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The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law
Topic: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law (Read 21940 times)
UN Gun Treaty up for grabs today and tomorrow
Reply #200 on:
December 12, 2013, 12:02:09 PM »
Cruz: Limits on US Treaty Power
Reply #201 on:
January 16, 2014, 10:31:15 AM »
Hat tip to our BD:
Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law
Reply #202 on:
January 21, 2014, 11:15:38 AM »
Gun Owners of America
The Omnibus Appropriations Bill:
Pro-gun or Anti-gun?
Dear Marc F.,
On Friday, Congress sent a $1.1 trillion government funding bill to the President, who promptly signed the legislation into law.
Like every "omnibus," the bill has a number of gun-related provisions -- some pro-gun, some anti-gun. And we suspect that a majority of our members will probably oppose this bloated monstrosity.
That being said, there were some key victories in this bill. So briefly, here are the pros and cons.
THE "OMNIBUS" KILLS THE ARMS TRADE TREATY. In the 113th Congress, we believe we have about twenty votes more than we need to stop ratification of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. This is extremely important because, if implemented, this treaty -- signed by the Obama administration -- could, without further legislation, result in massive semi-auto and handgun bans, magazine bans, gun registration, and microstamping.
Even though we felt comfortable that we could stop the treaty's ratification, we were concerned that Obama would attempt to implement it by administrative fiat. For this reason, we drafted language defunding its implementation. With your help, we have spent the last year pushing incessantly for the adoption of this amendment defunding the ATT.
That language is contained on the "Omnibus." For many of our members, killing the ATT is more important than any other issue.
, , ,
from the glibness thread
Reply #203 on:
February 15, 2014, 03:40:18 PM »
No he is not a radical in sheep's clothing. rolleyes Just political grandstanding by right wing nuts. (heavy on the sarcasm)
And we keep hearing what a nice guy he is. If I hear O'Reilly say one more time he doesn't doubt Obama's good intentions..... rolleyes
I keep thinking how is someone who is a serial liar, serial deceiver, bully, a nice guy. Oh but he cares about the po' is always the response. It is his goals that matter not how he gets there.
****The Soul of the Obama Administration
By Mona Charen February 14, 2014 3:00 AM
Few have ever heard the name Debo Adegbile. He's President Barack Obama's nominee to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department.
A few months ago, his nomination would have been a non-starter — there is more than a whiff of radicalism in his past. But we are in a new world. Sen. Harry Reid is now absolute monarch of the Senate. Republicans are largely irrelevant. They cannot offer amendments to legislation. They cannot filibuster. I suppose they can write letters to the editor, and march outside the chamber wearing sandwich boards.
Before the Reid invocation of the "nuclear option" eliminating the filibuster, Adegbile would have been considered too controversial. But now, the administration can have its head on nominations.
Adegbile is a passionate advocate for racial quotas in hiring and university admissions, and also urges that employers not be permitted to do background checks on potential hires — presumably because more African-Americans have criminal records than other applicants.
(POSTED IN THIS THREAD FOR THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES: MARC)
He has encouraged the president to nominate judges who recognize that "ratified treaties" are the law of land. Well, no argument there, but he goes further. Adegbile wants judges who will decree that "customary international law" is the law of the United States as well, asking for God only knows what mischief. Who would decide what "customary international law" is? By what authority would it be imposed on Americans? Investor's Business Daily reports that Adegbile supports George Soros's campaign to create a new "progressive" constitution. If that doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, you're not paying attention.
It was Adegbile's role in the case of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal that incurred the wrath of Justice Department employees though. The union representing FBI agents, which rarely expresses itself on nominations, along with the Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement groups, have written to Attorney General Eric Holder to protest Adegbile's nomination. Carl Rowan Jr., a former deputy U.S. marshal, FBI special agent and chief of police, wrote: "He isn't the first questionable nomination made by a president who ... seems drawn to those with radical backgrounds, but this one is an open slap in the face to everyone in law enforcement."
Abu-Jamal has long been a poster boy for the radical left in America. His fine speaking voice (he had been a radio host), long dreadlocks, Muslim moniker (he was born Wesley Cook), radical memberships (in the Black Panthers and black liberation group MOVE), and admiration of Mao Zedong made him irresistible to the Ed Asners, Jonathan Kozolses, National Lawyers Guilds, Michael Moores and NPRs of the world. But until this administration, most mainstream liberals would have steered clear.
Adegbile revealed a great deal about himself by choosing to have the NAACP Legal Defense Fund join the campaign to defend Abu-Jamal. There are many miscarriages of justice that cry out for redress, but Abu-Jamal's 1981 conviction for killing 25-year-old Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner is one of the most litigated in American jurisprudence. The verdict was reviewed or allowed to stand by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, among others, over the course of more than 30 years.
On Dec. 9, 1981, at about 4 a.m., Faulkner pulled over a driver named William Cook (Abu-Jamal's brother) for driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Cook threw a punch at Faulkner, who then hit Cook with his flashlight. At that point, four eyewitnesses said that Abu-Jamal, who had been across the street, fired at Faulkner hitting him in the back. Though wounded, Faulkner fired back at Abu-Jamal, hitting him in the chest, before falling onto his back. Abu-Jamal approached the wounded officer and holding his gun 18 inches in front of Faulkner's face, fired the shots that killed him.
Ballistics confirmed that the bullets that killed Faulkner were from Abu-Jamal's gun, found with him at the scene.
Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death, but decades of litigation and agitation on his behalf delayed the sentence. He has claimed ineffective assistance of counsel (though at one point he represented himself), racism by the judge, racism in jury selection — the usual gamut. In 2011, prosecutors announced that they would no longer pursue the death penalty.
Every defendant deserves a defense, of course. But Abu-Jamal has had a celebrity lineup of lefty lawyers. That Adegbile wanted to join their ranks is a sign of his sympathies. That Obama believes Adegbile can get confirmed by the neutered Senate is a sign of the times.
To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at
COPYRIGHT 2014 CREATORS.COM
Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 05:30:01 PM by Crafty_Dog
Reply #204 on:
March 13, 2014, 10:31:14 AM »
US to relinquish remaining control over the internet
Reply #205 on:
March 15, 2014, 05:10:25 PM »
Hat tip to CCP:
*****U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet
Joe Raedle/Getty Images - Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade.
By Craig Timberg,
U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move that pleased international critics but alarmed some business leaders and others who rely on the smooth functioning of the Web.
Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash last year to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.
Move comes after revelations about National Security Agency surveillance.
The change would end the long-running contract between the Commerce Department and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a California-based nonprofit group. That contract is set to expire next year but could be extended if the transition plan is not complete.
“We look forward to ICANN convening stakeholders across the global Internet community to craft an appropriate transition plan,” Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information, said in a statement.
The announcement received a passionate response, with some groups quickly embracing the change and others blasting it.
In a statement, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) called the move “consistent with other efforts the U.S. and our allies are making to promote a free and open Internet, and to preserve and advance the current multi-stakeholder model of global Internet governance.”
But former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) tweeted: “What is the global internet community that Obama wants to turn the internet over to? This risks foreign dictatorships defining the internet.”
The practical consequences of the decision were harder to immediately discern, especially with the details of the transition not yet clear. Politically, the move could alleviate rising global concerns that the United States essentially controls the Web and takes advantage of its oversight position to help spy on the rest of the world.
U.S. officials set several conditions and an indeterminate timeline for the transition from federal government authority, saying a new oversight system must be developed and win the trust of crucial stakeholders around the world. An international meeting to discuss the future of Internet is scheduled to start on March 23 in Singapore.
The move’s critics called the decision hasty and politically tinged, and voiced significant doubts about the fitness of ICANN to operate without U.S. oversight and beyond the bounds of U.S. law.
“This is a purely political bone that the U.S. is throwing,” said Garth Bruen, a security fellow at the Digital Citizens Alliance, a Washington-based advocacy group that combats online crime. “ICANN has made a lot of mistakes, and ICANN has not really been a good steward.”
Business groups and some others have long complained that ICANN’s decision-making was dominated by the interests of the industry that sells domain names and whose fees provide the vast majority of ICANN’s revenue. The U.S. government contract was a modest check against such abuses, critics said.
“It’s inconceivable that ICANN can be accountable to the whole world. That’s the equivalent of being accountable to no one,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a trade group representing major Internet commerce businesses.
U.S. officials said their decision had nothing to do with the NSA spying revelations and the worldwide controversy they sparked, saying there had been plans since ICANN’s creation in 1998 to eventually migrate it to international control.
“The timing is now right to start this transition both because ICANN as an organization has matured, and international support continues to grow for the multistakeholder model of Internet governance,” Strickling said in a statement.
Although ICANN is based in Southern California, governments worldwide have a say in the group’s decisions through an oversight body. ICANN in 2009 made an “Affirmation of Commitments” to the Commerce Department that covers several key issues.
Fadi Chehade, president of ICANN, disputed many of the complaints about the transition plan and promised an open, inclusive process to find a new international oversight structure for the group.
“Nothing will be done in any way to jeopardize the security and stability of the Internet,” he said.
The United States has long maintained authority over elements of the Internet, which grew from a Defense Department program that started in the 1960s. The relationship between the United States and ICANN has drawn wider international criticism in recent years, in part because big American companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft play such a central role in the Internet’s worldwide functioning. The NSA revelations exacerbated those concerns.
“This is a step in the right direction to resolve important international disputes about how the Internet is governed,” said Gene Kimmelman, president of Public Knowledge, a group that promotes open access to the Internet.
Verizon, one of the world’s biggest Internet providers, issued a statement saying, “A successful transition in the stewardship of these important functions to the global multi-stakeholder community would be a timely and positive step in the evolution of Internet governance.”
ICANN’s most important function is to oversee the assigning of Internet domains — such as dot-com, dot-edu and dot-gov — and ensure that the various companies and universities involved in directing digital traffic do so safely.
Concern about ICANN’s stewardship has spiked in recent years amid a massive and controversial expansion that is adding hundreds of new domains, such as dot-book, dot-gay and dot-sucks, to the Internet’s infrastructure. More than 1,000 new domains are slated to be made available, pumping far more fee revenue into ICANN.
Major corporations have complained, however, that con artists already swarm the Internet with phony Web sites designed to look like the authentic offerings of respected brands.
“To set ICANN so-called free is a very major step that should done with careful oversight,” said Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers. “We would be very concerned about that step.”
Newt: Baraq gets one right
Reply #206 on:
March 28, 2014, 04:46:17 PM »
President Obama Wins One
President Obama won a significant victory in the United Nations yesterday.
President Putin found himself surprisingly isolated.
I am often critical of President Obama and his foreign policy team but when he gets one right, he deserves recognition and the event deserves some notice.
When the United Nations votes to repudiate Putin's takeover of Crimea -- and does so by a ten to one margin -- something good has happened.
Votes in the United Nations General Assembly are expressions of sentiment. They are not legally binding. Only the Security Council -- in which Russia and China have vetoes, as do the United States, Great Britain, and France -- can pass a binding resolution.
Nonetheless a decisive General Assembly vote is psychologically useful.
Yesterday's vote in the General Assembly was so one-sided that I was startled. I can't remember the last time the United States had an almost ten-to-one vote for its position.
The actual vote was 100 "Yes" to 11 "No" with 58 abstentions and 25 countries not voting. Abstention is a method of voting without taking sides. The non-voting countries are overwhelmingly small and their government may not have been able to issue instructions in a timely manner or they may have wanted to avoid offending anyone by simply hiding.
The most startling result was the tiny number of countries who sided with Russia in voting "No". The pro-Putin alliance consisted of Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
Putin has to be a little sobered by being reduced to an alliance of the outcast, the self-destructive and the decaying. This is a long fall from the glory days of the Soviet Union in the United Nations.
The Obama Administration, on the other hand, has to worry about two sets of countries that abstained and refused to vote against the Russian takeover of Crimea.
First, some of the largest and most important countries in the world, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa abstained. These are big countries with big populations and big economies. Their abstention is not a good sign and indicates some space for Putin to gain allies.
Second, and in some ways more troubling, are the countries in which we have invested - and in some cases for which we have bled - who refused to stand with us. Look at Afghanistan, Egypt, El Salvador, Iraq, and Pakistan. If we haven't earned the right to expect some support from these countries, something is seriously wrong.
Even with these exceptions, this is still a significant psychological victory and vividly signals how isolated Putin is in his Crimean adventure. It has to cause some of the Moscow leadership to urge caution before undertaking more adventures.
President Obama deserves credit for following through on a political-diplomatic strategy which has led to a significant psychological victory.
Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty/International Law
Reply #207 on:
March 28, 2014, 10:06:26 PM »
The only thing more meaningless is Buraq's Nobel Peace prize.
WSJ: Keeping the Internet free for now
Reply #208 on:
April 14, 2014, 05:11:33 PM »
Keeping the Internet Free—for Now
The Commerce Department has second thoughts about surrendering America's online oversight.
L. Gordon Crovitz
April 13, 2014 6:51 p.m. ET
Less than a month after announcing its plan to abandon U.S. protection of the open Internet in 2015, the White House has stepped back from the abyss. Following objections by Bill Clinton, a warning letter from 35 Republican senators, and critical congressional hearings, the administration now says the change won't happen for years, if ever.
"We can extend the contract for up to four years," Assistant Commerce Secretary Lawrence Strickling told Congress last week, referring to the agreement under which the U.S. retains ultimate control over the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, known as Icann. If the administration makes good on that reassurance, it would punt the decision to 2019 and the next president.
Mr. Strickling originally linked the end of U.S. control to the September 2015 expiration date of the current Icann agreement. He backtracked at a Hudson Institute conference last week: "We did not intend that to be a deadline after which 'bad things' would happen. There has been some misapprehension that we were trying to impose a deadline on this process. We weren't." Fadi Chehade, Icann's CEO, agreed. "There is no deadline," he said. "The U.S. has many years on the contract."
In an interview, Mr. Chehade assured me that he understands why supporters of the open Internet want the U.S. to retain its oversight role, which keeps countries like Russia and China from meddling. "I'm worried, too," he said. "There's no question that governments like power and certain governments will always try to take control of the Internet, so we will have to be careful."
The Commerce Department tasked Icann to come up with a plan to invite authoritarian governments to participate while still keeping the Internet open. This is likely impossible—and wholly unnecessary. Nongovernmental "multi-stakeholders," such as engineers, networking companies and technology associations, now run the Internet smoothly. They are free to do so because the U.S. retains ultimate control over Internet domains, blocking authoritarian regimes from censoring or otherwise limiting the Internet outside their own countries.
The Obama administration proposal would have treated other governments as equal stakeholders, turning the concept of private-sector self-governance on its head. Robert McDowell, a former commissioner at the Federal Communication Commission, pointed out at the Hudson Institute event that "'multi-stakeholder' historically has meant no government," not many governments.
Mr. Strickling tried to deflect criticism in his testimony: "No one has yet to explain to me the mechanism by which any of these individual governments could somehow seize control of the Internet as a whole." The senior State Department official involved in Internet governance, Daniel Sepulveda, similarly claimed at the Hudson Institute: "Governments can no more take over Icann than Google GOOGL +1.38% can take over Icann."
These are false assurances. Steve DelBianco of the NetChoice trade association gave this example in congressional testimony: Under Icann rules, a majority of governments can simply vote to end the current consensus approach and switch to majority voting. China and Iran are already lobbying for this change. Russia, China and other governments switched to majority voting to outfox the U.S. at a conference of the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency, in 2012. Mr. Sepulveda called that an "anomaly," but the result was an 89-55 vote for a treaty giving U.N. legitimacy to governments cutting off the open Internet in their countries. This division of the Internet into open and closed networks goes into effect next year.
The Obama administration somehow thinks sacrificing U.S. control of Icann will satisfy regimes eager further to undermine the open Internet. Mr. Strickling argues: "Taking this action is the best measure to prevent authoritarian regimes from expanding their restrictive policies beyond their borders." The opposite is true. Granting these countries access to Icann and the root zone filenames and addresses on the Internet would give them the potential to close off the global Internet, including for Americans, by deciding rules for how all websites anywhere must operate.
The letter sent by Republican senators identified a dozen criticisms of the plan. They asked why it's in the U.S. interest to cede control and how control could be regained once lost.
The senators also asked to see the legal opinion claiming the executive branch has the power to transfer control of the Internet without congressional approval. A bill called the Internet Stewardship Act was introduced in the House to mandate congressional approval before any change is made. Unanimous congressional resolutions starting in 2005 have called on the U.S. to retain control over Icann.
If Mr. Obama still thinks giving up U.S. protection of the open Internet and its multi-stakeholder community is such a great idea, he should ask Congress to vote on it. He won't, because there is zero chance that an Abandon the Internet Act would ever pass
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