International Women’s Day

I went to the .com site and saw all the corporate sponsorship, y’know corporations who routinely pay women less than men and who profit from a globally iniquitous system into which inequality is built in. Maybe it is being turned into international business women’s day, hmmm. Still let’s not let them hijack things, try this instead, although it seems a bit rubbish that half the world’s human population get a day, surely they should get every day.

Anyways, women bloggers who are most excellent and are in my regular reads, let’s celebrate them today-

Ann @ People’s Geography

Anok @ Identity Check

Larisa @ At Largely

Lucie @ Happy Famous Artists

Naj @ Neo Resistance

And also the essential Amy Goodman @ Democracy Now! The indispensable Naomi Klein. The Rachels- from London and the Maddow! The great work of Women’s Field. A shout out to Thorne who survived a terrible loss. The Lozmeister. And all the women of my family (6!), even the really annoying ones. If you’re a personage of the female persuasion and think you would feel at home in my blogroll please let me know!

Uribe’s Humiliation Being Downplayed

Rafael @ Ruins of Empire reports that while Spanish CNN are reporting the humiliating spectacle of Uribe having to trot around the room apologising, English speaking versions play up the Chavez confrontation angle and discreetly save the Empire’s lickspittle his honour. I have also seen these events interpreted in ways to minimise Uribe’s (and hence Bush’s) hubris but then the whole affair was reported through the lens of turrism! and America’s interests (though not their involvement so much, the hit having come from CIA intel) with Uribe being represented as some kind of reputable statesman and not the the death squad friendly, union murdering, cartel chummy slime he is. A few days old this article by Richard Gott is a rare exception (although he shamelessly plumps for the obvious FARC pun which even I avoided, I know amazing really, I resisted a cheap gag!) and shows the peace derailing agenda behind the killings. Maybe that tactic was from the Israeli advisers (ht2 Lenin) who work in Colombia alongside US and British ‘special’ forces. Israel is now the top supplier of “drones, light arms and ammunition, observation and communication systems and even special bombs capable of destroying coca fields. “Israel’s methods of fighting terror have been duplicated in Colombia,” a senior defense official said

Torturer Also A Racist

Well I am shocked, and he looked such a good choice when the Democrats helped confirm him to Attorney General. Oh wait no he didn’t.

Laid bare, Mukasey’s mission was not only dishonest, it was racist. If there was ever a baldly discriminatory criminal justice policy — one that has long attracted bipartisan criticism — it’s the sentencing disparity between powder and crack cocaine offenses. First codified in 1986, when Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the law imposed five-year minimum sentences on anyone found guilty of distributing five grams (about two sugar packs’ worth) of crack cocaine. Yet it took 100 times that amount — 500 grams — of powder cocaine to get the same sentence.

Fueled by the fear of the crack epidemic, the guiding rationale was that crack cocaine was more addictive — but years’ worth of study have demonstrated this to be a myth. The real difference, aside from street price (crack is cheaper to produce and purchase) lies in the populations who use crack versus powder cocaine. The former is vastly more common in African-American communities. In 2006, more than 82 percent of federal defendants sentenced for dealing crack cocaine were black.

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Burmese Junta- “discipline-flourishing democracy”?

(AFP) – Myanmar’s ruling junta Friday flatly refused to amend its proposed constitution, which bars democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from elections, while accusing a UN envoy of “bias” against the regime. The information minister, Brigadier General Kyaw Hsan, made the remarks during his meeting with visiting UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari, according to state television.

Gambari arrived here Thursday on a mission to press the regime to include Aung San Suu Kyi in its plans to hold a constitutional referendum in May and multiparty elections in 2010. Any hopes for progress in his talks appeared dashed by the information minister, who gave no indication that the regime would waver from its own plan to build what it calls a “discipline-flourishing democracy.”

“It is impossible to draft the constitution again,” Kyaw Hsan flatly told Gambari, according to state television. The minister also made a scathing criticism of Gambari’s performance as a mediator, accusing him of “bias” in favour of Aung San Suu Kyi for releasing a letter from her after his last visit here. In the letter, she had declared her willingness to enter into a dialogue with the regime aimed at national reconciliation.

Than Shwe shunned Gambari on his last visit here, and no meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi has taken place. Even the talks with the liaison officer have dragged, with Aung San Suu Kyi saying in January that she was “not satisfied” with their progress.

The junta has so far not scheduled any talks between Gambari and Aung San Suu Kyi for this trip. Even his departure date has not been settled, although diplomats expect him to leave Sunday.

I think the sincerity of the junta in negotiations is about the same level as that of the French knights in ‘Monty Python & The Holy Grail‘. Except far less fucking funny.

Standards Decline At Failing Universities

Sadly struggling US institutions are not getting the help they need and continue to speed their own decline with poor decisions and failure to recruit capable staff. Worse is that many graduates of these failed institutions go on to a life of crime at a huge social cost to the nation. Surely the time is coming when people must take the matter in hand and close down these intellectually bereft disasters. As their existence is prolonged it appears they are becoming hotbeds of dangerous ideologies that call for violence to reshape the world to their narrow fundamentalist vision, exporting this dangerous cancer overseas further destabilising countries already racked by vicious dictatorships.

Still at least I think he’s given up on the EU job. (ht2 Chicken Yoghurt)

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