In the birth throes of this new age, from Iran to Australia, India to the United States, and indeed in more than 100 countries all over the world people are rising, taking to the streets and squares, saying with one voice: “Is it for the people or is it against the people? Is it for the rich and powerful or is it for the children and ordinary citizens? Is it for short-term profit or for long-term sustainability?”

Tweeting in support of citizens in Iran outraged at the lies of their dictators in the aftermath of the downing of Ukrainian Flight 752, President Trump invoked the principle of “human rights.” Bravo Mr. President!

Now, here are a few corollaries, as day follows night. Clean water is a basic human right, yet Trump’s new rules are rolling back protections under the 1972 Clean Water Act. Human health is a fundamental human right, yet his Environmental Protection Agency has approved more than 100 new pesticides known to be extremely dangerous. Freedom from fear is a fundamental human right, yet in the first weeks of the new decade Donald Trump, without consulting the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, or our allies brought the world to the brink of war.

No, Mr. President, you can’t lay claim to human rights only when it suits your purposes. If America is once again to be a beacon to the world, let us restore human rights at home.


John Olin, 

Fishers Ferry

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