Archive for October, 2011

The Buruburu firefight: So do we all agree an extrajudicial death sentence served justice?

Criminals do not die by the hands of the law; they die by the hands of other men. – George Bernard Shaw

I’m still shaken. I was a witness to the shootout between gunmen and policemen in Outering and Buruburu.

I saw the lady who was caught in the line of fire lying on the ground bleeding from her chest. She died.

I saw the two gangsters lying, dying on Kang’undo Road, one was twitching. He was shot again.

The police officer who was shot and died was a personal friend to me and I feel his loss deeply. I had shared a beer with him on several occasions and he had told me of his future plans, plans that have now been shattered by a shot to the head from someone I’m told was known to him.

I drove past Prudential estate while the firefight with the last gunman took place. My driving the rest of that day was erratic. I couldn’t focus.

I later came to hear that this gunman, the very one who had allegedly shot and killed a policeman while injuring two others, called media houses and even went live on a radio station begging to have his life spared and offering to surrender in the presence of media and human rights groups, he didn’t get that option, a Swat team took him out in under three minutes.

My question is: When is execution justified, if ever? This man had just murdered an officer, so was his execution then inevitable? If indeed he had offered to surrender and confess his crimes, should his life have been spared?


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Value of a news anchor’s teeth: 20X that of a skilled cameraman apparently

The reporting of news has to be understood as propaganda for commodities, and events by images.  – Christopher Lasch

Citizen TV will, allegedly, pay the recently returned Janet Mbugua KShs 803,000 monthly to read news (having already paid a reported KShs 5 Million to buy her out of her contract in South Africa).

They are already paying Lilian Muli-Kanene a reported KShs 255,000 a month.

This figures far exceed what they pay the guys who actually go out there (and sometimes risk their life and limb) to find news, record it and write it up for these “eye-candy” presenters to simply read it with a plastic smile or parade fat women trying to lose weight in a country where half the population is underfed.

I can only speculate what they pay the Kasavulis and Belinda Oburas, but I suppose it must be less since it is obvious the MILFs are being told rather directly that their time as the face of news is reaching a rather dreary sunset. The irony is that these older folk probably need the higher pay more as they face early retirement, the threat of redundancy or a return to the museum of local presenters once known as VoK. (In fact Tom Mboya and Njenga need some of that loot to buy better fitting suits if you ask me)

Maybe that’s why Citizen have come back with season II of the “Tazama Chapaa” ponzi scheme to cover for these harebrained pay decisions.

Link to source here

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An enduring vision of the late Steve Jobs: A spaceship in Cupertino

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.” ~ Steve Jobs, 1993.

In the wake of the passing of Apple Computers visionary co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, it is only natural that a lot of what he had planned for the future is lost in the grief and tribute being payed him for what is already accomplished. I however think it is also time to remind everyone that respected and enjoyed the products and services that came from his single minded focus and genius that he had big plans in store for Apple, this time they were on a scale that is arguably more profound than even his feat in making Apple the second most valuable publicly traded company in the world, only second to the Exxon Oil Brand.

On June 7 2011 Jobs, then still Apple CEO, visited the City Council of Cupertino, home to Apple Computers, and revealed plans for a new, state-of-the-art headquarters for the company that he build and headed.

The stunning four storey building, designed to accomodate 12,000 employess, mimics a “spaceship” and will cover 260,000 square metres. The facilities in the complex included a 1,000 seat auditorium, a fitness center, and 28,000 square metres of research facilities. The landscaping for the outdoor areas would consisit of native plants and apricot orchards. Powering the complex will only be done using clean energy sources (The structure is meant to be fueled primarily by natural gas.) with local electricity grids reserved for emergencies only.

"The Flying Saucer"

The “flying saucer” concept for the new Apple campus was first concieved in 1983. Jobs then approached the venerable architect I.M. Pei, the very designer of the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. Sadly the plan was shelved when Jobs was forced to leave Apple, but just like had come to be expected of Jobs this was but a temporary setback.

Having long come back to head Apple, building it into an iconic brand that held sway over virtually every facet of technology, Jobs visit to the city of Cupertino on June 7th was welcomed by the Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong who said: “California is the real beneficiary of Mr. Job’s dream. “There is no chance we’re saying no,” He added: “What would your response be if Steve Jobs cam to your town and said he wanted to build a headquarters that looks like it belongs in outer space?”

“I think we do have a shot at building the best office building in the world,” said the late Jobs.

The grounds will be transformed from primarily asphalt to green. Parking will go underground and the CEO indicated at the time that his plan was to almost double the 3,700 trees on the site. He also wanted the addition of apricot orchards reminiscent of the ones he recalled growing up with.

Orrin Mahoney, a Cupertino councilman, mused: “The word spectacular would be an understatement.” adding that the Council looked forward to working with the then Apple CEO to move forward with the project.

Construction is expected to begin next year with the opening in 2015 and we can only hope the project will go ahead as the fulfillment of the vision of a man that changed the world of technology and design in ways no one else ever could.

In his own words:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
– Stanford commencement speech 2005

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