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November 04, 2002
Fill the little cup

Watch for Fraud - For any problems on election day, call 1-866-VOTE-411.

Fill the little plastic cup

Personally, I don't think people should be able to show up at your house unannounced at 10:30 at night, and tell you you have to pee on demand. I completely support random and unannounced drug testing but someone went way too far here.

The USFSA said it regretted the "unfortunate circumstances and irregularities[sic] surrounding her case" which does darned little for Kyoko Ina, now facing a four-years suspension.

Good grief.


In a late-breaking update on the teenage girl kidnapped by security forces in her country (Swaziland) and now "betrothed" to the king, the mother has filed a lawsuit, which has apparently "infuriated" the royal family who are traditionally above the law, which the king's behavior amply proves:

Many Swazis have been annoyed with Mswati since last year, when the king banned girls under 18 from having sex--a decree he said was intended to halt the spread of HIV.

A few weeks after declaring the ban, Mswati took a 17-year-old girl as his ninth wife. Eventually, he paid a fine of one cow.

Amnesty International has the story too, but I wonder if anyone can move fast enough to save this girl?

Note that this girl is one of three kidnapped at about the same time and that the royal house apparently uses this method of "wooing" for most of the enforced marriages the up to 100 spouses of a king endure.

Of course, those not lucky enough to take the king's fancy once he gets a closer look at them aren't sent away without a consolation prize. No, they might have the pleasure of being handed over to anyone standing around looking in need of a new spouse at the moment.

I don't know what they said or did to her (two weeks is plenty of time to brainwash someone), but I sincerely doubt that Zena Mahlangu is happy about what's happened to her, whether or not she was persuaded to make a smiling public appearance. If she were cooperative, there would have been no reason to bar her mother and the lawyers appointed to defend her from talking to her.

Anyhow, my quick scan through recent headlines suggests there's a lot wrong with Swaziland.

It's a scary place, okay? ""Once you have your husband you are always regarded as one of the man's children," [Gogo Kunene, a female Swazi elder] said proudly."


You know what's encouraging? In this benighted country full of backward prejudices with a sick population (estimated 1/3 suffering from HIV) and an autocratic, tyrannical monarchy, one woman has filed a lawsuit to demand that her daughter be granted the rights of a human being. And the judiciary of her country is listening, along with the rest of the world.

It ain't much, if you're Zena, but it's progress.

Posted by AnneZook at 01:13 PM