commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for November, 2007

Stop the non-lethal killings!

In yet another unintentional use of deadly force by police who have been misinformed that Tasers are non-lethal, CNN reports that a 20-year old was killed with a Taser.  One wonders if the police would have been so fast to use a pistol; my guess is not.

It’s about time that Tasers were labeled as lethal force, because that’s what they are.  A Taser won’t always kill a person, but then again, neither will a gun.

Taser International claims “A bystander’s video of the Vancouver incident that showed the victim continuing to struggle after being shot with the device “is proof that the Taser device was not the cause of his death,” the company said on its Web site. Cardiac arrest caused by electrical current would have caused immediate death.”

I suppose they’ve never heard of V-tachycardia.

A practical step to increase women’s rights

CNN reports that “A court in Saudi Arabia increased the punishment for a gang-rape victim after her lawyer won an appeal of the sentence for the rapists…”

We can’t cut off money and diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia because we need their oil.  If some of the people who were all worried about marching and protesting and doing all sorts of other things about women’s rights would simply spend their time coming up with usable alternative fuels, we could cut off the Arabs’ money spigot.

Marching feels sooooo much better and uplifting than a few years of laboratory research, though…

Hey, did you see how well my anti-polar bear suit works?

From CNN:

“We have been protected from attack here at home,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky said. “There’s progress that is obviously being made in Iraq.”

Right, Mitch, right. Let me sell you a new anti-polar bear suit for only $2 million. Of course it works, do you see any polar bears around here? The suit is obviously protecting me from polar bear attack here at home.

My father

My father passed away on October 26, 2007, after extensive complications (we’re talking MRSA and Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus and Pseudomonas ae. here, in a leg wound) developed from an attempt to replace his right hip joint.

A memorial site is on the web at