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Why I will not vote for Joe Biden | Joe Biden

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Once again it is presidential election season in the United States and once again progressive critical thinkers who care about the future of our humanity find themselves in a quandary – to get rid of the wicked Donald Trump and his corrupt family and cronies should they or should they not opt to vote for yet another corporatist liberal, Joe Biden. It is deja vu, it is a rerun of a tired old movie, it is Groundhog Day: We had it with Trump and Hillary Clinton last time, and we have it again with the same Trump and even worse Biden now.  

I completely sympathise with the leading American public intellectuals caught in this snare. 

Cornel West, the eminent African American philosopher, for example, says he is planning to cast an “anti-fascist” vote for Biden in November despite his concerns about the former vice president’s ties to “Wall Street and militarism”. West knows all too well Biden will betray every single ideal and principle for which West stands, but he is so disgusted with Trump – and rightly so – he is doing what in Persian we call “jumping from one crumbling column to another with hope”.  

The same is true with Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned linguist and political activist who is also on the record encouraging people “to vote for Joe Biden and then haunt his dreams” – whatever that may mean. Politicians like Trump or Biden do not dream for us to haunt their dreams. They are the definitions of nightmares. Neither Trump nor Biden is to be trusted, and Chomsky knows that. But he is jumping from one crumbling column to another – is it with hope or is it in despair?

The revolutionary thinker and activist Angela Davis too has said she is supporting Biden for president, calling it crucial to back the candidate “who can be most effectively pressured”. But really? How so? Biden could not tolerate a single BDS-backing Palestinian activist, Linda Sarsour, taking part in his campaign and swiftly moved to kick her out. That is the sort of zealot Biden is. What sort of “pressure” can one hope to exert on him? 

Between a rock and a hard place 

Still, the terrorising presidency of Trump and the Dark Ages of ignorance and criminal racism he has unleashed in the US, make it perfectly understandable why these and many other eminent critical thinkers who would not be caught dead with Biden are now rushing to declare their support for him. They are jumping from one crumbling column to another and forming a strategic alliance in the hopes that once Trump is out of the picture they can charge ahead beyond Biden’s perilous promises.

But I write this essay to differ with these towering moral figures and openly declare that I will not vote for Biden. This is not to say I am more principled than them or care less about the consequences of yet another calamitous term of Trump. For the future of my own and millions of other American children I hope and wish for a day he is collected from the White House and taken to prison or asylum – whichever is closer.  

But still, I will never vote for Biden for I believe the function of people like me is entirely different from even those among the American left with whom I wholeheartedly identify. The task of critical thinking at this point is not to rush to declare we are voting for Biden – an unrepentant racist and self-declared Zionist with a frightening record of misogyny who has actively supported the Iraq war. We had a far superior choice in Bernie Sanders, but twice in a row, the Democratic Party made absolutely sure to kill his chances.

The task at hand is to sustain the course of critical thinking that could not possibly embrace Biden. Voting for Biden is voting for the very foundation of a political culture that has a whole platoon of Trumps and Bidens waiting to surface. If we choose between Trump and Biden today, next time we will have to choose between Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton. This vicious cycle can only come to an end through a sustained and uncompromising course of critical thinking against the very grain of this political culture that demonises the Black Lives Matter uprising, celebrates neo-Nazis, and canonises Hillary Clinton and Biden as God-given salvation against this murderous banality.

A fateful moment

It was Barack Obama’s speech that sealed my decision to never vote for Biden. Up until then, I was thinking to myself that a vote for Biden is not actually a vote for him, but a vote against Trump, alongside other such tall tales and poor excuses. But when Obama took to the podium and began to get emotional and pleaded for people to go and vote for Biden, right there and then, I decided it would be obscene of me to do so, especially with this hypocritical con man on his side.

Every time Obama starts choking up, I remember him crying in public for children who have fallen victim to gun violence in the US, just before going back to his Oval Office to send even more arms to Israel with which to slaughter Palestinian children, or sell them to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to kill more Yemeni children. Are Palestinian and Yemeni children not children? Every single human being stands for the entirety of our humanity. How could this coward be so openly cruel and callous when it comes to children in Yemen, Palestine, Afghanistan and beyond, and still pretend to care deeply about America’s children?

Biden is even worse than Obama in his die-hard Zionism – in his support for the apartheid state of Israel, in his categorical disregard for Palestinians. Voting for Biden means excusing all the times in the past he helped arm Israel to murder Palestinians. Voting for him means, should he become the next president, siding with him every time he signs – and he will undoubtedly sign many – a new arms deal to support Israel and its murderous tyranny. 

Why would any decent human being want to do anything like that? Yes, Trump is an American monster but so is Biden. People like me have no candidate in this election.  

The ethics of ultimate responsibility

The task of my sort of critical thinkers is not to jump on the bandwagon and rush to vote for Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, reluctantly. Generations of critical thinkers from Rosa Luxemburg to Aimee Cesaire to Frantz Fanon to Edward Said to Arundhati Roy did not live and think and write for us to cast a strategic vote for a reactionary liberal, an unrepentant warmonger, a hardcore Zionist, with a record of racism and alleged sexual abuse. Our task is something else.  

In his famous essay, Politics as Vocation (1919), the eminent German sociologist Max Weber made a crucial distinction between an “ethics of responsibility” and an “ethics of ultimate end” that to this day remain a hallmark of a moral choice in politics: “We must be clear,” he told his audience at the University of Munich, “about the fact that all ethically oriented conduct may be guided by one of two fundamentally differing and irreconcilably opposed maxims: conduct can be oriented to an ‘ethic of ultimate ends’ or to an ‘ethic of responsibility’.” These are two identically ethical acts, but in two diametrically opposed directions.  

Weber further clarified: “This is not to say that an ethic of ultimate ends is identical with irresponsibility, or that an ethic of responsibility is identical with unprincipled opportunism. Naturally, nobody says that.” Be that as it may, he still insisted: “There is an abysmal contrast between conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of ultimate ends … and conduct that follows the maxim of an ethic of responsibility, in which case one has to give an account of the foreseeable results of one’s action.”

But in between the two choices Weber left us, emerges a third: An ethic of ultimate responsibility. Our specific and ultimate responsibility today is not to rush to vote for a lesser evil, as I also argued about four years ago when the choice was between Trump and Clinton, but to sustain the course of critical thinking that seeks to overcome both evils. More than 300 million human beings trapped to choose between a Coke and a Pepsi deserve and must strive for a healthier choice. An entire planet at the mercy of US militarism and warmongering most certainly has everything to lose from either of these two American calamities.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe

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A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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