Wednesday Reads, Wisdom indeed…

Morning everyone, Minx here and I have some morning reads to get y’all thinking. Many are dealing with women’s issues, so I hope that you spend some time reading the links.  March has been quite a wet month for us in Banjoland, I love the sound of fat rain drops hitting the tin roof.  I think spring is on the way…With all the revolts in MENA, I wonder if it will get worse when the temperatures really start to rise? If you missed the last few post from Dakinikat and Wonk the Vote, be sure you check them out. Dak brings up the subject of Welfare State in Jesusland and Wonk discusses the violence seen in Egypt’s Million Woman March. Such sad state of affairs…

Anyway, let’s get on with it shall we?

Below is a video taken on the Lybian Tunisian border where people fleeing Gaddafi and his violence are gathering.

As the world marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, euronews went to the Libyan-Tunisian border to meet some of the female migrants who are fleeing the violence in Libya.

If you missed the news about the refugees check out this link from March 4th: Refugees airlifted from Tunisia – Africa – Al Jazeera English

In other Libyan news, it looks like “crazy-ass” Gaddafi  has some worried he will completely loose it, and blow the oil and gas complexes to smithereens. I could see him doing this, couldn’t you? I wonder if the bookies are taking any bets as to whether Muammar will go out in “Gaddafi” style.

Libya oil tanks seen as ‘time bomb’ – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

For now, opposition forces control this and virtually every other natural energy facility in the country.

But as this conflict wears on, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will need oil. He will have to try and take it by force or, as many fear, he could bomb oil and gas complexes to prevent anyone else from using them

“ We expect that he will destroy everything because he is crazy,” Fahad Kheri, superintendent in Libya’s oil and gas Industry, told Al Jazeera.

The installation is only a few hundred kilometres away from Gadaffi’s hometown and stronghold of Sirte.

Al Jazeera has found that the frontlines are fluid and that the rebel fighters lack organisation. As a result, the natural gas plant here is a potential time bomb waiting to go off.

In Yemen, it looks like President Ali Abdullah Saleh is channeling Gaddafi, by attacking his own people as they protest his rule.

Yemeni army fires at student protesters, wounding 98 –

The Yemeni government escalated its efforts to stop mass protests calling for the president’s ouster on Tuesday, with soldiers firing rubber bullets and tear gas at students camped at a university in the capital in a raid that left at least 98 people wounded, officials said.

The army stormed the Sanaa University campus hours after thousands of inmates rioted at the central prison in the capital, taking a dozen guards hostage and calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. At least one prisoner was killed and 80 people were wounded as the guards fought to control the situation, police said.

Update: Yemen protester dies after police attack – hospital | World | Reuters

In Egypt Tuesday, celebrations for International Women’s Day turned into a disappointing display of the anti-woman sentiment that is inherit in male dominate societies. I’ve already linked to Wonk’s post on this from last night. Be sure and take the time to read the comments too, Wonk added some links and quotes to update her post.

Barry Lando has some thoughts on the first Bush to be a resident in the White House. I am talking about George H.W. Bush, and the legacy he left after we got Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait in the Persian Gulf War.

Barry Lando: When America Left Arab Rebels to the Slaughter – Truthdig

As the standoff in Libya takes on the potential of a bloody civil war, President Barack Obama is forced to consider possible U.S. intervention—at the very least, the enforcement of a no-fly zone. He has ordered his staff to examine how his predecessors handled such situations. One of the most frequently mentioned: how George H.W. Bush dealt with the Shiite and Kurd uprisings in Iraq in 1991, after U.S. forces drove Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait.

But, rather than being an exemplary use of American power, that whole affair was a disgraceful episode that reverberates to this day. What actually happened was that an American president called for an uprising against a brutal Arab dictator, then turned his back, leaving tens, possibly hundreds of thousands to be slaughtered. I recounted that sorry affair in a documentary, “The Trial of Saddam Hussein,” excerpted on YouTube. (See Part 5 and Part 6.)


When it looked as if the insurgents might actually succeed, the American president turned his back. The White House and its allies wanted Saddam replaced not by a popular revolt which they couldn’t control but by a military leader more amenable to U.S. interests. They were also fearful that Iranian influence might spread in the wake of a Shiite takeover. In fact, American officials refused to meet with rebel leaders who were not under Iran’s control and were desperate to explain their cause.

Closer to home, we have heard about the violence and murders that seem to flourish in the border towns of Mexico. In Juarez, there is another side to these drug wars, which do not get much play in our MSM. (I wonder why that is…) Women are just another casualty and it seems that many vanish…leaving grieving mothers to wonder how they can stop the Femicides from happening.

In Juarez, women just disappear – Features – Al Jazeera English

The story of young women who simply disappear is all too common in this border city, but in the last two years, gendered violence has been drawn into the broader blood pool in Mexico’s murder capital. A grisly drug war has claimed at least 7,800 lives in the city since 2008.

But femicides, or targeted attacks on women represent something different from the killings affecting all residents, activists say.

‘International shame’

The Mexican government does not keep official statistics on these femicides, says Flor Cuevas, a member of the Chihuahua State Human Rights Commission.

“There is a negative attitude from government towards the problem,” Cuevas said during an interview in her Juarez office. “Femicides must be covered up, as they are an international shame.”


When celebrity appearances and official institutions fail, mothers take a bleak view of justice in a city devouring its young women. “You can just beg,” said Malu Garcia Andrade, “that within this drug war, these killers and rapists get shot.”

All hope is lost, and the only prayer these mothers have is in fate, that these murderers and rapist will get killed by the bullets of the drug wars that are ongoing in Juarez. Sad…Sad…Sad.

We have been keeping up with the assault on women here in the US. For more on this I link to a recent post on Huffpo: Deborah Burger: The War on Women’s Health

Nationally, the U.S. Senate is likely to act this week on a decision by the House last month to bar Planned Parenthood health centers from receiving any federal funding. That would deeply cut into the broad array of health services provided by Planned Parenthood including not just abortion, but also birth control, cancer screenings, HIV and STD testing, and more.

All this week, Planned Parenthood is holding events in multiple cities to encourage people to lobby their Senators to stop this unwarranted and dangerous assault.

It looks like Deborah has giving my own state top PLUBs honors for the proposed miscarriage is murder bill that our crazy GOP state senator has drafted.

But the award for the most extreme may have to go to Georgia where state Rep. Bobby Franklin who wants to criminalize not just abortions but even miscarriages, potentially punishable by death. As Jen Phillips wrote in Mother Jones, “basically, it’s everything a ‘pro-life’ activist could want aside from making all women who’ve had abortions wear big red ‘A’s’ on their chests.”

This is the same Franklin who last year pushed legislation that would redefine rape victims as “accusers,” in an apparent attempt to generate sympathy for rapists.

I will leave you all with the final line from the Huffpo link…

…the current rightwing crusade a war not just on women’s health, but also on women’s futures.

I wonder if those GOP idiots would consider this “forcible rape?” In this case of Gang Rape of an 11 year old girl, it looks like they have at least made some arrest…Gang Rape of Schoolgirl, and Arrests, Shake Texas Town –

The police investigation began shortly after Thanksgiving, when an elementary school student alerted a teacher to a lurid cellphone video that included one of her classmates.

The video led the police to an abandoned trailer, more evidence and, eventually, to a roundup over the last month of 18 young men and teenage boys on charges of participating in the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in the abandoned trailer home, the authorities said.

Five suspects are students at Cleveland High School, including two members of the basketball team. Another is the 21-year-old son of a school board member. A few of the others have criminal records, from selling drugs to robbery and, in one case, manslaughter. The suspects range in age from middle schoolers to a 27-year-old.

18 arrested! Can you believe it? And one of them a 21 year old son of a school board member.  Check out the quote from the nurse who attended the victim.

“It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”


Residents in the neighborhood where the abandoned trailer stands — known as the Quarters — said the victim had been visiting various friends there for months. They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said.

“Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?” said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record. “How can you have an 11-year-old child missing down in the Quarters?”

The boys have to live with it the rest of their lives, what about the girl? See the attitudes of the people interviewed and the tone of the reporter/journalist who wrote it? WTF? What is wrong with these people? You can read the rest of the article to see what an ordeal this child had to go through. For more sexism and hate just look at this link: Cleveland residents still reeling after gang rape of girl, 11 | Houston & Texas News | – Houston Chronicle It is disgusting…

So what are you all reading this morning? And what do you think about the situation in Mexico? Comment section is below, hop to it.

Photo: United States Geological Survey

Okay…I couldn’t leave it on a down note, so here is one mama who has seen a lot during her 60 years…Oldest known U.S. free-flying bird hatches new chick on Midway | Reuters

The oldest known free-flying bird in the United States, a roughly 60-year-old albatross named Wisdom, hatched her latest chick weeks ago to become a mother again on Sand Island at Midway, wildlife officials reported on Tuesday.


Wisdom holds the record as the oldest wild specimen documented during the 90-year history of the U.S. and Canadian bird-banding research program.

A U.S. Geological Survey scientists first tagged the bird with an aluminum identification band when she was about 5 years old in 1956 as she was incubating an egg.

Since then, the albatross has logged about 3 million flying miles, the equivalent of six round trips to the Moon.

Wow, six round trips to the moon…just think about that. So Wisdom is a new mama, it kind of gives the rest of us a bit of hope doesn’t it? I mean if she can survive in this crazy world, then maybe things can’t be all that bad…right?

37 Comments on “Wednesday Reads, Wisdom indeed…”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    With all that is going on in the world and at home, the press is consumed with reporting on Charlie Sheen.

    As usual, President Detached is AWOL and the Right is forcing its agenda down the throats of the public aside from the fact that over one half to two thirds of the nation is resistant.

    Most of the potential GOP candidates are making speeches and essentially promising to govern with a bible in one hand and a gun in the other. If this does not strike fear into the hearts of those still clinging to some measure of commonsense I am not sure what will.

    Meanwhile as millions in the nation wander about trying to gain employment, Peter King has decided to investigate Muslims instead of perhaps taking a closer look at the financial institutions who are bleeding the nation dry.

    Welcome to the world of Jabberwocky where little makes sense and the Koch Brothers are kings.

  2. cwaltz says:

    That story about the 11 year old makes me livid. I hope every single one of those boys gets a record and truly has to “live with it” for the rest of their lives. I am so f-ing tired of the blame the victim mentality in this country.

    • madamab says:

      Me too, cwaltz. When I read what that woman said about the boys “having to live with this for the rest of their lives,” I heard brakes screeching in my head. Who is the victim here – the animals who decided, VOLUNTARILY, to gang up and rape an 11-year-old child repeatedly? Who held a gun to their heads and made them do it? Someone needs to ask that woman if she would be so sorry for the rapists if it were her daughter who was so brutally sexually abused. And how would she like some ignorant moron to blame her child, or even her parenting skills, for what these boys CHOSE to do to her daughter?

      Speaking of violence against women, the Senate is inexcusably AWOL on the International Violence Against Women Act. The Dems still control the committees, don’t they? If Harry Reid weren’t such a. useless POS, he would have brought it to a vote yesterday. The national Dems just don’t give a sh*t about women any more. They’ve got the “2% less evil” schtick down to a science. .

      • Peggy Sue says:

        What popped out at me was the information on how this 11-year old was dressed–like a 20-year old, the residents said. This tilts back to the ‘good ole days’ when ‘women’ [as opposed to babies] were immediately criticized about being too provocative, seductive, asking for it.

        I swear, we’re regressing by leaps and bounds.

        But on a lighter note, I give three cheers to Wisdom. She looks pretty chipper for all those miles. A true survivor! Something to smile about, at least.

      • Outis says:

        I’m there with you madamab: the Dems figured out they don’t have to do anything when they’re in power because it’s so much easier to let Rs take the reins and go all batshit to make Ds look like saints. 2% less evil is a Winning strategy.

  3. Fannie says:

    I can’t respect the community, the school district, or even the law from Cleveland, Texas. The churches are offering special prayers, when in fact prayers aren’t stopping RAPE, it is increasing.

    The township is running the little girl, and her family out of town, giving them a one way ticket out of Cleveland. In order words they are holding the parents responsible because the 11 year old girl was wearing makeup, and freely roaming the streets.

    Instead they all seem to be turning this around and calling out the parents for child neglect. That way the boys can go scott free.

    I am reminded of the current debate and bills to restrict abortions under the “Pain ACT”, and how senators think they are protecting the unborn from experiencing suffering and troture. Well, what about the issue of Rape, and sexual abuse going on in this country. Rape is torture, yet none of the senators seem to know the mental and emotional toll it has on our families and in our communtities. Like Cleveland, they don’t really care.

  4. paper doll says:

    people like blaming the victim because it makes them feel safer….THEY would never wonder around the Quarters! …like that will save you from rape. It won’t.

    Love how it’s the boys who are suffering.
    Not one negative word for them

    boys will be boys

    How did they even get caught? I’m sure every chance for a get away was given

    That provoking shit drives me crazy…rape is not a appropriate response to a spaghetti strap….I always say if your wallet was left out and it was taken…no one says oh that poor thief! They will have to live this it for the rest of their lives! ( sniff ) No, they say ” stop thief and string ’em up ” ! The ” asked for it ” part goes missing somehow.

  5. Sweet Sue says:

    When discussing a rape victim, my mil actually said “she was asking for it.”
    Now, my mil is very old but fairly enlightened.
    I swear that we are going backwards by leaps and bounds when it comes to womens rights.
    When women stop empathizing with other women, we are truly lost because most men just don’t.

    • paper doll says:

      it makes your m i l feel safe to believe that….but how does an 11 year old ask for it? And I was thinking about this the other day. Children use to have their own clothes….now we dress them like adults…they aren’t But that’s so we, as a society ,feel younger being so dressed as well. We aren’t

    • paper doll says:

      Oh wait you two were discussing another case…my bad

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      When women stop empathizing with other women, we are truly lost because most men just don’t.

      And here Sweet Sue is the thing that makes me think of a quote:

      There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” – Madeleine Albright

      In Wonk the Vote’s post last night touches on this too:

      Ahram Online: “Egyptian million woman march ends with a gunshot” « Sky Dancing

      More from the New Yorker link:

      Men were hardly the only dissenting voices. At one point, a woman in a niqab began screaming at a cluster of people. Her son had died in the protests, and the conduct of the people in Tahrir—particularly the uncovered women—was inappropriate. They were dating, she insisted, not protesting. It was a sad echo of a rumor levelled at the protesters before Mubarak’s resignation, accusing them of KFC-fuelled courtship. Other women objected to the feminist values being voiced, which, they felt, were old-fashioned. Alia Mossallam, a student and writer, said, “There has always been a female presence. If you set yourself apart, you make yourself a spectacle.” Two young women said, simply, “Egypt is in a dangerous time right now. We should wait.”

      Dating not protesting?! Aye yi yi.

  6. Minx, as always thanks for your hard work!

    Haven’t had time to look at the links yet, but I have a few comments.

    First… I don’t know if they discussed this in the Al Jazeera feature on Juarez that you linked to, but back in January, Susana Chavez — a Mexican activist who was leading the protests against the disappearing of women — was murdered brutally herself. That was such an upsetting story that underscored the dark irony of fighting against the violence and oppression of women, that a woman herself fighting this became a victim herself of the same fate.

    The story about the gang rape of the 11 year old in Cleveland TX by a group of 18 young men and boys ranging from middle schoolers to a 27 year old including the 21 year old son of a school board member — there just aren’t any words for what kind of absence of conscience and antisocial sociopathy happened there. As long as a girl or woman’s rights to live in this world without being harassed, stalked, assaulted, raped, murdered remains more taboo than a man’s violence against her, society will continue to stay very sick at its core.

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    To all those above that commented on the gang rape of an 11 year old, I agree wholeheartedly with each of ya. I could not sleep last night after reading those articles. You should have seen some of the others I found but did not link to…disgusting. The attitude we see here is exactly why these asshole PLUBs are getting away with their assault against women. This underlying theme of she asked for it, reinforces the extremist theory of punishing the woman for any wrong committed…period.

    I will go so far as to say, what is the difference, as far as the treatment she is getting…and by extension the treatment her family is getting, between this Texas girl and the rape and incest victims, young girls, who are stoned to death for adultery? The same thought process is being used for both situations. Blame is put on the female, and in the Texas assault, the female victim’s mother. This Cleveland family is getting death threats and the girl has been removed for her safety. It is an outrage!

    • paper doll says:

      Exactly Mink we got burkas here ….of the mind…or lack there of … We expect women to look glamorous at all times but when they are raped we say they “asked for it” because they wore a dress or used lipstick , or ever left home without their chastity belt. ( which should have been called an anti rape belt..but of course wasn’t ) there is a deep belief woman are objects to be taken and used as men
      ( society ) see fit …and if you get in the way of that…if you call what happened to this child a crime…you are the evil one who must be destroyed. I’m guessing a conga line of casseroles are ling up at these rapists houses right now

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I’m guessing a conga line of casseroles are ling up at these rapists houses right now

        Oh I am sure of that…

      • Branjor says:

        Here’s a pleasant fantasy I’m having about the conga lines of casseroles –

        Each one right in a rapist’s face!!!

    • cwaltz says:

      This wasn’t even a woman- this was a child. And there is no way in God’s green Earth anyone is going to convince me that-even with make up- this girl looked old to be a “consenting adult.”

      • Fannie says:

        You got that right, she is not a consenting adult. Make up or not, it had nothing to do with her being tortured and raped.

    • madamab says:

      How utterly appalling. What IS the difference between the Christian Taliban and the Muslim one? The Christian Taliban is basically calling for the death (“honor killing”) of THE VICTIM.

      It is truly the most amoral thing I have ever witnessed, this freakish woman-hatred towards even 11-year-old victims of rape. 18 men (yes, at 21 – 27 they are MEN) decided to brutalize her repeatedly. If anyone should die, IT IS THEY.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        That is what really gets me about all this, she was 11 years old! These men, who are some of the high school star basketball players, (I believe that the high school was a winner at state.) and one of the older adults is the son of a school board member…I will guess that they all get away with it. The way they are portraying this 11 year old child as some sort of “20 year old slut”….it really is unbelievable.

        @madamab, There is no difference between the PLUBs Christian Taliban and the Muslim Taliban. They both are a hazard to women and girls.

      • Branjor says:

        So what if she looked older? Rape is a crime whether you’re 11 or 41.

  8. David Broder has died…

    USA Today — Pulitzer-prize winning political reporter David Broder dies:

    David Broder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post who was often called the dean of the Washington press corps, died today at the age of 81, The Post reports.

    He died of complications from diabetes, the Post reports.

    Broder, who covered national politics for four decades, and The Post each won Pulitzers in 1973 for coverage of the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

  9. Minkoff Minx says:

    I thought I would put a few updates here…

    So, Newt is so patriotic that he screws around! The Washington Monthly

    Aware of his problem, Gingrich has a new line to explain his misdeeds. Here’s the explanation he offered radical TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network. (thanks to R.B. for the tip)

    “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn’t trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them.”

    If Gingrich thinks the public will find this persuasive, he’s completely lost his mind.

    He cheated on his wives, in part because he worked “too hard” for the country? His excuse for a scandalous personal life is patriotism?

    To be sure, I’m inclined to draw a distinction between Gingrich’s private life and his public life, and my concerns about his role in politics have far more to do with his bizarre policy ideas than his offensive personal misconduct.

    But this is relevant, not only because he’s seeking the votes of moralists, but also because Gingrich is claiming a certain moral high ground, literally lecturing Americans about religious values, while condemning others’ personal lives.

    Even for Gingrich, this is just remarkable. The guy haggled over the terms of his divorce from his first wife while she was in the hospital, recovering from uterine cancer surgery. He had already proposed to his second wife before he was divorced from his first. In the ’90s, it happened again. Gingrich had an affair with a 33-year-old congressional aide — while spearheading the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton — and asked his third wife to marry him before he was divorced from his second, who was also ailing.

    And yet, Gingrich still feels comfortable running around saying things like, “The Democratic Party has been the active instrument of breaking down traditional marriage.”

    Here is a video of his statement:
    Newt Gingrich CBN Interview | Gingrich Past | David Brody | Mediaite

  10. Minkoff Minx says:

    I wanted to bring to attention this excellent post over at BAR:

    Freedom Rider: Peace Prize Torture | Black Agenda Report

    When the state decides to destroy a human being, a member of Congress gets the bum’s rush as quickly as anyone else. Manning, Kucinich, and the rest of us, must be taught a simple lesson. It is true that Manning is being used to get to Julian Assange, but the significance of his treatment goes much deeper.

    We are all being warned not to get any big ideas about telling the truth. The new charges claim that Manning aided the enemy. The charge doesn’t say who the enemy is, but that doesn’t really matter. The enemy is anyone, anywhere who dares to consider revealing the truth about how this country actually conducts itself around the world.

    “Ultimately, Barack Obama is responsible for Manning’s treatment.”

    There are more good articles over at BAR that have been published today, be sure to check them out.

  11. Minkoff Minx says:

    And just one more, this over at C&L:

    If we need to hold hearings on Muslim domestic terrorists, why not the same on right-wing domestic terrorists? | Crooks and Liars

    Bill O’Reilly was mouthing off about just how appropriate the McCarthy like hearings that Senator King is putting on…here is FDL’s response to big mouth Bill.

    Well, Bill, just to get you up to speed: There have been many, many more right-wing terrorist acts on American soil since 1995 — including the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, just for starters. All told, there were over 60 major cases of right-wing domestic terrorism in the ten years after Oklahoma City.

    • cwaltz says:

      We ought to be having a conversation on the money appropriated for domestic terrorism and all the civil liberties given up.

      If we have a discussion about domestic terrorism- it certainly shouldn’t be limited to a small percent of them(the amount that a report said were muslim in nature I believe).

  12. Minkoff Minx says:

    Oops, I got one more: U.S. Humanitarian Support on Libya’s Borders | U.S. Department of State Blog

    Here is an update on the humanitarian aid for the Libyan refugees.