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20/01/2020
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Is it wrong to talk about moral values?

US Attorney General William (Bill) Barr committed an absolute heresy to modern ears when he said that “moral values must rest on authority independent of men’s will. They must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being.” This can’t be right! yelp the modernists. We get to decide those things, not some unelected Supreme Being! Religion sounds just as bad as the Electoral College, which is why we need to get rid of both! cry the relativist cadre. The mainstream press and the social media reaction makes the US Attorney General's statements appear as offensive in his speech at the (Roman Catholic) University of Notre Dame last week. Yet the A.G. was simply spelling out the reality of life...

Bill Barr Is Right. That’s Why He Terrifies the Left

by Robert R. Reilly  A.G. Bill Barr at Notre Dame Univ.A.G. Bill Barr at Notre Dame Univ.

Attorney General William Barr was excoriated by the mainstream press and the social media offenderati for his speech at the (Roman Catholic) University of Notre Dame last week. Yet the A.G. was simply spelling out the reality of life in modern America: here is what we have lost, here are the reasons why, and here’s what’s happening as a result. We won the American Revolution, but we lost the sexual revolution—with all its attendant debasement.

Those responsible for the loss seem incapable of recognizing the sequence of cause and effect spelled out by Barr. Journalists who have specialized in providing rationalizations for the release of our unbridled passions are clueless as to the magnitude of our national decline. That’s to be expected: they are symptoms of it. They thought the moral pigpen they were playing in was cost free; when the hefty bill arrives, they blame the waiter and try to bolt (“I don’t remember ordering two filet mignons, La Madeline au Truffle, or the Château Latour.”).

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Ancient kingdom of Siam is presently known as the land of the Thai

Thailand is a country located in the centre of mainland Southeast Asia.
Located wholly within the tropics, Thailand encompasses diverse ecosystems,
including the hilly forested areas of the northern frontier,
the fertile rice fields of the central plains,  the broad plateau of the northeast,
and the rugged coasts along the narrow southern peninsula.
Until the second half of the 20th century, Thailand was primarily
an agricultural country, but since the 1960s increasing numbers of people
have moved to Bangkok, the capital, and to other cities.
This kingdom was never brought under foreign domination
and preserves its independence until this day.

Thailand embraces New Economy

Businesses and investors in advanced and green industries are choosing Thailand for its ecosystem for success.

Bangkok, Oct.22.– There was a time when Thailand was best known for exports of rice, garments and textiles, rubber products, electric appliances and combustion-engine vehicles. But times have changed. Today, the Kingdom of Thailand is increasingly recognized for biotechnology, cutting-edge medical equipment, electric vehicles, robotics and artificial intelligence, blockchain and financial technology.

Thailand is welcoming investment in high-technology and green industries, and investors in those industries are keen on the change taking place in the Kingdom.

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La Miseria Extrema: trágico legado del “Socialismo real” en América Latina

Como puede observarse al final de la lista de países de América latina que sigue en orden alfabético al pie de este párrafo, mostrando sus sueldos mínimos mensuales expresados en moneda local, dólares de EEUU y bolívares soberanos, el sueldo mínimo mensual en Venezuela es de 40,000 bolívares, lo que equivale a unos US$2 al mes, una cantidad todavía muy inferior a los sueldos de miseria de Cuba (US$15 mensual) y Haití (US$69 mensual), lo que coloca a Venezuela y Cuba muy por debajo del nivel de subsistencia para un gran sector de su población. En este orden de miseria salarial, los sigue Nicaragua (US$126 mensual). Esta lista sólo muestra los salarios mínimos establecidos por ley, pero el producto nacional por habitante, que es un índice bastante confiable de la miseria o riqueza de cualquier país, coloca a Bolivia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela y Haití (en ese orden) como los más pobres de las Américas.  Cuba no figura en este índice porque hace todo lo posible por ocultar las cifras de su economía, pero algunos notables economistas han logrado interpolar los fragmentos de información que se pueden obtener de otras fuentes, para colocar a Cuba a un nivel de extrema miseria entre Nicaragua y Venezuela.

Veamos a continuación las cifras del salario mínimo por país:
 

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The spreading practice of direct democracy

The pure form of direct democracy exists only in the Swiss cantons of Appenzell Innerrhoden and Glarus. Switzerland is a rare example of a country with instruments of direct democracy (at the levels of the municipalities, cantons, and federal state). However, other countries practice direct democracy in the form of plebiscites, town meetings and other minor means of direct participation. The European Union is turning into a parliamentarian democracy at the continental level and allows citizens to to promote parliamentary initiatives through the European Citizens' Initiative, introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon in 2007.  Taiwan is leading this trend with greater vigour since hosting the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

Celebrating modern direct democracy with a Taiwanese character

A special democracy train, signature gatherers in Buddhist temples, nationwide Taiwan's Longshan Buddhist TempleTaiwan's Longshan Buddhist Templemarches for better legislation: a look back at the participatory celebration that was the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

Oct. 7.– Monday morning, 9:35am. Taipei Main Station, track 3B. Over 300 passengers are boarding the eight-car narrow-gauge special headed south to the port city of Kaohsiung.

“This is the nation’s very first democracy train,” explains Transport Minister Lin Chia-Lung (of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party) in a smooth departure ceremony to welcome participants to the 2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy: a week of events, visits, and conversations around the question of “how can we transform people power movements on the street into well-designed institutionalized participatory and direct democracies?”

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2019 Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy

The Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy is the largest gathering devoted to direct democracy worldwide. It favours a multidisciplinary approach, welcoming participants from academic, political and civil society perspectives. It is attended by activists, organisations and academics from all over the world. The goal is to bring together people with different experiences and backgrounds, so as to give activists and organisations the opportunity to share their insights and connect with others working on the same issues. This October the Global Forum will be hosted by Taichung, Taiwan.

As democracy stagnates in many countries, and direct democracy suffers from lack of support, Taiwan has taken historic steps to move forward. The island nation Taichung, TaiwanTaichung, Taiwanin East Asia’s new Referendum law, less than two years old, is considered a global model for initiative and referendum. But how is it working in practice? What are the lessons of the first years of modern direct democracy in the new powerhouse of citizens participation? What is happening across East and South Asia and the West Pacific? 

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