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Isocracy Newsletter January 18, 2010

"We believe in the strength and the rule of the people; in government of the People, by the People and for the People. Equality is the literal meaning of the word Isocracy"

Grant Allen, "The Isocratic Party" (Chapter One) in "The New Party Described By Some Of Its Members" (1894) by Andrew Reid (Independent Labour Party of Great Britain)

Election Roundup

In Uzbekistan the Liberal Democratic Party has won 55 out of 150 seats in parliamentary elections, continuing its position as largest party in the legislative chamber. However most power is held by the executive, especially the President Islam Karimov who has held power since 1990 as President of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, with his term extended through repeated referendum criticised by international observers as failing to reach basic standards. The regime is known for extensive torture, media censorship and sham elections.

Elections in Croatia have seen Ivo Josipović, nominee of the leftist Social Democratic Party, elected in the second round with 60.26% of the vote (from 32%). He was opposed by Milan Bandić, who received 39.74% (from 14%). Bandić ran as an independent, having previously been a member of the SDP but unable to secure nomination. Other candidates in the first round included Andrija Hebrang, nominated by the Croatian Democratic Union (12%) and independent Nadan Vidošević (11%)

Steps Towards Freedom and Oppression

Mongolian President Elbegdorj Tsakhia has announced a moratorium on the death penalty, calling for it to be abolished.

Google has announced that it is "no longer willing to continue censoring" results on, citing attempted breaches of Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists in a systematic manner.

Arbitrary stop-and-search powers without reasonable suspicion introduced by the UK government in their Terrorism Act (2000) have been declared outlawful by the European Court of Human Rights.

North Korea has called for talks on replacing the Korean War armistance with a peace treaty. Critics, including the South Korean foreign ministry, believe that North Korea are trying to use peace treaty issue to undermine multilateral negotiations on ending Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has suggested reducing the penalties in the extremist anti-gay legislation proposed by that country, but not out of sense of liberty. The bill proposed lifes imprisonment and the death penalty in some circumstances. The President has complained that the issue is becoming a "foreign policy concern" as more enlightened governments express their condemnation.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) some 200,000 people in Yemen have been displaced since 2004 by ongoing violence between the Yemani government and extremist Zaydi Shia rebels, and that the growing number of refugees is straining the ability of aid agencies to shelter and care for those forced to flee their homes. The President of Yemen, Abdullah Saleh, has held power since the foundation of that country in 1990 and prior to that as President of the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) from 1977.

Freedom House has reported the fourth consecutive year of decline in freedom worldwide, the longest consecutive period of setbacks the for 40-year history of the report. The declines were most pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa,

The Defenders of Freedom, Justice, and Equality and Richmond Jobs with Justice have initiated the formation of a Virginia People’s Assembly. This is a call for a broad array of progressive organizations and individuals to unite together to make demands of the Virginia General Assembly.

Tearing Down the Australian Internet Firewall

The justified basis of censorship is the claim that the exposure of certain content can alter mental structures and, in particular, judgment. This is particularly the case concerning individual and group defamation and, in neurological development, those with pre-adolescent brain development. Another basis is simply the assertion of censorship simply through the political ability to do so. Independent organisations, from church newsletters to newspapers to academic journals, of course do this all the time; they decide what content is or isn't appropriate. As systematically independent organisations, this too has justification.

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