Archive for the ‘Repost’ Category

Repost: Malala and Education   Leave a comment

Content Note: Malala, Shootings, Gender Inequality, Unequal access, Illiteracy

Juan Cole has a mostly excellent post on Malala, the Taliban, and female education in Pakistan.

So the Taliban are fringe, tiny and highly peculiar and their bizarre ideas have all along been out of sync with the Pakistani mainstream. The Taliban extreme male chauvinism is a huge problem for women in the small areas of Pakistan where they are influential. But arguably, millions of Pakistani women are deprived of an education not by the malevolence of a few sectarians but by the failure of elite men to care to see peasant girls have a school in their village.


Repost: Happy Ada Lovelace Day   Leave a comment

This post from Unequally Yoked clued me in to Ada Lovelace Day, which seems like a day worth celebrating to me. You should check it out.

Ada Lovelace Day was launched in 2009 with a simple pledge on British civil action site, Pledgebank. Nearly 2,000 people signed up to blog about a woman in technology whom they admired on 24 March. The day was an astounding success, with contributors writing blog posts, newspaper columns and even a webcomic, Sydney Padua’s Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage. The media covered Ada Lovelace Day with enthusiasm, including coverage from The GuardianThe Telegraph, the BBC and Computer Weekly amongst others.

Posted 10/16/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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Repost: US Foreign Policy is Bad   Leave a comment

Content Note: Economic Distress, Drone Strikes, Government Oppression

From Glenn Greenwald. Read this if you have any doubt that US foreign policy is bad.

Even more infamously, the beloved former Democratic Secretary of State Madeleine Albright – when asked in 1996 by 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl about reports that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of US-imposed sanctions on that country – stoically replied: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.” So extreme was the suffering caused by sanctions in Iraq that one former UN official, Denis Halliday, resigned in protest, saying that the sanctions policy met the formal definition of “genocide”:

“We are now in there responsible for killing people, destroying their families, their children, allowing their older parents to die for lack of basic medicines. We’re in there allowing children to die who were not born yet when Saddam Hussein made the mistake of invading Kuwait.”

In an excellent Op-Ed for Al Jazeera last week, Murtaza Hussain extensively documented the devastation wrought on 26 million Iraqis by that sanctions regime – the one Albright declared as “worth it” – and argues: “that tragedy is being willfully replayed, only this time the target is the population of Iran”. He explained:

“Intensifying sanctions against the country have sent the Iran’s rial into an unprecedented free-fall, causing it to plummet in value by 75 per cent since the start of the year; and, stunningly, almost 60 per cent in the past week alone.

“Ordinary Iranians completely unconnected to the government have had their lives effectively ground to a halt as the sudden and unprecedented collapse of the financial system has rendered any meaningful form of commerce effectively impossible. In recent weeks, the price of staples such as rice and cooking oil have skyrocketed and once ubiquitous foods such as chicken have been rendered completely out of the reach of the average citizen.”

Posted 10/11/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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Repost:The Benghazi Attack Hearing   Leave a comment

Content Note: Politicians, Partisanship, Benghazi Consulate Attack

There’s a mostly excellent post here from Juan Cole about the politicization of the Benghazi attack. It’s quite good, except for the shameless way it endorses Obama. He leads with the kicker:

The Tea Party Congress, having, with Paul Ryan’s leadership, deeply cut funds for embassy security, held a hearing on Wednesday on the circumstances of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, on the US consulate in Benghazi, in which it tried to point fingers at the State Department and the Obama administration.

That’s right, the Republicans cut funds for embassy security, and now are blaming the State Department for laxity.


Posted 10/11/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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Repost: How to Donate Money to Charity   Leave a comment

Here is an article that gets into a lot of the key ways to make sure that when you donate to charity your money is doing actual good. My big takeaways are:

1) Try to measure the results of the programs you donate to (even though it’s difficult).

2) Give to charities without putting strings on what your money can be used for (everyone wants to fund the flashiest parts of a charity, and that can make it difficult for charities to respond to changing needs)

3) Ignore administrative costs.

Here is the key bit for that last claim:

She uses numerous examples, both real and hypothetical, to illustrate how an organization with higher administrative expenses could be producing much better outcomes than another organization with the same total budget but lower “administrative” costs. She argues that it is, of course, the outcomes that matter.

“Effectiveness turns out to be pretty independent of efficiency,” she argues.

If only this argument could carry the day in the face of the charity rating organizations and media who continue to act as if nonprofits should be run only by volunteers with no training, no equipment, and no spending on assessment to know if their work is making a difference – not to mention any spending (gasp) on fundraising. I applaud Fiennes for taking this on so forcefully, and for not mincing words.

Posted 08/22/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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Repost: Racism and Xenophobia Are Bad Policy   Leave a comment

The hostile stance that US law enforcement takes towards Islam alienates American Muslims and wastes police resources. See here to learn that the NYPD’s illegal and Islamophobic dragnet of Muslim organizations and businesses yielded exactly zero useful information.

But that explanation crumbled today with an Associated Press article that reports that after six years of eavesdropping on conversations and recording them and infiltrating mosques, the spying “never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation.” The admission, which came in court testimony from June that was just unsealed, was made by Thomas Galati, the head of the NYPD’s Intelligence Division.

Repost: Is She Responsible for 9/11   Leave a comment

I complained earlier today that media portrayals of Muslims usually don’t get past the violent. So when I saw this, I knew a wanted to repost it. It’s a little late, but happy Eid.

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Eid, Gaza 2012 Photographer Sarah el-khoudary

Posted 08/21/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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