Dual Citizenship: Taxation and the Right to Vote

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The issue of dual citizenship has generated a lot of commentary and heat here in Liberia as well as in the Diaspora, especially in the United States. Those who support it are exercised about the righteousness of their cause. Their argument goes something like this. Commencing with the coup d’etat mounted by M/Sgt Samuel Doe and his 17 compadres in 1980, Liberians started leaving the country involuntarily in large numbers, fleeing persecution and political instability.The second wave came in 1985 in the wake of the abortive Quiwonkpa failed coup. The atrocities, especially those perpetrated against the Gio and Mano populations, have been amply documented in such books as “A Promise Betrayed” by Bill Berkeley of the Lawyers’ Committee on Human Rights.The civil war followed in 1989 and a third wave ensued, all the way through Octopus, April 6, 1996 and World War III in 2003. Those who were forced to leave Liberia to avoid slaughter, rape, maiming, displacement or such other horrors of war argue that they should not lose their right to Liberian citizenship because they opted to take citizenship of another country while they were in the Diaspora.  They feel that they should be entitled to recover their Liberian citizenship, along with all the rights and privileges that go with citizenship now that peace and harmony reign. They want to be dual citizens, i.e. citizens of Liberia and of the United States or whatever other country they have adopted as their new home. They want to have their cake and eat it too.Those opposed to the notion of dual citizenship are equally adamant that they don’t want people with one foot in Liberia and another foot elsewhere. Citing the case of Ellen Cockrum, they fear that dual citizens will commit crimes in Liberia, then hop on a Brussels Airlines flight to avoid prosecution. Emotions are raw.The issue of dual citizenship is a complex one. First, foreign citizenship is a matter of choice. A personal example will illustrate the point.I fled Liberia in 1986 because C-I-C Samuel Doe was after my hide. My dear friend Jim Holder, Ellen Sirleaf, my father Harry Sr., Tuan Wreh, Jackson Doe, Gabriel Kpolleh and a number of other political figures had been arrested and incarcerated in the aftermath of the Quiwonkpa debacle. Because they had not gotten up soooon in the morning, Doe and his henchmen did not get me. I was hiding right under their noses in Monrovia. But when my mother-in-law, Justine Nimley, asked her brother, G. Alvin Jones, what would happen to me if I turned myself in, the clip response was that “They would skin me alive”. Understandably, I was not brought out of my hiding place.Instead, I journeyed to the United States and applied for political asylum. If ever there was a person for whom the asylum laws of the United States were created, it was me. I had a “well founded fear of persecution”. So, when the time came and I became eligible for US citizenship I chose not to obtain US citizenship. I did so because I knew that eventually I would come back to Liberia and I didn’t want to lose my Liberian citizenship. My wife at the time and eldest daughter, both of whom were born in Liberia, chose to become US citizens. I settled instead for a Green Card.I lived in the United States for 16 years and missed out on a lot of the benefits of citizenship. But that was my choice. Life is like that. You make choices and you have to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices you make. That goes for citizenship as it does for many other things. You cannot have your cake and eat it too.Proponents of dual citizenship focus on the benefits of citizenship but often forget about its obligations. One of the privileges of citizenship, which many proponents of dual citizenship are eyeing, is the right to vote in elections in Liberia. But if you do not live here and consequently have to live with the consequences of the choices you make at election time, is it fair for you to be given the right to vote here?Another of the obligations of citizenship is supporting the cost of government through taxation. Under American law, a US citizen must pay taxes on their income wherever it is earned. Would dual citizens accept to pay taxes in Liberia as well as in, say, the United States even though they may not live in Liberia? If the answer is no, then how would they be contributing to upkeep of the government in Liberia in the way that those living in Liberia do?The writer is a businessman. He can be reached at hagreaves49@gmail.com.last_img read more

Newcastle still pursuing deal for Murphy

first_img Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook Embed from Getty ImagesNewcastle and Norwich are to resume negotiations over a potential deal for Jacob Murphy to move to St James’ Park.Norwich recently rejected an offer from Newcastle for the 22-year-old but the Magpies remain keen to sign him. Winger Murphy, from Wembley, has been linked with a number of clubs in recent months.Southampton are reported to be monitoring developments and he was previously touted for a possible move to Everton.He has been with Norwich since the East Anglian club snapped him up along with his twin brother Josh in 2006.See also:Newcastle agree fee for Murphylast_img

Arcata boys and girls claim road wins at rival Mack

first_imgThey were cheering “A’s house” in McKinleyville as time expired.The Arcata High School boys basketball team handed conference Big 5 leader McKinleyville their first conference loss of the season, 76-55 in front of a raucous crowd Friday night.McKinleyville (14-6, 4-1) stormed out to an early 10-2 first quarter lead before being reeled in by Arcata (13-9, 3-2). By the end of the first, it was visiting Arcata who assumed control with a 16-12 lead just before the first quarter buzzer sounded.Arc …last_img

H-DNL volleyball: Panthers take care of business at home

first_imgThe McKinleyville High volleyball team made easy work of visiting Brookings-Harbor Thursday night, winning the match in straight sets, 25-4, 25-20 and 25-20, in front of its home fans at McKinleyville High.Cameron Heenan had herself an extremely active night for the Panthers, finishing the match with a team-best 18 digs and 6 service aces to go along with 6 kills.Hannah Bolton likewise left it all out on the court, contributing 12 digs in the win.It was the kind of intensive play which has …last_img

Jordanian Teacher Indoctrinates Muslims in Darwinism

first_img(Visited 176 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 An observant Muslim teacher in a hijab tries to help her biology students become “free thinkers” – how? By teaching them Darwinian evolution.In Nature, Rana Dajani appears in a photo with her head covering on to explain “Why I teach evolution to Muslim students.” For most of her students, this is the first time they have seen an observant Muslim “citing Charles Darwin as a scientist who contributed to our understanding of the emergence and diversification of life on Earth.” Why does she do it? Her motivations are admirable: promoting free thinking.I teach evolution to university students in Jordan. Almost all of them are hostile to the idea at first. Their schoolteachers are likely to have ignored or glossed over it. Still, most students are willing to discuss evolution, and by the end of the course, the majority accept the idea. If Muslim students can challenge ideas on such a controversial academic topic, then they can also approach other aspects of their lives by questioning — and not just blindly accepting — the status quo. These tools and attitudes are crucial to the development of their personalities and to becoming responsible citizens.She lets wary Muslim students know that she is not teaching against Islam. Muslim scholars, she says, agreed with the principle that science and the Prophet were not in conflict. Bad attitudes were brought in by Christian creationists:Muslim scholars such as Hussein al-Jisr and Ahmad Medhat in the 1880s supported evolution. Before Darwin, al-Jahiz and others proposed rudimentary evolutionary theories in the ninth century. I point out that the apparent controversy over evolution and Islam arose only in the twentieth century, when Darwin’s ideas became associated with colonialism, imperialism, the West, atheism, materialism and racism. Muslim religious scholars gradually took a stand against evolution, which the public adopted. The scholars used Christian creationist arguments to support their stance, transferring the Western war between science and religion to Islam.Yet her version of evolution leaves very little active role for any conceivable Creator to play. One might call it “Muslim deism” —Some of my students argue that to accept evolution means denying the existence of God. I say that evolution does not discuss the origins of the Universe. No one yet understands this beginning. To me, the beginning was God. After the beginning, the rules of logic and science led to the development of the Universe and beyond….My take, as a Muslim scientist, is that the Koran asks humans to observe and contemplate the world while celebrating the pursuit of knowledge. It does not validate scientific findings. Science allows us to question and discover how the world works and the Koran provides the moral guidelines for doing so. If an apparent contradiction arises between a scientific finding and an interpretation of the Koran, then we can turn to both science itself (which is evolving) and the interpretation of the Koran (which is not impartial, because it is a human exercise) to account for the discrepancy. This is an ongoing and fluid process, and is part and parcel of the purpose of life for Muslims.Dajani says she does not try to force these teachings on any of the students, even if they deny human evolution. She doesn’t want to be guilty of “doing what the people who decry evolution are doing: forcing an opinion on them.” She just wants them to be able to “develop a rational methodology for assessing the natural world and to come up with their own opinions, hypotheses and theories and not to copy others.”This is actually a good idea. But like a half-truth, it leaves out something important that makes all the difference: giving students both the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian evolution. Students need to know about Darwin. You can’t make sense of the Holocaust, the world wars and their genocides, and the devaluation of human life without it. But if Dajani is giving a whitewashed version of the Bearded Buddha as an option to their religion, she is merely replacing one false prophet with another. Switching dogmas is not helping them become free thinkers at all. Dajani’s strategy sounds like a middle eastern version of David Sloan Wilson’s “Evolution for Everyone” propaganda campaign (see 12/21/05). She becomes Teacher as Facilitator, cultivating a new crop of inductees into the Cult of [naked] Emperor Charlie. (Notice also how she perpetuates Islamic stereotypes against the West; that is wildly inappropriate in biology classes.)It’s not creationists who are indoctrinators. From intelligent design advocates to staunch Biblical creationist leaders, not one of the Darwin skeptics I know wants anyone to think uncritically. That’s why they go to great lengths to present both sides, appealing to evidence and logic, to call upon the audience’s reason and thinking powers. That’s why at CEH we give the Darwinists their best shot before commenting on their claims. It’s the Darwin Party that routinely tries to shut out debate. It’s the Darwin Party that routinely engages in propaganda tactics instead of appealing to rational consideration of the evidence. Read Darwin Day in America, where John West exhaustively recounts, with numerous citations and references, the outrageous intolerance of Darwinians in case after case through multiple facets of our culture for over a century. It should make any “free thinker” angry! Dajani deprives her students of critical thinking skills by failing to present the “fair and balanced” approach Darwin himself advocated.Dajani should not bring the Koran or Genesis into her biology classes. There’s no need to, because the identity of the Creator is a downstream question from the initial question, “Is the universe and life designed or not designed?” All she has to say is, “Students, we are going to learn about Darwinian evolution, because it’s an important historical subject and biological theory you need to know about to be an educated person. In this class, I will give you the best evidences and arguments for evolution, and the best evidences and arguments against it. I will not grade you on your conclusions, but only on your ability to think critically about evidence and make sound arguments to reach your conclusions.” That’s it. Leave it at that. If she wants free and independent thinkers, that’s how to do it. Who could be against that approach? I’ll tell you who: the Darwin Party. They will go on jihad against anything that criticizes their Prophet and his holy book, The Origin.last_img read more

WWE: AJ Styles to defend championship in 2-on-1 handicap match at Royal Rumble

first_imgFrom a bad end to a worse beginning, AJ Styles’ luck is going nowhere at the moment.Styles is currently sandwiched in between the cold war between SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan and Chief Commissioner Shane McMahon and it keeps getting bad for the Phenomenal One.To end 2017, he lost to Kevin Owens after an interference from Sami Zayn turned his head and it went worse when Shane came out, completely distracting him and allowing Ownes to pick up the victory.WATCHAnd to begin 2018, he was put in a match with Zayn and Owens was supposed to be at ringside which prompted Shane to announce himself at the champions corner and Bryan soon followed suit. The match was going fine until the referee was pushed out of the ring. Styles made an attempt to pin fall but Owens didn’t allow the ref to go in, thus allowing Zayn to recover and kick out at 2 later. Seeing that, Shane attacked Owens and he went to ground the referee barred him from ringside.   Bryan was unimpressed with this and asked Shane to leave too and Zayn in the meantime pushed Styles to the corner, hit him with a Helluva Kick to pick up the victory to leave Styles and Shane unimpressed.Styles being himself, couldn’t bear that and lashed out at the GM and the duo, asking them to come in the ring and compete. But Daniel was taking none of that and he soon announced that Styles will defend his WWE Championship in a 2-on-1 handicap match against Owens and Zayn at Royal Rumble to add to Styles’ misery.advertisement#WWEChampion @AJStylesOrg’s words may have just come back to haunt him… #SDLive pic.twitter.com/3stUvx5Qud- WWE (@WWE) January 3, 2018It’s sad for ‘The Man who built the house’ has fallen in between Shane and Daniel’s ego tussle — that is going on since Shane’s match with Owens at Hell in a Cell. Zayn helped his friend to everyone’s surprise and allowed him to win the match following which they have been on feud with Shane throughout.Some said that Shane is being vindictive towards them and constantly trying to punish them by putting their jobs in the line. Bryan came in following all that and his actions have come out as the complete opposite.As time goes on, it will be interesting to see what Shane and AJ does next week in reply to Bryan and Owens’ actions on January 3 edition of SmackDown Live but one thing is for sure — this gives the writers enough scope to bring back Bryan into the frame if he is fit to wrestle.ALSO WATCH:last_img read more