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Ms. Kern’s right and paid sex

An article from Ovi magazine

Two US officials came to the centre of the news last week each for very different reasons. One is resigning, perhaps facing legal implications, and the other enjoys full protection from the party she represents and local authorities; what were the charges? One had sex with a prostitute and the other was openly racist, guess which is which!

Eliot Spitzer, who will step down as New York’s governor, was found …associating – I have to admit that I love words like that, especially in cases like this – with a prostitute using the services of a certain office often. The very same governor was elected by flagging his fight against …prostitution. I totally agree with his resignation and I totally agree with the man having to deal with a court room and charges. My agreement has nothing to do with using a prostitute and paid sex, I think that is something he and his wife have to deal with, but – I’m sorry for my cynicism – he’s obviously missing something in his life by looking for it somewhere else, preferring to pay instead of having a mistress… something that might have endangered his marriage even more.

My problem is not there, my problem is that a man of his authority, who has obviously spent a long time researching prostitution, may have used this to find the office and may have used his influence to get what he wanted. The man was the Governor of New York and former star prosecutor having prostitution as his main target, so he knew. He knew not only what he needed to know, but also knew everything, which means that he was keeping secrets and, in extent, that he was covering up and that only leads one to corruption! It sounds hard and heavy but it is true and I’m happy justice has found its way to him and obviously he is going to be punished in many ways, including the end of a promising career and most likely the end of his family.

However, let’s move to the next incident. State Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, Republican member of the Oklahoma Legislature, has said that “the homosexual agenda is just destroying this nation” and poses a bigger threat to the U.S. than terrorism, “According to God’s word, that is not the right kind of lifestyle.” Any comment?

What this woman, who apparently has served as a teacher in the past, said is beyond any comment and the words ‘racist’ and ‘prejudice’ sound too small to cover what she announced to the public. It was not enough; the case has gone far further. The local Republicans covered the lady by declaring openly their full support and finding any suggestion for her resignation inappropriate. Inappropriate it is that they haven’t resigned all of them from any official position, inappropriate that they haven’t publicly apologized for even thinking to agree with comments like that, inappropriate that they dare to even argue. Please this has nothing to do with freedom of speech. I’m tired of all these years listening to Nazis and racists preaching about freedom of speech, calling for their right to say and believe what they want. I’m sick and tired of them!

Ms. Sally Kern should resign her public office immediately; she should publicly apologize for every single word she said and the state based on a constitution that guarantees equality to every citizen and protection of racists and prejudice like her should take her to the court and punish her by example stripping her of every right to ask for office again. In Iran they are executing gays, is this future we want, is this the democracy we are all standing for?

Comparing the two cases I have to admit that my first reaction to Mr. Eliot Spitzer’s case was a smile and later thinking seriously about it I started getting a bit upset, but reading Ms. Sally Kern’s comments I felt really angry from the very first moment and the anger is building up more and more. Hitler actually sent homosexuals to Dachau and the gas chambers and, just like Ms. Sally Kern, he thought they were …not right. I suppose for Ms. Sally Kern having long hair is not right, smoking or piercing your ear and I’m sure she would never vote for Mr. Obama, not because he is a Democrat, but for the obviously not right reasons.

The Saudi Witch

An article from Ovi magazine

The following story is not a joke, fiction or a rumour; it is a true story and it is not the first time the story has reached the media. There is a woman named Fawza Falih in a prison in Saudi Arabia waiting for her execution after being convicted of witchcraft!

The woman was arrested by the Saudi religious police after being accused by her husband that she made him …sexually impotent using witchcraft! The woman was beaten and forced to sign a confession despite the fact that she could not read! I’m sorry for what I’m going to say but it seems to me that when a Saudi hasn’t got an erection or he has a small penis he calls in the religious freaks and blames a woman for witchcraft! The woman was led to the court without any proof of her alleged witchcraft actions apart from the testimony of her husband and that is called ‘justice’ in Saudi Arabia! The confession she had to sign was not even read to her!

I cannot stop reading this story in horror and the reason I’m writing it here, despite the fact that it has already been publicly known for a few months due to the efforts of the Human Rights Watch and their failed attempts to meet with the Saudi King Abdullah or any high judges of the country, is because you should not forget it among all the information we get daily. More importantly, we must also remember who our allies are. I’m really sorry to say but if these decisions and practises are led from religion then their religion is truly inhumane and barbaric, and I’m even sorrier to say that there is no tolerance there.

A few months ago a young woman was raped and after that she had to suffer a public lashing because, according the Sharia law, she should never be out of the house without the company of a male family member.

So let me see if I understood well, our peaceful friends, who believe in the peaceful and fair contributing of Muslim traditions and judgment, are talking about a world where women can be executed for witchcraft because somebody’s dick wasn’t erecting, they can be lashed when they are …raped and they can contribute to society by staying locked at home cooking and giving birth. I’m sorry again, but even the Dark Ages offered a more equitable and humanitarian existence for women!

Why doesn’t the United Nations do anything about it? Why doesn’t the USA, EU or Russia do anything about it? How many barrels of oil is a human life worth? Or is her life cheaper because she is a Saudi?

The Salem witch trials that cost the lives of twenty-nine people and became a negative example of inhumane behaviour and criminal justice for centuries is a dark side of our history and is it showing us how to avoid these sorts of mistakes again. Saudi justice is here and now, the Salem trial was four centuries ago. The US administration is ready to endanger bad relations with Russia, Cuba or China for human rights and does nothing with Saudi Arabia where things are much worse – the same goes to the European Community, to Australia and Japan, to India and South Africa. How can we be proud of our democracies when we stand still when things like that happen? And how much more we don’t know!

What really happens to a woman in Saudi Arabia or Iran if she goes out forgetting to put on her headscarf? No, the question should go much further; do women count for humans in these countries? Cats and dogs definitely have more rights than a woman in Saudi Arabia.

When I first read the story of Fawza Falih I was terrified and found it difficult to believe but on the internet you can find more and more horrifying stories like that, more stories about the ‘fair’ Sharia laws and justice in the dark ages of Saudi Arabia and how ironic it sounds when we are expecting their transition to democracies.

Read my lips: No Subtitles

An article from Ovi magazine

Here at Ovi magazine we try to champion many causes and issues, bringing attention to the forgotten, the ignored, the downtrodden and the outcast, and there are numerous ways these topics come to our attention. However, it isn’t often that we are directly affected by an issue that, at first, is merely personal irritating, yet you then realise it is massively discriminatory against one group of people; this time it is the deaf.

Whenever my Finnish wife watches a DVD she always has either the English or Finnish subtitles activated. She is not deaf or hard of hearing; she just misses the occasional word perhaps delivered by a strong accent, drowned out by a loud sound effect or it is just garbled too quickly for her to catch. Subtitles have never been an issue for me, but now I am particularly aware of how many DVDs are released without them.

Currently there is no legal obligation in the United Kingdom to provide subtitles on DVDs released in the UK, despite there being 8,945,000 deaf and hard of hearing people in the country. Almost nine million people are being discriminated against through this simple omission on discs and even the DVDs that do offer subtitling for the movie then ignore the extras, such as interviews and commentaries.

Last night we watched a free DVD that came with a magazine, a promotional tactic now regularly employed by many weekend newspapers, and, like them all, the disc didn’t have a subtitle option – of course, we could choose between Dolby 5.0 and Dolby 2.0. Comedy acts, sporting events and concerts rarely receive the subtitle treatment, but there is no reason why such a large potential market is ignored; surely the cost of adding the subtitles will be offset by the increased number of purchases.

In the April/May 2007 edition of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People’s (RNID) magazine One In Seven, the BBC’s Director General Mark Thompson was asked why DVDs that state ‘as seen on the BBC’ are often not subtitled, such as “The Vicar of Dibley” and “Auf Wiedersehen Pet”. He answered that some shows are produced by independent producers who make programmes for the BBC but retain the rights to exploit them afterwards, “We will always encourage independent producers to include subtitles in their DVDs but we can’t oblige them to do so.”

In Finland there are approximately 8,000 registered deaf and they benefit from DVDs coming with basic Finnish subtitles on every disc – in fact, there’s always Finnish, but no English – and the national broadcaster YLE provides a news broadcast with sign language. Sorry to go slightly off-topic, but why isn’t sign language taught in school? There are 70 million deaf people across the globe and sign language crosses all other language barriers – there are 61 million speakers of Italian, so signing could certainly become an alternative global language.

The RNID are currently campaigning to change the law regarding subtitles on DVD releases and the BBC recently promised that all DVDs of future programmes commissioned by the BBC will be subtitled. Until then, I suggest you use this fantastic website to check if a DVD comes with subtitles: www.DVD-subtitles.com.

If you want to take further action, then simply click on the link, enter your name and email, and send the pre-filled email to Lavina Carey, the Director General of the British Video Association (BVA).

Everybody loves …Robbie

This is an article published in Ovi magazine.

Mugabe hits again by banning all the observers from the elections, especially all the western observers. I’m sorry if once more I’m writing about this notorious dictator of Zimbabwe but, as I have said before, we should not stop reminding that people like Mugabe, criminals of the worst kind, people that have the right of life or death over thousands of thousands of people are around, they are not a myth, they are not the boogie men but the reality for nations like Zimbabwe, Iran and Pakistan.

mugabe01_400Since I’m talking about Iran, according to the Zimbabwe Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Iran and China, among other African ally countries, are allowed to send monitors for the democratic elections. I presume the “one party” China and “non party in the name of Allah” Iran and its clerics are the right countries to have opinions on democracy and elections.

Robert Mugabe excused his decision saying that he suspects that the western countries are trying to remove him from government! Really? Saddam had the same suspicions and I wonder why, and Idi Amin before them was suspecting the same and again I have to wonder why and how they get these ideas? After all, everybody loves Robbie, especially in Zimbabwe. Apparently the people in Zimbabwe who don’t love Mugabe and they don’t show it ten times a day are either in prison with their tongue cut or dead!

mugabe02_400“Clearly, those who believe the only free and fair election is where opposition wins have been excluded since the ruling party, Zanu-PF, is poised to score yet another triumph,” Simbarashe Mumbengegwi added. Man, that says everything! I mean you invite Iran to monitor. I mean, it is like going to the polls and thinking, “What am I voting today? Ayatollah, Ayatollah or Ayatollah?” In China things are more clear – the other monitoring democracy, I vote for the Chinese Communist Party otherwise my family pays the bullet!

Apparently Mugabe’s opposition Mr. Tsvangirai commented on the above by saying that the move showed that Mugabe has a lot to hide! Is a wonder how he managed to say that and he added that “those who have been invited will hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil and endorse a flawed election.” Please, it is not so simple and, on the contrary, they are going to take lessons and practise them in their own countries, don’t forget Iran has …elections soon!

Mugabe has offered a lot to Zimbabwe, 100,000% inflation and over 80% unemployment, actually the only ones who have work in Zimbabwe are Mugabe’s torturers and killers. The man is an angel. Even his caricature small moustache, Hitler style, is an irony. He believes that it makes him look like his Nazi idol while he reminds more the grotesque character Chaplin had created in The Great Dictator. That’s the reality of Zimbabwe, a grotesque caricature is ruling the country, talks about democracy and leads the elections.

Death Screaming in Darfur

This is an article published in Ovi magazine.

This week seven trucks with food on their way for the refugees in the camps of Darfur were stolen and their drivers were abducted. The UN’s World Food Programme announced that less than 50% of the deliveries actually reach the camps and the people of Refuges and, of course at the same time, the UN General Secretary is still negotiating who is going on a peace mission that hasn’t started yet and this ‘yet’ lays too heavily on humanity.

darfur01How many more are going to die? I would really like to finish this article exactly here hoping that Ki-Moon might read this and do something but I think I’m screaming in the desert, there is nobody there! Perhaps somebody didn’t make it clear to him that this is part of his job description, to take care of these people, to stop death, obviously they forgot to tell him and he thinks that he is a tourist with a cool title.

darfur02WFP says that 37 trucks and 23 drivers are missing and naturally drivers are refusing to risk their lives into a drive to Darfur. So it is not enough that less than 50% reaches the camps in Darfur due to bandit attacks soon there will be no drivers willing to drive what is left to these people. The WFP warns that the Humanitarian Air Service, which transports aid workers and medicines, might be forced to stop due to lack of funding. Mr. General Secretary if you take off the headphones with the music from your ears you might hear the people screaming, death screaming in Darfur.

Five years and the death-toll piles more and more bodies in Darfur and the responsibility is international, we cannot hide our heads in the sand, we are all aware of what’s going on in Darfur. For five years none, absolutely none, of the powers has done any move for the peacekeeping, including the African powers in the neighbourhood, the African Union is just watching!

darfur03_400Diplomacy has failed in every single way and I feel that we have become so cynical that pictures of kids with skull faces and swollen bellies don’t touch us anymore; we are just turning the page of the paper or zap to the next channel to avoid the advert. It’s not the case that diplomacy was not enough, diplomacy has failed, UN diplomacy has failed and the General Secretary holds full responsibility for that.

Even the International Criminal Court tried to get involved and despite the fact that Yugoslavia is blackmailed in dichotomy for not arresting the wanted war criminals, the people who actually acted genocide in Sudan are …free warlords controlling areas and plot in politics. It gets even worse when one of these warlords, responsible for a series of crimes after being appointed darfur04_400Defence Minister by the Sudanese government, was put in charge of the government refugees camps and responsible of monitoring the deployment of the AU-UN forces. This is the reality of Sudan, this is the reality the refugees of Darfur have to deal with, and this is the reality we deny to see. This is the damn reality the General Secretary of the United Nations deludes of seeing.

What comes next? We are all giving up, since miracles do not happen, and that’s the only way to save lives in Darfur, with a miracle. We’ve given up on human lives, we have given up on children’s lives, we have given up on our existence as humanity, since we are losing the elemental differences: our humanity!