A Baby Boomer Looks at Africa

Africa Map

Baby Boomer Looks at Africa

When I was in grade school, back in the nineteen fifties, most classrooms…not only in my school, one may presume, but all over the United States…had a large, hanging world map usually displayed in the front of the room.

Two colors stood out on these maps: red and green.The red represented the British Empire, and green that of the French. In both cases, these colors were most prevalent on that part of the map which represented Africa.

 

Sub-Saharan Africa a Mythical Place

Africa – especially the sub-Saharan portion – was, for us, a mythical place; filled with lions and leopards; elephants and rhinos and giant herds of herbivores whose appearance at the nearest watering hole often meant lunch was served to and for the canine-toothed predators who knew the weaknesses and foibles of their non-carnivorous neighbors.. Continue reading

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How to talk to a Republican

How to talk to a Republican

 

Afraid your right-wing uncle is going to take you to the proverbial cleaners with your political discussion that invariably follows the pumpkin pie and coffee? Don’t worry. Help is on the way. Just keep on reading and click on the link to learn all you ever wanted to know about how to talk to a Republican!

Sooooo…it’s Thanksgiving dinner and you, in all your pristine Liberal splendor, find yourself sitting just across the table from that Republican uncle who thought that Ronald Reagan was heaven-sent and thinks that Rush Limbaugh is the epitome of wit. Your uncle always gave you a crisp, clean $10 bill on birthdays when you were a tyke and has a spot in his heart for you that’s softer than butter. The problem is that when he starts carrying on about how the Socialist Obama is secretly working for Beijing and Havana (on days when he is not working for Al Qaida and fifty other terrorist groups) you need to grip the table hard with both hands to keep from jumping over the table and choking some sense into him –  or at least screaming at him like a crazy person.

Well, it can be rough indeed. When coffee and that second slice of oh-so-good home-made pumpkin pie are served, we all know that the conversational fireworks are ready to launch. You’re about to get into a verbal cage fight with your-beloved-but-Bill-O’Reilly-loving uncle and your deepest wish is for this Thanksgiving showdown to be different.

In other words, this time you want to win …or at least hold your own so you don’t end up making that long drive home with a swarm of unsaid retorts floating around in your noggin.

Well folks, at last you can do just that with your favorite Neanderthal-leaning  and near-geriatric blood relation with this terrific website that exists just to help you feckless Democrats and Liberals to learn how to stick it to your interlocutor instead of going home with a bad tummy after internalizing the verbal/political a___ kicking you got last year and every year from that feisty old aunt or uncle! You know which ones I’m talking about, don’t you? That’s right, we’re talking about the one whose unventilated mind makes you wonder about who you are and what gene is waiting to make you similarly ogre-like in your dotage

Ready to rumble? Just go to:
http://www.yourrepublicanuncle.com/?&utm_medium=email&utm_source=obama&utm_content=2&utm_campaign=em_20131127_mc_kc&source=em_20131127_mc_kc#immigration

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America the Troubled Superpower

US military

Is America the world’s supercop?

America the troubled Superpower.

Serious problems at home make it doubtful whether America can continue to play the role of “World Supercop” that it has played since World War II.

There were lines the United States would never think to cross

“As the 20th century came to an end, international politics still included a number of bad actors and many states wary of the preponderant power of the United States. And certainly there were lines the United States would never think to cross, such as direct confrontation with Russia over the treatment of Chechnya or with China over the treatment of Tibet. It would have to remain prudent in avoiding direct confrontation with the few remaining nuclear powers that could put up a serious fight. An example of this sort of prudence came in early 2001. An American EP-3 surveillance aircraft had to make an emergency landing on Chinese territory after colliding midair with a Chinese fighter plane dispatched to intercept it. With tensions rising, the George W. Bush administration chose to de-escalate the confrontation with an ambiguous statement of apology. “
So says Tod Lindberg in “The Depressed Hyperpower” (Commentary July 2013).

America’s superpower status is taken as a given by some and a sound bite by others these days. It is considered to be a very troubled Superpower by many.

The World’s policeman since the end of World War II

The World’s policeman since the end of World War II American intervention is taken as a given in cases of emergency, with the U.S. expected to take an active – and sometimes proactive – role in putting together military coalitions when and where such intervention sis called for. Some cases, such as the 1st Iraq War of 1991, are more attractive to America’s allies than others – such as George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 (and the difficulty he encountered in talking other countries into joining the American expeditionary force).

Europe, to cite an example, did not even intervene militarily – for whatever – reason in its own back yard in the nineteen nineties when thousands of Bosnian Muslims were slaughtered by their Serb neighbors and erstwhile compatriots. America, however, did intervene.

Today, with America’s fall from grace both economically and psychologically, may have to redefine its role in world affairs.

Read on for more of Tod Lindberg’s interesting take on what’s ailing The United States re its ability to continue to be the world’s ruling superpower.

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The Light Skin Dark Skin Issue is Still Alive in America

Black Woman

The Light Skin Dark Skin Issue
By Allison Samuels

The Brown Paper Bag Test was a type of racial discrimination in the United States. A brown paper bag was used as a way to determine whether or not an individual could have certain privileges; only individuals with a skin color that is the same color or lighter than a brown paper bag were allowed. The test was used in the 20th century within many social institutions such as African-American sororities, fraternities, and churches.[1] In addition, brown paper bags were used in multi-racial social events. The term is also used in reference to larger issues of class and social stratification within the African-American population. 

Talk about words that sting to the core. Harry Reid’s recent comments about President Barack Obama’s light skin and acceptable non-“Negro” vocabulary and speech brought back a rush of memories that I’m sure most African-Americans would like to forget.

Slaves with darker skin were usually stuck toiling in the fields.

Since the days of slavery, skin color has been used as a tool of separation and preferential treatment within the black community. The residue of the “house” versus “field Negro” divide has long remained with us, even as we celebrated black pride in the ’70s and hip-hop culture in the ’80s.

House slaves were usually products of a relationship between a master and a female slave, so they tended to have lighter skin. The boss’s offspring would more than likely receive the special favor of doing work inside the house out of the hot sun. They’d eat better, often get taught to read and write, and enjoyed many of the liberties of non-slaves. Slaves with darker skin were usually stuck toiling in the fields. The anger over that old distinction has never quite gone away in African-American culture.

And Reid’s recent controversial and disturbing statements prove that no matter how hard we as African-Americans try to move past a racial stigma that’s haunted us for far too long, mainstream America just won’t let us let it go.

About Allison Samuels

Allison Samuels is a senior writer with Newsweek’s The Daily Beast. Her cover story, “The Meaning of Michelle,” appeared in Newsweek in December 2008. She is the author of three books as well as a former correspondent for NPR’s News & Notes, and she is a contributor to publications including Rolling Stone, Essence, Marie Claire, and O, The Oprah Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles.

This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in Newsweek on January 11th, 2010.

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Is it time for the White House and Congress to start looking at color?

by Jason Williams

With the ushering in of Pres. Obama’s second term, many people are wondering if and when the President and Congress are going to tackle the great issue of race in public policy discourse. There are many Black liberals who are calling for both Congress’ and the President’s focus on issues within the Black Community.

As Dr. Marc Lamont Hill has stated on TJ Holme’s BET broadcast “Don’t Sleep!” on Oct 8th 2012, “Blacks are first for everything that is bad”. Such a statement definitely warrants for serious conversation on the status of Blacks in America. However, Pres. Obama has been noted for being America’s post-racial President. This happens to be a title that even the president continues to adhere to given his continued agreement on race neutral policies. He seems to defend such policy by suggesting that by orchestrating race neutral policy, Blacks will automatically benefit from them. So although the Black community is not being looked at exclusively as many other minority groups have, still, they are benefiting from many of the race neutral policies that are being voted on and approved, but of course we only have to look to our justice system to see how this theory works out…
To continue reading go to:

Jason Williams is a professor of Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice
at New Jersey City University

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Why the Democrats Are Winning the Battle for Hearts and Minds in the Presidential Campaign

The Art of (Political) persuasion…the Democrats still have it all over the Republicans
From an article by Sasha Issenberg.
…All targeting carries the risk of missing the mark, and there are regularly voters whose actual attitudes defy the predictions of statistical models. But regular misfires by Republicans—which at best only waste resources and at worst mobilize Democrats who might not have voted otherwise, or provoke a backlash among those still persuadable—illustrate a gap between how the right and left practice politics in the 21st century. Contrary to the wishful intimations of the Post and Times stories, while the groups on the right could conceivably catch up with Obama and his allies in the scope and funding of their ground-level activities, in terms of sophistication they lag too far behind to catch up in 2012.
In fact, when it comes to the use of voter data and analytics, the two sides appear to be as unmatched as they have ever been on a specific electioneering tactic in the modern campaign era. No party ever has ever had such a durable structural advantage over the other on polling, making television ads, or fundraising, for example. And the reason may be that the most important developments in how to analyze voter behavior has not emerged from within the political profession.
“The left has significantly broadened its perspective on political behavior,” says Adam Schaeffer, who earned graduate degrees in both evolutionary psychology and political behavior before launching a Republican opinion-research firm, Evolving Strategies. “I’m jealous of them.”
Schaeffer attributes the imbalance to the mutual discomfort between academia and conservative political professionals, which has limited Republicans’ ability to modernize campaign methods. The biggest technical and conceptual developments these days are coming from the social sciences, whose more practically-minded scholars regularly collaborate with candidates and interest groups on the left. As a result, the electioneering right is suffering from what amounts to a lost generation; they have simply failed to keep up with advances in voter targeting and communications since Bush’s re-election. The left, meanwhile, has arrived at crucial insights that have upended the conventional wisdom about how you convert citizens to your cause. Right now, only one team is on the field with the tools to most effectively find potential supporters and win their votes.

Excerpt from an article by Sasha Issenberg. For the full article go to:
http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/victory_lab/2012/10/obama_s_secret_weapon_democrats_have_a_massive_advantage_in_targeting_and.html?fb_ref=sm_fb_plugin_activity

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Gingrich on Obama’s Comments about Treyvon Martin

This excerpt was taken from Yahoo News.

White House senior adviser David Plouffe lashed out on Sunday over a pair of comments by Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to President Barack Obama’s reaction to the Trayvon Martin shooting.

“Those two comments are really irresponsible,” Plouffe said on CNN. “I would consider them reprehensible.”

“If I had a son he would look like Trayvon,” Obama said on Friday.

“Is the president suggesting if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it wouldn’t look like him?” Gingrich said Friday on Sean Hannity’s radio show. “That’s just nonsense. I mean, dividing this country up, it is a tragedy this young man was shot.”

In a separate radio interview Friday, Santorum had a similar reaction…

To read the entire article go to: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/trayvon-martin-shooting-white-house-senior-adviser-calls-162139957.html

 

 

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On the Republican Party in this Election Year

N.H. Reveals 5 More Reasons Why Republicans Stink

Written by Dr. Boyce Watkins on January 10, 2012 1:12 pm – taken from News One

Dr.Watkins is a distinguished  American author, scholar, economist, political analyst, and social commentator.  He has been on the faculty at Syracuse for 4 years in the Finance Department, and has also presented a lecture series on Financial Theory at The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics during the summer of 2005. He is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.

“There is little concern about how our nation’s extremist divisions threaten to shake our democracy at its very core.” Being both a renowned economist and political analyst, Dr. Watkins is in an excellent position to give us a “double-barrelled” point of view on America’s current crisis. Read on for a look at what is wrong with the Republican Party today.  

 

 

The Republican Party has become what Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill described to me as a “race to the bottom,” where the easiest way to lose traction in your candidacy is to prove yourself qualified for the job. Continue reading

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