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ISSN: 1530-5775
December 2012, Vol.14 #12


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Cut and Run in the Bronx

by John Shea

This fluidly written, erudite, comic novel deals with the deeply serious subject of the darker side of the vast urban landscape of New York, and how one might find a moral compass to navigate and deal with the types of carnage and bloodshed that constitutes the experience of the NYPD. This is an intelligent writer, with a feel for words, with a tremendous lyrical flow, a rich humanity, and a feel for his subject.

The book is currently available through Seven Towers Publishing


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Now Hear This

Always Worth Hearing — Even in Archive#

A little bit in writing about what's happening at and


Serious and Entertaining
We have it all

All of LadybugLive will remain archived until February 2014 and a lot of good can happen in that time. Much of the advice and information is worthwhile long after it is recorded — we planned it that way — so take the year and find out what you may have been missing, or just come back regularly to visit old friends!


Going, going...

Susun Weed has been reading from her book, Breast Cancer? Breast Health! — and it is a wonderful book to hear. Soon, though, these readings will end at LadybugLive and the only way you can obtain the readings will be as a book on CD. Get in now and hear what this authority on herbal medicine has to say about this important topic.

I am unsure as yet what will be happening at TeenTalkNetwork. There is interest in keeping it going but there is also the possibility that it, too, will be archived. The uncertainty can be interesting, so keep checking to see how it develops!


If you are a writer and would like to become a NewVoices author or artist, contact:
Please use the subject title: NewVoices Information


Now Hear This     It's Not Your Same Old Radio!

"There are people who have something to say and those who have something to sell. We are interested in the ones with something special to teach the world."

For LadybugLive and TeenTalkNetwork to continue growing, we need correspondents and readers. The process is quite simple: submissions are by email. If accepted, a reader calls, either our local or our toll free number as directed in the acceptance email, to record. What will you be recording?

We are looking for: readings of original creative work, comment and commentary, and ideas for regularly appearing programming that can be done within this format. We are not able, as yet, to do direct call in shows, but shows that require listener (delayed) response are OK. All of this, of course, within the same guidelines as everything we do: Of interest to women (no particular restrictions). This format might also be ideal for some of those traditional topics, such as clothing and makeup, with a fresh "twist."

Send ideas and proposals to

We strive to bring you the best in women's writing.


Keep up to date on what is happening at NewVoices and LadybugFlights by signing up for our monthly announcements!

We know online radio is new to many of you but we also know how rewarding it can be. So, if you need help to get started, don't hesitate to contact Georgia for help... And, hey! Our hosts love hearing from you!

Our teen site, programming is safe — no porn or other unwanted promotions are attached to our files.

The Internet promised and we are delivering.

New programming is always available at:

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Beatrice Spreadmoore's Financial World

My Friend Is Moving On

LittleSan CarlosSonora66 BD

This is the last article I will have the honor to publish in Flights. No matter how it is written it will fall short of expressing my depth of feeling for the level of support inspiration and love provided by Georgia, our editor who has led a self-sufficient life filled with unique perspectives that have encouraged and guided my lifetime endeavours and those of our family.

I want to find some magical words that help put meaning and sense to the situation that I find myself in, but I am so angry, and every day hurts. I know that there is no bargaining our way out of this, but writing this article is keeping my focus on the immediacy of life. At some point I know there will be acceptance, but what is happing will never be "OK".

Western's have always been a favourite of mine and one in particular seems to have just the right title to help define this experience: "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". These labels help me put my feelings into categories that let me articulate what I feel and see is happening.

The Good in this narrative is Georgia, my pal of 50 years and the love of my life. Her final legacy in this lifetime will be one of contributing to better lives for so many, including Michael, a man in federal prison, who sees new opportunities in his life as a result of his correspondence with Georgia. When she received the death notice, late one recent friday afternoon, her first comments were that she was sorry to put others through what she knew would be such a difficult time and that she was happy to have time to focus on wrapping up relationships, leaving them with perspectives that will continue to change the lives of those whom she has befriended and completing personal projects that will add value to a world she is passing through.

A few days ago Georgia showed me how to cook ginger cookies. A small thing, but it was a chance to do something new together and I was so grateful because during that time nothing else mattered and it felt so personal. We created a memory. This is the intuitive understanding of others that makes it possible for Georgia to enrich the lives of those around her.

Another good I have seen is those who have taken the time to share positive experiences they have gone through in a way that is motivating. An encouraging story was shared by a highly skilled doctor of internal medicine about his father who had cancer and decided to trust his body to cope. He has worked out a compromise and 14 years later is still enjoying his life. It isn't the story itself, but his clear understanding that it was re-enforcing choices that Georgia is considering. The magic of medicine is not always the answer. Sometimes our bodies are successful in fighting on our behalf.

A friend has, over the years, shared her writing with Georgia and this continues right to this day. Sharing the energy of creativity brings much happiness to both. Thank you Lane!

The Bad is Cancer. Cells growing and dividing at an unregulated, faster and faster pace. Cells that may have been controllable, if corporate greed in drug and treatment research had been refocused to research universities to move forward on cures. What have we lost by limiting stem cell research to helping dogs walk again, but keeping this away from our loved ones?

The Ugly comes in many forms, including drug companies that price the drugs out of reach of even those who have Medicare and additional coverage; doctors who display a macabre sense of humour and make fat jokes in front of patients who are swollen from malignant cancer; doctors and admin's who record the wrong test information and when called on it respond with "whoops, hit the wrong macro key".

More ugliness comes from doctors who are hard to access even though they are aware that they are responsible for the care and comfort of patients who have a much greater sense of urgency than the doctor demonstrates. Blaming others or the patient for screwed up schedules and miscommunications. Recently a nurse was asked to fax confirmation of a scheduled appointment and stated that she did not have a form for that. She was asked to just hand write a simple note with times, her name, and phone number. Again she said she could not. When asked if she meant she was not allowed to do this or just wouldn't do this she hung up. Of course we reconnected, from my side!

Okay, readers, I am sure that by this point you understand so enough said! I hope you recognize that there is always so much more good around Georgia than any Bad or Ugly.



You've done good. I am so happy that you have the time and ambition to continue to be creative and work on your goals. I do understand and support you as much as it is possible from my point of view. I have come to understand that we will not be able to walk in each others shoes when it comes to this, but we will gladly build a shared experience that makes us as close as two people can ever be.

Love always,


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Books, Cooks, Looks & Ms. Elani


Dear Friends and Readers,

...pause for thought.

All the Numbers
by Judy Merrill Larsen
ISBN 978-0345485366


Every life faces ups and downs. Each person must determine the best way to handle the situation. Most events are ones in which the decision will resolve the problem and life will go on. Unfortunately turns of events can happen where it seems impossible that life will ever be normal again. In Judy Merrill Larsen's novel, All the Numbers, the death of Ellen Banks eleven year old son by a jet skier, drives her not only into despair but her anger threatens to destroy all around her, including her older son.

    All the Numbers offers more than just the story of a single mother trying to cope with the death of her son. After weeks without sleep Ellen Banks decides she is going to sue Ben, the young man who killed her son, showing what an inexperienced jet skier can do to a family. What develops seems both plausible and impossible. The attorney she finds to represent her offers little hope that the suit will be won, but explores the accident through all eyes.

    The five children that were in the water at the time James was hit by Ben, are questioned and cross-examined at the same time each is trying to deal with the death of their brother/friend. The same questioning goes on with Ellen and the other adults who were at the lake that day. The final straw for Ellen was the day she accidently discovers the identity of Ben's mother and realizes the hate inside her is the force compelling her forward; that mother's son is still alive.

Ellen's work as a teacher becomes her only focus. Any spare time is spent preparing for the trial. Even though her parents, friends and attorney stand behind her, the belief by all is she should drop the suit and try to begin to face life without James. After days of ignoring all who care about her she makes a startling discovery, one that will change and shock her. As the trial finishes she faces Ben. Her statement and what follows gives any reader pause for thought.



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News to Follow



For girls, Somali refugee camps are unsafe
Violence against women and girls is rife in Somalia, especially in the refugee camps in and around the capital, Mogadishu, where many fear rape by armed bands. "The other night a bandit came into my house and raped my little girl. I tried to fight but I couldn't, and he escaped," says one woman, Mayeda, in an audio slideshow that features several women. The Guardian (London)

Pakistani parents arrested in daughter's acid killing
A mother and father in Pakistan have been arrested in the death of their 15-year-old daughter, Anusha, who died after more than half her body was burned by acid in an attack by her parents for reportedly looking at a boy. BBC

"Info Ladies" deliver Web service by bicycle in Bangladesh
Tens of thousands of Bangladeshis are gaining access to the Web through dozens of "Info Ladies" who bicycle into communities with an Internet connection, laptop, printer and camera. The local group, D.Net, aims to train 15,000 such women by 2016. The Detroit News

In their own words: Women and clean cookstoves
The documentary film series "Black Inside -- Three Women's Voices," spotlights three women -- in Kenya, India and Peru -- and a look at their lives, in their own words, through the filter of traditional cookstoves. Replacing them with cleaner-burning stoves can be a matter of life and death. Women News Network

Patrolling Cairo's streets to stamp out harassment
Citizens groups in Egypt are stepping up in the face of indifference by Cairo police toward the increasingly visible harassment of women on the city's streets. Some of the vigilante groups are intervening forcefully -- confronting male suspects by spraying them with paint and publishing their photographs. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)

We're the key to African renewal, female entrepreneurs say
Female entrepreneurship is the key to lifting Africans out of poverty, say four female small-business owners. "We work very, very hard," says Angele Ciza, who runs a coffee plantation in Burundi. "If you want to develop Burundi, you develop the women." National Public Radio/The Salt blog

UN: Contraception access is a human right
For the first time, the UN Population Fund has declared that contraception is a human right -- and that legal, financial and cultural barriers to family planning constitute an infringement of women's rights. The fund estimates that a $4 billion investment in family services could save more than $11 billion in health costs for poor mothers and infants. The Huffington Post

UN Foundation board names Kathy Calvin next president, CEO
The United Nations Foundation Board of Directors today named Kathy Calvin as the new president of the UN Foundation, effective Feb. 1. At a meeting of the Foundation's board, founder and Chairman Ted Turner announced a number of transitions designed to help the Foundation meet the challenges and opportunities of its global mission to support the United Nations. PRWeb

Clinic saves women's lives in Sierra Leone
Deaths of women during pregnancy or childbirth have fallen by 61% in the Bo district of Sierra Leone since Doctors Without Borders set up a clinic in a remote area. Al-Jazeera

Rethinking what makes a man
Asian civil society activists, stymied in efforts to break the cycle of violence by men against women and children, are trying to alter people's perceptions about what it means to be a man. Their efforts also include changing the belief that gender violence is a woman's issue. "These are generational changes, but we do need to plant the seeds," says James Lang, program coordinator for Partners for Prevention, a United Nations interagency effort focused on ending gender-based violence. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)


Testing new technologies on crops -- virtually
The Global Futures project is growing virtual crops to test new technologies for small-scale farmers and rural poor in regions of the world most vulnerable to climate change. It is the first time computer modeling is being used to assess the effects of technologies on complex biological processes in plants before the crops are deployed, writes Gerald Nelson of the International Food Policy Research Institute. AlertNet/Climate Conversations blog

Japan looks to hot springs in energy revamp
Operators of Japan's famous hot spring spas are slowly backing the increased use of geothermal power as part of a mix of renewable sources that would eventually account for 30% of national energy usage. Japan is seeking alternatives to nuclear power. The Christian Science Monitor

Mexico City makeover: Recyclables for food
Recycling is gaining popularity among the 21 million people living in Mexico City, which faces considerable water- and waste-management concerns. Local governments, through barter markets such as Mercado de Trueque, are "trying to show people that trash is worth something" -- offering food from local farmers in return for recyclables. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/Green blog

Analysis: Weather to turn more extreme sooner
Climate-change models that predict greater rises in temperature are more likely to be correct than those forecasting smaller temperature increases, according to an analysis by the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. "Our findings indicate that warming is likely to be on the high side of current projections," said researcher John Fasullo. The Guardian (London)

Ban: Sandy shows climate change is "new normal"
Superstorms and extreme weather caused by climate change are "the new normal," according to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. "This may be an uncomfortable truth, but it is one we ignore at our peril. ... This should be one of the main lessons of Hurricane Sandy," Ban said. Reuters

Biogas from human waste? Kenyans are wary
In Nairobi, Kenya, the Umande Trust organization, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has developed a biogas toilet system that uses human waste to produce home cooking fuel. Results have been mixed. Residents like the safe and clean communal toilets, but hygiene concerns and unreliable gas pressure have limited the use of the gas in cooking. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)

U.S. considers moving climate talks away from UN
The U.S. may try to shift substantive negotiations to reduce greenhouse gases from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to the Major Economies Forum, an organization of the largest carbon producers. UN officials, however, resist the idea. "The one and only place where formal negotiations and, above all, decisions take place and where treaties are negotiated is the UNFCCC," said Christiana Figueres, UN climate chief. The Guardian (London)/EurActiv

UN: Greenhouse gases too great to meet target
The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere exceeds by 14% the maximum for limiting increases in temperature this century to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a report by the United Nations Environment Programme. "The report provides a sobering assessment of the gulf between ambition and reality," says UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. BBC

UN's Figueres cites gradual gains on climate
"Slow but steady" progress is being made toward securing a new agreement on global warming by 2015, says Christiana Figueres, United Nations climate chief. "What is very clear and what no one denies is that of course the more delay there is in increasing mitigation, the more delay there is in decreasing emissions, the more the window is closed to the possibility of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations," Figueres says. Yale Environment 360

Could desert greenhouses help feed the world?
Does an experimental greenhouse in the Australian outback hold the promise for eliminating food insecurity? Sundrop Farms is growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers irrigated with seawater desalinated by sunlight. The greenhouses are cooled and heated by the same water, and crops are grown without pesticides and minimal use of fossil fuels. The Observer (London)

Media and the Internet

Sandy Exposes Gaps in Wireless System During Emergency
The leap toward wireless and digital phone service may be setting Americans behind during times of emergency, some experts say. Four days after disaster struck the Eastern seaboard, scores of New York and New Jersey residents complain they still aren't able to make cellphone calls or use the Internet. Cecilia Kang, Washington Post

Four Out of Five Young People Feel 'Lost' Without Internet
Four out of five under-25s feel "lost" without the Internet, a survey has found. A Science Museum opinion poll of 1,000 adults shows how a generation that has grown up with the Web has become dependent upon it. Ben Bryant, Telegraph

Wired Editor Leaves Journalism, Starts Company to Improve It
Context is a cornerstone of quality journalism. The Internet fundamentally changed the way people consume content, as well as the way writers and editors create it. Today, Contextly has emerged from stealth mode to change the way digital journalists provide context in their stories. Contextly was founded by Ryan Singel, a veteran journalist who cofounded the Threat Level blog at Wired. After a decade as a writer and editor, Singel is leaving to run Contextly full time. Rebecca Grant, Venture Beat

Human Rights Groups: Telecoms Gouging Prison Callers
U.S. prisons, immigration detention centers and telecom carriers are charging "exorbitant" rates on collect calls made by inmates, and the FCC should step in to set rates, a coalition of 110 human rights groups, lawyers and professors said. Grant Gross, IDG News Service

We Need a 'Truth' Campaign for Digital Literacy and Data Tracking
For the most part, people have no idea of the extent to which they are being followed and watched, analyzed and targeted, bought and sold. Now, more than ever, we need a national digital and data literacy effort on the scale of the anti-Big Tobacco campaign to address the escalating privacy and security issues facing people and their data. Josh Stearns, MediaShift

Did the Media Fall for David Petraeus' Hype?
As the media digests the fallout from Petraeus' sex scandal, it's scrutinizing the role it played in canonizing him as an American hero-saint. The Week

Long-Overdue FCC Report Shows Abysmal Levels of Female and Minority Broadcast Ownership
The FCC released an assessment of female and minority ownership of commercial broadcast radio and television stations. This is the first full census the FCC has completed. The FCC's data indicates ownership of broadcast radio and television stations by women and minorities remains at abysmally low levels. Free Press

America's Dangerous Tech Gap
The digital divide in this country is accelerating, with poor and minority kids still less likely to have access to critical tech tools, from laptops to the Internet. Chelsea Clinton, Daily Beast

When Armies Become Media: Israel Live-Blogs and Tweets an Attack on Hamas
How does it change the way we perceive a war when the armies involved become media entities -- publishing their own live news reports, uploading photos and videos and even live-tweeting their attacks as they happen? The Israeli army has started doing just that. Mathew Ingram, GigaOM

Radio News Is Tops for Teenagers
The rather unsurprising, if somewhat depressing, result of a new survey shows that not too many British teenagers are reading newspapers. More surprisingly, their preferred news provider is radio rather than online outlets. Roy Greenslade, The Guardian

UN body focus of unprecedented battle over Internet
World powers are on a collision course over Internet governance ahead of next week's conference of the United Nations International Telecommunications Union. Some countries with authoritarian governments are seeking to exert greater control over Internet content and structure, whereas the U.S., Google and others are pushing to preserve the decentralized governance system of private companies and nonprofit groups. Reuters

Don't Let Our Right to Privacy Expire
Internet freedom means different things to different people. But for most of us it boils down to this: the freedom to read, do and say what we want online -- and in private. On Nov. 27, that freedom could come under attack. The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act -- a bill passed in 1986, before most of us had even heard of the Internet -- to bring it into the 21st century. Josh Levy, Free Press

Rupert Murdoch's Whopping Christmas Present
It should be remembered that I speak now as someone who gladly took, and cashed, a paycheck from Rupert Murdoch for six years, from 1983 until 1989. It is in that spirit that I now argue that, if the FCC presents that old pirate with the whopping Christmas gift it is apparently preparing to give him, then the president either has lost control of his administration, or he personally has taken leave of his senses. There is no third alternative. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire

International Notes

Bacterial medicine: Are microbes the next wave?
"A new era of bacterial medicine could" be near, concludes The Economist after reviewing the results of a study on mice that treated bowel inflammation with bacteria. If such techniques are shown to work on humans, the publication says, "they may open avenues for the bacterial treatment of other conditions linked to gut bacteria," including obesity and diabetes. The Economist

Fate of Africa anti-malaria initiative to be decided
The board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is poised to decide the future of a two-year pilot project in eight countries that supplied high-quality, combined-therapy malaria drugs at subsidized prices. The Affordable Medicines Facility services Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Niger, Madagascar, Kenya, Ghana and Cambodia. Results have been mixed.

IShack eases life in South Africa settlements
The introduction of a prototype informal home, the iShack, is reportedly the first attempt to upgrade shelters in South Africa's ubiquitous settlements that a recent study reports are contributing to mental-health issues. The iShack is equipped with solar panels that generate enough electricity for charging a cellphone, lighting and an alarm system.

Iran attack on U.S. drone heats up "hidden war"
The U.S. has disclosed that Iranian warplanes fired upon an American surveillance drone this month while it was reportedly flying in international airspace. It is the first known instance of such an attack. The incident comes as the largely covert war between Iran and other nations is intensifying. Reuters

UN may use evidence gathered by torture, official warns
Evidence used to identify some of the al-Qaida and Taliban suspects on the United Nations sanctions list may have been gathered through torture, according to Ben Emmerson, the UN's special rapporteur on counter-terrorism. "The consequences of being on the Security Council's consolidated [sanctions] list are enormous, so checks and balances should be brought to international human rights standards," Emmerson said. The Guardian (London)

Fear, misinformation slow drive to eradicate polio
Despite increased funding, the global campaign to eliminate polio continues to face fear and resistance. This is especially true in Nigeria, where 99 cases have been reported in 2012 -- more than half the world's total, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. "If we don't complete the job, polio will come back and there will be many, many cases," said Frank Mahoney of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New food-assistance agreement to take effect in 2013
With ratification by the EU this week, a new Food Assistance Convention will take effect in 2013, shifting the emphasis from traditional food deliveries to assistance that allows vulnerable populations to buy food within the country as much as possible, thereby supporting local markets. Some aid groups have criticized the new accord because it does not set specific goals for contributions. AlertNet

Conflict leaves many Afghans psychologically traumatized
The relentless Afghan war is leaving deep psychological wounds on an entire generation, according to psychologists and medical professionals. Even so, many Afghans don't understand the concept of mental illness and often believe that individuals are under the influence of evil spirits. Among the most vulnerable are children, who have known nothing but fighting and exploding bombs throughout their lives. AlertNet/Reuters

Is the end of AIDS in sight?
Fewer people are contracting HIV in poor and middle-income countries, and more people already afflicted are being kept alive by antiretroviral drugs, according to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. In a report released Tuesday, the agency charts progress over the past decade in 25 countries. Last year, 1.7 million deaths were attributed to AIDS, down from 2.3 million in 2005. "We are moving from despair to hope," said Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS chief. AlertNet/Reuters

Executions surge despite growing opposition to death penalty
Afghanistan, India and Pakistan have executed convicted criminals amid a United Nations General Assembly vote that showed record levels of global opposition to the death penalty. "It's a horrible, weird coincidence," not deliberate timing, said Meenakshi Ganguly of Human Rights Watch. The Wall Street Journal/India Real Time blog

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