UN Human Rights Commission Gets Sillier
Just when you thought they couldn't get any more ridiculous, having Libya's Qaddafi as the leader of the Commission and all ...
Cuba was reelected without opposition on Tuesday to the United Nations' top human rights body, prompting a fierce response by Washington that it was "like putting Al Capone in charge of bank security."
The voting took place in the 54-nation U.N. Economic and Social Council, which two years ago ousted the United States from the Human Rights Commission for the first time since Washington helped found it in 1947.
In Washington, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters: "Cuba does not deserve a seat on the Human Rights Commission. Cuba deserves to be investigated by the Human Rights Commission."
In the last month, the Cuban authorities have rounded up 75 dissidents and imprisoned them for terms of up to 28 years. As part of the crackdown, Cuba also executed three men who hijacked a ferry in a failed bid to reach the United States.
"Having Cuba serve again on the Human Rights Commission is like putting Al Capone in charge of bank security," Fleischer said. "It is an inappropriate action that does not serve the cause of human rights in Cuba or at the United Nations."
CA Republicans Protest In Berkeley: No Violence By The Protesters And No Arrests
When's the last time liberal Bay Area protests could make that claim?
If you're doing the math, Berkeley votes Democrat 9 to 1. Since most of the protesters were college students, you can imagine a similar skewed demographic on college campuses in general, and certainly Berkeley in specific.
Hollywood Actors Surprised And Stunned That Free Speech Has Consequences
They have long convinced themselves that foisting their opinions onto the world because of their fame would never have any repercussions. Indeed, it shouldn't have ... people should separate their 'art' from their politics. Well, not when you use the fame from your 'craft' to give a message to the public that ordinary citizens do not have.
Hollywood is aghast that the rubes in America didn't see their inherent vision of how things should be. Now they're worried about a 'climate of fear.'
Here's a hint for you. The same indepencence and free will you claim for yourselves can also be exercised by the American public who buys your crappy movie tickets. That's freedom of speech too. You can't have it both ways.
Mike Farrell, who apparently hasn't had an acting job in 20 years, spoke for everyone when he told Reuters that those who joined the loyal opposition in Hollywood had not been silenced and certainly were not backing down.
Instead, he said, the "huge coalition" of those opposed to the war were gathering strength and preparing to fight another day -- over post-war Iraq, domestic issues and future "preemptive strikes" by the Bush administration.
"What's the point of me saying anything right now, while they're in the end zone doing the dance and spiking the football?" Farrell said. "They are going to do the thing they are going to do, but we'll be heard from when it's appropriate and in the manner that is appropriate."
NOW Is Worried The Laci Peterson Case Will Be a Double Murder
Because, they say, that could apply to any unborn fetus. No kidding. It could give ammunition to the pro-life lobby. No kidding. Because it's a graphically horrifying image. A baby, ready-to-be-born, that had a 99.9% chance of survival, was killed instead ... and they don't think that is murder.
More than two dozen states, including California, have adopted "fetal homicide" statutes, and prosecutors often will seek a double-murder charge when a pregnant woman is killed.
Marie Tasy, public and legislative affairs director for New Jersey Right To Life, countered that a double-murder charge against Scott Peterson is appropriate. She assailed pro-choice activists for opposing fetal homicide statutes.
"Obviously he was wanted by the mother," Tasy said.
"Clearly groups like NOW are doing a great injustice to women by opposing these laws. It just shows you how extreme, and to what lengths, these groups will go to protect the right to abortion."
"The argument that (fetal homicide statutes) would interfere with abortion rights is ridiculous," Tasy said. "These groups are so radical that they would deny recourse to a family for the loss of a wanted child."
The second murder charge against Peterson is crucial because he otherwise would not be eligible for the death penalty. The double-murder charge qualifies as a "special circumstance" for which capital punishment may be sought.
Human Rights Groups Finally Catch On To UN Hypocrisy
Yep, it took a while, but someone at these organizations finally took a list at the membership of the UN Human Rights Commission and noticed that two dozen of them, including this year's chairman, have been flagrant violators.
But what better way to have your violations ignored than to simply be on the committee?
North Korea, Iran and Nigeria are likely to win membership of the UN Commission on Human Rights in an election either at the end of this month or early next. Egypt is another candidate and, even though its abuses are not on the same scale as the others, it has been conducting a vigorous campaign against homosexuals.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are among the organisations which are complaining that the inclusion of these countries makes a mockery of the organisation, and are urging reform of the process. They simply could have read my blog a year ago.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch described the list of candidate countries as "a Who's Who of the worst human rights abusers."
Seeking re-election are other countries with horrid records: Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Russia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Good luck, guys! Thanks for making the world safe from human rights issues.
A Hero's Work -- Finished After 50 Years
Renowned Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal was quoted as saying on Thursday he would soon close his files after nearly half a century because his work to track down the perpetrators of the Holocaust was complete. "I found the mass murderers I was looking for, and I have outlived all of them. If there's a few I didn't look for, they are now too old and fragile to stand trial. My work is done," the 94-year-old told the Austrian weekly magazine "Format."
The secrets of Saddam Hussein's reign of terror are beginning to emerge. Iraqi civilians who had long feared speaking out about the atrocities for fear of government retribution are revealing in detail what the Iraqi dictator and his regime inflicted on some of the country's 26 million people.
They paint a picture of arrests, killings and torture that have led human rights groups to condemn the Iraqi leader in the strongest terms. The groups have charged that tens of thousands of Iraqis, from Kurds in the north to Shiites in the south, were tortured and killed after Saddam seized power in 1979.
Thousands were arrested on charges ranging from criticizing the Iraqi leader to cooperating with the United States.
Only a few walked out of the jails alive.
Some Iraqis are already coming forward with tales of atrocities. Many allegedly were carried out here at the Military Intelligence Directorate.
''I was beaten, refrigerated naked and put underground for one year because I was a Shiite and Saddam is a Sunni,'' said Ali Kaddam Kardom, 37. He said he was arrested in the central city of Karbala on March 10, 2000. He returned to the facility in Baghdad this weekend, he said, to help rescue any Iraqis who still might be imprisoned there.
The Bush administration has said it would seek out evidence of the Saddam regime's covert programs -- from its efforts to enrich top officials as its citizens starved, to the development of banned weapons. Last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said rewards would be offered to individuals who provide information on biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs.
Rumsfeld also said that though Saddam appeared to be gone, ''we still must capture, account for or otherwise deal'' with him and senior Iraqi leaders.
Initially, U.S. forces will have to rely on testimony from survivors of Saddam's brutality because some of the key documentary evidence has disappeared, U.S. officials said. When U.S. forces entered the headquarters of the once- feared Iraqi Intelligence Service, across town from the Military Intelligence Directorate, they found the place had been cleaned out even before the Baghdad looters arrived, a U.S. intelligence official said Sunday. Looters have destroyed evidence at other government agencies.