Arab leadership: Will the real slim shady please stand up!

March 21, 2011

Where are the Arab leaders?

Where are the leaders of Arab nations? Who is dressed in the armor of Islamic righteousness? Who stands against their Muslim brothers who do evil? I don’t see them anywhere, do you?

Below, a little background music: Eminem, The Real Slim Shady

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Muslim unity has a LOUD hollow ring to it and it’s being heard – and discussed – around the world. Many centuries ago, Westerners learned that shared religious views are no substitute for cooperation backing up a firm will and commitment to effect positive change. Even when the different prayers of peoples are formulated with the same words, intentions and aspirations, religion is separate from statesmanship. If the two-faced Pan-Arab commentary and confusion continue, American and European empathy for the Pan-Arab cry for freedom, democracy and justice may wane, even disappear. Read the rest of this entry »


The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.4

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Fight On!

What we all want is a better world. A better life. Isn’t that what we really believe Democracy and Freedom is all about?!

Such democracy is not something we can purchase at a store – online or offline. It’s not a one time, one click purchase. No government can deliver on that. For each of us, it is a life-long commitment to demanding it from each other -demanding the things that matter most. And not just demanding those things – but also giving them. Read the rest of this entry »


The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.3

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Silence and indifference is complicity

Outside the Romanian Anti-Corruption Court, there were no protesters. No one was demanding justice. Not one desperate mother. Not one hungry pensioner. No one.

The absence of protest against corporate greed and tax evasion may be because no one was paid. Obviously, no one was paying. Protest, some Romanians say, is freelance work for the poor.

How did they become so cynical?! Read the rest of this entry »


The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.2

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Complicity

Our world seeks change. And it is ours to drive that change – a change that leaves the world a better place than the world which we received into our servant hands. Change, however, must begin with our refusal to be complicit in wrong-doing.

And that’s no easy thing to do.

In the case of Realitatea-Catavencu v. The Romanian People, the complicity of Romanian journalists and media agencies in downplaying the investigation of fraud and tax evasion is nothing less than a betrayal of the people’s trust in main stream and new media.

The irony is not lost on me when journalists who decry the failure of the Romanian government are complicit in corporate schemes of tax evasion that disable the Romanian economy.

This is not unique to Romania; it happens everywhere for one reason or another.

As Jeff Jarvis, Director of the interactive journalism program at City University of New York, has noted on Twitter and elsewhere, main stream and new media (a la AOL) increasingly conspire with governments, corporations and powerful interest groups. For profit, obviously. Despite the messiness of citizen journalism, Jarvis believes that the truth is out there. Read the rest of this entry »


The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.1

March 11, 2011

You can read the previous post in this multi-post commentary here.

Case Study in Corruption: Realitatea-Catavencu defrauds the Romanian People

The present anti-corruption investigation of the Romanian Press agency, Realitatea-Catavencu, is an interesting example of how difficult it is to overcome corruption.

Realitatea-Catavencu is a major media group in Romania that includes television, radio, print and new media networks including The Money Channel, Academia Catavencu and Realitatea TV (one of the leading news channels in Romania). This group is currently being investigated for tax-evasion practices on a sophisticated level. In lieu of a complete salary payment that is commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of a position at Realitatea-Catavencu, employees receive part of their salary in the form of compensation for intellectual property contributions.

In other words, Realitatea-Catavencu paid employees the minimum salary as salary and additional amounts of a negotiated salary through compensation for intellectual property. Realitatea-Catavencu used this scheme to evade the higher taxes on officially registered salaries. Salary taxes and various mandatory contributions can reflect up to 100% of a net salary, whereas taxes for compensation for intellectual property is about 16% . Read the rest of this entry »


The Scourge of Inexorable Corruption 1.0

March 11, 2011

The following commentary was first published in Servant Hearts.

The struggle for a better world

For those who share in the hope for a better world, there is a keen awareness that our pluralistic hope includes the expectation that good government (or state) is key. A more perfect union, in other words. A more perfect union is one where the political union of the will and aspirations of the many is dedicated to the common good founded upon the dignity, virtue and destiny of the human person.

When the Egyptians succeeded in ousting President Hosni Mubarak, people across the globe were inspired. This collective inspiration is a testament to everyone’s shared hope for a better world. The protests spreading across the Pan-Arabic world in concert with each other also suggests that such hope is basic to all.

Read the rest of this entry »


The Inaugural Speech of President Barack Obama

January 20, 2009

Times are changing by Bob Dylan
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The Inaugural Speech of President Barack Obama

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My fellow citizens,

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans. Read the rest of this entry »