Good Morning!! I’ve got a mixed bag of reads for you this morning, so I hope there will be something her to interest you.
Did you see the piece in The New York Times on Obama’s “secret kill list?” Very creepy. The article makes it clear that President Obama is actively engaged in decisions about which “terrorists” to target with drone attacks.
Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.
“He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go,” said Thomas E. Donilon, his national security adviser. “His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world.” He added, “He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.”
At Slate, William Saletan breaks down the problems with the Times story and explains why the supposedly strict rules for choosing which people to target are really pretty meaningless.
To understand the Times story, you have to go back to a speech given last month by John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser. Brennan argued that the administration was waging drone warfare scrupulously. He described a rigorous vetting process. The Times report, quoting some officials and paraphrasing others, largely matches Brennan’s account. But on two key points, it undermines his story. The first point is target selection. Brennan asserted:
The president expects us to address all of the tough questions. … Is this individual a significant threat to U.S. interests? … Our commitment to upholding the ethics and efficacy of this counterterrorism tool continues even after we decide to pursue a specific terrorist in this way. For example, we only authorize a particular operation against a specific individual if we have a high degree of confidence that the individual being targeted is indeed the terrorist we are pursuing. This is a very high bar. … Our intelligence community has multiple ways to determine, with a high degree of confidence, that the individual being targeted is indeed the al-Qaida terrorist we are seeking.
The rules sound strict. But reread the fourth sentence: “We only authorize a particular operation against a specific individual if we have a high degree of confidence that the individual being targeted is indeed the terrorist we are pursuing.” The phrase “against a specific individual” hides the loophole. Many drone strikes don’t target a specific individual. To these strikes, none of the vetting rules apply.
At Salon, Jefferson Morley explores the death of one little girl who was “collateral damage” in one of Obama’s drone strikes in Pakistan in 2010.
Around midnight on May 21, 2010, a girl named Fatima was killed when a succession of U.S.-made Hellfire missiles, each of them five-feet long and traveling at close to 1,000 miles per hour, smashed a compound of houses in a mountain village of Mohammed Khel in North Waziristan along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Wounded in the explosions, which killed a half dozen men, Fatima and two other children were taken to a nearby hospital, where they died a few hours later.
Behram Noor, a Pakistani journalist, went to the hospital and took a picture of Fatima shortly before her death. Then, he went back to the scene of the explosions looking for evidence that might show who was responsible for the attack. In the rubble, he found a mechanism from a U.S.-made Hellfire missile and gave it to Reprieve, a British organization opposed to capital punishment, which shared photographs of the material with Salon. Reprieve executive director Clive Stafford Smith alluded to the missile fragments in an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times last fall. They have also been displayed in England.
“Forensically, it is important to show how the crime of murder happened (which is what it is here),” said Stafford Smith in an email. “One almost always uses the murder weapon in a case. But perhaps more important, I think this physical proof — this missile killed this child — is important to have people take it seriously.”
Tuna that is contaminated with Fukushima radiation has shown up in California.
Bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi turned up off the coast of California just five months after the Japanese nuclear plant suffered meltdown last March, US scientists said.
Tiny amounts of cesium-137 and cesium-134 were detected in 15 bluefin caught near San Diego in August last year, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The levels were 10 times higher than those found in tuna in the same area in previous years but still well below those that the Japanese and US governments consider a risk to health. Japan recently introduced a new safety limit of 100 becquerels per kilogram in food.
The timing of the discovery suggests that the fish, a prized but dangerously overfished delicacy in Japan, had carried the radioactive materials across the Pacific Ocean faster than those conveyed by wind or water.
There’s a new smartphone for those in Japan who want to know if they are in a “radiation hotspot.”
Mobile phone operator Softbank Corp said on Tuesday it would soon begin selling smartphones with radiation detectors, tapping into concerns that atomic hotspots remain along Japan’s eastern coast more than a year after the Fukushima crisis….
The smartphone in the company’s “Pantone” series will come in eight bright colors and include customized IC chips made by Sharp Corp that measure radiation levels in microsieverts per hour.
The phone, which goes on sale this summer, can also keep track of each location a user tests for radiation levels.
And get this– NASA says that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan “disturbed the upper atmosphere.”
The massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Fukushima, Japan, last year wreaked havoc in the skies above as well, disturbing electrons in the upper atmosphere, NASA reported.
The waves of energy from the quake and tsunami that were so destructive on the ground reached into the ionosphere, a part of the upper atmosphere that stretches from about 50 to 500 miles (80 to 805 km) above Earth’s surface.
Greg Sargent discusses the surreal double-standard that Romney is using to compare his record in Massachusetts with Obama’s record as President.
You really couldn’t make this one up if you tried.
The Romney campaign is out with a new press release blasting Obama for presiding over a “net” loss in jobs. As I’ve been saying far too often, this metric is bogus, because it factors in the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs the economy was hemorrhaging when Obama took office, before his policies took effect.
But this time, there’s an intriguing new twist in the Romney campaign’s argument.
In the same release attacking Obama over “net” job loss, the Romney camp also defends Romney’s jobs record as Governor of Massachusetts by pointing out … that Romney inherited a state economy that was losing jobs when he took office.
Check it out.
At Alternet, Steven Rosenfeld lists “five reasons the ‘Geezer Empire’ of Billionaire Republicans Are Showering Romney With Cash.” I’m can’t really excerpt this one. You need to go read the article for yourself.
The British supreme court found that Julian Assange must be extradited to Sweden, but in a surprise reversal, Assange has been given 14 days to “consider a challenge to the judgment.”
Julian Assange’s fight against extradition to Sweden may stagger on to a second round at the supreme court after he was granted permission to submit fresh arguments.
Despite losing by a majority of five to two, his lawyers have been given 14 days to consider whether to challenge a central point of the judgment on the correct interpretation of international treaties.
The highly unusual legal development came after the supreme court justices decided that a public prosecutor was a “judicial authority” and that therefore Assange’s arrest warrant had been lawfully issued.
Assange, who is wanted in connection with accusations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, was not in court; there was no legal requirement for him to be present. According to his solicitor, Gareth Peirce, he was stuck in central London traffic and never made it to the court in Westminster. Assange denies the accusations.
At The Daily Beast, Malcolm Jones discusses how American culture has changed such that Bob Dylan has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Jones points out that very few folk or rock musicians have been so honored. Certainly, Dylan is a “game changer”:
You don’t have to like or admire Dylan to admit that he was a game changer. He made folk music hip. He made rock lyrics literate or, put another way, he made his audience pay attention to lyrics because he made them mean something. He blew a hole in the notion that radio hits have to clock in at less than three minutes. He proved that you can stand on a stage with just a guitar and not much of a voice and hold people’s attention for, oh, about five decades. He wrote songs in his 20s that he can still sing today without a trace of embarrassment.
But he was once an “outsider.”
Dylan was distinctly an outsider, and there he remained for quite a while. It’s juvenile fun watching old press conferences when reporters did finally come calling later in the decade. The questions are so dorky. But what you realize is that the national press at that time had almost no one in its ranks that we would recognize as music writers. Most of the reporters sent to interview Dylan were 40-somethings in suits who treated him like Chubby Checker, just another flash in the pan phenom to be indulged. Instead, they found a musician who was the smartest man in any room, and someone who was more than happy to make fun of them (“You walk into the room, with your pencil in your hand …”).
The point is, in the mid-60s there really was an establishment and an anti-establishment (to be upgraded to a counterculture in a couple of years), and no one doubted which side of the line Dylan stood on. Back then, there were bitter fights over high culture and low, insiders and outsiders, and who got to say who was who. In 1965, the Pulitzer board refused to give a prize to Duke Ellington.
Over the years, all of that has more or less collapsed in on itself. Pulp fiction writers are in the American canon. Brian Wilson is understood to be a great American artist and not merely a great pop songwriter. The times did change, and Dylan was in the thick of making it happen.
But perhaps most telling is that Dylan is an old man now; his age is the one thing he has in common with others who have received the medal, but Jones says:
It’s cheap and easy to say that Dylan is now a member of the establishment. It’s also wrong, because there is no longer an establishment as we once knew it. And Dylan and his music had everything to do with that.
Interesting. So I’ll end with this:
What are you reading and blogging about today?
Last night I saw one of the best movies ever made, Sunset Blvd…and I have to say, like Norma Desmond…I am mad about the boy. The “boy” being William Holden.
There was a song that was popular when I was in high school, I never liked it much but it was recorded live in Tom’s Diner…the same diner that was used for the street shots of Monk’s coffee shop on Seinfeld. This song’s lyrics mention the death of William Holden…
Up the paper
There’s a story
Of an actor
Who had died
While he was drinking
It was no one
I had heard of
Oh, you can be sure I knew who Suzanne Vega was talking about…Damn, he was one hell of a leading man!
Anyway, on with the news reads for this morning.
Lee is on his way up to Banjoland, but now the rain is falling in New Orleans.
This is one slow-moving storm…New Orleans feeling lucky, wary as storm nears land | Reuters
Southern Louisiana was coping fairly well with heavy rains from Tropical Storm Lee on Saturday but New Orleans officials warned residents against rising winds and complacency amid the storm’s slow onslaught.
“This storm is moving painfully slow,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a briefing on Saturday afternoon. “Don’t go to sleep on this storm,” he added. “The message today is that we are not out of the woods.”
Hope all is well Dak!
I have some interesting links for you today, we will start over in Japan. Remember that Fukushima Nuclear Plant?
Twenty-five years after a reactor at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded and melted down, its surroundings are well-explored territory, including the abandoned workers’ town of Pripyat, two kilometers (about a mile) from the plant. The guides who take visitors through the area know exactly where to go and, more important, what to avoid.
The people who fled Futaba, the town nearest to the Fukushima plant, need only look to Pripyat, some 8,000 kilometers (5,000 miles) away, for a hint of what it will probably turn into: a ghost town forever looking as though it expects its 7,000-plus people to return any minute.
In Futaba, unlike in Pripyat, you are in uncharted territory. There are no guides. The radioactive hot spots are uncharted, and behind every corner, danger may lurk that will not turn malignant for years, even decades. Radiation cannot be sensed like a hum or a smell. The sun shines and the wind blows, and only the beeping of your Geiger counter tells you something is wrong.
There are two images that I want to point out:
In this Thursday, April 21, 2011 photo, a dog walks across a street in the deserted town of Futaba, inside the 20-kilometer (12-mile) evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
In this Sunday, April 2, 2006 photo, a dog walks in the deserted town of Pripyat, Ukraine, some 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the Chernobyl nuclear plant.
Well, those pictures say a hell of a lot…and so does this one: Japan is open for business – The Washington Post
Yes, Japan is planting sunflowers to help remove the cesium. Sunflowers rise to battle Japan’s nuclear winter – Technology & science – Science – msnbc.com
About 80,000 people were forced to evacuate from a vast swath of land around the reactor as engineers battled radiation leaks, hydrogen explosions and overheating fuel rods. They have no idea when, if ever, they can return to homes that have been in their families for generations.
Worse still, radiation spread well outside the mandatory evacuation zone, nestling in “hot spots” and contaminating the ground in what remains a largely agricultural region.
Rice, still a significant staple, has not been planted in many areas. Others face stringent tests and potentially harmful shipping bans after radioactive caesium was found in rice straw.
Excessive radiation levels have also been found in beef, vegetables, milk, seafood and water. In hot spots more than 60 miles (100 kilometers) from the plant, the tea is radioactive.
In an effort to lift the spirits of area residents as well as lighten the impact of the radiation, Abe began growing and distributing sunflowers and other plants.
“We plant sunflowers, field mustard, amaranthus and cockscomb, which are all believed to absorb radiation,” said the monk. “So far we have grown at least 200,000 flowers (at this temple) and distributed many more seeds. At least 8 million sunflowers blooming in Fukushima originated from here.”
Sunflowers were also used to clean up contaminated soil near Chernobyl. Imagine, once the flowers grow they must be disposed of properly. Yes, the big yellow flowers are radioactive… atomic… a sea of golden toxic waste! Japanese Scientists Get Creative With Nuclear Contamination Clean-Up
The researchers believe growing sunflowers will remove the radioactive caesium in the ground. Radioactive caesium is similar to kalium, a commonly used fertilizer. If kalium is not present, sunflowers will absorb caesium instead.
Yamashita’s team plans to remove the harvested sunflowers through burning, so that the radioactive caesium could be dispersed in smoke instead of requiring storage.
Alternatively, the researchers are also considering using hyperthermophilic aerobic bacteria to decompose the plants. The decomposing process will reduce the sunflowers to about 1 percent of their previous volume, which will slash the amount of radioactive waste that needs to be disposed.
As for the radiation that is seaborne, and not in the soil…Modelling the dispersion of Fukushima-Daichii nuclear power plant release (H/T Susie Madrak)
Take a look at that link, there are moving computer images of the dispersion of the radioactive plume as it traveled the Pacific currents away from Japan.
So, lets move from toxic radioactive particles to toxic radioactive candidates…GOP candidates that is.
The Republican field is entering a pivotal stage in the nominating contest as candidates increasingly move beyond criticizing President Obama and start to run against one another.
The outcome of three debates in the next three weeks — starting Wednesday night, the first time Mr. Perry, Mr. Romney and Mrs. Bachmann will face one another — will influence fund-raising, shape strategy and set perceptions as the candidates hurtle toward the start of voting early next year.
In both parties, there is now a sense that the president’s political frailty, underscored by the report on Friday that showed zero net job creation in August and new projections that unemployment will remain elevated through Election Day next year, is even greater than it appeared at the start of the summer, injecting additional energy and urgency into the Republican primary race.
While many Democrats once hoped that perceived deficiencies among the Republican contenders could provide a lifeline to Mr. Obama, the prospect of losing the presidency is no longer summarily dismissed by his advisers.
In other words, they are going to “eat” their own kind in the next few weeks…should be some great fodder for the late night political comedians.
Early this week, this article was published on Colorlines. The Definitive Guide to Bigotry in the 2012 Republican Primaries (So Far) – COLORLINES
There is a reflecting pool between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in our nation’s capital. Stretched out between the memories of two presidents, the water reminds us that politics are merely a reflection of American society, for better or worse. The best of our society was on display 48 years ago when hundreds of thousands of Americans stood in scenic unity along the reflecting pool in support of civil rights. Today, the 2012 presidential elections reflect a nation still plagued by bias and inequality. Troubled and ugly waters indeed.
The following is a guide to use when you consider casting a vote for one of the 2012 Republican presidential candidates. You may be among the Americans who have lost faith in Obama or the Democratic Party and pondering a step to the right. Faulty as the Democrats may be, read this guide and remember that liberals still believe abolishing slavery was a good idea and that women should not be confined to the kitchen—which is not something you can say about all of the Republican contenders.
Check out this link, and read the entire article, because it breaks down the candidates and some of the questionable remarks that these 2012 GOP hopefuls have made. (Some will not come as a surprise to you, but Colorlines really does a great job of writing it down.)
From the bigoted remarks and beliefs to the religious fervor that most of the GOP 2012s are pimping left and right. This next article is from Time and discusses the Articles of Faith: What Journalists Should Be Asking Politicians About Religion | Swampland
A few weeks ago, I opened up my Twitter feed early in the morning and immediately wondered if I was being punk’d. Instead of the usual horse race speculation, my colleagues in the political press corps were discussing the writings of evangelical theologian Francis Schaeffer and debating the definition of Dominionism. The same week, a conservative journalist had posed a question about submission theology in a GOP debate, and David Gregory had grilled Michele Bachmann about whether God would guide her decision-making if she became President.
The combination of religion and politics is a combustible one. And while I’m thrilled to see journalists taking on these topics, it seemed to me a few guidelines might be helpful in covering religion on the campaign trail:
Ask relevant questions.
It’s tempting to get into whether a Catholic candidate takes communion or if an evangelical politician actually thinks she speaks to God. But if a candidate brings up his faith on the campaign trail, there are two main questions journalists need to ask: 1) Would your religious beliefs have any bearing on the actions you would take in office? and 2) If so, how?
This is also a rather long article, and discusses the kinds of “faith” related questions the media needs to focus on. From policy to Jeremiah Wright…so please read the entire article if you can.
From the Minx Missing Link File: There was a plane crash this past week just off the coast in Chile…some of you may have missed this news. The plane crashed when extremely bad weather hit the area. Chile says no survivors from Pacific Ocean air crash | Reuters
“One arrives at the conclusion that the impact was so strong that it must have killed those aboard instantly,” Defense Minister Andres Allamand said.
The CASA 212 military plane tried twice to land on Friday before it went missing as heavy winds and sporadic rains hit the area.
Among the passengers were five TVN national television staff members, including well-known presenter Felipe Camiroaga, who were planning to film a report about reconstruction on the islands after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
The islands were badly hit by the tsunami.
21 people were aboard that plane, all are presumed dead.
Friday there was a 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit in Argentina and a 6.8 earthquake the struck off the Fox Islands, in the Aleutian chain of islands in Alaska. Mother nature has been on the rampage lately.
Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week: This is one cool looking Woolly Rhino, isn’t it? BBC News – ‘Oldest’ woolly rhino discovered
As a fiber nut, the first thing I thought about when I saw that picture was…ooo, I bet that spins up like yak or maybe Icelandic fleece, one of the primitive sheep whose fleece has a dual coat. One layer is guard hair, straight and more “hairy” like, it makes a very strong and stable yarn…great for use as warps in weaving and the lower woolly fleece, that is soft and wavy, with lots of loft and crimp, that makes a great flexible yarn because it has more “give” for knitting and use as weft in weaving.
A woolly rhino fossil dug up on the Tibetan Plateau is believed to be the oldest specimen of its kind yet found.
The creature lived some 3.6 million years ago – long before similar beasts roamed northern Asia and Europe in the ice ages that gripped those regions.
The discovery team says the existence of this ancient rhino supports the idea that the frosty Tibetan foothills of the Himalayas were the evolutionary cradle for these later animals.
The report appears in Science journal.
“It is the oldest specimen discovered so far,” said Xiaoming Wang from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, US.
“It is at least a million years older, or more, than any other woolly rhinos we have known.
“It’s quite well preserved – just a little crushed, so not quite in the original shape; but the complete skull and lower jaw are preserved,” he told BBC News.
Well, that is all for me this morning. Enjoy your first Sunday in September, and I will catch you all later in the comments.
There are some updates about Whitey Bulger being reported in the NYT. Some Charges May Be Dropped in Bulger Case as Prosecutors Focus on Killings – NYTimes.com
The federal government moved on Tuesday to drop a racketeering case against the longtime fugitive James (Whitey) Bulger, saying it wanted to focus on a separate case that charges him with 19 murders, among other crimes.But Judge Mark L. Wolf of Federal District Court said he would not immediately allow the dismissal, in part because Mr. Bulger needed time to confer with his lawyer about it.
In seeking to drop the 1994 racketeering case against Mr. Bulger, federal prosecutors said they wanted to focus on getting justice for the murder victims. The evidence against Mr. Bulger is stronger in the murder case, they said, and the penalties are steeper if convicted. A conviction on a single murder charge could send Mr. Bulger, 81, to prison for the rest of his life.
I am glad the prosecutors want to focus on the murder victims…all nineteen (19) of them. Ten of the murder charges stem from murders Bulger commented while he was an informant for the FBI. The article quotes Dick Lehr, a Boston University Professor as saying,
“There’s no question that that one is the big enchilada,” he said. “Racketeering cases by their nature are so huge and complicated. Why not tidy up and go full bore on the big one?”
Makes sense to me…but there could be other reasons for dropping the RICO charges.
Peter Krupp, Mr. Bulger’s temporary lawyer, said in a hearing Tuesday that the government appeared to be trying to avoid dealing with Judge Wolf, who presides over the 1994 racketeering case. Judge Richard Stearns of Federal District Court is in charge of the murder case.
Judge Wolf, the chief judge of the district, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bulger cases and has a reputation for being “brilliant but overbearing,” Mr. Lehr said. The judge scheduled another hearing for Thursday on whether the 1994 case should be dropped. Judge Wolf has also not yet decided whether Mr. Bulger is eligible for a free, court-appointed lawyer.
With all the talk of the Casey Anthony trial, the Bulger trial is one I would love to see. (Anyone looking for another perspective of the CMA trial, check this out: Women in Crime Ink: Trials: Truth, Expectation and Reality )
There is a new article and video up at CBS News that interviews a resident of Fukushima about her concerns about radiation and her children. Japan’s radiation dilemma: Leave or live in fear – CBS News
For ten years, Akiko Murakami has lived a suburban dream — growing flowers, as she raised four sons, in a leafy corner of Fukushima city. But now she wonders if it’s safe to stay here. CBS News reporter Lucy Craft brought a Geiger counter, which measures radiation, to her house.
The home she and her husband built for their kids, ages 12 to 21, is surrounded by pockets of radiation — known as hotspots.
Fukushima is a city of 300,000 people, and I guess it is just too many people to evacuate. (Bit of snark there.)
The government has lowered radiation exposure standards in the Fukushima region to 20 millisieverts a year. That’s about the same amount as 50 mammograms. Fukushima City is 40 miles from the nuclear plant, the source of the radiation, but Japan is telling its residents that there’s no additional risk. Many international experts and even the prime minister’s own nuclear advisor disagree. They claim that Fukushima is no longer safe – particularly for children.
Residents travelled to Tokyo to protest after the government loosened safety limits — despite the fact that the long-term impact of low-dose radiation is unknown.
I am no doctor or radiation expert, but 50 mammograms seems like a lot of x-ray exposure to me. Murakiami says that her biggest fear is her children’s health, no doubt she is just one of the many families facing the same decision. Stay or go…I say, get the hell out if you can.
Oh, and while many of you have those 50 “tata” mammograms a year in your minds, lets move on to yet another fight that Breast Cancer victims must face…Breast Cancer Patients Fight for Avastin, a Breast Cancer Drug – ABC News
Priscilla Howard, who has metastatic breast cancer, has been taking the drug Avastin for a little more than two years and has seen a remarkable difference in the progression of her disease, she told a panel of experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during the first day of a two-day hearing that pits the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research against Genentech, Avastin’s manufacturer.
“I am progression free but not cancer free,” said Howard, one of a handful of Avastin patients who gathered both inside and outside the FDA to fight for keeping Avastin on the market.
“I want every available weapon in my arsenal as I fight this devastating disease,” Howard told the panel. The hearing will ultimately decide the fate of what some patients consider a lifesaving drug.
The FDA could take Avastin off the list of approved medications for cancer patients, which
Some cancer specialists said the decision could hold huge implications for the way their patients will be treated.
“This decision [could] remove an option for patients,” said Dr. Edith Perez, clinical oncologist at the Mayo Clinic.
American Cancer Society’s deputy medical officer Dr. Len Lichtenfeld attended the hearing and tweeted “No one has asked the question: What do we say to all the patients and families who testified this morning?”
I am thinking that one of the reasons the FDA wants to withdraw the use of Avastin may have something to do with the cost of Avastin. As this article from the New York Times in 2008 states: The Evidence Gap – In Cost Cancer Drug Avastin, Hope and a Dilemma – Series – NYTimes.com
…some in the pharmaceutical industry worry that such prices will raise concerns about whether the drugs are worth it, leading to a backlash like price controls or restrictions on use.
Roy Vagelos, a former chief executive of Merck who is considered an elder statesman of the industry, said in a recent speech that he was troubled by a drug, which he would not name but which was a clear reference to Avastin, that costs $50,000 a year and adds four months of life. “There is a shocking disparity between value and price,” he said, “and it’s not sustainable.”
You thinking what I am thinking…screw the women that may get extra time on this earth to live their lives, cause it cost too damn much.
And on that note, I want to give you a link from the state of Kansas on the continued war against women. Second abortion lawsuit filed in Kansas | CJOnline.com
The Center for Reproductive Rights submitted to federal district court in Kansas City, Kan., a challenge to abortion clinic licensing regulations adopted by the 2011 Legislature and signed into law by anti-abortion Gov. Sam Brownback.
The suit was filed on behalf of the Center for Women’s Health, which has been operated in Overland Park by physicians Herbert Hodes and Traci Nauser.
“Between the rigid and unnecessary building standards and the absurd deadlines, this licensing process is a complete sham,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
“Our clients have a long record of providing safe and high-quality OB/GYN care, including abortion services, to women over the last 30 years,” she said. “These regulations have nothing to do with safety standards and everything to do with an aggressive anti-choice government trying to shut down abortion providers.”
And BTW, the article points out that if these three clinics are denied licenses, Kansas will be the first state, “not to have abortion services on demand.”
Let’s end with an article about Hillary Clinton Chides Male Domination of African Union – Bloomberg
Hillary Clinton’s speech was met with silence from the male-dominated envoys at the African Union as she criticized the continents aging autocrats. The mood changed when the U.S. Secretary of State turned her attention to women.
“The women of Africa are the hardest working women in the world,” said Clinton, addressing the 53-nation body in Addis Ababa on June 13. Interrupted by loud cheers from the visitors’ area in the upper gallery in the back of the hall, she exclaimed: “If all the women in Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, decided they would stop working for a week, the economies of Africa would collapse.”
If African women were given equal access as men to vocational training and technology, the continent’s economy would expand by at least 40 percent, according Calestous Juma, a professor of international development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The disparities are most evident in agriculture, which accounts for 70 percent of employment and 30 percent of the gross domestic product of sub-Saharan Africa. About 100 million women in Africa use only rudimentary farm tools. That limits them to cultivating at most an hectare (2.5 acres) of land, which they spend almost 2,000 hours a year weeding.
Damn, I appreciate this woman so much…
For Clinton, the plight of women has helped drive an aggressive travel schedule that her office says has clocked up more miles than any of her predecessors. She’s gone 567,305 miles, visiting 85 countries in 232 days on the road since taking office in January 2009. She makes it a point to meet local women in impoverished nations.
And the Bloomberg article ends with this, Wonk take notice…cause it is something you have mentioned many times:
Women’s rights have been the defining issue for Clinton, from her time in Arkansas to the empowered wife of President Bill Clinton in the 1990s to senator for New York and finally the face of American diplomacy.
As first lady she traveled to China in 1995 to attend the United Nation’s Fourth World Conference on Women and defied Chinese authorities by refusing to tone down a speech that state radio and television blacked out.
“It is time for us to say here in Beijing, and the world to hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights,” she told 180 delegates from the podium. “Even today, there are those who are trying to silence our words.”
As she prepares to leave office next year, Clinton has given a glimpse of where her future lies.
Which all of us here at Sky Dancing believe is a return to advocating for the rights of women and children…and geez, we need her fighting for us…big time!
So what are you reading and blogging about today? Get busy in the comment section!
And for those of you who have the song Rico Suave running through your head, I apologize…for those of you who don’t remember this tune, this video is for you:
Via Raw Story, see what it’s really like inside Japan’s evacuation zone–empty streets, abandoned houses, ruined roads from the earthquake, packs of dogs and livestock roaming free–it’s like something out of a science fiction movie.
Japanese journalist Tetsuo Jimbo made a trip inside the restricted evacuation zone near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant last week. At 17 km from the plant (about 2 minutes into the video), the Geiger counter alarms go off and remain on for the rest of the trip….
Jimbo terminates the mission at about 1.5 km from the nuclear plant, where radiation is thousands of times above normal.
Watch the video:
See dramatic photos at Buzzfeed