Late in 2011, U.S. funding for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was cut off because the agency had conferred legitimacy on Palestine as a nation. Two U.S. laws, one passed in 1990 and another in 1994, mandated that such funding could not be directed to UNESCO or to any UN agency that recognized statehood for the region controlled by the Palestine Liberation Organization. This action delivered a heavy blow to the UN agency that receives 22 percent of its budget from the United States. But the Obama administration has stated its intention to have America's taxpayers again be forced to pay tens of millions each year to the organization.
Once again, a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act is being cited by Washington as justification for a new policy position.
During a recent trip to Egypt, U.S Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (left) had some key advice for the leaders of this Middle Eastern country as it supposedly moves past a long era of oppression and dictatorship into freedom for its people: Don’t use the U.S. Constitution as a model in penning your own governing document.
Before the American people were protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, the president managed to sign an international treaty which would permit foreign companies to demand that ISPs (Internet Service Providers) remove web content in the United States without any legal oversight. Entitled the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the treaty was signed by Obama on October 1, 2011, but it is currently a subject of discussion because the White House is circulating a petition demanding that senators ratify the treaty.
“The United Nations does extraordinary good around the world — feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, mending places that have been broken. But it also struggles to enforce its will, and to live up to the ideals of its founding. I believe that those imperfections are not a reason to walk away from this institution — they are a calling to redouble our efforts. The United Nations can either be a place where we bicker about outdated grievances, or forge common ground; a place where we focus on what drives us apart, or what brings us together; a place where we indulge tyranny, or a source of moral authority. In short, the United Nations can be an institution that is disconnected from what matters in the lives of our citizens, or it can be an indispensable factor in advancing the interests of the people we serve.”