By Pratap Antony for Counter Currents. We have been around for only 200,000 years – Archaeologists have calculated that humans originated about 200,000 years ago in the Middle Palaeolithic period in southern Africa, and migrated out of Africa around 70,000 years ago and began colonizing the entire planet. We spread to Eurasia around 40,000 years ago (there is no geologic boundary between Europe and Asia – so they are combined as Eurasia.) and Oceania (roughly Australia to Fiji), and reached the Americas just 14,500 years ago. Humans are a member of a species of bipedal primates. We walk upright. We also have opposable thumbs so we can grip ‘things’. We have, what we think of as a highly developed brain. And so, we have called ourselves ‘homo sapiens’. In Latin, “Homo” means “man” and “Sapiens” means “wise”. Wise Men.
By Rob Wile at Fusion. The City of Detroit began shutting off water access to residents behind on payments Tuesday, with thousands at risk of losing access. According to the Detroit Free Press, 64,769 delinquent residential customers owe the city’s water department a combined $48.9 million. The city started sending out shut-off warnings May 11. According to theFree Press, Mayor Mike Duggan is proceeding with the shutoff orders over the wishes of city council members, who voted on May 12 to freeze the shutoff until an assistance plan to help affected residents was enacted. Last year, the United Nations warned the city that the shutoffs were violations of residents’ human rights, and called on the city to stop them and reconnect their houses. “None of those things happened,” Kauchek said. Detroit residents are not the only ones facing water shut-offs: In March, Baltimore residents began receiving turn-off notices; according to theBaltimore Sun, 25,000 water customers are delinquent.
We need more principled people in government. We need people who will not advocate, as Mr. Koh has, the position that “[J]ustice for enemies ‘can be delivered through trials. Drones can also deliver.’” We need people in government who won’t make paternalistic and Orientalist generalizations about Middle Easterners by calling the U.S. diplomatic withdrawal from the Middle East in 2001 “akin to removing adult supervision from a playground populated by warring switchblade gangs.” Koh, On American Exceptionalism, 55 Stan. L. Rev. 1479, 1490-91 (2003). We need people in government who are principled enough to resign when the government it serves pursues an immoral and illegal path that jeopardizes innocent lives, rather than defend this pursuit. We need human rights lawyers in government who will refuse to sit behind a desk and make decisions based on questionable U.S. intelligence about who lives and who dies, and then compare such decisions to the law school admission process. It has not escaped our attention that Mr. Koh is regarded as one of the most respected and powerful international lawyers of our time. This does not deter us from our commitment to holding accountable members of our community who, like Mr. Koh, seem to have traded fealty to international law for a “ringside seat” at the table, at the cost of thousands of lives. The costs of remaining silent are simply too high.