Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Just So We're All Clear

This is not a biology text book.

A number of years ago I read Darwin's Black Box, The Biochemical Challenge to evolution by Dr. Michael Behe. It was actually a pretty good read. Dr. Behe's analysis of how things in your body work (ie/ blood clotting) was surprisingly easy to understand and almost entertaining. However, this book is the first place we were ever introduced to the - I won't even dignify calling it a theory - fairytale of intelligent design.

But, I'm not actually ranting about ID vs evolution here. I am ranting about the lack of understanding some people in both Canada and the States have about the separation of Church and state.

Public money going to publicly funded schools should not support forcing religious dogma down the throats of minors. Period. If you want your kid to get a religious-based education, send them to a private or separate religious-based school.

Once there, they can learn all the pretend "science" you want.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Nice To See Some Sanity

Of course the religious right, the House Democrats and Dubya will see this as the action of an "activist judge".

Say it with kids: Intelligent design is the same fairy tale as the 6 day creation myth and the humans co-existing with dinosaurs nonsense.

Small Vent x 2. Thank You.

Gregorius, are you as fundamentally retarded as you appear to be or is it all just a long-running and somewhat tiresome act? I'd love to be there when you finally pull your head out of your conservative, Christian, judgmental ass. Maybe you'll start acting like citizen of the planet rather than our judge, jury and executioner. Asshole.

Whew, I feel better. And, as I can't make personal attacks in the forum, this will have to suffice.

O.K. on to other stuff now.

I was watching the City Council meeting on TV last night. (Does too count as having a life.) Anyways, one of our local land owners went on a rant about the city "wasting space by including green spaces in new housing developments." The green spaces are detention ponds that hold stormwater in the event of flooding. When dry they also serve as a small oasis of plant life in the middle of an otherwise endless sea of plaster and vinyl siding. This "concerned citizen" went on to say that seeing all the green spaces on the map drove him crazy because the waste of valuable land was apparent for everybody to see.

Apparently the thought of co-existing with nature hasn't occurred to this gentleman. I should point out that this is the same guy freaking out that the city is going to develop some land next to his property. He should be thrilled that the untouched landscape around him won't be going to waste. Counter that with his other argument that arable land is valuable and should be saved for farming. Even though he's going to make a lot of money when he sells his land to the city. Which he will do.

So, as I understand. Development of farm land into residential space is stupid and wasteful, unless you personally profit from it. However, saving some of that space for nature to have even a tiny chance is exceedingly wasteful and obscene because nobody profits from it.

It's enough to make my head hurt.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

If You Say You Did It, We'll Spare You

It's bad enough that you have to face execution for a crime committed 25 years ago. It's bad enough that even though you are the model by which it can be proven that prison can rehabilitate, you are put to death. It's bad enough that a man like bishop Desmond Tutu can't save you.

However, to have your life, your case, your prison term and your execution critiqued by Nancy Grace... well that must have been unbearable for Tookie Williams. Between interrupting Williams' original lawyer, completely missing the point of legal, point-of-law arguments and all the while acting like a giggly cheerleader, Grace was truly nauseating. Reading that she has a law degree and has written for the American Bar Association was surprising to say the least. I'm not kidding here, she acted like a clueless, brainless twit.

To cap off the horrific display that was the Nancy Grace coverage. CNN had the temerity to call Pat Lalama an investigative journalist!! That's right, they sent an entertainment reporter to San Quentin prison to cover the state-sponsored murder of a human being. Man, nobody understands death penalty issues like the brain trust that covered such important issues as the Michael Jackson trial. At one point Lalama issued this pithy statement - and I quote "Oh sure they'll drop in the sodium pentathol, then the pancuronium bromide, then they'll give him the potassium chloride and then it's good night Tookie." All delivered with the comedic timing of a third-rate strip club emcee.

Between Pat and Nancy I really thought we were going to be treated to a simultaneous on-air orgasm at the moment of execution. I mean they were frothing at the mouth for this thing to happen. At one point Grace actually claimed that Williams was lucky that he'll "simply be able to go to sleep" and that he should "take his punishment like a man." They both then, went on to gloat that only a small crowd of a couple of hundred had showed up to protest the execution.

You sick, sick freaks.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Dead Like Thee

There's black days and then there's black days.

O.K. Conservative America, you've had your little Captial Punishment romp. Now, call it even, get over yourselves and join the rest of the civilized world and abolish the death penalty.

A. it's inhumane
B. it isn't working
C. you don't always get your man

There is evil in the world. There are unrepentant, vile monsters stalking the country. We have in our arsenal of justice, the means to keep these people from society without resorting to state sponsored murder.

Capital punishment feels like religious fundamentalism dressed up as a social program. "An eye for an eye" may have been fine in the past. But we've evolved - or become more intelligently designed for those of you supporting that bit of crazy - over the years. Death penalty advocates often use similar language as religious extremists. They talk about retribution, honour, vengeance. They preach biblical ties to capital punishment all the while ignoring a pretty basic commandment.

Capital punishment at a political level serves two purposes. It lets conservative politicians take an easy route to being "tough on crime". It's a pretty transparent ploy that unfortunately works. People don't like crime (obviously) and so by saying "we'll clean up crime by getting rid of criminals permanently", politicians play directly and overtly into some of our basest instincts.

On a more subtle and possibly devious level. Capital punishment plays directly into the culture of fear being propagated by certain governments in the world. It's easy to see connection between "buy an SUV and be safe on the road, carry a gun and protect your family from terrorists, alarm your house to protect you from intruders, buy a tonne of duct tape to protect you from biological weapons" and "kill the monster that murdered a family and you'll have a safer society".

Fear is running North America right now. It's not so bad in Canada at the moment. We're being told to be fearful of gay marriage and marijuana. But in watching the news from the States, they are being inundated with a million reasons to be afraid. Many of which are at best theoretical and at worst, created out of thin air by politicians and then supported by the media. Capital punishment buys directly into those fears and gives the people a false sense that they are "doing something". As in "We put a killer to death today. We are 'doing something' to fight crime." No, you're "doing something" to kill another person. Crime rates, the terror threat level, the price of gas etc... none of this is going to become better by putting people to death. Ever.

What is going to help American society to feel safe is to stop scaring American people half to death. In the last month I've seen at least four "child abduction" stories on CNN. They've all been little white kids, all from good Christian families. What does this serve? Does it serve to help find the children? No! Emphatically No! Some guy in California watching CNN's national coverage is not going to find cute little Sally abducted from her home in Conneticut. What the CNN coverage will do however, is serve to make that person living across the country more afraid that his kid will be taken and more likely to join the voices that demand the ultimate in retribution when the perpetrator is caught. This is the means by which capital punishment survives in America today. Take away the propagation of fear and the religious extremism and you'll have much more support to abolish the death penalty.