Tuesday Night Tidbits

Various selections for your reading enjoyment taken from around the interwebs – mostly because I can’t be arsed to flesh out anything substantial:

(links below the fold)

Feminist Peace Network relays a scathing indictment of the recent visit to Tehran by Louise Arbour, UN Human Rights Council Council’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, courtesy the Women’s Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran (WFAFI) :

One can only wonder how Louise Arbour, neglected to acknowledge the atrocities taken place in Iran. While families of victims and political prisoners desperately tried to meet with her during her trip, she enjoyed an orchestrated visit with fundamentalist leaders in Tehran.The day after Arbour left Iran, Ahmadinejad’s regime hanged 21 people. On September 5, the Amnesty International said that it is “appalled at the reports of the execution of 21 people.” With Ahmadinejad, it is hard to ignore the daily public hangings in Iran these days.

Ironically, her trip also coincided with the one year anniversary of women’s campaign to gather “One Million Signatures” on gender discrimination in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Some of the organizers of this campaign are still in prison. Of course, they never got a visit from Louise Arbour, nor did the families of victims and political prisoners.

– Eric Alterman explains how preemptive attacks on John Edwards from MSM Heathers are indicative of a deeper, general contempt for the poor and poverty advocacy (who, as Alterman deftly outlines, have already been shut out from meaningful participation in the political arena, thanks to the way the system is structured):

The unmistakable implication is that poor people have no right to representation in our society. No one mocks Mitt Romney for promoting policies that protect his more than $250 million net worth. Ditto Rudy Giuliani, who pocketed more than $16 million last year alone. But as Fox’s Neil Cavuto puts it, “The GOP guys are not pretending to be, you know, great poor advocates.” Since actual poor people are de facto disqualified from running for President by Congress’s refusal to institute the kind of publicly financed elections that are the rule in most democracies, the result is that we allow representation only of the rich, by the rich.

– Via LabourStart, the International Trade Union Confederation’s Annual Survey of Trade Union Rights Violations has been released, and the numbers are sobering. The report shows that “144 trade unionists were murdered for defending workers’ rights in 2006, while more than 800 suffered beatings or torture” along with “nearly 5,000 arrests and more than 8,000 dismissals of workers due to their trade union activities” and “484 new cases of trade unionists held in detention by government”:

“Workers seeking to better their lives through trade union activities are facing rising levels of repression and intimidation in an increasing number of countries. Most shocking of all is the increase of some 25% in the number killed compared to the previous year”, said ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder. “In many of the countries highlighted in the report, repression continued during 2007”, he added.

[Full report available here.]

– And finally, Vladimir Putin’s hand-picked psychopathic thug president in Chechnya has declared that all female employees of the state must wear headscarves or be fired:

“I repeat once again — women must either wear headscarves, or they should not work (for state institutions),” he said. “You may say I make unlawful statements, but I will not back down.”

Kadyrov said he had been “literally shocked seeing our young women walking around in T-shirts and miniskirts in our city (Chechen capital Grozny)”.

A keen amateur boxer who kept a lion as a pet, Kadyrov said women were the root of all crime committed in Chechnya because they were inviting men to have sex with them.

Yeah yeah yeah, we all know how Eve force-fed the apple to Adam, hence that Communist invasion every 28 days; methinks Kadyrov has taken a few too many blows to the cranium. Unfortunately, as Reuters notes, Putin is unlikely to do anything to reign in his man in Grozny because “turning on his protege Kadyrov over his unorthodox policies would mean losing face.” Well, at least it’s now quite evident why Bush recognized a kindred spirit when he “got a sense of [Putin’s] soul” all those years ago: they both share egos the size of cathedrals.

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