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The Creed of Freedom - If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

There is nothing more common in history than for oppressed people to rise up against their masters and, at great cost in treasure and blood, throw off the old regime, only to discover that they have replaced it with one that is just as bad or worse. That is because it is easy to know what we dislike about a political system but not so easy to agree on what would be better.  For most of history, it has been the habit of men to focus on personalities rather than principles. They have thought that the problem was with the man who rules, not with the system that sustains him. So, they merely replace one despot for another, thinking that, somehow, the new one will be more wise and benevolent.  Even if the new ruler has good intentions, he may be corrupted by the temptations of power and, in those rare cases where he is not, eventually he is replaced by another who is not as self-restrained. As long as the system allows it, it is just a matter of time before a new despot will rise to power. To prevent that, it is necessary to focus on the system itself, not personalities and, for that to happen, it is just as important to know what we are for as it is to know what we oppose. Even today, with so much talk about fighting to defend freedom, who can define what that word means? For some, freedom means merely not being in jail.  Who can define the essence of personal liberty? Who can look you in the eye and say: “This I believe, and I believe it for this reason, and this reason, and this reason also.” The world is dying for something to believe in, a statement of principles that leaves no room for misunder-standing; a creed that everyone of good faith toward their fellow human beings can accept with clarity of mind and strength of resolve. There is an old saying that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. The Creed of Freedom that you are about to read is the rock-solid ground that will allow everyone to stand firm against all the political nostrums of our day and those in the future as well. The Creed expresses the core ideology that binds everyone together.  This is not like the platform of a political party that typically is a position statement on a long list of specific issues and which changes from year to year to accommodate the shifting winds of popular opinion. Instead, it is stated in terms of broad principles that do not change over time and that are not focused on specific issues at all.  If these principles are followed, then most of the vexing political and social issues of the day can be quickly resolved in confidence that the resulting action will be consistent with justice, compassion, and freedom. The Creed of Freedom 1. INTRINSIC NATURE OF RIGHTS  Only individuals have rights, not the collective group; that these rights are intrinsic to each individual, not granted by the state; for if the state has the power to grant them, it also has the power to deny them, and that is incompatible with personal liberty. A just state derives its power solely from its citizens. Therefore, the state must never presume to do anything beyond what individual citizens also have the right to do. Otherwise, the state is a power unto itself and becomes the master instead of the servant of society.  2. SUPREMACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL  One of the greatest threats to freedom is to allow any group, no matter its numeric superiority, to deny the rights of the minority; and that one of the primary functions of a just state is to protect each individual from the greed and passion of the majority. 3. FREEDOM OF CHOICE  Desirable social and economic objectives are better achieved by voluntary action than by coercion of law. Social tranquility and brotherhood are better achieved by tolerance, persuasion, and the power of good example than by coercion of law. Those in need are better served by charity, which is the giving of one’s own money, than by welfare, which is the giving of other people’s money through coercion of law.  4. PROPERTY RIGHTS = HUMAN RIGHTS  The human instinct for private property is a positive force because it provides an incentive for production, which is necessary for the material support of mankind. It justly rewards those who use resources wisely and punishes those who abuse them. Those without property must depend on others for survival, and those who depend on the state must serve the state. Therefore, private property is a human right, essential for prosperity, justice, and freedom. 5. MONEY WITHOUT COERCION There should be freedom to accept or reject any currency, or other forms of money, based entirely upon personal judgment of its value, because a monopoly over the issuance of money and the power to force others to accept it leads to corruption, inflation, and legalized plunder.  6. EQUALITY UNDER LAW  All citizens should be equal under law, regardless of their national origin, race, religion, gender, education, economic status, life style, or political opinion. Likewise, no class should be given preferential treatment, regardless of the merit or popularity of its cause. To favor one class over another is not equality under law. 7. THE GREAT LEADER  Leadership is a natural outgrowth of human dynamics and is essential for social order and large-scale tasks. However, there are two types of leadership. One is based on coercion and decree, found in military organizations and totalitarian political systems. The other is based on persuasion and good example, found in voluntary organizations and free political systems. We must evaluate leaders, not only on their stated goals, but on which type of leadership they offer. Their goals may be admirable, but how they pursue those goals may be tyranny. All modern totalitarian systems have a “great leader” who claims to represent the best interests of the people but who is, in reality, merely a dictator. Truly great political leaders do not follow that path. 8. PROPER ROLE OF THE STATE  The proper role of the state is negative, not positive; defensive, not aggressive. It is to protect, not to provide; for if the state is granted the power to provide for some, it must also be able to take from others, and that always leads to legalized plunder and loss of freedom. If the state is powerful enough to give us everything we want, it also will be powerful enough to take from us everything we have. Therefore, the proper function of the state is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens, nothing more. That state is best which governs least. In day-to-day application, this Creed of Freedom can be reduced to just three simple rules. We can call them the … THREE COMMANDMENTS OF FREEDOM INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS Only individuals have rights, not groups. Therefore, do not sacrifice the rights of any individual or minority for the alleged rights of groups.  EQUALITY UNDER LAW  To favor one class of citizens over others is not equality under law. Therefore, do not endorse any law that does not apply to all citizens equally.  DEFENSE ONLY  The proper function of the state is to protect, not to provide. Therefore, do not approve coercion for any purpose except to protect human life, liberty, or property. (This is the principle of non-aggression.) Another way of viewing these principles is to consider them as the three pillars of freedom. They are concepts that underlie the ideology of individualism, and individualism is the indispensable foundation of freedom...!!
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Kpop is Actually Born from Korean Protest Songs
Alright so I'm a total history nerd, I majored in East Asian Studies and eat stuff like this up. Read the full (long!) article here - I will try to explain it basically, but its really worth the read. Here we go: It all started with Japan. As you might know, Japan colonized Korea eventually trying to erase Korean culture all together on the peninsula. In the very beginning though, that wasn't the case. Japan was willing to share Korean and Japanese culture, and the Japanese and Korean elite often spoke together and traded pop culture. Japanese elite brought over Western-influenced music because of their connections with the Western world (which Korea didn't interact with other than missionaries at the time) The Korean elite wanted to be modern and successful like Japan, so they adopted this music (called Changga) as their new favorite genre. (You can hear a lot of European influences in early Korean music...) This is where it gets interesting. The Korean elite wanted to be independent of Japan. They wanted Korea to stand alone as a strong nation, not pushed around by China or Japan anymore. They stared the pro-independence movement. Now, most revolutions like this would turn to traditional music, traditional culture to strengthen the country (for example, Korea would use ancient Korean songs to protest the Japanese occupation) but the Korean elite didn't! They wanted Korea to be strong, and to be strong they felt like they needed to modernize - ie be like the West. They used this Changga music (ironically brought to them by Japan) to protest Japanese rule! To this day Korea is always trying to "keep up with" the Western world so that they can be considered modern and powerful. Most things that they do is to modernize and stay trendy because that is how the country has always defined strength. But then, Japan decided to make money off of that... Japan had seen its first real pop music hit in 1914. People were buying records, following tabloids, and really getting into pop culture. That was really the birth of the Japanese music industry. In 1926, Korea had a similar experience. A song called the "Death Song" appeared, sung by Yun Shim-Deok. The singer committed suicide with her lover right after the song was released and the story made HUGE headlines. It was chilling, 'romantic,' and dramatic. Korea ate it up. Japanese record companies came in and started selling the record, selling over 50,000 copies! (In 1926 that number is totally insane!) You can listen to the death song here: The record industry after that was run mainly by the Japanese yakuza and their partnered Korean gangsters. The industry was set up very similar to how it is now, with entertainment industries doing everything in-house (SM has specific song writers that only work for SM, and their artists are actors, singers, models, etc) This is also why so many Kpop artists become actors...because even back in the 1920s musicians couldn't make enough money so the real way to make a living was through acting. That still stands today. So, today's Kpop is based off of this first "Korean pop" hit (the death song) AND protest songs against Japan. So when people say that Kpop is just a copy of Western music, they're sort of right but not in the way that they're thinking. Yes, its a reflection of Western culture, but the reason behind it is that Korea has been fighting to be recognized as a modern, powerful force to be reckoned with since the early 1900s. They want people to know Korea is strong, modern, and a country to look up to, not look down upon. So the next time someone tells you Kpop is a lame copy of American pop - give them this little history lesson. Again, PLEASE read the full article - its so interesting! HERE it is!
Information, Rules, and Guidelines
I hope you are all excited about this, I know we are!! Just a few things to know before we get started ~ Basic Information This is a first of its kind multi-community fanfic event. 27 communities have come together to bring you this amazing one shot fanfic contest!! We will kick off the contest on October 23rd, and it will close on the 29th. Community winners will be announced on Halloween with all winning stories linked to one card so that everyone can enjoy them in one place. Each of the 26 kpop/khiphop community moderators and their teams will choose one winner from their community. These will be announced on the 31st. The Fanfic moderator and team will then choose 1 ultimate winner of the community winners. The moderators will have a collection of all of the entries for that community featured on the community homepage, to make it easier for everyone to find and enjoy these one shots. The communities that are participating are: Winner iKON Fanfic G-Dragon Big Bang Boys Republic Got7 History VIXX Astro Monsta X T.O.P SHINee Super Junior Chanyeol Teen Top Seventeen Day 6 BTOB B.A.P EXO BTS UNIQ Cross Gene Jay Park Simon Dominic Kangin The Rules ▪ Halloween themed ▪ PG 13 rating or less, absolutely no smut ▪ There is no word limit, but we ask that you try to keep it shorter to give the teams judging time to read and fairly judge all entries ▪Entry must be posted in the fanfic and relevant community. If your story involves several communities then it may be entered in all of the relevant communities, but can only win in one of them. For example, if you write about GD, you may enter it into both the Big Bang and GD communities. ▪ Multiple entries are encouraged!! You may enter multiple stories into one community, or better yet, multiple stories into multiple communities! Remember that some of the smaller communities will most likely have less entries, therefore increasing your chances of winning - you may want to think about writing something for one of those. ▪ Make sure you tag the Moderators!! Here is the list for you to use: *Moderators Tag List* @resavalencia @Junhwanbae92 @Bangtanss @BBxGD @KwonOfAKind @MelissaGarza @luna1171 @Storiamom426 @JiyongLeo @Isolate @MonAnnahiX @lovetop @VixenViVi @KaiLuhan4ever @SugaKookieV @BrennaTran @IsoldaPazo @ChaErica @Helixx @StefaniTre @Tigerlily84 @VKookie47 @Qilin94 @AimeeH @royalpandajedi @DayDaySMDC @KokoroNoTakara ▪ Mod Supporters may enter the contest, but if they enter in their own community, then they are not allowed to vote for their own story. If only supporters enter in a community, then the team of Moderators will choose the winner. ▪ Moderators may enter, but not in their own community. ***All of these rules must be followed in order for your entry to be counted*** Now for the good stuff... Prizes ▪ All winners will be included in a card announcing the winners with a link to each winning one shot ▪ The winning story will be featured on the relevant community page. ▪ Winners will have their choice of personalized wallpaper, spam, or card dedicated to them. ▪ The ultimate winner will win a prize from the Fanfic community which will be decided later in the event. We look forward to seeing everyone's creativity and love for their idols!! Moderators Tag List* @resavalencia @Junhwanbae92 @Bangtanss @BBxGD @KwonOfAKind @MelissaGarza @luna1171 @Storiamom426 @JiyongLeo @Isolate @MonAnnahiX @lovetop @VixenViVi @KaiLuhan4ever @SugaKookieV @BrennaTran @IsoldaPazo @ChaErica @Helixx @StefaniTre @Tigerlily84 @VKookie47 @Qilin94 @AimeeH @royalpandajedi @DayDaySMDC @KokoroNoTakara
5 Simple Tips for Writing a Fan Letter in Korean
1. Use polite verb forms. Basically, Korean has two types of verb endings for polite speech style: 요(yo) and 다(da). When writing fan letters to celebrities, 요(yo) form is more appropriate than 다(da) form; 다(da) would sound too polite and formal for that kind of letter. 2. Use polite noun forms. In Korean, some nouns have entirely different forms for plain speech and honorific speech. To be polite, use 저(jeo) / 제(je) instead of 나(na) / 내(ne). 저(jeo) is the equivalent to ‘I, me’ in polite speech. 나(na) is the casual form of 저(jeo). 제(je) is the equivalent to ‘my’ in casual speech. 내(ne) is the casual form of 제(je). 3. But don’t be too formal and too polite. I’ve noticed that a lot of Korean learners tend to use the most polite noun forms when writing. Erring on the side of politeness is, of course, always good and safe, but in this fan letter, too-formal and too-polite nouns would sound a little awkward to native speakers (that is, the celebrities who will read your letter). Do not use 당신(dangshin). Instead, choose the right title for them, such as 오빠(oppa), 언니(unni), 누나(nuna), or 형(hyung), and use it. 4. Choose the perfect titles for celebrities. If the people you’re sending a letter to are older than you, you should use an appropriate title for them. There are four kinds of titles you would use. The most common titles are 오빠(oppa), 언니(unni), 누나(nuna), and 형(hyung). But what if you would be the same age as he/she? Adding the suffix씨 (ssi) to the name could be the appropriate solution in polite speech. When writing the letter with casual speech, you would attach 아 to the name ending in a consonant or 야 to the name ending with a vowel. In most cases, the given names are used with the titles we’ve just learned : First name + title. e.g. 세훈씨 Sehoon-ssi (from a male/female who is the same age as Sehoon in polite speech) 백현아 baekhyun-a (from a male/female who is the same age as Baekhyun in casual speech) 수호야 Suho-ya (from a male/female who is the same age as Suho in casual speech) 민호 오빠 Minho oppa (from a female younger than Minho) 티파니 누나 Tiffany nuna (from a male younger than Tiffany) 5. Attach 께 or 에게 to titles in the first sentence of a letter. The Korean equivalent of “to / dear” is “께(kke)” or “에게(ege)”. Though grammatically 께(kke) is the more honorific form than 에게(ege), there is no big difference between them. Just choose whichever you’d like to use. e.g. 중기 오빠께 / 중기 오빠에게 To Joongki oppa, Dear Joongki oppa (from a female younger than Joongki) Here is the entire example of a fan letter written in Korean. This letter was written to 송중기 (Joongki Song, a male Korean actor) by a younger female fan. For reference, I've made some blanks. You can freely adapt this template to suit your context, and fill in the blanks with the name of the celebrity you love! (중기 오빠)에게, To Joongki oppa, 안녕하세요. 저는 (싱가폴)에 살고 있는 (중기 오빠) 팬 (제시카)예요. Hello, I’m your fan Jessica from Singapore. (오빠)가 나오는 드라마 ‘(태양의 후예)’를 정말 재밌게 보고 있어요. (오빠)가 나온 영화 ‘(늑대소년)’도 봤어요. (오빠)는 정말 멋있어요. 제가 제일 좋아하는 (배우)예요. I’ve enjoyed watching your drama ‘Descendants of the Sun.’ I also watched your movie ‘A Werewolf Boy.’ You’re so cool. You’re my favorite actor. (어제) (오빠)가 큰 상을 받아서 정말 기뻤어요. (오빠)는 충분히 그 상을 받을 자격이 있어요. I felt so happy as you won the big prize yesterday. You fully deserve it. (다음 달)에 (홍콩)에서 팬미팅을 한다는 소식을 들었어요. (싱가폴)에서도 팬미팅을 했으면 좋겠어요. I’ve heard that you have a fan meeting in Hong Kong. I hope you also hold it in Singapore. (오빠)를 아직 한번도 만나지는 못했지만 제 사랑과 응원은 식지 않을 거예요. Although we’ve never met, my love and support for you will never fade. 항상 건강하세요! 그리고 다음 (작품)도 기대할게요! Always take care of your health! I’m looking forward to your next work! (제시카) 올림 From Jessica [ Download 'Eggbun' ]
The Class of 2016: This Year's Funniest Graduation Caps
It's that time of year again - time for the senior classmen (and classwomen!) to say their goodbyes and celebrate their accomplishments as they finally receive their diplomas. Let's admit it. Graduation ceremonies, while understandably important, can get a little dull. There's a whole lot of speeches, a whole lot of sitting, and that obligatory watching-every-single-student-walk part. However, grads have gotten creative over the years, keeping things interesting with all sorts of gags - the simplest being the funny designs they put on their graduation caps! Graduation cap humor definitely reflects the times. Check out some of the funniest caps of the graduation season thus far, and then let me know: Are these SO 2016 or what?! "M-Morty, this is - belch - the first day of the r-rest of your life." Shout-out to all those cat ladies gettin' degrees to support their fur babies. Check out Sponge Bob Square Cap over here. This will forever be my favorite quote from 'The Office'. Because Lisa Simpson should be all of our education #goals. He-Man, you the real (heavily bedazzled) MVP. "I solemnly swear I am up to gettin' paid." You can practically hear the mic drop after reading this one. +1 BRIGHT FUTURE! So which one of these were your favorite? What would your graduation cap look like? Let me know in the comments below! (And for more cool and creative caps, check out @HairConfetti's Disney-Inspired Graduation Caps card too!)
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