Posted: April 24, 2011 Filed under: black women's reproductive health, China, Drone Warfare, Economy, Foreign Affairs, fundamentalist Christians, Japan, Libya, morning reads, PLUB Pro-Life-Until-Birth, Reproductive Rights, Syria, Yemen | Tags: Climate change, cuba, Medieval Maps
Cute "nice" bunnies in a cup...
Ah, Easter Morning…watch out for those evil… foul bad-tempered rodents, with big nasty teeth. As I write this the smell of roasted pork with Cuban mojo is filling the house. (Not a whole piggy this time…but the link will take you to a good pigroast.) The black beans have already been cooked…and the platanos await their turn in the hot oil. I’ve given you some links to good recipes, but for the best Spanish recipes I highly recommenced this book… Clarita’s Cocina.
We are not a “religious” family, as you can see….food is the main thing. But I wish all who do celebrate it… a Happy Easter.
There is so much to share with you today, so I hope you have your coffee in hand and are ready for today’s round-up. A lot has been going on over in MENA, so I will start the post with these links:
3 prominent Syrians resign in protest against deadly crackdown – The Washington Post
Two Syrian lawmakers and a state-appointed Muslim leader resigned Saturday in a gesture of protest a day after security forces killed more than 100 people in the bloodiest crackdown since anti-government demonstrations began in Syria in mid-March.
The resignations came as security forces fired on tens of thousands of people in at least three towns who were attending funerals for protesters killed Friday.
The latest crackdowns came a day after President Obama voiced his toughest criticism yet of the situation in Syria, condemning the government’s use of force “in the strongest possible terms” and calling on President Bashar al-Assad to “change course now.”
Obama blamed Assad directly for Friday’s harsh response while also tying Syrian repression to Iran, and an administration official said the White House was “looking at a range of possible responses to this unacceptable behavior.”
Syrian forces raid homes to quell protests – Middle East – Al Jazeera English
Secret police raided homes near Damascus overnight, rights campaigners said , as popular opposition to President Bashar al Assad mounted following the bloodiest attacks on pro-democracy protesters.
Security operatives in plain clothes wielding assault rifles broke into homes in the suburb of Harasta just after midnight on Sunday, arresting activists in the area, known as the Ghouta, or the old garden district of the capital.
Security forces and gunmen loyal to Assad killed at least 112 people in the last two days when they fired at protests demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption on Friday and on mass funerals for victims a day later.
Yemen president agrees Gulf plan to resign – Middle East – Al Jazeera English
Yemen’s embattled president Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to a deal by Gulf Arab mediators that would lead to a transition of power in the country after weeks of anti-government protests.
Tariq Shami, a presidential aide, told Al Jazeera on Saturday that the president had agreed in principle to a proposal from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) for him to step down.
The GCC plan would see Saleh submit his resignation to parliament within 30 days, with a presidential vote to be held within two months.
Shami said the opposition must first agree to the deal in order for Saleh to accept the plan.
“The president has agreed and accepted the initiative of the GCC,” he said.
“The transition of power in Yemen will take some time. It needs an agreement between the national powers and the opposition at the same time. This thing will happen within 60 days if we have an agreement.”
The White House welcomed Saturday a plan for Yemen’s longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, urging all sides to “swiftly” implement a peaceful transfer of power.
Libyan rebels make gains in Misurata – Africa – Al Jazeera English
Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi are locked in a fierce battle for control of the Libyan city of Misurata, amid reports that loyalists of the embattled leader had retreated to the outskirts of the city under opposition fire.
Government forces pounded besieged Misurata, the country’s third largest city and the main opposition stronghold in the west, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens of others on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, pro-democracy forces had declared Misurata “free”.
“Misurata is free, the rebels have won. Of Gaddafi’s forces, some are killed and others are running away,” Gemal Salem, a spokesman for pro-democracy forces, told the Reuters news agency by telephone from the city.
However despite these claims, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Misurata, Andrew Simmons, said the western port city has “not been liberated at this stage”.
The next two links are from Juan Cole, I hope you read both in full.
Syrian Security fires on Protesters, Kills 90 | Informed Comment
Free Libyan fighters exult in small Victories, as US begins Drone Strikes | Informed Comment
For an update on the Fukushima Nuclear Plant:
Japan Nuclear Watch, April 23: Can You Rebuild a Cooling System Inside a No-Go Zone? | MyFDL
The good news is that over the last two weeks or so at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant, there have been no further spectacular explosions, no new massive breaches of containment or as far as we know, massive releases of radiation, though there continue to be dangerous levels inside the reactors, in nearby water and in surrounding areas.
The bad news is the Japanese authorities have been unable to make substantial progress against the massive quantities of contaminated water still leaking from the damaged units. In the last three days, for example, they attempted to pump contaminated water out of the flooded trench outside Unit 2′s turbine building, but managed to lower the water level by only a few centimeters. In previous weeks, they would pump some out one day, but then find the water rising back the next with varying degrees of radiation, because water injected into the reactors leaked and found its way out and downhill.
In other world news, you may have missed this sad story. Not that any of the MSM covered it here…Two die in clash with Chinese police at Tibetan monastery, activists say | World news | guardian.co.uk
A Tibetan exile cries after completing a 24-hour hunger strike in Katmandu, Nepal, in protest against a Chinese military blockade of the Kirti monastery in Tibet since 16 March. Photograph: Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP
Two people have reportedly died in a clash with Chinese police during a raid on a Tibetan Buddhist monastery where tensions have run high over the recent suicide of a monk.
The incident marks some of the worst violence in the ongoing troubles at Kirti monastery high in the Himalayan foothills in a Tibetan area of Sichuan province.
Police who have blockaded the monastery and restricted the movements of its 2,500 residents launched a raid on Thursday night, according to the US-based International Campaign for Tibet.
Police took 300 monks to an unknown location and two villagers trying to block the monks’ removal were killed, it said.
The dead were named by the group as 60-year-old Dongko, and a 65-year-old woman, Sherkyi. The area has since been closed off to outside visitors, it said.
Tensions in Kirti were heightened by the suicide on 16 March of 21-year-old monk, Phuntsog, who set himself on fire in a protest against government controls of Tibetan Buddhism, which recognizes the exiled Dalai Lama as its leader.
UN calls for Thai-Cambodia ceasefire – Central & South Asia – Al Jazeera English Wow, Ban Ki-moon has been busy lately…
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has called on Cambodia and Thailand to halt fighting along their disputed jungle border as troops exchanged fire for a third day.
At least 10 soldiers have been killed and thousands of civilians forced to flee the area since fighting broke out on Friday, shattering a tense two-month ceasefire.
Suos Sothea, a Cambodian field commander, said the fighting on Sunday started at about 10:00am local time (0300 GMT) and both sides were firing mortars.
“What we can confirm is it involves artillery shell fire,” he said.
A Thai official at the border also confirmed the resumption of hostilities and said “Cambodia opened fire first”.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, called on the neighbours to “exercise maximum restraint” and urged them to resolve the issue through “serious dialogue” rather than military means, according to a spokesperson on Saturday.
He urged the two neighbours to take immediate measures for an effective and verifiable ceasefire.
Six Cambodian troops and four Thai soldiers have been killed since clashes restarted on Friday.
More on the changes taking place in Cuba: An end to classic cars rumbling across Cuba? | History News Network
They rumble down city boulevards and country roads across Cuba: 1950s Fords, Buicks and Pontiacs, some in mint condition, others on the verge of collapse.
But a new law regulating property ownership in Cuba could change that.
At the recent four-day summit of the country’s Communist Party, President Raul Castro announced that the legal framework allowing people to buy and sell cars and homes was in the “final stages.”
What will this mean to the average Cuban?
He didn’t provide details, but many Cubans hope it will be the end of half a century of restrictions. Under current law, they can only freely buy and sell cars that were on the road in Cuba before Fidel Castro’s 1959 Revolution…..
This next link makes me scratch my head…like there is a recent change in Americans Grow Increasingly Pessimistic About US Economy | Elections
With the addition of the most recent NYT/CBS News poll, we now see a broad trend across several major polls: the American people have become far more pessimistic about the state of the economy.
The NYT/CBS News poll out yesterday found that 39 percent believe the economy is getting worse, which is a 13-point increase from just last month, and the highest number in a few years.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll from earlier this week found 44 percent thought the economy was getting worse–the highest it has been in over two years.
Similarly, a Gallup poll from last week found only 33 percent of Americans thought the economy was getting better, a large drop from January when the poll found 41 percent optimistic about the economy.
This is bad news for an incumbent president with jobs and the economy still the top issues with Americans. Obviously, the less optimistic people are about the economy, the more likely it is they will want to seek a replacement for the head of our government.
The only thing I can say to this link from FDL…No shit!
Now a few links on the PLUBs and their crusade against women…H/T to Tennessee Guerrilla Woman on this next link: The Maddow Blog – More about the Catherine Ferguson Academy
A number of you have written in after our story last night about the possible closing of Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit, a school for pregnant girls and young mothers. Below, a few links to that conversation about this that has already been going on in Detroit and Michigan. If you’ve got others to share, please include them in the comments. This is a story that’s happening at the grassroots level — no Catherine Ferguson gardening pun intended. This is a story that depends on you to tell it.
Mark Maynard’s blog report has a lot of local discussion going.
The independent Voice of Detroit has terrific reporting from inside the sit-in at Catherine Ferguson, including accounts from people we showed last night.
The website Defend Public Education has a petition going, as does Change.org.
You can learn tons more about Catherine Ferguson Academy through the “Grown in Detroit” documentary.
If you’ve got more links, please post them. We’ll keep following these stories and tell you more as we learn it
Dakinikat posted this link in the comments yesterday: Foster children would be allowed to get clothing only from second hand stores | Michigan Messenger
Under a new budget proposal from State Sen. Bruce Casswell, children in the state’s foster care system would be allowed to purchase clothing only in used clothing stores.
Casswell, a Republican representing Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties, made the proposal this week, reports Michigan Public Radio.
“I never had anything new,” Caswell says. “I got all the hand-me-downs. And my dad, he did a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army, and his comment was — and quite frankly it’s true — once you’re out of the store and you walk down the street, nobody knows where you bought your clothes.”
Under his plan, foster children would receive gift cards that could only be used at places like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and other second hand clothing stores.
The plan was knocked by the Michigan League for Human Services. Gilda Jacobs, executive director of the group, had this to say:
“Honestly, I was flabbergasted,” Jacobs says. “I really couldn’t believe this. Because I think, gosh, is this where we’ve gone in this state? I think that there’s the whole issue of dignity. You’re saying to somebody, you don’t deserve to go in and buy a new pair of gym shoes. You know, for a lot of foster kids, they already have so much stacked against them.”
And if you think that is disturbing, check out this dude in Louisiana: Man Who Wants Full Abortion Ban In Louisiana Once Advocated Sterilizing Poor Women | RH Reality Check
When Louisiana Rep. John LaBruzzo announced he was authoring a bill to enact a full ban on all abortions in the state, he claimed that language that a woman obtaining an abortion would be charged with “feticide” was “accidentally” left in the bill.
But based on his past legislative acts involving women, it wasn’t an accident at all.
In 2008, LaBruzzo was known for another controversial idea — one where he proposed paying poor women $1000 each to have their tubes tied.
Worried that welfare costs are rising as the number of taxpayers declines, state Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, said Tuesday he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied.
“We’re on a train headed to the future and there’s a bridge out, ” LaBruzzo said of what he suspects are dangerous demographic trends. “And nobody wants to talk about it.”
LaBruzzo said he worries that people receiving government aid such as food stamps and publicly subsidized housing are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated people who presumably pay more tax revenue to the government. He said he is gathering statistics now.
“What I’m really studying is any and all possibilities that we can reduce the number of people that are going from generational welfare to generational welfare, ” he said.
Oh, and in case you didn’t fully grasp this is a class thing, he advocated giving extra tax incentives “for college-educated, higher-income people to have more children.”
Jail women who have abortions, sterilize the poor, and reward rich people for procreating. Sounds about right.
Can you believe that crap? And from Cannonfire: (*Just a side note about this link, I took out the tea bag reference that we do not use here on the blog.)
Libertarian sickos never stop
Tea Party* politicians in Maine are trying to ram through legislation which would re-legalize child labor. The kids are to be paid less than minimum wage, naturally.
Do a little Googling and you’ll see that libertarians have always wanted a return to the days when children had the “freedom” to work.
Believe it or not, some libertarians even justify child prostitution. That’s the logical end result of their thinking, isn’t it? After all, if an adult has the right to choose to be a sex worker, and if a child should have the right to do the work of an adult, and if the gummint has no business making laws in these realms… Well. It just makes sense, doesn’t it?
I am just amazed and shocked at what these PLUBs, Fetus Fanatics, Eddie Munster look a likes come up with.
Here is one way to study Climate Change, by researching ancient fossil Sea Cows: Fossil sirenians, related to today’s manatees, give scientists new look at ancient climate
ScienceDaily (Apr. 21, 2011) — What tales they tell of their former lives, these old bones of sirenians, relatives of today’s dugongs and manatees. And now, geologists have found, they tell of the waters in which they swam.
While researching the evolutionary ecology of ancient sirenians — commonly known as sea cows — scientist Mark Clementz and colleagues unexpectedly stumbled across data that could change the view of climate during the Eocene Epoch, some 50 million years ago.
Clementz, from the University of Wyoming, published the results in a paper in this week’s issue of the journal Science.
He and co-author Jacob Sewall of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania used their findings to dispute a popular scientific assumption about the temperature and composition of seawater during the time marked by the emergence of the first modern mammals.
The Sirenia, named for the sirens or mermaids of Greek myth, is an order of aquatic, plant-eating mammals that live in swamps, rivers, estuaries, marine wetlands and coastal waters.
Four species of “sea cows” are alive today, in two families and genera: the dugong, with one species, and manatees with three species.
Sirenia also includes the Steller’s sea cow, extinct since the 18th century, and others known only from fossil remains. The order evolved during the Eocene more than 50 million years ago.
In their paper–“Latitudinal Gradients in Greenhouse Seawater δ18O: Evidence from Eocene Sirenian Tooth Enamel”–the scientists used the isotopic composition of sirenian fossils from a broad time period and geographic area, along with climate simulation data, to add to the long-running debate over Eocene climate.
“This study demonstrates the value of the fossil record, and of examining the deep time record of paleoclimatological events, so we can better understand climate change today,” says Lisa Boush, program director in the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Division of Earth Sciences, which funded the research.
“This novel approach will potentially transform our way of thinking about the hydrologic response to global climate change.”
Isn’t that interesting? Who says there is no such thing as climate change…Wait, who the hell am I kidding. Those people who do not believe in Climate Change, do believe the Earth is only 6,000 years old, so they would not accept the fossils anyway.
From Minx’s Missing Link File: This morning deserves something relaxing, am I right? Milan museum to test whether sketch is lost Leonardo da Vinci work | History News Network
SOURCE: CNN (4-20-11)
Peter Hohenstatt was skeptical at first, especially when he learned the drawing dated to about 1500.
The sketch was “absolutely Leonardesque,” the University of Parma art historian thought, but it was probably the product of one of the master’s students, imitators or admirers. When a technical exam showed the drawing originated closer to 1473, his skepticism waned.
The reason? Leonardo da Vinci was an apprentice until the late 1470s. He didn’t have any students, imitators or admirers of his own yet.
The object of their fascination is titled simply, “red pencil drawing of a profile of a man’s head looking to the left.” It was found about 70 years ago tucked into a book — and like many objects of artistic intrigue, it has a long and twisting story, regardless of whether it’s the product of the Renaissance master.
The two men’s convictions are based on artistic similarities to other da Vinci works as well as the makeup of the sketch’s paper, which they say is similar to the paper da Vinci used in other sketches.
The final word, though, must come from the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, the library in Milan, Italy, that houses the Codex Atlanticus, the largest collection of da Vinci’s works…..
I’ve got two Easy Like Sunday Morning Links for you today, both were so interesting that I could not choose between the two:
“>Medieval News: Mapping the origins of a masterpiece>
Published 400 years ago, the first comprehensive atlas of Great Britain is being celebrated by Cambridge University Library, home to one of only five surviving proof sets, all of which differ in their composition.
John Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine is one of the world’s great cartographic treasures. Published in 1611/12, it marked the first time that comprehensive plans of English and Welsh counties and towns were made available in print.
To celebrate its 400th anniversary, Cambridge University Library has digitised each of the proof maps and put them online at www.lib.cam.ac.uk/deptserv/maps/speed.html. The Library is also selling copies of the 60 plus images that make up Speed’s masterpiece.
The parable of the Three Rings: a revision of its history – Medievalists.net
The parable of the Three Rings: a revision of its history
By Iris Shagrir
Journal of Medieval History, Vol. 23, No. 2 (1997)
Abstract: The paper provides evidence for the non-Western origins of the Three Rings parable, on the basis of a full account of the history, and the literary and allegorical origins of the parable. The parable, known in Western culture mainly through Lessing’s Nathan the Wise and Boccaccio’s Decameron, contains in some versions the idea of religious relativism. The paper tracks the idea–presented in a similar allegorical form–back to its Muslim origins, also pointing to the Eastern origins of the parable’s literary framework. The discussion follows the evolution of the parable and its entrance into Catholic Europe, analysing its contextuality and the twists given to its message by Muslims, Jews, and Christians between the eighth and the sixteenth centuries.
Click here to read this article from the Open University of Israel
And at last, I told you to watch out for that furry rodent. Beware of evil bunny running amok…at least we have the Holy Hand Grenade!
How are you spending this Easter Sunday? What are you reading…be sure to post some links below. Oh, and if you are eating something good today, by all means…you best let me know…is it tasty?