In spite of three attacks in three months, Britain does not seem to be choosing the path of vigilance and determination. June is not even over but the media barely talk about terrorism any more. Then, in the early hours of June 19, a man who acted alone drove a van into a crowd of Muslims leaving Finsbury Park Mosque in London: the main “threat” to the British right now was soon presented in several newspapers as “Islamophobia”. Decolonization added the idea that the Europeans had oppressed other peoples and were guilty of crimes they now had to redeem. There was no mention of how, throughout history, recruits to Islam had colonized the great Christian Byzantine Empire, Greece, Sicily, Corsica, North Africa and the Middle East, most of the Balkans and eastern Europe, Hungary, northern Cyprus and Spain. While most jihadist movements were banned by the British government, more discreet organizations have emerged and demurely sent the same message. The Islamic Forum for Europe, for example, depicts itself as “peaceful”, but many of those it invites to speak are anything but that. The Islamic Human Rights Commission uses the language of defending human rights to disseminate violent statements against the Jews and the West. London, June 5, 2017. A minute of silence is held at Potters Field Park, next to the City Hall, to pay tribute to the victims of the London Bridge jihadist attack three days before. Those who came have brought flowers, candles and signs bearing the usual words: “unity”, “peace” and “love”. Faces are sad but no trace of anger is visible. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, gives a speech emphasizing against all evidence that the killers’ ideas have nothing to do with Islam.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 26, 2017.
I’m all for travel. I’m all for adventure. But there are third-world ****holes, never mind nations with zero respect for human rights, that are flatly unsafe to travel to. Some are unsafe for everyone. Some are unsafe for women (e.g. majority Muslim nations) traveling alone. Some are unsafe for particular religious or ethnic groups. Some are unsafe for certain nationalities and since your Passport bears your nationality prominently….. Otto Warmbier violated rule #1 by taking such a trip — to North Korea. Then he did something even worse, apparently — he stole a political propaganda piece. Look folks, even in non-third-world ****holes there is one way to get trounced and at best be seen as an “Ugly American” — inject yourself into the local political process. In many nations it’s actually illegal for you to do so. It should be illegal here too for someone who is not a citizen to do so, but heh, we seem to have this snowflake thing in that regard and what’s worse is that we think we can shove our particular bit of sensibility down other people’s throats.
“Hubris calls for nemesis, and in one form or another it’s going to get it, not as a punishment from outside but as the completion of a pattern already started.” Mary Midgley “Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination, but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities. We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal that we continue to sow destruction, pain, and death.” Pope Francis I It is a very perverse view of life that fundamental necessities like healthcare are being portrayed as a discretionary purchase that people make because they ‘like it.’
In the latest episode of the completely psychotic breakdown of Western values, Canada’s government has just passed a law that champions sexual identity over science. It’s called C-16, ‘An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code’. Both of these codes prohibit discrimination against individuals based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. And this new law includes gender identity in that list. Great. Nothing wrong with that. All they’re basically saying with these amendments is that transgendered individuals have the same inalienable rights as everyone else. It’s sad that they actually have to pass a law to enshrine someone’s human rights… and one day our descendants will wonder why that was even necessary, just as today we are appalled that the institution of slavery ever existed. But as usual there are some problems with the law. Not just the new law, in fact, but with Canada’s entire Human Rights Act. I found a number of articles online stating that this new law ‘criminalizes the incorrect use of gender pronouns,’ i.e. if someone born a ‘he’ chooses to be ‘she’, and you say ‘Mr.’ instead of ‘Ms.,’ you’re going to jail. To be clear, that’s NOT what this new law says. But the danger lies in the incredible ambiguity of the entire Human Rights code.
Canada passed a law Thursday making it illegal to use the wrong gender pronouns. Critics say that Canadians who do not subscribe to progressive gender theory could be accused of hate crimes, jailed, fined, and made to take anti-bias training. Canada’s Senate passed Bill C-16, which puts ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’ into both the country’s Human Rights Code, as well as the hate crime category of its Criminal Code by a vote of 67-11, according to LifeSiteNews. The bill now only needs royal assent from the governor general. ‘Great news,’ announced Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister. ‘Bill C-16 has passed the Senate – making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity or expression. #LoveisLove.’ Great news: Bill C-16 has passed the Senate – making it illegal to discriminate based on gender identity or expression. #LoveisLove — Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 16, 2017
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 20, 2017.
According to a U. N. Commission of Inquiry tasked with investigating violations of international war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, the intensification of airstrikes by the U. S.-led coalition has led to a ‘staggering loss of civilian life,’ the Guardian reports. The U. N. war crimes investigators found that since the acceleration of airstrikes in the Syrian city of Raqqa commenced last week, 300 civilians have already died. This statistic arguably makes Bashar al-Assad pale in comparison; Assad’s regime reportedly kills approximately 20-50 people in any given week. ‘We note in particular that the intensification of air strikes, which have paved the ground for an SDF advance in Raqqa, has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes and becoming internally displaced,’ Paulo Pinheiro, the chairman of the U. N. Commission of Inquiry told the human rights council in Geneva. According to Karen Abuzayd, an American commissioner on the independent panel, the figure of 300 is based only on deaths caused by airstrikes. Therefore, the figure of civilian deaths caused by troops on the ground may ultimately higher.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.
The plot of the movie Minority Report was a SciFi flick that in the future they used physics to monitor the world and report if someone was going to commit a crime. Now Japan is doing that but without the physics – just bureaucrats. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government passed the most outrages legislation perhaps in the world. This empowers prosecutors to monitor and arrest people in the planning stages of crimes. That is perhaps the most anti-Human rights act you can possibly imagine. Effectively, an enemy can bribe some bureaucrat to arrest you and imprison you for life claiming you were planning to commit a crime, but took no action.
Vladimir Putin trolled the US on Thursday, when speaking in a live call-in show with the Russian nation, the Russian president likened Comey to Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia in 2013, and scoffed at James Comey’s disclosure of his conversations with U. S. President Donald Trump, saying the move has made Comey eligible for political asylum in Russia. “It looks weird when the chief of a security agency records his conversation with the commander-in-chief and then hands it over to media via his friend,” Putin was quoted by Russia’s Tass. ‘This is strange. What is the difference then between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden? He is not a head of the special services, but a human rights activist.’ The trolling concluded when Putin said that “by the way, if he (Comey) is subject to any sort of persecution in connection with this, we will be ready to give him political asylum in Russia. And he should know about this.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.
As protests against Venezuela’s ‘democratic socialist’ government roll into their third month, Dr. Henrique Montbrun, who oversees the triage post in the municipality of Baruta, says the violence in the country has reached unprecedented levels. ‘It’s madness,’ he says. As more people take to the streets to demand their freedom back in a nation where tyranny took a firm hold shortly after the election of self-proclaimed socialist, Nicolaus Maduro, the country descended into complete government control, and the only people with money, are now those in the government. Socialism is fair that way; as no system more equally distributes poverty, except maybe communism. But a pattern is now emerging in the battle for basic human rights and minimal freedoms. The clashes between the demonstrators and security forces are entering their third month, and even doctors say that they can no longer predict the type of violence to prepare for, but they can predict that there will be increasing numbers of injuries and death. The only pattern emerging is one of even more violence. Dr. Montbrun says that the injuries sustained at the beginning of protests were largely superficial, usually buckshot wounds. More recently, however, as protesters have gone up against an increasingly desperate government, protestors have been treated for 5cm-deep holes caused by metal marbles shot at close range.
This post was published at shtfplan on June 11th, 2017.
Following a series of devastating attacks in the U. K. and mounting criticism of her counter-terrorism record, Theresa May has vowed to do whatever necessary, if re-elected later this week, to “restrict the freedom and movements of terrorist suspects” even it means ripping up “human rights laws that get in the way.” Among other things, the Prime Minister has said she will make it easier to deport foreign terror suspects and will extend existing laws that restrict the freedom of British suspects on whom authorities “have enough evidence to know they present a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.” Per The Telegraph: “When I stood on the steps of Downing Street after the London attack I said enough is enough and things have got to change.” “We need to take on the ideology that unites and motivates the perpetrators of these attacks.” ‘We should do even more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they present a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.” “And if human rights laws get in the way of doing these things, we will change those laws to make sure we can do them.” “If I am elected as Prime Minister on Thursday, I can tell you that this vital work begins on Friday.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 6, 2017.
The Trump administration thinks that ‘talking tough’ is going to somehow squash Julian Assange and keep him from leaking more government secrets. In fact, they haven’t laid out a case for dealing with the Wikileaks founder, but some writers now want to follow in Barack Obama’s footsteps, and drone him – without trial – with the sole goal of keeping him quiet. We could start with the massive human rights and constitutional violations in that oh-so-simple-plan. But it seems too obvious. Whether one likes what Assange releases or not, shouldn’t make a difference. The truth is still the truth and it doesn’t change simply because you drone its messenger. Directly on the heels of the news of Chelsea Manning recently being released from prison, truth-haters have now set their sights on Julian Assange. It seems that political and government apologists are now all too eager to drone the man responsible for publishing the truth for the American public. Oddly enough, it’s not the government (right now), but knuckledraggers who insist on death because they don’t like the truth that are the problem. It appears that once Americans put on their red or blue goggles, they decide which truths they want to be released and which truths should be punishable by drone death.
Despite definitive evidence that its officers have committed severe rights abuses for at least two years, the United States military continues to work with a blacklisted unit of the Iraqi special forces in operations against the Islamic State in Iraq. ABC News obtained hours of footage last week depicting officers of the unit, the Emergency Response Division (ERD), presiding over torture and executions in Mosul late last year. The footage was captured by Ali Arkady, an Iraqi photojournalist. ‘The photos are sickening,’ Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) told ABC News in a statement. ‘They clearly depict war crimes.’ The ERD had already been blacklisted by Congress under the Leahy Act in March 2015, a law named after the aforementioned senator which is supposed to prevent the U. S. from aiding foreign groups if there is credible information that a group has ‘committed a gross violation of human rights.’ But some American commanders continue to praise the successes of the ERD, touting a ‘fruitful partnership’ with the unit.
Last week, Human Rights Watch penned an open letter to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees voicing their strong opposition to a new bill that would make it nearly impossible to sue police for constitutional violations. Senator John Cornyn (R-Tex.) and Representative Ted Poe (R-Tex.) proposed the identical bills on May 16th ‘[t]o protect law enforcement officers, and for other purposes.’ *** Co-Director of Human Rights Watch Alison Parker writes that H. R. 2437/S. B. 1134, or the ‘Back the Blue Act,’ doesn’t protect police from danger, but rather ‘protects police departments from liability, and removes incentives for those departments to monitor themselves and improve the quality of their policing.’ The proposed bill would make significant amendments to Sections 1983 and 1988 of the U. S. Code, shielding police officers from civil liability even in cases of grievous misconduct, making new federal crimes out of offenses already covered by state laws and imposing harsh mandatory minimum sentences.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 31, 2017.
‘There’s not even a whimper’ when powerful nations bomb civilians or ‘invent’ WMDs to invade other countries, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte told RT, arguing that the West pretends to care about human rights only when it suits its agenda. The Philippines leader sat down to speak with RT’s Maria Finoshina ahead of his five-day visit to Moscow that is kicking off on Monday.
Maria Finoshina: Mr. President, it has been almost a year since your inauguration. Have you faced anything that you were not expecting when you took office? Rodrigo Duterte: I did expect almost everything that came my way. I’ve been a politician for almost 40 years – excluding the term now. So I would say that on the national front I was kept informed all the time by the news and, of course, by sources in government. But I never realized the magnitude of the contamination of the Filipinos in so far as drugs are concerned. When I became president and everything was available to me for information, I was almost appalled. I didn’t know that we have reached millions of contaminated. So, when I was mayor, I said, do not destroy my city. And do not destroy the young people of Davao City, because they are our assets. We are not rich. Most of us are poor. And we depend on our sons and daughters to feed us when we get old. We do not have any housing here for – few and between. And we need our children to buy the medicines, pay the hospitals, pay for our burial. Do not corrupt them with drugs. Do not destroy their minds.
After a series of friendly gestures by President Donald Trump toward Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over the past few months, US media have recoiled with disgust at the open embrace of governments that ostensibly had heretofore been beyond the pale. ‘Enabling Egypt’s President Sisi, an Enemy of Human Rights,’ was the New York Times’ editorial position (4/4/17) – followed by ‘Donald Trump Embraces Another Despot’ (5/1/17). A week later, Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) lectured Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the Times op-ed page (5/8/17) on ‘Why We Must Support Human Rights.’ ‘How Trump Makes Dictators Stronger’ was Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum’s lament (5/1/17).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 22, 2017.
I can forgive a man who loses his temper, but to lose one’s temperance lock, stock, and barrel? That is a damnable offense. Without a sense of moderation, even the most courageous and prudent man will fail in his quest for justice and may even become that which he wishes to destroy. Yet, ‘moderation’ has come to mean something wholly different than temperance in American politics. Rather than restraint, American moderates insist our shared classically liberal ideals call for the prodigal spending of our wealth, as well as bellicose and bloody actions abroad – not only on behalf of the American people but also on behalf of the liberty of all people on the face of the earth. ‘Don’ McCain ‘Human rights exist above the state and beyond history. They cannot be rescinded by one government any more than they can be granted by another. They inhabit the human heart, and from there, though they may be abridged, they can never be extinguished,’ writes Senator John McCain in an op-ed for the New York Times, wherein he chastises Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for suggesting the United States government cannot always act simply with its ideals and values in mind.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 14, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… The ‘Kingdom’ of Bahrain may be a high income economy and a high ‘human development’ index, but it’s human rights are certainly nothing to brag about. And as for self censoring alongside journalists who risk jail for speaking ill of government, this shiny former emirate is as guilty as it’s Gulf neighbours. As much as 45 million worth of weapons were sold to Bahrain from the United Kingdom up to last year. It’s a wonder if Queen Elizabeth II will have a word with King Hamad about weapon sales in their human rights chit chat in order to gain his further attention.
President Trump is about to embark on his first foreign trip, where he will stop in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican, before attending a NATO meeting in Brussels and the G-7 summit in Sicily. The media and pundits have loudly wondered why hasn’t he gone on a foreign trip sooner. I wonder why go at all? What does the president hope to achieve with these meetings? This is a president who came into office with promises that we would finally start to mind our own business overseas. In December, he said that the policy of US ‘intervention and chaos’ overseas must come to an end. Instead, he is jumping into a region – the Middle East – that has consumed the presidencies of numerous of his predecessors. On Saudi Arabia, President Trump has shifted his position from criticism of the Saudi regime to a seemingly warm friendship with Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman. He has approved weapons sales to Saudi Arabia that President Obama had halted due to Saudi human rights abuses, particularly in its horrific war on Yemen. While visiting Saudi Arabia, one of the most extreme theocracies on earth – where conversion to Christianity can bring the death penalty – President Trump will attend a meeting of Muslim leaders to discuss the threats of terrorism and religious extremism. No, not in Saudi Arabia, but in Iran, where Christianity is legal and thriving!
Thousands of women marching in Caracas today. Feels like people are prepared to keep protesting almost indefinitely pic.twitter.com/KzFRvfFjuT — Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) May 6, 2017
One month ago, when discussing the latest “explosive” turn in Venezuela’s political situation, we predicted that the worst case for president Nicolas Maduro who has so far managed to keep the army on his side even as Venezuela faces now daily violent and in some cases deadly protests, would be the start of the local army turning on the regime, and defecting to join the protesters. Overnight, according to Thor Halvorsen of the Human Rights Foundation, this “inflection point” appears to have arrived when he observed in a Tweet that “the military in parts of Venezuela has begun to defect. They are now marching *with* the protesters. Dozens of soldiers are under arrest.” Touching on this topic, overnight the NYT mused why have Venezuela’s “powerful political and military elites stuck by President Nicols Maduro”, noting that “the country would seem to be a prime candidate for something scholars call an ‘elite fracture,’ in which enough powerful officials break away to force a change in leadership.” ‘The fact that it hasn’t happened in the last two years is the biggest puzzle of all,’ said Steven Levitsky, a Harvard University political scientist. ‘If it happens next week, all of us will say, ‘Yeah, it was bound to happen.” The NYT further notes that the government has been preparing its defenses since 2002. That year, amid major protests, Hugo Chvez, Mr. Maduro’s predecessor, ordered the military to impose order.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 7, 2017.
In what may have been the biggest trolling of the United Nations in recent history, Saudi Arabia was elected via secret ballot in the UN Economic and Social Council to the 45-member UN Commission on the Status of Women last week. According to Reuters, twelve other countries were also elected by the council in Geneva to serve for a four-year term, ending in 2022: Algeria, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Turkmenistan, Ecuador, Haiti and Nicaragua. The news promptly sparked mocking and ridicule. UN Watch, a human rights organization monitoring the performance of the United Nations, strongly condemned the appointment of Saudi Arabia to post, citing Riyadh’s poor women’s rights record and widespread gender inequality. ‘Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief. It’s absurd,’ Hillel Neuer, the UN Watch chief, said. Every Saudi woman ‘must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death. Saudi Arabia also bans women from driving cars,’ Neuer added. Who voted for Saudi Arabia? At least 5 EU nations based on UN Watch math: “Neuer said that seven of the 54 council states did not vote for Saudi Arabia, and that, based on his count, five of the 12 EU states on the council voted in favor of Saudi Arabia. It received the least amount of votes out of all of the 13 newly approved members, he added.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 23, 2017.