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Jack Healey
Jack Healey is the Director of the Human Rights Action Center.

Entries by Jack Healey

Counting Down: Burma's Race to the Bottom for Human Rights

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 8:40 AM

As someone who has been long-interested in the struggle for the peoples of Burma to earn for themselves the full promise of human rights and real democracy, I waited with the world for the promise of reform and transition. Having been a founder of the US Campaign for...

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Taiwan's Straits: Democracy at a Crossroads

(2) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 9:54 AM

Taiwan is situated at a crossroads culturally and geographically. With linguistic roots in common with Southeast Asia, contemporary cultural influences from Northeast Asia, and impacts felt internationally in technology and business, the island straddles a number of tectonic plates that make it seismically active. Building in Taiwan has...

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The Torture of the Torture-Excusers

(2) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 1:16 PM

Once upon a time, I recommended that we find an attorney general who would pursue the former administration for torture, disappearances, and secret prisons. Doesn't having the nation come to terms with these formative and basic violations of the principles set forth in the Universal Declaration on Human...

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Of Padraig and Principle: Why Americans Got Saint Patrick's Day Wrong Again

(4) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 8:49 AM

Yesterday was another St. Patrick's Day. While most Americans seem to think that it's an excuse to drink heavily throughout the day and to ape the worst caricatures of "Irishness," the Feast Day of St. Patrick is a cornerstone of the nation of my own heritage and a cornerstone of...

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First Ladies, First Principles, and Foundational Documents

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 9:55 AM

In 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt, former first lady, took examples of the dregs of history and aimed for a better ever after. With clarity, power, and consensus, she shepherded the creation and ratification of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The resulting document has become the bedrock for...

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Burma is at a Crossroads? Again?

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 12:15 PM

Ever more often these days, people are asking again about whether to use the term "Burma" or Myanmar" to refer to the country between Thailand and Bangladesh, bordering India, China, and the sea. Not long ago, those asking were usually keen to discern the lingo to identify themselves as members...

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Spring in the Horse Year: Free Chen Shui-bian

(3) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 8:37 AM

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou has just sent a representative to meet with a high-ranking member of the Chinese government in Beijing. Given the proximity of Taiwan to the People's Republic, among other things, this should be neither unusual nor a source of criticism. But President Ma is a member of...

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No Left Left in the United States

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 8:43 AM

President Clinton always struck me as an arrogant narcissist. Those qualities are present in many politicians and forgivable in some, but his transformation of the Democratic Party into the "liberal" branch of the GOP can not go unnoticed. He and former Fox commentator Dick Morris, who thought that...

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Santa Lists and Peace on Earth

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 9:52 AM

Last week was Christmas and it was time to make sure to ask for your gifts. Americans have begun to "go big" with their wish lists and to ask for and expect all manner of things to be given to them without regard to cost or possibility. But what if...

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Desmond Tutu: HRAC's Person of the Year

(0) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 9:37 AM

During the Carter Administration, due to the inexplicable appearance of the luck that befalls one once in a while, I was appointed to be country director of the Peace Corps in Lesotho. I say lucky, because it remains perhaps the best job I ever had. The day I...

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Abusing Power: Is Ma's Taiwan the Unbeautiful Island?

(3) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 8:00 AM

Since 2012 visit made by the Human Rights Action Center, much has changed for Chen Shui-bian and the people of Taiwan. After visiting in 2013, while the material conditions of his detention have been improved, and that is an important step to have achieved, he is still incarcerated. In his...

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Important Transitions: Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, and Hopes for Democracy

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 10:20 AM

When a popular democratic leader takes over the reins of government from a previously despotic government, they are transformed from the sacred to the profane. Icons don't govern, people do. They do so as politicians, and both people and politicians are necessarily messy. South Africa's Nelson Mandela escaped much of...

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Believing in Mandela, Believing in His Circle, Believing in Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted December 12, 2013 | 7:23 AM

A great luck befell me years ago when I got to have some time to meet Nelson Mandela in person. We ended up in the same bathroom and a camera crew asking both of us to stay in the bathroom till the shoot was over. I asked him what he...

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Fourteen for 2014: A Human Rights Wishlist

(3) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 7:56 AM

As 2013 begins to draw into itself for holiday season and the arrival of the coming new year, it is worth thinking about what human rights issues might be put onto our collective front-burners. Of course there are unfortunately far too many issues to create a perfect list even if...

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An Uncommon Disrespect for Human Rights: Prince Charles, Sri Lanka and the CHOGM

(4) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 9:16 AM

The Commonwealth of Nations was established in 1949 during the decolonization process of the British Empire. Meeting biennially in various of the fifty four member states, the Commonwealth is a voluntary and equal association of nations that is theoretically bound by a shared respect for sixteen core values. The CHOGM...

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Meaning More Than Mere Music: RIP Lou Reed

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2013 | 4:34 PM

"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out."
-- Lou Reed

The world lost an important piece of itself with the passing of Lou Reed and it's appropriate to stop and take stock of the greatness beyond the notes. My experience and time...

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Concussing Jim Thorpe's Life: Pennsylvania's State of Denial

(5) Comments | Posted October 26, 2013 | 1:00 PM

Planning to watch a game today? Figuring our your fantasy roster online? Weekends with football are as American as it gets and as surely as cooler weather arrives and leaves turn, we turn as a family to playing and watching games. On this last weekend before the month of Thanksgiving,...

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Redskins & Pigskins: Revisions of Justice

(2) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 8:29 AM

Like so many, I am a hyphenated American. Born and raised in Pennsylvania at a time before being Irish-Americans were accepted as "real" Americans, I know firsthand this nation's history of not accepting people perceived as different. There is an ongoing history of racism and exclusion in this...

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Chen and Ma: Belated Birthday or Aborted Democracy?

(3) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 11:24 AM

Taiwan's Chen Shui-bian celebrated his birthday just over a week ago from a prison. An early activist to push people beyond the one-party authoritarian rule that was a hallmark since the rise of the Kuomintang to power after the civil war in China, Chen helped create

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Failure Not an Option?: Sexual Violence and the U.S. Military

(3) Comments | Posted October 11, 2013 | 7:46 AM

Why would any parent feel good about their child choosing to enter the military for service or a career at this point? I am the eleventh child in a large Irish family and, although I eventually did time in the priesthood, I watched four brothers and many uncles and cousins...

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