January 9, 2009 posted by adminNew years, new administrations, change itself generally elicits a feeling of optimism in me--and I can’t repress that sense now. Here are my hopes and concerns. I feel glad to see President Bush and his team go: they wreaked such damage on our country and the world--and undermined our deepest values by riding roughshod over the constitution, thumbing their nose at the rule of law and torturing people. I hope that the country will take proper steps to hold them accountable for their actions even after they are out of office. The past Administration was also hostile to women, particularly to our right to birth control and choice, treating us as though we were children incapable of making critical decisions for our lives. Relieved that is over, but am still troubled by the efforts of too many to continue to control what in the end are deeply personal decisions for women, decisions that define our humanity. I hope that these efforts diminish in the years ahead. Americans face a ruined economy, and I am deeply afraid that women and children will be the biggest victims. With the safety net of welfare gone, what will happen to the poorest of the poor? Welfare was a concept that President Roosevelt adopted as one way to deal with the devastation of the Great Depression; while deeply flawed, it still reflected a national commitment to poor women and their children. I hope that in these dire economic times we don’t lose sight of the needs of this vulnerable group.
January 6, 2009 posted by admin Sadly, Osama bin Laden might have won. He launched an attack against the United States based on our gross materialism. Certainly his tactics countered his message (or at least made them untenable), but with the current US structure faltering, our obsession with capitalism is being challenged. It's easy to blame the Madoffs and the investment bankers of the world, but if we believe that change trickles up, problems do, too. I am resolving to want less (which is entirely different from wanting nothing, I am far from a martyr) -- but more so to stop believing that my things are what define me.
January 6, 2009 posted by Linda Basch As we start off with our New Year’s Resolutions for the nation, I begin with an inspiring conversation I recently had with Kavita Ramdas, President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. We were musing about the future, particularly with regard to women’s human rights at this optimistic moment for the country, with a new administration about to take charge in Washington. But as Kavita pointed out, as we begin to look forward, we also need to be self reflective as a nation. We need to develop a sense of collective responsibility. A number of problems have grown up over the past several years that we can’t sweep away, that we must address as a country and hold ourselves accountable for. I couldn’t agree more. I love conversations that are as wide-ranging as this one was. We covered a lot of ground. Some highlights: As someone who works on global women's rights, Kavita hopes that the new administration will place a high priority on advancing women's rights worldwide. This can only be achieved by the US decreasing its emphasis on militarism and violence as the primary means to resolve conflict and re-focusing its efforts away from the so called "war on terror" towards efforts to eradicate global poverty, inequality, and injustice. Yet, she insisted, that much of the US's ability to achieve such results globally will depend on the choices it makes inside its own borders. So, I asked Kavita what she would like to see in terms of change right here at home….