dreamer_easy: (*feminism)
IIRC the Women's Legal Service Queensland learns today if its budget has been slashed, along with other community legal centres across the country. I'll ETA the news here when I find it.

The good news: North Carolina governor signs bill repealing and replacing transgender bathroom law amid criticism (WP, 30 March 2017). The bad news: the new law forbids local governments in NC from protecting trans people. ETA: Meanwhile in Australia, For some transgender students, the school bathroom is a battleground (ABC, 1 April 2017). SA, WA, and Victoria have guidelines for schools - where are New South Wales'?

Email Australian politicians to tell them to stop stuffing about with plebiscites and just vote on marriage equality already.

What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence (GA, 29 March 2017). "Paul Gill, a UCL lecturer who studies so-called lone wolf terrorists, told the New York Times last year: 'Having a history of violence might help neutralise the natural barriers to committing violence.' In other words, wives and girlfriends make good target practice."

Scrap the tampon tax to win the women's vote, Treasurer told (SMH, 28 March 2017)
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Frankly, I'm knackered. Here goes:

btw, you get a lot of US stuff in this lj partly because the US dominates the Web, partly because I married an American and visit the country regularly, and partly because what happens in the US often influences or is relevant to what happens in Australia. For example, while racism Down Under and Up Over has different histories and characters, there's still a lot in common between them. So IMHO Reverend Denise Anderson's remarks about the shooting of young Black men by US police also have something to say to Australians:
"White people, you have heard it said that you must talk to other white people about racism, and you must. But don't talk to them about their racism. Talk to them about YOUR racism. Talk to them about how you were socialized to view, talk to, and engage with people of color. Talk to them about the ways you've acted on that socialization. Talk to them about the lies you bought into. Talk about the struggles you continue to have in shedding the scales from your eyes. Don't make it 'their' problem. Understand it as your own problem, because it is. To not do this would put you in danger of being yet another well-intentioned racist, convinced of their own goodness and living a life wholly unexamined and unaccountable to anyone. We don't need anymore of those. It's confession time."
I think these words are especially relevant given the frightening return of One Nation. The response of many Australians is to jeer at Pauline Hanson's supporters as "rednecks". This is not quite the same thing as recognising our own racism, but would it be more effective to come down from the moral high ground and engage One Nation voters with a little respect and a lot of facts?

Muslims on what it's like to live in Australia (SMH, 2 May 2016) Pretty tough, and it's only going to get tougher. :(

How Long and Short Senate Terms are Allocated After a Double Dissolution (ABC, 25 April 2016) Antony Green elucidates the complexities.

Now some stuff from other countries.

Islamic State fighters caught in Iraq reveal motivations for jihad (ABC, 13 July 2016) Even this brief glimpse demonstrates that Daesh is about much more than fanatical belief. (Cf: Persecution pushing young Australian Muslims to the margins of society, says leader (SMH, 10 April 2015); The more we fear Islam, the greater the danger from terrorists (SMH, 16 May 2015)).

How one 'super-spreader' was responsible for nearly half of South Korean MERS cases (SMH, 12 July 2016)

South Korea covered up mass abuse, killings of 'vagrants' (AP, 19 April 2016) The way the victims of this "clean-up" for the 1988 Olympics were treated reminds me unsettlingly of descriptions of prison camps in North Korea.

Malawi's albinos at risk of 'total extinction,' U.N. warns (CNN, 1 May 2016) They are butchered for witchcraft purposes. Fucking hell.

Muslim anti-Isis march not covered by mainstream media outlets, say organisers (The Independent, 9 December 2015) Cut out and keep for the next time someone says Muslims don't speak out enough.

I'm on the Kill List. This is what it feels like to be hunted by drones (The Independent, 12 April 2016) "Friends decline my invitations and I have taken to sleeping outside under the trees, to avoid becoming a magnet of death for my family." Would that this was the SF it sounds like.
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Implicit racism in academia (Mindhacks, 7 September 2016): "Implicit bias" exists "where there is a contradiction between people's egalitarian beliefs and their racist actions." The question is, how aware is each of us of our own biased behaviour?

Millennials Are Less Racially Tolerant Than You Think (New York Magazine, 8 January 2015): "The fact of the matter is that millennials who are white — that is, members of the group that has always had the most regressive racial beliefs, and who will constitute a majority of U.S. voters for at least another couple of decades — are, on key questions involving race, no more open-minded than their parents. The only real difference, in fact, is that they think they are."

What Goes Through Your Mind: On Nice Parties and Casual Racism (the-toast.net, 5 January 2016). "For the last time, I consider defending myself. Just giving voice to the confusion and anger and mortification I feel boiling in the pit of my stomach. But I know, in an instant that reminds me of countless others like it, that I'm not that person. The truth sinks in: I am the only one who can make sure that everybody keeps having a good time."

Lassana Bathily, Muslim Employee At Kosher Market, Saved Several People During Paris Hostage Situation (Huffington Post, 12 January 2015). "We are brothers. It's not a question of Jews, of Christians or of Muslims. We're all in the same boat, we have to help each other to get out of this crisis."

Some young Asian Australians seek tanned skin, risk skin cancer: sun habits study (ABC, 16 January 2016) As a Kpop fan I'm constantly reminded of how highly prized light skin is in Korea and China, so the fact that peer pressure is leading Asian Australians to tan was eye-opening. I think in the West a tan is high-status because it indicates plenty of time for outdoor leisure, so you're wealthy. In the East light skin is high-status because it indicates you don't have to work outdoors, so you're wealthy - but there's also the disturbing impact of colonialism; not just lighter skin, but more Western-looking features are valued.

Believing that life is fair might make you a terrible person (GA, 4 February 2015): "Faced with injustice, we'll try to alleviate it – but, if we can't, we'll do the next best thing, psychologically speaking: blame the victims of the injustice." ("I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." - Ecclesiastes 9:11)

Brutal Reality: When police wear body cameras, citizens are much safer (Slate, 10 April 2014). "The presence of cameras induces an absence of violence." | Investigation of 5 cities finds body cameras usually help police (Fusion, 8 December 2014). "One key problem: officers control the record button." | Why American Cops Kill So Many Compared To European Cops (Huffington Post, 30 November 2015). In short: inferior training. (Though I also have another theory.)

Fact check: Does halal certification fund terrorism? (ABC, 21 April 2015). SPOILER: no.

Language more important to Australian national identity than birthplace, poll finds (ABC, 29 April 2016) "Overwhelmingly, Australians believe that the ability to speak English is important to being Australian; while 92 per cent agree that language is important, 65 per cent see it as being 'very important', with only 27 per cent responding 'fairly important'."(ABC, 29 April 2016) Why are Anglophones so obsessed with everyone being able to speak English? Is it because, unlike most of the world, we can only understand one language?

Bubble economy (medium.com, 13 July 2016). Negative gearing, play money, and slavery.

How to make sure your aid donations really help after a natural disaster (RN, 7 May 2015)

There was once a fifth suit of playing card (because winning with four wasn't hard enough) (shortlist.com, 4 March 2016) There's a mention of IIRC "the four of green eagles" in IIRC Joe Haldeman's Star Trek novel Planet of Judgment, which I had thought for decades was just a weird dream sequence thing until I stumbled across this article (the card, not the novel).

Turbulence: Everything You Need To Know (askthepilot.com). All is ease and comfort.

Lots and lots more of this sort of thing hanging around in my bookmarks. But now it is time for Animaniacs and bed.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Cathy Wilcox cartoon of a burning man captioned Not Drowning

Somali refugee in critical condition after setting herself alight on Nauru (GA, 3 May 2016) "Hodan was forcibly returned to Nauru only last Wednesday. She was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on Nauru last November, and was brought to Australia for medical treatment. In the early hours of the morning last Wednesday, Australian Border Force guards carried her out of the Brisbane immigration transit accommodation (Bita) holding her by her arms and legs as she screamed to be allowed to stay... Hodan’s self-immolation was her second attempt at suicide since being returned to the island."

We have murdered this woman.

Omid Masoumali, refugee who died after setting himself on fire, 'suffered without medical care' (ABC, 2 May 2016) "An Iranian refugee who died after setting himself on fire at the Nauru detention centre was without doctor's care for two hours at the medical facility and lay in agony for a further eight hours before morphine was administered, his wife says."

We have murdered this man.

Omid Masoumali set himself on fire after UNHCR told him he would remain on Nauru, asylum seekers say (ABC, 2 May 2015) Three or more other refugees also tried to take their own lives after the UNHCR told them they would have to stay on Nauru for another ten years.

"These actions are purely and simply being taken because they believe that political protests will influence the Australian Government and possibly help them gain entry to Australia", says Nauru.


Oh, and by the way:

Widow of refugee who set himself alight 'being kept in hotel and denied a lawyer' (GA, 2 May 2016). "You know I'm grieving and I need to cry but as soon as I want to cry they give me pills or injections to keep me calm. They don’t want my voice to be raised or heard by others. They want me to be emotionless and inactive."


ETA: UNHCR Calls for Immediate Movement of Refugees and Asylum-Seekers to Humane Conditions (UNHCR press release, 2 May 2016)
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
태극기 휘날리며 (Taegeukgi Hwinallimyeo) aka Taegukgi, directed by Kang Je-gyu, starring Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin as two brothers drafted into the South Korean army at the time of the Korean War*.

For me, this movie was too sentimental to be really great. Having said that, I've never seen anything which so powerfully showed what war is: chaos. Men desperately trying to reduce each other's bodies, these orderly configurations of parts, to randomised shreds and chunks. On and off the battlefield, this breakdown in the order of the body is mirrored by the breakdown of law, morality, and simple fairness, with the summary executions of POWs and civilians; and finally by brutal madness.

The other thing I want to mention is the film's recreation of pre-war Seoul - a big town, with signs in Chinese characters (Hanja?), people wearing traditional dress, etc. By the end of the movie the place is wrecked, of course, but there are signs of hope, such as an open-air school in the rubble.

(I've now seen enough Korean movies and TV that I'm starting to recognise actors. There's a chap in this who was also in Chuno, and Bin Woo was the ajusshi in Ajusshi (aka The Man From Nowhere.)

* Turns out this is what the war is called in SK as well as the Anglosphere. (Did they get the term from us?) Compare what the Vietnam War is called in Vietnam: the American War.


Sep. 7th, 2014 03:31 pm
dreamer_easy: (*gender)
Why Aren't Women Advancing At Work? Ask a Transgender Person. Having experienced the workplace from both perspectives, they hold the key to its biases.

Announcement: Readers who feel threatened by equality no longer welcome: "The problem here is that these squealing man-children, so desperate to keep women out of their precious games, want it both ways. They want gaming to be taken seriously as a culture and art form, while at the same time throwing an unbelievable tantrum when subjected to serious criticism."

Why men rape: "The reasons why men rape in South Africa are the same reasons they rape here [in Australia] and the most common statements really amount to notions of sexual entitlement."

On which subject: "One day, in third period, after being rejected several times, he said; 'I have a gun in my locker. If you don't say yes, I am going to shoot you in seventh.'"

And again: Laurie Penny on misogynist extremism: Let's call the Isla Vista killings what they were: "The ideology behind these attacks - and there is ideology - is simple. Women owe men. Women, as a class, as a sex, owe men sex, love, attention, 'adoration', in Rodger's words. We owe them respect and obedience, and our refusal to give it to them is to blame for their anger, their violence - stupid sluts get what they deserve. Most of all, there is an overpowering sense of rage and entitlement: the conviction that men have been denied a birthright of easy power. "

Domestic violence: the 'silent epidemic' claiming the life of one woman every eight days

Financial abuse poorly understood but rife

"The Australian Human Rights Commission report found that one in two women and one in four men have experienced discrimination relating to their family obligations... The survey found 22 per cent of women who had suffered discrimination opted out of the workplace entirely." Similarly: Half of all mothers experience workplace discrimination, report finds

Autism experts say current testing failing to detect condition in females, call for changes to testing (I'm currently reading Aspergirls by Rudy Simone - while I'm clearly not on the spectrum, I have a lot in common with women with Aspergers, and I wonder how much of this stems from being gender non-conforming.)

ETA: Norrie has won a victory for all people neither male nor female

Bodies That Matter: The African History of Naked Protest, FEMEN Aside

Monster, by Robin Morgan

A Deadly Epidemic of Violence Against Women
dreamer_easy: (snow kate)
Cut-and-pasted from my Tumblr. :)

It's been years since I sat down and read a whole book in a day. Historian Ronald Takaki's 1995 book Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb makes a strong, concise argument, based on historical documents such as diaries, letters, and memoirs, that the bomb was not dropped with the intention of ending the war and saving lives, but as a show of force aimed at America's rival, Russia.

Being a historical ignoramus, I've long wondered about the reasoning behind the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Reading Professor Takaki's book was prompted by my encounter with this posting and its inappropriately smug, if I'm honest mixture of important points and odd mistakes.

The book supports some of the statements in that posting, while undercutting others, including the original image from White Is: Germany was the original planned target for the atomic bomb, in response to a perceived German nuclear threat. (Germany surrendered in May before the first successful A-bomb test in July, so I suppose we'll never know if the US would have gone through with it.)

On to Takaki's core argument.

President Truman's statement that dropping the bombs saved "half a million" American lives is contradicted by the actual estimates provided to him in June 1945 by the Joint War Plans Committee for the invasion plan: 40,000 killed, not 500,000. The total expected to be killed, wounded, or missing was 193,500, still well short of "half a million".

General Eisenhower, in command of Allied forces in Western Europe, opposed the use of the bomb: Japan was all but defeated and seeking a dignified surrender, so dropping the bomb was "unncessary" and "no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives". General MacArthur, commander in the Pacific, was not consulted about the bomb's use, and called it "completely unnecessary from a military point of view". He, too, regarded the Japanese as already defeated. Admiral Leahy thought even the invasion wouldn't be necessary.

Keen to end the war, the Japanese asked Moscow to negotiate a conditional surrender on their behalf, one in which the emperor would retain his position. Despite a plan approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to offer this compromise, the President insisted on the "unconditional surrender" that had become a slogan popular with the public.

Takaki argues that the real purpose behind dropping the bomb was to demonstrate to Stalin that the US now possessed atomic weapons. Truman was to meet with Stalin and Churchill in Potsdam for negotiations; that meeting was delayed, and work on the Trinity test sped up, so that Truman was able to boast to Stalin of the successful test at the Potsdam meeting. At the same meeting, Secretary of State Byrnes advised the President that exploding an atomic bomb in anger could help to intimidate Russia. This was part of a general strategy of demonstrating US military power to the Soviets (the massive firebombing of Berlin and Dresden, which paved the way for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had earlier been part of the same strategy). Director Groves, leader of the Manhattan Project, similarly understood that "Russia was our enemy, and the Project was conducted on that basis."

IMHO, Takaki makes a powerful case that the most common justification for using the atomic bomb is incorrect. However - to return to the real topic of the original posting - he devotes a chapter to the importance of the "racialization" of the Japanese enemy in the decision to drop the bomb. By the time of the war, anti-Japanese racism had been an ugly part of American culture for decades; with Pearl Harbour, it exploded into a vicious, dehumanising frenzy.

As Takaki points out, in Europe, it was the Nazis who were the enemy, not the Germans, and they were not characterised as subhuman vermin who should be exterminated. I knew a little about the cruelties inflicted by Japanese soldiers - similarly indoctrinated with racial hatred - on their enemies; I didn't know that US soldiers took body parts as trophies. (tbh, this short chapter knocked the breath out of me.) Combining these attitudes with the statements of some military leaders - "For us, THERE ARE NO CIVILIANS IN JAPAN." - makes it easy to believe that, given the choice between nuking Dresden and nuking Hiroshima, the US would have chosen the latter.

Let me end on a couple of points. Firstly, throughout the book, Takaki quotes military leaders, political advisors, and scientists who opposed the use of the bomb (or suggested alternatives, such as a demonstration or use on a strictly military target) not just on strategic grounds but on moral grounds. Thank gods. Secondly, two things about Nagasaki, which was destroyed just two days after the first bomb was used. With Hiroshima utterly destroyed, cutting off all communications, it's possible the Japanese simply didn't have enough time to surrender. And this: Truman didn't know the second bomb was going to be dropped (at least, not so soon); he immediately ordered the military not to drop a third. Blimey!

ETA: Hiroshima atomic bombing did not lead to Japanese surrender, historians argue nearing 70th anniversary (ABC, 5 August 2015)
dreamer_easy: (*feminism)
Why Marketers Fear the Female Geek: "This is what you do in marketing. You do not sell the product, you sell the image of what it means to buy the product. You establish a narrative which says that buying your candy bar makes you awesome, while those who are not buying it (women) are inferior."

Slut-shaming has little to do with sex, study finds: "Surprisingly, women who engaged in less sexual activity were more likely to be publicly labeled a slut than women who engaged in more sexual activity. This finding made little sense until we realized that college women also used the term as a way to police class boundaries."

Sex education needs radical overhaul, say experts

Global study finds one in 14 women victims of non-partner sexual assault

I accompanied someone to the police station to report a sexual assault, and this is what happened: A tale from the US so frustrating you will grind your teeth to a fine calcium powder.

Domestic violence: Victims call for introduction of tougher laws to combat abuse: "The proposed laws are similar to those already in place in the United States, which have been credited with a dramatic increase in reporting of domestic violence and successful prosecutions."

Research group targets end to all-too-common violence against women

Survey highlights violence against intellectually disabled women as National Research Organisation for Women's Safety opens

Domestic violence: Nowhere to turn for migrant women trapped in violent relationships

Domestic violence of epidemic proportions a 'national emergency': campaign groups: "Domestic violence is the leading cause of death and injury in women under 45, with more than one woman murdered by her current or former partner every week."

40 years of Elsie: "the first refuge in Australia to provide urgent assistance to battered wives and children."

The growing problem of family violence in Victoria

Male domestic violence victims need more support


Jul. 4th, 2009 11:39 am
dreamer_easy: (BLUE ROSE)
Amnesty accuses Israel over Gaza. Hamas, too. The Amnesty report is available online: Operation "Cast Lead": 22 days of death and destruction

Israel draws up strategy for PR offensive: "It is not enough for Israel to say that it wants peace. You must also say that you are not a thief. We did not steal another people's land. That is the core of this conflict."

Speaking for myself, I actually don't really care about any of that. All I care about is people blowing up each others' kids, right now. As AI points out, though, both sides use politics and history as their excuse for randomly killing civilians. Either there's something wrong with me or I'm taking a particular philosophical approach that I don't know the name of.

In any case, Israel could pull off a PR coup right now simply by allowing Gazans access to water, sanitation, and medical care.
dreamer_easy: (darkgod)
Why Clinic Violence is Obama's Problem

Op-ed calls for the federal US government to revive the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and revive the National Task Force on Violence against Health Care Providers.

"Even if no national anti-choice group directly ordered [Dr Tiller's murderer] to fire that gun, he is a product of a culture that thrives on systematically threatening reproductive health care providers and women who seek abortions."

ETA: Info on Anti‐Choice Violence and Intimidation in the US, including attacks with firearms, bombs, arson, and chemicals, as well as stalking and hundreds and hundreds of threats. It's clear it would be a huge mistake to regard Tiller's murder as an isolated incident.

Plus! Here's a handy refresher on relevant scripture.
dreamer_easy: (darkgod)
"Dr. Tiller's slaying is the most recent in a string of murders in the service of the anti-abortion cause, and hundreds of people have been injured or threatened because they provide legal abortion services. Bringing the killers to justice is not enough - the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security must root out and prosecute as domestic terrorists and violent racketeers the criminal enterprise that has organized and funded criminal acts for decades. We call on the new attorney general Eric Holder and head of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to treat these murders in the same way they would treat politically-motivated domestic terrorism of any other kind and put the full resources of their two departments behind that effort."
- NOW press release, 1 June 2009 (my emphasis)
dreamer_easy: (BLUE ROSE)
Past time I did an update on Gaza. The fact is, I've bookmarked dozens of links - about the damage done in the recent conflict, the recent Israeli election, etc. Rather than spend all day spamming you with links, what I'd like to do here is focus on the issue that involved me in the first place: war crimes and violations of human rights before, during, and after Operation Cast Lead.

In recent days, Israeli newspapers have published the testimony of IDF soldiers of the wanton killing of non-combatants and other abuses. The UN has also reported evidence of the killing of civilians and their use of human shields, and Physicians for Human Rights Israel has called for an investigation into attacks on medics and denial of emergency medical care during the conflict.

I often see claims that international human rights groups criticise Israel while ignoring abuses by Palestinians. These claims are, well, lies. Amnesty International wants all participants held accountable, as do Human Rights Watch.

All of this is placing pressure on Israel to investigate the behaviour of its troops and officers. Israeli human rights group Yesh Din notes that the soldiers' testimonies were made public, no investigations had been started.

An editorial comment. I'm still new to this issue, but to me, the conflict seems to be powerfully fuelled by an attitude of "We're not talking to you, you're beyond the pale". Parties on all sides uninterested in ending the killing misuse the moral high ground as an excuse to dodge negotiation and compromise. I've got my fingers crossed that the change in the US administration may affect that unwillingness to talk.


Mar. 18th, 2009 04:44 pm
dreamer_easy: (SHE STANDS UP AGAIN)
Big Bad Bully: a Psychology Today article from 1995 explains the basics, focussing on bullying by boys. Hmm, this is interesting: "Bullies, for the most part, are different from you and me. Studies reliably show that they have a distinctive cognitive make-up—a hostile attributional bias, a kind of paranoia. They perpetually attribute hostile intentions to others. The trouble is, they perceive provocation where it does not exist. That comes to justify their aggressive behavior." That certainly fits the indignant "she asked for it" mentality of a lot of ugly behaviour I've seen online.

Everyone Loves a Bully: PT again, 2004. "[Psychologist Jaana] Juvonen thinks that intervention must address a social system that privileges bullies, rather than simply targeting individual perpetrators. 'No matter how you teach bullies to see their world differently, the rewards of the behavior are still there once they step back into the schoolyard,' Juvonen says. Teaching children not to applaud antagonizers by giving them attention can change social expectations and norms. 'Empowering them to intervene in bullying situations would be by far the most effective strategy.'"

Cyberbullying grows bigger and meaner with photos, video "When they put it on the Internet, it's like they took everything and multiplied it by an astronomical number. It's one thing if it's a mean thing that somebody put in my school paper because that's contained within a small area. Only a certain number of people will see that. But when you put it on the Internet, you are opening it up to everyone in the world." It wrecks lives, as Wired magazine details in a report about "the Internet Fury Machine".

Beyond the Schoolyard: stories of cyberbullying in Canada. (David Knight's family are suing the high school which failed to protect him from constant violence. Give 'em hell, mate, on behalf of all of us.)

False rumours spread online by a workmate drive a Korean woman to suicide

UK sites School Bully OnLine and Kidscape have lots of stuff.

Bullying explained for kids aged 6-12

As Good as Your Words?: NYT, 1998. "The studies suggest that when someone says something, good or bad, about someone else, people tend to associate that trait with the person who made the statement. So if someone calls another person dishonest, other people tend to remember the speaker as being less than honest." This presents a bit of a problem for peeps who enjoy ripping others to shreds, especially if they're hoping to make themselves look good.

Finally: I linked to this report last year, but wanted to quote this bit: The Real Scoop on Rumors and Gossip: "It doesn't necessarily matter if gossip is true or not. Its goal is to change and maintain clusters of people, either by shifting around a social structure or spreading ideas about what is normal behavior." (Or, as the Rules of the Internet put it: "Anything you say can and will be used against you. Anything you say can be turned into something else.")

ETA: New Scientist, March 2009: Some schools may be breeding grounds for teen killers: "Shootings appear more likely in schools characterised by a high degree of social stratification and low bonding and attachment between teachers and students. They provide rewards and recognition for only an elite few, and create social dynamics that promote disrespectful behaviour, bullying, and peer harassment." (Thanks for the link, [livejournal.com profile] lillibet!)

ETA: Stonewall UK has facts and figures on Homophobic bullying in schools. 41% of targets were cyberbullied. (You don't have to be queer to be a target; I was "Hey, lemon!" for the last two years of high school. Thanks for the link, [livejournal.com profile] nyssa1968!)
dreamer_easy: (feminist)
Iraqi women suffer 'silent emergency': "Despite the billions of dollars poured into rebuilding Iraq and recent security gains, a quarter of the women interviewed still do not have daily access to water, a third cannot send their children to school and since the war started, over half have been the victim of violence."

Aussies urged to stop domestic violence

All jokes aside, it's a disgrace; "But after 30 years of campaigning, little seems to have changed. Recent Bureau of Statistics figures show that in 30 years there has been a minuscule 1.5 per cent decrease in violence against women in Australia."

Physical Violence (including Sexual Violence) in Australia from the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Child abuse needs own watchdog: "Currently just five to 10 per cent of child sex abuse cases which proceed to court result in a plea or verdict, and only half of those result in a conviction".

Gender-based violence high in Papua New Guinea

Legal threat to UK councils over rape victims: "Research reveals that one in four local authorities in Britain offer no specialised services for women who have faced violence or abuse, and shows that a quarter of those rape crisis centres that are still operating believe they will either have to close or radically cut services in 2009."

All right. Now some hope.

NSW courts shift protects violence victims

Family murders under review: "All domestic violence homicides that occurred over the past five years are set to be reviewed by a new body announced by the NSW Government late yesterday."

Queensland to tackle domestic violence: "The Queensland government will launch a new domestic and family violence prevention strategy likely to see perpetrators rather than victims ousted from their homes."

International Campaign Against Honour Killings

St James Infirmary in San Francisco and AIM Healthcare in Los Angeles teach sex workers how to protect themselves and provide medical care.
dreamer_easy: (BLUE ROSE)
Would it be reasonable to say that the mechanics of Israel's electoral system are a major obstruction to the peace process? If I'm understanding correctly what I'm reading in the press, the blunt proportional representation hands power to the fringes. It's a bit like those annoying situations in Australia where a single independent is suddenly calling the shots, just because they have the tie-breaking vote. Might Israelis, and the region, be better off with (for example) a bicameral system, or at any rate, some kind of electoral reform?

An email doing the rounds has a crafty Benjamin Netanyahu pwning a British interviewer on the topic of proportionality by bringing up the bombing of Dresden. Snopes describes it as "partly true", producing interviews from 2006 in which Netanyahu has indeed had an attack of tu quoque. Dresden seems like an odd example to bring up; for Britons, it's long been a subject of regret and controversy, and some commentators have branded it a war crime.

ETA: On the subject of Snopes: the claim that Obama has set aside millions to resettle hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the US is a lie.
dreamer_easy: (sorrow)
Why do people deliberately set bushfires? The arsonist's mind, a 2006 collection of reports from the Australian Institute of Criminology, describes what's known about their motives and psychology.


Jan. 27th, 2009 06:22 pm
dreamer_easy: (BLUE ROSE)
Right then - now that I am suitably cushioned by alcohol, let's see where we're up to in the Middle East. (You guys have given me lots of links and thinks - I'll come back to them.)

At a Flash Point in Gaza, A Family's Deadly Ordeal - a report from today's Washington Post considers the legality of Israel's actions during Operation Cast Lead.

A thought-provoking opinion piece from an Israeli peace activist: Israel Must Stop Fanning the Flames That Will Consume Us. Makes a very interesting connection with the 2006 war with Lebanon. And also points out: "Israel, which is many times stronger than they [Palestinians] are, has tremendous power to control the level of violence in the conflict as a whole. As such, it can also have a profound influence on calming the conflict and extricating both sides from its cycle of destruction."

Hamas tried to hijack ambulances during Gaza war. This is worth reading just for the awesome bottle of the Red Crescent ambulance driver, caught between Hamas thugs and Israeli snipers. Also gives a general picture of the mess, including Hamas' retaliation against alleged collaborators, its slipping popularity, and the forthcoming Israeli election. The BBC has more on Hamas' loss of support. (Or is this just wishful thinking?)

Hamas claims it's still smuggling in weapons. Certainly the tunnels were open for business as soon as the killing stopped.

Meanwhile, politics complicates efforts to rebuild.

A former European Commissioner suggests some ways forward - include Hamas and also nearby countries in talks; complete the withdrawal of settlements from the West Bank.

Obama's administration intend to "actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace".

I'd like to close on a bleakly humorous note with a Guardian columnist's suggestion that the BBC's refusal to screen a charity appeal for Gaza from the Disasters Emergency Committee, is timidity resulting from the Jonathan Ross - Russell Brand fuckup.
dreamer_easy: (BLUE ROSE)
The thing I want to find out is what Israel's other options are. Everything they're doing right now seems, to my admittedly underinformed eyes, to be counterproductive - at least, if the goal is peace, 'cos that's not always what politicians are trying to accomplish. I want to find out what alternative strategies Israel could use - military tactics, political initiatives, anything which might actually work.


Jan. 23rd, 2009 09:20 am
dreamer_easy: (BLUE ROSE)
Obama urges Israel open Gaza crossings to aid

Under the border with Egypt, Gaza's smugglers return to work.

(tbh I'm not clear on why Israel blockaded Gaza in the first place, nor why it has maintained the blockade. As a military tactic, it's an obvious flop.)

UN fears 'systematic war crimes' during Gaza offensive

Shooting and shelling go on in Gaza, ceasefire or not. "We are a strong people. We are still alive, but nothing has changed. We are still shooting at them and they are still shooting at us. The borders are still closed, and we cannot leave. I think we will go on like this for ever." :(


Jan. 22nd, 2009 03:01 pm
dreamer_easy: (BLUE ROSE)
Israel has completed its withdrawal from Gaza.

Israel admits troops may have used phosphorus shells in Gaza

A Guardian opinion piece considers the legality of Israel's recent actions, which may be tested in the International Criminal Court.


dreamer_easy: (Default)

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