The word “war” is one that Kenyans go to great lengths to avoid invoking. Ethnic clashes, post-election violence, cross-border raids,security operations – these are all things that the average Kenyan is broadly familiar with – but war is something that other countries do. Such an open display of aggression and hostility runs counter to the euphemistic and allegedly peaceful instinct of our national culture. So the news that the Kenyan army was going into Somalia in pursuit of al-Shabaab following the kidnapping and death of Marie Dedieu, our first out-and-out war since independence, has caused surprise and significant concern.
It’s not that Kenya and Somalia do not have a shared history of violence. Dedieu’s death was, unfortunately, the latest in a long line of hostage-takings that al-Shabaab and other Somali groups have committed in Kenya. Each episode is a harsh indictment of our security forces and their apparent inability to protect our people and our most valuable industry: tourism. The concern is that the belated response from the security forces to these events is more often than not ham-fisted, brutal and generally perpetrated against Kenya’s own significant Somali population rather than any member of al-Shabaab or other militia groups. It’s hard to rage freely against the crime without some trepidation, as most of us fear the brutal “security operations” that the government implements in north-eastern Kenya, and the news of European and North American involvement in the shadow of Libya only makes it harder to process.
The north-eastern area of Kenya is a tough region, and has been problematic for Nairobi since before independence. It forms part of the “homeland” of “Greater Somalia”, which in the colonial era was split between Abyssinian (modern-day Ethiopian), British and Italian spheres of influence. The theoretical agreements between these governments quickly proved practically unenforceable, even though they were enough to disrupt the traditional transhumance of communities in the region.
Absurd borders along fictional geographical lines (of latitude and longitude) were the basis of competing imperial interests in a region that offered very little economic benefit for these powers – the perfect mix for fights about nothing to drag on endlessly. Overall, the three entities spent a great deal of time and money trying to prove that the Somali people living beyond their borders were foreigners, in order to justify excluding them from trans-border grazing areas, while the Somali people tried to sustain their traditional way of life and keep the sense of broader community alive.
On October 24th the US House Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing regarding the recent decision by the President to deploy Special Forces to Uganda and other regional countries in an effort to follow through with US Law that is designed to rein in the Lord’s Resistance Army.
There is an interesting history regarding this Group. In 2001 the State Department placed the Lord’s Resistance Army on the Terrorist Exclusion list. In 2008 Joseph Kony the almost mystical leader of the LRA was listed as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.” These movements were instrumental in having the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act passed by Congress and signed into Law by President Obama.
With all of the testimony that was offered yesterday (Just by the State Department and NOT from AFRICOM) there is one train of thought that needs to be addressed however. In an interview with CBS News the Secretary of Defense was asked if he had “a reason to believe that this part of Central Africa was becoming a haven for terrorism’. The reply by the Secretary was that “There are elements that either have ties to al Qaeda or that represent the forces of terrorism on their own. And that’s what’s dangerous.”
Death, a Tarot card interpreter might say, isn’t an end; it’s just a transition. However, the physical fact is that this transition from being into not being is a meatspace phenomenon. Yet we the living dress it up in all kinds of ritual garb and mourn our losses as if they - the ones who’ve…
I want to get my 2012 Tech Predictions in before any of the established pundits, so without further ado. I predict Apple products won’t sell as well in the next year, not because of Jobs departure, just because they are very dear and most people are getting poorer. They may pick up again in the future, but I see a period of decline first. OK I’ll put my crystal away now. Anyone got a better effort? http://bit.ly/rhVRer
“I took two Computer Science courses in high school, and I’m fairly confident that had it not been for those classes, I would have been way too intimidated to major in it in college. Those who major in CS with no pre-college programming experience get my greatest respect, because even with a few classes under your belt, it can feel extremely daunting.”—It’s Not Too Late to Learn How to Code | [Jean Hsu]
“She says her son was called “‘Nigger,’ on a daily basis,” threatened with physical harm and subjected to “constant humiliation” so severe he became sick and refused to go to school. But school leaders, who were aware of the harassment, responded by sending him “truancy letters threatening police action and court costs and fines if he continued to miss school. All the while allowing a racially hostile environment to persist and failing to discipline the student perpetrators,” according to the complaint”—Courthouse News Service
“City Councilman Dwayne Caraway told WFAA-TV on Wednesday that “nothing has happened because it’s been given time to try to work things through. If [attorneys for both sides] fail to get it worked through, or show effort toward trying to work it through, then the city has a right to go in and protect the property”—Courthouse News Service
“How do we determine who owns what? This article reports evidence indicating that we typically assume that the first person who possesses an object is its owner. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants read cartoons in which two children each take a turn playing with a toy. Participants selected the character who first possessed the toy when judging who owned it, but not when judging which character liked it more. In Experiment 3, participants read stories based on the Pierson v. Post (1805) property law case. In line with the appellate court’s ruling in that case, participants selected the character who first captured and possessed an animal as its owner over another character who had pursued it earlier. Together, these findings provide evidence for an assumption that specifically guides our reasoning about ownership and that may lead everyday intuitions about property to be generally consistent with property law.”—
“A new study of sediments laid down shortly after an asteroid plowed into the Gulf of Mexico 65.5 million years ago, an event that is linked to widespread global extinctions including the demise of big dinosaurs, suggests that lowly worms may have been the first fauna to show themselves following the global catastrophe”—Worms among first animals to surface after K-T extinction event, study finds
Law 1 Never outshine the master. Law 2 Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies. Law 3 Conceal your intentions. Law 4 Always say less than necessary. Law 5 So much depends on reputation. Guard it with your life. Law 6 Court attention at all costs. Law 7 Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit. Law 8 Make other people come to you; use bait if necessary. Law 9 Win through your actions, never through argument. Law 10 Infection: avoid the unhappy and unlucky. Law 11 Learn to keep people dependent on you. Law 12 Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim. Law 13 When asking for help, appeal to people’s self-interests, never to their mercy or gratitude. Law 14 Pose as a friend, work as a spy. Law 15 Crush your enemy totally. Law 16 Use absence to increase respect and honor. Law 17 Keep others in suspended terror: cultivate an air of unpredictability. Law 18 Do not build fortresses to protect yourself. Isolation is dangerous. Law 19 Know who you’re dealing with; do not offend the wrong person. Law 20 Do not commit to anyone. Law 21 Play a sucker to catch a sucker: play dumber than your mark. Law 22 Use the surrender tactic: transform weakness into power. Law 23 Concentrate your forces. Law 24 Play the perfect courtier. Law 25 Re-create yourself. Law 26 Keep your hands clean. Law 27 Play on people’s need to believe to create a cultlike following. Law 28 Enter action with boldness. Law 29 Plan all the way to the end. Law 30 Make your accomplishments seem effortless. Law 31 Control the options: get others to play with the cards you deal. Law 32 Play to people’s fantasies. Law 33 Discover each man’s thumbscrew. Law 34 Be royal in your fashion: act like a king to be treated like one. Law 35 Master the art of timing. Law 36 Disdain things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best revenge. Law 37 Create compelling spectacles Law 38 Think as you like but behave like others. Law 39 Stir up waters to catch fish. Law 40 Despise the free lunch. Law 41 Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes. Law 42 Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter. Law 43 Work on the hearts and minds of others. Law 44 Disarm and infuriate with the mirror effect. Law 45 Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at once. Law 46 Never appear perfect. Law 47 Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop. Law 48 Assume formlessness.
Remembers a book on this in a ghostwriting gig for a client’s business masteral thesis
Facebook’s URL scanner is vulnerable to cloaking attacks ITworld.com ‘While most major sites that allow link submission are vulnerable to this method, sites including Websense, Google+ and Facebook make the requests easily identifiable,’ the Blackhat Academy hackers said. ‘These sites send an initial request to the link …
Another Pakistani journalist found murdered IBNLive.com The complainant further said it was the responsibility of the state and police to protect those who struggled for the people’s rights. (Follow IBNLive.com on Facebook, on Twitter, on YouTube, and on Google+ for updates that you can share with your … and more »
Related to this blog post from Wednesday, here’s a paper that looks at security seals on voting machines.Andrew W. Appel, ‘Security Seals on Voting Machines: A Case Study,’ ACM Transactions on Information and System Security, 14 (2011): 1–29.Abstract: Tamper-evident seals are used by many states’ election officials on voting machines and ballot boxes, either to protect the computer and software from fraudulent modification or to protect paper ballots from fraudulent substitution or stuffing. Physical tamper-indicating seals can usually be easily defeated, given they way they are typically made and used; and the effectiveness of seals depends on the protocol for their application and inspection. The legitimacy of our elections may therefore depend on whether a particular state’s use of seals is effective to prevent, deter, or detect election fraud. This paper is a case study of the use of seals on voting machines by the State of New Jersey. I conclude that New Jersey;s protocols for the use of tamper-evident seals have been not at all effective. I conclude with a discussion of the more general problem of seals in democratic elections.