April 1, 2008

Good reading and a lament

FrenchDoc brings us the second installment in Why Hillary Should be President (WHSBP) - Untold Stories. (CorrenteWire) FrenchDoc's excellent post covers human trafficking and you need to read it all. I've provided just a couple of snippets below:

On September, 23, 2003, Senator Hillary Clinton was interviewed for the great PBS program Wide Angle on the topic of human trafficking (2003, folks, that was 5 years ago, ok… and yes, that was the year of the beginning of the war in Iraq but that was not the only thing going on in the world. I, for one, am glad somebody was paying attention to these other crucial issues even though I disagree with her - heck, ANYONE’s vote for the war). ...

Hillary Clinton: Well. Jamie, the fact that this is a modern-day form of slavery was shocking to me. When I realized, because of my travels and exposure as First Lady, how prevalent it was, I determined that we should do something about it. I went to Beijing to the UN Conference on Women in September of 1995, and spoke out against a long series of abuses that were human rights violations of women’s rights and among those, of course, was trafficking. And then, in the time after the conference, when it did become an item that was of higher interest on the national and international agenda, we followed up. In 1996, I went with my husband to Thailand for a state visit. I went to the north where I met with NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], trying to help young girls who had been sold by their families into prostitution, trafficked into the brothels, mostly in Bangkok.
Jamie Rubin: So they were sex slaves, these girls.
Hillary Clinton: They were. They were 10, 11, 12 years old. I remember going to a hospice and meeting a 12-year-old girl who had become very sick because of AIDS, had been thrown out of the brothel, had found her way back to her family, who didn’t want her, and ended up in this hospice for dying teenagers and adolescents. And both I and my staff, led by Melanne Verveer, who was responsible for the work on issues like this, began talking about it with everyone we could find in the White House and the State Department. In 1997, we began something called Vital Voices, and we brought together women from the former Soviet Union in Vienna. And what I found was that it was a huge problem, not just in a country in Asia, like Thailand, but also in Ukraine, Belarus, the former Soviet Union. And then the administration, under my husband’s leadership and under Secretary Albright’s leadership, really made this a high priority, which led to our involvement in international conferences with the Secretary of State, the President, and other high officials, raising this with governments around the world.”


YES, I want a President who understands the gendered nature of social issues such as trafficking. Human trafficking sounds gender neutral but the reality is that criminal networks are masculine organization. The victims of human trafficking are largely women. It is absurd to design policies that are gender neutral when the targeted population “just happens” to belong to one gender: women. So what did Hillary do exactly? In the interview, she emphasizes that during WJC’s administration she did NOT work on the law enforcement side of things. Instead, she started the Vital Voices initiative after Beijing (you can read about their accomplishments - and recognition of HRC’s leadership) at their website, but the general goal is to raise awareness.

A quick Google search turned up this column that then First Lady Hillary Clinton wrote in 1996 after her visit to Thailand.

I've discovered a new blog! InsightAnalytical
Hillary Clinton, Medicare, and Me
Last year I had to go to a doctor who didn’t participate and who required that sign a pledge not to file a claim, because she didn’t want Medicare to come after her and push her into becoming a provider. Just last week, I needed to find a specialist and was able to get an appointment with a doctor who doesn’t accept assignment (meaning I have to pay more that Medicare allows) — in OCTOBER!! The one other doctor in town in this specialty is NOT accepting any more Medicare patients! To top it off, because I had “insurance,” he refused to take payment in cash!! Imagine, refusing self-pay, most likely because he also didn’t want to tangle with the Medicare system. After expressing my fear and confusion, the nurse took pity on me and told me to go to a surgeon who does participate and luckily for me, I had already seen him once before for a consult and was “in the hopper” as an existing patient. Because, you see, if you are an EXISTING patient you’re lucky and may be able to see the doctor; if you’re not already on his patient rolls, you’re probably out of luck these days. And, lucky for me, the surgeon was able to refer me out to a doctor who will do a biopsy. Perhaps this is a new doctor in town who needs to add patients to his roll and is therefore willing to take Medicare. LUCKY ME, I’ve made his list! But for a
few days, I was extremely worried about finding a doctor and very angry!

So,it’s with great interest that I read Hillary Clinton’s mention of Medicare on March 25 when she responded to McCain’s remarks on Social Security (see
The Social Security trustees just issued a report, actually while I was speaking, and there has been some improvement in the outlook for Social Security according to some, to the Social Security trustees.
So I think that it reinforces what I have said for a long time, which is we have some long term challenges. It is not a crisis. We can fix what’s needing to be changed in Social Security. Our real challenge is Medicare which is much more in crisis and deserves closer attention.”

Hats off to Hillary for putting the focus on Medicare!! And don’t think health providers haven’t noticed. The nurse I spoke with yesterday not only remarked on how Medicare was being undermined but also told me that she and her office co-workers supported Hillary, knew she was being treated unfairly by the media, and felt that Obama couldn’t be trusted. And she knew all about Hillary’s recognition of the problems Medicare faces.

FrenchDoc, if you have any sway with lambert to get my account activated, I might be able to post a comment over there. Cuz I'd really like to comment on vastleft's post Beginning Tomorrow I will boycott Air America Radio

I've given up on AAR, but I gave up on Randi Rhodes long before today. Her habit of talking over her guests, not listening to them and then arguing with them over what she thought they were saying turned me off. But this, has she gone completely around the bend?

What's really depressing is that AAR was supposed to be the antidote to right-wing radio, remember? Well, I guess they are. You never hear rightwing radio going after one of their own the way AAR, and Jones Network's Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz have gone after Hillary Clinton. I used to LOVE Stephanie Miller. Goofy? yep! In bad taste sometimes? Oh, truly. The delight of the show was that they made fun of everyone equally and really tore after the righties. But then they, Stephanie especially, singled out Hillary Clinton, out of all the Democratic candidates for special derision and just awful stuff. It got so bad I quit listening to SM late last year. When my podcast subscription came up for renewal, I canceled it.

AAR was my oasis in the days leading up to the 2004 election and in the dark days following it. Now, they've basically turned against half the Democratic party and if they lose their radio audience and by extension, their advertisers, they will have no one to blame but themselves.


The Red Queen said...

I can't get approved to post at Vast Left's either, and I've been blogwhored over there. What gives?

carissa said...

Yeah, FrenchDoc specifically asked me to comment on the post, and I can't.