Masked Up

The pandemic has revived this world’s reality …and some of its conspiracies. However, we also know that some truths can be concealed as conspiracies — and conspiracy theories as truths.

For example, some people have been convinced that our lives would be somehow shortened if we continued wearing masks in public places. Now, when it comes to wearing masks, I think we may agree that there is no harm in wearing one.

Why is that so? Let’s dive in.

Medical Professionals


All medical professionals have been wearing masks since the beginning of time. Nothing hectic has happened to them in all these years. Also considering that they had to wear masks while working under critical circumstances, and hours at a time. So, if wearing masks was a death sentence, we would have no medical professionals today.

Michael Jackson


Michael lived a fairly long life. He was one of the few famous people to wear a mask for health reasons when it was not popular to do so. There was no pandemic during his time. In fact, the media used to criticise/ridicule him for wearing a mask. They called him weird, “wacko jacko”. Look how life turns around. Well, I guess that we’re all equally weird now.

Islamic Law


The niqāb is an all-face covering veil that some Islamic women have been wearing since the beginning of their religion. We can suppose that they have been breatheing fairly well so far. Unlike us, they have always ‘masked up’ …okay, maybe not for health or pandemic reasons. They primarily did so with respect to their religion.

And of course, they have also suffered immense humiliation at the hands of the media for being masked up all these years.

In fact, some Western countries made it illegal to wear a niqāb. But, the irony today is that everyone in the world is Masked Up.

Chinese Population


It has been decades now since some people have been masked up in China. Yes, also the media made it seem as if it was a weird thing to be Masked Up all the time. The Chinese people did not do it because of a pandemic or religion. In their case, it was due to matters related to climate change and/or air pollution.

Personal favourite positive outcome:
The positive thing about being Masked Up is that it saves us from witnessing all the fake smiles that are aimed at us.”

The Message


Sometimes we ridicule the actions of others without understanding their circumstances. Sometimes we accept conspiracies as truths, and truths as conspiracies. The fear of the unknown gets the best of us. The fear of the ‘other’ gets the best of us. We need to let go our fears bit by bit.

Go on, and Mask Up.

[Ends.]

Images used under Creative Commons license.

Macron: a Global-minded Leader

Disclaimer: 
I’ve been meaning to write this piece for some time now. And every time, I decided not to …lacking words that would make it read less political. However, one of Président Macron’s tweet on 8 October 2021 finally pushed me into laying my words on paper.

I’m not a political analyst. These views are based on nonstatistical data; thus,  remaining highly subjective. As always, ladies and gentlemen, this text is like a conversation that acquaintances could have, please read with a light heart. Let’s begin.

A Youthful Leader

One of the youngest presidents to have ever lived, Emmanuel Macron has proved that being young doesn’t mean you can’t (effectively) lead. Many presidents around the world are seasoned in age ….perhaps in their mindset as well. Being a young leader has many advantages… as we have observed through Macron’s tenure. This president can be among the political leaders one day, and pose with Rihanna the next. And guess what? He fits in both world perfectly. He relates to both worlds because he understands both sides of life. 

That’s one of the many advantages that he has over others.

There is a lot of resemblance of attitude to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau is also young and futuristic. Hence Canada remains everyone’s preferred country. Generally, when people think of Canada, they think of a powerhouse that also (ironically) gives mental peace. 


And that’s where Macron has placed France today.

Global Thinking Attitude 

President Macron has transformed the perspective that many held about France. For many years now, some people perceived France as a ‘closed-view‘ country    …a country that believed that it existed alone — in its own world. Where other languages such as English were not assumed to be neither required nor important. Where people only spoke and knew one language… and were extremely content about it. 

So, what Macron has done is to open the mindset of his people. He’s achieved that by convincing french people to atleast speak one more language. He indirectly presented the need for a second language …not only as a skill, but as a means to form effective collaborations. 

He continues to lead by example.

Just from observing his Twitter account, one could note that he tweets in different languages all the time …and does so with an effective charisma. His intention is clear. He speaks directly to any group of interest — in their language …saying to them, ‘I see you, I understand you …and you can put your trust in me.’ And that strategy wins him a few more people globally. (Positioning France at an advantage.)

Okay…of course, and perhaps, not all French people appreciate his versatility …because, we must remember that safeguarding a language and culture remains important to anyone’s identity. And the French people value their culture and language probably more than anyone in the whole world. 

Now, to explain this in a political way, here’s an example: speaking your language, not adopting another …and making others speak your language too has always been a power move infamously known as part of colonisation. Because the more there were people who spoke your language, the more it proved that you had conquered more ground. 


But that worked effectively mostly in the olden days. In today’s world (and tomorrow’s world), the more languages that you can speak, the more powerful you become. Because you get to be in a position to negotiate with many people and make lucrative deals.

In the olden days, physical fighting did the trick — there was barely a need to talk. In the following century after that, there was a high use of spies who had to learn the target’s language. But, today the skills that are mostly valuable are not the manpowered ones but of mental power. And within that mental war, human intelligence is less concerned with manipulation but more with vulnerability and transparency (thus, eliminating the heavy realiance on spies).

Today leaders are not afraid to speak directly to their opponents or targets via Twitter (thanks to Trump). And the transparency works. People are trusting the government more than it is expected nowadays. The resistance is less because leaders are mingling with the crowd.

Ladies and gentlemen, we must admit that Macron has understood the Assignment. 

Let’s dive deeper into his Public Character 

He understands that the more you are relatable to all kinds of people, the higher are the chances of ruling more ground. Fear is nolonger effective in todays world. Relatibility does the trick. But if you’re only limited to speaking your one language, you’ll be limited to be interesting only to your people. 

The fururistic world demands a global leader — not just a country leader.

Things are changing …so fast. And many old methods that used to fit in well in the past are becoming redundant and/or obsolete. This world needs more futuristic leaders. Leaders who will rule globally and not be limited on leading just one country…and he’s one of those global candidates.

Why is he a GLOBAL leader?

Here’s why…

France used to be seen mostly as a mere tourism destination. But today, thanks to Macron, many people perceive France as a powerhouse. More or less the same way they’ve perceived America in the past years. 

Yes! His English helped. His education helped. His age helped. And guess what else helped? He still retained his cultural values as a French person  …while thinking beyond the walls of France. While realising that there is a bigger world out there beyond France. While realising that to be a leader in today’s world (tomorrow’s world), a President needs to obtain global qualifications that make him appealing to a wider population. (A population beyond his walls.) 

Currently, many young french people are starting to understand the advantage of being able to also speak English. Because, we must remember that to conquer the world, means to be able to speak to the world. (Hence the Americans have ruled the world the longest.)

NB: To be able to speak English in today's world nolonger signifies that England has won the power war. Today it merely means that a leader is able to access resources of other countries in the simplest way possible. 


President Emmanuel Macron is currently making necessary changes in France. Change is often uncomfortable. Unfortunately, many of his opposers will only realise the benefits of his strategy a bit too late. 

[Ends]

Images are used under Creatives Common license

Hillsong Church Under Fire

Hillsong United
Led by the son of Brian Houston, Joel Houston.

Have you read about the ongoing s*xual abuse cases against the leaders of the Hillsong Church? What’s your take on those? Carl Hertz who led the New York branch is being accused of se*ual harrassment, while other leaders are being accused of r*pe.

Currently, Brian Houston is allegedly being questioned for concealing his father’s pedo crimes. 

Brian Houston
Carl Lentz

60Minutes Australia reports that there has been an ongoing abuse against the members (women and children) of the Hillsong church …and it’s been going on for some time now. But each time, the cases would be swept under the rug, and life would continue as if nothing happened.

Sounds familiar?

Such ignorance seems to be quite a norm in our society. And it’s sickening. The perpetrators get to be the ones protected by the system while leaving out the victims to fend for themselves.

But, eventually (and with persistence from the victims), justice has to be served at some point. Right?

The Hillsong church was founded by Brian Houston and Bobbie Houston (his wife) in the 1980s. However, prior to that, his parents, Frank and Hazel owned its roots — the Hill Christian Life Centre.

Bobbie Houston & Brian Houston

The church has been very popular ..particularly due to its appeal to all age groups and backgrounds. In fact, it seems to be more fitting to the lifestyle of many people today.

Many people seem to enjoy the church because it markets itself as the real deal.

But most get dissapointed as they discover the dark side of the church …as we have all been made aware in the past year. Perhaps many people have known about these crimes for years.

Perhaps the marketing strategy of the church has been so strong that the mainstream media didnt know about it until recently. Or perhaps no one cared enough back then to bring the means of justice into play.

You know, many of us have had all the Hillsong United music saved on our music systems. Even celebrities such as Justin Bieber have marketed Hillsong through their associations with the church or its characters.

Justin Bieber & Carl Lentz

But, now we know better. Now we know the dark side of this foundation. And we should act like we know.

Just like we cancelled R. KELLY and his music, we should also cancel going to places where men abuse women and children. Places where abuse is promoted rather condemned  …including cancelling the church.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Right?


Disclaimer: key details remain alleged. Inages used under Creative Commons License.

Stay tuned for legal analyses of the Hillsong cases. Check the Blog section for new legal analyses.

Emasculating Black Men

CULTURE TALK 

Introduction

I have already discussed why all men should be ‘allowed‘ to wear dresses (read the article HERE), — or to be freely gay (read the article HERE). 

Today’s article concerns Black Men in particular. The text mentions Black people, the Black Community, and Black men. Disclaimer: When referring to Black people in this text, we mean so regarding all Blacks regardless of their nationalities. 

As always, this text is in a form of a conversation that acquaintances would have over coffee. So, ladies and gentlemen, please read with a light heart. Let’s begin.

There is a popular belief on social media, or on Black Twitter, which raises a lot of fear within the Black Community. The belief is that there is an Agenda that is targeting Black men. Apparently, the Agenda aspires to make them appear as ‘weak’ males; thus emasculating them. They claim that this is accomplished by having Black men wear dresses — or be gay. 

Pawns of the Agenda

Black Twitter is of the view that Black celebrity men, particularly those in the Hip-Hop/Rap genre are the main pawns. These believed-to-be ‘pawns’ are sent out to psychologically convince other Black males that wearing a dress is the way to go.

The media is also believed to be in this plan. As a result, some equate these beliefs to conpiracy theories, while some regard it as mere gossip.

Some of the key Icons that we know of include: 

Jaden Smith, Will Smith  Lewis Hailton

ASAP Rocky  Kevin Heart, Young Thug

So, my view is this: even if there was an Agenda, the question is, so what? 

So, what?

To some, this question might be angering or sound ignorant …particularly in the environment of the Black Lives Matter movement. While to some, it could be triggering. Yes, of course, this question certainly does not suit all the situations surrounding the Movement. And we should continue to bring fair means and solutions that empower the Movement. But, for this topic of Black men wearing dresses, the question is fitting.

Let’s unpack why Black people should not have fear regarding this issue. [Bearing in mind their Culture.]

Be African First, Be Black Second

There could be an immense liberation of the mind if the Black Community started recognising that all Black men were Africans first before they were a Black race. This is because in acknowledging that these are African men, we will be forced to acknowledge that it is their tradition and culture to wear dresses. It is in their ancestoral history. Dress wearing for African men is part of their identity. And once that realisation is done, the fear would also dissipate. 

In any case, even if there was an Agenda behind persuading Black men to wear dresses, it would be helpful to the  Culture. That Agenda would actually empower Black men to go back to their roots. To go back to the basics. To see themselves for whom nature intended for them to be. 

If the Blacks could associate themselves with their origin rather than their race, things would be better. Why? If we should focus on the race, Black people shouldn’t even be recognised as such. Perhaps the right term for their race would be along the lines of Cocoa or Chocolate. But that’s a topic for another day. 

Today some African tribes still have men who wear dresses …doing so to celebrate who they are. We even know of some world political leaders who wear their dresses to the parliament. But, there is no outrage …because those dresses have been approved and accepted as ‘cultural’.

Let’s dive deeper…

The best of the best African kings have worn dresses their entire lives. We talk of kings such as Pharaoh and Shaka Zulu. They fearlessly led people and won battles in dresses. They focused on their priorities, as kings, using their masculinity to defend their people …rather than focusing on covering their manhood in pants. Their manhood did not feel intimidated because of the dresses that they wore. They didn’t feel threatened at all. So, why in the 21st century it is such a big deal when some Black men wear dresses?

Let’s go even deeper…

All the African religious leaders from the old age, and that we all know of, wore dresses. Moses, Aaron, Yahshua (aka Jesus), Noah …all of them wore dresses. They wore dresses both at church and at home. In public and in private. They taught religious studies in dresses. They taught laws in dresses. Attended courts in dresses. Even Moses spoke to God (allegedly) in a dress. En fin, if Moses could speak to God in a dress, for whom else should Black men take off their dresses?

Today why is the Black Community afraid to have their men continue the legacy of their forefathers? What’s the shame about? Why do we associate masculinity with clothing? 

Perhaps, the designers are making the dresses too ‘sexy’ for some men to handle? We don’t know.

Black Man, I leave you with this: if only you knew who you were, you wouldn’t fear every passing fly. But at the same time, and as always, Human Rights are important. No-one should be forced to wear a dress against his will.

[Ends]

_____________________

 

Images are used under Creative Commons license.

Gayism

HOMO+

Introduction

We must approach this text as a conversation that acquaintances could have over coffee. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, please read with a light heart. Let’s begin.

They say that everything that happens in the dark eventually comes to light. This statement has obviously been used in reference to ‘evil deeds’ rather than the ‘good’ ones. And being gay has, for a long time, been associated with evil.

The original meaning of the word homo, according to the Merriem Webster dictionary is: “any of a genus (Homo) of hominids that includes modern humans (H. sapiens) and several extinct related species…” Nevertheless, from that meaning, our society changed it into an offensive slang, in reference to “: a gay person.” 

Today we know gays as being people who prefer to have romantic affections with the same gender as themselves. And since as far as we can all remember, this preference has been shunned. At some point in the history of humans, it was also deemed as illegal. 

Well, in fact, in most of countries, it is still illegal to be gay. 

The Fear of Gayism

The word ‘gayism’ which we will be using in this text is not an official English word yet. But, let’s use it anyway. The fear of gayism stemmed from religion rather than any culture. Thereon, it transpired into a law. Because, we must remember that our laws are firmly based on religion and culture, and never independent of one of these two. Anyway, this part is a topic that we could discuss at another time.

For now, let’s dissect the truth about gayism

Gay people have always existed. In fact, they have existed since the creation of the initial human-beings. Of course, a religious person may argue that the Bible doesn’t say so. Well, the Bible does refer to it …but indirectly. 

Caution: We use The Bible in this example because it is the most popular religious book with which we are all familiar. With that said, we do not try to discredit it in this text. Religious books remain ideal for all those who believe in them. 

The Bible mentions that it is forbidden for males to be romantically involved with each other. [Remember Sodom and Ghomorrah.] It also, in many verses, mentions that romantic activities should be between a male and a female. [For reproduction purposes.]

However, what is bothersome to some of us is that one of the Bible verses that forbids gayism is also promoting carnal abuse culture. It promotes carnal abuse against women and girl children. Yet the strange thing is that all religious people seem to be turning a blind eye to that abuse part. 

Let’s take a look at this bothersome verse:

“Genesis 19:4-8:

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight?  Bring them out to us, so that we may know them.”

Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly.  Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.”

What do we know about The Law?

As we have already discussed above, the law is based on either religion or culture. Meaning that the ‘law’ that is written in The Bible was placed there to forbid a culture of romance which had already been taking place… that is, a gayism culture.

Generally, we don’t place a law for something that has never occured. We usually place laws to control what we have already measured as unacceptable ….based on our non-verbal contracts as human beings.

To give a clearer example: the speeding road laws were non-existent before people drove cars. Then one day, after the manufacturing of vehicles, someone caused a car accident. Then the government, or kings, saw it fitting to place laws that would minimise those accidents. Et voilà!

Another example: men and women used to do everything together, and within the same measures. Until one day, a man said, “wait a minute, I cannot be equal to a woman. I think that I’m mightier than her.” So, then men gathered and agreed to place some laws that would prohibit women from voting, working office jobs, getting an education, driving a heavier vehicle, going outside without the company of a man, and so on. 

In such a context, we can assume that men started forming many gender-related laws based on the culture of toxic masculinity. 

Now, Back to the Topic of Gayism 

The laws that prohibit same gender romance were probably written by men who didn’t like gayism. They just didn’t approve of it. They didn’t feel attracted to other men. So, they found it unacceptable. Maybe because gayism is focused (mainly) on pleasure.

To be fair, gayism doesn’t contribute to recreation or reproduction. We must remember that ‘pleasure’ is highly forbidden in a religious world. Because many religious people believe that to be an absolute spiritual person, your body shouldn’t experience any pleasure. Just agony and suffering, …as the religious books put it.

Today, perhaps we have only 0.1% of humans {monks?} who really live without ‘pleasure’. Some people pleasure themselves by overspending. Some drink heavily. Some indulge in good and delicious meals. Some drive expensive or nice cars. The list of worldly pleasures goes on and on. Oh! And some collect money through savings and investments. [We must always remember that according to the Bible, hoarding money is also forbidden.] 

Another thing is…

What is ironic to some of us is the belief that gayism is new and/or taboo. No, it’s not new. It’s always been there. The only difference now is that people are no longer afraid to declare it publicly. And some tribes or races are no longer feeling bound by their traditions. Social media has also added fuel to the situation by amplifying the announcements of people who are ‘coming out’. Which, in turn, leaves those who are in denial of its existence shocked and angered. 

In conclusion

Religion and culture are good for controlling our social behaviour, limiting the harm that people could do to each other if these belief systems didn’t exist. We must remember that the law is based on these systems. But at the same time, there are good laws and there are redundant laws. Therefore,  we must continually reassess them, to measure their relevance according to the progress in our education, technology, economy, knowledge, wisdom, ideals, etc. 

Then maybe at some point we could find that being gay is not harmful afterall.

For the time being, what we could all agree on is that consenting adults should do whatever they want to do, romantically …without, necessarily, the interference of the government or the society. 

On the contrary, the society, the government, and the judiciary system (The Law) will, and should, always interfere when there is no consent, or when there is an involvement of children. 

That is all. 

[ENDS]

________________________


Images used under the Creatives Common Licence.

MEN WEARING DRESSES

LET’S TALK

Opening statement

Let all males who want to wear a dress wear one. “Their bodies, their choice.” Right?

Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of those kitchen table talks that people could share over coffee. So, please read with a light heart.

I write this text knowing that women are benefiting only 35% of the freedoms that men obtain from our society today. Women’s rights regarding their bodies and their choices continue to be disrespected by the, and/or in a, society that is 98% led by males. Therefore, we should continue to use our platforms to campaign for women and their rights. Of course, our interest should always be leaning towards any underdog, male or female.

Now that we have all the declarations done, let’s begin.

NOW…

Oftentimes when we turn on the news, or browse the internet, or scroll through social media, we see a growing number of men who are wearing “modern dresses“. And along those images, we read comments from people who have nominated themselves to be the gatekeepers of ‘gender-specific clothing’. Basically, we receive lessons pertaining to why men shouldn’t be wearing dresses. According to those people, apparently, “men who wear dresses lose their masculinity when they’re in dresses.” Apparently, “men who wear dresses are gay.” Apparently, “men who wear dresses are weak.” These excuses go on and on.

Basically, the anti-dress-for-males people have many reasons as to why men shouldn’t wear a dress. Because, we must remember that these are potentially the same people who get to choose what’s feminine and what’s masculine when it comes to clothing. 

Perhaps, these are the same people who bar women from wearing pants. Simply because, according to them, “Women don’t wear pants. Pants are made only for men.” Actually, it’s quite ironic that in the beginning, there were no pants at all. Both female and male wore leaves. They wore leaves and, often in winter, wore animal skins. 

Ladies and gents, there were no pants in the beginning of our creation. Pants were made by men. And because men saw themselves as mightier than women, they claimed those pants only for their gender. But, I digress. That’s not the point of this text.

Anyway, as I do some behavioural and social research on this group of gatekeepers, I can quickly see that they’re highly religious, cultural, or traditional people. Therefore, maybe their belief system could be the basis of their disapproval.

Religion and Tradition

The big irony is that males have always worn modern dresses. And the initial males who wore modern dresses were religious and/or traditional. In fact, almost all religious, cultural, and traditional male leaders still wear dresses to this day.

So what’s the problem?

The society tells us that males are allowed to wear dresses …but as long as it’s for cultural or religious purposes. 

The society says that males are not allowed to wear dresses for themselves. They’re not allowed to wear dresses for fashion. They’re not allowed to wear dresses to please their own desires. Only for religion and culture. Wow.

That’s sad. 

Closing Statement

If males can wear dresses to church, why can’t they wear them in the comfort of their homes? If males can wear dresses at a cultural ceremony, why can’t they wear them at the mall? 

We hope for answers.

———

[ENDS]

http://www.mittaxinindlu.com
Media Correct Publishing. 17 September 2021.

All images are used under Creative Commons licence.

Judgement Analysis

Privacy Shield: Schrems II

Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems (“Schrems II”) – Case C-311/18

——————————————-

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS: DECISION OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION: 16 JULY 2020

LEGAL CONTEXT BACKGROUND

On 16 July 2020 the European Court of Justice declared that the adequacy decision pertaining to the Privacy Shield which was declared in 2016 was invalid. The invalidity of the Privacy Shield meant that companies such as Facebook and Google would continue to be required to meet all data transfer requirements as per the European Union Data Privacy Laws (hereon referred to as EU Law).  

Promises

There were several promises that the Privacy Shield declared. However, the delivery of those promises depended upon the data requirements set by the Court of Justice being met. Indeed, a contract or a judgement that tries to enforce requirements that are impossible to execute is either void or voidable. 

Invalidity to such a contract or a judgement is often a consequence. Invalidity is effective from the beginning of the contract when void. However, when voidable, it becomes invalid only when either party disputes it with a legal reason by revoking or cancelling it. In this judgement, the contract of the Privacy Shield between the United States of America (hereon referred to as the US) is voidable. Therefore, it became invalid due to Mr. Maximillion Schrems asserting his legal right to data privacy protection against Facebook. Facebook was also a party shielded under the Privacy Shield as a paying participant. 

THE CREATION AND PURPOSE OF THE PRIVACY SHIELD 

The Privacy Shield was constructed by the United States Commerce Department and the European Union (hereon referred to as EU). They did so with the purpose of providing a system that would safeguard the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US. For which the data would be transferred with the goal of supporting transatlantic Commerce. 

The history of the Privacy Shield is based on several negotiations between the US and the EU. However, to analyse the ruling of 16 July 2020, it is critical to look at the rulings that set it in motion.

On 12 July 2016 the European Commission (hereon referred to as the Commission) declared that the Privacy Shield Framework between the US and the EU was adequate under the EU Law. Stating that it was adequate to enable data transfers. 

On 16 July 2020 the Court of Justice of the EU issued a judgement which declared that the Privacy Shield adequacy decision was invalid (European Commission’s Decision of 2016/1250 of 12 July 2016). 

THE POWERS OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON THE MATTER 

The European Commision was the lead negotiator with the US. On 2 February 2016 the Commission reached an agreement regarding the Privacy Shield Framework. Thereafter, on 8 July 2016 Member States voted positively. Thus, formalising the Framework on 12 July 2016. 

THE POWERS OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE ON THE MATTER 

On 6 October 2015 the Court of Justice set strict requirements that needed to be met before the Privacy Shield could be adopted as a valid mechanism for the transatlantic exchanges of personal data for commercial purposes. It was also the Court of Justice that had declared the International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles (hereon referred to as Safe Harbor) invalid. The Safe Harbor had been a tool on which the US had relied when dealing with data transfer matters. Initially it was also proposed as a  mechanism that all parties could rely on when transferring personal data from the EU to the US.

Safe Harbor

Reaching the agreement of adequacy in 2016, factors from the Safe Harbor were deliberately used to convince the Commission. They did so by judging, amongst other factors, the already existing commitments that the US had with the EU. It is further noted that from the Safe Harbor, one of the key factors used to determine adequacy was the FAQs.

Relying on FAQs presents a higher risk in terms of absolute reliability, and as a key source of reference for the courts of law. One of the reasons for this is the high subjectivity to the FAQs. For example, usually, new organisations can form up their own FAQs based on what they think people would ask. And do so without actually having any user ask those questions. Some organisations draw up such questions relying on professional experience, the market or competitors, and data future analytics.

The risk with FAQs arises because it is impossible to have a conclusive estimation of what the users or consumers would really want to know until the subject is active. In the case of the Privacy Shield Framework, only a few factors were certain. The rest was based on the principles of trust that existed between the countries or their representatives, rather than the concrete evidence pertaining to the absolute assurance of personal data protection.

RULING ANALYSIS

The ruling of the Privacy Shield of which its adequacy being ‘invalid’ was declared because some of the requirements relating to the personal data transfer of people in the EU to third countries were not all met. Consequently, to reverse the ruling of adequacy in favour of the Privacy Shield to being “invalid” is reasonable. Indeed, the law is not set in stone. Any and all laws are subject to revisions and adjustments, particularly in cases whereby there is no precedent case law.

We must note that Article 25 of the key directive had stated that:

1.      The Member States shall provide that the transfer to a third country of personal data … may take place only if, without prejudice to compliance with the national provisions adopted pursuant to the other provisions of this Directive, the third country in question ensures an adequate level of protection.

2.      The adequacy of the level of protection afforded by a third country shall be assessed in the light of all the circumstances surrounding a data transfer operation or set of data transfer operations; …’

In such a context, it is reasonable, even in cases where there are precedents, to review the relevance and effectiveness of all laws. When doing so, one must consider the time, environment, political and economic factors, technological changes, market developments, social influences, and risk related factors, such as safety and security.

To give a clearer perspective for reasons why laws can be reversed, for example, there were times when slave trading was an acceptable and recognised commercial law. However, with the changes in time, environment, and other social factors, that law was reversed and deemed invalid.

Therefore, the invalidity decision by the Court of Justice is commendable because it regains the trust of the EU citizens regarding their rights to data privacy.

Element of Trust

Trust is one of the key factors in contract law. However, usually — and unless in special exceptions — the element of trust does not bind third or other parties that are usually not involved in the negotiations. To give an example, in a business transaction, the trust factor is often binding to the buyer and the seller, and not also to their friends, relatives, or even suppliers.

However, in the case of the Privacy Shield, the US negotiated in the representation of all the companies that would participate in the framework. Likewise, the Commision negotiated in the representation of the EU citizens/consumers. Both parties trusted that the organisations that would participate would adhere to the expectations of the set requirements, and the seven principles that were to be followed.

US Domestic Law

In the negotiations, it was raised that the US Domestic Law was one of the components that gained the Commission’s trust. Relying on it as another measure of securing data protection. However, the gap between the US law and the EU law, which was identified by the Court of Justice, did not prove, in absolute, the extension of the trust component to EU consumers. Hence the decision of invalidity.

Role of Max Schrems

Mr. Schrems challenged the Privacy Shield Adequacy in the best of his interest. In fact, it could have been any EU citizen.  The Court of Justice had to take his rights into account. His interests are, in deed protected as per, for example, Article 69;

‘ …a data subject should, nevertheless, be entitled to object to the processing of any personal data relating to his or her particular situation. It should be for the controller to demonstrate that its compelling legitimate interest overrides the interests or the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject.’

Human and Procedure Factors

We can also accept that there was an element of human fault within the entire process. Thus, concluding that the law can be rightfully so adjusted with new insights. This is not the first case whose decision was reversed by invalidating a prior ruling. The case of Vaupel, for example, is one of many that the Court of Justice has invalidated since the 1980s.

Procedure Followed

To analyse the procedure in terms of applying the law, we must analyse if the necessary steps were followed. Were critical questions asked to reach the adequacy verdict on 16 July 2016? If not, which is likely the matter in this case, then we can accept that some critical details in the application of the law to reach the judgement were overlooked. 

Before the ruling of 12 July 2016, there was not enough comparison made; comparing point by point the data laws. Particularly, comparing so with an interest to identify any differences in the US law and the EU law relating to data handling. If this had been done early on, the gap would have been identified, and plans would have been made to close it. 

PROPOSED CRITICAL REMARKS

There was not sufficient due diligence followed in the ruling made on 12 July 2016, namely declaring the ‘adequacy’ of the Privacy Shield Framework. 

Adequacy Test

The adequacy decision that was taken by the Commission declared that ‘a non-EU country’, as in the case of the US, ‘ensures an adequate level of protection of personal data by reason of its domestic law and international commitments.’

Current State – Future

Procedurally, it is still out of the norm that companies are still required to pay yearly non-refundable participation fees to a framework that has been deemed inadequate. And one that has been recognise as not fully meeting the standards of data transfer from the EU  to the US. In the end, it can be concluded that currently the Privacy Shield is a Law-under-construction. 

References

Court of the European Union. (2020, 7 16). The Court of Justice invalidates Decision 2016/1250 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Data Protection Shie – CURIA – europa.eu [Judgment of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 16 July 2020 Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland Limited and Maximillian Schrems]. Judgment in Case C-311/18. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/ATAG/2020/652073/EPRS_ATA(2020)652073_EN.pdf

EUROPA. (2016, 5 20). EU-US Data Protection Umbrella Agreement – 20 May 2016 English. Commercial sector: EU-US Privacy Shield. https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection/international-dimension-data-protection/eu-us-data-transfers_en

European Court of Justice. (2020, 7 16). https://curia.europa.eu › pdfPDF Web results The Court of Justice invalidates Decision 2016/1250 on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU-US Data Protection Shield. CURIA. https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2020-07/cp200091 en.pdf

European Parliament and Commission. (2016, 7 27). Recital 69 – Right to Object. Recitals. https://gdpr.eu/recital-69-right-to-object/

Publications Office of the European Union. (1983, 8 6). Case 131/83: Action brought on 11 July 1983 by Peter Vaupel against the Court of Justice of the European Communities. Europa. https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/a3a41ea4-73a5-4993-a3bd-0dc73a31ebc1

(Just Words:) Regret Not — Vulnerabilty


There is a serious risk in being vulnerable. The risk is that those whom you’re being vulnerable to may misuse or ridicule your vulnerability. But the bigger risk is that if you refrain from being vulnerable, you consequently allow fear to win.


Take the lesser risk, and get the job of healing done.


When you have taken the difficult step of being vulnerable with someone or some people, and they embrace your pain, you win.


When you have taken the difficult step of being vulnerable with someone or some people, and they ridicule your pain, you win.


Why do you win in both situations? Let’s discuss. 


You win because you have taken a step towards YOUR healing. Those who misuse your vulnerability are, in fact, still in deep misery of their own. They are still battling with learning on how to be responsible with others’ vulnerability. That means, you are one step ahead of them.


It may seem like you’re being thrown back into your pain. But, no. You’re being liberated ‘through’ pain.


And once your liberation is final, you will land in the comfort of those who can identify with your vulnerability in a matured and responsible manner. You will meet a tribe of individuals who are not afraid to feel some discomfort because of your state.


You will meet emotional warriors whose swords only come out in times of healing battles. You will meet people who will comfort you until all your childhood hurts are healed. But it is YOU who must take the first step. That first step is being vulnerable. You could be vulnerable with anyone you like: a psychologist, friend, family members, or a guru. But in the end, you will be vulnerable with the right people.


These are the Laws that I gift to you; the Laws of Healing Through Pain. (You may add your own.)

1. Do not regret telling your deepest secrets to evil ears. 2. Do not regret exposing your deepest wound to the eyes of one million snakes. 3. Do not regret revealing your shame to broken mirrors. 4. Vulnerability is ought to be temporary. But, regret will bind you to it on a permanent basis.


You’re healing through your pain. You’re healing inspite of those who have misused your vulnerability. The piece of your vulnerability that they used to gain social points is the only part of you that they could ever have. The rest of the system belongs to you. And, hereon, you are in full control of its direction.

Go on, and heal your inner child.

Facebook.com/MittaxinindluAuthor

Seven Days of Prayer (Poem)

Image taken when I was still married.

We prayed for seven days.
But, by the last day,
we still needed more days to pray.
On the first day we prayed well
by the well.
We prayed for strength and to be saved from hell.
Strength to carry and bear the weight of the bear.
The furless bear that was living
rent-free within.

On the second day we prayed for union and companionship.
In that unionship,
some told us to alter ourselves to benefit from their gold.
Some told us to worship at their alter, and to their forbidden gods.
Some gave us bands,
while some gave us rose stems.
But they all promised us a life full of bliss,
and concerts to see bands like Kiss.

On the third day we prayed for courage and strength.
We thought that we needed to lean on to some friends.
We begged to rest our lean bodies on their shoulders.
We said that we needed a match
in which we could meet our match.
We asked for a cover to cover up and shield us;
providing a shield from the storms of life.

On the fourth day we prayed for assertiveness and self-esteem.
But, like a bow without its own direction,
we jumped as high as they told us.
And gave a bow after each and every performance.
We skipped and hopped for everyone despite their lies.
In fact, we also skipped all the steps necessary to living full lives.

On the fifth day we prayed for security and protection.
But some betrayed and beat us because we intimidated their situation.
And some became deadbeats
to the children that we bore for each.
We were left beat, with no fun.
Missing the beat to the sound of our own drum.

On the sixth day we prayed for solitude; some space from an alliance.
But we went on to perform for this and that audience.
Some were fair skinned;
some were dark skinned.
Some were fair to us,
while some were cruel too much.
But we remained amongst them
because we chose to be one with copendence.

On the seventh day we prayed for bravery.
But our conduct had changed gravely
because, for six days, we’d invited others to conduct our song.
We’d geared up for them and shot arms at ourselves for so long.
Meanwhile they’d raised their arms up, cheering for our self-destruction.
And, once we were doomed in their mission,
they bounced like a wave;
vanishing without a wave.

Neber be afraid to leave a relationship that is harmful to your individual growth.

TALIBAN | AFGHANISTAN : AN INFORMAL ANALYSIS

Disclaimer
I am writing this analysis from the view of an observer. And without a reliable primary source of any of the events taking place in Afghanistan. I do not condone violence nor any threat to women and children. I am neither a political analyst nor a politician. I am just a writer and a researcher who has an interest in Social Justice and the protection of Human Rights. Also, I do not have any political qualifications whatsoever. Lastly, I am analysing Afghanistan|Taliban situation from an informal perspective; therefore, please read with a light heart. 
About the writer
I have a qualification in Law, also furthering that Law education at the moment. From the business side, I hold a Master of Science in Project Management, Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Business Economics, Bachelor of Commerce in Management, Lean/ Six Sigma Green Belts, and a few certificates in Data Science.

Now that I have said all of that, let’s begin.

BACKGROUND

This is a short perspective on what has been going on in Afghanistan. We all know by now that the Taliban have taken back the control over Afghanistan. And it happened so quickly with minimum resistance from the opponents. On here, I will mention the Taliban, human rights, Islamic Law, Western Law, and religion.

Image @tahir_agh786

According to the BBC (several articles and documentaries), the United States of America believed that the 9/11 attacks were made by Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was a militant regime that was led by Osama Bin Laden. Osama who was taken down by President Barack Obama in 2011. Apparently, the sin of the Taliban for which its price they paid in blood and surrender was that they refused to handover Osama Bin Laden to the Americans. 

Osama Bin Laden | Image from Twitter

Are Afghans citizens of Afghanistan? Yes. Taliban also citizens of Afghanistan? Yes. Are other stakeholders such as America, UK, and Pakistan citizens of Afghanistan? No.

Involvement of International States in the Affairs of National Politics

The International Law does permit other states to intervene in a country’s affairs where the lives or human rights of its citizens are threatened. Also, in terms of International Criminal Law, some countries have signed an international agreement of being accountable for extraditing a criminal to the country where the crime took place. So, from this point of view, we can assume that this is how the Americans gained an advantage and entered Afghanistan (to deal with Osama).

Treatment of Women

The media has widely spread that due to the Islamic Law which the Taliban follow, women have not been able to work, go to the shops, get education, or play sports. The media has further stated that women are forced to wear the ‘all-covering burqa’. As a result, since 9/11 the Islamic religion began to attract lots of criticism and disdain globally. Some Islamic women have also complained about the treatment that they’ve endured under the ‘strict’ Sharia Law. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook have given us a hint of their sadness.

Taliban’s Perspective

The Taliban deny that they mistreat women. In fact, for each question, they give a response citing the Islamic Law for their actions. For example, they say that they request women to cover up because that’s what the Quran says. They also deny that women are not allowed to obtain education. Well, which could be true, because some women in Afghanistan do indeed have education. Perhaps, the denial of education to women is regional? Investigative journalists are yet to tell us. For example, how did some educated women or doctors obtain their education if it’s against the law in Afghanistan? Many questions, few answers.

Image @tahir_agh786

ANALYSIS

I have been lucky enough to have acquaintances from all corners of life. People of different religions, citizenships, races, ethnicities, and social classes. I am a Christian whose views on religion are receptive to those of others. With that said, my acquantances include Islam believers. Of course, we talk about religion because curiosity enlightens the mind, right? Indeed, some Muslim women hold ‘global’ views. They prefer not to cover themselves up, or even wear the hijab. They feel that their freedom is compromised through the Islamic Law. On the other hand, some Muslim women love their religion. They do not feel threatened by following the Islamic rules, or covering themselves up. They want to do it willingly; and to honour their Allah. 

Women’s Rights

The ironic thing is that even the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah require women to cover themselves up. And no-one criticizes or has a negative attitude towards the views of these Books. Of course, what we cannot tolerate, from the legal perspective, is when the basic human rights of people are infringed upon. But pertaining to religion, we ought to be careful. People believe in different gods, and that should be alright. People follow different religions, and that too should be alright. Because the religion topic will remain subjective as long as we live. Unless, of course, God comes down Himself and corrects us all. 

With that said, ideally we should not interfere in the religious affairs of others. Unless in cases where people are being forced into believing in a religion that they do not want. Or, in cases where others practice their religion by sacrificing children or other humans. If people just want to follow their religion and worship their god in their land without taking away the human rights of others, let them do so. There is no terrorism in that.

‘Terrorism’

The meaning of the word terrorism seems to be saturated nowadays. Thanks to its misuse in the media, or by politicians. Politicians love to use this word when they meet political oppositions. They did it with Nelson Mandela and his regime during the times of apartheid in South Africa. They did it with Che Guevara, a leader of Argentina. And so with the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. Basically, it seems to be a theme to label others as terrorists when they start to fight for their land, resources, or freedom. In the end, just like Mandela became a global hero, it is possible that the Taliban will once more be seen as heroic. 

The Law

The problem with politics is that the direction changes all the time. And rightfully so. Otherwise the science in politics would be lost. We love and accept the science of politics because it does also bring good to the people. The issue is that the subjects in the political sciences are ordinary people, who end up suffering. Hence politicians themselves see the necessity for putting measures in their field to manage the dynamics. Those measures include the law.

Again, we cannot blame politicians for doing what politicians do. It is the nature of their science. They fight, argue, manipulate, debate, and do everything they can to have the maximum power and control of resources. Those resources include land, natural resources, and currency. However, I think that we can all agree that they have not mastered political sciences to the point that they can play these power games without sacrificing Human Rights. Perhaps, this is a challenge for future political science researchers or students to explore further. Thus, bringing a solution that works for people. 

The question that I would propose to political stakeholders is: How could politicians be politicians without sacrificing the nobility of Human Rights?  Follow the law?. This could be the first suggestion. Definitely the law is the first measure to follow. But there is a catch.

The shortfall with the law is that it is limited by the subjectivity of those who apply it. If the law was drafted and applied by an Artificial Intelligence agent, a robot, maybe all criminals would indeed get what they deserve. Maybe politicians would not compromise people’s lives while doing their jobs. Maybe justice would be served and fairness would be applied. But it is the subjectivity in the people who apply the law, such as lawyers, judges, or the police that compromise the dignity and the strength of the Law.

The Law in Afghanistan

Afghanistan was following the Islamic Law for as long as it existed. Well until the Americans partly took control over the country post 9/11. Thereafter, Afghanistan adopted and adapted to the Afghan Constitution. This Constitution, from the Taliban’s point of view, contradicted their religion, and the Islamic Law. Now, we must remember that all laws are based originally on religion. For example, the Western Law is based partly on the Bible. In fact, many western courts demand that witnesses place their hands on the Holy Bible when giving a testimony. With that requirement, asserting the power and necessity of religion in our daily lives. 

But at the same time, the Islamic Law includes human views and perspectives which are enforced and applied when punishing or judging people. In this analysis, we have already established that humans can be subjective. And it is through this subjectivity that people’s human rights get destroyed. From that, we can agree that there is room to improve the Islamic Law. For example, it can be adjusted to meet the modern needs of people. Definitely, no-one should change what is godly, such as the Holy Quran. But, we can work around flexing those laws that were made Based on Reason. Because what could have been reasonable 50 years ago, may not be reasonable today. 


FUTURE

In Biblical terms, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Give to the Taliban what belongs to the Taliban. In assuring the stability and peaceful lives of their people, the Taliban should enforce their law, rightfully so. However, they should also be open to adjusting that law to satisfy the maximum number of people that it serves. And not only serve a certain gender, or a certain class. 

For example, slavery upon Black People was once an official Law. And the Holy Bible was used as the basis of that Law. I mean, there are many verses that we could quote just to show how ‘fair’ that slavery law seemed to be at the time. Similarly, the Apartheid Laws in America and South Africa seemed fair at the time. In fact the international units such at the level of the United Nations had accepted those Apartheid Laws as fair and just. 

Therefore, as history has shown, with an adjustment from all parties, we can reach a level where everyone’s freedom and fundamental human rights are not threatened. The UN or NATO may not recognise the government of the Taliban for a few years, but eventually they could. Women and children who are at a disadvantage within the system could be protected eventually. 

Why? Because the only fact that we can rely on about the Taliban is that they are human beings. Now, because they are humans, we know that they are subjective, emotional, and have perspectives like everyone else. Therefore, eventually, they will look at their mothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters and see them as valuable as themselves.

Opposing leaders failed in their approach against the Taliban because they attacked the Islamic Law, and the Islam religion. They criticised and demoned it as if trying to ‘convert’ Muslims. And not necessarily focusing on the law aspects that could be improved. Obviously, if you negatively criticise someone’s beliefs and with malice, they will feel a strong need to defend their religion and those beliefs. The unfortunate part is that in the end, both parties miss the opportunity of improving human life and its experience. 


We should not treat people as if they were commodity.
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