Thursday, December 06, 2007

Other Items

At least 27 Iraqi Kurdish women have been murdered for having illicit affairs in so-called "honour killings" in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan over the past four months, an official from the regional government said on 4 December.

"Ten murdered women were from Arbil, 11 from Dahouk and six from Sulaimaniyah [the three provinces making up the Kurdish region], while 97 other women - 60 in Arbil, 21 in Dahouk and 16 in Sulaimaniyah - had tried to commit suicide by self-immolation during the four months," said Youssif Mohamed Aziz, the regional minister of human rights.

"Since the beginning of this year, the regional government of Kurdistan has formed a committee… to address all forms of violence against women and especially the 'honour killings'," Aziz said.

The above is from IRIN's "'Honor killings' persist in Kurdish north." Violence didn't go away and northern Iraq was never as safe as the press accounts wanted to make it appear. If you've forgotten, when this topic first got press attention (from a US weekly), the (male) reporter tried to play it off as a 'fad' and a 'craze' and women were trying to kill themselves because it was the 'hot' thing to do. Then, weeks later, it got a little bit of serious attention before falling back under the radar. The talk of an 'awareness campaign' is nonsense (and it showed up this summer). If you don't grasp why it's nonsense, note that the victims are targeted with 'awareness' which is a bit like telling a woman "You have a right not to be raped" (gee, you think?) while not attempting to 'raise awareness' among men that rape is a crime.

Already today, Reuters reports two Baghdad bombings. Lynda notes this AP article and that the issue is "finally getting some attention from big media:"

Food rations might have to be cut due to a lack of budget funds, the trade minister said, warning such a move would pose hardship for the majority of Iraqis who depend heavily on the Saddam Hussein-era program.
The comments by Trade Minister Abed Falah al-Sudani came as critics have called for the costly system to be revised or eliminated. Two-thirds of the some 26 million Iraqis rely on the rations, al-Sudani said.
"Any change in the ration items will create new problems that will add new burdens on families," al-Sudani said in a statement Wednesday.

As Lynda notes, "It's bad attention, but it's attention." It is bad attention. The subsidies have been a "subject of debate" in DC, not in Iraq (as AP claims). In Iraq, the system has huge public support. It's only in DC and at the hands of its puppet government in Iraq that the merits of the needed program are debated.

Friday, at the Asian Resource Center Gallery in Oakland, a new exhibit begins showing and will continue showing through January 31st: Our Community in the Streets! (Nuestra comunidad esta en las calles!) featuring the photographs of David Bacon. While the exhibit begins showing tomorrow, the official opening is December 17th and a reception celebrating International Migrants Day and the exhibit will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm (on Monday, December 17th).
The Asian Resource Gallery is at 310 Eighth Street in Oakland, California (zip is 94607).

David Bacon is a photographer whose work is both art and news. In terms of news, he has cornered the market on the labor beat and not just because so many outlets have given up on covering the labor beat He most recently covered the negotiations between the San Francisco's Service Employees International Union Local 24/7 and the city's mayor Gavin Newsom. For more union coverage by Bacon, you can click here.

Donna Warren is running for KPFK's LSB and Kimberly Wilder (On the Wilder Side) explains Warren's qualifications here. From LA Indymedia, we'll note this open letter "Peter Camejo & Nativo Lopez Support Donna Warren & John Wegner for KPFK Board:"

Dear KPFK members,
It is regretable that some Greens have attempted to bring internal Green Party conflicts into the KPFK election. It is unfortunate enough that our party has such problems, without having Green Party members bringing our internal disputes into an election as important as the election to the KPFK board.
The charges made in this letter are, of course, completely without foundation.
You may be unaware, but the Green Party of Los Angeles County has been involved in a years-long struggle over internal democracy, democratic accountability, political and financial ethics, and the future of Green Politics.
Donna Warren and John Wenger have been in the forefront of the struggle by the majority of Los Angeles County Greens to preserve and protect grassroots democracy, and high standards of ethical behavior and democratic process in the Green Party both locally and statewide.
Because of the stands they have taken to protect, preserve and promote all that is decent and honorable in the Green Party today, they have angered those Green Party members who feel threatened by any semblance of rank and file democracy or political morality in our party.
The struggle Donna Warren and John Wenger and others have waged in our party to preserve, enhance and protect the values of our party has been nothing short of heroic, and demonstrates precisely the strength of character KPFK needs on its board.
Please vote for Donna and John with an open heart and a clear conscience. You will be voting for the best the Green Party has, and you will never regret it.

-Peter Camejo - Green Party Candidate for Governor.
-Nativo. V. Lopez – National President, Mexican-American Political Association (MAPA) and Hermanidad Mexicana Latinoamericana;
-Ceil Sorenson - Female Co-Coordinator (with John Wenger, Male Co-Coordinator) of the County Council of the Green Party of Los Angeles County;
-Ellen Maisen – At-Large Representative to the Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of California; Member, County Council of the Green Party of Los Angeles County
-Jim Odling - County Councilor of the Green Party of Los Angeles County and Green Party of California Regional Representative, Los Angeles County;
-Will Yeager – Green Party of California Regional Representative, Los Angeles County; Green Party Nominee 38th Congressional District, 1996; Treasurer, Southern California Green Assembly, 1988-1989; Corresponding Secretary, Green Party of Los Angeles County County Council, 1992-1994;
-Matt Leslie – County Council of the Green Party of Orange County, Former Regional Representative for Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County, Green Party of California State Coordinating Committee;
-Lynda A. Hernandez - Chair, Green Party of Orange County 2002 Council member and Treasurer 2003-2004;
-Todd Van Etten - County Council of the Green Party of Orange County;
-Mike Wyman - Former Treasurer, Green Party of California; Candidate for Attorney General of California; Second Alternate for North Bay Region, Green Party of California State Coordinating Committee;
-Shane Que Hee - LA County Green and Co-Coordinator, Green Party of California Platform Committee
- Carole and Andre LaFlamme – Member and Supporter of Women in Black

This week on PBS' NOW with David Brancaccio:

How does a democracy decide to wage war?
Next time on NOW
At 8:30 pm (check local listings) on Friday, December 7 - the very day
Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese warplanes 66 years ago - David
Brancaccio interviews filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and the Rev.
James Forbes Jr. about Burns and Novick's epic
World War II documentary "The War".
Looking to the past as a mirror to the present, the four
discuss how the waging of war intersects with our notion of democracy.
"It's incumbent upon a democratic society to evaluate what the
arithmetic is -- the cost of war," Burns tells the group.
Sharp insight about the year's must-see documentary, and the modern
lessons contained therein. Next on NOW.