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 on: October 24, 2018, 12:58:07 PM 
Started by Mukasa - Last post by Nakandi
“Today, as I've seen elsewhere on this forum, there is preferential treatment to children of rich parents or those that have an 'exoticness' to them, those with Asian straight hair. They are given special permission to keep their hair where every other black student is supposed to keep theirs close shaven! This double standard had always irked me but I never questioned it enough to see the colonial roots of it all.”

When I attended private school in my country of origin, one was allowed to keep their hair as long as it could all be held in a ponytail/puff - and it had to be styled that way alone. Braids, twists or other African styles were not allowed. White and Indian kids, on the other hand, could have “bobs” and other hairstyles without being required to cut theirs off. I felt like we all had an unspoken understanding that non-African hair, like light skin, was more precious/sacred and that is why we as pupils accepted and never questioned these double standards.

“Later on, post-secondary school, away from the clutches of school rules, while the girls braided or plaited their hair so that it is long enough to straighten it, we the guys let it grow wild. And for me, other than for the excitement of rebellion, it was a celebration that my hair was thick and wild. When it grew some more, it began browning on top. This meant that I had to trim it to maintain its blackness as seen from images from icons such as the Hip Hop musicians like Ludacris.”

I find that this is a component of the African hair topic rarely discussed as most think it is a female-only issue. However, males are as affected by this as females are. Just like colorism affects males and females, so does featurism. One of the reasons many Africans cannot stand an Afro, regardless of size, or traditional African hairstyles is because they tend to accentuate one’s African features. This goes for males and females alike.

Many societies have accepted that males = short hair and brush off the African male’s religious hair trim as just that. We know though that under white pseudo-supremacy anti-Africanness is always a component. Many Africans, males and females, don’t need school or workplace dress codes to alter their hair. In fact, I would argue the majority don’t. Because of the racial hierarchy, African-American associated features are more desired and accepted than continental ones. Haircut styles being one of them. Native Africans have numerous short hairstyles, but you will rarely see these outside villages. They make one that much more 'continental' looking than the Ludacris/low-top fade/low cut look. African males tend to equally be against their kinky hair as their female counterparts.

“…it used to brown at the edges which to my guardians signified poverty and/or the lack of care.”

This is indeed one of the many misconceptions of black hair. Some of us have not been around Africans with natural hair long enough and/or continuously to observe its characteristics. I too learned that brown hair on Africans was a sign of illness via way of poverty (kwashiorkor). There was also the added component of what I now recognize as blatant colorism. Brown hair, or hair generally lighter than one's dark complexion, was mostly associated with the Nilotes. Meaning the "wrong" end of the racial spectrum. It was not until my adult years I became aware that African hair varies in texture and color just like other races’. Additionally, it reacts to its environment just like any other type. Including the sun!

“On why black hair isn't manageable, this is a result of imbibing western/colonial beauty standards through media.”

Yes. People have illogical expectations of their kinky hair. Traditional hairstyles - styles actually adapted to African hair - might take time during the process, but the styles can last a good while and the upkeep is minimal. I do not see how that can be time-consuming and not manageable in the long haul. But if one wants their kinky hair to ‘naturally’ do straight hair things, then of course it is going to be challenging. It is self-explanatory. Also, many think that because ancient Africans had combs, they must have had the same routines we see with Europeans today. When the tightly kinky strands with knots (because that is very much part of the physiology of kinky hair) naturally arrest the brush or the comb, we blame our ignorance on the African genes.

The current natural hair movement is also ironically part of maintaining the myth that African hair is hard to manage and also very time-consuming. A huge part of the movement, particularly the kinky/type 4 chapter, is about “curl defining”. In other words, how to naturally hide one’s kink to achieve the "good hair" look. Since these are very temporary styles, one needs to do the time and money consuming process quite often.

About administrative changes. Anti-colonial fights aren’t synonymous with pro-Africaness. Examining attitudes should be at the centre of those fights. For instance, for a materially rich family, and a very westernised family, the interests of dealing away with colonial dress codes might have nothing to do with fighting racism. Hair is another outlet to flaunt one’s wealth. It is also another outlet to ‘dilute’ one’s Africaness. Thus, wealthy parents might support the idea of moving away from colonial dress codes only to have African kids with white-like hairstyles. Be it long straightened hair or extensions in the form of braids. Rarely will you see a parent chose an afro for their child (or themselves). They want kids with Western English accents with flowing hair. They want kids with acquired whiteness.

A poor family might not be too bothered with the idea of keeping hair short and this needn't be pro-colonialism/whiteness.  Short hair can indeed be both economic and time effective, making it an attractive cheap alternative.

Regardless of the hairstyle one chooses for themselves or forces onto children, I think the real root of this all too common attitude needs to be addressed;
“…whenever I meet a student whose hair is browning near the forehead, I have severally reprimanded them for allowing their hair to grow as it doesn't look good and asked them to shave it off!”

 on: October 23, 2018, 05:23:57 AM 
Started by Mukasa - Last post by Mukasa
 I grew up in the nineties in a home where all the women straightened or permed their hair to signify their being town people or accomplished. So it was always a competition between the women to see who had the most luxurious free flowing hair. The adult male relatives had moved away from the permed hair or Afro typical of the Pan-Africanist post-independence of the 60s and 70s. I often wonder why this was so. Could it have been a function of proliferation of technologies—the electric shaver that led them to abandon the Afros?

My relationship with my own hair has been that when I was much younger, being that my hair is kinky I always cut it off because firstly, school rules and regulations demanded it; their reasoning being that it was time saving, and secondly because it used to brown at the edges which to my guardians signified poverty and/or the lack of care. Today I realise that I internalised these problematic stances and informed my views on black hair today.

Later on, post-secondary school, away from the clutches of school rules, while the girls braided or plaited  their hair so that it is long enough to straighten it, we the guys let it grow wild. And for me, other than for the excitement of rebellion, it was a celebration that my hair was thick and wild. When it grew some more, it began browning on top. This meant that I had to trim it to maintain its blackness as seen from images from icons such as the Hip Hop musicians like Ludacris.
Today, as I've seen elsewhere on this forum, there is preferential treatment to children of rich parents or those that have an 'exoticness' to them, those with Asian straight hair. They are given special permission to keep their hair where every other black student is supposed to keep theirs close shaven! This double standard had always irked me but I never questioned it enough to see the colonial roots of it all.

Fast forward to today, I am a continental East African and teach secondary school in a school that is supposed to run on Islamic principles. The Muslim girls are exhorted by the religious teachers to veil their hair as part of Islamic tradition, yet ironically they are supposed to keep it close shaved. Every now and then, we teachers ask them to remove them to see how short their hair is. I am embarrassed to admit that this isn't good for teaching them bodily autonomy. Relatedly, whenever I meet a student whose hair is browning near the forehead, I have severally reprimanded them for allowing their hair to grow as it doesn't look good and asked them to shave it off!

Recently I had a conversation and subsequently an epiphany about black hair. I was stunned to discover that the school system perpetuates colonial legacies of managing black hair. For if the reason to keep hair short was or is to save time, how come the children of the white colonialists did not cut theirs short? On why black hair isn't manageable, this is a result of imbibing western/colonial beauty standards through media. Our black hair with all its diverse textures is what it is and should be let be.
My role as a teacher in perpetuating these colonial legacies, I find that I should question and work upon by advocating for an administrative rethink of these stances while I have conversations with students about bodily autonomy.

This link was useful in my epiphany.


 on: October 22, 2018, 10:14:28 PM 
Started by News - Last post by News
Why skinny people die of 'fat' diseases - and fat people can be healthier than you think (it's all down to the body's inner-workings and a revolutionary blood test can determine YOUR risk)

By Jinan Harb
October 22, 2018 - dailymail.co.uk

Chubby, but fit, might sound like the kind of excuse overweight people use to keep at the crisps. In fact, there is evidence that — contrary to the mainstream thinking — some overweight people lead long and healthy lives, while some slim, apparently healthy people die prematurely of ‘fat diseases’ such as diabetes and heart disease.

Now doctors appear to have discovered what’s going on, heralding a breakthrough in our understanding of weight and disease: in future, it may not be your weight that matters so much as what’s going on inside your body.

And finding out could involve nothing more than a blood test. What it will mean is that instead of doctors saying being over a certain size means you’re automatically ‘at risk’, they would use the results of this blood test to work out your personal risk.

This could even help identify foods that are problems for you, because of how they affect you in particular.

As one leading expert told us, this ‘is the next big thing in medicine’.

Konstantinos Manolopoulos, a clinician scientist in endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Birmingham, explains: ‘It’s a major step towards personalised medicine — where the aim is to provide customised treatment options for patients.’

For nearly 200 years, BMI (body mass index) has been used as a measure of obesity and health risk. It’s calculated by dividing your weight by your height, and dividing the answer by your height again. A score of 25 or more means you’re categorised as ‘overweight’ and your risk of developing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease is raised significantly.

But, increasingly, there have been questions raised about the reliability of BMI as a predictor of health because it doesn’t show the full picture. For example, someone can be at risk of disease, and yet be slim and have a normal BMI — or have no health problems, despite being classed as overweight according to their BMI.

Now U.S. researchers say they have developed a replacement, an advanced blood test that may provide a more accurate method of identifying our risk of diseases.

The test hones in on and measures all of the compounds in our blood — collectively known as the metabolome. In an analysis of these compounds, scientists were able to identify people at a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease early.

Full Article : dailymail.co.uk

 on: October 07, 2018, 06:07:11 PM 
Started by Iniko Ujaama - Last post by Iniko Ujaama
The Slavery Debate: Why C.L.R James & Eric Williams were right

 on: August 25, 2018, 06:24:16 PM 
Started by Ayinde - Last post by Ayinde
If the killings in Palestine and Yemen were carried out by North Korea, Russia, or any other country that is not an ally of the US and the UK, they would be condemned and possibly faced with sanctions. Other countries would face sanctions for trading with them. Those who supplied the weapons would also be deemed complicit in murder and terrorism. If the people who are being killed were White, we would probably be in World War 3!  But the US, the UK, Israel and Saudi Arabia can get away with murder and mayhem, either directly or by supplying weapons. Most of us unwittingly aid and abet their atrocities by our failure to act and by our financial and otherwise support for them. --Ayinde

Less Than 24 Hours After Senate Rejected Effort to Curb Slaughter, 26 More Children Killed by US-Backed Bombing in Yemen
By Jon Queally - August 25, 2018
"These deaths are on our hands, and many more children will die in Yemen as long as the U.S. supports the Saudi-led war."

Massacring Palestinians with Impunity
By Daniel Larison On May 14, 2018
Israeli forces have been using excessive and illegal force against unarmed protesters for weeks, but this is the worst that it has been so far this year. There is no excuse for killing unarmed protesters, and there is no justification for wounding–and sometimes crippling–unarmed people with live ammunition.

 on: August 25, 2018, 12:11:43 AM 
Started by News - Last post by News

By Glen Ford, BAR executive editor
August 22, 2018 - blackagendareport.com

Silicon Valley and the corporate media are far more effective in conjuring alternative realities than the chaotic Trump White House.

“Trump tells lies that are easily countered; the New York Times and Google erase facts from history, systematically.”

U.S. mass media have always lied. In particular, they have specialized in lying about Black people, who are the ultimate “Other” in U.S. society. Many a lynching was deliberately set in motion by a headline that went something like, “Black Buck Runs Amuk!” It is a new twist, however -- and a sign of profound disarray among the ruling class -- that a white racist billionaire U.S. president finds himself treated like the “Other” by most of the corporate media.

For more than two years the corporate media mob and its deep state nightriders have been trying to lynch Trump for proposing closer relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia – a liaison now deemed more taboo than miscegenation in Old Mississippi. Orange Buck Runs Amuk!

It is a battle royal, as the inveterate prevaricators of the U.S. press joust with Trump, a master of the Art of the Lie. The difference is, Trump lies to promote and protect himself, often without regard for even the interests of his class. He also commits the cardinal sin of failing to keep track of his lies, and contradicting himself.

“The corporate media mob and its deep state nightriders have been trying to lynch Trump for proposing closer relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

Trump’s defamations of nonwhite peoples and nations are not quite the same as lies, but reflect a diseased and delusional worldview shared by more than half the white population of the country. They, and he, actually believe that non-whites are incapable of self-government -- a premise that, for half a millennium, justified European rape and pillage of the planet. Ideologies, such as white supremacy and the (related) belief that the rich should rule, should not be confused with outright lies. You can’t simply disprove ideologies; you must defeat the people and classes that profit from them.

Trump and his enemies in much of the rest of the ruling class, the Democratic Party, the corporate media and the national security (deep) state actually share the same ideologies, but are deeply conflicted on how best to sustain capitalism and global white supremacy. Trump’s rise to national executive power and capture of the Republican Party -- an ascent largely engineered by his current nemeses in corporate media and the Democratic National Committee, who believed the Orange Oaf would be easy to beat -- has created a crisis of legitimacy for the U.S. ruling class. The anti-Trumps have gone quite nuts, fouling their own nest until it stinks to high heaven. In their frenzy, they have convinced themselves that The Donald represents an existential threat to the free flow of capital and the maintenance of U.S. global power.

“The anti-Trumps have gone quite nuts, fouling their own nest.”

They are determined to destroy the Frankenstein they created, but the monster refuses to die, knowing that there is no proof of the predicate crime of which he is accused -- “colluding” with Wikileaks and Russians to steal incriminating evidence against Hillary Clinton from the DNC. In the absence of proof, the anti-Trump faction of the ruling class and their minions in government, the corporate media and national security services have unleashed a tsunami of lies -- against Russia. They have even coerced oligarch Mark Zuckerberg to make his Facebook algorithms lie, to tip the scales against the sharing of allegedly Russia-tainted information.

Google seemed far more eager to collaborate with the national security state that gave it birth. Its algorithms speak consistently with forked tongue. Google employees are up in arms over having to collaborate in Chinese government censorship of the Internet, and have balked at helping the Pentagon’s artificial intelligence schemes, but they have not protested the systematic marginalization of leftwing sites accused of sounding too much like “Russians,” including Black Agenda Report.

Silicon Valley and the corporate media are far more effective in conjuring alternative realities than the chaotic Trump White House. Trump tells lies that are easily countered; the New York Times and Google erase facts from history, systematically. Trump will one day be gone, but the liars and censors of the corporate press and internet will be producing false versions of reality deep into the twilight of capitalist rule.

“The center of the world economy has effectively shifted to East Asia.”

The deeper the crisis of capitalism, the worse the lies will get, and the further the United States will descend into an information bubble of conjured “facts” and beliefs that are rejected -- held in utter contempt -- by the rest of the planet. I’m not talking about the nonsense that buttresses “American exceptionalism,” a two-bit cracker ideology that the non-white world recognizes as nothing but white settler hubris (even when preached by a Black U.S. president). I mean U.S. "bubble knowledge" vs. hard facts, the kind that erode the very legitimacy of oligarch rule -- such as the reality that China has already surpassed the United States economically, and that the center of the world economy has effectively shifted to East Asia. These are mega-facts that cannot be hidden. The U.S. is no longer a model for the world (if it ever was), and American rulers offer nothing to their own population but endless austerity, falling living standards, precarity and war. Someone must be blamed.

“Russian Buck Runs Amuk!”

No, that won’t do, not for long.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Reproduced from:

 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.


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