If the passing of Amendment 1 in North Carolina had two positive results whose sparkle is covered by the tragedy they are: (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’
The body of the 54th woman to be killed by a man (boyfriend, friend, relative) in Italy has been found after having been missing for two days. (more…)
A continuing spate of hate crimes claimed two Arab owned vehicles in Jerusalem this week, which were torched while parked overnight. (more…)
On Boxing Day, a famous American newspaper published a news about a successful romantic relationship between two people with autism, precisely a form called Asperger’s syndrome. (more…)
I have been paying little attention to the news, or the journalists underline the bad in the world and forget about all the good, but the impression I have nowadays is that our world is full of violence, and we have no more place to repress it. (more…)
In a rare triumph of human rights in Afghanistan, a young woman who was jailed for “zina” (adultery) has been pardoned by President Karzai. (more…)
Advancements in forensic DNA testing are expected to improve the efficacy of our criminal justice system, but is the technology being utilized as it ought to be?
A Spanish mother has taken revenge on the man who raped her 13-year-old daughter at knife point by dousing him in gasoline and setting him on fire. He died of his injuries eleven days later in hospital.
Whether an investigation will result in punishment for the killers — or those who hired them — is uncertain. More than 1,000 rural activists, small farmers, religious workers and others fighting deforestation have been slain in the past 20 years, but only a handful of killers have been successfully prosecuted.
[Photo credit: Ahmad Masood/Reuters]
Without much of a fuss made by the media, if even reported at all, last month Afghanistan’s new Shiite Personal Status Law was put into effect. The law grants Shiite men the legal right to starve their wives if their sexual demands are not met. These sexual demands are not defined or limited by the law. The law also requires Shiite women to obtain permission from their husbands to even leave their home. Parental custody is solely the father’s or, in his absence, the paternal grandfather. Incredibly, the law also allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying “blood money” to a girl who was injured when he raped her. That payment, of course, is offered to the father, paternal grandfather or the brothers of the raped girl. (more…)
The Creative Steps Day Care, a Philadelphia-area day care center, said Thursday, that members of a private swim club the organization had paid to attend, made racist comments about the center’s children to the point of bringing some of the young children to tears. Not to be outdone by its racist members, the swim club then quickly canceled the swimming privileges of all the children – from the day care center! (more…)
In physics, the principle of relativity is the requirement that the laws of physics in the observable world have the same form in all admissible frames of reference.
Now observe this photo of two little girls standing on the balcony of their home in Rafah, Gaza Strip – their observable world.
I am so untethered in this world. I often have to ask what day of the week yesterday was and find myself laughing that the very next day I had already forgotten.
I am often lost in thought, but find now, recently, thoughts fly through me more readily and I am supremely grateful for this change, that no longer makes me need, want, struggle to hold onto thoughts.
I recently posted about seeing birds, and then yesterday, none swooped before my car. I had been sick the night before and I think I did not awake with an open heart and the birds were not drawn to me. Today, I awoke differently and within several hundred yards, I had to duck as I drove, so close the first bird came, and I had to smile because it hit me, I had opened my heart.
I am reading a book: What is the What, by Dave Eggers, a fictionalized account of one man’s life, a Sudanese Refugee. The Preface, in part, set forth:
“Even when my hours were darkest, I believed that some day I could share my experiences with readers, so as to prevent the same horrors from repeating themselves. This book is a form of struggle, and it keeps my spirit alive to struggle. To struggle is to strengthen my faith, my hope, and my belief in humanity. Thank you for reading this book, and I wish you a blessed day.”
-Valentino Achak Deng
I read the last seven words over and over again…”and I wish you a blessed day”.
I was stunned, astounded and touched, that this person, the voice of the book, What is the What, wished me, a reader a blessed day.
In turn, I wish you, “a blessed day”.
| UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie sits beside an Afghan boy in the refugee camp of Katcha Ghari on the edge of the Pakistan city of Peshawar. © UNHCR/J.Redden
“Top Story: World Refugee Day: Challenges of the 21st Century
UNHCR focuses attention today on the plight of millions of refugees and displaced people around the world. The future is likely to see more people on the move and the international community must face the challenge of understanding the new displacement environment.”
Recently I came across the word Ubuntu.
The word intrigued me as much as the word Namaste intrigues me.
Synchronicity lead me to buy the latest Vanity Fair Magazine, highlighting different people and their efforts in Africa. Within that magazine was a conversation between Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, and Brad Pitt, the well known actor, and now well recognized humanitarian.
I first read the article regarding Jeffrey Sachs, entitled Jeffrey Sachs’s $200 Billion Dream, by Nina Munk. I wasn’t simply enthralled with the intelligence that lead to the ability to create and foster both dreams and a realized reality for others, I was left in a state of incomprehension by the tenacity, the sheer perseverence of the mission Mr. Sachs, his family, people working with him, and countless others exhibit. I have a dream, it’s a smaller one, called surface earth, the zipcode exchange: the intent is to create a web, beginning within a single community, then spanning silken strands, community by community, until no person or no part of this Earth is left untouched, people helping others, constantly, as a natural way of life, a readjustment. I am still working on my matrix, whereas Mr. Sachs has run with his.
I continued reading on….
From the table of contents on Vanity Fair Online you can see:
“THE TUTU CONNECTION Archbishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for opposing apartheid in South Africa. Talking with Brad Pitt, he explains why the fight for equality must go global. Photographs by Annie Leibovitz”.
I, however, have the print edition because I prefer in many ways, the printed page. I was wildly pleased when I began the article at page 96, to see within the fifth exchange the following:
Brad Pitt: What is this concept of Ubuntu I keep reading about?
Desmond Tutu: Ubuntu is the essence of being human. And in our language a person is ubuntu, and ubuntu is a noun to speak about what it means to be human. In essence, it is something that you find especially in the Old Testament, where you’re not quite sure sometimes-when you are reading, say the Psalms-whether the Psalm is speaking, where it says, ‘I,’ only of an individual, or is it speaking in a corporate sense? We say a person is a person through other persons. You can’t be human in isolation. You are human only in relationships.
Brad Pitt: So that speaks to our interconnectedness.
Desmond Tutu: We are interconnected………………….
Normally, I would go on, type more of the article, the exchange, but some things must be made palpable, must be received through sensory perceptions, since we so long ago closed off other means of perception…read the article, in fact, read the entire magazine.
I am convinced – Ubuntu – is not just a beautiful word that sings without need for comprehension, Ubuntu is also a journey.
I’m wondering….what is the price of gossip?
Yesterday, I stopped at a deli/cafe/luncheonette: not sure how to describe the place except it is homey with excellent food. My husband and myself found ourselves able to have a good cup of coffee and a meal together…priceless. I was there when the owner of the “cafe” bought a flat screen television for the wall and remember his excitement.
So on this stolen morning I walk in and see Angelina Jolie as big as life on the Today Show. Now of course, my husband knowing that I admire Ms. Jolie, walked over to the television to turn up the volume because it was a busy day there at the cafe.
A group of women were meeting for breakfast, one turned, watching me watching the screen…and said…”she actually looks more human.”
Ok, um, I think I get that, she is larger than life, smeared on tabloids, photographed at angles and in light that normally make her appear to be….a space alien?
Regardless, I strained to watch and listened and learned, that yes, after my long day, I could maybe make it home in time to see the Dateline episode. And I did, it began at ten Eastern time and my family was a bit loud, but I crept closer to our not flat tv screen……………..
You see, I admire Ms. Jolie on a few fronts:
1. she’s honest
2. she tells it like it is
3. she either tells us or doesn’t everything
4. she’s a humanitarian.
Big word: humanitarian.
Maybe she is smeared and smashed across God knows how many fronts for the sole purpose of the media/magazines making money…but there are a few things you cannot take from her…she does not need to adopt children or birth children to get better movie ratings…she does not need to endanger herself and spend her money on strangers for better ratings….she is not an unfit mother because she cares about others and dares to do something about it…
I’m sorry, I got carried away.
My point is simply, she sends a good message to younger girls and women. You made a mistake? You experimented? You weren’t sure who you were at 16 and did things that at 30 you regret or don’t want anyone to find out about?
Why live with that?
Why live with the fear of shame and judgment? It simply inhibits growth.
Gossip kills, if not literally, then a piece at a time, until the light within all of us is extinguished.
See further resources, ask yourself, if you had untold millions, what would you do?
I posted earlier this evening on a tragic event.
I cited to CNN video, and my first comment received on this blog let me know the link was not working.
The original link I provided was on CNN. I provided it because I was horrified and in some ways felt it was yet another tragic screaming cry to wake up as women. It appeared the link was removed or moved, but we then found it again with the help of a blogger who posted a comment to our piece.
I went back and forth as to whether to delete the link. Deleting it would not erase that it happened and people stood by and watched. But the thought of viewing the atrocity, the mere fact that it could be recorded, that it does occur became overwhelming. I don’t know what’s right, I don’t know if the link should remain or not, for now, it is off of the post. Below is the original post. You can read an updated link to the story on News Yahoo.
A link to the story on Care to Connect is listed below at the end of this post.
I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it, I can’t stand it……………..as kids have been brave enough to do in front of their peers, Stand Up & Speak Out, we must do. There must be a way.
This young girl’s crime was to “love”. Do you get it? To love, the basis of every damn religion proscribed, ok, maybe there are some I don’t know of that espouse hate, but she loved.
Did you see her, this beautiful human being?
And to think when I was on the way home from work all I could think was if we could just leave the “children” alone, if we could simply let their innocence and pure wisdom blossom, there would be a chance for humanity. If we could just not brainwash them into the dictates of society.
Are you kidding me?
How evil can we get? To kill because someone, a child, a child, dared to love.
I can’t even stand to be in my own skin, living in this world where we encourage it…and yes, we do…we do when women can’t even be elected to the highest office in the “most free” country, and I love this country, I love America and as much as I struggle with suppressing ego, my ego does reign when I truly and freely say: I love being an American. I won the lottery of birth.
Yet, as a woman, that was once a girl, and now plays in a man’s world, I see the limitations, but I also see the possibilities. But what possibilities can there be in a country that kills its young for loving?
I like to close my eyes to violence. I won’t watch “scary” movies, I think they are incredibly stupid to put out that negative message, that imagery, to people that can’t help themselves because they are that damaged by this world and will think it is the right thing to do, to hurt others.
Have I made myself clear?
I find it unacceptable to hurt others. Period.
Watch the video. A 17 year old girl in Iraq, ignored “local custom”. Security forces looked on, she was dragged from her home, they STONED her, people stood by and watched. Did you see how beautiful she is? People sat with cell phones and took pictures.
An honor killing.
What God does anyone believe in that thinks God would want a child killed?
That is RELIGION.
She was a baby in this world, dragged from her home, adults, ADULTS, standing by watching.
What will it take for any of us to wake up?
See also: Care2Connect
I like to read. There is not much I will not read. I prefer books to conversation and even magazines. If you met me in person, you may find me oddly quiet.
I have little prejudice in what I read and admire Danielle Steele as I admire the Harry Potter series as I admire religious and spiritual writings as I admire certain books on the cultures and humanity of the world.
With that said, I read a piece in Marie Claire, June 2007 edition, entitled “Kill Yourself, or your family will kill you.”, by Jan Goodwin and photography by France Keyser, beginning at page 155 of the printed version.
Now, I don’t know what the author or photographer wanted to convey about the state of females in Turkey, but this is what I came away with………
1. Honor killings have decreased, from a reporting perspective, since Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union; and
2. Honor Suicides are on the rise; and
3. It takes little to be encouraged, or would that be threatened, to kill oneself to restore a family’s honor (Now, I am confused how any type of killing restores honor, however…..); and
4. It can be Western Dress, texting a “boyfriend”, marrying for love rather than within the family’s choice.
There is apparently a resurgence of women wearing headscarves at the same time the wearing of same is outlawed at universities and government offices.
Honor killings are now punishable by life in prison.
Virginity tests in school were recently outlawed.
It is easier to obtain access to an abortion than it is in America.
Turkey elected a female prime minister in 1993. Hello, America, land of the free?
At any rate, it is horrifying to see what families will do to themselves, their females because of ego, because of confusion, because of pre-determined beliefs which fashion themselves as conflicting morals.
I see within this article many advancements for “women” not afforded in America. And I see, cloaked within certain religious belief within our own country, reactions, treatments, consequences that cannot really differ as to women.
We sit and judge Turkey, and yes, I do too; but how different are we?
Updated: April 25th
Are you kidding me?
Go give a dollar. I dare you to click below.
Say what you want.
Tonight watch it for one reason.
For the children of the world.
They are all ours.
We owe it to them to make this world better.
Once upon a time
A long, long time ago
there was a peach tree
and a village
grew up around the peach tree.
The peach tree watched
the children’s birthdays.
Watched them grow.
the peach tree.
The peach tree
who did not know they
The candles lit
in the homes.
The candles flickered
through the night.
a cold wind blew.
The peach tree
in its roots.
Placed in the ground.
against the sky.
brown limbed fingers
into the ground.
finding how to breath
within the dirt,
I would call out,
growing inside of her.
plucking to be fed,
not even the gift of silence.
drenched into me,
not yet born.
slapping at me.
I must stop this now.
I was taught,
I call out.
the red sky.
I hold on,
I stood beneath
I can see.
I look around
against the sky.
Within the last day or so, I came across a blog about Kiva.org…click to direct link…and I have been thinking about the concept of Kiva.org off and on since I have seen this post. This is not the first time I have heard of this concept, but this time, after reading the blog posting, it stayed in my head.
A friend of mine just turned me onto this organization that does some pretty amazing things so I wanted to share it with you all. The basic premise of it is that they create a system where people can lend money to entrepreneurs in third world countries so they can get a business off the ground. Then, once they do, the donors are repaid. We’re not talking about starting corporations or anything here, either.
For example, I was told of one story where a a woman had a peanut butter business in which she was pressing the peanuts by hand. Someone loaned her $50 with which she was able to buy a machine to press the peanuts. She tripled her production and was able to repay her donor almost immediately. Pretty awesome that the type of money that we piss away in a bar in one night can be used to make such a significant, direct, impact in someone’s life.
If you would like to get involved, please click here and do so.”
This morning on NPR.org I listened to a program about children working 12 hours a day without the hope of ever paying off the debt their family incurred, creating their indentured servitude.
Kiva.org makes me wonder, is there a way to reach out and begin the end to this daily inhumanity?
Which movie do I need to cite?
Which news article?
How many crying children does it take?
There are more of us than “them”.
There are multitudes of us that would not harm another like the harm we see on television, in the newspaper, on the internet, in the blogs—-there are more of us………..how can we figure it out?
POST, COMMENT, DO WHAT YOU WILL, BUT SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS….one of you might yet make the difference.
The last few days I have been preoccupied with another CNN headline, reporting the number of women abused/domestic violence victims in Mexico.
I wanted to do more research to cross-reference the media headline numbers, but knew it didn’t matter for two primary reasons:
1. Even one domestic violence victim is one too many; and
2. There is no way to account for the real number.
When did domestic violence begin?
Was it present from the union of man and woman or woman and woman or man and man?
Is it no more than yet another reflection in the inherent violent world we humans have adopted?
Is it necessary to get to the origin to eradicate the potential for its occurrence?
Is there anyway to start when humans are no more than a thought and change the consciousness so abuse or harm to others could never become either an abstract or concrete imagining?
Being aware, donating to groups with their primary aim to help domestic violence victims, whether they are men, women or children, is paramount. I still wonder though if there is a way to get to the root and rip it out so it can never grow.
I was planning to put up “real” statistics when I realized I can’t possibly find the “real” numbers as victims of domestic violence suffer in silence.
How many of you out there would easily take in babies while their biological moms worked out or sought help with what they need?
What is the answer?
Where can these aggrieved moms go to now, it’s ok, we’ll watch the babies, remember when a village was considered the parents?
Coffeegrounds.wordpress.com has had many posts dealing with the state of war and our reaction as to the troops of the war.
NPR had a linguist on board yesterday describing that the word troops is dehumanizing and one of his least favorites.
I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a litigation attorney, I am not a captured woman, wife, mother in Iran.
“— Expressionless, smoking a cigarette and wearing a black head scarf that masks her blond hair, video of captured British sailor Faye Turney shows a soft-spoken mother — one of only 12 women in the British navy trained to drive inflatable patrol boats.
The 26-year-old mother was driving the Royal Navy’s boat Friday when armed Iranian troops seized her and 14 others, accusing them of crossing into their territorial waters and unleashing a diplomatic crisis. (Full story)
A week before her capture, she told the British Broadcasting Corp. she understood the risks of her work.
“You’ve got to have it in the back of your head that sometimes you may be called upon and, when you are, you have got to get on with it,” she said aboard the Navy Frigate HMS Cornwall in the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway between Iran and Iraq.”
I hate war.
I have no desire for conflict.
Sitting at a deposition the other day, legal fees mounting into the hundreds of thousands, a party said something about the state of war.
I said, “This, here, is where war begins.”
Conflict begins in the smallest moments, the ones we feel are vindicated, “I believe you hurt me; therefore, ….”
I now hurt you?
I spoke to a dear friend the other day, upset with events in her life, seeking legal advice and retribution…I wanted to say, I needed to say……..stop……….meditate……..breath……..because negative energy and retribution leads to things beyond our control. And she is the dearest and best of ladies, believe me you. But sometimes when people are hurt and attacked, they have only one habit, retribution.
I’m not suggesting you all sit still and shut up, matter of fact, there is only one thing I am suggesting, take a look at this CNN article, take a look at this one person, divorced and shut off from the world she knows, beyond ability to help herself, at least as far as we know.
Ask yourself, how did we contribute to her getting there?
Yes, yes, I know, most of us are not the politicians or the moneymakers, the freemason power wheelers of the world, but to sit back and let them take all the blame, is for us to admit we have no voice, no say, in how this world evolves.
May God bless you all.
Or, if you are of the Einstein version of God, may you find your answer in the yet unknown expansion of the universe.
I applaud and welcome the many spiritual teachers, motivators that walk around us. What happens though when theory is simply not enough?
Many of us understand the power of language, that if we say “I can”, rather, than “I might”, we carry greater power into the universe, we ask for positive strength to be returned.
Suppose, though, that there are moments or days when changing our language does not change our lives?
When despite what we might say, there are still people starving, there are people abused and attacked, there is such a well of despair, that merely changing language will not change lives?
Is it reasonable that in moments like that, lives like that, people clammor and demand a formula? A tried and true, no returns necessary formula, a simple number: 1-800-fix-us-now………….a solution that works immediately?
What is God?
Who is God?
Is there God?
I grew up in the dogma of religion: yes, a Roman Catholic.
So what that I was the child of divorce?
Oh, my parents could no longer indulge in Communion? But they could put money in the basket?
Ok, I get it (not).
It doesn’t matter.
The evolution of the search for the meaning of God, sprituality, the Light, reminds me of again, yes, thank you NPR, of brain plasiticity.
Many of us come across the stories of the monks that have achieved a different level of brain mechanism than us mere humans, they elevate, in my mind, (my mind only), on a stratosphere that transcends even what I can digest in the written word.
I watched the sky as I drove from work this evening, and I’ll be darned if the sky and his (her) angels were not laughing at or with me, as they read my mind contemplating the levels of meditation and spirtual ascension.
They seemed to laugh at me.
What, you thought we would give you a ladder to climb?
Perhaps a trampoline?
Go back inside of yourself, they seemed to say, you must have a better idea of how to reach us.
So there I am reflecting on neurology and science and God, not understanding half of what I hear, but understanding that there is a commonality, an overlapping, there is a connection, think and it will be done, believe and it is yours.
Good night folks.
We wrote a small piece within the last week regarding the fate of women in Pakistan with links to various articles. The piece has since been moved to our page: Humanitarian News.
Today, while reading other blogs, we came across this one: Cheeky Max – the tagline on the blog post is the Word from Inside Iraq, posted March 3, 2007, which speaks of the woman’s blog: Baghdad Burning.
For anyone looking for another perspective on what is happening to females in Iraq, I would suggest reading the post on the blog above and following her links to further sources.
Do you know what truth is?
Sure, it is a compilation of facts.
Do you know what facts are?
Sure it’s what’s black and white.
Um, that which is darkest.
That which is most white, without being translucent.
facts are that which are darkest and not most translucent, right?
At which point do we divorce perception and its effects from what we regard as facts?
Let me give you a very basic, perhaps insulting example:
How do we live in a world, where anyone, government included, has an excuse to kill others, and we argue over whether it is defined as genocide or a humantiarian crisis?
Are we here again?
First scrotum, and now vagina?
Ok, let me go check on-line, popular, dictionary or encyclopedias, to see if they are horrible, or in fact, medical, scientific words….because I am pretty angry that an author and now three young teens pay the price for the rest of us exercising civil liberties….
It doesn’t matter who is right.
What matters is what we can live with, what we believe, what we can do to lessen the burden on ourselves and others.
The fear of the unknown is vast, which is why we remained married to the past, no matter how scary, and why we skip over today to tomorrow in hopes of what might be.
What truly happens when we stand where we are? When we breath and do not venture anywhere but where we are? How difficult is it to quiet the active mind and in quieting the active mind, is there a mind left at all? What is there then?
Well: we’ve been told our reading of a blog is wrong and that no one claimed that Jesus wasn’t resurrected………if we misread, so be it, we’re looking for other opinions, to be “right” is to sometimes be blind anyway.
Here’s the original post. We’ll go approve the comment pointing out alleged errors. Anyone else with viewpoints?
Trolling through the tag surfers, we found an interesting article that somehow or other we might have missed if not for this blog…
A story tag reading: “James Cameron Takes on Jesus”.
The story goes, or might go, well, it does go, that Jesus was not resurrected and for over two decades, there has been knowledge that his tomb was elsewhere…we’re going to keep our eye on this blog and see what the press conference reveals today.
Perhaps we could have worded it better, when we said the story goes, we meant the recent news versions……….so apologies for any miscommunication born of poor word choice, ah, yet another argument for having a “word basket”.
For other views:
Who can shed more light on this?
I clicked on this post, do not know the full details or veracity, but after seeing a picture of a cell where a 9 yr old boy is allegedly held, I’m asking anyone out there, do you know what this is about?
Outside the borders of America, it is not expression and penalty ensues.
Inside the borders, we fight valiantly as to what means expression and whose right of expression is most prevalent.
Is it really just anyone’s guess?
Where do we start?
With the fact that she choose to shear her head?
With the fact that CNN wanted to cover the issue?
Is it possible that she just wanted to? Is it possible she just felt violated?
Is it possible, that as women, we may want to shear ourselves of convention?
Listen, we are old enough to not suscribe judgment.
We ask you a simple thing, you have orchestrated the formula of addiction, can you now provide us with the tool to non-addiction?
Those commercials you have been forced to make are no more than inducement for those of us inclined to go out and smoke more, because now we feel worse than ever.
But you know this right? You knew the points of our brain to addict us? Is it too much to hope you know how to truly un-addict us also?
We don’t care how much money you make, if you own a private jet or not, you can’t take it with you anyway, we just ask you to truly help us, stop making us feel bad for what you fed us to begin with- “share the secret”-you must know how to undo us, don’t you? We weren’t born wanting to be outcasts and prematurely dead.
Read whatever you wish on the site for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, www.unhcr.org. We were particularly drawn to the journals written by Angelina Jolie. They are direct and frank, not embellishing, with simple words describing a world millions of miles away from the one we know in the United States.
You will meet families, mothers, fathers, brothers, uncles, friends, daughters….no different than your own, except they were born into a different place in this world. It will start you thinking, suppose, I, me, little me, could do something, anything to help?
Is it enough to hope for a moment, when life will individually change for all of us, and we will be given the chance, or have figured out the chance, to do something, anything, one small thing, that could set off a systematic reaction of good?
Give it a chance: read:
What do we do? As we wait? We start up blogs, we look for people of similar interests to join together and get ideas going, get momentum tha will have any chance of actually accelerating into anything close to a change.
The format isn’t perfect, we would need money to do that, but it’s a start, why not help each other within zipcodes? Why not strengthen from within and move out?
no, not my words. just a shared feeling. wanted to put up the YouTube link to the video, just not sure it’s not copyright infringement.
Watch it, however you can, whatever is legal: John Mayer: Waiting on the World to Change
Then tell me, why is it that we are waiting?