Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Human Rights Watch

As part of my job, I see a lot of books come across my desk. I can't possibly read them all, but a quick glance of the titles is enough to make me depressed sometimes. We all know that there are sad things happening all over the world, but Human Rights Watch actually specializes in documenting those sad things and then they send those books out to libraries and other people who buy them. Think life in the U.S.A. sucks? Look at some of these titles, and maybe you will get a different perspective on things--

"All The Men Have Gone"
War Crimes in Kenya’s Mt. Elgon Conflict

"As If They Fell From the Sky"
Counterinsurgency, Rights Violations, and Rampant Impunity in Ingushetia

"Bullets for Each of You"
State-Sponsored Violence since Zimbabwe’s March 29 Elections

"So Much to Fear"
War Crimes and the Devastation of Somalia

"They Shot at Us as We Fled"
Government Attacks on Civilians in West Darfur in February 2008

"You Can Detain Anyone for Anything"
Iran’s Broadening Clampdown on Independent Activism

A Question of Life or Death
Treatment Access for Children Living With HIV in Kenya

Denied Status, Denied Education
Children of North Korean Women in China

And there are many, many more. There were 82 reports published in 2008 alone, a few about the US, but mostly about other countries. If you go to the Human Rights Watch website you can find long lists of these and they aren't expensive. Depressing to read or skim through though. Even the covers of some of them are enough to evoke emotions. There are stories of "unaccompanied migrant children" in Turkey and Greece. Okay, we can't call them orphans because we don't know if their parents are really dead or if they just didn't make it across the border with these kids. There are stories of little girls being exploited all over the world, and stories of refugees being beaten and abused by the countries they are fleeing from and then again by the countries that they are fleeing to escape. Horrible, sad, stories of injustice all over the globe. If you thought you life was bad, these are real eye-openers and tear-jerkers.

Happy Holidays!

Suppose every blog is supposed to say something about the holidays, isn't it?

We had a nice white Christmas, with plenty of snow still on the ground from the previous snowfall that we got over the weekend. Abby was scared of Santa, but got everything she wanted (she had a short list, but we had a longer one for her). It was a simple day. We stayed home and my dad came over in the afternoon in between lunch and supper. Nothing fancy etc.

Christmas Eve day we worked in the morning and brought Abby with us. We spent the afternoon together, and after Abby finally lay down for a nap, I scrambled to get some of the wrapping done. When she finally went to sleep for the night (after 10pm!) we finished wrapping and helping Santa with his projects.

On Friday, December 26th we made the rounds to the nursing homes to visit my grandmothers. Looked for some after Christmas sales but didn't find much. We had the day off from work since daycare was closed.

Saturday was another day when Abby didn't want to nap so we drove to Connecticut thinking she would nap in the car. It didn't work, so we ended up in East Hartford at Cabela's. Our first visit there and it was fun.

Sunday was a recovery day of sorts. No plans, and we did try to get Abby to nap at a near normal time. She had fun playing with her trains and other new toys too.

We still need to exchange gifts with a couple of friends, but otherwise we are hoping for more snow and some snow days so Abby can play outside. She really loves the winter!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!!