Global Nation Organization

Securing the Future With Love, Hardwork and Integrity

Reading this article sent chills down my spine. The US is heading into a firestorm, which just might result in a revolution. Despite all the noise Obama’s people have been making, by labeling opponents to their agenda as “domestic terrorists”, it has always been clear to me – the union thugs are going to start the war.

George Stephanopoulos reports . . .

Labor Chief to Democratic Opponents of a Public Option: ‘Do So at Your Peril’

September 01, 2009 4:12 PM

As the White House spends the last few days of the recess hammering out a post Labor Day strategy on health care — Will the President lay out his own plan as advised by Bob Dole? Will he launch an all out battle for the public option (even if it is going to lose) as mused about by James Carville? Or is it time for a tactical retreat? — my colleague Teddy Davis reports that Big Labor is not going to make that kind of adjustment easy:

The incoming president of the AFL-CIO threw down the gauntlet Tuesday, warning fellow Democrats to get behind the creation of a government insurance option or face political “peril” in 2010.

“We will continue to push it and say to them: ‘Do so at your peril,” AFL-CIO secretary treasurer Richard Trumka told ABC News. “If you’re not willing to do what you promised to do, you’ll have a tough time convincing our members at election time.”

Asked to elaborate on what kind of “peril” these Democrats would face, Trumka added, “We’re going to tell our members the truth: ‘Who stood with them. Who stood for health insurance reform. Who wanted to make the insurance companies happy versus those who wanted to make Americans healthy. And at election time, I think it will be a tough sell for any politician who is a part of killing health insurance reform to get the support of working Americans.”

Trumka’s remarks, which were made during a pre-Labor Day briefing in Washington, D.C., came exactly two weeks before President Barack Obama is slated to address the AFL-CIO on Sept. 15 at its annual convention in Pittsburgh, Pa. Trumka is expected to be chosen as the labor federation’s new president on Sept. 16.

He will succeed John Sweeney who is stepping down after 15 years at the helm.

Trumka said that a public insurance option is one of three “absolute musts” for the AFL-CIO.

“It’s an absolute must,” said Trumka when asked if the AFL-CIO could compromise on the issue. “We won’t support the bill if it doesn’t have a public option in it.”

“There are three absolute musts,” he added. “You have to have an employer mandate; you can’t tax the benefits of workers to pay for it; and it has to have a public option. Otherwise, you don’t get health insurance reform, you don’t break the stranglehold of the insurance companies, and the system goes on and on and on as it has. Costs go up, quality of care goes down.”

Asked if that means that the AFL-CIO was prepared to work against a bill that does not include a public option, Trumka sidestepped the question, saying, “That means we won’t support the bill if it doesn’t’ have a public option.”

Trumka dismissed the possibility that co-ops could be an acceptable compromise.

“The only other thing we have heard are co-ops which are too weak, not ready for prime time,” said Trumka.

In a post-briefing interview with ABC News, he refrained from stating a position on whether a “public option with a trigger” could be an acceptable compromise.

A public option with a trigger would not come into effect right away. Instead, it would only come into existence after a period of time if private insurance companies did not hold costs in check.

While signaling his willingness to pressure fellow Democrats on health-care reform, Trumka said that President Obama’s allies have found themselves in this position because the GOP has been almost entirely unified in its opposition to Democratic proposals for comprehensive health-care reform.

“The Republicans have said ‘no’ to everything and they still try to pretend that they are bipartisan,” said Trumka. “Their program is: ‘trust the insurance companies and they will do what’s right.’”

Sweeney, the outgoing AFL-CIO president, acknowledged that Obama supporters were out-organized at the start of the August recess.

“We were a little slow in getting into those town-hall meetings,” said Sweeney in an interview. “But we are now far outnumbering opponents of reform.”

Despite the widespread television coverage that opponents of health-care reform have received, Sweeney expressed confidence that Democrats would ultimately rally behind a public option.

“We’re not going to let up,” Sweeney told ABC News.

ABC News’ Elizabeth Gorman contributed to this report.

Aloha readers,

The following is an article sent to me a few weeks ago by Franz. I should have posted it when he first sent it, but better now than never.

In many countries, cement is crucial for growth but an enemy of green
By Elisabeth Rosenthal International Herald TribuneSunday, October 21, 2007

In booming economies from Asia to Eastern Europe, cement is the glue of progress. The material that binds the ingredients of concrete together, cement is essential for constructing buildings and laying roads in much of the world.

Some 80 percent of cement is made in and used by emerging economies; China alone makes and uses 45 percent of global output. Production is doubling every four years in places like Ukraine.

But making cement creates pollution, in the form of carbon dioxide emissions, and the greenest of technologies can reduce that by only 20 percent.

Cement plants already account for 5 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming.

Compounding the problem, cement has no viable recycling potential, as the abandoned buildings that line roads from Tunisia to Mongolia demonstrate. Each new road, each new building, needs new cement.

“The big news about cement is that it is the single biggest material source of carbon emissions in the world, and the demand is going up,” said Julian Allwood, a professor of engineering at Cambridge University.

“If demand doubles and the best you can do is to reduce emissions by 30 percent, then emissions still rise very quickly.”

Worse yet, green incentives may be allowing the industry to pollute even more. The European Union subsidizes Western companies that buy outmoded cement plants in poor countries and refit them with green technology.

The emissions per ton of cement produced do go down. But the amount of cement produced often goes way up, as does the pollution generated.

Many of the world’s producers acknowledge the conundrum. “The cement industry is at the center of the climate change debate, but the world needs construction material for schools hospitals and homes,” said Olivier Luneau, head of sustainability at Lafarge, the Paris-based global cement giant.

“Because of our initiatives, emissions are growing slower than they would without the interventions.”

Cement manufacturers have invested millions of dollars in programs like the Sustainable Cement Initiative, yet many engineers like Allwood see “sustainable cement” as something of a contradiction in terms, like vegetarian meatballs.

Lafarge, a leader in introducing green technology to its field, has improved efficiency to reduce its emissions from 763 pounds, or 347 kilograms, of CO2 per ton of cement in 1990 to 655 in 2006. Its goal is to get to 610 by 2010, but it expects it will be difficult to get much below that number.

Lafarge, which bought 17 cement plants in China in 2005 and has holdings throughout eastern Europe and Russia, acknowledges that its emissions are growing year by year.

“Total emissions are growing because the demand is growing so fast and continues to grow and you can’t cap that,” Luneau said. “Our core business is cement, so there is a limit to what we can change.”

Cement is certainly a good investment these days.

“The construction market is booming in Eastern Europe, so cement factories are booming,” said Lennard De Klerk, director of Global Carbon, a Budapest firm that arranges investments in Ukraine, Russia and Bulgaria. “All the big cement companies, like Lafarge and Heidelberg Cement, have bought existing facilities there that generally use fairly outdated technology and that waste a lot of energy.”

Carbon trading schemes - green incentives created by the European Union and the Kyoto Protocol - encourage such purchases. But they also allow manufacturers to increase overall cement production, both in the developing world and at home.

The European Union effectively limits production of European cement makers in their home countries by capping their allowed yearly emissions. In places like Ukraine, meanwhile, there are no limits, so cement production can increase there without regulatory caps.

Moreover, European companies get allowances known as carbon credits to pollute more for use at home by undertaking green cleanup projects elsewhere. So buying an old Soviet factory and investing in converting it to green technology can bring multiple paybacks.

“They can invest in Ukraine and Russia, clean up, and earn carbon credits - the investment is much more attractive than it used to be,” said De Klerk, whose company brokers such “carbon” investments. Factoring the value of the carbon credits into the cost of refitting a factory in Ukraine, the predicted rate of return rises from 8.8 per cent to close to 12 per cent, he said.

Once outmoded plants are refitted with “clean technology,” their emission per ton of cement produced does decline. The Podilsky plant in Ukraine is being refitted with greener kilns - financed by the Irish cement manufacturer CRH to earn carbon credits - and energy consumption per ton of production is forecast to drop 53 percent.

But even that sharp drop may not be enough to stop the inexorable growth in cement emissions in the aggregate, or compensate for the new lease on life that refitting provides old factories that otherwise might have shut their doors. Production went up over 10 percent in Ukraine in 2005 and again in 2006. At Heidelberg Cement’s Doncement plant in Ukraine, output soared 55 percent in the first nine months of last year.

Old factories that for years were running at half capacity are now churning out cement as never before, propelled by booming economies and foreign investment.

And cement, which used to be produced and used locally, is increasingly shipped long distances. On the Internet, cement brokers are now selling relatively cheap Ukrainian cement to all corners of the world. Demand is particularly high in the Middle East.

Unlike many industries, cement has a basic chemical problem: The chemical reaction that creates cement releases large amounts of CO2 in and of itself. Sixty percent of emissions caused by making cement are from this chemical process alone, Luneau said.

The remainder is produced from the fuels used in production, which may be mitigated by the use of greener technology. So to “go green,” cement makers try to cut the fuel side of the equation.

When they buy plants in the developing world they often turn from a water-intensive system to a more energy efficient “dry” system. Ten percent of the fuel used by Lafarge is biomass and alternative fuels.

One industry project called the Cement Sustainability Initiative suggests that concrete should be mixed using smaller portions of cement to reduce emissions, and that cement buildings be given better insulation so that they are more energy efficient. But there is less incentive for cement manufacturers to take on fundamental changes in how to make buildings and roads.

Western cement manufacturers emphasize that the emissions problem cannot be solved until China and India and other booming economies realize that they must limit emissions as well. “Trying to solve emissions in the EU or G-8 will not solve the problem unless emerging economies and their cement production are included,” Luneau said.

Source: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/21/business/cement.php

I had wanted to contrast this with alternative building materials, such as clay and bamboo, but am concerned that nothing truly has the properties of cement. It is a bit of a conundrum. I will write more in a few days about the use of bamboo in construction. In the meantime I want to to say Mahalo to all of you!

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.

…the number of women abused and even killed by their husbands seemed to be going up and that brutality toward women had become “almost normal.”

…in one town, Shabunda, 70 percent of the women reported being sexually brutalized.

After reading the article below, of which I have selected three quotes above, my entire being tells me to kill the men who are raping all the girls and women in the Congo and across Africa. Just shoot them as you find them. No trial, no jury of their peers; just kill them on the spot.

It seems to me they have failed the ‘human’ fitness test. Savagery is neither animal nor human. It is some other life-form that has no place in society. To the boys and men who have reached this pathologic psychosis of murder and mayhem, life has no meaning. It is as if they are rabid dogs. Kill them because they will surely kill you or me. And for the survivors, round them up and immerse them in an education program that teaches boys and girls how to live with stress of being alive during hardship. A program that teaches respect for a life that is worth living for.

Brutality requires brutal measures.

October 7, 2007

Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

New York Times

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

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.”

Eastern Congo is going through another one of its convulsions of violence, and this time it seems that women are being systematically attacked on a scale never before seen here. According to the United Nations, 27,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2006 in South Kivu Province alone, and that may be just a fraction of the total number across the country.

“The sexual violence in Congo is the worst in the world,” said John Holmes, the United Nations under secretary general for humanitarian affairs. “The sheer numbers, the wholesale brutality, the culture of impunity — it’s appalling.”

The days of chaos in Congo were supposed to be over. Last year, this country of 66 million people held a historic election that cost $500 million and was intended to end Congo’s various wars and rebellions and its tradition of epically bad government.

But the elections have not unified the country or significantly strengthened the Congolese government’s hand to deal with renegade forces, many of them from outside the country. The justice system and the military still barely function, and United Nations officials say Congolese government troops are among the worst offenders when it comes to rape. Large swaths of the country, especially in the east, remain authority-free zones where civilians are at the mercy of heavily armed groups who have made warfare a livelihood and survive by raiding villages and abducting women for ransom.

According to victims, one of the newest groups to emerge is called the Rastas, a mysterious gang of dreadlocked fugitives who live deep in the forest, wear shiny tracksuits and Los Angeles Lakers jerseys and are notorious for burning babies, kidnapping women and literally chopping up anybody who gets in their way.

United Nations officials said the so-called Rastas were once part of the Hutu militias who fled Rwanda after committing genocide there in 1994, but now it seems they have split off on their own and specialize in freelance cruelty.

Honorata Barinjibanwa, an 18-year-old woman with high cheekbones and downcast eyes, said she was kidnapped from a village that the Rastas raided in April and kept as a sex slave until August. Most of that time she was tied to a tree, and she still has rope marks ringing her delicate neck. The men would untie her for a few hours each day to gang-rape her, she said.

“I’m weak, I’m angry, and I don’t know how to restart my life,” she said from Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, where she was taken after her captors freed her.

She is also pregnant.

While rape has always been a weapon of war, researchers say they fear that Congo’s problem has metastasized into a wider social phenomenon.

“It’s gone beyond the conflict,” said Alexandra Bilak, who has studied various armed groups around Bukavu, on the shores of Lake Kivu. She said that the number of women abused and even killed by their husbands seemed to be going up and that brutality toward women had become “almost normal.”

Malteser International, a European aid organization that runs health clinics in eastern Congo, estimates that it will treat 8,000 sexual violence cases this year, compared with 6,338 last year. The organization said that in one town, Shabunda, 70 percent of the women reported being sexually brutalized.

At Panzi Hospital, where Dr. Mukwege performs as many as six rape-related surgeries a day, bed after bed is filled with women lying on their backs, staring at the ceiling, with colostomy bags hanging next to them because of all the internal damage.

“I still have pain and feel chills,” said Kasindi Wabulasa, a patient who was raped in February by five men. The men held an AK-47 rifle to her husband’s chest and made him watch, telling him that if he closed his eyes, they would shoot him. When they were finished, Ms. Wabulasa said, they shot him anyway.

In almost all the reported cases, the culprits are described as young men with guns, and in the deceptively beautiful hills here, there is no shortage of them: poorly paid and often mutinous government soldiers; homegrown militias called the Mai-Mai who slick themselves with oil before marching into battle; members of paramilitary groups originally from Uganda and Rwanda who have destabilized this area over the past 10 years in a quest for gold and all the other riches that can be extracted from Congo’s exploited soil.

The attacks go on despite the presence of the largest United Nations peacekeeping force in the world, with more than 17,000 troops.

Few seem to be spared. Dr. Mukwege said his oldest patient was 75, his youngest 3.

“Some of these girls whose insides have been destroyed are so young that they don’t understand what happened to them,” Dr. Mukwege said. “They ask me if they will ever be able to have children, and it’s hard to look into their eyes.”

No one — doctors, aid workers, Congolese and Western researchers — can explain exactly why this is happening.

“That is the question,” said André Bourque, a Canadian consultant who works with aid groups in eastern Congo. “Sexual violence in Congo reaches a level never reached anywhere else. It is even worse than in Rwanda during the genocide.”

Impunity may be a contributing factor, Mr. Bourque added, saying that very few of the culprits are punished.

Many Congolese aid workers denied that the problem was cultural and insisted that the widespread rapes were not the product of something ingrained in the way men treated women in Congolese society. “If that were the case, this would have showed up long ago,” said Wilhelmine Ntakebuka, who coordinates a sexual violence program in Bukavu.

Instead, she said, the epidemic of rapes seems to have started in the mid-1990s. That coincides with the waves of Hutu militiamen who escaped into Congo’s forests after exterminating 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus during Rwanda’s genocide 13 years ago.

Mr. Holmes said that while government troops might have raped thousands of women, the most vicious attacks had been carried out by Hutu militias.

“These are people who were involved with the genocide and have been psychologically destroyed by it,” he said.

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.

This place, one of the greenest, hilliest and most scenic slices of central Africa, continues to reverberate from the aftershocks of the genocide next door. Take the recent fighting near Bukavu between the Congolese Army and Laurent Nkunda, a dissident general who commands a formidable rebel force. Mr. Nkunda is a Congolese Tutsi who has accused the Congolese Army of supporting Hutu militias, which the army denies. Mr. Nkunda says his rebel force is simply protecting Tutsi civilians from being victimized again.

But his men may be no better.

Willermine Mulihano said she was raped twice — first by Hutu militiamen two years ago and then by Nkunda soldiers in July. Two soldiers held her legs apart, while three others took turns violating her.

“When I think about what happened,” she said, “I feel anxious and brokenhearted.”

She is also lonely. Her husband divorced her after the first rape, saying she was diseased.

In some cases, the attacks are on civilians already caught in the cross-fire between warring groups. In one village near Bukavu where 27 women were raped and 18 civilians killed in May, the attackers left behind a note in broken Swahili telling the villagers that the violence would go on as long as government troops were in the area.

The United Nations peacekeepers here seem to be stepping up efforts to protect women.

Recently, they initiated what they call “night flashes,” in which three 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.

But the problem seems bigger than the resources currently devoted to it.

Panzi Hospital has 350 beds, and though a new ward is being built specifically for rape victims, the hospital sends women back to their villages before they have fully recovered because it needs space for the never-ending stream of new arrivals.

Dr. Mukwege, 52, said he remembered the days when Bukavu was known for its stunning lake views and nearby national parks, like Kahuzi-Biega.

“There used to be a lot of gorillas in there,” he said. “But now they’ve been replaced by much more savage beasts.”

This article is about electronic dating, but even more so about the meaning of identity. What has this got to do with Frankenstein, Stalin, the Internet and the search for the ideal partner?

Wikipedia. Org writes, quote: “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is an 1818 novel written by Mary Shelley at the age of 19, first published anonymously in London, but more often known by the revised third edition of 1831 under her own name. It is a novel infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. The title refers to a scientist who learns how to reanimate flesh and creates a being in the likeness of man out of body parts taken from the dead. In modern popular culture, people have tended to refer to Frankenstein’s monster as “Frankenstein” (especially in films since 1930). It was also a warning against the “over-reaching” of modern man and the Industrial Revolution, alluded to in the novel’s subtitle, The Modern Prometheus. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. Unquote”
Well stated. Human beings seem to have the inherent tendency to shape the world according to their wishes, and, more often, desires. And there remains the question, what identity is about, in the first place. As always, there is a field of different opinions.
One of the most radical ideas expressed about identity is the one by Russia’s dictator Stalin. He came, some eighty years ago, to the conclusion that the individuum is the spot, “where certain qualities and influences come together.” It meant that human beings could be generated and molded at will – to create the ideal communist cross-bread. Great stuff. Accordingly, he had military vehicles built for the standard, average soldiers. There was no button to shift the seat. One year, there was a shortage of food in the country. It motivated the dictator to kill the (excess) folks, who couldn’t be fed. Wikipedio. Org writes, quote:
“ Confiscations of grain and other food by the Soviet authorities under his orders contributed to a famine between 1932 and 1934, especially in the key agricultural regions of the Soviet Union, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and North Caucasus that resulted in millions of deaths. Many peasants resisted collectivization and grain confiscations, but were repressed, most notably well-off peasants deemed “kulaks“.” unquote.
The other extreme is the ideal of the loner, fully in control of him- or herself, a integrated cosmos of mind, wishes, beliefs, only resonsible to himself, and far away from the rest. Some kind of egomaniac Howard Hughes, I presume.
I believe there are at least three levels of identity:
1.     The so-called physical identity, documented by passport, identity card, fingerprint, driving license, eye color, body parameters;
2.     An emotional identity – the outer world one is connected to – families, clans, husbands, wives, pets, parishes, political parties, sokker clubs etc. It could be compared to a ring of mushrooms – sticking out off the ground alone, but connected by rootlets in the topsoil.
3.     A spiritual level. Affinities here are difficult to define, and may transcend our current notion of time and space.
Not surprisingly, human beings have come up with different concepts of happiness. On one hand lies the happiness of the loner, who’s in control of everything.  The other extreme exemplifies the happiness of giving up and becoming member of a larger entity, which saves precious mental brainpower, and lets emotions run wild.
Others again give up the physical realm and dwell in spiritual spheres.
Assuming we don’t get spiritually ballistic or indulge in perfect loneliness, one wishes to have a partner. But how to find the right one? Electronic dating suggests to tie up with a large database, and combine the elements of desire according to one’s past experiences of happiness. This means assembling elements and aspects of long-gone temporary happiness into something new and hopefully rewarding – kind of a Hollywood remake. It’s a looking-backwards approach, that blocks possibilities of a genuine new experience, and what life really has got to offer. It also means carving out “the ideal” partner personality from reality – by ignoring such vital elements as family, and emotional identity.
In brief, electronic dating is a mix of Stalin, Frankenstein, Howard Hughes and other approaches. Congratulations! Push the orange button and you’re going to meet your Ms. or Mr.  Frankenstein.
© 2007 by Franz L Kessler
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

The World Health Organization reports that between 100 and 140 million women have suffered some degree of genital mutilation, with each year another 2 million girls fall into risk of being mutilated. That is an enormous number of girls and women. To put it in perspective: there are in total 150 million females in the United States. Personally, I would like to mutilate all the men that think it is okay to deprive a woman of her womanhood, unfortunately that isn’t possible (yet). So instead I will feel outraged, but maybe not entirely powerless.

I ask, what type of culture would allow millions of women to be denied their innate sexual pleasure? Mind you, this is a cultural phenomenon and not strictly guided by religious practice. How awful for the mothers who were forced to suffer life without pleasure only to then watch their own daughters undergo the same indignity. After all, regardless of how bad one’s life is, at the very least we can be assured the sublime pleasure of orgasm. Of course if you are a girl living in a patriarchal society where women are regarded as nothing more than inconvenient baggage, you may have been denied that inalienable right.

Thankfully there is some hope. In this weeks The Economist magazine, there is an article on a surgical procedure that helps restore some sensation to the millions of women who have been denied the pleasure within their bodies. The following is a reprint of that article:

Female genital mutilation

A cut less cruel
Sep 13th 2007 | OUAGADOUGOU
From The Economist print edition

An attempt to restore sexual sensation to women whose genitals have been cut

A QUARTER of a century after the start of campaigns to stop communities from maiming their young women, the practice still goes on. Female genital mutilation, to give it its proper name, ranges from a straightforward nick to the complete excision of the clitoris and labia with the remaining genitals sewn up, leaving only a small opening. It is done for cultural reasons in many African countries but also in Asia and the Middle East. The World Health Organisation estimates that some 3m girls are subjected to the procedure each year and that, in total, between 100m and 140m women have undergone it. But now surgeons are working to repair some of the damage.

Surgery to reopen the vagina and mitigate the medical complications of genital cutting has long been available. But in Burkina Faso, where as many as 75% of women are thought to have had their clitorises cut, a relatively new procedure is being offered. Clitoris-reconstruction surgery aims to restore sexual sensation to women who have been mutilated. A year after it was introduced, more than 100 women have elected to have it performed, according to Michel Akotionga of the Yalgado Ouedraogo University Hospital in Ouagadougou. Unlike surgery to reopen the vagina, which is free in Burkina Faso, clitoris reconstruction costs about $150 in a public hospital and up to $400 in a private clinic.

The technique is possible because most of the clitoris resides inside the female body. In cases where the entire external part has been severed, some 2cm is removed but a further 8-10cm remains embedded internally. Surgeons pull it out and stitch it to the skin. Nerve endings in the new protrusion help to create the secretion and engorgement in the genitals that prepare a woman for sex. Unfortunately the technique used by the Burkinabe doctors does not restore sexual sensation completely, because the pressure-sensitive tip of the clitoris is lost.

Pierre Foldes, who started pioneering the reconstruction method some 25 years ago, has now trained 15 surgeons to use the technique in France. Although he supports efforts to restore sexual sensation, he worries that improperly trained surgeons may cause more damage in attempting to repair mutilated women.

Other health workers fear that families unsure of whether to subject their young women to genital mutilation might go ahead on the grounds that a wrong decision can always be corrected later. While a partial cure is better than nothing, prevention would be best of all.

Of course, I also give you a relevant video which is not on women’s rights, but the right to be a free woman.

Nice remix on Pink Floyd’s “Proper Education”. Hope my good friend in Zurich enjoys it.

Anyway, even though the music has a great beat, the sentiments expressed in Pink Floyd’s lyrics are all wrong: A future paved in ignorance, by dropping out, is a future born into slavery. One can only be free by attaining knowledge.

Today’s technological revolution of fast and open communications over the Internet, gives anyone with access, the ability to study any subject they wish. However, not all websites are created equally. A lot of content is pure junk. Listed below are some worthwhile websites that provide excellent scholarly information — FOR FREE!

MIT Open Courseware:
Sharing “free lecture notes, exams and other resources from more than 1700 courses spanning MIT’s entire curriculum.”

Connexions: “is a place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc. Anyone may view or contribute.”

Project Gutenberg:
“Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks.”

eScholarship Editions: “The eScholarship Editions collection includes almost 2000 books from academic presses on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction.

Access to the electronic books is open to all University of California faculty, staff, and students, while select books are available to the public. Print versions of many of the electronic books can be purchased directly from the publishers.”

Online Economics Textbooks: Self explanatory.

Online Science and Math Textbooks: Self explanatory.

Six Sigma:
I hope people will spend a little time on this site. While Six Sigma is generally considered a business management tool, I think it can be equally applied to the management of any government operation. So please when reading through this site, try to think outside the box. Look for ways to apply learning into other areas of your life.

English as a Second Language Online Textbooks: I realize, if you are reading this, you already understand English, but still this is a good link to share with others.