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So, Iraq had their elections today.

15 million Iraqis were eligible to vote out of a population of 26 million. Of those, 11 million voted.

6,655 candidates ran for 275 parliament seats. 307 parties and 19 coalitions were registered for the ballot.

Interesting times, indeed. I can't fathom trying to keep track of 307 parties. And results in two weeks. I'm sure it was like this in the old days, before I was old enough to vote. But dang!

Here's what Wonkette had to say about Bush's accountability for the bad intel:
Still, with yesterday's inclement weather, we were worried sick about all the traffic accidents that were going to occur as all the people that the President would be firing in the wake of his intelligence revelation would be leaving town at the same time everyone who had lost their job would be returning. Turns out those fears were misplaced. As far as we can tell, those same PNAC clowns who busted out foreign policy Madlibs with Ahmed Chalabi and cut intellgence reports into pretty paper snowflakes are still dancing and juggling and flopping around the Bush White House in their oversized shoes.

This is the brilliance of the twenty-first century: as long as we act like we're taking responsibility, we don't have to learn a damn thing. That's the luxury of an age in which winning in the polls supercedes actual tangible results. Still: don't look back in anger at the intel of yesteryear. It wasn't all bad. That August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing, for example -- that was some pretty hot stuff.
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In 1979, a man was convicted of murdering 4 people. Despite the trial by press presented by various folks, appeals courts seem to be unable, based on the laws of our state, to overturn the conviction. No matter what supporters of Tookie bring to light, for whatever reason, attorneys for Tookie cannot seem to compel appellate courts to overturn the conviction.

I find I am still torn on the death penalty. Part of me hates the thought of an innocent person being put to death. I believe that is wrong. However, what does it mean to me, a person being innocent? Tookie says he didn't do it. Then again, it appears to be in his best interests to say he didn't do it, especially since it helps ensure that people clamor for clemency on his behalf. And the people he was accused and found guilty of killing cannot speak for him.

The childrens books he wrote advising l'il tykes to not get involved with gangs will not bring those people back, either. And you wonder if a man who founds an organization as reviling as the Crips didn't commit other murders for which he was not tried. After all, if it is possible that he was found guilty for crimes that he did not commit, then it's quite possible that other people were found guilty for crimes he committed, especially in the line o' gang work.

But that's not so important, really. It's speculation, and not valid. However, a jury of his peers found him guilty, and numerous appeals later, he's still guilty. As a member of this society, that is sufficient for me. That is why we created our legal system.

Truth is very hard to grasp, but the legal system exists to resolve disputes in our society. In this dispute, Tookie was determined to be guilty of murdering four people.

Given that, and that our state decides to put such people to death, I really have no problem with that

So yes, he has done good things with his life since then. Was that really for society or for himself? I don't know. I suppose if he had done a number of things up to but not including killing a person, I suppose I could allow for redemption. But I see an imbalance in giving a murderer a second chance when his victims do not get a second chance. When] someone takes the life of another, I tend to think that someone's life is less precious.

When you've taken the life of another, and your reason for taking that life was not in self defense, then you've pretty solidly fucked up. Accidents happen, but not four times.

If we could ship convicted people off to an uncivilized planet where they can fend for themselves, I wouldn't mind that so much. But I don't fancy the notion of paying over 30,000 a year for a murdering jackass when we cannot afford to provide health care for people who don't murder other people, or good education for children who need to be educated and nurtured so that a life of crime and murder.

Because I've never brutally killed anyone, or started a gang organization that continues to spread violence and crime, I have a hard time understanding why someone who truly is remorseful of those circumstances would want to live, anyway. And if I were truly remorseful that I had started a violent gang organization, I would probably dedicate myself to destroying it. I wouldn't just write childrens books advising kids not to join gangs.

Writing childrens books saying "gangs are bad, mkay" while helping to solve the problem of gangs is like Philip Morris making public service commercials advising that smoking is harmful to your health, all the while continuing to manufacture cigarettes. Well, it's not quite the same, but it's close enough.
weaktwos: (Beaten)
Genetic Secrets of Man's Best Friend Revealed. Apparently, we have more in common, genetically speaking with dogs than with mice.

Brought to you via [livejournal.com profile] imlac, a very interesting euthanasia case. It's a new, more conflicting "right to die" case. It's not only intriguing from the moral conflicts involved, but my goodness, this poor girl was completely and utterly screwed all her life.

Consider:
-Haleigh Poutre's stepfather beat her to a persistent vegetative state.
=Haleigh's body was covered with burns, cuts, and bruises when she was hospitalized after being beaten with a bat.
-Haleigh's mother was separated from her when she was 4 due to allegations of abuse.
=Haleigh's guardian and maternal aunt, and Strickland's(the abusive monster) wife, was shot in a murder/suicide along with Haleigh's grandmother after she (the aunt) was accused of abusing Haleigh.

For Haleigh's sake, I hope there is such a thing as reincarnation, because this little girl got sooo ripped off. And now her stepfather is trying to ensure she remains on life support so he avoids being tried for murder.

So, will the right-to-life(less) group is confronted with a conflict: allow a child to die, or let a despicable abuser get off on lesser chargers.
weaktwos: (Default)
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/state/la-me-chpshot18nov18,1,3551851.story?coll=la-news-state

Yesterday, a CHP Officer was shot down in Woodland, which is a city that I go to hang out with somewhat frequently. What saddens me is that he was suddenly shot by the driver during a routine traffic stop. Even more gruesome was that a citizen called in the shooting from the fallen officer's car.

His wife must be simply distraught.

I hate senseless violence like this. I thought I just saw a news item on television that the suspect who committed this crime was apprehended...and sure enough, he was apprehended in Rocklin.

The suspect is a 20 year old male. Twenty years old, and you want to ruin your life by shooting a CHP officer.

There are probably a number of CHP officers who are shaken up by this, and a number of CHP officers' spouses who are on edge, wondering if the next car the officer pulls over is going to be another lunatic with a gun.
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Work today was marginally productive. I did get in a good visit to the gym, which was much needed. Upon arrival to my humble domicile, I fed the little predators and flicked on HBO. "Down With Love" was on, starring Ewen McGregor and Renee Zellweiger. The movie was largely terrible if you try to take it seriously. Since I didn't, I was rather amused.

Ewen is still hot.

While that hummed in the background, I was surfing the Wikipedia, reading up on the Bernanke, the nominee for the Fed, on supply-side economics, and on John Kenneth Galbraith.

I came across this quote by Galbraith:

"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."

Hah! It makes me laugh heartily. Why, oh why, had I not heard this quote before?

In the News

Aug. 8th, 2005 05:23 am
weaktwos: (Default)
Here's an interesting little blurb for us Californians. A vacaville woman who once met with Bush in 2004 is now protesting outside his ranch until she can talk to him again. She lost her son in Iraq last year.

From the files of "good examples of international relations" comes the Russian submarine rescue. Death in a tiny metal tube in deep, murky waters doesn't sound like my idea of a good time. Good job for the Brits who rescued the formerly unlucky Russians!

The Space Shuttle's landing was delayed a day due to weather concerns. I'll be keeping good thoughts for a safe return of the crew.


I'm rather cheesed over the Intelligent Design flare up from last week. Time magazine churned out an article in this week's issue. So, I'll resort to name-calling and say that this guy is a moron. And this guy's August 3rd post is a reasonably nice response of said moron's opinion.

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