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Joe Biden presents US election as a fight for the nation’s soul | News

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Joe Biden has formally accepted the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, describing in a televised speech to a virtual convention his vision for a new United States that is facing multiple crises at once.

“It is an America we can rebuild together,” Biden said, pledging to make control of the coronavirus outbreak his first act if elected president.

“We will never get our economy back on track. We will never get our kids safely back in schools. Never have our lives back until we deal with this virus,” Biden said.

In a week in which the US death toll from COVID-19 passed 170,000, the former vice president promised to deliver the “honest, unvarnished truth” to Americans and spoke directly to people who have lost loved ones to the virus. “I know what it is to feel that dark hole open in the middle of your chest,” he said.

‘The speech of his lifetime’

Kamala Harris sees US at ‘inflexion point’ in upcoming elections

Biden delivered his speech without the cheers of nearly 4,000 delegates who would have packed the conventional hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In that unusual setting, he achieved a conversational intimacy with viewers by speaking directly into the camera without interruptions.

“Joe Biden gave the speech of his lifetime, and he accomplished what he needed to, presenting an optimistic, forward-thinking voice for voters,” said Nichola Gutgold, a professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State University.

“He came across as ‘the president next-door’ offering a glimpse of his life as a young boy growing up in a small town, combining a folksy decency with policy points,” Gutgold told Al Jazeera.

“It was unlike any other convention speech in American history.”

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, Senator and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and her husband Douglas Emhoff celebrate on the final night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

Democrats used the four-day convention programme to frame the November election as a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency and laid out a series of centre-left policies on key issues confronting the nation.

“The magic of Joe Biden is that everything he chooses to do becomes the new reasonable,” like selecting Kamala Harris as the first woman of colour to be vice president, said Andrew Yang, one the contenders in the party’s presidential primary elections.

Speaker after speaker defined the election as a choice between liberal American values of inclusion and diversity embodied by Biden and division and alienation, which they said Trump fosters.

“We continue to be prisoners of the darkest of American forces,” said Jon Meacham, a leading US historian.

“That’s the issue of this election, a choice that goes straight to the nature of the soul of America,” Meacham said. Biden will be a president “with empathy, grace, a big heart and an open mind,” he added.

Party stars line up for Biden

Senator Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both legs in a grenade attack, called Trump “a coward in chief who won’t stand up to Vladimir Putin, read his daily intelligence briefings, or even publicly admonish our adversaries for putting bounties on our troops.”

Billionaire former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg said Trump’s record on jobs and the economy is one of inaction and failure. “Why the hell would we rehire Donald Trump for another four years,” said Bloomberg, who has pledged financial support to Democrats.

Pete Buttigieg at Dem conventions

Former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke about tolerance [Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters]

Former presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is gay and married, talked about the social progress he has seen in the US since serving in the Army in Afghanistan.

“Just over ten years ago, I joined a military where firing me because of who I am wasn’t just possible – it was policy,” Buttigieg said.

“Now in 2020, it is unlawful in America to fire anyone because of who they are or who they love. The very ring on my finger reflects how this country can change.”

But that tolerance and acceptance is threatened by Trump’s divisive politics, anti-immigrant policies, opposition to the Black Lives Matter protests and side-lining of public health experts in the pandemic response, Buttigieg said.

“Every American must now decide. Can America be a place where faith is about healing and not exclusion? Can we become a country that lives up to the truth that Black lives matter,” he asked.

Keisha Lance Bottoms at Dem convention

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms linked the Black Lives Matter protests to the legacy of the late civil rights icon John Lewis [Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters]

Keish Lance Bottoms, the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, took a tough stand against rioters during the wave of protests over George Floyd’s death in police custody and pushed back against a Republican governor’s reopening orders amid the pandemic.

Bottoms introduced a video featuring the life of the late Representative John Lewis, who was arrested 40 times for peaceful protest during the US civil rights movement of the 1960s.

“People often think they can’t make a difference like our Civil Rights icons, but every person in the movement mattered – those who made the sandwiches, swept the church floors, stuffed the envelopes. They, too, changed America,” Bottoms said.

Obama slams Trump’s ‘reality show’ presidency at DNC

“We have cried out for justice. We have gathered in our streets to demand change, and now, we must pass on the gift John Lewis sacrificed to give us, we must register, and we must vote.”

Democratic leaders have embraced the Black Lives Matter movement and protests for racial justice that rocked cities and towns across the US following the death of Floyd.

Trump, who has adopted a “law and order” posture towards the protests, appeared at a campaign event on Thursday near Scranton, Pennsylvania, an old coal-mining and industrial city where Biden was born.

Trump argued his pro-business policies have helped create new jobs in Pennsylvania, which Trump won in 2016, and warned Biden’s plans would hurt the state’s economy and worse.

“Joe Biden is a puppet of the radical left movement that seeks to destroy the American way of life,” Trump said.

As Biden was delivering his address, Trump took to Twitter to attack the Democratic nominee, claiming that “In 47 years, Joe did none of the things of which he now speaks”.

The Democrats’ final convention evening was punctuated with humour and entertainment from celebrities, actress Julia Louis Dreyfus, comedian Sarah Cooper, singer John Legend and rapper Common.

Sarah Cooper at Dem convention

Comedian Sarah Cooper does an impression of Donald Trump by video feed during the 4th and final night of the convention [Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters]

Biden leads Trump in most national polls by an average of 7.6 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics.com, although the spread between Biden and Trump is likely more competitive in key swing states.

Biden appears to lead Trump 49 percent to 45 percent in Pennsylvania, according to an August 11-17 survey by the Allentown Morning Call newspaper and Muhlenberg College.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Year of the Overcomer-Prophet Elvis Mbonye

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The eagerly awaited first fellowship of controversial Prophet Elvis Mbonye left viewers shocked as he declined to issue his now famous prophecies citing a refusal to settle for the new normal. In an on online service watched by thousands, the Prophet said him prophesying would “ be a concession to gathering online, rather than physically” further stating that it is not the will of God that church should meet online!

The Covid-19 SOPs given by the government and Ministry of Health have heavily impacted gatherings and as a result, ministries with large congregations have resorted to online services. The prophet however insists that this is a ploy to diminish the influence of the Kingdom of God.

He however proceeded to give the Prophetic Word of the year , saying “This is the year of the Overcomers” amidst cheers from those present. He also stated that this would not be a “gloomy” year, probably meaning that this would be a good year. Given that many of his prophecies have actually come to pass, should we pay more attention to him? We eagerly await the prophecies this year.

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Kabuleta blasts Media over “COFIT” reporting in new rant.

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Presidential hopeful Joseph Kiiza Kabuleta has expressed dissatisfaction with the media over what he says was”alarmist reporting” over the Covid-19 pandemic which he calls “COFIT” a term we believe is a wordplay between covid and profit, a view held by many that claims that the disease was exaggerated to maximize funding and corruption. Kabuleta has come to be known for his straight shooting style and admirable command of facts and policy, even being touted as the “smartest candidate” in the race.here is the full statement:

MEDIA AND THE COFIT ENTERPRISE

By Joseph Kabuleta

“Don’t look at where you fell, but where you slipped”
AFRICAN PROVERB

We know where the media fell. They fell when they were caught in the crossfire between opposition politicians and trigger-happy security hitmen; when they were unfairly targeted as they went about their noble duty of covering this explosive elective season. Sadly, some journalists are nursing wounds; others weren’t so lucky.
But it’s important for us to understand where they slipped.

If someone is sitting by the roadside sipping on his brew and he sees a gang of people sprinting past him, as if for their lives, it’s understandable if he impulsively joins without asking questions. But if after nine months he is still sprinting, and has still not asked any questions, then there’s something terribly wrong with him.

When we first went into lockdown in March, it was probably the best course of action because we didn’t know the full extent of the Cofit threat. But in the first 90 days, it was clear to all and sundry that it was never going to rank among Uganda’s top health challenges. And that’s not my opinion.

The Daily Monitor on July 15th quoted Dr Baterana Byarugaba, the Mulago Hospital Executive Director, describing the Cofit strain in the country as a mild form of flu which does not require hospital admission since it can be treated at home or in lower health facilities.
“l told Ugandans right from the beginning that the type of coronavirus we expect in Uganda is the mild one. It can be treated at health centre II, III, IV or the district hospital,” the top Medic said.

I read the story with glorious delight supposing that finally common sense, (or should I say science sense) would inform our decisions as a nation. But it’s difficult to know where science stops and politics starts. It’s become clear over the months that Cofit is not just a virus that causes respiratory problems, it’s a lot more than that; it’s a weapon in the hands of politicians that gives them power beyond their wildest dreams. In America, for instance, Democrat Congressman Jim Clyburn said Cofit is a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our (leftist) vision” while actress and activist Jane Fonda said that Cofit was “God’s gift to the left.”

Our media could have taken the side of poor Ugandans by showing the immense suffering and death from preventable sicknesses that resulted from the harsh Cofit measures; they could have highlighted the plight of businesses permanently closed and workers rendered redundant and sent back to villages. They could have wondered why truck drivers were testing negative in Kenya and positive in Uganda, or wondered why Cofit deaths only started after Prophet Museveni showed us a macabre lineup of coffins in his address, or why every celebrity who dies since then is ruled as Cofit (no autopsy required)

They could have told us that according to Worldometer, Cofit has a 0.28% mortality rate (or a 99.72 survival rate) and that it doesn’t rank anywhere in the Top 10 of Uganda’s health challenges; they could have told us that a child dies of malaria every two minutes (and Uganda accounts for 3% of the world’s malaria fatalities), which means that more Ugandans die from mosquitoes in ten days than Cofit has (allegedly) killed in the nine months it’s been on our lips.

Ugandans (especially of my age) have lived through real pandemics. As a young man growing up in the early 90s, nobody had to remind me that AIDS was real. Goodness me, I knew it was! And I didn’t need police to force me to wear protection, I knew the consequences. The fact that we are constantly being reminded that ‘Cofit is real’ tells a story of its own.

The media could have asked why Uganda, with one of the lowest Cofit cases or deaths, still holds on to a 9:00pm curfew when Kenya moved to 11:00pm in September, as did South Africa and several countries. The media could have told us that Malawi, Burundi, Tanzania and, recently, Ghana all held successful elections with full blown campaigns in 2020, and we aren’t hearing people dropping dead from Cofit in any of those countries. May be they should have tried to find out if people are dropping dead in Tanzania which altogether ignored all Cofit measures and went on to acquire middle-income status while Ugandans were still in lockdown.

They could have told us about the asymptomatic Cofit patients who were filmed dancing the night away in hospital wards, or of people suffering from other diseases who dare not go to hospital because they fear to be given a fake Cofit label and held for two weeks against their will.

The media could have told us that Cofit deaths across the world have been grossly inflated. Minnesota lawmakers say Cofit deaths could have been inflated by 40% after examining death certificates (according to The Washington Examiner) while Fox News reported that in Colorado 45% of Cofit corpses “were also found to have bullet wounds”.

They could have told us that 22 European countries, all of which had tens of thousands of Cofit deaths, opened their schools in the fall, and there has not been any reported spikes in cases as a result. They could have told us that more people have been killed by security men enforcing Cofit measures than by the virus itself.

Well, they could have…but they didn’t. And that’s where they slipped.

Instead they chose to go down the path of alarmist reporting and in so doing became, inadvertently or otherwise, enablers of Uganda’s trillion-shilling Cofit enterprise. Like Squealer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the media used flowery language to drum up fear by keeping people’s eyes transfixed on swelling numbers while the thieves carried their loot and stashed it away, and loan money was distributed among family members or used in regime prolongation.

The recent joint television news bulletin, and the adverts that followed, were the peak of hysterical reporting. “Zuukuka Tusaanawo” (wake up, we are perishing) screamed an advert featuring top media personalities. What a load of……(fill in appropriate word).

Remember, all the tyranny we have witnessed in this season has been done in the name of Cofit, and such sensationalist reporting justifies it; it gives dictators like Museveni the perfect pseudo-moralistic cover to unleash their most despotic fantasies while actually pretending that it’s for the good of the people. Unfortunately, the terror has now spread to the very media people whose hyperbole enabled it in the first place. There is such a thing as the law of cause and consequence, after all.

Instead of the media walking out of pressers and threatening to boycott government functions, let them threaten to stop all Cofit reporting. Museveni himself would come running with chocolate in hand.

If the president extended curfew by just two hours, for instance, he will have put as many as 200,000 Ugandans back to work especially in the hotel, restaurant and entertainment industries; but he doesn’t care, and sadly neither do many middleclass Ugandans who suppose that it’s their moral obligation as responsible citizens of the Global Village to fret over Cofit just because their ‘fellow citizens’ in Europe and America are doing so. Of course they can afford to do that because their corporate jobs have, for the most part, insulated them from the devastation of the government-instituted Cofit measures. They can enjoy working at home, beer in hand, as they listen to CNN and BBC and still expect the full complement of their salaries at the month end, and that makes them feel every bit like ‘their brothers’ overseas.

Such aspirational conformists are more likely to be offended by my stance on Cofit because they haven’t traversed crook and creek of this country and seen the damage reigned on this fragile society; not by the virus, but by the measures supposedly instituted to mitigate it.

You see, perhaps the most enduring damage this regime has done to our society is creating a three-part hierarchy of class and needs. At the zenith are a handful of connected ‘1986 generation’ and their families who feel entitled to all power and wealth. Beneath is a small (and shrinking) middleclass, and at the bottom of the pyramid is a mass of peasants. Every society, to various degrees, is ordered in the same fashion, but what makes Uganda unique is that the megalomaniacs at the top don’t give a nickel about the plight of the middleclass and the middleclass in turn don’t care a bit about the quandary of the peasant. The charlatans at the top will impose punitive taxes on the middleclass, then dip into NSSF coffers at a whim to share out their savings, and no one can stop them.

And the middleclass Ugandan, armed with his medical insurance, and safe in the knowledge that his wife is unlikely to die in child birth (20 Ugandans do EVERY DAY), and his children are very unlikely to die of malaria (20 do EVERY DAY), or from malnutrition (thousands do every year), will go around trumpeting Cofit because it’s more relevant to his status than malnutrition or malaria.

I could just as easily go down that path. I could also close my eyes to mothers failing to get breast milk because they can only afford half a meal a day (black tea with a piece of cassava), and the malnourished babies that emerge as a result; I could close my eyes to the teenage girls that were given out in marriage because schools closed, or those given out to meet family needs; I could ignore the fact that our president is opening 5-star markets in cities which have 1-star referral hospitals; I could also choose to look the other way and enjoy my middleclass lifestyle, but as an aspiring leader, I cannot.

As a leader, my aspiration is to remove the privileged/entitled class, to expand the middleclass (and their income), and to shrink the peasantry; but mostly to blur the lines that separate each category.
It doesn’t bode well for our country if the average Corporate Ugandan knows more about racism in America than about extreme poverty in Teso or Busoga because that disqualifies him/her from the solution to those local problems.

And finally, I have come to the realization that the biggest pandemic afflicting our country is poverty and the virus that causes it is called M7-1986. Vaccination against it is January 14

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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