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Christmas is time for a ”self feedback”, time to pause a little while, settle down and reflect. Reflect not only about the world around you but also about the world inside you. what have you done to help your self improvement, to
make you a better you and be proud of what that ”you” became? I’ve been spending a lot of time asking that question myself and I really feel weird for I dont really think I have accomplished any self improvement myself. It is not tough for me to admit that as I’m pretty mature dealing with some of my weaknesses. The fact is, I look inside of me and I feel a big bit lost inside with all the turmoils going on. I don’t feel like talking or listening. I dont have patience with my challenging relatives just because they think a lot different from me or they have pretty much poor ideas I dont agree with among many other things, I would spend the night here if I was going to make a list. I know I will have a lot to face for the new year coming but one thing is sure, once you have the engine ignited, you can move on and try again and willing to try again is already a sign you can improve at least 1% more.
Face your monsters
Face yourself
Merry Christmas

Supernatural and sexual contents are the allegations of ALA to put The Twilight Saga in the list of ”Challenged” books.

Stephanie Meyer’s Best Seller took the 5º place on the new rank of ”Challenged Books” this year. The criteria used by ALA include formal written complaints from any library or school asking for the material to excluded for content or decency.

“Vampire stories have been a target for years and Twilight saga are so popular that people are turning on the books their worries about vampires” says the director of association Office for Intellectual Freedom, Barbara Jones, according information from The associated Press.

By entering the rank, Twilight gets in the same level as The Catcher in the Rye, a novel by J. D. Salinger that despite being written in 1951 it is still on the list due to language and elevated sexual content.

Nevertheless, a title is missing on ”The American Index”. Harry Potter, which for years is being criticized for bringing up wizard’s stories and adventures, is not showing up among the 10 more ”challenged”. One more evidence that the position for the teen authoring of the moment is not J.K. Rowling’s any more. Well, life moves on and there’s always the next in line, in this case, waiting to be on top.

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Accused of being sexist and disrespectful, video and ads featuring Paris Hilton, for a Brazilian Brewer Group Schincariol, gets banned.

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I was making some tests with wood textures for a work I gotta do, I gathered a fair amount of different ones to work with, so I thought of posting a few over here in case someone might be interested.

Updated Nov 2010

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I received this letter a few hours ago, took action right away and now I’m waiting on you to do your part……

Mexico’s Attorney General’s office has identified 34 police officers who are suspects in the rape, assault and brutal treatment of dozens of women. But sheer neglect from officials in Mexico’s highest ranks has delayed justice for nearly four years.

There’s no better day than today to signal to Mexican officials that the rights of these women will never be forgotten. Help us send a tidal wave of emails supporting these women to the offices of Mexico’s President, ambassador to the U.S. and the governor of Mexico State!

Police detained the women during a local protest in May 2006. Some women who weren’t even involved in the demonstrations were swept up in the massive arrests. They were beaten and herded into police vans. On the way to prison, officers took turns sexually assaulting the women.

Nearly four years later, they are still waiting for justice.

Accountability for these crimes may be moving at a glacial speed, but your messages do have power. The former federal Attorney General had dragged his feet on this issue for months. At the time of the attacks, he was in charge of the same police officers who were implicated in the assaults. But because of you, his office was compelled to identify 34 suspects – bringing us one giant step closer to finally prosecuting those responsible.

Even though his office has now punted responsibility to the state of Mexico, which is the governor’s jurisdiction, it’s clear that we’re putting pressure on all the right places.

Help us keep the heat on Mexican officials to ensure justice for the women of Atenco!

We can’t let this opportunity slide through our fingers. The crimes have been exposed. The suspected culprits have been named. Now is the time to uphold and protect human rights!

No more sweeping brutal beatings and rapes under the rug in Mexico.
Ensure that those responsible for these crimes are brought to justice.

Thank you for standing with us,

Michael O’Reilly
Campaign Director, Individuals at Risk
Amnesty International USA

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Incorporate in your Irish designs some fun and free fonts for the occasion, see below some places you can get free fonts to embellish even more your creations. If you find some place else please send me to post here.

Fontsnthings

Fontage

Leprechaun Hats

Funmuch

After a shower, sitting here having some cold milk, a headache and thinking about what I learned last night…..a bombshell that came right on my hands or ears and what I could do was just too little….not that I didn’t want to do more but the situation didn’t imply my direct intervention…..

Today, we talk about our success, conquests as if our rights were recognized and respected everywhere. Nevertheless, the reality is too different.

We still live in an oppressive and submissive environment suffering from the most diversified forms of violence. No matter how intellectually we advance in our countries, everywhere violence against women is a reality.

Violence is a therm with multiple meanings and it’s being used to name since the fiercest forms of torture to the subtle ones on a daily social life, in the family, in our work environment, public institutions, among many.

Back in time, preventing a woman from working out of home, denying her the possibility of going out with her friends or alone, prohibiting her to choose her own hair style or outfit, keeping her from participating in social life, ”small” domestic aggressions like slapping on her face, disqualifying or humiliating her in private or in public, forcing any sexual activity if married, were behaviors considered ”natural”.

Today, many of us still let those kind of ”violence” happen, many do not know behavior like those aren’t ”natural” any more, it never was, and we still let it happen for many reasons, social, cultural, love, financial, emotional weakness, threaten by the aggressor we are afraid of retaliation and then we let the small things go deep down to a whole snow ball that seems growing bigger and bigger most of the times ending in a painful outcome or keeping us captive for an entire life making us slaves of our own family, husbands, inside our own house.

On the opposite side the situation faced by men, aggressed by strangers and in public places, violence against women occurs foremost in their domestic environment and it is committed for their own partners or people with whom they keep affective or intimate relations
like sons, fathers-in-law, cousins, brothers-in-law and other relatives.

Violence against women is a large manifestation, including different kind of aggression to body integrity, psychology and sexuality, it’s the slavery of all times, keeping women from living their freedom because they are afraid and with fear no one lives a real life. It also affects women of all ages, races and social classes, no woman is free from violence against her, it can happen to anyone at any time taking serious damage to physical and mental health, job finding, learning disabilities, prostitution, drug addiction, risk behavior among other very serious rebounds.

According to researches made in several countries with with different populations, culture and backgrounds, most part of women interviewed reported they were physically assaulted, psychologically threaten or sexually abused at least once in their lives.

Standing above the others, the sexual abuse was pointed by researchers as one of the main form of aggression in this whole context.

Although violence is classified in different types, the different forms of aggression do not ever come up isolated. Rapped woman or girls who were sexually abused are generally beaten and continuously submitted to all sorts of threats.

Fearful and threaten they will never press charge or make any accusation, they won’t ask for help, they close themselves and start a painful journey alone until an event, maybe a pregnancy comes up to reveal the cruel story.

Honor as well is a mean of violence since many still kill the woman to ”defend the honor”. See the cases below:

Murder of Wife Justified

15 Year Old Daughter Killed for Honor

Teenager buried Alive

An Honor Killing by any other name

In any case, we don’t have to be in silence, we must cry for help and look for friends, someone in the family, a professional, anyone who could lend us a hand in this case, blog about it, share the pain, we will never be alone, there are many Institutions nowadays willing to listen to us and help us press charge and get rid of a slaver life of violence and abuse, freedom is on the corner and it’s just a few steps away and only us can take those steps.

We must believe in ourselves, in the power of ”reborn from the ashes” that every women has inside, the strong will and the unique ability we have to overcome.

There are a lot of women in this same situation right now and I invite them to wake up and give hands using our power together as one, standing up against violence and that cruelest form of slavery and saying no to abusers of all sorts, let’s talk about it ladies.

Below I’ve made a selection of places we can go to get help or information, we don’t have to be silenced anymore.

Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
women against abuse
end abuse
ACOG
Victim Law
Womens Health
Abuse
Violence Against Women
Who
Now
Global Health
End Violence
Raising Voices
Broken Spirits Network
Bursting the Bubble
Children of Domestic Violence
Society Against Violence


If Your Are Threatened Or Assaulted and Need Emergency Help, Call 911.

National 24-hour Toll-Free Hotline Numbers:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)and 1-800-787-3224 (TDD)

If you’re in an abusive relationship, be careful when using the Internet.

Your computer use can be tracked. It is impossible to fully erase the web sites you have visited. If you think someone is tracking your computer use, please use a safer computer. You may be able to use a friend’s computer or a computer at your local library.

I will be adding more resources in this post as I will find them and if you please have anything to share just send me an e-mail.

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After receiving over 4200 letters from Change.org community members, Choice Hotels has made an important decision. They will take proactive action to prevent child prostitution in their hotels. Their decision comes after a long letter-writing campaign from Change.org and over a month of discussions with leading child protection organization ECPAT. I hope you will all join me in celebrating Choice Hotels’ commitment to the important issue of prevent child sex trafficking. We welcome them as an ally in the fight to protect America’s children from exploitation in prostitution.

Change.org members began contacting Choice Hotels, parent company of Comfort Inn, shortly after five-year-old Shaniya Davis was sold into prostitution and taken to a Comfort Inn in North Carolina. As a result of their commitment to protecting children like Shaniya Davis and responding to the needs of customers like Change.org members, Choice Hotels has agreed to take the following actions:

* Develop a training designed to teach key staff to recognize child prostitution and take appropriate steps with help from ECPAT-USA. This training will be incorporated into the week-long training given to all new franchisees;

* Develop training materials on child prostitution prevention that will be published on the Choice University website, available to most employees; and

* Develop training materials that can be downloaded from Choice University website for individual hotels to share with their employees who do not normally see the website itself.

ECPAT and Choice Hotels also discussed the possibility of Choice Hotels’ website mentioning its support for The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA said,

We are thrilled to have the commitment of Choice hotels to train their new franchisees about commercial sexual exploitation of children. This is a huge step forward to protecting children from these terrible crimes. It truly was the good work of Change. Org members who helped build the momentum to get Choice to the table. Thank you so much.

Congratulations to Choice Hotels for making the ethical and business-savvy decision to proactively prevent child prostitution at their hotels. And thanks to all the over 4200 Change.org members who sent in letters expressing their support of this action. Together, we can help prevent the tragedy of child prostitution and child trafficking, so hopefully no other child or family will have to suffer like Shaniya Davis and her family.

Amanda Kloer

Have you ever faced yourself with the challenge of not being able to save your files in photoshop with a .JPEG extension for them being too big?

well no more, get relieved now with this 1, 2, 3 steps that will only take you a few seconds, way below:

– With your Photoshop Program opened:

1 – Click on Image Tab on the top.
2 – Then choose on Mode
3 – Finally choose 8Bits/Channel.

Done !!!!!!

From NFSC Co-Founder: Kique Bazan

Dear Friends:

What happened in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, is nothing short of devastating. It is especially heart-wrenching for those who have seen the poverty and know the needs of the people firsthand.

Before the earthquake, Haiti was already the greatest hotbed of modern-day slavery in the region, containing an estimated 225,000 child slaves. These “restaveks” become domestic servants when their families, desperate to survive, sell them to other households. In 2008 I went to Haiti for my doctoral research and was horrified to see street children, mostly boys and some as young as six, being sold for sex at $1.75.

Since the earthquake, the news reports have revealed a reality that has turned from grim to desperate for the children of Haiti. Children are either separated from their families or orphaned, and traffickers are taking advantage of the situation. Save the Children says that one million unaccompanied children are vulnerable for trafficking in Haiti right now.

During my visit to Haiti I saw different strategies of work. I met people and organizations that are passionate about rediscovering people’s dignity, but I also experienced organizations that defined people by their victimhood. On one hand, it is important to see people’s tragedies in order to gain awareness and prevent the conditions that threaten their wellbeing. On the other, finding those stories that narrate the fulfillment of an individual’s own dreams, in the midst of tragedies, is greatly needed.

At 18-years-old, Fenol is a former “restavek” who escaped enslavement and is transforming his life. He was able to finish high school, get a job, and is preparing for college. As a result, he gained the respect of his peers and is a motivator for other restaveks to pursue their dreams. Fenol helps lead an organization composed of former slaves. These young people were deprived of the most basic human necessities, were neglected and abandoned, faced brutal violence, sexual exploitation, drug addiction, and human rights’ violations – yet they have found among each other the strength and support to improve their lives and the lives of the people around them. They created a system for long-term support and education to broaden their ability to actively participate in their own lives and future.

In the midst of the ruins, we find people like Fenol who are changing the face of Haiti by creating systems that offer concrete, positive results. While earthquakes are the products of nature, the lack of infrastructure and the enslavement of people are not. Therefore, in order to stop the proliferation of trafficking and ongoing vulnerability of children, the Not For Sale Campaign is connecting with individuals and organizations engaged on the ground in vital relief efforts.

One of the most pressing needs to address trafficking is the presence of trained volunteers who can accurately document and register vulnerable children. We are close to forging a partnership where NFSC will train volunteers in our Academy in effective mapping and documentation. Our goal is to equip at least a handful of volunteers for placements ranging from two weeks to a year in Haiti to assist with prevention efforts and to deploy their skills, resources and network to enable people’s dreams of freedom.

If you are interested in receiving training to work with Not For Sale’s efforts in Haiti, please contact us directly at: theacademy@notforsalecampaign.org

Thank you for your ongoing support as we address modern-day slavery amidst this disaster. We will continue to keep you informed as we work to develop innovative solutions to fight trafficking in Haiti.

Sincerely,

Kique Bazan
Co-founder & International Director
Not For Sale Campaign

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