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One Year Later, Pope Remains a Mystery.


Image: One Year Later, Pope Remains a Mystery

Friday, 14 Mar 2014 10:01 AM

By Robert Royal

This week marks the first anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. It’s one of the great paradoxes of his papacy that this man, hailed from the first for his simplicity and humility, has generated more puzzlement than any pope in modern memory.

Quite apart from the usual media ineptness, which almost always reads religious questions in crude terms of left and right, in some ways that’s no surprise. Simplicity is never as simple as it looks. In fact, simplicity is so rare that it’s hard to follow for most of us, whose heads typically buzz with half-formed theories and distorting pre-conceptions. And that’s when we’re even trying to pay attention. It takes real work to get to clarity or simplicity – about anything.

Editor’s Note: Do You Approve of Pope Francis? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

I was in St. Peter’s Square last year when Francis stepped out on the balcony. His first words as pope, “Buona sera,” marked him out as strongly as John Paul II’s famous “Be not afraid!” in the same situation. When he bowed and asked the crowd to pray for him – often misreported as asking for “the blessing” of the people – his image in the media, rightly or wrongly, was settled: a humble man, trying to reform the Church, eliminate harsh rules, and welcome the whole world.

Subsequent interviews, of course, have raised questions about just how his whole vision fits together. Whatever the answer to those questions – and they cannot simply be wished away, as some would like – it’s not “simple.”

He’s repeatedly said he’s a “man of the Church” and, of course, believes all that the Church teaches. But we’ve also had the unfortunate static introduced by stray remarks such as: “Who am I to judge?” about gays; last week’s “civil unions” comment; mounting pressure in the Vatican itself, it appears, to change teaching about divorced and remarried people being able to receive Communion. His real positions are more nuanced and different than the wishful thanking of many reporters and dissenters, and attract wide attention because of the pope’s palpable spontaneity and infectious charisma. Still, they’re not always easy to parse out.

Just this week, a clever article appeared comparing the pope’s American and practical bent to the pragmatism of William James and Charles Saunders Pierce, contemporary philosophers Alasdair MacIntyre and Slavoj Zizek, and other anti-theoretical theorists. I don’t know if that’s the case – no one can. And it’s more than a little odd to invoke these heavyweights to explain Jorge Bergoglio. But if true, it would mean that the pope resembles President Obama when he claims that he’s “not very ideological” and is only interested in “what works.” There’s a lot of complex theory packed into that seemingly simple goal.

For instance, he’s miles beyond movements like the old Liberation Theology with its limping Marxist praxis. Some American conservatives claimed, absurdly, that Francis is a Marxist merely for saying the global economic system must be re-ordered to help the poor and marginalized.

We should give the pope – and Karl Marx – a little more credit than that. Marxism offered itself as “scientific” socialism that would inevitably replace false economic and political systems. An engineer who built a bridge on a “science” that failed so spectacularly would be in jail.

Francis is nobody’s fool and quite aware of all that. Like all modern popes, he knows that he doesn’t know how to get to where he’d like us to be. That’s a job for others – he’s merely pointing the way. Besides, as we see every day, no one is really in charge of the global economy or the international political order. We muddle around trying to respond to economic crises, smooth out regional conflicts, and give some semblance of international law to the world. But the world is fallen, as are we ourselves. Maybe that’s why Francis’ description of the Church as a kind of “field hospital” during a battle made such an impression.

The world likes him to talk about politics and justice – and who, by the way, is against improvements in either realm? Talking about poverty and inclusion, which John Paul II and Benedict XVI did as well (but received little credit for), helps the journalistic narrative that the pope wants to turn away from neuralgic sexual and life issues.

But Francis has also often denounced the throwaway culture that thinks children in the womb are disposable. And he’s even called Pope Paul VI “prophetic” for holding onto the ancient Christian teaching on contraception, not that long ago the common understanding in all Christian churches. You didn’t hear about that? Maybe you should send a letter to the editor. But don’t get your hopes up.

Still, to be frank, it didn’t help when, early in his papacy, Francis spoke of Catholics not always “insisting” and “obsessing” about abortion and similar questions – perhaps a beginner’s stumble. More recently, he’s said to interviewers that he wishes to be careful because his every word is scrutinized and, he fears, sometimes misunderstood.

So, at least for now, we are left with an enigma. We have a remarkable pope, a man who has an uncanny ability to reach out and electrify the whole world with an uncommon touch. John Paul II did the same, though in a more public, less personal way. We also have a pope with a deep appreciation of our moment, and therefore is not reluctant to put his name to Lumen fidei, the brilliant analysis of the state of things, largely written by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, with whom – pace the troublemakers in the media – he has warm relations.

And yet, after this first year, we remain puzzled about how, exactly, all these different parts of him fit together. The workings of the Holy Spirit are often a mystery. And that, for the time being, may be the best answer, while we follow this singular shepherd, to all our queries.

Editor’s Note: Do You Approve of Pope Francis? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is ”The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West,” now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Poll: Pope Very Popular in United States, but No ‘Francis Effect’.


Image: Poll: Pope Very Popular in United States, but No 'Francis Effect'Pope Francis blesses the altar during Ash Wednesday at Santa Sabina Basilica in Rome on March 5.

One year after his election, Pope Francis is “immensely popular among American Catholics,” a survey said on Thursday, but there is no sign of a “Francis effect” inspiring more to attend Mass or do volunteer work.The Washington-based Pew Research Center said 85 percent of Catholics in the United States viewed the Argentine-born pontiff favourably, with 51 percent reporting a “very favourable” view of him, while only 4 percent expressed a negative opinion.

Among Catholics, 68 percent thought he represented “a major change for the better,” a view shared by 51 percent of the non-Catholics responding to the poll in telephone interviews of 1,340 Americans from Feb. 14 to 23.

Francis:Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.
But the poll also found the rock-star status of the pope, whose simple style has attracted record crowds to the Vatican and won Time magazine’s Man of the Year title for 2013, has not clearly translated into greater lay participation in the church since his surprise election on March 13, 2013.

“There has been no measurable rise in the percentage of Americans who identify as Catholic,” the survey said. “Nor has there been a statistically significant change in how often Catholics say they go to Mass.”

Forty percent of Catholics said they were now praying more often and 26 percent were “more excited” about their faith, but their frequency of going to confession or volunteering at church has not changed.

RISING EXPECTATIONS

“If there has been a ‘Francis effect’, it has been most pronounced among Catholics who already were highly committed to the practice of their faith,” the survey concluded.

Francis’s 85 percent favourable rating lags behind the 93 percent the late Pope John Paul scored in 1990 and 1996. Pope Emeritus Benedict’s rating reached 83 percent in 2008, just after his only visit to the United States, but it was mostly in the 70s.

The survey said women were slight more favourable to Francis than men and Catholics aged 40 and older were more likely to have a very favourable view than younger believers who came of age under the more dogmatic popes John Paul and Benedict.

Pope Francis’s openness to reforming some Church doctrines seems to have raised U.S. Catholics’ expectations of fundamental changes in coming decades, judging by responses to the poll.

The biggest jump concerned allowing the now celibate clergy to marry. Some 51 percent thought priests would be able to marry by 2050, compared to 39 percent who thought that a year ago.

Some 56 percent expect artificial birth control to be allowed by 2050, a slight rise from 53 percent last year, and 42 percent expected to see women priests, up from 37 percent.

“Regardless of their expectations about what the Church will do, large majorities of Catholics say the Church should allow Catholics to use birth control (77 percent), allow priests to get married (72 percent) and ordain women as priests (68 percent),” the survey wrote.

“Half of Catholics say the Church should recognise the marriages of gay and lesbian couples,” it added.

These responses were roughly in line with results reported in Germany and several other European countries last month to a Vatican survey on sexual morality being taken for a major synod of world bishops on family policy due in October.

Most national bishops conferences have not published their results for the Vatican survey, but the few reports released in Europe indicated a wide gap between Church teaching on sex and the views that many Catholics actually hold.

Some disappointment rang through in comments on how Francis is doing his job. In his lowest rating, only 54 percent said he was addressing the clerical sexual abuse scandal well.

U.S. Catholics rated the abuse scandal the most important issue for the new pope in a Pew survey in March 2013.

Francis:Pope’s Hidden Life Revealed.
By contrast, 81 percent thought he was spreading the faith well and standing up for traditional moral values. Some 76 percent credited him with addressing the needs of the poor.

The survey said 22 percent of Americans identify as Catholics and 40 percent of them reported they attended Mass weekly or more often. Another 42 percent of self-identified Catholics went to church only occasionally and 18 percent never.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Nigeria’s foreign policy in 100 years.


Diplomatic and bilateral ties which Nigeria had as a colony were mostly dominated by Britain.

Before the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914, agricultural commodities were exported to Europe and totally controlled by the British Empire. This showed the level of foreign bilateral trade between the colony and the outside world, where cocoa, groundnuts, palm oil and palm kernels were exported and chemicals, machines, transportation equipment and other manufactured products were imported. This level of bilateral trade extended until the 1950s.

The dual mandate adopted by the Europeans, whereby African countries will receive Europe’s civilization in exchange for unrestricted access to the continent resources prevailed during that era.

British stood as Nigeria’s major trading partner, even as 70 percent of her exports, as late as 1955 went to Britain and another 47 percent of import came from that country to Nigeria.

However, this bilateral trade changed from 1976, when British dominance of Nigeria’s economy began to wane. The United States then took over as Nigeria leading trade partner. By this time, exports to Britain dropped to 38 percent while import from the country to Nigeria dropped to 32 percent.

At post independence and for decades, Nigeria’s foreign policy thrust remained consistent with catering for the interests of African countries. However, the change in policy focus was brought about as government sort to arrest the declining economic setbacks. The end of apartheid in South Africa brought to a climax the Afrocentric position Nigeria’s foreign policy. Hence, in the country’s 1999 Constitution the policy shift revolved around economic diplomacy. This became a useful tool for promoting and protecting the country’s national interest in its bilateral ties with other countries.

Each regime during and after the country’s independence in 1960, took to formulating its own course of action to manipulate and propel national interest within the international community; with the purpose of forging a unique identity for their governments. There was a welter of dynamic and conservative foreign policies that went a long way towards how governments of the country actively or passively influenced the country’s interests on the international scene.

While the governments of Tafawa Balewa, Yakubu Gowon and Shehu Shagari were seen as conservative by foreign policy analysts, those of late Muritala Mohammed, Olusegun Obasanjo (during the military era of 1976-79) operated dynamic foreign policies. However, observers of Nigeria’s foreign policy especially in her interaction with the international community may have confused radicalism for dynamism, hence, faulting this conceptualisation as a virile tool for measuring an effective policy. The erstwhileAction Group shadow Foreign Minister, late Anthony Enahoro was attributed as being a proponent of dynamic foreign policy.

He is reported to having moved a motion and prompted the country’s first post independence legislative house, arguing that the August 20, 1960 foreign policy adopted by the House of Representatives lacked dynamism and regretted that the Tafawa Balewa government’s interpretation and conduct of foreign policy lacked all ingredients of activism.

The August 20, 1960 official statement of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa at the Federal House of Representatives, stated that Nigeria is “adopting clear and practical policies with regard to Africa; it will be our aim to assist any country to find solution to its problem”. Nevertheless, observers and analysts are of the view that the country’s foreign policy then lacked any definite direction.

Nigeria’s Afrocentric policy

By adopting an Afrocentric policy, in the wake of the country’s independence Nigeria aimed to engage the international community through Africa’s interests and issues that tended to be of benefits to the continent. Nigerian’s first Foreign Minister, Jaja Wachukwu threw more perspectives to this Afrocentricism posture, when he said; “Charity begins at home and therefore any Nigerian foreign policy that does not take into consideration the peculiar position of Africa is unrealistic”. Nigeria under this policy framework contributed immensely in the struggles that led to the independence of Angola, Mozambique, and Namibia and participated in the anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa. Nigeria also played a crucial role in the establishment of continental and regional organisations. For example, Nigeria was pivotal to the establishment of the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963. Nigeria was also instrumental in ensuring that it attained the two major objectives that included the quick decolonization of colonies in Africa and the rapid socio-economic growth and development of African countries.

Similarly, the creation of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) on May 28, 1975 saw Nigeria taking a fundamental role in spearheading the integration of neighbouring countries’ resources to enhance regional prosperity. Under the leadership of ex-General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria led the formation of the 16-member regional body that signed the treaty establishing ECOWAS.

Nigeria further played a significant role in military peacekeeping operations on the continent. It contributed both financial and human resources in the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) peacekeeping operations in Liberia, Sierra LeChad and several others.

New policy thrust in citizen diplomacy

The interventions to restore peace in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the fight against apartheid in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Angola among other missions of mediating in conflict prone countries like Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso especially after coup d’états, signified the apogee in foreign interventions in the past decades. Of recent, the country’s foreign relations has become tamed, mainly due to internal problems and politics associated with getting a proper footing for our nascent democracy amid pressing economic problems.

The military regime of ex- Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda conceptualised a new face to Nigeria’s foreign policy, where economic diplomacy would enhance the promotion of export trade, investment and financial assistance from friendly countries. The then Foreign Affairs Minister, ex-Gen Ike Nwachukwu in June 1988, said that “it is the responsibility of our foreign policy apparatus to advance the course of our national economic recovery.”

It was during the democratically elected government of President Olusegun Obasanjo that the country’s foreign policy was refocused to de-emphasise an explicitly African bias. While appointing ambassadors in 1999, his administration admonished that “Nigeria’s foreign policy today extends, however, far beyond our concern for the well being of our continent, Africa”. In addition, Obasanjo, pointed out that “The debt burden, for instance, is not an exclusively African predicament. Many countries in Asia, the Caribbean and South America were facing similar problems.

It is imperative; therefore, that these regions harmonise their efforts in the search for a fairer deal from the industrialised nations of the west; and this requires of us a more global approach to world affairs than was previously the case.

Last year, the President Jonathan administration paved a new path for the country’s foreign policy thrust, by embracing an agenda that promotes growth and national development. In this new policy, both private partnership and foreign missions will be utilised as new vanguards in economic diplomacy. Hence, the collapsing of both economic and citizen diplomacy by the current administration, that is geared towards attaining national economic development and growth where the citizens at home and abroad are used as agents towards achieving policy goals.

Bilateral relations with members of the developing eight countries for economic cooperation (D8) have been a centre piece for the country’s economic diplomacy. In this regard, the foreign ministry has engaged in various economic activities of the D8, especially since it assumed leadership of the group in 2010.

Using the economic diplomacy policy to source and promote trade between Nigeria and D8 members, the foreign ministry has rectified three of its important legal documents: The D-8 preferential Trade Agreement, Multilateral Agreement on administrative assistance in Customs Matters and the Simplification of VISA procedures for businessmen of D8 member countries.

Former Foreign Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, while expatiating on the new paradigm shift, said that: “We will redress existing imbalances and forge a strong partnership with OPS to assist economic growth. Consequently, members of OPS will frequently constitute part of any bilateral discussions between our governments and other foreign delegations, so that Nigeria can benefit from visits to and from other countries.”

“Our envoys will be directed to drive this new focus of our foreign policy by spending more time and effort on attracting foreign investments to Nigeria. Simply put, our ambassadors will be the foot-soldiers in this new approach for the purpose of achieving our Vision 20:2020 while bringing economic benefits to Nigeria.”

When contacted, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, told National Mirror, that any country’s foreign policy should be for the benefits of the people.

“I will say Nigeria’s foreign policy is not really doing badly and not getting worse. Though, sometimes we may not be getting it right and in other times we do get it right. The people must come first, so Nigerians at home and those in Diaspora should be the centre of our policy thrust.

Nigeria was faced with huge challenge during the military era where her public image was relegated. The country’s foreign policy could not stand as imperative tool for image building, especially, where dictatorial rule and clampdowns on human rights were strongly opposed by the western world.”

Nigeria played a prominent role in the Congo crisis of 1960-1965. It sent military peacekeeping troops.

In addition, during the Cold War era, Nigeria adopted a non-aligned stance; where it refused to align with any of the power blocs.

Another significant development in Nigeria foreign relations after the country’s independence was the protest of Nigerian students against the signing of agreement by the then new Tafawa Balewa’s government with the British government. The Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact entered by the government then meant that British military could maintain bases and presence in Kano. The Nigerian student’s protest made Tafawa Balewa’s government to back down from the intended deal. The message of the student then was that Britain was to be kept at arm’s length.

The foreign relations between Nigeria and Britain experienced some challenging moment, especially during the military regime of Olusegun Obasanjo where the Nigerian government nationalized the British Petroleum’s (BP( interest in the country, as a measure to arm-twist the UK government into withdrawing its sanctions and to restore British authority in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). This was after the white supremacist in that country hijacked power. This created a scene at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Lusaka in 1978. When the British Prime Minister challenged the Nigerian Foreign Minister, General Adefowope, he told Margret Thatcher, “Madam Prime Minister that is Act 1, Scene 1, many more will follow if you don’t play ball on Zimbabwe”. Thatcher had no choice than to relent and began process that enabled Zimbabwe have a free and fair elections.

Source: Radio Biafra.

President Jonathan Nigeria will soon be liberated •Post civil war reconciliation second to none —Gowon.


AGAINST rising insurgent activities in the North-East, President Goodluck Jonathan, on Sunday, assured that the country will be liberated from its present challenges, as he pointed out that other nations went through even worse situations in their history.

Speaking at an interdenominational service to round off the Centenary celebration of the country, at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, he asked Nigerians to show love, “even where it hurts most,” adding that he was confident that “Nigeria has a bright future that the children will be proud of.”

The president added that “the road has been rough, the challenges real, but with God on our side, the future is sure and Nigeria will surely be liberated by God’s grace.
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“Few days ago, all our leaders gathered and our nation honoured them for their labour of love. I see a new Nigeria filled with love. I see a new Nigeria with determination.

“I appeal to all of us to show love to one another more than ever before, regardless of tribe, religion or race. Let us show love, even when it hurts most.
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“We have our challenges but definitely, we have more opportunities in this country than challenges. Our challenges are very ephemeral. Other countries have passed through even more difficult challenges.”

Jonathan defended the celebration of the centenary, saying if other countries were celebrating less important issues, such as 200 years of ending wars by Sweden, Nigeria had every reason to celebrate and thank God for His mercies upon the country.

In his message on the occasion, the retired Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Sunday Ola Makinde, implored the Federal Government  to expose the sources of funds of the Boko Haram insurgents.

“Without enemies within, enemies without cannot strike. Wherever they are, God will expose them, wherever they are, God will wage war against those waging war against Nigeria,” he said.

Also speaking, former head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, noted that the reconciliation achieved after the Nigeria Civil War was second to none.

He thanked all those who laid down their lives to keep Nigeria one, which made it possible for the country to celebrate its centenary.

Notable personalities at the event were the wife of the president, Patience; Chief Ernest Shonekan, Chief Tony Anenih, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha, Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, service chiefs, among others.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Vulture-like: Jonathan ignored the frequents deaths in Nigeria to justify centenary celebration.


President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday said the Federal Government decided to celebrate the 100 years of the nation’s amalgamation despite challenges facing it because of the need for the country to thank God for His faithfulness.
He said although Nigeria like any other country in the world had its challenges, the nation’s opportunities were more than its temporal predicaments.
“We have our challenges in this country like any other country in the world. But fortunately, we have more opportunities in this country than challenges. Our challenges are very ephemeral. Other countries have passed through even more difficult challenges,” Jonathan said at the centenary interdenominational church service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The service with the theme, “Good to give thanks” was the last in the series of a year-long programmes lined up to celebrate the 100 years of the nation’s amalgamation.
The President, who admitted that the country’s road to nationhood in the last 100 years had been rough, expressed optimism that Nigeria would triumph over its challenges.
He reiterated his position that the prayers of the faithful had been sustaining the country.
Jonathan added, “We need a new Nigeria filled with love, with great determination, with passion, a greater Nigeria. Of course, this is my article of faith and hope for a brighter future. Our commitment is to create a Nigeria that our children will be proud of.
“I appeal to all of us to show love more than ever before to one another, regardless of  tribe, religion or race. Let us show love even when it hurts most for our lives to be more fulfilled.”
While eulogising the nation’s past leaders, especially a former military leader, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), for their roles in keeping the nation united, Jonathan observed that Nigerians would not have been celebrating if the civil war had succeeded in dividing the country.
Gowon, in a short remark, said the reconciliation that took place at the end of the nation’s civil war was second to none in the world with his no victor, no vanquished declaration.
He urged Nigerians to keep faith with the country and ensure that it continued in peace and unity.
In his sermon, a former Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Ola Makinde, wondered where Nigeria would have been if God was not with the country.
He listed the various challenges the country had faced in its 100 years of existence to include the civil war, the various military coups and counter-coups, the annulment of the June 12,1993 presidential election and the ensued violence, the deaths of a former military dictator, Sani Abacha and Chief M.K.O Abiola, Niger Delta militancy, the death of a former President Umar Yar’Adua and the doctrine of necessity as well as the activities of the Boko Haram Islamists.
by Olalekan Adetayo
(From Biafra Galaxy)

Another look at the Lord Lugard and her wife Flora Shaw the jezebel, the god almighty maker of Nigerian the zoological republic.


 

Lord Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, have you seen what you have done? It is probable that you are burning somewhere in the hottest part of hell, but Hell should be glad with you that you left a part of hell on earth for some unfortunate people. Adam listened to Eve and see what became of mankind. You, damned fool, listened to your wife, Flora Shaw, and named awhole country after a river.
Whoever has ever named a country after a river in the long interminable annals of world history? Rivers were made for mankind, mankind was not made for the river. That is why we cannot live it like fishes.

We just go there, take our bath, drink, do a couple of other things and leave. Why did the British folks who accepted this idiocy of a name not name their country after River Thames. I mean what would have been wrong with “Thamesia” as a name for Britain. Yet your nomad wife contrived to name our dear country Nigeria after the Niger River.

The grand old river itself, you folks named “Niger” meaning “black” from the same root word from which “Nigger” is derived. But when one looks at the colour of the river it looks just like River Thames and every other river. So what makes this one black? If we wanted to name our country after the river, we had a surfeit of names by the ethnic groups, which constitute Nigeria. The Igbo’s call it “Orimiri or Orimili” (great water), the Hausas call it “Kwara” (big river) and the Yorubas call it “Oya.” I figure proponents of “Wazobia” are already fascinated with the fact that these three names could have been combined to form some kind of name for our nation. That is their business, not ours, right?

Truth of the matter is that I have an axe to grind with this soldier of fortune, this mercenary called Lugard, who got married to a journalist of fortune, Flora Shaw. Both restless spirits caused more harm than good. His troublesome wife, history records, encouraged events which led to the South African War (1899-1902). The Second Boer War fought between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking settlers of the two independent Boer Republics of South African Republic and Orange Free State. Britain won and formed the Union of South Africa and then came apartheid. When this mercenary was in Hong Kong as the Governor General, his wife helped him to establish the University of Hong Kong in 1911.  When he came to Nigeria, they did not establish anything. They were infamously against the education of Africans.

Lugard, you did not leave any institution or anything of note in Nigeria except a name which means nothing and which binds our fate to a river; a river which origin is in the Guinea highlands in south eastern Guinea. What you left behind of note, apart from this nomenclature, was a piece of insult which has cast your name in infamy. You dared to write and caused to be published these derogatory statements:

In character and temperament, the typical African of this race-type is a happy, thriftless, excitable person. Lacking in self-control, discipline, and foresight. Naturally courageous, and naturally courteous and polite, full of personal vanity, with little sense of veracity, fond of music and loving weapons as an oriental loves jewellery. His thoughts are concentrated on the events and feelings of the moment, and he suffers little from the apprehension for the future, or grief for the past. His mind is far nearer to the animal world than that of the European or Asiatic, and exhibits something of the animals’ placidity and want of desire to rise beyond the State he has reached. Through the ages the African appears to have evolved no organized religious creed, and though some tribes appear to believe in a deity, the religious sense seldom rises above pantheistic animalism and seems more often to take the form of a vague dread of the supernatural. He lacks the power of organization, and is conspicuously deficient in the management and control alike of men or business. He loves the display of power, but fails to realize its responsibility, he will work hard with a less incentive than most races. He has the courage of the fighting animal, an instinct rather than a moral virtue. In brief, the virtues and defects of this race-type are those of attractive children, whose confidence when it is won is given ungrudgingly as to an older and wiser superior and without envy. Perhaps the two traits which have impressed me as those most characteristic of the African native are his lack of apprehension and his lack of ability to visualize the future.

You had the worst possible disrespect for Nigerians. When there was Mahdi Rebellion in Satiru Village near Sokoto in 1906, you completely obliterated the town wiping out men, women and babies. Little wonder that as Nigerians marked the centenary of your amalgamation of Nigeria without the consent of our fathers and mothers, and pronto your posters, your spirit resurfaced in the shape of Boko Haram and let loose a carnage comparable to what you did.

Yet they put your ugly face in the centenary celebration brochure. You are the cause of all our problems. You were sent here to raise a native force to protect British interest and you pit brother against brother and tribe against tribe in doing that. Up till now the trouble lingers and the drums of ethnicity beats louder. President Goodluck Jonathan should have done without putting your racist face on anything pertaining to this celebration. But when “good luck” turns to “bad luck”, commonsense becomes no sense.

So now the National Confab beckons. An opportunity to fix things up and prove that Lord Lugard was an idiot and that we have the power of organization, that we have apprehension and can visualize the future. After all we won the Nobel Prize (a positive); and have shown the world that we think faster than most other people – even if we think in the wrong direction (a negative). Lugard, RIP (Rest in Pains).

Source: Radio Biafra.

LIGNET: 35 Years After Revolution, Iran Faces Moment of Truth.


Image: LIGNET: 35 Years After Revolution, Iran Faces Moment of TruthIranian President Hassan Rouhani waves at a rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square to mark the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution on Feb. 11, 2014. (Atta Kanare/AFP/Getty Images)

Mired in decades of slow economic growth and at odds politically with much of the world, Iran is at a crossroads in its history. Domestic and foreign policy decisions made this year will set the tone for the nation’s future.

Click HERE to read an exclusive analysis from LIGNET’s top intelligence experts. 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

Dinesh D’Souza: Today’s US Government Would Terrify Founders.


Dinesh D’Souza — who made a documentary critical of President Barack Obama and has since been indicted for arranging excessive campaign contributions — says he is just one of many being penalized for criticizing Obama, and says the Founding Fathers would be terrified of what’s happening.

“There seems to have been a pattern of various groups critical of the president all getting inquiries and being subjected to a standard of scrutiny and review that had not been typical,” D’Souza told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“The federal government has a great deal of power, and now, with the NSA surveillance, with the government, in a sense, having access to your apps and your emails . . . the Founders would’ve been a little terrified about what this kind of power does to people,” D’Souza said Tuesday.

“Once you give the government this kind of power, what’s going to happen? How is that power going to be used?”

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll 

Story continues below video.

D’Souza, a conservative commentator and best-selling author who made the 2012 documentary “2016: Obama’s America,” was indicted by a federal grand jury last month on a charge of arranging excessive campaign contributions to an unnamed candidate for the U.S. Senate.

The indictment says that in the summer of 2012, D’Souza reimbursed people whom he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate’s campaign. An attorney for D’Souza contended his actions were “at worst” an act of misguided friendship toward the candidate.

D’Souza, 52, a former policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and an affiliate of conservative organizations such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, says the indictment will not stop him from speaking out.

“I can’t really discuss the case but I will say I really appreciate the outpouring of support, and I also want people to know that it’s in no way going to inhibit or deter my work,” he said.

“I’ve got a big film coming out this year, coming out for the Fourth of July. It’s just called “America,” and in a way it’s going to pick up the argument from ‘2016.’ It’s not about Obama.

“It’s about something much bigger than Obama, which is our country, but it’s about some of the divisions in our country and the forces that are building America up but also the forces that are pulling us down.”

D’Souza’s film is the second-most successful U.S. documentary, after Michael Moore’s 2004 film “Fahrenheit 9/11.” D’Souza also has written such books as “Obama’s America: Unmaking the American Dream.” 

He told Malzberg he had been warned about criticizing Obama.

“I was warned at the time, be careful, because there’s a little bit of a target on your back when you go out there and make yourself vulnerable in that way,” he said.

“People said, ‘listen, you’ve been a writer and a speaker for 20 years, but the people, the audience who buys books, is a limited market.’

“When you go out there and make a film that actually now has been seen by about 8 million people, you are in a very public way putting yourself on the front line, and I knew that. We’re at a stage in this country where we need to stand up for the values that built this country.”

D’Souza said he will defend himself “vigorously” at his trial as well as promote his new film in a bid to make it the No. 1 documentary of all time.

“We are going to try to give Michael Moore a run for his money with the new film and really try to knock him off his pedestal, so to speak,” he said.

“We’re certainly going to make a better film. We’re going to do our best to promote it, and if the Obama administration wants to help us, then that’s their prerogative.”

D’Souza says Hillary Clinton could be elected Obama’s successor.

“Certainly it looks to me that the baton may pass from Obama to Hillary. I’m not an expert on that; 2016 will be a critical year,” he said.

“Obama has, in a sense, talked at his inauguration about remaking America. That was his phrase, ‘remaking America.’ Well, America’s a big country. It’s not so easy to remake it in just eight years.

“Certainly, if you have 16 years, then you’ve got a much longer time to be able to produce the kind of fundamental change that I believe Obama is after. So, the 2016 election’s very critical.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

AK-47 Designer Kalashnikov Wrote Penitent Letter to Church.


Image: AK-47 Designer Kalashnikov Wrote Penitent Letter to Church

MOSCOW — Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle, reportedly wrote a regretful letter several months before his death asking the head of the Russian Orthodox Church if he was to blame for the deaths of those killed by the guns.

The Russian daily Izvestia reported Monday that Kalashnikov, who died last month at 94, wrote to Patriarch Kirill in April and told him he kept asking himself if he’s responsible.

“The pain in my soul is unbearable. I keep asking myself the same unsolvable question: If my assault rifle took people’s lives that means that I, Mikhail Kalashnikov, . . . am responsible for people’s deaths,” he said in the letter.

“The longer I live, the more often that question gets into my brain, the deeper I go in my thoughts and guesses about why the Almighty allowed humans to have devilish desires of envy, greed and aggression,” Kalashnikov continued.

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Kalashnikov’s daughter, Elena, was quoted by Izvestia as saying that a local priest could have helped her father write the letter, which was typed and carried his signature.

The letter contrasted sharply with past statements by Kalashnikov, who had repeatedly said in interviews and public speeches that he created the weapon to protect his country and couldn’t be blamed for other people’s action.

“I sleep well. It’s the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence,” the designer told The Associated Press in 2007.

The church sought to comfort him with exactly the same argument. Izvestia quoted Kirill’s spokesman Alexander Volkov as saying the Patriarch responded to Kalashnikov and praised him as a true patriot.

“If the weapon is used to defend the Motherland, the Church supports both its creators and the servicemen using it,” the newspaper quoted Volkov as saying.

The AK-47 is the world’s most popular firearm, favored by guerrillas, terrorists and the soldiers of many armies. An estimated 100 million are spread around the world.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Israel, World Dignitaries, Honor Sharon at State Funeral.


Image: Israel, World Dignitaries, Honor Sharon at State FuneralTony Blair eulogizes Ariel Sharon during a state memorial service at the Knesset in Jerusalem on Jan. 13.

JERUSALEM — Israel said its last farewell to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday with a state ceremony outside the parliament building before his flag-draped coffin was taken on a cross-country procession to its final resting place at his family farm in the country’s south.With a high-powered crowd of VIPs and international dignitaries on hand, Sharon was eulogized as a fearless warrior and bold leader who devoted his life to protecting Israel’s security. Vice President Joe Biden and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair headed the long list of visitors.

In a heartfelt address, Biden talked about a decades-long friendship with Sharon, saying the death felt “like a death in the family.”

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts 
When the two discussed Israel’s security, Biden said understood how Sharon earned the nickname “The Bulldozer,” explaining how Sharon would pull out maps and repeatedly make the same points to drive them home.

“He was indomitable,” Biden said. “But like all historic leaders, all real leaders, he had a north star that guided him. A north star from which he never, in my observation, never deviated. His north star was the survival of the state of Israel and the Jewish people wherever they resided,” Biden said.

Sharon died on Saturday, eight years after a devastating stroke left him in a coma from which he never recovered. He was 85.

One of Israel’s greatest and most divisive figures, Sharon rose through the ranks of the military, moving into politics and overcoming scandal and controversy to become prime minister at the time of his stroke.

He spent most of his life battling Arab enemies and promoting Jewish settlement on war-won lands. But in a surprising about-face, he led a historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, uprooting all soldiers and settlers from the territory after a 38-year presence in a move he said was necessary to ensure Israel’s security.

His backers called him a war hero. His detractors, first and foremost the Palestinians, considered him a war criminal and held him responsible for years of bloodshed.

The speakers at Monday’s ceremony outside parliament largely glossed over the controversy, and instead focused on his leadership and personality.

“Arik was a man of the land,” President Shimon Peres, a longtime friend and sometimes rival, said in his eulogy. “He defended this land like a lion and he taught its children to swing a scythe. He was a military legend in his lifetime and then turned his gaze to the day Israel would dwell in safety, when our children would return to our borders and peace would grace the Promised Land.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who resigned from Sharon’s Cabinet to protest the Gaza withdrawal, said that he and Sharon didn’t always agree with each other. Nonetheless, he called Sharon “one of the big warriors” for the nation of Israel.

“Arik was a man of actions, pragmatic, and his pragmatism was rooted in deep emotion, deep emotion for the country and deep emotion for the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said.

Nearly 10 years on, the withdrawal from Gaza remains hotly debated in Israeli society. Supporters say Israel is better off not being bogged down in the crowded territory, which is now home to 1.7 million Palestinians.

Critics say the pullout has only brought more violence. Two years after the withdrawal, Hamas militants seized control of Gaza and stepped up rocket fire on Israel.

In a reminder of the precarious security situation, Palestinian militants on Monday fired two rockets from the Gaza Strip. Sharon’s ranch in southern Israel, where his body was being laid to rest, is within range of such projectiles, though but Monday’s missiles did not hit Israel. No injuries or damage were reported.

Biden praised Sharon’s determination in carrying out the Gaza pullout, which bitterly divided the nation.

“The political courage it took, whether you agreed with him or not, when he told 10,000 Israelis to leave their homes in Gaza, in order from his perspective to strengthen Israel … I can’t think of a more difficult and controversial decision he made. But he believed it and he did it. The security of his people was always Arik’s unwavering mission.”

Blair, who is now an international envoy to the Middle East, said Sharon’s “strategic objective” never changed. “The same iron determination he took to the field of war he took to the chamber of diplomacy. Bold. Unorthodox. Unyielding,” he said.

Sharon’s coffin lay in state at the Knesset’s outdoor plaza where Israelis from all walks of life paid respects throughout Sunday.

In addition to Biden and Blair, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, and foreign ministers of Australia and Germany were among those in attendance at Monday’s ceremony.

Even Egypt, the first Arab country to make peace with Israel, sent a low-level diplomat, its embassy said.

After the ceremony ended, the closed coffin, draped in a blue and white Israeli flag, was placed in a military vehicle and driven in a police-escorted convoy toward Sharon’s ranch in southern Israel.

Crowds stood along the roadside and on bridges, snapping pictures and getting a final glimpse of the coffin as the procession of vehicles left Jerusalem and snaked down the highway outside the city’s picturesque hills.

The convoy made a brief stop at Latrun, the site of a bloody battle where Sharon was wounded during Israel’s war of independence in 1948, for a brief military ceremony before continuing south. His coffin was lowered into the ground in a military funeral at the family farm in southern Israel.

At Sharon’s graveside, his son Gilad remembered his father for overcoming the odds, whether it was battling a Palestinian uprising after becoming prime minister in 2001 or clinging to life in his final days even after his kidneys had stopped functioning.

“Again and again you turned the impossible to reality. That’s how legends are made. That’s how an ethos of a nation is created,” he said.

Sharon’s life will be remembered for its three distinct stages: First, was his eventful and contentious time in uniform, including leading a deadly raid in the West Bank that killed 69 Arabs, as well as his heroics in the 1973 Mideast war.

Then came his years as a vociferous political operator who helped create Israel’s settlement movement and masterminded the divisive Lebanon invasion in 1982. He was branded as indirectly responsible for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps outside Beirut when his troops allowed allied Lebanese militias into the camps. An uproar over the massacre cost him his job.

Yet ultimately he transformed himself into a prime minister and statesman, capped by the dramatic Gaza withdrawal. Sharon appeared to be cruising toward re-election when he suffered the second, devastating stroke in January 2006.

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts 
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

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