links for 2010-08-09

  • "What I am getting at is this: after 50 years since the FDA first approved birth control, schools have had more than enough time to overcome their puritanical perspectives on contraception. Information and access to birth control is a matter of upholding reproductive freedom for all Latinas. If we can’t control our reproduction, we are essentially limited by it, as women spend an average of five years being pregnant or recuperating from childbirth and a whopping 30 AVOIDING unintended pregnancy. Birth control needs to be recognized as an indispensable women’s health care service and accessible to girls over-the-counter, (preferably FREE). This would eliminate many barriers uninsured Latinas face, due to their inability to pay or immigration status. Moreover, this would also provide women with regular access to birth control, thus avoiding the dreaded nightmare of dealing with CVS when trying to refill a prescription."
  • "These are crushed fragments of a past life when free black people lived in this New Jersey community almost 200 years ago — free even then, 45 years before Emancipation.

    "Timbuctoo was founded by freed blacks and escaped slaves in the 1820s. It was probably named after Timbuktu, the town in Mali near the Niger River, although researchers are still trying to find out how and why it got its name.

    "Timbuctoo has always been a secret kind of place. Had to be, because it was part of the Underground Railroad. There are newer houses here now where some descendants of original settlers still live. But much of the physical history of Timbuctoo is buried."

  • "A new study released Sunday suggests the average age at which puberty begins may still be falling for white and Latina girls.
    "According to the paper, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, almost 25% of African American girls have reached a stage of breast development marking the onset of puberty by age 7, as had almost 15% of Latina girls and more than 10% of white girls."
  • "The Obama administration, while deporting a record number of immigrants convicted of crimes, is sparing one group of illegal immigrants from expulsion: students who came to the United States without papers when they were children.

    "In case after case where immigrant students were identified by federal agents as being in the country illegally, the students were released from detention and their deportations were suspended or canceled, lawyers and immigrant advocates said. Officials have even declined to deport students who openly declared their illegal status in public protests."

  • "To Ms. Gandhi and many left-leaning social allies, making a food a legal right would give people like Mr. Bhuria a tool to demand benefits that rightfully belong to them. Many economists and market advocates within the Congress Party agree that the poor need better tools to receive their benefits but believe existing delivering system needs to be dismantled, not expanded; they argue that handing out vouchers equivalent to the bag of grain would liberate the poor from an unwieldy government apparatus and let them buy what they please, where they please."
  • "My adoptive parents were great parents and I'm fortunate that we still have a good relationship. However, having a good adoptive home did not erase the losses I've suffered. There is nothing that my American, middle-class upbringing could have done to erase the loss of my Korean family and culture and language. I am tired of this prevailing assumption that as long as the adoptive parents are "good" ones, the adoptee won't ever feel loss and grief. I'm really exasperated at this notion that a "well-adjusted adoptee" is one who never questions adoption loss, who never feels sadness or grief, or who never goes through an identity crisis over who s/he is and where s/he belongs. I hate that we are constantly told that we should 'get over it.'"
  • **TRIGGER WARNING**

    "Reports about these miserable workers are pushed to the back pages of newspapers in Kuwait, and the Gulf region in general. The workers are nameless in their death as they are in their lives, with the papers not bothering to learn the name of the workers and sometimes even their age and nationality. Other than one report, no one in the Kuwaiti media tries to understand the reasons for this tragic phenomena. Reports suggest that the reason for suicides are psychological problems of the victims, without trying to understand what about the treatment of the sponsor leads these migrant workers to suicide en masse."

  • "The TIME cover's declaration also misses the transition the US has made from proxy warrior to occupying force. In any armed conflict between a state and a militant group, civilians fall victim to both sides. We've seen this again and again in South Asia from localized criminal enterprises like Veerappan to the civil war in Sri Lanka to the Maoists/Operation Green Hunt to the Northwest Frontier Province. "What Happens if We Leave" overlooks this basic point – that we have done and are doing far more damage in Afghanistan than we take responsibility for."
    (tags: war history media)