Good Company

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Catching Up

Having had a couple of days off, it's time to play "catch up"- let's start with an annoying BBC article BBC News - Somali pirates face hard time in US prison, in which the sympathy is entirely misplaced. Further, the article originally had a completely different title, which Lex captured as "Somali pirates face hell in US prison system." When I first saw the original headline, I wondered if the "hell" they will experience in U.S. prisons is even a vague shadow of the "hell" of a Somali prison or even daily Somali life for that matter. But the article is even more biased than its headline:
Federal prison is a frightening, perilous environment of intrigue, violent gangs, terrible food and severe isolation, even for the most hardened criminal.

For men from a faraway land with little or no English-language skills and no prior familiarity with American culture, it will be especially hard, say lawyers for the men, and experts in psychology and the criminal justice system.
On Monday, Muhidin Salad Omar and Mahdi Jama Mohamed were sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to their part in the hijacking in February of the yacht S/V Quest, in which pirates shot to death four American yachters as the US Navy sought their release.

On Tuesday, four more men are to be sentenced to automatic life terms in prison following their guilty pleas to piracy counts in the Quest case. More are to be sentenced in the autumn.
Language and cultural barriers will make it difficult for the men to form the support groups and informal social networks that lawyers and social workers say are necessary to get by in prison.

"They have all the stressors associated with prison," says Frederic Reamer, a professor of social work at Rhode Island College with extensive experience working in prisons and a member of the Rhode Island state parole board.

"But unlike most inmates, they cannot just go into the dining hall and sit at a table and start conversing with people with whom they have some shared cultural experience. They are likely to be isolated in every imaginable way."
God spare from bleeding heart professors of social work. I figure under some Somali law, we could have simply stoned these guys to death, as it seems to be a favored punishment. Read the part again about how these pirates "shot to death four American yachters."

Isn't it interesting that as the assertions of the world "running out of fossil fuels" continue to be heard that we keep finding more? Here's a report of a possible discovery off Sri Lanka -
While further drilling is required to determine the commerciality of the natural gas discovery, this is the first oil and gas well to be drilled in Sri Lanka in 30 years -- and the first hydrocarbon discovery ever in the country.
Which reminds me that the gas field off Cyprus continues to be a blip in international relations. The Turkish government has deployed a ship to "investigate" the waters off Northern Cyprus, as set out here. Saturn5 from Bosphorus Naval News has a series of posts on the topic, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. It's all about the gas and oodles of money. The Russians, the French and others are out there playing hard.

1 comment:

  1. I suppose we could go back to hanging them in chains, at the end of the dock nearest the courthouse, to spare their sensibilities.