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December 11, 2003
Random headlines

This morning, just to start my day off on a bright note, I listened to NPR's coverage of the Florida case where the developmentally disabled 12 year-old boy playing at "wrestling" with a 6 year-old friend who died as a result of injuries, was tried as an adult and sentenced to life without parole in prison. I have a lot of "issues" around this case but the main question in my head today is why the boy's mother advised the 12 year-old to reject the 3-year sentence he was offered in the plea-bargain. Was the insistence that he was "innocent" tied up with the Florida system's decision to go after a first-degree murder charge? Would she have let him accept a plea-bargain on a lesser charge?

Private armies are back in the news. Seriously. You need to be worrying about this. We spend more money on our military than any other country in the world. Far, far more. Part of it goes to these contractors and you have to ask yourself for just exactly how long you want death to be a profit-based business in this country.

Not only did we hear previously that many of the Gitmo detainees were probably innocent, turned in for the "bounty" the USofA offered, or as revenge for some private grievance, now we're hearing that the upcoming Iraqi war crimes tribunals could well be marred by people, once again, trying to revenge themselves on personal enemies.

Also, it looks like the U.K. is creating a Gitmo of their own. How nice to have allies.

Over at all AllAfrica, they're debating who should get first dibs on available AIDS treatments. With only aboiut 1% of their infected population getting treatment today, it's an important issue.

They've also completed one stage of the biggest head-to-head comparison study of AIDS treatments and found that one is significantly better than the others to begin with.

And I'm sorry, but I just can't agree with a recommendation to pass laws against the wearing of "conspicuous" religious signs like headscarves or (large) crosses. It's wrong. If there's a problem between people of different religions, then deal with the religion thing, get them to talk or agree to a truce or whatever, but don't try to shove them in the closet.

There's going to be a vigil on International Human Rights day to draw attention to the hundreds of missing and murdered women in Mexico, from near the USofA border. I've listened to a couple of NPR stories on this but there is, not surprisingly, I guess, almost zero coverage of it in the USofA media.

On the other hand, the death of one journalist has Editor and Publisher up in arms.

Avoid canned Albacore tuna.

Over at Deutsche Welle, they're honest enough to admit that they very probably would have put the same restrictions on Iraqi reconstructions contracts as the USofA has installed.

No, we don't have the Thought Police in this country, but people are working on it.

It's all about the language.

Have you ever suspected a rude clerk muttering in a different language is actually insulting you? Employers worried that foreign staffers may be making customers uneasy, are turning to English-only rules. But is it fair?

No, it isn't. And if you think clerks are muttering bad things about you, I suggest you examine your own behavior.

(Okay, I've banned two or three IP addresses. Let's see if that slows down the comments spam.)

Posted by AnneZook at 08:47 AM