Friday, December 20, 2002

Shame, shame, shame


I wake up to NPR in the morning, which, as an aside, makes for some funny dreams sometimes. The morning I woke up hearing that Iranian immigrants -- and others from predominantly Muslim nations -- were being detained upon arrival at INS offices to undergo registration of some sorts (followup to the WTC/Pentagon attacks on 9/11/2001) here in southern California, made me wish I was still dreaming. Alas, no.

The official reason for their detainment? Suspected visa violations. Suspected.

Are terrorists going to step forward and register themselves? of residence....occupation? Terrorist. Would you spell that, please?

Probably not, kids.

France seems to have a much more realistic response: French Council for the Muslim Religion. Maybe it's time for the US to take a page from that book.


deep resentful sigh

Y'know, in every religion or society there are stone cold wackos.

Assuming that everyone else in that group is an enemy because of the actions of certain extremists -- why, that's just stupid. If I did that, I'd have to believe that all Christians are evil.

Would't I?

More people, in my country, have been killed by Christian extremists of one kind or another than died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

  • Salem, Massachusetts -- 20 dead for witchcraft
  • Estimates of the pre-contact Native American population of the Americas, all completely unscientific, range from 15 to 60 million. The Native population of California alone went from 85,000 to 18,000 between 1852 and 1890. "Well, at least they died Christian". I'm so relieved.
  • The trans-Atlantic slave trade -- at least, at least 6 million. Boy, my mind's at ease over the states of their souls, too. Phew.
  • The American South -- By 1918, at least 3,224 people were murdered by lynching, possibly many more.
  • Over 2000 anti-gay assaults were reported in the United States in the year 2000. That's just in one year. How many of them were by self-identified Christians?

That "thou shalt not kill" thing, that doesn't apply to you. Heavens, no. That love your neighbor as yourself thing -- oh, not you. Jesus didn't mean you.

Oh, but Sidra, these cases aren't just about religion. You could argue that some of the examples of larger scope were only condoned by Christians or their dogma. "Only". So, perhaps I'm stretching a bit to make my point. Or maybe not. How many perpetrators of these crimes considered themselves actively Christian? Even good and godly? God-fearin' Bible-thumpers? Extremists acting in the name of their god? How many of the perpetrators believed it was OK with God to do this? How many cited scripture to their victims? Thought it was acceptable to beat, threaten and intimidate?

Say...that sounds like inflicting terror doesn't it?

And of course, it's not just in my country, kids. Why, no! The Christian Bible touts over a million dead in its pages. Scotland killed in the hundreds, thousands and possibly tens of thousands, as witches. Depending on which argument you believe, Hitler was Christian.

So....we should round up all white male Christians over the age of 16 in America and detain them, one way or another.

'Cause they are obviously a dangerous terrorist threat. To me, to you, to everybody.


Thursday, December 19, 2002

Out-Of-Body Cancer Therapy

My god, this is smart.

"For the first time, cancer has been treated by removing an organ from the body, giving it radiotherapy and then re-implanting it. The out-of-body operation allows doctors to administer high doses of radiation to widespread tumours without affecting other organs."

"By explanting the organ, we could give a high and uniform dose to all the liver, which is impossible to obtain inside the body without serious risk to the patient," says Tazio Pinelli, a physicist who coordinated the work together with liver surgeon Aris Zonta.


Thanks to Kim, for the tip!

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Screeching Halt


James Carville: "Why is it that the attorney general of the United States [John Ashcroft, who can't even win an election when running against dead people -- sidra] gives an interview to a magazine that hails the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and he says we don't do enough to promote the image of the Confederacy? The current president of the United States goes to South Carolina and refuses to take a stand on the symbol of the Confederate flag flying over the capital. You don't think black people get that?"

That crashing noise was me, going from 150kph to 0 in 3ms.

I'm sorry, they did what? what? What?? Do these people live on the same planet as me?!

It is laughable, laughable, to look someone in the eye and pretend that melanin has anything to do with, well, anything, save their likelihood of getting a sunburn. What is that kind of attitude, if not shiningly, magnificently, STUPID? And you want to promote the image of the socio-political entity that thought this was peachy-keen, not to mention the losing side of a civil war? Say again?

TalkLeft::Ashcroft, Southern Partisan and Those Who Opposed Him
Attorney general nominee refuses to condemn white supremacist magazine 2001.
Ashcroft whistles Dixie

LaRouche Says: Confederate-Sympathizer Ashcroft Cannot Be Confirmed as U.S. Attorney General


On NPR's All Things Considered, The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII.

"The half-hour documentary begins in the early 1940s when the Army Air Force faced a dilemma: It needed thousands of newly assembled airplanes delivered to military bases, but most of America's pilots were overseas fighting the war. To solve the problem, the government launched an experimental program to train new pilots - the Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPs. Drawn from more than 25 hours of interviews and archival tape, the documentary The WASPs presents an oral history of the pioneering program and pilots."

Also on All Things Considered:

"Author Richard Conniff set out to study wealthy people the way Jane Goodall studied chimpanzees. In his findings, he compares his subjects to members of the animal kingdom -- baboons, reptiles and other beasts. Tuesday [12/17/2002] on All Things Considered, Conniff discusses his book The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide. "

Both of these (quite different, yes) sound equally thrilling.