24 April 2010

Penis Enlargements and the Indonesian Police Force...

A recent article in The Jakarta Globe draws out some interesting links between penis enlargement, the Indonesian National Police Force (Polri), the separatist movement in Papua, and serving the public. It seems that any man wanting to join up and serve the public as a police officer in Papua will be required to answer a question about whether or not they have had a penis enlargement.

The argument according to the Police Chief, Bekto Suprapto, is that an enlarged penis is a problem during training (and presumably during service). I am sure, if pressed, Suprapto would be willing to elaborate as to exactly what sort of training the police do in Papua that makes an enlarged penis problematic.

However, this poses some interesting questions for recruitment officers as they search to 'enlarge' the ranks of serving police officers. First, is there a set of penis size standards that prospective candidates must meet in order to proceed through the selection process? Then the obvious questions tend to, what is the deal for men who, without treatment, are already well-endowed? And finally, is there a corresponding set of size related criteria for women and the size of their breasts?

In any event, if they do not make the grade as police officers then there is a good chance they might be snapped up by the porn industry where it seems that size is respected as an asset rather than an obstacle.

So, what about the court decision that seemingly reinstates the case against Chandra M Hamzah and Bibit Samad Rianto?

17 April 2010

Steven Seagal, Kayden Nguyen, and Sexual Harassment...

I have often wondered whether a confidentiality agreement can be signed that would prohibit an employee disclosing sexual harassment in the work place. I really do not see how it could. It might be the case that a confidentiality agreement might be signed as part of a settlement where there has been a claim of sexual harassment. Yet, it just does not seem to be legal that an employer could force an employee to sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibits discussing an making a claim regarding workplace sexual harassment.

Nevertheless, this is apparently the case in the most recent trials and tribulations that constitute the life of Steven Seagal. The current news is that he hired a former model, Kayden Nguyen, as a personal assistant. Nguyen was one of two personal assistants that Seagal used."Used" according to Nguyen means as on call 24/7 sex toys. The personal assistance being provided was servicing all of Seagal's sexual needs and desires. The news to-date has not been very detailed on whether Nguyen was made aware of the demands of the position prior to accepting it, nor has the news been very detailed about whether she was remunerated well for the expected contributions she was to make to the workplace.

However, Nguyen has made a claim for USD 1 million against Seagal.

I have always enjoyed Seagal's movies. The senseless and gratuitous violence has always been a good 90 minutes of escaping the real-world and being able to shake your head going, "now that has gotta hurt!" Although there was a stretch of serious moralising in wanting to save the environment and presumably the world. I have to be honest and say that I have not seen a Seagal movie in some time. Apparently most of them now go straight to video. I do not watch a lot of videos / DVDs.

I am not sure that I am going to be following this one in too much detail. I am sure that I will notice the news though as it filters through the cyber world that I sometimes inhabit.

Some Blog Housekeeping...

Using a different browser and gadgety things...which seems to have done some interesting things to the fonts and spacing when I add pictures...So, not only are blog posts infrequent for now, but I am also tinkering with a few things appearance wise. Bear with me if you are so inclined, if not then so be it :D

And all other posts, sans pictures, will seemingly appear as they always have...

Julia Perez and Democracy in Indonesia...

It would seem that the Minister of Home Affairs, Gamawan Fauzi, indicated that the government of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was going to amend the eligibility criteria for prospective candidates for political office. Generally, these amendments are thought to include provisions that would stipulate that candidates have certain levels of practical political experience before being nominated.

Indonesia has had, and currently has, quite a number of celebrities make the move from celebrity to politician. Some have done better than others. However, this post is not a critique of each celebrities performance as a politician, but rather to pose the question; "does amending the laws in this way amount to an attack on democracy and the right of individuals to run for office?"

Julia Perez thinks that it is. Most Indonesian media is reporting the story and Ms. Perez has been quite vocal in stating that she believes that the proposed amendments are designed to thwart her bid for public office. The government in contrast say that the rationale is more general in its undertaking; politics is not a popularity contest. Therefore, candidates need to have real and practical political skills if they are going to assume office and be successful.

The reality is that not everyone with political experience will make a good candidate. In any event, it might be worth pondering how one goes about getting political experience if they are never allowed to run for office because they do not have any political experience in order to be nominated. A vicious circle of the chicken and egg kind.

In a democracy you get what you vote for, but this would seemingly be premised on having choices in who you can vote for. However, amending the laws and regulations to stipulate certain "professional experience" levels before one can be nominated and a chance at being elected clearly suggests that the government is seeking to limit the choices that voters have, which appears to be most undemocratic for a President, a government, and a country who prides themselves on the leaps and bounds they have made towards full-scale democracy.

Even if I had the choice, I probably would not vote for Julia Perez. Then again, it depends on what policies she has and how she articulates them. And, most importantly, whether she articulates them in such a way that I believe she can achieve the outcomes that she promises. But, I believe that she has, and must always have, the right to run for public office if she so desires. Let the people decide!

Interesting times!


Plagiarism is not unique or a monopoly held by any one country or institution; it is universal. However, it is interesting when it occurs in Indonesia for no other reason than it reminds me of this saying that often does the rounds during discussion of Indonesian copyright law; Indonesia does not know copyright but rather the right to copy. This is not nearly as funny as it sounds and is serious. Yet, some people never learn that the best theory when writing academic papers is to err on the side of caution.

The Jakarta Globe is reporting on the most recent alleged act of plagiarism to have occurred in Indonesia.

The cold, hard simple reality is that plagiarism is theft. It is also academic and reputation suicide. It is hard to mistakenly or inadvertently plagiarise the work of another. There might be occasion where the work has been sloppy and lazy, but it is rare that the plagiarism was done inadvertently.

Being back at school and doing a Masters, I have adopted the following approach; "when in doubt, cite!"

The thing about plagiarism is that you will never get away with it. Sooner or later someone somewhere will recognise the work and then you are busted, your reputation in tatters. It is just not worth it. Besides, and it is worth noting, there are dedicated websites and internal univeristy sites that specifically address issues of plagiarism. This in turn makes it easy for lecturers and tutors to discover plagiarism. It has become as simple as typing in a phrase or paragraph of text and clicking send. The text is then cross-matched through relevant databases and bingo, you're busted!

It is just too easy to get caught out now that it is not worth the risk.

When I used to teach, I always made it explicitly clear to my students that plagiarism was theft, it was worse than cheating, and if you got caught you would be history! It was good to see that in the first instance this year at Parahyangan University in Bandung that the academic in question resigned, however, it will be equally interesting to see whether the second instance of plagiarism this year is dealt with in a similar way.

My thoughts on the matter seem pretty clear, don't they?

11 April 2010

A Lack of Blog Posts...

It is certainly nothing personal, but truth be told, I have just been too busy! The simple reality for me is that a young son and a full-time, accelerated, Masters level univeristy education keeps me pretty busy. Finding the time to tend to young Will and read 60+ hours a week and do assignments (five in the last two weeks) has meant that something had to give. What gave is blogging :D

I have made a commitment to myself to try and get at least 1 blog post in a week but, to be honest, I am not going to lose any sleep over it if I do not get 1 a week in.

For any of you that care; life is good (sounds like an ad)!