"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible." - P. J. O'Rourke


George Ayittey on Cheetahs vs. Hippos | TED

"The Cheetah generation is a new breed of Africans who brook no nonsense about corruption... And Africa's salvation rests on the backs of these Cheetahs.

In contrast, of course, we have the Hippo Generation. The Hippo Generation are the ruling elites. They are stuck in their intellectual patch. Complaining about colonialism and imperialism -- they wouldn't move one foot. If you ask them to reform the economies, they're not going to reform it because they benefit from the rotten status quo...

Africa is more than a tragedy, in more ways than one... so many people, so many governments, so many organizations, who want to help the people in Africa -- they don't understand... Helping Africa has been turned into a theater of the absurd. It's like the blind leading the clueless. There are certain things that we need to recognize.

Africa's begging-bowl leaks. Did you know, that 40 percent of the wealth created in Africa, is not invested here in Africa? It's taken out of Africa. That's what the World Bank says... There are people who think that we should pour more money, more aid into this bowl, which leaks. What are the leakages?

Corruption alone costs Africa 148 billion dollars a year... Capital flight out of Africa, 80 billion a year... That's far more than the 50 billion Tony Blair wants to raise for Africa.

Now, back in the 1960s, Africa not only fed itself, it also exported food. Not anymore...

"Whom do we want to help in Africa?" There is the people, and then there is the government or leaders.

I said, "Since 1960, we've had exactly 204 African heads of state, since 1960." And I asked them to name me just 20 good leaders... Even if they had been able to name me 20, what does that tell you? 20 out of 204 means that the majority, the vast majority of the African leaders, failed their people. And if you look at them, the slate of the post-colonial leaders -- an assortment of military fufu heads. Swiss-bank socialists, crocodile liberators, vampire elites, quack revolutionaries...

If we want to help the African people, we must know where the African people are.

Take any African economy. An African economy can be broken up into three sectors. There is the modern sector, there is the informal sector and the traditional sector. The modern sector is the abode of the elites. It's the seat of government. In many African countries, the modern sector is lost... the modern sector, of course, is where a lot of the development aid and resources went into. More than 80 percent of Ivory Coast's development went into the modern sector. The other sectors, the informal and the traditional sectors, are where you find the majority of the African people. The real people in Africa -- that's where you find them. Now, obviously it makes common sense, that if you want to help the people, you go where the people are...

Traditionally, Africans hate governments -- they hate tyranny. If you look into their traditional systems, Africans organize their states in two types. The first one belongs to those ethnic societies who believe that the state was necessarily tyrannous... they have no chiefs. The other ethnic groups, which did have chiefs, made sure that they surrounded the chiefs with councils upon councils upon councils, to prevent them from abusing their power."

I guess African Values don't exist, then.
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