The Week That Was

Politicians are subject to harsh and public criticism. Especially when they make ill-informed misleading comments on television as part of a campaign to be elected to lead a nation. This week the world witnessed a few prime examples…

In the USA, Republican Todd Akin explained his stance on abortion in the case of rape saying “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Take a moment to absorb that comment. Now think about his follow-up comment “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.” Glad to know he has really thought this through and considered the repercussions of the incident on each party involved. Oh wait, what about the mother also known as the rape victim?

After that train-wreck Akin was forced to issue an apology which he released in the form of a commercial featuring his wife and daughters. Do you think this is a legitimate apology? What does he mean exactly by “the wrong words in the wrong way”?

Here is an excellent wordpress blog post from earlier in the week that sheds some light on the facts of rape-related pregnancies. http://formingthethread.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/republican-todd-akin-dont-worry-you-wont-get-pregnant-from-rape/

Moving down under, this week Opposition Leader Tony Abbott made history being ejected from parliament after he failed to comply with an instruction by the Deputy Speaker. Abbott was banished for an hour during question time, after refusing an order to withdraw an interjection without qualification.

Abbott: “I withdraw, but it’s still an untrue statement.”

The Deputy Speaker Anna Burke then ordered Abbott to leave the chamber.

Burke: “I asked you, as you approached the dispatch box, to do it without qualification – you could not help yourself.”

And if that wasn’t enough limelight for Abbott, this cartoon summary of his latest interview on ABC’s 7:30 Report has been circulating the Internet.

What a succinct caricature of this conversation. Maybe Sales could have filed her fangs but Abbott certainly needs to do his homework.

Crossing to my motherland, the Ministry of Information’s website released a statement reading “Censorship for all local publications is lifted from August 20, 2012.” This statement might lead one to believe that freedom of the press has finally arrived in this oppressed nation. You might want to read the fine print before starting the celebrations. The reality is that although Burmese journalists are no longer required to submit their stories to the Press Scrutiny and Registration Division (PSRD), they must adhere to a newly released document of guidelines administered by Burma‘s notorious censorship board. Editors have been warned that “the state shall not be negatively criticised” and “wording that encourages, supports or incites individuals and organisations that are dissident to the state”, as well as “things that will damage ties with other countries” are prohibited. Read more at http://www.dvb.no/news/burma-abolishes-pre-censorship-but-forbids-criticism-of-state/23383 Learn more about Burma at www.dvb.no, an independent Burmese media organization committed to responsible journalism, where you will find  accurate and unbiased news about Burma accompanied by telling photographs such as this.

A man walks down a nearly empty road as he carries grass to feed his oxen in <br>  Naypyidaw on 5 August 2012.

In other news, cycling legend Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after deciding not to contest the United States Anti-Doping Agency‘s persistent charges of doping, drug trafficking, and administering of drugs to others. Read Lance’s statement at http://lancearmstrong.com/news-events/lance-armstongs-statement-of-august-23-2012

And the first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong (no relation to Lance), has died aged 82. Read the story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19381098 Learn about Neil’s life at http://neilarmstronginfo.com/neil-a-armstrong-1930-2012/

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