Thousands of Hong Kongers march for democracy

Thousands of pro-democracy activists take part in a democracy march to Central, demanding for universal suffrage in Hong Kong Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. The march is the first large-scale demonstration since the Occupy Central protest ended last year as the government started a second round of public consultation on democratic reform. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Continue reading

Pro-democracy protests expand in Hong Kong

Protesters gather at a main road in the financial central district after riot police use tear gas against them after thousands of people blocked the road in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong police used tear gas on Sunday and warned of further measures as they tried to clear thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered outside government headquarters in a challenge to Beijing over its decision to restrict democratic reforms for the city.                                   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Continue reading

Disruptive Hong Kong protests loom after China rules out democracy

Pro-democracy lawmakers hold up a banner and signs during a protest as Li Fei (seen on screen), deputy general secretary of the National People's Congress (NPC) standing committee, speaks during a briefing session in Hong Kong September 1, 2014.   REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Pro-democracy lawmakers hold up a banner and signs during a protest as Li Fei (seen on screen), deputy general secretary of the National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee, speaks during a briefing session in Hong Kong September 1, 2014. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Continue reading

Tens of thousands march through Hong Kong to demand democracy

A child holds up a banner during a pro-democracy rally seeking greater democracy in Hong Kong

A child holds up a banner during a pro-democracy rally seeking greater democracy in Hong Kong         Photo: Getty

In what is likely to be Hong Kong’s largest protest since its return to Chinese control, huge crowds pour onto the streets of the former British colony to protest against Beijing and demand greater democratic rights

Continue reading

Obama urged to restore Muslim Brotherhood

Group calls backers of ousted Egyptian regime ‘pro-democracy’


The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations – which was established as a Muslim Brotherhood front, according to FBI evidence – is urging the Obama administration to restore the Muslim Brotherhood-backed regime in Egypt that was ousted in a popular revolt.


In a statement, CAIR urged Obama to “use the leverage of taxpayer funds being sent to that nation’s military to push for a return to democracy,” which would mean putting President Mohamed Morsi back in office.

Continue reading

1,600 Votes in Brooklyn From Last Year’s Presidential Election Were Only Counted Last Week

Finding renews doubts the board will be able to handle mayoral election later this year.

	US President Barack Obama smiles as First Lady Michelle Obama gives the thumbs-up following Obama's speech on election night November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. President Barack Obama swept to re-election Tuesday, forging history again by transcending a slow economic recovery and the high unemployment which haunted his first term to beat Republican Mitt Romney.

JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images    Almost 6 months after President Obama — seen here with First Lady — began his 2nd term, the votes of some 1,600 Brooklyn residents who went to the polls were not counted until this week.


This is democracy?

Nearly six months after President Obama began his second term, the votes of some 1,600 Brooklyn residents who went to the polls were not counted until this week, the Daily News has learned.

Good government groups reacted with outrage — saying the bungling raises new questions about the ability of the Board of Elections to conduct an error-free mayoral election later this year.

Continue reading

Thousands march in Hong Kong to demand democratic reforms

Protesters use anniversary of the handover from Britain to press for universal suffrage and elections for chief executive

Pro-democrary demonstrators in Hong Kong

Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong took to the streets in protest on Monday, pressing for promised democratic reforms. Photograph: Vincent Yu/AP

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents endured torrential rain on Monday to push for promised democratic reforms and protest against the government. The annual 1 July march marks the anniversary of the territory’s handover from Britain to China 16 years ago. But this year’s protest was fuelled by anger at the unpopular Beijing-backed chief executive and concerns ranging from growing inequality to the influence of mainland Chinese in the territory.

One group carried a large banner reading “Chinese colonists, get out!” while others chanted: “One person, one foot! Kick Leung Chun-ying out!”

Continue reading

In graduate thesis, John Brennan argued for government censorship: ‘Too much freedom is possible’

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)  –  Charles C. Johnson

In his 1980 graduate thesis at the University of Texas at Austin, John Brennan denied the existence of “absolute human rights” and argued in favor of censorship on the part of the Egyptian dictatorship

“Since the press can play such an influential role in determining the perceptions of the masses, I am in favor of some degree of government censorship,” Brennan wrote. “Inflamatory [sic] articles can provoke mass opposition and possible violence, especially in developing political systems.”

Brennan serves as President Barack Obama’s national security advisor. Obama has nominated him to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.

The thesis, “Human Rights: A Case Study of Egypt,” was a requirement for Brennan’s Master of Arts degree in government with a Middle Eastern studies concentration. It grew out of his time studying at the American University in Cairo.

Brennan did not respond to emailed requests for comment from The Daily Caller.

Central to Brennan’s presentation was a relativist view of human rights, which he said include “security, welfare, liberty, and justice.”

“These four rights reflect not only my own moral concept of human rights [but] also my interpretation of the Western human rights perspective,” Brennan wrote in his introduction.

“I don’t feel that the possible forfeiture of rights under certain circumstances precludes their inalienability.”

Brennan ultimately concluded that human rights do not exist because they cannot be “classified as universal.”

“The United States should be expected to pass a more strict human rights test [than Egypt] because its environment is more conducive to the realization of those rights,” Brennan concluded. “An economic comparison between Egypt and one of its wealthy Arab neighbors such as Saudi Arabia or Kuwait would be equally unfair due to the wealth of those countries.”

“[T]he stage of economic development and political development have a direct impact on human rights,” he wrote. “The former enables a political system to offer its citizens welfare (e.g. health services) and security (e.g. military defense).”

Paradoxically, Brennan also claimed Egyptian rulers’ repressive regimes were part of that nation’s move toward democracy.

“[I]f democracy is a process rather than a state, the democratic process may involve, at some point, the violation of personal liberties and procedural justice,” he wrote. “[Anwar] Sadat’s undemocratic methods, therefore, may aim at the ultimate preservation of democracy rather than its demise.”

Brennan justified Sadat’s use of emergency powers to crack down on protests from communists because Egyptian citizens’ “exercis[e] of democratic rights would have an adverse affect on stability and even on democracy itself. This implies that too much freedom is possible and in the end, even detrimental to the cause of democracy.”

“[W]ould the ability to demonstrate effectively increase human rights and democracy in Egypt?” Brennan asked rhetorically. “In the light of the political environment, probably not. At the present stage of political development in Egypt widespread open opposition to the administration would be beyond the capacity of the system to handle.”

Brennan conceded that his explanation of why it is sometimes acceptable to abuse human rights “can provide a convenient excuse for any authoritarian leader in any country of the world.”

“Can human rights violations in the Soviet Union be as easily justified in terms of the preservation of the communist ideology? Unfortunately (looking at events from a democratic perspective), yes. Since the absolute status of human rights has been denied, the justification for the violation of any of those rights has to be pursued from a particular ideological perspective. Leonid Brezhnev could justify human rights violations in the Soviet Union as a necessary part of the preservation of the communist ideological system.”