Tuesday, July 31, 2012

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Britain Welcome The World For Olympic ......!!!!



















.
.
......

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Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Check out Obama Descendant Of African Slave, According To Genealogy Research

The New York Times has a longer article on it.  Some excerpts:

"Its team, while lacking definitive proof, said it had evidence that "strongly suggests" Mr. Obama's family tree — on his mother's side — stretches back nearly four centuries to a slave in colonial Virginia named John Punch."
...
""I consider myself Caucasian, but I find that my mixed-race roots go way back," said Mark Bunch, who administers the Bunch family project.
Mr. Bunch, 53, the finance director for a community hospital in the agricultural town of Othello, in eastern Washington State, learned of the project several years ago from a cousin. He bought a home DNA test kit, swabbed the inside of his cheek three times and sent it off for analysis. What came back — a genetic blueprint that included sub-Saharan African roots — surprised Mr. Bunch."

For me, the insinuation of the longer piece is that there are many white people in the US who don't realize that they are descendants of African slaves.  I don't see that as a knock on Obama, just a statement on how complex the US's history is: e.g., white descendants of an African slave fighting for the Confederacy because they are unaware of their roots, if the article is to be believed.  Echoes of Nella Larsen's Passing.

Lola


From: kenneth harrow <harrow@msu.edu>
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:03 AM
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Check out Obama Descendant Of African Slave, According To Genealogy Research

in my opinion, scurrilous and propagandistic nonsense ought to be ignored.
to discuss is to provide them with value, which they don't have
ken


On 7/31/12 9:38 AM, Osiadi@aol.com wrote:
 
I am sure we know the insinuation of this so-called discovery. First he was supposed not to have been born in America. Second he is now a descendant of an African slave. What will be next? All because of election 2012.  Kunirum Osia
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--   kenneth w. harrow   distinguished professor of english  michigan state university  department of english  east lansing, mi 48824-1036  ph. 517 803 8839  harrow@msu.edu
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Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Dullest Campaign Eve

Come November, "It's The Economy, Stupid" that will decide who will be our next POTUS!!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Toyin Falola
Sent: Jul 31, 2012 12:08 PM
To: dialogue , ya
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Dullest Campaign Eve

Dullest Campaign Ever - NYTimes.com

The New York Times


July 30, 2012

Dullest Campaign Ever

A few weeks ago, Peggy Noonan wrote a column in The Wall Street Journal that perfectly captures my attitude toward this presidential campaign: It's incredibly consequential and incredibly boring all at the same time.

Since then, I've come up with a number of reasons for why it is so dull. First, intellectual stagnation. This race is the latest iteration of the same debate we've been having since 1964. Mitt Romney is calling President Obama a big-government liberal who wants to crush business. Obama is calling Romney a corporate tool who wants to take away grandma's health care.

American politics went through tremendous changes between 1900 and 1936, and then again between 1940 and 1976. But our big government/small government debate is back where it was a generation ago. Candidates don't even have to rehearse the arguments anymore; they just find the gaffes that will help them pin their opponent to the standard bogyman clichés.

Second, lack of any hint of intellectual innovation. Candidates used to start their campaigns by giving serious policy addresses at universities and think tanks to lay out their distinct philosophies. Bill Clinton was a New Democrat. George W. Bush was a Compassionate Conservative.

But the ideological climate has ossified. Candidates know that they'd be punished for saying something unexpected — by the rich, elderly donors and by the hyperorthodox talk-show hosts. Instead of saying something new, now they just try to boost turnout within their own demographic niches and suppress turnout in the other guy's niches.

Third, increased focus on the uninformed. Four years ago, Barack Obama gave a sophisticated major speech on race. Mitt Romney did one on religion. This year, the candidates do not feel compelled to give major speeches. The prevailing view is that anybody who would pay attention to such a speech is already committed to a candidate. It's more efficient to focus on the undecided voters, who don't really follow politics or the news.

Fourth, lack of serious policy proposals. Has there ever been a campaign with so few major plans on the table? President Obama's proposals are small and medium-size retreads, while Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime. Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion.

Fifth, negative passion. Both parties are driven more by hatred than by love. Both sides feel it would be a disaster for the country if the other side had power during the next four years. Neither side is propelled by much positive enthusiasm for their own side.

Many Democratic politicians think Obama looks down on them as a bunch of lowlife hacks. As Noonan wrote in that column, he sometimes seems to regard politics as a weary duty on his path to greatness. The Republican coolness toward Romney is such that he's having trouble recruiting people to work on the campaign.

Sixth, no enactment strategy. To avert catastrophe, the next president will have to rally bipartisan majorities around a budget deal and many other things. That will require personal and relationship skills neither has demonstrated. The polarizing, negative tactics the candidates use to get elected will make it impossible to succeed after one of them wins.

Seventh, ad budget myopia. Both campaigns fervently believe that more spending leads to more votes. They also believe that if they can carpet bomb swing voters with enough negative ads, then eventually the sheer weight of the barrage will produce movement in their direction. There's little evidence that these prejudices are true. But the campaigns are like World War I generals. If something isn't working, the answer must be to try more of it.

Eighth, technology is making campaigns dumber. BlackBerrys and iPhones mean that campaigns can respond to their opponents minute by minute and hour by hour. The campaigns get lost in tit-for-tat minutiae that nobody outside the bubble cares about. Meanwhile, use of the Internet means that Web videos overshadow candidate speeches and appearances. Video replaces verbal. Tactics eclipse vision.

Finally, dishonesty numbs. A few years ago, newspapers and nonprofits set up fact-checking squads, rating campaign statements with Pinocchios and such. The hope was that if nonpartisan outfits exposed campaign deception, the campaigns would be too ashamed to lie so much.

This hope was naïve. As John Dickerson of Slate has said, the campaigns want the Pinocchios. They want to show how tough they are. But the result is a credibility vacuum. It's impossible to take ads seriously. They are the jackhammer noise in the background of life.

This is the paradox. As campaigns get more sophisticated, everything begins to look more homogenized, less effective and indescribably soporific.


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More in Opinion (3 of 22 articles)

Op-Ed Columnist: Murder in a French Village

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Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
104 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712-0220
USA
512 475 7224
512 475 7222 (fax)
http://www.toyinfalola.com
www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa
http://groups.google.com/group/yorubaaffairs
http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue

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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Dullest Campaign Eve


The New York Times


July 30, 2012

Dullest Campaign Ever

A few weeks ago, Peggy Noonan wrote a column in The Wall Street Journal that perfectly captures my attitude toward this presidential campaign: It's incredibly consequential and incredibly boring all at the same time.

Since then, I've come up with a number of reasons for why it is so dull. First, intellectual stagnation. This race is the latest iteration of the same debate we've been having since 1964. Mitt Romney is calling President Obama a big-government liberal who wants to crush business. Obama is calling Romney a corporate tool who wants to take away grandma's health care.

American politics went through tremendous changes between 1900 and 1936, and then again between 1940 and 1976. But our big government/small government debate is back where it was a generation ago. Candidates don't even have to rehearse the arguments anymore; they just find the gaffes that will help them pin their opponent to the standard bogyman clichés.

Second, lack of any hint of intellectual innovation. Candidates used to start their campaigns by giving serious policy addresses at universities and think tanks to lay out their distinct philosophies. Bill Clinton was a New Democrat. George W. Bush was a Compassionate Conservative.

But the ideological climate has ossified. Candidates know that they'd be punished for saying something unexpected — by the rich, elderly donors and by the hyperorthodox talk-show hosts. Instead of saying something new, now they just try to boost turnout within their own demographic niches and suppress turnout in the other guy's niches.

Third, increased focus on the uninformed. Four years ago, Barack Obama gave a sophisticated major speech on race. Mitt Romney did one on religion. This year, the candidates do not feel compelled to give major speeches. The prevailing view is that anybody who would pay attention to such a speech is already committed to a candidate. It's more efficient to focus on the undecided voters, who don't really follow politics or the news.

Fourth, lack of serious policy proposals. Has there ever been a campaign with so few major plans on the table? President Obama's proposals are small and medium-size retreads, while Mitt Romney has run the closest thing to a policy-free race as any candidate in my lifetime. Republicans spend their days fleshing out proposals, which Romney decides not to champion.

Fifth, negative passion. Both parties are driven more by hatred than by love. Both sides feel it would be a disaster for the country if the other side had power during the next four years. Neither side is propelled by much positive enthusiasm for their own side.

Many Democratic politicians think Obama looks down on them as a bunch of lowlife hacks. As Noonan wrote in that column, he sometimes seems to regard politics as a weary duty on his path to greatness. The Republican coolness toward Romney is such that he's having trouble recruiting people to work on the campaign.

Sixth, no enactment strategy. To avert catastrophe, the next president will have to rally bipartisan majorities around a budget deal and many other things. That will require personal and relationship skills neither has demonstrated. The polarizing, negative tactics the candidates use to get elected will make it impossible to succeed after one of them wins.

Seventh, ad budget myopia. Both campaigns fervently believe that more spending leads to more votes. They also believe that if they can carpet bomb swing voters with enough negative ads, then eventually the sheer weight of the barrage will produce movement in their direction. There's little evidence that these prejudices are true. But the campaigns are like World War I generals. If something isn't working, the answer must be to try more of it.

Eighth, technology is making campaigns dumber. BlackBerrys and iPhones mean that campaigns can respond to their opponents minute by minute and hour by hour. The campaigns get lost in tit-for-tat minutiae that nobody outside the bubble cares about. Meanwhile, use of the Internet means that Web videos overshadow candidate speeches and appearances. Video replaces verbal. Tactics eclipse vision.

Finally, dishonesty numbs. A few years ago, newspapers and nonprofits set up fact-checking squads, rating campaign statements with Pinocchios and such. The hope was that if nonpartisan outfits exposed campaign deception, the campaigns would be too ashamed to lie so much.

This hope was naïve. As John Dickerson of Slate has said, the campaigns want the Pinocchios. They want to show how tough they are. But the result is a credibility vacuum. It's impossible to take ads seriously. They are the jackhammer noise in the background of life.

This is the paradox. As campaigns get more sophisticated, everything begins to look more homogenized, less effective and indescribably soporific.


More in Opinion (3 of 22 articles)

Op-Ed Columnist: Murder in a French Village

Read More »



Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin
104 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712-0220
USA
512 475 7224
512 475 7222 (fax)
http://www.toyinfalola.com
www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa
http://groups.google.com/group/yorubaaffairs
http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Rudolph Okonkwo: How to properly insult David Mark

"We need to change our attitude on how we report things about our country and we should emulate the foreign reporters who never report negative things about their countries. – David Mark, Nigeria Senate President, complaining about social media being used to insult Nigerian leaders in a speech to reporters covering the Nigerian Senate. I'm going to use some bad words in this column. If you cannot stomach them, please stop reading. Right now. Thank you."
 
- Rudokph Okonkwo
 
Read the rest here...
 
 
- Ikhide
 
Stalk my blog at http://www.xokigbo.com/
Follow me on Twitter: @ikhide
Join me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ikhide


Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - "Senate President" David Mark speaks... Maybe we should ban Social Media in Nigeria...

On 7/29/12, Segun <Seguno2001@yahoo.com> wrote:
> David Mark has never experienced the nature of democracy with its attendant
> freedom. So one is not perturbed by his opinion on social media. He needs to
> be educated on freedom and how to cope with it. That does not mean there
> shouldn't be some form of control over the abuse of freedom of social media.
> So far social media have not yet overshot its bound and they should be left
> alone.
> One is not surprised by the over-burst of the Nigerian Senate President who
> never wanted the poor to have access to information.
> David Mark was reported in Nigeria to have said that "telephone is not for
> the poor." But today his so called the poor use telephones and they express
> their minds on social issues in Nigeria. They use social media to express
> their views on the ills of the nation. They tell the global village the ruts
> in Nigerian leadership and perhaps that is what David Mark is worried
> about.
> If you don't have skeletons in your cupboard, you don't bother yourself
> about negative report coming from social media but let me say, where there
> is no fire there cannot be smoke.
> Segun Ogungbemi.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jul 29, 2012, at 2:00 PM, Ikhide <xokigbo@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>> "The emergence of social media like facebook, twitter, blackberry
>> messenger, YouTube etc have changed the face of media practice by making
>> information sharing easier, faster and quicker. But this is not without
>> its demerits. Social media has become a threat to the ethics of media
>> practice and good governance because of its accessibility and absolute
>> freedom. Every freedom carries a responsibility. Even in advanced
>> democracies, where we all agree that good governance is practiced, there
>> is no absolute freedom.
>>
>> I therefore believe that there must be a measure to check the negative
>> tendencies of the social media in our country. I say this because media
>> practice, particularly journalism, process its news gathering and
>> dissemination. It also operates a feedback mechanism and where the
>> practitioners err there is room for rebuttal. But in the social media a
>> faceless character can post any information that is absolutely false and
>> misleading but will never retract it. At the end of the day one is
>> bombarded with questions over what one has no business with."
>>
>> - David Mark
>>
>>
>> http://abangmercy.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/full-text-of-senate-president-david-marks-address-at-the-media-retreat-on-the-role-of-the-media-and-good-governance-in-nigeria/
>>
>> - Ikhide
>>
>> Stalk my blog at www.nigerianpalace.com
>> Join me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/wpf
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>> Dialogue Series" moderated by Toyin Falola, University of Texas at
>> Austin.
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I am not surprised either. Nigeria claim democratic govt. this is not
really. because it should possess the quality of freedom of speech.

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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re:_USA_Africa_Dialogue_Series_-_Senator_Uzodinma_Bought_Fake_University_Degree_…

When you have a Senator who lies about his credentials for the sake of being a Senator to steal money, evidently such a law maker has no credibility to make law for the nation because he has no knowledge and moral rectitude to occupy a lofty position.
He should be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. He is innocent until proved guilty for the offense.
Segun Ogungbemi.

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 30, 2012, at 2:06 PM, Ikhide <xokigbo@yahoo.com> wrote:

> "Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, bought a fake university Degree from an unknown "University" called Washington International University which had lost it incorporation from the State of Hawaii for lying about its accreditation status and disowned by the United States Department of Education.
> Senator Uzodinma had hitherto claimed on his Facebook page and in an interview with a Nigerian Newspaper that he attended Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri where he bagged a Degree in Arts/Criminology. He now claims he attended Washington International University, a Degree Mills which sells Degree Certificates to highest bidders, a Pointblanknews.com investigation has revealed.
>
> Director-General of his Campaign Organization, Nze Ignatius Umuna had in a statement in Abuja recently, said that contrary to some media reports, "Senator Hope Uzodimma did not attend
> Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, United States and does not obtain any certificate from the said university"."
>
> http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/exclusive/senator-uzodinma-bought-fake-university-degree-school-not-recognized-by-any-accreditation-body-in-the-u-s/
>
> - Ikhide
>
> Stalk my blog at http://www.xokigbo.com/
> Follow me on Twitter: @ikhide
> Join me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ikhide
>
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>
>

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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development: A Western Perspective

China's military modernization, and its impact on the military balance has become a critical issue in assessing both Asian security and the nature of US and Chinese strategic completion. The Burke Chair has developed a comprehensive update of its previous analysis of Chinese military strategy and developments. This report is entitled Chinese Military Modernization and Force Development:

http://csis.org/files/publication/120727_Chinese_Military_Modernization_Force_Dvlpment.pdf  

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