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Member since: Sun Sep 14, 2003, 03:27 PM
Number of posts: 8,055

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The Seat of Rosa Parks

We'll soon be making the 100th year since Rosa Park was born (2/4/1913). This is an English translation of a Cuban blog.


The city of Miami surprised me. Many of its buses pay tribute to someone who is a symbol of defending civil rights in this country. On my daily comings and goings through its neighborhoods, I found that detail. Right behind the bus driver’s seat, there is a small plaque with the details. Miami does it, and so have other cities in the United States, as one day will be done in Cuba with some similar actions.

The fact that Rosa Parks decided, on that afternoon of 1955, not to give up her seat to a white person, ignited the spark among her fellow citizens, leading to known events like the public transport strike in Montgomery. It was a gesture, a pro-active action, an act of non-cooperation, doing. Just like a few women decided to take to the streets of Cuba in 2003, dressed in white and with a flower in hand, or how a group of men have said: “I do not cooperate with the dictatorship”. It is these citizen gestures which turn on the motor of grand human actions.

After so much blood has been shed on the island, years of unjust imprisonment, arbitrary detentions, beatings and harassment against political activists and their families, will the definitive spark be ignited? Everything seems to indicate that it will, although sometimes we may lose hope or think that the dictatorship which has governed us for 54 years is eternal. When Laura Pollan screamed in front of the guards: “We are not afraid of you”, when Marta Diaz Rondon and Caridad Caballero shouted at the top of their lungs: “My house is not a prison”, or when Iris Perez Aguilera protested in a small town of Cuba’s interior in front of a radio station because it was only reporting part of the truth, they too were also paying tribute to Rosa Parks. They are also like her. And although they did not have the immediate protection and coverage which the humble lady from Alabama had, there is still the hope that one day they will be acknowledged for their gestures of reasonable rebellion. Against brute force, reason stands firm, Rosa said it: “Freedom is not free”.

Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud


Federal public prosecutors in Belgium will institute legal proceedings against the church of Scientology in that country and seek to recognize it as a criminal organization.

The church of Scientology -- which is not recognized as a faith in Belgium -- and several of its top-ranking members face charges including extortion, fraud, illegal practice of medicine and violation of privacy laws, according to Flanders News.

The complaint stems from an investigation of fraudulent labor contracts issued by the church of Scientology in an effort to recruit new volunteers and members. A judge ordered raids on Scientology offices in 2008 that allegedly uncovered a "wealth of evidence" that the organization had spied on and extorted money from its members, according to De Standaard.

An estimated 500 people belong to the church of Scientology in Belgium. The organization's European headquarters are located in Brussels....

How do you want to die?

On the balcony of the Senate, voice raised to the shame.

No, the capital gains tax is not “taxing the same income twice"

Whenever the subject of increasing the capital gains tax from its current 15% rate comes up, you’ll invariably hear opponents breathlessly crying, “but that’s taxing the same income twice! Capital gains is double dipping!”

It’s a great line, and has proven powerful in debates. The only problem is, it’s 100% bullshit.

The capital gains tax is NOT a tax on income already taxed, it’s a tax on the ADDITIONAL income you earn by investing that income. For example:
■You earn $100,000. Yay!
■You are taxed 35% on it. Boo!
■You invest the remaining $65,000, you do well, and you double it! Yay!
■You now have $130,000 in the bank. You are taxed 15% for the capital gains, i.e., the $65,000 you made. You pay $9,750.


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