"All humans are members of the same body Created from one essence"

"Human beings are members of a whole in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain."

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Middle East Peace Process

It is necessary to encourage the Palestinians to stop using terrorism to support their cause, and the best way to ensure this is to create a Palestinian state.

With Arafat's death, now is the time to step up U.S. intervention and further the U.S.'s Middle East agenda.

In 1947, the United Nations set out a map dividing the Arab territories that had been under Ottoman rule until 1919, and thereafter under British control, into the state of Israel and two Palestinian territories. Since then the region has experienced no fewer than six wars, seen thousands killed in attacks by both sides in the conflict, and seen hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes.

Do you believe that the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians will be resolved in our lifetime?

Settlements Prevent Broader Middle East Peace

The United Nation said the continued growth and construction of Israeli settlements under international law, all of Israel's West Bank settlements are illegal, since they are built within the Palestinian Territories.

In order to gain the trust of West Bank Palestinians and advance the peace process, The UN says, Israel must freeze settlement construction and abandon its attempts to reclaim the region based on historical religious claims. "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement," Obama asserted during a June 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt.

Critics assert that the outposts occupy valuable land that should be reserved for a future Palestinian state. By constructing towns on (and sometimes later annexing) land in the Palestinian Territories, opponents say, Israel diminishes the region's already-limited supply of fertile soil and fresh water, which are needed for an independent Palestine.

Unless the natural growth of settlements is halted and new construction banned, the U.S.-backed goal of a two-state solution will become more elusive than ever, critics warn.

By seizing land and building settlements in the Palestinian Territories, Israel is violating international law. Acquiring land in this fashion fosters anti-Israeli sentiment among both the Palestinians and the broader international community, and hurts the prospects for a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Even some members of the Israeli political establishment have criticized the way the Netanyahu administration has responded to U.S. calls for a settlement freeze.

Throughout the summer of 2009, both the U.S. and Israel expressed great optimism that a solution could be negotiated on the issue of Israeli settlement in the near future. "We are dealing with this on all levels and we will reach an agreement with camaraderie and cooperation," maintained Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the U.S.

Nevertheless, by early September 2009, as West Bank settlement expansion continued largely unabated, the Israeli government announced its intention to build new outposts.

Do you think Israel should be allowed to continue constructing settlements in the West Bank?

President Obama's Pledge


In April, the U.S., European Union, Russia and the United Nations introduce a so-called road map for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. Under the terms of the plan, Palestinians are called upon to renounce violence against Israelis and implement democratic reforms; Israelis are also asked to renounce violence against Palestinians, as well as stop building new settlements in the Palestinian Territories. However, both sides renege on the deal, and the plan collapses.


President George W. Bush (R, 2001-09) announces his support for then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to unilaterally pull all Israeli settlers and military personnel out of the Gaza Strip, a part of the Palestinian Territories.


In September, Israel completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, after evacuating more than 8,000 settlers. Control of the area is transferred to the Palestinians, ending several decades of Israeli occupation.


President Obama (D) pledges to adopt a tougher stance toward Israel. In pursuit of a U.S.-backed plan for an independent Palestinian state, Obama administration officials ask Israel to freeze new settlement construction in the West Bank. The Israeli government, headed by newly reelected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, initially objects but later announces plans to remove some small West Bank settlements.

In June, during a major speech in Cairo, Egypt, Obama announces U.S. opposition to "continued Israeli settlement" in the West Bank.

In August, media reports circulate that Israel has ceased the construction of new West Bank settlements, at least temporarily. The move leads to speculation that the Israeli government is acquiescing to the wishes of the Obama administration.

President Obama pledged to resume stalled U.S. efforts to create an independent Palestinian state. He even appointed former Sen. George Mitchell (D, Maine)--who was well-acquainted with the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict--as a special envoy to the Middle East.

Islamophobia still rages!

Hassan Abu Nimah wrote: A fierce controversy is raging in the United States over plans to build an Islamic community and outreach centre, including a mosque, in Lower Manhattan, several blocks from "Ground Zero" - the site where the World Trade Centre stood when it was attacked on September 11, 2001.

The controversy started when the Cordoba Initiative, led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, wanted to get a permit to build the centre, to be called
Cordoba House.

In its
mission statement, the Cordoba Initiative clearly states that one of its aims is "bringing back the atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and respect that we have longed for since Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in harmony and prosperity eight hundred years ago."

Allowing the
Cordoba House to be built in downtown Manhattan and offering it support is not a great gesture to Islam. It is meant to be a symbol of healing and reconciliation for all faiths.

Ishaan Tharoor wrote: New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg spoke passionately in defense of the project. "Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11 and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans," Bloomberg said in a speech that day. "We would betray our values and play into our enemies' hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else."

Other politicians argue in some instances that a mosque near Ground Zero would be a monument to terrorists.

In this context, figures like
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf — the Arab-American cleric behind the mosque project near Ground Zero — stand out. A consummate moderate who has made a career preaching about the compatibility of Islamic and American values.

Cordoba House, named for the city in Spanish Andalucia where Muslims, Jews and Christians once co-existed for centuries in an extraordinary flourishing of culture and science.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Convivencia en la Espagna de las tres culturas

Los conquistadores arabes, sirios, o bereberes, se asentaron en las cuidades-medinas. Estas ciudades poseian un nucleo amurallado (medina), que se extendia por calles y plazas estrechas y donde se encontraban la mezquita, el alcazar militar y el zoco or mercado. La medina era la parte mas importante de la ciudad, de calles intrincadas.

Fuera de la medina, la ciudad se extendia en arrabales, aislados unos de otros, donde vivian grupos de artesanos y grupos etnicos distintos (bereberes, judios, mozarabes).

Los maestros de ensenanza superior usaban el dialecto romance para que les pudieran entender todos sus alumnos, tanto musulmanes como judios y mozarabes. Los jovenes iniciaban sus estudios superiores en las mezquitas-universidades.

Grandes pensadores musulmanes y judios come Avicena, Averroes o Maimonides influyeron mucho en los filosofos europeos de la Edad Media y del Renacimiento gracias a sus obras traducidas al latin en la Escuela de Traductores de Toledo.

De ese modo, la ciudad de Toledo actuo durante los siglos XII y XIII come autentico puente cultural entre Oriente y Occidente.

La Alhambra fue construida durante los siglos XIV y XV consta de grandes patios, amplios espacios abiertos, habitaciones, banos y miradores sobre el valle o sobre jardines interiores. La decoracion es muy rica en yeserias. Los jardines del Generalife son un ejemplo de jardin arabe: avenidas simétricas con albercas y surtidores de agua.

Al-Andalus es el nombre con que se conoce al estado musulman implantado por los arabes tras su invasion de la Peninsula a principios del siglo VIII (711), y que perduro durante casi 800 anos, hasta el final de la Reconquista por los Reyes Catolicos en el siglo XV (1492).


La Gran Mezquita-Aljama de Cordoba, construida a partir del ano 780 por Abderraman I a imagen y semejanza de las mezquitas de su perdido califato de Damasco, ocupa 23,400 m², posee casi medio millar de columnas y arcos superpuestos y es considerada come el maximo exponente del arte califal.

Caracteristicas de la etapa taifa y almohade, la Giralda, antiguo alminar de la mezquita, y la Torre del Oro, de forma dodecagonal (siglo XIII) constituyen dos simbolos de la ciudad de Sevilla.

Córdoba was the capital of the Spanish Muslim dynasty of the Ummayads (756-1031). The Great Mosque of Córdoba (La Mezquita) was founded 780 CE. It was added to and expanded over the next two hundred years to make it the third largest structure in the Islamic world.

When Córdoba was captured by the Christian Spanish king of Castile, Ferdinand III, in the 13th century, the mosque reverted to a Christian sanctuary. Then in 1523, the local clergy, with the support of Emperor Charles V, built a cathedral in the middle of the mosque.

Sunday, 29 August 2010


Greenpeace is an independent organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and force solutions for a green and peaceful future.

Greenpeace organizes public campaigns for:
  1. the protection of oceans and ancient forests
  2. the phasing out of fossils fuels and the promotion of renewable energy to stop climate change
  3. the elimination of toxic chemicals
  4. the prevention of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being released into nature
  5. an end to the nuclear threat and nuclear contamination
  6. safe and sustainable trade

DATA: Join the fight against extreme poverty

  • DATA aims to raise awareness about the crises swamping Africa
  1. unpayable debts
  2. uncontrolled spread of AIDS
  3. unfair trade rules which keep Africans poor
The organization was founded in 2002 by Bono, the lead singer of U2.

At the core of DATA's mission is a view that these issues are not about charity, but about equality and justice.

DATA calls on the governments of the world's wealthy nations, the United States, Europe, Canada, and Japan, to put more resources into Africa, and to adopt policy that helps rather than hinders Africa in achieving long-term propsperity.

DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa) and ONE have joined their complementary strengths into one global anti-poverty organization.

ONE is a grassroots campaign of more than 2 million people committed to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases.

At ONE, they achieve change through advocacy. They hold world leaders to account for the commitments they've made to fight extreme poverty, and they press for better development policies, more effective aid and trade reform.

They also support greater democracy, accountability and transparency in how these resources are being deployed.

Getting Involved

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières or MSF) delivers emergency medical aids to victims of armed conglict, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters in more than 70 countries.

It also cares for people who are excluded from health services due to social or geographical isolation.

An independent nonprofit organisation, DWB is at the forefront of emergency health care. MSF provides primary health care, performs surgery, rehabilitates hospitals and clinics, runs nutrition and sanitation programs, trains local medical personel, and provides mental health care.

Through longer-term programs, DWB treats chronic diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), malaria, sleeping sickness, and AIDS; assists with the medical and psychological problems of marginalized populations including street children and ethnic minorities; and brings health care to remote, isolated areas where resources and training are limited.

Shania Twain: Ka-ching


We live in a greedy little world--
that teaches every little boy and girl
To earn as much as they can possibly--
then turn around and
Spend it foolishly
We've created us a credit card mess
We spend the money that we don't possess
Our religion is to go and blow it all
So it's shoppin' every Sunday at the mall

All we ever want is more
A lot more than we had before
So take me to the nearest store

Can you hear it ring
It makes you wanna sing
It's such a beautiful thing--Ka-ching!
Lots of diamond rings
The happiness it brings
You'll live like a king
With lots of money and things

When you're broke go and get a loan
Take out another mortgage on your home
Consolidate so you can afford
To go and spend some more when
you get bored

All we ever want is more
A lot more than we had before
So take me to the nearest store

[Repeat Chorus]

Let's swing
Dig deeper in your pocket
Oh, yeah, ha
Come on I know you've got it
Dig deeper in your wallet

All we ever want is more
A lot more than we had before
So take me to the nearest store

[Repeat Chorus]

Can you hear it ring
It makes you wanna sing
You'll live like a king
With lots of money and things

Latin Poetry

En Latin, les vers sont organisés d'une autre facon qu'en français. Les vers latins n'ont pas de rimes et le nombre de syllables n'est pas fixe: ils sont rythmés musicalement par une alternance de syllables tantot longues, tantot brèves, qui s'organisent en mesures appelés mètres ou pieds.

Les principaux mètres ou pieds que vous rencontrerez dans les poèmes latins sont:
  • le dactyle 1 longue suivie de 2 brèves
  • le spondée 1 longue + 1 brève
  • l'iambe 1 brève + 1 longue
  • l'anapeste 2 brèves + 1 longue
Le dactyle et le spondée sont substituables (une longue équivaut à deux brèves).
Chaque mètre comporte un temps accentué

Un vers latin se scande: scander un vers consiste à déterminer la longueur des syllables (ce qu'on appelle leur quantité) et à les regrouper en pieds dans le vers.

Les syllables sont longues ou brèves selon la nature ou la postition des voyelles qui le composent.
Une syllable est brève:
par nature, quand elle contient une voyelle brève
le a final est bref au nominatif féminin singulier (rosa, templa)
le e final est bref à la troisième déclinaison aux nominatif, vocatif, accusatif neutres singuliers et à l'ablatif singulier (mare, consule)
par position quand elle contient une voyelle suivie d'un h ou d'une autre voyelle (sauf si ces deux voyelles forment une diphtongue come oe, ae, au, eu): traho, filius

Une syllable peut etre longue:
par nature lorsqu'elle contient une voyelle longue ou une diphtongue (ae, oe, au, eu)
le a final est long à l'abaltif singulier (ros-a)
le i final est long au datif / ablatif singulier (fort-i)
une voyelle provenant d'une diphtongue est longue (le i de occido est long car il remplace le diphtonge ae <>
par position lorsqu'elle contient une voyelle suivie d'un j, d'un x ou d'un z (Troja, senex) ou de deux consonnes (y compris quand le deuxième consonne se situe au début du mot suivant), par exmaple, dans et proelia, le e de et est long.

Hiatus et élision
Devant un mot commençant par une voyelle ou un h, la voyelle ou la diphtongue finale d'un mot s'élide (elle n'est pas prononcée) pour éviter l'hiatus (= rencontre entre deux voyelles): ipsa ego se prononce et se scande ips'ego
Il en est de meme si la voyelle finale est suivie d'un m: multum ille se prononce et se scande mult'ille
La forme est perd son e après un mot terminé par une voyelle, une diphtongue ou un m: certum est se prononce et se scande certumst

Les principaux vers sont l'hexamètre dactylique (=six mètres ou pieds dactyliques), le pentamètre (=cinq mètres ou pieds) et le sénaire iambique (=six mètres ou pieds iambiques)

L'hexamètre dactylique: c'est le vers de l'épopée ou des satires. Il est formé de six mesures qui peuvent etre soit des dactyles, soit des spondées, a l'exception de la 5e mesure qui est toujours un dactyle et de la 6e qui indifféremment un spondée ou un trochée.

Le pentamètre: c'est un vers compose de cinq mesures réparties en deux éléments de deux mesures et demie séparés par une coupe. Seuls les deux premiers mètres sont variables (dactyles ou spondées)
En associant un hexamètre dactylique à un pentamètre, on forme ungroupe de deux vers nommé distique élégiaque.

Le sénaire iambique: c'est le vers des scenes parlées de la comedie. Il est formé en principe de six iambes, mais l'iambe peut etre remplacé par un autre pied (spondée, dactyle)
Decet me amare et te bubulcitarie (Plaute, Mostellaria, l, 1).
prononcé sur un ton plus aigu.

Bias within the Media

A study conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (University of Maryland) and the Center on Policy Attitudes found that people whose primary source of news is FOX News were much more likely to hold three demonstrably false misperceptions about the war in Iraq than those who got their news from any other network, and those whose primary source of news was NPR or PBS were far less likely to hold any of the misperceptions. (http://www.pipa.org/onlinereports)

The media is biased politically.
People in the news media make mistakes; they sometimes accept claims with insufficient evidence or without confirming the credibility of a source. The media are also subject to pressure and manipulation from government and other news sources. In addition, the media are driven in part by the necessity to make profit!

Finally, the news media are to a great extent a reflection of the society at large. If the public are willing to "get by with superficial, sensationalist or manipulated news, then they can rest assured that's all the news they will get" (Moore & Parker).

Typhoid in Rep of Benin

Typhoid fever is an infectious feverish disease, with severe symptoms in the digestive system in the second phase of the illness. The French used to call the disease a 'boil of the intestine'.

Classic typhoid fever is a serious disease. It can be life-threatening, but antibiotics are an effective treatment.

The disease is transmitted from human to human via food or drinking water, and it's therefore mainly hygiene and sanitary conditions that determine its spread.

Typhoid fever is caused by an infection with a bacterium. When the bacterium passes down to the bowel, it penetrates through the intestinal mucosa (lining) to the underlying tissue.

There are two phases of classic typhoid fever:
  • 1st phase: the patient's temperature rises gradually to 40ºC, and the general condition becomes very poor with bouts of sweating, no appetite, coughing and headache. Constipation and skin symptoms may be the clearest symptoms. Children often vomit and have diarrhoea. The first phase lasts a week and towards the end the patient shows increasing listlessness and clouding of consciousness.
  • 2nd phase: in the second to third weeks of the disease, symptoms of intestinal infection are manifested and the fever remains very high and the pulse becomes weak and rapid. In the third week, the constipation is replaced by severe pea-soup-like diarrhoea. The faeces may also contain blood. It's not until the fourth or fifth week that the fever drops and the general condition slowly improves.
Treatment may require admission to hospital, and loss of fluid and salt is treated with fluid therapy as appropriate.

The bacterium is controlled with antibiotics, and in rare cases steroid medicines are also included in the treatment.

Within the hospital setting, infected people are cared for in isolation. Proper hand hygiene is the most important way of preventing further spread in hospital.

Specific antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, ampicillin or ciprofloxacin are often used to treat cases of typhoid.

Cholera in Cotonou

Cholera is an infectious disease caused by a bacterial toxin that affects the absorption of water in the small intestine.

In severe cases, it produces violent diarrhoea within only a few days. The dangerous aspect of cholera is the vast loss of fluid that can occur in a short space of time. It's particularly dangerous in children in developing countries.

Cholera is not really a tropical disease, but it's related to standards of hygiene and the quality of drinking water.

Cholera is caused by a specific bacterium, Vibrio cholerae.

When an adequate quantity of the bacteria has passed into the stomach in food, they accumulate and begin to produce poisonous substances (toxins). It's the toxin that causes the symptoms of the disease.

The cholera toxin has the unpleasant ability to affect the cells of the gastrointestinal tract, so that the affected person doesn't just get ordinary diarrhoea but also starts to lose large quantities of fluid. It's this fluid loss that can be serious.

Bacteria are excreted in faeces and if this comes into contact with drinking water, the bacteria can infect people. So, the bacteria need an opportunity to multiply in water or food before it actually constitutes a risk.

Bacteria can also spread to food, if people don't wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet. The food prepared at the funeral of a cholera victim is a common source of secondary spread in Africa!

The disease can be spread through fish and shellfish from contaminated water. Shellfish filter large quantities of water and concentrate the bacteria.

The incubation period, from infection until the disease breaks out, is generally less than two days, although it can be as long as five days.

The infection is often a mild illness with ordinary diarrhoea, and it can even evolve without any symptoms at all. But the individual is still able to pass on the disease.

How can you avoid infection?
  • Only drink boiled water or water that has been sterilised or treated in another way. Hot coffee and tea, fizzy water and other uncontaminated bottled drinks are usually safe enough to drink.
  • Boil unpasteurised milk before you drink it.
  • Avoid ice cubes in drinks, unless you can be sure they were made from 'safe water'! Ice cream from doubtful sources may also be contaminated.
  • Food must be properly prepared and still hot when it's served. If it's allowed to stand at room temperature for several hours other bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, may develop.
  • Avoid raw fish and shellfish.
  • Avoid raw fruit and vegetables, unless you peel it yourself.
  • Be careful eating food from street stalls. If you have to eat this type of food, think carefully about its preparation. Make sure it doesn't contain anything that hasn't been properly prepared.
Vaccination against cholera is now possible with the oral vaccine Dukoral. But this vaccine does not provide 100 per cent protection against the disease, and people who have had the vaccine will still need to follow the measures outlined above to avoid illness.


Have you ever woken up from sleep only to discover that you cannot move a muscle? With the exception of your eyes and breathing, you find yourself virtually frozen in bed. Sleep paralysis can be a frightening situation, but rest assured that it is not uncommon and typically not a cause for concern.

Sleep paralysis
consists of a period of inability to perform voluntary movements either at sleep onset or upon awakening.

What are the symptoms?

  • A complaint of inability to move the trunk or limbs at sleep onset or upon awakening
  • Presence of brief episodes of partial or complete skeletal muscle paralysis
  • Episodes can be associated with hypnagogic hallucinations or dream-like mentation (act or use of the brain)
How can I stop the sleep paralysis?

You may be able to minimize the episodes by following good sleep hygiene:

  • getting enough sleep
  • reduce stress
  • exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime)
  • keep a regular sleep schedule
Not all episodes of hypnogogia are just a feeling or paralysis. Patients have reported a feeling of falling, auditory or visual disturbances and some report feeling joy.

One lifestyle change is to shut off television and relax before bed to reduce brain stimulation before sleeping. Reducing or eliminating drug and caffeine use can reduce the incidence of hypnogogia.

An increase in the quality of nutrition, exercise and reduction of stimulants may offer a natural way to treat the problem.


2 Kinds of Good Arguments

A good deductive argument is said to be "valid," which means it isn't possible for the premises to be true and conclusion false. For example, Premise: Koffi lives in Cotonou.
Conclusion: Therefore, Koffi lives in Rep of Benin.
The premises of a good deductive argument prove or demonstrate the conclusion.

A good inductive argument doesn't prove or demonstrate the conclusion. They support it. This means that, assuming they are true, they raise the probability that the conclusion is true. For example,
Premise: Koffi lives in Cotonou.
Conclusion: Therefore, Koffi uses mosquito repellent.
Koffi's living in Cotonou makes it more probable that Koffi uses mosquito repellent.

Claims, Issues, and Arguments

The basic building blocks of critical thinking: claims, issues, and arguments. If we evaluate these elements, separating them out from embellishments and charlatans, and analyzing and evaluating them are what critical thinking is all about.

Claims are the things we say, aloud or in writing, to convey information, to express our opinions and beliefs. Claims about whether your toothpaste whitens your teeth requires critical evaluation.

Issues are nothing more than a question. Whenever we call a claim into question, when we ask questions about its truth or falsity, we raise an issue. So, when we think critically about a claim, we call it into question and make it an issue.

Arguments are the single most important ingredient in critical thinking. We produce an argument when we give a reason for thinking that a claim is true or false when we weigh the reasons for and against the claim and try to determine its truth or falsity.

A claim that is offered as a reason for believeing another claim is a premise. The claim for which a premise is supposed to give a reason is the conclusion of the argument.

Premise: Sam's garnadmother died, and he had to attend the funeral.
Conclusion: Sam should be excused for missing class.

An argument consists of two parts: the premise or premises supposedly provides a reason for thinking that the conclusion is true.

Argument does not mean two people having a feud or fuss about something. In critical thinking, arguments do not need 2 people. We make argumets for our own use all the time.

Truth, Reason, & Logic

In Atlanta, some fifty followers of Indian Guru Hira Raan Manek regularly take his advice and stare directly into the sun. Manek told them this practice would provide energy and claritiy of thought, BUT ophtalmologists as well as critical thinkers will tell it's more likely to damage your eyes. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 7, 2007)

As human beings, we are not doomed to reach conclusions and make decisions like the ones in this example!

Our primary tool in making better judgments is critical thinking.
Boiled down, critical thinking is the careful application of reason in the determination of whether a claim is true (Moore & Parker, 2009).

Atlantas had thought about how bizarre the claims is that staring at the sun can bring clarity of thought, they might have saved their retinas!

Everybody makes error of judgment from time to time but the wise person is the one who wishes to keep such errors to a minimum and who knows how to do it.

The Top Ten Fallacies of All Time

  1. Ad Hominem / Genetic Fallacy: Disputing a position or argument by criticizing its source. Universally esteemed by talk radio hosts as the highest form of reasoning.
  2. Straw Man: Disputing a position by exaggerating it, misrepresenting it, or otherwise distorting it. Putting negative spin on an opponent's ideas.
  3. "Argument" from Outrage: Self-explanatory, Political talk shows are often reduced to shouting matches where guests compete for the loudest volume and sharpest insults.
  4. Scare Tactic: Try to prove a point by scaring the reader or listener.
  5. Hasty Generalizing: Having more confidence in a conclusion than you should, based on a small sample. For example, thinking that all baseball players use steriods simply because a few have developed bulging neck muscles.
  6. Groupthink: Allowing loyalty to one's group to cloud one's judgment.
  7. Red Herring: This attention-span fallacy works best on people who are unable to stay focused long enough to notice that the question answered was not the question asked.
  8. Wishful Thinking: A refusal to acknowledge the truth. You might call it the Ostrich Fallacy.
  9. Argument from Popularity: Believing that if "everybody" believes it, it must be true.
  10. Post Hoc, ergo Propter Hoc: Just because two things happened around the same time doesn't mean one caused the other.

Saturday, 28 August 2010


Trinité - L'algérino lyrics

Trinite By L'Algérino

Elle est celle qui m’a porté 9 mois dans ses entrailles
La seule femme qui porte pour moi un amour sans faille
Celle qui m’a vu pleurer pour la première fois
Celle qui m’a couvée changer les couche
Couvert quand j’avais froid
Celle qui m’a vu faire mes premier pas
Celle qui a entendu le premier mot sortir de ma bouche Yemma
Aucune phrase ne peut définir une créature aussi belle
Son regard est plus étincelant qu’une étoile dans le ciel
Celle qui surgit tel un oasis dans le désert
Rien n’est plus confortable que le cœur d’une mère
La chaire de ma chaire
Celle qui est fière quand je réussi
Le paradis est à ces pieds, la combler sera ma réussite
Dire que je t’ais causé tant de tracas tant de soucis
Puisse Dieu pardonner ton fils Ommi
L’amour d’une mère l’ingratitude d’un enfant
Paraît que je connaitrais ta valeur que quand j’aurais des enfants

Refrain :
Princesse de ce monde princesse de mon royaume
Gardienne de mon cœur garant de mon bonheur
T’y es forte est courageuse et tu marche fière
Rien n’est plus confortable que le cœur d’une mère
Princesse de se monde princesse de mon royaume
Gardienne de mon cœur garant de mon bonheur
T’y es forte est courageuse et tu marche fière
Rien n’est plus confortable que le cœur d’une mère

Couplet n°2 :
Elle est celle qui me conseil malgré son jeune âge
J’ai lu dans son regard aujourd’hui c’est devenu une femme
Celle pour qui je donnerais ma vie et vice et versa
Je t’ai vu dans un berceau je t’ais même cajolé dans mes bras
Je t’ai même changé les couches
C’est fou comment le temps passe
Celle qui me console quand mon cœur était dans l’impasse
Dure fut ton combat tu porte le Hijab de ton plein gré
Ni père ni mère ne t’as obligé à le porter
Celle qui à la télé entre état ….
Je t’ai vu souffrir partir en courant
Lever le foulard le cœur séré
Celle qui me dit grand frère surveille tes écrits
Les petits frères t’écoutent en boucle
Soigne tes langages et tes dires
Ma sœur je te dédie ces quelques mesures
Je sais que tu partiras un jour
Te marier à ton tour
J’espère que tu tomberas sur l’homme qui te mérite
J’en suis déjà jaloux
Ton futur mari sera tombé sur un bijou

Refrain :
Princesse de ce monde princesse de mon royaume
Gardienne de mon cœur garant de mon bonheur
T’y es forte est courageuse et tu marche fière
Rien n’est plus confortable que le cœur d’une sœur
Princesse de se monde princesse de mon royaume
Gardienne de mon cœur garant de mon bonheur
T’y es forte est courageuse et tu marche fière
Rien n’est plus confortable que le cœur d’une sœur

Couplet n°3 :
Elle est celle qui a su me comprendre
Qui a su m’accepter malgré mes milliards de défaut
Elle ne voit qu’en moi des qualités
Des femmes j’ai été écœuré j’ai sombré dans la haine
Celle qui m’a ouvert son cœur et j’ai réappris à aimer
Celle qui m’a fait comprendre que les fleurs sont pas toutes fanées
Le meilleur compromis entre l’amour et l’amitié
Celle qui est ma moitié
Celle sur qui je peux compter
Celle qui est folle de Samir
Et qui n’en a rien à foutre de l'Algé
Celle qui me donnerait tout sans rien attendre en retour
Mon rayon de soleil quand je suis dans les ténèbres en bas des tours
Celle que j’appel et qui est déjà entrain de m’appeler
Moi et ma belle, m’amène on s’aime doublement en double appel
Le mariage c’est la moitié de la foi
Parait qu’on peut être heureux en couple sans or et sans soie
Sanctuaire de la procréation tu porte peut être mon enfant dans tes entrailles
J’en ai déjà les frissons

Refrain :
Princesse de se monde princesse de mon royaume
Gardienne de mon cœur garant de mon bonheur
T’y es forte est courageuse et tu marche fière
Rien n’est plus confortable que le cœur d’une femme
Princesse de se monde princesse de mon royaume
Gardienne de mon cœur garant de mon bonheur
T’y es forte est courageuse et tu marche fière
Rien n’est plus confortable que le cœur d’une femme

Princesse de se monde princesse de mon royaume
Garant de mon bonheur
Rien n’est plus confortable que le cœur d’une mère, d’une femme, d’une sœur

Friday, 27 August 2010

Value of a College Degree

A college degree is a valuable and important means of economic and social advancement. It provides more options, for graduates and for society as a whole, since a better-educated population benefits the nation overall.

BUT the cost of a college education has outstripped the value of a degree. Attending college burdens many graduates with debt that is difficult to repay.

The best way to create a better-educated society and a more productive workforce is by bolstering the enrollment and standards of community colleges.

Skeptics who question the value of a college degree argue that because attending college has become so expensive have forced many students to take out larger loans to pay for their educations.

Jefferson advocated opening higher education to more citizens. He advocated colleges and universities that were free of religious influence or affiliation and where students could study many new fields in which courses were not offered at private universities.

Janet Riggs, president of Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, noted in an op-ed piece appearing in the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News that a college degree, specifically in the liberal arts, is a valuable commodity because "many CEOs are looking for employees with the attributes that a liberal arts education instills: critical thinking, clear communication, collaboration, an appreciation for diverse points of view, the ability to approach a problem from multiple perspectives, ethical judgment and lifelong learning skills."


On Christmas Day 2009, Nigerian citizen Umar Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a plane en route from the Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan, with a bomb concealed in his underpants; the attack was thwarted by passengers and crew on the plane.

Shortly afterward, it was discovered that Abdulmutallab had recently met in Yemen with leaders of the Al Qaeda terrorist group.

Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East; its economy has been decimated by decades of civil war and depends on dwindling oil exports.

Journalist Abigail Hauslohner describes Yemen for Time as a troubled nation that is "apparently on the verge of becoming the world's next failed state and a regional base for al-Qaeda."

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh faces two insurgencies—a rebellion in the north and a separatist movement in the south. Prior to 1990, the northern and southern regions of Yemen were separate countries.

The Soviet Union's support for the PDRS led to years of tense relations with the YAR, which had close ties to the U.S. Indeed, the struggle between Yemen's north and south became a proxy war for the U.S. and the Soviet Union; such conflicts were common during the Cold War —an ideological conflict between the two superpowers that lasted throughout most of the second half of the 20th century.

After decades of fighting, Yemen's northern and southern regions unified in 1990 under Saleh.

The Yemeni government also faces a rebellion from Islamic Shiite rebels, known as the Houthis, in the nation's northwest.

How big of a threat is Al Qaeda in Yemen? What consequences might result from the group having free rein in the country?

Frederick Kagan and Christopher Harnisch of the conservative think tanks the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, respectively, write for the Wall Street Journal that Saleh is "the only partner we have in Yemen. If we want him to take our side in the fight against al Qaeda, we have to take his side in the fight against the Houthis."

Should the U.S. assist the Yemeni government of President Saleh against insurgent forces? Why would such a move be wise or unwise?

Kagan, Frederick, and Christopher Harnisch. "How to Apply 'Smart Power' in Yemen." Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2010, online.wsj.com.
"Why It's Wrong to Rule Out Nation-Building in Yemen." Washington Post, January 10, 2010, www.washingtonpost.com.
Worth, Robert. "Violence in Yemen Shows Growing Power of Insurgency." New York Times, May 5, 2009, www.nytimes.com.

Teaching '21st-Century Skills'

According to proponents, 21st-century skills encompass abilities such as critical thinking, creativity and interpersonal communication to accomplish goals. Other 21st-century skills include media and information literacy, the ability to use technology to one's advantage and effective time management. Learning those skills will prove essential if students wish to flourish in an increasingly competitive global job market, proponents assert.

Opponents of teaching "21st-century skills" say: Learning facts is as important as learning skills. Curricula that emphasize skills over facts will produce students with a flimsy grasp of history, science and literature. Objectively evaluating how well students learn 21st-century skills will be extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Do you think your school should focus more on teaching 21st-century skills?

Critics say there is already ample evidence that most of the students have a poorer grasp of basic facts. A 2008 survey distributed by Common Core found that most teenagers display a "stunning ignorance" of history and literature, according to the report's authors.

Supporters further argue that teaching 21st-century skills creates a more engaging, interactive learning environment than is created by a teacher lecturing in front of a blackboard. The best way to teach 21st-century skills such as critical thinking and teamwork is by having students form teams and work together to complete difficult tasks, proponents say.

Rather, "being good at problem solving and complex communication is what is increasingly important," says Richard Murnane, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Mass. Rote memorization may have been important in the 20th century, but in the 21st century just about any piece of information one needs is a click away on the Internet, supporters argue.

There is no reason why schools cannot teach both skills and content in equal measure.

Summarizing an Article

Here is a simple strategy for writing an abstract or summary:

  1. Make sure you have your own Xeroxed copy or printout of the article so that you can directly interact with this reading material.
  2. Read the entire article carefully, but do not take notes. Just read it.
  3. Now reread the article and, with the use of lines, underlining, circling, and labeling(s), divide the article into major sections or stages of thought.
  4. Take the article apart and clearly mark and label what you understand to be its different major parts. It may have three major points or divisions; it may have nine. How many stages of thought the reading has depends upon its purpose and complexity
  5. .On a separate sheet of paper, in one complete sentence, sum up the main point of each major division of thought. What did this particular section say? What was its "big idea"? Write out one sentence per division or stage of thought. (If, in the case of a particularly difficult section, you need two or three sentences, that is acceptable; just be sure that you capture the essence, the heart of what is said, not all the details.)

  1. Develop and write a thesis statement for the whole article. In one sentence, express the article's main idea or focus. But remember: there is a writer or writers behind this article; always acknowledge the presence of these writers by mentioning them in the thesis statement, beginning with something like "Williams explains," or "According to Smith and Jones," or, in the case of an uncredited group or staff of writers, "The writers argue [or suggest, or say]."
  2. Combine the thesis statement from #4 with all of the one-sentence summaries from #3. You now have a rough draft of your abstract.
  3. Revise the rough draft. Make sure the paragraph is coherent—that each sentence follows logically from the previous one. Making the paragraph coherent will be especially important, since you are joining together a group of different ideas. Also be sure that your wording is precise and clear. If you use a direct quotation from the original article, put it in quotation marks.
  4. When your revision is complete, ask yourself this question: Does this abstract, this summary, adequately represent the whole article? Your answer to this question will determine just how much re-working needs to be done.

Judith Halden-Sullivan is an associate professor of English at Millersville University in Millersville, Pa.

"Summarizing an Article." Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2010. .

Citing Sources

What Is a Citation?

A citation contains important pieces of information about a primary or secondary source. These pieces of information, called elements, include items such as the name of the author, the title of an article, the title of a book or magazine, the publisher, the place of publication, and the date of publication. The citation identifies the source and enables a reader to locate it.

Your bibliography is an alphabetical list of sources you used when researching and writing your paper. Each entry on the list of sources is called a citation.

Quote. If you are quoting more than two consecutive words from another source, place the words or phrase in quotes and include a citation.

Citations are needed:

  1. To acknowledge the source of information for any ideas, quotations, or pictures that you used. Claiming that another person's ideas are your own or failing to acknowledge sources that you used is called plagiarism.
  2. To provide enough information about the source you used to help a reader easily find it.
  3. To show that you have read information about your topic and have conducted research.
  4. To protect your own original ideas and words. When you cite others' work, it is very easy to see which ideas are yours and which came from other sources.

In MLA style, your bibliography is called a "Works Cited" list. The Works Cited list is arranged alphabetically by the author's last name. It should be included at the end of your paper. If the work lists no author, alphabetize according to the first significant word in the title.

In APA style, your bibliography is called "References." The list of references is arranged alphabetically by the author's last name. It should be included at the end of your paper.

MLA Style : Citing Sources." Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2010. .

APA Style: The title of the article. (n.d.). Issues & Controversies. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from Issues & Controversies database.

During the Holocaust by Ruelle & DeSaix

The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix

The Grand Mosque of Paris is based on a true story of how the North African Muslims who ran the Grand Mosque of Paris hid Jews away from the Nazi forces occupying France, frequently sweeping the city looking for Jews to send to the concentration camps in Eastern Europe.

In a world in which Muslims are often stereotyped as terrorist, this story instead focuses on the many humanitarian deeds Muslims have been done and continue to do in the world.

This is a must read in any study of the Holocaust by fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-graders.
The illustrations are beautifully done often using dark colors to emphasize the dire circumstances of people during those dark days

When the Nazis occupied Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation. Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet during that perilous time, many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place--the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris.

Not just a place of worship but a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, especially children.

A little-known story of resistance pays homage to those who risked all to create a secret sanctuary in wartime Paris.

Smithsonian Notable Books for Children 2009