March 04, 2016

The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of #AmericanFascism (from @Truthdig)

The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism (from @Truthdig): College-educated elites, on behalf of corporations, carried out the savage neoliberal assault on the working poor. Now these elites are being made to pay. Their duplicity has brought them—and the rest of us—Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
- 2016/03/02

May 07, 2015

Text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 6.

  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.

Article 7.

  • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

Article 8.

  • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

Article 9.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Article 10.

  • Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

Article 11.

  • (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  • (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 13.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

Article 14.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  • (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 15.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Article 16.

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 20.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
  • (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
  • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Article 22.

  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

Article 23.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  • (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  • (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  • (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.

  • Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

Article 25.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

Article 26.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  • (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Article 27.

  • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

Article 28.

  • Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

Article 29.

  • (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  • (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  • (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30.

  • Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

November 02, 2014

Ebola - dangerous to politicize Public Health

by Diane V. McLoughlin, November 2, 2014

Ebola spreads in the air - aerosolizes - via coughs and sneezes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has waffled on this point, publishing and then removing a poster that explains that Ebola is capable of spreading via coughs and sneezes within three feet. Here is a copy of the deleted poster:

However, is the three-foot rule correct?  In an MIT experiment, scientists were able to measure how far aerosolized droplets from coughs and sneezes travel.  Written in formal scientific language, I was unable to discern where they indicate that the maximum distance is twenty feet, as cited by others. However, on page 560, the 'dozens of meters' conclusion is plain enough, as is their concern that aerosolized particles travel enough distance that the researchers express their concern that germs might be picked up and transported via ventilation systems.

On the other hand, if the three-foot rule is correct, that remains a lot of risk, not a little. On crowded public transportation systems people are constantly touching surfaces, a commonly understood mode of disease transmission. 

 The politicized messages of the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO), with their claims of the low infectious dangers of this Level Four dangerous disease, are like shifting sands dependent rather than independent of any politically correctness or prevailing political winds. 

Ebola is an air-borne disease beyond the splitting of hairs over how far it travels in the air. It has a lethality approaching 100% for those over 45 years of age. Ebola does not require many germs to successfully infect a host and there is suspicion it may survive at least for some period of time in sewers; it can linger dried on glass and plastic surfaces for up to three weeks in cool (+4C) conditions. Up to 13% of those infected never develop fever at all. 

Now, all of these facts are readily available, and take mere minutes to locate in the literature. This nurse clearly went to Africa to garner accolades for her own ego, otherwise why so much protest, so loudly, that she was not welcomed warmly enough to her own satisfaction and instead was prudently placed in quarantine? Nurse Kaci Hickox does not seem to have the capacity for true altruism or she would have accepted the 21 day paid quarantine with graciousness and aplomb. No, the public service she provides is as a shining example of why Public Health law is structured the way it is.

October 18, 2014

The Great Dictator [1940] - amazing speech! - by writer director and lead actor Charlie Chaplin [4mins - Youtube]

Wikipedia:  'The Great Dictator' - a 1940 American satirical political comedy-drama film starring, written, produced, scored, and directed by Charlie Chaplin, following the tradition of many of his other films. 
Having been the only Hollywood filmmaker to continue to make silent films well into the period of sound films, this was Chaplin's first true talking picture as well as his most commercially successful film.[3]
At the time of its first release, the United States was still formally at peace with Nazi Germany. Chaplin's film advanced a stirring, controversial[4] condemnation of Adolf HitlerBenito Mussolini's fascismantisemitism, and the Nazis...In his 1964 autobiography, Chaplin stated that he would not have made the film had he known about the actual horrors of the Nazi concentration camps at the time.'  
Excerpt from, Turner Classic Movies [] 'Synopsis': 

'A Jewish barber, suffering from amnesia since World War I, finally returns to his home in Tomania to discover the country overrun with anti-Semitic storm troopers under the leadership of Dictator Adenoid Hynkel. The only ghetto inhabitant strong enough to defy the soldiers is a young orphan, Hannah, with whom he falls in love. When the barber joins a resistance leader he had served under in the war, the two are arrested, just as Hynkel is plotting world domination in meetings with rival dictator Napolini of Bacteria. The barber and his friend escape prison as Hynkel is hunting nearby. When an accident separates Hynkel from his party, the prison guards mistake him for the escaped barber and take him into custody. Meanwhile, Hynkel's storm troopers mistake the barber for their leader. After leading the country in a successful invasion, he delivers an international address repudiating Hynkel's dictatorship and spreading the message of peace and liberty.'
At the time of the film's release '...Charlie Chaplin's films were already banned in Nazi Germany because of the erroneous belief that he was Jewish.'
- by Frank Miller 

Note:  Frank Miller's, 'The Great Dictator' page provides absolutely fascinating background regarding the history of the film. Highly recommended. - DVM

Fast facts:
The role of Adenoid Hynkel, was the first character other than The Little Tramp, that Chaplin had played in two decades.
It is the first movie in which Charlie Chaplin acts in full speaking roles, unlike his earlier silent film work.
Charlie Chaplin's film, The Great Dictator, pulled no punches in its searing parody of events unfolding in Europe pre-WWII. Other Hollywood producers and directors were pressured to soften the tone of their productions. 

The Barber's Speech [from the film, The Great Dictator]:

'I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
'Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost....
'The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.
'To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. .....
'Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!
'In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.
'Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!
'Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!'
High-quality, high-definition, digitally remastered; five-stars; Charlie Chaplin's maverick Hollywood masterpiece for tolerance, pre-WWII:
The Great Dictator [1940]

September 24, 2014

Behead the beast of perpetual war

by Diane V. McLoughlin - September 24, 2014

Two essentials necessary, for both armies and uprisings, to advance, are arms and cash.  The U.S. has just authorized 500 milion dollars-worth of training and weapons for Syrian rebels and the wisdom of doing so must be questioned.

Certainly American 'PNAC' neocons want to keep arming so-called 'good' rebels to help them overthrow Syria's government. The U.S. should not be involved with the attempt at overthrowing Syria's secular regime, and the reasons for wanting to do so must be questioned, as well.  Why would U.S. interests be keen?  Who profits?

Israel continues to illegally occupy Syrian territory, and has recently put out tenders for oil exploration contracts on the occupied Golan Heights.   (How about Gaza? Does Gaza have natural resources, too?  Check - Gaza has a territorial stake in the vast wealth of off-shore natural gas.) 

What seems a fairly predictable eventuality may have come to pass:  The Syrian rebels reportedly have agreed to a ceasefire with ISIS (also known, variously, as Isil; Is, or Islamic State) circumstances in which you cannot expect arms provided to one will be used to degrade the military capabilities of the other.  

Nevertheless, U.S. pro-war cheerleaders such as U.S. Senator John McCain, assert that they can tell the 'good' guys from the bad in the quest to pump  more U.S.-manufactured arms in.  Profitable, yes.  Potential pots of gold at the ends of various political rainbows, no doubt. 

There are pictures purportedly showing McCain hobnobing with ISIS rebels. Some pundits are rubbing their hands with glee at the karma, that McCain may ultimately find himself charged with the crime of aiding terrorists.

Iraq and Syrian oil that ISIS is reportedly selling on the global black market also keeps ISIS in arms and other necessary supplies, in addition to Syrian rebel-held American weaponry somehow being added to their arsenals. Looting, including banks, keeps their conquest going, too. 

Bombing campaigns are destructive, rather indiscriminate, and they make more enemies. This is not the answer to ISIS so far as western strategic interests are concerned, if we actually are concerned with not stirring a terrorism hornet's nest any further than we have already. Cut off the flow of arms and cash and frustrate supply lines, instead.  

As for beheadings, Saudi Arabia, treated as one of the good guys and part of the ad hoc coalition fighting ISIS, has had something like 41 beheadings as judicial punishments this year alone - the country where the 9/11 terrorists came from
So ISIS utilizing the violent propaganda tool of beheading innocent people might be viewed in a wider context.  Our own political leaders garner political traction with the ISIS beheadings, as well.

Bombing ISIS targets legitimates their propaganda that 'the west' is the enemy.  


September 17, 2014

Will Bombs Stop Beheadings - Russell Brand Analyses the News at The Trews [14mins]

Russell Brand YouTube Channel: 'Together we can unravel the matrix of modern media'

The Trews [Episode E146] 

 Published on Sep 15, 2014

Reaction to President Barack Obama's 'destroy and degrade' strategy for fighting the Islamic State.

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September 15, 2014

Fmr IDF Soldier to US - Stand Up to #Israel War Crimes [RT crosspost - YouTube 12mins]

Fmr. IDF Soldier Calls on Americans to Stand Up to Israel War Crimes - Interview with Eran Efrati

Published September 15, 2014

Abby Martin speaks with Eran Efrati, a former IDF soldier who 

recounts his experience being ostracized for attempting to 

expose crimes he witnessed as a soldier.

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