The president and vice president have become a worldwide menace to women's rights
Three years have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The tsunami’s immediate death toll was more than 15,000, with close to 3,000 still missing. Casualties are still mounting, though, both in Japan and much farther away. The impact of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown on health and the environment is severe, compounded daily as radioactive pollution continues to pour from the site, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO.
Rape is center stage this week after the dramatic rescue of three women from close to a decade of imprisonment in a house on a quiet street in Cleveland. The suspect, Ariel Castro, has been charged with kidnap and rape. These horrific allegations have shocked the nation, and demand a full investigation and a vigorous prosecution.
Also this week, the Pentagon released a shocking new report on rape and sexual assault in the U.S. military. According to the latest available figures, an estimated average of 70 sexual assaults are committed daily within the U.S. military, or 26,000 per year. The number of actually reported sexual assaults for the Pentagon’s fiscal year 2012 was 3,374. Of that number, only 190 were sent to a court-martial proceeding.
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.
These two lines were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem “Snow-Flakes”, published in a volume in 1863 alongside his epic and better-known “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”. Much of the news chatter this week has been about Sarah Palin’s flubbing of the history of Revere’s famous ride in April 1775. Revere was on a late-night, clandestine mission to alert American revolutionaries of an impending British attack. Palin’s incorrect version had Revere loudly ringing a bell and shooting a gun on horseback as a warning to the British to back off.
As many as 80,000 people marched to the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison on Saturday as part of an ongoing protest against newly elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s attempt to not just badger the state’s public employee unions, but to break them. The Madison uprising follows on the heels of those in the Middle East. A sign held by one university student, an Iraq War vet, read, “I went to Iraq and came home to Egypt?” Another read, “Walker: Mubarak of the Midwest.” Likewise, a photo has circulated in Madison of a young man at a rally in Cairo, with a sign reading, “Egypt supports Wisconsin workers: One world, one pain.” Meanwhile, Libyans continue to defy a violent government crackdown against masses seeking to oust longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and more than 10,000 marched Tuesday in Ohio to oppose Republican Gov. John Kasich’s attempted anti-union legislative putsch.
President George W. Bush has long preferred illusion to reality. "See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda," Bush explained of his approach at a public forum in 2005. For Bush, there are no real problems, only political problems. The only crises are when poll numbers fall.