I rarely ever post non-fictional political blogs anymore, mainly because everything is just too depressing.  And it’s not just the scandalous tweet of the day….it’s all the stupid little things.  Today I was once again reminded that we left the UN Human Rights Council a couple months ago, and felt another little pang of regret for another stupid decision.

Sure, the UN is mostly a rambling deliberative body and isn’t capable of stopping war and conflict in the world.  But it’s the symbolism of the thing.  The Human Rights Council continues speaking out on rights violations in Myanmar, Sudan, Syria.  The United States is not a part of that anymore, only confirming the suspicion that it didn’t care much about this stuff in the first place, anyway.

Is it a coincidence that we’re leaving the Human Rights Council just as our country is on a not-so-subtle slide down the road to fascism?  Legal residents are having their passports taken away.  Journalists are condemned as the “enemy of the people.”  Many refugee children torn away from their parents have still not been reunited with them.  What other human rights violations would the Trump administration love to be able to get away with?  What violations is it planning to get away with in the near future?

Anyway, there are my sad musings for the night.  For what it’s worth, another reason I have less time to blog is that I have been phone banking and canvassing like crazy for my local Democratic Party.  Will there actually be a Blue Wave coming in November?  I have no idea.  I’m the wrong person to ask, because I’m naturally a pessimist…about everything.  But I will keep working for it, whatever the chances of it happening may be.  Lord knows we need someone different than the people in charge right now.

 

 

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What will those be like, I wonder?  Will there be little child dancers fighting the evil Pink Triangle trying to recruit them into homosexuality?  Will the ladies of Pussy Riot perform a touching song about how beautiful life can be in a gulag?  Will Putin ride out on a horse, all macho and bare-chested?  What about Edward Snowden in a bodysuit?  Toilets that will actually work?

Honestly, at this time, unless the opening ceremonies include a festive parade of happy gay people with their newly adopted stray dogs, I really don’t wanna watch ’em.  The idea of Putin’s Russia putting on a show about world peace and love is too ludicrous for consideration.  I had a difficult time watching the Beijing Olympics because I have a problem with how that country treats the Falun Gong and Christians–looks like these Olympics will be an equally painful event.

Edward Snowden continues to say hilarious things about Russia as he hangs out in the transit section of the Moscow airport.  (Hey, it’s funnier to talk about than the depressing Trayvon Martin verdict).  He has now described Russia as “the first to stand against human rights violations”.  Gay people and political dissidents all over the country laughed, or would have laughed if they were not in labor camps or dead. 

This statement from Snowden made me scratch my head, until I realized that when Snowden is talking about “human rights”, he is thinking only of a very specific human:  himself.  He is so focused on his own situation that he cannot see some of the other “human rights” stuff which is happening in the country which has granted him refuge.  This may speak to a big ego on his part–which wouldn’t surprise me.  Or it may simply show that Snowden is frightened and exhausted, and is probably saying flattering things about Russia out of fear.  Meanwhile, Putin has described him as an unwanted Christmas present.  Ouch…the love here is clearly not a two-way street.

Now, here’s a human rights defender I can really get behind…the awesome mayor of Reykjavik, Jon Gnarr, who has proposed to end Reykjavik’s sister city arrangement with Moscow as a protest against Russia’s recently passed homophobic law against “gay propaganda”.  Needless to say, Mr. Gnarr is a big proponent of gay rights and has appeared in drag in Pride parades. 

Iceland’s Pirate Party has voted to offer Edward Snowden citizenship.  Should he ever get his ability to travel back, this would be a much better choice than Moscow.

 

I see that Edward Snowden is about to leave Russia, and that’s really too bad, because I had a great idea for a swap.

Since welcoming Snowden, Russian leaders have made some hilarious statements about how much they love dissidents.  And here is Dmitri Trenin, the director of Carnegie Moscow Center, adding to the hilarity:  “Russia is turning into a haven — virtually, intellectually and physically — for those who have an ax to grind with the West, who are whistle-blowers or have problems with Western authorities.”

Let’s leave aside how strange it feels, as an Eastern European person, to hear that Russia enjoys the presence of whistle-blowers–oh really??  But fine, let the Russians keep Snowden.  What’s the point of dragging him back here?  Sounds like all the secrets have already been spilled, the damage has been done.  Let him hide out in Moscow if that’s what he wants to do.

But in exchange, can we have the Pussy Riot girls?  If I remember correctly, two of those women are still languishing in one of Russia’s miserable labor camps, all because they dared criticize the church and state in their own country.  Some human rights achievement.  With their punk rebellious attitude, they would fit in perfectly in a place like NYC or San Francisco.  And here, we may spy on our own citizens, but we are not quite so crude about persecuting them.

So whaddya say, Putin?