President Museveni proposes a Social Media Tax: Good luck enforcing it!

I know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will not go door-to-door getting the cash-in, he will not issue the tax directly or levy the tax on each single individual who is on Social Media, but his letter to Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija on the 12th March 2018 on “Re: Lack of Seriousness in Tax Collection”. That is the letter that propose to task some taxes on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. Where every single user of these are paying 100 shillings each per day. That is specialized task to gain huge revenues for the state. This is really to secure more funds to the Republic.

That President Museveni hasn’t thought this true, but will he get the names, does his CMI knows all who has WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, do they know how much these are used? Will these taxes be put when they are used and not levied the other days. The Uganda Revenue Authority, needs a mandate for this sort of tax, because this is also the privacy, since these are programs that people download on their free will. Not all have these. Is his plan to pay a 100 shillings for each days, so if you have three apps, will you pay 300 shillings per day?

This sort of ideas opens wormholes, is it that the Republic of Uganda, will through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT). Should all be involved in finding he ways to levy these sort of things. Should they get all the companies who are servicing these apps to put a pay-wall that you have to register to pay each day you enter? Is that the sort of plan?

That the MICT, MoFPED, URA, NIRA and UCC are sending letters to Facebook, Google, Apple, WhatsApp, Twitter and so on. So they can figure out how to get this tax. Because it needs a technical feature, unless the CMI and Intelligence at SIU Kireka has it all. Unless, the state has gathered it all in secrecy or if the Telecom companies has this registered in their records.

You can wonder, if the MTN, Airtel or any of them has been considered here, as they are paying taxes on all the added value of the airtime, the trade of the phones. That the state is trying to do this, is to force a tax, that should be taken on directly every phone-call and SMS. That your paying 5 shillings for picking the phone and 10 shillings for receiving. Also 5 shillings for every SMS and 10 for MMS. That is the nonsense of this.

But I don’t think the President has considered the implications, neither the invading of the privacy, unless he wants to order the companies to put a pay-wall for using social media, that will have to subtracted by credit-card, mobile-money or out of the air-time. That is how it is supposed to be. But than, this is a grand-old man. Whose not that sophisticated or smart enough to understand, what he is implicating. Unless, someone is trespassing on his lawn or going to close to his cows.

This idea should be scrapped in the country, that has struggled to register the Sim-Cards and have them registered correctly. That all Social Media should be monitored and levied tax on is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of Museveni.

Ready, Set and Bogus. Peace.

EU’s new regulation plans to scrap imports of conflict minerals by 2021!

The people back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand”Maddy Brown (Blood Diamond, 2006).

The European Union are acting out of care and thinking of transparency for the industrial imports and mineral exporters. This is happening just a little month after the United States opened up their legislation for importing more from conflict zones. While the European Union plans to close the gate from areas and from sources that export Conflict minerals.

So the EU laws are becoming more stricter than the United States, even if the law they have enacted in the European Parliament and Council of the European Union, will be effective from 2021. So it is 4 years until it has giant effect and gives time to refinery and importers to change behavior. Something that is necessary, as well as the public have to grow concern of the affects of buying conflict minerals. Even as the conflict minerals still come into the market of Europe and into the refineries so the consumers doesn’t know and cannot follow where their products who contain minerals comes from war-zones.

That the European Union takes this serious and acts upon this Nobel, and proves that they does not want to support militias and guerrillas that keeps control of mineral rich areas and their exports to supply weapons and continue warfare in for instance the African Great Lakes Region. Take a look!

Background of new rule:

This Regulation, by controlling trade in minerals from conflict areas, is one of the ways of eliminating the financing of armed groups. The Union’s foreign and development policy action also contributes to fighting local corruption, to the strengthening of borders and to providing training for local populations and their representatives in order to help them highlight abuses” (EU, P: 8, 2017).

Conflict Minerals from Great Lakes Region:

The Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy should regularly review their financial assistance to and political commitments with regard to conflict-affected and high-risk areas where tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold are mined, in particular in the African Great Lakes Region, in order to ensure policy coherence, and in order to incentivise and strengthen the respect for good governance, the rule of law and ethical mining” (EU, P: 16, 2017).

Trade of Minerals funds armed conflicts:

Preventing the profits from the trade in minerals and metals being used to fund armed conflict through due diligence and transparency will promote good governance and sustainable economic development. Therefore, this Regulation incidentally covers areas falling within the Union policy in the field of development cooperation in addition to the predominant area covered which falls under the common commercial policy of the Union” (EU, P:17, 2017).

Important Article:

Article 3: Compliance of Union importers with supply chain due diligence obligations

1. Union importers of minerals or metals shall comply with the supply chain due diligence obligations set out in this Regulation and shall keep documentation demonstrating their respective compliance with those obligations, including the results of the independent third-party audits” (EU, P: 23, 2017).

Date of Application:

Articles 1(5), 3(1), 3(2), Articles 4 to 7, Articles 8(6), 8(7), 10(3), 11(1), 11(2), 11(3), 11(4), Articles 12 and 13, Article 16(3), and Article 17 shall apply from 1 January 2021” (EU, P: 51, 2017).

What the statements on the law:

The Commission will consider making additional legislative proposals targeted at EU companies with products containing tin, tantalum, and tungsten and gold in their supply chain should it conclude that the aggregate efforts of the EU market on the responsible global supply chain of minerals are insufficient to leverage responsible supply behaviour in producer countries, or should it assess that the buy-in of downstream operators that have in place supply chain due diligence systems in line with the OECD guidance is insufficient” (…) “In the exercise of its empowerment to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Article 1(5), the Commission will take due account of the objectives of this Regulation, notably as set out in recitals (1), (7), (10) and (17). In doing so, the Commission will, in particular, consider the specific risks associated with the operation of upstream gold supply chains in conflict affected and high-risk areas and taking into account the position of Union micro and small enterprises importing gold in the EU” (…) “In response to the request of the European Parliament for specific guidelines, the Commission is willing to develop performance indicators specific to the responsible sourcing of conflict minerals. By means of such guidelines, relevant companies with more than 500 employees that are required to disclose non-financial information in conformity with Directive 2014/95/EU would be encouraged to disclose specific information in relation to products containing tin, tantalum, tungsten or gold” (EU, P: 57-58, 2017).

The European Union is doing something positive with this. That they show effort and care for the imports and what affects the export has locally, so if the minerals export is shady, the export will cease. So if the due diligence regulation works and the industry complies, the effect can be enormous. The consumer will also know that there are not supporting by third party purchase to pay for ammunition rebels, warlords or guerrillas in far away lands. This should all be seen as step of making a better world and honorable society. Where the money is where the mouth is! Peace.

Reference:

Council of the European Union – ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas – Outcome of the European Parliament’s first reading (Strasbourg, 13 to 16 March 2017) – (20.03.2017).

President Trump: “Presidential Memorandum: Suspension of the Conflict Minerals Rule” – Legalizing export of questionable minerals from the DRC!

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U.S. Congress does not want investigation to “go dark” when coming to encrypted data, co-op between private and federal agencies is needed; the Year-End Report claims!

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As the House in Congress together with Encryption Working Group, which are different senators from all spectre of the House; they are coming from two parts of the House that are working in the Committee on Energy and Commerce & Committee on the Judiciary. They are here working on the public and private sphere, on the matter on encrypted data can be open and closed. These are because the companies can close the data for the investigation of the security organization. Something that can be hard and needed data to figure out the needed intelligence that the authority’s needs, but still the privacy of the citizens and also company secrets can go away if these encrypted data is uncovered. Therefore the working group to try to find a position on this hard conundrum!

“On February 16, 2016, a federal magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued an order requiring Apple, Inc. to assist the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in obtaining encrypted data off of an iPhone related to a 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California. Apple resisted the order. This particular case was resolved when the FBI pursued a different method to access the data stored on the device. But the case, and the heated rhetoric exchanged by parties on all sides, reignited a decades-old debate about government access to encrypted data” (…) “The law enforcement community often refers to their challenge in this context as “going dark.” In essence, “going dark” refers to advancements in technology that leave law enforcement and the national security community unable to obtain certain forms of evidence” (EWG, P: 2, 2016).

“Congress should not weaken this vital technology because doing so works against the national interest. However, it should not ignore and must address the legitimate concerns of the law enforcement and intelligence communities” (EWG, P: 4, 2016).

Data cross boarders:

“Data flows with little regard for national borders. Many of the private companies that met with the working group have a multinational presence and are subject to the laws of many different jurisdictions. Several of these companies noted a trend towards data localization requirements in foreign countries, driven at least in part by the difficulty in obtaining data for use in routine criminal investigations. Conversely, current legal authorities may be inadequate for federal agencies attempting to access data overseas” (EWG, P: 5, 2016).

The challenge of improving law enforcement access to encryption depends on a multitude of factors. Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the United States Secret Service face obvious challenges from the growing use of strong encryption. Although federal law enforcement agencies told the EWG that they encourage the use of encryption for the protection of sensitive information—including data retained by the federal government—they cite the increased use of encryption by suspected criminals and victims of crime as a severe challenge to their public safety mission” (EWG, P: 6, 2016).

“Public perception and recent tensions notwithstanding, there is already substantial cooperation between the private sector and law enforcement. Private company stakeholders demonstrated an ability to assist federal, state, and local agencies with access to information to the extent possible and with service of a lawful order, and expressed a willingness to explore ways to improve and enhance that collaboration” (EWG, P: 7, 2016).

“Exploring tools that might help companies clarify what information is already available to law enforcement officers, and under what circumstances” (…) “§ Examining federal warrant procedures to determine whether they can be made more efficient, consistent with current constitutional standards” (…) “§ Examining federal warrant procedures to ensure that they are clear and consistent with respect to law enforcement access to digital information” (…) “§ Examining how law enforcement can better utilize existing investigative tools” (EWG, P: 9, 2016).

“Although much of the debate has focused on requiring third party companies to decrypt information for the government, an alternative approach might involve compelling decryption by the individual consumers of these products. On a case-by-case basis, with proper court process, requiring an individual to provide a passcode or thumbprint to unlock a device could assist law enforcement in obtaining critical evidence without undermining the security or privacy of the broader population” (EWG, P: 12, 2016).

“Encryption is inexorably tied to our national interests. It is a safeguard for our personal secrets and economic prosperity. It helps to prevent crime and protect national security. The widespread use of encryption technologies also complicates the missions of the law enforcement and intelligence communities. As described in this report, those complications cannot be ignored. This is the reality of modern society. We must strive to find common ground in our collective responsibility: to prevent crime, protect national security, and provide the best possible conditions for peace and prosperity” (EWG, P: 13, 2016).

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When it comes to data encryption there will be hardships as the multi-national companies are not following borders, neither is this just about privacy, certain parts of the lawful “hacking” is breaching the codes and copyrights of technology for multi-national companies. These are with the example of Apple, who wouldn’t accept that FBI decoded their Iphone in February 2016. Certainly this question and the encryption of data will be a continued problem for authorities, security organizations and also civilians who want’s their privacy kept secret and not all in the open.

The fear that Big Brother can see everything and can connect into everything we have is worry, as much as it is that the companies we consumers has bought products can get all of information and data should also concern us; as much as it if the Security organizations could monitor every action and get hold of all our data. This will be a continued problem as the privacy, the need to unlock privacy terms and the use of National Security to keep an eye on the public sphere.

As long as the security organization can unlock when they need, but not to violate or even use the enforcement in ways where they can trespass into the data for the sense of security. U.S. enforcement shall be in regard for public safety, but shall also secure the privacy of innocent civilians, as much as copyright and encrypted data of giant corporations. Therefore the clear case-to-case work has to be done in corporation between security organization and also private companies, as they together can secure National Security and also the lives of innocent civilians. These are codes of conduct that needs to be clear, the indication of proper work and also co-op that the investigation needs to partake. Peace.

Reference:

Encryption Working Group – ‘Encryption Working Group Year-End Report’ (December 20, 2016)

Opinion: I am not worried about the Iphone7; I’m more worried about grander issues!

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I am worried not worried about the new Iphone 7 or its headphone features. That doesn’t get a fig of imagination as the reality is so much deeper than the American Tech Tax Evasion in Ireland as the Multi-Billion dollar profits of Europe doesn’t deserve to pay the Nations that they are trading their goods in. The Apple Company are greedy gutsy and expect me to care about features and design. They deserve discredit for their blatant Sports Direct ways of scrapping paying tax in Europe. Did they call Mike Ashley to get advice on how to solve issues of avoiding being honourable and actually paying tax like ordinary fellows? Than when they have to cough up money after being sued by the Irish Republic then they claim to stop having their business and sacking thousands of people for actually doing what they we’re supposed to do all along. Pay tax on the profits and now trying to scam their way to get rid of taxes. This proves that the Apple Corporation doesn’t have only have a headphone problem, but a heart problem and cynic dissolution dividing themselves from ordinary folk’s ears and minds. Their Apple Geniuses at the stores need to pay tax on their income; the same should the CEO and the Boards for their profits. Maybe time to frame the company to the pedestal of European scams of fraudulent behaviour for their fear of tax from European nations.

Well, there are other issues boggling my mind today as the continuation of oppressive behaviour in Ethiopia as Oromia and Amhara protest been silenced with the army aggressively cracking down and assaulting the population. As the country we’re supposed to celebrate New Year’s, still the internet is blocked in Amhara as the fear of knowledge and intelligence leaking to the world apparently. Still, the Government has blocked the phone lines in the area to. So with mercenaries and Agazi squad assembled in the area with heavy artillery and even bombings proves the extent the Ethiopian Government goes to silence their own population as the American Ally on the Horn of Africa is allowed to act as it please.

Amhara 03.09.2016

Just to give you a moment and to let it sink in: “Secretary of AEUP, Adane Tilahun, in hiding after imminent arrest threat for interviews he gave to VoA”. If an interview get you into such trouble that you have to hide from the authorities than there are showing their no-reason non-sense control of the citizens as they are bombing and assaulting their own. Also, doesn’t want the word the out!

I am worried that people forgetting the violence of Gabon after the rigged election for the second Generation and Second term President Ali Bongo Ondimba; who just “won” with 4000 ballots after the 3 day doctoring of the ballots that gave him 98% votes in his stronghold. I was expecting 100% and a few donkeys on the tally. Jean Ping the former AU man have been tarnished and been demoted, even if he won the election; the Bongo presidency still controls the Authorities and Institutions. That the world doesn’t react to men not stealing a chicken, but a nation; we can be so grand in our ignorance because it is more important that the Iphone 7 can use ordinary Audio Connection and not Apple’s own Headphone system.

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What also worries me is the current state of CORD and Jubilee in Kenya; as the newly united party under the Jubilee Party and their structure together with the workings of the new board for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto can sell their story even if it fiction or reality to the people with their expensive PR campaign of Prado cortege through Nairobi and the Summit of setting the program. As the new pledges and fixing the cartels for Sugar and Coffee and all other industries; end corruption and fix the Mombasa port. But, if they do so doesn’t they recycle the pledges of past, will the Jubilee promise more stadiums and infrastructure projects, like making the grandest airport out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Wonder if that will happen?

What I worried about is the men and woman who will jump ships and what their values of parties really was; let say certain individuals who has been Flagbearers, Senators, Governors and MPs for a dozen of Jubilee parties as there we’re 12 of those bad-boys in the current administration. There will be less tickets as you slash 11 parties… that means that in some districts there will dozen of candidates, new and old who will do whatever to get their seat as there is not enough place in a new structure compete the places in a new National Executive Committee and others.

So if these MPs and whatever position in the Jubilee who shuttle over to the Cord, than what is the difference and what is the key aspect of the Cord if they take in everybody who isn’t “good” enough for Jubilee and their new tickets. An if so, they should already have older or new blood through the parties of Cord that doesn’t need the high-blooded and thinking of their own ticket than about the general clue to why there are politicians. To represent the constituencies an citizens where they need support. If MPs and such are opposition are easily leaving Cord for Jubilee, why we’re they in opposition was they there because they didn’t have credit or ability to be part of current government until now? We should just worry about the values of these politicians and their wish for making a difference and even create a better future for their children’s children. Not to talk about making clearance and making sure that the debt cycle of Kenya doesn’t go over hurdle of the future ability to pay the rates and bills instead of building projects and salaries.

Robert Mugabe

I am worried about the state of affairs in Zimbabwe as the government doesn’t have cash, the banks are empty of Rands and Dollars. The bond notes are coming with future debt while the Zanu-PF elite are riding expensive SUVs through streets where people are begging to take out the savings from the banks. Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe are threating the demonstrations with “enough is enough” while the Courts are allowing it. The same Police and Anti-Riot Police commanders that have thrown tear-gas and brutality against citizens are still getting the same treatment as the other civil servants. The Police are now not getting a raise, not getting salary on time and also the same struggle as the nurses, soldiers and everybody else as the budget deficit is growing bigger and bigger. Since also the Finance Minister recently painted the grim picture and with the oppressive behavior from the Central Government has lost touch totally with their own citizens and their view of righteous and just actions from the ones that are facilitating businesses and safety.

I am worried about the silence on the crisis in Burundi, as the CNDD-FD youth group ‘Imbonerakure’ has apparently raped over a 150 girls in the recent days. This is happening as after the start of the third term for Pierre Nkurunziza as the President. With that in mind the assassinations and killings of opposition, military leaders and police officers proves that the AU/EAC based dialogue is pointless as the parties are silenced by the regime and the ones aggressively retaliating makes the civilians in the cross firing fleeing to Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

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Well, I am also worried!  Even Rwanda have been connected to groups violating the government and to a point of coup plot against the CNDD-FD regime; not strange as the High-Coltan exporter Rwanda are stealing Coltan from DRC and exporting better quality and levels of resources than their mines and mountains doesn’t have. Still, the world isn’t worried about the absence of justice in Beni, DRC and the RDC issues of thieving with guerrillas Nord (North) Kivu and the areas around. Paul Kagame likes to eat on stealing and killing as he has done all through his Presidency, still nobody questions him and let him by high quality weapons without any problems.

I am worried about the current instability of Juba, the PoC and United Nations actions in South Sudan. The Troika looks like three stooges who doesn’t cover their actions and expect warriors to be peace-loving drones as the riches get by the gun and not by dialogue. The Government of National Unity (TGoNU) that has installed Gen. Taban Deng Gai from the SPLM-IO and the SPLM-IG President Salva Kiir. The battles in Western Bahr El Ghazal State in the town of Wau; this proves the battles between the different fractions.

That the former Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar are back to heal in Khartoum where he was loyal before, while the SPLA where fighting Khartoum to get freedom from the Sudan Government under President Omar Al-Bashir. So the iconic leader of South Sudan seems lost, while Gen. Taban Deng Gai hasn’t had the control of the opposition even as the TGoNU have been able to get a battalion from SPLM-IO to Juba because of his appointment. The worrying is that both TGoNU and US spokesmen saying Machar doesn’t having any rights to get back to Power and be underling under President Kiir. That he giant level of fleeing citizens to Uganda and the little bound monies to camps in Northern Uganda proves the UNICEF and underfunding of the United Nation Refugee Agency that are running the refugee camps together with the NRM regime of Uganda. This show’s level of internal problems in South Sudan affects the Ugandan politics and funding.

This is just some of the things that go to through my mind. So I am not worried about the headphones of the Iphone7 and their technical changes from the last edition. There are bigger questions and more hard questions to ask about the world. Like why are the world still taking the so-called Presidential-Candidate Donald Trump serious when he recycling his lies to an extent that if you took the account of monies the Apple Corporation didn’t pay tax in Europe, the amount of lies that we’re not questioned by journalist towards Trump would be practically the same. Enough for now! Peace.

My letter to Electronics Producers who are responsible for supplying money to militias and guerrillas of the DRC!

Illegal Mining DRC

Dear Electronic Producers of end-products as Mobile Phones and such, I write to you in haste!

Then I mean the likes of Foxconn of China, Apple, Hitachi, Sanyo, NEC Tokin, Kemet, AVX, Vishay, Flextronics, Celestica Sanmina, Asustek, Jabil, Hewitt-Packard, Dell, Acer, IBM, Samsung, Motorola, Canon and Nokia. Also other suppliers who deliver the needed products for you too label and sell to the global market.  

I write too you with urgency, do you want your names to mentioned in blood, as your greed for the profits are no embedded with warlords and thieves of East Africa, as the exported mineral resources as Coltan, Tin, Tantalum and Tungsten. These minerals are needed in your production to make your phones, your electronics and others.

There been warlords, been warriors and presidents that have looted the Southern and Northern Kivu of Democratic Republic of Congo. They have all used AK-47 and other weapons while taking territories, towns and villages. These are the places, where the militias and guerrillas are raping the woman, burning villages and taking over mines even with child-labor if needed.

All the deaths and wars since the fall of Mobutu Sese Seko in the end of 1990s, where the proxy war of Uganda and Rwanda in the Kivu’s where the mines are; and you have accepted this as you vouch for their armies and their militias taking the area, eating of the minerals, eating the stones and lifting the burden they have to buy ammunition to continue their thieving. The thieving and capturing the miners, destroying and taking the minerals, the minerals you use in your products, the end-products you want to sell to me and the world.

DRC Minerals

What is the pride of your fiscal profits, knowing you were securing payments, securing buying of small-arms and killings of fellow men and woman, on your watch, on your payment and your production? The initial end-game of Electronic Products is that as long as we know that, the Laptops, Smart-Phone and others are tainted with blood; they are tainted with the operation of warlords.

That cannot be gone away in silence, as long as the President of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo, they are all in on it, and enjoy the monies with their proxy armies controlling various mines and different minerals, the issues and stages of exploitation of the Kivu’s.

If more people care, they would be aggravated, they would wonder if there was ways of producing the smart-phones and laptops without the minerals that are fueling the guerrillas and militias of Kivu, which is not extending the reign of Kabila, Kagame and Museveni. They are the reasons for these killings and these groups who extort this violence.

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The nonsense non-action, the deliberate assault for these minerals, and your plenty of usage, while knowing where it came from, with the extent of the force that it taken from the ground and into the factories, before sold with pop-song on the local TV-Station with a fancy name and image; that image should be tainted with the knowledge of how the minerals for it came to light of day, with the injustice, the impunity and dissolved society where the fear of violence, reckless warlords, relentless soldiers and murders keeping at bay the illegal logging of minerals of the Kivu’s. That is what the price of the profits.

The brave and Nobel men of the boardrooms of the companies, the men and woman of the PR firms, and the consumers, should be enlighten, should take a stand and we all should try to find ways to absorb and not buy the tainted electronics, or least spread the names of them who take the supply of blood-tainted minerals and make products for profit. That should be stopped, as the killings, the continued presence of militias and guerrillas, they are all been kept and fed by your money. The money you have supplied them, so they can continue to get guns and ammunition.

FARDC Beni May 2016

This money comes from the people, the citizens of the world, they should now and should extend their hands, if they about the atrocities and violence of the Kivu’s. They are serving your profits, the profits made on the guerrillas and militias controlling the mines and exploitations of the provinces with the enriched minerals of the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is what should be known, the silent and sudden killer of it all, the ones that responsible for the presence of modern technology, are militants and guerrillas who are fed on the violence as they export to industries that take it without questions.

It should be questioned and the people should care, the knowledge of these actions should be in the open and spoken more about. Last time the blood-diamonds movie and Leonardo DiCaprio played a reckless man who sold diamonds in Sierra Leone… maybe if they did the same with blood tainted minerals from the DRC, then the world citizens might care and asked for change of policy, but the average man don’t, they just want to enjoy 3G and 4G while surfing to read Tabloid papers and other madness, instead of using their waste opportunities to gain the needed knowledge of the affairs that is happening from afar with the technology at hand.

There is time to question; there are and been more than enough massacres and deaths happening in Beni, in Goma and in Kivu’s for the needed minerals. Time to ask the Electronics Companies and the Suppliers of these minerals to take actions, as their need for this is the reason why the atrocities and killings are happening. They are happing on our watch and with our knowledge. It is time to do something and ask for change, to pressure the DRC Government, to pressure the Electronic producers to use other suppliers if possible and stop fueling their profits into the warlords of East Africa, as they are responsible for their existence, as they are the ones giving them money and plenty to continue to harass and kill their fellow brother and sisters.

Best Regards

The Writer of Minbane

Up for Grab: The true soul of Christmas version 2.1

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It’s time to write about Christmas again, I know it’s early, but hey the Christmas products are dropping and Black Friday is arriving quicker than the wind. We all know what that means, we can see the chocolates with Marzipan and specialized packed foods for this part of the year. The sodas, beers, meat, horseradish, crab-legs and all the ho ho ho. Not to forget the Oranges and ginger-mixed cakes with spiced up sugar-glazing.

I’m just waiting for Itunes and the radios to play the Christmas tunes and mosh the sad songs of Mariah Carey and Bing Crosby. The strange faces on the billboards on the trams and also on the Clear Channel posters all around town like the Grinch stole the whole town!

I just wonder if our societies have forgot why we celebrate it. Because for some reasons it’s more important to have an Iphone under the tree, then crossing your lips for a prayer and celebrate a birth of Christ! Something is missing in that picture. Something is really missing in that picture. The gingerbread cakes wasn’t it in the Middle Earth, wait! Sorry, the Middle East, where Jesus Christ was born. Either wasn’t a birth made so we had to run to some Supermarket and buy the new mops or laptops made from a sweatshop of factory in the middle of China, which is more like Mordor, then jolly Christmas celebration place of work, who has seen BBC One’s ‘Apple’s broken promise’?

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It’s like Scrooge is saving Christmas. Then do yourself a favor eat some more of the gingerbread and hope you’re not to bubbly after it. Still the earliness of Christmas products is coming right before Halloween or All Saints day. So before we celebrate the ones who has built our lands and men of faith of the past – we have to run down the shopping center’s and buy a few limited editions kitchen products that has to be made with either Danish design or Made in Taiwan. Nothing is Christmas as a kitchen machine making popcorn or spatula from Jamie Oliver.

We can all be a little goodie-good and grand hearted even long while before the Christmas preparation starts we have even said our prayers for the saints before we supposed to be sugarcoated and ginger-breaded up to our ears and eyes. Sure that a few of those Christmas tunes want make the day sweeter. Only make you wonder, how quick can ordinary days come back into effect?

The Companies sure want to earn on our nostalgia and good-heartedness towards our loved ones and friends. Because this is the crunch time of the year (Fourth Quarter!) If this sometimes doesn’t kick-off well then the business or shop are not settled to survive into 2016. But that isn’t an excuse to sell me Christmas cookies before November kissed the Calendar.

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I am sure the CEO is not Home Alone or busy bodies trying to keeping up with Scrooge. Still their finding their ways of making ordinary products Christmassy, like I am waiting for the Christmas designed toilet paper for sale in my grocery store from Lambi and it will be limited edition.

I wonder why we have to release their special products before All Saints day and make Christmas time or Advent, where we supposed to celebrate the birth of Christ. Not waiting for yet another edition of chocolate in wrappings reminding of Santa’s Red Noosed Deer. Would you buy your summer barbeque special edition products in the middle of January? Still we accept to eat the special wrapped goods from before either versions of Christmas Carrol is on TV.

We can’t soon turn our beamy eyes on social media before every company between Hawaii and Kazakstan who has a Black Friday will jump upon you and wish you to be a part of their event, especially on Facebook! And your friends will invite you on it to hope that they will win a coupon or price for yet another piece of merchandize that either them or me need. But that’s what Christmas time is all about right?

We all have to feed these multi-national companies with our hard-earn monies to secure their parachute payments of their leaders when they resign. So we can be assured that they might only that their Santa Claus will be jolly all the way to bank for kidding ourselves with the wrapped mockery they have sold us since October. That most of doesn’t really want to have before the actual days of Advent. Unless we are the Gingerbread figure in the Shrek movies to be inspired to become Stallone’s Rambo and has his own franchise. Now that I said it, can I pitch a idea? It will be action packed while smashing down people in Ginger-city and kill the ones who try to steal the M&Ms that was supposed to be glazed on him with the working title “The Gingerman runs the mob”.

Christ

Instead we’re in the Christmas bonanza and will until new-years like the recent years. I am sure that very few are waiting for new Christmas-products. That as usual got nothing to do with the actual holiday that everybody supposed to wait for. Not anything about waiting or symbolic of the supposed Christmas. It’s like Christ himself is a side-character instead of the main act and coming with one-liners, when the actual plot maker does something stupid. So here we are in the middle of and also start-ups, the yearly prequel of the Advent that has set the real life Scrooges and Grinches into life. They push any kind of products instead of what we are really celebrating. Though the Scrooges do what they are born to do as well, earn money and sell us sweatshop products on Black Friday, instead of giving hope and joy that the day is supposed to celebrate. The Advent is the waiting for the long awaited day that we celebrate, though so many just celebrate the ability to open a present and gifts from friends and family. There is nothing wrong in that, though the day has more value than that. That is like a forgotten story and it wasn’t Scrooge, Coca-Cola-Santa or the Grinch alone that stole Christmas it was our culture, that now lives on the special-limited-edition products that is a part of that time or the year. Instead of actually celebrate what really is Christmas.

It is not that I myself enjoy a special kind of Christmas soda, because though who knows me, knows how much I enjoy it. The thing that I am trying to say: is that we should not be enticed and forget it in the run for products that is symbolic edition and gifts. So we may not forget the main issue of the Advent and Christmas. Because if we forget that then we need help and ask ourselves why we running between stores at the mall and being in rush. Instead of being we actually there for our loved ones and spend our time with them. We are instead using so much time going to these shops and standing in ques. We should use less time on that and spend it with the ones we care about. That is something that has more value than newly fresh pressed money or imported Grincy-Scroogy-Gumball-Dumbo-Dumbledore-Delux Drier that none in the family needed. Peace.

Buy your identity…

Today I will discuss something that has been on my mind a while, but I haven’t penned down on anything, because well, I been naturally busy with ordinary life and moving, which makes a guy out of his safe space, get rid of old stuff and get something else to his new place.

Therefore a brother naturally thinks about a lot of matters while moving certain chairs, furniture and books from one place to another. I am seeing this advertisements, commercials and companies spending fortunes applying themselves into our daily lives.

Buy your identity! That is not what their saying directly but indirectly. Indirectly I mean is that you’re to prove yourself and who you are. Because the JEANS you got will tell who you are and who you want to be. The soda you drink will either tell your old house-mom or athletic sports fanatic who eager to live life in a rush. The car you’re pushing from A to B you own it either because you’re a anglophile or just a guy who needs a vehicle to drive in. And this could go on and on.

Buy your identity! What a lie it is. You can have a lot of stuff, house and car. You can buy the whole kitchen shop but that doesn’t make you a gourmet chef. If you drink PEPSI or COLA doesn’t mean bigger then you got a pretense for taste or your living somewhere where the either is sweater taste then the other one. There is nothing else really, if you want to add more to it than you’re making assumption on your own.

Buy your identity! When you see a fine woman smiling on a poster selling any kind of products as a man you look at it and glimpse at it. Even in the day and age when you’re told that photo-shopped model isn’t in the real world looking like that, but somewhere close. We all should in those matters think more about what ideals we want in society and where we want to go? Is this a healthy look upon the human body and with it standards and natural defects that most of us A4 persons develop, and even those models must have them? Right! There must be another route to generate interest that beneficial for the companies and for us citizens to look upon ourselves then get into a state where the body is just a skeleton and a minute after the Frankenstein’s monster arriving and eating your flesh.

Buy your identity! I am just waiting to share more of the joy that the fantastic and evolutionary toothbrush will make my smile as white as the teeth of Tom Cruise, but until then Colgate and Solidox wouldn’t be the magic to save my face this time either.

Nevertheless, we all need stuff, we all need to eat, have clothes, cars and houses. How much they make our identity and our soul is based upon how much place in our life we give them. If we give them nothing more space then we need, then is okay. But when we’re going to the point that we got to have a certain brand and label for everything in life, than we should sit down and think about moves. Because for certainty, that must be a wet dream for a marketer to know that there a person’s discussing and choosing certain products on the base of not quality, price or needs. But for the matter of personal gain and who they are.

As a man, I been there and done this without thinking and is not proud. But your there and wondering after if you were quoting the adverts for the company instead of making your own mind. Here are some examples:

–          Adidas VS Puma: Brothers who compete for making the best sportswear and all over the world people still discuss who is best and who fits best for you.

–          Coca-Cola VS Pepsi: Soda wars that never stops and in the modern way its discussing the difference flavors of the sugarless versions (Zero/Light VS Max). Drink them all just with joy.

–          Heinz VS Local Version Ketchup: The taste-buds you have, doesn’t necessary have to be the same as your friend. Get over it and eat.

–          Apple VS Microsoft Computers: Old discussion and also fight of hardware VS design and just how you feel. Both sides became anchors of identity.

–          Playstation VS Xbox VS Nintendo: Game wars that has put and set identity of both what kind of gamer you are and what kind of controller that fits you. Wonder when this is dying.

I could have made a longer list, but I won’t bore you to death. And I got a life myself so I quit while the game is good.

What I am trying to say is that don’t let the things make who you are. It’s true we all need stuff to live and make a living. A phone, even a smart one to, a computer to write and check important stuff online, we need transports, a place to stay and food in our belly’s. So here we are, we need companies, producers and they need to sell stuff to us. But that doesn’t mean that they have to sell a thinking of building my identity. They can’t build my identity. They can be a part of it, because I need them for certain, not out of pure joy but the way we have built society and our economic system.

The companies and their products make me check and pick after what I needs and sometimes just buying some random crap from a local business that wasn’t intended. But that is life, we are doing it and we all stand by it and see it happening.

Please, I know you can’t fix or make my identity. Please dear companies don’t sell that to me. I don’t need it and your toaster won’t make feel like Ussain Bolt or feel that when I buy a piece of bread that ‘I am making world peace’. We all know that isn’t happening. I am just buying a piece of bred so I can have some for supper and lunch at work. Nothing with the bread that is fascinating. The cereal isn’t a magical box with the sparkling finesse and supernatural powers to fix your diet. It’s just a measly bowl of cereal that I hope you like the taste of, but it doesn’t build your prestige or honor among people. Your action does so. Your beautiful mind does so. The way you write and discuss matters does so. Not you shoes who you runs with gives you stamina. That is your beating heart and lungs who give you power to run down the pathway, not the Puma or Adidas shoes. Even though they either makes the steps more soft or hard depending on which type of shoes you have.

Please, we can’t buy our identity. We can buy products and collectables. We can buy clothes that make us look different, but we can change them and be perceived differently, but our friends and family will know who we really are underneath the clothes and the front we put into the world we live in.

Peace.