Jennifer Kohan of Fellowship Freedom Plans selected as Top Director of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals – TAPinto.net

BASKING RIDGE, NJ Jennifer Kohan, Director of Membership Development for Fellowship Freedom Plans from Fellowship Senior Living was just recently selected Top Director of the Year for 2020 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) for her outstanding leadership and dynamic sales experience.

While inclusion with the IAOTP is an honor by itself, only a few members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, longevity in the field, other affiliations and contributions to their communities. All honorees are invited to attend IAOTPs Annual Award Gala at the end of this year for a night to honor their achievements.

With over twenty years of professional experience,Kohan has certainly proven herself as an experienced sales professional who is highly adaptable and competent with the ability to build and maintain long-term relationships with clients, vendors and personnel of all levels. Having extensive sales experience in senior living has helped her become the well-respected Director she serves as today.

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Currently, Jennifer effectively oversees the marketing, communication and consumer education of the Fellowship Freedom Plans program; the long-term care membership program offered through the Fellowship Senior Living organization. Fellowship Freedom Plans are designed to help seniors stay in their homes, combining the financial protection of long-term care insurance with comprehensive care coordination, up to and including 24/7 care.

The President of IAOTP, Stephanie Cirami, said, Choosing Jennifer for this award was an easy decision for our panel to make. She is highly motivated, has extraordinary consultative abilities and is dedicated to creating growth opportunities within her role. She displays outstanding communication and interpersonal skills something we highly value in our members. We are looking forward to meeting her.

Throughout her career, Kohanhas received awards and accolades for her dedication to her profession. In addition to being selected as Top Director of the Year by IAOTP, she is also being considered for a feature in Top Industry Professional (TIP) Magazine.The International Association of Top Professionals will honorKohan, for her selection as Top Director of the Year at the Annual Awards Gala being held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City this December.

Looking back Kohan attributes her success to her perseverance, mentors she has had along the way and her passion for helping people. When not working Kohan enjoys travelling and spending time with her family. In the future, Kohan hopes to continue to make a difference and contribute to helping older adults live better lives every day.

About Fellowship Senior Living: The 72-acre Fellowship Village wooded campus, located in picturesque Basking Ridge, NJ, is home to over 400 residents enjoying lifestyles from single family independent living homes, villas and apartments to assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care homes. The Life Plan Community (also known as CCRC) offers a full complement of lifestyle enhancements, in addition to five-star dining. A new cultural arts center featuring a state-of-the-art-theater, upscale bar & lounge with alfresco dining, expanded medical center and spa and fitness center will ensure Fellowship Village remains a leader in senior living. Fellowship Senior Living provides a continuum of care for seniors throughout New Jersey to include home-health services, hospice, Fellowship Freedom Plans and physical, occupational and speech therapies both on and off campus. As a nonprofit organization, focus remains steadfast on providing optimal industry best practices for residents, so they may enjoy a vibrant lifestyle. For more information, visit us at http://www.FellowshipSeniorLiving.org or call 908-428-4238.

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Jennifer Kohan of Fellowship Freedom Plans selected as Top Director of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals - TAPinto.net

Schools must earn the freedom to make decisions, says Premier – The Sydney Morning Herald

In 2012, the Coalition introduced the policy to allow principals to make financial and educational choices that best suited students. At the same time, it axed support staff within the department who would travel to schools, giving help where needed.

The government has now admitted the decision to devolve decision-making powers to individual schools had "unintended consequences", such as making it harder to centrally track increasing amounts of Gonski money, and hindering its ability to intervene when schools struggled.

The proposed changes will also involve lifting the administrative burden off principals.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said she did not know what proportion of schools could be subject to intervention until the targets were set in conjunction with principals over coming months. The changes will be implemented on day one of term one next year.

"We can't direct [support] as we'd like to be able to, and what this is about is redressing that balance," Ms Mitchell said.

"If the targets are met, we'll get out of [schools'] way. If the targets aren't met, that will trigger us proactively coming in. It gives us the opportunity to say clearly that despite best efforts, we aren't getting the outcomes either of us wants in your school."

Schools already have a new set of performance benchmarks in the areas of literacy, numeracy, attendance, equity and wellbeing, but these targets would be separate.

The head of the Primary Principals Association, Phil Seymour, said "we'd be happy" with policy tweaks that would increase support.

"We can see we need some improvements in what's happening, and we are happy to collaborate with [Ms Mitchell] this year to get it all sorted," he said.

Ms Mitchell said she would consider reinstating some of the centrally-based consultant positions.

"That's definitely something we will look at as part of this," she said. "That level of support around curriculum, which has been missing, I think we need to bring that back ... as part of this reform."


Ms Mitchell said the changes were designed to ensure accountability across the board. "There needs to be skin in the game," she said. "That needs to funnel up through the department in a way I don't think is happening as effectively as it could."

She also stressed that schools' complexities would be factored into the targets.

"We look at the growth of the school measured against itself," she said. "Schools are in different communities. I don't want schools that perform well to think they can coast, I want everyone to be striving for increased educational outcomes."

Mr Seymour urged the government to provide more administrative support for schools, so principals could get on with educating kids. "Those who can't [meet targets], support will be there for them. We are hoping the department will come to the party and give us additional admin support."

Jordan Baker is Education Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald

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Schools must earn the freedom to make decisions, says Premier - The Sydney Morning Herald

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Supporting freedom; part of the package; end death penalty – NWAOnline

Accident? Spare me!

For an action not to be accidental, it must be intentional, but if our intentions don't matter--only our actions--then those actions have to be accidents, don't they? What is one supposed to do with words that sound soul-searching but which come from a person who expresses doubt about the very existence of a soul and who denies value to thinking that is morally contemplative? Whose best advice in the face of cultural seismography is "get yourself a gun and have another cocktail"? Settle in for the binge-watching of artfully filmed violence, I guess. At what point do things cease to be "accidental" if it was an accident that started everything? Nothing comes out of nothing; action does not proceed from a vacuum. A Big Bang does not just "happen."

If the minuscule scrabbling about of vermin on the surface of an unimportant globe are not meaningless and accidental, then why should it be thought that the massive gravitational forces that play upon that globe are? Nobody knows what gravity "is" or how it works but that shouldn't suggest insignificance. People who have no problem with the idea that a week of cloudy weather affects your mood want you to think that the gas giants huddling on one side of the solar system for months on end don't do anything important. As Galileo might have said, Risparmiami!

Jupiter radiates more energy than it receives from the sun. We are not obliged to accept the largely nonsensical dicta of modern astrology in order to assert that the planets of our system affect us materially or that the stars are our destination. Keeping in mind, of course, that it is precisely those truths of which we are most dismissive which will catch us most off-guard.


Little Rock

Supporting freedom

To me, Democratic socialism is freedom. Economic freedom. And democratic freedom.

When you don't have to worry about going into debt thousands of dollars to be treated for chronic illness or even having to come up with $50-$100 in co-pays and more for deductibles to go to the doctor and are able to afford medication so a cold doesn't turn into something worse, you have more freedom. When you don't have to worry about losing your health insurance when you want to change jobs, you have more freedom.

When you don't have to go into tens of thousands of dollars in debt to get a higher education, you have more freedom. If you're in a union and don't have to choose between better health care or higher pay, you have more freedom. If you don't have to work two to three jobs on starvation wages and still have to go to food banks, you have more freedom.

When a black or Hispanic person doesn't have to worry about being stopped by police just because of the color of their skin, you have more freedom. When children and babies are not being snatched away from their moms and dads and tossed into cages just because their parents want a better life for their family, you have more freedom.

When you don't have to worry about being able to afford a decent home for you and your family, you have more freedom. Freedom to have more time with your family and friends. Freedom to go on vacations. Freedom to have more time to participate in democracy by voting or running for office.

This is why I now consider myself a Democratic socialist: because I support freedom.



Part of the package

My husband Ted and I have a morning ritual, especially since our retirement.

He gets up, goes outside and gets the newspaper. Since its coming demise, he says, "news is news," but without the rustle of that paper. The feel, the smell--it's all part of the package.

He's almost having withdrawal pains! I'm just about past (92) writing my little opinion pieces, but I do want to thank you. (Gulp.) It's been fun.



End death penalty

We are the only developed nation that continues to use the death penalty, and it's time for us to stop. Supporters of the death penalty will tell you it is impossible to deter crime or ensure justice without it. Don't let them deceive you--the death penalty does not deter crime, nor is it just. Our justice system is as fallible as the people who compose it, and many errors have been made in cases involving the death penalty.

Take for instance the recent case of Ledell Lee, who Arkansas executed in 2017 for the 1993 murder of Debra Reese. Nearly three years after his execution, new forensic testing is being done that could exonerate him. Nationally recognized forensic experts have criticized the state's forensics, saying that photo lineups were biased and eyewitness misidentification was possible. The state's shoe-print identification expert only received a single week of unsupervised training and his analysis failed to meet national standards. Five fingerprints were found at the scene and determined to not belong to Lee, yet have never been run through a criminal database. Today's DNA testing is much more powerful than that during the trial. Lee's lawyer was visibly drunk in court and unable to adequately represent him.

New testing might reveal the worst: that Arkansas executed an innocent person. Perhaps it will confirm Lee's guilt. Even so, I am deeply concerned that a trial with this many mistakes could happen, and could involve an innocent defendant with inadequate counsel. It is possible: At least 156 people have been sentenced to death and exonerated since 1976. Like most Arkansans, I believe that life is sacred. Even the possibility of an innocent person being executed is enough to convince me that it is time to abandon the death penalty.



Editorial on 03/04/2020

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Supporting freedom; part of the package; end death penalty - NWAOnline

Darmanovi on Freedom of Religion Act: No need for international arbitrage in Montenegro – European Western Balkans

PODGORICA The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro Sran Drmanovi says Podgorica is consulting with NATO allies and EU partners when it comes to the international communitys attitude to developments in Montenegro since the adoption of the Freedom of Religion Act.

This is an internal issue of Montenegro and that there is no need for any kind of arbitrage. Of course, we have well-meaning advice that things need to be resolved through dialogue, which is the direction we have chosen, Drmanovi told Montenegrin Information Agency MINA.

MFA underlined that not only Montenegro recognized the interference of others in its internal affairs, but also our NATO allies.

Last week Chairman of the EU-Montenegro Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee (SAPC) Vladimr Bilk met with opposition in Montenegro, where he said that Brussels can not impose solutions for Montenegro, but EU is ready to offer good services. Bilik also said that, if Brussels received calls from the opposition for engagement, the EU could only be involved at the invitation of all relevant actors in the country.

The dispute over the Freedom of Religion Act, followed by protests organized by supporters of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, is lasting for over three months.

The Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro has opposed to the Act because of anarticle stipulating that religious communities must prove ownership of church property in Montenegro that was built or was state-owned by 1918. In the absence of such evidence, the property will be considered state property.

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Darmanovi on Freedom of Religion Act: No need for international arbitrage in Montenegro - European Western Balkans

Freedom Solar: record profits and growth in Texas residential and commercial PV – pv magazine USA

Youd never get payback for a battery unless your considerations are the zombie apocalypse or secession.

Austin-based Freedom Solar just had its most profitable year since founding in 2007 in what looks to be a great year for U.S. solar in general. Also, Willie Nelson is involved as a spokesperson.

Texas is the No. 4 state in solar rankings, according to SEIA, driven heavily by the utility segment, while the U.S. residential solar market hit record highs in the third quarter of 2019 with 712 MW installed.

What thats meant for Freedom Solar is a 75% growth in revenue to nearly $50 million in 2019 completing 1,288 commercial and residential installations for a total of 13.7 MW of solar power, up from 8 MW in 2018. Since its 2007 founding, Freedom has installed more than 67 MW of mostly SunPower solar panels.

Zombie apocalypse or secession

pv magazine interviewed Kyle Frazier, the chief revenue officer at Freedom Solar. Frazier said Texas is a complicated market with 15 munis and 100 co-ops and its a big territory to cover.

Texas is growing even though its been slower going because the economics are not terribly compelling.

The company has 180 employees. Frazier said, Its a service business and a big part of success is the right people. He spoke of a great week now being 100 kW of solar installed, whereas that used to be a great month and thats due to the right people in place.

Frazier thinks customers in the territory are more educated and aware about solar and, combined with tax credits, hes found the companys top of the funnel leads have gone up dramatically

The energy storage attach-rate is low at 5-10%, said Frazier, adding that it was still a rich mans game, youd never get payback for a battery unless your considerations are the zombie apocalypse or secession.

Did we mention Willie Nelson? Or Guido?

Residential sales increased by 94% in 2019 at Freedom. San Antonio and Austin have historically been the largest solar markets in Texas, due to rebates offered by the municipally owned utilities. As the price of installing solar continues to fall, there is growing interest in solar in the deregulated areas where 85% of the states population lives, including Houston and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Almost half of Freedom Solars 2019 residential sales came from the Austin market.

Looking ahead, Freedom projects continued growth in 2020 of more than 80%. The company expects to add more than 400 new projects during the first quarter alone. Freedom added 82 new employees in 2019 and anticipates adding 89 more employees by the end of the year.

Freedom has seen a growing trend toward solar among Texas automobile dealerships. Freedom Solars corporate clients including Whole Foods, Office Depot, Lake Flato Architects, The University of Texas and, of course, Guido & Companies.

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Freedom Solar: record profits and growth in Texas residential and commercial PV - pv magazine USA

How Some Union Bosses Menace American Workers’ Freedom – The National Interest Online

Before the House approved a sweeping union-boss wish list that attempts to send workers back into the 20th century, AFL-CIO union leaderRichard Trumka warnedlawmakers that Those who would oppose, delay, or derail this legislation, do not ask usdo not ask the labor movementfor a dollar or a door knock. We wont be coming.

In other words, if lawmakers didnt vote for legislation that eliminates jobs that arent easily unionized and forces workers to pay fees to unions they do not want to belong to (along with many other union wish list items), unions would refuse to use their money and resources to help them get reelected.

In the 1950s, more than 30% of workers were union members. Now, only6.2%of private sector workers belong to unions. In states where workers have the right to choose whether to join a union,only 2% to 5%of workers belong to unions.

And much of the reason can be traced to efforts such as this. When unions fought for safer working conditions and fairer wageswhen they addressed matters that legitimately improved the lives of their membersthey flourished.

When it got to the point where they were arguing to eliminate jobs and force workers to underwrite political causes with which they dont agree, they floundered.

The decrease in manufacturing jobs and rise of independent workers also meant less demand for unionization, but unions shift toward gaining power through politicians instead of workers and their failure to adapt and provide what workers value have played major roles in their decline.

For example, unions often attempt to micromanage employers business practices from the outsidedictating their compensation structures, seniority systems, and even work scheduleswithout knowledge or regard for what will help the business grow and thrive. Instead of helping workers, this has resulted inlost jobs, shuttered doors, and a$638 billion shortfallin union workers and retireespension accounts.

Many workers have rejected union-supportedrigid pay scalesand standard schedules in favor of being paid based on performance. Instead of a seniority system, they want more flexible and alternative work options.

In some cases, unions have lost workers support because ofillegal activities, including corruption,racketeering, embezzlement, and organized crime, all fueled with workers hard-earned dues.

Instead of focusing on helping workers and their employers succeed together, unions now spend$2 billiona year or more to try to elect politicians who will grant them more power and money.

Workers dont want their union dues spent this way. According to a 2010 poll, 69% of private and government union employees believe union officials should focus on membership instead of political elections and rather than spend their dues onpartisan politics, instead use it to create more jobs.

If unions want to survive and thrive in the U.S., they should move away from politics and toward member service. The dues-freeFreelancers Union, for example, has attracted 450,000 independent members by providing what workers value, such as education, insurance benefits, and advocacy.

A focus on additional education will be a mustboth to help workers prepare for changes within their own job and to help equip them for new types of work.

Structural changes could be in order as well. Union leaders could address the complaints of both workers who say they have no choice in who their organizations support politically and other members who say workers should not be able to glean the benefits of union membership without sharing in the costs withmembers only agreements. These require workers to pay for only the services they use and to choose their own representation.

Unions could choose to represent workers in only some employment matters. For example, the Major League Baseball Players Association provides representation to its members and sets minimum salary levels, but individual players negotiate their compensation packages directly with their teams.

Unions claim the PRO Act will protect workers, but its hard to comprehend how forcing workers to pay hundreds of dollars a year to organizations they do not support; forcing employers to give more of workers personal information to unions than they do to the IRS; forcing binding arbitration contracts upon workers without a chance to vote on them; subjecting neutral workers in nonunionized environments to disruptions in their work and incomes; taking away workers rights to a secret-ballot union election; and eliminating millions of franchising, contracting, gig-economy, and independent jobs would protect workers.

Unions have played an important historical role in helping to secure some of the important legal protections workers now have and in successfully fighting unfair labor practices and worker exploitation. But the PRO Act demonstrates why unions have declineda shift in emphasis from helping workers to advancing political cause that increase their power and wealth.Taking awaydemocratic rights and work options wont protect workers; it will suppress them.

Rachel Greszler is research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements in the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, of the Institute for Economic Freedom, at The Heritage Foundation.Read her research.

Her article first appeared inThe Daily Signalon February 27.


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How Some Union Bosses Menace American Workers' Freedom - The National Interest Online

Ask a North Korean: can money buy freedom in the DPRK? – NK News

Hello there! We warmly welcome you back to Ask a North Korean, theNK Newsfeature where you the readers email in with your questions and have them answered by our very own North Korean writers.

Todays question comes from Loren in Roseville, Minnesota, who asks about what money can and cant buy in North Korea. Can you use money to get yourself out of a prison sentence? Is there a price tag on freedom even for political prisoners?

In-hua Kim spent time in a reformatory in North Korea, and details her experiences about the potential and limits for how much money can help you out of trouble in the DPRK.

Got a question for In-hua? Email it to[emailprotected]with your name and city. Well be publishing the best ones.

North Koreans are taught that socialism provides for everyone and that capitalist societies are rife with corruption. This is what I believed for the first fifty years of my life.

I now believe that capitalist societies are places where people can succeed if they work hard enough, and that North Korean socialism is where the Kim family leeches off the blood and sweat of ordinary people for their own wealth and prosperity.

Ive noticed that there are some who yearn for the socialism of North Korea. I doubt they would survive one day in that socialist hell, where money and bribes are far more important than in South Korea.

In fact, when I was still in the North, I was living on money sent from my daughter in South Korea.

At the request of my daughter, I once liaised via telephone between a mother inSouth Korea and her sonin the North, delivering cash from her to him.

He was caught and arrested by the ministry of state security around three years later while talking on the phone to his mother.

During his interrogation, he told them that I was the one who gave him his mothers phone number. This was true, as I had written it down for him soon after I helped them transfer that money.

I wasnt summoned by the ministry of state security, but an inspector from the public security station came to my house with the son and I was arrested. There was no warrant.

There were three waiting rooms at the public security stations inspection department. Two were full of men, the other women.

They were all brought in on charges like unlawful border crossings, smuggling, unlawful cell phone usage, traffic accidents, and watching impure (foreign) videos. None of them seemed like true criminals.

Everyone was very distressed since they knew they were soon going to be sent to a reformatory.

A few looked quite comfortable and care-free though. It turned out that this was because they had paid a bribe to prosecutor Moon and would be released soon.

I felt miserable because I had no one in power who could help me out or pay a bribe.

On the third day at lunchtime, a guard called my name. Full of fear, I entered the stations office.

Inside the room was someone dressed in civilian clothes. He gestured for me to sit down and flicked through the papers on the table.

He pulled out one sheet and handed it to me to sign. It said that I had made contact with my defector daughter in South Korea via phone and received money on someone elses behalf.

I signed it and begged the man to help me. He smiled and said that wed have to wait and see.

There was something ominous about his smile.

Ive noticed that there are some who yearn for the socialism of North Korea. I doubt they would survive one day in that socialist hell

The next day, inspector Lee called and told me privately that prosecutor Moon said I would need 4,000 RMB to get myself out of the public security station.

I was choking on the inside but answered calmly. Yes, I will let my other daughter (who was still in North Korea) know about the money if you let her come and visit. Please, just let me live.

He looked satisfied with this and said that my younger daughter would be called over soon.

I returned to the waiting room and shared the conversation with someone who was there for illegal cell phone usage.

Hes right, she said, you can get out of here if you pay the money. The guy in the regular clothes you spoke to is prosecutor Moon. I hear he can get you off the hook even if youve murdered someone as long as you pay him.

My parents said they would pay and get me out of here, but no news yet. She was released around two weeks later.

I felt very sorry and ashamed to ask my daughter for money, but I was determined this would be the last time I would do so and then would leave the country.

My younger daughter was called over that evening. I had spent my nights worrying about her since she had been left at home by herself. I held her and wept.

I really hate to trouble you for this, but I can only get out of here if I pay a bribe.

She cried as well, assuring me that she would let her sister in South Korea know about the situation.

Two months later, I gave 2,000 RMB to the inspector. My daughter actually sent me 6,000 RMB, but others held at the station told me not to give the full amount all in one go because bribes often have no effect in South Korea-related cases. I promised to pay him the remainder upon my release.

I waited nervously to be released, but I didnt receive any updates. Meanwhile, those who had been sent to the cell after me were paying their bribes and being let go.

On December 30, 2015, my name was finally called again. My chest pounding, I entered the office.

In-hua, too bad. Your case moved on to the preliminaries. I guess the money wasnt enough.

My heart sank. Does that mean Im going to be sent to the reformatory? Please help, I begged in tears. Ill return the favor.

Well, I tried, inspector Lee said. But phone calls with the South are difficult cases. It costs a lot of money, and you cant afford it. He pushed my paper aside.

I was infuriated and speechless. By that point, I decided I would rather suffer in a reformatory than satisfy their greed at the cost of my far-away daughter who was already struggling by herself.

I was sentenced to two years of forced labor at the Gaechon reformatory. Had the 2,000 RMB reached prosecutor Moon, its likely I would have received a lighter punishment, albeit not completely released, but I found out later that inspector Lee kept all of that money for himself.

North Korean socialism is where the Kim family leeches off the blood and sweat of ordinary people for their own wealth

Someone else I knew of, who had killed a female teacher in a traffic accident and paid a bribe of 20,000 RMB, was sentenced to one year at the Gaechon reformatory. But even this was shortened to three months thanks to an official pardon.

Another, who was charged with watching an impure video, spent her term in a hospital room. This too was possible with the help of money, sent from her daughter in South Korea.

In general, once a case has moved on to the preliminaries, a trial must take place. People try to resolve their situation before they are sent to court.

Once youre sent to a reformatory, theres almost no way to cancel the verdict.

Bribes can make your time at the reformatory easier, for example, by getting you a position as head of the prison cell or in a hospital ward for prisoners.

Once in a blue moon, ones sentence can be changed by an order from a high ranking official to hold a retrial. However, such an alteration must be approved by all of the ruling elite, including Kim Jong Un.

Conditions for political prisoners are a lot harsher. If convicted, ones entire family is taken to a prison camp located underground. Most consider you already dead if you receive such a sentence.

One of my friends, however, was a rare exception. She was taken to a detention camp for political prisoners, but everyone was alarmed when she returned six months later after everyone had assumed she was dead.

My brother is the number one at a satellite building research center, she explained. He helped me out of the death camp.

Top talents are well protected in North Korea. Pilots, frogmen, scientists, and their families enjoy immunity from punishment in many cases, lest they turn against the state or defect.

Translated by Jihye Park

Edited by James Fretwell

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Ask a North Korean: can money buy freedom in the DPRK? - NK News

Freedom in the World 2020: Armenia and Artsakh rated as ‘partly free’ –

Armenia and Artsakh have been rated as partly free in a newreports published by the Freedom House

In the reports titled Freedom in the World 2020 A Leaderless Struggle for Democracy the Washington-based human rights watchdognotes that democracy is under assault around the globe, and the effects are evident not just in authoritarian states, but also in countries with a long track record of upholding basic rights and freedoms.

According to the report, countries that suffered setbacks in2019 outnumbered those making gains by nearly two to one, marking the 14thconsecutive year of deterioration in global freedom. During this period, 25 ofthe worlds 41 established democracies experienced net losses.

Armenias neighbor Georgia isalso ranked as partly free, while Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran are all labeledas not free.

European Economic Union MembersRussia, Kazakhstan and Belarus also have the not free status, whileKyrgyzstan is partly free.

Of the 195 countries assessed,83 (43 percent) were rated Free, 63 (32 percent) were Partly Free, and 49 (25percent) were Not Free.The share of Free countries has declined by 3percentage points over the last decade, while the percentage of Partly Free andNot Free countries rose by two and one points, respectively.

Freedom in the Worldis anannual global report on political rights and civil liberties, composed ofnumerical ratings and descriptive texts for each country and a select group ofterritories.

The 2018 edition coversdevelopments in 195 countries and 14 territories from January 1, 2017, throughDecember 31, 2017.

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Freedom in the World 2020: Armenia and Artsakh rated as 'partly free' -

Freedom of movement could be retained in Scotland post-Brexit – The Scotsman

NewsPoliticsFreedom of movement could be retained in Scotland even after new post-Brexit immigration rules come into place across the rest of the UK, a report commissioned by the SNP has suggested.

Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, 6:00 am

Immigration experts at the Fragomen legal firm said it would be be entirely possible to maintain the free movement rights of European citizens in Scotland.

It also said emergency visa measures could be introduced north of the border to deal with immediate economic threat associated with Brexit.

The report claimed the Scottish Government could negotiate a time-limited regional visa arrangement with the Home Office as short-term measure.

It would be an extraordinary measure to meet exceptional need, the report said.

It stressed Scotland is more reliant on migration than the rest of the UK to maintain population growth and to support the national economy.

Over recent years, only an extremely small proportion of the hundreds of thousands of people moving to and from the UK have come to Scotland, with figures showing between 2013 and 2018 migration boosted the countrys population by an average of about 13,000 a year.

The UK Government has so far refused requests for more powers over migration to be devolved to Scotland, including a call earlier this year for a Scottish visa to be established.

While the Conservative administration at Westminster proposes a new points-based immigration system for the UK and the end of freedom of movement, the report said in policy terms it would be entirely possible for free movement to be retained in Scotland alone.

Scotland keeping the free movement of people is one of 11 policy options included in the report - with others suggesting the salary threshold for people seeking to come to work could be lower than in the rest of the UK.

It also suggested introducing more flexible visa quotas for Scotland, allowing the Scottish Government to sponsor migrants using an annual quota of visas granted by the UK Government, over and above those people coming with a job offer whose visa would be sponsored by their employer.

systems elsewhere in the world.

Migration minister Ben Macpherson said: This research offers yet more evidence that a tailored approach to migration for Scotland is necessary and could work within the UK immigration system.

As the report shows, Scotland relies on migration and the UK Governments most recent proposals do not provide adequate solutions for our needs in the short, medium or long-term.

A UK Government spokesman said: Our new points-based immigration system will work in the interests of the whole of the UK.

We will continue to work with stakeholders in Scotland to ensure the new proposals work for all sectors.

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Freedom of movement could be retained in Scotland post-Brexit - The Scotsman

Freedom boys hoops clips No. 1 seed Allen, is 1 win away from ending 44-year drought – lehighvalleylive.com

Locked in a tense and even battle with Allen, Freedom High Schools boys basketball team needed a little spark to get some separation.

That spark came in the form of a whistle.

And that whistle was big trouble for the Canaries.

Fourth-seeded Freedom knocked off top-seeded Allen, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champion, 75-71 in the District 11 Class 6A semifinals on Wednesday night at Libertys Memorial Gymnasium.

The Patriots (16-8) advance to meet seventh-seeded Northampton, a 60-46 winner over Easton, in the district championship 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Easton Area Middle School.

That's a fun one. These kids deserve it, Freedom coach Joe Stellato said. (Allen)'s a great basketball team, obviously. We've said it before, it's tough to win a league championship and come back and win a district championship. It's just not easy. But, they're a very good basketball team; they're well-coached by a legend. It was just our turn tonight.

I'm speechless, senior guard Malek Mims said. Emotions are crazy right now ... Our team has been talking about it for so long ... For it to come true is amazing.

Mims slashed to the basket and scored while being fouled by Allen senior big man Quinton Stewart, giving Freedom a 38-34 lead with 5:32 left in the third quarter. In the commotion after the play, Stewart was whistled for a technical, which gave him a fifth and disqualifying foul, and left the Canaries without one of their post players.

That was huge. He was killing us, Stellato said. When they have two bigs (Stewart and Aquele Adderley) like that in the game, they're a dangerous team. They've proved that all year long. That obviously helped us, because it's tough to cover both those guys.

That's their strength and that's one of our weaknesses our rebounding, Patriots senior guard Caleb Mims said. When he fouled out, they were the same size as us. That was a huge advantage for us.

Canaries coach Doug Snyder was disappointed to see his team falter on what was a point of emphasis.

The word 'composure' was used several times in the pregame speech ... We've played them twice. In both cases, there were several technical fouls called on both sides. I knew that was going to be the case, Snyder said. I said to our guys, 'You need to keep your calm; you need to be composed; you need to keep your cool.' We didn't do that. We have to accept the blame on that. Quinton Stewart can't sit on the bench for almost an entire half of a district semifinal.

Malek Mims sank the two free throws from the technical and the one for the original foul. Then, senior guard Malik Harrington drilled a 3-pointer and Freedom took a 44-34 lead by scoring eight points in just 32 seconds of game time.

The Patriots led by as many as 13, 51-38, after a layup by senior David Barnes in the final minute of the third quarter.

The Canaries (22-5) cut into Freedoms margin by getting to the foul line in the final period. Allen made nine foul shots down the stretch, but the Patriots still seemed to have the game in hand when senior forward Samir Georges rebounded a missed foul shot and scored to give Freedom a 68-62 edge with 1:20 on the clock.

Allen junior Mel Copeland, however, drained a deep 3-pointer to slice Freedoms advantage to 68-65 with 1:05 to play and then Freedom turned the ball over thanks to a backcourt violation.

The Canaries missed a shot on the ensuing possession and Malek Mims followed with two pairs of free throws to seal the result in the final 45 seconds.

The formula that we developed over the course of our success this season was not followed tonight, Snyder said. We were sloppy, undisciplined, a little selfish ... Freedom made us pay.

Caleb Mims finished with 20 points for Freedom. Malek Mims and Barnes added 16 points apiece.

Stellato was happy with the contributions the Patriots received across the board.

They came up huge, the coach said. Taj Montgomery came in and had a great second half. Barnes played outstanding. Georges came in and had that huge layup. Everybody contributed; it wasn't just The Mims Show tonight.

Everybody played their game, said Malek Mims, who set the school record with his 252nd career steal. Nobody tried to do too much. We shared the ball. Everybody did their thing and stepped up.

Ellis finished with 24 points, followed by Copeland (17), Manny Ozuna (14) and Adderley (13) for the Canaries, who now play Easton in a consolation game noon Saturday at Pleasant Valley.

I think I have to come after them hard tomorrow in practice and see where they're at, Snyder said. I asked them to look in the mirror and accept the fact that they made mistakes.

Freedom will make its first appearance in the district final since losing to Parkland in 2013. The Patriots, who beat Northampton 74-68 in January, havent won a D-11 crown since 1976.

Similarly, the Konkrete Kids (15-9) havent captured a district title since 1972.

Something has to give.

We're not going to go in there all cocky, Malek Mims said. We're going to prepare for them the right way and try to do our best to win that game.

Both of us are very hungry, Caleb Mims said. Nobody expected this. Its going to be a war. Im sure theyll be ready and so will we.

Kyle Craig may be reached at kcraig@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @KyleCraigSports. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.

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Freedom boys hoops clips No. 1 seed Allen, is 1 win away from ending 44-year drought - lehighvalleylive.com

The Reverse Freedom Rides And Their Long Aftermath : Code Switch – NPR

Lela Mae Williams and seven of her nine children on arrival in Hyannis. Frank C. Curtin/AP hide caption

Lela Mae Williams and seven of her nine children on arrival in Hyannis.

After three days on a Greyhound bus, Lela Mae Williams was just an hour from her destinationHyannis, Mass.when she asked the bus driver to pull over. She needed to change into her finest clothes. She had been promised the Kennedy family would be waiting for her.

It was late on a Wednesday afternoon, nearly 60 years ago, when that Greyhound bus from Little Rock, Ark., pulled into Hyannis. It slowed to a stop near the summer home of President John F. Kennedy and his family. When the doors opened, Lela Mae and her nine youngest children stepped onto the pavement.

Reporters' microphones pointed at her, their cameras trained on her family. The photographs in the next day's newspaper show Lela Mae looking immaculate. In an elegant black dress, a triple string of pearls and a white hat, she was dressed to start a new life.

"She was going to have a job, and she was going to be able to support her family," one of Lela Mae's daughters, Betty Williams, remembered in a recent interview. Before coming north to Massachusetts, Lela Mae had been promised a good job, good housing and a presidential welcome.

But President Kennedy was not there to meet her. And there was no job or permanent housing waiting for her in Hyannis. Instead, Lela Mae and the others were unwitting pawns in a segregationist game.

"It was one of the most inhuman things I have ever seen," recalled Margaret Moseley, a longtime civil rights activist in Hyannis, in a televised interview a few years before her death.

Fuming over the civil rights movement, Southern segregationists had concocted a way to retaliate against Northern liberals. In 1962, they tricked about 200 African Americans from the South into moving north. The idea was simple: When large numbers of African Americans showed up on Northern doorsteps, Northerners would not be able to accommodate them. They would not want them, and their hypocrisy would be exposed.

The Reverse Freedom Rides have largely disappeared from the country's collective memory. The scheme almost never appears in history books and is little-known even in Hyannis, the primary target of the ploy. But some hear echoes of that segregationist past in America's present. And for the families that came to the North based on a lie, the journey has cast an enduring shadow on their lives.

The segregationists' game

In the summer of 1961, black and white activists, who became known as the Freedom Riders, boarded Greyhound buses and crisscrossed the South with the goal of integrating interstate buses and bus terminals. When the buses pulled into Southern cities, they were greeted by mobs armed with bats and firebombs.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader, shakes hands with Paul Dietrich just before a bus of Freedom Riders left Montgomery, Ala., May 24, 1961. AP hide caption

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader, shakes hands with Paul Dietrich just before a bus of Freedom Riders left Montgomery, Ala., May 24, 1961.

Southern segregationists, who were still furious over the school desegregation fights that dominated the 1950s, saw the Freedom Riders as sanctimonious provocateurs. In a television interview from the time, Ned Touchstone of Louisianaa spokesperson for a local segregationist groupsaid the North was "sending down busloads of people here with the express purpose of violating our laws, fomenting confusion, trying to destroy 100 years of workable tradition and good relations between the races."

Touchstone and other segregationists thought there was no way the Freedom Riders or their fellow Northern liberals actually cared about integrating interstate transit or advancing civil rights. Instead, they were convinced it was a strategy to embarrass the South and capture black votes for the Democratic party.

The segregationists decided to answer the Freedom Rides with the "Reverse Freedom Rides." They would use the same weaponGreyhound busesand send African Americans to Northern cities.

"For many years, certain politicians, educators and certain religious leaders have used the white people of the South as a whipping boy, to put it mildly, to further their own ends and their political campaigns," said Amis Guthridge, a lawyer from Arkansas who helped spearhead the Reverse Freedom Rides. "We're going to find out if people like Ted Kennedy ... and the Kennedys, all of them, really do have an interest in the Negro people, really do have a love for the Negro."

My mom thought that when she came to the North, she was going to have a better life for her children.

Betty Williams

The segregationists tapped into a network of local groups called Citizens' Councils. Despite the sanitized name, the councils were essentially "the Ku Klux Klan without the hoods and the masks," said historian Clive Webb.

Webb, a professor at the University of Sussex in England, specializes in studying racists. Fifteen years ago, he published the firstand still the onlymajor academic article on the Reverse Freedom Riders.

The Citizens' Councils attempted to cloak their racism in respectability, Webb said. They held meetings in fancy downtown hotels and wore suits and ties."They could be members of the police force," said Webb. "They could be bankers, businessmen and the like."

These men masterminded an advertising effort, with flyers and radio commercials, to attract African Americans to accept bus tickets, bought with money the councils had raised. Their ideal recruits were single mothers with many children, and men who had gotten entangled in the criminal justice system.

"They targeted people who were either welfare recipients or prison inmates," said Webb. "People who were placing a burden, as they saw it, on public resources."

Then, they sought media attention. George Singelmann of Louisiana, who claimed credit for the original idea, had once worked in a newsroom. He made sure to alert the press.

"Negro 'Ride' Plan Stirs New Furor" read a front-page headline in The New York Times. The Boston Herald added, "14 More Jobless Negroes Sent North." As spring rolled into summer and then fall, nearly daily articles chronicled the scheme as it unfolded.

Relishing the coverage, Guthridge said in an interview, "If it takes two weeks, two months, two years, five or 10 years, we will continue it until the white people up there ... tell those politicians we are tired of using the American Negro for a pawn just for their votes."

The Reverse Freedom Riders Eddie Rose, Almer Payton and Willie Ramsey are shown with Citizens Council director George Singlemann. Jim Bourdier/AP hide caption

The Reverse Freedom Riders Eddie Rose, Almer Payton and Willie Ramsey are shown with Citizens Council director George Singlemann.

But when talking to reporters, the segregationists were not always so transparent about their motives. They offered ever-changing justifications for the scheme.

Ned Touchstone said his primary motivation was "to bring about a more equitable distribution of the colored population." He added that African Americans were begging for assistance."Is it a crime to help people who come to you and say, 'Boss man, I want to go to the North'?" he said.

Singelmann cited American tradition as the rationale for the Reverse Freedom Rides."Our forefathers put everything in their possession into covered wagons and went out across the plains. In those days, it was rugged Americanism. Now today, for some reason or other, it's being frowned upon. I don't understand it," he said.

The Citizens Councils' plan didn't quite work how they had wanted; they'd envisioned sending thousands north, but the reality amounted to a couple hundred. Those folks boarded buses to New York, New Hampshire, Indiana, Idaho, Minnesota, California and elsewhere. Lela Mae Williams and her children were part of the 96 unwitting Reverse Freedom Riders who arrived at a makeshift bus stop closest to the Kennedys' "summer White House" on Cape Cod. They were far, far away from their rural Arkansas home.

The Williams family of Arkansas

For generations, the Williams family lived on the border of Louisiana and Arkansas. Betty and Mickey were born in the tiny town of Huttig, Ark. They had a little farm and a big family.

Betty Williams, who was 18 years old when the family moved north, recalled the joy of fishing in the pond out back and scampering down the path to relatives' houses. But her memories are also colored by the trauma of whippings by the school headmaster and relatives dying without a doctor to visit.

"I remember the flooding in the house, snakes underneath the beds," said Mickey Williams, one of Betty's brothers. He was five when the family left Huttig, and his memories of the South are few and faded. But he does remember that the family struggled financially."We were poor," he said. "We were really poor."

Still, Mickey and Betty said, their late mother, Lela Mae managed to cook all their meals from scratch and insisted on schooling for every child.

At the time, Arkansas was segregated, and the Williams family was confined to the black side of town. Growing up, Betty didn't know anyone who was white.

"[I] never thought about why we were separated like this, why we can't go to school together, why we can't sit and eat together. I never even questioned that," she said.

But Betty's mother was aware of the political forces that swirled outside their three-room house, and she wanted better things. So when she heard about buses heading up north and promises of jobs and housing, she was enticed. And when she heard the Kennedys would greet the travelers, she was even more enthusiastic; she kept portraits of John and Robert F. Kennedy hanging on a wall next to one of Martin Luther King, Jr.

"My mom thought that when she came to the North, she was going to have a better life for her children, better jobs and better housing," said Betty. "Everything that a mom could do, everything within her power, everything within her reach, my mom did it." So Lela Mae accepted tickets to take her family up north.

The Sunday after the school year was finished, two cars came to pick up Lela Mae and her nine youngest childrenages two to 14and take them 150 miles to Little Rock's bus terminal. (Betty would follow on a different bus later that summer.) Amis Guthridge himself drove them, and bought the children ice cream and root beer.

The segregationist lawyer had alerted the local news outlets that he'd be holding a press conference when they arrived. At the bus terminal, he stood at the center of a small crew of journalists. Ernie Dumas, a young reporter for The Arkansas Gazette, was there.

"He made a little grinning speech," Dumas, now 81, recalled. Guthridge, pointed to the family and said, "These fine, fine people. This wonderful woman and her fine little children," Dumas remembered. He thinks he saw Guthridge wink at his fellow segregationists, who sat off to the side.

Two unidentified women, residents of Hyannis, Mass., help some of the nine children of Lela Mae Williams (not in photo) off the bus, June 8, 1962 at Hyannis on their arrival from Huttig, Ark. Frank C. Curtin/AP hide caption

Two unidentified women, residents of Hyannis, Mass., help some of the nine children of Lela Mae Williams (not in photo) off the bus, June 8, 1962 at Hyannis on their arrival from Huttig, Ark.

Then, he remembers that Guthridge said, "We're going to send them up to Massachusetts, and the Kennedys and those fine people up there are going to take care of them and give them a better life."

Dumas was not able to interview Lela Mae that May day in 1962, but he remembers her seeming a little reluctant, perhaps a little embarrassed.

In silent TV footage taken at the bus station, she looked focused. Some of the kids seemed giddy, flashing smiles at the camera and playing with a well-loved rabbit doll. Others were subdued, sitting quietly in pairs on the wooden benches in the waiting room. The family had very little luggage; after all, most of the Reverse Freedom Riders were told everything was going to be provided.

After the press conference, Lela Mae herded her children onto the bus, toward the back of the bus and then onward, toward a promise that was a lie.

"We called them refugees"

In the weeks before the Williams family boarded the Greyhound bus, the very first Reverse Freedom Rider to come to Hyannis arrived on May 12, 1962.

David Harris, a 43-year-old army veteran in a suit and tie, received an enthusiastic welcome by a crowd of more than 100 people. There were several speeches, plenty of hands to shake and lots of reporters. Senate candidate Ted Kennedy was there to meet him. Harris drew cheers when he told onlookers it "felt mighty good when I crossed that Mason-Dixon line."

In the weeks and months to come, the Greyhound buses kept arriving, but the spectators disappeared. Ted Kennedy never showed up again. The rest of the Kennedy family never made an appearance. Only a small crew of Hyannis residents, including the civil rights activist Margaret Moseley, remained.

Hearing media reports that more Reverse Freedom Riders were on their way, religious leaders, the local NAACP chapter and a few concerned residents teamed up to help. The group was half black, half white. They divided the tasks and gave themselves a name: The Refugee Relief Committee.

"We called them refugees. They represented what we feel a refugee is. They were homeless, broke, tired and afraid. We had to help them," Rev. Kenneth Warren, a Unitarian minister who was the chairman of the committee, said to a reporter at the time.

That summer of 1962, Moseley carried the bus schedule with her. Among her many duties, she was in charge of greeting the new arrivals."Most of the people who came had only a shopping bag with perhaps one change of clothing," said the late Moseley in an interview with Tales of Cape Cod in 1994, three years before her death. The Reverse Freedom Riders arrived with "no money, knowing nobody."

Moseley remembered one of the children who arrived asking, "Where are the cotton fields?" She told him there were no cotton fields. She said this news came as a terrible blow. She recalled the child saying, "Well, what am I going to do to find employment? I can chop cotton. I don't know how to do anything else."

The committee scrambled to help, convincing the local community college to open its dorms to the new arrivals. The local jail provided the bedding. And when the summer semester started and students came back to the dorms, they got the governor to lobby for nearby Otis Air Force Base to open its barracks.

Some children of reverse freedom riders families toss ball among themselves amid Army barracks at Camp Edwards, Mass., June 11, 1962. J. Walter Green/AP hide caption

Some children of reverse freedom riders families toss ball among themselves amid Army barracks at Camp Edwards, Mass., June 11, 1962.

At Otis, the rules were strict. Curfew was at 8 p.m., and lights were out at 8:30 p.m. Boys older than five were to be housed in barracks separate from their mothers. Heat and proximity to latrines were luxuries, not to be expected."They will be treated with firmness, with civility, with fairness, but not with familiarity," wrote Major Gen. Thomas Donnelly, the man in charge of the base. "The basic attitude is that these are people with problems that we are trying to help in finding solutions."

But their efforts didn't stave off accusations from the segregationists that Hyannis was practicing forced segregation. In his effort to prove that white Northerners were indeed as racist as white Southerners, Singelmann told reporters that Otis Air Force Base was equivalent to a "concentration camp."

Betty never thought of life in Massachusetts as a concentration camp but, she said, things weren't easy. "I used to never smile that much. I never smiled. I don't know why that was," said Betty, who joined her mother and nine siblings in the fall of 1962. She was 18 and eight months pregnant at the time, with her 2-year-old son in tow. Her older sister, Gloria, and her two children also came in the fall.

As the committee tried to disperse the Reverse Freedom Riders so it would be easier for them to find work, the Williams family was sent 100 miles north to Newburyport, Mass. And Betty did find work cleaning houses. While she noticed the kindness of the townspeople, she said there was also a nagging feeling of distance and difference.

She realized that Northerners "don't think the same; they don't do the same. The culture is a whole lot different from where we were raised."

"A rather cheap exercise"

As the Reverse Freedom Riders adjusted to their new lives, the country around them debated whether to intervene.

Illinois' governor compared the Reverse Freedom Rides to Nazis deporting Jews. A Mississippi congressman delighted in watching the North squirm, saying, "They want to 'free' the Negro in the South, but want to shun responsibility for him once he has been 'freed.'" Gov. John Volpe of Massachusetts pledged to help, but worried his welfare budget would be depleted. He asked the federal government to step in.

President Kennedy largely tried to avoid the topic. When worried and enraged citizens wrote letters to the White House, the standard reply was that the situation was "deplorable" but "there is no violation of law." When Kennedy was asked about it at a news conference, he paused before saying, "Well I think it's, uh, a rather cheap exercise in ...." He hesitated, stumbled and tried to dodge the question for more than a minute.

Conversely, there were those who wrote hate mail to the Refugee Relief Committee about how the Bible calls for segregation, and even sending gag giftsincluding a live opossum and a goat to Hyannis for the Reverse Freedom Riders to eat.

But the prevailing sentiment was that the Reverse Freedom Rides exposed the callousness of the Southern segregationists, not the hypocrisy of Northern liberals. Private citizens from across the country wrote to offer their support. Some suggested housing the Reverse Freedom Riders in their own towns and homes; others wrote checks. The first donation arrived from Little Rock, where many of the Reverse Freedom Rides originated.

By the late fall, the scheme fizzled out unceremoniously. Funds that the Citizens' Councils had raised were drying up, and riders were hard to recruit. Betty Williams was the very last Reverse Freedom Rider to arrive in Hyannis, disembarking from her Greyhound Bus on October 17.

But even when it was over, the Williams family and the other Reverse Freedom Riders were still 1,000 miles from anything that resembled home.

The Williams family of Massachusetts

Like many of those sent to Hyannis, the Williams family ultimately moved to Boston in search of work. They lived in one of the city's most notorious housing projects: the Bromley-Heath Apartments. Milkmen and furniture deliverymen were rumored to dodge the premises.

"The projects were nothing to be proud of," recalled Mickey. His memories of the place are dotted with cockroach sightings and crumbling concrete.

She tried with every ounce of strength that she had to try to hold this family together.

Betty Williams

As she had done in the South, Lela Mae tried to make life for her children as stable as possible in an unstable situation. She gathered discarded tires, filled them with dirt and turned them into flowerbeds among the dilapidated brick apartment buildings.

But apart from the flowers, things were collapsing. With their support network and their relatives half a country away, their tight-knit family began to fray, Betty said. Things the Williams family had never experienced in their tiny Southern towndrugs, jail and unfriendly neighborsstarted to define their lives. "Things weren't like that when we were in the South," Betty said. "All this happened when we came here."

One thing from the South, though, had followed the family to the North: racism.

"We were being attacked in school by white kids," Mickey said, recalling Boston's efforts to desegregate through busing during his high school years. "I just remembered that they were all outside surrounding the school. White people, white kids. Young guys, old guys. They had dogs. They had chains. They were trying to get into the school."

Buses arrive at South Boston High School, Jan. 8, 1975 as classes resume at the racially troubled institution. Police were on hand to provide protection as black students arrived. PJH/AP hide caption

Buses arrive at South Boston High School, Jan. 8, 1975 as classes resume at the racially troubled institution. Police were on hand to provide protection as black students arrived.

This wasn't what Lela Mae had envisioned for her children. From one of Boston's harshest street corners, during one of the city's worst chapters, "she tried with every ounce of strength that she had to try to hold this family together," said Betty. After years of processing what happened to their family, Betty and Mickey said they have resolved not to focus their energy on the segregationists who tricked their family. "I don't want no hatred to live in my heart. Nowhere. I don't have room for that," Betty said.

Mickey, who has been working on a series of children's books about little-known African Americans who have done remarkable things, has spent years flipping through history books unearthing forgotten stories. But it's only recently, he said, that he started to think that his own family's journey might have a place in history.

Echoes of the past in America's present

In April 2019, historian Clive Webb was cooking in his kitchen with the radio playing when a news story came on. He paused as he heard President Donald Trump explain his idea of putting undocumented immigrants on buses and dropping them off in so-called "sanctuary cities."

"They want more people in the sanctuary cites. Well, we'll give them more people. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply," Trump declared at a news conference. "And let's see if they're so happy. They're always saying, 'We have open arms.' Let's see if they have open arms."

At the kitchen counter, Webb said, he thought back to segregationists like Amis Guthridge who had said the same of the Kennedy family and black people. "In 1962, what was happening was the actions of a political fringe group," said Webb, "And in 2019, it's the federal government." (There is no evidence that the Trump administration has enacted the policy, and the White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

According to Webb, the story of the Reverse Freedom Rides is not a tale of how the United States is battling the same foes forever. Instead, he said, it is a reminder of how bystanders can foil a racist plot. "The white conservatives, who were behind that campaign then, actually underestimated the decency of many ordinary people," Webb said.

But the story has been largely forgotten by the next generation of Americans. Even the Williams family tried to forget. Both Mickey and Betty said their mother never talked about the trick that was played on her.

"She never discussed anything. Nothing. Nothing at all," said Mickey. "She didn't want to burden us. It was just pride."

The white conservatives, who were behind that campaign then, actually underestimated the decency of many ordinary people.

Clive Webb, historian

It might have been that pride or perhaps the haziness of the segregationists' lies, but the Williams' family lore somehow became that they were Freedom Riders, not Reverse Freedom Riders. Jahmal Williams, one of Betty's sons and a professional skateboarder, said that growing up, whenever stories about the Civil Rights Movement would flicker past on TV, his mother would say, "We played a part in this."

It was only when his grandmother, Lela Mae, passed away in 2013 that Jahmal had an inkling that there was more to know. At her funeral, he saw a pamphlet about the Reverse Freedom Rides. He went home and started Googling.

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The Reverse Freedom Rides And Their Long Aftermath : Code Switch - NPR

A Tweet Shows How Scared Gun-Control Activists are of Women and Minorities Enjoying Their Freedom – America’s 1st Freedom

Photo credit: Courtesy of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

When Igor Volsky, the co-founder and executive director of Guns Down America, a gun-control group dedicated to building a future with fewer guns, saw an article in The New York Times claiming that gun manufacturers are suddenly (more on that in a moment) marketing to women and minorities, he showcased his ignorance about America and our freedom in a series of tweets:

1/ Gun makers are softening their image to put a better face in front of people & ramp up its appeal to women, children and members of minority groups, wrote Volsky.Thats right: Gun makers are increasingly advertising to WOMEN, CHILDREN & MINORITY COMMUNITIES.

Volsky then tweeted: 2/ Firearm industry realizes that to survive into the future it must broaden its reach beyond the aging white men who have been its core customers -- and so theyre now trying to sell their products to other demographics. This is incredibly dangerous.

Reading the reaction on Twitter is amusing, as a lot of people called Volsky out on his views.

i am a minority woman and i want to buy a gun because i am unsafe living alone in my neighborhood. i also hunt goat, deer and pig so i might want my own gun one day instead of just compound bow. why is it wrong for me to have a gun? said someone with the username Eat ule.

One of the most exciting things to watch in the firearms community for the last 20 years is how much more inclusive it's become. If you are on the fence about buying a gun or learning how to use one, dont delay any longer! No matter who you are, gun people will welcome you, tweeted Nathan Lewis.

The demographics of gun ownership are changing in America (see, The Rise of the Woman Gun Owner), as more people embrace their freedom. Still, it isnt truthful to say that firearms manufacturers have only recently begun marketing to women. Companies, such as Colt, Savage Arms and Remington, have long run ads designed to specifically appeal to women.

An ad for the Savage Model 1907, a semi-automatic pistol made from 1907-1920, for example, showed a photo of a woman in a nightgown firing this Savage pistol. Under the photo was the ad copy: Her propertyher little onesher own lifeshe knows are safely protected when she has a Savage Automatic in her home. She knows its ten sure shots are at her commandquick or slow, as she choosesone to each trigger pull.

This articleshowcases just a few of the ads gun manufacturers ran over the last century and moreas they marketed guns to women.

But Volsky didnt just get this history wrong, he also said selling guns to women and minorities is incredibly dangerous. This sounds like both sexism and racism, as Volsky seems to be saying he doesnt think women and minorities are capable of handling their Second Amendment freedom.

A lot of female and minority gun-rights advocates did call Volsky out on his views. Maj Toure, head ofBlack Guns Matter, said, Imagine being either so uninformed on the racist roots of gun control or so full of yourself that you would not only think but also believe that melinated Americans owning guns would be incredibly dangerous. I wonder what he thinks of the thousands of melinated law-enforcement officers and military personnel that carry firearms to protect life as well?

Originally posted here:

A Tweet Shows How Scared Gun-Control Activists are of Women and Minorities Enjoying Their Freedom - America's 1st Freedom

Sophie and Hans Scholl died resisting the Nazis. Let’s not take freedom for granted – TheArticle

The death of Elisabeth Scholl at the age of 100 is a reminder of her brave siblings, Sophie and Hans, who were prominent among the small number of Germans who actively resisted the Nazis and paid for it with their lives. Their story shows that resistance to the Nazis was possible, although extremely dangerous, and that freedom of speech cannot be taken for granted.

In 1943, these two young students and their friends formed the White Rose movement, based in Munich. Sophies fianc Fritz Hartnagel, a soldier on the Eastern front, had informed them of the mass shooting of Jews and other horrors that he witnessed. They wrote six leaflets, describing Nazi war crimes in Russia, of which some 15,000 copies were distributed across several cities.

In February 1943, after the German defeat at Stalingrad, there was a crackdown on such dissident activities. The Scholls were denounced by the Munich university caretaker, whereupon the Gestapo arrested them and anybody else involved. Under interrogation they confessed their own role but refused to incriminate any of the other White Rose members. Sophie managed to protect her fianc, who survived the war; their correspondence was later published by her sister Elisabeth.

Hans and Sophie were tried before the Nazi Volksgericht (Peoples Court), presided over by the notorious judge Roland Freisler. He acted as prosecutor, recorder, judge and jury, in a courtroom bedecked with swastika flags and overshadowed by a huge bust of Hitler. Freisler subjected the two young students and their friend Christopher Probst to his tirades, but Sophie courageously stood up to him: You know as well as we do that the war is lost, she told the court. Why are you so cowardly that you wont admit it?

Freisler imposed death sentences on the Scholls and Probst. They were executed by guillotine the same day at Stadelheim Prison. Just before his beheading, Hans Scholl reportedly cried out: Es lebe die Freiheit! (Long live freedom!).

Later another White Rose activist, Alexander Schmorell, was executed and subsequently canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church. The same fate befell their teacher, the psychologist and musicologist Professor Karl Huber. The latters friend Carl Orff, the composer of Carmina Burana, refused to intercede on Hubers behalf, telling his wife that he would be ruined by any association with the White Rose. Huber, too, endured a show trial in the Peoples Court. Two years later Freisler was killed when a bomb fell on his court in Berlin, bringing the entire building down on top of him.

The Scholls parents and two sisters, including Elisabeth, were also taken into protective custody this was the iniquitous Nazi practice of Sippenhaft, whereby entire families could be punished for political crimes committed by an individual. Their father, who had been mayor of Ulm, was given two years for listening to enemy radio broadcasts. Elisabeth, who lived in Ulm and had been unaware of her siblings campaign, later recalled that she spent six months in solitary confinement and was only released when she became seriously ill. Afterwards, the Scholl family was ostracised and impoverished; nonetheless they survived the war. Elisabeth live long enough to see her brother and sister commemorated in many ways for their act of symbolic resistance, including a film, The White Rose. A modest woman, she insisted that she had not been in the resistance and could not take credit for their courage. She recalled walking with her sister beside the Danube on the day before war began in 1939. Sophie told her: Hopefully someone will stand up to Hitler. At that point she had no idea that she herself would be that person.

The story of Sophie and Hans Scholl still resonates today. They, like their contemporaries, had grown up as members of the Hitler Youth an experience vividly depicted in the satirical movie JoJo Rabbit. Yet they found the inner resources to resist the Nazi machine. Devout Catholics, their determination to bear witness for their faith played a part, but so too did the fact that they had a teacher who showed them the meaning of intellectual freedom and integrity. This was the lesson that Sophie and Hans learned from Kurt Huber. Integrity is the ability to face up to the truth and make whatever sacrifices are necessary to uphold it. The Scholls were true to themselves. Not only young Germans, but students everywhere could do worse than to follow their example.

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Sophie and Hans Scholl died resisting the Nazis. Let's not take freedom for granted - TheArticle

These Are the 10 ‘Most Urgent’ Threats to Press Freedom in March 2020 – TIME

When Chinese authorities announced a lockdown on the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late January in an attempt to halt the spread of a deadly virus, millions of people fled the city, eager to escape before the enforced quarantine began.

But Chen Qiushi, a self-described citizen journalist, boarded a train to Wuhan on Jan. 24 to document the unfolding epidemic.

In around two weeks, the 34-year-old vlogger posted more than 100 videos from Wuhanwhere the virus now known as COVID-19, which has now infected more than 83,000 people in more than 50 countries, is believed to have originated. His posts, which garnered hundreds of thousands of views on Twitter and YouTube, showed sick people languishing in crowded hospital lobbies, detailed shortages in medical supplies and described exhausted hospital staff.

Why am I here? I have stated that its my duty to be a citizen-journalist, he said in one video, filming himself with a selfie stick outside a train station. What sort of a journalist are you if you dont dare rush to the front line in a disaster?

His posts also drew the attention of the authorities. In an anguished video post near the end of his first week in Wuhan, he said police had called him, wanting to know his whereabouts.

I am scared, he said. I have the virus in front of me, and on my back, I have the legal and administrative power of China. But he vowed to continue as long as I am alive in this city.

On Feb. 6, Chen told his family that he planned to report on a temporary hospital. He hasnt been seen since.

This month, Chen is on One Free Press Coalitions list which highlights the 10 most urgent cases of threats to press freedom across the world.

Read about all 10 journalists under attack on the March list here:

1. Chen Qiushi (China): Journalist missing as Chinese authorities stifle reporting on coronavirus outbreak.

Freelance video journalist Chen Qiushi has not been seen since February 6, when he told family he planned to report on a temporary hospital. On January 24, he traveled to the city of Wuhan in Hubei province from Beijing and began filming and reporting on the coronavirus health crisis, according to his posts on YouTube, noting local hospitals were short of resources and struggling to handle the number of patients who needed treatment. Later, China expelled three accredited Wall Street Journal journalists over an opinion headline relating to the crisis.

2. Daler Sharifov (Tajikistan): Tajikistan silences independent media ahead of March 1 elections.

Daler Sharifov is ordered two months of pretrial detention since Tajik police raided the independent reporters home on January 28, confiscating a computer and books, and days later issuing a statement announcing charges of inciting ethnic, racial and religious hatred. The statement refers to more than 200 articles and commentaries containing extremist content he published between 2013 and 2019. CPJ calls this a clear attempt to silence ahead of elections one of the few media critics that remain. A guilty verdict could mean up to five years in prison.

3. Patrcia Campos Mello (Brazil): Politicians join in online sexual harassment to undermine journalists integrity.

A reporter for Brazils largest daily newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo, Patrcia Campos Mello experiences ongoing harassment online in retaliation for her reporting. During a congressional hearing in Braslia last month, an individual falsely accused Campos Mello of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for a scoop. Hundreds of Facebook and Twitter users, including the son of President Jair Bolsonaro, shared the allegations, many using sexual language. The allegations were later referenced by the president himself, whose 2018 presidential campaign backers distributed misinformation through WhatsApp to millions of Brazilians, Campos Mello reported.

4. Roohollah Zam (Iran): Trial underway for anti-government journalist held in undisclosed location.

Intelligence agents of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps arrested Iranian journalist Roohollah Zam in October. Founder of anti-government Amad News, Zam had been living in France and, following his arrest in Baghdad, was extradited to Iran. He is accused of working with French, Israeli and U.S. intelligence agencies, amounting to 17 charges, including espionage and spreading false news, although the government has made his platforms almost completely inaccessible for more than two years. In February, at least three trial sessions were held in his case.

5. Agns Ndirubusa and the team at Iwacu (Burundi): Court delivers prison sentence and fines for Burundis only imprisoned journalists.

Following their October arrest, a Burundi court convicted four journalists on January 30 of attempting to undermine state security, fined them each $530, and sentenced them to two years and six months in prison. The four, who had been covering clashes in the countrys Bubanza Province and submitted their appeal on February 21, include Agns Ndirubusa, head of the political desk at Iwacu, one of Burundis last independent outlets, and three colleagues: broadcast reporter Christine Kamikazi, English-language reporter Egide Harerimana and photojournalist Trence Mpozenzi.

6. Azimjon Askarov (Kyrgyzstan): Kyrgyz court hears final appeal of journalists life sentence.

After nearly ten years in prison and his life sentence twice upheld, award-winning journalist Azimjon Askarov, 68, pursued a final appeal at the Supreme Court. The February 26 hearing was quickly adjourned until April 7. The ethnic Uzbeks reporting on corruption, abuse and human rights elicited trumped-up charges that included incitement to ethnic hatred and complicity in the murder of a police officer. Kyrgyzstans one imprisoned journalist experiences deteriorating health amid harsh conditions and limited access to medication.

7. Jamal Khashoggi (Saudi Arabia): U.S. executive branch idles while calls persist for Khashoggis justice.

February 14 marked 500 days since Jamal Khashoggis murder inside Istanbuls Saudi consulate. The Washington Posts columnists fianc, Hadice, observed the date with an op-ed calling for justice. The Trump administration has so far ignored a law passed by Congress, and signed by the president, that mandated the release of an intelligence report about Khashoggis murder by January 19. Thats in addition to ignoring a deadline to reply to Congress regarding the killing, as required under the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act.

8. Pham Doan Trang (Vietnam): Journalist in hiding to evade arrest continues reporting.

Phan Doan Trang has been in hiding since August 2018, after Ho Chi Minh City police brutally beat her and confiscated her national ID card, on top of silencing measures including interrogation, monitoring and shutting off her internet and electricity. A colleague reports that Trang, cofounder of The Vietnamese and Luat Khoa news publications, has not fully recuperated from the assault and her health has deteriorated. While moving between safe houses, she has continued critical reporting on the environment, freedom of religion and online civil society.

9. Mahmoud Hussein (Egypt): Journalist held in extended pretrial detention for unspecified charges.

Mahmoud Hussein, a journalist working with Al Jazeera, has spent more than 1,000 days in pretrial detention in Cairo. Last May, an Egyptian court ordered his release, but authorities opened a new investigation with unspecified charges and returned him to prison. Husseins initial arrest dates to December 2016, and his detention has been repeatedly renewed every 45 days, with anti-state and false news charges stemming from a 2016 documentary about conscription in Egypt which the government claims uses fake footage and aims to incite chaos.

10. Aasif Sultan (India): Communications blackout further delays imprisoned journalists trial.

Kashmir Narrator reporter Aasif Sultan has spent more than a year and half behind bars, since his 2018 arrest and charges months later of complicity in harboring known terrorists. He has been repeatedly interrogated and asked to reveal his sources for a cover story on a slain Kashmiri militant, whose killing by Indian security forces set off a wave of anti-government demonstrations in Kashmir in July 2016. A number of hearings have been postponedand other journalists harassed and detained the past year.

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These Are the 10 'Most Urgent' Threats to Press Freedom in March 2020 - TIME

Tacky’s Revolt review: Britain, Jamaica, slavery and an early fight for freedom – The Guardian

By 1690, Jamaica was the jewel of Britains American possessions. An economy largely based on the production of sugar brought wealth and led to the beginnings of an imperial system.

But that system was built on the almost unimaginably brutal reality of slavery, enforced by almost equally unimaginable cruelties and daily punishments and control.

The system was ruthless and relentless. In the mid-18th century one plantation in Westmoreland Parish, site of the most serious slave revolt in 1760, recorded twice as many deaths as births, many from pure overwork. Importation of fresh slaves, often from the Gold Coast of Africa, filled the gap and reinforced the system yet contained the seeds of the systems eventual destruction.

Vincent Browns Tackys Revolt: The Story of An Atlantic Slave War, places the Jamaican revolts of 1760 firmly within the broader history of the time, notably the Seven Years War, for which Brown comments that historians have barely noticed that the Jamaican insurrection was one of its major battles. The judgment is correct when one remembers that the Caribbean, not just Quebec, was key to British strategy.

This is not popular history, perhaps in either sense of the word. But it is important history

War suffuses this book: wars among African polities, wars between the European powers such as the War of Jenkins Ear and the Seven Years War, war and violence on the daily life of the plantation between master and enslaved. These wars within wars, Brown writes, ensured that slaverys violent conflicts integrated Europe, Africa, America, and the Atlantic ocean.

Brown endorses the phrase of freed slave and soldier Olaudah Equiano: that slavery was itself a state of war. Overseer and diarist Thomas Thistlewood chronicled the inhumanity of slavery, including his own brutalities. The daily violence of plantation life was a war for control no less than the broader contest in the Caribbean between Britain, France and Spain.

It is thus a small step for Brown to conclude that recognizing slave revolt as a species of warfare is the first step toward a new cartography of Atlantic slavery.

African commanders including Tacky, who had probably held a royal office or lineage in one of the Gold Coasts eastern kingdoms, and Apongo, a leader among the Akan-speaking peoples in both Africa and Jamaica, brought knowledge of military strategy and tactics.

Brown studies the movements of the insurrection closely and draws conclusions about its military and political aims. With experience of African political and economic life, the slaves sought something more than freedom alone. As Brown writes, their pattern of warfare indicates an attempt at territorial and political control, a strategy of maneuver rather than of retreat, evasion, or escape.

The revolt of the title was put down suddenly and fiercely. It began on 7 April 1760 in St Marys Parish but was possibly premature. A larger conflict, which the British called the Coromantee war, was timed for the Whitsun holidays and for when the merchant fleet sailed to Britain, leaving the island less defended. It continued for months.

After initial success in Westmoreland Parish and retreat into the mountains and forests from which they conducted skirmishes and other tactics largely derived from African warfare, the Coromantee rebels succumbed to overwhelming British power.

The Navy brought the full resources of transatlantic empire to bear against the rebels, Brown writes, articulating the local conflict to the wider war.

Dense, closely argued and meticulously researched, this is not popular history, perhaps in either sense of the word. But it is important history. Historians have long recognized the Seven Years War as a global conflict but this book brings the role of Africa and Africans fully into the struggle.

As Brown writes in conclusion: The Coromantee war was at once an extension of the African conflicts that fed the slave trade, a race war among black slaves and white slaveholders, an imperial conquest, and an internal struggle between black people for control of territory and the establishment of a political legacy.

The economic, political and cultural consequences of this war within wars reverberated out from Jamaica to other colonies, across the ocean to Great Britain and back again to the island, where the revolt reshaped public life and lodged deeply in collective memory.

The Jamaican revolts influenced, sometimes in subtle ways, the movement for abolition of the slave trade, and eventually slavery itself, on both sides of the Atlantic. To correct a victors perspective and recover lost history and the dignity of the enslaved, Brown has written a 21st-century military history one which takes full account of all the combatants and those for whom they fought.

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Tacky's Revolt review: Britain, Jamaica, slavery and an early fight for freedom - The Guardian

Submariners from HMS Vengeance and Bury sea cadets exercise Freedom of Bury St Edmunds with parade in town centre | Latest Suffolk and Essex News -…


PUBLISHED: 14:56 04 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:03 04 March 2020

Mark Langford

HMS Vengeance exercises its Freedom of Bury St Edmunds with a parade through the town centre. Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

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Crew from HMS Vengeance, a nuclear powered submarine which is affiliated to Bury, exercised their right to parade through the town centre and were joined by Bury St Edmunds sea cadets today (Wednesday March 4).

They formed up at the war memorial in Angel Hill where the Reverend Simon Harvey, the vicar of St Mary's church in Bury, conducted a short service.

The parade, led by the cadets marching band, then set off along Abbeygate Street, Cornhill, the Buttermarket, Central Walk, and across St Andrews Street to Charter Square, before returning to Angel Hill.

Shoppers and market traders, with stalls bedecked in Union flags, lent support as the parade made its way through the town.

The Freedom of a town or city is an ancient sign of trust given to military organisations, allowing them to march through with drums beating, flags flying and bayonets fixed.


Submariners from HMS Vengeance and Bury sea cadets exercise Freedom of Bury St Edmunds with parade in town centre | Latest Suffolk and Essex News -...

You can’t have both religious freedom and religious dominance – Patheos

A Friendly Atheist headline directed me to a righteous rant on religious freedom.AOC: The GOP Only EverInvokes Religious Freedom When It Wants to Justify Hate, the headline read. It seems that during a hearing in the U.S. House last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the following:

There is nothing holy about rejecting medical care of people, no matter who they are, on the grounds of what their identity is. There is nothing holy about turning someone away from a hospital. Theres nothing holy about rejecting a child from a family. Theres nothing holy about writing discrimination into the law, and I am tired of communities of faith being weaponized and being mischaracterized, because the only time religious freedom is invoked, its in the name of bigotry and discrimination. Im tired of it.

Huh, I thought. Huh.

Ive long been tired of the way the Right talks about religious freedom, but Ive rarely seen the problems with the Rights religious freedom framework stated so simply and directly. The only time religious freedom is invoked, its in the name of bigotry and discrimination,AOC said. And you know what? Its true.

Here, Ill make a list of evangelicals religious freedom claims.

Are you sensing a pattern? I sure am.

I grew up in a conservative evangelical home in the 1990s and early 2000s, and I dont remember hearing a lot about religious freedom. My impression, based on my own experience, is that religious freedom took off as a catchphrase on the Right at the same time that LGBTQ rights became increasingly accepted by the mainstream. From where Im standing, calls for religious freedom look more like a claim developed specifically to discriminate against LGBTQ people than anything else.

It also makes a handy argument for denying people health insurance that covers contraceptives, of course. Still, overall, religious freedom claims primary target seems to be LGBTQ individuals.

See, Im not sure the Right is actually as full-throated in its support for religious freedom as it claims. After all, what does the Right not include in its catalogue of religious freedom? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

Recall that those evangelicalsthe conservative ones Im talking aboutstill want to put Christian prayer back in school, because were a Christian nation, dammit. That is not a religious freedom argument. Its a religious dominance argument. This wing of evangelicals doesnt believe in religious freedom for anyone but Christians.

Remember, these are the same people who argue that our founding fathers established our country as an explicitly Christian nation and call openly for Christian preference. These are the same people who want school board meetings and city council meetings to open in Christian prayers. They dont want religious freedom. Thats just a smokescreen they use to justify their bigotry. What they want is religious dominance.

AOCs comments remind us that this issue isnt all that complicated. Its actually really, really simple.

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The Presidential Medal of Freedom: Its Just So Beautiful – RushLimbaugh.com

RUSH: For those of you watching on the Dittocam, this will also be at RushLimbaugh.com. I want to show you a picture up close of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That is it right there. And I couldnt stop looking down at it the whole time that Im wearing it. The clasps in the back, its just beautiful.

Weve also got one more photo to show you that will also be at RushLimbaugh.com.

A black and white picture taken from below the second floor with the Medal of Freedom in color.


RUSH: This is Will in Rhinebeck, New York. Great to have you, sir, the EIB Network. Hello.

CALLER: Rush, thank you so much. Its great to hear from you. Mega dittos, mega prayers. Ive been listening to you for about 15 years. I just want to thank you because during the Obama years, you were the beacon of hope for all of us.

RUSH: Thank you, sir. For me, too.

CALLER: My daughters and I are huge fans of the Rush Revere books. Were actually reading through the First Patriots right now. It was such an honor to see you receive the Medal of Freedom. It just couldnt have gone to a better person.

RUSH: Well, it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Its so special and the president was not gonna let me miss it. He was not going to let me talk him or myself out of appearing at the House Chamber that night. Remember, folks, I knew I was gonna get the medal. The president had told me that it was gonna happen in a couple of weeks in the Oval Office and for those of you just tuning in, let me remind you of something else.

There are details here that I cant tell you that I so desperately want to because they describe and illustrate even further the kind of person Donald Trump is. But to do that I would have to go into details about my condition and my treatment, and Im just not gonna do that. Im not the only one thats ever gone through this. A lot of you have, a lot of you are, and I vowed when this whole thing started, Im not gonna bleed on anybody with this.

But someday, somehow, Im gonna be able to tell the entire story, because there are elements of it that youll just laugh yourself silly. Theyre all about Donald Trump refusing to hear no, no matter how polite, no matter how sincere, no matter how heartfelt, no way, not possible. As I say, its an aspect of his personality that these people, his political opponents havent the slightest idea. They have no way of understanding it.

He just will not be denied, and for all these times when you think people on his staff are getting away with sabotaging him like the whistleblower, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman? No. No. It may look like it in the moment, but they are going to I dont want to say pay a price. Theyre gonna be outed for what they did. Theyre not going to get away with it, is the point. Hes just indomitable and will not let anybody deny what he wants and I dont mean that as hes oppressive and insensitive and doesnt listen.

Its, in fact, the exact opposite.

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The Presidential Medal of Freedom: Its Just So Beautiful - RushLimbaugh.com

Democracy and freedom of expression are under threat in Brazil – The Guardian

Brazils democratic institutions are under attack. Since taking office, the Jair Bolsonaro administration, helped by its allies on the far right, has systematically undermined cultural, scientific and educational institutions in the country, as well as the press.

Early on, prominent members of Bolsonaros political party started a campaign to encourage university and high school students to covertly film their teachers and denounce them for ideological indoctrination. This persecution campaign, ominously called School Without Party, created a sense of intimidation and fear in educational institutions in a country barely three decades out of an oppressive military regime. Last month, Bolsonaro suggested that the state should censor textbooks to promote conservative values.

The Bolsonaro administration has made it clear it will not tolerate deviation from its ultra-conservative politics and worldview. Last year the administration fired the marketing director of Banco do Brasil, Delano Valentim, for creating an ad campaign promoting diversity and inclusion, which was then censored by the government. Later that year, as Brazils Amazon forest burned at an alarming rate, Bolsonaros administration retaliated against scientists who dared to present facts. Ricardo Galvo, the former director of Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), was removed from his post for releasing satellite data on deforestation in the Amazon.

The government is also dangerously hostile to the media. On 21 January this year, the federal prosecutors office opened a baseless investigation into the American journalist Glenn Greenwald and his team for participating in an alleged conspiracy to hack the cellphone of Brazilian authorities. The prosecution, a clear attack on freedom of the press, was a response to a series of exposs that Greenwald and the Intercept published concerning possible corruption in Bolsonaros inner circle.

This is not an isolated case. Government officials throughout the country, from regional courts to the military police, have taken it upon themselves to ideologically defend Bolsonaro and curtail free expression. In 2019 alone, there were 208 reported attacks on media and journalists in Brazil.

On 16 January, Bolsonaro and the then special secretary for culture, Roberto Alvim, filmed a joint broadcast that laid out their ideological plans for the country. They praised the conservative turn and the resumption of culture in the country. The next day, Alvim went further: during a video segment to announce a new national arts award, he made apparent allusions to Nazi principles and lifted phrases from the Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

Domestic outrage and international condemnation caused Alvim to step down. But Alvim was merely giving voice to Bolsonaros far-right political project, which continues in full force: a continuous affront to freedom of expression, justified in the name of national culture. Public institutions that represent Brazils multicultural heritage the Superior Council of Cinema, Ancine, the Audiovisual Fund, the National Library, the Institute of National Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iphan) and the Palmares Foundation for Black Culture have faced censorship, funding cutbacks and other political pressure.

The Brazilian film-maker Petra Costa, director of the documentary The Edge of Democracy, currently has a chance of becoming the first female Latin American director to win an Oscar. Yet Bolsonaros secretary of communication recently used his official Twitter channel to disseminate a video attacking Costa as an anti-patriot spreading lies about the Bolsonaro government. Similarly, the feature films Bacurau, Invisible Life and Babenco received international acclaim at the Cannes and Venice film festivals, but Bolsonaro has declared that no good films have been produced in Brazil for a long time.

The Bolsonaro government is also working to reverse several important social achievements of the last two decades, including affirmative action. Between 2003 and 2017, the proportion of black students entering Brazilian universities increased 51%; the Bolsonaro regime wants to roll back this progress. Bolsonaro and his ministers routinely disparage ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ+ community all while ignoring the violence and criminality of rightwing paramilitary militias.

This is a government that has no development plan for its people. Instead, the Bolsonaro regime is engaged in a dangerous culture war against contrived internal threats. It denies global warming and the burning of the Amazon, despises leaders who fight for the preservation of the environment, and disrespects the culture and environmental preservation carried out by indigenous communities.

We fear that these attacks on democratic institutions may soon become irreversible. Based on the most extreme and narrow conservative principles, Bolsonaros project is to change the content of school textbooks and Brazilian films, restrict access to funding for scholarships and research, and intimidate intellectuals, journalists and scientists. We ask the international community to:

Pressure Brazil to fully respect the universal declaration of human rights, and thereby respect freedom of expression, thought and religion.

Finally, we call on human rights bodies and the international press to put a spotlight on what is happening in Brazil. This is a grave political moment. We must reject the rise of authoritarianism.

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Democracy and freedom of expression are under threat in Brazil - The Guardian

Both Freedom teams clinch NWC titles they hope to win outright next week – Morganton News Herald

TAYLORSVILLE The Freedom boys basketball team became impossible to keep up with Friday night , shooting its way to an 83-65 victory at Alexander Central in front of a packed house in Northwestern 3A/4A Conference action.

Three nights after tying a career-high with 36 points, Patriots senior guard Bradley Davis lit up the scoreboard for 28 to go with eight rebounds, shooting 11 of 19 from the field including 6 of 11 from 3-point range. Classmate James Freeman joined Davis in double figures with 21 points to go with a game-high nine assists and made 3 of 5 long-range attempts.

Second-ranked Freedom (20-1, 9-1 NWC) made 15 treys in all as it clinched at least a share of a second straight regular-season title plus the NWCs No. 1 3A state playoff seed on the same night it reached 20 wins for a ninth time in 10 seasons.

We dont want to look at the end of the season yet, Pats first-year coach Clint Zimmerman said. That will take care of itself. We got to keep chipping away and try to get better. Clinching and having a shot is good, but we have to make sure we dont get complacent with that and we come in ready to go on Monday, Tuesday and Friday.

The Patriots were certainly ready to go Friday, starting off on fire with four out of five first-quarter baskets coming from long range en route to an early 14-10 lead.

Alexander managed to keep the contest tight in the second quarter, going into the half down just 33-28 after Freedom led by as much as 11 at one point.

Freedoms offense exploded in the third. Davis scored 18 of his 28 points in the period, helping the Patriots go off for 30 to finally put some distance between themselves and the hosts. Freeman scored 15 after halftime as Freedom never took its foot off the gas, playing with intensity until the final minute and grabbing the victory by a healthy margin.

Qualique Garner added nine points, Nick Johnson had seven and Ben Tolbert drained two 3s for his six points.

Zimmerman talked afterward of his teams willingness to play every possession as if the game is on the line, no matter the score.

Thats something Coach (Casey) Rogers started with this group a long time ago, he said. Its all about having great habits, and habits transcend what the scoreboard is. Habits go beyond the kind of play, its just doing your job all the time, and were trying to continue that.

The Patriots will look to wrap up the title in outright fashion Tuesday at home against Watauga.

Freedom's Josie Hise (right) battles with an Alexander Central player for position under the goal on Friday.

Freedom 77, Alexander Central 46

The Lady Patriots rode a stifling defensive effort to guarantee at least a share of a fifth straight NWC regular-season title Friday night, matching their second best start in program history (by the 2000-01 team) one game after sewing up a 12th consecutive 20-win campaign.

No. 1 Freedom (21-0, 10-0 NWC) scored 29 points off 31 forced turnovers while committing just nine turnovers and drilling 13 3s. Senior Guard Blaikley Crooks double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds to complement a stat line that also showed five assists and four steals.

Josie Hise (17 points, six assists, five steals), Christena Rhone (12 points, seven assists, four steals) and Jayda Glass (14 points, four rebounds, three steals) joined Crooks in double figures largely due to their efforts on defense as well.

I think to turn up the pressure and get some unforced errors, that helped us, Freedom coach Amber Reddick said. In the second half, we did a better job rebounding the ball. Thats something we talked about. Alexander has a lot of size and we knew we had to do a better job rebounding. We (also) cleaned up our defense in the second half and kept them off the free throw line.

Freedom won each period, never trailing after the opening minute and leading 17-10 after one and 40-25 at the half.

Reddick said shed appreciate what Friday meant for at least a moment before moving on to the next goal.

I really do have to stop and remind myself to enjoy it, she said. This is a great bunch of girls. They get along, theyre so much fun to coach. But sometimes its easy for me to get tunnel vision, so I do have to stop and tell myself to enjoy this because this is a fun group.

Freedom looks to extend a 38-game win streak on Tuesday vs. Watauga, the last NWC team to hand FHS a loss in January 2018 in Morganton. The Lady Pats have taken six straight from the Pioneers since, four of those by single digits. Freedom has only won by single digits twice this season.

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Both Freedom teams clinch NWC titles they hope to win outright next week - Morganton News Herald