Category Archives: Economical affairs

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Montañas de la Sierra de Agalta, Olancho. Hond...

Montañas de la Sierra de Agalta, Olancho. Honduras. Photo by Dennis Garcia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday in Honduras lawmakers voted unanimously to ban child marriage, making it illegal in the Central American nation for children under the age of 18 to get married under any circumstances.

“The fight against child marriage is a strategic way of promoting the rights and empowerment of women in various areas, such as health, education, work, freedom from violence,”

Portillo, Plan’s Honduras country director, said in a statement.

Enforcing the law will be hardest in indigenous communities and poor rural areas in Honduras where child marriage is most prevalent, campaigners say.

A lot has still to be done all over the world where 1 in 5 women aged 15-49 are reported to have experiencing physical and/or sexual violence even by an intimate partner within a 12 month period.

Data on the prevalence of violence against women and girls is often lacking. This is especially true for women and girls with disabilities, ethnic minorities, migrant workers and older women. Even where the data exists, comparability across and within countries remains a considerable challenge for global monitoring.

It is each responsible citizen to take action when he or she sees something abnormal. Each of us has to take the responsibility to eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

The sensitive nature of FGM poses challenges in the reliable collection and comparability of such data, as families are reluctant to provide these details. In addition, prevalence levels among different groups and/or regions within countries are not always available, leaving only national prevalence rates which obscure differences.

Also lots of work has to be made to have woman put on the same scale as their male counterparts at work, having the same pay. Wages for the same work has to be equal for man and woman, with the only difference that those who do it already longer, have much more experience and as such can work faster, should be allowed a premium for their ‘seniority’.

Unpaid domestic and care work should be recognised by the governments and as such be accounted for the retirement rates. those women who spend time to bring up their kids should not be penalised. It should be taken into account that those who want to do a full-time job and put their children under the care of others, either should pay the prize for such service, or when getting it cheaper should share in the cost for a pensionfund for those who take care of their kids themselves and as such can not earn more money to live more in luxury.

On the job, in politics every woman should have the same say as their male counterparts. We do have to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life. For this we should see that it is already established in the local clubs and smaller groups in our society and is represented in the amount of active local politicians. Everywhere we should take care that every girl or woman counts and shall be heard.

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Please read

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Further reading

  1. Building / Raising the girl child
  2. Equality for women, really?
  3. Chinna chinna aasai 
  4. Gender pay gap explained by children and choice of field, study finds
  5. Reflections on the links between Johns and everyone else who sexually objectifies women.
  6. Reviewing Goal 5 at HLPF!
  7. What is HLPF?

types of feminism

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Proverbs 14:23 Work Versus Talk

In life we have to work to get things done. We have to study and later that study hopefully can lead to a job. But once finished  schooling and gone working and earning money studying and working does not stop and does not always satisfies us. In case we believe in god we also want to work at our spiritual life.

During the time of training it does not always feel good or fun. It will be hard work. It takes a sharp focus and dedication. God is training you to be the best you can be in Jesus. He wants you to be just like Jesus. Jesus lived His life for God and for all people, not for Himself. God uses hardships to keep your focus on Him at all times. Hardships will cause you to lean on God and trust in Him and in Him alone. The world will let you down, God will not. {Hebrews 12:7 Hardship Equals Discipline}

writes Tom, who is happily married for 23 years to his wife Cammie and has worked as a children’s pastor, senior pastor, and many times (and currently) as a Sunday School Teacher..

In case we do have a job we may count ourselves by the lucky ones who can earn their living with it, if we can.

There are people in this world that cannot get a job to earn the needed money for food, clothing or housing. They would love to have a job. If you have a job, count it a blessing and a privilege.

No matter what your job is, your ultimate job is the one for God, to be His witness in this world. This can be done first by being a good hard worker for your boss. You must do the work required with the best of your abilities. You then must be willing to talk to others about Jesus. {Labor Day}

The work we are doing can bring profit to more than one person.

It can be easily seen that hard work will usually bring about a profit for a person. Being dedicated to the job and getting the job done in the best way possible, will allow a person to get promoted to a better position with better pay.

We as Christians should always try to do our best and be an example for others. In our work we should be a copy of the master teacher we are following. and with our work we also should honour the One Who has given all those capabilities to that work and Who allow us to enjoy life here on earth.

When doing our worldly job we  may never forget to do the work for God. We also have continually to grow and mature in Jesus Christ. Our guestwriter also knows that this may be something that takes hard work and dedication, but shows also that the bible gives us ways to have the work light.

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Insights From Tom

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

It can be easily seen that hard work will usually bring about a profit for a person. Being dedicated to the job and getting the job done in the best way possible, will allow a person to get promoted to a better position with better pay.

Those who do not work or do not work hard, fall into poverty. This will include people who do work, but do the absolute minimum work possible. They try to cut the corners to get out of working hard. Doing this will keep the employer from giving any pay raises or promotions and will keep them in poverty. They only talk the talk.

Looking at hard work and the rate of pay is the most common way to look at this verse. However there is the spiritual realm of…

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Filed under Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Welfare matters

A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

As the anniversary of the signature of the EU’s founding treaties is approaching, a group of over 300 European academics and personalities are endorsing this appeal to relaunch European integration and inviting civil society, academia, young people and citizens to participate to the March for Europe in Rome on March 25.

Alberto Alemanno for VoxEurop

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957.

Signing of the Treaty of Rome, March 25, 1957. – AP Images – Treaty of Rome, originally (1957–93) Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, succeeded by (1993–2009) Treaty Establishing the European Community and (2009– ) Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; also called, together with the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

25 March 2017 is the day of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties which have made the EU project the most successful experiment of peace and integration ever.

This date may go down history as yet another self-praising, boring, closed-door party of 27 EU leaders or as the germ of a first conscious, popular and patriotic European manifestation. A March for Europe – mimicking the one that took place in London in the aftermath of the Brexit vote – has been announced by the Union of European Federalists. Unfortunately, only the usual suspects – a few pro-European organisations – are behind this one-in-a-generation opportunity to show how many citizens of Europe support and share its ideals, values and lifestyles. Despite its high-potential in prompting a genuine, pan-European manifestation calling for a renewal of the EU project through an inclusive, constituent process, the risk that it may reveal a flop is dangerously high.

The appeal below intends to pierce the typical Brussels bubble currently surrounding the March for Europe, by broadening its audience to a much wider public. There has never been a better opportunity to federate – in a critical moment of its existence – the multitude of associations, movements and grassroots actors who believe in the European project. There has never been a better opportunity to make your voice heard and contribute to the emergent European public space. There has been never been a better opportunity to shape your history and that of the generations to come.

See you in Rome on 25 March. Help us spread the call below through the hashtag #MarchForEurope2017!

A genuine European Union to ensure welfare, security and democracy

We European citizens are worried and scared. The economic and financial crisis has impoverished many of us. Youth unemployment risks creating a lost generation. Inequality grows and social cohesion is in peril. The EU is surrounded by war and instability from Ukraine to Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. The flux of refugees and migrants has become a structural feature we must address together, in a human and forward-looking manner. In many Member states we witness authoritarian tendencies and the rise of nationalist and xenophobic forces. Democracy and the core values of the European modern civilisation are under attack. The EU itself is questioned, although it ensured peace, democracy and welfare for decades.

We European citizens don’t want our national politicians to care only about their next local or national election. They ask for European solutions to European problems but then they act to render those solutions impossible or ineffective. They disregard sensible Commission proposals or fail to implement decisions already taken , including when agreed by all. They claim, one day, for Europe to do something and protest, the following day, Europe’s proposed actions.

We ask national politicians and the media to stop depicting integration as a zero-sum game, thus pitting nations against one another. In an interdependent world no nation can satisfy all of its citizens’ basic needs and appeals for social justice. In this context, integration and supranational government is a positive-sum game. Our European social model based on liberal democracy and a social market economy can only survive in a multi-level framework of government, on the basis of the subsidiarity principle.

Dutch passportEstonian passportWe European citizens are aware that globalisation is transforming the world. We need a European government to foster our common values and contribute to the solution of the global problems threatening humanity. The world needs an outward-looking cosmopolitan Europe to help build a more effective and democratic global governance to cope with climate change, peace, global poverty, and the transition to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy.

Seat

The European Central Bank (ECB; French: Banque centrale européenne) = central bank for the euro and administers monetary policy of the eurozone, which consists of 19 EU member states and is one of the largest currency areas in the world.

Phrygian cap on pole.svgWe European citizens recognise the EU as an incomplete Res Publica. It has a ridiculous budget (0.9 percent of GDP) and no financial autonomy from Member states, while its current competences are out of date for what is necessary to successfully answer the challenges of the current crises. It has a federal like legislative, judiciary and central bank. But democracy is the possibility for citizens to choose the government and make it accountable. For the Union to work and be democratic its decisions, including budget, foreign and defence policy, and the reform of the Treaties, should primarily be taken by a qualified majority representing the majority will of European citizens and states. The Commission should evolve into a fully-fledged government, setting and promoting a political agenda legitimated through elections. European parties should present their candidates to the Presidency at the European election.

The alternative is a directly elected President of the EU merging the Presidencies of the Commission and the European Council.

On 14 February 1984 the European Parliament adopted the Draft Treaty establishing the European Union, the so-called Spinelli Project, pointing towards a political union, which Member states disregarded. On 14 February 2017 we call upon the European Parliament, the only directly elected body of the EU, to take a new initiative to kick-start the EU on strengthened democratic basis. Talking about banking, fiscal, economic, energy, security, defence and political unions makes sense only within a genuine democratic European Union, with all those policies under a European government.

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Signing of the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, in the Jerónimos Monastery of Lisbon, Portugal, 13 December 2007, which entered into force on 1 December 2009

On 25 March 2017 the Heads of state and government will celebrate the Treaties of Rome establishing the European Economic Community and Euratom in 1957. We call upon them to match the vision of the Founders. They should open the way to the re-foundation of the EU on the basis of the European Parliament proposal, and immediately exploit all the Lisbon Treaties’ instruments to strengthen EU institutions and policies, especially on foreign and security, economic and social policies.

We call upon the Europe’s youth, its civil society, workers, entrepreneurs, academia, local governments and European citizens to participate in the March for Europe in Rome on 25 March. Together we shall give the political leaders the strength and courage to push forward the EU to a new beginning. European unity is key to solve our common problems, safeguard our values and ensure our welfare, security and democracy.

This Appeal was drafted by Roberto Castaldi with Giuliano Amato, Yves Bertoncini, Stefan Collignon, Anthony Giddens, Ulrike Guérot, and Miguel Maduro. It is available in various languages for further adhesions at March for Europe with the list of signatures and the info on the March.

Marcus Ampe

March for Europe: in Rome on March 25

Flag of the European Union

English: Constituency for the European Parliam...

English: Constituency for the European Parliament election in 2009 Español: Mapa por el Elecciones al Parlamento Europeo de 2009 Français : Circonscriptions aux élections européennes en 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles:

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

F: Une véritable Union européenne pour garantir le bien-être, la sécurité et la démocratie

D.: Eine echte Europäische Union die Gemeinwohl, Sicherheit und Demokratie gewährleistet

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, History, Juridical matters, Political affairs, World affairs

From Guestwriters 2016 in review

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...

Each day million articles are published, looking to find a reading eye. Every day thousands of new articles appear on WordPress. In 2016 one hundred seventeen billion nine hundred thirteen million one hundred forty-eight thousand three hundred fifty seven words got published on WordPress. {Automattic WordPress year-in-review-2016}

2016 in view

The year that David Bowie and Prince passed away, like several very well known figures of the arts world, it looked like some people who made it in their life did not want to stay here any longer. It was also the year of lots of terrorism and political correctness, where those who are different than the mainstream (disabled, transgender, refugees, extreme religious and non religious groups, jihad fighters,) got lots of attention.
In the United States of America Obama Care which at last had become a reality came back under threat. North America saw in Boston in November, the Disability Policy Consortium accepted proposals and held a Disability Intersectionality Summit. Presentations included topics on the intersections of being undocumented, being LGBTQ+, being a person of colour, having mental health disabilities, on #DisabilityTooWhite – the hashtag and movement around the the disability community’s failure to represent racially diverse voices – and more. Lots of things came on the American roller-coaster, having Michigan banned non-emergency restraint and seclusion for disabled students and Georgia’s governor speaking in favour of Employment First policies for disabled people in Georgia.

2016 Nice attack.png

Route of the attacker from west to east at the Promenade des Anglais, Nice

With the 15th anniversary of 9/11 the jihadi‘s made sure they would not be forgotten; ISIS/ISIL and BokoHaram being the new strongholders. In Europe the fear took so many people that politicians saw the opportunity to fuel the extreme right and come with absurd laws, like banning burkini‘s. All the fearmongering having fueled by the March 22 suicide bombings at Brussel’s Zaventem airport and Maelbeek metro station, leaving around 35 victims dead and 360 seriously injured, ISIS claiming responsibility.
America also got its portion of  ISIS-madness with a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State opens fire at gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49, injuring 53 – one of the bigger mass shootings in the U.S.A.. September 17 a terror bomb in Chelsea, New York injured 29 people. Lots of Americans got so frightened of Muslim people, looking at them if they all would be terrorist, though they under their own white Christian population had more victims by weapon violence this year than by terrorism. Several times the world could see how racism is still a big problem in the States and how police can not keep themselves in control when arresting black people. (African American Alton Sterling shot by Louisiana police in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile shot by police in St Paul Black on July 6; American Keith Lamont Scott September 20)
The Islamic militants for sure where very active all over the world. Some events called for more attention worldwide, having foreigners also under the victims or by being considered the country’s worse terror attack for the year, like at a cafe in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a fighter killed 20 hostages and 2 police on July 1. The next day (July 2) a large lorry bomb in Baghdad killing at least 125 people and wounding 150, Islamic State claiming once more responsibility.  On December 11 a bombing at a chapel in Cairo, Egypt, killed 25 and wounded 45. December 19 again a truck was used to kill many people, like in Nice on the 14th of July now the target was a Christmas market in Berlin killing 12, injuring 48.

Terroranschlag-Berlin-Breitscheidplatz-2016 (2) (31731061626) (square crop).jpg

Aftermath of the 2016 Berlin attack

In the States of America on January 17 the Fourth Democratic presidential candidates debate showed how Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed over healthcare and gun control in Charleston, South Carolina, and gave us an idea that though perhaps the best candidate of all Bernie Sanders would not going to make it to president elect. Two days later Sarah Palin officially endorsed Donald Trump‘s presidential bid at a Trump rally in Ames, Iowa. What nobody thought possible occurred when this man made it to the preselections, then to the selection to finally become what nobody would ever dreamed possible, him becoming president elect. November 8 Republican Donald Trump became elected President of The United States of America, defeating democrat Hillary Clinton despite Clinton winning 2.9 million more votes. Europe fell on its back for the second time, the first one having been the vote for the Brexit (June 23), who nobody had thought would come through. These two unexpected events show clearly how careful we must be when we think it not necessary to spend time on such personalities and situations.

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Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

For that reason we should much more react on what is going on on ecological level. The Paris Agreement on climate change signed in New York (on April 22) binding 195 nations to an increase in the global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C is only the beginning of a long road to run. Global warming is not only blamed the cause of many people having to flee for the rising water-level. On August 1 there was an anthrax outbreak in the Russian district Yamalo-Nenets, Siberia killing one and infecting 8 others, also killing 2,300 reindeer. Indian government declared levels of air pollution in Delhi an emergency situation, closing schools and construction sites on November 6.

Though 2016 seemed to be the year that people where more concerned about the whereabouts and the look of their friends on Facebook and Twitter. Social media being the major interest gainer of the year. Most people more concerned about their outfit, fashion, style and strangely enough books and films again.

Astronaut Scott Kelly

Astronaut Scott Kelly

Lots of people running with their heads in the skies did not notice that US astronauts Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko returned to earth, on March the 2nd, after nearly a year (340 days), setting an ISS record. For the earthly matters it became time that the U.S.A. did something positive to restore the relations between them and Cuba. March 20 Barack Obama became the first US President to visit Cuba since 1928, arriving for a 2 day tour.

The ‘Big Joke of the year’ (in April) was to see how many politicians who said something had to be done against fraud and how people had to pay honestly their taxes, their names could be found on the 11.5 million confidential documents from offshore law firm Mossack Fonseca , the Panama Papers exposing widespread illegal activities including fraud, kleptocracy, tax evasion and the violation of international sanctions by the world’s elite in the world’s largest ever data leak.

On April 11 UN-backed ceasefire came into effect in Yemen conflict between Iranian-backed Houthis rebels and government forces.

June 7 with a car bomb attack on a police bus in central Istanbul killing 11 was just a beginning of a whole series of bombings in Turkey of which there is no clarity if they are orchestrated by some political forces to have Erdogan in an even stronger dictatorial position. June 28 presented again a suicide bombings and gun attacks, at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport killing 42 and wounding more than 200. We have no idea if the coup d’etat was something set up by Erdogan himself. It gave him way to hold a big clean up and to get rid of all those who stood in his way.

In Colombia more than 50 years of conflict came in its last stadium, the governement and Farc rebels signing a ceasefire agreement on June the  23rd, followed by many talks to have the rebels not being sued.

2016 for this platform

WordPress Administration

WordPress Administration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of the 595,795,035 posts written on WordPress we only presented a mere 358 articles, hoping our humble little site could catch some interest by the many people who are scanning the worldwide internet for something interesting to read. From our tiny country not having any funds, not having serious backing and not able to afford much money on writers, designers or even having our own publishing space, just using the private limited funds of the editor and responsible publisher Mr. Marcus Ampe, we sincerely try to find some interesting literature on the net and present it to our readers and visitors. Because not having much GBites we are limited in re-blogging because pictorial content eats our internet data space, but when a must read is found with lots of photos we still do hope to be able to discuss it or to present it in one of our articles.

English: Stats on Cross-ideological Blogging

Stats on Cross-ideological Blogging (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We must confess that we did not catch many readers for the many work-hours we invest searching for additional and further reading material. Luckily this was the first year we did not very angry letters of people being onerous that we included their article in the listing. In 2016 for the first time we even got a letter thanking us for having brought 1000 readers to someone’s site. Though we put a lot of work in creating all the links in the articles and in the accompanying list of interesting articles, to our sense or liking not enough people make use of those links and referential titles. For that reason from now on we shall perhaps start putting less url-backgroundlinks to words or tags, but still shall continue to try to offer you a list of noteworthy article by other bloggers.

It is a pity we only could find 7 782 views of only 4 827 visitors coming along.
Officially opened to the public on 2014/03/2 we got 1 847 visitors the first year and 2 764 visitors in 2015, so we may be satisfied it is a line going upwards. Though published from Belgium in the European Union, our ‘home-country’ only delivered 269 views. The United States being at the top with giving us 3745 views, followed by the United Kingdom delivering 852 views and our northern neighbours the Netherlands offering us 532 views may encourage us to continue.

The home page caught 2 118 views, followed by 349 for the About page. Of the articles “Religious celebrations in May 2016” got the most views (only 103) and got only 4 likes.

People naturally have to find us. 1 437 do so by using search machines, whilst 783 use the WordPress facilities. 155 come along by Facebook. But we too are happy to find other WordPress users referring to us and bringing readers to our site. Naturally our own authors or own sites like our ecclesia site (9 views), the Belgian Biblestudents and the Bijbelvorsers (each 8) and Stepping Toes (7), but non connected writers like ridzerdvandijk.wordpress.com with 8 views and sneakytwistedlittlewildheart.wordpress.com (good for 6), entering the promissedland (5), discoveronething (5), eternalhunt (5) and some others bringing us each 4 or less viewers.

U.S. advertisement for the 11th edition from t...

U.S. advertisement for the 11th edition from the May 1913 issue of National Geographic Magazine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most used search terms were ‘hoopvolle slogans’ and ‘bezinningsteksten zelfkritiek’ with each 3 hits.
We ourselves brought 110 readers to our other site “Our World” and for for other sources Wikipedia got 56 readers from us, whilst the Collins dictionary got 21 and the very good Encyclopaedia Britannica only 18 views. Abortion and crime rates by wordlifeandlight managed to get 6 views from us and Lizaborstlap received also 6 visitors, as far as we can see from our statistics.

imageThis last person who has always been a person with a to-do list is also one of the people who wanted to share some writing on this platform. But there were many days when she became a slave to her lists and she had to face that things don’t always happen as planned and that she would feel like a failure if she wasn’t able to cross out all the tasks that she allocated to a specific day.{a goal should scare you a little and excite you a Lot!}

She may perhaps had to become, like us, more specific and to be realistic in what she can (and can’t) achieve in one day; but we did want to reach so much and sometimes got frustrated not seeing our accomplishment for the day.

We are still looking for authors who would not mind to write about lifestyle, interior design, fashion, cooking, family life, gardening, nature and ecological matters and some persons who would not mind tackling the history and people who would love to write about education and health. There are so many subjects not covered yet by people who can tell more about it than we can.

From the end of 2016 onwards we added two viewpoints, namely two comparators, on one site the Muslim world and on the other site the Judaic world and traditions.

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios blog...

English: Monkeys Blogging Español: Simios bloggeando (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We do know that certain subjects are not tackled here. Marcus Ampe would love to find some one talking about family matters, family life being one of the cornerstones of our society. To his regret he must also establish that in 2016 not enough regard was given to ecological matters. Man having to live in surroundings which are too polluted and which are filled with buildings and cars, but not given the freedom to have enough green to bring enlightenment and fresh air to people. It is really getting time that more people warn others about us, man, to take care of mother earth, before it is too late.

Whilst on WordPress in general 112 million posts were liked, we did not have many likes. 8 billion e-mails were send on WordPress, but in those there are not counted the very many e-mails we got in our own e-mail box, instead of reacting on the blog articles themselves. This is a pity, because other readers can not read the reactions and oh so often we have to reply to very similar questions, which is more time consuming than having a reply which can be read by thousands on the internet.

For 2017 may we hope that if there are even more articles written on the internet than the 595,795,035 posted on WordPress in 2016 and the huge amount of comments, making it up to 457,596,906 comments on WordPress, you shall be able to  find some very interesting articles and comments here too.

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fashion Show, New York. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2016 we saw that it is possible that those with the biggest mouth and do not mind trampling over many can get their cause. 2016 may have been a disastrous year on several issues and lots of important issues where not even mentioned or got not the right attention. For this new year we love to repeat our call to get more people daring to come out for the poor and the maltreated. We also once more want to ask people to wake up the majority of the population who still keeps their eyes closed for what is really going on in this world. There is a need of more people who are willing to stand up to preserve and encourage the progress of humanity while resisting the forces that threaten to turn it backwards.

We have to be very cautious for what certain people try to do with their nation but also with the world. As citizen we should be aware that politicians are nothing without their people and that folks if they really want can be much stronger than those politicians, who dare to look away from the citizen who needs help and encouragement. Those who call themselves Christian should be there to give a hand to all that need help, not forgetting nature, plants and animals who do not have a voice. therefore we do hope to find more blogs tackling their problem, and would love to have an author on ecology writing for us from this year onwards.

Without you reader we are nothing and can do nothing. We thank you for being here with us and for the followers we are grateful and do hope we can please you with a varied menu.

Wishing everyone a great 2017.

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Preceding article

2014 in review

In 2015 finishing our first year: From Guestwriters 2015 in review

Pokémon craziness

2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Children of Men

Max Lucado: I Had a Dream That Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Reached a Truce

Leaders in disguise

Looking at man’s closest friend

Looking at an American nightmare

The twist of politics and expression

Tribes Redux

Darkest just before dawn

Bruxelles Ma Belle

Mountains of information, disinformation and breaking away

Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised

An American Embassy to the Eternal Capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem

Humanity Quote for Pax Populi

When will it stop

Not limiting others but sharing peace with all

Not missing your appointment in 2017

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Additional reading

  1. EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) asylum seekers and Eastern neighbours
  2. At the closing hours of 2016 #1 Looking down at terror
  3. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  4. Suffering brothers and sisters in Malawi, Mozambique and surrounding areas
  5. Not much interest for English articles
  6. From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah
  7. 2016 American Bible survey
  8. On April 21 brother Nelson, in the world better known as Prince was lost
  9. Social media, sympathy & shocks
  10. Foreign workers and immigrants
  11. A stain of shame for the European Union
  12. Voted against their system
  13. A sleeper cell of militants was said directing attackers sent back to France from Islamic State’s de-facto capital in Raqqa, Syria
  14. Daesh hits heart of Europe
  15. Islamism Rises from Europe’s Secularism
  16. March 22 2016, attacks in Brussels at airport and metro
  17. A Black day for Belgium – Brussels Airport ravage
  18. Knife-trust in democratic sore back
  19. For those who call the Brussels Airport attacks a fake or a conspiracy of the government
  20. Terrorist attacks in brussels
  21. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
  22. US President, Barack Obama Condemns The Outrageous Brussels Attacks
  23. What Associated Press released on Wednesday 23 March 2016
  24. Mediterranean bloodshed
  25. Nice attack, terror everywhere and coup attempt in Turkey
  26. Is Europe going to become a dictatorial bastion
  27. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  28. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  29. France and the Burkini
  30. Secularism in France becoming dangerous for freedom of religion
  31. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  32. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God
  33. Where’s the Outrage Over Nun Beachwear? – The Daily Beast
  34. You are what you wear
  35. Does Banning Face Veils Help Us Fight Terrorism?
  36. Jews the next scapegoat for Donald Trump
  37. The American clouds of Anti-Semitism
  38. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  39. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  40. Trump has been buffetted by accusations of miscunduct
  41. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  42. Are United States of America citizens going to show their senses
  43. When so desperate to hold onto power
  44. Some quotes Americans should remember when going to the ballot office
  45. Brexit and British business
  46. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  47. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  48. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  49. Bosphorus bloodshed
  50. Belgian aftershock from the Turkish coup d’état

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United Congregational Church plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center

In Europe we find that many Christian Churches which have not enough members any more to fill their churches and to cover their costs for keeping those churches open have to close them down and sell them. Many Christian churches in Holland are sold to private owners to give them different apartments or shops, or are finding a new use as community centre, library or theatre.

Perhaps in the States the churches are also facing a similar problem. One of the oldest and historic Christian Churches in Bridgeport, CT, The United Congregational Church said Monday it plans to sell its brick Georgian-Revival style church, built in the 1920s, to the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center for $1 million.

The two groups will also form a partnership to provide community programs including soup kitchen and a homeless shelter from the site of the current church.

In recent years, more Muslim communities across the U.S. have begun to engage in the types of fundraisers and social-service projects that Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues often host or organize, said David Grafton, professor of Islamic studies and Christian-Muslim relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn.

“As the national landscape has become much more suspicious of Muslims, and as Islamophobia has become more common, Muslim communities have consciously engaged in the process to normalize—or become part of the religious landscape of organizing into voluntary associations that form the bedrock of American civil and religious life,”

he said.

The lineage of the United Congregational Church dates back to colonial days. It was first established in 1695 and called the Ecclesiastical Society of Stratfield. It later merged in 1916 with another congregation to form the United Congregational Church.
Rev. Sara Smith said the Bridgeport church had 3,000 members when the main structure was built, but the numbers have now dwindled to 300. She said it made financial sense for the congregation to look for a new home.

UnitedCongregationalChurchBridgeport.jpg

877 Park Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut – United Congregational Church: a historic large brick Georgian Revival structure designed by architects Allen & Collens and built in 1925-26 for a congregation with nearly 300 years of history

The United Congregational Church will be renting space in another part of Bridgeport till they find a new space to buy, Rev. Smith said.

“We are not dying, we are just moving,”

she said.

It has been a challenge for Muslim organizations to find real estate for mosques or other religious uses since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that challenge has become more difficult in recent years, said Reza Mansoor, president of the Islamic Association of Greater Hartford.

“The Muslim community has had to reach out to places of worship to buy their properties in Connecticut towns and cities like East Hartford, Avon and New London,”

Dr. Mansoor said.

Ahmed Ebrahim, the leader of the Bridgeport Islamic Cultural Center, said his organization bought the church because it had the space needed for prayers and was zoned for religious use. About 1,000 families in the greater Bridgeport region are expected to use the mosque.

“It’s a perfect fit for our needs,”

Dr. Ebrahim said.

The main sanctuary will be used as a prayer space, Dr. Ebrahim said. The congregation from the United Congregational Church will help prepare the space by removing a cross from the altar and modifying the stained-glass windows in the church.

Ellen Carter from Fairfield, Conn., says her family has been a member of the church for 11 generations.

“It’s sad”

we are moving locations, Ms. Carter said.

“On the other hand, it’s necessary, and we are happy it’s again going to be used as a house of worship.”

The closing of the sale is scheduled for May 1. The church was designed by Allen & Collens, the architectural firm that also designed the Cloisters Museum in Manhattan and the Central Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. {Source: The Wall Street Journal}

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Tribes Redux

All over Europe we are feeling the pressure of certain people who think the country belongs to them only, even when their ancestors immigrated to that country which was then willing to receive them and to give them a place to build up a better life. But now their grand- or over-grandchildren do not want to give others such a chance to make something better out of their life.

The far-right (or today also called the Alt-right) becoming stronger in West-Europe and now also spreading like a virus over the United States of America and Canada, should make those who feel more for a democratic system more worried and anxious to take action, for bringing a halt to this fungus which can make our whole nation rotten and a dangerous swamp to live in.

Good that William Hill does not keep his writings private any more.
He likes to start each posting with a quote by someone past or present that speaks to the topic he want to address.Today he starts of with a quote from the young Kenian journalist at Africanews, Euronews and co-host for Ebru News “Aiming at the 4th°. First. Fast. Factual. Final & Future word” who thinks

The world is a sitcom waiting to be written. Start young.

Robert Kodingo who has a news room with French, English African and Nigerian speakers and sends praise from Nigeria (on Periscope TV). Robert Kodingo his quote

“We hate each other by race, color, tribe, wealth, gender etc because everyone wants to feel special and different than the other. I do not however have a solution on how people can stop having an ego that makes them specially superior than the other.”

should make us to see how ego has conquered the capitalist world.

William Hill or Bill his thoughts are sometimes serious and personal, sometimes just humorous, sometimes intentionally provocative (to make the reader assess their own thoughts on the subject and to elicit a comment). He also could see what is going on in Europe.

He also is not blind to notice that loss of old national sovereignty with subservience to Brussels’ bureaucracy might have been a good reason for many to go for a Brexit. {Immigration} He writes

but the largest reason is the huge influx of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants flooding into Europe, financially taxing, particularly the western, northern industrial nations. That, and the fear that embedded among them are terrorists bent on destroying western civilization. {Immigration}

But he suspects there’s a more truthful reason.

“It is interesting…the rhetoric [and] the gathering strength of right wing politics….Everywhere in the West ‘immigration’ [is spoken] in terms of the end of …’culture’, displaying signs of feeling threatened by these ‘others,’ who are portrayed as an invasive force.” ( Himani Bannerji.) {Immigration}

.

In Europe our states or countries are free to be part of the European Union or to stay out or like Great-Britain has shown, to leave.For a long time our guest-writer Bill espoused his belief that free, open and unencumbered travel and residency should be a right of all peoples, that globally – that right enjoyed by citizens within the United States and the European Union, respectively – should apply to everyone, world-wide. {The Great Wall of Donald}From his writings we may learn that many American Christians seem to be sitting with a very very old idea

if you worked hard enough you could become a rich, influential person. For centuries the only ones who needed to be educated to succeed were the clergy. {Education in America}

From the same article we learn at our surprise that not many Christians from the U.S.A. are holding postgraduate degrees:

Hindus – 48%

Jews – 35%

Buddhists– 26%

Catholics – 10% {Ed. note: we do not know Bill only looks at Roman Catholics, like often many Americans do or at all Catholics}

Protestants – 9%

(Not mentioned were those without a confessed religion. I wonder what percentage they are?)

If you wonder (as I did at first) why Christians are so far behind other religious, I think the answer is cultural.

Buddists and Hindus both share a similiar belief that the soul’s future condition is dependent on the knowledge acquired by the mind in this lifetime, that knowledge becomes understanding of life, and that is the ultimate goal of life. (It would seem that, contrary to Christian teachings that all understanding will be granted to the soul upon death,  Buddists and Hindus believe understaning is not a gift in the next life, rather something to be strove for in this life.)

The Jews for most of their history – at least in Europe – were not allowed to own land (which was the riches of the day) and they had to be ready to leave on a moment’s notice to escape local progoms against them.  Hence an education was portable and enabled them to find work without being tied to one place.  {Education in America}

 

No wonder than perhaps we can find so many who are carried away so easily by words from some one who knows his rhetoric well. For politicians it is proffered that their folks do not think too much for themselves. Therefore certain countries are trying to give the idea to their inhabitants they are ‘somewhat’ or that they can get a ‘degree’ but that degree does not say much or has not much value opposite the degrees of renowned universities. The Donald Trump University promised to give some money back to those who complained they are ripped off.

It is known that

Males of most species of animals are prone to violence, yet where it is the male that is the primary care-giver and has the greater role in raising the young, it is the females that compete violently with each other. {News that doesn’t sell newspapers}

We could see many republican women who could skin Hilary Clinton alive. But for certain women the other and coloured women may also be a competitor on their market for men. and when they have to see that certain of those women of an other race can climb higher than them it makes it very painful.

Certain politicians playing in on the weak part of their audience made a handy use of the fear the media is creating by lots of people.  As such by the fear mongering in several nations of Europe and different states in the United States, those who found an easy way to point at a target or culprit, proclaiming nationalism, anti-immigrant and religious intolerance.

*

To remember

  • significant up-tick in the level and number (almost a daily occurrence) of violent confrontations racially + ethnically,
  • US, a nation of immigrants + freedom of religion + who for the last sixty years promoted internationalism by multiple treaties of cooperation in multiple areas

For Bill there is a good tombstone epitaph over the grave of humanity after we destroy ourselves.


“Mine mine mine.
That was the curse and power of human beings — that what they saw and loved they had to have.
They could share it with other people but only if they conceived of those people as being somehow their own.
What we own is ours.
What you own should also be ours.
In fact, you own nothing, if we want it.
Because you are nothing.
We are the real people, you are only posing as people in order to try to deprive us of what God means us to have.”
 ― Orson Scott Card

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Preceding articles

Autumn is in the land

Enough with the Clothes Shaming of Muslim Women

American Christians have to think twice before going to vote

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Additional reading

  1. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  2. Migrants to the West #1
  3. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  4. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  5. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  6. Objective views and not closing eyes for certain sayings

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Further reading

  1. Puritans and Pilgrims
  2. “We Are Not Our Grandparents:” Yeah, That’s Pretty Clear
  3. To be an ‘Aryan’
  4. Standing Rock
  5. Ancestors
  6. Ancestral Reverence
  7. The Past
  8. Gifts from our ancestors
  9. Echos of ancestors
  10. Origins
  11. 7 Things Our Ancestors Stockpiled To Survive Winter
  12. Friendship Comes in Small Gestures
  13. Don’t judge from the cover
  14. Let’s clarify! Migration, Immigration, Emigration: the importance of proper definitions.
  15. A Migrant By Any Other Name is an Expat
  16. 260 White Crosses
  17. Jo Cox: victim of ‘Leave’ hate crime.
  18. Immigration to the UK from the European Union hit a record high in the run-up to the Brexit vote
  19. A record number of migrants have arrived in Italy this year by boat
  20. 1,400 migrants rescued in Mediterranean
  21. Italy’s Minister Of Interior (Freemason): Surrender Your Homes To Migrants Or Face Jail
  22. Calais: the State in total hesitation
  23. France and Them: Expats, Migrants, Refugees
  24. Swiss immigration quotas: where do we stand?
  25. VQR 2016 Prize for Photography – Jason Florio ‘Out of the Sea’
  26. Austria News | Asylum-Seekers
  27. Bulgaria News | Asylum-Seekers
  28. A flirting coach is giving refugees dating lessons ‘to help them integrate’
  29. These migrants must be sent back to Africa and Asia. Migrant crisis: Bulgaria orders migrant deportations after riots at camp on Turkey border | World | News | Daily Express
  30. My Issue With “Stopping the Boat People”
  31. Fate of thousands of missing migrant children in Europe still unclear
  32. Merkel says EU and Turkey must stick to migration deal
  33. Child asylum seekers subjected to controversial age tests
  34. A Word To The Criminal Migrant
  35. Recycling means risk of increased crime in Denmark
  36. Erdogan threatens to allow 3m refugees cross into Europe
  37. Erdogan Warns Turkey Could Open Gates for Migrants if Pushed by EU — After EU Stops Talks With Turkey on EU membership
  38. Encounters With Racism, Anti-Semitism, and Bigotry in Germany And Beyond
  39. Video: Racist Attacks!
  40. Punk: Beyoncé Unleashes Formation
  41. The Future President
  42. America once turned its back on Anne Frank, just as Donald Trump rejects Muslim refugees today
  43. Article of the day: American ethnic politics in comparative perspective
  44. Blame Trump on the Rich, Part 4: The KKK and the two Neighborhoods Adjacent 
  45. “But why can’t we have white pride?”
  46. For White Voters, It Was Education, Stupid
  47. Republicans Can’t Be Christians — Sorry!
  48. Bridges – Stepping Forward with Lilka and Andy
  49. Cartoon of the day
  50. Reader letter: Alt-right story ‘refreshing, important’
  51. “Doctor Calls Michelle Obama ‘Monkey Face,’ But Says She’s Not Racist”
  52. Adichie’s “danger of a single story” and the Rise of Post-Truth Trumplandia
  53. 12-2-16
  54. The US once gave amnesty to almost 3 million undocumented migrants. Here’s the economic argument for doing it again
  55. Ladies and Gentlemen. The President of the United States.
  56. He’s Making a List
  57. Monochromacy
  58. Let’s All Get Vulnerable
  59. Sermon Notes – gRace Part 2: Good Fences Make Bad Neighbours
  60. Anti-Semitism in Hungary and Its Spiritual Twin Poland
  61. Honor Diversity
  62. District temporarily pulls classic novels after complaint
  63. Top 10 reasons why it’s hard to talk to some white people about race.
  64. (12/01/2016) No Less GOD’s Creation
  65. Envie de partager ce texte

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Quotes and Thoughts

“We hate each other by race, color, tribe, wealth, gender etc because everyone wants to feel special and different than the other. I do not however have a solution on how people can stop having an ego that makes them specially superior than the other.”

― Robert Kodingo

Some nations in Europe, and lately the United States, have been voting for leaders or policies that proclaim  nationalism, anti-immigrant and religious intolerance. There has been a significant up-tick in the level and number – now almost a daily occurrence – of violent confrontations racially and ethnically, without any indication of possible abeyance.

Things I find loathsome and abhorrent. Especially here, in the US, a nation of immigrants and freedom of religion and who for the last sixty years has promoted internationalism by multiple treaties of cooperation in multiple areas. The incoming Trump administration is still in the formative stages and there…

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Let me through- ReFuGe

Today’s thought comes from Divisha Rastogi who completed

an awesome existence of 16 years on 19th march,2016 {Pen Pals…You and me make a better world. – about}

who resides in a small town of north India, Faizabad.

From her sunny country she looks at what horrible things this world overcome.

Screams an cries the throats are dry
On parched ground you lay
Agony and pain, what did you gain?
Ad that war stretched by the day
Realise your worst fears as the end comes near
Your last breath’s a sigh
Regret or relief, what do you believe?
Is the fight worthwhile? {Is the war worthwhile?}

Living in that world she is also fully aware that

When things go wrong,

As they often will

we do have to

Keep holding on, to your strong will.

If life’s headed south, things will eventually turn north again,

Because the world is round my friend

What goes around, comes back around. {When things head south}

It is now already for some years that we do have a worldwide crisis of people fleeing the terror of war. Added to them shall even come more people fleeing the draught and consequences of climate change. The West seeing desperate people thinking they might find heaven on earth in the capitalist Western Europe.

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Pen Pals

Let me through, will you?
For I seek refuge
Just for my child, some food and bed
I think I see a light ahead
Across the bars,
In someplace far
The vision is distant
But I do dream
Help me, will you please?
Urge, for my brother’s release
I seek asylum
For I am distraught
It isn’t done as easy as said
But I think i see a light ahead.

Beyond the Fence .

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Destinations need to think out of the box

Travelling Mystery Guest (Pty) Ltd is aware that whether you are a tourist or a traveller, you want your visit to a tourism establishment to be perfect. Still we cannot ignore that many establishments struggle to meet their guests’ needs whilst individual and private organisations try to play with the new and ongoing trends.

Travelling Mystery Guest (Pty) Ltd (TMG) has been registered as a company in October 2012 and offers tourist destinations a variety of services, including workshops and sending a mystery guest to establishments to assess their quality of service.

Business trip to Switzerland

Business trip to Switzerland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TMG wants to assist tourism establishments to identify their market advantages to be able to walk the talk and can perhaps also help those who have plans for making an interesting holiday. All may find their website where lots of information is shared.

Hopefully or probably they are aware that the European travellers are not so pleased the last few years or got some nasty experiences with hotels, guesthouses and other travel destinations, in the southern continent of this globe. Internet created a new avenue for business travellers to plan their trip in advance and to check the venues where they are planning to stay. Professional travellers, if you may call them so, also got a little-bit bored by the cool ‘standard business hotels’ and we may find also some business travellers who love some places which stay ahead of the trends, so they also have something to tell about them when they return home

Our guestspeaker remarks:

The new business traveller’s needs have evolved; they are now looking for a temporary home-away-from-home paired with a fast, efficient and seamless experience that will enable them to work on-the-go. {The changing business traveller}

And shows us how this new trend goes hand in hand with certain needs.

Frequent business travellers will generally all agree that the average business trip is no fun. Business travel has little, if anything, in common with the typical holiday and, more often than not, business trips leave the traveller feeling exhausted and stressed out. Most corporate folk who regularly travel for work end up not even using all of their vacation days. There is, however, a solution to this predicament: Bleisure travel. {Bleisure – Combining Business with Leisure}

This is an ongoing trend that business travellers want again, like we saw this in the 1920ies, a lovely time when doing their job, and as such wanting some “Bleisure travel”.

This buzzword was created from the words “business” and “leisure” and refers to a business traveller who fits in some leisure time during a business trip. This is hardly a new thing, but it has only recently become newsworthy. In fact, for long there has been a segment of business travellers who have had the monetary means, as well as the professional flexibility, to include a few extra leisure days in their scheduled business trips. {Bleisure – Combining Business with Leisure}

To have some good climate to fulfil the business-talks assures a more successful business trip.

Not only the business manager is looking for resource optimisation. Today we also find people we cannot stay neutral in what happens in the world. They find we should play more an active role in the negative events of this world.

English: Digital photograph of Caminhos de Fer...

Digital photograph of Caminhos de Ferro de Mocambique, Railway Station in Maputo, Mozambique. Taken by myself, Justin K G Dumpleton, during business travel 12 March 2005. This is my own work and I release this image into the public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

More and more we hear about people who want to go on vacation and at the same time want to do something positive or good for the local people. African voyages have become very popular in Belgium as well as the trips to the Greece islands to help the many refugees.

In Greece this may be working and not many locals are making mis-use of this situation. Differently in Africa we can see it has become a blooming business. Several Western organisations smelled money and are organising so called benevoluentary trips.

In any case certain people have become more aware of their possibility to enrich spiritually others at the same time as themselves and contributing economically to the needy population. Educational tourism or voluntourism are clearly in the lift and have a good future.

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Travelling Mystery

Highlight what makes you unique and tap into travellers’ expectations.

We recently wrote about business travellers and the growing trend of them looking for destinations that are unconventional and adventurous. Yes, the standard hotel room is still number one on the list for business travellers, but this is mainly because they know they will get what they expect. Hotel groups normally also make this easier, as they have a standard room types, which provide guests with exactly the same whether it is in South Africa or London.

With the bleisure travel trend becoming more and more popular, the demand for more adventurous and unique accommodation options will also increase. This means that destinations will need to start thinking out of the box and tap into travellers’ expectations, which is ever changing and could be quite challenging, yet very exciting!

Out of the box thinking. (Image from: writerswin.com) Out of the box thinking. (Image from: writerswin.com)

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Quantitative easing

Life's irritations and other animals.

Or printing money. Seen as one part of the ‘solution’ to the credit crunch, when anyone remotely au fait with past monetary problems around the world knows this is a recipe for financial disaster. Still, whilst we seem to have kids in short trousers, in both government and finance running the world these days, we’ll just have to suffer the lessons from history we haven’t learned.

C’est la vie.

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