Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings – and their Meaning

There is an annual conference of Nobel Prize Laureates (NPL), commonly held on the picturesque island of Mainau in Lake Constance, Germany. The 65th of such meetings, under the name Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetin

Saturday, 16 January 2016 00:00 GFP Columnist - Michael R Shannon
Most of us with a cable, newspaper or Internet subscription are familiar with the 21st Century’s global epidemic: Sudden Jihad Syndrome. First identified outside the laboratory by Daniel Pipes, the disease is typically confined to males.

There also appears to be a correlation with Islam, but that’s controversial.

Mainstream media practitioners usually apply the Sudden Jihad Syndrome diagnosis to quiet, younger men who keep to themselves and do a great deal of research on YouTube. Hobbies include building pipe bombs, going to the shooting range and collecting anhydrous ammonia.
The rest of us know we’re in a Sudden Jihad Syndrome outbreak when, for no particular reason, the young man yells Allahu Akbar and either starts shooting or explodes.

Now, in the wake of the Philadelphia attack on a police officer, I’ve identified a related pathology called Sudden Imam Syndrome. This occurs when a secular politician, typically a Democrat although weak–minded Republicans exhibit low resistance, assures us after an attack that the Moslem terrorist “had nothing to do with Islam.”

Thursday, 14 January 2016 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
“Lo, sleep is good; better is death; in sooth, the best of all were never to be born.” - Heinrich Heine - As quoted in Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

“It seems as though it is necessary for us to destroy some other thing or person in order not to destroy ourselves, in order to guard against the impulsion to self-destruction.” - Sigmund Freud

The human folly was on full display when the People’s Republic of China joined hands with the Republic of India to fight back an international response to global warming and climate change.  Millions of their citizens live in a plume of smog so toxic that many choose to wear respiratory masks.  Dramatically altered weather patterns and catastrophic storms devastate crops, infrastructure and populations on an unprecedented scale, yet these nations held to their god given right to continue spewing poisons into the atmosphere. 

The human folly marches on with a growing army of religious warriors inspired by medieval philosophy.  It is better to die than to accept that others do not embrace the same beliefs.  It is better to kill than to tolerate the very existence of others.  An eye for an eye until all the world is blind [1]. 

Monday, 11 January 2016 00:00 GFP Columnist - G. Tod Slone
In light of the recent veiled (ha!) threats aimed at the creators of the television show South Park… by bloggers on Revolution Muslim's website, we hereby deem May 20, 2010 as the first 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!' Do your part to both water down the pool of targets and, oh yeah, defend a little something our country is famous for (but maybe not for long? Comedy Central cooperated with terrorists and pulled the episode) the first amendment. - Molly Norris (prior to April 20, 2010)

I'm against my own concept becoming a reality.... If I had wanted to be taken seriously, I would be thrilled, but now I'm horrified because people did take it as an actual day. The one-off cartoon is not good as a long term plan because it's offensive. - Molly Norris (April 20, 2010)

………………… - Molly Norris (after April 20, 2010)

Ideology blinds.  Ideology always trumps reason and fact.  It is thus sad when ideology corrupts journalists, as it evidently and seemingly increasingly has been doing.  Facts are ignored and even suppressed.  It is also sad when ideology corrupts organizations, whose essential goal is to promote freedom of speech like PEN, American Library Association, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC).  

Tuesday, 05 January 2016 00:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Haytham Khoury
A friend of mine, Naji Jerf, was assassinated on the 27 of December 2015 in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep. He was a brave Syrian journalist and documentary film maker. During the past 5 years, his life has been an epic journey of escape from death. However, his fate was sealed last Sunday by a coward pistol bullet.

When the peaceful uprising started in Syria in March 2011, Naji was among the first people to participate in the demonstrations. His aspirations for freedom and democracy were more powerful than his fear from the Syrian regime oppressive machine. He was interrogated multiple times by the Syrian security apparatus and threatened of imprisonment and torture, but he did not flinch. The regime’s thugs harassed him repeatedly, but he was not silenced. However, in 2013 for the safety of his family, he was forced to leave Syria and seek refuge in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep.

During his stay in Gaziantep, he established and occupied the position of editor in chief of a magazine in Arabic language called, Hentah. Hentah started as a small caliber news magazine, according to its web site reporting on "the scenes of the everyday life of the Syrian citizen", with a focus on Naji’s small Syrian town, Salamiyeh. However, with time it transformed to be a national platform for Syrian civil society, in which aspirations and vision for new democratic and plural Syria are expressed. Due to his success with Hentah magazine, Naji was appointed in 2014 a director of an influential Syrian opposition media foundation, Bassmat Syria.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015 19:02 GFP Columnist - Rattan Mann
Noble Cyber Citizens, welcome to my shortest “Alternative Norwegian King´s New Year´s Message” of 2016.  This “shortness of breath”  is because I have voluntarily gagged myself in protest about utter lack of freedom of speech in this so-called “most free country on earth”.

Sometime back a professor in Oslo University wrote a few harmless lines of comment on my article “Norway - the Most Corrupt and Racist Country on Earth?”  in which he basically said that he agreed with my article because he also had experienced something similar at Oslo University.

I was very surprised to see this comment, and I assumed that somebody was playing a prank under a false name, because I knew that no official of Oslo University dare show this solidarity with me (or anybody else on such issues) publicly.  Two three days later the comment was removed and I was sure I was right.  But I got a little curious to know the “backstory”, and so wrote to GFP publisher Trevor Hill as to what actually happened.

Instead of surprising me, Trevor´s answer shocked me: The comment was indeed written by the professor.  But within two days he was writing urgent emails to Trevor, begging him to remove the comment immediately, because Oslo University was creating big problems for him.  To avoid any possible harm to the professor, Trevor immediately removed the comment, and rightly so.

Monday, 14 December 2015 00:00 GFP Columnist - Joseph M. Cachia
How Much Would This Buffoonery Cost Us? - Most Maltese are unaware of the heavy price that we have to incur in the coming weeks for the enormous cost being borne for the holding of the CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) in Malta. Of course, besides the pecuniary issue which many are guessing it would go over 10 million Euros, one must also consider other issues, including the loss of studies, work, mobility and a hundred other inconveniences.

For one, while noting the undignified stance taken in the forced closing down of our University, Alternattiva Demokratika, quite rightly, also deplored the closing down of all our schools.

“The truest characters of ignorance are vanity and pride and arrogance.” - Samuel Butler

Our members of government could have done much better to heed the remarks, uttered much earlier by our Prime Minister Muscat when he had expressed his doubts to the holding of this event, or rather 'non-event', way back in 2003, especially on its cost estimates. And he had further continued: “I will not go into the questions on whether our country affords or needs to host such a summit.
Saturday, 12 December 2015 00:00 GFP Columnist - Dr. Stephen Gill
No matter how one looks at the typography of Canadian election of 2015, the pivotal issue is peace. The other issues, including niquab, hijab, job, taxes, health, and education are closely tied with peace, and peace can be easily jeopardized by a handful of wrong asylum seekers who may demand the imposition of their own laws and ways which they were supposed to leave behind. This demand has been made not long ago and is being made even today though at a much smaller scale.

Being a self-exiled poet and novelist, the enormous distress of the asylum seekers touch me deeply as it has been touching the nerve of the proverbial compassion of a vast majority of Canadians. Some politicians assure the electorate again and again that they would double the number of newcomers to Canada if their party came to power. It sounds as if these politicians are either after power by any means or are ignorant of the dangers associated with the ghettoes formed by certain newcomers who believe in forming them.

There are no-go zones in England, France and some other countries of Europe. The melodrama from these no-go zones is being played on the open stage of today. Canadian electorate of 2015 is divided on the question of asylum seekers particularly from the troubled area ruled by despots and the areas where these despots have been wiped out have now the magnitude of chaos and violence that cannot be fathomed in words.

Friday, 11 December 2015 00:00 Michal Rozworski Editorial Dept - Americas
Harper is gone, but (as a friend only quarter-jokingly said) we got the second worst outcome sold as the best, so now what? That's the 10 second version of this post. I want to throw out a few questions or, better yet, problems that I think the Canadian Left will have to face together over the next few years. There are no easy answers here.

In 2015, the Liberals once again showed that they are masters at campaigning to the left. But as we now wait for them to show how equally apt they are at governing to the right, it's clear that it won't simply do to say ‘told you so!’ in four years time. It is not by accident that the Liberals are Canada's ‘natural governing party,’ for if anything, they know how to govern. They are experts at balancing competing interests or, more accurately, giving the semblance of balancing interests all the while closely aligned with the interests of the elite, and the upper middle class.

Still, we have to recognize that things will be different and that this affects where people are and how they relate to politics. On the one hand, the Liberals do open up some space on the left by making symbolic gestures here and there; at the same time, they close off this space by drawing the limits of respectable progressive politics. They don't fill the void left by a weak left as do the Conservatives with their exclusionary, pocketbook politics aimed at the working class. In fact, they speak to a broader cross-class progressive segment of the population in a way that can be disorienting.


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Cartoon Africa International Biennial Director Francis Odupute is producing the 12 part comic book series with WASH-4-All and partnered with Horizon International and Beautiful Feet International (MediaBFI), and it’s being offered for free throughout the world!

“Schoolchildren Battle Malaria and Other Diseases” is WASH-4-ALL's (water, sanitation and hygiene for all) comic book series and short animated cartoon videos that are being produced by Horizon International, an NGO based at Yale University, New Haven, CT, in collaboration with the media service of MediaBFI, a non-profit organization based in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.

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The comic book, “Schoolchildren Battle Malaria and Other Diseases,” was created and designed by Francis Odupute, an award-winning artist and journalist, and his MediaBfi team in Nigeria.  Francis U. Odupute is Founder and President of Bfi, and the Cartoon Africa International Biennial (CAIB) and an artist for Horizon International, and the Global Free Press.

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