Saturday, February 14, 2004

Bonjour! Man, how embarrassing! Not two days pass after entering my first page of the Blog, and I forget my username, though I probably had remembered the password. Listening to a piece on the NPR on Diana Mosely, a British citizen who became a friend of Hitler. Ah well, it takes all kinds, n'est-ce pas

Why would I be so absent-minded as to forget my own username? One might ask. I have been preoccupied with transitioning from my government job, as an engineer, to getting a position teaching, what eventually I hope will be full-time, fully certified. As it is now, I've got a B.A. in Modern Languages, but no certification. Back to school I must go! But enough about me, what's going on in the world?

Reading from the pages of the Amnesty Group 169 in Bath, Maine, the headlines discuss China and Tibet, Russian Federation, Iraq, the Victim Trust Fund of the ICC, and some local notes which by now are out of date. Two Amnesty Delegates, Eliza Moussaeva, psychologist and director of the Ingushetia branch of the Russian human rights group Memorial, and Bela Tsugaeva, the information manager for World Vision, who works in Ingushetia with displaced Chechen civilians, during a visit to the Russian Consulate in Washington, DC, last April expressed concerns about Chechnya, and also urged the Russian government, as a member of the UN Security Council, to support an effective human-rights monitoring presence in Iraq. They also met with State Department and National Security Council personnel, Refugee Council USA and the American committee for Peace in Chechnya.

They spoke in front of the Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with AIUSA Advocacy Director for Europe and Eurasia, Maureen Greenwood, in the US Congress. They also went to the Holocaust Museum and Johns Hopkins University. The newsletter says they were also quoted on Radio Free Europe and Voice of America.
(My 15 month-old son is now on my lap, so I must do this slowly. I've got him to stop pressing the keyboard with his hands, so now he's kissing the edge nearest us. Ah, well, when he started pushing on the edge of the desk with his socked feet, I let him stand up on the desk, but have hugged him, and placed him on the large, ugly faded orange and lime green but very comfortable armchair, and set a German Kindergarten songs CD which seems to keep him busy while I finish this. "Singen Yah Yah Yipee Yipee Yay!"
to the tune of "She'll be coming around the mountain.")
Anyway, Ms. Moussaeva and Ms. Tsugaeva have drawn much attention in this tour, which included a jaunt through Massachusetts and Vermont, to the matter of the many disappearances in the Caucasus, the torture and extrajudicial executions which have occurred in the regions affected by the Chechen conflict. They have urged Russian officials to provide information on those cases of "disappearances," to prevent the closing of camps for Chechen internally displaced persons, and to grant visas for Chechnya to Amnesty International experts. I encourage those who may be interested, and who care to do something to help the cause of those downtrodden in the Caucasus, to visit the site of the Amnesty International Russia Campaign.

I'm not pretending to be a very involved activist or member of any human rights organization. For years, I've abandoned my former activities of letter writing and whatever actions I may have done to advocate human rights. Maybe I can make up for that, now that I am between jobs, and can more easily re-design my life.
Students! you can register or renew your group's registration! Maybe after trimester exams, during Spring Break.

Ah well, this is only my second posting on MPbyoLO, so please bear with me. This is both a learning experience and an action of becoming, or transformation. Aloha!



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