A young medical student, future doctor who would have saved lives, was vandalized like a bombed church to the point where it’s questionable whether her survival would have been a mercy.
I understand the rage and deep despair of women in India. They have been living under a terrorist threat all their lives, and it does not come from without, but within. They walk the gauntlet every day, facing random crime and threat while those who should protect the public indulge in denial and victim blaming. Women are expendable. The mistake of the six men who thought they could get away with murder was in not choosing their victim more wisely. They never expected that schoolgirls would be holding signs calling for their public hanging.
Every society has crime. What has women and men demonstrating in the streets of India is the intolerable injustice. For too long, oppression of women on the margins has been ignored. Now the depth of the suffering of women is the shame of all, and the people are calling for justice. That justice will not be satisfied by a show trial, but by real change. That justice will not be satisfied until a woman can believe that she is equal under the protection of the law.
It was about 30 years ago the first Take Back the Night march was organized in Providence, Rhode Island. It was not a triumphal march. It’s no fun to have to walk the streets of your own city, chanting ‘No More Rape’. The rule of law should be responsible for public safety. But rule of law was applied selectively and atrocious crimes were being committed without consequences.
I think that thirty years on, we are less complacent, but an individual has a better chance of justice, whether she or he is of high status or low.
A friend of mine, in our women’s spirituality group– okay, it was a coven– told me a story.
She had been active with a Zen Buddhist center, and was going through a rough time emotionally. She asked one of the monks for spiritual advice.
When they were alone together, and she was in a vulnerable state, he steered the counseling session into a sexual encounter.
She left confused, but soon recognized that this man had betrayed her trust and taken advantage. It took her about a year to get up the courage to do something about it.
She said she prayed to the Goddess Kali to keep her anger alive. To keep her from falling into niceness and premature forgiveness. To give her the angry courage to tell this man frankly how much he had harmed her.
She said that when she had finished telling him how his actions had affected her, he thanked her. She said he kept saying, “thank you.” all the time she was telling him the truth. Maybe she really did get through to him.
A beautiful and useful concept that was developed in South Africa is ‘Truth and Reconciliation’. Before reconciliation there must be truth. And that truth must be taken seriously by those in power to construct and enforce the law. We are in a new millennium, and we cannot afford to lose the best contributions of half the human race in order to appease ancient prejudice. That challenge goes out to all the world, to the daily life and struggle of every woman no matter where she lives. Like the Unitarians say–the worth and dignity of every human being.
Thanks to Summer Anne Burton for her photos of Indians demanding justice.
(Creds to this site, 10 Most Powerful Hindu Goddesses for the fierce aspect of Kali.)
Nancy Green explains how we can follow Australia’s lead and take important steps toward ending our gun violence epidemic.
So while it’s not rational to be disgusted with an entire country because of the actions of a few, I couldn’t resist posting this clip.
Two Australian radio shock jocks decided to hound Kate Middleton while she was sick in the hospital. In the process they tricked a nurse into breaching confidentiality for her patient, and then broadcast the results. This was a huge disgrace for the nurse. Whatever other issues she might have had in her life, it’s almost certain the cruel joke triggered her suicide.
Australian radio is a huge part of their media, and international corporations are monopolizing the industry. Rupert Murdoch’s grandson, Lachlan is a player.
This is happening in the US too, and the race to the bottom is a race for profit. You can blame the listeners, but when spam is all that’s on the menu people get used to it.
All the more reason we need to preserve independent media and diversity here at home.
Another fascinating documentary, “Happy,” entered my consciousness yesterday. It talks about what makes for happiness. Some of you may be familiar with the concept of “flow” — if not, the movie is an excellent primer. But beyond flow, the film also provides research about how little social status and money (above a certain basic minimum for health and safety) really have to do with happiness. Parts that were particularly intriguing were the descriptions of Co-housing in Denmark, and how people there report record high levels of happiness and contentment. Co-housing exists in America, but not at all to the degree it does in Denmark. It might be an interesting model for Americans to allow into their field of vision, now that we have suffered a massive economic downturn and many people have lost their homes to foreclosure. Maybe we could even try a co-housing development with the bond money that will be on the Rhode Island ballot this November.
If President Obama took the huge gamble of raiding Osama bin Laden in his hideout for the sake of justice, it would be hard to argue against it. The question was asked whether this was a mostly symbolic act, or a response to a still-active threat.
Maybe taking out a leader and planner has made the world a little safer…
The number of worldwide terror attacks fell to 10,283 last year, down from 11,641 in 2010 and the lowest since 2005, the State Department reported today.
What’s made the difference? The State Department cites the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden and other top al Qaeda members killed last year including Atiyah Abd al-Rahman and Anwar al-Awlaki, who was the head of Yemen’s Al Qaeda affiliate and had ties to the underwear bomber plot in 2010.
“The loss of bin Laden and these other key operatives puts the network on a path of decline that will be difficult to reverse,” the report stated.
It only takes one, and everything could change tomorrow. The real answer is to build alliances and discredit the gangs who turn mother’s sons into suicide bombers. You can’t kill an idea, but killing a man who devoted his life to making war can buy time for better ideas to replace an ideology of despair.
With a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the Health Care Reform legislation with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read. Read the opinion here.
While Justice Anthony Kennedy was thought to be the swing vote, he ultimately dissented and Chief Justice John Roberts' vote ultimately saved the historic legislation.
One of the theoretical disadvantages of building more nuclear power plants may have become more real…
(CNN) — Security has been heightened at Sweden’s nuclear power plants after explosives were discovered on a vehicle entering a protected nuclear site, authorities said Thursday.
The truck was stopped at the Ringhals nuclear power plant on Wednesday afternoon, the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority said.
The suspicious material was discovered before the vehicle had entered the protected area, it said.
Police are now investigating suspected sabotage, said the plant’s owner, Vattenfall.
The “explosive paste” was uncovered by sniffer dogs during a routine security check, the company said in a statement.
This story is new, we’ll hear more in the next few days.
Since 9/11, security in the US has been upgraded. From the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission…
One of the most important components of security programs at nuclear power facilities is the security force. Over the past five years, the NRC has required power plants to add more training and higher qualification standards for security personnel, while substantially increasing the number of officers on the force. Plant security officers, for example, must now be trained under more realistic conditions and against moving targets. In order to minimize security personnel fatigue and ensure a vigilant and effective security force, the NRC has instituted additional fitness-for-duty requirements and work hours controls.
In accordance with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the NRC has also strengthened requirements for fingerprinting and background checks for various types of licensees and certificate holders. On Jan. 4, 2006, the NRC entered into an agreement with the federal government’s Terrorist Screening Center to review records of individuals with unescorted access to nuclear power reactor facilities. This collaborative effort automated and streamlined the collection and dissemination of information used to determine the trustworthiness of individuals who have unescorted access to certain vital areas of nuclear power plants. It also enhances the process of identifying anyone with access to these areas who may pose a threat to national security.
If you read closely, government is depending on industry to do its part. Japan seemed to have a well-run and transparent nuclear industry before Fukushima, but it has emerged that political and industry corruption suppressed efforts to maintain a level of safety that might have spared the people of Japan from a man-made disaster in the wake of the Tsunami. We don’t usually think of Japan as being eroded by organized crime, but that’s a factor too…
After the arrest of a yakuza boss for his alleged role in supplying workers to TEPCO’s Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Plant, we are learning the details of how Japan’s nuclear industry relied on organized crime. Since July of last year, a few months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami resulted in a triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant, investigators have been probing possible yakuza links to TEPCO and the nuclear industry under the guidance of the National Police Agency.
When we look at the situation of workers generally, and the inadequacy of government oversight in other areas, and add corruption and crime, it’s clear that there’s an expectation that the nuclear industry will operate on a higher and more pure level than any other. Have they earned this faith?
Any proposed new nuclear plant must factor in the cost of providing security, basically forever. Long after the plant has stopped producing power, the toxic waste will have to be kept from terrorists and criminals who could use it for weapons. That’s in addition to human error and whatever changes may come in the future that would make us relax our vigilance. There are dirty sites all over the world from decades of Cold War politics, from industrial and medical use of radioactive materials.
The incident in Sweden might not turn out to be a real threat, but the real threat is always a possibility– a curse we are handing down to future generations.
I visited the EWEA's (European Wind Energy Association) annual conference and exhibition in Copenhagen last month.
The event, which took place over four days featured over 500 exhibitors, more than 100 expert speakers from across the wind industry, and in excess of 10,600 visitors from Europe and indeed the world.
It gave me a great opportunity to meet a number of Igloo3's current clients (especially those based in Mainland Europe), some of the candidates we've placed in the last year as well as meet a few new client prospects and candidates.