Monday, September 29, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.’
* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.
* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Willow, Trig, and Track, you're a maverick.
* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded
* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive and next in line behind a man in his eight h decade.
* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and then left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a true Christian.
* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.
* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America's.
* If your husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DUI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Professor Julius O. Ihonvbere
Mr. Chairman, it is not my intention to speak for too long today. I would prefer to be brief and to leave enough time for discussions and questions. Let me also confess that I hurriedly put this lecture together in the last two hours or so. I think it does contain enough to generate some conversation. I have left out details of violence. I chose to focus on the conceptual aspects of the problem though I would use examples as necessary. I thank you for honoring me with your invitation. I commend you for your courage, vision and commitment to the truth in a society that is as decayed as ours.
Thirty seven years ago, a young, charismatic and courageous military officer declared in a coup broadcast:
Our enemies are the political profiteers, swindlers, the men in high and low places who seek bribes and demand ten percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers and VIPs of waste, the tribalists, the nepotists…(Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, January 1966 Coup Broadcast.)
Ladies and gentlemen, let me ask a few questions: Are the political profiteers gone from the Nigerian society? Are the bribe takers gone? Do they demand ten percent or more today? Are those that seek to keep Nigeria permanently divided gone? Are the VIPs of waste no longer with us? What about the tribalists? Are they gone? Are they weaker in their politics? What about the nepotists? Have they been reformed? If we can answer “yes” to one of these questions, we can end the lecture right here, go home, pop some champagne and sing halleluiah because our country has been reborn. Let me put it to you all (as if you did not already know) that our country is still in big trouble. These troubles were not created by some invisible elements or by God. They were generated and nurtured by people that live amongst us; people that we all know very well. In fact, in many instances we have encouraged and protected these characters and this attitude has emboldened them to take more risks in perpetuating their dubious agenda. Today, we are all paying very dearly for the indiscipline, irresponsibility, arrogance, limited vision, wickedness and greed of this group. Unfortunately, their pathological fixation of irresponsibility, nepotism, corruption, waste, and other lucrative unproductive but not really helpful ventures have percolated to the lowest ebbs of our society to such an extent that even ordinary people now mimic the decadent elite. This is very unfortunate for a creative and hardworking people.
It is the coalitions, contradictions, distortions and disarticulations arising from these factors and forces that shape the content and context of our politics and society. It is the inability of the state to emerge as a relatively autonomous force; the inability of the governing class to build hegemony and emerge as a ruling class; the contradictions of production and exchange relations; and the continuing marginal location and role of the social formation in the global power balances that have created the foundations for political rascality in Nigeria. Thus, rather than build structures, ideologies, relationships, networks, and enabling environments to build a nation-state (if not a nation) out of the contending diverse interests, identities and nationalities that occupy our political landscape, the opportunistic politics of the power elite has rather, congealed alternative sites of loyalty and power. It has enthroned and reified normless politics, alienated significant communities that continue to survive and operate outside the hegemony of the state, and promoted a culture of cynicism and reliance on extra-legal processes and actions that now guide relations between the people on the one hand and the state and its custodians on the other. It is not an accident therefore that informality and informal relations continue to reign supreme whether is it to get a job, scholarship, admission, contracts, relate to public institutions and officers or whatever, Nigerians consider first an informal approach before or alongside a formal one.
Text of public lecture delivered under the auspices of THE BREEZE MAGAZINE, Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos March 14, 2003
Read the rest of the lecture here:
Monday, September 15, 2008
Occidental College - Two years.
Columbia University - B.A. political science with a specialization in international relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude
& Biden :
University of Delaware - B.A. in history and B.A. in political science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)
United States Naval Academy - Class rank 894 out of 899 (meaning that, like George Bush, McCain was at the bottom of his class)
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in journalism
Now, which team are you going to hire to lead the most influential nation in the world?
Saturday, September 13, 2008
WHEREAS Mrs. Jacinta Mwatela has served diligently at CBK since 1977, rising to the position of Deputy Governor and,
WHEREAS Mrs. Jacinta Mwatela served faithfully and effectively in an acting capacity when former Governor Andrew Mullei was removed from the Governor’s office and,
WHEREAS Mrs. Jacinta Mwatela, an extraordinary banker and public servant has an exemplary record of service at the CBK showing a personal commitment and struggle to make the Bank a reputable and respectable institution in Africa and,
WHEREAS Mrs. Jacinta Mwatela’s "replacement and promotion" to the position of permanent secretary for the Ministry of Northern Kenya and Arid Lands was not inspired by a sense of gratitude for the 30 years of exemplary service she has given to the CBK and,
WHEREAS Mrs. Jacinta Mwatela should have been made Governor because she had the academic qualifications and work experience needed for that office and,
WHEREAS Mrs. Jacinta Mwatela has been outspoken and uncompromising on issues that have to do with procedure and accountability and,
WHEREAS Mrs. Jacinta Mwatela now finds herself fighting to keep her hard-earned position at the CBK
THE KENYAN DIASPORA PRO-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT WISHES TO STATE AS FOLLOWS:
THAT Mrs. Jacinta Mwatela’s purported removal from the office of the Deputy Governor of the CBK is illegal.
THAT the Government of Kenya has a constitutional obligation to respect the principal of the Central Bank’s independence which it subscribes to.
THAT the Government of Kenya has a constitutional obligation to keep politics out of the running of the CBK.
THAT decisions affecting the running of the CBK should not and must not be influenced by political considerations of a few power-hungry politicians.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Peter F. Drucker, a writer, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist” who was widely considered to be the father of “modern management,” in his 39 books and countless scholarly and popular articles explored how humans are organized across all sectors of society. More than 20 years ago he observed that the levels of management in large businesses are going to be reduced drastically in the next 20 years. He saw that the businesses will have no choice but to become information-based. According to him, the impact of computer technology on capital-investment decisions is going to be huge. Drucker rightly believed that before the advent of data-processing capacity using computer technology actual analysis used to take many years but now with a spreadsheet anyone can do the same work in few hours. He predicted that computer technology is going to eliminate all the layers of management levels and managers that function as boosters for the faint, unfocused signals that pass for communication in the traditional pre-information organization.Drucker believed that unlike today’s big companies, the large, information-based organizations will more likely resemble businesses of a century ago where all the knowledge lay with the very top people and the rest were helpers or hands.
When one looks at the various industries that we have, you notice that this kind of change can already be observed in pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and paper-making industries. In these research-oriented businesses, the traditional sequence of research, development, manufacturing, and marketing is being replaced by synchrony where specialists from all these functions work together as a team, from the inception of research to a product’s establishment in the market.
A keen observation at the development in the various industries shows that information-based organizations require clear, simple, common objectives that translate into particular actions. They also need concentration on one objective or at most, on a few. Because of this, an information-based business must be structured around goals that clearly state the management’s performance expectations for the enterprise and for each part and specialist and around organized feedback that compares results with these performance expectations so that every member can exercise self-control. The key to such a system is that everyone asks: Who in this organization depends on me for what information? And on whom, in turn, do I depend?
A number of management problems will surface in the information-based organizations. These will include developing rewards, recognition, career opportunities for specialists, creating unified vision in the organization of specialists, devising the management structure for an organization of task forces, ensuring the supply, preparation, and testing of top management people. The other challenge that information-based organizations face is giving its organization of specialists a common vision, a view of the whole.
Lastly, the hardest challenge will probably be to ensure the supply, preparation, and testing of top management people. With the number of middle-management positions sharply cut, where will the information-based organization’s top executives come from? What will be their preparation? How will they have been tasted?