Thursday, 16 January 2020

Liberians Must Reject Rabble Rousers - And Unite Instead To Transform Their Much-Troubled Nation

As Pan-Africanists, some of us want those who currently govern Nkrumah's Ghana to take an active interest in what is currently going on in Liberia - and work towards helping to bring tensions there under control. The last thing that the West African sub-region needs is for Liberian society to descend into chaos, yet again. God forbid.

We also understand clearly that whiles nation-building in Africa is an enormous task, it is also incredibly easy for clever and ambitious self-seekers, to destroy societies struggling to transition to the stable conditions needed to attract risk-taking impact-investors, with longterm-vision, prepared to do business in nations  with troubled-pasts, such as Liberia and Sierra Leone.

What such societies need above all is peace - and to focus on uniting as a people with a common destiny to fight the real enemies of our continent: poverty, ignorance, and the diseases that ravage whole communities. 

Liberians need to learn from the magnanimity former South African President, Madeba Nelson Mandela,  showed South Africa's whites, when he became South Africa's first elected Black African  leader - and put the past firmly behind them and unite to move forward together as one people with a common destiny. They must look to the future - and be guided by its promise today.

Furthermore, In today's Africa, no tribe is inferior or superior to another - and that is a message that needs drumming into the heads of all Liberians. It is absurd for so called Americo-Liberians to put on airs and think that they are superior to other Liberians. Ridiculous. All Liberians, whatever their ethnic heritage, are equal and full citizens of the Republic of Liberia (aka the Lone Star Republic).

The troubling thing about the current  situation in Liberia, is that there is something egregiously unconscionable about those who stir up the hornet's  nest in nations in which millions daily  struggle to make  ends meet, and then turn round to escape to the comfort of luxury-homes-in-exile in places such as the United States of America, when the heat is turned on them. That is cowardice. Liberians must reject such self-righteous adventurers-with-secret-agendas. Full stop.

Liberians must be wary and wise. Rome was not built in  a day. The question they must ponder over is: What do those who seek to create needless tension in their country have to offer them in terms of radical policy plans to transform their lives -  and leverage those policies to turn their  country into a prosperous and equitable society?

As someone who cares about the plight of a  resilient  and long-suffering people, whose nation is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, my prayer is that Liberians remain calm, reject the stealth-attempt to destabilise their nation in the name of fighting corruption, and think instead, of how to creatively leverage the many resources God blessed their land with, so generously, to enable them create a prosperous and all-inclusive society, which they can all benefit from, and be justly proud of.

As it happens, as we speak, some of us are actually working hard, to help implement this project in Liberia: We are also, as Pan-Africanist friends of Liberia, talking to a group of patriotic Liberians to introduce cutting-edge technology that will give truly affordable clean power, which never goes off, to Liberians across the whole of the landmass of that potentially super-rich nation.

That is what Liberia needs, not rabble rousers, perpetually dreaming of leading their nation,  willy-nilly  -   instead of working hard wherever in the world they are exiled, to bring investors to the Liberia that  they are today  busy destabilising: for their own selfish ends. If President Weah is indeed  corrupt there are legal and administrative   mechanisms in place to probe him. 

That should be the path for sensible and responsible people in Liberia to take. And, in any case, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists  (ICIJ), can work with the more responsible sections of the  Liberian media, to investigate those claims being made by some of  those who are unwittingly setting the clock back for Liberia and it's hapless, long-suffering people. Enough is enough. Liberians must reject rabble rousers - and unite instead to transform their much-troubled nation. Haaba.

Sunday, 12 January 2020

A Quick Note To The AUCC's Founder Hon. Kojo Yankah

Kudos to you and your very able team, Kojo. You can all be justly proud of yourselves. Our nation's amazing talent pool, is its secret weapon in the war  against poverty, disease  and ignorance, which,  as an aspirational African people,  we must win - to ensure the transformation needed to turn ours into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of  Scandinavia.

You and  your able team are adding to that talent pool, Kojo - which is why so many middle-class Ghanaians admire you. You are engaged in nation-building in the truest sense of the phrase - arming the nation's  future leaders with the requisite mindsets that solve society's challenges in creative fashion. Bravo.

Kojo, has it ever occurred to you that a source for the financing of a scholarship fund, for brilliant students from deprived backgrounds, and the entirety of the funding for the construction of a modern, world-class green-campus, at Winneba Junction, is actually available, so to speak?

Where and how, you might wonder? Kojo, as creative thinkers, we must move heaven and earth to help Raphael  Afordoanyi to patent and bring to market, his game-changing, clean energy stand-alone off-grid power system -  the serendipitous renewable energy sector invention that is the emission-free-holy-grail,  which is going to power the world with truly affordable electricity. In return, a portion of the profits will be set aside, by Raphael and his partners, to fund  private-sector tertiary education - beginning with the pioneering  African University College of Communications (AUCC),  which, thanks to your vision and  dedication, you and your team  helped midwife. Cool.

Sent from Samsung tablet.

Are Cyber-Criminals Using Short Codes To Dupe Mobile Phone Users In Ghana?

Is it the case, one wonders, that a massive fraud is being perpetrated on innocent mobile device users, across Ghana,  on all the cellular networks in our country? One hopes not. However, something very odd is definitely going on in the telecoms sector that shouldn't be happening. 

Not being tech-savvy, my Android tablet is merely a convenient tool, which essentially enables me post articles online. Naturally, it also enables me to communicate with individuals and sundry entities in my network of contacts. 

I noticed, earlier today, when I saw an SMS text message informing me that my dear sister had tried to call me, and that I should call her back, that there was also another SMS  message, apparently sent on 08/01/20, which had also been sent to that selfsame  AirtelTigo number of mine.

This is the content of the said SMS message: "You've subscribed to the product Bet Correct! To unsubscribe send  STOP BC  to 6555!" Yet, I have never subscribed to any such service - and not being a betting man, I find that one particularly galling. 

The question is: How come I was sent such a message when I have never actually subscribed  to such a service before? What is going on? Such things ought not to happen in a nation with data privacy laws.

Could sending the text message 'STOP BC'  to the short code 6555, as directed, possibly result in the transfer of funds from my AirtelTigo voice and data bundle account, to whoever set up that short code account, perhaps? Not being tech-savvy, I am aware that I might be talking complete  nonsense techwise. But how did I end up 'subscribing' to a service I have never knowingly subscribed to? 

There are similar messages of phantom subscriptions on my MTN voice call number - all of which I have never knowingly subscribed to: and which I apparently have to send 'STOP' messages to short code numbers, if I want to stop receiving them. I called the MTN call centre number 100 to complain. Incredibly,  the result has rather  been that there has been a deluge of such messages -  and my phone's messaging inbox is now being flooded with them.

The hardworking Kofi Kapito's Consumer Protection Agency, ought to approach the telcos through their industry lobbying platform, the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications,  to ensure that this outrage is halted immediately. The question is: Are cybercriminals now using shortcodes and text messages directing users to sundry online ecommerce platforms, such as 'Marketplace',  to dupe  and exploit mobile phone users in Ghana? Hmmmm, Oman Ghana eyeasem ooooo - asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa. Yooooo...

Friday, 10 January 2020

A Quick Note To My Favourite Nephew Eugene Kofi Boakye-Yiadom

Ebeeii, Kofi. So you haven't had time to see the admin-people at the Pathology Department, of the University of Ghana Medical School,  yet? Hmmm, young people paaa, di3. Massa, my ghost will be cross with you, if you let me die and my body just goes to feed termites, oooo. Yoooo...

Kofi, my wish there is simple: that the students and faculty at the Pathology Department,  get a cadaver with detailed information, about how I lived my life, whiles alive. Nothing complicated, Massa. 

For example, as a writer, I would like them to examine my brain in detail, to see if something in there made my writing possible.  Ditto one's gift for envisioning possibilities that defy current accepted thinking, and strategising to make that vision possible-reality,  through the most capable individuals, in one's network.

And, did the fact that most of my life was spent indoors, impact my lungs? And did the fact that I did aerobic exercises regularly, have a bearing on my lifespan, lenghtwise?

I doubt that they would  have ever got such detailed information from any Ghanaian, donating his or her body, to the University of Ghana Medical School's Pathology Department, thus far. Kofi, that information will be my widow's mite contribution to expanding the  frontiers  of medical science in Ghana.

Massa, these are important matters, which, you, as a dutiful and caring nephew, should take seriously, oooo. Yooooo. Don't forget that for us Akans, good and harworking nephews, are cherished by their uncles. Massa, be careful, oooo. Hmmm...

Finally, seriously, though, please seek out Professor Aaron Lawson,  and tell him you are taking care of one of  my last wishes, and want him to ensure a smooth process for me. Simple. Go and get it done, Massa. Haaba.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

What Ends Do Those Who Allegedly Altered The Ghana Standards Authority’s GS1099: 2019 Ultimately Seek?

Civil society organisations focusing on human rights advocacy in Ghana, ought to speak out against  the attempt by dark forces in our country to use the digitisation of the broadcasting industry, to empower the State to surreptitiously control free-to-air television broadcasting, through the back door. 

As a freedom-loving people, Ghanaians do not want their right to express themselves freely, to be restricted under any circumstances. Full stop. And they most definitely do not want the era of the culture of silence to be brought back again by the encryption of digital television decoders, for example, by assigns of the National Communications Authority and the Ministry of Communications. No. Never.

That is why one wonders whether the tussle between the Ministry of Communications and the Ghana Independent  Broadcasters Association (GIBA), over ultimate control of digital terrestrial  television  and direct-to-home receivers,  is not yet  another  egregious example of how Ghana's best elected leader, thus far, since the overthrow of President Nkrumah in 1966, the incorruptible President Akufo-Addo, is being sabotaged left, right and centre by our nation's vampire-élites in the higher reaches of the civil service, as some allege.  

President Akufo-Addo is a committed  democrat and human rights advocate, who understands perfectly that it is only when society fosters competition of ideas in the public-discourse-space,  that the best ideas emerge to drive nations forward - in the never-ending-march-towards-progress. How can such back-door control of the digital terrestrial television industry be attempted by elements in a regime led by him?

The question all freedom-loving Ghanaians ought to ponder over is:  What ends do those who have been accused of altering the GSA’s recently-revised standard GS1099: 2019, on digital terrestrial television and direct-to-home receivers (which ensured a non-mandatory conditional access system for free-to-air television receivers - a development that GIBA apparently welcomed when published on 18 December 2019), actually seek?

The more responsible sections of the Ghanaian media ought to investigate this allegation by GIBA. And, in so doing, the question they ought to ponder over is: What ends do those who allegedly altered the Ghana Standards Authority’s GS1099: 2019, ultimately seek? Hmmm, Oman Ghana eyeasem ooooo - asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa. Yooooo...

Sunday, 5 January 2020

A Quick Note To A Rocha Ghana's Daryl Bosu

Bless you, Daryl. Well said, young man. Make the business of shaping our society  into one in which all the people, not just a powerful and well-connected few, benefit from our nation's considerable wealth, your individual concern too. I believe it is called apolitical-politics.

What we need, as an aspirational and peace-loving African people, is a new kind of politics -  in which our younger generations put aside the narrow-mindedness of the NPP/NDC duopoly's self-serving, nation-wrecking pork-barrel-politricks  - and focus instead on making Ghana one of the most prosperous nations on earth, by harnessing the energy from your generation's amazing world-class talent-pool.

The goal of your generation, ought to be the creation of a new green e-society, in which all enjoy a high standard of living, and have a good quality of life, resulting from the deliberate prioritising of environmental policies designed  to make our homeland Ghana, a nation whose people enjoy the manifold blessings of the world's biggest  tree-cover.

As my widow's mite contribution to that noble nation-building goal, my humble advice to your generation, as you take over the baton of leadership, is that you can make a good start by collaborating with your counterparts in Estonia, to digitise our system rapidly. Think of the jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities that would create.

Finally, sea-level-rise is occurring, from the melting of ice sheets and thermal water expansion resulting from ocean-warming. To help save Ghana's coastal fishing communities, collaborate with your cousins from Senegal, to regrow the mangrove forests along our coastline - decimated by decades of egregious pollution. Just my two pesewas, Daryl.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Can Protests Against The Destruction Of The Atewa Forest Reserve Eventually Cause Regime-Change In Ghana?

Will the feared consequences of climate-change-impacts harboured by protesting citizens cause the forced removal of governments around the world ignoring those fears? Could protests against the destruction of the Atewa Forest Reserve cause the forced removal of the present regime in Ghana?

The problem with raging climate change controversies worldwide, is that many on the opposing sides appear to forget that on the scale of geological time, it is the human race that actually faces extinction - because humankind's only home, our biosphere, eventually becomes uninhabitable for human beings. Simple. Definitely not rocket science.

Regardless of the damage caused by humans, today, or tomorrow, in a few million years, the planet Earth will recover and thrive again - if it isn't smashed into smithereens by an object from the universe before then, that is: long after the extinction of hard-of-hearing-humans. Case closed. End of story.

Fellow Ghanaians, it is in that light that the tragic-and-apocalyptic-disaster, which the refusal of successive climate-change-era Ghanaian governments to rescind the shortsighted decision to mine its bauxite deposits and thus destroy the Atewa Forest Reserve in the process, represents, ought to be seen. As a national park, the Atewa Forest Reserve will become a valuable and sustainable green economic pillar creating wealth and jobs galore.

An example of such a valuable local green economic pillar is our capital city of Accra's famed Legon Botanical Gardens. Every visitor to the gardens sees the many jobs, which that well-run and profitable green business has created. And they also see how a haven of nature that size (in which stressed-out visitors can go to commune with Mother Nature in serene surroundings), in  a major city, benefits society in terms of it being a carbon sink and source of fresh air in a metropolis whose air-quality is deteriorating steadily.

Consequently, if even gold deposits were found under the Legon Botanical Gardens, for the thousands who visit it regularly to commune with Mother Nature, it would be madness for anyone to allow it's destruction in order to mine the hypothetical-gold-deposit discovered underneath it - which is why they won't stand for it. Ever.

It is a powerful green-economy-fact-on-the-ground-narrative, so to speak, in the conversation about how best, as a people, we can achieve all the UN SDGs, without destroying the natural environment's ecosystems that benefit us and ensure a good quality of life for our people.

In the climate change era, to ensure longterm prosperity, the enterprise Ghana needs more brilliant green entrepreneurs, such as the hardworking and innovative Kofi Boakye-Yiadom, the CEO of the Legon Botanical Gardens - not sodden ruthless miners. Haaba. The greener a nation is, as our biosphere warms up, the more resilient is its system that powers it's prosperity as a society in which no one is left behind. Full stop.

Yes, ours is a democracy, but Ghanaians do not elect governments on the basis that having come to power, governments of the day are then free to disregard the citizenry's legitimate and genuine concerns, about environmental policy issues that affect their collective-well-being, and are existential-and-apocalyptic, in nature.

All the members of Ghana's political class need to understand clearly that right across our homeland Ghana, the norms underpinning governance in traditional societies, of all ethnic groupings, sanction the forceful removal of obdurate rulers, in common-good-matters pertaining to the collective well-being of ordinary people, which are existential and have apocalyptic consequences.

The planned destruction of the Atewa Forest Reserve to mine its bauxite deposits is a clear and present danger to the collective well-being of the millions of Ghanaians, whose treated water supplies are sourced from the three major river systems that the Atewa Forest Reserve serves as watershed for - the Birim, the Densu and Ayensu rivers.

The question is: In the climate change era, should any elected Ghanaian government that attempts to mine bauxite in the Atewa Forest Reserve, be forcefully removed from power - because the destruction of that unique and biodiversity-rich upland evergreen rainforest will ruin the quality of life, and lower the living standards, of millions of ordinary people in southern Ghana? Hmmm, Oman Ghana eyeasem ooooo - asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa. Yooooo...

Friday, 3 January 2020

Tribute To A Dying Dear Friend

Margie Dearest,

I have immortalised you in the only heartfelt way I know how to - by posting an email I last sent you, on my blog;  on the walls of my three Facebook pages (The Big Issue Ghana Facebook page, Kofi Thompson Facebook page,  and Akyem Abuakwa Juaso Nature-Resource Reserve Facebook page); and on, the link to which is posted below.

I don't think you quite understood just  how much your open-mindedness impacted my life. Positively. That humane philosophy of yours,  was the bedrock on which all my    face-to-face interactions with other people were anchored, after learning it from you. How lucky for me.

It is a philosophy-of-peace-and-humility  that blesses one with the gift of a super-clear-prism through which individuals of all hues are seen and consequently  interacted with - in awareness-enhancing-conversations in which   shared lived-experiences, in the journey called life, devoid of prejudice and stereotyping, are exchanged.

Thank you for that blessing. Unfortunately, today's world is dominated by populism, which is driven by the backlash against political correctness. It is an era that needs your philosophy-of-tolerance. Definitely.

And thank you for your pure inter-racial-friendship with me, which was  based on mutual respect - a friendship of shared-experiences  that one daily prays many in your racial demographic, would be blessed to have too.

Alas, sadly, not many of them are so lucky to be free of the narrow-mindeded-world-view, which  unfortunately drives Western civilisation's  many little-Hitlerites,  of today.

As you know, many of them are so full of hatred - hatred that spews terrible-hate-speech: and even drives the unfortunately-unhinged-ones amongst them, to commit mass murder, on occasion.

One is also aware that  many might disapprove of such a tribute - but one is confident that in reading this particular one,  to you, your only reaction will be to chuckle, and say to yourself:"How creative of Kofi, my special friend from Ghana!"

Thanks once again for your friendship, Margie. Words cannot describe what you meant to me.

And I shall always remember that you once developed cabin fever whiles staying with me in McCarthy Hill - which made for an afternoon dash for a stroll along the beach near the Panbros saltponds, that ended with you desperate for water, because you were parched. Literally.

And one also recalls the tears streaming down one's face as you stood at the entrance to the departure lounge at Accra's international airport (now a wondrous sight to behold: a bold statement of my beautiful country's status as a middle-income nation), leading to my not daring to  look back  at you waiting for me to turn my head in your direction to wave you goodbye.

You probably felt it strange that I rather chose to look straight ahead from the passenger seat, staring at the taxi's windscreen and quietly shedding tears at your leaving, because one  sensed that somehow one would never see you again. Such is life, my friend.

Goodbye, dear special friend. Go in peace - for you were a true  Amazom-Queen-of-Peace; a courageous thing to be, in a melting-pot-society, still wracked by  the many unrighted-wrongs of the slavery-era, which  singes the soul of your great nation. We will never forget you - and you will stay in our memories till our own dying day.

Finally, please click on the link  below to see the way I have immortalised you online, knowing it will remain on the Internet, till the very end of time. Cool:

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

An Email To A Dying Friend

Margie Dearest,
On new year's day, today, the world begins an exciting new decade - in a biosphere now being impacted positvely by demonstrating-millions, many of them  teenagers. We thank God Almighty for that.

Those brave young people around the globe, are clearly no longer willing to have their collective futures stolen from them, by greedy individuals, and super-ruthless corporations. Cool.

They are demanding action to halt the activities of those responsible for the egregious atmospheric pollution, and abominable  environmental degradation,  resulting in habitat loss leading to the wiping out of scores of biodiversity hotspots, globally. 

I am sure that  you will also be praying that for the sake of humankind's  younger generations, action will be taken by the leaders of the world's nation's - because you are  keen to see that humankind succeeds in averting   the  looming climate-change-tipping-point-of-no-return.

On our part, our new year's wish for you, Margie dearest, is that your hardworking and devoted carers, at the Hospice you are now in, will continue to love you - because of your extraordinary-broadmindedness and concern for  the well-being of all those you come into contact with daily: and have done throughout your very interesting curiosity-laden-life thus far.

As you are acutely aware, we are all mortal beings, who will all eventually transit this earth, when our time comes, to end up on the other side - to be on a different plane in the universe. Perhaps. Who knows?

You are lucky in the sense that you are  ahead of many,  and happen to be  in the VIP departure lounge, so to speak. Cool. Stay well, dear friend.

We pray for you daily - that you will have the strength and imagination daily  to take each day's offerings filled with a spirit-of-equanimity.
Happy New Year,  Margie dearest!


PS If you can manage it WhatsApp me: +233576564600. We can have the inspiring voice calls we started our journey of friendship, off with,  as it draws to a close for you.

We shall cherish memories of your  beautiful and honest soul to our dying day. You are loved and missed,  Margie dearest!

Monday, 30 December 2019

Is Ghana Finally On The Cusp Of Converting Its Agricultural Sector Into Certified And Traceable Organic Production?

I am not a fan of Ghana's mainstream media. Never have been. It is mostly not-fit-for-purpose. Ghanaian media professionals are often lazy, corrupt, narrow-minded and clueless.

Who in Ghana has ever heard any media professional denouncing the concentration of media in the hands of a powerful few in Ghana, for example? Yet, that is a huge contributory factor to the needless polarisation of Ghanaian society, today.

Furthermore, if they were fit-for-purpose, why, dear reader, have they still not yet cottoned on to the import of  the latest statement by Hon. Professor Frimpong-Boateng - that the government will facilitate the patenting of two major agricultural-sector inventions by Apostle Kojo Safo Kantanka, I ask?

Yet, it is by far the most important development, in GhanaIan agriculture, ever, in our entire history - as a proud African  people,  since our country's landmass was unfortunately occupied by sundry sly-European-colonialists,  not too long after 1471, with the last, the British, occupying it from 1867 to 1957.

Those two aforementioned inventions (natural folair fertilisers and organic weedicide), by Apostle Kojo Safo Kantanka, when produced commercially, will empower farmers across Ghana to swiftly convert to organic farming. Fantastic. The health of millions of Ghanaians will improve dramatically when that transformation happens.

And, thank goodness, it will enable us return to producing and eating only organic food - which was our way of life before we encountered the double-edged sword that is Western civilisation, in 1471: with the arrival of the first Portuguese explorers on our shores.

Above all, it will finally enable our country to ensure the longterm survival of the vital cocoa industry - because it will enable us convert all cocoa farms to certified and traceable organic cocoa production: and put us in pole position as the world's largest producers of certified and traceable organic  cocoa beans. Wow.

We must thank Apostle Kojo Safo Kantanka for that -  and be eternally grateful to President Akufo-Addo's administration  for  making possible that long held dream, which some of us have doggedly fought for, over the past two decades, in countless print and online articles, which complacent  officialdom have always ignored. Pity.

Fellow Ghanaians, thanks to Apostle Kojo Safo Kantanka,  if the right measures are put in place by officialdom, we could actually finally be on the cusp of becoming the first nation in the world,  to convert its entire agricultural  sector, into one anchored on the bedrock of certified and traceable organic farming. Wow. Roll on 2020. Cool.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

An Open Letter To Kojo Derban - A World-Class Ghanaian Genuis-Architect

Kojo, I wasn't able to comment on your amazing album collection posted on your Facebook wall,  yesterday,  because I was multitasking,  and it eventually escaped me.

(Try not to grow old,  if you can manage that, Kojo. Sometimes I go round the house looking for stuff I forgot to put in their usual positions - only to realise they had been there all the time: except that the usual resting place had completely escaped me. Such is life. But I digress.)

Wow. What a collection. Ever thought of  photographing the album covers individually - and seeking the help of those in auction houses, such Christie's and Sotheby's, with the relevant expertise, to value them? Cool.

And what a lovely home you've created for yourself, and your young family. Really beautiful. Good taste. Nothing chi-chi in sight - quite a  relief from the delusions-of-grandeur of our nation's nouveau riche that get plastered on social media: and offend the sensibilities of sensitive souls. 

Incidentally, come to think of it, nothing stops us from having that pending conversation via WhatsApp, does it? Send me a hello chat message at: +233576564600. Let's do it. And may 2020 be the year when you do yet more projects that will let you indulge in your seventies-passion without restraint. Life is short, Massa.

Finally, since you personify that demographic, it applies to you too, oooo, Kojo: There are those who posit that the enterprise  Ghana has prospered mainly  because of the hardwork and sense of initiative of its middle-classes. They make their fortunes and enjoy the many quiet pleasures it affords them - and leave the dirty business of the  running of their nation (it is called politics, I believe), to a bunch of mostly incompetent round-pegs-in-round-holes, often without moral-compasses, who mainly go into politics to enrich themselves, at Mother Ghana's expense.

The question is: When will this brilliant, innovative and vital-for-nation-building fence-sitting-demographic clearly understand that they will continue to be irked by the incompetents making a hash of transforming our system, if they themselves don't get off the fence, and start  taking on the daunting task of transforming Ghana  into an African equivalent of the egalitarian societies of Scandinavia, themselves? Hmmm, Oman Ghana eyeasem ooooo - asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

Sent from Samsung tablet.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

An Open Letter To Tablet - Google's Parent Company

Dear Tablet,

Happy holidays! It strikes one, at the cusp of a new decade, that should the need ever arise for you to find a permanent solution, to the ever-present threat posed by sundry regulators, and busybody-politicians around the globe, seeking to break up your very useful business, in future, your company could have recourse to a sure-fire counter-strategy that is also very creative in nature. 

As it happens, Google is already collaborating with Ghana on AI-related research, if my memory serves me right. The question is: With those two aforementioned threat-scenarios, above, in mind, would it not benefit your company enormously to found an independent and sovereign  island city-state, of your own?

How, you might wonder? Simple. Really. The question is: Why does Tablet not purchase the biggest island in the Volta Lake, in Ghana, in a territorial-acquisition-deal with the government of Ghana - similar to that which the UK struck with China after the Opium wars of  1842 and 1860, and the subsequent leasing of the New Territories for 99 years, from 1898?

Tablet would then turn it into an independent, state-of-the-art high-tech, island city-state, for 99 years, paying Ghana U.S.$15 billion upfront,  and annual ground rent of say U.S. $2.5 billion, renewable every 10 years. 

As an independent sovereign island city-state, no one would demand that you pay initiative-hampering-taxes, and, best of all,  no one would dare to try and break up your very dynamic and innovation-driven company, which benefits humankind hugely, in so many ways, despite  the unfair criticism it attracts from certain quarters that overlook the very real freedom-limiting threats posed to humankind  by organised cybercrime-syndicates and murderous terrorist groups.

Some of us would rather forgo unfettered privacy,  if in exchange it makes us  become safe from brutish jihadist terrorists groups in West Africa, such as Boko Haram, Islamic State in the Greater Sahara,  Ansaroul Islam, and the Macina Liberation Front - all of which have plans to spread southwards from Mali and Burkina Faso.

The benefits of striking a territorial-acquisition-deal with Tablet, for Ghana, is that your company would, as a CSR good-neighbourliness initiative, constantly collaborate closely with the Ghanaian authorities, in an all-out drive to enable Ghana digitise  it's entire system, swiftly, with built-in upgrades, and give young people here, free Internet access, for example.

Technology, not the shortsighted and stupid destruction  of our priceless  natural heritage, would  underpin our transformation into a prosperous and all-inclusive society - making our homeland Ghana a green and pleasant land in which the citizenry enjoy a good quality of life (ranking amongst the best in the world), and are blessed to have one of humankind's highest living standards, globally.

Above all, as terrorism spreads southwards from Mali and Burkina Faso,  leveraging Tablet's expertise and access to high resolution satellite imagery,  day and night, would enable Ghana to deal effectively with that latent threat  to its stability 24/7, all-year-round,  and thus enable its citizens to continue enjoying the relatively peaceful environment they are privileged to live in. May that crucial win-win  territorial-acquisition-deal be struck in 2020. Cool.


Kind regards,


Monday, 23 December 2019

Southern Baptist Convention: Resolution On Moral Character Of Public Officials

WHEREAS, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NAS); and

WHEREAS, Serious allegations continue to be made about moral and legal misconduct by certain public officials; and

WHEREAS, The Bible calls upon all citizens to submit themselves to their governing authorities as ministers of the Lord (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13); and

WHEREAS, Scripture further teaches, “Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Romans 13:2); and

WHEREAS, Governing authorities are not themselves exempt from the rule of law and must submit to the nation’s statutes, rather than mocking them (Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:14; Proverbs 19:28-29; 2 Samuel 12:7; Mark 6:17-18); and

WHEREAS, Some journalists report that many Americans are willing to excuse or overlook immoral or illegal conduct by unrepentant public officials so long as economic prosperity prevails; and

WHEREAS, Tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment (1 Kings 16:30; Isaiah 5:18-25); and

WHEREAS, Many public officials and candidates deserve our gratitude and support for their consistent moral character and their uncompromising commitment to biblical principles of right and wrong, resulting in blessing upon their people.

Therefore, be it RESOLVED, That we, the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 9-11, 1998, in Salt Lake City, Utah, affirm that moral character matters to God and should matter to all citizens, especially God’s people, when choosing public leaders; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we implore our government leaders to live by the highest standards of morality both in their private actions and in their public duties, and thereby serve as models of moral excellence and character; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge all citizens, including those who serve in public office, to submit themselves respectfully to governing authorities and to the rule of law; and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists and other Christians to fulfill their spiritual duty to pray regularly for the leaders of our nation (1 Timothy 2:1-4); and

Be it finally RESOLVED, That we urge all Americans to embrace and act on the conviction that character does count in public office, and to elect those officials and candidates who, although imperfect, demonstrate consistent honesty, moral purity and the highest character.

View all 1998 Resolutions.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Christianity Today/Mark Galli: Trump Should Be Removed from Office


Trump Should Be Removed from Office

It’s time to say what we said 20 years ago when a president’s character was revealed for what it was.
In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith. The impeachment of Donald Trump is a significant event in the story of our republic. It requires comment.

The typical CT approach is to stay above the fray and allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square, to encourage all to pursue justice according to their convictions and treat their political opposition as charitably as possible. 

We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum, and reminds everyone that politics is not the end and purpose of our being. We take pride in the fact, for instance, that politics does not dominate our homepage.

That said, we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear—always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love. We love and pray for our president, as we love and pray for leaders (as well as ordinary citizens) on both sides of the political aisle.

Let’s grant this to the president: The Democrats have had it out for him from day one, and therefore nearly everything they do is under a cloud of partisan suspicion. This has led many to suspect not only motives but facts in these recent impeachment hearings. And, no, Mr. Trump did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story in the House hearings on impeachment.

But the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.

The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone—with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders—is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused.

Trump’s evangelical supporters have pointed to his Supreme Court nominees, his defense of religious liberty, and his stewardship of the economy, among other things, as achievements that justify their support of the president. We believe the impeachment hearings have made it absolutely clear, in a way the Mueller investigation did not, that President Trump has abused his authority for personal gain and betrayed his constitutional oath. The impeachment hearings have illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see. 

This damages the institution of the presidency, damages the reputation of our country, and damages both the spirit and the future of our people. None of the president’s positives can balance the moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.

This concern for the character of our national leader is not new in CT. In 1998, we wrote this:
The President's failure to tell the truth—even when cornered—rips at the fabric of the nation. This is not a private affair. For above all, social intercourse is built on a presumption of trust: trust that the milk your grocer sells you is wholesome and pure; trust that the money you put in your bank can be taken out of the bank; trust that your babysitter, firefighters, clergy, and ambulance drivers will all do their best. And while politicians are notorious for breaking campaign promises, while in office they have a fundamental obligation to uphold our trust in them and to live by the law.
And this:
Unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead.
Unfortunately, the words that we applied to Mr. Clinton 20 years ago apply almost perfectly to our current president. Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election—that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.

To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: Remember who you are and whom you serve. Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come? Can we say with a straight face that abortion is a great evil that cannot be tolerated and, with the same straight face, say that the bent and broken character of our nation’s leader doesn’t really matter in the end?

We have reserved judgment on Mr. Trump for years now. Some have criticized us for our reserve. But when it comes to condemning the behavior of another, patient charity must come first. So we have done our best to give evangelical Trump supporters their due, to try to understand their point of view, to see the prudential nature of so many political decisions they have made regarding Mr. Trump. To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence. And just when we think it’s time to push all our chips to the center of the table, that’s when the whole game will come crashing down. It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern.

Mark Galli is editor in chief of Christianity Today.

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The French Press/The Dispatch/David French: Christianity Today Exposed the Reality of Evangelical Division

This week, Christianity Today, a deeply respected Christian magazine (the analogy is imprecise, but think of it like an Evangelical version of National Review, but focused on theology and church life) ignited a days-long firestorm when it published an editorial declaring, “Trump Should Be Removed From Office.” The piece directly referred to the magazine’s stand against Bill Clinton in 1998, and then ended with these direct and unsparing words:
We have reserved judgment on Mr. Trump for years now. Some have criticized us for our reserve. But when it comes to condemning the behavior of another, patient charity must come first. So we have done our best to give evangelical Trump supporters their due, to try to understand their point of view, to see the prudential nature of so many political decisions they have made regarding Mr. Trump. To use an old cliché, it’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence. And just when we think it’s time to push all our chips to the center of the table, that’s when the whole game will come crashing down. It will crash down on the reputation of evangelical religion and on the world’s understanding of the gospel. And it will come crashing down on a nation of men and women whose welfare is also our concern.
The president has responded, falsely calling it a “far left magazine” (it’s theologically orthodox and relatively centrist). Pro-Trump Christian leaders have responded. Christianity Today’s web servers were strained by the traffic. Think pieces are flooding Christian media, and all-out Twitter brawl is under way.
But why? Hasn’t all this been litigated before? Didn’t the failure of the “Against Trump” issue of National Review show that magazines should stop telling people how to think? Hasn’t the Evangelical rank-and-file moved on from hand-wringing about Trump, and aren’t they all aboard the Trump train? And, if so, why did virtually all of Trump’s big Evangelical defenders train their fire on Christianity Today? That’s the conventional wisdom, at least.
In fact, however, the alleged Evangelical monolith is more conflicted than outside observers understand, and Donald Trump’s unique presidency is placing more strain on theologically serious Evangelicals than most Americans perceive.
I added theology as a qualifier because not all self-described “Evangelicals” share the same beliefs or the same faith habits. Exit poll questions about religious identity are far too imprecise to provide true insight into a complex community. Many people who describe themselves as “Evangelical” simply because it’s the best option in a limited exit-poll menu don’t go to church often and don’t subscribe to all the key tenets of Evangelical belief. When they hear “Evangelical” they often interpret it as “politically conservative Christian.” To understand the malleability of the definition, look at this chart, from an NPR story collecting data on different definitions of Evangelicalism:
Christianity Today is not a magazine for the 35 percent. It’s a magazine for the 6 percent, and its editorial is article aimed like an arrow at that audience. Many of the 35 percent not only don’t share the same theological beliefs as that smaller cohort, they’re completely indifferent to Evangelical documents like the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1998 Resolution on Moral Character of Public Officials. If you ask them if they believe (to quote the resolution) that “tolerance of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment.” They’ll have a one-word answer: “Nope.”
But the 6 percent is different—and Trump’s more savvy Evangelical defenders know it. Christianity Today’s audience represents their colleagues and peers. The 6 percent represents the Americans who tend to affirm all nine conventional theological criteria of Evangelical orthodoxy:
They say they have made “a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today,” that their faith is very important in their life today; believe that when they die they will go to Heaven because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior; strongly believe they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; firmly believe that Satan exists; strongly believe that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; strong agree that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; strong assert that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches; and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today.
These Americans—who possess a very high view of God’s sovereignty and are disproportionately engaged in the ministry of the church—look at the language from the Southern Baptist resolution, take a deep breath, and worry. In fact, they worry about a lot of things. They worry about abortion, about religious liberty, about racial reconciliation, and the church’s public witness. Also, the 6 percent isn’t all “white Evangelical.” It’s multi-ethnic, and when the views of non-white Evangelicals are taken into account, the gap between Trump and Clinton narrows significantly.
Moreover, the Trump administration is putting this 6 percent in a continual, relentless, and escalating bind. It would be one thing if Christians held their nose in 2016, voted for a man with a checkered past, and then he not only delivered on judges but also behaved like a decent human being in office. Trump has delivered on judges, to be sure, but  he has behaved abominably (it’s not just “mean tweets”; I don’t take seriously anyone who boils his misconduct down to mere “rudeness” or “bad tweets”) even as he also demands extraordinary and effusive public loyalty from his allies.
In normal circumstances, Christians could clearly and consistently call out Trump’s misdeeds while they applaud his good decisions. But those who consistently seek his ear often feel like they cannot do that. They must circle the wagons around Trump. So at best, they’ll remain silent when he does plainly terrible things. At worst, they’ll become like those who the Prophet Isaiah condemned: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.”
The pressure is substantial. To make Trump’s election “worth it,” it’s necessary to secure policy victories. To keep securing policy victories, one may stay close to Trump. Staying close to Trump all too often forces Christians to defend the indefensible.
While Christians can in good conscience vote for Republicans or Democrats (or for a third party), it’s simply wrong to condemn actions in the other party that you rationalize from your own president (or worse, to condemn actions from others even as you excuse or ignore more egregious conduct from your own side). It’s wrong to conveniently adjust your theology to meet the political needs of the moment. Yet that’s what many members of the 6 percent have done. They’ve compromised to a point that would be unrecognizable and offensive to the person they were even as recently as 2015, and many of those individuals are deeply uncomfortable with their decision.
Trump’s most zealous Christian defenders feel no such conflict. But they know something that most readers of the New York Times don’t. They know that the heart of the church is torn, and that many of the faithful—especially those middle-aged and younger—who show up to worship services every week, who perform the lion’s share of the ministry and work of the church, and who are most likely to interact with non-Christians at work and in school, see the cost of the Trump alliance, and despair.
In that context, each public Christian voice who declares he or she is not afraid to face a future without Trump—and that there is a spiritual aspect to political choices that can’t be measured in statute books or judicial nominations—encourages other Christians who share the same concerns. Ever-so-slightly, it shifts the terms of the debate. It decreases the perceived isolation of the Trump-skeptical Evangelical, and it reinforces the idea that one can oppose Trump while not compromising one inch on underlying theological and cultural commitments to life, religious liberty, and the family.
As I read the Christianity Today essay, I was reminded once again of the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.” Donald Trump is bringing an avalanche of lies into this world. It’s time for Christians once again to consider whether they want those lies to come through them—through their votes and their voices.
A preview of coming attractions ... 
Before Christianity Today blew up the internet, I was intending to take this newsletter in a very different direction—how Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s online plight illustrated why Christians are right to be concerned about the future of public discourse. It’s still an important story, and I’ll explore it later this week. Stay tuned.
One last thing ... 
I got a fantastic reader response to the song I attached at the end of my last newsletter. So, here’s my church’s worship band again. They’re called “We the Kingdom” if you want to find them on iTunes/Spotify/etc. It’s a very different song from last week. Enjoy!
Photograph of Donald Trump by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

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  • Happy Holidays - And May 2020 Be A Peaceful Election Year For Ghanaians

    Happy holidays, dear reader. May 2020 be a peaceful election year for Ghanaians. This year, most members of Ghana's political class, freely  admitted that the intense rivalry between the two identical sides of the same toxic-coin, which the  NPP/NDC duopoly that dominates our nation's politics, represents, is deeply divisive for Ghanaian society.

    Some politicians have also insisted openly that that egregious-divisiveness  is slowly destroying Ghanaian democracy, because of its winner-grabs-everything-in-sight-once-in-power, nature;  and therefore ought not to be allowed at the grassroots-level in the running of the decentralised Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies  (MMDAs). Implement General Kutu Acheampong's Unigov idea,  now, anyone?

    The question is:  How do our politicians  propose to manage the pent up frustrations of communities across the nation that are fed up to the back teeth, with the current clearly unsatisfactory local government system - in which residents of countless villages, towns and deprived areas of cities nationwide, are  having to grapple with a myriad of local challenges?

    To be relevant for such communities, we clearly need a local government model that will be inherently responsive enough to deal efficiently with community challenges that are the subject of vociferous complaints nationwide - if widespread anger that eventually results in a massive social explosion across the nation is to be avoided. We must avoid what is happening in places such as Iraq that have similar societal  dynamics at play, from occurring in our homeland Ghana, too.

    The question we must ponder over is:  Will elected chief executives and assembly members of the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, see the resolution of local challenges, as top-priority issues for their administrations, and move rapidly to efficiently deal with problems such  as: pothole-riddled-roads; dangerous footbridges; mountains-of-piled-up-rubbish; lack of access to quality healthcare facilities within easy reach; delapidated school buildings that are deathtraps structurally, and totally unsuitable for teaching and learning to take place in; demands for decent markets with hygienic sanitary facilities; etc., etc.? 

    If peace is to prevail across Ghana, we must confront the issue of resolving local challenges that negatively impact the quality of life, and living standards, of grassroots communities. Towards that end, it makes a great deal of sense to elect the chief executives and assembly members of Metropolopitan, Municipal and District Assemblies. For sure. Happy holidays, dear reader, and may 2020 be a peaceful election year in Ghana.

    Sent from Samsung tablet.

    Thursday, 19 December 2019

    An Open Letter To Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu

    Dear Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu,

    I shall go straight to the point. The matter of the surcharging of Ghana's Senior Minister, Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo, by the Auditor General, Mr. Yao Domelovo,  over the U.S.$1 million paid to Kroll and Associates, has been taken to court by the Senior Minister. Pipe down about it. Haaba.

    The question is: What ends were you seeking, in publicly  disrespecting a highly-placed public servant, who is fearlessly fighting the high-level  corruption, which is slowly destroying the moral fabric of Ghanaian society - and threatening the stability of our beloved country: by undermining confidence amongst ordinary people in our democratic system of government?

    Sir, perhaps you are oblivious of it, but there is growing suspicion amongst many discerning and fair-minded Ghanaians  that the entire machinery of state is being mobilised, just to save face for the Senior Minister  in this matter - hence the relentless vilification of the Auditor General: in an attempt to force his resignation. 

    This is a democracy, not an oligarchy, and it is vital that very, very  important and influential leaders such as yourself, show Ghanaians, by what you say, and do, publicly, that no one in this country is above the law. Never forget that every individual appointed into office, by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is someone in whom the President of the Republic of Ghana has reposed his confidence. 

    It behoves all such individuals to understand clearly that they have a moral obligation not to do anything that will cause embarrassment to the appointing authority. Full stop. If they don't keep their noses clean they must not expect to be allowed to remain in office regardless - by a mostly-fed-up population now sick and tired of egregious-abuse-of-office and impunity in their nation.

    Sir, it is in light of that, that the monstrosity of the absence of that crucial good-governance-ethical-consideration (which has led to the mobilising of our entire system, in order  to hound the Auditor General, out of office, by forcing his resignation,   for daring to surcharge Hon. Yaw Osafo-Marfo), in this shabby matter, ought to be seen. 

    Massa, you may not be aware of it, but our nation sits atop a gun-powder keg that could explode at any time. You guys must stop thinking you are invincible.  You are not. Did Libya's former leader, Colonel Maummar Gaddafi, not run a super-ruthless police-state? When his people finally got fed up with his regime, was his oppressive security apparatus, able to save him?  Who born dog? Haaba.

    Decent and apolitical folk in Ghana, will not allow the current Auditor General, the brave and patriotic Mr. Yao Domelovo, to be hounded out office, by powerful people forcing his resignation, by stealth,  from the shadows,  without there being serious  consequences for all those behind it. Hmmm, Oman Ghana eyeasem ooooo - asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa. Yooooo...


    Yours in the service of Mother Ghana,


    Sent from Samsung tablet.

    Tuesday, 17 December 2019

    To The Genius Who Emails Me As Dr. Vera Kin -

    Dr. Vera Kin,

    Please go to the Ghana High Commission in London's Belgravia and ask them for advice - or better still contact the Interpol desk at the headquarters of London's  Metropolitan Police: who will put you in touch with their Ghanaian colleagues, who are better placed to help you.

    With respect, please don't email me again. You are wasting your time and irritating me no end. I am just a simple fellow - and would rather you did not contact me again. Haaba. Stop your mind-games. Some of the powerful people in Ghanaian society that media professionals criticise in their  writing, are super-ruthless individuals,  who maim and physically eliminate those who cross them, with impunity, through hired contract killers. 

    In that light, I would appreciate it if you stopped harrassing me - and took your sodden mind-game-playing elsewhere. Who born dog?  I am a serious person - not some playboy-philanderer who chases anything in skirt-pairs and can be trapped by stupid politicians  that way. Sod off, Madam. I am not in a position to offer you help in any shape or form - so take your honeytrap-wahala to the many fools in our media world, who are on the make and on the take instead. Leave me alone!  Haaba.

    Sent from Samsung tablet.