Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016



The President of Kenya desperately wants your attention!! No, he's not asking for famine assistance...that plague seems to have temporarily left. No, he's not worried about the ethnic civil wars...they too seem to be on hiatus. However, together, these two crises means that over the last decade, 80% of the nation has drifted away from government control. And no one loves a lack of authority more than evil poachers. And they've gone completely berserk. Today, an African elephant is killed every fifteen minutes for its tusk, an all-time high.

So...to show the world just how bad it has gotten...President Uhuru Kenyatta gathered up all the ivory his army has confiscated recently as it re-gains swaths of territory. Next, the contraband was carefully stacked into enormous piles: Ten feet high and twenty feet across. Finally, it was all set ablaze. Never in the history of humankind has 1.5 tons of ivory ever been burned before. All toll, it represents the 8,000 elephants who died. In case you're wondering: The Black Market value is $172 million. That's much more than Kenya's Forestry & Wildlife budget. So, the question arises...Why not sell the ivory?

"From a Kenyan perspective, we're not watching our money go up in smoke," explained Director Kitili Mbathi. "The only value of ivory is the tusks on a living elephant." To better illustrate the sentiment, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust figures that one live elephant generates 76 times more revenue from tourism than from ivory sales. We're not sure how they came up with that calculation, but the point is the made: Americans don't sell seized heroin, so Kenyans don't sell seized ivory. The message President Uhuru wants you to hear is: 'Wake up, World! Africa needs help preserving your favorite endangered species.'

See, President Uhuru (Swahili for 'freedom) must be confused by the West when it comes to pachyderms. Although they aren't found in Europe or the Americas, they appear everywhere in popular culture. Brits are always talking about the Elephants in their rooms. French children love to read about Babar and Americans never stop watching 'Dumbo' on DVD. Kenyans want you to stop clutching your pretend elephants and take some interest in the actual, living animals. "I doubt whether my grandchildren will actually be able to see a wild elephant," quipped a Sheldrick conservationist.

Let's face the ugly truth: The rest of the world loves to ruthlessly extract Africa's natural resources for their own gain: Ivory, slaves, rubber, diamonds, copper, oil...you name it. It began in the 1300's when Omani traders from Asia took over Africa's Eastern shores. A century later, Portuguese sailors began claiming all of the Atlantic coastline. As evidenced by the piles of carved ivory figurines, the pillaging continues today. To solve this global problem, the DUNER BLOG proposes the first ever worldwide tariff. We demand each of the world's 1,645 billionaires pay a 2% AFRICA TAX. Funds will carefully go to issues like resource preservation. NOTE: This tax includes the 24 African billionaires. They account 1% of the total billionaires worldwide. Remember: Africa has 18% of the world's population.

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