Friday, September 28, 2012

US Relations With Africa -- Self Indulgence Alert

It happened a while ago, but in August I did my second appearance on China Radio International's "Today Show." The topic was "US Relations with Africa" and in addition to myself the guest's included John Bailey, South Africa's ETV correspondent to Beijing, and Liu Guijin, the former Chinese Ambassador to South Africa. You can listen to it here.

And while you're at it, check out my latest FPA Africa Blog post, "What Do You Do About a Problem Like Malema," which looks at the political ramifications of the legal charges that expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema faces. Malema, once a supporter of President Jacob Zuma now sees himself as the populist antagonist against Zuma leading into the ANC's elective conference at Mangaung in December.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Of Marikana, Malema, and Mangaung

I just posted "Of Marikana, Malema, and Mangaung: South Africa's Faultlines" at the Foreign Policy Association's Africa Blog. Please go read it. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Sassy Mae Martinez: August 1994 - August 2012

Sassy was imperious. She was diffident. And she was always in charge.

There are two kinds of people. There are people for whom a pet is a member of the family. And then there is everyone else.

In our household the pets are not only members of the household, they lead the way.

Sassy entered Ana's life in 1994. And at that point Sassy took control.

She was that kind of cat.

Ana would lie in bed. Sassy would come by. Ana would roll over, oftentimes half awake. Sassy would lie on Ana's tummy. 

That would be the pattern. Every night.

That's how kitties work.  They take charge. They rule the roost. This kind of unconditional love seems to work in one direction. 


We brought Sassy to the Vet expecting some neutral outcome.  Maybe her kidney function had dropped slightly. She had, after all, been suffering for some time. So we would feed her more, make her drink more, give her more medicine.

That's not how it works.


Sassy's kidney function has dropped.

We need to take a test.

The result is too high.

We'll give you a few minutes...


It happens that quickly.

You love your cat. Your cat is sick. Good bye.


Ana loved Sassy. She loved her unconditionally. It was the purest form of love.

The doctor made the injection. Ana wailed "I love you Sassy."

I have never been so sad, so helpless. But the last thing Sassy heard, and Ana said, is "I love You."


And that last wail, that last love, really is all that matters.

Sassy loved Ana. Ana loved Sassy. And they loved one another unconditionally.