Friday, February 17, 2017

The Hidden Black Iraq

Basra's more than the center of Iraq's oil industry; it's the center of a centuries-old history of African influence.

Image source: The New York Times


(Source:AlterNet
 
There has been a black presence in Basra -- present-day Southern Iraq -- as early as the 7th century, when Abu Bakra, an Ethiopian soldier who had been manumitted by the prophet Muhammad himself, settled in the city. His descendants became prominent members of Basran society. A century later, the writer Jahiz of Basra wrote an impassioned defense of black Africans -- referred to in Arabic as the Zanj -- against accusations of inferiority which had begun to take root even then.

The Zanj, who were primarily persons of East African descent, were to have a significant impact upon Iraqi history. They had been traded from ports along the African coast (Zanzibar, which is derived from the term "Zanj," was a major slave exporting center during the era) to clear salt marshes. Laboring in miserable, humid conditions, the Zanj workers dug up layers of topsoil and dragged away tons of earth to plant labor-intensive crops like sugarcane on the less saline soil below. Fed scant portions of flour, semolina and dates, they were constantly in conflict with the Iraqi slave system. Between the 7th and 9th centuries, the Zanj staged three rebellions, the largest of which occurred between 868 and 883 AD.


Read more: http://www.alternet.org/story/17339/the_hidden_black_iraq

Also, check out this article in the New York Times about Iraq's current black population, and how color-blind policies play a part in their suffering. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/world/middleeast/03basra.html 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lift Every Voice And Sing by Former representative Barbara Jordan (D-Tex.)

             

Dr. Kiron Skinner - The Polio Vaccine, the GI Bill, and National Security

             
 

Dr. Kiron is Associate Professor of International Relations and Politics and Director of the Center for International Relations and Politics at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of the Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy, the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Policy Board, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves on the board of the Atlantic Council of the United States, has coauthored several books with Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, and Condoleezza Rice, and is a frequent contributor to CNN.com, National Review Online, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Kiron holds undergraduate degrees from Spellman College and Sacramento City College and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science and International Relations from Harvard University.

Monday, January 23, 2017

CeCe Winans and Terrence Blanchard – “Blessed Assurance” Cicely Tyson Kennedy Center Honors

John McWhorter — How to Listen to Donald Trump Every Day for Years

NYT piece on Trump's inaugural, his linguistic style and how it's easier to listen to him if you pretend he's twelve.

  (The New York Times)

Donald J. Trump’s Inaugural Address had moments of what we could call rhetoric. The bit about the kid in Detroit and the kid on the “windswept plains of Nebraska” — black and white, get it? — looking up at the same night sky. Overall, though, there was the air of a diligent adolescent trying to put something down on paper but not quite hitting the mark. “America is totally unstoppable” sounds like a schoolyard brag. “We will bring back our borders” — where did they go? The “very sad depletion of our military” — it’s impossible to imagine Barack Obama, or even George W. Bush, phrasing it that way in a written speech.

His audience liked the applause lines, as they always do. But it’s hard to resist laughing at Trumpian syntax. I am given to indulging in it with a finger of bourbon after long days. My favorite so far is this insight from a South Carolina rally in 2015:

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/opinion/sunday/how-to-listen-to-donald-trump-every-day-for-years.html

Peter Wehner — Why I Cannot Fall in Line Behind Trump

"For Mr. Trump, nothing is sacred. The truth is malleable, instrumental, subjective. It is all about him."

(The New York Times)

A year ago, I declared on these pages that despite being a Republican my whole life, I would not under any circumstances vote for Donald J. Trump for president. Since then, I’ve been asked by other Republicans if I kept that promise (I did) and whether I regret it (I don’t).

Republicans who disagree with my stance make the following argument: Mr. Trump, while flawed, is preferable to Hillary Clinton. His cabinet appointments, they say, have been reassuring, and it’s true that several of them are. In addition, the nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court is certain to be more of an originalist than a Clinton appointment would be. On top of that, Republicans are in control of Congress, meaning they are likely to drive much of the agenda, particularly given Mr. Trump’s notable lack of interest in policy. Whatever misgivings anti-Trump conservatives might have had about him, he’ll undo much of the agenda of his liberal predecessor while Mrs. Clinton would have built on it.

This case is hardly irrational, and over time it may be proved right. President Trump may govern well and in a conservative manner, and my concerns about him may eventually look misguided and silly.

But I doubt it.

To understand why, it’s worth keeping in mind that my chief worries about Mr. Trump were never strictly ideological; they had to do with temperament and character.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/opinion/sunday/why-i-cannot-fall-in-line-behind-trump.html?_r=0

Reginald Kaigler — President Elect Donald J Trump

My reaction to the election of Donald Trump and why I decided to vote in 2016.

Akil Alleyne — Discussion & Debate: Defunding Planned Parenthood


A pro-life friend of mine makes the case for defunding Planned Parenthood from a libertarian perspective (and no, that's not self-contradictory, partly for reasons you'll hear in the video).

Support me on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/user?u=4243897

For an article about the Ohio state representative who couldn't name any reasons why women have abortions, see http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/12/ohio-....

Chidike Okeem — Capitalism, White Supremacy, and Black Entrepreneurship


Despite capitalism’s many blemishes and imperfections, it is the only system of economic development that has the proven power to lift people out of poverty. Given the state of the American economy and the fact that African Americans are consistently on the lower end of the socioeconomic totem pole, it is imperative that black people embrace capitalism and skillfully utilize the power of entrepreneurship.

Capitalism is unwisely pilloried and attacked because it was used in the service of white supremacy. In American history, not only was black slave labor stolen, but black slaves were also sold and bought as commodities. However, it is logically sloppy to think that capitalism is inherently evil and possesses zero benefits just because it can be thwarted and used as an artifice of evil and oppression. Christianity, too, was thwarted and used as a tool of mass control and oppression. To argue that Christianity has done no good for the world just because evil manipulators misused it for their invidious goals would be absurd.

It is important to note that capitalism and white supremacy are not conjoined twins. Capitalism and white supremacy are not a package deal. One does not have to endorse white supremacy just because one endorses a proven economic system of development and growth. The most serious of black thinkers understand the importance of entrepreneurship and capitalism. However, black radicals irresponsibly conflate capitalism and white supremacy because they are more interested in fomenting victimhood than ending economic malaise.

In his indispensable 1933 book The Mis-Education of the Negro, Dr. Carter G. Woodson eloquently pointed out the absurdity of black people rejecting markets.

To say that the Negro cannot develop sufficiently in the business world to measure arms with present-day capitalists is to deny actual facts, refute history, and discredit the Negro as a capable competitor in the economic battle field of life. … Properly awakened, the Negro can do the so-called impossible in the business world and thus help to govern rather than merely be governed.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Anthony Rek LeCounte ― 2016: The End of All Things

“Not everything is a god that failed.” –Tristyn K. Bloom

As the votes keep rolling in from Donald Trump’s election, I wound up in an argument with a dear friend about slavery and the Electoral College. Like many of my intelligent and thoughtful liberal friends, this New York transplant has developed a deep frustration a number of established institutions and contemporary trends that underscore substantial partisan divisions in the ways different sets of Americans understand the world we share.

A lot of anti-Trump people from underprivileged backgrounds feel particularly exasperated at the insistence of an notion they consider an insult to injury. Namely, after suffering the indignity of a Trump electoral upset, they are now being pushed (by people like me) to empathize with the plight of voters within the coalition that won control of everything without them. Their irritation is probably quite similar to that of conservatives who chafed at the 2012 autopsy and the perceived defeatism and collaborationism that spawned it and a litany of harsher criticisms.

I hear them, and conservatives certainly ought to do better to reach out and engage the concerns of Blue America, as I hope we will. (I confess he’s not yet off to a great start.) But for today, perhaps the most pertinent takeaway from 2012 is that people really are going crazy, but the world is less crazy and hopeless than it seems to those in despair.

Read more: https://tokendissonance.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/2016-the-end-of-all-things/

Dr. Dambisa Moyo — Why Africa can't depend on aid forever

The 2009 Munk Debates: Be it resolved, foreign aid does more harm than good Dambisa Moyo and Hernando De Soto argue in favour of the motion.


Michael David Cobb Bowen — Is the Axis Still Evil? Thinking of the Bush Doctrine

The Bush Doctrine, whatever it may have been cannot be considered absent the Powell Doctrine which was the military strategy of Desert Storm. The Powell Doctrine was the reaction to the Vietnam Syndrome. In short, the army we had was led by the generals working under the Shock and Awe doctrine of Colin Powell, whose principle was to use overwhelming force, crush the opposition and leave. NOT to hang around and try to rebuild a country you just destroyed.

Saddam Hussein had a million man army, and Powell was insistent, in a voice we haven’t heard since that state actors supporting terrorist networks were a greater threat than mere terrorist cells. It didn’t matter, thus, if Iraq were actually at war with the US, Al Qaeda would inevitably seek support in Iraq against the US.
 
So when I think of the Bush Doctrine, I think of his declaration of America’s top three enemies ‘The Axis of Evil’ in Iran, Iraq and North Korea, three regimes who were clearly American enemies and who would use their state’s resources to fund terror networks in asymmetrical warfare against the US.
 
Was Iraq closer than Iran in their race for an Islamic Bomb? I say demonstrably yes, and the Bush Administration, in cooperation with the UN and every nation did its best to keep nuclear inspectors engaged to a degree much higher and much more intrusively than we do today in Iran or North Korea.
 

John McWhorter — We need an old-school approach to Richard Spencer

No protest, however "inclusive," should wall itself off from what it's arguing against.

(CNN) When I was in college in the early 1980s, one of the more peculiar events in the fall was a visit from "Brother Jed Smock." Smock, a self-styled "confrontational evangelist," would plant himself at some central outdoor location and confidently preach against, well, you name it.

With his wife Cindy and assorted assistants standing nearby as a kind of Greek chorus, Jed would rail against not just alcohol, drugs, fornication and rock 'n' roll (seemingly just about anything that made life truly enjoyable) but also against homosexuals. I recall the old "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" line, and apparently he's still at it today, using the "we can pray the gay away" canard.
 
To be sure, it was a sport among many students to circle Smock and jeer at him, get into goofy exchanges with him, and even interrupt him as much as possible. I, in fact, learned a lot from watching this -- such as that people like Smock existed, for one thing, but more importantly what the handy arguments against them were. The Gay Alliance, at a time when such organizations were new to college campuses, was memorably articulate, I recall. They didn't tell Smock to shut up or circulate petitions to bar him from campus. His being able to air his views to an extent was part of the educational process, in providing something to respond to amid the lively give and take of actual exchange. There was no notion that human dignity required the campus grounds be a space "safe" from the likes of his speech.
 
They argued back -- eloquently.
 

Stephen L. Carter — Christmas in America Means the Usual Lawsuits


(BloombergView)

Christmas is right around the corner, meaning that the time has come for the usual passel of lawsuits and threats of lawsuits, of bitter division over words and symbols -- in short, of all the usual trimmings of the season.

Let’s do a quick roundup.

In New York City, on the Upper East Side, a lawyer has filed suit against a wealthy neighbor for playing Christmas music too loud outside her townhouse. The music apparently runs from 7 a.m. until midnight, and the plaintiff says he is not against Christmas music as such -- he just wants a break from his neighbor’s loudspeakers.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-12-15/christmas-in-america-means-the-usual-lawsuits

Shirley Bassey - Diamonds Are Forever (HM The Queen's 90th Birthday)

In 2000, Shirley Bassey was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the performing arts. In 1977 she received the Brit Award for Best British Female Solo Artist in the previous 25 years. Her father is Nigerian, and her mother is English.  Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Bassey


Dr. CHE Sadaphal — Justice and Scripture

                                                 Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue,
that you may live and possess the land
which the Lord your God is giving you.[1]
For I, the Lord, love justice.[2]
 
Justice is a concern that permeates the entire Bible. This concern is found, for example, in the history of Israel being liberated from Egyptian bondage; it is found in the proclamations of the prophets; it is found in the poetry and wisdom literature of the Old Testament; Jesus begins His public ministry by announcing that He is the one to fulfill the prophetic longing to liberate those who are victims of oppression.[3] Justice is integral to God’s character and His resultant plan for civil order and government.[4] Hence, talking about justice is never a social, political, or an economic matter. Rather, justice is primarily a theological concern—the Bible informs us that because God is just, He requires us to do justice.[5] And eschatologically speaking, The Lord will be the one to deliver final and ultimate justice.
 
Our discussion of justice is highly relevant to the topic at hand for one simple reason … Continue reading.

Dr. Elaina George — The Fix For Our Ailing Healthcare System

The stated intention behind Obamacare was to improve the healthcare system. However, it has become apparent that the changes implemented were based on incorrect assumptions: first, that having health insurance equals access to quality affordable healthcare; second, that central planning via government regulations and mandates could be used to control costs; and third, that the behavior of doctors and patients could be controlled by implementing rigid practice guidelines (i.e., value based medicine, care driven by algorithms instead of physician judgement) and increasingly shifting the cost of healthcare to patients leading them to self-ration by pricing them out respectively.

The end result has been an increase in healthcare costs, decreased competition among insurance companies with monopolies in some states, and a decrease in both primary care and specialist physicians. Whether you like Obamacare or not, an honest assessment would conclude that it is simply not sustainable.

There is a solution which would provide a solution for everyone.
  1. If you like Obamacare you can keep it.
Expand Medicaid and Medicare – Block grant money to the states so they can figure out a solution that works best for their unique needs. This would allow people who can’t afford it to have insurance.
  1. Free everyone from the mandate with the associated fines.
This would allow people who want to buy private insurance to become healthcare consumers and would encourage insurance companies to once again offer insurance products that people actually want and would buy (for example affordable catastrophic high deductible plans). You would likely get young healthy people to buy insurance increasing the pool of healthy people lowering the cost for everyone.

Read more: http://drelainageorge.com/a-doctors-prescription-the-fix-for-our-ailing-healthcare-system/

Monday, November 28, 2016

John McWhorter —The Evolution of 'Like'

How the ubiquitous, often-reviled word associated with young people and slackers represents the ever-changing English language.

(Atlantic Monthly)

In our mouths or in print, in villages or in cities, in buildings or in caves, a language doesn’t sit still. It can’t. Language change has preceded apace even in places known for preserving a language in amber. You may have heard that Icelanders can still read the ancient sagas written almost a thousand years ago in Old Norse. It is true that written Icelandic is quite similar to Old Norse, but the spoken language is quite different—Old Norse speakers would sound a tad extraterrestrial to modern Icelanders. There have been assorted changes in the grammar, but language has moved on, on that distant isle as everywhere else.

It’s under this view of language—as something becoming rather than being, a film rather than a photo, in motion rather than at rest—that we should consider the way young people use (drum roll, please) like. So deeply reviled, so hard on the ears of so many, so new, and with such an air of the unfinished, of insecurity and even dimness, the new like is hard to, well, love. But it takes on a different aspect when you consider it within this context of language being ever-evolving.

Read more: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/11/the-evolution-of-like/507614/

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Akil Alleyne — Lesson #1 of Trump's Win: Pride Goeth Before a Fall

The morals of the story: Obama's legacy is more or less finished; Ruth Bader Ginsburg had better live at least another 4 years; Democrats are about to fall back in love with the filibuster; and the American voter giveth, and the voter taketh away.

Anthony Rek LeCounte ― It’s Not Racist To Want Respect

The 2016 cycle turned out to be a change election, and the
Clinton campaign did not reflect that.

I watched the cold open for Saturday Night Live’s first post-election show almost on loop. Kate McKinnon’s rendition of Hallelujah is a moving tribute to the recently departed Leonard Cohen, but also a haunting ode simultaneously reflective of Hillary Clinton’s stunning political collapse and evocative of many millennials’ happy, golden college days. In that last capacity, it inspired some of the greatest sadness I’ve felt after the Election Day surprise, and for that moment I suspect I could appreciate the immense sorrow of decent, honest people who voted for Clinton and honestly believed, for whatever reasons, that she would have made a good president.

Going into this cycle, I wanted Hillary Clinton to be defeated, and I wanted Barack Obama’s legacy largely undone. I’m not sorry that such a result came about. But as much as I opposed them politically, I’m compelled to admit I didn’t want them to lose like this—humiliated and broken by a candidate of such marvelous deficiencies that his own voters acknowledged him unfit for the office. I didn’t want that for my friends, whom I dearly love, who invested their hopes and dreams in what they hoped was an election that would be a catalyst for a better world. Clinton and Obama deserved to lose, and their Democratic Party deserved to fall, but in a mildly less cruel world, the falling could have been a softer note of optimism and new hope reminiscent more of 2008 than 2000. But alas, here we are.

Continue reading

Ayo Sogunro ― Hello President Buhari, listen to the judiciary

Last week, in his Independence anniversary speech, President Muhammadu Buhari threw a jab at the Nigerian judiciary. The president said: “In fighting corruption, however, the government would adhere strictly by the rule of law. Not for the first time I am appealing to the judiciary to join the fight against corruption”. These words not only imply that the judiciary supports corruption, it also suggests that the judiciary has been acting outside due process. This is worrisome. Not just because the president’s words demean judicial institutions, but because they also damage the legitimacy of the judiciary.

This type of statement is the usual preface to executive interference in judicial matters.
It is no secret that the president blames the judiciary for the inefficiency of his anti-corruption crusade. He has touted the establishment of tribunals or special courts (likely under executive supervision) to try corruption cases. In fact, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption has gone as far as organising a seminar to “guide” judges on sentencing. These may seem proper to a layperson but, frankly, the president’s thinking on these matters is pedestrian at best, malicious at worst. It betrays ignorance of jurisprudence and judicial best practices.

Continue reading

Crystal Wright ― Deplorable liberal media glorify anti-Trump rioters

By far the most grotesque display of the liberal media’s entrenched hatred of the right and our Constitution’s first amendment right, is their collective post-election coverage of Trump protesters.
 
First published November 11, 2016 in the Toronto Sun

Someone should tell the New York Times that Donald Trump won the election, not Hillary Clinton.

Rather than reporting Trump’s stunning victory and upset, the rigged liberal media machine glorifies the anti-Trump rioters. Emblazoned on the front-page of the New York Times on Thursday was this incendiary headline: “DEMOCRATS, STUDENTS AND FOREIGN ALLIES FACE THE REALITY OF A TRUMP PRESIDENCY.”

Below this the sub headline of the lead article written by Patrick Healy and Jeremy W. Peters was even worse: “Grief and Glee as an Administration Once Unthinkable Takes Shape.” Notice the liberal propaganda is in full effect, referring to a Trump presidency as “unthinkable.” To many conservatives and Democrats, particularly blue-collar union workers who never voted Republican until they voted for Trump, the prospect of a Clinton corrupt presidency was unthinkable.

But the broader point is that in the face of Trump’s historic win, the elite liberal media is shamelessly doubling down on the very bias that helped elect Trump. In brazen fashion, the Times has become a rag of anti-American, leftist trash, ripping Trump in a way that looks like the publication isn’t honoring the results of the election.

Read the full article HERE.

Chidike Okeem ― Donald Trump and the Opening of the Gates of Hades


Checks and balances do sometimes curb basic corruption, but the idea that they have been an impediment to sheer wickedness and evil requires a phantasmagoric rewriting of American political history.

Donald Trump being elected as the 45th President of the United States is one of the most monumental calamities in modern world history. The pretense that Trump — despite being the next Leader of the Free World and Commander-in-Chief of the world’s foremost military — is powerless due to “checks and balances” is wholly insufferable. To hold this absurdist position is to willfully ignore the lion’s share of the American historical record. Donald Trump’s presidency, whether people like it or not, has opened the gates of Hades. White supremacist ideology is ascendant worldwide, and a Donald Trump presidency will likely be some of the darkest years in world history.
 
The notion that checks and balances can fully constrain Trump’s bigotry is erroneous. When politicians run in democratic elections, they are usually constrained by the fact that they are trying to get as many people as possible to vote for them. During this period, Trump engaged in some of the most overtly xenophobic rhetoric in the modern history of American politics. He launched his campaign with xenophobia and it is the defining element of his political identity. This overtly hateful rhetoric led to over 60 million Americans choosing him to become the next president. If the electoral process could not constrain Trump’s rhetoric, what makes people think attaining the most powerful office in the land will? Even if it is the case that Trump’s rhetoric becomes more measured, it will only be because his actions will speak markedly louder than his words.
 
Read the full article HERE.

Roger Scruton ― On Trump's Victory

Good analysis, tho' it excludes issues of bigotry/racism.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Akil Alleyn — Rethinking Cultural Appropriation





Cultural appropriation is real, but it's not necessarily what its biggest critics say it is.

Here's the article about the incident at UCLA that I mention in the video: http://reason.com/blog/2015/10/09/ucl....

Chidike Okeem — The Black Case Against Voting

 The only obligation of a responsible citizen is to remain informed about the political issues and political candidates. Voting should only occur after acquiring information and seeing a candidate that best represents one’s political and moral worldview.

Quadrennially, blacks are subjected to the tedious and ethnically manipulative fib that voting is obligatory in order to respect black ancestors. The right reason for voting is to elect someone who one believes has the policies and the character worthy of holding higher office. Voting should not be done just to unthinkingly “fulfill a civic duty.” If, after careful deliberation, one finds that there are no candidates that represent one’s politics and morality, then abstaining from voting is a perfectly principled option. It is an utterly puerile conception of civic responsibility to maintain that voting in every election is necessary — especially for black Americans.

It is a scandal that black Americans are inanely guilt-tripped into voting for pitiable, odious presidential candidates under the intellectually flimsy pretense that not doing so is a colossal betrayal of the many black people who “died for black suffrage.” This is not only transparent poppycock, but it is also an immoral twisting of the historical record. Those who push this line of argument operate under the pretense that attaining the right to vote is akin to climbing Everest — a task of mammoth proportions that only the most fastidious and disciplined of athletes can accomplish.

The reason why black suffrage was only realized by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is because American racists presented relentless obstacles to it. Is the right to vote a fundamentally good thing that should be exercised with caution? Certainly. However, the assertion that blacks in America “died for the right to vote” is casuistic drivel. Black people died because racists refused to accept their humanity and ultimately killed them. It is a statement of historical fact that voting was an infinitesimally small part of that denial of black humanity in America. To fail to comprehend, or to deliberately ignore, this bigger picture of American anti-blackness is unacceptably dehumanizing.

Read the full article HERE.

Akil Alleyn — What Was James Comey Thinking?

No, James Comey need not and should not have notified Congress that he was examining newly unearthed Clinton emails so soon before Election Day.


Darrell B. Harrison — So, You Want 'Social Justice'? Be Careful What You Ask For

When it comes to the matter of social justice context is key.

I say this because when one examines closely the current national discourse on this issue, it becomes abundantly clear that significantly more emphasis is placed on the justice aspect than on the social.

This kind of partitioned accentuation, I believe, is the result of our acceptance of a collective assumption that a community wherein justice is consistently and indiscriminately applied to each individual is the ideal societal construct.

It is an ethos that is especially evident relative to the biblical principle of reaping and sowing (Galatians 6:7), particularly with regard to one’s actions and decisions that might prove harmful or detrimental to others.

This mindset, in my estimation, raises a fundamental question:

What is justice?

Read the full article HERE.

Dennis Sanders — A Few Thoughts About Standing Rock

 The Protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline Brings Up Many Questions.

The protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux near Bismark, North Dakota has generated a lot of buzz on social media, mostly against the pipeline and with the tribe. On the surface this looks like evil, greedy oil company against environmentally conscious Native Americans. But there are a lot of issues to considered both pro and con that need to be considered and the costs of building the pipeline and the costs to not build a pipeline.

I don’t pretend that I am an expert on all of this, but these are the things that I am noticing that make issue not so clear cut. Here are few random thoughts.

 Pipelines are infrastructure. It’s important to remember that an oil pipeline is not just about some greedy oil company sending their poison accross the land, pipelines are part of the national infrastructure. Just as our network of highways get goods from one part of the country to another and how the internet makes our connected age possible, pipelines get oil to markets. Like a lot of our national infrastucture, oil pipelines are aging. A good chunk of our pipelines are about 60 years old. Having aging pipelines means those pipelines are more susceptible to spills. Standing Rock isn’t replacing a pipeline, but it is part of the national infrastructure moving goods around.

Read the full article HERE.

Charles Badger — In Trump, the Republican Party’s Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

 I fear this party’s response to Election Day, will resemble less the “12 Steps,” and look more like Kübler-Ross’s 5 stages of bereavement after a loss.

(BrothaOnline)

On November 8, there will be a many car pile-up on the exit ramp off the Trump Expressway. Republicans will be stepping all over themselves to Matrix-like erase this election from national memory. Every Republican leader will pretend they don’t know who Trump is.

But, not so fast Republicans. …we have the receipts!

The GOP is an addict. The Republican Party is addicted to whiteness, as Jeet Heer painstakingly documents. The “12 Steps” to recovery from any addiction begin – first and foremost – by admitting you have a problem. There can be no forgiveness, no redemption, without first contrition.

After this election the GOP needs, like post-Apartheid South Africa, to set-up a “Truth & Reconciliation” Commission. A half century of political malpractice must be laid bare on the table, and owned up to. The “12 Steps” call for taking “fearless moral inventory of ourselves,” admitting “to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” Recovery requires “making a list of all persons we had harmed,” then making “direct amends…to them all.”

Read the full article HERE.