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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

Aung San Suu Kyi

Some days I think I am so smart and know so much when suddenly I realize I truly know very little of the world outside of America or even New York City. I think it has a lot to do with being raised on American televised news and in American schools that didn’t teach me much about the world outside of these great states. Don’t get me wrong, I love America and am sure she was only trying to protect me from the big, bad, scary world out there…or was she? I digress, this is not the point of this entry.

The point is, until today I don’t think I ever heard of Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma). Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of Burma’s liberation leader Aung San, who negotiated Burma’s independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, and was assassinated by his rivals in the same year. Aung San Suu Kyi showed an early interest in Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent protest. After receiving her education in Rangoon, Delhi and at Oxford University, Aung San Suu Kyi then worked at the United Nations in New York and Bhutan. For most of the following twenty years she was occupied raising a family in England (her husband is British), before returning to Burma in 1988 to care for her dying mother.

After having long refrained from political activity, she got involved in the “second struggle for national independence” in Myanmar in 1988. She became the leader of the National League for Democracy on September 27th, 1988, and subsequently was put under house arrest on July 20, 1989. She also emphasizes the need for conciliation between the sharply divided regions and ethnic groups in her country. She was offered freedom if she left the country, but she refused. The election held in May 1990 resulted in a conclusive victory for the opposition. The regime ignored the election results. Suu Kyi refused to leave the country and since then, she has been kept under strict house arrest.

One of her most famous speeches is the “Freedom From Fear” speech, which begins:

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”

The whole reason I found out about her is I think at times Sarah Silverman is hilarious and she participated in this website, www.fanista.com. It is a program where each day in May celebrities do a P.S.A. to spread awareness about Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma.

Here is Sarah Silverman’s for your viewing pleasure.

Aung San Suu Kyi is super fresh!

-Cara

No, this is not becoming an arts and entertainment blog, but I watched a documentary tonight called, Dangerous Living: Coming Out In The Developing World, and now I feel like talking about it.

It is a crazy world we live in where people feel like it is OK to torture, rape, belittle, and murder each other in the name of God, Country and what is “morally” right. Dangerous Living: Coming Out In The Developing World follows the lives of gays, lesbians and transgender people living in the Global South, during this time. The film centers around the 52 men in Cairo who were arrested, tortured and imprisoned for gathering at a discothèque on the river Nile on May 11th, 2001. There is no law against homosexuality in Egypt so the Egyptian Government officially accused the men of committing crimes of debauchery. The 52 were later tried, convicted, and sentenced to 3 years in prison. Sentenced to three years in prison for being on a boat dancing with other men, can you imagine…Chelsea would be empty! No, but seriously…what? This is absurd. I am glad I found this flick, because it reminds me of all the work we still must do to undo all the ignorance that is alive and well all over the world and not just in my beautiful America. This film is not only about the 52 men in Egypt, but about homosexuals in Honduras, the Philippines, Kenya, Uganda, Brazil, Pakistan, Vietnam, Namibia, India, Fiji Islands, Iran, El Salvador, China, Malaysia, and Jamaica to name a few, that are being treated inhumanely by their fellow countrymen and being encourage to do so by their own government.

We as people need to stop hurting each other, because of our ignorance and insecurities. We need to open are eyes and hearts and then minds to create a better place to exist. It is important not only for others, but are own wellbeing. First step, watch the movie. I got it from Netflix today and will return it tomorrow so you can watch it. ;) Second, visit The the International Lesbian and Gay Association, they are a world-wide network of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people everywhere and do something!!!

Take back the night!

-Cara

p.s.- I almost forgot in all my outrage that another reason to watch it is Janeane Garofalo is the narrator of the film! That’s a sweet deal.


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Reason 61 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
From the animal-feed breadbasket and feedlots of the nation’s Midwest, massive amounts of fertilizer, pesticides, and manure-runoff travel down the Mississippi River. This high-nutrient mix causes an eco-chain reaction that ends with microscopic organisms robbing oxygen from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Marine life must relocate or suffocate. The phenomenon is known as hypoxia. Scientists have dubbed affected areas “dead zones.” Each summer the Gulf’s dead zone grows to an area the size of New Jersey. A recent U.N. report showed a 34 percent jump over 2 years in the number of dead zones–now 200 worldwide. Today, red tides (harmful algae blooms) line some coastlines of entire nations nearly without break. Soon, the hot real-estate properties around the world will be away from the waterfronts.

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.

Well not just paper, you’ll also need a printer, an envelope and one stamp. That is not a lot to help end world hunger.

What am I talking about…?

“In September 2000, the 189 countries of the United Nations unanimously agreed to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty,” specifically hunger and the “major diseases that afflict humanity.”

To accomplish this great objective would be expensive, and the price was later estimated at about $195 billion a year. It would be very difficult for this amount of money to be raised by private charities or individuals. It would require the combined efforts of governments throughout the world to do it.

Countries Agree to 0.7% in International Aid

In the March 2002 Monterrey Conference, 22 of the world’s wealthiest countries (listed above) agreed to make “concrete efforts” towards the goal of each giving 0.7 per cent of their national income as aid to the poorest countries. This conference was attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.S. President George Bush, French President Jacques Chirac, and many other world leaders.

In the September 2002 Johannesburg Summit, these same 22 counties re-affirmed their commitment to reach the 0.7% goal. This would provide enough money to raise the $195 billion per year.

Why the 0.7% Agreement?

The countries made this agreement because they realized that it was hard for each country on its own to give a consistent, minimum level of aid each year. Despite good intentions, a country would find that the aid it wanted to give was eaten away by competing political interests, concern about budget deficits, “problems at home,” “problems abroad,” and so on. So they agreed to a minimal, flat rate that each country could afford each year regardless of its current political or economic state.

The 0.7% figure may sound complicated, but it is actually quite simple. You take the total income earned by all the people in the country and then the government gives 0.7% (seven tenths of one percent) of that as aid. Or to look at it another way: for every $100 earned in the country, the country gives 70 cents in aid.

COUNTRY For each $100 earned in the country, how much is donated in aid Aid as % of income How close the country is to reaching the 0.7% goal
Sweden 103 cents 1.03 Already reached goal
Luxembourg 89 cents 0.89 Already reached goal
Norway 89 cents 0.89 Already reached goal
Netherlands 81 cents 0.81 Already reached goal
Denmark 80 cents 0.80 Already reached goal
Ireland 53 cents 0.53 Scheduled to reach in 2012
United Kingdom 52 cents 0.52 Scheduled to reach in 2013
Belgium 50 cents 0.50 Scheduled to reach in 2010
Austria 48 cents 0.48 Scheduled to reach in 2015
France 47 cents 0.47 Scheduled to reach in 2012
Switzerland 39 cents 0.39 No schedule yet
Finland 39 cents 0.39 Scheduled to reach in 2010
Germany 36 cents 0.36 Scheduled to reach in 2014
Spain 32 cents 0.32 Scheduled to reach in 2012
Canada 30 cents 0.30 No schedule yet
Australia 30 cents 0.30 No schedule yet
New Zealand 27 cents 0.27 No schedule yet
Japan 25 cents 0.25 No schedule yet
Portugal 21 cents 0.21 Scheduled to reach in 2015
Italy 20 cents 0.20 Scheduled to reach in 2015
United States 17 cents 0.17 No schedule yet
Greece 16 cents 0.16 Scheduled to reach in 2015

Source: OECD. The figures for 2007 are due out in April 2008.

How are the countries doing?

As the chart above shows, five countries have already met the goal to give 0.7% of their income in international aid: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.In 2002 and 2003, five other countries set up a schedule to give 0.7%: Belgium, Ireland, Finland, France, and Spain.In July 2004, the United Kingdom set up a schedule to give 0.7%.In April 2005, Germany set up a schedule to give 0.7%.In May 2005, Austria, Greece, Italy, and Portugal set up a schedule to give 0.7%.

It was not easy for many of the countries to set up a schedule to reach the 0.7% goal. In some cases, such as Britain and Germany, it took the combined effort of many thousands of citizens writing and petitioning their government to get it done.

The remaining six countries

Only six countries have not yet set up a schedule to give 0.7%. These are Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States. To raise the $195 billion a year, these six will need to reach the goal.These six countries are all democracies. All that is necessary for them to reach the 0.7% goal is for enough of their citizens to show their support. “

Sources: UN Millennium Project, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), The End of Poverty (Jeffrey D. Sachs), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

I got all this information above from poverty.com. I have bought into the first-web-site-I-see-I-believe drama before and been made a fool of, so this time I decided to do some research. Here is what I found out on the United Nations’ web site about what went down at the Monterrey Conference pertaing to eradicating poverty. More specifically what President Bush said America would do to help eradicate said poverty. You can read that part here and decide for yourself what he said. I’m not here to incite political debates, I’m just trying to figure out what I need to do to make the world a little bit better…which brings me back to the one piece of paper, a printer, an envelope and one stamp…

This is the link for a letter to send to your specific country’s leader, either encouraging then to keep their word [i.e.- America, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, and New Zealand] or to tell them they rock for making and sticking to their commitment! All you have to do is click on your country, hit print, fold, put in envelope, address [so you will also need a pen], lick, stamp, send…no more poverty…sweet.

I will mail mine tomorrow.

I’m out.

-Cara

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