Wednesday, December 25, 2013

UN Declaration of Human Rights - The Preamble


I have decided to analyze the UN Declaration of Human Rights. I will indulge myself in no prefatory remarks, preferring to get right to the task.

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,"
The opening sentence of the Preamble makes clear that all humanity possess equal and inalienable rights.  The specific nature of those right are not, as yet, specified.  Therefore, some assumptions will have to be made until such time as greater specificity may be encountered.  First, however, let us examine the definitions of "equal", "inalienable", "right", and a few other basic terms.


18. a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral
19. sometimes, rights.  that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc.


1. not alienable; not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated: inalienable rights. 
inviolable, absolute, unassailable, inherent.

1. as great as; the same as
2. like or alike in quantity, degree, value, etc.; of the same rank, ability, merit, etc.
3. evenly proportioned or balanced
4. uniform in operation or effect: equal laws.

6. a demand for something as due; an assertion of a right

7. an assertion of something as a fact
8. a right to claim or demand; a just title to something


9. property law

    a. the legal right to possession of property

    b. the basis of such right

    c. the documentary evidence of such right: title deeds

11. law
    a. any customary of established right

    b. a claim based on such a right


1.  guided by truth, reason, justice, and fairness

2.  done or made according to principle; equitable; proper

3.  based on right; rightful; lawful: a just claim.

4.  in keeping with truth or fact; true; correct

Based on these definitions, we may conclude with certainty that the rights to which the sentence refers are just and absolute.  That is to say, they are made based upon correctly reasoned principle and may not be circumscribed, disparaged, violated, denied, repudiated, or infringed, save by one whose equal claims are being threatened in an immediate and unwarranted fashion.  

In practical terms it means that no man, group thereof, acting singly or severally, as such or under mask of label, may demean, disparage, or in any way trespass upon the equal just claims, which is to say the equal rights, of another individual or group thereof for any reason whatsoever save in defense of self and property from death, dismemberment, destruction, or other real harm.

This is the meaning of the opening sentence of the Declaration and we shall lean upon it as the standard by which the enumerated articles shall be assessed and judged.  

So far, the document is looking reasonably well constructed in terms of meaning.  However, there remains the question of what, exactly, are these rights to which the opening sentence refers?  They are not specified here.  We shall, therefore, have to assume they will be made explicit in the coming passages.

Moving on:

"Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,"
Here we see the beginnings of reference to actual, enumerated rights.  There are, however, some problems.  To wit, thus far no irreducible basis is cited for the existence of these purported rights.  Therefore, the sentence constitutes an attempt at proof by assertion, which is invalid and therefore no proof at all.  This does not, however, imply that the assertions made therein are false, but neither do they establish their truth.  Nor do they define what constitutes "freedom of speech and belief", and while the truth of the assertion may be well clear to many of us, what of "freedom from fear and want"?  Let us forgo for now the fact that this stands as yet undefined.  We may, however, compare the semantic nature of this purported right with that of "free speech and belief".

The right of freedoms of speech and belief are positive rights.  That is, they assert the right to act positively.  You may speak and believe as you please, both of which are positive acts, whereas any right to be "free from" is negative in nature.  A negative right means is that one entitled to be free from unwanted outside interferences or influences.

For example, the right to privacy as guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States is a negative right that forbids anyone from intruding upon the private matters of another uninvited.  It is a proscription upon all against trespass and such is the fundamental nature of all negative rights.

Given the well established general validity of negative rights, we may now set our focus to the specific: "freedom from want and fear".  It should be no great stretch of credulity to agree that most people wish to be free from want and fear.  Therefore, the assertion of the right seems valid and agreeable, so far as it goes.  However, it can be seen readily that it does not go far enough.  What are the metes and bounds of "want" as employed here?  Does one hold the right to free from want for, say, a corporate jet?  A 300 foot motor yacht?  From which wants are we entitled to be free?  The sentence is opaque on this question, and is therefore severely and fundamentally problematic in its chosen construction.

As with "want", "fear" also encompasses a vast plurality of possibilities, not all of which are fundamental, nor are they universally shared by all people.  From which of the nearly endless litany of potential fears are men entitled to be free?  For example, is one entitled to be free from his fear of spiders?  If not, then clearly the use of "fear" in the sentence is overly broad.  If yes, the implications have endlessly radiating effects upon the entire human population, not to mention that of spiders.  

If we agree that even a single one of us holds the negative right to be free from his fear of spiders, let us call him Harry, he can be said to hold just claim not to be beset by that fear at any time or for any reason.  If we acknowledge this right as properly Harry's, it may be strongly argued that the rest of humankind is thereby obliged to preserve him from his fear through positive action.  The logically absurd, yet valid, conlusion is that the only way to possibly guarantee Harry may be free from his fear of spiders would be to eradicate all spiders from the planet.  Forgetting the impossibility of such a task and the endless cost to achieve the goal were it otherwise, not to mention that this is but a single item on the list of all possible fears, even its accomplishment cannot perforce guarantee that Harry will remain free of his apprehensions.  Perhaps he does not believe that all spiders have been wiped out and that one may jump out from behind the next lamp post and bite him. 

I trust you see the basic problem enshrined in the assertion of these two nebulously specified and vastly over-generalized negative rights?  Were we to accept the premise of them as stated, and took them seriously, we would be perforce obliged to attempt to make good on every want and fear imaginable because the negative rights of one man imply a positive duty by all humanity to respect and act such that the right is maintained intact.  If Harry is acknowledged as holding the negative right to be free of his fear of spiders, the implication is that the rest of humanity is obliged by that virtue to furnish him with a circumstance that guarantees an absence of fear.

One may argue that his entitlement to the state of freedom from fear does not imply a positive duty for his fellows to ensure his security.  This is, however, incorrect because if he has the right to be free of his fear of spiders, then he is entitled to that freedom, meaning he can demand it.  But to whom would Harry make such a demand, the spiders?  That avenue of redress is clearly moot and therefore invalid, prima facie.  Will petition to owls provide remedy?  Elephants?  No creature beside his fellow men could possible entertain such an endeavor, and therefore it would fall to his fellows at least to try.

Likewise, if Harry has the right to be free from want of a LearJet, someone, somewhere, is obliged to provide him with one.  This implication cannot be escaped once the premise is accepted as true.  This is why the expression of a right must be sufficiently explicit and narrow such that we do not end up accepting absurdity as truth.

Conceptually speaking, the differences between the brand of negative right as asserted in the Declaration and those in the US Constitution are fundamentally that the latter recognizes the positive duty of all men to abstain from acting in certain ways, whereas the former imposes a positive duty to act positively.  It is as simple as the difference between "thou shalt not" and "thou shalt".  While both are negative rights, one is satisfied through positive action while the other through negative.

Not to place too fine a point on this, but let us return to Harry briefly and his rights, real or imagined.  We entertain two negative rights: to be free from fear of spiders and that of his privacy.  In the former case, his negative right implies a positive duty of the world to act positively in pursuit of the goal of providing him with a fear-free environment.  In the latter case, the negative right to privacy implies a positive duty to refrain from acting in ways that would constitute violations of that right.  In the former case all are required to act and in the latter, to not act.  This is a fundamental difference and it is the factor that renders his right to be free from fear invalid and his right to privacy very much the opposite.

"Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,"
So far as this statement goes, it is good.  It could use some definitions, but if we assume a reasonably universal presumption of common understanding of the words therein, we may regard this as minimally sufficient for a preamble.  It says that because people may rebel against unjust treatment, a fact borne out by our long history of tyrannies, and that by implication rebellion is a bad thing, rights should be carefully protected.  The implication, however, is unclear as to whether it is rebellion that is undesirable because it is presumably directed against government "authority", the fact that it almost always results in death, mayhem, destruction, and misery, or both.  It may be fairly safe to assume the latter, but given the potential significance of such a document, such questions should not be left open to interpretive guesswork.  Once again, a greater specificity is in order even if here the foul is relatively small.

"Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,"
 Again, vagaries.  Who says this is essential?  By what standard do they judge it so?  What is their authority for pronouncing it to be so ostensibly for the entire world population?  What does it mean to "promote"?  The term as generally taken implies no employment of force, yet we have been treated to endless spectacles of political "promotion" at the ends of guns.  What defines "friendly relations"?  Just as so-called "free trade" has absolutely nothing to do with free markets, "friendly relations" as offered here may well in actuality have nothing to do with one's own conception of what that should mean.  Far too many times have we been treated to the semantic chicaneries of dishonest and dishonorable men who seek to gain at the expense of others as they redefine "up" as meaning "down", "left" as "right", "evil" as "good".

Beware of the concussion of language ineptly or malevolently used.

"Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,"
Who are "the peoples", exactly?  Does this refer to all the populations of all the member states?  Perhaps to their representatives?  Speaking only for myself, I can say without equivocation or other reserve that neither have I reaffirmed the stated faith, nor have I authorized any agent or other third party to do so on my behalf.  The use of "person" here is also vague.

"Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,"
Marginally acceptable, but the lack of specification of "rights" reduces this sentence to mostly gibberish.   Universal respect for and observance of human rights means nothing without sufficient understanding of what defines the claims in question.

"Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,"
Common understanding by whom?  All men or just the UN representatives?

At the very least, there should have been a statement qualifying the meaning of the body of this preamble as being contingent upon definitions to be included elsewhere in the document.  Thus far, the Declaration is constructed either carelessly, ineptly, or with purposeful vagueness.  In any case, the work speaks not well of its authors, for the most part.

"Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."

As with the rest, marginally acceptable as far as it goes, but failing to go sufficiently far to achieve minimal clarity, correctness, and perfection.  "Progressive measures" raises a very red flag.  Is this a general term or is it political jargon relating to "progressivism"?  A clear and unequivocal answer to this question is centrally important to assessing with precision the position expressed.

And what of non-member states?  Is it the UN position to leave them to their individual wills or will the UN "promote" its agendas there as well?


As we can well see, the construction of the preamble to the Declaration of Human Rights is fraught with imprecise language.  Because of this, it is almost impossible to discern meanings that can be pinned down firmly.  At the very least, this fact renders the document as fundamentally meaningless, largely due to the overly broad assertions and the complete absence of any definitions of terms.

Do the insufficiencies of the preamble spring from and unpublished agenda, or simple and innocent carelessness and/or linguistic ineptitude?  Neither is it possible to tell based on the reading alone, nor is it terribly relevant.  What we do know for certain is that the document, well intentioned as it may be, is thus far inadequate to the point of being grotesque.  I will add, however, that from my personal point of view I find my credulity stretched a bit too far to accept that an organization such as the UN, for which language competence is a centrally vital factor, could innocently publish a preamble so violently rife with flaw as is this one.  This fact should place one on high alert to the possibility that something foul is afoot here.

Having justly and competently raised a list of questions and exposed the profound structural weaknesses embodied in this preamle, I will take my leave.  In future installments I shall address the 30 articles of this Declaration in like manner as we search for the truth underlying its construction.

Until next time, please accept my best wishes.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

DHS to populate its ranks with hardened criminals?

Consider the population of men who control the goings on in the world at its core.  I refer to them as "Themme", "Theye", "Theire" to distinguish them nominally from the dissatisfying vague pronouns of similar and non-capitalized spelling.

Theye have been wildly successful at corralling huge populations into thinking and behaving as they desire.  It seems, however, that of late Theye are running into some hard limits and that the populations for which this can be said are growing, the growth accelerating.

Consider the purported "election" of Barack Obama to the ostensibly highest office in the American system.  Back in 2007-2008 he was the darling of a press that portrayed him in ways just short of declaring his ability to tap-dance across the seven seas.  He could do no wrong.  This continued through his first term despite some of his policy decisions which the rational man could construe only as the product of some combination of wild ineptitude, ignorance, corruption, and bitter hatred for Americans.

This continued through the campaign cycle, but once his reelection was secured, cracks began to show.  One year into his final term now reveals a situation so bad that even those media outlets that were blindly dedicated to his service, rather than to honest and adept reportage, have softened the hard edges of their outward admiration of this president.  In some cases it appears they may be preparing to throw him under the bus as the threat of economic failure looms ever more menacingly to the degree that all but the most terminally devoted can no longer deny truths that were regarded as worse than treason just a few short months ago.

As Theye push the envelope of usurpation, more and more people are beginning to come out of the fog, asking "what is going on here?"  As this population grows, so grows the threat against Theire dominion and the agenda for expansion.  The question naturally arises as to whether Theye will otherwise sit idly back on the one hand as on the other they continue to push ever more deeply their trespasses against the individual.  At this point motives and intentions are rapidly becoming irrelevant.  It really no longer matters whether the intentions are good, if misguided, or openly malevolent.  All that counts are the results, and with each passing day they become more grim in terms of individual freedom and the prosperity that is directly dependent upon it.

If we accept the apparent circumstance as the true one, the question naturally arises as to whether there is a breaking point beyond which the population standing in increasingly open opposition to the trespass of the political elite into their private territory will precipitate material resistance of significance to Themme.  If we further assume the answer is "yes" and that the resultant reaction stands to pose real and perhaps mortal threats to members of Theire ranks, we must then ask ourselves whether Theye will sit passively awaiting their uncertain fates as an enraged population storms the Bastille with torches blazing and pitchforks at the ready.  While speculative, I feel fairly safe in assuming that Theye will not be found quietly waiting with their heads already positioned on the block to receive their richly earned rewards.  No.  Theye will fight.  But who will do the fighting?

The US military, it seems, is a bit of a wild card.  I have been treated to various reports and read articles expressing widely varying opinions that range from "nobody will fire upon US citizens" to "large proportions will follow orders no matter how blatantly and wildly criminal they may be".  I feel confident the truth lies somewhere between those extremes and I suspect Theye may not be so confident that the biggest and baddest junkyard dog on the planet will heed their command to protect Their cadre when the time comes.

What, then, are Theye to do?  Enter the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Forget about the ostensible mission of DHS - to protect the "homeland", a term with which I have never been comfortable as it reminds me too strongly of "fatherland" and "motherland", and we know what greatness spawned those fond monikers.  The question that everyone should be asking there is, who, exactly, comprises the "homeland" and from whom is it being protected?  At this point, given the waters having thus far passed under the bridges of recent history, I am inclined to assume that the "homeland" is not the people of the USA.  I am, however, very inclined to suspect that those very people are the ones from whom DHS seeks to defend their masters.

If we accept for argument's sake that "homeland" = Themme and "from whom" = the American people, a rather unpleasant new picture presents itself to plain view.

Many will immediately retreat into accusations of "conspiracy nut", "tin hat!" and so forth, but the evidence that is out there, that Theye have made no effort to deny, and in fact to which they admit openly via various government agencies and reports, suggests a very real possibility.  There are, of course, the bodies of legislation that have been enacted including PATRIOT, NDAA, and so forth.  Add to that the raft of executive orders that unilaterally grant the president powers tantamount to that of an emperor, and we already have enough evidence to suggest Theye are well into preparations for dealing with a nation that has decided enough is enough.

But the more immediately damning evidence blatantly rubbed in our noses relates to the materiel purchases by DHS  of recent years:

  • Ammunition to the tune of 1.6 to 1.8 billion rounds
  • Assault rifles numbering in the tens of thousands
  • Armored vehicles, last I checked, numbering 2717
  • 2500 GLS armored vehicles
  • Hundreds of thousands of polymer coffins (Actually FEMA/CDC)

There is much more to the list, but this should be certainly enough to prompt one to ask, "Why? - what is all of this for?"  After all, it is not the Department of Foreign Security.  We have our military for that.  What could they possibly want with so much military grade materiel when they are supposed to be concerned with domestic security?  What are Theye not telling us?  Is China and/or Russia planning an invasion?  If so, are our military forces not adequate to the purpose of defense?

It is pretty obvious that something is up, that is will not be pleasant, and that we the people are not likely to approve.  It is equally obvious that Theye have no intentions of going quietly into the night as we finally decide we have had enough and move to put Themme to ends.

Finally we arrive at a question central in all of this: who, exactly, are DHS?  Literally, who, which is to say how many, make up their ranks?  Five minutes ago I perused the "careers" section of their site and it shows a grand total of 104 open positions at DHS.  This is not suggestive of an organization preparing to go on a war footing as are their materiel purchases, which gives rise to some sense of confusion as to what is really going on.

If DHS is indeed preparing for either a major disaster or civil insurrection, they will need warm bodies and lots of them to man those vehicles, take up those rifles, and shoot all those rebels.  I may be wrong, but I see no evidence that their ranks are nearly sufficient to such a task.  I have made the observation in the past that Theye will derive their manpower from the very populations they seek to restrain, and I maintain that opinion, but not in the initial stages in the case of insurrection.  In that case, DHS will need a cadre of reliably loyal men strongly motivated to vicious repression of their fellows for the opening scenes of this play.  But where does one get such men? 

There have been all manner of rumors of Russian and other foreign soldiers training on American soil, apparently as part of covertly agreed mutual defense pacts wherein if Russia faces insurrection, American troops will be called upon to render aid and the same with Russian troops in the case of trouble in North America.  While plausible, I am not convinced this is going to happen for any of several reasons.  For example, how would Theye know whether Russia would pony up when things became real and immediate?  How would Theye know the troops sent here would obey orders to Theire satisfaction?  How do Theye know Russian troops would not turn on Themme, perhaps constituting an effective fifth column in the event Russia perceived a golden opportunity to advance their position on the world stage?

For me there appear to be too many loose ends with such arrangements, but of course this is based on my very imperfect knowledge of the truer nature of the relations between the various players.  But if my uneasiness about such arrangements is based in good reason, then perhaps other arrangements may be in the works, and that leads us finally to the bottom line, which is this:  In the case of civil insurrection, perhaps in the wake of an economic collapse, DHS will need a sizable force of bully boys upon whose willingness to fire on Americans can be solidly relied.  I submit that we have just such a population right here, several millions strong, and every so motivated to loyal service: those serving hard time in both federal and state prisons, especially the former.

Before dismissing this as some paranoid delusion, consider some of the realities.  At the time of this writing and to my admittedly incomplete knowledge, DHS employs not nearly enough people to do the "dirty work" of suppressing a revolt across the face of a nation as enormous and well armed as that of the United States.  Add to that the fact that perhaps not all current DHS agents are prepared to fire upon their fellow Americans, which will require a special brand of hardness, the sort that is well known to exist in the sociopath.  Our prisons are full of those.  Some may not be that way when they first arrive in prison, but the environment soon changes that.

Given the needs in order to suppress not just a revolt, but one that nearly everyone in the nation will know in his heart of hearts is righteous, and the prisoner becomes a very attractive choice for filling the ranks of repression. 

Consider the motivating factors from the prisoner's point of view:

  • You are living in a cage in hell
  • You eat lousy food
  • There are no women available, so you subsist on gay rape
  • You may be the victim of gay rape
  • Violence or its threat is everywhere and at all times
  • There is no happiness of which to speak
  • You face the prospect of decades of this "lifestyle"
  • You may even rather you were dead, but lack the nerve to end it

All of a sudden, you are offered a way out.  You will be released from the bondage of your cell if you agree to a different bond of service and if you discharge that service with absolute loyalty and obedience you will be granted a complete pardon.  Your fealty will require that you obey every order issued no matter what it might be or against whom you are called to act.  The least failure to absolute and complete obedience will place you back in your cell, only your circumstance will be at least ten times more savage and severe.  It is guaranteed that you will live to regret disobedience for a very long time.  Among the things required of you will be:

  • To be trained in the discipline and operations of a DHS agent
  • Conduct missions as given to completion
  • To fire upon American citizens in self defense or when otherwise so ordered
  • To execute American citizens as ordered without hesitation or reservation
  • To apprehend American citizens and convey or otherwise dispose of them as ordered
  • To defend your superiors up to and including the sacrifice of your own life to protect theirs
  • To defend your fellow agents, albeit secondarily to orders and defense of superiors
  • To refrain from all unacceptable behaviors of the prison and other environments
  • Starting from a clean slate

In exchange for your service, you will be rewarded with the following:

  • Immediate release from your current incarceration.
  • Training
  • A uniform
  • A purpose
  • A potential career
  • Good living accommodations, paid 
  • Good food, paid
  • Discretionary income
  • Personal security from other inmates
  • Authority to act in the service of your nation
  • Limited authority to claim booty acquired in the discharge of duties

In reward for your completed service you will receive:

  • A full pardon
  • Fully expunged record to the outside world
  • Possible career offer
  • Restoration of full contractual rights, such as they may be at the time of discharge

Given this scenario, which is by no means far-fetched, it becomes clear that the typical prisoner in for the long haul and probably violent to begin with, being likely an opportunistic creature, would jump at the opportunity to escape his past with all honors if he be ready and willing to assume the risks in exchange for the certainty of decades in a cage and man-on-man sex.

We have nearly two and a half million people in prisons in America.  The environments there strongly cultivate anger and pathological behavior and attitudes.  Living in such places is hellish for most and while some may be incapable of "making it" on the outside, the offer of freedom in an environment that provides strong support in the transition to the outside world might be just enough to make even those otherwise reticent souls jump at the opportunity to make a clean break from the past.

With such strong motivating factors at play, coupled with the right program of psychological conditioning, it appears to me that the US prison population stands as a premier source from which an organization such as DHS could pull resources with which to suppress rebellion with perfect cruelty and efficiency.

Until next time, please accept my best regards.