Category Archives: People

Peace At Last For Whitney (1963 – 2012)

As a fan, I am stunned by the news of the passing of legendary singer, Whitney Houston, at the age of 48. Amid her personal struggles, I was hoping she’d have at least one more sell-out world tour and one more ground-shattering album in her.  Sadly, it was not to be  — death always has its own cruel plans.

In the days to come, many will again try to beam the spotlight on the Whitney’s squeaky clean image before  her marriage to Bobby Brown and her subsequent self-professed drug habit during her marriage. I’m not sure how beneficial a backward-looking critique of Whitney’s life will be at this juncture, as it is beyond us mere mortals whether her life would have panned out differently if she had married someone else.

No matter how short a life, it is indeed a life spent. We should  thank our creator for Whitney’s life and her inarguable gift of music. It is equally important that we also remember her daughter, Bobbie Kristina, in our prayers and hope that she lives a more fulfilling, long and happy life.

Rest blissfully Whitney and thank you for the awesome music.

Somebody’s Got to Say It: She Was the Iron Lady…..Period!

I have always admired former British prime minister, Baroness Margaret  Thatcher.  And although I haven’t always agreed with some of her politics — notably her pro-apartheid stance and the introduction of the poll tax — in her heyday, she was undoubtedly a strong and decisive woman who led from the top, took substantial risks and wasn’t fazed by standing alone on key policy issues. The Russians didn’t tag her the “Iron Lady” for nothing. And as a supporter, I am hugely looking forward to seeing her biopic ” The Iron Lady” over the next few days.

Since “The Iron Lady” opened in the UK, approximately two weeks ago, there has been a lot of hullabaloo over its accuracy and the emphasis on Baroness Thatcher’s illness. Biopics are almost always controversial. “Malcolm X” was controversial and so was “Ali” and “JFK,” to name but a few. It just isn’t always easy to cramp an illustrious career into an average  2-hour long film, hence the conclusion from some film critics that biopics just don’t work.

I am rather miffed that the biopic highlights the former prime minster’s present poor health. Even though she has been quite poorly for some time now, Baroness Thatcher is now 86 and her illness is far removed from her political career, which ended roughly 20 years  ago. Hopefully, those who will go to see this film will be far more interested in the portrayal of Baroness Thatcher’s rise to fame and glory, and her political achievements, than the aging process and dementia.

What’s more, it really and truly pains me when people jump on any bandwagon for their own selfish interests, and are totally oblivious to the hurt they cause others in the process. In a recent interview with “The Guardian” newspaper, former Tory cabinet minister, Jonathan Aitken, said of the film that he was “uncomfortable and a bit upset about the vehicle of the dementia-ridden lady who flips in and out.” But then in true hypocritical fashion he reveals that Baroness Thatcher exhibited signs of dementia when she attended a dinner party at his home a year ago:  “She suddenly started to talk about Keith Joseph [the politician credited with inventing Thatcherism], then later about the preparations for her wedding.”

Aitken also recounted a fellow former Cabinet member at his dinner party asking a question about David Cameron, but Baroness Thatcher obviously didn’t get who David Cameron was…”

Now some may excuse Aitken’s telling tales out of school as nothing but a sly strategy to whip up enthusiasm and publicity for his own biography of Baroness Thatcher, but I think his indiscretion smacks of a betrayal of sorts. How would he feel if, in 15 years time (age 84),  he wet himself at a dinner party, due to a medical condition, and his host went public with that information?  For heaven’s sake, the Iron Lady is now 86 years old!  How many of us will make it to 86, much less, gracefully?

Jonathan Aitken surely owes Baroness Thatcher a profound apology for his indiscretion. And when his book is eventually published, Aitken should be compelled to make a significant donation from the proceeds to a charity that promotes research into conditions of the brain including dementia.

The video clip posted below shows Baroness Thatcher in full bloom at her last prime ministers questions in the House of Commons. Oh what good memories of the way she really was.

Obama Sure Has A Sexy Singing Voice

We always knew that he was ultra suave, but Barack Obama definitely added to his sex appeal a few days ago at a New York fundraising event, where  he sang a few bars of Al Green’s mega hit Let’s Stay Together.  Based on that beautiful crooner’s voice alone, I think he merits a second term in office.

This is the video……

Michael Jackson’s Death A Hoax?

Unsurprisingly, a number of conspiracy theories have floated around since Michael Jackson’s sudden death in 2009.  According to some conspiracy theories, the Illuminati is behind Michael’s death. Others hold a more outlandish view that Michael is simply manipulating the media with his disappearance, but he will be returning soon. Make what you will of this, conspiracy theories and hoaxes are as old as the hills and simply part of human nature.

In the aftermath of Michael Jackson’s personal physician, Conrad Murray, being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the conspiracy theory mill went into overdrive.  A few days ago, M7HE productions published a short documentary   (posted below) showing six procedural issues with the Dr. Conrad Murray involuntary manslaughter trial, which it feels may suggest a possible death hoax.

For instance, a photograph of Michael taken at the time of autopsy erroneously had a date-stamp of 25 August 2009. The autopsy was actually conducted on 26 June 2009, the day after Michael died.

The documentary also highlighted concern with respect of the jury verdict form showing a wrong incident date of 6 June 2009 – Michael was still alive on this day. Although the form was later corrected by the jury foreman, according to the documentary,  a supplementary form should have been completed explaining the initial error, but this wasn’t done. Apparently, there is precedent for wrongly completed jury verdict forms resulting in tossed verdicts.

Other trial oddities shown in the documentary include the unconventional handcuffing procedures used to restrain Dr. Murray after he was found guilty, and court papers wrongly referring to Michael as “Michael Joseph  Jackson” instead of “Michael Joe Jackson.”

While the case for a Michael Jackson death hoax doesn’t hold weight and the various conspiracy theories are generally unfounded, it is evidently clear that  some aspects of the criminal trial were somewhat unusual.  Not being a lawyer myself, I wonder if the highlighted trial concerns provide sufficient basis for an appeal ? That is a matter for Dr. Murray’s defence team.

Anyway, when it’s all said, done and dusted, the bottom line remains that the evidence against Dr. Murray was overwhelming and by extension, supports a guilty verdict. As for Michael Jackson……. gone too soon.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Condoleezza Rice: “No Higher Honor”

Just in case you have been wondering whatever happened to former U.S. Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, after she left Washington, well, she actually went back to Stanford University (USA) where she is currently a professor of political science.

Last week Dr. Rice published her memoirs titled “No Highest Honor.” The book which is published in the UK by Simon & Schuster and Crown in the U.S., details key events of her time in Washington during the George W Bush years.

In a recent interview to promote her book ( posted below), Dr. Rice was asked if she had any regrets over the case made for going to war with Iraq. In response, Dr. Rice opined that the case for war perhaps  “overemphasized intelligence nuggets rather than the totality of the picture about Saddam Hussein.”  But when grilled further that Saddam Hussein didn’t have weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Dr. Rice remarked that he “just didn’t have stockpiles of them.”  I am sorry Dr. Rice, but the end doesn’t always justify the means. Waging war against Iraq, or any other sovereign nation, based on fabricated evidence, is ultimately an unjustifiable blatant act of aggression.

During the course of the interview Dr. Rice also opined that if Saddam Hussein hadn’t been removed from the scene there wouldn’t have been the chain reaction of Arab uprisings recently seen in the Middle East. Not that Dr. Rice’s memoirs would give credence to this theory, but for all we know, the Arab spring and the demise of Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi could have been prescripted as part of a bigger Middle East hidden agenda.

On a much lighter front, Dr. Rice confirms that the late Colonel Gaddafi was, indeed, fascinated with her and that he actually had a song written for her: “Black flower in the Whitehouse.”