Saturday, December 10, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
They have preyed upon our natural fears to continue to exploit and to stay in power -black vs white, right vs left, immigrant vs native born and so on and so on.
One cable network hollers from the right and another rants from the left. All sides are accused of having a secret agenda to take over or indoctrinate America for evil purposes.
Yes, we are locked in a cycle of demonizing our so-called adversaries. Rarely do the different sides respectfully listen to each other.
In reality, we all have much more in common than we realize. So, to borrow a basketball metaphor - The Dream Team - just think of the possibilities of the Tea Party and OWS movement teaming up.
You say, It can never happen- well...
In a Virginia art gallery, supporters of the two movements quietly explore the possibilities
RICHMOND, Va. — Members of the Occupy Richmond and local Tea Party movements found acres of common ground during an unlikely meeting held Tuesday at a police station-turned-art gallery in the city’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.
But first and foremost, the 12 men and women from seemingly polar spots on the political spectrum agreed on this: The meeting never happened.
“I think it’s all very, very important that we state very clearly that this was not a meeting between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement,” declared Donald Rallis, an Occupy Richmond member, as the meeting wound to a close. His sotto-voce assertion meets with a flurry of “up twinkle” hands — or vigorous head nods — depending on the individual’s political leanings.
In the context of two political movements where individual thought is prized — and where surreal events often influence outcomes – Rallis’ denial of reality made perfect sense.
“None of us want to be open to the accusation that we are trying to hijack the movement,” he explained.
If there is a hijacker at this unlikely meeting of the minds, it may well be Tom Robinson, a self-described “Archie Bunker to the Richmond Occupy movement” and founder of the Peninsula Patriots Tea Party chapter in Matthews, Va. Robinson orchestrated this unlikely summit after having a number of one-on-one discussions with Occupy members.
His plan firmed up after the two movements joined forces at a recent Richmond City Council meeting. Occupy Richmond members came to support the local Tea Party’s efforts to recoup $8,544.82 that the conservative group paid for permits to hold a rally in a city park where occupiers later camped free for more than two weeks.
This was not the first time Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party members have met. But it was among the first such meetings to be held with a stated objective of determining whether the two groups might cooperate on certain common issues. Robinson said that he hoped to spark an evolution for both organizations, which thus far have largely confined their public interactions to attacks on one another’s ideologies or grooming habits.
“We need to kiss and make up a little bit,” said Robinson, a Richmond entrepreneur and developer with a baby-smooth pate and a self-described ADHD-truncated attention span. “It might be a small step, but I’m hoping we can make a little bit of history here tonight. When I listen to either side, it becomes very clear … I feel that we have a lot of similarities.” read entire story
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
- Rocked in late 2010 by a sexual harassment scandal by four young men claiming Long engaged in lewd sexual acts with them when they were in their late teens. Mr Long stated: I got five rocks (like David vs. Goliath) and I have not thrown one yet - in other words, bring it on.
- But by May 2011, Long settled out of court for a reported $15 Million and an apology to his accusers.
- Later in 2011, Bishop Eddie Long reached a settlement in a lawsuit that claims he and partners in a real estate venture defaulted on a $2 million bank loan.
- In October 2011, Federal officials say they’re investigating issues surrounding investment seminars hosted by a metro Atlanta megachurch after some former members say they lost their retirement savings.
But Venansius Baryamureeba had bigger ideas. In 2005, when he returned home with a doctorate from the University of Bergen in Norway, he was just one of a handful of computer scientists in Uganda. And his timing was right. The largely agricultural economy had been growing by about 7 percent annually, propelling an enormous expansion of the upper middle class and the urban elite’s aspirations for advanced training in science and engineering.
Emboldened by Uganda’s relative peace and prosperity, Dr. Baryamureeba founded a new college that includes departments of computer science and computer engineering at creaky Makerere University, in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. At the top of a hill near the university’s entrance, overlooking the derelict law school to one side and a derelict school mosque to the other, two gleaming glass buildings went up seemingly without a hitch. So many undergraduates swarmed them that the faculty held classes at midnight to accommodate them.
Dr. Baryamureeba wanted more than a vocational school; he also created a graduate program he hoped would someday turn out dozens of Ph.D. scientists who would themselves become college professors and help push the boundaries of global research.
Improbably, his vision is gaining traction at Makerere. Young homegrown scientists there are now nearing completion of their Ph.D.’s. And faculty members are carrying out cutting-edge experiments. They are seeking to endow cellphones with the “intelligence,” embedded in tiny software programs animated by mathematical algorithms, to identify diseases in crops or malaria in a person’s bloodstream.
Ernest Mwebaze, a doctoral student and lecturer, said there are still serious obstacles to pursuing such research in Uganda, including unreliable Internet service and power failures. But he also said the potential upside is huge.
“Uganda offers several unique research challenges and problems whose solutions can actually have a greater marginal benefit than, say, solutions to problems in Europe,” he said.
Each Monday, in a laboratory of thrumming computers, Mr. Mwebaze teaches a small class on artificial intelligence to 10 graduate students, highlighting this esoteric field, the subject of his doctorate research. read the entire story
Monday, December 5, 2011
Donovan McNabb was recently let go by the Minnesota Vikings. He could possibly be picked by a contending team needing a quarterback. But I doubt it - no one has called for his services yet.
By most accounts, DNabb’s last two seasons (with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings) are considered bombs. His quickness and elusiveness, gone. His QB rating is in the basement. In my opinion, DNabb should hang it up and walk away.
I know that is harsh and easier said than done. But its a sad sight to see an elite superstar, -who has lost several steps, underperforming as a shell of his former self. Sort of like old movie stars that don’t have the star power but still play young roles.
It was painful to watch our sports heroes Willie Mays, Johnny Unitas, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Brett Farve limp out of the game instead of gracefully exiting.
Why is it so hard to leave? Why is it so hard for players to walk away when the organization, coaches, critics and game film tells you to hang it up?
It's so hard because it requires the athlete to walk away from a game he has known most of his life. A game that was fun. A game that evolved into a profession. A game that gave them world wide recognition and self-identity.
The sport is probably their first love and most definitely their surrogate family. In fact, they spend more time with their sports family than with their wives, kids and blood family.
Second, their warrior mentally is to never give up, be dedicated, make a commitment and work hard to achieve success. These attributes were embedded in their brain from about 6 years old and absorbed into the soul. Now all of a sudden with a mind that say Yes I can and a body that says I am too tired there are voices that utter the hereto forbidden and alien words: quit, retire, and walk away.
DNabb is no different, football has been his oxygen and he is being asked to stop breathing.
As fans, we may assume they don’t want to walk away from the bright lights and big paycheck but there’s more too it than that - camaraderie. Your teammates have been your surrogate family and best friends that had your back through thick and thin. I’m sure it is hard to give up that camaraderie that has insulated them from the outside world.
I think the luckiest professional athletes are the ones who are blessed to play their sport, retire and become associated with their sport through coaching, broadcasting, agents or other avenues. This is seen as the next step in their career and not the end of it. As McNabb reflects over his career, I’m sure he will realize that hardest part was never his opponents or the Philadelphia fans but walking away from the game that is a part of your essence.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Six of world’s 10 fastest-growing nations, fuelled by commodities and new business
The shops are stacked six feet high with goods, the streets outside are jammed with customers and salespeople are sweating profusely under the onslaught.
But this is not a main street during the Christmas-shopping season in the rich world. It is the Onitsha market in southern Nigeria, every day of the year. Many call it the world’s biggest. Up to three million people go there daily to buy rice and soap, computers and construction equipment. It is a hub for traders from the Gulf of Guinea, a region blighted by corruption, piracy, poverty and disease but also home to millions of highly motivated entrepreneurs and increasingly prosperous consumers.
Over the past decade, six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing countries were African. In eight of the past 10 years, Africa has grown faster than East Asia, including Japan. Even allowing for the knock-on effect of the Northern Hemisphere’s slowdown, the International Monetary Fund expects Africa to grow by six per cent this year and nearly six per cent in 2012, about the same as Asia.
The commodities boom is partly responsible. In 2000-08, about a quarter of Africa’s growth came from higher revenues from natural resources. Favourable demography is another cause. With fertility rates crashing in Asia and Latin America, half of the increase in population over the next 40 years will be in Africa. But the growth also has a lot to do with the manufacturing and service economies that African countries are beginning to develop. The big question is whether Africa can keep that up if demand for commodities drops. read more