Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘human rights’

What is Democratic Socialism?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 15, 2020

Bernie Sanders has continually explained and made the case why he calls himself a democratic socialist, and corrects those who decry his self-described identity as a democratic socialist. Opponents from within, and without the party have viciously maligned him for that.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – I , official portrait

In essence, it’s caring for your fellow citizen just like they’re your family. And that includes being humanitarian, and caring for others, treating them with the dignity, honor, and respect inherently and rightly due every human being.

Listening to him speak of the principles he addresses, for those with a Christian, or religious knowledge, or background, it reminds me of the principles mentioned following Judeo-Christian Scripture verses. Oh, for those who consider Jews as God’s special, or chosen people… Bernie is a Jew. Could his voice be that of a prophet, of one crying in the wilderness?

“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”¹

“The laborer is worthy of their hire.”²

“Do not muzzle the ox that treads the grain.”³

“‘Administer true justice. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.'”⁴

“You must not oppress, or defraud your neighbor nor rob him. The wages due a hired hand must not remain with you until morning.”⁵

“Do not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.”⁶

“Now if your countryman becomes destitute and cannot support himself among you, then you are to help him as you would a foreigner or stranger, so that he can continue to live among you.”⁷

“You must not exploit or oppress a foreign resident, for you yourselves were foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must not mistreat any widow or orphan.”⁸

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”⁹

“But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols.”¹⁰

¹Proverbs 29:18
²1 Timothy 5:18
³Deuteronomy 25:4
⁴ Zechariah 7:9,10
⁵ Leviticus 19:3
⁶ Deuteronomy 24:14
⁷ Leviticus 25:35
⁸ Exodus 22:21,22
⁹ Deuteronomy 10:18
¹⁰Jeremiah 7:5

––//––

Bernie Sanders fires back at Trump over socialism
CNN Sanders Town Hall
Feb 25, 2019
During a CNN town hall, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders explains the programs he’d like to implement if he were elected president, which have been criticized by President Trump as akin to socialism.
https://youtu.be/tJ9j_JT9Lhg

In response to a question asked by an audience member, Bernie Sanders said in part…

“We have political rights… freedom of religion – and all of that is enormously important. But you know what we don’t have? We don’t have guarantees regarding economic rights. And way back in 1944, and in a little-known, little-publicized State of The Union speech, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said something, and – I’m paraphrasing him – but he said, ‘you know, when we talk about human freedom, and rights, we’ve got to understand that everybody needs a decent-paying job, that people need healthcare, that people need education.’ Read the rest of this entry »

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BIG OIL’s Corrupting Influence in American Politics: Propping up Corrupt Regimes to Prop Up Profits

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, March 7, 2014

Report

Slick Moves

The SEC could help tackle corruption in resource-rich countries around the world — but the oil industry is getting in the way.

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, is regarded as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And American oil lobbyists are only making the situation worse: They are exploiting Angola by seeking to delay and weaken the implementation of a crucial U.S. transparency law.

That law, Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act, also known as the Cardin-Lugar amendment, promises a breakthrough in preventing dirty deals and illicit payments being made for natural resources around the world, similar to the shady transaction recently uncovered by Foreign Policy. If implemented fully, the law would make U.S. oil and mining companies disclose the payments they make to governments across the world, including in Angola. However, oil lobbyists have been making misguided arguments that laws in Angola and three other countries prevent the required disclosures.

Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig

Off Shore Oil Drilling Rig – MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Angolan officials secretly profiting from the country’s oil riches is not a surprise. It is only the latest episode in a sad history that goes back for decades. Global Witness, where we work, began exposing the complicity of the international oil and banking industries in the plundering of state assets during Angola’s 40-year civil war in our 1999 report A Crude Awakening. This was followed by our 2002 report All the Presidents’ Men, which called on the oil companies operating in Angola to “Publish What You Pay” (PWYP). Under this rallying call, Global Witness co-launched the PWYP campaign, which is now an international coalition of more than 790 civil society organizations in over 60 countries, including Angola, advocating for transparency laws such as Section 1504.

These efforts are intended to prevent scandals similar to the Trafigura deal covered in Foreign Policy, which provide a glimpse of the endemic corruption in Angola‘s oil industry. Only a few days before Foreign Policy published its story, media reports about leaked documents relating to other corruption claims caused the share price of SBM Offshore, a Dutch oil services company operating in Angola, to plummet 17.9 percent when markets opened. SBM released a statement challenging the validity of the leaked documents, saying that they are partial, taken out of context, contain outdated information, and are not representative of the facts. SBM had also already disclosed to its investors that it was conducting an internal investigation into questionable payments in Angola. However, the dramatic stock drop suggests that SBM investors had not anticipated the scale of the corruption risk exposure.

Another oil services company active in Angola, Weatherford International, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in Switzerland, has recently pleaded guilty to violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including bribery of the executives of Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company. It has agreed to pay fines of $253 million to settle the case, one of the largest FCPA settlements ever.

These cases illustrate the urgent need for transparency in Angola’s oil sector. The successful implementation of Read the rest of this entry »

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