Human Failings – Horatians Tue, 21 Sep 2021 17:28:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Human Failings – Horatians 32 32 “Scared to death” Vermont advocates a shelter rally Tue, 21 Sep 2021 17:18:28 +0000


MONTPELIER, Vt. (WFFF) – An 84-day emergency housing benefit extension expires this week for more than 540 Vermont households. Vermont Legal Aid (VLA) and housing advocates are asking the state for more time.

“Most of us are afraid for our lives, the winter itself,” said Randy Tatro, 24-year-old motel voucher participant. “If you are homeless in winter and cannot end up in the centers – people freeze to death.”

April Metcalf, a participant in the coupon program, says she lived in several different motels in Central Vermont during the pandemic. “It’s just really hard. I’m scared to death and I’m sure everyone else is, ”she said. “What do we do when Thursday comes?”

In a letter to the Ministry for Children and Families, the VLA and accommodation providers call on the Ministry to extend the benefits “for as long as possible, depending on the availability of rooms” for 543 households. VLA attorney Mairead O’Reilly said ending the benefits made no sense given the rising COVID cases due to the highly transmissible Delta variant. “When lawmakers approved the government’s plan to offer benefits only for 84 days, the circumstances were very different,” she said.

Rick DeAngelis, executive director of Good Samaritan Haven in Barre, said that without an extension, 50 to 75 people in Washington County, Vermont will lose their homes. He said the state should take advantage of FEMA’s recent decision to extend a 100% co-payment until the end of the year. “Why wouldn’t you use these resources to offer support and protection during this time of uncertainty and crisis?” He asked.

The attorneys’ letter also indicates that while the state is investing in affordable housing and additional housing, the units are not being ready on time. Another Way, a contact point in Montpelier, supplies those in need with camping equipment – tarpaulins, tents, sleeping bags and meals.

However, Ken Russell, the site’s executive director, says this is a temporary fix. “We are helping them to become emotionally stable to the best of our ability,” he said. “But that feels like pulling the rug out from under the motel system. These are people we are talking about here. These are people who are out there not only because of moral mistakes, they are stuck in a life crisis. “

Metcalf says she is hoping for more support from Governor Phil Scott and his government and is praying. “What do you expect from us?” She said. “For real.”

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Bruce Clark Column Michael Walker Mental Health Problems Mon, 20 Sep 2021 05:39:06 +0000 Michael Walker, ‘The Cuz’, the smart jockey who wears his heart on his sleeve has a story he wants to share, it’s about being there for your friends when they need you.

Michael Walker still misses his childhood friend Cory. You don’t need to know his last name. Walker knows it as a “mix”, but much more than that.

You know Walker, the jockey, “The Cuz”. You don’t know Cory. But Walker thinks of him every day, blaming himself for missing him – that’s tough because he wants us to know Cory and who he was. And much more than just a name – a reason.

You may have seen Walker and his partner Lauren launch The Cuz and Miss Cuz clothing line this month.

This is typical Walker, one might think, but there is a much deeper message behind putting The Cuz and Miss Cuz on. The Cuz ( And it’s all Cory’s.

“When Cory died, his father and I had to dress him. In Maori culture, we have open coffins so we had days to pay our respects. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, harder than driving, ”said Walker.

Cory had taken his own life. Walker admits he tried the same thing.

He has a tattoo on his hands – next to those on his forearm – with the names and dates of birth of his firstborn children, Kase and Layla, to remind him how close he has come. That was April 19, 2014.

“I was weak and selfish, how could I abandon my two children,” he says today.

But it’s still Cory’s memory that drives him today and creates more awareness of mental health issues. The Cuz and Miss Cuz clothing range is a vehicle to share.

Cory was “a brother from another mother” to Walker.

“Cory was the handsome boy, we all wanted to be like him, he was the IT guy, always the best in sport, has all the ladies, we were all kind of jealous of him, we all wanted to be like him, he was him Said Walker.

Walker and Cory grew up as children in Waitara, a close-knit group of friends who consider each other to be brothers. Children in a small Kiwi town, a family of their own.

“We have always stood behind us, we have always kept in touch, always.”

Until they didn’t.

“Then he (Cory) moved to Perth and he was fine, then he called me when he was fighting, he called me out of the blue,” Walker said.

“I kept contacting him, maybe not as often as I should have. He called me crying so I sent him money that day to book a plane ticket. I told him to visit me. “

“Apparently he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at school and given medication, but he hasn’t told anyone, including us brothers,” said Walker.

Apparently only Cory’s family knew.

It got more than chaotic for Cory, as well as for Walker, who has long battled his own demons of addiction to alcohol, drugs and gambling while trying to be one of Australia’s most successful jockeys, the young man who set all New Zealand riding records has broken.

You can come up with life-threatening headlines like “Pig Shooting” and “Cut My Leg” headlines to know that Walker is all of this always raw and frank, but this is his first time telling the Cory Weko story. And for a determined and heartfelt reason.

“I was there, I struggled with it myself,” says Walker.

“It made me lose my best friend,” he says of the mental health struggles.

The clothing of Cuz and Miss Cuz is the vision – “The representation of their respective clothing lines is to build a community spirit among those they represent and to provide a pillar of strength of support to those facing a silent struggle.

“The Cuz and Mrs. Cuz are a his and hers clothing line that people can support and wear, knowing that they are part of a community of individuals who have their backs.”

Walker remembers how close Cory was to his family and calling Michael’s grandmother “Nan” when he saw her.

Two of the family’s close friends ran a milk bar in Waitara, New Zealand, which was always a first stop for Walker returning home from Australia.

When they moved to Melbourne, Cory was living in St. Kilda. Just.

“He called me, I hadn’t seen him. I never thought I’d see him again, “said Walker.

“He lived with me, then he went away at night, I still have his clothes today.

“Maybe we weren’t in contact as we should have been, I don’t know and it worries me, we had a chat group, we all celebrated anniversaries, I still gave him money, he drove from Sydney to Melbourne to Perth, but I knew he was having trouble. “

“Cory always did his own thing, if you’ve heard from him, you’ve heard from him. If I went to a Melbourne Cup he would text me and tell me that he loves me, is proud of me and is grateful that he knows we are brothers. “

“It’s just something you live with either directly or indirectly. Mental health is a real problem and hopefully what I’m doing can create a little more awareness of it, ”said Walker.

Walker cites numbers like 700,000 people who die from mental health problems each year, 40 per second. His new website explains more. And allows you to buy the equipment.

“People can support each other, that’s the idea and also the understanding of the message,” says Walker.

“This is about looking for help, that is the main thing, you are no less a person to be reached and I am very lucky that I went this way and why I am still here today.

“Life is so much bigger the more I think about it,” says Walker as he transforms into a smart media analyst on as his body heals from recent injuries.

“If we can help a person, that’s what it’s about.

“A buddy saved me from ending everything, that gives me strength, something that a lot of people don’t talk about.

“I lived in St. Kilda, I thought about it, I woke up sweating, I felt like I just got out of a pool and couldn’t control my mind, I called my old boss (Alan Sharrock) crying, I thought, “My career sucks, I missed my children, I just wanted to go to sleep, it was all too painful.”

But no more than missing his “brother” Cory Weko.

If there is a goal other than getting back to riding for Michael Walker, it will appear in the next issue of SAS Australia. And if he wasn’t a star!

“I almost lost a leg, I have compartment syndrome, but I’m more determined than ever to prove that I’m back and what a way to do it,” he said.

“Get me a place on this show. I would love it.”

Personal Disclosure: In a previous life as a jockey manager (then Damien Oliver and Chris Munce) I wrote a letter to Allan Sharrock asking if Michael was coming to Australia and looking after him.

He made the move and lived with me. I thought he was a millipede at first, he was a perpetual buyer of white runners, but it’s impossible not to love the young guy, the most gifted all-round talent I’ve ever worked with, I was a father figure to him, he is a stepbrother of my eldest daughter Gabi.

I wonder if I did enough to protect him in those early days, when the pokies and drugs became hard-to-ignore lures before the brilliant success.

Just as he reveals his “mistakes” about Cory.

Can I just say that I am proud that Michael Walker is primarily here and above all the person he has become. None of this is put on. He’s more than a cuz.

He and Lauren are expecting their second child and he is desperately hoping the Covid restrictions will be relaxed and he can see Kase and Leila.

In the meantime, we want to see him race again, maybe in the fall, the Cuz with the John Cena Signature Sign-Off looking away is well missed.

Racing needs more from Michael Walker. He’s the real cuz. But then there is only one of him and proud to say this.

If you or someone you know has trouble calling;

Lifeline 13 11 14

Head space 1800 650 890

Beyondblue 1300 224 636

Originally published as The Loss of “Another Mother’s Brother” haunts Michael Walker to this day, but tries to make amends for the story

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on the trail of Thomas Mann’s hidden longings Sun, 19 Sep 2021 16:00:00 +0000

Colm Tóibín is a cosmopolitan whose literary range makes him appear less rootless than capable of putting down roots everywhere. In the 1980s he set novels in Argentina (The Story of the Night) and Catalonia after the Civil War (The South) to music, borrowing characters from both Greek tragedy (House of Names) and the New Testament (The Testament of Mary) however, found it possible to return regularly to its source, his homeland Enniscorthy (The Blackwater Lightship). His non-fiction books show an unadulterated familiarity with everything from Indian art house cinema to the popes’ clothing choices. His prose is elegant without pomp, and his standard subjects – troubled families, sexual secrecy – large enough not to be repetitive, even on a new novel that turns 10.

The form and style of The Magician are more or less the same as The Master, his brilliant 2004 novel about the life and times of Henry James. The Master was a relatively humble affair, limited to the brief but productive period in James’ life that spawned works such as The Spoils of Poynton and The Turn of the Screw. Like James, his new subject, Thomas Mann – the magician of the title – combined public decency with private deviation. But The Magician is longer and its canvas is denser.

The American Civil War took place backstage at The Master, with James being protected by his personality and health from seeing the worst. The events of World War II hit the Manns more directly, plunging them into exile and politics in a way that James never was. In fact, as water for the fictional mill, the Manns are a little more promising than the Jameses. Their dysfunction and their habit of hiding fit so naturally into Tóibín’s universe that it is believed that Tóibín would have (and would have) invented them if the Manns hadn’t already existed.

Tóibín stays close to Thomas’ perspective and almost follows him from cradle to grave. It begins with the bourgeois life of the Lübeck men, from which Mann draws Buddenbrooks for his precocious and still wonderful debut. He marries the dubious Katia Pringsheim, daughter of a secular Jewish family, in a marriage solid enough to withstand both Thomas and Katia’s seldom recognized awareness of his true sexual nature. Thomas is able to father six children, strengthened by “a special Riesling from Domaine Weinbach”. Katia, on the other hand, can “recognize the nature of his desires without complaint, memorize the figures on whom his gaze was most likely to rest in a good mood”.

The husband’s marriage would make a perfectly fine Tóibín novel on its own, but the birth of the children makes for embarrassing Romansh wealth. The two elders, Erika and Klaus, inevitably steal the scene when they show up. They are beings of Weimar in the 1920s, they are everything that Thomas is not: open about their sexual nature, extravagant in their artistic experiments and, what is almost as dangerous, their politics. In doing so, they seem to follow the other Mann sibling, Thomas’ older brother Heinrich, who is on the left, who serves as a temperamental foil here, just like William James, Henry’s brother in philosophy, in The Master.

The most unfortunate feature of The Magician, and one that it shares with The Master, is the decision (Tóibín is too practiced to be a mere mistake) to advance the narrative through dragging sentences not found by those in a pure biography distinguish between: “When Hitler came to power in March 1933, Thomas and Katia were in Arosa, Switzerland.” Fortunately, in his revisions of material from Mann’s posthumously published diaries, Tóibín is full of reports on the wishes he was in In fact, it has never been expressed less artlessly.

Mann’s eyes – and more rarely, but always chaste, his hands – fall on many a strapping young man on these pages. Even in his most careless time – undressing for an x-ray in a sanatorium, in his long exile from Germany after conflicting with the Nazis – man is always drawn to and comforted by masculine beauty in the swimming pools, Princeton and on the beaches from Santa Monica. Tóibín’s writing in these passages is up to the challenge of showing him vulnerable, human and a little pathetic at the same time.

Tóibín also succeeds in portraying his politics convincingly and sympathetically. Mann was never an activist, clumsy with ideologues and never knew what to say to the many politicians who wanted to recruit him for their purposes. His accusations against Hitler during the war cannot be blamed for lack of passion, but his own brother and children were disappointed. In her opinion, Mann’s interventions were always either too weak or too late.

In Tóibín’s story, Mann’s reluctance to be an ideologue had its origins in many things: in his views on the autonomy of literature, his commitment to a certain conception of Germany, and a careful assessment of the risks for himself and his family to be more open . But he shows that the reluctance also stems from the deeper patterns of his psychology, his ability to hide is often difficult to distinguish from simple cowardice.

A braver man, according to Tóibín, would not have been the same writer. His literary virtues were too closely tied to his personal mistakes. The moral ambiguity that makes Mann such a challenging biographical subject makes him a worthy protagonist for a novel. Like the master, it represents a triumph for its author.

The Magician is published by Viking for £ 18.99. To order your copy for £ 16.99, call 0844 871 1514 or visit Telegraph bookstore

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Valley News – Column: A Time To Assess Guilt, Crop Payback Sun, 19 Sep 2021 02:16:49 +0000

Let’s get straight to the point. I am your moderator today, not your rabbi. Indeed, I would make a highly unconventional, highly unlikely excuse for a rabbi. I am an atheist. My parents and some of my grandparents were also atheists. I’ve never had a bar mitzvah.

But I am a Jew. Proud.

You can say: “I used to be a Catholic” or “I am an apostate episcopalist” or “As a child I was a Voudonisan”. Not so with Jews. Once a Jew, always a Jew, despite theology. It is in the blood, in the formulation of language, in the habit of the mind. A failure is excluded.

I have some understanding of this and will do my best to explain, with particular reference to Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and also Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the two major holidays celebrated earlier this month .

Judaism is dialectical. His theology is argumentative. It often ends with a morality no matter how unclear.

Take the story of Abraham and Isaac. In an apparent fit of uncertainty, God asked Abraham to demonstrate his piety by sacrificing his only son, Isaac. Abraham is understandably reluctant to commit this horrific act, so God compromises and instead accepts the slaughter of a lamb.

The episode is a dramatic conversation: God demands; Abraham answers in the negative; God gives in much to the satisfaction of both Abraham and himself, and so resolves the matter with courtesy.

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Judaism promotes an argumentative mindset; a dialogue.

Similar illustrations can be found in the works of such famous Jewish atheists as Marx, Freud and Einstein: Capital and Labor Solved in Socialism; It and superego dissolved in the ego; Light as a ray versus light as photons, which are dissolved in an inexplicable alternation between the two.

So it is in Jewish theology. God commands; man presents a counter-offer. In the end, something is worked out. This is the thinking habit of the Middle Eastern merchant. “How much do you want for that?” “Ten dollars.” “I’ll give you seven to fifty.” “Eight-quarters and it’s yours.” It’s also the courtroom custom. “What is your request?” “Innocent.” “Guilty: Thirty Days.” “Mitigating circumstances!” “Good. Ten days.”

Rosh Hashanah is a holiday of judgment, determination of debt, establishment of repayment terms. All of this hopefully leads to salvation, to deliverance from damnation. The drama plays back and forth as the conflict between God’s law and man’s failure is debated while taking stock of where we are.

But what strikes me as downright Jewish about the production of Rosh Hashanah is that deity and man appear on a remarkably equal level. Man, man or woman, speaks freely to God who receives both petitions and angry accusations. It is noteworthy that Rosh Hashanah takes place at the time of harvest when we estimate the breadbasket. “Let’s judge what we have. Is there enough to survive the winter or will we suffer? “

The product harvested is ethical behavior. “Am I a good person or have I left something out or forgotten someone or left an unpaid debt of insult, dishonesty or cruelty somewhere?”

The stage of this Rosh Hashanah theater, the ritual meal, is the place where we examine our hidden souls in order to find, before God’s eye recognizes them, where we are lacking, where there are still debts to be paid.

For every guilt, for every transgression, repentance is dramatized by throwing a straw into a body of water, accompanied by a prayer of repentance. The festival ends with the sound of the horn, the shofar, which announces the coming of God to practice heavenly justice.

God made such a judgment 10 days later on Yom Kippur. The complainant, meanwhile, tries to make amends for anyone who has wronged her or who is still in debt, and tries to atone for all sins and pay what is due. God is told of such efforts as part of the negotiation.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Ten Days of Penance, are thus a drama of dissolution familiar to anyone who has dealt with the Internal Revenue Service. But here the currency is less cash than decency. The question to be asked is: Was I a good person?

It is said that Jews are God’s chosen people. Does that mean he (or she) prefers her to everyone else? Maybe this is early reading. But more likely the view is that God asks more of Jews than of anyone. He / She anointed Jews as His messengers to bring the light of ethical behavior to all people in the world.

Yahweh, the Jewish God, was once a mere village deity, small and narrow-minded. Judaism’s contribution was to envision a universal force, a God for all humanity, indeed for all life.

Because of this ethically oriented theology, we see so many Jewish do-gooders today, people who are committed to justice, civil rights, equality, democracy and even democratic socialism. Such concerns have made Jews less popular than ever with the bigots and tyrants of our time, even with those with whom Judaism is nominally shared. It’s probably also why we see so many Jewish accountants, lawyers, and novelists.

Robert Belenky from Hanover is a retired psychologist and author of several books, including Collective Memories of a Lost Paradise: Jewish Agricultural Settlements in Ukraine during the 1920s and 1930s.

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The Fiji Times »Telling the Truth to the Powerful – The AG doesn’t know everything Sat, 18 Sep 2021 02:48:55 +0000


Due to time and space constraints, we’ll make some educated assumptions in this article.

The first is that our attorney general and economy minister doesn’t know all there is to know under the sun.

The second is that he knows more than he can imagine about many issues in the country.

The third is that there are knowledgeable Fijians in Fiji and abroad who are more knowledgeable than him on topics such as race and ethnicity, research sampling, and sampling methods.

The same is true of broad socio-economic development models, which are more conducive to our context than the one it currently advocates on behalf of the government.

After hearing his hate speech over the past few weeks on a range of topics, from the USP to the lackluster appearances of some lawyers in the courtroom to the alleged research failures of government statisticians, we have come to the conclusion that Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum considered the senior political architect of our country, it’s more about power than truth.

Below we will outline the reasons for this:

Are we living in a rogue state?

From our point of view, Fiji is becoming more and more illiberal.

One may ask what is an illiberal democracy?

Simply put, it is a form of government that adheres to democratic forms rather than norms.

In other words, we would expect from these democracies regular elections, the proclaimed independence of the three forms of government and the protection of civil liberties.

At the same time, we would also see politically influential positions attempting to use their power to disqualify their political opponents in various ways.

This can range from new laws that make it more difficult for certain groups of people to vote, to illegitimate attempts to use the law to meet unsavory political goals.

This happens in some Republican states in the United States such as Texas.

In the surrounding area, parliament’s disqualification of opposition MP Niko Nawaikula has highlighted machinations in the highest corridors of power aimed at silencing the opposition.

In our opinion, illiberal democracies arise when people who are unsuitable for positions of power are regularly put at the top of the leadership through free and fair elections.

As such, these politicians often transgress their constitutional boundaries to deprive their citizens of basic civil liberties in a poorly disguised attempt to advance seemingly selfish agendas, which of course are phrased in either legal logic or emotional blackmail.

This happened in Brazil in the 1960s when only educated people were given the right to vote and denied the right to vote to the masses.

As a result, the elites retained absolute power with high levels of corruption.

The perverse irony in our case is that Fiji holds the presidency of the UN Human Rights Council while our police conduct silent arrests of citizens and inexplicable deportations of expatriates in the middle of the night.

The power of ethnic analysis

Among other variables, class, age, gender and ethnic aspects overlap in the area of ​​social policy design.

Each variable can be used as a prism to identify policy loopholes that would otherwise not be so obvious to lawmakers.

For example, the Fiji Prison Annual Report found that Fijian prison inmates between the two major ethnic groups between 1988–1991 averaged around 77 percent iTaukei and 21 percent Indian-born Fijians.

If we fast forward from those years to 2015-2018, we find that the percentages for the iTaukei ethnic group (77 percent) remain roughly the same, while the incarceration rate for Fijians of Indian descent was also around 18 percent (Why do we have the Prison Commissioner not released for publishing disaggregated data on prison population?).

This represented a 3 percent decrease in the group of Fijians of Indian descent.

Given this inequality, we can see that, despite our efforts to contain crime, nothing has changed in the ethnic makeup of our prison inmates.

With this in mind, we need to develop guidelines to address the iTaukei problem in our prisons. This policy must go hand in hand with the efforts of civil society organizations and religious groups.

The prohibition on the use of ethnicity in political decision-making processes has weakened government initiatives in dealing with social anomalies that, given their cultural perspectives and challenges, may be specific to a particular ethnic group.

This makes it clear from the recent outbursts of our working group in parliament that ethnicity is not an important variable in political formulations!

The talk actually suggests that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s primary concern is not so much the release of the disaggregated data of the HIES report, but as it is, the government’s claims of unprecedented economic growth, and development over the past decade Years ago.

From their point of view, this report is a political catastrophe and thus a threat to their retention of power. The subsequent denials, which we believe are flimsy, stem from the need to save face in the face of such an alarming reality.

Hence, logic goes, we can rely on the numbers in the HIES report until more knowledgeable commentators on these subjects come up with a more reasonable alternative explanation of why such numbers are not worth the paper they are written on.


The questions raised above are only a summary of the many ways in which policies by our political leaders can actually harm the people for whom they are intended.

The final question we ask our leaders in light of our discussion above is, is this the best thing you can do?

  • SEVANAIA SAKAI teaches at the School of Law and Social Science (USP). TUI RAKUITA teaches at the School of Pacific Arts, Communication and Education (USP). The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of your employer or the Fiji Times.
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The Buzz Cut: We thought ‘The Activist’ was bad, but the excuses are worse Sat, 18 Sep 2021 02:38:15 +0000

In The buzz cut, We bring you a recap of all of the weird, controversial, and wonderful stories we’ve read all week.

There are many things The activists aspiring judges could have said about the show’s flaws. Instead, they chose to place the burden of guilt on the viewers. For example, Priyanka Chopra Jonas mentions in a post “the show got it wrong” or “I’m sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you.” The activist is a lesson on how not to apologize.


Comedian Norm Macdonald’s death this week felt terrifyingly personal to many. Was it his pursuit of unadulterated laughter or the ability to touch the roughest nerves with sensitivity? There is no better ode to comics than this observation: “They used to say, ‘Hey, that old man died.’ Now they say, ‘Hey, he lost his fight’ … I’m pretty sure if you die, the cancer dies at the exact same time. This is not a loss for me; that’s a tie. “


Sally Rooney’s new book responds to social anxiety while recognizing personal pleasure. There is climate change, existential accounting, political chaos, but also sex and lust. “Compared to global inequality, sex is obviously unimportant. But maybe it’s the whole reason for being alive? “


The latest SpaceX mission put the first purely civilian crew into orbit. It also needed collectibles and merchandise that will be on sale after the crew returned this week. Think of an NFT recording of a Kings of Leon song or a $ 2,000 Martin guitar ukulele. Here we are, humanity on the edge of space jumping to do product placement.


Two red pandas, a tree that treats cancer, a new species of frog. The result of genetic science in the Himalayas has led to the discovery of genetic diversity. Using genes to identify species can also help with conservation: “Genetic assessments could help study the future vulnerability of a species and its adaptation and development.”


Who would have thought this is an age we can subscribe to food? A fast food chain made the first pivot on this model. There is also some introspection about the endpoint of the technology taking over all facets of consumer life. Be careful for now, “Netflix for Tacos” will be a phrase that we will all have to endure in the future.


According to the latest data, Assam has again been rated the worst state for women’s safety. The story of a rescued human trafficking survivor from the state explains the circumstances that led her – like hundreds of others – to leave their homes.

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Yoruba doesn’t like each other Fri, 17 Sep 2021 02:03:45 +0000


As Nigeria’s ideological statement, the prioritization of consumer policy over development policy gained momentum after the action group’s crisis and the resulting controversial struggle between the deceased chiefs Obafemi Awolowo and Ladoke Akintola in the 1960s. Awolowo resigned as Prime Minister of the Western Region in 1959 to apply for the position of Prime Minister of Nigeria and was replaced by Akintola. After an unsuccessful election campaign, he took up residence as an opposition leader in the Nigerian parliament. In his function as chairman of the action group (AG), the dominant party in the western region, he rose to this platform. It was therefore necessary to take his party with him in this new role and consequently required the subordination of his successor (Ladoke Aintola) to his authority as party leader.

The latter took the position that such submission should cease making him a deputy prime minister on the orders of Avolowo. More importantly, Akintola was part of the ideological school to come to terms with the party that controls control of the federal government, the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), to secure substantial patronage for the western region. Awolowo represented the opposite position of the principled opposition and the victims associated with it. Leading to its dysfunctional conclusion, Akintola’s emphasis on consumerism is tantamount to the curse of tribalism – “a ruthless struggle of individuals and cliques for power and resources that results in state development policy being directed against the interests of society” whole “. Unfortunately, in the long-term perspective of Nigerian politics, the cynical realism of Akintola has prevailed. It is this realism that forms the basis for judging Yoruba politics by how successful it has become in adapting to this ideology .

Not so long ago, the ideology played out in politics and the allegations about the removal of former Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun from office. The allegations boiled down to the allegation that it was the Yoruba, led by the Premium Times, who exhumed and staged the youth corps certificate scandal, which ultimately led to their resignation. I have told a representative of this tradition that if the Yoruba are guilty as charged in this case, shouldn’t it be attributed to the Yoruba as objective and modern developmental behavior? Here, however, the predisposing context of underdevelopment syndrome and dysfunction comes in, which distorts, perverts, normalizes the abnormal and transforms virtue into the other way round and vice versa. Two things are important to me. One is the false extrapolation that this makes Yoruba uniquely ill-disposed and should mimic the opposing generous disposition of the northern region’s power elite. This extrapolation is then used to formulate the thesis of the power-political strategy of the northern region as superior and enviably successful. First, there is no basis for assuming that the Yoruba are historically and uniquely hostile to one another, otherwise they would have been a noticeable exception to the family and African extended family systems. What we grew up as the norm of Yoruba culture is the responsibility of successful family and community members (using their efforts) to bring their family and relatives into upward socio-economic mobility.

The factual and typical mentor-protege narrative of traditional Yoruba society was recently illustrated in a piece of family history. An uncle remembers: “My mother’s best friend was Iyasunna von Ilawe. She celebrated Christmas with us and we celebrated Sallah with her and we and her children considered each other to be brothers and sisters. Ambassador Lasisi Fabunmi, Iyasunnah’s son, and as DG NIIA gave me a scholarship to go to Russia to study international relations. “
I have the courage to cite this personal example, because the protégé, who objectively deserves the patronage offer, has academically distinguished himself in his first degree. Since there is no basis for the definition of the Yoruba as self-hatred, there is also no basis for praising the politics of the “North” as successful and worthy of imitation.

And nobody has articulated this criticism better than a compatriot from the north than Dan Agbese. With barely disguised contempt, he claims, “Audu Ogbeh, the immediate former Minister of Agriculture and chairman of the ACF, was recently quoted as saying that politics was the only industry in northern Nigeria. I am fascinated by his statement for two reasons. First, I have often asked myself why the North, which has ruled the country longer than all the other regions put together, is in dire straits. If it’s just industry, then it has to be an industry that has failed catastrophically. The difference between the Northern and Southern states in terms of resources and human development is clear. The south rises into modern development and the north sinks into underdevelopment. But as much as we shy away from it, it cannot be hidden that politics as a Nordic industry is a failed industry. It failed where it is most important: to free people from illiteracy, poverty and insane misery. “

Let us now make it clear, more than any forerunner, it is the invention of a controversial higher population and a cultured upper hand in the balance of terror (all due to the machinations of the British colonialists) that gives the North the political advantage over other regional competitors. This basic pioneer is then supplemented by the unconditional herd mentality typical of Almajiri and the lack of a critical mass; and the Buhari personified the unscrupulous use and abuse of state power to strengthen their ranks. In addition to the (northern) primary patrons, the beneficiaries of this stuck power are the secondary, especially the devious members of the Yoruba’s political elite. Very many of them would tell you the story of a personal experience of the typical generosity of a northern benefactor and the opposing antagonism of other Yoruba. Forget the paradox of calling generous a culture that tolerates and practices predetermined servitude (the order of the almajiri trado religious system).
This sociological thesis of “Northern good versus Yoruba bad” has found wide anecdotal acceptance and is typically based on the ideology of the status quo, in which the oppressive cadre is presented as the ideal cultural group whose ways and manners are worth emulating.

I owe this knowledge to the Marxist Italian intellectual Antonio Gramsci intellectually. He was the first to formulate such trends as characteristic of hegemonic societies in which the ruling elite propagates their own values ​​and norms so that they become everyone’s “common sense” values ​​and thus maintain the status quo. There is also the interpretation of the so-called Stockholm Syndrome, which is defined “as the emotional reaction of the abused and hostage victims when they have positive feelings towards a perpetrator or hostage-taker”. Between these two interpretations there is an explanation for the behavior of the Yoruba / Nigerian the next time he preaches the gospel of “Yoruba Bad vs Hausa-Fulani Good”. What I know of the Yoruba DNA is the virtue of competitiveness, which has been denatured by adapting to the Nigerian context of prioritizing consumer policy over self-sufficiency and development policies.

To the VAT lobbyists: Thank you, but no
The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) are literally inundated with cash, and in case anyone needs convincing, the slush fund’s rash inspired experts who ambushed each other to defend the agency’s role as the lawful and orderly VAT collector ( VAT) should serve as a reminder. Personal flaws aside, Tunde Fowler’s removal as executive chairman of the agency and his replacement with someone from the Buhari-compliant ruling caste was pretty predictable. Inevitably, it would be too hard to resist the temptation to resist the “lucrative and juicy” coral. If you’ve encountered any of the tortuous logics as to why the Rivers State’s legal victory is (self-) detrimental to the state (and other states that follow in its footsteps), you know that it is the bottomless riches of FIRS, rather than understanding them speaks. First, if the position of the state of Rivers is the position of the law, no other argument should prevail. Second, the benefit of a legal victory is that it conforms to federalism and that the state is a coordinated level and does not submit to the federal level of government.
According to Onikepo Braithwaite, “I claim that the constitutional provisions clearly state that VAT is excluded from items 58 and 59 of the exclusive list of laws and item 7 of the simultaneous list of laws and therefore does not fall under the federal government. Ergo, it is a residual matter that falls entirely within the competence of the states. “

Pantami the pantomime
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven,” says the Scriptures. What impressed me most about the Isa Pantami scandal was how desperately the man wanted to stay in office. Let’s not forget that he practically abandoned and denied his religious past just to keep his appointment as plum minister. For the Pantamis of Nigeria, it seems that piety ends where access to power and a lot of money begins. The inconsistency, inconsistency and hypocrisy is eerily similar to how his mentor, President Muhammadu Buhari, went on a trip with Nigeria and sold us a dummy (fake) anti-corruption reputation. And just to prove how dishonorable and dishonest Mullah Pantami can be, he has now delivered rock-solid proof in a 419 “professorship” at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Shouldn’t mullahs be impervious to undeserved admiration and the secular accumulation of political office? Here is a rather cryptic testimony from someone who should know, the First Lady, Aisha Buhari in Pantami, “The pastor burst into tears after his reciter read a verse from the Holy Quran. “This is the garden that we will give to the pious servants of our servants (as their own)”, Surah Maryam, verse 63. In response, Pantami sobbed: “O Allah! Make me one of them. O Allah! Make me one of them! ”And the first lady admonished“ Pantami, please be brave to do the right thing ”. Which can only mean that the minister did something wrong, very wrong.

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Politics and prayer Thu, 16 Sep 2021 15:00:07 +0000

It would be surprising if it wasn’t.

Politics and election campaigns in our beautiful country are almost as bitter as in the south of our border. An interesting letter to the editor last week Wellington Advertiser suggested that if you doubt “your side” is as mean to their opponents as “she” is to you, try for a week the t-shirt or hat of your least favorite “other side” wear and see what happens, how you are treated.

Seems to me that in this Politics simply reflects the broader culture. We hear so much emphasis on diversity, inclusion and tolerance, but are we actually and practically getting better at living with differences? In some areas we are obvious, but in many it seems like we are actually taking painful regression.

In the past, some religious people, including some of us Christians, struggled with diversity, inclusion, and tolerance towards people who did not share our beliefs and values. Judgment was not an unknown sin to us, and it created tension and conflict between competing belief systems and created exclusion and intolerance. Fortunately, it seems that many (most?) Believers have learned more humility about the absolute truth of their beliefs and are significantly less inclined to reject or judge others.

But even if the traditional religious zeal has waned, another “religious” zeal seems to be replacing it. New absolute beliefs and values ​​are proclaimed in our culture, new heresies and heretics are publicly humiliated and vilified, and even calm dialogues and debates are often denounced as oppressive and violent. It is evident that our western democratic cultures / nations have been increasingly torn apart by seemingly irreconcilable divisions and conflicts over the past few decades.

Some blame our politicians, many of whom are adept at “sharing and conquering” and “we are-just-and-they-are-evil” political tactics to attract and retain the support of their “grassroots”. Voters. Certainly, unprincipled political leaders have some responsibility, but their tactics would not work if we, the people, were not already tilted in such directions. As I wrote earlier, Trudeau, O’Toole, Singh, Trump, Clinton, Biden etc. are not the problem, we are.

A few years ago I read about the history of Waterloo County and its first settlers – Conservative Mennonites who emigrated from Pennsylvania. The author argued that these Mennonites were ardent believers and practitioners of their Christian faith, but at the same time maintained an open, non-judgmental attitude towards people who believed and lived differently. Although the Mennonites kept their close parishes relatively separate from the “world” / wider society, they welcomed and shared civil and commercial life with all kinds of newcomers to the area, thereby building a remarkably tolerant, inclusive, and prosperous community.

This historical precedent shows a simple truth: it is possible to have ingrained beliefs and values ​​without forcing others to accept my / our truth. Yes, let’s have diversity, inclusion and tolerance, but not when it requires us to exclude or shame or silence people who are inconsistent with our “truths” and beliefs about what that means.

But how can we rise above our social divisions and the divisive tactics of our politicians in the midst of a national election in order to take advantage of them? First of all, of course, we should stop being so gullible when we allow politicians to drag us into their manipulations. Jesus once warned his followers: “Behold, I send you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as snakes and innocent as doves. ”(Matthew 10:16) Be wise and refuse to heed or vote for politicians who try to stir up your fear and contempt for the ignorant and evil“ other side ” .

Second, pray. Our resistance to manipulation by politicians can very easily become another divisive rift in the common life of our nation / culture. Prayer is a way of attuning to the truth that lies beyond our limited present experience. Naturally.

Christians pray to receive wisdom, truth, and morality from God, the Father of our Savior, Jesus. But even if you do not know this God very well or do not know for sure that God exists, healthy prayer can still help you overcome the pettiness and limitations of our current cultural weaknesses and immerse yourself in the greatest wisdom and truths in human history.

Also, be encouraged to pray for our politicians. You no longer need loud partisan critics who reflexively judge and condemn each of your steps. Pray for them as fallible fellow human beings. Pray that you can have a respectful, honest dialogue and debate with others on political / electoral issues, and then pray that our politicians will do the same. Pray that we can really “hear” those we disagree with, and then pray the same for our politicians.

Instead of praying that your “side” will win the election, pray for the bridging and healing of the moral and ethical gaps that increasingly divide us, and then pray that our political leaders will be ready and able to do so to do.

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Clerics are right; Politics has got religion into trouble enough Tue, 14 Sep 2021 21:22:30 +0000

Churches, like all other religious institutions, play a vital role in the growth and development of a nation. You are the standard of morality. They also play a role in governance by shaping and advocating the right practices that should be promoted in our society. However, they can be abused by politics to create divisions among citizens.

In Northern Ireland, for example, there was a tragic war called “The Troubles” that lasted three decades (1968-1998). It was between Christians of Catholic and Protestant denominations. More than 3,500 people died and the nation split. Politics in this country played a big part in this war.

During the Rwandan genocide, churches are believed to have been a major contributor to events that killed more than 800,000 people.

In fact, Pope Francis met President Paul Kagame in 2017 and formally asked for forgiveness for the role of the Catholic Church in the 1994 massacre of Catholicism. ”

The Central African Republic is another case study. In 2012, Seleka, an armed organization representing Muslims from the northeast of the country, launched an attack on the government of then President Francois Bozize.

They seized power and their leader Michel Djotodia became president. Shortly afterwards, Anti-Balaka, another armed group mainly composed of Christians, began their fight against the Seleka. The result was the death of many citizens and properties. To date, this country has not been able to completely end these struggles.

During the post-election violence here in Kenya in 2007-08 dozens of innocent people, mostly children and women, were burned alive in a church in Kiambaa, Uasin Gishu County.

Kieni constituency

These examples clearly show that the worst can happen when politicians are given the opportunity to advance their personal agendas in places of worship.

On the way to the parliamentary elections in 2022, we began to see fighting in churches, the most recent example in the constituency of Kieni, where members of a certain political group had campaigned.

Another scenario was observed in 2019 when Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro and nominee MP Maina Kamanda nearly exchanged blows during a church harambee in Murang’a County.

This pulpit policy must be stopped before it escalates before next year’s elections. I ask religious leaders to refrain from supporting certain politicians who normally visit these places of worship every Sunday to conduct politics under the guise of supporting church development programs.

Any financial contribution from these politicians should not be equated with a license to attack their opponents in the pulpit. It’s disrespectful and unacceptable.

Church leaders should always speak against bad leadership. They should speak out loudly against corruption and human rights violations, and promote democracy and the rule of law. You should never allow politicians to abuse the pulpit to advance their selfish political interests. History should be our teacher.

This is the time to pray for our nation, not the time to divide our people. I ask our politicians to refrain from making churches look like theaters of anarchy. Churches are and always will be holy places where we celebrate worship together and nourish each other spiritually.

Kenyans should also pray to God for wisdom to choose leaders who mean well for our country, not power-hungry people who run to churches for their personal goals.

Mr. Gikima is a Yali RLC East Africa Fellow, Cohort 40. @GikimaAlex

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Divine splendor and human frailty Fri, 10 Sep 2021 20:13:30 +0000

People often worry about how long they will live on this earth. We take care of our health in many ordinary and extraordinary ways.


By Msgr. James Gnanapiragasam

People often worry about how long they will live on this earth. We take care of our health in many ordinary and extraordinary ways. We can even become overly immersed in the many personal health issues that could affect our dealings and conversations with others, especially those who are closest to us. We are constantly aware that one day everything will come to an end. As the poet says: “Therefore send so as not to know for whom the bell is ringing; it pays tribute to you. ”This poem, No Man is an Iceland, shows how we are all part of the universe and that we are not alone. We are influenced by our fellow human beings. When a friend dies, it affects us and even “belittles” us.

Many philosophers have tried to explain the absurdity of life in this world. The psalm, which we are about to read, speaks in a way about this aspect of our human existence. As a man of faith, however, the psalmist writes a meaningful poem that shows the amazing contrast between the great God and our puny life.

Psalms of supplication (4) Psalms 89 (90) Week 4 Monday morning prayers

The psalm is a communal lament that is neatly divided into two parts, verses 1-10 and 11-17. The first speaks of the eternity and greatness of God, while the second part expresses the weakness and fragility of man before God. God was a refuge and a fortress for man from the beginning because He was there from the beginning. The native language is used for both the mountains and the earth. God is said to have given birth to them. In ancient times, the mountains were considered the abode of the gods. God is even greater than these gods because he is eternal, without beginning or end.

Verses 3-6 speak of God telling man (enosh = man in his frailty) to return to the dust from which he was created. Human life, however long it may be, can only be part of the night watch in God’s eyes, or a dream that is quickly forgotten when waking up, or beautiful green grass and flowers that simply wither in the evening. Verses 7-10 highlight the reason our life ends like a sigh. We have drawn the wrath of God because of our sins and mistakes. He puts an end to our days that were empty and without joy because we forgot God.

The composition of verses 11-17 is a masterful stroke of genius, in which the author creates a language of contrast to the preceding verses. The lament switches from the idea of ​​mortality to human misery. The psalmist first asks for wisdom to understand himself so that he can understand the wrath of God. The opposites are played out accordingly: Verse 13 “Lord, let yourself go”, that is to say “return” to us, is in contrast to verse 3 “Go back”, that is to say “return” to dust. Verse 14 “Fill us with your love in the morning” contrasts with verses 5-6, where the grass and flowers that bloom in the morning wither in the evening. “Rejoice in all our days” of verse 14 contrasts with verse 9 “All our days pass …” And so the psalmist calls for a balance of joy in his life, just as he has endured sadness and pain. Thus the psalm ends with a trusting prayer to God to bless the work that fulfills our human endeavors in this world.

Christ admonished us not to base everything on earthly values ​​or “build bigger barns”, Lk 12:18. He urged people to be “poor in spirit”. He even asked a potential successor to sell everything and give to the poor and then come back to follow him. The Sermon on the Mount insists that God is aware of what is going on in our lives. He can never be absent.

In our own prayer we can see our frailty and fragility. We must have the confident hope that God is present in our weaknesses. God is angry with Satan, not the sinner for whom his son has already won the victory. We can meditate on grace and freedom in our life. Perhaps it is sometimes helpful to begin our prayer with a focus on our sinfulness and to be filled with hope for his boundless love and forgiveness.

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