Monday, March 18, 2019

Dive Conquer, Rule

Divide, Conquer, Rule
                                                              Junious Ricardo Stanton

dīvide et imperā-  policy intended to keep someone in a position of power by causing disagreements between people who might otherwise unite against them.

            Today’s ruling elites are extremely adroit at using an old strategy called “divide and conquer” or “divide and rule” to maintain their domination and advantage over the masses. This strategy was implemented in modern times by the British who used it effectively to maintain their global empire by fomenting discord amongst various ethnic, religious or resistance groups, to keep them fighting amongst themselves thus rendering them unable to unify, marshal or galvanize their resources against their colonial oppressors.
            Today the plutocrats use their ownership and control of media programming, government, indoctrination (education and religion), state sanctioned violence and intimidation to create and maintain their domination of the world. Their two pronged strategy is to: create psychological, socio-economic, racial and ethnic conflict, division and enmity so their subordinates are so preoccupied trying to win arguments, promoting ideologies the 1% had a hand in creating or using hot button issues the elites know will distract, consume and derail any possibilities of insurgence, resistance or revolution against them. 
            We are witnessing this today in the red state blue state division, the left-right dichotomy, the progressive-conservative schism and the generational and class “culture wars” that dominate conversations and foster bunker and silo mentalities. We see it in the gender wars, (a reaction to oligarchic male patriarchal power) and identity politics. This is all by design and very deliberate. It is being purposefully exacerbated by the mainstream media which is owned lock, stock and barrel by the 1%.
            In the US, divide and rule goes back to colonial times when the monarchs’ and monopoly trading company (the forerunners of today’s corporations) surrogates withstood rebellions by white bond servants and enslaved Africans (and in isolated cases Native Americans) against the colonial administrators.
Actual rebellions occurred in places like Gloucester County Virginia in 1663, Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia in 1676 and a rumored revolt by whites and blacks in New York City in 1774.  While the issues that sparked the rebellions differed by location, the common thread was they united the lower classes against the colonial rulers because of the way the authorities treated them and because of their system of governance.
The response by the status quo was swift, violent and vicious. Any suspected leaders were captured and killed, their mutilated bodies were allowed to fester and rot as public examples; while others were expelled and sent to different colonies.
 But these rebellions put fear in the hearts and minds of the colonial administrators. The colonial 1% feared for their lives, property and status. They could not allow the rabble to take control or exert authority lest their profits and status be diminished. So they devised means to prevent European, African and Native American unity, their solution was, divide and rule.
The British colonizers used the concept of race as the medium to prevent poor whites, who were little more than slaves themselves, from uniting with the Africans and where possible Native Americans. The colonial legislators passed laws consigning Africans to permanent slavery and “the other” status. These laws kept Africans on the bottom of the socio-economic ladder while the Europeans waged relentless wars of extermination and land expropriation against the indigenous population.
The colonial administrators and legislators granted poor white males a modicum of status by recognizing them as “white” (meaning acceptable) and if the were able to secure property they could gain respectability in the eyes of the colonial gentry and administrators.
 Of course in return, white males were mandated to participate in the defense of the colony by being part of regular militia duty and slave patrols to make sure no enslaved Africans escaped or congregated without supervision or a pass and as canon fodder in European intercolonial wars and extermination campaigns against the Native Americans.
With the transition from an agrarian to a mixed agrarian- industrial then mechanized industrial economy, the ruling class violently resisted all organizing attempts by farmers, miners and factory workers. The owners and their government allies worked assiduously to stamp out all forms of unified, organized labor.
 When that failed, ownership begrudgingly granted concessions to various unions but used racial and gender division to prevent organized labor from being a universal counterweight to unbridled capitalistic exploitation.
 This arrangement still exists today. The ruling elites create rigid class stratification but cunningly promote the perception anyone can move up, out and improve their lot, despite the fact today’s wealth inequality is almost as bad as it was in the 1920’s and prospects for social elevation are declining rapidly.
 The fact is the deliberate deindustrialization, the off shoring of capital and jobs and the ruling class’ financial policies have created massive debt peonage, wage stagnation and disaffectedness. The increase of immerging technologies that are replacing workers are making the “American Dream” just that, a fruitless fantasy.
A sense of anomie is permeating this culture. This is why the frustration and depression levels are so high and addictions and suicide are on the rise. This is why people fall for slogans and political sound bytes like “Hope and Change” and “Make America Great Again”, they know they are being squeezed, they see their wages, savings and lifestyles dissipating before their eyes and they want genuine relief.  But the system is not designed to provide justice or relief, only profits.
The fact is, any attempts to resist other than the prescribed channel of voting (which in itself is a form of divide and rule) will be co-opted just like the original Tea Party or smashed by the state like The Occupy Wall Street movement. Unless we are willing to raise our consciousness, unite and truly challenge the 1% things will only get worse.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Fiscal Insanity

                                                       Fiscal Insanity
                                                  Junious Ricardo Stanton

For the month of January, the Treasury reported a budget surplus of $9 billion, down $41 billion or 82% from the same month a year ago… The widening deficit comes as the Congressional Budget Office is projecting a shortfall of $897 billion for the full fiscal year, or 4.2% of gross domestic product. That’s up from $779 billion in fiscal 2018, when spending climbed and revenue remained nearly flat. The CBO sees trillion-dollar deficits beginning in fiscal 2022.”

When Trump and the Republicans were selling their supply side tax cut snake oil, I did some research to determine whether or not tax cuts actually spurred economic growth and boosted the economy. I discovered they did/do not. I went all the way back to 1920 and discovered that only in a short seven year period from 1920 to 1927 in the administrations of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge did a fiscal policy of austerity actually produce the desired results.
Despite taking office during a depression in 1920 (, Warren Harding following the advice of his Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon, cut taxes, cut government spending targeted paying down the national debt and actually generated a three hundred million dollar surplus! Harding died in office in 1923 (there was no autopsy; he was embalmed within hours of his death so no one knows what he died from). His Vice President Calvin Coolidge assumed office and continued Harding’s policies.
Coolidge declined to run again in 1928 and a recession occurred in the final months of his administration that eventually morphed into the Great Depression once Herbert Hoover took office. Various schools of economic theory debate and argue over why Harding and Coolidge were able to resolve the 192-21 depression without using accepted “modern” interventions like increased government spending or inflationary monetary policy.
What these economists ignore is the basic approach Harding and Coolidge took to the economy which was: don’t spend more than you take in in revenue, live on a balanced budget and pay off your debts. They cut taxes, cut spending and paid down the debt. Their actions along with new technologies, spurred economic growth during the era known as the “Roaring Twenties”.
Despite these policies, when Hoover assumed office in 1929 the recession was worsening. He doubled down on Harding and Coolidge’s policies but they didn’t work for him. Hoover had always an interventionist. In Harding’s diary he noted Hoover who was his Secretary of Commerce was always coming to him with one idea after another about how to deal with the depression. Hoover’s ideas were more interventionist than either Harding or Coolidge’s.
Ironically one of the justifications for creating the Federal Reserve Bank (it’s not a government entity at all, it’s a group of privately owned banks) was it would end the relentless cycles of boom, bust, prosperity, recession and depression. However, history has shown this not to be true.
Since the 1929 Great Depression all Presidents even so called “conservatives” like Ronald Reagan have eschewed the holistic policies of Harding and Coolidge: tax cuts, spending cuts, paying down the debt and accountability (Harding created the General Accounting Office to audit government spending) in favor of either tax cuts or spending cuts done separately and randomly rather than in tandem. Of course in 1921 there were no gargantuan New Deal Programs or Military Industrial Complex to pay for like today.
Today a charlatan like Donald Trump hoodwinks the people by telling them tax cuts will stimulate the economy while he simultaneously increases government spending (granted some government spending was for wildfires, floods and hurricane relief) in addition to initiating a boneheaded trade war around the world.
 But Trump is not the only president to do this, all of his immediate predecessors even the ones who raised taxes like Bu$h Senior and Clinton have spent more than the government took in.  Presidents Bu$h Jr. and Obama both cut taxes (Obama extended Bu$h’s tax cuts), but simultaneously increased spending. By doing so, they increased the federal deficit. Ronald Reagan did the same thing although the media perpetrates the lie his tax cuts stimulated the economy which they did not!
The United States is in a deep fiscal hole. It spends far more than it takes in. Trump’s tax cuts and spending spikes increased the federal deficit over $700 billion dollars in 2018 and is projected to increase the deficit by $879 billion in 2019! This is insane.
Even though the Federal Reserve Bank and US Treasury can theoretically continue to create and print money via computer strokes, that policy is unsustainable over the long haul. Even the IMF says so. This coupled with the escalating economic slowdown we are now experiencing  things do not bode well for us.
Insanity is defined as, doing the same thing over and over with the same people, expecting different results. By that reckoning we truly are insane.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Gaslighting America

Gaslighting America
Junious Ricardo Stanton

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn't realize how much they've been brainwashed.

We are constantly being manipulated, coerced, cajoled and programmed both on subtle and obvious levels. The manipulators’ goal is to control our minds and ultimately our behavior. One such form of manipulation is called gaslighting.  Gaslighting is a form of direct manipulation, obfuscation and lies designed to make the target (the person being manipulated) question their sanity, their reality or their competency.
Gaslighting gets its name from two American motion pictures an original and a remake in which the male character who is having an extramarital affair tries to make his wife think she’s crazy for suspecting he is being unfaithful to her.
 Gaslighting is a power play, a way for one person or group to gain and maintain power over others. In the United States we are gaslighted on a daily basis by individuals and institutions such as: religions, our education systems, the mass media and politicians. There are numerous ways, means and techniques devious people use to control, disorient and disarm people they want to have power over.
 One technique is to tell blatant lies and then make you think you are insane for questioning or disbelieving them. The ruling glass and their minions lie to us daily. When the ruling class decides (they are not a monolithic group but they do cooperate to accomplish their goals) they want to bum rush a country and steal their natural resources they demonize that nation’s leader to gain public acquiescence and consent for their actions.
Remember how the US demonized and lied about Saddam Hussein and his non-existent weapons of mass destruction? Weapons inspectors told the world Saddam did not have nuclear weapons nor the capability to manufacture them but the US government gaslighted the masses against United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter and Hans Blinx the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency who steadfastly stated Iraq had no WMDs; which in fact was the truth. Nevertheless Bu$h and Co.’s gaslighting set the stage for a blatant, immoral and illegal invasion of Iraq and a series of crimes against humanity that have thus far gone unpunished.
Gaslighting also occurs when a person, group or nation’s actions don’t match their creed or purported values. The United States purports to be the “exceptional and indispensible nation” but for most if not all of its history exploitation, oppression, systemic violence and trauma have been its real way of life and MO.
Don’t fall for the okey-doke. We are being gaslighted about the economy; Trump tells us the economy is strong and growing. Yes, for a select few. But for far too many of us, the economy is not rebounding and there are growing indications a major readjustment coming. This readjustment is being fueled by technological innovation, corporate and government mismanagement, greed and apathy on our part.
Major retail organizations are closing their stores because they cannot compete with Online commerce giants like Amazon and eBay and because people don’t have money to buy their goods.  Last week it was announced GAP, JC Penny, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Foot Locker, Payless Shoes are closing stores and some are filing for bankruptcy. Over four thousand stores will close in 2019!  US auto sales fell in 2018 and remain slow in 2019 yet Trump and the cable news and business channels tell us the economy is fine! More gaslighting!
Trump’s trade wars have negatively impacted the US economy but you won’t hear that in the corporate mind control apparatus.  His trade war with China has severely hurt US farmers farm bankruptcies are on the rise but Trump says things are great. More gaslighting!
Don’t fall for the okey-doke think for yourself and have the courage of your convictions.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

African Genius


                                                             African Genius
                                                        Junious Ricardo Stanton

            The past few weeks I have shared information about the accomplishments of Africans that go unrecognized and overlooked due to a deliberate movement to suppress, obfuscate and ignore African history. We spoke about early boat building, navigation of the rivers and lakes in African and later circumnavigating the world by Africans.
             Celebrating African and Black history during the shortest month of the years is counterproductive even though we need the exposure. We should celebrate African history all year long, daily because it is human history.
            Let’s look at the things we take for granted that were begun, invented and developed by our aboriginal African ancestors. Africans developed the concept of family as a social as well as a biological unit. It formed the basis of social organization and culture. Africans recognized the importance of blood connections and used those blood connection what we call families as the core foundation of their group, tribe, clan and society.
While animals have instinctive ways to determine leaders for example the proverbial “alpha male”, humans developed specific methods to create formal leadership and governance. On the most primitive level leadership was conducted by group consensus through elders who served as leaders because of their life experiences and direct connection to their family members. These elders were charged with not just wisdom in day to day affairs but also with propitiating the spirit realm, serving as intermediates between the people, the forces of nature and the invisible energies they perceived around them.
The leaders created traditions, rituals, and ceremonies to acknowledge births, deaths, seasonal changes and to map the passing of the heavenly bodies. This was the origin of Adams Calendar, Nabta Playa and the other megaliths we mentioned in previous weeks.  This is also the origin of what we call culture. These rituals and ceremonies included chants, hand clapping, foot stomping and rudimentary instruments.
In short Africans invented government whether it was tribal elders, tribal council, selected chiefs, hereditary chiefs or kings and queens. As their groups expanded over territory and their populations grew, they developed hierarchies for social administration, they created divisions of labor, work details and they encouraged and incorporated artistic skills into their daily lives.
So when we attend a wedding funeral or witness governments in action remember our ancestors were the first to do these things! When we look at Africa we see the beginnings of social/civil organization what we now call civilization. We see aboriginal people exchanging, battering and trading amongst themselves and between other tribal groups. This was the beginnings of commerce across the continent and later into Asia and Europe.
Our ancestors were the first to chop and carve trees into boats and canoes, to weave reeds to make water tight canoes and we were the first to use these boats, canoes and sailing vessels to trade our surplus crops, goods and artifacts first throughout Africa then the world.
  Europeans admit the first articulated and practiced system of ethics (Maat) originated in Africa. Timelines indicate the first monarchy/dynasty, extensive territorial occupation and social organization originated in Africa. Africans had empires but they were not all created by violence and invasion, some were some were not.
In review Africans created: social organization; we created rites of passage to mark the growth and transition of members within the community and determined how they each fit into the social scheme via trial and error and later formal tradition. We invented rituals and ceremonies, we invented trade and commerce. We created metallurgy, working in metals like gold, bronze and iron. We invented clothing, we invented adornment, demarcations and decorations to distinguish social status, to tell whether a female was married was an adolescent or a male was an initiated member of the community, a warrior or an elder. We were the first to map the heavens. We recognized sound had power and invented music, instruments and incorporated music and sounds into our daily activities.  We invented meaningful symbols and their recognition whether it was hieroglyphics on papyrus, on the walls, the megaliths or Her-em-akhet (misnamed the Sphinx by the Greeks).
We created technology whether it was a digging stick, a rudimentary plow, the ramp, and pulley. We developed farming techniques like crop rotation, using fire to burn the soil to give it nutrition. We were the first fishermen. We created the first planned urban centers and cities. We were the first educators.
I could go on but you get the drift, we are a creative, inventive and profound people. This creativity resides in our DNA; it is in our genes and blood. We do ourselves our ancestors and progeny a disservice if we allow our genius to atrophy, not be fully developed or expropriated by others for their benefit and not ours!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ancient African Megaliths Part 2


                                                    Ancient African Megaliths Part 2
                                                            Junious Ricardo Stanton

In recent weeks I've shared some little known accomplishments of African people: boat building, seafaring and last week the astronomical and ceremonial megaliths in South Africa and the Nubian Desert. This information sheds light on the variety of African genius, innovation creativity and achievement.
This week I’ll share two more ancient megalithic sites. The word megalithic describes structures made of large stones without the use of mortar or concrete, representing definite periods of prehistory. Europeans always point to Stonehenge in Britain as an example of a megalith but rarely mention the African megaliths that are thousands of years older then Stonehenge.
 Two examples are the Senegambian Circles on the border of Senegal and Gambia and the Tiya Megaliths in central Ethiopia. The Senegambian Circles are in West Africa located on the border between Senegal and Gambia is an ancient burial ground and ceremonial center. The Senegambia Circles date back to around the third century B.C.
“As ancient monuments go, the stone circles of Senegal and Gambia may not be in the same league as the Great Pyramids, Stonehenge or the Easter Island statues. Yet, they represent a remarkable cultural and architectural achievement of pre-historic western Africa. Located in an area 100 km wide and 350 km within Senegal and Gambia are 1053 stone circles consisting of no less than 28,930 monoliths around 2 m in height and weighing more than 7 tons each. The stone circles seem to have had a funerary purpose. Recent excavations suggest that the stones date back from the 3rd century B.C. to 16th century A.D., reflecting a tradition that endured for almost two millennia. The stone circles of Senegambia are just one of the three trans-border World Heritage properties on the Dark Continent. It required some geological knowledge to identify the best laterite rocks from the nearby quarries and carve out the monoliths in cylindrical or polygonal pillars. The stones had to be extracted in singular pieces, which required tremendous skill. Having accomplished this, the stones were transported and erected in the various complexes along the River Gambia. This required a strong social order able to mobilize the hundreds of laborers required for the erection of each circle, much like in ancient Egypt. As the name suggests, the Stone Circles of Senegambia are located between the River Senegal and the River Gambia in West Africa. Around 1 km to the east of the Sine Ngayene complex in Senegal lies the quarry from which many of the megaliths were removed and processed.” Stone Circles of Senegambia
            The megaliths at Senegambia have been designated by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage site because they recognize the significance of the culture that produced these megaliths.
While the megaliths at Tiya are not as old as Adam’s Calendar, Nabta Playa or the Senegambian Circles they represent the use of large stones that have been carved and inscribed with symbols that so far archaeologists and linguists have not been able to decode or decipher. Researchers postulate the figures were erected and carved somewhere between the tenth and fifteenth centuries of the Common Era. 
 In an academic thesis for a Masters Degree in Tourism Development and Management on the importance of the Tiya site by Helebo Elias, he writes “Tiya distinguishes with standing stelae, which are supposed to be grave markers. Circles of smaller stones mark the graves. Archaeologists dug up many skeletons, which could be dated to 1200-1400 A.D. (Gurage Zone culture and Tourism,2017). Among the 36 currently standing stelae, 32 of them are decorated. A sword design is frequent among the stelae. Inscribed under UNESCO world heritage list in 1980. Since 1980, the outstanding universal value of the Tiya megalithic site has been recognized as a World Heritage Site (WHS) under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. Tiya qualifies for inclusion on the world Heritage List under Criterion I as the stelae with their enigmatic configurations are unique as ‘a masterpiece of human creative genius.’ In addition, they are highly representative of an expression of the Ethiopian Megalithic period which clearly qualifies them to be included under Criterion IV (Be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural, or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage (b) in human history.” 
Both the Senegambian Circles and Tiya have been designated by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as World Heritage sites. The Senegambian Circles and Tiya sites are similar to many African monuments in that they are ceremonial funerary sites used to mark the burial places of leaders and common folks.
The other similarity is they are made from huge stones often weighing several tons that were dug and transported to specific sites and crafted using tools to form precise shapes, engravings or symbols. All this requires a set of values based upon beliefs and notions about life and death, technological and manual skill to dig, transport, and shape and erect the megaliths and monuments. We are talking about the fundamentals of advanced civilizations.
We know Africans explored and settled the continent of Africa but also the whole globe and they carried their values, cosmology and ingenuity with them wherever they went. We know ancient Africans were sky gazers and astronomers who mapped the stars. Many African cultures such as the Dogan either claim they came from other planets or that the beings who gave them their knowledge came from the stars.
Africans invented and created rituals, ceremonies, rites of passage and cosmologies that connected themselves with the universe and the CREATOR (Ubuntu “I am because we are, we are because I am” is a universal African philosophy) so it is not surprising they would create monuments to mark what they saw in the sky and incorporated what they saw in the heavens and believed about its origin with their personal lives and environment on earth. The ancient admonition “As above so below” originated in Africa. The origins of cosmology, religion, ethics, morality and philosophy were in Africa!
As I have said so many times, Africans are an ancient and ingenious people. But we must also realize our genius is not just about the material world it is also higher abstract thinking that included ethics, spirituality, relationships with the universe, nature, the social collective and each other e.g. Ubuntu, Maat and Hermetism. We ought to celebrate and honor our ancestors and ourselves every day!!


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Ancient African Megaliths

                                                Ancient African Megaliths
                                                   Junious Ricardo Stanton

As we celebrate Black History, our challenge is where do we begin, how do we fill in the blanks and connect the dots to a legacy that is at least a hundred thousand years old? All too often we think our history began with our ancestors’ enslavement and haulage to this hemisphere, or with the earlier Arab invasions that influenced parts of the African continent. Agreed there is much history and lessons of resiliency, adaptation and survival we can learn from those but we must go back to the roots.
Some of us are so infatuated with the Nile Valley contributions, and rightly so because the remnants of those civilizations are so awesome, we forget African people were always doing phenomenal things, being creative and innovative in ways we don’t associate with Africa due to our Eurocentric brainwashing and programming. There is evidence of ancient African greatness that pre date dynastic Nubia and  Kemet scattered throughout the continent.
Last week we spoke about seafaring, how Africans were the earliest boat builders and I shared information about a dug out canoe that was found in Nigeria that is over eight thousand years old. This information is huge because it shows the innovation and genius of our ancestors to navigate their environment. We rarely associate Africans with water and seafaring but we were the first to do it!
When we look at the continent of Africa, which by the way is the second largest on the planet, we see remnants of greatness and genius all over. In fact when the European invaders came upon them, they refused to believe or accept the fact they were created by Africans! They said white people or aliens from outer space created them.
 Once they were forced to come to the conclusion Africans did it, they suppressed much the information or use much more recent Europeans sites as points of reference and comparison.
To be truthful there were/are some Europeans like Albert Churchward, Basil Davidson, Robert Bauval and others who gave Africans credit for their genius, and we are grateful for their honesty, but it is up to us to do the research and tell our story first to ourselves then to the world!
Way before there was Kush, Nubia, Kemit and Aksum there were organized, settled communities throughout the African continent that created megaliths, sky maps, sun and star calendars and living shelters that were and still are remarkable in their lay out, construction and mystery. Huge stones weighing tons were transported from other regions and placed in strategic ordered locations that have astrological and energy significance.  I will share a few with you and hope you will do further research to get an idea just how awesome and creative we Africans are.
One of the oldest discovered megaliths in Africa is called Adam’s Calendar (a megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. The word megalithic describes structures made of such large stones without the use of mortar or concrete, representing periods of prehistory characterized by such constructions. (, my emphasis).  Building without use of mortar or cement is a process that is seen all over Africa!
Adam’s Calendar was discovered in South Africa quite by accident by a pilot who flew over the region many times noticing circular stone configurations. When one of his pilot buddies crashed into the mountains, during the search and rescue effort he got a chance to explore and examine the megaliths for himself.
“Adam’s Calendar is controversially suggested to be the oldest man-made structure in the world.  Sometimes referred to as ‘African Stonehenge’, it predates both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza by tens of thousands of years.  Located in Mpumalanga, South Africa it is a standing stone circle about 30 meters in diameter and has been estimated by some accounts to be more than 75,000 years old. Various astronomical alignments have been identified at the site and it is possibly the only example of a completely functional, mostly intact megalithic stone calendar in the world.”
Another fascinating site is Nabta Playa, an ancient settlement located in the Nubian Desert many believe pre-dates the dynastic period of Nubia and Kemet. From the archeological evidence it appears Nabta Playa was an urbanized community that served as a central location for astrological observations, rituals and ceremonies. When discussing Nabta Playa many Europeans call it the oldest site for astrological tracking and use Stonehenge (in Britain) as a comparative reference point. This is because they know nothing about Adam’s Calendar which is thousands of years older than both Nabta Playa and Stonehenge.
Like Adam’s calendar Nabta Playa had major sky mapping significance.  “Two of these pairs align to form a line very close to a true north-south line, and the other two pairs or gates align to form an east-west line. The east-west alignment is calculated to be where the sun would have risen and set from the summer solstice 6,500 years ago (4,500BC).  Alignments of standing stones and megalithic structures (oval clusters of recumbent stones) extend for up to a mile, marking north and east as well as 24 to 28 and 126 degrees east of north, directions whose meanings are still being worked out. A ten-foot circle composed primarily of stone slabs has four ‘windows/gates’ marked by pairs of standing stones; the four are arranged in two pairs, one forming a north-south line of sight and the other a line stretching from 62 to 298 degrees east of north. The latter coincides approximately with the summer solstice sunrise 6,800 years ago (4,800 BC), which would have fallen about 63 degrees east of north.”
It’s fascinating all these sites have astronomical significance and some even speculate they are sky mapping ceremonial centers.  We discuss two more ancient African sites next week.


Monday, February 04, 2019

Celebrate Black History All The Time


                                        Celebrate Black History All the Time
                                                Junious Ricardo Stanton

            We’re in Black History Month and we still don’t get it, African people have the oldest, longest and most creative history of any people or ethnic group in the planet; but we don’t do the research or study the research others have done to show just how ingenious our ancestors were/have been.
            Last year I came across a story on a Website that showed an eight thousand year old dug out canoe in Nigeria. This was significant on so many levels. First of all when we think of Africa, the second largest continent on this planet, we don’t think of Africans as being seafarers, mariners or navigators. But we should.
What we don’t realize is Africa is a large continent that abounds with major rivers tributaries and lakes. Thousands of years ago our ancestor learned to build the means to navigate these waterways. We tend to only think of the Nile River but Africa has several major rivers, lakes and bodies of water.
 The Nile River is the world’s longest river and is one of two that flow south to north (the Amazon River in South America is the second). The Congo River is also a long river, but there are others such as the Niger, Senegal, Volta, Zambezi, Orange and Limpopo scattered throughout the continent. Then here are the large lakes: Victoria (named by the invading English), Albert, Nyasa and Tanganyika. So it should come as no surprise the ancient people of Africa learned to build canoes, sail boats or that they were expert fishermen, swimmers and explorers.
            We know ancient Africans populated the world but we never consider the fact they did so by sea as well as land, mainly because we still believe the lies about Africans spread by our adversaries and enslavers.
Most maps of African out-migrations show land routes but I’m convinced they also used rafts and boats to travel from Africa to Asia and beyond. Now others postulate this theory also. “Human ancestors that left Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago to see the rest of the world were no landlubbers. Stone hand axes unearthed on the Mediterranean island of Crete indicate that an ancient Homo species — perhaps Homo erectus — had used rafts or other seagoing vessels to cross from northern Africa to Europe via at least some of the larger islands in between, says archaeologist Thomas Strasser of Providence College in Rhode Island. Several hundred double-edged cutting implements discovered at nine sites in southwestern Crete date to at least 130,000 years ago and probably much earlier, Strasser reported January 7 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Archaeology. Many of these finds closely resemble hand axes fashioned in Africa about 800,000 years ago by H. erectus, he says. It was around that time that H. erectus spread from Africa to parts of Asia and Europe.” Hominoids Went Out of Africa On Rafts.
            Our African ancestors first learned to navigate water by mastering the streams, rivers and lakes in Africa. The discovery of the eight thousand year old canoe in Nigeria makes the case for African technology, ingenuity and use of water to secure food and travel from place to place.
This canoe is the third oldest in the world.  “Since the Dufuna canoe was discovered by a local Fulani herdsman in 1987 archaeologists have been in frenzy about the discovery. The canoe which was excavated by a combined team of Nigerian and German archeologists in 1994 at Dufuna, has continued to amaze them, for the simple reason that it has changed the course of history. Dufuna is a village along the Komodugu Gana river in Fune local government area of Yobe State. The boat was dug out from a depth of five meters beneath the earth's surface and measured 8.4 meters in length, 0.5 meters wide and about 5 cm thick varying at certain parts of the surface. The age of the boat has been put at about 8000 years old (6000 BC), thus, becoming the oldest boat in Africa and third oldest on earth. The canoe belongs to the Late Stone Age period (Neolithic Age), when humans ceased to roam the face of the earth hunting to become herdsmen and cultivators and in the process becoming modifiers of their environment, with complex social structures, in response to new problems and ways of dealing with situations. ‘The discovery of this boat is an important landmark in the history of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general’ said the late Dr. Omotoso Eluyemi then the Director of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments.
‘Besides proving that the Nigerian society was at par (if not earlier) than that of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Phoenicia, the discovery also provides early concrete evidence that Africans have been exploring technology to modify their environment and suit their needs. But more importantly, the canoe has shown that people in the Niger area had a history of advanced technology and that they had mastered the three major items of neolithic culture which included the fashioning, standardization and utilization of tools according to set traditions. It gives concrete evidence of transportation by seas as well as providing evidence of some form of long distance commercial activities indicative of existing political and economic structures.’”
            We tend to focus only on the Nile Valley contributions to human development, but the Nile Valley was merely one center of advanced development. Our ancestors were innovative and ingenious all over the continent of Africa. We need to learn more about their genius and innovation, Black History Month is merely the starting point.