John-Thomas Didymus

Lagos 872
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Joined July 2013

I am a freelance writer with special interest in politics, economy, business, marketing, science and technology. I hold an MBA (Finance and Accounting) from the University of Ibadan with 20 years experience in start-up business and marketing management.

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The rise and rise of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Part 2)

Author’s note: This is the second of a two-part series. View Part 1 here. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s conspicuous absence at the recent meeting of major Democratic Party donors of the Democracy Alliance highlights the pattern of what appears to be her alienation from the Democratic Party’s increasingly influential populist left faction. Her absence at the gathering follows her equally conspicuous absence at the recent Netroots Nation gathering of progressives in July. It is undeniable that an influential section of the Democratic Party, including the liberal media, is not entirely comfortable with the Clinton ticket. Major left-leaning media such as The Nation, The New Republic and Harper's Magazine have literally been waging a war against Clinton. The significance of the fact of an influential group of Democratic Party donors inviting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and ...
By on Nov 16, 2014

The rise and rise of Senator Elizabeth Warren (Part 1)

Author’s note: This is the first of a two-part series. The pressure on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run for Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 as a left-leaning challenger to the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intensified Thursday with big Democratic donors joining in the clamor. She got the expected rock star welcome at a closed-door session with major Democratic donors at the annual meeting of the Democracy Alliance held at Washington's Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Her speech at the event, which focused mainly on increasing economic inequality in the post-recession period, was interrupted repeatedly by standing ovations, and a donor reportedly yelling, "Run, Liz, Run!!" The first question she had to address during the question-and-answer session after her speech was about her plans for 2016. But as she has done consistently since her supporters began pressuring her...
By on Nov 16, 2014

White-savior industrial complex and the psychology of 'saviordom': Metaphor of ascension (Part 3)

Author's note: This completes a three-part series. View Part 2 here. Satire At the pinnacle of the pyramidal hierarchy of the "white-savior industrial complex" are the religious-missionary NGOs, the best known example in recent times being Samaritan's Purse, whose recent work in the Ebola-affected parts of West Africa has received global attention. Missionary NGOs making available the volunteer services of professionals, such as doctors and nurses, often working under dangerous conditions, are the white-savior industrial complex's equivalent of reality TV challenge shows, providing the full-blast of the spiritually certifying experience of haloed "saviordom." Regardless of attitude to their self-appointed mission of "spreading the gospel," you won't find any "educated African" questioning the purity of the sacred hearts of medical missionaries like Nurse Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brant...
By on Nov 13, 2014

White-savior industrial complex and the psychology of ‘saviordom’: A metaphor of divine incarnation (Part 2)

Author's note: This is the second of a series. View Part 1 here. A metaphor of divine incarnation aptly illustrates the psychology of the search for saviordom in the "white-savior industrial complex," a term often used in reference to the "voluntourist" industry, a new form of for-profit safari in which Westerners pay for short vacation trips, not to see Africa's wildlife, but to see, meet and provide "altruistic" volunteer services to its people.  Westerners seeking an opportunity to make a contribution to "Save Africa" are provided with an array of options, including taking care of and paying for the education of orphans, building schools for poor rural children and providing other community services. But the voluntourism industry is not limited to Africa. Zakarika describes a thriving orphanage industry in Indonesia that serves the white tourist demand for orphans in need: On the Indo...
By on Nov 12, 2014

Africa, the white-savior industrial complex and the quest for ‘saviordom’ (Part 1)

"The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening."  -- Nigerian-American novelist Teju Cole, 2012 It appears to have been the Nigerian-American novelist Teju Cole, who coined the widely used term "white-savior industrial complex" in 2012, after seeing the Kony 2012 viral video produced by the American charity Invisible Children. Kony 2012 was meant to raise awareness about the atrocities of the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army. In a series of tweets he titled "seven thoughts on the banality of (Western) sentimentality," Cole coined the term “white-savior industrial complex” to express his feeling of irritation at what he considered the condescendingly patronizing attitude and misguided intentions of the charity Invisible Children. The tweets: "From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Child...
By on Nov 12, 2014

Why Saudi Arabia can't win a price war against US shale oil producers

Author’s note: This concludes a three-part series. View Part 2 here. Saudi Arabia's unilateral decision to slash the price of oil could cause a rift in OPEC because the move threatens the economies of poorer members of the oil cartel. While some members have called for an output cut to shore up oil prices, it is unlikely that OPEC will agree to implement cuts at the meeting of the group in Vienna on Nov. 27. And despite speculation in the media that the Saudis are considering a price war strategy to curb the expansion of shale oil production, it is not clear how the Saudis could win a price war against US producers. Evidence that the Saudis are not in a position to wage a price war against US shale oil producers raises questions about the validity of the standard analysis in the mainstream media that the Saudis cut the price of oil primarily as part of a strategy to maintain market share...
By on Nov 10, 2014

Could Saudi Arabia crash the US shale oil boom with a price war?

Author’s note: This is the second installment of a series. View Part 1 here. View Part 3 here. The recent decision by the Saudi Arabian government to slash the price at which it sells oil to the US has raised concerns that lowering oil prices could crash the US fracking boom. There is a lot at stake for the US economy in the shale oil boom for as long as renewable energy has not come into the mainstream. Energy security and the potential stimulating impact of the shale oil boom on the US economy through increased business and employment are vital issues. The development of hydraulic fracturing technology and its implications to the global oil market in terms of the sudden increase in supply caught the major oil producing countries unprepared. This leads to a tendency for the top oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia, to respond with panic measures. A move by the Saudis and their Gulf allie...
By on Nov 10, 2014

Why is Saudi Arabia lowering oil prices?

Author’s note: This is the first of a series. View Part 2 here. The recent drop in global oil prices was not due entirely to the forces of demand and supply in the aftermath of the US shale oil boom, but was largely the result of a decision by the government of Saudi Arabia to lower oil prices for US customers. Reuters reported last month that before the move on Monday, the Saudis had been telling investors, customers and market analysts in private meetings about their plan to lower oil prices and keep prices down for a while, reportedly up to two years. The move represents a major change in Saudi policy of shoring up oil prices through production cuts. It caused the benchmark West Texas Intermediate (Texas light sweet) to fall to about $76.45 per barrel, the lowest in three years. Similarly, benchmark Brent LCOc1 futures, which have been falling in the past few months from $115 in June,...
By on Nov 09, 2014

Obama, ‘son of a man from Africa,’ oversees US imperial mission in Africa (Part 3)

Author's note: This concludes a three-part series. View Part 2 here. Widespread distrust of US foreign policy in Africa has its roots in events related to the US Cold War policy of containment of the spread of the USSR in Africa through destabilizing countries considered open to cultivating friendly relations with the Soviet Union. Implementation of a policy of containment of the spread of Soviet influence in Central Africa led to President Dwight Eisenhower’s direct order to CIA Director Allen Dulles, at a White House meeting in August 1960, that Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected leader of the Republic of Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo), be “eliminated.” The CIA-sponsored murder of Lumumba on Jan. 17, 1961, led to the installment of the US-backed dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko. Implementation of a similar policy in West Africa led to the CIA-bac...
By on Oct 31, 2014

Boko Haram: Chibok girls as pawns in the US-France superpower geopolitics of oil (Part 2)

Author's note: This is the second of a three-part series. View Part 1 here. Although the Boko Haram insurgency, fueled by widespread poverty in the ecologically devastated Lake Chad Basin region, emerged as a backlash against the incompetent excesses of the notoriously corrupt Nigerian state, there are strong indications in recent developments that the discovery of significant oil and gas reserves in the region has added a complicating dimension to the crisis. Not only has the discovery of extensive oil and gas reserves spurred Nigeria's neighbors Chad, Niger and Cameroon to intensify geopolitical maneuvering to position themselves strategically with respect to Nigeria, it has also spurred the US and France, two Western powers closely coordinating foreign policy in the African Sahel, to focus attention on the region as part of the intensifying resource-access competition with China on th...
By on Oct 30, 2014