Blame game could ‘boomerang’ on Obama, Says the Strategist, How Stupid is That?

In the article, titled: “Blame game could ‘boomerang’ on Obama, strategist says“, found on CNN.com, I say blame me.

Yes, blame me, because in 1994, I caused Bill Clinton to open up an easy trade route with South East Asia; starting with Mexico (South America, I meant North America, for those who can’t tell the difference), India, and then China, for most of the American industrial companies to outsource their manufacturing activities to their regions, which would leave America manufactureless, thus causing many American jobs in the manufacturing sectors to ship overseas.

Blame Bush, and then blame me for causing to covet with Osama bin Laden to blow up American cities causing thousands of innocent people to die. And the ripple effect from the destruction would further cause the American economy to plunge, which would last for over a decade, just so that Bush could score political points for playing politics and administering the country through the politics of fear. Remember those elevated security threats at the airports almost every day?

Yes, blame me for wanting to elect a black guy, named Barrack Hussein Obama, who’s from no where as President of the United States. A young naive looking, good educated black guy, whose father is an African from Kenya, and whose mother is a poor white lady from Hawaii. Now, how American is that? And for that, you had to pay a great deal for it. Right when I knew that McCain and his silly and stupid co-colony, Sara Palin, were going to lose the presidential election, then I hit the housing market.

All those years, while the economy was flourishing, America went from deficit under Bush Sr., to realizing a full balanced budget and surplus under Bill Clinton, the actual first black president. However, behind the scene I was busy ballooning the mortgage loans; making them worthless. How silly is that for all those Americans who though they had supper great jobs in the mid 1990’s? So they went out and bought lots of stuff on debt; cars, houses, clothes, jewelry and accessories.

I could see them now; happy and all jolly because they had it all; PlayStation games and then Wii, and the Xbox, etc., yes, they had it all. That’s what they all though, huh, but what they didn’t know was that again, behind the scenes, I was busy climaxing the economy. Yes, it peaked toward the end of 1999. And when it peaks, well, what goes up must come down. But, Americans still didn’t know that the worst was just about to burst.

And that’s when I put Bush in the White House, huh. To make it even worse, even before I tickled Usama bin Laden to do his horrible things on US soil, Bush was already showing signs that he did know what a bejesus was doing, so, I got together with my Dick Cheney and the big Donald Rumsfeld and then we secretly coveted up that the best way to take the focus of off the Dumb Dumbya, was to cause the worst act of terrorism attack on the US soil.

Well, and then ever since, the market never really recovered. But there was something that was happening in Afghanistan though, the Opium market was skyrocketing while we were banging the big old Saddam Hussein, huh, who had nothing to do with our problems at home and what had happened with 9/11. And to topple that with a cherry cream pie, there was no WMD in Iraq, huh.

But, while that was going on, then I hit the US banks. All those little bank CEOs who thought their balance sheets were worth something, what they actually didn’t know, was that the economy peaked at the end of 1999, jobs were being sent overseas, people didn’t have any more money to pay their bills, and most of those mortgage loan applications were even fraud, faked by those greedy mortgage loan administrators and initiators, because they just wanted to meet the quota at all possible means.

Then all of a sudden, no one was paying the mortgage loans, huh, the rotten cheese hit the fan. And then right when the Lehman Brothers was going down, then I hit another one, AIG, yes, because, shhh quiet please, AIG provides insurance for nearly every American, in one way or the other. So, that was the best place to hit next. All of this, while Bush was still in the office.

And then, ohhhh, this is good. Obama though he’s clever. So Bush passed the stimulus rescue package first, and then Obama. Okay, that was good to help ease the market. Pump cash in the market, so it can kick start the economy again, but by then the economy has since hit the bejesus bottom. The Dow was once surpassing the 14000 point mark, on the way to touch down on the 15000. But today, as of July 3, 2010, the Dow closed yesterday at 9686.48 that’s 46.05‎ or -0.47%‎ down from the previous day.

But I am not done yet, not even close. Right after Obama scored his biggest victory, passing and signing his signature Health care Overhaul, which could have guaranteed and led to his instant re-election, so I went in bed with BP and cooked up the sickest idea ever. BP’s Deepwater Horizon gut open, 5000 feet down below the ocean so it can gush more than 70,000 gallons of oil into the ocean, in order to kill nearly everything in the Gulf of Mexico.

But still, I am not done yet, in the Euro zone, I am busy destroying everything; from Greece to spain, a government actually went broke, huh. Why, because silly Greeks don’t like paying taxes. So there was no way the Greek government would have revenue to meet its Euro Monetary Union requirements

Now the entire Europe has a financial problem, with Germany threatening to return to its Deutsche Mark currency. But, who the bejesus architect the European Monetary Union without using the United States of American Monetary Union as an example? They didn’t think I was going to come in and destroy everything and make Angela Merkel look like a puny piece of cold cake?

But there was one clever tiny island, managed by a real old lady, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Yes, she’s so clever, she stayed out of the Euro zone, keeping her pride and joy and her pound currency.

So, yes, blame Obama, not me. He’s the cause of all of these crazy things. Blame that young black dude for losing your job to Mexico, India, and China; even when the guy wasn’t in the office, yup, blame him.

Yes, blame him for Hurricane Katrina, and blame him for the BP Oil Spill, and blame him for the crash of the US financial market which let us to theeeee Greeeaat Recession. Yup, blame Obama, because it wasn’t me, it has to be Obama. Who else could it be? You want to say blame Clinton for enforcing for the passage of the NAFTA. You want to say blame Bush for hooking up with the bin Laden families and caused the 9/11 to happen?

Ohhh, you want to blame Obama your child being ugly and talentless. Well, you got the point there, so blame Obama for the BP Oil Spill. How about for the war in Iraq that cost the US tax payers more than $1 billion a day, and that was for how long again the war lasted?

And now, I am checking out Canada. What can I do to Canada? How about Africa, what can I do to Africa? Give them more diseases, civil wars, the butcheries of innocent people, women and children, ohhhhh; you want me to give them Malaria? And then the lack of clean water?

How stupid is that? Africans are so dumb, they don’t even know how to structure their economies, using their Godly given and richly endowed resources to better themselves. But, there are some who are smarter. And I can’t get to them. They have made themselves Presidents and Ministers, even some Ministers without portfolios, just because I want to suck tax payers’ money to pay for some schmuck Ministers without a portfolio so he could still gain his much deserved benefits.

Yes, don’t blame, me, nor Clinton, nor Bush, but Bush. Or while you are at it, you may as well blame Spike Lee for creating the movie, She Gotta Have It, because that movie turned a lot of women into some hot players today.

Don’t blame me; blame the dog that ate my freaking wallet, so I couldn’t pay my freaking bills on time. But, just don’t blame. Blame Obama, because of his pretty wife Michelle, oops, I am lusting on Michelle.

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Response to Die Republikein’s News Article by Ronelle Rademeyer About Simon Kapenda

The following statement is by me, Simon Kapenda, in my response to the news article by Ronelle Rademeyer published in Die Republikein newspaper of today, Monday, May 31, 2010.

In 1984, I was still in my final year of my primary school education at Omunkete Primary School in Namibia’s northern part, near Oshikuku (for those who don’t know it, please Google earth it), and my childhood friend, Peter “Nujoma” Nicodemus (Sakeus knows him), went to continue his secondary education at Nujoma Secondary School (no relation to his namesake). That time Namibia was under the severe arm of the South African apartheid system, black people had to take care of themselves, no state assistance of any kind. My older sister Jenny, whom I adore, used to work as a Cashier for Aupa Indongo’s Continental No.1, then the largest supermarket store in the Oshakati area.

She worked very hard to provide for us with whatever we needed and more. Besides clothing us, she provided us with all kinds of cool things, such as radio and tape recorders/players, walkman, electric irons, etc. Stuff that most black people didn’t have access to then, unless if from a well to do family.

When Peter went to Nujoma Secondary School, to live in the hostel, he needed a lot of help with soaps, generally just basic toiletries and stuff. His family didn’t have that much then. And that’s when I stepped in. I started giving Peter my own toiletries, my radio/tape player and an electric iron. Most of the time, I sneaked giving him these things as my family also needed them. I also used to give him some of my clothes, because living in a hostel requires having more than just one shirt and a pair of one pants.

That’s how it all started. When I went to a secondary school at Iipumbu Secondary School in Oshakati, I found myself sharing most of my stuff with a lot of my schoolmates. By then, I was already working in downtown as a gardener for certain three different apartheid filled families, after school and on weekends, so even though I was only earning R1.50 a day for hard labor all day, and also, I sold apples, bananas and Cool Aid (yes, I had my booth at a young age, entrepreneurial, to earn and get my own money to pay for my school tuition and fees), I was able to save up and buy more supplies that I shared with my friends, such as Andreas Tweendeni, and others.

In Windhoek, where I continued my secondary school, two of my friends, Simon and Martin, followed me years later, and I too helped them register and attend at the same, the then prestigious English private college preparatory high school, and that’s where I met Peter Gwarada.

After that, it was history. My one ex-girlfriend, Ndina, who studied high school in, then Czechoslovakia, and when she came back to Namibia with her family, as most Namibian refugees did in 1989 and 1990, I helped her signed up and get admitted to study at The Academy (today Polytechnic of Namibia). The Academy was still then some sort of a closed admission college, perhaps for the elites in some sort. And with her high school diplomas in a foreign language other than English, German, or Afrikaans, I managed to instantly register her and she got admitted. She has since completed her degree in Nature Conservation and had furthered her Masters degree in South Africa.

That’s how it all started to this day. When I came to America to continue with my education, I found more and more not only Namibian students trying to apply to American colleges, but other students in other countries. The Internet was not yet even known by the general public then. The source of information was the Public Libraries, where I would go in my free time and do some researches on different colleges, make copies of admission contact information and applications, and mail them to the students who requested me to help them find good colleges and universities in America.

Not one time have I charged for my time or for stamps and envelopes for doing that. By 1997, it was getting too much; I had to split my time with my work and helping students. And the Internet has become a mainstream, in the USA, but not yet in some developing countries.

I have always believed that education is the key for anyone to better him/herself. And I couldn’t live with myself not knowing that I was not helping someone. I had my small business then and at the same time, it was also the dawn of the era for domain name gold rush, people buying and selling domain names like hot cake. And what a great way for someone, if lucky enough to grab up some good domain names and resell them for an exorbitant profit? If I didn’t do it, then someone else would do it, as that was the case then.

In order to efficiently help out, and my name was becoming known for helping students, I had to split myself between my work and helping students out. And because of the difference in time zone in different parts of the world, I had to stay up late most of the nights, as I had people calling me at my home, anytime of the night, just needing help to fill out college applications or have them read their college admission essays to me over the phone so I can help critic them.

Because the demands were getting high, and how stupid I was, I was just a kid then, wasn’t experienced on how to do a lot of stuff such as run a nonprofit organization. There are laws on how set up and operate a nonprofit. And I was still a baby, a pure infant, in doing so. That’s why, I simply focused on providing the service that was critically needed as I saw it and still see it today.

In 1997, I decided to set up an organization to help serve the identified needs. World Education Access Inc. was born, and incorporated in 1998 with the State of New York. I got a large office space in Dayton, Ohio and hired 6 full-time staff and some part-timers of dedicated people, real good people, whose objectives were to serve and provide the much needed service. Students wrote, emailed, and called the office, and asked questions and get assistance in applying to any college as well as with their homework. We provided information, gotten in touch with many colleges and universities in the world such as Columbia University and as far as many universities in Europe and Asia. They would constantly ship to us in bulk boxes of their quarterly admission application forms and brochures in great number of packages and we shipped them to the students who requested them. Most times, we filled out their admission application on behalf of the students who couldn’t read or write proper English.

The costs were adding up to run a nonprofit, and the staff had to be paid. I, for myself, was never on payroll and have never been reimbursed for any fees or costs. I spent a lot of time, doing live concert productions, and buying and selling domain names, and I generated a lot of money in doing so to help keep the organization going. However, I had to decide that providing a free service is good for those receiving it, but for those providing it have to be paid. Office rent, electricity, a massive monthly phone bill for making long distance and international calls, plus Internet access fees, mailing supplies, etc., were expensive.

To help offset some of the costs, we decided to charge a membership fee for certain students, those who were disabled or from low income families didn’t have to pay the membership fee.  This fee helped to offset some of the operating costs.

We had students attending different colleges and universities as far as in India, Russia, MIT, Harvard, Columbia University, Oxford University, Europe, almost everywhere. Not only students from developing countries, but from right here in the USA. We were paying thousands of dollars in tuition and fees to different colleges and schools around the world.

However, 40 of some of those member students, most of them never paid membership fees, their tuition were not paid for their duration of study. Some fees were only paid for such as a year and not the full degree term as initially promised. Some of these students were Benedict Mwakyanjala and his friend Esther, from Tanzania.

Benedict and Esther were students at the University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio. Benedict called me up one day out of the blue in 1998, crying because his tuition and fees were not paid and the University was informing him to expel him and his friend Esther. Also, his student visa was expiring and the university was not going to renew it unless his fees were paid.

I dropped everything that I was doing that morning and got in my car and drove from Dayton, Ohio to Steubenville, Ohio; that’s nearly a 3+ hours of driving. I arrived on the campus and went to meet up with Benedict. We then went to the Bursar’s office, and sat down with his advisor. I listened to his advisor telling me about Benedict’s and Esther’s situation, which their accounts were over 3 semesters past overdue, and that if they didn’t pay anything on it; they were going to be expelled.

I negotiated with the Bursar’s office and paid down $2,500 for Benedict and $1,500 for Esther, and made monthly installment payment for their remaining amounts. They were able to stay and continue with their study. That was during the spring semester when they approached me. In the summer, Benedict took the summer off and came to Dayton to work at our offices. He didn’t have a place to stay, so I put him in an Extended Stay near Wright State University, where I was paying for his stay $380 per week. He came to work at the office, where I paid him around $11 an hour. I bought him weekly food, and he came and ate dinner occasionally with my family. I bought him clothes as well as gave him my old shirts, pair of dress pants, etc. I treated him like my own brother. At the office, I was told that when his supervisor was not looking, Benedict would spend hours surfing porno instead of working.

By the end of summer, at that time, I had also paid $2,500 to The Recording Workshop, Chillicothe, Ohio, for the recently deceased Namibia’s legendary singer and songwriter, Jackson Kaujeua, to study music production and audio engineering there. However, he was in Europe for nearly 2 year and was not able to attend his program. Jackson has postponed his study at The Recording Workshop several times prior but the school was still holding his place and the money that I had paid in full for his tuition. By that time Jackson emailed me that he was no longer able to attend his program and that I should get a refund.

One morning in August, Benedict and I drove to The Recording Workshop, and picked up a check for the refund, and I gave that check to him for his tuition and fees for the fall semester at his college. A few weeks after that, The Ohio Attorney General filed a lawsuit against me and our organization, claiming that 40 students have filed complaints against World Education Access Inc and myself, as the founder. The Attorney General sent out a press release and The New York Times published the story about the lawsuit.

The gentleman who led the campaign against me and my organization who later told me that he was the one who reported us to the Ohio Attorney General is Chip White, and if you Google his name or check out his MySpace.com profile, you may discover some real stuff that may be considered awful to some, with his business activities which includes operating porno web sites, and also some questionable medical clinic schemes, and lying about his degree at Otterbein University. And, a few weeks later, we were called for a deposition with the lawyers from the office of the Ohio Attorney General.

As part of our evidential documentations, my lawyers and I had compiled all our verifiable documents, receipts of money paid to different colleges around the world, and the list of all the students whom we have helped or were helping with all kinds of educational assistance.

The outcome of the deposition and court; I never went to court, and was never charged for any wrong doing. The outcome was simply asked to revise our services, but we were never asked or ordered by the Ohio Attorney General or the Court to shut down our operations. I was however ordered to pay restitution to those students, and the case was closed. Benedict and Esther were some of those students who filed the lawsuit against me with the Ohio Attorney General’s Betty Montgomery. And we all know what has happened a few years later with Mrs. Betty’s involvement in the then Ohio Governor Taft’s scandal activities.

Regarding the Irish Prime Minister’s domain name issue. It was the dawn of buying and selling domain names. Many Internet related laws were not yet enacted. If you didn’t register any name to profit from it, then you were simply like someone standing at the bus stop going somewhere, and the bus came but either he or she fell asleep or simply was an idiot and didn’t get on the bus.

Lots of famous names were being registered, and I was one of those who had gotten on the bus, when the bus came, and I made good money, thousands of dollars in selling domain names. Yes, they called those people Cybersquarters. It was business, and was never a felony or crime to register and try to profit from any domain name back then. And I had registered a lot of names, at one time, I had over 800 domain names, and I sold lots of them, including FifthThirdbank.com, etc., which I sold to Fifth Third Bank for $5,000, and most of that money went to World Education Access. I was making an average of $5,000 per domain name.

BernieAhern.com was one of the domain names that I had registered. And it didn’t make sense simply to register a bunch of domain names, and simply let them stand there idle and not making money from them. They had and still have many domain name parking services, where if you own a domain name, you can forward to park it at that web site and make a few dollars in advertisement, instead of simply having a domain name and not do anything with it until it’s sold if it ever will.

The domain parking service I had used had sometimes, not at my knowledge displayed porno images on the page, but when I found out that BertieAhern.com was forwarded to such a Web site, I immediately removed it and parked it elsewhere.

Most times, when someone wants to claim the domain name back for his personal or business ownership use, they would simply email you and you can work it out to transfer ownership of the domain name to him or her or the business. Bernie Ahern didn’t contact me, instead, he filed a civil lawsuit to get his name back, and I didn’t even fight with him, but simply worked it out with his office and transferred it to his ownership.

In short, regarding World Education Access, the idea was good and had a very good intention. But it was ill-implemented. I was stupid, and still was learning, but my heart was in a good place. That’s why after the deposition, the Attorney General simply advised me to revise how we operated, pay restitution, but never ordered us to shut down.

Personally, I have never been arrested, accused, charged or whatsoever for any criminal or felony activities in any country I have lived; Germany, the UK, Denmark, Namibia, or the US. I always had a job as a sound engineer, working for a living to care for myself and my family.

That was over 10 years ago. I have since started and founded and operated different online and offline companies, and I have learned on what and not to do. My 18+ years of extensive experience as an entrepreneur and a sound engineer, coupled with my extensive in-class lectured at The Recording Workshop and The Ohio State University have equipped me to do what I am doing today. And, as of today, I have never stopped helping students, I am still helping them in any way I can.

There are currently five Namibian students, Febe, Sackey, Rose, Simon, and Max, that I am currently helping to apply to a college, Santa Monica College, in Santa Monica, California and Berkeley College of Music in Boston, MA, and these are due to start their education at these institutions in the fall of 2010. For as much time as I put in helping with their admission applications, TOEFL tests, etc., neither one of them have ever been asked to pay me for anything.

Some of the students that I or World Education Access have helped in the past, some of them went on to become professionals in their careers, and even though I have never received a thank you back from them, I am certain they are now earning good wages for themselves, their families and communities.

I will never cease helping students anywhere, I have helped students from as far as Vietnam, who have come to America, lived in my house, helped them applied to colleges, drove them back and picked them up from their classes, without ever charging them for food, rent, etc. In fact most times I paid for their monthly rents. This is my community service calling, it’s my passion, it’s part of my life. And for every dollar I earn in my life, 20 cents of that goes to do just that.

We all have done some shameful things in our lives, only because we don’t walk around with our wrong doings hanging on our necks for all of us to see. And as soon as you start doing something good anywhere, then you have people like Ronelle Rademeyer of Die Republikein, who try to dig, and most times, without ever asking for any explanation or the facts, craft up old and irrelevant stories, just so they can a newspaper. What’s the motive? Trying to destroy what’s beautifully being done? Yes, I was partly responsible for conceiving the idea to develop the system, which now has become part of our development in Grootfontein.

But what does that have to do with me and my past work at World Education Access or the domain name BertieAhern.com? Is that really relevant on what to focus? Will it help to destroy what’s being built, what’s being designed, what’s being developed to help develop the country, Namibia, to help create hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs for every Namibian who wants one? A system that will help fast track Namibia’s Vision 2030, an ecosystem that will help transform Grootfontein into a thriving city with an annual operating budget of more than US$500 million within the next 3-5 years.

What’s so wrong about that, for someone to dream and take an action to make that dream a reality, put together the best team ever, with God’s endowed pool of investors, more than $1 billion for the development of our ecosystem with the potential of more than $5 billion for anchor partner projects, which all of these will tremendously benefit, not only the people of Grootfontein and Namibia, but the entire Southern African region. Why is it so important to focus on destroying something so beautiful than helping to rally the community in supporting it, because this is not a one-man operation, it doesn’t just benefit Simon Kapenda’s family, but everyone who’s involved and around?

Yes, I am fortunate enough to have come to the America on my own, and God has helped me to meet some of the most incredible people in our group, and together, we are developing our ecosystem that will help change and equally transform Namibia for all the Namibian people, forever.

Now that you have my entire life in your hand, Ronelle Rademeyer, and everyone else who cares to dig and report, sometimes without asking for comments or clarification, can we find some civility and opportunity to rally and support this ecosystem? We all have done wrong in our lives, and if one start digging in your background, we may find some things that may not be considered favorable to some. The only difference is that; “Any man can make a mistake; only a fool keeps making the same one.”

Surviving the World of Statistical Selection

On November 18, 2008, The New York Times published an article titled, The Wrong Place to Be Chronically Ill. The article reports the finding of 7,500 patients surveyed in several countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and the United States, who suffered from at least one of seven chronic conditions: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, lung problems, cancer or depression.

The article further states that the shameful findings on the patients in the United States the health care they received, that more than half of the American patients went without care because of high out-of-pocket costs. They did not visit a doctor when sick, skipped a recommended test or treatment or failed to fill a prescription. The uninsured suffered most, but even 43 percent of those who had insurance all year skipped care because of costs.

“The surveyed American patients also were likely to report wasting time because their care was so poorly organized. About a third reported that medical records and test results were not available when needed or that tests were duplicated unnecessarily. A third experienced a medical error, such as being given the wrong medication or test results. Some 40 percent found it very difficult to get after-hours care without going to an emergency room,” reads the article.

As I read this article, I was asking myself, why they conclude that America is the wrong place to be chronically ill, because as I look at the stated data, that a survey of 7,500 patients from different countries was observed, but it failed to state whether that proportion was randomly selected or not, and what was the exact proportion of the American patients who were among the surveyed patients?

Thus, looking at their data, I fail to believe that this number was a representation of all the American patients. As for The New York Times, I would expect nothing but the best report from them, but for them to actually publish that insufficient and unrepresentative data, surprises me. Even though the article generally and fairly estimates how most patients may be treated in America, I still feel that those who conducted this survey could have used more representative variables, such as the exact proportion of patients surveyed from each country, their gender, and age category.

Also, yesterday, I was watching TV and a Bosley TV commercial came on, illustrating their inventive hair transplant procedure and that it was clinically tested and proven. As I sat there watching it, I took my right hand and felt the top of my head, which has gotten thinner than I’d like to admit, and I was like, that sounds like a good solution to my nearly baldness. But then, I asked myself, how was it clinically tested or proven?

Just like some of the examples of the article and the Bosley TV commercial stated above, everyday, we are bombarded with information and data, which some seem representative enough to actually, but most may not be. That’s why it’s important that, no matter what is said or stated anywhere about anything, there is always a question and an answer to everything and it’s up to you, as an individual, to critically analyze each and everything in order to make an informed desicion.

Are Americans Just Too Chronically Ill?

Are Americans simply too healthy to be sick than any other people in other countries in the world, or they simply have more access to a better health care system? If they are just too healthy, then why are there so many health insurance companies in the US, perhaps some of the largest health insurance companies than any other health insurance companies in the world? Or if the American people are just as sick as other people in the world, then do they just have access to a better healthcare system? What class of American people is sicker than the other; men or women, young or old?

These are some of many questions we can keep asking ourselves, and we may never have or find answers to them. On November 18, 2008, The New York Times published an article titled, The Wrong Place to Be Chronically Ill. It reports the finding of 7,500 patients surveyed in several countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and the United States, who suffered from at least one of seven chronic conditions: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, lung problems, cancer or depression.

The article states; “the shameful findings on the patients in the United States the health care they received, that more than half of the American patients went without care because of high out-of-pocket costs. They did not visit a doctor when sick, skipped a recommended test or treatment or failed to fill a prescription. The uninsured suffered most, but even 43 percent of those who had insurance all year skipped care because of costs”.

The article further states that the surveyed American patients also were likely to report wasting time because their care was so poorly organized. About a third reported that medical records and test results were not available when needed or that tests were duplicated unnecessarily. A third experienced a medical error, such as being given the wrong medication or test results. Some 40 percent found it very difficult to get after-hours care without going to an emergency room.

Another article titled “Women Buying Health Policies Pay a Penalty”, which was published in The New York Times on October 30, 2008, reports “a widespread gap in the cost of health insurance, as women pay much more than men of the same age for individual insurance policies providing identical coverage, according to new data from insurance companies and online brokers.” The article gives an example of a Columbus, Ohio 30-year old woman pays 49 percent more than a man of the same age for Anthem’s Blue Access Economy plan. “The woman’s monthly premium is $92.87, while a man pays $62.30”. The article further states that; in general, insurers say, they charge women more than men of the same age, because claims experience shows that women use more health care services. They are more likely to visit doctors, to get regular checkups, to take prescription medications and to have certain chronic illness.

In summary, I may agree with the second stated article, about women paying more in the cost of health insurance than men of the same age. I agree to this claim for the reason as stated above. From a man perspective, compare to my wife and daughter, my wife tends to visit a doctor for her regular checkup than me, anytime during the year. As the article states, women, so as my wife, tend to visit a doctor for her feminine health checkup, including constant checkup for signs of chronic illness such as cancer, diabetes, etc. Whilst, for me, I rarely go to the doctor.

I however, cannot generalize that all men, based on my health, for the simple reason that I may not visit my doctor as often as my wife does for the fact that I don’t really like medical places, nor do I like seeing a doctor examining me. It’s not that I am afraid of a doctor, I just don’t like having the feeling of being sick or feel like I am sick, and being in the presence of a doctor gives me that eerie feeling. The smell of medicine in hospitals makes me sicker. Thus, I only go to my doctor, when I feel that I am really sick, which is not as often as my wife’s regular checkup. I understand that I too need to have a regular doctor checkup for the same chronic illness. My daughter also gets regular doctor visit for her checkup, but unlike my male cousin of the same age, who also rarely goes to the doctor.

Thus, I definitely understand why the insurance companies may charge women more in health insurance premium than they do for men. If they would charge men more than women, then the story would be similar. The only suggestion I may propose is for all the employers to pay women wages equal to that of their male counterparts for equal work completed. Doing so would allow families to best plan, balance, and pay for their health care costs without putting a burden on the women alone.

However, I disagree with the first article for a simple reason that, statistically, the article has an error. It states that a survey of 7,500 patients from different countries was observed, but it failed to state whether that proportion was randomly selected or not. And what was the exact number of American patients were among the surveyed patients? I fail to believe that this number was an exact representation of all the American patients. Even though it generally and fairly estimates how most patients are treated in America, I feel like those who conducted this survey could have used more representative variables, such as the exact number of each patient surveyed from each country, their gender and age category.

Based on the data provided, I am not fairly convinced that America is the sickest nation, nor can I conclude that other nations as stated may have a better health care system. Also, those who have conducted the survey might have failed to state that some of the nation’s health care systems mentioned have universal health care coverage, where patients are not required to pay for health checkup and medical treatment. In countries such as Britain, France, and Canada, health care is free and open to any of their citizens. But comparatively, America may have the best health care facilities and medical doctors more than any other countries surveyed or in the world. Let us not forget to mention that life expectancy in America is almost the same or may be even high than the countries surveyed.

I however believe that the cost of health care, generally, in America is too high. Over 11 million American have no health insurance coverage, and most families are failing to pay for the cost of their hospital visits, let alone, their medicines. Hopefully the new administration would do as promised, to help bring the cost of health insurance down, not only for women, but for men and children, as well, for just about every American.

The State of South Africa’s Apartheid, the Root of All Evil

What is it actually like to live your life according to how someone else dictates it for you? You go to bed and wake up at the time given to you. You cannot leave your house at anytime before 7:00 in the morning or only when the sun has risen. And if you are somewhere, no matter where, and the sun sets, you stop moving, you make your bed right where you are at that very moment, and sleep there until the sun rises in the morning. You are only allowed to move around and go to certain areas, even if you are in your own country, in which you were born and raised. If you decide that you will take a chance and try to get moving after 7:00 p.m. or after the sun set, then they shoot you to death and ask questions later.

If you are a man, age 15 years or older, then you are required to carry a State Identification Card (Kop Kard) at all times, and if you happen to not have it on you upon demand at any time, then you are subjected to harsh police brutal beating, atrocious harassment, arrested and prosecuted, and if you resist in any way, you may never return home again, and your family may never get to see you ever, again, because if they kill you due to their brutality, they simply throw your body away, and the dogs and wild beast may feed upon your flesh. Your family and relatives have no right to question them where they have taken you or what they did with you. And, if you get to come back home with all the parts of your body intact, then you are simply lucky. Because, they could have cut your ears off or your nipples, breasts (if you’re a woman), or even cut your penis off, and no one has the right to question them.

Someone can simply break down your house door and enter your house at any time without knocking or you letting him in. He can simply come in at any time of the day or night, search around your house, harass you with questions, asking you where they are and where did you hide them. He can throw away your belongings, break down any of your things, and you are not allowed to ask any questions of what he wants or looking for or why he is in your house without your permission. And if you persist to ask what he wants, then he can even beat you down to the floor, cut your ears off with his knife, or even shoot you to death and he won’t even be held responsible by any court of law. And if you survive this horrendous ordeal of what you may refer to as a house invasion, you cannot call the police. What police, he is the policeman, he is the military man, and he is the law. He can take anything he wants out of your house, whether it is your food, belonging, or whatever else he wants, and you are not allowed to ask any question of any kind. He can even take his powerful and scary Kaspir (military truck), and drive it through your house, leaving you homeless.

You have no right whatsoever, you have no one to call and no law enforcement to report this to, you simply get yourself together. If he had beaten you up or physically hurt you, but still able to get up, you simply get yourself up, have your family home-care for you. They cannot take you to the hospital, because he is the hospital, he has the right to refuse to medically treat you. You simply stay at home, let your wounds eventually heal and hope that you will eventually recover soon, or someday.

This was the State of South Africa’s Apartheid, the mother root of all evil. Several authors and different writers around the world have written everything about the apartheid system in South Africa. Some of the authors might or may not have lived it, to personally witness it, feel it, taste it, drink it, and experience it. Some might have simply read about it from other discourses and or oral stories from those who have witnessed and lived it. Yes, some have said that slavery in America South was the worst, horrendously inhumane, the worst brutality inflicted upon any human being, the worst of any kind any where. We may agree to that effect or agree to say that apartheid was the worst of the worst. In the former South Africa’s white minority regime, apartheid was the harshest, brutal, atrocious, and inhumane, than any form of political or ideological governing.

What is actually apartheid? How did it come to exist, not anywhere else but only in South Africa and its former mandate province, Namibia? Why didn’t apartheid exist anywhere else? Who caused it and why South Africa? There are several questions we may ask ourselves, which some of them we may have answers or may never be able to find relevant explanations to reason with them.

Obviously, South Africa is a country located on the tip end of southern Africa. Its earliest inhabitants were the Sans and Khoi (Khoisans), who were traditionally hunters and gathers, lived off of game and fruits of the Savannas. Later, the Bantu speakers arrived in from the north. The Zulus, Khosas, Sothos, Tswanas, and Ngunis lived alongside the Khoisans in South Africa, prior to the arrival of the Portuguese at the Cape in 1488, followed by Jan van Riebeeck of the Dutch East India Company, who eventually transformed Table Bay (today Cape Town) into an enterprise, a resting place for ships and explores from Europe en route to South East Asia (India). The company intended the settlement simply as a staging post for India-bound ships, but Jan van Riebeeck needed cattle to supply the ships with meat, and this brought the Dutch into inevitable conflict with the San and with Khoi, who possessed large herds of cattle and resisted Dutch intrusion in their lands.  More and more Boers (Dutch word for Farmers) arrived and settled at Table Bay, turning it into a Dutch colony.

The Huguenots from France and other explorers from Europe also arrived at the Cape and joined the Boers, hence the diversity at the Cape. All settlers took up Dutch language, culture and religion. Agriculture and farming became their main mode of food production. In doing so, they had to initially quell off the Khoisan, who resisted their occupation. However as the Boers subdued the Khoisans through murder and displacement, they finally agreed to trade and exchange with them. The Boers started to acquire more lands and livestock from the Khoisans, but when the Khoisans disagreed, the Boers simply killed them and stole their livestock.

As France extended its colonial Empire in Africa, so did the British. With the discovery of gold and diamond at Kimberly, the British annexed the Cape Colony in 1806, and introduced sheep production, development of trade with the Africans and the Dutch. As the British moved into the Cape, the Boers started moving away from the Cape into the interior of the country, forming new and independent free states such as Free Orange State and Transvaal.

About 4,000 Boers, accompanied by about the same number of ‘servants’ entered Natal through the Drakensberg Mountains. Some others went north, but at this state the greatest part of the Voortrekkers (a group of Boers who first left Cape Colony) went into Natal. According to Collins and Burns, after 1910, as Settlers have completely occupied the Southern Africa area, they divided up the communities, differentiated them by culture, ethnicity, and race. The prosperous privileged white minority dominated the area.

In 1910, the Union Constitution and the origins of Development of Racial inequality emerged after the Anglo-Boer War, between the British and the Boers. The South African Native National Congress, modern day ANC, was formed in 1912 to help repel the Boers’ racial segregation. However, it failed to achieve its goal because its objectives were simply to enforce equal rights for all civilized men, blacks or whites, but not to overthrow white rule.

By 1919, there was a massive protest, The Rand Strike, an armed uprising of Afrikaans and English-speaking white miners in Witwatersrand. This uprising was caused by economic challenges of post World War I, due to the declining of wages, and poor working condition. This resulted in mine owners (whites) enforcing and strengthened segregation in mining.

Minority whites felt threatened and did not want to compete with the British and their influence, thus they started to create their own society. As a result, Broederbond, a secret society to protect their interests was formed. By 1934, Daniel Malan created the National Party, a white-only political party poised to govern South Africa, which sympathized with Hitler’s Nazi Germany. By 1948, the National Party won the national election, amid that no blacks were allowed to vote. The National Party instituted the Apartheid platform as the governing law. They segregated rural and urban areas, education, land, and public serves. All non-whites were required to carry personal identification cards and were only allowed to work, live, and move about according to how the Boers wanted them. And for the next decades, blacks in South Africa and Namibia lived under the hot rod of the cruel South African apartheid.

Those who opposed it were subjected to arrests and or murders. Some powerful politicians and activities emerged, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Desmund Tutu, Sam Nuyoma, and others alike. Some were imprisoned, and many went into exile, took up arms and fought for freedom, freedom for the people of Namibia and South Africa.

By 1989, under pressure, South Africa agreed to sign the United Nations Resolution 435 which led to Namibia gaining independence from South Africa in March 1990 with Sam Nuyoma democratically elected as the first black president of Namibia, while South Africa gained independence in 1994, with Nelson Mandela democratically elected as the first black president of South Africa.

How is the history of South Africa’s Apartheid going to be written in the next hundred years? Who is forever going to wipe away the tears of pain and sorrow from the cheeks of those who lived under the apartheid?

Both Namibia and South Africa have included in their Constitutions the Policy of National Reconciliation. That means, whatever had happened to anyone during the apartheid era, you just have to forgive, no matter who did what to whom, just forgive and forget, or may be never forget, but just forgive.

The next chapter is for the equality of socioeconomic development for all the people of Namibia and South Africa, so that the next generation can happily live their lives, to the fullest, without being judged and or subjected to the ideology of separation because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, and national origin, color of skin, creed, ethnicity or religion.

Endnotes

Racism and Apartheid in Southern Africa, South Africa and Namibia. Paris: The Unesco Press, 1974

Robert Collins and James Burns. A History of Sub-Saharan Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007

Modern Day Slavery the Mother Root of All Socioeconomic Oppression

In today’s mainstream pop culture, the word “slavery” is mostly synonymous with America, not because it has a better connotation or that it was invented in America, but simply because it is the country which has been mostly publicized where the African slaves were treated the worse, brutal, and horrendous, than anywhere else on earth. But is slavery an American made? Did slavery begin in America? Is America the only country that has had a slave economy? How does slavery fit in an African perspective? If slavery also existed in Africa, then how was it different from the rest of the world? These are some of the questions we are going to explore in this document.

Slavery economy is not an American made, but let us not deny acknowledging the fact that slavery has or perhaps was the sole source of developing the America South’s agricultural economy. However, slavery has a long history of existence in many parts of the world from the very beginning of life to as recent as a few centuries ago. Biblically, we read about certain slaves in the Jewish Bible, (Torah), the Old Testament, about the infamous slave of Sarah, the wife of Abraham, who had offered her slave woman to sleep with her husband, Abraham, in order to bear her a child, because Sarah believed that she was barren and was never going to have any children. Abraham obliged to the offer and had a baby boy with the slave woman, whom he named Ishmael.

In our modern world, slavery is an ancient institution that traces its origin to the Greek and Roman Feudalism Economy, where slaves acted as serfs to their lords. Even though under this practice, the serfs were simply enforced to work on the fields of the landowners in lieu of them not having to pay rents to their landowners in any kind, but simply to work on the fields as an exchange of paying their rents and also for protection from all forms of external pressures and forces. The serfs were not subjected to the systematic exploitation of harsh labor and brutal working conditions including capital punishment as the case of the slavery.

In ancient Greek and the Roman Republic and Empire, their economy thrived off of slavery. It is fair to note that the slaves in the Roman Republic and the Empire helped build large constructions, palaces, ships, bridges, aqueducts, and worked in agricultural farms which produced large massive of agricultural produce. They were partly responsible for the cause of the rise of the Roman Empire in terms of output production, which helped the Roman Empire to expand its influences and conquer its neighboring states.

In Africa, the ancient Egypt thrived under the slavery economy in the Nile Valley and Nubia.  In fact, it might come with a surprise that slavery might have originated in Africa. And there are several sources by many scholars who decry that slave trade was the basis of African economic development. Hugh Thomas in The Slave Trade states that: “Slavery was a major institution in antiquity. Prehistoric graves in Lower Egypt suggest that a Libyan people of about 8000 BCE enslaved a Bushmen or Negrito tribe. The Egyptians later made frequent raids on principalities to the south and, during the Eighteenth Dynasty, also launched attacks by sea, to steal slaves from what is now Somaliland. Slaves helped to build the innovations of the world’s first agricultural revolution: the hydraulic system of China and the pyramids of Egypt” (Hugh, 25).

Before we continue to analyze what effects caused Slavery in Africa, it suffices to understand what slavery actually means without going out of our context. War and Slavery in Sudan by Jok Madut Jok defines slavery in the Sudanese contexts as: “The status of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised. Slave means a person in the condition or status of being owned. Slave trade is defined as all acts involved in the capture and acquisition of a person with the intent to sell, exchange, or dispose of him or her” (Jok, 3). Wherever slaves were enslaved, they worked in many different capacities from serving as chattels to fighting in battle zones as war soldiers.

Sudan, one of the earliest and oldest countries in Africa may posses the richest history of the origin of slavery in Africa. However, mapping the precise location of the origin of slavery in Africa might still be a myth to solve. “The history of slavery in this distant past is complex and more intricate than the map of the current wave of slavery” (Jok, 54). What caused the high demand for African slaves might have been the rise and expansion of Islam in North Africa, and the need for labor at fair market value. As slave owners was not subjected to paying wages for the slave labor, thus the demand for the slave labor had increased to most parts of the world, including the America South. Where the need for quality labor to work in plantations instituted an urgency of acquiring more cheap laborers, and thus the high rise demand of slaves in America South.

In Africa, slave trade was a thriving economy, with each slave traded equal the value of his or her physical appearance, age and gender. The stronger and healthier the male slave appeared, the higher the price he fetched. Female and children slaves were more valuable than male counterparts, simply because women would reproduce, and in doing so, would cause to raise the slave stock of the slave owner. The slaves that remained in Africa served in various capacities from benign to brutal conditions. Some slaves worked in fields of their masters, other worked in village households where they were treated more as part of the family members. “Those who worked in large labor camps such as plantations, mines, and heavy duty labors in West Africa were treated as chattels” (Collins and Burns).

“Most slaves farmed. Slaves also wove. Cotton textile production was probably the most important industry in the Sudan, but unlike smithing and leather, it was not confined to a castle” (Klein, 7). Not all slaves were confined to brutal conditions of farm and cotton weaving labor. Some slaves worked inside the household of their masters. Some served as drivers, fishers, ship pilots, and concierges of their owners. “There were also elite slaves. Wherever slavery existed, some slaves were powerful and privileged. In Societies where slavery did not evolve into a mode of production, slavery was primarily a means to recruit people who served the elite: eunuchs, concubines, servants, soldiers” (Klein, 7).

Slavery in Africa did not only base in West and North Africa, but it also extended as far as South Africa’s Dutch Cape Colony. “The Cape slave system possessed some unusual features. The small scale of most slaveholding units and the extremely diverse ethnic origin of slaves from a range of Africans and Asian societies, together with the limited development of a locally born slave population, meant that the potential for a clearly identifiable slave culture or unity was restricted, especially in the rural areas” (Worden, 7).

In Dutch Cape Colony, because the minority Dutch settlers were outnumbered by the slaves on a ratio of one-to-one, in order to best control their slave holdings, and for the fear of slave rebellion against the owners, slave owners resorted to draconian measures, a brutal and harsh form of capital punishment, worse than anywhere else. Here the slaves were more stationed in arable lands, than in urban centers. Slavery in the Cape was not abolished as in other parts of the world, but transformed into a more rigid and brutal racial discrimination, the apartheid, a philosophy that constitutes that each race has its own unique destiny and should be allowed to develop independently.

There are numerous numbers of discourses, either herein quoted, or not mentioned, which have their own interpretations on the development of slavery either in Africa or elsewhere. Whatever it is, slavery is the worst economic institution ever instituted in the history of mankind. Although slavery has now become part of our past, its past voices and cries in the darkness and the deserts of many nations in the world, still cry out loud to us beyond their graves, crying out loud, with one solemn ensemble, urging us, the people, everywhere on earth, to come together, as one peoples, and stop any form of inhumane treatment, anywhere, either it is in Congo, Darfur, or Afghanistan. Yes, slavery trade has been abolished, but still pawning of children still exist in many parts of the world, such as in Afghanistan.

Modern day slavery still exists everywhere, in Africa, USA, or the South America’s Amazon jungle or the mountains of India and Afghanistan. This modern day slavery, the mother root of all modern day atrociously socioeconomic oppression, is not based on harsh and brutal forced labor as its predecessor, but the ignorance of denying ones any opportunity to live in peace and harmony. Such as the case of Darfur, Congo, or even Zimbabwe, where economic and healthcare difficulties have plagued the people. I cannot disagree less to the subjugation of any form of inhumane, socio-economic oppression, and brutality, either it is the cause of slavery or socioeconomic disparity.

Bibliography

Thomas, Hugh. “The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870”. The Slave Trade. Simon and Schuster, 1999.
The Slave Trade is alive with villains and heroes and illuminated by eyewitness accounts.  Hugh Thomas’s achievement is not only to present a compelling history of the time but to  answer as well such controversial questions as whom the traders were, the extent of the  profits, and why so many African rulers and peoples willingly collaborated. Thomas also  movingly describes such accounts as are available from the slaves themselves.

Modut, Jok. “War and Slavery in Sudan”. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001.
War and Slavery in Sudan exposes the enslavement of black peoples in Sudan which has  been exacerbated, if not caused, by the circumstance of war. As a black southerner and a  member of the Dinka, a group targeted by Arab slave traders, Jok brings an insider’s  perspective to this highly volatile subject matter. He describes the various methods of  capture, explores the heinous experience of captivity, and examines the efforts of slaves  to escape.

Collins, R. Burns, J. “A History of Sub-Saharan Africa”. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
This book is the work of two historians who, between them, have been teaching Africa’s  history to American undergraduates for the better part of four decades. As any honest  professor of history will ruefully admit, those lecture notes become yellowed with age  when not continually revised to incorporate new information and interpretations. This is  particularly the case for the dynamic historiography of Africa.

Klein, Martin A. “Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa”. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998
This book warrants close attention and will open up new debates. It represents a major  and no doubt lasting contribution to slave studies and to African history in general. The  author begins with an overview of slavery in the Western Sudan as well as the now  familiar debates over the interpretation of slavery in Africa, although his discussion is  rather cursory and one-sided. Klein argues that slaves were property, produced by an act  of violence, and takes the discussion to 1960, the year of independence for Senegal, Mali  and Guinea.

Worden, Nigel. “Slavery in Dutch South Africa”. African Studies Series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
This first comprehensive analysis of slavery in early colonial South Africa, based on  research in Britain, the Netherlands and South Africa, examines the nature of Cape  slavery with reference to the literature on other slave societies. Dr Worden shows how  the slave economy developed in town and countryside, and discusses the dynamics of the  slave market, the growth of land concentration, the harsh life on the farm, and the  developing polarization of rural race relations.

The Fed to Take a Vacation on Interest Rates Cutting

Today, the Dow Jones closed below the 7,000 points, for the first time in 5 years.

So, until January 20, 2009, what is President Bush doing to help ease the market? Will playing the blame game with the Congress help ease the market?

According to the Press Release of October 8, 2008 by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Open Market Committee has decided to lower its target for the federal funds rate 50 basis points to 1.5 percent. The Committee took this action in light of evidence pointing to a weakening of economic activity and a reduction in inflationary pressures.

However, just a few weeks later, because of the collapse of some of the US financial institutions, on October 29; “the Fed further cut the interest rates to 1%, hoping to offset the sharp recent tightening in credit conditions that threatens to plunge a weakening US economy into a recession”.

The Press Release further states that the Fed Committee will monitor economic and financial developments carefully and will act as needed to promote sustainable economic growth and price stability.

Looking back, on May 16, 2000, the interest rates was at its peak high at 6.50%, only lower than the July 13, 1990, when it was at 8.00%, but since 2000, the Fed has been on a rampage, cutting down the interest rates, hoping to leverage the market.

As the Fed meets on December 16, 2008, I expect them to leave the interest rates at its current rate, 1%, but as the market starts to absorb the recently passed bailout money, I expect the Fed to again leave the interest rate at its current rate when they meet again on January 27-28, 2009.

As Obama settles in, and the financial market starts to stabilize as a direct result of the bailout rescue and the reassurance by the new Administration, when the Fed meets again on March 17, 2009, I expect them to raise the interest rate by a quarter of a point to 1.25%, in order to balance out the ripple effect of the bailout system.

However, as of today, at 3:30 pm, the major indices fall to session lows as financials (-8.9%) get clipped. The S&P 500, at 823.98, the NASDAQ at 1418.63, and the Dow at 8166.85, are poised to close at their lowest levels since 2003. The S&P 500 is only a few points above its 5-year intraday low of 818.69.

Thus the question remains, that between now and “then”, can we able to survive this financial turmoil, and what this all means for your wallet or business?