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25835 Posts in 9920 Topics by 982 Members Latest Member: - Ferguson Most online today: 73 (July 03, 2005, 06:25:30 PM)
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 on: August 24, 2018, 01:35:08 PM 
Started by Ayinde - Last post by Ayinde
Is it not amazing how the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, the Associated Press and many other leading US media can suddenly explain how misinformed Trump is on the South Africa land issue? What is South Africa attempting that is different from what was done in Zimbabwe? The difference this time is that the owners of these networks do not want Trump in office, so they are bringing forward the history that shows his ignorant and incompetent. In 2003 George W. Bush imposed economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, under the leadership of Robert Mugabe, because he reclaimed lands from Whites and redistributed them to Blacks. Obama extended those sanctions which remain in place up to today. These same networks were then reporting the untrue White nationalist propaganda about the slaughter of Whites in Zimbabwe, while they pretended to be ignorant of Zimbabwe's land history which is like that of South Africa.

White farmers: how a far-right idea was planted in Donald Trump's mind

Trump under fire for claim of 'large scale killing' of white farmers in South Africa

Trump tweets the word ‘Africa’ for first time as president — in defense of whites in South Africa

Here's The Story Behind That Trump Tweet On South Africa — And Why It Sparked Outrage

Trump Cites False Claims of Widespread Attacks on White Farmers in South Africa

South Africa Admonishes Trump’s Racist Conspiracy Theory Tweet

 on: August 20, 2018, 07:49:52 AM 
Started by Nakandi - Last post by Nakandi
Corporate Looting: Sub-Saharan Africa Loses $100B A Year

Story Transcript
SHARMINI PERIES: It’s the Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. A recently released World Bank report titled, Changing Wealth of Nations, show that the wealth of sub-Saharan Africa has been rapidly declining over the past several decades. As a matter of fact, the region has been losing an average of 100 billion dollars per year between 1990 and the year 2015. The main reason for this loss is that transnational corporations are extracting mineral wealth and that Africa is not receiving a comparable value to compensate for this extraction.

Joining us to discuss this World Bank report on the wealth of nations is Patrick Bond. Patrick is a professor of political economy at Wits University in South Africa. He is the co-editor of Bricks, an anti-capitalist critique and the co-author of South Africa – The Present as History. He recently wrote an analysis of the World Bank report titled, New Evidence of Africa’s Systematic Looting. Welcome back, Patrick.

PATRICK BOND: Thanks Sharmini.

SHARMINI PERIES: This bank report focuses on what is known as adjusted net savings or ANS. Tell us what this measure exactly is and why this is useful for measuring a country’s wealth.

PATRICK BOND: Sharmini, this adjusted net savings is an improvement over gross domestic product. The GDP is what most bourgeois economists will first turn to say this is the output of the goods and the services, and that’s the health of the economy. What we all know is that if you don’t count unpaid women’s labor, if you don’t count pollution, crime and the effects of crime and social breakdown, all of those things, you’re not getting anywhere near the real social welfare. And one of the most important parts of the adjusted net savings is to say, “How much are we depleting our natural resources,” which they call natural capital in the bourgeois-ication of these concepts. It’s natural capital, human capital, our education that they’re measuring.

Once you do those calculations, this continent, Africa, is really much more clearly a victim of Northern and let’s be frank, also BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa exploitation, which is extracting those resources without reinvestment, which, in turn would then create some potential for a capitalist economy to accumulate locally.

Instead, we’re having a full disaccumulation or a political economist would call this unequal ecological exchange. The greatest African political economist, Samir Amin, who’s going strong at age 86, I was with him last month in Dakar, he’s always talked about the value transfers and the labor transfers, but there’s also a natural transfer and a gender transfer in this natural transfer. But now, we can begin to handle on, and as you say, at least 100 billion dollars per year. That’s a very conservative estimate with some caveats, is leaving this continent without requisite reinvestment.

SHARMINI PERIES: So, then, when does ANS measure show for sub-Saharan Africa in particular?

PATRICK BOND: Well, what has been showing, particularly because the World Bank studied adjusted net savings by changing this GDP to incorporate the decline in the wear and tear in machine, the productive capital plus the increase in human capital through education, the decline in welfare through pollution, and then, finally, the decline, which is the biggest decline, sometimes 20 percent of gross income every year because of the extraction of these resources.

They began this process when a man called Herman Daly, the real guru of ecological economics, told them they’re not measuring properly. And there’s a small unit, it’s called Waves and it handles all sorts of adjustments of national accounts, although, in a somewhat biased way, they can’t quite come to grips with the implications of this analysis. But since the early 2000s, this has been a fairly serious endeavor and the new report is maybe most devastating because efforts to call Africa a fast growing, Africa rising, are now in tatters because it’s now clear that, as commodity prices peaked in the commodity super cycle, 2002 before the big 2015 crash, that’s when we saw most of the extraction and that’s the natural capital decline.

It’s like our wealth has been ripped out without the transnational corporations putting anything back. And we now that partly because there’s illicit financial flows, they take all sorts of tax dodges and miss invoicing that allow them to move money abroad. But now, this is the first time we’re really getting a sense, I hope, in a more generic way, that NGOs and campaigners and anti-extraction groups on the ground can work with, that it’s not economically viable to continue extracting from Africa. Prior reports occurred during the great Africa rising myth with high commodity prices.

Now that commodity prices are lower, the transnationals are extracting even faster in many cases just to make up for volume what they’ve lost in price because of the lower commodity prices. That’s the most dangerous period and the most resistance is now being observed across the continent in all manner of protest against extraction.

SHARMINI PERIES: Patrick, I mentioned that the region loses 100 billion dollars on average per year. Tell us how this takes place.

PATRICK BOND: Well, it takes place when a corporation, usually it’s western and now, increasingly, the BRICS corporations, will extract the raw materials. They do very little processing in the continent. So, the raw minerals, the petroleum, the gas is extracted and exported. Africa, then, typically imports the products of those.

Crucially, unlike say in Norway or Australia or Canada with lots of resources, the corporations are not headquartered here on this continent. Unlike those countries where the shareholders or in Norway’s case, the state, will recycle the profits and put it into education, for example in Norway or corporates in Canada and Australia will have local shareholders benefiting.

Africans aren’t benefiting, and this is one of the crucial reasons that, in the last week, we’ve had two major conferences in Cape Town. The African Mining Indaba of the big corporates and their state allies, and the Alternative Mining Indaba, which is the NGOs. And what they’ve been asking, the NGOs especially, “Can’t we have more transparency? Can’t we have more free prior and informed consent?” In other words, the communities affected having a small role in this.

I think what we’re not beginning to ask is, even if you have transparency and free prior and informed consent and maybe some corporate social responsibility, is that enough? Because these mines and these petroleum rigs are taking these resources out. And they’ve made an argument that they bring in capital, they provide jobs and they have foreign exchange earnings for the country. And yet, what the World Bank has inadvertently acknowledged is that that’s far less than the value of the wealth, the present value of all of that, those natural resources that are just vacuumed out.

I should add, by the way, the 100 billion, the three percent of Africa’s gross income that’s being vacuumed out, is conservative and that ignores platinum and diamonds, those two crucial commodities, especially from this country and this region. It also ignores North Africa. The World Bank likes to have sub-Saharan Africa as one category and North Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, as another. So, you put it together, I would reckon it’s in the 150 billion dollar range.

Now, this is on top of a net 43 billion dollars that goes out even after aid and loans and new foreign investment and remittances come in. The outflow that Global Justice Now, Christian Aid and some of the other agencies have been looking at the last few years, Mark Curtis especially, analyzing this 43 billion net. Well, I’m suggesting we should now be adding to this, the 100 plus billion, from the resource transfer. So, unequal ecological exchange becomes one of the crucial ways to say, “The north and the BRICS, this is not just west versus the south. Now, we have also Chinese, Indian, Brazilian companies, South African companies, ripping off the continent.”

And it seems to me this is an important moment to say because Johannesburg is hosting the next BRICS summit in July, and it’s an important moment to say that the imperialist and the sub-imperialist extraction should be resisted and we should be giving more attention to those who are stopping as much as they can. About 80 billion dollars of new mining goes on every year and, at any one point, about 25 billion according to the Anglo American corporations. Chief executive Mark Cutifani is now stopped by social resistance.

So, there is a map of this called Environmental Justice Atlas, EJAtlas.org and it seems to me we should all be paying more attention to those forces that are trying to slow this looting process.

SHARMINI PERIES: Patrick, it looks like the World Bank has made an important analysis of the problem of declining wealth in Africa but what about its own policies in the region? Do you think they take that into account in terms of this kind of impact it’s having in the region?

PATRICK BOND: This is a terribly important question because it raises a dilemma for those who would like to do full cost accounting under that assumption that that would promote an ecological modernization. That’s the framing that they would use, but, in fact, it creates schizophrenia. Here’s why.

The World Bank has a general objective, which is export led growth and it’s particularly to raise hard currency from very poor countries to repay the profit streams for these multinational corporations and the banks who need their loans repaid, not in kwacha from Zambia or rand from South Africa, but in US dollars or euros. And that’s where this contradiction screams out.

And, I’ll give you one example, which is Zambia, because when the World Bank tries its natural capital accounting, suggested net savings measure, it goes to a place like Zambia where a huge amount of the exports, 97 percent in some years, is copper. But when they’re doing the studies of the natural capital of Zambia, it’s very convenient that they leave out copper. In other words, they’re ignoring specifically, in this particular case, the most extreme perhaps, that the extraction of copper leaves Zambia much poorer, about 20 percent of gross national income according to their earlier accounts.

But in their pilot work that just started last year, they look at all manner of other aspects of natural capital, forests, wetlands, crop land, but they ignore copper. So, I think this is part of a dilemma for World Bank staff who make loans that basically work against the logic of their own internal analysis, which is that the more extraction occurs of minerals like copper, petroleum, and gas, the poorer Africa gets. The World Bank can’t allow that logic to leak into it’s lending function where it tries to promote export led growth through extraction of primary commodities.

SHARMINI PERIES: Alright, Patrick, so what needs to be done to remedy the problem of declining wealth and unfairly compensating for mineral extraction?

PATRICK BOND: Well, it’s such a great dilemma because there are many out there who would like to reform the system and to make it more transparent and more fair, and fair trade, publish what you pay, and extractive industry transparency initiative. There are some of the framings of a reform agenda that would make mining more socially and environmentally responsible.

I don’t think that’s possible. I think what this analysis, even inadvertently from the World Bank itself suggests, is that the most appropriate way to address the outflow of wealth is to resist. There may be, in the future, some governments that will actually reinvest proceeds properly, but right now we’re having transnationals, usually with governments in tow, extracting the wealth.

And, often, as in this country, terrible resource curses emerge. Our new president coming in very soon, Cyril Ramaphosa, proved that conclusively and the lawmen instance as a shareholder where he emailed and requested more or less for a massacre by demanding that the police treat a wild cat strike as, as he put it, “dastardly criminal.”

And it’s that relationship between corporates and governments and, in this case, the top political figure in the country coming in, that to me, suggests more attention to resistance to those communities, women’s group, labor, who are demanding a slowing of that extraction process so that, in some cases, we have various ones here, the Niger Delta is the most spectacular, that they actually leave the resources underground because, at this point, to take them out is a net loss.

SHARMINI PERIES: Patrick, we’ll make sure that we submit both your article raising some of these questions and this interview as well to the World Bank and see if they could respond to you.

PATRICK BOND: Very good. They normally will ignore the internal logic when it works against their corporate agenda, which is, as I say, extract at any cost.

SHARMINI PERIES: Alright, Patrick. I thank you so much for joining us today.

PATRICK BOND: Thank you very much.

SHARMINI PERIES: And thank you for joining us here on The Real News Network.

 on: June 13, 2018, 11:19:07 AM 
Started by Iniko Ujaama - Last post by Iniko Ujaama

The face of God is in the eye of the beholder, researchers say
University of North Carolina psychologists found that most Christians think God looks a lot like them — and he's not a she.

In the Grammy-nominated 1995 pop song “One of Us,” singer Joan Osborne posed a question for the ages: If God had a face, what would it look like?

Now, thanks to team of psychologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we may have an answer: To most Christians, he looks like a young white dude.

“From Michelangelo to Monty Python, popular illustrations have consistently shown God as an old and august white-bearded Caucasian man,” the researchers wrote in their study.

But when the psychologists had a sample of 511 Americans — 330 men, 181 women, 26 percent black, 74 percent Caucasian — look through hundreds of pairs of faces, the majority chose a much younger and much friendlier version of the Almighty.

“Together, these results help paint a picture of an American God who may not resemble scriptural or historical depictions,” the researchers wrote. “The face of the modern American God appeared kinder and more approachable than the God of the Sistine Chapel, perhaps reflecting different cultural concerns of the 16th century versus today.”

It’s still, however, a white face.

“People tend to believe in a God that looks like them,” Professor Kurt Gray, the study’s senior author, told NBC News. “And most of the people who took part were male and white."

What surprised the researchers, however, was that most of the women thought the Almighty was male, and “even many black Americans saw God as white … and with twinkling eyes, “ said Gray.

“I think it’s because for millennia Christians have been led to think of God as male and white,” Gray said. “It’s changing a little now, but the church hierarchies are still mostly male and mostly white. In the Catholic Church, for example, the Pope is male and the priests are still only male.”

The participants were demographically diverse — 153 from the South, 143 from the Midwest, 124 from the Northeast, and 91 from the West, according to the study.

Politics also played a role in people’s perceptions of God, the researchers found.

Conservatives were more likely to see God as white and powerful. Liberals saw God as younger and loving.

“These biases might have stemmed from the type of societies that liberals and conservatives want,” Joshua Conrad Jackson, the study’s lead author, told the UNC website. “Past research shows that conservatives are more motivated than liberals to live in a well-ordered society, one that would be best regulated by a powerful God. On the other hand, liberals are more motivated to live in a tolerant society, which would be better regulated by a loving God.”

So there are variations to the face of God — even among adherents to the same religion.

“When believers think about God, they perceive a divine mind who is suited to meet their needs and who looks like them,” the researchers wrote. “Even though American Christians express belief in a universal God, their perceptions of his face are not universally similar.”

 on: June 01, 2018, 12:50:36 PM 
Started by News - Last post by Dani37
"Larson wrote: “Women are objects, to be taken care of by men like any other property, and for powerful men to insert themselves into as it pleases them, and as they believe will be in women’s own interests. In most cases, their interests are aligned, as long as the man is strong. Female sex-slaves actually get a much better deal than animals, because in most cases, they are allowed to reproduce, unlike animals raised for meat or companionship.”

Even as he sympathises with Incels he reinforces the stereotypes that might be preventing some from having their desired partner.


 on: May 20, 2018, 02:04:59 PM 
Started by News - Last post by Ayinde
"Santa Fe shooting suspect reportedly killed girl who turned down his advances"

The 17-year-old suspect in Friday's shooting at a Santa Fe, Texas, high school reportedly shot and killed a classmate who turned down his repeated advances, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The classmate, Shana Fisher, was the first person the shooter killed, according to Fisher's mother.

Fisher's mother, Sadie Rodriguez, told the Times in a private message to the paper's Facebook page that the suspect, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, gave her daughter "4 months of problems" before Fisher rejected him in front of classmates.

Although there is no evidence thus far that the Santa Fe shooter identified with Incels or any such group, the reality is that there are many people who think like Incels. They cannot make sense of rejection and some resort to murder.

 on: May 15, 2018, 07:16:10 PM 
Started by Tyehimba - Last post by Dani37
Where are the sanctions on trade? Where are the embargoes? Where are the actual repercussions outside of lip service? It is hard to take their condemnation of Israel and the US actions seriously when there are no repercussions which are within their powers.

 on: May 15, 2018, 06:56:43 PM 
Started by Tyehimba - Last post by Tyehimba

Global protests grow after Israeli killing of Palestinian demonstrators

International condemnation of Israel’s killing of 60 Palestinian protesters in Gaza has escalated as tens of thousands of people rallied in the coastal enclave to bury the dead.

The killings took place on Monday during demonstrations at the Gaza border fence, which coincided with a high-profile ceremony to mark the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which overturned decades of US foreign policy.

The UK prime minister, Theresa May, was among those who spoke out strongly on Tuesday. A spokesman said she was “deeply troubled” by Israel’s use of live fire and “the scale of the violence”.

On Tuesday Palestinians marked the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation.

Senior UN officials condemned the recent killings as an “outrageous human rights violation” and said it appeared that anyone approaching the Gaza border fence was liable to be killed by Israeli soldiers. Ireland summoned Israel’s ambassador to protest against the fatalities. Russia and China also expressed their concern over the killings.

But any prospect of the US allowing an investigation under the aegis of the Security Council seemed remote after the American ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, threw Washington’s weight behind Israel, saying no country would show the “restraint” that Israel had.

Most of the Gazans who died on Monday were shot by Israeli snipers, Gaza’s health ministry said. According to the Hamas-run ministry, the dead included eight children under the age of 16. At least 2,400 people were wounded.

Summing up the concern of many, Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights, said in Geneva: “The mere fact of approaching a fence is not a lethal, life-threatening act, so that does not warrant being shot. It seems that anyone is liable to be shot dead.” He stressed that international laws that applied to Israel made clear that “lethal force may only be used as a measure of last, not first, resort.”

In an apparent dismissal of Israel’s justification for the high casualty levels, Colville said: “It is not acceptable to say that ‘this is Hamas and therefore this is OK.”

Israel has accused Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, of being behind the protests and said it was merely defending its territory.

The UN’s high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, said: “Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account.” The World Health Organisation also intervened, saying the scale of the injuries was threatening to overwhelm Gaza’s already beleaguered health system.

Citing figures from the Gazan health ministry and a group of aid agencies, a WHO official, Mahmoud Daher, told the Associated Press that 2,771 people were wounded during Monday’s unrest. Of those, 1,360 were wounded by live fire, 400 by shrapnel and 980 were suffering from gas inhalation. He said the majority of those wounded by live fire were struck in their lower limbs.

As the burials of the dead got under way on Tuesday, a senior Hamas official, Khalil al-Hayya, vowed that the protests in Gaza would continue, while on the West Bank the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, declared a general strike on Tuesday after accusing Israel of “massacres”.

The scenes of lethal violence on Monday were placed side by side on the front pages of many of the world’s newspapers with images from the glossy inauguration of Washington’s new mission about 60 miles away in an affluent Jerusalem neighbourhood. Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, celebrated the opening to clapping and cheering from American and Israeli VIPs.

Critics of the embassy move, which the US president hailed as a “great day” for Israel, said the optics of Monday’s embassy opening and the Gaza deaths would damage Washington’s stature as a mediator between those parties and could have unpredictable consequences.

“Traditionally, we’ve tried to play a role of fireman in the Middle East. Now we’re playing the role of arsonist,” said Ilan Goldenberg, a former state department and Pentagon official who runs the Middle East program at the Center for a New American Security.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, joined the US in blaming Hamas for the deaths at the border. He defended his country’s use of force, saying: “Every country has the obligation to defend its borders.”

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he condemned “the violence of the Israeli armed forces against protesters” in a telephone call withAbbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II. He reaffirmed his criticism of the US decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Anger at Trump’s December declaration on the embassy helped to ignite the six-week protest movement. To international condemnation, Israeli snipers have regularly fired on demonstrators during past rallies.

Trump’s decision to move the embassy and to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel dismayed Palestinians, who see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. The holy city has been one of the most contentious issues in past negotiations, and broad international consensus has been that its status will be settled under a peace deal, although Trump has said Jerusalem is now “off the table”.

Many Israelis have praised the decision to move the diplomatic mission. The Friends of Zion Museum has put up posters in Jerusalem saying: “Make Israel Great Again”, and US flags have been hung from buildings in the city.

 on: May 15, 2018, 02:20:32 PM 
Started by News - Last post by Meri
I thought that she did not take the time to think; she went into an extreme protest too quickly. If she did not have a body that was considered mainstream she may have thought out and presented a meaningful argument to the professor without resorting to stripping. These females who want to dominate the women’s rights movement are most times ill-equipped to conduct themselves in a manner that leaves room for others in that they take the sting out of other forms of protest that could have been used more wisely. They want all the limelight and have no qualms about what they do to achieve it.

 on: May 15, 2018, 07:43:05 AM 
Started by News - Last post by Ayinde
I would really like to know whether males presented in shorts in the past. I agree that people should feel free to dress how they want. However, some institutions have rules or convention that govern how people dress for certain functions; if people choose to protest them then that is fine also.

If it is customary that people dress a certain way to attend certain functions, then if one goes against the usual protocol, one could be challenged and even be asked to conform. One is not bound to comply or respond but should be able to explain one’s position.  Going against convention can be distracting, but one also has the right to do so except where it is reasonably forbidden. If people are making ill-informed comments without malice, then that could be addressed through discussions.

By default, many people are racist and sexist and even if someone may be informed about feminism, they may be blind to racism, colorism, sizeism and ageism, and they may also harbour Eurocentric perceptions of beauty. If they are white or light skin they may be unaware of how privilege allows them to behave as they want and still be accepted.

A white or light skin girl who is considered attractive can easily resort to stripping in protest and if she does so there is no shame on her because her body-type is preferred. People easily buy her version of events and so it goes. From a privileged position, she could really be arrogant and be protesting, "How dare you tell me what I can or cannot do?"  and this is embraced as empowerment.

If I see a female walking along a dangerous lonely street at night, I might tell her that she may be better off walking on another street as she could face attack by males who are up to no good. She could argue, “It is my right as a woman to walk anywhere I wish and dress anyhow I want. Why don’t you tell those males to behave?” Sure, she is 100% correct, but that does not automatically mean that I am wrong either. Getting criminal males to change their behaviour takes more time than it would be to address the immediacy of the danger that she could be in. Thus, she can either try to be flexible in her judgement and see another point of view or be right and face the possible consequences.

 on: May 15, 2018, 07:28:14 AM 
Started by News - Last post by leslie
I viewed the video of the protest and I was less than impressed. While the young female is free to express herself as she chooses and while I agree that female bodies, more so than males, have been overly sexualised and shamed, the convention for presenting a lecture or seminar is business attire. For her lecturer to advise her of such was by no means crossing boundaries. However, the lecturer's reasoning for advising her against her attire was flawed; if she was more sensible, she could have better articulated another position. It is true that the short-pants wearing, or otherwise revealing attire would attract the straight male gaze. It is also true that regardless such does not warrant male abuse. Still, I agree that her choice of clothing in this situation was inappropriate. I also do not think that in this instance it was the most effective form of protest.

Many so-called feminists do disservice to the movement by claiming prejudice or injustice where there is none. The #metoo movement is one such example where feminist extremism prevails. Many males (some deserving) have received condemnation without a fair hearing. Although I may be wrong about the lack of judgement on the part of this female, as I was not privy to what the university lecturer actually said, I suspect that she read the lecturer wrong. This situation also points to the general character of modern-day feminism as well as the LGBTQIA movement which is to silence people who disagree with their stance. So, her response to a simple observation or a difference of perspective was to protest. Her right to do so, I fully agree but it was a protest in vain in my view.

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