Around the World in Three Minutes: WILL OF THE PEOPLE Edition!
Good morning, Ricochet! This feature returns in response to the roaring will of the people, as Prime Minister Erdoğan might say, or as Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China might say, or as Ghana's New Patriotic Party parliamentary candidate for for Ablekuma South, Ursula Owusu, might say, reminding us that "numerous leaders the world over who have tried to subvert the will of the people encountered serious consequences even to the point of painful, humiliating death!"
Now, it is not clear to me precisely how Ms. Owusu conceives the will of the people, but I kind of love her:
Mind you, there is another point of view about Ms. Owusu. I bring to the attention of my people the GhanaWeb Rumor Mill, whose banner advertises itself thus (and proudly, at that):
The news on this page is TOLI. Unsubstantiated. No proven facts. Just rumors.
Do you want to tell us your rumours? Has somebody told you that so-and-so minister has stolen $ 100 billion? Did a taxi driver claim to have ferried JJ to the castle?
Drop us email webmaster
What more could one want from a local news source? So apparently, it is rumored that Ms. Owusu's will may not be identical to the people's will:
In Ghana’s political arena she is known as the queen mother of foul language. She has an acidic tongue that can spew a lot of gibberish into the air on any given day. That seems to be her trademark. When she goes on air, she insults everybody and everything on sight thinking she is the best brain and the all-knowing person around. Nobody begrudges her because her party, the NPP, needs people of her calibre to do its dirty job. In case you still do not know whom I am talking about, please let me introduce to you the NPP Parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma South, Ursula Owusu.
Ursula Owusu has hustled her way to fame in the NPP circles as not only the “buga buga” politician who can go on air and slight President Mills at will, but she also doubles as the alleged consort of the NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo. As a result of her dual role in the NPP, she walks on everybody with her domineering posture thinking everybody has to kowtow to her. ...
Ursula Owusu is currently not married. Probably she never will, because she may be enjoying the comfort of someone’s husband. Otherwise, how dare her say that she does not know of any man in Ghana, who will boldly say that ever since he got married, he has been faithful to his wife. This is the most insulting comment to men of this country, and I urge men in her constituency to take note. They should rebel by not voting for her. Is Ursula saying that every married man in Ghana is sleeping around with other ladies? Hell no! This is very offensive to men.
I report, you decide. In any event, it is the will of the people that I bring you such stories, which as we know from the producers of KONY2012, are not actually happening unless you're aware of them.
Ghana, I conjure you into existence!
And what have editors in America decided to turn into news today? I nearly collapsed with laughter when I saw this one: The Samoan family values fad: It's back!
How kids develop moral responsibility is an area of focus for the researchers. Dr. Ochs, who began her career in far-off regions of the world studying the concept of "baby talk," noticed that American children seemed relatively helpless compared with those in other cultures she and colleagues had observed.
In those cultures, young children were expected to contribute substantially to the community, says Dr. Ochs. Children in Samoa serve food to their elders, waiting patiently in front of them before they eat, as shown in one video snippet. Another video clip shows a girl around 5 years of age in Peru's Amazon region climbing a tall tree to harvest papaya, and helping haul logs thicker than her leg to stoke a fire.
Now folks--my Volks, as I've come affectionately to think of you--I don't care if this was reported earnestly in the good, conservative Wall Street Journal or if the lesson we're supposed to take away is the good, conservative moral that Americans spoil their lazy, pampered kids, turning them into amoral monsters. It was a crock the first time and I bet you it's still a crock. Please tell me I'm not the only one who gets this joke. An anthropologist earnestly lecturing Americans about healthy Samoan child-rearing practices?
But let's not theorize--come whiz around the globe with me and check out the Samoan blogosphere! Let's see what actual Samoans--as opposed to Americans raising Samoan-awareness--have to say for themselves. Here's a report from our correspondent in Samoa, The Coconut Girl:
Embezzlement, fraud, money laundering - every day happenings in our beloved motherland. Sometimes I wonder why we even have to buy a newspaper anymore. I can close my eyes, point a finger randomly to a page and know it will be something like "President of Red Cross ousted by General Assembly for misuse of funds" or "Minister implicated in fraud." Talk of the month. Yawn. Flip the page. "Pacific Islanders and Obesity." We love our mutton flaps, and nobody is going to take that away from us. Not even at $7.00 a pound. Here's one that didn't make the news. A man walked in on his wife getting her groove on with a man from the village. The husband watched and waited for the man to leave. He followed him and cut off his head and male organ. He put it in his fishing bag and went back home cool as a cucumber. Next day he told his wife to take the kids to their aunt's and told her to make dinner. After dinner he told her to get the fish from his fishing bag. She opened it and found the severed head and penis staring her in the face. She freaked, and tried to run. He stopped her, slashed her neck and chopped her into pieces. Then he called the police. And that's why I am never having an affair.
And hey, by the way, that five-year-old girl in Peru who's "climbing a tall tree to harvest papaya, and helping haul logs thicker than her leg to stoke a fire?" I believe we used to call that "child labor," and strangely, my research suggests that Peruvians aren't as excited about it as the anthropologists from the University of California are. In fact--can you imagine?--some of them seem to want to eliminate this character-building practice!
What's wrong with them? Don't they realize those kids are "learning to contribute to the community?"
Peru, I conjure you into existence!
But while we're in Peru, child labor apart, here's news you can use.
That's a natural segue to the next item, isn't it? ITEM: Greek archeologists plead with Europeans: Save the Acropolis from the budget cuts!
Greek archaeologists appealed to Europeans to help defend the nation’s cultural heritage and history amid cuts in the budget to maintain sites that include those around the 2,500 year-old Acropolis in Athens.
Funding for museum security will be cut 20 percent, the archaeologists said. This comes after two big robberies in January and February, one at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, the other at the National Gallery in central Athens. Three paintings were stolen from the gallery, including one donated by Pablo Picasso.
I don't know. I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, it would be a terrible shame if anything happened to the Acropolis. On the other, the thing made it through the last 2,500 years without co-financing from the EU, didn't it?
And finally--I love reading Archeology News Network--we have the amazing buried story of the day, filed blandly under "Breaking news, Origin of Life." The RNA world hypothesis? Seems that was a crock, too:
In the beginning -- of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building workbench -- there were ribonucleic acids, the molecules we call RNA that today perform a host of vital functions in cells. And according to a new analysis, even before the ribosome's many working parts were recruited for protein synthesis, proteins also were on the scene and interacting with RNA. This finding challenges a long-held hypothesis about the early evolution of life.
Wow. I'll say.
Life itself, I conjure you into existence!
(Now, I kind of think that should be the screaming headline on the front page of every newspaper, but as you know--it's only news when some editor, somewhere, decides to make it news. But man, how do the editors miss these gems?)