Un léxico de la desilusión - Por Naomi Klein* , La Jornada, mayo 9 2009 - No todo marcha bien en la tierra de fans de Barack Obama. No queda claro exactamente a qué se debe el cambio de humor. Quizá sea el rancio olor que emana el último rescate bancario realizado por el Tesoro. O la noticia de que el principal consejero económico del presidente estadunidense, Larry Summers, ganó millones de dólares de los bancos y los fondos de cobertura que ahora protege de la re-regulación. O quizá comenzó antes, con el silencio de Obama durante el ataque de Israel a la franja de Gaza.
Lo que sea que haya sido la gota que derramó el vaso, un creciente número de entusiastas de Obama comienza a pensar en la posibilidad de que su hombre no va a salvar al mundo con el solo hecho de que todos nosotros estemos muy esperanzados.
* Es autora de La doctrina del shock.
English version: http://naomiklein.org
En lo que va de 2009, 23 mujeres asesinadas, según informe
Octavio Vélez Ascencio, corresponsal para La Jornada , Oaxaca, Oax., 9 de mayo. Cientos de integrantes de la sección 22 del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE) y simpatizantes de la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca (APPO), así como integrantes de organismos civiles, participaron en la Primera Marcha contra la Violencia, la Persecución Política, la Desaparición Forzada y el Feminicidio, que se efectuó por las principales calles de la ciudad.
En un mitin efectuado en el zócalo, frente al antiguo palacio de gobierno, Yésica Sánchez Maya, representante del Consorcio para el Diálogo Parlamentario y la Equidad de Género, dijo que en lo que va de 2009 han sido victimadas 23 mujeres, tres de ellas esta semana, con lo que se superan las cifras registradas en los cinco primeros meses de años anteriores
Exigen ante la Suprema Corte la presentación de desaparecidos
Emir Olivares Alonso, La Jornada, mayo 10, 2009 - Por más de tres décadas han alzado la voz con la misma exigencia: Desaparecidos, presentación y Vivos se los llevaron, vivos los queremos.
Familiares de víctimas de desaparición forzada, que integran el Comité Eureka y la organización Hijos por la Identidad y la Justicia contra el Olvido y el Silencio (HIJOS), se manifestaron por octava ocasión, como cada primer sábado de mes desde octubre pasado (esta vez el segundo, por la contiingencia sanitaria), en la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN), para exigir castigo a los responsables de esos delitos de lesa humanidad.
Por primera vez inmigrantes tendrían una representante latina en Estrasburgo “Llevaremos la voz de los inmigrantes al Parlamento Europeo”
Por Angela Roig Pinto, para Mujer Latina - Los inmigrantes son el 5% de la población italiana, empresarios crecientes al ritmo del 12%, generadores del 14% de puestos de trabajo y partícipes de la creación del Producto Bruto Interno de Italia en el orden del 9% (estimado de la UnionCamere), sin embargo la condición de inmigrantes es todavía una traba contra su desarrollo, debido a la carencia de políticas migratorias que garanticen la multietnicidad y la verdadera integración en Europa.
“Llevar la voz de los inmigrantes al Parlamento Europeo” es precisamente la propuesta de Norma Pittman, la primera latinoamericana que representaría a los inmigrantes ante el principal ente legislativo de la Unión Europea, en las elecciones programadas para este 6 y 7 de junio.
Por Sara Lovera (1.943 palabras/9.697 caracteres) - Al cumplirse 16 días desde que, el 25 de abril, se decretó la emergencia sanitaria en México y el mundo por lo que ya se siente como la aparición de una nueva pandemia que cambiará el entorno y el estilo de vida, la epidemia por el virus A(H1N1), influenza humana, no cede. La epidemia en fase alta, según especialistas, puede durar ocho semanas, con una posibilidad de afectar al 25 por ciento de la población. No obstante, ahora se pretende levantar la emergencia y calmar la posibilidad de una histeria colectiva. El mal podría afectar hasta unos 30 millones de personas y podrían continuar los decesos que, en cinco días, se elevaron hasta 250 por ciento, al pasar de nueve reconocidos a más de 50 y los contagios, de acuerdo con las cifras oficiales, pasaron de 260 a más de 1.500. El perfil de personas afectadas y en riesgo cambió todo lo que antecedió a la influenza, desde la época medieval: víctimas principales, las personas de 20 a 40 años, mayoritariamente mujeres. De los 50 decesos, murieron 10 amas de casa que, por su condición social y su vida para otros, llegaron tarde al hospital.
Aprender a convivir con el virus A (H1N1) - Por Alba Trejo (795 palabras/4.053 caracteres) - Convivir con el virus. Ese es el mensaje que el ministro de Salud guatemalteco, Celso Cerezo, envió a los y las guatemaltecas, ante la inminente llegada de la influenza A(H1N1) a este país centroamericano, donde ya fueron detectados, hasta el viernes pasado, los primeros tres casos ocurridos en mujeres. Una niña de 11 años de edad, una adolescente de 16 y una mujer de 22 son las contagiadas con la también denominada gripe porcina. Dos de las tres guatemaltecas son controladas por las autoridades de salud en sus viviendas, mientras la infante ya fue dada de alta del hospital público. Cerezo, designado como el único portavoz para informar todo lo relacionado con la influenza y así evitar desinformación y pánico entre los habitantes, indicó que se deben seguir las normas de higiene como cuando se detectó la enfermedad del rotavirus o el cólera, aunque, en este caso, se sugiere evitar el contacto físico. Guatemala ha atravesado por dos situaciones emergentes provocadas por enfermedades infectocontagiosas.
Desplazamiento, crimen contra las mujeres - Por Sara Lovera (1.346 palabras/7.073 caracteres) - Como verdaderas actoras de cambio, mujeres víctimas de horrendos crímenes en Colombia se levantaron y organizaron desde hace 12 años. Sin que la guerra haya cesado, exigen solución jurídica y civil a múltiples agravios, piden al gobierno la aplicación de leyes especiales y diálogo para la paz. Con su testimonio y sus recuerdos, abrieron 144 causas judiciales documentadas como prueba y exigen verdad, justicia y restitución inmediata a sus derechos y a su integridad. Son mujeres del pueblo, que aprendieron a hablar con un nuevo lenguaje. Del dolor han sacado fuerza para construir nuevos espacios de convivencia. Así crearon en un paraje, a 40 kilómetros de Cartagena, La Ciudad de las Mujeres, con viviendas construidas a pulso, pintadas con colores vivos, cimentadas en la esperanza y el anhelo.
Modelaje, imán poderoso para las jóvenes - Por Zoraida Portillo (1.580 palabras/8.034 caracteres) - El ambiente es glamoroso. Las cámaras de filmación van y vienen, no necesariamente pertenecen a algún canal de televisión pero dan esa impresión. Hay gritos, correrías. La adrenalina se siente en el ambiente. De pronto, silencio. Una sola luz al fondo iluminando a una mujer apenas salida de la infancia, con minifalda ceñida, blusa coqueta, zapatos de marca y mirada en lontananza, como le han enseñado en la escuela de modelaje. Ella avanza midiendo cuidadosamente cada paso. No necesita mirar a nadie para sentirse objeto del deseo de los hombres y de la envidia de las mujeres. "Esa sensación no la puedo describir... siento que floto, pero al mismo tiempo tengo los pies bien puestos sobre la pasarela para no tropezar. Saber que todos me miran me hace feliz. Definitivamente a esto quiero dedicarme el resto de mi vida", cuenta a SEMlac, con pasión, María Fernanda, con 15 años y diríase que modelo consumada, porque desde los tres años participa en comerciales.
Por lenguaje no sexista en entidades públicas de Bogotá - Por Ángela Castellanos Aranguren (869 palabras/4.481 caracteres) - Por primera vez cursa en un órgano legislativo, en Colombia, un proyecto sobre lenguaje no sexista. El Concejo de Bogotá -instancia legislativa de la capital colombiana- aprobó, en primer debate, el proyecto que insta a usar el lenguaje no sexista con perspectiva de género. El proyecto, según su texto, tiene "el fin de agenciar transformaciones en la cultura lingüística de las ciudadanas y ciudadanos de Bogotá y luchar frente a la discriminación histórica de las mujeres, en los distintos ámbitos de la vida social, a través de la visibilización de las mujeres y de los hombres en los términos de igualdad formal y material que establece la Constitución Nacional". La iniciativa, que consta de tres artículos, ordena que en todos los actos públicos, medios de comunicación de las entidades oficiales y documentos oficiales de los organismos públicos de Bogotá se haga uso del "lenguaje con perspectiva de género".
Mujeres policías ascienden en escalafón -Por Zoraida Portillo (339 palabras/1.866 caracteres) - Las mujeres policías del Perú se abren paso paulatinamente dentro de la jerarquía de su institución y, por primera vez, han logrado que cuatro de ellas sean ascendidas al grado de Mayor. Ello ocurrió el pasado 4 de mayo y, de inmediato, tres asumieron el mando de igual número de comisarías de servicios policiales básicos en la capital peruana. La cuarta fue destinada a la comisaría de mujeres, también en Lima. Anteriormente, las oficiales mujeres sólo dirigían comisarías femeninas. En las comisarías de servicios policiales básicos, las oficiales atenderán no sólo temas familiares o femeninos -como sucedía antes- sino que se responsabilizarán de investigaciones sobre tráfico de drogas, secuestros y todo tipo de delitos. La ministra del interior, Mercedes Cabanillas, no ocultó su entusiasmo por las nuevas funciones que asumirán las mujeres policías. Subrayó que ellas se ganaron el ascenso por sus propios méritos y competencias "y sin deberle favores a nadie".
La población vuelve a decrecer Por Dixie Edith (510 palabras/2.571caracteres) - La población cubana disminuyó en 2008 por tercer año consecutivo a causa de un aumento de los fallecimientos y las migraciones, pese a que las cifras oficiales registran una ligera recuperación de los nacimientos. El número de habitantes se redujo en casi 700 el pasado año, para totalizar 11 millones 236.099 personas al cierre de diciembre, según cifras del Centro de Estudios de Población y Desarrollo (CEPDE), de la Oficina Nacional de Estadísticas (ONE). Durante el año, sin embargo, se registraron unos 10.000 nacimientos más que en 2007 y se constató una ligera recuperación de ese indicador, calculado en alrededor de 10,9 por cada mil habitantes. En consecuencia, hubo "una recuperación de la Tasa Global de Fecundidad (TGB, número de hijos por mujer) de 1,43 por cada mil en 2007, y de hasta 1,59 en 2008, cifra que resulta significativa para el análisis de la coyuntura demográfica que vive la isla", aseveró Juan Carlos Alfonso Fraga, director del CEPDE.
The Double X vs. Jezebel hubbub proves there's life in the f-word yet. - by Rebecca Traister for Salon.com, May. 13, 2009 | For what it's worth, I think the whole Double X-Jezebel battle is pretty great. I could not be more pleased that there is an argument between multiple female writers of multiple ages and experiences and multiple platforms all arguing about what feminism means. This is what it means. It's a backlash-y myth that second-wave feminism was ever some monolith, hairy-armpitted women marching in lockstep with like-thinking hairy-armpitted women.
What feminism was (at its best) was a brash and often sharply worded conversation between strong-minded, powerful, ambitious and engaged women, all of whom were interested in setting their teeth in a subject and not letting go. Second-wave feminists were vociferously divided when it came to issues like sexuality, pornography and radicalism. Those differences were really useful, even when outliers were at their most radical and uncooperative, because hot-headed arguments about hot subjects broke down doors and guided conversation and politics in new directions.
Second-wave feminism was, at its worst, an exclusive club that failed to take into account the differing perspectives, priorities and experiences of women of different classes, colors and sexual orientations.
Houston pulls a Palin – by Abigail Kramer, for Salon.com, May 11, 2009 - A big thank you to the criminal justice establishment of Houston for giving victims one more reason not to report rape. Along with the long-established odds of being ignored, disbelieved, humiliated, re-traumatized and possibly incarcerated, a local news channel reports that Houston rape victims are being billed for the investigation of their own assaults.
The news story was triggered by the case of a woman whose rapist had been convicted, in part because she participated in forensic evidence collection at a local hospital immediately after her assault. Officers assured her she wouldn't have to pay for the procedure (you know, kind of like the way a burglary victim doesn't pay police to fingerprint the scene of the crime) yet she received a bill -- marked delinquent -- for nearly $2000.
Mother's Day for Peace: A Dramatic Reading of Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation
Ahead of Mother's Day, we play an excerpt of Robert Greenwald's short film Mother's Day for Peace. It features a dramatic reading of Julia Ward Howe's "Mother's Day Proclamation" by Felicity Huffman, Christine Lahti, Fatma Saleh, Ashraf Salimian, Vanessa Williams and Alfre Woodard.
Author Susan Galleymore on "Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War and Terror"
Author Susan Galleymore's son served in Iraq and Afghanistan. For her latest book, Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War and Terror, Galleymore traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, the US, and Israel and the Occupied Territories to interview other mothers about war and its consequences.
Ex-Soldier Could Face Death Over Iraq Murders, Rape - by Sami al-Jumaili and Habib al-Zubaidy, Published on Friday, May 8, 2009 by Reuters -Mahmudiya, Iraq - Relatives of an Iraqi girl who was raped and killed along with her family by a U.S. soldier urged that he be given the death penalty on Friday.
Private 1st Class Steven Green was convicted in a Kentucky court on Thursday of raping Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi, 14, and killing her and her family in Mahmudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, in 2006. He faces a possible death sentence.
Backlash: Women Bullying Women at Work - By Mickey Meece for The New York Times, May 10, 2009- Yelling, scheming and sabotaging: all are tell-tale signs that a bully is at work, laying traps for employees at every pass.
During this downturn, as stress levels rise, workplace researchers say, bullies are likely to sharpen their elbows and ratchet up their attacks.
It’s probably no surprise that most of these bullies are men, as a survey by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group, makes clear. But a good 40 percent of bullies are women. And at least the male bullies take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure. The women appear to prefer their own kind, choosing other women as targets more than 70 percent of the time.
In the name of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, what is going on here?
Some of my worst frenemies are women! - by Amy Benfer for Salon.com, May 11, 200 - This weekend the New York Times ran a story that could be summed up thusly: Women are sometimes mean to each other. Even at work! This seemed so unsurprising to me that I had to look at it a few times to even figure out why this was news. (Why, some of my worst frenemies are women!) Apparently it is news -- this morning it was the newpaper’s No. 1 most e-mailed story of the day (no doubt aided by fiendishly undermining underlings who felt compelled to anonymously flood the in boxes of their dragon-lady bosses).
Roxana Saberi's plight and American media propaganda- by Glenn Greenwald for Salon. Com, May 11, 2009 - (updated below -UpdateII - Update III) - An Iranian appeals court this morning announced that it was reducing the sentence and ordering the immediate release of Iranian-American journalistRoxana Saberi, who was convicted by an Iranian court last month of spying for theU.S. and sentenced to eight years in prison.Saberi's imprisonment in January became a cause célèbre amongAmerican journalists, who -- along with theU.S. Government -- rallied to demand her release. Within minutes of the announcement, several of them -- including ABCNews' JakeTapper, Time's Karen Tumulty, TheAtlantic's MarcAmbinder -- posted celebratory notices of Saberi's release.
Bloomberg Is Deposed in Discrimination Suit - By David W. Chen for The New York Times, May 14, 2009 - The federal government on Thursday morning began deposing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in connection with a discrimination lawsuit against the eponymous financial services and media giant he founded.
The deposition began at 9 a.m. in Manhattan, and was expected to last several hours, according to lawyers involved in the case, which was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Mr. Bloomberg’s participation represents the most dramatic moment yet in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of more than 80 female employees who argue that Bloomberg L.P. engaged in a pattern of discrimination against pregnant women who took maternity leave.
Women’s Commission Member Resigns Under Fire - By Fernanda Santos, for the New York Times, May 5, 2009 - Updated, 4:35 p.m. | A marketing consultant who was appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to the New York City Commission on Women’s Issues and came under fire after making disparaging comments about Mexico in an online article for The Huffington Post has resigned from the commission.
The appointee, Betsy F. Perry, announced her resignation on Monday, in a letter to the city’s first deputy mayor, Patricia E. Harris. The resignation from the unpaid, voluntary position became effective immediately, a spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg said.
City Hall released excerpts of the letter, which read as follows:
Rather than become a distraction to Mayor Bloomberg, I think it best if I resign from the Women’s Commission.
GAY AND LESBIAN RIGTHS
Ex-Archbishop Speaks About Catholic Church and Homosexuality - By Laurie Goodstein for The New York Times, May 15, 2009 - In spring 2002, as the scandal over sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests was escalating, the long career of Archbishop Rembert G. Weakland of Milwaukee, one of the church’s most venerable voices for change, went up in flames one May morning.
On the ABC program “Good Morning America,” the archbishop watched a man he had fallen in love with 23 years earlier say in an interview that the Milwaukee archdiocese had paid him $450,000 years before to keep quiet about his affair with the archbishop — an affair the man was now calling date rape.
Arabic-speaking gay linguist dismissed from army due to 'don't ask, don't tell': During the presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) said that if elected, he would repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy, which bars openly gay men and women from serving in the armed forces. Obama argued, "We're spending large sums of money to kick highly qualified gays or lesbians out of our military, some of whom possess specialties like Arab-language capabilities that we desperately need." But the Obama administration has resisted moving to repeal the policy, with Defense Secretary of Defense Robert Gates saying he hoped to "push that one down the road a little bit." Now the first Arabic linguist is being dismissed from the military under Obama's watch. "Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and officer in the Army National Guard who is fluent in Arabic and who returned recently from Iraq, received notice today that the military is about to fire him. Why? Because he came out of the closet as a gay man on national television,"University of California political science professor Aaron Belkin wrote yesterday. In a handwritten letter to Sandy Tsao, another soldier dismissed for being openly gay, Obama wrote that he is "committed to changing our current policy" but that "it will take some time to complete (partly because it needs Congressional action)." According to Belkin, a soon-to-be-released study by a group of experts in military law will show that "President Obama does, in fact, have stroke-of-the-pen authority to suspend gay discharges."
Time To Repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell (From The Progress Report ) - During his campaign for the White House, President Obama pledged that he would push to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) -- the military's policy that bars gay men and women from serving openly. Since taking office, however, Obama and other officials serving in his administration have pushed the issue to the back burner. When asked about addressing DADT in March, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "I feel like we've got a lot on our plates right now and let's push that one down the road a little bit." Ret. Gen. Jim Jones, Obama's national security adviser, told the President recently "not to add another controversy to his already-full plate." On ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopolous asked Jones if the policy would be overturned. "I don't know," he replied. In fact, the White House website recently watered down language on repealing the policy, replacing the administration's commitment to "repealing" DADT with a commitment to simply "changing Don't Ask Don't Tell in a sensible way." (The more definitive "repeal" language has since been reinserted.) At the same time, Obama has indicated that he remains committed to repealing the policy. Sandy Tsao, an Army officer who told her superiors last January that she is gay, wrote to Obama urging him to act on repealing DADT. Last week, Obama personally responded to Tsao, writing, "I committed to changing our current policy. Although it will take some time to complete. ... I intend to fulfill my commitment!"
DADT still claiming casualties: DADT continues to weaken our nation's military. Last week, the Army sent National Guard Lt. Daniel Choi -- a West Point graduate who served in Iraq and is fluent in Arabic -- a letter informing him that he is no longer welcome in the U.S. military because he is gay. The Army said it was dismissing Choi for "moral or professional dereliction," specifically for admitting "publicly that you are a homosexual, which constitutes homosexual conduct. Your actions negatively affected the good order and discipline of the New York Army National Guard." Choi is one of more than 13,000 U.S. military personnel to be discharged because of DADT. This number includes those with special skills deemed "mission critical," such as pilots, combat engineers, and linguists like Choi. The Government Accountability Office found in 2005 that the cost of discharging and replacing servicemembers fired because of their sexual orientation during the policy's first 10 years totaled at least $190.5 million -- roughly $20,000 per discharged service member. While DADT cannot be repealed without congressional action, University of California associate professor Aaron Belkin notes that as president, Obama has the authority to suspend enforcement of the policy. Though it is unclear whether Obama will take this route (especially based on Jones's advice), Choi said on MSNBC last week that he plans to "fully fight" his dismissal "tooth and nail." "I believe that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is wrong, and what we really need to be encouraging soldiers to do is to don't lie, don't hide, don't discriminate, and don't weaken the military. That's what we need to be promoting," he said.
Repeal DADT: Supporters of the discriminatory DADT often argue that repealing it would weaken the military (despite the fact that Arabic-linguists who are in short supply have been discharged because of it) and fragment unit cohesion. However, a bipartisan study commissioned by the Palm Center at the University of California last year found that "the presence of gays in the military is unlikely to undermine the ability to fight and win." Choi said that "the biggest thing" he is "angry about" is that the Army claims that his unit suffered "good order and discipline" because he is gay. "That's a big insult to my unit," he said. After he came out as gay and before he was discharged, Choi said that "so many people came up to me, my peers, my subordinates, people that outranked me, folks that have been in the Army -- and this is an infantry unit, infantry men that -- coming up to me and saying, 'Hey, sir, hey, Lieutenant Choi, we know, and we don't care. What we care about is that you can contribute to the team.'" Indeed, a December 2006 survey of servicemembers who had served in Iraq or Afghanistan found that 73 percent of those polled were "comfortable with lesbians and gays." Moreover, the American public doesn't care either. According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, nearly two-thirds disagreed with the argument that "allowing openly gay men and women to serve in the military would be divisive for the troops and hurt their ability to fight effectively." Ret. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Hugh Aitken, who participated in the Palm Center's study, has criticized Obama's plans to allow the Pentagon to review the policy before deciding to act on any repeal. "There's been enough studying throughout the years," he said. "Creating a new study will not change the facts."
Right wing still opposes a repeal: The ultra-conservative Center for Military Readiness (CMR), a group that opposes women and gays serving in combat, is leading an effort against repealing DADT and even trying to block gays from serving in the military altogether. The group's president, Elaine Donnelly, told Congress last year that having gays serve in the military "sexualizes the atmosphere" because they "engage in passive aggressive behavior." CMR also tries to muddy the waters with "gay horror stories" from the military, despite having acknowledged that such stories are "very difficult to find." Prominent members of Congress continue to obstruct as well. When asked about DADT last Sunday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) offered his support for it. "Right now the military is functioning extremely well in very difficult conditions," he said, adding that "the policy has been working and I think it's been working well." Other members of Congress, such as Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), disagree. Sestak, himself a retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, said of DADT recently on MSNBC, "We have to correct this. It's just not right." "I can remember being out there in command, and someone would come up to you and start to tell you -- and you just want to say, no, I don't want to lose you, you're too good," Sestak said.
Is My Marriage Gay? - By Jennifer Finney Boylan for The New York Times, Belgrade Lakes, Me., May 12, 2009 -As many Americans know, last week Gov. John Baldacci of Maine signed a law that made this state the fifth in the nation to legalize gay marriage. It’s worth pointing out, however, that there were some legal same-sex marriages in Maine already, just as there probably are in all 50 states. These are marriages in which at least one member of the couple has changed genders since the wedding.
I’m in such a marriage myself and, quite frankly, my spouse and I forget most of the time that there is anything particularly unique about our family, even if we are — what is the phrase? — “differently married.”
Deirdre Finney and I were wed in 1988 at the National Cathedral in Washington. In 2000, I started the long and complex process of changing from male to female. Deedie stood by me, deciding that her life was better with me than without me. Maybe she was crazy for doing so; lots of people have generously offered her this unsolicited opinion over the years. But what she would tell you, were you to ask, is that the things that she loved in me have mostly remained the same, and that our marriage, in the end, is about a lot more than what genders we are, or were.
CIVIL RIGHTS AND IMMIGRATION
Mexican Data Say Migration to U.S. Has Plummeted - By Julia Preston for The New York Times, May 15, 2009 - Mexicali, Mexico — Census data from the Mexican government indicate an extraordinary decline in the number of Mexican immigrants going to the United States.
The recently released data show that about 226,000 fewer people emigrated from Mexico to other countries during the year that ended in August 2008 than during the previous year, a decline of 25 percent. All but a very small fraction of emigration, both legal and illegal, from Mexico is to the United States.
Because of surging immigration, the Mexican-born population in the United States has grown steeply year after year since the early 1990s, dipping briefly only after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, census data in both countries show.
Afghan Villagers Describe Chaos of U.S. Strikes - By Carlotta Gall and Taimoor Shah , for The New York Times, May 15, 2009 - Farah, Afghanistan — The number of civilians killed by the American airstrikes in Farah Province last week may never be fully known. But villagers, including two girls recovering from burn wounds, described devastation that officials and human rights workers are calling the worst episode of civilian casualties in eight years of war in Afghanistan.
“We were very nervous and afraid and my mother said, ‘Come quickly, we will go somewhere and we will be safe,’ ” said Tillah, 12, recounting from a hospital bed how women and children fled the bombing by taking refuge in a large compound, which was then hit.
The bombs were so powerful that people were ripped to shreds. Survivors said they collected only pieces of bodies. Several villagers said that they could not distinguish all of the dead and that they never found some of their relatives.
Accusations Flying In Interrogation Battle
Pelosi Says CIA Misled Congress on Methods - By Paul Kane for Washington Post, Friday, May 15, 2009 - The debate over the tactics used by the Bush administration to combat terrorism continued to grip Washington yesterday, as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill lobbed accusations about controversial interrogation methods used on suspects.
The battle among lawmakers over who knew what, and when, coupled with the CIA's assertion that it had fully informed congressional leaders about classified matters, made it all but certain that the debate will drag into the summer, when the Obama administration hoped to have Congress's full attention focused on its ambitious legislative agenda.
CIA officials found themselves caught in the middle as both sides pressed for the release of documents that they argued would bolster their arguments.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) yesterday charged the CIA with knowingly misleading members of Congress about the interrogation practices, even as she acknowledged for the first time that she learned six years ago that waterboarding was being used on detainees.
Former FBI Interrogator, Ex-State Dept. Counselor Criticize Torture Memos at Senate Panel Hearing *- The Senate Judiciary Committee held the first congressional hearing on prisoner interrogation Wednesday since the release of Bush administration memos authorizing torture. Former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan called the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques "slow, ineffective, unreliable and harmful," while former State Department counsel Philip Zelikow said he was told to destroy a memo he wrote criticizing the torture's authorization.
Human Rights Investigator, Attorney John Sifton: Torture Investigation Should Focus on Estimated 100 Prisoner Deaths * We get reaction to the Senate hearing on torture from private investigator and attorney John Sifton, executive director of One World Research, which carries out research for law firms and human rights groups. Sifton has conducted extensive investigations into the CIA interrogation and detention program. He says any investigation of Bush administration torture and rendition should include an estimated 100 homicides of prisoners in US custody.
Once Behind-the-Scenes, Cheney Grabs Public Spotlight to Defend Torture Under His Watch *
Known for his rare public appearances while in office, former Vice President Dick Cheney has taken to the airwaves in recent months to defend the Bush administration's torture of foreign prisoners. Earlier this week, Cheney denied that the enhanced interrogation techniques amounted to torture and insisted that they produced actionable intelligence. He also suggested that he could be willing to testify under oath in Congress.
Feingold says Cheney is wrong, 'nothing i have seen' in CIA memos proves torture was necessary – From The Progress Report: Vice President Cheney has spent the past few weeks on a media blitz defending the Bush administration's authorization of torture. During his media appearances, Cheney repeatedly points to two currently classified CIA memos that he says "showed the success of the effort." During a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing yesterday on Bush's torture regime, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) declared that nothing in those memos suggests that torture was the most effective way to gain information. "Nothing I have seen -- including the two documents to which former Vice President Cheney has repeatedly referred -- indicates that the torture techniques authorized by the last administration were necessary, or that they were the best way to get information out of detainees. The former vice president is misleading the American people when he says otherwise," Feingold said. Also during the hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) echoed Cheney's defense of torture, saying that "one of the reasons these techniques have survived for about 500 years is apparently they work."
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero was sharply critical of President Obama's decision not to release photos of detainee abuse. "He said officials had described them as 'worse than Abu Ghraib' and said their volume, more than 2,000 images, showed that 'it is no longer tenable to blame abuse on a few bad apples. These were policies set at the highest level.'"
Pentagon records show that "[m]ore soldiers have been unavailable for combat in the past year because of wounds or injuries than at any time since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, shrinking the pool of soldiers ready for deployment to those conflicts." The Army "is counting on plans to draw down forces from Iraq to ease this situation."
Naomi Klein Calls for "Law and Order" for Torturers - This past Friday, Naomi participated in a panel discussion with Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi, author Reza Aslan, and Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane on Real Time with Bill Maher. They debated torture trials and the prosecution of torturers. Naomi said, "I think the reason why you have the trial, why you have congressional hearings, is actually to try to convince the whole nation why torture is wrong, why it is immoral, why this is such a dangerous road to go down...This is where we draw the dividing line between right/wrong, legal/illegal. And we need to redraw it." Watch the clip.
ON THE FLU
The A H1N1 Pandemic: Pig to Human Transmission of the Swine Flu? - By Michel Chossudovsky for Global Research, May 15, 2009 - The initial outbreak of the H1N1 swine virus is said to have occurred in Mexico. The emphasis, at the political level, has been on tracking the spread of the Mexican swine flu virus as well controlling and monitoring the movement of people in and out of Mexico. A global campaign of fear and insecurity was unleashed following the WHO April 28 announcement of a phase pandemic. The decision of the WHO, which was taken after consultations with Washington and Brussels, was based on unconfirmed and incomplete data regarding the spread of the swine flu and the numbers of cases.
What proves that Mexico was the epicentre of the WHO's global swine flu pandemic?
There are several important issues underlying this question: