We Love Reason Afterall

We want the actual pic

The dew on the leaves

We don’t want memories of a lynch

We want jobs we know

We don’t want your statistics

We know when we were doing okay

We know when we don’t

Faith in Humanity by Stella L. Luna

Poem by Stella. L. Luna

Faith in Humanity
For International Human Rights Day

Some values in life must be emphasised for our prosperity,
Giving equal worth to the cry of every living beings bilaterally,
We boast our intellect & machinery has bested all the popularity,
arguing our appetite for resources & race for War’s inevitability,

With each drop of innocent blood charred for pitiless illiteracy,
We are firming our path right into the belly of hell’s misery,
As we become more silent about things that matter for humanity,
It shall be the dark moment of
our lives turning into obscurity.
Whoever we are, wherever we are, however we are,
No matter our class, age,opinion,
sex, origin or religion,
Peace is attained when our energy is used for nurturing human dignity,
Growth is attained when our views are used for nurturing human capacity,
Joy is attained when we use our humility to bring all life & world into harmony.

(C) S.L.Luna
10/12/2019

“To deny people of their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.” ¯ Nelson Mandela

Fox News (and thereby Trump) is Now a Threat to National Security

From wired.com

GARRETT M. GRAFF

12.11.19 8:00 AMIDEAS

Fox News Is Now a Threat to National Security

The network’s furthering of lies from foreign adversaries and flagrant disregard for the truth have gotten downright dangerous.

A reporter in a suit leans his chin on a Fox News microphone
Fox’s bubble reality creates a situation where it’s impossible to have the conversations and debate necessary to function as a democracy.PHOTOGRAPH: DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES

Monday’s split-screen drama, as the House Judiciary Committee weighed impeachment charges against President Trump and as the Justice Department’s inspector general released a 476-page report on the FBI’s handling of its 2016 investigation into Trump’s campaign, made one truth of the modern world inescapable: The lies and obfuscations forwarded ad infinitum on Fox News pose a dangerous threat to the national security of the United States.

The facts of both dramas were clear to objective viewers: In the one instance, there’s conclusive and surprisingly consistent evidence that President Trump pushed Ukraine to concoct dirt on a domestic political rival to affect the 2020 presidential election, and in the other, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the FBI was proper to investigate Trump’s dealings with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign.

But that set of facts is not what anyone who was watching Fox News heard. Instead, Fox spent the night describing an upside-down world where the president’s enemies had spun a web of lies about Trump and Ukraine, even as Horowitz blew open the base corruption that has driven every attack on the president since 2016.

Sean Hannity, who had long trumpeted the forthcoming inspector general report and expected a thorough indictment of the behavior of former FBI director James Comey and other members of the “deep state,” had a simple message for his viewers during Fox’s Monday night prime time: “Everything we said, everything we reported, everything we told you was dead-on-center accurate,” he said. “It is all there in black and white, it’s all there.”

Except they weren’t right and it wasn’t there. But Fox News’ viewers evidently were not to be told those hard truths—they were to be kept thinking that everything in their self-selected filter bubble was just peachy keen.

Over on Fox Business, Lou Dobbs said the mere fact that the IG found no political bias in the FBI’s investigation of Trump and Russia in 2016 was de facto proof of the power of the deep state.

John Harwood, long one of Washington’s most respected conservative voices in journalism, summed up Fox’s approach Monday night simply: “Lunacy.”

It’s worse than lunacy, though. Fox’s bubble reality creates a situation where it’s impossible to have the conversations and debate necessary to function as a democracy. Facts that are inconvenient to President Trump simply disappear down Fox News’ “memory hole,” as thoroughly as George Orwell could have imagined in 1984.

The idea that Fox News represents a literal threat to our national security, on par with Russia’s Internet Research Agency or China’s Ministry of State Security, may seem like a dramatic overstatement of its own—and I, a paid contributor to its competitor CNN, may appear a biased voice anyway—but this week has made clear that, as we get deeper into the impeachment process and as the 2020 election approaches, Fox News is prepared to destroy America’s democratic traditions if it will help its most important and most dedicated daily viewer.

The threat posed to our democracy by Fox News is multifaceted: First and most simply, it’s clearly advancing and giving voice to narratives and smears backed and imagined by our foreign adversaries. Second, its overheated and bombastic rhetoric is undermining America’s foundational ideals and the sense of fair play in politics. Third, its unique combination of lies and half-truths has built a virtual reality so complete that it leaves its viewers too misinformed to fulfill their most basic responsibilities as citizens to make informed choices about the direction of the country.

In the impeachment hearings, former National Security Council official Fiona Hill and other witnesses made clear how those who, like Fox News hosts and the president, advance the false narrative that Ukraine meddled in the US election are serving the Kremlin’s interests. Russia is playing a weak hand geopolitically—its economy is sputtering along and its population shrinking—and so its greatest hope is to stoke internal discord in the West. Robert Mueller warned of this; James Clapper has warned of it; and now Fiona Hill has done the same. “Our nation is being torn apart,” she said. “Truth is questioned.” Yet Fox, and the GOP more broadly, has warmly embraced almost every twist of Kremlin propaganda, up to and including the idea that Russia never meddled in the 2016 election to begin with.

Fox’s clear willingness to parry the wingnuttiest ideas in service of the president, long-term implications to the United States be damned, should worry all concerned about the state of the United States. The Ukraine myth is hardly the only example; for years, it has repeated false conspiracies about the murder of Democratic staffer Seth Rich, a conspiracy literally cooked up by Russian intelligence and fed into the US media. (To say nothing of Fox’s long-term commitment to undermining and questioning climate science, leaving the US both behind in mitigating the worst effects of climate change and also ill-equipped to face the myriad security consequences of a warming planet.)

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It’s possible to paint Fox with too broad of a brush—Chris Wallace remains one of the toughest and best interviewers on television and has repeatedly stood up to vapid GOP talking points, and Bret Baier is a talented journalist and historian—but it’s clear from this year that something fundamental and meaningful has tipped inside the network.

While propagandizing has long been a key facet of Fox’s business (Stephen Colbert debuted his own Fox News host alter ego, in dedicated pursuit of “truthiness,” all the way back in 2005), the situation is clearly getting worse: the lies deeper, its always-tenuous commitment to “Fair and Balanced” unraveling further. Whatever loose adherence to a reality-based world the Fox worldview once possessed, whatever guardrails on truth the network might have once installed, are now gone. Shep Smith, long one of the network’s biggest names and best reporters, literally walked out of the Fox building this fall, departing abruptly after apparently deciding that he couldn’t in good conscience be part of a “news” operation that treated facts so fungibly.

Indeed, as the year has unfolded, Fox’s evening talk shows and its presidentially endorsed morning show have proven to be a particularly egregious and odious swamp of fetid, metastasizing lies and bad faith feedback loops that leave its viewers—and, notably, its Presidential Audience of One—foaming at the mouth with outrage and bile.

It’s hard not to think that the increasingly odd behavior and untethered-to-reality pronouncements of the president’s two top lawyers—Attorney General Bill Barr and personal defender Rudy Giuliani—have not been deeply influenced by the filter bubble on the right created, fostered, and fertilized by Fox News. As Lawfare’s Susan Hennessey tweeted after Barr set out on his Quixotic quest to prove the deep state was behind the FBI’s 2016 investigation, “The Attorney General is a fully-committed Fox News conspiracy theorist.”

The network’s pantheon of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Lou Dobbs, and the rotating couch-cast of Fox & Friends’ morning show dunces-by-choice together represent a level of ill-informed demagoguery that would make Father Coughlin and Huey Long wince.

More than simply embarrassing themselves by spouting obvious falsehoods, though, Fox News’ incendiary, fanatical rants serve to delegitimize to its viewers the very idea of a political opposition. Every Democrat is evil. Every person who disagrees with President Trump is an enemy of the state. Every career federal employee is a member of a deep state opposition.

As writer Gabe Sherman, who authored a history of Fox News, tweeted over the weekend, “Been thinking a lot about why Trump will survive impeachment when Nixon didn’t. For 20+ years Fox News (and rightwing talk radio) has told GOP voters that Democrats are evil. As lawless as Trump is, Republicans believe Dems are worse. That’s the power of propaganda.”

These pronouncements—uttered around the clock on weekdays and doubled down on weekends by hosts like the president’s favorite, Jeanine Pirro—are an attack on the very ideals and foundations of the American experiment.

The founders settled on political parties as a mechanism to institutionalize channels for ongoing debate. As historian Joseph Ellis wrote in American Creation, political parties “eventually permitted dissent to be regarded not as a treasonable act, but as a legitimate voice in an endless argument.” It is that willingness to view opponents as legitimate that has long allowed America to hold together even under trying political times and to deal with political disagreements in the political arena, rather than resorting to violence against national leaders. For all of Fox News and President Trump’s daily declaration of coups and attempted coups against the administration, American history has actually been shockingly free of actual coups.

Part of what drives the unique national interest in the rivalry of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr was that their fatal showdown represents the only case of a founder taking another founder’s life. It was one of only a handful of times in our entire national history where we’ve seen political figures fight each other and inflict real wounds. (The caning of Senator Charles Sumner in the pre–Civil War Capitol comes to mind as another such rare instance.)

In the midst of his own presidential run in 2008, John McCain stopped one of his own supporters in her tracks attacking Barack Obama as a Muslim to defend the Democratic nominee: “No ma’am,” McCain said. “He’s a decent family man, a citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about.”

That tradition and idea of American politics as an ongoing conversation, an endless argument, is key to preserving our democratic experiment. The idea that you will be in power sometimes, and out of power other times, is what preserves norms and traditions, and curbs the worst abuses and impulses; politicians traditionally understand that actions taken in the majority could serve to bite them if and when they return to the minority.

Donald Trump, who rose to prominence trumpeting the very “birther” falsehood that McCain once batted away, seems bent on undermining that tradition; he has proven he’s perfectly willing to burn down political norms for short-term gain. Fox News seems intent on helping him—and on a daily basis, they’re telling their viewers he’s right and anyone who disagrees with him is less than human. Trump’s lies are the one constant and consistent position of his presidency (13,000 and counting!), and Fox News has gone all in.

We, as a democratic society, cannot survive such consequences-be-damned, winner-take-all, facts-don’t-matter politics. Fox News has upended Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s famous proclamation that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Its daily programming seems driven by the idea that everyone might be entitled to their own facts, but that there is only one correct opinion: President Trump’s.

In 1984, George Orwell wrote his imagined dystopian regime “told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears,” but Fox News has actually figured out a tactic even more pernicious: Fox News’ own masters of Orwellian doublespeak, its Hannitys, Carlsons, and Doocys, the ones who smugly declare down up and up down, aren’t even bothering to tell their viewers to ignore their eyes and ears, because the truth never even approaches their airtime.

Let’s hope that Fox News today, unlike in Orwell’s world, doesn’t manage to succeed in transforming our country from a functional democracy into an authoritarian cult.


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Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) is a contributing editor for WIRED and the coauthor of The Dawn of the Code War: America’s Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat. His latest bookThe Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11, was published in September. He can be reached at garrett.graff@gmail.com.

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Side and Full View of Africa’s Predicament

If the whole story was not so

That Presidents from Africa

Are richer than the World’s richest

That I said on the Day of Judgment whenever The God of Super Freaks call Nigeria for judgment all other countries will raise the objection clause.

Why is it only in Africa there is no welfare?

If Elisabeth Warren runs for President here

She will win landslide and mudslide

I doubt popular thought in style

If this is it like Michael Jackson

In brilliance and movement

Why do you call African Actions

Rebellions and Revolutions?

“Mr. Patrick when you left Armageddon for The States what was on your mind? I hear people from all over the World are there. Would you take me away?”

“Certainly a cause has a sacrifice. All roads are blocked and there is a wall on the way. By the way, which passport do you carry I don’t want any problems in Tijuana. It’s too hot.”

The sequence in th past would involve spitting in a glass of water for mistress or burning a slave in a shower.

I don’t know which road you want Africa to pass.

If it was moving pictures I would shoot a trip

For Trump to The Heart of Africa

I just don’t know why the guy

Doesn’t like Africa and hates everything about it.

What would you say about Bikers and Senators on the same chord

Wavelength

Some people like us like us

Know the truth

The real truth that meets up with a low of five thousand years

If we could we would

But get out of the way for a minute

Monsieur Didier Fabrice WB UN TWO WWF (force and heartless wrestling versus wildlife conservation)

Since your beat doesn’t really tick

What should we have done

Of A

Side and Full View of Africans

It’s a matter of racism and all what not

If the writer is not African

Then we be at loggerheads like Americans

So it’s just a universal sentiment

Rich and poor; backwards or advanced

It’s all a thing in our sentiments

That our crazy survival instinct wets

That we are far better than people

Who do not look like us

Well you look at Africans and you never see people worse than them

That survival thing again they argue

We are better, we used to be Egypt

We are brave, we used to be Songhai

We are cultured, look at our traditions

And it’s the tradition of Hate that’s killing Africa

Because we have country and diplomacy

Thrust on us with democracy and rights

People don’t even want to know their duties unless

The government acts in every aspect of their lives

I wonder what the government had to do in your bedroom

I wonder how the government can make you stop stinking

I wonder what else the government must do for your children

Whatever it is the government didn’t do it for you

It never does crap for anyone

You have to learn from mushroom teachers

So add this one; you need a brand

All of you in Africa and Africans

Make a brand whatever it takes

Break this yoke of Poverty

And want

2.

The government is surely a big part of the problem

When people in government always feel

It’s leeway for their families and friends

As long as they are in office

It’s obvious illiteracy and traditions based on kingship

Cannot help.

3.

Can you imagine when a 36 governors and a President

All thinking they are kings

4.

It’s high time we fix this and fix that

What exactly is wrong with Africans?

We don’t have an argument from Europe to America

Threatening the brotherhood and sisterhood

But it’s sure not always rosy and the name of the rose

Is visa-free status for Africans to America and worldwide

Which is what European-Americans have that African-Americans don’t.

As if both are ready to talk to me

Every one minding their own business

Africa just stagnant with traces of development without foundations

Africa built on skeletons of foundations with a building structure

Complete with underground?

Gimme a break

There is no management policy

I think it’s the Sun

It’s too hot

She’s hot

I’m hot you bet

Everyone’s hot

What a shame!

Two thousand years of Nonesense!

Jesus Christ!

From Money Matters on Government Involvement Increased The Student Loan and The Problem

(SchiffGold) Have you heard? The Democrats are going to fix the student loan mess! They’ve brought up the issue in almost every  Democratic Party presidential debate. All we need is a good government program and we can easily solve this $1.64 trillion problem.

Never mind that government programs caused the problem in the first place.

The student loan bubble continues to inflate. Student loan balances jumped by $32.9 billion in the third quarter this year, pushing total outstanding student loan debt to a new record. Student loan balances have grown by 5.1% year-on-year.

Over the last decade, student loan debt has grown by 120%.  Student loan balances now equal to 7.6% of GDP. That’s up from 5.1% in 2009. This despite the fact that college enrollment dropped by 7% between 2010 and 2017, with enrollment projected to remain flat.

In a nutshell, we have fewer students borrowing more money to finance their educations.

Before the government got involved, college wasn’t all that expensive. It was government policy that made it unaffordable. And not only did it manage to dramatically drive up the cost of a college education, but it also succeeded in destroying the value of that degree. Peter Schiff summed it up perfectly:

Before the government tried to solve this ‘problem,’ it really didn’t exist.”

Peter isn’t just spouting rhetoric. Actual studies have shown the influx of government-backed student loan money into the university system is directly linked to the surging cost of a college education.

Millions of Americans carrying this massive debt burden is a big enough problem in-and-of-itself. But it becomes an even more significant issue when you realize the American taxpayer is on the hook for most of this debt. Education Secretary Betsy Devos admitted that the spiraling level of student debt has “very real implications for our economy and our future.”

The student loan program is not only burying students in debt, it is also burying taxpayers and it’s stealing from future generations.”

This is yet another bubble created by government. Despite the campaign rhetoric coming out of the Democratic Party presidential primary debates, it seems highly unlikely Congress will do what is necessary to address the growing student loan bubble. And the Democrats’ solution seems to be to simply erase the debt – as if you can just make more than $1 trillion vanish without serious implications.

Like all bubbles, this one will eventually pop.

The bottom line is that the student debt bubble will ultimately impact US markets and average Americans.

Source: ZeroHedge

The Dynasty in African Politics makes us Second Class Citizens! Revolution Now!

The bitter truth they don’t want to hear
By Prof. Yusuf Dankofa

Senator Bola Tinubu, the grand patriarch of APC has his wife in the 7th, 8th and 9th Senate;
Senator Abba Bukar Ibrahim’s wife was in the 8th Assembly and she’s also in the 9th, while the Distinguished Senator spent 8 years as Governor of Yobe State;
Former Gov. Theodore Orji was in the 8th Senate and also belongs to the 9th, and his son is the newly elected speaker of Abia State House of Assembly.
The example of family dynasties being entrenched in our political system is real and has the potentials of privileging the entire system to selected families while the hordes of armchair critics continue to insult themselves as mere tools or pawns in the chessboard of this game called POLITICS.

While political leaders are busy repositioning themselves and their families into the authority structure of Nigeria, most Nigerians continue to becloud their political understanding with inanities and as it is today, go to any critical sector of the economy, be it Central Bank, NNPC, LNG, Banks and other Institutions that drives the economy, it is the same children of the parasitic elites that are the engine rooms of these CASH COW institutions.

The children of the parasitic elites are poised to take over the reins of dependency on the economy of the state for their continued benefits, while the children of the poor will continue to be employed as graduate drivers, marketers of bournvita and Milo, by dancing like captured monkeys on our major highways.

It is instructive to understand also that while the children of the elites are busy taking refresher courses in Harvard, Dublin or Glasgow preparing themselves for the eventual take over of the political economy of the state, the children of the poor are packed like sardines to be writing aptitude test for menial jobs in both the private and public sector and not sure of whether the N30k minimum wage will ever be a reality.
When analysing the nature of political thuggery in Nigeria, you can never see the children of the rich. The business of political thuggery draws its manpower from the poorest of the poor and what fuels their sustainability is hard drugs.The political establishment maintain and sustain the children of the poor as touts and thugs, while theirs are being trained in the best universities of the world awaiting employment by the UN or other multilateral agencies of western capital that makes them globally competitive and materially successful.

That the Nigerian oppressed but poorly educated masses do not understand that they have been programmed to live on crumbs and die as second class citizens in their country is what sensible people cannot understand.
That they even idolised people that have conquered them and demobilized their humanity is something that normal people cannot understand.
That they even eulogise their slave masters with superlative slogans and worship their traducers is what is shocking.
That the poor even fight and kill themselves over people who don’t have the slightest of affection for them is intriguing.
That the poor and the oppressed come to Facebook and defend the lack of capacity of their masters and fight dirty amongst themselves is the 9th wonder of the World !!!

Prof Yusuf Dankofa is the deputy dean in the Faculty of Law, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State.