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Take This Warning,
you who would hurt
the creatures of wood,
meadow, and hearth.
Beware the Catwomen,
who follow Artemis.

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The Spiraling Cycle
(My Spiritual Home page)
Higher Consciousness
(My Story;The Cat's Story)
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(find the secret clicks and the deeper in you will go)
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(the blog you are reading now)

Magic Carpet Links
in each Moon

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Earth Holidays

"From conception the increase
From increase the swelling
From swelling the thought
From thought the remembrance
From remembrance the consciousness,
the desire..."
---- Maori Creation Chant

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moon phases
 

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 Favorite Places  

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Myth*ing Link

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45 million voices Abortion stories

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Abolish Sport Hunting
Abolish Animal Terrorism
Abolitionist On-line
Abuse tracker
Action for Change networking site for change agents
"Afghanistan` Project"
Animal Liberation Front ALF
(May the Universe Keep Them Safe and Active for they are the finest of us all and they harm no living thing despite what the bosses tell you)
Animal Police
Animals and Politics
Animal in WI Recomended Site
Anti-Slavery International
More animal links on my website under Social Change Moon
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American Center for Democracy Libel Tourism and first amendment rights
Archetypes
Art Links Place's Moon - 3rd col
Art that Saves Animals
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Ashes & Snow use mouse on each picture
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Art original

-B-
Banking on Heaven polygamy video
Beautiful Links
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Bees & Wannabes
Best Friends Sanctuary and Resources
Big Poon's Very Best Catnip
BILL OF RIGHTS
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C-Span Video Library
CAIDS - Hunters for intelligent alternatives to Chronic Wasting Disease hysteria
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"A Libra whose element is air. She makes birds and what is happening to the air (and herself) through birds"
Chicago Women's Liberation Union
Coalition for American Workers Save jobs for citizens. Prevent in and outsourcing jobs.
Compassion Over Killing
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Cosmology 3D
Cows with Guns

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removal of feral (recommended site)

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ohmidog!
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Sari Art
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Vegetarian Restaurants in Wisconsin
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void of course
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Sacred hallows-not horror violence

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Wiscat, Wisconsin’s union catalog
Enter the term, “women,” 444 entries; books, periodicals, oral history interviews, and manuscript collections.

WI Best Friends (recommended animal rescue site)
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Intern'l Women's Day March 8
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Women's History Month In 1987, Congress declared March to be Women's History Month
Women's Medical Fund, Inc Assisting Wisconsin women who want but cannot afford abortion - please help
Women’s Studies Librarian’s Office Home of Feminist Collections Journal
Women's Suffrage Day August 26th
Women United
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
WI Coalition Against Domestic Violence I rarely agree with these liberals who take a great deal of the DV funding
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WI Newspapers Forum & Blogs
WisconSUN
WI Statutes
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WI Watch Reporters covering the underbelly of policy shaping WI while you are unconscious

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Despite the challenges, we were seeing free and democratic Iraq, we were living the hard laboring moment we believe that every one of us has duty towards our beloved country. By our hands, work, thoughts, sacrifice we will build up the new Iraq.


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'I am for sale'

Greenconsciousness Notes: WHERE ARE THE 8 REGIONAL WOMEN'S CENTERS HILLARY?? THE ONES CONDI RICE WAS BUILDING IN AFGHANISTAN. WHERE ARE THE BW SHELTERS THE SOLDIERS OPENED? WHERE ARE THE ARMED WOMEN TO GUARD THEM? YOU DESTROYED ALL THOSE PROGRAMS FOR OBAMA AND SOON EVERYONE WILL KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. THERE IS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL FOR YOU HILLARY.

A passionate young Afghan has dreams for her life, but her three brothers have another plan: Marry her off to an older cousin for $20,000. The scenario is not uncommon.

By Masha Hamilton

January 3, 2010
The Los Angeles Times

American thinking about Afghanistan these days is largely focused on figures: troop numbers, casualty tolls, war chests, withdrawal dates. It can be difficult to see individual Afghans standing in the shadows. This is the story of one of them, a woman whose narrative is both uniquely her own, and emblematic.

She's a wonderful writer, and she should be telling her own story. But she cannot risk it.

I came to know her through the Afghan Women's Writing Project, which I founded last year. Working in three secure online classrooms, the project pairs Afghan women with American women novelists, poets, memoirists, screenwriters and journalists. Through writing assignments and a revision process, the women tell their stories, which then go on a blog using first names only for security reasons. Sometimes, even that much identification is too precarious. This is one of those cases.

The young woman I'm writing about is determined, passionate and full of dreams. Unlike most young women in Afghanistan, she had a rare early advantage: a father who encouraged her to achieve academically, even during the years when the Taliban barred her from attending school. Here's how she described her early life in an essay she wrote as part of the writing project:

"During the Taliban's black government . . . my father bought me school supplies, and told me: 'Be patient. One day you will finish your studies.' He was right. I waited five years, but after that, I could go to school. . . . When I was sixteen years old, one of my neighbors came to our house and proposed that his son marry me. My father was angry and told him: 'Do you know my daughter is sixteen? It is time for her to study. If the king comes and knocks at the door of my house and proposes that my daughter marry his son, I won't accept it. Please, leave my house and never come back again.' "

But then, as she was finishing high school, her father died. "When I lost him, I lost my shadow," she wrote. In keeping with Afghan cultural practices, her three Taliban-influenced brothers became responsible for her. For several years, in exchange for her turning over much of her salary, they allowed her to continue her education and be employed outside the house.

But now they've decided -- over her strong objections -- to marry her off to a first cousin, a man of about 40. This situation is not uncommon. According to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, up to 80% of all women in the country face forced marriages. In February, she is to be engaged in return for a $20,000 dowry that will go to her brothers. "This money," she writes, "might possibly keep my family alive."

Yet for her, the marriage will mean the opposite of life: an end to her studies, her work outside the home, her connections to non-Afghans. Her uncle's family lives in a conservative, Taliban-held province. Women there "are required to wear burkas and are responsible for cooking, cleaning and caring for the animals," she wrote in her essay. "Most have eight or nine children. They can't go outside the house."

Even as her brothers make their plans, she is seeking a way to oppose them. But as an Afghan woman, her options are limited.

"I told my mom: 'Please give me a chance. I don't like this man. I can't marry him. If you want to sell me, then I am ready to buy myself. I have a plan for my life. Please give me a chance, please, please.' She didn't reply, but cried silently with me. . . . Running away is not an option, because girls who run away here are raped by men and spend years in jail, and I am not such a girl. I can't leave my mom because my brothers believe anything 'wrong' I do is the fault of my mother, and they will kill her. . . . I am like a piece of cloth. I cost little. Who will buy me?"

If she can't avoid the marriage, she says, "I won't stay in this world." The threat is not simply dramatic: In recent years, suicide has become increasingly common among Afghan women trapped in unions they opposed, a disturbing trend noted by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, Human Rights Watch and others.

There is risk involved in sharing this story here, even though I have withheld the woman's name and location. But she allowed me to do so because there is also danger in not sharing it. If we don't ask these women to speak, and then listen to their stories, we are gagging them as surely as the Taliban did. And when we stop sharing these stories with each other, our understanding of what we are doing in Afghanistan, and why, will necessarily become more narrow.

Masha Hamilton has written four novels, most recently "31 Hours," and is founder of the Afghan Women's Writing Project and the Camel Book Drive.
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times


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