Category Archives: Kenya

Why Is the Average IQ in Africa So Low Compared to Other Continents?

Answered on Quora.

I hate to say it, but I think they have genetically low IQ. This is very sad because it smashes a lot of our hopes for Africa and makes its problems even less salvageable.

Nevertheless, due to something called the Flynn Effect, IQ’s in at least some African countries have risen a lot in only a few decades. I believe Kenya saw a rise of ~30 IQ points. But everyone else’s went up too due to the same effect, so at some point, it’s an arms race. An example would be the question of how fast do I have to be to outrun a tiger? I don’t have to be faster than a tiger to outrun a tiger, I just have to be faster than you!

Nevertheless, assuming that Flynn rises are actual increases in intelligence (I think they are), then Africans are definitely getting smarter. That the rest of the world is too doesn’t matter so much. If Africans get more intelligent, they will be so much better at solving their problems.

There are a lot of tropical diseases, parasites, and malnutrition in Africa which undoubtedly lower scores. Nevertheless, I still feel that there is a genetic lower intelligence that is a huge problem. Personally I think many of the problems of Africa are down to low intelligence.

What I am interested in is the notion of raising IQ. IQ can absolutely be raised in many ways, mostly nutritional. The Flynn rise is partly due to nutrition but also due to better education and also a more complex modern society. The ~30 point rise in Kenya was heavily on vocabulary, mathematics, and general knowledge, and it was thought to be down to better schooling.

Let’s get serious about IQ and do everything we can to raise the IQ’s of Africans in whatever way we can. If we can’t raise it enough by environment, maybe in the future we could monkey with human genes. I am serious. That’s how serious of a problem low IQ is in large populations.

You don’t make a problem go away by saying it doesn’t exist. It just festers, prolongs, and maybe gets worse.

5 Comments

Filed under Africa, East Africa, Education, Flynn Effect, Health, Illness, Intelligence, Kenya, Nutrition, Psychology, Regional, Social Problems, Sociology

The Flynn Effect in Blacks Is Ongoing

Jason Y: “Mark my word though, that a bad environment will see NO improvement even over a 1000 years!”

Phil: You forgot something, time is a resource. Second, it’s been noticed in the “Flynn effect” with Blacks that it stopped.

According to my latest information from Bermuda, the Bahamas, Dominica, Kenya, the US and the UK, the Flynn Effect, or whatever it is, is ongoing in Blacks.

Blacks now match Whites on an IQ proxy in the UK, and Half-Black mulattos now match Whites on an IQ proxy in Bermuda.

And in the Bahamas, more or less pure Blacks (9% White) seem to have made some serious IQ gains. Their IQ’s are now 93, whereas on a genetic basis, we might expect an IQ of ~78 or even lower. There also appear to have been actual IQ rises in the UK and Bermuda among Blacks and mulattos respectively.

These three cases actually expand on the Flynn Effect because the FE was previously simply showing rising IQ’s for all races, and while Black IQ’s were going up a lot, White IQ’s were going up by the same amount, so there was no closing of the B-W gap, and there was no actual rise in relative IQ.

In the Bahamas, there was a 15 point gain in relative IQ, that is, Blacks closed 15 pints of the B-W IQ gap.

In the UK, there was a 14 point relative IQ gain, and Blacks closed a 14 point B-W IQ gap.

In Bermuda, there was a 12 point gain in relative IQ, that is, Blacks closed a 12 point B-W IQ gap.

In the US, Dominica, and Kenya, we are still seeing Flynn rises among Blacks, but in the US and possibly in the other two places, there has nevertheless been no closing of the B-W gap.

While it benefits Blacks to get smarter, if Whites are rising at the same rate, some of the gains and all of the relative gains are wiped out.

After all, if there is a tiger chasing both of us, I don’t have to be faster than the tiger. I simply have to be faster than you.

With both Black and White IQ’s rising in tandem, the effect is simply one of an IQ arms race where neither side is gaining on the other while both become more heavily armed.

84 Comments

Filed under Africa, Americas, Bahamas, Black-White (Mulattos), Blacks, Britain, Caribbean, Dominica, East Africa, Europe, Flynn Effect, Intelligence, Kenya, Latin America, Mixed Race, North America, Psychology, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, USA, Whites

A Look at the Dahalo Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the Dahalo language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Semitic
Cushitic
East Cushitic

Dahalo, a Cushitic language spoken in Southern Kenya, is legendary for having some of the wildest consonant phonology on Earth. It has all four airstream mechanisms found in languages: ejectives, implosives, clicks and normal pulmonic sounds. There are glottal, epiglottal, laminal and apical stops and glottal and epiglottal fricatives.

There is also a strange series of nasal clicks that can be either glottalized or plain. Some of these clicks are also labialized. It has both voiced and unvoiced prenasalized stops and affricates, and some of the stops are also labialized. There is a weird palatal lateral ejective. There are three different lateral fricatives, including a labialized and palatalized one, and one lateral approximant. It contrasts alveolar and palatal lateral affricates and fricatives, the only language on Earth to do this.

The Dahalo are former elephant-hunting hunter gatherers now living as settled agriculturalists who live in Southern Kenya. It is believed that at one time they spoke a click language like Sandawe or Hadza, but they switched over to Cushitic at some point. The clicks are thought to be substratum from a time when Dahalo was a Sandawe-Hadza type language.

Dahalo gets a 6 rating, hardest of all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Africa, Afroasiatic, Applied, East Africa, Kenya, Language Families, Language Learning, Linguistics, Regional, Semitic

Primitive People Have Some of the Most Complicated Languages of Them All

On A Look at the Australian Aborigine Languages, Jason writes:

Perhaps they don’t have such a low IQ if their language is most difficult.

The people with the lowest IQ’s of all have some of the maddeningly complex languages out there.

Pygmies along with the Khoisan are said to have the lowest IQ’s on Earth, somewhere in the 50’s. The original Pygmy languages are gone, but we can see traces of the original languages in the Bantu languages that they now speak. The Bantu languages supplanted their original tongues, whatever those were.

Nevertheless, Bantu languages themselves are quite difficult. Many are tonal, and they feature such tonal bizarreness as tone terracing and terraced tones. They distinguish such features mark such things as + or – Advanced Tongue Root (ATR), which is quite strange among the world’s languages, and they often have a bafflingly long list of genders for noun classes. It is not easy for Westerners to learn Bantu languages and few bother or even try.

The Khoisan are said to have the lowest IQ’s on Earth, estimated in the 50’s. Most of them never go to school, and when they do, they tend to flounder and drop out. The Kenyan government has given up on trying to educate the Hadza. They do not to appear to be genetically or culturally adapted to the modern world.

However, their languages are insanely complex, consisting among other things of bizarre click sounds that no other languages on Earth have. They are almost impossible for non-natives to learn. Nelson Mandela said that he spoke one of those click languages most of his life and he never did learn to make those click sounds correctly.

The Australians have the next lowest at 62 IQ. They do very poorly in schools when they go to school at all, and they are rife with all sorts of pathologies. In short, they are simply not adapted genetically or culturally to the modern world.

Australian languages are wildly complex and in fact are so strange that they have been the source of many very controversial debates in Linguistics, especially the configurationality debate where Chomsky claimed all languages were configurational, yet the Australian language Warlpiri was said to violate this so-called linguistic universal. The configurational supporters claim dubiously that Warlpiri is actually configurational. But even if it is, it would still be crazily complex.

These languages are very difficult but not impossible to learn. One of the greatest polyglot linguists of all time,. Ken Hale, prided himself on his fluency in Warlpiri. Nevertheless, many non-aboriginal Australians are trying to learn some Aboriginal languages as part of an Australian cultural revival, and they are finding it quite hard going.

The Papuans have the next lowest at 64 IQ. However, one wonders just how stupid they actually are. Jared Diamond spent a lot of time with Papuans, and he said that they did not seem stupid at all to him.

Papuan languages are also crazy complicated, and few if any outsiders even bother to learn them.

Papuans are frankly failing at adopting to the modern world. The large city Port Moresby is full of Papuans who have completely failed the test of modernity. It has one of the highest violence rates on Earth, and it is so dangerous that I would not recommend that anyone go there. The entire city is locked in a wild gang war, and the gangs seem to have actual armies and modern weapons. Furthermore there is unbelievable amount of common crime such as robbery, rape and homicide. Clearly Papuans are not cut out genetically or culturally for modern life.

As you can see, some of the primitive people seem to have some of the most insanely complex languages on Earth. Linguistics has gotten so insane with PC that you cannot say that anymore. In fact, lunatic linguists insist that no language is more inherently complex or harder to learn than any other language.

One of my professors told me that primitive peoples are often bored and being highly intelligent humans, they look around for mind games to relieve their boredom. Many of them enjoy their complicated languages, and a favorite pastime especially of the men is to spend their time playing language games utilizing the complexity of their language.

Moronic linguists have falsely stated that I am saying that primitive people are bored so they make their languages more complex for something to do. But I never said that. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. We don’t know.

However, certainly many of these languages are already crazy complex, and there does not seem to be a cultural trend to reduce the complexity of and simplify their language, as they seem to enjoy their complicated languages. And primitive peoples seem to defy that trend as their languages do not tend to simplify over time.

I believe that there is a trend that as a society and civilization develops, languages tend to simplify. This definitely seems to be true in our modern industrialized era. Time is money after all, and modern languages need to get their message across as quickly as possible in a way that is as easy to understand as possible. That is, unless you are an attorney for whom complex language is a form of information warfare against the opposing team of lawyers and the public in general.

Supposedly consensus among modern linguist idiots is that this is not true either and that languages do not get simpler as speakers modernize.

However, it is my opinion that linguistic consensus is sheer idiocy on many different levels.

The explanation for why primitive people often have very complex languages is that human beings are naturally highly intelligent, even those with IQ’s from 52-64. All humans seem to be born with a natural tendency to learn even the most complex languages and this ability is a base human feature that is independent of IQ. Further, primitive languages have no need to simplify to deal with the modern world and furthermore, they seem to enjoy their complex tongues as some sort of an intellectual exercise in what is often an intellectually impoverished life in the wilds.

12 Comments

Filed under Aborigines, Africa, Anthropology, Applied, Australia, Blacks, Crime, Cultural, East Africa, Intelligence, Kenya, Khoisan, Khoisan, Language Families, Language Learning, Linguistics, Pacific, Papua New Guinea, Papuans, Psychology, Pygmies, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Social Problems, Sociology, Urban Studies

“Problems” and “Solutions”

Discuss Severaid’s quote and my examples given below, agreeing, disagreeing or expanding on the notion.

The chief cause of problems is solutions

– Eric Sevareid

I think this guy is onto something.

Examples:

War on Terror – Solution was all out war on “terrorism” – really just disobedient Muslim states and some international guerrilla/terrorist groups.

The “solution” did not solve the problem at all, and in fact it made it much worse and introduced quite a few new problems.

The “solution” to the “Muslim terrorism problem” did nothing to alleviate the problem, and the problem only expanded massively, in the process destroying much of the secular Muslim world and replacing it with ultra-radical, armed and ultraviolent fundamentalists. Several new failed states were created out of functioning but authoritarian secular regimes.

A wild Sunni-Shia war took off with no end in sight. A new Saudi-Iran conflict expanded to include all of the Sunni world against Iran and some Shia groups.

The policy was incoherent – in places (Palestine, Iraq, Syria, and Libya) secular nationalists were overthrown and replaced with radical fundamentalist regimes (Iraq, Palestine) or failed states teeming with armed fundamentalist actors (Yemen, Somalia, Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Mali). In other places, fundamentalist regimes were overthrown and secular nationalists were put in (Egypt).

We alternately attacked and supported radical groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. An awful Russia-Turkey conflict took off on the Middle east with the US and NATO siding with Al Qaeda and ISIS supporting Turks. The US attacked and armed fundamentalists to attack Shia Iranian, Hezbollah and Houthi armies waging all out war on Al Qaeda and ISIS. In Yemen we actively attacked the Shia who were fighting Al Qaeda while supporting Al Qaeda and fundamentalist Sunnis with intel and weaponry.

Some Kurds were called terrorists and support was given to those attacking them. Other Kurds were supported in their fight against ISIS. In actuality, all of these Kurd represented the same entity. There really is no difference between the PKK, the YPG and the rulers of the Kurdish region. Meanwhile, Kurds fighting for independence were supported in Iran and Syria and attacked in Turkey though they were all the same entity.

Billions of US dollars and thousands of US lives were wasted for essentially no reason with no results or actually a worsened situation. Russia, one of the most effective actors in the war against Al Qaeda and ISIS, was declared an enemy and attacks on them by our allies were cheered on.

A horrible refugee crisis was created in Europe.

Muslim populations in the West were substantially radicalized.

Instead of ending Islamic terrorism, Islamic terrorist, conventional and guerrilla attacks absolutely exploded in the Middle East and to a lesser extent in Europe, Canada, Australia and the US. It also exploded in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Thailand, the Philippines and of course Syria and Iraq. There was considerable fighting and terrorism in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Morocco and Jordan. The Palestinians ended up much better armed than before and the conflict exploded into all out war on a few occasions.

Terrorism and guerrilla war exploded in Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, Somalia and Kenya with some new attacks in Niger, Mauritania, Chad and Uganda. Somalia took a turn for the worse as a huge Al Qaeda force set up shop there and the country turned into the worst failed state ever with nothing even resembling a state left and the nation furthermore split off into three separate de facto nations.

The “solution” failed completely and simply ended up creating a whole new set of problems that were vastly worse than the original problem for the which the solution was directed.

Technology: Technology itself could be regarded as a lousy fix to many problems.

10 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Africa, Asia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Central Africa, East Africa, Egypt, Eurasia, Europe, India, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Jordan, Kenya, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Middle East, Military Doctrine, Morocco, Nigeria, North Africa, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Russia, Saudi Arabia, SE Asia, Shiism, Somalia, South Asia, Sunnism, Syria, Terrorism, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, War, West Africa, Yemen

Walter E. Williams: Idiot, Tool, Black Conservative

The latest Walter E. Williams article.

A truly insane article by a typical Black conservative nut. This kook points out the logical fact that is known to anyone: What do the Top 10 US cities with the highest crime rates have in common? Guess what? They are chock full of Black people! Duh.

One would draw certain logical conclusions from these obvious facts, but a Black conservative is too much of partisan monkey liar to ever do that. As bad as Black liberals can be (and they can be pretty bad), Black conservatives are by far the worst that the Black race has to offer.

According the Williams, the logical conclusion that we draw here is twofold:

1. These cities are full of Black folks.
2. They are all run by Democrats, for the most part liberal Democrats.

Conclusion: Liberal Democratic administrations cause unbelievable amounts of crime!

I kid you not. Black conservatives really are that stupid. As if Black people would act any better under a hard rightwing administration, not that they would ever elect one.

We have an actual experiment to see if this is true: the South. All Southern states are run by radical rightwing Republicans. Before that, they were run by radical rightwing Democrats. All of those states have been run by Black-hating racist White people for ever and ever. And how do Black people act down South? Perfectly horrible. They act as bad as Black people do anywhere. Why would Black folks suddenly act better if a rightwing Republican racist White massa was in charge, cracking the whip on those niggas? You think is going to stop making them act up? Come on.

The truth is that those cities are full of crime for the precise reason that they are full of Black people. Once you get a city full of Black people, you tend to get a city with lots and lots of crime. Those Black people created all that crime, and they will create about as much crime whether they are under a liberal Democratic administration as when they are under a Republican white racist massa administration.

Williams is truly crazy: a Libertarian Black. Black Libertarians are even more insane than Black conservatives. About 3% of Blacks are Black conservatives. We know this because ~3% of Black voted for Mitt Romney in the last election. However, if you looked at the US news media, you would think that 50% or more of Blacks are conservatives. Black conservatives may be as rare as four leaf clovers, but the “liberal” media loves them, and loves to over-represent them as demonstrative of the politics of US Blacks. If you are a US Black conservative, you are almost guaranteed of getting your own radio or TV show or your own newspaper column.

Does anyone on Earth think that Libertarianism will do anything for US Blacks?

Libertarianism is what exists in the 3rd world. In the 3rd World, the state is almost nonexistent, spends almost no money on the people on social programs, and what money it does have goes solely for police and military to enforce class rule over the lower classes and the workers. If the lower classes and workers get too out of hand, you just call out the cops and army and slaughter them.

Other than that, the government exists solely as an arm of the richest sectors of society and serves to protect their interests. The rich and business classes get to do everything and anything they want to. The state is starved for funds because the businesses and the wealthy pay no taxes, and the elites don’t believe in government spending anyway due to “the threat of a good example.” If the state spends money on pro-people programs, that is socialism, and we oppose socialism. Also the people might come to like this socialism and might want to have a more socialist country. This would interfere with the moneyed interests of the nation’s elites, so we can’t have that.

Libertarianism is what Blacks have in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and a few other places. Probably Haiti is the best example because it is the most Libertarian society ever attempted in a Black country. You can see how well that is working out!

Over in Africa, we can look at Kenya, Nigeria or Zaire as examples of nearly Libertarian Black countries in which elites steal 100% of the money in society leaving the masses with nothing but starvation and disease. As you can see, that is working out just fine!

Most other Black nations are socialist to some degree or another, so it hard to find a Black example of a radical rightwing country, but the above examples are pretty good.

Libertarianism won’t do anything good for Black people. All it will do is turn Black neighborhoods and cities like Detroit and Oakland into Haiti or Nigeria. If you think that is an improvement on the present state of affairs, you are wrong.

10 Comments

Filed under Africa, Americas, Blacks, Conservatism, Crime, Democrats, Dominican Republic, Economics, Government, Haiti, Jamaica, Journalism, Kenya, Liberalism, Libertarianism, Nigeria, Political Science, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, Republicans, Social Problems, Socialism, Sociology, South, US Politics, USA, White Racism, Zaire

Massive Flynn Gains in Kenya

Occidental Ascent is a fascinating blogger, apparently part of the Alt Right and HBD scene, who nevertheless is not a race realist as far as IQ goes. He has written many posts showing huge IQ gains for Blacks, especially in the UK in recent times. I am not sure exactly where he is coming from at all. Looking at his blogroll, it looks like it was made up at American Renaissance, and yet he’s not a race realist.

A recent post quotes a post of mine discussing massive Flynn IQ gains in Kenya. He describes me as a liberal race realist blogger suffering a bout of race skepticism, which isn’t completely accurate, but oh well.

My post showed a 26 point IQ gain over a 14 year period from 1984-1998 in Kenya, raising their IQ’s from 68 to 89 and resulting in a 21 point IQ gain over British Whites. Gains were particularly massive in math and vocabulary. Researchers proposed that recent massive expansion of schooling in Kenya had been responsible for the gains.

A recent study confirms the previous one and shows that Flynn gains may be rising still.

A study by a Kenyan academic who is strongly opposed to race realism as far as IQ goes – she particularly takes issue with Rushton and Lynn arguing that the African IQ is ~70 – gave Raven’s tests to Kenyans of three social classes – slum dwellers, middle classes and the upper classes. Subjects were 17 year old high school students. The results were 89 for the slum kids, 93 for the middle classes and 106 for the upper classes. Averaging them together, we get an IQ of 96.

However, how many Kenyans are middle to upper class? Probably most Kenyans are very poor, akin to the slum dwellers. So the real Kenyan IQ is probably lower than 96, closer to 89. Further, how many Kenyan 17 year olds even make it to their senior year in high school? Most are probably long dropped out by then. These must be the brightest of the bunch.

Compared to US 17 year old Blacks, US Blacks at that age have an IQ of  ~90. It later drops to ~87 at age 24, at which point it levels off. But those 90 and 87 figures are controversial. Others say the real Black IQ is 87 at age 18 and 84-85 at age 24.

Anyway, things are looking good for the Kenyan IQ and for Flynn gains in general, which are still going like gangbusters in the 3rd World.

19 Comments

Filed under Africa, East Africa, Flynn Effect, Intelligence, Kenya, Psychology, Regional

Early Homo Sapiens Sapiens in Africa

From the study of skulls we can learn what early humans in Africa looked like. By early humans, I mean modern man, not earlier types.

Very early skulls from Africa resemble either Khoisans or no living type. Some Khoisan type skulls (broadly defined) can be found going back as far as 90,000 years. Boskopoid skulls from 35-50,000 YBP seem to look like Khoisan (Mirazón Lahr,p. 282). Early Kenyan skulls look also look Khoisan.

Negroes appear in the fossil record in Congo, Mali, Niger and Chad from 6,000-12,000 YBP. They develop in the course of agriculture as Khoisan and Pygmy types gathered into agricultural villages in the regions above. In hunter-gatherer societies, women need men and marry early, hence there is little competition for females and every man gets a woman. In African agricultural societies, there was plenty of food, and women no longer needed a man to provide for them.

Since women no longer needed men, women got picky. Extreme competition for women developed among men, and one man or a small group of men tended to monopolize the women. This is the “chief” syndrome also seen in primitive agricultural societies in New Guinea.

Extreme competition led to the largest, strongest and most aggressive males dominating the group and preferentially passing on their genes. Hence, Negroes developed into big, strong, good athletes with high testosterone which drove high aggression. This is one theory for high Black crime rates.

In contrast, Pygmies are not aggressive at all, and tend to be rather meek and shy. Khoisan have low testosterone and have low levels of overt aggression.

Nilotics appear in Kenya 8-12,000 YBP. Originally, when these Nilotic skulls were first found, they were mistaken for Europeans. These are the classic “Horner” types of the Horn of Africa. It is amazing that Nilotics would be mistaken for Europeans, but they do have a more Caucasian look to them.

Recent Sub Saharan Africans have skulls that are more gracile than Europeans (ibid. p. 283), so it is a lie to say that Blacks have primitive or robust skulls.

The only really robust or primitive skulls nowadays in the study were found in Australians (65% are robust), Pantagonians, the Ainu and 1 Polynesian. This largely lines up with the Australoid racial group, which developed in a robust fashion for some reason.

The most gracile skulls were 13 E Asians, 13 SS Africans, 11 SE Asians, 7 Europeans, 1 Inuit, 1 S Asian and 1 Australian. So we can see that the most modern and gracile skulls are found in Blacks and Asians. Europeans are also modern and gracile, but not so much as the others. We also see that while Australians generally have the most robust skulls on Earth, some Aborigines have very gracile skulls. Australians are best seen as an extreme mixture.

Why did man leave Africa, and which route did he take? The reason for leaving was apparently a terrible drought in East Africa. For instance, between 135,000 and 75,000 years ago, East African droughts shrunk the water volume of  Lake Malawi by at least 95%, causing migration out of Africa.

Which route did they take? Researchers say their study of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands using complete mitochondrial DNA sequences and its comparison those of world populations has led to the theory of a “southern coastal route” of migration from East Africa through India. They took the Indian Ocean coastal route.

References

Mirazón Lahr, Marta. 1996. The Evolution of Modern Human Diversity: A Study of Cranial Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

17 Comments

Filed under Aborigines, Africa, Agricutlure, Ainu, Amerindians, Anthropology, Asia, Asians, Blacks, Cultural, East Africa, Europeans, Gender Studies, Genetics, India, Inuit, Kenya, Khoisan, New Guinea, Northeast Asians, Oceanians, Physical, Polynesians, Pygmies, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, South Asia

Owen the Hippo and Tortoise Mr. Mom

Repost from the old site.

I bet you did not know that the horrible Tsunami that hit South and Southeast Asia a while back, killing 275,000 humans, also hit Kenya. It did. There are lots of critters still running around in Africa that the increasingly advanced Africans have not yet killed off.

There are hippopotamuses and giant tortoises. These tortoises are really giant, not like our desert tortoises here in California that are about as big as a football.

During the tsunami, the baby hippo, Owen, 350 pounds, and its hippo Mommy (name and weight unknown) got swept down the Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean. Though hippos can swim ok, they don’t like floods and tend to die in them. Owen’s Mom got killed, and Owen landed in the Indian Ocean. Then the tsunami waves swept him ashore with lots of other critters.

Somewhere in all this mess, Owen landed on top of a giant tortoise, male, age 100, name unknown. He probably landed on his shell and they both rode the tsunami waves onto the beach where they both kicked back and caught some rays of exhaustion until they were rescued.

Even though the tortoise is a dude, Owen either could not figure that out or didn’t care. He decided that Tortoise was his new Mom. They bonded well, and Tortoise, though being a guy and all, does not mind being Mr. Mom. They eat, swim and sleep together.

Owen follows Tortoise just like he followed his Mom, and he growls at anyone who tries to approach Tortoise. Hippos stay with Mom for four years, so Owen will probably live at home for another few years before moving out.

I thought it was interesting that Owen showed so many advanced emotions in these photos. He shows tenderness, love and kindness, and appears to be trying to kiss Tortoise, though I can’t see how any animal could kiss a tortoise. Tortoise either also has advanced emotions, or has undecipherable reptilian emotions, or I’m hallucinating. But some tortoises do mate for life, which is awfully advanced behavior for a mere reptile.

Photos at the link.

1 Comment

Filed under Africa, Animals, East Africa, Kenya, Mammals, Mother Nature, Regional, Reposts From The Old Site, Reptiles, Tsunamis, Wild

Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Al Qaeda Leader, Killed

On Friday, June 10, 2011, 38 year old Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the head of Al Qaeda in East Africa, has been killed at a roadblock in Mogadishu. His car failed to stop for a military roadblock, so soldiers fired on his vehicle, killing him. It was not the West who got him after all.

In 1992, as a very young man, he had participated in the Black Hawk Down firefight in Somalia that killed 18 US Marines. In 1995, he returned to the Comoro Islands, his birthplace. He settled in the capital of Moroni, married a local girl and worked as a fisherman. Formerly of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which he had joined as a very young man, Fazul was already working for Al Qaeda. He immediately set about planning Al Qaeda attacks.

One of the most famous photos of Fazul Abdullah Mohammad.

One year later, he hijacked Ethiopian Airways Flight 961 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi. The plane was forced down near the Comoros, but before it landed, the Al Qaeda force on board executed Leslie Shed, CIA station chief in Addis Ababa, five heads of Israel’s aviation industries, and a deputy commander of the Ukrainian Air Force. They were headed to a meeting in Jerusalem where they were going to discuss a deal whereby Ukraine would supply jets to Ethiopia which would be provided by Israel and would be paid for by the US.

To this day, all three nations have kept a tight lid on the case because they never figured out Fazul obtained the top secret information about who was traveling on the flight.

Soon after the plane landed, the hijackers took off in speedboats that were waiting for them. They sped off to the Comoros. They were never caught.

Two years later, Fazul masterminded the attack on the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, killing 224 people, the biggest Al Qaeda attack to date.

The FBI figured out that Fazul was involved in the bombing and headed to Moroni. Too late, he was gone, tipped off that the FBI was after him. In 1998, he was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List with a $5 million price tag on his head.

Fazul Abdul Mohammad from the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist poster.

In 2002, Fazul pulled off another attack, this time in Kenya. He attacked Israeli targets, first attacking the Paradise Hotel in Mombassa, favored by Israeli tourists, with a suicide truck bomb. Next he chartered a plane and flew it near an Israeli Arkia passenger jet, firing a missile at the jet and just missing it. They flew the plane over the hotel they had just bombed, and dropped bombs on the hotel from their plane. Then they hightailed it to Somalia where they escaped.

In 2010, he attacked again, this time suicide bombing multiple cafes in Uganda that were filled with crowds watching the World Cup Final in South Africa. This attack was in retaliation for Uganda taking part in the peacekeeping mission in Somalia, where Fazul was leading the Al Qaeda allied Shabaab movement that was trying to topple the barely existing Somalian government.

Fazul was a master terrorist, one of Al Qaeda’s finest commanders and organizers. He hid successfully from the finest forces of the West for 15 years. A master of disguise and forgery, he spoke 5 different languages, used 18 different names and had three different birthplaces. At the time of his death, he had plans on him for attacks against targets in the West.

His death leaves Al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa and East Africa high and dry, missing their terrorist leader and superb guerrilla fighter.

6 Comments

Filed under Africa, East Africa, Ethiopia, Europe, Israel, Kenya, Middle East, Regional, Somalia, Tanzania, Terrorism, Ukraine