I, as usual, will not Support the Next War


 

 

 

 

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The Dalai Lama is the Spiritual and Political leader of Tibet. When he was 15, the Chinese came in the night and stole Tibet from the Tibetan people.The Dalai Lama was smuggled out with many residents into India. The Chinese stated that Tibet belongs to them and the world just let them take it.

I have met the Dalai Lama in the late 1980’s. I read a lot of his books.  His energy is gentle. He is witty and forgiving. He has a deep thirst for knowledge.

The Chinese raped and killed many monks  and nuns who stayed in Tibet. Chinese people were brought in to intermarry with the Tibetan people who had chosen to remain in their country of birth. Now their children are Tibetan and Chinese.

 

The Dalai Lama is a man working for peace and non-violence. Even though the world did not reach out a hand to stop the Chinese, he has forgiven them all. He wrote letters to all the world leaders asking for assistance getting his country back. Not one offered to help. His political headquarters is still in India and even today, Tibetans climb down the mountains and go into India to get away from the Chinese way of life which is not theirs. The world didn’t offer to help because Tibet had nothing the world wanted, no oil, no uranium, no diamonds. So we let China take the home of these non- violent people.

 

Today the Dalai Lama travels the world giving talks about peace. He is warm and charming. When he dies, they will begin looking for the new Dalai Lama after eighteen months. Once recognized, the new Dalai Lama will be trained to be the new Spiritual and Political leader of Tibet. My hope is that this Dalai Lama lives for quite a while yet. Blessings on his name.

 

Namaste

Barbara

Egypt to toughen penalties on Female Genital Mutilation


 

FGM or female genital mutilation is difficult to end. It has been happening for centuries and it is very entrenched in the culture of Middle Eastern countries. It is something pushed by the men in many families and the village rulers. They feel they will have more control over a woman who is unable to enjoy sex. Husbands feel that their wives will be more faithful when they are away.

 

Some men have their wives sewn shut except for a small hole for them to pee through. When he returns the stitches are removed until the next time.

 

This is a very frightening and painful operation. It is not done in a hospital but in the hut of the medicine woman. The mother takes the girl even if she is screaming and crying. The mother knows what will happen because it was done to her.

 

In most of the countries that FGM is practiced a man will not marry a girl unless she has had this atrocity done. Creating laws and enforcing them is very important to stopping this terrible practice. Education of leaders and parents is also important.

 

Some families have come to America and brought FGM with them and there are some doctors in the U.S. who will perform it. It is illegal here in America and doctors will go to prison.

 

It seems so barbaric and controlling to mutilate a little girl like this. I am glad Egypt is creating laws to forbid it and they are enforcing them.

 

Soon may no little girls have to worry about FGM ever again.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

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The horrible practice of genital mutilation

The horrible practice of genital mutilation

 

 

Female genital mutilation: Egypt to toughen penalties

  • 29 August 2016
  •  BBC News
This education video aims to change views of FGM in Egypt, reports Orla Guerin

Egyptian authorities are to increase the penalty for those who force women into genital mutilation (FGM).

The statutory prison term recommended for offenders had ranged from between three months and three years.

The cabinet has approved plans to impose jail terms of between five and seven years, with harsher sentences if the procedure leads to death or deformity.

FGM has been illegal in Egypt since 2008 but it remains widespread.

The procedure involves the partial or full removal of the external sex organs, ostensibly to control women’s sexuality.

It is practiced by both Muslims and Christians in a number of African countries and in parts of the Middle East.

In May, an Egyptian teenager who had undergone FGM died of complications, prompting the UN to call on Egypt for tougher action.

Women’s Equality Day


 

 

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Cops: Husband Beheaded Texas Woman

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A 23-year-old Texas man was charged Friday with first-degree murder after he reportedly confessed that he beheaded his wife and stashed her head in a freezer in their mobile home. Davie Dauzat was ordered held in McLennan County Jail on $500,000 bail in the death of 21-year-old Natasha Dauzat. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bellmead Police Sgt. Kory Martin said officers first responded to the mobile home early Thursday after reports of a disturbance, but left once nothing was found amiss at the suburban Waco scene. Two hours later, police returned after a family member called and said they believed Davie had murdered Natasha. The couple was in the trailer with their 1- and a 2-year-old at the time of the incident, Martin said. Local media reports said Davie Dauzat was covered in blood when he finally emerged and surrendered to authorities after a 30-minute standoff. “We located a deceased female. We have a suspect in custody who did have blood on him, and we were able to talk him out of the home,” Martin told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “It is believed that he did kill that female, but we are still investigating that to make sure and confirm that information is correct.” The children were turned over to child protective services.

— Olivia Messer, the Daily Beast

 

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How Congress Can Improve the Lives of Women and Girls – the Leadership Conference

 

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Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Forty-five years later, lawmakers can and should do more to make that notion a reality.

We recognize there are women and girls within and across all of the communities we represent — African-American, Latino, Asian American, LGBTQ and Native American people, immigrants, people with disabilities, people of faith, working families, and low-income people — and that all of the issues we care deeply about are issues that greatly impact the lives of women and girls. We could list hundreds of policies still needed today to improve women’s equality, but in honor of Friday’s anniversary of the 19th Amendment, here are 19 things Congress could do right now:

1. Ratify CEDAW.

President Carter signed the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) more than 36 years ago, but the U.S. Senate still hasn’t ratified it. A campaign to implement local CEDAW ordinances is underway across the country, but it’s time for the Senate to finally ratify the international human rights treaty and affirm that women’s rights are human rights.

2. Ensure equal pay for equal work.

Lawmakers reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in March 2015 to help narrow the gender pay gap. Seventeen months later, the bill is languishing in both chambers of Congress — with just one Republican cosponsor.

From AAUW’s Spring 2016 edition of The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap.

3. Pass comprehensive nondiscrimination protections.

Congress should modernize civil rights protections in employment as well as public accommodations, housing, access to credit, and other areas of life through legislation like the Equality Act.

4. Prevent pregnancy discrimination.

In June 2015, Congress reintroduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and prevent employers from discriminating against pregnant women in the hiring process. Both Senate and House versions have bipartisan support but remain stalled.

5. Raise the minimum wage.

It’s been more than seven years since the federal minimum wage rose to $7.25 per hour. That needs to be increased, and the subminimum wage for tipped working people — which has been frozen at $2.13 per hour now for a quarter century — needs to be eliminated.

Economic Policy Institute

6. Provide paid family and medical leave.

Congress should pass legislation, like the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program and build on the success of programs in the states. The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee paid family leave — and that needs to change.

7. Ban all forms of discriminatory profiling.

The latest version of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) adds gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation as identity categories that law enforcement shouldn’t rely on in their enforcement practices — a recognition thatdiscriminatory profiling takes on gender-specific forms. The bill was reintroduced in Congress in April 2015 and hasn’t budged since.

8. Make sure everyone can vote.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in June 2013, states across the country have made it more difficult to vote for people of color, low-income people, students, and older voters — and that, of course, includes a lot of women. Congress should restore the VRA by passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act and restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated people by passing the Democracy Restoration Act.

New Voting Restrictions in Place for 2016 Presidential Election, Brennan Center for Justice

9. Reform outdated and unfair sentencing laws.

The population of women in prison grew at nearly twice the rate as men between 1977 and 2007, and women are more likely to be in prison for drug and property offenses (while men are more likely to be in prison for violent offenses). Congress can help by passing meaningful sentencing reform legislation.

10. Pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Executive actions taken by President Obama — which a hamstrung Supreme Court deadlocked on in June — are no substitute for comprehensive immigration reform. Congress still needs to pass legislation creating a realistic path to citizenship, protecting the rights of immigrant and citizen workers alike.

11. Diversify the federal bench.

This is the first time three women have sat on the U.S. Supreme Court, and President Obama has appointed more female judges than any other president. But there are currently more than two dozen women awaiting votes in the Senate to fill judicial vacancies, including nine women of color. Confirming them won’t just help to further diversify the federal judiciary — it will help alleviate the nation’s judicial vacancy crisis.

This is the First Time Our Judicial Pool Has Been This Diverse, via the White House.

12. Open up employment opportunities.

One in three Americans — or 70 million people — have an arrest or conviction record. That includes millions of women who, as a result, face barriers to employment for the rest of their lives. Congress should pass legislation like the Fair Chance Act to ban the box and stop forcing so many Americans to the margins of society.

13. Eliminate health disparities in all populations.

We must ensure and protect women’s timely access to trusted, quality women’s health providers so they can access comprehensive health services. Congress should pass the Health Equity and Accountability Act, which would provide “federal resources, policies, and infrastructure to eliminate health disparities in all populations, regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or English proficiency.”

14. Keep all students safe.

We need legislation to ensure students attend school in a safe, nurturing and welcoming environment, free of bullying, harassment and assault, discrimination, or harsh disciplinary practices. Right now, Black girls account for 20 percent of female enrollment in America’s public schools, but they represent 54 percent of girls receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions.

15. Improve access to broadband.

High-speed Internet today is vital to accessing job opportunities, health care, social services, and education. But for millions of low-income and minority Americans — the people who are in most need of the advantages of broadband — such service is simply out of reach. Recent research suggests governments should prioritize providing women with broadband access because of the link between digital fluency, educational attainment, employment, and workplace equality.

16. Expand access to early childhood education.

Access to high-quality education is a civil and human right. Congress should pass legislation, like the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, which would increase access to quality critical early learning opportunities all children regardless of race, color, or ZIP code.

17. Protect older workers.

A 2009 Supreme Court decision made it more difficult for workers to prove they’ve been discriminated against because of their age. Congress should strengthen nondiscrimination protections for older workers by passing the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act.

18. Make work schedules more predictable.

Women are more likely than men to have nonstandard work hours. The Schedules That Work Act would promote economic security and help workers meet the demands of their jobs and their families.

19. Ratify the disability rights treaty.

There’s another international human rights treaty the Senate still needs to ratify: the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It’s modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act but — now more than seven years after President Obama signed it — the Senate hasn’t gathered enough votes to ratify it.

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As you can see there is a lot of inequality to being a woman. I also realize there is a lot to being any type type of minority. White males are privileged here in America and in many other countries. Just as Black Lives Matter, Women’s Lives Matter and none of us will give up. We will fight as hard and harder as the early Suffragettes did to win the vote. White supremacists are going to have to learn they are like everyone else;  they are white men — white men who need to get over themselves. ALL of us are equal under one God,  living in one country, part of one glorious world. We, the minorities, don’t want to take anything away from white men , but we won’t be second class any more. What do we want? Equality! When do we want it? NOW!

Happy 100 Birthday, US National Parks!


I have had the luck to have always lived close to a National Park and I still do.I think despite the many problems we are facing in America today, it is important to take time to to celebrate our National Parks and the Presidents who set the land apart so future generations could enjoy the beauty of this land. If you have never been to one of our parks, I encourage you to take your family and have a new adventure. See America as it once was, wild and beautiful. Our country is huge and amazing and you owe it to yourself and your family to see it.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

 

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The upcoming show, America’s National Parks at 100 is a celebration of the vital role played by the National Park Service, and the second best thing to actually visiting some of the more remote parks, like this one. Can you name this park? Tune in on Sunday at 8PM for more #NPS100

 

 

 

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Ladies Need to Follow their Instincts and Passions


Eve was the first woman to flee and find adventure. Intrepid women travelers have been pushing up against man-made boundaries and shocking their societies.

The first woman to document her travels was a nun named Etheria. In 381 A.D.
She wandered to Jerusalem and continued on to Egypt searching for freedom of choice.

In 1784, Elizabeth Thible became the first women to travel in a hot-air balloon because she knew the sky was not the limit.

Nellie Bly, an American journalist and Victorian lady traveled around the world in seventy-two days, six hours, and eleven minutes. What an inspiration to us in the twenty-first century!

Women have been having adventures and conquering their fears for centuries. They caused family scandles and much gossip in their lives. However, they didn’t listen to the people who said no, you can’t do this. They knew their hearts and went anyway. I am sure they were afraid at times but they grabbed onto life with all of the strength they had and held on for dear life!

Julia Archibald Holmes climbed Pike’s Peak in 1858 and wrote, “I have accomplished the task which I marked out for myself. Nearly everyone tried to discourage me from attempting it, but I believed that I should succeed.”

” Life seems to throw many more adventures your way when you are prepared, it is very sexy to know how to take care of yourself,” by an Italian woman named Sylvania.

Life can be scary and we can at times be filled with anxiety and hesitancy. We are here to experience life, and I don’t mean just the men. It is important to grab on to whatever is close-by and hold on. Allow yourself to laugh and love, eat and cry. This is life.

There are many books published documenting the adventures of women and they give us the luxury of sitting on a beach and walk in a Rainforest. You can absorb their experiences vicariously.

I have a friend who is a college professor of Photography. We have traveled together in days past when I was more mobile. She is a birder as well and has traveled from Peru to Siberia. I am lucky enough to see her slides and enjoy her stories. She is such a rich font of experiences and a true inspiration to her students.

I encourage every woman to visit their dreams and feel their strength. Take that step that will eventually take you to a rich and passionate life. If family or friends think of you as too wild, remember that ‘wild women don’t get the blues’.

There are several books that you could read and perhaps inspire the adventurer within. Spinsters Abroad; Victorian Lady Explorers by Dea Birkett. Living with Cannibals and Other Women’s Adventures by Michele Slung and a really good one called Unsuitable for Ladies by Jane Robinson.

Your adventures may be joining the YMCA, or joining a quilting circle, taking classes, vacationing on the Galapagos Islands. Take skating lessons, read a new author, buy a wide brim hat just because they are coming back into style.
Have fun and enjoy conquering your world. I did and have no regrets.

French Quarters, New Orleans; Photo by Barbara Mattio

Johnson Space Center, Houston, Tx.; Photo by Barbara Mattio

The Alamo, San Antonio, Tx.; Photo by Barbara Mattio

No One Asks to be Raped


Judge Dispels The Myth Of The ‘Perfect’ Rape Victim In Powerful Verdict

“No one asks to be raped.”

 

An illustration from the day in court that Judge Marvin Zuker announced Mustafa Ururyar’s guilty verdict. 

“For much of our history, the ‘good’ rape victim, the ‘credible’ rape victim has been a dead one.”

That’s just one of the many powerful statements Ontario Court Justice Marvin Zuker said in court last week while delivering his verdict in a Canadian university rape case. The judge announced that he found the defendant guilty of sexual assault and proceeded to point out the insidious effects of victim-blaming in his 179-page verdict.

“The myths of rape should be dispelled once and for all,” Judge Zuker read aloud in court last Thursday. “We cannot perpetuate the belief that niceness cannot coexist with violence, evil or deviance, and consequently the nice guy must not be guilty of the alleged offense.”

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Ururyar found guilty of sexually assaulting York U student Mandi Gray. ” Rape it was” @CityNews

The case, which began in February, involved Mustafa Ururyar and Mandi Gray, two doctoral students at Toronto’s York University. According to The Guardian, the two had been casually dating when Gray went to Ururyar’s apartment one night in January 2015.

As the two made their way back to Ururyar’s apartment, Gray said he became angry and started calling her “a slut” and “needy.” Gray testified that Ururyar forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her later that night.

Ururyar had pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, claiming that he and Gray had engaged in consensual sex on the night in question. According to Judge Zuker’s verdict, Ururyar’s defense repeatedly attacked Gray’s character and attempted to discredit her story throughout the trial.

Judge Zuker was not accepting Ururyar’s “twisted logic,” as he said in his verdict. The judge denounced Ururyar’s defense, calling it all a “fabrication” that is “credible, never,” adding, “I must and do reject his evidence.”

Judge Marvin Zuker

The judge described how traumatizing the defense’s character assassination must have been for Gray and condemned a culture that is so quick to victim-blame:

The court was constantly reminded, told, as if to traumatize the helplessness, the only one we can believe is Mr. Ururyar, because she, she Ms. Gray, cannot remember. What a job and a real bad one, trying to shape the evening. We must not create a culture that suggest we learn that rape is wrong through trial and error.

How can you prove it? You don’t remember. He knows you don’t remember. He is going to write the script and he did. Testimony incomplete, memory loss, etc. etc. And, of course, typically, no dialogue in the story. One full sentence by Ms. Gray? What is it? No power, no voice, defenceless. To listen to Mr. Ururyar paint Ms. Gray as the seductive party animal is nothing short of incomprehensible. He went or tried to go to any length to discredit Ms. Gray, if not invalidate her. Such twisted logic.

… There is no demographic profile that typifies a rapist. There is a danger of stereotyping rapists. When the accused is a friend of the victim and uses that relationship to gain, and then betray the complainant’s trust; there may be a need to be informed in order to recognize and understand the accused’s predatory behaviour. No other crime is looked upon with the degree of blameworthiness, suspicion, and doubt as a rape victim. Victim blaming is unfortunately common and is one of the most significant barriers to justice and offender accountability.

…The responsibility and blame lie with the perpetrator who takes advantage of a vulnerable victim or violates the victim’s trust to commit the crime of sexual assault. Rape is an act of violence and aggression in which the perpetrator uses sex as a weapon to gain power and control over the victim. It is too common to redefine rape as sex and try to capitalize on the mistaken believe that rape is an act of passion that is primarily sexually motivated, It is important to draw the legal and common sense distinction between rape and sex… There is no situation in which an individual cannot control his/her sexual urges.

Towards the end of his statement, Judge Zuker clarified  what consent really means and why a survivor’s actions before the assault should never be used to excuse rape.

“Without consent, ‘no’ means ‘no,’ no matter what the situation or circumstances,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if the victim was drinking, out at night alone, sexually exploited, on a date with the perpetrator, or how the victim was dressed. No one asks to be raped.”

In his verdict, the judge actually underlined that last sentence (on page 172 in the embedded statement below).

The same day Judge Zuker read his verdict, Gray released a public statement in response to Zuker’s powerful words. “I am tired of people talking to me like I won some sort of rape lottery because the legal system did what it is supposed to do,” Gray wrote.

In a conversation with reporters after the hearing, Gray called the verdict a “huge victory,” but added that Zuker’s statements can’t undo the trauma she’s endured.

“I think it’s massive, these statements,” Gray said. “But, I mean, these statements don’t un-rape me, first of all, and nor does it erase the process that I’ve had to go through.”

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I decided to publish another blog today because this Canadian judge has the courage and the strength to what three American judges have not done. He has not punished the victim for her own rape. He has stated for the record that No means No. Our judges slapped the hands of the convicted rapist and let them off without jail time.

 

American men, there is no reason for you to violate a woman. No does mean no. Rape has to do with power and control and not really sex. What kind of man can’t control himself? Once again, we see here in America that there is no respect for women, no consideration for their feelings…It is a War on Women.

 

Congratulations to our Northern neighbors. Hats off to the judge who is man enough to follow the law and do what is right.

 

Namaste

Barbara