A few thoughts, comments about some recent news items, starting with the unpleasantness at Virginia Tech. It seems that legally the killer should not have been able to purchase the weapons he had. So I have an idea, why don’t we enforce the gun laws we already have before getting all uppity about writing more laws or changing the constitution. Frankly I do think much of the Constitution needs to be rewritten, we can ditch the Electoral College for one. On the other hand, I wouldn’t let the current Congress near our existing Constitution if my life depended on it, because afterwards we wouldn’t have any rights at all.
In Iraq, the wall the US was building to protect a Sunni part of Baghdad was halted by Maliki government. Maybe. Not much to say about this, except that this once again shows the American tendency to seek simple structural solutions to complex social situations. Walls generally makes things worse, not better, so one has to suspect that the purpose of the wall was to increase Shiite/Sunni strife. Why would the USA try to deliberately increase Shiite/Sunni strife? It’s called divide and conquer, it’s one of the oldest and most time tested tools in the colonialist tool kit. And in a final bizarre note, the US general in charge of Iraq said that maybe the Iraqis must need to learn to live with sensational terrorist attacks, just like the people in Northern Ireland. Let’s see, if the governor of Virgina had said that Americans just need to “learn to live with” massacres like Virginia Tech, what would the typical American have responded? And I guess the good general is unaware that the people in Northern Ireland didn’t “learn to live with” terrorist attacks, they sat down at a table and negotiated and end to the madness. This kind of stupidity and ignorance of history is how we have made such a mess in Iraq, and why we will be leaving soon.
And on the ever popular topic of global warming, I’ve been wondering, where are the studies that show that global warming is not occurring? Obviously the energy industry has plenty of money to fund such studies, obviously there are qualified scientists like Dr Lindzen who would be happy to perform such studies. Why then are no scientists proposing and performing such studies? Because at this date all I am seeing is increasingly illogically and emotional arguments, not to mention ad hominem attacks, as the only arguments used by global warming deniers. I mean, this is how science works, you come up with a theory, then think of a study that tests your theory. Where are these studies? If it’s such a slam dunk that global warming is a hoax, there should be tons of science to back this assertion up.
And in news that is hard to quantify, Utah is considering a law that would require people with wireless nodes to either password protect their node, or install pornography filtering software. Why? Well, the spectre of teenagers driving around with a laptop looking for unsecured nodes so that they can look at pornography is the justification. What planet are these people on? Oh, right. Utah. I’m sorry, but raising children is the parent’s responsibility, not the State’s. If teenage children have access to a car and a laptop and are driving around trying to access pornography, the parents in question have already failed and no amount of downstream police work is going to fix the problem. This is like insisting that all copying machines be password protected so that minors don’t photocopy dirty pictures and pass them around, it’s a ludicrous proposal that would waste police resources, criminalize perfectly law abiding citizens, and do nothing whatsoever to address the problem. Assuming the problem even exists, teenagers with cars generally find teenagers of the opposite gender to explore their sexuality with, not images on laptops. In fact I wonder what the professor who proposed this law does with her spare time on her school computer if this is what she came up with as a proposed law, maybe the police should look into that.
In a sad note, Boris Yeltsin passed away today, he was the Russian leader who engineered the final collapse of the Soviet Union. There’s tons to read about him elsewhere, the only thing I would note is that in the last abortive communist military coup, crowds of Russian civilians rushed into the streets to surround the building where he was, and used themselves as human shields to keep renegade Army units from arresting/killing him. Whatever else that may be said about him, anyone who inspires that kind of response from the person on the street is a real leader. God rest his soul.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is central to illustrating the post, and it is an historically important image. Credit: AFP/Getty images.)