Available Balance
Is The Decision To Ban The Jehovah’s Witnesses In Russia Correct?
April 24, 2017
3
religiousfreedom_gb

Just recently the Russian Supreme Court has rendered a decision prohibiting The Jehovah’s Witnesses from exercising its religious freedom in Russia. The decision further ordered the closing of all of Jehovah’s Witnesses 395 local chapters all over Russia.

Furthermore, the Russian Supreme Court has directed the confiscation of the property owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

The ruling of the Supreme Court of Russia has stemmed from the request of the Russian Ministry of Justice to declare this religious organization as an extremist group due to the refusal of its members to render military services and to allow any of its religious members to have blood transfusion.

For the past several years, the Jehovah’s Witnesses face increasing pressure inside Russia when it was banned to distribute its religious literature as being in violation of the Russian anti-extremism law.

There are around 170,000 religious members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses all over Russia. The counsel for the Russian Ministry of Justice has said that the Jehovah’s Witnesses “pose a threat to the right of the citizens, public order and public security.”

Russian Supreme Court Ruling Violates Article 18 Of The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

   Russia is a party and signatory to the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights or the UDHR. Being a party to this Universal Declaration Of Human Rights, Russia has an international obligation to observe, implement and enforce the UNDR within its territory as part of the law of the land.

Such being the case the recent decision banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses to profess and exercise its religious freedom is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Furthermore, this recent decision of the Russian Supreme Court has created a bad precedent since from now on the Russian Supreme Court has the power to declare

and ban any religion in Russia as an extremist group. It could further declare its property to be confiscated in the process.

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights is very clear and straight forward, to quote:

“Article 18

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.”

Therefore, there is no legal or constitutional argument that the decision of the Russian Supreme Court has violated Article 19 of the United Declaration on Human Rights.

According to the Russian spokesman of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Yaroslav Sivulskiy they will appeal the ruling of the Russian Supreme Court and they are very disappointed with this recent development and that they are very concerned as to how this recent ruling will going to affect their activity.

This recent ruling has far-reaching legal consequences not only to the members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses but to all persons who are members of any religion for that matter.

The ruling is indeed a big blow to the humanity’s march towards greater freedom and liberty from any governmental control with regards to one’s exercise and enjoyment of religious freedom.

It is hope that the appellate court or any International Tribunal where the Jehovah’s Witnesses appeal its case will eventually reverse and set aside the decision of the Russian Supreme Court.

Image source: http://www.glennbeck.com/2016/03/26/religious-freedom-the-four-part-series/

 

 

 

Who’s Going To Win The French Presidential Election On May 7, 2017?
April 24, 2017
0
France

Will it be Emmanuel Macron or Marine Le Pen who is going to be the next French President? These two presidential candidates will have a run-off election this coming May 7, 2017.

Almost 96% of the votes cast last Sunday were already counted and it is very clear that Emmanuel Macron has garnered almost 23.9% of the total votes cast, while Marine Le Pen has garnered a total of 21.4% of the casted votes.

That’s the precise reason why there will be run-off election this coming May 7, 2017 in order to decide which between these two candidates will be the next President of France.

Emmanuel Macron And Marine Le Pen A Study In Contrast

   Whoever between these two candidates who will come out as the real winner will for sure have lasting impact on the political landscape of France, of Europe, the European Union and the world in general.

France together with Germany are the two strongest members and supporters of the European Union or the EU in mainland Europe. The continuing membership or non-membership of France in the European Union will have a deep and wide impact on the survival of the European Union as an organization.

Emmanuel Macron is said to be a centrist politician. Being a centrist politician, he is said to be pro-European and is in favor of the total deregulation or liberalization of the whole French economy. He is also a believer and proponent for a multi-billion dollar public investment program.

On the other hand, the candidate and politician Marine Le Pen is said to be far-right in orientation. She calls for the shake-up and review of France relationship with the European Union or EU, she also believes in anti-immigrant policy by decreasing the number of immigrant. She is in favor of the closure of the so-called extremist mosques.

In terms of profession, Emmanuel Macron is a banker. While on the other hand Marine Le Pen is a lawyer.

There is a saying that during the first round of voting, the French voters uses its emotion, while during the second voting, the French voters uses its head.

May 7, 2017 Run-off Election

   For sure the presidential election on May 7, 2017 will be a neck and neck fight between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. This will not only be a clash of the personality between these two politicians but so many things are at stake here.

But this will also be a battle between two opposing political beliefs and principles: Centrist and the Far-Right politics.

Both political parties where Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen belongs to will do its best to mobilize all of its forces, supporters and resources in order to win the May 7, 2017 presidential election.

It is also certain that from the looks of it and that from all indications, the coming political fight between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will be a very closely contested fight indeed.

Let us wait and see for the moment whose going to appear to be the ultimate winner: Macron or Le Pen?

May the best man or woman win!

Image source: http://www.india.com/news/world/french-presidential-elections-2017-emmanuel-macron-takes-early-lead-marine-le-pen-trails-both-likely-to-clear-first-round-2060067/

 

 

 

 

Arrest Of American Citizen In North Korea Another War Provocation?
April 24, 2017
0
Arrest

The news of the recent arrest of another American or United States citizen as he tried to leave North Korea is another blot in the bitter relationship between the United States and the North Korea.

For reason of confidentiality the name of the arrested person is not yet disclose and all the facts and circumstances behind his detention and arrest are still blurry.

The incident of the arrest has occurred in the Pyongyang International Airport as the man is about to leave the airport. The complete name of the arrested man is not fully known although he is only known for his last name as Kim.

We do not really know the reason behind the arrest or whether that person is being suspected of espionage or due to some possible violation of law in North Korea.

Violation Of International Human Rights In A Communist Country

   It must be noted that this recent detention and arrest of an American citizen is not the first time that this kind of incident ever happened in North Korea. There are two other American citizens that are currently serving their sentences after being tried and convicted by the court in North Korea.

The first one is Otto Warmbier. He was a college student at the time of his arrest and detention. He was charged for stealing propaganda sign or materials and for other crimes against the State. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment.

The other American is Kim Dong Chul, who is an American pastor. He was charged and prosecuted for spying and after trial was convicted and sentenced to 10 years of hard labor.

We are not certain if the current arrested person known only as Kim will suffer the same kind of fate as that of Otto Warmbier and Kim Dong Chul.

If Kim will either be charged of destroying or stealing propaganda sign and other crimes against the States then he might be convicted and sentenced of at least 15 years of imprisonment.

If he will be charged for the crime of espionage in North Korea then he might be convicted for the crime of espionage and in the process might be convicted likewise for 10 years of hard labor.

It is a well-known fact that in any communist country the individual rights and freedom of any citizens is clearly suppressed and not respected. It is always under a police state where the power and authority of the government or the State or the communist party for that matter is always above and superior over the rights of individual citizens.

In any democratic society or State the individual freedom and liberty as well as one’s rights is always respected. The power of the government is always subject to limitation by the rights of the individual.

There are some speculations that the reason why Kim was arrested is in order for him to be use as bargaining chip and as human shield to deter the United States from conducting any possible military action or military strikes against the North Korea.

It would not be for long that we will be able to know the reason behind the arrest of Kim and whether North Korea will eventually pressed charges against him.

 

Image source: http://www.avenuemail.in/opinion/columns/no-full-stop-illegal-arrest/71026/

 

The Fall Of Bill O’Reilly: Sexual Harassment Complaint Of Wendy Walsh
April 21, 2017
0
wendy-walsh-bill-oreilly (1)

The recent news about the firing of Bill O’Reilly as one of the host of the Fox News TV Networks has shocked so millions of viewers of Fox News.

The primary reason why he fired from the Fox News TV Network was due to the allegation of sexual harassment by Wendy Walsh. Oh how the mighty has fallen!

A host in any news program has a greater social responsibility not only to its viewers but to the society as well. Being in the public limelight they must be a role model of good conduct and behavior.

While it is impossible for us to demands from any media practitioners to be an angel, there is always the big distinction and chasm between one’s ethics and professional conduct as opposed to one’s debased sexual instinct.

Sexual Harassment As Unacceptable Conduct And Criminal Behavior

   Bill O’Reilly is a 67 year old man. He is not a minor child anymore. His conduct is not acceptable under any circumstances for a mature and old individual like his age.

Sexual harassment is a crime. It cannot be tolerated by our society. Sexual harassment is among the form and manifestation of violence against women.

If the report in the news is to be believed, Wendy Walsh is only one of the victims of Bill O’Reilly in his unusual sexual behavior. It is better for him to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist for that matter since it is apparent that he is suffering from some kind of mental disease.

To engage in any sexual harassment act is a sign of abnormal behavior. Is Bill O’Reilly sick in the head? I wonder if there will other women who will come out into the open to lodge a complaint against Bill O’Reilly.

It’s about time that any sexual harassment behavior and any violence against women be stop by our society by prosecuting any offender for that matter to the fullest extent of the law.

I firmly believed that Bill O’Reilly must not only be fired from the Fox News TV Network but must be prosecuted as well in the court of law. If Bill O’Reilly has any license at all as a media practitioner then he must be stripped of his license.

It is good that Wendy Walsh has the guts to come into the open and give her interview in the New York Times, otherwise this kind of behavior of Bill O’Reilly will not be exposed.

We know for a fact that there are so many cases of sexual harassment and acts of violence against women that is being committed in so many places: homes, workplaces and even in schools or almost everywhere.

It’s about time that these types of sexual abuse practices not to be tolerated by society. It is about time to give more teeth to the law regarding sexual harassment and violence against women.

It is also about time that all the existing laws on sexual harassment and acts of violence against women be review so that all the necessary amendments must be put into place.

One way of doing this is to increase the penalty for a longer imprisonment and increase the amount of damages.

Shame on you Bill O’Reilly!

 

Have You Seen The New Star Wars Trailer “The Last Of The Jedi”?
last jedi

Just recently I watch the New Star Wars thrillers: “The Last of The Jedi”. Surely, I’m going to watch this new Star Wars movie comes December 2017.

This will be the third film after the Star Wars franchise was sold to Walt Disney by George Lucas. The first film in 2015 was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”; while the film for last year was “Star Wars: Rogue One”.

These three (3) series of Star Wars film for sure caters to the taste of new generations of Star Wars movie fans and certainly of course there will be more Star War movie converts along the way.

Star War Movies Part Of The Popular Culture

   The first showing and launching of the first Star Wars movie “Star War: Episode IV-A New Hope” back in 1977 has truly revolutionize the whole sci-fi film industry. It has set a new high standard that succeeding film maker in the sci-fi film genre finds it hard to follow. Star Wars film remains unsurpassed until this very day.

Millions upon millions of Star Wars fans has not only fallen in love with the story and with all the characters in the Star Wars film. Sometimes these Star Wars film characters are even more real for some compared to other real persons that we meet in real life.

Aside from the many cinematographic special effects, the Star Wars film franchise is a class in itself. The film has its own world, it has its own characters, and it has its own adventures and story to tell.

To watch any Star Wars film is to be transported to another world. It is a different experience. My personal thrills and excitement every time I watch any Star Wars films has never ever wanes.

I have the chance to watch the first Star Wars movie back in 1977 and my admiration for this film remains intact through the years of my life.

How about you are you fans of the Star War films?

What Makes Star Wars Films Click?

   One of the best things that I can say about all the Star Wars film is its theme or subject matter. The Star Wars movies exemplify the classic fight between the Forces of Good against the Forces of Evil and that the Forces of Good always triumph and prevail in the end.

The classic formula of the fight between the Forces of Good against the Forces of Evil is a sure successful formula that is always being use not only by film maker but by any author or writer of any book for that matter.

The fight between the Forces of Good against the Forces of Evil is a theme that is always near to our heart and to the heart of every human beings for we ourselves experience the constant fight between the Forces of Good against the Forces of Evil within our very self and in our day to day life. We are no stranger to this theme, aren’t we?

Where do you belong, to the Forces of Good or to the Forces of Evil?

Well, it will almost be seven months from now before I see this new film “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” but I’m sure it’s all worth the wait.

May the Force be with you!

 

 

A Tale Of Two Tragedy: The Steve Stephens’ Incident
April 19, 2017
3
cleveland (1)

   The shooting of Robert Godwin Sr., by Steve Stephens which was posted by the latter in Facebook was indeed a human tragedy.

What started as human tragedy has ended into another human tragedy. If the news is to be believed that the possible reason why Steve Stephens has shot Robert Godwin Sr., was due to failed relationship and addiction to gambling then he alone of all the people is to be blame.

The only thing that is not acceptable in this situation is that he took the life of an innocent old man, a father of 10 and a grandfather of 14 grandchildren. That’s the scariest situation that anyone could be in. To be shot during the sunset of one’s life.

Imagine yourself being in the right place but in the wrong time when all of sudden without any provocation on your part you’ll be shot by a madman for no apparent reasons at all.

Senseless Killing

   The story of Steve Stephens is a story of failure—of failure to master oneself, to control one’s vice such as gambling and the failure to act as a responsible adult and as productive members of society.

One could but recall the series of school shooting incident that happened in various part of the United States in previous years. It was always the maladjusted individual who is always the cause of human tragedy not only to himself or herself but even to others.

What a wasted lives in this recent incident the victim and the shooter himself. These chains of events were precipitated and put into action by Steve Stephens himself.

But in the end justice has caught up with Steve Stephens if not from the hands of the lawmen but from his own hand himself. He shot himself which in the process is plain suicide since he could no longer face and accept reality and so it seems for him that’s the only means of escape.

What a coward he is. Sometimes we human beings are the very cause of our own folly although we failed to acknowledge it and use other people as our scape goat or we ourselves engaged in a blame game.

One thing that we can learn from this tragic incident is the negative effect of vice for that matter. Any vice serves no better purpose in our life.

The negative effect not only of gambling, drugs, alcohol, and smoking are self-evident and plain for everyone to see. There are countless tales on what kind of miseries these vices could bring.

Another thing that one could learn from this incident is the importance of one’s mental health or sanity. We need to maintain a meaningful direction in life beyond the allure of this world lest we lost our right orientation in life.

There is only one life to live and we must live our life very well and to the fullest.

What is highly noticeable in this incident was the forgiving attitude on the part of the family of the victim Robert Godwin Sr., towards the killer Steve Stephens. That’s no ordinary feat to do under the circumstances.

Indeed to err is human but to forgive is divine.

 

 

 

North Korea Could Never Win This War Against The United States And Its Allies
April 19, 2017
2
nuclear-war

One thing is sure in this current situation: the world is all watching as the events unfold in the Korean Peninsula.

The USS Carl Vinson escorted by various battleships is just within the striking distance from the North Korea. Strategically speaking it can easily launch a barrage of cruise missile against vital targets in North Korea. Further, only the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is the piece of land separating between the South Korea and North Korea. If any land warfare would ensue, South Korea will always be the launching point for any offensive attack against North Korea.

One may ask as to the battle plan or game plan of the United States against North Korea and vice versa? Is it the pure destruction of North Korea itself and its nuclear program facilities or drastic changes in its present regime or system of government? How will North Korea  proceed with its offensive attack against the United States and its allies—only through the launching of missiles as the ace in its card?
We must remember that it is not only the United States that will be involved in case of any “shooting war” against the North Korea. There are the other Western Allies such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other European countries not to mention other Asian country that has military or tactical alliance with the United States that will fight side by side with the United States.

Just like any other modern warfare, the key to victory in any possible war is through “technological warfare” more than anything else. North Korea has no cutting edge advantages or superiority over the United States and its allies on this regard.

This will be a war of short duration. And from all indication and the comparatives analysis of all military forces, weapons and technologies, between the United States and its allies as against North Korea, all the odds are against North Korea.

North Korea by no stretch of imagination could never win this war.

Another thing to consider is the principles involve in this possible war? What is the United States is fighting for?

On the other hand what is the North Korea fighting for?

The overwhelming tide of international opinion in the International Community is against North Korea with its continuous series of missiles test despite international condemnation.

Such action of North Korea is irresponsible and it cannot do so forever with impunity. The day of reckoning for sure will come. The world for sure will be a better place if and when all the nuclear program facilities or structures will be destroyed and dismantled.

For quite a long time, North Korea is making its part of the world a missile testing ground and its communist leader playing with its missile toys.

It’s about time that the “fat boy” of North Korea must be given an unforgettable lesson that he and his regime will never forget.

It is long overdue and the time to act is now.

 

 

Are Classical Books Still Relevant In The Computer Age?
classic_books

   There are hundreds of classical books that one could read in one’s life time. But for the modern generation of readers living in the modern word—in the cyber world, one may ask if all these classical books are still relevant and a good read?

One may also asked if all of these classical books are indeed obsolete. Take for example these epic: The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer, or the Aenied of Virgil or the work of Shakespeare. Are these works still makes sense in the modern world?

Classical book are indeed old and antique in terms of age but its message never grows old: its message was relevant in the bygone days and its message is still relevant in our times.

You may ask why? Classical book possess enduring truth that transcends or goes beyond times and places. Truth about the place of human beings in this world and the human condition is well-reflected in the classical books.

Also human nature is explored, exposed and is greatly expounded in the stories and tales contained in whatever classical books that you’ve read or may read.

Take for example the Holy Scriptures or the Holy Bible—its message is timeless and enduring.

Another characteristics or feature of classical books is that it could withstand the test of time. The moral lesson or the wisdom one can get from reading all the classical books is inexhaustible. Generation upon generation of readers always find some delight, fascination, enjoyment, inspiration and wisdom from reading classical books.

Classical book set a bar or precedent for the following generation to imitate, consider or follow as a model, as a standard or as a canon if you will. Every classical book possess this enduring value and quality that succeeding generation has look upon as the best product of human heart and mind or the best product of the human spirit in that particular time or epoch of human history.

Among the other virtue in reading classical book is its social redeeming value. All classical books uphold human dignity, its uplift and renew the human spirit as well as an instrument for anyone’s moral regeneration.

When we read classical books, our heart, mind and spirit are constantly being polish and sharpen through the great minds of the author of any classical book.

One thing that one notice when reading a classical book is the unique style of the author on how he or she present his or her subject or topic in such a way that goes beyond the ordinary, the vulgar, and the shallow.

We can indeed learn so many things from the classical books which are the repository of all ancient knowledge and wisdom, and of what is the best in human civilization during those by gone days.

It is not sufficient that one has diploma or college degree if his or her heart, mind and spirit is not exposed to the gems and jewels of the laudable and salutary experience that one could derive and benefit from reading the classical book.

So if you are not yet starting to read any classical book, then you could perhaps start with the Holy Scripture so as to sharpen your mind, touch your heart and renew your spirit.

 

Impending World War III: North Korea Must Come To Its Senses
nuclear-war

It is a cardinal rule in any art of warfare to never underestimate your enemy. It seems that the saber rattling of North Korea the latest of which is the press conference of its United Nation Deputy Representative Kim In Ryong underestimates the resolve of the United States to end North Korea’s nuclear experiment.

Perhaps the remarks of the United States President Pence that the “strategic patience” of the United States and its allies are running thin must be taken seriously by North Korea.

Likewise the resolve of President Donald Trump to use any available military action first in Syria through the strikes of 59 Tomahawk missiles and then the used of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast or MOAB in Afghanistan killing 94 ISIS fighter and 4 commanders must send a strong signals of all its resolves and determination against North Korea.

The USS Carl Vinson with its escort battleships are just within the striking distance to North Korea to do massive damage if and when war indeed erupts at any moment from now on.

Comparative Analysis Of Military Strength Between U.S. And North Korea

   The statement of the North Korean Deputy Representative to the United Nation to that effect that “war may break out at any moment” implying also the possibility of a nuclear war may become a living reality. But who will be the loser in this war? It’s the North Korea no doubt.

It is wrong for the North Korea to think that any possible war against the United States and its allies will be just like the Korean War in the 1950s all over again. The world has change and evolved since then.

If North Korea is only relying to use nuclear weapon in its arsenal to win any potential war then it is clearly mistaken. The nuclear weapons development program of North Korea is still in its development stage.

On the other hand, technological wise, the United States nuclear weapons are far advanced and superior compared to that of North Korea.

North Korea has never use any nuclear weapons before in any kind of war, while the United States has already used it during World War II, when it bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Indeed, the resolved of the United States of America to use its atomic bomb back then is never in doubt. America will not think twice today to use all of its nuclear weapons against North Korea.

In terms of military preparedness not to mention military technology whether on land, sea or air, the United States alone has wide advantaged and superiority over North Korea.

The United States military has experience and exposure in actual war and combat operation in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. The last war experience of North Korea in war was only during the Korean War in the 1950s or more than 70 years ago.

Given all this various factors not to mention the help of other Western allies to the United States if war ensued it is most likely that North Korea will be wipe out from the face of the earth.

When such war erupt countless innocent civilians or non-combatants—men, women and children will be the war ultimate casualties.

All the parties to this developing situation must pursue any possible diplomatic solutions before everything is too late and completely irreversible.

 

 

 

  

  

Easter Is All About The Resurrection Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
last

The Easter is the final event of the Holy Week. It has been said that the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the summit of our Christian Faith.

It is among the most important event in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ since it is the ultimate fulfillment of all the prophecy concerning the life of our Savior in this world.

It has been remarked that without the Resurrection then the Christian Faith will amount to nothing. It will be a dead faith at all and without power.

Implications Of The Resurrection

   The Resurrection of our Lord Jesu Christ proved that He is indeed the Christ and the Messiah. There comes before our Lord Jesus Christ so many false prophets and false messiah.

The main difference between these false prophets and false messiah is that they are all dead and has no power of resurrection whatsoever. However, with respect to our Lord Jesus Christ, He not only predicted his Passion and Death but he likewise predicted about His Glorious Resurrection.

Resurrection has proved all prophesies about the resurrection of the Messiah to be true. The Resurrection in other words is the ultimate fulfillment of all the prophesies.

It further proved that indeed out Lord Jesus Christ is the Christ and the Messiah. The Resurrection is the highest miracle since its concerns about Immortality and Eternity itself.

Through the resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ has conquered death and the way to Eternal Life is once again open for us believers.

Of all the Abrahamic faith, it is only Christianity that gives emphasis to the power of Resurrection. That since we die with our Lord Jesus Christ in baptism when we were immerse in water, in the say way that we will rose again from the dead when we rose up from the water.

Among the creed of the Catholic Church is the doctrine of “the resurrection of the body” on the last day. If our Lord Jesus Christ has arose from the dead, then we as His followers will for sure rise again from the dead during the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The scene during the early morning of Easter as narrated in the four gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John has a very deep spiritual meaning and significance for us to realize and bear in mind.

Without the power of the resurrection then our life in the world has no meaning at all. This proves the immortality of the soul and of the eternal life.

Resurrection for us believers gives each and every one of us a new hope, a new beginning and a new kind of transformation and renewal.

This indeed proved that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord over Life and Death and that death has no more stings in the scheme of things.

Yes indeed Lord Jesus Christ, you are our Life and you are our Resurrection.

May every one of us have a Blessed Easter.