Category Archives: Human rights

‘Numbing’ quote of the week

From the NY Times: Sen noted that in normal circumstances, women live longer than men, and so there are more females than males in much of the world. Yet in places where girls have a deeply unequal status, they vanish. China has 107 males for every 100 females in its overall population (and an even […]

Gays remain 2nd class citizens

Obama is going to give the Medal of Freedom to Billie Jean King and posthumously to Harvey Milk, both openly gay Americans. I want to applaud the President for a clear gesture toward tolerance. But I can’t, and I won’t because he’s being an a**hole to gays when it actually matters. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand reports that sincce Obama […]

Americans Getting Skewed: Part 1

(I’m not writing this essay as a response, but I want to note that its timing and trajectory have been influenced by the release of a Cato Institute analysis called, “Thinking Clearly About Economic Inequality,” and also by an interesting reaction to that analysis at The American Scene Blog.) Dreams of GINI We have been […]

Choose Life

I don’t want to say that the opponents of universal health care are lazy. Then again, the 4th of July wasn’t that long ago, and I assumed that any red, white and blue-blooded American would have brushed up on the Declaration of Independence in between sips of Heineken. Even if you just read the Spark […]

Obama is not my Daddy

I say mean things about our government. I say that it steals from the poorest and gives to the richest. I say that it shakes with one hand but punches with the other. I say that if the world is a schoolyard, our government is its bully. If you think of the U.S. government as […]

Obama's joke trials

The Obama administration says it will continue to detain suspected terrorists even if they are acquitted by American courts or military commissions. Which … you know … means having a trial is just a show. This news came by way of Spencer Ackerman: Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson moved the Obama administration into new […]

We tortured people to death

It’s time again to talk about torture… Too much of the debate on torture has focused on specific tactics in isolation. The logic goes like this: Pouring water on someone’s face doesn’t sound so bad does it? Having to stand in the cold doesn’t sound too terrible. Being slapped a few times is mean but […]

Bush's 'tortured legal' opinions

(Sorry about the bad pun in the headline) The Times has obtained Bush administration emails from 2005 which illustrate the pressure Department of Justice lawyers were under from the White House to put a legal stamp of approval on their torture program. Dan Froomkin sums up the emails well: The e-mails … were written by […]

Obama: One step forward, ten steps back

In May, I wrote a post about how Obama reversed his own policy and decided not to release photos that depicted the torture of detainees at prisons other than Abu Ghraib. Obama said releasing the photos would endanger The Troops for little reason because, and I quote, “I want to emphasise that these photos that […]

Obama {hearts} indefinite detention

I’m serious: Obama broke the detainees into five categories. … With one category, he isolated to “detainees at Guantanamo who cannot be prosecuted, yet who pose a clear danger to the American people.” He promised “[w]e are not going to release anyone if it would endanger our national security, nor will we release detainees within […]