Author Archives: David

Upper & Lower Body Pride

Indonesia ranks at the bottom for both womanly upper body pride and its manly lower counterpart.

A map of the world by breast size, with Indonesia ranking at the bottom in the modest A cup category along with the rest of east Asia and ample swathes of Africa:

World Breast Map
See fuller sized version.

And in the interests of ‘gender equality’, and to plumb the depths pleasantly further, a world map of penis size:

Penis Size World Map

Some researchers with too much public funding have even made connections between average John Thomas size and rates of economic growth:

Penis Size & Economic Growth

Indonesia would seem to be under-performing based on these measurements.

Upper & Lower Body Pride is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Norway shootings: Anders Behring Breivik

Indonesian non reactions to the killing spree by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway.

There has been little Indonesian reaction to the Norwegian massacre – the most searched for items on Detik’s search engine remain mostly old favourites:

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Apart from standard official statements; Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said

We are very shocked and dismayed by the incidents in Norway. We condemn the shooting and bombing that have killed civilians. We express deep condolences to the victims, their families, and the Norwegian government

The apparent fact that the killer was on an “anti Muslim crusade” has seemed to excite little interest within the country.

Norway shootings: Anders Behring Breivik is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Beer & Baconless: Mr Bule Flees Ramadan

As the holy month looms an Australian journalist plans his escape from the restrictions and impositions of Ramadhan and its aftermath.

In “WHY I’LL QUIT INDONESIA DURING RAMADAN” long time writer for the Jakarta Post newspaper Duncan Graham tells of his plans to make a temporary exit from his second home during the Muslim fasting month.

Duncan Graham in Indonesia
Duncan and friend

While stressing that foreigners need to adjust themselves to the customs they find in Indonesia, just as, he says, Muslim immigrants to secular countries should do the same and not:

slaughter goats in the backyard, take on extra wives or circumcise their daughters.

Duncan says he finds aspects of life during the holy month too much to bear, like:

Empty Shop Shelves

Duncan’s favourite liquor – Anker stout – vanishes from the shop shelves not just during Ramadan, but

the [Malang, East Java] town council ordered all shops to remove grog during the month before the holy month lest the sight of a shelf of grog inflame devout shoppers.

thus cruelly thwarting his plans to stock up.

Products of the swine as well seem to disappear from the shops, and bulk buying of bacon beforehand is ill advised as:

my sister-in-law used to be employed re-dating expired goods, like dairy products.

Noise

Provided you live far enough away from the nearest place of contemplation the cacophony from mosque loudspeakers has likely become part of the background noise of life, however Duncan says during Ramadan a fresh and mobile auditory assault is made when:

loud-speaker vans cruise the suburbs telling people to pray and breakfast at 3.30 am.

Fireworks during the fasting month are another annoyance he says

as unannounced bangs like gunshots at all hours is too much for anyone conscious that frustrated fundamentalists are still cruising the nation’s streets.

General Unpleasantness

People become grumpy during Ramadan, he says, due to the heat, hunger and thirst (entirely understandably he points out); office and shop staff become lazy.

Road Chaos

Due to the general grumpiness as above road users become more prone to road rage, and, at the end of Ramadan when folks mudik to their villages the roads become horribly congested, while many drivers/motorcyclists are weary and overloaded, so it’s too dangerous to venture out.


When considering where to flee from these annoyances and dangers some thought was given to a Christian area like North Sulawesi – where Duncan’s lovely wife and author of a guide for Indonesian women on snaring a western man (How to Catch Mr Bule) hails from – but that is no good either, as the churches there have begun imitating the mosques he says, loudly blaring reminders of the obligations that Sundays bring for Christians.

So

farewell to the Republic for a while.

Duncan is overseas bound, to Australia or New Zealand presumably, and Islam will have to do without him for a month at least, he ends, saying

we’re heading south to where the laws on noise pollution are policed and minorities’ views given some consideration, however scant.

Beer & Baconless: Mr Bule Flees Ramadan is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

“A Bloody Business”

Reports from our southern neighbour of gross mistreatment of cattle at Indonesian abattoirs.

In a Australian Broadcasting Corporation documentary on the Four Corners program titled “A Bloody Business” hosted by the loathsome Kerry O’Brien video footage is shown of gross cruelty and incompetence in dealing with the slaughter of exported Australian cattle at Indonesian abattoirs, where it is said

many thousands of these animals die slow and hideous deaths.

Despite the best efforts of professional Australian slaughter-men to train their benighted Indonesian counterparts on the best ways to deal with animals in the slaughterhouse the video shows that:

Animals smash their heads repeatedly on concrete as they struggle against ropes, take minutes to die in agony after repeated often clumsy cuts to the throat. In some cases there is abject and horrifying cruelty – kicking, hitting, eye-gouging and tail-breaking – as workers try to force the cattle to go into the slaughter boxes installed by the Australian industry, with Australian government support.

RSPCA chief scientist Bidda Jones, who analyzed the video slaughter of 50 cattle, said the slaughtermen took on average 11 slashes at the throat to kill the animals, and even as many as 33. She said:

They basically hack the heads off with blunt knives, causing a lot of distress and pain

The story has caused great controversy in Australia with calls to end all live cattle exports to Indonesia, however as yet at least there is little or no reaction from Indonesian officials.

Indonesian Abattoir

The graphic and disturbing video can be viewed over here – http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/special_eds/20110530/cattle/.

There appear to have been 11 abattoirs where filming took place, in Jakarta, Bogor, Bandar Lampung and Medan.

“A Bloody Business” is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Benjamin Ketang & Israel

A celebration of the foundation of Israel at a Puncak hotel, students in Situbondo outraged.

On May 14th 28 members of the Indonesia-Israel Public Affairs Committee (IIPAC) carried out a muted celebration of the 63rd anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence, at a hotel in Puncak, Bogor, West Java.

Benjamin Ketang, the head of IIPAC, said

We sang the Indonesian national anthem, then sang the Israeli anthem, then read a prayer for the people of Israel.

Benjamin Ketang
Benjamin Ketang

Afterwards it was down to business, as IIPAC largely consists of businessmen who have dealings with Israel, and panel discussions were held on relevant topics.

Benjamin said the event had been planned for Jakarta, but was moved to Puncak because the situation in the capital was not “conducive”, and IIPAC didn’t want any trouble. [1]

Meanwhile, among the furious flurry of reactions and news stories to the impending and now done event, one such story, from the East Java backwater of Situbondo, where senior high school students at SMU Ibrahimy took much of the day off on Saturday to loudly protest against Israel and any recognition of its existence in and by Indonesia.

Demo against Israel
Outrage

One student with a megaphone roared

Reject the celebration of Israeli independence, it’s an insult to Muslims.

Then they tore and burnt Israeli flags.

The vice principal of the school approved of the demo: [2]

If they ask to demonstrate about something stupid of course we won’t allow it, but this is an expression of how much they care about the Muslim majority in Indonesia.

Benjamin Ketang & Israel is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Osama Bin Laden Dead

Reports that Osama Bin Laden killed in a special operation, Obama to give speech.

Video of Obama speech:

Here is the text version:

Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was dark-ened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreck-age of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an or-ganization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Af-ghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intel-ligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we devel-oped more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take ac-tion, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary cour-age and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most signifi-cant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism co-operation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and coun-terterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a gen-eration that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that pre-vailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

Osama Bin Laden Dead is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Miss Metal: Queen of Coffee

In January 2012 the coffee producing nations of the world will put forward their best daughters, not to be sold to the highest bidder, but to compete in the Reinado Internacional del Café (International Queen of Coffee) competition in Colombia, widely expected to be bitterly contested.

The event to be held in Manizales, Colombia will see for the first time in its fifty year history a representative from Indonesia, an easy on the eye girl with a resplendently interesting name, Laskary Andaly Metal Bitticaca, from local coffee producing giant province South Sulawesi, who won the local Putri Kopi Indonesia 2011 contest last week.

Laskari Metal Bitticaca - Putri Kopi 2011
Laskari Metal Bitticaca

Sofinel BáezLaskary will face some tough Latin American competition, as the event is traditionally dominated by swarthy beauties from the likes of Brazil (7 times won), Colombia (5), Costa Rica (4), Chile (3), Dominican Republic (3), Argentina (2), Honduras (2), and Puerto Rico (2). Inexplicably, Germany has also won twice. The current title-holder, Sofinel Báez from Dominican Republic, is pictured left.

Do Indonesian women have what it takes to compete with the haughty and sophisticated Latin goddesses? We will see.

Standing her in good stead Laskari is said to have won the national Putri Kopi pageant, not only because of her beauty but also her thorough going knowledge of coffee and arcanery related to its production and such, of which substance Indonesia is the fourth biggest producer in the world, after Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia.

Laskari is expected to promote Indonesian coffee to the world, particularly the cat poop Kopi Luwak type, and also to spur on the development of coffee plantation tourism in the country. Hopefully, in Gus Dur speak, she can talk.

Miss Metal: Queen of Coffee is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Cirebon Mosque Bomb

The bomb went off at Al-Dzikr mosque inside the Cirebon police complex, injuring the police chief AKBP Herukoco and a number of other policemen.

The bomber was killed, making it a suicide attack, as he had the bomb strapped to his waist. He is believed to have sat behind the police chief during Friday prayers.

The bomb appears to have been of the nail-filled variety.

Cirebon Mosque Bomb is brought to you by Indonesia Matters, where you can book flights in Indonesia, and features listings of Indonesian hotels, like Kuta hotels, Sanur hotels, hotels in Jakarta and near Jakarta airport, and more.

Neo-colonialism in Libya

Hasyim Muzadi sees a dark western oil grab plot in the attack by allied powers on Libya.

Secretary General of the International Conference of Islamic Scholars (ICIS) and former leader of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) Hasyim Muzadi says of the western attack on Libya:

If Libya falls into the hands of the west after the fighting stops it will be just the same, the people will suffer.

What the western countries were playing at currently was attempting to divide Libya into two parts, east and west

Why are they doing this? It’s because there’s nothing in the west of Libya, it’s the east that has the oil.

The same division attempt had recently successfully been made in Sudan, which split into separate countries, north and south, he said:

It was because the south of Sudan has oil.

People had to learn the lesson of Iraq, he said, which after having been conquered by the West was plunged into civil SARA type strife; the Iraqi people were those who suffered.

Meanwhile Hasyim’s solution to Libya’s conundrum was:

There needs to be a ceasefire, then Muammar Gaddafi has to take into account the wishes of his people.

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Report from East Java

An excerpt from ‘Report from East Java’ detailing examples of ‘crushing actions’ in 1965.

A particularly striking part of “Report from East Java”, which was written by a military intelligence officer in November 1965, where he details the progress of the “crushing actions” against the Communist Party:

In Kediri some of the killings were “joint action”s [E] with the military (sometimes in civiele [D: civilian dress], sometimes officially as military). Killings of this kind may have a boomerang effect, in that they can also be utilized by the PKI itself. The effect upon economic life will also be felt. Small traders are now afraid to sell their wares. Peasant farmers are afraid to go to the rice fields. And many do not want to work on the Plantations, for example on the
tea and sugar plantations, because corpses are spread everywhere.

By way of clarification, several events are explained below: In the Paree (Kediri) area there is a village in which the lurah [village headman] and Ansor together took the initiative to protect the [PKI] peasant farmers—who were only taggers-on—by giving them badges as members of Ansor or NU. They were gathered together, and coincidentally, there happened to be an operation by the military and Ansor going on. Seeing many people gathered together, the soldiers and Ansor asked the lurah who all these people were. The lurah, nervous and panicked, responded that they were PKI.

Before he had finished speaking, every one of the approximately 300 people was killed, and their families were not permitted to remove their bodies so that they were buried where they lay. This shocked the people, and within Ansor itself mutual mistrust arose.

Another event occurred in Wates, where approximately 10,000 members of the PKI and its Mass Organizations gathered together. They were going to make a “long-march” [E] to Madiun, destroying factories along the way.

This was discovered by the military, which initiated a “joint-action” [E] together with Ansor. When they were sommeer [sic] [D: called upon] to surrender they refused, and so they were crushed. The victims totaled 1,200.

In an incident in Ponggok, a soldier who was disseminating information was killed by the Pemuda Rakyat [People’s Youth]. In represaille [D: reprisal] the military attacked, killing about 300 people.

The wave of killings is still continuing, and many of those who are being killed are followers who did not know much. Many excesses have emerged, and it could happen that the PKI will join in so that they can attract “public opinion” [E] to their side.

The bolded bit I know off by heart now as it keeps coming into my head for some reason. The sting is in its tail, the last detail that they didn’t allow the families to recover the bodies, in the cultural-religious context it strikes as the most astonishing vicious spite; the dead people don’t know whether they get a proper burial or not, but it’s a kind of twisting of the knife in the people who are left.

No doubt many have seen it already, for those who haven’t the whole “Report”, which is fascinating, can be read here.

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