Cigars and Oil, Coercion or Culture

Billions in Trade with Communist Chinese, But No Cuban Cigars
Oil from Muslims Who Abuse Women Okay but Texas Mormons Must be Stopped

Inebriated Press \ Division of Rant
April 21, 2008

Associated Press reported Saturday that the State of Texas is maintaining custody of 416 children from a polygamous-sect as officials continue to investigate allegations of abuse stemming from the teachings of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).  Claims of 13 year-old girls being “spiritually married” to 50 year-old men abound, in addition to claims of 16 year-old girls with multiple children and pregnant with more.  Meanwhile the U.S. continues to spend billions of dollars to purchase oil from Muslim nations who abuse women and children.  And where many women are forced to wear full-body covering garb while men wield authority over their everyday lives; including the decisions of who they will marry and when.  It’s common that young Middle Eastern teens are forced into marriages arranged by men of the family to older men of “acceptable” tribes or sects.

And the U.S. continues to expand trade with Communist China and has grown dependent upon Chinese manufacturing.  Chrysler Corporation announced last week that it opened an engineering office in China and anticipates Chinese produced Chryslers for Europe and the U.S. market in the future.  This while the U.S. continues to maintain its ban against purchasing things from Cuba, and it remains illegal to possess a Cuban cigar in the country.  Some people are confused by what they see as arbitrary actions and call these a “double standard,” but others see them as natural as nature itself.

“We do what we want when it’s in our interest and we can get away with it, there’s nothing arbitrary or unnatural about that,” said some one claiming to be Casey Kasem, a new age philosopher who likes non-new age music.  “We have an axe to grind with Castro so we won’t buy his cigars, but the Chinese have an immense workforce of cheap labor and almost no environmental standards so they can make stuff for us really cheap.  It’s good work for them and cheap junk for us.  It’s a win-win.  And as far as the Arabs and the Texans go, both groups in question are sects with men in power who like to control women and screw little girls.  If the guys in Texas owned all the oil wells there, we’d probably leave them alone like we do the Saudi’s.  As it is, they don’t own shit and some people with a moral conscience seem to have gotten the upper hand.  Whatever.”

Not everyone thinks that short term economic gain should rule long term ethical practice.  “If it’s morally wrong then it’s morally wrong, and we should try to change or stop it,” said Charlie McCarthy, a debonair gentleman often accused of parroting other people’s ideas and having none of his own.  “If it’s wrong to trade with Cuba who doesn’t have half the human rights abuses that China does, then it’s also wrong to trade with China.  If it’s okay to trade with China because we’re trying to coax them into the world market and use positive economic advancement as a tool to normalize them, then we should be doing that with Cuba.  And as far as old men having sex with little girls is concerned, I’m just a puppet with some guys arm up my ass, and I’ve got big enough problems of my own.”

Texas’ State District Judge Barbara Walther heard 21 hours of testimony over two days before ruling Friday that the children of a polygamous-sect would be kept in custody while the state continues to investigate allegations of abuse.  The state argued it should be allowed to keep the children because the sect’s teaching encourages girls younger than 18 to enter spiritual marriages with older men and produce as many children as possible.  Its attorneys argued that the culture put all the girls at risk and potentially turned the boys into future predators.  State witnesses testified earlier Friday that more than 20 children involved appeared to have been born to mothers 17 or younger.  Sect leader Warren Jeffs was convicted last year in Utah of being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl he ordered to marry her 18-year-old cousin.  He faces similar charges in Arizona.

Saudi Arabian women face severe discrimination in many aspects of their lives, including education, employment, and the justice system and are clearly regarded as inferior to men.  The treatment of women there has been referred to as “gender apartheid.”  In the legal system, women face discrimination as the criminal laws of Saudi Arabia adhere to strict Islamic precepts.  As a result of these laws women are particularly vulnerable in cases of assault and/or rape, as their testimony is treated as a presumption, while that of their attackers is accepted as fact.  In some cases, victims of sexual assault are punished on the grounds that they should not be alone with unrelated males.  It happened recently when a woman victim of a gang rape, was sentenced by a Saudi court to six months in prison and 200 lashes for violating laws on segregation of the sexes, as she was in an unrelated man’s car at the time of the attack.

Chrysler LLC opened an engineering office in Shanghai, China last week.  Chery, a Chinese auto manufacturer,  and Chrysler, are reported to be holding talks regarding establishing a manufacturing joint venture, according to Chery spokesman, Jin Yibo, quoted in the Shanghai Daily on April 15.  Chinese automakers are three to five years away from being ready to sell a significant volume of vehicles in the United States, a leading expert on the Chinese and U.S. auto industries said Friday at the Automotive News China Conference.

The United States Embargo Against Cuba (described in Cuba as el bloqueo, Spanish for “the blockade”) is an economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed on Cuba on February 7, 1962.  The embargo was codified into law in 1992 with the stated purpose of “bringing democracy to the Cuban people”, and in fact is entitled the Cuban Democracy Act.  At present, the embargo, which limits American businesses from conducting business with Cuban interests, is still in effect, making it one of the few times in history that United States citizens have been restricted from doing business abroad, and is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history.  The freedom or control of trade, women and sex continues to be argued.

“I think everyone should be able to have sex and trade with any being of any age or gender and with any  country, dog, cat, Saudi, Texan, cousin, whatever,” said Nasty Felon, Chairman of a free-sex free-trade group known as “Sell and Screw Anything that Moves or Sits Still to Anyone Anywhere, Damn It” (SSAMSSAA’DI).  “Power, money, sex and pay-back for whoever is in control, that’s what it’s all about.  And that’s true whether it’s a Sheik in Arabia or a Texan with little girls under his thumb, or someone with a car to build cheaply or an old grudge against a Cuban or Republican.  You do what you want because you can.  Bill Clinton taught me that, and it’s as true today as it was the day he soiled Monica’s blue dress.”

In other news, mob rule is still frowned upon in most civilized countries, but some people say it’s becoming hard to know which country is civilized and which one isn’t.  The terms “civilized” and “mob” continue to be defined.

(C) 2008

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