Human rights

Wednesday Blog Roundup – 10-2-2013

It’s All in a Name

Trying a bit too hard

It’s Time to #GetCovered

The return of ‘Obamacare Kid’

What They Say Versus What They Mean

George Will Joins Fox News As Contributor

Shutdown May Be Tied to Debt Ceiling Hike

Obama cancels part of Asia trip because of shutdown

Snowden Is A Finalist For A Top Human Rights Award

Reid: House GOP’s New Plan ‘Just Another Wacky Idea’

 

 

Hosni Mubarak’s Human-Rights Horrors

The Daily Beast

Torture, imprisonment, repression of dissent, murder, disappearances—as the Egyptian regime teeters, dissidents and bloggers look back on three decades of abuses.

Pundits and politicians shout “Better the devil you know!” as Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak’s regime nears collapse.  Mubarak is hailed for not waging war on Israel, allowing some space for civil society, and permitting multi-candidate presidential elections. So why encourage his departure and risk the ascent of a theocratic, fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, which could be far worse?

The Egyptian dissidents and bloggers I’ve spoken to have little patience for this worldview. They have been tortured and imprisoned under Mubarak and refuse to accept that they must choose one brutal tyrant over another. They hold out the hope that they too can live in a normal country. After three decades of Mubarak, Egyptian dissidents feel it necessary to remind the world of his true legacy on human rights and democracy.

“Mubarak did not know the meaning of humanity,” said Bassem Samir, a democracy activist imprisoned under the dictator. “He did not know that they have rights. He worked for 30 years to ensure that Egyptians fear democracy. He weakened the opposition, and anyone who didn’t agree with him was out, out of everything—the media, work, and even the country. Whenever Mubarak thought someone else could be liked by the people, he removed them totally.”   More…

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Bolton & Breitbart To Address Protesters At Today’s Anti-Mosque ‘Rally of Remembrance’

Queens - Woodside: Woodside on the Move Mural ...

Image by wallyg via Flickr

September 11th is now a political tool for many on the right…

TPM Muckraker

When the ceremonies conclude in New York City today for the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, some of the commemorators will break off to attend a different kind of rally — one that brings the Islamophobic fervor of the past few weeks to a head.

Today at 3 p.m. ET, at the proposed site for Park51 on Park Place and West Broadway in downtown Manhattan, people will gather for the “FDI/SIOA 9/11 Rally of Remembrance: Yes to Freedom, No to Ground Zero Mosque,” a rally in opposition to the planned Islamic center.

The event is hosted by Stop Islamization Of America (SIOA) and the Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI), two anti-Muslim groups both run by AtlasShrugs blogger Pamela Geller, and director of JihadWatch.org Robert Spencer. Together they also wrote a book called The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.

SIOA calls itself a “a human rights organization dedicated to freedom of speech, religious liberty, and individual rights; no special rights for special classes.” The FDI aims to act “against the treason being committed by national, state, and local government officials, the mainstream media, and others in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.”

And several politicians — some from New York, some from as far away as The Netherlands — are scheduled to speak to the crowd.

Among them is former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, who is rumored to be mulling a run for president in 2012, and who will make his speech via video message. Big Government’s Andrew Breitbart will also be videoing it in.

According to the SIOA site, some 9/11 family members will be on the scene to speak, as will “Dutch Parliamentarian and freedom fighter Geert Wilders.” Wilders told The Guardian in 2008 that “Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology.” The “ideology of a retarded culture.”  Continue reading…

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AZ Gov. Brewer Condemns U.N. Report

Brewer is truly delusional…

Associated Press

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer demanded Friday that a reference to the state’s controversial immigration law be removed from a State Department report to the United Nations’ human rights commissioner.

The U.S. included its legal challenge to the law on a list of ways the federal government is protecting human rights.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Brewer says it is “downright offensive” that a state law would be included in the report, which was drafted as part of a UN review of human rights in all member nations every four years.

“The idea of our own American government submitting the duly enacted laws of a state of the United States to ‘review’ by the United Nations is internationalism run amok and unconstitutional,” Brewer wrote.

Arizona’s law generally requires police officer enforcing other laws to investigate the immigration status of people they suspect are illegal immigrants.

Critics say it would lead officers to target Hispanics. Supporters, including Brewer, say the law prohibits racial profiling and other human rights abuses.

The U.S. Justice Department sued to block the measure, arguing federal law trumps the state’s authority to enforce immigration laws.

A federal judge in July sided with the Justice Department and blocked enforcement of the law’s most controversial provisions a day before it was scheduled to take effect.

In its report, the State Department does not specifically allege that Arizona’s law would lead to racial profiling.

“A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world,” the report says. “The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined.”

A State Department spokesman had no immediate comment on Brewer’s letter.

Brewer, a Republican, is running for election in November. Her popularity in Arizona and her national profile have soared since she signed the immigration measure in April.

State Department compares Park 51 Imam to Shirley Sherrod

 

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo makes a great point: 

Is Imam Rauf the Muslim Shirley Sherrod?

And do I need a calendar to remember who to hate next week?

Foreign Policy – The Cable

The State Department’s top spokesman cautioned reporters Tuesday not to take snippets of edited remarks on the Internet by the “Ground Zero mosque” imam and use them to brand him a radical, lest they repeat the mistakes made by the media in calling former USDA official Shirley Sherrod a racist based on edited clips of her promoted on conservative websites.

Imam Feisal Rauf, the spiritual leader of the proposed Park 51 community center in lower Manhattan, is on his State Department-sponsored trip to the Persian Gulf right now, giving speeches in Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates about what it’s like to be a Muslim in America.

Rauf has been traveling on behalf of the department since 2007 on trips sponsored by both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. He belongs to the progressive Sufi sect of Islam and has been praised as a bridge-builder even by conservative pro-Israel bloggers, such as the Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, who has had extensive interactions with him.

But activists who oppose the Park 51 project have pointed to various statements by Rauf to build the case that he’s dangerous radical. For example, yesterday Pamela Geller of the blog Atlas Shrugs posted a clip of excerpts from a speech Rauf gave in 2005. Those excerpts include Rauf saying:

We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims. You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations. And when Madeleine Albright, who has become a friend of mine over the last couple of years, when she was Secretary of State and was asked whether this was worth it, said it was worth it. [emphasis Geller’s]

P.J. Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs, told reporters Tuesday that they shouldn’t be quick to take those remarks out of context.

“I would just caution any of you that choose to write on this, that once again you have a case where a blogger has pulled out one passage from a very lengthy speech. If you read the entire speech, you will discover exactly why we think he is rightly participating in this national speaking tour.”

The Cable asked Crowley directly, “Is he the Muslim Shirley Sherrod?”

Crowley responded, “That’s a good cautionary tale for everybody.”   Continue reading…

Tread on me only when it comes to immigration?

The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty has a great article on the Tea Party’s take on “immigration policy”.  the site has libertarian views. 

 It questions the true motives of teabaggers who support Arizona’s new immigration law as well as their support for all government intervention when it comes to immigration policies.

I made some similar points in a post earlier this week.  Should one conclude that “teabaggers” are not really “anti-big government”  when it comes to immigration issues?

The Free Man Online:

The Arizona law enabling police to ask for immigration papers or proof of citizenship of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally has fanned the flames of an already hot debate over immigration.  How these issues play out in the Tea Party movement will be interestingPolling data indicate that Tea Partiers have a significant anti-immigration element to them.  So, will people who claim to dislike big government be consistent and oppose this new law?

That opponents of big government would support immigration control is surprising on its face.  Enforcing such laws requires governments, federal or state, to exercise powers that small-government advocates should reject.  It’s not that immigration law requires enormous expenditures, or that it dramatically increases the size of government.  But it does increase the scope of government power.

[…]

Too often forgotten in these debates are the rights of immigrantsLibertarians believe in human rights, not just citizens’ rights or Americans’ rights.  People everywhere have, or should have, the right to travel where they wish and to contract for work with whomever they wish.  On what grounds do those who profess a belief in freedom prohibit them from doing so?  (To anticipate a possible objection:  Illegal immigrants are not more likely to commit crimes, and the U.S. crime rate has fallen since the 1987 amnesty program.)  People who break the law to look for work in America are mostly trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.  Why risk life and limb to come here to go on welfare when they can do the same thing at home without risk?  And by what right do we prevent them from trying to make better lives for themselves, just as we would wish for American citizens?  The reverence with which supposed opponents of big government treat the artificial lines governments draw is yet another puzzle.

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