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In what was the British East Africa Protectorate – ten million people face starvation, partly because farmers in crucial food-producing areas who fled their homes last year have not returned, instead withdrawing deeper into their ethnic enclaves, deeper into fear. At the same time, public confidence in the Kenyan government is plummeting. Top politicians have been implicated in an endless string of scandals involving tourism, fuel, guns and corn.

Resources:

Wikipedia: Kenya
New York Time: Starvation and Strife Menace Torn Kenya

966 Responses to “Ninety Years of Economic Progress”

  1. 901
    Jen says:

    gaffers – indeed.
    He must loathe himself at times.

  2. 902
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Out of his crypt, the one time big supporter of torture is now dead certain that Obama is weakening the country:

    Former Vice President Dick Cheney on Sunday again asserted that President Obama has made the country less safe, arguing that the new administration’s changes to detention and interrogation programs for suspected terrorists would hamper intelligence gathering.

    Mr. Cheney said these moves suggested that terrorism is now being treated as a law enforcement problem.

    _________________________

    Yep, throwing people against the wall is a great way to get them to talk. They’ll tell you anything you want to hear. And by all accounts, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

    If Cheney was locked in a box for days on end, hosed down with ice water, suspended by his wrists and thrown against a wall every day, do you think he might tell us where his humanity was hidden?

    OK, SOME of these people are guilty of horrendous crimes, and many were bystanders and many others were utterly innocent, but this stuff DOES not get results, has not given good intelligence, and has utterly diminished the standing of the US around the globe.

    What part of that does Darth Cheney NOT understand?

  3. 903
    Jen says:

    the humane part Kirri. :mad:

  4. 904
    megan says:

    Interesting interview by Richard Fidler on ABC 702 this morning of an Israeli peace activist who is fighting to stop the bulldozing of Palenstinian homes. Lazily listened while busy ,expecting to be able to check on names,facts and figures later.
    No such luck- can’t find a link.

  5. 905
    David Gould says:

    gaffhook,

    The question is: will he change his opinion?

  6. 906
    Jen says:

    David- what on earth gives you the idea that it is even a possibility ?(unless he has a brain transplant, which seems rather unlikely. sadly.)

  7. 907
    David Gould says:

    Oops – sorry! I should have indicated to which post I was responding.

    I agree: Cheney changing his mind would have to be an overt physical event rather than something internal!

  8. 908
    David Gould says:

    It was to post 808 that I was responding. (Yes, I’m behind the curve … )

  9. 909
    Jen says:

    gotcha DG – makes sense now. :lol:

  10. 910
    gaffhook says:

    905
    David Only time will tell and i do not intend to hang by the proverbials waiting to see, especially after reading the comments at
    the link at 869.
    The question should more properly be, can a leopard change its’ spots?

    http://www.deepcapture.com/

  11. 911
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Camouflaged by public charade and msm pantomime, fat cats lapped themselves a bellyfull of Obi’s Bailout Cream then squealed like greedy gutsers for more…….. and got it.

    Meanwhile, as ungrateful American strays are swept from their cardboard boxes, we behold this ultra-deft, pussy-footing 3-step from His Purryness.

    “….those who are devoted to civil liberties were, from the start, eager to believe that things would be different, and most want to do everything but conclude that the only improvements that will be made by Obama will be cosmetic ones.”

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/15/obama/

  12. 912
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    A fitting post for 911 there Mr Ecky, sir!

  13. 913
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Yeah, missed it at the time. Some days I’m just a bad associator.
    Orta be sentenced to fall on my own footprints for existential inattentiveness or perhaps renditioned to a Krygistan black site then duct-taped to a chair with eyelids match-sticked in front of a box set of the collected works of Kurosawa on endless replay, Kirri sirrah.
    :)

  14. 914
    paddy says:

    One of the best descriptions I’ve read, describing the revolution occurring across the media today.
    This guy *really* does get it. Well worth a read.

    Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable
    Clay Shirky
    …………………………………………………..The problem newspapers face isn’t that they didn’t see the internet coming. They not only saw it miles off, they figured out early on that they needed a plan to deal with it, and during the early 90s they came up with not just one plan but several. One was to partner with companies like America Online, a fast-growing subscription service that was less chaotic than the open internet. Another plan was to educate the public about the behaviors required of them by copyright law. New payment models such as micropayments were proposed. Alternatively, they could pursue the profit margins enjoyed by radio and TV, if they became purely ad-supported. Still another plan was to convince tech firms to make their hardware and software less capable of sharing, or to partner with the businesses running data networks to achieve the same goal. Then there was the nuclear option: sue copyright infringers directly, making an example of them.

    As these ideas were articulated, there was intense debate about the merits of various scenarios. Would DRM or walled gardens work better? Shouldn’t we try a carrot-and-stick approach, with education and prosecution? And so on. In all this conversation, there was one scenario that was widely regarded as unthinkable, a scenario that didn’t get much discussion in the nation’s newsrooms, for the obvious reason.
    The unthinkable scenario unfolded something like this: The ability to share content wouldn’t shrink, it would grow. Walled gardens would prove unpopular. Digital advertising would reduce inefficiencies, and therefore profits. Dislike of micropayments would prevent widespread use. People would resist being educated to act against their own desires. Old habits of advertisers and readers would not transfer online. Even ferocious litigation would be inadequate to constrain massive, sustained law-breaking. (Prohibition redux.) Hardware and software vendors would not regard copyright holders as allies, nor would they regard customers as enemies. DRM’s requirement that the attacker be allowed to decode the content would be an insuperable flaw. And, per Thompson, suing people who love something so much they want to share it would piss them off…………More.

    http://www.shirky.com/weblog/

  15. 915
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Due to a recent reclassification, the practice of Ecky Thump will cease henceforth.

    By Order

  16. 916
    David Gould says:

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25195980-12377,00.html

    There are some other pessimists around apart from me …

  17. 917
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    DG, that’s the most heartbreaking thing to read, when you know, as many of us do, that it’s almost certainly true.

  18. 918
    gaffhook says:

    Looks like Arnie will have to go make some more movies and donate the proceeds to CA.

    With the economy plunging, California’s new state budget is headed toward a multibillion-dollar hole just weeks after its passage, the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal analyst said Friday.

    State revenues will be $8 billion lower than expected next fiscal year because of economic problems ranging from rising unemployment to falling consumer spending, Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor projected.

    “Unfortunately, the state’s economic and revenue outlook continues to deteriorate,” Taylor said in a 28-page report.

    The development marks the second time in less than six months that bitter legislative clashes produced spending plans that immediately were threatened by the nation’s deep recession.

    The $8 billion hole would worsen by $6 billion if voters reject ballot measures May 19 to shift special funds and borrow against future California Lottery profits to generate money for state operations, Taylor said.

    http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcalifornia/v-mobile/story/1698797.html

  19. 919
    gaffhook says:

    Kirri
    The first comment on that site isn’t yours is it.
    “grab some popcorn and put the feet up” LOL

  20. 920
    gaffhook says:

    916
    DG
    Compare that with the garbage that will come out of the denialists meetings in the US that has just taken place.

  21. 921
    gaffhook says:

    EC
    On top of your 911 it looks like that scumbag Rumsfeld is getting some help from OBI.
    I would rather see him doing 25-50 years hard L.

    In a brief filed Thursday evening, Obama Justice Department lawyers extended many of the same arguments made by Bush attorneys — that top government officials have qualified immunity from prosecution and that Guantanamo detainees do not have constitutional rights to due process.

    The Department of Justice has asserted that a Supreme Court ruling reaffirming the rights of Guantanamo detainees to habeas corpus does not apply to plaintiffs in a case against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld because the plaintiffs were released from prison four years prior to the Supreme Court’s decision.

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Obama_Justice_Dep._defends_Rumsfeld_in_0313.html

  22. 922
    David Gould says:

    KR,

    It is certainly bad news. I must admit that because of the urgency of this I am uncertain whether my tactics of gently taking my sceptic friends through the evidence and arguments and waiting for long-term changes of heart is sufficient. But I honestly cannot think of any other way of approaching them.

    I have found that there seems to be a kind of sceptic progression chart.

    1.) Deny the world is warming.
    2.) Accept the world is warming, but deny that humans are causing it.
    3.) Accept the world is warming and accept that humans are causing it, but deny that it is a problem.
    4.) Accept that the world is warming, accept that humans are causing it and accept that it is a problem, but deny that there is anything that can be done about it.

  23. 923
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Yeah, deniers find every permutation of denial possible, sadly.

    So much effort is wasted talking about something that requires action that I’m sure we are going to talk ourselves to oblivion.

    It’s NOT the boiling frog syndrome, it’s the talking frog syndrome! LOL

    And like terrorists, it only takes a few to make the entire world jump through hoops and metal detectors and take off their shoes ie the small vocal group of deniers can tie everyone up in argument until we have gone way past the point of no return.

    Tragic.

  24. 924
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Gaffy, just pointing out the irony here: AIG paid out a couple of billion of the Feds money to the State of California!

    They were one of the counterparties that would now be a couple of extra billion short if AIG had not been bailed out, along with a lot of foreign banks of course.

  25. 925
    Chris B says:

    Late Late Nite Fire Dog Lake: 150 Years of Military Rule Ends Tonight in El Salvador.
    Just spoke with electoral commission people on the DL and they told me that their latest count shows a 17-18 point advantage, which, even with fraud, even with missing ballots, even with illegal voters means El Salvador has ended 150 years of rule by oligarchs and military dictatorships.

    more on Fire Dog Lake

  26. 926
    gaffhook says:

    Kirri
    AIG has just released a partial list of Payees sorta under protest.

    A top Fed official told Congress March 5 he didn’t believe it would be helpful for the names of AIG’s counterparties to be revealed, because doing so could cause companies doing business with AIG to back away from the company. The disclosures could also undermine confidence in the markets and reduce economic stability, Fed vice chairman Donald Kohn told the Senate Banking Committee in testimony March 5.

    Kohn’s stand drew fire from legislators such as Senate banking panel chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn. He and other senators urged Kohn to consider the implications of spending billions of dollars of taxpayer funds without transparency.

    “Public confidence in what we’re doing is at stake, and the public right now is deeply deeply troubled,” Dodd said at the hearing March 5. “I understand the legal arguments you’ve given me, but that kind of answer undermines public trust.”</blockquote.

    http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/15/news/companies/barr_aig.fortune/index.htm?cnn=yes

    Partial list here:
    http://money.cnn.com/2009/03/07/news/companies/aig.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2009030910

  27. 927
    gaffhook says:

    Obi is gearing up to keep the minions at bay when they start torching Wall Street.

    “Never underestimate the capacity of angry populism in times of economic stress,” said Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and labor secretary under President Bill Clinton. “A big challenge for President Obama will be to maintain a rational and tactical public discussion in the midst of this severe downturn. The desire for culprits at times like this is strong.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/16/us/politics/16assess.html

  28. 928
    Jen says:

    David …. :sad:
    what to do?
    more wine :cry:

    and vote Green. Only chance we’ve got.
    (and kirri – Bob Brown has Hardly Ever said we should live in caves!)

  29. 929
    David Gould says:

    Jen,

    I don’t drink and I already vote Green. :(

  30. 930
    David Gould says:

    KR,

    It is terrifying how a few sceptics with PhDs and the odd Australian astronaut can tilt the argument so much …

  31. 931
    gaffhook says:

    Ruth Madhoff if you are looking for a Toyboy i’m over here darling.

    Federal investigators are “working around the clock” to freeze the assets of mega-fraudster Bernie Madoff’s wife, fearing she will try to flee the country or stash the nearly $93 million in her name beyond their reach, sources told The Post.

    http://www.nypost.com/seven/03152009/news/regionalnews/ruth_in_crosshair_159631.htm

  32. 932
    Enemy Combatant says:

    The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn’t need its brain anymore so it eats it!

    – Daniel Dennett

    Genesis 1:26 King Jimmy version

    “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

    David @ 916, seems “the word” went out early that everything was fair game. Mind you ,after Lizzie Tudor gave the nod to piracy and pillage (Waldo Raleigh Pty. Ltd.) and slavery (Bob Cecil & Co.), they least King Jim could do was to ensure Empire’s dirty underbelly was laced and perfumed for the edification of the kind they had to wind up on Sundays.
    In the interim, man continues to demonstrate his superiority over animals.
    http://jasonschaeffer.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/polar-bears-and-sub.gif

  33. 933
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Jen, when Bob makes noises like: 5% cut in emissions is not enough, we need 20% over 2000 levels, he’s being politically disingenuous since we’re ALREADY about 15% over 2000 levels.

    Or does he say we need 40% by 2020? LOL

    It’s just that nobody talks straight on this, and Brown’s cuts would involve us moving into caves as we will NOT replace the generating capacity lost in that timespan.

    I was partially joking, but only partially.

  34. 934
    David Gould says:

    KR,

    This is one of the reasons why I am a pessimist. I think that to avert serious damage, we need to cut drastically. But I do not think that it is possible to cut as drastically as we need to.

    However, I think that an ETS target of five per cent is a start, especially as there is scope to ramp it up as things change internationally. The Greens should have backed it, with reservations. (Not that it matters now with Xenophon and the coalition going to vote against it in any case.)

  35. 935
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Yes, I think you’re right DG, Rudd had to thread the needle, and the Greens are being bloody minded not to support it.

  36. 936

    New thread up, guys and gals. Sorry about not getting the layout right. Catrina, assistance s’il vous plait. I’d better learn how to get this right just in case you ascend into heaven unexpectedly.

    Kirri, I reckon Bobby Brown is angling for a double D, rather than about condoning yoof abuse of spirituous and fermentous liquors.

  37. 937
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Viva the ILL, (Ignorant Loathing Lefties!)

    Ecky, you need to turn “Comments” on for your post, otherwise no one can leave any comments.

    Banana Republics of the world unite and through out the imperialist fruit loops.

    Viva la lefties!

  38. 938
    megan says:

    Tried to find “comments on” button, Kirri, but it eludes me.
    No manual for editing and the more I see of the workings of this site, the more impressed I am by Cat’s creation.

  39. 939
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Of course that’s code for “throw” out!

    Megan, where’s the Cat when you need her, eh?

  40. 940
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Megan, is there an “open thread” button or similar?

  41. 941
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Apologies, Kirri, and collective ILLs, spent over an hour last night trying to find the bloody comments switch to no avail. Will have to book some time with one of junior’s Year 12 mega-geek pals to help polish my onsite jiggering prowess before publishing anothery cold. Seem to retain new material of this nature best on a talk-touch-repeat basis.
    Yep, hands-on website upskilling school it is. Power Coaching College, if they were still around, would have made a motza hawking and hosting Cyber Acadamies. Spose we’d then have the June Dally-Watkins School of Cyber-Etiquette with which to contend.
    Till then it’s a sad case of yes we have no bananas, I’m afraid.

    Mercifully, Cat will have things all squared away in a jiffy on her next visit.

    P.S. Considering it’s Low Season for Group One election junkies, (US and Oz federal, which is how and where we coalesced before “foundation”), it’s lovely to see us simmering along unsullied by commercial constraints ( eg the grinding constipation of non-refusable bulk cookie downloads) of and the need for any kind of censorship whatsoever. We sort ourselves. So thanks Ticsters, especially you, Top Cat. :)

  42. 942
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Blood oath, megan, it’s a jungle in there!

  43. 943
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Ecky, don’t be too hard on yourself, we aren’t allowed to be anymore since you got the Obama ‘upgrade’ to detainee! LOL

    So no virtual waterboarding for you my friend.

  44. 944
    Ferny Grover says:

    941
    “…it’s Low Season for Group One election junkies…”

    Hells Bells Ecky! Low Season??? Qld has an election on Saturday between the barely competent and the barely coherent – and in typical Stupid State form the barely coherent look like winning…sans policies and a working vocabulory!

    The Darkness is descending Ecky…..

  45. 945
    Ferny Grover says:

    oops…vocabulary…..that bumkin Borg is infectious

  46. 946
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Bereft one day, incoherent the next…welcome to Queensland! LOL

    Look on the bright side Ferny, at least you’ve got natural resources to apply.

    Namely: tar and feathers to apply to the winning team.

    (All that crude gunk and loads of now flightless birds)

  47. 947
    Katielou says:

    Ooh, looky here. Macquarie Bank have a new “crack lending unit” implementing a new business model at the millionaires’ factory. It involves borrowing money and then lending it at a higher rate. Goodness, what genius!

    http://business.smh.com.au/business/brains-behind-new-macquarie-model-20090316-8zxs.html

  48. 948
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Anyone who would lend you their “crack” (as in cocaine) is NOT a good business person! LOL

    Seriously, the amount of distressed debt around is HUGE, and some of it will make a VERY big return. Picking which ones will, and which will default is the art. Good luck with that one boys.

    (Remember when ‘distressed’ furniture was the rage? That probably now applies to many huge mahogany boardroom tables now! )

  49. 949
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    A good rave about why Geithner is a klutz:

    Do you know that last year, as Merrill Lynch was in its death throes, 696 executives got bonuses over a million dollars? 696! As the company lost tens of billions of dollars, the executives took home a combined $3.6 billion that year. Billions in bonuses in the worst year in the company’s history. They’re not stupid; they’re smart. They’re looting the store before the cops show up.

    ….trying to keep this model alive!

    Read it here:

    http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2009/03/obama-must-fire-geithner-and-summers.html

  50. 950
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Of course The Darkness is a weird and terrifying phenomenon, Ferny, especially when it occurs at noon. I’m switched-off to this Qld election so far and can see absolutely no reason to get excited. Will watch Antony and co. on Saturday evening, at least the ABC’s panel banter and analysis is better than listening to Bligh/Borg et al.
    Even Pineapple Party Time doesn’t seem to be generating much spark. Sure it will be a disaster for Qld. if The Borg sneaks in but he won’t. The betting market has fluctuated very little since the campaign began unofficially and hasn’t moved a cent since The Great Oil Slick Eco-Disaster or the Official Launches a few days ago. Despite what some academics claim, following the money is a good guide almost all of the time. At $1.42 ALP are an excellent 4 day investment at a ROI of 42%. Possum at PPT has charts and analysis showing Bligh comfortably ahead in the metrics that matter.

    ALP will hold govt. and may not even need green prefs in marginals to do so, imo.
    ——————–
    Katilou, thank goodness usury hasn’t reached it used-by date.

  51. 951
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    KL, to utterly complicate matters around corporate debt, is our old friend, the Credit Default Swap. As Satyajit Das concludes:

    The CDS market is also complicating restructuring of distressed loans as all lenders do not have the same interest in ensuring the survival of the firm. A lender with purchased protection may seek to use the restructuring to trigger its CDS contracts.

    As the global economy slows and the risk of corporate default increases sharply, the identified issues with CDS contracts are likely to complicate the problems of credit markets and banks generally.

    In October 2008, Alan Greenspan, the former Chairman of the Fed, acknowledged he was “partially” wrong to oppose regulation of CDS. “Credit default swaps, I think, have serious problems associated with them,” he admitted to a Congressional hearing.

    http://www.wilmott.com/blogs/satyajitdas/index.cfm/2009/3/16/Credit-Default-Swaps–Exercises-in-Surrealism

    …in other words, CDS have both expanded the losses (ie there’s been more ‘players’ than straight ‘hedgers’) and can accelerate the bankruptcies if lenders have a big CDS position they can win on.

    And there’s always the generosity of Uncle Sam to keep AIG in the business of using taxpayer’s (as yet unearned money!) to pay off these huge bets.

    No wonder there is some serious anger festering over there in Seppoland.

  52. 952
    Ferny Grover says:

    Yep Ecky

    ALP – $1.40
    Nats – 2.90.

    Sportingbet hasn’t moved in a week and has barely moved at all during the campaign (ALP started at 1.35 and the Nats at 3.00).

    Lethargy appears to have us all in its grip. The Nats are being shrill and cocky, the Libs are disheartened at the loss of their party and being forced to vote for an uneducated hayseed – and the ALP doesn’t exactly have a lot to cheer about.

    No wonder we’ve all switched off.

  53. 953
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    A very interesting article about cutting our CO2 emissions…and not with the current ETS:

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/carbon-$pd20090317-Q7U7R?OpenDocument&src=sph

    …which looks like having a snowball’s chance in hell of getting through the Senate anyway.

    The brown coal guys are already working towards gas, and given incentives would do so, but as pointed out elsewhere, you can’t plan 25 year operating infrastructure with 5 year reviews of your emission levels (rather obvious, that one).

    So what Rudd needs to do now is go back to the drawing board, and the boardrooms of some of these BIG emitters, and start talking some sense, or we are ALL fucked.

  54. 954
    paddy says:

    953
    Speaking of drawing boards Kirri.
    First Dog On The Moon has been at his this morning and has come up with a cracker of plan to save the ETS. :mrgreen:

    http://www.crikey.com.au/Politics/20090317-First-Dog-on-the-Moon.html

  55. 955
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Thanks Paddy, I’ve printed it out, glued some magnets on the back, and it’s now my very own Rudd Fridge Magnet.

    I was alert.

    Now I’m (very) alarmed as well! LOL

  56. 956
    gaffhook says:

    Ah so! velly velly sneaky.
    Like a good treasure hunt, go to the new thread and then have to backtrack to find you all.
    Never mind it is good fun reading the “Rude One ” and all the other links to catch up with world events.

  57. 957
    gaffhook says:

    954
    Paddy
    LOL FDOTM reminds me of my Jack Russel always trying to revive me when i am trying to sleep.

  58. 958
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Damn, you found us! LOL

    Anyway, gotta scoot now, catch youse later…

  59. 959
    paddy says:

    954
    :lol:

  60. 960
    paddy says:

    Hmm…That should be
    957
    gaffy.
    :lol:

  61. 961
    jen says:

    loved Firstdog Paddy !
    (how did Gaffers find us???- cunning stunt indeed).

  62. 962
    Katielou says:

    As a former chicken twistie addict, I also appreciated First Dog.

  63. 963

    Would whoever just cleaned up the spam please be more careful about which comments you delete.

  64. 964
    megan says:

    Ghost who votes….my sincerest apologies!! Had been trying to follow your instructions re comments while also editing spam on a new laptop,when I inadvertently deleted your last post and don’t know how to recover it! :blush:

  65. 965
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    OK Megan, we have deleted you from the Drone Piloting Mission Control list, as the rocket launching button is rather close to the delete spam button, and you know, people get rather antsy when you delete them instead of their spam! LOL

  66. 966
    Catrina says:

    New thread open for comments – this one closing in a moment or two.
    Click on the link for EC epic post.

    Viva El Salvador! A century of solitude no more