Witness to an enlightening talk: Seeing Laura Ling, American journalist captured and imprisoned in North Korea
I got the chance to see Laura Ling speak at the local university last night.
Laura was one of the two American journalists who were captured and detained in North Korea in March 2009, and sentenced to 12 years at one of North Korea's notorious hard labor camps. Fortunately for them, former US President Bill Clinton acted as an envoy to try to get Kim Jong-il to grant the women a pardon, which was successful. They were released on August 5, 2009, 140 days after being imprisoned.
Some of the things that really stuck out about her talk were:
They call it a blessing (fortunately); I'd call it a nightmare.
A woman in Texas recently gave birth - ah yes, surely one of life's grandest miracles indeed. But then she didn't stop. She just kept giving birth. And kept giving birth. And kept giving birth.
They were only trying for one, a "baby sister or brother" for their 2-year-old son. They ended up with four more boys. Ha. Good luck feeding that in 15 years! What was interesting about this particular birth(s) of multiples wasn't just the fact that there were so many - and thankfully they did get some warning that there were more than they'd bargained for ahead of time, not just one (or four) big "SURPRISE(s)!" at d-day, ahem due day - but that it was two sets of identical twins
It’s Mardi Gras!
Mardi Gras is one of the biggest and most beloved (or reviled, if such revelry and debauchery is not your thing) holidays/events/happenings on the planet, with some of the biggest and most famous celebrations occurring on three different continents: New Orleans, Louisiana in the USA in North America, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in South America, and Venice, Italy in Europe.
But what is it?
The great earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, wiping out entire communities and their inhabitants, crippling the Fukushima nuclear plant, and triggering a string of disastrous nuclear problems from explosions to radiation to leaks happened only last year.
Ok this is one story that is just crappy all around. A family of mom, dad, sister, 16-year-old brother and brother's girlfriend were on the beach in northern California playing fetch with their pet dog on Saturday. The dog went to get the stick when a so-called "sneaker wave", a popular term for a disproportionately large coastal wave that may appear in a wave train and is most often reported along the northwest US coast, washed over the dog, rolling him in the waves.
In Canada, there have been problems with our meat lately. If we didn’t have enough to worry about with the North America-wide recall of E. coli-tainted ground beef and the subsequent shutting down of the XL Foods plant in Brooks, Alberta—a measure which turned out to be temporary, reversed once the plant showed sufficient improvement in sanitary food practices—there has been another recall, this one more localized completely to Canada.
At a time when I should be wishing my Nigerian friends, families and folks Happy New Year, I’m here cracking my brain on writing an article voicing my apparent support for their unfortunate plight of my people in our country, after all that was where I was born and most likely would be buried.
Last year I wrote an article and pasted it on facebook, my personal blog and other online websites, for whom I’m a regular contributor, it was titled,
OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT GOODLUCK EBEWELE JONATHAN
CONGRATS ON YOUR RE-ELECTION BUT AFTER THAT WHAT NEXT?
In that article I focused on the reasons why GEJ won and why General Buhari lost, which I credited to 2 major factors, Illiteracy and Sympathy, for more insight I’ll paste the link down anyone interested can have a look. Everything written there was and still is my entire idea, no copyrights although I borrowed some statements.
I also listed things GEJ should focus upon like electricity, education, security, good roads, and basic infrastructure, amongst others. The bedrock of the American or Chinese or Japanese society is energy(electricity) without it all the top economies are useless, energy drives the economy, it changes the focus of an economy from consumption to production. The main reason why our economy is bad, is because certain cabal are milking us fat, enjoying the money gotten from oil sales, meanwhile ordinary Nigerians are getting poorer by the day. Fuel is the major source of revenue in Nigeria but we(MASSES), seem not to be gaining from it, the reason why I can’t explain, the only way by which we enjoy from it is through subsidy, now it has been removed.
In a democratic setting, the government should be for the PEOPLE and NOT for certain privileged-INDIVIDUALS, anything lesser or more than this is entirely Not acceptable by real democrats, Nigeria claims to be practicing democracy but in reality autocracy, in a democratic setting the voice of the ordinary man should count, the reverse is the case in my contemporary Nigeria, politicians are demi-gods, god-fathers are semi-gods, while the president is a god, who decide how and when an event or situation should be tackled, HHOR members immediately desert the people who allegedly voted for them, senators and governors try to please their imbecilic god-fathers who in turn use hapless, almost hopeless youths as tools and thugs to terrorize ordinary civilians who want to exercise their right to vote(Franchise), others use the boys to cause mayhem, so a state of emergency can be called and election delayed thereby keeping their boys in power much longer or changing of guards.
My people in turn pray for their leaders citing the Holy Bible which say we should pray for those in power, not remembering that the same Bible said “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent takes it by force” and another portion says “Faith without works is death”. We pray without ceasing forgetting that we need to act on our faith, if one reads the Holy Bible clearly one would see a constant theme was TAKING A STEP OF FAITH in anticipation of a Miracle. Miracles don’t just occur, the Nigerian Government cannot change suddenly, something drastic must be done to force a change, MI Nigerian musician superstar called the politician and their cabal allies “too many pomo men, and pronounced Jehova go corner them”, I think it’s high time WE corner them, because Jehova WILL NOT come down to corner them.
How do we explain importing electricity from Ghana? A Ghana Cedi exchanges for 98.959 Nigerian Naria, na wa ohh, Ghanaians’ who once saw Nigeria as African US now laughs at us, aren’t our politicians worried?, the only bragging rights we once had over them is now reduced to rubbles after all they’ve discovered black gold too and ours has been predicted to soon run out of stock.
The fuel subsidy removal is a step in the right direction but not one we really need now. However I always ask this question, was there any subsidy in the first instance? If there was, I actually didn’t feel anything, because as the 5th largest producer of oil in the world we ought to buy fuel at a much lesser price than the currrent #65, and mind you our oil is almost sulfur free, meaning we require less energy and time to crack, distill and purify, a major reason why our oil is sourced globally, but funny enough there are claims we export the crude for refinement, and then import refined-crude how silly are our leaders, this is a classical case of planting+harvesting yams then selling it and in return we buy the tubers to plant from the people we sold our yams to, if foolishness can be graded using university degree then I say the farmer is a 1st Class Foolish man, in the same vein Nigeria is a 1st class Foolish Nation. I believe that a foolish man would only thrive in a pool of foolish people, please don’t get me wrong; nobody is foolish I’m just assuming.
If fuel subsidy is to be removed our refineries should be put in their proper place, the freebies to ALL politicians removed, salaries reducedby 50% of their current wage structure. I glanced through a newspaper online where a top official claimed that crude wasn’t refined outside that it was done inside then shipped outside and reshipped inside, meanwhile the subsidy enters you know where already. How come he began to speak up now, was his mouth sealed? I have a problem with Nigerian elites, they apparently are the one keeping this country backwards, this is because they don’t talk when they see things going wrong, and they only talk when things appear almost irreparable, big-ups to people like Tam David West, Wole Soyinka and other well meaning Nigerians, no politician in Nigeria deserves a mention because they are all part of the big cover-up plot.
Nigerians are just recovering from December 25th 2011 bomb blast, the next thing we hear is fuel subsidy, GEJ even made the most senseless statement one could imagine of, a statement that would get you the sack in any other country apart from African countries and certain Latin American countries, how one earth would a president tell his subjects “Boko Haram is a situation we have to LIVE with”, the other time while dwelling on the subsidy issue he technically called Nigerians illiterates asking us to go read Macro-economics in other to understand the gains of the removal of fuel subsidy. A president who has no idea of what public speaking is like, a people deserve the leader she gets(I once read it from a friends’ fb post), please GEJ should enroll for public speaking course, you don’t just say anything that comes out of your head in a public place, not the least when you are the president of the greatest black nation on earth. His person spokesman Dr. Rueben Abati is a man I respect so much but for him opting to focus on his belly(by lying or trying to hoodwink us), than the collective good of the people, I’m forced to retract my respect, a man who has no honor is one who work in a government as corrupt as Nigeria’s, to resign from public office in Nigeria is tantamount to committing political suicide, we breed people who prefer to get their clothes soiled than wear white robes.
GEJ was often quoted to be the biblical Moses by so many Nigerians, alas he was an upgrade to the biblical Pharaoh, well I wasn’t part of them, and so was and is my role-model(on ink), Femi Adesina of The Sun Newspaper, I always knew he(GEJ) wasn’t prepared for the role, a person whom the gods cracked his palm kernel should not attempt to crack more himself(my role model would say). GEJ rode high on luck for that single reason I didn’t want him to be the president of Nigeria, he appeared hopeless, a man without a concrete plan of the way a country should go, we need men who spend time thinking of how to move the country forward, not men who are planning on increasing the suffering of the already suffering masses.
GEJ is an impostor, a cheat, a liar and a deceiver, WHY? When he was campaigning he promised to transform Nigeria to Heaven on earth, immediately he won, the first statement he made was, “things are going to be HARD”, why didn’t Nigerians realize earlier that this was the same statement made by Pharaoh, why didn’t say so when he was campaigning, simply put he lied, for that he fits all the description I gave him. Also the removal of fuel subsidy was scheduled to be removed by April 2012, but suddenly we got a rude New Year gift, fuel subsidy removed and skyrocketing of fuel price, and the Nigeria I know prices only GO UP, they don’t Come DOWN. A president or leader who really cares for this people should try to reason the way his numerous subjects do, which is actually the opposite of what the combination of BADLUCK EBEWELE JONATHAN, OKONJO IWEALA and MALLAM SANUSI are trying to achieve, if they claim to really care for us, then the best way to show that is by deliberately asking the Fg to reduce their salaries by 25%(at least), then I can accept TOTAL or 75%Subsidy removal.
After all the jargons I’ve written above, the question somebody would ask me is what next? Well the answers are already on fb, OCCUPY EAGLES SQUARE, both in Abuja and Lagos and every other place, we need to REVOLT, as once said Freedom is not given freely to the Oppressed, it has to be ASKED for and if need be FOUGHT for. People claim Nigerians are not ready for REVOLUTION, I’m among them, Nigerians are too self-centered, the major reason why we hardly make an impact on the government, the student leader mobilizing for a revolt today, if offered job by the same government would accept it and stop every form of agitation, with such kind of people(fake men) around how do we hope to achieve our aim?
WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR MINDSET AND THINK FOR OUR COLLECTIVE GOOD.
In conclusion it is better to try and fail, than to make no effort at all and still fail, Fmr US President Ronald Regan once said “Let’s focus on a certain attainable peace based not on a certain revolution but a gradual evolution of human institution”, why wasn’t this idea used by Presidents’ Bush and Obama in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya respectively, the answer isn’t far-fetched, different situations require different APPROACHES.
Arise O Compatriots, Nigerians call obey, to redeem our Fathers’ land.
God bless the coming REVOLUTION, Ordinary Nigerians and everybody who voices disdain over the fuel subsidy removal and every corrupt practices going on in Nigeria.
The link to my article on President Jonathan,
Tip for the day: GEJ is a PhD holder and his wife cannot speak common English, how do you expect him to govern a country as diverse as Nigeria? My people shine your eyes...
Ahaiwe Ikenna Joshua aka. Ik Josh
January 2nd 2012
The EU is a 27 country economic, trade, and politics club. Within the club is an inner circle of 17 countries that share the Euro currency. It is essentially made up of three bodies – the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Judiciary. This is written by someone who questions the future of the EU, so I will discuss the basic politics behind it
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader might have made a formal call for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations, and his speech might have been well received by those who were present however Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu dismissed most of his claims, and he also hinted at the ulterior motives. However, as international observers, one must understand that the conflict in Israel and Palestine is not just about the borders or the settlements, and it is not just about the occupation or the terrorist attacks. The issues are as deep and as old as Jerusalem itself.
Cold War style assassinations are still alive and well with the arrest of a North Korean on Friday, who attempted to kill a South Korean with a poison needle. This will look at two previous assassinations to show that a bullet to the head is often too messy and dangerous for the murderer, as well as his enemy government employers…