Got a little side assignment down here...so, I'm supposed to be working with a group of professors from university of calabar here. The big plan is to try and develop a series of parallel institutions, both private and academic sectors, to eventually put some pressure on the government as well as act as a group of learned advisers and consultants. Not much they can do without any real resources, political will, and a sense of hopelessness that comes from years of witnessing government's benign neglect. So, now I'm tasked to try and get this group up and running to an extent, in addition to some other duties I am waiting on.
On a lighter note, we finally got someone in to look at our plumbing. Even though we're living in government lodgings I get no hot water, my toilet doesn't work, and the water pressure coming out of my shower is about non-existent. So, I pray this guy will be able to get my stuff working. Also, a corner of my bed collapsed...it's just a continuous run of comic mishaps here in Calabar.
I heard about that old, crazy anti-semit and racist shooting the holocaust museum this morning. This makes around 8 high-profile right wing attacks on immigrants, jews, and/or abortion providers since the election of Obama. These are worrisome times. Some of my better friends know that I am constantly harping on the potential dangers of populist right wing violence and often tire of me talking about it. But we are seeing the beginning of something here, something that is terrifying. I pray we can nip a lot of this in the bud. We have a lot of explosive elements here. Two unpopular wars abroad that daily bring home jaded, vulnerable veterans with a load of ocmbat experience. Classic fodder for right wing elements. A horrific economic situation that can be partially blamed on financial and economic elites. The election of a popular president, but one who also engenders a lot of unease and vitriol from many in the media and in private. And a sense of political impotence. Congress continues to act and talk big but their seems to be little happeneing, even though the opposite is true, if you read the newspapers, watch the news, or listen to the radio, you would think nothing has happened. Perceived government impotence, economic hardship, disillusioned warriors returning home, these are all of the ingredients that can add up to a long, hot, summer of right wing resurgent violence. Right now it has been a series of supposed "lone wolf" attacks but these groups are organizing and the internet makes even lone wolfers instant martyrs around the world. I fear the worst.