Paulo Laureano (EN) posts

Random long-form posts

Ruling regime and sharia law

Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, and the ruling Al Saud family leads the country's government. The king of Saudi Arabia holds absolute power and is the head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the military. The country does not have a system of political parties at all, and the king makes all significant decisions.

The country's legal system is based on sharia law, and the government strictly interprets Islamic moral codes. There is limited freedom of expression and assembly in Saudi Arabia, and the government has been criticized for treating dissidents and human rights activists.

Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for its lack of political freedoms and its human rights record. The country has also been criticized for its role in the conflict in Yemen, where it has been accused of violating international humanitarian law.

Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for its human rights record, particularly regarding treating women and minorities. The country has a strict legal code based on sharia law, which is applied unevenly and can result in harsh punishments, including flogging and amputation. Women in Saudi Arabia have limited rights and are subject to strict dress codes and gender segregation. They are also required to have a male guardian, typically a husband, father, or brother, who can make decisions on their behalf. Human rights groups have also raised concerns about the use of torture in Saudi Arabia and the lack of due process in the criminal justice system. In addition, there have been reports of discrimination against religious minorities and migrant workers.

Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of execution in the world and has been criticized by human rights groups for its use of the death penalty. Executions in the country are carried out by beheading, and they can be carried out in public. The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offenses in Saudi Arabia, including murder, drug offenses, and terrorism-related offenses. In some cases, the death penalty has been imposed for non-violent crimes, such as sorcery and apostasy (the act of renouncing one's religion, punishable with death).

Normalizing cruelty by hiring a world-iconic superstar?

Oil influence and money can open many doors and make the world turn a blind eye to the horrible ruling regime. The problem is that the Saudis want more than just having their way of life passed unchecked by the western democracies. They want to host major sports events and participate in the civilized world as if their track record on human rights violations did not matter.

Hiring Cristiano Ronaldo to play for a local club could have been just about having a retiring world football superstar playing locally. It is not. It's all about bidding for hosting a World Cup, just like Catar did, and doing it without significant backlash. Ironically Portugal and Spain are also bidding to host the same tournament, so Cristiano is being paid to sponsor the Saudi bid against his own country.

My issue is not with who hosts a football tournament. I could not care less. The real bugger is having Cristiano and his family involved with normalizing everything else that is going on in that country. He is a superstar, and if he accepts the Saudi regime, many fans will no doubt feel it's not such a big deal. But it is a big deal. It's a horrible dictatorship that completely disregards women and fundamental human rights, and I wish Ronaldo would have made a different choice.

It's a lot of money. I know. I am not even criticizing him. Just sad he took this road...

This should be useful for writing long-form posts online (I use Publii for my main blogs, which is excellent, but it's an offline affair) that are too big for my Mastodon and not quite that memorable to earn a place in

Like with my Mastodon server I plan to share this with family and friends. The server is by “invite only,” and users that are already in can generate invite codes as long as they follow the same five simple rules I have set for my Mastodon server:

1) Try hard not to be an idiot... as a general rule, this is all you need to know.

2) Never insult strangers! Unless you know the person, and that is your thing as a group...You weirdos... Seriously, I am not policing anyone; block people you dislike and be “violent” with your silence. You are all guests in my system, you have no right to mistreat my other guests.

3) No illegal activities of any kind! You are getting ME in trouble by posting or linking to illegal stuff – not only will I kick your ass out of the gate, but also deliver your data to authorities. If you see something illegal, please report it to me ASAP.

4) Be mindful that I have NO COMMITMENT to keep the server running. The party will last as long as I am willing to pay for the drinks. It can end at any point in time. Sounds harsh, I know, but I have to be blunt about this...

5) You can bring people in (invite people to this server), but please make sure they behave and understand the rules. I am trusting you and your judgment... please don't let me down. If someone you invited is misbehaving let me know.

My first impressions of the Writefreely platform are really good (if you like Markdown editors). It was pretty damn easy to install and looks equally easy to maintain. Time will tell.