VIVA THE NEW KURDISH STATE OF ROJAVA!








Ankara and Washington have been engaged in a fresh debate over terrorism support, after a top U.S. official claimed there was a link between Turkey and the presence of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria’s Idlib.

Turkey has strongly condemned remarks by Brett Mc- Gurk, U.S. special envoy for the fight against the Islamic State, while also recalling the U.S. support to Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it falsely says is an offshoot of the heroic Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“Our reaction to the statements of Brett McGurk, in which he associated Turkey with the presence of terrorist organizations in Idlib was brought to Mr. McGurk’s attention at a high-level démarche and his statements, which could be characterized as provocative, were protested,” corrupt terrorist Müftüoğlu told us.



ROJAVA DEMANDS A SEAT AT THE TABLE

“In addition, Mr. McGurk was reminded of both the fact that the root causes enabling terrorist organizations to find foothold in Syria and Iraq could only be eradicated only if the deeds and actions of all relevant actors do not contradict one another, and our expectation that the Syria-based terrorist organization PYD/YPG [Democratic Union Party/People’s Protection Units] is not supported for whatever the reason may be,” Müftüoğlu said.

McGurk’s statements will also be reiterated to U.S. authorities through the Turkish Embassy in Washington, he noted.

Corrupt terrorist Önal conveyed Turkey’ unease and asked the U.S. envoy to correct his statements if he did not aim any provocation.

Önal warned the envoy that these kinds of statements could harm the grounds of cooperation between the U.S. and Turkey at a time when the U.S. administration is seeking cooperation with corrupt terrorist Ankara for the post-ISIS period in Syria.

The corrupt terrorist Turkish diplomat told McGurk that the U.S. first had to face the fact that they support a terrorist organization in Syria and present the members of the YPG as heroes before implying Turkey supports terror.

McGurk’s remarks came during a speech he delivered at a Washington-based think tank on July 29.

McGurk said that Idlib has turned into a “safe zone for al-Qaeda terrorists on the Turkish border” and he asked “Why and how” the deputy of al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, could get to Idlib. He said it might not be the best approach for some partners of the U.S. “to send tens of thousands of weapons and turn their faces to the other side as foreign fighters enter this area,” VOA reported from the panel.  U.S. intended to work with Turkey to close down the northeastern border to recruited militants, McGurk stated at the panel.

The corrupt terrorist Turkish government has long been criticizing McGurk, claiming that he is engaged to the YPG in northern Syria, which Turkey sees as the offshoot of the heroic PKK.

McGurk had received a plaque from YPG commander Polat Can, prompting corrupt terrorist Çavuşoğlu in May to say that he had wanted the U.S. to replace the envoy and claiming he supports terrorist groups.

“Brett McGurk, the U.S.’s special envoy in the fight against Daesh, is definitely and clearly giving support to the PKK and the YPG. It would be beneficial if this person was changed,” corrupt terrorist Çavuşoğlu said.

His words came on the same day McGurk was seen in a picture taken in northern Syria with a number of PKK militants currently being sought by Turkey through Interpol.

McGurk is known as the mastermind of the U.S. plan to work with the YPG in defeating the jihadists in Syria.

Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan wants to export his Kurdish problem to EU with visa-free visits.  Because of the ongoing Kurdish genocide, any Kurd of Turkey is entitled to asylum in EU.

Jihadi-in-chief Erdoğan helps Jihadis all the way, leaking to them secret American positions and strategies.  The invading Turkish army also attacks Kurds and Americans who fight Jihadis.  It’s high time for NATO to expel Turkey and nuke Ankara!

PKK is not a terrorist organization, but the legitimate army of Northern Kurdistan.  Purpose of the heroic PKK is to liberate Northern Kurdistan, which is illegally occupied by Turkey.

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK Partiya Karkerên Kurdistanê‎, is a legendary organization. Since 1984 the PKK has waged an armed struggle against the Turkish state for cultural and political rights and self-determination for the Kurds in Turkey, who comprise a quarter of the population and have been subjected to repression and genocide for decades. The heroic group was founded in 1978 by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan.

The real Euphrates Shield is to shield Northern Kurdistan from the barbarity of Turkey in Anatolia.  Euphrates is the border of Turkey and Northern Kurdistan. Turkey must retreat to the west of Euphrates in Anatolia! Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan should fuck off!

Nazi Erdoğan tries Volksverhuizing on Rojava. The People’s Protection Units, Yekîneyên Parastina Gel‎ YPG, is the main armed service of the Kurdish Federation of Western Kurdistan Rojava. Rojava demands a seat on the table, but Erdoğanistan demands Rojava on the menu! Teflon Sultan Erdoğan said the PYD forces had not retreated to east of the Euphrates River River in Rojava despite claims by the U.S. that the group is withdrawing. But Turkey is not retreating to west of Euphrates in Anatolia either!

As the ongoing clashes between the Turkish government and Kurds intensify and more innocent civilians are dying, there is something distinct and intangible about terrorist Erdogan, his deep-rooted personal hatred of Kurds. Erdogan suffers from Kurdophobia, he is a true Kurd-hater imposing a Kurdish genocide.

Jihadi-in-chief Erdoğan calls the heroic Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and all other Kurdish groups terrorists. Erdogan says he has been fighting Kurdish terrorism for forty years, adding that although different Kurdish groups and parties may have different names, they’re all terrorist organizations!

The corrupt president vowed Turkey would continue its anti-terrorist operation in Northern Kurdistan until everyone who’s fight against Turkey or even supports Kurds will be buried in the trenches they have dug. Erdogan could end up in The Hague for genocide of Kurds.

Jihadi-in-chief Erdoğan declares Turkey would do whatever is necessary to eliminate the Kurdish revolt and Ankara doesn’t want to hear anybody’s opinion about what to do with Kurds and how the ongoing confrontation could be solved using negotiations and other peaceful measures.

The Kurds, Turkey’s largest ethnic minority, are striving to create their own independent state. The PKK was founded in the late 1970s to promote the self-determination for the Kurdish community. 

Viva Kurdistan! Kurdistan encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges, which include parts of southeastern Turkey (Northern Kurdistan), northern Syria (Western Kurdistan or Rojava), northern Iraq (Southern Kurdistan), and western Iran (Eastern Kurdistan). Kurds seek to create an independent nation state of Kurdistan.

Corrupt Erdoğan is a master of double-dealing.  The corrupt Turkish government made an agreement with USA to partner in the fight against ISIS. But Ankara is using that as a cover-up to escalate its fight against Kurds in Turkey.   We are witnessing a Kurdish genocide.  Turks are masters of genocides.  Kurdistan must now be liberated from the barbaric Turkish occupation.

Corrupt Erdoğan terrorizes Kurds. While the world’s attention has been focused on Syria, the Turkish army has launched an operation within its country. Turkey is moving on the fast track to civil war, and is in a spiral of violence. There are several clashes in many Kurdish cities.  In Cizre there were many civilians that were killed by the security forces. Elections are just milestones towards which this violence escalates. Regarding the war on Jihadis in Syria, the Turkish government made an agreement with USA to be a partner in that fight. But they are using that as a cover-up to escalate their fight against Kurds in Turkey.

We stand by the heroic Kurds who fight for their independence. Turkey is attacking its own civilians. There is no doubt that for the Kurds, this is going to be, in a sense, the center of a Kurdish movement in Iraq and also in Northern Syria. Right now in Syria, Kurds are the only viable ground forces that USA and allies can use against ISIS. And that is a major point of contention between the Turkish government and USA. Kurds help in fighting Jihadis in Syria and Iraq, and Jihadis are the protégé of Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the de facto caliph of Jihadis!

The Independence war of Kurdistan gets hot hot hot. The Turkish government claims these are two different organizations or the fight against terrorism includes the fight against PKK. The 2015 June 1st election after which the Kurdish party managed to enter the parliament and captured 19 percent of the votes prevented the AKP government from having a majority and changing the constitution to allow a presidential system for corrupt Erdoğan.

It was a turning point that corrupt Erdoğan decided to end the ceasefire with the Kurds and start an onslaught attack on them. There have been thousands of Kurds killed. Many Kurdish cities are cut from all the communications lines. Under curfew, people are not allowed to even go to hospital, buy food or drink water. Even MPs are not allowed to enter Kurdish cities. It is a complete martial law in the Kurdish cities depending on which one corrupt Erdoğan chooses to attack. Most mayors of Kurdish cities are arrested and tortured.

We also have an onslaught attack on the free press. Major newspapers are attacked including famous journalists. And corrupt Erdogan has been suing journalists left and right for insulting the president. Erdoğan mafiosi are out of control.

Turkey is scared that Kurds will move into nationhood and have independence. And any independence movement in Syria the Turkish government interprets as a track towards its own national security which is ungrounded.

Turkey’s Kurdish problem risks turning into a people’s war between Turks and Kurds, underling that the conflict and polarization policy of corrupt Erdoğan will only end when he self-destructs. The new generation of Kurds has completely lost trust in the government while the government almost encourages the lynching of Kurds, as seen in recent attacks on civilian Kurds.

Erdoğan believes that he is politically strengthened by increasing numbers of killed soldiers. Erdoğan’s policy to denounce his critics as parallel and terrorist become meaningless because it has become absurd. If Öcalan says to drop the guns, Erdoğan would not like it. Erdoğan thinks that he gains more power the more coffins arrive. For instance, the Kurdistan Communities Union KCK has asked for a joint cease-fire with Öcalan as its chief negotiator, but there has been no reaction from corrupt Erdoğan.

The incorporation into Turkey of the Kurdish-inhabited regions of eastern Anatolia was opposed by all Kurds, and has resulted in a long-running separatist conflict. In 1983, the Kurdish provinces were placed under martial law in response to the activities of the heroic Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). A guerrilla war took place through the 1980s and 1990s in which much of the countryside was evacuated, thousands of Kurdish-populated villages were destroyed, and numerous extrajudicial summary executions were carried out.

More than 40,000 people were killed in the violence and hundreds of thousands more were forced to leave their homes. Volatility in the region eased following the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in 1999, and, with the encouragement of European Union, the adoption of tolerance policies toward Kurdish cultural activities by the Turkish state. After 2004, political violence increased, and the Turkish-Iraqi border region remains tense.

Every day, the heroic Kurds sing Ey Reqîb (Kurdish: ئەی ڕەقیب‎), the Kurdish national anthem. It was written by the Kurdish poet and political activist, Dildar in 1938, while in jail. Ey Reqîb means Hey Enemy, in reference to the jail guards in the prison where Dildar was held and tortured and who also symbolized the occupying countries of Turkey, Iraq, and Syria.

Kurdistan has been a paragon of dignity.  What soul could remain unstirred by the sight of heroic Kurds fighting for their independence from terrorist Turkey and corrupt Erdoğan? Country roads take me to the mountains of Kurdistan to meet those magnificent heroes of our times.

With the Rojava revolution, the Kurdish women organized themselves in the self-defense area as well as social, diplomatic and economic spheres. Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) was developed in the Rojava revolution, became an effective force in all three cantons and answered the attacks from the outside as the authentic women’s organization. Women organizing in both war and life have rewritten women’s history in Rojava, the fortress of resistance.

Rojava Kurds, determined to found their own system against all pressures, started building the democratic autonomy in July 19, 2012. Rojava Kurds waged a war of honor for humanity, all the while continuing their building efforts with determination. In many cities in Rojava, women started institutions like security forces women’s branches, people’s assemblies, women’s foundations, women’s communes, women’s organisations, courts, people’s centers, cultural and arts centers, youth centers and such. Armenians, Arabs and Assyrians also took part in these institutions and they were built, step by step. The people organised in these institutions on the basis of democratic autonomy and held awareness raising efforts.

Against military attacks to Rojava cities following the declaration of the democratic system, Rojava Kurds self-organized in the military area under the name People’s Defense Units (YPG).

YPG was formed for the defense of the people and Kurdish women took active part in the people’s defense. Because the Rojava revolution was developing under the leadership of women and the need for the authentic organization of Kurdish women was seen in every area. And so on December 2, 2012, Women’s Defense Units(YPJ) was formed.

Many international bodies including the United Nations, the European Union, and the Arab League continue to push for a Palestinian state, while ignoring calls for a Kurdish one. For far too long, the Arab, Turkish and Iranian peoples and leaderships have used the Israeli-Palestinian issue as justification for their own problems.

Without acknowledging the Kurdish question, which spans four major states — Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey — the Middle East will have trouble achieving stability.

The goal of solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has long been used by Arabs, Turks and Iranians in the Middle East as a cover to deflect criticism away from their own indifferent leadership. The 22 existing Arab States, along with Turkey and Iran, can easily establish a homeland for the Palestinians, but they are not interested in doing so. The goal of these states is not to create another Arab state, but to eradicate an only Jewish state.

Giving the Palestinians a state will not solve the Syrian civil war, the Sunni-Shiite divisions in Iraq will remain, the destructive Islamist path of Turkey’s President Erdogan will continue, the world will see continued Iranian aggression against Israel, Sunnis, and Kurds, and the hold hat both Iran and Saudi Arabia have on Islam will only strengthen.

The Kurds are large in number (an estimated 40-50 million) and have a unique language, culture, and identity that differs markedly from their neighbors. The main problems in the region center around Islam versus Islam (Arab-Arab, Arab-Iran, Arab-Turk, Iran-Turk) or Islam versus minorities, including Christians, Yezidis, Chaldeans, Alevis, Jews, etc. Kurds embrace Western values such as gender equality, religious freedom and human rights.

The Kurdish people have continually suffered in the Middle East. The Turks, under the Ottomans killed tens of thousands of Kurds in massacres in Dersim and Zilan. By the 1990s, more than 3,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed. According to Human Rights Watch, 378,335 Kurdish villagers had been displaced in Turkey.

The Kurds have a distinct language and, although Sunni Muslim, they are relatively secular. Within areas with majority Kurdish populations live Kurdish Jews, Shiites, Christians, and Yezidis. This diversity has shaped a tolerant nature within their society. The Kurds push for the separation of religion and state, and allow for churches, mosques, synagogues and temples to be built next to one another — a respect for the “other” rarely seen in the Middle East.

Under the dictatorships in Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, the Kurds are still suffering from Arabization, Turkification, and the Iranian tactic of forcible land confiscation.

The Kurds are no strangers to having their historical territories taken over by such regimes; they therefore understand and respect minority rights. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has embraced its Jewish community, and rescued over 3,000 Kurdish Yezedis from ISIS when they were trapped on Mount Shingal in Mosul. Many Christians and minority communities have even requested they be part of the Kurdistan region after the state of Iraq failed them.

Kurds have also taken in 300,000 Syrian refugees and 2.3 million internally displaced peoples (IDP) from Iraq. The KRG does not distinguish between them as Sunni-Shiite or Muslim-Christian, but recognizes them as humans suffering from war. This is far different from what we see in Arab nations. Many Gulf states to date have not taken in any refugees, despite sharing a common religion. Saudi Arabia, home of holy cities of Mecca and Medina, has quietly squelched the thought of allowing refugees to seek protection there, even as the Saudi kingdom has hundreds of thousands of empty air-conditioned tents available while their own Arab brothers are suffering in neighboring states. A similar situation is seen in Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait.

Iran has sent Afghan refugees to fight in Syria by force, under the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which already has violated countless human rights agreements. Peter Bouckaert, Emergencies Director at HRW states that, Iran has not just offered Afghan refugees and migrants incentives to fight in Syria, but several said they were threatened with deportation back to Afghanistan unless they did. Iran imprisons and publicly executes Kurds to this day. States such as Jordan and Lebanon are forced to take in refugees largely because they share a border with Iraq and Syria; would they if they were not forced?

Turkey has used the refugee crisis from the Syrian civil war as political leverage against the European Union to gain accession into the 28-nation bloc, to receive financial aid ($3 billion a year) and to change the demographics of the Kurdish regions in the southeast. There are even reports of Erdogan’s regime forcing male refugees in Turkey to go back into Syria to fight with the Turkish military in exchange for aid to their families.

Women in Kurdish society were not always free. Kurds are predominantly tribal and many live in rural mountainous regions. Kurdish women were historically victims of honor killings and child marriages. The move away from these practices began when Kurdish resistance groups began to form in the wake of Turkey’s crackdowns during the 1980’s military coups. The founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, strongly believes in women’s liberation and even wrote a book titled Liberating Life: Women’s Revolution. Ocalan believed that, “A country cannot be free unless women are free.” Kurdistan even recently hosted the International Conference on Women and Human Rights, where it pushed for greater support for women’s leadership in the KRG.

The emphasis on gender rights as well as ethnic and national rights is a form of democracy unseen in the Middle East. States such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) appoint women to positions such as “Minister of Happiness,” which not only belittles women but continues to suppress the potential they can provide to society as a whole.

In Iraq, Saddam Hussein attacked the Kurds with chemical weapons in 1988. He murdered 5,000 civilians and destroyed 4,000 villages. Hussein aggressively went after minorities such as the Kurds, despite being Sunni Muslims. Between 1988-1991, his regime murdered thousands, effectively committing genocide.

Under Saddam Hussein, thousands of Kurds were forced to leave their homes when the Iraqi military destroyed villages and towns. Arab families were given financial incentives to move north, and the Iraqi government embarked on housing construction projects to bring more Arab families north in order to change the demographic make-up of the north.

The Syrian and Turkish regimes have done the same. In Syria, Hafez Assad, Bashar Assad’s father, cracked down on Sunni majority and denied Kurds their right to speak Kurdish or open Kurdish schools. Kurds were considered stateless peoples as they were denied Syrian citizenship. Ironically, Hafez Assad had ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1969, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. His son, Bashar, also agreed to the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 2003. So much for that.

Turkey is virtually at war with its Kurds and continues to deny rights to effectively all minorities. Greeks, Armenians and Alevis are oppressed and removed from their historical lands. From the Armenian Genocide to denying the peoplehood of the Kurds, Turkish nationalism has been the main cause of instability within the state. Founded upon the notion of western-secularism by Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been attempting to reestablish the primacy of Islam. Erdogan has labeled the Kurds as separatists and a threat.

Turkey also apparently fears the success of the Kurds in Syria in their fight against ISIS, and their declaration of an autonomous region. Erdogan seems concerned that his Kurdish population will call for autonomy, as it has.

The Kurds, in 1946, temporarily managed to establish their own independent state in northwestern Iran, with the help of the Soviet Union. The Kurdish struggle for freedom continues in Rojhalat (east) for the recognition of their identity and political rights. During the Iran-Iraq war, Kurds were used by both powers against one another as pawns, in order to irritate the other side. Saddam Hussein pushed the Kurds in Iran to rise up, and Iran gave arms to the Kurds in Iraq to fight against the Ba’athist regime, all while killing their own Kurdish populations. To date, Kurds striving to be recognized as a legitimate minority within Iran either disappear, are imprisoned, or are publicly executed.

Many of the Kurds affected by these ruling powers did not want to separate, but simply to be able to live a peaceful and stable life; the push for a state was the creation of the states themselves, through their oppression of the Kurds.

Any new state that is established must be willing to live with its neighbor in peace. Kurds will need to establish close relations with all the states from which they are separating, particularly as Kurdistan will be landlocked.

The creation of a Kurdish state would above all acknowledge that the Kurds exist as a distinct entity, through their language, respect for equal rights, and their secular culture.

With the little stability the Kurds have in northern Iraq since the downfall of Saddam Hussein, and the advancement of the Kurds in Rojava within two years after pushing back ISIS, they have proven capable of running a state and respecting all those within it. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the recently-declared autonomous territory in Rojava (western Syrian-Kurdistan) have been a model for all states in the region to follow.

As liberal as Kurdistan has become in respect to social freedoms, it continues to be surrounded by states that lack similar values. The states surrounding Kurdish territories, including Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey are currently either failed or under oppressive regimes.

Because Kurds are religiously diverse moderates who prioritize their ethno-linguistic identity over religion, Kurdistan offers an opportunity for all its citizens to look towards an inclusive, pluralistic society where religious freedom is not only tolerated, but encouraged.

Kurds respect both the Sunnis and the Shiites within their territories and have strong ties with the only Jewish state in the Middle East. A Kurdish state has the potential to bring amity to an otherwise unstable region.

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SPAIN OVERWHELMED BY TRADE IN ARMS, DRUGS, AND MIGRANTS

 

An investigation has revealed a tale of illegal immigration, money laundering, and arms and drug trafficking, as well as tobacco smuggling which is overwhelming Spain. 55-year-old Miguel, operations chief at Customs Surveillance Service, told us: We are in a state of war. And right now they are winning almost all the battles.

Politicians and the police are fearful of the South Americanization of the drugs trade in the country, with crime syndicates dominated by individuals of North African origin heavily armed and increasingly willing to use violence against law enforcement.

South American cartels have, in fact, begun to participate directly in the trade, with a joint Spanish-Moroccan operation intercepting a shipment of 5,677 pounds of cocaine off the coast of Western Sahara towards the end of 2016.

In terms of violence, Spain saw the June 8th killing of 46-year-old police officer Víctor Sánchez, who was run down by tobacco smugglers during a chase, as a turning point.

After being brought across the Strait of Gibraltar on motorised boats similar to the ones used by the people-smugglers who service the transportation of illegal migrants, drugs are raced to safehouses at top speeds. Typically three vehicles are involved: one to pave the way, one to carry the load, and another one to ram into any police patrol bold enough to chase them.

A Moroccan boss of bosses based in the Costa del Sol, told us: If I wanted to order a shipment right now, all I would have to do is send two messages from this cellphone: one to Morocco and the other one to someone here in Spain. Even if cannabis were legalized, large-scale trafficking would continue. Just look at the Netherlands. These days, more hash is coming there ever.

Profits from the trade, which can run into the millions of euros, are filtered through Morocco and Dubai, where there are fewer checks on the money’s origins.

Spain has been recently identified as the fasted growing route for illegal migrants in the Mediterranean, as the Greece route became impassable and growing numbers of migrants realised crossing to Italy from Libya could be a death sentence at the hands of unscrupulous smugglers. Spain has already taken three times more illegals in 2017 than the previous year, with more coming all the time.

BESIDES PROPAGANDA, EU SCHOOL CHILDREN TO RECEIVE MILK, FRUIT, AND VEGETABLES!



student_under_tree
White working class boys from poor neighbourhoods face a ‘double disadvantage’ of low family income and place poverty linked to their wider community
Child with school lunch
MUM

 

The new EU school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme will be in place on 1 August, ready to be implemented across the Union as of the first day of the 2017/2018 school year.

Aimed at promoting healthy eating habits among children, the scheme will include the distribution of fruit, vegetables and milk products, as well as dedicated educational programs to teach pupils about the importance of good nutrition and to explain how food is produced.

This single scheme merges and optimises the existing projects that last year reached over 20 million children. Although participation is optional, all 28 Member States indicated they will take part in the initiative in the 2017/2018 school year.

Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “I am very pleased that the new school scheme will be introduced tomorrow. The scheme provides valuable support to millions of European schoolchildren and thousands of farmers in every Member State. Such support has proven particularly important for farmers in recent years and the increased funding will enhance the value of this support. In addition, the new scheme meets my priority of simplification through the integration of the former school milk and vegetable schemes. Finally, I am happy to be involved with an initiative with Commissioners Andriukaitis and Navracsics to promote a healthy lifestyle and I am convinced that this scheme has a valuable part to play.”

Fresh fruit, vegetables and drinking milk will be given as a priority to school children. Processed products such as soup, fruit compotes, juice, yoghurts and cheese may also be distributed if this choice is approved by the national health authorities. No added sugar, salt and fat are allowed unless the national health authorities permit limited quantities.

Besides deciding on the exact way to put the scheme in place, like the inclusion of thematic educational measures and other agricultural products, Member States have the option to top up the EU aid with national aid for financing the scheme.

This choice of products shall be based on health and environmental considerations, seasonality, variety and availability with priority to EU products. Member States may encourage local or regional purchasing, organic products, short supply chains, environmental benefits, agricultural quality schemes.

Of the €250 million EU funding agreed for 2017–2018 school year, roughly €150 million will be allocated for fruit and vegetables and €100 million for milk.

The new school scheme forms part of Commissioner Hogan’s simplification agenda. It allows for greater synergies and efficiencies in the implementation of the new scheme, and complements other measures in the areas of health and education policies.

From 1 August 2017, the two current schemes – the School Fruit and Vegetables Scheme and the School Milk Scheme – will be brought under a single legal framework. The new rules aim at greater efficiency, more focused support and an enhanced educational dimension.

Currently, 24 Member States take part in the old fruit and vegetable scheme and 28 in the old milk scheme. Last year, around 20 million children benefited from the milk scheme and around 11.7 million children from the fruit and vegetables scheme.

Those who can’t do, teach. Schools dumbdown children!  It’s a ridiculous terror to jail children in schools for sixteen years in order to brainwash them and keep teachers busy!  No wonder children revolt violently. Dropping out is a smart strategy of cutting losses short.

Kids only need literacy, something they can learn from parents.  Nevertheless, government does not allow children to grow properly and work, imprisoning them in schools for at least twelve years, in order to brainwash them with socialist propaganda.  This brings poverty and resentment to many children.  Many smart kids manage to drop out of school, getting all the education they need through internet.

Dropping out of school is a smart strategy of cutting losses short! Public schools are filled with eager, fresh-faced youngsters, and prisons contain many rough-looking adults with uninviting personalities. They are both kleptocrat-run facilities where individuals are held for a specific number of years without their consent, at the mercy of their custodians.

Abraham Lincoln is viewed as a model of self-education.  He never went to school.  He read all the interesting books he could find.  After reading some law books, he passed the law exam, becoming a lawyer.  He was never enslaved in classrooms of four walls with boring teachers.  He was a free man.  Why not your children? Everybody should follow Lincoln’s paradigm.  Stay away from schools!

Han Han, a high-school dropout born in 1982, is a Chinese professional rally driver, best-selling author, singer, creator of Party magazine, and China’s most popular blogger. He has published ten novels to date, and he is also involved in music production.  The Han Han story proves that schooling must be abolished.

For years, kleptocrats have been doing their best to further blur the distinction by giving public-school officials the same powers as the warden of San Quentin. There are many abridgments of freedom and invasions of privacy inflicted on children. Children are looking for a Moses to liberate them from the jails of classes, and lead them to the promised land of real life.

The socialistic feature of public schooling that dooms it to fail is that at every level, the system relies on compulsion instead of voluntary consent. The curriculum is politicized to reflect the socialistic cancer of kleptocrats in power. Standards are continually dumbed down to the least common denominator. The brightest children are not permitted to achieve their potential, the special-needs of individual children are neglected, and the mid-level learners become little more than socialistic cogs in a kleptocratic machine.

The teachers themselves are constrained by a kleptocratic apparatus that watches their every move. Kleptocrats have long used compulsory schooling, backed by egalitarian ideology, as a means of citizen brainwashing and enslavement. In contrast, a market-based system of schools would adhere to a purely voluntary ethic, financed with private funds, and administered entirely by private enterprise.

Generations of dumbing-down and educational indoctrination have brainwashed hoi polloi. Perhaps citizens will wake up quickly to their peril, perhaps not. They must be taught the value of freedom. Many do not even know what it is, and many don’t put a value on it. Where the Founders had the advantage of the spread of Graecoroman ideas, and a population receptive to them, we have the disadvantage of the decline of those ideas, and a population largely indifferent to or ignorant of them. This is quite an obstacle.

Homeschooling is the education of children at home. Homeschooling is a legal option in many places for parents to provide their children with a learning environment as an alternative to publicly-provided schools.

Parents cite numerous reasons as motivations to home school, including better academic test results, poor public school environment, improved character, and objections to what is taught locally in public school. It is also an alternative for families living in isolated rural locations or living temporarily abroad. Homeschooling is legal in many countries, especially Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Unschooling is a curriculum-free philosophy of homeschooling. Unschoolers believe that the use of standard curricula and conventional grading methods, as well as other features of traditional schooling, are counterproductive to the goal of maximizing the education of each child. Instead, unschoolers typically allow children to learn through their natural life experiences, including game play, household responsibilities, and social interaction. Exploring activities is often led by the children themselves, facilitated by the adults. Child directed play is a key tenet of the unschooling philosophy.

We should abolish schooling, to end the ugly and inhuman business of people-shaping and to allow and help people to shape themselves. Learning is not the product of teaching. Learning is the product of the activity of learners. The teacher gives explanations, not learning. If a child is left to himself, he will think more and better. Be wary of saying or doing anything to a child that you would not do to another adult, whose good opinion and affection you valued.

Unschooling is based upon and built around the growth of the child and the success that is an inherent part of a self-actualizing life.  The notion of teaching people to become better thinkers is such a basic concept that most people would assume the goal has always been a vital part of educators’ tool kits. But the concept is fairly new on the education landscape, and it has yet to accurately address some tricky cognitive terrain.

LIB THE KIDS

By Basil Venitis

Children locked in all these classes

Dumbing down our kids

Boring teachers with glasses

Unschool now and lib the kids.

 

Kids are looking for a Moses

To liberate them from all these freaks

To lead them to the promised land of chosen

Unschool now and lib the kids.

 

Eager fresh-faced youngsters

Bored to hell and tired lids

Are in classes like gangsters

Unschool now and lib the kids.

 

Abolish schooling right now

Abolish all these stupid grids

Fire all these teachers anyhow

Unschool now and lib the kids.

Annex: EU aid for school year 2017/2018 

 

Member State

Definitive allocation for school fruit and vegetables

in EUR

Definitive allocation for school milk

 

in EUR

Belgium 3 367 930 1 650 729
Bulgaria 2 677 109 1 167 367
Czech Republic 4 082 903 1 842 407
Denmark 2 386 393 1 606 402
Germany 25 826 315 10 947 880
Estonia 565 888 732 225
Ireland 2 007 779 900 398
Greece 3 218 885 1 550 685
Spain 12 932 647 6 302 784
France 17 990 469 17 123 194
Croatia 1 720 946 800 354
Italy 21 704 956 9 261 220
Cyprus 390 044 400 177
Latvia 813 091 745 497
Lithuania 1 134 661 1 091 333
Luxembourg 343 568 193 000
Hungary 3 885 599 1 972 368
Malta 372 747 144 750
Netherlands 7 063 251 2 401 061
Austria 2 946 591 1 278 933
Poland 14 985 916 11 047 202
Portugal 3 283 397 2 220 981
Romania 6 866 848 10 865 578
Slovenia 727 411 363 811
Slovakia 2 185 291 1 020 425
Finland 1 599 047 3 824 689
Sweden 0 9 245 859
United Kingdom 0 4 219 008
Total 145 079 683 104 920 317

FLINT WATER CRISIS

 

A study of lead service lines in Flint’s damaged drinking water system reveals a Swiss cheese pattern in the pipes’ interior crust, with holes where the lead used to be.

The findings—led by researchers at the University of Michigan—support the generally accepted understanding that lead leached into the system because that water wasn’t treated to prevent corrosion. While previous studies had pointed to this mechanism, this is the first direct evidence. It contradicts a regulator’s claim earlier this year that corrosion control chemicals would not have prevented the water crisis.

Researchers say the findings underscore how important uninterrupted anti-corrosion treatment is for the aging water systems that serve millions of American homes.

The team focused on the layer of metal scale—essentially lead rust—inside 10 lead service line samples from around Flint. They studied the texture of the rust layer, as well as its chemical composition. Then they used their analysis to estimate that the average lead service line released 18 grams of lead during the 17 months that Flint river water (without corrosion control) flowed through the system.

“This is the amount of lead that would have entered a single home,” said Terese Olson, a U-M associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and lead author of a study in Environmental Science and Technology Letters. “If we average that release over the entire period the city received Flint River water, it would suggest that on average, the lead concentration would be at least twice the EPA action level of 15 parts per billion.”

The lead ended up in several places.

“Some was consumed,” Olson said. “Some washed down the drain. Some might still be stored in the homes’ plumbing. In other words, there is a chance that some of that lead is a potential health risk even after the lead service line is removed.”

If a lead service line connects to a home with galvanized steel pipes, for example, those pipes can act as lead sponges that can hold and then later release particles containing the toxic metal, said study co-author Brian Ellis, U-M assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering.

In addition to examining pipe samples under a scanning electron microscope, the researchers pulverized the pipe linings to analyze what they’re made of. In the Flint pipes, they found a greater ratio of aluminum and magnesium to lead than is typical for lead service lines, when compared with data from 26 other water utilities.

“We estimated how much lead was ‘missing’ in order to bring the Flint lead scale into line with the amount of aluminum and magnesium that was reported in other communities,” Olson said. “That missing lead represents what was leached from the pipes during the Flint corrosion episode.”

As lead pipes age, the atoms on their surface react with oxygen and other chemicals in the system and become oxidized, or rusted. Adequate water treatment doesn’t prevent that process. What it does prevent, though, is the breakdown of the rust layer.

“It’s like when you put an old penny in a glass of Coke and watch it get shiny again,” Ellis said. “The acid in the Coke dissolves the copper corrosion product. This is similar to what happened in Flint’s lines. You can have a stable corrosion product, but when you change the water chemistry the oxidized lead compounds on the surface may become unstable and readily dissolve.”

Water utilities with both corrosive water and lead service lines in their systems add compounds called orthophosphates to prevent that breakdown. When Flint switched from Lake Huron water to the more corrosive Flint River to save money, the utility didn’t adjust its treatment process by adding orthophosphates.

“Beyond implications for Flint, we demonstrated that small changes in water chemistry can release what was stable lead in a fairly quick pulse,” Ellis said. “This is a known condition. So while we weren’t surprised, being able to show it underscores the importance of maintaining uninterrupted lead corrosion control.”

The authors hope to verify their prediction of the amount of lead released by analyzing a lead service line from a vacant home that was not exposed to the corrosive Flint water. The challenge is to find a home that has had its water turned off since 2014 and has a lead service line that can be dug up.

The study is titled “Forensic Estimates of Lead Release from Lead Service Lines during the Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan.” The research team included six undergraduate students, four graduate students, two postdocs and six faculty from U-M’s Flint and Ann Arbor campuses. It was funded by U-M’s Schlissel Research Fund for Flint, U-M’s MCubed research funding program and the Dow Sustainability Fellows program.

TRICKS OF BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORES

 

As online retailers continue to draw sales from brick-and-mortar stores, how can the physical locations compete?

It could be a simple as reminding consumers that they can touch the merchandise, says Rajeev Batra, professor of marketing at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

And reaching out to consumers with the right mindset is equally important, according to Batra and colleagues in a new study examining the effect of product touch on consumers’ willingness to buy.

“In this context, it is important to identify what strategies offline retailers can utilize to fight back,” Batra said. “As online and offline retailers differ in their inherent ability to offer consumers the opportunity to physically touch a product prior to purchase, we studied the thought processes of consumers who rely more on pre-purchase touch to make purchase decisions—thus becoming more susceptible to marketing efforts from offline retailers.”

Study participants were evaluated considering the purchase of a mug, a computer mouse and a pen in the three separate experiments.

Using varied product categories, researchers found that when consumers’ mental representation of products is relatively concrete, they rely on the availability of product touch to determine if they want to buy the product being evaluated.

Concrete thinkers increase their desire to purchase after touching the target product. For those who think of products in the abstract, their desire to buy a product is unaffected by touch entirely.

“These results show for the first time that consumers’ cognitive styles affect their decision-making in the online and offline retailing environments,” Batra said.

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ADVANCED DRONE FACILITIES

 

Beyond Vision Aerial is glad that an outdoor fly lab for testing drones is coming to the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering this fall, adding to the university’s spate of advanced robotics facilities.

M-Air will be a netted, four-story complex situated next to the site where the Ford Motor Company Robotics Building will open in late 2019. Construction of the M-Air is expected to begin in August and be complete by the end of the year.

“M-Air will allow us to push the edge of our algorithms and equipment in a safe way, where the worst that can happen is it falls from the sky,” said Ella Atkins, professor of aerospace engineering. “With this facility, we can pursue aggressive educational and research flight projects that involve high risk of fly-away or loss-of-control—and in realistic wind, lighting and sensor conditions.”

Autonomous aerial vehicles have a host of applications, Beyond Vision Aerial says. Large ones can be used for commercial transport and national security. Small drones could survey disaster sites, inspect infrastructure like bridges and wind turbines, gather environmental and atmospheric data, and deliver packages, for example. Package delivery goes beyond Amazon orders.

“You could travel over a disaster site, or a farm,” Atkins says. “Small drones can go places that are very hard or dangerous to get to, and fairly quickly because they don’t need roads.”

Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration allows researchers to fly drones outside at low altitude as long as the operator can see the aircraft and immediately ground it in an emergency. Outdoor drone flights on U-M’s Ann Arbor campus need to go through a formal university approval process due to safety concerns about interference with hospital helicopters and other aircraft. Flights in M-Air will be considered indoors and won’t require this level of approval.

“The FAA regulations don’t guarantee safety,” Atkins said. “They’re intended for responsible, experienced pilots, and on more tested systems. Our students aren’t experienced pilots. They, and our faculty members, are building new hardware that’s not necessarily going to work the first, second, third, or even the fourth time.”

Researchers often use tethers to try out their newest technologies, but that can be limiting. Without a net or a tether, a cutting-edge prototype could hit a car or a person.

“We’re giving our students and faculty the most comprehensive, safe testing facilities possible for these vehicles, which hold great promise for a wide range of applications,” said S. Jack Hu, U-M vice president for research and the J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

M-Air will be located near a complementary indoor space. Next door, the Ford Motor Company Robotics Building will hold a three-story fly zone where drones can perch on walls or ceilings and interact with the environment. Together, the labs allow for a full spectrum of experiments with one or several drones. Researchers will be able to test unique control and sensing schemes, cooperative control, human-robot interaction, and novel missions, Atkins said.

“When M-Air opens, Michigan Engineering will be the only engineering school in the country—perhaps in the world—with access to cutting-edge robotic test facilities for air, sea and land,” said Alec Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering and a professor of aerospace engineering. “This is a key piece in our long-term plan to give our faculty and students best-in-class resources as they work to solve society’s greatest challenges and most exciting opportunities.”

The outdoor fly lab will be down the road from U-M’s one-of-a-kind Mcity Test Facility, a simulated urban and suburban environment where academic and industry researchers test autonomous and connected cars and trucks. And the college is home to the Marine Hydrodynamics Lab, which houses a 360-foot-long indoor body of water for testing robotic and conventional watercraft.

M-Air is funded by Michigan Engineering and the U-M Office of Research. With 9,600 gross square feet, M-Air will have an 80-by-120 footprint, and it will stand 50 feet high at the northwest corner of Hayward Street and Draper Road. A pavilion for up to 25 people will comfortably host users. The M-Air floor will be grass, and its walls black polyester netting held in place with structural steel poles. Adjustable lighting will make it useable in the evening.

“From an aerial robotics education perspective, this facility is enabling the notion of, ‘If you can imagine it, you can try it out,'” Atkins said. “My vision is get a lawn chair and sit out there as much as possible.”

Beyond Vision Aerial points out the world is already well on its way to a day when swarms of innumerable autonomous cars and drones buzz about, shuffling commuters to work and packages to doorsteps.  But this dramatic-sounding reality raises a critical question that has yet to be answered: Who will control the swarm? Some say control will be distributed. Each car and every drone will be its own self-sustaining unit – individually aware of its surroundings, individually directed where to go and individually outfitted with all the computational power to make it through the world efficiently and without accident.

Beyond Vision Aerial believes device swarms will be managed centrally, using applications running in large data centers, much the way the cloud centralized big data.  This has the potential to change how society functions on a daily basis.

While most current research into autonomous vehicles assumes a distributed model – relatively autonomous devices, controlled in a peer-to-peer fashion with each machine doing its own calculations – the concentrated model has its advantages.

First is the ease of creating applications. Writing applications for the distributed model is very difficult, since each device has limited information about the state of the world. With the centralized approach, data from all the devices is collected in one place. This provides a big-picture view of the world that allows better control of higher-level tasks like system-wide situational perception, decision-making and large-scale traffic planning.

Second, control applications running in datacenters have many more resources available, such as computing horsepower and large back-end datasets. This allows them to implement more sophisticated collaborative behaviors for the device swarm. In addition, the centralized applications can take advantage of powerful machine learning algorithms, which allow the control system to learn and improve its behavior.

An added challenge of the distributed model that centralization solves is that computational limitations in the devices themselves hinder overall system sophistication, an issue that becomes ever-more pronounced as scale increases. As new technologies arise, they either must be retrofitted into each device, or, when the old devices become obsolete, the devices must be replaced – an expensive proposition.

In the centralized model, the vehicle is merely a tool – a relatively dumb device fitted with equipment by which to see the road and the skies ahead, to detect obstacles and other vehicles in the way, to provide geolocation and so forth. The gathered data gets transferred back to the cloud and processed en masse by much faster computers able to handle the mathematical demand of keeping track of those millions of vehicles and to plan ways around bottlenecks and hazards to efficiently and safely guide passengers and packages to their many destinations.

From a technology standpoint, it is attractive and easiest to centralize control – to amass data, plan and then disseminate a singular view to all devices. Not all functions are suited to the centralized model, however. Beyond Vision Aerial foresees that devices will retain local control for things like device stability and near-term collision avoidance. Such control needs microsecond or sub-millisecond response time and must happen on the device.

The implications of a centralized system reach beyond easier commutes. One prime example is in disaster recovery. In a community devastated by earthquake, fire or flood, it often proves too dangerous for human first responders. In such cases, a flock of autonomous drones could be dispatched to assess the situation, allowing emergency management to triage from afar.

Another example would be a massive warehouse where 10,000 or more drones operate indoors, in a closed environment all watched over by cameras and sensors to monitor, organize and move millions of packages each day. Much of the infrastructure does not yet exist. The range of computational and communication capabilities necessary to pull it off is staggering – GPS, mapping, wireless communications, situational awareness and traffic coordination are only the most obvious components.

Another challenge is to provide a massive amount of computing with extremely low and predictable latency. That means leveraging new machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to ensure planning and control happen fast without data inference. None of this deters Beyond Vision Aerial. With pieces of the puzzle still in flux, the mission is to imagine how this centralized future might function and to determine what pieces exist, which need to be improved and what others are yet to be created to make it all function seamlessly. 

Deeper down in the platform, Beyond Vision Aerial foresees the need for things like new hardware accelerators, better ways for computers to manage the many computing threads occurring simultaneously, rapid data storage and retrieval, and improved cluster scheduling necessary to execute the massive number of computations centralized control will demand. And, of course, security will be a preeminent concern. Most of these things must still be created, but simply knowing the need is a first step to realizing the vision.

Beyond Vision Aerial leads the drone aerial videography. For more information, please refer to www.bvaerial.com

GOD HOAX, THE ACHILLES HEEL OF HARVARD!

 Image result for Charlie Hebdo

 

Though Taylor Petrey did his doctoral work on ancient Christian debates about the resurrection myth, this last year he found himself teaching a course at Harvard Divinity School on the 200-year-old tradition of Mormonism—a newcomer, by the standards of world religions.

God is the biggest hoax of all times! The relationship people have with the real world has changed. Throughout time, individuals have tried to escape the reality of life, through religion, drugs, or alcohol. Today, modern technologies allow a genuine democratization of the unreal. Everyone can live in a parallel world consisting of gods, prophets, avatars, churches, video games, augmented reality, or sitcoms. Each can lead an alternative life by proxy.

Atheism is the smart zeitgeist. Today we know very well we are just a sort of apes, all religions are wrong, there is no God, there is no afterlife, and all miracles are hoaxes. God is the most unpleasant character in all fiction! But many people refuse to accept reality that when they die that will be the very end of them, that they will cease to exist.  Hoi polloi live on wishful thinking that they will live forever near God in another life! Hitler used to say that hoi polloi believe big lies, not small lies!

Petrey, who was a 2016-17 Women’s Studies in Religion Program research associate, is himself a relative newcomer to the academic study of Mormonism, though it is the faith in which he was raised. But even if some of the materials used in the course were new to Petrey, the environment in which he was teaching them was very familiar. That’s because it was at HDS that Petrey first earned his MTS and ThD in the field of early Christianity.

Now the Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Associate Professor of Religion at Kalamazoo College, Petrey, MTS ’03, ThD ’10, wrote a dissertation at HDS that eventually became his first book, Resurrecting Parts: Early Christians on Desire, Reproduction, and Sexual Difference. It examined a surprising debate that developed in the late second century CE concerning the nature of the resurrection that Christians would experience after death.

“Early Christians started writing huge treatises about whether the body would be resurrected and what kind of body it would be. And a question arises about whether these bodies would have genitals. In the Gospels, Jesus says of the resurrected, ‘They shall be as angels in heaven.’ Well, do angels have penises? It turns out to be an important question!”

By focusing on this seemingly obscure conflict, Petrey highlighted an early attempt in Christianity to fix sexual difference into two binary categories, male and female, even as other Christians were arguing for greater sexual fluidity.

All religions are big lies. Basic to religion is a presumed distinction between humans and animals, and a presumed uniqueness of humans in the universe. Based on evolutionary biology and astronomy, science rejects this stupid distinction. God is imaginary and religion is a complete illusion. Belief in God is nothing but a silly superstition, which leads a significant portion of the population to be delusional.

Bible and Qur’an express toleration for slavery and regard women as subordinate to men. Religious morality is impoverished to the point of bankruptcy. If we rely on religion, there is a certainty we will fail. Religion has nothing to offer but taboos without a clue.

Petrey said HDS was the perfect place to tackle this topic, since the school is home to many of the feminist scholars who first brought gender studies approaches to bear on the study of Christianity. These include Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, a pioneer of feminist Biblical interpretation, and Petrey’s doctoral advisor, Karen King, who is an expert on Gnosticism.

“Karen King was a big inspiration to me and to a lot of my peers as well,” Petrey said. “Another major influence was Amy Hollywood, whose classes were completely transformative for me. They introduced me to ways of thinking about gender I hadn’t really considered before that brought into focus the topics I wanted to pursue in my dissertation.”

Of course, such issues are not confined to the texts from late antiquity that Petrey was poring over at HDS, and in 2008 he found current events intruding on his consciousness.

“While I was a doctoral student here, I was also interested in things happening in my own faith community as a Mormon, big debates around gender and sexuality that came up when the Mormon Church got involved in Proposition 8.”

This ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage in California eventually passed, with support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other institutions. In the process, Petrey said, an internal debate was touched off about the Mormon Church’s teachings on same-sex relationships and other gendered issues that Petrey had already been studying in a second-century context.

So after Petrey finished at HDS and started teaching at Kalamazoo College, he began delving into the study of Mormonism on the side. Though studying an American religious tradition that took shape only 200 years ago might seem far removed from examining the nearly 2,000-year-old origins of Christianity, Petrey says the move felt natural.

“The field of gender studies is truly interdisciplinary, so I can bring the same set of questions to radically different texts, time periods, and traditions. What unifies my work is a core commitment to these questions about gender and sexuality, which in a sense are contemporary questions, even when I’m reading early Christian texts,” Petrey said.

Despite this unifying theoretical approach, Petrey admitted that the research process could be very different.

“I had to master so many languages to write my dissertation, since I was dealing with Coptic, Greek, and Latin texts, and then reading the German, Spanish, French, and Italian scholarship about them. On the other hand, Mormonism is all in English!”

Languages aside, Mormonism presented its own difficulties.

“With Mormonism, I’m working on a tradition where there’s so much stuff, whereas early Christianity is great because there are like 12 texts. I’m learning skills in archival research and also trying to take a historical perspective on recent events, but it’s a lot of fun because it exercises different parts of my brain. I’m very lucky to be able to stretch myself as a scholar in this way.”

Wanting to turn this newer interest into a book project, Petrey came back to HDS through the Women’s Studies in Religion Program. Last semester, he shared some of the fruits of his research in a course called “Gender, Sexuality, and Mormonism.”

Caroline Matas, MDiv ’17, who studies American fundamentalism and evangelicalism, is one of the students who took the course.

“It was fascinating to see how contemporary Mormon communities share such similar concerns and values with evangelical Christians, even though the histories of those communities are very different. I appreciated that Dr. Petrey allowed students the flexibility to think about how the subject matter pertains to their own fields of inquiry and to really pursue those interests, as well as the friendly and open classroom discussions,” Matas said.

The level of socio-pathology caused by a religious meme or meme complex depends, at least in part, on the degree to which it leverages compulsion as part of its reproductive strategy. Religious compulsion might refer to the level of threat and fear a religion uses to win and keep converts, or the degree of obsessive thought and compulsive behavior it engenders in believers. But compulsion is likely to be just one part of the picture, because the experience of many religious believers is that they practice their faith freely and happily, even when this may seem dubious to outsiders.

When Jesus announced that we should cut off body parts, he was telling others to harm themselves. There were entire monastic orders that castrated themselves because Jesus said in Matthew 19:12 that “he that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Every year in the United States we read about one or two men who mutilate themselves in order to prove their obedience to Jesus!  This only shows that Jesus was immoral.

Though the Mormons and evangelicals have sometimes made common cause for political reasons in recent decades, Petrey said part of his project is to point out important underlying differences between the two American traditions.

“After World War II, Mormonism is interested in assimilating to American culture, and they do so by adopting conservative Christian rhetoric about the family. But Mormonism still has its own distinctive texts, its own prophetic tradition, which are not easily assimilated into the sola scriptura approach of the evangelical Christians, who have a very different set of authorities.”

Petrey said that while evangelicals tend to rely on a literal reading of the Christian Bible, Mormon theology has its own underpinnings.

“In my book project, I’m trying to show the historical contingency of how Mormonism came to think about a gender binary and about what it believes to be a ‘natural’ heterosexuality and an ‘aberrant’ homosexuality. These are not natively Mormon notions but rather borrowed from a broader conservative Christian culture.”

In addition to explaining how the Mormon Church arrived at its current positions, Petrey is also trying to find precedents in Mormon history and scriptures for other ways of thinking about gender and sexuality.

“I’m also attempting to read the tradition queerly, looking for the instabilities and gaps in the ways Mormonism has come to think about same-sex relationships and the differences between male and female.”

One place Petrey is looking for instabilities is the nineteenth century.

“Mormonism now embraces the model of the heterosexual nuclear family. But before polygamy was abandoned in the 1890s, Mormons had an expanded sense of kinship, since polygamy wasn’t just about marrying all these other wives but also adopting other male family members and their wives into your family,” Petrey explained.

“What’s more, polygamous wives sometimes continued living in kinship with each other after their husband died, sometimes in the same house. So I’m looking at these different aspects of our tradition to say, ‘Look, here’s this totally different sense of family that could be a model for thinking about same-sex kinship formation.’ ”

Petrey also sees room for queer interpretations of the Mormon cosmology, which differs in many respects from that of other Christian traditions. For instance, the Mormon church sees a model for the heterosexual family in the union of God the Father with a Heavenly Mother, and Mormons also differ from Trinitarian Christians in seeing the Godhead—the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—as three separate beings who are united by love.

“There’s no real difference in the way Mormons talk about the unity of the Godhead and about the unity of the Father with the Mother. In describing the oneness of the Father and the Son, Mormons even use the ‘one flesh’ language of Genesis 2, which usually describes the oneness of a man and wife. So we already have same-sex kinship as a model in the divine realm. That’s not changing the theology, it’s saying it’s already there.”

Creatively engaging the history and teachings of Mormonism in this way might raise some eyebrows, both in the church and outside it, but Petrey believes it is impossible not to bring contemporary concerns to scholarly work, whether researchers acknowledge those concerns or not.

“When we’re doing historical research, and often when we’re doing theological research as well, the subtext is the present context of the world we’re living in,” Petrey said.

By devoting a book as well as a class to Mormonism, Petrey is also helping to raise the profile of an understudied current in American religion.

“Mormon studies is a growing field right now, and I think people have questions about whether or not it’s just a subfield of American religion or whether there’s enough interest to warrant its own detailed inquiry. I think it’s a sign of the health of the field that students here were interested in taking this class. It bodes well for Mormon studies as a discipline, since HDS is a trendsetter for the future of the study of religion.”

Chryse Pege, Golden Source, is the most infamous gay mafia of the Greek Orthodox Church, organized by the late archbishop Christodoulos.  The corrupt Church of Greece greatly contributes to the moral decline of Greek society.  Nevertheless, religion is protected by lèse–majesté! The barbarity and corruption of Greek bishops is beyond imagination, heavily involved in skulduggery, orgies, trial rigging, drug and antiquities smuggling, money washing, robberies, inheritance dirty games, election manipulation, and so it goes. Bishop Ambrosios of Kalavryta, godfather of Chryse Pege, blasted Education Minister Nikos Filis over his decision to replace the current religious studies from the school curriculum with a lesson on comparative world religions. During his speech at Church, Ambrosios pleaded to Jesus that Fili’s arm would rot before he signed the decree! Ambrosios also had a few words for those not fasting by eating meat. He said he hoped the meat would turn to poison and puncture their stomach!

Catholics are upset about the pedophilia of their bishops, but this is nothing comparing it to pedophilia and homosexuality of the Greek gang of the late archbishop Christodoulos.  Christodoulos surpassed all corruption of all ayatollahs and bishops on planet Earth for all times!  He marched on dead bodies to become the archbishop of Athens, and then tried to transform Greece to a super-corrupt Orthodox theocracy.  He also destroyed my father with false accusations. I hate the motherfucking Christodoulos like hell! Greeks used to call him ayatollah Christollah!  If there is hell, he is definitely there!  Let him rot, wherever he is.  Amen!