Connect with us

COLUMNS & OPINIONS

THE REVOLUTION WAS TELEVISED. – David D. Shodeinde

Published

on

People say: to offer a hungry man stone or bread is not a choice, he will always take the bread. To offer a hungry man stone or dirt is not a choice either, but the consequences will be significantly different.

In 2016, a democratic revolution swept through the USA. It was bloodless and non-violent.  In the Democratic Party, this revolution was ignited by Bernie Sanders and his surging Legion, but the Party’s status quo suppressed the peoples’ voice and side-swapped Bernie Sanders to the curbside while fully embracing and adopting most of Sanders’ brilliant and novel initiatives and concepts on the national platform of the Party.   A manageable compromise?

The 2016 revolution succeeded more emphatically in the Republican Party when the voters resoundingly rejected the Party’s hierarchy and nominated Donald Trump, an untried political novice and outsider as their Presidential candidate. He was atypical in tone and conduct.

It was the beginning of four extra-ordinary years of anarchy, distressing national embarrassments, and many painful, avoidable futility.

Isolationism and a self-defeatist foreign policy was immediately and rigidly enshrined by Trump; allies and National Security Agencies were disparaged; NATO is compromised and weakened.

A damning impeachment followed quickly on the heels of a catalogue of imperious impunity. A decapitating and mismanaged Covid-19 pandemic ensued.

A rapidly shrinking global trade prospect, a rudderless foreign relations policy and international security imprint confounded the ailing national economic landscape.

More nefarious scandals and unbelievable atrocity than a Spanish Soap Opera became the norm; lies, lies, lies, intrigues, deceits and more brazen lies.  He screams “America First!” while the cumulative effects of everything he does puts America last.

How long and how deep is the Puppeteer’s leash?

Despite the advice of honored Generals and decorated Admirals; the sage voices of venerated Philosophers and Academicians, Technocrats, lauded Experts from all fields; and a few insightful suggestions from well-meaning and exemplary representatives of both Parties, all privately and publicly repudiating and exhorting Donald Trump’s governance, he stuck to his guns and performed better in the ongoing election than the last one.   Clearly, Trump is only a minute symptom of a much greater national dissonance.

The Masters of our mercantile civilization consists of nations and institutions who move more cargoes across the universe; not, and never determined by theatrical gambits and grandiose prolixity orchestrated on a world stage like a sleek television production.

All the preexisting International Trade Deals were torn up and re-written by Donald Trump; new and improved, based on the uniquely, directly God-given profound wisdom and principles of the ‘art of the deal’. In an entrenched trade-war with the world, new, stringent and exacting standards were imposed on all nations, especially China.

China and everyone complied with all imposed levy, and yet, in the last three years the USA’s global trade deficit has only grown larger and ballooned to unprecedented levels.

Trump demands a Congressional medal of honor for his incredible scorched earth initiatives.   He calls it an art, a steal, a deal.

After four years of a maudlin performance, win or lose, Donald J. Trump had a formidable performance in 2020 by turning out a larger number of so many voters propelled by hate, envy, violence, impotence, avarice, ignorance and fear like Hurricane Mussolini.

The question hangs in the air: who will humanize the Racist heart of USA?

The revolution was televised, but the mayhem and the bloodbaths came later. Non-Caucasian Americans are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. They are the frontline cannon fodders for what may come to all.   No one will be spared if the trend is not arrested, the USA will be reduced to rubble, not by Aliens from outer Space, not by Immigrants from Lapland; not by Russia, China or Iran, but by homespun full blooded ruby cheeked American pawns like Donald J. Trump; a man who shows absolute disdain and irrepressible disregard for the lives of his most fervent supporters, and the welfare of his own nation. This; is this the USA in the Twenty-first Century?  It is a jarring Wonder!

There is no ‘new-normal’.  The harvest is wrapped, the Summer is over, Sun sets in the West and the Cock crows at Dawn; they are still counting the votes.  It is a new world. The easiest part of governance is winning an election. May the emerging vista be more beautiful, more enlightening, rejuvenating and lovely, resplendent in glory, and more prosperous for everyone than the last four years.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Prof. David Da-Costa Shodeinde is an ANN news analyst.  He has more than three decades of experience in both local and international news.  He has held many positions in Nigeria and abroad over the years.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own and do not reflect one way or the other ANN’s stand on any issues raised in the article.

 

 

 

 

 

COLUMNS & OPINIONS

WHAT ARE WE CELEBRATING NIGGERRIANS?   Prof. David Da-Costa Shodeinde

Published

on

By

First day of October, Nigeria celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of national independence.  The celebrations and commemorations are billed to go on for a whole year, from October 2020 to October 2021.

We had good roads, flowered foot paths, clean and well-manicured sidewalks.  Many beautiful Parks adorned our cities like sparkling colorful jewels, lush and lovely green fields in every open space, in almost every community.

We had free flowing water at all times, uninterrupted power supply, and the air we breathed was pure, sweet, and fresh.

We had commensurate world class industries, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities under the colonial regime; our law enforcement agencies, finance and security institutions were as good as the best and better than most.

Where we had them, ferries, trains, airplanes and buses arrived and departed like synchronized clockworks when we had a Nation.

Since then, those elected to give us water have hijacked the commonwealth to build private water-making factories which they sell to us at life-gouging prices.  Do not mind the environmental devastation caused by the plastic containers.

Those appointed to give us light make us pay more every few months for infinite darkness, with an inordinate abundance of malfunctioning, corrupted and destroyed electrical gadgets as a result of unceasing epileptic electric current fluctuations.

Welcome to the incredible junkyard of the universe.

Those certified to give us justice give us Injustice.  They referee the games of lives through bribery, partiality, and uninhibited corruption.

Those elected to unite us consistently confound our existence by boldly tearing us apart along religious and ethnic manipulations, with ridiculous sophistry and dystopian federal policies.

Those certified to ennoble and teach our children turn our daughters into wanton prostitutes, and our sons into nefarious, international fraudsters and glamorized drug addled wandering ignoramuses.

Those mandated to give us News spend every waking moment chasing after money padded envelopes, playing the righteous sycophants, regaling us with tomes of absurdity, images of disgusting conspicuous consumption, and a brazen catalogue of cloying social registry.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  We The People are fully complicit to all these dreadful aberrations as dutifully engaged and zealous accomplices to our own murder and carefree annihilation.

What are we celebrating Niggerrians?

We The Patriots; we celebrate and give thanks for the courage, fortitude and hopes of our parents and grandparents who believed and had faith and hope in the viability of this Nation.   Contrary to hope, they believed in one indissoluble polity.

We give thanks for the valor of our forbears who trudged through toxic mires, pristine jungles and enervating wilderness battling monstrous pythons, mystical beasts, closed and stunted minds, and many fierce dragons to build the bridges over the Niger and Benue Rivers as everlasting symbols and living testaments of one people indivisible and unbowed, a firmly and purposefully united Nation where truth, love, and justice will reign forever.   Their efforts must not be a waste.

We celebrate and give thanks for those who stood firm, who stood tall, straight and resolute, who sang gloriously, proudly and joyfully;  “. . . though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand, to hand on to our children a banner without stain.”  Most of them believed it and lived it most diligently.

Imagine their despair and anguish when they realized it was all a roaring swindle.

I can hear their bones still crying out from the graves.

Yes; we give thanks and celebrate the irrepressible ingenuity, and incomparable optimism of our children and our future, as individuals, and not as a Nation.  Collectively, we give thanks for the countless splendor, boundless wealth, and infinite majesty of the natural vista of this wonderful space we call Home; our own dear native land.

We sing happy cheers and give thanks to those noble colonial and post-colonial teachers, nurses, civil servants and lecturers who went beyond the call of duty – Grand Acolytes of The Dead Poets Society – who taught us from infancy that the love of God begins with diligent service to the people; the love of Children, Women, and Men; an abiding consciousness of the unitary and seamless nation of the human race.

We celebrate and give thanks for the valorous souls and spirits of unsung and maligned millions of our brothers and sisters who died to keep this nation sane, just and enterprising; those who were oppressed and eliminated for being exemplary, and naturally blessed and marvelously gifted.

Countless millions who were wrongfully convicted, capriciously disappeared, and maliciously castigated for fighting for justice, inclusion, meritocracy, excellence in all walks of life, righteousness, and their inalienable God-given rights in this sordid and ruthlessly blood soaked nation.

These are our true and only heroes for whom we celebrate and give many thanks, not just on these mandated days of obtuse sanctimony and ludicrous cacophony, but at every moment of our days, and with every breath of our lives.  Who is afraid of the Grim Reaper?

Above all, we give thanks to the Almighty God for life, and for mortal death conquered eternally by life

immortal laden with the sweetest fragrance of immaculate continuum.  We give thanks and we

celebrate our heroes past and our children arising, knowing that the LORD is patient and long suffering;

and His judgment is swift and absolute on all those who loot the inheritance of Orphans and Widows.  A

fool at Sixty is a congenital fool.

What are you celebrating Niggerrians?

 

– Prof. David Da-Costa Shodeinde.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Prof. David Da-Costa Shodeinde is an ANN news analyst.  He has more than three decades of experience in both local and international news.  He has held many positions in Nigeria and abroad over the years.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own and do not reflect one way or the other ANN’s stand on any issues raised in the article.

Continue Reading

COLUMNS & OPINIONS

ARMED MILITIA IN KENOSHA – David D. Shodeinde

Published

on

By

The genocides unfolding in the United States of America are not happenstances, or arbitrary.  They were planned and meant to be.  They want you, me, and the whole world to see, and be desensitized to those horrid images of black people being killed indiscriminately in preparation for what is yet to come. It is a direct and clear message to the national and worldwide brigades of supremacist groups. This is only the current stage of an on-going operation, the unfolding of a very long, well calculated plan.

 

Ronald Reagan was the trigger, and Donald Trump may well be the fuse. The core ethos of the Reagan Administration propelled Bill Kristol, Oliver North, Rush Limbaugh, and many like them into instant glamour icons, spurious fame, and fabulous fortune.  R. Reagan’s tenure legitimized, commodified, and massively monetized unapologetic race baiting, zealous and hilarious denigration of the weak, the hobbled, the dispossessed, and all those perceived as ‘others,’ or ‘different.’

 

Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh and many like them were elevated and venerated as ‘very funny and entertaining comedians, profound and exceptional philosophers, and fondly regarded celebrities,’ as they eloquently ravaged the most disadvantaged, powerless, and least prosperous groups in the nation. Mediocrity and rapacity were enthusiastically revered and idolized.

 

Desensitized over the air-waves and seduced by popular culture, the nation laughed while the comical and eloquent hate mongers danced merrily to the banks.  To hate, to denigrate, to mock and to extort the helpless; to oppress and destroy the ‘other’ was made exceedingly fashionable, and grandly profitable.

 

From Maine to Philadelphia, across to Illinois and all the states between, American manufacturing industries were closing shops and relocating their businesses to cheaper and more profitable climes.  All across the Eastern seaboard, cities were crumbling as people moved out of the region in search of employment; forty years on, some cities have not recovered. The trend setters and thought-shavers convinced us to blame the Japanese, the South Koreans, the French, and the Germans for stealing American foundries and putting American citizens out of employments.

 

In the same period, more than a quarter of Manhattan’s posh estates were sold, willfully, by their native born American owners to foreigners at exorbitant prices. The men on the air-waves mobilized the populace to high fervor, to hate and defame the buyers for invading the country with dollars, and jacking up the value of real estate; never dwelling on the sellers. – As if the average American could afford a shoe box in Manhattan.

It was a season of great lies and brazen scams. International diplomacy was conducted like a silly game of swashbuckling adventurism and audacious misrepresentations.  Ronald Reagan, Bill Kristol, Oliver North, Rush Limbaugh and his raucous clones, with a great help from an army of ‘the silent majority.’  It was an age of gutsy manipulation and superb control. They inspired and engendered many bewildering counter-cultures that are extremely and patently contrary to the essence of American humor, rectitude, and magnanimity. They set the template for the current Republican Party.

Some call themselves ‘survivalists,’ ‘x-trim self-defense club,’ ‘outdoor hobbyists,’ ‘war game enthusiasts,’ and so many more call themselves by other dubious names, all suggestive of a future armed conflict, a future apocalypse, or another civil war in the United States to ‘redress the past and straighten out the nation.’ They are many, they are everywhere, they are widespread, all through the vast expanse of the nation.

In the last thirty-five years and more, these groups of native zealots have been building and stockpiling secret armories and bunkers, stowed with deadly weapons, food pantries, boobie traps, and water tanks all across the nation in focused readiness for the next United States civil war, or coming apocalypse.

In the course of time, many of these elements were strategically embedded within the nation’s legal and security institutions. That is why it is systemic. They have their own popular magazines and newspapers, preferred literature, dedicated radio programs and television series.  Countless documentaries have been made to espouse their rationale and convict the rest of us to join them. Many have joined them.

They function with one intense purpose, and operate as small autonomous local cliques and units, but their imprints transcend the American continent. African-Americans are the first lock in the sequence because they are the easiest to identify; black skin, no miss.   After that; the Jews, the Hispanics, the Moslems, LGBTQ’s, pro-Abortionists, Catholics and Asians; not necessarily in that order.

This deadly mix is confounded by the interloping machinations of third parties and several foreign adversaries.   USA is besieged on all fronts and the plucking seems ripe for some who have concluded that the United States can only be destroyed by internal and local dissensions. The future is now; they are legions; they want to start a civil war and they are ready to let it rip.  The nation resounds with the tumult of a failing state.  Who will erase the shock and wipe out the grief?

To state it mildly, if the United States of America blows up, the whole Earth will be in a daze for eons and ages. Everyone is going to lose.  No one will win; no nation will be spared. We all hang in the balance, at the yawning and swinging tip of a roaring precipice.

Continue Reading

COLUMNS & OPINIONS

THE ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE: The 2nd Democratic National Party Presidential Nomination Debates

Published

on

By

David D. Shodeinde

The second Democratic Party Presidential nomination debates were held at the historic Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan on Tuesday, 27th and Wednesday, 28th July. The first night had the two progressive candidates–Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren–sandwiched between eight moderate contenders.

Leading up to this event, most of the pundits had predicted, with giddy relish and grand anticipation, a conclusive showdown of the progressives in which Bernie Sanders confronts Elizabeth Warren for the pre-eminent progressive candidate of the Party.

It turned out differently. Instead, the eight moderate candidates piled up on the two progressives in a concerted effort to neutralize their proposed policies and punch gaping holes in their vision. These efforts backfired. Senators Sanders and Warren responded with forceful gusto, astute defense and convincing command of every detail of their progressive agenda and silenced all foes, and all attacks.

The first night was clearly won by the progressive duo who displayed impeccable mastery of their policies, with agile clarity and unapologetic authority. They appeared to be the only two on the stage with well thought out plans on Health Care, Climate Change and the New Economy. The rest of the contestants were left in the lurch, muttering easily forgettable bromides.

The second night was equally well anticipated. More so because so many people waited for the return of Senator Kamala Harris who rattled former Vice President Joe Biden in the first debate, and left him almost speechless. Will she come up with another great performance?  Or, will Senator Cory Booker tame the Tiger this time around?  Does the former Vice President still have what it takes to stand up to the charge of the young, fierce Brigade and emerging new champions of the Democratic National Party?

As the current leader of the contestants, former Vice President Biden is a fair play for everyone. Any candidate that could make him stumble was guaranteed an instant boost in the polls.  CNN, debate host and moderator, exploited the urgency of the moment by nudging the contestants into conflicts and aggravations.

Right off the bell, moderator Dana Bash posed the first question to Senator Harris that Biden classified her health plan as a “have-it-every-which-way approach and says it’s part of a continuing  pattern of equivocating about your health care stance. What do you say to that?” And we were off to the races. That became the overriding tone and pattern of the second night in Detroit; a veritable slugfest.

This set-up was repeated throughout the debate.  Moderator Jake Tapper said to Biden, “Senator Booker called your new criminal justice reform plan, quote, ‘an inadequate solution to what is a raging crisis in our country.’ Why is Senator Booker wrong?”  Back and forth they went, all night long.

James Poniewozik of The New York Times wrote that the squabbling  that erupted during the debate was magnified by CNN’s “smackdown aesthetic. You fight or you die — the price of attention is combat.”  The Washington Post’s Hank Stuever said CNN was “conflict-obsessed.”

The political scientist, Stephen Farnsworth, who authored; “Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump,” preferred more open-ended questions.  He said; “The effort to provoke conflict went far overboard. A more useful approach would be to focus more extensively on the range of issues that the next president has to contend with.”

It is also fair to say the candidates came prepared for a joust. Fireworks were popping from every contestant even when they were not prodded by the moderators. No sacred totem was left untouched, not even the celebrated legacy of former President Obama.  New York City Mayor De Blasio pestered Biden relentlessly about the shortcomings of the Obama Administration in an attempt to make him say something detrimental to the Obama legacy.

When the former Vice President refused to take the bait, Senator Corey Booker was quick to jump in with a jeer, insinuating that the Vice President constantly invokes the Obama legacy only when it favors his narratives. “You can’t have it both ways,” he admonished.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand attacked Biden with words he wrote in a newspaper op-ed several decades ago which sound misogynistic in the current era. The former Vice President could only shrug it off as an uncharitable ambush by a trusted ally.

Senator Kamala Harris, who lauded her distinctive candidacy as the ‘Prosecutor-President,’ had her prosecutorial records demystified by a string of scathing observations from Senator Tulsi Gabbard with a little help from the former Vice President, Joe Biden.  Senator Harris could not come up with a comprehensive rebuttal.

With the sole exception of the cool and suave businessman, Andrew Yang, everyone on stage was eager to score a point at the expense of someone else; and most especially at the expense of Joe Biden, the leader of the pack.

The former Vice President also came prepared. Though his performance was not fantastic, it was better than expected, and good enough to maintain his comfortable front-runner status.

For me, the debates left so much more to be desired. Not one of the candidates proffered a grand and all-encompassing vision for the future role of the USA in a dramatically changing new world confronted with the domineering forces of Artificial Intelligence, Climate Change and a myriad of daunting global security issues. There were no visionary insights on the role of America in a global village now inundated by the stark horrors of mounting religious and sectarian fervors, proliferating malicious arms race, ethnic bigotry, unprecedented racial intolerance and a universal plague of confounding national chauvinism.

All the candidates espoused a benevolent regime of gallant promises and grand largess to every sector of the electorate: there were profuse pronouncements of untold reparations and generous incentives for African Americans; a universal mandatory income of $1,000 a month for every American citizen and an extra grand if you are a female.

Health coverage of every conceivable infirmity from the cradle to the grave was offered by everyone in different forms.  By 2030, according to some of the candidates, carbon emissions will be zero and the fossil energy industries will all be replaced with more sustainable and earth-friendly alternatives.

There will be no more senseless wars; and the power of love will enrapture the earth and ennoble all humanity into a brighter dawn if we vote for the acolytes of the pure essence of positive cosmic energy; and other mystical assertions.

Of course, there were too many candidates on the stages and not enough time to address all the pertinent issues.  This second debate will surely winnow the field of candidates.  So, the third debates in September will have fewer contestants on the platform and, hopefully, offer more deliberative and compelling insights.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2018 African News Network. All Rights Reserved.