[16days_discussion] WITNESS: wheels of justice grind slowly; not necessarily finely

electriclady281 at yahoo.com electriclady281 at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 27 03:45:24 EDT 2009

“The final happiness of man consists in the contemplation of truth…. This is sought for its own sake, and is directed to no other end beyond itself.”
— Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles   http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4DKUS_enUS305US306&q=Summa+Contra+Gentiles
Here is our advice if after reading our essay you are thinking: “We’re a team, we have a common goal and should a common measure.” Try coaching a sports team with that singular control mechanism,  If that is too onerous, please reread the above essay.” 
So, don’t lament humanity, embrace it, but on your terms. -- Unknown

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
— Albert Einstein

“Little is gained from becoming indignant about self-seeking behavior by managers.  It is only human for managers to have their own goals and ambitions… A more productive response is to take as given the manager’s aims, and ask how to design institutions that work as well as possible…”
— John McMillan, Games, Strategies, & Managers, 1992. 
 “…All models are wrong, but some are useful.” 
— George Box, 1979
Models are abstractions or simplified views of reality.  They are useful when they help us better understand some aspect of our world.  Their use is potentially dangerous when we ignore the portion of reality that was discarded in the simplification process (and, especially, if we view reality to be just another version of the model).  Just about every number in accounting and finance is based on either a model or a series of assumptions—whether explicit or implied.  That is why judgment and thoughtfulness and common sense are more important than math skills. 
“Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.”
— John Maynard Keynes 
“When a man feels the burden of guilt on his soul, he tries hard to justify himself before his own conscience and before others by increasing his false zeal, and thus he sinks yet deeper into evil.” 
— Father Joseph Holzner, author of Paul of Tarsus, 1945, via Magnificat.com. 
I]t may be objected, if man does not act from free will, what will happen if the incentives to action are equally balanced, as in the case of Buridan's ass? [In reply,] I am quite ready to admit, that a man placed in the equilibrium described (namely, as perceiving nothing but hunger and thirst, a certain food and a certain drink, each equally distant from him) would die of hunger and thirst. If I am asked, whether such an one should not rather be considered an ass than a man; I answer, that I do not know, neither do I know how a man should be considered, who hangs himself, or how we should consider children, fools, madmen, &c. 
– Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, Book 2, Scholium 
“No one wants advice, only corroboration.” 
—John Steinbeck 
“Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world…Ahh, but for Wales?” 
It is, of course, an allusion to the Gospels of Luke (9:25), Mark (8:36), and Matthew (16:26): For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  
Robert Bolt’s play and movie, A Man for All Seasons. 
Evidence of the Fallen Nature of Man: (1) it is very easy to believe in the fallen nature of men; so few of them listen to us, and (2) there is no better place to see the fallen nature of man than in Catholic school sports. (Hey, as any priest will tell you, it is a community of sinners.)
Here is our advice if after reading our essay you are thinking: “We’re a team, we have a common goal and should a common measure.” Try coaching a sports team with that singular control mechanism,  If that is too onerous, please reread the above essay.” 
"I know, I know: Male domestic violence is a global phenomenon. Why single out one country—isn’t that “racist” or “Islamophobic” and doesn’t that suggest that all Pakistani Muslims are batterers or tend to batter women more than, let’s say, Christian-American men do?"  (unremembered source)
As I told you, Earl and I went to see "The Stoning of Soraya M." on Saturday. I knew  
going in that this would be a difficult movie, but one that requires WITNESS, so I went to it in support of and solidarity with Soraya and all the women of the world who are abused in any way by conscious or unconscious male domination...even if they either are not aware of female abuse or do not suffer it at all.  IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO USE STONES TO KILL A WOMAN EITHER PHYSICALLY OR EMOTIONALLY IN ANY COUNTRY..  This movie cries out to be viewed by all human beings over 17 years of age as an awakening of what damage lies and gossip can cause and of the legal inequality of women in virtually all cultures and how grossly it affects all humans.  I should add that I know that male domestic violence is a GLOBAL phenomenon that includes the US;  AND that I understand and acknowledge  that one not necessarily need be a woman to suffer grievous ill and violation from lies and gossip.  Doesn’t singling out one country or one religion suggest that
 all Muslims (or fill-in-the-blank) are batterers or tend to batter women more than Christian-American men do? 

Earl and I worked together again last Sunday, but were not ready to speak about it yet.  He reports that he is still traumatized by it, while I "obviously" have not been at all affected.  He did ask Was stoning of Soraya M investigated or persecuted inIran? I have not turned up anything to indicate that it was.  
While searching out that elusive answer, my research turned up the following on this movie and on US domestic violence, which follow.  It is not intended to be required reading, but is presented so that if you wish, you may KNOW.  These are ugly truths that must be faced, acknowledged, and addressed so that both men and women may be free.  In a world of secrecy, corruption and injustice, a single courageous voice can tell a true story that changes everything. This is what lies at the heart of "The Stoning of Soraya M."
Maybe you've seen the film by now; if so, I hope you'll address it with me, and if not, I hope that you can and will see it with a friend.
Yous in LOVE and PEACE,

The Stoning of Soraya M.: A revealing tale of regime and religion
Chris Knight, National Post  Published: Thursday, July 16, 2009 
The film has the potential to be a censure of Iran or even Islam, but writer/director Nowrasteh takes great pains to make clear that the villainy stems from Ali alone. If any larger institution is to blame, it is regime rather than religion; Zahra remarks to her aunt that in the old (pre-Ayatollah) days, moral crimes were dealt with through fines or community service, not death sentences. We also learn in a brief flashback-within-the-flashback that the mullah is a former criminal, released as part of a revolutionary amnesty.
NYT Movie ReviewThe Stoning of Soraya M. (2008)

Yet it must be said that “The Stoning of Soraya M.” wields a crude power. At last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, the movie was voted runner-up to “Slumdog Millionaire” for the audience choice award. As “The Passion of the Christ” showed, the stimulation of blood lust in the guise of moral righteousness has its appeal. http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/06/26/movies/26stoning.html
The Stoning of Soraya M.
Based on an incredible true story, this powerful tale of a village’s persecution of an innocent woman becomes both a daring act of witness and a compelling parable about mob rule. Who will join forces with the plot against her, who will surrender to the mob, and who will dare to stand up for what’s right. It is both a classic fable of good and evil and an inspiring tribute to the many fighting against injustice around the world. 
The Stoning...a viewer's comments
Category: Drama  |  Tags: the stoning drama 

posted by: shirleyca90 20 days ago           

One of the things I loved about this film is that is shows both the physical abuse and also the verbal abuse that one of the main characters underwent. Many times we think that abuse is just physical, but it can actually be verbal and emotional as well. The Stoning is a great drama that shows the harsh reality and how we need to stand up for what is right. Check this one out! 

http://www.moviereviews.com/tags/stoning   (Review)

The Practice of Stoning Customer Review
There are many Western countries today under the impression that Sharia Law, or Islamic Law, is a system of justice and impartiality. In truth, the whole concept of Sharia Law entirely benefits men; even falsely accused, women have little recourse but to submit. Under the Sharia, raped women are forced to provide witnesses to prove their innocence. 
YouTube - The Stoning of Soraya M. (2009) Final Trailer 1  
1:45. The Stoning of Soraya M (www.thestoning.com). 42300 views. DigitalCortex · The Stoning Of Soraya M Trailer - WATCH FULL MOVIE ONLINE ...
Some/More SOURCES:
Campaigning to end stoning in Iran

The pit in Aghche Kand where Ja'far Kiani was stoned to death in 2007
© www.meydaan.org
15 January 2008 
Eleven people in Iran - nine of them women - are waiting to be stoned to death on charges of adultery. Many have been sentenced after grossly unfair trials. Amnesty International has called on the country's authorities to immediately abolish this grotesque punishment, which is specifically designed to increase the suffering of its victims.

Vital Voices Director of Human Rights Cindy Dyer on the Importance of “The Stoning of Soraya M.”

As a specialized domestic violence and sexual assault prosecutor for 13 years, I have seen terrible photos of injury and death, and I have prosecuted many murder cases that evidenced the extreme possibilities of violence and hate.  Yet, as I left the screening of the film ‘The Stoning of Soraya M.,’ I was overwhelmed by the brutality and reality of what I had just watched.  The violence to which this young mother, Soraya, was subjected was so upsetting, that I confess my initial thought was, “I am so thankful to live in a country and a culture where that doesn’t happen.” 
Mission Statement of Hillary's Village
Hillary's Village members are like most Americans. We are the moderate people from every political party who truly celebrate the diversity of our country and deplore a climate of discrimination and corruption. We treasure America, our democracy, our differences and our common ground. Hillary's Village is outraged by the abuse of power by the media, political parties and other institutions whether it takes the form of discrimination, extremism or corruption. This includes subverting power and abusing people on the basis of their sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, social status, regionality, education or handicaps. The offenders create a climate of fear and mistrust, victimize others and distort the truth for self interest at the expense of our citizens and our democracy. Hillary's Village members seek to promote our nation's remarkable diversity in every walk of life and in the entire political sphere. We place special emphasis upon
 those who have been historically underrepresented: women, minorities, members of the gay community and those who are otherwise marginalized.
Board is down for routine maintenance STILL as of this moment, but I believe that the above mission statement has great value.
Our plan is to have the site available to all by Tuesday, 7/21 at Noon EST. We will update this message if the re-open time changes. Thank you for your patience! 
In the meantime our blog is available at: Hillarys Village Blog http://www.hillarysvillage.net/womens-rights-sexism/18262-stoning-soraya-m-opens-friday-must-see-film.html

QUESTION:  Are US laws REALLY equally free of gender bias?  

The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced on average to 15 years, despite the fact that most women who kill do so in self-defense (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1989).

"Women commit 17% of all homicides and a high percentage are committed in big cities such as Houston and Philadelphia. The fear, rage, and entrapment associated with abuse can lead a woman to strike out against her assailant for sheer survival. Unfortunately, killing is often a woman's safest alternative given the absence of police protection or its ineffectiveness due to state laws requiring injury in a "domestic" before an arrest is mandated. (Evan Stark, "Rethinking Homicide: violence, Race, and the Politics of Gender," International Journal of Health and Services, vol. 20, No. 1, 1990, p. 18)"
"Four out of five victims of intimate offender resisted the assault. They passively resisted trying to get help, threatening or arguing, or using evasive action - twice as often as they actively resisted - using a weapon or fighting back. (Caroline Harlow, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Female Victims of Violent Crime," Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 1991, p. 6)"
In a study of 155 mate homicides in City of Jacksonville, Florida, 1980-1986, at least seven of the 24 offenders who claimed that their actions were in self-defense were prosecuted by the state, and six of them were found guilty (one was found not guilty by reason of insanity). (Christine E. Rasche, "'Given' Reasons for Violence in Intimate Relationships," Homicide: The Victim/Offender Connection, ed. Anna Wilson (Cincinnati, OH: Anderson, 1993) p. 88)"
Domestic Violence Statistics
"Annually, compared to males, females experienced over 10 times as many incidents of violence by an intimate. On average each year, women experienced 572,032 violent victimizations at the hands of an intimate, compared to 48,983 incidents committed against men. (Ronet Bachman Ph.D., U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report," January 1994, p. 6)"
"Battered women seek medical attention for injuries sustained as a consequence of domestic violence significantly more often after separation than during cohabitation; about 75% of the visits to emergency rooms by battered women occur after separation (Stark and Flitcraft, 1988). About 75% of the calls to law enforcement for intervention and assistance in domestic violence occur after separation from batterers. One study revealed that half of the homicides of female spouses and partners were committed by men after separation from batterers (Barbara Hart, Remarks to the Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, April 1992)"
"Twenty years ago, the first battered women's shelter in the United States, Women's Advocates, was opened in St. Paul, Minnesota. This program is still in existence today. (NCADV VOICE Spring, 1994)"
"There are 1,500 shelters for battered women in the United States. There are 3,800 animal shelters (Schneider, 1990)."

"Police were more likely to respond within 5 minutes if the offender was a stranger than if an offender was known to the female victim. (Ronet Bachman Ph.D., U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report," January 1994, p. 9)"
"Women charged in the death of a mate have the least extensive criminal records of any people convicted. However, they often face higher penalties than men who kill their mates. FBI statistics indicate that fewer men are charged with first- or second-degree murder for killing a woman they have known than are women who kill a man they have known. Women convicted of these killings are frequently sentenced to longer prison terms than are men. (Angela Browne, When Battered Women Kill, New York, NY: The Free Press, 1987, p. 11)"
"The extremely long sentences women serve raises serious questions about the fairness of our criminal justice system. women testifying before the Committee on Domestic Violence and Incarcerated Women averaged sentences of 15 years. (Battered Women and Criminal Justice: The Unjust Treatment of Battered Women in a System Controlled By Men, A Report of the Committee on Domestic violence and Incarcerated Women, June 1987, pp. 3-4)"
"90% of all family violence defendants are never prosecuted, and one-third of the cases that would be considered felonies if committed by strangers are filed as misdemeanors (a lesser crime). (News from U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, September 2, 1993)"
"If all occurring domestic violence were reported to the police by women, one-third of the incidents would be classified as felony rapes, robberies, or aggravated assaults and the remaining two-thirds would be classified as simple assaults. (National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, 1990)"
"One out of every four men will use violence against a partner at some time in their relationship. (Violent No More, Michael Paymar, 1993, Hunter House)"
Women on Death Row 
By Rebecca Doran
"A typical trial of a woman accused of killing her abuser is usually highlighted by so-called experts who analyze and reject the validity of the defendant’s claims of Battered Women’s Syndrome. And the juries, which are rarely made up of peers of the accused, are often left wondering why the defendant didn’t just simply leave her abuser. Economic oppression and long-term psychological damage are issues that, even when raised in the courts, are difficult, if not impossible, for most jurors to understand."
ME:  WHY??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
"Today in America there are 47 women throughout 23 different states who have been condemned to death, segregated from society, and forced to endure daily humiliation, intimidation, and abuse at the hands of prison guards who are often men. Two other women have had their death sentences reversed and are now awaiting final disposition."
"These female death row inmates make up only about 0.1 percent of the staggering 50,000 women who are incarcerated in this nation’s prisons, and only 1.4 percent of the entire death row population, which sadly includes over 3400 men. Perhaps this uneven ratio of male to female death sentences helps to explain the lack of information made available to the public as well as a seemingly non-existent sense of urgency for these women who are deemed unworthy of life by the PATRIARCHAL justice system." {all-caps mine}
"A large percentage of imprisoned women, including those on death row, are survivors of domestic violence. In many cases the abuse began at childhood at the hands of violent fathers, only to be continued into adulthood by boy friends and husbands, and eventually, by over-zealous prosecutors, stern judges, and vicious prison guards."
Will the US Seek the Death Penalty in First Trial of a Former Guantanamo Last month, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani became the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to be brought to the United States for trial outside of the military commission system.  His trial is set to begin in September 2010 in a regular federal court. While this is hopeful news for other Guantanamo detainees awaiting their day in court, if not their release, it also means that there is a possibility that the US government will pursue the death penalty should Ghailani be convicted.
Ex-Guantanamo Detainee May Face Death Penalty in the United States
Thank you for taking action, in the interest of justice, to ensure that the death penalty is not sought against Ahmed Ghailani, that he receives a fair trial, and that his disappearance and treatment in custody is fully investigated; otherwise the US is as guilty as those who set up and completed the stoning of Soraya M. in Iraq and other similar instances of which the US has previously been incensed about and protested internationally.

Movie Review | 'The Ugly Truth'
Girl Meets Ape, and Complications Ensue
"The Ugly Truth" is a cynical, clumsy, aptly titled attempt
to cross the female-oriented romantic comedy with the
male-oriented gross-out comedy.
Iraqi Refugees: Women's Rights and Security Critical to Returns
"This tent is more comfortable than a palace in Baghdad; my family is safe here." These words were spoken by a displaced woman living in extremely poor conditions in northern Iraq, echoing the sentiments of numerous displaced Iraqi women.  Even in the current desperate conditions, Iraqi women will resist returning home until their rights as women are secured, and their personal safety, and that of their families, is assured.  These women are increasingly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse and must be helped where they have sought refuge - both in northern Iraq and in neighboring countries like Syria.  Any reduction in support could force returns to insecure areas without adequate services and trigger additional instability in Iraq.

Read the full report "Iraqi Refugees: Women's Rights and Security Critical to Returns"
Check out a blog post with more voices of displaced Iraqi women. 
Read about the arrival of Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki in Washington this week.


Let’s Rescue the Heroes: Free Asma’a al-Ghoul
One might ask: Why doesn’t the fabled “international community” solve such problems where they exist? Why must Americans alone bear this burden? But more important: Aren’t we forgetting something? 
Here’s my suggestion. Let’s rescue the endangered heroes first. Why not grant political asylum to dissidents, secularists, humanists, feminists, journalists, and intellectuals, who have endangered themselves by telling the truth and by fighting for freedom and justice for others. 
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