Sunday Reads: Fires, Firebombs and Forced Migration

Good Morning…

It is the last Sunday in July, and only two days until the end of the world.  The time for the debt vote in the Senate has been delayed to 1 p.m. So be sure to check back with us, we’ll keep you up to date on the fiasco going on in the Capitol.

Boston Boomer sent me this link, Fire Destroys We Are Wisconsin PAC Offices in La Crosse; Recall Efforts Subdued The cause of the fire is still “unknown” but many of the people working with We Are Wisconsin, believe it to be arson.

Fire officials in La Crosse are continuing to investigate a Saturday blaze that destroyed the regional offices of We Are Wisconsin, a union political action committee (PAC) that has pumped millions of dollars into supporting Democratic candidates in the upcoming recall elections.

The La Crosse Tribune reports that the cause of the fire, which started at about 9:30 a.m., remains unknown. Firefighters thought they had the blaze under control in the afternoon, however, that wasn’t the case and it continued into the evening, the newspaper reported.

In other news, of course no main stream media has reported on…a Planned Parenthood in Texas was firebombed earlier this week.  I had not heard about it until Dakinikat put a link up in the comments. Planned Parenthood firebombed, right wing silent – War Room –

Someone firebombed a Planned Parenthood clinic in McKinney, Texas, late Tuesday night. Because it was so late, no one was hurt. The clinic doesn’t provide abortions, but there had been protesters there earlier that day anyway. You might’ve read about the news on Twitter or on a liberal blog. Probably not in a newspaper or on a cable new channel. Definitely not at any right-wing blogs. Which is a bit odd, actually, considering how much attention terrorist attacks generally get in this country.

Oh, sorry, how much attention possible Islamic terrorist attacks get.

Perhaps, some non-WWJD Christian Right Wing Extremist lobbed a Molotov cocktail at the clinic?  Must be the case because what else could explain the conservative media’s silence.

The National Review’s the Corner has run multiple posts on some pro-life “study” accusing Planned Parenthood of “systemic, organization-wide fraud and abuse” and even human trafficking “at this federally funded billion-dollar abortion business.” One of them said, “Where is the Media,” and bemoaned the fact that the mainstream press was supposedly “ignoring” the report, which got a major press conference with multiple members of Congress and coverage in Politico and the Hill.

But, weirdly, this Planned Parenthood news has not been mentioned at the National Review.

It is no surprise that right leaning media outlets would ignore something like this.

We obviously don’t know yet, but this attack seems more likely to be the work of a politically motivated person with conservative beliefs than a random act of vandalism. In other words, domestic terrorism. Someone threw a Molotov cocktail at a women’s health clinic. It’s insane that only a couple of Internet feminists actually seem to care.

This next article from MoJo discusses the Anti-Human Rights stance of the GOP candidates for the 2012 election.  Damn, this looks like it is going to be a monster of a season.

These PLUBs are truly Anti-Rights because it is obvious they are not just Anti-Choice.  I mean, they do not even want a woman to have access to birth control or health care.  Sounds to me like the PLUB agenda isn’t only pro-life-until-birth, it is anti-human rights…because women’s rights are human rights.  Which GOP Candidate is the Worst on Reproductive Rights? | Mother Jones

Which of the Republican presidential candidates vetoed legislation that would require doctors to provide emergency contraception to rape victims?

It was then Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (The state legislature went on to pass it over his veto.)

Which 2012 GOP contender signed a similar measure into law? It was actually two of them—Tim Pawlenty in Minnesota in 2007 and Jon Hunstman in Utah in 2009.

These are among the facts in an assessment of the Republican presidential wannabes released by NARAL, the national pro-choice advocacy group. The organization examined the records of 12 candidates—some announced and some still teasing—and though a few have occasionally made moves slightly supportive of women’s reproductive rights, all of the candidates received a failing grade. This was no shocker.

“They’re all unacceptable for pro-choice voters,” said Ted Miller, NARAL’s communications director. He declined to rank them.

The article goes on to make a prediction about the 2012 campaign…

Abortion and other reproductive rights issues didn’t factor very prominently in the 2008 or 2010 elections, when the talk was mostly about jobs and the economy. But given the once-again raging battles across the country over abortion rights and the recent scuffle in Congress over family planning, NARAL expects that abortion as a campaign issue will be back, big time, in 2012. “I can’t imagine that women are going to forget that in the next year before elections,” said Elizabeth Shipp, political director at NARA. “And certainly I think it’s our job to make sure they don’t.”

On to another serious women’s issue, this time in West Central Africa.  AJE has a video report about the effects of rape on women victims in DR Congo.  Mass rape leaves scar on DR Congo village – Africa – Al Jazeera English

In Ruvungi, a small village in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a young disabled girl tells of being beaten and sexually assaulted by a policeman. If he tried to do it again, she says, she would kill him.

She is one of hundreds of women who have been assaulted or raped in Ruvungi, many of them during an attack by rebels in 2010 that lasted over several days. Some of them have found refuge at a women’s shelter in town run by the charity Heal Africa, but the effects remain: children born from rape and angry husbands struggling to deal with the crime.

Much of the rape is tied to competition for extremely lucrative mineral resources, such as gold and tin mines. The perpetrators are rarely brought to justice, despite a United Nations presence.

It is distressing to watch the report, but I thought it would be good to bring it to your attention.

This next article is about the forced migration of people and looking for ways to handle the governing issues that arise when enormous groups of people make a move into another country. Africa: Overhauling Migration Governance to Promote Human Rights And Justice

Stephen Oola writes about how a recent International Association for the Study of Forced Migration conference explored the links between transitional justice and forced migration.


The four day conference attracted over 300 local and international participants; including eminent scholars, practitioners, policy makers, donors, activists, forced migrants and organisational representatives concerned with issues relating to human rights, forced migration, transitional justice and good governance. The theme for this year’s conference was ‘governing migration’, with the objective of exploring key dimensions of the relationship between forms and tools of governance on the one hand and patterns and experiences of forced migration on the other, and their relationship with transitional justice.


According to Dr. Chaloka Beyani, the UN secretary general’s special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDP) and a keynote speaker at the conference, ‘in the era of globalisation, migration has become a global phenomenon spawned by the forces of globalisation’. He added that: ‘Interconnectedness, cohesion, and fragmentation, as virtues and vices resulting from globalisation are both a cause and consequence of forced migration, which means that governing migration may be as difficult as regulating the global forces that sometimes impact adversely on livelihoods, socio-economic and political systems leading to forced migration.’

This conference is especially timely, with all the movement of refugees from Libya and Syria, not to mention the possible large migration of people between Sudan and South Sudan.

Beyani argued that refugees should be conceived of as international citizens. He cited decisions by the European Commission on Human Rights (ECHR), the African Commission and Court on Human and People’s Rights, and Inter-American human rights systems as evidence of maturity in the migration governance regime being reinforced by human rights principles.

Juxtaposing migration governance and contemporary transitional justice processes, he said both refugees and IDPs were affected by the international criminal law regime governing the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. This was because population transfers and forcible displacement and persecution as a crime against humanity should concern refugees as internationally protected persons under international humanitarian law. He said: ‘Injustices against refugees and IDPs as internationally wronged victims have not been sufficiently explored. Although much of the intervention has been responsive to their plight, retrospective approaches are just as important. It is in this regard that a human rights and transitional justice perspective constitute a significant development.

Interesting isn’t it?

Minx’s Missing Link File:  Scientist have found the gene that causes epilepsy in a specific breed of dog.  It is a gene that is also found in humans, so the new discovery is opening the door to finding the cause of childhood epilepsy.   Gene discovery in truffle dogs sheds new light on mechanisms of childhood epilepsy

A new epilepsy gene, LGI2, has been found in the Lagotto Romagnolo dogs, known from their gift for truffle hunting. The gene discovery made by Professor Hannes Lohi and his research group at the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center offers a new candidate gene for human benign childhood epilepsies characterized by seizure remission.

The article is very detailed…so please take a look at the link…fascinating stuff.

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week:  In India it was Couture Week, so your link today is to some pictures of beautiful women in beautiful dresses… Gallery | Delhi Couture Week |

A model strikes a pose as she shows the work of Indian designer Ashima-Leena.
A model strikes a pose as she shows the work of Indian designer Ashima-Leena.
A model shows the back detail on a gown while another makes her way down the runway, displaying fashions by Indian designers Shantanu and Nikhil.
A model shows the back detail on a gown while another makes her way down the runway, displaying fashions by Indian designers Shantanu and Nikhil.
Models gather on the runway to show Indian designer Anju Modi's work.
Models gather on the runway to show Indian designer Anju Modi’s work. AP

That is all I have for you this Sunday Morning.

So, lets see what happens today…my guess is Obama will cave and Boehner will cry…but that is only from past experience.

What are you thinking about today? Find any interesting links? Please…share them!