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Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Grieve, get you and yours safe and start. Now.

 

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From Wapo. For your use:

Transcript: The Post-Univision Democratic debate, annotated

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Update: I was able to access this first link below, again, around 3:00 PT.

In searching for information on Paris I found that another terrible event had occurred. Why didn’t I know? Where was the outrage? I watch the news yet I missed it-including the part where ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack […in the southern Beirut suburb of Burj al-Barajneh, a predominantly Shia community which supports the Hezbollah movement. Not counting Israel’s assaults on Lebanon, the slaughters represent the deadliest bombings in Beirut since the Lebanese civil war ended more than two decades ago…]

Paris Attacks Highlight Western Vulnerability, And Our Selective Grief And Outrage

The above page, along with the whole website, has been removed from the web. I don’t know if this is temporary, if it’s been hacked or? However, the Wayback Machine says the Australian page is here:

Library of Congress.

As with al Queda, if we blinker ourselves to see just part of what is happening with IS, we are going to miss the story. Should I care, when the victim nation itself, has muddied its own pond of refuge? Human Rights Watch provides a synopsis:

Lebanon: Deadly Attack Kills Dozens

Why is so much hatred and violence emanating from Syria?

Rather than politics, maybe it’s useful to review some geography about Syria. The CIA produces a geography book on countries. Here is what the CIA’s “The World Factbook” says about  Syrian refugees:

[…refugees (country of origin): 526,744 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)) (2014); undetermined (Iraq) (2015)
note: the ongoing civil war has created nearly 4.3 million Syrian refugees – dispersed in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey – as of November 2015
IDPs: 7,632,500 (ongoing civil war since 2011) (2015)
stateless persons: 160,000 (2014); note – Syria’s stateless population is composed of Kurds and Palestinians; stateless persons are prevented from voting, owning land, holding certain jobs, receiving food subsidies or public healthcare, enrolling in public schools, or being legally married to Syrian citizens; in 1962, some 120,000 Syrian Kurds were stripped of their Syrian citizenship, rendering them and their descendants stateless; in 2011, the Syrian Government granted citizenship to thousands of Syrian Kurds as a means of appeasement; however, resolving the question of statelessness is not a priority given Syria’s ongoing civil war
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: due to Syria’s political uprising and violent unrest, hundreds of thousands of Syrians, foreign migrant workers, and refugees have fled the country and are vulnerable to human trafficking; the lack of security and inaccessibility of the majority of the country makes it impossible to conduct a thorough analysis of the scope and magnitude of Syria’s human trafficking situation; Syria is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Syrian refugee women and girls are forced into exploitive marriages or prostitution in neighboring countries, while refugee children are forced into street begging domestically and abroad; the Syrian armed forces and opposition forces are using Syrian children in combat and support roles and as human shields
tier rating: Tier 3 – the government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; increasing violence undercut any law enforcement efforts in 2013; the government failed to protect and prevent children from recruitment by government forces and armed opposition groups; a new law passed in 2013 criminalizing the recruitment of children under 18 by armed forces was not enforced; authorities did not make efforts to investigate and punish trafficking offenders, including complicit government employees; no trafficking victims were identified or provided with protective services; the government did not attempt to inform the public about human trafficking or to provide anti-trafficking training to officials (2014)…]

Despite the presence of the Euphrates River, Syria is water poor with mostly degraded land. With one of the highest growth rates in the world, 34% of it’s population is under 14. It’s products are: petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, and automobile assembly. There is concern, as we gardeners know, generally, that phosphates, required for agriculture, will be in very short supply by 2020, and is projected to lead to worldwide food shortages. Industry is state owned.

Under increasing desertification, it’s 17% of agricultural land is devoted to: wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, and milk. Though the CIA doesn’t say, I would speculate with 9-12 inch of rain or less, that most of the land is in dryland wheat farming. The exception is the coast, which receives more rain. This is not enough to sustain a country that is one and half times the size of Pennsylvania.

I have read right sided discussion about why Syrians don’t stay home and fight for their homeland. Why emigrate?  From a numbers perspective, 160,000 refugees AND their children were declared stateless by Syria itself. Although that order was rescinded for many, its not clear how long that will last. What do you do when you aren’t allowed to work, obtain medical help if you are shot, or even eat? How long will your family funds last? Other Syrians themselves can attest to the insecurity of living. It’s clear that under these brutal conditions that there isn’t generally enough sustenance. The photos of refugees I have seen are of thin humans.

In order to fight a war, the first thing that is needed is food and water to support troops. There isn’t enough without import. In order to fight a war the second thing needed is arms. From whence are those to come? What strings are attached? Who controls these things in Syria?

What about Money?

The EIU reports that the current banking system is in urgent need of reform. The system is criticized by business leaders for being inefficient and offering only basic services. There are, for example, no ATMs, checks, or credit cards in Syria. Commercial loans are hard to obtain without using political party or government connections or traditional patronage relations (a system of relations in which government or any other sectarian, tribal domineering authority distributes the sources at its expense to its supporters as rewards). The new Syrian government has acknowledged the need for reform of the financial system and these new moves show that progress is being made. Some modernization efforts have been initiated with the computerization of the Central Bank and other commercial banks.

The government has also announced that foreign banks will be allowed to open branches in Syria for the first time. Banks with at least US$11 million in capital will be permitted to operate in the country’s free zones (an area where goods may be landed, handled, manufactured, reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities) to finance commercial and industrial activity. In August 2000 3 Lebanese banks were issued licenses while some non-Arab international banks expressed their wishes to enter the full international market rather than be restricted to the small free zones. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has estimated that Syria would gain US$8 billion in foreign investment if it allowed the establishment of private banks, opened a stock market, and unified exchange rates .

Read more: Syria

Whether it’s France or Lebanon who sends support to fight IS, while struggling to provide sanctuary for refugees, we are all affected.  While we mourn for those lost, we need to pay careful attention. It is not acceptable to become tone deaf to the struggles in the Middle East. Nor is it acceptable to be ignorant to it’s nuances. Neither is it okay ignore strife elsewhere. Westerners don’t live in a safe little cubby where nothing bad happens and they are somehow better. Mightiness and technology might contain hate, but only other values will change it.

Aleppo, a “World Heritage Site

Three Teams of Coordinated Attackers Carried Out Assault on Paris, Officials Say; Hollande Blames ISIS

Death toll mounts after terror attacks in Paris

French officials warned that austerity increased security peril

Paris Attack Spurs Search for Unity in Syrian Peace Talks

Syrian passport at Paris attack scene belonged to asylum seeker: Greek minister Read more:

Kerry says no agreement in Syria talks on Assad’s future Read more:

Paris attacks a ‘violation of all religions’: Saudi FM Read more:

State Dept: Americans wounded in Paris attacks

150402 – 147 dead, Islamist gunmen killed after attack at Kenya college

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Is there a story, a theme in this?

199232__mood-road-path-road-sun-light-hands-heaven-dad_p

This year the dads are spending the day stretching toward the sun.

Seems appropriate.

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From the DOS:

International Day of the Girl: To Give Girls Everywhere What We Want for Our Own Daughters | U.S. Department of State Blog.

International Day of the Girl: To Give Girls Everywhere What We Want for Our Own Daughters

POSTED BY MELANNE VERVEER / OCTOBER 11, 2012

Two Indian girls play on a street on International Day of the Girl Child in Hyderabad, India, October 11, 2012. [AP Photo]

Melanne Verveer serves as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

As the world comes together to mark the first-ever International Day of the Girl on October 11, we are filled with hope, but also a sense of urgency. Just this week, a masked Pakistani Taliban militant attempted to assassinate Malala Yousufzai — a 14 year-old Pakistani schoolgirl — on her school bus simply for going to school and speaking up for her right and the right of girls everywhere to get an education. This barbaric act reminds us all too painfully that in far too many places, some still don’t value girls and want to ignore their fundamental rights as human beings. What is so inspiring about Malala’s story is the outpouring of support she has received from every level of her government and ours, and from Pakistanis of all walks of life. So many people from around the world have stood up to say that she is like their own daughter.

That flood of support for Malala gives us great hope, but there is still so much work to do. While girls have made great progress in the last decade, research has shown that in many parts of the world, girls are still less likely than boys to be enrolled in school, especially secondary school. They have less access to medical care, are more likely to suffer from malnutrition, and are more prone to becoming victims of violence and discrimination. This is why we must redouble our efforts to ensure that governments, communities, and families work together to address deeply entrenched values that discriminate against women and girls, and improve the lives of girls worldwide so that all children can reach their God-given potential.

This week, the UN and NGO partners are using this first International Day of the Girl to galvanize commitments to end child marriage — a harmful traditional practice that robs young women of their childhood, traps them into poverty, and exposes them to health risks, early pregnancy, and gender-based violence. On October 10, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders and one of the founders of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, Executive Director of UNFPA Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, many private sector and non-profit partners and I joined Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Department of State as she announced several new public and private commitments to end child marriage and promoting girls’ education.

Child marriage is a threat to the fundamental human rights of girls, and to the health of communities. Ten million girls every year become child brides. One in seven girls in the developing world marries before she turns 15. These young girls are forced into motherhood before their bodies are ready, and too many die giving birth as a result. 

We know that education is one of the single best ways to shield girls from early marriage. Studies show that girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children when compared to girls who have little or no education. Adolescent girls who stay in school are more likely to delay marriage and childbirth, are less vulnerable to HIV/AIDs, and will enjoy a greater quality of life. They are more likely to earn better incomes, have fewer and healthier children, and participate in civic and political processes. Studies have found that child marriage often coexists with other poor reproductive health practices and abuses, including female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), cross-generational sex (spousal age gaps), gender-based violence, a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and obstetric fistula and uterine prolapse, both highly stigmatized conditions brought on as a result of prolonged labor. Keeping girls in school, especially enabling them to complete secondary school, is essential to global efforts to end child marriage.

The United States is proud to be working in partnership with governments, the private sector, and civil society. Through the new Empowering Adolescent Girls to Lead through Education initiative (EAGLE), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) are working together to ensure thousands of adolescent girls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) make successful transitions to secondary school. A $15 million initiative, EAGLE will tackle many of the barriers that keep girls from continuing post-primary education, such as cost and school safety, and will emphasize leadership training for girls. Since well-trained teachers are essential to girls’ success in school, the Department of State will provide teachers who come to the United States for educational exchange programs courses to strengthen their ability to recognize and address the unique challenges girls are confronted with in the classroom. We will also invite educators from around the world to come to the United States to research and find ways to improve girls’ education in their home countries. And beginning this fall, every one of the thousands of Peace Corps volunteers sent to work in underprivileged schools around the world will have training in gender and education. Finally, USAID is working with the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs in Bangladesh to test approaches based on health care, education, and legal research, and will enlist religious authorities, media, local governments and NGOs to promote community awareness and sensitization to the issue of child marriage.

The UN and private foundations are also stepping forward in meaningful and powerful ways — The UN Population Fund and the Ford, MasterCard, and MacArthur Foundations have pledged a total of $94 million to the cause of girls’ education and to addressing and preventing child marriage.

Investing in girls is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to can do. Progress for girls and women and progress for families, communities and nations go hand in hand.



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SacBee is reporting that Judge Walker has lifted the temporary stay on the Prop 8 ruling, paving the way for same sex marriages to resume as early as August 18th. Pending further legitimate action on the dark side, those souls who have already applied for their licenses could be married before the end of the month.

See:

http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2010/08/judge-declines-to-issue-stay-o.html

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If you haven’t yet done so, The Gray Panthers urge you to SPREAD THE WORD to reinstate and extend unemployment insurance and contact you Senator TODAY:

In Unemployment Benefits Extension, a Logistical Headache for States

Overtaxed State Agencies Struggle to Keep Up

By ANNIE LOWREY 7/19/10 6:00 AM

[People seeking unemployment benefits wait in the lobby of an Employment Development Department office in California. (EPA/ZUMAPRESS.com)

On Tuesday, the Senate plans to vote on a federal extension of unemployment benefits, blocked by Senate Republicans for an unprecedented two months. The swearing-in of Carte Goodwin, the temporary replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), will give Democrats the crucial 60th vote to overcome a GOP filibuster and restore unemployment insurance to 2.5 million Americans….]

http://washingtonindependent.com/91871/in-unemployment-benefits-extension-a-logistical-headache-for-states

For more on Carte Goodwin try HERE and HERE.

The DOL has published a list of products we all want to think twice about purchasing. However, as you read the list you will see some of the difficulties in following through on this kind of a determination.  Take cotton for example; Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are on the no-no list. Where did your last tee shirt come from? Do we have anywhere near enough inspection? See the list HERE:

ILAB News Release: [07/19/2010]

Contact Name: Gloria Della Clarisse Young
Phone Number: (202) 693-8666 or x5051
Release Number: 10-0914-NAT

US Labor Department publishes updated list of products made with forced or indentured child labor

[WASHINGTONThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs today announced the publication of a final list of products that federal contractors must certify under Executive Order 13126 are not produced with forced or indentured child labor. The list will appear in the July 20 edition of the Federal Register….]

http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm

As an older adult, around age 55?, my father had Whooping Cough and let me tell you, it wasn’t fun.  It is very hard to breath during the coughing attacks. He thought that he had been vaccinated as a child, leading us to believe that the vaccine had lost effectiveness. Check with your doctor about vaccines. Personally, if I were traveling to CA in the future, I’d check with my doctor about getting the vaccine as well.

Vaccine urged as whooping cough epidemic grows

By Bobby Caina Calvan

bcalvan@sacbee.com

Published: Monday, Jul. 19, 2010 – 12:37 pm

Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 19, 2010 – 1:02 pm

[State health officials today urged more Californians to get vaccinated for whooping cough, as the disease grew to epidemic proportions…]

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/07/19/2900460/vaccine-urged-as-whooping-cough.html

Border security and Immigration reform are two separate issues.  The former is used as a ploy to prevent the latter from happening. Ruben Navarrette shows how the two issues rotate around each other:

Politicians posture over U.S.-Mexico border

Ruben Navarrette Jr.

[“What do you mean I’m out of money?” says the bumper sticker. “I still have checks left!” In the immigration debate, some folks use the same logic to raise the issue of border security.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/29/EDAP1E6NQ5.DTL

You may remember that President Obama issued an Executive Order on May 22, 2010 directing the institution of a “ National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling”. The Commission released it’s final report today.  I guess it will be my evening read:

Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force Announced

Posted by Phil Larson on July 19, 2010 at 02:23 PM EDT

Obama Administration officials today released the Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force, which would establish a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes (National Policy) and create a National Ocean Council (NOC) to strengthen ocean governance and coordination.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/oceans

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