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Monday, January 28, 2013

On When Tragedies Happen in Our Own Backyard


Quite practically, a genocide.

Brazil nightclub fire kills 231 on Saturday and leaves many others fighting for their lives in regional hospitals. The tragedy was an accident waiting to happen. Band members and two of the club owners are now in custody.

The president of the country on down to many in her cabinet rushed to Santa Maria, in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, to express their sympathy and help folks cope with what has been deemed one of the worst tragedies to have hit the country in recent times.

Authorities have promised to get to the bottom of the matter and right anything that could have possibly been wrong with laws and permits and things businesses are supposed to have to run their operations satisfactorily.

Parents and next of kin are inconsolable and are traumatized by their losses. Loss of kids whose only fault was to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. What careers could they have embarked on? They were, most of them, students at the local federal university. It's a thoroughgoing heartbreak. Those lucky to be alive are now reporting on their safe exits and are helping authorities to decide whether bouncers and security personnel attempted to block their exit for fear of lack of payment.

Word is now out that in one particular neighborhood in the state capital, Porto Alegre, business owners are to meet shortly to discuss new safety guidelines and how to best prepare for accidents that should never, never in one's wildest dreams, happen. Such is life. The price of negligence? Lives cut short.

May it NEVER happen again!

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

On Violence Against Women - When Enough is Enough

News from India has shocked the world and left people wondering what is going on with humankind. Things are bleak and, apparently, there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Protests in the country where the 23-year-old was attacked and murdered has spread to the region and folks in Nepal, for example, are out on the streets imploring their authorities to do more to protect females who happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

News outlets inform us that this horrendous practice is so widespread thereabouts that violence against women is a daily occurrence.

The violence and bizarreness of it all has not escaped the attention of the authorities, prompting concern amongst those in power. In  "We'll all become gays" is one such example of stories in local newspapers. Another, "A Result of Sex selection?", is an analysis from our side of the pond on the same subject.

By the looks of it, in places where the preference for male children is de rigueur, the future does not look quite as bright as one would expect.

Meanwhile, the world goes round day and night, and day and night stuff will happen if people do not wake up and smell the bitter coffee.



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