850 Calorie Challenge

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On the internet you may find a challenge which thousands of people have to face every day, day in day out.

The number of crises around the world is far outpacing the level of funding for humanitarian operations, and vulnerable refugees in critical operations are falling through the cracks. It is unacceptable in today’s world of plenty for refugees to face chronic hunger or that their children drop out of school to help families survive.

English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme i...The World Food Programme’s dramatic cuts to refugee rations in Africa has received almost no coverage in Western media.

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version ...Two UN agencies put out a joint press release, one or two papers picked it up, and then nothing happened.

So nobody’s even heard about it.

Severely malnourished refugee children from the Central African Republic at a feeding centre in Batouri hospital, Cameroon.

As the World Food Programme ruefully concludes,African refugee camps no longer attract global awareness.”

That makes it easy for politicians to ignore the UN’s urgent appeal.

African refugees are some of the most invisible people in the world. So invisible, people don’t even react when the UN announces it has no money to keep them from starving.

But you can change that!

Speak Out for Refugees in Africa

  • Darfur Chart 2.005Link to 850Calories.com on your social media.
  • Share this UNHCR video on Facebook.
  • Tweet about it with the hashtag #850Cal
  • Talk to your friends about it.
  • Tell your teachers about it.
  • Tell your students about it
  • Make the kind of noise that leads to results.

And when you’re ready

Take the Challenge!

Join us in finding out what it’s like to live on 850 calories a day for just one day. 850 calories is not just not enough for a day…if you’re an active adolescent, it’s not enough for a meal.  What’s shocking is that this is probably more nutritious than what refugees in Chad get in their rations.

Chronicle your experience.

Blog about it. Tweet about it.

Tell all your friends. Let the world know.

Make it count!

  1. Live on the kinds and amounts of food a refugee at a UN Camp in Eastern Chad lives on for just one day.
  2. See rule 1.

Then tell everyone about it.

How much food are we talking about, really?

In Chad, the daily ration work out to:

  • 3/4ths of a cup of grain sorghum or millet (depending on what’s available locally)
  • Two tablespoons of mature seeed lentils,
  • Just under two tablespoons of cooking oil
  • One teaspoon sugar
  • One teaspoon salt

RationsAfter cooking, it comes to about three small bowls of food.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner – yum!

(You can also add more water to bulk it up and fool yourself into thinking it’s more food – not that it really helps.)

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Please do find: Central African Republic Revised Regional Refugee Response Plan July 2014

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  • #850calories (developmentintern.com)
    an estimated 800,000 – in a lot of countries, living on less than half their recommended daily calorie intake (for reference, average recommended calorie intakes are 1,000-1,400 for children under 5, 2,000 for adult women, and 2,500 for adult men).
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    As has been well documented in the UNHCR’S three-part Tracks blog series, lack of food availability has devastating consequences for refugees, who respond to such crises by utilising ‘negative coping strategies’. These strategies may include turning to forms of dangerous and exploitative labour such as prostitution, selling off of assets such as livestock, unsustainably over-exploiting natural resources such as firewood, and removing children from education in order to generate more income.
  • Food rations slashed for 800,000 African refugees: UN (modernghana.com)
    Nearly 800,000 refugees in Africa have had their food rations slashed due to a lack of global aid funding, threatening to push many to the brink of starvation, the UN warned on Tuesday.The cuts of up to 60 percent are “threatening to worsen already unacceptable levels of acute malnutrition, stunting and anaemia, particularly in children,” the United Nations’ World Food Programme and refugee agency UNHCR said in a joint statement.
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    The situation was not much better for some 150,000 refugees in Central Africa or in South Sudan, where supplies had also been cut by at least half, while another 338,000 refugees in Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Ghana, Mauritania and Uganda had seen their rations dwindle up to 43 percent, the UN agencies said.

    In addition, a series of unexpected, temporary ration reductions, sometimes due to insecurity, had hit camps in several countries since early 2013, including Kenya, Ethiopia, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon.

    “The number of crises around the world is far outpacing the level of funding for humanitarian operations, and vulnerable refugees in critical operations are falling through the cracks,” said Guterres.

  • UNHCR seeks $210m in revised appeal for refugees from Central African Republic (unhcr.org)
    On Tuesday UNHCR together with 16 other humanitarian agencies revised the Regional Refugee Response Plan for the CAR situation, seeking US$210 million to assist the growing refugee numbers in four asylum countries Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Republic of Congo until the end of the year.The new appeal figure is lower than the initial $274 million sought in April due to fewer-than-projected refugee arrivals in the DRC and the exclusion of returnees in Chad covered in the first appeal. However the needs have grown in Cameroon, where the majority of refugees are arriving, with $111 million requested in the revised plan almost double what was initially requested. Less than one-third of the revised plan has been funded so far.

    More than 357,000 people have fled CAR for the four host countries since the crisis started in December 2012. This number includes some 160,000 people who left after clashes intensified between the Seleka alliance and anti-Balaka militia in December 2013. Of those who fled in the last seven months the majority of them Muslims over 118,000 are in Cameroon, 17,500 in Chad, over 15,000 in the DRC and 9,000 in the Republic of Congo.

  • Recent Attacks in Nigeria prompt new refugees to Cameroon, more continue to arrive (unhcr.org)
    Recent attacks from insurgent groups in the north east of Nigeria has prompted thousands of Nigerians to find refuge in Cameroon in the past 10 days, with some newly arrived refugees sleeping on the ground in schools and churches and children suffering poor health. UNHCR is very concerned that even once they have crossed into Cameroon, they are still being pursued by insurgents and we have already started to relocate some of the refugees to a refugee camp where they can enjoy safer conditions.According to authorities, in the last ten days at least 9,000 people have arrived in Cameroon’s Far North Region, more than 2,000 sought refuge in Niger, and more people continue to arrive. The new arrivals fled recurrent attacks in the past three weeks in the Gwoza area in Nigeria’s Borno State, before reaching safety in Cameroon. Authorities report that 5,500 refugees have arrived in Kolofata, 3,000 in Kerawa and 370 in Mora, in the Mayo Sava and Logone-et-Chari districts. However, even upon arrival in Cameroon, they are not necessarily out of harm’s way. On Sunday, insurgents attacked Kerawa town inside Cameroon, forcing refugees and some local residents to flee further inland.
  • The Food Crisis in South Chad (independent.com)
    Although the estimates of the food rations that the refugees receive do not all jibe, it is clear that there are serious shortages with serious consequences and no miracle that will set things straight in sight. Moreover, the nearly 100,000 returnees are generally in worse shape than the refugees and are dependent on many of the same resources. And the large numbers of new refugees place additional strain on the limited supply of land, tools, and seeds. Hunger eats away at all activities, including work and school.We were told several versions of the current food ration, the consensus being that the refugees are receiving somewhere between 21 percent and 40 percent of the international standard set by the UN (2,100 calories per person per day). The deprivations were said to be worse for the nomadic refugees and for girls. Whatever the version, unless substantial improvement takes place by September 2014, our contacts agree widespread malnutrition and death are likely to occur.

    In several returnee camps, vouchers rather than food are distributed. The vouchers, equivalent to 4000 CFA (or $8) per person per month, can be traded for food at local markets at prices fixed by the government. Merchants can cash the vouchers with the government. Everyone agrees that the amount of food that can be purchased with 4000 CFA/month is totally inadequate.

  • African refugees face cuts in rations as funding runs low – UN (trust.org)
    The U.N. refugee agency needs $39 million for its nutrition support to refugees across the continent reeling from conflicts.”The appeal today is a very concrete appeal for the most dramatic of the situations, the African situation, because it is the most forgotten,” said Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

    “As you have seen, 450,000 refugees in Africa today are living with less than 50 percent of the normal ration. And this is something that is not acceptable,” he said.

    Desperate families fleeing South Sudan are still crossing into Ethiopia and Sudan, and people escaping Central African Republic arrive in Cameroon in a “desperate state”, he said.

  • New thinking needed on food aid for refugees in Africa (irinnews.org)
    The funding shortfall is not the result of shrinking budgets for either WFP or UNHCR, but a substantial increase in the need for food assistance generated by an unprecedented number of refugee emergencies in 2014. “The amount of large-scale, simultaneous emergencies has never been so high to the best of my memory,” said Paul Spiegel, UNHCR’s deputy director of programme support and management, speaking to IRIN from Geneva.Out of a global figure of 11.7 million refugees under UNHCR’s protection at the end of 2013, the highest number since 2001, 3.3 million live in Africa.

    “There has also been a lot of earmarking [by donors] for certain situations, particularly the Syrian situation,” he added. “Some situations, particularly CAR, have been severely under-funded so there is an equity issue here that needs to be dealt with. Protracted refugee situations have also not had the same level of funding.”

  • Starvation Real Threat in Central African Republic (netnewsledger.com)
    Starvation is a looming reality for many people in the Central African Republic. The call is out from the United Nations for immediate aid.
Posted in B4Peace, Poverty, Thoughts of others, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Americans honouring Labour Day when Wages are still putting someone below poverty level

English: This is a history of minimum wage inc...

This is a history of minimum wage increases under the 1938 act. This is current as of September 2009, with the inflation adjustment going to August 2009, the latest data. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Barack Obama last Saturday in honour of Labour Day reminded workers across the country to not take hard-won labour rights for granted while again calling on republicans in Congress to join with democrats to raise the federal minimum wage for millions of hard-working Americans.

In this week’s address, the President wished Americans a Happy Labour Day weekend, highlighted the important economic progress the Americans have made, and reaffirmed his commitment to accelerate their progress and ensure that their growing economy fuels a strong middle class. To do this, the President reiterated that Congress should do right by hard-working Americans across the country and raise the minimum wage and he praised the 13 states and Washington, DC as well as employers large and small who have heeded his call and taken action to provide their citizens and employees a fair wage. The President underscored that America built the world’s greatest middle class by making sure that everyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead – an economic patriotism worth remembering this Labour Day, and every day.

Minwage

Minwage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the past 53 months, the United States businesses have added nearly 10 million new jobs.  Last month, for the first time since 1997, they created more than 200,000 jobs for six straight months.  And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders worldwide have declared, two years running, that the number one place to invest isn’t China – it’s America.

So there are reasons to be optimistic about where the North Americans are headed.  And the decisions they make now will determine whether or not they accelerate this progress – whether economic gains flow to a few at the top, or whether a growing economy fuels rising incomes and a thriving middle class.

Though those American citizens , like the people in West Europe may not be too positive and think they are out of the crisis. There is still a lot of work to be done and we do have to be very careful that the gap between the rich and poor does not become bigger, what we see which is happening at the moment. The last few years the middle class came closer to the borders of poverty. There is a very need to build a stronger middle class in today’s changing economy. The American president warns the people they still have got to keep fighting.

We’ve got to fight for the right to affordable health insurance for everybody.  The right to fair pay, family leave, and workplace flexibility.  The right to a fair living wage.

The president focused on that last one for a minute.

In America, no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.  A hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.  And raising the minimum wage would be one of the best ways to give a boost to working families.  It would help around 28 million Americans from all walks of life pay the bills, provide for their kids, and spend that money at local businesses.  And that grows the economy for everyone.

We as industrialised and economically thriving countries should not allow it that families should need two people to work full-time be able to survive just in the ‘marge’ of what we should consider poverty. Those countries which consider themselves civilized should give their citizens a reasonable income and should give everybody fair enough equal chances.

The American president is doing his best.

The bottom line is, America deserves a raise.  But until we’ve got a Congress that cares about raising working folks’ wages, it’s up to the rest of us to make it happen.  And in the year and a half since I first asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, Americans of all walks of life are doing just that.

Thirteen states and D.C. have done their part by raising their minimum wages.  Four more states have minimum wage initiatives on the ballot this November.  And the states where the minimum wage has gone up this year have experienced higher job growth than the states that haven’t.

It also looks like the men or women in charge of big companies in the States are also willing to do their part.  There are some, but I would say not enough, which are raising base wages for tens of thousands of workers because they know it’s good for business. also cities are willing to show their good intentions and like mayor Emanuel in Chicago and mayor Garcetti in L.A. are working to lift their cities’ wages over time to at least thirteen dollars an hour.

I’ve tried to do my part by requiring companies that get contracts with the federal government to pay their workers a fair wage of ten dollars and ten cents an hour.

continued the president in his speech.

That there are people with good sense and ethics in the United States showed earlier this month, the president of Kentucky State University who set a great example by giving himself a $90,000 pay cut, so that he could give raises to his lowest-paid employees.

His sacrifice will give more of his workers and their families a little extra money to help make ends meet.

confirmed Barack Obama.

That’s how America built the greatest middle class the world has ever known.  Not by making sure a fortunate few at the top are doing well, but by making sure that everyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules can get ahead.  That’s the bedrock this country is built on.  Hard work.  Responsibility.  Sacrifice.  And looking out for one another as one united American family.

Leading up to the American Labour Day 2014, Secretary Tom Perez is traveling across the country to talk with Americans about how the American Government can help more people succeed in the workplace and at home.

Secretary Tom Perez​ of the U.S.A. Department of Labor writes:

This Labor Day, I’m thinking about Austraberta.

I had breakfast at Austraberta Rodriguez’s home in Houston two weeks ago. She’s worked as a janitor for more than 30 years, and for most of that time, her wages put her below the poverty level. Every cent she’s earned has gone toward providing the basics for her children and grandchildren. Today, she’s still earning the minimum wage — which, in Texas, is just $7.25 an hour.

Austraberta Rodriguez with her grandchildren

Minimum wages nationwide.

Minimum wages nationwide. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Austraberta told me over breakfast that a national minimum wage increase would mean more bread for her family. She said a few more dollars an hour would be “incredible.” That raise wouldn’t just go toward making Austraberta’s life a little better. It would improve the odds for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren too.

Austraberta’s struggle is our struggle. On Labor Day, we celebrate all workers nationwide who contribute to our strength and prosperity. Because whether you made the burger or someone served it to you, whether you’re driving the bus or riding on it, whether you’re sweeping the floor or working in the clean office, you have a part to pla​y.

So today, if you’re ready for a country that does right by Austraberta and the nearly 28 million Americans who stand to benefit from a $10.10 minimum wage,then honor them by adding your name here.

A higher minimum wage doesn’t just help workers like Austraberta. It helps the businesses they work for too. It improves employee morale, productivity, and customer service. It reduces turnover, absenteeism, and training costs.

And besides, when working families have more money in their pockets, they pump it right back into their local economies. They spend it on goods and services where they live. And that helps the businesses providing those goods and services to grow. And that creates more jobs.

But it all starts with making good on that basic bargain: If you work hard and play by the rules, you shouldn’t have to raise your family in poverty.

The President is doing his part, with an Executive Order that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 for private-sector workers on federal contracts.

You can do your part, too — and there’s no action too small to show your support for folks likeAustraberta. Folks like LeDaya. Like Holley. Like Aaron.

Today, more than a century after its inception, we still haven’t identified the true “founder” of Labor Day, and maybe that’s fitting. Because today isn’t about one person. It’s about every American who’s working hard to get ahead — and it’s about the progress we can make when we work together.

You can do that right now by standing up and saying you’re ready to reward hard work with a fair wage for everyone.

Happy Labor Day. Let’s continue standing with our workers not just on the first Monday in September, but every day of the year.

- Tom

Secretary Tom Perez​
Department of Labor
@LaborSec

Follow him along the way with live updates at www.dol.gov/LaborDay.

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  • Obama’s Labor secretary embarks on cross-country junket to promote Labor Day (theblaze.com)
    Perez’s “On the Road” initiative started in Los Angeles, where he met with LeDaya Epps, a construction worker. Epps got an apprenticeship in construction work, and is now a full-time apprentice working on a rail project.Labor employee Laura Miller blogged about the visit on Monday, and said the administration is already working to increase the number of registered apprenticeships over the next few years.Miller also wrote that Labor is working with the Department of Transportation to create transportation-related construction jobs, and is focused on creating “good jobs.”
  • Obama Labor Day message urges Congress to raise minimum wage (examiner.com)
    Attempting to work with Congress to pass a minimum wage increase has been a primary goal of the President in his second term in office. Across the country and in poll after poll, a large majority of Americans have indicated their support of a minimum wage increase. According to CNN in a June poll, even a majority of republicans support an increase in the minimum wage. However, in their strategy to deny the passage of any legislation supported by President Obama, the vast majority of republicans in Congress have blocked every attempt for such an increase to occur.
  • Jim Sinclair: Labour movement helps all British Columbians (blogs.theprovince.com)

    It’s hard to remember a time when workers experienced little protection on the job and had few rights. That’s because today millions of workers in Canada — both those with a union and those without — reap the benefits of the battles won by the labour movement.

    The 40-hour week was first won at the bargaining table and then the government, under political pressure from the trade union movement, was forced to make it a law that covered all employees.

  • Gov’t sets wage increase for many of its workers (cnsnews.com)
    Many states have increased the minimum wage for state workers. As of June 1, 22 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.”I meet with employers all the time who have raised wages for their workers because they know it reduces turnover, improves moral and boosts productivity,” Perez said. “In other words, paying a fair wage is the right thing to do and it’s the smart thing to do.”
  • Michigan hourly minimum wage rises to $8.15 on Labor Day (macombdaily.com)
    Michigan’s minimum wage rises 75 cents an hour to $8.15 on Labor Day.It’s scheduled to increase regularly over the next few years before topping out Jan. 1, 2018 at $9.25.That’s a little short of the $10.10 hourly national minimum wage Democratic President Barack Obama proposed earlier this year.

    But some question whether the increasing minimum wage is enough to lift people out of poverty or pay for basic costs of living.

    “For $8.15 a hour you can get a loaf of bread & a gallon of gas,” posted Ellen Reagor from Swartz Creek on the social media site Facebook. “So forget about paying your rent, mortgage or insurance if you want groceries.”
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    some say higher minimum wages will increase unemployment and prices.

    “It means more at the bottom of the employment ladder will stay there or be kicked off,” said David Mortellaro from Grand Blanc, a vice president at Industrial Coatings. “Markets set wages not governments.”

  • Franchises could be next union battleground (washingtontimes.com)
    Business groups say they’re gearing up to defend against what they believe to be the next front in the battle with organized labor: the franchise model used by McDonald’s and other iconic brands.The International Franchise Association says Labor Day demonstrations scheduled this week at restaurant chains in North Carolina — a Wendy’s in Greensboro and a Bojangles in Raleigh among them — are proof that labor unions see franchise workers as a key new target to expand their own membership.
  • Alaska is a model for job training says DOL leader (ktoo.org)
    Holly Morales is director of the Employment and Training Services department there. She says CITC staff outlined to Perez the comprehensive range of services the agency offers to Alaska Native and American Indian people, helping with everything from bus passes and vouchers for clothing, to training for nurses and iron workers:“We have a system here where we’re able to consolidate certain funding from federal agencies that allow us to serve that participant with wraparound. Basically they walk in our door and we provide them with almost all the services they need within our capabilities. We may have to refer them out, but we try to provide they with everything they need to get the job that they want.”Morales says she welcomes a slight increase in job training funding at the start of the federal fiscal year in October:

    “There’s always room for opportunity for us to provide more training if we had more dollars. Only so much you can do when there’s such high demand. There’s always room for us to provide additional training.”

  • On Labor Day Weekend, Fox Host Says Minimum Wage Workers ‘Don’t Deserve’ A Raise (newshounds.us)

    The Cavuto on Business show “honored” Labor Day weekend by smearing minimum wager workers and their efforts to raise the minimum wage. The segment began with footage of feisty (think: angry and scary) African American demonstrators. Host Neil Cavuto drove the point home in his introduction: “You think these guys are loud. Wait until Labor Day. The unions will be kicking up rage over the minimum wage.”

    Most of the panelists argued against raising the minimum wage, of course. Charles Gasparino argued it would hurt small businesses and lead to “less job creation.” Gerri Willis argued that the number of people earning minimum wage is so small, it’s not worth worrying about; the focus should be on job growth, instead. Panelist Ben Stein was the only one who said unequivocally the minimum wage should be raised.

  • Fox Continues Their Tradition Of Smearing Minimum Wage Workers On Labor Day Weekend (crooksandliars.com)

    panelist and Fox Business host Charles Payne didn’t just argue against a minimum age raise, he smeared minimum wage workers as undeserving:

    This is another form of this classic welfare utopia, running out of money. And the only source that’s left is the corporate balance sheet. That’s the only place they can go to keep this ruse going, this “fair society” where you don’t have to improve your skills, you don’t have to become a better person, we’ll give you the money. We’ll make sure you get paid something that you don’t deserve.

    So says one of the prime examples and over-paid recipients of wingnut welfare over at Fox. Ben Stein made sure he chimed in with Payne and double downed on his assertion that anyone earning minimum wage is personally responsible for the company they work for being unwilling to pay them a higher wage.

Posted in Crisis, Economy, News and Politics, Poverty | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1 September 2014 naar geïntegreerd leren

Er is nog steeds geen nieuwe regering voor het land maar de schoolplichtigen moesten zich vandaag weer aanmelden om dit jaar te gaan bewijzen wat zij waard zijn in schoolgebouwen die regelmatig getuigen zijn van de non-interest om in de scholen te investeren.

Ook vinden niet alle ouders een plekje dicht bij de kinderen hun thuis om makkelijk regelmatig veilig heen en weer naar de studieplek te gaan. In sommige regio’s vinden niet alle kinderen een school in de buurt. In tegenstelling tot Brussel is er in Antwerpen voor elk kind een plek. Voor acht op de tien in de school van hun eerste, tweede en derde keuze. Twee op de tien moeten het stellen met een plaats verder van huis. Een tweede grote uitdaging is de lamentabele toestand van de schoolinfrastructuur.

English: Picture Hilde Crevits Nederlands: Pic...

Hilde Crevits (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blijmoedigheid en optimisme mochten dan al wel afstralen van kersvers Vlaams onderwijsminister Hilde Crevits haar interviews, zij bracht voor de schoolgemeenschappen toch nog veel te lage cijfers voor hulp mee. Als vroegere minister van Verkeer, en notoir puttenvuller van onze wegen, wacht deze nieuwe onderwijsminister ook de taak om de zeer grote putten te delven die er in Belgisch onderwijsland door het lange jaren verzuim ontstaan zijn.

Maar dit schooljaar zal niet enkel de vele valkuilen vertonen. Die zijn er nu voor haar met hopen. Tijdens de voorgaande verkiezingsdebatten is er heel wat gediscussieerd over de nodige onderwijshervormingen. die ‘praat voor de vaak’ en ‘vele verkiezingsslogans’ hebben nu heel wat politieke slangenkuilen voorgelegd.

De leden die naar een nieuwe regering willen werken hebben duidelijk hun besparingsknuppel aan de massa laten zien en voor hen is onderwijs en gezondheidszorg een sector die niet enkel te veel opslokt maar ook flink zal moeten gaan bezuinigen.

Vanochtend werd ik vroeg wakker door het drukke verkeer. Nochtans zou het voor deze eerste september toch nog een ‘Een klassieke ochtendspits’ geweest zijn.

De leraren van de dagscholen beginnen op de eerste schooldag meestal met een leuk moment voor alle kinderen van de verschillende leerjaren samen. Voor de avondscholen wordt er dan weer een poging gedaan om de leerlingen beter te leren kennen en hun verwachtingen te polsen, en afspraken worden gemaakt zodat iedereen weet waarop en waaraan.

Maar voor de leerkrachten, schooldirecties is het duidelijk dat de regering nog steeds niet klaar is en dat er naar de toekomst toe nog steeds geen duidelijke wijn geschonken wordt door geen enkele partij die zich in België als een ernstige partij uitgeeft. Ook de kiezers kunnen nog niet duidelijk zien hoe hun stem verzilverd zal worden, maar dit lijkt voor vele politici ‘een worst te wezen’ wat die kiezer mag denken. De laatste jaren hebben die kiezers al kunnen opmerken dat er weinig met hun stem rekening wordt gehouden. Maar hoe kan men aan de toekomstige generatie vertrouwen geven voor die politici?

De kinderen van diegene die nu doorgaat als staatshoofd mochten vandaag ook door hun ouders onder begeleiding van een veiligheidsagent hun eerste schooldag tegemoet gaan. Op de commerciële Vlaamse televisiezender VTM melde men gisteren dat die veiligheidsagent vanaf nu een hele dag ook op die school zou gaan verblijven. Ik vraag mij af wat zij daar de hele dag gaan doen. Koningin Mathilde maakte er in  ieder geval een erezaak van om haar oogappels eigenhandig af te zetten aan de schoolpoort.  Ook Koning Filip bracht zoonlief tot op de speelplaats.

Zowat 130.000 leerlingen beginnen voor het eerst op de lagere of op de middelbare schoolbanken. Zij worden geconfronteerd met een aantal wijzigingen, onder meer op het vlak van taal. Zo wordt er ingezet op immersie-onderwijs en is er een plaats voor Frans vanaf het derde leerjaar.

Het nieuwe gewijzigde onderwijsdecreet voorziet ook in het geven taalonderwijs onder bepaalde voorwaarden onder de vorm van immersie-onderwijs (CLIL, wat zoveel betekent als Content and Language Integrated Learning). Dat betekent dat scholen andere vakken dan taalvakken, zoals wiskunde of fysica, mogen voorzien in een andere taal dan het Nederlands. Zulk immersie-onderwijs bestaatin Wallonië al enkele jaren en blijkt wel succcesvol te zijn.

In Vlaanderen zullen een 25 scholen mee op de kar springen, wat neerkomt op ‘slechts’ 1.780 leerlingen die onder andere aardrijkskunde in het Frans of Engels kunnen volgen. Hierbij moet men wel de vraag stellen of die scholen een leerkracht kunnen voorzien die wel degelijk voldoende taalvaardig onderlegd is in die andere taal. Best zou het iemand zijn die de andere taal als moedertaal heeft. Maar met de huidige besparingswoede zie ik dat niet voor haalbaar. Ook moet men beseffen dat in een gemengd taalbad, het niet zo evident is om de vakgerichte eindtermen en het geven van het vak in een andere taal met elkaar te verzoenen.

Bij het departement Onderwijs en Vorming ziet men de toekomst in elk geval hoopvol in. Het nieuwe systeem is nodig om onze achterstand op het vlak van talenkennis weg te werken, zeker als het internationale plaatje in acht genomen wordt. De verwachting is dan ook dat steeds meer scholen in deze onderwijsvorm zullen stappen, zegt Nathalie De Bleeckere van het departement Onderwijs en Vorming.

‘Als CLIL-vakken op een goede manier gegeven worden, zijn ze voor de leerlingen zeker een meerwaarde.’

Daar ben ik ook ten volle van overtuigd en hoop dat naar de toekomst toe ook meerdere scholen voor het geven van vakken in meerdere talen akkoord zullen gaan en deze laten uitvoeren in hun school zonder de belangrijkheid van de eigen moedertaal te verliezen.

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Vindt ook:

Foto: Koningskinderen zijn klaar voor eerste schooldag

Een nieuw seizoen voor de deur

 

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Kijk op het Vrije Wereld Handvest

Enkele jaren geleden had men in België een politieke beweging die komaf wou maken met onnodige geldverspilling en een sociaal beleid wenste uit te stippelen waarbij iedereen een basisinkomen zou krijgen en de maatschappij zou zorg dragen voor deze aarde.

De beweging was er van overtuigd dat vrijheid kan niet bestaan zonder twee dingen. volgens hen en mij moet er om tot een volwaardige levensvorm te komen eerst en vooral een bestaanszekerheid krijgen. Elk levend wezen heeft recht op een volwaardig leven. Ieder individu moet een houvast hebben om in al zijn basisbehoeftes zoals huisvesting en voedsel te voorzien. Als tweede punt willen wij als mens ons graag nuttig voelen en hiervoor voldoende kansen krijgen om actief te zijn, om te werken, te leren, hobby’s te beoefenen.

Doorheen de geschiedenis zijn er al verscheidene staatsvormen uitgeprobeerd en zijn er door vele regeringen heel wat complexe vormen geschapen om de mensen zogezegd te steunen of de gemeenschap te voorzien van allerlei middelen die het leven dragelijker zouden moeten maken. Ook al weten bepaalde groepen van mensen dat men tijdens dit wereldstelsel niet tot een echt volwaardige geslaagde regeringsvorm zal komen, neemt dit niet weg dat wij als denkende mens niet constant zouden moeten op zoek gaan naar een goede manier om tot een betere levensvorm te komen.

In meerdere westerse landen heeft men oplossingen gezocht in allerlei bijdragen en een kluwen van uitkeringen en vervangingsinkomens die men beter zou ruilen voor één eenvoudig maar vooral rechtvaardig systeem: het onvoorwaardelijk basisinkomen voor iedereen.

Elk levend wezen is hier omdat de Schepper het toelaat om er te zijn. Ook al zou het wezen niet geloven in zulk een Opperwezen dat de mens tussen alle andere schepselen laat leven, zou dit niet hoeven te betekenen dat het geen gelijke kansen zou mogen hebben als eenieder ander levend schepsel. Of het nu plant, dier of mens is, elk levend wezen moet haar recht op volwaardig leven krijgen op deze aardbol. Het komt er op aan dat ieder mens gaat beseffen dat zij slecht een zeer kleine schakel zijn van het grote geheel.

Ieder levend wezen is onafscheidelijk verbonden met het geheel van de natuur in het grote geheel van het universum. Als menselijk wezen en onderdeel van de natuur moeten wij in dat grote geheel ook onze verantwoordelijkheid leren dragen. We zijn In de natuur – niet er buiten of er boven. Al onze soorten zijn verbonden met elkaar en de planeet, en zijn indirect afhankelijk van elkaar om te overleven.

De fysieke impact van de mensheid op de wereld is nu zo groot dat we verantwoordelijkheid en wijsheid moeten uitoefenen. We moeten nu in alle beslissingen de behoeften van alle levensvormen en het milieu overwegen, ook die van onszelf. Ieder van ons moet zijn eigen ik op de juiste wijze kunnen plaatsen in het grote geheel, waarbij de eigen ingenomenheid terzijde moet gelegd worden voor de gehele gemeenschap waarbij ieder individu naar eigen en volledige eigenheid moet gerespecteerd worden.

In het verleden hebben de ongelijke verdelingen er voor gezorgd dat er onderdrukking, armoede, revolte en oorlog kwam. Bij die oorlogsvoering werd religie dikwijls als arm excuus voor onaanvaardbaar geweld gebruikt. Ook vandaag worden er nog steeds grote verschillen in stand gehouden en zelf gemaakte barrières gemaakt die geen fysieke of natuurlijke basis hebben. Op sociaal vlak durft men nog steeds een grote ongelijkheid van vorming, volksonderverdeling, klasse of kastes in stand houden. Erg genoeg kan men zien dat zelfs in de industriële landen de onderverdeling tussen de mensen onderling terug groter begint te worden en afstand tussen arm en rijk ongehoorde vormen begint aan te nemen, waarbij de groep minder gegoeden steeds grotere wordt tegenover een hogere geselecteerde elite die zich distantieert van de massa en er meer en meer genoegen in heeft om die groter wordende groep meer en meer uit te buiten.

De kunstmatige verdeeldheid die er nu heerst kan alleen maar averechts werken voor het algemene welzijn en overleven van de samenleving als geheel.

Over het algemeen hebben de mensen waar overal ter wereld eigenlijk dezelfde dromen en verwachtingen van het leven. Overal streven zij naar geluk en willen zij dat hun kinderen het beter mogen hebben dan zijzelf.

Onvoldoende mensen zijn echter bewust dat wij, deel uitmakende van deze moeder aarde, eigenlijk met die aarde in eenheid zouden moeten leven. De hoogste prioriteit van de mensheid is het gezamenlijke algemene welzijn van alle levende wezens, het is te zeggen mens, plant en dier. Bij het ontstaan van de wereld zijn plant en dier onder de hoede van de mens gegeven met dien verstande dat de mensen alles zouden benoemen maar er ook zorg voor zouden dragen.

Door de eeuwen heen is de mens afgedwaald van zijn natuurlijke omgeving en is hij meer en meer vervreemd geraakt van het universum. Mensen, dieren en planten zijn onafscheidelijke onderdelen van de natuur. We zijn In de natuur – niet er buiten of er boven. Al onze soorten zijn verbonden met elkaar en de planeet, en zijn indirect afhankelijk van elkaar om te overleven.

De fysieke impact van de mensheid op de wereld is nu zo groot dat we verantwoordelijkheid en wijsheid moeten uitoefenen. We moeten nu in alle beslissingen de behoeften van alle levensvormen en het milieu overwegen, ook die van onszelf.

Door het egoïsme van de mens en zijn materialisme is de verbondenheid met andere wezens rondom hem heen vervaagd. Het is echter hoog tijd dat de mens terug meer bewust wordt van zijn functie en verantwoordelijkheid in het geheel. Indien de mens tot het besef komt dat zij gezamenlijk meer kunnen verrichten dan zich op te sluiten in kleine gemeenschappen met afgebakende grenzen, zullen zij veel meer kunnen bereiken. Met universele samenwerking en gelijke toegang, kunnen we onze vaardigheden effectiever inzetten om deze gemeenschappelijke doelen te bereiken.

De relatieve grootte van de planeten Uranus (linksachter), Neptunus (rechtsachter), Aarde (linksvoor) en Venus (rechtsvoor) uit ons zonnestelsel en de ster Sirius B (midden).

Veel meer mensen zouden zich meer moeten bewust zijn van de mooie kansen die voor hen liggen. Te velen zien onvoldoende dat het leven een verbazingwekkend fenomeen is. Er zijn wel mensen die dromen het grote geluk ergens anders te vinden maar tot nu toe is onze planeet de enige plek waar we mogelijkheden tot een waardig of goed leven gevonden hebben. Dat maakt het een zeer zeldzaam en prachtig iets dat moet zou moeten worden gekoesterd en gerespecteerd.

Voedselpiramide of diagram waarin de biomassa van elk trofisch niveau is uitgezet.

Om te kunnen overleven op deze planeet hebben wij voldoende zuivere lucht, zuiver water en juiste voeding nodig. Door het onrechtmatig over vloedig gebruik van de grondstoffen van deze aarde heeft de mens er een echt zootje van gemaakt. De mensen zouden veel moeten beseffen dat alle levensvormen van onze wereld een complexe voedselketen vormen. Om deze voedselketen te behouden – en dus onze biodiversiteit en overleving – moeten we rekening houden met het gezamenlijke algemene welzijn van alle soorten tijdens de interactie met één daarvan.

Elke levende persoon, elk levend wezen, of het nu mens, plant of dier is, dat zich op deze planeet bevindt, heeft automatisch het recht om te delen in alle natuurlijke grondstoffen van de aarde, en om ze te gebruiken om een gezond en vervullend leven te hebben zonder verplichting of ondergeschiktheid door een ander persoon of wezen.

Door de bevolkingsgrootte en complexe levensstijl, heeft de mensheid een zekere plicht om deze natuurlijke grondstoffen niet te overbelasten, of meer te gebruiken dan wat redelijkerwijs nodig is om een gelukkig en gezond leven te leiden binnen het gemeenschappelijke goed. Vandaag zien wij in industriële en economisch snel ontwikkelende landen dat er maar al te onvoorzichtig wordt omgesprongen met de grondstoffen en dat er overmatig verspild wordt. Vele van de niet-vernieuwbare hulpbronnen zoals fossiele brandstoffen worden in hoog tempo uitgeput. Bijvoorbeeld aardolie. Als het gebruik van vernieuwbare natuurlijke hulpbronnen hoger blijft dan de natuurlijke aanwas, zal ook de beschikbaarheid van deze hulpbronnen in de toekomst afnemen. Daarom moeten wij nu hoognodig actie ondernemen om tot een bewustzijnsproces te komen waarbij de huidige gemeenschap voorzorgen neemt voor de toekomende generaties.

Te veel mensen zijn er zich nog steeds niet bewust van dat onze grondstoffen wel degelijk  beperkt zijn, dit betreft hun absolute hoeveelheid maar ook in hoeveelheid van aanwezigheid ten opzichte van de tijd. Algemeen moeten wij er toe komen on voorzichtig om te springen met de grondstoffen die in ons bereik liggen en horen wij daarbij rekening te houden met de toekomende generaties zodat die ook voldoende grondstoffen zullen hebben om zich te kunnen behelpen om een degelijke levenskwaliteit te verzekeren. Wij moeten onze grondstoffen verstandig gebruiken om zowel hun oplevering als het milieu te beschermen.

Daarnaast moeten we onze ophoping minimaliseren van nauwelijks gebruikte goederen, en de hoeveelheid niet-herbruikbaar afval die we produceren. De laatste jaren worden erg genoeg bepaalde producten niet meer voor duurzaamheid gemaakt, maar bouwt men het zelfs in dat zij na een bepaalde tijd niet meer bruikbaar zullen kunnen zijn en volledig zullen moeten vervangen worden. Men krijgt een opstapeling van afvalbergen waarbij zelfs zeer giftig materiaal de afvaltroep vergroot en mensen bedreigt. Er moet een grotere bewustwording komen voor de directe consequenties voor ons milieu bij het gebruik en verbruik van onze wereldse goederen. Hoe meer we onze wereld conserveren, hoe groter onze kans op overleven in de toekomst.

Te lang heeft de mens geleefd alsof hij de oppermachtige alleenheerser mocht zijn over deze planeet. We moeten onthouden dat we onze planeet niet alleen met andere mensen, dieren en planten delen, maar ook met de zaden van toekomstige mensen, dieren en planten, die hier op een dag zullen horen te lopen en groeien.

Deze wezens, die vandaag de dag geen stem of invloed hebben, hebben net zo goed recht om te leven zoals wij. Het is in het belang van al onze levensvormen om deze wereld achter te laten zoals we het vonden, als niet beter.

Illustratie uit 1796 van William Blake. Drie continenten (van links naar rechts: Afrika, Europa, Amerika) worden telkens voorgesteld door een lid van een menselijk ras

In het besef dat wij als mensen volwaardig respect horen te tonen naar andere mensen, van welke kleur, ras of soort gemeenschap of eender welk geloof zij mogen zijn, moeten wij ook inzien dat wij best de handen in elkaar slaan om onszelf degelijk te vormen en onze gemeenschap te onderbouwen zodat zij zelfstandig in eenheid met de omgeving kunnen leven.

Om tot zulk een gemeenschappelijk gevoelen te komen moet er een degelijke onderbouw in vorming zijn. Elk kind dat bruikbaar en relevant onderwijs ontvangt over de werking van de natuur, de wereld en het in gemeenschap leven, zal uiteindelijk de beste service leveren aan die wereld en samenleving. Traditioneel carrière-gedreven onderwijs is nu een meetbaar vernietigende kracht geworden. Als toekomstige bijdragers aan de gemeenschap is het van vitaal belang dat we zoveel mogelijk bruikbare kennis overdragen aan onze kinderen, op een manier die hen stimuleert in hun creativiteit, groei en intellectueel vermogen naar een toekomst van vooruitgang.

Uiteindelijk zal onderwijs regulering vervangen, wat slechts een bot systeem is om orde te handhaven. Een kind dat volledig begrijpt waarom een bepaalde actie niet mogelijk is, zal bijvoorbeeld oneindig beter uitgerust zijn voor het leven dan een kind dat slechts de angst voor straf kent voor diezelfde actie.

Elk persoon zou de hoogst technisch mogelijke levensstandaard gegarandeerd moeten worden zonder het gebruik van geld, handel of schuld. Er is niet langer enige logische reden om dit niet te doen. Vrijwel al het menselijk lijden is veroorzaakt door ons verouderde ruilsysteem.

Alle vormen van schuld en ondergeschiktheid zijn niet alleen een belemmering voor vooruitgang, maar zijn nu compleet onnodig. Dit is te danken aan onze beheersing van technologie en het gemak waarmee we goederen voor onszelf kunnen produceren en vervaardigen.

Indien men er toch nog op blijft staan dat men geld als een beheers en controlesysteem gebruikt kan men beter voor zien in een algemene basisvoorziening van grondstoffen voor iedereen. Een onvoorwaardelijk basisinkomen is iets helemaal anders dan wat we nu kennen als vervangingsinkomens of een uitkering voor zieken. Het verschil is dat je het krijgt omdat je bestaat. Iedereen moet gelijke kansen krijgen, waarbij de startpositie voor iedereen gelijkwaardig moet zijn, met een recht op vrije gelijkwaardige vorming. die studie moet ook in eerste instantie gericht worden op de basisvaardigheden voor het sociaal omgaan met elkander. Om een basisinkomen te verkrijgen moeten er dan geen   voorwaarden zijn dat men al gewerkt moet hebben of ziek of behoeftig moet zijn. Mensen die, om welke reden dan ook, niet in staat zijn om voor zichzelf te zorgen of niet kunnen bijdragen aan de samenleving, zullen alle mogelijke faciliteiten, mededogen en zorg verleend worden zonder verplichting.

Ook mag het niet leeftijdsgebonden zijn, maar moet ook iedereen in leeftijd vrij zijn of hij of zij al dan niet min of meer uren werkt om dat basis inkomen te versterken met bijkomende zaken ter verloning van extra geleverde diensten.

Onder meer door de technologische vooruitgang kunnen we genoeg produceren voor iedereen. En omdat het minder moeilijk is om een onvoorwaardelijk basisinkomen te geven en de absurde loonverschillen (in België zelfs tot 300%) niet meer toe te laten, zal men aan iedereen een aangenamer leven kunnen presenteren waarbij door de ontlasting van werkdruk een veel betere levenskwaliteit het ongenoegen bij velen zal weg nemen en zo ook een veel succesvollere samenleving zal creëren.

In een nieuwe samenleving zonder financiële remmers en beperkingen, zullen de grootste uitdagingen voor de mensheid van technische aard zijn. Dat wil zeggen: hoe zorgen we voor genoeg voedsel, water, onderdak, energie, materialen en garantie van een hoge, duurzame levensstandaard voor iedereen?

In tegenstelling tot traditionele politiek en speculatie, is de wetenschappelijke methode een bewezen, robuust systeem om deze technische problemen op te lossen, slechts gebruik makend van de beschikbare feiten en elementaire logica. Het heeft ook een gemeenschappelijk referentiekader in alle culturen en talen.

Voelt u zich aangetrokken door de hierboven aangehaalde elementen? Waarom zou u zich ook niet verbinden om samen te werken aan een leefbare wereld?

Waarom zou u zich ook niet verbinden door het Het Vrije Wereld Handvest te ondertekenen? Ook u kan zich registreren bij de Freeworlder organisatie.

***

Te samen kunnen wij werken aan een betere wereld.

Registreer uw locatie op www.freeworlder.org

Boy_balancing_on_a_pencil

Ook u kan helpen om een meer kleurrijke en aangenamere gedifferentieerde wereld op te bouwen war wij in eenheid met de omgeving een betere wereld voor de volgende generaties kunnen achterlaten.

Ook u kan zich mee inzetten voor meer vrede onder elkaar en een blogger voor vrede te worden.

Ook op verhoudingsvlak met de medemens kunnen wij een verschil maken: We Can Make a Difference–Right Here, Right Now

Kozo & Cheri asks that you… join B4Peace

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Aanvullende lectuur:

  1. Wat betreft Waar Elke mens recht op heeft
  2. Belang van terug te grijpen naar essentiële waarden
  3. Kapitalisme, Imperialisme, Rijken en verdeling in de wereld
  4. Zorg dragen voor moeder natuur
  5. Kwetsbare mens in het Europa van morgen #1 Colloquium
  6. Fragiliteit en actie #2 Onderwerpen en werken
  7. Fragiliteit en actie #3 Verleden en Vervolg
  8. Fragiliteit en actie #12 Beperking
  9. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #1
  10. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #6
  11. Materialisme, “would be” leven en aspiraties #8
  12. België en toenemende armoede in Europa
  13. Uiting tegen armoede en sociale uitsluiting
  14. Gelijkwaardige behandeling
  15. Premies en opvang voor armen
  16. Lappendeken als uithangbord
  17. Op straat voor waardigheid #3 de Rest van de Familie
  18. Droevig vooruitzicht voor jonge kinderen
  19. De mens als God
  20. Schoonheid van de natuur
  21. Eigendomsrecht, welvaarttaks en waardigheidsrecht
  22. Financiële crisis en Verloning
  23. Premies en opvang voor armen
  24. De nacht is ver gevorderd 17 Studie 3 Lessen uit het verleden 6 Wat er van ons wordt verwacht
  25. De nacht is ver gevorderd 18 Studie 3 Lessen uit het verleden 7 Conclusie
  26. Activiteiten in dit leven nagaan
  27. Mogelijkheid tot leven
  28. Handel alsof alles wat je denkt, zegt en doet uw hele leven bepaalt
  29. Je leven de som van al je keuzes
  30. Elke keuze die we maken veroorzaakt een rimpelig effect in ons leven
  31. Hopen zolang je leeft
  32. Hebt U gerealiseerd dat je leven de inhoud bepaalt van uw doodsbrief
Posted in B4Peace, Economie, Geschiedenis, Milieu, Onderwijs en Opvoeding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Inequality, Injustice, Sustainability and the Free World Charter

In some previous postings I talked already about certain systems which cost our society a lot of money and work-hours but could be avoided. In Belgium the system of having Mutualities or health-insurance companies and Labour unions paying out money for medical treatment or for unemployment demands extra administrative work. A few years ago I talked about an easier, less costing system, providing every citizen a basic income, and allowing everybody the freedom for working to receive a better income. Those at a certain age and put in retirement, should also be allowed to work freely and to gain some extra money, without loosing their pension or retirement allowance, as long as they do not work full time.

I have already mentioned more than once that our personal freedoms, environment and biodiversity have become critically endangered by our mismanagement of global resources. Economical gain has won the war for Egoistic Centralism. Lots of citizens have their own “I” in the picture, and spit on all those who say we do have to think of the others after us. Those who want to take in to account the less fortunate, the handicapped, the weak and sick, and would love to see a world where everybody shares a spirit of contributing together for a better world is considered a communist or (less dangerous) a socialist.

All bad words people would like to send me I keep preferring to aim for an entirely new world society based on fairness, common sense and survival. We have seen several systems which proved not to work. They mostly failed, like communism, because people were not willing to share with others and work for the whole community instead of only for the ‘self’.

A view of Earth's troposphere from an airplane.

A view of Earth’s troposphere from an airplane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most human beings consider themselves much higher than plants and animals, and consider them to be there for man’s convenience. Lots of people do not want to see the needs of all species and the environment, and do not want to accept that they all have to live in unison. Human beings, animals and plants are all inseparable parts of nature. We are IN nature – not outside or above it. All our species are connected to each other and the planet, and rely indirectly on each other for survival. It is true we need animals and plants for food. It is given to us (by the Divine Creator) fro food but that does not mean we just can wast it or use it without serious thought and consideration for the welfare of plants and animals. We must observe the combined common good of all species when interacting with any one.

English: The Critically endangered Strawberry ...

The Critically endangered Strawberry Spiderhead of the Cape Flats. Serruria aemula. SA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Too many persons forget that every living person and creature on this planet has an automatic entitlement to share in all the Earth’s natural resources, but that it requires a responsibility for each user of this planet. Those sources available to all of us are precious. We should use them to live a healthy and fulfilling life, but this in respect for everything around us.
Humanity, due to population size and complex lifestyle, has a particular duty not to overtax these natural resources, or use more than is reasonably necessary to maintain a happy and wholesome life within the combined common good.

We all should be well aware that our resources are limited either by absolute quantity or by the time it takes to manage and replace them. In either case, we must use our resources wisely to preserve both their supply and the environment.
In addition, we must minimise our accumulation of rarely used goods, and the amount of non-reusable waste that we produce. These have direct consequences on our environment. The more we conserve our world, the greater our chances of survival into the future.

Today still social, ideological and border divisions between people exist and limit free exchange of ideas and people. Those man-made barriers which have no physical or natural basis, create possibilities not only for debate but also for more serious conflicts and wars. In several cases the boundaries in this world are artificial divisions which can only be counter-productive to the common welfare and survival of society as a whole.

Our common similarities are, however, both physical and natural. Generally speaking, we all want and need the same things. With universal cooperation and equal access, we can all apply our skills more effectively to achieve these common aims. It only needs the voluntary free choice to feel united in the diversity and to see it as a supplementary asset for the whole community.

When people would be more open for other ideas and respect those people who dare to give a voice to their thoughts, it would be so much easier to like such a diversity of thoughts.

When there would be no diversification where a person comes from, or which colour he or she has, or  to which cast they belong, but giving everybody the same possibility to study a world of more understanding could be build. Any child that receives a useful and relevant education into the workings of nature, the world and community living, will ultimately provide the best service to that world and that community. Traditional career-driven education is now a measurably destructive force.

Ultimately, education will replace regulation, which is really only a crude system of maintaining order. For example, a child that fully understands why a certain action is not possible is infinitely better equipped for life than a child who only knows the fear of punishment for that action.

Taking care of a good educational formation each person could be guaranteed the highest technically possible standard of living without the use of money, trade or debt. There is no longer any logical reason not to do this. Virtually all of human suffering is caused by our outdated system of exchange. Though I do agree the free sharing is not always the easy way or shall not make it easy not having people misusing the system for enriching themselves. But this only shall happen as long as such mentality is stimulated and not considered as a-social.

All forms of debt and subordination are not only a hindrance to progress, but are now completely unnecessary. This is due to our command of technology and the ease with which we can produce and manufacture goods for ourselves.

In a new society without financial inhibitors and constraints, the greatest challenges facing humanity will be technical ones. ie. How do we provide enough food, water, shelter, energy, materials, and ensure a high standard of sustainable living for everybody?

As opposed to traditional politics and speculation, the scientific method is a proven, robust system of solving these technical problems using just the available facts and basic logic. It also has a common reference across all cultures and languages.

Once observed, these principles will realise human equality, minimise suffering and injustice, create a cooperative society that promotes progress and technology, and guarantees a healthy, diverse and sustainable world for all species.

We must remember that we share our planet not just with other people, animals and plants, but also with the seeds of future people, animals and plants, who will walk and grow here some day.

These beings, who have no voice or influence today, are equally as entitled to life as we are. It is in the interest of all our species to leave the world to our future generations just as we found it, if not better.

Therefore more people who believe in our capability of sharing this planet together in love, freedom and peace, who find that time has come to make some fundamental changes to our way of life,should come and share their ideas and give a voice to all who cannot speak, plants and animals but also the weaker people in our society.

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since there is no official governing body over Earth. The flag holds a photo transfer of a NASA image of the Earth on a dark blue background. It has been associated with Earth Day. Although the flag was originally copyrighted, a judge ruledhttp://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/CopyrightLaw/Copyrightability/articles/EarthFlagVsAlamoFlag_A.shtml that the copyright was invalid. Earth Flag Ltd. v. Alamo Flag Co., 154 F. Supp. 2d 663 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When more people would join a worldwide community of people striving for world-peace and a liveable world in a respectful universe, this could not only be a first step but also an important sign to others on this planet. Why not join those who already gave a sign to adopt the principles of The Free World Charter. This is, we believe, the first crucial step mankind must now take in order to protect and preserve both ourselves and our planet.

If you see and do not agree with the “Inequality and Injustice“, the “Waste and Pollution“, the “Debt and Unemployment” and do find we all together have to do something against the “Obstructed Progress”, you should consider signing “The Free World Charter” which sets out ten very basic assertions that are resonant with nature, general common sense, fairness and sustainability. In essence, these ten guiding principles are our minimum requirements for survival and progress.

“Once people realise that a money-free society works, we will naturally become more positive in our actions, more cooperative, compassionate and productive.”

Our current systems of monetary, social, ideological and border divisions are imaginary, and clearly not working for us or our planet. The principles of the Charter, that are grounded in nature, would dissolve these imaginary barriers with just a few basic observations of mutual respect for each other and our planetary home.

Once we can get past our outdated methods of decision-making through speculation and diktat, and remove our imaginary barriers, we will find our only problems are technical ones. ie. How do we provide for everyone and use our planet in the optimum way? Only when we are free of our conflicting ideologies and methods, can we truly solve this problem.

Our technology is now at a level where we can comfortably provide for everyone without the need for hard labour. What we can automate, we will automate. We don’t need money to build machines, we can just build them. Tasks that can’t be automated can be rotated among a populace who would be more than happy to dedicate a small portion of their time to a community that sustains them.

Everything will be declared free to use, but within an understanding of natural and technical limits, and respect for the combined common good. These understandings are achieved initially through education, and ultimately through consensus.

Once people realise that a money-free society works, we will naturally become more positive in our actions, more cooperative, compassionate and productive.

A great era of change is almost upon us, but things may get worse before they get better as many struggle to maintain the old system. Signing and supporting The Free World Charter can help bring about these changes much sooner, more peacefully and without needless suffering.

The idea of the Charter is a simple one. It is our current system that is complicated, and the unravelling of that may take some time, but this is a patient initiative, designed to progress slowly and surely in one direction only – towards true freedom, abundance and sustainability.

We all have to have dreams, but you know, when more people join together they can make dreams come true. Looking at the Impact of the crisis on civil society organisations in the EU – Risks and opportunities I think we can speak of a Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system.

Please give this initiative your utmost consideration. Thank you.

Read and sign the Charter

Have any doubts or questions?

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Boy_balancing_on_a_pencil

In a world of diversity we can joyfully find many colourful ideas and people

You too may make a difference right here now:
join those who aim for freedom and peace and spread also the message of peace.

On all levels we do have to work, but first we do have to come to live together in full understanding and respect for each other, aiming for worldpeace. Therefore we do not have to wait; it is now that We Can and do have to Make a Difference–Right Here, Right Now

Kozo & Cheri asks that you… join B4Peace

Dutch speaking readers may find / Nederlandstalige lezers kunnen een Nederlandstalige tekst over dit handvest vinden: Kijk op het Vrije Wereld Handvest

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Please do find additional reading:

  1. What is life?
  2. Right to be in the surroundings
  3. We are ourselves responsible
  4. Economics and Degradation
  5. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  6. Capitalism and Inequality
  7. Immigration consternation
  8. Dependance a factor of weakening
  9. To Work Longer or Die Younger
  10. Ageing and Solidarity between generations
  11. Youth unemployment and ability to move around Europe
  12. Having to wear a coat inside the house against the cold, as a college graduate, is a sign for society
  13. Impact of the crisis on civil society organisations in the EU – Risks and opportunities
  14. Ability for a community to come back from a crisis
  15. Voice for the plebs
  16. Parenthood made more difficult
  17. World Agenda for Sustainability
  18. Gender connections
  19. Women their education and chances to become a parliamentary
  20. Connection between women and environmental sustainability
  21. World Agenda for Sustainability
  22. Artist for peace
  23. How long will natural resources last [The InfoGraphics List]
  24. A bird’s eye and reflecting from within
  25. Facing disaster fatigue
  26. Taking care of mother earth
  27. Ecological economics in the stomach #1 Alarmbell
  28. Ecological economics in the stomach #2 Resources
  29. Ecological economics in the stomach #3 Food and Populace
  30. Ecological economics in the stomach #4 Water
  31. Waste and recycling
  32. Democratic downfall
  33. Cities essential part of Europe’s future
  34. Poverty a European Issue
  35. Steering captain Obama
  36. Second term for Obama
  37. USA Climate Change Action Plan
  38. Expanding opportunities for more American families
  39. Not holding back and getting out of darkness
  40. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  41. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  42. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  43. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  44. Race, Skin color and differences
  45. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
  46. Accents in schools and tools of survival against aliens
  47. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #1 Up to 21st century
  48. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  49. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #5 Housing
  50. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #7 Education
  51. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  52. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  53. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  54. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  55. 1985-2012 Poverty in Europe
  56. Apartheid or Apartness #6 Anno 2012
  57. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  58. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  59. Philosophy hand in hand with spirituality
  60. Tu B’Shvat, the holiday of the trees
  61. Warm-blooded, feathered vertebrates
  62. Birds, Birds Everywhere
  63. The Lion King – Circle of Life
  64. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  65. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritually
  66. 2013-2014 Money to be put on hold or to be used
  67. Jerez not an exception of poverty in Spain
  68. Belgium has weathered the global crisis quite well
  69. See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory
  70. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  71. Engaging the enemy
  72. God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace
  73. We all have to have dreams
  74. Let’s Talk Happiness

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  • Pushing the Pace of Tree Species Migration (plosone.org)
    Plants and animals have responded to past climate changes by migrating with habitable environments, sometimes shifting the boundaries of their geographic ranges by tens of kilometers per year or more. Species migrating in response to present climate conditions, however, must contend with landscapes fragmented by anthropogenic disturbance. We consider this problem in the context of wind-dispersed tree species. Mechanisms of long-distance seed dispersal make these species capable of rapid migration rates. Models of species-front migration suggest that even tree species with the capacity for long-distance dispersal will be unable to keep pace with future spatial changes in temperature gradients, exclusive of habitat fragmentation effects.
  • Dark Age America: The Population Implosion (resilience.org)
    The three environmental shifts discussed in earlier posts in this sequence—the ecological impacts of a sharply warmer and dryer climate, the flooding of coastal regions due to rising sea levels, and the long-term consequences of industrial America’s frankly brainless dumping of persistent radiological and chemical poisons—all involve changes to the North American continent that will endure straight through the deindustrial dark age ahead, and will help shape the history of the successor cultures that will rise amid our ruins. For millennia to come, the peoples of North America will have to contend with drastically expanded deserts, coastlines that in some regions will be many miles further inland than they are today, and the presence of dead zones where nuclear or chemical wastes in the soil and water make human settlement impossible.
  • “Our Living Planet” (bbivona03.wordpress.com)
    Nature is the the whole picture that consists of a diversity of species, and wilderness.  Nature is like a description of the entire physcial world, and how it works including the universe, but its nonliving. The wilderness part, such as plants, insects, animals, is what makes nature more valuable.  Wilderness is part of nature but on a smaller scale. Nature is all alive because of the wildlife.
  • Biodiversity: Endangered species protection sought for dwindling monarch butterflies (summitcountyvoice.com)
    As monarch butterfly populations dwindle to unprecedented low levels, activists say the colorful and far-ranging insects need protection of the Endangered Species Act to survive. In a formal listing petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a coalition of advocacy groups say the widespread use of pesticides and genetically modified crops are the biggest threats to the butterflies.
  • Can we feed the world and save our species? (csironewsblog.com)
    There is a range of intensities of primary production in Australia today. Hunting and gathering and use of fire to manipulate the abundance of native species is at the lowest end of the spectrum, then livestock grazing of native pastures, right through to complete replacement of native species for intensive cropping and forestry plantation (the latter requiring inputs in the way of fertilisers, machinery, chemicals etc.). The more intensive the production method, the more food and fibre can be produced per unit area, but with greater impact on biodiversity. Less intensive production methods provide opportunities for native species to coexist with production.
  • Include the poor in biodiversity conservation (thehindu.com)

    Protecting biodiversity is humanity’s insurance policy against the unprecedented biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation which has occurred in recent decades, undermining the very foundations of life on earth.

    This is why this week’s 11th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, which India is hosting, is so important. The thousands of experts and officials representing nearly 200 countries attending the conference carry the enormous responsibility of facing the difficult trade-offs that lay at the heart of biodiversity management.

    In the race to increase national income, countries around the world are over-exploiting biodiversity by failing to integrate environmental measures in fisheries, agriculture, infrastructure and mining. This approach is understandable when governments are trying to quickly raise living standards but the risk of mismanaging biodiversity far outweighs short-term gains, reducing the ability of the environment to sustain the present generation, let alone meet the needs of future generations.

    A key theme of the conference is the impact of biodiversity loss on the poor. Dependent directly on nature for food, clean water, fuel, medicine and shelter, poor households are hit hardest by ecosystem degradation.

  • What role does nature play in economic growth? (eco-business.com)
    When the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) deadline expires next year, the world will be able to point to several important achievements since their launch in 2000. Extreme poverty has been halved during this period; an estimated 100 million slum-dwellers have gained access to safe drinking water, and millions to health care; and large numbers of girls are now receiving an education. But considerable unfinished business and significant performance discrepancies remain.
  • Egoism and equality (clubtroppo.com.au)
    For some people, other human beings are only ever a means to an end. The source of their self-esteem is their ability to realise their own personal vision. They see themselves as powerful creators and believe ideas like empathy, altruism and justice are just tricks the weak use to enslave the strong. As they see it, only those who lack power or self-respect would allow themselves to become servants to the ambitions of another.
    +
    In contrast to egoists, egalitarians believe every person is entitled to equal concern and respect simply because they are human. They reject the idea that some people are somehow less human because they lack valued attributes such as beauty, physical ability or intelligence. And they oppose institutions and cultural practices that humiliate people by using race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability or inability to compete in marketplace as reasons to treat some people as less than fully human.
  • Most Britons expect to work on after ‘retirement’ (scotsman.com)
    Just 29 per cent of UK workers believe that when they come to retire they will stop working altogether, according to pensions firm Aegon’s retirement readiness survey.Instead, they will enter into what is being dubbed a “phased retirement”, in which they will use some aspect of flexible working to combine leisure time with periods where they can still earn some extra money to top up their pensions.
    +The report found that the proportion of people who will continue to work after retirement is higher in the UK than those living in other western European nations like Sweden, where 36 per cent will give up work entirely. In France it is 51 per cent and Spain is 52 per cent.David Macmillan, managing director at Aegon UK, said: “We are living longer and many people can expect to spend 20 or 30 years in retirement. As a result it is not surprising that many 
people intend to work part-time in retirement and balance flexible working against leisure and activities they’ve always wanted to do. However, increased flexibility means people have more choice about how they take their pension income and it will become increasingly important that people have a plan in mind.”
  • Pensions not necessarily safe if cities face financial ruin (bankruptcyhome.com)

    Forget what you might have thought: a career in the government meant your pensions were safe. With the ruling yesterday from U.S. Judge Steven Rhodes, who green-lighted the Detroit bankruptcy, pensioners everywhere have reason to be afraid. Not only does his ruling have implications for pensions in Detroit, experts warn that his ruling could also set a precedent which could have major implications for other pensioners throughout the United States.

    The first city which may test this theory for pensions is San Bernardino, who is about to begin a major battle with CalPERS over the sanctity of public employee pensions. Although the ruling in Detroit does not legally affect San Bernardino, it could strengthen the case for San Bernardino to lower its pensions.

    Historically, bankruptcy was not used to lower pension expenses, but now that cities may have the court’s blessings more cities may decide it is worth it to have the fight, especially those with high pension debts. Other cities, such as Stockton and Vallejo, however, have said no thanks and instead have found other ways to find solvency.

Posted in B4Peace, Economy, Environment and Ecology, Poverty, Upbringing and Education, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anniversary of the 19th Amendment still a long way to go

Today, on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day.

19th Amendment

19th Amendment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we look at the work-market we can see that still a lot is not all-right. The day-to-day operations of too many businesses and institutions still don’t reflect true gender equality.

English: Gender Pay Gap in the 27 states of th...

Gender Pay Gap in the 27 states of the EU according to Eurostat 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 As well as in Europe as in the United States of America men and women are not yet treated in equal ways. In the industrialised countries women, on average, continue to earn less than their male counterparts (and that’s 51 years after the Equal Pay Act passed), and the gap is even greater for women of colour. Our workplace policies, on the whole, force many working parents to choose between their job and their family — and that’s wrong. And in Europe for youngsters it becomes even more difficult to not work with two to be able to afford the bills.

You would think that today there is no reason to be afraid to have an unlimited power pushed into the hands of the husbands. But in many families it is the man in the house who shall decide what the woman can do to make the necessary extra income.

In the United States of America it was in 1848 that women across the country gathered together for the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. And it wasn’t until 72 years after that, in 1920, that women in the United States officially gained the right to vote. 94 years later we are still not far enough. While it’s undeniable that women have made leaps and bounds in every facet of American life, from the classroom to the boardroom — it’s not enough.

Some jobs may be proud to say they do not make a difference between male, female and age, but those employers do not remunerate according age and loyalty to the firm. Often we can see that the employees their efforts are poorly rewarded. By those who pay more and according to time having work for the employer, granting seniority payment, we notice there is a difference for the male and female workers. Older women also participate in the workforce at lower rates than younger women. The percent of older women who are working has increased since the mid-1990s, partially offsetting the overall decline.

At the other end of the spectrum, young women are more likely to be enrolled in school than they were a generation ago, and that’s good news. Since students (even ones who work part-time) are not considered to be in the labour force, increased school enrolment will depress the participation rate.

Over the past forty years, American society has been transformed by an increasing role of women in the economy, but in 2014, far more can still be done to expand economic opportunities for women. While female labour force participation rose through the 1970s and 1980s, it began to stall in the 1990s. Yet women have continued to make gains in earning educational credentials — today young women are more likely than young men to be college graduates and equally likely to have many advanced degrees. As a result, women have continued to make inroads in traditionally male – dominated occupations and have succeeded in reducing defacto occupational segregation.

Women increasing labor participation in America 2014Despite these improvements, a gender wage gap persists: on average, full-time year-round female workers earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.

While the wage gap reflects a variety of causes, it is clear that there are wage gaps across the income distribution, within occupations, and are seen even when men and women are working side-by-side performing similar tasks.

Additionally, women are still more likely to work in low-wage occupations and are more likely than men to earn the minimum wage. For this reason, the President’s proposal to raise the minimum wage and index it to inflation would help shrink the gender wage gap by nearly 5%.

Crucially, raising wages for women means raising income for families, as women continue to account for a rising share of family income. In 2013, married women’s earnings were on average nearly 45% of total family earnings.

Women's earning family income 1947-2014

Womens earnings 1947-2014Having women, on average, earning less than their male counterparts 51 years after the Equal Pay Act passed should get us red cheeks.

In most civilised countries we can find women now making up the majority of college and graduate students. This is a nice improvement. But what after they finish college or university?

A greater share of young women have obtained four-year college degrees than men. Today, the share of young women enrolled in graduate school is more than 25% higher than the share of men. Whilst in many European countries the government is loosing interest to invest in the youngsters their education, schools and study material, America stimulates increasing college attainment and is very well aware of the importance to their economic competitiveness. Though in many countries tuition and fees have sky-rocketed over the past decade, making it more difficult for normal households to invest in a higher education for their future, in some countries like the USA it is made possible to get a study loan. Today’s college students borrow and rack up more debt than ever before. Such loans make it the person starts working with already a deficit. In 2010, graduates who took out loans left college owing an average of more than $26,000. Student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt for the first time ever.

Our nation’s commitment to placing a good education within reach of all who are willing to work for it helped build a strong middle class over the past several generations should be one of our priorities. In keeping this promise alive, President Obama has expanded federal support to help more students afford college, while calling for a shared responsibility in tackling rising college costs. President Obama’s efforts of reform in higher education funding have produced the largest investment in student aid since the G.I. Bill, while resulting in a more efficient, reliable, and effective system for students to help them afford college and manage debt.

The President is calling on Congress to advance new reforms to give more hard working students a fair shot at pursuing higher education, because education is not a luxury: it is an economic imperative that every hard working and responsible student should be able to afford. President Obama has emphasized that the federal government, states, colleges, and universities all have a role to play in making higher education more affordable, by reining in college costs, providing value for American families, and preparing students with a solid education to succeed in their careers.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama emphasized this shared responsibility of states and higher education institutions — working with the federal government — to promote access, affordability and attainment in higher education by reining in college costs, providing value for American families, and preparing students with a high quality education to succeed in their careers. It is not enough to increase federal student aid alone — state policy-makers and individual colleges and universities bear a shared responsibility to take action against rising college tuition and costs.

Providing greater pathways for students to enter into and succeed in higher education is in the interest not only of all Americans, but for the whole industrialist world and economic market. A good foundation of education creates more security and a safe base for economic stability. A good formation is critical to developing a highly educated, highly skilled economy and workforce that will attract business and lead to lower unemployment. The American Administration has taken several steps and advanced several proposals to put higher education greater within reach for more America.*

Today, female college graduates ages 30 to 34 are just as likely to be employed as doctors, dentists, lawyers, professors, managers and scientists as they are to be employed as teachers, nurses, librarians, secretaries or social workers.

This is a big deal, and reflects the closing of a substantial gap. Women in the 1960’s were 7 times more likely to work in traditionally female occupations. Studies estimate that 15% to 20% of wage growth in the last 50 years was due to a decline in barriers to occupational choice.

So we’ve made a lot of progress, but clearly there’s more work to be done to get more women into predominately male-dominated fields and more men into female-dominated fields. For example, less than 20% of graduates in computer science and engineering are women, down from 37% in 1985. Reducing barriers to female occupational choice, including gender discrimination, would not only raise women’s earnings, but would also increase overall productivity by better matching workers’ skills to jobs.

Since 1990, the U.S. has dropped from 7th to 16th in that category among advanced democracies—that’s in the bottom third. In fact, The United States of America is the only developed country that does not guarantee paid maternity leave.

Female Labour force 1990-2014The president of the U.S.A. is convinced that with the right policy changes, they can jump back up the leader-board and help expand opportunity for millions of women. Paid leave and other policies that enable workers to better balance work and family obligations could help boost female labour force participation. One study estimated that U.S. female labor force participation would be 6.8 percentage points higher if the U.S. had implemented a suite of family-friendly policies. (cc Republicans in Congress)

Highly-educated women with professional degrees tend to begin their careers at approximately the same salary level as their male counterparts, but as their careers progress, a gender gap opens up. By their late 30’s, men with professional degrees earn 50% more than their female counterparts.

So how do we fix that? Beginning with the first bill he signed into law, President Obama’s been fighting to help women receive the pay they deserve. But he can’t do it all by himself. Congress needs to act to help ensure equal pay for women.

The U.S.A. Administration has a long history of shattering their remaining glass ceilings and upholding the rights of women — but real gender equality is going to take more than the President acting alone.

Right now, there’s legislation before Congress that would make it better — that would make it easier for women to discuss what they’re being paid, and to do something about it.

So if you’re ready to see broader, meaningful action on these issues, then get the facts and help spread the word.

No major achievement for women’s rights in this country has come easily. It’s always taken a determined group of women and men alike, doing everything they could to organize, protest, and agitate the system they aimed to change.

The year 2014 is no different. So if you’re ready for real equality for women, then make sure everyone you know has the facts.

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Notes:

* The U.S.A. President is proposing an investment of $55 million in a new First in the World competition, to support public and private colleges and non-profit organizations as they work to develop and test the next breakthrough strategy that will boost higher education attainment and student outcome, while leading to reduced costs.

Additional reading:

Learn more about how President Obama’s fighting to make college more affordable for women (and men).

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  • Private Colleges May Not Be Worth the Price of Admission (dailyfinance.com)
    Given that, you might expect that the more exclusive and prestigious the college you attend, the better your chances for increased success. But given the enormous and growing burden of student loan debt on recent grads, it’s reasonable to ask: Are private colleges really worth their expensive tuition?
  • The gender pay gap is real and really important (newny23rd.com)
    Tuesday, April 8, 2014, was Equal Pay Day.  Equal Pay Day reflects the gender wage gap–the gross amount women working full time are paid less than men. The gap today is about 23 cents on the dollar. This amount is significant–if a man makes $1.6 million during a 40 year career, a typical woman would make $400,000 less.  In at least one way the 23% gap understates the problem–the gap is greater for women in minority groups.

    Equal Pay Day brought out any number of nay-sayers and apologists claiming the wage gap is a myth, that it doesn’t compare equal jobs, that women choose to be paid less.

  • For Women, Student Loan Debt Is an Even Bigger Crisis (aauw.org)
    As outstanding student loans surpass every other form of non-mortgage debt, it is becoming increasingly expensive to finance a college degree. Nearly 40 million people are saddled with student loan debt, totaling nearly $1.2 trillion in loans. Seventy-one percent of college seniors who graduated in 2012 have loan debt, averaging $30,000 per bachelor’s degree. Though debt is a crisis for all students, the burden falls even harder on women because of the persistent gender pay gap.

    These staggering numbers are part of the reason why several senators introduced a bill last month to reform the borrowing system. Unfortunately blocked by Senate Republicans in a 56–38 procedural vote, the bill would have allowed student borrowers to refinance their debt at 2013-level interest rates. This option could help borrowers save a few thousand dollars over the life of their loans.

  • Male-Female Pay Gap Persists and Starts Early, Study Finds (drhiphop85.com)
    In the study, researchers with the American Association of University Women looked at the earnings of female and male college graduates who were working full time in 2009 (the most recent year for which data were available), one year after they graduated. According to a reportdescribing the study, “Graduating to a Pay Gap,” the researchers found that, after controlling for factors such as college major, occupation, and number of hours worked, women’s pay was 82 percent of their male counterparts’ pay one year after graduation.

    Christianne M. Corbett, a senior researcher at the AAUW and a co-author of the report, said her organization had been tracking the pay gap for decades, but it was hard to compare women and men in the work force because of different choices they might make in their careers.

    “We decided that to really compare apples to apples, we had to look right at the beginning of the college-educated workers’ careers,” she said.

    The results showed that, on average, men earned nearly $8,000 more than women did one year after graduating. (The figures were $42,918 for men and $35,296 for women.) The study also showed that college major is an important factor in graduates’ earnings. For example, women who majored in business earned about $38,000, while their male counterparts earned about $45,000, one year out. Such a gap was typical of all types of majors, including fields that are predominantly female, such as teaching.

  • Student debt Time for 1990s graduates to pay up (dailymail.co.uk)
    At the moment, people who took out a student loan before 1998 are able to put off repayments for a year if they earn less than £28,775 to stop them getting into financial difficulties.
    +
    The Money Charity calculates that students from England need to find as much as £750 a month extra – whether from family, working, or turning to loans and overdrafts – on top
    of their financial support to meet their overall living costs.
  • Report: Female grads earn $8,000 less than men (fox6now.com)
    Women who worked full-time jobs one year after receiving their diplomas earned 82 cents for every dollar men earned. That’s according to a report from the American Association of University Women, which analyzed data from a Department of Education survey of 15,000 graduates conducted in 2009, the most recent data available.

    While men earned average salaries of $42,918, women earned $35,296 — a nearly $8,000 difference, the report found.
    +
    Female business majors, for example, earned a little over $38,000, while men earned more than $45,000. Among men and women who took teaching jobs, women earned 89% of what men earned. And while men reported working 45 hours a week compared to the 43 hours reported by women, among those who said they work 40 hours a week, women earned 84% of what men earned (across all jobs).

  • Why is the gender pay gap higher for management jobs? (flipchartfairytales.wordpress.com)
    The Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR published the results of a survey on the gender pay gap last week. It found that female managers earn less than their male counterparts, with the gap increasing with age. At 23 percent, the management gender pay gap is wider than the 19.7 percent in the workforce as a whole.

    Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 15.03.33

  • Gender pay gap: women bosses earn 35% less than male colleagues (theguardian.com)
    The average pay gap between men and women aged between 46 and 60 stands at £16,680 a year, while among company directors men take home £21,084 more than their female colleagues.

    Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), said: “This is all about apathy and ignorance. Companies think it is not a problem for them, so they don’t do anything about it. Every company needs to conduct its own survey. It is pretty obvious a lot of the FTSE 350 are [paying their female managers less than men] for the data to turn out like this. There are very few good guys.”

  • Canada leads on wage equity, but there’s still a gap to close: Editorial (thestar.com)
    Canada is at the top of the gender equality wage scale, according to the latest study. On average the 9 million women in our labour force earn 71 per cent of the wages of men. That puts us 10 points ahead of the average for members of the club.
    +
    Canada doesn’t have a lot to crow about, says Oxfam, which released the wide-ranging study Monday with the Berlin-based Heinrich Boll Foundation. “Progress in women’s labour force participation has slowed to a halt over the past two decades and the gap between men’s and women’s shares of earned income has remained virtually unchanged,” Oxfam says.
    Women’s progress in the job market is slowed by lack of federally funded child care facilities, and some working women have been thrown onto the mercy of unregulated home daycares, as the Star has written. Nor are fiscal policies that are an incentive to stay at home — think of the Harper government’s $2.5 billion annual cash giveaway for child care — any help in redressing the wider income imbalance. Such women end up contributing less to pensions and employment insurance. Many have lower salaries on re-entering the workplace, and if divorced or widowed are more likely to end up in poverty in their older years.
  • Thanks For Making Us Equal, Men. XOXO, The Ladies (wonkette.com)
    thank you, men, for letting us live in your country after we pop you out of our vaginas and give you life, and telling us that when Jesus wrote the Declaration of Independence and said that All Men Are Created Equal, he meant all men and ladies too, wink wink, even though he did not mean that until 1920, or 1963, or 1974, or whenever it is exactly that we achieved full equality — it’s just so hard to be certain, and you know how we ladies are with math — and that is why we do not even need the Equal Rights Amendment because we have all the quality already. In fact, it’s possible we have too much of it and should really give some of it back.
Posted in Economy, Education, History, Poverty, Uncategorized, Upbringing and Education, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out and In-work poverty plus Mini jobs, Maxi-poverty

A few days ago in the ‘reading magazine’ “Ter Zake” on the Flemish Television channel Canvas an awful picture of Greece was given, contrary to the good news certain economical papers want to present of the country. thousands of people without electricity, fires broken out because of fallen candles, intoxications and CO deaths of bad heating systems, lots of people without work or income and others only receiving 400€ a month for a full time job. How can this be anno 2014?

English: Main building of the bank of Greece.

Main building of the bank of Greece. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spain may have become better of by the measures taken last year. The Greece government is also proud and tries to give the rest of Europe a beautiful picture with rising figures. But we can only see that almost 33% of Greek population lives in poverty while 14.1% of the Greek population lives in a household that faces a risk of unemployment. Children are starving whilst their parents do everything they can to find something to eat for them and have some reasonable clothing.

The Greece government cannot deny that one in three people in Greece have an income below 60% of the national median disposable income, or lives in poverty and as a result is deprived of basic necessities.

Fully Schengen members (EU member states which...

Fully Schengen members (EU member states which have implemented the Schengen Agreement) Associated Schengen members (non-EU member states which have implemented the Schengen Agreement) Other EU member states (EU member states which have not implemented the Schengen Agreement yet) EU member states which apply only some Schengen laws (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to the report for 2012 by Eurostat, 34.6% (4 million people) of the Greek population faces at least one of the above difficulties, while in Europe, 24.8% faces poverty.

In 2012, the highest rates of people being at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Bulgaria (49%), Romania (42%), Latvia (37%) and Greece (35%), and the lowest in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic (both 15%), Finland (17%), Sweden and Luxembourg (both 18%).

In 2008, the rate of the population living in poverty or social exclusion in Greece was at 28.1% while in Europe at 23.7%

The official emblem of the European Parliament.

Europe is facing an upcoming problem having more people who have some job but who are not brought in the ability to make a living. In-work poverty is a phenomenon that affected 9,1 percent of the working age EU population in 2012. The rate of those in work and at risk of poverty has been on the rise since 2005. It applies to those with an income below 60% of the national median. In the aftermath of the crisis, wage polarisation and an increase of part-time work have led to higher rates of in-work poverty in Europe. At the same time, nearly a quarter of the overall EU population is facing the risk of poverty or exclusion.

The so called rich country Germany misuses the working people most with their mini-jobs, paying only 4€ per hour. The companies being proud they can give a lot of people work and the government proud not many people are without a job, receiving dole.

Britain does not end up nicely in the figures either. If Britain were to somehow leave the EU and join the US they would rank the 2nd-poorest state in the union, poorer than Missouri. Poorer than the much-maligned Kansas and Alabama. Poorer than any state other than Mississippi, and if you take out the south east we’d be poorer than that too, according to in his article Why Britain is poorer than any US state, other than Mississippi.

Even lower-income Americans, those at the bottom 20 per cent, are better-off than their British counterparts. The only group actually worse-off are the bottom 5 per cent.

Nelson also writes:

Britain has no space for white flight, we’re forced to live closer together. And we fool ourselves into thinking that proximity has tackled inequality. In fact, we have developed a new kind of segregation: keeping the poor cooped up in council estates, a stone’s throw from the posh parts – yet creating a very high welfare barrier which stops them properly breaking out. Brits may be appalled at America’s gap in black-white life expectancy. But our Liverpool-SW1 life expectancy gap is just as big; we just don’t get upset about it. When you walk south over Westminster Bridge from the House of Commons, life expectancy drops five years.

Also at the continent of Europe we do not have an ‘America’s White Flight’ to create a lasting visual spectacle, no bombed-out ghost towns and a few miles further the loveliest spots on earth. At the West of the European continent people live ‘hutje-mutje’, the whole lot, one next to the other, packed up together.

We have grown to a society were employment does not always protect from poverty. Factories may earn a lot and like societies do not have to may many taxes. Corporation-tax in Belgium is shamefully law and there are rich people who earn millions but only have to pay 0,5% tax where the majority of the population has to pay 45 – 65% tax.

At EU level, the Europe 2020 strategy aims to lift 20 Mio. people out of poverty and social exclusion by creating more and better jobs, especially for young people. In its 2013 Annual Review on Social Developments in the EU the European Commission clearly pointed out the need to address the increase and risks of in-work poverty. During the 2009-2014 term, the European Parliament raised awareness of the issue in several resolutions such as Strengthening the social dimension to the EMU or Role and operations of the Troika.

Please do find more about it in: In-work poverty in the EU, by the European Parliamentary Research Service

+ Income inequality statistics

 +++

  • Personal Finance 101: What Qualifies as Disposable Household Income? (quicken.intuit.com)
    “Budgeting by itself is not a difficult process, but there can be a certain amount of stress involved, particularly if there are more people than just yourself involved,” Noel says. If you’re combining your income and expenses with your spouse or significant other, both persons should be involved with determining how your disposable household income is spent. Chances are you will have different money personalities. “You might be a spender while your spouse is a saver. Some things your significant other might consider a necessity, you might think are frivolous and wasteful. That doesn’t mean one person is right and the other wrong. It just means you view money differently. That’s why it’s important that you come to an agreement on how to budget your disposable income,” Noel adds.
  • Poverty in Scotland has more than doubled in 30 years – despite the economy doubling in size (dailyrecord.co.uk)
    What if the state stripped away the whole confusing, tangled web of benefits, allowances and tax credits, and replaced them with a fixed weekly government payment to every UK citizen, set according to age and regardless of wealth or employment?What if an annual stipend of £3,962 for every British adult was the price of ending the endless debate and inaction about Britain’s broken welfare system?

    This is the utopian future envisaged by The Citizen’s Income Trust, an organisation that generates ideas and policies around the concept of a guaranteed universal minimum income, or basic income, for everyone – no exceptions.
    +

    The view of this blog is that a basic or universal minimum income should indeed be considered in the event of the failure of Universal Credit – though a higher payment incorporating (and doing away with) housing benefit, making it a truly single payment, would be preferable to the model proposed by the Citizen’s Income Trust. Arriving at this viewpoint requires the realisation that the libertarian ideal is not achieveable in modern day Britain, at least not in the short to medium term – there are simply too many people beholden to the idea of a big, activist state.

    But in proposing a basic income, conservatives and libertarians can at least make all of their concessions in one unpalatable gulp. Subsidising those who choose not to work may be distasteful, but it is a concession that has to be made only once, as opposed to endless tweaks and patches to a leaking and inefficient welfare system with numerous defined benefits. There mere fact that the dull debate about the extent and cost of benefit fraud would be eliminated at a stroke is in itself almost enough of a reason to support the idea.

     

    While 18 per cent of adults and children in Scotland are said to be “poor”, this compares favourably with the rest of the UK where the figure is 22 per cent.

    And In Scotland, one in every eight adults in paid work is poor (13%). In the UK, the figure is even higher at one in every six (17%).
    +
    The use of libraries, sports centres, museums, galleries, council services, dentists and opticians have declined since 1999 “primarily due to reduced availability, cost or inadequacy”.

  • Budget cuts hit lowest-income earners hardest, says Treasury (theage.com.au)
    The budget has been widely criticised as unfair, and a hostile reception from the public led to a slump in the polls for the government. Many of its measures are being blocked by the Senate, with Treasurer Joe Hockey frantically negotiating with crossbenchers to salvage the budget.The Treasury analysis reveals the spending cuts cost an average of $842 a year for lower income households, while the average high income family lost just $71. Middle income families were down $477.

    Partly offsetting the skewing of spending cuts towards low earners was the temporary deficit repair levy for those earning above $180,000 a year.

    <i></i>

    The Treasury modelling says the average high income family would pay an extra $446 a year in tax; middle income families an extra $15; and low income families only $2 a year more.

    The combined effect is that an average low income family loses $844 per year in disposable income (earnings after tax and government payments) due to the budget. Middle income earners forgo $492; while a high income family is down by $517.

  • Austerity is set to make poverty worse (blogs.independent.co.uk)
    Over recent years the challenge posed by child poverty has remained pressing and has increasingly taken the form of poverty among working families. The question today being whether the large upswing in the trend seen in the last two releases, an increase from 55 per cent to 65 per cent of children in poverty being in working households between 2009-10 and 2011-12, has continued?
    +
    The government agrees and set out in its Child Poverty Strategy for 2014-17 that getting people to be paid more is as important as getting them working. However, their most concrete recommendations are about enforcing payment of the current National Minimum Wage. It is unclear how many of these workers are in families with children, but as the Resolution Foundation’s review into the minimum wage showed, the current structures do not do enough to encourage progression and aim for a higher real wage level.Universal Credit is, slowly, being introduced to improve work incentives and help people to enter and progress in work. But bogged down in IT and delivery issues it is not clear whether the policy itself will do the job it is intended to do.
  • The Curious Appeal Of Basic Income (semipartisansam.com)
  • Income and Wealth: How Wealth Information Can Enhance Understanding of Poverty Rates (euromonitor.com)
    Income is a ‘flow’ indicator, which can be quite volatile with time, because of individuals changing their jobs, working hours or taking breaks from work, eg maternity leave. Wealth is a ‘stock’ measure, which is more stable over time, and reflects accumulated savings and investments, together with household real estate and durables assets. Individuals can use wealth to boost their consumption exceeding their income. This implies that wealth, in addition to income, can be used to sustain certain levels of consumption.
    +
    In general we observe a 50% drop (on average) in the share of at-risk-of-poverty adults after the implementation of income-wealth based poverty definition. Different levels of reduction of poverty rates are mainly due to differences in wealth inequalities across countries, ie allocation of assets among the population. The relationship is presented in detail in the scatterplot above. For instance, the reduction of poverty rates in US and India, where highly-skewed distribution of wealth is observed, results in a twice smaller drop in the share of ‘poor’ adults in comparison with Australia and Japan, which have a moderate levels of wealth Gini index.
  • Income Inequality Is Hurting The Economy, 3 Dozen Economists Say (huffingtonpost.com)
    Europe will keep growing and avoid a recession in 2014. But growth will remain so tepid that inflation will be nearly non-existent. Nearly two-thirds of the economists forecast that inflation won’t consistently reach the European Central Bank’s inflation target of 2 percent until 2016.— Inflation in the United States will remain low for the long run. A majority of economists think consumer inflation won’t consistently meet or exceed the Fed’s 2 percent target level until 2015 or later.

    Economists appear to be increasingly concerned about the effects of inequality on growth. Brown, the Raymond James economist, says that marks a shift from a few years ago, when many analysts were divided over whether pay inequality was worsening.

  • How much does poverty drive crime? (marginalrevolution.com)
    In Sweden the age of criminal responsibility is 15, so Mr Sariaslan tracked his subjects from the dates of their 15th birthdays onwards, for an average of three-and-a-half years. He found, to no one’s surprise, that teenagers who had grown up in families whose earnings were among the bottom fifth were seven times more likely to be convicted of violent crimes, and twice as likely to be convicted of drug offences, as those whose family incomes were in the top fifth.What did surprise him was that when he looked at families which had started poor and got richer, the younger children—those born into relative affluence—were just as likely to misbehave when they were teenagers as their elder siblings had been. Family income was not, per se, the determining factor.

     

Posted in Economy, Poverty, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sharing a common security and a common set of values

Religious and non-religious people should know that those living in the civilised and educated countries share a common security and a common set of values. However is born on this earth normally gets some instinct and some ethic feeling inborn in his heart and mind. Those who believe in Allah, the Elohim Hashem God Whose Name is Jehovah, should know that all people are created in the image of God and as such also have received the knowledge of good and bad in them.

English: Allah in stone in Rohtas Fort, Distri...

Allah in stone in Rohtas Fort, District Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this world there are many people living who claim to be believers in Allah or God, but do not really are people belonging to this Allah/God. They are those who prefer to live according to the world or to set rules given by man of the world, often who misuse the title and the name of Allah/God. They may claim not to be following the tradition of man, because they are so hardened by what is in their own selfish heart. Having hardened their heart they even got blinded not seeing what they are doing to their own people and against their own faith, giving it a bad name.

Symbol of Islam, the name of Allah, complete v...

Symbol of Islam, the name of Allah, complete version, white and golden version. Note: most islamic people consider this symbol more correct to represent them. It is strongly advised to be used instead of the crescent moon with the star that is rather a political symbol. (Photo credit: Wikipedia

In history we have already got many people who misused the name of God to have a precept to go to war. these days we can find several groups calling up their gods and getting followers to fight for their god and/or their faith.

The entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL, mostly formed by Sunni Arab terrorist insurgent groups.

The president of the United States of America on August the 20th send a message in the world about the American journalist Jim Foley who reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away.  This man who was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there.

The president said:

Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world.  He was 40 years old — one of five siblings, the son of a mom and dad who worked tirelessly for his release.  Earlier today, I spoke to the Foleys and told them that we are all heartbroken at their loss, and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did.

Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers.  Let’s be clear about ISIL.  They have rampaged across cities and villages — killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence.  They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery.  They have murdered Muslims — both Sunni and Shia — by the thousands.  They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion.  They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people.

So ISIL speaks for no religion.  Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.  No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.  ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings.  Their ideology is bankrupt.  They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior.

And people like this ultimately fail.  They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.

The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people.  We will be vigilant and we will be relentless.  When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.  And we act against ISIL, standing alongside others.

The people of Iraq, who with our support are taking the fight to ISIL, must continue coming together to expel these terrorists from their communities.  The people of Syria, whose story Jim Foley told, do not deserve to live under the shadow of a tyrant or terrorists.  They have our support in their pursuit of a future rooted in dignity.

From governments and peoples across the Middle East there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer, so that it does not spread.  There has to be a clear rejection of these kind of nihilistic ideologies.  One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.

Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security and a common set of values that are rooted in the opposite of what we saw yesterday.  And we will continue to confront this hateful terrorism, and replace it with a sense of hope and civility.  And that’s what Jim Foley stood for, a man who lived his work; who courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings; who was liked and loved by friends and family.

Today, the American people will all say a prayer for those who loved Jim.  All of us feel the ache of his absence.  All of us mourn his loss.  We keep in our prayers those other Americans who are separated from their families.  We will do everything that we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.

May God bless and keep Jim’s memory, and may God bless the United States of America.

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Find also to read:

  1. Stronger than anything that wants to destroy
  2. 2014 International Neighbourhood Symposium – Turkey
  3. Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan
  4. Not following the tradition of man

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  • Narcissist Obama Lectures ISIS Jihadists on True Meaning of Islam (Video) (thegatewaypundit.com)
    Narcissist President Barack Obama lectured ISIS today on how to practice their religion of Islam. Obama says ISIS speaks for no religion. He obviously doesn’t follow their tweets.
    +
    You just got to love how Western leftists lecture Islamic terrorists on true meaning of Islam.
  • The President and John Kerry on Foley’s Murder (themoderatevoice.com)
    “The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.“As we have said repeatedly, the United States government is committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens, particularly those suffering in captivity. In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harms’ way to try and bring our citizens home.

    “The United States government uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can. The United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will work tirelessly to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable.”

  • James Foley’s murder lays bare the nihilistic world of ISIL (jsonline.com)
    We know with certainty that the video shows his killers for what they are — genocidal nihilists who understand only the sword. This act should strengthen American resolve to help friendly governments in the region extract the cancer that is the Islamic State.
    +
    Unfortunately, conditions in Iraq and Syria are desperate, and there are fewer journalists left in either country to report what’s happening. Syria is considered the most dangerous place in the world for reporters, the Committee to Protect Journalists says; the humanitarian crisis there has left more than 170,000 people dead and 9 million displaced. Foley was on a freelance assignment for the website GlobalPost, when he was abducted in northern Syria on Nov. 22, 2012.
  • Barack Obama denounces Islamic State as ‘cancer’ that must be ‘extracted’ from Middle East (telegraph.co.uk)
    Barack Obama denounced Islamic State as a “cancer” that must be “extracted” from the Middle East during a powerful tribute to James Foley.
    +
    John McCain, the former Republican presidential candidate and outspoken critic of Mr Obama’s record on Iraq and Syria, launched a fresh attack on the president’s handling of the Islamic State threat.“This is the most vicious terrorist organisation that we’ve ever encountered,” he told The Arizona Republic. “This president has ignored the threat for a long period of time, and now we’re paying the price.“The more he delays and the more he acts incrementally, the more Isil adjusts and the more difficult they will become. And one of the decisions that he has to make is to attack in Syria.”
  • The origin of Allah Part 1 (aghostdancer.wordpress.com)
    For those thinking I have not studied the bible, the Quran and other religious texts. Let’s delve into the Origins of Allah. Weather or not it’s a biblical name or not. If you’d like to debate my “facts” feel free to comment and we can have some fun but what is fun for me will probably just annoy you since facts aren’t on your side. I happen to read hebrew. Why because it was offered as a language in school.
  • Chapter 7 of Quran (33) Allah does not enjoin nakedness (safaafromcaeg.wordpress.com)
    Having denounced their claims that Allah has ordered them to follow such indecent practices, Allah tells them that His commandments run in the opposite direction. Allah has enjoined justice and moderation in all matters, not indecency.
  • Malaysian Court: “Allah is not Bible’s God’ (rehmat1.com)
    If the word Allah is to be employed in the Malay versions of The Herald to refer to God, there will be a risk of misrepresentation of God within Christianity. This is because the Christian concept of God as symbolised by the Trinity is absolutely and completely dissimilar to the concept of Allah in Islam. The potential for confusion is not confined only to Muslims but also to Christians,” said Zawari.
  • Obama: ISIS ‘Has no place in 21st Century’ (iraqinews.com)
    Obama proceeded to condemn the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the militants responsible for American journalist James Foley’s death, in the harshest possible terms.
  • Obama On ISIL: ‘Their Ideology Is Bankrupt’ (crooksandliars.com)
  • Obama condemns killing of reporter, U.S. hits ISIL in Iraq (worldbulletin.net)
    U.S. officials said on Wednesday that intelligence analysts had concluded that the ISIL video, titled “A Message to America,” was authentic. It also showed images of another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, whose fate the group said depends on how the United States acts in Iraq.The gruesome video presented Obama with bleak options that could define American involvement in Iraq and the public reaction to it, potentially dragging him further into a conflict he built much of his presidency on ending.

    +
    U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned “the horrific murder of journalist James Foley, an abominable crime that underscores the campaign of terror the ISIL continues to wage against the people of Iraq and Syria,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari urged the world to back his country against ISIL, which he described as a threat to the world, not just to the minority ethnic groups whose members it has killed in Iraq.

    Germany and Italy said they were ready to send arms to bolster the military capabilities of Iraqi Kurds fighting ISIL in northern Iraq.

    Sending arms into conflict zones is a major departure for Germany, which has often shied away from direct involvement in military conflicts since World War Two due to its Nazi past.

    The video’s message was unambiguous, warning of greater retaliation to come against Americans following nearly two weeks of U.S. air strikes that have pounded militant positions and halted the advance of ISIL, which until this month had captured a third of Iraq with little resistance.

 

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Islamic State forcing the West to provide means for Kurdistan

Time passes very quickly. For I wanted to publish an article yesterday on my other site “Our World“, but was occupied with a lot of other things. for the parents of many who are in the East time may have gone also to fast to have had enough time to spend with their children. Thinking about the courageous men and women who want to show the world its face, I also present my article on my personal blog.

 

List of wars involving the United States

List of wars involving the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The day before Yesterday the National Flemish Television (VRT) did not want to show the video of Islamic State (IS) [formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS] with the terrible beheading of the American journalist James Foley. The commercial television programs showed some parts of it, but not the beheading itself.

Hearing the voice of the hangman we could notice his English accent which would not be found by a real Arabic. This could give us the impression that the American white man was killed by an European (white) man.

For a second time James Folley had been abducted in 2012, this time by the extremist group ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State. We can imagine which torture he had to endure and may wonder why he agreed to tell the world it is all the fault of the Americans, when he did, not the IS terrorist were going to kill him anyway.

The executioner stayed standing straight and wanted to prove it is serious business with IS going for America and its allies. By threatening to do the same to another American journalist in Syria, identified as Steven Sotloff, the 50,000-strong Islamic militant group wants the Obama administration to meet its demands.

The Iran-Iraq border runs through the Tigris w...

The Iran-Iraq border runs through the Tigris watershed (above), leaving the river in Iraqi hands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The extremists want to intimidate the Obama administration into halting U.S. airstrikes on ISIS strongholds in Iraq. These airstrikes seem to be impeding ISIS’ultimate objective: to maintain and expand its self-declared caliphate.
The extremists have already seized large parts of Iraq and Syria, taking control of several of the towns’ main resources, like wheat and oil fields. Having those bases or strongholds of water and fuel provision in their  hands will give them enough power to prove to the world they are a real state to be taken serious.

Previously having seized the largest dam in Iraq, controlling the water supplies over a very big area, made them a feared competitor for the regional politicians. Already some governments gave already in and did not mid buying water and fuel supplies from IS. But by having the U.S. and Iraqi forces successfully regaining control of the Mosul dam, IS felt weakened again.

Mosul Dam
Kurdish forces claim they have recaptured the Mosul Dam on Monday.  – Reuters

Iraq’s largest dam (fourth-largest dam in the Middle East), built in the 1980s not being  any more in the hands of IS they can not use it as a weapon to hold back electricity or water, or can not destroy it to flood lots of land and wreaking havoc. According to the BBC the United States recently spent $27 million to shore up the dam.

If ISIS breached the dam, or if it somehow failed, it could send a
65-foot wave of water crashing into Mosul and floodwaters could reach as far as Baghdad. “A catastrophic failure of the Mosul Dam would result in flooding along the Tigris River all the way to Baghdad,” a 2006 report from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction warns. A failure of the Mosul Dam could kill 500,000 people.  {International Business Times: Mosul Dam: Why The US Aided Kurdish Forces To Recapture Strategic Structure From ISIS}

I did not see the video, because I did not watch television companies which do not take notice of ‘decency’. There has to be a certain decorum for bringing news. Respectability and ‘dignity’ should be on the agenda. I also have no urge to be presented with images of grotesque violence on a daily basis. Since the wars in Syria and Gaza this seems to be daily food.

Do the newspapers and television-stations remember that when they bring a portrait in view, the death person or the broken body of a child was someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s friend? Are they aware that in this world of modern technology, were so many people can be easily connected, there can be a high chance some family member may be confronted with a family member, even before he or she got the news from official sources?

Also Foley’s parents saw the latest awful images of their loved one. They were courageous to tell the world about their children, having had more worries about their two sons fighting as a soldier, than fearing for the one who was trying to bring news from both sites so that the world could get to know what really happened. In a way IS cuts down the possibility to have her voice in the free world, because they themselves cut down the strings of free speech and make it that other journalists would not be eager to come to tell ISIS their story. IS also makes it that more and more they, but also the Islam, comes in a bad footlights.

At last in the UK some imams and the spokesman of the Islamic Woman Rights spoke out yesterday on the Breakfast show, telling the world that IS does everything against Islam and misuses the name of Allah. In many more countries Muslims should come to defend their faith. The imam also asked faithful Muslims to be aware that they could do much more for their faith in their own democratic counties where they also could vote for the right persons and have their voice heard much more than by going to fight in Syria.

The IS militants and all Muslims should wonder what good it would do by threatening people with murder and rape to get them converting to the Muslim faith. Are they not aware that doing conversions under threat, like happened already in the past with Catholicism and Islam, got those religions infected with false teachings and pagan actions or heathen rites. In case they would like to have a pure faith they better would live according to their Holy Scriptures and try to convince others by their good example. violence is and always has been the wrong way to get somewhere and had always turn the ball against themselves like the boomerang always returns.

By its actions IS also pushes the west in providing the Kurds with food and water-supplies but also with weapons. These weapons later can be used to make the Kurds stronger in getting their rights and invading Turkey and Syria to get their own state Kurdistan which they already should have had.
At the moment the moment the Kurds are one of those people who are still not recognised in their own rights. They still are the largest ethnic group without a country of their own. When IS tries to put them in such corner that they shall have no other way to come out fighting their way to freedom, they shall see in that the opportunity to make an end to them having to live across the borders of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey and parts of the former Soviet Union.

Their culture and identity have been oppressed by the regimes of the nations within which they live. Religion, language, culture and perhaps, most importantly, a common history of persecution tie together the more than 20 million Kurds worldwide.

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government says:

“I offer my condolences to Mr Foley’s family and the American people. They have lost a brave son who wanted to document the horrible aspects of war and conflict and shed light on their human costs.”

The Prime Minister Barzani told yesterday (21 August 2014) the Christian leaders that international coalition is needed to defeat ISIS and made a plight of internally displaced people.

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi arrived in the Kurdistan Region to express his country’s support for the KRG and its fight against the terrorists.

The Kurdistan Regional Government would like to express its gratitude, appreciation, and indebtedness to President Barack Obama for taking the timely decision to provide airstrikes against the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorist group that was killing, hunting, and terrifying innocent people in Kurdistan as well as Iraq’s ancient minorities

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani yesterday welcomed Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, the European Union’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva, and a number of European Union officials to Kurdistan to review the current crisis.

On Monday, President Barack Obama said the American operation has helped drive ISIS from strategic cities and infrastructure in northern Iraq, which apparently angered the Muslim militants.

Today we see journalists trying to cover conflicts, having to face they being silenced by the ones who create the conflicts. The man in black, wielding a knife, on the video, asked God to cross the “cosmic reach of the universe” and soothe his family.

The ISIS militant said:

“Any attempt by you, Obama, to deny Muslims liberty and safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.”

Lots of Islam fundamentalists do not seem to see that in many Western countries lots of freedom is given to Muslims and other religious people, but that in those countries where there is worked on democracy, they try to have all people getting the free choice to have whatever religion they want to keep unto, or if they want to be an atheist to give them that freedom not to worship any god.

In the war which is going on around the borders of Syria and Iraq it is clearly not about religion, because even brothers and sisters who have faith in Allah and use the Koran, are often not considered to be of the right faith. Like Obama points out:

“Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.”

At last we can hear some more Muslim voices condemning what IS does. Muslims were among the first to lament Foley’s killing and have repeatedly condemned ISIS’ reign of terror in Iraq and Syria. They are victims, too, of the crimes committed in the name of Islam. Many have worked tirelessly to combat them.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, said in a video released in June:

“Do jihad in the cause of God, incite the believers and be patient in the face of this hardship.”

Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiAs Kurdish forces, called Peshmerga, were succeeding in halting ISIL’s advance through Kurdistan as well as in the Diyala province to the south, the ISIL commander Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, from the al-Bu Badri tribe, left his headquarters in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul around Aug. 10 and fled from Iraq to neighbouring Syria as Iraq and the United States intensified air strikes on IS positions. This leader indoctrinates the people telling them he is the wali (leader) who presides over them and who will bring the best of things to their life. “Caliph Ibrahim,” the name Baghdadi took when the group declared on June 29 a “caliphate,” a pan-Islamic state last seen in Ottoman times in which the leader is both political and religious, asks the people to let him know when he is doing wrong. But nobody would dare to being afraid to be killed. According to the Guardian, of all the prominent jihadi leaders, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis), is among the most mysterious and described by some as “the new Osama bin Laden”. And his mystique – for now at least – has only been burnished by his group’s capture of the city of Mosul.

His words:

“If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God.”

are just hollow phrases, because I would think he should have heard already enough from real honest Muslims who tried to show the world the truth of Islam.

There is at least no mystery about what Baghdadi wants concerning an Islamic State. the way he wants to get those believes reality  are going totally against Koran believes. It may be a good idea for many Muslims to be able to live in one state where they are free to do all that their belief demands. He therefore wants to bring the world’s Muslims living under one Islamic state ruled by sharia law, the first step of which is establishing a caliphate spanning Syria and Iraq.

After Al-Qaeda the western world may see again an Islamic warrior threatening free democratic principles.

After the French military delivered heavy weapons, Kurdish Security Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Halgurd Hikmat said:

“We are still waiting for more weapons from our allies.”

As the west shall feel the need to provide such weapons to halt IS, they shall have to be aware they also give the opportunity of the Kurds to go on to fight for getting recognition and having their own state.

A danger looming.

For sure the West certainly has to take care that Islamic youngsters may come to see and understand that in the West they also shall find enough chances to liberally fulfil their duties like Allah asks from them. A democratic system may give more equal rights to all sorts of people and all sorts of religions. In case their religion is the right one and other religious people would not be able to live under Allah, they should not fear if they keep to the Laws of Allah, because than they would be able to be safe. But when they are going to do things which endanger their acceptance for Allah they should be more careful, because they could be worse off than the irreligious.

The religious leaders of the Islamic world should come out and let the world see their true face. If their will is to follow Allah the world should have nothing to fear and they will recognise the faithful by their words and deeds. But the unfaithful to God shall be unmasked. The imposters hall soon be imposed.

In the meantime the European Union is very clear:
In the Statement by the Spokesperson on the murder of US journalist James Foley is said:

“We strongly condemn the outrageous murder of the US journalist James Foley by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
We express our sincere condolences to the family of this distinguished journalist, to his friends and colleagues.
This brutal act, like the many other human rights violations which are perpetrated by the Islamic State, denies universally recognized values and rights, including the freedom of press for which Mr Foley had risked his life on several occasions. The EU will continue to promote the safety of journalists in the  Middle-East and worldwide.
Such forms of terrorism constitute one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The EU is more committed than ever to support international efforts to fight terrorism, to combat human rights violations and to restore the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria.
The EU will use all means at its disposal to contribute to this endeavour.”

Is makes the West even more cautious about Muslims and make them more vigilant and relentless, looking for all means to have it that “justice will be done” to those that captured and killed Foley and many other innocent people.

All who think they can make a state by killing and capturing as much people as they can should look at previous persons who tried to do the same, making one nation of their own sort.

Obama said:

“People like this ultimately fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy,”

***

Kurdistan regional government

The Kurdistan regional government emblems

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Note:

The Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)—also known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq or AQI—was the Iraqi division of the international Islamist militant organization al-Qaeda. Al-Baghdadi was announced as leader of the ISI on 16 May 2010, following the death of his predecessor Abu Omar al-Baghdadi in a raid the month before.

- Original posted by me on Our World under the title: ISIS, Mosul Dam and threatening lives of those who want to live in freedom

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Please find also to read:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  3. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  4. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #4 Mozaic and Noachide laws
  5. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  6. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  7. Turkey a wolf in the sheep house of the European Union
  8. Migrants to the West #1
  9. Migrants to the West #2
  10. Migrants to the West #3
  11. Migrants to the West #4
  12. Migrants to the West #5
  13. Migrants to the West #6
  14. Catherine Ashton on the EU annual report on human rights
  15. Palestine, Israel, God’s people and democracy
  16. Gaza in Bible Prophecy
  17. Syrian capital facing total destruction in the coming months
  18. Brunei introducing a raft of tough sharia punishments
  19. Female Imams Blaze Trail Amid China’s Muslims
  20. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  21. Will Islam conquer europe
  22. Consequences of Breivik’s mass murder
  23. Falling figures for identifying Christians
  24. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  25. Muslim Grooming (Rape) Gangs and Sharia
  26. Forced marriage and Islam
  27. Abu Hamza is gone, but Britain is still a hotbed of radical hatred
  28. Zionism occupierAn Ex-Muslim’s Open Letter
  29. Facing disaster fatigue
  30. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures

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Other websites to look at:

  1. Akakurdistan
  2. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Islamic State’s driving force
  3. Tag Archives: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
  4. ISIS Leader Calls For War
  5. ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi Trained by Israeli Mossad, NSA Documents Reveal
  6. The Biography Of Sheikh Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi
  7. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: The Isis chief with the ambition to overtake al-Qaida
  8. James Foley ‘beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent ‘execute US journalist’ – as hunt begins for killer
  9. James Foley and the daily horrors of the internet: think hard before clicking

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  • Time to Annihilate ISIS; Here’s How (commentarymagazine.com)
    The videotaped beheading of American journalist James Foley reveals both the barbarism and the weakness of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).The barbarism is obvious: how else would one describe the carefully choreographed and televised murder of this innocent reporter who had been kidnapped in Syria? This merely confirms what Army Colonel Joel Rayburn, one of the most astute observers of Iraq around, has previously said: that ISIS is a Middle East version of the Khmer Rouge. It is, in short, a death cult that will commit unimaginable crimes against humanity unless it is stopped.
  • Journalist James Wright Foley reportedly beheaded by ISIS (salon.com)
    The video features text saying “Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope towards a new war front against Muslims.” It then cuts to a clip of Obama announcing airstrikes against ISIS and then to Foley kneeling in orange, next to a man wearing black with his face covered. In it, Foley is forced to read a letter urging Americans to rise up against his “real killer,” the “U.S. government.” I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killer, the U.S. government. What will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality.”
  • Update: Pres. Obama Says U.S. will Continue to Confront ISIS (newsplex.com)
    President Barack Obama says the United States will continue to confront Islamic State extremists despite the brutal murder of journalist James Foley.Pres. Obama says the entire world is “appalled” by Foley’s killing. The president says he spoke Wednesday with Foley’s family and offered condolences.

    Obama says the Islamic State abducts women and children, and tortures, rapes, enslaves and kills people. He said the Islamic State targets Christians and other minorities and aims to commit genocide.

  • Hairdresser from Croydon fighting ‘inhuman’ Isis militants on frontline in Iraq (independent.co.uk)

    A 26-year-old British hairdresser from Croydon who is fighting against the Islamist extremist forces of Isis in Iraq has told how he has faced “inhuman” enemies who want to be killed.

    Kurdish-born Mama Kurda is fighting with the Peshmerga forces who have been pushing back Isis, also known as Islamic State, in northern Iraq with the help of US airstrikes.

    He told the Daily Mirror newspaper that he had taken part in gunbattles in the towns of Makhmur and Gwer. He was also one of the first Peshmerga fighters on the Mosul Dam when it was recaptured from Isis this week.
    +
    “They are raping Kurdish women and killing Kurdish kids. But they are not only a threat to the Kurdish people. Once they control here they could attack Europe and the UK.”

  • ISIS ‘beyond anything we have seen’ (cnn.com)
    America’s top defense officials left open the possibility of targeting ISIS fighters in Syria, saying during a news briefing Thursday that it was not enough to just hit the extremist group in Iraq.

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stopped short of calling for U.S. military action in eastern Syria, an ISIS stronghold.
    +

    “This is beyond anything we have seen, and we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely hard look at it and get ready.”

    Speaking at a town hall meeting in Arizona, Republican Sen. John McCain, who has advocated for strikes against ISIS in Syria, said the extremists were “an enemy that must be defeated. Not stopped, but defeated.”

    “It is a cancer which has spread throughout that region and can spread into Europe and into the United States of America,” McCain said. His phrase echoed the term President Barack Obama used Wednesday to describe the terrorist group.

  • Obama’s ‘long-term mission’ against ISIS (dailystar.com.lb)
    Obama repeated his support for new Iraqi premier Haidar al-Abadi’s attempts to form a more inclusive government, but warned he must act quickly to undermine support for the radicals.“I was impressed in my conversation with him [Abadi] about his vision for an inclusive government but they’ve got to get this done because the wolf’s at the door,” he told reporters.

    “In order for them to be credible with the Iraqi people, they’re going to have to put behind them some of the old practices and actually create a credible united government.

    “Our goal is to have effective partners on the ground. And if we have effective partners on the ground, mission creep is much less likely,” promising a joint “counter-terrorism” strategy with Iraq and U.S. allies.

  • U.S. hits ISIS; Foley captors asked millions (wdsu.com)
    Foley’s captors demanded 100 million euros ($132.5 million) in exchange for his release, according to an official with GlobalPost, the U.S.-based online publication the freelance journalist was working for at the time of his abduction in Syria in 2012.GlobalPost “never took the 100 million seriously” because ransoms paid for other hostages being held by ISIS, which refers to itself as the Islamic State, were “dramatically less,” Philip Balboni, president and chief executive of the news agency, told CNN.

    Balboni said the amounts paid previously for hostages released was between 2 and 4 million euros. “So we thought that something in the range of $5 million was probably the right amount to pay for the ransom,” he said.

    There was an effort to raise money. But there was never any true negotiation between the news outlet and Foley’s captors, Balboni stressed, saying that ISIS simply made demands.
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    It is not clear where ISIS moved Foley and the hostages. But several French journalists freed by ISIS this spring have stepped forward to say they had been held in captivity with Foley.
    +

    Henin, who has never before spoken about Foley because he didn’t want to jeopardize his safety, said he was held for seven months with the American journalist.

    “It’s a lot of stress, a lot of pressure all the time, a lot of starvation as well,” said Henin, clearly emotional. “We were always lacking everything and James, in these specific harsh circumstances, (was) a very good friend and great support. He was always (there) when one of us was not feeling well… to always have some nice words.”

  • Everything has changed after the execution of James Foley by ISIS (hotair.com)
    “I think what ISIS is trying to do here,” he began, “is intimidate the United States into backing off of the attacks that we’ve done in the last several weeks.”“And I think our response should be, and our response will be, to not do that,” Morell continued. “In fact, we should pick up the pace here.”
    +
    In public opinion polls, bipartisan majorities have expressed support for airstrikes against the medieval ISIS threat. Today, in the wake of this barbarism against an American journalist with threats of more of the same to come, the American people are likely willing to go even further to neutralize this new enemy.
  • Free American journalist Steven Sotloff (jbaynews.com)
    James Foley’s family confirmed his death in a statement posted on a facebook page saying they “have never been prouder of him.”“He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people,” said the statement, which was attributed to Foley’s mother, Diane Foley.

    “We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages.

    Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world,” the statement continued.

Posted in B4Peace, Dagboek = Diary, History, News and Politics, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Artist for peace

Marcus Ampe:

At the centennial of World War I we should stand still by all the bloodshed, all the misery, pain and broken love.

History has proven that no war ever brought the ultimate reconciliation and peace. But there where peace was in the hearts of innocent people, that peace was so much stronger than the vile words, the angry signs, the awful noise, the trials which wanted to bring the soul down, but could not take it away from the hopeful, who believed in a Much Greater Power than any human being. It is that Comforter Who was and is willing to bring that inner peace which is much more valuable than all money can buy.

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  • I See Peace (bessesdotter.wordpress.com)
    I see Peace in our future. You may be asking how, in the aftermath of recent bombings, continued wars and atrocities how this can be accomplished. WE will accomplish it. I believe it. John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote lyrics and sung their songs to several generations of people who listened with open ears. Yoko and John are not alone in their desire.
  • Joint Peace Prayer (text only) (graybeardtrail.com)
    Today is Liberation Day on the Korean Peninsula. May they be liberated from division and war. Let us pray the prayer composed together by Christians in the North and in the South
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    Joint Peace Prayer (text only)
    Lord, the road of reconciliation and peace, created by the life and devotion of many people, has been blocked. A high barrier of division is again being built up by people who don’t want reunification
  • What is peace? // How does a Christian deal with anger? (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
    Peace is the consequence of justice and the sign of love put into action. Where there is peace, “every creature can come to rest in good order” (Thomas Aquinas). Earthly peace is the image of the peace of Christ, who reconciled heaven and earth. Peace is more than the absence of war, more than a carefully maintained balance of powers (“balance of terror”
  • Serenity… (biaesmer.wordpress.com)
    There is a place I visit when I find myself sad and I have no more strength to react. It is a place I can feel quietly, I close my eyes and know peace.  I look inside me and before the immensity of my ignorance, I feel a tiny ant, maybe I do not understand anything, maybe I know nothing, I cannot understand the complexity of humans with so many aberrations in the face of so much hunger and misery that surrounds us, I just know I need to learn more, delve deeper into myself, and in the silence of the night my imagination navigates through tortuous paths in search of myself exactly, without even cosine and tangent, a simple equation where I can find a starting point and arrival. I am just a tiny ant, who do I think I am?
  • Peace (speakzeasy.wordpress.com)
    The term PEACE originates most from the Anglo-French PES, and the Old French PAIS, meaning ‘peace, reconciliation, silence, agreement ‘.  comes from the Latin PAX.
  • Peace may be the true threat to Hamas, Israel’s leaders (blogs.reuters.com)
    Relatives of a Palestinian woman, who medics said was killed in an Israeli air strike, mourn during her funeral in Khan Younis

    It’s time to wonder whether Israel and Palestine will ever be able to move out of the moral abyss into which they’ve plunged themselves, and address the threat of peace.

    “Threat” is the right term. Because peace is dangerous for leaders in the Middle East.

  • Human agony, bloodshed and cost of lives (vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com)
    Cries of desolation as humanity bears the atrocity of an evil world;O’ evil man! You have no shame of your heinous and sadistic act?

    Have you got no heart?

    Blood shed,  scattering of corpses, shrieks of babies and killing of lives in the embryo;

    Innocent men and women  bearing the brunt of ruthless war mongers and politicians;

  • Can we cultivate peace? Thoughts on Conflict. (alexclarkewriterdotme.wordpress.com)
    War and conflict to me are not intellectual. Nor are the reasons which create them. Intellectual ideals are sparked by emotion. Therefore, war and conflict are emotional responses which are intellectualized until they become legitimatized. I’m attempting to speak from the heart. That is why I proceed with trepidation as what I say will not be popular and to some will sound like rampant idealism.
    +
    The energy required to supress empathic knowing leads to psychosomatic or neurotic disturbance. It will leak out in other areas of your life. Intellectualising brings only temporary relief by making an emotional response a mental process (as I am here by writing). Eventually, if we want peace. We will have to face up to a world at war.
  • We Refuse to Be Enemies: Together, We Can End the War! We will not take part in this war. We call out to all parties in Israel-Palestine: Stop the bombing now! (ascendingstarseed.wordpress.com)
    Together, we can put an end to the War!
    Is this the future we want to live in? Is this the reality we want for our children? A country that bombs homes, civilians and innocent children? A country where the blue skies are painted with fear and its land is burning with hatred? Are we willing to stay hypnotized to this awful state where violence is presented as the right way? Justice isn’t achieved by bombs sent to kill.
  • Gaza Youth Breaks Out Manifesto 2.0 (rawwscoop.com)
    Let’s make things clear, starting with the Palestinian movements point. We were harsh, true. We were angry, and still are. The order in which the “parties” have been cited was not intended, and we are conscious that it brought much confusion in people’s minds. However, to those reproaching us – because we denounced the corruption of our political leaders – of insulting the thousands who voted for Hamas in 2006 (among which us), of insulting the memories of the martyrs of the Resistance groups affiliated to the different Palestinian factions who shed their blood for us in many occasions, starting with Operation Cast Lead, we want to reply don’t insult the Palestinian people’s right to criticize its politicians.

Originally posted on sheetal sharma:

images (1)

My brush strokes not for fights
but for colors of peace…
When the power of love
overcomes the love of power
A world of compassion
A world where leaders care…
A world where there are no wars
rise and so does human lives.

peace has stood the test of time
non violence for freedom
got what years of war did not.
For the want is universal :
A life to live without fear.
Want for Liberty shall will never parish.

An epoch when prosperity masks –
underlying stains of the past,
Peace is accepted wisdom –
mirrored in compassion.

Shrug off inequality
and live fearless
Look in the eyes of fellow patrons,
Regardless Of Race Or Creed
there is a satisfaction of a life well lived.
Together In Harmony , free of prejudice

Serene and tranquil is heaven.
Lets make this world no less.

images (3)

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Posted in B4Peace, Crisis, History, Reflection, Thoughts of others, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment