Sunday, July 21, 2013

The mixed fortunes of Swiss and Norwegians

India jails six over Swiss gang rape in Madhya Pradesh A
court in India has sentenced six men to life imprisonment over the gang rape of a Swiss tourist in March this year.

The woman, 39, and her husband were attacked while camping in woodland in central Madhya Pradesh state.

The men, aged between 22 and 30, were all from a village close to the scene of the rape.

The attack came months after a 23-year-old Indian woman died following a gang rape on a bus in Delhi, sparking protests across the country.

Days after the Swiss tourist was raped, changes to the laws were passed, containing stricter punishments for rapists, including the death penalty.
Dubai sentences Norwegian woman who reported rape
Interior designer Marte Deborah Dalelv was on a business trip in Dubai when she says she was raped.

The 24-year-old reported the March attack to the police but found herself charged with having extramarital sex, drinking alcohol, and perjury. Verdict: guilty; penalty 16 months prison. Her alleged attacker, she said, received a 13-month sentence for extra-marital sex and alcohol consumption.

Ms Dalelv says she had been on a night out with colleagues on 6 March when the rape took place.

She reported it to the police, who proceeded to confiscate her passport and seize her money. She was charged four days later on three counts, including having sex outside marriage.

The sentence has been condemned by Norway's Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide who is quoted as saying that it "flies in the face of our notion of justice" and was "highly problematic from a human rights perspective".

Dubai has undergone a rapid transformation in recent years, emerging as a five-star trade and tourism destination with its tax-free salaries and year-round sunshine.

It is now one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities with foreign workers and visitors greatly outnumbering the local population.

But it remains a deeply conservative region, and its strict laws have caught out foreigners in the past. Public displays of affection and drunkenness are frowned upon.

A British couple, Ayman Najafi and Charlotte Adams, were jailed for a month in 2010 after they shared what Mr Najafi described as an "innocuous peck on the cheek" in a restaurant. A witness said they had kissed on the mouth.

Another British couple, Vince Acors and Michelle Palmer, were jailed for three months in 2008 for having sex on a public beach - an allegation they denied.
Visit Dubai and enjoy the world's most lavish pandering, but check your pandering culture at the border.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Stand your airspace law

The first snowflake of a snowball effect in the making?

Deer Trail to vote on whether to legalize hunting drones
Deer Trail's town board will vote Aug. 6 on an ordinance that would create drone-hunting licenses and offer $100 bounties for unmanned aerial vehicles.

"We do not want drones in town," said Phillip Steel, the resident who drafted the ordinance. "They fly in town, they get shot down."

Read more at the link. (There's not really all that much more to read.)

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Don’t Do It, Wendy! (concerning the advice of one jail breaker to another)

A thousand years ago, Guambat and Mrs. Guambat took Baby Bat to DisneyLand, and rode the Peter Pan ride. Baby Bat memorized every kid's media she ever heard or saw. Back then, most of the media was only scratchy records, but then came VHS and Baby Bat was mesmerized. So she had seen Peter Pan, and many of the other Disney films and stories come to life at DisneyLand.

So, anyway, there we all were riding the little carriage through the Land of Pan, at the part where Capt. Hook was making Wendy walk the plank, and it all just became toooo much for Baby Bat, who blurted out, "Don't Do It Wendy!", for all to hear.

Precious memory.

But one that has little to nothing to do with this article.

Taliban to Malala Yousafzai: we regret the shooting but you should join a madrassa
In an open letter released on Wednesday, Adnan Rasheed, a former air force member turned TTP cadre, said he personally wished the attack had not happened, but accused her of running a "smearing campaign" against the militants. "It is amazing that you are shouting for education, you and the UNO (UN) is pretending that you were shot due to education, although this is not the reason ... not the education but your propaganda was the issue," Mr Rasheed wrote.

Mr Rasheed was sentenced to death over a 2003 attack on Pakistan's then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf but escaped from custody in a mass jailbreak in April last year.

He accused Malala of seeking to promote an education system begun by the British colonialists to produce "Asians in blood but English in taste" and said students should study Islam and not what it called the "satanic or secular curriculum".

"I advise you to come back home, adopt the Islamic and Pashtun culture, join any female Islamic madrassa near your home town, study and learn the book of Allah, use your pen for Islam and plight of Muslim ummah (community)," Mr Rasheed wrote. 

Read more:

I can hear the sage cry of Baby Bat ringing in my ear:
Don't do it, Wendy!!!!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Interlude whilst we await Zimmerman's Florida court verdict

A Florida woman who fired warning shots against her allegedly abusive husband has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville had said the state's "Stand Your Ground" law should apply to her because she was defending herself against her allegedly abusive husband when she fired warning shots inside her home in August 2010.

She told police it was to escape a brutal beating by her husband, against whom she had already taken out a protective order.

CBS Affiliate WETV reports that Circuit Court Judge James Daniel handed down the sentence Friday.

Alexander was convicted of attempted murder after she rejected a plea deal for a three-year prison sentence. She said she did not believe she did anything wrong.

She was recently denied a new trial after appealing to the judge to reconsider her case based on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. The law states that the victim of a crime does not have to attempt to run for safety and can immediately retaliate in self-defense.
Oh, she is a black woman, by the way.


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Average Guamanian annual average income lower than his or her share of government debt

The average Guamanian Per Capita Income for 2010 is $12,864 (see). Assuming 175,000 men, women and children on island, the per capita government debt, before personal and household debt, is $12,933. ($1.08 Billion divided by 175,000). 

Which year of your life, fellow Guamanians, do you want to give up to paying off the government debt?

 Better hurry. Interest is accruing.

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They treated Africa as if a market when the rest of world viewed Africa as an economic basket case

Apart from creating gold out of alchemy, which is to say valuable assets out of ideas, the great success of American commerce for most of the 20th Century has been in marketing. Now the cricket strikes at the master.

Why Obama is making an African power-play against China
China surpassed the U.S. in total trade in sub-Saharan Africa in 2009, but its increasingly strong economic ties took root in 2000, when then-Chinese president Hu Jintao hosted representatives from 44 African nations in Beijing to establish the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation.

That meeting "set a mandate for China to become Africa's largest trading partner," says Richard Poplak, a Johannesburg-based Canadian author and journalist writing a book about China’s growing role in Africa.

It was also an early sign that the Chinese viewed economic opportunity in Africa through a different lens than their American counterparts.

"What the Chinese did that no one else had done before was that they considered Africa as a market — a market for Chinese goods, institutions and services — when the rest of world viewed Africa as an economic basket case and a place for aid programs,' says Poplak.

While the U.S. focused on global security following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Chinese firms began shoring up major contracts throughout the continent that ensured access to Africa's vast resource wealth in exchange for the funding and construction of infrastructure projects like roads, railways and airports.

China also emphasized multilateral agreements with entire regions of sub-Saharan Africa — agreements the U.S. has largely avoided in the past, says Thomas Tieku, an assistant professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. "The U.S., in many senses, miscalculated their approach to Africa. It has always been to focus on bilateral relationships— select a few countries and deal solely with them," says Tieku. "Now they're playing a catch-up game to try to establish equally strong relationships with multilateral institutions like the African Union."

The U.S. will always have to contend with the fact that China is not limited in its economic partnerships by commitments to propping up democracy and freedom, since the cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy is to take a non-interventionist approach with its trading partners, says Tieku.

"The Chinese will come into a country and in practical terms it doesn’t matter who is running the country," says Poplak. "It doesn't matter what system of government your country uses, it doesn't matter what you did last week. They will come in and do business." But, says Poplak, the Chinese business is not always “above board or unaccompanied by what the Chinese would call the culture of gift giving, euphemistically, but it certainly respects African agency in a way that the West never, ever has and still doesn't."

"Many African policy makers are just not interested in hearing about the power of the free market any more.”
Interesting that it took a Canadian, not USAmerican, observer to state the obvious.


Pay attention to that phrase,"non-interventionist approach"

To borrow a phrase from Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that word means what you think it does".


Chalk it up to stupidity

Activist who chalked anti-bank slogans on San Diego sidewalks found not guilty on all charges
Jeff Olson, 40, was charged with scrawling messages with water-soluble chalk on city sidewalks outside Bank of America branches from April to August 2012, including "Shame on B of A," ''No thanks, big banks," and a drawing of an octopus reaching for dollar bills.

"Graffiti remains vandalism in the state of California," the city attorney's office said. "Under the law, there is no First Amendment right to deface property, even if the writing is easily removed, whether the message is aimed at banks or any other person or group. We are, however, sympathetic to the strong public reaction to this case and the jury's message."

The city's own mayor said the case was "stupid". "The case pitted Mayor Bob Filner against City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, who prosecuted the case, and could have sent Olsen to jail for 13 years — one year for each misdemeanor count — and brought a $13,000 fine. The city attorney's office said it offered to reduce the charges to an infraction if Olson agreed to perform community service by cleaning up graffiti but he refused.

Filner called it a "nonsense prosecution" that responded to complaints from Bank of America. "It's washable chalk, it's political slogans," Filner said last week. "We're not even responding to the public's complaint ... I think it's a stupid case. It's costing us money."

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