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An Iranian woman in Brussels protesting the inhumane practice of death by stoning. Photograph: Thierry Roge/Reuters

I just signed this AVAAZ.org petitition…

Last week a massive global outcry stopped an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, from being stoned to death.  But Sakineh still faces hanging, and today, fifteen more people await execution by stoning — people are buried up to their necks and large rocks are hurled at their heads.

Sakineh’s brave children’s international campaign shows that worldwide condemnation works. Let’s turn this family’s desperate appeal into a movement that ends stoning for good – sign the petition and send to everyone.

You will send this message to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the leaders of Iran:

We call on you to finally put an end to capital punishment by stoning and to reverse the unjust judgment in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

Stop stoning, save Sakineh!

15 people are on death row awaiting death by stoning in Iran, but yesterday a woman was saved from this brutal killing by a massive international campaign. Global voices of condemnation saved her from stoning. Now I just signed an urgent petition to the Iranian government to put an end this sickening brutality once and for all and I thought you would want to join me.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

The partial reprieve of Sakineh, triggered by the call from her children for international pressure to save her life, has shown that if enough of us come together and voice our horror, we may be able to save her life, and stop stoning once and for all. Sign the urgent petition now and send it onto everyone you know — let’s end this cruel slaughter NOW!

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

Sakineh was convicted of adultery, like all the other 12 women and one of the men awaiting stoning. But her children and lawyer say she is innocent and that she did not get a fair trial — they state her confession was forced from her and, speaking only Azerbaijani, she did not understand what was being asked of her in court.

Despite Iran’s signing of a UN convention that requires the death penalty only be used for the “most serious crimes” and despite the Iranian Parliament passing a law banning stoning last year, stoning for adultery continues.

Sakineh’s lawyer says the Iranian government “is afraid of Iranian public reaction and international attention” to the stoning cases. And after Turkey and Britain’s Foreign Ministers spoke out against Sakineh’s sentence, it was suspended.

Sakineh’s brave children are leading the international campaign to save their mother and stop stoning. Massive international condemnation now could finally stop this sickening punishment. Let’s join together today across the world to end this brutality. Sign the petition to save Sakineh and end stoning here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stop_stoning/98.php?CLICKTF

In hope and determination,

Alice, David, Milena, Ben and the whole Avaaz team

SOURCES:

Iranians still facing death by stoning despite ‘reprieve’, The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/08/iran-death-stoning-adultery

Britain condemns planned Iran stoning as ‘medieval’, AFP:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hjVdkvkzicGeInqw2R10rCKrqs3A

The more people join this campaign, the more powerful our call will be to save her life — please tell everyone YOU CAN.

536,222 have signed the petition at the time I did. Help get to number to 600,000.

Sign here.

-Cara

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Life is better than good.

-Cara

Human Rights Campaign

This week the New York State Senate has voted against marriage equality for same-sex couples. I think the majority of constituents were not expecting the vote to turn out this way. Human Rights Campaign quickly put together this petition to elected Senate officials.

Sign this petition so New York leaders can hear your voices

Sign this petition – and make sure the New York leaders who supported this bill know they did the right thing.

HRC will deliver these petitions to New York’s governor, state Senators who supported the bill, and leaders who have championed it from the beginning. The petition reads:

“I’m outraged that marriage equality did not pass in New York, but I’m not going to stop fighting until marriage equality is the law of the land, in New York and across the country. I thank New York’s leaders who fought for this bill.

Listen, am I of the gay persuasion? Sure, who isn’t a little bit really. ;-] Do I believe in the actual institution of marriage? Yes, as far as the business end is concerned. I mean the part where is you receive the same fresh benefits as “heterosexuals” do from the that government of the people, by the people, for the people.

The emotional, spiritual side of a marriage I think you can have without an official certificate of marriage. This is a no brainer.  You may call the commitment ceremony anything you want government, just give everyone the same benefits.

Fair is fair.

-Cara

With that said…

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth

The Day After An Inconvenient Truth via e-mail, a gift from me to you.

You’re Welcome. :]

-Cara

Babeland is going to think this is some sort of miracle. They sent me some products awhile ago (because of a Valentine’s entry I wrote with them in it) that I said I’d review…fast forward a hundred years later to the first of a few reviews I intend to do for them.

One of these products was the soy wax, chocolate hazelnut, massage candle. I love it. The candle wax, when dripped on your skin, has a soft, smoothness to it. It possesses a sweet, warm, nutty smell. The smell reminds me of growing up in Miami, and the fragrance of the women who surrounded me. When done you are softer and smell sweeter, as do your sheets and your lover’s hands.

As far as the packaging, I say lose the red and orange box (even though it’s cute). Candles already in a glass votive like that don’t need a box I would think, just a cover of a biodegradable film of some sort, if anything. Thus you reduce unnecessary packaging and have more of a sustainable product.

I also like the matches they include with the candle. I think they are more romantic than lighting a candle with a lighter. It made me think, I’m not sure which is worse buying a “disposable lighter”, matches or fluid for a refillable lighter. I say send the matches and counteract it with planting a tree or two every month for all the paper/wood products the company uses. Just an idea.

To wrap up this review, I think the product itself is great and I’m glad to have been introduced to it.

Thanks Babeland.

-Cara

Let’s start this entry off with the basics, May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia. Why May 17th, because on May 17th, 1990, homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases by the World Health Organization (WHO). Who is WHO, they are the “directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends”.

Some people might be wondering what is the difference between Gay Pride Day and the International Day Against Homophobia. Pride is about people’s pride in their sexuality and celebrating it. The International Day Against Homophobia is about letting society, governments, countries and the world know that homophobia is unacceptable and it will no longer be tolerated.

Here are some things to help bring the point home that homophobia still exists, not only on an individual level, but on a global level as well.

This is a photo of the public hanging of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, two Iranian teenage gay lovers, legally murdered on July 19, 2005, because they were gay. This is real.

Next, I will review the anti-homosexual laws globally.

Let’s start with Africa

Algeria – Fine and up to 3 years in prison
Angola – Labor camps
Benin – Up to 3 years
Botswana – Fine and up to 7 years
Cameroon – Fine and up to 5 years
Comoros – Fine and up to 5 years
Djibouti- 10 to 12 years
Eritrea – 3 to 10 years
Ethiopia – 10 days to 3 years
Gambia – Fine and up to 14 years
Ghana – Fine
Guinea – 6 months to 3 years
Guinea Bissau – Labor camps
Kenya [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Lesotho – Up to 7 years
Liberia – Fine
Libya – Fine up to 5 years
Malawi – Up to 14 years[can be expelled as undesirable aliens as well]
Mauritania – Up to three years and a fine of one million francs for sexual acts with a person of the same sex under the age of 21. [Some sources say that the death penalty applies if sodomy is committed. I could not confirm.]
Morocco – 6 months up to 3 years
Mozambique – Labor camps
Nigeria – 5 to 14 years [in northern states under Muslim law the punishment can be death]
São Tomé and Príncipe – Labor camps
Senegal – 1 to 5 years and a fine of 100,000 to 1,500,000 francs
Seychelles – Fine and up to 2 years
Sierra LeoneLife
Somalia – For sexual intercourse 3 months up to 3 years, an act of lust different from sexual intercourse from 2 months to 2 years, areas under Sharia have instituted death for men and women.
Sudan – 5 years to 100 lashes/Death for sodomy [Between September 1983 and April 1985 hundreds of men and women were lashed for “intended” unlawful heterosexual intercourse, but none, as far as is known, for sodomy.]
Swaziland [Male only] – Fine US $90 – Prison
Tanzania – Fine and up to 25 years [In Zanzibar male homosexual acts are punished with up to 25 years imprisonment or fine. Lesbian acts are punished with up 7 years imprisonment or fine.]
Togo – Fine and up to 3 years
Tunisia – Fine and up to 3 years
Uganda [Male only] Fine and up to Life [The first country in the world to have a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (since 2004)]
Zambia [Male only] Fine and up to 14 years
Zimbabwe [Male only] – Fine and up to 1 year

Next Let’s hit up Asia:

Bahrain [Male only] Fine and up to 10 years
Bangladesh – Life in prison/death
Bhutan – 1 month up to 1 year
Brunei – Fine and up to 10 years
India – Fine and up to 10 years
Iran [Male only] Prison/Lashings/Death [Sex change operations have been given official government support as means to cure a gender identity disease.]
Malaysia – Fine and up to 20 years
Maldives [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Myanmar/Burma – 10 years up to Life
Oman – Fine and up to 3 years
Pakistan – 2 years to Life
Palestinian Authority (Gaza) [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Qatar – Fine and up to 5 years
Saudi Arabia – Death [Jail time, fines or whipping may be used in lieu of the death penalty.]
Singapore – 2 years
Sri Lanka – Fine and up to 10 years
Syria – Fine
Turkmenistan [Male only] Fine and up to 2 years
United Arab Emirates – Death
Uzbekistan [Male only] Fine and up to 3 years
Yemen – Flogging up to Death

Europe is Next on the List

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [Male only and not recognized internationally] – Fine and 10 to 14 years

Next North America

Antigua and Barbuda – Up to 15 years
Barbados Life
Belize – Up to 10 years
Dominica – Up to 10 years
Grenada [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Saint Kitts and Nevis [Male only] – Up to 10 years
Saint Lucia [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – Fine and up to 10 years
Trinidad and Tobago – Up to 25 years

Oceania is Next on the List

Cook Islands [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Kiribati [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years
Nauru [Male only] – Up to 14 years hard labor
Niue [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Palau [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Papua New Guinea [Male only] – Fine and up to14 years
Samoa – Fine and up to 7 years
Solomon Islands – Fine and up to 14 years
Tokelau [Male only] – Fine and up to 10 years
Tonga [Male only] – I could not find the sentence
Tuvalu [Male only] – Fine and up to 14 years

And Last but of Course not Least is South America

Guyana [Male only] – Life

[Sources: Wikipedia, Behind the Mask, and On Lesotho]

While I was doing all this research I noticed a lot of, “but these laws are rarely enforced in some cases” going around, like that makes it alright somehow. That is a flawed way to think, the point is they can be implemented at any time and it gives the impression to the citizens of these countries that homosexuals are less than and that is unequivocally unacceptable and untrue.

As Carl Schurz once said, “From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor’s rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.”

We must evolve together not individually.

-Cara


Reason 82 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When meat, fish, or poultry is barbecued, dripped fat over the open flame sends up plumes of carcinogenic smoke, coating the food. Other unhealthful chemicals are created just by extended cooking times. Chemists are telling meat eaters today to keep those grill times down. Even environmentalists are saying that restaurant grilling is an important source of soot and smog. But you still need to cook your meat thoroughly: How else are you going to kill all of those nasty bacteria?

Joan

It is coming to a close this Super Fresh Month of Women, so time for a list of ten cool chic sites. Enjoy!

  1. Let’s start with Meredith Monk. Here is a segment of her bio from her site, “is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films and installations. A pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance,” Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound in an effort to discover and weave together new modes of perception.” I personally think she rocks. :)
  2. Feminist Ecovillages web site contains information on a number of communities, both ecovillages and wimmin’s lands, at which feminism and ecology are values held by the group.
  3. This site is cool, it lists a bunch of places where awesome women made history [or herstory if you like!] They focus on 75 historic places in New York and Massachusetts associated with the varied aspects women’s history.
  4. Another site I really like is the Suffragist Oral History site. This site translates twelve interviews with twelve leaders of the Suffragist’s movement.
  5. Women time to learn your Bill of Rights, U.N. style. It’s all about the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
  6. Then there is the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-International (CATW). They are a non-governmental organization that promotes women’s human rights by working internationally to combat sexual exploitation in all its forms.
  7. Then we have The Wip! What is their mission you may ask. According to their site, the Women’s International Perspective, The WIP, is a comprehensive news website of women contributors that reports world news, opinion, and commentary. Our mission is to provide quality news from the unique perspectives of women that is accessible worldwide and free to our readers.
  8. Women’s Space Work was created by, Yvonne P. Doderer’s. Her web site, based in Germany, provides annotated links to resources concerning cyberfeminism as theory and activism, political networking, feminist and lesbian activism, art on the net, among other things.
  9. The Feminist Sexual Ethics Project explores sexual ethics within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and you can learn how the toleration of slavery in the early teachings of these religions affects the lives of women today.
  10. Last but not least, the Isle of Lesbos web site. The Isle of Lesbos web site is intended to serve as a place of art and culture for women-oriented women, offering a historical glimpse into lesbian lives and vintage views of affection between women.

Represent.

-Cara

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Genetics through single-trait selection has become as important a component of today’s intensive farming as drugs and confinement hardware. The animals themselves, right down to their DNA, must stand up to the rigors of the industrial process, both in life and in carcass form. They must produce at breakneck speeds and do so on as little feed as possible. And ultimately, the particular output they unwillingly give forth must please our final end user, the consumer, in texture, taste, uniformity, convenience, and price. Mutant genes that would never survive in the wild are cultivated to monstrous ends.

Tat

Let’s get into some good green loving for Valentine’s Day…

Earth Erotics is an on-line store that offers non-toxic, green sex toys, organic cotton linens, and environmentally friendly bedroom ambience. For the environment and for your health, natural sex toys are PVC-free and phthalate-free.

The Smitten Kitten, an education-based, retail, sex toy store in Minneapolis, doesn’t carry any sex toys containing toxic materials, nor do they purchase products from companies that use hazardous manufacturing processes. They educate consumers about the dangers of toxic sex toys and safe alternatives. To further their goal of industry change, Giordani and Pritchett co-founded the first ever adult consumer advocacy organization, The Coalition Against Toxic Toys, in 2005.

Babeland sells Body Wax Candles made from essential oils that, once melted, can be dripped and rubbed right on the body. Made from soy wax, which burns cleaner and at a lower temperature than paraffin. Available in nude (unscented), lavender, vanilla, mango, and energy.

Where green porn is concerned there is Vegporn.com, the first and only adult site featuring a cast of sexy vegans and vegetarians! Veg Porn is alternative erotica and sex-positive culture for herbivores and those who love them. We think you’ll find something here that tickles you fancy- we welcome models of all shapes and sizes. We also welcome everyone to visit and join the site. I myself enjoy naked vegans cooking shots…who doesn’t really?

Last but not least, for my more conservative constituents, a nice green gift idea is an elephant dung heart shaped paper. “Amazing and beautiful hand crafted message pads, made from elephant dung and recycled paper – you wont believe your eyes. Perfect for jotting down sweet nothings to your loved one.” It is 75% elephant dung and 25% recycled paper

Happy Valentine’s Day.

-Cara

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