You are here

Africa

Reading on a Saturday Morning

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 11/25/2017 - 20:55

 

But not getting around to posting until much later.

We've posted on the nature of America's "defense" spending on a couple of occasions, most notably here  and here .

Here's al little something from the Financial Times.

As always, clicking on the map will take you to the article from which this image was taken.

My favorite sentence from this piece reads as follows:

"US officials acknowledge that its record is mixed and calibrating the extent to which they get involved will remain a delicate balancing act."

 

The stock in trade explanation for the practice of stationing American military personel for all practical purposes the length and width of Africa is nicely summarized by this piece by Republican United States Representative Will Hurd of Texas on CNBC in the winter of 2016 and in response to the atrocity at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida.

"The unfortunate reality is that the terrorist threat is not going away any time soon, and increased dramatically when countries like Iraq, Syria, and Libya destabilized. This was a direct result of the U.S.'s decision to slowly pull away from our global responsibilities over the past eight years. 

ISIS took advantage of a crumbling Syria, which we did little to stop. They took over the city of Fallujah in Iraq in January 2014, and President Obama discounted the threat they posed. If there's anything we should take away from the Obama administration's tenure, it is that disengagement is positively correlated with the rise of the terrorist threat. The U.S. must lead a broad coalition of countries to uproot terrorist groups from wherever they control territory. Radical Islamic extremism is a global phenomenon and it will require a global strategy to mitigate. 

The U.S. has not kept up with the rapidly changing nature of the threat environment. While our military is more likely to continue engaging in nonconventional conflicts, the structure of the Department of Defense (DoD), the way our forces are trained, and the types of equipment the department purchases all reflect preparation for conventional warfare. Insurgent groups discovered quickly the advantages of fighting this kind of asymmetric conflict. There is a need to reexamine the way the DoD operates to ensure it is the most flexible and efficient military force in the world. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated, raw power does not determine military victory — flexibility and efficiency does. 

America is the country people around the world look to as the shining example of liberty. They consider us the global champion for human rights and to act when those rights have been violated. Shirking from this responsibility has damaged our international credibility immensely. 

We must restore American leadership by speaking up when countries violate the principles of international order. We must demonstrate our commitment to make this world a more free and prosperous place by upholding the promises we have made to our allies."

Forgetting, for the moment, questions having to do with how is it that stationing our military in harm's way all over the globe keeps Americans safe, particularly if the complaint about terrorism begins with the shooting at the Pulse. Which, if you think it through is prima facie evidence that troops abroad do not protect us from terrorist acts here at home.

Let's examine that "shining city" thing for just a minute.

Click on some headlines which link to the original site of their publication.

'Human tragedy': LA homelessness jumps to record-breaking level

As America Gives Thanks, Homelessness Continues To Set New Records In Major Cities All Over The Nation

1 in 7 New York City Elementary Students Will Be Homeless, Report Says

Baltimore Murder Crisis Continues: 2nd 'Ceasefire' Scheduled For Next Weekend

Three Americans Now Own More Wealth Than Bottom Half of US Combined: Report

That oughta keep you busy for a minute.

 

The True Size of Africa

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 11/20/2010 - 09:13

 

From Good.is.

Thanks to Charley D. for this one.

 

 You Have No Idea How Big Africa Really Is (But This Map Does)

It's about 11.7 million square miles, which is really big—big enough to fit the United States, China, India, Japan, and much of Europe within its borders. And that's precisely what Kai Krause did with this inventive map, "The True Size of Africa," which he describes as his contribution to "the fight against rampant Immappacy."

 

 

 

Click on the above map for the entire piece.

 

Why, "It Takes a Village"

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 06/01/2010 - 06:47

 

Spending my entire Memorial Day weekend in Toledo, already had me a little crabby.

Then I picked up the Blade, where I stumbled across the following op-ed.

I'm telling you upfront, this one's gonna irritate you in a big way.

You need to read it anyway.

Click anywhere below for the entire piece.

 

Helping the world's poor means facing uncomfortable truths

MONT-BELO, Congo Republic

There's an ugly secret of global poverty, rarely acknowledged by aid groups or United Nations reports.

It's a blunt truth that is politically incorrect, heartbreaking, frustrating, and ubiquitous.

It's that if the poorest families spent as much money educating their children as they do on wine, cigarettes, and prostitutes, their children's prospects would be transformed.

 

ubiq·ui·tous  (yü-ˈbi-kwə-təs) adjective, existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered, widespread
 
For my friend Kelly who suffers from the exceedingly admirable habit of looking up every word he has doubts about.
 
 

 

A small respite for my friend Kathleen

Submitted by Roanman on Tue, 02/02/2010 - 15:40

 

Kathleen is suffering from political overload and is becoming more depressed every day.

I don't blame her a bit.

I've seen this one go by two or three times.

It has nothing to do with anything, except that I like it.

This is Perpetuum Jazzile performing a rainstorm.

This bit serves as the introduction to their version of Africa by Toto.

The entire performance is here. 

Personally, I like the thunder.

You can crank it up a little, it isn't loud.

Start it then stop it and wait.  It takes a minute to load.

People can be remarkably clever sometimes. 

 

 

 

OK Kathleen, you should stop here !!!!!

 

 

To quote George S. Patton

Submitted by Roanman on Sat, 05/02/2009 - 16:02
 
 
 Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.
 
Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
 
It seems to me a certainty that the fatalistic teachings of Mohammed and the utter degradation of the Arab women are the outstanding causes for the arrested development of the Arab.  He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have been developing.
 
A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.

A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later.

War is the supreme test of man in which he rises to heights never approached in any other activity.

 
No sane man is unafraid in battle, but discipline produces in him a form of vicarious courage.
 
Good tactics can save even the worst strategy.  Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.
 
Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men.  It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.
 
The obvious thing for the cavalryman to do is to accept the fighting machine as a partner, and prepare to meet more fully the demands of future warfare.
 
I am a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight.
 
Never let the enemy pick the battle site.
 
Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity. 

Untutored courage is useless in the face of educated bullets.

 
An Army is a team; lives, sleeps, eats, fights as a team.  This individual heroic stuff is a lot of crap.

It’s the unconquerable soul of man, not the nature of the weapon he uses, that insures victory.

 
May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't.
 
Live for something rather than die for nothing.

Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men.


If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
 
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
 
A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.
 
Do more than is required of you.
 
Do everything you ask of those you command.
 
If I do my full duty, the rest will take care of itself.
 
By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.
 
Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.
 
Success is how you bounce on the bottom.

The leader must be an actor.

You’re never beaten until you admit it.

You shouldn't underestimate an enemy, but it is just as fatal to overestimate him. 


 

Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. 

Subscribe to RSS - Africa