Friday, May 7, 2010

Robbery Report: Update on Kampala Taxis

You remember, don’t you, that in the recent past we had taxi robberies in Kampala. I wrote about it here.
Now, the law-enforcement people have come down hard on the crime ring. And this, children, is why Kampala and Nairobi are different.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kasubi Tombs Burning!

It appears the Kasubi Tombs, over a hundred years old, are up in flames right now.

Okay, the Kasubi Tombs, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are burning up.

Usually it is arson when a place like that burns down. They are made of grass thatch, the tombs, so the fire will be absolutely devastating.

Already, some fuckwits around me are saying “Government!” I'd be more-likely to say “Opposition!” But I guess it is more-likely some staffer who was careless with fire. Let us wait for news.

(Cross-posted here.)

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Ugandan Alcohol

The Enguli Act is from the colonial days, when (so the myth goes) the colonial Brits wanted to curb the Ugandan tendency for moonshine. It languished as a relic from an age so swiftly and surely gone. We looked at it, with its disparaging name, as yet another thing the pink-eared people did.

Now it has been revived, because, as you know (for are you not Ugandans?), our country has the highest alcohol consumption in the World for the third consecutive year. Roughly twenty litres per month per person!

To curb the tendency for alcohol, a new law will require that bars close by 2200h. Mirabile dictu! This is Uganda! Nobody sleeps before 0200h on Saturday morning!
Of course, the enforcement teams that show up to the bars will be only coming to join the drinking themselves.

And our Bloggers' Happy Hour (the one that gets started in earnest at 1000h, when people raid some innocent, hapless bar like Bubbles O'Leary's or Steak Out)?

(By the way, I moved to a new blog. Run and hide!)

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Robbery Report: Kampala Taxi Passengers Getting Robbed

Hello, tout le monde.
Smelling The Coffee has told us, in this post, Taxi scam, of a new and growing trend in Kampala. Wake up and smell the coffee, as it were.

In short, a taxi stops and picks you up.
You are given the front seat, next to another passenger.
The car drives on for a while, then your front door flies open.
The conductor (behind you) struggles to get it shut, and fails.
You try to shut it and fail.
The passenger next to you asks to hold your bag while you work the door.
You hand over your bag.
You try to shut the door, and still you fail.
So the driver stops for the conductor to take a look at it.
You're told to step out, so the conductor can assume your advantaged position in dealing with the door.
The door shuts.
The taxi vrooms away.
Your bag is gone.

I'll not add the bits about going to the Police Station and finding that you're the third person for the day.

Watch it, everyone. Girls are the ones with the hand bags, but guys also have worries. Like laptop bags, for example.
Hey, Nairobi: we are catchin' up! :o(
Come back, O Operation Wembley.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Economy, And Feeling Good About Feeling Bad

I've just been reading this post from Ariaka's blog, Uganda Survives World Economic Downturn.
But if it is a world economic downturn, how is it that Uganda survives? Aren't we part of the World? Well, yes and no. (By the way, read Ariaka's blog. Occassional, but worth it.)
I'm going to have a ball laughing at these peple who get off on seeing the negative in the past, present, and future of Uganda (and Africa in general), but never the positive. They also like to see the positive elsewhere (USA, the West, or, for Kampala's current élite, Rwanda), and never any negatives there. If there are negatives, that's because nobody survives them.
(It's an old and boring trick: express dismay at how bad things are around you, so that you may seem to be so much better than these things are—than you actually are.)

In the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Finance announced that the expected economic growth of Uganda would be 6% for the financial year that was then in the middle. Why? Because there was this “Global” economic crisis.

At the end of that financial year, six months later, the growth rate was actually 7%. Pessimism had been shown to be wrong.

Now, that may have been calculated pessimism; or what we call “conservative estimates”. But there were too many other people calling it a global economic collapse. And I'll dance on their heads now. Is it really that hard to see that Uganda has a reported economic growth of over 7% for more than ten years straight (and the real rate may be in double numbers, because a huge number of transactions are beyond the books), and therefore that Uganda's growth is not tied to America's? (America hasn't had more than 3% since anybody reading this was born, and has been going in the negatives, if the way of measuring had remained consistent.)

You see, when America gets irresponsible with her economy, and it blows up in her face, she says it is global, because, for Americans, the World is America. But the truth is that when America steps aside, there is always us to take up the space. By the way, I'm reading Crash Proof by Peter Schiff, and it was like the most-vocal prophetic book talking about the economy. Nothing in there flatters the American economy of today. Of their fathers and their fathers' fathers, yes: those people produced, lived below their means, invested wisely. But this generation! (Or use this one, easier on your computer.) It also explains how they keep their GDP growth numbers running high, high, high (all of 1.5%) in spite of the real growth being negative. I feel sorry for the generation that will have to pay for this foolishness. Who has space for so many refugees in that weight category?

So, first of all, it was not a “global” economic collapse, because America is not the whole globe. Okay? It was not a global economic collapse (there can't be such a thing, by the way—gold doesn't vanish when you are foolish with it; it just goes to someone else).

Second of all, Uganda has always stood, and will always stand, to gain from such a collapse of those other economies, for a variety of reasons. Uganda is basically a king-in-waiting. What we frogspeak people call le prince heritié. A land endowed with gifts from the hand of God Himself, with more than 50% of the population under 15 years old, with people who have the resourcefulness of angels, with men whose hands are eager and able to work, with women of high resourcefulness and beauty, with the rich and extremely vigorous mixture of Nilotic and Bantu blood within one country, and the raw, untamed Grace of God covering this Blessed Land in its entirety. Rise, ye mighty people!

When I saw people talking of an economic downturn, and calling it global, I just chuckled a bit and got working. The money is only now starting to flow. When the Chinese want a new place to put the money they've generated selling to their obese counterparts in the West, they'll be coming here. Better to get ready, no? Well, we try. So help me, God.
Was there an economic downturn here? Did anyone say so? And did things get better for Uganda? Or worse?

See the pessimism here.
See the part where Andrew Mwenda mentions the impact on Uganda in this article. Incidentally, Mwenda thinks the rescue efforts are good. But they are the problem. If you don't understand that, or you don't understand why that is the case, I urge you again: read Peter Schiff. If you can't buy the book, go here and read his entries as far back as you can:
Then this mentions the (goes without saying, Americentric, racial-determinist) index that said that Africans were destined to suffer more from the “global” economic downturn. The index is from the IMF, of course.
Here, someone from The Independent writes that “Uganda Won't Escape Global Crisis”. Of course, all this is because the current élite like pessimism and judging Uganda/Africa as a failure, because it makes them feel better about themselves, and helps them get laid quicker and more-often.

And in the end? Uganda's investments spiked upwards. If you want to know how that works, here's the short of it: when a non-producing giant eats a lot, the producing midgets—like Uganda—make much and eat little. When the giant doesn't eat, we eat. Now, you should all prepare for when the giant goes off the island. Work, work, work. Invest. Save resources (capital, labour, land). Get ready for it. Nothing lasts for ever, for better or for worse. That show is over, now ours begins.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

We Are All Homosexuals Now‽

I use the interrobang in the heading of this post to use both the question mark and the exclamation mark at once. That is its purpose, after all. We are all homosexuals now‽

Now, I'd like to ask a question: how many of you would hear something coming from human rights defenders, if we said that spitting on the roadside should be made illegal, and that “aggravated roadside-spitting” should be punishable by death? Maybe we'd hear nothing.
But if we heard anything, it would be “spitting on the roadside is a human right!”, but is it?

In short: in as far as human rights allow us to do anything we please, then some (perhaps most) human rights must be suppressed. (Here, a bit of narcissism is in order.)

I bring this up in light of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, upon which I've dwelt before here recently (and in the comments of the follow-up post that GUG made). This is not to equate homosexuality with spitting by the road-side; I just got an example that suffices for my purposes. (That I have to use this disclaimer all the time is a good indicator of how powerful the denouncers have become. If I didn't put it there, I'd quickly be covered with claims that I hate homosexuals, and I called them “evil, vile, live road-spitters” and so on.) This particular post is also agnostic about whether spitting on the road-side and/or homosexuality, among other practices, are human rights.

Anyway, now that I have finished that preamble, I have three points to make. As is my style, that doesn't mean that I'll make much sense. But we all try, don't we?

First of all, as I explain in the comments here, I think that just as the homosexuals can say that they are being oppressed, so can the homosexual-haters. This trope has been used from time immemorial to seal off a group into a situation where it can be oppressed with impunity. You can bet that only a few witches would have been burnt, if people hadn't thought that the witches were oppressing them. Yet we now see that episode as a witch holocaust of oppression—they saw it as a victory over their oppressors.
This trope works well enough to have been repeated all the time, from Jews in Europe to African slaves in America. If it worked for Hitler, it should work for us. (Disclaimer: that's a joke that notes a trend, for all you on-edge people who get so excited at a chance to be offended. A persecution complex is where you persecute yourself. Stop it.)

Second, in the same comments I say that if, as it always was, homosexuals just exist, rather than march bare-chest on the streets in ridiculous clothing, there would be less impetus among non-homosexuals to have them killed. (This ties in with point one: the marching can be construed validly as oppression. Not that there would be zero homophobes, of course, since even baby-killers exist, and babies don't march.) I don't support being in people's faces about who you fuck—if I did the same, I'd never stop marching!
(Another disclaimer to the Homosexual Anti-Defamation League: This isn't limited to homosexuals; I am also against people marching about their favourite drink in ridiculous clothing, where the clothing appears.) Each one of us has a habit that, if he/she marched half-dressed down the road singing about it, most otherwise-good people would want him/her killed dead.
And, whether we like the sound of it or not, it is true: homosexuals and people who eat taboo things are supposed to be mild, at most, about their particular inclinations. (Disclaimer to booger-eaters and mainly to homosexuals: I'm not equating your two groups, just drawing a comparison between two things that are done by a few, and reflexively scoffed at by most others.)

Third and most important, the reason for the post. I have stated this point elsewhere, and here it is again.
Even if you find homosexuality repugnant, you should oppose this attempt to create too much punitive power over the issue.
The reason is, in short, because anyone can claim that you are a homosexual. After all, what does it take to arrest a homosexual? Merely a claim by someone that he is. And so, we are all at risk. If there is anything to learn from the recent spate of preachers using this denouncement—“Homosexual!”—to tackle rivals, it is that the tool is going to be grabbed and wielded by the most-dangerous, people we have among us: Pharisees. Who needs a gun, when one accusation can get the job done? You'll be surprised how far people can go with such power in their hands.

So, oppose the bill, because otherwise I'll get you jailed with much ease. I will. Just you let the Bill pass and you will see.
(But I still maintain that, for as long as this is not purely a local consideration, and there are all these imperialists telling us what to do, then support the bill as a duty to your freedom. No, things aren't quite so black-or-white.)

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'Foreign', 'Western' Homosexuality

Now that the Kampalan is back to being used, hey, I jump from my usual, to here, to spend a little bit of my ire.

Yeah, I have come because 27th dared to post, (after prodding from me), to attack the anti-homosexual bill.
Maybe, I should be grateful that he posted. Maybe.

But, why don’t I feel grateful?

27th, I know I am bitter, angry, and lashing out. But, you have been hanging around me for long enough to at least know some truths. And, since my country has a law in parliament, to kill and imprison those of us citizens who are like me, I simply gave up the need to moderate my language. Prepare for some Straight Talk.

Why do you consider that my sexuality foreign?

Why do you, and most fellow Ugandans, believe in this myth of the foreigness of homosexuality?
I consider 27th to be fairly well read. That is a compliment, brother. Not a put down. But, with intelligence comes responsibility. Why do you make statements like this,
 “For the rest, who oppose homosexuality as a way to oppose Western hegemony, I am in full support.”

The rest of the paragraph does no favors to your claim to intelligence. I am not very sure whether you actually believe the communist bullshit. It has been out of fashion for such a long time that, I doubt you really believe it. If you do, well, we all have a right to stupidity.

But, I do know you believe in your heart that my sexuality, homosexuality, is part of the push for ‘Western Hegemony’ blah, blah, blah.
You know, you make me feel like I am not African, like I am not a Ugandan. Have to actually pinch myself. Oh, yesterday, on ‘On the Spot’ (NTV), I saw that ignorant Dr Chris B-something (MP and on the Parliament committee for Health), state that homosexuality is un-African, and un-Ugandan. When challenged, he said he was speaking not as a doctor, but, as a Ugandan. It seems as if, being Ugandan is licence to stupidity on all things homosexual. Good god in heaven!

Oh, thank you very much.

So, dear heterosexual Ugandans, where does this leave us the homosexual, gay minority? We cannot have our seat at the table. Because we are gay. We cannot talk about our sexuality, because it is un-African. We cannot defend the lies of ‘recruitment’ and ‘defilement’ that you tell about us. Because we are gay, and thus when we present the truth, we MUST be spreading homosexuality. Matter of fact, the Bahati bill is out to block all free speech, which, by definition, is spreading homosexuality. In the name of, well, stopping the spread of homosexuality.

27th, there is this concept that the ‘hugely, humongously bad ‘West’, is forcing homosexuality down your pure Ugandan, African throat. Where does that leave me?

Oh, I know you are not alone. Yesterday, I had a conversation with a brother of mine. He was shocked to know that I first felt sexually attracted to other males when I was just past puberty. In my teens of course. He couldn’t believe that I had not got this ‘sickness’ from somewhere outside Uganda. I must have got it from a foreigner.

What kind of rubbish do you people think in your uncritical heads?

Ok. A bit of education, 27th. Here are a few facts.

Us homosexuals exist all over the world. We are few, a real minority. About 2-5% of human populations. ALL human populations, even African Ugandan. Homosexuality has been documented in literally ALL animal species. Homosexual Ugandans are a fact. They didn’t get their sexuality from outside. And, you sneering heterosexuals are ignorant of them, and in your deep ignorance, you hurt us with statements like the ‘West’ is forcing you to accept homosexuality.

For heavens sake, take a little time to read your history.

Nazi Germany put gay people in Concentration Camps. 19th Century Holland used to have gay pogroms. That means that there were riots when suspected gay people were hauled out and summary mob justice administered. They were killed, because they were suspected of being homosexuals. As recently as this year, Gordon Brown was giving a tepid apology to British homosexuals who were castrated, medically and surgically, in a bid to rid them of their sexuality. Alan Turing, ‘Father of Computers’ was one of them. He killed himself, after being forced to go on medical castration treatment. Because he was a homosexual. All his gifts to his country were discounted, because of his sexuality.

Open your eyes, Ugandans. Stop blaming MY sexuality on an enemy that is a myth of YOUR mind. Stop acting like you are nincompoops. Stop NOT thinking. Use a few bits of your brain cells.

I listen with incredulity at the lies that Ssempa tells. Why does he have this impunity? Because you listen, and think it is truth, because he is talking about homosexuals. Who, of course are bad, western influenced, and all sorts of nonsense.

Hey, guys, especially you bloggers, where the hell do you put your brain function when the discussion turns to ‘homosexuality’

Huff, puff, huff, puff….!

Breath in…. Breath out….!

A diatribe. But, forgive me, fellow Ugandans,


The excuse that homosexuality is an emotive subject quickly wears thin. What I am talking about is YOUR LOGICAL REASONING CAPACITY. Why does it work for other things, but never for things that are connected with MY sexuality?


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