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November, the Human Rights Month? The Rule of Law Month?

By: klynn Monday November 8, 2010 9:09 am

The statute of limitations runs out on the crimes of  torture tape destruction, today, November 8th, 2010.

Many have tried to carry a voice of reason, calling for the importance to uphold the rule of law today, November 8th, 2010.

In light of this pressing Department of Justice investigation on the torture tape destruction, it would seem that November will become an important month for the history of human rights and the rule of law. The reality is November became  an important month regarding the need to uphold human rights and rule of law history 65 years ago, with the trial of the major WWII war criminals during the Nuremberg Trial.

Beginning on November 5th:

The Allies conducted a dress rehearsal for the trial on November 5 at the Palace of Justice, the purpose of which was to test the operation of the translation system.

It was during this period of November that the prosecution had to determine the status of defendant Rudolf Hess. Hess claimed to suffer from amnesia, and seemed to exhibit genuine symptoms of mental deterioration. The prosecution was skeptical of his claims, deciding to put his memory to the test on November 8. They showed Hess film reels of himself and Hitler at Nuremberg in 1934, which seemed to have an effect on him, but in questioning afterwards, he refused to admit that he remembered being there.

Later, during the month of November 1945:

During this time, the debate between General Donovan and Justice Jackson came to a climax. Jackson wanted the trial to be based on documents, while Donovan believed enemy witnesses were necessary for a successful trial. Donovan, who was one of Jackson’s chief staff members, would not relent, leaving Nuremberg by the end of the month, only a few days into the trial.

Despite these setbacks, the trial would begin at 10:00AM Tuesday, November 20.

On November 20, at 10am exactly, Justice Geoffrey Lawrence convened the International Military Tribunal with a rap from his gavel, given to his as a gift from Justice Francis Biddle. The prosecutors took turns reading the indictment against the Nazis.

The court heard the pleas from the defendants on the next day, November 21. Each one of them pled not guilty. After the pleas, Jackson stepped up to the lectern to deliver his opening statement. The speech, which lasted for the better part of a day, began:

“May it please your honors, the privilege of opening the first trial in history for crimes against the peace of the world imposes a grave responsibility.

“The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated.

“That four great nations, flushed with victory and stung with injury, stay the hand of vengeance and voluntarily submit their captive enemies to the judgment of the law is one of the most significant tributes that power has ever paid to reason.”

Jackson’s Opening Address at Nuremberg.

If only the DOJ could remember the life’s work of Justice Robert H.Jackson today and carry out justice. I would be thankful and hopeful for the preservation of the rule of law and to hear today, November 8th, 2010:

“May it please your honors, the privilege of opening a US trial addressing government crimes against the rule of law and the peace of the world imposes a grave responsibility.”

November has been a month of many positive actions developing the importance of human rights including:

  • November 4, 1950: European Convention of Human Rights (Council of Europe).
  • November 26, 1968: Convention on the non-applicability of statutory limitations to war crimes against humanity.

(my bold)

Let’s hope November 8th, 2010 may be added to the timeline of human rights actions for upholding the rule of law.

 

Kids Say the Darndest Things…About War

By: klynn Tuesday December 1, 2009 12:00 pm

My 12-year-old daughter came home yesterday and shared an interesting talk she and some classmates had after they had finished their classroom work. One student asked, “Is anyone willing to share their political party leanings or that of your parents?” All the kids agreed. Two leaned Republican, two leaned Democratic and two leaned Independent. The next question asked by another student was, “What did you think of George Bush?”

“I did not like him.”

“He made a mess of our country.”

“He was a bad President.”

“He wasn’t so much a bad President but a very stupid leader.”

“He is responsible for where our country is today. He failed at protecting the Constitution.”

The next question was, “What do you think of Obama?”

“He was handed a pile of crap.”

“He’s smart but he would be smarter to arrest Dick Cheney.”

“He needs to bring the troops home.”

“He needs to create a jobs program and work towards more green technology.”

“He needs to regulate the finance industry.”

“He needs to address the issue of torture.”

"My Mom’s business could benefit from a Public Option."

The next question was, “What do you think we need to do about Afghanistan?”

“Bring the troops home.”

Goldman: “It Was A Joke.” Right.

By: klynn Thursday November 19, 2009 7:58 am

Now Goldman Sachs head, Lloyd Blankfein, who recently said he was, "Doing God’s work…" is stating, “It was a joke!”

BS. Just plain BS.

But the Guardian thinks Matt Taibbi got it right.

“The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” wrote Matt Taibbi.

Remember the bully at school? The one who would verbally bully and then when his intentional actions were caught by kids and school authorities, would reduce his bullying to, “It was suppose to be a joke.”

Bullies are whimps. They have an excuse for everything and only make apologies that suit their own cause.

Okay Then – Obama – With Dodd – Answer Via Reuters UK

By: klynn Wednesday February 11, 2009 11:17 am

Okay then. Senator Dodd answered my curious questions about the reality of the Homeland Security Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank via Reuters UK:

WASHINGTON, Feb 9 (Reuters) – The United States Senate could pass a bill to found a national infrastructure bank in the next 12 months, said Democrat Chris Dodd, who chairs the Banking Committee, on Monday.

"President Obama co-sponsored our infrastructure bank legislation as a senator and endorsed the idea during his campaign. So, I’m hopeful to see action on the bill this year," Dodd said.

For more than a year bills to create a bank that would fund roads and capital works projects with a combination of seed money from the federal government and bond financing have sat in both houses of the U.S. Congress.

The idea has recently fallen to the shadows as Americans turn their attention to boosting infrastructure in the economic recovery bill the Senate will likely vote on Tuesday. But the Connecticut Senator said the bank, which would have an independent board to decide which projects receive backing, was still a viable idea.”

Even the investors are buzzing about it and starting to buy up related stocks. An investment consulting firm here in the US, CG/LA, had words of

Modernize America’s Aging Infrastructure: A Homeland Security National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank

By: klynn Tuesday February 10, 2009 10:06 am

Here is some more information on the idea of a National Infrastructure Reinvestment bank that I wrote about here.

From the White House Agenda on Homeland Security:

"Build-in Security: Ensure that security is considered and built into the design of new infrastructure, so that our critical assets are protected from the start and more resilient to naturally-occurring and deliberate threats throughout their life-cycle.Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank: Address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank of $60 billion over 10 years, to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation’s most challenging transportation infrastructure needs, without the influence of special interests. Invest in Critical Infrastructure Projects: Invest in our nation’s most pressing short and long-term infrastructure needs, including modernizing our electrical grid and upgrading our highway, rail, ports, water, and aviation infrastructure. Establish a Grid Modernization Commission to facilitate adoption of Smart Grid practices to improve efficiency and security of our electricity grid."

(My bold)

And more here at Homeland Security Digital Library Blog dated February 6, 2009.

And here is one of the best posts on

No Drama Obama – Stimulus Bill Drama Spoiler

By: klynn Saturday February 7, 2009 11:31 am

This diary could be a “drama” spoiler… I will need your help. Stay with me here. The spoiler possibility: that the formation of a National Infrastructure Bank might be tucked into the Stimulus bill. This concept has received support across the political and development spectrum and was actually announced as part of President Obama’s policies during his campaign a year ago, on February 13, 2008.

“Here are Obama’s words on the subject delivered in Janesville, Wisconsin at a GM assembly plant:

For our economy, our safety, and our workers, we have to rebuild America. I’m proposing a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank that will invest $60 billion over ten years. This investment will multiply into almost half a trillion dollars of additional infrastructure spending and generate nearly two million new jobs — many of them in the construction industry that’s been hard hit by this housing crisis. The repairs will be determined not by politics, but by what will maximize our safety and homeland security; what will keep our environment clean and our economy strong. And we’ll fund this bank by ending

Building National Capacity –The Power To Do – Or Not

By: klynn Friday February 6, 2009 1:54 pm

Building National Capacity. What. Does. That. Mean? Boiled down, it is the power to do in order to sustain and protect.

We are in a crisis of needing to build our national capacity through economic stimulus. It is time to build our “power to do” to protect our democracy. Frank Luntz, a pollster, recently had an interesting opinion piece in the LA Times which addressed the stimulus bill, or more importantly, the most important part of the stimulus bill, infrastructure spending.

Building America’s Future, a bipartisan coalition of elected officials which is chaired by Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, formed to support infrastructure investment, hired Luntz to do some opinion polls on the economy. Luntz, a Republican pollster, found something out and is supporting the need of passage of President Obama’s stimulus package because:

“A near unanimous 94% of Americans are concerned about our nation’s infrastructure. And this concern cuts across all regions of the country and across urban, suburban and rural communities.
Fully 84% of the public wants more money spent by the federal government — and 83% wants more spent by state governments — to improve America’s infrastructure. And here’s

NYT’s Economic Editor, Catherine Rampell, Has Readers “Do” Auto Industry Economics And Politics Better Than The NYT’s

By: klynn Wednesday November 19, 2008 12:11 pm

On November 17th 2008, Catherine Rampell posted a piece online that was essentially an effort to “clarify” the CAR study (2003 Center for Automotive Research study) statistics as well as its’ recent follow-up report which was released on Election Day. The CAR study and it’s recent update, address the contributions of the automotive industry to the U.S. economy. The article attempted to help the reader understand that the real number of employees possibly affected nationally by the big three folding, are not “that bad” but are still of some concern.

Rampell, unfortunately, does not think about “who” might be reading her article and in a tongue–and-cheek manner, peppers her article with illustrations such as:

“The failure of General Motors, for example, wouldn’t eliminate the entire car-wash industry.”

And then adds:

“Car-washing jobs are primarily dependent on Americans’ continued demand for automobiles — whether they’re from Detroit or Nagoya — and not the operations of any one automobile company. If a foreign company could swoop in to fill that demand with minimal disruption, then, theoretically, car-wash employees would keep their jobs.”

(my bold)

Luckily, the economic depth and “issue related” strategies regarding one or all three auto manufacturers folding, was cogently addressed ,not by Rampell,