The Consequence of Unnatural Selection: 160 Million Missing Girls

That this imbalance and erasing of girls is occurring at all speaks louder than any single feminist has ever been able to speak regarding misogyny and the place of women in society.

From Ms. Blog: http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/06/06/the-consequence-of-unnatural-selection-160-million-missing-girls/

by Marcy Darnovsky
June 6, 2011

As best as demographers can figure, the world is short about 160 million girls and women–equivalent to the entire female population of the United States. With numbers of this magnitude in the news from time to time, many people are aware that sex selection is a matter of concern. But most Americans with whom I’ve discussed it consider sex selection somewhat abstract, and certainly faraway and fading–a practice confined to India and China, prevalent among poor people stuck in the sway of ancient traditions. The solution, they tend to assume, lies in economic development and advances in gender equality. In this view, son preference and sex selection, like the so-called population bomb of the 1960s and 1970s, will diminish more or less on their own, as a corollary of modernization and improvements in the status of women.

In the new book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, out this week, Beijing-based journalist Mara Hvistendahl shows these assumptions to be seriously mistaken. Selecting for sons is growing not just in South and East Asia, but also in the Caucasus and the Balkans, as well as among some Asian communities in the US. Its consequences are anything but abstract in the regions of South and East Asia where the wildly skewed sex ratio among the generation now coming of age is associated with an upsurge in trafficking of women for sex and for marriage–to the extent that some poor villages are empty of young women. And some of the most alarming sex ratios are in affluent areas; economic and technological developments are in fact driving sex selection rather than discouraging it by encouraging smaller families, which leads people who value sons to do whatever is required to ensure one. Widely available and relatively cheap ultrasound tests, followed by abortion if the fetus is female, provide the means. Sex-selective abortion is seen as a “cleaner and less ethically fraught” alternative to the deep-rooted practice of female infanticide.

Continue reading at:  http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/06/06/the-consequence-of-unnatural-selection-160-million-missing-girls/

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China warns U.S. debt-default idea is “playing with fire”

From Reuters:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/09/us-usa-debt-bondholders-idUSTRE75718320110609

By Emily Kaiser SINGAPORE
Wed Jun 8, 2011

Reuters) – Republican lawmakers are “playing with fire” by contemplating even a brief debt default as a means to force deeper government spending cuts, an adviser to China’s central bank said on Wednesday.

The idea of a technical default — essentially delaying interest payments for a few days — has gained backing from a growing number of mainstream Republicans who see it as a price worth paying if it forces the White House to slash spending, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

But any form of default could destabilize the global economy and sour already tense relations with big U.S. creditors such as China, government officials and investors warn.

Li Daokui, an adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said a default could undermine the U.S. dollar, and Beijing needed to dissuade Washington from pursuing this course of action.

“I think there is a risk that the U.S. debt default may happen,” Li told reporters on the sidelines of a forum in Beijing. “The result will be very serious and I really hope that they would stop playing with fire.”

China is the largest foreign creditor to the United States, holding more than $1 trillion in Treasury debt as of March, U.S. data shows, so its concerns carry considerable weight in Washington.

Continue reading at:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/09/us-usa-debt-bondholders-idUSTRE75718320110609

Killing Us Softly 3

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Cat mom hugs baby kitten

Just because…

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SPLC Urges DHS to Reassess Resources After Key Analyst Reveals Unit on Domestic Terror was Scaled Back in Wake of Right-Wing Criticism

From The Southern Poverty Law Center: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splc-urges-dhs-to-reassess-resources-after-key-analyst-reveals-unit-on-domestic-terror-was-scaled-back?ondntsrc=MBQ110670HTW&newsletter=HW060911

06/07/2011

The Southern Poverty Law Center this week urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reassess the resources it devotes to investigating non-Islamic domestic extremism. The request came as the SPLC published an interview with a former top DHS analyst who charged that the department effectively dismantled the unit he once headed following the political right’s unjustified criticism of a 2009 report on right-wing terrorism.

“The department’s work should never be compromised by misguided criticism from any quarter,” SPLC President Richard Cohen wrote in a letter sent this week to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Daryl Johnson, who headed the DHS unit responsible for analyzing security threats from non-Islamic domestic extremists, was the principal author of the April 7, 2009, report “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”

The report was intended only for distribution to law enforcement agencies. But after it was leaked to the media, a firestorm erupted among conservative commentators who wrongly claimed it equated conservatives with terrorists. Within days, Napolitano had disowned it.

Johnson, who was interviewed for the upcoming summer issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report, said that following the controversy, the DHS dismantled the intelligence team that studied the threat from right-wing extremists and that the department no longer produces its own analytical reports on that subject. When the 2009 report was written, there were six analysts in the unit, including Johnson. Today, he said, there is one.
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Christian Mom Causes Daughter’s Suicide

It’s only June: Record-breaking heat grips eastern half of US; forecasters say get used to it

From The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/expected-sweltering-temperatures-trigger-excessive-heat-warnings-on-east-coast/2011/06/08/AGxtiuLH_story.html

By Associated Press, Published: June 8

WASHINGTON — The mercury climbed into the 90s across half the country Wednesday in a record-breaking blast of August-like heat, forcing schools with no air conditioning to let kids go home early and cities to open cooling centers. And scientists say we had better get used to it.

A new study from Stanford University predicts that global climate change will lead permanently to unusually hot summers by the middle of the century.

Temperatures in the 90s were recorded across much of the South, the East and the Midwest. Baltimore and Washington hit 99 degrees, breaking high-temperature records for the date that were set in 1999, according to the National Weather Service. The normal high for the date is about 82.

Philadelphia hit 97 degrees, breaking a 2008 record of 95, and Atlantic City, N.J., tied a record of 98 set in 1999. Chicago reached 94 by midafternoon. The temperature hit 97 in LaGuardia, N.Y., breaking the old record of 96 set in 2008. Newark, N.J., reached 99 degrees, breaking a record of 97 set in 1999.

Continue reading at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/expected-sweltering-temperatures-trigger-excessive-heat-warnings-on-east-coast/2011/06/08/AGxtiuLH_story.html

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