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2012 Presidential (Non-)Elections: Paraguay

This is the sixth in a series of posts on the numerous presidential elections this year. The first five posts were on the elections in Taiwan, RussiaSenegal, France, and Egypt.

On June 22, Luis Federico Franco Gómez became president of Paraguay. This was technically not an election, but the political circumstances and of course the change of a head of state are significant. Franco was of course the next in line, as he had been vice president to Fernando Lugo, who was impeached on the 21st in a controversial move by the Paraguayan Senate. And he was elected by the people in 2008 to be Lugo's second-in-command.

This is bad news for those think that Lugo's impeachment amounted to a coup. Lugo accepted his impeachment but did refer to it as a "parliamentary coup." It also bad news for those who liked Lugo because of his close ties with Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and his Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas.

This is good news for those who want to uphold Paraguay's constitution and those who want to see Paraguay move a bit further away from Chávez and the direction he is trying to take the continent.


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Movie Review: A Better Life - Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part review of A Better Life. The first part dealt more with the background issue of illegal immigration, whereas this part focuses more on the movie itself.

In the movie, neither the illegal (representative of all illegals, but particularly those with upright motives) nor the police (representative of the legal system, including courts, prisons, and immigration) is entirely at fault. Both are stuck in an imperfect, human system.

The viewer is led to sympathize with the illegal man, an honest landscaper who wants nothing but to work hard so that his one son can have a better life. He's away from home; his wife left him when his son was little; he has next to nothing; when he does acquire something (a lawn business and pickup with equipment) it gets stolen from him. And yet, the movie does not excuse what he does wrong nor does it try to show him as a man victimized and ruined by the consequences of his actions.

Apart from the social issue of t…


Read this in English.





今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。