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Feature Article of Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Columnist: Hardi, Ibrahim
Culture is the mentality by which societies preserve values and habits that have proven to work and improve life over a long period of time. These values are transmitted from one generation to the next, giving a sense of continuity and having to avoid the mistakes of the past and embodying knowledge that is suitable to that culture in the environment in which it has evolved, while adapting to foreign influence.
Though cultural values are less difficult to change than religious values, they are nonetheless difficult to change and subject to much resistance when there is a need for such a change.
Globalization expedites rapid change where there is a need for flexibility– be it in the economic, social, or political structure of a society– the more flexible a culture is, the more able this culture is to take advantage and adapt to and adopt inevitable change.
Time to stop the hand-wringing self-pity of relying on fate and destiny as reasons for inaction, supplemented by the lead-pimps of the culture encouraging such attitudes to preserve the status qua for selfish self-enrichment.
It is easy to under-appreciate the effect of culture and its values on civil progress. Initiating radical and productive programs, and discarding those attitudes that are harmful to progress and stand in the way of promoting and elevating positive values. This problem must be attacked at the educational level and through the use of media– be it political, educational or entertainment– to cause discussions, to educate, and to entertain and create positive images that embody the values that we seek to instill in our society. In plain English, this is one place where positive propaganda can have a dramatic affect on a culture and its view of itself.
The USA and Singapore, two extremely different types of political and cultural systems, “overdose” their citizens with “constructive propaganda” and have managed to each Faithfully develop this art in completely different models to a great and successful ends. So a government like ours that is in a developing state and has great control over most of the media and its assets should now take advantage of the Internet to educate and use the same resources and techniques to create that desired and called-for positive image and values for society by showing and reinforcing the values of community, justice, fairness, hard work compensation, reason, innovation, etc. as the values that Ghanaians should acquire and equip themselves with for the general good. This transformation that a culture needs to go through is a difficult challenge, as are the needed execution and required time frame, and these values presented are “value neutral/dynamic sensitive”– in that they do not belong to any particular country or culture, but are the positive foundation of any culture that wishes to thrive and be competitive and accommodating. Work and Happiness!!!. This needed cultural transformation must be taken by all who crave progress, and our politicians, preachers, entrepreneurs, educators, and the media all have big roles to play, together and separately, in bringing about a success to meet the aspirations of peaceful Ghanaian citizens for self-empowerment and development. Rational reason, mankind’s most elevated and distinctive feature, should guide the way, and formal and informal educational systems should walk along in a cordial and harmonious companionship, not as a drag or a tag. Culture is a cool-tool that is meant to serve mankind and not enslave mankind; to enhance and not to stupor-entrance; to facilitate and not to debilitate.
When aspects of a culture become an impediment to progress, then these aspects of the culture should be made flexible and modified, pronto. Culture in magnitude as a positive attitude
Forward Ever Ghana!!!!!!!!
(If you are researching the Maginot Line, visit the student-created Maginot Line research page) Library Books First, you may want to look in the Encyclopedia Britannica for some solid background information.
“I worry about my child and the Internet all the time, even though she’s too young to have logged on yet. Here’s what I worry about. I worry that 10 or 15 years from now, she will come to me and say ‘Daddy, where were you when they took freedom of the press away from the Internet?’” –Mike Godwin, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Freenet is free software which lets you anonymously share files, browse and publish “freesites” (web sites accessible only through Freenet) and chat on forums, without fear of censorship. Freenet is decentralised to make it less vulnerable to attack, and if used in “darknet” mode, where users only connect to their friends, is very difficult to detect.
Communications by Freenet nodes are encrypted and are routed through other nodes to make it extremely difficult to determine who is requesting the information and what its content is.
Users contribute to the network by giving bandwidth and a portion of their hard drive (called the “data store”) for storing files. Files are automatically kept or deleted depending on how popular they are, with the least popular being discarded to make way for newer or more popular content. Files are encrypted, so generally the user cannot easily discover what is in his datastore, and hopefully can’t be held accountable for it. Chat forums, websites, and search functionality, are all built on top of this distributed data store.
Freenet has been downloaded over 2 million times since the project started, and used for the distribution of censored information all over the world including countries such as China and the Middle East. Ideas and concepts pioneered in Freenet have had a significant impact in the academic world. Our 2000 paper “Freenet: A Distributed Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval System” was the most cited computer science paper of 2000 according to Citeseer, and Freenet has also inspired papers in the worlds of law and philosophy. Ian Clarke, Freenet’s creator and project coordinator, was selected as one of the top 100 innovators of 2003 by MIT’s Technology Review magazine.
An important recent development, which very few other networks have, is the “darknet”: By only connecting to people they trust, users can greatly reduce their vulnerability, and yet still connect to a global network through their friends’ friends’ friends and so on. This enables people to use Freenet even in places where Freenet may be illegal, makes it very difficult for governments to block it, and does not rely on tunneling to the “free world”.
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The anti-globalization movement, or counter-globalisation movement, is critical of the globalization of corporate capitalism. The movement is also commonly referred to as the global justice movement,alter-globalization movement, anti-globalist movement, anti-corporate globalization movement, or movement against neoliberal globalization.
Participants base their criticisms on a number of related ideas. What is shared is that participants oppose what they see as large, multi-national corporations having unregulated political power, exercised through trade agreements and deregulated financial markets. Specifically, corporations are accused of seeking to maximize profit at the expense of work safety conditions and standards, labor hiring and compensation standards, environmental conservation principles, and the integrity of national legislative authority, independence and sovereignty. As of January 2012, some commentators have characterized the unprecedented changes in the global economy as “turbo-capitalism” (Edward Luttwak), “market fundamentalism” (George Soros), “casino capitalism” (Susan Strange), “cancer-stage capitalism” (John McMurtry), and as “McWorld” (Benjamin Barber).
Many anti-globalization activists call for forms of global integration that better provide democratic representation, advancement of human rights, fair trade and sustainable development and therefore feel the term “anti-globalization” is misleading.
Supporters believe that by the late 20th century those they characterized as “ruling elites” sought to harness the expansion of world markets for their own interests; this combination of the Bretton Woods institutions, states, and multinational corporations has been called “globalization” or “globalization from above.” In reaction, various social movements emerged to challenge their influence; these movements have been called “anti-globalization” or “globalization from below.”
People opposing globalization believe that international agreements and global financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization, undermine local decision-making. Corporations that use these institutions to support their own corporate and financial interests, can exercise privileges that individuals and small businesses cannot, including the ability to
The movement aims for an end to the legal status of “corporate personhood” and the dissolution of free market fundamentalism and the radical economic privatization measures of the World Bank, the IMF, and the World Trade Organization.
Activists are especially opposed to the various abuses which they think are perpetuated by globalization and the international institutions that, they say, promote neoliberalism without regard to ethical standards. Common targets include the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and free trade treaties like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement (TPPA), the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). In light of the economic gap between rich and poor countries, adherents of the movement claim that free trade without measures to protect the environment and the health and wellbeing of workers will merely increase the power of industrialized nations (often termed the “North” in opposition to the developing world’s “South”). Proponents of this line of thought refer to the process as polarization and argue that current neo-liberal economic policies have given wealthier states an advantage over developing nations, enabling their exploitation and leading to a widening of the global wealth gap.
A report by Jean Ziegler, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, notes that “millions of farmers are losing their livelihoods in the developing countries, but small farmers in the northern countries are also suffering” and concludes that “the current inequities of the global trading system are being perpetuated rather than resolved under the WTO, given the unequal balance of power between member countries.”  Activists point to the unequal footing and power between developed and developing nations within the WTO and with respect to global trade, most specifically in relation to the protectionist policies towards agriculture enacted in many developed countries. These activists also point out that heavy subsidization of developed nations’ agriculture and the aggressive use of export subsidies by some developed nations to make their agricultural products more attractive on the international market are major causes of declines in the agricultural sectors of many developing nations.
Through the Internet, a movement began to develop in opposition to the doctrines of neoliberalism which were widely manifested in the 1990s when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) proposed liberalization of cross-border investment and trade restrictions through its Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). This treaty was prematurely exposed to public scrutiny and subsequently abandoned in November 1998 in the face of strenuous protest and criticism by national and international civil society representatives.
Neoliberal doctrine argued that untrammeled free trade and reduction of public-sector regulation would bring benefits to poor countries and to disadvantaged people in rich countries. Anti-globalization advocates urge that preservation of the natural environment, human rights (especially workplace rights and conditions) and democratic institutions are likely to be placed at undue risk by globalization unless mandatory standards are attached to liberalization. Noam Chomsky stated in 2002 that
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2011present Spanish protests Part of the 20082013 Spanish financial crisis, the European sovereign debt crisis and the impact of the Arab Spring The Puerta del Sol square in Madrid, shown here on May 20, 2011, became a focal point and a symbol during the protests. Date 15May2011(2011-05-15) ongoing (927 days) Location Spain Causes Unemployment, economic conditions, welfare cuts, political corruption, particracy, unrepresentative bipartidism, democratic deficit Goals Direct democracy, reduce influence of economic powers in politics, Methods Demonstrations, civil disobedience, civil resistance, rioting, sit-ins, online activism, protest camps occupations Status Ongoing Number 68.5 million participants throughout Spain Injuries and arrests Injuries 1527+ injuries The 2011present Spanish protests, also referred to as the 15-M Movement (Spanish: Movimiento 15-M), the Indignants Movement, and Take the Square #spanishrevolution, are a series of ongoing demonstrations in Spain whose origin can be traced to social networks such as Real Democracy NOW (Spanish: Democracia Real YA) or Youth Without a Future (Spanish: Juventud Sin Futuro) among other civilian digital platforms and 200 other small associations. The protests started on May 15, 2011 with an initial call in 58 Spanish cities. The series of protests demand a radical change in Spanish politics, as protesters do not consider themselves to be represented by any traditional party nor favoured by the measures approved by politicians. Spanish media has related the protests to the economic crisis, Stphane Hessel’s Time for Outrage!, the NEET troubled generation and current protests in the Middle East and North Africa,Iran, Greece,Portugal as well as the Icelandic protest and riots in 2009. The movement drew inspiration from 2011 revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and uprisings in 1968 France, and Greece in 2008, as well as South Korea in 1980 and 1987. The protests were staged close to the local and regional elections, held on May 22.
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Palestinian territories Largest cities Demonym Establishment – Israeli occupation established 1967 Area – Total 6,220km2 2,402sqmi – Water(%) 3.5 Population – 2012estimate 4,293,313 – 2007census 3,719,189 – Density 654/km2 1,694/sqmi HDI (2010) 0.645 medium 97th Currency (JOD, EGP, ILS) Time zone (UTC+2) – Summer(DST) (UTC+3) Calling code +970d Internet TLD a. Used in West Bank since 1950. b. Used in Gaza Strip since 1951. c. Used since 1985. d. +972 also used.
The Palestinian territories or occupied Palestinian territories (OPT or oPt) comprise the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. In 1993, following the Oslo Accords, parts of the territories politically came under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian National Authority (Areas A and B). In 2007, the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip violently split from the Palestinian Authority, governing the area of Gaza independently since. Israel still exercises full military control and Israeli civil control over 61% of the West Bank (Area C). In April 2011, the Palestinian parties signed an agreement of reconciliation, but its implementation has stalled since. Subsequent reconciliation efforts in 2012 did not succeed either.
The areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were part of the territory west of the Jordan River of Mandatory Palestine under British governance, formed in 1922. From the 1948 ArabIsraeli War until the 1967 Six-Day War, the West Bank was occupied and annexed by Jordan (annexation recognized only by UK and Pakistan) and the Gaza Strip occupied by Egypt, though limited authority had been exercised in Gaza by the All-Palestine Government from September 1948 until 1959. The legal borders of the Palestinian territories are currently recognised by pro-Palestine factions the international community to be as established by the 1949 Armistice Agreements, and by Israel to fall within Israeli borders.
Since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip from Jordan and Egypt in 1967, the international community, including the UN and international legal bodies, has often referred to those areas as the occupied Palestinian territories.
In 1980, Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem. The annexation was condemned internationally and declared “null and void” by the United Nations Security Council, whereas Israel, as a nation, considers the whole of Jerusalem to be its capital. In 1988, with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) intention to declare a Palestinian State, Jordan renounced all territorial claims to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, approximately 130 UN Member Nations have recognized the State of Palestine, comprising the Palestinian territories. It has not been recognized by Israel and some Western nations, including the United States. Shortly, however, the Palestinian Authority was formed in the outcome of the 1993 Oslo Accords, exercising limited control over parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian National Authority, the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations General Assembly, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, and the International Committee of the Red Cross regard East Jerusalem as part of the West Bank, and consequently a part of the Palestinian territories, while Israel regards it as part of Israel as a result of its annexation in 1980. According to the Israeli Supreme Court, the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits unilateral annexation of occupied territory, does not[dubious discuss] apply to East Jerusalem, as there was no[dubious discuss] “legitimate sovereign” recognised by Israel and its allies previously excercising control over the territory. The Palestinian National Authority (which recently officially changed its name to the State of Palestine, as a result of the UN recognising its sovereignty), which maintains a territorial claim to East Jerusalem, never exercised sovereignty over the area. Israeli sovereignty, however, has not been recognized by any country, since the unilateral annexation of territory occupied during war contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Oslo Accords (1995) established access to the sea for Gaza within 20 nautical miles from the shore. The Berlin Commitment of 2002 reduced this to 12miles (19km). In October 2006 Israel imposed a 6-mile limit, and at the conclusion of the Gaza War restricted access to a 3-nautical-mile limit, beyond which a no-go zone exists. As a result, over 3,000 fishermen are denied access to 85% of the maritime areas agreed to in 1995. The majority of the Dead Sea area is off-limits to Palestinian use, and Palestinians are denied access to its coast line.
The Hamas takeover of Gaza divided the Palestinian territories politically, with Abbass Fatah left largely ruling the West Bank and recognized internationally as the official Palestinian Authority. Both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are often still considered to be occupied by Israel, according to the international community. The Gaza Strip within the borders is governed by Hamas, while much of the West Bank is governed by the Ramallah-based Palestinian National Authority.
There are disagreements over what the Palestinian territories should be called. The United Nations, the European Union, International Committee of the Red Cross and the government of the United Kingdom all refer to the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”. The International Court of Justice refers to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as “the Occupied Palestinian Territory” and this term is used as the legal definition of the International Court of Justice in the ruling in July 2004.
Journalists also use the description to indicate lands outside the Green Line. The term is often used interchangeably with the term occupied territories, although this term is also applied to the Golan Heights, which is internationally recognized as part of Syria and not claimed by the Palestinians. The confusion stems from the fact that all these territories were captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and are treated by the UN as territory occupied by Israel.
Other terms used to describe these areas collectively include “the disputed territories”, and “Israeli-occupied territories”. Further terms include “Palestine”, “State of Palestine”, “Yesha” (Judea-Samaria-Gaza), “Yosh” (Judea and Samaria), the “Katif Strip” (Gaza Strip), “Palestinian Autonomous Areas” (although this term is also used to specifically refer to Area’s A and B), “Palestinian Administered Territories”, “administered territories”, “territories of undetermined permanent status”, “1967 territories”, and simply “the territories”.
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This Guide to Law Online Occupied Territories, West Bank, and Gaza contains a selection of legal, juridical, and governmental sources accessible through the Internet.
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Max Blumenthal (born December 18, 1977) is an American author, journalist, and blogger. Formerly a writer for The Daily Beast and Al Akhbar, he is the author of Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement that Shattered the Party (2009). and Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (2013).
He has produced several short video reports posted on YouTube, among other websites. He used to work for the progressive organization Media Matters for America.
Max Blumenthal was born in Boston on December 18, 1977, the son of Jacqueline (Jordan) and Sidney Blumenthal, former administration presidential aide to Bill Clinton.
Blumenthal graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 with a B.A. degree in history.
Blumenthal won the Online News Association’s Independent Feature Award for his 2002 article on Salon.com, Day of the Dead. The piece stated that the killing of hundreds of women in Ciudad Jurez, Chihuahua, Mexico was connected to the policies of corporate interests in the border city. Blumenthal contributed to The Huffington Post from 2009 to 2011.
In 2011, Blumenthal wrote a story claiming that Israeli forces trained American police departments in anti-protester techniques, including torture, quoting Fordham University Law Professor Karen Joy Greenberg. Contacted by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Adam Serwer of Mother Jones, Greenberg told Goldberg that “I never made such a statement”, while she told Serwer “I did not intend to assert these allegations as factthe entire sense of the quote is inaccurate.” Blumenthal responded that he quoted Greenberg accurately and speculated that she had been “intimidated by Goldberg and the pro-Israel forces he represents”.
Blumenthal joined Lebanon’s Al Akhbar in late 2011 primarily to write about Israel-Palestine issues and foreign-policy debates in Washington, noting on leaving in mid-2012 in protest of its coverage of the Syrian civil war that it “gave me more latitude than any paper in the United States to write about … Israel and Palestine”. He ended his association with Al Akhbar in June 2012, over what he viewed as the newspaper’s pro-Assad editorial line during the Syrian uprising that he said was spearheaded by Amal Saad-Ghorayeb.
Blumenthal made a short video which he titled Generation Chickenhawk. It featured interviews with convention attendees at the July 2007 College Republican National Convention in Washington, D.C. Blumenthal asked why they, as Iraq War supporters, had not enlisted in the United States Armed Forces. In 2007, Blumenthal made a short video called Rapture Ready, about American Christian fundamentalists’ support for the State of Israel. He also attended the June 2007 Take Back America Conference (sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future), where he interviewed Barack Obama supporters and 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Blumenthal says that conference organizers were angered by Blumenthal’s video, and refused to air it.
In 2008, he posted video footage of Christian preacher Thomas Muthee praying over Sarah Palin (then a candidate for Governor of Alaska) and asking God to keep her safe from witchcraft.
In 2009, Max Blumenthal posted a short video on YouTube titled “Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem on the Eve of Obama’s Cairo Address”. The video was a montage of footage of drunken Jewish-American youth in Jerusalem in June 2009, shortly before Obama’s Cairo address. The youths used expletives and racist rhetoric about Barack Obama and Arabs, which included referring to Obama as a nigger and suggesting that he is “like a terrorist”. According to The Jerusalem Post, the video “garnered massive exposure and caused a firestorm in the media and the Jewish world”.Haaretz described the video as “an overnight Internet sensation”.
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