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SAVE THE LAKES / FORESTS / NATURAL RESORTS AND STOP ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION IN KASHMIR.
As you probably know, the Democrat and Republican parties have spent the last 50 years trying to pass a bill that would ensure equal Health Care for all Americans.
It Started Back in 1960 when Theadore Rooseveltt decided that for all Americans to have Health Care would boost our economy and our global status.
Recently, a bill was passed by our governemnt known as the Opt Out Bill. Opt Out gives each state the choice to have Health Care or to "opt out". This gave every state the opportunity to chose the plan which would be most benificial to its cause.
Businesses can decide whether to hire someone due to tattoos.
I think this should be a form of discrimination due to the fact that just because people have tattoos doesn't mean they're bad people or incapable of doing a job.
In this generation it's all about body modifications and a lot of people could be denied their dream careers just because of some art work on their body.
The Highway between Calhoun and Fort Deposit is in a state of disrepair and has been this way for too long. The main highway is about to collapse and is about to overtake the detour. Our children rides the buses over this highway two time everyday to get to and from school. We are afraid that someone will be hurt or killed if something is not done to fix it as soon as possible.
Putting gravel on it at this point will not help, it would be like putting a bandaid on a broken arm. This piece of this hughway needs to be repaired and we will not accept anything less.
Even though marriage rates in the United States are declining, unmarried couples in the United States are not offered the same rights as those who are married.
Whether they choose not to marry, or simply are not allowed to by law, they are considered unequal to married couples.
Background of Greece-Macedonian dispute on the name issue
The Macedonia naming dispute refers to the disagreement over the use of the name Macedonia between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. Greece opposes on 1991's constitutional name, after Macedonia declare a full independence from SFRY, though the name Macedonia was in official use as a constitutional name of the state since 02 August 1944. (Source: Wikipedia free encyclopaedia)
Background of existence of Modern Macedonian state and the name
Macedonia was a single geographic entity until the Balkan Wars of 1912-13. As a result of the Treaty of Bucharest, Macedonia was partitioned among Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria. These regions are known as the Republic of Macedonia (organised state since 1944 and independent since 1991), Aegean Macedonia (occupied by Greece since 1913), Pirin of macedonia (occupied by Bulgaria since 1913). (Source: WWI, Military operation in Macedonia 1912-1917, War Museum – London)
The decision for re-construction of Yugoslavia on the federal principle. Decision of II Session of AVNOJ 29 November 1943 in Jajce.
2nd Paragraph To achieve the principle of sovereignty of the people of Yugoslavia, that Yugoslavia represents a true homeland of all its peoples, and never again to become hegemonic domain of any clique, Yugoslavia what we created and we will build on the federal principle, which will ensure full equality of: Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Macedonians and Montenegrins, i.e. the people of Serbia, Croatian, Slovenian, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. (Source: Arhiv Jugoslavije)
Declaration (Manifesto) of ASNOM - 02 August 1944
ASNOM became and remained the biggest event of Macedonian struggle for national freedom and sovereignty. The most important decision at the First Session of ASNOM was the decision to proclaim ASNOM the supreme legislative and executive body representing the Macedonian people, and the pinnacle of state authority in Macedonia. It incorporated initial guidelines on constituting the Macedonian state, creating the "constitutional, legal document, upon the basis of which the Macedonian federal state is to be established and built." The decision also provided for constituting the people's administration,” the government of the Macedonian state, the functions of which were, for the time being, to be performed by the Presidium of ASNOM". Furthermore, in structuring executive authority, this document provided for the formation of "a required number of departments for the various branches of state administration" which were to perform the function of ministries until a government was established. This initial constitution for Macedonia was further supplemented by ASNOM with a definition of essential and guaranteed civil rights. The Declaration on Citizens' Rights stated that all citizens of Macedonia "are equal before the law, irrespective of their nationality, sex, race and religion." The Declaration also guaranteed the rights of ethnic minorities "to a free national life." The minorities are further mentioned in the ASNOM Manifesto, wherein the freedom and equality of all nationalities in Macedonia is proclaimed." (source: Mi-Am publishing)
The Constitution of Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia 31/01/1946
FEDERAL PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
Article 1 Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia is a Republican form of Federal State, the community of equal peoples, those who on the basis of the right to self-determination, including the right to secede, expressed their willingness to live together in a federal state. Article 2 Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia consists of: People’s Republic of Serbia, People's Republic of Croatia, People's Republic of Slovenia, People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, People's Republic of Macedonia and People's Republic Montenegro. People's Republic of Serbia has in the composition of : Autonomous Province Vojvodina and the Autonomous region of Kosovo-Metohija . BASIC RIGHTS OF PEOPLES AND PEOPLES REPUBLICS
Article 9 The sovereignty of national republics within the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia is limited to only the rights that this Constitution has been transferred to Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia protect and defend the sovereign the right people's republics. Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia protecting the safety and social and political regulation of people's republics.
Article 10 Contrary to the Constitution, any act directed against the sovereignty, equality and national freedom of the people of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia and its people's republics. Article 11 Each People's Republic has a Constitution. People's Republic brings its own Constitution. Constitution of the People's Republic of Republics reflects the characteristics and needs be in accordance with the Constitution FPRY. (Source: Arhiv Jugoslavije)
The first constitution of People Republic of Macedonia 31/12/1946
The first constitutional period of Macedonia in a formal sense began with the introduction of the Constitution of Popular Republic of Macedonia on the 31st December 1946. The first constitution of Macedonia was passed and proclaimed by the Constitutional Assembly of the Popular Republic of Macedonia, which, after having passed the Constitution, continued its work as a regular assembly. Apart from its constitutional and legal significance as the highest act of the country, this constitution also had a particular political importance, because it was a document through which the Macedonian state was constitutionally established, and therefore, generally recognized. The constitution of 1946 first set out the character of the state and the way in which it was to be administered. The People's Republic of Macedonia was established as a people's state in a republican form, in which the Macedonian people, expressing their free will, joined together with the other nations of Yugoslavia and their people's republics on the principle of equality to form a common federal state - the FPRY. This definition of the republic exclusively expressed its state legal element, which was necessary and justified during that period, in order to express its constituting as a state. In this definition, there are also elements of the principle of self-determination of the people, expressed in a voluntarily and freely expressed will to join together with the other nations of Yugoslavia. (source: CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA Dr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, Ass. Professor, Faculty of Law, Skopje)
International legal rights on sovereignty and own way of building the country
Charter of the United Nations
The Charter of the United Nations was signed on 26 June 1945, in San Francisco, at the conclusion of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, and came into force on 24 October 1945. The Statute of the International Court of Justice is an integral part of the Charter. PREAMBLE WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.
Article 2 The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles. 1.The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members. 2.All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter. 3.All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. 4.All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. 5.All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action. 6.The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security. 7.Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll. Article 4 1.Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations. 2.The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
Article 5 A Member of the United Nations against which preventive or enforcement action has been taken by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. The exercise of these rights and privileges may be restored by the Security Council.
Article 6 A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. (Source: Secretary of the Publications Board United Nations)
In the prosecution of Kevin G. Wiggins, on conspiracy and wire fraud charges, it is alleged that United States Attorneys for the Northern District of Georgia conspired with Mr. Wiggins's co-defendant and his co-defendant's attorney to falsify evidence. Such false evidence was presented to the court, along with documents prosecutors submitted to the court containing materially false evidence, and a variety of false statements made by one of the persecutors, which resulted in the sentencing of Mr. Wiggins.
In addition, the prosecutors violated Mr. Wiggins's and his sister's constitutional rights to due process, by deceiving the court into believing that other key participants in the fraud, a loan officer and underwriter, were innocent of the same crimes, and they also misled the court into believing the two closing attorneys in the conspiracy would be charged soon after Mr. Wiggins's sentencing, and to recommend a reduced sentence for his cooperation against the attorneys. It's been over a year and no charges have been filed.
It is also alleged that prosecutors, along with the F.B.I. case agent, prepared a report of Mr. Wiggins's testimony he provided in a debriefing with the government, in which he provided evidence to refute the false claims the appraiser in the case made about Mr. Wiggins's sister. The report was never presented to Mr. Wiggins or his defense attorney, nor the court. Moreover, the evidence disproving the false claims by the appraiser, were deleted from the report, and thereafter the report was provided to Mr. Wiggins's sister and her attorney, which led her to plead guilty under false pretenses, because prosecutors never mentioned the positive testimony her brother provided.
Mr. Wiggins has had a website set up to help bring the outrageous corruption of justice in his and his sister's case to the public's attention, to help prevent it from happening to other citizens of our country.
At Ball State, freshmen should be able to purchase better parking passes so they do not have to put up with the unnecessary expenses and hassles when the car is parked in the stadium lot.
The National Organization to End the Waitlist (NOEWAIT) has a petition directed to the President and Members of Congress:
"Health Care Reform Must Eliminate Waitlists and Allow for the Continuation/Portability of Services Across State Lines"
NOEWAIT is a grass-roots, national, social justice movement organized to ensure full opportunity, choices, freedom, and self-determination for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in every community by eliminating wait lists for services in every state. This will be accomplished through public education, mobilizing people into action, and changing public policy.
Across the nation, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities wait years for services and supports and can not move freely from state to state or community to community.
There must be adequate funding for lifetime services and supports needed by our most vulnerable family
members, without gaps or delays.
Funding must be available in all states, portable across and within states and promote self-determination
for the individual with the disability, their families and legal guardians.
To unite the efforts of families, providers, government agencies, advocacy groups and citizens to change laws and policies across the country and eliminate waiting lists for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Within the past decade, great strides have been made in Chicano/Latino Studies at MSU. Some of the successes include:
A specialization in Chicano/Latino Studies was created for the first time, open to all students of the university to gain exposure and expertise in Chicano/Latino scholarship;
A unique mentoring program was developed, led by students for students, as a way to strengthen community and promote Chicano culture on-campus. Over 200 students have participated in the Chicano/Latino Fellows program since its inception;
A space for Chicano/Latino Studies was created, expanding from a one-room to a visible six-room office on-campus to support student social and academic activities;
A stand alone Ph.D. program in Chicano/Latino Studies was created, the first in the Midwest and only the second in existence nationwide;
An intellectual community of undergraduate students, graduate students, and core faculty committed to Chicano/Latino Studies has emerged, engaged in word and action to social justice and collective empowerment.
These accomplishments of the past decade, preceded by at least twenty years of struggle by Chicano students at Michigan State, are significant for at least two reasons:
First, there is now a greater institutional presence of Chicano/Latino Studies within the university;
Second and most importantly, these accomplishments reflect an intentional process by the former Director of Chicano/Latino Studies, Dr. Theresa Meléndez, to engage in principles of collective decision-making and mutual respect, whereby students and core faculty alike had a voice in the direction of the program.
For all of these reasons and more, it is unfortunate to have to come to you now and express that Chicano/Latino Studies is facing a crisis.
The demise of the program began after the appointment of Dr. Sheila Contreras as the new Director of Chicano/Latino Studies in the Fall of 2008. With the support and encouragement of MSU's administration, Dr. Contreras has single-handedly undermined the last 10 years of hard work and collective effort, primarily by refusing to listen to the voices of the undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Contreras has even been unresponsive to concerns raised by core faculty members since her appointment, her own colleagues in Chicano/Latino Studies.
After being unsuccessful in attempting to share our concerns directly with Dr. Contreras, the Real Chicano/Latino Studies (RCLS) was formed in the spring of 2009 as a symbolic expression of opposition to the direction and current leadership of the program. Subsequent attempts to share our concerns were taken to the Dean of the College of Social Science, where the program is housed, and after no resolution, to the Provost of the University. Despite the concerns repeatedly raised by the majority of all involved directly in the program, the administration of the University has ignored them and continued to support the Director.
We are, thus, writing you today, asking for your help!
CONTACT PRESIDENT LOU ANA SIMON and demand that Michigan State honors the students’ request for new principled leadership in Chicano/Latino Studies. President Simon can be contacted by EMAIL at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, or by PHONE at 517.355.6560. If you email, you can copy the State News at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1901, Australian Parliamentary Standing Orders have required the House & Senate to open daily with a Christian prayer, to the exclusion of all other beliefs and disbeliefs.
"Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to vouchsafe Thy blessing upon this Parliament. Direct and prosper our deliberations to the advancement of Thy glory, and the true welfare of the people of Australia.
Our Father, which art in Heaven: Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen."
In 2007 Gabriel Dalgard was kidnapped. Since then the local and county officials have refused, without cause, to press charges against the non-custodial persons.
With the statue of limitations running out, and persons willing to enforce laws set in the books something must be done.
ADLER - AUDITOR'S FINDINGS IN WILLINGBORO MERITS CRIMINAL PROBE
Audit: Willingboro school officials faked financial reports in 2005.
TRENTON - Senator John H. Adler today asked State Attorney General Stuart Rabner to launch a criminal probe to punish those responsible for misappropriating millions of taxpayer dollars in the Willingboro Township School District.
"As we tell our children, there have to be consequences for wrongdoing," said Senator Adler, D-Cherry Hill. "Taxpayers need to know we will dig down to the root causes of wrongdoing and punish those responsible."
In a report by State Auditor Richard L. Fair, it was disclosed that Willingboro officials approved a grossly under-funded budget for the 2005 fiscal year and then falsified reports to cover up the shortfall, causing a crisis which was abated only after the Legislature sanctioned a $10 million bailout loan.
"It is unconscionable that New Jersey taxpayers should be asked to tolerate and to subsidize what very well may be criminal behavior," Senator Adler said in a letter today sent to Attorney General Stuart Rabner. "As a taxpayer, I am appalled. As a State Senator, I appeal to you for a corrective remedy."
The Auditor's report noted that the Willingboro School Board said its vote to approve the budget was based on "falsified" information supplied by district staff. In July of 2005, the board suspended School Superintendent Alonzo Kittrels.
In the wake of a school district deficit set at $5.9 million, three Willingboro schools were shuttered in the district of 5,600 students.
The State audit found that the district's 2005 budget set aside $13.6 million for teachers' salaries when the actual cost was $17.7 million and that a monthly report on the district's financial activity consistently understated expenses.
"Children should see that grownups who abuse taxpayers are held accountable," Senator Adler said. "Otherwise, we're all complicit."
Senator Adler served as co-chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Public School Funding Reform which recommended tighter fiscal accountability procedures for districts throughout New Jersey.
Citizens of The Republic of Macedonia (constitutional name of our country!) are no longer willing to be exposed on further political pressure connected to the UN established "name issue" negotiation process between Republic of Greece and Republic of Macedonia.
So far, it is well known that there is a region with the same name in Greece, and that Macedonia with a reference REPUBLIC is a separate state.
During the years of so far "endless negotiations" our national identity was denied, our language (which is Macedonian!) was called Slavo-macedonian (even in the EP or EU documents!).
Now we are faced with other "creative politician's suggestions" on WHAT ELSE TO ADD to the official name of our country in order not to be offensive to Greece.
So, WE simply WANT to send a very SIMPLE message to all politicians involved in negotiations of both countries, UN special envoy Mr. Mathiew Niemetz, EU, EP, CoE, OSCE and to all other Inernational Community representatives that REPUBLIC IS ENOUGH!
Second Chance for Ex-Offenders Act of 2009 - Amends the federal criminal code to allow an individual to file a petition for expungement of a record of conviction for a nonviolent criminal offense if such individual has:
(1) never been convicted of a violent offense and has never been convicted of a nonviolent offense other than the one for which expungement is sought;
(2) fulfilled all requirements of the sentence of the court in which conviction was obtained;
(3) remained free from dependency on or abuse of alcohol or a controlled substance for a minimum of one year and has been rehabilitated, to the court's satisfaction, if so required by the terms of supervised release;
(4) obtained a high school diploma or completed a high school equivalency program; and
(5) completed at least one year of community service.
Authorizes an individual convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor to file an expungement petition. Directs the court, in ruling on such petition, after determining petitioner eligibility, to weigh the petitioner's interests against the best interests of justice and public safety.
Authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to maintain a nonpublic manual or computerized index of expunged records, to be made available only to federal and state law enforcement personnel who have custody of such records for limited disclosure purposes.
Requires the restoration of expunged records of individuals subsequently convicted of any federal or state offense.
All classified staff employed by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas will be forced to take a mandatory 1 day a month furlough.
Professional and Faculty State Workers will not be effected by the State Mandatory Furlough.
On August 11,2007, Robert LaPointe from Medway, Massachusetts was involved in a boating accident on Long Lake in Harrison, Maine, resulting in 2 deaths. The circumstances of the accident were that the boat, black in color, containing the 2 people killed was moored at night and was proven during the trial that there were no working lights on the boat.
The jury did not convict Rob of the manslaughter or reckless conduct charges, but did believe that his blood alcohol content of .11 could have contributed to poor judgement. He was given the maximum sentence of 5 years, 3.5 to be served with 1.5 years of probation of which he has served 15 months. He has settled the civil suit with the families involved and delivered a sincere and heartfelt apology for this tragic accident.
The State of California is facing an economic crisis like it has never seen before. It is apparent that tough decisions must be made and there have to be some cuts to the state's budget. There is no way around some form of budget cuts.
Families throughout the state are suffering in this economy and are now seeing their dreams of sending their children to have a quality education collapse in front of them. The rising cost of fees make higher education inaccessible for these families.
Thankfully California has maintained the CalGrant program even during these hard times. The future of California and its many of its citizens are relying on the CalGrant program to pay for their education and ensure a prosperous life.
This petition is about current situation in Georgia: as Russian troops still remain in the territory of sovereign country.
We, hereby, demand and will pursue the relocation of all US Representatives and Senators to spend no less than 75% of their time in elected office in our State Capitals to telecommute via secured phone, fax, email, and web conference with their federal counterparts.
On the Local level, State Representatives and Senators will be relocated to spend no less than 75% of their time in elected office in the City Halls or Court Houses of our Districts to likewise telecommute with their state counterparts.
This will essentially “embed” politicians among the people they’re supposed to represent allowing them to always be informed with our communities’ positions on each issue and be within close reach to voice our opposition when necessary.
• Restores Balance of Power - Citizens are put back in charge of this country.
• Nonpartisan - This plan favors no political party since all need to be reigned in.
• Anti-Lobbying - Lobbyists spend most of their budget on travel expenses.
• Reduce Corruption - Citizens/Local Media resume their role as government watch dog.
• Cost Effective - The cost of upgrading state and local facilities for this plan is dwarfed by the savings from stopping out of control government spending.
• National Security - Any natural disaster or assault on DC would be far less catastrophic because it would be taking down only one server on a grid of 51.
Effective June 20, 2009 the fare to ride public transportation in New York City will rise to $2.25. While this is less than the projected fare hike, it is still too much for New Yorkers to pay.
The debt that prompted the M.T.A to raise their fares, was incurred by the M.T.A as a result of borrowing money when the State did not Approve the new budget. The fault clearly lies between the M.T.A. And the New York State Senate.
Dear Secretary of State Clinton,
Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that is Buddhist in nature. It consists of moral teachings, a meditation, and four gentle exercises that resemble tai-chi and are known in Chinese culture as “qigong.” The latter are a truly unique, and very much enjoyable, way to improve the health and condition of one’s body.
At the core of Falun Gong are the values of truth, compassion, and forbearance (or in Chinese, Zhen, Shan, Ren). Falun Dafa teaches that these are the most fundamental qualities of the universe itself, and takes them to be a guide for daily life and practice. Falun Gong is also known as “Falun Dafa.”
By 1999 Falun Gong was reported to have grown to become the largest, and fastest growing, practice of the sort in Chinese if not world history. In just seven years since its 1992 introduction to the public, an estimated 70-100 million persons in China were by then making Falun Gong a part of their daily lives.
In Asia spiritual practices of this variety are often referred to as ways of “cultivation”, or “self-cultivation,” and form an important part of traditional Chinese culture. Various Daoist, Buddhist, and Confucian practices fit this rubric.
Through consistent and dedicated practice, the student of Falun Gong comes to achieve a state of selflessness, greater insight and awareness, inner purity, and balance—the inner workings of what might be called true health. Ultimately he or she approaches what in the Asian tradition is known as “enlightenment” or “attaining the Dao” (or “Way”).
While Falun Gong aspires to inner transformation of the self, it nevertheless typically translates outwardly into positive change in the world, insofar as the practitioner becomes a more patient family member, a more conscientious employee, a more giving member of the community, and so on.
Falun Gong has thus been the subject of many citations, awards, and proclamations as conferred by government officials and a variety of organizations. Many who practice Falun Gong have been the recipients of service awards in their communities. The practice’s founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, is a four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and was nominated by the European Parliament for the Sakharov Prize For Freedom of Thought.
Few people today are aware that the practice and its followers received much in the way of official recognition in China during the 1990s, prior to a dramatic, and violent, change in political winds in 1999 which saw the practice banned.
In 1993, Mr. Li Hongzhi was named the “Most Welcomed Qigong Master” in Beijing and bestowed by an official body with the Award for Advancing Frontier Science. That same year, The People's Public Security News—the official newspaper of China’s Ministry of Public Security—praised Mr. Li for his contributions “in promoting the traditional crime-fighting virtues of the Chinese people, in safeguarding social order and security, and in promoting rectitude in society.”
By 1999, Chinese officials went so far as to quantify Falun Gong’s benefits, such as when one official from China’s National Sports Commission, speaking with U.S. News & World Report, declared that Falun Dafa “can save each person 1,000 yuan in annual medical fees. If 100 million people are practicing it, that’s 100 billion yuan saved per year in medical fees.” The same official went on to note that, “Premier Zhu Rongji is very happy about that.”
Today Falun Gong is practiced freely in more 70 countries around the world, with clubs and associations existing in a range of cities, companies, universities, and other settings. Regrettably in China, its country of origin, it is currently banned and the subject of gross human rights violations at the hands of communist rulers.
While Falun Gong is practiced openly in the 70-plus countries where it is found, today in its homeland of China it is subject to well-documented egregious human rights violations. The scale and scope of abuses taking place make this possibly the largest religious persecution in the world today.
Suppression officially began on July 22, 1999 following years of escalating state abuses (timeline).
One basic explanation for the seemingly irrational campaign is the proclivities of China’s atheist Communist Party (the CCP), which fears all groups outside its control – particularly ones that subscribe to a different ideology.
The Party has tried several times to eradicate all expressions of religion from China (a country traditionally referred to as "the land of the divine"). To this day Roman Catholics, many Protestants, and Tibetan Buddhists cannot worship freely in China and are at constant risk of detention and torture. By 1999, Falun Gong became a natural target as it was the largest - and fastest growing - spiritual group in China with 100 million practitioners nation-wide, according to Chinese Government reports at the time.
Others have noted that the decision to launch the campaign is linked to former-Party head Jiang Zemin’s "fear" and "jealousy" of Falun Gong. According to analyst Willy Lam (news), Jiang has been seen as "using the mass movement to promote allegiance to himself." Sources cited by the Washington Post, state that, "Jiang Zemin alone decided that Falun Gong must be eliminated," and "picked what he thought was an easy target." (more about the origins of the campaign).
Perhaps the most prominent feature of the campaign has been its prevalent use of extreme torture. Torture of Falun Gong adherents has been documented in each of China’s provinces, in jails, labor camps, brainwashing centers, and schools in China’s big cities, small towns, and villages.
Popular torture techniques include shocking with electric batons, burning with irons, tying the body in painful positions for days, force-feeding saline solutions through a plastic tube inserted up the nose, and prying out fingernails with bamboo shoots, to name a few; rape and sexual torture of the Falun Gong in detention are prevalent as well.
To date over 3,000 deaths have been documented, as well as over 63,000 accounts of torture. An estimate of the real figure puts the actual death toll in the tens of thousands (more about torture)
When the persecution was launched in 1999, tens of millions of Chinese who practiced the meditation discipline were faced with a choice. One option was to again surrender to the Communist Party and abandon a practice that had brought them better health, spiritual guidance, and, invariably, newfound hope. A second option seemed to be to continue practicing quietly at home – but as raids quickly showed, this was impossible even if one were able to turn a blind eye to the persecution of family and friends. A final option was to openly resist the persecution in spite of knowing full well what the painful consequences might be.
Indeed, those who chose the latter have most commonly faced forms of oppression that do not make headlines – dismissal from work, expulsion from universities, deprivation of health care and pensions, divorce, homelessness, and a range of other forms of discrimination (more about: persecution in the family, persecution at work and school, and destitution).
For hundreds of thousands, the most basic reality of the campaign has been long periods of detention in "reform through labor" camps – China’s Gulag system. There they are forced to work up to 20 hours per day, producing – without pay – toys, Christmas tree lights, chopsticks, and soccer balls for export. Those who refuse are tortured (more about arbitrary detention and slavery).
Be it in labor camps, jails, or in special reeducation centers, all detained Falun Gong practitioners have been forced to undergo what can only be described as brainwashing. The Communist Party’s goal is to force these people to renounce their spiritual beliefs and come to view Falun Gong as dangerous, as well as to turn in others who are active in exposing the persecution.
The key ingredients of the brainwashing process, or what the Party calls "transformation," is sleep deprivation, hours on end of staring at videos vilifying Falun Gong, threats, and Cultural Revolution-style "struggle sessions". Some particularly "stubborn" individuals who refuse to transform are injected with psychotropic drugs in asylums as treatment for the mental disorder of incorrect political thinking (more about psychological persecution).
The Party’s ultimate solution for the vast number of incarcerated Falun Gong adherents, however, is much more terrifying. According to current and former hospital employees, the Falun Gong have been used in reverse organ-matching – they have been killed by the thousands so that their organs can be used for on-demand transplants.
Livers, kidneys, hearts, and cornea are removed from the living, anesthetized Falun Gong adherents with matching blood-types and sold to Party officials and other desperate-yet-wealthy individuals from China and abroad. Undercover investigators’ phone calls to Chinese hospitals have caught doctors boasting about this practice on tape (more about organ harvesting).
But, as in every genocide of the twentieth century, extreme violence first required dehumanization of "the other" through propaganda. Indeed, one key measure in the Party’s suppression has been to limit, and distort, information about Falun Gong—both in China and elsewhere.
From day one of the suppression, the regime banned all books and informational media produced discussing Falun Gong positively. All websites relating to the practice were immediately blocked. Millions of Falun Gong books were forcibly seized and burned publicly. The regime feared people might learn, if they knew not already, that Falun Gong was a healthy, normal, and positive way of life embraced by millions (more about censorship).
These censorship efforts have, of course, extended to cyberspace, thanks in no small part to Western companies who have enthusiastically sold Internet surveillance technology to the Party’s security apparatuses. As a result, Chinese people are now in jail for posting evidence of torture online or even downloading articles about Falun Gong (more about the persecution and the Internet).
Alongside censorship, the Party has sought to scandalize Falun Gong through an aggressive propaganda blitz. The regime has been determined to paint Falun Gong as dangerous, deviant, and abnormal.
Former Party Chairman Jiang Zemin led the way, attaching onto Falun Gong the label of "cult" three months after his ban as means to further bend public opinion. The Ministry of Propaganda thus launched numerous publications, radio and TV shows, and even plays, comic books, and exhibitions meant to criminalize Falun Gong (more about this propaganda campaign).
Government officials around the world, meanwhile, report receiving defamatory materials from Party emissaries. These are often accompanied by attempts to pressure the elected officials to stay silent about abuses perpetrated against the Falun Gong, to rescind proclamations in recognition of Falun Gong’s contributions to the community, and to block local Falun Gong activities such as parades or conferences.
Business owners, journalists, and scholars have also been subjected to similar pressure tactics and threats (more about pressure overseas), leading to a sometimes eerie silence in Western press and academia (see "Out of the Media Spotlight").
Beyond mere threats, Falun Gong adherents overseas have been physically assaulted and spied on by agents directly connected to the Chinese Communist regime (more about persecution overseas).
The Falun Gong have responded to all of this with markedly peaceful means. Throughout nearly a decade of persecution, they have refused to adopt violence. Instead, adherents first tried to reason with Communist Party rulers through letters and petitions. When these fell on deaf ears, the Falun Gong turned to Tiananmen Square where – through quietly meditating or displaying banners before being arrested - they sought to call upon the conscience of the Chinese people as well as world leaders. As the persecution continued, the Falun Gong began countering state propaganda by distributing information exposing the persecution through leaflets, VCDs, emails, and phone calls.
Collectively, this resistance movement - composed of bold individual acts in spite of great personal risks – constitutes what is probably today’s largest non-violent movement in the world (see "Righteous Resistance").
Outside of China, Falun Gong practitioners and supporters have also engaged in a range of activities aimed at exposing the persecution on the mainland. Since the Falun Gong in China are denied any legal rights there (more about violations of China’s law and the complicity of the judiciary), a group of leading rights lawyers are carrying out one of history’s broadest international campaigns legal campaigns with the aim of bringing CCP officials to justice for what these attorneys are calling the genocide of Falun Gong (more about lawsuits around the world and violations of international law).
53. It's About Time
We were promised properly resourced quality nursing/midwifery services
- Public Sector nurses and midwives across metropolitan South Australia are taking action because the State Government has failed to deliver on its promise to support positive and resourced quality nursing and midwifery services.
It’s about time that these resources are delivered
- A promise was made, in February 2007, to provide more nursing and midwifery staff for direct clinical care so that other nursing and midwifery staff (including Level 2 and 3) could spend time performing activities that have an important impact on patients.
- Since this time, we have repeatedly requested that the resources be provided.
- To date, we have not been provided with a response or timeframe.
It’s the time we need to provide quality patient careThe failure to resource quality nursing/midwifery services has a negative impact on patient care. Failure to meet the promise means that less time is available for important work including:
- Quality improvement
- Infection control
- Rostering (ensuring adequate and appropriate staff on shift)
- Clinical teaching supervision / support of new staff
- Professional / knowledge development and resources
- Co-ordination management and planning.
We have exhausted all other options to make the State Government deliver
- Because we have not received a response, we are taking action so that the State Government will provide us with the resources we need to provide quality nursing/midwifery services.
- We regret that we have been forced to take action, but we are taking action because of our commitment to the community and your health needs.
- We ask for your patience and support in our campaign – this is a campaign to ensure the community gets quality nursing/midwifery services and that’s why ‘It’s About Time’.
KAT-TUN = LIFE
Secretary of State Clinton attended a Gaza reconstruction this week and promised $900 million in support, which by the way we do not have. A third would go toward the reconstruction of Gaza, and the rest toward Palestinian National Authority's (PNA) budget shortfalls and operating expenses.
(Find the article at http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/asia-mainmenu-33/847)
Students for Sensible Drug Policy is asking for your support of Assembly Bill 390, the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act -- the first bill ever introduced to legalize the sale and use of marijuana in California.
As introduced, this groundbreaking proposal would raise over $1 billion in annual revenue by taxing the retail production and sale of marijuana for adults over 21 years of age.
The bill would not alter existing legislation on the use of medicinal cannabis, nor would it impose new taxes or sanctions on the medical cultivation of cannabis.
Assembly Bill 390 proposes to make California the first state in the nation to enact a rational public policy for the control and regulation of marijuana. Please show your support for this measure by contacting your California Assembly members and urging them to support the Marijuana Control, Regulation, and Education Act.
We the People of the State of Washington, in order to regain justice for all citizens of Washington state, born and unborn, and to ensure adequate and honest education pertaining to fetal development (according to biology) and abortion, in schools, clinics, and hospitals; as well as provide support for those in need, do establish this plea for justice.
From 1 July 2007 the Queensland Government introduced a new graduated licensing system to reduce fatalities on our roads, particularly among young motorists. Young drivers aged 17-24 are twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes than drivers aged between 25-59. That is why the Queensland Government introduced new laws to change the licensing system for young drivers.
The new changes introduced by Queensland Transport included the introduction of a logbook system to ensure learners get a good balance of experience before they drive solo on the road. Learner drivers are required to complete 100 hours of supervised on-road driving experience.
The extension of the learner period to 12 months and the completion of 100 hours of driving experience will expose learners to driving in various road conditions. During this time, they gain valuable experience, including driving at night. The requirement to accumulate 100 hours of supervised on-road driving experience before undertaking a practical driving assessment highlights the importance of the learner licence stage and ensures the learner accumulates extensive driving experience under a range of driving conditions before applying for a provisional licence.
Since the changes in law, many young people in state care face many barriers when trying to obtain their driving licence, such as foster carers not having enough time, residentials not having insurance for young people to drive company or youth worker owned cars and the average driving lesson costing $47 an hour and the likelihood of the Department of Child Safety providing an average of $4700 for each young person wanting to access there licence isn't high either.
We the Undersigned Being Citizens and U.S. Registered Voters. Do herein request by this Petition. By Lawful right. Do Call upon The President, The U.S. Senate, The U. S. Congress. All State Governors and all Elected State Officials and Legislators. To begin immediately to work to Revise and Standardize The U.S. Election Process. Into a transparent simple document-able Tamper Resistant Process. Where every U. S. Citizens Right to vote and their Precious Vote is Protected and Accountable. Under all applicable U.S. Territorial and Constitutional Laws. The purpose being to eliminate and diminish massive election and voter fraud.
This petition is for the legalization of mini-bikes, off-road trail bikes, mini-cycles, and electric scooters on public roads in the state of Michigan.