abba's way

Three hashtags to change the world. A Twitter Strategy.

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Three hashtags to change the world. A Twitter Strategy.

Philanthropy and capitalism and nationalism are the three pillars of a dysfunctional world.  #tolerance #democracy  #helpfulness.

We need a democratic wave of individuals everywhere who affirm #tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness.

Philanthropy should become the struggle for human rights. #tolerance #democracy #helpfulness.

Capitalism needs to get behind #tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness.

Nationalism needs to diminish in the interests of a non-violent war-free world. #tolerance #democracy #helpfulness.

#Tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness is not utopian.  It is hard-nosed realism.

#Tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness. is not collectivism, it is ethical individualism.

To achieve the goal of world change, spread #tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness.

Use #tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness individually or together to raise ethical consciousness.

Clicking on #tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness. will lead you to tweets you should retweet.

Tweets with #tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness focus on breaking human rights issues around the world.

#Tolerance is a universal value all persons should affirm and practice.

#Democracy is the best way for human beings to create fair and constitutional self-government.

#Helpfulness is the conscious reduction of measurable harm.

#tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness are the three active values of a valid universal ethic.

Make these hashtags your signature to create change in this century – #tolerance #democracy  and #helpfulness.

Stephen C. Rose.

abba's way, barack obama, obama, politics, theology

Democracy Posts

Alleged Democracy April 18, 2011
Alleged Democracy – Free Verse by Stephen C. Rose. In an alleged democracy where 45 percent pay no taxes at all we are condemned to a slow death unless fairness seeps back into an elevated consciousness
Tremble Iran April 14, 2011
Pro-Democracy Will Win Out In Iran. There is an ontological reality to democracy because it is a universal willed value. It is our commonality writ large in the cosmos. For this reason Iran will fall before its power.
Journalists Abused April 12, 2011
Free journalism is the lifeblood of democracy. Human Rights counsel aimed at the Palestinian Authority should be a template for the protection of all journalists on the front lines of the democratic revolution worldwide.
Supreme Court April 4, 2011
Vulgar Court – Quatrain by Stephen C. Rose. In The New Yorker Comment “Money Talks”, Jeffrey Toobin describes the assault on Democracy by our shameful Supreme Court.
Global Triage March 15, 2011
Global Triage. Abba’s Way – Tolerance, Helpfulness, Democracy, Non-Idolatry and Daily Use of The Lord’s Prayer Is The Antidote to Corporate Global Self Slaughter

President Obama’s War With The United States

This probably sounds like a candidate for wingnut headline of the day. A story about how the President plans to do everyone in because he is the ultimate subverter of our traditions and way of life.

But my purpose is to suggest that the current Afpak business does not really pit the President against the world’s terrorists as much as it pits him against our sorry past. I am talking about the past that was decreed the minute we institutionalized our WW2-justified impunity and morphed it into the clandestine reality of the Cold War.

I believe it is time to demythologize this venture and call it what it was — an exaggerated sense of global danger that traded an uneasy security for a vicious and demeaning military-industrial venture into global violence and the prodigal sacrifice of American lives and resources.

When I was a child, the violence of media tended to have a humorous distance built in. As in the adventures of Superman and such. Now the cultural expressions of violence are so pervasive that they are an exercise in special effects that reflect our own passivity in the face of shock and awe.

The President cannot act in Afghanistan without engaging in a real war with the hold that Cold War mythology continues to exert. The myth persists. Even though it was never as stated, save in the way both sides played necessary parts and wasted time and treasure creating the mutually assured destruction that gave it its substance.

I am not saying that realpolitik is not real. I am saying that when it shades into a world where impunity, the power that corrupts absolutely, is permitted, then we have this world, the world of a culture filled with everything needed to defeat reasonable action and measured response. There is tangible power behind institutions which are the instruments of the jaws of hell. It is the power and fascination with unbridled improvements on the weapons of destruction, the means of murder, the modes of reification and the mentality of permanent war.

I firmly believe that the President was given his opportunity precisely because there is an ever so slight chance that the balance can tip toward reason. But it cannot do so without a willingness to work through a battle plan for lifting from the vision of the United States the blinders put there by the Dulles Brothers and others who gave birth to the present era.

Obama is appointed, I believe, to show how true toughness lies in respecting ourselves enough to have the courage to deny impunity to all who would seize it. I know that in the human rights world impunity is a term so widely used that it begins to lack meaning.

Very simply impunity is whatever enables a person possessing power to exert his/her will physically’spiritually over another. Whether in a household, a town, a nation. Wherever. Impunity compromises the right of every human being to have his or her No respected and honored. Impunity makes power the measure of all things. Because it is always unbridled, it is the absolute corruption.

The President has intelligently bought some time in Afghanistan. But the time will be ill-used if he does not work with Joe Biden and others to confront the real fault, the fault not in our stars but in ourselves. When this is done. whatever we do in Afghanistan will have a purpose that would never be served if this underlying battle went begging to be understood.


GLOBAL OUTRAGE AT BURMA RULING AUNG-SAN-SUU-KYI GUILTY Brown: “Monstrous” … Sarkozy: “Brutal And Unjust” … Obama: Release Her!

The rare unanimity among major powers is an opportunity for a giant step in human rights. I hope that one result will be freedom for this great champion, who serves us all with her brave witness. I hope another will be a move of philanthropic attention to the essential role of human rights organizations in achieving the very aims of economic and social justice that these organizations seek via other avenues.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


The Right To Kill

It is somewhat ironical that this subject generally applies to those who feel they have a choice. The Taliban does not spend much time reflecting on their right to kill. It is conferred, they sense, by the presence of an enemy on their soil, or by the violation of a holy law, or simply by being an “infidel”.

Al Qaeda has likewise never questioned its right to kill, even when its victims are palpably innocent. It could be argued that Al Qaeda, with its roots in the privileged and Bush-revered Bin Laden family, has always operated from choice. But it is choice that seems untinged by conscience or regret. It is the choice conferred by fanatic certitude, aka the very worst, seminal idolatry.

The question of the right to kill is properly addressed to we Americans, and to the President and others for whom these questions are not in the least academic.

The answer was clear enough the other day when Navy Seals dispatched three Somali pirates with three pin-point shots. The shots were designed to eliminate any chance that these pirates could stop the escape of their American hostage.

Was the right to kill so clear that no declaration of war was required? Thinking about it, this was perhaps seen as so transparently justified that no declaration was needed.

What about the prospect of using more drone attacks to accomplish what seems completely beyond the reach of any ground operation in Afpak? Do we need to rethink our evident rejection of the term war on terror? We are, after all, pursuing precisely that, perhaps seriously, for the first time.

I am inclined to think that if the Obama government undertakes to initiate a continuing drone strategy in Afpak, declaring to the world its right to kill with something like impunity, the decision does require interpretation as to whether it qualifies as a police action, in which case no declaration would be sought, or as an act of war, requiring the approval of Congress.

In an earlier post, I suggested that the right to kill may exist in situations where the damage we seek to prevent is comparable to the damage Hitler did after he was allowed to run roughshod over France. Looking at the record of Al Queda, and the chilling prospect of a takeover in Pakistan that could result in the use of viable atomic weapons at will against Western targets, I have little doubt that a clear justification for preventive measures would exist. I say that in the spirit of my mentor, the late Don Benedict, who initially opposed World War Two, spent time in jail as a pacifist, then concluded he must fight, and did. I say it understanding the courage and agony of Bonhoeffer, whose assault on Hitler failed. It was, in any case, too late to ward off the Nazi leader’s worst depredations.

The US has, as a nation, operated with anarchic, and even bullying, impunity in the past around the world, never seeking justification at any point. Now we have a President who is exceedingly strong yet committed to the rule of law.

It will be important to see how Barack Obama deals with this issue if he decides that drone attacks, and similar pinpointed anti-terrorist measures, must proceed in Afpak.


Human Rights Watch on Hillary’s Indescretion

Yes it was not cool for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to state that she would not muddy the waters by raising intractable human rights issues with the Chinese. But it gave human rights activists the opportunity to tell her how uncool it was. The head of Amnesty International got a chance on TV to explain just how noxious China is on human rights. And Human Rights weighed in as well:

“Secretary Clinton’s remarks point to a diplomatic strategy that has worked well for the Chinese government – segregating human rights issues into a dead-end ‘dialogue of the deaf.’ A new approach is needed, one in which the US engages China on the critical importance of human rights to a wide range of mutual security interests.”

Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch


News “events” like this offer a pretext for a sort of double whammy. The offended organizations can respond with appropriate salience. And the perps — in this case our Government — can respond by protesting their commitment to human rights and rememberi to emphasize it appropriately in the future.

My own reaction is that Hillary was merely being candid, rather in the manner of someone intending to interview Mike Tyson and knowing that if one says a particular thing one is likely to be KO-ed on the spot.

Borrow less and speak out more.

politics, theology

Evangelicals and Human Rights

There’s an interesting piece on why evangelicals seem to shy away from a human rights emphasis which is found in the outlook of the United Nations and in documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here’s a squib.

Why have evangelicals ignored the birthday of the twentieth century’s most profound statement on human rights? One reason may be evangelical ambivalence about the United Nations. Another may be that some evangelicals regard “rights talk” as an alien language with little connection to Biblical faith. Raised in the evangelical subculture, I have experienced this attitude firsthand. During my undergraduate years at Wheaton College, one of my professors presented the class with a startling claim: human rights are a product of modern political thought and cannot be found in the Bible. At the time, I wondered how he could square this statement with the dozens of Bible verses proclaiming the rights of the poor.


I remember at UNICEF there was actually something of a fissure between a time of heady activism with an emphasis on results under Jim Grant and a systemic rights emphasis under Carol Bellamy. In other words during her administration in the late 1990s there was more and more emphasis on rights as the basis for an insistence on justice regarding the inequities of the world. So is is not as if rights have been emphasized all along with the vigor, say, of the Biblical prophets or of Jesus. We still have a long way to go until the world, secular or religious, operates consciously on the basis of rights. If the time arrived, we would not be arguing race as much, since it would no longer be a factor in the distribution of wealth, health and respect. Nor in fact would we have a Middle East problem, since the rights emphasis would override the archaic religious emphases that continue to define the hostilities there. And here for that matter.