Tag Archives: freedom

ticket to nowhere.

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Taiwan continues to cater to the needs of its travel-starved population by offering yet another aviation experience that doesn’t actually take you anywhere. Following up on an offer in July, in which the public was able to check in and board a grounded airplane in Taiwan’s Sonshan Airport, one airline has just upgraded the faux travel experience by offering an actual flight — to nowhere.

EVA Air, one of the biggest carriers in Taiwan, is offering the special journey on August 8 (Father’s Day in Taiwan) to help satisfy its customers’ travel itch. The trip will take around three hours, with the flight taking off from Taipei Taoyuan Airport, then circling the skies before returning to the same airport. If it’s a clear day, passengers will be able to take in views of several Taiwan attractions including Guishan Island and the scenic Huadong coastline, as well as other nearby islands.

Passengers will be flying on the “super popular” Hello Kitty Dream jet.The plane bears EVA Air’s special Sanrio-themed livery. An A330, it features many Sanrio characters including Hello Kitty, My Melody (Hello Kitty’s BFF), as well as Little Twin Stars’ Kiki and Lala. They can expect Hello Kitty in-flight amenities, free WiFi for texting and an inflight entertainment system that is usually reserved for long-haul flights. Inflight dining is another highlight of the trip, offering a choice of two main courses created by a 3-star Michelin chef.

The flight will be operated under flight number BR5288. Why? When spoken, it sounds like “I love dad” in Chinese. An economy class ticket is $180. Passengers can choose to upgrade their seats to business class for an additional $34.

International tourism has been effectively stopped in much of the world as countries shut their borders to stem outbreaks of Covid-19 and Taiwan is no exception. The island locked down its borders in March amid the growing coronavirus pandemic. Foreign nationals are still banned from visiting the island at this time.

“you know the actor, john garfield? in one movie he walked up to this train station, the ticket booth, and the guy says, “yes, where are you going?” and he says, “i want a ticket to nowhere.” i thought, that’s it. i want the freedom to do that. i want a ticket to nowhere.”   -wayne shorter

 

photo and story source: cnn travel

what is a hero?

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President Richard M. Nixon honors John McCain at the State Department

after McCain was released by the North Vietnamese in 1973

after more than five years as a prisoner of war.

(U.S. Navy)

RIP Senator John McCain

a maverick in the truest sense of the word

“I’ve tried to serve our country honorably. I’ve made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them. I’ve often observed that I am the luckiest person on Earth. I feel that way even now, as I prepare for the end of my life. I’ve loved my life, all of it. I’ve had experiences, adventures, friendships, enough for 10 satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life in good or bad times for the best day of anybody else’s.”

-John McCain – from a letter he left to be read upon his death

“a hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” bob dylan

 

 

 

 

image credit: washington post

gates.

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Mexican journalist freed by ICE, joins University of Michigan as fellow

 After being detained at an immigrant detention center for nearly eight months, Mexican journalist Emilio Gutierrez Soto will join the 2018-19 Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists class at the University of Michigan. Gutierrez, who will be a Senior Press Freedom Fellow at Wallace House, and his son, Oscar, were freed July 26 from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Texas.

“With so many challenges to press freedom, and in the midst of a crisis around immigration policy, it is easy to feel powerless,” said Knight-Wallace Fellowship director Lynette Clemetson, who met with Gutierrez in April at the El Paso, Texas detention facility to invite him to join the program. “Emilio’s release, due to the efforts of many, is a reminder that we all can do something to effect change.”

Gutierrez and his son were released a day before a federal judge’s deadline for U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials to produce documents explaining why the journalist was detained. Though Gutierrez was released by ICE, he has not been granted asylum, National Press Club Freedom Fellow Kathy Kiely said.

“We’re extremely happy, but there was no settlement agreement reached,” Kiely said. “We have been talking to the government about settling the case and discussing the terms of the settlement, but they never responded to that. In the end, they didn’t agree to anything, they just released him.  On July 10, the judge issued an order citing constitutional protections of free speech and press freedom in raising concerns about immigration officials’ treatment of Gutierrez.

In 2017, an immigration judge in El Paso denied Gutierrez’s asylum request and he was scheduled for deportation. The deportation was halted after protests from numerous journalism organizations including The National Press Club, Reporters Without Borders and the American Society of News Editors.

Gutierrez entered the country 10 years ago seeking asylum after his reporting on corruption in his home country made him the target of death threats. He and his son had been held in an ICE detention facility near El Paso, Texas since December. He was previously denied asylum and is still in the process of scheduling an appeal.

“He did everything that the immigration officials say refugees should do,” Kiely said. “He came in through a port of entry, he declared himself, asked for asylum, he’s gone to every immigration check-in. Why are they spending so much of our taxpayer resources if he’s not a bad guy?” While Gutierrez’s asylum status remains unclear, plans are moving forward for him to be a part of the fellowship at UM in the fall, Kiely said.

“Wallace House, the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor community are eager to receive Gutierrez and his son as the family works to resume their life in the U.S. and Gutierrez has the opportunity to reconnect with journalism,” Clemetson said.

The Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists is one of several organizations that signed amicus briefs organized by The National Press Club in support of Gutierrez’s case. While at UM, Gutierrez will study issues related to global press freedom and safety.

“it is useless to close the gates against ideas: they overlap them.”

-klemens von metternich

 

 

 

 credits: martin slagder, ann arbor news, m-live, reporters without borders

torpedo.

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what do you get

when you combine every kid in the city who is now out of school

with a very hot day and a community pool?

lots of squeals, water fights, slides, splashes, and snacks

everyone so happy to be free

all summer ahead of them

 has the festive feel of adults

celebrating with a long night of cocktails

but the kids are hopped up on nothing but pure sunshine and water.

 

‘i feel like a torpedo.’

-michael phelps (u.s.a. olympic gold medalist in swimming)

 

 

 

image credit: New York July 12, 1937 McCarren Park Pool- vintage photo

 

 

truth.

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john f. kennedy’s campaign appearance 

at the train station

1960 ann arbor michigan

(with tom payne, patrick mcnamara, governor swainson, soapy williams)

on this day of the first debate 

by the candidates for the u.s. presidency

i look

back to the past 

ahead to the future

and

hope for the truth

“a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood

in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

– john f. kennedy

credits: ali van den broek, ann arbor townies, ann arbor archives

 

freedom.

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we came outside today

with

no

mittens

hats

scarves

neckwarmers

or

snowpants.

just

coats

and

boots.

we discovered

that it had

magically turned into spring.

and

when we said

coats weren’t really needed either

there were

shrieks of delight

and a

mad dash

to peel off those coats

at last

to

throw them down

after the long winter

and

to feel a taste of real freedom once again.


i need this wild life, this freedom. – zane grey