A dream doesn't become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

HALLOWEEN it's Origin and what it really means or stands for.

Halloween is considered by most in the United States as a fun holiday, mostly for children, but it has roots in ancient religions and folklore, including paganism, ancient Roman religions, early Catholic Christianity, Irish folklore, and even British politics! Children and adults alike enjoy this holiday today, with funny costumes, candy, and parties, while some countries observe this time as a remembrance of departed loved ones and religious saints.
Here is a short history of this holiday: HistoryHalloween is a holiday with ancient roots that had a much greater meaning than the boisterous, costume-filled holiday that we know today. Around 2,000 years ago, the Celts, who lived in what is now the United Kingdom, Ireland, and northern France, had a festival commemorating the end of the year. Their New Year was November 1, and this festival was called Samhain, pronounced sow-en. The end of their year signaled the end of summer, the end of the harvest season, and the beginning of a long, hard winter that often caused many deaths of animals and people. Weaker livestock were often killed and eaten during this holiday, since most likely, they would not survive the winter anyway. Because of this, and the cruel winter to come, this time of year signified death to the Pagan Celtics. They believed the night before the New Year, that the wall between the living and the dead was open, allowing spirits of the dead, both good and bad, to mingle among the living. Some of these spirits were thought to possess living people, cause trouble, ruin crops, or to search for passage to the afterlife.
Samhain was considered a magical holiday, and there are many stories about what the Celtics practiced and believed during this festival. Some say the spirits that were unleashed were those that had died in that year, and offerings of food and drink were left to aid the spirits, or to ward them away. Other versions say the Celts dressed up in outlandish costumes and roamed the neighborhoods making noise to scare the spirits away. Many thought they could predict the future and communicate with spirits as well during this time. Some think the heavily structured life of the Pagan Celtics was abandoned during Samhain, and people did unusual things, such as moving horses to different fields, moving gates and fences, women dressing as men, and vice versa, and other trickeries now associated with Halloween. Another belief is that the Celtics honoured, celebrated, and feasted the dead during Samhain. A sacred, central bonfire was always lit to honor the Pagan gods, and some accounts say that individual home fires were extinguished during Samhain, either to make their homes unattractive to roving spirits, or for their home fires to be lit following the festival from the sacred bonfire. Fortunes were told, and marked stones thrown into the fire. If a person's stone was not found after the bonfire went out, it was believed that person would die during the next year. Some Celts wore costumes of animal skulls and skins during Samhain. Faeries were believed to roam the land during Samhain, dressed as beggars asking for food door to door. Those that gave food to the faeries were rewarded, while those that did not were punished by the faeries. This is reported to be the first origin of the modern "trick or treat" practice. (If you're looking for halloween costumes, check out discount halloween costumes for great deals.)
In the First century A.D., the Roman Empire had taken over most of the Celtic lands. The Romans had two festivals also celebrated at the same time of year as Samhain. One was Feralia, also in late October, was the Roman day honouring the dead. The second festival was for Pomona, the Roman goddess of trees and fruit. Pomona's symbol was the apple. These two festivals were combined with Samhain in the Celtic lands during the four hundred years the Roman Empire ruled over the Celts. The goddess Pomona's apple might be the root of the Halloween tradition of bobbing for apples.
Over the next several hundred years, Christianity had spread to include the lands inhabited by the Celtics and the Romans, but the festival of Samhain was still celebrated by the people. The Christian church reportedly did not like a festival with Pagan roots practiced by Christians, so a replacement was needed. Pope Boniface IV designated May 13 as All Saints Day to honour dead church saints and martyrs. Samhain continued to be celebrated, so in 835 A.D., Pope Gregory IV moved the holiday to November 1, probably to take attention away from the Pagan Samhain festival and replace it. Since All Saints Day was sanctioned by the church, and related to the dead, the church was happy, but many Pagan traditions of Samhain continued to be practiced, including bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costume. All Saints Day was also known as All Hallows, or All Hallowmas (Hallowmas is Old English for All Saints Day). Since Samhain was celebrated the night before November 1, the celebration was known as All Hallows Eve, and later called Halloween. In the year 1000 A.D., the church designated November 2 as All Souls Day, to honour the dead who were not saints, and they eventually became combined and celebrated as Hallowmas.
On All Souls Day in England, the poor would "go a-souling". They would go door to door asking for food, and in return, would pray for the souls of their dead relatives. It was widely believed at the time that the souls of the dead would await passage into heaven until enough people prayed for their souls. The Christian church encouraged this practice to replace the old Pagan tradition of leaving cakes and wine out for the spirits of the dead. The poor would be given "soul cakes", which were pastries made for those who promised to pray for their dead relatives. In some cultures, soul cakes would be given in exchange for a performance or song as well. Children eventually adopted this practice, and were given food, ale, or money.
Jack o'lanterns are a Halloween staple today, with at least two historical roots. The early Pagan Celtic peoples used hollowed out turnips, gourds, or rutabagas to hold an ember from the sacred bonfire, so they could light their home fires from the sacred bonfire. Another tale from folklore gives jack o'lanterns their name. In Irish myth, a man known as "Stingy Jack", who was a swindler and a drunk, who asked the devil to have drink with him. Jack convinced the devil to change himself into a coin so he could pay for the drink, but Jack put the coin in his pocket next to a silver cross, which trapped the devil, preventing him from changing himself back. Jack agreed to free the devil on the condition that the devil would not bother Jack for a year. Next year, Jack tricks the devil into climbing a tree to fetch a piece of fruit. While the devil is up the tree, Jack carves a cross into the trunk, preventing him from climbing back down the tree. In order to get out of the tree, the devil promised Jack not to seek his soul any more. When Jack died, he was not allowed into heaven, because of his drunken and swindling ways, but he was not allowed into hell either, because the devil kept his word. Taking pity on Jack, the devil gave him an ember to light his way in the dark, putting it into a hollowed out turnip for Jack to carry on his lonely, everlasting roamings around the Earth. People from Ireland and Scotland would make "Jack o'lanterns" during this season to scare away Stingy Jack and other evil spirits wandering about.
Over the next several centuries, superstitions about witches and black cats were added to to the folklore and legends of Halloween. Cats were thought of as evil, especially black cats, and were killed by the thousands in Medieval times, possibly contributing to the Black Plague, due to the shortage of the rat's natural enemy, the cat. During this time, the church created the belief that evil witches existed.
In the 1500's, Martin Luther created the Protestant Church, which had no saints, so no All Hallows Day was allowed. On November 5, 1606, Guy Fawkes was executed for attempting to blow up England's Parliament. Fawkes, along with an extremist Catholic organization he belonged to, wanted to remove the Protestant King James from his throne. The English wasted no time to have a celebration to replace All Hallows Day, so Guy Fawkes Day was celebrated from then on. Many traditions of All Hallows Day were practiced, such as bonfires, and children asking for money, but the reasons why were different. Bonfires were known as "bone fires" originally, because they were lit in order to burn an effigy of the Catholic pope, burning his "bones". Two hundred years later, the effigy of the pope was replaced by an effigy of Guy Fawkes, prompting children to go door to door, asking for a "penny for Guy", so they could make their effigy to burn. In the New World, the colonists celebrated Guy Fawkes Day for a while, but as the colonies became the United States of America, Guy Fawkes Day fell by the wayside.
In the United States
Halloween was not a popular observance in early United States history, as most of the early settlers were Protestant. At the time, Halloween was considered mostly a Catholic, Episcopalian, and Pagan holiday, and therefore largely ignored. In the southern colonies, such as Virginia and Maryland, there were some Halloween customs observed. The first common events were called "play parties". These parties got neighborhoods together to celebrate the harvest, dance, sing, tell stories of the dead, tell fortunes, and have pageants for children in costume. By the mid 1800's, immigration increased, and many Irish immigrants, mostly Catholics fleeing the potato famine, brought many Halloween traditions with them. Jack o'lanterns found a new face, the pumpkin, which was very plentiful in the New World. Catholics and Episcopalians sought to preserve their traditions, so started an effort in the late 1800's to popularize and make their holidays known to the general population. By campaigning to put these holidays (Halloween and All Saints Day) on public calendars, magazines and newspapers started to publicize these holidays, and soon became popular in the United States more as a community and family holiday, rather than one of great religious and supernatural importance.
By the mid twentieth century, Halloween turned into a secular holiday, community centered with parties city-wide, parades, and great costumes. Halloween is mostly aimed to children, but young and old enjoy this holiday, with events and parties for both children and adults. Starting in 1950, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) started a campaign for children to collect money at Halloween for underprivileged children around the world. Halloween is the United States' second largest commercial holiday, spending approximately $6.9 billion a year.
In Other Countries
Mexico, Latin America, and Spain observe All Saints Day and All Souls Day with a three day celebration starting on the evening of October 31, through November 2. In most areas of Mexico, November 1 is set aside to honour dead children, and November 2 to honour those who died as adults. Starting in mid October, shops are filled with decorations, flowers, toys made like skeletons and other macabre shapes, sweets, pastries, and candies shaped like bones, coffins, and dead bodies in preparation for the festivities. Called "Day of the Dead", the spirits of relatives are supposed to visit their families homes. An area of the home is cleared away, and an altar is erected decorated with flowers, photographs of the deceased, candies and pastries shaped like skulls inscribed with their name, candles, and a selection of the deceased's favorite foods and drinks. Even after dinner cigarettes and liquors are provided for the dear departed's after dinner enjoyment. Incense is burning to help the spirits find their way home.
In preparation for November 2, the graves of the deceased are cleaned, painted, and decorated for the occasion. Families gather November 2 for a festive family reunion. Food, drinks, and tequila are brought along, along with sometimes even a mariachi band. In some areas, fireworks announce an open-air mass, the most solemn time of the Day of the Dead. Many customs vary depending on the particular city, town, or culture, but all over Mexico, Latin American, and Spain, the Day of the Dead is considered a celebration of their departed family.
Eastern Europe's celebration of All Saints Day are usually spent by praying most of the day, praying to the Saints and thanking God. Often, they visit their departed family members at the cemeteries. Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Poland observe All Saints Day as a public holiday, but unlike Mexico and the United States, this day is a somber day of remembrance and reflection. France, Italy, and Germany are celebrating Halloween, American style, as does Canada. Ireland celebrates American style, but a common town bonfire, a remnant of Celtic days is still lit. England still celebrates Guy Fawkes Day on November 5 with bonfires, burning effigies of Guy Fawkes, and fireworks.
Halloween Traditions
Many traditions are observed for Halloween.
Costumes: Dressing in costumes has its roots in the Pagan Celtic roots of Samhain. One theory is they dressed as ghouls to fool evil spirits let loose on October 31, so they would not be possessed by these spirits. Another theory is they dressed in costume just for fun, and to make mischief. Yet another theory is that faeries would dress as beggars asking for food, which would also be the origins of the "trick or treat" practice. After the Catholic Church replaced Samhain with All Saints Day, people would dress as dead Saints and devils for their festivities.
Trick or Treat: This practice might have had it's start in the legend from Celtic days that faeries would dress as beggars going from door to door asking for food, and those that did not show hospitality would be harshly dealt with by these magical faeries. On All Souls Day, the poor would beg for "Soul Cakes" (sweet pastries) in exchange for prayers for their departed loved ones, expediting their passage to heaven. Sometimes costumed groups would sing and perform in exchange for food, ale, or money. In the United Kingdom, Guy Fawkes effigies to be burned were prepared by children, going door to door, asking for a penny for Guy, on Guy Fawkes Day.
Bonfires: These have two origins. The first is the sacred ritual of extinguishing home fires, and one sacred bonfire is lit in each town for the end of the New Year. Some say the reason home fires were extinguished is to scare away evil spirits from homes, while others say that home fires were supposed to be lit from embers from the sacred bonfire to start the New Year. The second origin was from Guy Fawkes Day in the United Kingdom to burn effigies of the Catholic pope, and later of Guy Fawkes himself.
Apples: A seasonal fruit, and also the symbol of the Roman goddess Pomona, commonly thought at the time to possess qualities of knowledge, resurrection, and immortality. Bobbing for apples, peeling a long apple peel, and other manipulations of the fruit were thought to foretell the future, on this night of Samhain.
Jack o'lanterns: From the Irish folk tale of Jack, who tricked the devil, but was not allowed in heaven or in hell. The devil, taking pity of Jack, gave him an ember to light his way on his eternal walks on Earth, carried in a hollowed out turnip. Because of their size and availability, pumpkins were substituted for turnips in the United States. The Celtics did use a hollowed out rutabaga to carry an ember from the sacred Samhain bonfire home to light their home fires, but the significance and relation to the Irish tale of Jack is unknown.
Ghost Stories: Ghost stories probably have their roots in the original Celtic belief that the spirits of the dead (both good and bad) wandered the Earth on October 31 (Samhain). Later, when the church replaced Samhain with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, the dead were remembered, and spoken about. In the United States today, they are used to amuse and scare children (and some adults) to get them in the "spirit" of Halloween.

The comeback of all mother comebacks! Wenger's EPIC post match reactions:

Down 4-0 at Reading in the Carling Coca-Cola Capital One Cup? An own goal from Laurent Koscielny? Arsenal fans singing "We want our Arsenal back" and walking out early? Everyone saying I obviously don't care about the competition because I put out a second-choice side? Yeah, cool story bro.

First, Theo Walcott scores just before halftime -- but nobody pay attention to that. Just keep laughing and making your brilliant jokes. Hahahahahaha. Hahahahahaha. Meanwhile, in the dressing room, I deliver a team talk so profound that it brings the mighty beast -- the Gunnersaurus -- back from extinction. This is just the setup.

In the 62nd minute I put in Olivier Giroud and before you can say, "Oh he's been so terrible what a waste of a substit-" Wabam! He scored in the 64th minute to make it 4-2. So what? It's still over. The game's passed old man Wenger by. He can't bring this team back from the dead. Especially when it's the 88th minute and it's still 4-2. Then Wabam! Laurent Koscielny makes up for his own goal by scoring in the 89th minute. So what? There's just injury time left and it's still 4-3. Well how about this: Theo Walcott scores again in the sixth minute of injury time! WA-BAM! "But there were just four minutes added how could he score in the sixth?" Because Arsene Wenger! That's why, fool!

So it's 4-4 going into extra time. How can this match possibly get any more insane? Both sides are probably just going to hold on for penalties and finish it there. Guess again, punk. MAROUANE CHAMAKH SCORES IN THE 103RD MINUTE. "But he hasn't scored a goal in 13 earth months!" Well, he's been waiting until now like the freaky-haired ninja that he is. 5-4 Arsenal and my body is tingling like a...........jijazie

Oh, but wait. Reading score in the 116th minute to make it 5-5. Surely that will take the wind out of our sails. That's depressing after a comeback that was to be written about in a new edition of religious texts. Or is it? 121st minute and Theo Walcott scores again! Or was it Carl Jenkinson? It doesn't matter -- it's 6-5. Oh and then what's this? Kiss your grandmother on the mouth because Chamakh scores AGAIN to make it 7-5 in the 123rd minute! You can't make this up! But I can do it for real.

Theo Walcott scoring all over the place. Olivier Giroud coming off the bench to do what he's supposed to. Marouane Freaking Chamakh with a brace to melt your face. And Andrei Arshavin running around and actually doing stuff. All while I turn a financial profit for the club! A financial profit, you ingrates! What now?! No one can top this! Greatest match of all time! I will make my own trophies out of confidence and power! I am Arsene Wenger and I am the king of football! Puffy coat for life! 7-5!

Never doubt me again. Bunch of shareholders!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

READING 5-7 ARSENAL REACTIONWe got Arsene's hairdryer: Manager's blast inspired Arsenal fightback

Hat-trick hero Walcott walking on hot air after remarkable League Cup win but "it's like a funeral" for Reading's shell-shocked McDermott

Gunner make it: Walcott goes nuts after giving Arsenal the lead for good
Gunner make it: Walcott goes nuts after giving Arsenal the lead for good

Scott Heavey
Theo Walcott revealed the Arsene Wenger hairdryer drove his Arsenal players to come back from 4-0 down after 40 minutes to beat Reading 7-5 in an incredible Capital One Cup tie.
Wenger did his Alex Ferguson impression and savaged his players, who had been booed off by their own fans, at half-time before staging a gobsmacking rally to reach their 10th successive quarter-final in the competition.
Man of the Match Walcott said: "It was unbelievable. We started very sloppy and had to wake up.
"The boss told us it wasn't good enough. It wasn't Arsenal. We showed everyone what we can do. We're absolutely knackered."
Wenger revealed afterwards the remarkable comeback had saved him from suffering one of his worst-ever defeats as a manager.
He said: "It was not one of our priorities but had we gone out and the way we could have gone out in the first half, that would not have been one of my proudest moments at the club as well."
Reading became the first team EVER in the history of either the League Cup or the FA Cup to score five goals and lose.
Boss Brian McDermott admitted the defeat was the worst of his career.
He said: "It feels like a funeral. But yes, it was the worst result of my career because we were 4-0 up against a top team and we won the game.
"I don't think I will be looking at the DVD of this one. I think it will go straight into the bin and we'll move on."
Laurent Koscielny's own goal was sandwiched between strikes from Jason Roberts and Mikele Leigertwood after just 20 minutes.
Noel Hunt added a fourth on 37 minutes, to leave Arsenal on the brink of a remarkable Capital One Cup exit and send some of travelling fans to the exits.
But Walcott netted just before half-time and sub Olivier Giroud made it 4-2.
More fans left the Madejski, before Koscielny pulled it back to 4-3 on 89 minutes.
Walcott scored again deep into the end of normal time to make it 4-4.
In extra time, misfit Marouane Chamakh made it 5-4 to the Gunners, Pavel Pogrebnyak levelled with five minutes left before Walcott put Arsenal in front to stay on 120 minutes and Chamakh netted a second in injury time.

Fergie time: Livid Wenger took a leaf out of Sir Alex's book at half-time

Scott Heavey
"We went from disaster to pride, because we came back in the second half with a decent performance," added Wenger.
"At one point, all we had was hope because it didn't look like we'd go through. But we got the disastrous first half out of our system.
"The ninth goal looked like the winner because Reading had given a lot and mentally were down. But we looked comfortable in extra time.
"Reading had a fantastic first half and I know what it's like to be caught at 4-0 up. They should take credit from that performance.
"At 4-1 down I thought the comeback was possible because we were creating many chances in the second half.
"At 4-0 up a team thinks it has won the game. At 4-1 up you still think you've won.
"At 4-2 you suddenly realise it's not over and then the panic kicks in and that goes through the team.

Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak celebrates after scoring the fifth goal for his side
Taking the fifth: Pogrebnyak's goal helped Reading make unwanted history


"This competition was not one of our priorities but had we gone out in the way we could have, that would not have been one of my proudest moments.
"I was very proud of the way we responded in the second half."
McDermott added: "I wasn't happy at half-time because we went in at 4-1 instead of 4-0. That gave them impetus they didn't need. We'd dominated the first half and then they scored a goal out of nothing.
"When you give good players and teams a lift like that, they take the chance. It was kamikaze football in the second half and extra time. Even at 5-5 it's extraordinary.
"Obviously it doesn't help that the referee added two minutes on to the four minutes of injury time to make it six. You can't tell the time as wrong as that, but he did.
"At full time nothing needed to be said to the players. Sometimes the less said the better. We know what happened.
"This game will be remembered for a long time, and that makes me feel a whole lot worse!"

Monday, 29 October 2012


“When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I did
n’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drohve away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed -dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ♥

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Kenyans have become allergic to truth.....a sermon By "Pastor" Koigi wa Wamwere

UHURU and RUTO ….. 

If any is PRESIDENT …. 

That is a BAD IDEA for Kenya

If there is a time that Kenyans needed to be told the truth, its now. Unfortunately they are so fear-riddenand intellectually blind that they can no longer face the truth.

As King Ahab refused to listen to the truth of Prophet Micaiah, leading to his death in war, Kenyans have become allergic to truth. By rejecting truth, Kenyans have lost their way and need an outsider to save them.

For God to send Koffi Annan back to Kenya, He must have noticed the country is in serious trouble. But Kenyans will not listen to him. This time, however, Koffi Annan’s salvation to Kenyans is announced in the form of a plea to seriously ponder upon consequences of electing as president, persons who have cases in The Hague, a taboo subject in Kalenjin and Kikuyu lands that few will dare address.

But Koffi Annan did not make his plea to Ruto or Uhuru. It was to Kenyan voters and courts. Though Koffi Annan did not direct his plea to Uhuru and Ruto, they were first to admonish Annan, asking him to leave Kenyans alone to elect their leaders without any interference from outside.

To admonish Koffi Annan when he asked Kenyans to ponder upon consequences of their actions can only mean Uhuru and Ruto want one of them elected but without public scrutiny.
Even if Ruto and Uhuru say it is illegitimate for Koffi Annan to advise Kenyans, the book of Judges, chapter 19 to 21 suggests otherwise.

For instance, Koffi Annan was severely criticised for refusing to use UN forces to end genocide in Rwanda. And Second World War was fought to stop Adolf Hitler killing millions of Jews.

As for the book of Judges, it narrates how in Israel, one old man traveling with his wife through the village of Gibea, was given shelter on his way home.
At night, however, some evil young men sexually assaulted his wife to death. The old man then cut up the dead wife into 12 pieces, each of which he took to every tribe of Israel that he blamed for his tragedy.

When leaders of 11 tribes of Israel learnt of this, they demanded punishment for guilty parties whom the leadership of the tribe of Benjamin sheltered.

Consequently the 11 tribes raised an army of 400,000 to do battle with the tribe of Benjamin. Ultimately, the army of the 11 tribes annihilated that of the Benjamin tribe together with its fugitives.

This story in the bible looks like that of Uhuru and Ruto versus Koffi Annan. But what consequences does Koffi Annan want Kenyans to ponder upon should they decide to elect Uhuru or Ruto as president?

First, as with the tribe of Benjamin, Kenyans could come to war with other nations over their protection of accused persons. Second, Kenya could burn if those who fight other communities to earn votes are not removed from the race for presidency. Three, victims of post-election violence might never get justice.

Four, it seems Koffi Annan feels Kenya is in danger of a civil war again. Five, Koffi Annan reiterated Hilary Clinton’s warning against electing Uhuru and Ruto, lest Kenyans forget. Six, Koffi Annan fears Kenyans don’t understand consequences of their political ignorance.

But for the following two reasons, Uhuru and Ruto don’t want to hear Kenyans being warned against their election. First, their election would carry dangers that might persuade voters against them. Second, Koffi Annan must be stopped from educating Kenyans of the dangers of electing the duo awaiting trials in The Hague.

But if Kenyans should decide to have either Ruto or Uhuru as their president, what consequences would bedevil Kenya? Hilary Clinton meant USA would impose economic, diplomatic and even military sanctions against Kenya.

If Ruto or Uhuru is elected president and refuses to go to The Hague, Kenya would have a fugitive president unable to perform his presidential functions.

Equally, if Ruto or Uhuru is elected president and goes to The Hague for trial, the trial schedule would negate his schedule as president.

Histories of Iraq, Libya and Corte de Voire demonstrate that hostilities between Kenya and western governments could lead to war that Kenya cannot afford. Same histories show that China may be a good economic partner but not a dependable military protector.

And well, ordinary Kenyans might dismiss this as nothing for them. They would be wrong. First, if there is misunderstanding between Kenya, USA and European Union, Kenyan farmers and businesses would find themselves unable to sell their goods, reducing their incomes accordingly.

Two, taxes and prices would go up to close the gap that withdrawal of aid would entail. Kenyans may not be ready for the bitter truth. But Kenya will commit suicide by electing Ruto or Uhuru as her next president.

After voting for an ICC trial, now Ruto and Uhuru also want Kenya to commit suicide, not out of love for her but self interest. Strangely, Kenyans who will bear the burden of this are hardly concerned about themselves.

As Kenya fast comes under a cloud of anxiety, fear, darkness and uncertainty, she badly needs firm leadership from President Kibaki. But that is not forthcoming. It is now the turn of the judiciary to save Kenya, Inshallah.

Koigi wa Wamwere, Leader of CCM

Why the US withdrew from ICC ....... it is POLITICALLY MOTIVATED

By Jim Garamone  American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2002 -- Bush administration officials notified U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan May 6 that the United States is withdrawing from the International Criminal Court Treaty.

The ICC treaty, which goes into force on July 1, puts U.S. service members and officials at risk of prosecution by a court that is "unaccountable to the American people, and "has no obligation to respect the constitutional rights of our citizens," according to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

In a written statement, Rumsfeld said the United States rejects the jurisdictional claims of the ICC. "The United States will regard as illegitimate any attempt by the court or state parties to the treaty to assert the ICC's jurisdiction over American citizens," he said.

The United States has a number of serious objections to the treaty, Rumsfeld said. There is a lack of adequate checks and balances on the powers of ICC prosecutors and judges. The treaty dilutes the U.N. Security Council's authority over international criminal prosecutions.

As written, U.S. service members and officials could be charged with war crimes as a political move by other nations. Putting U.S. service members at risk of politicized prosecution, Rumsfeld said, would discourage U.S. military engagement in the world and be a "recipe for isolationism."

"We have an obligation to protect our men and women in uniform from this court and to preserve America's ability to remain engaged in the world," he said. "And we intend to do so."

The treaty would have caused problems at any time, Rumsfeld said, but they are "particularly troubling in the midst of a difficult, dangerous war on terrorism. There is a risk that the ICC could attempt to assert jurisdiction over U.S. service members, as well as civilians, involved in counterterrorist and other military operations -- something we cannot allow."

Rumsfeld said the United States respects other nations' decisions to join the ICC. They in turn need to respect the U.S. decision to stay out of the ICC.

"Unfortunately, the ICC will not respect the U.S. decision to stay out of the treaty," Rumsfeld wrote. "To the contrary, the ICC provisions claim the authority to detain and try American citizens -- U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, as well as current and future officials -- even though the United States has not given its consent to be bound by the treaty."

Secretary of State Colin Powell said May 5 on ABC's This Week that the United States "found that this is not a situation that we believe was appropriate for our men and women in the armed forces or our diplomats and political leaders."

Powell said the United States has been in the forefront of bringing war criminals to justice. "We have supported a tribunal for Yugoslavia, the tribunal for Rwanda, we're trying to get the tribunal for Sierra Leone set up," Powell said.

Nor is it a matter of allowing Americans to not pay for any crimes they commit. "We have the highest standards of accountability of any nation on the face of the Earth," he said.


Earlier today, this administration announced the president's decision to formally notify the United Nations that the United States will not become a party to International Criminal Court treaty. The U.S. declaration, which was delivered to the secretary general this morning, effectively reverses the previous U.S. government decision to become a signatory.

The ICC's entry into force on July 1st means that our men and women in uniform -- as well as current and future U.S. officials -- could be at risk of prosecution by the ICC. We intend to make clear, in several ways, that the United States rejects the jurisdictional claims of the ICC. The United States will regard as illegitimate any attempt by the court or state parties to the treaty to assert the ICC's jurisdiction over American citizens.

The U.S. has a number of serious objections to the ICC -- among them, the lack of adequate checks and balances on powers of the ICC prosecutors and judges; the dilution of the U.N. Security Council's authority over international criminal prosecutions; and the lack of an effective mechanism to prevent politicized prosecutions of American servicemembers and officials. These flaws would be of concern at any time, but they are particularly troubling in the midst of a difficult, dangerous war on terrorism. There is the risk that the ICC could attempt to assert jurisdiction over U.S. servicemembers, as well as civilians, involved in counter-terrorist and other military operations -- something we cannot allow.

Notwithstanding these objections to the treaty, the United States respects the decision of those nations that have chosen to join the ICC. But they, in turn, will need to respect our decision not to join the ICC or to place our citizens under the jurisdiction of the court.

Unfortunately, the ICC will not respect the U.S. decision to stay out of the treaty. To the contrary, the ICC provisions claim the authority to detain and try American citizens -- U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, as well as current and future officials -- even though the United States has not given its consent to be bound by the treaty. When the ICC treaty enters into force this summer, U.S. citizens will be exposed to the risk of prosecution by a court that is unaccountable to the American people, and that has no obligation to respect the Constitutional rights of our citizens. The United States understandably finds that troubling and unacceptable.

Clearly the existence of an International Criminal Court, which attempts to claim jurisdiction over our men and women in uniform stationed around the world, will necessarily complicate U.S. military cooperation with countries that are parties to the ICC treaty -- because those countries may now incur a treaty obligation to hand over U.S. nationals to the court, even over U.S. objections. The United States would consider any such action to be illegitimate.

We obviously intend to avoid such actions. Fortunately there maybe mechanisms within the treaty by which we can work bilaterally with friends and allies, to the extent they are willing, to prevent the jurisdiction of the treaty and thus avoid complications in our military cooperation. Obviously, countries that have not ratified the treaty would be under no such obligation to cooperate with the court.

By putting U.S. men and women in uniform at risk of politicized prosecutions, the ICC could well create a powerful disincentive for U.S. military engagement in the world. If so, it could be a recipe for isolationism -- something that would be unfortunate for the world, given that our country is committed to engagement in the world and to contributing to a more peaceful and stable world. For a strong deterrent, it is critical that the U.S. be leaning forward, not back. We must be ready to defend our people, our interests, and our way of life. We have an obligation to protect our men and women in uniform from this court and to preserve America's ability to remain engaged in the world. And we intend to do so.

American Foreign Policy and the International Criminal Court

Marc Grossman, Under Secretary for Political Affairs
Remarks to the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Washington, DC
May 6, 2002
As Prepared

Good morning. Thank you for that kind introduction.

It's an honor to be here today. I would like to thank CSIS for hosting this discussion of American foreign policy and the International Criminal Court.

Let me get right to the point. And then I'll try to make my case in detail: Here's what America believes in:

  • We believe in justice and the promotion of the rule of law.

  • We believe those who commit the most serious crimes of concern to the international community should be punished.

  • We believe that states, not international institutions are primarily responsible for ensuring justice in the international system.

  • We believe that the best way to combat these serious offenses is to build domestic judicial systems, strengthen political will and promote human freedom.

We have concluded that the International Criminal Court does not advance these principles. Here is why:

  • We believe the ICC undermines the role of the United Nations Security Council in maintaining international peace and security.

  • We believe in checks and balances. The Rome Statute creates a prosecutorial system that is an unchecked power.

  • We believe that in order to be bound by a treaty, a state must be party to that treaty. The ICC asserts jurisdiction over citizens of states that have not ratified the treaty. This threatens US sovereignty.

  • We believe that the ICC is built on a flawed foundation. These flaws leave it open for exploitation and politically motivated prosecutions.

President Bush has come to the conclusion that the United States can no longer be a party to this process. In order to make our objections clear, both in principle and philosophy, and so as not to create unwarranted expectations of U.S. involvement in the Court, the President believes that he has no choice but to inform the United Nations, as depository of the treaty, of our intention not to become a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. This morning, at the instruction of the President, our mission to the United Nations notified the UN Secretary General in his capacity as the depository for the Rome Statute of the President's decision. These actions are consistent with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

The decision to take this rare but not unprecedented act was not arrived at lightly. But after years of working to fix this flawed statute, and having our constructive proposals rebuffed, it is our only alternative.

Historical Perspective

Like many of the nations that gathered in Rome in 1998 for the negotiations to create a permanent International Criminal Court, the United States arrived with the firm belief that those who perpetrate genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes must be held accountable - and that horrendous deeds must not go unpunished.

The United States has been a world leader in promoting the rule of law. From our pioneering leadership in the creation of tribunals in Nuremberg, the Far East, and the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the United States has been in the forefront of promoting international justice. We believed that a properly created court could be a useful tool in promoting human rights and holding the perpetrators of the worst violations accountable before the world - and perhaps one day such a court will come into being.

A Flawed Outcome

But the International Criminal Court that emerged from the Rome negotiations, and which will begin functioning on July 1 will not effectively advance these worthy goals.

First, we believe the ICC is an institution of unchecked power. In the United States, our system of government is founded on the principle that, in the words of John Adams, "power must never be trusted without a check." Unchecked power, our founders understood, is open to abuse, even with the good intentions of those who establish it.

But in the rush to create a powerful and independent court in Rome, there was a refusal to constrain the Court's powers in any meaningful way. Proposals put forward by the United States to place what we believed were proper checks and balances on the Court were rejected. In the end, despite the best efforts of the U.S. delegation, the final treaty had so many defects that the United States simply could not vote for it.

Take one example: the role of the UN Security Council. Under the UN Charter, the UN Security Council has primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. But the Rome Treaty removes this existing system of checks and balances, and places enormous unchecked power in the hands of the ICC prosecutor and judges. The treaty created a self-initiating prosecutor, answerable to no state or institution other than the Court itself.

In Rome, the United States said that placing this kind of unchecked power in the hands of the prosecutor would lead to controversy, politicized prosecutions, and confusion. Instead, the U.S. argued that the Security Council should maintain its responsibility to check any possible excesses of the ICC prosecutor. Our arguments were rejected; the role of the Security Council was usurped.

Second, the treaty approved in Rome dilutes the authority of the UN Security Council and departs from the system that the framers of the UN Charter envisioned.

The treaty creates an as-yet-to-be defined crime of "aggression," and again empowers the court to decide on this matter and lets the prosecutor investigate and prosecute this undefined crime. This was done despite the fact that the UN Charter empowers only the Security Council to decide when a state has committed an act of aggression. Yet the ICC, free of any oversight from the Security Council, could make this judgment.

Third, the treaty threatens the sovereignty of the United States. The Court, as constituted today, claims the authority to detain and try American citizens, even though our democratically-elected representatives have not agreed to be bound by the treaty. While sovereign nations have the authority to try non-citizens who have committed crimes against their citizens or in their territory, the United States has never recognized the right of an international organization to do so absent consent or a UN Security Council mandate.

Fourth, the current structure of the International Criminal Court undermines the democratic rights of our people and could erode the fundamental elements of the United Nations Charter, specifically the right to self defense.

With the ICC prosecutor and judges presuming to sit in judgment of the security decisions of States without their assent, the ICC could have a chilling effect on the willingness of States to project power in defense of their moral and security interests.

This power must sometimes be projected. The principled projection of force by the world's democracies is critical to protecting human rights - to stopping genocide or changing regimes like the Taliban, which abuse their people and promote terror against the world.

Fifth, we believe that by putting U.S. officials, and our men and women in uniform, at risk of politicized prosecutions, the ICC will complicate U.S. military cooperation with many friends and allies who will now have a treaty obligation to hand over U.S. nationals to the Court - even over U.S. objections.

The United States has a unique role and responsibility to help preserve international peace and security. At any given time, U.S. forces are located in close to 100 nations around the world conducting peacekeeping and humanitarian operations and fighting inhumanity.

We must ensure that our soldiers and government officials are not exposed to the prospect of politicized prosecutions and investigations. Our President is committed to a robust American engagement in the world to defend freedom and defeat terror; we cannot permit the ICC to disrupt that vital mission.

Our Efforts

The President did not take his decision lightly.

After the United States voted against the treaty in Rome, the U.S. remained committed and engaged-working for two years to help shape the court and to seek the necessary safeguards to prevent a politicization of the process. U.S. officials negotiated to address many of the concerns we saw in hopes of salvaging the treaty. The U.S. brought international law experts to the preparatory commissions and took a leadership role in drafting the elements of crimes and the procedures for the operation of the court.

While we were able to make some improvements during our active participation in the UN Preparatory Commission meetings in New York, we were ultimately unable obtain the remedies necessary to overcome our fundamental concerns.

On December 31, 2000, the previous administration signed the Rome Treaty. In signing President Clinton reiterated "our concerns about the significant flaws in the treaty," but hoped the U.S. signature would provide us influence in the future and assist our effort to fix this treaty. Unfortunately, this did not prove to be the case.

On April 11, 2002, the ICC was ratified by enough countries to bring it into force on July 1 of this year. Now we find ourselves at the end of the process. Today, the treaty contains the same significant flaws President Clinton highlighted.

Our Philosophy

While we oppose the ICC we share a common goal with its supporters - the promotion of the rule of law. Our differences are in approach and philosophy. In order for the rule of law to have true meaning, societies must accept their responsibilities and be able to direct their future and come to terms with their past. An unchecked international body should not be able to interfere in this delicate process.

For example: When a society makes the transition from oppression to democracy, their new government must face their collective past. The state should be allowed to choose the method. The government should decide whether to prosecute or seek national reconciliation. This decision should not be made by the ICC.

If the state chooses as a result of a democratic and legal process not to prosecute fully, and instead to grant conditional amnesty, as was done in difficult case of South Africa, this democratic decision should be respected.

Whenever a state accepts the challenges and responsibilities associated with enforcing the rule of law, the rule of law is strengthened and a barrier to impunity is erected. It is this barrier that will create the lasting goals the ICC seeks to attain. This responsibility should not be taken away from states.

International practice should promote domestic accountability and encourage sovereign states to seek reconciliation where feasible.

The existence of credible domestic legal systems is vital to ensuring conditions do not deteriorate to the point that the international community is required to intercede.

In situations where violations are grave and the political will of the sovereign state is weak, we should work, using any influence we have, to strengthen that will. In situations where violations are so grave as to amount to a breach of international peace and security, and the political will to address these violations is non-existent, the international community may, and if necessary should, intercede through the UN Security Council as we did in Bosnia and Rwanda.

Unfortunately, the current framework of the Rome treaty threatens these basic principles.

We Will Continue To Lead

Notwithstanding our disagreements with the Rome Treaty, the United States respects the decision of those nations who have chosen to join the ICC; but they in turn must respect our decision not to join the ICC or place our citizens under the jurisdiction of the court.

So, despite this difference, we must work together to promote real justice after July 1, when the Rome Statute enters into force.

The existence of a functioning ICC will not cause the United States to retreat from its leadership role in the promotion of international justice and the rule of law.

The United States will:

  • Work together with countries to avoid any disruptions caused by the Treaty, particularly those complications in US military cooperation with friends and allies that are parties to the treaty.

  • Continue our longstanding role as an advocate for the principle that there must be accountability for war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.

  • Continue to play a leadership role to right these wrongs.

  • The armed forces of the United States will obey the law of war, while our international policies are and will remain completely consistent with these norms.

  • Continue to discipline our own when appropriate.

  • We will remain committed to promoting the rule of law and helping to bring violators of humanitarian law to justice, wherever the violations may occur.

  • We will support politically, financially, technically, and logistically any post-conflict state that seeks to credibly pursue domestic humanitarian law.

  • We will support creative ad-hoc mechanisms such as the hybrid process in Sierra Leone - where there is a division of labor between the sovereign state and the international community-as well as alternative justice mechanisms such as truth and reconciliation commissions.

  • We will work with Congress to obtain the necessary resources to support this global effort.

  • We will seek to mobilize the private sector to see how and where they can contribute.

  • We will seek to create a pool of experienced judges and prosecutors who would be willing to work on these projects on short-notice.

  • We will take steps to ensure that gaps in United States' law do not allow persons wanted or indicted for genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity to seek safe haven on our soil in hopes of evading justice.

And when violations occur that are so grave and that they breach international peace and security, the United States will use its position in the UN Security Council to act in support of justice.

We believe that there is common ground, and ask those nations who have decided to join the Rome Treaty to meet us there. Encouraging states to come to face the past while moving into the future is a goal that no one can dispute. Enhancing the capacity of domestic judiciaries is an aim to which we can all agree. The United States believes that justice would be best served in creating an environment that will have a lasting and beneficial impact on all nations across the globe. Empowering states to address these challenges will lead us to a more just and peaceful world. Because, in the end, the best way to prevent genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes is through the spread of democracy, transparency and rule of law. Nations with accountable, democratic governments do not abuse their own people or wage wars of conquest and terror. A world of self-governing democracies is our best hope for a world without inhumanity.


Released on May 6, 2002

Press Statement Richard Boucher, Spokesman Washington, DC May 6, 2002

International Criminal Court: Letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Following is the text of the letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan from Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John R. Bolton:"Dear Mr. Secretary-General:This is to inform you, in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000. The United States requests that its intention not to become a party, as expressed in this letter, be reflected in the depositary's status lists relating to this treaty.


S/John R. Bolton"

Released on May 6, 2002