Tag Archives: Human Rights

Stuff in the news 7/23/2013 – New Mexico

Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM - Image by M. Reddy-Hjelmfelt http://theredelm.com/

Ghost Ranch, Abiqui, NM – Image by M. Reddy-Hjelmfelt http://theredelm.com/

  • The pending horse slaughter business now has an added obstacle of disposing of its wastewater. While they seem to have a workaround for that, there’s a lawsuit file that starts Aug 3rd, 2 days before their set to open. Bill Richardson and Robert Redford are purportedly signing onto the suit. Wastewater hurdle for proposed slaughter plant
  • Hepatitis A Outbreak Linked to Townsend Farms Berries Now at 151 Sick – including 9 in New Mexico
  • In a filing yesterday with the New Mexico Supreme Court, state Attorney General Gary King asked the 5-justice court to end the state’s ban on marriage equality, arguing that it violates the new Mexico Constitution. Read more
  • (Dallas/Santa Fe – July 23, 2013) EPA is awarding $350,000 to the New Mexico Environment Department for supplemental brownfields funding. The money goes to a revolving loan fund to help the state fund shovel-ready projects to redevelop contaminated sites. Read more
  • This is fun! Great to see tech skills development in students here… A Beginning Robotics Camp for students ages 10 and older will be held in Las Vegas Aug. 6-8. The camp is hosted by the New Mexico Engineering Resource Network, New Mexico State University, College of Engineering. – See more at: http://newscenter.nmsu.edu/9597/beginning-robotics-camp-offered-in-las-vegas/#sthash.Irb37fd1.dpuf
  • And, speaking of tech in New Mexico, The University of New Mexico Hospital and Albuquerque-based telemedicine provider Net Medical Xpress have launched a telemedicine effort that will allow UNM doctors to help treat stroke and head trauma patients remotely in 25 rural New Mexico hospitals. Read more
  • This is sad – I used to enjoy wandering through Peacecraft on Nob Hill in Albuquerque. Apparently it’s closed and, worse yet, its closure is affecting artisan women in New Mexico. If you’re hooked into the fair trade community and can give them business leads, please do so.
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Stuff in the news – 6/6/2013

Trying something a bit new here. It used to be that blogs were actual web logs – that is, logs of things that interested the blog owner. It think it’s also important to write but sometimes I like to share links (hence, my Twitter account) but I am not so vain as to think that anyone is watching just me and I’d like to make these things easily available at a later time. So, I’m going to try collecting some of the things I find in a digest.

I may or may not annotate with summaries or comments. Think of this as an experiment in culture and communication.

Wildfires

  • Western strike teams to help with NM #wildfires – The Denver Post http://bit.ly/11uwcwS #NMFire
  • #SantaFe Is Squished in a Sandwich of Fire – John Metcalfe-The Atlantic Cities http://bit.ly/16MAogj #NMFire
    • It’s not a lot of fun, believe you me – but I love the visual analogy.
  • Camp operator wants #policy to change (Saskatchewan) – http://bit.ly/14jcLrZ #wildfires #SKFire
    • Interesting that the same discussions take place in Canada, regarding what resources to use in fighting fires and when to deploy them
  • Protect your home from urban brush fires : The Issaquah Press – Issaquah, WA – http://bit.ly/13dnFNe #WAFire
    • Good advice, even if you’re not in Issaquah!

Humanitarian

  • One Million Bones – Full Schedule – http://bit.ly/13dlJnR

    • If you don’t know about One Million Bones, you really ought to. It is an art installation, in the works for some years now. Artists (and citizens) have crafted one million human bones to place on the National Mall to create a symbolic mass grave to bring awareness to the horror of genocide. The installation will start on Saturday the 8th in DC. Short notice but they’re really good about media, so I’m sure there will be things to follow online.
  • 2013 Buckaroo Ball Saturday, June 15th, Buffalo Thunder Resort, Santa Fe, New Mexico – http://bit.ly/13dxJFU
    • “Since 1994, the Buckaroo Ball Foundation has been dedicated to its mission of raising and distributing funds to non-profit organizations that serve at-risk youth in Santa Fe County. Buckaroo Ball Foundation is now a fund within the Santa Fe Community Foundation.  The Ball is mostly run by a group of dedicated volunteers who donate their time and resources to produce what is one of the largest and liveliest fund-raising weekends in the Southwest.”
  • Samantha Power and the Weaponization of Human Rights » CounterPunch http://bit.ly/14jl07l
    • Commentary on Samantha Power’s views on human rights. I actually enjoyed her book, Problem from Hell. This is an interesting take on her policies.
    • More on her appointment to the ambassadorship: Samantha Power Picked To Take Over For Rice At U.N. : NPR – http://n.pr/14jlt9z

Amateur RADIO

  • Andrew Seybold: Communications During Major Disasters – http://bit.ly/13dCyir
  • Sometimes my aggregator shows a picture for a different story from the same source when suggesting an article. Haven’t found the story for the picture but I’m relatively certain this is a mugshot and totally unrelated to the headline. If not, boy am *I* gonna be embarrassed! Just found it amusing.

HAM_Mugshot

science, Tech, and Gadgets

  • Congressmen to visit brain science labs | Brown University News and Events – http://bit.ly/14jIFV6

    • I can see from the title there’s worth in this concept
  • Envisioning my friends and colleagues investing in flashights right now… Turning off OCD-like behaviors in the mouse brain with a flash of light – Science – Boston.com – http://bo.st/14jJcq7
  • Get everything done: Any.Do branches out from to-do lists to calendar, email, and notes | The Verge – http://bit.ly/14jJsp6 HT @svartling
    • It’s a good thing most apps for iOS are minimal fee because I cannot tell you how many apps I have in the cloud that I’ve given up on. Stefan comes up with cool stuff to try, though, so I’ll give it a go.
  • Cross-file under Humanitarian: “A way of thinking may enable battle but prevent war crimes. Researchers show brain operates differently by the way we dehumanize others” http://bit.ly/15P4QCz

Whom did you serve?

Poppies

Image courtesy of Prozac1 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

This piece was the reflection in our church’s Sunday bulletin. They are the words of Janusz Korczak, a Polish Jew in Warsaw during the Holocaust – a physician who ran an orphanage. When the children were sent to Treblinka, rather than abandoning them, he accompanied them to their death.

Why do you do what you do? What’s important to you and to whom do you give your effort in this world?

You lived – how many fields did you plow,

How many loaves of bread did you bake,

How much seed did you sow,

How many trees did you plant,

How many bricks did you lay,

How many buttons did you sow,

How many patches, how many seams did you make,

To whom did you give your warmth,

Who would have stumbled but for your support,

Who did you show the way without demanding gratitude or prize,

What was your offering,

Whom did you serve?

Going on the stack: Can Intervention Work?

Bestselling author Rory Stewart and political economist Gerald Knaus examine the impact of large-scale interventions, from Kosovo to Afghanistan in Can Intervention Work?the second title in the Amnesty International Global Ethics Book Series. Below, an excerpt:

Our experience suggests the following rules of thumb: that interveners must distinguish brutally between the factors they can control, the dangers they can avoid, and the dangers they can neither control nor avoid (whether permanent features of the place or specific to the crisis). An outsider can—indeed, should—provide generous resources, manpower, equipment, encouragement, and support. Courage, thought, and pre-planning are relevant. But they are not enough on their own. The best way of minimizing the danger of any intervention is to proceed carefully, to invest heavily in finding out about the specific context, particularly after the intervention, and to define concrete and not abstract goals.

Power and authority must be given to local leadership through elections as soon as possible. Only local leaders have the necessary ingredient of knowing the situation well, over many years and in all kinds of conditions; only they can get around the dangers that cannot be avoided, and skillfully respond to them. Local leaders who are appointed by foreigners, rather than elected, will find it very hard to assume responsibility. The person intervening should not be so obsessive or neurotic about the activity as to ignore the signs that the intervention has become too dangerous, or the mission impossible, and that it is time to regroup, pause, or even withdraw.

Since intervention is a techne—to take a grand term from Aristotle—or, in more normal language, an art not a science, such advice will always seem underwhelming. Just as the military principle that “time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted” is seen by soldiers as an insight of great life-saving wisdom, but by a civilian as a glimpse of the blindingly obvious, so too advice on intervention. Few would have any theoretical disagreements with our recommendations. Even fewer would be surprised by them. The challenge is not to lay out the principles; it is to convey just how rarely they are implemented and why, how much damage has been done through ignoring them, and how difficult they are to uphold.

The difficulty is to show people how intervention—with its elaborate theory, intricate rituals, astonishing sacrifices and expenditure; its courage and grandeur and fantasy—can often resemble the religion of the Aztecs or the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; to show how bad intervention can be: how far more absurd, rotten, counterproductive than any satirist could suggest or caricaturist portray.  And that even when all the leaders have recognized that a policy is not working, how impossible it often seems for them to organize withdrawal.

An incremental approach may seem simply common sense.  But overconfident policy-makers continue to be seduced repeatedly by the belief in the magic powers of planning, resources, and charismatic leadership.  Intervention may be a necessary, indispensable ingredient of the international system.  It is certainly capable, as in the Balkans, of doing good.  And yet how easily it falls into excess.  This is why the ultimate focus of these essays is on the particular context, temptations, predilections, and neuroses of twenty-first-century interveners.  Rory’s essay focuses exclusively on Afghanistan; Gerald’s largely on Bosnia.  But we hope they carry broader lessons because these essays aim to offer not an anthropology of the country into which the West is intervening, but an anthropology of the West—an anthropology of ourselves.

Buy Can Intervention Work? now in our online store!

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A Murder and Anti-Corruption Protests in India

It’s crazy season now in India’s capital. But the normally darkly humorous unpredictability of Indian politics has now taken a dark turn with the tragic murder of a right to information activist Shehla Masood in front of her home in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh.

She was a twitter follower of mine (you can also follow me at @acharya_dude) and I admired her perseverance and thirst for social justice. I only hope that her dreams of an end to corruption and human rights violations will be fulfilled in the long term. In the short term, the authorities must launch an investigation into this murder and take action to apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators of this crime.

The murder of Shehla Masood comes in the context of a series of protests led by Anna Hazare aimed at forcing the Central government to create a Lok Pal (Ombudsman) that has the power to investigate and initiate prosecutions of corruption of government officials.

Read the rest here: blog.amnestyusa.org

MOROCCO: Arab Spring Brings Little for Women

A couple of nights ago, I watched an interview on NBC Nightly News about a woman in Sudan, who was teaching women to stand up for themselves. It was really quite amazing to see her tell a man what was what and how to treat women properly, especially in light of how much abuse there is and how accepted that behaviour is.

As amazing as Arab Spring was to watch from this end, I actually don’t recall seeing that much mention in the protests of women’s rights. There’s such a long way to go.

CASABLANCA, Aug 10, 2011 (IPS) – Since the beginning of protests in Morocco on Feb. 20 women have been at the
vanguard. Many of the spokespersons of the protest movement have been
women – observers and activists see this as a new phase of feminine
emancipation in this North African country.

“We have waited enough. Women now are out to say it is time for justice to be made,” Safaa Ferradi, a
local activist, told IPS.

“The great majority of women present in our movement are of a high cultural and academic level,”
Rabah Nouami, a local leader of the 20th February movement in Casablanca, told IPS. “It is so
honourable to see that most of the spokespersons on behalf of the movement are women. But women
are not still influential at the level of decisions within the movement.”

In spite of the efforts made by the State and by civil society, women remain victims of violence and
discrimination.

Original continues here: ipsnews.net

My Name Is Me (Hat tip: @northlandfox)

There’s long been an issue with real-name policies on the internet and those of us involved in human rights work over the years are painfully aware of why it’s so important to allow anonymity. The Red Elm fully supports the use of pseudonyms and hopes that G+, Facebook, and others will see the light soon.

Below is the My Name is Me “About” page. Please give the site a visit.

About

“My Name Is Me” is about having the freedom to be yourself online. We want people to be able to identify themselves as they wish, rather than being forced to choose names by social networking websites and other online service providers.

Websites such as Facebook and Google+ ask you to use a name that conforms to a certain standard. Though their policies vary, what they would like you to use is the name that appears on the ID in your wallet, your employer’s records, or on the letters your bank sends you. They don’t understand that many people go by other names, for a wide variety of reasons.

Some of the types of people who want to choose their own names online include:

  • People at risk, including domestic abuse survivors, LGBT teens, and political dissidents.
  • Celebrities who use stage names, authors who publish under pen names, or members of many other professions with similar practices.
  • People around the world who have different naming practices: a single name in Indonesia, a name that mixes Chinese and Roman characters in Hong Kong, or people from many countries whose names may seem strange or “fake” to English-speakers.
  • People with long-established nicknames or online identities, whose friends know them better by that than anything else.
  • School teachers, health professionals, law enforcement officers, and others who don’t want their jobs to follow them into their private lives.

Choosing your own name online doesn’t mean you’re a fraud or a spammer. It just means you want people to take you at your word: you are who you say you are.

Using a name of your own choice gives you the freedom to express yourself freely; take better control of your privacy; and be judged by your actions rather than your gender, race, or religion.

Harnessing the ‘Indigenous Potential’ | The Mark

First Nations deserve a fair shake in the development of energy and mining resources.

This is a time of enormous potential for indigenous peoples in Canada and around the globe – a time when respectful energy and mining development could be a key tool in helping our peoples and nations reach their full potential.

Across North America, there are unprecedented opportunities to develop resources on indigenous lands in a responsible and sustainable manner, and many First Nations in Canada are using these opportunities to build and rebuild their nations, build skills and capacities for their people, and build up their economies. They are creating thriving communities in which their people can live, work, and grow.

With the reality of climate change and the prospects of green energy, there is a growing global demand for natural resources and energy. This creates an opportunity for us to shift the view from what is too often seen as the “indigenous problem” to one of “indigenous potential.”

In Canada, First Nations citizens can add over $400 billion to the economy by 2026 if we close the education and labour-force gap between First Nations and other Canadians. As the fastest and largest growing segment of Canada’s population, with almost half of our people under the age of 25, First Nations citizens in Canada could fill the looming labour shortage created by Canada’s aging, retiring population.

By increasing and improving the collective understanding of indigenous rights, responsibilities, and opportunities in relation to resource development, we can, and will, create the space for indigenous citizens, communities, and economies to thrive. These are the factors that recently brought together more than 800 indigenous leaders and citizens and representatives from government and industry from around the world in Niagara Falls for the first-ever International Indigenous Summit on Energy and Mining.

The three-day summit, hosted by the Assembly of First Nations and the National Congress of American Indians, is just one of the many efforts underway to transform the relationship between indigenous peoples and the rest of the world. The summit was a chance for all the key players to identify and discuss effective approaches to energy and resource development, keeping in mind the necessity for approaches that respect indigenous rights and treaties. Through this – and through other relationship-building approaches – we will continue to share experiences and challenges, answer questions, and develop best practices that will eventually lead to increased recognition, respect, partnerships, and prosperity for all.

More and more, First Nations citizens in Canada are taking their rightful place as leaders and active participants in the economy in ways that benefit our peoples, our communities, and our collective future. While there are good examples of effective engagement and agreements between industry and First Nations, there are also too many bad examples. This is our chance to work together to eliminate the bad examples. I have said, recently, that this could be our new fur trade. Indigenous peoples in Canada were essential to the fur trade. We were active participants, providing knowledge and insight to traders, and the traders, in turn, respected our right to our resources, lands, and territories.

First Nations are not opposed to development, but we do not believe in development at any cost. We continue to advocate for the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the principle of free, prior, and informed consent before any development occurs. That means consulting and accommodating First Nations prior to development. Our mantra is: “Engage early and engage often.” This is necessary to establish the relationships required to build effective partnerships and agreements between First Nations, governments, and industry.

As stewards of the land, as fathers and mothers, and as business people and community leaders, indigenous peoples in Canada have a responsibility to our ancestors to fulfill their vision. This is a vision of strong, healthy communities that are thriving in our languages, cultures, and economies. With this knowledge and respect for our ancestors and Elders, we continually seek an important balance – living and learning according to their wisdom while gaining the knowledge and support we need to fulfill our roles and responsibilities for future generations.

Those who attended the International Indigenous Summit on Energy and Mining brought with them their best ideas and best practices. We announced the creation of a First Nations Virtual Institute on Energy and Mining, which will serve as an online tool for sharing information, experience, and data. And everyone who participated agreed we must gather again soon to maintain momentum on this important matter.

We have shown that we can build on existing successes, learn from our challenges, and recognize opportunities for indigenous peoples to work together and lead the way based on the original relationships set out in treaties and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We can transform these relationships in ways that strengthen our citizens, communities, and economies. This is a win-win situation for everyone. By raising the collective literacy around energy and mining development and the rights of indigenous peoples, we will unleash the full potential and energy of our people in a way that strengthens all of us.

Harnessing the ‘Indigenous Potential’ | The Mark

First Nations deserve a fair shake in the development of energy and mining resources.

This is a time of enormous potential for indigenous peoples in Canada and around the globe – a time when respectful energy and mining development could be a key tool in helping our peoples and nations reach their full potential.

Across North America, there are unprecedented opportunities to develop resources on indigenous lands in a responsible and sustainable manner, and many First Nations in Canada are using these opportunities to build and rebuild their nations, build skills and capacities for their people, and build up their economies. They are creating thriving communities in which their people can live, work, and grow.

With the reality of climate change and the prospects of green energy, there is a growing global demand for natural resources and energy. This creates an opportunity for us to shift the view from what is too often seen as the “indigenous problem” to one of “indigenous potential.”

In Canada, First Nations citizens can add over $400 billion to the economy by 2026 if we close the education and labour-force gap between First Nations and other Canadians. As the fastest and largest growing segment of Canada’s population, with almost half of our people under the age of 25, First Nations citizens in Canada could fill the looming labour shortage created by Canada’s aging, retiring population.

By increasing and improving the collective understanding of indigenous rights, responsibilities, and opportunities in relation to resource development, we can, and will, create the space for indigenous citizens, communities, and economies to thrive. These are the factors that recently brought together more than 800 indigenous leaders and citizens and representatives from government and industry from around the world in Niagara Falls for the first-ever International Indigenous Summit on Energy and Mining.

The three-day summit, hosted by the Assembly of First Nations and the National Congress of American Indians, is just one of the many efforts underway to transform the relationship between indigenous peoples and the rest of the world. The summit was a chance for all the key players to identify and discuss effective approaches to energy and resource development, keeping in mind the necessity for approaches that respect indigenous rights and treaties. Through this – and through other relationship-building approaches – we will continue to share experiences and challenges, answer questions, and develop best practices that will eventually lead to increased recognition, respect, partnerships, and prosperity for all.

More and more, First Nations citizens in Canada are taking their rightful place as leaders and active participants in the economy in ways that benefit our peoples, our communities, and our collective future. While there are good examples of effective engagement and agreements between industry and First Nations, there are also too many bad examples. This is our chance to work together to eliminate the bad examples. I have said, recently, that this could be our new fur trade. Indigenous peoples in Canada were essential to the fur trade. We were active participants, providing knowledge and insight to traders, and the traders, in turn, respected our right to our resources, lands, and territories.

First Nations are not opposed to development, but we do not believe in development at any cost. We continue to advocate for the full implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the principle of free, prior, and informed consent before any development occurs. That means consulting and accommodating First Nations prior to development. Our mantra is: “Engage early and engage often.” This is necessary to establish the relationships required to build effective partnerships and agreements between First Nations, governments, and industry.

As stewards of the land, as fathers and mothers, and as business people and community leaders, indigenous peoples in Canada have a responsibility to our ancestors to fulfill their vision. This is a vision of strong, healthy communities that are thriving in our languages, cultures, and economies. With this knowledge and respect for our ancestors and Elders, we continually seek an important balance – living and learning according to their wisdom while gaining the knowledge and support we need to fulfill our roles and responsibilities for future generations.

Those who attended the International Indigenous Summit on Energy and Mining brought with them their best ideas and best practices. We announced the creation of a First Nations Virtual Institute on Energy and Mining, which will serve as an online tool for sharing information, experience, and data. And everyone who participated agreed we must gather again soon to maintain momentum on this important matter.

We have shown that we can build on existing successes, learn from our challenges, and recognize opportunities for indigenous peoples to work together and lead the way based on the original relationships set out in treaties and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We can transform these relationships in ways that strengthen our citizens, communities, and economies. This is a win-win situation for everyone. By raising the collective literacy around energy and mining development and the rights of indigenous peoples, we will unleash the full potential and energy of our people in a way that strengthens all of us.

Arab Spring: Join Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State for a “Future Tense” discussion about technology, social media, and democracy

Can social media really spur a revolution? Who benefits more from advances in technology—activists or authoritarian governments? What can the rest of the world do when Big Brother turns off the Internet? How did the successful Arab Spring turn into a complicated, bloody summer in Syria, Bahrain, and elsewhere? Can blogging make a difference in Cuba and North Korea?

Please join Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, July 13, for a conversation touching on these questions and more. Our agenda includes:

Internet Freedom and Human Rights: The Obama Administration’s Perspective
A discussion with Michael Posner, assistant secretary of state for the bureau of democracy, human rights, and labor, moderated by the Slate Group‘s Jacob Weisberg.

Internet Freedom’s Next Frontiers?
A conversation with Mary Jo Porter, a translator for Cuban bloggers, and Marcus Noland, co-author of Witness to Transformation: Refugee Insights Into North Korea.

Bypassing the Master Switch
Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, and Ian Schuler, senior program manager at the State Department’s Internet Freedom Program, will discuss new ways to help activists circumvent Big Brother’s firewalls and surveillance.

Advertisement

The event starts at 2 p.m. at the offices of New America, 1899 L St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. Please register here. Can’t make it to D.C.? You can follow along on our webcast here.

This event is part of Future Tense, a partnership between Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State University that examines the transformative effects of emerging technologies on society and public policy. To learn about other Future Tense events and articles, and for the latest on the technologies that will transform your life in the next few years, follow us on Twitter @FutureTenseNow.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project from Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that covers emerging technologies and their implications for society and policy. Follow her on Twitter.

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