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Gender: Female
Hometown: Saskatchewan
Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 10,804

Journal Archives

Reproductive Rights in Crisis Across Europe

By Rachael Ferguson and Gwyneth Lonergan
Source: Redpepper.org
April 8, 2014

Women’s reproductive rights are currently in crisis across Europe. In recent months, the Spanish government has introduced highly-publicised legislation that will make abortion illegal in all circumstances, except where the pregnancy is a result of rape, or the life or health of the pregnant woman is at risk. Feminists and their allies have mobilised resistance to this plan, with protests across Spain, as well as solidarity protests in France, Belgium and Ireland. Popular opinion in Spain generally supports the feminist position, with polls suggesting that 70-80 per cent of Spanish people oppose the new legislation.

While the Spanish law has gained worldwide attention, it is part of a worrying, under-reported trend across the EU seriously threatening women’s reproductive rights.

Since 2011, the Hungarian constitution has asserted that life begins at conception. Medical abortions are illegal in Hungary, and to obtain a surgical abortion, a woman must show that her life is endangered by the pregnancy, there are severe fetal abnormalities, the pregnancy was the result of a crime, or she is in a ‘state of crisis’. Even then, she must undergo mandatory counseling and a three-day ‘cooling off’ period. At the same time, according to a recent UN report, the Hungarian government has funded an anti-abortion poster campaign, and doctors and nurses are increasingly refusing to perform abortions.


Putting the attacks in context

The rising threat to women’s reproductive health can only be fully understood within the wider political and economic context. The economic crisis in Europe and the austerity measures adopted by national governments in response have significantly deepened gender inequalities.......

Full article: http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/reproductive-rights-in-crisis-across-europe/

Saskatchewan standardized testing plan scrapped


REGINA — Large-scale standardized testing in Saskatchewan schools is off the table.

The move ends more than a year of toing and froing about the introduction of standardized testing.

“We know that kind of large-scale testing regime wouldn’t work for the teachers,” Education Minister Don Morgan said in discussions with the Leader-Post earlier this week.

“I don’t think it benefits the students and I don’t think it benefits the province.”


It's a Girl (Trailer)

Every year in India and China, millions of babies are killed, abandoned or selectively aborted, simply because they are girls. This devaluation of females has led to rampant violence against women and a growing female "gendercide."


Gendercide - All Girls Allowed


Today, millions of girls and women are discriminated against and murdered, just because they are female. More than fifty-million girls and women in India have been killed because of gender in the past century. That is more people than were killed in the Holocaust, more than any other modern-day genocide.

This is where the term GENDERCIDE is derived. Gendercide (genocide against a specific gender group) is the systematic, mass killing of girls and women.

Gendercide exists today. It is most prevalent in India and China.

In these two countries combined, the annual number of sex-selective abortions of girls is higher than the number of girls born each year in the U.S. In India, sex-selective abortion, or feticide, is illegal. But, the justice system does not work for unborn girls. And, although the laws are in place, because they are not upheld, it is estimated that 700,000 girls are aborted every year. On average, one girl is aborted in India every minute, just because she is female.

This discrimination also continues beyond the womb. Infanticide (the murder of a baby girl) is another form of deadly gender bias that exists today. Families may kill their own baby girl, because they desired a son. Infanticide is so widely practiced in some areas of India, that the mortality rate for girls between the ages of 1-5 is 75% higher than the mortality rate for boys of the same age.


+1000. nt.

Horrible, isn't it?

Iraq was, prior to the invasion, a fiercely secular country, with a broadly equal male, female workforce and with women benefiting from a National Personal Status Law, introduced in 1959, which remained “one of the most liberal in the Arab world, with respect to women’s rights.”

The legal age for marriage was set at eighteen, forced marriages were banned and polygamy restricted. Cohesion between communities was enhanced and fostered by “eliminating the differential treatment of Sunnis and Shiites under the law (and erasing differentiation) between the various religious communities …” Women’s rights in divorce, child custody and inheritance were an integral part of the Law, with Article 14 stating that all Iraqis are equal under the law.

Equality was swept away from the first day of the invasion when George W. Bush and his Administration started to talk of Sunni, Shiite, Kurds, Christians and other religions and ethnicities and also effectively selecting the overseers of the “New Iraq” not by ability but by religion and ethnicity, effectively pitching Iraqi against Iraqi in what, for all the complexities, had been a very cohesive society. “Divide and rule” pervaded all.....

Silent is Ann Clwyd, MP., formerly Tony Blair’s Human Rights Envoy to Iraq and currently Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group and of the All Party Parliamentary Iraq Group, as is Middle East “Peace Envoy” Tony “I’d do it again” Blair, as are the US and British Ambassadors in Iraq and the self appointed “Vicar of Baghdad” Canon Andrew White.

Felicity Arbuthnot / March 13th, 2014


She also makes a great point in wondering why The US and UK don't put an end to this disgrace instantly by "simply withdrawing trade, arms sales, and diplomatic presence. But Iraq is still a destroyed country, courtesy of the same US and UK and there are also all those multi-million rebuilding, security, and military training contracts. As with the majority of those in their Iraq puppet Parliament, morality and integrity are long dead and buried."

Where is any real concern for girl children in Iraq?

cali had a great thread on this also a few days ago:


The Truth About South Ossetia

After the west heaped blame on Russia for the conflict, it ignores new evidence of Georgia's crimes of aggression

Seumas Milne
theguardian.com, Friday 31 October 2008 16.15 GM

So now they tell us. Two months after the brief but bloody war in the Caucasus which was overwhelmingly blamed on Russia by western politicians and media at the time, a serious investigation by the BBC has uncovered a very different story.

Not only does the report by Tim Whewell – aired this week on Newsnight and on Radio 4's File on Four - find strong evidence confirming western-backed Georgia as the aggressor on the night of August 7. It also assembles powerful testimony of wide-ranging war crimes carried out by the Georgian army in its attack on the contested region of South Ossetia.

They include the targeting of apartment block basements – where civilians were taking refuge – with tank shells and Grad rockets, the indiscriminate bombardment of residential districts and the deliberate killing of civilians, including those fleeing the South Ossetian capital of Tskinvali.
The carefully balanced report – which also details evidence of ethnic cleansing by South Ossetian paramilitaries – cuts the ground from beneath later Georgian claims that its attack on South Ossetia followed the start of a Russian invasion the previous night.

At the time, the Georgian government said its assault on Tskinvali was intended to "restore constitutional order" in an area it has never ruled, as well as to counter South Ossetian paramilitary provocations. Georgian intelligence subsequently claimed to have found the tape of an intercepted phone call backing up its Russian invasion story – but even Georgia's allies balk at a claim transparently intended to bolster its shaky international legal position .

Full article: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/oct/31/russia-georgia

McCain tried his hardest to ramp that one up, too.


"McCain: Georgia conflict is the ‘first serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War.’"

Speaking at the Aspen Institute in Colorado yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that recent Russian aggression in Georgia is the “first…serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War.” McCain seemingly ignored the Gulf War, 9/11, and the Iraq War, to name a few:

My friends, we have reached a crisis, the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War. This is an act of aggression."


Senator John McCain: “We Are All Ukrainians”

In an interview with TIME, the Arizona Senator said Obama is “naïve” about Putin’s ambitions “to restore the Russian empire”

In response to reports of a Russian takeover in parts of Crimea, Arizona Senator John McCain said on Friday, “We are all Ukrainians,” before calling for swift U.S. economic aid to Ukraine, condemnation of Russia at the United Nations, sanctions against Russian officials and the installation of U.S. missiles in the nearby Czech Republic.

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes “this is a chess match reminiscent of the Cold War and we need to realize that and act accordingly,” McCain said, in an exclusive interview with TIME. “That does not mean I envision a conflict with Russia, but we need to take certain measures that would convince Putin that there is a very high cost to actions that he is taking now.”

McCain made his declaration in response to a question from TIME about his famous 2008 statement, “We are all Georgians,” issued when he was a Republican presidential candidate after Russia invaded Georgia. Asked whether he feels the same way about the plight of Ukraine six years later, he agreed. “We are all Ukrainians in the respect that we have a sovereign nation that is again with international boundaries… that is again being taken in as part of Russia,” he said in an interview in his Senate office. “That is not acceptable to an America that stands up for the rights of human beings. We are Georgians. And we are Ukrainians.”

Read more: John McCain Says We Are All Ukrainians, Takes On Putin | TIME.com http://swampland.time.com/2014/02/28/ukraine-john-mccain-putin-crimea/#ixzz2ufG28LBP

Who’s Who in Ukraine’s New “Semi-fascist” Government: Meet the People the U.S. and EU are Supporting


Strange, I've never read of him saying "We are all Iraqis".

Fuck McCain and the neo-con warmongers!

Ukraine, Crimea, Georgia: The West and Russia

by Johan Galtung / March 12th, 2014

There is much in the name. Ukraine means borderland. And it is time to think about solutions instead of further confrontations.


The position of the extreme West – like US neocons – is clear: Get all into NATO, encircling, containing, defeating Russia. Some in Ukraine and Georgia share that goal.

The less extreme West would focus on EU membership, both being European countries. Some of them, in turn, might focus on loans as there is much money to be made. Thus, Bosnia-Hercegovina had $9 billion debt before the EU take-over as “high authority”; now $107 billion. “Austerity” around the corner.

The position of Russia as expressed by Putin and Lavrov: no way. Crimea will revert to Russia after it was given to Ukraine in 1954 by Khrushchev, himself born in Kalinovka, Ukraine in 1894, his wife a Ukrainian – possibly mainly for economic reasons as his son at Brown University R.I., USA argues...........


You cool with this?

But Yatsenyuk, who leads "Fatherland" in the absence of jailed leader Yulia Tymoshenko, revealed that he rejects gay marriage because his personal beliefs stand in the way of any political position.

"I can tell you about this separately as a Christian and a Greek Catholic," he said. "I do not support gay marriage."

His reply has disappointed the LGBT community in Ukraine, which has looked to the Opposition for accommodation on social issues.

Yatsenyuk's stance will also surprise western European gay rights groups, which had warned gay football fans last year that they could experience hostility while travelling to Poland and Ukraine for the Euro 2012championship. By the end of the tournament there were few reported problems.

Last month Ukraine's foreign minister Leonid Kozhara announced that Ukraine will introduce a law prohibiting discrimination against gays, which will afford them protection in line with European Union nations.

"The issue of homosexuals is now generating strong controversy in Ukraine, but our government has already prepared a draft law and will soon submit it to the parliament," he said.


Creating A Cruelty-Free World ~ Ending Animal Testing For Cosmetics

It's still legal in 80% of countries.

In China alone, an estimated 300,000 animals die each year in cosmetic tests.

Europe, the world’s largest cosmetic market, and Israel have already banned animal testing for cosmetics, and the sale of newly animal-tested beauty products. In most countries, animal testing is neither required nor prohibited for ordinary cosmetics like makeup and shampoo. But some countries regulate products such as sunscreens, hair dyes, and toothpaste as “medicated” cosmetics or pharmaceutical drugs, which can mean mandatory animal testing.

Be Cruelty-Free—the largest campaign in history to end cosmetics animal testing—is leading the charge worldwide, working with governments, companies, scientists, and the public to usher in the next wave of legal reforms. Together, we can create a world where no animal — anywhere — is ever made to suffer for the sake of beauty.

Purple - Ban on animal testing for cosmetics + Ban on selling newly animal-tested cosmetics.
Gray - Countries where BCF is active.
Red - Poll Data: Public support for a national cosmetics testing ban.


By the Way, Your Home Is On Fire

By Rebecca Solnit
Source: TomDispatch.com
March 12, 2014


The Things We Burned

.......An extraordinary new report tells us that 90 corporations and states are responsible for nearly two-thirds of all the carbon emissions that have changed our climate and our world since 1751. Chevron alone is responsible for 3.52% of that total, ExxonMobil for 3.22%, and BP for 2.24%. China since 1751 is responsible for 8.56% — less, that is, than those three petroleum giants. It’s true that they produced that energy, rather than (for the most part) consuming it, but at this point we need to address the producers.

The most terrifying thing about the study by Richard Heede of Climate Mitigation Services in Colorado, and the chart of his data that Duncan Clark and Kiln, a data-visualization firm, made for the Guardian is that 63% of all human-generated carbon emissions have been produced in the past 25 years; that is, nearly two-thirds have been emitted since the first warnings were sounded about what was then called “global warming” and the need to stop or scale back. We on Earth now, we who have been adults for at least 25 years, are the ones who have done more than all earlier human beings combined to unbalance the atmosphere of the planet, and thus its weather systems, oceans, and so much more.

It’s important to note, as so many have, that it’s we in the global north and the rich countries for whom most of that fuel has been burned. And it’s important to note as well (though fewer have) that, according to the opinion polls, a majority of individuals north and south, even in our own oil empire, are willing to change in response to this grim fact. It’s the giant energy corporations and the governments in their thrall (when they’re not outright oil regimes) that are stalling and refusing, as we saw when a meaningful climate compact was sabotaged in Copenhagen in late 2009.

The most stunning thing about that chart illustrating Heede’s study is that it makes what can seem like an overwhelming and amorphous problem specific and addressable: here are the 90 top entities pumping carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere. With its own list of the 200 biggest fossil fuel corporations, the divestment movement is doing something similar. Next comes the hard part: getting universities, cities, states, pension funds, and other financial entities to actually divest. They often like to suggest that it’s an impossible or crazy or wildly difficult and risky move, though fund managers shuffle their funds around all the time for other reasons......

Full article: http://zcomm.org/znetarticle/by-the-way-your-home-is-on-fire/
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