Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Voting in the Congo.

On the Newshour, it was reported that people in the Congo walked for miles in the rain to vote, and when their names did not show up at the polling place, they walked for more miles from place to place to vote.
How can one not admire the Women of The Congo?




The atrocious violence in the congo is just about the worst:
more HERE:

"The Women of the Democratic Republic of Congo
have shown incredible bravery in the face of unbelievable atrocities, as evidenced by the photographs assembled in this exhibition. These women, along with their families, have survived a litany of atrocities: oppressive dictators; the violent passage to democracy; economic crises; and an ongoing struggle of regional and tribal warfare which has found its end far too slowly and with far too much bloodshed. These challenges have been accompanied by a devastating lack of both general and reproductive healthcare, HIV/AIDS, and the common occurrence of rape and extreme sexual violence against women and girls of all ages. For those who survive, support is often unavailable..." the tour HERE

Marcus Bleasdale: (and Orchestra in Congo HERE)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hawks in Kansas Fly the Flint Hills

Along a 5-mile stretch of flint hills back roads, I saw 6 hawks. At least 2 were redtailed, and 2 were juveniles. I took some pics with my canon powershot sx30 is. What i really want to do is lay in the grass and be there when they arrive; get some really good pictures.

 There are a lot of raptors photos posted in this blog. Like juvenile red-tailed HERE and bald eagle HERE; or go to the search box on the right and type in hawks or vultures or raptors or eagles. click HERE to see the beautiful KSU Hawk.

 Click on pic to view large

click HERE to see the habitat around this road.

Dogs Left in Cars from Mother Jones

HERE is a photo esay, Dogs Left in Cars- the Nuanced Emotions of Dogs! Mother Jones says, "...But what is that silent emotion expressed on the face of a dog staring through a fogged window? That face you've only seen in passing? The camera lingers on forlorn puppy mugs in this slideshow; each image exposes a nuanced feeling of rejection..."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm Not Interested In Revolutions That Disparage Women (Really, Egypt?)

What kind of Police in Egypt rape and break the arms of women? I'm not interested in Muslim Brotherhood deception and insanity. I'm not interested in allowing Sharia Law. I don't want any excuses about leaving women behind. No Sexist revolutions, Fu Cryin' Out Loud!
Here is the recent story of an American Columnist, Mona Eltahawy, who reports being sexually assaulted and shows two casts on her arms.
a good analysis** of this appalling event:
 "You say you want a revolution?" and more
about egypt from the same blog HERE  )

news Links to the story and pictures:
and video here:
the ABC story and video HERE.
..."Acclaimed Egyptian-American columnist Mona Eltahawy, released today in Cairo, said Egyptian security forces sexually assaulted and beat her so severely that an arm and hand were broken during her overnight detention. "I AM FREE," she wrote on her Twitter page just after noon local time....Can barely type -- must go xray arms after CSF [Central Security Forces] pigs beat me," she tweeted.
Eltahawy said that while she was in custody "5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers."
"They are dogs and their bosses are dogs. F*** the Egyptian police," she tweeted.

Some Springtime in Egypt...
virginity checks anyone?  http://marysbeagooddogblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/beware-new-egyptian-army-virginity.html

Lara Logan Here and media's hypocrisy HERE
mass rape and Eman al-Obeidy Video   HERE

By the Way,
our own u.s. administration is allowing the taliban to abuse and kill women in the name of "a lasting peace" in afghanistan: more from PBS' special Women War and Peace Documentary HERE

"...“She complained to me that she was beaten and sexually assaulted by Central Security Forces,” Mr. Jaffar said. “But what did she expect would happen? She was in the middle of the streets, in the midst of clashes, with no press card or form of ID. The press center had not given her permission to be in the streets as a journalist. The country is in a sensitive situation. We are under threat. She could be a spy for all we know.”
Wow; let's read that back:
 "But what did she expect would happen?" Ah, let's see ... 'gang rape by central security forces' is not the answer that immediately springs to mind.
There is so much wrong
 with Mr. Jaffar's response, it is hard to know where to start condemning it. Are we to understand that if Ms. Eltahawy _did_ have a press card, she would not have been sexually assaulted? Or perhaps she would only have been assaulted by people other than the Central Security Forces...? Anyone with a memory span exceeding that of a gnat will remember the ordeal of CBS reporter Lara Logan, who was sexually assaulted by an Egyptian mob, in Tahrir Square, last February.
But here's the kicker:
 The societal reality underlying this event might be even more disturbing than the random sexual violence this attack appears to represent. Ms. Eltahawy penned an article in June of this year entitled 'These "Virginity Tests" Will Spark Egypt's Next Revolution' (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/02/egypt-next-revolution-virginity-tests). Ms. Eltahawy's critique alleged and condemned state-sponsored sexual assaults in downtown Cairo four years ago that targeted girls and women during a religious festival. Ms. Eltahawy claimed the police watched and did nothing. The same article also cited startling statistics that more than 80% of [Egyptian] women now say they've been sexually harassed, and more than 60% of men admit to having done so.
Most people, before this week, might have been forgiven for assuming that the attack on Ms. Eltahawy was an aberration, rather than reflective of current norms in Egyptian culture. So what do we make of Mr. Jaffar's bizarre statement? Are we to now understand and accept that gang rape is acceptable as par for the course in Tahrir Square (the shining symbol of Egyptian democracy)? Should sexual abuse be expected by any reporter as a natural risk to be assumed when covering the Arab Spring ..."

large interactive middle east map site: http://www.mideastweb.org/maps.htm  and excerpt:"...Bashar Assad and the Mysterious West - Is there any reason why only the Syrian regime is allowed to massacre its citizens, while everyone is silent? Scenarios for Egypt - The Egyptian revolution might be the birth of democracy, but it will probably be something else..."

middle east map  and asia

the following two maps are from a most interesting website: http://www.oilempire.us/new-map.html
an excerpt: "...The most important way that elections in the US are rigged is not voter disenfranchisement, touch screen voting machines or tampered software in ballot scanners, but media manipulation of public consciousness about the candidates....also the differences between the ostensible level of politics (the three branches of co-equal government and the other nonsense taught to us in school), and the "deep politics" of how the military industrial intelligence complex really works...  "

Mideast headlines,
virginity checks, so called arab spring? last night on Washington Week, Gwen ifill's guest stated that the egyption mobs are not so cohesive now, that before, the Muslim Brotherhood was about getting rid of The Dictator, and [feigned] democracy-- now it is their one chance at taking the election so they are splitting off.
What a big fat surprise! You are kidding me right? People were stating this clearly a year ago and were laughed off by all the SmartyPants. Can you say, Caliphate?  http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/11/saudi-journalist-its-not-the-arab-spring-but-the-muslim-brotherhood-spring.html


CAIRO — Samira Ibrahim, who pursued legal action against the Egyptian military for allegedly forcing her to undergo a ‘virginity test,’ anxiously awaits the verdict of the State Council on November 29.
Five human rights organizations are supporting her case against the military and the case garnered interest in the international media.... Ibrahim remains persistent in her fight to make sure no Egyptian woman will be coerced by the army to go through ‘virginity testing,‘ which her lawyers argue constitutes an unlawful sexual assault under both Egyptian and International law.
“I know the odds are against me,” Ibrahim admits.
Ibrahim was among 17 girls who were detained on March 9 during protests in Tahrir Square. “I was beaten, electrocuted, and forced to strip naked in front of male officers,” Ibrahim fights back tears as she recalls the four days she spent in military prison....While Ibrahim’s battle has received adequate attention in international press, local Egyptian media has given the 25-year-old little to no coverage. “It breaks my heart that international outrage over my case is stronger than that of my fellow Egyptians,” Ibrahim says.
In the moderate yet conservative Egyptian society, a woman's honor is directly related to her virginity. Anything that interferes with that – even if the woman herself is not at fault – can become a liability for herself and her family. So it remains too sensitive to publicly and openly discuss issues such as virginity checks, sexual abuse and rape.
“Society does not accept such things being aired in public because they consider it too personal and too private,” explains Hafsa Halawa, an Egyptian lawyer....Violations against women are therefore hugely underreported in Egypt -- one recent report from 2003 found as many as 98 percent of rape and sexual assault cases are not reported to authorities.
This notion is hardly restricted to Egypt, however. Social taboos and safety fears prevent many abused women from seeking help, and underreporting of sexual assault and rape by women is a global phenomenon ... The female activists were detained on various charges they maintain are false, one of which was violation of curfew – lawyers said the girls were detained at 3:00 pm and there was no curfew at the time...."

Discussion of Extremism vs "Moderate"  HERE

Our National Treasure: Children, Detroit, and Dickens

"Our children are our future"--our most precious national resource.
So it is written--but why then, do we treat them so badly!? In every village, in each city, in all countries, the children are magical little us -es. Why do they get such short shrift?
Through a very ingenious, Mystical, fabulously bizzare design, we get together with our two invisible cells and a little us appears! Strange and I wonder who first figured that one out...
In the field of working with abused children, our heads are constantly exploding. We are unable to fathom the desire, let alone the ability some have to deliberately hurt children--physically and psychologically.
I onced worked
 on a project in Florida involving "crack babies"--infants born with addiction to cocaine, due to mommies' inability to shake the habit during pregnancy. (The babies must be held with as little touching as possible, facing away from the caregiver, in order to lessen the stimulus to the child, which is painful.) This example of child abuse shows the range/layers of problems- personal, family, community, and country--that can be involved.
Then there is the pure evil of deliberate abuse. And the selfish desires that lead to neglect. And the national priorities that leave children with table scraps.
You don't need to hear me whine. (Or if you do, i will put some links at the bottom of the post.:-)
I saw a PBS newhour clip about the detroit schools last night.
it struck me, how embarrassing and insane it is that we have stunning new stadiums in our cities, and Exquisite Performing Arts Centers, and new computers every year in our universities--but cannot take our tiny little offspring and give them all they need.
Good Classrooms. Good teachers. Safe places to be. Free parenting classes. Before the fact!

So, in the Kansas City Star today is a book review i want to share (Andrea Warren's Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London). I had a phase, recently, of reading Charles Dickens. He was a child with a very very hard childhood, but was moved by pity by the children who were even worse off than he.
 excerpt from E M Eveld's story in
"A Local Author Salutes Dickens"--
[quoting Warren: ] “It was a cold, blustery London day, but I bundled up and went, and I’m glad I did,” she said. “In nearly every sentence the guide mentioned the name of Charles Dickens. I have a master’s degree in British literature, so I thought I knew something about Dickens.
When I asked about that, she said, ‘Well, you know he’s our greatest reformer. He changed everything for the poor.’ ”
The guide didn’t say greatest writer or novelist. She said reformer. It was Dickens’ choice to write about England’s abandoned children, its debtors’ prisons and workhouses, its pollution and slums. And it was his writing that fueled reforms when few at the height of industrialization seemed to care, Warren said.
Warren learned that while Dickens wasn’t born into society’s lowest classes, his family was plunged there by his father’s indebtedness. When Dickens’ father was sent to debtors’ prison, the family became homeless and finally went to live with him at the prison — except for Dickens. At age 12, he was sent to work 10 hours a day, six days a week at a bootblack factory and to live in a run-down boarding house.
“Walking about the city, when he detoured down narrow, twisty streets where the poor lived, he came face-to-face with London’s underworld,” Warren writes about the young Dickens. “The filth and odors of the slums were overwhelming. Wherever he turned, he saw painfully thin children dressed in rags, with hopeless eyes.
“Though despairing of his own situation, he was moved by what he saw and wondered why no one helped the children.... “Whenever he’s writing about the street children, air pollution, foul water, he never lets the reader off the hook,” she said. “Children suffer in his books. His writing is very powerful.
“And reforms followed. When he wrote about the national disgrace of the abuses at the Yorkshire boarding schools in ‘Nicholas Nickleby,’ within a year of publication they were closed.”
...Warren hopes that besides a renewed appreciation for Dickens, young readers will be inspired to use their talents to help others and will recognize that today’s street children are in poorer countries around the globe — some 100 million homeless children. Warren devotes the last section of the book to their plight.
“People who travel in Africa, in Central and South America and Asia, usually aren’t ready for what greets them there, hordes of homeless children,” Warren said. “These are not problems of the past.”
read the entire story and more HERE

I admire the filthy rich who know you can't take it with you,
and spend their wealth on the chillin's. like, oprah, and  bill gates, --
and  Charity Watch also rates/lists top notch charities that get A ratings in directly helping children and families, like Children's Defense Fund and  catholic charities,  and  (surprise) salvation army
 and what better to spend it on than our "national treasure"?


What's Wrong with This Picture?

I have stated that everyone needs R and R, and (outside of assault issues) This Blog generally avoids american politics unless there is humor or free speech involved, but I'm starting to get weirded out.
Pakistan cuts supply lines to our troops in afghanistan ?
burning effigy of U.S. President

Student supporters of Islami Jamiat Talaba, a student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, hold a banner while protesting against NATO forces in front of a burning tyre in Lahore November 26, 2011.  The banner reads, "Terrorist NATO and America, leave our country." Credit: REUTERS/Mohsin Raza
the president golfs and goes to BB games again?
I know dropping drone bombs is easier than torture,
and instant death of terrorists solves the whole gitmo problem,
but i feel confused somehow...

..."Pakistan retaliated by shutting down vital NATO supply routes into Afghanistan, used for sending in nearly half of the alliance's shipments by land.
The attack is the worst incident of its kind since Pakistan uneasily allied itself with Washington immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks on U.S. targets.
Relations between the United States and Pakistan, its ally in the war on militancy, have been strained following the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden by U.S. special forces in a raid on the Pakistani garrison town of Abbottabad in May, which Pakistan called a flagrant violation of sovereignty.
A spokesman for NATO-led troops in Afghanistan confirmed that NATO aircraft had been called in to support troops in the area and had probably killed some Pakistani soldiers.

"Close air support was called in, in the development of the tactical situation, and it is what highly likely caused the Pakistan casualties," said General Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

He added that he could not confirm the number of casualties, but ISAF is investigating. "We are aware that Pakistani soldiers perished. We don't know the size, the magnitude," he said.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the killings were "an attack on Pakistan's sovereignty" and added, "We will not let any harm come to Pakistan's sovereignty and solidarity." ..."


Spider with headlight-- always scary

Friday, November 25, 2011

Penalty Fines for Violence in the NFL: (that's so NOT etrade baby cool)

If the NFL player who Kicks or Hits or Stomps someone had to give the $42,000 fine to the very player he hit or kicked or spit on, my bet is somehow he would be able to stop it. (let's ask Ndamukong Suh and  Evan Dietrich-Smith)
What does that tell you?



"A NFL spokesperson said today it’s “a safe assumption” that the league will review Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s stomp of Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith next week, when it typically looks at plays for potential discipline.
With 9:16 left in the third quarter, after the Lions stopped the Packers on third-and-goal, Suh tangled with Dietrich-Smith as both players went to the ground. Suh pressed Dietrich-Smith’s head into the turf three times, got up and stomped on his right arm as he walked away from the pile.
Suh was penalized and ejected, the Packers got an automatic first down, and scored two plays later to break open a seven-point game and went on to hand the Lions their eighth straight Thanksgiving loss, 27-15..."

Football-- who are the stars?


give me the
etrade baby and the Fox football boys...

The NFL: A job where, when you are mad at your co-workers, you can just kick them, stomp them, or start a big Brawl!
As Tracy Jordan says after getting fined for cursing on TV (on 30Rock) , My Lesson? "I Learned when you are rich enough you can do anything you want!!...
(Just pay the fine later)

Where have you Gone,