some of the articles posted here, on WordPress, are taken from other sources. these were unknown and picked at random.
It’s safe to say that economic inequality bothers us. But why? Harvard philosopher T. M. Scanlon offers four reasons we should tackle — and fix — the problem.
The great inequality of income and wealth in the world, and within the United States, is deeply troubling. It seems, even to many of us who benefit from this inequality, that something should be done to reduce or eliminate it. But why should we think this? What are the strongest reasons for trying to bring about greater equality of income and wealth?
One obvious reason for redistributing resources from the rich to the poor is simply that this is a way of making the poor better off. In his TED Talk on “effective altruism,” Peter Singer advances powerful reasons of this kind for voluntary redistribution: Many people in the world are poor, and the improvement in their lives that richer people can bring…
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We changed your country, Jinnah. We changed it. Hope you like it.
There was never peace. There was never freedom. We developed. We hoped. We gained it. Never was there a chance to be friends with them. So we created armies. Not to harm, but to protect, you said. But they provoked us. Stopped our supplies. Killed our men. Muslims. We had to. Hope our decision hasn’t upset you.
We tried to stop the blood but we did make mistakes. So what a million people died during the partition? It was for good cause. They gave up on their lives to protect their descendants, their decision not ours. We did what we thought correct. Hope you don’t mind.
So what we took money from our enemies? We did it to improve our lifestyles. People are still poor, you say? Well it is their fault. Our friends have said, ‘It’s God’s will if you’re born poor, but your fault if you die poor’. Quite right they are. We did enough to earn this money. Oh no, that is wrong what you say, we did not take any interest, we took money for what we did for them. They paid a little extra and we took it happily. Hope you don’t find it wrong.
There are people who are fighting for FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY and God knows what. They don’t know that it is impossible. Whatever they do, how much they fight, it is not possible because we don’t want it to happen. They don’t see who’s pulling the strings here. They fight and fight and fight but do not get the whole point. It’s not about them, it was always your dream of a free nation, maybe the others were happy under the firangi. But you never listened. And now the people of your great nation do not. We tried to tell them. They are weak and oppressed and are under OUR feet. They have to obey us.
They hope. That is the only thing they can do. That is the only thing you did. Hoped for a better future. Hoped for an independent state. You died hoping. And so will them. Hoping for a PAK WATAN. Hoping for Pakistan.
Prioritising social development initiatives, Rs12.5 billion has been earmarked in the 2014-15 budget for community-led initiatives to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said this on the second day of the “National Parliamentary Conference on Millennium Development Goals” at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services on Tuesday.To map out a strategy to meet MDGs, legislators were split into working groups, each tasked with developing parliamentary work plans to accelerate progress on an MDG. National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq suggested provincial lawmakers constitute committees in their respective legislatures to oversee provincial governments’ progress on MDGs. According to a report on MDGs, the first of which is about eradicating poverty, the persistent downward trend in poverty over the past decade is reflected by the decline in the poverty line which fell from 34.5% in 2001- 2002 to 12.4% in 2010-2011. Pakistan’s unemployment to population ratio increased from 27.1% in 2001-2002 to 30.9% in 2010-2011, making the prospect of full employment by 2015 highly unlikely. Malnutrition measured as prevalence of underweight children less than five years of age has decreased from 40% in 1990-1991 to 31.5% in 2011-2012 but is still far off the MDG target of less than 20%. With two out of the three targets off-track, the country is unlikely to achieve MDG1. Former speaker of the National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza said, “No development scheme can be successful without taking women on board. Dr Aliya Khan from Quaid-i-Azam University observed that “There is a need to develop human capital to deal with inequality. Although representation of women has increased in legislatures globally, Pakistan is 135th out of 136 nations according to the 2013 Gender Gap Report. Women comprise only 22 per cent of the workforce.” In a separate session on MDG2 on education, Seema Aziz from Care Foundation stated, “Education is the biggest equaliser and change can be immediate.” Pakistan’s target of 100% primary school enrolment, 100% completion of education from grade 1 to 5 and an 88% literacy rate are unlikely to be met. Rates of net primary enrolment and completion increased up to the mid-2000s. In 2011-2012, it decreased from 57% to 50%. The literacy rate is 58% overall, but it is highly skewed towards males at 70% as compared to 47% for females. Pakistan is off-track on all three targets. Special MDG Task Force Chairperson MNA Marriyum Aurangzeb stated that a time-bound and goal driven work plan would be drawn up and revised annually.The conference was called in response to UNDP research indicating that Pakistan adopted 16 targets with 41 indicators, of the 34 indicators for which data is available, 24 are off track and unlikely to be met by 2015. The legislators will work to determine a way forward.The conference will continue tomorrow with more working group sessions on individual MDGs.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2014.
It was a beautiful day, the white of the snow brilliant against the cloudless sky. The sun was warm on her face and the air icy in her nose and throat. Marianne removed her sunglasses and, squinting against the glare, felt in her bag for the binoculars. Holding them to her eyes she could see it was Steve.
Marianne watched as he moved effortlessly down the mountainside, turning first this way, then that, carving sweeping curves in the pristine snow. It made her think of a swallow dipping and swooping in a summer evening sky. She smiled to herself.
A deep crack rent the air. Then another. The sound echoed around the valley. She felt rather than heard a deep rumbling. With the binoculars still held to her eyes, she looked from side to side. A blur of snow, trees and sky swerved back and forth.
Her heart pounding, she dropped the binoculars, and her eyes, watering now in the cold bright light, were drawn to movement at the top of the pass. She could see the mass of snow, it’s outer edges, darker with tumbling debris, spreading downwards and outwards. Frantically she sought out Steve. She saw him, now no more than a small orange peck just reaching the treeline. The avalanche was gathering pace, the outskirts billowing like sheets in the wind. She tried to cry out but there was no air in her lungs. He disappeared. Marianne watched as, moments later, the whiteness swallowed the trees.
“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”
“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”
“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.”
“I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought. You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil. Then I went back to writing and I entered far into the story and was lost in it. I was writing it now and it was not writing itself and I did not look up nor know anything about the time nor think where I was nor order any more rum St. James. I was tired of rum St. James without thinking about it. Then the story was finished and I was very tired. I read the last paragraph and then I looked up and looked for the girl and she had gone. I hope she’s gone with a good man, I thought. But I felt sad.”
Well this is where it starts, it’ll either be death or glory and to be honest death seemed a more likely outcome. What am I on about? Allow me to explain. My name is Tyrhan and I’m a Hunter. Well that’s what I like to call myself. Although until I’ve completed the tasks set by the Priests of Velorne I had no right to call myself that, at least not out loud and in earshot of anyone else. As openly calling myself a Hunter now would lead to being mocked and getting a few severe thrashings. Both of which I was rather keen to avoid. To be more truthful I’m Tyrhan the youngest son of Treffis the Farmer. Farming was in my family’s blood as it had been for generations but that blood didn’t flow through my veins. Don’t get me wrong I love my father and the rest of my family. But ever since I picked up my first bow and loosed an arrow from it I knew what I wanted to be, a Hunter. Armed with my bow, a quiver full of arrows on my back and a sharp blade that was all I wanted. My older brother Farius will, as tradition decrees inherit the farm after our father’s death. I as the second born wouldn’t be left with anything much, maybe a small bag of silver and a Cow at the most. Fortunately this method of inheritance didn’t sadden me. In fact I was glad for my older brother and felt it was only right that Farius would inherit it, as unlike me he had taken great pride in learning all he could about farming. He even looked like a farmer, all red cheeked and weathered skin from long hours spent tending the fields. Whereas I did my fair share of the work I definitely didn’t share my brothers passion for ploughing and planting. I preferred to spend more time in the nearby woods with my bow.
Now I bet you think becoming a hunter is pretty simple? Well you’re wrong. You see being a hunter isn’t just about killing lots of animals. It’s about learning and surviving in the wilderness, whether it be Grassland, Forest or Mountains. It’s knowing how to track and how to conceal yourself from your quarry, and from creatures that would regard you as a good meal. No, being addressed as the Hunter is an acknowledgement of skill, dedication and bravery. I want to be ‘Tyrhan the Hunter’ not ‘Tyrhan the guy who goes and kills some animals to feed his family now and again’. So how do you get this prestigious title then? Well there are two ways to earn the Hunter title. One way is to kill extremely rare creatures such as Agrellian Deer or Haroc Eagles. Yes just go kill fifteen creatures that are considered so rare they’re usually only seen in books, and of course have proof of the kills. After all Hunters may not be considered the brightest lot but they aren’t that stupid. And that believe it or not is the easy way. The other way, known as the ‘hard way’ or the ‘they’ll be dead in a week’ way is to kill five of the most dangerous beasts in the land. And by dangerous I don’t mean beasts like a Grey Lion or a Swamp Bear, as dangerous as they are this calls for something far more formidable.
Which brings me to where I am now, stood in front of a hung over High Priest in the Temple of Velorne. A grand temple built to fill a visitor’s heart and soul with awe and wonder is what the other Gods got for a temple, this one to put it bluntly was a complete dump. Two long wooden tables with benches either side of them ran down the centre of the Temple. The remains of yesterdays feast were still scattered all over the tables, benches and floor. Sleeping priests were sprawled on the benches their heads resting on whatever food was in front of them when they had finally passed out. It looked as though a rather grand feast had been dropped from a great height into the Temple. But this wasn’t unusual for a Temple of Velorne, they were all like this. You see Velorne was not only the God of Hunting, he was also the God of Festivals, and this was a role the Priests took very seriously. Serious to the point of having some sort of Festival as often as they could, unless they were just too hung over from the previous festival. On those days the High Priest would proclaim a day of ‘Quiet Contemplation.’
Today as luck would have it was a ‘Quiet Contemplation’ day. So I stood proudly before the High Priest an old man named Olaphain. His long grey beard and finely embroidered robe could have made him look wise and dignified, had it not been for the amount of food stuck to them. He tried his best to keep his eyes focused on me as I spoke but the effort was too much so he just closed them and nodded at appropriate moments. When Olaphain finally spoke he asked if I was ready to renounce my devotion to Ansali, Goddess of Farmers and Florists and become a Son of Velorne. With rather too much bravado for my own good I loudly declared my devotion to Velorne, and immediately had to duck from a hail of chicken legs, goblets and other missiles thrown at my head. When the barrage finally subsided I brushed myself off stood up and asked the High Priest to give me his Blessing and allow me to undertake the five tasks. Yes I was choosing the hard way, well I never claimed to be a genius did I. Olaphain looked rather taken aback by this. He even asked if I was absolutely sure about it, but my mind was set and there was no changing it now. A few of the Priests who were in earshot raised their heads and made what sounded like laughter before slumping face first back onto the table. Olaphain looked at me as if waiting for me to change my mind then softly sighed, and called out a name. A priest three seats down from Oliphain murmured something unpleasant under his breath and slowly began to rise. It was like watching someone who wasn’t entirely sure what arms and legs were for, or how they worked. But eventually the Priest figured it all out and with one bony finger motioned me to follow him.
I followed the Priest silently through the hall, the only sounds being the crunching of food underfoot and the muttered curses of the Priests as a pewter goblet was accidentally kicked along the stone floor. As we reached the temple library, the Priest carefully unlocked the door, grimacing painfully as each bolt relented and slid back with a loud crack that echoed through the corridor. Finally the last bolt succumbed and to the Priests great relief we both entered inside. The library unlike the rest of the Temple was rather tidy, books were placed neatly on shelves as they should be and sheafs of paper were stacked neatly for use. This was the only place in the Temple where order was expected and maintained. We made our way to the large table at the far end of the library, a large old book was left open upon it. I tried to read the words on the page, but they were written in that fancy style of writing that religious types like, all extra curls, lines and wavy bits that seemed completely unnecessary in my opinion. But what I could read appeared to be a list of creatures, some of the names I recognised. Others were completely unknown to me. But I didn’t have time to read any more as a long bony finger stabbed at one word on the page, Hallox.
Now the Hallox is the sort of creature that divides people into two distinct groups. The first regards the Hallox as an interesting creature worthy of long and intense study. The second group regards the first as completely insane and should be locked up in a deep dungeon for everyones safety. Which might appear a bit heartless, but when you consider what a Hallox is, it does make sense. The best way to describe a Hallox is to imagine a Bulls head with a rather squashed snout on an ape-like body covered in long thick reddish brown hair. Now picture it between fifteen to twenty foot high and top it off with a temperament that ranged between annoyed to psychotically deranged. Finally throw its rather unique defence method which is if the Hallox feels threatened by something, it eats it. And thats a Hallox, and my first task was to kill one. How hard could it really be?
-Winnie the Pooh