Monday, November 30, 2009

An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore

An Open Letter to President Obama from Michael Moore

Dear President Obama,
Do you really want to be the new "war president"? If you go to West Point tomorrow night (Tuesday, 8pm) and announce that you are increasing, rather than withdrawing, the troops in Afghanistan, you are the new war president. Pure and simple. And with that you will do the worst possible thing you could do -- destroy the hopes and dreams so many millions have placed in you. With just one speech tomorrow night you will turn a multitude of young people who were the backbone of your campaign into disillusioned cynics. You will teach them what they've always heard is true -- that all politicians are alike. I simply can't believe you're about to do what they say you are going to do. Please say it isn't so.
It is not your job to do what the generals tell you to do. We are a civilian-run government. WE tell the Joint Chiefs what to do, not the other way around. That's the way General Washington insisted it must be. That's what President Truman told General MacArthur when MacArthur wanted to invade China. "You're fired!," said Truman, and that was that. And you should have fired Gen. McChrystal when he went to the press to preempt you, telling the press what YOU had to do. Let me be blunt: We love our kids in the armed services, but we f*#&in' hate these generals, from Westmoreland in Vietnam to, yes, even Colin Powell for lying to the UN with his made-up drawings of WMD (he has since sought redemption).
So now you feel backed into a corner. 30 years ago this past Thursday (Thanksgiving) the Soviet generals had a cool idea -- "Let's invade Afghanistan!" Well, that turned out to be the final nail in the USSR coffin.
There's a reason they don't call Afghanistan the "Garden State" (though they probably should, seeing how the corrupt President Karzai, whom we back, has his brother in the heroin trade raising poppies). Afghanistan's nickname is the "Graveyard of Empires." If you don't believe it, give the British a call. I'd have you call Genghis Khan but I lost his number. I do have Gorbachev's number though. It's + 41 22 789 1662. I'm sure he could give you an earful about the historic blunder you're about to commit.
With our economic collapse still in full swing and our precious young men and women being sacrificed on the altar of arrogance and greed, the breakdown of this great civilization we call America will head, full throttle, into oblivion if you become the "war president." Empires never think the end is near, until the end is here. Empires think that more evil will force the heathens to toe the line -- and yet it never works. The heathens usually tear them to shreds.
Choose carefully, President Obama. You of all people know that it doesn't have to be this way. You still have a few hours to listen to your heart, and your own clear thinking. You know that nothing good can come from sending more troops halfway around the world to a place neither you nor they understand, to achieve an objective that neither you nor they understand, in a country that does not want us there. You can feel it in your bones.
I know you know that there are LESS than a hundred al-Qaeda left in Afghanistan! A hundred thousand troops trying to crush a hundred guys living in caves? Are you serious? Have you drunk Bush's Kool-Aid? I refuse to believe it.
Your potential decision to expand the war (while saying that you're doing it so you can "end the war") will do more to set your legacy in stone than any of the great things you've said and done in your first year. One more throwing a bone from you to the Republicans and the coalition of the hopeful and the hopeless may be gone -- and this nation will be back in the hands of the haters quicker than you can shout "tea bag!"
Choose carefully, Mr. President. Your corporate backers are going to abandon you as soon as it is clear you are a one-term president and that the nation will be safely back in the hands of the usual idiots who do their bidding. That could be Wednesday morning.
We the people still love you. We the people still have a sliver of hope. But we the people can't take it anymore. We can't take your caving in, over and over, when we elected you by a big, wide margin of millions to get in there and get the job done. What part of "landslide victory" don't you understand?
Don't be deceived into thinking that sending a few more troops into Afghanistan will make a difference, or earn you the respect of the haters. They will not stop until this country is torn asunder and every last dollar is extracted from the poor and soon-to-be poor. You could send a million troops over there and the crazy Right still wouldn't be happy. You would still be the victim of their incessant venom on hate radio and television because no matter what you do, you can't change the one thing about yourself that sends them over the edge.
The haters were not the ones who elected you, and they can't be won over by abandoning the rest of us.
President Obama, it's time to come home. Ask your neighbors in Chicago and the parents of the young men and women doing the fighting and dying if they want more billions and more troops sent to Afghanistan. Do you think they will say, "No, we don't need health care, we don't need jobs, we don't need homes. You go on ahead, Mr. President, and send our wealth and our sons and daughters overseas, 'cause we don't need them, either."
What would Martin Luther King, Jr. do? What would your grandmother do? Not send more poor people to kill other poor people who pose no threat to them, that's what they'd do. Not spend billions and trillions to wage war while American children are sleeping on the streets and standing in bread lines.
All of us that voted and prayed for you and cried the night of your victory have endured an Orwellian hell of eight years of crimes committed in our name: torture, rendition, suspension of the bill of rights, invading nations who had not attacked us, blowing up neighborhoods that Saddam "might" be in (but never was), slaughtering wedding parties in Afghanistan. We watched as hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered and tens of thousands of our brave young men and women were killed, maimed, or endured mental anguish -- the full terror of which we scarcely know.
When we elected you we didn't expect miracles. We didn't even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn't even function as a nation and never, ever has.
Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God's sake, stop.
Tonight we still have hope.
Tomorrow, we shall see. The ball is in your court. You DON'T have to do this. You can be a profile in courage. You can be your mother's son.
We're counting on you.
Yours,
Michael Moore
MMFlint@aol.com
MichaelMoore.com
P.S. There's still time to have your voice heard. Call the White House at 202-456-1111 or email the President.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Survivor’s Battle Against Female Genital Mutilation

Interview with my good friend Lucy Mashua
A Survivor’s Battle Against Female Genital Mutilation – by Jamie Glazov
Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's editor.



Lucy Mashua confronts the mutilators world-wide.

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Lucy Mashua, the Global Ambassador for fighting FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and standing up for Women’s Rights. She is the Chairperson of sponsoredgirl.com, a worldwide campaign against FGM.

FP: Lucy Mashua, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Add Lucy Mashua on Facebook
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Tell us about your background and your own personal story.

Mashua: I was born 30 years ago in a small village in southern Kenya in Rift valley province. I come from the Maasai tribe, which is known for its cultural wearing of beads, red ochre and wraps. We are nomadic people and move with our animals from one place to another in search of pastures, as it’s a semi arid area. We have three major groups in Africa: Bantu, Cushites and Nilots.

My tribe falls into the Nilots group and the tribe from which Obama’s father comes from, Luo. We migrated from Egypt in 16 AD, named after the river Nile and most of us are black Jews, but practicing Christianity. I am a Christian.

I love my tribe so much that I want them to treat women and children right by ending FGM and early child marriage. Women and girls are not men’s properties. It is our God- given right not to be mutilated and married off at a tender age. I am the first born of a family of six and underwent FGM at the age of 9 one early morning with a group of other girls. Vaginal genocide was committed on us.

And now here I am living to tell and be a voice for the voiceless.

FP: Why does your tribe practise FGM? What is its philosophy? And why does it also engage in child marriage?

Mashua: My tribe practices FGM because they are ignorant and brainwashed since the days of Pharaoh in Egypt as they migrated to East Africa with this tradition. The philosophy is that women will be more tame and controllable. When a woman is made to feel like she is an object and not 100% human, she will fall for it. They become puppets and not valued, but it didn’t work with me.

They also engage in early childhood marriage to control and tame women because if you are married off at 12, by the time you are 18 you are just worn out and you will never see the need to explore life. The younger the girls are, the easier it is to control and manipulate them. It’s also about wealth. The more wives and cattle you have, the wealthier you are and you have more property.

FP: I am sorry to ask, but can you kindly share with us the horrible experience you suffered of FGM? Who did this to you? What were the consequences? How did you cope with it?

Mashua: One chilly morning in a group of 29 girls, we were mutilated. I was tied with a rope because I was screaming and begging them to stop. Some girls were considered brave for not crying aloud. But I know their heart cried out loud. I could hear their cry and still do.

It is so hard for me to talk about this. It’s so fresh. I am still so traumatized. They used the same knife on us, not caring about any infections. These are tradition mutilators and midwives that perform this savagery. My mom could not watch this. Up to now, I am scared of any human blood. I scream when I accidentally cut myself. A few days ago I passed out when I cut my finger and I hurt my back as I live by myself. No one could help me.

I have nightmares. I have never coped. I have very painful PMS. I have extra glands growing so I need surgery. I have scar tissues. That’s why my vagina muscles hurt. I will live with this for the rest of my life. I will never cope but one thing for sure I will never stop voicing out against FGM.

One day I will reach the World Court and criminalize globally FGM. I swear I am going to reach there. I am now building a very big network of very committed people. I aspire even to be a human rights movie documentary producer. I am going to get words out there and catch the attention of all kinds of good people. I will kick FGM ass out of this planet. And that makes me smile.

FP: I am sorry that I asked you to talk about this horrible monstrosity that was committed against you. Thank you for sharing it with us. I speak on behalf of Fronpagemag.com to say that our heart is with you and all the victims. We feel your pain and stand beside you in this battle to stop this violence against little girls and women.

You have suffered some persecution and terrible ordeals because of your fight against FGM while you were in Africa. Tell us what happened to you.

Mashua: First I was rejected by my own society, relatives and friends because of my strong uncompromised belief that women are human too and that no one should take a razor, knife or sharp glass to cut off our clitoris.

No man owns a woman and no one has the right to beat or hit a woman. I have watched my mom suffer at the hands of men and I had enough and began my rebellion by not obeying what men wanted from me and I knew then I have begun a war.

As young as 6 years old I would open my mouth and shout to the top of my voice in a gathering to speak my mind out. Of course I would get beatings but I grew immune. I could not cry anymore from the beatings but I cry out when my friends and relatives undergo FGM.

My fight against FGM has landed me in jail as a protester. I have suffered beatings, rejection, sexual abuse, separation from my babies. I have been tortured physically, sexually and emotionally. I have physical scars all over my body. Up to this time there are times my mind goes back and it’s like a horror movie. I suffered a great deal but I thank God almighty for America.

FP: What efforts are you now making to stop FGM? What resistance are you confronting?

Mashua: Since the day I stepped foot in the United States, I have been leading a fight against FGM. I have received help from my attorneys Roy Petty and Daniel Stewart, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson and many organizations, such as the Center for Survivors of Torture and Human rights Initiatives.

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson held my hand and stood by me. Annually I am a guest speaker to her World of Peace Women Conference. She even introduced me to President Obama back in 2007. He recognized my efforts on human rights issues and said he was proud of me in a letter he wrote to me.

The Congresswoman is a great friend. She helps me in many big ways that you cannot imagine and they are very personal. She went ahead and introduced me to my adopted brother J. Kendel Johnson, who has always been there for me, even in my hospital bed during my reconstructive surgery. He is an angel.

Parkland hospital surgeons saved my life and reduced my pain and body struggle by 60%. Many individuals groups supported me and still support me with my campaign here in the United States.

I began my campaign officially in 1999 in Kenya by holding demonstrations, speaking in seminars, radio and television programmes and in other East and Central Africans countries. I have currently launched a world wide campaign to stop FGM in Europe. I am the chairperson of sponsoredgirls.com. It’s not always been easy. First, resistance from my own people, then resistance from traditional mutilators who say that I am trying to destroy their only means of income.

FP: How about the Left? They pretend they are for human rights?

Mashua: Leftists pay lip service to women’s rights, but they are full of empty words. They derive fame and recognition from the pain and suffering of women. They only talk and travel just to show off; they do nothing to help or join in the fight against FGM.

FP: Expand for us on why leftist feminists and the Left in general abandons the girls who are the victims of FGM, especially those under Islam? They simply cannot bring themselves to criticize adversarial cultures and religions right?

Mashua: It’s simple: they don’t care about the harmful cultures. All they care about is opening their mouth or scribbling some words online or on paper to act as if they care and so far they have scooped several Grammies for best actors.

They bow down and worship the women haters to achieve favors and recognition. It’s high time we smoke these hypocrites out. I cannot stand them anymore I even don’t want their money to support my campaign because it’s blood money and evil-haunted money.

I would rather crawl and beg in the streets to sustain my campaign instead of working with such people.

The leading member of the Women Development Organization in Kenya, the vice chair, said this about FGM: “Unlike other gender issues, such as access to education, FGM is viewed as cultural practice, which, if threatened, endangers the cohesion of an entire community.” Her name is Rukia Subow and she is a supporter of the mutilators and of mutilation. She is the vice chair of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization–or MYWO–a leading Kenyan women’s rights group based in Nairobi. She writes: “FGM is considered most significant rite of passage to adulthood, enhancing tribal cohesion, providing girls with important recognition from peers.”

This is an organisation that is funded and works with the leftists in the West. I went to court to sue this organisation and its leadership with other 10 women and we lost and ended up in jail. We were beaten up and threatened just because we wanted them to womanup.

Another example is Ricken Patel of AVAAZ who grew up in Kenya. He told me that FGM is not an important issue and cannot beat climate change and his organisation will not help us to protect girls from FGM. Believe me, religion is a playing card here because this pretender doesn’t want to step on the toes of religion leaders and haters of women. Then a few days later he put a cause on Facebook that he cares about sex slavery. I told him these girls run away from their home to escape the crude culture of mutilation and child brides and end up in the streets where they are captured by educated heartless people for sex slavery and it’s so painful because it happened to someone very dear to me. She disappeared for years. She was only 11

In the Washington Post, Secretary Clinton wrote a column “Fighting Modern Slavery” lamenting worldwide sex trafficking. The root causes of sex trafficking are poverty, illiteracy, and powerlessness. Gender inequality is the basis for all three. I am hoping to represent the Department of State in a two week conference next year in Sierra Leone.

FP: You come from a tribe that is made of up Christians, and yet there was FGM. This is strange as Christianity would be completely against this kind of thing. It is in Islam where this is most occurring and Islamic theology sanctions it. Tell us also about your experience with Islam and Muslims in terms of FGM today.

Mashua: Yes my tribe is Christian and also full of traditional believers. I don’t know why they practice it because there is no single Bible verse that says to mutilate women. As I said earlier, it’s a way of controlling women. It has nothing to do with Christianity and they do not point to Christianity. They carried this tradition from Egypt in 16 AD (days of Pharoh). As Nilots, we immigrated to East Africa.

My experience with Islam on FGM is very sad. As you correctly point out, a majority of people who practice FGM on women are of the Islamic faith and in the Muslim countries that I have visited their women and children have encountered the worst form of it, and many reconstructive surgeons can testify to this. It is a form of control and manipulation in the name of religion.

The good news is that there many Muslims who are rising to end any form of torture against women.

FP: That is great but the problem is that Muslims point to traditional Islamic teachings that sanction FGM. This is the way they keep it in placed. That is why when Egypt, for example, banned FGM in 1996, an Egyptian court overturned the ban in July 1997 after Islamic clerics went on a rampage to bring it back, pointing to Islamic teachings and ideology. Islamic tradition, for instance, records the Prophet Muhammad emphasizing that circumcising girls is “a preservation of honor for women.” A legal manual endorsed by Al-Azhar University of Cairo, which is the oldest and most prestigious university in the Islamic world, states that circumcision is obligatory for both boys and girls.

The sexual mutilation of girls is in the interests of those who control the structure of Islamic gender apartheid. Keeping FGM legitimized and institutionalized is one of the most effective means that Islamic gender apartheid keeps women subjugated and caged.

Yes, let’s hope that Muslim reformers can be empowered to fight FGM, but in order to do so they have to confront the misogyny and demonization of female sexuality that is embedded in Islamic theology.

So where does your battle stand now as we speak?

Mashua: We all read the harmful Muslim remarks on Beyonce after she said she was going to perform in Egypt:

“Beyonce, queen of the crusader whores and puppet of the Zionist entertainment complex, plans to bring her filthy sex act to the heart of the Muslim world with a concert in Cairo. Not since al-Malik al-Adil Nur ad-Din Abu al-Qasim Mahmud Ibn ‘Imad ad-Din Zangi fought the crusaders in Damascus has the Muslim world faced such a threat.”

“If Beyonce is allowed to go ahead with her insolent sex party, all of our daughters risk growing up whores. Soon, they will dare to show their ankles in a public setting, or sit in a room with a grown man who is not an immediate family member.”

“If Beyonce insists on traveling to Egypt, she must be met with fierce resistance. She should be arrested and made to have a female circumcision in order to correct her wicked urges. If she objects, she must be stoned to death. Only then can our daughters be safe from Western vice and debauchery.”

Wow, tell me what kind of religion it is that hates women so much to the core? It’s simple: women are not allowed to enjoy sex or laughter or just the gift of life because of these Islamic attitudes and teachings. Look what happened at the Fort Hood shooting. The authorities knew about Nidal Hasan’s jihadist views but they were afraid to report him because of political correctness. And the fear of not taking action cost us our blood and lives. Believe me there are so many of the major Hasans out there. It’s high time we call a spade a spade.

Five hundred thousand women are still dying in childbirth every year and the promise of universal access to reproductive health and family planning made at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt in 1994 has been more honored in the breach than in the implementation. A.majority of women’s deaths in these cases are caused by early women rights violations (i.e. FGM, child brides, etc.)

On Common Ground must expand the discussion to the entire planet. What we do here in this country has an effect on the entire world’s view of women, on their status, on their role in human affairs. America, we are the hope of the world. Let’s stand together and lets not be scared of the haters and leftists.

FP: Thank you Lucy Mashua. Final words?

Mashua: When the world takes care of women, women take care of the world. What does taking care of women mean? It means that people rejoice equally at the birth of a girl or a boy. Every single human being ever born has come from the womb of a woman. Women risk their very lives to ensure the propagation of the species. If women lack health and education and choices in their lives, humanity suffers. If women disappear, humanity disappears. It is really that simple. So take care of women.

FP: Lucy Mashua, you are an inspiration to us all. We encourage all of our readers to go to sponsoredgirl.com and help join the fight against FGM.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Please affirm the Charter for Compassion and spread the word!

On February 28, 2008 Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize and made a wish: for help creating, launching and propagating a Charter for Compassion. Since that day, thousands of people have contributed to the process so that on November 12, 2009 the Charter was unveiled to the world.



Karen Armstrong’s Wish
“I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propagation of a Charter for Compassion, crafted by a group of leading inspirational thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and based on the fundamental principles of universal justice and respect.”

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.


The golden rule
The Golden Rule requires that we use empathy -- moral imagination -- to put ourselves in others' shoes. We should act toward them as we would want them to act toward us. We should refuse, under any circumstance, to carry out actions which would cause them harm.

http://charterforcompassion.org

Each name added makes the compassionate voice a more potent force in the world. Let us make the silent majority a challenge to extremism and hatred.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How social are the social media?

Lets take a look at the Wikipedia definition of social media first...

Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content"[1]. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM). Social media utilization is believed to be a driving factor in the idea that the current period in time will be defined as the Attention Age.

Social media can be said to have three components;

1. Concept (art, information, or meme).
2. Media (physical, electronic, or verbal).
3. Social interface (intimate direct, community engagement, social viral, electronic broadcast or syndication, or other physical media such as print).

Primarily, social media depend on interactions between people as the discussion and integration of words to build shared-meaning, using technology as a conduit. Social media has been touted as presenting a fresh direction for marketing by allowing companies to talk with consumers, as opposed to talking at them.[5]

Social media utilities create opportunities for the use of both inductive and deductive logic by their users. Claims or warrants are quickly transitioned into generalizations due to the manner in which shared statements are posted and viewed by all.

Now how social are the social media?

Lets take a look at Facebook where you can set your status message to EVERYONE...
What does this everyone mean? Does this mean that not only your friends and friends of friends but realy everyone on Facebook who is in YOUR FACEBOOK NETWORK can see this...? No it does not Facebook is all about the Friends networks...
But the new newsfeed does not even allow you to post to all your friends...
If you check my Facebook Profile you can see that many items do not get any comments....simply because they never ever show up in any newsfeed!
I did very much testing on Facebook and they seem to have a wonderful math system for their censorship! Facebook does not like people who use Facebook too much...
And the best way to slow them down is to simply fade out these members!

I understand that Facebook has to do everything to stop spammers, but trusted members who simply post their causes or groups should not be punished for just caring!

Making a difference in Facebook is getting more and more difficult!
Too much activity on Facebook will get you disabled but first they simply fade
out your postings! Not very social....But we can still try to do what we can..
Maybe Facebook will get more social if they realy start earning BIG MONEY?
Lets hope so.....

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will NOT refuse to do the something that I can do." - Helen Keller

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Do you think that FGM has to beat Climate Change?

Do you think that Female Genital Mutilation has to beat climate change before Avaaz can speak up to fight this?



Avaaz Founder Ricken Patel about support for Female Genital Mutilation
To be honest, I don't think this issue is going to beat out climatechange..

Now what do you say? Please vote and let us know if you agree with Ricken that FGM should beat the multi trillion dollar climate change business...How do you explain that to the 4 Million girls???




twtpoll :: Do you think that Female Genital Mutilation has to beat climate change before Avaaz can speak up to fight this? Like Ricken Patel thinks... (via @HansLak)

twtpoll :: Do you think that Female Genital Mutilation has to beat climate change before Avaaz can speak up to fight this? Like Ricken Patel thinks... (via @HansLak)

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

TBLI is about PEOPLE PLANET PROFIT




EDUCATING THE FINANCIAL COMMUNITY AFTER THE CRUNCH

11th Annual TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (November 3, 2009) - The 11th annual TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE is held in Amsterdam from November 12-13, 2009. This year’s conference highlights worldwide health insurance and related human rights issues, the Credit Crunch and its effects on investment ethics values and investment, and the Copenhagen Climate Council and its consequences for investment portfolios.

TBLI’s first keynote speaker is Wendell Potter, former Executive Manager at the 5th largest US health insurance, who resigned as he personally witnessed the inhuman results of health insurance coverage practices. Second keynote speaker is Lewis Gordon Pugh, environmentalist, swimmer and initiator of The Polar Defense Project.

The special focus of this international event is on “Retooling the Economy”: educating the financial community and showing sustainable investment opportunities as profitable alternatives for conventional dysfunctional investment models which caused the Credit Crunch and climate change. The aim of TBLI CONFERENCE EUROPE 2009 is to show the financial community that worldwide recession and the bankruptcy of old investment models and values provide new opportunities for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

5 investment firms will be winners of the 2009 ESG Awards by TBLI GROUP and IPE (International Pensions Europe) during a special award ceremony and dinner on 12 November. Special delegations of financial experts from the Emirates Foundation, Viet Nam Holding AM and Eastern European Countries to Amsterdam will be hosted.

More than 100 finance experts take part in 20 specialized workshops and 2 expert roundtables, actively demonstrating new and successful investment opportunities to investors from pension funds, banks, hedge funds and investment funds. Maritta Koch-Weser, Chair of The Global Exchange for Social Investment (GEXSI) moderates the panel on Social Entrepreneurs, explaining the benefits of Peer-to-Peer lending as an answer to the lack of credit in the current financial market. This year’s conference is especially sponsored by the City of Amsterdam and the event isl officially opened by Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam. Next TBLI Conferences for 2010 and 2011 will be held in London and Tokyo.

Triple Bottom Line Investment (TBLI) is the most rapidly growing form of new investing, which benefits three parties: investor, nature and society alike. TBLI GROUP™ specializes in Triple Bottom Line Investing (TBLI) – investing that benefits investor, nature and society. Based in Amsterdam, TBLI GROUP™ seeks to raise awareness of sustainable investment in the financial sector, by assisting investors and providing a global network for parties who share in this goal. TBLI CONFERENCE™ is the largest global networking and educational event on TBLI in Europe and Asia. For more information, visit http://tbliconference.com

For more information, press interviews or media inquiries, please contact

Esther van der Weij at esther@tbli.org or +316 158 910 78

Monday, November 2, 2009

Please Sign! Stop Animal Sacrifice in Nepal Petition



Can you picture 7,000 young buffaloes being rounded up and killed by a thousand drunk men carrying large knives? A festival where 200,000 animals are killed to please a goddess?

This is exactly what  will happen from November 24, 2009, onwards in Nepal. The Gadimai Festival in Bariyarpur, Bara District, is held each 5 years. The mass sacrifice turns the entire area into a marshy land of blood. The Animal Welfare Network Nepal together with Anti-sacrifice Alliance want to end this bloody, cruel practice.

Please sign this petition:
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-gadimai.html

GoPetition

For more information go to Worship Without Cruelty at http://animalnepal.org/campaigns_wwc.htm
Petition:
To the Ministers of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Peace Secretariat and Law and Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.

Dear Sirs,

We, the signatories, call on the Nepal authorities to end extreme animal cruelty at Gadimai Festival. Each five years in the month of Kartik devotees sacrifice around 200,000 animals (including 6,000 young male buffaloes). Innocent creatures are killed en masse in a very unorganised manner by drunk devotees who enter the temple area with khukuri knives to cut off the heads of frightened buffaloes.

No one can adequately explain why these practices are carried out year after year – except to say they are ‘traditional’. This however is not a valuable argument to commence these practices; Nepal, realising the adverse effects, has abolished a number of ‘traditions’ in the past, including human sacrifice and widow burning.

We feel the time has come to abolish the above practices for the following reasons:

1. Nepal is concerned about the welfare of its precious flora and fauna, and has signed a number of international Wildlife Treaties followed by the introduction of the Meat Act, which introduces humane killing of livestock and poultry. The cruelty displayed in these so-called traditions completely contradicts the spirit and gestures of these treaties and acts.

2. As tourists are abhorred by such practices, the festivals will have an adverse effect on tourism, an industry which provides the country with much-needed financial returns. Those foreigners who experience or come to know the extent of sacrifice in this country leave Nepal confused and with a heavy heart, rather than uplifted by its paradoxical beauty and friendliness.

3. Cruelty against animals harms society as a whole; it signals and normalises insensitivity in children who can become numb to the suffering of living beings, it is also known to influence certain people to commit violence on other humans. Now that the armed conflict has ended Nepal needs peaceful practices that educate the next generation for a harmonious society.

4. Sacrifices often strengthen the vested interest of those who benefit from superstition-based beliefs and rituals. As Nepal is moving ahead to become a more fully democratic, egalitarian society, it is crucial to challenge age-old beliefs which are not beneficial and drain the resources of the poor and needy.

We urge you to end the violent practices and help Nepal move towards a truly peaceful country, and in keeping with its international image. This can be done by introducing and enforcing a much-needed Animal Welfare Act to curb animal cruelty and by promoting genuine animal welfare activities across the country.

We trust that you will support these measures (which are becoming more popular by the day, around the globe and thus promote non-violent cultural practices in Nepal.

Sincerely,

Your Name & Address

Namasté
Hans Lak
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