Sunday, December 31, 2006



The Annual No Right Turn Christmas Appeal

Christmas is supposed to be the season for giving, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to remind people that they can give to people besides retailers. Below are a couple of links to worthy causes. If you've enjoyed reading No Right Turn this year, or are simply naturally generous, and you have money to spare, please consider flicking them a few dollars to help them in the year ahead.

If you support human rights, then please consider donating to the New Zealand branch of Amnesty International (online form here). They are a strong, consistent and impartial voice for human rights worldwide: for the release of prisoners of conscience, for fair trials, for an end to torture, disappearances and extrajudicial killings, and for the abolition of the death penalty. They do good work, and while the constant flood of stories about human rights abuses may make it seem like they're getting nowhere, they do get results. Amnesty's ability to focus international attention on individual cases has saved thousands of people from torture, imprisonment, and death.

If you think supporting human rights is "too political", or if you're an animal-lover, then I suggest the Auckland SPCA (online form here, or you can call 0900 99 SPCA (0900 997722) to make a one-off $25 donation). They have a tough time around christmas, and they need all the help they can get to deal with the flood of abandoned pets they get in January.

Finally, if you'd like to directly help poor people in the developing world, Oxfam has a number of interesting ideas at Oxfam Unwrapped, including water, farming and educational projects. This stuff is cheap - $10 for a pair of chickens, $20 for trees, $35 to help someone start a business through a microcredit scheme - and there's plenty of options to choose from.

The causes I've highlighted above are those that appeal to me, and there are countless other ones which are equally deserving. I have no way of knowing if any of you will donate or not, but please do so anyway. It's christmas, after all.

9 comments:

Speaking of Amnesty, I am surprised you have not noted this I/S - http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,,1970084,00.html

Posted by Sanctuary : 12/20/2006 06:22:00 PM

And if you're short of money, consider donating your time... all those organisations usually need volunteers. Speaking from experience, it really is rewarding to be involved in directly reducing suffering and injustice.

Posted by George : 12/20/2006 11:00:00 PM

Donate to Amnesty International? AI is far too happy with interfering with the legal due process of societies whose main aim is to protect normal, law-abiding citizens. 'Ban the police from using Tazers' 'Ban the police from using pepper spray' Ban them where? In Chile? No, in the USA, in the UK. And why? To protect the human rights of criminals. Well, here's a newsflash. Criminals should have no rights. Step outside the box defined by your society, and pay the price. Amnesty ought to spend more of its time considering the rights of the law-abiding masses who are continually expected to pay the price for ineffectual, hand-wringing liberals like you.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/26/2006 03:59:00 AM

Anonymous said...
'Ban the police from using Tazers' 'Ban the police from using pepper spray' Ban them where? In Chile? No, in the USA, in the UK. And why? To protect the human rights of criminals. Well, here's a newsflash. Criminals should have no rights. Step outside the box defined by your society, and pay the price.

We know he's absolutely correct. The US leads the way. At Feb 2005 there was 1 person in 140 detained and the rate is increasing yearly.

Detain enough people and make the imprisonment harsh enough and all the crime and terrorism in the world will vanish. Let's start with all these do gooders.....

Posted by Grant : 12/26/2006 12:11:00 PM

Grant,

I think your confusing two issues here. One of them is the court/punishment strategy. In that regard rehabilitation is obviously much better as a concequentialist policy because it is concequence oriented. In that regard somwhere like the USA is quite punishment oriented.

But what we are discussing here is to do with the amount of freedom we give the police to do the job we ask of them. (totally aside from what happens after they catch the criminal). In that regard the USA is more of an example of the system where they are hamstrung (i.e. not given the ability to do the job they are asked to do).

Stoppin the police from using tazers is a bit like preventing doctors from using chemotherapy because they might get it wrong.

geniusNZ

Posted by Anonymous : 12/26/2006 04:05:00 PM

Except that doctors aren't known to be petty-minded sadists, while a certain proportion of our local porcine population are.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/29/2006 02:48:00 PM

in which case one should sack or imprison them (in a psych ward maybe). Keeping them on with just slightly smaller weapons is foolish.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/29/2006 05:41:00 PM

Agreed, but I don't see how that's an argument for equipping them with instruments of torture.

Posted by Anonymous : 12/29/2006 07:35:00 PM

Last night I watched a German film called "The Experiment", if you care about just these kind of issues, then I suggest this movie. It's based on the Stanford experiment.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0250258/

Posted by muerk : 12/30/2006 02:03:00 PM