Displaying items by tag: Human Rights

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 21:37

Housing is a human right? Really?

Recently, the Associated Press (AP) published an article the Reno paper ran with the headline, “Judge orders women to leave house.”

Last year, real estate investment group Wedgewood, Inc., bought an Oakland three-bedroom house in foreclosure for $501,000.  In November, before Wedgewood could take legal possession, three homeless women and their children, calling themselves Moms 4 Housing, illegally moved in.

The squatters refuse to leave, so Wedgewood asked a California court to direct the local sheriff to evict them.  The judge did so, giving them five days to leave.

An attorney helping them said, “We understand that the court’s hands are tied because in this country property fights are valued over human rights.”

One of the women, Dominque Walker, 34 and the mother of 1- and 5-year-old daughters, added, “Housing is a human right.  I pay bills there.  I pay water, PG&E, internet.  We live there.”

So, if they claim housing is a human right, they have a right to seize someone’s property.  And their lawyer posits a false distinction between sacred human rights and grubby property rights, and then falsely claims the courts value property rights over human rights.

Walker also said, “We want to purchase the home … it needs to belong back in the hands of the community.”  And, “It was stolen through the foreclosure crisis.”

AP adds, the women say they moved into the house partly to protest the methods of speculators who snap up distressed homes and leave them empty despite the housing crisis.  While Walker says “we” are the community and want to purchase the house, AP clarifies that they want Wedgewood to sell the property to a nonprofit land trust (that presumably would let them continue to live there).

But they moved in before Wedgewood could even take possession of the house.  So, obviously Wedgewood isn’t the party that left the house empty.  Lest one think perhaps the women merely chose the wrong house for their protest, Walker adds the ignorant and malicious lie that Wedgewood stole it.

Moving beyond technicalities, the real points here are the false distinction between human and property rights and the claim that property rights are wrongly favored.  Plus the implication that wrapping oneself in the flag of human rights permits one to do anything and wrong anybody, especially corporations, to secure those human rights.

In this case, all one needs to do to justify seizures or other aggressive actions is claim to be a victim, even of mere misfortune, and allege the other party is culpable, even for doing reasonable and socially beneficial things like buying a house in foreclosure.

Asserting a “human right” to housing confers on someone an obligation to provide housing at that someone’s expense.  That’s so obviously wrong and predatory that the kleptos and their ideologue supporters always demonize the real victims to make the theft or other aggressive action seem justified.  Ergo, the lie that Wedgewood stole the house.

Perhaps the women come from a culture that taught them nothing of how the world really works: via invention, innovation, work, savings and investment, productivity, disruption and competition to get income by delivering value to employers, consumers and the public interest.  And taught them nothing of the essential role of property rights in providing all human wellbeing.

Maybe in their experience things work via the kleptocracy of politics: asserted rights, demands, demonstrations, coercion, legislation, regulation, litigation, etc.

Thus, they wouldn’t know that the real causes of unaffordable housing and so many other California problems are the entitlements, land-use and related regulations, high taxes and transfer payments, green dogma, etc. fostered by the politics of them and their advocates.

But what’s the excuse for AP writers and editors and mainstream media generally?

They should recognize the slimy ethical and vacuous intellectual basis of these claims do not merit coverage.  They should be researching and producing stories that educate more people on how the world really works and the problems caused by progressive policies.

 

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Ron Knecht is a contributing editor to the Penny Press - the conservative weekly "voice of Nevada." His views and opinions are his own. You can subscribe at www.pennypressnv.com. This is an edited version of his column which has been reprinted with permission. 

 

Published in Opinion
Friday, 07 April 2017 20:20

Sarin gas: Your questions answered

A recent chemical attack in northern Syria killed dozens and wounded more.  According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), victims were having difficulty breathing, foaming at the mouth, seizures, bleeding from the nose and mouth, fainting, and some progressed to losing consciousness and dying.  Based on these observances, sarin gas is suspected.

 

What is Sarin gas?

 

Sarin is a liquid that is clear, colorless, odorless and tasteless. It can also be vaporized and used as a gas in chemical warfare.  It is an extremely potent nerve agent.

 

What does Sarin do?

 

Sarin acts to inhibit cholinesterase.  To understand its effects, let me briefly break it down.

Cholinesterase is an enzyme in the body used to break down acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is a neurotrasmitter, that is present in every synapse that bridges the nerve signals to the muscles and other nerves.

Cholinesterase is a “checks and balance” type enzyme that  prevents acetylcholine from building up and causing continual stimulation of muscles and nerves.

If  acetylcholine remains unchecked, continual stimulation of muscles and nerve fibers can occur, interfering with body processes and causing among many effects, inability to properly breath and ultimately death.

Sarin inhibits cholinesterase so it can’t inhibit acetylcholine, allowing the latter to build up, causing disastrous effects.

 

What are the symptoms of Sarin gas poisoning?

 

Within seconds of exposure, Sarin gas can cause a variety of symptoms.  These include:

  • Chest tightness

  • Cough

  • Runny nose

  • Watery eyes

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Blurred vision

  • Headache

  • Abdominal Pain

  • Drooling

  • Diarrhea

  • INcreased urination

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Confusion

  • Low Blood Pressure

  • Muscle twitching

  • Seizure

  • Loss of Consciousness

  • Death


Those who survive could have symptoms for weeks and sometimes long term neurological effects.

 

How does one get exposed to Sarin?

Sarin is man made.  Its an agent in liquid form that can be aerosolized.  It can be introduced to populations in food, water supply, by direct contact with the skin or  even inhaled.

How do we treat Sarin poisoning?

Firstly, we need to reduce exposure by immediately removing the clothing and washing off the body to reduce the amount of the chemical being absorbed.

Atropine is considered the antidote for nerve agent poisoning.  It acts by blocking acetylcholine receptor sites so the signals stop firing.

Pralidoxime is also used to help reactivate cholinesterase. It works by cleaving the bond made by the nerve agent/organophosphate and the cholinesterase so it is free to work again to control acetylcholine levels.

Both are given by injections and are available as autoinjectors.

History of Sarin Gas

Sarin was first developed as a pesticide during Nazi Germany in 1938 by Gerhard Schrader and his team.  The compound made was  found to be 500 times more deadly than cyanide.  So the chemical’s future of becoming a pesticide was thwarted because it couldn’t be used around humans.  Its been told that the team of scientists working on Sarin were incapacitated for a month.

The Nazis instead chose to develop it as a chemical warfare agent and named it Sarin after the scientists,  Schrader, Otto Ambros, Rüdiger and Hermann Van der Linde.  Fortunately it was never used during WWII.

 

However, in 1988 the Iraqi’s used it against the Kurds, killing 5000 and injuring tens of thousands more.  In 1995, the religious movement Aum Shinrykio released the gas on multiple subway trains in Tokyo, killing 12 and injuring thousands.

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a Board Certified Family Physician. The Dr. Daliah Show , is nationally syndicated M-F from 11:00am-2:00pm and Saturday from Noon-1:00pm (Central) at GCN.

 

Published in News & Information