More Brutality in the Name of God

So a day or so ago Brazil’s president offered asylum to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva appealed to his “friend Ahmadinejad” to allow Brazil to take in the imprisoned woman. Most people are probably not aware of the story of Sakineh.
Mrs. Ashitani is a widow and was arrested 5 years ago and convicted and punished for “illicit relationship” with 2 men. All parties were flogged for this crime. Later her case was “reviewed” and she and one of the men were charged with the murder of her husband and adultery. While Mrs. Ashitani was not found guilty of the murder of her husband she was found guilty of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. Now if just the mere statement death by stoning doesn’t seem like over kill for adultery then wait till you hear how stoning is to be carried out as a sentence.
According to the Iranian penal code all guilty persons are bound in ‘robes’ which inhibit their movement. Then males are to be buried up to their waists and females up to their necks. According to the penal code the size of the ‘stones’ to be used are not to be so large that death may occur after only 2 stones, however they are not to be so small as to be considered ‘pebbles’.
Now if the concept is not uncivilized enough as a general concept then the unfair and discriminatory way it is carried out makes it barbaric. First off in general men are more physically developed, especially in the upper body, than women, yet it is the women that are buried up to their necks not the men. Secondly, if by some miracle the victim escapes from their hole they are still killed. And before you even get to this stage the method for convicting persons of adultery do not really require much and again women are discriminated against. For the testimony of one ‘just’ man it would take the testimony of two women to equal it and more than likely there isn’t any number of female testimony that would outweigh the testimony of one ‘just’ male. Secondly it only takes the testimony of 4 ‘just’ men to support the charge of adultery for conviction.
In all strict Islamic states, you will find that women are severely discriminated against and oppressed. They suffer great injustices and are the victims of hideous crimes on a very common occurrence. Their lives are totally and completely controlled by the male members of their family. In stark contrast most justice system of these Islam countries exploit instead of protect the weak, innocent, and less fortunate of their societies. For, example while the females of the family have no control and no say in their lives they are the sole responsible party for any charge brought against them. In some Islamic countries girls and women can be killed by male family members simply for bringing ‘shame’ to their families. And this ‘shame’ does not have to be proved or real just the belief of the male members/head of the family.
I think that it should be the male family members that control these females’ lives that should suffer the punishment for any ‘shame’ brought to their families. These males are after all all-powerful and all-knowing and all-controlling; therefore if a female of their house causes some ‘shame’ it can only occur because the ‘all-powerful male’ wasn’t capable of preventing it. So stone him, murder him, flog him, beat him and you will see a swift change in what is required to ‘prove’ and ‘convict’ women and girls of crimes that are mostly out of their control and of which they are usually a victim.
Most non-Muslims think that all this violence and discrimination and hate is found in the Qur’an, that is not the case. If you were to compare the Torah, Bible and Qur’an for their condoning of violence you will find that the Qur’an is the most peaceful of the Religious mantels. Then what makes Islam such a harsh and violent society? It is the fatāwā of Mufti of power and influence that promote the ideas and concepts and actions that non-Muslims so often associate with the Qur’an and Islam and find so negative.
Like every other religion, when mean or cruel or just plain evil persons gain power the whole religion suffers. Yet, as society and within world religions there is very little house cleaning aimed at these persons that defame and destroy religions from the inside out through their personal desercration of those religions that they profess to embrace. There has never been one source which can claim the incitement and conclusion of more violence in this world than that done in the name of God.

Ex-wives usually know (them) best

Ex-wives usually get a bad wrap. They are called not-so-nice names and considered to be vindictive and irrational. Then again those claims are made by the men who screwed them over. I think ex-wives can be a good source of information about their ex-husbands. In the process of going through a divorce, as well as, having spent considerable time with the person prior to the divorce (unless you are Britney Spears) most ex-wives get to see ALL sides of the man.

And in the latest case, Marisabel Rodriguez is speaking out against Hugo Chavez’s push to make Venezuela “more socialist,” which she sees as a “road straight to totalitarianism.”

Rodriguez has the intelligence to be concerned about one person being in control for such a long time. And she should be, as we all should be, no mater where we live or whom the person is. There is too much at stake to allow one person to be in control for a very long term. The risk is there that the power will corrupt them and that with this will arise a greed and hunger that will restrict and limit the freedoms and power of the people. The very real danger of this happening was present in Venezuela last week with the referendum vote on the Constitution. Some of the resolutions that were on the ballot would have given and extraordinary amount of power to an elected official.

Rodriguez is also proposing to shorten presidential terms. Something that she helped to put in place as first lady and part of the draft assembly. Stating that Chavez has been in office too long. She is not the only former ally to change their stance, former Defense Minister Raul Baduel rallied the former pro-Chavez party Podemos to vote NO. And a new group has entered the political scene, university students. All this will help change the dynamics of the political power in Venezuela and if successful there it may flow into other Latin American countries.

One Defeat is all you need when it Counts


I have been hoping for it and it finally came and it came when it mattered most. Way to go university students of Venezuela!!! They looked at the issues and decided that they opposed handing more power over to Chavez. Good on them for sticking to his preaching of democracy and giving it back to him in the ballot box. The results were close, 51% to 49%, but the opposition won. This was the first defeat that Chavez has suffered since taking the Presidency in 1998.

Many of the constitutional reforms that were part of the national referendum would have given Chavez power verging on dictatorship. Some of the most disturbing parts of the reforms including the appointment of governors and mayors as well as bringing the Central Bank under the control of the President. These are issues that caused Chavez dissent even among his most ardent supporters, including his former Defense Minister, Raul Baduel.

This single act by the voters of Venezuela may prove to the rest of Latin America that democracy is and can be alive and well. And one day later the fact that Chavez for the moment is accepting the defeat, at least until he can figure away around it, also gives rise to the belief that this may well be the century of the Americas.

Common Sense Please

A couple weeks ago Gov. Crist was part of a delegation to South America; the purpose of the delegation was to promote trade with countries in South America. This is a goal that America needs to place higher on the priority list. Increasing our business relations with South America will improve our political relations with those countries. If we want to increase the security of our borders and help curb the ebb of terrorism and the power of narco-terrorism then we need to do as much as we can to promote the improvement of the standard of living, as well as the political stability, of these struggling democracies.
Once again I seem to be coming back around to the same topic. If we want the people of the ‘third world’ to be more like us, at least politically, we need to improve their standard of living. We cannot expect people to be concerned about the integrity of their national governments when they are going hungry, living without electricity and running water, being terrorized by local war lords and revolutionaries and drug cartels. We do not seem to grasp two things with the world; 1, not every one has all their basic needs met, and 2, not everyone wants to be just like us. In my opinion the first is not acceptable—I believe that everyone should have the freedom and security to live their lives and meet their basic needs without fear. As for the second, I do not believe that we need to force our way of life down the throats of others as the only way to create allies. People can think and live and be different from us and still be our allies. We would gain more respect from other countries if we showed a genuine respect and understanding of their cultures. The western world has a long history of thinking that the only civilized people are people that are just like them. That misconception has to be eliminated. People do not have to be living in 2 story brick homes with 2 cars and 2.3 kids, an IRA and trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’ to be good, intelligent, civilized people. The West has to realize that some of these people have had the same way of life for thousands of years, that does not make them unenlightened or ignorant; and there are things that we can learn from them-especially when it comes to respect. We have lost languages, cultures, and an immense amount of knowledge –we cannot recover any of this but we can learn from our arrogance and prevent the further loss of these priceless treasures. We as the human race need to value all peoples and cultures and preserve as much of them as we can. If we would try to do this we would see that it would help our economic and political goals.
When we go into ‘third world’ countries and build our factories and pay the workers the bare minimum instead of something descent we are showing a total disregard for them as people and their country as an ally and their culture as important. If we want to go into emerging countries to make more profit that is fine, but you can make more profit and still do right by the people of these countries. When big business goes in takes advantage of these people it provides ammo for anti-American propaganda by radicals like Chavez. We cannot afford that. On the flip side of that here in our country we impose high tariffs on imports from these countries but give favored trade status to China. How many toy and product recalls have we had in the last 6 months of items made in China? And we impose a $0.54 per gallon import tariff on ethanol from Brazil; why so that the few farmers in the Midwest can get the subsidies? Are we selling ethanol mixed gas nationwide? Are we keeping the gas prices so low that we don’t need to care about the environment? And do we have enough support in South America that we can snub our political noses at Brazil?
We need to shelve our political and economic egos and use some common sense and respect. We will find that the old adage about catching flies is true.

Chavez socialism is abusive relationship….

26 August 2007

As I have been reading the articles concerning Hugo Chavez and his antics — I keep telling myself that this is an abusive relationship. If you start with the beginning and follow through to now- Chavez’ rise to power has been a step by step climb taken from any DV relationship.

Over a decade ago this charming, charismatic hero appeared on the scene. And he said all the right things and acted the part of the answer to all the prayers of the poor, the weak, and the disenfranchised. He was able to gather the energy of their hopes and dreams and used it to secure power for himself. Then he appeared to be true to his word as he nationalized industries and created jobs. The people saw these things as being great. What they didn’t see was Chavez arresting opposition and spreading propaganda to create the basis that he needed to stay in power. He created the US as an evil villain that he and he alone could protect Venezuela and the rest of South America from. He made loud and rude comments about America, he arrested and threw out Americans that he labeled as spies. With his control of the state run media it was easy for him to create a completely false vision of himself for the people of Venezuela.

He has created a dependency of the Venezuelan people on his power. He has convinced them they need him, when the reality is the opposite. He has convinced them that they would be nothing without him, the same as any abuser. Now he is going to rewrite the constitiution so that he can consolidate power and increase his tyranny. He is a smart and cunning man-he is a danger to the peace and stability of Latin America and the world. And just like with an abusive relationship if the victim (the Venezuelan people) is not separated from the abuser the results will be fatal.