"I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time," Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. "I’m like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali." With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actor, stand-up comic and philanthropist.

This is the first TED Talk I’ve watched for 2014. Most befitting! 

I’m a tree hugger. I climb mountains. And I love Nikola Tesla. Among Tesla’s great discoveries is the principle of Environmental Energy - the Discovery of a new physical Truth that “there is no energy in matter other than that received from the environment.” 

So… When was the last time you hugged a tree? When was the last time you planted one? When you hug trees, they hug you back with invisible arms that envelop you with lots of good energy. 

Japanese researchers have recently shown that "forest bathing," taking long walks among trees, helps stimulate the immune system and leads to greater health. ”It is regarded as being similar to natural aromatherapy,” say the researchers.

Other than trees, there are plants like hemp which absorb four times more carbon dioxide than trees. Hemp is the miracle plant of our time. Trees take 20 years to mature versus 4 months for Industrial Hemp. Our forests are being cut down 3x faster than they can grow. One acre of hemp produces as much cellulose fiber pulp as 4.1 acres of trees. (Dewey & Merrill. Bulletin #404. U.S. Dept. of Age. 1916

SO WHAT LINKS THE LEGALISATION OF CANNABIS OR INDUSTRIAL HEMP (iHemp), AND REAL CAPITALISM THAT IS IN HARMONY WITH THE ENVIRONMENT? And what does my love for Tesla have to do with inspiring all these thoughts?

Cannabis has not been grown for sale in a number of countries, including Philippines and the United States, for most of the past 100 years (except as a manila hemp substitute during World War II) because of concerns that the non-industrial type would also become available and be processed for drug use. 

DID-YOU-KNOW STUFF:

Henry Ford’s first Model-T  was built to run on hemp gasoline and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONSTRUCTED FROM HEMP. On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had plastic panels made from a mixture of 70% cellulose fibers from hemp whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel at 2/3rd’s the weight for better economy (Popular Mechanics, 1941) Alcohol prohibition prevented Mr. Ford from powering his fleet with “plant-power”.

Consider a few more facts about hemp:
• Hemp does not require herbicides or pesticides.
• Hemp can be grown in a wide range of latitudes and altitudes.
• Hemp replenishes soil with nutrients and nitrogen, making it  an excellent rotational crop.
• Hemp controls erosion of the topsoil.
• Hemp converts CO2 to oxygen better than trees.
• Hemp produces more oil than any other crop, which can be  used for food, fuel, lubricants, soaps, etc.
• Hemp nut is a very healthy food, being the highest   protein  crop (after soybean) and high in omega oils.
• Hemp can be used for making plastics, including car parts.
• Hemp makes paper more efficiently and ecologically than  wood, requiring no chemical glues.
• Hemp can be used to make fiberboard.
• Hemp can be used to make paint.
• Hemp can produce bio-fuel and ethanol (better than corn).
• Hemp can be grown more than once per year.
• Hemp fibers can make very strong rope and textiles.

Now, with so much use for hemp, why is cannabis illegal in most countries? Simple. Because government and military control production and distribution. :P Government does NOT like competition.

Junkies & Hippies Who Cry for Peace

The moment you smoke a joint, make music and works of art that spread good vibes to end hatred and violence, and then maybe even join rallies and parties for peace, seriously, don’t expect me to applaud you for awesomeness. It’s RIDICULOUS. You get hippie and all that, you say you hate wars waged by governments, and yet - 90% of the time (unless you plant your own without fear of getting raided and arrested) - YOU FUND THOSE WARS.

If you take it as food, as medicine, and if you plant your own cannabis, well, I applaud you. :P Use it, don’t abuse it. In part, it’s the hippies who smoke it as a drug that make it so much harder to get it legalised for industrial and truly medicinal purposes that will benefit both humankind and the environment.

I know I have friends who love to smoke weed, and this entry is not meant to offend you or judge you. I merely ask you to consider the implications of your Mary Jane addiction to the cause of legalising this miracle plant for industrial and medicinal use. I ask you to reflect on how sincerely you stand for world peace. The more sober you are, the more actively you can follow and critically analyse things that happen around you. Ergo, the more impact you can have in making this world truly a better place to live in…for real. AND NOT JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE HIGH. 

Think about it.

Now… My thoughts on government, and corporations cannot be summed up in one blog entry. More than a decade into studying and partaking in politics, business, media and leadership, I still believe in the free market idea proposed by Ayn Rand. I also believe that spiritual solutions are needed to effectively address the economic problems of our time. Now, by spiritual, obviously, I don’t mean empowering the church. (Don’t even get me started with the Vatican Business Conglomerate’s financial holdings in the manufacturing of condoms and weapons of mass destruction.)

By “spiritual solutions to economic problems”, in part, I refer to the our generation’s need to see ourselves as part of the problem. We cannot be self-righteous brats, attacking and protesting how governments put more money in war than education; while smoking weed, getting wasted, partying like animals, polluting our minds with senseless television shows, buying everything advertisers say we N-E-E-D, getting addicted and lost in virtual realities of games that take our minds off what is real.

We cannot call the older generation of leaders hypocrites when we ourselves suffer from our own contradictions. Every fault we see in them touches a denied weakness within ourselves. 

I find it funny how some socialists attack capitalism, and corporations as if they were one and the same. AS IF, real capitalism ever existed. The reason corporations today are so big and powerful is not because of a free market, unlike what many socialists claim. It is because of government.

Government alters the market and gets in bed with the companies they want and it creates monopolies. (Think: Ferdinand Marcos, Ayalas, Lopezes, Aquinos, Cojuangcos, Juan Ponce Enrile, Fidel Valdez Ramos, Lucio Tan, Henry Sy, Manny Villar, etc. ~  What do they have in common here in Philippines? CONTROL IN GOVERNMENT, INFLUENCE IN THE MEDIA & MONOPOLY OF VARIOUS INDUSTRIES.) In a truly free market, monopolist individuals and corporations would lose all the power they have through government, and there would be a level playing field.

There are people who argue for government, yet government is the reason we are not allowed to farm industrial hemp. Industrial hemp is a cheaper, more sustainable way to produce many things that we currently produce by chopping down trees. In a truly free market, deforestation would be slowed down immensely because we would have the freedom to produce and buy alternatives, and evil practices that are killing the planet would not be subsidised as they are now.

Socialism and Oligopoly (Oligarch Monopoly) are basically what we have now. You see, corporations abhor free markets. Corporations, like government, loathe competition. Monopoly cannot co-exist with real capitalism. Real capitalism is not driven by monetary profits alone, but by the holistic concept of VALUE.

Value includes healthy competition, respect for human dignity, sustainable production, and innovations that benefit both humans and the environment.  

Corporations and corporate slaves use “capitalism” to describe what they do, but all they are are philosophically confused socialists disguised in corporate suits, sipping latté, eating sushi, loving tofu, maybe smoking pot, and spending three times more for the products of “fair trade” and “organic” markets - but know NOTHING about how small-scale farmers continue to get exploited by most of these so-called “green industries”.

Fair trade is NOT fair

Fair trade is neither fair nor good for trade. It transpires that a very small number of farmers are getting a subsidised fixed price for their produce under Fairtrade franchises and that this is at the expense of most other farmers in their regions, who are actually worse off as a result.

But even more serious, the Fairtrade operation helps to keep poor countries and undeveloped economies exactly that - poor and undeveloped. (Read More: Forget Fairtrade)

Nikola Tesla, often attempted to introduce, into our society, totally new ways of producing electrical power – steering us away from long term dependency on oil; however his new ideas were not accepted in his own time. In spite of this, Tesla did not allow himself to become a bitter, resentful, nor a negative person! Because of his advanced Inner Perception and spiritual nature, he often remarked that his ideasnot readily acceptedwould be taken up by future generations. He said:

"The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of a planterfor the future. His duty is to lay foundation of those who are to come and point the way.”

With the help of the hemp plant, we, as a society, could eliminate smog from current fuels, create a cleaner energy source that can replace nuclear power, remove radioactive waste from the soil, and significantly eliminate smog from our skies in more industrialised areas.

The hemp plant could assist in eliminating non-biodegradable plastics and cars by reintroducing Henry Ford’s 100 year old dream of building cars made from hemp with a plastic hemp car body that can withstand a blow 10 times as great as steel without denting, weighs 1 thousand pounds less than steel, hence improving gas mileage, can run on a vegetable oil based all natural hemp fuel, and has a completely biodegradable body.

Nationwide hemp production could eliminate deforestation by converting current paper to hemp paper which can be recycled up to 8 times where as our current wood pulp is only recyclable up to 3 times, and we could thrive from eating hemp seeds and feeding it to our animals and livestock.

Remember: there was a great deal of opposition to Tesla’s ideas; his spirit was one of a discoverer and inventornot a materialist interested in huge profits. Against tremendous odds, Nikola Tesla dedicated his life to the task of designing and improving technology for the service and spiritual advancement of all humanity. In a truly free market, Tesla’s inventions, like free wireless electricity, would have long served to uplift humanity from extreme poverty.

In the same manner, in a truly free market, among the hemp plant’s estimated 50,000 uses and benefits, industrial hemp’s biomass can be converted into gasoline, methanol, and methane at a fraction of the current cost of oil, coal, or nuclear energy.

Cannabis Hemp can replace any of the products made from timber. No more forests would be needlessly wasted. This would save precious resources and renew the ecosystems. More importantly, it would mean more beautiful heritage to grow for our children.

Until such time that we can all finally cheer “iHemp iHemp Hurray!”, let us continue doing our part to plant all kinds of illegal trees in our own backyard, and organise/join reforestation projects in our own local communities. 

Love and Light,

Drei ze Geek Goddess.

I love this video. And I think you’ll love it, too.

Slavery Footprint Case Study (by MuhtayzikHoffer)

Planned Parenthood Propaganda Video: A Superhero for Choice (by InternetSavage)

     Drowning an abstinence advocate in a garbage can full of water, blowing up zombie pro-life protesters with giant condoms shot from a gun, cooking a pro-life senator in a boiling cauldron – these are all things Planned Parenthood thought were so funny and so clever that they included them in a promotional video put out by its former Planned Parenthood Golden Gate affiliate in 2005.

     Isn’t it ironic how hatred can be dressed up to look like concern for the poor, and that villains can masquerade as heroes in low-budget cartoons? I know my own mother’s NGO projects promote this group, and I am not proud of it. We don’t exactly see eye to eye on the matter. I am not being self-righteous. I’m not even Christian. I am probably one of the most sensual Earthlings alive today, and I am proud to be the passionate kind of person who values the rights of children, as much as I value my own as a woman.

     I thank my mother for not aborting me, even though I was an unplanned baby. Not to sound conceited or anything, I know I can be quite the stubborn kid to raise, but I turned out to be quite the awesome teacher. :P Now, had my mother exercised her “right to choose to abort” because having me meant getting stalled in her career path, well, I could only imagine how dreadfully boring the lives of my friends, lovers and students would be. LOLOLOL :))

One of the best letters I’ve ever read.

"I recently talked with someone who said, if you’re an entrepreneur,  you should find an idea, build it out, and spend at least 5 years fully  dedicated to that idea. At the end of five years, if the idea is working  or not working, move on to the next big one. That means, if a typical  person works 45 years, they have nine ideas they will work on in their lifetime.
Nine. It isn’t that large of a number. And of those nine, how many of your ideas will truly impact society for the better?” - jayparkinsonmd:
The issue that hit me the hardest was that in 1829 criminologists were dealing with the exact same issues as we are today— how best to rehabilitate criminals. We’ve got the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, but have very little idea how to fix crime. It’s a big fat hairy problem. And 200 years later, we’re really no closer to the solution than we were in 1829. In fact, it’s worse. The rates of criminality needing rehabilitation are astronomically higher.
How many other problems in our society will we be no closer to the solution 200 years from now? How to deliver equitable healthcare to a population of diverse people? How to educate our children? As an optimistic curmudgeon, I’ve always believed in humans’ ability to solve problems. But what if the last 20% of big fat hairy problems are unsolveable because they’re politically motivated human behavior problems? 
The real issue is that these issues can’t be solved with theories. They can only be moved along every so often with politics and cultural changes. Two hundred years, on the grand scale of things, isn’t that long. It’s a few generations. We, hopefully, all play our part in helping society progress. But our lives are just so, so short. I recently talked with someone who said, if you’re an entrepreneur, you should find an idea, build it out, and spend at least 5 years fully dedicated to that idea. At the end of five years, if the idea is working or not working, move on to the next big one. That means, if a typical person works 45 years, they have nine ideas they will work on in their lifetime.
Nine. It isn’t that large of a number. And of those nine, how many of your ideas will truly impact society for the better?  

"I recently talked with someone who said, if you’re an entrepreneur, you should find an idea, build it out, and spend at least 5 years fully dedicated to that idea. At the end of five years, if the idea is working or not working, move on to the next big one. That means, if a typical person works 45 years, they have nine ideas they will work on in their lifetime.

Nine. It isn’t that large of a number. And of those nine, how many of your ideas will truly impact society for the better?” - jayparkinsonmd:

The issue that hit me the hardest was that in 1829 criminologists were dealing with the exact same issues as we are today— how best to rehabilitate criminals. We’ve got the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, but have very little idea how to fix crime. It’s a big fat hairy problem. And 200 years later, we’re really no closer to the solution than we were in 1829. In fact, it’s worse. The rates of criminality needing rehabilitation are astronomically higher.

How many other problems in our society will we be no closer to the solution 200 years from now? How to deliver equitable healthcare to a population of diverse people? How to educate our children? As an optimistic curmudgeon, I’ve always believed in humans’ ability to solve problems. But what if the last 20% of big fat hairy problems are unsolveable because they’re politically motivated human behavior problems? 

The real issue is that these issues can’t be solved with theories. They can only be moved along every so often with politics and cultural changes. Two hundred years, on the grand scale of things, isn’t that long. It’s a few generations. We, hopefully, all play our part in helping society progress. But our lives are just so, so short. I recently talked with someone who said, if you’re an entrepreneur, you should find an idea, build it out, and spend at least 5 years fully dedicated to that idea. At the end of five years, if the idea is working or not working, move on to the next big one. That means, if a typical person works 45 years, they have nine ideas they will work on in their lifetime.

Nine. It isn’t that large of a number. And of those nine, how many of your ideas will truly impact society for the better?  

"Tomorrow’s illiterate will not be the man who can’t read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn."

The words came from Herbert Gerjuoy, whom Alvin Toffler cites in full as follows:

The new education must teach the individual how to classify and reclassify information, how to evaluate its veracity, how to change categories when necessary, how to move from the concrete to the abstract and back, how to look at problems from a new direction — how to teach himself. 

Toffler explains, “Society needs people who take care of the elderly and who know how to be compassionate and honest. Society needs people who work in hospitals. Society needs all kinds of skills that are not just cognitive; they’re emotional, they’re affectional. You can’t run the society on data and computers alone.”

Foxconn, the leading manufacturer of electronics in the world — which makes Apples iPhones and iPads, among other products — plans to build 500,000 robots over the next three years to either replace or augment the company’s human workforce…  In one regard, this investment will help the company’s labor relations. After all, robots don’t hurl themselves out of windows when overworked. Human employees at Foxconn, however, have not faired so well. Fourteen committed suicide in 2010. Labor rights groups have described Foxconn’s factories in very harsh terms, as 21st century gulags, “labor camps” with “military-style drills.” Since the suicides in its factories mostly involved workers jumping from the top floors of buildings in Foxconn’s Shenzhen-based plants, the company installed suicide-prevention nets.

What’s the Big Idea?

Foxconn has annual revenues of over $60 billion, and the company has put up an astounding compound annual growth rate of over 50 percent for the last decade. In order to maintain that level of growth, and to meet extraordinary global demand for tech electronics, Foxconn is making an ambitious push to automate.

This could be a step in the right direction from both a business and humanitarian perspective. After all, freeing humans from conditions that resemble slave labor can’t be such a bad thing. According to a company statement, Foxconn will be able to move humans “up the value chain” to more skilled fields such as research. Robots, on the other hand, don’t need higher wages, improved workplace conditions or suicide safety nets, all of which cut into Foxconn’s bottom line. 

[Read the complete article by clicking on the URL].

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So, to all ye my fellow Earthlings: What are the philosophical & practical implications of this kind of revolution?

Personally, as an educator, an objectivist and a humanist, I do support the transition of giving certain mind-dulling, cubicle-confined, arduous, repetitive and thus depressing tasks to robots. 

Any teacher that can be replaced by a machine... should be.

Moreover, I deeply resonate with this beautiful insight from one of the readers of Big Think:

"So…robots could make sense. As for moving people up the value chain, there is certainly plenty of demand for that - perhaps robotization of the labor force will provide opportunities for greater human capital accumulation and optimization, reducing the gap between demand for and supply of skilled labor. If childrearing was performed in a way that elevated the likelihood of self-actualization, instead of debilitating traumatization and low self-worth, that would help too.”

Marshall Kirkpatrick CEO, Plexus Engine  

Every industry, from agriculture, to the military, will be impacted by robot labor. And advances in robotics are happening rapidly. As companies like Foxconn lead the way in our transition to a robot economy, the question remains how painful this transition will be, and how can the pain best be mitigated? As far as I’m concerned, the pain will be all well worth it. Creativity is usually born out of pain anyway; and our generation can finally focus on endeavours that shall catapult humanity to the Age of Art and Heart. 

Another useful guideline worth deliberating on is from Big Think reader Eugene C:

Like any other subject affecting the lives of countless others, sensible legislation regarding the licensing and application of robotic systems needs to be introduced in countries employing robots.  The blanket replacement of human labor with robots is indiscriminate. Legislators need to look closely as there may currently be violations in the immigration laws and policies perpetrated by companies employing such “systems” at the cost of basic human rights regarding welfare and access to gainful employment.  Allowing for the proper evolution of robotic systems that do not threaten those basic rights is the path responsible companies should adopt voluntarily.  However, companies skirt labor rights in the name of efficiency and need to be checked with a supervisory structure on this subject.

Some people fear that such robotisation of labour will lead to the extinction of the great engine of progress and innovation - the middle class. To a certain extent, this fear is legitimate. With all kinds of paradigm shift, however, the cycle of destruction and reconstruction is always a given. Sometimes, I refer to this as Creative Destruction. A great example of this is personal computers. The industry, led by Microsoft and Intel, destroyed many mainframe computer companies, but in doing so, entrepreneurs created one of the most important inventions of this century. 

While there will be clear resistance from most human workers themselves, they will eventually realise that such resistance is futile… They shall be forced by circumstance to finally exercise their own FREE WILL, which has probably atrophied in the past few years of working in a dreadful factory. The middle class can finally outdo themselves and break away from the shackles they have placed upon themselves, generation after generation… We all have different chains that keep us from stepping out of our comfort zones. And clearly, like caterpillars breaking away from the cocoon, transformation will take time; and change is predictably painful. But in the end, to those who choose to go through the entire process without seeking shortcuts, life will be beautiful…precisely because it will be more meaningful. And getting a little push from robots shouldn’t hurt more than your first heartbreak. LOL :))

But then again, that’s just me… for all I know, I could be a masochist. So, as a human being, what are your thoughts on this matter? I would love to read your comments below~ ^_^ 

Love and Light,

Drei ze Dork Lord ƸӜƷ

"The reason we teach our children spiritual virtues is so they will grow up to be not just doctors, but compassionate doctors, not just teachers, but caring teachers, not just business people, but trustworthy business people, and not just mothers and fathers, but loving human beings who make a difference in their children’s lives."

— Children of the Kingdom

Justin Hall-Tipping: Freeing energy from the grid. 

Implementing this nanotechnology can mean not only freeing energy from the grid; but also freeing people from the greed of the few who control the production and distribution of energy resource. Imagine this technology’s impact on promoting human dignity for all. This is what scientists with a good heart can do for humanity.

Nanotechnology is bloody awesome.

"Since 1940, Washington has spent the unimaginable sum of $20 trillion ($20,000,000,000,000!) on the military—enough money to have provided for adequate nutrition, clean water, electrification, housing, literacy, and basic health care for the world’s entire population. In the next four years alone an additional $1.2 trillion will go down the military rathole. Today the U.S. military budget is bigger than that of the rest of the United Nations Security Council members combined. This bloated military establishment exists to protect and serve U.S. capital—not only to extend and maintain its domination in what used to be called the Third World, the oppressed countries, but also vis-a-vis its imperialist allies and rivals."

Richard Becker

 Cornell West at Occupy Wall Street.

Cornell West at Occupy Wall Street.

"You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it."

— Noam Chomsky (via born-to-be-wasted)

(Source: apopulisticmusings, via kowaiau)

Shohreh’s story: How Iran violated a top student’s rights

GENEVA, 28 September 2011 (BWNS) – Like many young people the world over, Shohreh Rowhani grew up with high hopes of a good university education.

 Shohreh Rowhani from Nowshahr, Iran, ranked among the top 1% of candidates in her university entrance exam. But she has been barred from higher education for being a Bahai. Here her story is reported on a Persian-language human rights website.

But now she has run up against a system which – while promising opportunity on the surface – is cruelly designed to block her and other young Iranians from ever getting a degree.

Ms. Rowhani is a Baha’i, and her experience is made all the more unjust by the fact that she is among Iran’s most gifted students; she ranked 151 in the country after passing the national university exam in her chosen field of languages. In other words, her result put her among the top 1% of candidates who took the exam.

Buoyed by her impressive grades, Ms. Rowhani – who comes from the northern Iranian city of Nowshahr – began the online process of selecting her courses. But when the results of those applications were listed, she discovered that her submission had been rejected as an “incomplete file.”

It is a phrase well known to young Baha’is. For several years now, the term has appeared frequently as one among several ruses crafted to prevent them from actually matriculating even if they pass the national university exams.

Undeterred, Ms. Rowhani courageously went to the regional office that oversees the examination process and asked officials to explain what was wrong.

"They told me that this has happened because you are a Baha’i," she reported in a letter recently sent to several human rights organizations.

"Since you are a Baha’i you do not have the right to enter university," she was told.

She decided to take her case to the next level, managing to get a meeting with the head of the admissions department.

When confronted, this official simply “expressed his regret for this matter and told me that there is nothing he can do,” said Ms. Rowhani. “He said there is no way out of this and even if you enter university you would be expelled after three or four terms.”

She asked him if the results would have been different if she had said she was a Muslim.

"He said it makes no difference, as they know you," she wrote. “‘The ministry of intelligence has identified your family and all of the Baha’is already.’"

"They told me that I will not get any result, no matter who I might refer to," she said.

The experience of Shohreh Rowhani is also a familiar story for thousands of Baha’is in Iran who are barred from higher education on religious grounds.

Even for the fortunate ones who might be offered a place, expulsion often follows during the course of their studies. In recent months, two students at the Isfahan University of Technology were prevented from registering for the next term, also for having “incomplete documents;” a Baha’i studying English literature was thrown out of the University of Kerman; a biomedical engineering student at the University of Sahand was dismissed; and a physics student at the University of Mazandaran was expelled after completing eight semesters on the honor roll and gaining admission to a Master’s program.


Three decades of exclusion

All kinds of methods have been used by Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution to prevent Baha’is from attending university – firstly, by expelling them all, and then, imposing an outright ban on their accessing higher education.

In response to international condemnation, the Iranian government changed the rules in 2003, declaring that Baha’is could now take the examination. But when nearly a thousand Baha’is moved ahead in good faith, they encountered new barriers.

At first, exams were returned with “Islam” written in the religious affiliation slot – something unacceptable to Baha’is, who are taught by their faith to tell the truth at all times, especially about their religious beliefs.

So the government indicated that the word “Islam” referred only to the particular sub-test on religion that each applicant is required to take, allowing Baha’is in good conscience to apply for higher schooling. Then, in the mid-2000s, a number of Baha’is successfully entered various universities around the country – only to find that they were then often expelled soon after matriculation.

In March 2007, for example, the Reuters news agency reported that some 70 Baha’i students had been expelled that academic year from universities in Iran. In that report, an anonymous spokesperson for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations was quoted as saying in reply: “No one in Iran because of their religion has been expelled from studying.”

After another international outcry, Iran changed tactics again. Baha’is who took the exam began to find their results were simply being withheld. When they went to the national website to find out their scores, many received the message that they had “incomplete files” – leaving them in a bureaucratic limbo.


"Unjust and oppressive practices"

In an open letter sent last month to Iran’s minister for higher education, the Baha’i International Community called for an end to the “unjust and oppressive practices” that bar Baha’is and other young Iranians from university.

The letter also addressed the government’s crackdown on the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE), an informal community initiative run by Baha’is to educate their youth who are barred from university. In May, government agents raided the homes of more than 30 individuals associated with the BIHE and arrested 14 of them. Seven educators have this week appeared in court. Dozens more, including students, have been called in for interrogation – all in an effort to close the project down.

"Such actions, as you know, have been conducted as a matter of official government policy and as part of a systematic campaign to eliminate the Baha’i community as a viable entity in your country," said the open letter, addressed to Kamran Daneshjoo, the Minister of Science, Research, and Technology. Read the open letter here: <http://news.bahai.org/story/848>

For Shohreh Rowhani and her co-religionists, the fight for their right to education continues.

In her letter to human rights organizations she has expressed her desire that everyone should “know how senselessly my rights have been violated.”

http://news.bahai.org/story/853

Rainn Wilson BIHE Video Appeal by Education Under Fire.