Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners

Indonesia executes six drug convicts, five of them foreigners
Widodo has pledged to bring reform to Indonesia

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions

Ban appeals to Indonesia to stop death row executions
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has pleaded to Indonesia to stop the execution of prisoners on death row for drug crimes. AFP PHOTO

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person

Pope: 'Death penalty represents failure' – no 'humane' way to kill a person
The pope wrote that the principle of legitimate personal defense isn’t adequate justification to execute someone. Photograph: Zuma/Rex

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)

Obama becomes first president to visit US prison   (US Justice Systems / Human Rights)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he tours the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, July 16, 2015 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)

US Death Penalty (Justice Systems / Human Rights)
Woman who spent 23 years on US death row cleared (Photo: dpa)


"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Are opera and 'dangdut' the same?

The Jakarta Post

On the way home from an opera performance (a recital of popular operatic arias), I passed a dangdut show in a suburb.

Several people were seen dancing on the stage along with the singer; some were waving flagging banknotes for the singer to take in what is called sawer in return for which the donor's name will be mentioned in the lyrics.

That kind of performance is common, particularly in rural areas. Dangdut is often an integral part of circumcision or wedding ceremonies.

Dangdut is everywhere. Everyone is familiar with its beat, even if they are not necessarily dangdut lovers.

Local TV channels are full of dangdut programs. Often, groups of people can be seen enjoying dangdut songs on TV or radio while chatting over coffee.

Stars come and go. In the past, Rhoma Irama and Elvi Sukaesih were dubbed the "King and Queen of Dangdut." Today, even children are familiar with Inul Daratista, who is well-known for her "drilling" dance.

The list is long. The singers have their own typical performances -- Iis Dahlia is a melancholic singer who at times will break into tears mid-song.

Does Indonesian classical music have its icons?

Christopher Abimanyu and Linda Sitinjak are regarded as leading singers. But if you ask passersby about them, they will most likely shake their head.

Although on some occasions tickets are sold, as at performances put on in entertainment parks or discotheques, generally you don't need to pay to watch a live dangdut show.

At Hotel Mulia Senayan, where nine opera singers from Italy were on show, visitors had to pay from US$125 to $150 per person to get in.

In no way am I railing about injustice. What they paid might be worth what they got. They would have seen a group of talented performers plus their distinguished Indonesian counterparts, with top-quality food and beverages being served. And all in a five-star hotel.

Some may spend an amount of money that others will say is irrational.

"With a million rupiah, I'd rather go shopping," a friend said.

We may be forgiven for our skepticism -- not because the prices are beyond what we can afford but rather because we have yet to nurture such appreciation of the music.

Classical arias, which appear in opera, have yet to tune well to people's taste here.

"Classical music is still the privilege of a small group of people. We understand that because this is all about culture," Christopher said after the show.

Classical music performances are still relatively rare here. The few that there are tend to be organized by foreign embassy-funded culture centers.

So far I've experienced opera mainly through TV clips or Western films. I recall Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti singing his heart out, accompanied by a big orchestra ... on TV.

Not wanting to appear a total ignoramus during the show, I took a peek at the book Opera for Dummies by David Pogue and Scott Speck.

It was a good handbook. It contains -- among many other things -- a list of all operas ever composed.

The book touches on the 10 most common misconceptions about opera, one of which is that you have to dress up to see it.

In fact, you can dress however you like at the opera.

Most visitors that night at Mulia were dressed up. Some wore casual suits. "They are not defying the rules," I thought, recalling the book.

Inside the hall, I looked for the orchestra but couldn't find it.

Perhaps it might have been obstructed by some of the tables. I asked an attendant to help me count the musical crew and tell me what instruments they would be playing to accompany the singers.

In fact, there was only a piano. I'd already seen it when I entered the hall. It was on the stage.

"Did you think this would be like a concert? No, this is just a song recital," said the attendant.

Although it was only a recital, the performers presented it dramatically, even if it was just a solo performance. Elena Oliva portrayed the sentiments in O mio babbino caro by moving her entire body expressively.

The opera singers performed onstage as though acting in drama with the dialog communicated through song. For some in the audience, though, it seemed hard to fathom the meaning of it all.

"Is it about sadness and happiness?" said a voice from a nearby table that had been buzzing with chatter over the chink of champagne glasses throughout the performance.

-- Musthofid

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