30 August 2010

Blasphemy, Really?

The rate of posts has slowed considerably over the last few days. I have two assessment tasks due this week. I have just finished off a 2,500 word essay on teaching English to Indigenous students. I am having a quick break before getting back to polishing it up in preparation for submission at 5:00PM Tuesday.

Now, on with the show!

This article from The Jakarta Globe caught my eye for no other reason than the "Sleep-Deprived American Takes On Indonesian Mosque, Loses". I figured that what was to follow was some crazy old American dude pulling the plug on his local mosque in an attempt to get some quiet time. I also figured that the only way this could end was badly. So, I was not surprised to find out that I was pretty much on the money.

On a personal note. I lived in Indonesia for a good many years, and quite often I resided pretty close to my local mosque. To be honest, I cannot remember being disturbed by the call to prayer, even early in the morning. I do kind of remember that I might have been at first, but then I guess I must of just got used to it and accepted that that was par for the course. I suppose I was immune to it.

Anyways, it would seem that Luke Gregory Lloyd (64 - old dude) could not take the noise anymore. He apparently shuck around the back of the mosque and quite literally pulled the plug, right out of the offending speakers. As you can imagine, the local worshippers did not take too kindly to this intrusion into the practice of their faith and set out to teach "old man" Luke a lesson. Those interviewed seemed to intimate that some form of retribution beating was on the cards and death possible.

Now, I get it that what the old fella did was rude, it was disrespectful and, as it turns out, stupid. But, I really do not see the need to beat the fella senseless or even to death. I thought Islam was a religion of peace, tolerance and harmony? There is nothing real peaceful, tolerant or harmonious in beating a bloke because he turned down the volume on your speakers, is there?

Cool-Hand Luke managed to escape the clutches of his pursuers into the safety of a neighbouring village. However, his house was not so lucky. When it was decided that lucky Luke was not going to be the victim of today's bashing, his pursuers decided they would bash the next best thing, his house. Subsequently, his house was trashed. Knowing the Indonesian propensity for trashing stuff, I can just imagine what his house must have looked like once the unhappy mosque goers were done.

Funnily enough, in that truly sad kind of a way, it turns out that Lukey boy is an "overstayer". His residency permit expired way back in April 2006. Oops! I wonder how he managed to live in the small town environment of Mataram, Lombok, without ever being noticed. Maybe the same coppers that have now arrested him and placed him in 'protective' custody were facilitating his ongoing presence in Lombok over the last four years. Then again, it might have been the local immigration officers, as it seems that they are not so willing to comment on what happens next to the Luke-meister.

Aside from putting himself in a position to be busted for overstaying his visa and getting his house trashed, it appears that the local constabulary are now investigating the old fella with a view to charging him with blasphemy. Yes, if you are shaking your head, I understand. How does a bloke who pulls the plug on a mosque speaker system find himself looking down the barrel of a five-year stretch in the slammer for blasphemy.

To be honest, disrespecting Islam is one thing, but turning down the volume on a speaker system is hardly blasphemy. The idea that it has even been suggested let alone the fact that an investigation is being considered or undertaken highlights how silly some people can be. Any self-respecting Indonesian, irrespective of religion, must be shaking their head in bewilderment at this one. Or, then again, it might just be a simple case of "here we go again!"

No matter what happens, it would seem that Lukey's stay in Indonesia is all but over.

28 August 2010

Will -- August 2010...

For those who are interested in seeing Will grow...

The photos are all from August 2010.

The shoe is Will's first piece of play group art.

26 August 2010

After the Non-Fatwa, Kopi Luwak Farming...

Simple economics would suggest that the best way of keeping a price high is to ensure that there is limited supply. So, the decision to move towards mass production of Kopi Luwak by farming the civets that eat the coffee beans and excrete them partially digested appears to be a recipe for market disaster.

I am not an economist. However, in my mind, it is pretty simple. If you increase supply without a commensurate increase in demand then it will not be too long before there is oversupply and downward pressure on the price of the product.

Anyways, the idea is that civets are going to be bred in captivity and then force-fed the coffee beans. This is supposedly a sure-fire money spinner as collectors of the valuable civet dung need go no further than scampering up and down under the civet cages. The image that comes to mind is egg farming; the rows upon rows of caged chickens popping out eggs.

It is interesting that the decision to start small-scale farming comes on the heels of the recent decision by the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) not to issue a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from drinking the coffee. According to the MUI, Kopi Luwak is halal (permitted for consumption) if it has been thoroughly and properly washed. I wonder what the quality assurance procedure is on this "thorough" cleaning arrangement? After all, the whole point of Civet Coffee is that the beans are partially digested by the stomach enzymes of the civet.

The non-fatwa has inspired PT Perkebunan Nusantara XII to see an opportunity to ramp up production and presumably ratchet up profits into the bargain.

The current price range for a cup of the Kopi Luwak in Jakarta is somewhere between IDR 90,000 and IDR 110,000, so it is not cheap. Or for those that drink their coffee at the franchise havens of Gloria Jeans or Starbucks, it is the equivalent of a couple of the biggest and most expensive brews on offer at those franchises.

Kopi Luwak is an acquired taste, kind of like Durien (Duren), some people love it and some people hate it. Kopi Luwak is a nice coffee, but I have never been convinced that it was ever worth the price charged.

Islamic Defenders' Front & Playboy...

The Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI) has an uncanny knack for knowing how to garner a headline and, most would argue, ridicule.

For some reason, the Supreme Court has decided that Erwin Arnada, the former Editor of Playboy Magazine Indonesia, needs to do two years in prison for violating Indonesian decency laws. This begs the question, "have you ever taken a sneak peek at Indonesian Playboy?" If you have, then you will know that it is the only edition of Playboy Magazine that you really do buy for the articles. The pictorials were so tame that the magazine did not need to be sealed in a plastic bag nor did it need like a "R" or even an "M" rating.

There are clearly more tabloids and magazines being sold on street corners throughout Indonesia today that are more graphic and show more skin than playboy ever did. Yet, that said, for a bunch of hard up Muslim clerics and their supporters like those in the FPI then Indonesian Playboy would have been their entry into pornographic heaven; no need to wait for the 72 virgins!

Based on the Supreme Court verdict to jail Arnada, Habib "Hey Baby" Rizieq has called on all members of the FPI to arrest Arnada wherever they find him. What? I thought that Indonesia had law enforcement agencies to do that kind of work. There is absolutely no need for a bunch of hard up thugs to be effecting citizen arrests. The police, for all their faults, are more than capable enough to get a hold of Arnada and get him to jail without the intervention of the FPI.

The criminalisation of the Indonesia press can wait for another post. I have already written a few about criminalisation of the press through archaic criminal defamation laws. But, specifically, how these relate to Arnada will be the basis of a future post.

It is always amusing in the saddest of ways that the FPI considers itself to be judge, jury, and executioner on all things moral. God must be pissing himself (or herself) laughing up there in heaven. God is having this little chuckle about the fact that we are born showing more skin than there is in Indonesian Playboy. Yet, in any event, I have always been taught to believe that God was going to be doing the judging at some point in the future and that we should content ourselves with taking care of our own personal houses.

It is probably a good idea that people who live in glass houses not throw stones.

As it turns out, a recent raid on FPI headquarters has turned up a stack of Playboy magazines. According to Hey Baby, these magazines were for evidentiary purposes. However, I can see God on Judgment Day now: "So, Hey Baby, care to explain how come (no pun intended) all the pages of these pieces of evidence are stuck together?"

It is time that the Indonesian government shows some testicular fortitude in dealing with the FPI.

Elin Nordegren -- "I Felt Stupid..."

Elin Nordegren has given an interview to People magazine about the hell she has endured since her former husband's infidelities became fodder for tabloids and newspapers around the globe.

The most interesting part of the tid bits that have been made available so far is that she claims that she had no idea as to the extent of the philandering. In a way, it reads like she had not idea at all about any of the women on the side. I guess that would make you feel stupid. What it does not do though, is make you stupid.

Tiger Woods is a billion dollar sports and marketing star. His image has been tarnished but it is not beyond repair. You can bet the marketing gurus will be working overtime to polish up their product. The fact that Woods is such a money spinner meant that there were more than enough people in place (sycophants?) to ensure that Nordegren had no inkling of what was going on. Yet, considering the number of women on the side, it was only a matter of time before the wheels fell off on this out of control car. A spectacular crash it was.

Apparently, Nordegren is almost finished a psychology degree. Maybe her studies have allowed her to find some solace away from it all, and some time to heal the very deep wounds she has suffered.

As I have said in previous posts, any amount of money she and her children receive as part of the finalised divorce are more than deserved.

25 August 2010

"Sexual Deviation"...

I figure that if it is good enough for The Jakarta Globe then it is good enough for me.

It seems that The Jakarta Globe has opted for the sensational headline as a means of getting people to read. I figure, I will just use it to see if I can get a bounce in my visitor numbers. That said, The Jakarta Globe has translated "penyimpangan seks" as sexual disorder, whereas I reckon that it is sexual deviation. penyimpangan normally is used to refer to things that are a little out of what is considered to be "normal" or "regular" practice. In this case, it would refer to things like group sex, anal sex, masturbation, and oral sex (see, I am using these words only so people searching for them will get hits from their respective search engines that bring them here).

Onto the substance, not of sexual deviation but the arrest of Ibra Azhari. Ibra is the brother of Ayu, Sarah, and Rahma Azhari all sexpots in their own right. I would reckon if I searched my blog that I would probably have written something on all of them.

Ibra was arrested along with his wife. He was in the process of picking up some pre-ordered methamphetamine from a former cell mate. Yes, Ibra has done a stretch in the slammer previously for drug related crimes. The most recent transaction was taking place in Denpasar, Bali. After his arrest Ibra was transferred back to Jakarta, West Jakarta to be precise.

In a previous brush with law enforcement, Ibra was prosecuted and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2003 for cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine possession. Then in 2005 a planned raid on his cell in Cipinang Prison in East Jakarta netted more methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. His punishment for this little indiscretion was to be sent to Nusakambangan in Central Java (the last home of the Bali Bombers - Amrozi, Imam Samudra, and Mukhlas - before they were executed by firing squad). Ibra was released in 2009.

It is pretty clear that 2009 minus 2003 is six years. This is a long way short of the fifteen that he was sentenced to. It is also pretty clear that any rehabilitation that he was supposed to receive while in prison did not happen or was a complete failure considering that he is already back in the drugs game.

As an aside...if Ibra did 6 years of a 15-year sentence for drugs then this means that in fairness both Schapelle Corby and Renae Lawrence should do no more than 8 years of their 20-year sentences before they are released and deported back to Australia.

Oh yeah, the title of the post. In his pre-drug crime days, Ibra was a bit of an actor and starred in an Indonesian film titled "Penyimpangan Seks".

Image Politics Indonesian Style...

It is hard not to be cynical when it comes to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, or SBY as he is known by the masses. The man must be coated in Teflon. He did not manage to only get elected to the presidency in Indonesia once, but twice.

The man has been a failure by any measure, particularly when it comes to fulfilling his campaign promises. With all due respect and fairness, most, if not all, politicians inflate and embellish their campaign promises in order to get elected.

However, the difference is that most politicians will have a crack and trying to come good on their campaign promises and either succeed to a degree or back track while trying to maintain some dignity as they hightail it with their tails between their legs. Yet, with SBY there has been no real effort to make headway on any of the significant campaign promises he or his Democrat Party made either in the 2004 or 2009 elections.

There has been some recent talk of trying to amend the 1945 Constitution with a view to making it possible for SBY to run for a third term. It won;t happen. The idea being that there are no other candidates out there that can do the job. This is all spin and all garbage. There are plenty of Indonesians out there that can do the job and could be doing a better job than SBY. It is an absurd proposition that with a population of 240 million that there is not one single solitary sole that could do the job!

The truth of the matter is a little bit more murky. The reality is that you have to be in with the right people and prepared to trade horses on a grand scale to reach the top. The entrenched elites of the Soeharto era remain and continue to fight hard to maintain their grip on the chains of power. The fact that a man like Aburizal Bakrie can head up a major political party and continue to avoid seeing his family companies pay out for the human error that caused the Sidoarjo mud extrusion is testament to money politics holding sway over good common sense.

So, back to image politics. The presidential spokesperson, Julian Aldrin Pasha, decided to write an opinion piece in Kompas (it is in Indonesian). The title of the piece is "Consistency of the President". I would agree, there is a need for the president to be consistent, consistently good!

The reality is that the president has been consistent. He has been consistent in his failures, he has been consistent in not being presidential, he has been consistent in avoiding making the hard decisions, he has been consistent in being weak on corruption, he has been consistent in abandoning Indonesians making real progress in reform - bureaucratic and legal, come to think of it the president has been consistent in doing nothing much at all.

So, why does he remain even mildly popular - image politics. He is the "spin president" (or is that the "President of Spin"?) He is all about image. The fact that the presidential spokesperson has written an opinion piece that is short on substance and big of smoke and mirrors just serves to highlight that those closest to the president will go to any lengths to convince ordinary Indonesians that the sun shines out of his nether regions (his arse for the less polite and courteous amongst us). This is image politics at its most crass!

The plainest reality of all is that SBY was elected because he represented promise, the unfulfilled potential that Indonesia continues to hold...he continues to be popular because people still want to believe that he can lead them to the promised land in spite of all the evidence that suggests he is leading them to the brink.

Thus endeth today's rant...ho hum!

24 August 2010

Commuting the Sentences of Bali Bombers...

There has been a suggestion by Indonesian prison authorities that two of the Bali Bombers should have their life sentences commuted to 20 years in prison on the basis of their good behaviour since being incarcerated. The pair, Abdul Ghoni and Sawad are unrepentant about their actions and suggest that they believe the three Bali Bombers that have been executed will be forgiven by God, if indeed their actions were wrong. There is no remorse for the killing of 202 people.

These men have not shown that they deserve to have their sentences commuted. The idea that these fellows should ever breathe air as free men again is likely to be objectionable to any one who lost family or friends in the 2002 bombings of the Sari Club and Paddy's.

However, if the Indonesian authorities see fit to commute these sentences from life to 20 years then it only seems reasonable that the authorities also see fit to commute the death sentences of Scott Rush, Myuran Sukumaran, and Andrew Chan to at the very least life in prison. Considering, the drugs these individuals were carrying were destined for Australia and were not likely to be killing any Indonesians then it makes sense that their death penalties be commuted to 20 years or so. The others should all have their respective sentences commuted or amended in similar ways.

If Ghoni or Sawad have their sentences commuted, then there is no justifiable reason that the Indonesian authorities and government could make to keep Schapelle Corby in jail for her full sentence.

It is about time that the legal reform movement also took stock of their successes to date, and mapped out a more encouraging road forward. This road must include work on sentencing and remission reform. This is not a case of "if the system ain't broke", but rather a case of the system being irreparably damaged and needing a complete reconfiguration. A simple botox job to remove the wrinkles is no longer a good enough response.

So, Whatever Happened to Peterporn?

One thing that I have noticed of late is the lack of news about the "Peterporn" scandal that enveloped Nazriel 'Ariel' Irham, Luna Maya, and Cut Tari. Despite the lack of news, I am sure that people still remain to be titillated with developments in this celebrity sex tape affair.

Speaking of which, during my daily perusal of the Internet in search of Indonesian related news I came across this site that still had a lot of screen captures from the Ariel and Luna sex tape (and links to the tape itself). To be honest I cannot be bothered to download it. Let's face it, it is like 85MB+, and if the screen caps are anything to go by, then it has to be a pretty grainy piece of footage.

That said, I feel obligated to post some pictures of Luna Maya considering this is a post about her. You will have to decide for yourselves whether the post is a vehicle for the pictures or whether I am really interested in the legal issues of this case, and I am therefore somewhat disappointed not to have uncovered any news of substance outlining where the case is at presently.

I was tempted to title this post "Will the Real Luna Maya Please Stand Up..." but thought people might be more inclined to take a peek if "Peterporn" was in the title. I have included the link to the screen caps. If you care to visit that site, then you will see that I had a whole range of other choice images that I could have uploaded to this post and chose not to.

Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods -- Divorced...

It is official, the marriage of one Tiger Woods and one Elin Nordegren is over.

It really could not have ended any other way, could it?

No terms of the divorce settlement have been announced. The only statement was that their mutual and paramount concern was for their two children and they made a call for privacy. In any event, it is going to be a difficult conversation that Mr. Woods has to have with his children at some point in the future, you know the one, "Dad, why did you and Mum get divorced?"

I would reckon Ms. Nordegren ended up with a settlement that over time will be well over USD 100 million. She deserves it.

23 August 2010

Bakwan Jagung in The New York Times...

Bakwan Jagung or Corn Fritters are one of my all time favourite Indonesian snacks. They are versatile and can go by themselves as a "between meals snack" or they can form part of a main meal. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see a write up of Indonesian style corn fritters in The New York Times. It was also good to see a recipe attached to the article, and some quotes from an Indonesian Executive Chef, Djoko Supatmono, at the Satay Junction in Manhattan, New York.

I still eat bakwan jagung here in Australia. My wife is an excellent cook, and it helps that bakwan jagung is one of her favourites as well. My preferred accompaniments are sweet soy sauce with chopped chillies as a dipping sauce or sambal mentah (raw sambal - ground up chillies, garlic, pepper), or sambal Bali (I am not a connoisseur on that front, but my mother-in-law had the sambal Bali down pat). We are spoilt for fresh corn in this part of the world, and fresh corn is always the best way to go when making bakwan jagung.

It should not be too long before the Malaysians start trying to claim that they are the inventors of the Bakwan Jagung and that Indonesia stole it from them. Malaysia seems to want to claim all manner of Indonesian things from textiles to music, so food would seemingly not be such a big stretch. If Malaysia does not step forward to make a claim, then Singapore probably will.

Downfall Parody Videos -- The Australian Election 2010...

YouTube has been making a concerted effort to remove all the Downfall parody videos at the request of the German copyright holder of the original film, Der Untergang. However, my guess is that they are going to keep popping up and then disappearing. This one on the 2010 Australian Election this past Saturday (21 August 2010) will probably disappear as well.

Some of the parodies have been offensive. However, not all of them. Arguments that using Hitler as a backdrop to anything means it has to bad sometimes misses the point of spoofing a really obscure film about a homicidal tyrant by filtering the day's news through subtitles laid into the clip. The Huffington Post has a good read on the Downfall parody phenomenon.

So, enjoy it while you can.

The Boomtown Rats -- I Don't Like Mondays (Part 2)...

I told ya!

This is a song that just sticks in my head...here is a version done by Bon Jovi. Interestingly, this cover version features Bob Geldof.

The Boomtown Rats -- I Don't Like Mondays...

I thought I had posted this version somewhere on my blog previously, but a word search did not turn it up. I am also not going to search through each single post.

I recently heard this song again. It is one of those songs that just sticks in your head. These are just a couple of versions that I found on YouTube.

This is the Live Aid version.

This second version has the history of the song overlaid on images of that history. An interesting watch for anyone not familiar with the song.

Miss Indonesia -- Qory Sandioriva...

This video on YouTube has not been all that popular with almost 24,000 views, but it was seemingly popular enough to spark The Jakarta Globe's interest. The video has also supposedly been going great guns on Twitter and Facebook. There is considerable debate about the English language skills of Qory Sandioriva (although The Jakarta Globe has it as "Sandiriova", I have opted for the Miss Universe pageant spelling).

The video:

Let's face it, her English leads a lot to be desired. But, the real question is who's fault is that?

I do not know enough about the competition rules. I do recall once watching part of a question and answer session on one of these beauty pageant shows where translators were used for contestants who were not confident in their ability to understand and respond in English. Maybe she should have used an interpreter / translator. However, at least she was confident enough to have a go at it.

Yet, with respect to fault, if English is so important to the winner of the Indonesian rounds of this competition, then it is the responsibility of the pageant organisers to vet the contestants prior to their participation. This vetting process includes a fluent English-speaking Indonesian person (there are lots of them, I can recommend a few) or perhaps even a native speaker. Alternatively, the organisers have to be a little more serious in prepping their local winners for international competition.

It is always so much easier to shoot the messenger after the fact. Bagging Qory Sandioriva at this point is like shooting fish in a barrel; all too easy.

In any event, it might be a good time to be at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas with all those intelligent and pretty women there competing in the Miss Universe 2010 competition (beauty pageant).

Anyways, here are some photos to accompany the post.

22 August 2010

The Sociology of Rape...

It seems that an earlier post that I did on provocatively dressed women and rape touched a nerve in at least one pseudonym who found the need to comment on it. So, with that in mind, I post this list of myths about rape. It was written back in 2001 by John Hamblin from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. The "sociology of rape" makes for some interesting reading.

No apologies on the length. I have cut and pasted the whole article.

Sociology of Rape
University of Minnesota Duluth

Rape myths are beliefs about sexual assault that wrought with problems. Some myths are just completely and blatantly untrue. What often happens is that beliefs surrounding circumstances, situations, and characteristics of individuals connected to rape are applied to all cases and situations uncritically. Myths exist for many historic reasons which include inherited structural conditions, gender role expectations, and the fundamental exercise of power in a patriarchal society. The best way to approach rape myths are to confront them honestly and frankly. Don't deny their existence and don't dismiss one ungrounded statement with another.

Confronting rape myths sociologically means looking at the data and reevaluating knowledge in the face of social facts. What follows are a list of rape myths and the facts that bring those rape conceptions into question. 

They are not always conclusive but provide the ground work for continued research.

Myth: Rape is sex.
Fact: Rape is experienced by the victims as an act of violence. It is a life-threatening experience. One out of every eight adult women has been a victim of forcible rape. (National Victim Center and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 1992) While sexual attraction may be influential, power, control and anger are the primary motives. Most rapists have access to a sexual partner. Gratification comes from gaining power and control and discharging anger. This gratification is only temporary, so the rapist seeks another victim.

Myth: Women incite men to rape.
Fact: Research has found that the vast majority of rapes are planned. Rape is the responsibility of the rapist alone. Women, children and men of every age, physical type and demeanor are raped. Opportunity is the most important factor determining when a given rapist will rape.

Myth: There is a "right way" to respond to a rape situation.
Fact: Since rape is life-threatening and each rapist has his own pattern, the best thing a victim can do is follow her instincts and observe any cues from the rapist. If the victim escapes alive she has done the right thing.

Myth: A victim should be discouraged from dwelling on the rape. She should "forget it".
Fact: This advice generally comes from people who are more concerned with their own feelings than the victim's. All victims should be offered the opportunity to talk about the assault with those personally close to them and knowledgeable professionals. Victims who are not allowed to talk about the rape have a much more difficult time recovering form it.

Myth: Support from family members is essential to the victim's recovery.
Fact: A Victim Services study found that emotional and practical support offered by family and friends does not necessarily speed the recovery of rape victims. However, when the people that a victim relies on behave in un supportive or negative ways, the victim faces a longer, more difficult recovery process. These negative behaviors include worrying more about oneself that the victim, blaming the victim, withdrawing from the victim or behaving in a hostile manner, and attaching a stigma to the rape and demanding secrecy from the victim.

Myth: Rape trauma syndrome is a transient problem. Most healthy people will return to a normal state of functioning within a year.
Fact: Surviving a rape can lead a woman to a better understanding of her own strength, but rape is a life changing experience. Rape has a devastating effect on the mental health of victims, with nearly one-third (31%) of all rape victims developing Rape-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (RR-PTSD) some time in their lifetimes. More than one in ten rape victims currently suffer from RR-PTSD. (National Victim Center and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center)

Myth: Rapists are non-white. Rapists are lower class. Rapists are "Criminal types".
Fact: Rapists that fit the myth are more likely to be prosecuted but a rapist can be anyone: doctor, policeman, clergyman, social worker or corporate president.

Myth: Men can't be raped.
Fact: There were approximately 20,000 sexual assaults of males ages 12 and over in the United States in 1991. (Bureau of Justice statistics, 1992)

Myth: Incest is rare.
Fact: Incest is common and happens in every community. An estimated 77% of reported sexual abusers are parents (57% of the total being natural parents), 16% are other relatives, and 6% are non-related. In addition, males are reported to be the abusers in 60 to 95% of cases. (Thoringer, School Psychology Review, 17 (4):614-636)

Myth: Sexual assaults are rare deviations and affect few people. After all, no one I know has been raped.
Fact: Sexual assaults are very common. Most likely, someone close to you has been profoundly affected by sexual assault. Not only are victims reluctant to discuss their assaults but many succeed in totally blocking the assault from conscious memory. However, the trauma remains and may come to the surface at another crisis or when the opportunity to discuss it with a sympathetic person arises. An estimated 155,000 women were raped each year between 1973 and 1987. (U.S. Department of Justice, 1991)

Myth: Women often make false reports of rape.
Fact: According to FBI crime statistics, during the 1990s around 8 percent. The “unfounded” rate, or percentage of complaints determined through investigation to be false, is higher for forcible rape than for any other Index crime. Eight percent of forcible rape complaints in 1996 were “unfounded,” while the average for all Index crimes was 2 percent.

Myth: You can tell a rapist by the way he looks.
Fact: Rapists are not physically identifiable. They may appear friendly, normal, and non-threatening. Many are young, married and have children. Rapist types and traits however can be categorized.

Myth: Women fantasize about being raped.
Fact: No woman fantasizes about being raped. Fantasies about aggressive sex may be controlled and turned off if they become threatening. In rape, the victim is unable to control the violence and stop it.

Myth: A man can't rape his wife.
Fact: Many states now have laws against rape in marriage. The idea that a man can't rape his wife suggests married women do not have the same right to safety as do unmarried women. Most battered women have experienced some form of sexual abuse within their marriage. It is also known that estranged or ex-spouses sometimes use rape as a form of retaliation.

Myth: Only "bad" women get raped.
Fact: No other crime victim is looked upon with the degree of suspicion and doubt as a victim of rape. Although there are numerous reasons why society has cast blame on the victims of rape, a major reason found in studies is that of a feeling of self protection. If one believes that the victim was responsible because she put herself in an unsafe position, such as being out late at night, drinking alcohol, dressing in a certain way, or "leading on" the rapist, then we are able to feel safer because "we wouldn't do those things." But, the basic fact remains that without consent, no means no, no matter what the situation or circumstances.

Myth: Rape is just unwanted sex and isn't really a violent crime.
Fact: Rape is a lot more than an unwanted sex act, it is a violent crime. Many rapists carry a weapon and threaten the victim with violence or death.

Myth: Rape only occurs outside and at night.
Fact: Rape can and does occur anytime and anyplace. Many rapes occur during the day and in the victims' homes.

Myth: Sexual assault is an impulsive, spontaneous act.
Fact: Most rapes are carefully planned by the rapist. A rapist will rape again and again, usually in the same area of town and in the same way.

Myth: Sexual assault usually occurs between strangers.
Fact: By some estimates, over 70% of rape victims know their attackers. The rapist may be a relative, friend, co-worker, date or other acquaintance.

Myth: Rape only happens to young attractive women.
Fact: Rape can and does strike anyone at anytime. Age, social class, ethnic group and has no bearing on the person a rapist chooses to attack. Research data clearly proves that a way a woman dresses and / or acts does not influence the rapists choice of victims. His decision to rape is based on how easily he perceives his target can be intimidated. Rapists are looking for available and vulnerable targets.
Statistics were obtained from various sources including the study Rape in America, 1992, National Victim Center, The Federal Bureau of Investigations and the National Crime Survey.

Myth: Rape is a crime of passion.
Fact: Rape is an act of VIOLENCE, not passion. it is an attempt to hurt and humiliate, using sex as the weapon.

Myth: Most rapes occur as a "spur of the moment" act in a dark alley by a stranger.
Fact: Rape often occurs in one's home - be it apartment, house or dormitory. Very often the rapist is known by the victim in some way and the rape is carefully planned.

Myth: Most rapists only rape one time.
Fact: Most rapists rape again, and again, and again - until caught.

Myth: Only certain kinds of people get raped. It cannot happen to me.
Fact: Rapists act without considering their victim's physical appearance, dress, age, race, gender, or social status. Assailants seek out victims who they perceive to be vulnerable. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center has worked with victims from infancy to ninety-two years of age and from all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Myth: Only women and gay men get raped.
Fact: The vast majority of male rape victims, as well as their rapists, are heterosexual.Male rape victims now represent 8% of the primary victims served by the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Rapists are motivated by the desire to have power and control over another person, not by sexual attraction. Male rape is not homosexual rape. Many male victims do not report the assault because they fear further humiliation.

Myth: Rape is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of sexual gratification. Most rape are spontaneous acts of passion where the assailant cannot control him/herself.
Fact: Rape is a premeditated act of violence, not a spontaneous act of passion. 71% of rapes are planned in advance. 60% of convicted rapists were married or had regular sexual partners at the time of the assault. Men can control their sexual impulses. The vast majority of rapists are motivated by power, anger, and control, not sexual gratification.

Myth: No woman or man can be raped against her or his will. Any person could prevent rape if he or she really wanted to.
Fact: In 1991, 14% of the rapes reported to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center involved the use of a weapon. 74% involved physical force and/or threats of force. Women are often physically weaker than men and are not taught to defend themselves or to be physically aggressive. Furthermore, some women are not willing to hurt another person, especially if the offender is someone they know.

Myth: Most rapes occur when people are out alone at night. If people stay at home, then they will be safer.
Fact: 44% of rapes reported to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center in 1991 occurred in the victim's home.

Myth: Rapists are strangers. If people avoid strangers, then they will not be raped.
Fact: In 60% of the rapes reported to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center in 1991, the rapist was known to the victim. 7% of the assailants were family members of the victim. These statistics reflect only reported rapes. Assaults by assailants the victim knows are often not reported so the statistics do not reflect the actual numbers of acquaintance rapes.

Myth: If the assailant, victim, or both are drunk, the assailant cannot be charged with rape.
Fact: Forcing sex on someone who is too drunk to give consent is second degree rape in North Carolina. [It carries a prison sentence of up to 17 years.] Rape is a crime. People who commit crimes while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not considered free from guilt.

Myth: Most rapes involve black men and white women.
Fact: 77% of the rapes reported to the Orange County Rape Crisis Center in 1991 involved persons of the same race.

Myth: Rapists are abnormal perverts; only sick or insane men are rapists.
Fact: In a study of 1300 convicted offenders, few were diagnosed as mentally or emotionally ill. Most were well-adjusted but had a greater tendency to express their anger through violence and rage.

Myth: Rape is a minor crime affecting only a few women.
Fact: It is estimated that 1 in 8 women will be raped in her lifetime. Because of low reporting rates, it is not known how many adult men are assaulted. It is also estimated that 1 out of every 4 girls, and 1 out of every 8 boys are sexually assaulted in some way before they reach adulthood. Rape is the most frequently committed violent crime in this country.

Myth: Women frequently cry rape; false reporting of rape is common.
Fact: The FBI reports that only 2% of rapes reports are given falsely. This is the same report rate for other felonies.

Myth: Most rapes occur on the street, by strangers, or by a few crazy men.
Fact: Over 50% of reported rapes occur in the home. 80% of sexual assaults reported by college age women and adult women were perpetrated by close friends or family members. There is no common profile of a rapist. Rapes are committed by people from all economic levels, all races, all occupations. A rapist can be your doctor, your boss, your clergyman, your superintendent, your partner, your lover, your friend or your date.

Myth: You cannot be assaulted against your will.
Fact: Assailants overpower their victims with the threat of violence or with actual violence. Especially in cases of acquaintance rape or incest, an assailant often uses the victim's trust in him to isolate her.

Myth: Women secretly enjoy being raped.
Fact: No woman/ man/ child enjoys being raped. It is a brutal intrusion on the mind, body and spirit that can have lasting trauma.

Myth: It is impossible for a husband to sexually assault his wife.
Fact: Regardless of marital or social relationship, if a woman does not consent to sexual activity, she is being sexually assaulted. In fact, 14% of women are victims of rape committed by their husband.

Myth: If a person doesn't "fight back" she/he wasn't really raped.
Fact: Rape is potentially life-threatening. Whatever a person does to survive the assault is the appropriate action.

Myth: A person who has really been assaulted will be hysterical.
Fact: Survivors exhibit a spectrum of emotional responses to assault: calm, hysteria, laughter, anger, apathy, shock. Each survivor copes with the trauma of the assault in a different way.

Myth: Women "ask for it" by their dress or actions.
Fact: Rapists look for victims they perceive as vulnerable, not women who dress in a particular way. Assuming that women provoke attacks by where they are or the way they dress is victim-blaming. No person, whatever their behaviour, "deserves" to be raped.

Myth: Women "cry" rape.
Fact: Only two percent of reported rape and related sex offences are false (which is approximately the same rate of false reports for other crimes). Although many cases are dropped because of insufficient evidence for conviction, this should not be confused with false reporting.

Myth: Gang rape is rare.
Fact: In 43% of all reported cases, more than one assailant was involved.

Myth: Women who are drunk are willing to engage in any kind of sexual activity.
Fact: The fact that a woman has been drinking does not imply consent. Alcohol and drugs can render a woman incapable of consent.

Myth: Only young, pretty women are assaulted.
Fact: Survivors range in age from infancy to old age, and their appearance is seldom a consideration. Assailants often choose victims who seem most vulnerable to attack: old persons, children, physically or emotionally disabled persons, substance abusers and street persons. Men are also attacked.

Myth: It is impossible to sexually assault a man.
Fact: Men fall victim for the same reasons as women: they are overwhelmed by threats or acts of physical and emotional violence. Also, most sexual assaults that involve a male victim are gang assaults.

Myth: As long as children remember to stay away from strangers, they are in no danger of being assaulted.
Fact: Sadly, children are usually assaulted by acquaintances; a family member or other caretaking adult. Children are usually coerced into sexual activity by their assailant, and are manipulated into silence by the assailant's threats and/or promises, as well as their own feelings of guilt.

Myth: Most rapes involve black men raping white women.
Fact: The majority of rapes are same race; womewhere around 3 to 4% are not same race.

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Copyright: © 2001, John Hamlin
Last Modified: Thursday, 03-Mar-2005 14:12:13 CST
Page URL: http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/myths.html

Page Coordinator:John Hamlin

Julia Perez Drops Out -- Drop Out?

I am disappointed to read that Julia Perez's candidacy was nothing more than a well-orchestrated scam to get publicity for her personally and the shows and films that she is involved with. I still think she would have been a breath of fresh air with respect to shaking up the establishment.

She might have been a good politician or she might have been a complete non-event, but that was not really the point, was it? The point was clearly to show that government really is of the people, by the people, and for the people.

If more professional politicians realised this then the places they govern would be much better places in which to live. The Labor Party of Australia found that out in a most devastating fashion yesterday. Even more devastating for them considering they were a very popular government when elected and in their first term. The moral of the story is if you play with fire then, sooner or later, you will get burned. The public can only tolerate so much and then they will lash out at the ballot box (if they live in a country where they can do so).

Then again, the Jupe dropping out story might have more to do with a disputed high school certificate than it does with a cynical and risky public relations stunt. If I was a Jupe fan, I would be a little upset that the support that I though I was giving her for a run at higher office was a charade. By all accounts, the Perez candidacy was never likely to happen despite being constantly talked up by the prospective candidate as she never got around to submitting the necessary paperwork to the authorities as part of the standard vetting procedures for candidates and prospective heads of regions.

Nevertheless, the plan is to replace Jupe with another celebrity candidate. The names of Desy Ratnasari, Krisdayanti, and Denada among a few others have been touted as possible alternates. This says that it is an election destined to be based on celebrity rather than substance.

If nothing else, the candidacy has been good for the odd Jupe post and the obligatory images of her in various states of sexiness.

Ho hum...

All Women Train Carriages -- Jakarta...

PT Kereta Api (State Rail Company) has commenced an "all women" service. This service sees a couple of carriages set aside exclusively for women to travel in. These carriages have security guards who are presumably policing who enters the relevant carriages.

This is not such a bad idea. It is not such a bad idea because recently Jakartan public transportation system has been subject to a number of sexual assaults. These have taken the form of men groping women and in some cases getting their hands inside shirts and down skirts. This has been attributed to men finding themselves in close proximity to women and not being able to control their urges to touch what is not theirs.

This has led to arguments suggesting that all women services are required. If women still wish to travel in the ordinary carriages of the train, then they can. However, if they feel the need to squeeze into an all female carriage then they probably will be able to do that. Nevertheless, this might be a supply and demand problem. It would seem that demand from women to sit in the relative safe environment of an all female carriage might outstrip the number of carriages available.

19 August 2010

Provocatively Dressed Women and Rape...

It was with some interest that I read a story in The Jakarta Globe about the Head of West Aceh, Ramli Mansur. It seems that the Head of West Aceh has decided that scantily or provocatively dressed women are responsible for their own rape if they go out in public dressed inappropriately. I think more specifically, he said that these women were "asking to be raped!"

If you are shaking your head, then I do not blame you. I always shake my head when I hear this line of argument from anyone. It is an argument I have heard before in Australia. In fact, way back in 2006 an Imam based in Sydney during his Friday prayer sermon stated in unequivocal terms that women who wore make up, dressed provocatively, and went out in public were the equivalent of uncovered meat. Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali said:

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?"

"The uncovered meat is the problem."

"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

As I said, been there and heard that!

The Sheik was born in Egypt and, the last I heard, he still calls Australia home.

Why is it that blokes making statements like Mansur and Hilali look like they have been hit by a bus? Let's face it, there is not a stud muffin amongst them! Some of these fellas would be lucky to get laid even if they offered to pay for it!

Back to Mansur and West Aceh. It is understandable that reaction to the misogynist opinions of a backward thinking, backward looking relic of ancient Islamic history has been roundly ridiculed in the Blogosphere, Twittersphere, Facebook, and other social networking places. It is high time that some of these people came and joined the rest of us in the modern world.

It is also high time that people, usually men, stopped making excuses for the bad (and criminal behaviour) of other men. There is nothing right or mitigating in circumstances where a man rapes a woman because she is not wearing the hijab or a burqa or she desires to leave her home and head out in public. Wearing a short skirt does not equate to wearing a sign around one's neck saying "hey, feel free to rape me because I am wearing a short skirt".

Respect and tolerance are not things to be enjoyed by, and among, men. Respect and tolerance extend to all, not just when you feel like it, but at all times. These are not Western values, these are human values.

These men make me want to puke!

(If you have not been able to tell yet from the tone of this rant, I have no time for fools like this!)

SBY -- Self-Indulgent, Arrogant, and Out-Of-Touch...

If the title of this post does not get you in, then I have determined that it is time to start dealing exclusively in smut and gossip.

I have been trying to think of some good things that SBY has done that I can write about. You know, trying to infuse a little bit of positiveness in amongst all the negativity and the doom and gloom. Indonesia is a great country in desperate need of a great leader. A leader who can truly lead her out of the shadows that still linger. So, while I look for this positivity about SBY, I may as well get in one last lambasting of a truly ineffectual and out-of-touch leader.

Independence Day in any country is one of celebration and reflection. Celebrating that which you have gained while simultaneously reflecting on, and remembering, what was sacrificed in order to gain that independence. Yet, for some though, it is the perfect opportunity to be self-indulgent and arrogant while simultaneously showing just how out-of-touch you really are as president.

SBY took the opportunity of a captive audience of dignitaries and other special guests to spruik himself and his family by forcing upon gifts that have next to nothing to do with Indonesian independence: a speech by his son, a book by his wife, and a book of speeches by world leaders including his own.

The Jakarta Globe reported that the presidential spokesman, Julian Aldrin Pasha, said that the government did not pay for the gifts. So what? And, "who cares?" That does not make it right, does it?

So much promise and so little return...if this was an investment, then financial advisers would be telling you to cut your losses and move on.

Indonesian Celebrities -- Atiqah Hasiholan...

I am up and at 'em early today. It is very much a case of very early to bed, very early to rise.

So, with nothing better to do, seeing that I handed in two assessment tasks yesterday, I figured I would make a couple of blog posts and do a little blog housekeeping. I have made a couple of "serious" posts already, and figured that I would check out my blog stats and see what people were looking for and what keywords they were following to get to my humble abode here on blogspot.

It seems that there are a lot of people out there obsessed with celebrity, particularly naked celebrities. It also seems that I have quite a lot of people ending up here in search of naked Indonesian celebrities. My recent posts on the sex tapes of Nazriel 'Ariel' Irham, Luna Maya, and Cut Tari ranked well. Although, a post I did 18 months or so ago on Tia Lestari still continues to bring in the visitors. Yet, of late it has been anything Luna Maya related that has been getting people dropping by and downloading the pictures that accompany most posts.

I tend not to publish too much naked stuff, being a family-oriented blog and all (just kidding :D). I am all for context, so if it is contextually appropriate, then I am likely to publish it and let the cards fall where they may.

Now, a post about naked celebrities would lend itself to the posting of some images of naked celebrities, but then that would be gratuitous, wouldn't it? To write a post on naked celebrities in order to post full-frontal nude images. So, while I was out surfing the net I came across these images of Atiqah Hasiholan. Atiqah is the daughter of Ratna Sarumpaet. Atiqah according to the spiel is an Indonesian actress. This would seem to fit the mold because mum is an actress and playwright  in her own right, which makes it a family affair.

I like Ratna Sarumpaet's work, both as a dramatist/ actor and as a social justice activist.

And here you were thinking "Indonesian Celebrities" I bet there will be some interesting pictures here. I bet you were not expecting this rather long lead in to the images, were you? A lesson in how to write lots about nothing...

SBY and a Third Term as President?

Oh dear!

Ruhut Sitompul seems to want to return to his comedic acting roots by suggesting that the Constitution should be amended so that the current two-term limit on presidents can be extended to three terms or more.

The problem I have with this is not amending the Constitution. In a democracy the amending of the Constitution is possibly. There are strict rules in place for how this is done. If they are followed, and this is truly the will of the Indonesian people then so be it.

However, how quickly we forget. Indonesia is only a little more than ten years removed from what was a period of guided democracy under Soekarno, Indonesia's first president, and the ruthless, iron-fisted dictatorship of Soeharto. Both of these periods saw the slaughter of untold numbers of Indonesians. The very power to do this came from the fact that power was quickly consolidated and no term limits forced political change to occur no matter how minimal.

Look, the term limit system is not perfect, one only has to look at Russia and how Vladimir Putin has manipulated the political term limits system to ensure that he remains a powerful force, but that does not make it right.

So, how should we view Ruhut's latest jaunt into controversy? The cynic, or conspiracy theorist, in me says that this is a far more elaborate, and cunning, plan than people and media are giving it credit for. At the moment, most people seem to think that this is just "crazy old Ruhut trying to make a name for himself and get into the papers and on TV."

To the contrary, this could just as easily be the Democrat Party testing the waters for a move to introduce a constitutional amendment to parliament in a move to change term limit laws. By getting Ruhut to put the suggestion out there in the public sphere allows Yudhoyono and the Democrat Party to put at arm's length the statements of Ruhut.

This might seem surprising to some, but it is easier enough to do as Ruhut has always been viewed as the one that might let his mouth get into gear before his brain does. This in, and of itself, is surprising because Ruhut is obviously not a stupid man, this idea aside, so it seems strange to write this off as the ramblings of a crazy old politician with nothing better to do.

Hence, the idea that this may in fact be the Democrat Party, on Yudhoyono's instructions, testing the waters. After all, power tends to corrupt, if you search the annals of Indonesian political media coverage you will uncover plenty of statements to the effect that Yudhoyono only wanted to serve the people of Indonesia and he only wanted to do that for one term. He is now on his second term.

There is no legal harm in SBY doing a constitutionally permitted second term. There is plenty of social harm though, in popularly electing to a second term, a president who talks the talk but cannot walk the walk on corruption, among other problems.

Hopefully, the Indonesian people will react negatively to the idea of SBY doing a third term as president and this little sideshow can be put to bed forever.

Shariah Law in Aceh, Indonesia...

This post deserves much more than what it is about to get!

I make it only to highlight a few things that are percolating in the grey matter inside my skull. If I had more time, then I probably would delve more deeply into the legal realm and analyse the implications of allowing Shariah law to be implemented in a secular state, even one with a large majority of Muslims as resident citizens.

Sometimes, I miss not having more time to write about the laws of Indonesia.

The photo attached here made me chuckle, I apologise if this seems flippant as caning generally does not lend itself to flippancy. Yet, check out the garb of the caner. It reminds me of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I think it is the white stripe that cuts across the eyes in what is an otherwise all black ensemble befitting of an executioner.

The idea that Aceh has a right to implement Shariah law because it is "more" Muslim, in a devout sense, than the rest of Indonesia is absurd. It is also offensive to Muslims residing in other parts of the archipelago that the government does not think them Muslim enough to force Shariah upon them as well. This raises an important question, one that gets bandied around every now and then, but never really answered: "do the Acehnese really want Shariah law?"

There has always been this public spin machine that played up the idea that Aceh was so much more devoutly Muslim than anywhere else, so this must mean they want Shariah. After all, what "good" Muslim would not want it? Yet, it has never really been clear whether the people of Aceh wanted Shariah or just to be free from the interference and oppression of the Indonesian state. My guess would be that there are still plenty of Acehnese who would gladly trade Shariah law for some real "autonomy" from Jakarta (aka Indonesia) and even freedom in the form of independence.

Having a quick squiz at the legal foundations from Shariah law in Aceh. It is interesting that the 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia, and the five guiding principles encapsulated in Pancasila, make it pretty clear that Indonesia is a secular state. In the most simple terms, there is no preference to be afforded to one religion in preference to another. Or, all people are allowed to practice their faith according to the tenets of that faith (except of course if you belong to the Ahmadiyya sect).

The first steps towards Shariah occurred in 1999 with Aceh being given super special status, and presumably the 'right' to implement Shariah Law. In an attempt to clarify what that meant, the government stipulated some more basic terms as to how autonomy would work. The clarifications, in essence, allowed the locally elected government of Aceh to start the Shariah-nization of Aceh by establishing Shariah Laws (Regional Regulations known as Qanun) and Shariah Courts to hear cases that involved the breach of those laws.

This is problematic for a number of reasons. However, most important is that the implementation of Shariah Law in Aceh creates a two-tiered legal system where Muslims and non-Muslims are treated differently. This, above all else, means that the laws discriminate against some Indonesian citizens. The Constitution clearly prohibits this from happening. In many ways, the provisions of the Constitution are crafted to provide equal protection for all citizens. Simply, being Muslim should not expose you to harsher penalties than are otherwise available to non-Muslim Indonesian citizens.

Nevertheless, the granting of special autonomy in Aceh with the ability to ram through local regulations on Shariah has emboldened other less special provinces to embark on the Shariah-nization of their respective regions through the implementation of Shariah laws. Some have argued that this is Islamisation or the Wahabbi-nisation of Indonesia by stealth. I would argue that there is nothing stealthy about it. In fact, it is overt rather than covert, and politicians seem to think that the Shariah-nization of their regions is a real vote getter. After all, good Muslim politicians do not want to be viewed as being insufficiently devout, and what could be more devout than arguing for the stoning of adulterers and the cutting off of the hands of thieves, right?

The logic is all wrong.

Anyways, enough of the ranting and railing...back to work, there are assessment tasks due!

16 August 2010

SBY and the State of the Nation...

You get what you vote for! It is so very unfortunate that Indonesians are having to realise this the hard way.

SBY has been a huge disappointment. He came to the presidency with a huge mandate for reform; bureaucratic and institutional, he has frittered that away. His legacy - "A Wasted Opportunity".

SBY gave his annual State of the Nation address in the lead up to Indonesian Independence Day on 17 August. The sad reality is that there are many, too many, Indonesians with not much to celebrate.

It was interesting to see the speech slapped with a fail grade. The speech was labeled as lacking inspiration, sans vision of a better Indonesia, normative, and narcissistic. There were even a few commentators that politely suggesting that the speech was all spin and no substance, with many of them focusing on the idea that tolerance was blossoming in the secular Indonesian state. This is clearly not the case.

Tolerance and harmony, the very "unity in diversity" (or from, if you prefer) is under daily attack. The president seemingly does not possess the testicular fortitude to confront those individuals and groups dedicated to destroying unity in diversity in preference for unity in a form of Islam that is signed off on by Habib Rizieq and Abu Bakar Ba'asyir.

Yes, Mr. President, it is time to stand up and be counted. It is time to stand up and protect the people who believed in you enough to give you the privilege of being president of the Republic of Indonesia. It is their country, you govern it in trust for the people.

Your presidency has been like watching a really poor adaptation of the "Emperor's New Clothes"...Stop kidding yourself and start doing your job!

Is SBY Fit to be President of Indonesia?

This is a short post. It is not a analysis. It is a question!

The president is supposed to declare a commitment to upholding the provisions of the Constitution. The president is supposed to acknowledge that the Republic of Indonesia respects the tenets of Pancasila as the state ideology. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is clearly failing to do this.

The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia guarantees religious freedom. In simple terms, Indonesia is a secular state.

A statement from the president encouraging tolerance is not commensurate with his responsibility in upholding and defending the Constitution. He must make specific reference to the recent attacks on Christians practicing their faith in Bekasi. He must publicly rebuke the Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI) and any others that violate the basic tenets of the Constitution.

Finally, the president must take responsibility for the governance of the Republic. If he is not up to that task then he should step aside and let someone willing to fight for freedom and democracy have an opportunity to ensure that all Indonesians enjoy the freedoms guaranteed to them!

Indonesia is for all Indonesians, and not just a lucky few.

Mr. President, do you have the courage to step up and do what you were elected to do?

Shame, shame, shame!

15 August 2010

Luna Maya Apologises Through Twitter, Again...

Twitter is an incredibly useful social networking tool, particularly when one feels the need to apologise to all one's fans for any sort of indiscretion, perceived or real, that they have committed. Luna Maya is no different. She has used Twitter previously to rant and rail against infotainment journalists, and then to later apologise to them, sort of.

However, the latest apology of sorts is related to the start of Ramadan, the Islamic Holy Month where one fasts from sunrise to sunset. However, although not a Twitterer or Tweeter or Twit, what was tweeted seems to be a bit of a stretch in being construed as an apology for having a mobile phone camera sex video of her plastered all over the internet. What was tweeted was nothing more than hopefully the month is a blessed one for all. The apologise was made much earlier, and on TV.

I have always wondered whether she needed to apologise at all. What she does in her own time is her own business. Now, if she films those activities, the images are stolen, and then released to the public, she has been a victim of a crime. She has nothing to apologise for!

Hopefully, this Ramadan brings her some peace and relief from the judgments of others. There is an old saying that goes something like this:

"People who live in glass houses should not throw stones".

Or, alternatively:

"Let those who are innocent cast the first stone".

It really is time to get over the Peterporn non-scandal and get onto more pressing and important matters. Indonesia depends on it!

Soccer & Dreams of Greatness -- Bebe & Manchester United...

It is always uplifting to read, or hear, a story that is rags to riches. So, the story of Tiago Manuel Dias Correia, or Bebe as he is known to his fans, being signed by Manchester United is one of those feel good stories.

Bebe was a homeless street child whose skills with a soccer (football for you purists out there) ball saw him play some amateur and third division soccer in Portugal.

Bebe has been signed for a handsome 7.4 million pounds. This bodes well for a pretty decent salary (even if he spends most of his time just warming the reserves bench.

Hopefully, Bebe comes good and lives up to the potential and the hype. If nothing else it will make a good movie. Kind of reminds me of that movie where the kid gets plucked out of obscurity and plays for Newcastle in the English Premier League; Goal: The Dream Begins.

Well, it is soccer time...I am off to watch Arsenal and Liverpool do battle in round one of the EPL.

Good night all.