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Get off the bandwagon

November 13, 2016 1 comment

By Marivel Guzman

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Photo taken in Sacramento State’s Quad, after a Black Live Matter non-violent protest. Sac State students vented their fears and dissatisfaction with the latest incidents of police brutality and murders of African American in different parts of the country. Faculty, Staff also attended the event. Sacramento, Calif. Sept. 22. (Marivel Guzman)

I chose the photo above to give you an idea of how an organic protest  looks like. Nobody is throwing chairs around, or  insulting each other. Nobody is using incendiary material or being disrespectful to students, faculty or staff.

What you have seen on national television relating to the latest violent protests after Nov. 8 elections, are not organic protest but organized by elements  of our society that want to create fear between the population.

What you see on television does not reflects the present state of our country but groups of people easily managed to be enraged by emails being sent by MoveOn.org, Jewisch Voice For Peace, Courageous Resistance,  and other organizations behind Clinton’s agenda.

I refused to accept or follow the fear incitement campaign started by left-wing elements of the democratic party in association with mainstream media and financed by corrupt money.

The same way that righ-wing people and organizations are branded  right-wing by their radical leaning to the right and yes, but their disregard of the views and interests not aligned with their ideas and agendas–the left which for years have been nested inside the democratic party for being progressive and liberal, now days, it has fell in the same category of radicalism and fundamentalism, where is their agenda which only matters.

They have proven not to care for people  and I’m talking about the Democrats, they become too cozy with the  profits they gained from the corporate world.

The establishment refused to persecute Hillary Clinton. They kept looking in the wrong emails’s batch. Why not used Wiki-Leaks emails. Assange put them in a silver plate for the FBI and the District Attorney.

The New World Order’s ideas were brewing inside the corrupt Democratic Party heavily financed by the banking, arms, pharmaceutical, energy conglomerate, and shamelessly by foreign powers as well. Those NWO’s ideas wanted to take United States to World War Three.

Hillary Clinton was so fired up to declare war with Russia and attack Iran, all for her obsession in defending Israel’s security. Wouldn’t an American public official be more interestd in defending the right of the American people, our economy, our security and not being waging war defending Israel’s security, which it a foreign nation that only get us enenmies.

Why is the media cheering for the Soros -incitement “protests”?

Are you fueling fire for a violent revolution?

The billionaires club profit from revolts; big and smalls. They do not care if you become homeless, refugee or if you die. Either way they [corporate magnates] will make money building weapons, homes or caskets, and even will make money with television adds broadcasting the American Revolution.

Why is people jumping in the bandwagon of discord?

The electoral college is the way our democracy system works, deal with it.

Before I pronounced my next statement, let me make clear that I’m independent, that Voted for Jill Stein. Saying that, I feel more comfortable writing the following.

Unfortunately a big number of the American people voted for the lesser evil, and what is done is done. Donald Trump won the elections and we must work united to defend our republic, from him, or from who ever want to take our constitution rights from us.

We have the Constitution to protect and to protect us. We won’t allow the president to take us  backwards in our victories in the Supreme Court, but we cannot defend our rights destroying public property, attacking the police and simply yelling in the streets.

Not even trying to reverse the electoral college. Only because Hillary Clinton did not win. At least not a day after the elections and not through violence.

Organize and work in your districts. Make your council members accountable for their mischief as public officials. Force them to come clean with the deals they make behind doors with corporations before they sign bills.
Get involve in the political system of the country, inform yourself in the mechanisms of local, state and federal laws and politics.

If you invest the energy you are spending being mad in the political process, we can move forward and demand from Trump a different administration away from the corrupt one you know.

Trump is not more powerful than our Constitution.

“We have to remember that we’re actually all on one team…We are not Democrats first, we’re not republican first, we are American first.

We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.” Barrack Obama addressed the nation, a day after the elections, on Nov. 9.

Ilokano Farms Fights Against Foreclosure


Here we see Mary Jane Galbiso in her farm, Ilokano Farm in Orosi, Tulare County

Here we see Mary Jane Galbiso in her farm, Ilokano Farm in Orosi, Tulare County

The local municipal water district wants to built 88-housing sub-division at Mary Jane Galbiso’s farm through foreclosure action. 

What allows a municipal water district to take such legal steps?  Many rural water districts are not regulated by state agencies and conduct themselves like fiefdoms.

“Early in 1933, the Wall Street Journal announced that a “profitless year for agriculture” had at last come to a close. Commodity prices had fallen 50 percent on average from 1931 to 1932. A quarter of the population, 32 million Americans, worked in the agriculture industry, yet their share of national income was half that size.” Bloomber

The same tactics used during the depression of the 1030s by the banks that took advantage of the situation of the people and took they lands by cheap prices.

In the case of Ilokano Farms, the municipal district is assessing made-up liens to be able to take the land from its rightful owner.

 

The double standards: Islam El Shehaby vs The World


Islam El Shehaby (photo/Islam Elshehaby)

Islam El Shehaby (photo/Islam Elshehaby)

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    Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby was 9 times African Champion 2002-2013 and he was World bronze medallist in 2010 in Tokyo. El Shehaby won 18 World Cup medals and achieved victories in Abu Dhabi, Dusseldorf, Cairo, Moscow, Qingdao and Baku. In 2016 silver at the Grand Prix in Düsseldorf.

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Third Intifada Manifesto


By Marivel Guzman

With sad heart I share the #ThirdIntifada manifesto published on Palestinian websites today.
The Palestinian political parties excluding Palestinian Authority in accordance with the situation on the ground have decided to launch the #ThirdIntifada. Palestinians have shown so much restrain on the face of the latest assassinations perpetrated by the #Apartheid illegal entity of Israel and under the consent and total silence of the International Community (leaders) and including the worthless apparatus of the United Nations.
Israel by its actions pushed for this revolution of liberation.
There is so much a nation can take. Palestinians patiently and with resilience pace took on non-violent approach to stop
#Apartheid Israel from taking more land and from killing more Palestinians,  but they see no other way but to uprise, mimicking South Africa uprisings that ended the #Apartheid Regime of South Africa with the help of the International Boycott Divestment and Sanctions that took place against the Apartheid regime.
Palestine starts mourning the martyrs in anticipation of the massacre that approaches.
Remember we have a nation with no army, no tanks, no planes, no apache helicopters, no naval ships or anything that say that this battle will be equal . Palestinian militias only count with rifles and the civilian population only have kitchens knives and stones.
October 10, 2015 is the official date for the #ThirdIntifada 😥

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Third Intifada: Barghouti’s Manifesto
By Uri Avnery
Marwan Barghouti has spoken up. After a long silence, he has sent a message from prison.
In Israeli ears, this message does not sound pleasant. But for Palestinians, and for Arabs in general,
it makes sense.
His message may well become the new program of the Palestinian liberation movement.
I first met Marwan in the heyday of post-Oslo optimism. He was emerging as a leader of the new
Palestinian generation, the home-grown young activists, men and women, who had matured in the
first Intifada.
He is a man of small physical stature and large personality. When I met him, he was already the
leader of Tanzim (“organization”), the youth group of the Fatah movement.
The topic of our conversations then was the organization of demonstrations and other non-violent
actions, based on close cooperation between the Palestinians and Israeli peace groups. The aim was
peace between Israel and a new State of Palestine.
When the Oslo process died with the assassinations of Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, Marwan and
his organization became targets. Successive Israeli leaders – Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and
Ariel Sharon – decided to put an end to the two-state agenda. In the brutal “Defensive Shield
operation (launched by Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, the new leader of the Kadima Party) the
Palestinian Authority was attacked, its services destroyed and many of its activists arrested.
Marwan Barghouti was put on trial. It was alleged that, as the leader of Tanzim, he was responsible
for several “terrorist” attacks in Israel. His trial was a mockery, resembling a Roman gladiatorial
arena more than a judicial process. The hall was packed with howling rightists, presenting
themselves as “victims of terrorism”. Members of Gush Shalom protested against the trial inside the
court building but we were not allowed anywhere near the accused.
Marwan was sentenced to five life sentences. The picture of him raising his shackled hands above
his head has become a Palestinian national icon. When I visited his family in Ramallah, it was
hanging in the living room.
In prison, Marwan Barghouti was immediately recognized as the leader of all Fatah prisoners. He is
respected by Hamas activists as well. Together, the imprisoned leaders of Fatah and Hamas
published several statements calling for Palestinian unity and reconciliation. These were widely
distributed outside and received with admiration and respect.
(Members of the extended Barghouti family, by the way, play a major role in Palestinian affairs
across the entire spectrum from moderate to extremist. One of them is Mustapha Barghouti, a
doctor who heads a moderate Palestinian party with many connections abroad, whom I regularly
meet at demonstrations in Bilin and elsewhere. I once joked that we always cry when we see each
other – from tear gas. The family has its roots in a group of villages north of Jerusalem.)
Nowadays, Marwan Barghouti is considered the outstanding candidate for leader of Fatah and
president of the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas. He is one of the very few personalities
around whom all Palestinians, Fatah as well as Hamas, can unite.
After the capture of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, when the prisoner exchange was discussed,
Hamas put Marwan Barghouti on top of the list of Palestinian prisoners whose release it demanded.
This was a very unusual gesture, since Marwan belonged to the rival – and reviled – faction.
The Israeli government struck Marwan from the list right away, and remained adamant. When Shalit
was finally released, Marwan stayed in prison. Obviously he was considered more dangerous than
hundreds of Hamas “terrorists” with “blood on their hands”.
Why?
Cynics would say: because he wants peace. Because he sticks to the two-state solution. Because he
can unify the Palestinian people for that purpose. All good reasons for a Netanyahu to keep him
behind bars.
So what did Marwan tell his people this week?
Clearly, his attitude has hardened. So, one must assume, has the attitude of the Palestinian people at
large.
He calls for a Third Intifada, a non-violent mass uprising in the spirit of the Arab Spring.
His manifesto is a clear rejection of the policy of Mahmoud Abbas, who maintains limited but all-
important cooperation with the Israeli occupation authorities. Marwan calls for a total rupture of all
forms of cooperation, whether economic, military or other.
A focal point of this cooperation is the day-to-day collaboration of the American-trained Palestinian
security services with the Israeli occupation forces. This arrangement has effectively stopped violent
Palestinian attacks in the occupied territories and in Israel proper. It guarantees, In practice, the
security of the growing Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Marwan also calls for a total boycott of Israel, Israeli institutions and products in the Palestinian
territories and throughout the world. Israeli products should disappear from West Bank shops,
Palestinian products should be promoted.
At the same time, Marwan advocates an official end to the charade called “peace negotiations”. This
term, by the way, is never heard anymore in Israel. First it was replaced with “peace process”, then
“political process”, and lately “the political matter”. The simple word “peace” has become taboo
among rightists and most “leftists” alike. It’s political poison.
Marwan proposes to make the absence of peace negotiations official. No more international talk
about “reviving the peace process”, no more rushing around of ridiculous people like Tony Blair, no
more hollow announcements by Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, no more empty declarations of
the “Quartet”. Since the Israeli government clearly has abandoned the two-state solution – which it
never really accepted in the first place – keeping up the pretense just harms the Palestinian struggle.
Instead of this hypocrisy, Marwan proposes to renew the battle in the UN. First, apply again to the
Security Council for the acceptance of Palestine as a member state, challenging the US to use its
solitary veto openly against practically the whole world. After the expected rejection of the
Palestinian request by the Council as a result of the veto, request a decision by the General
Assembly, where the vast majority would vote in favor. Though this would not be binding, it would
demonstrate that the freedom of Palestine enjoys the overwhelming support of the family of nations,
and isolate Israel (and the US) even more.
Parallel to this course of action, Marwan insists on Palestinian unity, using his considerable moral
force to put pressure on both Fatah and Hamas.
To summarize, Marwan Barghouti has given up all hope of achieving Palestinian freedom through
cooperation with Israel, or even Israeli opposition forces. The Israeli peace movement is not
mentioned anymore. “Normalization” has become a dirty word.
These ideas are not new, but coming from the No. 1 Palestinian prisoner, the foremost candidate for
the succession of Mahmoud Abbas, the hero of the Palestinian masses, it means a turn to a more
militant course, both in substance and in tone.
Marwan remains peace oriented – as he made clear when, in a rare recent appearance in court, he
called out to the Israeli journalists that he continues to support the two-state solution. He also
remains committed to non-violent action, having come to the conclusion that the violent attacks of
yesteryear harmed the Palestinian cause instead of furthering it.
He wants to call a halt to the gradual and unwilling slide of the Palestinian Authority into a Vichy-
like collaboration, while the expansion of the Israeli “settlement enterprise” goes on undisturbed.
Not by accident did Marwan publish his manifesto on the eve of “Land Day”, the world-wide day of
protest against the occupation.
“Land Day” is the anniversary of an event that took place in 1976 to protest against the decision of
the Israeli government to expropriate huge tracts of Arab-owned land in Galilee and other parts of
Israel. The Israeli army and police fired on the protesters, killing six of them. (The day after, two of
my friends and I laid wreaths on the graves of the victims, an act that earned me an outbreak of
hatred and vilification I have seldom experienced.)
Land day was a turning point for Israel’s Arab citizens, and later became a symbol for Arabs
everywhere. This year, the Netanyahu government threatened to shoot anybody who even
approaches our borders. It may well be a harbinger for the Third Intifada heralded by Marwan.
For some time now, the world has lost much of its interest in Palestine. Everything looks quiet.
Netanyahu has succeeded in deflecting world attention from Palestine to Iran. But in this country,
nothing is ever static. While it seems that nothing is happening, settlements are growing incessantly,
and so is the deep resentment of the Palestinians who see this happening before their eyes.
Marwan Barghouti’s manifesto expresses the near-unanimous feelings of the Palestinians in the
West Bank and elsewhere. Like Nelson Mandela in apartheid South Africa, the man in prison may
well be more important than the leaders outside.
– Uri Avnery is an Israeli writer and peace activist with Gush Shalom. He contributed this article to
PalestineChronicle.com. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.

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Pope Francis historical address to the American Congress


Pope Francis raises victory sign
Mr. Vice-President,

Mr. Speaker,

Honorable Members of Congress,

Dear Friends,

I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. I would like to think that the reason for this is that I too am a son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.

Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.

Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation. On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.

Today I would like not only to address you, but through you the entire people of the United States. Here, together with their representatives, I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and –one step at a time — to build a better life for their families. These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.

I would also like to enter into dialogue with the many elderly persons who are a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, and who seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights. I know that many of them are retired, but still active; they keep working to build up this land. I also want to dialogue with all those young people who are working to realize their great and noble aspirations, who are not led astray by facile proposals, and who face difficult situations, often as a result of immaturity on the part of many adults. I wish to dialogue with all of you, and I would like to do so through the historical memory of your people.

My visit takes place at a time when men and women of good will are marking the anniversaries of several great Americans. The complexities of history and the reality of human weakness notwithstanding, these men and women, for all their many differences and limitations, were able by hard work and self-sacrifice — some at the cost of their lives — to build a better future. They shaped fundamental values which will endure forever in the spirit of the American people. A people with this spirit can live through many crises, tensions and conflicts, while always finding the resources to move forward, and to do so with dignity. These men and women offer us a way of seeing and interpreting reality. In honoring their memory, we are inspired, even amid conflicts, and in the here and now of each day, to draw upon our deepest cultural reserves.

I would like to mention four of these Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.

This year marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the guardian of liberty, who labored tirelessly that “this nation, under God, [might] have a new birth of freedom”. Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity.

All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.

The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.

In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.

Here I think of the political history of the United States, where democracy is deeply rooted in the mind of the American people. All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776). If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.

Here too I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery fifty years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his “dream” of full civil and political rights for African Americans. That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of “dreams”. Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people.

In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.

Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.

This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.

In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.

How much progress has been made in this area in so many parts of the world! How much has been done in these first years of the third millennium to raise people out of extreme poverty! I know that you share my conviction that much more still needs to be done, and that in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost. At the same time I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.

It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable. “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129). This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to “enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (ibid., 3). “We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (ibid., 14).

In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to “redirect our steps” (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States — and this Congress — have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a “culture of care” (ibid., 231) and “an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature” (ibid., 139). “We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology” (ibid., 112); “to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power” (ibid., 78); and to put technology “at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (ibid., 112). In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.

A century ago, at the beginning of the Great War, which Pope Benedict XV termed a “pointless slaughter”, another notable American was born: the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people. In his autobiography he wrote: “I came into the world. Free by nature, in the image of God, I was nevertheless the prisoner of my own violence and my own selfishness, in the image of the world into which I was born. That world was the picture of Hell, full of men like myself, loving God, and yet hating him; born to love him, living instead in fear of hopeless self-contradictory hungers”. Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.

From this perspective of dialogue, I would like to recognize the efforts made in recent months to help overcome historic differences linked to painful episodes of the past. It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same. When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue — a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons — new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 222-223).

Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God.

Four representatives of the American people.

I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to “dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.

In these remarks I have sought to present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream.

God bless America!

Days of Palestine, Memorial to Naji Al Ali- Palestinian cartoonist and journalist


Original posted at: Posted in Censorship and Freedom , Calls by paginatransversal on June 7, 2015

 

On Saturday June 5, In the Al-Andalus Library in the city of Cordoba, it was held the “Conference for Palestine. Memorial To Naji Al Ali.“ The event was organized by the International Organization Against Impunity, HOKOK, such event was structured around the memory of the famous Palestinian cartoonist killed in London in 1987, Naji Al Ali, and had as main themes besides: denouncing the brutal Palestinian occupation by the Zionist entity called Israel, the claim of freedom of expression and the free exercise of the right to information, both severely hampered by the Zionist occupation forces and their lobbyists groups throughout the world.

The relevance and the need to hold events like this were demonstrated even before the celebration of the event (Days of Palestine), by the repressive totalitarian attitude, and censorship by certain associations that takes the arrogant attitude of exclusivity  to address the Palestinian issue in Spain and, accompanied by the usual spokesmen ideological persecution from his journalistic tribunes, have highlighted the need to persevere in the defense of pluralism and freedom of expression and against the attacks of totalitarianism and ideological persecution, wherever they come from, whether from the international Zionism, since the allegedly democratic penal code, or from sectarian organizations and democratic proceed doubtful that, relying on the label “Red Solidaria”, intended to hijack the free and plural voice of the Palestinian people.

PALESTINE CONFERENCE HOKOK

However, the impunity, the nerve to use lies of victimization and hysteria that characterizes totalitarian regimes, are these Zionists in disguise or “solidarity,”  usually little or nothing can be doneagainst the will of those who are free enough to avoid being drag by hate and yes by compromise. Thus, those attending the ceremony in Córdoba could see first hand the terrible situation facing the Palestinian people and the difficulties of journalists to do their work in the occupied territories  – at least the truthers, and not the mere intoxicators that are the voice of their master.

Chérifa Serrajd, teacher and social educator opened the conference with presentations dedicated to gloss the figure and works of Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al Ali, and focused on the censorship of the media about the unprecedented situation that exists in Gaza, the situation of the Palestinian people following the recent acts of genocide perpetrated by the Zionist occupation forces, especially the attacks of 2014  that left about 2,500 dead and 11,000 wounded, and destroyed much of Gaza, whose reconstruction work have not yet begun.

Adnan Ezzeddine, lawyer and secretary general of HOKOK, denounced the impunity of the Zionist state called Israel and its strategy of applying the politics of fear and accusation of “anti-Semitism” in both the media and through the courts, as well of terror through military force, all under coverup by governments and institutions worldwide. Similarly he denounced the bigots who had called to boycott the event on absurd charges  of  “racism”, “anti-Semitism”, etc.  With whom he would rather sit at a round table to interexchange positions. He then proceeded to describe a brief overview of the current situation in the Middle East, and accused the US and the Zionist entity called Israel of being behind the terror of the self-proclaimed “Islamic State,” terror already used since the war in Afghanistan to achieve the geopolitical objectives and economic of their sponsors.

PALESTINE CONFERENCE MEMORIAl to AL Naji al SANCHEZ RAFAEL ALI AVELLO:

Rafael Sanchez Avello

Meanwhile, veteran journalist Rafael Sanchez Avello, professional TVE,  information coordinator and editor, specialized in scientific journalism and in the Sahara conflict. He focused his speech on the right of free expression, to ensure human rights and the need for a committed journalism (see journalists as “fetters of our consciousness” that only active solidarity will silence some day). Then he drew the raw data recorded in 2014 with regard to the exercise of journalism (128 journalists killed, 16 in the attack on Gaza, 13 in Syria, 12 in Pakistan, 10 in Iraq, 60 etc .; killed so far in 2015, etc.) and reported the situation of conflict, journalist that before were protected under the media outlet that them to report, and now mostly professionals independent (freelance) underpaid. In this sense he also denounced the installed prejudice in society regarding the exercise of journalism, which they attribute to journalists dishonesty or truth or misrepresenting it, prejudices and recalled what he heard from the mouth of the well-known journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski: “There are no more journalists but mediaworkers, “ so we should not blame the true professionals, but the media themselves and their owners. Avello Sanchez recalled that without free press there is no democracy and that the fundamental mission of the journalist is to give voice to the voiceless and to make visible the invisible.

Then spoke the young Palestinian Mohammed Matter, who came from Germany, where he lives and

Mohammed Matter-Palestinian political activist from Gaza, Palestine

studies, to tell this personal experience in daily life of Gazawans, especially during the criminal attack on Gaza in 2014 by the army of the Zionist occupation. He denounced the obstacles to the free movement of Gazawans locked in “the biggest prison in the world” and the complicity of the Egyptian authorities in collusion with Zionist and United States in relation to the closure of the borders and passage of supplies and people (when is not closed, the border opens and only can cross a maximum of 50 people a day from a list of more than 42,000 people who want to leave Gaza for some reason or other). Matter emphasized the heroism of Gazawans to defend their meager assets against the Zionist aggression ( for example arriving in mass to a private house after receiving the call in the same the occupation forces threatening to bomb it), and  by individual and communitarian examples of struggle and resistance by the Palestinian people, and more specifically by Gazawan in an area without water, without light, and controlled by the Zionists to the number of daily calories consumed  by every Palestinian. Matter expressed doubts about a possible peace between Israelies and Palestinians because, on the one hand, “the Israelies do not want peace” and on the other, the Palestinian people can not embrace the Israeli people as it is literally “amputated”  by bombing and Zionist aggression. He also denounced the Palestinian Authority for its collusion with the Zionists even though they consider the Palestinians as “terrorists.” To achieve any kind of peace, Matter stressed the need to do justice first and urged the audience and citizens in Europe and around the world to increase their support to Palestine and the Palestinian people, making this visible support through mobilizations on the streets, and by boycotting products of the Zionist entity called Israel.

With this call to commitment and denouncing the Zionist outrage, extended to other abuses, ridiculous in comparison but also fruit of the hatred of freedom, plurality and coexistence, the “Conference for Palestine were closed. Memorial Naji Al Ali “, in the city of Cordoba.

Crowdfunding; Charities turn out to be a booming business

December 8, 2014 1 comment

by Marivel Guzman

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. (photo/www.blackenterprise.com)

Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. (photo/www.blackenterprise.com)

Crowdfunding is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” Forbes.com

Some of these sites, like Fundraise.com,CauseVox, DoJiggy’s Pledge software andFundly were set up specifically to help non-profits raise money to support their causes.  Others, like Kickstarter and indiegogo, aren’t non-profit specific but have been used by charities to raise money to support their mission.  Today, let’s talk about crowd-funding websites for non-profits: what they are, and how your organization can use them to raise more money quickly and efficiently.
I have been following many charity driven websites that are profiting from the necessity of people. These domain sites turn-out online business make very easy for anybody that wants to tap into the business to get on board betraying their own people when they use them to support this unethical enterprise. (Fundraising Authority)

Currently there are hundreds wordwide of domains used to collect donations.
Indiegogo and Kickstarter are two of the most successful online companies engaged in the donation business or attracting capital for new ventures, these two companies were create with the idea to help new enterpruniers out in their feet but soon it had evolved to more diverse capital attracting business.
Indiegogo, “When your campaign raises funds, Indiegogo charges a 9.0% fee on the funds you raise. If you reach your goal, you get 5.0% back, for an overall fee of 4.0%” indiegogo website.
youcaring, “How Does YouCaring Make Money If It’s Always Free for Everyone?

We are supported by thousands of contributors from all over the world who have a heart to help people in the middle of challenging life situations. We are incredibly thankful to our donors for allowing us to continue to help thousands of people everyday.”

GoFundme created October 2010, owner, Andrew Ballester, organization, California Product Shop Inc. whose President is Brad Damphousse a millionaire in the donation business.

The website that you are using is profiting from Gaza, Africa, South America, Syria, Iraq and any other country that suffer war.

The truth is that you do not know who is on the other side of the campaign.

The photo below is an example of a campaign for Gaza, the organizer of the campaign shows to be somebody profile name Jilu, if you click on the link, the the real name shows on a facebook profile as Mohammed Abdulmajeed, which seems to be the same person I interviewed via email, the same person that created IgiveOnline.com, if he is successful on the campaigns he organize he could be making a money out of the misery of Gaza, and if the campaigns that he hosts in his website are successful, he is making double the money.
We could call him entrepreneur, a visionary, a philanthropist, or simply a person taking advantage of a disadvantageous situation. You be the judge!

Rebuild Gaza  The campaigner is Mohammed with various projects, his goal 8,000 pounds.

Rebuild Gaza
The campaigner is Mohammed with various projects, his goal 8,000 pounds.

OUR PROJECTS:

  1. Water Plantation (Water Supply)

Click here to find out more : http://bit.ly/GazaWaterSupply

Uninterruptible Power Supply (Switch on Gaza)

Click here to find out morehttp://bit.ly/GazaElectricity

  1. Celox (Stop the bleeding)

Click here to find out morehttp://bit.ly/GazaCelox

IGiveOnline Campaigner

Jilu Miah shows as the organizer of the campaign Rebuild Gaza

Jilu Miah shows as the organizer of the campaign Rebuild Gaza, click on it and Mohammed real profile appears. (snapshots from IgiveOnline.com Rebuild Gaza

In a email interview Mohammed Abdumajeed said what made him fund Igiveonline. He is a college graduate from the United Kingdom, he is in his thirties and said to work for the education directorate. He studied creative design and worked in sales after college.

“Igiveonline.com was started as a way for me to collect donations for a cause I believed in. After seeing other websites and the charges associated with them, I sought to make my own online page for my fundraising so I could lessen the charges.” Said Abdulmajeed

Igiveonline like dozens other domains had turned out to be a huge revenue for their founders.  Abdulmajeed said to have currently 15 to 20 campaigns going on.
These websites work as a gateway for campaigners that find it easy to just open an account and create a campaign, all they have to do is find a cause, register the cause and distribute the links with their friends in facebook or in any other social platform.
At first this look as a really good cause after all these websites work channeling money to people in need, but there is no accountability for the people that create these campaigns, all you need to do is post photos and a credible story and you have a business running.
According to Abdulmajeed he charges 4 percent fee to individuals, 3 percent to  Non-Profits and 2 percent to registered non-profit, but who is he to decide who is non profit, or register non profit, is he some government agent with the power to decide who is is who?

I had noticed that few individuals were already collecting money long before the summer war in Gaza, some may be rightly given the money to needed people, some may have been defrauding their friends and followers, we never will know. But, something very very sure, crowd-funding is a booming business and multi-billion dollar business. Some websites collect from 7 to 20 percent depending on the level of advertisement; example of them Indiegogo , youcaring, GoFundme , Igiveonline.com, these websties allow the user to create campaigns where all they have to do is register and write a story about the campaign, these are just few of them, but after the summer assault to Gaza few more pop out.
We can not deny that there is great need in Gaza, and lots of families do not like the idea to go to make line to pick up bags of food, so they are using online campaigns to collect money, besides I heard from many friends that they are ‘proud to beg’, also many young people in Gaza is taking advantage and creating campaigns to buy camera equipment, to build their homes, buy school supplies.
Good or bad the online campaigns are making the CEO of crowd-funding billionaires.
We always have send money to Gaza without the use of NGOs, they have bad reputation specially the managers of the NGOs, they end up keeping lots of aid or favoring their families, that is a all well known situation in Palestine, non only Gaza, but West Bank as well.
Anyway we know better, if we know our friends we help them, if we feel they are cheating then is on us. In the mean time Gaza infrastructure needs to be reconstructed, but it seems that Palestinian Authority started using their leverage on the situation, and their position as “the ones in charge of reconstruction” to crack down on Hamas and take the political power from them.

The real situation in Gaza is not going to be fix by handouts, online campaigns, AID, NGOs, the situation in Gaza first will change when Israel remove the illegal blockade of their borders, and  economy, and second, when the Israel occupation get dismantle once and for all.

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