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BITNEWS ON THE GO! Bitcoin is trending on Reddit! Why? The Daily Show Tweet, 711 in Mexico PayPal
BITNEWS ON THE GO! Bitcoin is trending on Reddit! Why? The Daily Show's John Stewart Tweeted About Bitcoin, All 7 Elevens in Mexico Announced They Accept Bitcoin Today PayPal's People Economy…

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Another week, another ultimately meaningless free speech controversy on an American college campus. Should Ayaan Hirsi Ali be allowed to speak at Yale? If only there were some simple way of settling these nonstop arguments.

Colleges invite prominent people to give speeches. These prominent people are too conservative, or too liberal, or too foreign, or too fascist, or too counterrevolutionary for some student faction or other. Students protest. They petition. They wave signs and send letters and yell and maybe occupy a building. The college withdraws its invitation to the speaker under pressure. The speaker is mad. The students are triumphant, but mad. The college is cowed, and looks stupid, as well as cowardly. Then all of America’s most boring pundits wring their hands over tolerance and diversity and The Kids These Days. Nobody wins in this process: not the schools, not the students, not the grownups who wanted to talk to the students, and certainly not the average reader of the average pundit, who is forced to listen to moralist pontificating that is undoubtedly more unbearable than any fascist imperialist political idea that the worst campus speaker could ever put forward.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali says mean things about Islam sometimes. She’s already been invited and disinvited as Brandeis University’s commencement speaker this year. Now she has been invited to speak at Yale. Oh no! Protests! Upsetness! Much hand-wringing! Whatever shall be done? Inside Higher Ed quotes a statement from Yale’s Muslim Student Association:

“We sympathize with the unfortunate circumstances that Ms. Hirsi Ali faced in her Muslim household as a child and we recognize that such experiences do exist in many countries, including Muslim-majority ones,” the group wrote. “Our concern is that Ms. Hirsi Ali is being invited to speak as an authority on Islam despite the fact that she does not hold the credentials to do so.”

Naturally, the calls for rejecting her invitation to speak, or for adding speakers to the program who will say the opposite of what she says, drew their own objections.

Since this sort of thing will continue to happen forever, allow us to suggest:


1) People who have controversial, objectionable, or even wrong opinions will be allowed to speak on college campuses.

2) Those who disagree with these people will be allowed to wave signs and yell and protest them and put on their own events with their own speakers with different views.

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Easy Rules for Free Speech on Campus

Kabul blast: suicide bomber attacks NATO convoy, four killed
For story suggestions please contact A suicide bombing attack aimed at a convoy of NATO forces in Kabul killed four people on Sunday. The att…

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An unedited photo of U.S. President Barack Obama making a speech Wednesday has gone viral and sparked Illuminati rumors. Since his first inauguration in 2008, people have made links between the president and the secret society bent on a new world order. Obama addressed the nation Wednesday from the Cross Hall of the White Houseabout his plans for military action against the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS. In a photo taken during his speech, a set of “horns” can be seen on top of Obama’s head, due to the design of a curtain behind him.

People on social media were quick to make a connection between Obama and Illuminati based on the picture. In addition to the photo of Obama with devil horns, conspiracy theorists also noted that Obama has three syllables in his name, a triangle has three sides and 9/11 is three numbers. Thursday marked the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The numbers 3, 9 and 11 have very special meaning to the Illuminati, according to Milton William Cooper, author of Secret Societies/New World Order.” “The numbers3, 7, 9,11,13, 33, 39. Any multiple of these numbers have special meaning to the Illuminati. Notice that the Bilderberg Group has a core of39members who are broken into 3 groups of 13 members in each group, Cooper wrote.

The Bilderberg Group in 1954 had their first meeting and members reportedly include some of the most powerful people in the world who control its resources. Notice that the core of 39 answers to the 13 who make up the Policy Committee. Take special notice that the 13 members of the Policy Committee answer to the Round Table of Nine. You know that the original number of states in the United States of America was 13. The Constitution has 7 articles and was signed by 39 members of the Constitutional Convention, Cooper wrote.

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President Obama Illuminati Rumors: Photo Of President With …

An unedited photo of U.S. President Barack Obama making a speech Wednesday has gone viral and sparked Illuminati rumors. Since his first inauguration in 2008, people have made links between the president and the secret society bent on a new world order. Obama addressed the nation Wednesday from the Cross Hall of the White Houseabout his plans for military action against the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS. In a photo taken during his speech, a set of “horns” can be seen on top of Obama’s head, due to the design of a curtain behind him.

People on social media were quick to make a connection between Obama and Illuminati based on the picture. In addition to the photo of Obama with devil horns, conspiracy theorists also noted that Obama has three syllables in his name, a triangle has three sides and 9/11 is three numbers. Thursday marked the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The numbers 3, 9 and 11 have very special meaning to the Illuminati, according to Milton William Cooper, author of Secret Societies/New World Order.” “The numbers3, 7, 9,11,13, 33, 39. Any multiple of these numbers have special meaning to the Illuminati. Notice that the Bilderberg Group has a core of39members who are broken into 3 groups of 13 members in each group, Cooper wrote.

The Bilderberg Group in 1954 had their first meeting and members reportedly include some of the most powerful people in the world who control its resources. Notice that the core of 39 answers to the 13 who make up the Policy Committee. Take special notice that the 13 members of the Policy Committee answer to the Round Table of Nine. You know that the original number of states in the United States of America was 13. The Constitution has 7 articles and was signed by 39 members of the Constitutional Convention, Cooper wrote.

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President Obama Illuminati Rumors: Photo Of President With 'Devil Horns' Goes Viral

Sep 122014

Credit Photograph by Christian Heeb/laif/Redux

When I moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands after college, for a job at a local newspaper, everyone I met told me that I had to read Herman Wouks Dont Stop the Carnival. It was the best novel ever set in the Virgin Islands. The funniest. Wouk, people said, gets island life exactly right. Never mind that no one north of the eighteenth parallel had heard of the book. You could find copies for sale in virtually every gift shop and bookstore from Tortola to Grenada. I found a tattered hardcover in the newspapers office and finished it in a day or two. It was dated, but a fun read.

Wouk, the author of The Caine Mutiny and Marjorie Morningstar, lived on St. Thomas from 1958 until 1964. (He is now ninety-nine.) He moved to the island to escape the distractions of New York City. While there, in his big house on a hill, he started writing The Winds of War, a major novel about the Second World War. He also made time to write something lighter. Dont Stop the Carnival, published in 1965, is a zippy farce about a Broadway press agent and self-described good New York liberal, Norman Paperman, who sees an ad in The New Yorker listing a funky Caribbean hotel for sale, flies south, and buys it. A large cast of eccentrics surrounds Paperman and drives the mostly slapstick narrative. His vision of paradise (green hills, snowy sand, azure sea) is soon crowded off the page by baroque catastrophe (scheming contractor, bursting cistern, island bureaucracy). Racism, intolerance, imperialism, cronyism, and alcoholism become the leitmotifs. Characters start getting killed. Paperman sells the hotel as quickly as he bought it and flees back to New York.

For Tiphanie Yanique, who is from St. Thomas, Dont Stop the Carnival was not a fun read. Her dbut novel, Land of Love and Drowning, which came out this summer, was written partly as an answer to Wouk. As she said in a recent interview, Virgin Islanders dont really give the book much thought. We dont think its a good representation of who we are. And yet this was the book being marketed as a credible anthropological text. The Virgin Islanders in the book are buffoons. I wanted to write something that people would say, If youre going to read the Herman Wouk, you have to also read the Yanique. For a writer from the Virgin Islands, there was, apparently, no escaping the shadow cast by Wouks beach umbrella.

Land of Love and Drowning is a completely different type of novel. Its a multigenerational saga about an island family, dramatizing historical events and salted with magical realism: one woman has hooves for feet, another has glittering silver pubic hair. But Yanique takes characters and settings from Wouks book and subversively reimagines them. A hotel cook, Sheila, gets a last name and an inner life. A talented but violent handyman named Hippolyte reappears, now more the holy fool, less the dangerous lunatic. The hotel itself gets a major moral facelift. It is now the touchstone for Yaniques characters jaundiced views of land development on their islands, and of the obnoxious, greedy, and debauched continentals who arrive in ever larger numbers. As far as we could see, thats all the Americans seemed to dodrink rum and buy up land, Anette Bradshaw, a history teacher, observes.

The two novels converge on the same incidents, from opposite angles. At the hotelcalled, in both books, the Gull Reef Clubone of Papermans recurring headaches involves negotiations over the immigration status of his employees. A bureaucrat threatens to deport his best chambermaid. Yanique uses this Woukian plot thread to show the new form of racism that Virgin Islanders increasingly confronted when continentals showed up and built houses, hotels, and golf courses across St. Thomas. Anette Bradshaw is walking home from the airport with her children. A big car full of Americans pulls up, with a white man and a white woman in the front seat. The driver says that he owns the Gull Reef Club. Were looking for a chambermaid. Ours, it seems, has just been deported back to Antigua or Anguilla or somewhere. You can imagine were in a bind. If youre free, we could take you right now, tykes and all. If Anette was not at present in mourning she might have done the fiery thing reach over the driver, and slap the woman in the face. A woman should have known better than to allow such an insult in front of the children.

Land of Love and Drowning is also, according to an authors note, a response to a soft-porn film called Girls Are for Loving, which was shot in the Virgin Islands in the nineteen-seventies. The film crew employed local people as extras, Yanique writes, but did not inform them of the films sexual content. In the novel, the films local scenes, primarily dancing, are shot at the Gull Reef Club. Anette and her husband, Franky, are among the extras. Anette senses that something is amiss, but ignores the signs. Months later, when Girls Are for Loving premires on the island, she and Franky dress up and join an excited crowd of islanders at the local theater. In the film, they see their own faces, and Anettes red skirt flying, accompanied by African drumming, intercut with shots of a white couple kissing and, soon enough, copulating. The audience is horrified. Then the pastors wife scream in the theater like she bout to dead. And all the people in the theater start to flood out. We spill out into the street but cant look at each other. This how we get put on the map in America? This me and my husband debut to the island and the nation? Is what they call pornographic. You hearing me.

We do hear Anette, loud and clear. She narrates some of the novels best passages in a dialect that is both inventive and fluid. Describing the day in 1917 when the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix were transferred from Danish to American rule, she says, Denmark decide it dont want we. America decide it do. One find we unnecessary because they way up in Europe. The next find we absolutely necessary because they backside sitting on the Caribbean. I wish Yanique had written more of the novel in that voice. Instead, she jumps erratically from one characters mind to the next, in a way that can feel unbalanced. Perhaps that was her aim. Yanique makes it clear from the beginning that she is not interested in the framing and cornicing of realism. History is a kind of magic I doing here, Anette says. Yanique, meanwhile, brings the natural world of the Virgin Islands into high relief, with similes that seem to erupt effortlessly from the lushness of her prose. Boys will stick to the younger sister like the slick of mango juice. A trinity of men will feel the love of her like casha bush burring their scalp in sleep.

I lived on St. John. It was a small island, very beautiful, quite segregated. Soon after I arrived, there was a rash of violent crimesassault, vandalism, alleged rape, arsonwith a toxic racial element. A white furniture-store owner known as Bali Bob ended up going to prison for assault and battery. Our little newspaper struggled to cover these stories. There was nothing slapstick about any of it. For an outsider, it was impossible to know much about the long, gnarled, local history of racial insult, stratification, and conflicta history kept largely through oral transmission by island families. Yanique brings reams of this spoken lore to the page. The ladys right: if youre going to read the Wouk, you also have to read the Yanique.

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The Virgin Islands, Rewritten

Editor’s note: Michael Sean Winters is on vacation this week. Filling in for him are various writers from Millennial, a journal featuring the writing of millennial Catholics. Winters will be back next week.

What does it mean to be a human person? The debate between Catholicism and libertarianism, which took center stage in Catholic circles over the summer, is not primarily about economics or politics. It is about anthropology. Catholicism and libertarianism have incompatible views of the human person. Perhaps the most important divergence between these two worldviews is in this very basic theological claim: I do not create myself, I do not call myself into existence, and I always exist in relationship to other people and to God.

Human freedom is crucial, but it is not reducible to negative liberty. In “Charity in Truth,” Pope Benedict XVI explained that true freedom “is not an intoxication with total autonomy, but a response to the call of being, beginning with our own personal being.” Freedom to love, freedom for human flourishing, freedom for community, and freedom for God all shape the Catholic understanding of freedom. Far from reducing the importance of freedom, this deeper and broader approach elevates freedom and, with it, our responsibility before God.

This understanding of freedom begins with the recognition that human persons are fundamentally and inescapably relational. On some level, nearly everyone agrees that human beings are social and that we need other people to survive. However, Catholicism doesn’t see community and the government as merely necessary for survival or necessary evils to mitigate conflict. Human society is a good that should be valued. Human persons are created in the image of God, and God is Trinity. What does it mean to say that to be made imago dei must be to be made imago trinitatis? It means that we can only live fully human lives together and that we are called to live more fully as the image of God in the world. Thus, we end up where libertarianism cannot: Our humanity, as in the image of God, is not only a matter of creation but also places a claim on us.

For libertarian philosophy, the starting point is that human beings are autonomous individuals who are most human when they are making choices. The only legitimate constraint is the requirement to respect the liberty of others. Autonomy and negative liberty — the absence of external impediments — dominate their understanding of freedom. In many ways, their anthropology begins with the idealization of a Robinson Crusoe-like figure and posits a humanity that only enters into relationships, commitments and responsibilities of one’s own choosing (completely forgetting that Robinson Crusoe was a fully grown, educated English gentleman when he was stranded). From this anthropology, economic libertarians develop the concept of the rational economic man, which defines rationality based upon self-interested choice. Am I really irrational every time I consider someone else in making a decision? Is selfishness really a virtue, as Ayn Rand argues?

This anthropology lays the foundation for their view of politics. Thus we see libertarians and figures like Ayn Rand argue for the complete separation of state and the market. She genuinely believed (and Alan Greenspan with her) that a community of autonomous individuals pursuing their own self-interests would self-regulate and be harmonious. Friedrich Hayek perceived any attempts at social justice and substantive equality of opportunity as moving toward totalitarianism or fascism. The irreconcilable divergence between libertarianism and Catholicism, which we see in their views of government and social justice, is really a disagreement about what it means to be human.

In a speech at Georgetown, U2 frontman Bono challenged students that “when you truly accept that those in some far off place in the global village have the same value as you in God’s eyes or even just in your own eyes, then your life is forever changed, you see something that you cannot unsee.” The image of God places a claim upon us that goes well beyond simply not harming or impeding others. We are morally required to promote the flourishing of others. Pope Paul VI explained, “There can be no progress towards the complete development of the human person without the simultaneous development of all humanity in the spirit of solidarity.”

To understand what Pope Francis says on poverty, inequality and exclusion, you have to first understand this deep unity of the one human family, of our belonging to each other and our standing together before God. This is the foundation of Pope Francis’ key insights. The threat of libertarianism is not primarily political; it is theological. Libertarianism creates a barrier to seeing the other as neighbor, as brother or sister.

St. John XXIII’s “Peace on Earth” offers a comprehensive account of what is demanded in terms of upholding human dignity and the flourishing community. It is a basic list of human rights. The concerns are always both personal and structural, as Catholic social thought recognizes that “human freedom is often crippled when a man falls into extreme poverty.” Human freedom is crippled by extreme poverty whether arbitrary obstacles exist or not. Freedom is not just about removing obstacles but providing the positive conditions for human flourishing within which true freedom can be exercised.

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Solidarity is our word: My humanity is bound up in yours

Montageparody makers before and after illuminati (SPOOKY)
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JERLUN, Sept 5 (Bernama) — The government will not retract the freedom of speech in the social media but wants the freedom to be exercised with accountability, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said the government practised an open attitude but it was the responsibility of the people, especially the young generation or ‘Gen Y’ to understand that there was a limit to freedom.

“I want to issue a warning that the existing law will be imposed on anyone attempting to jeopardise peace. This is certainly in force,” he said in his speech when opening the Jerlun Umno divisional delegates meeting at the Sekolah Menengah Sains Kubang Pasu, here today.

He said that the Sedition Act would be abolished and would be replaced by the proposed National Harmony Act, but matters pertaining to religion and race would not be neglected.

Najib said the government would not allow freedom that did not adhere to the principles of accountability especially regarding Islamic religion, the other faiths as well as the special privileges of the Malays and the Malay Rulers.

“We must defend…(we are) not saying there is a new legislation and the rest will be put aside…but we will add in more appropriate provisions,” he said.

He said although there would be freedom and openness, he hoped these would not result in extreme cases cropping up because there must be maturity in thinking in whatever action taken.

“There must be a limit…(because of) this principle of accountability, we must look for a formula where we provide space for the freedom of speech including comments on the leaders but, at the same time, there must be a limit so as not to destroy peace and national harmony,” he said.

Also present at the function were Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir, who is also the Jerlun Umno division head, Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man, Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah and Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

Najib said that in implementing anything new, including legislation and action which were open in nature, he took into consideration the views of many groups before implementing it.

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Govt won't retract freedom of speech in social media – Najib

Steve Lipskys tainted water well had already stirred national debate about the impacts of oil and gas production. Now it stars in a free speech dispute that has landed in Texas highest court the biggest test of a state law meant to curb attempts to stifle public protest.

So much methane has migrated into the well on Lipskys Parker County estate that he can ignite the stream that flows from it with the flick of a barbeque lighter. The Wisconsin transplant blames the phenomenon on nearby gas drilling in the Barnett Shale. In the past three years, he has shared those suspicions inYoutube videos, the film Gasland Part II and in news reports.

Range Resources, the accused local driller, has maintained it is not to blame. In 2011 it filed a lawsuit against Lipsky, his wife Shyla Lipsky and Alisa Rich, a toxicologistthe couple hired to test their well. The $3 million suit alleges the three conspired to defame and disparage Range and force federal regulators to intervene. Range representatives did not respond to interview requests.

In 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency charged Range with tainting the well and ordered the company to provide drinking water to Lipsky and a neighbor. But the agencywithdrew that orderafter the Railroad Commission of Texas said Range was not linked to the contamination.

Following more complaints from Lipsky and his neighbors, the commissiontook a second look at the contamination. Its report last May said evidence was insufficient to implicate the driller. The methane may be attributed to unrelated processes, including migration from the shallower Strawn formation, which lies just beneath the aquifer, the report concluded. Further investigation is not planned at this time.

Independent scientists are still studying the neighborhood’s wells.

Attorneys for the Lipskys and Rich have asked courts to dismiss the defamation suit, pointing to a2011 tort reform lawintended to protect free speech. The law opens the door for the early dismissal of meritless legal claims filed to intimidate critics so-called Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation, or SLAPPs, that seek to quiet opponents by drowning them in legal fees.

Its them trying to intimidate other people, meaning, How dare you ever accuse us of something like this? Lipsky, who pays $1,000 a month to truck in water from nearby Weatherford, said of Range.

Range has taken issue with a number of Lipskys assertions, including that the company contaminated the well, that Lipsky could literally light his water on fire (rather than the gas flowing within the water), and that the company treated the Lipskys like criminals.

After a lower court allowed Ranges lawsuit to proceed, the Second District Court of Appeals in Fort Worthordered that courtto set aside all charges except the defamation and disparagement allegations against Steve Lipsky. The court said Range provided no clear evidence that the others had conspired with him.

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Free Speech Case Springs From Barnett Shale Fracking Dispute

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Welcome to Civilization V! As Gustavus Adolphus, the Lion of the North, I'm going to try to lead the people of Sweden to the stars with a Science Victory. It's a standard size map, on the Prince…

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It's Always Sunny in Government? | Learn Liberty
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SEO Anniston | SEO Gadsden | 256-403-2534 | Alabama SEO
SEO Anniston | SEO Gadsden | 256-403-2534 | Alabama SEO (256) 403-2534 People pay you for your services because you are an expert in your business. …

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People walk past the Alma Mater statue on the Columbia University campus in New York City.


Editor’s note: Kathleen McCartney is the president of Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN) — Freedom of speech is the foundation of democracy. Yet many believe it is in jeopardy at our nation’s colleges and universities, especially following last spring’s commencement speaker controversies — including one at Smith College, when the managing director of the International Monetary Fund decided not to address graduates after protests.

This fall, as students return to our campuses, colleges must foster constructive conversations, not only about free speech but also about the need for civil discourse, a practice so absent from public life today. Discourse that is civil can still be challenging; however, it must be grounded in respect.

Kathleen McCartney

Students arrive at college largely unprepared for debate. This is hardly surprising, given our culture. In many realms — entertainment, government, politics — acrimony and extremism prevail. Reality television passes off angry encounters as entertainment. Congress is stalemated by partisanship to the point where it cannot legislate. Niche cable outlets have eroded our confidence in media objectivity. For some, political party affiliation is personal: A recent Pew Research Center study found many of us would object to a family member marrying outside our own political party.

The ideological echo chamber extends to our customized Facebook and Twitter feeds. We create social worlds in which our views are constantly codified and reaffirmed, rarely challenged.

We have lost sight of a key fact: Reasonable people disagree.

We can learn to disagree without demonizing, to protest without personalizing. Kathleen McCartney

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Free speech at risk at our universities?

Over 400 People Stung At Florida Beaches
Over 400 People Stung At Florida Beaches.

By: Yoko

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Over 400 People Stung At Florida Beaches – Video

Sea Shepherd activists being arrested for obstructing a whale hunt in the Faroe Islands. Photo: Sea Shepherd.

An Australian filmmaker arrested in a Faroe Islands protest has described as horrendous apilot whale hunt she was trying to prevent.

Krystal Keynes, 28, was driving a Sea Shepherd speedboat, donated to the campaign by US actor Charlie Sheen, when she was chased down by the Danish navy.

Ms Keynes, from Exmouth in Western Australia, said she was brought ashore under arrest and marched past whales killed in the local community’s “grind”, or whale hunt.

“We were led past a pile of dead whales, and the people who did it were walking around with their children, laughing and joking,” Ms Keynes told Fairfax Media.


“It was one of the most horrendous things I’ve ever seen in my whole life. It’s as ifthe Faroese live in a bubble where this is all right.”

The WA woman was among activists attempting to end the controversial tradition in the North Atlantic islands.

The hunt involves men in small boats herding passing pilot whales onshore at outlying islands of the Danish dependency. The whale meat is eaten.

The activists claim to have driven three pods of pilot whales away from the islands successfully until last Saturday when a large pod was surrounded.

Continue reading here:
Australian arrested in Sea Shepherd whale hunt protest

Izzee Sulaiman

I was brought up with the understanding of freedom as to not be enslaved to others when the Glorious God has created us all free.

Hence, Malaysia met its independence on the August 31, 1957, from the British Imperialist.

However these questions still remains in my head.

Are we still enslaved by other means? Are we truly independent? Are we free to make a choice we deem fit for ourselves?

Before I answer these questions, below would be the basis of my understanding of freedom.

As a Muslim, I shall first be a true servant of God and obey only Him and not tyrants, for those who enslaved themselves to tyrants will lose their freedom. A man of faith has the freedom to seek knowledge, wealth and happiness for oneself and for others whom are under his care without any fear and for the pleasures of God (the creator of the universe and all its content). As a believer in God, I believe in being righteous and seeking freedom for all.

However, we need to understand that there is no such thing as absolute freedom for it will only bring chaos, therefore we need order and by this, following certain rules and regulations in creating harmony.

These rules and regulations then become laws in life and within these laws do we create our freedom. It is a system or a rule of conduct or behaviour that is acceptable by any person in the right mind. When this freedom is challenged, oppression will take place, thus the system will collapse and justice will be lost. As a result we seek leadership to bring us all out of chaos and uphold justice once again.

Henceforth, leadership requires wisdom, for the most precious wealth is wisdom and the most miserable poverty is stupidity. Half of wisdom is love for with it comes humanity and friendship with the people, and the other half is guarding oneself from the evils of the people.

Original post:
What is merdeka or independence or freedom?

May 252014


24th MAY 2014



On 15 April 1958, in Accra, Ghana, African leaders and political activists gathered at the first Conference of Independent African States. The Conference called for the founding of African Freedom Day, a day to mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the People of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. Five years later, specifically On 25 May 1963, leaders of thirty-two then independent African states met to form the Organization of African Unity (OAU). By then more than two-thirds of the continent had achieved independence, from imperial European states. This meeting changed the African freedom day date from 15 April to 25 May. The day was then declared African Liberation day. This is very significant in the sense that indeed Africans must be liberated in line with their own aspirations. The question is; has Africa achieved the aspirations of its founding leaders in this regard? Have the negative experiences we as a people went through under the york of colonialism been reversed?

Independence for African countries came at a great cost. Gallant men and women shed their blood for our independence. We saw in the initial stages of independence that we the African people enjoyed political freedom while we continued to grapple with economic freedom. Within a few years of independence, we saw the greed of the few leaders exceed the needs of the majority of the people. Political freedoms were quickly taken away. Ruling parties declared countries one party states. This period was characterised by an unprecedented levels of political oppression where the state machinery was used to silence any form of dissent, in many cases, brutally. Ruling parties soon blurred the line between the party and the government, creating a state of affairs where state resources became party resources firmly controlled by the ruling class. Political sycophancy became the order of the day. Zambia was no exception to this unfortunate dark era of political intolerance. Dissenting voices were brutally crashed. The nation was put under a perpetual state of emergency which was used with swift ruthlessness. Zambians against all odds rose against the system and dismantled the one party system in 1990. We saw a serious attempt to reverse this gain during the failed third term project.

We are now seeing a very worrying trend in Zambia where opposition party political meetings are being disrupted by the highly compromised police formation. Opposition leaders are being dragged before courts of law on flimsy charges. Innocent Zambians gathering to accompany their political leaders are being overrun by vehicles, assassination attempts have become the order of the day. The list of the evidence that shows the reversal of political freedoms are too numerous for one message.

No serious attempt is being made in Africa generally and in Zambia particularly to give the people economic freedom. Life has been reduced to dog eat dog to survive. The basic social services such as education, health, water and sanitation are all in free fall. If people cannot receive quality education, cannot access health care and do not have access to clean water and sanitation facilities, what sort of liberation are we talking about? If people cannot criticize the Government openly without fear of victimization, then what kind of liberation are we talking about? Africa has some of the longest serving Presidents, most of whom (if not all) have manipulated constitutions to perpetuate themselves in power. Africa has the indignity of having six of the of top ten worlds longest serving Presidents in the world. The longest serving President the world over, at 37 years and still counting, is from Africa. Such a record is not something to be proud about.

What do we promise as UPND? There can be no liberation if people are not economically liberated. We therefore promise economic liberation by enacting laws that will guarantee citizens participation in the economic activities of the country. We also promise the citizens free quality education. People have to be educated to make informed decisions including choosing the kind of leaders they want. We promise quality health care. We cannot have an educated people, who are economically liberated but not healthy. That will affect productivity negatively. We promise a Zambia that will be food secure. We cannot have a people that are in a good economy, educated, health but hungry. Most importantly, what I, Hakainde Hichilema personally promise to deliver, is freedom of expression and assembly through a people driven constitution. My personal commitment and that of our party UPND to a people driven Constitution is unequivocal. Zambia claims to be liberated from colonialism yet the public order act that was used by the colonialists is still in force. We seem to have changed the DJ but left the same music playing with some of it repeating ad infinitum. Countrymen and women, let us take this opportunity to take a hard look of where we are coming from and where we want to go. Where we want to go will then determine what kind of manpower we need to get us there.

Have a blessed day.

More here:
HHs African Freedom Day Message

WE were the only ones there at peak season, Shivaji Das observes of his trip to the Kelimutu coloured lakes in Flores, listed on Wikipedia as the islands most famous tourist attraction. Thats what makes these islands a bit special, he says.

Das was at Universiti Malaya last month to give a talk on his newly launched travel ebook, Journeys With The Caterpillar, that charts his adventures in the Eastern Indonesian islands of Sumba and Flores with his then partner, now wife, Lobo (real name Yolanda Yu).

These relatively unknown islands seem to be a curious choice for two lovebirds, but Das lists their other options as Nepal and Syria, proving that these two choose the road less travelled by (and also less air-conditioned) whatever the circumstances. As it were, he says, Indonesia was the cheapest option with the best weather.

Its very different from Bali, he tells an audience of students and academics who will probably venture no further than that glossy destination when it comes to Indonesian islands. Its still very raw.

Sumba, Das informs us, is known as the Texas of Indonesia. Its very dry and you have a lot of flatlands and small hills. And of course horses. About a hundred years ago, the Sumba used to export horses. They still do, though not to the extent it once was and horses still play a major role in their culture, especially in annual festivals like Pasola, where horseback riders throw spears at each other.

Flores on the other hand, is wet and mountainous and has many volcanoes. These volcanoes, Kelimutu specifically, are the cradles for the lakes that change colour according to the oxidation state of the lakes. But more captivating than their landscapes is their culture.

PINK BUFFALOES AND MONOLITHS In his three-week travel, Das managed to cover a lot of ground and also discover much about the daily lives and festivities of the people of Sumba and Flores.

In Flores they say they dont have a face, Das says as the projector reveals a slide populated with faces that seemed to look like they are from South America and Africa. If you look at their faces, theyre all very different. From a Creole face to sharper features to more Javanese features.

These variations can be attributed to the rich colonial history of Flores, waves of colonisation as Das calls it, from neighbouring islands of Sumbawa and Sulawesi, and the Portuguese, then the Dutch.

On Sumba and Flores, a lot of importance is placed on ancestor worship, although most of Flores is nominally Roman Catholic. It is especially strong in Sumba, where the practice is called Marupu. In recent years, there has been a new surge of pride in their culture.

Read more from the original source:
HERITAGE: Mysterious isles of East Indonesia

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