Army weapons kill people

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 16 Dec 2006

In Switzerland most men who serve in military have a weapon and some ammunition in their home. Whenever the Swiss talk about those weapons, the consensus is, that those weapons cause far less dammage than you might think.

Well, think again. As reported by the NZZ newspaper a study by Martin Killias of the University of Lausanne found that 300 people die a year because of those army weapons. I was not able to find the study on the UNIL web site unfortunately.

Compare the numbers:

  • 300 people by army weapons
  • 409 people in traffic (Year 2005, BFS)

There is a full program called Via Sicura to reduce the number of people who die in traffic accidents. The federal council has confirmed the wish to significantly reduce that number. So why don’t we start with army weapons first and just remove them from people’s homes? That would be a lot easier.

Japanese prime minister denies summit with China

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 01 Apr 2006

China's president Hu Jintao offered a summit with Japan under one condition. The condition was, that Japan's prime minister Junichiro Koizumi quits visiting the Yasukuni shrine (I posted about the shrine before here and here).

Koizumi even defended his visits a few days ago claiming "still cannot understand why China and South Korea protest his visits to Yasukuni". You really have to be blind, stupid and/or a liar to say such a thing. But let's face it: Koizumi is not really concerned about other countries in Asia. Has even made his visits to the shrine a part of the election propaganda, using it to show that he won't buckle down before other states.

I really hope that Koizumi's replacement will show more understanding. Though I don't have much hope.

And rest assured, I love Japan and I love the Japanese people. And I strongly dislike the Chinese government. But wrong is wrong and right is right. And honoring war criminals is wrong by just about any concept of ethics you can find in this world.

Turkey finally without death penalty

Posted by Patrice Neff Fri, 03 Mar 2006

According to SF Tagesschau Turkey is going to abolish death penalty as of June 1, 2006. Since August 2002 death penalty has only been allowed at war times and even before that no one was sentenced to death in Turkey since 1984.

Great news, now if only the US of A, Japan and China would follow. Though there are many other countries who still allow death penalty those three are the ones I care most about (all are big countries and all are important in today's industry).

Pirañitas

Posted by Patrice Neff Tue, 28 Feb 2006

Yesterday I had the unpleasant experience of being robbed. A young man grabbed me from behind and another young man with two boys (about eight years old) took all my things. Luckily I wasn't traveling with too many things: just a bit of money, my pocket knife and my Bible. I sure am glad that for quite some time now I never travel with my identity documents or credit cards. The whole thing happened about one block from the church and during the day, at ca. 16:30.

Not the one to give up easily, I went looking for police. When I asked people in the street, where I could find police, they didn't know. The first police car I saw on the street ignored my request to stop, even though they confirmed that they had seen me. The second car had to stop at the red light, so I talked to the policemen in the car and told them about the incident. They didn't really care. They were kind enough to drive me back near to where I live, but they had no intention to go looking for the kids and make them return the stolen stuff. And that was the really disappointing thing. Peru is therefore a country where not even the police has the courage to stand up to crime. And that's pretty sad.

I was told today, that groups like that are called Pirañitas ("little piranhas").

And that's already the second time, where something was stolen from me in Peru. In Arequipa someone stole my digital camera - which thought me to be a bit more careful with my stuff. Not enough, yet, it seems.