The NYT story of March 11th speaks volumes about the hypocrisy of national politicians as well as underscoring the general ignorance of the public when the issue of human rights is raised.
"Dismay Over New Human Rights Council" headlines the three-week session in Geneva of the embattled 47 member UN Human Rights Council which replaced the Human Rights Commission after being "widely discredited for allowing participation by countries like Sudan, Libya and Zimbabwe."
I was in Paris on December 10,1948 when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was first proclaimed by the General Assembly as a "common standard of achievement for all nations and all peoples." We world citizens were thrilled and ecstatic after the horrendous destruction of World War II which had left Europe in ruins and millions dead and refugeed.
Because the declaration's emphasis was on people, not nations, it defined our rights not state's rights. "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.." was clear and unequivocal. "Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law;" and "Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized."
"Everyone," "everywhere." That's us, humanity, on planet earth. Our global government was finally mandated. That excludes and bypasses nations. Given an anarchic world they are principally war machines, divisive. And the United Nations itself? A mere successor to the League of Nations which blew up in our faces in 1939.
"I interrupt in the name of the people not represented here," were our opening words to the GA on November 22, 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. So how and why is the United Nations even involved in a "human rights council" ? After all, aren't nations the chief violators of human rights? What else is a national frontier but a violation of freedom of travel? There's a kind of madness here.
The sad fact, however, is that the average person-in-the-street is ignorant of his/her fundamental rights. I have queried thousands of adults and students throughout the years as to whether they had even heard of the UDHR. And even if they admitted, "Oh, sure, that's a UN document isn't it?" few could quote any of the 30 articles. "How can you practice human rights if you don't even know them?" I would ask. Embarrassed or uncomprehending stares.
A sub-heading on the NYT article is "A voting bloc stymies an effort by the U.N. to toughen up on abusive governments." The implication here is another monstrous falsehood: that the U.N. is a sort of sovereign interim government enjoying legislative, executive and judicial power on its own whereas its Member-States constitute a mere league of independent sovereignties. The new Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a human rights gathering in December that he "was worried by its disproportionate focus on violence by Israel." It appears that the human rights council had passed eight resolutions against Israel and the Islamic group was planning four more for the coming season. Group against group; state against state. Where oh where are we humans? And humanity?
Bottom line: The so-called human rights council is nothing more than another upmanship artifice for blocks and states to gain power over their competitor state and/or groups, a total abnegation of fundamental human rights where "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
Let's wake up, for heaven's sake!
Geo-Dialectics in Microcosm
Every morning on my daily walk, I conduct a fascinating experiment. I walk on the side of the road facing the traffic. As the cars approach and I know the driver can see me, I wave. Always, well, mostly always, the driver waves back.
I have analyzed this simple event. Why does the driver inevitably return my wave? I don't know the driver and he or she doesn't know me. You might rightly say, "But that's normal." I agree. Rather like the kids at the back of the school bus waving at the cars driving behind. But upon reflection, I think there's more to it than that and even connotes a universal principal based on the new science of Geo-Dialectics .
First of all, we share the same environment, the road. Second, we are both in action, me walking, the driver, well, driving. In other words, it is a dynamic situation. Third, when I raise my hand in greeting, the driver, who I know is watching me to be sure he/she doesn't hit me, acknowledges my greeting in precisely the same way. A dialectical "opposite." Four, we share The Present Moment, the eternal Now together.
In geo-dialectical terms, we are at opposite poles of the same event rather like a stretched rubber band, equal and opposite at both ends. In short, we are "joined." (A geo-dialectical equation: hunger/food; up/down; in/out; good/bad, pain/pleasure: interdependent, a "pair of opposites"). Five, we are acknowledging each other's welcoming gesture, the dynamic part. The meaning is clear. We are friendly. Six, there is a sense of satisfaction and pleasure and even fulfillment or accomplishment, at least for me. It makes me feel useful and good. If only momentarily I have made contact with a fellow human and shown my goodwill toward him/her. In short, we have become a momentary human 'community' undivided, a recognition of unity-in-diversity, minor differences ignored, irrelevant. Seven, by initiating the gesture, I have offered to my fellow human the right and pleasure to respond in kind. How can he/she not also feel useful and appreciative? Eight, we are expressing to each other that we are at peace, both with ourselves and with each other.
And finally, overall awareness of this "Now" event was experienced by both parties.
Is there a moral to this seemingly innocuous blog item? You bet. First, I'm writing it and you're reading it, online. That's the first "wave." Hi! Second, every time you and I go online, we're "waving" to millions of our co-netizens also on the same cybernetic "highway." Indeed, super or global highway! This may be obvious to you but it's never happened before our present time. Third, and most awesome, that global "wave" is increasing exponentially bypassing all the antagonisms, fears, hatreds, divisions and, I'll say it, absurdities and childishnesses which dominate our national political world.
In brief, the global "wave," innocent, naive, heartfelt, ever mindless (thus eliminating the fear of death as Eckhart Tolle points out in The Power of Now, p. 44) is a powerful tool for a peaceful world.
So "Hi again!"
The Territory Game
Two of my children live in Montreal, Quebec. I live in South Burlington, Vermont. Between us is an artificial frontier separating two fictional nation-states (N-S) known historically as "Canada" and the "United States."
On May 28, 2006, after visiting with my kids, arriving at Highgate Springs, Vermont, the "frontier," I was "paroled into the United States after being fingerprinted.
On August 8, 2006 I wrote to the president of the latter N-S that "I occupy presently a sovereign planetary territory of 0.3 acres situated in the city of South Burlington, in the State of 'Vermont.'" I added that "According to your U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, I have been designated an 'alien' and 'paroled' into the United States for six months. I reject both the designation and its arbitrary 'authorization.'" and returned the I-94 parole document issued to me by Homeland Security "as evidence of [my] parole status in the United States."
My claim of "planetary territory" actually began on May 25, 1948 when I walked out of the Paris Embassy after having renounced my sovereign allegiance to the U.S.A. and claimed the status of "citizen of the world." In my first blog, I mentioned the 9th Amendment to the US Constitution which sanctions "political choice" as an "inalienable right." So world citizenship was my inalienable right of political choice.
The French government, however, did not take kindly to this claim and, after some bureaucratic jostling, ordered me "out" of its alleged territory. This presented a dilemma as all refugees and stateless persons can attest to. On what territory does a world citizen live? Either on world territory or paradoxically "within" an exclusive part of the earth's surface temporarily claimed or better, usurped by a particular group of tribal-minded humans called "national citizens."
Fast forward to the present. On December 10, 2006, I again visited my two children in Montreal for a pre-Xmas dinner. The next day, December 11th, I started back to my tiny piece of "world territory" adjacent to the International Burlington airport. My only travel document again was the World Passport, 4th edition., No. 334879, issued on January 25, 2006 by the Central Office of the World Service Authority, Washington, D.C.
In the interests of transparency, I had informed all authorities concerned that I would be arriving at the Highgate control center at around 11 a.m. (I actually arrived at 4:30 p.m. accompanied by Walter Miale, a videographer).
I drove up to the control box where a young man in a Homeland Security uniform and badge to match asked for my identity papers. I handed him my World Passport. After a cursory look, he asked me curtly to park and "Step inside."
After threatening me with a refusal to permit my "entry" as a "parolee" unless I agreed to be fingerprinted, which I in turn refused, insisting I was a World Citizen simply travelling from one part of the world territory to another, the officer in charge handed me back the World Passport - after photocopying the pages and reminding me smugly that the new U.S. passport would contain a microchip - and told me to "go home."
Postscript: On January 4, 2007, I received a letter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security signed by Paul M. Morris, Executive Director, Admissibility Requirements and Migration Control, Office of Field Operations. He thanked me for my letter of July 6, 2006 to President Bush. Then, "Having reviewed our records concerning this matter, it is our conclusion that the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) Officers at Highgate Springs, Vermont, acted within the scope of their authority and in compliance with established law, regulations, policy, and procedures."
"No one," the letter concluded, "is allowed to enter the United States until he or she has satisfied the examining officer that he or she is either a citizen of the United State or an alien who has overcome all grounds for inadmissibility."
But I did. As a World Citizen! With passport to match!
The game continues.
World Government In Paris, Again!
The World Government flag is flying in Paris! At the Palais de Tokyo exhibit of "micronations."
Also our governments artifacts: world passport, world money, world human rights documents, application forms, even my book, Cher Monde, etc., are on display until May 7. Please go see it, Parisiens/ennes.
I have been invited by the organizers to attend but there is a problem. Our world governmental passport has been the object of several indictments by French courts in past years. I was charged with "confusing the public mind" by issuing it and spent time in France's local prisons. (Ironically, a friend recently traveled to France and upon her return had her World Passport stamped with a French exit stamp and a Homeland Security entry stamp!)
The irony is that the French Constitution of 1789 was the first to claim that the right to "aller et venir" were fundamental human rights. Only the slave was prohibited to travel freely. The World Passport is mandated by that very right updated by the UDHR in Article 13(2): "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country." (As a computerized or MRTD*, it is filed with the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal).
I wrote to President Jacques Chirac enclosing our information CD-Rom disc concerning the upgraded 4th edition World Passport (which has been mailed to all heads of state: see note below) adding the announcement of the Palais de Tokyo exhibition in his capital.
Coincidentally, the Coordinator of the Film Commission of our government, Arthur Kanegis, emailed me a remarkable talk by Chirac on February 2nd given at a conference on the environment he had convoked in Paris where he claimed that "The planet is sick," and "We need a revolution in our thinking. Humankind must stop seeing itself only as the 'master' and owner of nature. We must move toward a new state, a state of responsible awareness; our intelligence must be devoted the protecting the planet. To ensure that we all become 'Citizens of the Earth', let us adopt a Universal Declaration of Environmental Rights and Duties at the United Nations." Bravo, Monsieur le President!
Attending the conference were representatives of States, international organizations, eminent scientists, heads of NGOs, business leaders and "committed citizens." Chirac concluded by acknowledging that "In your discussions and your work, you will be helping to mobilize international officials and international public opinion, a task that is more urgent not than ever before."
After reading his speech, I decided that President Chirac as a "Citizen of the Earth" merited receiving an honorary World Passport from the World Government of World Citizens. (See list below).
Today, March 11, 2007, I read that Jacques Chirac is retiring from active political life. Yesterday, in our local paper, the Burlington Free Press, I read that "European leaders agree on Energy Plan. EU proposes to cut one fifth of nonrenewable energy." President Chirac, at what was likely his last summit before leaving office, is quoted as saying "We assume leadership with this unilateral reduction. This is part of the great moments of European history." Esperons.
(A personal note to President Chirac: Now that you are properly identified as a 'Citizen of the (World) Earth,' may I respectfully request as a gesture of solidarity and good fellowship that Your Government accord its "bienveillance" as did former President Vincent Auriol on December 24, 1948 to this concitoyen, who lived for many years with his children (born at Strasbourg) on "world territory" at "Chaggarah" in Alsace, so he may join his fellow citizens at the Palais de Tokyo before its microstates Paris exhibition closes in May, 2007).
(Honorary World Passports issued to Heads of State: Emperor Akihito, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, President Chen Shui-Bian, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Gerald Ford, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, President Vaclav Havel, Prime Minister Toshio Kaifu, President Vytautus Landsbergis, President Lee Teng-hui, Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru).
*Machine-Readable Travel Document