Monday, December 28, 2009

Iran Govt Stealing Cadavers, Twitter Reaction, Beauty in Rio's Jails

Paul Krugman
Jorge Castenada
Asif Ali Zardari

"What was truly impressive about the decade past, however, was our unwillingness, as a nation, to learn from our mistakes." - Paul Krugman
"For the first time in centuries, the United States doesn’t seem to care much what happens in Latin America... But since George H.W. Bush’s invasion of Panama, there have been no unilateral military interventions, no coup plots or new embargoes, not even the propping up of decaying regimes." - Jorge Castenada
"Benazir's murderers didn't kill her dreams. On the day we buried her, even as her supporters cried out for revenge, we reminded our party and country that, in her own words, "democracy is the greatest revenge." - Asif Ali Zardari

In the links above, the most stirring and heart felt is the opinion piece by Asif Ali Zardari, the President of Pakistan. It's really addressed to the Pakistani people even though it was printed in a foreign press.

The creepiest news story, of course, comes out of Iran, concerning authorities stealing the cadaver of Ali Mousavi, the nephew of opposition candidate Mir Mousavi: "Reza Mousavi said Monday that the body of his brother, Ali Mousavi, was taken overnight from a Teheran hospital and that nobody had accepted "responsibility" for removing the corpse. Authorities were possibly seeking to deter mourners from organizing more protests around the funeral."

Yesterday it was reported that Ali was run over by an SUV when he was outside of his house, then men left the SUV, walked over to the fallen man, and one shot him in the heart. Pretty much a pre-meditated assassination... When the police arrived to take the body to the hospital, they told his family not to have a funeral for him.

To make sure there would be no funeral for Ali, and spur further protesting, his body was removed from the hospital last night. Officials are publically scratching their heads and saying "Gee, how could that happen?" and when that didn't work, the police later said that the body was being retained for forensic examination. Mir Mousavi had three of his aides arrested, and aides to other opposition figures were detained as well... Next we will see the cancelations of all future elections due to the violent protests, where both sides point to their own being murdered. The difference here being that the police had guns, and the protesters fought back against those with batons and chains by throwing rocks and using their bare fists...
"We’re getting into the final stage of the confrontation and the ruling clique is waving all pretences of respect to faith, tradition, and memory goodbye. Muharram is a month of truce so the authorities in Iran are violating everything." - Randjbar Daemi

too old to twitter...

I don't own a Blackberry or a cell phone to text on, figuring that I was too old to enjoy life in such short bursts. I do belong to Facebook, haven't figured out yet how to get my blog on there. Anyway, I'm surprised that politicians like Sarah Palin and John McCain use these social networks to further their agenda. OK, for members of Congress, it's all new to them and they are like children, texting during meetings and while on the floor of Congress listening to other's speechifying... I don't know if people like John McCain sending out texts on the Twitter wire is because he's too lazy to give a regular press conference, or he then alerts the news to his pithy sayings: "Violence in Iran continues... Where is the Administration? We must stand up for the Iranian people." This is the man who last year stated that we are all Georgians now in response to the skirmish between Georgia and Russia. Wisely, President Obama is keeping out of the events happening in Iran that don't have to do with their nuclear developments. It is their struggle and we would only hurt the movement by taking sides in public... In a related story, Israel has stated that they might not be able to bomb the Iranian nuclear enrichment site at Qom because it's buried beneath too many layers of bomb-busting bunkers...

rio is ready for the olympics...
It was a hard choice, write about Charlie Sheen's arrest and his violent, drunken wife, the two new bank robberies in Denver, or get to the good stuff about the overcrowding in Rio de Janeiro's jails, worse than any American jail: "The number of people being held in custody awaiting trial has almost quadrupled over the last decade. This has massively stretched the capacity of the already overcrowded Brazilian penal system.

In Rio, more than 4,000 people are now being held in 17 police lock-ups or improvised detention centres. These lack even the most basic hygiene and ventilation.
In the Polinter de Neves station, 800 men are squeezed into 10 small cells in a low ceilinged building, originally built as a stable for police horses."

As the city cleans the streets of petty criminals for the upcoming Olympics, the situation will get much worse, just giving you a couple of year's heads up...

Meanwhile, they are rehabilitating like mad at the all-women's prison, teaching them how to play drums for Carnaval and having beauty pageants: "Meanwhile prisoners in evening gowns are strutting down a red catwalk as a sound system belts out pop anthems and funk music. Dione Normando Pires is crowned Miss TB (Talavera Bruce) and presented with her prize - a television set.

Simone Vilela, the governor of the prison, says that the projects boost the women's self esteem.
"These teach them important lessons which can help outside the prison walls," she says. "They understand the value of teamwork and they learn how to set themselves goals and how to strive for them." I wonder what kind of prison tattoos you would get for winning something like this, certainly more fun than making license plates or picking up trash by the side of the road...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I always try to respond...