What would you die for? 

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak finally stepped down last Friday as the largest pro-democracy protest in the country's 18-day uprising threatened to take place. Tunisia's former president is also in exile. The situation in Egypt, however, is far from over as many workers have gone on strike with their demands and the future of the country's leadership remains unclear. But several other nations, such as Bahrain, Libya, Yemen, Iran, Jordan and Lebanon are following in Egypt's and Tunisia's footsteps by taking to their own streets, decrying their governments and demanding change, even at the cost of their lives.

Thousands of protesters in Bahrain attended the funerals of the first martyrs for their cause on Friday. Rather than deterring the protesters, some are saying they are willing to be martyrs themselves. To them, the rights and freedoms of their people are worth the price of their lives.

WakeUpWorld! wants to know: What would you die for?
 
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Power is hard to get, harder to keep, and still harder to give up. As the violent pro-democracy protests continue in Egypt, president Hosni Mubarak announced on Thursday night that he will remain in office until his current term ends in September. With at least 300 deaths in Egypt since the violence began, Friday is set to become the largest protest yet, and possibly the bloodiest. Mubarak has clearly heard his people say that they want him out, and they want him out now. But he has also made it clear that he plans on clinging to power as long as he possibly can. Our cravings for power can hold quite a bit of power over us themselves, and Mubarak may be a prime example of it. When you give your life to satisfying one particular goal, one particular craving of the soul, then when you lose that one thing, you lose everything. Is it really worth holding on to one thing so tightly? Which of life's pursuits and offerings are worth such stubborn dedication, and which are not? What do you think?

Read WakeUpWorld!'s post on Humanity's Thirst for Power.

Read the National Post's analysis of the situation in Egypt by Peter Goodspeed.

 
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A Facebook group advocates for Walid Husayin's release
Our human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion are once again under attack in the Arab world. Walid Husayin has been arrested by the West Bank's Palestinian Authority for publishing pro-atheism and anti-Islam arguments on several blogs, as well as mocking the Muslim religion in Facebook groups which he started. Husayin is charged with heresy for "insulting the divine essence" and faces a possible life prison sentence as a result. His own family asserts that he should be kept in jail for the rest of his life, and some are even advocating execution.

"He should be burned to death" says Abdul-Latif Dahoud, a local resident. Dahoud says there should be a public execution in order to set an example for others.

WakeUpWorld! is appalled at yet another affront on freedom of speech and freedom of religion in our world. It is absolutely absurd that someone should be arrested for harmlessly publicizing their beliefs. Ironically, if Husayin lived in another part of the world, his views would likely be cheered for instead of attacked (or at the very least a little of both). While we may not agree with him, we should all be entitled to challenge popular belief, as Wes writes about in his personal blog on tolerance.

What do you think?

Read the Associated Press' full story here

 
Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck said during a debate on Meet The Press on Sunday that he believes being gay is a choice, but that there are predisposing factors, just as there are for other things like alcoholism. He did clarify that he was not saying homosexuality is a disease or even a problem, just that one ultimately can choose their partner. WakeUpWorld! is not so much interested in the typical debate over homosexuality here. What we want to know is whether you think it matters.  Who cares whether homosexuality is a choice or not? What kinds of implications are there if homosexuality is or is not a choice? We're dealing with peoples' lives and identities here, so please be sensitive. :)

Read the short story from NBC News below...
Buck on homosexuality: 'You have a choice'
During a debate on 'Meet the Press' Sunday, Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck said he believes that being gay is a choice but that, "like alcoholism," there are also biological factors that contribute to homosexuality.

Asked by host David Gregory if he thinks being gay is a choice, Buck replied, "I do."

"You can choose who your partner is," Buck added. "I think that birth has an influence, like alcoholism and some other things ... But I think that, basically, you have a choice."

After the debate, Buck clarified that he thinks there is "some element of predisposition" in homosexuality. He noted that he mentioned alcoholism as an example of another behavior that can be influenced by genetic factors.

"I wasn't talking about being gay as a disease," Buck said. "I don't think that at all."

Speaking to reporters after the debate, Buck's Democratic opponent, Michael Bennet, called Buck's characterization of homosexuality "deeply troubling."

 
It's a real rags to riches story. $40,000 in debt and after several arrests, Times Square's "Naked Cowboy" Robert Burck is now making $1000/day and is quite wealthy. Now, he has cut his hair, put on a suit, and is running for U.S. President in 2012.  WakeUpWorld! admires any private citizen who steps up and gets involved in our world. But would YOU vote for this guy?
Naked Cowboy's next gig: Run for president
New York's main attraction proclaims he's running as a member of the Tea Party and "in defense of individual liberty." 

Full Article here