Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weird Scenes Inside the Salt Mine

Is anyone getting the feeling that David Lynch is writing the news lately? Indeed, it seems as bizarre as the news has been lately, our world has the capacity, like Lynch's filmography, to get even more bizarre.

Mrs. JP has been feeding yours truly with some bizarre news items and, believe it or not, they're even stranger than the serious discussions we've been hearing about privatizing Social Security and keeping the Bush tax cuts, especially with Congress gone all month.

Drill, Baby, Drill!

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement's kids' website features a fascinating game: Let's drill for oil, kids! (warning: 6.47 megabyte .pdf file) By using sticks and boxes and a little shoe polish, we can teach our children that drilling for oil isn't hard, dangerous, dirty work at all but fun!

It's real simple: Just take a wooden box, a stick, bury some shoe polish under the sand then put the stick into the sand. When the "drill" comes up black, you've struck oil! No mention of the real life tar that is buried by BP beneath the sand, the thousands of bags stuffed with dead marine life that's also buried beneath the sand, the dead 11 rig workers or the government's own complicity in letting BP and other oil companies recklessly drill, baby, drill without proper environmental impact reports or workable oil spill plans.

You'd never think that anyone could be so heartless as to grab a 17 month-old baby by the neck and repeatedly punch it with a closed fist until it was dead, would you? How about someone who did because the tot, a boy, was "acting like a girl?"

Yet, that's exactly what 20 year-old Pedro Jones did to his girlfriend's baby, Roy Jones on the Shinnecock Indian reservation. Said Jones to NY state troopers, "I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl. I never struck that kid that hard before. A one-time mistake, and I am going to do 20 years."

So how hard did he strike the baby (who wasn't his) in the past and why did the baby's mother let him get away with it? "He's my baby," Jones added. "I love him to death." Yeah, literally.

Speaking of homicidal lunacy, what would you think about a gay man being executed in Iran for sodomy? That would be brutal, right? Well, what would you think if you heard about a young man about to be executed in Iran for sodomy even if he was straight, there was no evidence of sodomy, his accuser recanted and the boy had no legal representation?

That's exactly what's happening in Iran right now. 18 year-old Ebrahim Hamidi, who's about to be executed in Iran for a "crime" he didn't commit and because of a loophole in the Iran criminal justice system called "judge's knowledge" (the Iranian version of Bush or Obama getting to subjectively decide who's an enemy of the state and to respond without due process).

So why is young Mr. Hamidi about to executed without legal counsel? His attorney, human rights lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, was forced to flee the country after he tried bringing international attention to two of his cases. Mostafaei is something of a hero/villain in Iran and he's credited with saving the lives of at least 50 innocent people who otherwise would've been murdered by Iran's completely insane, 11th century criminal justice system. Mostafaei's wife was arrested recently and essentially held hostage because her husband had the temerity to publicly, and righteously, embarrass Iran. So the more attention we can give this boy's imminent execution, the better.

If I was a Floridian, I wouldn't exactly consider it a badge of distinction that my state is the only one that specifically bans gay couples from adopting. But I'd be even more embarrassed to come from a state whose Attorney General also wants to keep same-sex couples from becoming foster parents. "I really do not think that we should have homosexuals guiding our children," Bill "Gollum" McCollum said.

Yep, that's what he said in public. Now, you'd think that Gollum would give the homophobia a rest, especially in light of his part in the George Rentboy scandal that had cost Florida taxpayers $120,000. But apparently Republicans are as unconscious of irony as they are to the rights and suffering of others.


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