Emotional Intelligence and its Usefulness in Understanding Communication Style

By Penny Hoffmann

 

According to Alvernia University, a communication style for people is “a way in which they interact and exchange information with others”.

If one understands their communication style, one then better understands their communication strengths and flaws. Once these are recognized and understood, one can then work to improve their weaknesses and maintain or improve their strengths. This will aid one in individual and group settings.

In an individual and group setting, if one identifies their own stress indicators, they can then inform others and show why they act a certain way. This helps communication because the receiver can better understand the actions of the sender.

Additionally, a team is more likely to work if there is a common goal, complementary skills, all members are productive, and there is proper communication or constructive feedback.

In order to understand our own communication style, one can investigate their emotional intelligence. According to psychologist and author of Ecological Intelligence, Daniel Goleman,”emotional intelligence refers to how well we handle ourselves and our relationships”.

Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of “Ecological Intelligence”.

Goleman states that there are four domains of emotional intelligence; namely self awareness, self management, empathy, and skilled relationship. Self awareness refers to one understanding what and why they feel an emotion, self management is knowing what and how much of an emotion should be used in a situation, empathy is understanding others emotions, and skilled relationship is combining these three and using them in relationships.

If one is self-aware, one can then understand their emotions better, for reasons such as understanding why they reacted a particular way. If one can self-manage, they can then convey these emotions to others.

If one has empathy, they can then understand responses to their own emotions from others and defend themselves or alter their reactions to better suit the responses they receive.

If one is self aware, can self manage, and has empathy, then one will communicate their thoughts and respond to others effectively and can thus work better in groups and by themselves. One can then even aid others in self-awareness, self-management, having empathy, and skilled relationships. This will make one a valuable member of a team.

Protests regarding law that protects Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu from prosecution for corruption

By Penny Hoffmann

Outside a Tel Aviv museum, a pro-democracy protest was held by Israeli opposition leaders.

This protest opposed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent re-election for his fifth term and reportedly accused him of desiring to implement legislation that protects him from prosecution for corruption.

Opposition parties stated that Netanyahu can not continue to be Israel’s prime minister if he is charged for fraud and bribery after he received allegations of corruption.

According to NBC News, on the 28th of February 2019, Netanyahu rejected allegations of corruption:

“The left applied bullish pressure, relentless, i would even say inhuman, on the attorney general in order to make him say that he is considering indicting me pending a hearing even though it’s clear there is nothing, in order to influence the elections, even though he knows this house of cards will collapse after the elections.

“Since the attorney general is just a human, the pressure of the left worked.

“I tell you the citizens of Israel, this house of cards will collapse.

“I am absolutely certain. I am certain of it 4,000 percent.

“I plan on serving you and the state as prime minister for many years.”

According to RT, “He stands accused of possible crimes against humanity because a UN independent commission has ruled that his UK armed soldiers used live ammunition to fire on 6,000 unarmed protesters without justification”.

In the UN commission of inquiry into 2018 protests, Chair Santiago Canton stated that “the commission has found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli Security Forces committed serious violations of human rights of international humanitarian law.”

Netanyahu’s corruption allegations include:

Case 1000 Indictment

Netanyahu was accused of receiving nearly $200,000 worth of gifts, reportedly mainly boxes of cigars for “his personal use”, from wealthy businessmen in exchange for favors.

He also reportedly received bottles of champagne for his wife.

Two of these businessmen include owner of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited Australian James Packer and Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan.

Case 2000 Indictment

Netanyahu was accused of conspiring to get more news coverage in his favor by collaborating with Arnon “Noni” Mozes, the publisher of the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for weaker legislation for the newspaper to beat a competing newspaper.

Attorney general Avichai Mandelblit stated the following, according to i24NEWS English:

“Even though you did not request and did not accept the proposal, you did not reject Moses’ proposal, but you continued to lead the matter, promoting the legislation, including ideas you raised during the election period, even though you did not intend to advance the legislation.”

Case 4000 Indictment

Case 4000 is another indictment that regards Netanyahu desiring more media coverage that is in his favor.

It is alleged that Netanyahu reportedly conspired to get “regulatory benefits for Shaul Elovich, owner of Bezeq Telecommunications Company, in exchange for favourable news coverage on his website”, according to i24NEWS English.

According to attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, “in essence, a “give and take” relationship was established between Elovich and Netanyahu:

“On the one hand, Elovich slanted the coverage in Walla to Netanyahu, in an irregular manner, so it will benefit him and companies under his control, including Bezeq, and on the other hand, Netanyahu, using his governmental and executive power in the regulatory field, to benefit Bezeq.”

 

 

Australian Labor Party’s “extreme abortion plans this election”

By Penny Hoffmann

According to Ten News Australia, the Australian Labor Party has recently pushed for uniformed pregnancy termination laws, and billions of dollars of Commonwealth cash could be withheld from the states in an attempt to make it easier for women to access publicly funded abortions.

According to The Guardian, “In March, Labor pledged to work towards full decriminalization of abortion, open a reproductive health clinic to offer terminations in Tasmania, and require public hospitals to provide termination services”.

ABC News reported that Federal Labor is promising commonwealth funding for a Tasmanian abortion clinic and is using commonwealth funding to pressure all states and territories to make abortions more readily available in public hospitals.

ABC News also stated that the Tasmanian Government has agreed with a women’s health centre to “provide low-cost abortions”:

“In November, the Government revealed it had come to an agreement with Hampton Park Women’s Health Centre to provide low-cost abortions.

“The state had been without a low-cost service for nearly a year, after the previous private provider pulled out of the state because of a lack of demand.

“Despite the November announcement, Hampton Park Women’s Health Centre still has not begun offering services in Tasmania because the earmarked Hobart building needs work before it will be suitable for the clinic.”

Jo Flanagan from Women’s Health Australia stated that it was a confusing process for Tasmanian women to get abortions and outlined what the women’s health centre wanted to change about it:

“Our main concern is that women get access to the service, whether it’s done by a Tasmanian doctor or a Victorian doctor is of less concern to us.

“But what we ideally would want from any provider is a clear map for GPs, [saying] ‘this is what you tell women, this is where they go, this is the number to ring’, and we don’t even have that at the moment.”

Queensland’s Labor government announced on July 16th 2018 that it would introduce laws that decriminalize abortion in Queensland.

Deputy Premier for QLD Jackie Trad, MP for Griffith Terri Butler and Labor candidate for Dickson Ali France featured in a group photo with other protesters that held up signs stating “Labor for Choice” and “My Body My Choice”:

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Both Jackie Trad and Terri Butler are members of Emily’s List, a political action committee based in the United States that advocates for pro-choice democratic females to enter into office:

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Cherish Life Queensland (CLQ) reportedly aims to “educate the community on life issues, advocate (lobby all levels of government on life and death issues) and resource the community”.

According to its website, the group, formerly known as “Queensland Right to Life”, began as a reaction to American life issues, and is the first pro-life group in Australia and has spread to other states.

CLQ claims that it is not politically aligned with any party; it reaches out to anyone who will or will not listen in an attempt to promote being pro-life.

The Guardian reported the following:

The executive director of Cherish Life, Teeshan Johnson, has advertised her support for the Liberal party with an “I stand with Scott [Morrison]” filter on her Facebook profile.

Cherish Life has posted speeches from Liberal senator Amanda Stoker on its Facebook page, and Liberal National party MP George Christensen has addressed events, including the March for Life in September.

The real question for this matter is whether Teeshan Johnson and Cherish Life supported the liberal party in those instances because the Liberal Party is more likely to be pro-life, or whether both supported the Liberal party in those instances because both support more of the Liberal Party’s works.

Aussie man who drove down emus with ute sentenced to 42 days of prison

20-year-old Jacob McDonald, from Pinnaroo, South Australia, was tracked down by Australian police and the RSPCA last year after a video of him driving down emus at speeds greater than 120km/h went viral.

At first, there was a “nationwide manhunt” to find the man in the video. Then, McDonald appeared in court on the 9th of this month and was sentenced to 42 days in prison.

Some of the offences he was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, torment to animals, and killing protected wildlife. Ten emus were killed.

“You received pleasure from inflicting pain on defenseless animals,” said magistrate Michael King as he handed down MacDonald’s sentence.

MacDonald told The Daily Mail that the emus are quite destructive:

“I could show you some photos of the destruction the emus make down here. We’ve been in drought. We’re literally growing crops on about four inches of rain.”

“You’ve got these animals coming in and making a mess. Te reason there is so many on the road is because they’re looking for something to eat. And there’s nothing.”

“They’re just that poorly, they need to be put down.

“Here is what the RSPCA doesn’t understand, they go on about cruelty, they should come out here and have a look at the state of these animals … they’re not doing anything for them.”

According to Daily Mail, “Mr Macdonald cited a difficult period in his life, particularly over the four months before his crime, when he had a relationship breakdown with an ex-girlfriend. However, he insisted he wasn’t intending to be cruel to the native birds.”

Daily Mail also reported that, according to his ex-girlfriend who originally revealed that he was the man behind the video, he’s the “type to go hunting”:

‘He’s the type to go hunting, he grew up that way but this is just atrocious. I was shocked and speechless… angry mostly,’ she said.

After his identity was revealed, MacDonald apologised for his actions to the media:

“I realize now it was the wrong thing to do. I’ve never put an animal through suffering before. I know what I did wrong.”

By Penny Hoffmann

Aussie Liberal Party Candidate Kicked After “Extreme” Anti-Muslim Comment On Trump Post

Australian Federal police were asked to investigate the authenticity of social media posts reportedly made by now former Liberal party candidate Jessica Whelan in the comments section of a Donald Trump post.jess.PNG

Whelan denied she was behind the comments, saying her account was hacked and the content was digitally altered.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is popularly known as “Scomo”, issued the following statement to ABC news:

“The imagery that we have found that has been presented to us appears to have been doctored, and so what Jessica has done, this matter has been referred to the Australian Federal Police, and so that is a matter that will be… it is being referred i should say, to the police, and this is a matter that will be subject to an investigation.”

On May 3rd, News.com reported on Scomo’s “embarrassment” from backing Ms Whelan. Mr Morrison stated that the comments from her account do not represent the views of the Liberal party:

Journalist: Was the problem that her comments actually represent the views of some in the party. Her mistake was just putting it on social media?

PM: Her views were her views and they do not represent the views of the party I lead and they do not represent the views of the Liberal Party. These views were not disclosed to the Liberal Party at the time of her nomination, that was confirmed last night.

Journalist: They were aware yesterday?

PM: No, they weren’t, the information in front of us yesterday was not the information that we were able to receive overnight.

Journalist: Have you been lied to?

PM: Yes.

The Australian reports that the former Tasmanian candidate for Lyons has stated that she has received death threats toward her and her children from the social media scandal:

“I have been receiving threats to the level I could never have imagined. Phone calls, voicemails, messages and emails have made those close to me startled and afraid. These have included messages to kill my children and myself.

“It saddens me that people who put their hand up to represent the people of Australia are subjected to such vicious personal attacks from their opposition, born directly from their fear of losing.”

Whelan will run as an independent, though she will still be listed as a liberal party candidate on the ballot paper.

She has told The Examiner newspaper that “there’s a good chance” she will work with the Liberal party again:

“I have put in so much effort and I feel free of the Liberals to defend myself … If I’m elected, there’s a good chance I will work with the Liberal Party. I resigned because I knew I had to for the party, but I can now defend myself.”

Ms Whelan has stated that she does not want to be seen as a Pauline Hanson, meaning that Whelan likes multiculturalism in Australia.

Melbourne Labor party candidate Luke Creasey has also resigned after making offensive comments online, namely rape jokes, as well as lesbian and Catholic jokes.

“While I made those awful comments many years ago and they in no way reflect the views I hold today, I understand, especially as a member of the LGBTIQ community, that we need to be careful about what we share or like on social media.”

luke-creasey-facebook-comments-data.png
The following is a meme that was shared on Mr Creasey’s Facebook account in 2012. The school he worked at as a food technology teacher has stated that he was not employed when he shared the content.

Labor Party opposition leader Bill Shorten said Creasey’s circumstances are different to those of Ms Whelan’s:

“This Jessica Whelan, she said what she believes now, and it reflects on what she believes now,” Mr Shorten said of the then-candidate for the Tasmanian seat of Lyons, who has since resigned.

“What our fellow said, he said it seven years ago, when he was 22, and he’s clearly regretted and apologised for it.”

By Penny Hoffmann

Paramount Pictures Absolutely Ruins Sonic The Hedgehog

Paramount Pictures recently posted their official trailer of Sonic the Hedgehog on YouTube, which became the top trending video.

A Youtube account by the name of Tenebra asked “is this an out of season April Fools joke?”

Another account by the name of Hubert Konopia said, “Gangsta Paradise, what the hell it’s like matching Imagine Dragons with porn”.

Actor Jim Carrey will star as Doctor Eggman.

The live action adventure comedy has certainly ruffled the feathers of at least some of those who grew up playing the blue hedgehog video game franchise. The main reason for this is because Sonic doesn’t properly resemble the older cartoon version of Sonic’s appearance.

sonic 1
This is how Sonic looked in the 1991 “Sonic the Hedgehog” video game.

IGN reviews editor Tom Marks constructed a comparison between Sonic’s original eye style and the newer, more “realistic” style.

New Sonic has, to name a few differences, human-like teeth, more “realistic” fur, and a more human-like brow bone. The producers reportedly desired a more realistic style to help Sonic, a blue, fast, talking hedgehog, fit in to the real world in the movie.

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In an interview with IGN, producer Tim Miller discussed the eye style difference:

“I don’t think SEGA was entirely happy with the eye decision,” said Miller, “but these sorts of things you go, ‘It’s going to look weird if we don’t do this.’ But everything is a discussion, and that’s kind of the goal, which is to only change what’s necessary and stay true to the rest of it.”

Miller, also a producer of Deadpool, also commented on Sonic’s fur that attempts to mimic the real-world animal:

“That was always Stage 1 of adapting it to what the real world is and what a real animal would be like… It would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing. It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature.”

Producer Neal Moritz, creator of the Fast and Furious franchise, spoke about Sonic’s shoe style in the movie:

“We looked at every different variation of what shoes he’s worn and we’re trying to pay homage to that and also make it current and present day in what we think a Sonic of today would wear.”

A key question from IGN is whether Sonic’s super speed will still exist, or be erased to be more “realistic”. Sonic’s slogan is “Sonic’s the name, speed’s my game!”

In protest to the different design style, an Australian Change.org user by the name of “Gay Gayson” created a petition to “Stop the Making of the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie”. So far, 81 people have signed it.

The movie will be in theaters in November this year.

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By Penny Hoffmann

Kim Jong-Un Meeting with Vladimir Putin FOR THE FIRST TIME, Kremlin Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally invited North Korean President Kim Jong-Un to a meeting with him in Russia for the first time later this month, according to the Kremlin.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov confirmed that an “invitation has been handed over.”

“We are awaiting our North Korean counterparts’ response,” he said. A date for the meeting will be confirmed after the invitation has been accepted by Jong-Un.

September 2018 Russian press reported that plans for a meeting between Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin were accepted by Jong-Un, but that no meeting took place.

The meeting would be the first Russian-DPRK summit in eight years (2011, the year Jong-Un came to power), and third since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“One of the biggest questions remaining is where exactly Kim would meet Putin,” Russian foreign policy analyst Anthony Rinna for the Sino-NK research group said.

According to news companies such as Al Jazeera, “Russia’s Izvestia newspaper cited a diplomatic source on Wednesday as saying the talks would likely be held in Russia‘s far eastern city of Vladivostok, before Putin flies on to an April 26-27 summit in China.”

Translated into English, according to the Russian news company RIA Novosti,  Jong-Un’s manager Kim Jang Sung was spotted allegedly inspecting Vladivostok station:

“FNN news service of the Japanese television company Fuji TV reported that Kim Jang Son, who is considered the manager of the DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, was spotted on Wednesday near the railway station in Vladivostok, which may indicate that the head of the North Korean state was preparing for it. On the FNN website, a photograph of Kim Jong Sung was posted near the Vladivostok station, allegedly examining the surroundings for the preparation of Kim Jong Un’s visit.

“They haven’t yet been informed about the reinforcement of the security regime, but they have told everyone that it is necessary to be alert in connection with the imminent arrival of Koreans… We can not confirm, as well as to refute. We have no right to talk about it,” said the deputy head of Vladivostok station.”

By Penny Hoffmann

FORMER AUSSIE PM RUDD: UK trading with the Commonwealth to make up for leaving the EU is “utter bollockS”

By Penny Hoffmann

Kevin Rudd, the 26th former Prime Minister of Australia, is sometimes a quite the unprofessional politician like many of Australia’s choices. Among various situations he has put himself in from being so down-to-earth, he has become a bit of a cheeky fella in the news and on the political stage for playing handball with school kids, needing a fitness instructor to lift him up for chin ups, being caught eating his ear wax during Question Time, and saluting George W. Bush at a NATO summit which “was just uhh… it was just a joke”.

Mr. Rudd’s take on brexit will surely ruffle the feathers of many brexiteers.

Rudd tweeted the following on March 11:

“With the clock ticking down to Brexit Day, here are my arguments in the London Guardian on why Britain should remain in the European Union. In contrast to Howard, Abbott and Downer cheering on the Brexiteers – all to reconstitute a British imperial rump.”

He stated in a recent article by The Guardian that swapping the current Britain-European Union trade agreement and relationship with a Britain-Commonwealth one is “the nuttiest of the many nutty arguments that have emerged from the Land of Hope and Glory set now masquerading as the authentic standard-bearers of British patriotism”:

“I’m struck, as the British parliament moves towards the endgame on Brexit, with the number of times Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India have been advanced by the Brexiteers in the public debate as magical alternatives to Britain’s current trade and investment relationship with the European Union. This is the nuttiest of the many nutty arguments that have emerged from the Land of Hope and Glory set now masquerading as the authentic standard-bearers of British patriotism. It’s utter bollocks.”

Rudd stated that Britain should remain in the European Union, and that “Labour and the Conservative remainers should unite to defer the exit date beyond 29 March 2019. They should then support legislation for a second referendum”.

Kevin Rudd describes brexit as a suicide note that will leave a large mark in world history:

“If Britain proceeds with giving effect to what future historians will legitimately describe as the longest suicide note in history by leaving the union, the cold, hard reality is that the mathematics simply don’t stack up in terms of credible economic alternatives to Europe. Much as any Australian, Canadian and New Zealand governments of whichever persuasion would do whatever they could to frame new free-trade agreements with the UK, the bottom line is that 65 million of us do not come within a bull’s roar of Britain’s adjacent market of 450 million Europeans.”

Remaining in the EU, according to Rudd, would benefit Britain economically and politically because authoritarians around the world seek to bring down the unification of Europe on things such as values, thus weakening the west.

Rudd supports a second referendum because it offers “a clear, informed choice between two tangible, concrete proposals: either voting for Theresa May’s deal, or for Britain to remain in the Union. That’s when I believe Britons’ native common sense, as well as their wider sense of international responsibility, would ultimately prevail”.

Rudd described Australian (“Oz”) brexiteers as having a goal of returning to old Anglo-Saxon times:

“They too, like the core of the British Brexiteers, are driven by a conservative political romanticism that we can all somehow go back to that ancient Arcadia of a white Anglo-Saxon world with “imperial preference”, all consummated by the solemnity of a Lord’s Test.”

Brexit day is scheduled for the 29th of March, 2019.

 

Exposing the players ruins the game: how symbolism conceals the world’s deepest secrets

By Penny Hoffmann

If one desires to communicate something essential to others, but not to one’s enemy, concealing the message is important. Only those who are educated on the context of the message can truly understand it.

There are many ways that humans communicate and understand each other. These include; verbal methods such as via audio (such as speech face-to-face or on radios); non-verbal methods such as via signs, symbols, eye contact, tone, and text.

Improper usage of punctuation, spelling, tone, definitions, and other facets that relate to the context of dialogues or monologues by the sender will negatively impact the message for the receiver. Improper communication can be and is adopted by those who deliberately or accidentally hide the truth from others.

The term “symbol” is defined by Oxford Living Dictionaries as “a mark or character used as a conventional representation of an object, function, or process, e.g. the letter or letters standing for a chemical element or a character in musical notation.” Symbols that were created long, long ago are still used to this day, whose meanings may not be understood by most of the humans of today.

German indologist and linguist Heinrich Zimmer states in his book Signs and Symbols that a symbol is “a visual image or sign representing an idea — a deeper indicator of a universal truth”, and elaborates further:

“Concepts and words are symbols, just as visions, rituals, and images are; so too are the manners and customs of daily life. Through all of these a transcendent reality is mirrored. There are so many metaphors reflecting and implying something which, though thus variously expressed, is ineffable, though thus rendered multiform, remains inscrutable. Symbols hold the mind to truth but are not themselves the truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them. Each civilisation, every age, must bring forth its own.”

One theory that is debated by many is that Ancient Egypt, being the earliest known location to have built the foundations for anatomical science, named parts of the human body after astrology. This, if true, was most-likely from Egyptian religious influence:

“The overwhelming majority of Egyptologists seem to not be familiar with the details of the age-old Hindu tradition surrounding the Third Eye. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that they seem largely unaware of the Third Eye’s central importance in the Egyptian religion.

The Third Eye is a key concept in Hinduism’s Kundalini Yoga, which teaches initiates to “balance” or “unify” our lunar ida left-bodily side with our solar pingala right-bodily side.

This “balance” or “unity” of our twin opposing natures makes us whole again—just as the balance or unity of China’s twin opposing Yin and Yang halves completes the perfect circle.

This “balance” or “unity” also awakens a serpentine power, which rises up our spine (through seven invisible “chakras” or energy centers) and activates a Third Eye hidden in our foreheads.”

Thus, things that may seem like they aren’t symbolic may have hidden meanings that are known by only those who understand the message properly.

Secrets are valuable for many reasons; to name a few, secrets protect and reveal identities, reputations, build and break apart relationships, and prevent justice or injustice. But secrets conceal the truth, and truth is the remedy to much of the world’s problems.

 

 

 

PETA, their “Animal Rights” stance, and Steve Irwin

By Penny Hoffmann

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has recently been absolutely shredded by Steve Irwin supporters, animal rights activists, and people who consider their movement hypocritical, around the world.

Google payed tribute to what would have been the Australian zookeeper, conservationist and television personality Steve Irwin’s 57th birthday. Google did this by temporarily updating their search engine logo with art of Irwin holding a crocodile.

PETA responded to this by tweeting the following:

“Steve Irwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile & wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business.”

“Steve Irwin’s actions were not on target with his supposed message of protecting wildlife.

“It is harassment to drag exotic animals, including babies taken from their mothers, around from TV talk shows to conferences & force them to perform as Steve Irwin did.”

In order to spread their animal rights activism, PETA thrives by making contentious videos, tweets, and other forms of statements according to their FAQ page on their website:

“Thus, we try to make our actions colourful and controversial, thereby grabbing headlines around the world and spreading the message of kindness to animals to thousands—sometimes millions—of people. This approach has proved amazingly successful: In the three decades since PETA was founded, it has grown into the largest animal rights group in the country, with more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide.”

According to their mission statement, PETA is the “largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters”. In their activism, PETA focuses on the following areas in which animals suffer the most: laboratories, food industries, clothing trades, and the entertainment industry. According to the mission statement, PETA also advocates for animal rights amongst domesticated animals and animals that are deemed “pests”. These include rodents and birds.

“PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.”

According to their website, here is why PETA protects the rights of animals:

“Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy, stated that when deciding on a being’s rights, “The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’” In that passage, Bentham points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. The capacity for suffering is not just another characteristic like the capacity for language or higher mathematics. All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and motherly love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account.”

“Only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves. Whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species, prejudice is morally unacceptable. “

However, according to PETA Kills Animals, “since 1998, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has killed over 36,000 animals. 93% of all animals that fall under PETA’s care never make it out alive”.

PETA Kills Animals requested and received reports from Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that detailed how many dogs and cats PETA received, transferred, successfully found homes for, and killed.

In 2018, PETA received 2,470 dogs and cats. Of these, 658 were transferred, 35 were adopted (1.42%) and 1,771 were killed (71.70%).

The worst year of killing of dogs and cats for PETA, according to the document, was 2006. of the 3,061 dogs and cats that were received, 46 were transferred, 12 were adopted (0.4%), and 2,981 were killed (97.4%).

In total, from 1998 to 2018, 47,316 dogs and cats were received by PETA, 3,434 were transferred, 3,459 were adopted (7.31%) and 39,961 were killed (84.46%).

The real question is whether the dogs and cats that are killed are in an irredeemable condition.

According to PETA’s FAQ page, this is why PETA supports the euthanisation of dogs and cats rather than building more animal shelters:

“A shelter should be a temporary compromise for dogs and cats. It is not a solution to companion animal homelessness. Dogs and cats need more than food, water, and shelter from the elements. They need and deserve loving care, regular human companionship, respect for their individuality, and the opportunity to play and run. As difficult as it may be for us to accept, euthanasia (carried out by veterinarians or shelter staff trained in intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital) is often the most compassionate and dignified way for unwanted animals to leave this uncaring world.”

So, because dogs and cats need loving care, regular human companionship, and so on, as well as food and water, and they lack these at shelters, they should be killed because it is “often the most compassionate and dignified way for unwanted animals to leave this uncaring world?” What these animals deserve should be more volunteers to care for them, not death. Plenty of us love dogs and cats; PETA needs to improve their advertisements to get more volunteers. That is the solution. So, because kids in orphanages may not get adopted, they should… be euthanized? No. There needs to be more advertising and selection of trustworthy workers at orphanages. These animals and people may end up getting out of their current situation in their future; why give up because of their present situation?

Islam: Sharia, Muhammad, Five Pillars, and Ethics

By Penny Hoffmann

Islam, the world’s second-largest and fastest-growing religion, means “submission” to the will of Allah. “Muslim” means “one who submits” to Allah where “Allah” translates to “God” in Arabic. The literal meaning of Sharia – or Al-Shari’ah – is “the revealed law”. ‘Adherents of Islam are admonished by Allah to follow the clear and right way, the path of Shari’ah. Sharia law is based upon the word of Allah as expressed in the Qur’an, and the Sunnah, the traditions of Muhammad.

Sharia

Sharia courts are essentially religious courts and there is no separation between church and state. It reaches into all aspects of one’s life. Sharia is not just the source of law, but is the source of all principles of Islamic life. Examples of this are: the requirement that women must wear a hijab in public, the prohibition on dating and marriage between a Muslim and non-Muslim, and abandonment of the Muslim faith being considered a crime.

The fact that Sharia law is taken directly from the Qur’an means that it is, in theory, unchanging and invariable. This is in direct contrast to secular law in locations such as Australia as secular law constantly evolves, both through the development of precedent and the passing of and amendments to legislation.

Muslims suggest that Islam was not founded by Muhammad, but rather it is rooted in the Abrahamic bloodline and thus much of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament is Islamic, but Judaism and Christianity have corrupted them over time. Islam teaches that the Quran is the final and unaltered word of God, revealed to the last prophet, Muhammad, sent to mankind. Muhammad was born in 570AD and is, according to Muslims, God’s final prophet.

The Five Pillars of Islam

Islam has five pillars (basic acts). These are:

  1. Shahadah – there is one God and that is Allah. This means that Muslims are Unitarians, thus they reject the trinity.
  2. Salah – Salah means prayer, which Muslims do five times a day.
  3. Sakat – giving alms or charity.
  4. Hajj – an annual (if an adult Muslim is physically and financially capable of it while supporting their family) Islamic pilgrimage to the House of Allah (Kaaba) at Makkah (Mecca) at least once in their lifetime.
  5. Fasting – fasting occurs in the month of the Ramadan.

Islamic Ethics

Muslims rely on sacred texts, where the Quran is the main sacred text, and authority within religious structures of Islam, known as doctors of the law. The basis for Islamic ethics is the relationship one has with Allah, oneself, and the community.

Foreign Aid: what it is, some of the controversies surrounding it, and where the U.S sends aid the most

By Penny Hoffmann

Foreign aid is a controversial topic for many reasons. One objection to foreign aid is that it can be delivered to the wrong people on purpose or accidentally (for example, theft). However, giving aid can produce many benefits: it can improve the relations between nations and rebuild living standards.

What is Foreign Aid?

Foreign aid refers to humanitarian, international, and usually inter-governmental figures or groups that give economic, military, financial or technical resources, such as weapons, to a nation or nations. This aid can be in many forms, such as bilateral or multilateral.

Some examples of aid programs include George Marshall’s Marshall Plan that began in 1948, the Point Four Program, and the UK’s Commonwealth Development Fund.

This is how the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development defines Official Development Assistance (ODA):

“ODA consists of flows to developing countries and multilateral institutions provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, or by their executive agencies, each transaction of which meets the following test: a) it is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective, and b) it is concessional in character and contains a grant element of at least 25% (calculated at a rate of discount of 10%).”

In order for foreign aid to work, it must cater to the climate of the receiver of the aid. This means that the hardships of the suffering location or the receiver of the aid must be analyzed to select the correct type of aid and to deliver it at the appropriate time. The objectives of the aid must be specified and the most suitable solutions must be chosen to ensure that the aid will not be given to the wrong people or area that needs improving.

Foreign aid can be used to improve the conduct of allies, to reward a nation for its conduct, or to eventually get a repayment of some sort from the nation receiving the aid.

Types of Foreign Aid

Bilateral Aid

Bilateral aid involves two nations where one government sends aid to another government.

Multilateral Aid

Multilateral is where funding is delivered by two or more nations to international organisations such as the World Bank (also called the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) or the International Monetary Fund who have the role of improving suffering nations.

Tied Aid

Tied aid is a bilateral agreement where the donor nation delivers a loan or grant to the nation receiving it, but specify the nation in which the funding is spent.

Project Aid

Project aid is given to improve a certain project, such as a school.

Military Aid

Military aid is where a nation delivers weapons and the like to nations

Voluntary Aid

Voluntary aid usually refers to charity. One example of this is Doctors Without Borders, “an international humanitarian non-governmental organization best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries affected by endemic diseases.”

Who Gives The Most Aid

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, these nations gave the most Official Development Assistance (ODA) in total in 2015:

 Foreign aid: These countries are most generous

However, when considering it as a percentage of gross national income (GNI), the ranking order of the countries is different:

 Foreign aid: These countries are most generous

The top ten recipients of U.S foreign aid in 2018 are as follows:

10. Iraq – $347.9 million

9. Nigeria – $419.1 million

8. Zambia – $428.9 million

7. Uganda – $436.4 million

6. Tanzania – $535.3 million

5. Kenya – $639.4 million

4. Afghanistan – $782.8 million

3. Jordan – $1 billion

2. Egypt – $1.39 billion

1. Israel – $3.1 billion

Current Foreign Aid Controversies

There are academic disagreements regarding the efficiency of giving foreign aid. These include; the factors that influence the economic efficiency of foreign aid; whether aid should be measured empirically; whether aid should be given to non-government organisations and groups, rather than governments, who then improve the economy from the bottom up; the opposite, top-down approach by delivering aid to governments, the World Bank, and the UN who rebuild suffering nations; and whether aid givers truly know what is needed by aid receivers.

Arguments For and Against the Acceptance of Sharia Law in Australia

By Penny Hoffmann

Islam, a monotheistic religion, is the world’s second-largest religion. Some Western nations have partially accepted Sharia law into their country, whilst others are wanting nothing to do with it.

Here are some of the arguments in support of and in opposition to the acceptance of Sharia law:

FOR

Freedom of religion is protected in the Australian constitution, and is classed as a right.
Accepting Sharia allows for an avenue for Muslims to settle family law matters according to Sharia. There is often no Australian judicial equivalent.
Muslims are already living their lives according to Sharia . There are more than 604,000 Muslims already living in Australia. Allowing Sharia would allow those practicing underground to be practicing publicly and by their own law.
Accepting Sharia does not mean the rejection of Australian laws, but rather a desire to conform to Sharia where possible. Legally, there are already areas where Sharia is accepted because both legal systems share similarities.
There is diversity within Islam, like Christianity, thus some Islamic denominations or sects would share more similarities with the Australian legal system.
There is a limited number of scholars who are fully trained in interpreting Sharia. Why should we deny something that we do not understand?
Exposing Muslims to the Australia’s secular legal system allows them to see both sides of what it is like to be in a Muslim culture compared to what is it like in a secular culture. This allows Muslims to decide with more experience what path they would like to follow.

 

AGAINST

 

Australia follows a one law for all model. Giving some privilege over others for doing the same thing is unequal. There is conflict among Muslim communities that concerns equality. Some do not desire the special treatment of a legal system and argue a case for equality.
Religion plays no part in the formal legal system.

 

Accepting Sharia is more problematic for Muslim wives, especially in divorce where one will have to find a third party to plead her case
There are variations throughout denominations and schools of Islamic thought, thus it is not always possible to have one law for all Muslims because of the diversity of Islam. One law for all could create greater divisions and isolation between Muslims and non-Muslims. Some Muslims who have fled a Sharia system may like the security of the Australian justice system, and there are Muslims who advocate for civil and individual rights. In Australia, Muslims come from over 70 different countries, and not all of these countries share the same Islamic beliefs. There are a limited number of scholars who are fully trained in interpreting Sharia. Why should we accept something that we do not understand properly?

Australia does not need to accept Sharia as immigrants should conform to the laws of the nation they arrive in.

 

Nikola Tesla Was Against Feminism?

By Penny Hoffmann

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) is known as a Serbian American inventor and engineer. What many may not know about him are his views on feminism.

In an interview for a 1924 news article by Galveston Daily News titled “Mr.Tesla Explains Why He Will Never Marry: Famous Scientist Felt Unworthy of Woman as She Used To Be, and Now He Can’t Endure Her Trying to Outdo the Men”, Tesla states that women who try to compete with men by taking on male roles are making themselves inferior:

“I had always thought of woman, as possessing those delicate qualities of mind and soul that made her in these respects far superior to man. I had put her on a lofty pedestal, figuratively speaking, and ranked her in certain important attributes considerably higher than man. I worshiped at the feet of the creature i raised to this height, and, like every true worshiper, i felt myself unworthy of the object of my worship. But all this was in the past. Now the soft-voiced gentle woman of my reverent dreams has all but vanished. In her place has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life relies in making herself as much as possible like man – in dress, voice, actions, sports and achievements of every kind.”

Tesla also states that the feminist movement where females abandon their gender roles and become more masculine is a sign of the downfall of a civilization:

“Women, are becoming stronger than men, both physically and mentally. The world has experienced many tragedies, but to my mind the greatest tragedy of all is the present economic condition wherein women strive against men, and in many cases actually succeed in upsurping their places in the professions and in industry. This growing tendency of women to overshadow the masculine is a sign of a deteriorating civilization.”

Men have desired to reach for the stars because they are inspired by the woman they fancy, mothers, or just any female figure in their life that believes in them:

“Woman’s determined competition with man in the business world is breaking down some of the best traditions – things which have proved the moving factors in the world’s slow but substantial progress. Practically all the great achievements of man until now have been inspired by his love and devotion to woman. Man has aspired to great things because some woman believed in him, because he wished to command her admiration and respect.”

Vessels have historically been named after women for the same reason, but were alternatively named after goddesses and other historical figures with the idea of safety and protection so the vessel survives whatever journey it undergoes.

Tesla then explains further about how men would self-sacrifice when working to serve women, and that, maybe, the male in society is useless. If women agree with this, then, Tesla believes, the worst of the world’s human history is taking place:

“For these reasons he has fought for her and risked his life and his all for her time and time again. Perhaps the male in human society is useless. I am frank to admit that i don’t know. If women are beginning to feel this way about it, and there is striking evidence at hand that they do, then we are entering upon the cruelest period of the world’s history. Our civilization will sink into a state like that which is found among the bees, ants and other insects – a state wherein the male is ruthlessly killed off. In this matriarchal empire which will be established the female rules. As the female predominates, the males are at her mercy. The male is considered important only as a factor in the scheme of the continuity of life.”

Tesla states that, when women see themselves as independent from man in terms of her breaking gender norms in the business world and not wanting to co-operate, this limits man’s ability to be independent:

“The tendency of women to push aside man, supplanting the old spirit of cooperation with him in all the affairs of life, is very disappointing to me. Woman’s independence and her cleverness in obtaining what she wants in the business world is breaking down man’s spirit of independence. The old fire he once experienced at being able to achieve something that would compel and hold a woman’s devotion is turning to ashes. Women don’t seem to want that sort of thing today. They appear to want to control and govern. They want man to look up to them, instead of their looking up to him. Conditions abroad suggest that the same tendency is worldwide.”

Tesla states that women are the victim when choosing this behavior, not the victor as what they imagine to be:

“I am considering this question not merely from the standpoint of a man, i am thinking of the woman’s side of it. As we contemplate any change, we naturally take into consideration the results that may follow such an innovation. One of the results to my mind is quite a pathetic one. Woman, herself, is really the victim of, as she thinks, the victor. Contentment is absent from her life. She is ambitious, often far beyond her natural equipment, to attain the thing she wants. She too frequently forgets that all women cannot be prima donnas and motion picture stars. Woman’s discontent makes the life of the present day still more over-stressed. The high pitch given to existence by people who are restless and dissatisfied because they fail to achieve things wholly out of proportion to the health and talent with which Nature has endowed them is a bad thing for the world.”

Because women will be the victims instead of victors, women will not be happy:

“It seems to me that women are not particularly happy in this newly found freedom, in this new competition which they are waging so persistently against men in business and even in sport. The question that naturally arises is, whether the women themselves are the gainers or the losers. It seems to me that anything which adds to the great discontent which we observe on every side to-day must be a bad influence on out life. Women who keep themselves agitated by their tremendous ambition to beat man at his game are losing at the same time something that counts for more in the end, than the empty honors that success in business or one of the professions can ever give.”

Because of corruption and tricksters, Tesla does not choose to conform with the general public:

“Discontent makes for cranks and unnatural people. There seems to be an uncommon number of them about today. This is one of the reasons i remain apart from the crowds. The public, or semi-public, character is the target for all sorts of attacks and unpleasant communications. For example, i used to receive all sorts of strange notes, many of them letters from cranks threatening my life, because they have read about my experiments in manufacturing lightning bolts. They wrote that they believed i was using these lightning flashes to kill them!”

Tesla states there are many examples of women who do not compete or try to outdo men that become great influencers:

“The power of the true woman is so great that i believe if a beautiful woman – that is to say, one beautiful in spirit, in manner and in thought, in fact, beautiful in every respect, a sort of goddess – were to appear suddenly on earth, she could command the whole world. Her leadership, i believe, would be universally recognized. History has given us many examples of the wonderful influence exerted by unusual women. Among these have been the mothers of great men. But their influence lay not in their determination to outdo man, or even to compete with him. Perhaps because woman is a finer and more highly sensitized instrument she knows by instinct her power and understands that the extent of it lies in the high position she takes for herself. But the superior never descends to the level of the commonplace.”

Anti-Semitism has featured in the News More

By Penny Hoffmann

One reason why anti-Semitism is publically reported more is due to the Combatting European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. This was introduced by sponsor Republican Marco Rubio on the twenty-fourth of January 2017 and became public law on the fourteenth of January 2019.

Volume 64 section 198 (2018) of the Congressional Record outlines the purpose of the bill:

“A bill to require continued and enhanced annual reporting to Congress in the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom on anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, the safety and security of European Jewish communities, and the efforts of the United States to partner with European governments, the European Union, and
civil society groups, to combat anti-Semitism, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.”

The sponsors include “Mr. Rubio (for himself, Mr. Kaine, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Perdue, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Lankford, Mr. Brown, Mr. Schatz, and Mr. Hatch)”.

Though the new year began nearly two months ago, recently the media and other organisations spoke out against “growing anti-Semitism”:

Seven MP’s Quit Labour Party due to Brexit Betrayal and Anti-Semitism

Seven of Britain’s Labour Party members of parliament recently resigned to protest the handling of brexit and “growing anti-Semitism”. Anti-Semitism reports have grown by 75%, and it should be noted that there are many anti-Semitic attacks that are not reported, and that some European nations report them more than others. One question being asked by the Labour Party and others is whether one can oppose Israeli policies without being anti-Semitic.

The handling of brexit is the most important issue of the two according to the Labour Party. Despite Britain desiring to leave the European Union, the EU is demanding for Britain to accept their decision to remain or there will be further action.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is attending Brussels to advocate for an Irish deal that does mot re-open the brexit deal.

Poland Pulls out of Israel meeting over Anti-Semitism and Nazi Comments

Poland “collaborated with the Nazis” and “sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk”, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly appointed interim Foreign Minister Israel Katz respectively.

Poland’s pull-out from the Visegrad Summit caused the cancellation of the Visegrad group meeting that was held in Israel.

Visegrad involves four central European nations. The members include Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated earlier that he was not attending the meeting because of comments made by Netanyahu about Polish co-operation:

Katz stated the following:

“Poles collaborated with the Nazis, definitely. Collaborated with the Nazis. As (former Israeli Prime Minister) Yitzhak Shamir said — his father was murdered by Poles — he said that from his point of view they sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk. You can’t sugarcoat this history.”

“I am the son of Holocaust survivors… The memory of the Holocaust is not something to compromise about. It is obvious. We will not forget, and we will not forgive.”

Macron Condemns Anti-Semitism at Paris Yellow Vest Protest

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Left: French President Emmanuel Marcon. Right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: EPA

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned anti-Semitic insults that French 69-year-old philosopher and head of The Academy Alain Finkielkraut was subject to by yellow vest protesters.

These insults include:

“Palestine! France is ours!” “Dirty Zionist!” “Dirty race!” “The people will punish you!”

Macron tweeted this in response:

“The anti-Semitic insults he has been subjected to are the absolute negation of what we are and what makes us a great nation. We will not tolerate it. The son of Polish immigrants who became a French academician, Alain Finkielkraut is not only a prominent man of letters but the symbol of what the Republic allows everyone.”

Finkielkraut is the author of “The Imaginary Jew” and the son of a Jewish-Polish manufacturer of fine goods.

French interior minister Christophe Castaner stated that incidents of antisemitism rose to 541 last year from 311 in 2017, an increase of 74 per cent. National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) leader Sammy Ghozlan stated that “the ‘Yellow Vests’ movement has an anti-Semitic base that repeats conspiracy theories about Jews and power.” Fourteen political parties called for a solution to growing anti-Semitism.

A protest against anti-Semitism is happening, in which Merie Le Pen says she won’t be attending.

Recently, graves at a cemetery were attacked with swatstikas.

US Vice-President Mike Pence Accuses Iran of Anti-Semitism

US Vice President Mike Pence has accused Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism.

Pence had visited Poland’s Auschwitz concentration camp. A day prior to this, he was “attacking European powers for trying to undermine U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic”.

pence.jpg
US Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen and Polish President Andrzej Duda with first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda stand at the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ gate at the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland, Feb. 15, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Kacper Pempel.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded to the accusations of Nazi-like anti-Semitism by supporting Judaism but opposing Israel as the nation was acting like a “killing machine against the Palestinians”:

“Iran’s historic and cultural record of coexistence and respect for divine religions, particularly Judaism, is recorded in reliable historic documents of various nations.”

“The principle that underlies our foreign policy is the aggressive and occupying nature of the Zionist regime (Israel)…, which is a killing machine against the Palestinian people.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also responded to Pence’s accusation, calling it “laughable”.

Zarif also added:

“Iran has always supported the Jews. We are just against Zionists. The Holocaust was a disaster.”

There is an ongoing proxy conflict between Iran and Israel that began in the early 1990’s.

Iran voted against the UN Partitian Plan for Palestine in 1947 and Israel’s admission to the UN two years later. Iran initially recognised Israel as a sovereign state, but as tensions grew the Islamic government does not.

Anti-Semitism “has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer” according to Fareed Zakaria of the Washington Post

Fareed Zakaria, columnist of the Washington Post, political scientist, and author, recently wrote an article suggesting that anti-Semitism “has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer”.

Zakaria stated the following in his article, mentioning freshman Democratic members of Congress Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.):

“I don’t know what is in the hearts of the two representatives. But I believe that Muslims should be particularly thoughtful when speaking about these issues because anti-Semitism has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer. (Omar and Tlaib are not responsible for this in any way, of course, but they should be aware of this poisonous climate.)”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, apologised “unequivocally” for social media comments that were deemed “anti-Semitic” by many:

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”

“We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

This is the original comment she made:

rep

Many Jewish figures have condemned her and similar comments, one figure including Democratic Freshman lawyer Max Rose:

“Congresswoman Omar’s comments are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.”

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of ADL stated the following in a statement:

“As Americans and Jews, we expect our politicians to condemn bigotry, not to fuel it. Words matter. At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise in the U.S. and abroad, Rep. Omar is promoting the ugly, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jews have an outsized influence over politics.”

Fareed Zakaria, in his article, states that “Arab states became vast propaganda machines for anti-Semitism”:

“In their zeal to delegitimize the Jewish state, men such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser promoted all kinds of anti-Semitic literature and rhetoric. Arab states became vast propaganda machines for anti-Semitism, brainwashing generations of their people with the most hateful ideas about Jews. Even the supposedly secular president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, declared in 2001 that Israelis were “trying to kill all the values of the divine religions, with the same mentality that brought about the betrayal and torturing of Christ and in the same way that they tried to betray the Prophet Muhammad.” Religious states such as Saudi Arabia were just as bad, if not worse.”

Fareed Zakaria is “one of the 25 most influential liberals in the American media” according to Forbes, but Zakaria states that “I feel that’s part of my job… which is not to pick sides but to explain what I think is happening on the ground. I can’t say, ‘This is my team and I’m going to root for them no matter what they do.'”

Zakaria also states that Trump’s missile strike against a Syrian government-controlled airbase in April 2017 is when Trump “became president of the United States”.

 

Anacyclosis: The Historical Cycle of Being Ruled by One, the Few, and the Many

By Penny Hoffmann

Throughout history we have seen different governments rise and fall cyclically. This is known as “anacyclosis”. Some have been beneficial to their societies and the ones around it, whilst others have caused their own downfall.

There has long been the questioning of whether history naturally repeats itself. Throughout the past, present and future, literature has been produced that reflects society’s views on the formation of governments. In these, there has been a consensus that tyranny is not an effective form of government as it causes large scales of death.

In The Rotation of Polities, a Histories by Greek historian Polybius, the theme of anacyclosis, or a government cycle, is first presented in past literature from around 146BC. The book conveys that there are three “good” forms of government, which are monarchy, aristocracy and democracy, and three degenerate forms that derive from these, which are tyranny, oligarchy and ochlocracy respectively.

From these, there is a natural rotation of government. How these governments are presented indicates what people thought at that time, and that there are good and bad governments each from being ruled by one, by the few and by the many.

Polybius recognized that there can be a way to slow down anacyclosis in order to prevent the degenerate forms of government from taking over, and this is accomplished by incorporating aspects of the three “good” forms of government in a society.

In present texts, the negative connotation for tyranny that develops from anacyclosis also rears its head. An example of this is the poem “In Detention” by Cris Van Wyk. The poem is based on 1980’s apartheid in South Africa and is written from the perspective of someone who was affected and not in support of the abuse of power.

It details the deaths of political activists who were purposely murdered and their cause of death then covered up with false stories about suicide, slipping on a bar of soap while washing, and falling from a nineth-floor window.

The beginning reads, “He fell from the ninth floor, he hanged himself, he slipped on a piece of soap while washing”. The generic explanations are false because, as an example, the prisoners were likely not able to fall from a ninth floor because they were chained and cuffed.

The explanations at the beginning then develop in complexity: “He fell from a piece of soap while slipping, he hung from the ninth floor, he washed from the ninth floor while slipping, he hung from a piece of soap while washing”. The poem is sarcastic, satirical and repetitive in nature and becomes increasingly unreasonable to make obvious the truth that is being covered with comforting lies.

Literature that is based on the future almost never have a positive prediction, and regularly feature oppressive governments. 1984 by George Orwell is one example. This novel also revolves around the theme of anacyclosis as the main character, Winston, is experiencing a change of government into a degenerate form of the Polybian model of Anacyclosis: tyranny, which encompasses totalitarianism.

This change of government is presented in a negative light, and is accomplished by positioning the readers to see the book through the lens of a member of the public who is being impacted by the tyrannical government and is secretly not accepting the oppression – that is, not until the end of the novel.

The novel acts as a warning of this change of government and stage in the anacyclosis cycle for the near future as “Big Brother”, the dictator of Oceania, was inspired by 20th century tyrannical figures such as Adolf Hitler in Germany and Josef Stalin in Soviet Russia. The audience is made to identify and sympathize with Winston, who implies that mandatory increased “security” in order to control a population’s views and promote solidarity is not a safe method of government.

From past, present and future literature such as Polybius’ past Histories, Rotation of Polities; Cris Van Wyk’s present poem, In Detention; and George Orwell’s future novel, 1984, a reoccuring theme of anacyclosis and the negative standpoint for tyranny is present. This conveys that, historically in the past and present, anacyclosis that results in tyranny was cyclical and represented negatively, and that for the future, cyclical tyranny is expected and still represented negatively.