The SF Chronicle reports on how the Berkeley City Council will vote tonight on whether or not to become the first city in the US to “independently try to comply with U.N. treaties on torture, civil rights and racial discrimination” (via Dan Riehl):
The measure would require the city to file biennial reports to the United Nations on how – or whether – the city meets international human rights standards. In Berkeley, that could include its record on homelessness, the achievement gap among different racial groups at Berkeley High and the presence of John Yoo, a UC Berkeley School of Law professor and Berkeley resident who authored the Bush administration’s justification for torture.
“It’s critical that cities and counties, not just nations, make these reports to the U.N.,” said Ann Fagan Ginger, head of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute in Berkeley. “To relate directly to the U.N. is the closest way we have of supporting the rights spelled out in these treaties.”
Unpaid law students at Ginger’s institute and volunteers on the city’s Peace and Justice Commission would compile most of the city data for the United Nations. City staff would chip in if more work is needed, according to the city manager.
Berkeley would be the first city in the country, and possibly the world, to submit its compliance records to the United Nations, said Yves Sorokobi, a U.N. spokesman in New York.
“We welcome citizen participation in trying to uphold these treaties, but in general they are directed toward countries,” he said. Berkeley “has taken the lead here.”
I have a better idea: Why doesn’t Berkeley just secede from the state of California and this country, and become a member state of the UN? That way, if this country is ever attacked on the left coast, they’ll have to rely solely on the UN for defense. That way, whenever this country does something that goes against the socialistic ideals of the fruitcakes in Berkeley, they no longer have to dramatically reaffirm how “ashamed” they are to be “Americans.” That way, when a caravan of Berzerkeley citizens travels overseas in support of the “Palestinian cause” the US military will not have the authority to rescue them when they get in over their heads. That way, the next time they get involved in something spectacularly stupid, I don’t have to feel embarassed over something stupid and self-serving another American city is doing in the name of “human rights.”
Shall I continue?