Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius For HHS Secretary

Obama taps Sebelius for HHS secretary

Associated Press Writer Charles Babington,
Associated Press Writer – 11 mins ago
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Barack Obama
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AP – In this Feb. 9, 2009 file photo, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius greets visitors to her office in Topeka, …
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WASHINGTON – Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is President Barack Obama's choice for secretary of health and human services, a White House source said Saturday.
The source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, said Obama will formally announce the nomination on Monday.
Sebelius, 60, was an early Obama supporter. She picked his presidential campaign over that of Hillary Rodham Clinton, now the secretary of state. Sebelius worked tirelessly for Obama's bid and was a top surrogate to women's groups.
Obama's first choice for HHS, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, withdrew after disclosing he had failed to pay $140,000 in taxes and interest.
Sebelius drew praise for the consumer watchdog role she played as Kansas insurance commissioner for eight years before she became governor.
Her name had been floated for several Cabinet posts. She said in December that she had removed herself from consideration from a Cabinet job, citing Kansas' budget problems that needed her attention.
Sebelius is in the middle of her second term as governor and is legally barred from seeking a third term next year. Many Democrats had hoped she would finish her term and run for the U.S. Senate seat that Republican Sam Brownback is giving up in 2010.
Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932, and Sebelius was seen as the best chance for breaking that string. She comes from a strong political family. Her father, John Gilligan, was the governor of Ohio in the early 1970s.
Abortion foes strongly oppose Sebelius because she once had a reception attended by a late-term abortion provider who now faces criminal charges. Democrats say there was never any doubt that Obama would appoint an HHS secretary who supports abortion rights.
Sebelius will be subject to confirmation by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

President Obama Address to Congress

My address to Congress

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 4:14 PM

From: "President Barack Obama" View contact details
To: "Judy Miriga"

Judy --

Last night, I addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time.To confront the serious economic challenges our nation faces, I called for a new era of responsibility and cooperation. We need to look beyond short term political calculations and make vital investments in health care, energy, and education that will make America stronger and more prosperous well into the future.Watch a few highlights from my address and share it with your friends now:
A little more than a month into my administration, we've already taken bold steps to address our urgent economic problems.Through the Recovery Act, the Stability Plan, and the Housing Plan, we're taking the immediate necessary measures to halt our economic downturn and provide much-needed assistance to working people and their families.But to set our country on a new course of stability and prosperity, we must reject the old ways of doing business in Washington. We can no longer tolerate fiscal deficits and runaway spending while deferring the consequences to future generations.That's why I pledged last night to cut our deficit in half by the end of my term. Achieving that goal will require making sacrifices and hard decisions, as well as an honest budgeting process that is straight with taxpayers about where their dollars are going.Watch some key moments from my address now: to this plan will be a renewed commitment to honesty and transparency in government. Restoring our country's economic health will only happen when ordinary citizens are given the opportunity to hold their representatives fully accountable for the decisions they make.

I look forward to continuing to work with you as we bring about the change you made possible.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

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Obama Delivers Hopeful Yet Realistic State of the Union Address

Obama Delivers Hopeful Yet Realistic
State of the Union
Kaitlynn Riely
Posted: Feb 24th 2009 10:40PM
Filed under: Politics, News, The Economy, Notre Dame

The hope is not gone, people.
If you thought a collapsing economy, rampant unemployment, a huge deficit and two wars was going to get Obama down after a little more than a month in office, you were wrong. In his State of the Union Tuesday night, delivered before a joint session of Congress, President Obama was just as hopeful as he was before he became the chief executive, though he was bluntly realistic about the challenges. Obama said he recognized that the economy was the one issue that Americans were thinking about now above all others. The challenges the country faces are severe, but he had faith that America would emerge successfully. "We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before," he said. The way to do this: jumpstart job creation and pass a budget that invests in energy, health care and education. And there has to be accountability. Obama said Vice President Joe Biden would be in charge of oversight, to make sure money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus plan) is spent responsibly. "Nobody messes with Joe," Obama said. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi loved that line. She quickly jumped up to give Biden a standing ovation. Another key part of the recovery plan is ensuring the flow of credit, Obama said. At this point, President Obama became Professor Obama, explaining who needs credit, why they need it and how to free up credit.He's not going to let Wall Street bankers use taxpayer dollars to pad their paychecks any longer, Obama said, resuming his role as Commander-in-Chief and bringing out the tough talk:"Those days are over." Obama made it clear who his constituents were"It's not about helping banks. It's about helping people." He repeated the line twice, over applause. Obama said his plan for America's recovery is directly tied to his budget proposal, which focuses on energy, healthcare and education, three areas Obama believes are vital. He wants to see clean energy, more efficient cars and trucks and higher standards for the automobile industry. He then turned into America's personal trainer:"This is America. We don't do what's easy. We do what's necessary to move this nation forward." He called for healthcare reform. CBS's cameras zoomed in on Hillary Clinton's standing O. I heard echoes of Josiah Bartlett when he called for a cure for cancer "in our time." It's not exactly John F. Kennedy's challenge to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade, but at least it's being discussed. (Since I am now a Twitter user, I can report that Lance Armstrong was very happy about the cancer line.)The most interesting parts of Obama's speech, I thought, were about education. A good education has become a "prerequisite to opportunity," he said. He asked all Americans to commit to one year or more of college or career training. By 2020, he wants America to have the highest proportion of college graduates. The line that made me most proud? "I can stand here tonight and say without exception or equivocation that the United States does not torture," Obama said. Obama had Republicans and Democrats alike on their feet applauding at many points in the speech. He even got them laughing. Can we figure out some way to bottle up his optimism and pour it into the stock market?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

U.S. Must Decide What Role To Play With Banks

U.S. Must Decide What Role To Play With Banks
Listen Now [4 min 16 sec] add to playlist
All Things Considered,

February 24, 2009 ·

Talks between the Treasury Department and Citigroup about changes that would boost the government's stake in the troubled bank to up to 40 percent have many people wondering if banks are on a path to being nationalized.
Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke tried to assure lawmakers the government's plan is not to take over banks; Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) sounded less than convinced.
"That to me is nationalization," he said after listening to Bernanke. "I'd like for you to give me a term to use as I leave here as to what we would call that."
"A public-private partnership," Bernanke replied. "It's not nationalization because the banks would not be wholly owned or probably not even majority owned by the government."
What Type Of Shareholder?
Greg Ip, the U.S. economics editor of the Economist, says the type of nationalization being discussed in the U.S. is when the government buys common shares in a bank until it controls at least 50 percent.
"That's kind of the question that's being discussed now because in order to keep the banks from failing, the government may find itself forced to purchase substantial amounts of common equity in these banks," Ip tells NPR's Michele Norris.
It is unclear what the government will do if it acquires a 50 percent plus 1 stake in the banks. When Henry Paulson was Treasury secretary, he said the government would be a passive shareholder.
"Now the question is: Should the government remain a passive shareholder or should it actively vote those shares and therefore take a much more hands-on approach to deciding what the banks will do," Ip says.
Active Involvement
Ip says though the government is trying to stick to its stated philosophy of keeping the banks in private hands, it must soon decide what type of role it will play. He says there is a good case to be made that once it owns more than 50 percent of a bank's common shares, the government should decide on the composition of the bank's board of directors, its management team, and to whom it lends and by how much.
He says the government and Congress are urging the banks to lend more to businesses and homeowners. Banks, however, are reluctant.
"If the government were the shareholder of the banks and forced to confront the pluses and minuses of those types of decisions, they'd have to, in some sense, behave like the mutual funds and active investors of the world behave, which is deciding whether or not those decisions are wise in the long run for the health of the bank," Ip says.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Car Firm CEO Waves 'goodbye'

Honda (HMC): Another car firm CEO waves 'goodbye'

Posted Feb 23rd 2009 8:00AM
by Douglas McIntyreFiled under: Toyota Motor Corp. (TM)

The Japanese appear more willing to replace car companies CEOs as profits fall due to the troubled auto market. In the U.S., none of The Big Three has replaced its chief executive since the industry crisis began.
According to The Wall Street Journal, "Honda Motor Co (NYSE: HMC) said Monday that it appointed Takanobu Ito, a senior managing director, as new president and chief executive to replace Takeo Fukui." The departing CEO will get to stay on the board of directors. Just three weeks ago, Toyota (NYSE: TM) replaced its chief executive.
The moves by the Japanese car companies may seem drastic. Both are doing well, at least compared to their U.S. counterparts. While their revenue and profits may be falling, they do not have debt or labor agreements that could drag them into bankruptcies. It is hard to blame management for the global recession.
The news has to make investors in the U.S. car companies wonder why the CEOs have hung on so long. It appears that the Japanese are ready to hold management accountable for poor results, even those not entirely under their control. Their boards may want to send the message that CEO job security is based on results, regardless of the origin of those results.
At The Big Three the people who pay the price for poor performance are the blue collar and white collar workers who are being fired by the tens of thousands. It is an odd system that punishes those who did not cause the problems and lets those who did keep their jobs.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

Kenya will suffer deforestation

Kenya will suffer because of deforestation,
says don

Updated on: Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Story by: Meeme Joshua and Grany Otieno

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor George Magoha has warned of serious climatic effects emanating from depletion of forest cover as more Kenyans turn to firewood for energy. Magoha said land under forest cover has continued to decrease drastically and today stands at 1.1 percent against the required international standards of 10 percent. “It is the time to sensitize people to plant more trees, increase area under forest cover and embrace other renewable sources of energy,” said Magoha.
Magoha, who spoke after presiding over the first graduation ceremony for students who completed a certificate course in Renewable Energy at the Institute of Nuclear Science, said renewable energy technologies are necessary due to unsustainable manner in the conventional supply of energy and its harmful effect on the environment.“The integration of renewable energy systems into the electricity supply networks together with the development of autonomous renewable energy systems for electricity supply poses new challenges to a developing country such as Kenya,” said Magoha.
He said the country should focus on renewable energy through training of experts, adding that the university was setting pace for change of attitude and lifestyles for those living in rural areas. “Rivers are drying up due to the continued felling of trees and unless the trend is reversed the country will not achieve development goals,” he said. He challenged the graduands to move into rural areas and teach people on new ways of generating energy.

UNEP Warns of Acute Food Crisis

UNEP warns of acute food crisis
Updated on: Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Story by: george kebasso

UNLESS more intelligent and creative management is brought to the world’s agricultural systems- Kenya included, the 2008 food crisis, may foreshadow an even bigger crisis in the years to come, warns a rapid assessment report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).The report released by a task force established by the UNEP to assess the environment’s role in averting future food crises during the weeklong 25th Session of the Global Environment Ministers’ Forum in Nairobi called on governments to adopt a seven point plan seeking to reduce the risk of hunger or even loose the fight against rising food insecurity.
The seven point plan consists of short, medium and long term recommendations that the UNEP has proposed to contain the escalating food prices across the world. According to the report, the first short term measure, challenges governments to enforce strict price controls in order to curb unnecessary increase of food prices that are currently beyond the common man’s reach.
In the report UNEP also wants the removal of subsidies on agricultural commodities and inputs that are exacerbating the developing food crisis as a short term measure. The report on the current food crisis in the country warns that food prices will continue to rise. Titled; ‘The Environmental Food Crisis: TheEnvironment’s role in averting future food crises’, the report indicates that the current food crisis in the country and the world in general will continue because of poor environmental management methods.
The report links the current crisis which includes high prices and soaring demand for food; to combined effects of; speculation in food stocks, extreme weather events, low cereal stocks, growth in biofuels competing with cropland and high oil prices. Climate Change for example, emerges as one of the key factors that may undermine the chances of feeding a population expected to rise to over 9 billion people by 2050.The report says that food losses in the field between planting and harvesting could be as high as 20-40 per cent of the potential harvest in developing countries due to pests and pathogens.
Members of the task force argue that unless more sustainable and intelligent management of production and consumption is undertaken, food prices would still become more volatile and expensive in Kenya as the population is rising steadily and expected to hit over a 40 m mark by next year. And as a result of an escalating environmental degradation in the world, the experts led by Dr. Christian Nelleman, UNEP’s head of the rapid response team, also propose the reduction of the use of cereals and food fish in animal feed and develop alternatives. “This can be done in a green economy by increasing food energy, efficiency using discards, capture and recycle of post harvest losses and waste,” added UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner during a press conference to unveil the report.

Global Climate Change Could Lead to World Wars

Could Climate Change Lead to World Wars?


CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Feb. 22) – If we don't deal with climate change decisively, "what we're talking about then is extended world war," the eminent economist said.
His audience Saturday, small and elite, had been stranded here by bad weather and were talking climate. They couldn't do much about the one, but the other was squarely in their hands. And so, Lord Nicholas Stern was telling them, was the potential for mass migrations setting off mass conflict.

Skip over this contentThe Effects of Global Warming

A prominent British economist and author of a major report on the cost global warming said that if climate change isn't dealt with decisively, it could cause "extended world war." Lord Nicholas Stern said as weather patterns change, it could create mass migrations which would, in turn, set off mass conflict.
caption:['A massive crack in Petermann Glacier in Northern Greenland has at least one scientist predicting that a big part of the Northern Hemisphere's largest floating glacier will be gone within a year. Some experts said it's too soon to pin the blame on global warming. Click through for examples of global warming.'],

"Somehow we have to explain to people just how worrying that is," the British economic thinker said.
Stern, author of a major British government report detailing the cost of climate change, was one of a select group of two dozen — environment ministers, climate negotiators and experts from 16 nations — scheduled to fly to Antarctica to learn firsthand how global warming might melt its ice into the sea, raising ocean levels worldwide.
Their midnight flight was scrubbed on Friday and Saturday because of high winds on the southernmost continent, 3,000 miles from here. While waiting at their Cape Town hotel for the gusts to ease down south, chief sponsor Erik Solheim, Norway's environment minister, improvised with group exchanges over coffee and wine about the future of the planet.
"International diplomacy is all about personal relations," Solheim said. "The more people know each other, the less likely there will be misunderstandings."
Understandings will be vital in this "year of climate," as the world's nations and their negotiators count down toward a U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen in December, target date for concluding a grand new deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol — the 1997 agreement, expiring in 2012, to reduce carbon dioxide and other global-warming emissions by industrial nations.
Solheim drew together key players for the planned brief visit to Norway's Troll Research Station in East Antarctica.

Skip over this content What’s Your Take?
What’s your opinion on climate change in general?

Read Answers (38)

Trying on polar outfits for size on Friday were China's chief climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua, veteran U.S. climate envoy Dan Reifsnyder, and environment ministers Hilary Benn of Britain and Carlos Minc Baumfeld of Brazil.
Later, at dinner, the heavyweights heard from smaller or poorer nations about the trials they face as warming disrupts climate, turns some regions drier, threatens food production in poor African nations.
Jose Endundo, environment minister of Congo, said he recently visited huge Lake Victoria in nearby Uganda, at 80,000 square kilometers (31,000 square miles) a vital source for the Nile River, and learned the lake level had dropped 3 meters (10 feet) in the past six years — a loss blamed in part on warmer temperatures and diminishing rains.
In the face of such threats, "the rich countries have to give us a helping hand," the African minister said.
But it was Stern, former chief World Bank economist, who on Saturday laid out a case to his stranded companions in sobering PowerPoint detail.
If the world's nations act responsibly, Stern said, they will achieve "zero-carbon" electricity production and zero-carbon road transport by 2050 — by replacing coal power plants with wind, solar or other energy sources that emit no carbon dioxide, and fossil fuel-burning vehicles with cars running on electric or other "clean" energy.
Then warming could be contained to a 2-degree-Celsius (3.4-degree-Fahrenheit) rise this century, he said.
But if negotiators falter, if emissions reductions are not made soon and deep, the severe climate shifts and sea-level rises projected by scientists would be "disastrous."
It would "transform where people can live," Stern said. "People would move on a massive scale. Hundreds of millions, probably billions of people would have to move if you talk about 4-, 5-, 6-degree increases" — 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. And that would mean extended global conflict, "because there's no way the world can handle that kind of population move in the time period in which it would take place."
Melting ice, rising seas, dwindling lakes and war — the stranded ministers had a lot to consider. But many worried, too, that the current global economic crisis will keep governments from transforming carbon-dependent economies just now. For them, Stern offered a vision of working today on energy-efficient economies that would be more "sustainable" in the future.
"The unemployed builders of Europe should be insulating all the houses of Europe," he said.
After he spoke, Norwegian organizers announced that the forecast looked good for Stern and the rest to fly south on Sunday to further ponder the future while meeting with scientists in the forbidding vastness of Antarctica.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Pride of a People: Barack Obama, The Luo

The pride of a people: Barack Obama, the Luo

The pride of a people: Barack Obama, the LuoBy PHILIP OCHIENGPosted Saturday, January 17 2009 at 16:24In Summary* For a patriarchal people like the Luo, the 44th President of the United States is their own, and his feat has boosted his people’s pride to the utmostOn Tuesday, a “Luo” individual will become the most powerful man in the world. A Luo? Of course. Why else would Kenya’s lakeland community which goes by that name be so electrified by Barack Obama’s impending anointment as the commander-in-chief of the world’s only superpower?Yet the question is stark: Is Obama a Luo? To answer “yes” or “no”, one would first have to define a Luo. There are at least two possibilities. There is, first, what the Luo themselves may imagine as their blood heritage.There is, secondly, what Paul Mboya called Luo Kitgi Gi Timbegi, a book in Dholuo which describes the character and customs of “Jokowiny”. For the character and customs of a tribal community need not coincide with its blood composition.Language and cultureWe should stress the term ‘‘Jokowiny’’ because, although it is almost forgotten now, that is the correct name of the Luo of Kenya and Tanzania, a people whose language and culture are almost uniform from the Luhya border to Tanzania’s Mara.The attitude by Jokowiny that we are the Luo alienates many pedigree Luo communities, such as the Padhola, Lang’o, Kumam, Acholi and Karamojong of Uganda, the Alur of Congo, and the Nuer, Anuak Nuer, Dinka and Shilluk of the Sudan.Indeed, the Sudanese and northern Ugandan Luo are more genuinely Luo than we because they are less removed from the original home of dispersal and, therefore, less influenced by non-Nilotic elements.But yes, by a certain definition, the 44th President of the United States is JAKOWINY – JAKOWINY (with an “A”) being the singular form of JOKOWINY (with an “O”). It means “descendant of Owiny”.Owiny was a brother of Adhola, the eponymous ancestor of Charles Onyango Obbo’s Jopadhola. The PA in “JOPADHOLA” and in other Ugandan and Sudanese Luo languages is their equivalent of KA among Jokowiny (and means “of”, or “offspring of” or “homestead of”).The celebrated name OKOT P’BITEK is really “Okot PA Bitek” (“Okot of Bitek” or “Okot son of Bitek”). In both pronunciation and writing, the “a” in PA and KA is usually dropped when the next word begins with a vowel. That is why we say JAKOWINY, and not JA-KA-OWINY.The PA in Padhola means the same thing as the KA in such Kowiny place names as KARACHUONYO (“home of Rachuonyo”), KAMAGAMBO (“land of Magambo”) and KANYIDOTO (“where the daughters of Doto are married”).The word element KA was common to all Nilotes, including the ancient Egyptians. The word “EGYPT” itself is only a European corruption of HEKAPTAH (“home of the god Ptah”). The KAPTAH part of HEKAPTAH is what has come down to us as “COPT”.The same word appears in such place-names among the Kalenjin – a Nilotic people – as Kabartonjo (“land of Bartonjo”), Kabianga (“dwelling place of Bianga”) and Kabarnet (“Barnet’s base” – named after a colonial Anglo-Saxon missionary).For the Luo belong to the culturo-linguistic super-community that anthropologists call Nilotic or Nilo-Saharan – which includes the Maasai, Kalenjin and Teso – and who now spread from Tanzania to Egypt and from Ethiopia and Eritrea to Darfur and Nigeria.Barack Obama Senior belonged to KOGELO (“homestead of Ogelo”). He was Jakogelo (“offspring of Ogelo’s home”). Jokogelo (“people of Ogelo”) are a clan of the Alego. That is significant.In his book History of the Southern Luo, B.A. Ogot – the eminent Luo historian – suggests that the Alego (and the professor’s own Gem people) are the quintessence of Jokowiny.They were the first to arrive in what is now Kenya. Adhola and Owiny were leaders of an advance detachment of the Luo as they drifted along the Nile – fish being their staple. On hitting Lake Victoria, they exchanged words, and Owiny was forced to move ahead.It was after wandering through what are now Manyala, Samia, Imbo and Sakwa – driving the autochthonous Luhya (a Bantu cluster) from their homes – that Owiny and his followers finally settled in what we now call Alego.It was from Alego that Jokowiny spread out, northwards to Gem and Ugenya, eastwards to Seme, Kisumu and Winam and southwards to Asembo, Uyoma and across the string of water – Nyanza Gulf — which intrudes into and divides Kowiny-land into two parts.Yet it is appropriate that the term “Jokowiny” is now in disuse, except among Adhola’s people. They retain in folk memory the bitter quarrel that forced their brother Owiny eastwards. So they know all the Luo to the east of them as Jokowiny.Completely swallowedBut since then other Luo and even non-Luo branches have arrived to commingle with Jokowiny. Among these are my own group – Abasuba – who, although completely swallowed by the Luo, were originally not even Nilo-Saharan, but a composite of Bantu refugees, mostly from Buganda.A culturally imperious community, its ethnic arrogance has been heightened manifold by the colonially created ethnic rivalry that characterises Kenya’s politics. But I repeat that the arrogance cannot be explained by any “ethnic purity”.The Kenya Luo are so influenced by other communities that they are a mind-boggling heterogeneity of blood, culture and language. One reason is that they adopted exogamy (the taking of wives from other tribes) very early in their Southward Ho.They shared with the ancient Hellenes the habit of waylaying foreign women and literally pulling them into bed as wives. So for Senior to grab wives from as far away as Hawaii and Massachusetts – and Caucasian ones to boot – was no big deal.Given time, he might even have grabbed an Afghan, a Cherokee, an Eskimo, a Fijian, an Iraqi, a Lithuanian, a Mongolian, a Pole, a Shona, a Vietnamese, a Wolof, a Yoruba and a Zaramo – not to mention hundreds from Luoland, apart from Kezia.The Luo would have noted his “he-man-ship” with complete approval. That is what makes them such a “bloody” heterogeneity. But that, too, is why, in their view, Senior’s son, the 44th President of the United States, cannot be anything but a Luo.They are fiercely patriarchal, thus the offspring belong strictly to the father’s tribe, clan or what the Luo call THUR and DHOOT. THUR refers to the ridge that rises between two streams and is often identified with a clan.DHOOT (the two “o”s pronounced separately) is the word for “door”. It literally means “mouth of the house” – from DHOK, “mouth”, and OT, “house”. The “mouth” element can be seen also in the term DHOLUO, the name of Jokowiny’s language, literally: “mouth of the Luo”.Jokowiny assume that people speak with their mouths. But not all Luo communities think so. The Acholi know their language as LEPLUO (“tongue of the Luo”). However, used away from real doors, the word DHOOT refers to the immediate genealogical “house”, namely, the gentile clan.Person of my houseAll Nilotes had the habit of calling a spouse a “house”. In polite society, a Luo speaks of JAODA (“my wife” or “my husband”), a word which translates literally as “person of my house”. When, in Genesis, Joseph says he has found favour in “Pharaoh’s house”, he is resorting to the Nilotic euphemism for “wife”, here the queen.Barack Obama is 50 per cent Caucasian, but as far as the Luo are concerned, only a Luo is capable of deeds as heroic as Barack’s. In tradition, the Luo divided humanity into three categories – Joluo (the noblest), Jolang’o and Jomwa. The rest of mankind were Mwa, worse than useless.But, of course, a shameless Mwa people called Britons punctured gaping holes into this bloated arrogance just by hurling a magical spear known as the gun.Nevertheless, because he has done those deeds a whole continent away from Luoland, Barack outshines Adhola, Aeneas, Ausonius, Cadmus, Cain, Danaos, Delphos, Hesy, Imhotep, Luanda Magere, Gor Mahia, Tom Mboya, Memnon, Menes, Nyikang’o, Jaramogi Odinga, Owiny and Pelasgus among other Nilotic heroes.In short, his mother does not enter into the equation, even though she contributed 50 per cent of his biological make-up and almost 100 per cent of his cultural upbringing.As far as the Luo are concerned, Barack Obama is 200 per cent Luo.That is the point you miss by dismissing Barack Obama as a mere American who will not give priority to Kenya, Luoland and Nyangoma-Kogelo. A people does not live by bread alone. By pulling off a feat like that and boosting their pride to the utmost, Barack has already delivered. Opinion/-/440808/516132/-/ view/printVersion/-/a0e7t2z/-/ index.html

Lake Victoria Festival of Arts (LAFESTA 08)


The 2nd Lake Victoria Festival of Arts was held in Kisumu from 30th September to 5th October 2008 and attracted over 500,000 spectators with more than one thousand artists taking part. Of these artists two got CD recording contracts while another musician had his first music VCD produced during the festival. More than 6 million people watched the festival on television while over 10 million followed it on radio. Lafesta was widely covered by the following organizations.a). Royal Media Servicesb). British Broadcasting Cooperation BBCc). Radio Lolwed). Nation Media Groupe). Radio Lake Victoriaf). Radio SaharaLAFESTA programme included traditional dance, modem dance, theatre performances, film screenings and fashion shows. It also featured art exhibition and workshops. Other events that witnessed huge crowds were boat racing at Dunga Beach on Lake Victoria, boda boda (bicycle race) which covered over 80 kilometers and Luo Ramogi Night - a musical extravaganza LAFESTA is organized annually by Kisumu Cultural Forum. Over 5,000 people learned a lot from the workshops, which they attended during the festival.The next LAFESTA will be held from 29th September to 4th October 2009 in Kisumu City.

LAFESTA is now the biggest cultural festival in Kenya
Main Theatre Groups for LAFESTA 081.Betta Theatrix - From Kisumu2.Freedom Moving Theatre - Fr

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Obama-Biden Plan on Africa

Barack Obama and Joe Biden's Plan to Secure America and Restore our Standing
The Obama-Biden Plan

On Africa
Obama's Record: As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Barack Obama has fought to focus America's attention on the challenges facing Africa – stopping the genocide in Darfur, passing legislation to promote stability in the Congo and to bring a war criminal to justice in Liberia, mobilizing international pressure for a just government in Zimbabwe, fighting corruption in Kenya, demanding honesty on HIV/AIDS in South Africa, developing a coherent strategy for stabilizing Somalia, and travelling across the continent raising awareness for these critical issues. He has also increased America's focus on the long term challenges of education, poverty reduction, disease, strengthening democratic institutions and spurring sustainable economic development in Africa.
Stop the Genocide in Darfur: As president, Obama will take immediate steps to end the genocide in Darfur by increasing pressure on the Sudanese and pressure the government to halt the killing and stop impeding the deployment of a robust international force. He and Joe Biden will hold the government in Khartoum accountable for abiding by its commitments under the Comprehensive Peace Accord that ended the 30 year conflict between the north and south. Obama worked with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) to pass the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act in 2006.
Fight Poverty: Obama and Joe Biden will double our annual investment in foreign assistance from $25 billion in 2008 to $50 billion by the end of his first term and make the Millennium Development Goals, which aim to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015, America's goals. They will fully fund debt cancellation for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries in order to provide sustainable debt relief and invest at least $50 billion by 2013 for the global fight against HIV/AIDS, including our fair share of the Global Fund.
Expand Prosperity: Obama and Biden will expand prosperity by establishing an Add Value to Agriculture Initiative, creating a fund that will extend seed capital and technical assistance to small and medium enterprises, and reforming the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. They will launch the Global Energy and Environment Initiative to ensure African countries have access to low carbon energy technology and can profitably participate in the new global carbon market so as to ensure solid economic development even while the world dramatically reduces its greenhouse gas emissions. They will also strengthen the African Growth and Opportunity Act to ensure that African producers can access the U.S. market and will encourage more American companies to invest on the continent.
On Latin America & the Caribbean
The Problem: George Bush’s policy in the Americas has been negligent toward our friends, ineffective with our adversaries, disinterested in the challenges that matter in people’s lives, and incapable of advancing our interests in the region. As the Americas have changed, we have sat on the sideline, offering no compelling vision and creating a vacuum for demagogues to advance an anti-American agenda.
Start a New Chapter of Engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean: Obama and Biden will rebuild diplomatic links throughout the hemisphere through aggressive, principled, and sustained diplomacy in the Americas from Day One. He will bolster U.S. interests in the region by pursuing policies that advance democracy, opportunity, and security and will treat our hemispheric partners and neighbors with dignity and respect.
Promote Democracy in Cuba and Throughout the Hemisphere: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will support democracy that is strong and sustainable in the day to day lives of the people of the Americas. In the case of Cuba, they will empower our best ambassadors of freedom by allowing unlimited Cuban-American family travel and remittances to the island. Using aggressive and principled bilateral diplomacy he will also send an important message: if a post-Fidel government takes significant steps toward democracy, beginning with freeing all political prisoners, the U.S. is prepared to take steps to normalize relations and ease the embargo that has governed relations between our countries for the last five decades. Throughout the hemisphere, Obama and Biden will increase support for the building blocks of durable democracies—strong legislatures, independent judiciaries, free press, vibrant civil society, honest police forces, religious freedom, and the rule of law.
Work Towards Energy Security: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will bring together the countries of the region in a new Energy Partnership for the Americas to forge a path toward sustainable growth and clean energy. They will call on the American people to join this effort through an Energy Corps of engineers and scientists who will go to the region and beyond to help develop clean energy solutions.
Advance Opportunity from the Bottom-up: Obama and Biden will substantially increase our aid to the Americas and embrace the Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme poverty around the world in half by 2015, and they will double our foreign assistance to $50 billion to achieve that goal.
Trade Policy That Works for All People in All Countries: Obama and Biden believe that trade with foreign nations should strengthen the American economy and create more American jobs. They will stand firm against agreements that undermine our economic security and will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world.
Advance Security Across the Region: Obama and Biden believe that we need to target all sources of insecurity through a new hemispheric security initiative. This initiative will foster cooperation within the region to combat gangs, trafficking and violent criminal activity. It will strive to find the best practices that work across the hemisphere, and to tailor approaches to fit each country.