Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Haiku 090209

on the wall
still shadows of leaves
a blackbird cries


Recently, we read the following:

New York Times: “Former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert Indicted” (Associated Press)

“Israeli authorities indicted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on corruption charges Sunday, the first criminal indictment ever filed against a current or past Israeli prime minister.

“Olmert, who stepped down earlier this year over the corruption issue, is accused of illegally accepting funds from an American backer, double-billing for trips abroad and concealing funds from a government watchdog.

“He faces charges that include fraud and breach of trust.

“The charges filed in a Jerusalem court on Sunday first surfaced when Olmert was still prime minister, although Olmert allegedly committed the offenses while serving as mayor of Jerusalem and later as a Cabinet minister, before being elected prime minister in 2006…

“Two former Cabinet ministers recently sentenced in separate corruption cases have received multiple-year prison sentences. Avraham Hirchson, a former finance minister and an Olmert confidant and appointee, was sentenced to five years for embezzlement in June, and another former Cabinet minister was sentenced to four years for taking bribes…

“In addition to the charges against Olmert's finance minister, another Cabinet minister was convicted of sexual misconduct and the country's former ceremonial president, Moshe Katzav, was charged by several women with rape and sexual harassment and is currently on trial.”

And we thought:

…If former Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and his errant cabinet ministers were Filipino government officials, they would be folk heroes of a sort – for committing relatively minor indiscretions while in office.

The current Philippine president, her family and cronies have reportedly raised so high the bar of corruption and abuse in the Philippines that, in comparison, Olmert and his friends would be likened to petty functionaries.

Of course, we're talking about two completely different cultures. The extreme greed and arrogance of Ms. Arroyo and her ilk are of the virulent Marcos strain...

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