Monkey Business

One day an out of work mime was visiting the zoo trying to earn some money as a street performer. However, as soon as he started to draw a crowd, the zookeeper grabbed him and dragged him into his office. 

The zookeeper explained to the mime that the zoo’s most popular attraction, a gorilla, had suddenly died. The keeper feared that attendance at the zoo would fall off. He offered the mime a job to dress up as the gorilla until they could get another one. The mime accepted. 

The next morning, before the crowd arrived, the mime put on the gorilla suit and entered the cage. He discovered that it was a great job. He could sleep all he wanted, play and make fun of people, and he drew bigger crowds than he ever had as a mime. 

 

However, eventually the crowds tired of him and he became bored just swinging on tires. He began to notice that the people were paying more attention to the lion in the cage next to his. 

Not wanting to lose the attention of his audience, he climbed to the top of his cage, crawled across a partition, and dangled from the top to the lion’s cage. Of course, this made the lion furious, but the crowd loved it.  

At the end of the day the zookeeper came and gives the mime a raise for being such a good attraction as a gorilla. 

Well, this went on for some time. The mime kept taunting the lion, the crowds grew larger, and his salary kept going up. Then one terrible day when he was dangling over the furious lion, he slipped and fell. The mime was terrified. The lion gathered itself and prepared to pounce. The mime was so scared that he began to run round and round the cage with the lion close behind. 

Finally, the mime started screaming and yelling, “Help! Help meee!!!”, but the lion was quick and pounced. The mime soon found himself flat on his back looking up at the angry lion.

The lion slowly lowered his snarling mouth towards him and said: “Shut UP you idiot! Do you want to get us BOTH fired?

Northern Nigeria’s Democracy Under Threat

Nigeria’s fragile democracy is under fire. Nigerian Islamists in the highly religious Islamic north of the country have been targeting a marginal non-profit organization of secularists, the Humanist Society of Northern Nigeria (HSNN). The problem is worth examining.

Since the return of democracy to the largest African country in 1999, freedom of speech has been expressed mostly on social media. Nigeria has one of the highest numbers of internet users in Africa — about 91 million. Yet, as is the case across the globe, the platforms of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others are a double-edged sword. They are used for a disseminating information, but also for spreading disinformation and lies, as well as for recruiting fighters to the Boko Haram terrorist group, based mainly in Northern Nigeria, and responsible for the bulk of the suicide bombings and other mass murders committed in Africa.

To understand the significance of HSNN, one must grasp that 18 years ago, with the introduction of multiparty elections in Nigeria, most of the northern states used the ballot box to choose a system of Sharia (Islamic religious law).

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Growing Threat to Judaism in America

Beyond the Cusp

Charlottesville rioting gave cover for headlines blaming the alt-Right for all the hatreds in the United States. They allowed announcements declaring the hatred of Jews and Blacks as well as other minorities of the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and the White Supremacists. These hate groups got coverage which was all aghast that these people were permitted to slide out from the slimy regions under rocks and march in the daylight, presumably the worst example of American allowance of free speech and an excellent argument for limitations on free speech. The limits are now demanded on free speech currently is limited to hate speech. There are demands that all hate speech by these types of right wing groups be made illegal and enforced exclusively against the alt-right. This became so powerful a call that a free speech rally in Boston where there were no alt-right groups or speakers as actually…

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Palestinians: Destroying the Judiciary

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing sharp criticism over its attempt to “encroach” on the judicial authority and turn it into a tool in the hands of President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian lawyers, judges and legal experts say that a new bill proposed by the PA government in the West Bank would have a negative impact on the independence and integrity of the judiciary system.

The controversial draft bill aims at amending the law of the judicial authority so that Abbas and his government would be able to tighten their grip over the work of the courts and judges.

The PA leadership’s bid to take control over the judicial authority comes on the heels of an ongoing crackdown on the Palestinian media and journalists. In recent weeks, PA security forces have blocked more than 20 news websites and arrested scores of journalists. In addition, Abbas has approved a Cyber Crimes Law that gives his security forces expanded powers to silence his critics on social media.

Protests by Palestinian journalists and some human rights organizations have thus far failed to persuade Abbas to abandon the Cyber Crimes Law and punitive measures against reporters. As of now, Abbas’s campaign to muzzle his critics appears to have worked.

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