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Monday, September 15, 2014

On When Hate Crimes are Rampant in Big Cities Across the Country

A young life snuffed out.
They are increasingly more frequent, as Brazil is still reeling at the news of the death of 18-year-old João Donati (pictured) in Inhumas, in the state of Goiás, last Wednesday, 10 September.

Homophobia in Brazil is growing at an alarming pace. Authorities are waking up to smell the bitter coffee. The state of São Paulo alone has seen four new cases of homophobia attacks in the last week.

An arson attack at a Gaucho Traditions Center  in Santana do Livramento, RS, where two lesbians were scheduled to get married in a collective cerimony, last Saturday, has caused shock in the wider community

Human rights organizations have jumped on the issue and are facing the trend head on by urging the creation or approval of a new law to criminalize homophobia, thus rendering punishment more severe.

According to a statement released today, the very president of the Human Rights Commission, in the Brazilian Senate, is now urging her peers to fast track new legislation (this ONE) to be approved  and put in the books in order to stem the current spike in LGBT violence.

Meanwhile, LGBT's go about their lives wondering where the next attack is going to occur.

Friday, August 1, 2014

On When You Set Out on an Expedition to Find Yourself

Folks on a particular stretch of the United States are lining the streets in hopes of catching a glance of a mysterious "Woman in Black".  TV images show people trying to approach her in an attempt to offer her encouragement or perhaps a drink of water. She resolutely ambles on without so much as a look sideways.

The "Woman in Black," whose identity, origin, and destination, is now revealed to all who care to find out, has set out on a quest of self-discovery. She is following in the steps of many a pilgrim before her, albeit in a different continent - Europe.

Santiago de Compostela, located in Spain, is a case in point. Folks who, for one reason or another, have had it with the world as it is, and who will only find solace in the solitude of their own selves, will begin a long journey by foot which begins in France and that will end in Spain. It's called the 'The Way of Saint James.'

Surely you might know of another route long known to be the express road to self-enlightenment. Feel free to inform us of its existence in the comments section of this post.

If the Woman in Black's attire is anything to go by, she has put a lot of thought into it. The photo illustrating this blog post is a a starting point for our judgement of this particular expedition.

Regardless of her innermostest motives, we stand aside and let her journey on, and on. It's a long, long road. We wonder if the stars above are guiding her way...

Monday, July 28, 2014

On When Children are the Greatest Victims in Conflicts

Israel 1 036 Little palestinensic boys
Israel 1 036 Little palestinensic boys (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You are by now up to your neck with information regarding the conflict between Israel and Palestine and your pendulum might swing to either one or the other side of the warring parties.

Regardless of your preference, what has brought about this blog post is the images of children being torn to pieces, or even more horrifically, being smashed flat when bombed out buildings collapse in on them.

Not good.  Hopes dashed and future chances nullified for those kids fortunate enough to survive the carnage.

Folks across the wall will complain of endless rockets raining down on them; folks ejecting the rockets will complain of ever-widening occupation by the stronger neighbor.  A never-ending cycle of violence is the norm and deaths become banalized.

Further along in that seemingly unresolvable nightmare of violence and death, conflicts in other parts of the blighted region are raging on and on, with no sign of relief. Meanwhile, children forced out of their homes by the senseless skirmishes between the small and the big are eking out a living in neighboring countries. Far from schools or other modes of learning. What future? No future.

This is all happening under our very eyes, that is, right in front of us, on our TV screens. Our politicians and diplomats, fearful of commitment for this or that reason, fail to come up with a solution to bring and end to the heartache and pain. Protests ensue in the world's greatest capitals, but who's listening?

Apparently, nobody. What is this world coming to?

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Monday, April 21, 2014

On When Parents are the Culprits

Bernardo Boldrini
How Três Passos, a small town in inner Rio Grande do Sul, found itself in the midst of this larger than life event and how it has shaken their lives and their belief in the human race.

This is the perfect time to inform the world of how a family - a father and a stepmother - in southern Brazil, found the time and effort to murder their 11-year-old son on April 04 this year.Tell everyone how they used a lethal injection to kill the young man, and how they enlisted the help of a social worker, who was offered thousands of dollars,* to lend a hand in the act.

Bernardo's mother died when he was a small child.

For most people, what makes it mindboggling is that the father is a physician and the stepmother is a nurse.

Include in the text the fact that the parents drove miles and miles to another town, ostensibly to buy a new electronic gadget for the boy and, forgive us the pun, took him along for the ride to later find themselves in the woods, where they reportedly buried him alive; of the accounts of the boy having looked for help with local authorities and how he was being abused and nobody cared and had him returned home to his fate.

While they case is still ongoing, how folks in the small town of Três Passos claim for justice and want to skin the murderers alive. How this act could have been averted, had the signs of abuse and neglect been noticed and acted upon much earlier when the child was, reportedly, looking for help.

As we write, the parents are in custody and the police is busy investigating the case further.

More in Portuguese

*Local currency: Brazilian Real

Monday, February 3, 2014

On Yet Another Case of Drug Abuse Gone Wrong, Very Wrong.

So, here I am attempting to comment on the many horrors attendant on the drug abuse scourge specifically, but not exclusively, in the western world and how lives, famous and not so famous, are abbreviated because of it.

On hearing news that this or that celebrity has died because of drug overdose, I am reminded of our own skeletons in our closets and how they rattle when no one is looking. Not that I do drugs, I don't!  I simply take the bull by the horns and wrestle it to the ground.

I am not gloating, either. The catharsis is that I feel empowered by the realization that I have made it this far without consuming poison (I am not judging you if you, mind you.). Not that person in the news. He/she did not make it. I am often left wondering: "How could they not with all the endless resources at their disposal?" I wish it were that simple. It is not.

It sounds repetitive to say that what you see is not what you get when it comes to celebrities. The many devils poking them while they put on a brave face, or any other they manage to pull out of attire, for public viewing. By the way, and all of this based on facts, the telltale signs that something is "amiss" are all there, etched dramatically on the faces of the afflicted.  Was the premature aging a sign that something was not going well? That sad look, which no amount of acting will conceal?

To make matters worse, it's interesting and altogether mystifying that someone out there is supplying the weak-hearted with various chemicals they can apply intravenously or otherwise, regardless of the consequences. I think there should be accountability.

I am reminded of a book, Further Along The Road Less Traveled, in which the author seems to suggest that those afflicted with addictions seem to want a way out, or a way back into what they experienced when in the womb - that lovely state where nothing could affect them but the nourishment that filtered through from their mothers.

As in the latest case, I do not know. ALL I know is that something gave and the thread snapped... Questions abound as to why people will resort to such drastic measures to drown out their pain.

What could people do to hoist themselves from the bottomless pits they have placed themselves into? Why do people return to addiction after being placed in rehab? What would WE do if caught in this web of hopelessness?

It's not like I am the only one left wondering why this is so. I'll come back to this text when I have the answers. Meanwhile, feel free to join me in sending out a thought of sympathy to those afflicted with silent torments. May they find their Inner Peace, however illusive it may be.

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