Sunday, July 26, 2009

Misc updates...

Needed: vultures...

Photo credit: Radio Sai

The October 29th, 2008 blog entry, Science and side effects..., discussed a couple of the side effects of the massive vulture die-off in Bombay and India. One example was a huge surge in the population of wild dogs, resulting in an increase in rabies deaths among the population. According to this article, Is Decline in India’s Vulture Population Linked to Spread of Rabies in Humans? the Indian government has launched a plan to sterilize eight million stray dogs over the next ten years...


Needed: new legislation...

Picture source: Wikipedia

The March 29th, 2008 blog entry, Medellin, covered the SCOTUS decision in Medellin v. Texas, which allowed the state to go ahead and execute Jose Ernesto Medellin (who had been convicted of the rape and subsequent murder of two girls). Medellin had argued that the police had not informed him of his right (pursuant to the Vienna Convention) to have the Mexican consulate notified of his arrest. In an oped last week in the New York Times, "Lawlessness North of the Border", John B. Bellinger III (a lawyer, was the legal adviser to the State Department from April 2005 to January 2009) argues that the Obama administration should "seek narrowly tailored legislation that would authorize the president to order review of these cases and override, if necessary, any state criminal laws limiting further appeals, in order to comply with the United Nations Charter." Good luck with that! It is unlikely that the Obama administration will move on this issue - although it may be the right thing to do, you know that the "soft on crime" attacks would immediately begin, and the administration is unlikely to risk political capital on this issue...


Needed: outrage leading to action... (and a sense of perspective)

Photo source: Let's See Change

Apparently the "Skip Gates affair" has shocked... shocked... some, who are lamenting that the U.S. apparently is not post-racial, the election of Barack Obama as President notwithstanding... An example is one Lawrence Bobo... Now this blogger can't say that he has any idea at all who this gentleman is, other than that he has written an article on the incident, What Do You Call a Black Man With a Ph.D.? This blogger, for one, was not shocked that racism still exists in the United States. What he is shocked about, nay appalled, is that the folks like Bobo and many others are surprised, and acting as if this is a revelation! Are they so oblivious, wrapped in their academic coccoons? Almost four years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans the truth about what appears to be a series of racially motivated killings that occurred in the area at that time has not been full uncovered... and in fact is not even seriously being investigated.
Mr. Bobo, please read this article, "Katrina's Hidden Race War', find a true sense of outrage, write opeds, and petition the administration to do something to have this seriously investigated! Skip Gates is an erudite and well-spoken person, who is listened to and who has a friend in the White House. Please also get him engaged in this effort. Oh, and bye the bye, how about an explanation re why this does not outrage you as much as your friend's minor (in comparison) inconvenience...

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