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You know, dear Kossacks, you think you've read about the most horrible events in the world, depravity of unimaginable dimensions, and you wonder can it get much worse? Then you read about this.

Congolese women being brutally, systematically and savagely raped. Some left so mutilated, that they will never have children, or go to the bathroom in a normal fashion.

Last week I attended the Clinton Global Initiative, it was a sobering experience, because as they say, it put things in perspective.

In the United States we have unforgivable poverty. But we have had a government and we will have a government again--on January 20, 2009.  We also have the resources, and as the richest nation on the planet, it defies belief that we have such vast poverty.  But if we as a society wanted to, we could to a large extent, ameliorate the terrible suffering of  many Americans.

The political class, which grows more and more worthless with each passing day, is largely responsible for this deplorable state of affairs in the United States. But we also have the ability to get rid of these losers and elect people who will recognize their moral responsibility to address and correct the shame of American poverty.

The Third World on the other hand, is filled with tens, hundreds of millions of human beings living in what is known as extreme poverty. Many of these people live in refugee camps some are displaced people who have been forced to leave their homes for reasons such as religious or political persecution, war or natural disaster.

This article in the New York Times about African women being sadistically tortured and raped is graphic, revolting, sickening and almost impossible to fathom. But you must read it, and you must feel intense anger, revulsion and pain. Please do not shield yourself from this barbaric reality. Hug the person you love, then understand what is transpiring at this very moment on our planet.

Savage Rapes Stoke Trauma of Congo War

BUKAVU, Congo — Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, cannot bear to listen to the stories his patients tell him anymore.

Soldiers and militiamen have raped women around Bukavu.
Every day, 10 new women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair.

"We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear," said Dr. Mukwege, who works in South Kivu Province, the epicenter of Congo’s rape epidemic. "They are done to destroy women."

Then I hope you will also take a few minutes to acquaint yourselves with the End Poverty 2015 Millenium Campaign.

At the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, world leaders from rich and poor countries alike committed themselves - at the highest political level - to a set of eight time-bound targets that, when achieved, will end extreme poverty worldwide by 2015.

These are some statistics you should be aware of:

* Half the world — nearly three billion people — live on less than two dollars a day.

* The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined.

* Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. * Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.

* 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).

Here are some more unbearable facts:

Each year, more than 8 million people around the world die because they are too poor to stay alive.

Over 1 billion people—1 in 6 people around the world—live in extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1 a day.

More than 800 million go hungry each day.
Over 100 million primary school-age children cannot go to school.

All of this is even more disquieting than usual because it comes on the same day that the New York Times ran a front page story entitled Age of Riches: $6 Million for the Co-op, Then Start to Renovate. This was about New Yorkers who spend millions of dollars to purchase an apartment, then spend millions more to renovate it.

And as we laugh about Larry (the latrine) Craig, David (the diaper) Vitter, and General Betrayus. As we fight amongst ourselves on Daily Kos about Clinton, Obama and Edwards, remember that most of the world wishes they could amuse themselves with such stuff.

But they can't, because they just want to live to see sunrise.

Originally posted to nyceve on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:25 PM PDT.

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  •  I almost feel like apolgizing for . . . (286+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mapantsula, SME in Seattle, clio, JekyllnHyde, al Fubar, sj, Donna Z, vicki, coral, northsylvania, daria g, murphy, melo, Buckeye BattleCry, skyesNYC, ghost2, DelRPCV, TrueBlueMajority, Powered Grace, NYmom, RunawayRose, Bob Love, rincewind, Shockwave, TomK002, kpardue, GayHillbilly, Bexley Lane, HarveyMilk, shpilk, object16, Norwegian Chef, PanzerMensch, exNYinTX, HighSticking, Heart of the Rockies, shermanesq, RubDMC, opinionated, concernedamerican, ReneInOregon, bronte17, DrKate, groggy, megs, sfgb, jiffykeen, Morague, liberaldregs, PBnJ, moiv, phild1976, roses, samddobermann, slatsg, someRaven, Ignacio Magaloni, Molee, wishingwell, poe, ClickerMel, wonmug, andreww, splashy, bewert, David Boyle, lirtydies, high uintas, SneakySnu, resa, dejavu, psnyder, nancelot, TexDem, campskunk, Dallasdoc, Kelly A H, Teddifish, goobop, Caldonia, Kidspeak, churchylafemme, Dale Read, noveocanes, betson08, snakelass, tabbycat in tenn, graciella, lcrp, Liberaljentaps, coigue, Brian82, BWasikIUgrad, barbwires, walkshills, Panda, Noisy Democrat, DemDog, DrReason, Lychee, valadon, rickeagle, jim bow, vivens fons, Jersey Joe, rapala, madaprn, angrybird, humphrey, maybeeso in michigan, historys mysteries, marina, farleftcoast, 3goldens, escapee, Ckntfld, Alegre, Five of Diamonds, lilypew, asskicking annie, JanetT in MD, Bodean, arnott, PBen, KnotIookin, propagandism, truong son traveler, drewfromct, Maine Atticus, Turkana, boofdah, lennysfo, Pam from Calif, John DE, GreyHawk, ladybug53, machka, Ice Blue, BobOak, blue jersey mom, lasky57, AnotherMassachusettsLiberal, The Raven, cerulean, MajorFlaw, wiscmass, Silence is Complicity, Rogneid, SignalSuzie, LisainNYC, Spathiphyllum, JanL, Ekaterin, psyched, grapes, Sister Havana, Asinus Asinum Fricat, signalcamp, Jim R, begone, reddbierd, Mother Mags, dhfsfc, martini, third Party please, jimraff, kovie, Topaz7, Jennifer Clare, BachFan, tommymet, MuffledDrum, keeplaughing, Kingsmeg, RustyBrown, BlueInARedState, tobendaro, emeraldmaiden, Ellicatt, Yellow Canary, koNko, dewey of the desert, kck, play jurist, Alexandra Lynch, tecampbell, aepm, A Siegel, Lashe, agnostic, SaraPMcC, DSPS owl, FireCrow, happy camper, CTLiberal, max stirner, ER Doc, bonesy, llbear, rage, JugOPunch, CA Nana, Persiflage, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, means are the ends, Dreaming of Better Days, horatius, Statusquomustgo, Bernie68, Picot verde, leighkidd, duha, Friend of the court, coolsub, Boadicaea, eastmt, One Pissed Off Liberal, sarasson007, J Royce, Noor B, dov12348, marykk, bvljac, jessical, Femlaw, dmh44, moodyinsavannah, Positronicus, moosely2006, FishOutofWater, tbirchard, flumptytail, terabytes, DWG, joyful, masslib, Carib and Ting, mudslide, Newzie, jnhobbs, millwood, Moderation, ImpeachKingBushII, keikekaze, Bikemom, Terra Mystica, TomP, crystaljim, rogerdaddy, Justus, planetclaire4, ferment, hulagirl, Baron Dave, Chacounne, KnowVox, lamzdotes, bythesea, brooklynbadboy, skohayes, Archangel, alasmoses, Lujane, pamelabrown, SuperCameron, pickandshovel, ankey, Tam in CA, Liberal Of Limeyland, echatwa, DixieDishrag, MizC, junta0201, Quilldriver, magicsister, HoosierDeb, toom, jlms qkw, AnotherObamaGirl, NeeshRN, Chad Michaels, Zaq, TKK, Amanda J Carlsson, sulphureous, bjones

    inflicting this on you, but this is the ghastly reality for so many.

  •  It is ghastly. I have been in lots of (37+ / 0-)

    different places in the US and around the globe. Some of the poverty is unimaginable. the ride from the airport to my hotel in Mumbai (when I was part of an archaeological project in India) just made me cry. thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  •  The rapes are horrific. Yet this stood out to me. (40+ / 0-)

    The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined.

    I have no resentment of those who possess massive wealth, but I do have a problem with the governments of the world not finding a way to redistribute in some equitable manner some of that wealth.

    roman catholic by birth---- thoroughly confused by life

    by alasmoses on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:31:48 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for writing this. (14+ / 0-)

    As hard as it was to read, it needed to be written.

  •  It is unforgivable that our government can but (19+ / 0-)

    will not act to stop this brutality and hideous-beyond-belief treatmnent of women.  It is another nail in the coffin of GWB's legacy...the most useless, dumbest, most narcisscistic ass to have ever occupied the White House.

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:33:32 PM PDT

    •  Our president is all over the need to take action (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coral, nyceve, Lying eyes, bonesy, Shaviv, junta0201

      to deny poor children access to medical care, and over the need to deny researchers the chance to work with embryos slated to be discarded or abandoned.  He is absolutely livid about the "gossip" that he knows some people in the world are saying about him.

      But has he said a word about this outrage?  

    •  Bush's Fault? (0+ / 0-)

      Come on.

      What could GWB do to prevent this? What did Clinton do when he had the chance? What did Jimmy Carter do? Bush Senior almost did some good in Somalia, but that fell apart as well.

      Africa is a basket case. How do you solve a problem where the most of the actors are not even human anymore.

      How do you teach a society that they should not gang rape women and children?

      I don't think a few extra bags of wheat and a 1 hour class will do the trick.

      •  Unfortunately, they ARE human. (8+ / 0-)

        I know it's just a figure of speech, but it obscures an important truth: people who do this sort of thing are still people. This is one of the states human beings can occupy.

        If we forget that, if we consign those who commit such atrocities to a different kind than ourselves, then we are denying that there exists a pathway between them and us. And, by that much, we are evading the truth.

        The reason it is counterproductive to defend our self-concept thus, is that examining the pathway is the only way to block it -- the only way to divert those who have yet to travel it.

        Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

        by Canadian Reader on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 09:00:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well Samulayo . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Persiflage, MizC

        if our military were not tied down in Iraq, perhapse we could spare some soldiers.

        I wonder would a female president react to these crimes differently than a man.

        Just wondering, so everyone take it real easy.

  •  for 99.5% of us, our worst day in hell (35+ / 0-)

    would be heaven on earth for people like these women in the Congo, the children of Kashmir, Bangladesh, in refugee camps of Jordan, Palestine, or just every day citizens on the streets of Burma, Nepal, Saudi Arabia .. or Iraq or Afghanistan, for that matter.

    The world is generally a crappy place. We need to remind ourselves no matter how bad we think we have it, it's orders of magnitude better than much of the rest of the planet.

    socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

    by shpilk on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:34:42 PM PDT

  •  The DR Congo (12+ / 0-)

    has been just about the worst place in the world for the last ten years, and it pisses me off that it's almost completely off the radar in the US press.

    Millions have been killed.

    •  I think zimbabwe may actually be worse (7+ / 0-)

      it has the lowest life expectancy on earth right now. A couple of weeks ago Zimbabweans were reported to have begun eating their pet dogs to stay alive.

      But Congo is definitely in the running for sheer brutality alone.

      •  oh my God, decembersue (6+ / 0-)

        Eating their dogs.

        This is all so unbearable.  I don't know how much more I can read.

        I just say, there but for the grace of God go I. I don't know what else to say or think.

        Despite all of our problems Mr. Bush, we are truly blessed to live in this country, and we need to share our blessings with the rest of the world.

        •  Mugabe is untouchable (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nyceve, ER Doc, planetclaire4

          with America distracted in Iraq and the idea of intervention thoroughly discredited. He has impunity.

          The last figure I saw put the average lifespan of a Zimbabwean woman at 27.

          •  America (13+ / 0-)

            America is not distracted. Our government could not care less. No one cared when people were starving in Mozambique and Ethiopia in the early '90's, nor did the west act in Sudan-the fighting there has been going on as long as I can remember.  Anyone care to check on the situation in Somalia...Chad...or even Uganda?  Haven't heard a peep about those countries either.

            As for Zimbabwe, the Brits aren't exactly doing a brilliant job dealing with Mugabe.  South Africa is propping him up for some reason. Any other African leader would be stupid to comment...that might attract attention to what is going on in THEIR country.

            I lived in Kenya for 11 years from 1979 until early 1990.  I saw the poverty and even went through a coup d'etat. You never discussed politics. Everyone knew about the torture rooms in downtown Nairobi. I could still point out the building...It was treason to speak out against the president.

            As for the treatment of women, it's simple: They belong to the men. I remember seeing a woman being beaten on the side of the road and was told it was legal.  Women are expendable. Ever wonder why the birth rate has not declined in Kenya? It's because the men feel the need to show how masculine they are and women need their permission to receive/take birth control. Even my mother was asked for her husbands permission before having a hysterectomy...
            If you want to learn about a really strong Kenyan woman, Wangari Maathai is amazing. She has empowered women by teaching them to plant trees. She won a Nobel Prize...but they still refer to her as a "divorced woman".  

      •  No, I'd pretty definitely prefer to be in Zim (0+ / 0-)

        than the DRC. At least what has happened in Zim is still on the scale of comprehensible despotism. The anarchy in the DRC for the last decade has just been off the charts completely. As for life expectancy, anyone who tells you they know what life expectancy is in the DRC right now is full of it. There's just not enough solid data to do anything more than guess wildly.

        •  The notion of life expectency amidst genocide (11+ / 0-)

          is odd, huh? Rape used to be the spoils of war, now it's a weapon, like napalm, to stop the future. Besides poverty, the imbalance of power seems to push up the rapes. Croatia did not  have extreme poverty yet 500,000 brutal rapes of Muslim women.

          An imbalance of power across racial or religious differences means genocide becomes a post-war kind of way to eliminate even the next generation. No returning refugees. No angry young sons.

          Also, I imagine just the news of brutal rapes will bring more "peacekeepers." Women used as war materiel...It really is disorienting.  

          I have never traveled yet to me somehow my sense is that that is life, the horrible is normal and here, our safety, our way of life, our abundance is temporary, an undeserved gift, something that comes with a lot of strings...

          Still uncommitted, undecided...enjoying the dates; not ready for the ring or uhaul.

          by kck on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 07:39:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The reason Africans are allowed to annihilate... (14+ / 0-) another without much notice from anyone is because they were, unfortunately, born African.

      Which countries are making this a foreign policy priority? There are plenty of "expressions of outrage", or threats of "sanctions", but nothing that might actually cost money. Who's media is front-paging this? Who is leading the investigative charge? The BBC and The Guardian have been superb covering these stories. But how many people outside of England will have seen them?  I can think of a few writers in the States who've been trying to keep this in front of the stories of the latest celebrity meltdown/legal problem to absolutely no avail. Clarence Page has done a fantastic job and regularly visits this topic.

      As he has for YEARS! A quick search will show you thousands of articles going back years... decades... Millennia???

      My point? a) That his is not a new story. Just the latest travesty. b) The world for the greatest part, does not care about the lives of Africans. They are only interested in whatever natural resource lines their pockets.

      I wish it weren't so. I wish for a lot of things these days...

      "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

      by CanisMaximus on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 07:53:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Im glad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, planetclaire4

        somebody stated this. It's so simple, the western world couldn't get rid of Africans soon enough. They are hopin that one day they have all either died from AIDS or killed themselves so that they can move in and rape the country of it's natural resources...

        It's so sad. But again. I am not suprised that these travesties go ignored by the media.

  •  Thank you (10+ / 0-)

    The argument about the Democratic nominee is valid however. Though I will not lay the entire problem at the feet of the corporatists who control much of the world's wealth, there is no doubt in my mind that they bear major responsibility, from Burma to Latin America to the Congo.

    Without effective change in leadership - a real change in direction, the country might maintain its present course only at a slower pace. We need to ask who are the people advising the various candiadtes on issues of foreign policy and the economy. Who will become part of the team if a candiadte wins the White House? If the advisors are the same old group of neo-liberals and neo-conservatives, we can expect very little real change either at home or abroad.

    Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

    by slatsg on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:40:27 PM PDT

  •  I am proud to say (21+ / 0-)

    that my son's school holds an annual fundraiser as the Christmas pageant for the orphanage in Goma, Congo. We have raised money and bought them a well and more.

    It is also teaching the children (and parents) of this elementary school something invaluable.

    You cannot stand in front of progress for your country because of your fears, you must stand behind Her in spite of them.

    by coigue on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:42:02 PM PDT

    •  coigue, this is beautiful . . . (13+ / 0-)

      You know Jeffrey Sachs who runs The Earth Institute at Columbia University says that simply giving out mosquito nets would dramatically help end the scourge of Malaria in Africa.

      But of course, where's the money?

      Clean water is another huge catastrophe for so many living in extreme poverty.

    •  Kudos (8+ / 0-)

      to your son's school.  It costs so little to give them so much.

    •  I've taught at several schools and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      most of them have done fund-raisers to help people in far-off lands.  Some impressions:

      When we helped the people of the Maldives (long before much talk of global warming), it was a great experience.  The place and the people are gorgeous.  The project we joined was well-organized.  They even sent work-sheets with maps and suggested problems to solve: the doctor boat is at port A, learns of an emergency at port B, travels at x km/hr, how long will it take the doctor to get there?  In the Maldives you can dig a temporary well in the middle of a path and get fresh water.  The project distributed little bottles for testing water quality; if it turns one color you can drink it, another color, don't.  

      That project turned its attention to Ceylon / Sri Lanka / and the political and religious stuff was much too complicated for our grade schoolers, so we dropped it.

      Likewise a project to help Tibetan refugees going to school in North India.  Just having to explain that, yes, parents did say farewell and send their little kids on a long walk over glaciers in the hope they'd survive and make it to India was just too much for our kids to comprehend.

      The school I'm at now got water to a school and a village in Kenya, saving people the long walk to the river with water tanks on donkeys' backs.  That was the initiative of one of our teachers who'd been there.  We got the Norwegian government to match our funds.  This kind of project requires lots of work from several adults over several years.  Kids understood that we'd have to provide more piping, as it had been buried it too shallow and it broke when the elefants walked over it.  One kid's remark sticks with me:

      "It is really important to help people who already have something, and not just people who have nothing and are starving."
      [Norwegian 4th-grade boy]

      But we won't be doing such a private initiative project again even though that one was successful.  They're even able to irrigate the flowers they sell at market.

      Now we stick to SOS Children's Cities, even though there are a couple of things I don't much like about it.  8-10 kids live in a little house with one mother.  The only men involved are teachers and administrators.  But the project has its own accountants and seems to be truthful about how much of our money goes directly to helping people.  Raising money is important to us but learning about the country, animals, plants, schooling etc and making contact by exchanging photos and kids' drawings is more important.  We've occasionally sent packages to "our" Childrens' Village in Arusha, Tanzania, and received back photos of kids playing with our soccer balls and jump ropes.

      (My personal contribution to both the Kenya and Tanzania projects has been translating letters from hopeless African English to Norwegian :-))

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 07:33:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  By the world's standards... (21+ / 0-)

    ...most Americans are "royalty". Retired on SS, I have less than $100 in my pockets after bills every month. But I think I'm rich now and have been my whole life. "Rich" is a relative term. But I don't base my "wealth factor" on money. I have my faith, my 1000 book library, my two dogs, my girlfriend, and my best friends, not necessarily in that order. But make no mistake, I live in the poor side of John Edwards' "two Americas". I live in a 35 year old mobile home (one of only two)in a neighborhood where the cheapest homes are half a million dollars. As soon as I get my digital camera set-up with my pc, I'm gonna take some pictures of my neighborhood and do a diary on it. The dichotomy will blow your mind!

    08.04.07 It took the Titanic longer to sink than for the 110th Congress to surrender to Bush.

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:54:20 PM PDT

  •  Harper's ran an article on (16+ / 0-)

    this organization last month.  Bravo to Bill Clinton for lending his name and energy, bravo to Ira Magaziner for spearheading it, and bravo to you for attending and bringing it to us.

    Keep us updated on its initiatives.  

    "I don't think I intended to break the law." - Monica Goodling

    by Bob Love on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 05:59:57 PM PDT

  •  Wikipedia entry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, MizC

    on the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

  •  I Attended that CGI Conference Too - More Numbers (14+ / 0-)

    Every minute of every day of every week of every year (ie 24/7) - a woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth complications.

    Each year, some 2 million babies will die before the sun sets on their first day of life.

    UNICEF just celebrated the fact that the number of children who die before their 5th birthday has dropped to below 10 million wee children each year.

    When I saw this my jaw dropped - they're celebrating that ONLY just under 10 million children die by age 5.

    This is all due to the extreme poverty Eve's talking about here.  

    It's also something that can be corrected with less money that Bush wastes in one month on his occupation in Iraq (ok that's a guesstimate but you get my drift).

    At that conference Eve & I attended (along w/ MassLib and a few other bloggers), we attended a press conference with Angelina Jolie and they announced a commitment to funding programs that would help reduce the above numbers drastically.

    I'm not usually at a loss for words, but in this case words fail me - CGI has done amazing work in finding funding for programs all around the devloping world - raising BILLIONS of dollars.

    Stories like the ones in this diary break your heart - but thanks to Bill's dedicated work in this arena, I truly believe there's finally hope - real hope regarding a sea-change in the developing world.

  •  I struggling to recommend this - (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annrose, nyceve, Caldonia, hulagirl, echatwa

    I'm having a hard time because of the graphic nature of the sickening acts perpetrated by people against other people.

    Of course we need to raise awareness, and gain perspective on what kind of world we "Democrats" fight for and believe in.

    Condemnation of the acts "goes without saying" but bringing yourself to face it and your responsibility for doing something about it, that is our challenge.  

    Because none of us could ever imagine doing this to someone else - that is exactly the horrifying point.

    So a rec it is.

    People, not corporations. Democracy, not totalitarian capitalism. Edwards for All

    by democracy is coming on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 06:13:14 PM PDT

  •  "thanks for writing this" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Caldonia, marina, hulagirl

    ...seems, as it leaves my fingers, pompous and pointless.  But thank you.  

    The debate about liberty and food is very old.  I'm bugged, honestly, by the moral lesson in some comments going straight to "how good we have it".  Who wins in the election will have a real impact on how much or how little we give the world in aid, how intellectual property is treated in terms of HIV and other diseases; how wars are faciliated or made more difficult.  Agree that this is perhaps the moral issue of our time; but it's not independent of our choices, or the things we argue about here.

  •  When there's a disaster of some kind, (8+ / 0-)

    or when a region loses its political stability, who pays? Women. Rape becomes endemic. It's an ugly reality we've seen played out again and again, from the fall of Nazi Germany, to Bosnia, to Rwanda, to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, to name but a few. As social conditions go to hell, more and more men--often, apparently, men who would never dream of this behavior in normal, day-to-day life--take out their hostilities on innocent women.

    Just what is going on here? What does this say about male socialization?

  •  if we avert our eyes to horror, we then acquiesce (18+ / 0-)

    it is not that we should seek out horror for the sake of titillation, or to be able to tell ourselves how fortunate we are that we are not like that, either the oppressors or the oppressed.

    And yet, even here ....

    Matthew Shepherd
    Abner Louima
    James Byrd

    or for those of us who know our New York City lore, perhaps we can remember the horror of Kitty Genovese

    Perhaps the 1976 version of the famous words by Martin Niemoller are applicable:

    Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Kommunist.

    Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

    Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
    habe ich nicht protestiert;
    ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

    Als sie die Juden holten,
    habe ich geschwiegen;
    ich war ja kein Jude.

    Als sie mich holten,
    gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte

    The translation of this version is, according to Wikipedia, as follows:

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn't a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

    It has always seemed to me that we are universally connected, and cannot ignore what happens elsewhere, or pretend that somehow it does not affect us.

    Perhaps one excellent early example of this is from John Donne, his Meditation XVII from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions:

    Nunc lento sonitu dicunt, morieris.

    Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.

    Perchance he for whom this bell tolls1 may be so ill as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me and see my state may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that head which is my head too, and ingrafted into the body whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another. As therefore the bell that rings a sermon calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness. There was a contention as far as a suit (in which piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled) which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined that they should ring first that rose earliest. If we understand aright the dignity of this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God. Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? but who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

    No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

    Neither can we call this a begging of misery or a borrowing of misery, as though we are not miserable enough of ourselves but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbors. Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did; for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction. If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current moneys, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels as gold in a mine and be of no use to him; but this bell that tells me of his affliction digs out and applies that gold to me, if by this consideration of another's dangers I take mine own into contemplation and so secure myself by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.


    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

    by teacherken on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 06:17:34 PM PDT

    •  Beautiful. We are one world (0+ / 0-)

      and whatever we do, affects others throughout the world.  

      This applies at a governmental level, obviously, but also locally and personally.  We all need to do, not just what we've been doing, but more, to correct injustice at every level.

      Education is a big key ... I am always amazed that my friends and coworkers are so oblivious to the world's situation.  I find myself making an ever bigger effort to inform others about the problems, and to model solutions - within my own sphere of influence, and by outreaching through demonstrations and writing.  

  •  Priorities... (17+ / 0-)

    women starving and brutalized.
    babies dying before their 1st birthday.

    And the anti-abortion nutcases in this country spend millions to outlaw abortions instead of spending money to help these poor LIVING needy already-born human beings.

    They are not pro-life at all.

    HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right

    by annrose on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 06:20:06 PM PDT

  •  The youngest rape victims... (19+ / 0-)

    ...who become pregnant are likely to suffer severe injury during childbirth due to the immature development of their pelvises.  Traumatic obstetric fistulas are often the direct result of sexual violence.   It's a horrid condition that causes the girls or young women to constantly leak urine and feces and they become social outcasts.

    I became aware of The Fistula Foundation a few years ago and the angelic work of Dr. Catherine Hamlin.  "At the Hamlin Fistula Hospitals, it costs US$450 to provide one woman with a fistula repair operation, high-quality postoperative care, a new dress, and bus fare home."  Love-a-sister.  From despair to dignity.

    "We Democrats are so damn blessed."~nyceve Visit Hillary's Bloggers

    by Caldonia on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 06:20:51 PM PDT

  •  Oh, I wish I could cite this (9+ / 0-)

    but I can't.

    I remember reading, many years ago, a story by or about a nurse who had been working in the Belgian Congo in 1960.  She said that white colonists - women - would come into the hospital in a terrible condition, much like this article describes.  At night she would hear them whisper to each other "How many times for you?".

    She also said that very quietly a directive came from the Vatican that said for the next six months, they could perform abortions, but only on white women.  

    I remember it because it was the first time in my life I saw the word 'abortion', and I asked about it.  I think I was seven, which would make it 1962 or so.  

    This isn't new, if what I'm remembering is correct.

    "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

    by escapee on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 06:21:41 PM PDT

  •  And this is a critical warning sign (11+ / 0-)

    The twin evils of extreme poverty and extreme brutality aren't just some abstract sort of injustice.  They are a warning sign to us all about the deteriorating state of human civilization.  What's going on in places like the Congo is a species-wide cancer that, if not dealt with, threatens us all.  And you can't hide from it in a $6 million condo in the Upper East Side.

    When those Congolese children were raped, it didn't happen by magic.  Someone gave an order to someone to do it, and someone obeyed that order.  The people (term used loosely) who give such orders control militias, weapons, and perhaps whole countries.  And someone sponsored these people.  What we see is a tendency to dumb down the definition of what's evil in foreign and military policy.  The United States has routinely armed and financed some of the worst sorts of war criminals, as have the other advanced countries in the world.  This is the planetary equivalent of selling chain saws to serial killers, a metaphor that describes a lot of policies we've engaged in as a nation over the last few decades.

  •  We are not free from blame (me included). (7+ / 0-)

    When you quote this:

    1 in 6 people around the world—live in extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1 a day.

    Remember this:

    On a global scale the average US citizen uses far more than his or her fair share of the planet's resources - consuming more than four times the worldwide average of energy, almost three times as much water and producing more than twice the average amount of rubbish and five times the amount of carbon dioxide, a major contributor to global warming. The US - with five per cent of the world's population - uses 23 per cent of its energy, 15 per cent of its meat and 28 per cent of its paper. Additional population will mean more people seeking a share of those often-limited resources.

    'Be the change you want to see in the world.' Mahatma Gandhi

    by maracatu on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 06:28:21 PM PDT

  •  addressing these horrors is now (9+ / 0-)

    MUCH HARDER for our country to do with the unbelievable damage that has taken place to our reputation on the international stage.  We have thrown away our moral high ground, and also bogged a lot of our resources down where we can't move on other international crises.  

    "There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by duha on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 06:33:07 PM PDT

  •  Traumatized societies (12+ / 0-)

    This paragraph stood out for me:

    Mr. Bourque called this phenomenon "reversed values" and said it could develop in heavily traumatized areas that had been steeped in conflict for many years, like eastern Congo.

    Reversed values.  Heavily traumatized areas. Like ... maybe Iraq in a few years?

    Can anyone bear to think about how the trauma there may play out in the coming years?

    It could be even worse than in Congo. Oh, but I forgot ... the people are free ...

    •  trafficking of Iraqi women (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, planetclaire4, MizC

      I read or heard a report last year about the forced prostitution of Iraqi women in Syria, Jordan, etc.. It is rampant. Another consequence of the democracy domino.

      Clark '08 -6.88/-5.54

      by DrReason on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 10:20:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  is but a small percentage. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DrReason, PinHole

        incredible trafficking is taking place in Poland, Ukraine, other former soviet states,  India, Pakistan, Thailand, China, parts of africa. And don't forget the blond-blue eyes US kidnapping rings that send girls to Saudi princes. (No, I am NOT making this up).

        In the past year, several major busts in Chicago, NY, LA and Miami caught the little guys (the ones running the prostitution rings staffed with kidnapped, non-english speaking illegal aliens)

        There was a case a year ago where a woman escaped her tormentors, went to the authorities, and foundherself in prison because she was kidnapped here without proper ID or a green card. Thank you, Mr AG Gonzales.
        It took a local outcry for the feds to actually move against the kidnappers and pimps.

        So nice that we have our priorities straight. Anti-medical marijuana, anti-pronography, anti-sexual toys, but ignore massive trade in kidnapped women, ignore the well organized and systemic rapes and violence in the Congo, and more.

        In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell. - Mencken

        by agnostic on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 05:36:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some background history here (17+ / 0-)

    Steve Gilliard had a great series of blogs on colonial wars. Out of all those stories, the Belgian Congo stood out as a place with a uniquely brutal and sad history.

    Diary with links to entire series

    Here's an excerpt, but the whole series deserves reading.

    This disaster was the result of a Belgian policy of paternalism. While the British and the French cultivated a civil service class in their colonies, the Belgians didn't. They wanted children and that left the resource rich country in utter turmoil. Unlike in India, where there was a leadership of trained lawyers and politicians ready to assume power, the Congo had anger, but no one to run the country. The Belgians had no intent on ever letting the Congolese run their own affairs and liked the factionalism which had kept them in control. Remember, Algerians were not only commissioned in the French Army, but attended the Sorbonne. Indians had attended Oxford and Cambridge, including Ghandi and Nehru. India also had a legacy of both civil and military leadership at the lower levels. There were also Indian pilots and sailors. But in the Belgian Congo, the locals were expected to always need a Belgian master. All intellectual prowess was in Belgian hands. Which would turn into a bloody disaster after independence.

    •  don't forget the ID cards of different colors (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coral, dwcal

      I'm a native of Brussels but I was officially a foreigner (until seven years after I emigrated to the US, and then only so they could rope me into military service). The same thing is at the root of the Hutu-Tutsi genocide. The Belgians instituted a division that had been relatively mild.

      Bravo, Belgium!

      I highly recommend the book King Leopold's Ghost, and the movie Lumumba.

      Clark '08 -6.88/-5.54

      by DrReason on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 10:19:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  King Leopold's Ghost can't be (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, dwcal, DrReason

        too highly rec'd.  (Among other things, it will introduce you to two amazing men, Roger Casement and Edmund Morel, who did stand up against the outrages--both unfortunately paid a heavy price, but they left a legacy that will restore some of your faith in humanity.)  There is also on dvd a documentary to rec on King Leopold's legacy--White King, Red Rubber?  Something like that.  I may not remember the exact name, but one chilling fact from it you won't get elsewhere and can't get out of your head:  To this day, the Belgium chocolate shops still sell tiny chocolate hands.  

        •  Thanks for the rec (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dwcal, planetclaire4

          I checked immediately but the documentary is not available through my local library and its network. Netflix has it, so I'll get it through a colleague. Thanks. It's amazing that you remember the names of Casement and Morel.

          To this day, the Belgium chocolate shops still sell tiny chocolate hands.

          I heard a report about the book on NPR once. It has quite an effect when it was translated, but who knows if it sunk deeply into the psyche of Belgians. Probably not, what with all the concern about the country disintegrating.

          Clark '08 -6.88/-5.54

          by DrReason on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 04:30:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And like Belgians in Congo, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Americans may be pretending to train Iraqi military, police and bureaucrats, but sorta, just barely.

      I remember one American writing that he was chastised for sending his Iraqi troops out on missions alone when he thought they were ready.  That was not allowed.  (Diaried here.)

      Meanwhile most educated, experienced Iraqis are dead or have emigrated.

      The Republicans are defunding, not defending, America.

      by DSPS owl on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 08:19:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Iraq War (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, blue vertigo, echatwa

    The one big thing where America is directly responsible is the Iraq war.  Hundreds of thousands dead, wounded, made into refugees.

    And as we laugh about Larry (the latrine) Craig, David (the diaper) Vitter, and General Betrayus. As we fight amongst ourselves on Daily Kos about Clinton, Obama and Edwards, remember that most of the world wishes they could amuse themselves with such stuff.

    No harm in laughing provided we remember the serious stuff behind it.

  •  And that's exactly how they want it . . . (16+ / 0-)

    You know that I always recommend your diaries and support your intense, selfless work on the behalf of universal healthcare in America. Your words are always so truthful and genuine and deeply felt.

    And the bigger picture: The Congo and Iraq today are in the exact shape this Misadminstration wants them to be. In Iraq, Bush and the Neocrowd have intentionally created a holocaust (mass murder and devastation) because it serves a purpose, in the same way that the genocide of Native Americans served a purpose.

    "One million Iraqis dead? Check. 3-4 million displaced? Check. Infrastructure, medical, social and educational services destroyed? Check. Virtually uninhabitable except for the strong? OK, guys, we're halfway there."

    We want that oil. We will have that oil. That oil is ours.

    And the even bigger picture? The global elites believe that world population needs to be reduced by 50 to 80% in order to optimize resources, ensure a workforce, and maximize their continuation and domination of the planet.

    I live in the South, in a very red state. The school systems today are more segregated than before Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. A friend recently substitute taught at a local public high school. He was given three rules by the principal: (1) Do not look students directly in the eyes. (2) If a student does not obey a direction, ignore it unless doing so puts you and others in danger. (3) When leaving the school grounds, do not stop walking to talk to anyone or you will be detained by security.

    My state's graduation rate from public high school is at 50%. Those who do graduate have minimal skills.

    And that's exactly how they want it.

    The 50% of the world's children in poverty and dying? Exactly how they want it.

    We need a truth to awaken the masses. Only a mass movement can bring about the structural changes to make things as we want them--the right and ability for any human being to live with dignity and the basic necessities.

    Why didn't that 1% of the world's military budget go to human needs instead of human destruction?

    Because that's exactly how they want it.

  •  It's a Matter of Priorities - (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, nyceve, Caldonia, marina, snafubar, MizC

    It always has been -
    And it always will be.

    There. Are. No. Excuses.

  •  I just don't have words. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm just sitting here feeling sick and biting my lip and I really cannot say anything.

  •  The article about the wealthy... (9+ / 0-)

    It's a slippery slope using their success to contrast the plight of the poor.
    Bill Gates has a house bigger than he needs but he also started the worlds largest charity.

    I picture the rich having a copy of Atlas Shrugged by the bedside for when those commercials come on for African relief.

    Charity can give meaning to the existence of rich people if done the right way.

    The kind of help you are talking about here can only be done by governments.

    The human condition is rife with suffering. When it becomes intolerable is when suffering is compounded by a lack of justice. That is why this country (used to) provide serious manpower to the civil rights division of the FBI. Crime was bad, but a violation of civil rights was intolerable. At least in theory.

    There are huge areas in China where the people are off the charts in terms of income and services. We don't hear about them very often because they are doing fine by other standards. They live in communities that help each other and they know the government would not tolerate them being slaughtered. At least in theory.

    One of the biggest contributions that allow unjust governments thrive in poor countries is the availability of weapons. The good ol' USA is the number 1 exporter of weapons to poor and developing nations on earth.

    If we want to help these people, stop arming the oppressive governments and stop trade with any country that does.

    The powers in Washington listen to their think tanks which shape ideas based on ideology. To the best of my knowledge, none of them incorporate the Human Condition as a term in their equations, other than lip service. Most of the institutes that incorporate "peace" in their name actually formulate weapons policies.

    We have academies dedicated to warfare throughout the country but not a single institute dedicated to pure diplomacy which trains expert diplomats who get steeped in the histories of troubled regions of the world. The people are there, but what they should be doing is teaching armies of additional experts who are capable of confronting the Krystols of the world with overwhelming superiority.

    I was happiest as a heathen.

    by MouseOfSuburbia on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 07:07:06 PM PDT

    •  That is the difference I noticed a long time ago (2+ / 0-)

      between (for lack of better terms) conservatives and liberals:  the conservatives based their views on ideology, the liberals on human experience.

      Conservatives--covers a good (male, well-do-do) part of my family--have a "yes, but" answer for every misery.  The answers are based on the shortcomings they impute to the sufferers (imagined/theorized--they don't know anyone like that personally).

      And that, they say, is that.  The real world, its poor, its suffering, is therewith dismissed--and neatly, so is their own connection and responsibility.

      She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

      by Boadicaea on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 09:55:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep. And as we now enter the holiday season m. (9+ / 1-)

    Let's not fool ourselves, it started about a month ago. Our consumptive excess is an obscene contrast to the lives so many people around the world are living.

    The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the peanut butter.

    by sylvien on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 07:10:50 PM PDT

  •  Seems so mild compared to this, but my old diary (4+ / 0-)

    in Feminisms has a little on this. This is too awful.  You know, it happens on an individual basis sometimes here (there are euphemisms applied in the media, but I know people who work in ERs).  But as a practice, to destroy women . . . this is too too horrible.

    She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

    by Boadicaea on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 08:08:17 PM PDT

    •  . . . to destroy women BECAUSE they are women. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, planetclaire4, NeeshRN

      That is the practice.  And it's not new, is it?

      She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

      by Boadicaea on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 09:46:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps it is that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        when one is in extreme poverty, one looks to differences to determine blame.  Racial tensions intensify, too, when people are destitute.

        •  I think you're right, that's one volatile (0+ / 0-)


          I think the dynamic is more asserting power than placing blame, though.  The economic status of the aggressor really varies--I think the commonality is a desire to demonstrate power, and strip power from someone else.

          And women are the traditional targets by which power is demonstrated (also GLBT).  They can be placed in a category of "other" and dehumanized so as to be easy targets.  

          Sanitized words that mean the horrific, bloody destruction of a human being.

          She didn't know it couldn't be done, so she went ahead and did it.

          by Boadicaea on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 12:30:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It is so sad. How can humans treat each other (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, nyceve, Caldonia, boofdah

    like this. shameful. really puts your own life in perspective.

  •  nyceve (6+ / 0-)

    first I want to say how horrible it was to read this but thank you for writting it.

    Secondly I want to say thank you for all you do for the progressive community as a whole. I don't know you at all personally but I can tell you are a woman of compassion and deep conviction.'re one of God's angels. Not sure of your religious beliefs and it doesn't matter really. You are one of the good ones in this horrible awful world we live in. Bless you. In my belief there is an afterlife and a place where all good people go called heaven and it's my belief you will be there with bells on... happy as can be that the US finally got universal health care before you left this earth and that our country finally did something to help end the suffering of others around the world. I can just see you dancing now :D. Keeping fighting the good fight're a treasure.

    Tomorrow begins today! John Edwards

    by ladylib on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 08:44:13 PM PDT

  •  Don't apologize nyeceve. (7+ / 0-)

    As a man, I am often disgusted by the piggish behavior of other men.  This story of the Congo, the stories of female genital mutilation, the little girl in the video tape last week being brutally abused and raped at age 5 by Chester Arthur Stiles, and the other guy who took off with a 15 year-old girl, (luckily he released her) just speak to an awesome problem.  How can any man, with any sense of honor, behave in these fashions.  It is un-thinkable, and yet it happens all the time.

    I remember reading a few years ago (sorry, can't give a reference) but in Africa, where HIV/AIDS rages on, that the medicine men that many people use for their "health care" were telling HIV infected men that they could cure the disease by having  sex with an un-infected woman.  And the best way to ensure that you have sex with an un-infected women is to use younger and younger women.  The younger the better.

    I guess you can see where that ends up.  Little girls infected with the disease.  And with an attitude like Tabo Mbeki's not a lot of means for hope.

    Sometimes, I wish men would grow up.

    Thanks for your diary

    •  jersey joe, i think about this a lot. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      why? just kos..... *just cause*

      by melo on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 02:05:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  pressed post too quick (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve i was saying, and i believe it's all down to education, and i'm not talking about the famous 3 'r's.

      each new child is a new chance to re-steer the direction of the whole human race. people don't hate and hurt each other unless they are unhappy themselves.

      we need to put immense resources into creating conditions for children to grow up in peace, so their hearts will turn to peace as a norm, a baseline.

      people are taught to hate and to to devalue life by others living that way, by example and even by actual teaching.

      thanks nyceve, for teaching us more open-hearted compassion. as the dalai lama shares and exemplifies in his troubled life.

      cleaving to these beliefs is the fine, bright line that keeps me (relatively!) sane, and helped me raise my children to believe in and practice love towards our fellow humans, whatever their origin.

      it helps curb the natural desire for revenge in the human soul, the one that would like to inflict the kid of pain on the perpetrators, that they practice on vulnerable victims of their own self-hate.

      creating new resentments by the by.

      breaking the chain of violence is possible, yet takes patience, will and courage.

      perhaps redefining 'courage' is a good way to begin...

      those blackwater thugs think they're brave because they're not afraid to die.

      there's another higher kind of courage, and we're all going to need a lot of it these interesting times.

      i give daily thanks to kos and great diarists here for continually reminding me of its shape.

      ghandi's and christs will always be few on the ground, but if we all took part of the edge and lifted, the weight would rise.

      if we can educate the young, while they're young, we are empowering the whole human race's future.

      the trickiest part is enduring the results of so much mis-education that our ignorant forbears have done, ( as we are simultaneously grateful to many of their inventions) and that breaking of the 'chain of pain' has to occur very deeply within our own beings before we can feel sure we are passing on a sane message to our kids.

      it's unfortunately very easy to perceive ourselves through a veil of denial: to see more clearly takes rigor and honesty, both of which are all too often sadly missing from the agendas of those entrusted with the lion's part of our children's socialisation process.

      there's so much damn undoing to to just to stay semi-level on a daily basis!

      to try to raise a child with justice and honour as first principles in a world gone mad is the ultimate heroism, and my thanks goes out to all who are going that extra mile, for they are doing the most to ensure that all our children  will have an inhabitable planet at all!

      highly recc'd...

      why? just kos..... *just cause*

      by melo on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 02:36:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've met someone personally (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, truong son traveler

    My friend Osman that comes from Somalia. I'll never forget him. Strong work ethic, great smile and always looking for a better life for himself (moved to San Diego to attend college).

    I'm still angry that people have to suffer in third world countries (I hate even using that term).

    What we go through everyday is nothing compared to what folks go through everyday in poorer countries. I'm well aware of what Osman went through and I feel a kinship with his work ethic because like myself, we are people just trying to get through the motions.

    If that sounds corny, it's all good. I'm just glad that I can SEE this upfront and realize what's going on somehow.

    It's quite disheartening to read about how women are treated in "third-world countries" as well.

  •  Ok, But I Would Rather Hear More About Britney (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah, NeeshRN


  •  I applaud this diary and salute it's message (6+ / 0-)

    and although I understand that message is to step outside our own sphere of comfort and influence which Bush seems to think encompasses the globe entirely but only inasfar as neccessary to protect and defend Americans and American interests...

    When I read the paragraph

    women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair.

    I choked hard and my body flushed hot and cold.

    I will not be the only one who reads this who regrets to inform you that at the same time such horrors occur in massive and unforgivable numbers in other countries, it happens in our own as well.

    I posted a diary months ago that Bush should be struck by lighting for some of the lies he has told if the justice of God is real; Right Wing News posted my diary on their own site as an example of what they like to call "Bush Derangement Syndrome" (I'm not sure if they realize that it reads to many of us like "Bush is Deranged, and there is a syndrome in our country where many citizens point this out")

    But whenever I hear the phrase "culture of life" or I see that sick little smirk brag about his respect for all life, I have to wonder how he could ever think any forgiving god could possibly conceive he would be worthy of such forgiveness.

    All life is sacred, all lives are precious, and whether the rape occurs in another land with a chunk of wood and a bayonette or right here in an East Coast state with a 9mm pistol and a 32 ounce beer bottle kicked and shattered inside the womb, it is no less unforgettable to the victim; no less unforgivable by the attacker(s).

    I don't know why I felt the need to say all this, and it is coming out far less coherent than I thought myself possible of conveying, but in four decades I have now known two women who have survived the savagery of men, the ridicule and indifference of their families and communities for having suffered it, and a lifetime of flashbacks and nightmares that paint people who were never there and try to deny it with a brush that shames us all.

    Thank you nyceve, for reminding us that just because we close our eyes or think therapy is a solution, the only true remedy is to stop the unforgiveable violence in the first place - - and Mr. Bush, if you're listening - - that violence occurs in many more places than just Iraq.

    George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 09:31:54 PM PDT

  •  My stomach is turning (7+ / 0-)

    after reading the link - the part about the Rastas being notorious for burning babies is haunting me.  The terror, the anguish, the non-comprehension - it is just too awful to contemplate.  It seems to me from my limited world that the worst brutality arises from fear, because brutality is perceived as a conquest of fear.  The fear of being human seems to make a person behave like an animal.  And being human means suffering to so much of the world.  So no wonder these people reject their humanity and live like monsters.  It is an important lesson for anyone who would let fear dominate their lives.   But this situation described is so dire - there must be something we can do.

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it - Thomas Paine

    by Bikemom on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 09:38:58 PM PDT

  •  A powerful diary (9+ / 0-)

    Reading the NYT article you posted made me wonder what sort of atrocities produce men who would have no quarrel with burning babies and savagely raping defenseless women.

    I have to believe that the band of criminals described in the article, the "Rastas", must themselves ultimately be the result of mindless and sadistic violence.  Meaning that they too were once victims.  Perhaps they were conscripted in Rwanda as child soldiers, and had whatever potential for goodness snuffed out of them.  I refuse to believe that human beings are born evil.  We are all the product of our environments.

    I don't know exactly what I'm trying to say.  I don't want to give the impression that I am trying to excuse barbaric behavior-- I'm not.  What is transpiring [Right now.  Even as I type...] in Africa is so terrible words will never do it justice.  And also Iraq, where I was witness and party to terrible events.  And in South America.  And here too.

    It is too much for one human being to process.  No one can absorb that much pain and live.

    Thankfully, there are remedies (like which you describe) which we can apply ourselves to, even if one individual can only do so much.  And, of course, superheroes like Norman Borlaugh.

    Thank you for allowing me a forum to reflect this evening.    

  •  C-a-t-a-s-t-r-o-p-h-i-c (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This does rank as one of the top five most horrifying articles I've ever read, and at least one of the others was about rape as well.

    The article mentions the possibility that Hutus who perpetrated the genocide in Rwanda are largely responsible for these rapes, having lost their humanity. Sadly, this problem will perpetuate itself.

    Clark '08 -6.88/-5.54

    by DrReason on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 10:06:07 PM PDT

  •  I almost didn't click (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, planetclaire4, MizC

    on this.  I can't take too many more awful things, but I've never been one to take the ignorance is bliss route.  What's happening in the Congo is absolutely horrific and extremely underreported.  I didn't even know about the atrocities myself until last year.  In early October 2006 Anderson Cooper 360 reported from the region for about a week and it was some of the most brutal news watching I've ever done.  For a recap of their time there you can check out my blog.

  •  Merchant of Death (5+ / 0-)

    I'm reading a book about Russian arms dealer Victor Bout.  It's astounding, the global weapons trade is huge bucks so basically weapons are sold to anyone, including terrorists and especially Africa.  They turned the entire continent into one big bloodbath.

    by BobOak on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 10:09:02 PM PDT

  •  Arms (6+ / 0-)

    I can't help but think that his is just a side effect of the arms market. We've helped create that with our tax dollars, increasing the effectiveness of weapons. We allow a huge secret arms trade to go on, year after year. Where do we think those weapons go? My bet, a fair number end up in Africa, where they maintain a constant level of violence.

    Reigning in the arms industry has to be one of our top priorities.

    •  Reining in the arms industry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, bjones

      certainly wouldn't hurt, but I'm not that sure availability of arms is the direct cause of cruelty.  Corrupt government, lack of diamonds, gold and damns seem to be more directly linked, as does the lessons the continent learned from colonism, ie, King Leopold's ghost.  It's such a tragedy on every scale, and the odds of correcting it seem so overwhelming.

      •  The entire infrastructure of Africa (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melo, nyceve, SneakySnu, planetclaire4, MizC

        is designed to do one thing: extract wealth from the interior, transport it to the coast, and export it overseas.

        In many cases throughout the continent, in order to travel by road between two villages only a few miles apart, it is necessary to drive all the way to the coast and then travel back on another road to get there.  There's very few roads connecting villages, because goods have to travel to the coast, not towards other villages nearby.

        It is indeed a tragedy, and solutions are difficult and cumbersome to realize.

      •  No Denial, There (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure there are plenty of causes.

        However, while this is a hell of a problem, "damns"?

  •  I read this too, today... where to donate/ help?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, boofdah

    I'm horrified and want to help.  I wish when the NYT reports on stories like these that they would provide links to charities or causes.  Can someone direct me to the right place to give/ donate time to helping women and girls in the Congo?

  •  If this is a man, Primo Levi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo, nyceve, planetclaire4

    Different circumstances, but this too is genocide.

    If this is a man, Primo Levi

    You who live safe
    In your warm houses,
    You who find, returning in the evening,
    Hot food and friendly faces:
    Consider if this is a man
    Who works in the mud
    Who does not know peace
    Who fights for a scrap of bread
    Who dies because of a yes or a no.
    Consider if this is a woman,
    Without hair and without name
    With no more strength to remember,
    Her eyes empty and her womb cold
    Like a frog in winter.
    Meditate that this came about:
    I commend these words to you.
    Carve them in your hearts
    At home, in the street,
    Going to bed, rising;
    Repeat them to your children,
    Or may your house fall apart,
    May illness impede you,
    May your children turn their faces from you.

    Clark '08 -6.88/-5.54

    by DrReason on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 10:27:14 PM PDT

    •  hmmm (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melo, nyceve, DrReason

      And these things that I command you today shall be upon your heart. And you shall teach them to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you go on the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your arm and they shall be an ornament between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

      וְהָיוּ הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם--עַל-לְבָ ;בֶךָ.

      וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ, וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם, בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ,
      וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ.
      וּקְשַׁרְתָּם לְאוֹת, עַל-יָדֶךָ; וְהָיוּ לְטֹטָפֹת, בֵּין עֵינֶיךָ.
      וּכְתַבְתָּם עַל-מְזֻזוֹת בֵּיתֶךָ, וּבִשְׁעָרֶיךָ.


      socialist democratic progressive pragmatic idealist with a small d.

      by shpilk on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 11:13:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My Somalian Friend Margaret (8+ / 0-)

    ...who endured a great deal of enforced poverty in Africa told me something interesting: that poverty here in America is actually worse on families. She said this is because where she lived, if you are poor, you could always go into the forest where indigenous people lived  and already had communities where they showed people how to adapt and survive.  Here in America the poor have no such option and could no sooner go into one of the national or privately owned forests than fly to the moon, and all the indigenous people who once lived in them are no longer there, but forced onto reservations where they live in desperate poverty themselves.  Instead the American poor are compelled to live within the expensive amities of "civilization" and to cook, stay warm, and even have a roof requires payment in cash or you do without and freeze on the street where you are also demonized and ignored.  

    I love this woman of courage and faith who has weathered more horror than I could ever imagine, yet who sees with wise eyes that living on a dollar a day or 10 dollars a day is not much different when a few have it all and the rest have little or nothing.  

    Cat In Seattle  

  •  thrall (7+ / 0-)

    One of the problems with Daily Kos is the time sensitivity.  I read your post earlier today and have been thinking about it, on and off, for several hours.  Sometimes, for me at least , that process can go on for days before a thought gels.  And in that extended timeframe the opportunity for dialog is lost.

    The good news is that you had the inspiration and strength to make the post, so that all of us out here can reflect on this important subject.  Thank you so much for that!

    Many years ago a friend gave me a book called "the Alphabet Versus the Goddess" by Leonard Shlain.  It is a book about many things, but in particular the cultural underpinnings of abuse of women throughout recorded history.  I've given away at least a dozen copies over the years, and still look forward to re-reading it.  The chapter on the origins of Islam is perhaps the most illuminating representation of that history I've ever read.

    Civilization seems to advance and recede, and when it goes backward, women are the first to feel the pain.  This must stop.  It must be stopped, not just in Africa, but here in our 'homeland'.  If the future holds any hope at all, it is with breaking the cycles by which women are suppressed. In this age we should not for a moment, even in the interest of sensationalism, be talking as Ann Coulter just did, about depriving women of their rights.

    Living in fear is a form of slavery.  We must, as Lincoln said, 'disenthrall' ourselves. Individually and collectively.

    •  Read David Korten's book (if you haven't already) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "The Great Turning".

      He addresses the sickness of patriarchal society throughout the past 5,000 years, and how we must balance so-called masculine and feminine impulses in order to survive as a species.  Great read.

    •  great post xaxado... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      for quieter, more longlasting threads dealing with global sociopolitics, similar to dkos, you may try joining us to share at, we are small but growing, and one of the benefits of that is the firehose factor is not there yet!

      in spite of its euro-centric name, we're reall global, with posters from russia, the far east, america and points beyond.

      cheers and happy blogging!

      why? just kos..... *just cause*

      by melo on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 02:44:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BBC TV has been covering (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, nyceve, tallmom, MizC

    these atrocities for several years. BBC links  This is just one example of the kinds of events that are totally missing from the radar screen of most Americans.  And its an indictment of the shallowness of American news, whether printed or broadcast.  

  •   but (5+ / 0-)

    charity will not eradicate poverty.

    Some may have seen a documentary about a country in Africa that in years past was an an exporter of cotton and textiles.  

    Obviously, these people did not have the advanced technologies we have.  
    Now they can't compete in the 'global market' because the products from industrialized countries are cheaper than theirs. Their farms are no longer producing cotton and their factories are now closed. High import tariffs for cotton did not help their situation either.

    Another documentary I saw shows how our charity has impoverished another country. Sorry, I forgot which country this was  - perhaps it was the same one in my previous example. The film shows how our donations of clothing we give to charitable organizations with the good intention of helping people in need have created a worse situation there: more hunger and more unemployment.
    The thousands of bales of clothes the charities sent to that country are distributed to a few "entrepreneurs" who sell them at a profit. This unfair competition put out of business the local production.  

    Yes, charity in the short run will help some. The developed/ industrialized countries need to understand these third and fourth world countries need education, and access to technology  and to markets for their products.

    Democracy Now interviewed the president of Bolivia during his recent visit to the US  for the UN General Assembly. He said that the income Bolivia received from oil revenue before he nationilized this industry was around $300 million/year. Now, he says, Bolivia is recieving $2 billion dollars.

    Obviously, the current higher prices of oil should be taken into account for some of the increase in revenue.

    This is a good example of how some multinational corporations exploit third world countries. Their activities increase the wealth of the richer and powerful in those societies, and impoverishes the majority, those who do not have access to power.

    And then we wonder, why do they hate us?

    "All we are saying is give peace a chance" (JL)

    by duende on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 01:22:08 AM PDT

    •  Richest nation on the earth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I also slightly disagree with part of the diarist's frame, that America as a whole has untold riches (therefore, we should not complain when our jobs & factories are sent overseas to third world countries where there is substantially less).

      America is made up of two classes of people.  The super wealthy and the rest of us.  The super wealthy control a strong majority of the money in this country.  They are contributing next to nothing to ending global poverty (in fact, as you and others point out, their corporations often aid war & poverty in other countries).

      So I don't know why America's middle and lower classes are continually asked to pay a heavy price (in lost jobs, ruined economies, ect) while the wealthy continue growing their net worth at everyone's expense.  

  •  I watched Blood Diamonds last night. . . (5+ / 0-)

    on T.V., and while it depicted the civil war in Sierra Leone, I was thinking the entire time how America largely ignores the atrocities in African countries.  And there are so many atrocities!  As one African man says in the film, "thank god we don't have oil.  Then we would really be in trouble."

    I often think that the reason Darfur, and other African nations in distress, are ignored is the racism in America.  As Katrina demonstrated, we can even ignore disasters in our own country when they happen to black people.

    All politics is class-warfare.

    by dhfsfc on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 05:17:54 AM PDT

    •  Me too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's interesting, isn't it?  Why did the repression of demonstrations and persecution of monks in Myanmar pique media interest, yet several years into the genocide in Darfur still hardly anyone is following or responding to the crisis (on a mass scale)?

      Here's a suggestion:  don't watch Blood Diamond after just having seen The Agronomist (circulating on IFC).  Unless you want to feel really overwhelmed and depressed.

      "I'm not interested in that same liberal claptrap. That meow, meow, meow, ironic detachment." -- Stephen Colbert

      by SneakySnu on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 06:07:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  oh dear lord (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, xanthe

    I don't think I will ever understand how horribly cruel human beings can be.

    And that's just the cruelty of the kind of people who spend those millions renovating their apartments when they could spend it helping these women...

    I'm almost glad I've not long to live on this planet. I just don't know if I could take another forty or fifty years of watching people do these terrible things to one another.

    So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

    by Amanda J Carlsson on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 06:06:43 AM PDT

  •  oh dear lord (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye BattleCry, nyceve

    I don't think I will ever understand how horribly cruel human beings can be.

    And that's just the cruelty of the kind of people who spend those millions renovating their apartments when they could spend it helping these women...

    I'm almost glad I've not long to live on this planet. I just don't know if I could take another forty or fifty years of watching people do these terrible things to one another.

    So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

    by Amanda J Carlsson on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 06:07:37 AM PDT

  •  True evil, once again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, boofdah, MizC

    “Sexual violence in Congo reaches a level never reached anywhere else. It is even worse than in Rwanda during the genocide.”

    The US sat by and did nothing during the Rwanda slaughter. Bill Clinton acknowledged our impotence after the fact.

    This is horrendous. Beyond imagining. OMG

    "Pray to god, but row for shore" my Mom.

    by tallmom on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 06:58:47 AM PDT

  •  And all the hypocrites keep going to church (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, MA Liberal, boofdah

    and calling themselves such good people because they sing meaningless hymns to an invisible man in the sky who's never responded to them, and speak out against abortion and gay rights and brutal mideast dictators and Islamofascists and brown people, and think that this is what morality is all about, while not doing a goddamn thing about any of the world's real evils.

    This is what 50 years of bullshit "conservatism" has brought us. A political ideology dedicated to literally nothing else but justifying mass selfishness and moral dereliction. And to think that there are still millions of idiots who still think that because we toppled a "brutal dictator", all else is forgiven, including our unwillingness to help the suffering people of the world who don't happen to own lots of oil or be in a strategically important part of the world.

    But hey, they're dark and god is white, so who cares?


  •  I am not a conservative (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and definitely not a fan of the present administration, but believe it or not while we pontificate here christian missionaries have done a lot of good work in these places where very few go. The Episcopal church has contributed a lot towards the recovery of Rwanda, some of their ideas are misguided but they did do a lot. Let us not make a blanket condemnation of everyone like this.

  •  Where is the outcry about the plight of women (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the world? When we went into Afghanistan, Laura Bush promised to help make the plight of women there her top priority. Bullcrap. they are once again devolving a women's place there, killing teachers and forcing women back into burkas. In Iraq, the women who were once free to walk the streets along, drive, get an education, dress as they wished, have been forces to cover themselves, and cannot go out unless in the company of a male family member. In Africa, rape and torture of women continues unabated.
    I have always believed that until ALL women, the world over, take the power that is rightfully theirs (since we are, after all, the MAJORITY of human beings on this planet) that there can never be peace in the world.
    The power of women is needed to balance the warrior ways of men. Not to mention that we are the more evolved beings on the planet - our DNA is far more complex than men's (I read this about a year ago. Not surprising since we've been forced to adapt more than men). This is not to disparage men, but they've pretty much brought us to where we are now. The misogyny and sexism here and across the world is getting worse, not better.
    Do these men who hurt women so not have Mothers? Sisters?
    Why do human beings have the urge to kill their brothers and sisters? (I know, a question that has never been answered, probably never will be).

    "Keep raisin' hell!" - Molly Ivins---------- "The truth shall set you free, but first it will piss you off!" - Gloria Steinem

    by MA Liberal on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 08:44:52 AM PDT

  •  Brutality. Does it exit in each of us? (0+ / 0-)

    Could anyone of us act like this? If so, why don't we?

  •  It starts here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, artebella

    The America I see now and what I watched in the recent Ken Burns Documentary are two different countries. No, not that they have evolved into a different set of values and priorities, but I mean two countries like Russia and Great Britain.

    I see it here on these pages too. The absolute unwillingness to flinch from the inalienable right to earn 100K a year and be able to live like 100K/year enabled people to live 20-30 years ago. Even if it means living in areas one can't afford and running up credit card tabs to make ends meet . No savings. No emergency funds. Paycheck to Paycheck living at it's finest, but first class living nevertheless.

    It's Ok to hand out aid to poor countries when you have money to hand out aid. But handing out aid now is like going to the ATM machine to get a cash advance to give at Christmas and then proceed immediately to go shopping for everything the kids want and the adults want too regardless if the money is there to pay for it. Somehow that will work itself out on it's own.

    It's no news that we consume 25% of the worlds resources with 3% of the population and we wonder why people in other countries are poor? The reality is  this nation is in hock so deep from the macro to the micro level that we can't  afford to give away old clothes. We should learn about wearing them in or out of style until they fall off.  

    If we consumed less of the world resources the supply demand equation may make living more affordable for everyone. If we think $80.00 a bbl oil is painful here, we can't imagine what it's like in dirt poor countries. Yet consumption hasn't dropped one iota.

    ON S-CHIP, where most poor countries would like to have any health insurance at all, I didn't see anyone mention taxing other things like raising incomes taxes, gasoline taxes or any other tax that would personally make their lives a little tougher.

    I imagine because it would effect them directly. Make the smokers pay.  Then we also have a tax Base for S-CHIP of people who have a  life span 13 years less than the average lifetime. Put Children's health insurance on the backs of suicidal idiots who die early. That makes sense. That's a solid tax base eh? I wonder about the thinking that went behind that.

    Once we have surplus and reduce or eliminate our debt, the poor have solid safety nets, without big gaping holes, that we pay for,  and people learn to save money and live within their means and a Govt that is working for the people and not their own benefits, then the  Bill Gates Foundation is probably going to be about it.  

    We have to fix this country first. Contrary to popular belief, we have lost our lead in everything.  We are in no position to help because the majority of people here simply believe that helping themselves first is a priority whether they can afford it or not and so does our Govt.

    When it doubt  think about our usage of the world resources and when supply starts to slow and prices rise how that, by itself , effect these poor countries and the people who die young. Lets not forget about the people here who dread the sunrise here  because it means 14-16 hr  days to work two jobs just for the basics and any emergency at all from health to a blown engine in a rusty car could literally rock their worlds.

    Lets not forget  New Orleans and our crippled veterans. We owe on all that and it will be trillions. We don't do Marshall Plans anymore. We don't have the money. Our credit cards are about maxxed out. Our standard of living has surpassed our ability to fund it so we make the rich obscenely rich by borrowing to fund it. Taxing them won't help as much as people believe either. They'll just hide it like they've always done.

    If you have watched a few Friday Nights ago on PBS you would have seen that the financial sector has made more money than the energy and defense sectors combined. Does it start to make sense now?

    It's the "don't do what I do, do what I say" concept. Need any further proof? This site raised enough money to pay a fellow who is good writer  to entertain them everyday. I'm sure many here didn't have to borrow for that entertainment, but it says quite a bit about priorities. Imagine those poor hungry kids looking on- if they had a computer- and seeing a group of progressives democrats ignore their plight for one man so they could personally be entertained.

    If anyone reads this, I'm sure some will disagree and go on the defensive to tell about all the great things that they've done. But out of the two or three responses, consider how many people won't read this or respond because they know who I'm talking about.  

  •  Why do people reproduce anymore???? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't just mean in these horrible parts of the world. The biggest mystery to me, even beyond the rationale of Bush supporters, is how any human being anywhere can think it's a good idea to bring a child into this hellhole of a planet with no hope.

    Anyone hear get it?

    •  I hear you . . . (0+ / 0-)

      loud and clear.

      A long time ago, I wrote a diary on just this subject, the idea of bringing children into this toxic cesspool.

      I suppose if you're a glass half full kind of person you can convince yourself that somehow things will work out.

      I am deeply pessimistic about our collective future. Climate change is more ominous than anyone knows.

      I'll survive and so will you, but will the next generation, and the one after that.

      I wonder.

  •  the groundwork for this type of (0+ / 0-)

    atrocity is now being laid in Iraq, thanks to the US interference.  And I have to wonder what the US authorities (under Clinton) did or did not do that lead to this horrible atrocity.

    Kos: Bush won't cancel the next round of elections to remain in power. Me: I am not so sure.

    by dancewater on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 10:21:08 AM PDT

  •  great reminder of the relatively petty things we (0+ / 0-)

    Americans argue, complain, disagree and go on and on about when billions in this world just want enough to eat today.

    There is a principal which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation.H.Spencer

    by TKK on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 10:50:59 AM PDT

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    truckloads of peacekeepers drive into the bush and keep their headlights on all night as a signal to both civilians and armed groups that the peacekeepers are there. Sometimes, when morning comes, 3,000 villagers are curled up on the ground around them.

    It is difficult to imagine what the UN soldiers are seeing.

    "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

    by Reepicheep on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 11:21:45 AM PDT

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