Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Millennium

It is a historical day in the Wonqette household. I finally won an argument. I laid down my case, argued it passionately, presented evidence and bara-bing, Master of the Domain conceded. What have I been doing wrong all these years?

The issue at hand was going back home to celebrate the Ethiopian Millennium. I had always been uneasy about it… contributing to the grand pretence of normalcy. But I went along with it and we were going to take this year’s fall vacation in Ethiopia with family. I thought I could put on blinders and dance the night away… for one night.

But I am my father’s daughter. So instead we, along with a few friends who have decided to do the same, are donating the money to homegrown micro credit outfits.

Friday, July 27, 2007

By way of an explanation...

Where was I?

The first day the kids played in snow in their own backyard it was fun. The second day was… fu-nn? By the third day it was, “Okay, we are ready to go back home.”

No, no darlings. Remember when mommy and daddy packed all those boxes and went crazy for a while?


And remember when we sad goodbye to Brandon and his mommy-- who was glad to see us leave because she hates everything and everybody?


And remember when we said goodbye to grandmother-in-law who thinks her grandson could have done much better?


Well, all of that was because we were moving. Remember we talked about moving?


Well, this is your new home now. Remember, you said you liked your new house? It has a red door. You love that, don't you?



We want to go back to our real house.

Oh, little darlings. We are home.

Child #1: No we’re not.

Child #2: No we ‘ot!

Oh, my lovelies. This is a much better place. There is less silicone. More intellect. Something called a highway. And didn’t you like the people who brought you cookies when we first moved?


You see? And daddy’s closer to his fantasy woman- Condi, who he thinks I don’t know about.


I mean, PTA moms don’t hate mommy yet. And remember we saw a “Give peace a chance” bumper sticker on that limo? Wasn’t that exciting?


You see? Sooo?

Child #1: Yeah. We want to go back to our real house.

Child #2: Yeah. We wanna kagawannabanga ‘ahwse.


Child #2: Gogomeet!

Child #1: I thought you said you were not going to curse any more…

I am not, light of my life. Let’s go get us some of that lovely cough medicine. Remember, the one that makes us sleepy….

So, there you go.

In the midst of all of that debacle we lost Uncle “Can summarize world events in seven words or less.” Took the wind out of me. Made it to Ethiopia for the funeral. (Can we, collectively, as a people do something about the Ethiopian leqso process? Indescribably retarded). Tucked in all the lowlights was one highlight: I finally got to meet Ato G. Blog about that coming up.

Much thanks to the folks at Redeem Ethiopia and Carpe Diem Ethiopia and for Inde Hewan et al for checking in on me once in a while.

I am loving the Yemi at Don’t Eat My Buchela!

Support HR 2003. Call, write your representative. Stay involved.

Ethiopundit has had a lot of artwork that has blown my mind, but this one… oh, this one!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oh, wait! The Farce Gates are still open....wide.

Interesting article the BBC had—and by interesting we mean crazy.

In What Next for Freed Ethiopian Leaders?, Elizabeth Blunt tells us that:

blah… blah…

But again, when the council comes up for re-election - which should be next year - the ex-prisoners are free to compete.

Whether they will be successful is another question. In his press conference the prime minister hinted that the CUD opposition leaders are now yesterday's men.

Only hinted? Hm, pretending to be a democrat must be taking its toll on the prime minister because, usually, Ato Meles’ intellectually iffy, drama queen promulgations are very accessible. Oh well. Time for Bereket Simon to make a pharmacy run.

But then again, Ato Meles also thinks people who oppose him a) belong in jail b) should cool their heels at concentration camps and/or c) be handcuffed with their necks beneath feet as he lectures them on the beauty of democracy and the importance of respect for the constitution… so, we’ll take his hints with a shot of electro shock therapy, thank-you-very-much.

Having boycotted parliament for two years, he said, it might not be so easy to get re-elected.

Because if there is one thing the prime minister knows it is how to get, um, elected.

And here comes the dizzying part.. in three… two… one…

And besides, he said, he believed that the CUD leaders had misunderstood why so many people voted for them in 2005.

Oh he went there. Seriously? Seriously.

In his opinion it wasn't out of enthusiasm for the opposition's ideology - which he subtly suggested was Amhara supremacism.

Ahh. You would think plundering and pillaging the country for 15 years would have helped soothe Ato Meles’ hard on for the bad, bad Amhara. Alas, not even exercising, um, anointed, supreme power has been able to expunge whatever childhood neurosis and inferiority complex the good prime minister still harbors against his phantom enemies. We had underestimated just how scarred Ato Meles has been by those mighty Amhara. Hug it out, Mr. Prime Minister. Just hug it out.

And just when you think it could not possibly… oh, please.

It was a protest vote against the failings of the ruling party, failings which - he said - the party had now taken measures to address.

Yeeeeeah, baby. All that wooziness about votin’ ‘n rallyin’ n’ talky-talky of the democracy… solved! In other words, if the EPRDF held a vote tomorrow it would have to stuff only, let’s say, 3/4th of the ballots. It is what the astute political analysts within Melesocracy call “taking Amhara supremacy and making it our own 101.”

It sounded like his first speech of the election campaign.

We think Elizabeth meant “erection” campaign, but who are we to…

The prime minister said they were bound by their promises in their letter asking for pardon.

A letter, apparently, that was written in –daggammit!- Amhar(a)ic. He can’t win for trying.

And although the letter only appears to bind them to behave within the constitution - not a difficult thing to promise - they may also find there are, in practice, other boundaries which they may not cross.

Gosh, you think, Elizabeth? Actually, the first time Ato Meles is confronted by someone with actual knowledge of economics or when he has to deal with that irksome thing the goddam Amhara do where they tell him he knows jack shit about democracy… oh, yeah, someone’s gonna know exactly where the boundary is ‘cause that certain someone is a-gonna be slapped with an “attempted genocide and outrages against the prime minister’s sensibility” charge… and this time it won’t be all pretty where EPRDF judges dress up and pretend to play a round of habeas corpus. This time it will be serious.

So here’s the thing about Ms. Blunt’s reporting… notice how many times the prime minister is quoted. Then notice how many times she attempts to get even a lousy off the record quote from anyone within the opposition just to balance things out. “So far none of the [opposition] leadership has made any formal statement” is as far as she goes. C’mon, sister. Would it have been so hard to find someone who could have at least guffawed at the assertion that the EPRDF has, ahhhh, addressed all the peoples’ grievances? Is it still reporting when all you do is summarizing Ato Meles’ gracelessness?

You want to know what’s next for the leaders. How about, I dunno, fucking asking them??

And while you are at it, ask them how they can teach Ato Meles how to handle his Amhara trauma.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Alas, all farces must come to an end....

The crucible of crazy that is the EPRDF is wading in so much shitamagoo that you have to wonder… does Jesus love stupid, maniacal sociopaths?

Doubt it.

Soooo, the farce of a “trial” is finally over; someone must have thrown raw meat laced with downers into Ato Meles’ cage because, bara-bing! the prisoners have been released. And it only took the EPRDF three years to realize what a colossal jackass it has made of itself.

The dementia of this trial is unparalleled by any, you must understand. Proceedings were routinely postponed because… heck, just because; judges were routinely absent; and promised “tones and tones” of evidence proving, um, genocide, was reduced to a government witness misidentifying one defendant.

Fun was had by all.

Thing is, Ato Meles has long lost all credibility with the Ethiopian people who have been living with his flowering psychosis for a decade and a half. What was amazing to witness, however, was how much humiliation his benefactors at the State Department and at 10Downing were willing to live through for their trainwreck of an ally. Remember the State Department’s appeal for a “fair and speedy” (har, har) trial? (On par with Donald Levine’s affirmation that at least they were not being boiled alive?)

The biggest loser of this trial/verdict/pardon/saving face drama is not Ato Meles. It is his enablers in the west who stood by as innocent men and women were dragged through this farce. Now they are beating their chests in victory: we mediated a release! Look, mommy. Look what I did on my summer vacation.


If Ato Meles did not routinely hemorrhage common sense, he would have understood just how much he has legitimized the CUD as a true “party of the people.” The jailed leaders, journalists and human rights activists could not have a more solid democratic accreditation than being tried in an EPRDF court.

In one of his inane speeches to his emasculated parliament Ato Meles noted how the west’s mediation effort to have the prisoners released was “shameful.” For once, for once, I agree. It was excruciating to witness how the west pretends Ato Meles is a statesman who can be dealt with on the up and up. No matter how many times he breaks his word, wriggles and bloodies himself out of negotiated deals, the Bush administration and the EU keep lowering the bar for a man with the intellectual aptitude and disposition of a schoolyard bully.

As for Ato Meles, he has proved himself, yet again, to be an extraordinarily ordinary… thug.

Welcome home, all who were released. You have done your part. We will do ours.