Thursday, December 23, 2010

Going Gay?

Just some few weeks ago gays and lesbians in the United States received a major Christmas hamper from the country’s politicians when the Senate voted 65 to 31, to repeal the military’s Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. By the repeal gay and lesbians in the US military can be open about their sexuality, and receive the same treatment as non-gays and lesbians. Some of the senators who voted against the bill insist it has the effect of undermining military cohesion. Senator John McCain who had previously supported the policy slammed it`, insisting it’ll weaken the military’s efforts in future combats.

His protestation, like those who voted against it, was finally stitched up in the garbage when President Barack Obama assented to it on Wednesday, few days before Christmas. "This is a very good day," Mr Obama said.

"This morning I'm proud to sign a law that will bring an end to 'don't ask, don't tell,” adding: "No longer will tens of thousands of Americans be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country that they love."

The policy was one of Obama’s objectives before heading to the white house. He also said it will allow many Americans serving in the military to do so with open mind without fear of being “forced to leave.”

"No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced to leave the military, regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matter their years of exemplary performance because they happen to be gay."

But there those Americans who continue to stress family values. Discussions on the practice often breed controversy-even in so-called developed societies where people’s sexuality is left to them. And for those in Africa and Ghana to be specific, the practice does not even exist. It stinks. It is never on any menu for breakfast or even dinner. .

Whoever brings that up might likely be skinned alive, literally. Often, religion has always become a convenient reference point for those who come out strongly on the practice. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is such a perfect reference. I’m not going to go into that. The last time I posted something on my wall about gay practice, a friend accused me of being xenophobic. Africa is no home to the practice, though one may see South Africa as an exception.

The former apartheid country has liberal laws towards the practice which most countries on the continent especially Zimbabwe does not approve. Robert Mugabe described them as worst than ‘pigs and dogs.” He stepped on the tail of gay activists who even called for sanctions to be applied to his country. Ghana has no law against the practice but the society is very unwelcoming of those involved in it, something human rights activists say violate their rights. What right? That is the question people have often asked: Do gays have rights?

But I think recent comments by the Acting Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Ms Hanna Bossman, that the rights of practitioners should be respected will amount to ruffling feathers especially among religious communities. The last time the issue came up a senior member of the clergy said any attempt to endorse the practice could amount to a huge curse on Ghana. I thought that was complete rubbish! Those who are raining curses on the country are those corrupt politicians that clergyman sits in council with, eat with and even depend on them for diplomatic passports so they can avoid being arrested for drug trafficking. Their’ behaviour is what’s keeping those corrupt politicians in place.

Inasmuch as I’m not privy to any information about gays and lesbians holding themselves up as preachers in most Ghanaian churches, there are more practitioners sitting in pews every Sunday. . Ms. Back to Hanna Bossman’s assertion. She said gays and lesbians should not be condemned based on people’s morality and instead urged Ghanaians to “respect the humanity in other people. Whatever your morality is, I would expect that people will respect your rights.”

She went further to say: “We are talking about fundamental human rights of people okay -freedom of choice. In as much as it is not criminal or it is not trampling on the rights of others, I think that we should respect it. You can be opposed to it but that does not give you the right to go and harm somebody or to go and do things that you are not supposed to do against that person.”

Not her but there have been other human right groups in Ghana who are often advocating for such persons to be given the recognition so they can be in the open and not go underground, since that could be bad for the society and the safety of children.

Again, I have heard senior clergymen called for the respects of gay and lesbians to be respected, even when we disagree with their sexuality. I was reading an article in the December 2010 edition of the US magazine Essence and in an article written by the civil right campaigner Rev Al Sharpton in attempting to address allegations against Atlanta based Bishop Eddie Long by some former church members that he sodomised them, Rev. Al Sharpton wondered the manner by which the accusation by the youngmen had been flatly dismissed and wondered if the same could have taken place if women had made the allegations. He said rather than pretend the practice is not going on in the church; the clergy should wake up and end the pretence.

He was convinced that is the only way out in addressing the growing culture of the practice in the church.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Laurent Gbagbo; the face of electoral fraud

It is clear defeated and disgraced ex-president of Cote D'Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, is not only an electoral fraud but has amassed for himself and family personal fortunes scatttered across unnamed countries. The man most Ivorians see as a nationalist is nothing but a common thief who is no different from the likes of the late Mobutu Sese Seko, Eyadema, Blasie Compoare and the many hooligans across Africa, holding themselves up as leaders. So far, Mr. Gbagbo, a former history professor, has refused to stand down after losing to rival Alassane Ouattar in the second round of an election more than two weeks ago. The European Union has insisted it will impose sanctions on the country if the criminal does not vacate the office he is desperately trying to hold on to by using the military. French President Sarkozy was clear in his mind when he said Mr. Gbagbo, an electoral fraudster, should stand down by the end of the week: "If, by the end of the week, they have not left the office they hold... in violation of the will of the Ivorian people, they will feature by name on the [EU] sanctions list."

Keynan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, himself a victim of electoral fraud, has urged the African Union to remove the criminal by force. He says the AU must have the 'teeth' to bite the criminal out of office before he plunges his country into any further abyss. I'm not one who endorses the use of force but in this instance, i support any possible action, including assassination, to get Gbagbo out of office. For a whole nation to suffer, i would rather he is eliminated. The case of then military leader Robert Guei is still fresh in the minds of many people and it's only resonable that those close to Gbagbo advice him to refer to how Guei was eliminated like a headless chicken.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WikiLeaks: Ghana Gov't respond to Assange.


For Immediate Release

Ghana Government Responds to Cable Leaks

The Government of Ghana has become aware of reports in the press of purported leaked diplomatic cables on Ghana.

The Government of Ghana will like to reiterate for the avoidance of doubt that the President Mills led administration remains committed and unwavering in the fight against narcotics regardless of the threats that the leaks pose to this fight.

It will be recalled that President Mills demonstrated leadership by example as a clear signal of his commitment and emboldened security personnel by voluntarily subjecting himself for body search. This singular act sent a loud message that nobody would be shielded or allowed to engage in the illicit act no matter their connections or status.

President Mills has no cause to suspect his appointees and believes they are with him in this noble task to make Ghana a no-transit point for narcotics. He also knows what to do to those who fall short of the laws of Ghana and the standards he has set and will not have spared any such person neither will he seek anybody’s assistance before dealing with such persons.

Despite the challenges inherited, the Government of President Mills will relentlessly continue with this fight and will ensure that the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB) receives continuous support evidenced by the historic increase in budgetary allocation to NACOB and that the process to elevate the NACOB into a stronger independent Commission which is at a very advanced stage continues. We have maintained similar commitment in assisting and strengthening all the Security Agencies.

Our efforts in fighting the drug menace and the positive results achieved so far have been acknowledged by well-meaning Ghanaians and the world at large and for this we are highly encouraged.

Hon. John Tia AKOLOGU
[December 15, 2010]

Friday, December 10, 2010

T-shirt war; when fools lead their flocks astray

One of the many beautiful adages that I heard told was that “the foolishness of a sheep can be traced to its owner.” I fell in love with it that same day and had consciously tried to memorize it for my personal use; be it in my writings or merely using it to tease friends.

Events in Ghana the past couple of days over a t-shirt poking fun at the sitting president appear and creating a storm between the NDC and NPP has given enough weight to the adage.

The latter had outdoored new t-shirts with the inscription ‘ecomini,’ a gaffe President John Mills committed during an address to the country. Anthony Kabo, the youth organiser of the NPP, says the printing of the gaffe is to bring some creativity in the political arena, as well as raise funds to support the party.

He said it was not meant to denigrate the sitting president and his colleagues from the other whom he accused of over stretching the issue. He has warned that any attempt by colleagues from the other side to walk that same dirty road “we will give them the measure they are looking for.”

Though some leaders within the NDC are asking their followers not to walk that same path, the news coming out is that some are prepared to make nonsense of that appeal. A report from Kumasi says a new t-shirt about the NPP leader Nana Akufo-Addo with the inscription 1960 Weed Funky Days, will soon come out. The news report quoted a gentleman by name Kwesi Ofori Agyemang as being behind the said t-shirt to come out.

“We have been encouraged by the NPP General Secretary to create humour in the Ghanaian [body] politic and use it to create fun and I think we also have creativity within us in the NDC and we can also respond appropriately and create some amount of humour so that we can all enjoy.”

Thinking through what I call t-shirt war, it is pretty much depressing that after 53 years of nationhood we still have political junkies who are not interested in putting forward quality ideas to improve the lives of most young persons in the country, but rather rally them around for a stupid cause such as this one.

I find it more unfortunate that somebody such as Anthony Kabo, seemingly a reasonable youth organiser, should get himself entangled in such a mess. As someone who is desperately campaigning for his party to come to power, voters expect him to tell them what his party will do differently that the current government is not doing, not this useless and rather cheap way of selling party ideas.

The average Ghanaian voter who has no regular supply of water, electricity, no job and even unable to meet the basic things of life, will expect people like Kabo and Ofori Agyemang to tell them how their regimes will address these challenges. It's unfortunate but the behaviour of such hoodlums shows the direction Ghana is heading.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cote D’Ivoire: Rhetoric not enough, ECOWAS

It appears the Economic Community of West Africa (Ecowas) is thinking right. Leaders of the organisation at a meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, are singing from the same hymn sheet with the right thinking members of the society: Laurent Gbagbo must leave! That is a right statement timely delivered. Report says a 14 point communiqué delivered after the meeting was clear about why that idiot called Gbagbo who wants to plunge his country further into the river must not be allowed to hang in.

He is a bad tooth in the sub-region and should not be allowed to do anything silly. While I applaud the leaders of Ecowas, I also want them to go beyond the talk and take action. We expect them to move in and smoke Laurent Gbagbo out before he creates further mess. He should not be allowed any breathing space to stay till the end of time. It is clear he is looking for power sharing and that ought not to happen.

This power sharing mess that happened in Kenya must never be repeated anywhere on the continent, let alone Cote D’Iovire. The sovereign will of the people be respected and the only way Ecowas will make itself relevant to the rest of us will be for them to get this electoral criminal out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Drogba’s charitable works and Gbagbo's madness

It is unfortunate that at a time when Ivorian football star Didier Drogba was busy raising funds in London to help establish hospital back in Abidjan, the country’s capital, his own fella Laurent Gbagbo, a humiliated president, is refusing to leave office. He was beaten by his political rival Alassane Ouattara in a run-off election but, like other idiotic African leaders, Gbagbo is refusing to listen to the voice of reason. His actions obviously have the tendency of plunging the country further into the coals.

The country is at the moment divided between the South and North. The latter is controlled by the rebel forces where Mr. Ouattara draws much of his support. There are attempts to get him to sit up and reason like a human being and not an animal. His actions are embarrassing to the works of footballer Didier Drogba who rallied round other countrymen based in England, musicians and colleague football players to raise money to build a hospital back home in a country that an idiot is desperately trying to set on fire.

Didier Drogba launched a charity three years ago to help support vital health and education projects in Africa. Money has already gone to the Red Cross and orphanages in his native Ivory Coast, according to a report in the sun.

"I'm not doing it for publicity - I'm doing it because I'm affected. I'm going to be loud now because I want people to support the charity."

Contrary to his good works, that of his countryman and disgraced ex-president Gbagbo is absolutely disgraceful. The situation in the country continues to slide further into the abyss and, the BBC is now reporting that the United Nations is moving its staff out of the West African country.

“Some 460 staff would continue to carry out their duties from the Gambia, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky was quoted by the BBC.

World leaders obviously appalled by what is happening are now speaking out. Bostwana President Khama Ian Khama urged African heads of state to strongly condemn what was happening. He urged lunatic Gbagbo to step down and safe himself any embarrassment.
Gbagbo’s actions have compelled both the World Bank and the African Developmetn Bank who early this week said they will freeze further assistance to a country whose citizens have suffered poverty and neglect from a corrupt regime.

His foolishness is read a bloat of Drogba’s efforts to bring relief to such persons who have been ignored. It is clear that if he refused to leave, then the fate that befell former military office Robert Guei will fall right on his sickly head.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Quitte le Pouvoir , a message to Laurent Gbagbo

When Ivorian reggae artiste Tiken Jah Fakoly wrote the song, Quitte le Pouvoir – Leave Power, there was no doubt who the butt of the song was; Laurent Gbagbo. And if events currently in Cote D’Ivoire is anything to go by, then his prophesy was apt. The song which has become an anthem to the majority of citizens in that West African country has become relevant at this time especially when Laurent Gbagbo is determined not to leave power, eventhough he was resoundly beaten in an election which has been rigged for him, thanks to the useless and corrupt Constitutional Court headed by an ally.

Opposition leader Alassane Ouattara had earlier been declared victor but supporters of the lunatic Laurent Gbagbo jumped on the results and tore them into shreds. Moments after that madness, soldiers blocked the entry points into the country, disallowed foreign journalists from reporting about any incidents, and got Gbagbo to be sworn as president.

Immediately after that tacky ceremony, proper winner of the elections Mr. Ouattara was also sworn in as the elected president in the presence of UN and AU officials in a private hotel.

When Ivorian Lunatic Gbagbo had no shame and foolishly went ahead to claim the elections had rather been stolen for the eventual winner.

"You think that you can cheat, stuff ballot boxes and intimidate voters and that the other side won't see what is going on," Mr Gbagbo was quoted by the BBC.
In a direct reference to foreign observers, he said: "We didn't ask anyone to come and run our country. Our sovereignty is something I am going to defend."

It is rather sad that after all the mess he created that led to serious division in the country, Lunatic Gbagbo is walking the country right back into the dark moments. It is sad tale but the truth is that he has to “Quitte le Pouvoir.

Friday, December 3, 2010

WikiLeaks: Being journalist or not is not the issue.

Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks, Julian Assanage, says the question about whether or not he is a journalist is not the subject that is important, rather the authenticity of the information he has so far puts across on his website, which has created diplomatic storm across the world, leading to several countries including the United States and Australia, where he comes from, going after him for criminally obtaining sensitive information that has embarrassed the United States.

Responding to series of questions from readers put together by the British Guardian newspaper, Mr. Assanage said the issue not about him being a journalist or not, but someone who gives directions to colleagues he works with to get the right information for publication.

“I coauthored my first nonfiction book by the time I was 25. I have been involved in nonfiction documentaries, newspapers, TV and internet since that time. However, it is not necessary to debate whether I am a journalist, or how our people mysteriously are alleged to cease to be journalists when they start writing for our organisaiton. Although I still write, research and investigate my role is primarily that of a publisher and editor-in-chief who organises and directs other journalists.”

The US State Department has consistently questioned his role whether or not he is an internet hacker who is masquerading as a journalist, as thrown in by a questioner. .
On the popularity the site has gain within a short period, Mr. Julian Assanage said he has always been confident about the site playing a crucial role in the dissemination of information across the world.

“I always believed that WikiLeaks as a concept would perform a global role and to some degree it was clear that is was doing that as far back as 2007 when it changed the result of the Kenyan general election. I thought it would take two years instead of four to be recognised by others as having this important role, so we are still a little behind schedule and have much more work to do. The threats against our lives are a matter of public record, however, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a super power”.

When a questioner who described himself as a former British diplomat asked him why he should not be held responsible “when next an international crisis goes unresolved because diplomats cannot function?

Mr. Assanage’s response was:”If you trim the vast editorial letter to the singular question actually asked, I would be happy to give it my attention”.

Photo Credit: Carmen Valino for the Guardian

Do we need a legislation to make women obey men?

I had just finished reading an article on the BBC website about a study conducted by the South African Medical Research Council, which says that majority of men wants women to obey men. Their study was based on a new law that the Malian government intends passing which, when passed, means women in that country will have the right to disobey the orders of their men-especially crude and abusive orders.

I honestly don’t see the sense in that research in the first place, especially when one considers that women and men have always lived with each other, though they have not agreed on everything. I’m not a male chauvinist or one who believes women should be made a handbag of men, no.

I want to see men treat women with respect, dignity and not subject them to foolish beatings, cheating and abuse. I want to see men handle women with the greatest respect ever after all, God created women to work hand in hand with men. So that alone explains it. I have read and seen photos of how women have been beaten to death or harmed by their men, for rather petty reasons. For example in the Arab world and those fanatic moslems and traditionalists, women who refuse to carry out any crude order must be beaten to death or stoned.

That is why I have a problem with those so-called Islamic clerics around the world who believe that men are more than above women and should therefore force them-women- to take their orders even when those orders infringe on their rights.

I’m for respect across board but I don’t even think that whether or not women obeying men should be a subject for discussion. It should be both ways and women must, at all times, learn to respect and obey their men. Equality does not mean that women look down on their men, that will not help anyone. We are all partners in this life.
Together we stand as one.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cote D’Ivoire: Stop Gbagbo before he burns the nation

So there is no lesson learnt by the people of Cote D’Ivoire? It is pathetic to see that after the country was rescued from heading into the abyss following a rather ridiculous nationalism crisis, the very characters who were responsible for that so-called Ivorien Identity are back again.

This time it has to do with their refusal to acknowledge that the man they desperately fought as not being Ivorien enough, Alassane Ouattara, has won an election run-off with 54 percent. Supporters of incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo say the elections were rigged and will therefore not accept the outcome.

The BBC say: “Supporters of President Ggagbo had tried to block the result, saying there had been fraud in the north, the region where Mr Ouattara is most popular.”
The latest news say that the military had shut the country’s borders after the constitutional court rejected a declaration that indicate that Alassane Ouattara had won the elections.

Foreign broadcasting networks including CNN, France 24, and Radio France International have been asked not to broadcast anything out of the country, making it difficult for the outside world to get any news coming from the country.

It is rather unfortunate that the very leader of Cote D’Ivoire, Laurent Gbagbo, who wants the world to believe he is democrat cannot accept that he’s lost an election in a competitive manner. It is said when one comes to think that the country is adding to the mess the West African sub-region is going through. It baffles my mind how Laurent Gbagbo and his cohorts ever believe that they are most reasonable persons to run the country.

My hope and prayer is that the international community takes a rather tough and ruthless stance against him, should his actions ever lead to the country sliding into chaos. Time to take actions against such idiots is now!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deal with your mess, not WikiLeaks, Interpol &Capitol Hill

Julian Assanage is obviously not a welcome figure in diplomatic circles around the world. Especially if you are a top notch figure in Washington, London, Paris, Harare, Beijing and many diplomatic corridors around the world, then the mention of his name will infuriate you. Since the release of secret diplomatic documents early this week which badly exposed the United States government and her allies, Mr. Assanage, founder of the now famous WikiLeaks website, is being sought for by Interpol in connection with a rather tramped up charges of sexual assaults in Sweden.

Early this week, as mentioned, the website released 250,000 documents which, among others, opened up the hypocrisy of the US governments and their double dealings with crude political leaders in the world such as Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, while public condemning him. The site also exposed how England’s Prince Andrew slammed journalists and how an investigation into a deal back in England could affect a transaction that he had a personal interest in. But news report that Interpol had issued an arrest warrant on the Australian computer wizard has been described as a witch hunt especially at the back of the release of the documents which most people believe there are more to come.

The latest twist by Interpol is no different from a similar arrest and subsequent acquittal charges of sexual assault leveled against him following the release of sensitive documents about the US involvement in Iraq. The latest move by Interpol is reported to have created a deep sense of worry for Mr. Assanage’s mother, who told ABC in an interview that: “He's my son and I love him, and obviously I don't want him hunted down and jailed." "I'm reacting as any mother would - I'm distressed,” according to, Christine Assange.

My first reaction was that both the US and Britain are just up to intimidate the chap who has been on the forefront to expose the rot countries such as the United States and Britain have run their diplomatic issues for many years. How come Interpol is investigating him for alleged sex crimes now, was the sex crime committed only this week or many years ago? That is the question most tweets I have been following are asking.

It is clear that the young chap is being haunted for letting the world know what goes on behind those fine diplomatic handshakes and speeches. It is even surprising for a country such as the United States that believe in free speech to be manipulating Interpol to go after WikiLeaks founder. It will be better for them to deal with the diplomatic mess and save their a** than this shameful attempt to cow the man into submission

How about a letter from Barack Obama?

If you receive a letter from the current tenant in the American White House, it could fetch you quite a lot of money.A 28-year old mother from Michigan did, and she has just sold it for a handsome $7,000 US.

Jennifer Cline received Obama’s two-sentence note – it wasn’t even a real letter – in January this year, after she wrote to him, detailing her family’s situation.

The former pharmacy technician wrote to the President, stating that she has been unemployed since losing her job in 2007 and has skin cancer.
Her letter was passed on to Obama, who reportedly reads ten letters a day from ordinary Americans.

Moved by the content of Jennifer’s letter, Obama replied in his own handwriting on a White House stationary.

“Thanks for the very kind and inspiring letter,” replied Obama. I know times are tough, but knowing there are folks out there like you and your husband gives me confidence that things will keep getting better!”
That’s all he wrote, followed by his signature.

Jennifer and her husband kept the letter for a while. And then New York-based Autograph Dealer Gary Zimet came along and offered a cool $7,000 for it.
Jennifer and her husband sold the letter from Barack Obama because winter is coming, along with its bloated bills.

“This will get us through the winter,” says Jennifer Cline’s husband, Jason.
For the New York autograph dealer Gary Zimet, it is not the end of the story. He plans to re-sell the note for $18,000.