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Showing posts from December, 2015

Saint Paul Minnesota Snow Emergency

SAINT PAUL HAS DECLARED A SNOW EMERGENCY.Visit StPaul.gov/snow or Call 651-266-PLOW (7569) for complete information.On 12/29/15 beginning at 9:00 P.M., all NIGHT PLOW ROUTES will be plowed. This includes all arterial or main streets posted with signs that say "NIGHT PLOW ROUTE" and one side of all north-south residential streets posted with signs that say "NIGHT PLOW ROUTE-THIS SIDE OF STREET".On 12/30/15 beginning at 8:00 A.M. all DAY PLOW ROUTES will be plowed. This includes all non-posted east-west residential streets and the non-posted side of north-south residential streets.Parking is banned until streets are plowed full width. Ticketing and towing will begin at 9:00 P.M. the day the snow emergency is declared and continues until parking restrictions are removed. For more information visit our website at www.StPaul.gov/Snow.Please shovel your sidewalk to help those who have trouble getting around. If you are a corner property owner please shovel the walkways t…

Santa Claus-Father Christmas

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When we were children we never knew him as Santa Claus. The portly man in the bright red suit with the white fluffy cotton trim and the thick snow-white woolly beard. The jolly red Saint Nicholas.
Back in Sierra Leone, we called him "Father Christmas."  Methinks the name Santa Claus was either too foreign or the title Father Christmas was much easier to understand and relate to. Only those from very educated families called him Santa Claus. Back where we grew up there were not many of those. As opposed to USA where there is usually a live Santa Claus at each major mall, it was very difficult to see a real Santa Claus or Father Christmas on the streets of Freetown in those days.
In the first place Santa Claus' suit is more fitted to the colder wintry climes. Even though we had the Harmattan wind blowing from the Sahel through Guinea into Freetown around that time,  Santa Claus' suit was a major inconvenience to wear on the warm dusty streets of Eastern Freetown.
Se…

Christmas 2015: A Salone Man in Minnesota

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Today I woke up to snow on my doorsteps. Sometime during the night, the snow had come like an unwelcome stranger and dumped four inches of fluffy stuff in our backyard. If we had listened to the forecast, we would have gone to bed expecting the snow. Unfortunately, yesterday we came across an old Sam Fan Thomas Album on YouTube, "African Typic Collection" and it was all that we listened to. Sam Fan Thomas, Youssou N'dour, Oliver Ngoma and S.E Rogie. Those four can make even a drab Christmas feel great.
This morning, I dragged my boots through the slippery snow, came out of the driveway and looked out down the street, marvelling at the uniformity of the whiteness, feeling sorry for the struggling drivers who would always find an excuse to postpone that tire change until the first major snow fall. Snow and smooth tires engage in a  type of dance that no driver wants to get in.The snow always wins. Always.
I can guarantee that this morning, the folks at Discount Tires will…

Christmas Soccer Gala lifts Spirits in Segbwema

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Therefore was no better place to have been in Sierra Leone this Christmas day for soccer/football loving fans than in the Eastern Region city of Segbwema!
In a 90 minute hard fought slugfest held at the Segbwema town field, the visiting holiday makers team held the dynamic home based players to a surprising 3-3 draw in one of the most exciting matches the town has seen in a long while, much to the dismay of the spectators who had expected the home based to win by a significant margin.
Following the kickoff by Njaluahun's dynamic Paramount Chief Sheriff Coker Jajua I, many people expected soccer maestro Brima Kallon and his relatively young home based squad to make easy work of the veteran holiday makers, some of whose active soccer days were well in the past. But in a classic case of experience over youthfulness, the visiting rangers nearly won the day, but for a controversial last minute penalty awarded to the home based team very close to the 90 minute mark.
The visiting side …

A Trump Presidency: What a World that will be.

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The thought of a Trump Presidency is by equal parts interesting, funny and scary. Imagine a leader of the free world who basically says anything thing that comes to mind, without thinking about the ramifications or the consequences of his words. He just says it like it is.
A President Trump would ban all Muslims from coming to the United States. That would include a ban on almost the entire Middle East with possibly the  exception of Christian Arabs and Israelis. This would of course not be including Arab Israelis who are mostly Muslims. It would also be a ban on possibly half of Nigerians or even half of the African continent, including the whole North Africa. It would be a Ban on almost all Indonesians, Malaysians, Pakistanis, Indian Muslims and Chinese. It would be also be a ban on most of the Bosnian population and a significant population of Europe. Now imagine if those countries responded by imposing retaliatory bans on the movement of Americans into their country? The world wo…

Trump has the Republican Party in a Choke Hold

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From yesterday evening there has been a parade of Republican big Whigs, all eager to get on TV and Cable networks and get the opportunity to publicly denounce Donald Trump's statement that there should be a ban on all Muslims entering the United States, even though he modified his stance today by stating that the ban would just be a temporary measure. According to Trump, there is no other choice.

Many Republican establishment leaders were on TV yesterday morning stating that Trump's statements did not reflect American values. Some stated that his views did not represent who they were and issued similar statements of condemnation, even though it must be pointed out that none of them came out outright to stated that because of this and other past incendiary rhetoric, if Trump were to ever become the party's presidential candidate they would not support him. Only few major Republican donors have come out to say as much. The rest of the Republican establishment is left confus…

Will there Ever be world Peace?

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When you watch beauty pageants there is always that one question or answer regarding world peace. Through the world's conflicts over time, from the wars of Alexander the Great to the battles of  Napoleon Bonaparte, to the two devastating World Wars and the endless conflicts in Africa, there has always been the pacifists, the idealists, those who imagined a world devoid of conflict, a world in which tranquility will one day the the dominant order. A world of Peace, Love and Harmony
The great John Lennon of the Beatles imagined a world where there are no countries and no religions, the two things responsible for most of the conflicts of the past two centuries. He imagined a world where there will be peace.
Luciano the reggae maestro told us to imagine a world where there was no war, a world where everybody knows what they are living for, a world where no evil can abide, only righteousness and peace.
Will such a peaceful world ever exist? A world free from war and strife, a world blind…

Towards a Better Country: The Constitutional Review Process in Sierra Leone

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A very important thing is happening in Sierra Leone that will determine the course the country is going to take for the next two decades or so. The Sierra Leone Constitution is being reviewed. So far, many interest groups, from civil society organizations to pro-democracy organizations to even the Rastafarians, have all made presentations to the Constitutional Review Committee. The Rastafarian movement is agitating for the decriminalization of marijuana, the hypnotic plant commonly called in local parlance "djamba." Rasta just wants to get high without harassment.

The importance of a country's Constitution is hard to state in words. It is not only the country's moral compass, but provides the guidelines for social, economic and cultural transformation. Constitutions indirectly control the destinies of people and dictate their way of life. A country's constitution must reflect the character and values of its citizens. A country's Constitution must be designed…