Category Archives: Human Rights

What Next for the African Union in 2012?


As we come ever closer to 2012, I thought I would examine Africa’s recent struggles on its path to unity and a more prosperous region.

Certainly, with 2011’s cataclysmic changes taking place in North Africa, most of the African Union’s attention has been heavily turned towards the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Nevertheless, the organisation has not been without its own crises to manage in the sub-Saharan region.

The Western-backed referendum for self-determination in the South Sudan, finding its roots in the comprehensive peace deal of 2005, put an end to the decades-long civil war between Omar el Bachir’s north and the late John Garang’s (now ruled by Salve Kir) South. Underlying this conflict is a dispute over borders, respect for human rights and, more importantly, the re-partition of Sudan’s petroleum wealth, located primarily in the South but thoroughly sapped by the North. Continue reading What Next for the African Union in 2012?

After an Anti-Semitic Episode, a March With a Message


Eric Michael Johnson for The New York Times

Two days after the sight of flaming cars and anti-Semitic graffiti horrified a heavily Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, residents, elected officials and others took part in a march on Sunday against hatred and intolerance.

The police were still investigating the burning of three parked cars on Ocean Parkway and the spray-painting of swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs on benches and the initials “K.K.K.” on the side of a van. The police are treating the episode as a hate crime. No arrests had been made by late Sunday afternoon.
Continue reading After an Anti-Semitic Episode, a March With a Message

“Power the World” Week – Issue #4: African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power


Thanks to this solar panel, Sara Ruto no longer takes a three-hour taxi ride to a town with electricity to recharge her cellphone.

For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small money transfers, contacting relatives in the city or checking chicken prices at the nearest market.
Charging the phone was no simple matter in this farming village far from Kenya’s electric grid.
Every week, Ms. Ruto walked two miles to hire a motorcycle taxi for the three-hour ride to Mogotio, the nearest town with electricity. There, she dropped off her cellphone at a store that recharges phones for 30 cents. Yet the service was in such demand that she had to leave it behind for three full days before returning.

That wearying routine ended in February when the family sold some animals to buy a small Chinese-made solar power system for about $80. Now balanced precariously atop their tin roof, a lone solar panel provides enough electricity to charge the phone and run four bright overhead lights with switches.
“My main motivation was the phone, but this has changed so many other things,” Ms. Ruto said on a recent evening as she relaxed on a bench in the mud-walled shack she shares with her husband and six children.
Continue reading “Power the World” Week – Issue #4: African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power

Remember the Novemberpogrom (“Kristallnacht”), Nov. 9 &10 in 1938


Today is the 73rd anniversary from one of the most horrible events in human history. From November 9 – November 10, 1938 the Nazis in Germany celebrated their “Kristallnacht”, an euphemistic term that isn’t used in Germany anymore, because it plays down the events of the night. In a series of attacks synagogues, houses and businesses of Jews were burned down in Germany and Austria, many Jews were beaten, shot or committed suicide that night, thousands were deported to concentration camps in Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, etc.
Read a detailed description of the events here.

Here is the eyewitness report of a fire fighter from Laupheim:
Continue reading Remember the Novemberpogrom (“Kristallnacht”), Nov. 9 &10 in 1938

Racism is Fun? – Why Rick Perry’s flirtation with birtherism is racist



Earlier this week, Rick Perry said, “It’s fun to poke at [Obama] a little bit and say, ‘Hey, let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.’” And why shouldn’t he find birtherism fun? Racism is supposed to be fun for white people who choose to engage in it. I mean, it’s gotta be fun to be powerful and dominant and flaunt white privilege. Right? In a country where lynchings once doubled an occasion for barbeques — the strangling and perhaps burning of a Black body as the central performance act at a pleasant Southern picnic — why shouldn’t racism be fun for white people?

Birtherism is absolutely racism. It’s a clever, coded, politically-correct way to remind people Obama’s Black and untrustworthy and not one of us. It’s otherization: making him into an other makes him easier to demonize. For a candidate to say, “Obama’s Black, don’t vote for him,” would be too naked, impolite, and distasteful. But that same message is activated by the suggestion that he’s not like us because he’s not from this country.
Continue reading Racism is Fun? – Why Rick Perry’s flirtation with birtherism is racist

Author of California Death Penalty Says “It is time to undo it”


© Kok Cheow Yeoh

Don Heller: A California Republican against death penalty
By Don Heller, Columnist

I have been a Republican for many years. I wrote the ballot initiative that reinstated the death penalty in California in 1978. I believe those who commit willful and intentional murder should be locked up and severely punished in the interest of public safety.

I made a terrible mistake 33 years ago, but it is one that can be corrected. People are working hard to give voters the opportunity in the next election to replace the death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. If given that chance, I call upon all Californians to join me in voting yes to abolish capital punishment.

I have not gone soft on crime. I believe that public safety is one of the primary purposes of a government predicated on the rule of law.

Justice should be swift and certain.

But the death penalty initiative that I drafted was drawn up without fiscal study, input from others, or committee hearings. I made sure that the legal structure that I created would meet tough constitutional standards and checked my work against relevant U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence. But there was none of the give and take envisioned by our forefathers when they created the legislative process more than 200 years ago. Essentially, I wrote alone and the fiscal impact was never considered by the sponsors or myself.
Continue reading Author of California Death Penalty Says “It is time to undo it”

Happy 1st Anniversary To Myself!


One year ago, I’ve read something really interesting on Mike Shinoda’s blog and wanted to comment it. In order to do so I had to register at WordPress, and when I was asked if I just wanted an account or a blog as well, I just thought:”Okay, why not.” I didn’t really think about the blog’s content or its promotion, so I just typed in my internet user name “AdieK84”, inspired by the character Adie Klarpol in Richard Power’s book “Plowing the Dark”, when I was asked to chose a name for my blog. If I had known that my blog would get so big during the next year, I’d probably have chosen something really cool, but now we’re stuck with “AdieK84’s Blog”…=D
Before that, I’ve never even thought about having my own blog, but immediately after registering I started playing around with the blog editor and had so much fun blogging all the cool stuff I’ve found online.

One year and 64,395 hits later I can say that getting the blog was one of the best things happening to me in the past year. Not only is it fun to blog about art, music, relief efforts, etc….., but I’ve also met tons of great people online, among them visual artists, gallery owners, musicians, fellow Linkin Park fans and other great people from all over the world.
So thanks for sticking with me! :-)

Special thanks to my great co-author Antigoni, Eze Aerosolz for making my logo for free, and everyone who contributed to this blog with reviews, art, etc.

I want to share a video that really made me think about the whole blogging thing, and about what content I should post here. Eventually I’ve decided that the blog should just mirror my interests and personality, so that I just posted whatever struck me as interesting.

The video was still decoding when I’ve posted it, but I hope it’s done when you’re reading this…