Another Terri Schiavo?

Biltrix and Catholibertarian brought the case of Gary Harvey to my attention in this post. Mr. Harvey was injured in 2006, and the state (Pennsylvania in this case) has taken guardianship of him and has been striving to terminate his life.

Years ago, I read the (and posted about, with lots of comments and references) [...]

Magicians and the Disappearing Victim

“The church bell chimed ’till it range twenty-nine times, for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.” I’ve always liked this Gordon Lightfoot song, and it made me feel a little guilty to create The Wreck of Al Gore’s Copenhagen. Sunday, President Obama somberly read a list of victims of Adam Lanza, while mixing politics into what should have been a eulogy. He read only 26 names, as Adam Lanza’s mother Nancy, the first person he killed, was worth omitting from history for her crime of having guns at home. The bells rang only 26 times in most places, though a few rang 27 — and some pushed for 28, to include the killer himself. But for most of the “official” memorials, including the balloons with the numbers 2-6 on them, Nancy Lanza is merely the victim not worth remembering. [...]

Sunday Verse 7: Christmas Rambles

the-food-for-thought-award

While the world has turned its thoughts to Christmas, other matters intrude: In the US, many are preoccupied by the much-hyped “fiscal cliff” and the planned increase in taxes as well as the aftermath of the the horrific shooting at the elementary school — the one in which no one had a weapon to defend themselves with. The US government’s plans to exact more taxes, and to reduce Constitutional freedoms, are much discussed. I have obligations, voluntarily undertaken, remaining from the “Food for Thought Award” — and they include this seventh in a series on Sunday verses that have inspired my thought. In this instance, Luke 2 comes to mind, as it is both an account of the birth of of Jesus, and it begins with an announcement of government taxation: [...]

Deterring the Insane

gunrights

There are many odd things about the sad atrocity in the Sandy Hook school. This includes odd political things, like the implicit assumption by Obama and many others that making one more aspect of what the shooter did illegal would stop him. The shooter was a 20-year-old young man described as a “loner” and “something of a genius” and “not very social” — phrases that were used to describe me, decades ago, and are now being used to identify “Aspies” and autistic children as potential mass murderers. Video games, too, are being blamed — though this isn’t supported by studies as nearly as I can tell. However, video games did figure into this, and I will get to that in a moment. [...]

Just Iraq

I mentioned in the “Sunday Verse 6″ post about the idea of a “just war.” In my opinion, our entry into Iraq in 2003 was appropriate — a “just war” as the saying goes — and it may be the only war in all of history that was initiated based upon conditions that both sides had agreed to in advance. The invasion and ouster accomplished much good, not just in Iraq but with other very beneficial effects: [...]

Sunday Verse 6: Two Worlds

the-food-for-thought-award

One rather famous verse in the synoptic Gospels (such as in Matthew 21) includes this line: “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” The same chapter contains many other recognizable phrases, and it has long intrigued me how many different Biblical expressions have made it to English conversational or literary use. For example, in this chapter are found the expression “Many are called, but few are chosen” and “Show me the money!” (often translated as “show me the tribute money” or “show the the tribute coin”). [...]

Rigging the Vote Testimony

voting

I think that voter fraud is a substantial problem in the United States. At the same time, I think that we must be careful what we say about it, as we weaken our case by propagating information that turns out to be dubious or false. This video came to my attention again recently, though I’d seen it years ago and done some reading about the events described. In the video, a programmer named Clinton Curtis claims that he was hired by a politician (Tom Feeney) to rig touch-screen voting machines in Palm Beach County to fraudulently pick a predetermined winner in the 2000 election: [...]

Euphemisms for jihadists

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that the UK typically uses a euphemism for jihadist Muslims in the news, referring to them more blandly as “Asian men.” This was true in the sex trade article I’d linked, for example.

DeckardCanine was surprised: “That’s a euphemism? To me it’s just a way to offend even more people.”

[...]

Rotherham’s Children

rotherham-ukip

It has struck me as peculiar, this current little conflict going on in the United Kingdom. Two situations in the community of Rotherham stand in seeming contrast: A couple has had foster children taken away from them by the local government for being members of the “wrong” political party. They are in the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which is in some respects an analog of the US Tea Party. Young teens and even prepubescent children (usually girls) have, for most of two decades, been groomed in this community for the sex slave industry, and the same local government has shown little interest in addressing the issue. [...]

Is Altruism Batty?

This creature is perhaps an unlikely representative of altruism:

The nightmarish vampire bat might not seem like a team player, given that it’s a parasite and all, but in fact it demonstrates some pretty advanced social intelligence. It’s in the best interest of a small animal like the bat to maintain a healthy and [...]