From Tanzanian tobacco to Thai shrimp; from Argentine grapes to Tajik cotton, products all over the world are made from child labor and forced labor. The Department of Labor has been compiling a list of goods around the world that are made with child labor and forced labor; they also defined these and how they did their study. For several years, the DOL has made this list but not released it. Earlier this week, they finally released the list in a publication entitled: The Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.
Perhaps I just don’t have much to say these days. Perhaps I am too overwhelmed with work and possibilities of the future. Perhaps I need to get more sleep and have more free time. Perhaps, I just keep seeing things that I believe are important, oppressions that I feel we should be facing as a country and as individuals, and want to share. Perhaps others have more eloquent words than I. Or perhaps, what I want to say is already being said. In the end, today’s post, will be taken from another site. This time, it is from Mombian (a great site for all news, books, and blogs LGBT and LGBT parenting related).
Today marks the 13th annual Day of Silence, an event where students from middle school to college take some form of a vow of silence to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment.Last year’s event was in memory of Lawrence King, the California eighth-grader shot to death by a classmate because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.We hoped his tragic death would at least lead to change.No such luck.
This year, some students are honoring in memory of Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, an 11-year-old from Springfield, Mass., who took his life April 6 after enduring constant bullying at school, including anti-LGBT attacks, even though he did not identify as gay. He would have turned 12 today.
This is not a “gay” problem, as Walker’s mother said in an interview with the Advocate. This is a societal problem that affects those most vulnerable, our children.
Today many stay silent to make this point. Tomorrow let’s make some noise about this.
When I was in high school, I took an AP English course. In the semester on writing, we each wrote a portfolio on a topic with pieces coming from different genres. I choose as my topic LGBT youth. One piece was an expose journal article on teenage suicide. I remember this piece probably more than anything else I wrote in high school. I am still shocked at the statistic that over 1/3 of teenage suicides are related to sexual or gender orientation. As the Carl Walker’s suicide shows, you don’t even have to identify as gay or transgendered to be deeply affected by bullying around LGBT issues.
I wish more had changed in the last dozen years since I wrote that paper. And, perhaps things are changing. But for too many it is too late.
On final very important piece of information taken from Lesbian Dad’s post:
I’m reminded by Ellen DeGeneris on her blog that The Trevor Project is “the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.” 866-4-U-TREVOR.
Nicole decided to do a little photo scavenger hunt. She gave us a list (mostly focused on a “local” theme) and told people to take pics and post them by March 15. There is voting on her website. Please, take pity and go vote so that I don’t feel like that last kid to be picked for a team at recess. Here is my entry:
Note– for some crazy reason, I decided that I wanted to shoot all the pictures in my house. This would have been much easier had I not given myself the additional challenge. It also might have been more interesting. Oh well. Live and learn.
Note– for those that don’t read my blog, my dog and I travel a lot. I do believe that not only is the world my playground, but it is also my home away from my America home.
Note– one picture is recycled and not from my house. But, I look at it often. Does that count? Wanna guess which photo?
1) local currency
2) local flag
3) local food (I am from and in Wisconsin, the land of cheese)
4) something rusty (3rd to last hanger is actually rusty)
5) local wildlife (My parents’ condo, where I currently am, does not allow dogs. This is Blade, the condo dog).
6) local nature
7) local stamp
8) part of your neighborhood (it can be a very small part )
9) traditional house
10) a local person
11) local weather (so cold the dog spends the day under a blanket!)
12) local transportation (got no car, just two walking feet)
13) traditional local clothing
14) night sky (as seen by my niece)
16) local product non food (made in Chile, another place that is often called home, and hanging in the entry way to my parents’ house. It was a gift from my to-be-mother-in-law).
17) something furry
18) something feathery
19) a sign of the season
20) a part of you
21) your main hobby
22) a local shop (there is a consignment store that we love– my mom got these original Disney prints that now hang in the kitchen)
23) a local restaurant (Kopps – best frozen custard anywhere)
24) a street sign (interrupting story time)
25) a local mail box
Here are the other participants:
Participants that have submitted a link:
Lisa’s Chaos (USA)
Lisa TL (USA)
Scriber’s Web (USA)
Not yet totally complete:
Participants so far without hunt link:
Thank you Chilenguita for pointing out this video from the Courage Campaign. I can’t even begin to express how important I feel it is for allies to get involved with movements. Yes, I beleive that straight couples should actively talk about why the believe in and support gay marriage. I also think it is important for white people to explore their privilege and get involved in fighting racism. And, yes, this not so subtle message is for you fellow bloggers who happen to be heterosexual, I think you should get involved in Freedom to Marry Week.
Also Chilenguita’s video goes along so well with the Freedom to Marry announcement I am making below. Plus, I too found it to be very powerful and moving.
The following information is from the Freedom to Marry Website.
Mombian is giving out prizes to people who participate (gay or straight)
The Other Mother is also running a parralel 4 day activity featuring something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
Freedom to Marry Week
12th Annual Observance
February 8-14, 2009
People across the country are pledging to take part in 7 Conversations in 7 Days in honor of the 12th annual Freedom to Marry Week, February 8-14, 2009. Join in the pledge today!
Having conversations is the single most important action you can take towards achieving marriage equality nationwide.
Get involved by joining in any of the 7 different ways to have conversations Feb. 8-14. We will highlight different ways to get involved each day, but feel free to get involved any way possible any day of the week!
Sunday, February 8th: YouTube Challenge
Submit a video to our YouTube Challenge for a chance to win cash prizes.
Monday, February 9th: Make Your Voice Heard
Add your face and voice to the conversation. Create a blog post, vlog, comment on our blog, change your status on facebook, or change your picture on social networks.
Tuesday, February 10th: Email for Equality
Sign the marriage resolution and email it to friends. Support your state’s equality organization and sign and circulate their petitions too!
Wednesday, February 11th: Button Up for Equality
Sign up to receive a button to wear or put our html button on your website, blog, or social networking page.
Thursday, February 12th: Face to Face to Equality
Have a face to face conversation by attending or hosting an event. Tell us about any events happening during the week, and we’ll post them.
Friday, February 13th: Txt 4 Equality
Receive a text or tweet about why marriage matters and forward on to friends.
Saturday, February 14th: Get Local With It
Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
Encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to take the pledge to have 7 Conversations in 7 Days this February 8-14!
Stuck on what to say? Pick up some talking points and conversation starters here: How to talk about marriage equality.
I haven’t talked about Cambodia in a while, because I left in July 2007 and haven’t had the chance to get back. However, the recent events (brought to my attention by Webbed Feet, Webbed log) make me want to post something.
On Chinese New Year, at roughly 6am, both the military police and regular police, plus workers stormed Dey Krahom and forcibly evicted the people living there. (In Chile, similar things have happened with different “Tomas” around the city).
Check out Jinja’s post.
I know, at least on the Chile blogsphere, we have been talking about how little we know about geography. Perhaps, this is a good time to learn a bit more about another corner of the world…
Older but no less relevant:
RED EARTH VILLAGE
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIVkMiZq-9k
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaDX0I0eMng
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=behydFGl_uc
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH9O97utc7s
Ka-Set: ‘Land violences in Cambodia: Dey Krohom razed to the ground following a tough eviction’
Phnom Penh Post: ‘Relocated residents find homes, water lacking’
Phnom Penh Post:’Evictees request 7NG money’
Phnom Penh Post:’We Have No Home, Say Evictees’
Reuters: ‘Eight Hurt in Cambodia Eviction’ http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com
Global Voices Online: Cambodia: Demolition of Dey Krahorm Community http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/01/26/cambodia-demolition-of-dey-krahorm-community/
Andy Brouwer: ‘Death of Dey Krahom’ http://www.andybrouwer.co.uk/blog/2009/01/death-of-dey-krahom.html
‘Families face imminent forced eviction in Cambodia’
‘Without warning, Bulldozers enter Dey Krahorm’
‘Hopes Flattened at Dey Krahom’
‘Dey Krahom Razed to the Ground’
‘Multimedia on Dey Krahom’
‘Dey Krahom Eviction’
Sacrava Cartoon: http://sacrava.blogspot.com/2009/01/sacravatoons-no-1284-dey-kraham_24.html
Dey Krahom Urgent Action Appeal
JOINT PRESS RELEASE – CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS STRONGLY CONDEMN ILLEGAL EVICTION OF DEY KRAHORM http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=69319195624&topic=7339
I was up long past my bedtime last night because I simply couldn’t put this book down. It made me lose hope in humanity. It made me cry. It made me value how easy I have had it. It made me gain home in humanity. It made me cherish the resilience of children. But most of all, it allowed me to feel.
My favorite part of this book is that you live the experience with him. Until the end, there is no huge focus on hindsight. He rationalizes what is happening around him in the way they he understood it at the time. This allows a person, with some amount of empathy, to understand why a child breaks so quickly, the relief given by drugs, how killing is justified, and how equally frustrating the rehabilitation process is.
Throughout the book I was poignantly aware the Ismael Beah is my age. He is 28 right now. When I was an exchange student in high school, leaving home for the first time, he was beginning his rehabilitation process. He had already been a soldier for three years. He had already lost his family, his old life, his village and everything he knew.
The UNHCR (UN agency that works with refugees) defines the term:
The term “child soldier” has become widely adopted, and will, therefore, be used to cover any person under 18 years of age who is part of any kind of regular or irregular armed force or armed group in any capacity other than purely as a family member. It does not, therefore, only refer to those carrying arms, but includes cooks, porters, messengers, and those accompanying such groups, including girls recruited as concubines or for forced marriage.
According to Amnesty international:
Approximately 250,000 children under the age of 18 are thought to be fighting in conflicts around the world, and hundreds of thousands more are members of armed forces who could be sent into combat at any time. Although most child soldiers are between 15 and 18 years old, significant recruitment starts at the age of 10 and the use of even younger children has been recorded.
The US State Department further affirms that
Child soldiers are a global phenomenon. The problem is most critical in Africa and Asia, but armed groups in the Americas, Eurasia, and the Middle East also use children.
Educate yourself. This is a real problem that continues today. I wish that when I worked with the International Institute of St. Louis I had known more about the topic. I wish it had been covered in my refugees and immigrants course in more detail.
My blog-friend Emily works for an online company called Needish. I think she enjoys her job as she talks about it and encourages anyone who will listen to join. I did join, but mostly just to appease her. (Sorry Emily!)
Basically, needish is a place where you publish what you need. People need all kinds of things. You can post and ask for an apartment in NY; or a friend; or a recipe like creme brulee; or, like this couple, you can try and trade work for a honeymoon. Then, you can search for what others need and help them out. If you are an independent photographer like Kyle, you can search for people in your area who need photographers and land yourself some jobs.
I did publish some needs; now I am a huge convert. The needs I have published have been really random and, frankly, I thought I wouldn’t ever get a response. First I posted that I needed an English teacher in Rancagua for S. Got some leads. Didn’t come to much, but that is mostly a time issue. I have also requested help appraising stamps and finding a certain collectable item for christmas present of someone who reads this blog– got responses on both. Currently, the need I have is to know how to get glitter glue out of a wool suit. Not sure if I will get a response, but how cool is it that I can ask? (also, if you know the answer, please leave a comment).
Anyways, without pressure from Emily who has a stake in the business, I am going to plug it. Do you have needs? Get on needish!
In 2006 WI voters choose to change WI marriage law to define marriage between one man and one woman and also has wording that outlaws civil unions for gay and straight couples. This past election several other states have taken away gay people’s right to marry and to adopt children. Yesterday, all across this country, people stood up and protested. Protests were held in every state and 10 countries. Totals of Join the Impact protest numbers from cities around the US can be found here.
This was the Milwaukee protest:
And, the news coverage by Channel 58, CBS Milwaukee’s TDJT
Yesterday I was hoping to hear back from a job, instead I got a horrific message from one of my credit cards. They were calling about possible fraudulent activity to the tune of nine thousand eight hundred eighty nine dollars. Yes, you read that right. $9,889!!!!
Luckily, this was a credit card, not a debit card so I am not liable. I believe that legally I could have to pay $50. My first breathe of release was followed by the strong impetus to tell all my friends, and blog readers, to get rid of their debit cards. Or, at very minimum, read really carefully and find out what protections you do or do not have on those cards.
To make the whole thing just a little scarier–because, yes, I do know that this happens to hundreds of people everyday– this card is pretty new, has not been lost, and has only been used twice. It had never used on the internet to buy things-although I did have an online account where I submitted payment for each of the prior each purchase.
Still, despite the fact that I am not liable for the fees incurred, I lost much of my morning. I had to call all my other credit cards and put fraud alerts on them. I also had to change the log in and security protocol on my bank account because I do online banking and if my info had been stolen from my computer that could have been compromised.
Moral of story: get scissors, destroy debit cards. Get credit cards, protect yourself.
A week ago this nation did a historic thing– it elected its first black president. Simultaneously, various states decided to deny people equal rights and one state, California took away a civil right. I have been mulling over what I want to say and have yet to find my words. But I did find out that massive peaceful protests are taking place all over the country and I am inviting you to take part in one.
Join the Impact is helping to organize protests all around the country– not just in the states directly effected. Please go to the website, find your closest city protest, and join them Saturday morning at 10:30 PST. Honestly, I do not believe that only gay people should be part of this. As a nation we need to think about what equal for all means; and what separation of church and state means.
Go HERE to find a location nearest you. Or, see if you happen to be on my list: Alabama – Birmingham | Mobile | Dothan Alaska – Sullivan Arena | Fairbanks City Hall Arizona – Phoenix Arkansas – Little Rock California – San Diego | Los Angeles | Bakersfield | Sacramento | San Francisco | San Jose | Moreno Valley Colorado – Denver Connecticut – Hartford Delaware – Dover Washington D.C. Florida – Jacksonville | Miami Orlando Georgia – Atlanta Hawaii – Honolulu Idaho – Boise Illinois – Chicago Indiana – Indianapolis Iowa – Des Moines | Iowa City Kansas – Kansas City | Wichita Kentucky – Louisville | Lexington Louisiana – New Orleans Maine – Portland Maryland – Baltimore Massachusetts – Boston | Northampton Michigan – Detroit Minnesota – Minneapolis/St. Paul Mississippi – Jackson Missouri – Kansas City | St. Louis Montana – Billings | Missoula Nebraska – Omaha Nevada – Las Vegas | Reno New Hampshire – Manchester New Jersey – Newark New Mexico – Albuquerque New York – Syracuse | Albany | New York City North Carolina – Charlotte | Raleigh (check the page) North Dakota – Grand Forks Ohio – Cleveland | Columbus | Cincinnati Oklahoma – Oklahoma City Oregon – Eugene | Portland Pennsylvania – Philadelphia | Pittsburgh Rhode Island – Providence South Carolina – Charleston South Dakota – Sioux Falls | Rapid City Tennessee – Memphis | Nashville Texas – Houston | Austin | Dallas Utah – Salt Lake City Vermont – Montpelier | Burlington Virginia – Richmond Washington – Spokane | Seattle West Virginia – Charleston Wisconsin – Milwaukee Wyoming – Cody | Laramie
Some people have been able to explain the impact of Prop 8 (in CA) and other similar measures more eloquently then I have. I would invite you to visit their posts. What you see below is just a tiny snippet:
But that is where the argument falls apart for me. Regardless of personal or religious beliefs- an amendment taking my rights away is wrong. Pure and simple. Yes on 8 was, and is, wrong. And I know I’ve said it before, but I cannot get over people in my community, in our school circle, people who know me, know my family, had Käri as their child’s first grade teacher, who voted yes. I can forgive it- slowly. I can buy their religious excuses as the reason behind their vote. I can’t or, admittedly, won’t forget.
But listen, 52% of California: Back when gay marriage was legal, your days didn’t change, either. When there was marriage equality in your state, your mornings transpired exactly the way they had before. Your head probably hurt before your morning coffee. Your kids probably protested getting dressed. It’s even possible that your daughter also hid your keys in your glove box, and when gay marriage was legal, she still squealed with joy when you found them.
A friend from New Jersey calls, desperate to know any Prop 8 news: his Internet is down, and he’s stuck with local network news. He, like many other people far more heterosexual and far less Californian than I am, cared deeply about this. For the first time, my own voice cracks when I tell him that I don’t believe my father will live to see the day that this fight is over. My kids will for sure; I probably will. But my dad: no.
Prop 8 is a piece of religious legislation denying homosexual couples the right to marry. Last time I checked, we had a little thing called separation of church and state in the good old US of A. Living in a country where the Catholic church has a huge influence has made me really aware of how lucky we are to live in a secular society. Much as I love the abundance of long weekends (thank you, random saints), I do not love things like the fact that divorce only recently became legal, abortion is still illegal and the morning after pill, despite being legal, is almost impossible to buy since the old fashioned owners of the three main pharmacy chains don’t happen to agree with it. So how could I possibly support a piece of legislation that has no effect whatsoever on my personal life yet denies civil rights to some people, simply because some god somewhere said “thou shalt not kiss someone of the same sex?”
I was thinking about how it would be dealt with if someone said the same thing about biracial marriage. Or a single mother by choice. And how it would most certainly not be allowed, not respected as a mere difference of opinion or teaching of different values in the home. It would be called out as the bigotry that it is. It would be the Topic of A Parent Teacher Conference or something. You can’t run around these days saying, “Well, I just believe biracial marriage is WRONG” or “A woman having a baby on her own is WRONG.”
California’s social conservatives thought they’d be clever and claim gay marriage would require schools to teach youngsters all about same-sex nuptials, fanning the bigoted flames of fear. They urge voters to vote “Yes” on Proposition 8, which would overturn the state Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling.
Proposition 8 does not protect religious expression at all but rather threatens the legitimate diversity of opinion on this issue among people of faith in the name of a narrow, fundamentalist orthodoxy. Legal recognition and protection of same-sex unions threatens no one and enhances freedom of religious expression in the State of California.
Well, those claims are simply not true, and California superintendent of schools Jack O’Connell (pictured, with two California schoolchildren) comes right out and says so and calls such claims “shameful,” for their exploitation of children.