Friday, June 22, 2007

John Howard to take over the United States

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, pointing out a damning report from 2001 about epidemic levels of child abuse in the United States, said that after six years of ignoring the problem he is going to outlaw alcohol and pornography in the United States and take over administration of the territory in order to enforce the new laws.

Sound asinine? He doesn't plan on a US takeover, but he has promised to this this for the aborigine community in Australia. There is no doubt that anyone would want to address the problem in that community and others. One wonders, however, why John Howard doesn't make it a national initiative all across Australia. That would be seen as a human or civil rights attack, whereas if it is done with someone brown, it's acceptable.

And, of course, he really couldn't enforce this in my fictional account of his efforts in the United States because we have self determination whereas the aborigine community in Australia does not.

During an election year, he easily wields old colonial powers without full study or even an attempt to work with the aborigine communities first.

"Won't somebody save the children" doesn't provide instant righteousness.

If anyone thinks this is a good idea, what should be done about the US ignoring a six year old report of epidemic abuse levels? What should be done about abuse in the white communities in Australia?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rushdie knighted - for something or other
"Salman Rushdie, who went into hiding under threat of death after an Iranian fatwa, has been knighted by the Queen.

His book The Satanic Verses offended Muslims worldwide and a bounty was placed on his head in 1989. "

In this whole article, all anyone seems to know about Salmon Rusdhie is that he attacks and upsets Islam. Some of his "intelligent" criticism includes "veils suck." This, of course, is an over reaching comment that assumes Muslim women everywhere are ruled by Taliban like regimes. Which isn't the case. The veil is typical of Western rhetoric regarding Islam. It is a piece of cloth that we get to argue against rather than engaging the women behind them. Many Muslim women have expressed disappointment at the discrimination they face in "free countries" when they choose to wear the veil. I wonder if Southern Baptist and other conservative Christian women face the same pressure over their roles and dictated clothing limitations.

All the writer knew about Rushdie is that he was known for irking Muslims. Which makes me wonder what the priorities of the British crown are these days when he's knighted for that.

Muslim Women (by Muslim Women):

Thursday, May 24, 2007

In working on sustaining food, creativity, knowledge and creativity, I like to think the underlying factor is a focus on individuals and families over time. A recent report by UNICEF measured the well being of children in 21 of the wealthiest nations in the world. The United States and Britain scored as the worst two places for the well being of children. Out of six categorie, the United States scored the lowest for “Health and Safety” and the second lowest in “Behaviours and risks” and “Family and peer relationships.”

At one point, there is an insinuation that that the wealthiest nations having such poor performance in caring for children may be a neglect that abuses children’s rights:

Pointing out that the Convention on the Rights of the Child calls on all countries to invest in its children “to the maximum extent of available resources”, Ms. Santos Pais said that international comparison was a way of testing this commitment - “A country cannot be said to be doing the best it can for its children if other countries at a similar stage of economic development are doing much better – and that’s what the league tables are designed to show.”

Many people are happy to have as much wealth as they do. Living in the wealthiest nation sometimes blinds us towards how we spend and where we focus that money. Political campaigns are run on the basis of how policy affects big business and we ignore how it affects our children and future generations.

The full report: An overview of child well-being in rich countries

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