The US president has defended his public health expert Deborah Birx after she drew criticism from House speaker Nancy Pelosi and from his own earlier tweet, labelling her assessment of Covid-19’s spread as ‘pathetic’. Pelosi targeted Birx, saying Trump spread coronavirus misinformation and Birx was his appointee. The president pointed to coronavirus flareups overseas as a measure of the US success, saying the country was doing very well and adding he had a lot of respect for Birx Trump calls Birx’s dire warning on widespread coronavirus in the US ‘pathetic’
Filmed in 2001, it’s a discussion of the 2000 election. You’ll hear a critique by renowned prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi of the outrageous Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, and a walkthrough of the blatant and widespread official electoral fraud in Florida by ace investigative report Greg Palast.
With President Trump trailing in most polls, he tweeted recently that he was considering the idea of delaying the November election — something he cannot legally do — and continued his attacks on mail-in voting. “We have a president who is probably the most fascist president that we’ve ever had in this country,” responds LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and the BVM Capacity Building Institute. “He is hellbent on pushing the boundaries, whatever he needs to do, to undermine and undercut democracy.”
The Scramble for Africa and the Berlin Conference
What was the Scramble for Africa? In the 1800s, European countries were rushing into Africa to plant their flags into the land and claim colonies
Because of Industrialization, Europe wanted Africa’s valuable resources
Some of these included: palm oil, cotton, gold,diamonds, and rubber
The control of the Suez canal was also extremely important for countries wishing to trade with India and China
Overall, the Europeans thought: the more colonies they had, the larger their military would be, making them a more powerful country
In the midst of this scramble to place flags on crucial African lands disputes popped up over who had the best claim.
When this began to disrupt trade and travel, Otto Von Bismarck called together a meeting called The Berlin Conference
In 1884, 14 countries (minus anyone from Africa) met in Berlin.
The major countries at the conference were: Britain, France, Belgium, and Portugal.
These countries gained much of the most strategic pieces of land
The French gained control of northwestern Africa (including Algeria)
The British had control of both South Africa and Egypt (which included influence over the Suez Canal)
King Leopold II of Belgium gained the Congo (in Central Africa)
and the Portuguese established their control of the Western and Eastern edges of Africa
What effect did this have on the native African population?
While Europe their primary goal to be the end of slavery in Africa, their actions resulted in the increase in the women and children slaves
They also claimed to be the “most civilized” but in reality they carried out horrible travesties in their colonies. In particular in King Leopold II’s Congo River Basin over 5 million were murdered and hundreds had their hands chopped off
Europeans also arbitrarily drew boundaries without any regard for the local people groups.
It was common for the controlling European power to exploit any existing animosity between people groups in order to keep the population divided and weak
This led to countless disputes, civil wars, and even genocide
You might recall the recent stories of thousands upon thousands murdered in the Sudanese Civil War, in the ongoing conflict between the Hutus and Tutsis, and in the Darfur Massacre
The Industrial Revolution in Europe pushed countries to acquire colonies which could supply raw materials while at the same time become a captured market to sell their manufactured goods.
This rush for colonies (a.k.a. The Scramble for Africa) led to the drawing of arbitrary boundary lines, resulting in tragic unintended consequences that are still affecting Africa today.
SOURCES: * Primary source of the Treaty of Berlin 1885: http://www.blackpast.org/treaty-berli…
– A. Supan, Die territoriale Entwicklung der Euroaischen Kolonien. Gotha: 1906. p. 254. Extent of Colonialism. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel….
– Berlin, Conference of. (2013). Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 1.
– Hargreaves, J. (1984). The Berlin West Africa Conference: a timely centenary?. History Today, 3416-22.
-The Berlin Conference: Creating a Better Africa. A Brief History of the Berlin Conference. http://teacherweb.ftl.pinecrest.edu/s….
– Verstraelen, F. J. (1984). Hundred years after the Berlin conference [on the Congo] 1884-85. Mission Studies, 1(2), 84-86.
– Allen, R. C. “Why The Industrial Revolution Was British: Commerce, Induced Invention, And The Scientific Revolution.” Economic History Review 64.2 (2011): 357-384. Business Source Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
– Bragg, M., & Drayton, R., Rathbone, R., Lewis, J., (2013, Oct 31). The Berlin Conference. BBC 4 Radio. Podcast retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ffkfd
– Hochschild, Adam. “Leopold’s Congo: A Holocaust We Have Yet To Comprehend.” Chronicle Of Higher Education 46.36 (2000): B4. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
– Abimbola, Olaifa Temitope, and Danjibo Nathaniel Dominic. “The 1994 Rwandan Conflict: Genocide Or War?.” International Journal On World Peace 30.3 (2013): 31-54. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Apr. 2014.
Watch live as the $1 million Kluge Prize, bestowed through the generosity of the late John W. Kluge, is awarded to Drew Gilpin Faust, historian, university president and author of the Bancroft Prize-winning book “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War” during a gala ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress.
Leszek Kolakowski was awarded the 2003 Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity. Writing from within the Soviet system, Kolakowski’s voice was influential across Europe and provided the intellectual foundation for the Solidarity movement in Poland. Kolakowski authored more than 30 books and 400 other writings in a variety of formats and in four languages: Polish, French, English and German. His principal lines of inquiry were in the history of philosophy and the philosophy of religion. In addition to his sustained anti-dogmatic philosophical inquiries, his essays used charm, resourcefulness and gentle self-mockery to raise questions about the sometimes mindless modernity of contemporary Europe and North America. His ideas informed the anti-totalitarian youth movement inside Poland, and he became an adviser and active supporter of the Solidarity movement that challenged and began unraveling the Soviet system in Eastern Europe.
Speaker Biography: Born in 1927 in the city of Radom, south of Warsaw, Leszek Kolakowski was 10 years old when his family was forcibly relocated by the Germans during the occupation of Poland. He did not attend school, but read books supplemented with occasional private lessons and took his final exams as an external student in the underground school system. He eventually studied philosophy in Lodz and earned his doctorate from Warsaw University in 1953, later becoming a professor and chairman of its section on the history of philosophy (1959-68). An orthodox Marxist at first, he was sent by the party in 1950 to Moscow on a course for promising communist intellectuals. It was there that he initially became aware of “the enormity of material and spiritual desolation caused by the Stalinist system.” The death of Stalin in 1953 stirred ferment in Poland with calls for democratization and conflict in the party ranks. In June 1956 worker riots in Poznan resulted in many deaths, and in October of that year Golulka was chosen as party leader in defiance of Moscow. Kolakowski had by then become one of Poland’s leading revisionist Marxists. His publication of “What Is Socialism?” — a short, incisive critique of Stalinism — was banned in Poland, but circulated privately and was translated into English the next year. Disillusioned with the stagnation of communism, he became increasingly outspoken. He was expelled from the party in 1966, dismissed from his professorship two years later, and went into exile. But his works, appearing in underground editions, continued to shape the opinions of the Polish intellectual opposition. His essay “Theses on Hope and Hopelessness,” in the Paris Polish-language journal Kultura (1971) proposed an evolutionary strategy designed to weaken the system. His concept inspired the activities of the Committee for the Defense of Workers and of the “Flying University,” of which Kolakowski was a foreign member. After leaving Poland, Kolakowski became a visiting professor in the department of philosophy at McGill University (1968-69), the University of California, Berkeley (1969-70), and a senior research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1970). Based in Oxford since then, he spent part of 1974 at Yale, and from 1981 to 1994 was a professor part-time in the Committee on Social Thought and the department of philosophy at the University of Chicago. He has been a fellow of scholarly societies in many countries and has received numerous academic honors and awards. Kolakowski died on July 17, 2009.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
Calendar – Click on Date for links entered on that Day