I'm finding less time to post, because book reviews and articles 'commissioned' by mainstream (i.e. paying) media have deadlines.
There's also a pending move from Jakartass Towers: it's just a dozen doors down the road which means that we keep the same tradesfolk, the same RT/RW (community leaders) and all the vital infrastructure for a continued state of belonging to a community.
But it's all somewhat stressful given the amount of repairs and redecoration needed in our new home, as well as the thought of lugging all the furniture and personal possessions that we've accumulated in the past 25 years down the road. We haven't yet tackled such major issues such as to where we should put the television.
So meanwhile, here are a few snippets which perhaps deserve greater contemplation.
Not for the first time in the USA.
The trial [in Louisiana, USA] lasted just three days….. yet it took his [pro bono] lawyers just a few days to spot the glaring problems with the prosecution of Thibodeaux. It took them a further 12 years to free him.
There are 117 convicts on Indonesia's death row. At least one of them, a Nigerian, may be there because of racism rather than legal proof 'beyond reasonable doubt'.
His lawyer Taufik Basari, a lawyer who is against capital punishment, said: “Although there has been no witness saying John was involved in the drugs business, the judges believe that because many Nigerians are drugs dealers, so is my client. This is unfair.
“Our laws are not perfect and sometimes the convict has undergone severe torture during interrogation. We must avoid punishing anyone who is innocent.”
Hundreds of families living in three villages on the slopes of Mount Merapi, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, have asked the government not to forcefully relocate them from their homes, even though the area is categorized as extremely hazardous.
The three villages are Srunen, Kalitengah Lor and Kalitengah Kidul in the subdistrict of Glaga-harjo, Cangkringan district, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta. They are located some 7 kilometers from the crater of the recurrently erupting volcano.
Glagaharjo subdistrict administration affairs division head Sriyono said "We refuse to forcefully relocate them because they are human. They deserve to be treated as such and not just moved out like animals.”
What an asinine statement!
On September 25th 2010, it was reported that Genung Merapi, Indonesia's most active volcano, had displayed a significant increase in seismic activity over the previous week and "people were urged not to disturb wild animals who were descending following the volcanic activity."
During October and November, Merapi's eruptive activity included hot gas and ash clouds, smoke columns, avalanches and volcanic earthquakes.
By 3 December the death toll among humans had risen to 353.
Conclusion: "animals" have a higher intelligence and respect for Mother Nature than humans!
Would you trust an English-language provider which can't be bothered to proofread recruitment ads published in the mainstream media? This is from today's Jakarta Post.
However, if UPI is continuing to recruit native speaker teachers, then these current government requirements should be cited:
– have a minimum of a Bachelors degree in Linguistics (English), English, Modern Languages (English), Education (English related) or TESOL/TEFL.
– CELTA/Trinity/TEFL certification or 120-hour in-class equivalent (online courses will not be accepted)
– have a passport from the U.K., U.S.A, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or Ireland
– be able to obtain a health certificate stating one is healthy in body/mind and free of HIV/AIDS.
There is a dire shortage of such highly-qualified teachers in Jakarta, and few English-language institutions can adhere to these strict regulations – which, in my opinion, do not demonstrate a recognition of necessary experience and/or personality within a classroom.
UPI still hasn't settled with me as mandated by the Supreme Court, but I'm happy to bide my time, if only so they face harsher financial penalties for their contempt of court.
One conclusion regarding UPI remains: they have yet to jettison their 'brown envelope mentality'.
Finally, I received this slightly edited SMS message from the Jaksa gossip grapevine: UPI teachers at the Sentul and Bogor schools have been told that if they want to go home for Xmas they must pay a Rp.30 million (c$3,400) deposit to leave the country … peace and goodwill to all men!