Freedom Through Education

We strongly believe drugs have taken away freedom in our streets, jobs, numerous lives of people we love, and even our children. This has been a problem for entirely too long, and we are glad finally someone is determined to put an end to the drug menace in our country that seems impossible to eradicate in the perspective of men. We want to help overcome the drug problem through education because we believe that the drug epidemic is everyone’s responsibility since it is such a huge social issue that the government alone cannot solve. The Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Business Institute, Inc. (SETBI), by partnering with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and with the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) has initiated a “College Education Behind Bars” project at the Ma-a City Jail, Davao City. This program aims to provide the inmates, both male and female, who are mostly drug offenders, the means to advance their education in prison. It is a higher education program whose mission is to assist incarcerated students in identifying and achieving their educational goals. By partnering with the university to engage faculty and students in the vital issue of the country’s burgeoning incarceration population, SETBI hopes to help inmate students build meaningful lives inside the jail and to reduce recidivism by offering them a recovery program with their college diplomas, so that when they are released, they are fully equipped to go back into society as a contributor to nation building and not remain a burden to their family and community. Continue reading

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Turkey marks Anniversary of Gulen’s failed coup against President Erdogan

It has been one year since Turkish citizens poured into the streets for national unity marches across the country. This occasion marks the first anniversary of the foiled coup by Fethullah Gulen’s cult religious group to topple the democratically elected government, which left 249 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured. On July 15th, 2016, the Turkish people remembered their brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, friends and colleagues lost year ago. Since 2010, Gulen and his followers had already declared war against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Erdogan. The Turkish state has been fighting a running battle against the cult and trying to cleanse the elements nested inside the state apparatus a couple of years before the coup attempt. If the Turkish people had not been quick to intervene, thousands of civilians would have been killed and imprisoned, and Gulen and his cult followers would be in charge of Turkey. Imagine that one of the most trusted government institutions, the one relied on for safety and protection, turned on the country and bombed its citizens, its own parliament, its own capital, and its own police headquarters, and tried to assassin its own President. Continue reading

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Cracks Among the Sunni Muslims Countries

The war in the Middle East began much earlier than today. The Middle East is the epicenter of world politics. Today nothing has changed in real politics in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, and Libya cut all their ties with Qatar and suspended all flights to and from that country. Saudi Arabia and its allies charge that Qatar has been serving Iranian interests in the region, has been critical of the Egyptian and Saudi regimes, and has supported the Muslims Brothers and Hamas. But what was shocking to me was the Maldives’ move to join the Gulf countries against Qatar. What pushed the Maldives to blockade Qatar by air, land, and sea? Presumably the Maldives will not allow all those Qatari royal families to escape from Ramadan to go to the Maldives to enjoy the beaches and to avoid fasting. Further, each of these same Gulf countries asked Qatari citizens to leave its country. This current crisis did not happen just last week, but is a problem that has been going on for years. Saudi Arabia might be right in accusing Qatar of supporting or letting all the dark organizations operate in Qatar because Qatar is in close contact with Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaida, the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations. Why would Qatar open its doors to these groups? Actually, those who have been to Qatar know that it like a little U.K. Nevertheless, all the Western countries are aware that these contacts have been going on for years, but why did they not say anything until now. Also, all of these organizations have somehow connected with the U.K., too. But no one raises questions or says anything to the UK. It is also unclear who will benefit from the outcome. Many things could go wrong or may not go as planned in the socio- political arena in a similar way that they went with the Arab Spring. Continue reading

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How Zakat and Tithing Can Reduce Global Poverty and Starvation


Most human efforts have failed to eradicate poverty because they do not address the root cause of the problem. Taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor will not solve the problem. This kind of system will foster dependency among the majority of the poor. Centrally planned economies have not solved the problem, and government regulations to disperse tax revenue like in the European Union have led to the EU economic disaster. In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson launched a “War on Poverty” as part of his plan to build a great society, but yet millions of Americans live in poverty. Government, philanthropists, and organizations like the United Nation with its Millennium Development Goal, “to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger,” targeted the elimination of poverty by 2015, but we are now in 2017, and half of the six -billion world population is still living in poverty, and the number of people living in extreme poverty is unacceptably high. Poverty can be defined, as the inability to satisfy basic needs to live in human society. Poverty manifests itself by hunger, lack of shelter, inadequate housing, lack of sanitation, little or no access to clean water, illnesses, lack of access to education and adequate health care, unemployment, and illiteracy. Even the World Bank with its mission “Our Dream Is a World Free of Poverty” carved into its headquarters in Washington, DC, says that in spite of a reduction in poverty worldwide, those remaining in extreme poverty are harder to reach because they live in “fragile contexts and remote areas.”However, religion takes a different approach by focusing on basic attitudes that determine actions. The Bible shows that a careless, irresponsible attitude, which miscarries love by failing to advance forward-looking initiatives, can lead to poverty. Unwise decisions can lead to poverty, but most of poverty results from unjust treatment and oppression of the poor by the rich, by greedy and often heartless officials in government, business, and religion, as well as by others in leadership seeking power and wealth. God cares deeply about those made in His image, and that is why He require his followers to give back some percentage to the needy ones, and why He will bring retribution on those who oppress, exploit, or ignore the needs of the poor. One apostle says, “What use is it if you say to a brother who is without clothing and in need of daily food, “Go in peace, be warmed and be fed,” yet you do not give him what he needs, what good is that?” Continue reading

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President Donald Trump Religious Diplomacy to the Middle East

 

Religion has played an increasing role in U.S foreign policy and diplomacy for more than a decade. During the Bush Presidency, the United States government focused on building capacity within federal agencies to involve religious leaders and faith based communities to reach domestic and international policy goals. By an executive order, Bush established the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnership in 2001.  In 2013, the State Department set up the Office of Religion and Global Affairs (RGA), with a Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (0IC) and Special Representatives to Muslim Communities. Before the creation of these agencies, the State Department worked solely on the basis of the International Religious Freedom Act, established in 1998.President Trump has indicated that dealing with radical Islamic terror groups is a top foreign policy, saying, “Defeating ISIS and other radical Islamic terror groups will be our highest priority.” This policy sees religious ideology as the root of the problem and recommends comprehensive efforts to defeat the ideology. President Donald Trump’s first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican acts on this underpinning since these sites host some of the holiest places in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The question is can President Trump use religious diplomacy to bring peace and unite people of all faiths around the common vision of peace and prosperity? Could he focus on what a united America would look like? Can President Trump turn a new page for Middle Eastern ties with the U.S to repair relations that were strained during the Obama administration? Can Donald Trump make leaders in the Middle East believe his message? Using his negotiation skills, President Trump is trying to unite conflicting parties. Continue reading

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Politicization of American Intelligence

 

The politicization of American intelligence by the left is dangerous and will have very serious consequences for American national interests. Politicization also destroys trust and relations between policymakers and the intelligence community.When Donald Trump said he did not trust the U.S intelligence community, his concerns were well founded. Politicization of America’s intelligence agencies by the left was worse during the Obama administration; that is why Russia took charge in Syria and the Middle East. Now Democrats with their left wing fake news alongside of some of the intelligence officers are accusing Donald Trump of disclosing highly classified information about planned Islamic State operations to the Russian foreign minister during their meeting last week. Actually to keep charging Russia and Putin with interference into the American political system shows a decline of American values, an emphasis on American weaknesses, and the strength of Russia. Actually, Donald Trump was the one who has plans to destroy the ISIS, and he is the one who calculated that Obama created ISIS by not removing Assad on time and not putting troops on the ground, but allowing Russia to come in to be in charge of Syria and the Middle East. The Democratic leadership are cowards and had no guts to go after the ISIS. In the case of FBI former director James Comey, intelligence agencies that affiliate with the Democrat and wished that Hilary had become President deliberately altered the assessment to support the policy outcomes.  Policy makers use this process and procedural rules to influence output intelligence work. As a clear example of this, when Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, resigned from the post, first the intelligence community leaked the information, even forged the information, and repeated negative reactions to Michael Flynn. The case of firing former FBI Director James Comey is a clear example of cherry picking or subjectively choosing among competing assessments to further their policy agendas and to mitigate dissenting views.  Before the former Director Comey got fired, they were calling on him to resign, but when he got fired, they started to defend him not because they cared or had respect for the American Constitution, but because they just wanted to politicize the issue. Donald Trump wanted to fix the intelligence community to get objective, accurate information so he could make decisions for the interest of the United States. Continue reading

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The Philippines’ Department of Education Region XI Director, Attorney Alberto T. Escobarte CESO IV, Gave MCI’s Tutors a Recognition Certificate

 

On Saturday night, on Saturday night, May 6, the Head of the Department of Education Regional Director, Attorney Alberto T. Escobarte CESO IV, of Region XI; and Dr. Janette G. Velosa, Ed.D OIC-CLMD Department of 

Education Regional Office; Dr. Melanie Arcilla Director of the Dmirie Foundation, which was sponsored by the MX3 company; Dr. Aland Mizell, President of Minority Care International; Attorney Susan Cariaga, President of Thompson Christian School; and Ms. Maria Corazon Masbad, Principle of Thompson Christian School, gave certificates to MCI college students who volunteered to tutor the Alternative Delivery Mode  (ADM) students as an incentive for college students to help the less fortunate and to accrue on-the-job training in their field of education. Also DEped gave plagues of appreciation to the Dimirie Foundation MX3 and Minority Care International to show their heart-felt appreciation and gratitude, especially to the Dmirie Foundation, MX3, and its president, Ms. Gina Marie M. Espejo, for advocating that education is a shared responsibility and for taking a stand in education by sponsoring and serving 60 students especially the least, the lost, and the last one. Dr. Melanie Arcilla congratulated the tutors for their involvement in the community by saying, “ The best investment is in eternity and our reward is heaven”; that’s why they are involved in helping disadvantaged people. Many students were moved by her talk and testimony about how she became involved in this kind of significant work.  Attorney Alberto Escobarte congratulated the students and shared the quotation from Marcus Tullius Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtue, but parent of all the others.”  The good book tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for us to be grateful for whatever we have, friends, family, home, people with integrity involved our lives building a solid foundation. Also, the students were grateful for having an opportunity to involve others. MCI Administrative Coordinator, Stephanie Ebrano, said that by helping others, we are helping ourselves. Attorney Susan Cariaga also thanked the tutors for their sacrifice, help, and time; the best investment is in another human being. Continue reading

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 The End of the Liberal World Order

The world wars badly destroyed the concept of nationalism and led to the establishment of the United Nations and the European Economic Community or the Common Market. These transnational organizations were hoping to prevent the spread of nationalism in favor of the spread of international cooperation. The West made us believe that liberal political order was the wave of the future. In the West liberalism ruled our world for quite some time because many Westerners were proud to believe in and made us believe in the spirit of liberalism that claimed it was the only way humans could live in prosperity and peace. The story of liberalism became more popular than that of the birth of Jesus. Indeed many Westerners believed its unique combination of democratic institutions, integrated markets, rule of law, and open borders created European civilian power. It is true that more people are dying from eating too much than from starvation; it is true that more people are dying from old age than from diseases; and more people killed themselves whether using drug, commit suicide than died in war.Nationalism is rise in the major EU countries  and was the major issue in the French election this week and even the reason for it. From Western Europe to Africa, to Kurdistan, to Syria and on to the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, people continue to kill and to die for the idea of nation. But we have to keep in mind that international relations are not based on international law, justice, equality, fairness, and institutions, but rather on the actual distribution and balance of power between major nations, their alliances, and their common interests.  This is what determines how effective and practical the international law and its mechanisms are. The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur Dr. Agnes Callamard visited the Philippines to attend an academic conference on the drug policy at the University of the Philippines last Friday. Callamard lectured Philippines and warned that the President’s war on drugs does not work.  She was praised by opponents in the Philippines who had spoken out against Duterte’s drug war. The question is why should the Philippines listen to her? What makes her right? We already know the UN is a useless club in general and has no credibility to solve the global issues, because the UN itself is involved in so much corruption and human trafficking. We all know how EU countries treated Syrian refugees and immigrants She should correct that institution first before lecturing others. Continue reading

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The New Era: The End of Secularism in Turkey

On Sunday the Turkish people approved a referendum with a 51.41 percent vote for the constitutional changes that will marshal Turkey into a presidential system. In a historic constitutional referendum, more than 50 million Turkish citizens voted on a series of amendments that extended the presidential powers to include those of the prime minister, thereby, replacing what some perceive to be a flawed parliamentary system. Others see this change as jeopardizing the judicial and legislative independence as presidential powers increase. An estimated 85.3 percent of all registered voters in the country participated in the contest, according to the Daily Sabah newspaper in Turkey.Sunday's vote represents an important milestone in Turkish political, social, and economic history. Every election results in winners and losers. Since 2003, the Justice and Development Party, the AKP, keeps winning the popular vote in Turkey because of a lack of good oppositional leader to stand against Recep Tayip Erdogan. In this election the losers were the Gulenist religious cult, secularists, and the Kurdish guerilla PKK. The Gulenists religious cult could not defeat Erdogan democratically, so it staged a coup on July 15th to use military force to assassinate him in order to take over the democratically elected government. The Gulenists failed in their attempt. Continue reading

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Some of the Religious Leaders Are More Corrupt Than Politicians

 

Last week six church leaders from one of the leading Christian churches in Singapore were sent to prison for embezzling 34 millions US dollars in church funds to promote the leader‘s pop star wife. The mix of faith and corruption has fascinated people in Singapore, from where we seldom here news. No wonder people are getting fed up with religion when things like this are happening. No wonder people make jokes quipping, “If you want to become rich, build a church.” The same thing took place in the Unification Church of Reverend Sun Yung Moon, who became incredibly wealthy, while his followers gave up all of their earthly goods in order to follow him. Two things that all these cult religious leaders have in common are that they all claim that they are the chosen one and that they are constantly talking to God. For example, there was another very wealthy Muslim religious leader who does not have a college degree but is an old reclusive imam now operating a multi-billion-dollar global network of Islamic schools, including in the Philippines. He has three educational facilities here: the Turkish Tolerance High School in Zamboanga City, the Fountain International School in Manila, and the Tuskon Chamber of Commerce, but his schools are being closed by the Turkish government because he led a coup in Turkey on July 15 2016, in spite of his news media outlets, businesses, and sports teams that he manages from his compound in the United States. Gulen had become too powerful because it seems his followers have taken over key positions in the Turkish government and politics. Millions of his followers believe he is the chosen one and that he talks to Allah. In the view of those who believe him and follow him, they all will go to heaven. If Gulen tells his follower to jump, his devotees will jump; that is why they killed more than 245 people in Turkey during the attempted coup. Even President Duterte said that he is a dangerous person and that corrupt mullahs are his biggest concern because they are the ones corrupting young minds. Continue reading

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