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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Meanwhile, back in Liberia...

Houston Chronicle: Moneyed expatriates are starting return to Liberia
Monrovia, Liberia — Ciata Victor gave up a high-paying tech job, a spacious condo and a First World life in Maryland to return home to an African capital that barely has electricity or running water.

After 26 years of watching from afar as coups and war ravaged her native Liberia, Victor says she's home to stay. And she's started a business — running a seven-computer Internet cafe using a generator and a borrowed satellite hookup.

"There's some now who say they will not come to Liberia until Liberia gets running water and electricity. I just wanted peace," Victor said.

As this West African country works to rebuild, moneyed Liberians who spent decades abroad are starting to come home. It's a trickle that the year-old government hopes will swell, supplying investment and a much-needed educated class in a nation where few went to school during 14 years of fighting and instability.

Now 45, Victor was 19 when she moved to the U.S. to attend college in 1980, the year Liberia's government was overthrown in a coup. Nine years later, Charles Taylor launched a rebellion that threw the region into a conflict from which it emerged only with his ouster in 2003. Neighboring Sierra Leone charged Taylor with war crimes, and he is awaiting trial.

In 2005, a Harvard-educated former U.N. and World Bank official became the first female elected president in Africa. Many here said the installation of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf heralded a new era for Liberia's 3 million citizens, including those who hadn't been back in years.

Victor said Sirleaf's speech to the U.S. Congress in March prompted a trial visit.

"I visited in May, and I felt pretty safe. So I went back, gave my job 30 days notice, sold my condo, packed a container — and on July 31, I came home," she said.

Most Liberians with means fled during the war. Liberia's historically close ties to the United States — it was created in 1847 to resettle freed slaves — meant many ended up in U.S. cities.

Sirleaf started calling on Liberian expatriates to come home during her election campaign and many returned to take posts in the government. But Liberia's biggest sign of hope may be entrepreneurs like Victor who start businesses with their own money.

There is already foreign investment in Liberia — Firestone operates a rubber plantation, Mittal Steel is redeveloping iron ore mines and foreign governments have promised aid. And the U.N. has brought in 15,000 peacekeepers and other expatriate workers.

Henrique Caine, who is trying to start a construction equipment rental company in Monrovia, said the foreign presence was part of what spurred him to return.

"I look on the news and I see a lot of white folks from Europe and America in Liberia, and I say: 'Well, it can't be that bad. So it's time for us to start going home,' " he said.

Caine keeps a house in the Baltimore area, where his wife and children live, but he travels to Liberia every few months. On this trip, he was trying to get a container of jackhammers, concrete mixers and other supplies past customs.

He says it's gotten easier to do business, but he still has had to pay some bribes at Monrovia's port. And he's had difficulty getting U.S. investors for a company in a country so recently known for child soldiers and no-go zones.

Victor says her Internet cafe has yet to turn a profit after six months. Running the generator eats up most of what she makes from e-mail surfers and people who use their laptops in her wireless lounge. She's funding the enterprise with savings and ad sales from a Web site that she runs for the Liberian diaspora. Her relatives in the U.S. call her crazy for moving back so soon.

"I flew back into the same airport I left out of. And it looked better back then," said Caine, who was 13 when he left in 1985.

Once, there was a large main terminal with a balcony where family members would wave goodbye. That building was closed after being damaged by fighting, and now people wait outside a smaller building on wooden benches.

Bless and protect the good people of Liberia, Lord.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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