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. 

Tuesday

A suit filed by the Center for Race, Inequality, and the Law takes a new approach to proving racial bias in the insurance industry


CC™ Matters Arising

“The study found that, compared to White homeowners, Black customers had to submit more paperwork to have their claims approved, were likely to have more conversations with a State Farm representative before having their claims approved, and experienced longer wait times to receive payouts.”

For Alexander Rose ’20, the highlight of his 2L year was participating in the Civil Rights Clinic taught by Professor of Clinical Law Deborah Archer. Over the course of the year, he worked on an employment discrimination dispute, advocated against the New York Police Department gang database, and co-drafted litigation strategies for advocates in the wake of the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. “Her course was the defining experience of law school and helped make me the type of advocate I am today,” Rose says.

Now, two years after his graduation, Rose and Archer are working together again, this time on a potentially groundbreaking case of racial discrimination.

Filed on December 14 in federal court in Illinois, the suit, which is seeking class action status, alleges that insurance company State Farm discriminates against Black homeowners and makes it harder for them to receive pay outs for insurance claims. The case claims that State Farm utilizes fraud detection software that has a disparate impact on Black customers. Brought under the Fair Housing Act, the case is the first lawsuit of its kind to use data specific to an insurance company in making racial bias claims, according to an article on the litigation in the New York Times.

Representing the plaintiffs are NYU Law’s Center for Race, Inequality, and the Law (CRIL), where Archer is faculty co-director; and Fairmark Partners, a Washington, DC–based firm focused on civil rights and corporate accountability where Rose serves as chief of staff; and local counsel.

“This suit does not reflect the values we hold at State Farm,” Gina Morss-Fischer, a State Farm spokeswoman, told the New York Times. “State Farm is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment, where all customers and associates are treated with fairness, respect, and dignity. We are dedicated to paying what we owe, promptly and courteously.”

The case is built on a study which began when Archer, CRIL fellow David Jimenez ’23, Rose, and other members of Fairmark began discussing a 2020 story in the New York Times that reported Black homeowners often encounter difficulties when seeking payments for their property insurance claims. While these claims of bias are widespread, the Times reported, it was difficult to determine patterns of discrimination because insurance companies do not make information about claims publicly available.

“This question about wealth inequality and the links to home ownership and insurance kept coming up,” says Archer, who served as lead researcher for the study, “and CRIL has an interest in algorithmic bias, but also in thinking about community equity and the things and policies in place that make some communities less equitable and less hospitable for success,” says Archer. As many insurance companies use algorithms to handle a portion of claims, “it seemed like an important thing to explore,” she says. Archer says that CRIL and Fairmark worked with polling company YouGov to conduct a survey and analyze data from 800 State Farm claimants over several months in 2021.

The study found that, compared to White homeowners, Black customers had to submit more paperwork to have their claims approved, were likely to have more conversations with a State Farm representative before having their claims approved, and experienced longer wait times to receive payouts.

After analyzing the data, the Center and Fairmark spoke with individuals and community organizations to assess how impacted communities would like to file litigation, Archer says.

“In the past year, CRIL has become more sharply focused on challenging some of the modern tools of racial inequality, particularly with a sharper focus on economic justice issues, as well as diving deeper into exploring issues at the intersection of race and technology and algorithmic bias,” says Archer. She notes: “The practices of insurance companies and how they perpetuate racial bias and racial inequality is kind of a black box.”

SOURCE: NYU LAW NEWS

Sunday

Buhari’s Killing Fields: Catholic priest burnt to death and another shot in northern Nigeria


CC™ Breaking News

Gunmen burned a Catholic priest to death and shot and injured his colleague in northwest Nigeria on Sunday, police said, the latest violence raising concerns about security ahead of an election next month.

Nigerians will vote for a new president on Feb. 25 but kidnappings for ransom and killings by armed gangs in the north have lead to fears that polls may not be held in some areas.

The motive for the latest attack was not immediately clear but gunmen have previously targeted priests in the largely Muslim north.

Wasiu Abiodun, police spokesperson for Niger state, said in a statement that armed men torched the residence of Father Isaac Achi, of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, in Paikoro local government area, after failing to gain entry around 3:00 a.m.

Father Achi was burned to death while another priest identified as Father Collins, who was at the house, was shot and injured as he tried to escape.

He is recovering at a local hospital, Adiodun said.

Friday

The ten best football (soccer) players of all time

CC™ Sports Perspective

There is no question that 'the beautiful game' has been blessed with some of the most glorious talent ever assembled in any sports, over the generations. Here are the ten best football (soccer) players of all time according to a consortium of ardent analysts and personalities in the game. 

The list allows many fans of the beautiful game to offer their own opinion and suggestions on the veracity of the rankings.

1) Edson Arantes do Nascimento - Pelé (Brazil) - RIP 

Peak: 1958-70   

Major Achievements: Most career goals (of any footballer ever, like ever), FIFA Player of the Century, France Football's greatest FIFA World Cup player, TIME 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century list, Brazil's all-time leading goal scorer, Santos' all-time leading goal scorer, youngest FIFA World Cup winner, most assists in FIFA World Cup history, 1958, 1962 & 1970 FIFA World Cup, top goal scorer in FIFA World Cup finals, two Copa Libertadores titles, six Campeonato Brasilerio Serie A titles, two Intercontinental Cups, 1970 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1958 FIFA World Cup Best Young Player, 1970 Bola de Prata. There isn't really much that needs to be said here. Pele was simply the best and the only player that could have possibly eclipsed him from the premier position would have been Maradona, if the latter had won a second FIFA World Cup.



2) Diego Armando Maradona (Argentina) - RIP

Peak: 1985-90

Major Achievements: 90min's Greatest Footballer of All Time, Corriere dello Sport's Best Athlete in History, 1986 FIFA World Cup, 1986 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 1985 Serie A Footballer of the Year, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, FIFA Goal of the Century, Argentine Sports Writers' Sportsman of the Century, two-time South American Footballer of the Year, four-time Argentine Football Writers' Footballer of the Year, two Scudetti, one Coppa Italia, one Copa del Rey, one UEFA Cup. The late Maradona was a football genius and took over a game like no other player did, probably not since the number one player on the list, Pelé.

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3) Zinedine Zidane - Zizzou (France and of Algerian descent)

Peak: 1997-2006

Major Achievements: 1998 Ballon d'Or, 1998, 2000 & 2003 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2002 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2000/01 Serie A Footballer of the Year, UEFA Champions League Best Player of the Past 20 Years, L'Equipe Best French Player of All Time, 2006 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, only player to be named Player of the Year in three of the top five leagues, most goals in FIFA World Cup finals, 1998 FIFA World Cup, 2000 UEFA European Championships, one Champions League, two Scudetti, one La Liga title, one Intercontinental Cup. Zizzou should have won two FIFA World Cups and the evidence of his genius was in taking an average and aging French side to the FIFA World Cup final in 2006, while eliminating a star-studded Brazil side in the process. Zizzou never lost to Brazil when it mattered and he was 2-0 against two of arguably the best Brazillian teams of all time, the 1998 and 2006 teams with stars like Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo ("O Fenômeno"), Roberot Carlos and Cafu, just to name a few.

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4) Johan Cryuff (Netherlands aka Holland)

Peak: 1971-75

Major Achievements: 1971, 1973 & 1975 Ballon d'Or, 1974 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, three-time Dutch Footballer of the Year, two-time Dutch Sportsman of the Year, three European Cups, one La Liga title, nine Eredivisie titles, one Copa del Rey, six KNVB Cup, one Intercontinental Cup. Johan Cryuff was 'Total Football' and he was the architect of modern football, as we know it.


5) Franz Beckenbauer (Germany aka West Germany)

Peak: 1966-76

Major Achievements: 1972 & 1976 Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Cup All-Time Team, 1966 FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award, four-time German Footballer of the Year, 1974 FIFA World Cup, 1972 UEFA European Championships, three European Cups, five Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals, one Intercontinental Cup. The Der Kaiser, as he is fondly called, won the FIFA World Cup as a player and also as a manager. He is also one of only two defenders to ever win the Ballon d'Or and he infact won it TWICE!


6) Ronaldo aka "O Fenômeno" (Brazil)

Peak: 1995-2002

Major Achievements: 1997 & 2002 Ballon d'Or, 1996, 1997 & 2002 FIFA World Player of the Year, 1998 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 2002 FIFA World Cup Golden Shoe, 1996/97 European Golden Shoe, 1994 & 2002 FIFA World Cup, 1997 & 1999 Copa America, two-time Pichichi winner, 1998 Serie A Footballer of the Year, two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, one KNVB Cup, one UEFA Cup, one Intercontinental Cup. Ronaldo easily could have become the greatest football player of all time, but his knees and overall lack of personal discipline, did him in. He was simply a joy to watch!

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7) Ronaldinho (Brazil)

Peak: 2002-06

Major Achievements: 2005 Ballon d'Or, 2004 & 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2005/06 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, 2004 & 2005 FIFPro World Player of the Year, one UEFA Champions League, two La Liga titles, one Scudetto. 2002 FIFA World Cup winner. Ronaldinho was one of the most gifted geniuses with the ball at his feet. He was exquisite to watch and played with so much joy that his passion seemed like par-for-the-course, even in the most energy-sapping of games. Just ask England in 2002 and they will tell you that no one 'smiled while killing you' with so much ease as Ronaldinho. 

SportMob

8) Alfredo Di Stéfano (Argentina)

Peak: 1956-62

Major Achievements: 1957 & 1959 Ballon d'Or, five European Cups, one Intercontinental Cup, eight La Liga titles, five-time Pichichi winner, World Team of the 20th Century, one Copa del Rey.
Alfredo Di Stéfano is considered by some to be the best player of all time, and many consider that he should be ranked above fellow Argentines Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Indelibly associated with the Real Madrid side that won 5 European Cups between 1956 and 1960, remarkably Di Stéfano did not even come to Europe until he was in his late 20s. It was during his time in Spain with Real that created his legend. In 11 seasons, in addition to the European Cup triumphs, he helped them win 8 league titles and the Copa del Rey, scoring 308 goals in 396 appearances for Los Blancos. His partnership with Ferenc Puskás became legendary, exemplified by the 1960 European Cup Final, where Di Stéfano scored a hat-trick, and the Hungarian four in the 7 – 3 defeat of Eintracht Frankfurt, still spoken of, nearly 60 years later, as one of the finest games of club football ever played. 
Football Soccer Cards
9) Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Peak: 2010-18

Major Achievements: 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016 & 2017 Ballon d'Or, 2008, 2016 & 2017 FIFA World Player of the Year, 2014, 2016 & 2017 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, four-time European Golden Shoe winner, two-time PFA Players' Player of the Year, UEFA Champions League all time top goal scorer, Real Madrid's all time top goal scorer, five UEFA Champions Leagues, two La Liga titles, three Premier League titles, one Scudetto, two Copa del Rey, one FA Cup, one UEFA European Championship and inaugural UEFA Nations League Championship.


10) Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Peak: 2009-18; 2021-2022

Major Achievements: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019 & 2021 Ballon d'Or, 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year. 2021 Copa America and 2022 FIFA World Cup winner. Barcelona all time top goal scorer, La Liga all time top goal scorer, six-time Pichichi winner, Argentina's all time top goal scorer, most goals scored in a calendar year, 2011 & 2015 UEFA Men's Player of the Year, seven-time La Liga Player of the Year, 2014 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, 2005 Young European Footballer of the Year, five-time European Golden Shoe winner, four Champions Leagues, nine La Liga titles, six Copa del Rey.