I’m not going to pretend to have watched the Miss America pageant. But something somewhat interesting did take place late last night.
Miss Alabama Meg McGuffin- a 22-year-old Auburn University graduate had some choice words for the Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
Take a watch for yourself courtesy of the War Eagle Reader:
That comb over is ablaze. Well, not really. But at least her answer was better constructed that this:
Photo Credit: Screenshot-War Eagle Reader/Youtube (ABC TV)
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By John Massey
Democracy 3: Africa, is the latest standalone game in the indie game darling “Democracy” series, by Positech Studios.
The “Democracy” series places the player in the position of the head of government for a country, and gives the player the ability to tinker with policies, with the eventual goal of being reelected, and maybe solving a few social problems.
This is complicated by the existence of several mutually exclusive, or otherwise contradictory interest groups vying for your attention, i.e. Conservatives and Liberals, Capitalists and Socialists, etc.
“D3:A” takes several creative and technical leaps from the more “vanilla” Democracy 3.
Positech Studios is in fact a one man show; the brainchild of developer Cliff Harris.
RISE NEWS contacted Harris via email to expound on some of these additions, and how they reflect the realities of policy making in the variously depicted African countries.
Central to what Harris wants players to take away, is the caveat that Africa is not homogeneous.
” Its not just how you see it portrayed in the media, especially the US media,” Harris said. “The continent faces some really tough problems that are far harder than the problems that Western Democracies face.”
Some of the problems in “D3:A” do crop up quite often, and central to that is the addition of a new game feature- Stability.
“Pretty much everything else becomes an irrelevance unless you have stable government.”
“I think the one thing that I have learned from the modeling of these countries is the importance of stability,” Harris said. “Pretty much everything else becomes an irrelevance unless you have stable government.
“Nobody invests in a country where they may lose their whole investment in a coup, or a currency devaluation. Nobody takes a holiday somewhere where there are riots or a civil uprising. It’s something that we absolutely take for granted in the West.”
Managing stability becomes more so pressing when capital deprived environments are unable to attract investors.
This led Positech to make Foreign Policy a more active component of the game.
WATCH: Trailer for Democracy 3: Africa
“We have tended to skirt around foreign policy in the original game… We felt that it would simply be impossible to do this with African states, because the impact of foreign policy, especially when it comes to foreign investment is so large,” Harris said. “There is an assumption that corruption is low, stability is good and there are no major human-rights abuses that may reflect poorly on investors, but none of those statements are true for certain African states, so it would simply have been inaccurate not to be able to reflect that in the game.”
This line of thinking lends itself to institution building, a commonly echoed theme in addressing floundering democracies in the region.
Harris illustrates an inherent contradiction in efforts to build institutions:
“Essentially, it’s easier to fix a countries problems if you are an all-powerful dictator, because things just ‘get done’ without argument, so there is a temptation to keep hold of power to make the job of government easier. Obviously the end goal is to fix a countries problems AND have a functioning Democracy, but there is tension between these two goals when your country has real problems, and I think that gives some insight into how so many dictators originally feel they are acting ‘on behalf of the people’ and then cannot let go of power.”
This kind of paradox is perhaps most prevalent in the rule of el-Sisi in Egypt, who simultaneously is backed by the military, but has arguably improved the standing of women in Egypt and taken some measures to secularize education.
While “Democracy 3: Africa” is not a survey of African politics, it does offer a cursory look at the challenges that affect countries on the continent in an accessible interactive platform.
Perhaps most importantly, and optimistically, the game can be seen as a lesson for those that care about democratic institutions.
“Ultimately all political problems *can* be resolved given the will to do so,” Harris wrote in an email.
Democracy 3: Africa is available on Steam, GoG, and Positech’s own website.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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Little Haiti Gentrification War: Business Owners Cry Racism As New Landlord Allegedly Forces Out Haitians
What’s News In This Story?
–A developer is forcing out Haitian owned businesses from two commercial strips that he recently bought near the intersection of NE 2nd Ave and 82 St in Miami.
–The developer, Thomas Conway has been accused of unfairly targeting Haitians and treating non-Haitians better.
–Most of the businesses are on month-to-month leases and Florida law allows for landlords to end those type leases with 15 days notices.
–Some of the businesses have been open for decades, including a Haitian owned tuxedo store that has been in operation for 32 years.
-Chronic road construction has also caused severe hardships for the businesses. One barbershop says that they have lost 60% of their customers over the last year due to the construction.
–Haitian community activists are calling for public officials to intervene and provide support to the affected businesses.
Little Haiti is about to get a whole lot whiter.
That’s if you believe dozens of Little Haiti business owners and community activists who are claiming that a real estate developer is forcing Haitians out of two commercial strips in a fast gentrifying area of Miami, while giving white owners better treatment.
The business strips are on the East and West side of NE 2nd Ave near the 82nd St intersection.
The buildings were recently purchased by Thomas Conway, a young real estate entrepreneur who has been active in the northern section of Little Haiti.
The buildings are full of dozens of business, ranging from a travel agency, to a bakery and a Metro PCS.
Most of the businesses are run by Haitians.
Over the past two months, local shop owners say that Conway has been trying to force them out.
Multiple owners claim that Conway has refused to accept their rent checks so he can get rid of them and court records obtained by the Miami Herald show that the new landlord has already started eviction proceedings on 13 of the 15 businesses at 8200 NE Second Ave. and 201 NE 82nd St.
Most of the businesses are on month to month leases and Florida law allows for landlords to end leases with only 15 days notice.
The situation has become so untenable that many of the business owners called a press conference on Thursday with the Haitian rights group Family Action Network Movement (FANM).
To add to to their misery, an ongoing construction project has ripped up parts of NE 2nd Ave for nearly a year and dramatically hurt business in the area.
The iconic Miami restaurant, Football Sandwich Shop has been closed for multiple months due to the same construction.
Marleine Bastien, the leader of FANM said that many business owners were angry that local authorities have not offered financial assistance to their struggling businesses.
“Some of them wonder, is this a way to get them out?,” Bastien asked during the press conference. “Because usually when businesses are impacted, they get some type of relief. But not these Haitian businesses.”
Bastien also said that Haitian businesses are facing discrimination because they were the only ones asked to leave by Conway.
Ramon Alvarez owns a barbershop on the strip of the westside of NE 2nd Ave.
Alvarez said that Conway lied to his face about what his intentions were about the future of the building and that the decision to force out his barbershop was racially motivated because of the Haitian staff he has.
“They see this as a black business,” Alvarez told RISE NEWS. “Everybody out. I don’t know, it’s scary.”
Alvarez said that Conway seemed very reasonable when the new landlord first approached him a few months ago after buying the property.
Alvarez said that Conway told him the plan was to fix up the building and put on a new roof.
Alvarez also said that Conway told him that the rent would gradually go up from the current $1,400 a month to $3,500 a month.
Alvarez said that he was ok with this new arrangement.
“I can manage it and If I can’t afford it one day I’m going to say, ‘Mr. Thomas, I got to go.'”
But Alvarez said that Conway changed his tune and even refused to accept a rent check.
Now, Alvarez said that he’s been told he is going to be evicted.
He’s not the only one.
“I’ve been eight years here,” Pierre Richard Maximillien, the owner of a travel agency said. “The guy next door to me who sells tuxedos and marriage dresses has been there 32 years. It’s a lifetime.”
A few doors down from Alvarez’s barber shop, Lucia Garcia runs The Furtnitue Store.
Garcia attended the press conference in support of the Haitian owners and said that she felt like Conway was treating her business differently than the others.
Garcia is Hispanic.
“We have not received any threats,” Garcia told RISE NEWS. “We have not received any eviction notices. We have been given until June to leave, supposedly due to construction. But we have received very different treatment.”
Lina Hargrett, the owner of the Empty Apartment said that she just recently signed a year lease to stay in the same building where Alvarez and Garcia have their businesses.
Hargrett said that she had not been asked to leave the building and seemed unaware of the controversy that was swirling.
Hargrett has a light complexion.
Hargrett’s store and the Metro PCS are the only two businesses that seem unaffected by the moves.
Both have two year leases.
Conway refused to speak to a reporter from RISE NEWS when reached via phone on Thursday, and hung up.
“Unfortunately, I can’t take this call at the moment,” Conway said before hanging up. “I appreciate it.”
In 2015, Conway opened MADE At The Citadel, a well-known co-working space on NE 2nd Ave and 83rd St.
It was reported in 2017 that he intends to turn the building across the street from MADE At The Citadel into a food hall.
A rendering for that building, which is called The Citadel, is available online.
Gary Louis has worked as a barber for over 15 years at the shop that Alvarez now owns.
He has to pay to keep his chair there and has stayed despite losing 60% of his business due to the road construction.
Louis said that he’s stayed because he was excited about the changes in the neighborhood and thought that he would prosper from them.
“The city hasn’t done anything for the Haitian community at all,” Louis said. “So now, something is brought to life where we’ve seen the city has finally taken care of the community. But now as I’m seeing it, it’s not being cleaned up for primarily the Haitian community. It’s just mainly for a new form of business that does not include the Haitian community at all.”
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By Kyle Jones
It’s that special day of the year again. This Friday will be the 3rd and final Friday the 13th of the year.
Like black cats and broken mirrors, the day has become synonymous with bad luck and dread in western culture.
According to NPR, fear of Friday the 13th is an actual clinical condition called paraskevidekatriaphobia.
People suffering from this condition fear the day so much that some actually refuse to fly, make business decisions, or even spend a lot of money on this most inauspicious of days.
According to National Geographic, “It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they normally would do.”
But this begs the question, why?
Accounts vary greatly as to the origins of the superstition of Friday the 13th. Some historians claim that the superstition surrounding the day most likely originated during the Middle Ages and may even have Biblical origins, according to the Telegraph.
One of the most popular legends surrounding the misfortune of Friday the 13th involves the events of Friday October 13th, 1307.
It was on this day that King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest and execution of all those associated with the Knights Templar to avoid having to pay back the massive financial debt he owed to the knightly order.
This legend was popularized when it was referenced in Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code.
Prior to this; however, Friday and the number 13 were both considered to unlucky. Geoffrey Chaucer referenced the belief that it was bad luck to start a journey or a project on a Friday in the Canterbury Tales.
In Christian tradition, Good Friday is remembered as the day when Jesus was crucified. Some biblical scholars actually claim that the crucifixion of Jesus actually took place on Friday the 13th.
The number 13 has also been considered unlucky in western culture since antiquity. A Norse myth told of a dinner party for 12 gods at which Loki, 13th guest, showed up and shot the god of joy and happiness according to Livescience. A similar belief exists that Judas the betrayer, was the 13th person to arrive at the last supper.
Today, Friday the 13th is most commonly associated with the Friday the 13th movie franchise.
But whether you’re talking about dead Templars or dead camp counselors, Friday the 13th continues to capture the imagination and hold a special place in western superstition.
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