The new scramble for Africa?

The demand for power in Africa has become a major international issue. China has taken the lead in financing many power projects across the continent — mostly hydroelectric dams, but also solar power plants and wind farms. Private companies from Asia, the United States and Europe are also supplying power to an increasing number of countries.

Compare this to construction of the Cahora Basa Dam in Mozambique in the waning days of Portugal’s empire. Indeed, China is even involved in efforts to expand the capacity of the Cahora Basa Dam.


This article from the Washington Post makes many of the same points I would make if I had the time, with several good links throughout. The crux of it is this:

Never will you find a serious German politician, let alone one contending for the leadership of the country, insisting in 2015 that the Nazi swastika is “part of who we are.” Nor would you be able to stock up on kitsch, “nostalgic” Nazi memorabilia. There are no vainglorious monuments to Nazi leaders lining German city squares; instead, in the heart of the capital, sits a painful testament to collective guilt and the horrors of the past.

The contrast between this and the way some American states still commemorate Confederate leaders, name roads after Confederate generals and fly Confederate flags could not be more stark.

Democracy in Hungary under scrutiny

What, I wonder, would be the reaction if a Hungarian who had no English, who had never visited the country, were to write an editorial savaging the United Kingdom for not being a real democracy as it has no proper constitution, decrying that the head of state is the result of a coitus, not an election, and the little freedom of speech left is being destroyed by David Cameron through a royal charter (a royal charter, not even the fig leaf of a law, I mean how fascistic and anachronistic can you get?)

Tibor Fischer is right, nobody would take that very seriously. Point taken. Still, four revisions to the Hungarian constitution in the past eighteen months sounds like a lot. Some think it’s reason to worry.

Conviction and absolute certainty

From the department of “the more things change…”:

German listeners, according to [Laurence] Rees, thought of Hitler as someone who spoke with “conviction” and an “absolute certainty” that they liked.

Replace “German” with “American” and “Hitler” with “their favorite talking head”.

via The Dish.