Wednesday

Decision 2023: Nigeria at a crossroads as a known drug baron and his running mate, a chief sponsor of Islamic terrorists, seem poised to occupy Aso Rock

CC™ Viewpoint

By Boyejo A. Coker - Chief Editor

It was exactly eight years ago (to date) that a certain Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Senator as well as former Executive Governor of Lagos State, stepped onto the scene at a campaign rally in Southwest Nigeria. The candidate at that time was the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Rtd. General Muhammadu Buhari, a failed presidential candidate who had lost his bid for the presidency on three prior attempts to win the plum job of running the affairs of Africa's largest economy and democracy. 

Buhari's campaign was at best fledgling at the time, and needed some infusion of pizzazz, energy and inspiration. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu stepped to the plate and the rest, as they say, is history. 

It was the same Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that sold Buhari to us as a reformed dictator (more or less a tyrant in actuality). Yes, the same Buhari that eight years later has essentially taken Nigeria back to the Stone Age. 

Under Buhari and the current APC government, Nigeria overtook India in having the largest number of people in poverty, in the world. The certified disaster that has been the Buhari administration should in most political climates spell disaster for the ruling party, but in Nigerian politics, the ruling party always has the upper hand - as they use practically every instrument and organ of government at their disposal to hold on to power. 

That last line is actually quite instructive, as it speaks to the arrogance exhibited by the APC hierarchy in presenting a Muslim-Muslim ticket as its choice for President and Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. To understand the importance of this dynamic, Nigeria is a multi-religious nation with the two main religions, Christianity and Islam, roughly evenly split. 

That is why it has always been the unwritten rule to balance the leadership ticket evenly between those two prominent religions, for the sake of national unity and peaceful co-existence. 

Furthermore, the running mate to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC flag bearer, is a known sponsor of Boko Haram and other adjacent Islamic terrorist groups. Kashim Shettima, is a former governor of Borno State in the northern part of Nigeria, and it is a documented fact that a notorious terrorist, Kabiru Sokoto, years ago, was found and arrested in the home of the former Borno State governor turned vice presidential candidate.

The highly questionable background of Shettima fits right in with the equally questionable background of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate. Apart from Tinubu’s unverifiable education and birth records, he is also a well documented drug baron and money launderer

The APC had the glorious opportunity to present Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo as its flag bearer for the presidency of the nation, and then balance it out with a credible running mate of Islamic persuasion from the north. That they chose these two men of highly questionable backgrounds and character for the top two offices in the nation, speaks to an acerbic dysfunction within the ruling party, and typifies either a lack of requisite foresight, or downright arrogance that has come to embody the brazen insensitivity of the ruling party, to the yearnings and desires of well meaning Nigerians. 

A truly Democratic dispensation was bequeathed to President Muhammadu Buhari. Former President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat in 2015 to Buhari rather than shed a single drop of Nigerian blood. Under this APC government, the will of the people has been overturned repeatedly by kangaroo courts and tribunals, whose judges and officials have been compromised by the incendiary and inordinate ambitions of defeated APC candidates, with the acquiescence of the Buhari administration.

Things have undoubtedly fallen apart and it is clear that the center cannot hold. The die is indeed cast regarding the future of Nigeria’s corporate existence.

Tuesday

Further proof that Nasir El-Rufai is the devil……



CC™ Politico

The pint-sized ethnic bigot and religious zealot refers to Northern Christians as belonging to the “Christian enclaves in the north”. El-Rufai, along with his now well documented ethnic cleansing campaign against the non-Fulani indigenes of Kaduna State, has always demonstrated his propensity for being unhinged when campaigning against his adversaries during elections. 

The image (above) in this short article by our political desk could not better represent how most well-meaning Nigerians view the vertically-challenged loose-canon. 

When you look at the number of likes (thumbs up) in the pictorial of another one of his media rants, you will see he has exactly 666 likes

As would be expected, Satan couldn’t agree more with his apostle of hate, disinformation and destruction. 

Monday

Your co-workers are not your friends, remember that….

CC™ Political News
By B. Sierra

Have you ever gotten too close to a coworker? I know I have.

By ‘too close” I don’t mean sex, romance, or anything else that may have you calling HR, but more so mistaking a colleague for a friend and, consequently, saying or doing too much around them. 

I fell into the trap more easily when I was younger and working more part-time retail jobs as a student, but, as I transitioned into my long-term career, it became more imperative than ever for me to draw a *clear* line between friends and colleagues. 

Make no mistake: I’m not saying that we should be antisocial at work. Those 8+ hour days are more enjoyable when we have bonds in the office. We can also benefit from maintaining a good rapport with people in our respective industries (consider how actors benefit from having a good rapport with writers/directors/producers, and publicists with journalists, or media strategists with vendors, for example). 

I’m also not saying that we can’t meet life-long friends on the job, but there’s a huge difference between “work friends” and friends you met through work. In other words, there’s being friends and then there’s being friendly–we only need to be the latter when it comes to work relationships.

Be polite and considerate. Wish them a happy holiday or birthday. 

Talk about music, shows, movies, or any other aspect of pop culture. 

Laugh over how much your pet likes to tear your house apart.  

Keep it lighthearted. It’s only when we start interacting more “heavily” with our colleagues (like discussing our dating life or family issues) that sh*t becomes confusing. 

You can enjoy the bond and camaraderie, but see this exactly for what it is: a friendly work relationship. 

Yes there will be frequent work lunches, social gatherings, inside jokes, and fun moments with your colleagues, but the fact still remains that y’all are people brought together by circumstance. That’s it and that’s all. 

Ask yourself: If you didn’t do what you do, or have the gifts and connections that you have, would there still be a relationship? 

If the answer is no, then keep it [professionally] cute–you’re probably circumstantial “friends”, not true ones. 

If you’re someone who lacks boundaries then it’s easy to confuse a circumstantial relationship (like I mentioned above) with genuine friendship. But, here’s the thing: 

Just because you consider someone a friend doesn’t make them act like one. 

It’s so tempting to think you know someone better than you do when you spend a lot of time with them, but don’t be fooled. I urge you to move SLOWLY when getting closer to a colleague, even slower than you would pursue a friendship outside of work. 

You may feel like you’ve forged an instant bond with them, but it may not be real.  Though everyone can be nice and fun, not everyone has the character for true friendship. If you’re not careful, then that person’s character will become your crisis. 

And the worst part of all: you can’t revert back to considering them as only a “colleague” just because they disappointed you after you crossed the line (I mean you could, literally speaking, but the damage is already done and the relationship is tainted).  

Unlike non-work friends, these relationships intertwine with your professional life/reputation. With this comes unnecessary tension and miscommunication, making the consequences of a fall-out become much higher. It’s extremely difficult to go back to strictly business once you make the bond personal.     

So, remember: 

That’s not your sis. 

That’s not your bro. 

They are not a part of your inner circle.

If they gossip to you then they’ll likely gossip about you.  

Again, keep it light & stop including these folks in your personal life.

And Speaking of personal life, take notice of how much time you spend with colleagues outside of work. 

Attending the occasional happy hour or karaoke night with your coworkers or major events like weddings is perfectly fine, but don’t overdo it. If you blur the line between personal and professional outings by seeing your colleagues too much then it will skew the working relationship. 

Let me make it plain: 

  • Don’t do “Sunday Fundays” with them 
  • Don’t call them to get drinks so you can vent 
  • Don’t invite them to your family’s house (even your own place might be pushing it)
  • Don’t get them too acquainted with your friends 
  • And PLEASE don’t travel with them (unless it’s work trip)

Anyway, I think you get the point. If you take nothing else from this, please understand: building personal relationships with your colleagues is a very slippery slope. Though it’s natural to find people at work that you clique with more effortlessly than others, please tread carefully for everyone’s sake. 

Source: 20Something

Saturday

Ethno-Religious dog whistle: Pint-sized El-Rufai says Northern Christians are 'insignificant' and can't make Peter Obi present


CC™ Political News

Pint-sized human tinderbox and ever fiery Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said the Northern Christians can’t swing the pendulum of victory in the forthcoming presidential election in the direction of Labor Party candidate, Peter Obi.

Speaking during an interview on TVC on Thursday, El-Rufai said the Northern Christians don’t have the numbers to make Obi win, hence they’re inconsequential.

He also said the Labor Party presidential campaign rallies are hinged on ‘ethnic and religious bigotry’.

“The fact that you’re doing 70 percent in Anambra state does not mean somebody doing 10 percent in Kano is not better than you. Kano is four million votes that actually happen. The number of votes in Anambra is the size of one local government area in Kaduna state. So, all states are not equal.

“If you poll states and you make them equal, yes, Peter Obi will sweep the south-eastern states; he will do well in south-south; where else?

He’s not polling well in the south-west other than a drop in the ocean in Lagos. He’s polling in the Christian enclaves in the north — he’s polling well — but how many are they?

“Peter Obi cannot win the election. He doesn’t have the number of states; he doesn’t have 25 percent — the last time we checked — in more than 16 states. He can’t go anywhere

“This election is between the APC and PDP because they have the footprint; they have the spread. Ethnicity and religious bigotry will not take you anywhere and that’s what the Labor Party campaign is about.” he said.

Friday

Perceptual Organization - Making sense while thinking

Editor's Corner

In a recent article, I had stressed the fact that the human brain, in addition to being the most extraordinary creation of the human anatomy was also the epicenter of thought, conviction, emotions, consciousness and purpose. In this particular article, the subject/topic of perceptual organization will be the focus of my discussion.

It therefore seemed appropriate to start this discussion with a reference once again to the human brain, as perceptual organization would ‘naturally’ be a part or component of the intricate but detailed functionality of the human brain.

Knowing fully well that learning may play a significant role in perception, there is the school of thought that perceptual organization does reflect innate properties of the human brain. 

More recent work in perception seems to infer that studying perception is basically studying the human brain. In particular, there seems to be more and more, an alignment of such school of thought with physiological observations of the human brain.

What is Perceptual Organization and even more importantly, how does one organize raw sensory stimuli into meaningful experiences that would ultimately make sense (at least to a recipient of the experience generated by the said stimuli)?

Furthermore, in the process of making sense of the ‘sensation’, is the thinking process an evolving one and subject to an individual’s perceptual organization of his or her experiences? Also, what set of mental activities are involved in this organizational process and how ’influential’ are they in the process? Perception involves organization and grouping as well as distinguishing objects from their surroundings.

I do believe and will state that the organization of raw (sensory) stimuli into experiences that make sense and are meaningful to an individual or larger society would normally involve some cognitive functionality. This cognitive functionality would comprise processes such as thinking, knowing, remembering and in some cases, forgetting. This would seem to be a logical sequence as it makes for an organizational process that would ultimately seek to incorporate that which is favorable while through the forgetting process, eliminate that which the senses deem unfavorable.

Throughout this process, the importance of knowledge and experience will ultimately be established as knowing as a result of thinking generates a learned experiential state which whether favorable or unfavorable would ultimately help develop a perceptive frame of reference for the individual concerned. Now, I am not sure if I am making that much sense here, but I am simply stating what I think is in essence the obvious, based on my own perceptual organization.

In asking some of the questions I asked in the second paragraph of this article, I did not do that with the aim of necessarily answering the said questions. I did that in the hopes of asking even more questions by creating a forum for intellectual conversations as to what perceptual organization really is all about; without seeking to necessarily narrow down its definition. What seems to be rather clear however is the realization that knowledge and experience are probably the most critical components of the perceptive process since those two factors may in fact help us better make sense of the input to our sensory systems.

According to Gestalt laws of grouping, there is the school of thought that the whole differs from the sum of its parts (Ehrenstein, W. 1930). The Gestalt theorists for the most part in the 20th century sought to single out the brain processes that would ultimately be responsible for the organization of perception. They argued that while simple sensations essentially consisted of organized percepts, the percepts themselves could be said to be basic to experience. There are also various arguments out there that seek to identify whether or not these experiences are for the most part private (Ehrenstein, W. 1930).

As I had stated earlier, perception, in addition to involving organization and grouping, also involves the process of distinguishing an object from its surroundings (Ehrenstein, W. 1930). There is the notion that the moment we perceive an object, the surrounding area around the said object is then the background. Gestalt psychologists are the biggest proponents of this school of thought. That would seem to suggest a concept of separating the figure from the ground and according to the Gestalt school of thought, this process is replicated throughout the various experiences of the percepts themselves (Ehrenstein, W. 1930).

There is no question this is probably one of the most difficult (if not the most difficult concepts - perceptual organization) for me to chew on, but I am of the school of thought that a thorough understanding of the subject itself is an evolving one in as much as the knowledge and experience of the percepts themselves, as part of the complex make-up of the human brain.

References:
Ehrenstein, W. (1930). Figure-Ground Segregation. Current Psychology of Cognition, 117, 339-412.

© 2023 2CG MEDIA. Coker Confidential™

Thursday

Ten Ways to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

Editor's Pick

Don't discount the importance of interpersonal skills in the workplace. How you are perceived by your manager and coworkers plays a large role in things as minor as your day-to-day happiness at the office and as major as the future of your career.

No matter how hard you work or how many brilliant ideas you may have, if you can't connect with the people working around you, your professional life will suffer. The good news is that there are several concrete things you can do to improve your social skills and become closer to your colleagues, all of which will ultimately help you succeed in today's working world.

Here are 10 helpful tips for improving your interpersonal skills:

1. Smile. Few people want to be around someone who is always down in the dumps. Do your best to be friendly and upbeat with your coworkers. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. Smile often. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you.

2. Be appreciative. Find one positive thing about everyone you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement. Say thanks when someone helps you. Make colleagues feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they'll want to give you their best.

3. Pay attention to others. Observe what's going on in other people's lives. Acknowledge their happy milestones and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations such as an illness or death. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Ask others for their opinions.

4. Practice active listening. Actively listening is a way of demonstrating that you intend to hear and understand another's point of view. It means restating, in your own words, what the other person has said. Your coworkers will appreciate knowing you really do listen to what they have to say.

5. Bring people together. Create an environment that encourages others to work together. Treat everyone equally and don't play favorites. Avoid talking about others behind their backs. Follow up on other people's suggestions or requests. When you make a statement or announcement, check to see that you have been understood. If folks see you as someone solid and fair, they will grow to trust you.

6. Resolve conflicts. Take a step beyond simply bringing people together and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. Learn how to be an effective mediator. If coworkers are bickering over personal or professional disagreements, arrange to sit down with both parties and help sort out their differences. By taking on such a leadership role, you will garner respect and admiration from those around you.

7. Communicate clearly. Pay close attention to both what you say and how you say it. Being a clear and effective communicator helps you avoid misunderstandings with coworkers. Verbal eloquence projects an image of intelligence and maturity, no matter what your age. If you tend to blurt out anything that comes to mind, people won't put much weight on your words or opinions.

8. Humor them. Don't be afraid to be funny or clever. Most people are drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Use your sense of humor as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people's affection.

9. See it from their side. Empathy means being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand how they feel. Try to see things from another person's perspective. You can help yourself with this by staying in touch with your own emotions, since those who are cut off from their feelings are often unable to empathize with others.

10. Don't complain. There is nothing worse than a chronic complainer or whiner. If you simply have to vent about something, save it for your diary. But spare those around you, or else you'll get a bad reputation.

AllBusiness.com

Wednesday

Tuesday

Racism: Why 'the children of a ‘lesser God’ must redefine the next human century and beyond.....

CC™ - Editor-in-Chief

I have always stated to many, including Black intellectuals that racism is not an event, statement, person/personality or even an action. Racism, at its very core and foundation, is an institution and that is why I laugh consistently at the notion by white liberals and some Blacks that racism must be defeated.

Defeated? Those who are actually 'in the know' understand the implication of that statement and as such they will NEVER allow that to happen; as it would mean the loss of their privilege and influence. I mean why would anyone in their 'right senses' want to give up the power and position they have benefited from for generations.

That opening flurry then brings us to the state of things not only in America (particularly under Donald Trump, the 45th POTUS) but also in the world as we, 'the children of a lesser God' seek to navigate our way through s system and indeed a world that continually views us as a threat. Yes, I said 'as a threat' as the founders of the racist establishment that currently runs the world understand very well how formidable and capable Africans (Blacks) are.

Whether it is in the corporate world, national and international politics, sports and entertainment, the system engendered by racism has ensured that Blacks in particular remain removed from positions of influence (where far-reaching decisions are made) that determine the ultimate outcome of events in the critical arenas of human life.

THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM

A closer look at the global economic system would serve to buttress my point regarding the institutional nature of racism. It defies logic that a continent (Africa) that produces majority of the worlds key natural resources remains the poorest and the most indebted. A situation where the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (all created to perpetuate neocolonialism and western imperialism) determine if, when and how the governments of African countries function basically ensures that the rusty shackles of slavery are replaced by new and shiny ones. It is not a coincidence that the fate of African countries in the hands of these Western institutions is similar to that of Blacks in America, Europe or South America when dealing with financial institutions. Blacks generally, even when they have great credit on the average pay higher interest rates than whites and end up being buried (much like African governments) under the weight of indebtedness.

THE UNITED NATIONS

When one looks at the United Nations and most international non-governmental organizations, the tale is the same. There is an undue influence exerted by the United States and Europe (Western Europe to be exact) in the daily affairs of those organizations. Of the five permanent members of the United Stations Security Council (UNSC), only one (China) is non-European. The other four permanent members are Russia, United States of America, Great Britain and France. When you look at that list, three of those five permanent members, the United States, Great Britain and France were three of the key perpetrators of the worst carnage in human history, the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade that robbed a whole continent of its future and destroyed the promise, hope and aspiration of a whole race.

GLOBAL SPORTS AND ORGANIZATION - FIFA, NFL AND THE NBA

When you look at organizations such as the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), the National Football League (American Football) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), the mark that has been laid down by the institution of racism and white privilege can not be over-emphasized. FIFA for the longest time only allowed a whole continent (Africa) with over 50+ countries to produce just one representative to the global showpiece from its inception in 1930 until the 1982 edition (52 years later). At that 1982 edition, FIFA allotted just two slots to Africa in a field of 24 nations (Europe was allotted 14 spots out of the total 24).

The odds continue to be stacked against African representatives at the FIFA global showpiece with a view to ensuring that an African country never wins the most prestigious global event in the world. FIFA and the European Football Confederation (UEFA) want to ensure that there isn't a repeat of the 1996 Men's Olympic football tournament that saw Nigeria defeat global soccer giants (with star studded players) such as Brazil and Argentina on their way to winning the first Gold medal in soccer (football) ever by an African country or a country outside of Europe and South America. FIFA and the IOC went on to ensure the watering down of the Olympic Men's soccer tournament shortly after that Nigerian victory.

THE REALITY

The fact remains that the African (Black) resurgence can't be stopped. That resurgence is not intended to ensure the destruction, eclipsing or eradication of anyone (unless they decide to get in the way of its actualization), but instead, the restoration of the basic construct of our humanity. The latter has been lost over the past generations, as avaricious greed, obtuse immorality, unbecoming debauchery and senseless over-indulgence have become the order of the day. What separates humanity from animals is basic and common-sense restraint, as necessitated by our core human make-up. There are consequences to our actions, both intended and unintended. Guns, climate change and politics are not the problem.

The problem lies with the human beings that pull the trigger, engage in actions that harm the environment or profess political views that seek to promote hate, division and a general sense of social anxiety. The first 'Black" POTUS (Barack Obama) and the first African President of South Africa (Nelson Mandela) both brought a humanity to their respective positions during their tenures, that had been lacking from their predecessors. While both were invariably still bound by the ubiquitous realities of the positions they held, they nevertheless sought to bring a more humane reality to it and that was evident by the resistance both had to face while in office.

In conclusion, while the future may seem bleak, one thing remains a constant; the potential and the opportunity to rewrite the human destiny lies in the African resurgence. The West will not lead, as evidenced by European and American regression into the throes of bigotry and intolerance (with the ascent of the likes of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Italy's Matteo Salvini). Africa must and will lead as history has shown that continent and its people as the ever-enduring moral compass for the world.

© 2023 2CG MEDIA. Coker Confidential™

Monday

Putin orders strippers, dancers to entertain Russian soldiers


CC™ Global News

By Dayo Adegoke

In a bid to cheer up and boost the morale of Russian soldiers, President Vladimir Putin has ordered that strippers and pole dancers be sent to the front line to entertain the troops.

The move followed the announcement of Kremlin to honour the Russian soldiers with a medal after the deployment he called the “special military operation.”

The senior commanders have been issued directive to organise the entertainment as Putin’s forces approach the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, ABC News said.

More than 100 girls will be ferried to the front in a fleet of helicopters for a series of “concert shows” at supply bases across the Donbas where troops are given five days of rest and recuperation.

Crates of beer and Russian sausages will be shipped in for the troops and a ceremonial parade is expected on the 24th to mark the start of Russia’s operation and remember the fallen.

News of the ‘raunchy stripping sessions’ was revealed on social media by a Russian officer who announced that troops would be getting a special surprise.

In his post, the tank Colonel, codenamed ‘Armoured Death said, “Our heroes will be given special parties with pole dancing ladies, beer and food as a thank you for their service.

“Events will be held as part of the soldiers’ rest period and aimed to raise the morale of troops who have been fighting in the front line.”  

Sunday

Saturday

Wealthy Entrepreneur 'Reversed' His Biological Age with a $2 Million Treatment Program - Ethical concerns here?


CC™ NewsMax

By Alexa Mikhail 

"Bryan Johnson, 45, has a team of more than 30 physicians working to keep him young by trying out the latest treatments Wealthy software entrepreneur Bryan Johnson, 45, has one goal: To have the brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, tendons, teeth, skin, hair, bladder, penis and rectum of an 18 year old...."

Bryan Johnson, a wealthy entrepreneur based in Venice California, who is 45 going on 18—is enamored with the idea of being biologically young again. So much so that he is on the path to spending over $2 million this year alone on a host of medical interventions and tests aimed at helping him be younger. They range from electromagnetic pulses to improve the muscles in his pelvic floor to a device calculating the number of erections he has per night, according to a recent profile of the software businessman in Bloomberg. Johnson also routinely has MRIs, and has his body fat, heart rate variability, and blood and stool samples examined. 

Johnson sees a team of 30 doctors for regular, and sometimes invasive, tests for what they have named Project Blueprint, according to Bloomberg

The 29-year-old lead doctor and “regenerative medicine physician” on the project Oliver Zolman is dedicated “to help reverse the aging process in every one of Johnson’s organs” and charges up to $1,000 an hour for patients interested in the vast testing that Johnson participates in, Bloomberg reports. 

While the data is preliminary, Johnson has the heart of a 37-year-old, the skin of a 28-year-old, and the lung capacity of an 18-year-old, according to tests his doctors performed. His overall biological age is at least five years younger, per the report. 

“We have not achieved any remarkable results,” Zolman tells Bloomberg. “In Bryan, we have achieved small, reasonable results, and it’s to be expected.”

Johnson, who has a medical facility in his own home, also adheres to a hyper-strict exercise and eating ritual, taking two dozen supplements/other medicines at 5 a.m. each day, consuming 1,977 “vegan calories a day,” exercising for an hour, and hitting the hay at the same time after using blue light evasive glasses. 

“What I do may sound extreme, but I’m trying to prove that self-harm and decay are not inevitable,” he told Bloomberg. Since beginning to see results, he’s continued the project, despite criticism that it’s all a step too far in a way that impedes on the spontaneity that can define living a happy life. 

When Bloomberg reporter Ashlee Vance visited Johnson’s home, he writes, “He could have been mistaken for a big, swollen porcelain doll.” (He had recently undergone a fat injecting face procedure, which he says will help him accumulate more youthful cells, though it produced an allergic reaction.) 

Johnson has made it clear—whether due to a dream of staying fit and young, outliving his own generation, or to simply explore the untapped potential of emerging longevity technology—he is not stopping anytime soon. 

“The whole longevity field is transitioning into a much more rigorous, clinical place,” George Church, a geneticist at Harvard University, tells Bloomberg.

For the majority of people who don’t have the resources to have a medical facility in their home or access a team of doctors and regularly undergo medical tests, there are a myriad of questions—namely, what will this mean for the rest of us? What is the result of this kind of healthcare that allows the ultra-rich to literally descend in age?

For Johnson, though, it’s all fun for now. “If you say that you want to live forever or defeat aging, that’s bad—it’s a rich person thing,” Johnson says to Bloomberg. “If it’s more akin to a professional sport, it’s entertainment. It has the virtues of establishing standards and protocols. It benefits everyone in a systemic way.”

Source: Fortune Well

Friday

Don’t vote politicians who’ll drag Nigeria back to dark ages, Buhari tells Nigerians


CC™ Global News

“Ironic, considering that is exactly what he (Buhari) basically did…..”

As activities geared towards the 2023 general elections gathers momentum, President Muhammadu Buhari has advised Nigerians against voting politicians who would drag the country back to ‘dark ages.’

He stated this during an event organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, with the theme: “Fighting corruption in Nigeria: The past, the present and the future.”

Buhari said he made sure to leave behind a legacy of ‘zero tolerance,’ for corruption, adding that he expects the next administration to follow the same light.

He said, “I strongly believe that our anti-corruption agencies need to concentrate more on asset forfeiture regimes in addition to prosecution to deny looters the gains from the proceeds of their crime. All looted assets within and outside Nigeria must be recovered and used for the wellbeing of our citizens while the looters will be prosecuted and convicted if found culpable.

“In a matter of weeks, Nigerians will need to go to the polls again to elect their leaders in the general elections. I beseech Nigerians to reject politicians who would drag our country back to the dark ages in which corruption was made the order of the day.

“As I leave office in a matter of months, I have left behind a legacy of zero-tolerance for corruption for our teaming youths and to every citizen. For me, corruption is Evil and must be vehemently rejected in all ramifications by all Nigerians anywhere, anytime. 

“It is by integrity, respect for rule of law, due process and genuine patriotism that we will make Nigeria the nation of our dream.”

In the same vein, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, lamented that the judiciary has not shown true commitment to the war against corruption.

Thursday

The art of managing people

Editor-in-Chief 

Organizations struggle everyday with the germane issue of what the effective management of people, an organization's most prized asset, actually entails. The effective management of people within an organization requires a thorough understanding of the following: 
  
  • Motivation - Whether intrinsic or extrinsic and the importance of positive triggers....
  • Job design and environment....
  • Company's rewards system and how it is structured and also possibly layered....
  • Group influence as a function of Group-think and other allegiances....
Motivation
Human beings are creatures of habit and by that, I mean it is natural to expect that individuals will have different triggers within their genetic and socio-cultural make-up, that ultimately control what their motivations are, where they originate from or worse still, whether or not they have any at all.
Of course, as a business owner or a leader, you would hope you haven't hired someone or lead a group of people on the bottom rung of the Motivation Trigger Index™ (MTI).
Usually, one finds that most people with intrinsic motivation tend to have a higher MTI. They are the high achievers and are usually not driven to succeed or excel necessarily as a result of positive external triggers, but do so because it is just in their make-up. It is however important to note that for these group, the Positive External Triggers (PETs) only serve to further elevate their MTI scores. As for those, whose Motivational Intelligence (MI) require external triggers, they tend to be either in the middle or the lower rung of the Motivation Trigger Index™. People in this category tend to require an appreciable amount of Positive External Triggers (PETs) and ironically, if they have quite a bit of this, they are bound to excel at their tasks, in some cases, even with distinction. However, unlike the first group, their MTI scores tend to vacillate between just above average to poor, as a function of the amount of PETs they are exposed to in their work and related environment.
Job Design and Environment
Over the years, scientific management has sought to strip workers of their initiative, thus ridding the work environment of key intangibles such as skill set diversity, autonomy and most important of all, feedback, constructive or otherwise.
A perfect example of empowering employees and creating an environment that engenders optimum productivity and creativity is to seek input from your employees, even when you, as a leader, know what the solution to a problem is. They may even suggest the solution you have in mind and you can give them credit for it.
Rewards System
The rewards system must be one that does not give rise to suspicion or insinuations of favoritism. While majority of organizations, big or small, insist on building a "team atmosphere", it is imperative that top performers, particularly those that most closely espouse the company's core principles within the framework of its corporate culture, are duly rewarded and recognized as such.
This process should however be carefully monitored and managed, so as to ensure that everyone (including the non-monetary contributors) feels a sense of belonging to the organization, through their own respective contributions.
It is a well-known fact that the successful execution of a company's business strategy must involve everyone on the ship.
Group Influence
This can either be a "good thing" or a "bad thing", but it depends on how you look at it. Now, while it can create a negative work environment due to its potentially divisive and mostly political nature, it is an unavoidable phenomenon.
Most organizations have learned to not only exist but also flourish with just the "right amount" of group-think, as it actually may engender a spirit of collaboration towards reaching the ultimate objectives of the organization.
The overriding attitude becomes one where the conclusion is that if the company wins, then everyone wins. 

© 2023 2CG MEDIA. Coker Confidential™

Monday

Ten things we've learnt about identity politics in the United States

CC™ Editor-in-Chief
--- Boyejo A. Coker

a) Racism is an institution not an event, statement or action, as evident by the silence and acquiescence of the Republican members of Congress to the dangerous and highly-charged statements, and actions of former President Donald Trump for 4 years, that ultimately culminated in the violent insurrection by White Supremacist supporters of his, against the Congress of the United States on January 6th, 2021.

b) Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually instigated the singling out (in 2019) of the women of color in the U.S. House by referring to them as "just four people with no following". That was all Donald Trump needed to strike at the time, against those women. 

c) Donald Trump "is not a racist". The power structure that enabled him become the POTUS (still incredibly threatens to bring him back in 2024), and continues to facilitate his trampling upon the Constitution with impunity, is racist, and was set up to be that way by the founding fathers, who enslaved the Africans that were brought to America and saw them as less than human.

d) President Barack Obama would not have been elected to office if he had bragged about sexually assaulting women, and he would definitely have been impeached, and removed from office, if he had conducted himself in office as Trump did.

e) Imagine what would have happened if Barack Obama had asked those that criticized his administration to leave the country, if they did not like the way things were being done. Or worse still, if he (Obama) had threatened to unleash the U.S. military on American citizens, protesting in the streets. Lastly, I am confident Barack Obama would have been impeached and convicted within a week (at most) if he had instigated an insurrection against a co-equal branch of government.

f) Gratitude is not a requirement of citizenship. Furthermore, all U.S. citizens (naturalized or natural born) have equal rights, or do they.......?

g) The old order of the Democratic party is completely out of touch and the treatment of the four women Representatives of color by former Speaker Pelosi four years ago, serves to buttress that point.

h) The Republican party has always had a playbook steeped in identity politics. Anyone remember the Willie Horton ads? Trump is not doing anything new. He simply took it to another level.

i) The palpable silence of the so-called religious leaders (especially the white religious leaders) in the United States tells you all you need to know about them.

j) The silence of most top American CEOs and business leaders (until recently) also tells you all you need to know about them and their organizations. The ones that have 'spoken out' are not only late to the game (about five years late at least), but are speaking out merely to 'sanitize' their brand, as well as clear whatever is left of their conscience (assuming most of them actually have one).

Sunday

Priest describes ‘horrifying’ new attack on Catholics in Nigeria that leaves at least 11 dead

Close to 500,000 Nigerians have been either killed or displaced since Buhari took office

CC™ Global News

By Jude Atemanke

At least 11 people, most of them Catholics, were killed Jan. 19 when alleged Fulani herdsmen attacked a village near a refugee camp in Nigeria’s Makurdi Diocese, a diocesan official has reported.

In an interview with ACI Africa, CNA’s sister news partner, Father Moses Aondover Iorapuu, the diocese’s vicar general, recounted the “horrifying” persecution that Catholics were subjected to during the attack.

“The images of the attack are horrifying, and I keep saying that not even ISIS is capable of such brutality,” he said. “After killing, these guys decapitated some and took the parts away as proof to whoever is the sponsor.”

Aondover said the attacks took place Thursday about 9 p.m. in a village near Makurdi, the Benue State capital, where there is a displaced persons camp.

“As of this evening 11 people were killed, including women and children, and many with life-threatening wounds in the hospital,” he reported.

“Almost all the victims” of the attack were Catholics, he said, adding: “The attackers, according to the survivors, were Fulani, who occupied some of the villages they had abandoned in earlier raids.”

Aondover criticized the delayed response from security agents, saying: “The response from the police and the military as always: normal late arrival at the scene, and the attackers remain unidentified.”

Nigeria has been experiencing insecurity since 2009 when Boko Haram’s insurgency began with the aim of turning the country into an Islamic state.

Since then, the group, one of largest Islamist groups in Africa, has been orchestrating indiscriminate terrorist attacks on various targets, including religious and political groups as well as civilians.

The situation of insecurity in the West African nation has further been complicated by the involvement of the predominantly Muslim Fulani herdsmen, also referred to as the Fulani Militia, who have been clashing frequently with Christian farmers over grazing land.

The Jan. 19 attack on the village saw the inhabitants “forcefully driven from their homes by these herdsmen,” Aondover said, lamenting “the incessant attacks without a single arrest and meaningful reaction from the government.”

“We feel terribly frustrated and abandoned by our government and the international community,” he said.

This story originally was published by ACI Africa, CNA's sister news partner.

Source: Catholic News Agency

Saturday

Liverpool’s Premier League struggles continue with draw at Anfield against Chelsea


CC™ Soccernet

By the Editor-in-Chief 

--- Boyejo A. Coker

Another Premier League game, and once again, another lackluster and listless performance from Liverpool, this time at Anfield against fellow strugglers, Chelsea FC.

While many thought the team had turned the proverbial corner with the mid-week victory over Wolves (at the Molineux) in the FA Cup replay, the reds once again showed no bite, as they were lacking in both verve and spirit against a struggling Chelsea side that was there for the taking. The largely forgettable match ended goalless.

Thus, the narrative of the 7th-year-itch as it relates to Klopp’s documented struggles after 7 years in charge at previous clubs, is bound to continue, and perhaps escalate. And why not? One might be tempted to ask. After all, it is a fact that Klopp has never turned around the fortunes of any of the previous clubs he has managed after being at the helm of those clubs for 7 years.

In fact, at least one of those clubs (Dortmund) flirted with relegation, and the panacea for each of those past struggles was for Klopp to leave as manager. 

One therefore must wonder if FSG and Liverpool fans are essentially asking the German to do what he has never done before as a manager; turn around the fortunes of a struggling team, and in this case, one that looks like a tired and utterly spent force! The difference between LFC and those other teams though lies in the pedigree of the latter. Liverpool are ‘European royalty’ where football is concerned at club level, and allowing this obviously evolving train wreck to continue might be debilitatingly detrimental to the future of the club, in the long run. 

Klopp frankly looks tired and short on ideas as to how to fix the rut. His carefully curated press conferences not withstanding, his demeanor and overall disposition smacks of someone who has lost the plot and would like to be put out of his misery. 

As drastic as it may sound, the ownership at FSG might want to consider helping him in the latter regard.

It is glaringly obvious that the players have stopped listening to him. Perhaps, a new face and a different voice might just do the magic.

Friday

Thursday

Judge confirms Attorney General’s authority to investigate potential race discrimination by auto insurers PEMCO and Progressive


CC™ Legal News

“Auto insurance companies made investigation public by fighting to quash inquiry into use of credit history to choose customers and price car insurance.”

Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced that a Thurston County Superior Court judge rejected an attempt by PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and subsidiaries of the Progressive Corporation to stop his office’s investigation of potential race discrimination against Washington drivers. The companies both use consumer credit histories — or “credit-based insurance scores” derived from a consumer’s credit history — to decide whether to sell, and at what price to sell, their auto insurance products, despite evidence that this practice disproportionately harms people of color.

PEMCO and Progressive have a significant presence in Washington state. PEMCO has issued approximately 160,000 private passenger auto insurance policies to Washingtonians; Progressive likewise insures a significant portion of Washington drivers. Both companies openly use credit history and/or credit-based insurance scores to decide who they will provide coverage to, and at what price. Publicly available information indicates PEMCO charges people with low credit scores as much as triple those with high credit scores; Progressive likewise significantly increases premiums for individuals with negative credit histories.

The companies brought the matter to court to fight the office’s investigation, making the investigation public.

The office has a longstanding policy that it does not comment on investigations, including confirming whether they exist. However, in fighting to quash the Attorney General’s investigative demands, the insurance companies revealed the investigation. Given the significant importance of, and the public interest in, the practices under investigation, the office is offering comment.

“Washington law is clear: Unfair, deceptive or discriminatory business practices are illegal,” Ferguson said. “Significant evidence shows that using credit history to price insurance disproportionately affects people of color — even when their driving history is just as safe as white drivers. My office has a responsibility to investigate race discrimination against Washingtonians. I intend to do that."

Analyses show that the use of consumers’ credit history and/or credit-based insurance scores disproportionately affects drivers who are people of color, even if their driving records are just as safe as the driving records of white drivers. In 2020, the Consumer Federation of America, a consumer advocacy group, reported that when insurance companies rely on factors having nothing to do with driving, including credit scores, to price their insurance products, Black drivers “will pay more for auto insurance than white drivers, even when everything related to driving safety and vehicle type is held constant.”

One media report notes this stems from “a long history of discrimination” in lending, banking, and government programs that is well-understood to “affect the data that credit scoring models use today.”

According to the Consumer Federation of America, “[b]ecause insurance is required in every state but New Hampshire, the disparate pricing likely causes higher levels of uninsured driving among African Americans and higher incidence of state uninsured driving penalties for African Americans, which can include fines, car impoundment, and jail. It also means less access to vehicles and reduced access to jobs, as the nexus between car ownership and employment opportunity is well established.”

The Attorney General’s Office is seeking information about PEMCO and Progressive’s compliance with the Washington Consumer Protection Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination as part of its investigation.

Any Washingtonians with information about PEMCO’s or Progressive’s use of credit history in pricing, or deciding whether to offer, auto insurance, including people who believe they have experienced discrimination as a result of those practices, should reach out to the Wing Luke Civil Rights Division at 1-833-660-4877, and choose option 9 from the main menu. Individuals can also contact the Attorney General’s Office by email at AutoInsurance@atg.wa.gov.

Assistant Attorneys General Yesica Hernandez and Patricio Marquez, and Legal Assistants Anna Alfonso and Allie Lard, handled the Attorney General’s Office’s motion to enforce its investigation demands.

The Washington Law Against Discrimination prohibits discrimination in insurance transactions on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, citizenship or immigration status, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or honorably discharged veteran or military status.

The Wing Luke Civil Rights Division was created in 2015 to protect the rights of all Washington residents by enforcing state and federal anti-discrimination laws. It is named for Wing Luke, who served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He went on to become the first person of color elected to the Seattle City Council and the first Asian-American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.

Individuals may file civil rights complaints here.

SOURCE: ATG.WA.GOV

Wednesday

Flashback: The GOP and the dearth of true conservatives

Reagan takes oath of office
Editor-in-Chief 
--- Boyejo A. Coker

This piece was written (ahead of the 2012 U.S. general elections) as a sequel to a preceding piece titled "Whither the GOP and true conservatism." Both pieces served to profess a prelude to the emergence of both Barack Obama and Donald Trump on opposite sides of the political spectrum. The article continues below.....

In an article I wrote a few years ago, I touched on the debilitating frailties of the GOP as presently constituted and how they may have led to the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

As we get into the decisive months of presidential politics in the U.S. general elections, one sees the same pattern beginning to unfold once again, as the GOP-led Congress (at least on the House side) would much rather play side-bar politics, that could ultimately re-energize the left to turn out in solidarity of what most observers perceive to be an under-performing president.

There is no question that the president is vulnerable and worse-still is the fact that he seems unsure of what he needs to do, in order to get the economy moving again.

For independent voters (they hold the "swing votes" in key elections), the two choices for the White House would seem to be a replay of 2008 all over again.

Then, most independents seemed to initially lean towards John McCain, as they respected his service to country as well as his penchant for reaching across the aisle, to get the business of the nation done, when it was absolutely necessary.

The fringe right of the GOP was however cool to the McCain candidacy and they eventually forced his hand into choosing someone that many felt became a liability to both his candidacy as well as the poignant message true conservatives were trying to send to the American people.

Key political watchers would argue that true conservatives never warmed up to Sarah Palin the minute they realized there was nothing behind the looks or between the ears.

For all the so-called Tea Party would like most Americans to believe, conservatism is not defined by a resentment for a sterling educational pedigree or impeccable intellectual acumen. Rather than see those with the preceding qualities as snubs, a true conservative views the composite as an invaluable asset; one that typifies a sense of ambition, responsibility and ultimately speaks to the crux of the conservative message of a commitment to excellence.

The reality is that this president is way in over his head, but the GOP leadership in the House of Representatives has consistently giving him a way out by stalling and styming his feckless efforts aimed at "reviving" the American economy.

And when they are not styming the president's "well intended efforts" they are busy issuing subpoenas to the Attorney General of the United States for a program that was actually started under a Republican president; it was then called Operation Wide Receiver and it was the first known ATF "gunwalking" operation to the Mexican drug cartels, beginning in early 2006 (under the Bush White House) and ran till late 2007.

Not to digress onto this matter, but what makes the Darrell Issa-led over-reach even more laughable and at best mis-directed, is the fact that under the Bush administration, there were no known reviews by either the DOJ or the Congress at the time. In fact, it was not until Barack Obama took office in 2009, that the Eric Holder-led DOJ started an intensive review into Operation Wide Receiver, with arrests and indictments subsequently made, as a result of the investigations.

Rather than focus on the key issues that continue to affect the generality of the American people, the ECONOMY, ECONOMY and the ECONOMY, key GOP leadership and their surrogates, would much rather play divisive politics and once again, give a much needed opening and life-line to a struggling presidency.

True conservatives are not blinded by their parochial and ideological idiosyncrasies, but are instead committed to espousing the true values and ideals of transparency, accountability and responsible governance; doing so with dignity and firmness, as well as a sense of cordiality that belies their resolve and determination.

The message of individual responsibility, self-determination, personal discipline and accountability must not be lost in the abyss of incendiary vituperations laced with jingoistic redundancies.

The American people deserve much better this time around, than a default presidency as that may ultimately lead to a couple of plausible scenarios that could eventually obtain here. The first is that Barack Obama's "third term" is ensured (4 years from now) by the lack of purpose and direction currently being exhibited by the core GOP establishment. The other scenario is that an anti-establishment candidate may arise out of the ashes of the impending GOP establishment's implosion. That person would then become an unlikely but much welcome voice (to the far right) of parochial irredentism that may change the political landscape of the United States forever.

Chief Editor's commentary: The 'anti-establishment candidate' I predicted almost a decade ago, in this piece, turned out to be Donald J. Trump. Four years of his chaotic presidency has turned American democracy on its head and January 6, 2021 was indeed a defining day in the history of the United States of America. Let no one be fooled here either by the incendiary posturing of some GOP fringe stalwarts of the disgraced former president, as it relates to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. 
The facts are that Donald Trump was first impeached for withholding military aid to a friendly nation in exchange for a purported favor from that nation (Ukraine) against a potential opponent (Joe Biden) of his, in the upcoming presidential elections, at the time. Trump’s feckless presidency and rudderless leadership strengthened Putin’s hand politically, as it relates to the former Soviet Republics, Ukraine especially, from a strategic standpoint -geopolitically.