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Liberty – Wikipedia

Liberty, in philosophy, involves free will as contrasted with determinism.[1] In politics, liberty consists of the social and political freedoms to which all community members are entitled.[2] In theology, liberty is freedom from the effects of, “sin, spiritual servitude, [or] worldly ties.”[3]

Generally, liberty is distinctly differentiated from freedom in that freedom is primarily, if not exclusively, the ability to do as one wills and what one has the power to do; whereas liberty concerns the absence of arbitrary restraints and takes into account the rights of all involved. As such, the exercise of liberty is subject to capability and limited by the rights of others.[4]

Philosophers from earliest times have considered the question of liberty. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121180 AD) wrote of “a polity in which there is the same law for all, a polity administered with regard to equal rights and equal freedom of speech, and the idea of a kingly government which respects most of all the freedom of the governed.”[5] According to Thomas Hobbes (15881679), “a free man is he that in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do” (Leviathan, Part 2, Ch. XXI).

John Locke (16321704) rejected that definition of liberty. While not specifically mentioning Hobbes, he attacks Sir Robert Filmer who had the same definition. According to Locke:

John Stuart Mill (18061873), in his work, On Liberty, was the first to recognize the difference between liberty as the freedom to act and liberty as the absence of coercion.[7] In his book Two Concepts of Liberty, Isaiah Berlin formally framed the differences between these two perspectives as the distinction between two opposite concepts of liberty: positive liberty and negative liberty. The latter designates a negative condition in which an individual is protected from tyranny and the arbitrary exercise of authority, while the former refers to the liberty that comes from self-mastery, the freedom from inner compulsions such as weakness and fear.

The modern concept of political liberty has its origins in the Greek concepts of freedom and slavery.[8] To be free, to the Greeks, was to not have a master, to be independent from a master (to live like one likes).[9] That was the original Greek concept of freedom. It is closely linked with the concept of democracy, as Aristotle put it:

This applied only to free men. In Athens, for instance, women could not vote or hold office and were legally and socially dependent on a male relative.[11]

The populations of the Persian Empire enjoyed some degree of freedom. Citizens of all religions and ethnic groups were given the same rights and had the same freedom of religion, women had the same rights as men, and slavery was abolished (550 BC). All the palaces of the kings of Persia were built by paid workers in an era when slaves typically did such work.[12]

In the Buddhist Maurya Empire of ancient India, citizens of all religions and ethnic groups had some rights to freedom, tolerance, and equality. The need for tolerance on an egalitarian basis can be found in the Edicts of Ashoka the Great, which emphasize the importance of tolerance in public policy by the government. The slaughter or capture of prisoners of war also appears to have been condemned by Ashoka.[13] Slavery also appears to have been non-existent in the Maurya Empire.[14] However, according to Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, “Ashoka’s orders seem to have been resisted right from the beginning.”[15]

Roman law also embraced certain limited forms of liberty, even under the rule of the Roman Emperors. However, these liberties were accorded only to Roman citizens. Many of the liberties enjoyed under Roman law endured through the Middle Ages, but were enjoyed solely by the nobility, rarely by the common man.[citation needed] The idea of inalienable and universal liberties had to wait until the Age of Enlightenment.

The social contract theory, most influentially formulated by Hobbes, John Locke and Rousseau (though first suggested by Plato in The Republic), was among the first to provide a political classification of rights, in particular through the notion of sovereignty and of natural rights. The thinkers of the Enlightenment reasoned that law governed both heavenly and human affairs, and that law gave the king his power, rather than the king’s power giving force to law. This conception of law would find its culmination in the ideas of Montesquieu. The conception of law as a relationship between individuals, rather than families, came to the fore, and with it the increasing focus on individual liberty as a fundamental reality, given by “Nature and Nature’s God,” which, in the ideal state, would be as universal as possible.

In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill sought to define the “…nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual,” and as such, he describes an inherent and continuous antagonism between liberty and authority and thus, the prevailing question becomes “how to make the fitting adjustment between individual independence and social control”.[4]

England and following the Act of Union 1707 Great Britain, laid down the cornerstones to the concept of individual liberty.

In 1166 Henry II of England transformed English law by passing the Assize of Clarendon act. The act, a forerunner to trial by jury, started the abolition of trial by combat and trial by ordeal.[16]

In 1215 the Magna Carta was drawn up, it became the cornerstone of liberty in first England, Great Britain and later, the world.

In 1689 the Bill of Rights grants ‘freedom of speech in Parliament’, which lays out some of the earliest civil rights.[19]

In 1859 an essay by the philosopher John Stuart Mill, entitled On Liberty argues for toleration and individuality. If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.[20][21]

In 1958 Two Concepts of Liberty, by Isaiah Berlin, determines ‘negative liberty’ as an obstacle, as evident from ‘positive liberty’ which promotes self-mastery and the concepts of freedom.[22]

In 1948 British representatives attempt to and are prevented from adding a legal framework to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (It was not until 1976 that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights came into force, giving a legal status to most of the Declaration.) [23]

According to the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, all men have a natural right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. But this declaration of liberty was troubled from the outset by the presence of slavery. Slave owners argued that their liberty was paramount, since it involved property, their slaves, and that the slaves themselves had no rights that any White man was obliged to recognize. The Supreme Court, in the Dred Scott decision, upheld this principle. It was not until 1866, following the Civil War, that the US Constitution was amended to extend these rights to persons of color, and not until 1920 that these rights were extended to women.[24]

By the later half of the 20th century, liberty was expanded further to prohibit government interference with personal choices. In the United States Supreme Court decision Griswold v. Connecticut, Justice William O. Douglas argued that liberties relating to personal relationships, such as marriage, have a unique primacy of place in the hierarchy of freedoms.[25] Jacob M. Appel has summarized this principle:

I am grateful that I have rights in the proverbial public square but, as a practical matter, my most cherished rights are those that I possess in my bedroom and hospital room and death chamber. Most people are far more concerned that they can control their own bodies than they are about petitioning Congress.[26]

In modern America, various competing ideologies have divergent views about how best to promote liberty. Liberals in the original sense of the word see equality as a necessary component of freedom. Progressives stress freedom from business monopoly as essential. Libertarians disagree, and see economic freedom as best. The Tea Party movement sees big government as the enemy of freedom.[27][28]

France supported the Americans in their revolt against English rule and, in 1789, overthrew their own monarchy, with the cry of “Libert, galit, fraternit”. The bloodbath that followed, known as the reign of terror, soured many people on the idea of liberty. Edmund Burke, considered one of the fathers of conservatism, wrote “The French had shewn themselves the ablest architects of ruin that had hitherto existed in the world.”[29]

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, liberalism is “the belief that it is the aim of politics to preserve individual rights and to maximize freedom of choice”. But they point out that there is considerable discussion about how to achieve those goals. Every discussion of freedom depends of three key components: who is free, what are they free to do, and what forces restrict their freedom.[30] John Gray argues that the core belief of liberalism is toleration. Liberals allow others freedom to do what they want, in exchange for having the same freedom in return. This idea of freedom is personal rather than political.[31] William Safire points out that liberalism is attacked by both the Right and the Left: by the Right for defending such practices as abortion, homosexuality, and atheism, by the Left for defending free enterprise and the rights of the individual over the collective.[32]

According to the Encyclopdia Britannica, Libertarians hold liberty as their primary political value.[33] Their approach to implementing liberty involves opposing any governmental coercion, aside from that which is necessary to prevent individuals from coercing each other.[34]

According to republican theorists of freedom, like the historian Quentin Skinner[35][36] or the philosopher Philip Pettit,[37] one’s liberty should not be viewed as the absence of interference in one’s actions, but as non-domination. According to this view, which originates in the Roman Digest, to be a liber homo, a free man, means not being subject to another’s arbitrary will, that is to say, dominated by another. They also cite Machiavelli who asserted that you must be a member of a free self-governing civil association, a republic, if you are to enjoy individual liberty.[38]

The predominance of this view of liberty among parliamentarians during the English Civil War resulted in the creation of the liberal concept of freedom as non-interference in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.[citation needed]

Socialists view freedom as a concrete situation as opposed to a purely abstract ideal. Freedom involves agency to pursue one’s creative interests unhindered by coercive social relationships that one is forced to engage in in order to survive under a given social system. From this perspective, freedom requires both the material economic conditions that make freedom possible alongside the social relationships and institutions conducive to freedom. As such, the socialist concept of freedom is a specific interpretation of the liberal concept of freedom.[39]

The socialist conception of freedom is closely related to the socialist view of creativity and individuality. Influenced by Karl Marx’s concept of alienated labor, socialists understand freedom to be the ability for an individual to engage in creative work in the absence of alienation, where alienated labor refers to work people are forced to perform and un-alienated work refers to individuals pursuing their own creative interests.[40]

For Karl Marx, meaningful freedom is only attainable in a communist society characterized by superabundance and free access, would eliminate the need for alienated labor and enable individuals to pursue their own creative interests, leaving them to develop their full potentialities. This goes alongside Marx’s emphasis on the reduction of the average length of the workday to expand the “realm of freedom” for each person.[41][42] Marx’s notion of communist society and human freedom is thus radically individualistic.[43]

Some authors have suggested that a virtuous culture must exist as a prerequisite for liberty. Benjamin Franklin stated that “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”[44] Madison likewise declared: “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.”[45] John Adams acknowledged: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[46]

“This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave.”

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Liberty – Wikipedia

Measuring the Internet for Freedom – Project Syndicate

ROME Last year, during a wave of deadly political protests in Ethiopia, the government blocked more than 15 media websites and the smartphone chat application WhatsApp. Sites promoting freedom of expression and LGBTQ+ rights, as well as those offering censorship-circumvention tools, such as Tor and Psiphon, were also suppressed.

All of this was uncovered through the use of software called ooniprobe, which is designed to measure networks and detect Internet censorship. Ooniprobe was developed more than five years ago by the Tor-supported Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), with which I work, in order to boost transparency, accountability, and oversight of Internet censorship. The software is free and open source, meaning that anyone can use it. And, indeed, tens of thousands of ooniprobe users from more than 190 countries have already done just that.

Those users have contributed to the collection of millions of network measurements, all of which are published on OONI Explorer, arguably the largest publicly available resource on Internet censorship. Thanks to their use of ooniprobe, we uncovered the extent of last years wave of censorship in Ethiopia, as well as details of many other cases of censorship elsewhere in the world.

In Uganda, local groups used ooniprobe during last years general election, when the government blocked social media. Ooniprobes network-measurement data not only confirmed the governments action; it also uncovered which sites were blocked and the different methods used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to implement censorship.

Ooniprobe also came in handy in Malaysia in 2015. Facing accusations that he had transferred nearly $700 million from the state investment fund 1MDB to his personal bank accounts, Prime Minister Najib Razak attempted to block news outlets and blogs that reported on the scandal. It was ooniprobes network-measurement software that enabled Malaysian civil-society groups to collect data that serve as evidence of the blocking.

Of course, censorship is not always carried out to protect the politically powerful; it can also be used to reinforce social and cultural norms. In Indonesia, for example, low social tolerance for homosexuality may have played a role in the blocking of numerous LGBTQ+ websites, even though the country does not officially restrict LGBTQ+ rights. Similar factors may have influenced efforts to block sites perceived as overly critical of Islam.

In Thailand, ISPs have, in the last three years, blocked access to a number of sites that are perceived to be offensive toward the countrys royal family. But, here, there is a legal justification: Thailands strict prohibition against lse-majest protects the royal familys most senior members from insult or threat. Other cases of legally justified Internet censorship include the blocking of sexually explicit websites in countries where pornography is prohibited.

Then there are cases where the motivation for censorship is unclear. Why, for example, has an online dating site been blocked in Malaysia? In some countries, ISPs appear to be censoring sites at their own discretion. According to ooniprobe data, multiple Thai ISPs simultaneously blocked access to different types of websites from news outlets to Wikileaks to pornography indicating that they likely received vague orders from authorities.

Before ooniprobe, such censorship was difficult to detect, leading to a lack of accountability, with governments and ISPs often denying any and all involvement. Even in cases where governments announce official lists of blocked sites, they may leave some targets off. Likewise, ISPs may not always comply with official orders to lift blocks. Vimeo and Reddit, for example, were recently found to be blocked in some networks in Indonesia, even though the official ban on those sites was lifted more than two years ago.

With ooniprobe, users are not only able to expose Internet censorship; they can also acquire substantial detail about how, when, where, and by whom the censorship is being implemented. OONIs Web-Connectivity Test, for example, is designed to examine whether access to websites is blocked through DNS tampering, TCP/IP blocking, or a transparent HTTP proxy.

Other ooniprobe tests are designed to examine the accessibility of chat apps namely, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger within networks, as well as that of censorship-circumvention tools, such as Tor, Psiphon, and Lantern. OONI also provides software tests that uncover the presence of systems (middle boxes) that could potentially be responsible for censorship or surveillance.

The depth of OONI data supports much-needed accountability and oversight. Lawyers can use OONI data to assess the legality of Internet censorship in their countries, and potentially introduce it as evidence in court cases. Journalists, researchers, and human-rights defenders can use the data to inform their work as well. And censorship-circumvention projects like Tor can use OONI findings on emergent censorship events to shape their tools and strategies.

OONI data can help enrich public discourse about the legality, necessity, and proportionality of Internet censorship. That makes it a critical tool for safeguarding human rights on the Internet and beyond.

Todays media landscape is littered with landmines: open hostility by US President Donald Trump, increased censorship in countries such as Hungary, Turkey, and Zambia, growing financial pressure, and the challenge of “fake news.” In Press Released, Project Syndicate, in partnership with the European Journalism Centre, provides a truly global platform to frame and stimulate debate about the myriad challenges facing the press today.

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Measuring the Internet for Freedom – Project Syndicate

7 Steps to Achieve Financial Freedom – Entrepreneur

Achieving financial freedom doesn’t necessarily mean becoming filthy rich — not that that hurts.

In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Brian Tracy explains the seven steps you need to take to achieve financial freedom. Now, financial freedom doesn’t mean becoming filthy rich — lottery winners go bankrupt all the time. Instead, financial freedom is about becoming disciplined and using your money in a way that ensures you can live the sort of life you want both now and in the future.

That’s why the first step isn’t about getting a lot of money. Instead, it’s about teaching yourself to think positivelyaboutmoney. That way, you’ll be in the right mindset to move forward.

Click play to learn more.

Related:Brian Tracy’s Best Advice for Young People: It’s Never Too Early to Find Your Purpose

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EN is partnered with hundreds of topYouTube channelsin the business vertical. Watch video from our network partners ondemand onAmazon Fire,Roku,Apple TVand the Entrepreneur App available oniOSandAndroiddevices.

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7 Steps to Achieve Financial Freedom – Entrepreneur

Former Slave’s Dream Of Freedom Lives On In Central California Town – CBS San Francisco Bay Area

August 22, 2017 12:52 PM By Christin Ayers

ALLENSWORTH, Tulare County (KPIX 5) California was once the promise land for a former slave who settled a town where his dreams of freedom would become a reality.

That place still exists. Its called Allensworth and if you didnt know it was here, you might never find it.

This blink-and-youll-miss-it former agricultural town, smack in the middle of California, four hours from San Francisco, three hours from Los Angeles, suspended in time looks just the way it did 100 years ago.

Today Allensworth has been preserved as a California state historic park.

But its not just any park.

This is the only California park that deals with black history, said park ranger Steven Ptomey. Its very unique in that.

In its heyday, Allensworth was not just any town.

This was the only endeavor, especially in California that was fully financed, governed, built and designed by African Americans solely, said Ptomey. There was no one else involved in that outside the black community.

Steven Ptomey knows Allensworth better than most anyone. Hes the resident park interpreter, an archaeologist by trade. He has spent years studying Allensworth and the man it is named for, Colonel Allen Allensworth.

He was born in 1842, born a slave, got his freedom during the civil war, served in the U.S. Navy, was a restaurateur, then got the call to go into the ministry, became an ordained Baptist minister, got his doctorate in theology from the same seminary as Booker T. Washington and then got an appointment as the Chaplin of the 24th Infantry Regiment one of four all-black regiments in 1884 where he served until 1906, said Ptomey. And upon his retirement he was the highest ranking African American officer in the U.S. Army. He was also only the second man in history at the time to receive the rank of Lt. Colonel as a Chaplin.

But Colonel Allensworth wasnt finished making history. In the early 20th centuy he decided his next venture would be wildly ambitious.

He had a vision for California.

Even though they were 50 years out of slavery, they were physically free but they were not economically free so his idea was to found a community where they could live apart and prove that they were worthy of everything that America had to offer by being businessmen and entrepreneurs and gentleman farmers if you would, said Ptomey.

It was a time in history when racism dictated where African Americans could live and where they could not. There were Jim Crow laws in the South and aggressive redlining throughout the country, including California.

They had doctrines and covenants on pieces of property where they would agree not to sell to a person of color, added Ptomey.

Allensworth was supposed to solve those problems as a utopian black community.

(Wikimapia)

Looking out from the library you could see the First Baptist Church. A brown building was the home of the Philips family. Off to the left is the Colonels home. There was a school house a hotel, a general store, and fertile land as far as the eye could see.

So what would a typical day in Allentown be like?

Overall this was a small town and this was a quiet, country life, said Ptomey. They never had any serious crime in Allensworth during the historic period. They had a town constable. He only investigated one robbery and the guy who got caught gave everything back.

At its peak, it was a town of some 250 people, families such as Alice and James Hackett. They took a chance and moved to Allensworth from Alameda. Their home looks like a page from history a piano, chandeliers, lace doilies filled with turn-of-the-century antiques.

There were some conveniences in Allensworth. The Santa Fe Pacific Railroad line cut right through town.

Col. Allensworth hoped residents could live off the land, growing crops thanks to the Tulare Lake bed. But that was a crucial miscalculation. About a decade after the town was established, the water would dry up.

The drought that happens in 1913-1914 The railheads moved from Allensworth to Alpaw, and right around that same time, the Colonel was killed in 1914. He was hit by a motorcyclist, said Ptomey.

His death ended one of the Colonels greatest dreams for Allentown.

They lost their bid to build a black college here, said Ptomey. They were going to build the Tuskegee of the West, a black polytechnical college. That was killed in the California legislature after the death of the Colonel because he was the guy with the political connections.

Ptomey believes had they built that college here, Allensworth probably would have survived into the 20th century as a more thriving community.

Nonetheless, Colonel Allensworths dream lasted several years. In 1915, the town was still thriving.

But as the 1920s approached, Allensworth declined. World War II dealt a final crushing blow to the town. After the war, its educated young people migrated to places like Richmond, California, abandoning farm work for factory jobs.

It wasnt until the 1970s, some 50 years after the demise of Allensworth, that it was named a state park. The town was restored back to its original glory and is now in the National Registry of Historic Places.

Tourists travel from far and wide to see Allensworth, like Don Billberry and Betty Lee from Stockton.

It was very interesting, said Billberry after touring with Ptomey. I learned a lot. I never heard of this place really.

Lee believes Allensworth holds an important place in history.

You cant know where youre going until you know where youve been, she said. History is really important for us, and especially black history.

The town is a testament to true grit. They had to be really strong people to be out here in the middle of nowhere not really knowing what your future held, and to keep going anyway, said Lee. Its a whole lot of drive, determination and just the will to say we can make a difference in this world.

Its still standing after 100 years. Can you imagine? Its still standing, says Lee.

As short-lived as its life span was, Allentown made its mark and left a legacy for generations to come.

The Colonel Allensworth State Historic Parks Visitor Center and campgrounds are open daily. There are Juneteenth celebrations and other events all year round.For more information, directions and events, go to the Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park web page.

Christin Ayers is a general assignment reporter for KPIX 5 News.Ayers is excited to return to Northern California, where she was born and raised. Ayers grew up in Sacramento and trained to be a journalist in the Bay Area.She received her bachelors…

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Former Slave’s Dream Of Freedom Lives On In Central California Town – CBS San Francisco Bay Area

What is true freedom? – Uinta County Herald

Freedom is the song of the human heart. Our forefathers crossed the sea to find freedom on these shores. They forged the U.S. Constitution to protect this freedom from governmental tyranny. And they shed their blood on every continent to defend human freedom from the armed assaults of evil governments.

From Francis Scott Keys, the land of the free, to Sammy Davis Jr.s Ive Got to Be Me, to Lady Gagas Born This Way, freedoms song still rings out in every generation. Thats the good news.

We still have common ground. We all yearn to be free. We all have the same indomitable desire to be the person that we are, to be true to ourselves. This desire for liberty strikes such a deep chord in us that it is unarguable. It is common ground. It binds us together as human beings.

So why is it that this solid common ground does not seem to be holding us together anymore, but tearing us apart? In times past, Freedom! was a rallying cry that united us in a common struggle against every oppressor. Today, Freedom! is more often a cry that divides us into a million individuals competing against one another for power to make others bend to my will.

In times past, fighting for freedom meant fighting both Nazis and Communists, totalitarians of all sorts who would undermine or destroy the constitution of the United States. Today so-called freedom-fighters may openly oppose the constitution and believe that it is a hindrance to their true freedom.

What happened? The answer is fairly straightforward. While the definition of freedom has remained the same, the definition of who we are, has been turned on its head. Freedom remains the ability to be who I am; to think, speak and act according to my true humanity. All of us still agree on this. But we have become divided on the more foundational question: What IS my true humanity?

Who ARE you? Who AM I? Are we the same, or are we utterly different? And if we are the same, how are we the same and what unites us?

This is the root problem in public discourse today. Everybody is yelling out freedom. Everyone wants to be free to be who you are. But there are two wildly different accountings of who we are.

One accounting says that we are creatures, first and foremost. The Declaration of Independence says, all men are created equal. Our equality is firmly grounded in a common Creator: They are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. Human rights are not given by governments but by our Creator.

Because there is a common Creator above us all, our individual human rights cannot be in conflict, but must be in perfect harmony with everyone elses rights. And governments, because they neither created us nor gave us our rights, are duty-bound to recognize and protect the God-given rights of every individual.

This accounting of human nature was the bedrock of our US constitution. It is also found embedded within the constitution of every state. All 50 states in our union have reference to God or the divine in their constitution.

The other accounting of human nature denies a common Creator. This denial comes in so many shapes and sizes that it is impossible to enumerate them all here. For the moment, it is enough to say that a common Creator is denied either explicitly or implicitly.

But without a common creator, it is practically impossible to account for human rights. If there is no common Creator above us, are there multiple creators so that we are divided one from another and fundamentally different? Or is there no creator at all, so that each person is his or her own creator?

Either way, rights come into conflict. Interests cannot be harmonized. People are pitted against each other. We are tribalized, or atomized into a million competing individuals with no real hope of harmony. This world-view raises some serious questions both about human rights and about the nature of government.

If I am not endowed with full human rights by virtue of my conception as a human, just exactly how and when do humans get any rights at all? We see these confusions at work in everything from embryonic ethics to assisted suicide debates. For these unfortunate people, right to life and liberty is not absolute, but depends entirely upon what other people think about them.

If there is not a God who transcends every human being and every human institution, just exactly who are we responsible to? What principle limits government?

America was not born in a vacuum. The founding fathers did not simply assume a Creator because they didnt have the imagination to think any other way. At the writing of the Declaration of Independence, there were already philosophers and ways of thinking that discounted God, and posited that human beings alone were the source and measure of all things.

Those philosophies led France to a completely different kind of revolution than America experienced. The history of the French Revolution is bloody and hellish. Those who seized power from the crown were not humble and restrained like the authors of the U.S. Constitution.

Heads rolled. A lot of them. The guillotine first killed the royalty. Then, it turned on the people. Without accountability to a Creator, the revolutionary government became a god unto itself.

We saw the same thing happen in Hitlers Germany with its extermination of 10 million, and in Stalins Russia which liquidated 50 million of its own citizens, and in Maos China, which is still killing and imprisoning its own people and the list goes on and on.

Each of these places tried to replace the common Creator with a different basis for unity. Each made the sovereign individual the basis of freedom, and wound up denying rights to millions of those same individuals.

So back to the question at hand. What is true freedom? I am thankful that we have such a solid common ground. That we all want to be free to live true to ourselves provides us with a huge potential for unity around this idea.

But whether or not we achieve that unity, depends entirely upon how we answer the prior question: Who are we?

Are we fundamentally creatures, accountable to a Creator? If so, the path to true freedom lies in knowing who I am through His eyes, through His revelation. And seeing myself through Gods eyes, I can have every confidence that my freedom serves my neighbor and does not impinge on the freedoms of those created by the same God.

But if we are fundamentally independent and sovereign beings, with no Creator, we have a challenge before us that no country has ever yet figured out how to live with. If my true freedom depends only on actualizing self-will, how can I ever be confident that my freedom serves my neighbor and is not in direct competition with everyone around me?

Each person must wrestle with these questions for himself or herself. My only purpose here is to point out the necessity of thinking this through. I know where I stand. I hope you will stand with me. But either way, the more thought we give to these questions, the better chance we have to understand ourselves and one another.

Jonathan Lange has a heart for our state and community. Locally, he has raised his family and served as pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Evanston and St. Pauls in Kemmerer for two decades. Statewide, he leads the Wyoming Pastors Network in advocating for the traditional church in the public square.

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What is true freedom? – Uinta County Herald

US and South Korean Troops Have Started Annual Joint Military Drills Amid a Tense North Korea Standoff – TIME

Updated: Aug 21, 2017 1:13 AM ET

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) U.S. and South Korean troops kicked off their annual drills Monday that come after President Donald Trump and North Korea exchanged warlike rhetoric in the wake of the North’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month.

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills are largely computer-simulated war games held every summer and have drawn furious responses from North Korea, which views them as an invasion rehearsal. Pyongyang’s state media on Sunday called this year’s drills a “reckless” move that could trigger the “uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.”

Despite the threat, U.S. and South Korean militaries launched this year’s 11-day training on Monday morning as scheduled. The exercise involves 17,500 American troops and 50,000 South Korean soldiers, according to the U.S. military command in South Korea and Seoul’s Defense Ministry.

No field training like live-fire exercises or tank maneuvering is involved in the Ulchi drills, in which alliance officers sit at computers to practice how they engage in battles and hone their decision-making capabilities. The allies have said the drills are defensive in nature.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said Monday that North Korea must not use the drills as a pretext to launch fresh provocation, saying the training is held regularly because of repeated provocations by North Korea.

North Korea typically responds to South Korea-U.S. military exercises with weapons tests and a string of belligerent rhetoric. During last year’s Ulchi drills, North Korea test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile that flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) in the longest flight by that type of weapon. Days after the drills, the North carried out its fifth and biggest nuclear test to date.

Last month North Korea test-launched two ICBMs at highly lofted angles, and outside experts say those missiles can reach some U.S. parts like Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at normal, flattened trajectories. Analysts say it would be only a matter of time for the North to achieve its long-stated goal of acquiring a nuclear missile that can strike anywhere in the United States.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump pledged to answer North Korean aggression with “fire and fury.” North Korea, for its part, threatened to launch missiles toward the American territory of Guam before its leader Kim Jong Un backed off saying he would first watch how Washington acts before going ahead with the missile launch plans.Hyung-

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US and South Korean Troops Have Started Annual Joint Military Drills Amid a Tense North Korea Standoff – TIME

A KKK chief just threatened to ‘burn’ all immigrants freedom of speech has gone too far – The Independent

To me, youre a N**ger. Thats it… and were gonna burn you out. These were the words of Ku Klux Klan member Christopher Barker to Afro-Colombian journalist Ilia Caldern. He threatened to burn her alive and called her a mongrel during an interview with the Latino TV media outlet Univision, which was aired last night.

What is most shocking about this incident is that Barker has not been arrested or punished for such words and threats. Like many who have incited hate before him, he is enjoying the benefits of the right to freedom of speech.

Barkers threat was not simply an opinion though it was a direct threat to a persons life. This is what freedom of speech looks like as the US Supreme Court keeps protecting racists and bigots like Barker. The first amendment of the US Constitution is allowing men like Barker to express themselves with violence and hatred without any repercussions. It is time for lawmakers to act and modify some of the laws that are protecting the wrong side of the country.

KKK leader calls immigrant journalist a n***er during interview

There are 917 hate groups active in the United States according to the Southern poverty law centre, an organisation seeking justice for victims of hate and bigoted acts. These groups are spreading their messages of hate using online platforms, holding rallies, burning swastikas in their backyards and holding the Confederacy flag on the streets. This is real.

Although these groups have been in the news this week, their presence is nothing new. Back in November last year after Trump won the election, Richard Spencer, a white supremacist, said to a room full of supporters Hail Trump, hail our people! They responded with cheers and the Nazi salute.

Richard Spencer was also one of the organisers of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists and neo-Nazis chanted Jews will not replace us. Blood and soil.

Under US law, it is completely acceptable for people to use this kind of language and hold demonstrations that put others in fear and danger.

The US government claims to protect peoples freedom, but by allowing hate speech and white nationalist rallies, they are promoting one groups freedom of speech at the expense of many other groups freedom to live in safety. A freedom which, although a right under UN law, is not found anywhere in the US constitution.

In fact, the reason these hate demonstrations keep happening is because of the Constitution. Part of the first amendment states that Congress shall make no law… abridging freedom of speech. What this means is that there should not be any kind of force curtailing the ability of men and women to express themselves, verbally or symbolically, even if what they are saying is hateful.

There are a few exceptions in which the first amendment does not protect some forms of speech. This includes exceptions for fighting words, obscenity, extortion, perjury, false advertising and true threat, but there is nothing targeting hate speech specifically.

But does saying to someone Were gonna burn (your people) out not count as a true threat?

The problem with Constitutional limitations is the lack of clarity among these forms of expression. The US Supreme Court has had trouble identifying what kind of hate speech could be considered as fighting words and therefore be punishable under law.

Back in 2010, the US Supreme Court concluded that it was completely lawful for activist Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist Church to throw homophobic insults to the family of marine Matthew Snyder during his funeral. Snyder died during the Iraq war.

The United States Courts explained that The Supreme Court’s holding [Phelps] turned largely on its determination that the church was speaking on “matters of public concern” as opposed to “matters of purely private significance. The First Amendment offers special protection to speeches on public issues as they should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open.”

This is why politicians need to change some of the language and be more specific in order to condemn hate speech in this country. It is not enough for elected officials to condemn the actions of these extremist groups. It is necessary and crucial to change the law and bring justice through our courts as well.

Countries like France and Austria hold laws that punish hate speech and public insults that are based on race, religion and ethnicity.

Meanwhile, groups like the KKK, the so called Alt-right, white supremacists and neo-Nazis will continue to do whatever it takes to protect their right to freedom of speech enabling them to spread hate across the country.

In his farewell address, Barack Obama once pointed to the importance of making laws that protect the commonwealth of every person in this country: We need to uphold laws against discrimination in the criminal justice system. That is what our constitution and our highest ideals require.

And that is exactly what President Trump should be advocating for. Instead of blaming many sides for the violence infecting this country, Trump needs to condemn these white supremacist groups and work with lawmakers to update the laws of this country. There needs to be laws that do not welcome this kind of hate and violence, or many people will continue to live in fear.

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A KKK chief just threatened to ‘burn’ all immigrants freedom of speech has gone too far – The Independent

Liberty – Wikipedia

Liberty, in philosophy, involves free will as contrasted with determinism.[1] In politics, liberty consists of the social and political freedoms to which all community members are entitled.[2] In theology, liberty is freedom from the effects of, “sin, spiritual servitude, [or] worldly ties.”[3]

Generally, liberty is distinctly differentiated from freedom in that freedom is primarily, if not exclusively, the ability to do as one wills and what one has the power to do; whereas liberty concerns the absence of arbitrary restraints and takes into account the rights of all involved. As such, the exercise of liberty is subject to capability and limited by the rights of others.[4]

Philosophers from earliest times have considered the question of liberty. Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (121180 AD) wrote of “a polity in which there is the same law for all, a polity administered with regard to equal rights and equal freedom of speech, and the idea of a kingly government which respects most of all the freedom of the governed.”[5] According to Thomas Hobbes (15881679), “a free man is he that in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do” (Leviathan, Part 2, Ch. XXI).

John Locke (16321704) rejected that definition of liberty. While not specifically mentioning Hobbes, he attacks Sir Robert Filmer who had the same definition. According to Locke:

John Stuart Mill (18061873), in his work, On Liberty, was the first to recognize the difference between liberty as the freedom to act and liberty as the absence of coercion.[7] In his book Two Concepts of Liberty, Isaiah Berlin formally framed the differences between these two perspectives as the distinction between two opposite concepts of liberty: positive liberty and negative liberty. The latter designates a negative condition in which an individual is protected from tyranny and the arbitrary exercise of authority, while the former refers to the liberty that comes from self-mastery, the freedom from inner compulsions such as weakness and fear.

The modern concept of political liberty has its origins in the Greek concepts of freedom and slavery.[8] To be free, to the Greeks, was to not have a master, to be independent from a master (to live like one likes).[9] That was the original Greek concept of freedom. It is closely linked with the concept of democracy, as Aristotle put it:

This applied only to free men. In Athens, for instance, women could not vote or hold office and were legally and socially dependent on a male relative.[11]

The populations of the Persian Empire enjoyed some degree of freedom. Citizens of all religions and ethnic groups were given the same rights and had the same freedom of religion, women had the same rights as men, and slavery was abolished (550 BC). All the palaces of the kings of Persia were built by paid workers in an era when slaves typically did such work.[12]

In the Buddhist Maurya Empire of ancient India, citizens of all religions and ethnic groups had some rights to freedom, tolerance, and equality. The need for tolerance on an egalitarian basis can be found in the Edicts of Ashoka the Great, which emphasize the importance of tolerance in public policy by the government. The slaughter or capture of prisoners of war also appears to have been condemned by Ashoka.[13] Slavery also appears to have been non-existent in the Maurya Empire.[14] However, according to Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, “Ashoka’s orders seem to have been resisted right from the beginning.”[15]

Roman law also embraced certain limited forms of liberty, even under the rule of the Roman Emperors. However, these liberties were accorded only to Roman citizens. Many of the liberties enjoyed under Roman law endured through the Middle Ages, but were enjoyed solely by the nobility, rarely by the common man.[citation needed] The idea of inalienable and universal liberties had to wait until the Age of Enlightenment.

The social contract theory, most influentially formulated by Hobbes, John Locke and Rousseau (though first suggested by Plato in The Republic), was among the first to provide a political classification of rights, in particular through the notion of sovereignty and of natural rights. The thinkers of the Enlightenment reasoned that law governed both heavenly and human affairs, and that law gave the king his power, rather than the king’s power giving force to law. This conception of law would find its culmination in the ideas of Montesquieu. The conception of law as a relationship between individuals, rather than families, came to the fore, and with it the increasing focus on individual liberty as a fundamental reality, given by “Nature and Nature’s God,” which, in the ideal state, would be as universal as possible.

In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill sought to define the “…nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual,” and as such, he describes an inherent and continuous antagonism between liberty and authority and thus, the prevailing question becomes “how to make the fitting adjustment between individual independence and social control”.[4]

England and following the Act of Union 1707 Great Britain, laid down the cornerstones to the concept of individual liberty.

In 1166 Henry II of England transformed English law by passing the Assize of Clarendon act. The act, a forerunner to trial by jury, started the abolition of trial by combat and trial by ordeal.[16]

In 1215 the Magna Carta was drawn up, it became the cornerstone of liberty in first England, Great Britain and later, the world.

In 1689 the Bill of Rights grants ‘freedom of speech in Parliament’, which lays out some of the earliest civil rights.[19]

In 1859 an essay by the philosopher John Stuart Mill, entitled On Liberty argues for toleration and individuality. If any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.[20][21]

In 1958 Two Concepts of Liberty, by Isaiah Berlin, determines ‘negative liberty’ as an obstacle, as evident from ‘positive liberty’ which promotes self-mastery and the concepts of freedom.[22]

In 1948 British representatives attempt to and are prevented from adding a legal framework to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (It was not until 1976 that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights came into force, giving a legal status to most of the Declaration.) [23]

According to the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, all men have a natural right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. But this declaration of liberty was troubled from the outset by the presence of slavery. Slave owners argued that their liberty was paramount, since it involved property, their slaves, and that the slaves themselves had no rights that any White man was obliged to recognize. The Supreme Court, in the Dred Scott decision, upheld this principle. It was not until 1866, following the Civil War, that the US Constitution was amended to extend these rights to persons of color, and not until 1920 that these rights were extended to women.[24]

By the later half of the 20th century, liberty was expanded further to prohibit government interference with personal choices. In the United States Supreme Court decision Griswold v. Connecticut, Justice William O. Douglas argued that liberties relating to personal relationships, such as marriage, have a unique primacy of place in the hierarchy of freedoms.[25] Jacob M. Appel has summarized this principle:

I am grateful that I have rights in the proverbial public square but, as a practical matter, my most cherished rights are those that I possess in my bedroom and hospital room and death chamber. Most people are far more concerned that they can control their own bodies than they are about petitioning Congress.[26]

In modern America, various competing ideologies have divergent views about how best to promote liberty. Liberals in the original sense of the word see equality as a necessary component of freedom. Progressives stress freedom from business monopoly as essential. Libertarians disagree, and see economic freedom as best. The Tea Party movement sees big government as the enemy of freedom.[27][28]

France supported the Americans in their revolt against English rule and, in 1789, overthrew their own monarchy, with the cry of “Libert, galit, fraternit”. The bloodbath that followed, known as the reign of terror, soured many people on the idea of liberty. Edmund Burke, considered one of the fathers of conservatism, wrote “The French had shewn themselves the ablest architects of ruin that had hitherto existed in the world.”[29]

According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics, liberalism is “the belief that it is the aim of politics to preserve individual rights and to maximize freedom of choice”. But they point out that there is considerable discussion about how to achieve those goals. Every discussion of freedom depends of three key components: who is free, what are they free to do, and what forces restrict their freedom.[30] John Gray argues that the core belief of liberalism is toleration. Liberals allow others freedom to do what they want, in exchange for having the same freedom in return. This idea of freedom is personal rather than political.[31] William Safire points out that liberalism is attacked by both the Right and the Left: by the Right for defending such practices as abortion, homosexuality, and atheism, by the Left for defending free enterprise and the rights of the individual over the collective.[32]

According to the Encyclopdia Britannica, Libertarians hold liberty as their primary political value.[33] Their approach to implementing liberty involves opposing any governmental coercion, aside from that which is necessary to prevent individuals from coercing each other.[34]

According to republican theorists of freedom, like the historian Quentin Skinner[35][36] or the philosopher Philip Pettit,[37] one’s liberty should not be viewed as the absence of interference in one’s actions, but as non-domination. According to this view, which originates in the Roman Digest, to be a liber homo, a free man, means not being subject to another’s arbitrary will, that is to say, dominated by another. They also cite Machiavelli who asserted that you must be a member of a free self-governing civil association, a republic, if you are to enjoy individual liberty.[38]

The predominance of this view of liberty among parliamentarians during the English Civil War resulted in the creation of the liberal concept of freedom as non-interference in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan.[citation needed]

Socialists view freedom as a concrete situation as opposed to a purely abstract ideal. Freedom involves agency to pursue one’s creative interests unhindered by coercive social relationships that one is forced to engage in in order to survive under a given social system. From this perspective, freedom requires both the material economic conditions that make freedom possible alongside the social relationships and institutions conducive to freedom. As such, the socialist concept of freedom is a specific interpretation of the liberal concept of freedom.[39]

The socialist conception of freedom is closely related to the socialist view of creativity and individuality. Influenced by Karl Marx’s concept of alienated labor, socialists understand freedom to be the ability for an individual to engage in creative work in the absence of alienation, where alienated labor refers to work people are forced to perform and un-alienated work refers to individuals pursuing their own creative interests.[40]

For Karl Marx, meaningful freedom is only attainable in a communist society characterized by superabundance and free access, would eliminate the need for alienated labor and enable individuals to pursue their own creative interests, leaving them to develop their full potentialities. This goes alongside Marx’s emphasis on the reduction of the average length of the workday to expand the “realm of freedom” for each person.[41][42] Marx’s notion of communist society and human freedom is thus radically individualistic.[43]

Some authors have suggested that a virtuous culture must exist as a prerequisite for liberty. Benjamin Franklin stated that “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”[44] Madison likewise declared: “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.”[45] John Adams acknowledged: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[46]

“This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave.”

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Liberty – Wikipedia

US and South Korean Troops Have Started Annual Joint Military Drills Amid a Tense North Korea Standoff – TIME

Updated: 1:13 AM ET | Originally published: 12:13 AM ET

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) U.S. and South Korean troops kicked off their annual drills Monday that come after President Donald Trump and North Korea exchanged warlike rhetoric in the wake of the North’s two intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month.

The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills are largely computer-simulated war games held every summer and have drawn furious responses from North Korea, which views them as an invasion rehearsal. Pyongyang’s state media on Sunday called this year’s drills a “reckless” move that could trigger the “uncontrollable phase of a nuclear war.”

Despite the threat, U.S. and South Korean militaries launched this year’s 11-day training on Monday morning as scheduled. The exercise involves 17,500 American troops and 50,000 South Korean soldiers, according to the U.S. military command in South Korea and Seoul’s Defense Ministry.

No field training like live-fire exercises or tank maneuvering is involved in the Ulchi drills, in which alliance officers sit at computers to practice how they engage in battles and hone their decision-making capabilities. The allies have said the drills are defensive in nature.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said Monday that North Korea must not use the drills as a pretext to launch fresh provocation, saying the training is held regularly because of repeated provocations by North Korea.

North Korea typically responds to South Korea-U.S. military exercises with weapons tests and a string of belligerent rhetoric. During last year’s Ulchi drills, North Korea test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile that flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) in the longest flight by that type of weapon. Days after the drills, the North carried out its fifth and biggest nuclear test to date.

Last month North Korea test-launched two ICBMs at highly lofted angles, and outside experts say those missiles can reach some U.S. parts like Alaska, Los Angeles or Chicago if fired at normal, flattened trajectories. Analysts say it would be only a matter of time for the North to achieve its long-stated goal of acquiring a nuclear missile that can strike anywhere in the United States.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump pledged to answer North Korean aggression with “fire and fury.” North Korea, for its part, threatened to launch missiles toward the American territory of Guam before its leader Kim Jong Un backed off saying he would first watch how Washington acts before going ahead with the missile launch plans.Hyung-

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US and South Korean Troops Have Started Annual Joint Military Drills Amid a Tense North Korea Standoff – TIME

Can Trump’s Religious Freedom Ambassador Actually Succeed? – Foreign Policy (blog)

If confirmed by the Senate to serve as the next U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback will face a daunting trifecta of challenges: Recent data from Pew Research Center reveals that religious persecution is on the rise, Americas image is in decline, and global majorities view President Donald Trump as arrogant, dangerous, and intolerant.

When it comes to religious tolerance, a skeptical world doesnt believe America practices what it preaches.

Unsurprisingly, at the release of the State Departments annual report on religion freedom last week, journalists peppered a senior State Department official with questions about how high-minded rhetoric on the importance of religious freedom abroad squares with Trumps promise to prioritize Christian refugees, his efforts to enact a so-called Muslim ban, silence in response to increased attacks against American Muslims, conflicting views on Russia, and enhanced security cooperation with religiously repressive Saudi Arabia.

And yet, despite the presidents many blunders on religion-related issues, there are signs of a more conventional and constructive focus on religious freedom at the State Department. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared at the religious freedom report rollout and gave solid remarks, offering solidarity with a wide range of persecuted groups notably including Turkish Alevis, Chinese Uighurs, Pakistani Ahmadiyya, Saudi Shia, and other minority Muslim communities. The administration has retained Knox Thames, the special advisor for religious minorities in the Middle East and South/Central Asia. And most significantly, the administration has nominated a highly qualified, highly respected religious freedom ambassador.

During his many years in Congress, in the House and then Senate, Brownback was a well-known champion of religious freedom and myriad humanitarian causes. His nomination has been praised by a wide spectrum of religious leaders and religious freedom advocates including some who have been intensely critical of Trump.

The Trump administration is also to be commended for the relative speed of the Brownback nomination. Whereas President George W. Bush took eight months to nominate his religious freedom envoy and Barack Obama took 17, Trumps selection took just six months.

But many things Trump has said and done in the early months of his young presidency will complicate Brownbacks already difficult job. If the religious freedom report press conference was any indication, he is likely to be dogged by questions about the administrations credibility on religious freedom issues.

Here, I put forward five concrete recommendations for addressing specific challenges Brownback will face as Trumps religious freedom ambassador.

1. Emphasize early and often that religious freedom is a universal principle, not identity politics. Everyone from atheists to Zoroastrians is entitled to the same protection to peacefully practice and promote their beliefs.

Thankfully, Brownback has a strong track record of upholding the universality of religious liberty, as does the State Department office he will lead. Brownback should forcefully resist any pressure to prioritize Christians or to give short shrift to other groups.

2. Especially reassure and defend vulnerable Muslims. Muslims are the primary victims of terrorism, they suffer severe repression in places like China and Myanmar, and they face far greater social hostility than socially conservative Christians in Europe and North America.

From candidate Trumps call for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States to his insistence on using the unhelpful phrase radical Islamic terrorism to his refusal to host the traditional White House iftar, this administration has severely strained Americas relationship with the worlds 1.6 billion Muslims.

Brownback can help to repair some of the damage by meeting regularly with Muslim groups, speaking at their conferences, visiting their holy sites, calling out governments that mistreat their Muslim populations, condemning acts of terror targeting Muslims, and being forthright about Americas own struggle with Islamophobia.

3. Communicate the value of religious liberty in language that appeals across the ideological and theological spectrum. At home and abroad, the very term religious freedom is increasingly viewed as a partisan, sectarian rallying cry as a front for a Christian nationalist agenda.

Brownback need not drop the phrase religious freedom entirely it will be in his official title after all but he can help to broaden the lingo of the movement he will serve. In Europe and in multilateral settings, the standard phrase is freedom of religion or belief, which more explicitly expands the concept and the cause to include people with nonreligious beliefs. Other terms like belief rights, soul liberty, and freedom of conscience get at more or less the same thing in less politicized ways.

Framing the issue around social inclusion, minority rights, and protection of sacred sites can also help to open productive conversations on the importance of respecting religious pluralism.

4. Champion democracy and the full range of human rights. Rarely does a government make isolated progress on one discreet human right, such as religious freedom. All rights are interconnected, mutually reinforcing elements of good governance. The rising tide of liberal democracy lifts the boats of all human rights.

Thus, the apparent lack of emphasis on democracy and human rights in America First foreign policy is worrisome for U.S. religious freedom diplomacy. Brownback will be more effective in advancing religious freedom if he is surrounded by a strong and collegial team of senior and mid-level officials advocating human rights and democracy. He can use his position to press the administration to fill and empower other vital human rights positions, most critically the assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, and the special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism.

5. Defend and collaborate with the State Departments Office of Religion and Global Affairs. Just as religious freedom is only one of many human rights, its also just one of many issues at the intersection of faith and foreign affairs. Thats why in 2013, after several years of internal and external lobbying, the State Department created an office devoted to it.

Now, under the Trump administration, there are concerns that the office could be bureaucratically sidelined. If it is, the State Department would lose an important mechanism for analyzing and advising on global religiopolitical dynamics and for equipping the U.S. diplomatic corps to more effectively engage faith-based communities on a broad range of shared goals, from promoting peace to combating corruption.

Religious freedom is just one small part of American foreign policy, but given Brownbacks political prominence and religious freedoms significance to Trumps constituency, Brownback will likely become a major force in Trumps diplomacy. His task will be to make American religious freedom advocacy credible again.

Photo credit: ALEX WONG/Getty Images

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Can Trump’s Religious Freedom Ambassador Actually Succeed? – Foreign Policy (blog)

China’s bid to block my journal’s articles is a new attack on academic freedom – The Guardian

The furore that followed CUPs compliance with an instruction from a Chinese import agency made one thing very clear. Academic freedom remains the absolute core concern. Photograph: Antonio Olmos for the Observer

The international furore that followed Cambridge University Presss compliance with an instruction from a Chinese import agency to block individual articles from China Quarterly made one thing very clear. Academic freedom remains the absolute core concern of scholars all over the world.

This morning I met CUP officials and conveyed the message in forthright terms: the 315 articles that the academic publisher had removed from its internet portals in China should be re-posted as soon as possible and made available free of charge. At no point did China Quarterly, which I edit, consent to removal of the articles and we are delighted at CUPs reversal of thedecision.

The ideological constraints on academic freedom under Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang appear to be policy-driven

As a researcher of labour relations in China for 20 years, I have grown accustomed to the shifting boundaries of what is and is not possible. The first decade of Chinas going out this century was marked by an increase in public engagement and an expansion of research. Partnerships between Chinese and international universities were forged. The opportunities for creating new knowledge, a lofty-sounding but nevertheless key goal of academic research, blossomed.

For sure, Chinese partners still faced constraints. And non-Chinese academics researching sensitive areas such as Xinjiang and Tibet, human rights, or the tragic end to the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 had visas denied and fieldwork hampered or blocked.

But these were nevertheless exciting times to be an academic working on China. They were accompanied by an equally important expansion in environmental movements, labour campaigns and gender equality, and the appearance of a courageous cohort of lawyers prepared to work on human rights cases.

An important outcome of the increased opportunities for academic exchanges was access to information. The numbers of non-Chinese able to access and read Chinese-language materials increased. The numbers of Chinese able to access non-Chinese materials inevitably, and unfortunately, it is mainly in English has exploded. This has had a positive impact on Chinese scholarship published in both languages.

China Quarterly has been run from Soas, University of London, for more than 50 years, and I have been fortunate to come into contact with some of the worlds leading academics working on China. In the first years of the new millennium the internet emerged as a powerful research tool, and authoritarian government in China was reconfiguring itself as pragmatic, innovative and open to non-Communist party voices. But this scholarship is now under threat.

The previous era of relative openness was qualified by targeted repression of those who crossed party-defined boundaries, such as Liu Xiaobo, who died in prison earlier this year. He was sentenced for his part in the pro-democracy manifesto Charter 08.

The now re-posted articles had gone through a rigorous double-blind peer-review process and represent some of the best contributions to new knowledge on China. Some of the authors are globally renowned scholars, others are early-career academics. Access to such research has hugely enriched Chinese scholarship, just as scholarship outside China has been hugely enriched by the response of Chinas academic community to this work.

This attempt to deny access might just might be the result of over-reach by Chinese censorship bodies such as the recently created General Administration of Press and Publication. But I fear it is the outcome of a much stronger shade of authoritarian government that excludes voices from outside the party-led system. The evidence of new regulatory, and apparently ideological, constraints on academic freedom and public engagement in China that have emerged since 2012 under the leadership of Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang suggest that the parlous state of affairs with regard to academic freedom is policy-driven. What is unprecedented is that itsreach has now stretched to international institutions such as Cambridge University Press.

The key criteria for publication in our journal will not change academic rigour and contribution to new knowledge. The topics we publish will not take into account the political sensitivities of any government. And as editor, I will work harder than ever to disseminate our articles as widely as possible.

Tim Pringle is a senior lecturer in development studies at Soas, University of London, and editor of China Quarterly

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China’s bid to block my journal’s articles is a new attack on academic freedom – The Guardian

Aligning American Foreign Policy to Protect Religious Freedom – Human Rights First (blog)

On TuesdaySecretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered a speech to mark the release of the State Departments annual International Religious Freedom Report. Human Rights Firsts Rob Berschinski spoke to NPRs All Things Considered about Tillersons remarks.

The report, which documents developments in religious freedom in every nation around the world, is an important human rights monitoring tool, and is used throughout the U.S. government to inform policy, conduct diplomacy, and allocate aid. Secretary Tillersons remarks affirmed its value as both a resource for decision makers and as a platform to all those worldwide seeking to live their lives peacefully in accordance with their conscience.

That Tillerson took time to make remarks on the report is a good step after his conspicuous absence at the release of the State Departments annual report on human rights conditions around the world. He noted that U.S support for religious freedom is both a moral imperative and part of a strategy to make the world more stable, economically vibrant, and peaceful.

Unfortunately, Tillerson did not highlight several areas covered in the report: growing antisemitism, Islamophobia, and extremism in Europe. With the release of the report in the immediate aftermath of this weeks white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Jews were targeted by neo-Nazis and the KKK, the omission of antisemitism was all the more striking.

Also missing from his remarks was any mention of refugee protectiona lifeline for persecuted religious minorities. While the Secretary rightly assailed ISIS for its multiple crimes against minority religious communitiesincluding genocide of Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslimsand criticized Bahrain, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia for violating the rights of religious minorities these statements lack credibility in light of the Trump administrations policies regarding U.S. resettlement of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.

Where religious freedom is not protected, Tillerson said, we know that instability, human rights abuses, and violent extremism have a greater opportunity to take root. Those fine words should be coupled with a commitment to help those fleeing religious persecution. As the report points out, the United States has historically been a leader on refugee resettlement. Today, a strong effort to help refugees would not only relieve suffering; it would serve U.S. foreign policy interests by securing the stability of frontline states hosting the overwhelming majority of the worlds 22.5 million refugees.

Six-months after President Trumps January 27 travel ban executive order, U.S. refugee resettlement has declined by over 50 percent, with the resettlement of Syrian refugees declining by 80 percent and Muslim refugees by 76 percent. To proclaim the importance of protecting religious minorities while denying them the ability to seek asylum is a glaring contradiction and a failure of American leadership.

Human Rights First recommends the following steps to align American foreign policy with the responsibility to protect religious freedom and to prioritize areas of urgent concern:

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Aligning American Foreign Policy to Protect Religious Freedom – Human Rights First (blog)

Freedom Town Column: Coloring book featuring local artist nearly sold out – Conway Daily Sun

The art work of Freedoms professional and amateur artists, as well as that of local children that was put into a coloring book by the Freedom Village Store, is almost sold out. There are 23 left. The store will not be doing another production run so if you have not gotten your copy, you better do it soon, before they are all sold out!

South Eaton Meetinghouse will be hosting a special program featuring Maestro George Wiese and friends Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 6 p.m. This skilled graduate of the Juilliard School of Music will entertain and delight you with the history and nuances of the beautiful rebuilt Woods & Co. reed organ at the meetinghouse, and will play a wide array if music created and adapted for reed organ. There is suggested donation of $10. The South Eaton Meeting House is located on the corner of Towle Hill and Burnham Roads. For more information, go to southeatonmeetinghouse.com or email semh1844@outlook.com.

Camp Huckins Family Weekend is being held on Sept. 8-10. This is a getaway weekend at Camp Huckins with a special rate for Freedom families. Call now to reserve your space as there are only a few cabins left. Families stay together in one cabin and participate in camp activities. Meals included two cookouts and other meals will be served at the Camp Huckins Dining Hall. One family member must be a resident of Freedom to receive special sliding fee scale (family of four) additional family members $10. Tier one is $50, tier 2 is $75 and tier 3 is $125. Choose the tier that best suits your family. To register, call the Camp Huckins office at (603) 539-4710.

Ernie has started raising turkeys for Thanksgiving. If you are interested in getting one, you should contact Ernie now at ernieday@roadrunner.com or call him at (603) 539 3604. He has a very limited supply.

Your local Kennett High football player has Gold Cards for sale. The cost is $20 and the cards give discounts at Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, McDonalds, Elvio’s, Subway, Beef and Ski, Wicked Fresh, Jalisco’s, D’Angelo’s, Shalimar, Friendly’s, Flatbread, Black Cap, Applebee’s, Ben and Jerry’s, Almost There Tavern, Horsefeathers, Starbucks, the Met, Seadogs, McGrath’s, Twombly’s Market, Dairy Queen and Margarita Grill. The cards can be used over and over and over again and last for one year. Don’t forget to pick up one, or several. They are only available for a short time.

Lisa Wheeler can be contacted at wheelersinfreedom@roadrunner.com.

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Freedom Town Column: Coloring book featuring local artist nearly sold out – Conway Daily Sun

Robert Pattinson: Revelling in the freedom of chaos – CBS News

ROBERT PATTINSON cut his teeth, as it were, on the “Twilight” series of vampire films. These days he’s deep into a very different sort of role, and trading questions-and-answers with Michelle Miller:

If you had to fall in love with a vampire, you could do worse than the one played by Robert Pattinson, as Edward Cullen in the mega-hit “Twilight” series.

Pattinson fought, kissed, and glowered his way to superstardom. And like so many teen idols before him, he’s been trying to shake that image ever since.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh, I’ll come down from an ivory tower to be ‘ I mean, these movies are hard for me to get. Literally, I’m just as much trying to convince people, like, every single time. And it’s not like I’m, like, Leo [diCaprio] or something!”

“So it’s tough for you?” Miller asked.

“The only thing that being famous really helps in is getting financing if your movies make a lot of money,” he said. “And, like, the movies I do are weird, and they don’t make a lot of money a lot of the time!”

Perhaps that’s why on a Thursday afternoon in August, Miller met up with the now-31-year-actor at, of all places, a jail in Queens, New York, where he went to do research for his new film, “Good Time.” “I tried to get permission to stay overnight for a few days. But yeah, the prison’s commissioner was saying it’s too dangerous, even if you’re in protective custody.” he said.

Robert Pattinson with correspondent Michelle Miller.

CBS News

If he’s all but unrecognizable in the role, that’s by design.

“I think so much of life people are trying to put you in a box and define you all the time,” he told Miller. “And it’s just exciting to have a job where you’re allowed to consistently break the walls of the box around you.”

Robert Pattinson in the Safdie Brothers’ “Good Time.”

A24

That desire to break free is one reason he reached out to brothers Josh and Benny Safdie (directors of “Heaven Knows What”), hoping to work with them. “My initial thought was, ‘He’s not right for this other project we’re trying to do,” Josh told Miller.

Despite their initial misgivings, they discovered — as millions of fans have there’s just something about Pattinson. So they put their other projects on hold, and wrote this film especially for him.

“I was very aware of what Rob was doing with his career choices,” said Josh Safdie. “I thought that his conviction, as an actor’s purpose, wasn’t a commercial one, in a weird way.”

Benny Safdie said Pattinson was searching for something: “He was after a greater purpose.”

When Miller sat down with Pattinson on the set of the film, he admitted he’s still a little ambivalent about his success as an actor: “My main thing, which is what I’ve always had the fear of since I started acting, is that everyone’s just going to see through it and just see, ‘You’re just some kid from London!'” he laughed. “So you always think, people are just going to see though whatever character you make.”

Left: Robert Pattinson with Guy Pearce in “The Rover.” Center: “The Childhood of a Leader.” Right: “The Lost City of Z.”

A24/IFC Films/Bleecker Street

Born in London, Robert Douglas Thomas Pattinson is the youngest of three children. His father, Richard, imported vintage cars. His mother, Clare, worked for a modeling agency.

He started acting by accident: “One of the plays one year, all the tall people left [the company], and I was the only one tall enough to, like, play this role! And then [I] ended up getting an agent from that. And it kind of spiraled.”

“You were lucky,” said Miller.

“Very, very, very lucky! And then you have to kind spend the rest of the your life sort of trying to come to terms with why you were lucky! But I still haven’t really figured that out yet!”

“But you know what luck is — when preparation meets opportunity.”

“Yeah. I feel like I had it the other way ’round though! I had the opportunity and then kind of built up to, you know, just sort of worked for itafterthe opportunity.”

Case in point: After his breakthrough role as the handsome yet doomed Cedric Diggory in 2005’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” Pattinson says he struggled to find work.

“I’d been living off Harry Potter money for ages,” he said. “I’d blown all of that! And then I didn’t realize you had to pay taxes at the time. So I was completely broke and then got a big tax bill. I loved my agent in America, and so I came over and tried to get a job.”

The job he got in the “Twilight” series was the role of a lifetime. The result: fame, fortune, and the neverending glare of the spotlight.

His on-screen chemistry turned into an off-screen romance, and subsequent breakup, with co-star Kristen Stewart in 2013 — every twist and turn played out in the tabloids. (Even the future president weighed in with, what else, a tweet.)

And that media attention hasn’t let up on his latest relationship, with British pop star FKA Twigs (a.k.a. Tahliah Debrett Barnett) — despite efforts to keep his personal life off-limits.

“I’m quite an open person,” he said. “I don’t want to be one of those people who’s just like, ‘Oh, no comment,’ ’cause I just think you just look like an idiot if you’re in it. But then the annoying thing happens as well, then you answer in these kind of vague ways which kind of create these weird conspiracy theorists.”

“You think people put that much thought into it?” Miller asked.

“The average person would never be aware of it,” Pattinson said. “But it’s, like, literally, if you come into contact with me, you will touch this demon. I don’t know how to deal with it. And so I thought in a way to kind of stop feeding it, you just try and say ‘I don’t wanna talk about it.’ And also, it kind of makes you feel like that’s the only way you can get some kind of strength.”

It doesn’t hurt that he took roles in a string of smaller independent films that offered a break from the blockbuster limelight. These days, Pattinson says he gets a kick out of just walking down the street without being mobbed by fans. “You realize what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable, and you just kind of stay out of the places that make you uncomfortable.”

By all measures, Robert Pattinson — a little older, a litter wiser — is exactly where he wants to be:

“And if someone says, like, ‘I like you ’cause you did this thing,’ well, then it’s like, ‘Well, I wanna do the opposite thing.’ I want to be able to have the freedom to do something else, mainly ’cause I feel like I don’t fully know myself yet.

“And I so I don’t want someone to say, ‘Well, this is who you are. Well, if you don’t know yourself, we’ll tell you who you are.’ Like, I want to kind of remain in that chaos a little bit.”

To watch a trailer for “Good Time” click on the video player below.

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Robert Pattinson: Revelling in the freedom of chaos – CBS News

Row over teaching Fanny Hill highlights threat to freedom of expression – The Guardian

Scene from BBC 4s 2007 adaptation of Fanny Hill, a text allegedly dropped from Royal Holloways course. Photograph: BBC/Sally Head Productions

On Monday, Vogues website, unusually straying into academia, reported: Eyebrows were raised when the first erotic novel in the English language, Fanny Hill, was dropped from an 18th-century literature course for fear of offending students. This followed a headline in the Mail on Sunday: Erotic novel first banned 270 years ago for describing a young girls sexual exploits is censored AGAIN in case it upsets students. Both assertions were incorrect, neatly illustrating how freedom of speech so easily slides into the murky realms of Trumpian post-truth.

John Clelands Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, popularly known as Fanny Hill (a play on mons veneris the mount of Venus) was published in 1748. He began it as a young man working in the East India Company in Bombay in response to a challenge to write what became the first English pornographic novel without using coarse language. He completed it in his 30s, in debtors prison, writing to pay for his freedom. He returned to jail soon after, convicted on obscenity charges.

Fanny Hill became an underground hit for more than 200 years. Unlike previous continental pornography written in Latin or Greek, accessible only to the educated, the book was written in English at its most flowery and, frequently, comical best. Or, according to the moralists and critics, at its worst. They were not amused, for instance, by Fannys enthusiasm when confronted by a maypole and an engine of love assaults, or her evident enjoyment of both: What floods of bliss! What melting transports!

The alleged dropping of Fanny Hill from a university course, taught at Royal Holloway, University of London, appeared to hint at yet another example of the snowflake generation of students in action. They shy away from what displeases them; dictate content of courses; no-platform speakers (Germaine Greer and Peter Tatchell on grounds of transphobia) and establish safe spaces on campus so that unsettling debates that might trigger concern can be avoided. It results in what Judith Shapiro, the former president of New York Citys Barnard College, calls self-infantilism, ill-equipping students to see the world as others see it.

So has Fanny Hill been snowflaked? Professor Judith Hawley teaches the course but, as she explained in a Guardian article, Fanny Hill hadnt been dropped because it had never been included. What she had said as a participant in a fascinating Radio 4 investigation into the history of freedom of speech, broadcast during the previous week, had been misrepresented.

What she said is this: In the 1980s I protested against the opening of a sex shop in Cambridge and taught Fanny Hill. Nowadays, I am afraid of causing offence to my students, in that I can understand why a senior academic imposing a pornographic text on students would come across as objectionable but also that the students would slap me with a trigger warning, in a way that I now self-censor

Trigger warnings flag up references that might disturb. In the 1980s the issues raised by Fanny Hill, including desire, pornography and power, were important to discuss. Now, she explained, the student body is larger, more diverse, less privileged and more uncertain about the future, and the ubiquity of pornography has changed the terms of the debate.

Her words reveal the tricky area we have rightly entered, in which the long-held power of establishments which are affluent, academic, political, white and male are under challenge. The market too has played a role. Students are now not only learners but customers, paying up to 9,000 a year and, therefore, expecting to define what value for money means to them, the consumer. The ability to identify triggers, signalling material that might damage, may be a customer perk but it infects education with caution and self-censorship that undermines its very purpose. Students, ironically, as a result, are being short-changed.

In the 1980s, when Hawley was campaigning to stop the opening of a sex shop, sexism was rife, reflected in language that today is policed by a consensus on what is acceptable, backed by legislation. Political correctness helped to put the foot on the brakes but how far down should the foot go? In a poll by the National Union of Students last year, over 60% were in favour of no-platforming. But silencing voices has a price. How does society decide when the cost becomes unacceptable?

In the US, the right to freedom of speech is enshrined in the first amendment. As long ago as the 1990s, the law professor and anti-pornography campaigner Catharine MacKinnon warned, in Only Words, The law of equality and the law of freedom of speech are on a collision course … Or, as she put it more succinctly, some people get a lot more speech than others.

In the 80s I protested against a sex shop in Cambridge and taught Fanny Hill. Now, Im afraid of offending my students.

How to decide who gets to talk about what and where and why is part of any dynamic democracy. But a guiding instinct should surely be that we learn from open and unafraid debate? A couple of years ago, students at New Yorks Columbia University supplied a flyer against homophobia for student rooms . It read: I want this space to be a safer space. One student. Adam Shapiro, objected. He told the New York Times If the point of a safe space is therapy for people who feel victimised by traumatisation, that sounds like a great mission. But he explained that both professors and students are increasingly loath to say anything that might hurt feelings: I dont see how you can have a therapeutic space thats also an intellectual space. The question is one of balance. So, back to Fanny Hill and Hawleys implied argument that, 30 years on, to teach it need no longer be a requirement. Fanny is a woman who admires other women. She has a sexual appetite that includes lesbianism (but, of course, as the book is a fantasy written by a man, the encounter is nothing in comparison to a store bag of natures pure sweets). At the end of the book, Fanny is neither fallen and destroyed, nor an outcast, but is married to the man who deflowered her, whom she loves and who is very rich. Fanny has it all.

She is thus, in some ways, a female pioneer. Arguably, far from being an oppressive text which might make students feel coerced, as Hawley asserts, it is surprisingly subversive of patriarchal politics. Smutty books have often become milestones in society. In 1960, for instance, the Obscene Publications Act saw Penguin Books in the dock. Mervyn Griffiths QC famously asked the jury about Lady Chatterleys Lover, Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read? The answer was yes, and two million copies were sold in a year. They were bought, like Fanny Hill, by hoi polloi. The acquittal marked an important step for freedom of the written word and the end of what George Orwell called the striped-trousered ones who rule.

Other notable books Radclyffe Halls The Well of Loneliness, Erica Jongs Fear of Flying, Henry Millers Tropic of Cancer, Nabokovs Lolita might also run the risk of censorship by one group or another in todays delicate academic ecosystem. Whats unclear is who gets to have the louder voice and why. Out of university, in the real world, triggers arent available, nor is it possible to duck issues that hurt.

In the 60s, 70s and 80s, students were taught too often from curriculums that covered only half the story, omitting women, ethnic minorities and the working class. The clamour for change grew. But Orwells intellectual cowardice is an ongoing issueas we struggle to forge a different, more just balance of power and a new model of freedom of expression. Of course it isnt easy, but its worth the doing.

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Row over teaching Fanny Hill highlights threat to freedom of expression – The Guardian

Crosley Green’s last chance for freedom – CBS News

Produced by Gail Abbott Zimmerman and Doug Longhini

[This story first aired on May 30, 2015. It was updated on Aug. 19, 2017]

For more than 18 years, “48 Hours” has investigated what many say is a case of injustice. That case began in the early morning hours of April 4, 1989, when a young woman called 911 saying she thought her boyfriend had been shot. The problem was she was three miles away from the crime scene and she had trouble telling police how to get there.

“Something was not right,” said Mark Rixey, who at the time was a road patrol deputy for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. “Why would somebody say there’s something happening here and nothing’s there?”

“All we had was that he had been shot and that he was in the orange groves. I sent a deputy to pick her up because we absolutely, would never have found her … we’d have been there all night looking,” Diane Clarke, who was a patrol sergeant in Brevard County, told “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty.

“She remained in the vehicle out here and refused to walk down there,” said Rixey.

“‘You don’t wanna see him? You don’t wanna know his condition?’ …there was something wrong with this,” said Clarke.

The victim was 22-year-old Chip Flynn.

“It was a young white male … laying on his side with his hands bound behind his back,” said Rixey.

“He had a bullet wound, there was blood on the right side of his chest,” Clarke explained. “We have a gun on the ground that we don’t know who it belongs to.”

Flynn was conscious when the deputies arrived. “Speaking very clearly … he just said, “Get me outta here,'” said Rixey.

“‘Who shot you?'” Clarke said of asking Flynn. “‘Just take me home, God, get me out of here.'”

“‘Could you at least tell us which way he went,'” Rixey asked Flynn.

“‘Who did this to you?’ He wouldn’t tell us,” Clarke continued.

“This is so not typical. It defies explanation,” said Rixey.

Play Video

Mark Rixey, who was a deputy sheriff with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, recalls the crime scene at a remote grove where shooting victim C…

Flynn died before the ambulance arrived.

The woman who called 911 was Flynn’s former girlfriend, Kim Hallock. She said she and Flynn had been in his truck when a black man with a gun hijacked and drove them to that remote grove. She alone managed to get back into the truck and escape — driving those three miles to Chip’s friend’s home.

“They needed someone to put that murder on and Crosley Green fit the bill,” said private investigator Joe Moura.

“It’s an example of race being a substitute for evidence,” said attorney Keith Harrison.

“I didn’t kill that young man,” Crosley Green told Moriarty.

Today, 26 years after Green was sentenced to death for the murder of Flynn, there is new compelling evidence that the wrong person may have been sent to prison and the killer is still free.

“The first rule of homicide investigation is … everybody who was at that scene is treated as a suspect until they’re eliminated,” said Rixey. “That’s not the way this happened.”

Washington D.C. attorneys Keith Harrison, Bob Rhoad and Jeane Thomas typically counsel an elite corporate clientele. But they are working for no pay at all to win freedom for 59-year old Crosley Green, incarcerated in Florida for almost 28 years.

“Crosley’s case is special. Because it cries out for justice,” Harrison told Erin Moriarty.

“You can’t stop thinking about what happened to this individual, the injustice that occurred,” said Rhoad.

“For me, I was offended. I was angry,” said Thomas.

“The main focus of the case was that there was a black guy who had done something, the old, ‘the black guy did it,'” said Harrison.

They accuse prosecutors of a rush to judgment in the murder of the young white man, Chip Flynn, found shot and dying in a remote Florida citrus grove in 1989. At the time, Chip had been living with his parents. They spoke with “48 Hours” in 1999.

“Rarely did you see him without a smile on his face, just rarely,” his mother, Peggy Flynn” told “48 Hours.”

The Flynns, now both deceased, told us they were shocked to learn that Chip had been with Kim Hallock that night. Kim was an ex-girlfriend and Chip was happily seeing someone else.

“That was all he talked about. He didn’t mention Kim anymore or anything,” Charles Flynn said of his son.

And Hallock’s story — that a man had robbed and hijacked them — seemed strange. Police recorded her statement just hours after the shooting:

Detective: When was the first time you saw Chip yesterday?

Kim Hallock: About 10 at night. He came to my house.

Hallock said it began in the local baseball field, Holder Park. They were sitting in his truck when she first saw someone walk by.

“I told Chip there was a black guy on your side and he rolled up the window real quick,” she told investigators in her statement.

Twenty minutes later, she says, Chip stepped out and she heard him say “hold on man.”

“Chip had a gun in his glove box. I took the gun out of the glove box and stuck it under some jeans that were next to me,” Hallock continued.

And then, she says she saw the man again:

Detective: Did you see that the black male was armed at that time?

Kim Hallock: Yes, I did.

She says the man tied Chip’s hands with a shoelace. Then, he ordered her to hand over money from Chip’s wallet. And then, with everyone in the truck, he drove them away — steering, shifting gears and somehow holding a gun on them all at the same time.

Kim Hallock told police that when they got to the grove, the man yanked her out of the truck and then Chip–his hands still tied–somehow managed to get a hold of his gun hidden on the truck seat.

“Chip, his hands were behind his back, he leaned out of the truck and somehow shot at the guy and the guy stepped back. Chip jumped out of the truck, I jumped in the truck … and I heard about five or six gunshots,” she told investigators.

Play Video

The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Kim Hallock hours after she says she and ex-boyfriend Charles “Chip” Flynn were abducted from a l…

She said she then drove those three miles to Chip’s friend’s home to call for help.

“Wouldn’t you stop at the first telephone that you came to, the first home that you came to, to call 911?” Rhoad asked.

Washington D.C. attorneys Bob Rhoad, Keith Harrison and Jeane Thomas are working to win freedom for Crosley Green.

“48 Hours”

Crosley Green’s current attorneys say a lot of Kim Hallock’s story simply doesn’t make sense.

“It’s bizarre — to be charitable,” said Thomas.

“Chip … with the gun in his hands tied behind his back … opens the door of the truck and propels himself out of the truck, shooting at the black guy,” Harrison said of Hallock’s story.

Still, police seemed to take Hallock at her word, even though parts of her story changed. And she couldn’t describe the assailant very well.

“I really didn’t get a real good look at him. I was really scared,” she told detectives.

The details she did give didn’t really match the man detectives had in mind: Crosley Green, a small-time drug dealer recently released from jail. But later that night, they showed Kim a photo lineup with six photos. Hallock chose photo No. 2 – Crosley Green.

“That’s a target with a bull’s-eye for Crosley Green. …His picture is smaller and darker than the other pictures,” Harrison said of the photo lineup. “Anybody involved in police investigation and prosecution knows this. …the position that your eyes are normally drawn to are right in the middle.”

“It’s a black spot,” Green said of the photo. “That’s what you focus on, that black spot.”

Crosley Green, better known as Papa, became the father figure for his large family after his parents died. He admits he was no angel, but he says he has never done anything violent. At the time Chip Flynn was killed, he says he was with friends around two miles away.

“I kidnapped no one. I killed no one. I did none a those things,” Green told Moriarty.

“The task at hand was finding a black guy to pin this on. And unfortunately for Crosley … that’s where their attention focused,” said Rhoad.

“So when a young white woman says, ‘A black man did it,’ nobody questioned it?” Moriarty asked Tim Curtis, a local body shop owner and friend of Chip’s.

“I don’t think nobody questioned that,” he replied.

Curtis also knew the Green family and helped spread the word: Crosley Green did it.

“…there was a lot of racial words bein’ used. ‘We’re gonna get him, we’re gonna get him. We’re gonna get him. We’re gonna get him.’ You know?” said Curtis.

Crosley Green was arrested and charged with kidnapping, robbery and murder. At trial, prosecutors pointed to what they said were the killer’s shoeprints found in Holder Park.

Footprints found at the crimescene

Assistant State’s Attorney Christopher White–now retired– told jurors that a police dog got the scent of those prints and tracked that scent to the vicinity of a house where Crosley Green sometimes stayed.

“You’ve seen those shoe impressions. It wasn’t just her and Chip out there,” White told Moriarty. “The shoe impressions were followed … from the site where the truck was parked … supporting what Kim said about there being a third person there, a black male, who abducted them and did these things.”

But White was never able to match those shoeprints to Crosley Green or anyone else. What’s more, not a single fingerprint of Green’s was found anywhere on the truck. And despite Kim Hallock’s claim that Chip had fired his gun trying to save her, no gunshot residue was found on Chip’s hands.

“She’s saying he fired the gun, and there be no gunshot residue left on his fingers? Is that possible?” Moriarty asked Harrison.

“It’s highly improbable,” he replied.

Still, prosecutors found three witnesses with criminal pasts who claimed Crosley had actually confessed to them — most damning, his own sister Sheila. Before the case went to the jury, Crosley Green was offered a deal: admit guilt and get no more than 22 years.

“So why didn’t you take it?” Moriarty asked Green in 1999.

“I didn’t kill that young man. I keep telling you I didn’t kill this young man, so why should I take that plea bargain?” he replied.

It took the all-white jury just three hours to convict Crosley Green; the judge sentenced him death.

“What’s it like being here on death row?” Moriarty asked Green.

“It’s hell,” he replied. “It’s hell to me because I’m here for a crime I didn’t commit.”

“Don’t kill this guy. He didn’t do it. He’s innocent,” said Joe Moura, who was a”48 Hours” consultant.

Back in 1999, Crosley Green spoke about the obvious inconsistencies in the case against him.

Crosley Green during a 1999 interview with “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty.

“48 Hours”

Kim Hallock had told police her assailant had long hair that covered his ears.

“Was any of your hair over your ears?” Moriarty asked Green, whose hair was cut short and above his ears.

“They way I look now is the way I looked then,” he replied.

When “48 Hours” first reported on the case, a team of private detectives from around the country who believed in Crosley Green’s innocence were working pro bono to prove it.

“It’s not every day do you see this kind of injustice,” said Moura.

Moura found it difficult to believe that Crosley had confessed to three people.

“So Crosley ends up shooting somebody. And he decides he’s gonna tell everybody in town, ‘Guess what, it was me.’ Not credible. It’s not credible at all,” he said.

So Moura tracked down those witnesses. Sheila Green told Moura that she had lied at trial. Even though she knew she could be dooming her brother, she said she had no choice.

Sheila Green talks with Erin Moriarty in 1999.

“Basically, they told me that this was my last chance to help myself, ’cause I was already convicted,” she told Moriarty in 1999.

At the time she testified, Sheila was facing sentencing on drug charges herself.

“What did they say would happen if you didn’t testify against your brother?” Moriarty asked Sheila.

“I would never see my kids again,” she replied.

And when Moura found the other two witnesses, they told him similar stories.

“Every witness recanted their story,” Moura explained. “And every one of them had reason to be afraid of the police. …They were squeezed. …And they were squeezed hard.”

With Crosley Green’s sister and his two friends recanting, the private detectives focused on crime scene evidence: notably, those shoeprints in Holder Park that prosecutors said corroborated Kim’s story.

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Crosley Green’s last chance for freedom – CBS News

Freedom shut out by Miners in pitcher’s duel, look to rebound and take series today – User-generated content (press release) (registration)

Managing just four hits and two walks at the plate, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, were shut out by the Southern Illinois Miners, 2-0, on Saturday at Rent One Park.

Starters Steve Hagen (3-1) and Matt Parish (3-3) dueled throughout the evening, but the Miners (33-50) got the only run they would need on a solo home run from James Alfonso in the third inning, a towering shot that came at the end of an eight-pitch at-bat.

In the fifth, with runners on first and second and two out, Southern Illinois added a run on a RBI-single to left field by Ryan Lashley. Nolan Earley had advanced to second on the play, but as he rounded the base, left fielder Andrew Godbolds cutoff throw to third baseman Taylor Oldham went to second, where Fraga tagged out Earley to end the inning.

The Freedoms (54-30) best run-scoring opportunity came in the second inning, when Jordan Brower hit a one-out single up the middle and, after a lineout by Keivan Berges, took second on an infield single to third by Austin Wobrock. Lashley threw the ball errantly past first base on the play, allowing both runners to advance one base each. But Garrett Vail struck out to end a seven-pitch at-bat, and Florence would put just one more runner in scoring position against Parish through his six and two-thirds innings.

After Parish issued a two-out walk to Wobrock in the seventh, Kyle Grana entered in relief and induced a flyout to end the inning, then retired the side in order in the eighth.

Following seven strong innings by Hagen, who allowed just five hits, Jack Fowler pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth for the Freedom, keeping the deficit at two runs entering the ninth inning. With closer John Werner on the mound in the final frame, Collins Cuthrell drew a one-out walk and took second on a two-out wild pitch, but Berges struck out after battling for eight pitches, ending the game.

The Freedom will play for the series win in Sundays rubber game, with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 p.m. at Rent One Park. Braulio Torres-Perez (5-1) will start on the mound for Florence against Southern Illinois right-hander Zach Cooper (4-9).

The Florence Freedom are members of the independent Frontier League and play all home games at UC Health Stadium located at 7950 Freedom Way in Florence, KY.The Freedom can be found online at FlorenceFreedom.com, or by phone at 859-594-4487.

Florence Freedom

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Freedom shut out by Miners in pitcher’s duel, look to rebound and take series today – User-generated content (press release) (registration)

County Commissioners to take up Freedom plan at Sept. 6 meeting – Carroll County Times

Carrolls Board of County Commissioners will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 6, for its first discussion of the Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan.

The commissioners will meet with the Carroll County Planning Commission from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room 003 of the Carroll County Office Building in a joint session that is open to the public, although no public comment will be accepted. Public hearings for that purpose will be conducted at later dates.

The Freedom Plan creates a guide for future long-term growth in the South Carroll area, in terms of roads, resources and future land use designations, which can then guide future zoning changes. State guidelines require the plan be updated every 10 years, but it was last updated in 2001 the planning commission spent the past year drafting a new plan, which it accepted in April.

The planning commission voted on July 18 to approve that plan, which is now coming before the county commissioners for further public debate. The county commissioners can either adopt the plan as is, reject it, sending it back to the planning commission or make changes to and then adopt the plan.

Adoption of the plan is the official term for voting to finalize and enact it.

By meeting jointly, Matt Helminiak, president of the planning commission said, the hope is that the board of commissioners can learn the background behind the decisions made for the plan before debating it.

As we were getting feedback, writing the plan, writing the other chapters, we made changes to certain properties based on feedback we were getting both from the public and the commissioners, he said.

Things changed multiple times, and this gives the commissioners a chance to ask us to explain our reasoning for why things are the way they are in the plan.

The risk otherwise, and what has happened in the past, said Commissioner Dennis Frazier, R-District 3, who has served as an ex-officio member of the planning commission since December, is that the Board of Commissioners would dig into a decision they questioned and end up relitigating the same arguments the planning commission had already spent many hours working through.

On the surface it might look like, I dont agree with that, but once they hear all the deliberation that went into it, they say, Ah, I understand now, he said. It makes sense to have a joint meeting like this to see exactly what the process was gone through by the planning commission, and then the board of commissioners can make much more informed decisions about what they want to change and what to keep.

That power of the commissioners to change some parts of the plan and to keep others, is actually rather new under state law, according to Helminiak.

Usually the way the process works is the planning commission writes the plan, votes on it, puts a bow on it, sends it off to the commissioners for their review and approval or disapproval, he said.

In the past, that meant that if the commissioners could not agree on a sticking point, they would have to send it back to the planning commission to start over from the beginning.

That happened with the county master plan the last time around, Helminiak said, referring to the rejection of the 2009 Pathways Plan. They did not have the tool in their toolbox of being able to modify a plan and it was just accept or reject, and they rejected the county master plan and sent it back and we had to rewrite it.

By beginning with a joint meeting to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, and using the boards new powers to make changes to the Freedom Plan, Frazier hopes the commissioners will be able to move quickly to adopt a final plan and meet the requirements of state law.

I do think its helpful, he said. If theres one or two things the Board of Commissioners doesnt like about it, they can make one or two changes, instead of saying, I dont like this and because of this were not going to accept the Freedom Plan, which I think would be a terrible mistake.

Helminiak is optimistic that will not happen.

I think it will be a positive experience, he said. Even when they disagree with us, [the commissioners] are a thoughtful group who have our best interests as a county at heart.

The next steps in the process will be to hold at least two public hearings for public comment in the Freedom area, Frazier said.

We also want to have it streaming and online and so forth for people that cant make the meeting and everyone has a chance to see what is going on, he said.

After that, any necessary changes will be made, and, hopefully, Frazier said, the board will vote to adopt the Freedom Plan.

I think its a really well thought-out plan. A lot went into it. I dont see it not moving forward, he said. Im not saying there wont be a change or two, but I dont see it not going forward.

If you go

What: Joint meeting of the Carroll Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission on the Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan

When: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6

Where: Room 003, Carroll County Office Building, 225 N. Court St., Westminster

No public comment will be accepted at this meeting, but at least two future public hearings will be held at later dates. Public comments may also be sent by email to commissioners@ccg.carr.org.

Recordings of all the meetings will be available online at http://www.youtube.com/user/carrollcountygov.

For more information, contact Roberta Windham at 410-386-2043.

jon.kelvey@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-3317

twitter.com/CCT_Health

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County Commissioners to take up Freedom plan at Sept. 6 meeting – Carroll County Times

Freedom Caucus loses key White House ally with Bannon exit – Politico

“There’s a real concern among lawmakers about who they’ll be interfacing with at the White House,” said a Freedom Caucus source after Steve Bannon’s departure. | Andrew Harnik/AP

Steve Bannon’s exit from the White House on Friday is alarming conservative lawmakers and outside groups, who are losing a key ally in President Donald Trump’s inner circle.

As the tremors unleashed by Bannon’s sudden exit reverberated across Washington, these conservatives began to wonder aloud about who in the White House would voice their concerns without the wily former chief strategist looking over the president’s shoulder.

Story Continued Below

“There’s a real concern among lawmakers about who they’ll be interfacing with at the White House,” a Freedom Caucus source said. “Conservatives felt they had an ally in Bannon.”

Bannon has long been seen as the Trump adviser with the tightest connection to Trump’s populist base. He forged an especially close relationship with the House Freedom Caucus the influential bloc of hard-line House Republicans during a bruising fight over health care in the spring.

The experience helped establish a direct channel of influence for a set of lawmakers that often clashes with Speaker Paul Ryan and other House leaders.

The Freedom Caucus source wasn’t sure whom the group would turn to now in the West Wing, though the group’s leader, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), is said to have a direct link to the president these days.

Bannon played a central role in keeping the Freedom Caucus in the president’s good graces when the group initially appeared to blow up the House’s Obamacare repeal-and-replace effort in April. Conservatives who felt sidelined and ignored by Ryan and his leadership team took their case to Bannon, who personally conveyed and advocated their points on health care to the president.

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Bannon was also set to be a friend of the Freedom Caucus on tax reform. Sources said he supported the group’s push to impose work requirements for welfare recipients, yielding savings that could help finance tax cuts.

At the same time, Republican congressional leaders see Bannon’s departure as a boon, congressional sources said, since he seemed to be the likeliest adviser to encourage Trump’s urges to attack Congress. And it likely weakens Meadows, a Bannon ally who has often been a thorn in leadership’s side.

Freedom Caucus members may have to rely more on legislative affairs aide Paul Teller, an ardent conservative himself. But Teller is not in the president’s inner circle, so the group’s reach into the Oval Office could be reduced. Meadows may also have to take his case directly to Trump more often, but will have to argue his point without Bannon’s support.

Other conservative allies of the president argued that Bannon’s ouster won’t dramatically alter what the administration does, if only because Trump acts mainly on his own instincts.

“I don’t think his departure will change Trump’s behavior at all,” said Steve Deace, an influential conservative radio commentator in Iowa.

Others noted that Trump could still turn to Bannon for advice from outside the White House.

“I dont think conservatives should fear that this shows President Trump is chucking the conservative agenda,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.

Still, in recent days, some conservatives appeared to be circling the wagons around Bannon amid indications that his job was in jeopardy.

“[I]t is important that those who have been your staunchest supporters know that they are not being drowned out by the Swamp which, due to its nature, seeks to engulf the White House,” a coalition of conservative activist groups wrote in a letter to the president earlier Friday. “Steve Bannon and [White House adviser] Kellyanne Conway provide that assurance that you will always have people close to you who support your vision and ours for this great nation.”

Richard Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, called Bannon’s ouster “extremely disappointing.” Hours before the news broke, the pro-Trump group called the chief strategist an “indispensable part of the administration.”

“It’s my hope that Steve will be replaced by someone who has a philosophical kinship with the president,” Manning said.

Trump’s allies on the right aren’t sure what comes next.

“@realDonaldTrump needs to hire @CLewandowski immediately, so there’s SOMEONE in the White House who isn’t from Goldman Sachs,” tweeted conservative commentator Ann Coulter, referring to Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, shortly after Bannon’s ouster was announced.

Michael Flynn Jr., the son of Trump’s former national security adviser himself ousted amid questions about his contacts with Russia warned that Trump may be alienating his base,

“Trump’s most loyal advisors who had HUGE roles getting him elected now out,” Flynn Jr. tweeted. “[G]ood luck Trump.”

Daniel Lippman contributed to this report.

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Read the original post:

Freedom Caucus loses key White House ally with Bannon exit – Politico


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