Tag Archives | Human Rights

Internet Connection Is Civil Right, German Court Rules

In the near future, in certain regions of the world, denying someone internet will be considered a barbaric, criminal act. Computer World UK reports:

Internet access is crucial to everyday life and the loss of connectivity is deserving of financial compensation, the German Federal Court of Justice has ruled. Because having an internet connection is so significant for a large part of the German population, a customer whose service provider failed to provide connectivity between December 2008 and February 2009 is entitled to compensation.

The plaintiff was erroneously disconnected and demanded that the unnamed telecommunications company pay for costs that incurred in switching to a new provider. The plaintiff also demanded compensation of €50 per day for the period his was unable to use his DSL service.

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Desperate Letter Describing Chinese Forced Labor Camp Found Inside Halloween Decorations Kit

Imagine if we understood where everything we have came from. Via Oregonian:

The letter came in a box of Halloween decorations purchased at Kmart, a $29.99 graveyard kit. On a Sunday afternoon in October, Julia Keith intended to decorate her home for her daughter’s fifth birthday, days before Halloween. She ripped open the box and threw aside the cellophane. That’s when Keith found it. Scribbled onto paper and folded into eighths, the letter was tucked between two Styrofoam headstones.

“Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”

“People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays. Otherwise, they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month).”

“People who work here, suffer punishment 1-3 years averagely, but without Court Sentence (unlaw punishment).

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Letter from North County Jail

Picture: Dylan Oliphant (CC)

From Divided Core:

A writer friend of mine is serving some time in a Northern California jail and wrote an insightful letter which sheds some light on his experience behind bars.   With his permission, I’ve transcribed his letter to share with others.  For those who are interested, here’s what he wrote:

Dear Aaron,

Thank you for the reading material – the books made it in, but the pornographic magazines, I am told, did not get past screening and were confiscated by the guards (I suspect they’ll be making paper mache of those pages forthwith).  Good show though; The Thought Gang will suffice for now.

Here at the North County Detention Facility there is an extensive library for the inmates in our compound: Building 101, which houses around 200 people.  We share a large “day-room” with tables, games, and televisions.  There are ten dorms that sleep roughly twelve people each, and we are generally free to move from our bunks to and from the day-room, or into the sunny courtyard as we please.  “The Farm,” as some here call it, is summer camp compared to where I was confined three days ago.

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The Scandalous History Of Infant Formula

Jill Krasny gives an overview of the history of Infant Formula, its corporate marketing to third world parents, and the tragic consequences. Every parent should know corporations may not necessarily be primarily concerned with consumers’ health and well-being.

via Business Insider:

Outrage started in the 1970s, when Nestle was accused of getting third world mothers hooked on formula, which is less healthy and more expensive than breast milk.

The allegations led to hearings in the Senate and the World Health Organization, resulting in a new set of marketing rules.

Yet infant formula remains a $11.5-billion-and-growing market…

Read more at Business Insider.

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The 300th Drone Strike Of Obama’s Presidency Approaches

Amnesty International on the secret new form of war on civilian populations:

In the words of the recent report compiled by NYU and Stanford University:

“Drones hover twenty four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan striking homes, vehicles and public spaces their presence terrorizes men, women and children giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities.”

Even as the Presidential candidates sparred on October 11, 2012, President Obama had already authorized his 297th drone strike since taking office, it was the deadliest one in 2012, killing 17 people, the second strike in less than twenty four hours in the area.

Less than a week later, on October 19, 2012 the CIA, that runs the covert drone program, announced it would ask the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones so that it could sustain its lethal campaigns in Pakistan and step up campaigns in Yemen and Somalia.

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Empathy Tests Come to the Internet

Picture: Flickr, Elizabeth/Table4Five (CC)

We know that the battle to prove one is human online is getting more difficult, sort of ‘reverse Turing Tests‘ as CAPTCHAs and Re-CAPTCHAs become more and more difficult to solve. And though both U.S. presidential candidates should have been required to take a Voight-Kampff test at the recent debate, our technology isn’t quite there yet. However, empathy (a major element of the fictional Blade Runner test to out androids) is being introduced to not only confuse SPAM bots on a new Civil Rights CAPTCHA, but possibly also calculating psychopaths, trolls and other despicable human(ish) beings.

Via Ryan Singel at WIRED’s Threat Level:

A human rights group is introducing a new take on CAPTCHAs, those little boxes that make you type in a word to prove you are human before you can comment or register for a site. Their version doesn’t just present a scrambled word to be deciphered, but instead forces a person to choose the right word to unscramble based on the proper emotional response to a human rights violation.

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What’s Wrong About Rights

Picture: Darjac (PD)

Nicholas Farrell writes at Taki’s Magazine:

One of the reasons the West is in such deep trouble is that it has allowed “rights” to kill off what’s “right,” as in “that which is right.”

Rights are used to justify a whole series of wrongs, from the declaration of unwise or unjust wars to the condemnation of smokers to a life on the streets.

Rights do not merely kill other people’s liberty; they kill other people.

Rights conflict all the time. Some are more sacred than others, so someone must decide which are more sacred. The case of the Duchess of Cambridge’s topless photographs illustrates this. She has the right to privacy and the press to freedom of expression. Whose right wins?

Your right to this, that, or the other has become sacred, regardless of whether it is right and quite often when it is plain wrong, and regardless of the cost and damage to me.

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Woman Shoots and Beheads Serial Rapist

Picture: Caravaggio (PD)

Via Daily Bhaksar

Yalvac (Turkey): A woman heavily pregnant with the child of her rapist, killed the perpetrator and left his severed head in the local village square, Sun reported.

The woman five-months pregnant with the rapist’s child has been pleading with authorities to let her have an abortion—although the law prohibits any woman beyond ten-weeks pregnant from taking such an action.

Sun reported that when police arrested her in the south-western village of Yalvac she told them that the head was of the one who ‘toyed with her honour.’

Womens’ groups in Turkey have praised the mother of two as a heroine after it emerged she was being blackmailed by her attacker.

Read more at Daily Bhaksar.

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China’s 2012 Report On Human Rights In The United States

China just released a report on the (lack of) human rights over the past year in the U.S.A. Are we living in an authoritarian society without knowing it? Via China Daily, when you put things this way, it sounds pretty bad:

The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 is hereby prepared to reveal the true human rights situation of the United States to people across the world and urge the United States to face up to its own doings.

In the United States, the violation of citizens’ civil and political rights is severe. It is lying to itself when the United States calls itself the land of the free (The Washington Post, Jan 14, 2012).

Claiming to defend 99 percent of the US population against the wealthiest, the Occupy Wall Street protest movement tested the US political, economic and social systems. Ignited by severe social and economic inequality, uneven distribution of wealth and high unemployment, the movement expanded to sweep the United States after its inception in September 2011.

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#NoNATO: Breaking The Cycle And Building A Better World

Truman Signing North Atlantic Treaty

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, DC on 4 April 1949.

Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

After assuming command of NATO in 1950, then General Eisenhower said “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.” The Cold War is over. NATO has long outlived its original purpose.The old system of alliances does little to do to protect sovereign nations, and instead gives more ability to industrialized, wealthier nations to exploit weaker States. Even NATO actions that are done under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” often have catastrophic consequences for the local population. As so many of these interventions have included bombing campaigns, civilian casualties are high. Often, NATO forces have used weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions, including depleted uranium and cluster bombs. Both of these weapons have long lasting and disastrous consequences for a local civilian population long after combat ends and forces withdraw.… Read the rest

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