tagged w/ subjugation
President Barack Obama certified Colombia’s labor protection efforts, allowing both sides to put the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement into effect May 15.
“We’re moving ahead with our landmark trade agreement,” Obama said at a news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos as they wrapped up the Summit of Americas in the resort city of Cartagena.
Obama called the trade deal a “win” for both nations. In the U.S., it will create “thousands” of jobs, he said, and Colombia will get more access to the U.S. market, its largest.
There are strong protections in the accord for labor and the environment, “commitments that we are going to fulfill,” Obama said. The president also said the agreement will help achieve his goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2014.
The agreement would end Colombian duties immediately on more than 80 percent of U.S. exports, open services markets and strengthen intellectual property rights, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in an e-mailed statement.
“This landmark agreement opens the door to new business opportunities, economic growth and job creation in the U.S. and Colombia,” said Thomas J. Donohue, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer, who took part in a first-ever CEOs’ Summit of the Americas.
The trade deal, approved by the U.S. Congress in October, will add as much as $1.1 billion to U.S. exports when it takes full effect, according to estimates from the U.S. International Trade Commission.
The U.S. exported $14.3 billion in goods to Colombia last year and imported $23.1 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Caterpillar Inc. and General Electric Co. (GE) (GE) are among the biggest supporters of the trade deal.
Obama’s certification of Colombian worker protections puts him at odds with the AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. labor federation, which Democrat Obama is counting on for support in his re- election campaign against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
“We regret that the administration has placed commercial interests above the interests of workers and their trade unions,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in an e-mailed statement.
The Obama administration “signaled with today’s decision that a little improvement is good enough,” Trumka said. “If a little improvement were good enough, women might still be fighting for the right to vote and our workplaces would be filled with children.”
The U.S. labor federation had sought to have the trade deal delayed until Colombia took what the AFL-CIO called “sustained, meaningful and measurable action to change the culture of violence.”
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that under the labor certification, Colombia has established a new labor ministry, is giving workers the right to organize, and promises to prosecute past cases of violence against union organizations and provide protections for them.
The U.S. will offer Colombia “technical assistance” as it implements the labor protection rules, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said on the conference call.
Work in Progress
“This is a work in progress” but “we are moving on the right track,” Solis said. “Taken together, these actions represent fundamental change and historic progress for the lives and livelihoods of workers in Colombia,” the Obama administration said in a separate e-mailed statement.
Colombia’s Congress passed bills to implement a free-trade accord on April 10, days before the Summit of the Americas began.
The free-trade agreement, first reached under President George W. Bush more than five years ago, stalled in Congress amid opposition from House Democrats and unions. Obama worked to broaden support by securing stronger labor commitments from Colombia.
Colombia agreed to completion a “labor action plan,” a side agreement signed in April 2011 between the U.S. and Colombia, before the accord could be implemented.
Obama’s approval hinged on Colombia taking further steps to protect workers’ rights and making progress on reducing the killing of union workers by terrorists.
A Washington-based human-rights group called Obama’s decision a mistake. About 30 unionists were killed in Colombia last year, the Washington Office on Latin America said in an e- mailed statement, citing the National Labor School, which tracks such statistics. Four have been killed this year, and other trade union movements have reported additional murders, the group said.
About 3,000 unionists have been killed since 1986, according to the National Labor School, a human rights group.
“President Obama lost a historic opportunity to improve labor rights in Colombia, at a time when many Colombian labor rights activists are getting harassed and killed,” said Gimena Sanchez, the group’s Colombia associate.President Barack Obama certified Colombia’s labor protection efforts, allowing... more
Give Neil Marshall a few thousand extras, broadswords, arrows, and let him stuff them all into grungy medieval conditions, and the results are predictably splatter-rific. Written and directed by Neil Marshall (Doomsday, The Descent), Centurion chronicles the missing adventure of the Roman Ninth Legion circa early second century A.D.
http://www.moviesreviews2010.com/centurion-2010-review/Give Neil Marshall a few thousand extras, broadswords, arrows, and let him stuff them... more
"20+ African countries are selling or leasing land for intensive agriculture on a shocking scale in what may be the greatest change of ownership since the colonial era."
"Ethiopia is one of the hungriest countries in the world with more than 13-million people needing food aid, but paradoxically the government is offering at least 7.5 million acres of its most fertile land to rich countries and some of the world's most wealthy individuals to export food for their own populations."
"The foreign companies are arriving in large numbers, depriving people of land they have used for centuries. There is no consultation with the indigenous population. The deals are done secretly. The only thing the local people see is people coming with lots of tractors to invade their lands.
"All the land round my family village of Illia has been taken over and is being cleared. People now have to work for an Indian company. Their land has been compulsorily taken and they have been given no compensation. People cannot believe what is happening. Thousands of people will be affected and people will go hungry."
Modern slavery by the almighty corporations.
Join the Organic Movement:
http://current.com/groups/organicgreen/"20+ African countries are selling or leasing land for intensive agriculture on a... more
Hardly anyone noticed this summer when former president Jimmy Carter explained why he had decided to leave the Baptist Church. However “painful and difficult,” wrote Carter in an essay that appeared in the Guardian, his break with the denomination to which he had belonged for sixty years had begun to seem like the only possible response to past opinions expressed and codified by the Southern Baptist Convention. “It was an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be ‘subservient’ to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors, or chaplains in the military service. This was in conflict with my belief—confirmed in the holy scriptures—that we are all equal in the eyes of God.”
Considerably more attention was generated some months earlier by another story about how religion conceives and enforces its view of a woman’s place. The horrific attack on two Afghan girls en route to school—the young women were severely disfigured by acid allegedly thrown by Taliban fighters—was widely reported and discussed. Obviously, the assault was more brutal, shocking, and newsworthy than an elderly white guy’s regretful decision to separate himself from the misguided pronouncements of some other elderly white guys. And just as clearly, the Taliban’s plans for women far exceed the darkest imaginings of the Southern Baptists, whose tenets—“a wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband”—seem genial and reassuringly vague when compared to the restrictions that the Taliban impose, and seek to impose, on women, regulations that narrow the parameters of daily life down to a space in which anyone, male or female, would suffocate. Under Taliban rule Afghan women cannot work, attend school, leave home without a male chaperone, or ride in a taxi. Minor infractions, such as showing an ankle, are punished by public whippings. More serious violations, such as adultery, are capital crimes for which the sentence is death by hanging or stoning.
The acid attack on the schoolgirls offered graphic and persuasive confirmation of one reason why we have gone to war, or in any case one reason we’ve been given: according to some, once we defeat the Taliban, every Afghan girl can go to school. That’s the outcome everyone wants, though it is less often mentioned that literacy rates among Afghan women were appallingly low long before the Taliban, back in the 1980s when we were still arming the mujahideen—including many future Taliban warriors—to fight against the Russians. The Taliban’s demonic and demonizing attitude toward women represents merely the most current extreme manifestation of the grotesque misogyny fostered throughout history by religion and patriarchal tribal culture. Both the Taliban and the Southern Baptists employ the “lessons” of biology and scripture to “prove” women’s inferiority, a view of our gender unlikely to be eliminated by another air strike or drone-missile deployment, or by the polite demurrals of a former president.
Sensible, decent Jimmy Carter got it right again. “This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. It is widespread. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue, or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a higher authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries. The male interpretations of religious texts and the way they interact with and reinforce traditional practices justify some of the most pervasive, persistent, flagrant, and damaging examples of human-rights abuses.”
More at link...
http://www.laphamsquarterly.org/essays/the-original-sin.php?page=1Hardly anyone noticed this summer when former president Jimmy Carter explained why he... more
From Twisty at Iblamethepatriarchy.com
Last night’s Frontline documentary on human sex trafficking — “Sex Slaves,” originally broadcast in 2005 — clawed at every cranny of the obstreperal lobe. Definitely not heartwarming.
I’ll skip the basics, assuming that the advanced blamer is acquainted with the mechanics of human trafficking, because I wish to register a complaint. Well, several complaints. Actually, it’s one large complaint upon which a few dangling dingleberry complaints depend.
The large complaint is that the film is itself sexploitational. It is without question voyeuristic, and at times it borders on actual pornography. And why shouldn’t it? Porn has been normalized into a legitimate art form.
Naturally, people who watch PBS believe themselves to be above that sort of thing, but they still need a reason to watch a show about women’s oppression. They might come away with a few useless “facts,” but these must be delivered from within a framework of entertainment. And entertainment, in 2009, is sex and melodrama. Thus, the “Sex Slaves” teaser:
“An undercover journey deep into the world of sex trafficking, following one man determined to rescue his wife — kidnapped and sold into the global sex trade.”
A murder of spinster aunts could charter a yacht, order a vat of guac and a barrel of margs, and ruminate on the Lido Deck all day long, but we’d never come up with a more formulaical Chivalric plot than that. Are you kidding me? Evil villains, a damsel in distress whose virtue is at stake, and a gallant champion who literally rescues her? Oh, and the damsel is 4 months pregnant. Add sentimental fetus-anxiety bonus points.
A kind of grainy prurience attends nearly every sequence of footage. The B-roll street scenes are shot according to a familiar sexploitation formula: the self-consciously verité-esque camera singles out a pair of comely hips encased in sexy jeans, lingers lustily, and finally pans up to reveal the whole woman as a hottie. Meanwhile, the authoritative male voiceover — the disembodied Voice of God — masks this sleazy voyeurism with academic gravitas. When he describes Ukraine as Eastern Europe’s ground zero for “beautiful women,” and the visual is a taut young Ukrainian midriff, it is meant to be accepted as scientific fact. After all, although the qualitative differences between the two are few, this is a documentary, not an episode of “Law & Order: Mutilated Women Unit.” But the greasy ease with which the documentarist’s camera violates women who are just walking down the street minding their own beeswax is an invocation of the global accords governing fair use of women: all females are de facto sex objects, and hot girls — shots of women who aren’t Beauty2K-compliant didn’t make the final cut — are vulnerable sex slaves waiting to happen.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: DudeAmerica just can’t resist hot young prostituted Russians!
Sure, the producers are against human trafficking. Who isn’t? But can we please have a film about it that doesn’t parrot asinine patriarchal narratives about helpless damsels and male valor, that doesn’t itself exploit the very women whose exploitation it purports to abhor, that does more than just hint at some vague notion of women’s “poverty” as the reason for human trafficking? The rapists who abuse all the women in this film, where are they? Where’s the outrage over the notion that “the sex trade” is a “multi-billion dollar industry,” not because Ukrainian women are poor, but because the world is full of assholes who will pay to rape them? Just once I’d like to see somebody — anybody — point out that “the sex trade,” i.e. rape slavery, is not a consequence of women’s desperation and a few unscrupulous pimps. It is the consequence of a social order based on the fetishization of dominance.From Twisty at Iblamethepatriarchy.com
4 years ago