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Big Brother Watch, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 24th February 2017

Big Brother Watch, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 24th February 2017

Big Brother Watch

 

“I don’t want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded.” – Edward Snowden

 

 

We live in an ironical world and it has been especially so since the launch of reality TV because that is the closest we as regular people can get to watch other fellow beings. If we can entertain ourselves by watching a Big Brother or Survivors and other numerous reality shows, then why are we afraid of being watched? In subtle ways a husband spies on his wife and vice versa, parents keep tabs on their children, employers check their employees, shopping mall owners watch us on CCTV for security reasons, whichever way you look at it we are being watched.

But what happens when the Government decides to watch its citizens? Edward Snowden broke the news to the world that intelligence agencies watch he and us had the proof and he is currently in Moscow under asylum. While it may sound like a Hollywood film, right here at home we are not far from it. The Kenyan Government announced that they need to tap cell phones for the primary reason to fight the war on counterfeit devices and eventually catch tax evaders through the mobile money transactions. There has been a court order to stop this plan, which seems to have started almost since last year but maybe this temporary step may not be enough.

Currently there are easily over 10 countries where their respective Governments are watching their citizens. In most cases the idea is to prevent rising opposition to the current state of power. Thus, with our upcoming General Elections, is there need for panic? Can these counterfeit devices not be discovered in any other way? Why is there a need to check private data to determine these bogus devices? What will happen when we start to use smart devices such as refrigerators, talking speakers etc to monitor us? Did you know what SMART also stands for Surveillance Marketed As Revolutionary Technology?

When you watch to catch someone, have you noticed how they run further? Well then, a secret is not safe until it becomes one.

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

― George Orwell, 1984

This entire exercise is an intrusion of privacy. However if it can stop a terror attack or assist in catching the perpetrators then it keeps us safer. Seriously intelligent smugglers will not leave traces of their counterfeit business like this.

As a citizen you need to figure out where the buck stops. Privacy matters more or nabbing criminals? Unfortunately if hackers access your data and use it against you then there can be dire personal consequences.

If you are not guilty then why do you have to worry?

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The Dancing Drought and Doctors Strike, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 17th February 2017

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Stop! Wait! Don’t! Before you drink that cup of tea or order out some food, remember that over 2 million Kenyans are facing starvation up in North Eastern Kenya. Yes it is not just some other area of the country, but a part of the Nation and you should contribute or participate in resolving the solution. If a desert like Israel can raise its crops then we have got to learn how to come up with a longer lasting solution for the sake of the future of our people.

President Uhuru Kenyatta did the right thing by calling this situation a National Emergency. However a lot more needs to be done for we all know we never had or never will have control over weather but we can create an enabling fruitful environment?

Unfortunately his dancing dab on Twitter, one of the most widely used social media channels in Kenya to spread news hijacked his headline. He was probably caught in a moment of being cool with the FBI Dancing Crew and the whole dancing dab went viral and was quickly called #DabOfShame

To amplify this craziness, Twitter is a perfect target for trolls, where several dubious accounts are created and they abuse mostly celebrities and politicians or can be the cause of blowing up a small incident into worldwide phenomenon. In a recent update, the Twitter creators have come up with 3 new tools to battle with these trolls and abusers and especially abusive tweets that can become personal attacks.

The personal attacks in the world of Doctors Strike in our country sadly are still on. The doctors have been on strike since 5th December, 2016 and several patients are lingering and of course dying at the expense of this stand off, but doctors say they have no choice but to force the Government to implement the 2013 agreement which was supposed to increase their remunerations and definitely working conditions. The #DabOfShame churned up huge emotions and is calling for the Government to provide the immediate solution to end the strike.

Does this all end up as a big PR fiasco for the President? Why has the 2013 agreement not been implemented so far, especially now that this is the Election Year and will this make any difference? Kenya has faced several severe droughts throughout its history, should there not be a better way to deal with it, like prevention is better than cure? Or are Kenyans reacting and exaggerating to a dancing President as an opportunity rather than fixing the other issues?

Union strikes, weather disasters happen in every other Nation and yes more than often a Head of State is not caught dancing, but surely we are not privy to the hard fought negotiations or rescue operations going on behind closed doors by him to resolve these issues. We are only seeing what comes our way and perhaps just maybe his PR team should be sensitive to the mood of the Nation. He was not dancing at a party, he was receiving guests and showing his hospitality. Therefore in that moment of context it was not out of order.

What is more important is just like the people of South Korea came out in large numbers to hold their President accountable for a valid allegation- corruption, we need to come out in large numbers to support the Drought rescue and Doctors strike. Thankfully there are a couple of bodies and individuals doing these efforts, but they need more support, so instead of wasting time trolling over #DabOfShame let’s push the agenda forward for no more drought and better lives for doctors so we give patients better care.

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Chocolates, Flowers, Holidays & Proposals, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 10th February 2017

Chocolates, Flowers, Holidays & Proposals

valentine-day-wallpapers

“They do not love that do not show their love” by William Shakespeare

He could not have summed it up better, this modern type of love. I wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day to you and hope that you will surely make it one to remember.

Love needs to be expressed, it can not be suppressed.

When it remains in diaries or phone chats, that is where it will remain.

You need to say it out loud, you need to show it big and you need to feel it with each other.

Valentine’s Day should be the best day to express because for the shy ones, the busy ones, the pretenders, it is the time to get away with love. Make sure you shop in advance, for the chocolates, flowers and even a surprise getaway. Do not wait till the last minute, because the only thing that can save you then is to kiss like you mean it and is the last time you will ever be together.

Yes romance is beautiful, it does make the world go round so do the same for someone you are in love with you. Yes, she needs to hear you say, yes he needs you to accept. But wait what if?

Yes there will be what ifs, that is why the same day can be used to express love to others. Start off with your mum and dad or siblings, take time to take them out to make them feel extra special and leave all the family gossip for the car ride back home after dinner. Then move on to making it extra special for a colleague or more, if you are the boss, surprise your staff with a delicious lunch or actually cut a chocolate cake and share the love. If you are a school teacher, hug every child and make them feel special. If you are a doctor, take a rose for every patient of yours. If you are nobody then hug somebody but smile and make sure you keep expressing love for that one special day.

Why this one day? Well it is easy to join the hype and participate. It takes guts to enjoy love otherwise. You are always worried about the other person, society, your dog or boss. So be free you have the permission from cupid to be a cupid or be stung. It is worth the drama. Then you can go back to the boring daily life of sending smileys, love hearts and laughs that end up in the trash mail section. Nope, do not waste your love for a moment, you must use it all up on this day.

 

 

 

 

But do not fall victim to this type of situation:

 

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

― Marilyn Monroe

 

 

She may have been the most beautiful woman, but getting to know someone at their worst is the end of all. So if you are going to break up with someone, be gentle but make room for the best to come. St Valentine did not waste time in making time for love, so why should you.

 

Dedicate the day to the lonely hearts, because they deserve a moment of your attention, but hey just a moment. You are lonely only if you have no love to share, so stop being a Scrooge and just be like a Mama, unconditional love baby.

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Time for United Olympics, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 3rd February 2017

Time for United Olympics

ancient-olympics

Imagine once upon a time, a simple muddy ground, coliseum and games to prove strength and valour. This is as close to the Olympics that were held in Greece in honour of the God Zeus.

Modern Olympics started off when in 1894 the International Olympic Committee was founded in 1894 and the first games happened in 1896 in Athens comprising of 14 participating countries and over 200 athletes.

Fast-forward to the most recent Summer Olympics held in Rio where over 11,000 athletes participated from over 200 countries includes a team from the Refugees. This Billion Dollars event was in the news for various reasons including Zika Virus, over budget finances, delays in infrastructure and mostly athletes doping problems.

But the Olympics is the event of a lifetime for any athlete, ask Usain Bolt who became the only athlete in the history to achieve up to 9 Gold Medals from his 3 Olympics performances. Thus, this event means everything to an athlete, whether he or she comes from Addis Ababa, London or Nairobi.

There are several key ingredients that are required to make a great athlete. These include grit, a great coach and support from the home country’s Government for expenses. Then he or she is unstoppable. You can have a hardworking athlete, almost the fittest and fastest person on the track or their field, but if the coach does not create an enabling environment and strict regime, it is all for nothing. This synergy is like magic, the coach is not the athlete, but he or she has to bring out the athlete in the athlete and of course the competitor in the athlete, otherwise why else try? There are goals to achieve, records to break and medals to win. Finally if these two are ready but the championships are marred with corruption, facilities are dwindling in the state of lack of interest and officials eat expenses away on personal splendors, then they may as well fund their own way to the event of their own lifetime and not wait on handouts.

The Olympics generates Billions of Dollars in worldwide sponsorships from corporates, multi-nationals and others for this Television and now Social Media extravagance. Everything is at stake, from the water bottle, running shoes, ropes, poles, boards, buses, hats, you name it, everything is selling and every inch is covered with a brand that is looking to increase sales in the country hosting the event. Then what about the athletes? Where is their share? An Olympic medal does not feed or run a home, put children through school unless your country is well set up to take care of you especially like the USA.

Recently Kenyan athlete Sally Kipyego attained American citizenship and the media is buzz whether she will represent the Trumpland in the upcoming competitions or remain loyal to Kenya? Kenya allows dual citizenship and under the International Association of Athletics Federations she can compete as an American citizen.

According to the Olympic Charter notes that “the Olympics are competitions between athletes in individual or team events and not between countries.

If we take the example of former Kenyan now Dutch runner Lornah Kiplagat, she has been successful in her career. Putting the sport first maybe difficult to accept especially when many athletes from developing nations are not coming from the same opportunities as the others. Thus, does this mean they are less patriotic? No, an athlete is only loyal to his sport, just like an artist is loyal to his craft.

In order for the countries to retain their talent, they must invest in their very own people, facilities and of course create the best possible environment for success. A country like Finland has earned over 300 medals since 1908, they may have the state of art facilities, but their talent pool differs from the competitions. You cannot have a complete Dream Team like the American Olympic team unless you take up the commitment, investment and sacrifice to make that the ultimate goal.

Whatever sport the country is talented in, for example athletics in the case of Kenya, the most innovation; investment and transparency must be made to uphold the values and talent growth. However, let this be the backbone of sports and it should trickle down to various other opportunities, for example basketball, hockey and more.

 

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Do Not Ignore This Trump Mania, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 27th January 2017

Do Not Ignore This Trump Mania, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 27th January 2017

Do Not Ignore This Trump Mania

On January 20th 2017 the world was faced with the unthinkable, yes it happened the 45th President of the United States of America was sworn in, none other than Mr Donald J Trump.

When he campaigned and ousted his rivals in the party, still no one believed what was happening until the final hours, the final counting, the final vote.

Yes “the vote” decided and a little bit of the electorate system, crowned him King of the not so most powerful nation in the world. What does this mean? Your vote counts whether you like it or note. And he has not wasted a moment getting into the seat that his voters gave him and immediately signed an executive order. What does this mean? The person you put into power, can do anything, yes anything.

Kenya is at an interesting time this year.

In our previous 2013 General Elections, we were new to the concept of Devolution, but let the devil not fool you anymore.

The National Assembly has 337 members of which 47 seats are reserved for women and then there are 67 members of the Senate.

There are 47 counties with 290 constituencies. This means 47 Governors and by the time you get a count of the MCAs, it is a very long list because there are 2222 Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) in Kenya. 1450 are elected, and 772 nominated.

A candidate requires the following eligibility to contest:

– qualified voters

– age: 18 years

– Kenyan citizenship

– persons registered as voters

– persons who have a post-secondary school qualification

– persons who satisfy moral and ethical requirements prescribed by the Constitution or by an Act of Parliament

If the starting point of a link between the Voter and the people in charge of running the country is a Member of County Assembly, then we have our work cut out for us.

There are obviously very many new aspirants in all the above positions, because they have either seen how the system works or perhaps want to rattle the ship like Mr Trump. Divide and rule will not work, so the most important will be to have a simple contest between two giant parties.

A social media campaign and neighbourhood vote can take a candidate far. That is why the voter must wake up to what is happening in the environs, for example when the water shortage hits your area, no Member of Parliament can change the consumption or creation of a new dam, you have to start with the ground work. Who is in charge of your area, your county and then your nation. That is why who you put in each of these positions will either build or ruin your future.

It is easy to criticize a candidate’s efforts or lack of on a WhatsApp chat but it takes courage and determination to build a nation and if you do not cast a vote you have no right to complain. Even if the turn out at the Trump inauguration was not as beasty as Mr Obama, the reality is that his supporters put him in the White House and he gets to do whatever he wants. So if you want your person to achieve results, vote them in.

 

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Doctors Digging Deep, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 20th January 2017

Doctors Digging Deep, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 20th January 2017

Doctors Digging Deep

Around last year in September the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin set a new precedent in the US Medical Schools. The students decided to read their own new version of the “Hippocratic Oath”.

The Hippocratic Oath is over 2000 years old and is from the Greek Hippocrates, considered “the father of medicine”.

However these American students felt it is outdated and decided to make their own values.

The Kenya Association of Physicians use the Hippocratic Oath, which goes as follows:

“ I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

I draw your attention to:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

In the recent buzz it has been said that we should limit the use of foreign doctors and their facilities into our country or seek medical care worldwide.

To the doctors, I ask, is not sharing knowledge and spreading this newfound care your duty?

To the hospitals, I ask, is not providing the best care and most affordable treatments, your duty?

To the governments, I ask, is not giving the best of quality of life to your citizens, your duty?

When our national hospital’s doctors and nurses are on strike over poor working conditions and ridiculously poor wages, how do you expect a nation’s health to prosper? We need the support of the private practitioners, whether they are local or international.

The best medical care system in the world is considered to be in Cuba where they have no private practitioners and the Government has full responsibility. Thus, you either have one way, or both but be fair.

There is no doubt that just like the Education industry, the hospitality industry is a great income earner and can be easily corrupted through negligence, too much red tape, unaffordable treatments and the list goes on. The hospitals can give themselves international certificates but how committed are they to provide affordable and meaningful care?

Yes price makes a big difference, that is why medical tourism still thrives and foreign doctors keep jetting into the country to sort out complicated cases. In any business to keep your human resources you need to give them attractive packages. The obvious remain remuneration, working benefits but also working conditions and most of all a culture led by the top down will make the difference in loyalty to serve one’s citizens.

Yes we should continue to import and why not export specialists because more minds are better than none. But this only possible if we are willing to improve for the long term and not short change the patients and cash them out. The human value must come above all and this for both the doctor and patient. A doctor, who cannot put his kids through decent schools, will also have to recalculate his commitment to his profession. While he or she may want to be the united states of humanity you can not expect a local born and educated doctor to be paid a useless remuneration, while an expat doctor gets the shine and dine?

It all comes down to culture; if our hospitals want to be the best then they have to be willing to be the best too. Practice a transparent, knowledgeable, affordable, equal pay, equal opportunity playground only then can we create a healthy environment for the patient, the doctor and the industry as a whole.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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The Truth Will Set You Weight Free, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 13th January 2017

The Truth Will Set You Weight Free, Point Blank with Asian Weekly 13th January 2017

The Truth Will Set You Weight Free

What you are about to read is half-truth, because I am not a weight loss expert, doctor, dietician or exercise junkie. But this topic is affecting almost everyone even our little children.

According to the World Health Organization 2016 key facts sheet:

  • Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
  • In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese.
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese.
  • Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
  • 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2014.
  • Obesity is preventable.

The signs have never been more obvious that a good weight, diet and health will give you a better life. So what is the current situation like?

Those who have parents around 60 to 70 years will notice that they are either in control of their weight or not. This can be due to many factors, poor will power, difficult circumstances at home or work. I would not say lack of education because that is growing exponentially, it is only up to them, do not forget they are also in the bracket of potential heart attacks, diabetes and other ailments.

They need immediate weight loss and healthy routine.

Younger parents are probably still managing to eat well and stay active unless they are drinking their bellies away at Korogas. They may land you a million shillings deal, but also get you a double bill at the hospital when you collapse from alcohol poisoning or cholesterol. You would rather play the golf, walk and still get a deal.

The youngest parents are in the more complex zone. Making babies, making ends meet, making children, in-laws, family happy and the list goes on, they are unable to take care of themselves, rarely. They need a lot of assistance and determination to stop, set the trend right and actually also enjoy life. Having barbeques or coffees catch ups will not ease your weight loss, it helps in talking about issues but tackle the main issue, weight gain, you need to drop it. Yes I know easier said than done, the first step is always denial that you have put on weight and very easily most buy bigger clothes to console their new gained inches. No, that can not be your ticket out. You have to face the facts and teach your children that this is important.

Yes, let’s come to the overly image conscious children. Fair enough quite a few are mindful of not eating junk and want to remain slim. But do not deny them their basics, eat everything but of course in moderation. Make the children feel proud for who they are and not how they are.

Will exercise get you out of this rut? Yes and no.

Yes because you need to kick off the burning off the calories and stop being lazy. No because you can not run and then run after a big meal.

So balance things out.

Does a good diet get you off this rut? Yes and no.

Yes because if you eat healthy you are preserving your body.

No because exercise is a necessary addition.

It will boil down to a healthy attitude, yes that’s the only thing that can save you.

Do not compare and be little your body, it is the sophisticated machine giving you much more than you think.

Love yourself, love your body and give it the beautiful treatment it deserves.

Whatever variation works for you and please consult an expert especially if you are on obesity borderline or have crossed. Do not pull off any diet or exercise regime without proper supervision because you may damage more than you think. Some things are obvious, for example walking, drinking more water and so on but really take a moment and grasp what you are doing to your body and why? Is there an emotional burden you are carrying that is blocking your release of weight loss? Take care of you.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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