SDB Evening News Reads for 081811: United Front Against Assad, Topless Protest and Women’s RightsPosted: August 18, 2011
But first, a few world news updates that should be mentioned…
We knew that the call for Assad to step down has been coming, well today the US is leading that global call for Assad to leave Syria. Secretary Clinton: For the Sake of Syrian People, the Time Has Come for President Asad To Step Aside | U.S. Department of State Blog
Today, President Obama called for the President of Syria, Bashar al-Asad, to step aside and took the strongest financial action against the Syrian regime thus far. Following the President’s statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the situation in Syria.Secretary Clinton said, “For months, the world has borne witness to the Asad regime’s contempt for its own people. In peaceful demonstrations across the nation, Syrians are demanding their universal human rights. The regime has answered their demands with empty promises and horrific violence, torturing opposition leaders, laying siege to cities, slaughtering thousands of unarmed civilians, including children.”The Asad government has now been condemned by countries in all parts of the world and can look only to Iran for support for its brutal and unjust crackdown.”This morning, President Obama called on Asad to step aside and announced the strongest set of sanctions to date targeting the Syrian Government. These sanctions include the energy sector to increase pressure on the regime. The transition to democracy in Syria has begun, and it’s time for Asad to get out of the way.”As President Obama said this morning, no outside power can or should impose on this transition. It is up to the Syrian people to choose their own leaders in a democratic system based on the rule of law and dedicated to protecting the rights of all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religion, sect, or gender.[…]In closing, Secretary Clinton said, “…The people of Syria deserve a government that respects their dignity, protects their rights, and lives up to their aspirations. Asad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for him to step aside and leave this transition to the Syrians themselves, and that is what we will continue to work to achieve.”You can read a complete transcript of the Secretary’s remarks here.
Other leaders in the European Union have joined Obama’s call for Assad to step down. Syria: Assad must resign, says Obama | World news | The Guardian
The US president was joined by David Cameron of Britain, Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Angela Merkel of Germany, as well as the European Union in demanding Assad immediately resign.
David Cameron issued a joint statement with and Merkel that noted Assad had ignored appeals from other Middle East states, the Arab League and the United Nations security council to end the violent crackdown.
“Our three countries believe that President Assad, who is resorting to brutal military force against his own people and who is responsible for the situation, has lost all legitimacy and can no longer claim to lead the country. We call on him to face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people and to step aside in the best interests of Syria and the unity of its people.”
The EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said there had been a “complete loss of Bashar Assad’s legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people”.
I guess the President and other leaders were waiting on a UN report that was just released, as sort of a back up for Assad to step down.
The call from western capitals came as it was revealed that UN human rights investigators have listed the names of 50 regime figures who could be prosecuted by the international criminal court (ICC) for crimes committed against civilians during the violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
The list is believed to contain officials from the president’s inner circle and security agencies. It marks the first time that government insiders have faced the prospect of criminal charges since the five-month uprising began.
A decision on whether to refer the names to the ICC is likely to be made on Thursday.
The UN report accuses officials of torture, summary executions and abuse of children – allegations that could amount to crimes against humanity. It accuses security forces of indiscriminately firing at demonstrators, sometimes from helicopters, and says injured protesters have been killed inside hospitals, sometimes being locked alive in mortuary freezers. It says Syrian officials confirmed that around 1,900 demonstrators had been killed by mid-July, and states that hundreds more have been killed since then.
“Children have not only been targeted by security forces, but they have been repeatedly subject to the same human rights and criminal violations as adults, including torture,” the report said.
The report’s authors were denied access to Syria and spent four months interviewing defectors and demonstrators who had fled the country.
In US Political news…It looks like more and more professional pundits are seeing the light, just wish they would have listened to us a few years ago…George W. Obama? – CBS News
In these August days, Americans are rubbing their eyes, still wondering what has befallen us with the president’s “debt deal” — a shifting of tectonic plates beneath the economy of a sort Dick Cheney might have dreamed of, but which Barack Obama and the House Republicans together brought to fruition. A redistribution of wealth and power more than three decades in the making has now been carved into the system and given the stamp of permanence.
Only a Democratic president, and only one associated in the public mind (however wrongly) with the fortunes of the poor, could have accomplished such a reversal with such sickening completeness.
One of the last good times that President Obama enjoyed before the frenzy of debt negotiations began was a chuckle he shared with Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric and now head of the president’s outside panel of economic advisers. At a June 13th meeting of the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a questioner said he assumed that President Obama knew about the difficulties caused by the drawn-out process of securing permits for construction jobs. Obama leaned into the microphone and offered a breezy ad-lib: “Shovel ready wasn’t as, uh, shovel-ready as we expected” — and Immelt got off a hearty laugh. An unguarded moment: the president of “hope and change” signifying his solidarity with the big managers whose worldly irony he had adopted.
A certain mystery surrounds Obama’s perpetuation of Bush’s economic policies, in the absence of the reactionary class loyalty that accompanied them, and his expansion of Bush’s war policies in the absence of the crude idea of the enemy and the spirited love of war that drove Bush. But the puzzle has grown tiresome, and the effects of the continuity matter more than its sources.
Nothing new here, we’ve said this since before Obama got into the White House. The CBS article quotes William James, ”By their fruits shall ye know them, not by their roots.” The post then goes on to…
Let us examine Obama, then, by the standard of his cabinet members, advisers, and favored influences, and group them by the answers to two questions: Whom has he wanted to stay on longest, in order to profit from their solidity and bask in their influence? Which of them has he discarded fastest or been most eager to shed his association with? Think of them as the saved and the sacked. Obama’s taste in associates at these extremes may tell us something about the moral and political personality in the middle.
I swear, lately as I read the MSM news, I keep wondering if these journalist are reading Sky Dancing and then regurgitate what Boston Boomer and Dakinikat are saying…I could go on to list the “coincidences” but you all know what I am talking about.
NOAA has released a report about Global Temperatures that you may find interesting: Global temperatures were seventh warmest on record for July
The globe experienced its seventh warmest July since record keeping began in 1880. July’s Arctic sea ice extent was the smallest on record for that month since records began in 1979.
I am not even going to comment on that…I will save my energy for this next round of articles I want to focus on. Y’all ready, cause here it comes!
Tits on Parade!
Female activists for gender equality plan to bare their breasts — and ask men to cover theirs — Sunday in Pack Square Park downtown.
The women will be protesting what they consider unfair laws and social stigmas restricting women’s right to go topless. The protest is one of many across the nation organized by GoTopless.org, a U.K.-based website.
“We just want to raise awareness about this inequality,” said Livienne Love, the local protest organizer. “I know that women may be uncomfortable doing this, and that’s part of the issue.”
While they may be uncomfortable, they won’t be breaking the law, according to Police Department spokesman Wally Welch. “They can breast away,” said Lt. Welch. “It’s not a crime.”
The North Carolina statute that covers indecent exposure bans the exposure of “private parts,” specifically “external organs of sex or excretion.” That only covers body parts below the waist, Welch said.
The event is set for 1 p.m. Sunday. Women are asked to show up to the protest topless, while men are asked to appear shirtless but wearing either a bra or a bikini top.
According to the GoTopless.org website, “As long as men can go topless, women should have the same constitutional right, or men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests.”
It is stunts like this that make me ask, WTF people? Get your ass out and protest some real problems that are threatening the safety and rights women are losing every damn day. You want some examples?
Remember the group of men in New Hampshire that feel if women want to play, they will have to pay? Well, these asses have decided to continue the war against women in their state by not reversing their decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood. HHS drops family planning | Concord Monitor
The state health commissioner told federal officials earlier this month that New Hampshire has no plan for restoring access to family planning services previously contracted to Planned Parenthood.
New Hampshire receives federal money to provide family planning services, which include contraception and cancer screenings, through a federal program that requires statewide access. After the Executive Council in June declined to renew a two-year contract with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, the largest provider of the services, the state no longer met the requirement. The $1.8 million contract would have served 16,000 state residents, many of them poor women.
One of the PLUB asshole councilors cites a usual excuse for defunding Planned Parenthood, that he can’t be sure public money does not fund abortions. I just think these councilmen are beyond callous, and their actions show just the kind of shitheads they are. Nick Toumpas, Commissioner of the State Department of Health and Human Services says he…
… plans to bring the 10 approved contracts back before the Executive Council for technical adjustments, but he said he has no plans to return with the Planned Parenthood contract. He said his primary concern is restoring services to the people served by the federal grant. Many of them are women with incomes below the federal poverty line, he said.
“For many of these people, this is the only source of health services,” he said. “That is the part that is the most troubling.”
Without the state contract, the fees charged by Planned Parenthood will soon rise. The organization has determined it will adjust its sliding fee scale on Sept. 1, said Jennifer Frizzell, a senior policy adviser. The scale now in place provides services at no cost to the 68 percent of patients whose income is less than 150 percent of the poverty level, she said.
Planned Parenthood officials are evaluating how they could qualify for a grant from the federal government to provide services in New Hampshire, Frizzell said. She said she sees no movement toward the Executive Council approving a contract.
Where is the big protest about that? I know that if I had the choice between showing my tits to prove a point about constitutional rights, I sure as hell would be up there in New Hampshire doing it for the human rights of women in that state.
Of course…I have more examples for these topless freedom fighters and the men who are just looking forward to a good time…
DAY 15 thetexastribune‘s month-long series on the effects of new Texas state laws and budget cuts: The Department of State Health Services expects about 180,000 Texans to lose access to birth control and cancer screenings.
Hell yeah, lets get these women to protest these “budget cuts” by walking topless in downtown Austin, we can even outfit them with cowboy hats, Daisy Dukes and high heel pink cowboy boots.
Oh, and here is one more example of real threats to a woman’s constitutional right for the “Girls Gone Wild” party scheduled in Asheville this Sunday…this time from the fine state of Kansas. ACLU Sues Kansas for Ban on Comprehensive Insurance Coverage Including Abortion | RH Reality Check
Today the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri brought a challenge against my home state’s ban on comprehensive insurance coverage of abortion. The case was brought on behalf of the ACLU’s members who are losing their abortion coverage as a result of the law – I am one of those members. I am also the State Coordinator for Kansas NOW, and a large part of my job is to keep abreast of the Kansas Legislature. I have fought against piece after piece of anti-abortion legislation that has been pushed through in the 2011 session. Every piece of this legislation has become law, rubber stamped by a governor who has promised to promote a “culture of life” within the state. But this so called “culture of life” puts the very health of Kansas women in jeopardy and drastically infringes upon their individual rights.
One of the most outrageous moments of the legislative session came during the debate over the abortion insurance ban. Representative Pete DeGraaf, (who was carrying the bill) was questioned about pregnancies resulting from rape or other unplanned circumstances. Rep DeGraaf replied, “We have to plan in life don’t we? I have a spare tire in my car.” Unbelievably, the representative was comparing unplanned pregnancies (even those resulting from sexual assault) to the inconvenience of a flat tire.
I know our readers remember that flat tire remark…what a dickhead. I bet that guy has a stash of Viagra in his medicine cabinet right now…Or is it Cialis that prides itself on being called “The Weekender,” by getting a guy hard whenever those unplanned sex sessions make themselves available…cause you never know with a anti-woman, religious right PLUB douchbag will get an opportunity to bust a nut.
The language of the law is particularly restrictive: there is no exception for the health of the woman or if the fetus has anomalies that are incompatible with life. It has no exception for rape or incest. Abortions should be considered medical care that should be a part of any comprehensive insurance plan.
I have an individual insurance policy for which I pay a monthly fee. That monthly payment is an investment in the health and well being of my family. My policy insures that any unforeseen circumstances or life events will be met with some sense of financial security and stability. These unforeseen circumstances should rightly include the termination of a pregnancy. Many things can happen in a pregnancy beyond a woman’s control. A woman needs to know that her insurance will cover abortion care if that is what she needs.
This RH Reality Check article discusses the required “abortion rider” that the law states is the only possible way an abortion may be covered:
Abortion coverage may only be offered through a separate rider. I called my insurance company only to find out that my insurance company will not offer an abortion rider for my insurance plan. There is now no way for me to obtain coverage within my insurance company for this legal, medical procedure. This is a direct result of the law. Quite simply, this law inserts politicians into health care, which results in bad health policy for all.
I, for one, am tired of the verbal and legislative assault on women. I am sickened that my daughter and I are unprotected citizens of the state. The door of government infringement upon the lives of women seems to have been left wide open and has an arch large enough for any extreme moral agenda item to pass through. It is with pride that I stand with the ACLU as we attempt to close the door of government infringement.
Exactly, this is the kind of blatant abuse to women’s rights those women and men in Asheville should be protesting…
A newly filed challenge to an abortion restriction in Kansas stands to have big, national impact. The case, filed Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union, asks a district court to block a new Kansas law that bars private insurers from covering abortion.
There are two key reasons this is worth watching: to start, the possible ripple effect. Up until last year, private abortion coverage was not a key target for abortion restrictions; about 87 percent of employer plans paid for the procedure with little notice or fanfare.
The health reform law’s heated debate over abortion coverage, however, changed all that. In 2010 alone, 13 states passed laws restricting insurers from covering the procedure.
The Kansas law is the first of those to be challenged. “This will absolutely be the first case of its kind,” says Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “It will likely set a precedent for what cases in other states could look like.”
Damn, the time and energy of organizing a tit-fest in a city’s downtown is an absolute ridiculous stunt to assert a woman’s constitutional right to have the same/equal opportunities and abilities as men. The rights that women are losing left and right in this country are basic human rights.
Come on ladies of Asheville, protest the war against women in this country by religious right legislators…don’t fall topless into the hands of men exploiting the constitution to get a look at your boobs. Fight the assholes that are increasing the chance that you women will lose those boobies, due to these laws that defund programs for breast cancer screenings. Let’s see this “gotopless” organization put together a protest of women who have had mastectomies…let’s see them walk proudly downtown…topless…I doubt very seriously that “gotopless” would advocate that kind of non-cleavage topless protest, don’t you?
I will end with this news out of Mexico… Indigenous women win first step in fight over military rape case | Amnesty International
Inés Fernández and Valentina Rosendo seek justice after soldiers raped them
© Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña Tlachinollan
For more than nine years, two Indigenous women in Mexico have taken on the military and the authorities to demand justice after they were raped by soldiers in the southern state of Guerrero in 2002.
Despite a lengthy investigation and Inter-American Court rulings in favour of Inés Fernández Ortega and Valentina Rosendo Cantú last August, their attackers have remained at large, seemingly shielded by Mexico’s military justice system. Meanwhile the women and their families have faced threats as the legal battle continued.
But on 12 August, Fernández and Rosendo were given some hope that the soldiers who raped them might finally be brought to justice.
The investigations into their cases have now been moved to civilian courts, after Mexico’s Military Prosecutor’s office recognized it lacks the jurisdiction to prosecute cases where members of the armed forces are accused of committing human rights violations.
“For us, this is a significant advance, as civil society has constantly fought for these cases to be transferred into the civilian justice system,” Vidulfo Rosales, a human rights lawyer at Tlachinollan Mountain Human Rights Centre in Guerrero, which is representing the two women.
“But many limitations remain – we’re worried that there’s a margin for impunity, for those responsible to be exonerated. The Attorney General’s Office has an obligation to begin a criminal investigation immediately, to penalize the soldiers Inés and Valentina have already indicated are responsible.”
I hope these women get the justice they deserve. We will keep you up to date on this story in Mexico…and if the soldiers are not charged and punished, I propose a topless protest march in the streets of all major cities in the US…I am sure that would get some media attention for the global fight for Women’s Rights…at least on the TMZ network. So come on y’all, let’s “Breast Away!”