04.02:top.10.reads

Kathy Freston: The Breathtaking Effects Of Cutting Back On Meat. Also, the consequences of eating meat – on our health, our sense of “right living”, and on the environment.

Jezebel – French Vogue And Ambivalent Modern Motherhood – Do not try this at home. Love these photos.  So French, they would never be printed here.

Jezebel – Is Your Gadget Addiction Supporting Rape In The Congo? – rape in the congo.

Prendergast has the stats, too, like the fact that armed Congolese militias earn $85 million each year off the tin that goes into your cell phone and the solder on every circuit board in every piece of electronics you’ve ever bought; the earn $8 million a year from the tantalum used to make capacitors in your rechargeable devices; $2 million a year from the tungsten that makes your cell phone vibrate; and between $44 and $88 million each year in the gold that goes into your jewelry and some of your electronics. That’s a lot of money with which they are able to buy plenty of guns (and other weapons) with which to terrorize the civilian populace.

‘We the People’ to ‘King of the World’: You’re Fired! | CommonDreams.org. Ok, yes its written by Michael Moore but it flows nicely.

Truthdig – Reports – Silence Meets Despair of Afghan Women. I’ve been waiting for someone to put these quotes together.

It was only a few years ago that Laura Bush, who normally shied from causes that could be considered controversial, took up their banner. “The brutal oppression of women is a central goal of the terrorists,” the first lady said in a radio address shortly after President Bush launched the U.S-led invasion to overthrow the Taliban following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “The plight of women and children in Afghanistan is a matter of deliberate human cruelty, carried out by those who seek to intimidate and control.”

That was then. This is now: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has just signed a law that forces women to obey their husbands’ sexual demands, keeps women from leaving the house—even for work or school—without a husband’s permission, automatically grants child custody rights to fathers and grandfathers before mothers, and favors men in inheritance disputes and other legal matters. In short, the law again consigns Afghan women to lives of brutal repression.

“This is really, really dangerous for everybody in Afghanistan,” Soraya Sobhrang of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission said in a telephone interview from Kabul. Noting that violence against women already is rampant, Sobhrang said the new law effectively “legalizes all violence against women in Afghanistan.”

The U.S. State Department has had no comment.

Oh wait, does this count as a comment:

hopeinafghanistan5Climate Bill Kickoff | Mother Jones.  Hooray! I should have bet money, I knew it would come in the first 100 days!

On the first day, Henry Waxman created a draft. And the enviros said it was good.

Rep. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has promised to deliver comprehensive climate change legislation to President Obama within the year. On Tuesday, the California congressman, along with Rep. Edward Markey, released a “discussion draft” of what is currently being called the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. It’s a piece of legislation that could dramatically reshape the country’s energy economy.

The 648-page draft legislation, which addresses virtually every aspect of the fight against global warming, was quickly embraced by green groups.

The bill would require “retail electricity suppliers” (that is, utility companies) to get 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. It seeks stronger fuel standards for cars, paves the way for the development of a smart electricity grid, and provides financial incentives to retailers who sell high volumes of energy-efficient appliances. It creates grants for universities and colleges to develop curricula that will train a generation of professionals ready to work in renewable energy and climate change mitigation. And it instructs the labor secretary to create training programs that help workers from dying industries transition into ones bolstered by the bill.

When I was with Greenpeace, I presented Waxman with a sand timer for his desk and said, “This is a gift to you from my generation asking that you act fast.  We’re running out of time.”  Three years later…we have a bill.

Wars Abroad Continue at Home | Mother Jones.  contained within: Women in the Crosshairs By Ann Jones

Wake up, America. The boys are coming home, and they’re not the boys who went away.

Recently Republican Senator John Cornyn from Texas, a state with 15 major military bases, noted that as many as one in five U.S. veterans is expected to suffer from at least one “invisible wound” of war, if not a combination of them, “including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury.” Left untreated, such wounds can become very visible: witness, for example, the recent wave of suicides that have swept through the military, at least 128 in 2008, and 24 in January 2009 alone…

…That’s no accident. The U.S. military is a macho club, proud of its long tradition of misogyny, and not about to give it up. One decorated veteran of the first Gulf War, who credited the army with teaching him to repress his emotions, described his basic training as “long, exhausting marches” and “sound-offs [that] revolved around killing and mutilating the enemy or violent sex with women.” (The two themes easily merge.) That veteran was Timothy McVeigh, the unrepentant Oklahoma City bomber, who must have known that blowing up a government office building during business hours was sure to kill a whole lot of women.

Even in the best of times, the incidence of violence against women is much higher in the military than among civilians…

Coming home: The conclusion | Salon News.  A series that on preventable deaths at Fort Carson, a U.S. Army post in Colorado, among troops who have returned from combat tours in Iraq. Salon national correspondent Mark Benjamin and Colorado-based journalist Michael de Yoanna reviewed more than two dozen incidents of suicide, suicide attempts, prescription drug overdoses and murder involving Fort Carson troops and examined 10 of those cases painstakingly.

Civil rights veterans today | Salon. Photo essay with quotes about President Obama.

Rusty and me | Salon.

April 1, 2009 | I find myself in Rush Limbaugh’s library standing next to a leather couch upon which Ann Coulter is perched. The room is festive — crowded with relatives, wineglasses, cigar smoke and loud conversation. I am glaring silently at my mom from across the room with my arms crossed in the “unapproachable way” I know she hates. Mom says I have to introduce myself to Ann because everyone else in the family has met her, Thanksgiving vacation is almost over, she is Rush’s guest, and I am being childish and rude. I have never spoken with Ann or read any of her books, but based on her public persona, I have decided that she is someone I hate. I feel fine about this — happy about this — why would I want to talk to her?

And suddenly I realize that I have become the person I can’t stand.

…Now that I’m at Columbia University, some relatives like to ask about the “climate” at school, and if I’m becoming “liberal,” like it’s a disease. I don’t think they understand that you don’t have to agree with your family to love your family.

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