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Archive for January, 2017

Six Documents: The American Imperialism Debate

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Read these six documents, 3 for and 3 against Philippine annexation, then respond to these questions

Be prepared to debate whether or not the United States should annex the Philippines.

Democracy in Nigeria

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Read  these six  articles (12 pages)…..
Democratic Transition in Nigeria
Bloomberg Editorial
Opinion: Democracy is taking root in Nigeria
Nigeria’s Democratic Revolution
Miracle in Abuja

…and respond to these questions.

 

 

Fake news almost destroyed Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Abraham Lincoln was more than just a foe of slavery. He was also a mixed-race eugenicist, believing that the intermarriage of blacks and whites would yield an American super-race.

Or at least, that’s what newspapers in 1864 would have had you believe. The charge isn’t true. But this miscegenation hoax still “damn near sank Lincoln that year,” in a tough re-election campaign amidst a bloody civil war when he and his Republican party were blindsided.

The “leading Republican journal of the country is the unblushing advocate of ‘miscegenation,’ which it ranks with the highest questions of social and political philosophy,” wrote the New York World, a Democratic paper. The miscegenation pamphlet was perhaps American history’s most successful fake news campaign.

The parallels to today are easy to see. Back then, telegraphs and other technological changes let news spread swiftly and gave rise to more starkly partisan newspapers. Public trust in government was in tatters. With little consensus or authority over the truth, the purest gauge of veracity was gut feeling. And in an America so deeply divided—especially over differences about race—what tended to feel real were stories that confirmed fears and biases.

For Nigerian News

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Sahara Reporters does a great job of rounding up major news stories from Nigeria (and West Africa where relevant to Nigeria).

Why Many Young Russians See a Hero in Putin

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Cool piece in Nat Geo, image and graphic rich, seeks to explain Putin’s appeal to an unlikely demographic.

 

How Xi Jinping Can Avoid Becoming a Dictator

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

“While it’s possible that Mr. Xi is taking more time to pick an heir, there are indications that he intends to break with custom and hold on to his role as head of the party beyond the 10-year term.

In recent months, Mr. Xi has promoted many allies in key government and party positions to fill slots vacated by retired or purged rivals. He has been overhauling the military, making it more difficult for generals to disobey or to stage a coup. Neither Mao Zedong nor Deng Xiaoping was able to achieve such control.

The Communist Party charter does not impose term limits for its top leader. The 10-year limit is based on an unwritten custom.

Mr. Xi has no formidable rivals. He has used the anticorruption drive to purge disloyal party and military leaders, and to weaken his fellow Politburo Standing Committee members. Party elders are too old or too weak to cause him trouble.

Mr. Xi’s best option for extending power is to overhaul the Communist Party’s system of governance. Over the past year, think tanks and constitutional scholars are said to have conducted secret studies on how to legitimately prolong Mr. Xi’s rule. Some scholars, including Cao Siyuan, have suggested adopting an electoral presidential system tailored for China.

It may seem far-fetched, but such a system would grant Mr. Xi the legitimacy and public support he craves to stay in power. Without the legitimacy of an election, even a flawed one by Western standards, he would have to step down in 2022 or flagrantly ignore the party rules, and turn himself into a dictator who lives in constant fear of being toppled.

In transitioning to an electoral system, Mr. Xi could change China’s Constitution by the end of his term in 2022 to strengthen the power of the president. Once the president is given control of the government and the military, Mr. Xi could abolish the Politburo Standing Committee, shed his title as general secretary of the party, and run for a newly empowered presidency.”

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