Tag Archives | Human Rights

The World Isn’t Worth Saving if the Price is a Tear of an Innocent Child

Edward Goldman on Richard Ross’s photographs of the U.S. juvenile incarceration system at Art Talk:

If someone told me that I would have a reason to bring up the names of Pope Francis and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in the same sentence, I would have highly doubted it. But, here it is. A New York Times Editorials article, “Justice Kennedy on Solitary Confinement,” talks about Justice Kennedy addressing “what has become one of his most pressing concerns: America’s broken criminal justice system in general, and prolonged solitary confinement in particular.” (June 20, 2015) Making his point, Justice Kennedy quotes the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”

Richard Ross, "Juvenile in Justice," Image of Justice. 2012

Richard Ross, “Juvenile in Justice,” Image of Justice. 2012

A few years ago, Pope Francis surprised many of us by bringing up the name of Dostoyevsky, as well. In an interview, the Pope claimed him as his favorite writer.

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In Pursuit of Child Rights in Tanzania

Helen Veitch/Children Unite

Helen Veitch/Children Unite

Simon Hooper writes at Al Jazeera English:

“I was supposed to be the first one awake to get the children up and send them to school, and then take care of the household chores. And then I was the last one to bed at night.”

Angel Benedicto’s account of her daily routine as a household servant in Tanzania echoes the bleak experiences of exploited domestic workers in many parts of the world, but with one further dismal detail: Even as she was expected to care for the children of the family for whom she worked, Angel was still only a child herself.

Angel was brought up by her mother along with her eight younger brothers and sisters in a village in the northern Mara region. But when she was orphaned at the age of 16 she went to the city of Mwanza on the edge of Lake Victoria in search of a job to support her siblings and soon found work in a family home.

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The Force Which Shapes The World

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Linda and Morris Tannehill via Not Being Governed:

But a discussion of how government could be dismantled and how free men could then build a laissez-faire society out of the pieces still doesn’t answer the question, “How do we get there?” Politicians are politicians because they enjoy wielding power over others and being honored for their “high positions.” Power and plaudits are the politician’s life, and a true politician will fight to the death (your death) if he thinks it will help him hold on to them. Even the gray, faceless bureaucrats cling to their little bits of power with the desperate tenacity of a multitude of leaches, each squirming and fighting to hold and increase his area of domination. How can we successfully oppose this vast, cancerous power structure? Where can we find a force strong enough to attack, undermine, and finally destroy its power?

Some people, gazing up at the fearsome might of the American Leviathan, have decided that our only hope lies in an eventual armed revolution.

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First robot wedding: The bride wore white and the groom wore out his batteries

Scott Pakulski (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Scott Pakulski (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Lydia Willgress via Daily Mail Online:

Two robots have tied the knot in Japan in what is thought to be the first wedding of its kind in the world.

Frois, the groom, and bride Yukirin walked the aisle, wore traditional outfits and even carried out a ‘wedding kiss’ at the event in Tokyo on Saturday.

Special invitations were made, featuring a picture of the two robots inset in a heart, and the 100-strong congregation included a range of smaller robotic models.

After the ceremony the couple even managed to ‘cut a cake’ before an automated orchestra performed a song for the equivalent of their first dance.

The event was organised by Maywa Denki, which produces electronic accessories and designed the groom Frois.

Continue reading.

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The General Dynamics, Saudi Arabia contract and Canada’s moral regress

With the case of the Canadian-brokered General Dynamics light armored vehicle sale to the Saudi Arabian government, Canada’s manufacturing sector has become complicit in human rights abuses abroad.

The question of benefit could be framed like this: is General Dynamics employing more people than its equipment is killing?

The Globe and Mail reported that Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International trade said, the deal will help the manufacturing area in London to “become the epicentre of a cross-Canada supply chain directly benefiting more than 500 local Canadian firms…Our government will continue to support our exporters and manufacturers to create jobs, as part of our government’s most ambitious pro-trade, pro-export plan in Canadian history.”

That export plan, justified by job-creation involves the sale of light armoured vehicles, manufactured in Canada that the Globe and Mail describes as having “effective firepower to defeat soft and armored targets…options for mounted guns include a 25-mm cannon and 7.62-mm machine guns and smoke grenade launchers.”

The Ottawa Citizen reports that:

“Canada’s defence industry has beaten out German and French competitors to win a massive contract worth at least $10 billion US to supply armoured military vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

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A Brief History of False Flag Terror

lady_liberty_towers

James Corbett via Waking Times:

In naval warfare, a “false flag” refers to an attack where a vessel flies a flag other than their true battle flag before engaging their enemy. It is a trick, designed to deceive the enemy about the true nature and origin of an attack.

In the democratic era, where governments require at least a plausible pretext before sending their nation to war, it has been adapted as a psychological warfare tactic to deceive a government’s own population into believing that an enemy nation has attacked them.

In the 1780s, Swedish King Gustav III was looking for a way to unite an increasingly divided nation and raise his own falling political fortunes. Deciding that a war with Russia would be a sufficient distraction but lacking the political authority to send the nation to war unilaterally, he arranged for the head tailor of the Swedish Opera House to sew some Russian military uniforms.

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No Fare!

copolla

Monday

As usual, the weekend off messed with my circadian rhythm and I have not had a wink of sleep, even with my generic iPhone harp alarm set to a late 5 o’clock. But the hour later setting was not an attempt at extending my sleepless bed time for a chance that I might actually get some. It was in the hopes that Tony will call me preemptively from the Citizen’s Cab office asking if I want to take the day off and get covered by one of the (now defunct) Arrow Cab transplants hoping to go out. Tony has gotten wise to my all too frequent call-ins on Mondays asking to get covered, on account of lack of sleep. Hence, he’s taken to sometimes calling me first, around 5. Anyway, the last thing a cabbie wants is to start out a 10-hour shift on the cutthroat streets of San Francisco tired and set like a trap ready to spring.

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Amid Torture, Experts Say CIA’s Other Crime Was ‘Human Experimentation’

Detention Camp, Source: Wikipedia

Detention Camp, Source: Wikipedia

This was originally published on Common Dreams. Read more of Jon Queally’s posts here.

After the Central Intelligence Agency was given authority to begin torturing suspected terrorists in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, newly published documents show that another of that program’s transgressions, according to experts, was a gross violation of medical ethics that allowed the agency to conduct what amounted to “human experimentation” on people who became test subjects without consent.

Reported exclusively by the Guardian on Monday, sections of a previously classified CIA document—first obtained by the ACLU—reveal that a long-standing policy against allowing people to become unwitting medical or research subjects remained in place and under the purview of the director of the CIA even as the agency began slamming people into walls, beating them intensely, exposing them to prolonged periods of sleep deprivation, performing repeated sessions of waterboarding, and conducting other heinous forms of psychological and physical abuse.… Read the rest

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AI: Coming to a Sexbot Near You

Robotica

Aaron Krumens Via Extreme Tech:

While the cynical among us knew it was only a matter of time before the rise of the sexbots, the partnering of RealDoll — maker of high end sex mannequins — with Hanson Robotics has moved that eventuality one step closer to reality.

This new venture has been dubbed Realbotix by founder and CEO Matt McMullen of RealDoll. The goal is to endow the RealDoll line of sex figurines with some basic animation, transforming them from immobile mannequins to full on androids that can follow commands and verbally respond to the user. This advanced line of sex dolls will come equipped with animatronic heads, capable of blinking and opening their mouths suggestively. The dolls will reportedly also make use of a mobile app and a virtual reality headset, whereby the physical doll provides haptic feedback for interactions taking place within the virtual reality console.

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