Archive for the ‘human rights’ Category
Here is a fast, easy, free, and non-violent way to drive the big banks out of their greedy little minds is sitting in your mailbox right now. And it will help support the postal system, too! Hey, it’s win-win.
Bill O’Reilly does’t want to Monday morning quarterback, but even even Megyn Kelly says that Lt John Pike didn’t exactly look “surrounded and threatened” before he started dousing protesters in pepper spray. She did, however, call pepper spray “a derivative of actual pepper … a food product, essentially.” Or as they put it at Grist, ” after all the cop just lightly seasoned these students with a delicious food mist.”
Or as one wag of a commenter at Gawker noted,
- Megyn Kelly on fire hoses: “It’s a sports beverage, essentially!”
- Megyn Kelly on police dogs: “It’s a family pet, essentially!”
- Megyn Kelly on tasers: “It’s static cling, essentially!”
- Megyn Kelly on rubber bullets: “It’s a pencil eraser, essentially!”
- Megyn Kelly on hand grenades: “It’s a Fourth of July firework, essentially! God bless America.”
The Photo That Will Start A Real Revolution didn’t take long to turn into a meme, nor did it take long for the outrage at the event to spread around the world. But perhaps the best article I [Lloyd Alter on Treehugger] have read is Alexis Madrigal’s Why I Feel Bad for the Pepper-Spraying Policeman, Lt. John Pike. Madrigal notes that Pike is representative of changes in policing since 1999′s battle of Seattle, a militarizing of policing (these were not even municipal police, but campus cops!). This new brutal form of policing coincides with the change in coverage of these events, as video cameras in phones become omnipresent. Ten years ago the cops might have pepper-sprayed kids and said they felt threatened and might get away with it. A hundred videos make that impossible today.
At the University of California at Davis yesterday afternoon, police tore down down the tents of students inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and arrested those who stood in their way. Others peacefully demanded that police release the arrested.
UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike walks down a line of people seated quietly on the ground in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, and spray them all with pepper spray at very close range. He is clearing a path for fellow officers to walk through and arrest more students, but it’s as if he’s dousing a row of bugs with insecticide.
review by Brian Charles Clark
5 out of 5 possible stars
Directed by Deb Ellis and Denis Mueller; narrated by Matt Damon
Originally published on Curled Up with a Good DVD
One day — I think it was a Tuesday — about 25 years ago, someone handed me a copy of a book and said, “You’ll love this.” The book was Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. At the time, I was in college and had heavy stats and logic (if P then not Q and such nonsense) homework. I made the mistake of dipping into Zinn’s book over lunch and couldn’t stop reading for three days straight.
I was too young to have taken part in the radical ’60s and then in the ’70s – well, let’s forget the ’70s existed. In any case, I’d never heard of Zinn until I read A People’s History. But I quickly discovered that he was a member of a loosely affiliated cluster of radical activist philosopher-historians, a group that includes Noam Chomsky and many others, some of whom appear in this film. These activists were fighting the good fight against that relentless tide of greed called capitalism: they educated and advocated for civil and women’s rights, unions and labor rights, and against wars big and small, hot and cold. Read the rest of this entry »
Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.
The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” — to the point that the “well being and existence of many beings” is now threatened.
Reflecting indigenous traditional beliefs, the proposed global treaty says humans have caused “severe destruction … that is offensive to the many faiths, wisdom traditions and indigenous cultures for whom Mother Earth is sacred.”
It also says that “Mother Earth has the right to exist, to persist and to continue the vital cycles, structures, functions and processes that sustain all human beings.”
In indigenous Andean culture, the earth deity known as Pachamama is the centre of all life, and humans are considered equal to all other entities.
The UN debate begins two days before the UN’s recognition April 22 of the second International Mother Earth Day — another Morales-led initiative.
Canadian activist Maude Barlow is among global environmentalists backing the drive with a book the group will launch in New York during the UN debate: Nature Has Rights.
“It’s going to have huge resonance around the world,” Ms. Barlow said of the campaign. “It’s going to start first with these southern countries trying to protect their land and their people from exploitation, but I think it will be grabbed onto by communities in our countries, for example, fighting the tar sands in Alberta.”
The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
3 stars on a scale of 5
review by Brian Charles Clark
When that abusive bastard of a stalking-mooching ex-husband won’t leave you alone, are you justified in murdering him? That’s precisely the question that is never even once raised in this novel by the bestselling Japanese mystery writer Keigo Higashino.
Yasuko Hanaoka divorced the bastard (Togashi) then changed jobs and moved to another apartment in order to shake him off. But he tracks her down anyway and, one night at her apartment, he crosses the line, threatening her and her daughter, Misato. The result? A corpse on the apartment floor.
Yasuko’s next-door neighbor, the high school teacher and mathematician Ishigami, hears the scuffle and steps in to help. He choreographs the perfect crime. Why? Because he’s in love with Yasuko, because he’s “devoted,” as the title suggests.
All this we learn in the first couple of chapters. What ensues is an entertaining and escalating mystery featuring prize-winning Higashino’s recurring character, physicist Dr. Manabu Yukawa, known affectionately as Professor Galileo. Read the rest of this entry »
Rich Wesson told me the first four megaloads are set to roll up scenic highway 12 over the Lolo Pass into Montana on their way to the Alberta tar sands. The Missoula Independent has an article about the megaloads, lengthy but a full summary and one of the best I’ve read.
The first two loads will probably leave Lewiston Feb. 1. Locals like the Friends of the Clearwater have called for peaceful protests on Jan. 29 or 31 at 11 a.m. in Lewiston, either at the bridge or more likely at the IDT office there. If that happens, I’ll be going and will be able to take people with me who would like to go and ride together. Bob, Lynne and I attended a direct action protest seminar last Monday and I strongly suspect that there will be an escalation of the protests sooner or later. After the first four loads, which are imminent, the next 207 loads will have to go through their own permitting process.
For those wanting to know just a little more about the Alberta Tar Sands, a trailer for the movie H2 Oil is here.
Update from the Friends of the Clearwater:
We would like to invite you to a 2nd peaceful public rally on *Saturday January 29th* on the Memorial Bridge in Lewiston. A car-pool will be leaving from the Eastside Marketplace in Moscow at 12 noon. Look for us on the south side of the parking lot, close to Highway 8. Our scheduled snow-show hike for the 29th has now been cancelled and will be re-scheduled pending on weather conditions. Sorry for any inconvenience.
The rally is to defend the Wild & Scenic Clearwater and Lochsa River corridor from Big Oil’s mega-loads and will last from 1-3pm. Parking is available at the Pepsi Ball Field, which is adjacent to the bridge. The event is family friendly and we encourage you to bring signs, banners and musical instruments. We will be walking along the west side of the bridge, just upstream from the Port of Lewiston.
If you cannot make it to the public rally on Saturday 29th, you are invited to join us for a press conference in the parking lot of the Lewiston ITD office on *Monday January 31st*. A number of groups and citizens will be giving statements to the media. Event is family friendly and will last from 11am-1pm. A car-pool will be leaving from Eastside Marketplace in Moscow at 10am. Look for us on the south side of the parking lot, close to Highway 8. The Conoco Phillips mega-loads are set to begin moving up U.S. Route 12 on Tuesday February 1st. Please contact our office (208) 882-9755 if you are interested in helping us monitor the loads traveling on the highway. They will be moving between 10pm and 5am. The ExxonMobil loads are still sitting at the Port and have not been given permits yet.
ExxonMobil has over 30 mega-loads at the Port of Lewiston. A series of locks and dams are being repaired on the Columbia River and when they are re-opened in late March, the remaining 177 oil-processing modules will be shipped up river. ExxonMobil has requested to truck 207 mega-loads up the Wild & Scenic Lochsa River corridor so that it can expand its Tar Sands strip-mining operation in Alberta, Canada. Learn more here.
Hope to see you at the public events in Lewiston.
An interviewer for California Lawyer magazine asked Justice Antonin Scalia the following question:
In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?
Misogynist and homophobe Scalia answered thus:
Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don’t need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don’t like the death penalty anymore, that’s fine. You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.
Ah hem. The 14th Amendment was never intended to protect the “rights” of corporations, either, but it does. Why? Because the Supreme Court says so, that’s why. “Nobody ever voted for that,” to quote Scalia. And by what reasoning did the Court arrive at that decision? Because, you see, corporations are like people and therefore should have the same rights as people–that, in any case, was the reasoning of Court in the late 19th century.
But, per Scalia, women are apparently not people. I hereby declare that Justice Scalia is neither human nor slime, and should be disposed of immediately. The Scalliwag…. maybe he was remembering something the Centers for Disease Control said a few years ago. Remember, ladies? You are all pre-pregnant and are nothing more than incubators for future generations.
Or maybe Scalia is afraid of women and gayfolk; that would not be surprising considering these recent revelations about the conservative brain.
The creationists’ back-door attempt to sneak their mythology into public education is called Intelligent Design. The issue is on trial as I write in Pennsylvania. The matter has been well covered by a number of publications, including The Onion which, as usual, has fair and balanced reporting. What a lot of the coverage has missed is the racism inherent to Intelligent Design (ID). That’s because the race card is kept hidden by both advocates and enemies of ID. Read the rest of this entry »