Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lame hall of fame

I wonder what the reality-based community will make of this - Marcy Kaptur can't tell a reenactment from real life.

Vote her out, so we can stop the Democrats' ongoing Depression reenactment.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

A permanent solution to a temporary problem

When I first heard of the Tyler Clementi suicide I thought it was time for a Singapore style caning of the perps who thought it would be cool to put a webcam on him. As for Tyler Clementi...

I've known more suicides than I care to recall, and a bonus one that only failed because of a major last-minute intervention at an emergency room. Incidentally, that survivor lived another 30+ years.

Thanks loads to all of you. Yeah, your problems ended. And you left a bunch of people behind who wonder what they might have done about it and various other messes. Including, in one case, a mess of blood, skull fragments and brains on the outside of a house. Some kids got to see that, including his own.

Or there was the high school kid I knew who was scared to death after he wrecked the family car. His father was strict - what would he do? As it turned out, he buried his son with the top of his skull blown off.

What could the father have done to deserve that? Should he have gone out and killed himself too?

Yep, some people have terrible diseases. They're helpless, in physical pain beyond what I can imagine, etc. OK, it's your life, do what you want. Having watched someone die from brain cancer, I'm on board with that.

I know someone else who's done time and has had a drug habit. His father had a failed suicide attempt, but all his mother's brothers succeeded (I knew them all). He spent months out of work looking every day at a little boy he couldn't support, and being an ex-con doesn't help his prospects. He doesn't have a gun that I know of, but there's always poison, ropes, knives, gas, electricity, cars, windows, bridges... Gosh, what's he hanging around for?

And then there's someone who's mortified, like Tyler Clementi. Yeah, he sure got his privacy invaded. I can see him being pathologically ticked off, pursuing all kinds of legal relief, and making sure that everyone on earth knew what a snake he roomed with. Or maybe transferring to another school. But suicide?

Am I being hard on him and his family? Maybe, but he's already gone. Let's think of the living - the people who might make a better decision if this were presented as a monumental mistake, and a very cruel trick on everyone who cared about him that went far beyond what was done to him.

It certainly wasn't inevitable. After all, the other guy in the video stream had his privacy invaded too - did he kill himself?

And the perps? They got outed too, in the New York Times and untold links, mortification far beyond anything that happened to Tyler Clementi before he killed himself. Should people back off lest they should kill themselves too? Maybe some people will think twice about playing mean tricks now, but let's not overdo it.

Oh yeah, the ex-con. He finally found a job even in this economy. He's not a model citizen yet, but he knows that I and others will kick his butt with gusto he fouls up again, and he's trying.

Because where there's life, there's hope...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Sam the sponge

My Silent Business Partner

Plan B

Claudia Rosett has much to say about Imam Feisal. No doubt she could have gone on for much longer, but only had so much space to work with.

The jaw-dropper was this: "How better to commemorate 9/11 than to urge our fellow Muslims, fellow Christians and fellow Jews to follow the fundamental common impulse of our great faith traditions?" How about renouncing terror, stating that it is inconsistent with Islam and thus terrorists are infidels, apologizing to the victims, and using his Ground Zero site as a Victims of Terrorism museum?

Imam: Moving Mosque Could Ignite Violence

Exactly what is it besides getting their way that *doesn't* enrage extremist Muslims?

Of course about now even the tamest observant Muslims must be a little cranky, after almost a month of starving all day for Ramadan. I haven't been around enough Muslims for long enough to know what percent really observe it. I doubt that they're any better at living by their book than other religions are at observing theirs.

But one custom that's really easy to observe is Eid al-Fitr, which is at the end of Ramadan. Yeah, you'd do something special too after spending a month of long summer days without eating during daylight, whether you really observed it or not. It lasts 3 days, and this year those three days happen to include 9/11.

Ramadan and thus Eid al-Fitr are based on a lunar calendar, and thus effectively were scheduled for this year long before 9/11. So there's nothing deliberately provocative about the timing of Eid this year.

Even so, I'm hoping nobody does anything to enrage extremist Americans.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 17

Back when I started blogging years ago I used to write fairly often about nuclear power. Much has happened in blogging since, and I'm glad to see stuff like Carnival of Nuclear Energy 17.

Link via Glenn Reynolds, whose hit counter surely must start smoking every time I link to him. Especially after I haven't blogged anything for over 8 months - what have you poor people been doing?

If you think health care costs an arm and a leg...

...consider that this woman didn't take advantage of it, and it cost her an arm and two legs.