when pigs fly … expect the unbelievable

Archive for August 2013

Anyone remember former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf?  He was one of those guys who was “sort” a friend of the US.

Well, this morning the BBC reported that he had been charged with murder, criminal conspiracy to commit murder and facilitation of murder.  While Musharraf had been implicated and was a suspect for years, Pakistan has never charged any current or ex-army honcho with a crime.

Bhutto was killed at an election rally in Rawalpindi in December of 2007.  When it occurred, Musharraf blamed it on the Taliban.

Benazir Bhutto was the daughter of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who was assassinated in 1977 after being ousted from power by a coup.  Benazir herself was imprisoned after the coup but released and was subsequently twice elected prime minister.

Due to political unrest, Bhutto lived in the west for almost a decade, returning to Pakistan in 2007 after brokering a “deal” with Musharraf wherein she could return to Pakistan in safety and take part in the national elections to be held in 2008.  I guess Musharraf was one of those guys who was “sorta” friends with Bhutto, too.

Last Thursday (8/15/2013) the CIA released documents that confirmed it.  There is an AREA 51.  It may or may not be headquarters for US investigations of UFOs and aliens — we’re not sure.  Conspiracy theorists like me think that weird stuff is going on.  Probably not.  Probably just high tech airplanes and drones and spaceships, etc.  All that stuff that makes America what it is.  But at least we know that Area 51 IS.  Really is.

Other interesting comments:  Elvis died 36 years ago, and showed up the first time on Ed Sullivan about 50 years ago.   Or maybe he is not dead.  Maybe he is living out there with Janis Joplin and Jimmy Morrison.  If he is on our plane, Elvis would be 78.

And almost 50 years ago, there was the “I have a dream speech”.

And 150 years ago, the Battle of Vicksburg.  Have you ever gone to the Vicksburg Battlefield?  If not, make it a point to visit in 2013.  You can rent a CD and have a narrated trip while you drive at 3-5 miles an hour around the park.  The best way to do this:  pick a beautiful day in the fall, borrow a convertible if you don’t own one, and GO!  Such fun and such memories.

State of Mississippi v. Nina Buckhalter was released on August 8, 2013.

Nina Buckhalter was indicted in Lamar County for culpable negligence manslaughter after she gave birth to a stillborn baby girl.  The Circuit Court found the indictment fatally flawed and the Supreme Court agreed.

Here’s the deal:  Nina gave birth to Hayley Jade in her 31st week of pregnancy and was indicted under 97-3-47 (defining manslaughter).  The indictment did not disclose how Nina had caused Hayley Jade’s death, but the Court intuited from other pleadings that the State was going to prove that Nina ingested illegal drugs during the course of her pregnancy.  However, the type of drug allegedly involved was absent from the indictment and not identified in any pleadings filed with the court.

Section 97-3-47 defines manslaughter as the “killing of a human being, by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another.”

Nina filed a motion to dismiss as vague because it was difficult to determine in 97-3-47 whether the legislature intended the term “other” to be specifically inclusive of the pregnant woman herself as against her own unborn child, and the Lamar County Circuit Judge dismissed the case.

The Supreme Court said that 97-3-47 applies only to manslaughter when there is no other applicable criminal statute under Title 97.  The court said that ‘ASSUMING’ Nina did as the indictment alleges, she could have been prosecuted under 97-3-3 (1) or 97-3-19 (1):

Section 97-3-3 (1) states:  Any person wilfully and knowingly causing, by means of any instrument, medicine, drug or other means whatsoever, any woman pregnant with child to abort or miscarry . . . shall be guilty of a felony unless the same were done by a duly licensed, practicing physician…
Section 97-3-19 (1)  provides:  The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be murder . . . (d) when done with deliberate design to effect the death of an unborn child.

Thus, because Nina could have been prosecuted under either one of these statutes, she may not be prosecuted under 97-3-47.

The Court was also irritated with the particularly sloppy indictment, which gave Nina no idea of how the DA thought that she had committed the child’s death, although the Court didn’t have to go that far to reach the opinion that the case against Nina should be dismissed.

I agree!  I am not promoting the aborting of one’s own fetus — although with abortion legislation going the way it is, it may soon be the only available vehicle for an abortion — which is, by the way, still legal under the US Constitution.  But geez — I sure wish the DA’s office had shared what Nina had allegedly done so I could determine whether a “scumbag” factor was involved on behalf of Nina or on behalf of the DA.

I say again:  my business is my business.  This is something that the Republicans believe — that government should not interfere.   The California State Republican website, which topped the Google list when I dealt Googled “GOP and government control” stated this in the first sentence of GOP core beliefs: “Republicans believe that each person is responsible for his or her own place in society…[the GOP has a core] belief that individual destiny should be in the individual’s hands.”  That’s the traditional GOP way, but the way.

According to the Toronto Star, here are 5 of the worst countries in the world to be a woman today:

• Afghanistan: The average Afghan girl will live to only 45 – one year less than an Afghan male. After three decades of war and religion-based repression, an overwhelming number of women are illiterate. More than half of all brides are under 16, and one woman dies in childbirth every half hour. Domestic violence is so common that 87 per cent of women admit to experiencing it. But more than one million widows are on the streets, often forced into prostitution. Afghanistan is the only country in which the female suicide rate is higher than that of males.

Democratic Republic of Congo: In the eastern DRC, a war that claimed more than 3 million lives has ignited again, with women on the front line. Rapes are so brutal and systematic that UN investigators have called them unprecedented. Many victims die; others are infected with HIV and left to look after children alone. Foraging for food and water exposes women to yet more violence. Without money, transport or connections, they have no way of escape.

Iraq: The U.S.-led invasion to “liberate” Iraq from Saddam Hussein has imprisoned women in an inferno of sectarian violence that targets women and girls. The literacy rate, once the highest in the Arab world, is now among the lowest as families fear risking kidnapping and rape by sending girls to school. Women who once went out to work stay home. Meanwhile, more than 1 million women have been displaced from their homes, and millions more are unable to earn enough to eat.

Nepal: Early marriage and childbirth exhaust the country’s malnourished women, and one in 24 will die in pregnancy or childbirth. Daughters who aren’t married off may be sold to traffickers before they reach their teens. Widows face extreme abuse and discrimination if they’re labelled bokshi, meaning witches. A low-level civil war between government and Maoist rebels has forced rural women into guerrilla groups.

Sudan: While Sudanese women have made strides under reformed laws, the plight of those in Darfur, in western Sudan, has worsened. Abduction, rape or forced displacement have destroyed more than 1 million women’s lives since 2003. The janjaweed militias have used systematic rape as a demographic weapon, but access to justice is almost impossible for the female victims of violence.

Notice something? Where’s India?  If India is not one of the worst countries to live in if you are a woman (remember the gang-bang on the train in December 2012), then woe be unto women who have the bad luck to be born into one of these countries.

And another thing.  Count your blessings if you are an American woman.  As much as I want to change in the USA for women and girls, I have to say….but for the grace of God….and bless America, warts and all.

But this is a gender gap we can do something about.  A couple of weeks ago, the UK’s Economic & Social Research Council released a study of political knowledge between men and women, and determined that in the 10 countries that they studied, women lag behind men in political knowledge, regardless of the gender-equality laws that exist in the countries studied.

The countries studied were Australia, Canada, Columbia, Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Norway, the UK and the US.  Interesting findings:

  • News consumption is primarily a male activity
  • National populations that watch TV news — and particularly public broadcasting — are better informed about politics than populations that do not watch TV news
  • Gender-equality laws factored little into whether women are politically knowledgeable
  • Economic status does not affect the knowledge gap:  women lag more widely behind men in advanced economies.

WOW!  The research revealed these anecdotal facts:

The gap between men and women’s knowledge of politics is greater in Norway — a country ranked globally as one of the very highest in terms of gender-equality — than in South Korea, which has a much lower gender-equality rating.

Throughout the whole world women simply know less about politics than men; this is as true for women in advanced economies such as the UK and the US s in less-advanced economies such as Columbia.

But this is a gap that can be solved.  If you are a woman of a certain age, you remember “consciousness raising” meetings.  Maybe we need to re-institute these as “political consciousness raising.”  A girls’ night out with a political bent. Care to join me?


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