Category Archives: Human Rights

Infanticide: The Video

Jill Stanek tells the story of her experiences as a nurse in an Illinois hospital with a baby who was delivered alive at 21-22 weeks and left without any treatment to die. The baby had Down’s syndrome and had other problems, and the doctor delivered the baby instead of aborting it. This was legal in Illinois at the time, and two Born Alive Infant Protection Acts were introduced into the Illinois legislature. As far as I know, it is still legal in Illinois. Obama voted against the first act three times. The second one, which was identical in wording to the federal act, died in Obama’s committee when he refused to send it to the legislature for a vote. How apropos, to kill a bill with willful neglect in the same way that delivered, living babies were left to die in Illinois hospitals.

Watch it. I dare you. I double-dare you.

Update: See this video with Obama’s argument in the Illinois Senate. Continue reading

Advertisements

Support the Declaration against Genocide

Would you sign?

Declaration Against Genocide
Whereas genocide – the murder, or plan to murder, an entire people – is a crime against all humanity;

Whereas genocide is a crime that has metastasized in the modern era, leading to the murders of millions of Armenians, Cambodians, Tutsis, Sudanese, Bosnian Muslims and others;

Whereas the largest and most devastating genocide on record is the Holocaust of European Jews;

Whereas a new genocide of the Jews is being called for by Islamic leaders in the Middle East;

Whereas global forces are being mobilized by the Iranian regime to eliminate the Jewish state;

Whereas the genocide of the Jews is called for in texts understood by some Muslims as authoritative and echoes through sermons in some mosques today, and is proclaimed by certain leaders of the Islamic religion;

Whereas Catholicism and other Christian denominations have condemned the Holocaust and repudiated anti-Jewish pronouncements that have stained their religious past;

We call on all Student Governments and campus Muslim groups to:

1. Condemn and repudiate the Hadith which reads: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: The time [of judgment] will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews and kill them; until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!” Sahih Muslim book 41, no. 6985
2. Condemn and repudiate the Hamas Charter which says: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it”
3. Condemn Ahmadinejad who has said “The accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible.”
4. Condemn Hezbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah who has said:

“The Jews are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment.”

“There is no solution to the conflict except with the disappearance of Israel.”

“If they all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”

5. Affirm:
* The right of all people to live in freedom and dignity
* The freedom of the individual conscience: to change religions or have no religion at all
* The equal dignity of women and men
* The right of all people to live free from violence, intimidation, and coercion

We call upon all campus political, cultural, ethnic and religious groups to stand with us in opposing all forms of religious supremacism, violence and intimidation.

You’ve read it. Now sign the petition.

H/T: Michelle Malkin

§

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Truth, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, The Yankee Sailor, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

The Anti-Slavery Party

The Republican Party was founded by abolitionists who saw that slavery was a great human evil that must be eradicated from the American land. Abraham Lincoln was a moderate when it came to the abolition of slavery. He famously stated he wanted to save the Union whether it required freeing all the slaves or none. The Democratic Party was the party of Andrew Jackson that believed in killing American Indians, conquering Mexican territory, and slavery for blacks, and it fought tooth and nail against the Republican abolitionist movement. After the Civil War ended and Reconstruction began, the Democrats, both Northern and Southern, opposed the Republican passed civil rights laws and amendments, and after repealing what was left of Reconstruction imposed Jim Crow laws in the former slave-holding states. After the Civil War and until the 1960s, the Republican party was the “black party” in the south, and it was said that most southerners would vote for a yellow dog if it was a Democrat rather than voting for a Republican. That made them Yellow Dog Democrats. All the famous civil libertarians until the 1950s and 60s were Republicans. The NAACP was started by Republicans. Even Jackie Robinson was a Republican, as was Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Anti-Slavery Party

It is sad to me that so many blacks have left the Republican party since the 1960s. I believe that they left because they were led by demagogues who did not have good intentions. Certainly they have been abused by the Democratic Party, which depends on black Americans for votes but passes policies to keep them in bondage, dependent on government handouts, living in dehumanizing and humiliating public housing, being indoctrinated in horrible public schools, and trapped in deteriorating city neighborhoods.

Barack Obama is running for President of the United States. I think there is a very good chance he will win. Despite the fact that he was abandoned by his black African father and raised by his white American mother and her parents, he has lived as a black man and gone to a militant black church for his adult life. He has risen to the top tier of politics in no time flat, while presenting himself as a totally black man (albeit a handsome and eloquent one) and a political cypher. So how is it that this nation, which has enabled Obama, who came from nothing, to arise to a few steps away from the most powerful office in the world, can possibly discriminate against people like him? And how does this get blamed on Republicans and not Democrats? Do Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice feel discriminated against in the Republican party?

The Republicans started as the anti-Slavery party. They were always for Liberty and against human Bondage. That hasn’t changed. The horror of slavery in the 19th century was banished. Now collectivism, excessive taxation, the destruction of rights to free speech, and the holocaust of abortion (disproportionately killing black babies, for what it’s worth) are terrible threats to American lives and freedoms, and Republicans oppose them while Democrats wish to impose them and spread them wider. And the threat of nuclear and biological weapons used in Jihad terrorism is a grave threat that all should recognize and oppose, but only Republicans seem to take seriously (despite the fact that the 9/11 planes attacked the Democratic strongholds of New York City and Washington DC). All these threats require adult responses, and by adult responses I do not mean pretending there is no threat, for while denial may be a typical adult response it lacks the other crucial attribute for responses, that they be responsible. An irresponsible response is not only tortured grammar but also a failure to follow logic and rationality.

Liberty is worth fighting for. That’s what Republicans believe.

Democrats should think about it.

§

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, , , Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Allie is Wired, Nuke Gingrich, Woman Honor Thyself, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, , The Pink Flamingo, Dumb Ox Daily News, A Newt One, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

tag: , , ,

The Role of Christianity in Abolishing Slavery of Blacks and of Islam in Perpetuating it

Robert Spencer enlightens his readers just in time for National Black History Month:

Slavery was taken for granted throughout Islamic history, as it was, of course, in the West as well up until relatively recent times. Yet while the European and American slave trade get lavish attention from historians […], the Islamic slave trade actually lasted longer and brought suffering to a larger number of people. It is exceedingly ironic that Islam has been presented to American blacks as the egalitarian alternative to the “white man’s slave religion” of Christianity, since Islamic slavery operated on a larger scale than did the Western slave trade, and lasted longer. While historians estimate that the transatlantic slave trade, which operated between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, involved around 10.5 million people, the Islamic slave trade in the Sahara, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean areas began in the seventh century and lasted into the nineteenth, and involved 17 million people. […]Slavery is still practiced openly today in two Muslim countries, Sudan and Mauritania. In line with historical practice, Muslim slavers in the Sudan primarily enslave non-Muslims, and chiefly Christians. According to the Coalition Against Slavery in Mauritania and Sudan (CASMAS), a human rights and abolitionist movement founded in 1995, “The current Khartoum government wants to bring the non-Muslim Black South in line with Sharia law, laid down and interpreted by conservative Muslim clergy. The Black animist and Christian South remembers many years of slave raids by Arabs from the north and east and resists Muslim religious rule and the perceived economic, cultural, and religious expansion behind it.”

One modern-day Sudanese Christian slave, James Pareng Alier, was kidnapped and enslaved when he was twelve years old. Religion was a major element of his ordeal: “I was forced to learn the Koran and re-baptised Ahmed. They told me that Christianity was a bad religion. After a time we were given military training and they told us we would be sent to fight.” Alier has no idea of his family’s whereabouts. The BBC reported in March 2007 that slave raids “were a common feature of Sudan’s 21-year north-south war, which ended in 2005. . . . According to a study by the Kenya-based Rift Valley Institute, some 11,000 young boys and girls were seized and taken across the internal border—many to the states of South Darfur and West Kordofan. . . . Most were forcibly converted to Islam, given Muslim names and told not to speak their mother tongue.” Yet even today, while non-Muslims were enslaved and often forcibly converted to Islam, their conversion does not lead to their freedom. Mauritanian anti-slavery campaigner Boubacar Messaoud explains that “it’s like having sheep or goats. If a woman is a slave, her descendants are slaves.”

Anti-slavery crusaders like Messaoud have great difficulty working against this attitude, because it is rooted in the Qur’an and Muhammad’s example. Particularly when the slaves are non-Muslims, there is no verse of the Qur’an corresponding to Lincoln’s favored Bible verse, Genesis 3:19, that anti-slavery Muslims can invoke against those who continue to approve of and even to practice slavery.

Read the rest.

For more on the state of Liberty around the world, see here.

§

Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic, third world county, Allie is Wired, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Big Dog’s Weblog, A Newt One, Dumb Ox Daily News, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Conservativism is the real “Reality Based Community” in America

On this day on which we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, John Hood expresses uncommon wisdom as he explains the natural alliances of conservatives that form the Republican Party in America:

The conservative movement constitutes an alliance of those who accept unchangeable facts rather than trying to wish fantasy into reality, remake human nature, or avoid economic tradeoffs. Traditionalists embrace timeless morals, even when they deny one immediate gratification. Libertarians embrace the sovereignty of consumer demand and the sometimes-disorienting effects of technological change, even when the result isn’t to one’s personal liking. And hawks embrace the reality that America lives in a dangerous neighborhood, one full of bullies, pirates, and fanatics who respond to gestures of good will with contempt, larceny, and brutality.

As I have written before, Conservatives accept the unchangeable facts of life and then endeavor to change the things that can be changed. The techniques that conservatives embrace to make changes are steady, incremental, preserving as much of the pre-existing good as possible while minimizing the harm inflicted by their changes by testing the results and readjusting the changes as required. And when they stay with their principles, conservatives do not endeavor to change human nature, adopt a Pollyanna-ish view of the affairs of nations of the world, or value the contributions of arbitrary groups of people more than they value the unique, God-created men and women of whom the groups are composed.

The Civil Rights Act of 1957 is an example of a conservative change. The President was a popular Republican and the General responsible for Allied victory in World War 2. He was the commander responsible for actually integrating the US military, which had been officially segregated previously. Eisenhower learned from his experience desegregating the military the vast increase in national strength that would result from the end of segregation. Both the House and Senate were majority Democrat. No Civil Rights Acts, no Acts with the two words “civil” and “rights” in the title, had been passed by Congress since 1875, which a Democrat-appointed Supreme Court struck down. The 1957 act, originally proposed by President Eisenhower, was so loathed by the majority party that Senate majority leader and future President Lyndon Baines Johnson cut out all the tough original measures leaving only a shadow of the original bill. Democrats such as Strom Thurmond filibustered the bill longer than any bill had been filibustered in American legislative history, with Thurmond actually speaking continuously on the Senate floor for 24 hours to prevent a vote for cloture from being taken. Both Al Gore, Sr. and John Fitzgerald Kennedy voted against the 1957 Act. And though the Act was watered down by the Democrats, a watery soup familiar to all those who lived through the Great Depression, it established a bipartisan Civil Rights commission that was given the task to investigate civil violations of voting rights in addition to the criminal violations that could already be investigated, a Civil Rights Commission in the Justice Department, and allowed the Justice Department to intervene in state and local voting rights cases. Gail Heriot testified at the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Act:

Without the 1957 Act, there may well have been no Civil Rights Act of 1960, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Fair Housing Act of 1968 or Education Amendments of 1972. Seen in this light, the 1957 Act does not seem puny at all; it was, rather, Congress’s first step on a long-overdue journey.

And let us remember that that the path that Congress had to travel from 1957 to 1964 was marked and paved by Abe Lincoln and his fellow Republicans who held the country together, emancipated the black slaves with the 13th Amendment, passed the 14th Amendment to grant citizenship to blacks, and passed the 15th Amendment to allow all black Americans to vote. The Republican party was originally founded out of the scraps of the Whigs as the anti-Slavery party, which explains why the former slave states were solidly Democrat, with an admixture of KKK, for a hundred years after 1860 until the civil rights transformation of the 1960s nailed shut the coffin of government sponsored segregation. And it explains why great civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King and Frederick Douglass were registered Republicans, as were almost all black Americans of the time. Even Jackie Robinson was a Republican.

I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.

Frederick Douglass (c. 1817–95)

Though black voter registration actually dropped in the South after the 1957 act, the advances in the law and its obvious weaknesses led to the Civil Rights Act of 1960, also signed by Eisenhower, which did produce modest gains in black voter registration in a year, and with the Freedom Rides that began in 1960 led to the entire civil rights movement that managed to overthrow the last vestiges of the segregationist Southern Democrats’ Jim Crow laws.

And so the incremental approach, the racing plan of the Tortoise against the scatterbrained Hare, was proved out.

When the spread of civil rights varied from this plan, for instance with the rash of radical legislating by the Judiciary that began in the 1960s (unbalancing the balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches as defined in the Constitution), bad ideas like the exclusionary rule that had never been passed by a legislature or even imagined to be reasonable by legislators became law.

But the growing dictatorship of the Judiciary is a totally different topic that deserves its own post, perhaps its own blog, even a book.

The realistic, incremental, results-tested approach of conservatives is responsible for almost all real world improvements to established traditions. If the desired goal is radical, novel, Kafka-esque remedies that are worse than the disease then sweeping changes based on ideology instead of real world data, without intermediate results-testing and incremental improvements, will do.

Continue reading

Baby Selling and Slavery

Over at Overcoming Bias, Robin Hanson responds to the WaPo:

A year after Guatemala’s emergence as the second-largest foreign source of babies for adoption to the United States, a new push by the Guatemalan government to wrest control of the process from private agencies has stirred an emotional backlash from thousands of prospective adoptive parents in the United States. …Guatemala’s solicitor general, Mario Gordillo, … worries that thousands of desperately poor Guatemalan women are being induced to conceive children for adoption by private brokers offering as much as $3,000 a baby.

“Guatemala has converted into a baby-producing nation,” Gordillo said at his office in Guatemala City. “Our children come into this world to be products for sale. . . . It’s as if they were a car. What model is it? And who wants to buy it?” The debate raging in Guatemala echoes previous controversies that have led to the suspension of adoptions from Romania to Cambodia. …

This is amazingly sad. It is in general a good thing if willing women are induced by money to have babies families want to adopt. Not only do the woman and the family benefit, but the baby gets a life! Positive externalities don’t get much larger than this. We need lower, not higher, barriers to such exchange.

This is followed by a number of very learned arguments focusing on abstractions, and on bizarre arguments that posit that human life is a net neutral or net negative in the Universe. My response is:

I find it curious that I’ve come to the end of this thread about the buying and selling of babies and nobody has mentioned the elephant in the room: Slavery. Given that slavery is a great moral evil, is there a way to buy and sell children that prevents the evil of slavery? I don’t see any evil in adoption. Nor do I see any evil in a woman giving up a child for adoption, or in getting paid for her time and effort. The tout, the lawyer, and the social worker (whose livelihoods depend on putting up barriers against adoption and collecting money from people for serving as middlemen) are in less morally clear positions. I do not believe that human life is a bad thing, but rather a good. And I certainly believe that free exchange of goods and services, leading to specialization, is a good thing.

If the baby grows up to be a free, educated adult (not enslaved) who can make a positive contribution to society and humanity, without being abused along the way, then it’s all good.

But if the baby grows up to be an enslaved adult, or one who is unable to make a positive contribution to society or becomes a parasite or criminal, then it’s bad.

So given those value judgements, how can adoption, even adoption with pay going to the mother, be structured to maximize the first probability and minimize the second? Are government adoption agencies able to achieve these goals or should adoptions be handled by churches or some other types of (for profit) organizations rather than governments?

Isn’t that the important question, rather than the question of whether babies should be adopted out for money instead of adopted out for no money, or killed before they can be born?

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Adam’s Blog, The World According to Carl, The Pink Flamingo, Big Dog’s Weblog, Leaning Straight Up, Chuck Adkins, Stageleft, Pursuing Holiness, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

That which must not be said: On censorship

From the Belmont Club on the “anti-fascist” students who stormed the Oxford Union like a bunch of Nazi brownshirts.

Proposition: some persons and ideas are so reprehensible that even a society which espouses “free speech” cannot allow them expression.

On first thought I stood opposed.

Keep the pickpockets’ hands where I can see them, put things in context, allow those with new and valuable insights to persuade others, allow falsehoods to be exposed brutally, mercilessly, to the light of reason.

Then I asked myself if there were any speech I could posit that might need to be treated as a criminal act.

Suppose that a speaker rises in front of a high-school assembly and proceeds to give a simple explanation of how anyone, with common household items and no special skills, could create a bubonic plague/ rabies/ anthrax/ smallpox aerosol in five minutes. It is an idea. It is stupid and incredibly dangerous to give this talk. But at least in this case the speaker knows, more or less, the people to whom he speaks, and can estimate their future actions beforehand.

Now suppose that instead the speaker publishes his instructions on the internet with diagrams, quicktime demonstration, and links to suppliers. He can no longer predict the actions of readers. But is there really a difference when the speaker’s audience could have all blogged about the speech and put the information on the internet anyway?

I conclude from this that there are certain facts and procedures that should be kept secret as a matter of national security. Publishing or publicly exposing official secrets should be prevented, and punished if prevention doesn’t work.

Treason as defined in the US Constitution is a similar issue. I’ll get back to treason later.

There are other acts of speech that society should not tolerate: sedition; slander; libel; fraud; shouting fire in a theater. Now are these ideas to be expressed or are they hostile, harmful acts to be prevented and/or punished? They all cause measurable harm, while ordinary ideas do not. I conclude that, seeing as how most of them are already crimes under the statutes or constitution, harmful acts of speech can be criminalized.

So…

I agree that there are criminally harmful objects and acts that should be forbidden. Certain scientific facts should be secret for national security purposes. Treason should not be allowed. Waging war against one’s own nation should not be allowed. Shouting fire in a theater, libel and slander should not be tolerated.

Let’s take the case of Treason: waging war against one’s own country or giving comfort to the enemy. Is an Idea War against the nation a type of war that should be subject to the same legal instruments as traditional war, including charges of treason? How about if there is no fighting between armies, and if there is no formal declaration of war?

Giving comfort to the enemy in a time of war is treason. But it is not in a time of peace, for in a time of peace there is no declared enemy. In a war fought without a formal declaration is treason meaningful? Certainly it does not seem to be possible to punish it in 2007 as even the most egregious exposure of national security secrets in national publications has not been punished by charges of treason. So there must be drawn a legal line in the sand to make treason a meaningful definition.

Is it the same for the definition of criminally harmful speech and action? Is criminal harm something that must be defined in legislation? I think it must. We know that any speech that is prohibited by legislation is speech that the sovereign of this nation (We the people) determined harmful. If legislation goes against the people’s God-given conscience then the people have the ability to repeal it. The sovereign people agreed with legislation defining harm when it was passed and they agree now, so the legal definition of harmful speech or action is satisfactory.

For the proposition itself I would draw the same sort of line between criminal and protected speech. I agree with the proposition concerning harmful speech that is criminal. But I do not agree when it comes to non-criminal speech. On balance I am forced to agree, but with misgivings. I realize this traps me in legalities. I realize that this line of reasoning would defend the Turkish government’s policy of prosecuting people for insulting Turkishness and could be used by people in favor of hate crime laws (which I think are ridiculous, as if the murderer never feels hate except against members of designated victim groups). What legality does is allow for the rule of law and the coherence of a single nation instead of its fracture into a balkanized mess.

What legality does not do is guarantee goodness and truth. That is up to the sovereign people in the exercise of their God-given conscience. And that is a different proposition entirely.

Nor does this respect of legality extend to laws that were not legislated but decreed from the bench or imposed by anonymous bureaucrats. Such illegitimate extension of the law must be prevented and punished vigorously, as it undermines the legitimate sovereignity of the nation and causes people to despise the law.

On balance, if the choice is between allowing criminality and punishing or preventing it, I’ll take sides against anarchy.

So as a requirement for the continuation of national existence, I would have to support the proposition as written.

Trackposted to The Virtuous Republic, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, Big Dog’s Weblog, Chuck Adkins, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Technorati Tags: , , ,