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Category Archives: Golden Rule
Posted: August 25, 2017 at 4:31 am
The Constitution allows a spoils system in the judiciary, as it empowers the president to nominate the head of such powerful bodies as the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court. This has always been a source of dispute over the political neutrality and independence of the judiciary.
The Moon Jae-in administration is no exception. Moons nominations of Kim Yi-su as the head of the Constitutional Court and Lee You-jung as a new justice of the top court are deadlocked at the National Assembly due to obstruction by opposition parties.
Then Moon chose Kim Meong-su, a liberal senior judge who now heads the district court in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, as the new chief justice. The nomination defied the expectations of many.
First of all, Kim overtook many of his seniors in the court. At 58, he is 11 years junior in age to outgoing Chief Justice Yang Sung-tae. There is a 13-year gap between their years of service. Nine of the current Supreme Court justices began their career before the nominee. No doubt, Moon sought a generational change in the top court.
If his nomination is confirmed by the National Assembly, Kim would break a 48-year-old tradition in which the chief justices post went to a former or incumbent justice of the Supreme Court. This certainly is in line with Moons efforts to break away from tradition and the old frame.
So the message is clear. Moon, who was elected with a pledge to reform each and every sector of Korean society, wants the nominee to overhaul the judiciary. To be fair, there is no reason to save the judiciary from reforms.
Generally, Koreans have a low level of confidence in the judiciary, as it has been embroiled in intermittent corruption scandals involving judges and judges-turned-lawyers, as well as political disputes. A recent poll found that only 27 percent of Koreans trust the judiciary, and an index on trust in judges put Korea at No. 39 among 42 nations that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Some recent controversies have also raised questions about the high-handed administration of the court. Yang, whose six-year term ends next month, had faced some judges demand to resign over the allegations that senior officials interfered with academic activities of a group of progressive judges and even blacklisted judges critical of the court administration and chief justice. In relation to this, a judge in Incheon is holding a hunger strike for more than 10 days.
All these recent developments should not be taken lightly and Kims nomination as the leader and the top administrator of the judiciary branch may well reawaken the nation to the need to reform the judiciary branch.
For all the need for reform, however, what should be guarded against is the possibility of the entire judicial branch of government being drawn too much to the left. Moons selection of Kim as chief justice should ring alarm bells in that regard.
Moon, who broke the consecutive rule of two conservative leaders, seems to have picked Kim mainly because of the judges progressive perspective. And it is easy to believe Moon and Kim will try to install as many progressives as possible in the Supreme Court, where 10 more justices will have been replaced by the time Moon steps down from office. Obviously, the top courts ideological balance, political neutrality and independence will be cast into doubt.
Article 103 of the Constitution stipulates that judges should follow the Constitution, law and regulations and their own conscience to declare judicial independence. Such independence is vital to protect the basic rights of citizens and ensure fairness, justice and rule of law in society.
The problem is past governments — of the left and right alike — have tried to interfere with the judicial independence in one way or another. The National Assembly should use Kims confirmation hearing to find out whether the nominee is committed to political neutrality and independence and how he will uphold duties imposed on the court by the Constitution.
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 4:31 am
Monterey >> As a new crew member of the Golden Rule Peace Boat and its educational crusade against nuclear weapons, Col. Ann Wright spent her first day aboard sailing out of Monterey Bay amidst a bevy of whales and dolphins.
Twenty miles south of Monterey, the retired United States Army Colonel and State Department official spotted a humpback whale 100 yards off the port side that was 60 feet long and breaching.
Wright, 71, joined fellow shipmate Helen Jaccard, who had begun the journey in the Pacific Northwest, and two other crewmates, Bullitt D. Bourbon and Wil Van Natta and spent the last three days in the Monterey Bay reaching out to anyone interested in the historic boat and its mission to preach the dangers of nuclear weapons and war.
The Golden Rule, a 30-foot ketch, was the first environmental action and peace vessel put to sea. In 1958, with a crew of four Quaker activists, it sailed from Los Angeles in an attempt to halt atmospheric nuclear weapon testing in the Western Pacific. While the boat never made it to its destination, with the crew members arrested in Hawaii, the voyage did ignite an international movement to stop the testing because of their determination to sail into a nuclear bomb test zone in the Marshall Islands.
In 2015, the historic boat was restored by the Veterans For Peace for a 10-year peace-making voyage across North America with the mission to promote a nuclear free world.
Im a great supporter of just a heroic effort to preserve a remarkable ship, said Wright.
Besides her outspoken views about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, Wright was one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Theres the fear by us that some of our governments may use them for the destruction of the world, said Wright, noting the current frenzy surrounding nuclear weapons. So its a very opportune time for this boat to be on this educational voyage to alert people to their horrific danger.
Wright, who spent 29 years in the military and has been to North Korea on her own peace-making mission, noted the 122 countries that less than two months ago voted as part of a global treaty that nuclear weapons should be banned from the face of the earth. Participants did not include any of the worlds nine nuclear powers, including the United States.
For Wright, who also spoke at a gathering Monday night with about 30 people at the Monterey Peace and Justice Center, the sea life sightings on Tuesday were a bonus to what she described as a positive experience in Monterey. She currently lives in Hawaii.
Monterey was a very generous port where the harbormaster encourages education boats to come in and we had a lot of visitors including international visitors, said Wright, noting the educational tours that were given on the Golden Rule.
We have to be concerned about the future of our world these nuclear weapons in particular still pose such a danger to us, said Wright. When nuclear nations decide theyre going to use them, theyre not just going to use one, but hundreds that will affect agriculture, food production, the atmosphere …
Now, the boat is headed to Morro Bay and then Santa Barbara, Ventura, Long Beach and San Diego, where it is ending its current trip. The ship will stop at ports along the way.
Following the journey down to Southern California, Wright said the vessels next trip will be next year when it travels through the inland waterway of the Gulf Coast and then up the East Coast. Then the ship will likely travel through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi.
Eventually, Wright said the crew plans to sail the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii and then up to the Marshall Islands where the United States tested nuclear weapons from 1946 to 1958 and where the Golden Rule attempted to sail in 1958.
Wright said the inhabitants there are still feeling the effects from those tests. She hopes the boats current mission can help prevent any future catastrophe.
It is something we need to acknowledge and face that these things are going to be the end of our earth and we as citizens have a responsibility to really hold our government accountable, said Wright. Theres a wonderful future for the Golden Rule as far as educating people about the danger of nuclear weapons.
Carly Mayberry can be reached at 831-726-4363.
Scene for ‘Trading Paint’ movie starring John Travolta, Shania Twain to be shot in Hoover Friday – Hoover Sun
Posted: at 4:31 am
Producers of the Trading Paint movie that stars John Travolta, Shania Twain and Tony Sebastian are scheduled to film a scene for the movie at a Hoover restaurant Friday, the owner of the restaurant said.
Nick Manakides, owner of the Golden Rule Bar-B-Q at 1571 Montgomery Highway, said the film crew for the movie is supposed to arrive about 7:30 or 8 a.m., followed by extras at 9:30 a.m. and actors at 10 a.m.
Theyre filming a scene in which a restaurant manager inappropriately touches the wife of a dirt track race car driver played by Sebastian, sparking a conflict, Manakides said.
Theres no word on what all cast members will be present for this scene, but about 80 cast and crew members are expected to be involved in filming the scene, Manakides said. About 16 of his employees are scheduled to be extras, he said.
He originally had hoped to play the restaurant manager until he learned what the scene was about and was told they needed someone with a different physique for the part, he said.
Manakides said theres only about two minutes of screen time scheduled for the shot and hes not sure how long filming will take.
He wasnt sure why they chose his restaurant, but the director of the movie, Karzan Kader, had been coming to eat there frequently for several weeks with the director of cinematography before they inquired about filming there.
Manakides said he thinks they didnt want a restaurant that looked too modern, and his restaurant looks exactly like it did when he opened in 1974. Another restaurant in Hueytown was considered, but his Golden Rule Bar-B-Q was smaller and more intimate than the restaurant in Hueytown, he said.
Manakides said the producers of the Woodlawn movie were supposed to shoot a scene at his restaurant when that movie was made but ended up going somewhere else because he was going to charge them a fee for shutting his restaurant down. This time, he decided to let the producers of Trading Paint have time at his restaurant for free, he said. Were doing it for the fun of it, he said.
The Trading Paint movie tells the story of how a veteran race car driver (Travolta) and his son, a fellow driver, (Sebastian), overcome family and professional conflicts and balance competition, ego, resentment and a racing nemesis to come out stronger on the other side, according to the International Movie Database website.
Much of the movie reportedly is being shot in the Birmingham area, particularly the Bessemer/Hueytown area, between mid-August and mid-September. The film is due out in theaters in June 2018, according to IMDB.
Posted: August 20, 2017 at 6:40 pm
The Marriott campaign is the latest indicator that brands are viewing video marketing as a category of its own with the goal to reach a variety of screens instead of thinking about video as either linear TV or digital. Marriott International has been a leader in innovative content marketing such as large-scale storytelling via its Two Bellmen branded short film series and tapping Snapchat for an unscripted original series.
By bringing together four Marriott brands under a single theme, this likely enables the company to put more resources against the effort than it could for any of these brands on an individual basis. Marriott recognizes that it needs a cross-screen approach and to deliver quality content to meet consumers high expectations these days. The challenge will be providing each brand with a strong enough personality on its own to drive bookings.
The Golden Rule campaign points to Marriott’s willingness to take risks and try new approaches, an approach that has made it a leader in digital marketing.Starwood Preferred Guest, a hotel loyalty program run by Marriott, recently updated its smartphone application to provide mobile check-in at 22 U.S. hotels, the latest mobile check-in deployment by Marriott. The company was also an early adopter of iMessage apps.
Posted: at 6:40 pm
PHOTO: Courtyard by Marriott is one of the four classic select brands featured in the campaign. (photo via Flickr/Mike Mozart)
Marriott International is taking a new approach to brand marketing.
Debuting the “Golden Rule” campaign Monday, Marriott’s brand category approach focuses on the company’s four “classic select” brands: Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Four Points by Sheraton and SpringHill Suites.
Together, the four chains comprise more than one-third of the properties in Marriott’s 30-brand portfolio.
The Golden Rule campaign is the primetime television debut for all four brands outside of Courtyard’s NFL ads, as well as the television debut of the Four Points and SpringHill Suites brands.
The multi-platform media plan will also see the brands advertised in cinema, in-flight and mobile entertainment. The campaign features a 60-second spot titled “Human” along with a trio of 30-second spots focusing on true stories of altruism involving real-life Marriott associates.
The spots will airon networks likeFOX, ABC and CBS during the campaign’s first week.
Digital-only content highlighting real Marriott team members and guests from around the world will complement the ads, with a docu-series planned for later this fall.
READ MORE:Marriott Launches ‘Hotel Countdown’ Reality Series
“With these four brands comprising a third of Marriotts portfolio, we use our powerhouse status to celebrate human connections, whether its in Seattle or Singapore,” Marriott’s Vice President Global Brand Marketing, Paige Francis, said in a statement. “Beyond a campaign, this illustrates that the hospitality we deliver at these four brands can serve as a guiding principle of how all people should treat each other.”
The campaign debuted in the U.S. but will expand internationally to Canada next month.
You can visit goldenrule.marriott.com to learn more about the campaign and view some of the spots.
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Posted: at 6:40 pm
The Golden Rule Of Payer Marketing
Executive Briefing | by Athena Mandros | August 17, 2017
Greetings from sunny California, where today we kicked off The OPEN MINDS Management Best Practices Institute. Throughout the day, Ive had a lot of interesting conversations with attendees everything from new strategies for combating the opioid epidemic, to new models for integration with primary care, to new technologies to promote better care coordination. Interestingly, all of these conversations came back to one resounding theme: The importance of building relationships between payers and provider organizations.
In a market filled with change, there are many opportunities for innovation, but the reality is that most of these programs and services are not sustainable in the long-term without a payer partner. Because the traditional roles of provider organizations and health plans are shifting as we move to a more value-based reimbursement market, there are more opportunities for innovative partnership models and gainsharing arrangements with payers (see The Business Model Transition To Value-Based Care).
We discussed this theme in more detail in the session, Finding The New Opportunities With Health Plans: How To Market Your Services To Managed Care, led by Steve Ramsland, Ed.D., Senior Associate, OPEN MINDS and featuring Dawn S. Kingsley, MSHA, Vice President, Payer Contracting & Strategy, Centerstone America. Mr. Ramslands one golden rule for success in our current market? Dont treat health plans like adversaries treat them like partners.
Weve discussed the idea of payer and provider organization partnerships before (see What Do You Bring To The Table? and Strategies, Tools & Techniques That Enable PayerProvider Collaborations & Partnerships) but what does this type of partnership look like in practice? A partnership needs to be mutually beneficial to both organizations this means there needs to be some give and take and a genuine interest in working towards the same goals. This requires regular communication; developing relationships with both clinical and network staff; learning about the needs of the health plan in your market, keeping them informed about your organization; and two-way sharing of outcomes, data, and accomplishments.
For an on-the-ground perspective, we heard from Dawn Kingsley at Centerstone, a non-profit behavioral health organization operating in five states with more than 59 open contract discussions with a variety of payers. These contracts run along the full continuum of reimbursement options from fee-for-service, to case rates, to capitation.
Ms. Kingsley discussed the steps that Centerstone utilizes in building new partnerships with health plans in their markets. The first step is mapping the market and trying to understand the payers pain points. Ms. Kingsley explained that their team actually completes a SWOT analysis of each payer to drive their marketing decisions. This gives them a picture of what health plans are looking for and how Centerstone can meet their needs.
The second step is actually finding the right person to talk to and developing that initial relationship. The most important part of this step is being persistent. It may take months to cultivate a positive relationship, and it may require some looking for connections through different avenues with different approaches, but generally this persistence will pay off.
Finally, once you make the connection, dont waste your opportunity. When discussing your organization with the health plan, remember they are not looking only for your organizations merits, they are looking for a proposal of how your organization can help them to meet their goals. This proposal cannot be one size fits all, it needs to address the specific problems that the health plan is looking to solve. Ms. Kingsley noted that its unlikely that an organization will be able to meet all of a payers needs, but you should be able to fill a niche for them.
Moving to value-based contracting is a slow process and often times, provider organizations will be operating in both worlds. The key is working with payers to manage both types of contracts and developing relationships with the goal of becoming an exclusive provider organization.
For more on managed care contracting be sure to join us at The 2017 OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Retreat for the session, Meta-Leadership In Action: Partnerships With Managed Care, led by OPEN MINDS Senior Associate, Ken Carr. And, be sure to follow our coverage of The 2017 OPEN MINDS Management Best Practices Institute over the next couple days on Twitter @openmindscircle #OMBestPractices.
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Posted: at 6:40 pm
By Star Parker
British writer and theologian G.K. Chesterton observed, “It is hatred that unites people while love is always individual.”
The use of hatred to mobilize has a long and bloody history. We should understand why it works so well. It taps into human weakness. It exploits the unwillingness of individuals to take responsibility for their own lives, to courageously confront life’s ambiguities and inconsistencies, and still move forward constructively. It’s so much easier to blame someone else.
This is what racism is about.
Speaking to the horrible incident in Charlottesville, President Donald Trump condemned the “egregious display of bigotry and violence” on “many sides” that’s “been going on for a long time in our country.” The president appealed for the “hate and violence” to stop and that we “come together as Americans.”
For these remarks the president is being attacked.
Immediately, former Vice President Biden tweeted out “only one side.” Congressional Black Caucus member Maxine Waters followed suit with the same.
But President Trump is right. The use of hate to blame others, the refusal to take personal responsibility for one’s life, is going on and has been going on in our nation “for a long time” on “many sides.”
Being honest about this does not justify the vile white supremacist violence and murder in Charlottesville. But to claim that these distorted individuals are the exclusive locus of bigotry in America does not help our cause.
The Black Lives Movement, for example, has been going on for a number of years, with rallies laced with threats, blame and violent language.
Eight police officers were murdered by young black men in Dallas and Baton Rouge last year. According to then-Dallas police chief David Brown, during the standoff in Dallas, the young black assailant “said he was upset at white people. The suspect said he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.”
We can’t solve our problems if we refuse to be honest about them and if, in trying to solve them, we demonstrate the same behavior that caused them suppression of the truth, blame, absence of personal responsibility.
I am astounded when those on the black left speak out self-righteously about white bigotry.
If not bigotry of the black left, how do we explain the absence of any mention of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.?
Or the absence of any mention of America’s first black secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, from the Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham?
As the black left moves to whitewash all evidence of the confederacy and the civil war from our history, they also want to whitewash the present and pretend the only blacks in America are liberals. And while they do it, they claim a monopoly on tolerance.
The Charlottesville incident began with a movement from the left to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
In an interview several months ago, Condoleezza Rice was asked about removing statues of individuals who represent history that repels us. She said, “When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it’s a bad thing.”
Reality is what it is. Not what those with a political agenda choose it to be.
And in this sense, President Trump told the truth. Bigotry and violence is coming from “many sides” and it has been for a “long time.”
How do we ultimately solve the problem? Here are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from a speech he gave when he was 14 years old:
“We cannot have an enlightened democracy with one great group living in ignorance…We cannot be truly Christian people so long as we flout the central teachings of Jesus: brotherly love and the Golden Rule.”
Star Parker is an author and president of CURE, Center for Urban Renewal and Education. Contact her at http://www.urbancure.org. Contact her at http://www.urbancure.org. To find out more about Star Parker and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at http://www.creators.com.
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Posted: August 10, 2017 at 6:37 am
WRITING on what he saw as the re-emergence of balance of power politics in the world, Waldo Bello in his treatise of August 2003 stated: The last few years and the coming ones have been and will be bad for world peace. They are, however, rich in lessons about international power relations. And the lessons are not all grim.
He added, To be sure, the first lesson is discouraging: That unchallenged superpower status stimulates conflict, not peace. This did not seem so clear in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War.
In the first place, Waldos assertion about how the worlds prospects for peace are and will be grim, is derived from his reading of the unilateralist stance of the United States of America following the demise of the Soviet and demonstrated most aptly in the George W Bush era when America defied the United Nations and attacked Iraq on the basis of fictitious weapons of mass destruction allegedly held by Saddam Husseins Iraq.
The world now knows that it was all a lie and that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What was at stake was Americas quest for world hegemony.
We are experiencing first-hand the destabilising effect of super power politics with America dictating what is ethical and what is not. What is ethical and acceptable is that which promotes American interests at any cost.
NATO countries are mere lackeys of America and will generally do whatever that country says or wants. The latest example of Americas hegemonic programme is the destruction of Libya for once again concocted reasons.
The real threat from Libya was its economic clout. Some of the countries in the coalition that attacked Libya had a GDP much lower than Libyas, Spain for instance.
The next stop after Libya was Syria where Bashar-al-Assad the Syrian President was falsely accused of using chemical weapons against his own people when the facts point elsewhere.
As part of Americas regime change politics the Americans created the now dreaded Islamic States ISIS, (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant).
The fighters of these two groupings were armed and trained with NATO collusion. Attempts at dislodging the Islamic groups from the areas they occupy are no more than window-dressing only.
They have to be seen to be trying to reign in their Frankenstein monster who is becoming alarmingly more and more independent in thinking and in action. ISIS has wreaked havoc all over Europe as evidenced by the 2016 Brussels and 2015 Paris attacks.
The well-coordinated Brussels attack left 31 dead and 198 wounded while the Paris attacks left up to 140 people dead after attacks at different places including a rock concert.
Significantly, where ISIS fighters blow themselves up in coordinated actions, the real perpetrators go scot free and no one talks about the loss of life in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram.
In what Amnesty International described as the deadliest massacre in Boko Haram history the Islamic militants are thought to have killed as many as 2000 people after militants drove into Baga, a Nigerian town near the border with Chad, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on fleeing town residents.
The Guantanamo Bay detention centre is an American military prison on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. America imprisons without trial suspects often captured in clandestine operations.
This prison is standing testimony to Americas double standards. Americans hold people without ever charging them or sending them to trial, very often on the basis of the flimsiest evidence and still go to call themselves the worlds greatest democracy.
Quite the opposite is, in fact, true. The detention centre uses torture techniques and detains people indefinitely without trial. Hardly anyone in the West expresses any concern about the goings-on on Guantanamo Bay where horrid torture techniques go under the euphemism enhanced interrogation techniques.
Horrors similar to those of Guantanamo were also recorded at Abu Ghraib military prison in Iraq. At the height of the scandal the facility was said to hold up to 3800 prisoners who mostly lived in tents in the prison yards.
An investigative report called The Taguba Report included among others, the following abuses inside the prison complex:
.Punching, slapping and kicking detainees and jumping on their naked feet; .Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees; .Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing; .Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time; .Forcing naked male detainees to wear womens underwear; .Positioning a naked detainee on a box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture
Abu Ghraib caused such an uproar even among the United States and its allies that it was necessary to be seen to be doing something about the outrage.
The acknowledged facts are that during the war in Iraq which began in March 2003 members of the United States army and others committed physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy and murder. George W. Bush tried to dismiss Abu Ghraib as an isolated incident but multiple investigations by independent bodies such as The Red Cross, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch showed that these malpractices were common in American overseas detention centres including. Guantanamo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Some scholars went so far as to classify the crimes as state-sanctioned crimes. In fact, evidence pointed to sanction from high up the military establishment and even to as far as Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld.
In view of the public glare and interest and as a public relations exercise someone had to be seen to be made to pay. Nine US soldiers were court-martialled and convicted of crimes at Abu Ghraib prison.
However, the US armys judicial system has tended to ensure that accountability up the chain of command does not go beyond the rank of staff sergeant, no commanding officer has ever been brought to trial for Abu Ghraib crimes.
American hypocrisy in such matters is stunning to say the least. They have cleverly hedged themselves against prosecution, no matter the crime. Their spin-doctoring is unprecedented anywhere in the world. America and her allies have one single narrative that they stick to: it says that they are the good guys and everyone else is one of the bad guys.
To make sure that they never have to defend themselves in an international court of law, they have conveniently never acceded to the protocols of the ICC (International Criminal Court). The ICC, located in The Hague is described as the court of last resort for the prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute came into force on 1 July 2002.
Interestingly the countries that make the greatest noise around ICC-related issues are still themselves to accede to the Rome Statute. While 139 countries signed the Rome Statute, 32 are yet to ratify it.
Israel, Sudan and the United States have unsigned the Rome Statute, meaning that they do not intend to become members of the ICC. Yet countries like Botswana have tried to get South Africa to arrest Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir when he visited that country on African Union business in 2015.
Omar Hassan al-Bashir is accused of genocide as are a number of former African Heads of State who are currently held by the ICC. There seems to be an obsession with African leaders given that neither George W. Bush nor Tony Blair, former British premier, have suffered any calls to have them arrested for their crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is time that Africa retaliated in like measure and in retrospect. Europe must be taken to The Hague for partitioning Africa and colonising her people. The genocide in Namibia by the Germans must be brought to the fore and all former Rhodesian operatives and apartheids functionaries too must have a case to answer.
The killers of Eduardo Mondlane, Samora Machel., Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral. Thomas Sankara, Walter Rodney, Edison Sithole, Steve Biko must be brought to book. There can be no other way in this given that Africans are always turning the other cheek to no avail, and that what we do unto others they do not do unto us.
In the changed circumstances of todays world, Africas agenda 2063 will fail dismally unless the continent asserts itself everywhere: the United Nations Security Council, the ICC (by insisting on the arrest and trial of people past and present) and in such matters as moving away from Americas petrodollar. Gadhafis dream of a strong single African currency must not be allowed to die away. Countries like the DRC with strategic mineral reserves must withhold these until the people can benefit from the extraction of such minerals.
Africa can no longer justifiably do unto others what they do not do unto her.
Posted: August 6, 2017 at 5:34 pm
For sure, theres one Bible verse thats politically correct, no matter the context or situation. It was posted in my first-grade classroom. Parents, no matter the presence or absence of religious affiliation, have depended on it to shape or control behavior. And I suspect its been heard in legislative assemblies as well, at least in the public sphere if not in the back rooms and corridors.
Its entered the culture so thoroughly that it has its own moniker: The Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Its use actually predates the Holy Scriptures, appearing in ancient Egypt as well as in other pre-modern cultures. Sometimes called the maxim of reciprocity, it is touted by many as the hallmark ethic of a civilized society.
Well. If that be the case, friends, we are living in a less-than-civil world.
Perhaps a closer look at its biblical origins may be helpful in these days when civility, especially in public discourse and action, seems to be on a very long sabbatical.
While many might identify the Golden Rule as no more than a familiar proverb, it may be interesting to know that the scriptural roots of this saying first occur in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus (19: 9-18, the section that addresses moral holiness in an expansion of the Ten Commandments). There one reads the words, Love your neighbor as yourself. It occurs at the conclusion of a passage that emphasizes community life and justice.
In the Greek Bible, Jesus, as reported in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, further expands this foundation of moral law. In each of these writings, the context is what we know as Jesus Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:12) or the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:31).
Both show us a Jesus who has no fear of being called a radical. Here, he talks, not about the religious insiders (as perhaps we hear in Leviticus), but about the excluded ones: the poor, the hungry, the sick, the oppressed, the alien. It is for those marginalized ones that he demands an ethics of compassion that is rooted in justice. Justice that remembers that all are created in the image of God.
No sweet talk about being nice so that someone will be nice back to you, as I was taught.
But a hard commentary on those who would use power and wealth to win, no matter how badly anyone else loses.
With apologies to Thomas Paine, we may be living once again in times that try mens and womens souls. When every day, no, every hour, brings another personal attack, I-have-the-power-so-Ill-use-it-however-I-please moment … well, these are the times that try all souls. And, by try, I mean in the Lords Prayer sense: do not bring us to the time of trial. Jesus knows, as we do also, that each moment of life tests our commitment to his command to love God and to love neighbor. And that neighbor is everyone, everywhere!
If I want good health care for myself and my family, then I want the same good health care for everyone else. No exceptions. No Cadillac policies for a few and Yugos for the masses.
If I want freedom to worship as I choose, then all must have that same freedom to choose, without my harsh judgment or punishment.
If I wish my children to have the best opportunities for education, then I must work so that all children have the same chances for a good and prosperous life.
And if I want to be spared political oppression and suffering, then I must welcome those who are fleeing torture and sure death.
Its right there in the Holy Scriptures. Jesus says it. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Isabel F. Steilberg is a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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