Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fatwa Against Vuvuzelas, Stoning To Death In Iran, Renowned Pussian Pianist Arrested For Rape In Thailand

Dana Milbank
Kirk Johnson

"While Vice President Biden was away, Republican Chairman Michael Steele was forced to take over the job of saying embarrassing things you have to apologize for later." – Jay Leno

"You hear about this? Michael Steele said that — well, he's in trouble, actually — for saying the war in Afghanistan was Obama's war, and it was unwinnable. In fact, Steele felt so sorry for it, he said today he went to his favorite bondage nightclub, demanded to be spanked." – Jay Leno

"Well, there was talk the Democrats are going to try and pass an immigration bill this year, but it looks like that's not going to happen. It's kind of ironic. The only place that has an immigration plan is Mexico, and their plan is to immigrate here." – Jay Leno

We begin with a blow against fans of the vuvuzela, I mean who knew that they wer so subversive? According to the AP, the UAE issued a fatwa against their use in the country: "A fatwa by the UAE's General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments declares that the now-famous blast from the plastic vuvuzela is not permitted in the Gulf country if it exceeds 100 decibels - about the sound of a passing train. It says the typical vuvuzela blast is up to 127 decibels. The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi reported on Friday that the ruling came after thousands of vuvuzelas were imported to the UAE for World Cup fans. The horns could later appear at local soccer matches. The fatwa is based on the judgment that the din can damage fans' hearing." On one hand, I think that it is a sign of repression to ban them, while on the other hand, they were so damned annoying whenever I would try to watch a soccer game. It's the kind of ruling that old people would make, who don't like loud sounds the older they get.

While many South Africans may cheer for their old colonial masters the Netherlands, a more ominous note than a 127 decibel vuvuzela is sounding throughout the townships and ghettos of Johannesberg: "For months, threats have coursed through virtually every township and squatter camp, with warnings that once the final whistle blows, the tourists leave and the world looks away, vuvuzelas and banners will be replaced by torches and panga knives as attacks begin against Zimbabweans, Mozambicans and others. Many in the government regard these threats as rumors inflated into hysteria through repetition. Nevertheless, security forces are on “high alert,”
“They tell us that by Sunday we must go or we will see blood, plenty blood,” - Precious Ncube
The threats are also being made against all immigrants, including Pakistanis, Lebanese, and Indian. Hopefully, there won't be a bloodbath, and that we keep the headlines away from all Arizona media, don't want to give them any ideas in this hot and sweltering Summer...

In Iran, often the judicial verdict for incidents like adultery, is stoning to death, hanging, or the use of a whip giving lashes that causes permanent scarification. International public outrage has erupted over the recent judicial sentencing against a widow with two children, of death by stoning for adultery: "The lawyer for an Iranian widow sentenced to be stoned to death for an adultery conviction expressed cautious optimism Saturday after Iran said it will review the decision, which has drawn international condemnation.

Human rights activists and other officials, however, warned that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, could still be hanged. Stoning was widely imposed in the years following the 1979 Islamic revolution, and even though Iran's judiciary still regularly hands down such sentences, they are often converted to other punishments. The last known stoning was carried out in 2007, although the government rarely confirms that such punishments have been meted out." This is an example of culture clash, of old ways since Biblical times crashing against our modern views of women and consensual behavior. I'm sure that during the four years of this woman's incarceration, she had been raped and tortured several times over for what she has been accused of. In a system like Iran's, it is easier to put someone like this to death than to have them living and becoming a reminder of your own sins that you have caused in the name of justice.

And though we have had our criticisms of treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo, evidently it is where many call home, and don't want to leave: "The Obama administration would quickly send home six Algerians held at the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but for one problem: The men don't want to go. Given the choice between repatriation and incarceration, the men choose Gitmo, according to their lawyers." There have been 10 other Algerians who have been successfully repatriated back to Algeria from Guantanamo, but Algeria is in a war against its own extremists and have put more than 200,000 people in jail over the past few years. So, these inmates are wanting to go somewhere else than home, because the ruby slippers hurt their feet. And Guantanamo has better food....

I was surprised to see the news item about the Russian classical pianist who was arrested for rape in Thailand: "Mr Pletnev, who owns homes and businesses in Thailand, called the case a "misunderstanding". A senior police officer told the BBC that Mr Pletnev had been charged with raping a boy and that photographs had been collected from one of his properties. Police are making other checks after a Thai tenant in one property he owns was arrested on suspicion of paedophilia. The tenant was among several Thais being questioned over alleged involvement in a child sex ring. They reportedly informed on Mr Pletnev."

I don't really have much to add, other than I met this man several years ago, ironically, in Thailand, on the island of Koh Samui. It was his first time visiting Thailand and he really liked it. He was recovering from a bout of syphilis he got from a whorehouse, and was carrying around a giant stack of Levis jeans that he intended to resell back in Russia. At that time, you had to have a special permit to leave Russia, and only people who had conferences or performances in other countries could leave. I knew one man from Czechoslovakia who had to leave because the police were after him. He told me that the whole country of Czechs was made up of criminals...

During the short time I knew him, a matter of days, I requested his help in talking to another Russian, a scientist, who had a crush on one Thai prostitute, except he liked to beat her up and hurt her during sex. I had Michael explain that it wasn't cool, while my Thai friends managed to get her off the island for her safety. Because of his illness, I had no idea of his sexual perversion, but I wasn't all that surprised to learn of his supporting a child prostitution ring. Both Michael and the other Russians I met then struck me as very cynical and amoral people...

No comments:

Post a Comment

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