Solitair's Articles
February 1, 2005 by Solitair
I'm surprised at the lack of post election analysis on this site. Yes, there are plenty of left v right taunts and insults being thrown but no real examination of the voting trends or turnouts. So I'll attempts to start a debate on these.

- Current estimates as of today put the turnout at about 8 million Iraqi's or 60% of the registered voter population.
There is no doubt in my mind that this represents a resounding success for democracy in the country. People have turned out in huge numb...
January 14, 2005 by Solitair
Yesterday the US based Human Rights Watch released there 2005 Human Rights report. In a report that gives a very detailed overview of human right abuses acorss the world, the US in particular was singled out as a major factor in eroding global Human Rights.

It's opening paragraph on the US paints the proud history of human rights that the US used to stand for.

"but the United States has long seen itself to be, and in many places has been perceived to be, an effective advocate for human ri...
January 11, 2005 by Solitair
In a major change to previous policy, the UN has asked PWC to handle the tracking of donations for the tsunami relief and also to be responsible for investigating any allegations of fraud, waste or abuse. The UN has obviously learned from the oil for food scandal that handling of such large funds needs to be totally transparent and also needs to be separated from the actual people responsible for spending the money.

A step in the right direction.

December 16, 2004 by Solitair
The highest court in the UK has rules by an 8 to 1 majority that detaining terrorist suspects without trial is a breach of the European convention on human rights and unlawful. The law lords (equivalent to a supreme court) ruled today that the UK may not detain terrorists under such circumstances.

This is the second major legal ruling against the UK on human right abuses within a week and leaves the UK anti terrorist legislation in tatters.


It's taken a long time but finally the...
December 14, 2004 by Solitair
In a landmark judgement today, the UK high court today ruled that an Iraqi who died while in British custody in Iraq was entitled to the full protection of the European Convention on Human Rights. In a ruling which has wide ranging implications, the judges effectively ruled that prisoners taken by British troops abroard fell under British judicial juristician, and hence the European Convention for Human Rights applies. This means that all deaths must have full open enquiries, all forms of impri...
November 30, 2004 by Solitair
year ago, after the obvious differences between the US and the UN over Iraq, Kofi Annan appointed a team of international diplomats to examine ways the UN could be reformed to be more relevant to todays world. The team of diplomats included representatives from the US, Russia, China, UK, France, Brazil, Japan, India and others. This report has now been made public and the contents are very interesting.

Here are some of the main recommendations:

- The UN security council should be expa...
November 11, 2004 by Solitair
I was reading the news this morning and came across an article about Antigua having won their case against the US for unfair gambling laws.

Basically their case read, The US bans cross state online gambling, and this is against WTO agreements on free trade in services.

The US defense basically read, The US is protecting it's moral fibre by banning cross state gambling and is attempting to stop illegal gambling and money laundering.

Unsurprisingly the WTO ruled that if the US lets it'...
October 19, 2004 by Solitair
You can't be anti-american. No one really can.

America is made up of it parts and so long as someone loves a single part then they cannot hate the whole.

Someone can happily hate Bush, hate the Us foreign policy, hate US tax laws, hate their stupid US neighbours, hate the US flag, ahte the US language, hate hollywood, hate McDonalds, but so long as they still love that single US friend, they cannot hate America. For that friend represents America.

To accuse someone of being anti Ameri...
October 18, 2004 by Solitair
This week the UN will debate proposals to place a worldwide ban on aspects of embryonic cloning. There are two major proposals on the table and world opinion seems to be split in two between them.

The first proposal by Costa Rica is strongly advocated by the Bush led US government. This would make it illegal for any country to clone embryos for any reason. The US wants this worldwide ban, matching the ethical position of it's president that any cloning and destruction of the embryo is a destr...
October 1, 2004 by Solitair
I was reading my local news site this morning when I came across an article about the recent activity on the St Helens Volcano in Washington state. I was slightly surprised to see no articles on Joeuser on this topic. The current situation seems to be that The volcano has now been sealed off, due to the highest level of activity since 1986. Earthquakes related to the volcano are now occurring at a rate of 3-4 a minute suggesting an erruption is imminent. Admittedly any eruption is expected to be...
October 1, 2004 by Solitair
Today the russian cabinet has sent the Kyoto accords to the russian parliament to be ratified. With that ratification the majority of the planet and polluters on the planet will have finally signed up and the treaty will come into effect.

This brings the total number of countries who have ratified, approved or accepted the accords to 126 out of 137, with Australia, indonesia and the US being the noticeable exceptions. The accords commit many of those countries who have signed (primarily the d...
September 29, 2004 by Solitair
In a party conference speach aimed yesterday Tony Blair finally admitted that he got it wrong and that Saddam did not have WMD in 2003. To quote,

'The evidence about Saddam having actual biological and chemical weapons, as opposed to the capability to develop them, has turned out to be wrong.
I acknowledge that and accept it.'

For the prime minister of the UK to finally admit that WMD did not exist is a major step. He has access to more information and data than anyone short of George Bu...
September 22, 2004 by Solitair
O. G. San recently wrote two very interesting articles looking at how the case for a united Ireland has changed over the past 90 years.

Following his suggestion I'll continue the discussion with the topic of economy.

If you wandered around the island of Ireland early in the century and even up to the early seventies, you would have been struck with the diff...
September 7, 2004 by Solitair
I've now been reading a few articles where users get responses deleted or get blacklisted. In some cases it for obvious personal attacks or filth (which I have no objections to), but in others it's because they argue a point that the author states is off-topic. What I wonder is whether there is a better way to handle these off topic replies, short of deleting them or black listing the writer. A way that handles these soon enough to stop the antagonism that arises.

Let me give an example,
September 2, 2004 by Solitair
With the recent allegations of rape against sports stars being dragged through the papers and news shows this summer I wonder if it's time for countries to revisit privacy versus interest of the public laws. The US, Britian and Australia have all seen media circus' occur where the sports stars have later been exonerated.

Is it really in the interest of the public to be told that Y has been accussed rape? Surely that information should never be released unless a trial has occurred and Y is fo...