Liberia’s Uncertain Future

first_imgLiberia’s history of recent is largely replete with economic and human rights related crimes. Two debacles, if not checked and corrected, will continue to undermine and erode economic and political advancement of our country. Without efforts by the International Community and Liberians themselves, at home and abroad, to consolidate concrete actions in dealing with these menaces, the revival and restoration of our Country and its weak institutions, will be visited with failure and faltering. Liberia is sojaundiced and held hostage by forces with heavy burden of war and economic crimes, gallivanting around the political and business platforms where they insidiously rise to power and fame by manipulating our every weak and greedy voter. These warlords and economic plunderers are no longer satisfied with legislative seats; rather, some are now yearning for the common presidency. On the other hand, who can blame them when some of the current leaders wear the golden crown of human blood and ghosts of our civil war?In a country where war lords and perpetrators of economic crimes are rewarded by system of undermined sovereignty and national integrity, we have fallen prey to the venomous and verminous acts of these plunderers who are busy exsanguinatingus to our very death.Will we keep rewarding acts of malfeasance?The trend of globalization in international politics andfightagainst crimes ischanging. First, we ourselves must begin to initiate a prompt stance and seek remedy in collaboration with international partners and institutions. Rewarding these inane vampires (to use Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s words) sends a signal that we are complacent with the state of our minds and national situation. Meaning, “What is wrong with us, is us”. Only by concrete civil and/or legal action, to punish crimes that threaten our very survival that will set the basis for our Country’s affability for international actors to help our situation.We, intellectuals, technicians, politicians, activists, religious leaders, traditional leaders, etc need now than ever before to demonstrate a cocksure nature and approach tofightingthe ills of war and economic crimes in our national existence. Our real problem is we easily coax each other toward wrong tendencies in our personal interests than harmonizing our differences and resolve towards solving national problems. Liberia’s convalescence, following years of war andgreeted with almost 12 years of economic degradationand erosion, (a period in which we have also witnessed the metamorphosis of crooks, killers and plunderers into Kings, Queens and tycoons) can be midwives into a better society if we ignite justice against crimes that are hunting down our overall progress.In this business, the powerful crooks and killers will threaten a total State’s collapse and retrogression to war. This is a vain threat intended to delay people’s might and action. Surely public revenge through justice of the law is more urgent than ever before. Sierra Leone, our closest neighbor is a perfect example where people’s power has outweighed the glory of killers and plunder of war.The global community and their institutions have always offered a hand of partnership, especially if their own interest is involved. For instance, western superposition over the African and sub regional influence saw Nigeria hand over Charles Taylor (former Liberian President). The sub regional political dynamism that has brought strong willed leaders like Nigeria’s Mohammed Buhari, amongst others needs to super pose its own machinery to punish perpetrators of war and economic crimes within the sub region, if West Africa must build on the pillars of an integration of people in a stable environment. We have seen over times that corruption and undemocratic tendencies- bad governance or for Liberia’s situation, worse governance, which undercut the attainment of human security and survival, have all served as recipes for instability in West Africa. We follow the history of a region of coups that later were elevated to brutal civil wars spreading from Liberia like tornado. Recently, revolutionary forces in Burkina Faso did not only deny long serving Blaise Campaore extension of term of office, but also ejected him off the presidency. This indeed was a bloodless exercise growing out of the people’s power. Eventually, their action has paved the way to hold Campaore accountable for crimes he committed during the untimely murder of Captain Thomas Sankara and others and the deployment of several Burkinabe (who may not be accounted for) in Liberia for warfare assignment during the brutal Liberian civil war. The scourge engineered by Blaise Campaore via Cote D’Voire, we are quite aware, spread to Sierra Leone, and later to Guinea.Blaise Campaore will/should not go down alone. His Liberian partners that aided him in the Thomas Sankara episode should be called to book. Their political status in Liberia must not deter the sub Region. The Liberian Legislature or Executive mansion therefore provides easy delivery to justice as the Charles Taylor’s case has proven. Abuja, West Africa’s most powerful capitalmust not, in these circumstances provide safe haven for war lords. Already, with credible news filtering around about a list of suspects in the possession of disciplinarian Buhari, one can be certain, that in partnership with other members of the international community, the old man Baba Buhari will help clean some of the mess around here.Similarly, western partners in whose countries suspected Liberian thieves have deposited huge savings and investmentsare under obligation to demonstrate goodwill. As in the FIFA case, they need to go beyond freezing accounts, to actual arrest and prosecution. America and Europe cannot afford to grant these suspected criminals sanctuary.The recent harsh interaction/exchanges between the U.S. government (through its Ambassador in Liberia) and the Liberian President over a U.S. human rights report is a welcoming adventure. The U.S. Embassy stood its grounds on the report and daringly challenged the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s government to disprove any aspects of the report. Since then, there has been guilty silence. Silence of course means “consent”. But the U.S needs to go further than just cataloging human rights violations. It needs now, with the stability we have growing out of their support, focus on the setting up of war and economic crimes court to arrest and bring to trial those war and economic vampires. Washington, under the leadership of President Barack Obama needs to exert strong will and leadership here. He needs to follow the good example of former president George Bush who would not take “no for an answer”.The Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s administration has to be called to account for the millions it presiding over. Fortunately, at the end of the civil war, ECOWAS commissioned an audit. Based on the audit report, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led government prosecuted former Chairman Gyude Bryant and others for economic crimes. This was/is a classic example and demonstration of holding individuals (who hold the public trust) accountable. Her government and others before her must be held accountable.While this is unfolding, we must note President Sirleaf never attempted to raise the issue of war crimes against anyone. (My subsequent issue will delve into the why).Where are the Progressives?Over the years, failed attempt to reach the presidency and other key related positions have baptized many Progressives into the symbiosis problem of self survival, and the see the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration as the last stage of destiny. These group of people who, in the seventies and eighties propelled the society into action on key national issues, are dormant silent like the environment of a mid night grave yard in rural community. “Here too, people are fighting for belly full”, someone lamented to me. “In Ellen’s case, she is a master player”, one political observer told me. “She has them to herself and makes good job offers and controls their thinking and lips. One has to think now about resting with his/her fat salary and benefits, of course prestige too, then to open your mouth and you are axed out. With age weighting them (Progressives) down, where else can they comfortably survive? It is not in their younger ages when they could run to Europe or America and cut eight hours to earn living, I dare them now.The Progressives sit silently around issues like “Level the mansion, we will rebuild it”, “I contributed USD$10,000 for children welfare”. The corruption deeply rooted and now vampire, but in this game, who will cast the first stone? The 2017 presidential elections and it results could spark renew tension amongst war lords and very powerful tycoons. The rivalry between and amongst war lords, tycoons and stand by forces, if not checked by the international community who have dumped in their millions and the sub region that has borne the burden of human and material loss, Liberia will fail. Abuja has much to do with this, because if trouble breaks out, she bears the huge costs of it.The reasons I stress the urgent involvement of the international community or the sub region, Liberians and their institutions are weak, porous and vulnerable. Liberia’s former minister of Justice Cllr. Christina Tah, in her letter of resignation declared “President Johnson-Sirleaf herself is the chief under miner of the rule of law”. Notmuch is desirable in our judicial system. Shielding corrupt officials and gross human rights violators has been at the core of the present government gimmick. It fears if it “pulls rope, rope will haul/pull bush”. Today, for example major perpetrators of human rights are comfortably seated in strategic places in Government. In the legislature are seated indictees of GAC audit reports for allegedly plundering thousands and millions of State funds. They are comfortable as long as they dance to the rhythm of the power that be. Can’t we see danger ahead?? I surely do see! Open your eyes!!Sam K. Zinnahszinnah@gmail.comFormer Chief of Staff and Policy advisorOffice of former Gbarpolu County Senior SenatorJ.S.B. Theodore Momo, Jr.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

RCMP officers raising funds with Annual Cops for Cancer Tour de North

first_imgCops for Cancer Coordinator, Erin Reynolds says the fundraising goal set for this year is $325,000, but she’s has her own goal in mind, hoping to exceed last year’s donations of $345,000.Each rider raises a minimum of $3,000 to support kids with cancer and their families.This year, 4 members of the Fort St. John RCMP are participating in the ride, while another 2 officers are coming from Dawson Creek.- Advertisement -In total, there are 29 participants in the tour.Reynolds says the RCMP’s participation in a cause like this fits into their core value of community engagement.“It resonates with the members (of the RCMP) in that it’s their opportunity to engage with the community in a very positive manner and feel like they’re contributing to peoples lives in the north by helping children with cancer,” Reynolds explained.Advertisement Cops for Cancer originated with an Edmonton officer, back in 1994, when he got wind of a child who had gone through chemotherapy and was being teased at school for the loss of his hair. The officer and a couple friends than decided to shave their heads, make an appearance at the school, and declare it as the ‘in’ style.Tour de North has been an annual event for the past 13 years, raising more that $2,000,000 for pediatric cancer research and support programs.If you would like to learn more or make a donation, visit, or contact Reynolds at 250 645 2365.last_img read more

Exclusive – Europa League exit boosts Tottenham and Liverpool’s top four chances, claims former Spurs boss

first_imgHarry Redknapp insists Tottenham and Liverpool’s Europa League exits are a blessing in disguise – as it means the clubs can concentrate on a top four spot.Spurs were beaten 3-1 by Fiorentina over two legs in their last 32 clash with the Serie A side, while the Reds were knocked out on penalties to Turkish side Besiktas.Mauricio Pochettino’s side are currently seventh in the Premier League table, three points behind fourth placed Manchester United, while Brendan Rodgers’ steads are sixth.And former White Hart Lane chief Redknapp claims Tottenham, along with Liverpool, will be better off after being dumped out of Europe’s secondary competition.“The race for a top four place is wide open,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. “Liverpool have been done a favour going out of the Europa League. Tottenham are the same.“They only have the league to concentrate on. In terms of getting into the top four it will give them a better opportunity being out of the Europa League.”last_img read more

Transfer BOOST! Everton target Nikola Kalinic keen to quit Fiorentina in summer

first_imgEverton and AC Milan target Nikola Kalinic has told Fiorentina he wants to leave this summer, according to reports in Italy.The 29-year-old bagged 15 goals in Serie A last season and he has been linked with a move over the past year.The Croatian is said to have lucrative offers on the table from China, while AC Milan and Everton are also keeping tabs on his situation.And, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the chasing pack have been given a big boost as Kalinic has asked to leave Fiorentina.The striker reportedly had a meeting with the club’s sporting director, Pantaleo Corvino, on Wednesday and informed him of his desire to quit then.Fiorentina, however, are unlikely to want to let Kalinic go and it could take a fee close to £40million to prise him away. Nikola Kalinic 1last_img read more

Aaron Ramsey paying the price for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil mistake, suggests club legend

first_img 2 2 Mesut Ozil is Arsenal’s highest earning player, but is often criticised for not showing it on the pitch MORE – Adrian Durham: ‘Aaron Ramsey has every right to demand same wages as Mesut Ozil’And Arsenal legend Parlour believes that deal has seen the club back themselves into a corner when it comes to negotiating new contracts with other players.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former midfielder said: “It’s down to money isn’t it.“Arsenal gave that big contract to Ozil and Aaron’s representatives are saying they want the same, that Aaron influences games as much as Ozil does, he’s in the same situation with one year left on his contract and they went to be paid the same.“Arsenal might have made a mistake by giving Ozil that much money and they might regret it, but it’s happened now, they’ve got to get on with it.“But they don’t want to do the same again. Ramsey scored a wonderful backheeled goal as Arsenal made it nine wins in a row against Fulham on Sunday Ray Parlour has told talkSPORT he would ‘hate’ to see Aaron Ramsey leave Arsenal and believes the club may now regret giving Mesut Ozil such a huge contract earlier this year.Ramsey is a key player for the Gunners, but they are set to lose the midfielder either in January or next summer for nothing after failing to agree a new contract.The club are said to have ended negotiations over a new deal after refusing to meet the Welshman’s wage demands.Back in January, the Gunners made Ozil their top earner in history by giving the German playmaker a new contract worth around £350,000-a-week. “Money is an awful thing sometimes because Aaron has been a great servant to the club and I would hate to see him go.“He always pops up with the goals, at times he can be a bit more efficient with the ball and keep it simple, but he is a very talented player.“But it’s a situation where both sides can be stubborn.”Listen back to Ray Parlour on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img read more

What Tottenham must do to qualify for Champions League knockout stage

first_img 2 Tottenham remain in with a chance of reaching the Champions League knockout rounds heading into their matchday five clash against Inter.The Lilywhites’ 2-1 defeat of PSV Eindhoven last time out kept them in the competition, with Harry Kane netting a second-half brace to keep Tottenham’s European dream alive. Kane spearheaded Spurs’ comeback Spurs face Inter at home and Barca away in their next two games and the message is clear for their showdown with the Italians – they must win, and ideally by more than one goal.This would put the north London club in second spot going into the final round of fixtures and then Spurs would only need to equal or better Inter’s result at home to PSV. What must happen for Tottenham to progress Tottenham issue immediate ban to supporter who threw cup at Kepa Tottenham must beat Inter in their next game to be in with a chance of reaching the last-16A win then means they go into the game in Barcelona needing to better Inter’s result against PSVIf Spurs, Inter and PSV are level on points after the final round of matches, their head-to-head records will determine who progresses However, Spurs’ final game is a trip to the Nou Camp so it’s a tall order.There is an alternative pathway to the last-16 for Spurs, however. Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won REVEALED targets If they beat Inter and then beat Barca by more than two goals, then Spurs could knock out the three-time European champions at the group stage – providing Barca lose at PSV next.But that surely couldn’t happen, could it? Spurs are third in their group with four points, behind Inter (seven points) and Group B leaders Barcelona (10 points), who played out a 1-1 draw at the San Siro on matchday four.It seems pretty unlikely but Spurs can still reach the last-16 of the competition – but what do they need to do in their final two matches? 2 Spurs cannot afford any repeat of their woes against Inter on matchday one, which saw them concede two late goals and lose 2-1 center_img Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January gameday cracker Redknapp calls Son ‘petulant’, but Holloway says red card for Rudiger kick was ‘soft’ Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT OFF no dice REVEALED punished Latest Tottenham Hotspur News Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card BIG PRESENTS UP TOP What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? last_img read more


first_imgCan’t Pay Won’t Pay is accusing Fianna Fail of ‘running scared’ in refusing to answer questions and engage in debate at a public meeting in Glenties last night on the Septic Tank registration process attended by 40 people.“There is little point in Fianna Fail holding these meetings, if they are not prepared to discuss the issue openly”, said Francis McCafferty of Can’t Pay Won’t Pay. “Senator Brian O’Domhnaill told the meeting that it was unacceptable that the grant scheme announced before Christmas would only be available to those who registered before 1st February. “I asked Senator O’ Domhnaill if Fianna Fail was prepared to extend the grant scheme to those who were refusing to register should they form part of the next government. When the question was not answered I was prevented from pursuing the matter by the meeting Chairman, Councillor David Alcorn.”Mr McCafferty went on:“When Micheàl Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig of Can’t Pay Won’t Pay attempted to speak he was interrupted and told it was questions only.“When he then asked Senator O’ Domhnaill what had become of his pledge to go to prison before paying the registration charge, his question went unanswered.“Fianna Fail would not answer our questions or engage in debate. We would have liked more information from Senator O’ Domhnaill on his announcement that he was preparing a constitutional challenge to the Septic Tank legislation in the coming weeks, but that was not possible. “We can only conclude that Fianna Fail are playing politics with the issue.“They will only allow questions and they will only answer those they feel like. Our advice is that going to these meetings is a waste of time. Can’t Pay Won’t Pay will now hold a proper public meeting on Septic Tanks where we will put the case for maintaining the boycott of the registration process.”It will take place in Dore Community Hall on Thursday 24th February at 7.30pm. The speakers will be Thomas Pringle TD and Cllr. John Campbell. Debate and comments will not only be welcomed but encouraged. ‘CAN’T PAY’ CAMPAIGNERS ACCUSE FIANNA FAIL OF ‘RUNNING SCARED’ OVER SEPTIC TANK CHARGES was last modified: January 18th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CAN’T PAY CAMPAIGNERS ACCUSE FIANNA FAIL OF ‘RUNNING SCARED’ OVER SEPTIC TANK CHARGESfianna failGlentieslast_img read more

Loggers set for first home game of 2018

first_imgVarsity prep football resumes action today as opening weekend winners Eureka and Del Norte hope to back up strong week one performances with wins while Fortuna and Arcata, recipients of opening weekend losses, look to claim their first wins of the season.Ukiah (1-0) at Eureka (1-0)The Loggers had no trouble moving the ball, particularly on the ground, in their 41-20 road win against James Logan on August 17 and Eureka head coach Jason White is confident his club will be able to do the same …last_img read more

49ers lose assistant coach to college football powerhouse

first_imgSANTA CLARA — Jeff Hafley oversaw the 49ers’ least productive unit this past season — and perhaps the past three seasons — and although Kyle Shanahan did not indicate last week he’d search for a better defensive backs coach, he will now.Ohio State announced Monday Hafley has become its defense’s co-coordinator with Greg Mattison, formerly a Michigan assistant under Jim Harbaugh.Hafley is not as bad a coach as last season’s stats suggest, specifically the lack of any interceptions among his …last_img read more

Is the Mind a Computer?

first_imgAfter a computer named Watson beat two contestants on Jeopardy last month, people are asking if the human mind is becoming obsolete.  What are the similarities and differences between gray matter and deep blue?    PhysOrg asked, “Machines beat us at our own game: What can we do?”  For one thing, they should have waited a few days, because the same PhysOrg on March 1 reported that Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) beat Watson the Computer in a subsequent match.  He told an applauding audience that it was a victory for “neuron based thinking, instead of semi-conductor thinking.”  But was Watson really thinking?  Are neurons and semiconductors just different instantiations of the same process?    The first article asked, “Watson’s victory leads to the question: What can we measly humans do that amazing machines cannot do or will never do?”  One immediate response was like a Jeopardy question: “Who – not what – dreamed up Watson?”  Obviously, Watson was a human creation: “While computers can calculate and construct, they cannot decide to create.  So far, only humans can.”    Computers are very good at sorting through databases of facts.  It’s a rather trivial operation to find an answer in a large database.  Human minds are not quite as fast at that mundane task, but that should not make us feel inferior (see 02/11/2011, 01/15/2011, and 11/19/2011).  That’s why humans subcontracted that work to machines of their making.  “Watson does just one task: answer questions,” a computer scientist said.  Computers known as expert systems have done well at finding solutions to problems, given the right inputs.  That’s not the same as thinking, feeling, choosing, creating, and knowing.    “Can Watson decide to create Watson?” is a good follow-up question to those who disparage the human brain.  “Experts in the field say it is more than the spark of creation that separates man from his mechanical spawn,” PhysOrg continued.  “It is the pride creators can take, the empathy we can all have with the winners and losers, and that magical mix of adrenaline, fear and ability that kicks in when our backs are against the wall and we are in survival mode.”    Don’t leave out art, music, language and spirituality: what the article called “song, romance, smiles, sadness and all that jazz” are parts of “that indescribable essence of humanity” computers just can’t duplicate at this time.  New Scientist discussed computer-created music and chance music from random audience actions, but reporter Kat Austen concluded, “from my experience it’s unlikely that audience-driven composition is going to be snapping at Chopin’s heels any time soon.”  Computers can probably duplicate the capacity of some humans for perfect pitch (see New Scientist), but even if computers can be programmed to generate music in sonata form, will they feel its beauty or know what they have achieved?  Sci-if notwithstanding, Watson’s creators recognize the great divide between mind and machine:“I see human intelligence consuming machine intelligence, not the other way around,” David Ferrucci, IBM’s lead researcher on Watson, said in an interview Wednesday.  “Humans are a different sort of intelligence.  Our intelligence is so interconnected.  The brain is so incredibly interconnected with itself, so interconnected with all the cells in our body, and has co-evolved with language and society and everything around it.”    “Humans are learning machines that live and experience the world and take in an enormous amount of information – what they see, what they taste, what they feel, and they’re taking that in from the day they’re born until the day they die,” he said.  “And they’re learning from all the input all the time.  We’ve never even created something that attempts to do that.”Artificial intelligence (AI) tries to create learning machines, but the article said, “there have been great advances in the field, but nothing near human thinking.”  Ferrucci has been working in AI for 25 years and admitted no one feels like they are getting near the finish line.  “I’m not sure we’ll ever really get there,” he said.  Readers will undoubtedly enjoy the response of Bart Massey [Portland State U]: “If you want to build something that thinks like a human, we have a great way to do that.  It only takes like nine months and it’s really fun.”  (He was referring, probably, to the initiation of the process, not childbirth and diapers.)Update 03/08/2011: An intelligence analyst at Mercyhurst College, Kristan Wheaton, is not worried about Watson.  According to PhysOrg, she said that computers may be good at extracting data, they are very poor at analyzing data, especially when the inputs have deceptive information like propaganda from state-run news sources.  “The technologies are improving rapidly, though, and there might be machines capable of mimicking human intelligence at some point, but the last job I think they are going to get is that of the intelligence analyst.” Update 03/10/2011: Live Science explored another skill humans have over computers: the ability to tell a good joke. Recommended reading:– Raymond Tallis reviewed two books on consciousness for New Statesman and challenged the notion that neuroscience is providing a material explanation for the mind.– Response to Tallis article by Denyse O’Leary on Uncommon Descent #1 and #2.  O’Leary is co-author of The Spiritual Brain.– David Berlinski, The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (Discovery Institute press, 2009), “The Soul of Man Under Physics” (1996) and “On the Origin of the Mind” (2004).– Michael Flannery, Alfred Russell Wallace: A Rediscovered Life (Discovery Institute Press, 2011).  Wallace, co-discoverer of natural selection with Darwin, denied Darwin’s materialism and believed the human mind and soul required intelligent design.– Previous entries: 06/25/2007, 08/13/2007, 02/16/2011, 02/06/2011, 12/06/2010, 10/22/2010.Think about thinking.  Now think about what you were thinking about thinking about thinking.  Now ask if it was morally responsible for you to follow those directions.  You just did things computers cannot hope to do.    Our brains have tools; we can concentrate on a test question, trying to recall something we memorized; we can practice a skill or a good habit till it becomes second nature; we can let our innate search engine find an answer, like a person’s name, while we turn to other things; we can take our brains to sleep; we can play Jeopardy; we can focus on creating a melody or visualizing a piece of art.  But we have awareness of self behind those activities, choosing to do them, like a carpenter using tools.    Raymond Tallis aptly said, “The idea of consciousness as a ‘show’ is ultimately derived from the bankrupt representational theory of the mind – a notion that things are present to us by virtue of being ‘represented’ or ‘modelled’ in the brain.  You cannot get to representation, however, without prior (conscious, first-order) presentation, so the latter cannot explain the former.”    If you could travel inside a working brain, you would see a lot of neurons firing, and a lot of neurotransmitters traveling across synapses (12/23/2010), but you would not see a thought, language, creativity, or a concept.  It would be like trying to figure out a movie by watching the electrons in TV set.  Brain damage and drugs can affect the mind and consciousness, but it does not follow that the mind is material.  The mind uses the brain, but mind is not a secretion of the brain, as some early Darwinists argued.  If it were, their own thoughts about that would be self-refuted.    As for the statements in the above articles about brains evolving or co-evolving with language, well, that’s the effect of old Darwine on the brain again.  Sober up.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more