Sunday, January 26, 2014

Academic Introspection

This blog may give readers the impression that the author is a full-of-it guy with too much time to mouth off arrogant opinions on the internet. Perhaps it’s true. Today I inflict my campus academic pursuits from three years ago upon readers.

Joseph, my high school best friend, spent lots of our time together telling me that I was “blunt”. In hindsight, it is strange that afterwards I successfully completed a degree in International Relations. The course involved a significant chunk of diplomacy and much training in how to navigate convoluted red tape, neither of which I am inclined towards. My term papers and exam scripts were tirades against glaring injustices in the international system. I strove to be that voice that challenged mainstream establishment propaganda on every issue from globalization to terrorism. I especially tried to give my International Political Economy lecturer a series of headaches by refusing to tread the beaten path, only making sure I had facts every time.

Somehow I tolerated the parts of the degree where they taught us about “diplomacy” and”national interests.” My naked eyes could plainly see: diplomats do not burden themselves with truly national interests as they fly halfway around the world in a million different directions to go and bootlick, posture, self-aggrandize, grovel, speechify. It struck me as fake and pretentious, a great circus that painted elite interests in patriotic livery. But I played along, role-played in enough model UN conferences to get disillusioned with the prospect of doing that stuff for a living day in day out. Faking niceness with people who are faking niceness for the sake of artificial national interests? Too remote.

During one of those particular model conferences, for which we dressed to kill, I and two comely young ladies – my aides – represented Eritrea. The wannabe US envoy struck me as a brazen Machiavellian with shark instincts, yet he was eventually voted the best delegate. The injustice of it gutted me; what happened to justice and equality and suchlike? That was the day I gave up on becoming a diplomat, even if I failed to immediately change my major.

But the course was not entirely pointless, no. Besides emerging with a bachelor’s degree, I learnt a bunch of stuff on the fringes of required course content. My eyes were opened, my horizons expanded as I searched for truth within the confines of the library. This is the saving grace that keeps me from looking back at those years with regret.

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Return of Fascism

Liberals generally sound a bit like this: "To each his own. It would be good if we didn't try to impose a uniform benchmark of goodness on everyone. So let's be good and not agree on a single definition of goodness."

Many historians agree that corruption and greed were the fall of Rome. Our Kenyan "MPigs" reek of the same evils. They are merely the most conspicuous symptom of extensive structural cracks in the national edifice. The rot has permeated through trickle-down effect, spurred on by the desperate economic times.

It is not enough that Kenya (or America) is a democratic constitutional republic. While this is important, the citizens must be always defending their rights from the inroads of subverters, abusers and exploiters; must always be wary of the enemy within who quietly militates against the public interest. We must be even more alert for in-house adulterations of the collective good than against outside aggressors. The cost of freedom is vigilance.

A couple of hundred years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville said "America is great because America is good." That was then. But where is goodness today? Even the vast majority of churches sleep with the world, featuring innovations such as "plant a seed" prosperity gospel and unmitigated political Zionism to name but a few. The academics are in the pockets of business. Education is indoctrination. The media self-censors. Abuses of government are all the rage. Yet many dare to say Communism died out with the collapse of USSR.

No, rather, the collapse of USSR set Communism free from the rigid geopolitical constraints of the Cold War, to creep stealthily into the seats of free governments all over the world. The spirit of Communism can be discerned in the lax moral standards of the day, increasing power grabs by governments and the ready willingness of psychologically infantilized populations to let governments assume powers beyond their divinely ordained jurisdiction. "Sirikali tafadhali! Rob Peter and pay Paul! Sit in judgement over our consciences! May Political Correctness stifle freedom of speech!"

Powerful government is all too willing to act like the author and disburser of human rights, and not merely a protector thereof, like a watchman who, in his employer's absence, lords it over guests. Indeed, your government may be communist if it treats your inalienable God-given rights and freedoms as mere privileges it condescends to grant the supplicant. Now that the place of the Almighty is increasingly lost to the sight of men, government idly dreams of filling the imaginary vacuum. This will only clearly bring out the veracity of an ominous truism: "If men will not be ruled by GOD, they must then be ruled by a tyrant."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Brave New e-World

Shred the textbooks and recycle the pencils!
Burden the little tykes with actual laptops.

Everything’s going digital,
None of that analogue mess! 

It’s quite the slick gimmick: 

No more donkeywork and waiting lines!
Just touch of a button and loading screens.

Away with filing cabinets and “lost” paperwork!
Far rather databases and server crashes
Worst case, perchance hackers, viruses?

Harness the creative spark in data cables!
Wirelessly harvest the brain’s yield
export the product at fibre-optic light-speed.

Make traffic jams a working area -
No idle sitting! No sleeping on transit!

Yet none dare call it “Digital Jail”

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Diary: January 1, 2014

New year’s day was fun: we the bunch of youths from our church herded ourselves first to a swimming pool and later to a feast hosted at home by yours truly. The swimming pool was not part of the plan at all – the feast began the day, with breakfast, at which time the idea of touring the world on foot popped up. We were supposed to go sightseeing, with soft-beverage-drinking optional. But once a pool came in sight there was a sudden epidemic of highly infectious impulse swimming amongst us. That marked the end of our “touring the world”, unless the world fits in the span between shallow end and deep end, in which case we toured the world thoroughly.

We swam and/or splashed about all day, only remembering our feast late in the day mostly because of roaring appetites born of swimming pool exertions. Now I was the host, having masterminded the whole thing, but I’m not socially adept, nor even a good host. Fortunately I had help from mum, bro and sis. Also fortunately, I was not required to make a speech. However my invitation urging all present to “feel at home and start eating” induced some laughter. As far as I could see, even if many still had a little swimming pool water in their ear canals, they were having a blast. Therefore I the host quickly sunk under the radar, as I am wont to do given half a chance. Eventually, at twilight, our youthful guests dispersed in high spirits after emphatic spiritual exhortations from my mother.

As for me, tired plus satisfied equals drowsy. Twilight found me half-smiling, half-dozing contentedly on the couch, passively listening to the initial chords of a nocturnal symphony of crickets and frogs.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hapless New Year

Walking into 2014 I already feel bad for the year because of all the expectations people have laid at its feet. Don't get me wrong, I'm an optimist occasionally. Still, we must consider the trend of things so far and ask ourselves whether a calendar change is all the transformation we need. Methinks not.

From a great controversy perspective, the one which says we all fight in a spiritual battle between good and evil, certain things are bound to remain fixed. GOD will work and Satan as well. In fact, the very fact that the time is advanced by another year is evidence enough that Satan is madder now than he was last year, hungrier for souls, more bloodthirsty than before. The new world order, the devil's global monument of rebellion against GOD, is now a year older, a year closer to fruition. We are in the end times.

True, life is a great blessing that GOD has continued to give us into 2014. Many did not live to see tis year. Indeed we are sojourners in the earth, we have no abiding city here. But GOD still has a plan for our lives, or else we would be dead.

My prayer is that 2014 will be all about obedience and faith. Thanks and praise, His will be done.