Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blog Action Day 2013 - Human Rights

What exactly does 'Human Rights' mean? The dictionary meaning states that it is 'a right that is believed to belong justifiably to every person'.

Everybody sits up and takes notice when human rights abuses are obvious - dictators controlling and torturing their own people (North Korea, China,Burma). There are several other countries that heap abuses on their people in their own hidden perverted way like,

People who do not have the rights to express themselves and suppressed in the name of religion (most countries in the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan), people whose rights are violated,country exploited in the name of democracy through corruption and political misdeeds (India, Indonesia, Philippines), peoples whose rights are trampled by misinterpretation of the constitution, corrupt elected officials bowing to the money power of big corporations and politically connected donors to write laws that favor the few and harm the multitudes(USA, Britain, Canada). Different modes, different parts of the world by all are violations of ordinary people's rights in one way or other.

No country has sole proprietorship of human rights abuse. Every country does its fair share. How a country comes out looking depends on how it chooses to window dress it is based on their money power, PR strategies and the standing in the world. USA the self appointed world arbitrator of human rights abuses writes laws that allows big corporations to do business with countries like China who violates people's rights in no small measure, mass killing of people during a peaceful protest, worker abuse which US corporations blithely participate.

Let's talk about the abuses that happen in the US - namely every law that is ever written is skewed to supports the gun rights lobby and the NRA. "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." is what the second amendment states. No where does that mean to imply an individual's right to hold arms that can harm large groups of people. The second amendment has been hijacked by the NRA to threaten "elected" members of Congress to support every narrow minded agenda the organization has ever dreamed up. These elected representative don't care about the right of the majority only those of their NRA buddies.

There is no one to talk about the rights of those people who fall victims to the mindless killings that happen by the mindless promotion of these weapons which have no place in free society. Even here in the USA do we really live in a free and civilized society? The government fringes on the rights of people by warrant less wiretapping, by passing laws in private or getting judges to sign off on rules in secret.

No place is free of gun violence or mass murders - an elementary school, high school, University, Community College, Army barracks, Navy Yard, Movie Theater, Sports Event - nothing nothing is free of armed massacres. Leaving aside the mass murders there are tens of thousands of murders which happen at homes through robbery, abuse, accidental discharge of weapons by children on other children. Why? Because a very small fringe which threatens the rest of the population with their own self serving interpretation of a constitution law written about 2 centuries ago!! What about the rights of the people who get killed by these weapons?

Our elected representatives in Congress and the President seem to be doing absolutely nothing about the human rights violations happening in their own backyards due to gun violence. How do they think they have the moral authority to talk about abuses in the rest of the world?

Statistics for gun violence should be sobering to anybody. If these kinds of deaths were reported because of a virus, there would be panels and committees organized to attack the problem. But there is a deathly silence because these deaths are due to guns - which enjoys a protection that humans can only dream of.

I am not a big fan of China but I have to fully agree with what they have to say about the US.

In particular, China noted that:

Americans are the most heavily armed people in the world
Two thirds of murder cases in the U.S. involve guns
An average of three women in the US lose their lives every day as a result of domestic violence
Many people in the U.S. have experienced sexual abuse in childhood
The world’s largest economy is also the country with one of the biggest income gaps
The U.S. turns a blind eye towards its own infringements. These include chronic racial discrimination.


We need the United States Government to stop turning a blind eye and address the problem of gun violence. It violates each and every one of our rights to protect the rights of a tiny few. We need to have elected leaders who actually care about the country and not be motivated by selfish self promotion. These elected officials do not think twice about sending the country to the brink of one manufactured disaster to the next when there are real problems affecting real people.

This is a food blog after all. Rights to good, healthy food should be a right enjoyed by kids but sadly that is not so. The very same actors in Congress and White House would do nothing to control big food manufacturers from controlling out food supply and poisoning kids who for the first time will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

The big human rights violators are right here in our backyard. A few line or pages are not enough to elaborate how the US government has been involved with most of the dictators and atrocities in the world. We the American people are oblivious to the gross human rights violations does day in and day out. Read this excerpt -
‘The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide’ by Gary J. Bass. This is just an example of many.

Do I have confidence in these elected people? Of course not. But one should never lose hope right? Once hope is lost everything is lost!


  1. Well, I'm a wee bit late for blog action day, but I really enjoyed reading your thoughtful post, ISG, even if the subject matter is difficult. As always you provide interesting and informed insights. I read the Post piece -- fascinating double entendre indeed. I think I will pick up this book.

    What a shameful thing :(


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