Freedom of Religion or Belief club formed at BYU – The Daily Universe – Universe.byu.edu

The Freedom of Religion or Belief Club logo reflects the clubs motto to educate students on religious freedom. (Freedom of Religion or Belief club)

A club educating students on freedom of religion and belief was formed at BYU. The Freedom of Religion and Belief club, known as FoRB, was created by students seeking to find a way to communicate with other students who have similar interests.

The clubs website explains that the club is designed to empower members of the BYU community to become actively aware of the freedom of religion or belief in the broader context of human rights and actively engaged in defending it.

I pondered on the admonition of church and national leaders who have emphasized the importance of protecting religious freedom. I realized that BYU is uniquely positioned to create a powerful impact for freedom of religion or belief, club president Rachel Miner states on their website. Together with amazing faculty and friends, the beginning of the BYU FoRB Club sprung to life.

Miner said the idea for the club came from Article 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which reads, Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

She explained that the right to religion or belief is one students cannot overlook, especially at a religious university. We are protecting the right to believe in God as much as we protect the right to not believe in God, she said.

Anna Bryner, another founding member and president of the FoRB club, shared that after a mission in upstate New York, she became curious about restrictions on religious freedom. Since then, she has taken classes and attended conferences and seeks to inspire others to care about religious freedom.

We hear about the importance of religious freedom a lot, but its hard to know what we can do to get involved, Bryner said.

Bryner said she hopes that those interested in the club will understand that rather than a time commitment, the club hopes for a commitment of heart.

Brady Earley, another FoRB club president, explained that the club is designed in regard to BYUs mission statement, leading to lifelong learning.

We feel that there is so much that students at BYU have to contribute to this issue. There is a lot that everyone can do right now to be educated, he said.

The club plans on having two to four main events throughout the semester. The first is scheduled for Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. with speaker Elizabeth Clark, the Associate Director for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

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Freedom of Religion or Belief club formed at BYU - The Daily Universe - Universe.byu.edu

Freedom 76 At Grandview Will Be Live On FloRacing – FloRacing

Eddie Mumford won the first Freedom 76 Modified Classic back in 1971 and Mike Gular won the last one in 2019. It is anyones guess as to who will walk off with the trophy and the $35,550 pot of gold as winner of the 50th Annual Freedom 76 taking place at Grandview Speedway on Saturday, September 19th.

Watch the 50th Annual Freedom 76 Modified Classic LIVE on FloRacing!

Quite an impressive list of racing talents are expected including two of the winningest Modified talents in the sport, Stewart Friesen and Matt Sheppard. Friesen, a Freedom 76 winner in 2014, also spends his time racing on the NASCAR Truck Series circuit and will be coming from the Thursday night race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Rising star Billy Pauch, Jr. (his father a six time winner) is entered as is Bobby Varin, Mike Maresca, Ryan Godown and a host of other visitors.

For the first time in the prestigious race's history, the event will be live on FloRacing.com for both the Friday and Saturday portions.

Track champion Craig Von Dohren will be seeking his sixth win, his first one coming in 1985. Jeff Strunk is a seven time winner while Duane Howard has five wins. Ray Swinehart, another past winner, will be looking for another victory as will Meme DeSantis, a three time winner.

A long list of Grandview regulars and visitors will be filling the pits as they try for a qualifying spot in the Classic, 76 laps around the one-third-mile, banked clay track.

The weekend kicks off with the action packed Freedom 38 for Sportsman stock cars paying the winner of the 38-lapper $3,550. This race is also expected to attract many visitors to test their skills.

Also on Friday night, action starting at 7:30 p.m., the Modified racers planning to participate in the Freedom 76 will be given practice time during the evenings events.

Pits open at 3 p.m. and main grandstand gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Adult admission is $15 with youngsters 6 through 11 paying $5 and kids under 6 admitted free. Pit admission for Friday is $35 and there is no license required.

Tickets for the Freedom 76 will sell for $40. Youngsters, 6 through 11, on Saturday will pay $10 while kids under 6 are admitted free. Pit admission will be $45 with no license required. There are no advance tickets being offered.

Saturday will see pit gates open at 9 a.m. Ticket windows open at 3:00 p.m. Fans will be able to enter the speedway at the first turn and fourth turn spectator gates to reserve seats with blankets between 9am and 12noon.

On track action will get started at 7 p.m. as top Modified racing talents participate in qualifying events, the $1,000 to win Kirsten Snyder Web Design & Photography Cash Dash, the Schaffer Racing Minuteman 20 and top it all off with the 50th edition of the Freedom 76, The Granddaddy of Modified Stock Car Classics.

A large amount of lap money will be divided amongst lap leaders during the big race and the racer gaining the most positions during the 76 laps will receive $500 from Bobby Gunther Walsh and his sponsors as the Hard Charger.

Competition Carburetion Fast Lap of $50 will be awarded Friday, Sept. 18 for the Freedom 38 and for the Saturday September 19th Freedom 76.

All winners are entered into a random drawing at the end of the season for a Grand Prize of $500.00

Freedom Fest will take place from 10 AM to 12 NOON on Saturday in the first turn pavilion area and will feature music by Maddie Pearl. Race cars driven by Ryan Grim, Colt Harris and Dylan Swinehart will be on display.

Bob Hilbert Sportswear will present a jacket to the winner of the Freedom 76.

Check the website for information on camping regulations.

Information can be had at http://www.grandviewspeedway.com or telephone 610.754.7688.

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Freedom 76 At Grandview Will Be Live On FloRacing - FloRacing

Trump Attacks The 1619 Project: U.S. Wasnt Founded On Slavery And Oppression, It Was Freedom – Moguldom

Written by Ann Brown

Sep 18, 2020

Trump decided it was a good idea to use Constitution Day Sept. 17 not to talk about the constitution but instead to bash the New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, which is credited with reframing the story weve been taught about the origin of the U.S. around the arrival 401 years ago of the first African slaves.

During a Constitution Day speech at the National Archives, POTUS launched the first White House Conference on American History in an effort to contradict reality.

A series of essays, the 1619 Project was published to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slaves arriving by ship at the Virginia colony. It places the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are, Hari Sreenivasan wrote for PBS.

Trump derided the 1619 Project, which highlights the legacy of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans, MarketWatch reported.

He used his attack on the project to claim that the U.S. was not built and did not become prosperous due to free slave labor. He called this fact lies and declared the U.S. was built on freedom.

For many years now, the radicals have mistaken Americans silence for weakness. But they are wrong, Trump said. There is no more powerful force than a parents love for their children and patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country.

This isnt the first time Trump has attacked The 1619 Project, which was spearheaded by New York Times reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones. The material has been added to several school curriculums across the country. He has called out the project a number of times, making it a campaign talking point.

Trump called the project toxic propaganda, and vowed to take measures to promote what he called patriotic education.

The 1619 Project has become a common foil for right-wing politicians, calling it ideological poison that will dissolve the civic bonds of America, Forbes reported.

Trump railed against what he called the left-wing indoctrination in school curriculums, which he said views every issue through the lens of race in an effort to impose tyranny and a new segregation.

Trump has proposed patriotic education and declared he will sign an executive order establishing a commission to promote patriotic education, which will be called the 1776 Commission, in contrast to the 1619 Project, The Washington Post reported.

He also applauded a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop, in his words, a pro-American curriculum that celebrates the truth about our nations great history.

Our mission is to defend the legacy of Americas founding, the virtue of Americas heroes, and the nobility of the American character, Trump said, according to a transcript of his speech.We must clear away the twisted web of lies in our schools and classrooms, and teach our children the magnificent truth about our country. We want our sons and daughters to know that they are the citizens of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world.

The left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies, POTUS continued. There is no better example than the New York Times totally discredited 1619 Project. This project rewrites American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom.

He even tried pulling out a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to support his belief. We embrace the vision of Martin Luther King, where children are not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, Trump said.

Many observers say this latest speech by Trump is further evidence that Trump has cast himself as the defender of White America.

Presenting himself as a warrior against identity politics, the president has increasingly made appeals to the grievances of white supporters a centerpiece of his re-election campaign, The New York Times reported.

In short, Trump, it appears, is ignoring the calls of protesters across the country who are pushing for changes in the judicial system, for an end of racial and economic injustice.

Just days after returning from Kenosha, Wis., where he staunchly backed law enforcement and did not mention the name of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot seven times in the back by the police, Trump issued an orderto purge the federal government of racial sensitivity training that his White House called divisive, anti-American propaganda, The Times reported.

Trump has declaredhimself the candidate of white America, The Times wrote.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Partys sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.

And it seems to be working. A recent poll by CBS News found that 66 percent of registered voters believed Trump favored white people, versus 4 percent who said he worked against their interests. By contrast, 20 percent thought he favored Black people and 50 percent said he worked against Black people. Eight-one percent of Black voters said he worked against their interests.

The poll also revealed that Trump led former Vice President Joe Biden, his Democratic challenger, among white voters by 51 percent to 43 percent, but trailed among Black voters with just 9 percent support, compared with 85 percent Black support for Biden.

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Trump Attacks The 1619 Project: U.S. Wasnt Founded On Slavery And Oppression, It Was Freedom - Moguldom

Aviation Analysis: Revival of Fifth Freedom Flights? – Sam Chui

Airlines have begun to ramp up their network connectivity at any cost. For what has felt like an age, the roars of the engines are finally starting to be heard again. With airlines resuming their operations, and jostling for prime positions in their core markets, they are signalling to the world that they have navigated beyond the crisis.

However, a big question lingers on whether demand has genuinely recovered in the long-haul sector. It still remains uncertain. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we have been exposed to countless scenarios and forecast models, but the majority have been well off the mark. 2023 has been widely projected as the year when long-haul demand will recover, but in this case, we shall look to 2025 and beyond, of which can be based upon the Nike Swoosh-Shaped Recovery.

In turn, this conservative estimate challenges airlines to optimise their networks in a far more disciplined manner; a manner which must reflect the low-demand environment. On the other hand, there are overoptimistic airlines rapidly scaling up their wide-body long-haul operations again (e.g. Boeing 777-300ER) at a time when there is low passenger confidence and the economy is on the brink of another global recession.

In the build-up to the pandemic, the airline industry was facing crippling overcapacity issues. Huge levels of competition were shrinking the pool of profit; in many ways the industry was cannibalising itself. Fares were plummeting to unsustainable levels, both from a financial and environmental perspective, the service quality on long-haul flights was also declining too.

Airlines are employing a range of commercial strategies to rebuild their long-haul networks and, as lockdowns are lifted in many parts of the world, we could witness a fifth freedom rights boost in connectivity. It would allow hub carriers to consolidate their networks since fifth freedom flights may also prove to be more dynamic (e.g. codeshare agreements with other carriers). The launch of fifth freedom flights would also lead to additional revenue opportunities, e.g. belly-hold cargo carriage.

Between 2014 and 2019, the capacity of the South East Asia United States market more than doubled (CAPA, 2020). This was largely driven by a diversified demand among both business and VFR passengers. The Asia North America market has been dominated by hub carriers making use of fifth and sixth freedom traffic rights (e.g. Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines). Until 2017, United Airlines operated several fifth freedom flights from the United States to cities like Hong Kong and Singapore via their Tokyo-Narita hub.

However, a new generation of twin-engine, fuel efficient and long-range aircraft, like the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, have made such intra-Asia flights obsolete. In 2017, United Airlines began a nonstop service between San Francisco and Singapore on their 787-9 aircraft. Doing so, ended their historic fifth freedom service between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Inan application to the US Department of Transportationsubmitted in May 2020, United requested to recommence fifth freedom operations between Hong Kong and Singapore. United have been operating cargo-only flights using Boeing 777-300ERs since 10th May 2020. However, United still want to maintain the option to open the route to flying passengers; once conditions improve and safe air travel corridors, between Singapore and the United States, can be established. Commencing passenger service on this route exemplifies the airlines need to optimise passenger loads, in a low-demand environment.

By adjusting to a long and slow recovery for long-haul air travel demand, it would make sense to reintroduce commercial routes like this. Even the thought of re-introducing routes like San Francisco Hong Kong Singapore is a more interesting prospect than prioritising non-stop flights, which have become more popular over the past few years. With passenger demand and the oil price at rock bottom, the incentive to fly non-stop partly diminishes. Serving Singapore via Hong Kong suddenly becomes a more feasible option to sustain service between both cities, while airlines avoid unnecessarily increasing capacity through independent non-stop services to each city from the United States (e.g. San Francisco Hong Kong and San Francisco Singapore).

As the industry charts its course to recovery, carriers like Singapore Airlines could be in a position to take advantage of fifth-freedom agreements and operate multi-stop flights. They would benefit from demand at their core hub, in order to supplement weaker point-to-point load factors. In addition to the increasing number of ultra long-haul flights (e.g. Newark, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles) Singapore Airlinesis also experienced in fifth freedom flights. The carrier has diverse fifth-freedom routes that allow passengers to fly between different countries and continents, including Singapore Frankfurt New York JFK (daily, A380-800), Singapore Moscow Stockholm (5x weekly, A350-900), Singapore Hong Kong San Francisco (daily, B777-300ER) and Singapore Tokyo Narita Los Angeles (daily, B777-300ER).

In January 2020, Singapore Airlines was granted permission by the Japanese authorities to operate fifth freedom flights between Tokyo and New York. Any potential route to New York could be flown by Singapore Airlines in partnership withtheir Star Alliance partner ANA. The permission could serve as a solid foundation to kick start travel between Asia and North America in the near future.

Fifth freedom flights between Singapore and Houston via Manchester would further enhance Manchesters transatlantic connectivity; providing Singapore Airlines with routes to the United States that bypass more expensive hubs like London-Heathrow and London-Gatwick. This example could be followed by other airlines in other markets (e.g. fifth freedom flights via secondary markets).

With respect to the recent normalisation of the UAE-Israel relations, and the UAE carriers increasing shift towards local/point-to-point traffic in the post COVID-19 era, Etihad Airways or Emirates for instance could restore their previously challenging LATAM network, by operating fifth freedom flights via Tel Aviv in codesharing with El Al to cities like Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Lima, Bogota and Panama City. Today the Jewish population in Latin America stands somewhere around 400,000, with the majority split between in Argentina (250,000) and Brazil (130,000). The financially weak airline El Al could maintain their focus on the high yield markets, like the United States and Europe.

As people prioritise their health, direct flights have significant benefits over connecting flights that require a stopover midway through the journey (e.g. ultra long-haul flights). Recent developments have forced airlines, which rely on a hub-and-spoke model, to rethink their entire strategy and consider launching fifth and sixth freedom routes in the future.

By operating fifth freedom routes using the same aircraft, there is an opportunity to increase confidence in air travel. As there is no need to change aircraft at the stopover airport, passengers would not need to undergo any additional security and baggage checks; in addition the same booked seat could be used throughout the entire journey from A to B via C.

Foregoing typical connections at busy hub airports, with the above-mentioned benefits, could be one of the more safe options for passengers during and after the pandemic. Since the ultra-long-haul sector remains a niche and more expensive option, the alternative opportunities for air travel with competitive health benefits could lie in the fifth and sixth freedom sector (e.g. Emirates recent UK Australia service via Dubai on same aircraft).

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Aviation Analysis: Revival of Fifth Freedom Flights? - Sam Chui

PAUL TIYAMBE ZELEZA – Beyond Political Freedom to Inclusive Wealth Creation and Self-Reliance – The Elephant

The Tonse Alliance that made history in June by winning the rerun of the presidential election, the first time this has happened in Africa. It represented a triumph of Malawian democracy, undergirded, on the one hand, by the independence of the judiciary, and on the other, by the unrelenting political resilience and struggles of the Malawian people for democratic governance. In short, we can all be proud of Malawis enviable record of political freedom. However, our democratic assets are yet to overcome huge developmental deficits. Our record of economic development and poverty eradication remains dismal, uneven, and erratic.

Malawis persistent underdevelopment does not, of course, emanate from lack of planning. In 1962, Dunduzu Chisiza convened what was perhaps the first international symposium on African Economic Development to be held on the continent. It brought renowned economists from around the world and Africa. In attendance was a young journalist, Thandika Mkandawire, who was inspired to study economics, and rose to become one of the worlds greatest development economists. I make reference to Chisiza and Mkandawire to underscore a simple point: Malawi has produced renowned and influential development thinkers and policy analysts, whose works need to be better known in this country. If we are to own our development, instead of importing ready-made and ill-suited models from the vast development industry that has not brought us much in terms of inclusive and sustainable development, we have to own the generation of development ideas and implementation.

I begin, first, by giving some background on the countys development trajectory; and second, by identifying the three key engines of development the quality of human capital, the quality of infrastructure, and the quality of institutions without which development is virtually impossible.

Malawis patterns of economic growth since independence have been low and volatile, which has translated into uneven development and persistent poverty. A 2018 World Bank report identifies five periods. First, 1964-1979, during which the country registered its fastest growth at 8.79%. Second, 1980-1994, the era of draconian structural adjustment programmes when growth fell to 0.90%. Third, 1995-2002 when growth rose slightly to 2.85%. Fourth, 2003-2010, when growth bounced to 6.25%. Finally, 2011-2015, when growth declined to 3.82%. Another World Bank report, published in July 2020, notes that the economy grew at 3.2% in 2017, 3.0% in 2018, an estimated 4.4% in 2019, and will likely grow at 2.0% in 2020 and 3.5% in 2021.

Clearly, Malawi has not managed to sustain consistently high growth rates above the rates of population growth. Consequently, growth in per capita income has remained sluggish and poverty reduction has been painfully slow. In fact, while up to 1979 per capita GDP grew at an impressive 3.7%, outperforming sub-Saharan Africa, it shrunk below the regional average after 1980. It rose by a measly 1.5% between 1995 and 2015, well below the 2.7% for non-resource-rich African economies. Currently, Malawi is the sixth poorest country in the world.

While the rates of extreme poverty declined from 24.5% in 2010/11 to 20.1% in 2016/17, moderate poverty rates increased from 50.7% to 51.5% during the same period. Predictably, poverty has a gender and spatial dimension. Women and female-headed households tend to be poorer than men and male-headed households. Most of the poor live in the rural areas because they tend to have lower levels of access to education and assets, and high dependency ratios compared to urban dwellers, who constitute only 15% of the population. Rural poverty is exacerbated by excessive reliance on rain-fed agriculture and vulnerability to climate change because of poor resilience and planning. In the urban areas, poverty is concentrated in the informal sector that employs the majority of urban dwellers and suffers from low productivity and incomes, and poor access to capital and skills.

While the rates of extreme poverty declined from 24.5% in 2010/11 to 20.1% in 2016/17, moderate poverty rates increased from 50.7% to 51.5% during the same period. Predictably, poverty has a gender and spatial dimension.

The causes and characteristics of Malawis underdevelopment are well-known. The performance of the key sectors agriculture, industry, and services is not optimal. While agriculture accounts for two-thirds of employment and three-quarters of exports, it provides only 30% of GDP, a clear sign of low levels of productivity in the sector. Apparently, only 1.7% of total expenditure on agriculture and food goes to extension, and one extension agent in Malawi covers between 1,800 and 2,500 farmers, compared to 950 in Kenya and 480 in Ethiopia. As for irrigation, the amount of irrigated land stands at less than 4%.

Therefore, raising agricultural productivity is imperative. This includes greater crop diversification away from the supremacy of maize, improving rural markets and transport infrastructure, provision of agricultural credit, use of inputs and better farming techniques, and expansion of irrigation and extension services. Commercialisation of agriculture, land reform to strengthen land tenure security, and strengthening the sectors climate resilience are also critical.

In terms of industry, the pace of job creation has been slow, from 4% of the labour force in 1998 to 7% in 2013.In the meantime, the share of manufacturings contribution to the countrys GDP has remained relatively small and stagnant, at 10%. The sector is locked in the logic of import substitution, which African countries embarked on after independence and is geared for the domestic market.

Export production needs to be vigorously fostered as well. It is reported that manufacturing firms operate on average at just 68 per cent capacity utilisation. This suggests that, with the right policy framework, Malawis private sector could produce as much as a third more than current levels without needing to undertake new investment.

After independence, Malawi, like many other countries, created policies and parastatals, and sought to nurture a domestic capitalist class and attract foreign capital in pursuit of industrialisation. The structural adjustment programmes during Africas lost decades of the 1980s and 1990s aborted the industrialisation drive of the 1960s and 1970s, and led to de-industrialisation in many countries, including Malawi. The revival and growth of industrialisation require raising the countrys competitiveness and improving access to finance, the state of the infrastructure, the quality of human capital, and levels of macroeconomic stability.

Over the last two decades, Malawi has improved its global competitiveness indicators, but it needs to and can do more. According to the World Banks Ease of Doing Business, which covers 12 areas of business regulation, Malawi improved its ranking from 132 out of 183 countries in 2010 to 109 out of 190 countries in 2020; in 2020 Malawi ranked 12th in Africa. In the World Economic Forums Global Competitiveness Index, a four-pronged framework that looks at the enabling environment markets, human capital, and the innovation ecosystem Malawi ranked 119 out of 132 countries in 2009 and 128 out of 141 countries in 2019.

Access to finance poses significant challenges to the private sector, especially among small and medium enterprises that are often the backbone of any economy. The banking sector is relatively small, and borrowing is constrained by high interest rates, stringent collateral requirements, and complex application procedures. In addition, levels of financial inclusion and literacy could be greatly improved. The introduction of the financial cash transfer programme and mobile money have done much to advance both.

Corruption is another financial bottleneck, a huge and horrendous tax against development. The accumulation of corruption scandals Cashgate in 2013, Maizegate in 2018, Cementgate and other egregious corruption scandals in 2020 is staggering in its mendacity and robbery of the countys development and future by corrupt officials that needs to be uncompromisingly uprooted.

Malawis infrastructure deficits are daunting. Access to clean water and energy remains low, at 10%, and frequent electricity outages are costly for manufacturing firms that report losing 5.1% in annual sales; 40.9% of the firms have been forced to have generators as backup. The countrys generating capacity needs massive expansion to close the growing gap between demand and supply. Equally critical is investment in transport and its resilience to contain the high costs of domestic and international trade that undermine private sector development and poverty reduction.

Digital technologies and services are indispensable for 21st century economies, an area in which Malawi lags awfully behind. According to the ICT Development Index by the International Telecommunications Union, in 2017 Malawi ranked 167 out of 176 countries. There are significant opportunities to overcome the infrastructure deficits in terms of strengthening the countrys transport systems through regional integration, developing renewable energy sources, and improving the regulatory environment. Developing a digitally-enabled economy requires enhancing digital infrastructure, connectivity, affordability, availability, literacy, and innovation.

Malawis infrastructure deficits are daunting. Access to clean water and energy remains low, at 10%, and frequent electricity outages are costly for manufacturing firms that report losing 5.1% in annual sales.

The services sector has grown rapidly, accounting for 29% of the labor force in 2013 up from 12% in 1998. It is dominated by the informal sector which is characterized by low productivity, labor underutilization, and dismal incomes. The challenge is how to improve these conditions and facilitate transition from informality to formality.

The challenges of promoting Malawis socio-economic growth and development are not new. In fact, they are so familiar that they induce fatalism among some people as if the country is doomed to eternal poverty. Therefore, it is necessary to go back to basics, to ask basic questions and become uncomfortable with the countys problems, with low expectations about our fate and future.

From the vast literature on development, to which Thandika made a seminal contribution, there are many dynamics and dimensions of development. Three are particularly critical, namely, the quality of human capital, the quality of infrastructure, and the quality of institutions. In turn, these enablers require the drivers embodied in the nature of leadership, the national social contract, and mobilisation and cohesiveness of various capitals.

The quality of human capital encompasses the levels of health and education. Since 2000, Malawi has made notable strides in improving healthcare and education, which has translated into rising life expectancy and literacy rates. For the health sector, it is essential to enhance the coverage, access and quality of health services, especially in terms of reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and early child development, and public health services, as well as food security and nutrition services.

The introduction of free primary education in 1994 was a game changer. Enrollment ratios for primary school rose dramatically, reaching 146% in 2013 and 142% in 2018, and for secondary school from 44% in 2013 to 40% in 2018. The literacy rate reached 62%. But serious challenges remain. Only 19% of students progress to Standard Eight without repeating and dropout rates are still high; only 76% of primary school teachers and 57% of secondary school teachers are professionally trained. Despite increased government expenditure, resources and access to education remain inadequate.

Consequently, in 2018 Malawis adult literacy was still lower than the averages for sub-Saharan countries (65%) and the least developed countries (63%). This means the skill base in the country is low and needs to be raised significantly through increased, smart and strategic investments in all levels of education. Certainly, special intervention is needed for universities if the country, with its tertiary education enrollment ratio of less than 1%, the lowest in the world, is to catch up with the enrollment ratios for sub-SaharanAfrica and the world as a whole that in 2018 averaged 9% and 38%, respectively.

Human capital development is essential for turning Malawis youth bulge into a demographic dividend rather than a demographic disaster. Policies and programmes to skill the youth and make them more productive are vital to harnessing the demographic dividend. Critical also is accelerating the countrys demographic transition by reducing the total fertility rate.

As for infrastructure, while the government is primarily responsible for building and maintaining it, the private sector has an important role to play, and public-private-partnerships are increasingly critical in many countries. It is necessary to prioritise and avoid wish lists that seek to cater to every ministry or constituency; to concentrate on a few areas that have multiplier effects on various sectors; and ensure the priorities are well-understood and measurable at the end of the governments five-year term. Often, the development budget doesnt cover real investment in physical infrastructure and is raided to cover over-expenditure in the recurrent budget.

The quality of institutions entails the state of institutional arrangements, which UNDP defines as the policies, systems, and processes that organizations use to legislate, plan and manage their activities efficiently and to effectively coordinate with others in order to fulfill their mandate. Thus, institutional arrangements refer to the organisation, cohesion and synergy of formal structures and networks encompassing the state, the private sector, and civil society, as well as informal norms for collective buy-in and implementation of national development strategies. But setting up institutions is not enough; they must function. They must be monitored and evaluated.

Human capital development is essential for turning Malawis youth bulge into a demographic dividend rather than a demographic disaster. Policies and programmes to skill the youth and make them more productive are vital to harnessing the demographic dividend.

The three enablers of development require the drivers of strong leadership and good governance. Malawi has not reaped much from its peace and stability because of a political culture characterised by patron-clientelism, corruption, ethnic and regional mobilisation, and crass populism that eschews policy consistency and coherence, and undermines fiscal discipline. Malawis once highly regarded civil service became increasingly politicised and demoralised. Public servants and leaders at every level and in every institutional context have to restore and model integrity, enforce rules and procedures, embody professionalism and a high work ethic, and be accountable. Impunity must be severely punished to de-institutionalise corruption, whose staggering scale shows that domestic resources for development are indeed available. To quote the popular saying by Arthur Drucker, organisational culture eats strategy.

Also critical is the need to forge social capital, which refers to the development of a shared sense of identity, understanding, norms, values, common purpose, reciprocity, and trust. There is abundant research that shows a positive correlation between the social capital of trust and various aspects of national and institutional development and capabilities to manage crises. Weak or negative social capital has many deleterious consequences. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this devastatingly clear countries in which the citizenry is polarised and lacks trust in the leadership have paid a heavy price in terms of the rates of infection and deaths.

Impunity must be severely punished to de-institutionalise corruption, whose staggering scale shows that domestic resources for development are indeed available. To quote the popular saying by Arthur Drucker, organisational culture eats strategy.

The question of social capital underscores the fact that there are many different types of capital in society and for development. Often in development discourse the focus is on economic capital, including financial and physical resources. Sustainable development requires the preservation of natural capital. Malawis development has partly depended on the unsustainable exploitation of environmental resources that has resulted in corrosive soil erosion and deforestation. Development planning must encompass the mobilisation of other forms of capital, principally social and cultural capital. The diaspora is a major source of economic, social and cultural capital. In fact, it is Africas largest donor, which remitted an estimated $84.3 billion in 2019.

In conclusion, Malawis development trajectory has been marked by progress, volatility, setbacks, and challenges. For a long time, Malawis problem has not been a lack of planning, but rather a lack of implementation, focus and abandoning the very basics of required integrity in all day-to-day work.Also, the plans are often dictated by donors and lack local ownership so they gather the proverbial bureaucratic dust.

Let us strive to cultivate the systems, cultures, and mindsets of inclusion and innovation so essential for the construction of developmental and democratic states, as defined by Thandika and many illustrious African thinkers and political leaders.

This article is the authors keynote address at the official opening of the 1st National Development Conference presided by the State President of Malawi, His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, at the Bingu International Convention Centre, Lilongwe, on 27 August, 2020.

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PAUL TIYAMBE ZELEZA - Beyond Political Freedom to Inclusive Wealth Creation and Self-Reliance - The Elephant

Parson James Talks New Single, Lockdown, and Artistic Freedom – vmagazine.com

His poetic lyricism is, as always, paired with vocals powerful enough to fill the heights of a cathedral, emotion palpable enough to taste, and soul blended with pop in an ethereal experience transmuting tribulation into inspiration. The song is a story in his soulful style, a rhythmic ode to the contents of Parson's heartwhich, when not residing on his sleeve, permeates all aspects of his music.

We chatted with the LA-based, South-Carolina native singer/songwriter about lockdown, his new label, and artistry. Read the full interview below, and stream "High Tide, Low Tide" here.

V MAGAZINE With more freedom (in terms of the new label), how is your artistry changing?

PARSON JAMES I feel that Ive been lucky in that Ive always had a clear vision of what I want to say and how I want to say it. I think even with my last label I still was able to get my message across even when the politics of the industry got in the way here and there. I think then, though, I was just more likely to back down when faced with opposing opinions from within that unit. I wanted to please everyone so much that I found myself to be a bit more passive in my approach for things I wanted to fight for. Ive experienced a lot in those years since and have taken all of it into account to really learn from. The biggest change I have noticed within my artistry personally is something that is very similar to the way I felt before I had any success or a label and I was just back in New York writing from the heart. I am leading with what feels right for me rather than what I feel is right for someone else. Ive been so inspired to explore the many facets of my abilities and range and not put myself in this unnecessary box I so long thought I needed to be in.

V In terms of what this song's about - why do you think we so easily put aside our own best interests for others when, logically, this makes no sense?

P You know I honestly think its just much easier to deal with other peoples shit than your own sometimes, simply. Im sure you have had that realization of catching yourself giving someone the most brilliant fucking advice ever and as youre relaying it youre like why dont I listen to myself more often??. I know for me Ive always just had this empathetic nature and I never really knew what it truly was until the last few years when I sit back and think about how tired, exhausted and crazy I make myself over OTHER PEOPLES PROBLEMS! Empathy is this weird thing that I both hate and wouldnt trade for the world I genuinely want people to be at their best, especially when its those I care for. it pains me in a way I cant really describe if theyre not. I didnt know the toll it was taking on me though until these last few months and now Ive been making a valiant effort to treat myself with the same care and concern I give to those around me.

VHopefullylockdowns and lockdown relationships will be a once in a lifetime thing. Are you happy that this one was the one you had?

P Omg, even the word lockdown incites a twitch in my eye lol this has all been so insanely odd and unimaginable. I know its the same for absolutely everyone, but I do hope that lockdown love is a one time thing as well hahaha. Look this happened in the most amazing way I met this guy about 2 days before lockdown started in LA on a dating app we went on a date like the last night before quarantine started and then when it did we just were like lets keep hanging out? It was truly a universe thing and I have to say the months of quarantine became some of the absolute best of my life. When youre dating or getting to know someone in quarantine its like youre going backwards you cant hide behind a bar or restaurant buzz.. youre at one of your respective homes seeing all the shit good bad and ugly right away. Its such a wild way to get to know someone. Quickly I learned so much about him and I saw so many parallels in his upbringing and mine (crazy religious father, sexuality repression, body image, commitment, trust) allll of the things. I took those on because I genuinely felt such a connection that blew my mind and above all I felt that there was an opportunity for a true deep friendship and bond. Thats what ultimately happened the closer we got it became apparent that we needed to be there for each other in this crazy time as friends first and I can safely say his presence and friendship saved me this quarantine so yes I am super happy that it happened.

V What did you learn during lockdown that you plan to carry with you for the rest of your life?

P I learned how to say no and I learned how to just be with myself. Ive always had this incessant need to be around people constantly & this inability to say no to anyones plans. This has caused me to spend way too much money, drink way too much, gain weight, become exhausted and it goes back to doing for others before myself. I learned that I was out socializing because I was escaping from facing a lot of my own mental struggles I was seeking validation and needed to be everywhere with everyone all the time.I developed a fear of sleep unless I was with someone or with people just really unhealthy behaviors. This lockdown situation was tough for me at first I had plenty of anxiety attacks & breakdowns bc I was out of my comfort zone being with myself so much but ultimately I pushed through the discomfort and found solace in being enough for myself. I also found out how important it was to have moments of selfishness & to say no sometimes. This may seem trivial but it has been a life changing realization for me.

V Were you the type that got creative while in lockdown, or who just sort of took it day by day since, you know, Armageddon?

P Ill be honest the first few weeks I was in this whirlwind thing and had no clue how long it was gonna last so I saw it as a full blown escape and opportunity to drink wine as much as I wanted hahaha. I also am a SEVERE hypochondriac so this whole thing was the most for me lol.. so I didnt want to really go to any studio or do anything my mind was all over the place. I wasnt creative at all until my manager introduced me to Colin Brittain who produced the single. It was just a timing thing where I was a few months into this whole quarantine thing and it was at a point with the lockdown love that was getting difficult.. the push and pull was happening (which is what high tide low tide is all about) so I agreed to go in and work with him one day socially distanced and masked and this song came about in minutes. Since then, Ive not been able to stop working and its felt more liberating than anything Ive done in years.

V What can we expect from you in terms of new music (after this)?

P Ive been on a roll. Not to mention I had several projects prepped before I even got the new deal and all of the new material started coming about. The music really touches on whats happened since my first project. I call myself a gambler in life because I find I am always taking chances on people in work, love, friendships etc. I am constantly getting fucked over or finding myself wrong about a situation of course sometimes Im also lucky and I land right where I am supposed to. Thats life though, its The Gamble you take. Ive written a lot about this lockdown love as well so Ive made some space for that on the first part of the project but overall this next bit of work is about being even more honest than before with myself with my own demons the demons of those I love, my empathy, overcoming trauma, acceptance and finding true understanding of who the fuck I am as a human.

V "With great power comes great responsibility," and all that. Now that you really have power over your own sound, do you feel any more or less nervous about your work? I can imagine sometimes, that newfound autonomy can almost be intimidating.

P I feel nervous about everything I do. I am a nervous fucking wreck always. I just so desperately want to make sure that I am always creating honest work that someone somewhere can latch on to and find a piece of their story within. I am here to tell my story so that others can find it within themselves to tell theirs. My only responsibility is to not mince my words and to forever tell the truth in the only way that I know how, to sing it.

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Parson James Talks New Single, Lockdown, and Artistic Freedom - vmagazine.com

Backyard pool will bring joy and freedom to Niagara Falls boy – StCatharinesStandard.ca

Owen Hyatt has always loved the water.

His mom Dawn Hyatt said its been true of her son from the time he was a month old, relaxing in his first tub bath. And so, when she was applying for Owen to receive a wish from Make-a-Wish Foundation, a pool seemed the obvious choice.

He just squeals with excitement in the pool. This wish is going to be fantastic, said Hyatt. I knew going on a trip for him is nothing; he wouldnt get anything out of it. Having a pool for him, its family time, its strengthening for him and hes just the happiest in the pool.

Owen, who will turn five in a couple of weeks, was born prematurely with a rare genetic disorder. He is one of only about four children in the world who have this particular genetic disorder. Owen is also blind, nonverbal and uses a wheelchair.

Susan Lott, ambassador for Make-a-Wish Niagara, said for children like Owen, these wishes make a lasting impact.

Its almost like, depending on the wish, they have that time period where theyre just a normal kid. Theyre not having to go to the doctors all the time. Theyre not having people talking to them about it all the time, she said. In Owens case, having the pool, this is going to be his freedom in that pool.

Lott said thats most important for Make-a-Wish Foundation and its volunteers: that the wish is something meaningful for the child.

We like to know the why behind (the wish); its so important, she said. You want to make sure its what the child wants. You want it to be a very special thing for the child.

And for Owen, thats a swimming pool.

Hyatt said her family finds water wherever they go. They took their trailer out three times over the summer for camping and made sure there was a nearby lake for Owen. He takes private swimming lessons, and Hyatts sister has a backyard pool the family uses as often as possible.

She said Owen even loves the rain.

But having his own pool in the backyard? Hyatt said it will be life-changing for Owen.

I just think hes going to have so much more freedom in his life, she said.

Having it right in my backyard, we can go swimming any day. He would be in the water from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. if he could.

The pool is an 18-foot round, heated above-ground pool that Hyatt said will be perfect in the backyard of their Niagara Falls home.

Eventually my husband will make a deck and itll be like a beautiful oasis for Owen, she said. Were actually going to make a sign; its going to be Camp O-Bear because everyone calls him O-Bear.

The original plan was for the Hyatts pool to be installed over the May long weekend, but it was delayed by COVID-19 and then again when the Hyatts decided to move into a home that was better suited for their family long term.


Lott said a number of wishes, specifically travel ones, are on hold because of the pandemic, and others were delayed in the spring when the lockdown began. She said shes excited to see them come to fruition, especially the pool, which is the first one being put in by Make-a-Wish in Niagara.

Hyatt said her son deserves the fun hell have in the pool.

He is such a joy to have. He is the happiest little boy, she said. Owen has suffered and struggled so much in his whole life and ... he deserves everything. He deserves his wish.

The Make-a-Wish reveal happened Sept. 10 at the Hyatts home. There were a few family members present to celebrate the moment as well as some special touches for Owens eight-year-old sister Hailey.

Lott said Boston Pizza donated pizza for Hailey, who decorated a special sign for the reveal.

Hailey, who finds it easy and fun being Owens big sister, said this is special for him because he loves to swim and thats really the thing he loves to do most.

Lott said this is her favourite part: meeting the families and getting to know the kids. She tries not to cry when the wish is revealed, but isnt often successful.

Its just so awesome, she said.

Hyatt said shes proud of her son and glad she can give him this pool.

(Owens) taught me so many things. I am a changed mother, Im a changed person. Hes changed me in so many ways.

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Backyard pool will bring joy and freedom to Niagara Falls boy - StCatharinesStandard.ca

Private Railways Will Have Freedom To Set Their Own Fares: Government – NDTV

The government has taken steps to increase the speed of passenger trains. (File)

The government will allow private companies to set passenger fares once they start operating train services in the country, a move aimed at luring investors, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led administration opens up the railway network.

"Private players have been given the freedom to fix fares in their own way," VK Yadav, chairman of Railway Board, said. But, "air-conditioned buses and planes also operate on those routes, and they have to keep that in mind before setting fares."

Railway fares are politically sensitive in India, where trains carry as many passengers as Australia's population every single day, and a chunk of the nation's poor depend on the sprawling network for their transportation. While the network has been beset by decades of negligence and inefficient bureaucracy, PM Modi's administration has invited private companies to participate in everything from modernising stations to operating trains.

Moreover, the decision to partly open up the railway sector comes as PM Modi finds himself with limited fiscal room to support Asia's third-largest economy, which is struggling with its first contraction in over four decades.

Alstom SA, Bombardier Inc, GMR Infrastructure Ltd and Adani Enterprises Ltd are among companies that have expressed interest in these projects, Mr Yadav said. These projects can bring in investments of more than $7.5 billion in the next five years, according to estimates from Ministry of Railways.

Modernising the railways is crucial for PM Modi, who is betting on low-cost loans from Japan to build the country's first bullet train by 2023. The government has taken steps to increase the speed of passenger trains which can sometimes crawl at walking pace.

The government asked companies to submit their interest to run passenger trains over 109 origin-destination routes via 151 trains in July, and has sought investor interest to modernise railway stations including in New Delhi and Mumbai. The current railway network is both congested and aging, dating back to British colonial rule in 1853.

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Private Railways Will Have Freedom To Set Their Own Fares: Government - NDTV

McCarthy focused on election, not Freedom Caucus push to remove Pelosi – Roll Call

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday dodged a question on whether he will bring a motion to vacate to remove Speaker Nancy Pelosi from her post, an effort the Freedom Caucus was urging him to pursue.

I do not want Nancy Pelosi to be speaker, but I do not want Nadler to be chair. I do not want Schiff to be chair and I do not want Maxine Waters, McCarthy told reporters at his weekly news conference, referring to Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., and Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Forty-some days from now, we will remove them.

On Wednesday, Politico reported that the Houses ultraconservative wing was urging McCarthy to offer a motion to vacate the chair, which would mandate a floor vote to decide whether Pelosi could keep her position. With Democrats in the majority, it is unlikely such a move would result in enough votes to remove her from the speakership.

McCarthy is undecided on whether he will join the effort, but he did agree to have a Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday about the matter, Politico reported. He also told Fox News after the story broke that it wasnt the best move right now.

McCarthys comments at his weekly news conference indicate he is focused on the election in November and doesnt want to grapple with such questions until the voters decide which party will carry the majority.

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McCarthy focused on election, not Freedom Caucus push to remove Pelosi - Roll Call

Julian Assange, and Press Freedom, on Trial in London – Democracy Now!

The role of the free press is to hold power accountable, especially those who would wage war. Press freedom itself is currently on trial in London, as Julian Assange, founder and editor-in-chief of the whistleblower website Wikileaks, fights extradition to the United States over an ever-evolving array of espionage and hacking charges. If extradited, Assange faces almost certain conviction followed by up to 175 years in prison. His unjust imprisonment would also shackle journalists worldwide, serving as a stark example to anyone daring to publish leaked information critical of the U.S. government.

U.S. prosecutors allege that Assange conspired with Chelsea Manning, a Private in the U.S. Army, to illegally download hundreds of thousands of war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, along with a huge trove of classified cables from the U.S. State Department.

The first disclosure from this massive whistleblower release was a video that Wikileaks called Collateral Murder. It was recorded aboard a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship as it patrolled the skies above Baghdad on July 12, 2007. The Apache crew recorded video and audio of their slaughter of a dozen men on the ground below, including a Reuters cameraman, Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. After the initial high-calibre machine gun attack, a van arrived to help the wounded. The Apache crew received permission to engage the van and opened fire, tearing apart the front of the vehicle, injuring two children in the van. Reuters had unsuccessfully sought the video for years.

Before long, The New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel had worked together with Wikileaks and Assange, publishing stories based on the disclosures. They detailed war crimes committed by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, torture at CIA blacksites, abuses at the U.S.s notorious Guantanamo Bay prison camp, and cynical diplomatic dealings by State Department officials.

It is a clear press freedom case, Jennifer Robinson, one of Julian Assanges attorneys, said recently on the Democracy Now! news hour. The First Amendment is understood to protect the media in receiving and publishing that information in the public interest, which is exactly what WikiLeaks did.

The British authorities have kept Assange in almost complete isolation in Londons high security Belmarsh prison since arresting him in April, 2019, dragging him out of the Ecuadorian embassy. Granted political asylum by Ecuador, he lived inside the dark, cramped embassy for over seven years. When a rightwing president took power in Ecuador, he revoked Assanges asylum and allowed the arrest.

Nils Melzer, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, visited Assange in Belmarsh, and reported aftwards, I spoke with him for an hourthen we had a physical examination for an hour by our forensic expert, and then we had the two-hour psychiatric examination. And all threecame to the conclusion, that he showed all the symptoms that are typical for a person that has been exposed to psychological torture over an extended period of time.

The conditions of Assanges imprisonment have only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. He hasnt spoken publicly in court, other than once, shouting Nonsense! in response to one of the many unsupported claims by the U.S. prosecutor. The presiding magistrate threatened to have Assange removed. Experts have lined up to defend Assange, including legendary Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

In 1971, Ellsberg released the Pentagon Papers, the secret history of the United States war in Vietnam, documenting how successive administrations had lied to the public about the war. Like Assange, he provided the leaked documents to the New York Times. Also like Assange, Ellsberg was charged under the Espionage Act, and could have spent life behind bars. Ultimately, a judge threw out his case, when it was revealed that President Nixon had ordered criminal break-ins seeking derogatory information on Ellsberg.

In a prepared statement in Assanges defense, Ellsberg reflected on the importance of the Wikileaks disclosures. I consider them to be amongst the most important truthful revelations of hidden criminal state behaviour that have been made public in US history, he said. The American public needed urgently to know what was being done routinely in their name, and there was no other way for them to learn it than by unauthorized disclosure.

Many of the war crimes exposed by Wikileaks, in cooperation with established news organizations around the world, occurred under President George W. Bush. Assanges prosecution began under President Barack Obama. Then-Vice President Joe Biden called Assange a high-tech terrorist. Now, President Trump, who said during his 2016 campaign, WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks, wants to lock up Assange and throw away the key. No president, of any party, should be allowed to threaten the free press. Indeed, it is essential to the functioning of a democratic society.

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Julian Assange, and Press Freedom, on Trial in London - Democracy Now!

Heres How to Retire at 45 with Financial Freedom – Investment U

Financial Freedom

By Rob Otman

Originally posted September 18, 2020

What would life be like if you could retire at 45? Aside from not having to go to a job every day, what would you look forward to? For some, its more time with family. For others, its a literal world of travel possibilities. For still more, its a reason to wake up stress free every day. But can you really retire by 45?

It might seem impossible, but its actually a possibility for many people. You just need to know how to establish financial freedom early on, so you can spend the best years of your life living how youve always wanted to. Heres how to retire early by 45

If youre going to retire a full 20 years earlier than most people, youll need a planone that starts as early in your working life as possible. The sooner you can start putting money away and taking advantage of compound interest, the better. To see how this works, check out this investment compound calculator.

A retirement account will be your primary investment vehicle on the way to early retirement. Look for a 401k with company match; if thats not available, an IRA is the next best thing. Max out contributions to take full advantage of annualized growth. Make sure these accounts are vested.

Next, get rid of your debt as fast as you can. After youve maxed out your retirement account, channel leftover savings into debtsstudent loans, a car, a house, etc. make double payments where you can or even an extra payment toward principal when you can. Eliminating debt is a huge cornerstone for early retirement. Its generally best if you dont have any debt if you plan to retire by 45!

Finally, start budgeting. The fastest way to early retirement is to live below your means and delay gratification. Pinching pennies today leads to early retirement tomorrow. Create a budget that sees the majority of your earnings going into savings (read: investments).

Youre aggressively saving. Youve paid down your debts. Youve made smart investments. Now what? Well, before you can call it quits, you need to know exactly how much money you need to retire at 45.

The best way to figure out if youre on-track is to determine what you want your annual take-home to be after retirement, then multiply that for as many years as youll be alive. So, if you retire at 45 and think youll live to the ripe old age of 90, youll need to plan for 45 years without a paycheck. If you want to maintain a lifestyle of $50,000 each year, that means youll need at least $2.25 million to retire. Start saving now!

Be sure to factor in cost of living and extraneous expenses, too. Retiring to Seattle, WA is going to be much more expensive than living out your days in Kansas City, MO. Likewise, youll probably need more money if you plan on vacationing extensively every year.

Most people have a hard time believing theyll retire at 65let alone at 45. But if you take the right steps and make good money decisions, financial freedom is attainable. Heres an example of how a 25-year-old might be able to retire in 20 years, at 45:

Marisol is 25 and has started a new job. She opens a 401k and takes advantage of her employers 4% contribution match. She maxes out her contribution each year for the next 20 years. She also has an extra $1,200 each month that she puts into an investment account, allocated between small cap growth stocks and emerging marketshigh risk, high reward.

Each year, Marisols 401k contributions total $20,280 and have an annualized return of 9%. She contributes $14,400 to her stock portfolio and sees gains of 13%. In 20 years, her 401k and investment portfolio are both worth over $1 million each.

Its possible to retire at 45but it takes major emphasis on smart savings. The more you put away sooner, the more it grows to be later.

You might not reach retirement at 45, but thats no excuse not to strive for financial independence. Read the next article in our series and learn how to retire by 50.

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Heres How to Retire at 45 with Financial Freedom - Investment U

Freedom and Madison off to a ‘super’ school year – Conway Daily Sun

MADISON Its good to be back, was the overwhelming sentiment from students and staff after the first two days of the 2020-21 school year at Madison and Freedom elementary schools.

Principals at the schools part of SAU 13, which started the school year Monday, are upbeat despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its a whole new world, but everyone seems to be adjusting the best we can, Freedom Elementary School Principal Pat Stone told the Sun by phone Tuesday. The kids are excited to be back with their friends and eager to have some sense of normalcy in their schedules.

Things are really going well, Heather Woodward, principal of Madison Elementary School, said by phone Tuesday. The kids seem happy, the staff are pleased to be back.

The 2019-20 school year switched from in-person to remote learning on Friday, March 13, due to the coronavirus pandemic. While it was initially thought the closure would last two weeks, it stretched through the final third of the school year.

For most students, it marked the return to the classroom for the first time in six months.

SAU 13 Superintendent Meredith Nadeau visited both schools on opening day and on Tuesday met with third- and fourth-grade students outside for a friendly meet-and-greet.

Lots of smiles the children seem really happy to be back, and its great to see them back, she said. Well continue to take things one day at a time. I think children seem to be adjusting well to the new routine.

Freedom has 51 students in the K-6 school, with roughly one-third opting to continue doing remote learning rather than face-to-face instruction.

Weve had a few technical glitches with broadband, Stone said of the start to remote learning. Were having trouble maintaining connections (over the internet), but hopefully, well get them straightened out. Nadeau said she has been in touch with the service provider for Freedom, and work is being done to fix the hot spots.

Madison has 127 students in grades K-6, with 25 (roughly 20 percent) choosing remote learning.

SAU 13, which serves Freedom, Madison and the K.A. Brett School in Tamworth (K-8), came up three options: face-to-face, remote learning or a hybrid of the two in its re-entry plan.

The three school boards chose face-to-face, but heard concerns from families who were not quite comfortable sending children back to school just yet. The boards and schools decided to offer both face-to-face and a remote learning option.

We felt like we needed to have this option available to people, Woodward said. We wanted parents to have a choice and to choose which route they were most comfortable with.

Remote learning began Tuesday for the Mustangs of Madison. It went super, Woodward said.

Nadeau is pleased to see school back in session. If you had asked me in early July, Im not sure I would have thought wed get here, she said, but Im so grateful we are. Fortunately, the cases in New Hampshire have remained low, and if that can continue, it bodes well.

Woodward and Stone along with other educators spent the bulk of the summer preparing for a return to school.

I didnt sign up for summers off, Woodward said. We knew we had a lot of important work to do. I cant say enough about the staff. Theyve worked tirelessly to make this happen.

Madisons theme this school year is We are M.E.S. and will focus on several different characteristics each month. We figured wed start with, We are flexible, Woodward said. That seemed like an appropriate starter.

The Eagles of Freedom are focusing on four core beliefs being safe, kind, responsible and respectful this year.

Both Stone and Woodward have seen an uptick in new students. We have had an influx of new students, said Woodward. Every year we see some new students, maybe were up a little bit more than in the past.

We have 12 new students this year, Stone said. Its nice having new faces. They all seem to be settling in well.

Nadeau urged families with children attending Kennett High and Kennett Middle School in Conway to go to the school websites to get updates on the school bus routes which are still being finalized.

Madison and Freedom have no school this Friday or on Monday (Labor Day) or Tuesday as both schools will be used for voting in the primary election.

The Brett School will also be a polling center for Tamworth on Tuesday, meaning Wednesday, Sept. 9, will be the first day for the Tigers to attend classes.

While the Brett School and Freedom have made masks mandatory all times, students in Madison can remove their masks in their classrooms provided they are at least 6 feet away from other individuals.

The Brett School will be providing both face-to-face and remote learning, but classes will be held just Monday through Thursday.

Fridays school staff will be available for office hours only, according to the schools opening plan.

Classroom teachers, students and parents need on-going supports during this time, the plan states. KAB will create collaborative learning teams to support KAB staff and the families of remote learners. Parents will be supported through KAB staff guidance using Google Classroom other curriculum tools. In addition, social and emotional well-being of students will be supported by the KAB school counselor to students, staff and families.

Although we know remote learning during the spring was a major challenge for teachers, we also recognize that in many cases the disruption for families has been even greater. Our goal this year is to help parents best support their child, learn how and when to intervene and provide structure and balance in the home while providing instruction.

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Freedom and Madison off to a 'super' school year - Conway Daily Sun

Freedom and Independence group formed to combat Soviet terror founded 75 years ago today – The First News

Having suffered so much during the years of German occupation, when World War II was officially over, Poland was again under foreign domination and the country was in the grip of Soviet terror. Public domain

Before his execution on March 1st, 1951, Lt. Col. ukasz Ciepliski took pen to paper and wrote: I am glad to be murdered as a Catholic for the holy faith, as a Pole for my homeland and as a man for truth and justice.

I believe more than ever that Christ will win, that Poland will regain its independence and that the disgraced human dignity will be restored.

He was then taken outside his cell at Mokotow prison in Warsaw and shot in the back of the head.

Freedom and Independence was established by Colonel Jan Rzepecki as a continuation of the Home Army, which was dissolved in January 1945.Public domain

As the last leader of the Freedom and Independence movement, his death was also the death knell of the movement which was founded on September 2nd, 1945, 75 years ago today.

As the largest independence organisation in Poland after World War II, its aim was to regain independence through political not military means. It ended in tragedy when its leaders were arrested and shot.

The end of the war was extremely bitter for Poles. Having suffered so much during the years of German occupation, when World War II was officially over, they were again under foreign domination and the country was in the grip of Soviet terror.

As the largest independence organisation in Poland after World War II, the aim of Freedom and Independence was to regain independence through political not military means.Lower Silesian Public Library T. Mikulski

After the fall of the Warsaw Uprising, it was clear that the Soviets and Polish communists had no intention of sharing power with anyone.

Home Army soldiers and those in the underground were in a desperate position.

The prisons were full and former Home Army soldiers were being arrested on a massive scale. The NKVD were waging a campaign of terror to subjugate and Sovietise Poland.

Although the Home Army had been wound up, the need for a resistance organisation was as strong as ever.

The last leader of the Freedom and Independence movement, Lt. Col. ukasz Ciepliski, was executed on March 1, 1951.Public domain

Freedom and Independence was established by Colonel Jan Rzepecki as a continuation of the Home Army, which was dissolved in January 1945.

The difference, though, was that it was to have a civil not a military character. Its objectives were resistance but without war and sabotage. The forces that it had at its disposal were only to be used in self-defence.

Its objective was to take advantage of the democratic elections promised at Yalta Conference in February 1945.

Following an offer of amnesty by the communist authorities, many members of Freedom and Independence handed themselves in, only to be put on show trials. Many were executed.PAP

Dr. Wojciech Frazik from the Branch Office of Historical Research of the Institute of National Remembrance in Krakw said: In the summer of 1945, the only chance for regaining independence was seen in free and democratic elections, which were provided for by the Yalta agreements.

They were supposed to decide what the political system would be in Poland and who would hold power. The commanders of the former underground decided that this chance should be seized and the action should be changed from armed combat to political struggle.

First president of Freedom and Independence, Franciszek Niepoklczyck was arrested on 22 October 1946 by the Polish secret police and during his show trial was sentenced to death. This was later changed to life imprisonment. He died in 1974 at the age of 73, after being released in 1956.Public domain

Under the slogan We Will Not Allow Elections to be Falsified, the organisation collected information about the situation in Poland.

They informed Polish society, the Polish authorities in exile and also people around the world about the situation in Poland under the Communist system.

All this was supposed to lead to free and democratic elections. In view of the actions of the Polish communists and the Soviet Union, it had no chance of succeeding.

Since 2011, March 1 has been a National Day of Remembrance for both the organisation and others who have collectively become known as the Cursed Soldiers.Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Despite the decision of Freedom and Independence to move from armed conflict to political activity, the terror being carried out by Polish communists and the NKVD in the first post-war years forced the commanders of units to carry out armed operations.

In 1945-46, the association had over 30,000 members. Partisan units attacked prisons and militia stations, fought the army and liquidated people cooperating with the communist authorities, treating these actions as a defence against terror.

The association came to an end in the winter of 1947 and 1948 following the arrest by the Communist security service of its leadership. After a show trial they were sentenced to death on October 14, 1950.

Executions were carried out at the Mokotw prison in Warsaw.Rafa Guz/PAP

The sentences were carried out on March 1 the next year in Mokotow prison in Warsaw. ukasz Ciepliski, Mieczysaw Kawalec, Jzef Batory, Adam Lazarowicz, Franciszek Baej, Karol Chmiel and Jzef Rzepka were all shot in the back of the head.

The next day the corpses were placed in coffins and taken away from the prison. To this day, nobody knows where they were buried.

Since 2011, the date of their murders has been a National Day of Remembrance for both the organisation and others who have collectively become known as the Cursed Soldiers.

Sergeant Jzef Franczak was the last Freedom and Independence soldier to be captured after he remained in hiding until 1963.Public domain

After the removal of the leadership, the security service took control of Freedom and Independence by covertly installing its agents as leaders. For the next four years, the security services used this cover to break up underground groups in Poland and in migr circles.

Although Freedom and Independence was a civilian organisation, it was managed to a great degree by officers from the Home Army and around 60,000 soldiers served in its ranks up to the amnesty of February 1947 under which underground soldiers could reveal themselves without fear of arrest.

Many, though, remained underground. Most of them were eventually arrested and sentenced to death by military courts. They were secretly buried in anonymous death pits.

In 2016, the remains of Leon Taraszkiewicz, commander of Freedom and Independence in the Lublin region, were found. He was given a proper burial in 2017.Wojciech Pacewicz/PAP

The last Freedom and Independence soldier to be captured remained in hiding until October 21, 1963.

Sergeant Jzef Franczak was taken after being denounced by a relative of his lover.

His body, desecrated and decapitated, was found on the grounds of Lublin Medical University in March 2015.

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Freedom and Independence group formed to combat Soviet terror founded 75 years ago today - The First News

COMMENTARY: Your freedom hinges on freedom of speech – The Cherokee One Feather – Cherokee One Feather



When the One Feather was created, a group of community leaders determined that the Tribe should have a way to put out information from the government in mass production so that decisions made by the government were provided quickly to the citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The founders referred to the One Feather as a news bulletin. The vision for the community newspaper has been evolving since its conception, beginning with the funding by grant of a mimeographed 5-page business-letter format newsletter with hand drawn illustrations to a professionally printed, tabloid format thirty to forty-page full newspaper with full-color photography funded through a combination of tribal allotment and advertising sales revenue.

One of the milestones in the history of free press on the Boundary occurred in 2006 with the creation of the Free Press Act. Within it was the statement that the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Free Press shall not be hindered by political influence and is duty bound to be a conduit for the citizenry to petition for redress of grievances. Fancy words for using the EBCI Free Press to share your disagreements, and affirmations, with government in a fair and unbiased forum.

The framers of the Free Press Act in the Cherokee Code had a vision of the One Feather (and whatever free press that might be created on the Qualla Boundary-is implied), to be an information disseminator and community forum. It was not the vision for the paper to be a good news or happy news leaflet.

Government-owned free press is an oxymoron. The tribal newspaper is funded, in large part, by the government. Being so is a two-edged sword. While we enjoy the ability to operate in an environment that has crippled and even eliminated many print media outlets, we also must be ever vigilant concerning political and special interest influence. In the history of the Cherokee One Feather, there have been administrations, tribal management, and even legislators who have attempted to insert or successfully inserted political and personal bias in the reporting of the One Feather.

When I first encountered the One Feather as an employee of the Tribe in 2002, even I saw it as a tribal newsletter. I thought it proper that, since it is owned and operated by the government and the principal chief was the representative head of the government, the chief of the Tribe should dictate what was in the newspaper. Fortunately, over the course of a decade, and many discussions with my now reporter, I had come to realize that the One Feather was much more than a government newsletter. It may have started out that way, but based on the introduction of legislation influenced by community voters, the government itself expressed that the One Feather should not be a newsletter, but a true newspaper, one that belongs to the community and not to the governmental leadership.

And starting with the language established in the Cherokee Code in 2006, the One Feather staff, government, and community began to craft what free press means in Cherokee. I can only speak to the efforts since I formally joined the One Feather staff in 2012. While here, we have attempted to craft legislation to further establish a functioning editorial board to craft policy within the organization to clarify our charge to be a free press. It is challenging. As we have said many times, we currently enjoy the most pro-free press administration and Tribal Council that I am aware of in the history of our tribe. So much so, in fact, that they are reluctant to exert any pressure on the reporting of the One Feather.

But, it has always been my position that we are only one scandal or disagreement away from a politically adversarial relationship with government. We have had the Free Press Act for 14 years, but we have had a personnel policy for much longer than that. There has always been a conflict in the language of the personnel policy and the charge of One Feather staff, who also happen to be Tribal employees.

In the EBCI Personnel Policy, Section 3.25 is titled Non-public information outlining a detailed list of what the public is not entitled to. At the end of the list it makes a broad statement about information that can be withheld from the public, including the One Feather, any other information as determined by EBCI management. Our Cherokee Code includes similar language in the Public Records law (Chapter 132). Section 4.20 of the personnel policy states, Should an employee be contacted by the press or any outside agency requesting non-public information, the request shall be given to that persons supervisor, who will forward it through levels of authority with final approval to be made by the Principal Chief.

Technically, that means even my reporters would be bound to clear stories including any governmental decision or function, with me and ultimately the Chief, assuming a tribal employee took the risk of providing that information without proper clearance, before we made it public. Article 8 of the personnel policy is the Code of Ethical Conduct. Section 2 refers to confidentiality inherent in the policy and that some departments may require an additional confidentiality agreement to be signed as a condition of employment.

The Tribal Employee Ethical Code of Conduct also includes this language, All EBCI employees are expected to conduct themselves with integrity, impartiality, and professional conduct that will reflect favorably upon themselves and the EBCI. Again, technically, this could put reporters (and the editor) in a position of conflict with tribal policy.

The Free Press Act doesnt say that we are to report only the news that is favorable to the EBCI. In fact, I view all factual reporting, whether it places government in a favorable light or not, as reporting with integrity, impartiality, and professionalism. To do otherwise would conflict with Chapter 75 of the Cherokee Code and with the code of ethics adopted from the Society of Professional Journalists, which we are also bound by Code to adhere to.

A few years ago, the EBCI personnel policy was removed from tribal law, but it is still the standard by which employees are hired, evaluated, and terminated. And while the Free Press Act generally provided guidance about the conduct of the One Feather, it provided little protection for those reporting the news in an unbiased fashion to the public. So, this year we asked for and received additional protections for the newspaper to protect the personnel in the execution of duties. It is not the elected officials themselves, but the governmental mechanisms that caused concern. Tribal Council expressed agreement with that concern and voted for protections that will further the cause of free speech and freedom of information on the Boundary. Principal Chief Sneed also expressed his agreement through signing the legislation into law.

Could the One Feather be politically influenced even with personnel protections? Absolutely, that other edge of the sword is that Tribal Council is the holder of the purse-strings of the program. A majority vote could be taken to defund the One Feather and it would disappear. The newspaper is far from self-sustaining. In the current economic environment, small local newspapers are falling by the wayside. Many of us, including the One Feather, are trying to shift advertising models to a more digital, web-based approach, which is full of its own challenges.

Tribal Council, the Executive Office, and the One Feather have agreed on the idea and importance of Free Press, even when it comes to outside press organizations. But the continuation of this positive environment for free speech is fragile in the case of the One Feather and, indeed, all local print media.

Margaret Sullivan recently authored a book titled Ghosting the News: Local Journalism and the Crisis of American Democracy. In the introduction, she addresses the negative progress for a community who reduces or loses its local free media. It matters-immensely. As Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, put it: If we dont monitor power at the local level, there will be a massive abuse of power at the local level. And thats just the beginning of the damages thats already been done, with much more on the way. As a major PEN America study concluded in 2019: As local journalism declines, government officials conduct themselves with less integrity, efficiency, and effectiveness, and corporate malfeasance goes unchecked. With the loss of local news, citizens are less likely to vote, less politically informed, and less likely to run for office. Democracy, in other words, loses its foundation. (PEN stands for Poets, Playwrights, Editors, Essayists, Novelists)

Adding to the loss of democratic foundation is the misinformation in the unregulated social media paradigm. It is amazing that it has to be said in modern culture, but not everything you see on the internet and particularly on social media is true, even if it is related to you by a friend. As local media shifts its focus to this digital environment, we will have to be the clearing houses for fact for the community.

The One Feather and tribal government continue to work together to ensure your access to information and continue to provide an avenue for free thought and expression for the readership. You are in the drivers seat as far as what the One Feather will look like in the future. And you will decide what your freedom looks like in the process.

Finally, a quick shout out across the decades to Principal Chief Jarrett Blythe, Charlotte Sneed, Winona Digh, and Ella West, who are listed in Volume One, Number One of the Cherokee One Feather as the committee appointed to oversee the task of creating the Cherokee One Feather. They are also listed as the original editors. They said, Cherokee custom, before the advent of the white man, was for the warriors to wear a single eagle feather. The feather was a symbol of the warriors standing within the tribe and was earned through a series of courageous acts or deeds. To be able to wear the feather, a young warrior had to be battle-tested and approved in special ceremony. In search of an acceptable name for our news communication, we were unable to uncover a more suitable title than the Cherokee One Feather, noting its important symbolism in the Cherokee past.

And, kudos to all the past and present editors, reporters, subscription clerks, and advertising staff who have been part of the One Feather evolution. In the war of words, you were and are the warriors for the cause of free speech.

I heard the effort toward a Cherokee constitution mentioned in a recent Tribal Council work session. I would implore those who will be editing and presenting the constitution proposal, and those government officials who will be ultimately bringing it before the people for a vote, please put free speech and free press rights at the forefront of your governing document. Social systems succeed or collapse on those rights of freedom.

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COMMENTARY: Your freedom hinges on freedom of speech - The Cherokee One Feather - Cherokee One Feather

Will it be Freedom Hilly cross country course? – The Macomb Daily

What kind of running shoes do the folks in the funk metal band Primus wear?

How about ZZ Top? Do they prefer Asics or Saucony? What about the Goo Goo Dolls? Do they lean toward ultra lightweight shoes that help them Go Go like the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2?

All of the above acts have been on stage at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights.

Freedom Hill is not only the site of an amphitheater famous for bringing in nationally and internationally cognized acts.

It is also a spacious, 100-acre county park that already features a nature trail.

Freedom Hill County Park will be the locale of the 2020 Macomb County Championship cross country meet scheduled for Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10.

Two days are needed to abide by social distancing requirements dictated by the ongoing pandemic. The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has set a maximum limit of 70 runners and 100 people, which includes coaches and race officials, on the premises.

The boys will run Friday and the girls will compete Saturday. Multiple varsity and junior varsity races will be held. They will run in heats each day, with the top teams competing earlier.

All the details have not been finalized, said Mike Buslepp, the cross country coach at Romeo. The main thing is we want to make sure it is competitively balanced.

I know that (County Executive) Mark Hackel has given full autonomy to Keith and Kevin Hanson to build a cross country course at Freedom Hill. My kids are really, really excited. We have never run there before, but I hear the course is full of rolling hills, lots of grass and is wide open, continued Buslepp. We are going to do a tuneup a week before at the Hansons Invitational.

The county meet has traditionally been held at Stony Creek Metroparks Eastwood Beach.

Keith and Kevin Hanson are the owners of Hansons Running Shops. There are four in the Metro Detroit area including a location on Hall Road in Utica. Former college runners and high school cross country coaches, they are also the founders of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project.

The Project creates a unique opportunity for successful college athletes to continue training beyond their college years.

Hansons-Brooks runners have enjoyed success on the world stage.

Success is something the Romeo High School cross country program knows plenty about, too. Both the boys and girls teams are defending county champions.

The Bulldogs kicked off the 2020 season with impressive wins over talented teams from Troy High.

The boys topped Troy 16-45 by placing eight in the top 10 including the top four finishers. Zander Cobb was first in 16:42. Jack Kelke came in second in 16:43; Joseph Rinke was third in 16:57 and Owen Sharnas finished fourth in 17:17.

Coach Buslepps girls team triumphed 22-36. The Bulldogs had three of the top four runners. Romeos Madison Clor crossed the line in 19:41, good for first place. Amanda Felstow finished third in 21:17, and Gracie Youngblood came in fourth in 21:34.

We are going to be good, said Buslepp.This is what I have been telling them; that it would be easy to use COVID as a reason why we might not accomplish things that we wanted to accomplish. But that is really no excuse. Weve had the opportunity to go out and train. This group in particular has really, really embraced that. They did not miss a beat. They are in incredible shape, continued Buslepp.

The guys are five strong right now. The depth of the girls team is insane. We have 10 girls who could all run in the top five right now. There are also a couple of freshmen who are figuring in the scoring right now, said the Romeo coach.

Freedom Hill is not just a concert venue. Which high school teams and individual runners will be singing a happy tune in early October?

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Will it be Freedom Hilly cross country course? - The Macomb Daily

Joliet Township Sued Under The Freedom of Information Act; Unauthorized Fees – Edgar County Watchdogs

Joliet, IL. (ECWd) -

Last week we sued Joliet Township for failing to provide requested public records, and for their attempt at charging us unauthorized fees. Both are violations of the Illinois Freedom Of Information Act.

Joliet Township received a request for public records on June 9, 2020. They responded by imposing an unauthorized fee of $300 for someone to be onsite to copy the files to an external hard drive.

Section 6 of the FOIA specifically grants authority for fees, and what a public body may and may not charge to the requester:

a) When a person requests a copy of a record maintained in an electronic format, the public body shall furnish it in the electronic format specified by the requester, if feasible. If it is not feasible to furnish the public records in the specified electronic format, then the public body shall furnish it in the format in which it is maintained by the public body, or in paper format at the option of the requester. A public body may charge the requester for the actual cost of purchasing the recording medium, whether disc, diskette, tape, or other medium. If a request is not a request for a commercial purpose or a voluminous request, a public body may not charge the requester for the costs of any search for and review of the records or other personnel costs associated with reproducing the records. Except to the extent that the General Assembly expressly provides, statutory fees applicable to copies of public records when furnished in a paper format shall not be applicable to those records when furnished in an electronic format.

Joliet Township tried charging an additional $300 to place the requested records onto a $50 external hard drive.

Since the Edgar County Watchdogs is media, as that term is defined in Illinois law, Joliet Township could not classify the request as voluminous, nor as a commercial request.

In addition to the fee issue, Joliet Township failed to produce additional records, not part of the data placed on the hard drive.

We are asking for the requested records, a declaration that Joliet Township violated the FOIA, civil penalties, and costs/attorney fees.

Complaint HERE or below:

Joliet Township Complaint_Redacted

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Joliet Township Sued Under The Freedom of Information Act; Unauthorized Fees - Edgar County Watchdogs

OPINION/LETTER: Gun range noise is the ‘sound of freedom’ – Cape Cod Times


In answer to the inquiry if a machine gun range fits an eclectic/elitist image of Cape Cod located on Joint Base Cape Cod, the answer is a resounding absolutely not, with a caveat. Those are images not the reality of what a military reservation is or does.

Mary A. Jones of Brewster posed this question, and I am grateful for the contact email that she provided. My communication to that address paraphrase is along the following lines.

Thank you, God, for a facility that trains and prepares men in the operation and control of machine gun fire teams that are the nucleus of the ground forces deployed to all parts of the world.

You see, Ms. Jones, Otis Air Force Base and Camp Edwards played a major role in my own military service commitment. Circa 1950s the first Black Air Force general, Chappie James, was the commanding officer at Otis. General James made the base a go-to place for me as a Boy Scout and allowed me to sit in the flight simulator for the F-106 new jet aircraft. General James made the base a central part of the community and we used to go to the gym and the movies. Spending a weekend in the WW2 barracks was a big deal for all of us. The rattle of small arms fire and 155 howitzers against the backdrop of thundering jets was appreciated and accepted as the sounds of "freedom." Yours and mine. I still miss those sounds.

That, Ms. Jones, is my reality and experience that was a realistic preparation for life. Images are images, no more and no less.

Don C. Hayward, Monument Beach

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OPINION/LETTER: Gun range noise is the 'sound of freedom' - Cape Cod Times

What was the Red Sox best trade-deadline acquisition? Freedom from luxury-tax penalties – The Boston Globe

Five veterans out, six prospects in.

The only disappointment was the Sox didnt go further and find spots for Matt Barnes and Jackie Bradley Jr. or really shake things up by landing prominent prospects for Christian Vazquez.

Ben Cherington burned the house down to the foundation in the great fire sale of 2014. But Chaim Bloom didnt go that far.

The Red Sox and Rangers reportedly considered a swap of bad contracts that would have sent Nate Eovaldi to Texas for infielder Rougned Odor. Both are signed for two more seasons, Eovaldi at an average annual salary of $17 million and Odor at $8.25 million.

An executive from another team suggested that sort of deal could be revisited in the offseason when theres more time.

The Sox werent opposed to dealing Bradley, who will be a free agent after the season. But no contender had a glaring need for a defensive upgrade in center field.

The Sox also would have likely needed to pay down some of the $1.8 million Bradley has remaining on his salary through the end of the season.

We know hes a good player. Wed love to have him here for a long time, Bloom said.

Well see how that plays out. The Sox could play Alex Verdugo in center field next season until Jarren Duran is ready. They also picked up an interesting center field prospect in Jeisson Rosario in the Moreland deal.

A short-term deal might make sense for both sides. But whos to say Bradley will want to stay with the Sox? Hes learned how great it is to play in Boston during the good times and how miserable it can be during the bad times.

Its probably going to be a while before the good times roll around again given the state of the pitching staff. But at least steps are being taken.

With some of these trades weve added more contributors that I think can start to form our next core, Bloom said. We still have work to do to continue building that core . . . were looking forward to putting more contributors in place.

The biggest accomplishment Monday was that the trade deadline passing also meant the luxury-tax penalties the Sox have been incurring will reset for 2021.

That creates considerably more flexibility in putting together a better roster. Thats important as the coming offseason will be one where creativity will be required.

It remains uncertain to what degree fans will be allowed into games in 2021 and every team has already taken a financial beating with the loss of revenue this season.

Were in the business of staging mass gatherings, Bloom said. This pandemic has not been kind to our industry and its a massive crisis in a lot of ways for the baseball industry that were banding together to try and do everything we can to overcome. Its hanging over everybody.

The free agent market could be barren, even for the best players, and some teams may be compelled to shed payroll by trading stars.

Controlling costs this season and adding to their prospect depth has positioned the Sox to take advantage of the situation.

Its our job to make sure were aware of everything thats out there, Bloom said.

The final 25 games are unlikely to be pleasant. With Eovaldi on the injured list, the rotation consists of Martin Perez and four coin flips. And nearly every game remaining is against a contender.

Bloom said that the Sox would lean on the side of development as the season plays out. The remaining games offer a chance to further evaluate players such as Jonathan Arauz, Michael Chavis, Bobby Dalbec, and Yairo Munoz and see how many of those pitchers are worth keeping around.

The four trades opened playing time for others and the Sox should use that wisely. Munoz, once a productive player for the Cardinals before a falling out that led to his release, was called up Monday for his first big league time since being signed in March.

We move on, manager Ron Roenicke said.

Peter Abraham can be reached at peter.abraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.

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What was the Red Sox best trade-deadline acquisition? Freedom from luxury-tax penalties - The Boston Globe

Fortify Your Home on the Cheap, Part 2 – America’s 1st Freedom

Photo credit: via Unsplash

In addition to firearms training, you can still fortify your home against crime with a number of simple, cost-effective solutions. Here are half a dozen more strategies to protect your home.

8. Install a hotel-style lock on your bedroom door: For some reason, placing a lock on your bedroom door sounds odd to some people. But why? Do you not lock your outside doors? A lock on your inner sanctum gives you a last line of defense. Besides, if you are asleep and someone breaks in and enters your bedroom, there isnt much you can do. I like the locks that allow you to open the door a crack; also, these locks tend to make loud clanging noises if the door is opened without first throwing off the lever. And unless you sleep like a hibernating grizzly bear, if someone breaks your bedroom door down you should wake up. If youre awake and armed, you have a chance. If you are awake and armed behind a locked door, you have the advantage.

Put your lights on a timer: Whether you are away on vacation or home at night, buy a timer system for a few of your inside lamps and outside floodlights. Set them to turn on and off at random intervals to give the illusion that someone is home. Most criminals wont break into a home if they think someone is there. Knowing theyll have to face someone in their own home decreases the likelihood of criminals picking your house.

9. Put NRA stickers on your doors and windows: Put simply, if a criminal knows that the homeowner is armed and ready, they are far less likely to pick your house. One study that interviewed criminals while in jail indicated that the thing that scared them mostmore than cops, jail time or dogswas homeowners who are armed with guns. NRA stickers tell thieves that you are not a helpless victim.

10. Have a plan: This is perhaps the least-expensive thing you can do to keep your household safe, but its likely the most important. Simply talk with your family about what will happen should the unthinkable happen. Devise a secret knock that alerts other family members its them at their bedroom door and not an intruder. Have a meeting place and a backup meeting place. Tell family members whether you want them to go to a safe room, a secure hiding place or if you want them to flee to a neighbors house. Make sure that when a family member calls 911, they know to inform dispatchers that the homeowner has a gun, and what that person looks like. You just need a plan, a backup plan as well, and you need to talk about it now, before something happens. The fact is, if you have a relatively secure home, a gun and a plan, it is the home invader who should be worried.

11. Secure your vehicles: If your vehicles stay outside, be sure to remove any garage door openers, firearms, items that may have personal information or spare house keys, says Orman. If you dont, the criminal can obtain access to your house once they open the vehicles. Park vehicles under lights or in open areas that can be seen. Always set the alarm and lock the doors.

12. Team up with trusted neighbors: Few security measures beat having a neighbor who will watch your backand your backdoor while youre home and away. Over time, a perceptive neighbor will learn whats normal around your house and whats not, so communicate with your neighbors and tell them that you definitely want them to reach out if anything seems strange. Exchange phone numbers with them to establish a 24-hour line of emergency communication. Tell them youll do the same for them, and, when and where appropriate, devise a simple plan if ever there is an emergency.

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Fortify Your Home on the Cheap, Part 2 - America's 1st Freedom

Sen. Gardner touts vaccine progress, pandemic legislation at Steamboat Institute’s Freedom Conference in Beaver Creek – Steamboat Pilot and Today

BEAVER CREEK Saying people want a doggone solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Cory Gardner spoke to supporters at Beaver Creek on Friday on the first day of the 2020 Freedom Conference and Festival.

The conference is a 12th-annual event from the Steamboat Institute, but COVID-19 restrictions prevented the event from being held in Steamboat Springs this year. Beaver Creek was able to accommodate the group.

The widespread restrictions on social gatherings are in direct violation of (the First Amendment), and we believe that defending and exercising this right is at the core of what the Steamboat Institute stands for, wrote Jennifer Schubert-Akin, institute chairwoman, in a welcome letter to attendees.

In addition to SchubertAkins welcome packet, attendees were given copies of The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, Trent Englands Why We Must Defend The Electoral College, and a Steamboat Institute pamphlet titled How Lockdowns Infringe on Civil Liberties, A Pocket Guide.

A COVID-19 panel discussion featured economic doctor Arthur Laffer, medical doctor Scott Atlas, and Gardner, who touted economic recovery legislation and advances in science, saying the country is close to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Were gonna have a vaccine, said Gardner,who is polling behind Democratic challenger John Hickenlooper, Colorados former governor and presidential candidate, in his re-election campaign. Its going to be similar to a flu vaccine, where youre going to probably have to get it every year, and there will be different types of vaccines, and were going to get through this.

Atlas said he also believes the country is going to progress with the vaccine, but even if we didnt, we are going to be OK here, he said.

Atlas, who is a special advisor to President Trump, began the discussion by saying while states have begun reopening, significant limits to those reopenings remain, including travel warnings, quarantine requirements, reduced capacity on retail, bars that remain closed, reduced capacity at fitness centers, reduced capacity at restaurants, take-out only restaurants, and online-only and hybrid-attendance at schools.

The harms of continuing those lockdowns are enormous, Atlas said.

Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlas also said the most recent analysis indicates that the infection fatality rate for COVID-19 patients under 70 years of age is 0.04%.

Which is less than or equal to seasonal influenza, he said.

In addition to their confidence in vaccine development, panel members expressed optimism in population immunity, medical community response and market recovery, even crediting Gov. Jared Polis for Colorados response.

I think your governor has done a phenomenal job on bringing this state back into process, Laffer said.

While Laffer had kind words for his host in Polis, more immediately in Beaver Creeks Gerald Ford Hall, where the Freedom Conference took place, he had less enthusiastic words for the buildings namesake, saying President Fords Whip Inflation Now program cost enormous lives and cost enormous wellbeing.

Laffer said like Fords program, the 2020 pandemic response in the U.S. was a result of politicians making decisions while panicked.

There were lots and lots of mistakes, Laffer said. They were not done deliberately, obviously.

Atlas said Trumps plan is aimed at saving even more lives while rolling back limitations to reopening and protecting high-risk populations.

That means highly detailed, real-time monitoring; a smarter, prioritized, very intensive testing strategy of nursing home staff and residents; pro-active warnings to high-risk elderly in regions of increased in-community infection; massive allocation of extra resources including point-of-care testing in all 14,500 nursing homes by mid-September and rapid mobilization of CDC strike teams where surge testing is needed, Atlas said.

We will continue to emphasize to the public the goal of protecting the high-risk group, including importantly adopting the highest standards of hygiene and social distancing, all the things weve already learned, when interacting with elderly friends and family members at risk, he added.

Addressing dozens of unmasked viewers in Gerald Ford Hall, some of them elderly, Atlas said some mask policies are reasonable, especially concerning those in high-risk groups.

Wear a mask if you cannot socially distance, particularly in certain settings, he said. When youre close by somebody, its reasonable. When youre walking into a nursing home and theres a very, very high-risk situation, OK, then you gotta be super, super cautious when youre near people, and you can not socially distance.

Moderator Hadley Heath Manning said a lot of risk assessment and risk taking during a pandemic is a very personal choice. Manning said she flew across the country to visit her grandparents during the pandemic.

My grandmother insisted that we come to her house, Manning said. She made me think of a passage from Esther in the Bible If I perish, I perish.

Laffer, who is 80, said he has also visited with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren during the pandemic.

Frankly, I love my grandchildren far more than I love myself, Laffer said. And I just dont want this economy shut down and have their futures put at risk because of someone wanting to save another 80-year-old like me.

Gardner said we have to save the elderly, because there would be no one left in the Senate otherwise.

I have a vested interested in my colleagues, to make sure they get this right, he said with a laugh.

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Sen. Gardner touts vaccine progress, pandemic legislation at Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference in Beaver Creek - Steamboat Pilot and Today