What's happening out in the world? Did it matter, does it now?
Mandela's Last Years in Imprisonment at Verster
Recovering from tuberculosis caused by dank conditions in his cell, in December 1988 Mandela was moved to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl. Here, he was housed in the relative comfort of a warder's house with a personal cook, using the time to complete his LLB degree. There he was permitted many visitors, such as anti-apartheid campaigner and longtime friend Harry Schwarz. Mandela organised secret communications with exiled ANC leader Oliver Tambo. In 1989, Botha suffered a stroke, retaining the state presidency but stepping down as leader of the National Party, to be replaced by the conservative F. W. de Klerk. In a surprise move, Botha invited Mandela to a meeting over tea in July 1989, an invitation Mandela considered genial. Botha was replaced as state president by de Klerk six weeks later; the new president believed that apartheid was unsustainable and unconditionally released all ANC prisoners except Mandela. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, de Klerk called his cabinet together to debate legalising the ANC and freeing Mandela. Although some were deeply opposed to his plans, de Klerk met with Mandela in December to discuss the situation, a meeting both men considered friendly, before releasing Mandela unconditionally and legalising all formerly banned political parties on 2 February 1990. The first photographs of Mandela were allowed to be published in South Africa for 20 years.
Leaving Victor Verster on 11 February, Mandela held Winnie's hand in front of amassed crowds and press; the event was broadcast live across the world. Driven to Cape Town's City Hall through crowds, he gave a speech declaring his commitment to peace and reconciliation with the white minority, but made it clear that the ANC's armed struggle was not over, and would continue as "a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid." He expressed hope that the government would agree to negotiations, so that "there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle", and insisted that his main focus was to bring peace to the black majority and give them the right to vote in national and local elections. Staying at the home of Desmond Tutu, in the following days Mandela met with friends, activists, and press, giving a speech to 100,000 people at Johannesburg's Soccer City.
So it is possible to discern that Mandela ended apartheid in South Africa due to his persistent organizing efforts, which led to jail for 27 years. Increasing isolation and sanctions against the Afrikaner regime by the world's industrialized countries, moved by citizen protest, was also a driving factor. Gradually the old-line faction of fascist Dutch leaders started to relent. Botha's stroke was key. de Klerk friendliness toward the cause and Mandela was a huge development.
What made Mandela great was that he was able to leave his hatred and bitterness toward the former ruling class behind him. He was also a pragmatic and believed in the tip of the spear to prod those whites along the path to racial harmony. His humbleness in recognizing his position as just the start of a long list of leaders in a democracy was huge and unprecedented for a black African leader.
The seminal event was his ability to communicate his vision to a crowd of 100,000 inside the soccer stadium at Soccer City with hundreds of thousands more outside just waiting to hear what he had said. He set the tone for a path for reconciliation that could have easily gone the other way towards violence and hate. This is what made Mandela a luminary among men of his time, on a par with Gandhi who was also influenced profoundly by his time as a lawyer in South Africa.
Sort of, a presidential run in 2016. What he said yesterday (and I'm paraphrasing) if there is no other politician with enough gumption to stand up for the poor and working class in this country, then he would be willing to do it.
Starting as Mayor of Vermont's largest city, Burlington, some thirty odd years ago, Bernie has always been a populist candidate and is easily the Senator farthest to the Left in that body and he generally does what he says.
I can't think of another third party candidate that would start out from this much of an influential position to raise the most important issues of our time, which would include things like global warming. I think he is short on original ideas and would be more of a gadfly than any sort of serious candidate. I can't see him getting anymore than 3% of the vote, especially as I see Obama's organization splintering, if not disintegrating.
But I do wish Bernie the best. He is "The People's Candidate", if i can use that hackneyed phrase and a lonely voice calling in the corporate wind.
Massive respect to Tom Daley.
Good on ya, mate!
We're up for a white one here and there is always something jolly about relatives coming to call and kicking of their boots and settling in for a nice afternoon of conversation about politics, football and who is about to have a baby and who is getting married. In other words, life in the family.
snowing here, big hype by the weather channel, turns out to be flurries, but it is snowing. Have a happy thanksgiving everyone, peace, love, dead.
This is incredibly disgusting and sick and the media are being called to task because it is in the realm of the "middle-ground" between going viral and picking up copy-cats. You're not wearing the wrong color or the wrong article clothing. Some millennial decides to make a game of killing you with one punch and it's jolly good fun in the city...
The end of life as we know it and Brooklyn feels fine.
brings in the voice of Tony Sirico, aka Peter Paul "Paulie Walnuts" Gualtieri from the series "Sopranos" for the new character "Vinny".
He's "experienced" too.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjGonSlC7rs with Steven Van Zandt and the late, great James Gandolfini
RIP Brian Griffin, and welcome back to the international community, Iran.
Just another fine example of how a proper education builds awareness of the world outside our day-to-day norm. This actually reminds me of a recent discussion my wife and I had about the treatment of Japanese-Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Most Americans have completely forgotten that we had concentration camps here, too, and detained a great deal of Asian-Americans for fear that they were sleeper agents for the Japanese army. Were the conditions as harsh as the concentration camps built by the Nazis to detain the Jews? Doubtful, but it's one of those moments in history that we'd all rather forget than talk about and learn from.
I commend Tod Humphries for his statement. Not many people in his position possess the level of humanity and humility he exemplified in what he said. It reminds me and should remind us all that, while America has done many great things as a nation, we've also done some horrible things, and we should be reminded of these mistakes at least as much as our accomplishments. As Dr. Wayne said, "Bruce, why do we fall down? So we can learn to pick ourselves up again."
As November is Native American Awareness Month and this story made the national news, this is both topical and current:
On last Friday, McAdory High (McCalla, Ala.) faced off against Pinson Valley High (Pinson) in the second round of the Alabama Class 5A playoffs. McAdory emerged victorious, 34-17, but the real headline came from what happened before the game kicked off.
As reported by AL.com, among other sources, McAdory’s cheerleaders produced a traditional paper run-through banner for the team to break through as it entered this field. This time, the banner attempted to poke fun at the Pinson Valley mascot, the Indians, with a culturally insensitive reference to the Trail of Tears, an allusion to the forcible removal of Native Americans from the Southeast to modern day Oklahoma in the 1830s.
On Monday, the first day that the schools were back in session, McAdory principal Tod Humphries took full responsibility for the sign’s appearance in a full apology issued to the public via the school’s website.
Here is the most important part of Humphries’ apology:
This was not condoned by the school administration, the Jefferson County Board of Education or the community. The person who would normally be responsible for approving such signs is out on maternity leave, and I take full responsibility that arrangements were not made to have the signs pre-approved before the ballgame. Please accept our sincere apologies to the Native American people and to anyone who was offended by the reference to an event that is a stain on our nation’s past forever.
The apology is significant and cogent. It would be easy to discuss this as a mere aberration on the part of well-meaning kids just trying to show school spirit but in reality it brings up the old aphorism of "those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them in the future."
In reality, even well-meaning adults don't understand the significance of the American governments policy toward the Native-Americans, especially in the regard to forced relocation of the remainder of the once proud Cherokee nation. Even this slight recap from Howard Zinn's "A People's History Of The United States" (p. 147) doesn't do the sheer brutality of forcing an entire nation's remainder, spread throughout the Southeast, to an alien land that could not sustain them:
"Some Cherokees had apparently given up on nonviolence:
three chiefs who signed the Removal Treaty were found dead.
But the seventeen thousand Cherokees were soon rounded up
and crowded into stockades. On October 1, 1838, the first detachment set out what was to be known as the Trail of
Tears. As they moved westward, they began to die -- of
sickness, of drought, of the heat, of exposure. There were
645 wagons, and people marching alongside. Survivors,
years later, told of halting at the edge of the Mississippi
in the middle of the winter, the river running full of ice,
"hundreds of sick and dying penned up in wagons or stretched
upon the ground." The leading authority on Indian removal
estimated that during the confinement in the stockade or on
the march westward four thousand Cherokees died. Wolves and
vultures followed the wagons, waiting to feast of the dying."