Showing posts with label Human Rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Human Rights. Show all posts

October 26, 2016

In Louisiana an Immigrant May Not Get Married [Gay or Straight]



 Humans without human Rights! Louisiana

 

When Victor Anh Vo went with his fiancée to obtain a marriage license, he instead received a nasty shock: The couple was legally barred from getting married. Both Vo and his fiancée are American citizens of legal age—but Vo was born in a refugee camp and has no official birth certificate. As a parish clerk informed the devastated couple, that disqualifies him from obtaining a license, because Louisiana law forbids anyone without a birth certificate from marrying within the state.

This requirement is no ancient rule. It was enacted just last year during a fit of legislative xenophobia driven by paranoia that immigrants were committing marriage fraud in Louisiana. Now a coalition of attorneys from the National Immigration Law Center, the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, and the law firm Skadden, Arps is challenging the measure in court. Their fight to overturn the law is the first big marriage equality battle post-Obergefell, and it poses a nearly identical question: Can states deny individuals their fundamental right to marry because they don’t think certain people deserve to get married?

On the surface, the Lousiana law, dubbed Act 436, might not appear especially insidious. The bill simply adds documentary requirements to the marriage licensing process. Applicants must now provide a Social Security number and a birth certificate before receiving a license. If they don’t have a Social Security number, then they must present a birth certificate and a passport. If they don’t have a passport, they need official documentation showing that they are in the United States legally—in addition to a birth certificate. (A previous statute allowed an individual with no birth certificate to prove his or her identity before a judge, but that judicial bypass procedure is now gone.) The upshot of these requirements is that someone like Vo, who was born in a refugee camp in Indonesia after his parents fled Vietnam, cannot ever get married in Louisiana.

Why did the Louisiana legislature add these extensive new requirements, which then–Gov. Bobby Jindal happily signed into law? Rep. Valarie Hodges, Act 436’s sponsor, initially asserted that the bill was necessary to “combat marriage fraud” broadly. But after the bill passed, Hodges acknowledged that its true purpose was to combat immigration fraud, stating that her measure was necessary to prevent immigrants from marrying citizens solely to get lawful permanent resident status. Immigrant marriage fraud, however, is not known to be a particular problem in Louisiana—and federal law explicitly grants the federal government, not the states, the power to combat it.

I asked Alvaro Huerta, an attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, what he thought the bill’s true purpose was.

“Act 436’s intention isn’t really combatting marriage fraud writ large,” Huerta told me. “The bill is trying to get at immigrants—and, in particular, making it very difficult for undocumented immigrants to obtain marriage licenses.”

Audrey Stewart, the managing director at the New Orleans Center for Racial Justice, agreed. “This law is not about marriage fraud,” she told me. “It is an attack on immigrant families and communities. And it’s rooted in anti-immigrant sentiment.”

But Act 436’s challengers don’t even need to prove the bill’s insidious intent in court: It is, by its own terms, almost certainly unconstitutional under Obergefell. In that decision, the court reiterated that marriage is a fundamental right, a critical component of the “liberty” protected by the Constitution, and held that states may not deny marriage rights based on some arbitrary distinction. Nationality or immigration status is surely as arbitrary a distinction as gender—so a law that restricts marriage rights on those bases is just as invalid as a law that restricts marriage rights on the basis of sexual orientation. That’s why the suit against Act 436 opens with the stirring peroration from Obergefell, an encomium to marriage proclaiming that all loving couples deserve “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”

“Obergefell didn’t explicitly extend to immigration,” Huerta told me, “but the argument is there. It’s spot-on precedent for this case. Louisiana can’t pass laws that infringe on that right to marry unless they have a very compelling state reason. And we can’t think of any compelling reasons for wanting to keep some people, particularly immigrants, from getting married to the people that they love—or preventing the people who love immigrants from marrying them”
 
Without the certificate, how can we be sure they were actually born?

Huerta noted that even if the suit doesn’t prevail under Obergefell, Act 436 is still a straightforward violation of the Equal Protection Clause (which generally prohibits discrimination on the basis of national origin). But Obergefell is the headlining precedent here, and the all-stars of the marriage equality movement have already lined up to support the suit. Indeed, the National Center for Lesbian Rights has already signaled its eagerness to contribute to the litigation in any way it can. I asked the group’s legal director, Shannon Price Minter, why the group was jumping into this battle. He provided me with the remarks he delivered to the National Immigration Law Center in throwing his organization’s support behind the suit:

Speaking on behalf of the LGBT community, whose fundamental freedom to marry was only recently recognized in this country, just last year by the U.S. Supreme Court, we are appalled by Louisiana’s blatant attempt to deny the fundamental right to marry to immigrants, which of course includes many LGBT people who have come to this country from other places and who are now living in Louisiana.
As LGBT people know from recent experience, the purpose and impact of such laws are so invidious and harmful—and especially so here, when the discrimination is targeted at a class of people, immigrants, who have already experienced so much discrimination and abuse and who are under attack in such a vicious way by one of our presidential candidates.

Laws such as these are intended to—and do—send a clear message that immigrants are not entitled to equal dignity and respect, and that their relationships are not worthy of the same protections as other. They have a devastating practical impact as well, as same-sex couples experienced for so many years, in denying couples the ability to protect their relationships and their families.

The connection Minter draws between this litigation and same-sex marriage is potent and depressingly topical. This election season has featured relatively little conversation about gay people’s rights—and extensive debate about the rights of immigrants. Much like George W. Bush campaigned on homophobia in 2004, Donald Trump has rooted his campaign in vicious xenophobia, promoting legalized discrimination against immigrants and making many feel unwelcome in the United States. For LGBTQ advocates, the parallels to their own recent history are impossible to ignore. And Louisiana will soon discover that after Obergefell, the constitutional guarantee of “equal dignity” for all cannot be so easily abridged.


Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues

July 5, 2015

Oppression, Oppressors and Race



                                                                             
                                                                        
  

Oppression [ wikipedia ] "is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner.[1] It can also be defined as an act or instance of oppressing, the state of being oppressed, and the feeling of being heavily burdened, mentally or physically, by troubles, adverse conditions or people, and anxiety".

     We as Americans hear the word oppression. We quickly draw up images of horrible dictators. Some we even know by name, we can remember some of the  atrocities they committed. By most accounts we have a good grasp of what oppression involves. That is not always a true statement. There are factors most people never bring to mine. Color of skin, sexual orientation, political alignment,Job affiliation, club or group affiliation, and religious faith. These factors are only relevant to those of which they fit. Oppression is experienced by each of us to varying degrees. We will go thru some of the ways we feel the oppression . But clearly do not see it as that.

     
     National Oppression [ wikipedia ] "is the mistreatment of people depending on what their nationality is. When analyzing national oppression, the difference between a country and a nation must be set apart". We as Americans see this everyday. We see most of our southern neighbors treated in this fashion.  Lets say they are here illegally; Many Proud Americans have darker skin as their heritage would define it. It is every one’s place to observe these injustices against these people. Biased by our side beliefs and assumptions by the persecutor; Many walk past and never see this for what it is. Assumptions are not just cause for human rights violations to occur. 


     Racism is seen as a national Oppression in the united states. It is hidden under the word 'racism'. But it is simple oppression over color. By definition African Americans form a nation within a nation. Just as palatinate is viewed to Israel.  They are in all aspects a nation of people with in a nation of peoples.. This makes 'racism' a form of oppression that most Americans have never seen as such. This is the type of oppression only affecting a small number. So only that small number. Has the true feeling of that type oppression. Most Americans live outside this Demographic. 

     Social Oppression [ Wikipedia]:  “Social oppression is the socially supported mistreatment and exploitation of a group, category, or team of people or individuals.”  This form of oppression is what the LGBT{ Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender} Americans experience. We stand against what is considered  normal behavior  per the  population. There for it is seen as socially expected to belittle them. Use foul words towards them. Deny them jobs. Even the denying of benefits in most states. This form of social oppression is carried out for the most part to align with church doctrine. Although The LGBT community faces oppression from individuals at work places and even our own homes at the church's urging . Oppression can even be experienced from their own families. Again this form of oppression is really not seen as wrong because it is socially accepted to do so. Only thru Church teachings has this oppression arisen from. And with America a mostly religious oriented country . The LGBT have experienced this oppression for years. As they still do to this day.


    Institutionalized oppression.[ Wikipedia ] "Institutional Oppression occurs when established laws, customs, and practices systematically reflect and produce inequities based on one’s membership in targeted social identity groups". This category is not seen by many in America. It is a very specialized form used to control small groups or parties. When the laws are written to where an ecessive large number of signatures is needed to get a third party on the ballot. This is a form of this type of oppression.  We can have political differences but keeping in mind that  smaller groups are affected by larger groups. But the smaller the groups is where the oppression is concentrated. Many on the other parties viewed this as nothing wrong not oppressive at all, yet had it happened to them in their large number it would be viewed as very oppressive, a crime. Oppression only seems to matter to the oppressed at any moment in time.


Systematic oppression (Wikipedia): “Police and law are themselves often examples of systemic oppression.  The term oppression in such instances to refer to the subordination of a given group or social category by unjust use of force, authority, or societal norms in order to achieve indoctrination. 

Through institutionalization, formally or informally, it achieves the dimension of systemic oppression. Oppression is customarily experienced as a consequence of, and expressed in, the form of a prevailing, if unconscious, assumption that the given target is in some way inferior. Oppression is rarely limited solely to formal government action: "An individual may be the particular focus of oppression or persecution and in such circumstances have no group membership in which to share, and thus may mitigate, the burden of status”.

In psychology, racism, sexism and other prejudices are often studied as individual beliefs which, although not necessarily oppressive in themselves, can lead to oppression if they are codified in law or become parts of a culture. By comparison, in sociology, these prejudices are often studied as being institutionalized systems of oppression in some societies. In sociology, the tools of oppression include a progression of denigration, dehumanization, and demonization that often generate scapegoating, which is used to justify aggression against targeted groups and individuals.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the concept of the “Human Rights" in general were designed to limit oppression by giving a clear articulation of what fundamental freedoms any system should allow to all of the people over whom it has power.

When oppression is systematized through coercion, threats of violence, or violence by government agencies or non-government paramilitaries with a political motive, it is often called political repression. More subtle forms of political repression can be produced by blacklisting or individualized investigations. 
 
As most Citizens can see plainly, systematic oppression is where all the other oppression are laid on the people. We can all be subject to this form of oppression  because we are all subject to the laws set down by Politicians. This is where oppression gets its force of law. When the police are used against it citizens to oppress, this becomes a fundamental human right’s issue. To use one's own police force against one judges who enter pleas for you, or forces you to plea [ under threat of arrest] is considered oppression. Police who coerce information out of us by [threat of bodily harm or jail] is oppression. Most officers go about their job never knowing they commit this against their fellow citizens. It is just part of the job for them. 

Using threats to get what they want: We have human rights and even a bill of rights to protect us from this abuse of power. This oppression happens to the largest numbers of American citizens. We never notice them at all as oppressive in a free world but by definition a lot of what the government does is oppressive to its people. We have always assumed that America was the best place to live by far it is better than most. But even here the oppressive nature of individuals is what most oppression comes from. If it was less socially accepted by all of America, we would see it begin to change but as long as so much of it goes unseen for what it really is, the Injustices will continue here as through out the world. 


 Oppression will always exist. As we never notice it for what it is. We as American's have a duty to understand what it is. Call it out when we see it. We have a duty to stand beside those that are not our own. Oppression starts with the weak. But with more powers it comes down on all who never noticed it before. The more they over look as just part of life now. Only makes it worse for the ones coming behind. Oppression has a firm grip on America, seen and unseen. Those who live under and have experienced it. Understand the urgency in stopping it. As the laws grows more in number so will the oppressive behavior of government and the police. Stand against oppression now where you see it or you will both stand together behind the fence of oppression. Because as you allowed it to become your norm so will others until no one sees it as out of the norm. Then it is completely socially accepted and you are living in a policed state, with you being the very oppressed one.





     I will leave this article with some of the world's worst offenders by country 

 [1] Turkmenistan.

 [2].Equatorial guinea. 

 [3].Eritrea.       

 [4]. North Korea.

 [5].Saudi Arabia.

 [6].Sudan.

 [7].Syria.

 [8].Uzbekistan. 

     We know most of these from what they stand for and the laws they enforce. What they have done to their people over the years we view most it as human rights violators thru out the free world but we never look around us and grasp the full implications of oppression in America. We see it happen to other people. We see it as only happening in other countries. Most citizens walk away and consider it not any of their business. But on the contrary it is all our business. As with most dictators listed above. They all have great police forces trained and armed to fight wars. 

We always assume it will never be us oppressed. The saddening thing is by the time it happens. It is to late for you. Your oppression has already begun. And like most with you, You will not even see it coming. You lack the full experience to see what oppression is. It only takes a vote of law and we can all be oppressed under the full force of law. Oppression may always exist. With that said. It only has force of law when one citizen is willing to just follow commands and play the oppressor. Therefor it takes a conscience choice to be the oppressor. Laws may be passed but they still need an oppressor willing to do it. Orders can be given but without the willing oppressor. They hold no authority and force over their fellow man. Make each conscience choice so you are not furthering oppression in your own life and that of others. Oppression only exist because we allow it. We as a mass are greater than the Government. What we accept as social norms dictates the law, what we consider to be ok for one will some day be one of us. Never consider an injustice deserved on superficial parameters of the norm. What is normal for the spider it is chaos for the fly. Do not be the fly overlooking the norm as we see it.

 

June 17, 2015

David Cameron Wants to Scrap UK’s Human Rights Law



[This report appeared today on The Mirror in the UK, written by Allison Phillips]
                                                                    
First off, if we are to can every institution for its failings, we’d have no institutions left.
Certainly no health service after the Mid Staffs scandal, no Parliament after MPs' expenses, no banks after lending scandals, no police after Stephen Lawrence, Hillsbrough, and other outrages, and no newspapers after hacking.
When bad stuff happens kids run away. Adults stay and fix them. It’s our responsibility to do it to make the world better for all those that follow us.
PAAbu Hamza
Problems: Abuse of the Act by Abu Hamza and others is no reason to ditch the law
It all comes down to babies and bathwater.
But David Cameron, along with his mate Michael Gove, is prepared to drown a lot of babies to rid himself of the human rights bathwater so repellent to his true blue bathers. They’ve leapt upon the 800th anniversary of The Magna Carta as a convenient hook to scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights.
Contrary to the way they’re spinning it this week, David Cameron didn’t personally devise The Magna Carta. It was actually dreamed up by a group of English barons and pretty much established the rule of law for the first time. That became the basis of law which spread around the globe and is perhaps our nation’s finest achievement.
And the basis for much of the Human Rights Act.
But David Cameron was this week writing about the frustrations of the ‘human rights laws’. Yes, I totally agree that the way the Act has been enforced, and the slowness and bureaucracy of the European Court of Human Rights, is unacceptable.
But deal with that then. Don’t just bin the rights themselves... the right to life, the ban on torture, protection against slavery, the right to a fair trial, respect for privacy, freedom of thought and religion, free speech and peaceful protest.
If the system isn’t working, let’s be adult and fix it.
PASir Winston Churchill in 1940
Defender: Sir Winston Churchill, a supporter of the Human Rights Act, was no leftie
Let’s not childishly strop off home. Because we are better than that. Our government,our British government, should be a beacon of fairness and justice to the world – and most especially our neighbours who we desperately need to encourage to stick with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Because lawless neighbours are dangerous. What’s the point in living a good life and bringing up your kids well if your neighbours are doing what the hell they like and making the whole street’s life a misery?
Just ask the people of Ukraine how they feel about lawless neighbours. Terrified.
“If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another.”
That wasn’t some leftie defender of the Human Rights Act. That was Winston Churchill, one of its greatest supporters.
One of the finest things about our country is that we have understood our Rights and our Responsibilites. Others may not. All the more reason why we must never sink to their level.

September 1, 2013

Mandela is Back Home

Mandela arrives home


Johannesburg CNN -- Nelson Mandela has been discharged from the Pretoria hospital where he had been receiving treatment since June, the South African president's office said Sunday.
He will continue his recovery at home.
"Madiba's condition remains critical and is at times unstable," President Jacob Zuma's office said, referring to the revered leader's clan name. "Nevertheless, his team of doctors are convinced that he will receive the same level of intensive care at his Houghton home that he received in Pretoria."

Mandela, 95, was hospitalized June 8 because of a lung infection. He marked his July birthday at the Pretoria hospital where he has been surrounded by relatives.
"During his stay in hospital from the 8th of June 2013, the condition of our former President vacillated between serious to critical and at times unstable," the office said. "Despite the difficulties imposed by his various illnesses, he, as always, displays immense grace and fortitude."
There was some confusion Saturday when two sources close to Mandela said he had returned home -- only to be contradicted by the president's office, which said he was still hospitalized.
"The family mistakenly thought Mandela had been taken to his Johannesburg home early Saturday morning," the source then told CNN.
The frail icon has not appeared in public for years, but he retains his popularity as the father of democracy and emblem of the nation's fight against apartheid.
Mandela became an international figure while enduring 27 years in prison for fighting against apartheid, the country's system of racial segregation.
He became the nation's first black president in 1994, four years after he was freed from prison.
Mandela's impact extends far beyond South African borders. After he left office, he mediated conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.
His history of lung problems dates to his imprisonment on Robben Island, and he has battled respiratory infections since then

August 10, 2013

Yes I know Where a Vodka With the Russian Name is Made {Boycott It}









Before one is pro or against a boycott I will suppose they know why the particular product or people are connected to their cause. There are so many gays, cousin’s of gays and their friends who say the Russians are in the mist of giggles at the embargo on Russian Vodka. Let me set you straight on a few common sense points that you might agree or just giggle at it.

First I don’t think Russians giggles at people not drinking vodka of any type. That’s like saying Mexican giggles when Tequila is being put down even if it comes from Bolivia. Secondly the purpose of this boycott like any other boycott is to bring attention to the injustice or the wrong that is being done by the people that are being boycotted. Has this been accomplish with this boycott? A resounding yes. Wether people agree with human/gay rights or not they are aware now that what the Russian government is doing. There are no human rights in Russia is the message. All the talk from Putin about even having a human rights commission makes me not giggle but to do LOL!!  There are no human rights there only the government is got rights. Thanks to this particular boycott people are aware that it was all a joke that Russia was not longer a USSR Republic.

The other part that some people criticized is that the Russian Vodka does not belong to the Russians anymore nor is made on the present Russia. Im going to giggle at that one. It’s not from Russia but it comes from USSR. Tell me about the Human Rights in Latvia. Not many there? They still catching up from having the smell of a bear. So I don’t feel bad for Latvia, they should learn to be opposite of the former motherland. As for the owner of Stoli, yes that is going to make him a few millions poor. Another giggle from me. There still enough market for vodka out there if there wasn’t he would have changed the name already to Ex Russian Vodka or something to separate himself from Russia. But he wont because that has been a money maker  for Yuri Scheffler and his investors.  Chris Cannon at 
Canada.com  says, "Punishing Russia by boycotting Stoli is like punishing the tarsands by defunding Greenpeace."  I will cry or just sit back and think on that one because I fail to see the connection.  May be is the NJ Vodka I just had. Actually I can’t drink Im taking meds for my fractured foot. Be as it may the naming of Stoli a Russian Vodka when it wasn’t, I guess they were lying all along and that is on their responsibility. In the future they should not make believe that products come from Hong kong when they come from Taiwan.

We have bigger things in mind when it comes to the bashing, beating and dehumanizing not just the Russians but many gays around the world. It’s about time we got up and said “We R not going to take it anymore” Even if a billionaire looses some of his money. 


When dealing with a place like Russia, an ex-world power that instead of engaging in  solutions for the world problems which affect them and all of us you find the government playing games to see if something they did made Pres. Obama cry or giggle. There are more important fish to fry but Putin still with his old KGB mentality and obviously he can’t govern without force and corruption so today is the Gays, tomorrow might be the jews all over again. Well, not the jews, they got nukes now.
 Because the coward and the bully pick on the ones that can't hit back. Looking at all the things we can boycott to send Russia and the world a message, what else can we boycott? Russia does not puts out anything to the world except old ships and contaminated products from their scrapped nuclear vessels.
Nothing but old weapons and old ideas come from there. The Russian government is a taker not a giver. What else do they have? Not even good will!

Lets keep our minds clear and eyes focus on the target which is close in the near future that we will be the defenders of others that are being oppressed. Let’s hope we never become the oppressors of any race or ethnicity or condition wether is black skin or white, two legs or none. Hopefully we have learn that silence kills and one need to speak out with what ever one finds to say no this is wrong and I will let everyone know what a fool you are and besides having no heart yo have no brains either. I defended my self with a bully once, came at me for no reason except he though my spot where I was standing most it been better because I was the one standing there. When I was sure he was coming at me with mouth moving with full of 4 letter words the only thing I could see was an ash tray.  As soon as I saw it I had picked it up and planted it on the men's forehead. It stopped him. A guy approaches me and says  that guy you hit deserved it or not you might go to jail or he is breeding let me call an ambulance. No, he kept going that I’ve broken his glass ash tray. You know I was moved. Yes, I did have a hard time with Miami beach police.

Killing and destroying people is never solved anything except imaginary problems from people that have the Hitler mentality. "All the world should be like I want it to be and the ones that are not born that way I will humiliate and destroyed". It did not work for Hitler and it will not work for the Hitler in Moscow.  Instead of spending time to show the world that he can bring solutions to the table he show us he can fish and that he has two tits not four like we all thought he had. Spend more time in the Moscow library learning a little history just so you and us wont have to repeat it again.
Adam Gonzalez

June 28, 2013

Senegaleze Answer On Pres. Obama’s Appeal for Decrinalizing Homosexuality


U.S. President Barack Obama and Senegalese President Macky Sall (R) watch a military band play at the airport in Dakar, Senegal, June 28, 2013.


Voice of America reports on Sneglese President’s response to President Obama’s Speach Pro Gay Human Rights.

DAKAR — During President Obama’s visit to Dakar, he and Senegalese President Macky Sall were asked about Senegal's treatment of homosexuals. The U.S. Supreme Court handed down two rulings this week that expanded the rights of gays in the United States to get married. President Obama said his message for Africa is that everyone should be treated equally by the law, while President Sall said Senegal is "not ready" to de-criminalize homosexuality.

Front-page headlines in Senegal's Friday morning papers said it all.

One read, "Macky Resists Light Pressure from Obama and clashes with the USA," and another: "Obama Makes the Case For Gays, Macky Says No!"

In Dakar, many Senegalese said they agree with their president.

"Homosexuality is not part of our culture and we are not ready to accept it." Mareme Diop said. "Maybe the West accepts it, but we think it is wrong."

Many invoked religion.  "As Muslims, we cannot accept homosexuality." Moussa Gueye said, "this is a secular country, but it is also 95 percent Muslim."

The two leaders responded to questions on gay rights at Thursday's news conference. Debate over that topic has largely eclipsed other aspects of President Obama's 36-hour visit to the small West African nation.

President Obama said everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs but discrimination is not acceptable. "Regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual orientation, when it comes to how the law treats you, how the state treats you - the benefits, the rights and the responsibilities under the law - people should be treated equally. And that's a principle that I think applies universally," he stated.

The Obama administration's support for gay rights has been a delicate subject in Africa, where Amnesty International says homosexuality is illegal in 38 countries.

In Senegal, homosexual acts are punishable by up to five years in prison.

President Sall said the question of changing that law is a "societal issue," and something that Senegal is "not ready" to do. He said homosexuals are not being discriminated against in Senegal.

Gay-rights organizations in Senegal say that is not true.

Activist Seydou Djamil Ba said he has lost his two previous apartments. A mob attacked and set fire to the first one, and his landlord recently kicked him out of the second one for being gay.

He said no one wants to talk about homosexuality - not at the police stations, not at the courts and even not with some lawyers. He said, "You can't bring your problems to the law," and that "no one wants to defend you if it has to do with homosexuality."

President Sall said Thursday there is serious debate on the issue in the Cabinet and the National Assembly, but Senegalese say they don't expect to see the law changed any time soon.

"We have customs in our country that make legalizing homosexuality impossible, and President Sall has a lot to lose if he said anything otherwise." Idrissa Ba said. "Our realities are different from those in the United States."

June 23, 2013

I Am Bradley Manning


A new video campaign has been released that sees celebrities proclaim “I Am Bradley Manning,” a drive they hope will help promote support for Manning’s cause.
The video, part of the wider I Am Bradley Manning campaign, sees actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, comedian Russel Brand, director Oliver Stone, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and rights activist Dan Choi, among others, explain why they feel we are all Bradley Manning.
Their appearances are interspersed among clips of the now infamous Collateral Murder video and other  high profiled moments surrounding the Manning/Wikileaks saga.
Watch the video below:
It should be noted that there is a significant body of evidence to suggest Manning identifies as female, though whether she identifies under the umbrella of transgender is unclear. This post shall hereafter use female pronouns.
The Manning court martial, after eight full days in court spread over three weeks, is now in recess.
Manning faces 22 charges but chief among them (the charge that potentially carries a life sentence) is that Manning directly aided the enemy, Osama bin Laden.
Manning, in a thorough 35 page statement delivered to the court at the start of the trial, freely admits to 10 of the 22 charges and specifically to disclosing the information, but denies aiding the enemy.
Instead Manning contends she provided the classified information under the impression that the battlefield reports were not sensitive and that by placing the documents in the public domain the Military would have to acknowledge it acted against the US Constitution and international rights standards, in effect that it would “show the true cost of war.”
On the charge of aiding the enemy, however, the Military will need to prove that “Manning had reason to believe the leaks would hurt national security,” a very particular threshold.
Much of the trial has centered around the Military attempting to prove this by examining communications including Twitter messages, though so far the information used to paint Manning as cognizant that she could be aiding the enemy appears at the moment only circumstantial.
The fact that Manning was kept for almost a year at the Marine Corps Brig in Virginia under dehumanizing solitary confinement restrictions and then a further two years at Fort Leavenworth with other detainees prior to trial, virtually unprecedented in cases like this, has drawn international attention and the condemnation of national rights groups.
It has also contributed to serious concerns over the Obama administration’s wider response to national security issues. This has reemerged with the NSA scandal and questions over what charges whistle-blower Edward  Snowden might now face.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has also emerged as a prominent figure in the Military’s view of the Manning trial, though this has raised some eyebrows as Manning is not charged with conspiracy or having set out to infiltrate the military for the purpose of disclosing information to Wikileaks. So why Assange should be named quite so often — 22 times by one count — is interesting.
Assange has just passed his first year of self-confinement by limited choice in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, England, after pleading for asylum from Ecuadorian authorities to escape being extradited to Sweden, where in an unrelated matter he would almost certainly be charged with some form of sexual assault and from where he claims he could, in turn, be extradited to the US.
Manning’s trial is set to resume on Tuesday, June 25.

June 8, 2013

Southern Baptist Big Dip in Membership







The nation's largest Protestant denomination continues to see a decline in membership. I just posted about this on adamfoxie* yesterday. 

When these religious nominations that preach love, understanding and fairness for all find themselves in  a bind when the gay community starts coming out of the closet and making their presence known in the government, the courts, workplace and!!! churches. 

These people find themselves in limbo. How can they preach what they oppose? Is it not of anyone concern what two consenting adults do in bed? So they are going to deny them human rights or gay rights or what ever you want to call it but you can’t deny they/we are human and should be treated equally. Any black person that would deny us or be offended because they were humans in slavery but gays that feel so oppressed that their only way out is suicide? Are not as human?? How can they say they walk with god? May be is not god who they are following. Christ never referred to gays but to love. 


The only one in robes talking about gays, homosexuality,sins, ex-comunication is the pope. May be that’s who they follow, then I would understand because I understand the Catholic religion and anyone can read  the holly book of history what the papacy is and how started and their blood and theft history.
 For whites I say haven’t they learn that denying people fairness it does not serves them. They have gay kids, family, friends also;  They will not like people denying to them what they deny to gay people, human gay people, american human gay people? 
         
Being in an enterprise in which I live by statistics because when I see no one is reading is time to pack up and go. I know what people are telling me in afghanistan even if it was just one person who went to my site and read a story. It could be a soldier or the head of state but I am getting a message.  Particularly if it goes to 5 or 20   {Adam} Talking about statistics:


Statistics released Tuesday by the Southern Baptist Convention's Lifeway Christian Resources show membership in 2011 decreased by .98 percent to just under 16 million. That marks the fifth straight year of decline.
The number of churches increased slightly, but the total number of congregations dropped as the denomination lost several church-type missions. These are smaller congregations that are supported by larger churches.
The number of baptisms increased slightly last year — an important measure for a denomination with an expressed mission to win souls for Christ. But Lifeway Research President Ed Stetzer downplayed the significance of that gain of less than 1 percent.
"Baptisms had their second lowest year in the last 50 years, so this is not a time to pull out the party hats," he said.
Stetzer said the overall trend is that baptisms and membership are declining for the Nashville-based denomination. And for membership that decline is accelerating.
Those changes mirror the declines that mainline Protestant denominations such as the Methodists have been seeing for decades.
Duke Divinity School Professor Curtis Freeman, who directs the Baptist House of Studies, said the Southern Baptists had resisted the trend, in part because of their commitment to evangelization.
"I think that, in some ways, they are every bit as passionate about evangelism as they've always been," Freeman said. "It's just that culturally the tide is going a different way. ... It's increasingly becoming a secular culture, not a Christian culture."
Stetzer agreed that the culture is changing, but said that was no excuse for decline. He noted that some denominations, such as the Assemblies of God, are still finding a way to grow. Southern Baptists can do that too, he said, but not if they continue to operate as they always have.
"Denominations don't change until the pain of staying the same grows greater than the pain of changing," he said.
The statistics were released on Tuesday, a week ahead of the denomination's annual meeting.
Bottom part by:
TRAVIS LOLLER



May 19, 2013

Endemic Discrimination on The Ukraine Against The Gay Community

  

'Kiev in the late 19th century. They are  still stuck there. adamfoxie*—
 writes on The Observer an update on the situation on the Ukraine. Being that I am not there I will post his words below, but let me write first that both the gay community in the Ukraine and the European Union are not going to bucked down and are going to get scared away by bullies, ignorants and a bigot church more interesting in keeping the status quo that a mandate from their bible that preaches against violence.

  The LGBTI has the backing of the European nations if not by deed by agreement that they signed of treating gay people the same as others, including gay marriage. These bullies in the Ukraine think that by force and the backing of the current government they can stop what will happen there. I would imagine that they want to delay it to see if the world becomes square again and people that stray away fall off the edges. They stop the gay pride march last year but that only gave the gay community one more year to come stronger and with the backing of other nations that look at the Ukraine and see an unchanged Ukraine of 100 years ago.
{Adam}

Efforts are going ahead in Ukraine's capital Kiev to stage a gay pride march next week in the face of data showing a sharp rise in the number of homophobic attacks reported in the city. Organizers were forced to cancel the celebration last year, hours before it was due to start, after police said they could not guarantee the safety of participants in the face of threats from far-right and religious groups.


report published this weekend by Amnesty International revealed what it called "endemic discrimination" by both the Ukrainian authorities and members of the public towards the country lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, and is calling on the government to drop proposals to introduce two pieces of legislation which would further entrench homophobia by making it illegal to promote "propaganda" about homosexuality in the arts.
Ukraine faces a deadline from the European Council to show progress towards reform in human rights, including key judicial and electoral reforms, in order for Ukraine to move towards European integration. Among them is the release of key political prisoners, including its former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, currently being detained and facing murder and embezzlement charges.
Gay rights campaigners hope the pressure will further their own cause in the face of the growing violence. One non-governmental organisation in Kiev has received 29 reports of violent attacks and 36 of threats against LGBTI people in the last year alone.
Amnesty International's Ukrainian researcher Max Tucker said: "People have been beaten and in one case murdered because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Most of these crimes have not been investigated properly and have gone unpunished."
He said the violence was now being used by the authorities as a reason to further restrict human rights. "It adds insult to injury: the possibility of attack is routinely used as an excuse to deprive LGBTI people of their rights to express themselves and to hold public events in a peaceful manner."
The pride march is planned for Saturday 25 May, and although campaigners do not predict a mass turnout, it would be an important first step for Ukraine, said Stas Misthenko, one of the organisers.
"It's really important because it gives a signal that something will change and that something can change," he said. "Not just in Ukraine, but for Russia, for Belarus, for Moldova.
95% of the LGBT people in this country will keep who they are a secret, even from their families. People are scared of being fired from their work or being beaten in the streets. So people do not want to show or express themselves; they hide in their apartments.
"The situation here makes everyday life very complicated. Maybe 90 
"Even on the dating websites, maybe only one in 10 gay people will put up a picture of themselves. And blackmail is rife: there are many sad cases that people will arrange to meet and then blackmail the person over their sexuality.
"LGBT people are very vulnerable. This is why seeing something like a pride march go ahead – to see other people like them on TV – is so important for the LGBT community.”
picture by Wikepedia

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