China calls U.S. human rights pedestal a hypocrisy Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by a, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 14, 2008 at 9:27 am
For those of us in America who want to take the high road and say the Iraq war is righteous, that the U.S. can do no wrong, and point the blame at China for pollution, take a gander at this. The emperor has no clothes in America. The world knows and can see very clearly where the U.S. stands in the world and its not too high on the totem pole. Take a gander - Web Link.
Posted by b, a resident of another community, on Mar 14, 2008 at 9:45 am
The Bush Administration may be a disgrace to American ideals but it is still no where near the level of the Communist PRC government. Crony capitalism with an authoritarian priesthood communist party is a human rights disaster.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Mar 14, 2008 at 11:07 am
Human Rights is an area where the U.S. should be leading by example. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has lost credibility in this department. The world continues to ignore the protestations of our current Administration, and eagerly awaits a new Government next year who hopefully will lead by example.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 14, 2008 at 3:21 pm
China is in no position to lecture the USA about human rights. The cultural revolution was one of the great massacres in human history. The USA is in a good position to lecture China. The liberation of Iraq, Germany and Japan, for example, are very worthy and moral goals. However, the Olympic games should not be held hostage to such lofty goals.
FDR did not boycott the Berlin games. Carter did boycott the Moscow games. FDR was right, Carter was wrong. Games are games. Let the games begin...and end. Then we can all argue about who is morally superior.
Posted by perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 7:39 am
I beg every person who thinks our country is a horrible place, destroyed by Bush and all of us who supported and still support him ( except that he has gone too far to the left for my taste)...PLEASE go live in the better country.
You have that right..use it! This is a free country! Take advantage of it!
Be sure to criticize whichever new country you move to with the same amount of vitriol that you use here. It will be interesting for you.
Posted by b, a resident of another community, on Mar 15, 2008 at 9:47 am
Just because you criticize your government does not mean you don't love your country. You criticize because you want your country to be better and your government to be better. Is this what the so called "conservatives" have been doing for the last 30 years? Why now that the "conservative revolution" has seized power do you think those that are critical should leave?
Posted by perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 11:10 am
conservatives do not say how much worse our country is than others, or how much better other countries are than ours, because we know ous is the best in all ways...in civil rights, in human rights, and in basic human freedoms.
conservatives aim to improve a country that is already great in all ways.
conservatives know that there is no better country to live in, and we strive to keep it that way and not let it slide into the problems the rest of the world suffers.
so, again I say, if you think there is another country that "does it better", please go live there.
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm
"There is nothing to be proud of if the best you can say is "but China is worse"."
"America: Love it or fix it."
"The moment the USA adopted a policy of officially sanctioned torture, the moment GWB vetoed a bill forbidding torture, the moment the USA abandoned habeas corpus, the USA lost the moral high ground.
"Right now we're arguing degrees of evil, and it grieves me that it has come to this. The fact that my country has been brought so low is shameful, and the fact that the US government continues to pretend it has any moral authority after the acts taken by Bush and so enthuiastically supported by so many Americans is gut wrenching. America, to my great shame and regret, has seldom been a force for good outside its borders, but under George W. Bush my nation has sunk to horrifying depths."
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 12:41 pm
Patriot, when we leave word definitions open to subjective definition, then arguments like this are guaranteed. I don't consider waterboarding torture and have given my reasons here several times. I also do not believe wartime enemies have any guarantee of habeas corpus, or that citizens have an inherent right to ally themselves with our nation's wartime enemies.
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 1:03 pm
Walter, Someone suggested sometime back that another poster who feels the same as you do about waterboarding should himself submit to waterboarding and then following that experience take a lie detector test to determine wether or not he thought waterboarding was torture. Are you willing to take both tests? I will bet cold, hard, cash that you would fail the lie detector test, if you persist as you do now, after having been waterboarded.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 1:56 pm
There are a great many unpleasant experiences I might be or have been subject to that still do not qualify as torture. I would not call an audit or a divorce torture even though they have the potential of causing great agony. As Abe Lincoln is reputed to have said, just because you call a dog's tail a leg does not make it a leg. And just because you call vigorous interogation techniques torture does not make them so.
Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions."
Posted by perspective, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 2:27 pm
again, I ask you c and patriot, please move to a country that "tortures" less than we do...
and these countries are???
or, if you decide to stay, please find a method that you do not think is torture but will save lives of American citizens by obtaining information we need to prevent terrorist attacks or find abducted citizens...
and they are???? We are all listening...
until we come up with a truth serum that will not allow people to lie when injected with it, this is the best we can do.
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 2:30 pm
"and these countries are???"
Denmark, for starters...
But who wants to leave? I don't. Although it does seem that those who agree with the current administration lie passive, flubbering about how "this (torture) is all we have at our disposal". Is this what we've come to?
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 2:36 pm
Waterboarding works, in fact it is very effective. It is a mild form of torture. The U.S. has used it seletively, and effectively. It has probably saved many lives.
But waterboarding is not the sugject of this thread. China, which has had an abysmal record on human rights, but has reformed in capitalist ways, of late, is hosting the Olympics. I suggest that the world allow the Olympics to come off without a major political cow, then we can get back to arguing about who has the best human rights record. Except in the case of a world war, the Olympics should be allowed to go forward, without making it a huge political event. Jesse Owens made a much better point than Tommie Smith and John Carlos did. In fact, Smith and Carlos set up the Munich Olympic massacre. Can we just have an athletic competition, enjoy it for what it is, then move on?
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm
Gary, in the meantime, while you're watching endless tear-jerk sob stories about how this or that athlete overcame this or that hardship (oop!, cut to commercial), with about 10% of actual olympic events reported on, I'll be watching local softball activities at the sunken diamond. let me know what happens...the olympics have become the biggest and most overrated snooze in sports - having little to do with sport, and everything to do with money
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm
I am a big high school sport fan. I also like the Olympics, even though your criticisms of them have some merit. However, I don't think the Olympics should be held hostage to world politics, except under world war conditions.
Child labor, profits, etc. are, in lesser ways, also involved in high school sports - who do you think makes all those jerseys and uniforms? BTW, who makes all those textbooks and child play books and pencils that our kids use in Palo Alto schools?
I just want the Olympics to go forward, with whatever warts, then we can get back to the serious business of debating socialism vs. freedom.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 4:57 pm
Patriot, I directly answered your question. I even cited UN authority. Don't get stuck on stupid, again.
Waterboarding is admittedly very traumatic, but I do not believe it fits the classic definition of torture, and I believe the lib sliding scale of definition that has almost halted executions by deciding everything is cruel and unusual has been extended to halt our ability to defend our country.
If you wish to continue this debate, how about responding to my arguement?
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 6:50 pm
Suffering must be parsed, else all suffering will become the same thing. My family suffered through the Deprssion, and beyond. Even during the 50s, we did not always have food to eat. I became stronger for it. However, the designed starvation of the Ukranians by socialists, for example, was a suffering of a much greater degree. One can hardly compare my parents' sufferings to theirs, after all, my parents survived, and I am still alive
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm
"America should boycott the Olympics, to protest the Tibeten outrage."
America should boycott Cuba, in order to express our outrage over that socilaist slave nation.
Oh! I just realized that we have already done that. Mercy me. Getting old, I suppose.
In the meantime, let's support the Olympic games, then take up the big arguments, again, once the games are over. China is not going away, and its Tibet policy will not be changed by any Olympic boycott.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Mar 17, 2008 at 9:02 am
Well, China is certainly using the Olympics as a platform to put out a contrived favorable image of China to the world (while temporarily shutting down some factories to lessen the horrible smog)but that is nothing compared to human rights abuses there!