In Philippines The Government Says Your Life Is Worth $20.00

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

What’s the Value of Human Rights? According to the Philippines House of Representatives, $20.

Youth protest against drug-related extrajudicial killings. Source: Anakbayan. Used with permission

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies in the House of Representatives led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez have voted to give 1,000 pesos (20 US dollars) to the 2018 budget of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), a constitutional body tasked to ensure that the state is upholding various human rights laws and treaties.

Around 112 lawmakers joined the house speaker in the vote to render the agency practically useless in performing its mandate. The CHR has been consistently voicing its concern over the excesses of Duterte’s “war on drugs,” which has already killed 13,000 drug suspects.

The CHR was created by the 1987 Philippine Constitution to prevent a repeat of the massive human rights abuse committed under the 21-year dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Duterte has repeatedly said he looks up to the former strongman whom he allowed to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) in 2016.

The meager budget is all but the latest blow from the Duterte administration, which has deemed the CHR as a nuisance to its campaign to fight illegal drugs.

But the CHR is not alone in condemning the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug personalities. Aside from the political opposition, church groups, and various civil society organizations, Duterte’s bloody “war on drugs” has also earned the disapproval of the international community such as the European Union and the UN Commission on Human Rights.

During a media interview, Speaker Alvarez explained the reasons why the majority decided to defund the CHR:

I see no reason for this government to fund [CHR]. You prefer to protect the rights of criminals instead of the victims.

Commission on Human Rights logo

Responding to the criticism of some Congress members, the CHR clarifiedits official duty:

We regret that despite continued clarifications on our mandate, they have wrongly perceived our role as combative rather than a collaborative effort to bolster Philippine democracy by ensuring that all public officials are honest in the performance of their duties and adhere to universally accepted principles of human rights.

The CHR said it will continue to perform its mandate even with the small funding:

Despite these circumstances, we will not turn our backs on our Constitutional duty to render justice for all and give everyone their due. The concern for human rights is beyond partisanship or disagreement. We shall seek means to move forward and navigate through the hurdles mindful of our oath to serve the people and the Republic—because it is what is right and what is needed of the times.

After the media reported the 1,000-peso budget of the CHR, Filipinos quickly took to social media to express their outrage.

Ted, a young professional, criticized the government on Facebook:

The 1000-peso CHR budget means the government is crap and has no regard for human rights.

Facebook user Kim Tanhui urged fellow Filipinos to stop tolerating human rights abuses:

EVERY person’s rights as a human must be protected, whichever official, candidate, or party he or she may be supporting.

This is about the public tolerating this blatant disregard for human rights and morality, which unfortunately, has become the norm during the recent months. Wake up, people! This is your government telling you that your human rights is worth only P 1,000. This is your government rendering the CHR, the body which was designated to protect you from government abuses, powerless.

Twitter user @DonyaJemimah did some quick number crunching to highlight how much Duterte’s allies have valued human rights:

1K = CHR’S BUDGET (HUMAN RIGHTS)
1K = 103M FILIPINOS = 0.000009 EACH

APPARENTLY, 1 VFRESH CANDY IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN OUR HUMAN RIGHTS 🙄

Even United Nations special rapporteur for extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, posted her dismay:

Reprehensible and unconscionable:  Congress slash annual budget of Commission for Human Rights to 20 USD @UNHumanRights

Even some supporters of the president expressed their shocked by the brazen move of the Lower House. With the Lower House essentially done with their part of the budget process, the ball is now with their counterparts in the Senate, the upper chamber of the Philippine Congress whose members are able to move with more flexibility away from the president’s line as they enjoy a broader and nationwide constituency. Some senators have already committed to restoring the CHR’s original proposed budget of 678 million pesos ($13.2 million) once they resume their budget deliberations.

Will this outrage be sustained and help opposition senators in giving the CHR a more appropriate budget? How will the Duterte administration maneuver to ensure the CHR is rendered useless with its $20 budget? With activists and various cause-oriented groups gearing up for a big gathering this coming September 21 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law, which ushered in massive human rights abuses by the Marcos dictatorship, this move by the Duterte administration will certainly be not forgotten.

Trump Once Again Tweets Article Showing His Sick Sense Of Humor And His Cowardliness

(MY IDEA FOR THIS ARTICLE CAME FROM A CNN ARTICLE THEY POSTED ABOUT 1300 EST TODAY) (September 16th 2017)

 

The article that CNN posted about one hour ago was of a Tweet that our glorious ‘Golfer in Chief’ posted early this morning. Now do not get me wrong, I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton at all nor am I even a Democrat but I do try to be a decent human being which is something that Mr. Trump relishes in not being. The first basic building block for believing and feeling that Mr. Trump is a coward is from the deferments his KKK Daddy got for him while he was in college. If I remember correctly I believe it was 6 deferments from going into the military during the Vietnam War. Supposedly he got the deferments because of a bad heal or a bad foot, I don’t remember exactly. Yet this coward was able to play in several sports programs while in college. If he could do these things he damn sure could have worn our Nations Uniform. It is amazing what a Daddy (as you probably know Trump likes that term, Daddy instead of just Dad) with hundreds of millions of dollars can arrange for their children, even when they are of adult age.

 

Now, onto the issue of Mr. Trumps Tweet this morning. He thought that this was funny I guess, maybe I am just to much of a moralist but to me it wasn’t humorist, it was pathetic. In the Tweet Mr. Trump is playing golf and when he strikes the ball the doctored clip shows Hillary getting on a plane when at the top of the steps the ball hits her in the middle of the back, knocking her down. Even if you are a person that can not stand this woman she is still a human and she is still a woman. Since when has our society turned so cold that we think that anyone especially someone who is supposed to be an adult man striking a woman with anything especially in the back so hard that it knocks her down, is funny? Only a sick coward would even think of doing such a thing to a woman, any woman. But then again, our society seems to have always been filled with women beaters, I have to wonder, is this ‘playing to his base’? Our President who has many times proven to the whole world that he is an habitual liar and a total idiot is hosting almost all of the worlds leaders at the UN this week. Yet instead of using his time wisely like learning about the world issues that will be being discussed this week, he spends his time playing, showing his total lack of moral character on Twitter, once again. I believe that if the NSA does not brush up on their President killing skills (both Kennedy’s, my belief/opinion) first, I believe that the Senate will absolutely Impeach him before the 2018 Elections are held. I do not condone any violence upon anyone so hopefully the Republicans will get rid of him first. There is the other option in getting this Moron out of ‘Our’ Oval Office, and that option is Mr. Mueller. That is my best wish of all of the above choices, Donald and all of the Trump’s along with Mr. Kushner spending the rest of their lives in a maximum security Federal Prison. That result would really be putting Mr. Trump in touch with ‘his base’.

Gold miners at a bar bragged about slaughtering members of a reclusive Brazilian tribe

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

 

Authorities: Gold miners at a bar bragged about slaughtering members of a reclusive Brazilian tribe

 September 11 at 4:59 PM

(G.Miranda/Funai/Survival International)

The outside world might never have heard about the suspected massacre if not for some barroom boasting by a group of miners fresh from working an illegal gig in the Amazon jungle.

The garimpeiros had bragged that they’d come across members of a reclusive, uncontacted Amazonian tribe near Brazil’s border with Peru and Colombia, authorities say.

The tribe members were greater in number — there were as many as 10 — but the gold miners said they’d gotten the better of them and killed the entire lot, said Carla de Lello Lorenzi, communications officer for Survival International in Brazil.

The miners cut the tribe members’ bodies so that they wouldn’t float, Lorenzi said, then dropped them into the Jandiatuba River.

The miners had collected tools and jewelry from the indigenous dead, corroborating their story.

An unidentified person who overheard the story was disturbed by it, recorded the miners’ conversation and turned the audio over to authorities. They have since launched an investigation into what, if confirmed, would be one of the largest mass murders of uncontacted people in decades.

Advocates for stricter protective measures say the suspected massacre is evidence that the Brazilian government isn’t doing enough to safeguard the more than 100 vulnerable tribes that have never made contact with the outside world — and have no desire to.

“If these reports are confirmed, [Brazilian President Michel Temer] and his government bear a heavy responsibility for this genocidal attack,” said Survival International’s director, Stephen Corry. Corry said the government has slashed funds for an agency that protects the tribes, leaving them “defenseless against thousands of invaders — gold miners, ranchers and loggers — who are desperate to steal and ransack their lands.”

“All these tribes should have had their lands properly recognized and protected years ago — the government’s open support for those who want to open up indigenous territories is utterly shameful, and is setting indigenous rights in Brazil back decades.”

According to the New York Times, the government closed five of the 19 bases it uses to monitor uncontacted tribes and prevent incursions by miners and loggers.

Three of the closed bases were in the Javari Valley, home to more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else on Earth.

For obvious reasons, little is known about the indigenous group involved in the suspected killings.

Locally, Lorenzi said, they’re known as Fleicheros, or “the ones who throw arrows,” but their language and customs — and how they interact with at least two other uncontacted tribes in the immediate area — remain a mystery.

But the tribe members are not the only people in that part of the Amazon, Lorenzi said. It is illegal to mine there, but prospectors have brought earth-moving equipment to the area, leaving giant craters that can be seen from the sky.

They also bring violence, according to the government, which says garimpeiros are responsible for threats, child prostitution and killings.

Even their nonviolent presence in the protected lands can be dangerous to uncontacted tribes, which lack the immunity to fight the diseases that miners and loggers bring.

Any contact can be contentious and even violent, with the uncontacted usually getting the worst of it because, as Lorenzi told The Post, “it’s usually bows and arrows against guns.”

Details about those contacts remain hazy, because they involve two groups of people unlikely to speak to authorities.

Still, tales of the worst violence sometimes get out. Survival International documented the story of Marisa Yanomami and Leida Yanomami, survivors of the Haximu massacre in 1993:

“The gold-miners killed our brothers and sisters and also killed our father with machetes; some of them were killed with guns,” they told the organization. “After the first 10 people died, at the start of the war, we moved to another place to hide and stayed in our shabono(communal house), but the next day, the miners appeared again.”

In a statement on its website, the Brazilian National Indian Foundation, or Funai, said it had prompted the federal public prosecutor’s office to investigate the most recent allegation.

The government has also trumpeted its latest operation against incursions on protected lands. In August, it shut down an illegal mining operation. Soldiers destroyed four dredging machines and fined mining operators $1 million for environmental crimes.

Investigations are tough undertakings. The site of the suspected killing, for example, is a 12-hour trek by boat during the dry season. And it involves a group of people with their own language and a centuries-long wariness of outsiders.

Even the details of the killing are sketchy, Lorenzi said. And the vacuum of information speaks to another fear advocates have: that these types of violent interactions happen a lot more frequently than is reported.

“That’s highly probable, yes, because it’s so difficult to document,” she said. “It’s the uncontacted versus illegal miners who think they can get away with anything.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the time they do.”

Read more: 

Before Irma hit, a stranger gave the last generator to a crying woman for her ailing father

Archaeologists unearth a 500-year-old tower of skulls — and another gruesome Aztec mystery

A researcher discovered how cave men cleaned their teeth. It will make you want to brush yours.

Was Anne Frank’s family betrayed? After 72 years, historians have a new theory.

Pope Francis And Donald Trump: One Man Of Faith And One Without Any?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Aboard the papal plane (CNN) If US President Donald Trump considers himself “pro-life,” he should reconsider his decision to end a program that allows the children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States, Pope Francis said.

“The President of the United States presents himself as pro-life and if he is a good pro-lifer, he understands that family is the cradle of life and its unity must be protected,” Francis said.
The Pope’s comments came during a news conference Sunday aboard the papal plane, as he returned to the Vatican after a five-day trip to Colombia. In the wide-ranging Q&A with reporters, the Pope also said history will harshly judge deniers of climate change.
The Pope acknowledged that he was not familiar with the specifics of DACA. “I think this law comes not from parliament but from the executive,” the Pope said. “If that is so, I am hopeful that it will be re-thought.”
Trump and the Pope have tussled over immigration before, with the Pope saying last year that anyone who thinks only of building walls instead of bridges is “not Christian.”
Trump fired back, saying that no religious leader should question another man’s faith.
The US Catholic bishops have also battled a former Trump administration official on DACA in recent days.
Steve Bannon, who until recently was Trump’s chief strategist, accused the bishops of having an ulterior motive in advocating for families affected by the decision to revoke DACA. They have called the decision “heartless” and “reprehensible.”
Bannon said the bishops “need illegal aliens to fill the churches,” a charge the bishops called “preposterous” and “insulting.”

History will judge climate change deniers

As the papal plane prepared to cross over Hurricane Irma’s path on its way back to Rome from Cartagena, Francis issued a stern warning to climate change deniers.
“If we don’t go back, we will go down,” the Pope said, referring to a study which suggested the world must reverse course within the next few years or suffer dire consequences.
Francis said he was particularly struck by news last week of a Russian boat that managed to go through the North Pole without an icebreaker.
“Whoever denies it has to go to the scientists and ask them,” he said. “They speak very clearly, scientists are precise.”
“Then they decide and history will judge those decisions.”
When asked why some governments refused to see the importance of the issue, Francis quoted the book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
“Man is a stupid and hard-headed being,” he said.

North Korea

Francis said he did not fully understand the crisis in North Korea. “I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t really understand the world of geopolitics,” he said. “I think what I see there is a fight for political interests.”
Francis’ message throughout his five-day visit to Colombia had been one of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is a hard message for many Colombians, who still have the trauma of kidnappings and killings fresh in their minds, but one which seems to have already had an important effect.
The leader of the guerrilla group FARC, Rodrigo Londono, asked forgiveness on Friday for the suffering his group caused to the Colombian people, in an open letter to Pope Francis.
“Your repeated expressions about God’s infinite mercy move me to plead your forgiveness for any tears and pain that we have caused the people of Colombia,” Londono wrote.

Woman Refused Brain Cancer Treatment To Save Unborn Baby

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF PEOPLE.COM)

 

HUMAN INTEREST

Mom of 6 Who Refused Cancer Treatment to Deliver Baby Is ‘Hours Away From Death’: ‘It Hurts So Bad,’ Says Husband

POSTED ON 

Carrie DeKlyen is hours away from dying — but her final, selfless act to forego cancer treatment and carry her baby to term will “never be forgotten” says her husband.

“When our daughter gets old enough, I’ll tell her the story about her brave mommy,” Nick DeKlyen tells PEOPLE through tears. “I’ll tell her that God gave her the gift of life with an awesome plan in mind and we’re not sure why mommy had to be sick and pass away to do so, but it’s all a special plan and we must trust it.

“I’ll tell her that mommy did this because she loves you and she is in Heaven and we’ll see her again — soon, soon.”

Carrie, 37, was diagnosed with glioblastoma in April — an aggressive, rapidly growing malignant tumor that can affect the brain and spinal cord — but opted to avoid treatment to save her baby.

Carrie and Nick with their children
COURTESY DEKLYEN FAMILY

She gave birth via cesarean section to Life Lynn DeKlyen on September 6 at 24 weeks and 5 days.

“We gave up all of Carrie’s treatment to give Life a chance to survive,” says Nick, who has five other kids with Carrie: Elijah, 18, Isaiah, 16, Nevaeh, 11, Leila, 4, and Jez, 2. “Her birth meant that this wasn’t all for nothing, my wife will pass on and my baby will live.

“She wanted this, but it’s tough — I’m trying to be happy for the baby but the love of my life is hours away from dying, it hurts so bad.”

Baby Life

 

It was after Carrie enrolled in a clinical trial at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, that doctors informed her she would need to “terminate her pregnancy” in order to receive cancer treatment, Carrie’s sister-in-law, Sonya Nelson, tells PEOPLE.

“And she didn’t want to do that,” Nelson explains.

Adds Nick: “The doctor said if you don’t terminate this baby, Carrie, you will die. But it was Carrie’s decision and I said, ‘What do you want to do?’ She said, ‘We’re keeping it.’ ”

After delivering Life, Carrie was taken off of life support, with her family telling supporters on their Facebook support page Cure 4 Carrie that she is “very comfortable she is in God’s hands until he calls her home.”

“Her oxygen level is getting lower and her breathing is becoming shorter, she’ll take a breath and take another breath 20 seconds later,” says Nick. “These final moments are precious, it’s peaceful, but bittersweet.”

COURTESY DEKLYEN FAMILY

Nick — who met Carrie at church when he was just 12 years old — has already said goodbye to his longtime sweetheart: “I kissed her on the forehead and said, ‘I love you, you did it you gave our baby life and she’s doing well’ and then I let her go.

“Now we’re just waiting. ”

Life, who weighed 1 lb. and 4 oz. at birth, is “doing great,” adds Nick. “She’s got my wife’s cute button nose.”

COURTESY DEKLYEN FAMILY

Carrie’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with finances after Carrie is gone.

“We’ll never understand why this had to happen, why we had to lose Carrie,” says Nick. “But all I know is that Life is an amazing miracle.”

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