texshelters

Archive for the ‘Human Rights and the Constitution’ Category

Democrats are Worthless Cowards

In Current Events, Election Politics, Human Rights and the Constitution on November 9, 2010 at 23:46

In my last writing I explained how courageously the Democrats have been when facing up to the deficits and the tax cuts for the super rich (top 1%) Americans. (link) To underscore their bravery, the Democratic leadership is now standing down on their promise to end Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell. (link)

Is there anybody who really thinks the Democrats stand for what is right? Do the Democrats really wonder why people didn’t rush out and enthusiastically vote for them in the last election? How many promises do they have to break before they understand that it’s not the way to get people to vote for them? Do they think if they move far enough to the right that the Republicans will stop attacking them and that conservatives will vote for them?

So the Democrats dropped the repeal of the tax cuts for the rich and have guaranteed future deficits. Now it’s the rights of gays and lesbians in our armed services that they have abandoned. They are also keeping detainees and torturing innocents at Gitmo (and other U.S. detention facilities around the world) and continuing rendition practices (kidnapping terrorist suspects to countries that torture) of the Bush administration. Then there is the expansion of the hit squads the United States sends overseas and the escalation of the Afghan war. And they want my vote?

It seems that the main motivation for such cowardly acts by the Democrats is that they are afraid of the name-calling that would ensue from the right if they dare stand on principle. There is the more frightening conclusion one could make about the Obama White House and most Democrats in Congress: they just don’t give a damn about rights or economic solvency, that they care more about getting elected and not upsetting their campaign donors and corporate patrons.

Democrats on the whole are worthless cowards and their losses in Congress make little difference to America. Vote locally; screw the rest.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

We must redefine “pro-life”

In Economics, Human Rights and the Constitution on October 8, 2010 at 00:06

Why I am pro-life

I am pro-life because I believe in protecting women.

I am pro-life because I don’t want women to have to die when there is the unlikely chance that the baby might live. I am pro-life because I believe a woman should have the right to decide what risks to take with her body.  I am pro-life because I know no other person, government agency or group of activists should force a woman to make a choice one way or another about her pregnancy.

I am pro-life because I believe all children should have the opportunity to be born into a healthy family with a healthy body and a live mother at the right time.

I am pro-life because I believe raped women shouldn’t be forced to live with the trauma of bringing the product of a rape to term. I am pro-life because I support the right of women to bring that life to term.

I am pro-life because I believe an incest victim has the right to terminate the product of incest, and I am pro-life because I know that the child of incest will live with the trauma of the incest if not genetically based medical problems. I am pro-life because I support the right of a teen, child, or woman who is the victim of incest to bring a child to term if she so wishes.

I am pro-life because I believe that no one can decide for another person what she does with her body.

I am pro-life because I am NOT pro-abortion. No one is pro-abortion. However, some people know how difficult the choice is for a woman and that no one can decide for her.

I am pro-life because I am pro-choice.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

P.S. I do believe in an age limit for a pregnancy termination, except in exceptional situations. Most laws put the legal termination age between 20-24 weeks. Studies show that a baby can’t live outside the womb before 23-28 weeks of age.

Howard Dean Defends Bigots, Update

In Current Events, Human Rights and the Constitution on August 23, 2010 at 00:42

As a super agnostic, I don’t care about the god debate. It gets in the way of real issues. As a religious libertarian, I say let people build a house of worship wherever they legally can. Christians certainly have built churches all over the world, and on sacred sites. And it’s debatable that this site or any other is sacred beyond being labeled so my humans. It’s also a property issue, for all you libertarians against the community center.

Many people have told me that we need to listen to those with reasonable objections to the Muslim community center. Well, I have yet to hear a reasonable objection to the center’s construction. So far it’s just stereotyping about Islam, fear, bigotry, ignorance and hatred. That is not what I can reasonable.

And being emotional about 9/11 is also NOT a reasonable objection. It’s an emotion, not evidence of harm that the center would cause. It’s evidence of the grief the 9/11 terrorists caused, not Muslims in New York, many who share your grief.

Eugene Robinson on the Community Center

Mayor Bloomberg Supports Center’s Construction

Fear All Muslims!

Yours,
Tex Shelters

Help Wikileaker Private Bradley Manning

In Current Events, Human Rights and the Constitution on August 13, 2010 at 00:00

About three weeks ago, Wikileaks, the online muckraking site, released 77,000 classified documents out of 90,000 obtained that discuss U.S. operations in Afghanistan, past missions, collateral damage, failures and successes of the U.S. in the Near East “cemetery of empires”.

The mainstream media and even many alternative outlets quickly downplayed the leak by at once saying, “these documents undermine our national security” while at the same time saying, “there is nothing in the documents we didn’t already know”. It’s this kind of double speak that helped kill the story and undermined the evidentiary power of the documents that proved our strategy in Afghanistan is NOT working.

(Watch politicians worry about nothing new)

Lost in the stories and short term news cycles was the fact that the anti-war crowd had found their smoking gun that proved their accusations of civilian deaths, a strong Taliban resistance and ineffective strategy of the U.S. (coalition?) forces. No longer were these accusations hearsay; they had hard evidence that the war was NOT going well.

The media ignored the evidence and discussed the leak and Wikileaks while debating whether leaking this information was okay. The discussion of freedom of the press became the headline not the failings of our war efforts and lack of clear goals or strategy.

The White House and the military are now going after the whistleblower in the case, Private Bradley Manning. He is in jail awaiting trial for leaking the documents.

The New York Times decided to do a hatchet job on Private Manning in an article called, “Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case” (link)

Instead of focusing on the issues and reasons for his leaking of the documents, the fact that Manning disagreed with the U.S. tactics in the war, they have to paint him as a hurt gay man. “…classmates made fun of him for being a geek”, and “classmates made fun of him for being gay”. Yes, it’s those gay geeks that cause trouble.

Why mention those facts at all? It’s an attempt to discredit the information he leaked by discrediting the messenger. “his social life was defined by the need to conceal his sexuality under “don’t ask, don’t tell” and he wasted brainpower fetching coffee for officers.” He’s gay AND a coffee drinker. The NYT article infers that his mental derangement was the reason for his leaking of the documents and NOT a conscious objection to U.S. strategy and policy. Has anyone considered that the demoralizing effect of “don’t ask, don’t tell” would leave gay soldier to not give a damn what happens to them and make them less concerned what happens to them?

The NYT article continues to dissect his psychology and not the motive for releasing the documents, “At school, Bradley Manning was clearly different from most of his peers. He preferred hacking computer games rather than playing them, former neighbors said. And they said he seemed opinionated beyond his years about politics, religion, and even about keeping religion out of politics.” A gay communist computer geek is going to release this kind of information, for sure. “Private Manning refused to recite the parts of the Pledge of Allegiance that referred to God or do homework assignments that involved the Scriptures.” He’s a subversive for sure, and thus the war is okay because Manning is a gay commie computer geek that hates America.

” Private Manning’s parents divorced, he moved with his mother”, the article reads. He’s a mama’s boy from divorced parents, (that’s why he’s gay) gay computer geek communist atheist America hater. Thus, the information PFC Manning released in not credible.

“Former students at his school there, Tasker Milward, remembered Private Manning being teased for all sort of reasons. His American accent. His love of Dr Pepper. The amount of time he spent huddled before a computer.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/us/09manning.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2

Release of those documents by this Doctor Pepper loving momma’s boy computer geek of divorce communist gay atheist America hater shows how desperate he was for attention. And he was friends with outcast Tasker Milward. Thus, any information in those documents on Wikileaks is NOT credible.

Instead of spending all that space attacking Pfc Manning, the NYT should spend it’s time following the leaks, discussing the implications of the leaks, analyzing the content and reporting on the war.

Write the Ombudsman (Public Editor) at the NYT and/or Cancel your subscription

Contact

  • E-mail: public@nytimes.com
  • Phone: (212) 556-7652
  • Address: Public Editor
    The New York Times
    620 Eighth Avenue
    New York, NY 10018

Hears my letter to the NYT Public Editor

Dear Editor:

The article “Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case” is unwarranted character assassination against Pfc Manning.

Instead of spending your time and space attacking Pfc Manning for being gay, or hurt, or “troubled” or gay, the NYT should spend it’s time following the leaks, discussing the implications of the leaks, analyzing the content and reporting on the war.

I can only assume that the Times wanted to discredit Private Manning as a way to discredit his tactics or leaking of the documents. Please stick to the news and leave the gossip to People Magazine.

Yours,
ABCD aka Tex Shelters
AZ

Support the release of Private Manning

Bradley Manning Support Network
http://www.bradleymanning.org/

If you can, Donate to the Defense Fund: https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=36678

Send Private Bradley a letter of support:

Inmate: Bradley Manning
3247 Elrod Avenue
Quantico, VA 22134
USA

Brig phone: +1 (703)432-6154

Brig fax: +1 (703)784-4242

Sign the Online Petition

http://www.petitiononline.com/manning1/petition.html

Visit Courage to Resist and take more actions for more resisters
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/849/122/

“Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime,” says former Marine Corporal Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist, a group working with the Bradley Manning Support Network to raise funds for Pfc. Manning’s defense. (link)

Radical Representative wants to see Manning executed for leaking the facts.

Last week, Representative Mike Rogers called for the execution of military whistleblower, Private Bradley Manning. His crime? Sharing the “Collateral Murder” video and the classified Afghanistan “war logs” with Wikileaks, which exposed the truth behind the failing war in Afghanistan, Pakistan’s cooperation with the Taliban, and potential war crimes. The 22-year-old Army intelligence analyst said he felt it was “important that it gets out…I feel, for some bizarre reason…it might actually change something.” He is currently in jail at Quantico, on suicide watch, and is facing up to 50 years in prison for exposing information the American public has the right to know.
(link)

Peace,
Tex Shelters

Mass Graves and U.S. Complicity in Murder in Colombia

In Current Events, Human Rights and the Constitution on August 10, 2010 at 23:16

There is a myth about Colombia the U.S. government sells to the citizens of the world’s most militarized nation: the Colombian government is fighting the drug war for us and the narco-guerrillas in their nation. First, the Colombian government is complicit in the drug profiteering. While it is true that Latin America’s largest guerrilla force, the FARC, protects many of the drug lords in Colombia with their army, they are not the producers or drug lords themselves. The nation’s elites either look the other way, or participate, in the sale and distribution of drugs to the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

Then why are we sending billions of dollars to Colombia for the drug war? The truth is that we want military bases in Colombia, our strongest and possibly only ally left in South America.

Now while we are looking the other way at Afghanistan, the United States is militarizing South American inside Colombia with three air bases, two naval bases and two army bases. Why would we be worried about South America? We are concerned about South America for the same reason we are concerned about the Middle East and Asia minor: the natives are restless and there’s oil in South America.

Outside of North Korea and Afghanistan, South America is home to the biggest challenges to U.S. global dominance and power. Sure, China may soon surpass us financially and militarily, but we are on the same team as China. By the same team I mean global economic powers that promote the free market over the people. Besides, China has the bomb and less oil than South America, so it’s not cost effective to go after China. But in South America, several nations (Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia) are challenging our dominance and our economic/military paradigm.

To get the support of Colombia, we send them billions each year and share our technology with them. They return the favor by pacifying the country through murder and arrests of peasants, labor leaders and intellectuals.

I have written about Colombia before, about the abuses there, and about how the U.S. government is funding a military dictatorship that acts with impunity against its campesinos, indigenous, and the people as a whole. I have even talked about the day when Colombia would have to face its own demons and violent government and the atrocities it has committed since the time of La Violencia, a decade of bloody violence between the Conservative and Liberal parties (1948-1958). That day is today.

Extrajudicial killings, impunity has been made legal in Colombia through false positives (falsely identifying people killed by the military as guerrillas) and terror.

On January 26th, Spanish newspaper Publico reported the discovery of the grave of up to 2000 bodies which date back to 2005. The newspaper says that the bodies were buried there by the Colombian army, who have a heavy presence in the area around the site in the town of La Macarena, in Meta department, about 200km south of Bogota. It is one of the biggest mass graves discovered in the history of conflicts in South American. Jairo Ramirez, from the Committee for the Permanent Defence of Human Rights, said, “The army commandant told us that they (the bodies) were guerrillas fallen in combat, but people in the region have told us about the large number of social leaders, campesinos and community defenders who disappeared without a trace”

http://www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk/component/content/article/25-news/509-huge-mass-grave-uncovered-in-colombia

Human rights experts say there could be hundreds of mass graves.

Students and other who challenge the government stories and lies are threatened and killed.

Lucha! (Great video that won’t embed)

http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=-592542812978496433#

Mass Graves of Uribe the killer

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9ZhG3PRLPw&feature=player_embedded

More news on graves in Colombia

And, given the current “false positive” scandal which has enveloped the government of President Alvaro Uribe and his Defense Minister, Juan Manuel Santos, who is now running to succeed Uribe as President, the Colombian Army’s claim about the mass grave is especially suspect. This scandal revolves around the Colombian military, recently under the direction of Juan Manuel Santos, knowingly murdering civilians in cold blood and then dressing them up to look like armed guerillas in order to justify more aid from the United States. According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pilay, this practice has been so “systematic and widespread” as to amount to a “crime against humanity.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18468

Fight against the bases and the funding of Colombian atrocities. Don’t allow the U.S. to remain the acomplice to murder.

Colombia Solidarity Campaign
PO Box 8446
London
N17 6NZ
United Kingdom

Email: info @colombiasolidarity.org.ukThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Send Message with support and questions:

https://www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk/contact-form

News about the Army Killer Santos and protests against his presidency

http://www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk/component/content/article/25-news/508-london-protest-against-colombias-president-elect-santos

For more on the protests: colombiasolidarity@riseup.net

News about President Santos

Miguel Puerto, representative of the Polo Democratico Alternativo said:

“Santos has emphasised that he will continue the policies of Uribe, in whose government he was Minister of Defence.  He is entirely compromised in human rights violations, such as the scandalous policy of ‘false positives’, thousands of Colombians have been executed by the armed forces and then dressed up in guerrilla fatigues to pretend they had fallen in combat.

Like Uribe, Santos surrenders our country’s economic and military sovereignty. He will continue the neoliberal policies that have increased poverty, unemployment and social inequality. He is in favour of Free Trade Agreements with the US and EU that will hand over even more control to the multinationals.  He welcomes US bases in Colombia that threaten progressive governments in neighbouring countries, especially Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.”

Andy Higginbottom, Secretary of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign said:

“Thirty one trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia this year alone. Hundreds more in the indigenous, afro-colombian and other social movements are similarly targeted. Colombia is not a democrcay, it is a killing ground.

http://www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk/component/content/article/25-news/508-london-protest-against-colombias-president-elect-santos

News on Military Bases in Colombia

http://www.soaw.org/presente/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=214&Itemid=74

US aid funds paramilitaries, this time in Colombia

As for the Colombian state’s support for the paramilitaries, also known as “death squads,” that is well-known. Thus, as the U.S. State Department has concluded in its annual human rights reports, the paramilitaries have received active support from the Colombian government and from the Colombian military which has provided the paramilitaries with weapons, ammunition, logistical support and even with soldiers. Given that the U.S. has aided the Colombian military with over $7 billion in military assistance since 2000, all the while knowing the military’s close collaboration with the murderous paramilitaries, the U.S. itself is complicit in the paramilitaries’ crimes.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-kovalik/colombias-genocidal-democ_b_551847.html

We need to cut off aid to Colombia.

Witness for Peace, Take Action in Colombia against extra judicial killings (up to 150,000)

http://www.witnessforpeace.org/article.php?id=625

Action petition to support Colombian refugee families

http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5436/t/2467/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=806

Plan Patriot and Plan Colombia (from 2004)

Though the Colombian government is quiet on the plan’s details and cost, US assistance comes from the same resources used for the $3.2 billion antidrug effort called Plan Colombia, which began in 2000. With this new initiative, US officials are pushing for an increase in the four-year-old cap on troops and contractors that currently limits to 400 each the number of military and civilian personnel permitted in Colombia at any one time. The Bush administration wants to double the troop cap to 800 and raise the ceiling on civilian contractors to 600.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0622/p06s02-woam.html

Stop Killer Coke who has promoted the killings of union leaders in their Colombian plants! Boycott Coke!
http://killercoke.org/

More action on WordPress

Call Congress to end the Funding of Colombia

Congressional switchboard 800-828-0498

Just ask for the office of your Senator or Representative

House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/house/house_comments.shtml

Senate: http://www.senate.gov/

Yours,
Tex Shelters

Protect your rights; defend the rights of others

In Human Rights and the Constitution on August 5, 2010 at 20:36

Many can argue the case for or against marriage, but even with about 50% of all marriages ending in divorce we defend the right of individuals to get married. So why do many people spend their time fighting against the right for gay-Americans to get married?

What it comes down to, as is the case of other types of bigotry, is fear and control. Religious fanatics who fight gay rights are fearful humans who hold on to their bible as if it was the word of god or something. My favorite thing about these fanatics is that they ignore the parts of the bible that don’t suite them, like the “judge not” lesson in Mathew and go on judging gay-Americans who want the right to a legally binding civil union we call marriage.

From the Gospel of Mathew:
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Fortunately, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker saw through the lies about gay marriage and ruled decisively against the California marriage ban.

The basis of his ruling was that those defending the gay marriage ban had no evidence that gay marriage caused harm to anyone and thus bans on this practice for one targeted group curtailed individual freedom.
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40663.html

And the judge is right of course. All fear mongering around gays marrying is just that. The ban on gay marriage is an argument looking for evidence. Yes, the people passed Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage, but then people also passed laws against miscegenation, but that didn’t make the laws constitutional. The tyranny of the majority, a fearful ignorant one at that, cannot be used to take away the rights of the minority.

Actions:

First, support yourself and all the gay and lesbian people in your life. Continue to write letters, phone, or email your Representatives and Senators to stop any amendments to ban gay marriage. If your Senator is a right-winger like Jon Kyl of Arizona, talk to his Libertarian side, and tell him that we have a budget crisis to worry about and that he should stop worrying about “them gays”.

Congressional switchboard 800-828-0498

Just ask for the office of your Senator or Representative
House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/house/house_comments.shtml

Senate: http://www.senate.gov/

Find your Congressperson here:
http://www.votesmart.org/official_congress.php

Next, go to all the rallies as a member, a friend or supporter of gay-Americans and gay rights.
Find out more here: http://jointheimpact.com/

Join PFLAG: http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=803

In Tucson, join, donate or support Wingspan. Wingspan is an outreach programs for gay and lesbian (and transgender) youth to deal with issues around growing up gay and lesbian in the US. It does much more. Point is, the program saves lives. http://www.wingspan.org/

Support the Human Rights Campaign, one of the most inclusive organizations in the nation addressing gay and lesbian rights. http://www.hrc.org/

Keep fighting for rights of all people. If they take away rights from one group, even if you are NOT a member of that group, they will go after you next.

Finally, write President Ob…  never mind.

Yours,
Tex Shelters

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