Concerning the latest obscene lewd revelations of the dirty old man named Donald Trump eager to become our president, I wonder if anyone has observed a social phenomenon well known in Italy and other places. It is called cuckoldery, utilized as a socio-political weapon.
Let me give an example from the history of Rome, an Emperor such as Caligula or Napoleon invites a prominent Roman senator to dinner. The guest comes to dinner with his wife. In the middle of the dinner the all powerful domineering Emperor (we would call him an alpha male today) gets up, takes the hand of the senator’s wife and graciously takes her to his bedroom. He would shortly come back to the table and comment on the sexual performance of the woman he had had sexual relations with, while the poor cockled husband squirms in his chair.
This kind of sexual deviancy and psychopathology actually happened at the court of Caligula and Nero. Now, remember that Caligula and Nero are, to use Trump’s words, “stars of their times and stars can do anything to compliant women”, especially when the whole episode becomes a reality show; in fact, women are supposed to like it and consider it an honor to be held forcibly by their crotch and be invited to the high honor of sleeping with the supreme leader of the Empire. It’s something to brag about with other women at the forum. Of course the husbands don’t like it much; it reveals how impotent—in every respect—they really are, but they have precious little to say in the matter. In fact the whole purpose of the exercise is to humiliate other men considered rivals but not powerful enough to react. It is a bully show of power in a psychopathic power game taking on sado-masochistic sexual coloring. And so, once again, history repeats itself and those who ignore it are bound to repeat it.
Moreover, as I wrote some time ago, you will now see the spectacle of the Republican party which is complicit in this veritable charade, which created the Frankenstein monster years ago, which never took responsibility for that creation, to now giving the impression of indignation for violations of moral and ethical principles; after all their wives and daughters watch TV too. But what they are really sorry for is that Trump has gotten caught with his pants down and association with him may mean losing their next election to Congress.
So, as already predicted, there will be a premature unofficial and illegal impeachment proceeding in the next few days with the aim of substituting the vice-presidential nominee (Pence) to Trump. But it will probably not work. The sexual deviant and predator, who has gotten considerably stronger and has fattened up considerably since he was created some years ago, will come to the invited meeting table to discuss his resignation with a suicide vest on and a remote control in his pocket. He will threaten to detonate his candidacy and blow the Republican party to kingdom come with it, to let Samson die with all the Philistines who do not think much of Trump’s blinding brilliance.
One can imagine the founder of the Republican party, Lincoln, turning in his grave and asking in sheer exasperation: can this party descend any lower? One can also imagine him repeating his famous slogan: “you can fool some of the people all of the times, or all the people some of the times, but you cannot fool all the people all the times.” Obviously Trump and the Republican party believe they are brilliant enough to do just that. Time will tell. It will be like the proverbial canary in the cave. If they manage to fool all the people all the times, it can only mean one thing, that democracy is already dead in the United States of America and the Empire, alas, has lasted much less than the Caligula and Nero’s Roman Empire.
Modernizing Higher Education for Economic Growth
Malawi has fewer affordable universities than it has students who want to go to them, leaving college out of reach for many. Enrollment in tertiary education is low, but more and more Malawians hunger for it. With IDA financing from the World Bank, Malawian citizens now have more options.
The five-year, $51 million Skills Development Project is helping public universities to strengthen and increase public access to programs that cater to sectors critical to Malawi’s economic growth. These include engineering, natural resources extraction, agriculture, construction, health services, tourism, and hospitality.
Beyond the establishment of the National Council for Higher Education, project funding supports a range of activities at institutions, including improving course offerings and staff skills, renovating infrastructure, and setting up satellite facilities.
Market-relevant course offerings
To expand the range of scientific skills and mid-level technicians needed to fuel Malawi’s economy, 39 new programs have been developed by universities, with the participation of the private sector ensuring their relevance to the economy. By 2017, these programs contributed 44 percent of the new student intake to public universities.
Diploma programs at universities have also been bolstered to increase the training of mid-level career personnel needed by various trades. For example, the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic now offers 10 technician-level engineering diploma programs in subjects like mining, telecommunications, and health. By 2019, these programs are expected to have enrolled 750 diploma students.
One of the major constraints to increasing student enrollment at public universities has been space. At Chancellor College, where most of Malawi’s secondary school science teachers are trained, more and better infrastructure is expected to make it possible to boost student intake by 65 percent. This includes modernized laboratories and four new lecture halls seating 350 students each.
This will go a long way toward meeting an increase in the demand for science teachers, following the introduction of physics and chemistry as separate subjects in the secondary school curriculum.
Mzuzu University is heading to be the country’s center of excellence in tourism training. It is constructing a purpose-built tourism and hospitality facility that will produce graduates who are industry-ready.
Online and distance learning
The Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and Mzuzu have introduced online and distance learning (ODL), resulting in increased enrollment at both. At LUANAR, online students make up 10 percent of the total student population. Between 2014 and 2016, Mzuzu increased its intake of online students tenfold. With more affordable fees and flexible options, the ODL system has helped to open access to higher education for many people nationwide.
“I enrolled through ODL because of its flexibility. I continue with my everyday life and yet I am studying at the same time. This is wonderful,” says 45-year-old Joe Mwenye, a father of five and a teacher in Ngabu in Chikwawa district. He is studying at LUANAR for a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Extension.
LUANAR has three ODL centers: one in the town of Mzuzu, another in Lilongwe, and another in Blantyre. Mzuzu University is opening satellite centers in Balaka, Karonga, Mulanje, and Lilongwe.
The Depth of Taboo: Social Issues in South Asia
Rarely does a geopolitical handbook also make such large and important contributions to uncomfortably critical social issues. This handbook is that rare example. The author Aryal takes our MD readers deep into some disturbing discussions – caste systems, systematic violence against women, rape, honor killings, gender stigmatizing, and societal sexism – not to just anecdotally expose people to some of the continued living horrors afflicting important regions of the world but to systematically analyze such atrocities so that their long-term political, economic, social, and diplomatic consequences are revealed.
What many around the world do not realize is how crippling these gross abuses of human decency can be for a nation and region writ large: these are not just individual crimes to be noted and then forgotten. The failure of societies, the failure of GLOBAL society, to make more effective progress and take a more rigid stand against injustice is a black mark on all countries, on all of us. This handbook in its own small way strives to be a light within that darkness and as such it is both informative and courageous. While the readers of MD will not find the content of this particular handbook for the faint of heart, the importance of acquiring this knowledge, of becoming more aware of the world that we live in as it truly is in so many places, should be considered a duty of all those fortunate enough to not be born into states where such systemic violence still exists and largely goes unchallenged.
The title of this work is no accident and no shameless marketing attempt to attract more readers. Rather, it is exposing in a single word the reason why overcoming systemic violence based on gender is so difficult. Social taboos run deep in every region, state, city, town, village. We will likely not succeed in eliminating them from the social conscience of people. But the attempt to ameliorate the power of taboo, its power to push rationality out and pull insanity in, is a noble one that all of us at the editorial staff at MD recognize as silently essential for the cause of future peace on so many different levels. The battle against taboo is the secret front end of the war against gender violence and oppression. Ultimately, the criminal justice systems of societies must improve to remedy those actions not prevented from occurring. But the real long-term comprehensive solution will be the effort to eliminate the fear of social taboos, to eliminate the stigma that drives many to commit ignorant violence in the first place.
Women and girls with autism must be empowered to overcome discrimination they face
On World Autism Awareness Day, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has joined the global call to empower women and girls with autism and involve them and their advocates in policy and decision-making to address the discrimination and other challenges they face.
“They face […] barriers to accessing education and employment on an equal footing with others, denial of their reproductive rights and the freedom to make their own choices, and a lack of involvement in policy making on matters that concern them,” said the Secretary-General in his message on the Day.
Emphasizing that “our work for gender equality and women’s empowerment must reach all the world’s women and girls,” he stressed that the international community’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must uphold the 2030 Agenda’s core promise to leave no one behind.
The Goals and the landmark framework from which they emerged were adopted by UN Member States three years ago. Together they aim to wipe out poverty and boost equality by putting the world on a more sustainable economic, social and environmental path by 2030.
“On World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to promote the full participation of all people with autism, and ensure they have the necessary support to be able to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms,” concluded the Mr. Guterres.
Autism is a lifelong neurological condition that manifests during early childhood, irrespective of gender, race or socio-economic status. The term Autism Spectrum refers to a range of characteristics.
Autism is mainly characterized by its unique social interactions, non-standard ways of learning, keen interests in specific subjects, inclination to routines, challenges in typical communications and particular ways of processing sensory information.
The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high and the lack of understanding has a tremendous impact on the individuals, their families and communities.
The World Day is marked annually on 2 April, and this year’s official UN commemoration will be on Thursday, 5 April, with a half-day programme in New York entitled Empowering Women and Girls with Autism, that will feature a keynote address from Julia Bascom, Executive Director, Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
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