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–Located right in the middle of a neighborhood, The Open Awareness Buddhist Center has been open and aware for about 15 years.
-Run by Lama Karma Chotso, the center is located in a house in El Portal.
-For dozens of members, it is a place of real refuge.
-It is located right on the banks of The Little River.
-The center started in 1996, when it was located in a Hollywood bungalow.
-A patron gave the group money to purchase the property from a fellow member in 2003.
-According to Lama Chotso, there was some controversy at the time about having a Buddhist Songha in the middle of a residential street- but she was able to win over the neighbors.
-The center offers yoga sessions as well as other Buddhist related activities- including Sunday services.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By John Massey
Democracy 3: Africa, is the latest standalone game in the indie game darling “Democracy” series, by Positech Studios.
The “Democracy” series places the player in the position of the head of government for a country, and gives the player the ability to tinker with policies, with the eventual goal of being reelected, and maybe solving a few social problems.
This is complicated by the existence of several mutually exclusive, or otherwise contradictory interest groups vying for your attention, i.e. Conservatives and Liberals, Capitalists and Socialists, etc.
“D3:A” takes several creative and technical leaps from the more “vanilla” Democracy 3.
Positech Studios is in fact a one man show; the brainchild of developer Cliff Harris.
RISE NEWS contacted Harris via email to expound on some of these additions, and how they reflect the realities of policy making in the variously depicted African countries.
Central to what Harris wants players to take away, is the caveat that Africa is not homogeneous.
” Its not just how you see it portrayed in the media, especially the US media,” Harris said. “The continent faces some really tough problems that are far harder than the problems that Western Democracies face.”
Some of the problems in “D3:A” do crop up quite often, and central to that is the addition of a new game feature- Stability.
“Pretty much everything else becomes an irrelevance unless you have stable government.”
“I think the one thing that I have learned from the modeling of these countries is the importance of stability,” Harris said. “Pretty much everything else becomes an irrelevance unless you have stable government.
“Nobody invests in a country where they may lose their whole investment in a coup, or a currency devaluation. Nobody takes a holiday somewhere where there are riots or a civil uprising. It’s something that we absolutely take for granted in the West.”
Managing stability becomes more so pressing when capital deprived environments are unable to attract investors.
This led Positech to make Foreign Policy a more active component of the game.
WATCH: Trailer for Democracy 3: Africa
“We have tended to skirt around foreign policy in the original game… We felt that it would simply be impossible to do this with African states, because the impact of foreign policy, especially when it comes to foreign investment is so large,” Harris said. “There is an assumption that corruption is low, stability is good and there are no major human-rights abuses that may reflect poorly on investors, but none of those statements are true for certain African states, so it would simply have been inaccurate not to be able to reflect that in the game.”
This line of thinking lends itself to institution building, a commonly echoed theme in addressing floundering democracies in the region.
Harris illustrates an inherent contradiction in efforts to build institutions:
“Essentially, it’s easier to fix a countries problems if you are an all-powerful dictator, because things just ‘get done’ without argument, so there is a temptation to keep hold of power to make the job of government easier. Obviously the end goal is to fix a countries problems AND have a functioning Democracy, but there is tension between these two goals when your country has real problems, and I think that gives some insight into how so many dictators originally feel they are acting ‘on behalf of the people’ and then cannot let go of power.”
This kind of paradox is perhaps most prevalent in the rule of el-Sisi in Egypt, who simultaneously is backed by the military, but has arguably improved the standing of women in Egypt and taken some measures to secularize education.
While “Democracy 3: Africa” is not a survey of African politics, it does offer a cursory look at the challenges that affect countries on the continent in an accessible interactive platform.
Perhaps most importantly, and optimistically, the game can be seen as a lesson for those that care about democratic institutions.
“Ultimately all political problems *can* be resolved given the will to do so,” Harris wrote in an email.
Democracy 3: Africa is available on Steam, GoG, and Positech’s own website.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Photo Credit: Harvey Barrison/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)Post Views: 255
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It’s not everyday that real politicians get involved in campus politics.
But that’s exactly what happened at the University of South Carolina Monday when Sen. Marco Rubio endorsed a student vying to be the next SGA president there.
Rubio endorsed Trey Byars, a junior at USC who also works a field organizer for the Florida Senator’s Presidential campaign in the Midlands region of the state.
“As you know, this is a very important election,” Rubio said in a short 15 second tongue-in-cheek video endorsing the student. “A lot is at stake, it’s a generational choice and that is why I am supporting Trey Byars for President.”
USC is holding elections for top SGA offices on Feb 16th and 17th, just a few days before Saturday’s Republican Presidential primary.
Byars is facing Dennzon Winley, Michael Parks, Cory Alpert and Lee Goble in the campus Presidential election.
Who knows if any other Presidential candidate will get involved in the race as political silly season hits a fever pitch.
And who knows, maybe Donald Trump will release an Instagram video bashing Byars over his position on what type of ice cream should be served in the dinning halls.
Or maybe, he’ll just blame him for 9/11.
WATCH: Marco Rubio endorsed an SGA candidate in South Carolina.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place.Post Views: 265
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A Florida based company is under fire (no pun intended) for Tweeting out an insensitive message about Muslims and 9/11- all to sell firearms.
Florida Gun Supply sent out the following message on Wednesday, announcing a sale for “9/11 week.”
It’s 9/11 week. Use coupon code “muslim” at our site for $25 off any gun. Come in Fri for a free car wash and beer! pic.twitter.com/x1sTZPFk0V
— Florida Gun Supply (@FLGunSupply) September 9, 2015
That’s right. Use the coupon code “Muslim” and get $25 off any gun in the store. Wow. But this isn’t the first time the store has pulled a racially charged stunt in order to promote their brand. Just watch this video they posted back in July about how the store is a “Muslim free zone”.
And oh yeah, they don’t really like Black Lives Matter too:
So much for 9/11 being about unity in America.
H/T: Observer.comPost Views: 326
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