The governance of America has been slowly shifting from the Constitution, individual freedom, to the mandate of the United Nations Charter and the Declaration on Human Rights, a notably socialistic document. That democracy is the sought after, 'holy grail' of truth should there be a vote on whether or not to accept this socialism or should we simply continue to allow the deceit and treason of government to prevail?
Are you saying that our focus on human rights and world peace has preempted the rights of the individual US citizen to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
Have you read the Declaration on Human Rights? It begins: "Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world...... Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom..."
What possible complaint could anyone but a tyrant or a dictator have against the universal objective of promoting what we in the US take for granted?
Should there be a vote? I was there, at the polls. So were a lot of people. We voted. And we will continue to vote. But the nature of a democracy is such that the people on the losing side of that vote may not be happy until or unless the next election changes things.
Socialism? That depends on how one defines socialism. I see from your profile that you have a tendency to make up your own definitions. I bet you or someone you love have never suffered from, say, a disabling disease or injury rendering you incapable of earning a living, such that you have no income whatsoever and no way to provide for yourself. I bet no one in your family has been terrorized physically and mentally, imprisoning you. Your wife, if you have one, and daughters - Have they been subjected to genital mutilation. Is infantacide forced upon you?
Whenever I hear someone complain like this, I always ask: How is your pursuit of happiness, your right to life, and your liberty actually, literally, no-rhetoric-allowed, somehow "less" or "absent"? What can you no longer do that you could do a decade or five decade's ago?
It is by the very nature of our freedom in the US that people CAN complain, that people can criticize. I just find it so ironic.
You accuse without substance, without knowledge and yes I have read all the documents that I have listed. Democracy has little to do with truth or freedom and I would think that history, providing you are well read would prove that out.
You fail to provide an answer to my question, but you do well to accuse.
What definitions did I make up that disturb you so?
How would you define socialism and in your definition; is that something you would endear over the US Constitution.
Are you saying that in the last election the American people voted for a socialist government?
This is not brain surgery. Accusations and rants serve only to mask a weak position.
You used the word "accuse" or a variation of it several times, yet no where in my post do I accuse anyone of anything. I do, however, ask questions -- questions that you've not answered. You've also twisted my words, saying, "What definitions did I make up..." Re-read my post. No where do I say that you made up of a definition of socialism; I only pointed out that coming up with your own definition of something is highlited on your profile. It's not that far of a leap to ASK how you are defining something, then, is it?
I DID answer your OP. If you didn't "hear" the answer, I suggest you try again.
And, still, MY questions back to you (the person who brought up the subject) go unanswered. You point out, below, a few clauses you do not "like," but still fail to show how YOUR constitutional rights are in any way restricted. You are, as an American, free to choose. Period.
Most people do not understand how laws truly work, or why they have to be written a certain way, etc. Therefore, a lay person's interpretation of a particular law, for example, is often technically incorrect. People get all hot and bothered for nothing, very often, as a direct result of their misunderstanding.
You say that the UDHR "replaces" the Bill of Rights. This statement proves that you don't understand how these documents work. The Bill of Rights is USA specific. It has no weight or authority outside of our borders. The UDHR is "world" specific, so far as those nations who agree to abide thereby. If YOU want to live in a nation that cares ONLY about itself, that has no interest in helping humanity -- regardless of race, creed, religion, or location -- then guess what? You have the RIGHT to leave. Not all nations extend that right to its citizens. (And by "you" I mean people, collectively.)
TonyMac04 hits the nail on the head, below: "I wonder what would motivate an attack on the UDHR which is a wonderful document which advances the progress of humanity towards greater freedom and more dignity for everyone."
International law, by the way, does not necessarily trump US Federal law. These laws are body-specific, and understanding what "body" they refer to will go a long way toward clearing up what appears to be a misconception on your part.
I agree whole-heartedly that every person on the earth has certain inalienable rights.
I do not believe that the US, or any other country, has the positive obligation to secure those rights for everyone on earth.
We have attempted to do such a mission - some might argue - and it has led to further restrictions on US citizen rights. The patriot act is a prime example.
If other people are to get their human rights at the expense of mine, then ... not to be a jerk, but... f*** 'em.
And, for the nine billionth time, socialism HAS A DEFINITION - it is "the government control of the means of production", which means if the government owns an industry of some sort, or it highly regulates an industry. I would consider the mandate "Everyone has to have health insurance" pretty close to definition - but Cronyism, mercantilism or Fascism might be more accurate.
Also, as far as complaining goes... complaints are a good thing. That's how you know if you're providing a service properly. I just got done living in Japan for 4 years and no one hardly ever complains... and what does that lead to? A 2 hour stint at our cell phone company trying to explain that we are leaving from japan, and we'd like to pay off our bills immediately --- it took two hours. Not joking.
I have a problem with this. What is "social progress"? How is it defined? Who is the authority to judge "better standards of life"? What do the mean "in larger freedom"? Who are the Peoples of the UN"? By what authority do they have to act in my behalf?
Perhaps it is the UN that wants to become the tyrant or dictator that defines and enforces their view of "equal" and "social progress"?
Social progress would include issues such as protecting the rights of women in nations that FORCE genital mutilation upon them. That society "progresses socially" when it comes to understand how barbaric the practice of removing a woman's clitoris is.
Social progress includes the protection afforded to infants and children who are sold into slavery and sexual prostitution -- children who otherwise have no choice but to submit to the sexual will of anyone (including a herd of visiting American pedophiles) as a means of literal survival.
Social progress includes the protection afforded to world citizens, who, by nature of their sexual orientation, are denied basic human rights.
What are "basic human rights"? That is debatable, of course, but certainly at a minimum it includes the "right" to life (after birth); the right to food, shelter, and protection from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; and the right to pursue employment.
It should also include the right to believe in whatever a person chooses to believe in. The nations that kill you because you don't subscribe to the whatever religion is mandated -- Can you just IMAGINE living like that? Can you imagine your wife or daughter being pulled from your arms, legally, and placed into sexual slavery -- and there's NOTHING you can do about it? Can you imagine losing your ability to earn an income, forcing you into poverty, and because the gov't you pay taxes to does nothing about you, you and your family end up eating garbage out of trash cans and sleeping on the streets?
As Americans, we are free to say, "I don't give a damn about anyone buy myself." We are free to say, "I could care less about the little 3 year old girl being molested 3-6 times a day by tourists." As an American, you are FREE. Spend a little time in these nations that do not afford the same protections as the USA does, that do not subscribe to the UN -- as I have spent time in these nations -- and if your heart (collectively; not you specifically) is still cold and hard, that's okay. You won't be killed, confined, jailed, or otherwise punished as an American citizen.
Social progress is another term for government intervention. If companies and religious people are evil, then why do we expect holier behavior from government officials?
Also, forced genital mutilation happens in the US - perhaps not as wantonly. Dawkins' "The God Delusion" discusses this.
Slavery and Sexual prostitution are the results of poor government policies - i have a hub on this, there are numerous articles pointing to direct links to minimum wage laws, union laws, and many other 'lets help the poor out' laws that end up leading to child prostitution. For example, you know those "Evil SweatShops" that we learned were evil? it turns out they aren't evil. It turns out that those jobs paid about 5 times the national average wage... pretty sweet! That'd be like getting $150k / year in the US!!
Also, saying "i don't give a damn about anyone else but myself" is a good thing. It's not through benevolence that the baker, the butcher and the candle stick maker come together and benefit one another. It's through greed. This is called the Invisible hand of the market, and it's the one true way to raise wealth.
"I could care less about the XXX" - this is a typo - i believe you mean to say "couldn't care less". Typos are typos, no harm done - just pointing it out for future reference.
If a child can't get a job anywhere because there are child-labor laws and minimum wage laws, then ... what the hell is she supposed to do? starve? ... this sentence is horrible out of context --please understand i'm not for child prostitution -- but this statement is true: Child prostitution beats the hell out of starving to death.
I also must admit that it is quite odd to see you bad mouth government routinely - for failure of freedom protection - but then praise them when it comes to other things - like health care. I must protest! Governments get their wealth by stealing from their populace, and thus everything they do to "provide services" is nothing more than throwing the table scraps back to us after a full course meal. Private enterprise - if in a true free-market - could and would provide every service we'd need.
Can you tell us which specific bits of the UN Declaration of Human Rights cause you the most concern, and why?
my biggest worries about the UN and everything they do is simply that
1- it's government. That ain't good.
2- I don't even have the power to throw my ambassadors out of office.
3- why does zimbabwe have any right to tell me how to live? (heck, why does Congress have any right to tell me how to live?)
and as far as the declaration of human rights goes - i agree that every human has rights. But I do not have the positive obligation to ensure them for other people.
I would rather see my tax dollars spent on rescuing african people from genocide and bringing those that are willing to the US than on Health care (which, no, is not a right).
Based on a quick read, I have problems with:
Article 23 (everyone has the right to work) - does that mean that someone somewhere is obliged to give you a job, no matter how unqualified you might be, whether personally or academically?
Article 24 - holidays with pay. Surely that should be between you and your employer?
Article 29 "Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible." Don't like the sound of that one at all - compulsory community service? No thanks.
I was unable to respond to your question this morning, but I see that you have done some research. Article #29 that you mention above is the foundation for a mandatory community service. We are now seeing in many high school across America where students must perform a defined community service before they can graduate. Corporations are demanding 'defined' community service (Salaried) if one is to expect a promotion or in some cases employment. The US Constitution (Bill of Rights) does not give or grant freedom; it is a restriction on government to interfer with basic rights so outlines. There is no such restriction on government in the Dec. Any restriction is placed on the citizen. The last Article is quite specific in that any rights given under the Dec cannot be used to in any way that interfers with the intent, philosophy or objective of the UN. This is akin to creating a Constitutional Amendment that says the others can only be used that way the government defines.
We know who wrote the Founding documents of America. Who wrote the UN documents and what was their affliliation. Alger Hiss was a major contributor. Alger Hiss did not value the Constitution, quite the opposit is true.
The UN was created by international treaty, under international law and as such supercedes the Constitution of the US, as many would argue..
This community service crap is such bullsh!t.
Isn't it just slave labor? I have to go to school until i'm 18, and, apparently, while there, I have to perform some 'community service' without receiving any benefits.
listen, you wanna help your community? GET A JOB!!! earn some money, save it up, spend it on a business or some other investment. Don't work for free unless you really want to.
Article 23 - Why would it? You can be self-employed, be a farmer, have no job at all if you choose not to exercise your right... The primary function of right to work laws in this country is to prevent unions from requiring workers to pay union fees as a condition of employment.
Article 24 - Bear in mind that the UDHR was written within living memory of the horrible conditions in early factories in England and the US. It doesn't specify how long the paid holiday should be or even if it should be full pay or reduced pay, nor does it require the worker to actually take advantage of the paid holiday. It's just trying to prevent the worst abuses of the early industrial era (and some factories in the third world today) by ensuring that workers have the opportunity to take a short break without losing their job or the income they need to survive. Even bathroom breaks were not allowed in many factories in the mid-19th century, and fecal impaction and other unpleasant health conditions were common among workers as a result.
Article 29 - I personally support compulsory public service, so I would be okay with that if that's what it did say, but my impression from the second clause in the article is that all it's actually saying is that people have the right to exercise their own rights and freedoms only as long as they don't impinge upon the rights and freedoms of others.
If that's the case, then why not be more specific and have a clause saying that people have the right to work *without being required to pay union fees*.
The way it's actually worded is far more general than that, and is very much open to abuse by people who think the world owes them a living and decide that they'd rather play the system than actually do a decent day's work (I've worked with people like that - I know what I'm talking about here LOL).
Cue extensive legal wrangles when someone decides to test the article's limits (like in the "right to work" one above).
Surely there's a big difference between saying that people have the right not to be treated like slaves/sent up chimneys when they're ten, and saying that people have the right to "paid holidays".
I hate the idea of compulsory public service with a passion so we'll have to just agree to differ on that. If I were on some kind of welfare/benefits then fair enough but as a tax payer, I believe that my free time should be MINE to do as I like with. End of.
Eh, there's always going to be problems with these sorts of things being too specific or too vague. Being too specific allows people to abuse one set of loopholes, being not specific enough allows us to abuse another set of loopholes. Just look at the endless wrangles over the Second Amendment here in the US.
Similarly, saying people have the right to work without paying union dues would free people up to charge other types of fines - it's too specific to be effective. Vagueness opens it up to the sorts of abuse you describe (I know people like that, too) but in defense of Eleanor Roosevelt and the other authors, it does say "right to work" and not "right to be hired," which are two different things. Unless our hypothetical lazy person with an entitlement complex the size of Russia could prove discrimination of some sort, I doubt they'd get very far in a legal battle.
I'm not talking so much about making adults give up their free time as having something like the the draft in Israel where everybody has to serve 1 or 2 years after graduating college or high school, except instead of military service, people would have the option of tutoring kids, planting trees, building houses for the poor, staffing pro bono health clinics or law firms, joining the Peace Corps, etc etc etc. It would be good job experience/training and I think it would go a long way towards killing the sense of entitlement that seems to be developing in this country. After Pearl Harbor, my grandparents' generation remade the entire US economy in a matter of months to support the war effort. After 9/11, my generation got told to "go shopping." There's something wrong with that.
No, i have to disagree with much of what KerryG is saying.
1- the right to have a job means that you have the right to a job. Which means, when you turn a certain age, you say "I HAVE A RIGHT TO A JOB" and you get a job. This is utter nonsense. If you want a law to say something, you write it to say what you want it to mean. You don't say "Everyone has a right to potato chips" and then demand that it means that everyone has a right to a potato farm.
"it's too specific to be effective" - Tyranny is hard to explain, Freedom is easy.
"something like the draft in israel where everyone has to serve 1 or 2 years after graduating college or high school" ...
Why does the government have the power to tell me what the hell to do with my time? Imagine if bill gates had to go into the armed forces instead of develop his company? what if he had gotten hit by a stray bullet? Screw this mandatory bullsh!t. If I wanna do something, and it doesn't infringe on anyone else's ability to do something, then I can do it.
1 - It doesn't say anything anywhere about having a right to have a job. It says "right to work" which, again, is an entirely different thing. Semantics, seriously, study them.
2 - That's why I listed about five non-military options for a possible mandatory service program, and would support hundreds more.
"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." I realize it was an evil liberal who said that, but my god, this "screw you, I got mine" attitude popping up all over the place makes me sick.
A person DOES have the right to work without paying union dues. If a person joins a union, it is his CHOICE. If the union requires dues (an independent policy with no gov't mandate involved), a person has the right to pay the dues or leave the union.
The right to work laws allow us to work without joining a union. Take a look at the role of unions in our country and you'll see why.
It is our history of discrimination in this country that gave rise to our own employment laws (which, in turn, provided a foundation for aspects of the UN's take on things). Remember when women could only be school teachers if they were unmarried? When blacks were not allowed to be humans, by definition (and therefore couldn't earn a living?) When children were forced to work rather than go to school? When the disabled, challenged, or other type groups -- regardless of a person's abilities or intelligence -- were kept hidden away?
What about the whistle blower laws, for example? Should a person be fearful of retaliatory discharge because he files a claim for worker's compensation, or because he reports abusive practices by his employer? Should we overlook these things, provide protection for the abuser but not the abused?
MOST people (in the US, I mean) go about their daily lives without EVER being affected or touched by the atrocities that give rise to various protections -- and they have no idea how lucky they are to live in a country that provides protection IN THE EVENT that they need it. Rather, they bash the policies that seemingly have no place in their lives, blinded to the necessity of helping those who are truly in need
Does that mean that some people won't abuse the system? Absolutely not. But, too, there are protections afforded to us when someone DOES abuse the system. It's not a perfect system, but it's one of the best in the entire world. If you want perfection, you're unrealistic. Or, you need to stop complaining and make changes. (Again, by "you" I am referring to people, collectively.)
A person does have the right to work without union fees.
A person also has the right to buy a cheeseburger with money that they earned from a job.
But why are we arguing over such piddly crap? A person has the right to do anything that does not infringe on any other person's right to do anything.
I have a right to sell myself into slavery, and someone else has the right to buy me - as long as we're both consenting.
The only reason why these things need to be stated is that government likes to take away our rights.
Why would the UN need to make a statement like this at all with the Bill of Rights already in existence?
Human Rights is the replacement for the Bill of Rights
Because in so many countries Human Rights have not been upheld.
Because, as TLL pointed out, the Bill of Rights is for citizens of the USA. The UN and its documents are for citizens of the world (nations that have joined and signed on, that is)
And, tonymac, in so many countries, it's more than just human rights not being "upheld." They don't exist to begin with, legally -- only morally. Thus, the UN in its authority attempts to protect by making what is moral, legal. Without the legal imposition, there's no way to impose sanctions. Without a consequence, there'd be no change or way to protect.
the bill of rights still holds sway? LOL
If our government actually paid attention to the 10th amendment, life would be MUCH sweeter.
The only reason governments write this crap down is because they intend to ignore it 50 years later.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) has given hope to millions in the world in the just over 50 years of its existence. I have read both the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration and there is little in the two documetns that is conflicting. The Universal Declaration maybe goes a little further in the light of more modern understandings of rights.
As for the UDHR being "socialistic" I think it noteworthy that some Communist countries refused to sign it, as did apartheid South Africa. South Africa has, sincde the birth of its democracy, signed the UDHR.
The UDHR is a yardstick against which to measure freedom and tyranny. It is important that it be applied throughout the world to help all people to come into the light of freedom.
A human rights based approach is essential to development, to ensure that development benefits all people in a community or country.
The Bill of Rights in the US Constitution is a Human Rights document. As such it has been a model for the development of an understanding of Human Rights throughout the world.
I wonder what would motivate an attack on the UDHR which is a wonderful document which advances the progress of humanity towards greater freedom and more dignity for everyone.
I see so many here defending the UN declaration, but I think you all miss the point. A more important question is what exactly ARE human rights and where do human rights come from?
Should we rely on the UN, or anyone else for that matter, to make those definitions for us? The dictionary defines the word many different ways but I think what we're talking about here is the word as a noun:
Rights: a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral.
Who defines then what is just, moral or legal for that matter? Certainly my definitions can be different from yours and from the UN. Should your definition be imposed upon me by force? If so is that a violation of my rights? Does what I think matter or is it only what the majority thinks that makes something "right?"
"Does what I think matter or is it only what the majority thinks that makes something 'right?' "
It depends on what you mean by "matters." I'm sure it matters to YOU, to your friends, etc. But, in a democracy, it is the majority voice that "matters" in the sense of policies, laws, etc. That is, by definition, what makes us a democracy.
You have a voice. Use it. You are intelligent. Use it. You have rights. Appreciate them. If you want change, put all these things together and try to make some changes.
Wasn't it Ron Bloom, Obama's mfg Czar that quoted Mao, "Political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun". Government is evil, it's force, the less of it we have the better.
We (U.S.) are not a democracy! Why is that so hard to understand?
"A more important question is what exactly ARE human rights and where do human rights come from?"
Well, that's the underlying conflict, isn't it?
You delve into complex matters of philosophy here.
Human rights obviously come from humans -- and, given that every human on the planet is unique, has his own mind, etc. -- there will NEVER be a universal consensus. But, the "majority" of people have an innate sense of right and wrong, from which we go on to define "human rights."
Humans, in general, FEEL, innately, that it is wrong to hurt children, that it is wrong to mutilate women, that it is wrong to kill, and so on. Those who don't (like Hitler) can inflict some serious damage on society, wouldn't you agree?
What would the world be like if there were no government? What would life be like if it was "every man for himself," without restriction? With as many people that there are sharing this single solitary planet, is it even conceivable? I certainly would be the first person in line for the shuttle to an alternative Earth if we ever stopped caring about "human rights."
Some one should point out that the UN was set up to accommodate the needs of powerful nations and is in no way democratic. There were practical reasons for this- the old League of Nations was pretty democratic in so far as every country had a more or less equal voice.
The powerful countries. unable to get there way. just walked away. When the US threatens that it too will walk away if its will is thwarted, it is following in the tradition of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
I am saying this so that no one gets dewy eyed about the UN or the avoids the realities of naked power. Its dog eat dog in the arena of international jockeying for power. And the US is number one dog. If international law doesn't suit it, that is the end of international law.
One society's barbaric practice is another's culture. I'm not trying to justify it, I'm just saying, doesn't that society have a "right" to define what laws they wish to live by? Some society's will view abortion as barbaric, why shouldn't they impose their definition upon the rest of us? Not for nothing but I was circumcised when I was an infant, and nobody every asked me if that was all right with me. Should circumcision be outlawed until one is 18?
The way I see it, some international organization wants to define what my rights are and what social progress is, and frankly, I'm intelligent enough to decide those things for myself. I don't need, you, or the UN or the USA or anyone else telling me what mu rights are, they are what I decide them to be as long as I'm not infringing on anothers'.
Poppa, I wager to bet that your beliefs come from the fact that you've ALWAYS been afforded the right to believe what you choose. You don't know what it's like to live differently. You are, like most, a product of your environment, and your environment has been the freedom of being a US citizen.
The women that TLL brought up, regarding genital mutilation, for example: They DO complain. They DO NOT want to practice their barbaric cultural tradition. If they choose to do it, that's one thing: It's a whole different matter when its forced upon a woman, as it is in various nations.
When you bring up the issue of circumcision, you bring up the issue of parental rights (something I'm passionate about and feel the government has gone too far with; parent's rights are severely restricted in the US, to our detriment. We sell our rights away when we register for a SS# and birth certificate for our babes... ) The point is, it's apples and oranges (genital mutilation of a woman's private parts vs. circumcision of an infant).
I agree that no one should step into another culture and require change when that culture is perfectly happy, content, and causing no harm to people outside of its culture. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about the human obligation to step in when a group of people are screaming for help.
I think everyone can agree around the world:
Every action taken between CONSENTING adults is justifiable, as long as said action does not infringe on anyone else's rights to do the same.
Everyone can agree to this (i'm guessing - i'd love to hear arguments against this), but yet we still agree to pay taxes (which are not consentual - try not paying them! GUNS!), invade foreign countries, and write laws that routinely infringe upon this right.
Yes I agree, I'm lucky to have grown up in America where I can say what I want and think what I want and for the most part do what I want except for countless restrictions that seem to grow in number every day.
I'm certainly not for the practice of genital mutilation and I support anyone's right to object to it. I'm not for forcing women to wear a burka either or to deny them the ability to receive an education, but there's little I can do about those things. People have to stand up for themselves. I know it's not easy but that is what's required
The reason all these "rights" and things are written down is so that governments can use these statements to invade foreign governments.
Bush used this crap to invade Iraq. and we're just about to do the same thing to Iran (or so it would seem).
"The people in nigeria have the right to free speech!... so we're gonna invade them and over throw their dictator at the expense of trillions of tax dollars"
Nigeria has a freely elected president, not a dictator. Just for your info.
Bush used lies about weapons of mass destruction to justify the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. An unprovoked attack on a soveriegn country.
Human Rights are not "crap" and very seldom are they used as excuses to invade another country. Or at least not truthfully.
The only reason you are able to say the things you do are because you are in a country in which Human Rights are to an extent respected. For billions of other people in the world there are no such rights. And believe me while that is the case, your rights are also not secure.
So it is in your interests to support Human Rights in countries where they don't exist.
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