Tag: Human Rights

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Months of COVID quarantine rules were finally relaxing and then righteous indignation from Minneapolis turned what was supposed to be a disease transition “reopening” weekend in neighboring Indianapolis into a melee: Repeated elsewhere, in bigger cities, there was the requisite “peaceful” afternoon demonstrations turning violent Friday, with 8 p.m. curfews set to try to quell […]

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The best way to debunk a common defense of Islam is to have an ex-Muslim do the debunking.  Ex-Muslims of North America was formed to provide ex-Muslims a safe place to talk about the fact that they no longer believe in Islam, but they can’t tell their spouse because they might lose their marriage and […]

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Alfie’s Legacy

 

Alfie Evans graced this world less than twenty-four months. I say grace because during the months of his short, precious life, he silently spoke volumes from his fragile hospital bed, as though he had a megaphone.

Alfie Evans was born a healthy, happy baby to Tom Evans, 21 and Kate James, 20 of Liverpool, England. As an infant, Alfie received several vaccines all at once along with “other medications”, as was reported. He started showing symptoms of illness at about six months with seizures and then his brain began to deteriorate.  Some have speculated that he had a reaction to the vaccines, but that has never been proven.  The hospital in England could not make a diagnosis, and Alfie was eventually put on life support. When the hospital decided nothing more could be done, even though no diagnosis was ever found, they informed the parents he would be removed from life support. His young parents pleaded that life support continue, but they said no.

It was at that point that Bambino Gesu Catholic children’s hospital in Rome, Italy, just a few hundred yards from Vatican City, offered to take Alfie and continue to care for him. “Rome’s Vatican-owned pediatric hospital Bambino Gesù has offered to treat the 23-month-old boy, who has a serious undiagnosed brain condition. The government in Rome has granted Alfie Italian citizenship in a bid to bring him to Italy and beat rulings to let him die.”

In this series of AEI Events Podcasts, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt hosts experts and senior officials engaged in the development of human rights in North Korea to commemorate the third anniversary of the “Report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” They propose an expert update on the human rights situation in North Korea and discuss how Washington and its allies in the region can seek to improve it.

This AEI Events Podcast features Justice Michael Kirby, former chief of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, discussing international law with AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt. They discuss the mechanisms available under international law to hold the Kim regime accountable.

In this series of AEI Events Podcasts, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt hosts experts and senior officials engaged in the development of human rights in North Korea to commemorate the third anniversary of the “Report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” They provide an expert outlook on the human rights situation in North Korea and discuss how Washington and its allies in the region can seek to improve it. AEI’s President, Arthur C. Brooks, opens the event with introductory remarks. He offers a sobering reminder that the Kim family regime maintains the most dreadful gulag system in the world.

After introductions, a panel of experts engage in a discussion on the belligerence and denial of human rights in North Korea today. Panelists include Joanna Hosaniak (Citizens’ Alliance for North Korean Human Rights), Robert King (former US special envoy on North Korean human rights), Go Myung-Hyun (Asan Institute for Policy Studies), and Greg Scarlatoiu (Committee for Human Rights in North Korea). The discussion is moderated by Jung-Hoon Lee (the Republic of Korea ambassador for North Korean human rights).

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On September 27, 2016, Jordan B. Peterson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, posted a video to his popular YouTube channel that set off a firestorm of controversy. The video, entitled “Professor against political correctness. Part 1: Fear and the law,” was a departure from Peterson’s usual content of recorded lectures, debates, and […]

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In 2011, Anders Behring Beivik killed 77 innocent people (8 via bombing & 69 via shooting) wounding another 300. He was ruled sane and tried, convicted & sentenced to 21 years in prison with possibility of release after at least 10 years by the government of Norway. This is the maximum penalty available in Norway. […]

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The Libertarian Podcast: “Foreign Policy, Global Warming, and the Pope”

 

In the first of a two-part series responding to Pope Francis’ recent visit to the United States, Professor Epstein looks at the pontiff’s statements regarding the crisis in Syria, climate change, and — that old Epstein chestnut — creating markets for organ donations. Listen in below (or subscribe via iTunes) and come back next week for a full episode on Francis’ views on economics and the poor.

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Dale Pippin’s family is originally from North Carolina, but settled in Canada 110 years ago. He takes great pride in his Southern U.S. heritage and displays the Confederate flag on his vehicle, although he’s more reluctant to do so given the intense debate about the controversial symbol, he said.For Pippin, the flag represents his family […]

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The Nazi Within

 

amis_cover_3019706aI recently finished Martin Amis’s novel, The Zone of Interest, the plot of which centers around the conflicts of a host of characters inside a Nazi death camp — German soldiers, their wives, children, and, of course, the Jews. The book was rejected by Amis’s German publisher and received mixed reviews when it came out last year. That’s largely because of the unconventional and sometimes uncomfortable use of satire in a Holocaust novel.

The book reads much like a conventional character drama, centered around themes of jealousy, lust, ambition, and longing. Only, in this case, this rather standard human tale happens to be taking place in the midst of the most inhuman atrocities imaginable. Gruesome and brutal crimes of world-historic proportions serve as a mere backdrop for a story that stubbornly focuses on the mundane and rather unremarkable relationships of those guilty of the crimes.

You’ve never read a Holocaust novel like this one. Some readers might feel that Amis’s approach minimizes the heinous crimes that are taking place. But for me, it worked in just the opposite way. Amis’s focus on the trivial “drama” taking place among his Nazi characters has the effect of humanizing them and making the horrible genocide they are carrying out seem all the more incomprehensible. By the end of the book I was left wondering how, how, how did the genocidal mania of Nazism ever take hold of nearly an entire nation of seemingly normal human beings? What was the origin of this great hatred, and of the great collective will to act on it?

Obama: Cuban Information Minister?

 

21prexy-span-articleLargeTwo relatively recent photos of Barack Obama with foreign leaders reveal much about his deep-dyed leftism. The first features President Obama and democratically-elected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, leader of one of America’s most loyal friends. Obama looks strained. His face is stiff, and his eyes are veiled. The second is a snap of Obama at the recent Summit of the Americas in Panama. He’s seated with “President” Raul Castro, leader of a bitter enemy, who has never received a single free vote. Obama is grinning, his eyes dancing with pleasure.

150411175532-02-obama-castro-meeting-041115-large-169In contrast to the bitterness with which Obama addresses Netanyahu, he is all honey with Castro.“So I want to thank President Castro for the spirit of openness and courtesy that he has shown during our interactions .  . . President Castro earlier today spoke about the significant hardships that the people of Cuba have undergone over many decades.  I can say with all sincerity that the essence of my policy . . . is to make sure that the people of Cuba are able to prosper and live in freedom and security . . . “

Did you catch that? Castro was assigning blame for the “hardships” Cuba has endured since the revolution to the U.S. — and Obama was agreeing with him! It wasn’t the first time. Back in December, when he first announced the opening of diplomatic relations with Cuba, Obama said “I believe in the free flow of information. Unfortunately, our sanctions on Cuba have denied Cubans access to technology that has empowered individuals around the globe.” So the U.S. embargo is responsible for the Cuban peoples’ denial of the “free flow of information.” Not Cuba’s iron-fisted repression? A Cuban propaganda minister couldn’t have put it better.

Scenes From my Front Porch

 

The thing about living in a place with four seasons — bear with me, I spent about 80 percent of my life in California — is that the beginning of spring is inevitably frantic. As the trees bloom, all your rationales for putting off home improvements start to wilt. And so, at the Senik household, there’s been a parade of contractors, plumbers, handymen, and the like ascending the hill in recent days.

After awhile, they become virtually indistinguishable from one another. Each explains, with the thinly-veiled contempt of a teacher that should have retired years ago, highly technical concepts in impenetrable jargon that bounces off my skull like a bird flying into a window. Each next proceeds to request an amount of money that would imply they’ve taken one of my family members hostage. Each then dutifully gets paid because…well, I’m a writer. The odds are pretty good that my death will be premature, but I’ll be damned if it’s going to happen on my roof.

‘Viktor’ was different. Him I’ll remember.

The Last Jew in Pakistan

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 11.38.50 PMMeet Fishel Benkhald. My wife and I met him over Twitter late last year, and, because I am also a Jew, I was very interested in his story. We have become “friends” through social media.

Fishel lives in Karachi, Pakistan, and is considered to be the last Jewish citizen in Pakistan, a country of 187 million people. He has made it his mission to be a voice for Pakistani minorities. Over Twitter direct message, he told me (all quotes unedited, to preserve his spelling and grammar):

Yes I tweet&speak with people in support of Christians,Hindus,and muslim minority of Ahmadia&Shia muslims.

Your Government Is Phone Tapping An Entire Nation. Are You Okay With This?

 

shutterstock_90519055As of 2013, the United States government “has been recording and storing nearly all the domestic (and international) phone calls from two or more target countries as of 2013.” If anybody had any doubts, the good people of WikiLeaks, who are doing God’s work, revealed that one of those countries is Afghanistan.

Your government is phone tapping an entire country’s worth of phones. This program, they claim, is vital, to keeping our drone wars going.

So, in order to keep a war going that we shouldn’t be in anymore, in a place we shouldn’t be involved anymore, we — you and I — are doing this. Privacy is a fundamental human right. We are violating the fundamental human rights of an entire nation of people, in order to keep a war going in a place we shouldn’t be in, to accomplish… what exactly?

Can a Non-Human be a Person?

 

shutterstock_99733508At the end of the latest Law Talk, Professors Epstein and Yoo (not atypically) disagree. Prof. Epstein appeared to have based his view on the topic on an assumption that is widely held, rarely stated, and that logically leads to shocking conclusions.

The subject was legal action proposing that an ape be recognised as enjoying certain ‘human rights’. Prof. Epstein suggested he’d be willing to entertain the idea when the chimpanzee could argue its own case. This suggests that the rights attach to the creature as a result of its intellectual (and communicative) abilities.

Prof. Yoo wisely noted that this was a category error: that a human enjoys human rights because he or she is a human, not because he or she can act like a human (my words rather than his). A human baby, he noted, is entitled to human rights although such a child could not represent him or herself in a court.