Tag Archives: role

Remembering Coretta Scott King – Louisiana Weekly

Posted: February 7, 2017 at 10:17 pm

6th February 2017 0 Comments

By Barbara Reynolds TriceEdneywire.com Columnist

Coretta Scott King died on January 30, 2006. Yet her legacy is very much alive as a coalition builder, a strategist and a moral voice that confronted detractors but insisted upon non-violent approaches, such as dialogue, protests and economic boycotts with the end goal of peaceful reconciliation.

In their own analysis 60-era civil rights leaders used to refer to a Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times, which divine dimension that summons leaders exactly when needed most. That certainly describes the timing of human rights activist Coretta Scott King who is experiencing a resurgence as people take a fresh look at those who successfully moved themselves and others forward through the heavy thicket of discrimination such as the leading ladies in the wonderful new film, Hidden Figures.

A second look at Kings legacy should focus on but go beyond her well known decades ordeal of successfully lobbying to make Kings birthday a national holiday and building the Dr. Martin Luther King Center for Social Change in Atlanta. Tourists from around the role visit this site, where her crypt and that of Dr. King are located near Ebenezer Baptist church where Dr. King preached and was funeralized.

Coretta King certainly should come to mind as millions gathered in Washington and in sister cities around the world last week to mount an overwhelming rebuke to President Donald Trumps anti-human rights campaign and his denigration of women, minorities, immigrants and the physically challenged. Her name was scrawled on home-made signs scattered throughout.

It is appropriate that we remember her appeal to women and her global human rights efforts. That was the capstone of Kings 38-year mission as she shifted from civil rights to a more global inclusive human rights agenda after the assassination of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr in 1968. A favorite slogan was: Women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, I believe that you must become its soul.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed her a nonvoting delegate to the 32nd General Assembly of the United Nations, where she advocated for more international focus on the human rights of women. That same year in Houston, she served as Commissioner on the International Womens Year Conference where she created quite a stir over her support for gay rights, an unpopular issue at the time.

In her memoir she tells how she opposed the various womens groups at the Conference who were advocating a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. I feel that gay and lesbian people have families and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. I believe unequivocally that discrimination because of sexual orientation is wrong and unacceptable in a democracy that protects the human rights of all its citizens.

In the historic 1963 March on Washington-which catapulted Dr. King to famewomen, however, were not allowed to march with the leaders or give a major address. But without a doubt King, would have played a supportive role in the Womens march as did her daughter, Bernice King.

King was a spokeswoman for social justice causes, both large and small, writing a syndicated news column on issues from gun violence, to environmental racism, to apartheid in South Africa. She was rarely missing in action. Sometimes you win, just by showing up, she said, often referring to her role as a ministry of presence.

King believed that it is citizen action that is crucial to the making of a president. She often said that Ronald Reagan did not warm to the idea of a Dr. King holiday until the movement created a groundswell for it with three million signatures, marches and years of lobbying Congress. He signed it on November 20, 1983.

In recent weeks several Black leaders have been publicly scourged for meeting with President Trump through his transition stage. King, however, would have been knocking on his door, as she did with all the other presidents in her heyday. And she would not have been there for photo-ops or selfies. As a seasoned coalition building she would have prepared a well- crafted agenda, which called upon Trump to govern as president of all Americans.

In past years, Kings influence was mammoth in the shaping of the political landscape. She successfully campaigned to elect scores of liberals to political office, worked with Carter in the selection of federal judges and threw her weight against those who stood in the way of voting rights.

Typical of her role is how she confronted and helped block Alabama U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions who in 1985 was vying for a federal judgeship. Sessions, who was called brilliant, by Trump is his choice for U.S. Attorney General. In a recently surfaced 10-page letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, King had called him lacking in judgement and temperament who would irreparably harm the work the movement had done to seize a slice of democracy for disenfranchised blacks.

King opposed Sessions for his 1985 attempt to prosecute three civil rights activists from Marion, Alabama for voter fraud accusations that were later proved unmerited. Her opposition to Sessions ran deep because she grew up right outside of Marion which before the movement launched its successful voter rights drive were unable to counter terrorizing attacks on their lives and property. Civil rights activists fear that Sessions will not hold law enforcement officials accountable for the episodic incidents of unarmed Black men being murdered, as was done under the Obama administration.

In the battle to stop Sessions and others who seemed primed to push back advances in human rights, Coretta would not have panicked. In her memoir, she said, Struggle is a never-ending process and freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.

And so it goes.

This article originally published in the February 6, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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TheWrap Is Hiring a Reporter to Cover the First Amendment … – CT Post

Posted: at 9:58 pm

TheWrap Is Hiring a Reporter to Cover the First Amendment

TheWrap has addeda reporting position devoted to writing aboutmatters relating tothe First Amendment.

The reporter will cover challenges to freedom of the press, expression, assembly and religion inan erawhen those freedoms are under new and severepressures.

The decision follows multipleattacks by the White House on the media, including President Donald Trump referring to the press as the opposition party and top presidential adviser Steve Bannon enjoining the press to shut up and listen. It also follows the rise of fake news sites and a debate over the role of social media networks like Facebook in disseminating falsified reporting. All of these will be the daily reporting territory for this new position.

Also Read: Trump vs. Press Freedom: How Much Damage Can He Do?

TheWrap has posted the following position, and is taking resumes for an experienced reporter and writer:

TheWrap is a news site focused on the entertainment business, culture and media. The subjects we cover including journalism, movies, TV shows and the internet exist because of the First Amendment. From curbs on religious freedom to threats on the news media, we believe the First Amendment is under attack.

As our First Amendment reporter, you will cover every aspect of the First Amendment in America today. You should be endlessly fascinated by this subject, and passionately committed to reporting on freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. You will write about how the First Amendment functions and is challenged in the U.S. today, writing with wit, depth and flexibility.

This beat could fuel dozens of stories a day, so youll need strong news instincts and judgment to prioritize which ones are the most important, as well as excellent time management to balance breaking news, short dispatches and investigative pieces. You wont always need to write fast, but youll have a much easier time if you can. Youll develop a network of sources of all viewpoints, reflecting the reality that governments, corporations, activists and individuals can all prop up or undercut First Amendment freedoms. You should alsobe a deep thinker who will help us define this role in ways we cant yet imagine.

This is a full-time position that includes competitive pay, health insurance and vacation.

Apply toeditors@thewrap.com

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What’s a Conservative Ideology and What’s a Liberal Ideology?

Posted: June 25, 2016 at 11:00 am

Updated on February 9, 2011

I used to carpool with an old, blind professor to the small college I attended and he use to tell me, paraphrasing Gore Vidal, that politics came from two words: poli, meaning many, and tics, meaning blood sucking vermin. Unfortunately, his somewhat suspect etymology, while proving technically untenable, has turned out to be largely correct in principle.

In American politics, where power has become everything, ideology has become a bastard step-child. American politicians think more about how they can fool the masses or get around popular democracy to further their ends than they do about what they truly believe in, if they actually believe in anything?

Of course, it is not my intent to sweep every single politician under the bus with a broad brush, so for this hub it must be understood that I am speaking in general terms.

There are two major ideologies in American politics. Understanding these helps us understand each other politically and enables us to make sense of what at times seems senseless. These ideologies are labeled conservative and liberal. Although these terms have changed definitions over the years, I will use them as they are currently defined.

If you took a strip of paper that was blue on one end and gradually changed colors until it was red at the other end, you would end up with a spectrum of colors. At some point toward the center of the strip you could get into a few arguments as to whether the color was red, purple, or blue. It is that way with the liberal and conservative ideologies, so I will be concentrating on the ends of the strip, so to speak, and not the middle.

At the core of it, Conservatives base there ideology on what they see as reason and logic and it is individualistic by nature, whereas a liberal’s ideology is based on emotion and ideals and is collective by nature. A liberal is interested in curing society’s ills by social engineering. A conservative is interested in curing society’s ills by individuals exercising their own choices to better themselves. Because of this, conservatives view centralized power with deep suspicion. Liberals on the other hand see centralized power as an opportunity to affect great change for good.

Because of the fundamental differences in the way conservatives and liberals approach the solutions to society’s challenges, it should come as no surprise that they have radically different views on the role of government.

The Liberal View

A liberal wants the government deeply involved in our lives. It is often seen as a parent to us allor the big tent. They believe that the government can force society to confront its ills and legislate and enforce the cures. A liberal point of view diminishes the individual’s responsibility and believes people are victims or victimizers. This point of view does not see individuals as having power to rise above their circumstances in large numbers and therefore a savior must be found to “level the playing field.”

They point to the example of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Without government intervention, they argue, the rights of minorities would never have been acknowledged nor would there be equal rights for all. In fact the civil rights movement is the basis of the modern liberal’s political ideology, and proof that it is essentially correct.

This conviction motivates them to use all means available to impose their vision of goodness on the masses. If they can’t get the populous to support their agenda then they will get the courts to legislate it. This is because they firmly believe that their agenda is for the greater good of society.

Liberalism is naturally sympathetic with socialism and suspicious of individualism and even though it shares the same long-term goals as conservatism it’s approach, as you can see, is radically different.

The Conservative View

Even though the conservatives share with liberals the desire for a better society, they differ sharply in what role the government should play. In a nutshell, conservatives view the role of government as “the less the better.” Since they see the combined strength and sufficiency of the individual as the only honest cure for society they believe that the role of government should be restricted to functions that support and protect individual liberty. They are very suspicious of government interference in individual rights, and they do not see differences in socioeconomic groups as a bad thing since, in their view, it is every individual’s right to change those circumstances by choice and action.

They view the government’s attempts at redistribution of wealth through its tax codes, its interference in commerce by regulations, and its welfare entitlements as enabling individuals to shirk responsibility for their own lives and rely on the government to take care of them. They reason that the more the government takes responsibility for his or her well being away from the individual, the weaker and more dependent society will become.

At this point in American politics the two ideologies have taken a back seat to power, but if they were brought to bear on our government which would be the best: Socialist Democracy, or an independent go-it-alone capitalist democracy? I would submit to you that the extremes of both ideologies are dangerous and would deepen problems in American society and that one, tempered with the other, might be the best ideology of all.

For example: if we have a struggling class in America, we could provided training opportunities for people who wanted to succeed and would put forth efforts on their own behalf instead of entitlement programs that accomplish nothing and consume copious amounts of money? Along with such programs would also come the responsibility for the recipients to put forth efforts on behalf of their own welfare.

We need to have a heart that includes tough love and foresight, one that looks at America’s opportunities and does not retreat into a defensive posture from the world around it. One that can realize the true nature of the threats against America and America’s way of life. Not a vision that feels good at the thought of America sinking down to the level of the third world, but instead one that forges on a head and shows the way for the third world to follow.

America must continue to provide unparalleled opportunities, but not bend to whiners and self proclaimed victims who want to short-cut the system and reap benefits they never earned. We must in sympathy try to teach fishing, quit giving fish and realize that poverty is not always the rich or the government’s fault. But we must not march on, leaving people behind who, with a little instruction and help, can become productive and successful. In doing this we must also have the heart firm enough to leave those behind who refuse all help and demand instead to be fed from the public coffer’s without a contribution of their own.

We must leave classism, racism, and bigotry behind, regardless if it is the old-school-hard-hearted variety wacky right, or the soft feel-good, guilt-washing, variety of the wacky left. No class of Americans should be punished or be held back based on the color of their skin in order to “even the score.” We need to let go of power and take hold of responsibility; quit giving the media oracle status, and get the job done.

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Obama’s rise to power was nothing short of spectacular. It was so rapid that it left many of people playing catch up as to just who he was, but it is no longer difficult to understand where Obama is coming from…

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What’s a Conservative Ideology and What’s a Liberal Ideology?

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Beyond the ‘Breast Cancer" Gene BRCA: Why Food Is Your …

Posted: November 3, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Following on the heels of Angelina Jolie’s widely celebrated decision to remove her breasts ‘preventively,’ few truly understand how important preventing environmental chemical exposures and incorporating cancer-preventing foods into their diet really is in reducing the risk of gene-mediated breast cancer.

There is so much fear and misinformation surrounding the so-called ‘Breast Cancer Associated’ genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that it should help to dispel some prevailing myths by looking at the crucial role that epigenetic factors play in their expression. Literally ‘above’ (epi) or ‘beyond’ the control of the genes, these factors include environmental chemical exposures, nutrition and stress, which profoundly affect cancer risk within us all, regardless of what variant (‘mutated’ or ‘wild’)* that we happen to carry within our genomes.

In 2012, a very important study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry that looked at the role a natural compound called resveratrol may play in preventing the inactivation of the BRCA-1 gene. BRCA-1 is known as a “caretaker” gene because it is responsible for healing up double-strand breaks within our DNA. When the BRCA-1 gene is rendered dysfunctional or becomes inactivated, either through a congenital/germline inheritance of DNA defects (‘mutation’) or through chemical exposures, the result is the same: harm to the DNA repair mechanisms within the affected cells (particularly breast and ovary; possibly testicular), hence increasing the risk of cancer.

Ironically, while the prevalence of a “bad” inherited BRCA1 variation is actually quite low relative to the general population (A 2003 study found only 6.6% of breast cancer patients even have either a BRCA1 and BRCA2 germline mutation[1]), everyone’s BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are susceptible to damage from environmental chemical exposures, most particularly xenobiotic (non-natural) chemicals and radiation. This means that instead of looking to a set of “bad” genes as the primary cause of cancer, we should be looking to avoid exposing both our “bad” and “good” genes alike to preventable chemical exposures, as well as avoiding nutrient deficiencies and/or incompatibilities, which also play a vital role in enabling us to express or silence cancer-associated genes. [For more on why genes don’t “cause” disease see: The Great DNA Data Deficit.]

The aforementioned resveratrol study is titled “BRCA-1 promoter hypermethylation and silencing induced by the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor-ligand TCDD are prevented by resveratrol in MCF-7 Cells.”

Quite a mouthful.

Essentially, the BRCA-1 promoter is the gene sequence within the BRCA1 gene that drives the production of the protein that enables our cells to repair DNA damage, and when “silenced” (i.e. hypermethylated) via the receptor for aromatic hydrocarbons (which are primarily xenobiotic petrochemical compounds), it leads to chromosomal damage within those cells. This study looked at the role of resveratrol, a natural compound found in grapes, wine, chocolate, and peanuts, in preventing these chemically-induced changes in gene methylation, also known as ‘gene silencing.’

According to the study:

“The aberrant hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes has been recognized as a predisposing event in breast carcinogenesis [1]. For example, BRCA-1 promoter hypermethylation has been linked to loss or silencing of BRCA-1 expression in sporadic breast tumors [27] and the development of high-grade breast carcinomas [810]. Higher incidence (30%90%) of BRCA-1 hypermethylation has been reported in infiltrating tumors [2,1012], suggesting that epigenetic repression of BRCA-1 may accompany the transition to more invasive phenotypes. Moreover, BRCA-1 promoter methylation was found to be positively associated with increased mortality among women with breast cancer [13].

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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The Center for Transhuman Jurisprudence – CTJ

Posted: September 6, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Standing before the following three questions:

1. What do we do when the rule of law can no longer keep up with the rate of technological change?

2. How can therule of law address our assumption of the role of natural selection in evolution?

3. What isthe role of the rule of law in the emerging Anthropocene epoch?

The mission of The Center for Transhuman Jurisprudence is to educate people on the choices available to them in matters of their minds, bodies, and genomes; and, in so doing, to bring about a legal metamorphosis that will coherently sustain a technological civilization.

The vision of CTJ is to contribute to the founding of a coherently sustainable technological civilization.

Certain technologies are converging to amplify human physical and mental capabilities, to surpass human intelligence, and to create new forms of life. I call their convergence human enhancement enabling technology (#heet). Finding our way throughthe excitement, hope, and fear presented by#heet requires us to make choices about our own human nature and the very nature of nature itself. These choices are some of the toughest weve ever had to make. They ask us to question many of the rock-hard “facts of life” that we’ve taken as obvious or essential. These choices will soon take on a legal, political, and practical relevance in our day-to-day lives.

The freedom to choose, which includes the freedom not to choose, is essential to our way of life. Being free to choose as an individual usually has limits if were going to live together as a society. In most societies, the limits placed on freedom of choice and who is entitled to make a choice are aspects of what we call a right; and, a right is a privilege given only to people that the law regards as persons. You might think that all people are persons as far as the law is concerned, but this has never been true. Dealing with the question of whether technologically enhanced humans and artificial intelligence entities are persons entitled to any rights is among the many legal issues we must decide.

As of 2015, there are no laws in the United States or elsewhere about human enhancement, artificial intelligence, neurotechnology, or artificial life. Welcome to The Center for Transhuman Jurisprudence: #lawthathinks about #biologybydesign.

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AMSA: Freedom of Speech – Where Should The Boundaries Lie? Birmingham University – Video

Posted: April 13, 2015 at 11:55 am

AMSA: Freedom of Speech – Where Should The Boundaries Lie? Birmingham University
16/02/15 The recent heinous Charlie Hebdo massacre has triggered a whirlwind of discussion regarding the role and nature of free speech within our society. As the debate continues, this joint…

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Peter Pomerantsev: Free Speech and Russian Television – Video

Posted: April 3, 2015 at 5:52 am

Peter Pomerantsev: Free Speech and Russian Television
Peter Pomerantsev, Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute and author of 'Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible', discusses free speech and the role of television in forming narratives…

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Mount Sinai Researchers Discover Genetic Origins of Myelodysplastic Syndrome Using Stem Cells

Posted: March 25, 2015 at 2:45 pm

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Newswise (New York March 25, 2015) Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)adult cells reprogrammed back to an embryonic stem cell-like statemay better model the genetic contributions to each patient’s particular disease. In a process called cellular reprogramming, researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have taken mature blood cells from patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and reprogrammed them back into iPSCs to study the genetic origins of this rare blood cancer. The results appear in an upcoming issue of Nature Biotechnology.

In MDS, genetic mutations in the bone marrow stem cell cause the number and quality of blood-forming cells to decline irreversibly, further impairing blood production. Patients with MDS can develop severe anemia and in some cases leukemia also known as AML. But which genetic mutations are the critical ones causing this disease?

In this study, researchers took cells from patients with blood cancer MDS and turned them into stem cells to study the deletions of human chromosome 7 often associated with this disease.

With this approach, we were able to pinpoint a region on chromosome 7 that is critical and were able to identify candidate genes residing there that may cause this disease, said lead researcher Eirini Papapetrou, MD, PhD, Department of Oncological Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Chromosomal deletions are difficult to study with existing tools because they contain a large number of genes, making it hard to pinpoint the critical ones causing cancer. Chromosome 7 deletion is a characteristic cellular abnormality in MDS and is well-recognized for decades as a marker of unfavorable prognosis. However, the role of this deletion in the development of the disease remained unclear going into this study.

Understanding the role of specific chromosomal deletions in cancers requires determining if a deletion has observable consequences as well as identifying which specific genetic elements are critically lost. Researchers used cellular reprogramming and genome engineering to dissect the loss of chromosome 7. The methods used in this study for engineering deletions can enable studies of the consequences of alterations in genes in human cells.

Genetic engineering of human stem cells has not been used for disease-associated genomic deletions, said Dr. Papapetrou. This work sheds new light on how blood cancer develops and also provides a new approach that can be used to study chromosomal deletions associated with a variety of human cancers, neurological and developmental diseases.

Reprogramming MDS cells could provide a powerful tool to dissect the architecture and evolution of this disease and to link the genetic make-up of MDS cells to characteristics and traits of these cells. Further dissecting the MDS stem cells at the molecular level could provide insights into the origins and development of MDS and other blood cancers. Moreover, this work could provide a platform to test and discover new treatments for these diseases.

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#CGC15: Interview with Christian Liflander, Cyber Defence Section, NATO – Video

Posted: March 24, 2015 at 5:51 am

#CGC15: Interview with Christian Liflander, Cyber Defence Section, NATO
CeBIT Global Conferences 2015: NATO's approach to cyber defence and the role of cyber in crisis management and conflicts was the titel of the Speech of Christian Liflander, Officer,…

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Mega Construction Space Edition: episode 2 – Video

Posted: at 5:47 am

Mega Construction Space Edition: episode 2
In this episode of mega construction space edition we build some facilities to our space station! Our website: http://seacaps.webs.com Skip to the role play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuBYwYl…

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