8.24.2006

Mish Mash of Betterness

Whew, man, looking back at my posts this last week or so, I've had a bad time recently! You all must think me a horrible grump. :)

Well, after much cuddling and loving from my hubby last night and also a very good conversation with my office manager this morning face to face - much better than the evil, cold email method of communication - I'm feeling much better! My office manager has redirected my concerns to our HR in our main office and he said that this issue came up with other branches so it's not just me and that the company as a whole needs to make a decision on it. I told him I didn't mean to offend anyone and he totally was understanding and cool about it and actually very light-hearted. He said that he loves philosophical debates like that and thought I had really good points, but with his position he just can't get into debates like that. So we'll see what our HR decides ultimately on this matter, but overall I feel good about it. He was understanding and respectful when talking to me and that felt good.

I found some interesting articles today I wanted to share with everyone. First, just to prove to you I can still be somewhat of a grump even on better days, an article on the devastation in Darfur.

More than 200 women have been sexually assaulted in the last five weeks alone around Darfur's largest displaced camp, Kalma, an alarming trend that is yet another sign of the region'’s plummeting security situation.

The situation is so dire that about 300 women convened a meeting in Kalma on Aug. 7 to plead for more help from the outside world -- particularly from African Union troops mandated to protect civilians.

"This is a massive spike in figures. We are used to hearing of 2 to 4 incidents of sexual assault per month in Kalma camp," said Kurt Tjossem of the International Rescue Committee, which collected the figures.

The numbers from Kalma, in south Darfur, are one measure of Darfur's downward spiral, which is also being reflected in rising attacks on aid workers and in numbers of people fleeing their homes for displaced camps. The signing of a peace deal on May 5 has done nothing to halt the insecurity. Since the beginning of July, 14,780 newly displaced people have arrived at As Salaam camp in El Fasher, some after having spent two days on foot or riding donkeys to escape violence in north Darfur. They are among 50,000 people who have been displaced across Darfur in recent weeks. Last month alone, nine humanitarian aid workers were killed and 20 vehicles were hijacked in Darfur.

The women of Darfur are particularly vulnerable. They have no choice but to leave their camp confines in search of firewood - expeditions that force them to walk several miles into the bush. If men went instead, they would be killed. "We have chosen to risk being raped rather than let the men risk being killed,"” one woman said at the Aug. 7 meeting, summarizing how hopeless their plight has become. [...]

What little protection exists in Darfur could be diminished further on Sept. 30, when the AU'’s mandate ends. This will leave women even more in danger of attack and weaken international organizations'’ abilities to deliver services to those in need.

This is so upsetting that such genocide and violation of basic human rights can go unnoticed and without more national support. These people are utterly defenseless. Can you imagine having to choose between the death of your husband, son or father and getting raped? And then walking out there knowing that you're going to get raped? These women are brave beyond words.

On a lighter note, but also in the news:

A Jeannette woman couldn't listen to the 'meowing' coming from her neighbor's house anymore.

The woman filed suit against a teenaged boy who she claims 'meows' whenever he sees her.

A district judge in Jeannette must decide whether the alleged 'meowing' is a harmless taunt or grounds for misdemeanor harassment.

Police charged the 14-year-old boy, saying he "meows" whenever he sees 78-year-old Alexandria Carasia.

Oh yes, this is some serious business here. This will set the bar for meow harassers everywhere, much like the Roe vs. Wade case did for abortion rights. This is huge. Thanks to The Burgh Blog for the article! It's given me a whole new perspective on meowing, I'll be keeping a closer eye on my kitties from now on. Meowing for food will be acceptable, but meowing to taunt will be nipped in the bud! I wonder if a water bottle spurtz would have worked on the 14-year-old boy?

And... just because I mentioned him in my post yesterday and then came upon this article on Bookslut... Inside the Alleged Mind of Bill O'Reilly.

Have you ever heard of Spoetry? Anybody? Anybody? No? Well me neither, but thanks to Angie I have been enlightened, appalled and disturbingly entertained by Spoetry, which for those of you who don't know, is Spam Poetry.

4 comments:

angie said...

LOVED the meow story - be interesting to see how that one works out. Also happy to hear that the office party debate has moved into more mellow territory. Isn't it nice to know that a) you ARE being heard, b) you're not the only one who has voiced concerns and c) your office manager isn't a complete dick? All good stuff!

mai wen said...

Isn't the meow story hilarious? Reminds me of the meow scene in Super Troopers, possibly the only funny part of the whole movie!

Definitely feel much better about the office party situation. Email's so nasty as it always breeds misunderstandings it seems. Thanks so much for your support and thoughts on the matter, they really helped out a lot. :)

Hubby said...

That was cool of your office manager. He's a pretty good guy.

It's hard to believe the stuff going on the Darfur. To think that these things are still happening in this world. People in America volunteer for soup kitchens for the homeless, yet that seems insignifigant to what is going on in Darfur. I hope that as the World and business moves towards more globalization, we in America become more aware of the atrocities going on across the world. There are way too few humanitarians in this country because there is no money in it. Lets take a page out of the Gates/Buffett humanitarian efforts and all step up to the plate. Spread the word to all, because I believe everyone has it in them to help out.

mai wen said...

Yeah, the scary thing about Darfur is that it's so out of control that even aid workers are getting attacked... that makes it harder for people to help. Military force is definitely needed in there and ASAP!!

 

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