Friday, May 25, 2007

How-To Torture Manual Found in Library

The blogosphere has postings of this all over. Even with the strong content warning – which should have been enough right there for me to shy away completely – like an accident where you don’t want to look but just can’t help it – I clicked The Smoking Gun to view it anyway. Big. Big. Mistake. Immediate click, click, click back to a happy story about some kid winning a geography bee, and quick, quick, quick.

Recently I checked Execution* out of our local library. I have read a couple of chapters at random and am not so sure that this belongs on the shelf of a relatively public library. Certainly it does NOT belong in THIS part of the world. I really feel quite strongly that this book could perhaps be okay in a bookstore – in another part of the world – or perhaps even in a library, because I am against censoring – but NOT in the library, here, in Saudi Arabia!

There has been quite an
upsurge of crime in the Kingdom. Somehow, when you have young men so easily swayed for whatever reason it just seems to me that there really is absolutely no need whatsoever for a book on library or bookstore shelves that would allow for such ideas to seep into such impressionable minds. No matter. Whatever it is you are looking for can be found on the internet.

*Execution – The Guillotine, the Pendulum, the Thousand Cuts, the Spanish Donkey and 66 Other Ways of Putting Someone to Death by Geoffrey Abbott

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Picking Neem Leaves = Two Months Pay

This is absurd. A poor [literally] imported TCN* worker picks Neem leaves for a sick friend who cannot afford to go to a clinic for traditional medical care and he gets fined 750 SAR [$201.00]. How many Neem leaves could he have possibly picked? He didn’t actually dig up the tree for goodness sake. The Powers that Be, here, have imposed a fine which is probably two entire months salary for this worker who has come here to make a living for his family in a country where he can’t and now he must give up one-sixth of his yearly income. Disheartening. And just plain wrong. On the bright side, at least he was not punished by having his right hand cut off.

*Third Country National who does a job involving manual labor – one that no “local” would ever consider – for wages that are so low they are barely survivable.
Site Meter