions of expelling me from the groups that I belong to online. This wouldn’t be an issue at all, but religionists started suggesting that I deserved to be buried alive and others hinted on beheading me.

This was a very strong blow that almost knocked me off the chair when my free thinker’s friends started strongly opposing me and siding with my now religious enemies.  I truly felt abandoned and lost in some way or another. My free thinkers (read atheists) even uttered statements on face book that “they are distancing themselves from me” because they feared for religious attacks. Despite of all this, I decided to go on with my stand and the online community names the previous week a bloody week from their observation. This fracas all started Sunday 9th May 2010.

Many of my online friends, both in Uganda and outside Uganda begged me to step back a minute that the community cools down, but I resisted and said NO and went ahead to keep my word. Everyone was puzzled on why I was doing something they thought was not abiding by my own principles in life, but what I was rejecting is to the “Creation of immunity for Islamic religions”. Even now I say, if other religions can be criticized, so can Islam.

No religion should enjoy immunity of any kind and as a result, Islamic fanatics have used fear, intimidations, threats and violence to win the sympathy of group members and I see that they have managed to get them on their side.  Thanks to my strong boldness that led some members to say that “he is a hard nut to crush”.

When temperature arose higher and even higher, my best friend who I will name KK in this post suggested if I could join him on a trip to Kisumu Kenya and to make sure that I don’t turn him down, he also said he will fund all my expenses and that we will travel by day time in gapped taxis, meaning that we will have a taxi from Kampala to Ugandan border at Busia and then get on another taxi to Kisumu.

I welcomed the offer with open arms and saw it as a chance to escape some toughness in Kampala and the pressure from my foreign friends who were worried that Moslems can easily kidnap and slaughter me. I didn’t even ask him what he was going to do in Kisumu.

We agreed that departing time is 6:30 am on Friday 14th May 2010. He stays in Namasuba and I stay in Kawempe. We agreed to meet in the old taxi park. I called him on Thursday to confirm the trip. I really felt like not leaving. I had no clean clothes; all the dishes in my house were stinking after keeping them in water for weeks and am surely lazy on cleaning my house.

 I somehow imagined how everything will be after the trip. I went to Nakasero market, bought a 0.5 kilos of beans and went home, made my posho and dumped again my utilities in water, headed to my dirty unfriendly bed. The night was so .long and I slept badly.

On Friday morning, I awoke at 5am, still was lazy to clean the saucepans and other dishes. Cleaned some few clothes and picked some two things that I felt I would need them on the way. That’s a tooth brush and, of course, a comb  having made my hair grow now.   Despite of having awaked very early, I left home at around 6:10am.

By this time, Bombo road is up in traffic jams. This automatically meant that I needed a boda-boda ride. I picked one and the rider was a little bit of mad.  He rode so fast that I started recalling all the war on face book in which members expressed their wish for my death, and were praying for an accident to occur. I imagined becoming a victim of an accident that cool morning and thought of how they would celebrate that “their prayers work”.

I gave a pat of the shoulder of the rider and told him to be very careful. Thankfully we arrived at the park safely and within the ten minutes as we agreed to.   

Minutes after I secured my seat, KK arrived and he came with a cup of coffee for me. I really wanted it. I said thank you to him. It took minutes for the taxi to be full. Legally the Taxis (read matatus or call them min-bus) are supposed to carry 14 passengers. Meaning that a seat must accommodate three people.

The driver was a fully bolded moustache guy who spoke softly and kindly with an Islamic cap, meaning that he was a Moslem. He also had a wirey beard that represents how loyal he was at the Islamic teachings and the Sharia law.

I expected him to respect the law since he presented himself as a religious person, but just like many of them, he went ahead and squeezed another fourth passenger on my seat. Pious people present themselves as oh so correct, abiding by the law and showing respect for their fellow man--and then we quickly see their hypocrisy!.

The three passengers were women. Then he requested if I could swift to another seat and leave the seat for only women especially when I was inbetween them. I think he wanted to apply Islamic laws on me but I asked why with a harsh voice that scared him.  I remained in my seat, but again protested his having put a fourth passenger on this seat, but he turned a deaf ear to me. I told KK that we should get off and wait for the next taxi.   KK agreed with me, but later we choose to remain.  Then, in the next two minutes, the driver maneuvered through the taxi park and later on to Jinja road. We were now on our way to Busia.

Apart from me and KK, most passengers who were almost 85% women were local traders. I say this because they had much luggage. The taxi didn’t have a radio hence these traders used their voices to talk to the deafening ears. It felt good to be leaving Kampala. I took my coffee, KK also gave me some snack that he asked if I ever tasted them when I answered no, he said it was called the American pie, I laughed loud because many Ugandans are struggling to be Americanised especially by behaving like what you see on American black music and movies which leaves me with the impression that this is another kind of Colonisation . I didn’t comment on that. But took my coffee while other passengers looked envious of me.

We cruised through large and small towns, and the residents looked more desperate with no hope of where the next meal will come from. Most small towns in Uganda has no electricity and they all looked like the ghost towns. All youth are migrating to Kampala where they are busy creating babies and send them to their granies. So seeing kids playing on the smooth road proved that no activity or any business is taking place. I must add that our driver was quite good and he was very careful on that tiny road.

It took three hours to get to the Ugandan Border. I visited the loo to the Ugandan side and I was amazed to see that the loo had running water and a little bit cleaner in comparison to the public toilets in Kampala. I also paid 200 (7.2KSh) but then they usually charge 10 KSh which translates into 270 UGX, therefore I choose to pay in Ugandan shillings.

The Immigration was almost empty so it took us five more minutes both to check and walk through the No man’s land. Wait for my next Edition of this trip

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Ugandan Anti-homosexuality bill is dead, what next for Uganda?

Am happy the state put the Anti-homosexuality bill 2009,popularly known as the “Bahati bill” in trash.  Not only will Uganda not pass the Anti homosexuality Bill, but David Bahati and James Nsaba Buturo will become laughing stocks in Uganda and throughout Africa

                                                            Map of Belarus
There will be Gay Pride parades in Uganda--soon.  They will be met with some violence at first, but in the next year, there will be less opposition.  See article on Belarus as an example. The ugliness of Pastor Ssempa and the Red Pepper will be exposed and discussed. With your (my readers) help, atheism will spread as long as we gather facts of how oppressive and irrational religion is.

I'm especially outraged that within the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is the insistence that homosexuality is a choice and is not natural. I take this opportunity to  remind my audience that the Bible or the Qur'an are not science books.  They're books of fantasy and fiction and because people erroneously BELIEVE that they are true, end up doing a lot of harm to others and themselves.  When people are deliberately disabled because of ignorance and hatred, everyone loses. 

The situation in Uganda is the same as like that of all oppressive Countries across the globe. I have directed my support to this noble cause of making Uganda a much friendlier, peaceful, lively Country for all people including homosexuals. 

You might enjoy reading this article too.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Islam is NOT a religion of peace,its a terrorist cult

As anyone can see, the violence is not over class differences (rich vs poor), not because the U.S. is still in Iraq, but because of religious differences. Anyone who says that Islam is a religion of peace KNOWS that she/he's lying.

Members of Al-Qaida cannot be dismissed as wayward radicals.  Fighters for al-Qaida are carefully following the writings of the Qur'an.  Their interpretation of the Qur'an is the correct one.  Of course, other denominations of Islam say the same thing--and to settle the differences, they kill.  They blow themselves up inside mosques, at food markets--anywhere there's a crowd.  They not only blow themselves up, but they arm bicycles and donkeys with explosive devices and detonate them by remote control.  And large segments of the moslem population support all this. New al-Qaida in Iraq Chief Vows Blood-Soaked Days

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blasphemy laws in European Nations around this time?

How can citizens of European nations which maintain blasphemy laws — and there are more than a few — cry foul when Muslims are offended by a cartoon, when they themselves press charges and demand imprisonment over something as simple as a pop star making negative statements about their religion? There may be a difference in the degree of punishment, but isn’t the intent the same, to silence those who don’t agree?

Blasphemy laws are an offense to anyone who values liberty and intellectual freedom. They are a tool used by religious fundamentalists to silence nonbelievers. Fundamentalists of different religions do not use the laws to silence one another (such as Christians vs. Islamists); no, they are used solely against the secularist. Maybe it’s time for the secularists to start suing the religionists!

Suing religionists.  Not a bad idea!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Giving free haircuts can get you into the news

Giving free haircuts can get you into the news. It will certainly free you from the painful moments of loneliness.  But your reputation is always at stake. Do everything you can to engender and preserve a good reputation.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Uganda Panel Gives Setback to Antigay Bill

Largely, I'm not surprised.  I predicted this earlier in my posts and discussions online. As was mentioned on one of the Sanyu FM shows, discussion of this topic of gay rights and homosexuality was good for Uganda. It also shows that the world is, to some extent, a self-regulating community. Most important, it gives a black eye to American evangelicals.  This will help promote atheism.  Also see Catholics Sent Predator Priest to Remote Village

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Is it true that Islamists killed this Russian Priest?

No, no.  You don't understand.  See, it was in God's plan to have this priest killed in a church as an advertising gimmick.  Since God can't speak so that we can hear, he has to do things like this to get his message on TV and newspapers.  Let me ask you, when was the last you heard about the Church of St. Thomas in Moscow?  See, you don't remember. You probably never even heard of the Church of St. Thomas.  But now you have.  And since it works so well, we need to know about EVERY church in the world by this means of effective advertising.  Wouldn't you agree?  All of us know about the pope--so he's safe.  Of course, god works in mysterious ways that we mere mortals cannot understand, but I think the aim of God is to bring more people into church and to increase revenues, because God needs money.
But  Why didn't God saved this priest? worse still the shooting was in church,was God around? God witness the shooting and did nothing to stop the death of his servant? was God out on that day? but they say He is everwhere antime,any day, ...hmm truely God was there but asleep and helpless.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Did a historical Jesus exist?

This is funny, but can you see yourself on that cross? I'm sure some Ugandans would like to see me in that position.

There is no historical evidence that Jesus ever existed, and much against it. And if he can't be bothered to reveal himself to show that he does indeed exist, I doubt he'd be surprised or heartbroken over someone doubting it.

One of religion's tools is emotional blackmail. The entire concept of hell is morally reprehensible. The fact that Jesus was said to have preached it, the fact that he worshiped a god that ordered genocides and the slaughter of infants, the fact that he was prejudiced against others outside of his ethnic group, that he treated his own mother poorly, killed a tree (that didn't belong to him) ... for not bearing fruit of out season when he could have made it bloom, ordered his followers to steal a donkey, didn't know a bat wasn't a bird, didn't know the earth wasn't flat, didn't do anything to add to our knowledge base about the world or our bodies, actually preached hatred as a requirement of following him, shows that he was far from perfect, far from omniscient, far from anything other than perhaps a radical preacher (if he existed) who was enveloped after his death in pre-existing mythology. And any good tenets that he offered didn't take a genius to figure out, and were mores already practiced in many other societies.

I actually heard from a woman sticking up for the concept of hell two nights ago. She said she does not question her god and that she would personally burn and torture her son forever if that is what god wanted from her.

Where is the morality in that? It is not moral of a god, it is not moral of a human. It is a dangerous dogma. If that woman were to succumb to mental illness (if she is not already) and were to hear the voice of god telling her to murder her child- she would do so without question. It's what her beliefs have programmed her to do.
Did a historical Jesus exist? Read more here

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Fleeing Rebels Kill Hundreds of Congolese

I'm trying to make sense of this madness.  Joseph Kony is one person.  But thousands join him to kill tens of thousands of Africans.  Surely this couldn't just be religious fanaticism.  Is it hunger that drives so many to join Kony? Read more
LRA Killed Hundreds In Late 2009 Congo Massacre
The UN is investigating reports of a massacre by Ugandan rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Let's Harass Women Who Seek Abortion Services

                            By    *Hotem Dajenid on 3 May 2010
Kathleen Parker is not one of my favourite Washington Post columnists. There is so much in her article that I disagreed with, that I converted it to an interview format. Her article of 02 May 2010 is entitled: "Women should be informed before they abort." 

PARKER: When Bill Clinton said in 1992 that he wanted to make abortion safe, legal and rare, many Americans applauded. Even if one dismisses this as rhetoric, it is a sentiment shared by the large middle and provides nearly everyone a thread of hope.

HOTEM: I don't know what percentage of Americans applauded *rare* abortions, but the majority still want abortion legal--and without harassment of those seeking abortion services. More than 80% of Americans "say an abortion should be legal to save the woman's life, to preserve her health, or when the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. A smaller majority, 54 percent, supports legal abortion if there's evidence the baby will be physically impaired." --

Let us not forget that most white Americans sixty years ago were opposed to racially integrated schools and 90% were in favour of punishing gay people. Just ten years ago, most Americans were absolutely opposed to legalising marijuana.

Today, 95% of Americans are in favour of racially integrated schools, and the majority are in favour of legalising marijuana. 58% of young people (below 30) favour same-sex marriages. Just because a majority of idiots and bullies are opposed to rational public policy and equal human rights, does not, therefore, justify supporting irrational public policy. Laws aimed at controlling women's bodies are irrational, unjust and cruel.

My wording would be: "Safe, legal, and completely up to the woman when and how many abortions she wishes to have." Women who are opposed to abortions shouldn't have one.

PARKER: But how does one get to "rare" in a sexualized world where choice is a sacrament?

HOTEM: Oh really? Is Parker saying that freedom of choice should not be a top priority?! "In a sexualized world . . . " Excuse me Ms Parker, the world has always been sexual--that's how we got here. Parker seems to think that this would be a "nice", Calvinistic world without sex and sexually-oriented advertising; that babies come from Heaven and are delivered by a stork. But that's not how I got here.

PARKER: The only plausible answer is through education, but of what should that education consist?

HOTEM: In this case, "education" is harassment meant to make *exercise of choice* the reason for punishment. Denying a woman abortion on demand is punishment.

PARKER: Most everybody over the age of 10 knows how to apply a condom these days.

HOTEM: Give me a break! When a woman is raped, is the man wearing a condom? Is the methodology of using a condom taught in Catholic schools? Is this taught in Republican Michele Bachmann's district? If it's the case that kids learn from other sources, then this also applies to knowing what a foetus is. (For those who don't know, Michele Bachmann is Minnesota's Number One Embarrassment. serving in the U.S. House of Representatives. Think of all the idiots that voted for her TWICE. Yeah, democracy isn't easy, but dictatorship is worse.)

PARKER: And moral education -- the kind that might suggest remorse over the ending of a life -- is frowned upon.

HOTEM: Moral education is remorse over bringing to term a child that will not be supported by a woman who is not ready to spend the next 18 years raising a child. So often, it's the single mother without a partner. But, even married couples may not be ready or willing to raise a child. Some may have more important goals in mind: such as getting higher education. I knew a couple in Washington, D.C. who enjoyed a rewarding life traveling around the world. Having even one child would have prevented this. To the foetus worshippers, this lifestyle would be considered *selfish." It is not. Besides, the lifestyle that couples choose is none of anyone else's business.

PARKER: My own view, both pro-life and pro-choice, has been that abortion truthfully presented would eliminate itself or vastly reduce its numbers.

HOTEM:  This blows my mind! There is very little truth coming from the self-discrediting anti-Choice crowd. Parker is over-bearingly arrogant. She insists that those who have abortions are ignorant.

PARKER: Once a pregnancy is viewed as a human life in formation, rather than a "blob of cells," it is less easy to terminate the contents of one's vessel.

HOTEM: Women have abortions because they KNOW they cannot support the child. This is particularly the case when it involves teen-age girls. Forcing a woman to bring the foetus to term is the Christian's way of punishing the young woman for having sex.

PARKER: An unwanted pregnancy isn't any less inconvenient, but humanizing a fetus confounds the simplicity of choice. Alternatively, dehumanizing as a means of justifying an action from which we prefer to avert our eyes is a well-traveled road that history does not view charitably.

HOTEM: Wrong. Humanising or dehumanising is not the issue. We MUST deal with the human after birth--which anti-Choice bigots deliberately shun. We MUST take the broad picture into consideration. We have too many people on earth. We MUST remember that tiny little infants eat and deposit wastes--including worn-out clothes and broken toys. When they become adults, they buy cars and consume thousands of other things that further global warming.

Already too many people are looking for jobs that cannot exist because we are already consuming so much that shouldn't made in the first place. Too many people are crowding out forests and wildlife, and are emptying the lakes and oceans of mammals and fish. Already more than ONE BILLION people are malnourished. Parker apparently loves seeing little children suffering from kwashiorkor.

Seven billion people not only need to eat, they need water. Nations go to war over limited water supplies. War means that people are dehumanised and kill one another. This is what Kathleen Parker enjoys. Now how responsible and humane is that?

PARKER: Such considerations recently have taken the form of legislation in several states where lawmakers want women considering an abortion first to view an ultrasound. Oklahoma passed a law a few days ago that would require women to have an ultrasound, though, contrary to early reports, they are not required to view the images. They would have to hear the doctor's description of the images on the screen under the law.

HOTEM: This is oppressive. This is an example of harassing women and doctors for a religious aim--to get them to bring the foetus to term--and put it up for adoption. Even if successfully adopted, it's still an additional human in an already overcrowded planet.

PARKER: Florida passed its own legislation Friday, and Louisiana is considering a similar bill.

HOTEM: Oh well, if these conservative states are passing repressive laws, this must be the right and moral thing to do.

Reaction to the Oklahoma law has been predictable. Pro-lifers think it's too weak; pro-choicers think it's untenably intrusive. Were women required to view the images of their fetuses, I would have to side with the pro-choicers on this point. It is still vexing that a woman must deliberately look away from the image, which adds some heft to the intrusive argument and could be viewed as intimidation.

That said, I can't muster outrage over what can be viewed as both medically pragmatic and morally defensible.

HOTEM: Am I understanding this correctly? On the one hand, Parker admits that forcing a woman to view a foetus she wants to terminate is intrusive and intimidating, but still this is "medically pragmatic and morally defensible."

PARKER: A well-informed patient should always be our route to safe and legal. Is it unacceptable that a life-preserving decision might result from greater knowledge?

HOTEM: Life preserving? Parker is failing to look at the broad picture of wars over limited resources because of overpopulation.

PARKER: Anyone considering, say, gall bladder removal will be told each and every detail of what will happen, what is likely to be the result, what consequences might be expected and so on. Doesn't it make as much sense to provide women with a view of what's going on inside their bodies before they take the leap that can't be undone?

HOTEM: This is no analogy. When I had a navel hernia repaired in August 2000, I certainly did not want the doctor providing me any details. Actually, my doctor did and I passed out and fell to the floor. I have no stomach for these details. After recovering, I told the doctor "Don't tell me about it, just do it."

PARKER: Obviously, pro-lifers are trying to curb abortions through this legislation. The pro-life Bioethics Defense Fund drafted Louisiana's S.B. 528 at the request of its sponsor, state Sen. Sharon Broome, and the Louisiana Right to Life Federation. Call it a tactic, if you will. But is a woman's changed heart such a terrible result?

HOTEM: Yes it is a terrible result in the same way signed confessions under torture is a terrible result.

PARKER: Wouldn't such a result bring welcome numbers to the "rare" in Clinton's equation?

HOTEM: No! I don't want abortions "rare." I want abortions on demand for whatever reason!

PARKER: In testimony before the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee, women who had had abortions recounted being told they were ridding themselves of "tissue," only to learn later, often during ultrasounds with subsequent pregnancies, that they had destroyed fully formed fetuses. From what I can tell based on my own conversations with post-abortive women, this is a common event and is often the point at which formerly pro-choice women switch sides.

HOTEM: Now wait a minute. Parker wrote: "Most everybody over the age of 10 knows how to apply a condom these days." Wouldn't the same apply to most every woman over the age of 10 knows that what is being aborted is a fully formed foetus? Good heavens, there are millions of billboards all over the country paid for by "pro-life" groups describing when a foetus has fingerprints, a tongue, at what week the heart starts to beat, etc. So Parker needs to make up her mind here.

PARKER: The testimony in Louisiana included the story of one woman who suffered both physical and emotional trauma after an abortion. She didn't see an ultrasound but did see the remnants of her abortion on a tray beside her and was told "they" had been twins.

HOTEM: So, do we make laws based on one woman's reaction? What about the many women who have had abortions who did not suffer any traumatic reaction? There are many. I met some of them myself. However, we're not going to be hearing from thousands of women who have had abortions and suffered no ill-effects afterward. But we should be hearing from the millions of women who had an abortion and are glad they made that choice. And were glad that they HAD that choice to make.

PARKER: Well, enough of that. We all know what abortion is, and, thanks to some of the sign-toting anti-abortion protesters -- who do their cause no good -- we know what abortion looks like. Shouldn't pregnant women also know what their healthy fetuses look like before they hit delete?

HOTEM: Had I been that woman, I would have said to myself: "I would have been burdened raising two children!"

Parker said: "We all know what abortion is . . . " But Parker also said that it is common that many women don't know what a fully formed foetus is. And another consideration: What if their foetus is not healthy? Well, the answer is that the anti-Choice fanatics will still do everything possible to prevent abortion. No exceptions.

Life is tough enough without physical handicaps. Unhindered abortion marks the qualities of an advanced civilisation. This allows for the elimination of defective human--defects that won't be passed on to the next generation. I see no reason to bring a child into the world with impaired vision or one that is mentally retarded. But Christians (and other religions) think that their "god" of perfection imposes challenges upon babies, so that the Almighty can see them struggle through life with one or more handicaps. But their god is omniscient and will already know everything about the painful struggle of the handicapped person. Therefore their god is a cruel god.

PARKER: This is a question lacking in sinister intent. What is sinister is the proposition that ignorance is better -- and the implied hope that women won't choose to reconsider.

HOTEM: How condescending! This is made worse by the fact that Kathleen Parker has such contempt for her sisters. Although just as unacceptable, this line of "reasoning" coming from a man would be more understandable.

On the problem of forced "instruction". If you don't accept my religion, then it's because you don't understand. So let me instruct you again until you do accept my religion. Likewise, if you insist on having an abortion, then obviously I didn't instruct you well enough to change your decision about having an abortion, so let me instruct you more. If you tell the doctor that you don't want instructions, the doctor will be required to remind the woman that this is the law. Again, the woman and the doctor have no choice.

PARKER: I can't speak to the efficacy of these bills. Let the doctors and lawyers hash that out. But as an advocate for informed choice, I can't rationalize ignorance or denial as preferable options for women in need of sound counseling.

HOTEM: First of all, there should be no legislative bills on abortion. Abortion should be an absolute right, a decision to be made by the pregnant woman only. The father's decision doesn't count.

I hear men arguing "Well, it's my baby too, don't forget!" But it's not your body. Besides, men have the long-held reputation of not following through with their support for the 18 years for their child's life. This burden falls on the woman in 99% of the cases.

Women ARE intelligent enough to make a decision to abort an unwanted foetus. Parker is like your typical male: Women are dumb and need the guidance from those who know better.

To the reader: Beware of incorrect terminology used by slick anti-Choicers: "Babies" are not being "murdered" in women's clinics.

PARKER: Or for a nation that wants to make abortion rare.

HOTEM: I'm part of that nation and I want all forms of contraception, including abortions, to be undertaken by more women.  Abortion is good. Unwanted children and overpopulation are bad.

What this world needs is not for people to emulate Kathleen Parker, but to stand up for their full freedom and full rights in all matters concerning women. Women have been progressing against male oppression since before Emma Goldman, but so much more work needs to be done.

Your comments are invited--both in support of or opposed to my article.

From the blog owner: This is what happens when you say no to abortion

*Hotem Dajenid, originally from Turkmenistan and now living in Minneapolis, MN, is a guest writer for this blog.