daily archive: 08/16/2005
34 honor killings in Lahore so far this year
-you can read one-three sentence summaries of all the honor killings by clicking the link.
LAHORE: There have been 34 honour killings of 25 women and 9 men in Lahore this year.
For reference, Lahore has about 6 million people. So in US terms, that would be about 1,700 honor killings a year in the entire US population (assuming 300 million of us).
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Michael Schiavo laughs all the way to the bank
What's he going to sue them for? Withdrawing food and water and killing his property?
CLEARWATER - Michael Schiavo has asked a court to waive the two-year statute of limitations on filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against one or more of his deceased wife's caregivers.
Terri Schiavo, 41, died March 31 after her feeding tube was removed after a seven-year court battle.
Schiavo's attorney in this case, Mark Perenich, said he was not able to discuss the proposed lawsuit behind Tuesday's request for an extension of the two-year statute of limitations.
By law, medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within two years of the alleged misconduct unless an extension is granted.
In October 2003, Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was removed on court order. Doctors reinserted it on orders from Gov. Jeb Bush.
Michael Schiavo Poised To Sue Caregivers - from TBO.com
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A Christian charged with blasphemy in Pakistan
was released from jail on a $4,200 bail but he and his family are still in danger from Islamic extremists angry at the court for letting him go. Yousaf Masih is a janitor and he was asked to burn some papers at work; unbeknownst to him, these papers included some verses of the Qu’ran. Thanks to the Blasphemy legislation which is part of the Pakistani penal code, he may be facing a life sentence in prison if found guilty.
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This is not a post about my cat
I've seen bloggers do posts about their cats and I'd like to say that I'm not one of those bloggers. First of all, I don't have a cat. Second of all, I don't even like cats. However, I live with another person's cat. This cat, previously known as Psipsini, which means "kitty" in Greek, is now known as the Dementor.
The Dementor is ancient. No one knows exactly how old she is but I estimate 175 in dog years. Since she shows no intention of dying, I presume she plans to outlive all cats west of the Mississipi. She's a very small cat, she weighs about three pounds soaking wet but she's fluffy and her hair makes her look like she takes a lot of room. At least the dogs think so. She does anything she wants with them, which includes random acts of terror.
When the doggies and I go up the stairs to bed, she runs ahead of us and waits on the landing with a gleam in her eye and a smile on her face. The dogs by now know what to expect so they whimper a little and try to hide behind me but I won't have any of that. I'm just as scared of the Dementor as they are and since they're dogs and they're supposed to protect me, I make them go first. The oldest dog hangs his head down and tries to keep his distance but it's a small space. As he goes past, the Dementor claws him on the neck and slaps his left ear. He yelps, whines, and goes to bed. When the shih-tzu's turn comes he hesitantly approaches and she only slaps the air, intentionally missing him but letting him know it was no accident. He's safely off and I'm alone on the landing with the cat. We eyeball each other but thankfully she just throws me a dirty look before continuing her way into my office.
Did I say my office? Yes, I did. Did I mention she's not my cat? Yes, I did. You'd think she'd respect the rule of non-ownership and stay the hell away from me and my computer but she likes machinery. She likes to put her hairy paw on my keyboard and claw me while I type. She also likes to claw my legs, it's a "a sign of affection" I've been told. I wish she'd love me less.
The Dementor also yells very loudly, she emits these vampiric, screeching howls that reverberate through the house. I think she does it for the shock value. People look at me suspiciously, paying no attention to my assurances that she's not trapped anywhere or hurt, they offer to go look. I know she's not hurt. She's at the top of the stairs howling down to see who answers her. Whoever does, she claws him. She also howls when she wants a door open. That is, she howls in front of the few doors she's not able to open herself. She howls when I keep my door closed and I don't let her in my office. That is extremely annoying in itself, but even more annoying is when she sticks her paw under the door and starts probing. She turns her paw upwards too, like she's going for the doorknob, and she starts howling and screeching. I don't have a lock on this door so this is all very scary.
Anyway, I spend a lot of my time hiding from her. She's out there as I type this and there's no guarantee she won't come in and do some unspeakable evil again. I just want to say quickly that I don't understand why people have cats as pets, they make terrible compa-OUCH!
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Two years ago this month I left Kuwait and Iraq. I was being reassigned to a new base in the small, and little known country of Djibouti, Africa. I was asked to establish a long-term command religious program for this new base. I spent the next six months there.
The other evening I was spending some time with my friends who all share the same hobby. We sing barbershop. Between the “ringing of chords�? (glorious!) one of the men asked me a question, sort of in a confidential manner, a feat not easily accomplished with thirty-five men all around you. He said, “Tell me, are we doing the right thing over there? Should we be there?�?
These and questions like it are directed at me with some frequency. I’m not an expert on this war, or any war, for that matter. I have served in two of our nations wars: the War on Terrorism, and the Vietnam War. Because I have “been there, done that,�? it is often assumed that I am something of an expert. At best, I am an observing participant, looking through a very small lens on the larger scene. This being said, I do have a perspective that I believe is accurate.
I keep in touch with people in our military who have recently been “in country.�? Or they are there now. Or they are soon going back. Then there are those who are doing the same thing I do that I keep in touch with. The message is the same: We’re winning.
For those who think I’m just being a jingoist – think again. In fact, I expect more from the party whose views to which I’m more closely aligned. Therefore, I expect more from that party. When they fail to deliver as they should, I let them know. At times, I don’t like either party very much.
But when it comes to our military, they are the best in the world, bar none. This is not even arguable. I have seen how they perform. They are intensely patriotic, while at the same time extremely compassionate. My favorite picture is of a Marine, in the midst of a firefight, doing the fireman’s carry for a wounded Iraqi soldier (on the March to Baghdad), bringing this man to our military medical folks for treatment. That is the picture of our young men and women in uniform.
“Yeah, but what about Abu Ghraib?�? some may ask. Okay, fair question. This disgusting incident was an anomaly. This is more indicative of poor leadership within that command than behavior endemic in our military. What many people do not know is that this incident took place in the fall of 2003. The military was aware of the problem and was taking the appropriate measures when the media caught wind of it in the spring of 2004. The way the media presented it, made it appear as though they had been the ones to break the story, implying that the military was covering this up. Not so. The investigation was ongoing, and those who were responsible were being disciplined through the military courts martial system. The military takes care of its own business without fanfare and finger-pointing. The guilty will be properly dealt with, of this you may be sure. We wear the uniform of our nation with pride. We don’t like having one of our own throw dirt on it.
“But are we winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people?�? Yes. We are. They are tasting freedom for the first time in their lives. Freedom takes some getting used to if it has never been available to you before. Allow me to make a comparison.
Our own American Revolution began in 1776. Things were very bleak. Many of our forefathers were torn between loyalty to the British throne, and loyalty to their new land, America. We didn’t have a Constitution until 1787. Our first elected leader for president was George Washington – in 1789. It was not until December of 1791 that the Bill of Rights was ratified to the Constitution.
Now, let’s compare that to Iraq. Since these folks had the abusive yoke of a tyrannical dictator lifted off of their necks in April of 2003, they have held open and free elections, June 28, 2004, to establish an intermediary government; they have held open and free elections, January 30, 2005, to vote in leadership for the nation. They are in the process of formulating their own constitution. I’d be willing to bet it will not be the monolithic document presented to the European Union recently that was several hundred pages long (obviously put together by a committee). Our original Constitution is little more than a page long. Add the amendments, including the Bill of Rights, and it’s not much more than two pages in length.
Industry, commerce, schools, utilities, and oil production are up and running. Yes, there are car bombings, drive-by shootings, and other last-gasp terrorist gyrations. Most insurgents come from outside Iraq. Those Iraqis committing terrorist acts also had it good working for Saddam. Now they have to work and pull their own weight. They liked it better under the brutal dictator. Too bad. He’s gone, and they soon will be.
Twenty years from now, let’s take a look back and see if this wasn’t one of the greatest liberations that has taken place since God delivered the Israelites from Egypt.
I have much more to say on this. But for now, I’ll simply say: We’re winning.
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Iranian Ambassador in Beirut Wants Justice
Iran said Sunday it wants to try a former Lebanese warlord, recently released from prison in Lebanon, for abducting four Iranian diplomats in 1982.Where was Igal Amir, you said?
Iran's Mehr News Service quoted Iranian Ambassador in Beirut Masoud Idrissi as saying Tehran was preparing the legal documents to try those suspected of abducting the four diplomats, including Lebanese Christian leader Samir Geagea.
Geagea was last month released from prison in Beirut, where he was jailed for more than 11 years, after Parliament issued a general amnesty.
The diplomats vanished at a check-point in Beirut 23 years ago when they were stopped by Geagea's Christian militia at the start of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 during the country's civil war.
Idrissi said his country will seek a trial for Geagea and others believed to be responsible in the Lebanese courts.
It was not immediately clear whether Lebanon's judiciary can try a case filed by Iran after the Parliament issued a general amnesty on crimes committed during the 195-1990 civil war.
But judicial sources in Beirut said the amnesty law did not rule out civil suits, which leaves the door open for the Iranian complaint.
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Mugabe ratchets up the oppression
White Zim farmers dealt another blow
. White Zimbabweans can't resort to Zimbabwe's kangaroo courts to futilely protest the grabbing of their land. The tragedy gets even more farcical. Flush with cash from Iran, China and North Korea, Mugabe simply doesn't have to give a shit
about what the West thinks any more. China, you're in really good company here. I'm so impressed with China's ascension to international legitimacy, I might just need new pants.
Harare - Zimbabwean lawyers on Friday braced for a fight with the state over proposed constitutional changes aimed at barring white farmers from challenging land grabs in court and preventing people deemed anti-government from going overseas.
"We intend to challenge the passage of this evil piece of legislation in all manners and through all channels available to us," at least 100 lawyers said in a petition to judges and lawmakers.
"As officers of the court with a duty to the law, we cannot sit back and fail to act while fundamental rights accruing to people are being attacked."
The lawyers said they plan to march next Thursday to hand over their petition to parliament and the Supreme Court.
"We have applied to the police for permission to hold the march but we have not had a response," lawyer Wozani Moyo said.
"If we don't get the clearance, we will appeal to the High Court."
The Zimbabwean government last month published proposed constitutional reforms which will allow the state to assume ownership of farms immediately after a property has been officially listed for expropriation.
This will make it impossible for white farmers to seek legal redress.
"The amendment effectively usurps the authority of the courts by denying people recourse to the law challenging state action which violates fundamental human rights," the lawyers said.
The reforms will also allow the government to confiscate passports and impose travel bans on people who it thinks pose a risk to the "national, public and economic interests of the state."
If passed into law, the reforms will also provide for the re-introduction of a two-chamber parliament which critics say is meant to accommodate members of the governing party who lost in the March parliamentary elections.
Zimbabwe's land reforms, which began, often violently, in 2000 after the rejection in a referendum of a government-sponsored draft constitution, have seen about 4 000 white farmers evicted from their properties.
The land has been redistributed to landless blacks in a move that the government has said is designed to correct imbalances created by colonial rule, when the majority of prime farmland was owned by about 4 500 whites.
Thousands of former white commercial farmers are challenging the seizure of their properties without compensation. - Sapa-AFP
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