Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
For example, Secretary of State Rice is too liberal for the DoJ:
Several candidates interviewed by Goodling told us they believed that her question about identifying their favorite Supreme Court Justice, President, or legislator was an attempt to determine the candidates’ political beliefs. For example, one candidate reported that after he stated he admired Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Goodling “frowned” and commented, “but she’s pro-choice.”
Also, the Lexis query used to run background checks:
[First name of a candidate]! and pre/2 [last name of a candidate] w/7 bush or gore or republican! or democrat! or charg! or accus! or criticiz! or blam! or defend! or iran contra or clinton or spotted owl or florida recount or sex! or controvers! or racis! or fraud! or investigat! or bankrupt! or layoff! or downsiz! or PNTR or NAFTA or outsourc! or indict! or enron or kerry or iraq or wmd! or arrest! or intox! or fired
or sex! or racis! or intox! or slur! or arrest! or fired or controvers! or abortion! or gay! or homosexual! or gun! or firearm!
Now I know what words to label my posts with....
The idea: Add Union Membership into the Civil Rights Act.
The goal: Change corporate behavior. Sirota writes:
The man behind the idea: Tom Geoghegan (who is also my employer)
For example, because the Civil Rights Act bars racial discrimination, businesses
are motivated to try to prevent bigotry: They want to avoid being sued. This is
why no company brags about being racist.
But when it comes to unions, there is no such deterrent. The lack of civil rights protection effectively encourages businesses to punish pro-union employees — and publicize the abuse to intimidate their workforce. By making the six words law, the dynamic would shift. Companies would have a reason — fear of litigation — to respect workers’ rights.
Friday, July 25, 2008
The prosecutor of the ICC has encouraged self-referrals, and the only such
referrals have been from African countries. While the ICC has received some
1,700 communications to investigate alleged crimes in 139 countries, 80 percent
of these communications have been found outside the jurisdiction of the court.
This is "not a question of picking on Africa," says John Washburn (PDF) of the American NGO Coalition for the ICC. "The UN Security Council referred [Darfur], and the other countries came forward voluntarily." Some international law experts say the weakness of Africa's national legal systems has led individual countries to refer situations to the ICC. Most African states have yet to implement the Rome Statutes in their domestic legislation, write Olympia Bekou and Sangeeta Shah in
Human Rights Law Review, which is the first step toward retaining domestic
jurisdiction. "Strengthening domestic prosecutions so that the ICC does not have
to intervene should be the ultimate goal of every state," they write.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
As reported in the LA Times:
The proposed law would require the president to notify Congress of any plans for
combat lasting, or expected to last, longer than one week and require Congress
to vote on a resolution of approval within 30 days of being notified. Military
actions shorter than one week and covert operations would be exempt.
I will post a draft when I find one.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The debate essentially says that ICC prosecutions, which demand justice and accountability, are a roadblock to peace because they eliminate the incentives of parties to a conflict to end it if they think they will be prosecuted, e.g. Joseph Kony in Uganda.
Rachman also notes a well-founded fear:
Some Africans complain that the ICC is using their continent as a laboratory.
For although justice is meant to be blind, it is clear that there are certain
countries and political leaders that are just too powerful to bring before the
court. There will be no prosecutions of Russian leaders over crimes in Chechnya.
And – despite the fears of American conservatives, which have led the US to
reject the court – the ICC is also highly unlikely to prosecute Americans.
While it has flaws, let's hope the ICC stays around as a valuable institution--if only as an expression of our collective values.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
This story relates how Nelson Mandela, of all people, was just removed from the United States' terrorism watch list, and can now get a visa without special permission.
Without resorting to an argument of terrorist/freedom fighter, the fact that a person of Mandela's reputation and renown is only now removed from what is effectively a list of terrorists presents an opportunity to reflect on how the concept of a terrorist group, like the African National Congress in Mandela's case, fits in with different legal frameworks and issues, e.g. on ending colonialism (Palestine, Puerto Rico), fighting illegitimate government (portions of Bolivia, Zimbabwe), the growing indigenous rights framework (Latin America), or self-determination (Taiwan, Kurdistan, Western Sahara).