Friday, December 02, 2005

Nothing but death.....

After the inauspicious start this morning, things just went down hill from there. This is going to be a depressing post, so if you tuned in looking for happy vibes from moi, you can just stop reading right now.

Received word that an acquaintance and fellow officer from my past life dropped dead of a heart attack a couple of days ago. Guy is was 3 years younger than me. They had just moved to a new house and jobs just a few months ago. Guy was not a smoker or overweight, was in good shape and had every thing to live for. Just shows how unfair life can be. Now his wife has to figure out how to pull her life together and deal with being a widow. Grrr !

And it is also disheartening to see that one of America's noble "democratic" allies, decided that it was necessary to hang a 25 year old man in order to "save face". Lots of commentary in Singapore and other blogs on the subject. Expat at Large has some good commentary. So does Singabloodypore ( a particularly apt name for the city state today), and Xenoboy points out that this execution is not about justice, its about not backing down, with Nguyen Tuong Van as simply the instrument of showing "Singaporean superiority". Hemlock describes it best when he wrote a while back:

Throughout modern history, economic development has led to pressure for the franchise. Singapore is the exception that proves the rule. The Lion City has the world's only lobotomized middle class, its people unaware they have a choice other than to be cowed into compliance. Australia and the Vatican are pleading for the life of one Van Tuong Nguyen, who will hang at Changi Prison in the next few days for being one of the small percentage of dim-witted drug smugglers actually caught. He's just a mule, and killing him will serve no purpose, critics say. They miss the point. He has to die, for the same reason a man selling fireworks in Singapore must be flogged, and a woman shoplifting cosmetics must serve 10 years in prison to condition the population.

And today he wrote:
Why have the death penalty? In the US, the reason is simple- it helps state governors win elections. In Asia, the explanation is more pernicious. It is a way of conditioning people to understand that they are subservient to the state, not the other way round. Nowhere is this
truer than the warped, socialist, authoritarian experiment that is Singapore, where officials are
resisting Australian calls to spare the life of drug trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van, or (full marks to whoever thought of it) at least let his mother hug him.

It is really troublesome because I like the city state so much and feverishly am trying to figure out a way to obtain gainful employment there. Yet, one cannot be blind to the fact that the island is not a real democracy. It produces an orderly state to be sure. But at what cost...........?
And does the punishment really fit the crime?

I stumbled across some really sad blog sites. From the Mudville Gazette comes this link to a blog by a woman widowed by the war in Iraq. As Mrs Greyhawk points out:

She has been blogging about her new life as a widow and single mother. Her Blog is " Learning to Live". I've been reading her since she started her blog in October. I've hesitated in linking her only because it is a personal struggle she is going thru and I did not want to exploit her grief but she shares with us the experience so many of our fallen families are experiencing, and she does it with grace, courage and honor.

There is also a pretty good piece in a recent Time magazine talking about the harsh realities of being a CACO ( casualty assistance officer). Its a sad story, a poignant one, but of course since Time is part of the MSM, I'm not supposed to give them any credit for telling a good story. The article istastefully done and it points out the only fact that really matters about the war in Iraq. Americans are making sacrifices for a bunch of Arabs, who are so wedded to outmoded tribalism and an apostate religion that they will not be near as appreciative as they can or should be.

And while we are on the subject of telling the "good news" about Iraq, or the common complaint of not telling it by the news media, I think Chris Albritton offers the best rejoinder:

So let me get this right: The anti-war left is mad at me because I don't document stuff I didn't see, and I'm supposed to take an Italian documentary's word that chemical weapons were used… (By the way, white phosphorus is as much a chemical weapon as, say, gunpowder is a chemical weapon. Thats not to say it's not horrible, but can you folks stop trying to score rhetorical points over which wounds are more gruesome?) The Marines , well, a Marine is mad at me because I didn't toe the party line and talk up all the cool new democracy busting out.

I think that's about the highest praise a reporter can get. As an old mentor told me, If they're all shooting at you, you must be doing something right.In short, I'm going to sleep well knowing that I didn't follow anyone's agenda but my own which is to tell the best story I can. It's too bad in some ways, though. I guess I won't be invited to any organic juice parties in Berkeley or the new school repainting in

In other words they are doing the job of a journalist.

Which is getting tougher and tougher in this crazy world. I'm tired of the daily diet of tragedy. Perhaps the early Christians had it right-Maranthra!

One discouraged and frustrated Skippy-san


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