Our Allies in Saudi Arabia are so wonderful

This woman in Saudi Arabia was raped by six armed men. They all got between 1 and 5 years in prison for the offence. Interestingly enough the woman was punished as well for breaking a law where she wasn’t allowed in the car of a non-family member, so she got 90 lashes (as if her suffering wasn’t bad enough). But here’s the interesting part. Her lawyer had appealed the sentences of the men and asked the court to give the men the death penalty. After the appeal the judge raised the sentances for the men but also decided that the woman should get 200 lashes and jail time herself. (story here)

We hear about these cases all the time in the middle east. Where women are stoned, whipped, even killed for “bringing dishonor” to her family. We hear of women mutilated at puberty. We hear of all kinds of horrible offences towards women in these countries and yet our woman’s groups don’t protest and our country keeps up relations with these countries instead of bringing them to task for their human rights violations. What’s up with that? Why is this?

Yesterday the UN got all up in arms about the death penalty. They decided that it was cruel and inhumane punishment and should be abolished worldwide no matter what the host countries thought (of course the US was against the measure) . Why isn’t the UN trying to pass similar proclamations/laws/letters of intent (what do they pass exactly?) about the treatment of women in Islamic countries?

The media in general sucks at political coverage

I know it and you know it but yet nobody seems to do anything about it. At least I complain to my friends, post here, and pretty much get 0% of my news from (non-bbc) television but still I’m just a small percentage of the potential voters in america. Perhaps if we had a media machine focused on the candidates and what they are all about people would be more interested in voting. Perhaps someone like Dennis Kucinich or Bill Richardson would actually be doing better in the polls if the media stopped focusing on “the front runners”.

Here is a piece in Ars Techica that highlights a very interesting report from The Project for Excellence in Journalism which discusses this very issue. It’s a great read and it should inspire us to demand more from our media.. Will it?

Dennis Kucinich is Not a Joke

Saw this today.

Um.. yup. I was just saying this to my co-workers yesterday. If you think about it, saying you believe that UFO’s are possible is actually more of a rational thing than thinking that they don’t. And Dennis wasn’t even saying this. He was saying he saw something in the sky that he couldn’t identify.. so what. Why can’t the media focus on what the man is saying about our nation? Have you heard this man speak on the floor of congress? You should!

2 Reasons I’m mad today

I don’t have the time to make these posts as verbose and link filled as I’d like but I do have time to express how pissed I am about 2 issues today.

The first is local. There was this cop here in the city who was shot in the head and killed the other day. This city is up in arms about this. There is a huge reward for his killer, we had a moment of silence at the Eagles game yesterday, there are news stories all over the place, etc. etc. From the looks of it, this is the biggest tragedy of the year. Let me tell you why I’m bothered by this. Why is it that the shooting death of one cop is 100 times more important to the city than the shooting death of 300 or so young black kids in N. Philly? Seriously? What the fuck is up with this? I mean I don’t want to see anyone shot and killed, and every death is tragic, but what is wrong with our society here that one death is more important that another? Why is this shooting so much more important to everyone?

The second. Do I even need to mention this? Pakistan. On Saturday, which you may or may not know, President Musharraf (citing terrorism) declared a national emergency fired the Chief Justice of his supreme court and pretty much instituted martial law. First off, this sounds eerily like what I was talking about a couple of days ago, but that’s not why I’m angry today. I’m angry because despite the fact that this is a nuclear nation and despite the fact that our country considers the stability of Pakistan to be paramount in our fight against terrorism and despite the fact that OBL and his crew are based there, our national and local media seem to have had on Saturday no interest in this story. It wasn’t the lead anywhere. It wasn’t even the second or third story on the local news. I had to work hard on Saturday (bless the BBC) to find it being talked about with any depth at all. Why is this?