Wednesday Reads: A Dictator, A Priest and Joe Lieberman walk into a funeral home…Posted: January 19, 2011
Morning everyone! I hope that you have a big cup of coffee, and a nice donut, cause lets dig into Wednesday’s reads:
You have probably seen this news already, R. Sargent Shriver, Kennedy In-Law and Peace Corps Founding Director, Dies at 95 – NYTimes.com
R. Sargent Shriver, the Kennedy in-law who became the founding director of the Peace Corps, the architect of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty, the United States ambassador to France and the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1972, died on Tuesday. He was 95.
My brother was very involved in Special Olympics, so to my family, the work that Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy did for Special Olympians was very important to us. It seems that as these last few connections to such a dynamic era are passing away, so is our appreciation of times that were full of conflicts. Think about what was achieved during those years, when Democratic Presidents acted like Democrats.
The baby boomers grew up listening to their parents, talking about living during the Depression and experiencing a World at War. Those who fought for Civil Rights and Women’s Rights, dealt with Vietnam and a revolution of sex, drugs and rock and roll, they know how important the fight was. My generation had the benefit of Grandparents and Parents that appreciated the struggle of surviving on onions and mustard, who understood what was gained in terms of human rights, and enjoyed what Presidents like FDR and LBJ did for “the People.” I can’t help but wonder about what my kids generation will appreciate when they get older. Wii games , iPods and Facebook? Ugh…
Well, Joe Lieberman is retiring, and I must say that I wish he had done it sooner. I always have been fond of Lieberman. I even voted for him when I lived in CT. If you want to read about Lieberman’s decision to call it quits, check out Ezra Klein – Joe Lieberman: Democratic hero? If you don’t care about why he called it quits, and how the Dem’s feel about it, then check out who is thinking of running for that seat. 2 in House could seek Lieberman’s seat – Jake Sherman – POLITICO.com
Joseph Lieberman’s looming retirement from the Senate has focused Connecticutians’ on the House of Representatives, where both Democratic Reps. Joseph Courtney and Chris Murphy say they’re considering a run for his seat. While both are vowing publicly that they’re undecided, a source close to the third-term Murphy said he is leaning strongly toward running for Lieberman’s seat in 2012, when President Barack Obama will be on the ticket in a state he easily carried in 2008.
At least the “Baby Doc” is in custody, and facing charges for the terrible things he did to the Haitian people. No mercy for a tyrant who showed none – The Globe and Mail
The quick decision to charge Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier for corruption and embezzlement, crimes allegedly committed during his 1971-1986 regime, is a welcome sign of life from a government that has been astonishingly listless since the earthquake.
Haiti’s leadership already faces many challenges: reconstruction, a cholera outbreak, a debilitating political impasse, and an outbreak of sexual violence against women living in the camps. About the last thing it needs is the unexpected arrival of an ex-dictator on its rubble-strewn doorstep.
I am using this article to bring to the discussion here at Sky Dancing something that Boston Boomer mentioned to me last week. In a report by Amnesty International, the sexual abuse of women and girls in Haitian tent cities and camps is yet another crisis that has hit these poor people in a still devastated country. Post-quake chaos fuels rape in Haiti – survey – AlertNet
Haitian women are more at risk of sexual violence because of the breakdown of law and order and the spread of flimsy camps after last January’s earthquake, Amnesty International said on Thursday.
Local women’s groups have documented hundreds of rapes of women and girls since the disaster, but many believe reported cases represent only a fraction of the real number, Amnesty said in a report on survey findings.
One year after the earthquake which killed 230,000 people and injured 300,000, more than one million people still live in appalling conditions in tent cities in the capital Port-au-Prince and in the south of Haiti, where women are at serious risk of sexual attacks. Those responsible are predominately armed men who roam the camps after dark.
More than 250 cases of rape in several camps were reported in the first 150 days after January’s earthquake, according to data cited in the Amnesty International report, Aftershocks: Women speak out against sexual violence in Haiti’s camps.
To read the entire report click this link here. Rape as a weapon in war, and rape as a result of horrible living conditions…if you could really call existing in those camps “living.” If you would like to help by Donating, Joining or Taking Action, just click on the links to Amnesty International.
Another form of rape that was in the news recently involves children and the Catholic Church. I posted a link to this “letter” yesterday in the comments section. I feel that it is important enough to front page it. The letter, aka smoking gun, details the steps taken by the Vatican to cover up charges of sexual abuse by priests. In 1997 Letter, Vatican Warned Irish Bishops on Abuse Policy – NYTimes.com
“The Vatican is at the root of this problem,” said Colm O’Gorman, an outspoken victim of abuse in Ireland who is now director of Amnesty International there. “Any suggestion that they have not deliberately and willfully been instructing bishops not to report priests to appropriate civil authorities is now proven to be ridiculous.”
The document, a two-page letter, was first revealed by the Irish broadcaster RTE and obtained by The Associated Press.
The letter was written just after a first wave of scandal over sexual abuse by priests in Irish Catholic schools and other facilities — a scandal so big it brought down the Irish government in 1994.
By 1996, an advisory committee of Irish bishops had drawn up a new policy that included “mandatory reporting” of suspected abusers to civil authorities. The letter, signed by Archbishop Luciano Storero, then the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio — or chief representative — in Ireland, told the Irish bishops that the Vatican had reservations about mandatory reporting for both “moral and canonical” reasons. Archbishop Storero died in 2000.
The letter said that bishops who failed to follow canon law procedures precisely might find that their decisions to defrock abusive clerics would be overturned on appeal by Vatican courts.
“The results could be highly embarrassing and detrimental to those same diocesan authorities,” the letter said.
The traumatic results to children who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of these pedophile priests would outweigh any embarrassment to the Church…at least you would think so right? I am glad that there is some document out there that proves what I always thought was the Vatican’s policy when it came to pedophilia in the priesthood. (Lets just keep this to ourselves, shall we.)
An update in the Tunisian uprising: Tunisia’s new government in trouble – Africa – Al Jazeera English
The announcement of the new government was also met with anger by some of the Tunisian public.”The new government is a sham. It’s an insult to the revolution that claimed lives and blood,” Ahmed al-Haji, a student, said. Police used tear gas in an attempt to break up several hundred opposition supporters and trade union activists gathered in Tunis.
Blake Hounshell, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, told Al Jazeera that it’s clear that Ghannouchi made an error in reappointing so many ministers from Ben Ali’s government. “If you see what happened on the Tunisian streets today, the people who came out rejected the idea that the same old faces are going to still run the country,” Hounshell said. “I think it remains to be seen whether this new government will even be able to stand and hold these elections in 60 days, as they’re required to.”
How many “governments” has that been now, four? A new government every day since the shite hit the fan, and Ben Ali and his gold grabbing wife fled the country. I just can’t even comprehend the weight of all that gold.
In the Health section of the NY Times there was a real good article about Metastatic Breast Cancer. This is the same cancer that Elizabeth Edwards was suffering from. Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer, a Race Years Long – NYTimes.com
Although great strides have been made in the treatment of breast cancer, recent events, including Elizabeth Edwards’s death last month and the government’s decision to ban the drug Avastin as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer, have drawn attention to the limits of medical progress — and to the nearly 40,000 patients who die of the disease each year.
Of women who are given a diagnosis of breast cancer, only 4 percent to 6 percent are at Stage 4 at the time of diagnosis, meaning the cancer has already metastasized, or spread, to distant sites in the body. But about 25 percent of those with early-stage disease develop metastatic forms, with an estimated 49,000 new diagnoses each year, according to the American Cancer Society.
At least 150,000 Americans are estimated to be living with metastatic breast cancer — including Dr. Hebert, now 45, who got her diagnosis six years ago and now works with the nonprofit Metastatic Breast Cancer Network.
Stage 4 breast cancer can be treated, but it is considered incurable. Depending on the type of tumor, patients may live for many years — working, raising children, starting nonprofit foundations, doing yoga and even running half-marathons.
But theirs are not pink-ribbon lives: They live from scan to scan, in three-month gulps, grappling with pain, fatigue, depression, crippling medical costs and debilitating side effects of treatment, hoping the current therapy will keep the disease at bay until the next breakthrough drug comes along, or at least until the family trip to Disney World.
This is a serious health issue that has touched so many lives. I am sure that some of our readers have experienced this cancer first hand. Actually, I would love to hear your stories, it may help get the discussion going and who knows, it could even give someone the courage to get that lump checked out…
Across the USA, funeral homes are building and marketing such centers as not just a place to mourn the dead but as sites for events celebrating the living, including weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, holiday parties and proms.
The lure? It is often less expensive; there is greater availability; and the settings — inside and outside — can be nothing short of wedding-picture perfect.
I don’t know about you all… but nothing celebrates a bright and successful future, like holding your wedding or prom at a funeral home. So, now you may get the joke about the title of this morning’s reads.
Hey, what are you finding in the news today? Let’s get talking!