Reserve Bank battle points to dangerous levels of intolerance – Mail & Guardian

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago. The role of South Africas central bank is at the centre of a heated debate. (Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters)

What kind of financial system is sure to collapse if the central bank cares about peoples well-being?

The recommendation by the public protector that the Reserve Banks mandate change, says much about Busisiwe Mkhwebane, none of it flattering. It says just as much about mainstream economic debate – and none of that is flattering either.

Mkhwebane recommended that the central banks constitutional mandate, which makes protecting the currency its primary goal, be changed to one which requires it to promote balanced and sustainable economic growth while ensuring that the socio-economic well-being of the citizens are protected. She also said the constitution should require the bank to achieve meaningful socio-economic transformation.

This triggered a wave of protests, as well as an announcement from the South African Reserve Bank that it would take the matter to court. The Reserve Bank had no option. The constitutional court has ruled that the Public Protectors findings are binding unless they are challenged in court. Her recommendation wildly exceeded what she is allowed to do by the constitution or democratic good sense – and the Reserve Bank could not allow it to stand.

Democratic constitutions are changed by large majorities of the people or their elected representatives not by individuals. By making a binding recommendation that the constitution be changed, Mkhwebane signalled that she either doesnt understand or does not care for democracy.

Her report is also very useful to a faction of the governing party which wants to deflect charges of state capture by claiming that white monopoly capital already controls the state. There are real questions about the fitness for office of a Public Protector whose report seems more interested in protecting connected politicians and business people than with taking the peoples will seriously.

But the reaction did not stop at insisting that Mkhwebane has no business telling the people what the constitution should say. Much of it objected not only to her saying what the Reserve Banks mandate should be, but to anyone at all doing that.

The prize for the wildest reaction went to the commentator who declared that Mkhwebanes ideas on the Banks mandate were inspired by someone who denied that the Nazi genocide happened. Others stopped short of tarring constitutional change with the same brush as mass murder but were united in claiming that to suggest that the Reserve Banks mandate be broadened is economically illiterate and deeply damaging.

Absa, who was the subject of a separate finding by the public protector on the issue of a controversial bailout, asked a court to rule that her proposed change posed a serious risk to the financial system. For its part the rating agency Standard & Poors, happy as ever to police the boundaries of economic correctness, warned that any interference with the Reserve Banks independence could trigger new downgrades.

To insist that anyone who proposes changing the Reserve Banks mandate is economically damaging and stupid is as contemptuous of democracy and dangerous to the economy as Mkhwebanes excess. It is undemocratic because it seeks to close down policy debate by declaring that only one view of the Reserve Banks mandate can ensure a healthy economy. It is dangerous because it blocks the search for economic remedies by seeking to bully even those who propose only mild changes to what the country now has.

The idea that the Reserve Bank should have a broader mandate is neither radical nor dangerous. The most famous central bank, the US Federal Reserve, has a broader mandate. Its dual mandate requires it to seek maximum employment as well as price stability.

The Australian equivalents mandate includes maintenance of full employment and economic prosperity and welfare of the people. The European Central Bank, famed for its love of austerity, has a mandate to seek sustainable growth.

And the the Bank of Englands website says that, subject to its goal of price stability, it aims to support the governments economic objectives.

In South Africa, not only has the view that the central banks mandate is too restrictive been repeated periodically but it may well have been implemented for a while. In 2010, then finance minister Pravin Gordhan wrote to then Reserve Bank governor, Gill Marcus, proposing a mandate which included growth and employment. Marcus reacted positively, which suggests that the bank acted on Gordhans letter. The financial system survived.

The US, European and Australian financial systems have also not collapsed. Their mandates have not triggered a downgrade and no one has accused these societies of economic illiteracy.

So either double standards are being applied or we are being told that restrictive central bank mandates are essential only if countries are in particular parts of the world (such as Africa) and governed by particular types of people (Africans).

And why does a change in the Banks mandate undermine its independence? A central bank loses its independence if politicians (or anyone else) can tell it what to do, not if its mandate changes.

For all its flaws, the Public Protectors proposal would retain the Reserve Banks independence, leaving it to the bank to decide what promotes the well-being of the people or transformation.

None of this means that the Reserve Banks mandate must change. Or that central bank independence must go. But it does mean that no one should be discouraged from debating the issue, as people routinely do in other democracies and market economies. What, besides that prejudice which we prettify by the term Afropessimism, explains the insistence that we may not debate what is freely discussed in most other places?

Closing down debate in this way is common in South Africa. It also lies behind complaints of policy uncertainty which does not mean, as it does elsewhere, that government keeps changing its mind and sending mixed messages the macro-economic framework has been stable for more than two decades. It means, rather, that some people who some others may take seriously raise policy ideas the economic mainstream does not like.

This demand that people can say anything they like about economic policy as long as the mainstream likes it too offers a misleading view of the economy. It says that there is nothing wrong with it except political interference and that it will flourish if politicians simply leave alone what is done now.

The contrary evidence is offered by mainstream organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the South African Reserve Bank itself which have shown that the current economic rut is a product of problems in the private economy as well as what government does.

This means that the economy must change. This, in turn, requires new ideas. They will not emerge unless everything is up for debate and ideas are not silenced because they trigger the fears and prejudices of a few.

Steven Friedman, Professor of Political Studies, University of Johannesburg

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


Reserve Bank battle points to dangerous levels of intolerance – Mail & Guardian

Louisiana’s John Kennedy leads US Senate effort against oppression in India – The Baptist Message

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) led a bipartisan group of Senators in sending a letter to President Donald Trump, June 23, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modis visit to Washington D.C. The letter implores President Trump to use his meeting with the prime minister as an opportunity to discuss Indias discriminatory policies against foreign religious and humanitarian organizations.

Sens. Blunt, Crapo, Lankford, and Klobuchar signed on to Sen. Kennedys letter encouraging the president to make it clear to Prime Minister Modi that human rights and religious liberty remain a top priority.

Over the past few years, the Indian government has made it difficult if not impossible for religious and humanitarian organizations to get funding to their charitable operations in India. Many of these organizations are simply trying to meet the basic needs of the citizens of India. Compassion International even had to leave India. This humanitarian aid organization had helped feed and provide health care to children in India for nearly 50 years. Now thousands of innocent children will be left without this critical support, said Sen. Kennedy. Discriminating against foreign organizations that help the citizens of India is counterproductive, and it needs to change. I ask that President Trump address this serious issue with Prime Minister Modi during his upcoming trip to Washington.

Below is the text of the letter.


June 23, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President of the United States

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your commitment to protecting and advancing religious liberty around the world. You have made it clear that protecting religious freedom deserves our constant vigilance. We agree that our support for democracy requires persistent efforts to support and advocate for religious liberty around the world.

We are particularly concerned about violations of religious liberty in India. India is the worlds largest democracy and therefore holds a position of importance on the world stage, making the ongoing violations even more disturbing. Despite Indias size and religious diversity, violations of religious liberty have existed for years.

Every year, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) releases a report outlining the state of religious freedom across the world. India has consistently remained a Tier 2 country, meaning that USCIRF believes it requires close monitoring based on evidence of violations of religious freedom. These include violence, discrimination, and forced conversions, as well as harassment and intimidation.

Of significant concern is Indias recent use of its Foreign Contributions Regulations Act (FCRA) to target humanitarian and religious organizations. Any foreign religious organizations, including missionaries, working in India must comply with this law. In 2011, the Indian Parliament amended FCRA to allow the government to block funds for foreign organizations that conduct any activities detrimental to the national interest.

The Indian government has since used this broad provision to target foreign humanitarian and religious organizations that serve the Indian people, such as Compassion International that was forced to leave India and the 145,000 Indian children it served. Other organizations that have come under scrutiny include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Amnesty International, and Greenpeace. Other evangelical Christian organizations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, have also faced discrimination of various kinds. The number of organizations that have lost their licenses has exceeded 10,000 since Prime Minister Modi took office.

Based on these troubling developments, we ask that you make religious liberty a top priority when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United States this month. We request that you use the United States strong, longstanding relationship with India to encourage Prime Minister Modi to alleviate the discrimination against these organizations, particularly religious-based aid groups, and to take steps to advance religious liberty for all of Indias citizens.

The United States has served as an example of religious liberty for the entire world ever since its founding. These principles underlie the essence of what it means to be American. Even more importantly, the freedom to practice ones own religious beliefs underlies the essence of what it means to be human and live in a democracy. We encourage you to bring these violations to Prime Minister Modis attention and continue to work to protect religious liberty across the globe.


John Kennedy

United States Senator

Roy Blunt

United States Senator

Mike Crapo

United States Senator

James Lankford

United States Senator

Amy Klobuchar

United States Senator

Originally posted here:

Louisiana’s John Kennedy leads US Senate effort against oppression in India – The Baptist Message

Government tries to right the wrongs against persecuted tribes – Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Have you heard of the Gadia lohars who fought in the army of Maharana Pratap and several other Rajput rulers against the Mughals or the Maravars of Tamil Nadu who protected the kingdoms of the chola emperors and resisted the British for many years?

Notified as criminal tribes by the British in the nineteenth century largely as a price for their resistance to oppression and then denotifed by the Indian government but never really classified or given their due, the Modi government has decided to assess and improve the living conditions of 10 crore people belonging to nomadic and denotified tribes of the country whose contribution to the freedom struggle has never been popularised.

Last week, the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Seminomadic Tribes (NCDNT) that comes under the ministry of Social Justice presented an interim report to the centre charting out a roadmap to improve the lives of these communities, bring out their long forgotten history and make them an important part of the electorate by ensuring government schemes such as Mudra and Jan Dhan Yojna reached them.

An exhaustive household survey for the first time has been launched across the county to study the living conditions of these tribes and document their histories. Secretary of the commission B K Prasad said the history of denotified and nomadic tribes was one of suppression and exploitation that they have faced persecution for more than 150 years. This report and the steps we take based on our interactions is an attempt to reverse this injustice.

Agencies Karvy in the nothern zone, Vimarsh in the western zone, Academy of Management Studies, Life Academy of Vocational Studies in the Eastern zone, Karvy in the North Eastern zone and Vimarsh in the southern zone have been picked to conduct this survey.

These agencies starting June 1 are compiling data about each of these communities, taking a sample size of 9000. They will assess the socio economic conditions and submit a report to us in six months, Prasad added. He added that the commission is now working on a deadline and findings of the survey – first in independent India will help it further in its intervention.

The researchers have studied the history and living conditions of over 200 such communities. For instance, the gadia lohar community found in five north states were blacksmiths in the army of Maharana Pratap. They live under self-imposed taboos not to return to Chittorgarh fort, not to use ropes to draw water or use candles at home as a protest for freedom. Today, due to mechanisation, they work as labourers or sell iron scraps, said Siddharth M, researcher, who added that stories collected from all these communities are being documented.

Similar the maravars, glorifed in the ancient text Thirukkurral, were protectors of Tamil emperors and worked as as Kudikaval (traditional policing communities). But they resisted the British who suppressed them. During our interactions they told us the story of Rani Velu Nachiyar who fought the british but was never given the same importance as Rani Laxmibai. Today the community members work in matchbox factories with bare minimum facilities, the report said.

Experts said the colonial category of criminal tribes may have been denotified but many communities remain unclassified. The Ayyangar Committees recommendations led to the repeal of the CTA in August 1952. In 2008, the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT) produced a report where it said, But, to keep effective control over the so-called hardened criminals, the Habitual Offenders Act was placed in the statute book.

To address that, besides listing of ways to make schooling and medical care accessible to these nomadic groups and recommending grazing rights in forests, specific training, scholarship and housing benefits, the commission has sought for a review of the Habitual Offenders Act 1952 which has come provisions from the erstwhile Criminal Tribes Act that add to the harassment faced by these communities.

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Government tries to right the wrongs against persecuted tribes – Economic Times

Nets Ignore India’s Recent Spike in Christian Persecution – NewsBusters (press release) (blog)

NewsBusters (press release) (blog)
Nets Ignore India's Recent Spike in Christian Persecution
NewsBusters (press release) (blog)
According to Open Doors President David Curry, the Indian government is actually supportive of Christian oppression. Also, it has become increasingly hostile to American NGOs, including Christian ministry Compassion International, which was forced to …

and more »

Originally posted here:

Nets Ignore India’s Recent Spike in Christian Persecution – NewsBusters (press release) (blog)

This ruling allows councils to boycott Israel. It’s a crucial victory – The Guardian

On 11 June Avigdor Lieberman proudly announced that Israel was planning its greatest expansion of settlement homes since 1992. Ramot in the occupied West Bank. Photograph: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Two weeks ago I found myself in a sweaty room in the Royal Courts of Justice, packed with fellow Palestine activists, listening to detailed and sometimes arcane legal arguments about pension law. The journey that ended in that courtroom began in September last year when the government announced new guidance intended to prohibit local government pension schemes from pursuing divestment and sanctions against foreign nations and UK defence industries other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the government.

The key target of these new rules was made clear in the government press release about the decision. This was the government acting to place a ban on boycotting Israel. The regulations were introduced in November 2016 despite a public consultation indicating that 98% of respondents thought this was the wrong thing to do, and a wider public outcry.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign, of which Im the director, decided to take the government on. We launched a judicial review supported with witness statements from War on Want, Campaign Against the Arms Trade and the Quakers. Finally, on 22 June, we got the verdict we won! Judge Sir Ross Cranston ruled the guidance was unlawful and that the government had acted for an improper purpose.

This is a victory for the rule of law, for local democracy and for freedom of expression. But it is also a crucial moment in the campaign for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law. This campaign emerged in 2005 in answer to a call from 170 Palestinian civil society organisations, frustrated by the decades in which international governments and bodies had issued condemnations of Israels oppression of the Palestinian people but refused to impose meaningful pressure.

The consequences of this failed policy were underlined in the last month, during which Israels illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, the West bank and Gaza entered its 50th year. On 11 June the countrys foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, proudly announced that Israel was planning its greatest expansion of settlement homes since 1992, one year before the Oslo accords launched the so-called peace process. During that time the number of illegal settlers occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem has grown by nearly half a million. On 20 June ,as work started on the first illegal settlement to be built outside the existing settlement blocks in 25 years, Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted After decades, I have the privilege to be the prime minister who is building a new community in Judea and Samaria. Or to put it in clearer language , here is a prime minster who feels privileged to be violating international law.

The BDS movement is a response to Israels confidence that it can act with impunity. Modelled on the same tactics used so successfully against apartheid South Africa, it calls on all actors to end economic support for Israels illegal actions.

The UK governments attempts to force though the pension regulations were part and parcel of a wider attempt by Israel and its supporters to push back against the growing success of the BDS campaign. In April a leaked joint report from the Israeli thinktank the Reut Institute and the US Anti-Defamation League boasted of the success since 2010 in establishing a global pro-Israel network to suppress BDS activity, and the use of anti-BDS laws as a key tactic: 14 US states have introduced such legislation.

Theresa May must listen to the growing chorus of voices calling for an approach that truly holds Israel to account

Sir Ross Cranstons judgment last week draws a line in the sand against the attempts to introduce such measures in the UK. It upholds the basic right to invest money on ethical principles.

For BDS campaigners in the UK this gives a huge boost to our work. A recent YouGov poll showed that public opinion is on our side with 43% of the public seeing BDS as a reasonable response to Israels policies and only 13% opposed. This judgment tells us that the law is with us as well. With this legal impediment removed, we will take forward the campaign to persuade all relevant bodies, including pension-fund holders, not to invest money in supporting activities that are illegal and violate human rights.

Margaret Thatcher found herself on the wrong side of history in the 1980s when she tried to prevent boycotts of apartheid South Africa. Last week, Theresa May told us that her government recognised the need to be humble, to listen to public opinion and rethink its approach to a range of issues. Its time for her to acknowledge that current policy in the Middle East has failed and to listen to the growing chorus of voices calling for an approach that truly holds Israel to account.


This ruling allows councils to boycott Israel. It’s a crucial victory – The Guardian

Sally Yates Condemns Jeff Sessions for Reinstating Harsh Low-Level Drug Sentences – TIME

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates has publicly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for reinstating harsh mandatory minimum drug sentences aimed at curbing violent crime throughout the U.S.

In a Washington Post op-ed titled “Making America Scared Again Won’t Make Us Safer” published Friday, Yates argued that incarcerating low-level drug couriers is counterproductive, expensive and damaging to American communities.

“Not only are violent crime rates still at historic lows nearly half of what they were when I became a federal prosecutor in 1989 but there is also no evidence that the increase in violent crime some cities have experienced is the result of drug offenders not serving enough time in prison,” Yates wrote.

“Every dollar spent imprisoning a low-level nonviolent drug offender for longer than necessary is a dollar we dont have to investigate and prosecute serious threats, from child predators to terrorists,” Yates continued. “Its a dollar we dont have to support state and local law enforcement for cops on the street, who are the first lines of defense against violent crime. And its a dollar we dont have for crime prevention or recidivism reduction within our prison system, essential components of building safe communities.”

Last month, Sessions in a memorandum ordered federal prosecutors nationwide to pursue the “most serious, readily provable offense” in drug cases.

“It is a core principle that prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense,” he wrote at the time.

Many were quick to label the directive as the new War on Drugs. Yates in her op-ed encouraged lawmakers to consider the “human costs” of the initiative.

“More than 2 million children are growing up with a parent behind bars, including 1 in 9 African American children,” she wrote. “Huge numbers of Americans are being housed in prisons far from their home communities, creating precisely the sort of community instability where violent crime takes root.”

Yates said that throughout her career as a prosecutor at the Justice Department, she charged high-level, international narcotics traffickers and had “no hesitation” asking judges to impose long prison sentences.

“While there is always room to debate the most effective approach to criminal justice, that debate should be based on facts, not fear. Its time to move past the campaign-style rhetoric of being ‘tough’ or ‘soft’ on crime,” she concluded.

Read more here:

Sally Yates Condemns Jeff Sessions for Reinstating Harsh Low-Level Drug Sentences – TIME

China Jails Workers From Crown Resorts of Australia in Message to Casinos – New York Times

But the accusations against Crown drew the industrys attention and were closely watched for a sense of how other operators should run their businesses. It is unusual for a high-ranking foreign executive to be prosecuted in China, but the law mandates a maximum sentence of as many as three years for organizing gambling sessions or trying to profit from the business.

The uncertainty was stifling for a lot of casino operators because they didnt exactly know how this was going to pan out and what the exact objections were because not much was made public, said Sudhir Kal, the founder of GamePlan Consultants, a gambling consultancy based in Australia that has advised Crown in the past.

Most operators will also learn that, every now and then, the government does become very serious about implementing the laws in the strictest sense of the word, and therefore they will be a lot more subtle in terms of promoting their properties to the mainland Chinese market, he said.

The detentions followed a crackdown on South Korean casino chains in 2015, when the authorities arrested more than a dozen employees accused of luring Chinese tourists with free accommodations and prostitutes. They also come on the heels of President Xi Jinpings crackdown on corruption, in which he warned against ostentatious displays of wealth, and at a time when the government is struggling to stem capital flight.

Australia has watched the case closely, and its prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has expressed concern. A spokeswoman for Australias Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that consular officials would continue to aid the Australians and their families until they were released.

The detentions have also caught the attention of other foreign companies operating in China, where fears of increased government scrutiny are growing. Still, the sentences were lighter than the penalties meted out to some others that have come under the cross hairs of the Chinese government. In 2010, a senior executive at Rio Tinto, a mining giant, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a case involving bribery and theft of commercial secrets.

Chen Zhao, deputy director of Fudan Universitys China Center for Economic Studies in Shanghai, said he did not believe the Crown case meant that the government was putting foreign companies in its sights. I believe that the Chinese government itself is very welcoming of all kinds of legitimate and reasonable investment, so I think this action isnt targeting a specific company, foreign investor or country, he said.

Crown said 16 of the 19 defendants were fined a total of $1.3 million, which the company paid.

It is unclear what the case would mean for Crowns growth prospects in China. On its website, the company lists Hong Kong, another special administrative region governed by its own laws, as its only international representative office. In May, Crown sold its remaining stake in the Macau casino operator Melco Resorts & Entertainment for about $1.2 billion.

Although Macau, the worlds largest gambling market, has been hurt by the campaign against graft, it has rebounded in recent months as new resorts have opened.

Jacqueline Williams contributed reporting from Sydney, Australia. Zhang Tiantian contributed research from Beijing.

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China Jails Workers From Crown Resorts of Australia in Message to Casinos – New York Times

Illegal gambling investigation leads to SWAT call in Hutto – KVUE

KVUE 1:28 PM. CDT June 26, 2017

Police lights. (Photo: Getty Images)

HUTTO, TEXAS – Austin police’s SWAT team responded to a residence in Huttoafter an investigation into illegal gambling Monday morning.

According to the Austin Police Department, SWAT was called out to a home along the 1200 block of Augusta Bend Drive near Gattis School Road to serve a warrant in connection to the investigation. At around 11:30 a.m., APD said they were searching the home.

The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office said their SWAT team was there to assist APD.

This story will update as more information becomes available.

2017 KVUE-TV

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Illegal gambling investigation leads to SWAT call in Hutto – KVUE

Lawmakers may add online poker to state’s gambling options – Plattsburgh Press Republican

ALBANY Has New York hit a saturation point when it comes to venues for gambling?

That question has surfaced at the statehouse where some lawmakers are pushing to legalize online poker.

Meanwhile, Jeff Gural, operator of Vernon Downs racino in Oneida County, says he fears he will have to close his operations and lay off hundreds of workers to stem mounting financial losses.


The discussion over the state’s gaming policy is heating up less than a year after three full-service casinos opened in upstate New York.

They joined nine racinos, including Vernon Downs, as well as 11 venues operated by Native American tribes:Akwesasne Mohawk Casino and Mohawk Bingo Palace and Casino, both in Franklin County, andthe Seneca Nation casinos in Niagara Falls, Irving, Cuba and Salamanca.

Gaming expansion has also happened throughout the Northeast and eastern Canada, a region home to more than three times the number of casinos it hosted in 2002, said Phil Pantano, spokesman for the Seneca Nation.

“Of course there has been an impact on existing properties,” Pantano said.

New York’s three new non-Indian casinos in Schenectady, the Finger Lakes and Tioga Downs were opened after voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2013 that ended a ban on non-Indian gambling halls.


The menu of options was sweetened last year when lawmakers allowed betting on fantasy sports after a lobbying campaign that included Buffalo Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly advocating for the special interests plugging the new form of wagering.

Meanwhile, state-regulated lottery games scratch-off tickets, Powerball and Quick Draw have grown steadily since being introduced in 1967.

The state’s four thoroughbred race tracks and eight harness tracks have been around even longer.


Among those arguing that it’s time for state policymakers to hit the brakes on further expansion of gaming is Gary Greenberg, a minority investor in Vernon Downs and long-time follower of the industry.

“There is plenty of gambling already in the state, Greenberg said. We don’t need any more.”

Gural said Vernon Downs is losing about $150,000 each month. He plans to close the operation, located just several miles from the Turning Stone casino run by the Oneida Indian Nation, unless the Assembly boosts the percentage of revenue from video lottery terminals that the gaming hall can keep.

He said he is prepared to close the track, racino, restaurants and a hotel on the complex.

The chairman of the Assembly Gaming Committee, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester), said the lower chamber can’t agree with Gural’s proposal to let Vernon keep more gaming revenue because it would crimp the amount of aid sent to public schools.

But he said he hopes Gural reacts favorably to a counterproposal that would result in a reduction of administrative fees imposed on the facility.

Pretlow also said that while most of the state has not experienced gaming saturation, the congestion of venues running from Oneida County to the Rochester region has hurt the profitability of gaming halls in that vicinity.

The troubles that have befallen Vernon Downs mainly relate to its proximity to the much larger Turning Stone, said Bennett Liebman, who retired from state government in 2014 as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top adviser on gaming matters.

“Vernon has always been in a difficult position because it is so close to the Oneidas,” who run Turning Stone as well as the smaller Yellow Brick Road casino in Chittenango, Liebman said.

Liebman said discerning whether New York is headed for a decline in action at gambling halls because of increasing competition is not easy to fathom.

He said he doesn’t take any projections of a gaming glut or market expansion very seriously.

“Nobody really knows what is going to happen,” he said.


Meanwhile, a large casino is scheduled to open next year in Springfield, Mass., about an hour’s drive from the Albany region.

Liebman said that venue will likely be a greater threat to two Native American casinos in Connecticut than to the racino in Saratoga or the new casino in Schenectady.

Lee Park, spokesman for the state Gaming Commission, said his agency, given its role as a regulator that does not offer policy opinions, would not weigh in on whether the state has too much gaming.

But he did note: “The Gaming Facility Location Board closely studied the matter and determined that the market can and will support competition among appropriately scoped and appropriately financed gaming operations.”


Meanwhile, the proposal that would allow online poker, meanwhile, has gained traction in the Assembly, where it is backed by Pretlow’s committee.

The bill, authored by Sen. John Bonacic (R-Orange County), would allow such interactive online games as Texas hold ’em. The senator has said the measure would protect consumers who now play unregulated games, while boosting revenue for state education programs.

If the measure is approved, it could face legal challenges from gambling foes questioning Bonacic’s assertion that online poker is a game of skill, not a game of chance.

Email Joe Mahoney:

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Lawmakers may add online poker to state’s gambling options – Plattsburgh Press Republican

Bad bets: Recklessly expanding gambling – The Union Leader

DAllesandro has spent the past two decades fronting the effort for New Hampshire to build massive slot machine casinos, but has suddenly become concerned about the potential side effects of expanding gambling.

Yet DAllesandros hypocrisy does not wash away the costs of gambling. And this Legislature has quietly expanded gambling across New Hampshire.

Keno supporters finally got their new game authorized by using it to fund increased state aid for full-day kindergarten. How this will actually work has been pushed off to rulemaking.

The budget trailer bill, HB 517, authorizes the Lottery Commission to start selling online scratch tickets. Again, the details havent been decided.

New Hampshire has been selling lottery tickets to raise money for schools for decades. And for many people, playing the games is harmless entertainment. But gambling comes with real costs, for those who become addicted and for the communities in which they live.

Lawmakers this year placed hasty bets on expanded gambling without carefully considering the consequences of their actions.


Bad bets: Recklessly expanding gambling – The Union Leader

Kenya thinks a five-fold tax hike on its betting sector can deter child gambling – Quartz

Kenyas government has introduced a five-fold tax hike on online betting in a bid to discourage minors from gambling, and to raise funds that would support sports and cultural activities. On June 21, president Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Finance Bill 2017, which increased tax rates for betting, lotteries, and gambling from the current rate of 7.5% to 35%.

Betting firms in Kenya are now saying the punitive tax measures will not only dent their returns, but also affect jobs in the industry, lead to the defunding of corporate social activities, and discourage investment in an emerging sector.

SportPesa, the leading Kenyan online sports betting platform, said it will withdraw sponsorship from local sports clubs in Jan. 2018when the new bill will come into effect. The company has grown rapidly in recent years and is major sports sponsor at home where it backs the Kenyan Premier League, as well as two of the leagues leading clubs, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. The betting company also splashed out on a costly sponsorship both Everton and Hull City in the English League.

Ronald Karauri, the chief executive of SportPesa, said on Twitter that the tax amendments will greatly affect their operations and that their partners should plan accordingly before they withdraw support. Notably, Karauri said the cuts will not affect sponsorships of teams outside Kenya.

The taxing hike augurs how African governments will deal with sports betting and gambling as it grows into a multimillion dollar industry across the continent. Behind South Africa and Nigeria, Kenya is home to the third-largest gambling market in Africa. The betting boom has also caught on in countries like Uganda where the expansion of satellite TV and the creation of a national lottery lured many jobless Ugandans into betting. In Nigeria, 60 million people between the ages of 18 and 40 years spend up to 2 billion naira ($6.2 million) on sports betting daily.

The growing adoption of smartphones has also increased the time people spend gambling in Kenya, with many of them spending hours researching teams, reviewing scores, or learning betting tactics. Authorities say they imposed the hefty taxes in order to deter minors from betting. Local media have reported stories of people committing suicide after losing bets or falling into debt.

The initial proposal from Kenyas Treasury was to actually increase the tax to 50%, but after stakeholder meetings, the rate for all betting, lotteries, and raffle competitions was amended to a uniform 35%.

Karauri says gaming operators in Kenya will barely be able to sustain their businesses come 2018. The expected financial project will force closure of firms and that theres no company in the country which has the capacity of complying to the tax, he told The Star newspaper.

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Kenya thinks a five-fold tax hike on its betting sector can deter child gambling – Quartz

When a child’s BFF can’t live up to its title: Talking to kids about euthanasia – dvm360

Hospice veterinarian Dr. Jessica Vogelsang became acutely aware of her communication shortcomings when she had to explain euthanasia to her own childrenan experience that completely transformed how she now counsels parents in the same situation.

My favorite situations are when you have kids whove been prepared early on and who want to go through some sort of ceremony beforehandmaybe theyll write a letter or light some candlesand youll just see them really involved in the process. Its beautiful for them, and its absolutely astonishing to watch the calming effect it has on the parents. Jessica Vogelsang, DVM ( a hospice veterinarian at Paws into Grace in San Diego, California, Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, is an expert when it comes to end-of-life veterinary care. But until somewhat recently, she wasnt so skilled at having euthanasia conversations with kids.

My shortcomings were revealed when I had to explain euthanasia to my own upset and confused kids, says Dr. Vogelsang. I had no idea what I was doing. Pulling from my Catholic school background, I tried to explain the concept of heaven, to which my son responded, Whos Kevin, and why does he have our dog? (Dr. Vogelsang later drew on that experience when she published her first book.)

It became painfully clear to Dr. Vogelsang that she wasnt doing clients any favors by giving them her default how-to-tell-the-kids advice: Tell them whatever feels right. Her clients didnt know what was right. They didnt know where to start or what was appropriate. They needed more concrete guidance.

Dr. Vogelsangs first piece of advice is to start early. As soon as you know a pet has a terminal illness, start talking about the end-of-life process, she says. Plant the seed by saying, I know you have kids. Have you thought about how you want to handle telling them? Most people wait until the day of the euthanasia to talk to their children, which is a difficult time to start laying the groundwork.

The next step is to provide tools, like this handout on general communication tips, age-specific advice and ideas for celebrating and memorializing pets. Help parents see they have an opportunity to teach and model appropriate grieving to their children, who may be encountering bereavement for the first time.

My favorite situations are when you have kids whove been prepared early on and who want to go through some sort of ceremony beforehandmaybe theyll write a letter or light some candlesand youll just see them really involved in the process. Its beautiful for them, and its absolutely astonishing to watch the calming effect it has on the parents, says Dr. Vogelsang.

You dont always have the luxury of planting a seed early on, but you can still be ready to provide advice and support on the day of the euthanasia. If you end up being the one to break the news to a child, the same general communication tips from this handout apply. Dont sugarcoat whats happening with vague expressions like, Spot is going to sleep for a long time. Say, Ive done everything I can do, but Spot wont get better. I will give him a shot that stops his heart from beating. He wont feel any pain.

Explain to parents that up until almost age 5, kids are typically more in tune with their parents emotions than their own, says Dani McVety, DVM, owner ofLap of Love Veterinary Hospice and In-Home Euthanasiain Lutz, Florida. They may not want their child present during the euthanasia so they can experience their emotions in full without worrying about their childs interpretation.

Dr. Vogelsang has a box of crafts on hand for every euthanasia appointment where children are present. Its full of things children can do to express themselves and stay occupied, like collage, drawing and letter-writing materials and bubbles. I let them pick what feels most comforting, she says.

A peek into Dr. Jessica Vogelsang’s box of crafts for euthanasia appointments. (Image courtesy of Dr. Jessica Vogelsang.)According to Dr. McVety, Teenagers can be one of the most difficult age ranges to talk to because they have an altruistic view of society and want to fight through whats happening. I try to talk to the teenager directly because you can see parents get very defensiveparticularly when theyre already grieving.

Dr. McVety tries to meet teenagers where they are by saying something like, I understand you feel like were giving up. But lets talk about what we cant do and what we can do. We cant keep coming back to the emergency room. We cant risk a potentially difficult passing. We can provide the most peaceful euthanasia, and thats why Im here.

Helping parents and children in this way may seem difficult to juggle in addition to your other tasks, but Vogelsang sees it as a veterinarians duty: If we are asking people to take on the responsibility of making this decision for their pets, we owe it to them to provide tools to manage the emotions involved. (We also owe it to clients to help them know when it’s time. Here’s a client-facing video that can help owners navigate this difficult decision).

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When a child’s BFF can’t live up to its title: Talking to kids about euthanasia – dvm360

Borders joins national campaign to stop child sex abuse | Border … – ITV News

The Scottish Borders has joined a national two-month campaign to help prevent child sex abuse.

Police Scotland and local authorities have launched the initiative with the charity Stop It Now! Scotland.

The charity provides confidential support to people who are having sexual thoughts about children and young people, supporting them manage these and control any associated behaviour.


people sought help to stop looking at sexual images of children online in 2016.


crimes of possessing indecent images of children in Scottish Borders between 2015/16.

The campaign is being supported by the City of Edinburgh Council, West Lothian Council, Scottish Borders Council, East Lothian Council and Midlothian Council with partners in NHS Lothian and NHS Borders.

Stop it Now! Scotland has worked with hundreds of men arrested for viewing sexual images of children.

For many, being arrested was a real wake-up call. Many knew what they were doing was wrong, but struggled to change their behaviour on their own. Thats where our work comes in.

We make sure these men understand the harm they have caused the children in these images, and also the serious consequences for them and their families if they dont get to grips with their online behaviour. Once they understand this, they become far less likely to reoffend.

But there are thousands of men out there viewing sexual images of under 18s. We need to get to them too, to help them understand what they are doing is illegal and incredibly harmful to the children and young people in the images and to get them to stop.”

Stuart Allardyce, National Manager of Stop it Now! in Scotland

Our ultimate goal here is to protect children.

Accessing these images is not a victimless crime. A child is re-victimised every time an image of them is viewed and this creates further demand for these appalling materials.

We have a highly experienced and dedicated Cyber Crime Unit with access to extensive investigative techniques to pursue perpetrators of these crimes.

The consequences of this behaviour for an individual are life-changing and can include losing your job, being imprisoned and registered as a sex offender.

Id urge anyone who is having inappropriate thoughts about children to seek help from Stop It Now! Scotland. Otherwise, expect a visit from officers.

Detective Chief Inspector Brian Stuart of Police Scotlands Cyber Crime Unit

To get help, call Stop It Now! Scotland confidentially on 0131 556 3535 or visit where further advice, including a self-help section, is available.

Last updated Mon 26 Jun 2017

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Borders joins national campaign to stop child sex abuse | Border … – ITV News

Book Review: Harvesting by Lisa Harding (novel) – The London Economic

Let us speak then of victimless crimes, the pretense that somehow by expunging certain acts from the criminal justice system we are in fact advancing civilization, casting aside the repressions, the myths, the lies our churches told us for centuries upon centuries that those acts were evil when of course we the educated sophisticates know ever so much better that they are not evil merely pleasures that do no harm to no one else. If I choose to smoke a little dope, wheres the victim? Well there are one or two or several dozen victims you know, the ones exploited and yes occasionally killed by the higher levels of the drug trade. Then legalize it, you say and I will agree but lets not pretend that getting whacked out of our skulls leaves no fingerprints on anyone elses soul.

Perhaps the word soul makes you uncomfortable, makes you wish that this what is this, a book review or a sermon? piece of writing would just move along and get to the plot and sentence structure, leaving this talk of souls behind. Oh no, I beg your pardon but we cannot speak of this novel Harvesting without a few good words about souls.

I actually believed for a good many years that prostitution was a victimless crime. That position was very much part of the values in the home I grew up in; all other parties being long since dead, I am not causing anyone any blush of embarrassment, no averting of the eyes when the Priest speaks from the pulpit at Sunday Mass. No, both my mother who was a journalist and my grandfather who was a properly progressive MP felt that prostitution fulfilled a need in society. After all, men who were single or men who were (much worse than single) in unhappy marriages or (much worse than unhappy marriages) married to women who because of frailty could no longer satisfy mans need for sexual pleasure, why those men require somewhere to go. Otherwise, just think of what the rape and abuse statistics would be like!

Then of course if one studies enough or actually listens to the women in ones life, the realization dawns finally that if one out of three women and there are higher estimates than that have been or will be sexually assaulted at some time in their lives then how does that justify the supposed noble purpose of prostitution? And there too, why is the focus on the needs of the men? Kingsley Amis might have said that male virility is like being chained to the devil, but hold on a minute. People quit smoking, heroin, drinking and eating meat and they seem to survive. Are you really telling me that a period of abstinence is all that hard (or pardon me, I suppose I might have said difficult)?

What of the women? Ah well, theyre paid for it so thats no bother. Its just business dealings, a commercial transaction, everybody knows what theyre doing so there is no victim there. After all, if we didnt have prostitution we wouldnt have the stage musical Sweet Charity or the movie Pretty Woman. How bad can prostitution be when it inspires romantic comedies?

The Irish novelist Lisa Harding makes an incredibly wise choice in Harvesting. The story of two young girls, one Irish and one Moldovan, thrown together as captives in an under-age sex trade prison, has no description of sex in it whatsoever except for only the most allusive. At first, I thought that Harding had made this choice for literary, character-based reasons; by not including the specifics of what these grotesque clients did to these girls that would so reflect the effects of repressed memory, willed amnesia and so forth. Now while that may have entered into Hardings consideration, I suspect that she had a much, much more chilling reason to leave the sex on the cutting room floor. She did not want this novel to be at all titillating. Think about it. Harding clearly did, and I imagine it was a chilling thought imagining a book about exploitation of children for sexual purpose being passed about with the hot bits dog-eared and highlighted. Well done to the author in avoiding that.

Without ever being pedantic or at all lecturing, Harding builds a case step-by-step against this so-called victimless crime by framing it in the narrative voices of Samantha and Nico. Samantha is the street-wiser or the two, receiving the attention of the older boys at her Dublin school as a pseudo-replacement for an alcoholic mother and an often absent father. Nico is a farm girl, raised in a male-dominant family that betrays her upon reaching puberty by selling her to a sex trader.

It is not just the families that fail the two young women. Time and again, whether it is the drivers who take the victims to their clients, the clients who realize the girls are under-age, the barmen who serve them, the social services who do too little, or the police forces who allow these operations to exist, the systems of civilization fail. At one point Samantha escapes from hospital and when she realizes that she has effectively escaped into captivity she thinks that she must be in the news, the goal of a nationwide search. Of course she isnt. To whatever degree we think about such things as teen prostitutes gone missing, we either shrug it off, ignore it, assume shell grow out of it, or at a darkest level wonder if perhaps shes searchable on Pornhub.

Harvesting is not a light-hearted read, a book to be tossed into the beach bag for a summer weekend day trip. Although, you know, perhaps it should be. There you are with your partner and the kids, the latter playing on the beach, and you lift your eyes from your book and look at the people further down along the sand. What are they looking at through their Ray-Bans? Are they looking at your children? And more what are you looking at and thinking?

The sexual exploitation of women is as old as society itself. It exists in all nations, all cultures, throughout all history. Slavery, which we like to pretend had been eradicated in the nineteenth century, still exists. The rights of children are still ill-defined when it comes to parents custodial rights. True justice will only occur when we face the ills that pervade within our cultures, acknowledge them, yet never accept them. One novel, no matter if it is as well-written and gripping as Harvesting is barely heard as a muted whisper against all the media that assumes girls or women exist purely for sexual pleasure. And yet, Lisa Hardings voice is still a voice, and one whisper joined by the whispers of her readers can in combination become a shout. That, at least, supplies us some hope.

Be seeing you.


Lisa Harding (New Island Books 2017, Trade Paperback) 308 pages

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Book Review: Harvesting by Lisa Harding (novel) – The London Economic

This Classic Colonial Revival in Westchester Has Impressive Literary Ties – Mansion Global

Location: Mount Kisco, New York

Price: $1.999 million

Bennett Cerf is best known as the 20th-century powerhouse publisher who co-founded Modern Library and Random House in New York. His authors included William Faulkner, Eugene ONeill, John OHara, Ayn Rand, James Michener and Truman Capote.

Along with a Manhattan apartment, he and his wife, the actress Phyllis Fraser, maintained a 10-acre estate in suburban Westchester County for many years. Their former home, a classic Colonial Revival in Mount Kisco, is now on the market.

Cerf also wrote humor books and had a starring role as one of four panelists on the CBS weekly show Whats My Line? for most of the 1950s and 60s. Fraser was also a journalist and childrens book publisher. So friends and frequent houseguests were often literary or political luminaries or well-known stars from Hollywood and Broadway.

These house guests included the likes of Frank Sinatra, John F. Kennedy and Theodor Seuss Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss), according to Jessica Chan of William Pitt Julia B. Fee Sothebys International Realty.

More:A Seaside Nantucket Compound Moonlights as the Perfect Summer Getaway

Because he was married to an actress, the house was a central location for entertaining some really prominent people, Ms. Chan said. It was the center of the literary and entertainment worlds.

There is still an original brass plate on the front door that reads Cerf. The house is known as The Columns for its two-story columned veranda at the back. Old-timers also know it as the Cerf-Wagner estate because his widow married former New York City Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. after Cerfs death in 1971 and they made it their part-time home until Wagner died in 1991.

The current owners bought the house from the Cerf family in 1993, Ms. Chan said.

Its such a huge house, almost like a compound, she said, mentioning that one Thanksgiving, the current owners had 25 overnight houseguests.

The interior has been renovated throughout, but they kept all of the original period characteristics of the house, Ms. Chan said. Its the best of both worlds.

More:A 19th-Century Princeton Home with Original Details Throughout

Original architectural features of the 1927 house include hardwood floors, high ceilings, a grand center-hall staircase, crown moldings and five working fireplaces.

All of the windows have been replaced, and plumbing and utilities updated, Ms. Chan said. The bathrooms have all been renovated, but they were done to look like the 1920s.

This house is a good balance of modern versus old, but its a move-in-ready house, she said. Some old houses need so much workthis one doesnt.

The Stats

The 5,789-square-foot house has eight bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and one half bath. It sits on 9.63 acres. There are also two guesthouses.

Guest House A is around 800 square feet with one bedroom, two bathrooms and a living room with kitchen, Ms. Chan said. Guest House B is smaller, a studio with a bathroom.

Both have been beautifully renovated, she said. Guest House A is the historical one where people like Frank Sinatra frequently stayed.

More:A Penthouse on Lake Como with A Musical History


Amenities include a swimming pool, large flagstone patio, tennis court, two-hole golf course, greenhouse, rolling meadows, two ponds and frontage on the scenic Kisco River. There is also detached three-car garage.

Neighborhood Notes

Orchard Road is a dead-end road, filled with beautiful housesclassic Colonials, Tudorsthat were built in the 1920s, Ms. Chan said.

Its such a safe and quiet neighborhood, she said. This house is set back from the road so no one would even know its there.

More:History Breathes New Life into this Napa Property

Its just a 10-minute walk to the Metro-North train station in downtown Mount Kisco, she said, which has many restaurants and shops.

The property actually straddles two Westchester communities, with 6.1 acres in the town of New Castle and the rest in Mount Kisco. It is in the Chappaqua school district, one of Westchesters best.

Agent Name: Jessica Chan, William Pitt Julia B Fee Sothebys International Realty

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This Classic Colonial Revival in Westchester Has Impressive Literary Ties – Mansion Global

Lowell Thomas, the Original ‘Voice of America’ – The Weekly Standard

In my time at Jesus College, Oxford (1956-58), I must have passed Eric Kenningtons evocative bust of T.E. Lawrence scores of times. It stood in the college lodge, on Turl Street, and portrayed a famous alumnus who had led an early life as an archaeologist before he became a British officer and legendary leader of the World War I Arab revolt against Turkish rule.

What I knew only dimly was that a much-traveled American journalist named Lowell Thomaswho had briefly taught elocution at Princetonwas often credited with the creation of the Lawrence legend, a legend sensationally magnified a generation later by David Leans magnificent film. As viewers of that vivid movie know, Lawrence assumed the leadership of the Arabs under King Feisal. He affected Bedouin costume, becoming an accomplished desert fighter.

Lowell Thomas, for his part, appears in the movie under a pseudonym as a sassy, cynical reporter named Bentley who appears on the scene after General Sir Edmund Allenbys conquest of Damascus, and follows the Arab host on its primary errand: blowing up railroad tracks and slaughtering Turkish soldiers. Its final scenes show a Lawrence a bit crazed by the experience.

The case can be made, writes Mitchell Stephens here, that no individual before or since has dominated American journalism as did Lowell Thomas in the late 1930s and, in particular, the early 1940s. Thomas brought to his craft a resonant voice and a gift for clear exposition. His breakthrough in audio-visual presentation came after the wars end, in a dramatic magic lantern show that drew thousands in 1919 London, New York, and other cities. Though it originally headlined Allenbys exploits, the once obscure Lawrence was an enormous hit, and the program was retitled With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia.

Thomas and his era were well met. They developed together the first phase of radio news broadcasting, whose dominance was prolonged by the postponement of television manufacture by war priorities in World War II. Apart from voice and diction, it was Thomass lifelong wanderlust that was his trump card; and it is well capturedcaricatured may be the more precise termby the bumptious figure of Bentley in Lawrence of Arabia.

Thomass corporate sponsor on NBC radio was Sun Oil. He was paid directly by the sponsoring company, a journalistic practice that would now be deemed irregular and (according to this biography) exposed him to occasional commercial pressures. The author notes one instance when Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed his Four Freedoms and conservative critics such as Sen. Robert Taft and novelist Ayn Rand complained. In a letter of June 8, 1943, Thomas received a caution from his primary contact at Sun Oil, suggesting that he omit further mention of the Four Freedoms. That caution was reinforced by a friendly letter from J. Howard Pew, president of Sun Oil, congratulating Thomas on the popularity of his broadcasts but advising that Roosevelts Four Freedoms be recast in terms of free-enterprise doctrine.

Thomas also narrated the pioneering Movietone newsreels, a medium whose oratorical voice and noisy nationalism would today ring strange in the age of television, the ultimate cool medium.

But to return to the association that first won him fame, it is, perhaps, a question of who created whomwhether Lowell Thomas created Lawrence of Arabia or Lawrence created Lowell Thomas, the showman and broadcaster. The two chapters about Lawrence of Arabia, though they take up only 33 pages, are certainly the most vivid and interesting and the authors notes indicate that this isnt his first treatment of Lawrence.

Undoubtedly, however, Thomass desert rendezvous in November 1918 struck journalistic gold and established a professional trajectory that made him the voice of Americathe voice of and for the middle class and its developing thirst for a form of news more quickly satisfied than by newspapers and magazines. Stephenss claims for Lowell Thomas are reinforced by his globetrotting and his determination to penetrate exotic landseven Tibet, after the Communist takeover in China, to which he and his son trekked at the price (in Thomass case) of broken bones, to interview the isolated 14-year-old Dalai Lama.

Thomas left broadcasting too early to rival the mega-television successes of Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, Edward R. Murrow, and others. But his memory is not without its nostalgia. One who grew up in the classic age of radiothe era of the University of Chicago Roundtable, Quiz Kids, Kraft Music Hall, and The Bell Telephone Hour, and not least Arturo Toscaninis NBC Symphony, not to mention popular stars such as Jack Bennycannot resist adding that Thomass era was of an excellence no longer heard on commercial radio or television.

But was Lowell Thomas the voice of America? I must admit a failure of auditory memory. The later voices of Cronkite, Brinkley, Murrow, Eric Sevareid, and others echo in the memory. Even H.V. Kaltenbornanother oil-company-sponsored newscaster-commentator (and my fathers bte noire)retains his staccato echo. But the voice of America is fading out like a dim radio signal, at least for me. Perhaps Thomass voice, midwestern in origins, was destined to become the standard timbre of all electronic communicationand is now lost among all the others.

Edwin M. Yoder Jr. is the author, most recently, of Vacancy: A Judicial Misadventure.

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Lowell Thomas, the Original ‘Voice of America’ – The Weekly Standard

The Golden Rule of Online Dating Photos – The Good Men Project (blog)

As an online dating photographer, I have photographed countless people and have offered very specific guidelines when it comes to optimizing the photos on their online dating profiles. Admittingly, these rules can be daunting to remember and keep track of. While those rules should be viewed as guidelines and not absolute without any wiggle room for exceptions, there is a quick rule you should keep in mind as a rule of thumb.

Make sure each photo in your profile offers something different, unique, flattering, and interesting to your profile vs the previous photos.

Viewers do not need to see 3 photos from your epic tropical beach vacation; they do not need to see 4 head shots from the same angle and they certainly do not need to see multiple distorted selfies of you in your car, gym, desk etc. Be sure to mix it up but keep it concise i.e. one outdoor active photo, one closeup, one in dressed up attire and one in a social setting.

Photos are meant to help tell your story. I hate to refer back to the resume analogy but would you state that you increased revenue 10% in Q1, 10% in Q2 etc? It would be more efficient to consolidate that accomplishment and move on to the next one. This is the same principle with online dating photos.

This post was previously published on Mediumand is republished here with permission from the author.

Get the best stories from The Good Men Project delivered straight to your inbox, here.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Eddie Hernandez is an online dating photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is devoted to helping men and women alike capture themselves in their essence whether they are new to online dating, recently single, have changed appearance, have had trouble meeting people offline or hate being in front of the camera. Contact him for a complimentary, no obligation, review of your online profile and photos.

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The Golden Rule of Online Dating Photos – The Good Men Project (blog)

The Golden Rule Manila Bulletin News – Manila Bulletin

Published June 26, 2017, 10:00 PM

Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said to His disciples: Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.


DO TO OTHERS. Jesus saying, Do to others whatever you would have them do to you (v 12), has been known as the Golden Rule since the 18th century. The rule, in essence, encapsulates the Law and the Prophets. This is not distinctly Christian as in antiquity there were many variations of this saying, although in the negative form. Tobit reminds his son Tobiah, Do to no one what you yourself hate (Tb 4:15). Rabbi Hillel, a contemporary of Jesus, is reported to have said, What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow creatures. The negative formulation may also be found among sages of other faiths.

On the other hand, the Law and the Prophets or the essence of the Scriptures would be summarized in other ways. Jesus Himself says that the commandment of love of God and neighbor is the first and the sum of all the commandments (cf Mk 12:30-31). And the Apostle Paul declares, Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law (Rom 13:10).

The Golden Rulein the positive or negative formis so basic that it is almost implanted in our conscience. If we use common sense or are in our right mind, we will avoid doing to others what we would not like done to ourselves. But Jesus opens a wider vista for doing good. One does not just refrain from harming; one goes out to do good to others.

In your dealings with other people, are you guided by the Golden Rule? Have you followed this lately?

SOURCE: 365 Days with the Lord 2017, ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website:

Tags: Jesus, Law, Matthew 5:43-48, prophets, REFLECTION, The Golden Rule

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The Golden Rule Manila Bulletin News – Manila Bulletin

Liberal | Definition of Liberal by Merriam-Webster

liberal, generous, bountiful, munificent mean giving or given freely and unstintingly. liberal suggests openhandedness in the giver and largeness in the thing or amount given. a teacher liberal with her praise generous stresses warmhearted readiness to give more than size or importance of the gift. a generous offer of help bountiful suggests lavish, unremitting giving or providing. children spoiled by bountiful presents munificent suggests a scale of giving appropriate to lords or princes. a munificent foundation grant

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Liberal | Definition of Liberal by Merriam-Webster