>Zooming Through the News

>How can we possibly keep up with what is going on around the world? Minute by minute something is happening, something and someone is altered and affected. Things happen so rapidly so information sharing and social media networking has made it possible to get ever-changing news fast. 

Hear about the online dating site for “ugly” people in Canada? No you didn’t read that wrong? Joe DeLuca created the dating site Ugly Schmucks (uglyschmucks.com) for those individuals who have difficulty finding “love” basically because of their looks. It’s initially free to sign-up and then it’s $13.00 per month to maintain a profile. You have the option of looking for a match in Canada or the U.S. 
Wow this is truly a doozy!  

Another surprise was to find out yesterday that Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan declared his intention to run in elections next year, using an announcement on Facebook to steal the thunder from campaign launch of rival aspirant General Ibrahim Babangida. A presidency spokesman confirmed the Facebook page was genuine, while Information Minister Dora Akunyili said Jonathan had also told the cabinet of his intention to run.       

Some good news or sad news depending how you want to look at it comes from Zimbabwe. Yesterday the Gukurahundi massacres that saw tens of thousands of innocent Zimbabweans killed by soldiers loyal to the Mugabe regime in the mid 1980s, were classified as “genocide” by Genocide Watch, an internationally recognized group based in Washington, DC. Professor Gregory Stanton, the group’s chairperson said in an interview with the Tererai Karimakwenda of SW Radio Africa, that the Mugabe regime has been trying to sweep this atrocious event under the rug for 30 years now but this classification now means the perpetrators can be prosecuted no matter how much time has passed. It appears that the rug is about to be lifted.

SW Radio also reported that next week during the 65th session of the United Nations in New York, the South African government will lobby for the removal of targeted sanctions against Robert Mugabe and his ZANU PF officials. This was confirmed by the International Relations and Co-operation Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Great news out of Ethiopia in the field of education. Access to education in Ethiopia has improved considerably, with primary school enrollment increasing more than 500% between 1994 and 2009,  according to a new report from the independent British think tank, Overseas Development Institute. The publication is based on research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Some mystical news to entertain you coming from Asia…Laos to be exact…the discovery of a two-horned “unicorn” called a saola, which resembles an African antelope. Unfortunately soon after researchers arrived it had died; most likely the result of being weakened while in captivity for so long.

Did you hear about one of the trapped Chilean miners who is now a proud father of a baby girl named Esmerelda? I pray that gives him added hope to live and make it home to his family.

Back here in the good ole’ US of A, Newt Gingrich is sinking even lower in his attacks against President Obama. This week he opened his mouth wide and said in an interview with the National Review Online, Web site of the prominent conservative magazine, “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asked . “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

“This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president…I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating — none of which was true,” Gingrich added. “In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve. … He was authentically dishonest.” I wonder will good ole’ Newt will be his authentic self, showing his ‘true colors’ if and when he runs for President in 2012?

Have you seen CNN reporter, Randy Kaye’s footage on the 2007 Connecticut home invasion that left a mother and two daughters dead, and the husband badly beaten by the two hostage takers? A friend of mine sent me an email the other day but I was too busy to sit still to open the email. Today as I visited the CNN website the caption caught my attention. 

Even after the wife went to the bank and brought back $15,000 hoping it would be enough to convince the men to leave and not harm her and the rest of the family, the men still sexually assaulted the wife and one daughter before strangling and killing the mother; and eventually the two daughters. To make matters worse, there is a possibility that all three could have survived had the police acted upon the 911 call placed by the bank manager who was secretly alerted by the wife when she was withdrawing her money. Maybe you should see this for yourself:  http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/crime/2010/09/17/kaye.home.invasion.cnn

Well that is only a brief look at what’s been in the news around the world this week. Do you have any interesting, shocking, or beautiful news to share? Please do.

Until next time, continuing being a blessing and blessing others.

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved


Unicorn http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/17/rare-asian-unicorn-captured/
Connecticut home invasion http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/crime/2010/09/17/kaye.home.invasion.cnn
Ugly Schmucks Online dating uglyschmucks.com 
Newt Gingrich interview  http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/246302/gingrich-obama-s-kenyan-anti-colonial-worldview-robert-costa
Ethiopia Education Rates http://allafrica.com/stories/201009160877.html
Nigeria Presidential Election- Goodluck Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/jonathangoodluck
Zimbabwe genocide http://www.swradioafrica.com/news160910/guku160910.htm  
Zimbabwe sanctions http://www.swradioafrica.com/news170910/salobby170910.htm
Chilean Miner  http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/

>Diamonds All Around

>On Wednesday Zimbabwe held the first auction of diamonds from its
Marange mines since international regulators lifted a ban on the
fields’ stones. About 900,000 carats of rough diamonds – valued at
about 56 million euros (roughly $71 million US) – went on sale behind closed doors at Harare airport, according to trade watchdog the Kimberley Process. There were buyers from the US, Israel, Russia, Lebanon and India at the auction.

Of course as always I will keep you posted on any updates as they are printed. 

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.


>Briefing on Mother Africa: Women of Zimbabwe- Part Two

>Last Friday I wrote of the current political struggles surrounding the women of Zimbabwe. As promised, today I will show the need for these same women to come together collectively, being sure to inform the masses, educate the uneducated, empower those who are struggling with hope and faith, and make sure that their fight is not in vain. All women of Zimbabwe should be informed and included in the political process and it should be represented in the number of women voters, candidates and cabinet members.

By the designated 2015 benchmark, Zimbabwean women need to establish themselves as a collective voice and show an ability to not only hold positions both in the public and private sectors, but to do so as efficient and effective leaders. They must learn from the past, not be satisfied with the status quo of the present, and strategize for the future. Something that every woman worldwide must accomplish during their lifetime.

U.S. History of Women’s Suffrage: A Brief Overview and Critique

The first recorded history of this movement began in 1776 when Abigail Adams sent a note to her husband, John Adams, while he was attending the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, asking that he and the other men (who were working on the Declaration of Independence) “Remember the Ladies.” John responded with what was deemed as humor that the Declaration’s wording specifies that “all men are created equal” and that the men would “fight the despotism of the petticoat”. 

Yes, some would argue as I have, (which irritated my Women’s Studies professor in undergrad) that the movement did not extend its reach far and wide to be receptive and inclusive of the rights of all women, to unite with women of color, especially Black women. It has been said that it was more by default than a focused and purposed desire or strategy that women of color were included in the 19th Amendment. This point  will be explored because without unification, without alliances, the mountain of victory can take longer to climb- and can be impossible to reach the zenith.

The Rocky Waters of Suffrage: Black and White

Let us not forget in 1851, twelve years before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and 14 years before the Juneteenth celebration, when Sojourner Truth delivered her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech before a spellbound audience at a women’s rights convention in Akron, Ohio; her point being that Black women should also be included and allowed to participate as equals in the movement for women’s rights…all women. 

Truth saw and exposed the truth, and that was that Black women were being broadly overlooked within the movement. A possible answer to that call (although short-lived) could be when in 1866 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed the American Equal Rights Association (AERA), an organization for white and black women, and men dedicated to the goal of universal suffrage.

What is odd though, when Anthony and Stanton formed the more radical National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA), Black men and women were excluded from the suffrage mission and vision. Tensions got so high that it caused a rift between the organization’s founders and Frederick Douglass in 1870 and they parted ways. Here was clear evidence of Sojourner Truth’s speech ‘falling on deaf ears’. 

The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) an 1890 merger of NWSA and the American Women Suffrage Association (AWSA) was made up of white women (and ironically the same women who were fighting years earlier). 

Even six years later when The National Association of Colored Women was formed, bringing together more than 100 black women’s clubs, there was no true, March in distinguishable alignment between white and black women. Black women learned that they would have to fight to get their voices heard loudly but respectfully over the crowd. Even though the founders of the Black sorority, Delta Sigma Theta (who later incorporated as an organization in 1930) first participated in the Women’s Suffrage
Washington D.C., March 1913, many Black women’s organizations felt slighted by the march as they did not seem to be included (check out the suffrage march line).
It’s been 90 years since women in the U.S. earned the right to vote, 145 years since the entire U.S. and abroad received word that all Black slaves were “free”; 148 years since the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, 234 years since the U.S. Constitution was drafted, and over 500 years since the first enslaved African was admittedly brought to what we now call the United States (research the Transatlantic slave trade that began in the 1450s, and the 1526 slave revolt against the Spaniards in the Carolinas).
But for the women of Zimbabwe it has been 1010 years since the Shona people built a city called Zimbabwe; a mere 53 years since women earned the right to vote, thirty-two years since they earned the right to stand for election- and it has only been eight days since Zimbabwe has started accepting submissions towards re-drafting their constitution to include women- as influenced by women. 
These women have been yearning for a voice, position, and an opportunity in a country that only 30 years ago was recognized by Great Britain as a distinct and independent country. Without a grassroots effort to share the news about the submission process, and explain what information can be submitted, this major constitutional milestone will be moot and the red inking (as pictured on a female voter’s finger above) will feel almost useless.

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Banda, Ignatius “A Chance For Women’s Voices to be Heard”. http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=51916j

Bryn Mawr Library. The National American Woman Suffrage Association. http://www.brynmawr.edu/library/exhibits/suffrage/nawsa.html

Delta Sigma Theta Incorporated Founders. Delta Sigma Theta website. 

Zimbabwean woman holding sign demanding cabinet. http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0cWg4pCgFF1FQ/610x.jpg

>Still having issues posting my Zimbabwe Part 2 piece

>Due to the limitations of my iPad and my laptop having a mind of its own; I am having difficulty posting part two of my Zimbabwe piece. Hopefully something gives in (not me) before Monday. Until then I have other interesting posts to share between now and then that I’m sure you will enjoy. I am also reviewing the feedback concerning my vocabulary word and axiom of the day….and I haven’t forgotten that we must pick back up on the series focused on organization and clutter control for the home, home office, etc.

This is bound to be a very interesting summer and I look forward to sharing pieces of it with all of you. Now let me run so that I can finish this book I was slated to complete weeks ago, but put on the back burner because my school work, and professional and personal commitments were taking up too much of my time and energy. I have until July 12th to get as much leisure reading in as possible…starting now!

Enjoy your Saturday everyone!


>Briefing on Mother Africa: Women of Zimbabwe- Part One

>Briefing on Mother Africa: Women of Zimbabwe- Part One

Thought-provoking news surfacing this week within the continent of Africa; if you have felt a disconnect this is now the time to reconnect and become a part of the pulse that makes Africa- home- and a reason why we should work towards making sure that both the diaspora and the nest are taken care of….


There is finally an opportunity for women to have a say, let their voices be heard, and help shape Zimbabwe’s constitution, but there are several problems looming; the two largest being:

1. The majority of Zimbabwean women have not been informed about their newly envisioned right to help re-structure the constitution. There has not been a massive, collective effort to publicize and educate on the issue- leaving the women of Zimbabwe basically in the same position they were in before this week.

2. The majority of women have no clue what the constitution is, how it is made up, and how their concerns for women’s rights can be translated into the writings of the constitution. According to Lydia Thembo when interviewed by Inter Press Service News Agency reporter, Ignatius Banda, “There are obviously many things I would like addressed that affects us women, for example, issues to do with inheritance laws. But I have no clue how to do this. I only know about voting during elections – that’s all.”

Let me simply say that these two issues of concern are the most pressing for resolution because without informing women of their right to participate in the process and being educated on the entire scope of the process (and the full measure of their roles) then there will still be exclusion and not inclusion. Banda reported that of the 120 cabinet seats, only four are filled by women. Yet, protocol demands that by 2015 there is to be an equal number of men and women serving- that is five short years from now.

Rejoice Timire, of the Disabled Women Support Organization told Banda that, “At the moment women in parliament are too few to make any meaningful change,” which simply means that without a grassroots effort to inform and educate the masses of Zimbabwean women of the rights, the meaning, impact, and influence of the constitution and their roles in framing it, the country will fall short of reaching the 2015 benchmark. I fear, as many of the women interviewed by Banda, that if something is not done immediately to counter the lack of action taken to get submissions from women, this will simply be fluff or as Banda so aptly referenced, “window dressing”.

Because women in Zimbabwe are so out of the loop in both the private and public sector, they have been left at a major disadvantage politically, economically, socially, and spiritually. When you strip someone of their natural born rights, before they even know they were entitled to them, to re-write the wrongs, you must skillfully and willfully inform them of their rights as humans, citizens, and specifically in this case, as women.

Zimbabwean Women’s Movement vs. the Chartered Course Within the U.S.

Zimbabwean women can learn a lot about women’s suffrage, the struggles against the status quo, the risks of internal fighting, and the need to be inclusive, from the women of the United States. When we look to the United States and the Women’s Rights (Women’s Suffrage) Movement it was not merely a handful of women who stayed within their small circle discussing their right to be included as “equals” to men, or their rights to have the constitution amended to include the right of women to vote- they made it a massive campaign that grew into a movement that made it possible on August 26, 1920 to amend the constitution. Now this did not come easy. Tomorrow read part two of this series as I share the history of women’s suffrage in the U.S. and highlight lessons for the women of Zimbabwe.

Copyright 2010. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.


Banda, Ignatius “A Chance For Women’s Voices to be Heard” retrieved from http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=51916j