The World is Bizarre
I’ve been paying attention to the news lately and all sorts of crazy and bizarre things have been happening. Earthquakes, Tsunami’s, wars, etc, etc. However, I suppose on another level, that has always been what the world was like and in this respect, I’d like to introduce my next topic, which is, how one should analyze this bizarre world.
I want to begin with Willy Mutunga and his wearing of a diamond stud. Most people don’t think it’s an issue, but I think that for a 64 year old Kenyan man, choosing to wear an earring in a conservative culture such as Kenya’s, is actually bizarre. Mutunga’s explanations on why he chose to wearing a earring left me thinking…well…that’s even more bizarre. First, he said it was for religious purposes. Which religion requires this? Then, he said, he was doing it in reverence to his African ancestors. Did Africans wear diamond studs? If he wanted to keep it real, what he should have done was cut his ear loop and put in an ivory piece (because that’s what they did).
Then, I start wondering why this man with bizarre behavior is being so highly touted to become the country’s chief law interpereter. He’s never been a judge and thus, there’s no record on how he might rule on any specific case that comes before him. The bulk of his legal career was working for civil society and human rights organizations. So, has he ever litigated a case in the real world?
Then, I heard that he’s been twice divorced (which is fine) but that he doesn’t financially support the children from his second marriage and I’m like…who is this guy? Nobody seems to care about these questions. The only thing they’re looking at are his supposed academic writings and his educational credentials, but as we’ve seen with the IMF chief who just got arrested for sexual assault, when someone voluntarily decides to run for public office, an examination of their private lives is absolutely in order because it will affect their judgements (& when you are applying to become a judge, judgement is crucial).
However, it becomes even more bizarre when I read that both Kibaki and Raila support his appointment and I start thinking to myself..well, that’s odd. Since when have Kibaki and Raila ever agreed on anything? Some may say that’s a good thing, but the only explanation I have for this is that Kibaki is very confident that the redistricting he engineered will virtually ensure that Raila has no chance to win and thus, a tribally oriented chief justice will not be that important in 2012.
So, since we’re talking about the law in general, I want to conclude by saying that the emphasis I’m seeing (whereby people in Kenya are placing so much faith in legal systems, e.g. a new constitution, a new chief justice, etc, etc) is also bizarre to me. It is bizarre to me because, legal frameworks will not address the underlying economic problems. i.e. unless that society becomes more productive and starts creating jobs for those 40 million (& growing) population, an implosion will eventually be in order.
I don’t know if anyone here read the constitution, but I did and I thought that it was a poorly written document, full of grammatical error’s, missing sentences and generally bizarre. How will that document change an agrarian society (I thought to myself). More democracy, but you still don’t have jobs? It doesn’t make sense.
Then, I look at Ben Bernanke and realize that he is going to print and print and print (he has no choice anymore) — America cannot pay back it’s debts and Bernanke will default via printing. So, the economics blogs I read, tell me that this printing is going to create massive inflation (worldwide). We’re already seeing the effects of this inflation in the Middle East. People couldn’t afford to eat and they took to the streets. Sub-Saharan Africa is poorer than North Africa. Why haven’t they started rioting yet? Someone told me that you can’t have revolutions in tribal countries, which is true, but if Bernanke keeps printing, food and energy prices are going to keep going up and the poor are going to get hit the hardest. No amount of new constitutions or diamond stud wearing Chief Justices is going to be able to stop what’s coming and that is when things will start get interesting.
You cannot avoid the relentless math problem forever. That’s the only question I ask myself when I read about constitutions and chief justices. How will they resolve this relentless math problem?