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Topics - Bison66

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1
For Olds..t, y04 & Wiregrass, especially, but truly for ALL of us.

Be sure to watch 'til the end, no matter how much you might disagree...



 :read:

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WHERE DID THAT THREAD GO?


For unknown reasons, when posts are made to the original thread ["...a nation to which Europe owes everything, for Egypt is responsible for..."}, the thread is INVISIBLE on the Board's Politics Forum.  It can be found only by searching for it, e.g. "Egypt Europe".

In order to maintain continuity, when anyone posts in the ORIGINAL THREAD, please "bump" this thread so that others will be alerted to check it.

Then,... interested O-Dan members can go to this link:

https://onnidan1.com/forum/index.php?topic=68491.615

When you visit there, please check the last few posts which you may have missed. 

You will see also that other Posters tried to "bump" that thread to the top of Politics. THANK YOU, SoFloRattler, EB, '87 Alum & Iceman!!! But it did not work.

Please make your comments in the ORIGINAL THREAD, not here.


Asante Sana!! Gracias!!  Daalu!! Mesi!!

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Politics / THIS is what GQPers Mean by "Real Americans"!!!
« on: September 09, 2021, 12:24:58 PM »
This article was in response to Re. Jim Jordan's tweet (which has echoes of such "intellectuals" as Sarah Palin):

"Real America is done with #COVID19. God bless!" the Ohio Republican tweeted. I'm confident he didn't mean to, but Jordan has provided us with perhaps the best illustration of what it means to be an American fascist today.

QUOTE
When Republicans say "Real America," they have in their heads a very specific place. It's not a real place, as I said. It's a wholly imagined place that, as such, frees them from moral accountability and all manner of mutual obligation to anyone who is not already committed to this wholly imagined place. It is a confederacy of the mind and spirit, unbound by tangible boundaries, a "nation" existing inside the actual United States, where "real Americans" live as God's chosen people.

In Real America, as opposed to the real America, social relationships and political power are structured according to "the way things are," according to "the natural order," according to God's will. As such, God rules over Mankind, men rule over women and white Christian men rule over everyone else. To GOP confederates, this is not their doing. It's God's. As such, anything that threatens ordered power threatens God and is deserving of any kind of response necessary to defeating it.
https://www.alternet.org/2021/09/jim-jordan-tweet/?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7810

100% x 100!
The American Taliban!!
Afghanistan is a Red State!


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Not only did #Erratictrump set up conditions for a messy Af'stan exit by:

- signing a capitulation agreement with the Taliban
- excluding the Afghan govt from negotiations with the Taliban (but negotiating with and giving status to terrorists, like he did with Norht Korea's murderous leader)
- forcing the Afghan govt to release 5,000 prisoners - mostly Taliban, including its current leader

...he also completely screwed over American allies - the Kurds - in Syria.

Remember the Kurds throwing potatoes at withdrawing US troops?

Here's a decent summary of what happened:
https://www.alternet.org/2021/09/trump-kurds/?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7785


Here's a previous comment on this Board about it:
QUOTE
#ErraticTrump impulsively did a lot of stuff - like backstabbing the Kurds, who were US allies against ISIL and Iran.  On a moment's notice he abandoned them ON THE BATTLEFIELD (apparently to please a fellow authoritarian, the Turkish President). Then, he LIED by saying the Kurds were "happy" as Kurdish men, women and children ran for their lives as they were forced from their homes.  The Kurds threw potatoes at retreating and sympathetic US soldiers to show their disgust and disappointment.

.....And other comments here:
https://onnidan1.com/forum/index.php?topic=151403.msg1110233#msg1110233
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5
The Biden approach to the economy is giving much better results on several criteria.

I'm glad for the people who've gone back to work.

Click on "1Y" here to see what the market has done since the other guy LOST"

https://api.wsj.net/api/kaavio/charts/big.chart?nosettings=1&symb=DJIA&uf=0&type=2&size=2&sid=1643&style=320&freq=1&entitlementtoken=0c33378313484ba9b46b8e24ded87dd6&time=8&rand=1708822607&compidx=&ma=0&maval=9&lf=1&lf2=0&lf3=0&height=335&width=579&mocktick=1
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For Those Who Agree re Withdrawal from Afghanistan, But Criticize the "Scramble" at the Airport, etc....

Please describe the process of withdrawal that would not have caused "panic" among the Afghans who worked with US and allied forces.

Please keep in mind the cut and run of the corrupt Af'stan government and the complete collapse of the Af'stan armed forces.

It will all be speculation and hypothetical, but let's have at it.

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Politics / The Fight for Shared Governance at Howard University
« on: August 30, 2021, 11:39:31 AM »
As most of you know, Howard University has some controversy going on.  Not unusual.  :)

One key issue is the Board's "June" decision to ABOLISH Affiliate Trustees.

As a private institution, no outside body (legislature, governor, denomination, etc.) appoints Board members.  Our Board is self-selecting and self-perpetuating - according to its charter and the law.

At Howard, Alumni have had a role in selecting one or more Trustees since about 1926.  In 1970, one of those Alumni Trustee proposed, and the Board approved, the addition of 2 Student Trustees, 2 Faculty Trustees and 3 Alumni Trustees.  These are the Affiliate Trustees, although there are other Trustees who "happen" to be Alumni.

The 1970 Board action was taken in the wake of the seminal 1968 student protest and "takeover" of the Administration Building that lasted for several days.  It resulted in the retirement of President James M. Nabrit, and the appointment of Shaw University's President James E. Cheek as President at Howard.

What followed were serious revisions to the curriculum to include "Black Studies," a totally revised student judiciary system, a much improved student government structure, and an unprecedented growth of the university in programs, majors, funding and enrollment.

The model of Shared Governance that has served the University well is what many Alumni now feel the current Board has abandoned.

FYI
Here's the petition that is being circulated to Alumni, Students and Faculty by a new group I am working with: Howard Alumni United.  #HUunited


https://mcusercontent.com/5cfaea50b0ac038016eb12601/files/dfca85a9-a354-6a6c-a9b4-1c4354378756/HAU_Petition_to_Reinstate_Affiliate_Trustees.pdf

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Politics / They Live (and Post) Amongst Us - KNOW YOUR NUT JOBS!
« on: August 29, 2021, 11:29:46 AM »
INDEED!

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QUOTE
As a scholar of Africana studies, Wilson felt that the social, political and economic problems that Blacks faced, the world over, were unlike those of other ethnic groups; and thus, he argued that the concept of "equal education" ought to be abandoned in favor of a philosophy and approach appropriate to their own needs. Wilson argued that the function of education and intelligence was to solve the problems particular to a people and nation, and to secure that people and nation's biological survival. Any philosophy of education or approach which failed to do so was inadequate.
[...]
Wilson also believed that racism was a structurally and institutionally driven phenomenon derived from the inequities of power relations between groups, and could persist even if and when more overt expressions of it were no longer present.
Racism, then, could only be neutralized by transforming society (structurally) and the system of power relations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amos_N._Wilson

See you there!

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10
Politics / Black Police Groups Push for Release of former Black Panther
« on: August 26, 2021, 05:51:43 PM »
84 year old Sundiata Acoli has been in jail since 1973.



Not knowing it at the time, I knew his daughter when she was a student at Howard and served in my department as a Resident Assistant.  Some years ago, I learned of the connection and wrote Brother Sundiata.  My wife and I sent him two copies of our book, CLANDESTINE, a few months ago.

Aside from his very long sentence, his long time served and his failing health, I want to raise a legal issue in the context of "white justice."

He was NOT accused of firing any shots.  In effect, he is being held as guilty of "FELONY MURDER" for being "present" in the car when a State Trooper was killed.

So, y'all KNOW where I'm going with this:
CHARGE EVERYONE WHO ATTACKED THE CAPITAL ON JAN 6th WITH FELONY MURDER!!!!

To continue to hold Brother Sundiata and not EVEN TO CHARGE the insurrectionists with felony murder is an obvious injustice.

I am very proud of these Black law enforcement officers for taking up this cause.

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/26/1031001005/sundiata-acoli-new-jersey-black-panther-parole

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11
Democrats Have Finally Identified the Greatest Threat to Voting Rights — the Supreme Court



Y'all, there are a lot of moving parts in this fight!!!

This article from a couple days ago, gives a good breakdown of what is in the LATEST version of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the anti-democracy consequences if it is not passed by the Congress.


QUOTE
The latest version of the John Lewis Act is far more ambitious than the one Democrats supported in 2019. Among other things, the new bill would undo the Supreme Court’s very recent decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (2021), which imposed new, seemingly made-up limits on the Voting Rights Act’s safeguards against racism in elections.

The new bill would also roll back the Court’s decision in Purcell v. Gonzales (2006), which drastically limits courts’ ability to protect voting rights as an election draws close. The bill creates a new process to block certain voting restrictions in all 50 states, and, it prevents the Court from changing the rules governing who may cast a ballot while an election is underway — and then retroactively disenfranchising voters who did not comply with the new rules.

The Supreme Court’s disregard for voting rights enabled a raft of legislation attacking the franchise in Republican-controlled states.


https://portside.org/2021-08-21/democrats-have-finally-identified-greatest-threat-voting-rights-supreme-court

IMO, an exception for voting rights - like the ones for judges and money - is a pragmatic and possible route thru the Senate.

Of course, that means that Sinema and Manchin have to be convinced.


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12
Y'all,

I came across a scholarly article on Artificial Intelligence that reminded me of conversations I have had with people who claim that "information is power."  That is a assertion used as a slogan often, including by the Black "Talk Radio" station, WOL, in Wash, DC.

I disagree. Knowledge (understanding) is power - at least potentially.  Otherwise, with the overwhelming amount of information that people today are exposed to, they would be amazingly powerful.

At the same time knowledge/understanding, while necessary, is not sufficient.  Action must be taken.  As 'Osagyeofo' Kwame Nkrumah taught:

Thought without Practice is Empty and
Action without Thought is Blind
- probably refined from a statement by Kant.


The article, entitled The Thoughts the Civilized Keep, while dealing primarily with "machine learning" touches on the thought environment we now live in.

I'd appreciate any reactions to this excerpt.

NOTE:  GPT-3

QUOTE
Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 is an autoregressive language model that uses deep learning to produce human-like text. It is the third-generation language prediction model in the GPT-n series created by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based artificial intelligence research laboratory.

QUOTE  FROM THE ARTICLE
Understanding is a lifelong labor. It is also one carried out not by isolated individuals but by social beings who perform this cultural labor together and share its fruits. The labor of understanding is a sustained, social project, one that we pursue daily as we build, repair and strengthen the ever-shifting bonds of sense that anchor our thoughts to the countless beings, things, times and places that constitute a world. It is this labor that thinking belongs to.
When GPT-3 is unable to preserve the order of causes and effects in telling a story about a broken window, when it produces laughable contradictions within its own professions of sincere and studied belief in an essay on consciousness, when it is unable to distinguish between reliable scholarship and racist fantasies — GPT-3 is not exposing a limit in its labor of understanding. It is exposing its inability to take part in that labor altogether.
Thus, when we talk about intelligent machines powered by models such as GPT-3, we are using a reduced notion of intelligence, one that cuts out a core element of what we share with other beings. This is not a romantic or anthropocentric bias, or “moving the goalposts” of intelligence. Understanding, as joint world-building and world-maintaining through the architecture of thought, is a basic, functional component of human intelligence. This labor does something, without which our intelligence fails, in precisely the ways that GPT-3 fails.

A Legacy in Danger

While machines remain wholly incapable of the labor of understanding, there is a related phenomenon in the human world. Extremist communities, especially in the social media era, bear a disturbing resemblance to what you might expect from a conversation held among similarly trained GPT-3s. A growing tide of cognitive distortion, rote repetition, incoherence and inability to parse facts and fantasies within the thoughts expressed in the extremist online landscape signals a dangerous contraction of understanding, one that leaves its users increasingly unable to explore, share and build an understanding of the real world with anyone outside of their online haven.


Thus, the problem of unthinking is not uniquely a machine issue; it is something to which humans are, and always have been, vulnerable. Hence the long-recognized need for techniques and public institutions of education, cultural production and democratic practice that can facilitate and support the shared labor of understanding to which thought contributes. Had more nations invested in and protected such institutions in the 21st century, rather than defunding and devaluing them in the name of public austerity and private profit, we might have reached a point by now where humanity’s rich and diverse legacies of shared understanding were secured around the globe, standing only to be further strengthened by our technological innovations.

https://www.noemamag.com/the-thoughts-the-civilized-keep/

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13


On point! 

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14
There's a bit of everything here, including "chickens coming home to roost"!!

Condi Rice could learn a lot from this Sister's perspective.



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Politics / Where Should the #ErraticTrump Pres. Library Be Located....?
« on: August 15, 2021, 09:48:32 PM »
I'll start...

How about...?

In a phone booth in Attica State Prison

It's in his home state!!!


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