North Door 37 Publishing

Metamorphosis

CHANGE is difficult.  In my 20s, I remember talking to an old school friend, who expressed her utter unhappiness at life as she knew it, the marriage, the child... To cope, she was taking drugs — to inure her from the pain of every day living.  It occurred to me that the answer was quite obvious and simple, so I asked: why don't you leave?  Her answer was perturbing:

I'm afraid that if I leave, I may find out that the problem isn't my situation, but me.  That I am just an unhappy person.

And so she stayed.  And over the years, we have lost touch because even though I write at least once a year to wish her a Happy Birthday, she has stopped writing back, and I have stopped insisting I need a reply so that I know she's okay.  It's to be expected, I guess.  After all, we are not sixteen any more and so many other people have come into our lives ~ to take up space, to insist they are top priority; leaving you so busy juggling you don't notice a whole day, two weeks, eight months, ten years have suddenly passed by.

I promised myself that I would never accept second-best.  That being alone was better than being with someone who didn't make you fulfilled.  Well, said the Universe, so long as you're going to do that let's just test your mettle with a nice cold dose of shite we call 'life.'  You can thank me later.

Have you noticed that?  That those who believe change is the answer are the ones that land up looking like they have been bird bombed with droppings?  Consider Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi, a political prisoner, under house arrest for 15 years, and still denied the presidency the people have voted for; South Africa's Nelson Mandela ~ 27 years in prison.

Yesterday, Malaysia's Federal Court ruled Anwar Ibrahim ~the country's first opposition leader to offer real political change since 1959~ guilty of sodomy.  A crime that is punishable by caning and imprisonment.  The inclusion of imprisonment in Anwar's biography ensures he will never be in a position to lead the country again.  Anwar and his supporters, which includes his wife, daughter, and the U.S. government, are crying foul — that Malaysia's judicial system is now as corrupt as its political system.

When Anwar told the five federal court judges, “You have become partners in crime in the murder of judicial independence,” (Ben Doherty, The Guardian) they stood up and walked out of the room.  As Malaysia's Star Online posted on Twitter: "Judges, including the Chief Justice walk out of courtroom before Anwar finishes his speech from the dock."

Actually, what one of the judges reportedly said as he walked-out was: “I don’t need to hear all this.”

An attitude that only gives credence to Anwar's position that there is no real justice to be found in his country.  This sodomy case has been ongoing for several years now and a High Court actually acquitted Anwar of the charges in 2012, citing lack of evidence.  There it should have ended.  But the Malaysian Government appealed.  As Phil Robertson, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch (Asia Division) told Malaysian Insider as to why he believed Anwar would be convicted: "...the government has worked very hard to pursue this case through the system...."

Former American ambassador to Malaysia, John Malott was more direct.  He told Malaysian Insider: "This is a political trial.  Think about the fact that only seven cases of this kind have ever gone to court in Malaysia's history, and two of them involved Anwar."

Perhaps we are just a cynical world in seeing not coincidence but political manoeuvrings in Anwar's two arrests, which just happened to occur before an election.  Or perhaps it was apparent that Malaysian voters were ready for change, and ready to take the leap.  After all, how happy and safe can anyone feel at the threat of being arrested for sedition, or worse, just because you have an opposing view?

By the way, in breaking news, Star Online has posted on Twitter that the political cartoonist Zunar, who had had his office trashed earlier this month by Malaysian police (while he was in London), is now under arrest.  His crime?  Reportedly tweeting, "these lackeys in black are proud in sentencing (Anwar). There must have been attractive rewards given by their political masters." (The Star Online.)

Just in case there were any more foolish dissendents out there, City CID chief Senior Asst Comm Zainuddin Ahmad had the press report that the arrest was made in front of the cartoonist's house in Pantai Dalam.

Change is difficult.  Especially for a political party that has been in power since the formation of Malaysia.  It is jaundice that has us telling you that of the six Prime Ministers Malaysia has had since its formation, 'popularity' is what has allowed three members of the same family to sit in the power position of Prime Minister.  There is another name for this kind of rule but it escapes me right now.

 

For more reading on the formation of Malaysia ad its politics: Datuk R.G. Barrett

The reason I think he will be convicted is because the government has worked very hard to pursue this case through the system. We hope that the court will be independent and impartial, and make their decision based on evidence.

What the government has done is tarnish Anwar’s reputation for seven years through this charge, which is very explosive among Malay voters – they have cast him in the worst possible manner, (accused him of acts) contrary to the beliefs of many Malays on sexual orientation and gender, deliberate smearing him with a charge that shouldn’t be a crime, dragging it out, distracting him from his duties as the opposition leader, and trying to put him back in prison.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/evidence-points-to-anwars-acquittal-but-only-if-courts-are-free-say-observe#sthash.ICk2HcG4.dpuf
Phil Robertson (pic), deputy director, Human Rights Watch Asia division - See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/evidence-points-to-anwars-acquittal-but-only-if-courts-are-free-say-observe#sthash.ICk2HcG4.dpuf

What is Truth?

It's My Life ~ Dying with Dignity

Finding Buried Treasure

Who Owns This?

Prickly

Murder By A Different Name

Frangipani

COMING...ummmmmh...Soon.....


     EXCERPT: The Four Winds started their search with a breeze, blowing off hats and one toupee; then moved it up a notch as their quarry remained hidden. By evening, the Four Winds had covered blue sky with solid grey, and the Hong Kong Observatory warned of a Typhoon approaching. People headed home.

Overnight, the Four Winds worked themselves into a fervour so that the Observatory posted a Typhoon Signal Number 8; warning people to stay home as the unusual weather pattern appeared to be steering the eye of the storm directly over Hong Kong, and if that happened, it would mean a posting of Typhoon Signal 10.

At 7am the concierge left Mou Yu with two big circles of brown tape and instructions to cover the windows with them. Sulphur checked out the near empty fridge and strode back into the room, pointedly walking over an inert Frangipani several times until he elicited a groan.

The coven’s files on the Thistle case were scattered all over the bedroom floor. Frangipani had pored through them, finishing around 4am. Sulphur sat by the pillow and waited. The only sound he heard suggested Frangipani had fallen asleep again. It occurred to him she needed another good poke, and was just about to oblige in the region where her bladder should be, when Frangipani suddenly sat up with the question: “Can you go shopping by yourself as Edward?” Sulphur blinked cornflower blue eyes at her.

Originally posted on Facebook

 

The Universe Is Incoherent

Identifying the Criminal

EARLIER I had written about a BBC report  ("Policing report: Victims' asked to investigate crime themselves'." September 4, 2014) that UK police no longer want to be called on to deal with common crimes such as car theft and stolen property.  Rather, the onus for finding the items was now being returned to the owner/complainant with the Bizarro-world mentality that we are now all responsible for how a criminal behaves.

Let's give that theory a spin and see if it works for you. Ready? Here we go. You park on the street and someone steals all your tyres, and paints your car in graffiti. Are you the victim or the one responsible for this happening? Police answer: you are the one responsible, because you parked there, didn't you? You leave things in your car, locked, and a criminal breaks the glass to get the items. Who is responsible? You know you are, right? Because you left the things in the car to tempt the thieves.


Case Two, a reported true story, now from Canada: a young woman has her $2000 Mac Pro and credit cards stolen. The police are called but they do not want to go to the scene of the 'crime' (obviously no-one has died) or take a statement... until, that is, the woman's Mother kicks up a stink. The police tell the young woman to check into the problem herself. The young woman is contacted by the people who stole her items (Apple, by this stage, has locked the computer) and tell her she can have her computer back for $80. The police are called once again and their response is this: the young woman should pay the $80. And just so the police can say the paperwork on this case has been done, the young woman was told to email a statement/report.


Case Three is provided in detail in the CBC news report entitled: "Craiglist luxury rental scam victims stage citizen's arrest in Vancouver". 
Here is a short summary: three would-be renters were looking for accommodations they could share in Vancouver. They decided to splurge on a luxury rental and having seen the apartment, paid first and last months rent, plus the security deposit requested, for a total of $8,250. When they contacted the concierge to arrange their move-in date they were advised by this non-plussed individual that the apartment was on the market 'for sale' but not as a rental.

You might say their goose was cooked, except, rather than take this whole matter lying down, they contacted a representative of the 'rental company' and said they needed access to the apartment to take measurements. He obliged, and once inside, the trio attempted a citizen's arrest of a sorts. You can see the video for yourself in the CBC link above.

What is not on the video is the police's response: "[Linda] Tran says the police gave the three vigilantes a lecture about their actions, and told them they were lucky not to be charged with unlawful confinement." (Natalie Clancy, CBC, January 22, 2015)

This, after the police have been handed an actual criminal.

And just so we are clear, the individual that Tran and her friends videotaped is identified as the same person who bilked two other injured parties out of $26,000, each, in the same week, for a $3,000,000 property. In other words, Tran and her friends had actually provided the police not only evidence, but an associate, to a sophisticated criminal ring. But the police, according to Tran, want only one thing from and her room-mates: "email statements" of the event.

I can't see insurance paying for the burn of this crime but, of course, if enough of these crimes take place ~ some foolhardy individual might add it as a feature of a renter's policy. In the meanwhile, we must now ask these hard questions: should police work be confined to murders alone and, in our case, road stops to check for potential drunk drivers; should we look at those who rob from the rich as Robin Hoods who are giving to the deserving poor ~ namely, themselves?  What say you?

Originally posted on Facebook