23 June 2011

Really? "Puerto Rico Has A Human Rights Crisis"

That quote comes from Amnesty International, who weighed in on the subject vía its local representative, Osvaldo Burgos, as part of a recent forum. According to Burgos, police brutality and eviction/expropriation of poor communities were included as examples of these human rights abuses in Amnesty International's most recent report.

Now as with most things, there are degrees here. Police brutality and forced evictions pale beside the imperialistic throttling of living wages, as the U.S. of part of A. has shown wont to do in Haiti. That's obviously a human rights abuse of a higher--or lower--category. But since the abuse against Me will always hurt more than the abuse against someone else, Let's take a look at Puerto Rico in this context.

As defined in the U.S. Constitution, the so-called "basic" rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are bogus, for "rights" are social constructs, a tit-for-tat agreement based on fairness, and thus don't apply to "Life" (who do you appeal to for fair exchange?), "liberty" (you have to defend liberty: it isn't a given) and as for pursuing happiness, as long as you can think, who can stop you?

Moving on. The basic rights, borrowing from Ayn Rand (a cerebral kook far too influential for anyone's good, but on the "right" track here) are the right to property (you can keep what you earn or acquire legally) and the right to individuality (no "group" rights; only individuals have rights.) An example of the second could be "gay rights" or "handicapped rights": just because there is a group doesn't mean it can get--or be denied--rights that any individual has. Therefore, the "gay marriage" debate is "THEY can't marry," but "S/HE can, provided it's with the opposite sex, even though that prospective bride/groom of the same sex CAN marry" which is ludicrous. Make the example "Blacks can't marry, but a black man or a black woman can get married, provided the other person, who can also get married even if s/he is black, is black" and you see the basic idiocy of thinking groups can be denied rights that individuals already have. Based on rights, laws forbidding two human beings from getting married are wrong. (And no, animals don't have rights because they can't extend any right by fair exchange. See above. Period. End of discussion. However, they deserve to be protected from Our abuses.)

It also means "corporations" cannot have rights that belong to an individual: by definition, a corporation is a collective, a group, so treating it like an individual human being--a person--is idiocy of the highest order, or should I say, Supreme (Court) idiocy? (And if you support "corporate rights" because you say a group can be an individual, then you have to support gay marriage rights because a community, the gay community--a group--can be an individual... See? Rand was right about some things.)

Another point: rights are all-inclusive. If Person A has a right in a society, then every person is a Person A. Men can't have rights that women don't. Blacks can't have rights that Hispanics don't. Period. A right cannot exclude anyone except if that person chooses/acts to be excluded. (Convicted criminals lose rights, but gain health care, gyms, paid-for education and in Puerto Rico get to swing elections because they are allowed to vote. What bullshit.)


1) Right to property is the basic right of all. If you don't own what you produce or acquire legally, you have no other useful rights.
2) Rights belong to individuals, not groups.
3) Rights belong to everyone or they are not rights.

Okay, within this context, is Puerto Rico involved in "a human rights crisis"?

Under Point 1 above: No. We have the right to property (that We keep trying to get even more of it by going into deeper debt is the problem), We have free speech (in spite of Marcos "MouthFart" Rodríguez and his pestilent opinions), We have fairly good wage protection (especially for the too-many thousands working in Our government) and the legal system--creaky at best--works fairly well.

But what about police brutality, or mass evictions, Jenius? No one would say that the spate of police killings and beatings is a systematic problem aimed at everyone, or even at a particular group (UPR's money-grubbing attention hogs notwithstanding.) What We have seen is the lowest of "the finest" breaking out against the law and instead of enforcing it for Our protection, becoming the reason We need police in the first place. As for the evictions, squatters don't have rights. (See Point 2, above.) If I come over to your piece of land, your backyard, and decide to build a shack on it to house Mrs. Jenius and My 16 little kiddies, do I have a RIGHT to keep that land/shack? Of course not. So how is it a "right" because 50 families do it, or 75 or 175?

But are you saying things are peachy-keen, AOK, copacetic, Jenius? No.  There are abuses, but they aren't caused by somebody taking a dump on human rights:

* Welfare recipients may top 75% of Our population by November 2012.  Reasons: a bad global economy, Our elected morons threw away any viable economic planning since 1968 and We let them, local unemployment is effectively above 30%, emigration withers the middle class to nothing, Our government is in a feeding frenzy, like piranhas feeding on Our flesh and as long as We have Our bi-weekly or monthly check and a plasma TV to watch syphilitic retards mouth off, most of Us act is if We're okay. Our infrastructure is crumbling, Our society is falling apart, but why work when We can get paid to sit, spit, shit and ignore the rest?

* Government incompetence and corruption are widespread and ingrained. Now this could be considered a human rights abuse case, considering how it hinders the right to property...but it isn't, neither considered nor an abuse. Why? Because it simply exists across all levels and niches, targeting no one and everyone. It doesn't discriminate, thus making it the most democratic of Our largely-failed democratic processes. And so it remains largely unpunished, as the beneficiaries to the system fight tooth and nail to stay within it. This isn't a case of abuse of human rights: it is a case of abdication of the responsibility to protect them.

However, there is one clear human rights abuse going on in Puerto Rico, heinous and worthy of Amnesty International's flighty attention:

* Our murder rate is once again slated to exceed 1,00 deaths this year. Lives taken by force, not by a government, but by a society a government has failed miserably. Lives lost not because of self-defense, but because of greed and hatred...or have you forgotten the 18 gay or transexual persons murdered here in the last year and a half? What this means is that--according to Burgos and his Amnesty International lightweights--We have a society that tolerates, with casual indifference, the murders of hundreds, but gets all pissy when a policeman beats up a student.


The thing about rights is that when someone loses them, eventually We all do, because you don't have rights I don't have and I don't have rights you don't have. Any other stance is wrong. Our fundamental right to property is the precursor and reason for government, thus government is beholden to it and to Us...but not when We're indifferent. Our indifference fuels evils We choose to ignore, social and economic ills that are not easily labeled with neon-glare tags like "human rights abuses." Instead of focusing on vapid sparks, We should be staring deep into Our society and acting--pun intended--righteously against what We see.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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