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.

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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.
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    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.
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    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.

 

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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

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  • 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.

 

Posted in News and Politics, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.
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    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.”
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    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)

View original

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

Mons 2014 remembering the Great War

On Monday august the 4th, from Glasgow, Scotland to Liege and the small Saint-Symphorien in southern Belgium, leaders of the former enemies Belgium, France, Britain and Germany stood together in a spirit of reconciliation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of conflict that became known as The Great War.

Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal last week, noted world leaders had their lives altered by the war as thoroughly as the map and the soldiers and the civilians. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and England’s George V became haunted, melancholy men; Czar Nicholas II of Russia lost his life and his throne to the Communist upheaval following the war; U.S. President Woodrow Wilson ultimately had a series of strokes after attempting to police peace conferences that followed the war.

History books typically refer to countries “drawn in” to the war, through prior mutual commitments and fears of loss of influence, and after Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914, it was followed by mobilizations, demands unheeded and declarations of war. Nations were drawn in, not like dominoes falling but more like the vortex of water down the drain. { Ed Adamczyk in Europe notes 100th anniversary of World War I}

The great sacrifice and the contribution of the Belgian soldiers who wanted to protect the neutrality and sovereignty of Belgium was remembered first in Liège, where-after the several world leaders went to Mons.

What could have started as seen by Berlin a war based only on “military logic,” had brought an incredible bloodshed in the areas where previously several European forces had already tried to get more power over on or the other. Once more the grounds of Flanders could become the battlefield of Europe. But this time it stated in Wallonia with big battles in Liège and Mons.

22 August 1914: "A" Company of the 4...

22 August 1914: “A” Company of the 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, resting in the town square at Mons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One hundred years ago the British had disembarked at ports along the coast of northern France, ignorant of what was to come and fortified by the belief that the Germans would surely soon be routed and they could all return home for Christmas. Their generals, under the command of Field Marshal Sir John French, had never intended to participate in a major engagement at Mons, this was only to be a temporary base. The flight of the French 5th Army in the area meant they had to hold the line against an advancing army that had previously taken Liège.

Liege’s fierce resistance derailed Berlin’s plans for a quick victory. After Liege, it was the turn of Mons where the first and last British soldiers found their rest-place.

Map of the Battles of Charleroi and Mons, sout...

Map of the Battles of Charleroi and Mons, southern Belgium, during the Battle of the Frontiers, 21-24 August, 1914. French, British and Belgian units are shown in red, German units are shown in blue. Fortress towns are marked with a shaded red circle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Neither did the Germans, for their part, imagine that their foes were present in numbers in Belgium. The two armies, neither knowing the other’s movements or numbers, were thrown together in combat on territory not of their choosing. And so the Battle of Mons began on 23 August and ended the following day, each side claiming glory, but with the British soldiers frustrated at being ordered to retreat when it appeared they held the advantage. { in Mons prepares to mark centenary at place where first and last British soldiers fell}

The present German President Joachim Gauck considered that the invasion of the neutral Belgium by the German troops “opened Pandora’s Box,” and acknowledged that it was anything but self-evident to stand and talk to the Belgians and allied forces on that 4th of august 2014. He was well aware of the atrocities his fellow countrymen brought to many civilians but also many world treasures as the ones who went up in flames in Leuven.

British Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the spirit to heal such deep wounds and such deep-rooted enmity.

“We should never fail to cherish the peace between these nations and never underestimate the patient work it has taken to build that peace,” he said at dusk, a few hours before the moment Britain declared war on Germany a century ago.

The Mons ceremony focused on the small military cemetery of Saint-Symphorien, where 229 Commonwealth and 284 German soldiers were buried together in a gesture of reconciliation even as the fighting raged.The place was only open to invited guests. Common folks could have a glimpse of the world leaders in Mons city itself, where my friend Steve took some photographs where you might find my selection here underneath.

Already early in the day people started coming to the Grand Place.

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Mons, 16th-century main square of Mons or Grand Place becoming filled with trilled people. – Impression of the royal visit for the 1914 memorial in Mons – Photo by Steve Robinson

Also from the balconies people wanted to have some proper view on the political celebrities, showing clearly how the population appreciated the presence of the princes from Great-Britain.

2014_August_4 Mons 016

Everywhere people could find a place to see more, was taken. – Impression of the royal visit for the 1914 memorial in Mons – Photo by Steve Robinson

For those who could not be there (like me) the Belgian television presented live viewing of the celebrations, and people at several places in the country also could follow on big screens.

2014_August_4 Mons 019

On screens people could see what was hidden by the crowd. – Impression of the royal visit for the 1914 memorial in Mons – Photo by Steve Robinson

It was funny how the French president could not do different than premier Di Rupo who went out of the car to meet the public, against security rules. First afraid he soon came loose and enjoyed the contact with the enthusiast public.

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Impression of the royal visit for the 1914 memorial in Mons – Photo by Steve Robinson

2014_August_4 Mons 026

The major of Mons and ex-premier of Belgium welcoming the royal visitors. – Impression of the royal visit for the 1914 memorial in Mons – Photo by Steve Robinson

2014_August_4 Mons 030

coming on the balcony of the town-hall. – Impression of the royal visit for the 1914 memorial in Mons – Photo by Steve Robinson

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Good fun? at the pleasant moment in front of an enthusiastic public. – Impression of the royal visit for the 1914 memorial in Mons – Photo by Steve Robinson

From the city, after lunch they went to the intimate Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s St. Symphorien Military Cemetery 2 km east of Mons. Due consideration to public safety, as well as the scale of operation needed to ensure the site is ready and then returned to normal on completion it was closed for several days for the general public.

St Symphorien Military cemetry

At ordinary days the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s St. Symphorien Military Cemetery in St. Symphorien near the city of Mons has a peaceful tranquillity.
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Surrounded by fields and trees, it has a peacefulness that sometimes makes one feel anguished. There are two areas: one with the German graves, the other with British ones. This is administered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that maintains it in an admirable manner.

The cemetery at St. Symphorien was established by the German Army during the First World War as a final resting place for British and German soldiers killed at the Battle of Mons. The owner of the land Jean Houzeau de Lehaie, only wanted to sell it when the Germans would allow it that also other victims would be buried on the same grounds.   He sold his land to the Germans who kept word, so that today it is one of the very few graves where soldiers from both sides can be found laying together on the same ground.

Duchess of Cambridge King Philippe & Queen Matilde of Belgium at St Symphorien Military Cemetery

The Duchess of Cambridge walks with King Philippe of Belgium and Queen Matilde of Belgium past war graves at St Symphorien Military Cemetery

Among those buried in the graveyard is Private John Parr of the Middlesex Regiment, who possibly was fatally wounded during an encounter with a German patrol two days before the battle, but could also be killed by friendly fire. But him being killed in a foreign country made him the first British soldier to be killed in action on the Western Front. Opposite him lies the last Commonwealth soldier killed, shortly before the armistice at 11am on 11 November 1918, Private George Ellison. He and George Ellison of the Royal Irish Lancers and George Price of the Canadian Infantry are believed to be the last Commonwealth combat casualties of the war in Europe.

The cemetery remained in German hands until the end of the war, and afterwards came under the care of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) War Graves Commission. There are 229 Commonwealth and 284 German servicemen buried or commemorated at St Symphorien, of whom 105 remain unidentified. The largest number of graves are those of the 4th Middlesex. Here you will also see the tombs of the soldiers who died liberating the city of Mons in November 1918.

German Musketier Oskar Niemeyer, the first Iron Cross of the war, who swam across the canal in the face of gunfire to help his comrades cross the water his grave can also be found here. In several places, British and German soldiers lie almost side by side.

By the evening of 22 August 1914, the men of II Corps of the British Expeditionary Force had taken up defensive positions along the Mons-Condé Canal, preparing for a major German attack expected to come from the north the next day. The opening shots of the Battle of Mons were fired at dawn on the morning of Sunday 23 August, when the 4th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment repulsed German cavalry who were attempting to the cross the canal over a bridge at Obourg. The early morning was misty and wet, and the British were still uncertain of the numbers of enemy troops on the far side of the canal. By 10 a.m., the day had brightened up, artillery fire had intensified, and it became clear that they were facing a large German force.

Despite being outnumbered, the British soldiers on the south bank of the canal fought tenaciously throughout the day. Many were reservists who had returned to the army just weeks before, but they were well-drilled and disciplined, with a high-level of rifle training. Their relentless fire inflicted heavy casualties among the Germans. Despite this stiff resistance, the sheer weight of German numbers and the accuracy of their artillery meant that the British struggled to hold their positions. By 10.30 a.m. the first German soldiers had crossed the canal and some British units had been forced back, and by mid-afternoon German infantry troops were crossing in force. By nightfall, the Battle of Mons was over and the British had begun a long, hard retreat towards Paris.(Cemetery Details)

Even in defeat, the allied effort that claimed British Captain Kenneth James Roy’s life on Aug. 23, 1914, helped slow the German advance toward France that eventually bogged down as it was closing in on Paris.

When German Gefreiter Reinhold Dietrich died, on Oct. 28, 1918, it was the Germans’ time to withdraw in defeat.

The sun went already down when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, the King of the Belgians, Prime Minister David Cameron and the presidents of Germany and Ireland came with flowers and lanterns to honour the day the world changed for ever.

Ceremony at St Symphorien Cemetery MonsAmid earnest obelisks and monuments to the fallen of both sides, there was not the faintest hint of triumphalism, merely the warm glow of reconciliation.

At the memorial St Symphorien cemetry August 2014

Prince Harry, Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, the Duchess of Cambridge Belgium’s King Philippe, Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William at the memorial St Symphorien cemetry near Mons, Belgium

Historian Dan Snow narrated the memorial service last Monday, for about 500 guests including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, David Cameron, Gauck and King Philippe of Belgium, features readings, music and poetry capturing the history of the site and acknowledging the British, Irish, Commonwealth and German soldiers killed at Mons.

World War I is now often depicted as senseless slaughter without a big moral cause that claimed an estimated 14 million lives, including 5 million civilians, sailors and airmen from 28 countries.

British Prime Minister David Cameron sought to debunk that notion.

“That is wrong. These men signed up to prevent the domination of a continent, to preserve the principles of freedom and sovereignty that we cherish today,”

he said, only dozens of footsteps away from the headstones of Roy and Dietrich and 241 other Commonwealth and 288 German casualties.

Prince William said:

“The fact that, Mr Presidents, you are here today to represent Germany and Austria, and that other nations, then enemies, are here too, bears testimony to the power of reconciliation.

“Not only is war between us unthinkable, but former adversaries have worked together for three generations to spread and entrench democracy, prosperity and the rule of law across Europe, and to promote our shared values around the world.”

 

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Preceding articles:

August 4, 1914 to be remembered

Liège 2014 remembering the Great War

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Find also to read:

  1. 1914 – 2014 preparations
  2. 100° birthday of war and war tourism
  3. Flames of Louvain – Leuven 1914 an attempt to destroy a civilisation
  4. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting… George Orwell
  5. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  6. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  7. A good team to guaranty a musical about the First World War
  8. Juncker warns for possible new war
  9. Friendship and Offer for the cause of democracy

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  • President Higgins in Belgium to mark start of first World War (irishtimes.com)

    President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina will take part in an international commemorative ceremony in Liège in Belgium today to mark the beginning of the first World War.

    This evening the President and Mrs Higgins will attend a service hosted by the UK at Mons, where the first British army casualties of the war – including a number of Irish soldiers – are buried.

  • Europe started WWI a century ago, blind to tragedy (star-telegram.com)
    With soaring tensions over Ukraine, the causes of World War I have had special resonance this year. A century ago few thought war was imminent until the June 28 killing in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of the Austro-Hungarian empire.Yet those shots fired by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Bosnia-Herzegovina carried tragic echoes. A political puzzle of complicated alliances fell into place that inexorably closed in on total war between the alliance of German and the Austro-Hungarian empires and the Allied powers of Britain, France and Russia.Then as now, global peace and prosperity did not seem an unreasonable expectation.

    “Europe went so quickly from peace to war — five weeks, from the assassination June 28th in Sarajevo to a general war on Aug. 4,” said MacMillan. “And you do feel, ‘don’t you realize what you will be throwing away.’ People are on summer holidays in these lovely towns. Europe is getting more prosperous and they are about to throw themselves into this catastrophic struggle.”

  • Former Enemies Unite for WW I Commemoration (voanews.com)
    Britain’s Prince William recalled how European beachgoers in Belgium found their summer holiday shattered by the outbreak of the Great War.”During four terrible years, those same Europeans were engulfed by killing and destruction. Among the very first victims were the people of Belgium, whose resistance was gallant as their suffering was great,” he said.The war hit Liege early and hard. The city sustained two days of heavy shelling. On August 22, 1914, 70,000 soldiers were killed in a single day of fighting.
  • The Spectator at war: Gallant little Belgium (blogs.spectator.co.uk)
    The war continues to be as amazing as ever. We have now had actual firing for over ten days and yet there has been no serious invasion of French soil. What one was always told would happen in the great war, and what undoubtedly the German meant should happen, was a steady and rapid advance of the stupendous tide of German soldiers into France. Wave was to succeed wave of men on the frontier and all of them were to have their faces turned to France and Paris. The sea, no doubt, was to break in through Belgium, but Belgium, it was confidently predicted, would make no serious opposition. It would flow over Belgium just as an incoming tide flows over and covers as isolated rock. In a word, the Germans were to turn neither to the right nor to the left for anything the Belgians might sat or do, but keep steadily on their appointed course.
  • William and Kate join commemoration for WWI heroes to mark 100th anniversary of First World War outbreak (standard.co.uk)
    William also praised how, as Europeans, we had worked together to promote “democracy, prosperity, the rule of law” and “shared values” around the world.
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    Prince Harry was joining William and Kate there after attending the “Step Short” remembrance event in Folkestone to observe the centenary.He unveiled a Memorial Arch, laid a wreath at the War Memorial and took the salute of a military and civilian parade.
  • German president condemns his country’s invasion of Belgium on anniversary of WW1 (irishtimes.com)

    Mr Gauck condemned his country’s invasion of Belgium as “completely unjustifiable”.

    The treaty guaranteeing Belgium neutrality was rendered “worthless” by Germany’s actions.

    He also condemned the behaviour of German troops in Belgium, who shot innocent civilians and burned the world-famous Catholic library at Leuven to the ground.

    “On the very first day it became apparent that standards of civilisation can be rendered null and void,” he said.

    The conduct of the German troops had spread “fear, shock and rage far and wide”.

    He also excoriated the intellectuals and artists in his country for justifying the war shortly after it started.

    “What had happened to the civilisation called Europe?” he asked.

  • WW1 centenary: Timetable of memorial events (itv.com)
    Sir Edward famously remarked, “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
  • St Symphorien: making up not breaking up (timesonline.typepad.com)
    I was dead lucky last night, as I got to go to the WW1 commemorative event at the cemetery at St Symphorien, just outside Mons in Belgium. The reason is that I have been, for a few months now, on the Government Advisory Committee for the Commemoration of WW1, and the members could more or less choose which of the big three August 4 events to go to. I felt that — despite the time and considerable expense — I was only going to feel really comfortable and at home in a commemoration that involved men and women from the different “sides” in the War: where we could celebrate reconciliation and be thankful that we were, for the most part, no longer killing each other in Western Europe (I’m choosing my words carefully).

 

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Liège 2014 remembering the Great War

World War One was the most catastrophic conflict the world had ever seen. Around 17 million soldiers and civilians and even more millions of animals (too often much forgotten) were killed between 1914 and 1918.

Europe has grown accustomed to peace in its own regions. Great-Brittain may have seen the Falklands war and West Europe may have found many families threatened in the Yugoslavian conflict. Notwithstanding the ethnic conflicts in the Balkans, 1991-2001, and Russia’s current involvement in Ukraine, Europe has seen nearly 70 years of peace; hence the revulsion, by generations accustomed to peace, to those examples of conflict.

We ought to stand still to remember and to reflect. We also should try to find ways to avoid such terror and in-human situations. Too much we still see today atrocities and human rights not respected by too many groups who kill in the name of something or someone, without shame.

Last week the power of reconciliation underlined the day of commemorations to mark the 100-year anniversary of many countries entering the first world war.

File:Maginot Fortification Diagram.JPG

Drawing showing the defense guns at Liege – part of the pre-World War I Belgian defensive fortification system – “Popular Mechanics” Magazine October 1914

Liège,  on the river Meuse , just 30 miles from the German border, was the first battle of a conflict, were in the city alone, more than 1,000 people lost their lives in the first few shocking days of fighting.

The small very young country never had imagined that it would be once more a battleground for many nations. They also did not imagine it could take on such an amount of time and could have such force to destroy so many lives of people on the front but also far away from the battle fields.

On Monday August the 4th 2014, 12 cannons, one for each of the 12 forts which, 100 years ago, were about to face the full force of Germany’s mighty second army, were fired as King Philippe/Filip of Belgium paid tribute to the “courage and dignity” of those fighting, but spoke also of the “cruelty and barbarism” of the war, and the challenge of keeping peace.

Belgium World War I Commemoration

The Belgian flag next to the European Union Stars of unity, with underneath the flags of the nations that fought in the first world war. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

French President François Hollande greeting Germany's President Joachim Gauck at the commemoration.

Liège. – French President François Hollande greeting Germany’s President Joachim Gauck at the commemoration. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty

In a simple, intimate ceremony focusing as much on the future as the past, beneath the imposing 75-metre-high column of the Allied Memorial at Cointe, on the outskirts of town, the city and the country, as host to foreign dignitaries including King Felipe VI of Spain, Presidents François Hollande of France, Joachim Gauck of Germany and presidents from Ireland, Austria and the European Commission, General Philip M. Breedlove, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the Belgian king said:

“Peaceful Europe, unified Europe, democratic Europe. Peace is what our grandparents longed for,”

The Belgians were pleased that England also was also presented by members of the British Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry spent the day paying their respects and attending several events marking the centenary of the outbreak of the war. they first arrived at L’Abbaye Saint-Laurent, a military hospital, where they were received by His Majesty King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

Dignitaries from around the world at Liège 1914 memorial

Dignitaries from around the world: Prince William and Kate took their seats on the stage at Liege alongside (L-R, seated) France’s President Francois Hollande, Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium, and German President Joachim Gauck

The British ambassador in Brussels, Jonathan Brenton also showed his delight and said:

‘These commemorations remind us of the important bond between our two countries and the sacrifices we shared together 100 years ago. It is vital that younger generations learn the lessons of the war by visiting memorials. So by paying tribute to the fallen, Their Royal Highnesses will show the way for younger generations to come.’

The Belgian king pointed out how important such commemoration is. He said it was vital: not just to remember the courage of those who fought, but to be reminded that “peace is not only the absence of war … It has to be based on a shared project”.

Hollande picked up the theme, paying handsome tribute to France’s smaller neighbour, which was “spared nothing” of the horrors of the Great War and whose staunch defence – in particular of Liège, whose forts only succumbed after 11 days of horrendous bombardment – gave Paris precious time to bolster its own defences.

For the first time Germany gave excuses to the Belgians in public. President Gauck  spoke of his country’s “completely unjustified” invasion of Belgium; its deluded belief that its actions were morally and religiously justified; the “triumph of extreme nationalism over empathy, and of propaganda that knew no bounds”.

All our nations had to face “misfortune, misery, crippling injury and death” and we only can hope that this disaster which came over Belgium but infected the whole of Europe and the rest of the world, that it “taught us a terrible lesson”.

“Let us show, not only through our commemoration and remembrance, but also through our actions in the present and the future, that we have truly learned that lesson.”

Gauck said.

Belgium World War I Commemoration

Heads of State and royals attend a commemoration ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I at the Cointe Allies’ Memorial in Liege, Belgium on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. The ceremony pays homage to the victims of the war, both soldiers and civilians, from Belgium and abroad, who lost their lives on Belgian soil. – PHOTO: AP

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic expressed regret his regret in Liège over the fact that during the ceremony, speakers failed to mention Serbia, Montenegro or Russia, adding that he was deprived of a thoroughly completed ceremony to mark the beginning of the war that should have never been allowed to happen and which should serve as a pointer that war should never be allowed to happen again. {Read More at inserbia.info/today/2014/08/nikolic-serbia-was-always-on-the-right-side}

Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, who was in Liège, issued the statement:

In services today in Liege, Glasgow and London, I – and my ministerial colleagues – remember the men and women of world war one. They worked and fought together, regardless of nationality, beliefs or upbringing in a war which reached the farthest corners of the globe. We owe a great deal to them. They showed immense courage and made great sacrifices. Today, we remember.

Prince William, representing, with the Duchess of Cambridge, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, also spoke of lessons learned, and of the need to remain vigilant.

In Europe, the transition from war to lasting peace has taken time. Edith Cavell was a British nurse who saved soldiers from each side. On the night before she faced a German firing squad, she said: “I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.”

It took another terrible war to learn the truth of her words, and even today we continue to learn that lesson. The events in Ukraine testify to the fact that instability continues to stalk our continent.

The peace that we here enjoy together as allies and partners does not simply mean no more bloodshed – it means something deeper than that. The fact that the presidents of Germany and Austria are here today, and that other nations – then enemies – are here too, bears testimony to the power of reconciliation.

he said, but

“the fact that the presidents of Germany and Austria are here today, and that other nations – then enemies – are here too, bears testimony to the power of reconciliation.

“Not only is war between us unthinkable, but former adversaries have worked together for three generations to spread and entrench democracy, prosperity and the rule of law across Europe. We salute those who died to give us our freedom. We will remember them.”

Prince William praised Belgium and its people

“whose resistance was as gallant as their suffering was great”.

Cointe Inter-Allied Memorial at Liege

In a simple, intimate ceremony focusing as much on the future as the past, beneath the imposing 75-metre-high column of the Allied Memorial at Cointe, on the outskirts of town Liège, the city and the country, together with their former foes and their present friends, paid their respects.

War memorial liege

Going high into the sky, to be seen from far away as a pile standing onto the sacred ground for those who died in the battles of insanity.

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Preceding article: August 4, 1914 to be remembered

Next: Mons 2014 remembering the Great War

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Find also to read:

  1. 1914 – 2014 preparations
  2. 100° birthday of war and war tourism
  3. Flames of Louvain – Leuven 1914 an attempt to destroy a civilisation
  4. All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting… George Orwell
  5. 11 November, a day to remember #1 Until Industrialisation
  6. 11 November, a day to remember #2 From the Industrialisation
  7. A good team to guaranty a musical about the First World War
  8. Juncker warns for possible new war
  9. Friendship and Offer for the cause of democracy

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Additional literature:

Nikolic: Serbia was always on the right side
Serbia has drawn the lesson that it can no longer have enemies among major countries, especially not among those with economies that can provide substantial assistance, the president said. Serbia has no place in wars any longer, Nikolic said.

Lest We Forget by Trevor Plumbly
A great many of the young men from around the Empire rallied to the call of ‘The Mother Country’, some obviously out of a sense of British inherited patriotism; to others, it seems, it was a sort of adventure that would all be over in a few months. History is built and relayed on perception as well as fact, and it labelled WWI as ‘The Great War’ and somewhat cynically ‘The War to End All Wars’.
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It was probably better described as ‘The War to Start All Wars’. For the first time in English history the entire nation was involved; up to that point, the average man and woman would have known or cared little for empire building in foreign parts, but this was the big one and it was right on the country’s doorstep and the previously slightly socially outcast soldiers and sailors became ‘our boys’.
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Sadly, the ‘War to End All Wars’ was just the prelude for WWII, Korea, Vietnam and so on right up to the present.

Heroes and Villains of World War One

The only credible shared experience is that both Muslim and non-Muslim soldiers were sent off by the industrial, political and military establishment to die in vast numbers for imperial objectives, the fruits of which would never have been enjoyed by the ordinary soldier or their family and nor the society at large.

In a sense the ordinary foot soldiers were victims in this war.

The real villains were the likes of Lloyd George, Kitchener, Curzon and Balfour who sent millions to die in a war that was to secure Britain’s imperial position.
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In the aftermath of World War One, when Pickthall argued that Britain had no place to decide the fate of the Ottoman Khilafat – he was again accused of having ‘Pan-Islamic and anti-British’ aims and condemned for his ‘vehement denunciations of Lord Curzon and of British policy, and constant glorification of the Turk’.

 

  • Belgium, France, Germany unite for war remembrance (usnews.com)
    During the morning ceremonies at the allied memorial in Liege many leaders, including French President Francois Hollande, insisted that European nations have to act more forceful in conflicts from Ukraine to Iraq and Gaza.”We cannot remain neutral,” Hollande said. “We have an obligation to react and it is Europe which must take on these responsibilities.”

    He called on the same nations who were enemies then to stand together now. Over four years which ended with the Nov. 11, 1918 armistice, the German and Austro-Hungarian empires faced Britain, France, Russia and, later, the United States.

  • World leaders commemorate WWI outbreak (rappler.com)
    The conflict “was the most cataclysmic event in human history,” Abbott said, “and arguably gave rise to communism, to Nazism, to World War II and the Cold War”.
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    “Here on the continent of Europe we saw not the war to end all wars, but the precursor to another desperate and violent conflict just two decades later,” Cameron said.”We should never fail to cherish the peace between these nations and never underestimate the patient work it has taken to build that peace.”
  • First World War Centenary: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge mark outbreak of the Great War in Belgium (telegraph.co.uk)

    Germany invaded neutral Belgium on August 4, 1914 as part of a planned attack on France. Britain declared war later that day.

    Over the next four years, until the armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, millions of lives were lost, including 750,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers, in what was the bloodiest conflict the world had known.
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    As part of a national day of commemoration, events marking the anniversary of the start of the Great War are being held in London, Glasgow and Belgium – starting a four-year Government-led programme of remembrance.

    The royal couple were welcomed to Belgium today by the country’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde ahead of the ceremony at Cointe.

    Kate wore a cream coat dress with pleated skirt and Peter Pan collar and a pale hat and took her seat between French president Francois Hollande and husband William, who wore the Queen’s golden and diamond jubilee medals.

  • WW1 remembered: first world war commemorations – live (theguardian.com)
  • World War One Centenary: Britain Remembers (news.sky.com)
    Across the Channel, the Prince of Wales, dressed in the uniform of a British admiral of the fleet, attended a Service of Remembrance at Glasgow Cathedral where the 1,400 invited guests included representatives of Commonwealth countries, senior military figures and charities.He was joined by Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, who all laid wreaths at the Cenotaph in George Square.

    Speaking outside Glasgow Cathedral, Mr Cameron said the war “profoundly changed our world”.

  • Revealed: The 1914 Glasgow Green peace rally against World War I that was ignored by the press but still attracted 5000 protesters (dailyrecord.co.uk)
    Thousands of Scots voiced their horror at the outbreak of World War I 100 years ago today during one of the country’s biggest peace protests.A historian has uncovered this forgotten piece of Scottish history, which was boycotted by the press in 1914.

    Many newspapers at the time chose to ignore the event at Glasgow Green on August 9, 1914, which saw 5000 men, women and children protest against the war which had broken out five days before.

    Organised by left wing Independent Labour Party, speakers at the protest predicted the unprecedented carnage of the Western Front with eerie accuracy.

    A report in the ILP’s news sheet Forward said: “It was impossible to imagine the misery which would result from this war. This misery would fall on those in no way responsible for the war.”

  • Folkestone 1914 & 2014 – Time Bleeds: Stories From The Great War Part 9 (comestepbackintime.wordpress.com)
    Monday 4th August, 2014, marked the Centenary of the outbreak of World War One. A hundred years ago the coastal town of Folkestone became one of Britain’s most important front-line locations. A gateway to France and the Western Front, eight million troops passing through there during the war.
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    Time Bleeds is an experimental documentary inspired by real-life wartime events in Folkestone and the aim of the project was to reconnect its participants with their own World War One heritage. Samuel also drew inspiration from contemporary works such as ‘The War Game’ (1965) by Peter Watkins and ‘Self Made’ (2010) by Gillian WearingTime Bleeds is a collection of interwoven stories drawn from either personal archives or local public records and explores the questions:  “What if we forget?”; “What happens if these stories are lost forever?” and “What would happen if 1914 Folkestone became Folkestone in 2013 – would time bleed?”
  • Former enemies unite for World War I commemoration (thestate.com)
    On Monday, from Glasgow, Scotland to Liege and the small Saint-Symphorien in southern Belgium, leaders of the former enemies Belgium, France, Britain and Germany stood together in a spirit of reconciliation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of conflict that became known as The Great War.
  • to end all wars (metafilter.com)
    We will be asked to do a lot of commemorating over these next four and a half years, but whom and what should we commemorate, and in what spirit? Today most people would surely agree that the war of 1914-1918 was not fought for the lofty motives that each side claimed, and that we all would be better off if it had not been fought at all. Before he died, Harry Patch, the last surviving British veteran of the war, said it best: “It was not worth even one life.” Yet all the traditional ways we remember wars make little space for this feeling….Of course we should remember the dead, especially those whose lives were tragically cut short in their youth. But there is a vast difference between honouring the memory of a family member and honouring the cause for which he died. The customary ways of looking back on war too easily allow us to confuse the two: military cemeteries with the gravestones in ranks like soldiers on parade, parades themselves, statues (which are almost invariably of generals), and war museums and their exhibits of tanks, planes, machine guns, artillery pieces and other technology for meting out death. Let us remember the dead, yes, in these years ahead, but let us also remember the men and women who recognised the war for the madness it was and did all they could to stop it…
  • To remember the First World War we need lively debate as well as silent tributes (newstatesman.com)
    It takes something significant to bring the noisy and fast-moving world we live in today to a silent stop. We live in an age of now, all leading frenetic lives with constant demands on our time. Rarely do we pause to reflect on events that took place long before our parents or grandparents were born.
    +
    Anniversaries like this are essentially the closest thing our society ever has to a national history lesson. Not one where governments or politicians should hand down official judgements on events from 100 years ago, but one where we can each explore this traumatic chapter in our national story in an inclusive and democratic way. There were 16,000 towns and villages across Britain in 1914, but only 40 of them would reach 1918 without having lost someone in the conflict. It means each community has its own story to tell.

 

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The Lion King – Circle of Life

Adding to Circle Of Life Surprise in NYC Subway:

Circle of Life

Circle of Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remembering the original, you may also find since 1995, The Lion King WWW Archive, the premier site for information, multimedia, and online services for fans of Disney’s The Lion King.

The 20th anniversary of the release of TLK has come with a flood of new developments. Right on the heels of the announcement of the new “The Lion Guard” cartoon series comes this re-release of the movie’s soundtrack/score, under the banner of the “Legacy Collection” series which will cover the upcoming re-releases of many classic Disney film soundtracks.

English: Julie Taymor at the 2009 premiere of ...

Julie Taymor at the 2009 premiere of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Until 29 March 2015 you still can book theatre tickets for the London show, where Julie Taymor, brought a vast array of disciplines to The Lion King, including extensive experience staging epic theatre and opera productions, exploring classic myths through ritualised puppetry, mask, and movement. The Lion King was the first musical she directed in the commercial theatre, and Taymor made Broadway history by becoming the first woman to win the Tony Award® for ’Best Director of a Musical’.

English: Members of the Garth Fagan Dance Comp...

Members of the Garth Fagan Dance Company warm up before a “master class” at Western Oregon University, January 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Jamaican born choreographer Garth Fagan became the recipient of the 1998 Tony® Award for Best Choreography and the 2000 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer (London, UK) as well as the Drama Desk Award, the Astaire Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for his work with The Lion King. Mr. Fagan forged his own dance language and technique, drawing from modern dance, Afro-Caribbean and ballet, and has choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Jose Limon Company, the New York City Ballet’s 50th Anniversary, and others.  In addition, he choreographed Joseph Papp’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Duke Ellington street opera, Queenie Pie at the Kennedy Center. A distinguished university professor at SUNY Brockport, he has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the 2001 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award, a Bessie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright 50th Anniversary Distinguished Fellow. He has also been inducted into the American Academy of Achievement.

English: Photo of the live show of Lion King, ...

Photo of the live show of Lion King, Disney Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over 70 million people around the world have already seen the show, and in addition to the two UK productions you can currently see the production in New York, Tokyo, Hamburg, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Sydney and on tour across North America and Japan.

Marking the 23rd and 24th around the world since The Lion King first debuted on Broadway in 1997 Disney Theatrical Productions also present the show in China in the purpose-built theatre at the Shanghai Disney Resort where they’ll have their most ambitious yet, featuring the very best of local talent, who will perform the show for the first time in Mandarin as they bring Julie Taymor‘s singular theatrical vision to life. At Grand Theatre located in the retail, dining, and entertainment area of Shanghai Disney 1,200 visitors per show shall be able to enjoy the show in Mandarin-language.

A Spanish-language performance will premiere in May 2015 at Telcel Theatre in Mexico.

To the many sensational showstopping sequences throughout the show The Lion King could get first place on the top list for the 2013-2014 season and the Tony awards for 2014 and the 1998 Tony Awards with “The Circle Of Life”.

Australian cast member, Toni Stewart captured, the underneath impromptu ‘Circle of Life’ performance on a flight from Brisbane to Sydney. The cast had just had an amazing day at The Lion King Brisbane season launch announcement.
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Have you taken “your place in the Circle of Life.” ?

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In ‘The Lion King’, Mufasa describes The Cirle of Life as a delicate balance, a cycle of birth, death and rebirth that helps the animals survive and thrive.
The song let us think about earth which gives us food, air and light in the endless Circle of Life. Hearing it we should ask ourselves what we can give in return. For a start, we can give respect: for each other, for animals and for the environment. In our world people may throw away a lot of rubbish but in in nature, there is no such thing as rubbish. Dead leaves give nutrition back to the earth; a tree that has fallen down provides a habitat for insects and lichen. Only humans create rubbish that scars the landscape and pollutes the waterways.
It are the human beings who are too wasteful with resources.The song reminds us to look at our world with eyes wanting to see the world to continue for a very long time in a good healthy condition.
We should learn our kids to show respect for the environment, such as not dropping litter, wrapping used chewing gum and placing it in a bin, respecting the home environment by helping to keep it clean, tidy and pleasant for the others living there, cleaning up after pets, and so on.
But The Circle of Life is not just about looking after the earth, it is also about looking after each other.
Respect for each other is a key issue and children should discuss ways in which they can show respect for each other.
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Explore The Lion King: > Exploring the Lion King

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  • 30 Days Of The 2014 Tony Awards: Day #9 – The Lion King Vs. Ragtime (broadwayworld.com)
    Pitting two of the most important musicals of the 1990s against one another for the top prize, 1998 was an unforgettable year for Tony Awards prognosticators. Would the elegant and opulent American historical musical Ragtime best the Disney-produced screen-to-stage spectacle of The Lion King?
  • The Lion King to Celebrate 16th Anniversary on Broadway, Nov 13 (broadwayworld.com)
    The Broadway production celebrates its 16th anniversary Wednesday, November 13th at the Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street). As it plays its 6,660th performance on that anniversary, The Lion King finds itself in a position unprecedented in the history of Broadway. Already the highest-grossing and 5th longest-running show in Broadway history, the show is routinely the #1 Broadway show in a given week, a feat previously unimaginable for a show at this stage in its life.Next month The Lion King will pass Les Miserables to become the 4th longest-running show on Broadway. The production recently became the first show in Broadway history to pass $1 billion in cumulative gross, an achievement made by the North American tour of The Lion King earlier this year.In the United Kingdom, the West End production celebrated its 14th anniversary on October 19th. Along with the UK tour, which opened in August 2012, over 11 million people have enjoyed the The Lion King in the UK to date.
  • Garth Fagan: Bringing Diversity to the Dance World (huntercollegeenvoy.wordpress.com)
    Fagan’s Oxford-educated father was the Chief Education Executive Officer of Jamaica. Though he came from a privileged home, Fagan’s parents did not allow him to slack off. “My parents always insisted,” he says, in his still-prevalent Jamaican accent, “saying something was good or bad was not enough. I had to break down why I thought it was so.” This early installation of a critical eye is reflected in the precision of Garth’s work today.
    +
    As he was dancing, he noticed that there weren’t many positive representations of people of color on stage, which prompted him to start his own company. “I wanted to see polyrhythms,” Fagan states. “I wanted to see people telling stories and not dancers portraying people.”When he started his company, many of Fagan’s dancers came from underprivileged backgrounds and had never danced professionally before. “The greatest challenge was training dancers without previous training,” he admits. When asked what he thinks when he sees his dancers now, Fagan replies dotingly, “Hallelujah! Look at their musicianship. I look at their musicianship and I am thrilled!”
    +
    “The greatest lesson I have learned is to work. Work is so important. To delete. To expand. You have to put in the work in order to achieve your dreams. If you want to be a dancer, take dance classes. If you want intellectual excellence, then read. You have to put in the work!”
  • Disney’s The Lion King North American Tour Hits $1 Billion (broadwayworld.com)
    On stage, Taymor’s creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters. Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for The Lion King. The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice‘s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of The Lion King is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award-winning song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”
  • If You Haven’t Seen “The Lion King” Yet, What Are You Waiting For? (detroit.cbslocal.com)
    The Lion King is one of the most successful titles in entertainment history; and the stage production is now in its 16th year. It’s definitely a sight to be seen — and it’ll probably leave you in awe, too.
  • ‘Lion King’ Cast Sings ‘Circle of Life’ On Flight: Video Goes Viral on YouTube (ibtimes.co.uk)
    The cast of Disney’s award-winning musical were in high spirits after the announcement of their Brisbane debut. They decided to share their happiness with their fellow travellers with a mesmerising performance of Elton John’s hit song.The video of the live performance which shows passengers enjoying every bit of the moment have gone viral on YouTube and has attracted more than 2 million views and counting.
Posted in Ballet + Dance/Dans, Culture, Environment and Ecology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Circle Of Life Surprise in NYC Subway

A Google connection brought this video to my attention.

In an African savannah, several animals stare at a lion atop a tall rock. A lion's head can be seen in the clouds above. Atop the image is the text "Walt Disney Pictures presents The Lion King".

In an African savannah, several animals stare at a lion atop a tall rock. A lion’s head can be seen in the clouds above. Atop the image is the text “Walt Disney Pictures presents The Lion King“.

The 1994 American animated musical adventure film The Lion King produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures soon found its way to the stage.

After the Broadway adaptation came two direct-to-video follow-ups – sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998) and the prequel/parallel The Lion King 1½ (2004) — and two spin-off series Timon and Pumbaa and The Lion Guard.

North America only got a limited release on June 15, 1994, playing in only two theaters, El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles and Radio City Music Hall in New York City. You would think it could not go wrong with such marvellous music to be recognised with two Academy Awards for its achievement in music and having had the 20th-highest-grossing feature film of all time.

Earlier this Summer commuters got a surprise with a beautiful an acappella performance of “The Circle of Life.” The singers were scattered around the car, initially blending in with the normals. Look at the faces of the commuters and the kids which are going more and more from a surprise being taken up into the music by this great cast. Who could resist not joining in singing along and tapping their feet? As usual with such a mob or a public performance in an public space there are also people who stay annoyed by the disruption which comes over them and in this case lets them no way of escape.

The Australian cast did something similar on a plane back in April. So, perhaps more casts would become inspired to bring the show closer to the public and would not mind surprising us. (I would not mind it, and would love it.)

Adult Simba from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

Adult Simba from The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jamal Lee Harris, an ensemble member in the production,  uploaded to YouTube the video of the surprise act which  got already 3,820,339 views when I got to see it. He lets us belief that the cast has a lot of fun doing the show and wants to share their love  for it with others.

The jungle New York got its jungle music and

“Taking it out of the theater and putting it out there in the context where it can be appreciated by the masses.”

Though some may have been annoyed and also reactions like this one came up:

We didn’t pay the fare to get a fucking free show that we won’t probably hear because most of us are wearing headphones, to block the shity people out.

Alanna Nikol writes:

I live in New york and every time something like this happens you feel like strangling them with your bare hands. I don’t care if they’re famous, this is definition of hell. I’m sure anyone who has never been there must think this is awesome, to me this is the worst possible scenario to take place while riding the subway. Wait until you lived in New york and traveled the subways every goddam day and this will make your day worse, not better. There are people like this Every Day on the subway. Every G……. Day.

Have we become so fed up with daily work routine we can not be open any more for some change nor some sounds which now have become too much for our ears, because all day we have been tampered with too much noise? When people do find such an acappella already disturbing noise, what does it tell about our community? When people do find such an artistic event a bunch of loud shouting when they come home from work, does it not give us food fro thought about the relation of work and the things we can bear in a day?

You would question why could not more people enjoy some more positive sounds enlightening them after a terrifying day? I would think what a great way to brighten up a dull ride on the underground where often we get beggars who can not sing or master their musical instrument.

Joe Moore via Google+ wrote:>

Proving that music & singing are free things which lift the spirit more than buying something or spending money.  Love seeing this kind of thing.

I also enjoyed it and wanted to share it with you, sending my love from a totally different jungle, the surrealist country Belgium. Enjoy the show!

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  • ‘The Lion King’ Cast Belt Out ‘Circle of Life’ for Subway Goers (VIDEO) (chinatopix.com)
    The Tony award-winning cast belted out one of the most memorable songs of both the film and theater versions of “The Lion King” – “The Circle of Life”.
    +
    The critically-acclaimed Broadway musical is currently being shown at The Minskoff Theater in Times Square.
  • The Lion King cast are at it again, this time singing Circle of Life on a train (metro.co.uk)
    Dressed in regular clothes, the Broadway cast of the long-running musical looked like your typical passengers reading books and listening to music through headphones, until one suddenly started to lead the seasoned ensemble in a rendition of Elton John’s hit song, The Circle Of Life, which was originally featured in the 1994 Disney movie.
  • Broadway cast of ‘The Lion King’ takes over NYC subway, sings ‘Circle of Life’ (thegrio.com)
    You might recall back in April when the Australian cast of The Lion King provided in-flight entertainment on their journey from Brisbane to Sydney, serenading passengers with “Circle of Life.”Not to be outdone, The Broadway cast of The Lion King in New York City recently boarded an “A” train subway car and gave riders an unforgettable surprise.
  • The Summer Of ’94: How ‘The Lion King’ Shaped Us For Adulthood (dayandadream.com)
    The Lion King taught everybody to grow up real, real quick. You see, back in 1994, Disney hadn’t really come into its moral compass picture yet. Sure, Aladdin almost taught us that “these h*es ain’t loyal” nearly twenty years before Chris Brown danced to it and Bambi taught an entire generation of people about survival back in the ’40s but in 1994 – The Lion King took every little bit of your heart and told you what it was like to grow up.
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    Crazy people will put blame on something you may not have anything to do with in order to feel better themselves.
  • Webtstic: Cast Of Broadway’s ‘The Lion King’ Invades NYC Subway With ‘Circle Of Life’! (VIDEO) (starpittsburgh.cbslocal.com)

    (Rob Kim/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Television)

    (Rob Kim/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Television)

    What would you do if this happened to you on your commute to work?! I would take my purse & raise it in the air like Simba! (no lie– any time this song plays I immediately grab whatever is close to me and present it to my kingdom) haha!

  • Broadway cast of ‘The Lion King’ takes over NYC subway (abc13.com)
    First a plane, now a train. The Broadway cast of Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ were back at it again with an impromptu performance of “The Circle of Life.”
  • Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: The Lion King (animatedkid.wordpress.com)
    The plot is really good and establishes the theme of Circle of Life, though I do think it gets a bit too choppy.
    +
    Around 1991/1992, the film was changed to be a musical, which caused conflicts amongst the crew, and caused some of them to leave. Disney’s B team was working on this film at the time, as everyone else was more excited for Pocahontas, as they thought the latter would be the bigger success. They took a trip to Africa in 1991 for inspiration in the drawings and the script.  The real development of the film started when Pocahontas did in 1990 (as in the 88 board meeting, Aladdin was chosen over The Lion King). In 1992, many changes were made to the film, which ended up being the final product that we have now.
    +
    Many of the workers did not want to be working on this film, and it was seen as a secondary project; like The Rescuers Down Under. They brought lions in the studio (like they did with Bambi in the 40s) to study animal movement and behavior.
  • “Remember who you are.” (grtfilm.wordpress.com)
    Set in a kingdom of lions in Africa, The Lion King tells the story a lion named Simba, prince of the Pride Lands. When Simba’s father, Mufasa, is murdered by his jealous and treacherous brother Scar, Simba is blamed for Mufasa’s death and banished from the Pride Lands, after which Scar takes the throne. The rest of the film follows Simba as he grows and realizes he must face his uncle and his past, and reclaim his right to the throne.
    +
    No matter how old you are, there’s bound to be at least one part of this movie that brings you to the verge of tears.
    +It’s insane to me that this film turns 20 years old today.There is nothing more exciting than being a child when a movie like The Lion King comes out. This film has to be one of Disney’s most treasured animated features among the entirety of its cinematic works. And those of us who have seen it know why.

    Set in a kingdom of lions in Africa, The Lion King tells the story a lion named Simba, prince of the Pride Lands. When Simba’s father, Mufasa, is murdered by his jealous and treacherous brother Scar, Simba is blamed for Mufasa’s death and banished from the Pride Lands, after which Scar takes the throne. The rest of the film follows Simba as he grows and realizes he must face his uncle and his past, and reclaim his right to the throne.

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick voice the young and adult Simba, with James Earl Jones as Mufasa, and Jeremy Irons as Scar.

    The film includes an ensemble of other characters: Simba’s best friends Nala (Niketa Calame/Moira Kelly), Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella); Zazu (Rowan Atkinson); Rafiki (Robert Guillaume); and Scar’s loyal hyenas Shenzi (Whoopi Goldberg), Banzai (Cheech Marin) and Ed (Jim Cummings).

    So many elements make this movie memorable, powerful and a classic. Hans Zimmer’s score for one—music that leaves you emotionally hypnotized throughout the film’s most powerful scenes. We are also given a set of songs, courtesy of Elton John, with lyrics so unforgettable that those in their 20s today know them by heart.

    Another of the film’s powerful elements is the heartfelt pain that grips you when Mufasa falls to his death and his son desperately attempts to wake him; when Simba is visited by his father’s spirit in a brief, but dramatic exchange; or during the climactic conflict between Simba and Scar atop Pride Rock.

    The Lion King fails to fall short in any area of emotional impact, giving us humor, jealousy, love, loss, anger and friendship. Despite using animals as characters, the film’s story effectively makes each character relatable to the audience in some shape or form. No matter how old you are, there’s bound to be at least one part of this movie that brings you to the verge of tears. This is one of many, if not the primary, elements of The Lion King that makes it so powerful, but it’s the whole package that makes it my favorite Disney animated film of all time.

    +

    “Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars…So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you…and so will I.” – Mufasa

  • Disney Announces ‘The Lion King’ TV Spin-Off, ‘The Lion Guard’ (aceshowbiz.com)
    The Lion Guard“, to be produced by Disney Television Animation, is a series that follows lion cub Kion, a member of the Lion Guard group tasked with preserving his family’s natural habitat. The show will also feature new characters, including a honey badger, a cheetah, a hippo and an egret. Familiar characters Simba, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa will make appearance as well.”The story of ‘The Lion King’ has deeply touched families around the world,” said Nancy Kanter, Executive Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide. “We look forward to introducing a whole new generation of kids to both the Disney legacy characters and to new friends and heroes.”
  • ‘The Lion King': 20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Disney Classic (news.moviefone.com)
    When writer Irene Mecchi was hired, she was told that the story pitch was “‘Bambi in Africa’ meets ‘Hamlet,'” so she started calling it “Bamlet.”
    +
    The film was titled “King of the Jungle,” until someone realized that lions don’t live in the jungle. The phrase still showed up on some Disney merchandise.
    +
    To further underscore Scar’s villainy, Disney put in subtle (and not-so-subtle) Nazi references, including having Scar’s army goosestep and having Scar address his troops from a high ledge, as Hitler would from a balcony. There is also supposedly a Swastika pattern on the rocks nearby.
    +
    The two-and-a-half minute wildebeest stampede, one of the only computer-animated segments in the film, took more than two years to create.

 

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