Afghanistan [en]

Like I had, you have probably heard of the sad plight of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban fundamentalist gouvernment. They are not allowed to study or work. They are not allowed outside unaccompanied. They are deprived many rights we take for granted, even in the poorest countries.

Their fate is probably an abstract problem for you, a sad situation over which you have no hold, somewhere in a distant part of the world. At least, that’s how I saw it before I read an article in Marie Claire: Women Risking Their Lives for Education. I had received the email petition and dismissed it, as one should do with email petitions, but I just hadn’t realized how serious the situation was. And most of all, I hadn’t realized there was anything one could do about it.

RAWA is an underground organisation of Afghan women who fight for human rights and social justice in Afghanistan, amongst other things by providing education to girls. Their website provides information about RAWA’s social activities as well as an overview of the situation of Afghan women. You can also see some of the restrictions they suffer, as well as a frighteningly long list of links to individual stories. Of course, there is a photo gallery, but I haven’t had the courage to explore it.

Last but not least, they provide a very detailed page about how we can help them. They have published a booklet which one can sell or distribute, and are presently trying to re-open a hospital in neighbouring Pakistan. It is possible to specify for which purpose a donation is being made (web-based payment possible via PayPal).

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Affaire Kaycee [en]

En réponse à  ce qu’a écrit Karl sur cette affaire.

Je crois qu’on a le droit de se sentir en colère d’avoir été trompé. Même si on ne peut pas toucher la réalité, on vit en général assez près d’elle. Les gens ne mentent pas comme ils respirent. L’émotion était réelle, justement. Nombre de personnes ont investi du temps, de l’argent et aussi des ressources émotionnelles pour KC. Ces personnes pensaient le faire pour quelqu’un de réel. Pas pour une fiction. C’est une grande différence, et on a tort à  mon sens de vouloir minimiser le problème.

On cherche à  vivre dans la réalité, même si on n’y parvient pas entièrement. Ce qu’a fait Debbie Swenson, c’est de l’abus de confiance, de l’abus de générosité. On n’aime pas vivre dans le mensonge ou la fiction. Que ce soit sur Internet ou non.

On n’est pas en colère d’avoir eu des émotions. On est en colère d’avoir été trompé dans la confiance qu’on fait aux autres. On est en colère parce que ça ravive les blessures anciennes, les fois précédentes où l’on s’est fait “avoir”. Quand on a des émotions, je crois qu’il est justement capital de savoir quelle connexion elles ont avec la réalité. Je le répète, je ne pense pas qu’on peut la toucher. Mais elle n’est pas inaccessible non plus.

Ce qui fait qu’on se sent trompé, c’est justement cette question du rapport de l’émotion à  la réalité. Si il n’était pas important, alors on vivrait tous sur des émotions provoquées par des petites pilules du bonheur ou bien en s’enfuyant dans la fiction. Et on ne fait pas ça, justement. On a une soif d’authenticité, et elle est parfaitement légitime.

Informations supplémentaires:

Beaucoup de conjectures ont été faites durant toute cette affaire, et ce que vous lirez sur les sites et les articles est à  prendre, comme on dit en anglais, “avec une pincée de sel”. Vous y trouverez beaucoup d’inexactitudes et d’erreurs. De plus, personne ne sait vraiment où se trouve la vérité. Et aux dernières nouvelles, la “coupable” semble être en train de prendre le large – nous ne saurons peut-être jamais le fin mot de l’histoire.

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Babies [en]

Miss Pea‘s last post about her sleepless baby got me hunting around the web.
In India, I had read this great childcare book of Aleika’s, but unfortunately I forgot the name of the author. I’m happy to say I have dug out all the useful information for you.

The Baby Book was written by William and Martha Sears. They advocate Attachment Parenting – which can be brought down to these main points:

  • breastfeeding
  • responding to baby’s cues
  • wearing the baby
  • sharing sleep

The last point is of course very much frowned upon in our modern western society (by the way, the only one in history to have such a weird conception of child-rearing…). Even when I manage to explain to my friends all the advantages for the baby and the parents, it always comes down to the final question: what about sex?

Dr. Sears’ site has a mine of very interesting information on parenting, of course.
You can also find info and links to articles on the Muslim attachment parenting page, although the site might be a little hard on your eyes and your browser.

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Dealing with Spammers [en]

I’ve finally worked down my procedure for dealing with spammers. : )
Now, this isn’t the ultimate solution, and it isn’t guaranteed to work – it is just an account of what I do when I receive junk email: report spammers.

  1. First, as I use Outlook, I have to find the headers of the email (under “properties” of the said mail) – and copy them at the beginning of the mail I am forwarding.
  2. Then starts the “investigation” part: using the “IP Whois” and the “Worldwide Whois” of UXN Spam Combat, I look up
    • IP addresses (those are the numbers, formatted like “000.000.000.000”)
    • domain names (like “www.anydomain.com”)

    and add to the recipient list of the email I am forwarding [email protected]” or “[email protected] (email hosting services will probably have an “abuse” address… “postmaster” is the more sure bet – it has to exist).

  3. I add [email protected] in the “CC” field – as they are supposed to monitor UCE (Unsollicited Commercial Email) issues and take action to solve the problem.
  4. Finally, I paste some text (I personally use the text listed under “1”, without the bracketed paragraph) at the top of the mail, and send.

Advice

  • Don’t follow any links on the email (especially “remove” or “unsubscribe” links), or reply to it. It will only confirm to the spammers that your email address is a “good” one!
  • Take care in who you forward the email to: you don’t want to bug the wrong people, do you? Check the abuse.net contact database if you aren’t sure.
  • Make sure you forward the whole email, including the headers.
  • Keep the accompanying message polite and to-the-point.

Some links and resources about UCE and spammer tracking:

  • abuse.net – general resources and information
  • spam.abuse.net – information and faqs: why it is important to fight spam
  • UXN tracing spam – good step-by-step guide to header reading and IP tracking
  • anti-spam tips – How to Get Rid of Junk Mail, Spam, and Telemarketers
  • more links – more links and resources: fighting european spam

That should be enough to get you started!

Update 01.06.2004: use SpamCop instead, much simpler!

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