human rights

The Four Freedoms, in 2017

I spoke this afternoon at a rally in Pittsfield, Massachusetts my (almost) hometown (I live one town north, in Lanesboro.) The rally

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Hayek

Universidad Francisco Marroquin recently made available both the video and transcripts of a series of interviews with F.A. Hayek from the mid-1970′s. Not only do they furnish an in depth look into the ideas of one of the past century’s most influential thinkers, and pair him with some of the other great economists of the past half-century, they do so with a level of style that only the 1970′s could provide.

Why is promising a right to food more politically appealing than delivering that food?

In India, the system that delivers subsidized food and fuel to the nation’s poor is badly broken. Many people who are supposed to receive the subsidized fuel and bags of grain do not, and “studies show that 70 percent of a roughly $12 billion budget is wasted, stolen, or absorbed by bureaucratic and transportation costs.”

And a Happy 60th to the Geneva Conventions!

Speaking of anniversaries, on August 12 1949, 64 countries came together in the wake of the worst war the world has ever seen and signed the four Geneva Conventions.

Obama statement on Aung Sun Suu Kyi

Fresh from the White House: 
The conviction and sentencing of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi today on charges related to an uninvited intrusion into her home violate universal principles of human rights, run counter to Burma’s commitments under the ASEAN charter, and demonstrate continued disregard for UN Security Council statements. I join the international community in calling for Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate unconditional release.

Another day, another ridiculous John Bolton op-ed

In The Wall Street Journal today, John Bolton -- the "Glenn Beck of foreign policy," in Dan Drezner's words -- demonstrates once again his uncanny ability to pen ludicrous partisan blindsides and convince major editorial boards to

Ending a culture of rape

Hilary Clinton is in Kinshasa, Congo, today, calling for an end to rape as a weapon of war. She blamed an unprofessional military and a trade in minerals that fuels violent militias. She was passionate and stirring as she talked about human rights abuses, and ending a culture of rape.

Ban Condemns Suu Kyi guilty verdict

Ban Ki Moon added his voice to those of other world leaders in condemning the conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi. 
“The Secretary-General is deeply disappointed by the verdict in respect of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” his spokesperson said in a statement. “The Secretary-General strongly deplores this decision.”

Is 61% approval "deep-seated ambivalence?"

Former Bush Administration official John Bellinger has an interesting WaPo op-ed on the prospects of the United States joining the International Criminal Court. In the main, he's probably right: the United States is not likely to join the Court in the immediate future. But the argument with which he chooses to conclude his piece is deeply misleading:

IMF approves Sri Lanka Loan, U.S. gives $8 million for resettlement

The International Monetary Fund's board of directors approved a $2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka last week.  The vote was not without controversy.  There are currently hundreds of thousands of ethnic-Tamil civilians trapped in military run concentration camps that are largely off-limits to international humanitarian organizations and international media.  These hundreds of thousands of people streamed out of the conflict zone in April during the waning days of Sri Lanka's long civil war.  Ban Ki Moon has

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