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February Five...

Bowie State University, President Aminta H. Breaux, link below

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Birmingham-Easonian Bible Baptist College

The purpose of the educational programs at Birmingham-Easonian Bible Baptist College are to train men and women for life and service as dedicated Christian leaders.

School History
Birmingham Baptist Bible College had its origin in 1904 at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Dr. C. O. Boothe and Dr. W. R. Pettiford conducted Bible classes. The main purpose of the school was to provide church leadership.

After a few years, East Thomas became the site for two years, at which time an organization was effected. This organization became real when the Mount Pilgrim, Jefferson County and Bethlehem – Blount Springs Associations gave up their schools to concentrate on opening a single school. To make the matter legal, a lawyer was sought by representatives of the organization to draw up a charter. After all legal matters were transacted, the organization became known as the Colored Baptist Educational Association of the Birmingham District.

Bishop State Community College

Founded in the summer of 1927, Bishop State Community College was originally the Mobile Branch of Alabama State College (University) in Montgomery, Alabama, during the presidency of Dr. Harper Councill Trenholm. It was established as an in-service arm of Alabama State College that offered extension courses to African-American elementary and secondary teachers in Mobile.

In 1936, O. H. Johnson was appointed as dean. The first full-time faculty consisted of seven persons, which included such Mobile pioneers in education as Dr. Benjamin F. Baker, Mary Wilbur Weeks Burroughs and C.F. Powell.

Dr. Sanford. D. Bishop, Sr. joined the teaching staff of “The Branch” in 1938 as an instructor of English and music. In 1941, he was named dean.

In 1942, property was acquired on Broad Street where the present Main Campus is located. The campus consisted of a two-story framed building, which prior to the purchase of the property, was used by the Voluntary Fire Fighters Society #11. It was purchased with a loan that was later repaid by students through fund-raising. In 1963, the name “Mobile Branch of Alabama State College” was changed to Alabama State College – Mobile Center.

In 1965, the Alabama State Legislature ratified the Alabama State Board of Education’s action establishing the Alabama State College – Mobile Center as Mobile State Junior College and severed its relationship with Alabama State College in Montgomery. Dr. Bishop was appointed president of the new independent junior college. In 1971, the Alabama State Legislature renamed the college to S. D. Bishop State Junior College.

Bluefield State College

Bluefield State is focused on student success—on your success—by offering a high-quality, career-oriented education tailored to meet tomorrow’s job market. It is a place where potential is put into practice, where your hopes and your drive connect with a more promising future.

Even though Bluefield State is one of the most affordable schools in West Virginia, our curricula is second-to-none for building a great career. More than 60 percent of our graduates earn degrees in STEM disciplines, including nursing, biology and engineering. We don’t lower our standards—we would never let our students down that way—but our faculty and staff go the extra mile to help you succeed up to the highest standards. If you attend Bluefield State willing to work hard, you will get an education that works for you for the rest of your career.

Here, each student is much more than a number. When you attend Bluefield State, people will know you. We expect excellence from our students, but we invest in you, work with you and inspire you to realize capability you never knew you had.

Students and alumni love this sense of community. “There is a real family atmosphere here,” one Bluefield State student said. “You feel comfortable speaking with faculty, seeking them out.”

Bowie State University

Established in 1865, Bowie State University is the oldest historically black institution (HBI) of higher education in the state of Maryland. Also, it is one of the oldest HBIs in the nation. The institution has evolved from a normal school into a comprehensive university that offers a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Currently, Bowie State University serves a diverse student population, providing educational opportunities that will enable students to function in a highly technological and interdependent world. The University continues to honor its heritage of providing access to higher education for under-represented populations, with a continuing commitment to African Americans. Bowie State University remains a leader in the graduation of African Americans in teacher education and technological fields.

Office of the President

Building on a Proud Legacy

Greetings from President Aminta H. Breaux (pronunciation key: A-MEAN-tah Broh)

As the 10th president of Bowie State University, I am proud and excited to lead an institution of higher learning that builds on more than 150 years of nurturing student success.

I see examples of excellence across the campus – from the innovative teaching and research of our outstanding faculty to the dedication of our students, staff and alumni who daily demonstrate their love for Bowie State University.
Read more…

Mansa Musa...

Image Source: Black History dot org, link below

Topics: Africa, African Americans, Afrofuturism, Black Panther, Diaspora, Education, History

In the vast fictional universe of Marvel Comics, T’Challa, better known as Black Panther, is not only king of Wakanda, he’s also the richest superhero of them all. And although today’s fight for the title of wealthiest person alive involves a tug-of-war between billionaire CEOs, the wealthiest person in history, Mansa Musa, has more in common with Marvel’s first black superhero.

Musa became ruler of the Mali Empire in 1312, taking the throne after his predecessor, Abu-Bakr II, for whom he’d served as deputy, went missing on a voyage he took by sea to find the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Musa’s rule came at a time when European nations were struggling due to raging civil wars and a lack of resources. During that period, the Mali Empire flourished thanks to ample natural resources like gold and salt.

And under the rule of Musa, the prosperous empire grew to span a sizable portion of West Africa, from the Atlantic coast to the inland trading hub of Timbuktu and parts of the Sahara Desert. As the territory grew while Musa was on the throne, so did the economic standing of its citizens. [1]

History's wealthiest person is a Black man named Mansa Musa, who was an emperor of the West African kingdom of Mali from the year 1312 and 1337. He was worth more than $400 billion, making him the number one richest person in history... period! (In comparison, as of 2018, Bill Gates is worth $93 billion, Mark Zuckerberg is worth $77 billion, and Jeff Bezos is worth $143 billion!) [2]

1. This 14th-Century African Emperor Remains the Richest Person in History, Thad Morgan, History.com

2. The Richest Person in History Was a Black Man (Worth More Than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos Combined!), BlackHistory.org

Read more…

February Four...

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Founder of Bethune-Cookman University. Bio and link to image below

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Arkansas Baptist College

History & Mission
Arkansas Baptist College, originally named the Minister’s Institute, was founded in 1884 by the Colored Baptists of Arkansas during their annual convention at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Little Rock. The primary objective of the institute was to raise the educational level within the Negro ministry. The secondary objective was to aid the state in making higher education available to young Negro men and women. Most of the school’s students were trained in the ministry and today, Religious Studies continues to be one of the College’s major areas of matriculation.

In April 1885, the College’s name was changed to Arkansas Baptist College, and the school moved to 16th and High Street where the campus is currently located; however, the formal address is now 1621 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive.

Thirteen presidents have served as institutional leaders of Arkansas Baptist College from 1887 through 2016. In August 2016, The Arkansas Baptist College Board of Trustees selected Dr. Joseph L. Jones as the College’s 14th President. As president, Dr. Jones’ promise to the College is to continue the College’s efforts to remain steadfast in its journey becoming recognized as an outstanding institution of higher education.

Arkansas Baptist College is an urban Historically Black College located in the historic Little Rock Central High District. It also neighbors the Wright Avenue District and the famous Paul Lawrence Dunbar Junior High School. The College is the only Baptist affiliated Historically Black College west of the Mississippi and has a student population close to one thousand from all across the United States. Founded in 1884 as the Minister’s Institute, the College continues to be supported by the Consolidated Missionary Baptist State Convention.

Barbara-Scotia College

Our Mission
"Barber-Scotia College strives to provide a learning environment for the total development of students to realize their potential and capabilities through post-secondary education, gaining marketable skills, aesthetic awareness and recognition of social responsibility and accountability, enabling them to become successful and productive citizens of the counties of which they reside and work."

Barber-Scotia College is strengthening the ties in fulfilling its mission to provide a cadre of educated Leaders. The College prepares students to create jobs.

Our Vision
Barber-Scotia College aspires to be a preeminent leader, recognized for preparing a workforce of "Next Generation Leaders" in the Energy and Business Entrepreneurship sectors.

Benedict College

Founded in 1870 by a woman, Bathsheba A. Benedict, Benedict College is a private co-educational liberal arts institution with 2,100 students enrolled in its 34 baccalaureate degree programs during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Benedict College, originally Benedict Institute, was founded 148 years ago under the auspices of the American Baptist Home Mission Society. As Benedict’s first philanthropist, Mrs. Benedict of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, provided $13,000 towards the purchase of an 80-acre plantation near Columbia, South Carolina as the site for a new school for the recently freed people of African descent. Benedict Institute, operating in a former slave master’s mansion, was established, in the words of its founder to prepare men and women to be a “power for good in society.”

During the first quarter century of its existence, Benedict Institute directed its educational programs to the severely limited economic and social conditions of the black population in the South. The Institute’s original objective was to educate and train teachers and preachers, therefore, Benedict’s first curriculum included reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, and religion. Later, the curriculum was expanded to include traditional college disciplines, which also included an industrial department offering carpentry, shoemaking, printing, and painting.

On November 2, 1894, the South Carolina Legislature chartered the institution as a liberal arts college and the name “Benedict Institute” was formally changed to “Benedict College.”

From its founding, Benedict College was led by a succession of northern white Baptist ministers and educators. However, the year 1930 signaled the succession of African-American male presidents that continued until June 30, 2017, when Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis was unanimously appointed by the Benedict College Board of Trustees as the 14th President of Benedict College. She is the fourteenth and first-female President in the 148-year history of the college.

Benedict College has been highly regarded and exceptionally ranked for its programs by several academic and traditional publications. For example, Benedict College was ranked as one of the top baccalaureate colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly magazine for creating social mobility, producing cutting-edge scholarship, and research.

Benedict offers several high-demand fields of study in STEM, Cyber Security, Mass Communication, Sport Management, Business Administration, Engineering, Computer Science, Biology, and Education. Benedict has a diverse faculty of which 80 percent are full-time, and 60 percent hold doctorates or the equivalent.

Bethune-Cookman University

Born on a farm near Mayesville, South Carolina in 1875, Mary McLeod Bethune, the 15th child of former slaves, rose from humble beginnings to become a world-renowned educator, civil and human rights leader, champion for women and young people, and an advisor to five U.S. presidents.

Education was the first step in her remarkable journey. The young Mary McLeod worked in the fields alongside her parents and siblings, until she enrolled at the age of 10 in the one-room Trinity Presbyterian Mission School. There, she learned to read, and, as she later noted, the whole world opened to me. She went on to study at Scotia Seminary in North Carolina and Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with the goal of becoming a missionary. When no missionary openings were available, she became a teacher, first at the Haines Institute in Augusta, Georgia and then at the Kendall Institute in Sumpter, South Carolina, where she met and married Albertus Bethune. The dream of opening her own school took Mary McLeod Bethune to Florida first to Palatka and then to Daytona Beach, where she started the school that would become Bethune-Cookman University.

On October 3, 1904, a very determined young black woman, Mary McLeod Bethune, opened the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls with $1.50, faith in God and five little girls: Lena, Lucille, and Ruth Warren, Anna Geiger and Celest Jackson. Through Dr. Bethune’s lifetime the school underwent several stages of growth and development and on May 24, 1919, the Daytona Educational and Industrial Institute was changed to Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute. In 1923 the school merged with Cookman Institute of Jacksonville, Florida (founded in 1872) and became co-ed while it also gained the prestigious United Methodist Church affiliation. Although the merger of Bethune’s school and Cookman Institute began in 1923, it was not finalized until 1925 when both schools collaborated to become the Daytona-Cookman Collegiate Institute. In 1931, the College became accredited by the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools of the Southern States, as a Junior College with class B status, and on April 27, 1931, the school’s name was officially changed to Bethune-Cookman College to reflect the leadership of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune.

In 1936, Dr. Bethune was appointed administrative assistant for Negro Affairs (her title changed in 1939 to Director of the Division of Negro Affairs) of the National Youth Administration (NYA) making her the first African American women to head a federal agency. As of result of this position, much needed government funds were funneled into the school. While traveling with the NYA Dr. Bethune appointed Mr. Abram L. Simpson as acting president from 1937-39. In 1941, the Florida State Department of Education approved a 4-year baccalaureate program offering liberal arts and teacher education. Dr. Bethune retired in 1942 at which time James E. Colston became president until 1946 when Dr. Bethune resumed the presidency for a year.
Read more…

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin...

An eminent biomedical engineer and orthopedic surgeon, Laurencin is being honored for his unique contributions to the advancement of science. | Courtesy of Cato T. Laurencin

Topics: African Americans, Bioengineering, Diversity in Science, Research

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, founding director of the Institute for Regenerative Engineering and the Sackler Center for Biomedical, Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences at the University of Connecticut, is the winner of the 2019 Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, presented by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

An eminent biomedical engineer and orthopedic surgeon, Laurencin is being honored for his unique contributions to the advancement of science. The Abelson Prize recognizes his global leadership in biomedical technology innovation, public service in shaping United States technology policy and invaluable mentorship to a generation of minority scientists.

“Prof. Cato T. Laurencin is the foremost scientist-biomedical engineer in our country today and a national and international leader in science and technology innovation,” Kazem Kazerounian, dean of the University of Connecticut School of Engineering, wrote in the award nomination. “Dr. Laurencin is a towering figure in science and technology.”

Laurencin’s seminal papers and patents have had wide-ranging impacts on human health, launching the use of nanotechnology in musculoskeletal regeneration and ushering in a new era in orthopedic therapies. His research inspired the development of biocomposite interference screws, which fix bone to soft tissue and are used in at least 25% of the more than 500,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgeries performed worldwide each year.

Likewise, the soft tissue implants that Laurencin has developed — the STR graft for rotator cuff regeneration and the Laurencin-Cooper (LC) Ligament for ACL regeneration — have been declared breakthrough technologies. The rotator cuff graft lessens pain and speeds up recovery time following shoulder surgery, and the ACL device, expected to play a similar role in knee surgeries, has been implanted in patients as part of a large clinical trial in Europe. National Geographic named the LC Ligament one of its “100 Scientific Discoveries that Changed the World” in 2012.

Dr. Cato T. Laurencin of the University of Connecticut Receives 2019 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize

Adam D. Cohen, American Association for the Advancement of Science Newsroom

Read more…

February Three...

Image Source: Alcorn State University (Discover Alcorn)

Topics: African Americans, Civil Rights, Education, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Alcorn State University

The History of Alcorn State University
Alcorn is the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the United States and the second-oldest state-supported institution of higher learning in Mississippi. Alcorn University was founded in 1871 as a result of the people of Mississippi’s efforts to educate the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans. It was named in honor of the sitting governor of Mississippi, James L. Alcorn.

Alcorn is situated in Claiborne County, seven miles west of Lorman, 80 miles south of the capital city of Jackson, 45 miles south of Vicksburg, and 40 miles north of Natchez. The site was originally occupied by Oakland College, a school established by Presbyterians in 1828; the state of Mississippi purchased the Oakland campus for $40,000 and named it Alcorn University. Hiram R. Revels resigned his seat as a United States senator to become the University’s first president. The state legislature provided $50,000 cash annually for the University’s first 10 years to support its establishment and overall operation. Additionally, 30 acres of land were sold for $188,928; Alcorn received three-fifths of the proceeds, or $113,400. This funding was used for Alcorn’s agricultural and mechanical components.

MISSION STATEMENT
Alcorn State University, a Historically Black College and University, is a comprehensive land-grant institution that celebrates a rich heritage with a diverse student and faculty population. The University emphasizes intellectual development and lifelong learning through the integration of diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs, public service and outreach, while providing access to globally competitive academic and research programs. Alcorn strives to prepare graduates to be well-rounded future leaders of high character and to be successful in the global marketplace of the 21st century.

VISION STATEMENT
Alcorn State University will become a premier comprehensive land-grant university. It will develop diverse students into globally competitive leaders and apply scientific research, through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, states, nation, and world.

Allen University

MOTTO
“We teach the mind to think, the hands to work and the heart to love.” This captures the essence of what it means to prepare the whole person for life service.

MISSION STATEMENT
Allen University is an academic community which provides students an opportunity to obtain a baccalaureate degree in liberal arts and professional programs. The University has a strong, unalterable commitment to teaching in delivery of its baccalaureate programs.

VISION
Allen University is a Christian Liberal Arts institution whose purpose is to prepare leaders who are skilled in communication, critical thinking, and who demonstrate high moral character. Our aim is to provide an environment of academic excellence in order to heighten our students’ chances of succeeding in a culturally diverse and economically global world. Allen University desires to follow a Total Life Curriculum model, which addresses preparation of the whole person for life service.

We seek to develop the intellect, the spirit, and the body as we bring our students into a climate designed for success. Successful development of each student is our goal. Allen believes that faith plays a major role in developing one’s character. Therefore, our curriculum includes principles and practices of the historical beliefs of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

American Baptist College

A Rich History
Since 1924, American Baptist College has been a Christian College dedicated to educating and developing students for worldwide leadership and service.

THE BEGINNING
The idea of a seminary for the training of Black Baptist ministers grew out of conversation between National Baptist leaders and Dr. O.L. Hailey, one of the founding fathers of the College. At its annual meeting in 1913, the National Baptist Convention appointed a committee to investigate the possibility of establishing a seminary for the education of its ministers. In a resolution presented by Dr. E.Y. Mullin and adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in that same year, the convention pledged its cooperation and appointed a similar committee. The committees of the two conventions met together and the following year recommended to their respective bodies that the college be established in Memphis, Tennessee. It was later decided to establish the College in Nashville.

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

Mission Statement
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public comprehensive HBCU 1890 Land-Grant Institution. The University embraces its land-grant mission of providing cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to the social and economic needs of the state and region. Its mission is to promote and sustain excellent academic programs that integrate quality instruction, research, and student learning experiences responsive to the needs of a racially, culturally, and economically diverse student population. Ultimately, the University is dedicated to providing access and opportunity to academically deserving students and producing graduates who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global community.

Vision Statement
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff will be widely recognized as the University of choice for students, faculty, staff, and future employers of our students. UAPB will be renowned nationally and internationally for excellence in teaching, research, service, and outreach with exceptional academic programs and globally competitive students. As a pre-eminent land-grant institution, UAPB will enrich the lives of people in the Arkansas Delta and beyond.
Read more…

February Two...

Image Source: Custom Ink: #StandWithBennett

Topics: African Americans, Bennett College, Civil Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Note: Because of the urgency of the of the hour, I am listing Bennett College First. All other colleges will fall alphabetically after today.

Bennett College

Mission

Bennett College prepares women of color through a transformative liberal arts education to lead with purpose, integrity, and a strong sense of self-worth. Bennett provides educational access to students while promoting inquiry, civic engagement, social justice, lifelong learning, and equity for all.

Vision
Bennett College is renowned for its intimate, engaging learning community that produces phenomenal women scholars and global leaders.

Philosophy
Bennett College’s undergirding philosophy is that a high quality college experience should provide its women students with strong academic and co-curricular programs that encourage their personal development, endorse life-long learning, and prepare them to meet the needs of an ever-changing society.

Bennett College values and respects every member of its community. As a United Methodist Church-related institution, the College believes that education should be related to humanitarian ends.

Alabama A&M University

Historic, Student-Friendly, Community-Focused
Reflecting its heritage as a traditional 1890 land-grant institution, Alabama A&M University (AAMU) functions as a teaching, research, and public service institution, including extension. AAMU is a dynamic and progressive institution with a strong commitment to academic excellence. The serene, intimate campus is situated on “The Hill,” only a short distance from downtown Huntsville, the site of the school’s founding.

Our History

  • Founded in 1875 by a former slave, William Hooper Councill and opened as the “Huntsville Normal School” in downtown Huntsville.
  • Taught industrial education and became the “State Normal and Industrial School at Huntsville.”
  • Designated an 1890 land-grant institution by the federal government in February 1891. The school's name was changed to “The State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes.”
  • Became a junior college in 1919, named “The State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes.”
  • In 1946, received a “Class A” rating by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
  • In 1948, named the “Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College.”
  • In 1963, became a fully accredited member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
  • In 1969, became “Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.”

Alabama State University

History & Tradition
Alabama State University’s 148-year history is a legacy of perseverance, progress and promise. The ASU movement began with the impetus to establish a school for black Alabamians. The Civil War resulted in not only the end of slavery, but also in the opportunity for blacks to have the right to education. With the Northern victory, black Southerners, with the assistance of Northern white missionaries and the leaders of African-American churches, set out to establish educational institutions for the freedmen. ASU was born in that movement.

ASU is the global entity it is today because of the fortitude of nine freed slaves from Marion, Ala., who sought to build a school for African-Americans previously denied the right to an education. The foresight of these men, now remembered as the “Marion Nine,” created what is now known as Alabama State University.

The Marion Nine included Joey P. Pinch, Thomas Speed, Nicholas Dale, James Childs, Thomas Lee, John Freeman, Nathan Levert, David Harris and Alexander H. Curtis. These co-founders and original trustees, with assistance from Marion community members, raised $500 for land, and on July 18, 1867, filed incorporation papers to establish the Lincoln Normal School at Marion.

The Lincoln School opened its doors on November 13, 1867, with 113 students. In 1873, this predecessor of Alabama State University became the nation’s first state-sponsored liberal arts institution for the higher education of blacks, beginning ASU’s rich history as a “Teacher’s College.”

Vision Statement
Albany State University will be a world-class comprehensive university and a powerful catalyst for the economic growth and development of Southwest Georgia. ASU will be recognized for its innovative and creative delivery of excellent educational programs, broad-based community engagement and public service, and creative scholarship and applied research, all of which enrich the lives of the diverse constituencies served by the University.

Mission Statement
Albany State University, a proud member institution of the University System of Georgia, elevates its community and region by offering a broad array of graduate, baccalaureate, associate, and certificate programs at its main campuses in Albany as well as at strategically-placed branch sites and online. Committed to excellence in teaching and learning, the University prepares students to be effective contributors to a globally diverse society, where knowledge and technology create opportunities for personal and professional success. ASU respects and builds on the historical roots of its institutional predecessors with its commitment to access and a strong liberal arts heritage that respects diversity in all its forms and gives all students the foundation they need to succeed. Through creative scholarship, research, and public service, the University’s faculty, staff, students, and administrators form strategic alliances internally and externally to promote community and economic development, resulting in an improved quality of life for the citizens of southwest Georgia and beyond.

Guiding Principles

Aspire to Excellence
Albany State University will aspire toward excellence in teaching and learning, thus becoming the first-choice institution for students from southwest Georgia and garnering recognition as a premier southern regional university.

Embrace Diversity
As a historically black institution and led by a highly-diverse faculty and staff, Albany State University will embrace diversity in all its forms – including age, gender identity, race and ethnicity, country of origin, religion, ability level, sexual orientation, and veteran status – and seek to foster a similar acceptance and celebration of that diversity.

Expand Access to Higher Education
As an access institution, Albany State University will promote student success for all by welcoming students from varying levels of academic preparation, keeping costs low, offering flexible class times and instructional modalities, and pairing high student expectations with exceptional mentoring, advising, and tutoring.

Elevate Historically Underserved Populations
Albany State University will recognize and address the many challenges that face African Americans and other students of color, adult learners, first generation students, students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and others from underserved populations, and form strong partnerships with K-12, government agencies, and community outreach organizations to increase access and success rates.

Promote Economic Development
As part of its commitment to teaching and learning, Albany State University will promote economic development in Albany and throughout southwest Georgia by engaging in applied research, aligning its resources in support of identified needs, developing and enhancing academic programs to meet evolving needs, forming broad strategic partnerships, supplying a trained workforce, and fostering a sense of entrepreneurship.
Read more…

February One...

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II - image source at link below

Topics: African Americans, Bennett College, Civil Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

I will be at the breakfast this morning. I met the speaker briefly at a graduation at Duke University as my sister-in-law and one of his ministers earned Masters degrees. I am positive even if I got through the crowd to greet him, he wouldn't remember me.

I solicit very rarely, and I don't do it for myself. Bennett College along with Spelman in Atlanta, Georgia are the ONLY HBCUs for African American women. It is vitally important that Bennett and all of our colleges survive. No Historically Black College and University exists, no church or religious order; black fraternity or sorority exists because we "self-segregated." We were the subject of the dark trilogy of American Apartheid, American hypocrisy. and blatant discrimination. What was meant for evil has been turned to good for the betterment of a community and a nation. The International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro is the old Woolworth counter. What was meant for evil in a lot of venues has been transformed to and for the common good.

It is in the spirit of this and the audience I reach, I ask for your generosity. I have given, and I solicit your support. Their plight has essentially become a theme for this important month. The link is at the hash tag following. Any amount would be greatly appreciated.

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 7, 2019) – MacArthur Genius Grant awardee and national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II will serve as keynote speaker for the February One Sit-In commemorative program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Celebrating the legacy of Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond -- better known collectively as the A&T Four – the event annually marks the day when those N.C. A&T freshmen refused to leave a segregated lunch counter at a downtown Greensboro Woolworth’s. Their simple act of defiance touched off a sit-in movement nationwide and established a prominent place for them in U.S. civil rights history.

Rev. Barber’s work is related in many ways to the legacy of the A&T Four. He was elected president of the NAACP Youth Council at 15, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science at North Carolina Central University. He subsequently earned a master’s degree from Duke and a doctorate from Drew University before being named pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., a post he has held since 1993.

Barber to Keynote 59th Annual February One Sit-In Celebration

Read more…

Frost Quakes...

Image Source: AccuWeather.com

Topics: Anthropogenic Climate Disruption, Climate Change, Global Warming, Meteorology

It might be cold enough in Chicago right now to make the ground shake.

Local news station WGN reported today (Jan. 30) that its viewers had heard "frost quakes" in the city overnight. And though the reports in Chicago are still unconfirmed, frost quakes are indeed a real thing.

Frost quakes, or "cryoseisms," occur when water trapped underground freezes suddenly as the temperature drops, causing it to expand. (Water expands as it freezes.) All that rapidly expanding water underground can split rocks and put stress on the soil, causing loud booms. Frost quakes are fairly rare events and difficult to positively identify. A huge blast that shook northwest Calgary, Canada, in 2014 was widely attributed to a loud cryoseism, but researchers never confirmed that as the cause.

For a frost quake to occur, at least three conditions are required, according to "Frost Quakes: Forecasting the Unanticipated Clatter," published online in 2015 in the meteorology journal Weatherwise. First, rain or snowmelt saturates the ground with water. Second, there's little to no snow on the ground, which otherwise blankets the soil and protects it from sudden temperature changes. Third, the temperature rapidly drops, freezing the earth.

The Polar Vortex Might Be Causing 'Frost Quakes' in Chicago, Rafi Letzter, Live Science

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150 Years...

(Courtesy: iStock/welcomia)

Topics: Chemistry, History, Physics, Research

Fair play to Rupert Pennant-Rea. Embarrassed by his lack of scientific knowledge, the 70-year-old former deputy governor of the Bank of England and ex-editor of the Economist recently revealed he was studying for a GCSE in science – an exam normally taken by teenagers at 16. But while reading about his scientific efforts in the Financial Times, I was shocked to discover that Pennant-Rea had, until a year ago, never heard of the periodic table.

Really? So in all his time writing about and analyzing the business world, Pennant-Rea had never known about the diagram that hangs in every science classroom around the world and lists every element according to its atomic number? I’m struggling to find the right analogy, but surely not knowing about the existence of the periodic table is like saying you've never heard of the stock market. Or the United Nations. Or cheese boards.

Just as well, then, that UNESCO has designated 2019 the International Year of the Periodic Table, which is officially being launched today at its headquarters in Paris. This year will see chemists and physicists celebrating the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s seminal attempt to order elements in a systematic fashion for the first time. Dated 17 February 1869 in the Julian calendar, Mendeleev’s hand-drawn table evolved over the years, with the lead feature of February’s issue of Physics World describing how one particular version – of the hundreds crafted since – became the table we know and love today.

Scientists celebrate 150 years of the periodic table at UNESCO headquarters in Paris

Matin Durrani, Physics World

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Coherent Spookiness...

Figure 1. See link below

Topics: Entanglement, Modern Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Research, Women in Science

One of the most counterintuitive aspects of quantum mechanics is its nonlocality: the encoding of information in the correlations between widely separated particles (see, for example, Physics Today, August 2017, page 14). Typical demonstrations of spatially extended entanglement involve pairwise entangled particles produced two by two. But in the spins of atoms coupled to an optical cavity, researchers have also created massively parallel correlations, which can extend over macroscopic distances. Until recently, the dynamics that give rise to those correlations have been inferred only from global measurements, such as the total magnetization of the atomic cloud. Now Monika Schleier-Smith and colleagues at Stanford University are combining nonlocal spin interactions with the capability to locally prepare and detect the atomic spin states.

Spin excitations in a cavity hop coherently over long distances Johanna L. Miller, Physics Today

#P4TC related links:

"Spooky Action at a Distance"...October 1, 2011

"Spukhafte Fernwirkung..."March 9, 2012

Read more…

Room Tc...

The cage-like crystal structure (LaH10) thought to be responsible for the high-temperature superconductivity observed in this study. Courtesy: R Hemley

Topics: Green Energy, Materials Science, Quantum Mechanics, Superconductors

Note: Room temperature is 300 K, which is 26.85 Celsius, 80.33 Fahrenheit.

A team of researchers from George Washington University in the US is saying that a hydride of lanthanum compressed to 200 GPa (2 Mbars) could be superconducting at temperatures near room temperature – a result that has been backed up with findings from another group in Germany. The results could be a major step towards realizing the long-sought goal of room-temperature superconductivity for energy applications.

Superconductivity is the ability of a material to conduct electricity without any resistance. It is observed in many materials when they are cooled to below their superconducting transition temperature (Tc). In the Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer (BCS) theory of (“conventional”) superconductivity, this occurs when electrons overcome their mutual electrical repulsion and form “Cooper pairs” that then travel unheeded through the material as a supercurrent.

Superconductivity was first observed in 1911 in solid mercury below a Tc of 4.2K (--268.95 Celsius, --452.11 Fahrenheit) and the search for room-temperature superconductors has been on ever since. Room-temperature superconductivity would help considerably improve the efficiency of electrical generators and transmission lines, as well simplify current applications of superconductivity, such as superconducting magnets in particle accelerators.

Researchers came a step closer to this holy grail with the high-temperature superconducting copper oxides, which were discovered in the 1990s and which have a Tc above liquid helium temperatures. It was only in 2015, however, that they discovered that hydrogen sulphide has a Tc of 203 K when compressed to pressures of 150 GPa. This result spurred a flurry of interest in the compressed hydrides – that is, solid materials containing hydrogen atoms bonded to other elements.

Dramatic resistance drop at 260 K
“We believe that a Tc at – or very near – room temperature has finally been realized,” says Russell Hemley, who led this latest research effort.

Thanks to quantum-mechanics-based calculations, Hemley’s group first predicted that lanthanum hydride (LaH10) could be superconducting in July 2017. The researchers then synthesized the material, and reported direct measurements of its conductivity that indicated a Tc of 260 K (-13.15 Celsius, 8.33 Fahrenheit) at 180-200 GPa in May 2018, posting a paper on the arXiv in August 2018 that has now been published in Physical Review Letters. A team led by Mikhail Eremets at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany reported on a Tc of 250 K (-23.15 Celsius, -9.67 Fahrenheit) for lanthanum hydride synthesized at pressures of around 170 GPa in independent work posted on the arXiv in December 2018.

Quantum-mechanics-based calculations for “materials by design”
The researchers say they have reproduced their result many times and also have preliminary magnetic susceptibility data that point to room-temperature superconductivity. To unequivocally prove, however, that this is indeed the case will require them to observe the Meissner effect (the expulsion of magnetic field from a material when it becomes superconducting) in LaH10. This is challenging, they admit, but preliminary results from experiments on their samples at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinoisare encouraging. Further work is also needed to characterize the superconducting properties of structures other than LaH10 in their samples that they have predicted and observed using X-ray diffraction.

On the road to room-temperature superconductivity, Belle Dumé, Physics World

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This Hostage Crisis...

Buildings.com: Hostage Prevention 101

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Human Rights, Politics

Dear Earth,

America has self-mythologized as the world's "city on a hill" from Winthrop to Reagan, not fully understanding the dark origins of the quote. For a time, the mythology modulated our behaviors on the world stage. There was an unease with friends and foes as to "what will the US think?" It's devolved to oxymoron: instead of "United States" we appear to be "50 separate states of strong, myopic opinions; cemented by bigotry, homophobia, misogyny. racism, sexism for a dwindling constituency trying to maintain power and relevance in perpetuity." A bit long, but more accurate, less myth and apropos. Evangelicals officially became a numerical minority in 2017, in parallel or a precursor to the reaction when so-called white Americans become minorities circa 2042 (as a demographic, they were first created in 1681). Relevance explains why they jettisoned their previous bulletproof stance on piousness, "family values" and consciously voted for an admitted on tape sexual assaulter. We have citizens wearing t-shirts saying: "I'd rather be Russian than Democrat," after 17 intelligence agencies confirmed an assault on our electoral process, thus our sovereignty in a bizarre, textbook admittance of Stockholm syndrome.

The United States is in a hostage situation over what amounts to a racist totem, itself a mnemonic to remind their daft, Archie Bunker candidate to demonize brown people. The hostage crisis is being bolstered by the two unelected totems of white "supremacy," Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh who thankfully have given Mother Nature and humanity the most excellent gift of not procreating. Best estimates are even if he got his pulled-from-his-rear 5.7 billion dollar price tag, eminent domain counter lawsuits would keep this Klan symbol in courts for years. We're subjected to the tweets; random, disjointed thoughts and septuagenarian bowel movements of a madman: the fact I have to say that is frightening. Due to this shutdown, the US is not represented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The NY FBI is reporting to food banks to feed their families. The TSA is understaffed, and air traffic experts see the possibility of disaster on the horizon if this continues. Food stamps and food safety are equally imperiled. Nero supposedly fiddled as Rome burned. The metaphor to our dilemma exists in equivalence of horror in 140 misspelled and malaprop characters of an executive suffering Internet addiction among other mental disorders that may exacerbate themselves as the legal walls close in. The fires of the old republic had embers that eventually ended with breezes, ash and rubble. Plutonium has a half life of several thousand years, and our Orange Caligula has the nuclear codes.

I give the rest of the planet as hope a blogger whose writings I follow that hopefully make some sense of this present darkness, and gives humanity solace that despite our current situation, we may yet dodge this Russian bullet:

*****

I love the look I saw this week.

It was the look of terrified dinosaurs realizing that the meteorite is on its way; the dilated pupils in the eyes of leadened, lumbering prehistoric monsters who've had their run of the house, now finding themselves at the precipice of extinction.

As the most diverse Congress in our history began its session, it was a harbinger of what is coming for this nation, and what it means for their species. America is growing more diverse, and its representative leadership (though still painfully lagging behind) is quickly making up ground. They can see the change in the weather and the light in the sky—and they are scrambling to avoid the coming impact because they can sense it will not end well for them.

It’s why Mitch McConnell is holding the Government hostage over an ineffective, multi-billion dollar monument to racism of a border wall, that two-thirds of this country doesn’t want.

It’s why men like Tucker Carlson, rant mindlessly about successful women ushering in the “decline of men.”

It’s why Jim Mattis and Michael Cohen and General Kelly and Mike Flynn, and a perpetually revolving door of men are leaving or being forced out of positions of influence and leadership.

It’s why Republican leaders have spent the past year creating a massive straw man out of exhausted migrant families and refugee children, as though they were wealthy foreign adversaries rigging a Presidential election.

It’s why Right-wing trolls “leaked” a video of a college-aged Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing, as if it was a clip of her saying she could grab less powerful men by the genitalia.

It’s why Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr, performed embarrassingly contorted theological gymnastics, in order to align with this President over poor people.

It’s why Donald Trump spent Christmas Eve bunkered down in the White House behind a smart phone, tweeting scattered, rapid-fire nonsense—instead of being with his family or reading or God forbid, serving someone.

It is the white-hot fear that has overtaken them all.

They’re all in a scalding panic, because they understand that their brief moment in history to have their way and impose their will is quickly coming to a close. The landscape is being renovated, the climate is changing, and as a species they are dying—which is why they will do what all frightened animals do when they are backed into a corner and realize the level of the threat: they will grow more violent than ever before.

In the coming days, the Tweets will become more erratic, the legislative assaults grow more transparently desperate, the hate crimes more brazen, the sermons grow more alarmist and incendiary. These Jurassic, soon-to-be-amber-trapped relics, will act as if the very sky above them is falling, because in very real ways, it is. They will thrash and spit and bellow, in an effort to buy themselves a few more days and a bit more power and another Federal judge or two, but they cannot stave off their inevitable disappearance, as progress and civilization and time swallow them up.

The misogynistic, supremacist nostalgia of their dying glory days is dissolving, in the glorious refining fire of what is coming on the horizon: color and diversity and new and young and wide open. The wall-builders and the close-fisted and the table-monopolizers will not survive this evolution.

America’s history is being rewritten in real-time by a fearless, disparate, interdependent humanity of every creed and orientation and nation of origin, and despite a reign that seemed like it would never end, the once mighty white dinosaurs are running out of real estate—and time.

Their eyes tell the story.

They see extinction coming.

We all do.

The Extinction of the White American Dinosaur, John Pavlovitz

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No Children of Chrysalis...

Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Biology, Ethics, Genetics, Star Trek

I read both novels and thoroughly enjoyed them immensely as the pure escapism Star Trek is. Perhaps this should be a metaphor for the ridiculousness of eugenics movements past, present or fantasy.

The Eugenics Wars: The Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh is a two volume set of novels written by Greg Cox about the life of the fictional Star Trek character Khan Noonien Singh. He is often referred to as simply "Khan" in the Star Trek episode "Space Seed" and in the Star Trek movie Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

The novels detail Khan's life until he leaves the Earth in the DY-100 sleeper ship SS Botany Bay later found by the Enterprise. They are written mostly in the perspective of the fictional characters Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln, Gary Seven's partner. Both characters appear in the Star Trek episode "Assignment: Earth".

The first volume deals mostly with the Chrysalis Project, which was how Khan Noonien Singh and the rest of the superhumans were created. The genetically engineered "Children of Chrysalis" were mentally and physically superior to ordinary men and women. The scientists of Chrysalis desired for their creations to take over Earth. When Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln begin to learn about this project, Roberta goes undercover as a scientist that wants to join the Chrysalis Project. The members of Chrysalis are convinced that she is who she claims to be, and she is allowed to join. Roberta heads out to an underground complex beneath the Thar Desert in India where the project is housed. Once there, Roberta begins to work out a way to stop the project.

Source: Wikipedia

A Chinese researcher recently disrupted the CCR5 gene, which builds a protein that acts as an entryway that HIV uses to gain entry to T-cells, allegedly creating the world’s first genetically engineered baby. Chinese officials moved swiftly to condemn the work, and rightly so. Gene-edited babies should probably always be prohibited, not because of fears of creating inequalities and advantaged “super babies,” but because of the reality that editing an embryo is not medically necessary. These modifications occur around conception rather than treating a suffering person—always involving introducing risk, and thus testing the age-old medical admonition of primum non nocere, meaning “first, to do no harm.”

Evolutionary dynamics are not trivial. In the 1970s, Lewontin and Hubby introduced the idea of balancing selection, which was extrapolated into principles that rare variants that contribute risk to various diseases may stick with us because of their compensatory benefit in contributing to heterogeneity or genetic variation within a population, or whereby risk variants contribute something positive in particular niches or contexts. Risk-causing genetic variants can also stay with us by “hitchhiking” along with beneficial ones that are positively selected for. One recent paper on schizophrenia suggests that risky mutations stay with us due to a process of background selection, whereby a lot of genetic variation is eliminated over time leaving risk variants in higher frequency. The important point is that genetic effects rarely are good or bad but depend on the shifting dynamics and backgrounds of other genetic variants.

Besides being relatively easy to use, there is more genetics information available to seek to exploit. Consider Danielle Posthuma’s work in Nature Genetics in 2017 tied 52 genes to human intelligence (though no single variant contributed more than a tiny fraction of a single percentage point to intelligence). Will college applicants begin stapling their 23 and Me results to their entrance applications? Will parents seek to engineer smarter kids in the lab? I want to convince you it is a fool’s errand. In fact, distributions of risk for mental disorders are also increasingly viewed to involve hundreds or thousands of gene variants. Thus, while the volition to improve our genomes is clearly evident by the ambition of scientists—and codified in the myths of Gattaca, Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—the reality is that genetic risks and advantages are not as straightforward as computer circuits.

The Myth of Genetic Superbabies, Jim Kozubek, Scientific American

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Musings?

As I was saying, I am currently realm-building. The task is to include elements of classical fantasy, but remain primarily sci-fi, specifically cyberpunk. There will be multiple planets/dimensions, and the general populace will be humans with enhancements (some without). The enhancements will include cybernetics, biological experiments, and even some mystical attainments. Again, I'm paring down the details, but the majority of the details are worked out. One main character has been confined for hundreds of years by his rival. Neither can die, and the one confined is found to be simply allowing the circumstance while gathering energy and awaiting certain events before acting.

My main distraction is the fact that I'm about to be released from prison this year. I'm at a work-release center now, and have limited access to the computer. Not to mention no spare time to get down and hash out more details. I have to obtain employment and whatnot while I'm here. Arg. Patience will win out, though.

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Vexed by Vortexes...

Image Source: Live Science

Topics: Anthropogenic Climate Disruption, Geophysics, Meteorology, Research

The blast of Arctic weather headed for the United States this weekend could be a first sign of still worse things to come this winter, with signs that a circular low-pressure system of swirling winds that normally keeps frigid air locked up at the North Pole has been disrupted and split into smaller parts.

The disruption in this counterclockwise-spinning beast, called the polar vortex, is thought to be caused in part by a warm summer over the Arctic and a relatively cold fall over Siberia. The result for the United States and northern Europe? A severe winter lasting throughout February and possibly into March.

Meteorologist Judah Cohen agreed that the breaking up of the polar vortex could be the culprit for the coming storm. Cohen, the director of seasonal forecasting for the weather risk management company Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), based in Lexington, Massachusetts, told Live Science that the coming snowstorms in the United States this weekend are consistent with weather models that predicted severe wintry weather to come in the coming weeks.

The Polar Vortex Is Collapsing — Here's What That Means for Your Winter Weather

Tom Metcalfe, Live Science Contributor

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Super Blood Moon...

The total lunar eclipse of Jan. 20-21, 2019, captured by astrophotographers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre from the suburbs of Boston. From left to right: The start of totality, at 11:41 p.m. EST on Jan. 20; the middle of totality, at 12:12 a.m. on Jan. 21; and the end of totality at 12:44 a.m. Credit: Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Moon, Planetary Science

The Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse was a sight to behold.

Millions of people saw the full moon slide into Earth's shadow last night (Jan. 20) and turn a gorgeous coppery-red, in the last total lunar eclipse until May 2021. And a fair few of those folks captured stunning imagery of the sky show to help tide us over for the next 28 months.

Veteran astrophotographers Imelda Joson and Edwin Aguirre set up shop outside their home in the suburbs of Boston, for example, braving bone-chilling temperatures to commit the Super Blood Wolf Moon eclipse to digital memory.

"Despite wearing gloves and two layers of wool socks, we couldn't feel our fingers and toes anymore by the time totality ended," the duo told Space.com via text message.

"We've seen and photographed so many total lunar eclipses in the past, so we could have chosen to just watch through the window," they added. "But our passion to share this wondrous event with other people who couldn't see it drove us to go outside and capture the eclipse with our camera and telescope. It really takes dedication to endure the extreme weather. We're so lucky the sky cleared up in time for the eclipse!"

The Super Blood Wolf Moon of 2019 Looks AMAZING in These Pics!

Mike Wall, Space.com

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The Beloved Community Repost...

Image Source: AJC link below [1]

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Human Rights, Martin Luther King, Star Trek

Note: This was originally posted on Dr. King's actual birthday at the beginning of 2018, ten months before what would be a historic midterms. But we're still here: breathlessly awaiting the next note from an electronic tweeting violin from Orange Caligula. It's also retaliation to a snow-haired, dubious Vice that lied 78% of the time during his debates (along with dodging the record of his running mate cum Manchurian candidate), claims the piety and mantle of "Christianity" as well as compares our current Constitutional Crisis and slow moving Russian coup to the memory and actual greatness of Dr. King. In this era of escalating mendacity; homophobia, racism, sexism, xenophobic nationalism...we could use a double dose of his beloved community again.

*****

Notwithstanding our national projected life expectancy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 89 years old today (15 January 2018); Mrs. Coretta Scott King was two years his senior. This is also the 50th anniversary year of his assassination, as it had been pointed out ten years earlier on the election of the first and only African American president in the history of the republic. It is poignant we're post/after the obvious racist comments of a continent and diverse cultures of humanity by our current president* with absolutely no doubt that he, his followers and his political party are indeed racists.

Star Trek was born in this similar cauldron, and Dr. King was a great fan, especially for his young kids at the time. Civil Rights, Voting Rights, the Vietnam War; the ever-present "nuclear button." civil defense drills (not like the botched alert in Hawaii) and the Cold War exacerbated one's sense of whether or not "we were going to make it" as a species. It was especially powerful to African Americans like Dr. Mae Jemison, Dr. Ron McNair, my friends; me that could see a future that we could count on being more humane, civilized, just; SANE and survivable.

And yet, we're all here: the year is 2018, in a covfefe-Twitter-Twilight-Zone where a president* post Charlottesville praises tiki-torch Neo Nazis as "fine people" and little comment on activist Heather Heyer, who lost her life; comments on his "performance" as if still in reality television mode, and racially slurs an entire continent and diverse cultures. April Ryan point-blank called him out. After his empty comments about Dr. King in a staged photo op with black sycophants (among whom were sadly, the ever-sleepy Ben Carson and Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., Martin Luther King's nephew and his inept soft peddle of 45's racism); cowardly walked away as he did from a contentious visit to the UK that promised to be embarrassing for him. He's insulted Gold Star families (especially those of color), women, minorities, the Pope and NONE, not one nickname, belligerent bowel movement-inspired tweet or witty zinger for his pimp benefactor Vladimir Putin and his Wikileaks minions. The UN has called the president* racist. It's "unfortunate" and "unhelpful" to Speaker Ryan; as of the Friday after the slur, silence from Senate Majority Leader McConnell. A party that's facing demographic oblivion could (possibly) sell its political soul to a Russian devil for survival. They are slowly dying. They're not convincing enough youth, women, minorities et al to be politically viable in 10 years, let alone the midterms. Our current president*, along with his limited vocabulary, enabling weak party, diminished mental faculties probably finds the concept of adjusting for demographics as alien as they'd consider Dr. King.

He was the Manchurian/Kremlin candidate; he is the Manchurian president*.

To survive him, this summoned-from-the-pit xenophobia and reclaim what is left of our republic will take time. It will take rediscovering Dr. King's "Beloved Community."

Maybe... he was thinking about Star Trek.

“The Beloved Community” is a term that was first coined in the early days of the 20th Century by the philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce, who founded the Fellowship of Reconciliation. However, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., also a member of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, who popularized the term and invested it with a deeper meaning which has captured the imagination of people of goodwill all over the world.

For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty Utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.

Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood. In the Beloved Community, international disputes will be resolved by peaceful conflict-resolution and reconciliation of adversaries, instead of military power. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict. [2]

*The usage of the asterisk (*) next to president* I borrow from and attribute to Charles P. Pierce, a writer for Esquire magazine and frequent media commentator on MSNBC. He's also author of the prescient book: "Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free." And so, despite his and other authors' warnings to the contrary, our republic is at the stage-edge of this cliff...

[1] Photos: Martin Luther King statues around the country (and beyond), Pete Corson - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, [accessed] 12 January 2018 [2] The King Center: The King Philosophy, [accessed] 12 January 2018

Related links:

123 Of The Most Powerful Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes Ever, Hannah Hutyra, Keep Inspiring dot me, [accessed] 12 January 2018 The Manchurian Candidate, Wikipedia [accessed] 12 January 2018 50 years later, 'The Other America' MLK described in Grosse Pointe still exists, Ken Coleman, Detroit Free Press, [accessed] 14 January 2018

#P4TC Related links:

Dr. King: Science Advocate... January 20, 2014

Requiem for Moab... April 14, 2017

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Cult of Nihilists...

Source: 9GAG

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Human Rights, LGBT Rights, Women's Rights

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Ronald Reagan

My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub. Grover Norquist

Disclaimer: I am neither a fan of Ronald Reagan, or Grover Norquist. Ironically, Saint Ronnie's almost prophetic regarding his current republican successor.

*****

Where Johnson, Nixon, and Carter had expanded the Role of Government economically, Reagan wanted to shrink it by cutting:

1. The growth of government spending.
2. Both income taxes and capital gains taxes.
3. Regulations on businesses.
4. The expansion of the money supply.

In other words, Reagan is just laying down the groundwork for what would become Reaganomics (trickle down, supply-side - later disavowed by David Stockman) in this quote, he isn't saying government is the problem in general (and indeed his record shows he used government liberally at times despite his general small government message; in fact, his critical fans will tell you Reaganomics would have worked if it wasn't for all the other government spending!)

Today people often treat the quote as if it applied to any issue of government, but Reagan didn't say it that way, and Reagan didn't govern that way. Source: Fact/Myth dot com

*****

Excerpt from the post "Nihilistic Narcissists..." August 3, 2014:

I don't use the word "cult" lightly. Mike Lofgren - previous life as a GOP operative - takes his former party to task in his op-ed: "Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult."

Two poignant excerpts:

"It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe. This trend has several implications, none of them pleasant.

"Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Wiemar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself."

I was reminded of this from Dr. Paul Krugman's Opinion Piece in the New York Times: Donald Trump and His Team of Morons

On the generic point: To be a modern conservative is to spend your life inside what amounts to a cult, barely exposed to outside ideas or even ways of speaking. Inside that cult, contempt for ordinary working Americans is widespread — remember Eric Cantor, the then-House majority leader, celebrating Labor Day by praising business owners. So is worship of wealth. And it can be hard for cult members to remember that you don’t talk that way to outsiders.

An article appeared on Huffington Post in 2011 during the Obama administration by Bryant Welch, Clinical Psychiatrist/Attorney/Author:

The danger Fox News poses to America is not that it is a biased or partisan arm of the Republican Party, as the Obama Administration contends. Fox is a danger because it is a cult and uses the same destabilizing psychological techniques cults use to undermine the independent functioning of minds they want to control.

Once unleashed, these cult-like techniques can ultimately take on a life of their own and become very dangerous, especially to the most important of all American freedoms, the freedom of thought. The most precise term for these techniques is mind control.

Unfortunately, by focusing on Fox News’ bias, the Administration diverts attention from the true problem. Fox is a powerful system of mind control that makes a mockery of the principles of self-reliance and individual responsibility for which Fox adherents ostensibly stand.

There were breathless pronouncements of "demographics is destiny" when the Census showed the United States becoming less White Anglo Saxon Protestant-Cisgenger (WASP-C) Male and more like the rest of the diverse planet. The backlash was most toxic and directed at the country's first (and so far only) African American president. He was mocked as Hitler, voodoo doctor (Obamacare) and hung or burnt in effigy. The Tea Party - now the Orwellian "Freedom Caucus" - were his racist, motivated opponents. "Where's the birth certificate?" Answered in short and long form, it didn't matter. Their minds were made up an alien occupied the White House. Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin et al were simply sad proxies for hatred of him. His family was constantly insulted by bare arms, tan suits and Grey Poupon faux controversies as well as by the toxic misappropriation of Psalms 109:8 - 10. This is the foundation of continuous government shutdown as led by the Neo Confederate Christian Fascist Republican Party: Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and its titular head, Orange Caligula - essentially the head of less than one third of the nation. The dead ferret-topped head of the former Party of Lincoln apparently asked his former lawyer to lie to Congress about the Moscow tower project while in office. You cannot expect governance from those avowed to destroy it.

The above quotes from Reagan and Norquist have become a kind of scripture and orthodoxy. It is a faith that doesn't need to be verified by research, facts or reality. They are mantras to be repeated and memorized, not debated for their merits. They are reinforced nightly on it's cult insular networks, like Fox, all likely as 94% white. They specifically feed their audiences what they want them to believe and what they themselves want to hear in a perfected feedback loop. It is no coincidence they fear begetting oblivion. The suppression of their birthrates might have assignable causes like: the gun deaths in the US; the opioid epidemic, the impact of automation, free markets and globalization and jobs that used to be plentiful getting outsourced, increasing the incidents of depression, substance abuse and suicide. Assigning your woes to "brown people" is intellectually dishonest, lazy, myopic and doesn't solve your current circumstances. But nihilists have no solutions: they just do things.

Source: IMGFlip

The modern Republican Party sadly can't be reasoned with, or confronted directly. They listen to right wing talk radio and Internet icons more interested in bomb throwing than governance; biased, bigoted pastors that given time reveal their own breathtaking hypocrisy. They have an orange avatar that articulates their supremacist world view far better than their faux brand of "Christianity." As a group they deny facts, climate change, science, reason and rational discourse. Instead of killing them with zingers on social media, we had better think about how we're going to talk some of them out of the cult while voting in every SINGLE election from here to Kingdom Come. Like most cults (I'm thinking of the flat earth movement) some will stay and endure, build websites and blogs in their own insular reality. Hopefully they will do so at smaller, more manageable numbers that are insignificant in our daily domestic and international affairs.

No Star Wars Jedi will ride to our rescue. This factum and diligence towards our own civics from now on is "our only hope."
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