Tag Archives | Human Rights

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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Malaysian War Crimes Tribunal Finds Bush and Cheney Guilty

Kuala LumpurOh, if only it were the Hague. Or better yet, the U.S. Supreme Court. I guess it’s a start, though. Via Common Dreams:

Former President George W Bush, his vice president, Dick Cheney, and six other members of his administration have been found guilty of war crimes by a tribunal in Malaysia.

Bush, Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and five of their legal advisers were tried in their absence and convicted on Saturday.

Victims of torture told a panel of five judges in Kuala Lumpur of their suffering at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the evidence, Briton Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, said he was beaten, put in a hood and left in solitary confinement. Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi said she was stripped and humiliated in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

Transcripts of the five-day trial will be sent to the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, the United Nations and the Security Council.

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UN Investigator Says U.S. Should Return Stolen Land To Indian Tribes

"The Treaty of Penn with the Indians" by Benjamin West (1771)

"The Treaty of Penn with the Indians" by Benjamin West (1771)

Says a new UN report on the conditions of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Chris McGreal writes in the Guardian:

A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination.

James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.

Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and “numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination”.

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Pope or Hitler: Who Said This?

Pope Or HitlerThanks to jasonpaulhayes for the comment. As Pope or Hitler explains:

This is a response to the Pope’s claim that the Nazi movement was atheist. When it was nothing of the sort.

Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a “reductive vision of the person and his destiny”

Please share what you learned from Pope or Hitler

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Blind Chinese Activist Escapes House Arrest

Chen GuangchengHe slipped past 100 security guards, scaled a wall and swam across a river to freedom. Reports Olivia Katrandjian on ABC News:

The U.S. State Department is being tight-lipped on the whereabouts of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who escaped house arrest last week, but the organization that helped him escape says he’s in the hands of U.S. diplomats.

Chen, a 40-year-old human rights activist who has campaigned for disabled rights and against forced abortions, scaled a wall and slipped past around 100 security guards surrounding his house. Bob Fu, the founder and president of ChinaAid, which aided Chen in his getaway, called the escape an “extraordinary adventure.”

“He walked for hours from his own home in the middle of the night. He was wounded, wet, covered in mud. He swam across a river,” Fu told ABC News. Chen was picked up by supporters and driven to Beijing on April 23.

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