Things will not be okay

By Robert Kagan of the Washington Post

Human beings often choose self-delusion over painful reality, and so in the days and weeks to come, we will hear reassurances that the NATO alliance is in good shape. After all, there have been spats in the past.

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Posted in European Union, United States

Video: What’s the Future for Modern Soldiers?

From The Futurist

Technology is evolving for the modern war-fighter, soldier, airmen, sailor and marine. There is so much capability on which military can use this new technology. In this video we will discuss some of the future equipment, ideas and concepts that will one day possibly be on the front line.

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Posted in Controversial, Future, Video

Distinguishing Between Factual and Opinion Statements in the News

By Amy Mitchell, Jeffrey Gottfried, Michael Barthel and Nami Sumida of Pew Research

In today’s fast-paced and complex information environment, news consumers must make rapid-fire judgments about how to internalize news-related statements – statements that often come in snippets and through pathways that provide little context.

A new Pew Research Center survey of 5,035 U.S. adults examines a basic step in that process: whether members of the public can recognize news as factual – something that’s capable of being proved or disproved by objective evidence – or as an opinion that reflects the beliefs and values of whoever expressed it.

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Posted in Journalism, Media, Pew Research, Thought-Provoking Analysis

What Nelson Mandela Lost

The South African freedom fighter’s letters from prison remind us that the separation of families is the ultimate expression of state power.

By Professor Tayari Jones of Emory University and published by the New York Times

Some time ago, the writer Nikki Giovanni offered me guidance on writing about the life of a public person. Most of her advice I understood and dutifully jotted into a small notebook. However, one of her dictums confused me: “Whenever you receive a letter from a prisoner, make sure you write him back.” I frowned, confused but also a little guilty. I’d received a few letters with penitentiary return addresses and hadn’t responded. “Write them back,” she repeated. “You don’t know how much mail means to people in prison. You can’t imagine what they have to do just to get the stamp.”

Since then, I’ve heeded her advice. But sometimes it isn’t possible to write back. One gentleman I met at a book club on Rikers Island said he wouldn’t reveal his last name or ID because he couldn’t bear the disappointment of not receiving a response.

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Posted in Discrimination, Nelson Mandela, New York Times, Racism

‘Hope Is a Powerful Weapon’: The Unpublished Mandela Prison Letters

A new volume offers insight into the personal and political life of one of the 20th century’s most influential freedom fighters.

 By the Editors of the New York Times

During the 27 years of his imprisonment — from Nov. 7, 1962 to Feb. 11, 1990 — Nelson Mandela wrote hundreds of letters — to prison officials, family and friends. The most complete collection of these letters to date, “The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela,” will be published next week.

The publication coincides with what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday, on July 18, 2018.

The volume contains more than 250 letters — well more than half of them previously unpublished.

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Posted in Nelson Mandela, South Africa