Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sakharov Prize 2008 awarded to Hu Jia

From the EP's Press Release,
The European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought has been awarded this year to Chinese political activist Hu Jia, EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering announced in Strasbourg today. The prize ceremony will take place in Strasbourg on 17 December.

Hu Jia is a prominent human rights activist and dissident in the People's Republic of China. He has embraced a wide range of causes, including environmental issues, HIV/AIDS advocacy and a call for an official enquiry into the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. He has also acted as a coordinator of the "barefoot lawyers movement".

Mr Pöttering said: "By awarding the Sakharov Prize to Hu Jia, the European Parliament firmly and resolutely acknowledges the daily struggle for freedom of all Chinese human rights defenders."
Also the LA Times story

Der Spiegel: Why Europeans Love Obama

Beth Arnold's interview with Bernard-Henri Lévy
SALON: So you are saying that you believe the left can end up committing the same sins as the right? Because I think in the United States we have been fighting for tolerance in so many ways -- tolerance for gays, civil rights ...

Lévy: These battles, of course, you fought. I fought ... And it is won. It is achieved. Barack Obama being a candidate for the presidency and maybe -- I hope -- elected means that the fight is won, more or less. Frankly a country where racism is sued in front of lawyers, a country where the women won the power of preventing discrimination and so on, this is great. This is a huge cultural revolution, which America led.

But in the name of tolerance there can be also some crimes -- not committed but veiled ... For example, those who tell us that we have to be tolerant of the radical Islamist movements. Those who tell us that being tolerant means trying to understand their reasons and their justifications. Those who tell us that, about women, to veil the face of a woman is just a customary habit, which we Westerners are not allowed to judge according to the standard of human rights. This is a very bad thing.

This idea that every habit should be respected, every custom should be accepted because it belongs to a whole and that if we take a piece, we break the whole -- this is one of the counter-effects of tolerance. And you have in America a lot of people who said, why should you ask the Indian people to resign the pattern of the castes that belong to their culture? Why should you oblige this or that tribe, people in Africa, to resign the excision of the clitoris of the little girl? It belongs to their culture ...
Battles fought and won but those new crimes are lingering.

Human Rights Watch's Ken Roth on Bush, Darfur, and the International Criminal Court

HRW's Ken Roth on Bush and Darfur: Bush Does the Right Thing for Darfur
Human Rights Watch rarely lauds the Bush administration. But when it comes to supporting international efforts to prosecute Sudanese leaders for their slaughter in Darfur, the administration so far has it right.
And the conclusion,
The Bush administration's support for accountability is a logical consequence of its longstanding commitment to end atrocities in Darfur. It also reflects a broader reassessment of the ICC.

Contrary to early fears, the ICC has acted with restraint and professionalism. Its prosecutions, whether of the warlords of eastern Congo, the child-soldier recruiters of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army or the killers of Khartoum, all accord with U.S. interests, as well as basic decency. President-elect Barack Obama should continue that approach, and embrace the ICC as an important tool to combat mass atrocities.
Let's see if Obama is up for the challenge.

NextGov: Issues with Obama's YouTube Addresses

NextGov picks up an issue I've been wondering about. Obama's use of cookies from his websites.
CNet blogger Chris Soghoian challenges President-Elect Barack Obama in a Monday posting to "ditch" YouTube as the platform for (what seemingly may be) his periodic addresses to the nation. Soghoian argues that Obama should host the videos on a government server. He points out that by embedding the YouTube video on Change.gov, the Obama team has introduced persistent cookies on the site, which is in violation of government policy, and an act not mentioned in the Change.gov privacy policy. (Soghoian links to a Government Executive article on the subject.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chi Town News: Low turnout for Obama in Chicago's black wards

This surprized me... a bit,
Alderman Emma Mitts worked hard in the days before the presidential election to ensure that citizens in her West Side ward would take advantage of the opportunity to vote for the country's first black president.

She encouraged constituents to participate in early voting, and pushed a ride-sharing program to make sure transportation difficulties didn't keep people from casting their ballot.

Even so, turnout in her majority black ward was lower than the city average, and less than during the 2004 presidential election. Her ward is not unique.

Despite the popular perception that Sen. Barack Obama won the presidency on a tidal wave of enthusiasm in the African-American community, turnout in Chicago's majority black wards was lower than in other wards, according to a Daily News analysis of voting data.
The Prez may want to stop by Pulaski and Madison and tell all what's going to Change.

xp Illinoize

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Daily Herald: DuPage board chief eyes running for state office

Todays' Daily Herald,
DuPage County Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom is hinting at a possible run for statewide office in two years.

"I'm interested in doing what I can to turn things around (in Springfield), and I'm not exactly sure what that may be at this point," he said. "It may be to continue doing exactly what I'm doing right now, it may to be very involved in the selection of the next slate and it may be to potentially be a candidate. Time will tell on those issues."

Schillerstrom made those remarks during a taping Friday of the WBBM NewsRadio 780 program "At Issue" that will air at 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Somehow I don't think he's the change the Illinois GOP needs. Follow the comments over at the DH on this story. They're good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Health Care blog

With Health Care reform the coming topic, I figure it's time to start up the Health Care blog again.

Quentin Young's Policy of "Reality and Shame"

Photo HT Real Barack Obama


Quentin Young qutoed below from in an interview with NYT in 1991.

Docs will suffer a little shame, including Young, rather than go broke treating the poor on Uncle Sam's nickle.

Reality worth keeping in mind with the looming Health Care reform plans. Doc's aren't going to work cheap. They'll suffer the shame instead.
With low fees pushing doctors away from Medicaid patients, the medical tradition of charitable service to those who can pay very little or nothing at all has been sorely tested.

Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and a longtime champion of liberal causes, has strict rules on the number of Medicaid patients he will see because otherwise, he said, "I'd go broke."

He calls his policy a mix of "reality and shame." Dr. Young said that if doctors refused to treat patients based on race instead of a Medicaid card "there would be Federal protection."

"The health status for people represented by Medicaid is declining," he said. "The people are shunted about. Either they are rejected by competent physicians or are very often put into clinics that abuse the system, with very little gain in health.

"It's a reflection of the powerlessness of the poor," he said, "and the hardening heart of American that is ominous."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day 2008 - Joint Contracting Command -Iraq/Afghanistan

Kane's McConnaughy on bloggers

Kane County Board Chair Karen McConnaughay on bloggers in today's Daily Herald,
Part of the difficulty with the changing communication and political scene is the impact of unchecked blogging and the infusion of inexperienced candidates who spend entire campaigns on the attack, McConnaughay said.

"Because of blogging, people can say anything they want," McConnaughay said. "They don't have to justify it. They can just say it. If you're sitting in a position of incumbency you spend all your time trying to deconstruct the nonsense."

McConnaughay also said candidates should earn some basic government experience before running for high offices.

"There's less discipline in the parties to really groom people and really try them out," McConnaughay said. "Good places to try out candidates for offices are the library districts and park boards. You have people today who have this idea that they just feel like running for office and have no idea what the office is about. This isn't about the Democrats. It's about candidates in general no matter what party. Wouldn't you want to start by being a county board member or on your local city council?"
Sounds to me like McConnaughay has Oberweis in mind more than bloggers, and it sure wasn't unchecked mouths of bloggers that contributed to the defeat of the likes of Ruth Munson in the growing hispanic communities of Kane.

Kane GOP has problems but unchecked bloggers sure aren't part of it.

xp Illinoize

Saturday, November 08, 2008

“Bush Dog” Rahm on war in Iraq

I've agreed with Rahm on policy but his hypocrisy (and Illinois corruption) won't let me ever vote Democrat again. Democrats have done America great damage talking out of both sides of their mouths like this. Read it about the guy Liberals, Progressives, and UUs in the West Burbs were calling a "Bush Dog".

And this from on of those hero's of progressives from the CD next to me,
According to Spidel, Emanuel worked against Cegelis because of her support for withdrawal from Iraq and her outspoken opposition to "free trade" legislation like the Central American Free Trade Agreement. "In 2006 the DCCC was Emanuel's personal weapon. He executed based on his needs. He needed votes on 'free trade' legislation that he supports, and he knew that [Cegelis] was one of the Democrats who would vote her own way," Spidel said.

Spidel said that Emanuel worked to defeat Cegelis because she represented a threat to the established Illinois Democrats and because she did not seek their approval before running. "Chicago politics is a family. If you didn't go into the city and kiss certain rings, you were not given certain resources like Political Action Committee lists and donor lists. Cegelis' success hurt some egos and the party didn't like their lack of control," Spidel said.
Going to be quite a four years.