"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


weekend this & that

  • Clowns without Borders?!? I read this last night and nearly choked. Seriously? But upon sober reflection, I think it's a good thing, ridiculous as it seems. The estimated 50,000 or so children in the IDP camps around Goma don't get to have a lot of fun, and bringing in some entertainment is a real service to them. Then again, there's a fantastic acrobatic troop in Goma that could've done the same thing without the need to finance a massive 25-day tour of the seven camps. But, hey, there's room enough for everyone. Right, UNHCR?
  • Contrary to all expectations, Guinea-Bissau's post-presidential assassination situation has gone remarkably smoothly. The army allowed the head of the national assembly to become interim president, and they're moving towards organizing a poll to elect a new president. Unfortunately, they can't afford it. Very few African states can. Elections are often financed by donors. I have a feeling that Portugal or a consortium of donors will eventually finance an election in G-B, but it's highly unlikely that they'll be able to get it done in the next 40 days, which is when the constitution mandates they must have an election. Following all the rules to the letter is very important in new democracies; so getting it done in time is more important than you might imagine.
  • This Jeff Herbst article made me so mad I just about had to spit. Divvying up the Congo would cause militias and rebels to rearm, set off fighting for access to land and resources that would take 10-20 years to end, and generally cause a mess. It also ignores what the people of the eastern Congo want. Anyone who's spent any length of time in the region knows that one of the most interesting aspects of society there is how strongly people identify as "Congolese." They don't want to separate. None of the recent wars were secessionist. (HT to Professor Blattman, on whose blog I left some rather ranting comments along these lines. Sorry about that.)
  • "Under God" is staying in the Texas pledge for now. As if there was any doubt.
  • You can buy your own little piece of DKR next weekend.
  • Barack Obama's teleprompter has a blog. And it's in couples therapy with Rahm Emmanuel. (HT: Andrew Sullivan)
  • The Esteyonage has a fascinating post on the political economy of race in the Liberian Constitution.


Blogger David McCullars said...

Why are we wasting school time with mandatory recitation of the Texas pledge, anyway -- regardless of whether it violates the Constitution or not. What exactly does that accomplish? Is it somehow supposed to make us better citizens -- I'd rather them bring back civics or do something else constructive.

As for me I plan on signing the opt-out for my kids. I'd rather teach my children to respect other people and their beliefs than I would to encourage them to be religious bigots.

Saturday, March 28, 2009 2:56:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

The kids say the pledge because they also have a moment of silence and we have to legitimate that as time for silent "reflection" rather than the religious activity it was clearly intended to be.

Saturday, March 28, 2009 6:48:00 PM


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