The Lady Speaks

Strike | Dance | Rise! To end violence against women

“One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution.”

Violence against women is an unchecked epidemic. According to the United Nations [PDF], 1 in 3 women worldwide will be beaten or raped in her lifetime. One billion women. Gender-based violence causes more deaths and disability among women aged 15 to 44 than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents, and war combined.

Violence against women isn’t a local issue, or a cultural issue, or a national issue. It affects every woman in every country on the planet. It is a widespread pattern of women being devalued and dehumanized, regardless of where they live.

Victims of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, religious violence, economic violence, environmental violence, war zone violence. Rape and sexual assault, domestic abuse, incest, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, war crimes, child marriage, sexual slavery, forced childbirth, dowry murders, honor killings, murders of female infants, girls and women, lack of education, substandard or non-existent medical care, high unemployment, lack of proper housing or nutrition.

V-Day began in 1998 as a “global movement to end violence against women and girls.”

On February 14, 2013, the 15th anniversary of V-Day, women and men who support them — grassroots activists, writers, celebrities, politicians, artists, and ordinary citizens around the world — will join together and dance as a form of protest, until there are ONE BILLION RISING.

Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues and creator of V-Day:

“When One Billion bodies rise and dance on 14 February 2013, we will join in solidarity, purpose and energy and shake the world into a new consciousness.

Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together. It’s dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive. It breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere at anytime with anyone and everyone. It’s free. No corporation can control it. It joins us and pushes us to go further. It’s contagious and it spreads quickly. It’s of the body. It’s transcendent.”


Watch the trailer:

TRIGGER WARNING for violence, abuse.

Learn more at www.onebillionrising.org

September 27, 2012 Posted by | Feminism, Human Rights, Planet Earth, Violence Against Women, War On Women, Women | Leave a comment

Poking the Bear

Oh my freakin’ Jeebus, people! I’m so pissed and annoyed and… plain freaked out, it’s not funny.

You know how we on the left always wonder just how crazy the Republicans and Bush-Cheney Corporate Headquarters are? Well, wonder no more!

The stupid is so awesome, so intense, so effin’ ridiculous, so burningly awful that it is almost beyond my ability to respond with more than “Oh my god… but… oh holy shit… sweet baby jeebus in the cow trough!!”

From the New York Times:

Poland and the United States struck a deal Thursday that will strengthen military ties and put an American missile interceptor base in Poland, a plan that has infuriated Moscow and sparked fears in Europe of a new arms race.

”We have crossed the Rubicon,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said, referring to U.S. consent to Poland’s demands after more than 18 months of negotiations.

Washington says the planned system, which is not yet operational, is needed to protect the U.S. and Europe from possible attacks by missile-armed ”rogue states” like Iran. The Kremlin, however, feels it is aimed at Russia’s missile force and warns it will worsen tensions.

Um, except Iran is two-three times as far away from Iran as it is from Russia…

Red - Poland; Blue - Russia; Fuschia - Iran.

Red - Poland; Blue - Russia; Fuschia - Iran.

but… um… just ignore that.

U.S. officials also said the timing of the deal was not meant to antagonize Russian leaders at a time when relations already are strained over the recent fighting between Russia and Georgia over the South Ossetia region.

“O hai! Sry, dudez. Srsly!

We didn’t mean to piss you off even more, right as you’re cease-firing from a little war spurred on by our idiot government telling the Georgian president we had his back… and then, um, not. But hey! Good news! Condi’s coming to make things all better… um, or maybe to buy shoes.”

[Tusk] said the deal also includes a ”mutual commitment” between the two nations to come to each other’s assistance ”in case of trouble.”

That clause appeared to be a direct reference to Russia, which has threatened to aim its nuclear-armed missiles at Poland — a former Soviet satellite — if it hosts the U.S. site.

Ummm… is anyone else having flashbacks to the 1980s and The Day After ?

Dr. Landowska: There is a rumor that they are evacuating Moscow. There are people even leaving Kansas City because of the missile base. Now I ask you: To where does one go from Kansas City? The Yukon? Tahiti? We are not talking about Hiroshima anymore. Hiroshima was… was peanuts!
Dr. Russell Oakes: What’s going on? Do you have any idea what’s going on in this world?
Dr. Landowska: Yeah. Stupidity… has a habit of getting its way.

Yep, and this misAdministration isn’t going to be happy until the whole freakin’ world is in flames.

August 15, 2008 Posted by | America, Bush, Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Election '08, Government, Iran, Nuclear Weapons, Pentagon, Planet Earth, War, Whacko Nut Cases, White House, WMDs, World Peace | 3 Comments

The Longest Walk Ends

They started at Alcatraz on February 11th.

Five months. Two routes. Over 4,000 miles. From sea to shining sea.

On foot.

175 days (4200hrs.) ago walkers from all over Indian country as well as international allies embarked on a journey that carried them through rain, snow, and even a tornado.

Two paths were taken to make the journey, both a Northern and Southern route, in order to bring awareness to and address environmental and sacred sites protection, cultural survival, youth empowerment and Native American rights.

Thousands of walkers, which included new born babies and elders in their 90s, representing more than 100 Nations joined the Walk along the way. The Navajo (Dine’ Nation), Hopi, Apache, Havasupai, Tunica-Biloxi, Anishinaabeg, Wintun, Hualapai, Lakota, Six Nations, Ute, Washo, and many others as well as representatives from New Zealand, Germany, Japan, Italy, Holland, Poland comprised the diverse Walk. As they walked they picked up more than 8,000 bags of trash on the roads they traveled.

Continue reading

July 11, 2008 Posted by | America, Equality, Global Warming, Government, Human Rights, Native Americans, Planet Earth | 3 Comments

Feeding America?

This is part two of my series on how the wasteful, destructive agriculture polices of the last 8-12 years — also known as “Make Money By Not Feeding America” — has affected the cost of the food we purchase. Part One is here.

In Part One, I spoke of wheat and how in the rush to grow corn for ethanol, it’s being pushed aside – which drives up prices at the mills, which then drives up the price at the retail level.

Today: Corn.

In the rush to find cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels for our vehicles, ethanol was latched onto by the Bush administration. As a result nearly a quarter of all corn grown is being diverted from human and animal food stocks and heading for ethanol plants.

As we see with wheat, prices are going up. In this case, the price rise is first seen as the price-per-bushel – the amount the corn farmer is paid. That drives up costs at the farm and farm-factory level – where it’s used as feedstock cattle and poultry. Then prices rise again at the retail level. We’ve seen a huge rise in the cost of eggs, meat, and milk and other dairy products as a result.

Meanwhile…back at the farm, it’s difficult to turn away from devoting your corn to ethanol production with prices per bushel on the rise.

From the Washington Post, via MSNBC: [my emphasis throughout]

Across the country, ethanol plants are swallowing more and more of the nation’s corn crop. This year, about a quarter of U.S. corn will go to feeding ethanol plants instead of poultry or livestock. That has helped farmers like Johnson, but it has boosted demand — and prices — for corn at the same time global grain demand is growing.

And it has linked food and fuel prices just as oil is rising to new records, pulling up the price of anything that can be poured into a gasoline tank. “The price of grain is now directly tied to the price of oil,” says Lester Brown, president of Earth Policy Institute, a Washington research group. “We used to have a grain economy and a fuel economy. But now they’re beginning to fuse.”

Oh, and thank your Democratic Congress too.

Rising food prices have given Congress and the White House a sudden case of legislative indigestion. In 2005, the Republican-led Congress and President Bush backed a bill that required widespread ethanol use in motor fuels. Just four months ago, the Democratic-led Congress passed and Bush signed energy legislation that boosted the mandate for minimum corn-based ethanol use to 15 billion gallons, about 10 percent of motor fuel, by 2015. It was one of the most popular parts of the bill, appealing to farm-state lawmakers and to those worried about energy security and eager to substitute a home-grown energy source for a portion of U.S. petroleum imports. To help things along, motor-fuel blenders receive a 51 cent subsidy for every gallon of corn-based ethanol used through the end of 2010; this year, production could reach 8 billion gallons.

There’s just one problem…well, several problems:

Although ethanol was once promoted as a way to slow climate change, a study published in Science magazine Feb. 29 concluded that greenhouse-gas emissions from corn and even cellulosic ethanol “exceed or match those from fossil fuels and therefore produce no greenhouse benefits.” By encouraging an expansion of acreage, the study added, the use of U.S. cropland for ethanol could make climate conditions dramatically worse. And the runoff from increased use of fertilizers on expanded acreage would compound damage to waterways all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Development specialists have also joined the fray. “While many are worrying about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs, and it is getting more and more difficult every day,” World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said in a recent speech.

And, the future for food prices isn’t looking too good:

Two leading oil pipeline companies are exploring the feasibility of building a $3 billion ethanol pipeline, the first of its kind, to link Iowa and other parts of the Midwest with motor-fuel markets in the East. It would carry 3.65 billion gallons a year and give another industry a vested interest in maintaining high ethanol output. Because of this domestic demand, Iowa’s exports of corn are expected to shrink to less than half of current levels in the next couple of years. Nationwide, corn stockpiles are dwindling.

[snip]

… Iowa produces more eggs, 13.5 billion, than any other state. And chickens, like capons, mostly eat corn feed. The Charles City ethanol plant alone consumes three-quarters as much corn as the entire Iowa egg industry.

[snip]

“We don’t have to make fuel out of corn and soybeans, but we do have to feed animals,” says Kevin Vinchattle, executive director of the Iowa Egg Council. “We’re going to be right there bidding for feedstocks and making sure that we have the highest-quality feed available. We just don’t have an alternative.”

What we really need in this country is a responsible, sustainable, non-destructive, non-wasteful agriculture policy. We absolutely do need to support our family farmers. But, we should only support those family farmers who are contributing to the feeding of America.

It is time to end the subsidies to corporate entities that run factory farms, the owners of said corporate entities, and those whose product is going for any use other than feed or food.

What we also need is a responsible energy plan, because — thanks to the ethanol boom – the two are intertwined.

April 30, 2008 Posted by | America, Business, Congress, Farming, Global Warming, Government, Life, Made in the USA, Planet Earth | 3 Comments

All I Want For [Winter Holiday of Your Choice]

Like others who have lots of little people in their lives, I’ve been wondering just what in the world to buy them for Christmas … the holidays.

The one and only, very bestest, gotta-have-it toy my niece wanted – pulled from the market. Same goes for the items I’d been eyeing for my nephew and another niece.

I’m not about to buy some piece of Chinese-made lead-coated junk, so … what to do?

Ah – I heard that! Books, absolutely. I’m the book-aunt in my family. No event goes by without some book as a gift, and I frequently give books for no reason at all.

But, kids – being kids – like toys and want toys, and even if I don’t buy them now, I’m going to have to buy toys at some point in the future.

Which is why I was thrilled to find this:

Still Made in USA – a great resource list with links to companies whose products are, obviously, still made in the US. With product categories like: Toys and Games, Kitchen and Dining, Bed and Bath, Appliances, Apparel, Tools, Home and Garden … everything you could want or need — produced in the US, by US workers, under US standards — can be found through this site.

Under Toys and Games, for example, you’ll find companies such as:

K’nex – celebrating its 15th anniversary – K’nex building sets were a favorite of my boys when they were younger.

ImagiPLAY – “Toys with Integrity” – Earth-friendly and Child-safe toys

Skullduggery, Inc – plaster craft kits in a variety of themes: race cars, fossils, etc.

Shrinky Dinks – You remember these! Kids can create a wild variety of different objects with shrinkable plastic.

Wiffle Ball, Inc – Home of the original Wiffle Ball.

Greenleaf Dollhouses – dollhouses, furniture kits, birdhouses and more

Magic Cabin – soft dolls, dress-up clothes, arts & crafts, books

And that’s just a sampling. Enjoy looking around the site and finding great, safe toys, games, crafts, and more for kids of all ages – and stuff for you and your home as well!

I shall now consider this my good deed for the day – which means … chocolate for me!

November 12, 2007 Posted by | America, Children, Family, Holidays, Made in the USA, Planet Earth | Leave a comment

Shift Happens

October 13, 2007 Posted by | America, Business, Life, Planet Earth | 6 Comments