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Archive for the ‘Men's Rights’ Category

If you were out chopping wood to heat your house, after the weather we have had, you might have missed the tie-in of the Sandra Fluke story leading up to today’s vote to table the Blunt Bomb otherwise known as S.1467 – Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011². Last night, while trying to fall asleep, I came upon Nancy Pelosi’s pronouncement condemning Rush Limbaugh’s demented misogyny directed toward Ms. Fluke. I sure hope college student Fluke sues the gizzard out of Limbaugh and Clear Channel Vision and all those 600 stations and Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Keep in mind though, Limbaugh is just the potty-mouth lap dog for those other paternalists who wouldn’t even let her speak at their hearing. I loved that the Pelosi site linked to this Think Progress page posted by Alex Seitz-Wald:

…[ While it¹s probably not even worth engaging with Limbaugh on the facts, Fluke¹s testimony was about a friend who is a lesbian and needed birth control for non-sexual medical reasons, so he¹s only wrong about three times over, and offensive many more times over than that….]

Clear Channel is to be blamed for this tripe. This kind of free speech does not deserve a 400 million dollar reward. That’s 50 million a year, and since his 8 year contract runs till 2016 we are going to be subjected to it for a while, unless we do something. COMPLAIN!!! BOYCOTT THE SERVICE!!

Clear Channel is owned by two groups. The first is Bain Capital which over the years has leveraged buy-outs on a lot of big name companies.

Founders for Bain Capital include:

Mitt Romney

T. Coleman Andrews III

Eric Kriss

Clear Channel’s other group is Thomas H. Lee Partners,(THL) which among other numerous assets, recently bought Warner Music Group. They also leverage big buy-outs.

The top three people for THL are:

Vice Chairman and Managing Director David Harkins
http://www.corporationwiki.com/Massachusetts/Boston/david-v-harkins/30357908 .aspx

Vice Chairman Scott Schoen

Co-President Scott Sperling
http://www.corporationwiki.com/Massachusetts/Boston/scott-sperling-P7833817. aspx

Sex is for two. Contraception is for humans. If there weren’t any men, women wouldn’t need it.

By the way, I hope you noticed who was at the top of the Bain list. No wonder he wasn’t sure how to answer.

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I don’t know how you feel about the US/Afghani war, but I want you to ponder this. Today, Dennis Kucinich presented his bill in the House to end the war in 30 days, or, by no later the December 31st, 2010, if conditions on the ground warrant it.  Another 33 billion dollars is about to be budgeted for the military and war effort. That does not include the money being spent from other venues, like the Small Business Administration grant monies to fund mercenaries.

The Bill is labeled: H.Con. Res.248, Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan., HERE.

Against this backdrop, Republicans have held up small bills, like the 45 million dollar one that would have been allocated money to support Afghani women, in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since 2007.

Enter the new administration.

An Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Stabilization Strategy was issued on January 1st of this year. Senator Boxer wrote President Obama, over her concerns that women were only mentioned once. In February, a revised strategy was issued. Boxer purports that it includes women throughout the strategy. The full strategy can be found HERE. I Found 115 instances of the word “women” on 23 of the 50 pages in the pdf document. Surely, this alone is an improvement, and though women are not specially mentioned in the list of proposed milestones for either country, they are in the Afghani Key Initiatives for agriculture.

Yet, It’s not clear to me at this point exactly how women are to be counted in this document, because I couldn’t find any line items in the report that elucidated direct expenditures to women or women’s groups. It is clear, however, that the State Dept. administration considers women vulnerable; so, some portion of that line item will assuredly go to them. The question is how much, or, is this a sop, designed to placate women?  What kind of movement toward adjudication of half the population of two countries is satisfactory?

In February, Senator Boxer and Senator Casey convened a joint hearing of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women’s Issues and on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs. The hearing was entitled “Afghan Women and Girls: Building the Future of Afghanistan.” Four people were invited to testify.

In her testimony, the Honorable Melanne Verveer, discussed the various ways in which the US is helping to women to change their lives. Then she mentioned that the State Dept was currently supporting four programs, for a total of 2 million dollars, which: “support women’s rights at the local level by engaging religious leaders and local officials to engage in the electoral process and develop women’s participation in local governance.” Another 26.3 million was engaged for small flexible grants to empower Afghan led NGO’s. No other monetary figures are mentioned.

In his testimony, James A. Bever, Director of the USAID Afghani-Pakistan task force, states that they have spent, in Afghanistan, an assistance estimate of 500 million on women and children since 2004, or 50 million a year.

Dr. Sima Samar had much to say on the distance yet to go in order to stabilize Afghanistan, citing lack of health care for women, lack of fundamental rights, and institutions that will train women on human rights democracy and advocacy. However, funding was not mentioned.

Finally, MS, Rachel Reid, for Human right Watch in Afghanistan recognized that 150 million was allocated this year, by the US. At the same time, her statement was the most disturbing, in regards to her views on the Taliban, and President Karzai’s recent moves to reduce women’s rights. While all the testimony was interesting, Reid’s made riveting reading. She also, however, failed to mention funding.

There may be other funding directed to women and children in the State Department’s budget for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but if it really so much more than the 78.3 million this year, mentioned in all that reporting and talking, that I found, you would have thought they would have crowed a heck of a lot louder. The sum of monies in the State Dept spread sheets in their report add up to 22,849.2 million or 22 billion for the years of 2009, 2010 and 2011, of which 3,252.5 million or 3.3 billion is defense related expenditures not counted by the Defense Dept. it’s really a hefty sum, that spreads out pretty equitably over the three years, averaging 8.43 billion.

Of course it’s true that the money is intended for the good of all the Afghani and Pakistani people. Energy projects are a prime example. Still, even though this is an improvement over what came before, it looks like a line item mentality to me, rather than real 51% participation for women.

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http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/12/21/the-stories-of-the-two-somalis-freed-from-guantanamo-by-andy-worthington/.

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Revised 4:33 PM, PST

“Mitigation.  Transparency.  Financing.”

Politico says agreement of a sort has been reached at Cop15. Read their article. It sounds like everyone is going to go home to lick her/his wounds and figure out what to do next. Phrases like “a visibly angry Obama”, “no binding agreement”, “leaving before the last vote (Obama)” and “funds to poor countries remain on the table only as long as the Chinese submit to monitoring”, all lend credence to the idea that none of this is a done deal and a lot of posturing all around was needed. I suppose after eight years of Bushco, the refined US position was a pretty big change to take in for China and India.

POLITICO Breaking News:

—————————————————–

The U.S. China, India and South Africa have reached a “meaningful” climate change deal that sets a cap on worldwide temperature increases, according to administration officials.

For more information…http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30794.html

Ban Ki-moon’s entreaty for nations to get it together and commit, have common sense and move forward, I think, reflects in all of us.

The bottom line was introduced by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It has found “that to stave off the worst effects of climate change, industrialized countries must slash emissions by 25 to 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020, and that global emissions must be halved by 2050”.

Both China and India have been deeply and increasingly involved with trade negotiations in Africa for some time. If you think how our trade with Mexico has worked, you will understand the similarity; cheaper goods, fewer laws in place to protect environment and people, and cheaper labor. In particular, raw goods are wanted. As an example, China only has a little over 14% arable land, having lost one fifth to desertification, and a population of around 1.39 billion, as opposed to the United States with 18% arable land, and a population of a little under 308 million. At first glance, India seems in better shape with arable land of around 50%, however they live with yearly losses due to monsoons. Also, they have a population of just under 1.67 billion. One thing all three have in common is very large coal reserves, increasing the temptation to assign value to it’s use.

An interesting comparison of international environmental treaties signed and ratified by these three or any other countries can be found in the CIA World Fact Book. This is the list as of December 18th, 2009. The Fact Book is updated regularly and these may change as countries work toward further agreement.

USA
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes
China
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
India
Environment – international agreements:
Field info displayed for all countries in alpha order.
party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

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Politico has a lot to say about Cop15 today:

By GLENN THRUSH | 12/17/09 7:20 AM EST

Updated: 12/17/09 10:23 AM EST

[COPENHAGEN — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton threw a climate change Hail Mary on Thursday in hopes of salvaging the Copenhagen talks from collapse – pledging U.S. participation in a multinational fund to provide poor nations with a $100 billion a year by 2020. This is considerably more than the 10 billion originally promised, though not as much as some would like the US to commit….]

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30723.html

Since, however, President Obama is still planning to show up at the Conference on the 18th, we are all hopeful that she is again paving the way for one of his triumphant entrances.

Just in case you weren’t sure we had enough USAns rampaging through Copenhagen, Nancy Pelosi took 20 house members with various interests in Science, there on Thursday. Should I hazard a guess that this is the contingent of House members that will be expected to support the 100 billion pledge Clinton promised, to poor countries to keep from drowning when their islands disappear? Sub Saharan Africans, too are in the process of drowning in an ocean of sand, as skyrocketing maternal mortality rates, starvation, coastal fishing loss, and loss of water are enveloped by desperate and futile wars.

The consensus is that 90% of the new emissions will come from poor and developing countries, not China and the USA. We already reached close to our “full” capacity at production of airborne water and landborne garbage.

In counterpoint, certain senators, including one Ben Nelson, of recent abortion news fame, think that even though the US has been THE leading polluter, and therefore one of the MAIN causes of warming, the poor countries ought to just fix it themselves. After all, we are having such a difficult time at home, they ought to just give us a break. Can you believe this?

“They’ve got to come up with their own,” said Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). “We’re not asking them for money, as far as I know.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30690.html

Why aren’t they suing us? Careful guys, your caste mentality is showing.

Finally, Dipnote sends a lovely factoid. Did you know that traditional cook stoves, per unit, are the considered the worst polluters in the world?

And who usually winds up slaving over them?

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What she said HERE.

Amnesty International is calling this an important speech.

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Read the whole acceptance speech HERE.

There is a lot to chew on in this speech.

Yes, you will see the reported references on war, torture and Guantanamo.

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