Friday, June 15, 2007

Some excerpts on why the U.S. Senate should NOT ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty

The Law of the Sea Treaty, formally known as the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS III, was adopted in 1982. Its purpose is to establish a comprehensive set of rules governing the oceans and to replace previous U.N. Conventions on the Law of the Sea, one in 1958 (UNCLOS I) and another in 1960 (UNCLOS II), that were believed to be inadequate.2

Negotiated in the 1970s, the treaty was heavily influenced by the "New International Economic Order," a set of economic principles first formally advanced at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). That agenda called for "fairer" terms of trade and development financing for the so-called under-developed and developing nations.3 Another way the New International Economic Order has been described is "redistributionist."

The Law of the Sea Treaty calls for technology transfers and wealth transfers from developed to undeveloped nations.4 It also requires parties to the treaty to adopt regulations and laws to control pollution of the marine environment. Such provisions were among the reasons President Ronald Reagan rejected the treaty in 1982. As Edwin Meese, U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan, explained recently, " was out of step with the concepts of economic liberty and free enterprise that Ronald Reagan was to inspire throughout the world."5

In additional to the economic provisions, the treaty also establishes specific jurisdictional limits on the ocean area that countries may claim, including a 12-mile territorial sea limit and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone limit.6 Some proponents of the treaty believe that the treaty will establish a system of property rights for mineral extraction in deep sea beds, making the investment in such ventures more attractive.7

One of the concerns raised by critics of the Law of the Sea Treaty is that it could be used to sharply limit U.S. military operations. Among the examples they cite is Article 20, which stipulates: "In the territorial sea, submarines and other underwater vehicles are required to navigate on the surface and to show their flag."8

Opponents of the treaty also contend that it could inhibit the U.S.'s ability to pursue international terrorists and prevent the transportation of weapons of mass destruction on the sea.14 They appear to be correct.

Article 110 of the Law of the Sea Treaty specifies military ships are "not justified in boarding [a foreign ship] unless there is reasonable grounds for suspecting that: (a) the ship is engaged in piracy; (b) the ship is engaged in the slave trade; (c) the ship is engaged in unauthorized broadcasting...; (d) the ship is without nationality or (e) ...the ship is, in reality, of the same nationality as the warship." Boarding of ships involved in the illicit drug trade is also permitted.15 Note that boarding of ships engaged in "unauthorized broadcasts" is considered to be justified, but boarding ships carrying terrorists or weapons of mass destruction is not.

Finally, opponents of the Law of the Sea Treaty contend that Article 88 of the treaty, which stipulates that "the high seas shall be reserved for peaceful purposes" together with Article 301's requirement to refrain from "any threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state" have the potential of unduly constraining U.S. defense operations on the high seas.22

Opponents of the Law of the Treaty believe that environmentalists are using the treaty as a vehicle to achieve through international institutions that which they can't achieve through domestic ones - namely, more onerous environmental standards. This is consistent with the statements and actions of environmental groups to-date. Greenpeace, for example, has said, "The benefits of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea are substantial, including its basic duties for states to protect and preserve the marine environment and to conserve marine living species."35 The Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), for its part, cited the Law of the Sea Treaty's environmental provisions as an argument in its challenge of the Navy's use of so-called "intense active sonar" several years ago. The NRDC said, in part, "The United Nations Law of the Sea Convention... requires States 'to assess the potential effects... on marine environment'... of systems such as high intensity active sonar, and to take all measures 'necessary to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment from any source'... The danger to marine life from... sonar... is clearly documented." The Navy ultimately agreed to scale back its use of this sonar technology.

Ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty appears to carry with it the risk that the United States - and other parties to the treaty - may lose control of their environmental laws.

Much more here



Saudi family tortures maid to death: "A woman schoolteacher, one of the suspects in the murder of an Asian housemaid in March, has admitted to her torturing the maid until she was dead. The Saudi sponsor of the maid who took her to hospital and the sponsor's schoolteacher wife were both arrested in Jizan in March following a hospital report about the death of the maid, whose nationality has not been revealed to the press. According to the report of the Samita General Hospital in Jizan, a Saudi man brought in an expatriate woman who died shortly after she was admitted. The hospital report attributed the death to internal and external injuries. The teacher told the investigators that she and her husband used to punish the maid in various forms such as beating, branding and locking up while denying her food and water for days on end."

Christian converts not allowed in Pakistan: "A new draft bill before a committee of Pakistan's National Assembly would require men who leave Islam to be put to death. Women convicted of "apostasy" would be sentenced to life in prison. Under the Apostasy Act 2006, the testimony of two adults that another person has left the Muslim religion - or a confession by the accused - is all that would be needed for conviction if the bill is adopted into law. The accused would be given up to 30 days to renounce the decision and return to Islam, yet even then still could be punished by up to two years in prison. All property belonging to an offender would be forfeited to Muslim relatives as well as custody of their children."

Republicans resist Democrat about-face on slush: Minority Leader John Boehner threatened Democratic leaders Tuesday, vowing to slow down legislative activities in the House until Democrats agree to open up earmarking policy so that lawmakers disclose their pet projects earlier in the bill-making process. "Republicans today are going to declare war on our Democratic majority over these secret slush funds," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill. Republicans are hoping to hold Democrats to an earlier promise to make earmark requests more transparent by revealing where earmarks are designated and which lawmaker is requesting them before spending bills reach the House floor. Democrats want to release that information during the conference committee process, well after the House votes for appropriations. Boehner, R-Ohio, said he is upset over the change of heart, and Democrats need to "realize the errors of their ways."

Hysterical Democrat resistance to voter ID (I guess that tells you plenty): "Appointments to the Federal Election Commission rarely draw attention. But at a confirmation hearing today, there's likely to be some fireworks over Hans von Spakovsky. Mr. von Spakovsky has already amassed an 18-month long, largely uncontroversial record at the FEC as a recess appointment. But that's not likely to stop Senate Democrats from grilling him about his time at the Justice Department during President Bush's first term. The aim will be to portray him as a partisan who mishandled voting rights cases. Exhibit A will be his support for state voter ID laws. Specifically, the accusation is that, under Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, DOJ has pursued a political agenda by enforcing laws to curb voter fraud. Last week, Judiciary Committee Democrats held a hearing aimed in part at discrediting a 2005 Justice lawsuit seeking to force Missouri to cull ineligible voters from its rolls. But while the Missouri case was thrown out by a district judge, similar Justice lawsuits in Indiana and New Jersey led to voter rolls being cleaned up."


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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