Machine Gun a Go Go

Of 2,390 state executions in 2008, 72% are Chinese – and I’m sure there’s a segment of the American population that feels angry that “asia has outstripped us again.”

Amnesty International also reports on countries that handed down death sentences after unfair trials, like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. The report addresses the discriminatory manner with which the death penalty was often applied in 2008, with a disproportionate number of sentences handed down to the poor, minorities and members of racial, ethnic and religious communities, in countries such as Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and USA. And the risk of executing the innocent continues, as highlighted by the four inmates released from death row in the USA on grounds of innocence.

Full disclosure time – until this past year, I was pretty much all in favor of the death penalty for certain kinds of offenses, thinking primarily from a punishment/”justice” model…not from a political one. It was pointed out to me that I don’t trust the Fed to deliver on certain other things without screwing them up (say, money…) but I was in favor of them having the power to terminate their own citizens? That was an eye opener.
If you’re interested, there is a followup piece here.

Israel, those champions of human decency, apparently used White phosphorus when blasting crowded buildings – here’s a sticky moral question for you: Which is worse: snipers and rocket attacks, or dumping white phosphorus on crowded population centers? Yes this is a trick question – of course the answer is they’re both pretty bad. Context however, demands that I go with Palestine on this.
Hey Israel – that whole hearts & minds thing? Yeah, you’re losing.

Madoff apparently was funding some of the more fringe oriented Transhumanists. A couple hoping to achieve some kind of better or longer living through architecture lost their life savings via losing income from their investments with Mr. Madoff which had helped fund their research and experimental work.
I have to say, that sounds like a neat house – I’d really like to see it. I doubt it will prolong human life but that theory is, to me, a little less wacky than others I’ve heard. It really floors me how extended life is synonymous with “safe and non threatening” to most people. (Really, the only tie this couple has to transhumanism is that this article says they do, so pencil me in as skeptical.) I’m fascinated by transhumanism – I just wish it wasn’t a) often dominated by the lunatic fringe (though generally, in a fairly agreeable way) and b) so damn far away. Like any other kind of “wishing makes it so” human endeavor, I’m fond of the inspiration it provides but treat it with all due skepticism.

Speaking of pseudoscience….
A new study claims that circumcision prevents spread of HPV and Herpes. Just why is the medical establishment is so hellbent on genital mutilation? They’ve been trying to throw out various kinds of justification for decades. I don’t believe this one either. Not for a minute.

This puts a giant smile on my face – I ran across it while surfing (For something FIRREA related I think.) Douglas Rushkoff advocates letting the economy fail.

It is in the spirit of the above that I report that IBM is cutting 5,000 jobs – must trim those payrolls now musn’t we corporate America? So long as the profit margin for corporate america is more important than the workers that make up that corporation (all of them, not just the executives) all the stimulus packages in the world will only be band aids.

political pictures for your blog
see more Political Pictures


~ by Auntie Ranty on March 25, 2009.

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