Category Archives: Activism

Liberal Billionaire George Soros Thought Dangerous By Right Wing

George Soros first became known for achieving 30% returns on hedge funds investments for 30 years and earning $1 billion in profit in a single day of trading the British pound, and later he shared his strategy in a his book. He is also known for his philanthropy. That he is a liberal is evident in his Open Society Foundation who main goal is to bring about social justice. The Open Society Foundation operates in over 100 countries and allows him more political and economic insight into matters around the world. An article published by the businessinsider.com on May 20 gives readers insight into why he is targeted by the conservative right and believed, by some, to be controlling the world’s wealth and promoting the idea of a world without borders, a global order.

The article points to George Soros being a man of contradictions. Most billionaires are conservative right wingers rather than liberals. George Soros says at his website that his billions obligates him to take a stand on controversial issues. He also shares his commentaries on the economic and political landscape of the world through his essays. The writer of the article, Veronika Bondarenko explores and debunks some of the right-wing conspiracy theories, such as Soros being allied with the world’s elite to bring down the global currency. His many essays discussing how best to strengthen the world’s economy are wasted on those conspiracy theorist.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/george-soros-democratic-convention-226267

True accusations sited in the article include Soros using his power and money to influence politics. George Soros openly supports migrants, refugees and criminal justice reform. The Open Society Foundation website states that more than $1.6 billion has been spent on democratic development in Eastern Europe, which also can explain why many European governments share anti-Soros sentiment. The Open Society Foundation also spent more than $1.5 billion on democratic reforms including immigration, democratic governance and criminal justice in the US. Read his profile at Business Insider.

Being born in Nazi occupied Hungary in 1930 and educated in England in 1947 gives George Soros a unique perspective to view the world. Being ever vigilant in addressing economic and political issues that are of world concern is a role he assumes. Being a target of those with opposing views goes along with the territory.

Thor Halvorrsen Takes on Dictators Around the World

Thor Halvorssen has a long history of fighting for the rights of people who have been oppressed and abused by their governments. Thor is not your typical human rights activist. For Thor Halvorssen human rights abuses are a very personal affair. Thor’s father was imprisoned and tortured in Venezuela on trumped up charges as a result of his investigations into government corruption. Thor worked with Amnesty International to get his father released from prison. In addition to the government abuse suffered by his father, Thor’s mother was shot and wounded by Venezuelan government security forces while she was attending a peaceful protest in 2004.

Thor began advocating for human rights when he was still an adolescent. In 1989, while living in London, Thor Halvorssen began organizing opposition against apartheid in South Africa. In 1999, Halvorsen became the director and CEO of the Foundation For Individual Rights in Education. FIRE associated with other groups such as the Heritage Foundation to promote liberty and to protect the right of free speech. Halvorssen is a strong believer in the right of free speech for everyone regardless of whether they are from the right or left side of the political spectrum.

Thor Halvorssen founded the Human Rights Foundation in 2004. The New York-based HRF is dedicated to fighting for the rights of political prisoners around the world. The HRF places pressure on cruel dictators and despots around the world by publicizing and putting a spotlight on their human rights abuses. Since its creation, the HRF has secured the release of at least 7 political prisoners. The HRF has also exposed celebrities who have made money from dealing with cruel and corrupt authoritarians. Hilary Swank, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez are among the celebrities that have taken money from dictators.

Thor also promotes human rights through his work as a film producer. Thor has produced several movies that focus on human rights issues. Thor produced the Hammer and Tickle,  which showed how the Russians used humor and jokes as a way of telling the truth since free speech was suppressed by the Soviet regime.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thor-halvorssen for more.

Thor Halvorssen’s Passion: Human Rights

Thor Halvorssen, who is otherwise referred to as Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza, was born in Venezuela in 1976. He is a well-respected human rights advocate. His advocacy is in individual rights, civil liberties, democracy and public interest advocacy. He started The Oslo Freedom Forum, which is an annual come together of human rights champions. The Economist describes the gathering as a spectacular event which comes close to the equivalent of forums such as the Davos gathering, but with a human rights agenda. Thor Halvorssen is president of human rights foundation. This organization devotes itself to the freedom’s and rights of people. He serves in a Czech-based peace movement for children: On Own Feet. He is the patron of the same project. He founded Moving Picture Institute.

Background

His father was an ambassador for the government’s anti-narcotic campaign. He also served as a special investigator at the senate commission of Venezuela. Thor attended the Pennsylvania University graduating phibeta kappa as well as Magna cun Laude in undergraduate and the graduate degree. He specialized in History and Political Science.

Parents Struggle

His father was arrested when Thor was still an undergraduate student. The dad was arrested for allegations of fraud and money laundering. It was an incarceration of close to 3 months, a period that saw him beaten, tortured and almost killed in jail. He was also charged with another count: terrorism. Thor, fearing for the life of the dad, engaged in a campaign to have him freed. Amnesty International was involved leading to the release of the dad after being found innocent. Later, he was made director of International Society for Human Rights Pan-American Committee.

Human rights and political inclusion seem to have run deep in Thor’s family. The mother was shot during peaceful protests. During these protests, many protesters were shot at and wounded by the Venezuelan police. The actions of these militant men were captured and aired on television leading to the apprehension of the shooters. They were tried at first, but their sentences were revoked. A short time later these gunmen were retired and each got a three-year jail time.

Recognition

Halvorseen was awarded the Sol Feinstone Award by his former university for his efforts in human rights activism. In 2010, Thor received the Silver Medal from the Romanian President: as a sign of appreciation for the work he has devoted his life and energy. He continues to champion human rights in his country and across nations.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/thorhalvorssen for more.

The Active Involvement of Thor Halvorssen in the Human Rights Advocacy

Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza is the founder of Human Rights Foundation and Oslo Freedom Forum. He draws his interests in human right advocacy from the wrongful imprisonment and torture of his father in a Venezuelan jail. The government securities also gunned down and wounded his mother in a peaceful public gathering in Venezuela. The two incidences have contributed in Thor’s interests in protecting the human rights in the United States and other countries. He is involved in the advocacy of individual and civil rights, public policy and interest, as well as fighting for democracy in the country.

The release of his father

In 1993, Thor Halvorssen led a campaign that sought the safety and release of his father from jail. He earned great support from numerous human rights advocates, public figures, and international organizations such as Amnesty International and International Society for Human Rights. The campaign succeeded with the release of his father on the Christmas Eve. Thor graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in History, Political Science, International Relations, and Romance Languages. At the University, he served as the legal advisor for the students charged at the university’s judicial system.

Career Information

The Venezuelan-based human rights activist and film producer began his activism in London. He led people in opposition to the South African apartheid in 1989. Thor Halvorssen was the previous CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education from 1999 to 2004. He currently serves as the President of Human Rights Foundation and the CEO and President of Oslo Freedom Forum.

The Human Rights Foundation

Human Rights Foundation started with the aim of protecting the rights and liberties of the Venezuelan citizens. He founded the company in 2005 after the shooting of his mother in the political protest. Additionally, the company keeps the information about the countries led in a dictatorial way, for example, North Korea, and Angola. In the past, he has used this information to address the various oppressions that are happening in the world.

Relationship with the Media

In 2005, he founded the Moving Picture Institute (MPI) in his quest to address the various social injustices in the world. Thor Halvorssen believes that media is the most efficient medium through which people get to learn lessons on their rights. The institute has given grants to filmmakers and helped in the production of more than 30 films. Thor has appeared on different television outlets such as CNN, HBO, Fox News Channel, al-Jazeera, BBC News and Bloomberg among others.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/thorhalvorssen for more.

Humanitarian Moves Displayed By Michigan Entrepreneur

Dick DeVos was born in 21st October 1955. He is a businessman from Michigan. He is a graduate of business administration from Northwood University. He has been awarded honorary degrees from Grove City College and Central Michigan University. DeVos has been awarded distinguished alumni recognition from Northwood University. He is married to Betsy DeVos for over 30 years.

He has four children. He worked in Amway Corporation and as the vice president. He led growth of the company to 18 countries. In the year 1991 he became the CEO of the Orlando basketball franchise. He went back to Amway in 1993 and the company’s revenue grew exponentially within the first year. DeVos is a sailor and a pilot. He is also a product of Harvard and Wharton Executive Study programs. His work history has been long and successful, and he has poured that success back into various charities, though he always focuses on his Michigan community first.

I am incredibly grateful to my parents for initiating and encouraging by example the tradition of philanthropy within our family. We are happy to be a part of this great community!

Posted by Dick DeVos on Monday, January 4, 2016

He has been involved in various philanthropic activities. In the year 2014, he donated a total of $94 million. He was in the top 50 list of givers. He is optimistic that his generous acts will encourage others to give back to the society. Forbes has recognized the great contributions from DeVos.

According to an article in MLive, in the year 2013, Dick donated a total of $90.9 million. 48% was dispatched to the education sector, 27% was dispatched to health and community services, 13% to churches and 12% to arts and culture. DeVos family donated more than $2.6 million to Grand Rapids Public Schools. The donation paid for leadership development, teacher evaluation and teacher training. It assisted to curb absenteeism in schools by 30%.

Dick DeVos’ is the largest donor to Grand Valley State University. Total donations amount to $36 million. GVSU is close to his heart since his contributions to the University goes back to the time. He served as a board member for six years and later headed the university foundation board for 24 years. DeVos has been involved in various talks to recruit other philanthropists to assist in private sector donations.

Dick and his wife Betsy created the Dick & Betsy DeVos Family foundation. It was created to assist in process of giving.

Dick served as a member of RDV Corporation, Willow Creek Association and Spectrum Health System, Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan and West Michigan Aviation Academy.

DeVos is the author of “Rediscovering American Values” book. The book has a foreword by former President Gerald R. Ford. The book is describes how people have bettered themselves. It describes how lives can be better by practicing such values as honesty, compassion, self-discipline, initiative, hard-work, charity and forgiveness.

Click http://dickdevos.com to read more.

A Life Look at Yeonmi Park

A good way to learn about different perspectives of the world we live in can be to read about it from another person’s history and lifestyle. Author Yeonmi Park is an example of how this can be done.

Yeonmi Park, or Park Yeon-mi, is a human rights activist who was born on October 4, 1993 in the North Korean city of Hyesan. Her mother served as a nurse for the North Korean Army and her father was involved in politics, specifically a civil servant for Hyesan’s town hall where the Worker’s Party worked at. Though her family was considered a wealthy one for much of her childhood, there were struggles that impacted them later on in her life. These struggles were due to her father being arrested for what was assumed to be illegal trading, and then sent to a labor camp as punishment on amazon.com. What finally drove Park to understand what freedom is like was watching a pirated DVD and seeing that the ruler, Kim Jong-Il, ran an oppressive state and as such wanted to escape that life. The family, after reuniting with their father, decided first to sneak across the Chinese border with the help of traffickers, and eventually into Mongolia and then to South Korea. However her father fell ill and stayed behind, where he tragically died of colon cancer.

In spite of her struggle to escape to freedom, Yeonmi Park on nknews has now become a renowned human rights activist. In addition to this, she has also written her own personal story entitled “In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.” Her book essentially tells her backstory, including her early life and later years as an adult and discussing how much hardship she faced in trying to escape North Korea and attain her own life. In fact, a core point written is that Yeonmi Park wasn’t even thinking about freedom during her escape or what life was like, only that her and her family would face certain death if they remained in the country.

Yeonmi Park; Why The World Needs Many Others Like Her

Yeonmi Park is not your usual twenty-one-year-old girl. Different with many girls her age from developed countries who are going to colleges and doing their university courses without a lot of care in other matters, she is fighting a war that needs resilience, strength and a lot of courage. She has endured a lot to be where she is today, but at least she is happy that when she speaks, there are people who lend her a listening ear.

In her native home country North Korea, when someone expresses or speaks their mind, they are not listened to. In fact, they are labelled as rebellious and punished. That is why many native North Koreans are afraid to think about anything that is contrary to what the ruling elite has set them to. Many live in abject poverty and without the most important social tool; communication. Were it not for challenges that prompted her escape Yeonmi would also be living in similar conditions.

During her growing up, she did not experience a lot of challenges because her father belonged to the privileged class. However, things abruptly took a turn for the worst when he was jailed for allegedly being involved in sending metals to China. Her father was sent to labor camp which prompted Yeonmi and her mother to set off for a long journey in a bid to look for freedom and a better life. She vividly remembers her childhood memories and says that her country’s regime is the worst when it comes to matters related to human rights and democracy.

She got lucky to escape from the country in 2007 through a family friend who took them past the borders. On entering China, things got much worse. She vividly recalls a horror experience where a man threatened to rape her, but her mother offered herself instead so as to protect her. Together with her mother, she would later be sold off into human trafficking and was bought by a man who promised she would be seeing her mother and father if she agreed to become his mistress; which she agreed.

When her father eventually arrived in China from her native country, he got died from colon cancer. Since she had no one she could tell about his death, she had no other choice but to bury his ashes in the middle of the night. At only fifteen years old, together with her mother, they escaped from China to South Korea and towards freedom and liberty.

Today, she is a fierce fighter for all matters related to human rights for her people and everyone else in the world. She says the fight has to continue even if it means losing her life because she has endured worse things before. However, she is optimistic that the situation back in her home country will soon change since the regime has started warming up to listening to people express themselves.

Frank Guerra to Serve as Co Lead Counsel on Syngenta Corn Litigation Case

In the Syngenta corn litigation case that currently has been brought to court, a new co-lead counsel has been named to the case. Attorney Frank Guerra, of Watts Guerra will sit as co-lead counsel trying this case and the thousands of claims that have been brought against Syngenta. Watts Guerra represents over ninety percent of the claims in this case, all being brought against the GMO produced corn that Syngenta introduced to the American market.

In an article published on Business Wire, Guerra’s role was announced, and the merits of the case were detailed in order to explain Guerra’s role. Watts explained that he was eager and ready to serve in this role on the case as he had grown up on a farm that his family owned, and understood where the complaint’s clients were coming from. Guerra spoke about the ability of his firm to serve the clients that have been harmed by the actions of Syngenta and the havoc they’ve caused to corn market prices around the country with their tactics. With Watts Guerra, it’s all about bringing justice to the clients that they will be representing in this case.

In addition to Frank Guerra, Mikal Watts, of Watts Guerra will be serving as lead on the case against Syngenta. Mikal C. Watts is an accomplished attorney that has served as brief attorney to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and has been a personal injury and product liability attorney, which sets him up perfectly for this case. Watts has regularly been rated one of the highest personal injury lawyers in the Texas region. Watts has regularly increased the size and scope of his practice to make it what it is today with his partner Frank Guerra, and together they have led litigation efforts across the country as part of some of the most significant product liability cases in the country.

Avvo tells that together the team plans to represent their clients in order to show the damage that has been done to corn prices, which have in turn adversely affected their clients and their ability to maintain their businesses. The case seeks to gain financial compensation for the clients that need financial assistance now in order to recoup losses that were realized by the way Syngenta introduced their GMO corn product to the market. The Minnesota case will be combined with the other cases that are already pending in order to present a united front in court and address the needs and financial losses of the entire group.