Posts in Human Rights & Ethics
Character is Everything

It’s important to mediate on what we accomplish in our life’s work, what kind of company we work for, what its impact on the world really is, and also to think about how we spend our money, what companies and habits we support, and our impact on our communities and the planet. It’s important to think about how we treat people with whom we interact each day in small ways and large as we walk the streets, drive our cars, shop, talk on the phone, and so on.

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Governing by Khutzpah: Israel and the Outdoor Prison called "Palestine"

Between 1948 and 1967, Israel declared Jerusalem its capital, it continued its attacks on Palestinians living in UN refugee camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and it repeatedly defied UN resolutions reprimanding Israel for its violence. Feeling unprotected by the international community, frustrated Palestinians began to mobilize into armed groups, such as Fateh and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), and used similar tactics as the Zionist gangs in prior decades. Violence between Israel and Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip escalated to the point of war.

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Buddhism and the Practice of Law

I know that I can't help everybody who calls my me, and that at the end of the month, I too have to pay the rent, feed the dogs, and buy food at the market. Yet when I help couples find a peaceful path through divorce and custody disputes, businesses avoid costly litigation, a defendant in criminal court achieve a better alternative than jail or justly avoid a guilty verdict altogether, or a student stand up for her rights against an abusive school administrator or teacher, I not only accept the kind words, hugs, and high fives of people who are truly glad they met me, but I also feel a sacred sense of inner peace and a sense of having helped my community to be a better place to live.

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Male Victims of Sexual Harassment Double from 1992 to 2008

According to the EEOC, while the number of sexual harassment lawsuits as a whole has declined over the last decade, the number of sexual harassment lawsuits filed by male victims has increased in that time period. In fact, between 1992 and 2008, the number of sexual harassment lawsuits filed by men doubled from 8% to 16%. David Grinberg, an EEOC spokesman stated, "While some people may think sexual harassment of male employees is a joke, the issue is real [...] We are seeing more of it, and such conduct has serious legal consequences for employers." It is quite possible that the number of male victims of sexual harassment are far greater than the EEOC data represents, since there may likely be psychological factors such as peer pressure and gender identity issues that prevent male victims from coming forward to report being victims of sexual harassment and unwanted advances at work.

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Peaceful Democratic Revolution in the Middle East Calls for Regime Change

Problematically, the nations of Europe, North America, and South America have said very little or nothing at all, and have shown no tangible support whatsoever for the courageous protesters in the Middle East who are crowding the streets of Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, and Kuwait, demanding an end to thousands of years of oppression by hostile monarchies, military dictatorships, and fake democracies.

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California Prison Reform amidst Private Prison Profiteers

The California prison system is the largest in the nation, and it suffers from serious problems of overpopulation, violence, and insufficient health and education services for its juvenile and adult inmates, especially for those with special needs. It is unconstitutional for a State prison system to operate at such dilapidated levels, because “cruel and unusual punishment” is illegal under the State and Federal Constitution.

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California Same Sex Marriage Federal Lawsuit Rumbles amidst a Backdrop of Centuries of Catholic Church and State Interference in Marriage Rights

The role of government and religion in the creation and regulation of the institution of marriage is hundreds of years old, specifically dating back to 1563 when the Council of Trento decreed that marriage is a lifelong sacrament meant only for one man and one woman. The dramatic backdrop to this pivotal decision is filled with anti-Jewish sentiment, xenophobia, political posturing, and military strategies.

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Clash of Civilizations, American Jurisprudence, and Islamic Law and Policy in the Middle East

As Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, recently stated in her lecture at UC Hastings, the frightening convergence between purportedly “religious,” “fundamentalist” Western and Eastern political, industrial, and military leaders upholds free trade concerns while simultaneously degrading human rights, and that this international trend is truly “backwards,” taking us back decades in human rights reforms. In his book, Democracy Matters, Cornel West calls this “free market fundamentalism,” supported by the related theorems of “aggressive militarism” and “escalating authoritarianism,” the current era’s greatest threats to universal democracy. The violent international clashes between thousands of human rights-minded citizens and WTO or NAFTA convention security forces is one example of this trend.

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Environmental Pollution, Comparative Law, and Jurisprudence in California and India

The people of the United States cannot point to a Constitutional provision that guarantees them the fundamental right to good health and a clean environment. However, certain States in our Union have provided just such a right in their case law and constitutions, such as Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Illinois, and Montana. Either through subsequent case law, or through explicit language in the constitutional provisions themselves, these States have indicated that the rights to a healthy environment are self-executing rights. Hawaii and Montana have also relaxed standing requirements for citizens bringing claims for violations of their rights to a clean environment, allowing any person to file suit for any violation of the constitutional provision, regardless of whether the violator is a public or private party. Twenty-one States in the USA have constitutional provisions providing citizens the right to a clean environment.

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The Debate over Mr. Hamdan: Sources of Law and The Three Branches

The Bush Administration has worn away at the legal liberties and protections afforded our Nation’s free inhabitants as well as its accused criminals, who are still allegedly presumed innocent until proven guilty. All things considered, I am reminded of a famous quote by our Nation’s eldest Statesman and most prominent Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin – a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris, and the US Constitution: “Those who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.” Now, this is for the Court to decide.

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