President Sirleaf Calls for More Support to Complete Omega Market Project

first_imgPresident Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called for more support to the complete the ongoing Omega Market Project which is aimed at decongesting the Red Light Market and ensuring that marketers have a clean and safe business environment for their trading.The Liberian leader made the call on Friday, May 1, 2015 when she spoke at a program marking the unveiling of work in progress at the Omega Market in Paynesville City, outside Monrovia.According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf pointed out that the project started with a very simple objective which was to get the market women off the streets and sidewalks and place them into decent market building to do their trading through the Sirleaf Market Women Fund.She said the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in the United States of America bought the idea of constructing a safe business environment for marketers and begun to reach out and join in elevating the concept of building decent market facilities for women to another level.The Liberian leader said that the partnership with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority from abroad and the chapter in Liberia has brought the project to its current level with the support of many other people. “We believe that this project is a worthy cause and must be supported by all well-meaning people. The area is vast and can accommodate a lot of different projects and I think business people and others can now join hands with the Alphas and expand the project”, President Sirleaf said.She indicated that the opportunity must be seized to provide a variety of services at the market site and seek to use it as a beginning of a process of starting and building another city rather than just a market place.The Liberian leader thanked all those who have supported the project and expressed the hope that they will be motivated by what is seen at the unveiling and resolve to do more in bringing the project to completion and decongest Red Light.“May God bless you and reward you for the meaningful contributions you have made to this project and for the more you will do to provide and render. The little we do to serve mankind, particularly those who need our assistance to make their lives a little better is pleasing to God our creator,” President Sirleaf stressed.Providing an overview of the project earlier, Madam Clavenda Bright Parker of the Eta Beta Omega (EBO) chapter of AKA Inc., reflected on the history about how it evolved and how the initial funding were sourced and received.She indicated that the Omega Market Project, which is located in Paynesville, seeks to provide a holistic, healthy, physical and economic environment for the market women and men, and also to give market women sellers and street vendors access to a “state of the art” market as well as housing, health facility, school for their children, storage facilities and other amenities She pointed out that the project and the entire Omega Market site will also include a two-story building, WASH facilities, electricity, etc.It will also have spaces for four hundred vendors including storage space, four restrooms, six enclosed shops, a cold storage warehouse, a clinic equipped with rooms for examination, a pharmacy, two wards, restrooms and offices, a generator house and a waste disposal site have been completed.Madam Parker reiterated that the project aims to decongest the Red Light Market area both in terms of marketers and traffic and provide the marketers an environment that is safe, comfortable, clean and secured for their commercial and other related trading activities.Madam Parker said that in 2010, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (AKA) Inc., in keeping with their social responsibility vision saw the Omega Market Project as an opportunity to impact the lives of Liberians who make the greatest impact on Liberia’s economy, and contributed US$500,000 towards the Omega Market Project. They also pledged an additional US$500,000 support.She also pointed out that in 2013, the members of the Eta Beta Omega (EBO) Chapter of AKA, Inc., raised close to US$1 million for the market in honor of President Sirleaf’s (an AKA member) 75th birth celebration.Madam Parker thanked all those who have supported the project and indicated that funding is still limited and that more support is needed to work on and complete phase two of the project which could be completed in about three months if the required resources at available.The Liberia Marketing Association’s President Madam Lusu Sloan thanked President Sirleaf, the Alpha Kappa Alpha and all those who have made contributions to the project for their support and encouraged them to stand by the Liberian President and the Alphas to complete the project and realize the goal of decongesting the Red Light Market.She advised that care should be taken when removing and placing marketers in the new Omega Market because there are a lot of people selling in the Red Light Market district outside of the market arrangement that could benefit from the Omega Market while Red Market remains congested and pledged to work with the Alphas to meet the actual objective of the project.Michelle Wento and Lisa White who provided information on sponsorship opportunities told the audience that by becoming a sponsor, one can help make the Omega Market Vision a reality. They said market women will be able to earn a living in a safe place, ensure their children attend a good school in the vicinity of the market and have nearby access to quality healthcare.They told the donors and sponsors that their sponsorship will provide them an excellent opportunity to increase their brand awareness and value through promoting women’s empowerment and transforming the lives of market women.They then listed the five sponsorship opportunities as Platinum (US$250,000); Diamond (US$50,000); Gold level (US$25,000); Silver (US$15,000), Bronze (US$10,000); and Leadership (US$5,000). Each level of sponsorship has benefits and amenities for the sponsors to benefit from, they said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Daily Observer Threatened: Is History about to Repeat Itself?

first_imgThey say that those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Just recently the powers that be—or someone close to them—sent someone close to the Daily Observer to pay a visit to the newspaper’s publisher and warn him that if he did not stop being critical of the government, he (the publisher) would lose his job. The visitor added, “None of us wants to lose our job.” What did this emissary mean by the warning? The Observer publisher is not working for the government. So will Mr. Best fire himself? The message implied that Mr. Best should stop criticizing President Sirleaf, or else . . .The first question that arises is: What is the purpose of media criticism? The answer: The media serve as an “early warning system.” Their criticisms are meant to do nothing else but warn those in power to change their ways, the direction of their administration; to appeal to the powers that be to stop corruption that has plagued our country for many, many decades, leaving her, though Africa’s oldest independent republic, impoverished, destitute and backward, at the bottom of the development ladder.“But,” the emissary reminded the Daily Observer publisher, “what Ellen is doing all other presidents have done.”“Does that make it right?” responded the publisher, adding, “Can’t you see what this kind of leadership has done to our country and people? It has made the country the perpetual victim of the three apocalyptic horses—ignorance, poverty, disease.”The visitor chose to have forgotten that the Daily Observer came under heavy local criticism for being the only media institution that endorsed the candidacy of Unity Party’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during the 2005 presidential runoff against the Congress for Democratic Change’s George Weah.The publisher responded by telling his critics that he sits on nobody’s fence. There was and still is a starkly clear choice between a football superstar who had hardly done eighth grade, in contrast to another candidate, a woman, who had graduated from Harvard University and had served in senior positions in the Liberian government (Finance Minister); the World Bank (Senior Advisor); the global banking giant Citibank (Vice President for Africa); and Director General, Africa Bureau, United Nations Development Program (UNDP). In addition to all her education and vast experiences, she also had not been sitting on the fence in previous years—No! She had, to the Liberian people’s delight and gratitude, been calling a spade a spade, telling the previous five administrations where they were going or had gone wrong, and suggesting how to fix the problems.The choice of the Liberian people in 2005 was, therefore, clear. It had to be Ellen. So the Daily Observer said, and thankfully, so the Liberian people voted.In addition to this runoff support, this newspaper gave President Sirleaf’s policies substantial attention and praised her efforts in accomplishing the debt relief and attracting substantial foreign investments, etc. Alas, when things began to go wrong, especially in the agricultural sector, we became critical of her first two Agriculture Ministers, Doctors Chris Toe and Florence Chenoweth, both of whom President Sirleaf eventually had to let go. Our re-thinking continued, especially in the second term, when the President started engaging in glaring nepotism, such as appointing her son Robert Sirleaf as Chair of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), one of the most lucrative of state enterprises.Everyone remembers or has at least heard about the Daily Observer’s uncompromising stance in the 1980s and early 1990 against the brutal, corrupt, oppressive and murderous regime of the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) and its military dictator Samuel K. Doe. Everyone also remembers that we paid the price for that. They closed down the newspaper five times, imprisoned Mr. Best three times, and also his wife Mae Gene and other staff members. Worse yet, the newspaper suffered three arson attacks, the third of which destroyed the Observer office building, homestead of the C.T.H. Dennis family.How is it now possible that the Daily Observer should be expected to remain silent on the glaring excesses of the current administration—one that like all the others since 1944, has done little to transform rich Liberia from a land of poverty and suffering into a land of prosperity. The administration has done little to empower Liberian businesspeople, and has even allowed its Judiciary to free Lebanese convicted of raping Liberian women and send them back to Lebanon on vacation!How could the Observer have been expected to ignore the unexplainable collapse of NOCAL under the President’s son Robert’s watch? Are we now expected to play the role of hypocrite and sycophant? Should we have ignored, too, the mysterious deaths of NOCAL whistleblowers Michael Allison and Harry Greaves? God forbid! The Daily Observer means absolutely no harm to anyone. It is we and some others who have been vigorously resisting calls in recent years for a so-called “Interim Government,” because we know that will solve no problem, but create new, more serious ones.We stand by this principle and urge the Liberian people to be patient and prepare themselves for and focus upon the 2017 presidential elections, when they will be able to choose their next leader. We must pray and work for peace and for peaceful and productive elections that will bring us leaders who will make a positive difference in our lives and the life of the Liberian nation. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Sovereignty of the people appeal case filed at CCJ

first_imgGovernment has instituted measures that would have its sovereignty of the people appeal case heard in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).State Minister Joseph Harmon has said that an appeal in this regard has been filed, “but we have to await now the written judgement by the Court of Appeal in order to proceed further. A notice of appeal has been filed; we are awaiting the written judgement of the court”.Government had, earlier this year, decided to have the case heard in the CCJ after the Appeal Court in Guyana had dismissed its appeal against the ruling of former Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang – which had stated that in Guyana, sovereignty resides in the people, and not in the Parliament.Justice Chang’s ruling meant that certain fundamental clauses in the Constitution, which serve to define its substantive nature, could only be altered by a referendum of the people.The ruling was appealed by then Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman, and now by Attorney General Basil Williams.The constitutional challenge case brought by Georgetown resident Cedric Richardson in February 2015 had sought the court’s interpretation of the National Assembly’s changes to Article 90, as those related to four restraints on the freedom of choice by citizens at national elections. Richardson argued, through his lawyers, Emily Dodson and Shawn Allicock, that the amendment – Article 17 of 2000 – unconstitutionally curtails and restricts his sovereign and democratic right and freedom as a qualified elector to elect a specific person of his choice as the Executive President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.Richardson had also contended that the limit was unconstitutional and illegal. He sought the court’s interpretation to determine whether a referendum on the amendment should not have been held, instead of the two-third majority in the National Assembly having the power to decide the limit on the number of terms.Justice Chang had ruled in July 2015 that the alteration of Article 90 by the Act No 17 of 2000, in substance and effect, undoubtedly diminishes the democratic rights of the electorate in electing a person of their own choice as President.The former acting Chief Justice noted that such an amendment needs a referendum and is invalid and without legal effect for reason of non-compliance. He further ruled that Act 17 of 2000 seeks to dilute the pre-existing democratic rights of the electorate to elect a President of their choice. As such, while the Constitution provides for representative democracy, such representative democracy cannot encroach on popular sovereignty from which it derives and which is entrenched by the requirement of the referendum.However, the High Court’s decision was appealed by the Attorney General’s Chambers and former Speaker Trotman, both of whom were named as respondents in the court action. They asked that the ruling be “wholly set aside”.Appellate Court’s decisionWhen the matter was heard in the Court of Appeal, that court handed down a split decision, whereby Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh and Justice BS Roy upheld former Chief Justice Chang’s ruling that the term limit was unconstitutional, thus throwing out the appeal, while the then acting Chief Justice Yonette Edwards-Cummings found that the term limit was not unconstitutional, hence she upheld the State-sponsored appeal.Justice Edwards-Cummings had ruled that the fundamental rights of citizens to choose and elect a President of their choice had not been interfered with or diminished by the passing of the amendment, nor did such an act require a referendum, since Articles 1 and 9 of the Constitution were not affected by the change.However, in his decision, Justice Singh contended that the amendment “watered down or diminished” the opportunity of Guyanese to elect the President of their choice, adding that such changes could only be effected by a referendum of the people.In his conclusion, the Chancellor posited that he was cognisant of the political consequences that derive from the appeal, but, at the same time, could not relinquish the court’s fundamental responsibility, which was to pronounce on the meaning and intent behind the country’s constitutional provisions.Meanwhile, Justice Roy wrapped up the near three-hour hearing with one sentence, indicating that having read the former Chief Justice’s ruling, he too agreed with the decision of the High Court.VoidedAct No 17 of 2000, which was struck down by then acting Chief Justice Chang, as being unconstitutional, a decision upheld by the Court of Appeal, imposed qualifications upon the presidency that are restrictive, discriminatory and which ultimately strike at political democracy and individual freedoms.It imposes the following restrictions, which were not part of the 1980 Constitution:It is clear that (A) precludes naturalised citizens who are not of Guyanese parentage from being qualified to be President. So, irrespective of how long such a person may have been residing in Guyana and notwithstanding the outstanding contribution that person may have made to national development and to the welfare of the Guyanese people, and although that person is a citizen of Guyana and would be qualified for all the rights and privileges accorded to a Guyanese citizen, such a person is denied the right to vie for the highest office of this land, the presidency. Such a disqualification is not only unfair and without any rational basis, but it is also discriminatory against thousands of naturalised Guyanese citizens. The point would be best made by pointing out that had this provision been in place in 1997, Janet Jagan would have never qualified to be President of Guyana.Guyana has a large diasporic community estimated to be as large as the population of Guyana itself. Hundreds of thousands of Guyanese maintain dual residency and citizenship. They own and operate businesses in Guyana and overseas. They own properties in both places. They contribute in multiple ways and significantly, to the Guyanese economy and to the lives of their relatives, friends and family living in Guyana.These hundreds of thousands of Guyanese living overseas are disqualified from the presidency because to qualify, one has to be resident in Guyana continuously for seven years prior to the elections. Again, such a disqualification is not only unfair and without any rational basis, but it is also discriminatory against hundreds of thousands of Guyanese living overseas.The most fundamental deficiency of the said amendment is that it restricts the right of every single elector of this country from electing a person of their choice to be the President. This is so because the combination of (A) and (B) above disqualifies hundreds of thousands of Guyanese from being elected to that office and by extension, deprives hundreds of thousands of the electorate, the right and freedom of electing them.last_img read more

Chair, Govt Commissioners vote for GECOM to pay their legal fees

first_imgPrivate criminal charge filedGuyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chairman, Retired Justice James Patterson and the three coalition-appointed Commissioners on Thursday afternoon approved a motion for the Elections Body to pay their legal fees in a case where private criminal charges were filed against them for violating the Constitution.PPP/C Commissioner Bibi ShadickPatterson, along with the three coalition-appointed Commissioners Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman, is expected to make his court appearance today at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, where they would be arraigned.The charges, which were filed by Attorney-at-Law Sanjeev Datadin on behalf of Marcel Gaskin on March 12, 2019, stated that the four defendants, during the period of December 22, 2018 and March 9, 2019, conspired to breach Article 106 of the Constitution of Guyana, which provided for the holding of General Elections in Guyana within three months from December 21, 2018.However, on Tuesday, Patterson used his casting vote to approve a motion for the Commission to pay the legal fees after the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C)-appointed Commissioners voted against it resulting in gridlock.GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice James PattersonMoments after this decision was taken, PPP/C Commissioner Bibi Shadick told the media that they were called to a meeting on Thursday, where they were prepared to discuss a motion about how GECOM could proceed to have Regional and General Elections in a timely manner without violating the Constitution.According to her, things took quite a different turn as the other members of the Elections Body brought forward a motion concerning legal fees.“We spent like almost an hour trying to say that GECOM must pay for lawyers to represent those people who sit down there to violate the Constitution. Oh, and the vote is taken, we (PPP-appointed Commissioners) said no and the vote was taken with the four Commissioners voting for themselves that GECOM will pay their legal fees. So, all of this nonsense that is going on here is like hijacking this Constitution that we have and then GECOM must pay to represent the people who are hijacking it and this is absolute nonsense,” she stated.Meanwhile, the PPP/C Commissioners once again walked out of the meeting after the other members on the Elections Body ignored the motion put forward about holding Regional and General Elections to proceed along the lines of house-to-house registration.The emergency meeting on Thursday was summoned following a letter that was dispatched by President David Granger requesting an elections work plan in the shortest possible time. After more than two months, GECOM has been unable to put together an elections work plan to submit to the Head of State.At GECOM’s last statutory meeting on Tuesday, the Opposition Commissioners were forced to walk out after the Government Commissioners were discussing house-to-house registration instead of planning for elections that are constitutionally due by March 21. (Kristen Macklingam)last_img read more

North West Junior Hockey League recap

first_imgGrande Prairie continued their winning ways with an easy win over Beaverlodge 10-3. Corey Wamsteeker had a big game for the JDA Kings was a goal and four assists.Fairview welcomed the North Peace Navigators and lost the game 3-2. Dylan Moore and Jordan Clark both had two point nights for the Navigators.The loss drops Fairview to fourth place in the standings with a record of 4-4. They make their way to Fort St. John tonight to take on the Huskies who sit in second with a record of 6-1-1. Daimon Derouin gets the start once again in net. The opening faceoff is slated for 8 p.m. – Advertisement –last_img

ATHLETICS: BUILDING OUR OWN KENYA IN THE HILLS OF DONEGAL!

first_imgTHE rise of Donegal athletics and our middle-distance runners has won high praise all around Europe.The stunning achievements of Mark English, Karl Griffin, Darren McBrearty and Ruairi Finnegan in recent months in setting new records is starting to turn heads everywhere.So much so it led to Sunday Independent writer Eamonn Sweeney to ask: “What are they putting in the water in Donegal?” The journalist finished his article with a wonderful line: “They’re building their own Kenya in the hills of Donegal.”You can read his article here:http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/hills-are-alive-with-athletics-potential-3126562.html  ATHLETICS: BUILDING OUR OWN KENYA IN THE HILLS OF DONEGAL! was last modified: June 4th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ATHLETICS: BUILDING OUR OWN KENYA IN THE HILLS OF DONEGAL!last_img read more

SADNESS AS LISA McGOWAN FOUND DEAD

first_imgA TYRONE woman missing for two weeks has been found dead near her home.The family of Lisa McGowan had carried out searches for the 44-year-old in Donegal, Tyrone and Derry.Her body was recovered by search teams close to her Drumquin home.  SADNESS AS LISA McGOWAN FOUND DEAD was last modified: July 22nd, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

Gamble pays off big

first_img “The whole team played great. They did everything else and then I get to step in at the end and get all the glory,” Dickey said. “If that ball hit me in the hands, I wasn’t going to drop it for anything in the world.” The win moves Newbury Park (5-1, 3-0) into a commanding position in the Marmonte League and leaves Simi Valley (5-1, 2-1) back in the pack of good teams vying for a playoff spot. LaSecla finished 27 for 60 for 413 yards and five touchdowns, giving him 24 on the season. Josh Baker had 10 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. Simi Valley was led by Lorne Bell’s seven catches for 102 yards and Devin Kelley’s 155 rushing yards. Said Bell: “It would be the greatest game I’ve played in, except that we lost.” The Pioneers started out by moving the ball at will, but had trouble offensively in the second half. Kelley had 137 yards rushing in the first half, but was limited to 18 in the second half. But Simi Valley stayed in the game on Jack Albert’s key interception and by holding Newbury Park’s high-powered offense scoreless in the fourth quarter. “That’s a heck of a football team we just played,” Hurley said. “Simi Valley is a great team. We just came up on top tonight.” Ramona Shelburne, (818) 713-3617 ramona.shelburne@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! But there it was again. Kick the game-tying extra point to extend overtime, or go for the 2-point conversion and the win. Would Hurley be influenced by the play at the end of regulation? In that situation, Hurley played it safe, and it came back to bite him when running back Taylor Hardman fumbled the ball at the 1-yard line with 27 seconds remaining and Newbury Park setting up for the winning field goal. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Hurley needed a minute to think. He called timeout. Then inspiration whispered in his ear. “My offensive coordinator (Gary Fabricius) came over and reminded me that we’d be on offense first the next possession,” Hurley said. “We really wanted to win this one, so we were going to have to have confidence in our offense.” And so the kicking unit came off the field and the offense ran back on. Newbury Park quarterback Jordan LaSecla went to a three-step drop, then delivered a strike to Travis Dickey in the end zone. The overflow homecoming crowd at Newbury Park stormed the field before the scoreboard operator could even push the button to reflect the final score. It was Dickey’s first catch of the night. center_img NEWBURY PARK – It’s hard to say what exactly changed in Newbury Park coach George Hurley’s mind in his team’s 36-35 overtime victory over Simi Valley on Friday. Just 15 minutes earlier, Hurley and his team played it safe, trying to run the clock down before trying for a winning field goal, but learning in the cruelest of ways how quickly the best-laid plans can turn bad. last_img read more

BENCH WARRANTS ISSUED FOR ARRESTS OF ROMANIAN THIEF SUSPECTS

first_imgA JUDGE has issued arrest warrants for the detention of several Romanian nationals after they failed to appear in court.All faced charges of theft or handling stolen goods after an incident at Whoriskeys Spar shop in Ramelton on November 15 last year.Lamita Mihail, aged 20, of West View, Roseberry, Newbridge, Co Kildare, along with Marcyt Mihai, aged 19, Suraj Mihai, aged 21, and Terca Rostas, aged 24, all of the same address were due to appear at Letterkenny District Court. However Judge Paul Kelly was told by Inspector David Kelly that all four had not appeared in court.Rostas is also wanted in Naas for failing to appear in court there.All are accused of theft and/or handling stolen goods at the well-known Ramelton store.BENCH WARRANTS ISSUED FOR ARRESTS OF ROMANIAN THIEF SUSPECTS was last modified: February 25th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Rameltonromanianthief suspectslast_img read more

Anti-Religious Sentiment Increases in Intensity

first_imgThe two poles could hardly be farther apart.  In the East, a hundred million radical Muslims swear death to all Americans and Jews and work themselves into frenzies of jihad for the worldwide triumph of Islam.  In the West, radical atheists are determined to eradicate religion from the Earth.  Somewhere in between, millions of Christians practice their faith in peace, serve their fellow man, study science and other academic subjects at the university, and wonder why they are labeled with the same word fundamentalist the atheists use to describe Islamic radicals.    The rhetoric against religion from certain scientific quarters has reached almost evangelistic zeal.  In an article for the New York Times, George Johnson surveyed a cross-section of leading atheists who agree that religion is bad, but differ only on how best to eradicate it.  Opinions expressed at a Salk Institute Forum this month varied from appeals for rational dialogue (Joan Roughgarden and Lawrence Krauss) to stringent opposition and condemnation (Richard Dawkins).  None were pleased at the Templeton Foundation’s muddying of the waters by rewarding leaders who try to bridge science and religion.  Carolyn Porco even suggested atheists start an alternative religion based on science, with Neil deGrasse Tyson as minister.  In a similar vein, Wired Magazine had a cover story on “the new atheism” this month, and US News and World Report discussed “the new unbelievers.”  What’s new about it?Well, extremism, for one thing.  Not only do the new atheists find religion intellectually irredeemable, morally dubious, and socially unnecessary, they judge it a clear and present danger, maybe even the greatest threat to the survival of the species.  If Voltaire wanted to “wipe out the infamy” of religion, he really meant that he—like Thomas Jefferson and a number of America’s founders—wanted a more reasonable deism, a philosophical religion that acknowledged an original designer but got rid of all the supernatural stuff, including revealed truths and moral dictates that ran counter to reason.  But religion made reasonable or understood symbolically will not do for Dawkins or Harris (though the latter sees some Eastern spiritual disciplines as acceptable, and possibly even helpful to the moral life).  Both are intent to show, as Dawkins puts it, “that moderate religion makes the world safe for fundamentalism.”What inflames the evangelistic zeal from atheist quarters?  Logan Gage, writing for Discovery Institute, thinks it stems from uneasiness over what science is finding both in physics and biology.  The cosmos is showing more evidence of fine tuning, and the smallest units of life are showing unimagined complexity.  A thorn in their side is that the prominent British former atheist Antony Flew has now admitted that “the findings of more than 50 years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”Update 11/27/2006:  In an op-ed piece for the New York Times Nov. 27, Richard Schweder commented on the “Atheists Agonistes” who are “so conspicuously up in arms these days.”  He attributes the reaction not so much to being provoked by religious zealots, but to anxiety over the collapse of the “illusory” concept of the Enlightenment which, “a theory of history, … has had a predictive utility of approximately zero.”  The 20th century was the worst one yet, he said, and the dance on the fallen Berlin wall was not the “the apotheosis of the Enlightenment.”Richard Dawkins’ hatred for religion is so extreme, even some of his fellow atheists feel he goes too far.  Where did this passion come from?  Did he have a bad experience in his youth?  If he really believes all things are evolutionary products, then the vast majority of people who believe in a supreme being and true spiritual life must be in the evolutionary mainstream.  Why, then, is he opposing it?  Is it because he assumes his rationality stems from an external Truth independent of his own brain cells?  How could that be, if they have evolved by natural selection under the control of selfish genes and memes?  If the memes are directing mankind’s evolution toward religion, then it is irrational to resist it.    Dawkins and his atheist church may soon wish for the friendship of Christians and Jews.  Anyone who has been watching the rapid growth of radical Islamic fascism must be extremely worried.  The producers of the documentary Obsession, who recorded Muslim imams chanting hate to throngs of passionate disciples, and showed Muslim students being taught hate and being trained for jihad from earliest childhood, said their jolting film represents the tip of the iceberg.  Such teaching is daily fare in Muslim countries.  Islamic-controlled states are educating children to venerate hate and death, to believe Jews came from pigs and monkeys, and to believe the greatest thing in life is to commit suicide while killing as many Jews, Christians and non-Muslims as possible.  What’s most alarming is that they are gaining the power, technology and numbers to actually carry out their dream of world conquest.    Atheists are in the cross-hairs, too.  What must Dawkins feel when he sees huge crowds of passionate Muslims chanting death to the Western world?  What passes through his mind when Muslim dictators are on the verge of gaining nuclear weapons, and have the full intent to use them?  What does he think at the alarming birth rate disparity between Muslim immigrants and Europeans?  He must realize there is no use talking science or reason with these people.  There aren’t enough atheists to stand against this growing threat, even if they would listen.   Is this a time to hold book-signing parties for The God Delusion in America and Britain, when jihadists are openly threatening his homeland on the streets of London?    Dawkins and his fellow atheists had better wake up.  It’s the Judeo-Christian West that has granted them the freedom of speech and tolerance for their views.  Dawkins has thanked his patrons by wandering all over the West with his hate-religion message.  This is cowardly.  If he really believed it, and if had the courage of his convictions, he would use his reason to target the biggest problem first.  He would take his message in person to Gaza, Tehran, Beirut and Damascus.  He would use his influence to stop the lies and hate being perpetrated to children and the ignorant poor.  Christians and Jews are too easy a target.  Let’s see how his message of reason and science holds up in the face of Islam.    For their own survival, for the survival of the science and reason they love, the atheists need to drop the moral-equivalency rhetoric and understand who their allies are.  Because of their numbers and values, Christians and Jews are their best allies in the looming war to save Western civilization.  It’s not helping for the atheists to lump Christians and Jews in the same category with the jihadists.  Any day, any time now, there could well be a huge attack that will make 9-11 look like a picnic.  Scientists, academics and secular humanists lack the will and the numbers to stop this threat.  It is looking increasingly hopeless that any Western political leader will be able to overcome the inertia of political correctness that stifles effective resistance against the extreme fanaticism of Islam, the most backward, reactionary and irrational religion of all.  Some pundits are already writing off Europe and expecting it to fall under Muslim control – a comeback from the Battle of Tours (732 A.D.).    Fast-forward a few years.  Picture Dawkins and other scientific elitists under Sharia law.  Imagine them forced to convert to Islam or die.  Will they have the moral fiber to resist when a sword is at their necks?  It’s been too easy till now to rant against the easy religious targets: Christians and Jews.  Let them watch Oxford and its libraries burn as a nuclear bomb from Iran hits London, destroying priceless history as hordes of Muslims cheer and scream for more.  Foxhole conversion or no, the companionship of a compassionate Christian who can give reasons why this is happening and why he believes the Prince of Peace will ultimately prevail, may be too precious a thing to criticize any longer.  Come now, and let us reason together.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more