Category Archives: USA Politics and Economy

Forcing Black Men Out of Society – Editorial – NY Times

An analysis in The Times — “1.5 Million Missing Black Men” — showed that more than one in every six black men in the 24-to-54 age group has disappeared from civic life, mainly because they died young or are locked away in prison. This means that there are only 83 black men living outside of jail for every 100 black women — in striking contrast to the white population, where men and women are about equal in numbers.

This astounding shortfall in black men translates into lower marriage rates, more out-of-wedlock births, a greater risk of poverty for families and, by extension, less stable communities. The missing men should be a source of concern to political leaders and policy makers everywhere.

While the 1.5 million number is startling, it actually understates the severity of the crisis that has befallen African-American men since the collapse of the manufacturing and industrial centers, which was quickly followed by the “war on drugs” and mass imprisonment, which drove up the national prison population more than sevenfold beginning in the 1970s.  Continue reading

Raising a black son in America + The danger of silence – 2 TED videos by Clint Smith

Clint Smith: How to raise a black son in America

Published on Apr 23, 2015

As kids, we all get advice from parents and teachers that seems strange, even confusing. This was crystallized one night for a young Clint Smith, who was playing with water guns in a dark parking lot with his white friends. In a heartfelt piece, the poet paints the scene of his father’s furious and fearful response.

*******  video #2 follows *******

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Saudi policy in Yemen: Sign of an inferiority complex vs Iran? (+video)

By Scott Peterson, Staff writer CSM – April 23, 2015

Rarely does the slow-burn regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran erupt into violence as it has in Yemen, and rarely with such a lack of strategic impact.

After a month of airstrikes against Iranian-allied Houthi rebels that have left nearly 1,000 people dead, Saudi leaders – under pressure from their US and Yemen   allies – abruptly declared victory Tuesday and said the thrust of their ongoing efforts would be political, not military.   Continue reading

China’s New Investment Bank: A Premature Prophecy – By Mark Fleming-Williams

Has the U.S. Lost Its Role as Driver of Global Economy?‏

China’s New Investment Bank: A Premature Prophecy

Global AffairsGlobal Affairs – April 22, 2015 | 08:00 GMT – STRATFOR

By Mark Fleming-Williams

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers wrote on April 5 that this month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system. His comments refer to the circumstances surrounding China’s launch of a new venture, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Wary of China’s growing ambitions and influence, the United States had advised its allies not to join the institution, but many signed up anyway. The debacle was undoubtedly embarrassing for Washington, but even so, Summers’ prophecy is a bit premature at this stage.

To understand why, one must first understand the basis of the United States’ dominant economic position in the world. At the height of World War II, the heavily indebted United Kingdom signed the Lend-Lease deal, which handed over British naval bases to its American cousins in exchange for financial support. This act was akin to passing the military superpower baton, since it transferred control of the world’s oceans to the United States.   Continue reading

Dianand Bhagwandin and his “Incredible Journey” – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Dianand Bhagwandin and his “Incredible Journey” – By Dr. Dhanpaul Narine

Dianand Bhagwandin

Dianand Bhagwandin

Dianand ‘Denny’ Bhagwandin created waves in the early nineties in New York when he announced that he was running for Congress. It was a tall order but the immigrant community in Queens embraced Denny and admired him for his courage.

The 6th Congressional District was strongly Democrat and Denny decided to run on a Republican ticket. He ran a spirited campaign and when the results were declared on November 4, 1992 he had acquitted himself well. Denny received over 21,000 votes even though he did not win the seat.   Continue reading

Paul Tudor Jones II: Why we need to rethink capitalism -TED video

Paul Tudor Jones II: Why we need to rethink capitalism

Published on Apr 16, 2015 – TEDTalks

Paul Tudor Jones II loves capitalism. It’s a system that has done him very well over the last few decades. Nonetheless, the hedge fund manager and philanthropist is concerned that a laser focus on profits is, as he puts it, “threatening the very underpinnings of society.” In this thoughtful, passionate talk, he outlines his planned counter-offensive, which centers on the concept of “justness.”
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The World Bank and A Changing World – By David Jessop

The World Bank and A Changing World

 By David Jessop

 the-world-bankNews Americas, LONDON, England, Tues. April 14, 12015: It is probably true to say that the average person has little idea what international financial institutions like the World Bank or International Monetary Fund (IMF) do, beyond knowing that they are in some way responsible for having governments impose tough austerity measures and conditions in return for their support.

Notwithstanding, a related issue with wide implications is emerging that warrants close attention in the Caribbean: this is the establishment of what many regard as a future rival to the World Bank in the form of the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with a likely different philosophy. Continue reading

In Photos: The US president’s trip to Jamaica and Panama- April 2015

UPDATED with Panama Pictures:

See the following photos plus others taken in Panama at the Summit of the Americas as well:

https://medium.com/@WhiteHouse/in-photos-the-president-s-trip-to-jamaica-and-panama-857d694df758

In Photos: The US president’s trip to Jamaica
Published on April 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, USA — Last week, US President Barack Obama headed to Kingston, Jamaica, for bilateral meetings with Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, a town hall meeting with the Young Leaders of the Americas and a summit with heads of government from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).The White House Blog has released a series of photos of the president’s visit:01_jamaica.jpg

President Barack Obama meets with Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-NY, aboard Air Force One en route to Kingston, Jamaica, April 8, 2015. Rep. Clarke is the child of Jamaican immigrant parents. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
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Coming to Terms With the American Empire – commentary

Coming to Terms With the American Empire

Geopolitical WeeklyGeopolitical Weekly  – April 14, 2015 | 07:54 GMT  –By George Friedman

“Empire” is a dirty word. Considering the behavior of many empires, that is not unreasonable. But empire is also simply a description of a condition, many times unplanned and rarely intended. It is a condition that arises from a massive imbalance of power. Indeed, the empires created on purpose, such as Napoleonic France and Nazi Germany, have rarely lasted. Most empires do not plan to become one. They become one and then realize what they are. Sometimes they do not realize what they are for a long time, and that failure to see reality can have massive consequences.

World War II and the Birth of an Empire

The United States became an empire in 1945. It is true that in the Spanish-American War, the United States intentionally took control of the Philippines and Cuba. It is also true that it began thinking of itself as an empire, but it really was not. Cuba and the Philippines were the fantasy of empire, and this illusion dissolved during World War I, the subsequent period of isolationism and the Great Depression.   Continue reading

The End of the US Boom – commentary

The End of the US Boom

A demonstrator holds a sign during a rally outside Wall Street in New York

With a sharp slowdown and a relatively weak jobs report, the boom in the U.S. economy has come to an end. Why is it that so many professional economists and economic reporters mistook the strength of the U.S. economy?

Published: April 14, 2015 | Authors: Dean Baker |

Campaign for America’s Future | Op-Ed

The Labor Department reported the U.S. economy created 126,000 jobs in March. This was a sharp slowdown from the 290,000 average over the prior three months. This relatively weak jobs report led many economic analysts to comment that the economy may not be as strong as they had believed.

This reassessment is welcome, but it really raises the question of why so many professional economists and economic reporters could be so badly mistaken about the strength of the economy. There never was much basis for claiming a boom in the U.S. economy and the people claiming otherwise were relying on a very selective reading of the data.   Continue reading

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