Friday, August 31, 2012

Clint Eastwood at RNC

"When somebody does not do the job, we've got to let them go."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My kind of politician

Had Paul Ryan run for president in the primaries earlier this year, he would have been my choice to be the GOP nominee for the US presidency, but he did not. The next best thing is to have him as the candidate for Vice-President. By selecting Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney has shown that he is very serious about making sure that the US will remain that shiny city on a hill by tackling the tough fiscal issues we are facing before they tackle us. Ethiopian-Americans should have many compelling reasons to support the Romney-Ryan ticket, one among which is the failure of the Obama Administration to do anything of significance as the Ethiopian regime eviscerated its political opponents under its watch. I regret my vote for Obama in 2008. I will certainly vote for the Republican ticket on November 6th.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Meles on the African Union

I do believe that every human being has at least one redeeming quality. Meles is not an exception to this and he certainly has had some. One of them was being a pragmatic and, perhaps, a staunch advocate of African solidarity as the video below shows. I am not trying to minimize his tyrannical qualities, which he obviously had many. I think it is only fair to see the man in his totality. I just wish he could have shown some pragmatism in dealing with his domestic critics, especially since 2005. I find it ironic that he referred to Mengistu as the butcher in this clip.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Good riddance Haile Gebrselassie!

After watching Haile Gebrselassie, a genuine sporting legend of our time, sing high praises to Meles Zenawi, the late Ethiopian dictator, I have to rescind the encouraging words I had for him three years ago in projecting him as an aspiring political leader that Ethiopians could look up to. Watch these two clips (forward to 3:48 and 1:05 respectively) and you be the judge.

The commentator on the clip below has expressed my sentiments about Haile's betrayal better than I could.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Washington Should Encourage Reforms

The Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank, says the departure of Meles offers the US "an unprecedented opportunity to encourage democracy and economic reform and bolster security partnership between the two nations." Is anyone at Arat Kilo listening? Read here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ethiopia After Meles

The International Crisis Group has a lengthy paper out titled "Ethiopia After Meles." It's a must read.
The government claims its socio-economic policies have produced sustainable internal development. However, many critics call them state-driven capitalism or authoritarian development, whose major beneficiaries are the political elite and their entourage, not the wider polity. While they have superficial similarity to those in China, they face greater challenges and are unlikely to work well in the long run. The system in Ethiopia was almost entirely dependent on Meles, whereas in China it is based on a party not as troubled by ethnic diversity and with a relatively effective mechanism for transferring power. Now that Meles is no longer at the helm, the Ethiopian elite may well pay a high cost for years of corruption and factionalism and of decreasing attention to the complexity of the society and its demands.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Meles has vanished for good

After two months of prevarications, the Woyane regime finally admitted today that Meles Zenawi has died. I do not feel sad that Meles is gone (he has too much blood in his hands), but I do feel sad for his children that he passed away so young.

Now that Meles is gone, what will the future hold for Ethiopia? Will the ruling clique seize this opportunity to bring those Ethiopians that have been excluded from the political process in the last two decades of Meles' rule? Knowing what I know about Ethiopians, I do not have high hopes that they will recognize the need for a reconciliation. But, who knows, only time will tell.

David Shinn, a former US ambassador to Ethiopia, gives his take on Meles' death to PRI's The Take Away (listen below). I think he gives a fair analysis of Meles as a person and his style of rule.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marathon Debacle

The Ethiopian Olympic men marathon team selection process was deeply flawed and it showed yesterday at the London Olympics as none of the Ethiopian athletes made it to the finish line. Here is how analyzed the selection when the team was announced back in May:
The Ethiopian team ended up being based solely on time, picking the runners with the fastest times in 2012 who had only run 1 marathon. The alternates thus are Markos Geneti and Tadesse Tola who were 3rd and 5th in Dubai.

That means Ethiopia's best marathoner the last four years, Tsegaye Kebede is not even an alternate.  After his London victory in 2010, Kebede was the top marathoner in the world. He was the Olympic bronze medalist in 2008 and the Worlds bronze medalist in 2009. This spring he finished third in London, which is without a doubt the most competitive marathon in the world. Gebre Gebremariam the 2010 Boston Champ, who was 3rd in Boston last year and 4th in New York, also won't be on the team.

If the team was solely going to be based on time, that criteria should have been announced in advance and people might have run different marathons. Regardless, considering all the unknowns in the marathon and different course conditions, going off of time in different races, is a poor way to pick the team.

It's hard to argue with the women's team selected as all 3 are sub 2:20 performers.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Bahraini Ethiopians

The London Olympics offers lots of interesting facts. One of them is how one's citizenship has become so fungible. A case in point: 10 out of the 12 athletes who represent Bahrain were born some place else, 7 of them in Ethiopia.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

"You didn't build that!"

Thanks to the redistributionist policies of President Barack Obama, American conservatives are finding their voices again. Surprisingly, they are making use of humor to make their points. Here is one such video from a cousin of Obama. It is entertaining. Enjoy!