"Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great..." - Nelson Mandela

Yesterday, the world lost a great man. Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95. In addition to being South Africa's first black president, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist and human rights icon throughout much of his life. He even spent 27 years locked up as a political prisoner for trying to fight the apartheid in South Africa. As the news of his passing broke, leaders around the world spoke and issued statements to express their condolences, and their admiration for Mandela's life-long work as a political activist.

President Obama spoke after the announcement, saying Nelson Mandela was “a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe towards justice.” The President said, “I cannot imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set.” South African President Jacob Zuma said, “His tireless struggle for freedom had him the respect of the world. His humility, his compassion, and his humanity lent him their love.”

Throughout his life, Nelson Mandela fought the entrenched system of racial oppression, and inspired millions to stand up to human suffering. And, in his later years, he openly spoke out against the Iraq War, racism in America, and the ongoing war on unions. He also spoke strongly against inequality, saying “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”

It is nearly impossible to encapsulate the life and work of this great man in few sentences. We can pay our respects to Nelson Mandela by carrying the torch for his iconic work, and continuing his fight to end poverty, racism, and oppression throughout the world. In the words of Mandela, “Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago

Nelson Mandela was a great man who lived far ahead of his time. He was a beacon of light in a world clouded with darkness. His example has inspired and given hope to a mere fraction of the multitude that it will touch in future generations. It is a rare privilege to live during the same time as a living legend. He is one of the few leaders who come along and change the whole world for the better. May he rest in eternal peace knowing that he will be sorely missed but fondly remembered always. May we all be fortunate enough to leave the world a better place then we found it in our life times.

Vegasman56 9 years 25 weeks ago

very well said, sir

Vegasman56 9 years 25 weeks ago

Here's 3 articles that I found I thought that it was very interesting, how far of any reasonable intelligence will the radical right go, do they not know that there is a Internet, and the truth is out there. I think that Rick Santorum believes that Americans are idiots. Fox News should be proud of themselves.

I personally believe the man was a superhero

Rick Santorum Compares Obamacare To Apartheid


Rick Santorum, the erstwhile Republican presidential candidate with a penchant for controversy, appeared on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor on Thursday night and memorialized the passing of South African leader and global visionary Nelson Mandela by equating Obamacare with apartheid.

Praising Mandela for standing up to a “great injustice,” the former Pennsylvania senator continued by ascribing his own conservative principles to the civil rights pioneer:

Six Things Nelson Mandela Believed That Most People Won’t Talk About


In the desire to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life — an iconic figure who triumphed over South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime — it’s tempting to homogenize his views into something everyone can support. This is not, however, an accurate representation of the man.

Mandela was a political activist and agitator. He did not shy away from controversy and he did not seek — or obtain — universal approval. Before and after his release from prison, he embraced an unabashedly progressive and provocative platform. As one commentator put it shortly after the announcement of the freedom fighter’s death, “Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view.”

As the world remembers Mandela, here are some of the things he believed that many will gloss over.

1. Mandela blasted the Iraq War and American imperialism. Mandela called Bush “a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly,” and accused him of “wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust” by going to war in Iraq. “All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil,” he said. Mandela even speculated that then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan was being undermined in the process because he was black. “They never did that when secretary-generals were white,” he said. He saw the Iraq War as a greater problem of American imperialism around the world. “If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care,” he said.

2. Mandela called freedom from poverty a “fundamental human right.” Mandela considered poverty one of the greatest evils in the world, and spoke out against inequality everywhere. “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our times — times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accumulation — that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils,” he said. He considered ending poverty a basic human duty: “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life,” he said. “While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.”

3. Mandela criticized the “War on Terror” and the labeling of individuals as terrorists, even Osama Bin Laden, without due process. On the U.S. terrorist watch list until 2008 himself, Mandela was an outspoken critic of President George W. Bush’s war on terror. He warned against rushing to label terrorists without due process. While calling for Osama bin Laden to be brought to justice, Mandela said, “The labeling of Osama bin Laden as the terrorist responsible for those acts before he had been tried and convicted could also be seen as undermining some of the basic tenets of the rule of law.”

4. Mandela called out racism in America. On a trip to New York City in 1990, Mandela made a point of visiting Harlem and praising African Americans’ struggles against “the injustices of racist discrimination and economic equality.” He reminded a larger crowd at Yankee Stadium that racism was not exclusively a South African phenomenon. “As we enter the last decade of the 20th century, it is intolerable, unacceptable, that the cancer of racism is still eating away at the fabric of societies in different parts of our planet,” he said. “All of us, black and white, should spare no effort in our struggle against all forms and manifestations of racism, wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head.”

5. Mandela embraced some of America’s biggest political enemies. Mandela incited shock and anger in many American communities for refusing to denounce Cuban dictator Fidel Castro or Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who had lent their support to Mandela against South African apartheid. “One of the mistakes the Western world makes is to think that their enemies should be our enemies,” he explained to an American TV audience. “We have our own struggle.” He added that those leaders “are placing resources at our disposal to win the struggle.” He also called the controversial Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat “a comrade in arms.”

6. Mandela was a die-hard supporter of labor unions. Mandela visited the Detroit auto workers union when touring the U.S., immediately claiming kinship with them. “Sisters and brothers, friends and comrades, the man who is speaking is not a stranger here,” he said. “The man who is speaking is a member of the UAW. I am your flesh and blood.”

The Right Wing’s Campaign To Discredit And Undermine Mandela, In One Timeline


The world is celebrating Nelson Mandela as a selfless visionary who led his country out of the grips of apartheid into democracy and freedom. But some of the very people lavishing praise on South Africa’s first black president worked tirelessly to undermine his cause and portray the African National Congress he lead as pawns of the Soviet Union.

In fact, American conservatives have long been willing to overlook South Africa’s racist apartheid government in service of fighting communism abroad. you can click here for more information

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 25 weeks ago

If Mandela were in prison today, I fear that western media coverage of him would have embraced Reagan’s ‘He’s a terrorist’ Attitude at best and would have ignored him at worst. Would we know who he was? God Speed, Nelson...

Thom, You asked Bernie, today, if the T-party & Boner would crash the Gov. in Jan/Feb. While I haven’t Bernie’s experience; If sCrotus rules in favor of McCucheon, the answer is yes, because the ease of buying elections combined with DIE!-bold and voter suppression bills will make it possible for them to completely disregard public opinion. The kRoches and the like have already spent billions through organizations to back candidates and create a gov. that will destabilize the US in order for them to bring about disaster capitalism. Default on our debt is a perfect solution for them. They see a combination of austerity designed to deny access to resources, pollution and climate change as the perfect storm that will finely rid them those whom they see as dependents who have grown far too numerous and unnecessary...and who serve as nothing more than a threat to their security in terms of access to resources.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 25 weeks ago

p.s. GW Bush's grandfathe, Prescott Bush was a huge supporter of Hitler and the Nazzis, thus ..."homeland"

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago

Vegasman56 ~ Thanks for those stories. Most compelling. He was indeed a Superhero. One side note--a bit of a silver lining in a dark cloud... It sure is refreshing seeing such a great man and leader die in old age of natural causes. Hopefully, it is the beginning of a future trend. I'm sick and tired of seeing them murdered young.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 25 weeks ago

The first protest I ever attended was back in the mid-seventies, it was an on campus protest demanding University divestment in South Africa.

"Like slavery and apartied, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings."............. Well said Nelson.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago

Palindromedary and Aliceinwonderland (or anyone else) ~ I have been pondering the significance of this video for some time now...


So far--and most disturbingly--everything I have found has supported this most "unusual" documentary. I am most interested in hearing anything you--or anyone else--might want to share. Thank you!!!

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 25 weeks ago

Loren Bliss: in reply to yesterdays #19.......You referred to President Obama as Barack the Betrayer, the most brazen liar, and tyrannical president in U.S. history. We all share your frustration but mine has a little different focus, and it's not President Obama.

The biggest betrayal in U.S. history: Citizens United and the five Supreme Court public servants who made it possible.

The biggest liar in U.S. history: hands down, Fox News and the corpse media in general.

The most tyrannical: The current Fascist Oligarchs who with their wealth have purchased the souls of most of our politicians, notably Republican.

N Z Sarah's picture
N Z Sarah 9 years 25 weeks ago

RT tv did a balanced story on Mandela, the only one I've seen so far.

How does equality come to speak only of money and poverty? When will consideration of equal political representation of both men and women happen? With a percentage of one woman to four men the world is preventing a whole social group from contributing to the management of their own issues let alone the planets. Surely equality means that the views and rights of a generally honest and peaceable three and a half billion are valid.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 25 weeks ago

Palindromedary:Hey I just caught up with your replys from a couple days ago. Wow you blew me away with all the tech talk. In regard to being watched and followed while online.... I have to confess, I've never been to a pot cultivation site. To be honest I spend most of my time on ancient history related sites and a little youtube rockabilly. I'd be pretty boring to track.

Anyway I think Thom's point was that tracking could lead to potential for defamation of character, not arrest or something. Despite all of your tech talk, which made me a little paranoid, I still think it's next to impossible without a camera image to lawfully prove who's behind the keyboard.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 25 weeks ago

We gotta carry on the torch! There's a campus divestment movement against Israeli apartheid in Palestine that's not getting much traction. The best way to honor Mr. Mandela's life would be to fight on.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 25 weeks ago

Bishop Tutu has said that Israeli policy is worse than apartheid!

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 9 years 25 weeks ago

Content repeated, therefore deleted.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago

Sorry for yet another off topic comment. I just saw a most interesting documentary on the History channel about Drug cartels in Mexico. It would appear that the symbiotic relationship the US has with it's neighbor revolves completely around unwise laws that have set up a most nefarious and profitable illegal trade. In the US we have a war on drugs. In Mexico guns are banned. Consequently and quite ironically both legal systems set up a very lucrative trade route. Guns are sold legally in the US at gun shows and smuggled into Mexico where they are sold at an incredible profit. While there drugs are purchased and smuggled back into the US where they are sold at an incredible profit. Americans get higher and higher with ever more efficient and cheaper drugs and criminals in Mexico become better armed than any army on Earth--with no end in sight. In the wake of this trade is death, pain and misery. The fact that our representatives in Washington are aware--and as the documentary clearly states--involved, just goes to show that the key in resolving these problems lies with our law makers. We must get Big Money out of politics once and for good. There is no other way to address the problems that we face as a nation; or, as a world.

rjwin's picture
rjwin 9 years 25 weeks ago

Lets also remember that Nelson Mandela did not do it all by himself: that many made the ultimate sacrifice, without which we would not be celebrating "his" contribution to the ending of Apartheid. Without the sacrifice of the ANC, Cubans, MPLA and ohers, Nelson Mandela would have never been released from prison! Mandela's accomplishments were no more a solo act than those of Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt in his release from prison after 27 years of captivity...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 25 weeks ago

Marc, I just want you to know how much I've appreciated your repeated efforts at drawing attention to the so-called "war on drugs". This issue is one I've held close to my heart for many, many years. It is a problem for which we've mainly our lawmakers to blame, for catering to the oligarchs whose interests it serves. (Yep! More of THAT.) As always, money trumps everything including life itself. With the "war on drugs" it's just one more manifestation of the same old ugly truth. Money comes first. Money, money, money... money$money$money$money$money!

It's been almost forty years since I first began realizing how the drug war is all about money and little else. More recently in the late '90s, while in college, I took a research writing class and for a class project, researched the history of hemp & marijuana prohibition; not only how it developed and manifested, but the true motives behind it. What I learned went way beyond validating my initial theory. It exceeded my already cynical expectations & assumptions, so much so that it radicalized me to the core.

Just so happened that at the time, there was a lot of media attention on drugs; drug use, drug addiction, drug enforcement ad nauseam, reflected in the letters I saw every day in the opinion column of our local paper. There were many pot-bashing letters in there, full of assumptions based on misinformation and lies, and it grated on me. They were so strident, so self-rightous and so full of crap. Made me crazy to see all that ignorance and stupidity out there in print, and with very little to counter it. So I began writing letters to the newspaper's public forum column, calling these people out while presenting actual facts. I ruffled some feathers, but that was fine. After all, I wasn't trying to win a popularity contest! But then came the inevitable hate call, on Friday Feb. 12th, 1999. I returned home that afternoon and checked out our message machine, and heard the following: (later transcribed for posterity!)

"Yeah this [?] uh….uh…..dope addicts, uh, that write in the newspaper all the horrible things an' tryin' to get kids hooked on dope… I just thought you'd like to know that a lot of people around here aren't real happy with dope, an' it's wrecked a lotta lives an', uh, you out there spreadin' this kinda crap all around sure makes me wanna move outa Coos Bay or…. sure…. certainly outa yer neighborhood, because I happen to be one of yer neighbors! So, uh, had I known you were dope addicts, uh, I prob'ly wouldn't a'moved in there! So, uh, I'll be seein' yuh up an' down the road but, uh, keep yer dope peddlin', uh, outa my neighborhood an' if… if I see yuh peddlin' dope, uh, to any of the kids around there yer gonna pay, okay! So just keep yer dope outa m'life, okay, b'bye!"

Given the intensity of emotion from both sides of this issue, I'd already begun feeling a need to hide my identity for self protection. But this little hate call was the game changer for me. It really galled me how the newspaper editor's policy required us to submit our names, addresses and so forth. They always print people's names with their letters, along with the town each resides in. To get around this, I hit the phone book, randomly picking names and addresses from different areas throughout the county. Not wanting others to be targeted as a consequence of my actions, I'd change names and/or initials while altering numbers on addresses, all in ways that would be easy to overlook (like substituting an "8" for a "6" or "3" for example; an "e" for an "o"; or an "r" and "n" side-by-side in place of an "m"). And by jingles, it worked! And there were no more hate calls.

Since I had to go to all that extra effort faking my identity, it occurred to me that I might as well have fun with it. So I took on a different identity with each letter; sometimes as a male, sometimes a female. I even took on different personalities for each one, ranging from belligerant & confrontative to mild-mannered & diplomatic, with a few other shades in between, creating the illusion of all these people writing in to refute the drug war from various angles. I had some defending the virtues of hemp & pot while others had more of a live-and-let-live kind of message, or just plain old common sense. There are so many facets to this issue and so many angles from which to debate it, I had myself a field day. Made some waves around here... yep, and sparked a dialogue too! I recall one letter written by a nurse from the local hospital, highlighting the hypocrisy of criminalizing drug use while at the same time, offering no detox clinics or other means of treatment, all shared from a valuable perspective only a healthcare provider in his position could have contributed to the discussion. I can't say for a fact that my letters gave him the courage to do it. However it's not impossible.

Anyhoo... yeah, that's me! Born rabble-rouser and troublemaker, doin' her mischief. I got away with this for a long time before the newspaper folks caught on to my game. I can only guess that's what happened, because eventually they stopped printing my letters. But it sure was fun while it lasted, and I reckon I got some folks pretty riled up. Oh well... it's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it! - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. After this was all over and done with, I later learned how Ben Franklin, as a teenager, pulled the same trick on his local paper... while working for them, if I recall. Now ain't that a hoot! One of the characters he invented was a middle-aged woman, a housewife and mother. For a sixteen-year-old boy to pull off such a disguise is quite a feat, I'd say! Guess I'm in good company.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 25 weeks ago

"rjwin" reminds us that Mandela didn't accomplish all he did by himself. I'm sure that's true. But Mandela will always be one of my heroes. His political triumph, in all liklihood, was the most spectacular such event I'll see in this lifetime. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland ~ That was quite a story. I guess your neighborhood isn't immune from the effects of Reagan's closing of mental institutions. The caller you described reminds me of a typical low brow, "mentally challenged" type who tend to take the drug war overly passionately. (ie. They believe hook line and sinker every lie they are told.) My experience suggests that such people are already so mentally unstable that the very thought of reshuffling their half full deck terrifies them to the bone. To them anything that alters conscious is evil personified. Although relatively harmless--in most circumstances--you should definitely avoid confronting them with any facts that they can't absorb or process. It will fall on deaf ears and only upset them. (ie. You can't win.) Therefore your approach with anonymity is reasonable, creative, and appropriate. I like it. It does indeed sound like a lot of fun too. Please keep stirring up the pot. It might be a dirty job but if it was good enough for Ben Franklin it certainly can't be a waste of time. As current trends against marijuana prohibition suggest, the efforts have not been in vain.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 25 weeks ago

Marc, you are one cool dude. I love battin' the ball with you. Your posts have brought much laughter and merriment; not only to me but also, mah hubby. Let's keep 'em rolling! - AIW

P.S. By the way, as to your urging me to "keep stirring up the pot..." was that intended as a pun? If so, very punny.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:P.S. By the way, as to your urging me to "keep stirring up the pot..." was that intended as a pun? If so, verypunny.

Aliceinwonderland ~ Why I'm shocked! Of course that was not intended as a pun! Not intended at least any more than "Let's keep 'em rolling!" was... or... may have been... intended as a pun. Oh well! With that... Let's keep 'em rolling!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Thanks for that link to the video. It starts off kinda funny....'needs a whack on the back of the neck with a stick' ;-] LOL. Anyway, I only got a chance to watch a few minutes...I'll have to watch it in full when I get the time. I have read many books on UFOs..Alien Abductions..etc..and it is all very entertaining. As for whether there is anything truthful about anything in what I've seen in the video....?? who knows?? I'll keep my eyes open for those greys from Zeta Reticuli. I personally think that they are embedded in the NSA and spying on us all. ;-0 I think Colonel Corso and Bob Lazar were right!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago

2950-10k: Sorry about all the "technical stuff". You may be right about not being to be able to "prove" who is actually typing stuff in ...or sitting behind the computer screen...unless they can actually get an image of you doing it. But, people have been convicted and hung for much less evidence before. They'll start out, of course, trying to bully you into confession or at least to give up your passwords to your encrypted files (if you have any). I don't think they have been very successful in legally compelling you to give up your passwords. One woman in Colorado, I seem to remember, was arrested and then confiscated her hard drives, along with the rest of her computer equipment, and tried to threaten her into revealing her passwords but the courts ruled in her favor.

I just don't know how we can really trust anything anymore, though, as law enforcement has forced software companies and ISPs to either have "back doors" embedded in their software or have compelled them all to keep lengthy logs of communication activities. Your encryption programs may be safe from some script kiddie but may not be from the NSA.

But when people begin to not trust their "security" programs..they stop buying them and that puts a deep dent in their profits. Lots of people are moving off of "closed-source" programs to "open-source" programs for one because they are "free" and for another they are usually safer. "open-source" means that you can't hide the code...it is "open" for all to see and scrutinize. "closed-source" are the programs that you have to buy and the code is hidden making it more difficult to be scrutinized by a wide number of people who understand the code.

But now, some companies have started to push back on the NSA, etal. I hope they succeed at putting some reigns on the excesses of violating our privacy.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 25 weeks ago
Quote Palindromedary:DAnneMarc: Thanks for that link to the video. It starts off kinda funny....'needs a whack on the back of the neck with a stick' ;-] LOL

Palindromedary ~ Yeah! That video is quite a trip. You should really check it out when time permits. I personally have seen it many times. Some times in slow motion and taking notes. I first saw it several years ago; and, to date have yet to disprove anything in it. Strangely enough many things are based on fact. Monatomic gold is hard to nail down. However, other things, such as the MYT engine--mighty but small--are documented on the internet. Unfortunately there is little evidence to support or deny the claims. However, there is more than enough evidence to warrant further research. To that extent the video is most provocative. I'm quite frankly surprised that you never heard of it before. It seems like it is quite up your alley.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 25 weeks ago

DAnneMarc: Amazing! I had never heard of the MYT engine...question is did the Russians steal the idea or was it the other way around? The American inventor originally from Lodi, Ca. claims that several groups of Russians had visited his shop a while back.

Here's a really neat graphic of the Russian MYT engine...

I remember when the Wankel engine came out many years ago. I thought that was pretty hot stuff...now this new MYT engine...really very interesting. I've go to learn more about how this thing works. Of course, it can't compare to the engine that Bob Lazar described at Area 51. Anti-gravity engines using an element, that doesn't exist on Earth, for fuel.

I've also not heard about monatomic gold either. I can't imagine anyone imbibing it. Very expensive "health" drink! I've heard of Silver have the ability to ward of infection. As a matter of fact, many years ago, I got a rather bad burn from foolishly trying to let the pressure out of my engine radiator by slowly twisting the cap....it blew outward and scalded my arms. The doctor prescribed an ointment that contained silver. Worked pretty good. I didn't have an Aloe Vera plant at the time...I sure do now. Man, the things people do with their gold...and coffee. ;-0

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to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."