A debate in the UU subreddit over the 2017 hiring controversy.

For some background, read these:

What integrity in leadership looks like

Stop whining about “censorship”!

A Critical Mistake in the UU World

Reopening Old Wounds Among Unitarian Universalists

Now, the issues dealt with in those blog entries are being rehashed yet again in the UU subreddit.

Continue reading

“Diplomatic immunity” must be abolished everywhere

Read this story:

Equatorial Guinea argues luxury Paris mansion was part of embassy when raided

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Equatorial Guinea argued on Monday that a luxury mansion in central Paris used by the son of the country’s president was protected by diplomatic immunity when it was raided by French authorities in 2012.

The case at the International Court of Justice is seen as a test for the limits of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Immunity, which shields government officials from prosecution abroad.

Equatorial Guinea launched the case in 2016 after the residence of Teodorin Obiang on the grand Avenue Foch was raided as part of a corruption investigation that resulted in a conviction for embezzlement, confirmed last week.

The conviction came after a collection of 25 supercars he owned, including a Ferrari Enzo and a Bugatti Veyron, were confiscated by the Geneva prosecutor’s office under a deal ending a money-laundering inquiry. The cars fetched nearly 27 million Swiss francs ($27 million) at auction in September.

Obiang, 50, is the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has ruled Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, for more than three decades.

A representative for Equatorial Guinea told the court’s judges on Monday that the luxury apartment, in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world, had been bought by the African nation in 2011 and was part of its embassy.

“France has refused to recognize the diplomatic pretext of the building under the false pretence it belongs to the private domain”, ambassador Carmelo Nvono Nca, Equatorial Guinea’s agent, told the judges.

In coming days France will present its side before the United Nation’s highest court for disputes between states. A ruling is expected later this year.

In earlier hearings the French argued Equatorial Guinea was attempting to shield Obiang, known for posting pictures of his glamorous lifestyle on Instagram, by retroactively adding his opulent 101-room home to its diplomatic mission.

Police raided Obiang’s residence as part of a corruption investigation, eventually seizing 100 million euros worth of assets including paintings by Renoir and Degas and another fleet of luxury vehicles.

Obiang was convicted last week by a French court of embezzlement of public funds and ordered to pay a 30 million euro ($33 million) fine.

Diplomatic immunity in any case is a concept by which officials representing a country are allowed to openly violate the laws of another country while living there.  It is a form of disrespect for the second country’s government and the people there that are subject to those laws. A basic standard of ethics and justice is that NO ONE should be above the law.

And this is not about some young idiot that didn’t know that he was doing wrong.

Obiang, 50, is the son of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has ruled Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony, for more than three decades.

Being 50 myself, I know damn well if I were not the son of a ruler who has been in power for far too long, there would be no question of me being imprisoned for my crimes. This case angers me too!

I hope the International Court of Justice rejects this appeal and ultimately abolishes the concept of diplomatic immunity completely. And also that the people of Equatorial Guinea themselves rise up and force their corrupt leader into retirement, and also prevent his son from ever ruling. Sheesh!

 

I couldn’t care less about nationalism and “states’ rights”!

Well, it finally happened!

https://www.yahoo.com/news/britain-hails-start-says-farewell-eu-042859889.html

New era for divided Britain as it leaves EU

London (AFP) – Britain on Friday ended almost half a century of European Union membership, making a historic exit after years of bitter arguments to chart its own uncertain path in the world.

There were celebrations and tears across the country as the EU’s often reluctant member became the first to leave an organisation set up to forge unity among nations after the horrors of World War II.

Thousands of people waving Union Jack flags packed London’s Parliament Square to mark the moment of Brexit at 11 pm (2300 GMT) — midnight in Brussels.

“We did it!” declared Nigel Farage, the former member of the European Parliament who has campaigned for Brexit for years, before the crowd began singing the national anthem.

<snip>

But Britons remain as divided as they were nearly four years ago, when 52 percent voted to leave and 48 percent voted to remain in the EU.

“Rise and shine… It’s a glorious new Britain” said the Brexit-supporting Daily Express. The i, in contrast, headlined: “What next?”

In Scotland, where a majority voted to stay in 2016, Brexit has revived calls for independence and there were protests Friday outside parliament.

And in a sign of potential constitutional trouble ahead First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Scotland will return to the heart of Europe as an independent country — #LeaveALightOnForScotland.”

In Northern Ireland, where there are fears Brexit could destabilise a hard-won peace after decades of conflict over British rule, a billboard read: “This island rejects Brexit.”

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney tweeted: “Goodbye & good luck.”

– ‘Glad it’s over’ –

Johnson, who remains a polarising figure accused of glossing over the complexity of leaving the EU, has avoided any big official celebrations that might exacerbate divisions.

<snip>

“What happens now marks the point of no return. Once we have left, we are never, ever going back,” Farage told the crowd of cheering supporters.

At a “Big Brexit Bash” in Morley, northern England, Raymond Stott described the four years since the referendum as “a right cock-up”.

“I am just glad it’s all over. We will look after ourselves. We don’t need Europe,” said the 66-year-old.

But for many pro-Europeans, Friday marks a day they hoped would never come.

“Today is a day of mourning,” said Katrina Graham, 31, an Irish women’s rights activist who lives in Brussels, at a protest in central London.

If I had to choose between staying in the EU and leaving it only to have the UK itself fall apart, I’d choose to remain in the EU.

Only an idiot (or an English hypernationalist, which might be one and the same) can expect the Scots to take this insult to them lying down. The problem with nationalism is that it can apply to Scots as much as to the English.

Since both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, their defection from the UK will most likely cause the Union Jack to be retired, due to it representing a combination of the Scottish, English and Irish flags.

Union Jack

It will likely be replaced by something like a combination of the original English and Welsh flags.

1280px-Red_St_George's_Cross.svg

1280px-Flag_of_Wales.svg

A smaller version of the Welsh flag might appear in the upper left of the new UK flag (Wales is not even represented at all in the present Union Jack).

As for the United States, my contempt for the concept of “states’ rights”, which started the American Civil War, has only intensified, to the point that I no longer want to see states represented in the U S flag. Instead, I want only the Union to be shown as one brilliant sun. Like this:

1235px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg

Because a united, peaceful people, in either North America or Europe, is preferable to conflict resulting in chaos, death, destruction and tyranny over minorities.

Mallard Filmore’s creator is a hypocrite

I remember many years ago seeing the comic strip Mallard Fillmore in my local newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mallard_Fillmore

Mallard Fillmore is a comic strip written and illustrated by Bruce Tinsley that has been syndicated by King Features Syndicate since June 6, 1994. The strip follows the exploits of its title character, an anthropomorphic green-plumaged duck who works as a politically conservative reporter at fictional television station WFDR in Washington, D.C. Mallard’s name is a pun on the name of the 13th president of the United States, Millard Fillmore.

I guess I should have paid better attention to it, because…..

Mallard yearns for the “good old days,” and views himself as a victimized underdog in a world that is being overrun with political correctness, religious secularism, and hypocrisy. He is often in a state of outrage over the news item of the day, usually involving liberals.

Mallard’s politics are very close to, if not one and the same as, cartoonist Bruce Tinsley’s; Tinsley told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that “Mallard really is about as close to me as you can get,” in an October 2005 interview.

Other characters from the strip:

  • Mr. Noseworthy is Mallard’s boss at WFDR. He is a parody of political correctness in America, afraid of offending anyone or anything. He is also a parody of the mainstream media, which is portrayed in the strip as having a liberal bias. Noseworthy’s catchphrase is, “If you’d gone to journalism school, you’d know this stuff.” He has a daughter in college who “came out” as a conservative.
  • Chet is a co-worker of Mallard’s at WFDR. He is an arrogant, vain, superficial, Botox-injecting, clothes-obsessed Caucasian male. In a series of strips in late 2003, he discovered he is a “metrosexual.”
  • Chantel, an African-American woman reporter, is a co-worker of Mallard’s at WFDR. She is described as “smart, aggressive, and liberal.” Unlike most liberals depicted in “Mallard Fillmore,” she is presented as an intelligent, competent person. She is usually used whenever a scene calls for a minority or a minority perspective – although she is offended when her colleagues assume she speaks on behalf of all African-Americans. On average, she appears about once or twice a year.
  • Dave Quat, a conservative Vietnamese man, is Mallard’s best friend, who generally agrees with Mallard’s politics. He is the owner of his own diner, aptly named “Dave’s Diner.” His wife has never been seen.
  • Rush Quat is Dave’s young son. Rush is in the fourth grade and hopes to someday become a professional basketball player; he sometimes plays basketball with Mallard. Unlike most of the kids in his class, he does not take Ritalin.
  • Eddie is Mallard’s pet fish. Unlike Mallard, he does not speak but only comments in thought balloons.
  • Congressman Pinkford Veneer is a fictional Washington, D.C. Democratic Congressman. He is a spineless, hypocritical, out-of-touch politician who enjoys tax hikes and opposes school vouchers, even though he sends his own children to a private school. In April 2000, he authored a bill that would require criminals to “give their victims a 30-second waiting period to unlock their trigger-locks” on their guns.
  • OSHA-Boy is a guardian of workplace safety and safe working conditions who is authorized to “annoy virtually anyone suspected of violating a regulation.” He appears to be a flying, glasses-wearing dwarf (or other creature) with a superhero-like costume, and a clipboard in hand. He appears to be a physical manifestation of OSHA.
  • Dr. Dilton Twinkley, an education expert, often appears as a guest on WFDR to talk about education issues. He appears to be an exaggerated parody of the NEA and U.S. public school system officials.
  • Larry, a co-worker of Mallard’s who gets agitated whenever Mallard does not purchase candy from his son for his school’s annual fundraisers.
  • Mr. or Ms. P.C. Person, a superhero-like physical manifestation of political correctness who prides hirself on being gender-neutral.(This character has come under fire from transgender rights groups because they felt the character promoted bigotry and mockery of transgender individuals.)

 

I wanted to learn more about the strip’s creator, so I went to:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Tinsley

And then read THIS:

In 2006, Tinsley was arrested twice for driving while intoxicated, once in August and again in December, both Class A misdemeanors.[1][2] After the December incident, he attacked the sentencing judge, Roderick McGillivray, in several of his comics.[3]

And he’s a conservative? Shouldn’t he be a supporter of law enforcement and not a drunk trying to justify himself even if he screws up?

Clearly, his strip shouldn’t be running in newspapers if those incidents are true!