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Pre-2008 Posts

Updates, Other Things

Amish Girl Massacre

One of the five Amish girls who survived last month’s schoolhouse massacre is fully disabled from a severe head wound and unlikely to recover.  She’s at home, being cared for by family, who mostly treat her for pain and keep her comfortable.  Another girl with a head wound will be  hospitalized until December.

One surviving girl’s shoulder joint was so badly damaged she might not recover the use of her arm. Another girl was wounded in the face, but did not suffer brain damage and is recovering “pretty well.” There were also pelvic and hand wounds, according to doctors.  I blogged about this here.


Rape and Murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza Janabi and her family

A US soldier charged with raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl last March and helping kill her and three other members of her family pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to testify against four other soldiers involved in the crimes. Spc. James Barker, 23, agreed to the plea in order to avoid the death penalty, according to his civilian lawyer, David Sheldon. He gave a detailed confession Wednesday before a court martial at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  I blogged about this here


Seattle second only to San Francisco in number of lesbian/gay people

Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, Seattle is second only to San Francisco in the percentage of residents identifying themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, a new study reports.

A researcher used census and other government statistics to offer an estimate of a segment of the population in cities, metropolitan areas and congressional districts nationwide whose size has only been guessed in the past.

The study reports found that 12.9 percent of Seattle residents — roughly 57,900 people — identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual. In San Francisco, 15.4 percent of residents identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.


Not hunger, “low food security.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this week that 12 percent of Americans — 35 million people — could not put food on the table at least part of last year. Eleven million of them reported going hungry at times. Beginning this year, the Agriculture Department has determined “very low food security” is a better term than “hunger.”

I am really enjoying God-Des these days.

Listen to “Struggle.”




3 thoughts on “Updates, Other Things

  1. The problem with that US Agricultural Dept statistic is that it doesn’t accurately reflect poverty and hasn’t for many years. According to the research Barbara Ehrenreich did for her book Nickel and Dimed the official poverty rate has remained for years at a relatively low 13 percent or so because “poverty” is officially defined by food and not housing. She found out that while the Economic Policy Institute came up with what constitutes a “living wage” and came up with an average of $30K a year for a family of one adult and two children which equals $14/hr. This included health insurance, a telephone, and child care at a licensed center, most of which is well beyond the reach of millions. The problem is that the majority of American workers, about 60 percent, earn less than $14/hr. The biggest expense for anyone living in this country is not food but housing.

    Ehrenrich says:
    “The reason for the disconnect between the actual housing nightmare of the poor and “poverty,” as officially defined, is simple: the official poverty level is still calculated by the archaic method of taking the bare bones cost of food for a family of a given size and multiplying this number by three. Yet food is relatively inflation proof, at least when compared to rent. In the early 1960’s when this method of calculating poverty was devised, food accounted for 24 percent of the averge family budget… and housing 29 percent. In 1999, food took up only 16 percent of the family budget, while housing had soared to 37 percent. So the choice of food as the basis for calculating family budgets seems fairly arbitrary today; we might as well abolish poverty altogether, at least on paper, by defining a subsistence budget as some multiple of average expenditures on comic books or dental floss.”

    NO ONE need go hungry in this country. With the amount of food wasted on a daily basis here, the idea that anyone, much less millions of people, suffer from hunger because of a lack of provision is ludicrous and shameful. However, even as shocking as that number may be, the actual percentage of people in true poverty, who work full time jobs but who are homeless or nearly so, who eat but who do not have shelter or much else, is much, much higher. That 12-13 percent figure has remained stable for many years and is “comforting” to economists and delude them into thinking the poverty rate is not climbing when in fact it is staggering.

    At this time of year, too, many people often look to donate to or volunteer at food kitchens and food drives for the poor. Those organizations are absolutely necessary and should continue. However, providing housing for a family is much more necessary and much more difficult to provide. I may easily pick up extra food on my weekly grocery shopping and donate but how am I to pay the rent for someone else when I can barely pay my own? And of course the government has steadily reduced subsidized housing since the 90’s and private organizations have not picked up the slack. This is why I am a strong supporter of Habitat for Humanity but it doesn’t unfortunately address the needs of so many, many more people in need.

    Posted by Ginny | November 18, 2006, 4:58 pm
  2. Hi Heart!
    Just wanted to say that God-des & She rock! thanks for the link, I’m really enjoying the lyrics. Smart, articulate, such a lovely change from the usual “b*tches n’ H**s” crap we get on the radio.
    Oh, and the “low food security” term just cracked me up, I’m sorry. Do they realy think that people will stop feeling hungry by re-phrasing the word hunger?

    Posted by malka lev adom | November 23, 2006, 2:30 pm
  3. Hey, Ginny and malka lev adom. 🙂 Thanks for the Barbara Ehrenreich quote, Ginny– so good. The fact that there are SO many poor people in the U.S. is disgusting and disgraceful and it makes me sick, especially in view of the fat, fat salaries of so many, most of them white men, who don’t deserve them. If only I were in charge. 😦

    I’m glad you are liking God-Des & She, malk lev adom! I am really enjoying them, too, kind of obsessing over them lately the way I do when someone’s music really starts to grow on me.


    Posted by womensspace | November 24, 2006, 4:59 am

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The Farm at Huge Creek, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, The Feminist Hullaballoo