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Not Nearly Enough, But Better Than Nothing

Yeah, it’s this story again.

But now King Abdullah has “pardoned” the survivor for being alone with the man she was with, who was also raped.

*sarcasm switch set: maximum* I’m particularly delighted by the last paragraph: “The woman’s companion was sentenced to 90 lashes. It is not known if his sentence was also lifted.” That one’s just a close second to my favorite, paragraph four, “Press reports say King Abdullah’s move did not mean the sentence was wrong.” *sarcasm switch set: off*

Between that and this little development in the Blackwater USA story, this week is off to a bang up start.

14 Responses to Not Nearly Enough, But Better Than Nothing

  1. thetathx1138

    Such charming people we’ve put in control of our fuel supplies.

  2. dewline

    Adult Content Flag?!?

    This is news we all need to see, and LJ hits it with an Adult Content flag?!?

  3. admin

    Re: Adult Content Flag?!?

    Wha???? Where? What am I missing?

  4. alryssa

    It’s a mixed bag, without a doubt. I’m relieved that she won’t have to see that sentence, but at the same time, we all know it’s not a pardon granted out of compassion, but more out of a reaction to international political and media pressure. If only every such case could get that kind of attention.

  5. kali921

    I read the long article on last week that had detailed interviews with the Saudi survivors of the Blackwater massacre – and that’s exactly what it was, a massacre – and when I was done, I was in tears. I’ve been following Blackwater ever since Jeremy Scahill’s book (you’ve read his book, yes?), and getting angrier and angrier and angrier.

    If I had to point to one single thing that the Bush administration has done that epitomizes Bush’s callous disregard for human life, perversion of realpolitik, war profiteering, moral bankruptcy, and cronyism, it’s Blackwater. I can’t even think of the word “Blackwater” now without a surge of rage.

  6. kali921

    Re: Adult Content Flag?!?

    Greg, you saw the whole brouhaha on over the last three weeks? LiveJournal introduced a content flagging system whereby people can flag your entries as containing questionable content or adult content, and you have to fight with LJ support to get your entries unflagged.

    But what also may be happening is that if you don’t have a birth date with a year in it on file with LJ (and many people don’t, for obvious privacy reasons), or if you’re under eighteen, LJ now automatically collapses any entry on your flist under a cut labeled “this entry may contain adult content blah blah blah” unless you go to your viewing options and tweak your viewing settings to not censor content, not collapse entries with “adult” content, etc. Also, if you individually set one of your LJ entries as containing material that is “adult concepts” or “adult” in content, which you can now do, LJ will collapse the entry under a cut for anyone viewing the entry that hasn’t tweaked their viewing settings to not filter content and/or doesn’t have a birth year in their profile that indicates they are eighteen or older.

    It’s a total miasma clusterfuck.

  7. kali921

    Re: Adult Content Flag?!?

    Do you have your viewing options set to not collapse any adult content, etc.? I know I had a problem with LJ collapsing entries on my flist until I went in and spent an hour figuring out how to tweak my viewing options.

  8. stealthbunny

    Re: Adult Content Flag?!?

    LJ did a revamp of their filtering system again. Instead of TELLING people about it, they just went ahead and set everyone’s filter for ages and under. Which meant that if someone didn’t go in and change it manually, they suddenly couldn’t read anyone’s posts who had anything remotely considered adult content. Anything talking about… oh, basically any current events.

    And didn’t tell anyone.

    Eventually there was some squawking (thankfully), and the filters were changed again. Every member whose birthdate was over 18, they set back to the “no filtering” option.

    Apparently, they are working on some method to let the poster know if admin flags their content as adult content/concepts, but right now, they don’t have such a method in place. And apparently “rape” is one of those flag-words that gets their attention. They can flag your post and don’t even hafta tell ya.

    There are four or five different communities that you have to read to FIND this stuff: lj_biz, lj_policy, lj_2008 and also lj_announce and lj_news.

    No, I didn’t find all this out myself, because I’m .. well, too busy…er…lazy…er just don’t have the time for this… all right, I’ll behave myself. Thank wendyzski for being the researchy one.

  9. wendyzski

    Friend of stealthbunny here – My understanding is that for an entry to be set as “adult content” as apparently this one is, two things need to happen

    1) someone (s) have to “flag” the content. (from lj_biz “It’s important to note that one user flagging another’s content doesn’t do anything automatically. It is just a simple step to create a notice you’d like that content reviewed. “

    2) An admin reviews the flag, determines if it is valid, and changes the setting on your entry.

    At no time are you ever notified about this process. Users over on “lj_policy” have been screeching for a week now trying to get some kind of definition of what exactly constitutes “adult”.

    Basically, if the system is operating as they explained it, then someone decided that “rape” is a Bad Word, and someone else on the LJ term agreed with them. Yes, that sucks.

    I’d barely put this under “adult concepts” – it’s a mention of a word and some mild political snark. Jeesh.

  10. dewline

    Others Have Since Explained…

    …what I hurriedly griped about earlier on my way out the door. (I’ll explain *that* in e-mail, Greg.) The content-flagging system’s pretty much as they described it.

  11. dewline

    Amen to that.

  12. dewline

    Planning to read the Scahill book ASAP myself. I remember this interview on The Current with Scahill(scroll down to part three in RealAudio format). Damned worrying at the time I heard it, and a lot of what I’ve heard and read since then bothers me at least as much.

  13. dewline

    Looking back…

    I think it was in part because I’d logged out of my account before reading this post. It’s not something I usually expect to see when starting to read Greg’s blogging, and it threw me.

  14. jonlaw

    predictable cycle

    As you point out, this plays out as expected. The king issues a pardon to alleviate the pressure. The furor will die down, and nothing structurally will have changed. In fact, could be worse. What happened to her lawyer? He was suspended and facing hearings. Watch the press drop the story to the tiny print if it covers it at all. What happens to him, however, augurs where things will go. Yes, a “not because we’re wrong” pardon goes to the woman, but for other human rights activists, like her lawyer, the message is clear. No “pardon” for that. Sit dow, shut up, and don’t bring these cases to international attention or you will be ruined.

    Better than nothing for the brutalized woman, but fewer brave souls will be able to step forward the next time this happens in all likelihood.

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