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Category Archives: Freedom

Very Good Dogs Plan Minefield Of Poop To Deter ‘Freedom Rally’ – HuffPost

Posted: August 25, 2017 at 3:58 am

San Francisco has some dog defenders.

While he was walking his dogs, a 45-year-old artist had an inspired idea about how to counter-protest a scheduled Freedom Rally organized by a right-wing group that calls itself Patriot Prayer.Tuffy Tuffington has enlisted the help of his two Patterdale terriers and a lot of other good dogs in San Francisco to lay a field of poop on the site where Patriot Prayer has obtained a permit to gather Saturday, according to The Guardian.

I just had this image of alt-right people stomping around in the poop, Tuffington told The Guardian.It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didnt have to engage with them face to face.

Tuffington created a Facebook event to invite dog owners to join him in his efforts, and people were more than happy to sign up. The plan is to bring out the pups ahead of time and plant some poop bombs across the rally site, Crissy Field in The Presidio.

Some pointed out that leaving dog poop is against park rules and can result in fines. But the counter-protesters plan to clean up their crap after the event.

I got 4 dogs!!! one person posted. Would love for these racists to literally eat shit!

A white supremacist rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month has highlighted the level of violence that can occur when counter-protesters engage face-to-face with hate groups. Patriot Prayer,based in Oregon, has a history ofattracting the same extremist viewsto their rallies that were displayed in Charlottesville. Numerous public figures, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), have denounced thegroup as a white supremacist organization.

Were talking about the first amendment here, Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson said in a Facebook Live video. Were talking about the constitution and all theyre trying to do is…its like a big circus.

The Southern Poverty Law Center does not list Patriot Prayer as a hate group but has noted that some of itsevents have included white nationalist organizations.

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Very Good Dogs Plan Minefield Of Poop To Deter ‘Freedom Rally’ – HuffPost

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India Declares Freedom Of Sexual Orientation A Fundamental Right – HuffPost

Posted: at 3:58 am

Indias Supreme Court has given the countrys gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans community the freedom to safely express their sexual orientation. In a historic decision on Thursday, the nine-judge panel declared that an individuals sexual orientation is protected under the countrys Right to Privacylaw.

Sexual orientation is an essential attribute of privacy, the decision reads. Discrimination against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation is deeply offensive to the dignity and self-worth of the individual. Equality demands that the sexual orientation of each individual in society must be protected on an even platform.

Although the Supreme Court did not directly overturn any laws criminalizing same-sex relationships, the language of the court decision offers hope to the LGBTQ community. The judges expressly state sexual orientation falls under an individuals right to privacy, a constitutional right, and that no individual should be discriminated against based on their orientation.

Going forward, this can establish a precedent as organizations challenge discriminatory laws in court, and offer protection against discrimination in places such as the workforce.

This could even deliver a death blow to an oppressive and controversial law in the Indian Penal Code. Section 377 is a law that limits a citizens right to express their gender identity or sexual orientation in consensual relationships. In 2013, another panel of the Supreme Court upheld Section 377.

Indias traditional culture can make it difficult for people who are LGBTQ to be open about their orientation, but some are still challenging the countrys norms.Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil came out in 2006, making him the countrys first openly gay prince. Since then, he has been fighting for the Indian LGBTQ community.

Prince Manvendra started a grassroots campaign in 2014 called Free Gay India to campaign for LGBTQ rights. He has put a spotlight on the oppression as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and was recently on an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

I knew that my coming out would definitely make a difference, the prince told the Kardashian family. When people found out about me, they set up a bonfire and burned my effigies in it.

There is still a pending court challenge to Section 377, but the language of Thursdays decision will make it hard to uphold again. The full text of the Supreme Courts decision can be read here.

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Elder Cook addresses ‘faith, family, religious freedom’ – Deseret News

Posted: at 3:58 am

Courtesy J. Reuben Clark Law Society Sacramento chapter

Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife, Sister Mary Cook, with Judge Nicholson during J. Reuben Clark Law Society event in Sacramento, California, on Aug. 12, 2017.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

Speaking to 390 members of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, community leaders and guests in Sacramento, California, on Aug. 12, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addressed faith, family and religious freedom.

Elder Cook asked the Latter-day Saint lawyers to place faith at the center of their lives, never underestimate their capabilities or influence, and defend religious freedom.

Faith and knowledge require equal commitment, he explained. For almost all of us increasing faith is a lifelong quest.

Elder Cook, before being called as an apostle, spent his career in the San Francisco Bay Area as a business lawyer, managing partner of a law firm, and president and CEO of California Health Care System. Following its merger with Sutter Health System (which is headquartered in Sacramento), he was vice chairman of Sutter.

During his address, Elder Cook complimented the law society members for their community influence and outreach.

He asked the group to set serious goals to balance their busy professional lives with their faith.

If we want to have faith and if we want to have balance in our lives, then we have to figure out how to spend more time in doing those things that will build faith. If we want to have successful families, then we have to spend more time with our families. We have to have that kind of balance.

When individuals move away from patterns that include scripture study, prayer and religious observance in the home, faith weakens, Elder Cook said.

Quoting Elder J. Reuben Clark, who served in the First Presidency, in his April 1960 general conference address, Elder Cook called faith an intelligent force. It is superior to and overrules all other forces of which we know, he said.

Elder Cook then spoke of meeting a consultant some years ago. He had a busy career and was serving as a regional representative for the Church. The consultant explained that most people when categorizing their responsibilities compare their personal efforts to A-plus performers in each category.

Law and the process of becoming a lawyer are very competitive, Elder Cook said. The respect for credentials can reach an inappropriate level where they are virtually idols. In addition, client expectations regardless of the legal specialty often exceed any realistic outcome.

Elder Cook said in the hot house environment of the law there is always somebody who seems to be better in all the categories required to be a lawyer. Notwithstanding these issues, I would ask, Do we have to be an A in everything to be happy? Do we have to be so hard on ourselves? The scriptures of course address happiness, but not in terms of material or academic success or skill or professional achievements.

Latter-day Saint doctrine is set forth in Mosiah 2:41: King Benjamin taught, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.

Finally, Elder Cook spoke about religious freedom and the practical participation of people of faith in our system of government.

Latter-day Saints can help protect religious freedom as they:

1. Become involved. Get involved in your local school, your community and your local government. When issues of religious liberty arise in a locality, there is no one who is better positioned to provide assistance than those who are already engaged and respected in the community.

2. Be a watchman. If you see issues developing in your community that could impact religious liberty for the Church or its members, share that with your J. Reuben Clark Law Society leadership. They can in turn communicate it up the line to national leadership and to Church contacts as necessary.

3. Be an example of the believers. The very best way we have to counter bigoted and hateful actions toward the Church and its members is if members of a community are acquainted with a member of the Church and think highly of him or her. It is amazing how quickly negative actions evaporate as community members interact with a member of the Church whom they respect. Thus, often the very best thing is to reach out, be friendly, always be civil and provide a positive example to those who live around us.

Elder Cook praised the Sacramento J. Reuben Clark Law Society chapter for their efforts to build bridges with other lawyer organizations and becoming more involved in the community.

Chapter members have worked with the Court-Clergy Lawyers Auxiliary, which is comprised of leaders from the Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Mormon faith based lawyer organizations. In addition they are working with local civic and pro-bono organizations to provide Church materials and resources to the immigrant and rural populations in Sacramento, said Paul Hoybjerg, the Sacramento JRCLS chapter chair and co-founder of the Court-Clergy Lawyers Auxiliary.

We intend to work with other groups, in accordance with our beliefs, to help build Sacramento upon principles of fairness and virtue, said Hoybjerg. It is our belief that if we can have religious and individual freedoms respected, protected and preserved then each faiths ability to practice and worship peacefully will exist for many generations to come.

The LDS Church News is an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The publication’s content supports the doctrines, principles and practices of the Church.

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Freedom drop finale to Rascals, return home for weekend series that could be division clincher – User-generated content (press release) (registration)

Posted: at 3:58 am

Despite racing out to an early lead, the Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, dropped the finale and the series to the River City Rascals with an 11-5 loss on Thursday at UC Health Stadium.

Back-to-back singles by Collins Cuthrell and Jordan Brower started the second inning for the Freedom (55-33), asOzzy Braff bunted both runners into scoring position before Austin Wobrock plated the games first run with a run-scoring grounder to short. Garrett Vail followed with a base hit to left center that allowed Brower to cross as Florence jumped in front, 2-0.

River City (47-41) cut the deficit in half in the third, however, as a hit-by-pitch of Brandon Thomas set up a stolen base and an errant throw from Vail, allowing Thomas to reach third. Johnny Morales came through with an RBI-groundout next, pulling the Rascals to within one run. A four-run top of the fourth however, gave River City a lead they would not relinquish. The rally started when Josh Silver was hit by a pitch, and Paul Kronenfeld and Braxton Martinez followed with singles, the latter of which tied the score at 2-2 and chased starter Jordan Kraus (9-5) from the game. Enrique Zamora entered in relief and surrendered a first-pitch, go-ahead three-run homer to Clint Freeman.

Two more Rascals insurance runs would score in the top of the fifth. Mike Jurgella singled to start the frame and Jason Merjano reached on an error by Daniel Fraga. Cuthrell fielded the ball in right field and came up firing to third, but his throw bounced into the stands, allowing Jurgella to score and Merjano to reach third. Kronenfeld then took advantage of the errors, lacing an RBI-single to right to extend the Rascals lead to 7-2.

After four consecutive scoreless innings on offense, Florence would scratch a run across in the seventh. After Braff flew out to left to start the inning, Wobrock singled and Vail laced a double to the left-center gap, scoring Wobrock from first on Vails second hit and second RBI of the game.

Dan Ludwig (6-3) went seven-plus innings as River Citys starter, striking out five and allowing five runs, the final two of which came against reliever Nick Kennedy, who had inherited the runners when entering the game in the eighth.

The Rascals pushed three more runs across in the top of the eighth, and in the bottom half, Florence responded with two. Andrew Godbold led off with a single before Andre Mercurio lined a double down the right field line. Kronenfeld could not field the ball cleanly in the corner, allowing Godbold to score and Mercurio to dive in safely at third. Cuthrell then cut the deficit in half by plating Mercurio with a groundout to second.

A Freeman RBI-single off Pete Perez in the ninth inning gave River City its final run and Freemans fourth RBI of the game, and the Freedom failed to score in the bottom half, dropping the series finale to hand the Rascals the series win.

The Freedoms magic number to clinch a postseason berth still stands at one, with the magic number to clinch the West Division at two, with Thursdays Evansville loss to Normal.

The Freedom next host the Gateway Grizzlies for a three-game weekend series, with first pitch of Fridays series opener scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at UC Health Stadium. Gateway will send Dalton Shalberg (0-1) to the mound opposite Steve Hagen (3-1) on Fireworks Friday in Florence.

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.

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Freedom drop finale to Rascals, return home for weekend series that could be division clincher – User-generated content (press release) (registration)

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Freedom at home for big weekend series filled with promos and chance to clinch division title – User-generated content (press release) (registration)

Posted: at 3:58 am

The first-place Florence Freedom, presented by Titan Mechanical Solutions, play at home throughout this weekend as they close out the homestand with a three-game series against the Gateway Grizzlies. Promotions planned for the homestand include the following:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 25 SUPERHERO NIGHT AND FIREWORKS (GAME TIME 7:05 PM)

Marvel superhero characters will be on the concourse for photos and interactions with fans. Freedom players will wear special Spider-Man jerseys and arm sleeves during the game, and the evening will also feature superhero fun on the field between innings.

After the game, fans can enjoy a superhero-themed fireworks show, detonated by Elite Pyrotechnics and presented by Arlinghaus Heating and Air Conditioning.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 26 FALL BEER FEST AND FOX FALL FAN FEST (6:05 PM)

Thirty different breweries will be represented on the concourse, and fans can enjoy five-ounce pours for $2.50 each, or five pours for $10.

Also, to kick off the new lineup of TV shows on FOX this season, the Freedom and FOX 19 will offer the opportunity for fans to win a variety of prizes, including tickets and a tour of the FOX 19 studios. Visit florencefreedom.com/fox-fall-fan-fest for more information on the prizes that will be offered.

After the game, the Freedoms Kerry Toyota Rockin Saturday series continues with a concert by local band Swan, presented by Hudy Delight. During the concert, kids 12 and under can participate in a game of kickball on the field, supervised by Freedom interns.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 27 NIGHT OF WORSHIP WITH JORDAN FELIZ (2:05 PM)

The Freedom will welcome national Christian recording artist Jordan Feliz, who will headline the 2017 Night of Worship at UC Health Stadium, presented by Star 93.3 and Budget Blinds of Northern Kentucky. The night will center around a baseball game, worship, charity, community and fellowship.

For more information on the Night of Worship, visit florencefreedom.com/freedom-night-of-worship.

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.

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Freedom at home for big weekend series filled with promos and chance to clinch division title – User-generated content (press release) (registration)

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His greatest hope at freedom is escaping the US and being arrested – CNN

Posted: at 3:58 am

“I have lots of family in Haiti and wanted to bring them to the United States, but I don’t have residency,” Frederic says. “I thought about them every day, my wife and kids.”

At a dead end called Roxham Road, Frederic is crossing a narrow ditch that separates the United States and Canada.

Canadian police wait patiently on the other side. They warn anyone who approaches that what they’re about to do is illegal, that they’ll be arrested.

But that’s the first step. Once arrested, Frederic, and the thousands of others who have made this journey across to Quebec in the past few weeks, can apply for asylum in Canada. He hopes that would mean a chance at uniting with his family that remains in Haiti after 17 years apart. Then, he hopes, his family could apply to for asylum to become Canadian residents too.

In the past month, Greyhound and other bus lines have been packed with immigrants — primarily Haitians — making this exact trip from the United States into Canada. They have taken trains, buses, often multiple, to get to Plattsburgh, New York.

From there, they hail a taxi to the border. On this day, Frederic is one of a stream of almost 300 crossing, dragging whatever belongings they can with them. Haitians flooded to the United States after a cholera outbreak in 2010, as well as after the devastating earthquake the same year.

Frederic, like 59,000 other Haitians in the United States, has “temporary protected status,” known as TPS, given to Haitians after the earthquake.

Frederic is fearful that means he would be kicked out of the US.

“I’m scared because every day I hear different news,” Frederic says. “That’s why I’m leaving the United States for Canada.”

“We’ve never seen those numbers,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokesman Claude Castonguay. “Even though our officers are patrolling 24 hours a day all year long, we’ve never seen such numbers coming in.”

RCMP intercepted almost 7,000 asylum seekers in the last six weeks in Quebec. 3,000 of those were in July, RCMP says, and almost 4,000 in just the first half of August.

Broadly, asylum seekers point to their growing unease about the Trump administration’s attitudes toward immigrants. They also point to the racism they say was unleashed after President Trump’s election as motivation for driving them to pick up and head to Canada.

Mimose Joseph and her 13-year-old daughter, Melissa Paul, are trying to find their taxi for the ride from Plattsburgh to the border.

They had taken a series of trains and buses from their home in Belle Glade, Florida, a state Joseph has called home since 2002.

Joseph does not speak any English, but her daughter Melissa was born in Florida and is a US citizen. The 13-year-old explains the pair made this trip to Canada, uprooting her adolescence, because of the growing pressure on her,

“She’s been through a lot and has stayed here for almost 15 years, and she doesn’t want any stress anymore,” Paul says.

They, too, hope Canada will take them in permanently and allow brothers and sisters to join her. But for Melissa, it means leaving the only country she has ever known.

“It’s kind of shocking and a little bit sad,” she says.

Hundreds have been crossing the border each day in the last two months, according to PRAIDA, a provincial government agency that works under Quebec’s Immigration Ministry and focuses on helping new arrivals resettle. Immigration officials say 250 people are coming across the border illegally each day.

“Definitely, there is a movement. People are talking to one another and they are suggesting that it is very easy to cross the border and they think that they will automatically become Canadian,” PRAIDA Associate CEO Francine Dupuis says.

Canada has already done away with its version of TPS for Haitians, making it more difficult to claim asylum, Dupuis says.

Just because some asylum seekers are poor, or come from poverty-stricken countries, she says, that does not automatically make them refugees nor guarantee asylum.

“It’s not going to be an open door,” Dupuis says. “That’s definitely not (the case) and it’s sad because we do think that many of them believe that they are here to stay, which is not necessarily true.”

So many asylum seekers now see Canada as a more welcoming country to find refuge and rebuild their lives that traditional sheltering options used during slower times are overflowing. 3,200 are in temporary housing in Montreal, Dupuis says.

The numbers have grown so much that Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, which was home to the 1976 games, is now housing about 700 newcomers, Dupuis says.

The idea, Dupuis says, is to get them comfortable temporary housing but move them through the system as quickly as possible into more permanent lodging.

The vast majority of asylum seekers these days are Haitian, officials say. There are others from Syria and Yemen, fleeing the wars in their countries.

“What they want is a normal life, they want to study, they want to work, they want to have their families with a perspective of stability and this isn’t something they seem to be getting now in the (United) States, unfortunately,” Dupuis says. “They don’t know what is going to happen and that creates anxiety, a lot of anxiety.”

The YMCA on Montreal’s Tupper Street has long served as the first stop for asylum seekers coming from the United States, but these days it is bursting. Its 600 beds are all full.

Nidal al-Yamani, 26, is standing outside. The Yemeni was living in Alabama on a student visa before he crossed into Canada on July 4. Yemen is one of the six Muslim-majority countries on the Trump administration’s travel ban.

“After the ban, everybody knows Yemen. Only the bad things about Yemen,” al-Yamani says.

He says he no longer felt comfortable in America and experienced several racist incidents.

“The mood changed and the new administration, they give the green light to the people who were racist (who weren’t previously) showing it,” al-Yamani says.

Al-Yamani has since moved out of the YMCA into more permanent lodgings as his case is processed. He has a higher chance of succeeding than the Haitians, coming from a country wracked by war, immigration officials say. Already, he says, he feels more at home and accepted in Canada.

“I still love USA. As a people, as a community, as everything. It’s just the administration, and maybe the system, that affected me,” he says. “Even if I try to go back to the United States I don’t think I’m welcome anymore.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government are bracing for more people like Al-Yamani to make their way into Canada. On Wednesday he met with a task force of federal and provincial officials charged with managing the influx of asylum seekers.

Those from nine other countries besides Haiti may begin to make their way north too, as their TPS is currently set to expire in the next year. Among them, Honduras and Syria and Al-Yamani’s home country of Yemen. It is unclear if the US will extend the TPS for the other countries.

Trudeau said immigrants were a positive for Canada: “Being welcoming and opening is a source of strength,” he told reporters.

But he stressed no one was getting a free pass by entering Canada, especially at unauthorized crossing points.

“There are no advantages in terms of the immigration system to arrive irregularly versus arriving regularly,” he says. “The same systems will be followed whether it’s the very strong and rigorous immediate security checks or whether it’s the careful evaluation of their file.”

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His greatest hope at freedom is escaping the US and being arrested – CNN

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Refining King Icahn Seeks Freedom From Pricey Biofuels – Seeking Alpha

Posted: at 3:58 am

By Jon Lesage

Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE:VLO), Americas largest oil refiner, has been conducting a behind-the-scenes campaign to rid refiners of the costly biofuel blends mandate by the U.S. government. Billionaire Carl Icahn, who also heads oil refiner CVR Energy (NYSE:CVI), has been a big part of these efforts.

Valero has been coordinating lobbying efforts to get the Trump administration to revise the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) governing gasoline and diesel. The refiners and its allies are asking Trump to transfer the point of obligation for blending biofuels, such as 10 percent corn ethanol into gasoline, away from refineries and over to gasoline retailers and shippers such as FedEx (NYSE:FDX). That comes from an investigative report from Reuters involving interviews with two former Valero executives who spoke to the media outlet.

The point of obligation requirement has been costing refiners a great deal under rules enforced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The federal rules, which go back to a bill signed in 2005 by then president George W. Bush, forced Valero to spend about $750 million last year buying RFS credits.

Icahn has been working with Valero since last August, with a letter submitted to the EPA asking for a policy change. The letter to the EPA said the rules create a rigged market unfair to oil refiners.

Icahn had taken a special advisor role to Trump soon after the election. He resigned from this position on Friday after taking a lot of criticism about having a conflict of interest.

“I never sought any special benefit for any company with which I have been involved, and have only expressed views that I believed would benefit the refining industry as a whole,” he wrote in a letter to Trump on Friday.

It had a never been a problem for the president, according to the White House.

Reuters also reported that the Trump administration is considering making the point of obligation changes. The president has not yet made a formal decision on it.

Valero had sold off its own ethanol blending operations through cash-raising deals in 2006 and 2013. That put the company in a tough position and led to the $750 million spend last year on credits to meet compliance rules.

Ethanol producers and their lobbying groups have been arch enemies of oil companies and refiners in recent years. Biofuel blenders, corn famers, and producers of advanced biofuels blended with motor fuels had been lobbying hard to keep the gasoline and diesel mandates in place.

They also wanted to see gasoline go up to 15 percent ethanol blend. It did get the greenlight from the EPA, but so far has failed to find acceptance at gas stations. It also stoked more battles with the oil industry, with automakers concerned about the corrosive engine effects of using E15 in gasoline.

One of these biofuel trade groups, Renewable Fuels Association, has been supporting Valeros efforts lately, according the Reuters article. The group recently dropped its long-time opposition to RFS policy changes. The ad hoc coalitions efforts to move the burden down the supply chain is more palatable for the trade association.

Valero, Icahn, and other refiners, would like to see others play a more visible role in lobbying for the biofuel blend rule change. That coalition may include a gas station owners trade group and a former Obama administration environmental advisor. They would very much like to restore their cash flow lost to paying for RFS credits.

Valero is working hard to bring in others as the public face lobbying to revamp RFS, former company executives told Reuters.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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

Posted: August 22, 2017 at 11:50 pm

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

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Uber’s new app features give its drivers more freedom to decline … – The Verge

Posted: at 11:49 pm

Uber is adding more features to its app that are designed to benefit its drivers. Now drivers will be able to set their arrival times and trip preferences, get notifications if a trip is going to take 45 minutes or longer, and set more preferred destinations.

Prior to this update, drivers could set two destinations a day, allowing them to make a trip only in a preferred area, which is supposed to make commuting to and from home more convenient. Uber has now increased the limit to six destinations.

Setting trip preferences means that Uber drivers can switch to making deliveries for UberEats, the companys food delivery service, when car riding requests are slow. By getting a notification if a trip is going to take 45 minutes or longer, drivers will be better informed to decide whether they want to turn down the trip request. And most notably, Uber has made declining a trip less impactful to a drivers account standing.

Its part of the companys PR effort to court drivers after a disastrous couple of scandal-ridden months, which resulted in the companys CEO Travis Kalanick and other top-ranking executives stepping down. The effort, called 180 Days of Change, was announced back in June. As part of the initiative, Uber added tipping for drivers as an option back for Seattle, Minneapolis, and Houston in June. Every month, Uber plans to announce more changes as part of the effort.

Setting an arrival time.

Long trip notification warns driver if a trip will take 45 minutes or more.

Uber increased the driver destination limit from two trips to six.

Drivers can now become UberEats deliverers during slow hours.

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Uber’s new app features give its drivers more freedom to decline … – The Verge

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What is true freedom? – Uinta County Herald

Posted: at 11:49 pm

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

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