America predicted Nigeria President Shagari’s removal by military

The United States government predicted the ouster of Nigeria’s democratically elected president in 1979, months before the politician, Shehu Shagari

Source: How America predicted Shagari’s removal by military

7 Ways Your “Domestic Church” Can Imitate the Holy Family’s Virtues In imitating the virtues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, holy families

Dec. 29, 2018 By Joseph Pronechen

The feast of the Holy Family — celebrated this year on Dec. 30 — reminds us “to contemplate the Holy Family of Nazaretha wonderful model of human and supernatural virtues for all Christian families,” as St. John Paul II said, referring to the liturgy during an Angelus address in December 2002. “We can find in it values and teachings which today are more indispensable than ever to give human society sound and stable foundations.”

Around the country, several Catholic families spoke to the Register about ways they’ve been living out their call to holiness within family life by following the model of the Holy Family in their daily lives.  Indeed, in imitating the virtues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, holy families are created.

With six children ranging in age from six months to 9 years old, David and Katie Norton of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, “have many opportunities to practice these virtues on a daily basis,” according to David. “In some ways, we have no choice — somebody has to feed the kids, take out the trash, do the dishes, etc. But we always have the option of doing it begrudgingly or joyfully.”

“The best list of virtues that were lived by the Holy Family are the ones provided in the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary,” observed Father Jeff Kirby, a moral theologian, author and pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church in Indian Land, South Carolina, referencing humility, love of neighbor, poverty of spirit/obedience and piety. “Each of these virtues are hailed in the Rosary precisely because they are preeminently modeled by Jesus, Mary and Joseph, not simply as individuals, but exactly as a family,” he said.

First is humility. “The greatest reflection of humility of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is that each did everything that God asked of them,” Father Kirby said, emphasizing that “humility is finding our place, given by God or other people, and doing it well. The greatest humility is when we do what God asks of us in his kingdom.” One way today’s families can live humility is “by nurturing an environment of compassion and mercy,” he said. For instance, “Family members can readily admit faults and give forgiveness.”

Humility is a major virtue for Andrew and Sarah Swafford, who are raising three sons and one daughter, ages 2-11, in Atchison, Kansas. Andrew told the Register he has always been intrigued by C.S. Lewis’ account of “humility as not necessarily thinking less of yourself, but thinking less about yourself.”

“In the same line of thought, we have tried to inculcate in our kids a sense for the source of their true identity and worth — namely, as a child of God,” explained Andrew, a theology professor at Benedictine College. He added, “Lewis’ account of humility … takes the attention off ourselves and turns us outward in love of God and neighbor. Humility, in this sense, also helps each of us to be more emotionally available to those around us — precisely because we are striving to be outward-oriented, focusing on the ‘other’ instead of ourselves.”

Father Kirby next accentuated love of neighbor. The one virtue “particularly tender in my heart is the great love of neighbor that Joseph showed toward Our Lady. He loved and cared for her. It was a love called to a high level of purification. What a man!”

Father Kirby recommends this virtue “can be shown by having meals as a family, spending evenings together and asking about each other’s day.”

Then comes poverty of spirit, which includes obedience. Father Kirby points out that Our Lady showed that poverty of spirit when she said, “‘Be it done unto me according to your word.’ And there are no recorded words of Joseph. Words weren’t needed. He just did what was asked, showing a real ‘emptiness.’ Poverty of spirit is allowing ourselves to be emptied before God.”

Of course, he added, Joseph was alert to the angel’s instructions. “When the angel told him God’s will, he did it. It shows how close he was to God.” Obedience is “a virtue that is under attack,” Father Kirby added, recommending that families can grow in this virtue by “showing proper deference and respect to each other and fulfilling the duties of each one’s state in life.”

Piety also shines throughout the Holy Family’s life. Giving the example of the flight to Egypt, Father Kirby explained that poverty, obedience and piety all work together.

“Piety — which is honoring God’s will — was shown by the Holy Family when they packed up and went to a land they didn’t know and had no support, no security, no employment. This is an example of piety, which is a reverent trust in God’s will.”

One way families can live piety in daily life is “in the esteem and honor that is shown to parents and to those in authority who are outside of the family, such as civil and religious leaders.”

If these virtues are lived well, the Christian family “manifests the kingdom of God. This is a kingdom of truth, light, peace, grace and reconciliation. It is a kingdom that turns the world on its head and shows it the more excellent way of love.”

The Swaffords, according to dad Andrew, teach their children that “little examples matter a great deal, whether it’s our commitment to pray, our commitment not to use the Lord’s name in vain, or our courage to politely stand up for our faith in small ways when it’s challenged or spoken of pejoratively in the presence of strangers, friends, or family.”

Father Joseph Johnson, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in St. Louis Park, likes to highlight another three virtues: promptness or alacrity, which is defined as promptness with “cheerful readiness,” generosity, and fortitude.

“When God’s inspirations come, the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph answer with promptness or alacrity,” he said. “Sometimes, you or I are tempted to ask God, ‘Are you sure you want to do it that way?’ I have another proposal.”

Next is generosity. “There  is nothing begrudging in the obedience of faith in Joseph and Mary,” Father Johnson said.

“The No. 1 way of building and showing generosity is prayer,” accentuated Father Johnson. “Are you generous with God with your time? Are you able to commit to daily prayer time with God — not just a quick prayer on the fly? Can you be generous once a week and make a Holy Hour? Or go to daily Mass? Make that sacrifice.”

For this virtue, the Nortons specifically teach their children to give as a family. “We let our children put some change in the second collection and encourage them to set aside some of their own money for the collection,” explained dad David. “They also see Mom or Dad put the envelope in the basket, and that helps to teach that we are all called to give generously. We also try to give of our time and talent as we are able to, by being involved in ministries at church and volunteering for other organizations as well.”

Fortitude, one of the four cardinal virtues, is important, too. “They needed to persevere,” Father Johnson explained of the Holy Family’s efforts to do God’s will. “That required the virtue of fortitude to shoulder the burdens that came and to stay faithful. Fortitude says, ‘I’m going to shoulder the burden and remain faithful and stick to it and persevere.’”

The Nortons had to practice and build on several of these virtues in the process of adopting their two middle sons, Bo and Sebbie, from Ethiopia last year. David described what took place: “It took four and a half years, with several starts and stops in between, but the conversation about adopting had started years prior to that. When we heard a more urgent call to adopt, we were able to quickly say ‘Yes’ and get started. At points, it would have been so much easier to walk away, but we were certain of God’s will, and we were able to persevere.

Is the Nigerian Government Overwhelmed Or Confused On Curbing the Killings In Zamfara, Northwest Nigeria?

December 29, 2018Samuel Ogundipe

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

The Nigerian presidency bungled a condolence message to the victims of ongoing armed bandits’ attacks in Zamfara State earlier this week, misidentifying a community that is perhaps the hardest-hit by the rampaging bandits this year.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, was extending the condolences of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the administration “strongly condemned the killing of innocent Nigerians in Birnin Magaji community in Tsafe Local Government Area and Magami community in Faru District of Maradun Local Government Area of Zamfara State, following attacks by suspected armed bandits.”

“These horrendous acts of violence are crimes against humanity. This violence must stop,” Mr Shehu quoted the president as saying, while highlighting efforts the government had put in place to check the armed bandits, whose successive deadly attacks on villagers have left thousands dead in the northwestern state this year alone.

But Birnin Magaji is a local government entity on its own, although its seat is also Birnin Magaji. Therefore, contrary to what the presidency told Nigerians, Birnin Magaji is not a town in Tsafe Local Government Area, which has also been under siege from armed bandits with thousands fleeing from its villages.

At least 25 villagers were killed in successive attacks on three villages in Birnin Magaji LGA between 19-20 December. Tsafe Local Government Area was also attacked two days later, leaving dozens dead. Maradun LGA also endured deadly attacks on its villagers within the same period, as well as Zurmi Local Government Area which recorded 18 deaths.

‘Mourning template’

While analysts deemed the president’s comments assertive enough, the fumbling of one of the two locations mentioned in the statement has fueled doubts about whether the president and his aides even bothered to make basic findings, despite waiting days before releasing the condolence message on December 24.

“It is both embarrassing and worrisome that the presidency would fail to get the location of a place where so many innocent and harmless citizens were brutally murdered,” said political analyst Sola Olubanjo. “It is almost as if the presidency has a prepared template and they just tweak it a little bit after any attack they wish to react to.”

Birnin Magaji and Zurmi LGAs have witnessed some of the deadliest and frequent attacks by armed bandits, earning them frequent headlines throughout this year.

“There is no way you could excuse this level of incompetence at the highest office in the nation,” Mr Olubanjo added. “If the president does not know Birnin Magaji by now, then you wonder what he really knows about the acute insecurity that is ravaging our country.”

Mr Shehu could not be reached for comments by PREMIUM TIMES, his telephone line signalled it was switched off when dialled between Thursday and Friday.

The Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People

by Farnam Street December 29, 2018 

Why is it that some people seem to make constant progress in their professional and personal lives, while others appear to be doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over?

While the answer isn’t cut and dry, I’ve noticed an interesting mindset difference between these two groups: they approach obstacles and challenges very differently.

The first group approaches life with an open mind — an eagerness to learn and a willingness to be wrong. The second group digs their heels in at the first sign of disagreement and would rather die than be wrong. The way each group approaches obstacles, it turns out, defines much of what separates them.

So which group are you in?

Before you smugly slap an open-minded sticker on your chest, consider this: closed-minded people would never consider that they could actually be closed-minded. In fact, their perceived open-mindedness is what’s so dangerous.

It’s a version of the Batesian Mimic Problem — are you the real thing or a copycat? Are you the real deal, or have you simply learned to talk the talk, to look the part?

These are tough questions to answer. Nobody wants to admit to themselves that they’re closed-minded. But the advantages of having that courage are massive. The ability to change your mind is a superpower.

The ability to change your mind is a superpower.

The rate at which you learn and progress in the world depends on how willing you are to weigh the merit of new ideas, even if you don’t instinctively like them. Perhaps especially if you don’t like them.

What’s more, placing your trust and effort in the right mentor can propel you forward, just as placing it in the wrong person can send you back to the starting point.

So how can you tell what camp you’re in? How do you make sure you’re being influenced by the right group of people?

In his book Principles, Ray Dalio, self-made billionaire and founder of the largest hedge fund in the world, lays out seven powerful ways you can tell the difference.

1. Challenging Ideas

Closed-minded people don’t want their ideas challenged. They are typically frustrated that they can’t get the other person to agree with them instead of curious as to why the other person disagrees.

Closed-minded people are more interested in proving themselves right than in getting the best outcome. They don’t ask questions. They want to show you where you’re wrong without understanding where you’re coming from. They get angry when you ask them to explain something. They think people who ask questions are slowing them down. And they think you’re an idiot if you don’t agree.

In short, they’re on the wrong side of right.

Open-minded people are more curious about why there is disagreement. … They understand that there is always the possibility that they might be wrong and that it’s worth the little bit of time it takes to consider the other person’s views….

Open-minded people see disagreement as a thoughtful means to expand their knowledge. They don’t get angry or upset at questions; rather, they want to identify where the disagreement lies so they can correct their misperceptions. They realize that being right means changing their minds when someone else knows something they don’t.

2. Statements vs. Questions

Closed-minded people are more likely to make statements than ask questions.

These are the people who sit in meetings and are more than willing to offer their opinions, but never ask other people to expand on or explain their ideas. Closed-minded people are thinking of how they would refute the other person’s thoughts, rather than trying to understand what they might be missing.

Open-minded people genuinely believe they could be wrong; the questions that they ask are genuine.

Open-minded people know that while they may have an opinion on a subject, it could count for less than someone else’s. Maybe they’re outside their circle of competence or maybe they’re experts. Regardless, they’re always curious as to how people see things differently and they weigh their opinions accordingly.

(At Syrus Partners, for example, Jeff’s financial analysis trumps mine when we disagree. Why? He’s simply better at it than I am. He finds things that business owners don’t even know about. Do I care that his analyses take precedence? No. Why? Because I want the best outcome.)

3. Understanding

Closed-minded people focus much more on being understood than on understanding others.

People’s default behaviors offer a quick tell. When you disagree with someone, what’s their reaction? If they’re quick to rephrase what they just said or, even worse, repeat it, then they are assuming that you don’t understand them, rather than that you are disagreeing with them.

Open-minded people feel compelled to see things through others’ eyes.

When you disagree with an open-minded person, they are quick to assume that they might not understand something and to ask you to tell them where their understanding is incomplete.

4. I Might Be Wrong, But…

Dalio nails this one. I have nothing to add.

Closed-minded people say things like “I could be wrong … but here’s my opinion.” This is a classic cue I hear all the time. It’s often a perfunctory gesture that allows people to hold their own opinion while convincing themselves that they are being open-minded. If your statement starts with “I could be wrong”…, you should probably follow it with a question and not an assertion.

Open-minded people know when to make statements and when to ask questions.

5. Just Shut Up

“Closed-minded people block others from speaking.”

They don’t have time to rehash something already talked about. They don’t want to hear anyone’s voices but their own. (Dalio offers a “two-minute rule” to get around this: Everyone has the right to speak for two minutes without being interrupted.)

Open-minded people are always more interested in listening than in speaking.

More than that, they say things like, “Sam, I notice you’ve been quiet. Would you like to offer your thoughts to the group?”

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

6. Only One Sperm Gets In

Closed-minded people have trouble holding two thoughts simultaneously in their minds.

This reminds me of the memorable quote by Charlie Munger: “The human mind is a lot like the human egg, and the human egg has a shut-off device. When one sperm gets in, it shuts down so the next one can’t get in.” It’s our nature to close our minds around our favorite ideas, but this is not the ideal way to think and learn.

Open-minded people can take in the thoughts of others without losing their ability to think well—they can hold two or more conflicting concepts in their mind and go back and forth between them to assess their relative merits.

7. Humble Pie

Closed-minded people lack a deep sense of humility.

Where does one get humility? Usually from failure—a crash so terrible they don’t want to repeat it. I remember when a hedge fund I was on the board of made a terrible investment decision. We spent a lot of time rubbing our noses in it afterward in an attempt to make sure we wouldn’t repeat the same mistake. In the process, we learned a lot about what we didn’t know.

Open-minded people approach everything with a deep-seated fear that they may be wrong.


If you recognize closed-minded behavior patterns in yourself, you’re not alone.

We’re all somewhere on the continuum between open- and closed-minded by default. Further complicating things, it varies by day and subject.

Staying open-minded won’t happen by accident.

When you find yourself exhibiting these behaviors in the moment, acknowledge what’s happening and correct it. Don’t blame yourself. As soon as you can, find a quiet place and reflect on what’s going on at a deeper level. Try to do better next time. Remember that this stuff takes work.

Maybe you have your self-worth wrapped up in being right, or maybe you’re not the right person to make a given decision. Or maybe it’s something else. Either way, this is something worth exploring.

I have one more thing to add: Being open-minded does not mean that you spend an inordinate amount of time considering patently bad ideas just for the sake of open-mindedness.

You must have what Garrett Hardin calls a “default status” on various issues in your head. If someone offers you the proverbial free lunch, it’s OK to default to skepticism. If someone offers to build you a perpetual motion machine, I suggest you ignore them, as they’re violating the laws of thermodynamics. If someone offers to help you defraud the government and suggests that “no one will know,” I suggest you walk away immediately. There is wisdom in closed-mindedness on certain issues.

But consider this: Do you know anyone who doesn’t have any blind spots? I strongly doubt it. Then why would you be any different? As Dalio makes clear, you must be active in the process of open-mindedness: It won’t happen by accident.

Nigeria’s First Executive President Shehu Shagari Who Died Yesterday, Buried Today


Late Shehu Shagari
First Executive President of Nigeria

The former President of Nigeria in the second republic, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, died yesterday at the age of 93 at the National Hospital, Abuja. His body was flown to Sokoto today and was laid to rest in his hometown, Shagari Local Government Area of Sokoto state at about 3.30 pm.

The funeral prayer was led by Professor Shehu Galadanchi, the first Vice Chancellor, Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University Sokoto.

Mr. Boss Mustapha, secretary of the Government of the Federation led the Federal Government delegation to the burial of former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.

Other dignitaries that attended the funeral prayers included governors of Kebbi and Zamfara states, former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, former Independent National Electoral Commission chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, Senator Aliyu Wamakko and former Minister, Mukhtar Shagari.

Alhaji Shehu Shagari led the implementation of American Presidential System of government in Nigeria from 1979 to 1983 when the government was toppled by the military after a successful civilian-to-civilian transition that year.

How Phosphorus was Used in the Pacific Theater During World War II


In last week’s post, we mentioned the use of white phosphorus bombs by the Japanese. We wanted to take a closer look at this weapon that really gained notoriety during the Vietnam War, what it is and how it was used during World War II. White phosphorus bombs have been in use since World War I. The element phosphorus is highly flammable and toxic, and most notable for spontaneous combustion, meaning it will catch fire if it’s left out in the open. As such, any burning bits of phosphorus are very difficult to fully extinguish. For a visual demonstration of its flammability, take a look at the video below.

The U.S. Army Air Force used white phosphorus a couple of different ways. Because this element reacts when it comes in contact with oxygen, it made an excellent smoke screen for disguising troop movements. Another use was as an incendiary against…

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