10 April 2010 @ 11:40 pm
Personal Entry No. 50  
First: Thank you to everyone for wishing me a happy birthday! I had classes, so I wasn't exactly free to do whatever I wanted, but I got a vanilla cake and well-wishes--that's good enough for me. (That sounds too Pollyanna-like--I received presents from my parents and grandmother, too.) It's strange, though, since I feel as though I was ten years old only a few years ago, not a whole decade. Supposedly time only passes more quickly from now on. I believe in Science, and thus disregard that as complete and utter nonsense!

Second, and more disturbing: Today, April 10th, a plane carrying Poland's President, over thirty other governmental and military figures, and several others crashed en route to Smolensk, killing all 97 passengers. The trip was planned to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre, in which over 20,000 Polish POWs were killed by the NKVD.

The government should "recover" easily as the Cabinet is still intact, and this is nowhere near as damaging as any natural disaster, but this is still a heavy blow to Poland and its people.

In other news, here are some updates about several ongoing situations of interest:

Vignettes about the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Port-au-Prince.

Some more details on international donations to Haiti. Supposedly, the spending and distribution of aid will be conducted with the Haitian government's full cooperation. What I hope for the most, however, was mentioned only at the very end of the article: a focus on making Haiti agriculturally self-sufficient, so it won't be forced to rely on artificially-cheap American imports.

I unfortunately wasn't able to find many updates on Chile's recovery efforts, but did find this: Henry Kissinger and Operation Condor, a program of political assassinations conducted by Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina in the 1970s. Make of that what you will. (I have no idea what to make of it myself.)

Finally, the Iranian protest movement against the fraudulent June elections is still alive, even though the street protests have been largely driven underground.
14 | +
( Post a new comment )
[identity profile] ianthefira.livejournal.com on April 11th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC)
Oh wow... I hadn't heard about the Polish accident until now. It's really... hard to imagine an accident of that magnitude. It's horrible.
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on April 11th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
I only heard about it last night, myself (it's too easy to stop reading newspapers when you're at school). I'm still having trouble believing what happened.
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)
[identity profile] lavender88.livejournal.com on April 11th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
There are plenty of smaller scale earthquakes happening all over the world, but thankfully the damage done was nowehere near the one at Chile/Haiti. I really hope those two countries and their people will be able recover from the devastation caused -- it's admirable how people pick up the pieces and go on with their lives after disaster struck and damage done.

Don't get me started on world politics. As if the Red Shirts in Thailand haven't been causing enough nuisance lately. ALSO I'm pretty sure all the outsiders of the world are secretly laughing up their sleeves at the ridiculously petty political fights in Malaysian politics (I can't blame them -- those reports really do make us look bad.

There is something disturbingly ironic about the date of the said plane crash. It also happened to be my sister's birthday. o:
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on April 11th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)
That's one of the reasons why I don't do news posts that often: there's just too much to write about. There's the civil violence in Thailand, mass protests (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/08/youtube-video-shows-kyrgyz-capital-after-second-peoples-revolt-in-5-years/?ref=world) in Kyrgyzstan, the ongoing American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq...it's a long and depressing list.

Unfortunately, here in the States we expect ridiculously petty political fights. (It's practically in the Constitution!) It might just be my age showing, but it seems that partisanship in Congress has been getting worse ever since the last years of the Bush administration. A Supreme Court Justice, John Paul Stevens, has just announced his retirement, so I'm worried we're going to get a repeat of Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings.

Well, I hope your sister had a happy birthday, regardless!

Edited 2010-04-11 05:08 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)
[identity profile] herinia.livejournal.com on April 11th, 2010 08:06 am (UTC)
Hold on, they have vanilla cakes out there?! Or do you mean the ice-cream ones...which I have always been craving for but haven't had a chance to eat one for years.
Time goes by way quicker as you grow older...I remember it felt it took forever to finish a year in elementary school. Well, actually---it feels that I will have three billion years to go before I can finish my finals this month as well, but on the other hand college as a whole will probably end in the blink of an eye.

The Polish plane crash was just too shocking...it's really hard to picture how so many of the highest officials of the country simply vanish in a second.
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on April 11th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Aren't vanilla cakes the most common cakes there are? :o I haven't had ice cream cake for a long time, either--it's not something you can get in a university cafeteria.

It definitely feels the same way to me. Where did this year go, and why does finals month feel like it's going to take five more years? (I kind of want five more years to get my term papers done!)

The military actually lost all of its senior commanding officers in the crash, so it's taking a heavier blow than the government itself. It really drives home how it only takes a small incident like this to undermine a nation.
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)
[identity profile] mairenn-k.livejournal.com on April 11th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you had a good birthday! I agree, time only seems to move faster for every year - I know I sound like an old lady for saying that, but it's really true. I still feel like I was 15 just a couple of years ago.

As for the accident in Smolensk, I find it a little surprising that so many of the country's most highly placed people even were allowed to travel together like that. It's a very high risk to take. But in any case, it's all very tragic, and such a shock for the Polish people.

ETA: 'most important' probably sounded a little... wrong. ;;

Edited 2010-04-11 10:02 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on April 11th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
In the United States, important political functions (such as the State of the Union address) exclude at least one member of the Cabinet, the Vice President, and/or the Speaker of the House so as to keep the presidential line of succession in order. I'm fairly sure it's the same for traveling, so I was very surprised that so many government and military officials were on the same plane.

There definitely is the risk of overemphasizing the human cost of the crash just because the victims were politically important. I don't think it would be any less tragic if the 97 people were all civilians; but the only difference is that, in this case, the accident has affected every single person in Poland as well as the friends and relatives of the victims.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
[identity profile] mairenn-k.livejournal.com on April 12th, 2010 10:01 pm (UTC)
I think it's the same here, at least when it comes to the royal family, the statsminister (prime minister), the vice statsminister and so on.

Yes, that true. The value of their lives isn't different from anyone else's, but the consequences of their deaths certainly are, at least when you look at it that way.

Edited 2010-04-12 10:02 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)
[identity profile] grprsa.livejournal.com on April 12th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
Happy Belated B-Day! That vanilla cake sounds delicious. I'm a sucker when it comes to sweets. Yes, time does fly. I still feel like a kid...maybe when I have a job and start paying my own bills, I'll start feeling a bit more grown-up. I still rely on my family for so many things.

Anyways, the plane crash of Poland's president was definitley a shock. I remember waking up and turning on the news and finding out about the plane crash...no one saw this coming...

Well, hope all is well with you. Hope you're having fun at school :)
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on April 12th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
I...really should cut down on the sugar one of these days (especially since I'm so paranoid about my teeth). Thank you!

I hope everything's going well for you, too!
(Reply) (Parent) (Link)
[identity profile] arha-chan.livejournal.com on April 12th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)

I'm glad you have such a good birthday! =) I totally second that about time flying... it feels really weird when i read or think like that "a whole decade..." haha.

I saw the accident in the news yesterday... it was totally shocking, but i felt the news here dind't give it importance it really have.

Oh, Operation Condor. I don't know much about the details (i should ask my dad) but i can tell you that time (the last military government* in Argentina) was one of the darkest and saddest time in my country... i don't think we have yet recovered from that time.

*is that spelled right?
(Reply) (Thread) (Link)
[identity profile] outou.livejournal.com on April 12th, 2010 10:20 pm (UTC)
Someday--er, less than a year from now you will be two decades old. Heed my words! D:<

You're right, "military government" is the right phrase. From what little I've read about it, the Argentinian government enacted a horrible nightmare during the Dirty War; what makes it worse for me, as an American, is that the U.S. just stood by and even condoned the violence (albeit obliquely). It seems that many countries in the world are still feeling repercussions from that time--especially those countries that the U.S. meddled in during its "war" against communism and the U.S.S.R.'s influence. (I'm sorry for bringing up such an upsetting topic, though.)

Edited 2010-04-12 10:25 pm (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread) (Link)
[identity profile] arha-chan.livejournal.com on April 19th, 2010 01:04 am (UTC)

I'm so sorry for the late reply... i totally forgot lol.

"nightmare" is the word that maybe describes better these times... even if i didn't lived it, as i said, the repercussions are still here.

I think the US just did what it thought it would be better for themselves, wich is not an accusation, because, well, i think every country would do the same.

The thing that makes me very very angry it's that, the real culprits are a large, large portion of argentinian society that wanted to have a military government at that time. They wanted a "hard hand", to handle the problems THEY should resolve, and no someone else.
And even today, still knowing that these people (the miliary) killed over 30 000 innocent argentinians and send a lots of young people to a futile war (without even the proper equipment), some of them still want to have a military government. It's so frustrating and sad, really.

And don't feel sorry for bringing this kind of topic to conversation (= i totally believe the more you talk about these things, about what really happened, the more you are preventing for it to happen again.

(Reply) (Parent) (Link)