Sunday Roundup

BBC News – Brazil offers asylum to Iran woman sentenced to stoning.

The BBC is reporting that Brazil has offered asylum to Sakineh, but there has been no response at this time from Iran. And that’s it. On July 21st, the governemnet of Iran announced that a decision on her sentencing would be made in 40 days. In the meantime, her lawyer is missing; his wife and brother-in-law are held without charge; her sons are muzzled. All we can do is keep talking and posting, and writing about her and all the others who languish in those ghastly prisons.

Nothing new on the census front, except for the nearly universal condemnation of the government’s decision. Even the Canadian Catholic Bishops are upset.  One article calls it disconnecting the past from the future, which is what this action does. We simply won’t know how to compare what is with what was, and no way of knowing if we’re improving, or failing. In 10 years, when the census rolls around again, with perhaps, fate willing, another government in power, it may be made mandatory again. So the gap, instead of 10 years will be 20, and in those 20 years what mistakes will have been made as decisions are taken on erroneous or at the very least non-comparable data, or worse on a politician’s “philosophy”.

Our trip to Spain is coming closer. This weekend, I was able to book our train tickets from Madrid to Seville, on the AVE, Spain’s version of the TVG in France. Spain is working to connect the major cities by this very rapid transit. Madrid to Seville is a 550 km drive and takes about 6 hours by car. The train takes 2 1/2hrs and includes lunch!  I booked through RailEurope which is painless. The tickets should arrive this week. I think I’ll have to wait until we’re in Seville to get the bus tickets for Ronda.