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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Barking up the wrong binary tree

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Image hosting by PhotobucketScenario: Walski is extremely hungry, so he goes to a restaurant, orders his food, and once it arrives, proceeds to eat it. After his emergency-hunger-abatement meal, he comments that "the food tasted like shit".

Question: Did Walski actually eat shit, or was that remark merely a figure of speech?

Walski will readily admit that he's never eaten shit, nor does he know what it tastes like (nor does he ever want to find out). He would imagine, though, that it would taste pretty damn nasty - like the hypothetical food in the hypothetical scenario.

It would appear, to any thinking person, that when Teresa Kok said that while in detention under the ISA, she had food that was like dog food, she was not implying that the police feed her with actual Dog Food. In her own words, she said "similar to dog food" (see time marker 3:21 on this YouTube video).

The Star, however, begs to differ. As did a few other news outlets, which picked up the news item.

But there is one Malaysian news outfit that has gone out of its way to take this story to town, blowing it TOTALLY out of proportion, and quite franky, making a big deal out of kibbles and bits - Utusan Malaysia, running-dog mouthpiece for the incumbent party in power, UMNO. Doing a search on their website earlier, Walski found no less than 10 news item directly related to Teresa Kok, and her culinary experience while in custody. And not exactly complimentary reporting either.

Utusan, of course, is the same newspaper that was part of the controversy that caused Teresa to be arrested in the first place. But just like a pit bull, these right-wing journo-fucks simply won't let go, will they? And who better to milk a non-issue to death than the bastards bastion of simple-minded journalism? Insanely barking up any tree, it would seem - pretty rabid behavior, if you ask Walski.

And as with what happened earlier, these folks are baying for blood. Again. Like some haemoglobin-starved, vampiric hound from Hell. Or Jalan Riong, as the case may be.

What this doggy chow obsession has done, though, is to divert attention from the real issue - the Insipidly Sadistic Authoritarianism, exerted by the government, for the sake of UMNO's well-being and security, via the ISA.

The latest ploy? A certain al-BLUR Hone Minister signing the 2-year detention order to keep Raja Petra Kamaruddin as a guest of the state in the Kamunting Detention Center. Signed, no less, on the eve of having a habeas corpus writ heard in court.

Miscarriage of justice, you ask? Try aboninable abuse of power, instead.
(Bullmastiffs, and more doggone criticisms, in the full post)

On Sunday, blogger buddy Antares posed a rhetorical question, Is Syed Hamid Al-Bark and No-Bite? Unfortunately, the answer was all too real, as we found out today. Via :

Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin was sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak this morning to begin his two-year detention without trial under the Internal Security Act.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar last night signed the detention order for the blogger to be held under section 8(1) of the tough security law. According to the Act, Raja Petra's two-year detention period can be renewed indefinitely.

"The act by the minister to sign the section 8 order yesterday is completely unacceptable," said Raja Petra's lead lawyer Malik Imtiaz.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court today heard a habeas corpus bid by Raja Petra's lawyers to overturn the detention of the controversial blogger today.

(source: Malaysiakini - subscription required)

Convenient timing, is it not? RPK is probably one person that UMNO does not want to be put on the stand in a court of law. You never know what can of worms might be opened. And so what recourse does the party have?

Why, what else, but sic the Bullmastiff-like Home Minister on RPK's ass, and sign the order, post haste. Wikipedia, incidentally, has this to say about the Bullmastiff (as in the breed, not Syed Hamid):

"The Bullmastiff is courageous, loyal, calm, and loving with those it knows. It has a very strong protective instinct and will defend its owners against anything it perceives as a threat. However, it does not normally attack to protect. Instead, it knocks the intruder over with its massive size and pins them to the ground, or, will simply stand in front of the stranger/intruder and refuse to let them pass."
(source: Wikipedia)

So, instead of focusing on the real travesty of justice - the ISA - here we have deputy ministers scurrying hither and yon investigating about the quality of food in our jails. Not that it's not important, as we now know that RM 5.80 per prisoner per day is the allocated amount, apparently. A lot of money 51 years ago, perhaps, but not enough to even buy someone a Big Mac Value Meal in 2009.

But that's beside the point. 

It's clear that the government has no intention whatsoever to review, much less repeal, this Insanely Stupid Anachronysim called the ISA. No surprise, though, since it's been very effective in keeping critics in check. Or putting critics away, more like. What better way than to put someone away, without any legal recourse or redress available to said someone, right?

As to the argument that the ISA is still required to maintain peace and stability? Yeah, tell that to someone who WAS fucking born yesterday.

It's not like there aren't other laws that can be invoked when needed, rather than rely on a piece of legislature that's clearly Imperious, Sinister and Attrocious. And all for the protection of a party that's one day going to die a natural death anyway. Somebody's got a whole lot of sin on their head to attone for, that's for sure. Regardless of which system of belief's perspective you view it from.

So, when someone laments that the country is going to the dogs, Walski has no choice but to agree. But that doesn't stop some folks with loads of self-interest from barking up the wrong tree, though.


Walski's logically boolean forestry footnote: A binary tree is a type of data structure in computer science, commonly used to implement binary search algorithms. In the context of this post, barking up one is Walski's way of describing an action that defies logic. But in actual fact, what's happening is logical - it's just that we're being subjected to a dog and pony show putting emphasis on something that's a little less important than the real issue at hand - our attentions are being misdirected, plain and simple.