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All posts for the day June 29th, 2009

Jim Luce: Italy Hosts Child Soldiers Symposium

Published June 29, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Jim Luce: Italy Hosts Child Soldiers Symposium

The article reports on a symposium or conference in Italy to address “the obscene issue of child soldiers” or children forced to become combatants civil wars in mostly third world countries. This meeting is in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

“The planners of the conference state: War violates virtually every right of the child and its impact on children perpetuates poverty, illiteracy and early mortality, robbing children of their families, security, education, health and opportunities for development.”

H.E. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the U.N. on Children and Armed Conflicts.

“told the Huffington Post that helping coordinate a unified approach to ending the plight of child soldiers was one of her top priorities.”

Further to this Coomaraswamy said

“Their courage and resilience will be an inspiration to us all. Their stories only highlight the terrible things that happen to children during armed conflict,”

Having given some background, I received a tweet from one of followers expressing an interest in this matter. It was not this specific story however, another I had shared that had sparked an expression of interest on this topic. This issue is far from new or some isolated event these children often kidnapped from their family and forced to participate in every war related atrocity that may come to mind. What I now realise that through the medium of social networking and sharing of information these children may have gained a new advocate.

The link also includes arrange of links to related stories on the topic.

Hope is ever present

Have we killed Capitalism and is the 1980’s dead at last

Published June 29, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Darryl A. Cobbin: Attention Luxury Brands: Paris Hilton is “Out”; Michelle Obama is “In”

The article reflects on the U.S. recession and associated global economic meltdown, resulted in the demise of high-end brand fluff. It also infers those pervades of fluff have not really got the message the capitalism has blocked arteries and may even be experiencing cardiac failure. Do our leaders realise this too? If capitalism dies, I will not greave rather its death may be the great hope for humanity, after 300 or 300 years of abusing the environment this beast has brought use to the brink of environmental disaster. Our Politicians dally over this issue on matters of potential economic, social and political consequence if they dare show some leadership. Rudd dithers pandering to the fossil fuel lobby, while jousting with climate sceptics and the Blue healer chasing the parked Ute our Malcolm over inconsequential legislative changes. The level of change proposed is at best basic and its affect long-term on the environment questionable. However, it is a step forward the potential for real change sits on the table, it is the strategic intent that my need revision.

The level of reform needed in all sections of the political, social, economic etc. systems may not be fully realised by this generation but those following will pay the price for any indecision on the part of current leaders. Rudd had a chance and he decided to fluff the pillows, rather than make any real change. Malcolm is life any blue rinses set home designer he wants to sit back looking into his Bushel’s deciding on lemon or milk. The Greens while having the moral high ground lack power to act. Those independents seemingly hold more power, even if they do not represent a simple majority of the population. So we sit hear waiting and hoping the fluff of capitalism will soon be blown away either through the collapse of capitalism and/or climate change disaster.

Is there any real hope?

The paradox that is US pink politics ?

Published June 29, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Political Memo – Political Shifts on Gay Rights Lag Behind Culture – NYTimes.com
(will need to register to read whole story)

The article gives some reflective commentary on the supposed sudden rise of gay culture in mainstream media and the contrasting insipid response by the current administration. It looks at the White House’s (The Executive Office) historical relationship with our community. Although it cites historical events significant to us the article does not give voice to the grassroots activism and National Leadership that have lobbied for inclusive policy and legislative responses and against discrimination. Now while may question or even dispute the nature of our Agenda to be considered as full citizens in our country of residence. Further to this the appropriate priorities and strategic intent, the outcome cannot be questions this being a significant progress at some level in political and social recognition. Sadly, this varies from place to place but even under the most repressive regimes, pink politics is stirring and some have made significant gains.

In developing a metaphor for the Communities relationship with the White House

The house next door was just sold your relationship with the previous neighbour was polite but measured. They just did not understand where you were coming from, now after hearing some good views on the new neighbour he invites you over to visit. In your excitement, you share all your ideas, opinions, and expectations with him some he agrees with, others he is unsure about and lastly, some that he seems to disagree with you on at the time. At this point, you start becoming outraged, making statements about how he is being unreasonable. You storm out, then complain to all the other people in the neighbourhood on how your new neighbour had been unreasonable and then start rocking his roof.

Does this sound like the story of a good neighbour?

In our history, we rarely have had the ear of leadership, often being marginalised rather than seen as legitimate members of society. One lesson, history has taught us change takes time and radical change takes commitment, action, and time to grow relationships.

“human rights have to be based on the principle of inclusion.”

Published June 29, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Fight poverty by protecting human rights – The Boston Globe

The article discusses events in Congo it goes on to mount an argument that poverty is really a violation of a person’s human rights. However, it was two phrases in this article that caught my eye and imagination, which has inspired this entry. (Their words) Sixty years ago, following the brutality of World War II when the Nazis denied Jews, Roma, Gay men, and others their very right to exist, the response of the international community was unequivocal –

“human rights had to be based on the principle of inclusion.”

How realistic is this observation, in our lived experience have human rights observations been gained through this supposed universal principle or as a direct result of social action. Upon reflection, we can look at the civil rights movements of the 1960’s and 70’s, whose whirled wind we still reap the benefit, today through the ongoing process in recognizing the rights of marginalized people. This also relates directly to our own history, including those forgotten victims of Nazi Germany and the Stonewall Riots who stood up for their rights, the later being widely acclaimed as the beginning the new gay rights movement. We have come a long way in a short period, the question now is does your government now fully observe your human and civil rights through their respective legal frameworks. If not then we still have a ways to go, it seems the culture war, is not been won.

Lastly, we all have “…the right to live a life of dignity.”

Rachael Chong: All Volunteers Are Not Created Equal

Published June 29, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Rachael Chong: All Volunteers Are Not Created Equal

The article speaks on volunteering, while for some it may be fulfiling to undertake certain roles and if they do out of personal choice. However, if an organisation does not use the knowledge and skills of its volunteers in an optimal way it is a waste of human resources. The question being do the organisations you volunteer for really effectively make use of you unique knowledge and skils? Does this mean when we do volunteer we only work in roles that we are qualified to do, obviously not. If you do volunteer, you may want to consider what you do and if you could better serve the organisation, its clients and the wider community more effectively..

However, if you don’t volunteer, how do you give back to yuor community.