Friday, May 16, 2008

100 hours after quake, survivor plucked from rubble

"Six million two-hundred forty thousand one hundred and eighteen bottles of beer on the wall, six million two-hundred forty thousand one hundred and eighteen bottles of beer..."

Cheering Chinese soldiers pulled a survivor from the wreckage of a fertiliser plant today, 100 hours after the massive Sichuan earthquake.

100 hours of laying in fertiliser? Ouch.

Lin Deyun is a 50-year-old driver who should not even have been in the Yinfeng Fertiliser Plant when the earthquake struck on Monday afternoon: he had been due just to make a quick delivery.

Funny how life is sometimes ain't it? One minute you're making a quick delivery to a fertiliser plant and the next 100 hours your laying underneath ten tons of ceiling with the smell of animal shit in your nostrils.

But when the building crumpled under the force of an earthquake that has now killed at least 20,000, he was in the games room.

"I'll just stop for a quick game of Pac-Man. What's it going to hurt?"

His incredible rescue began when a team picking through the ruins yesterday heard sounds of life. To their amazement, they were able to speak to the trapped driver.

"Just hang in there sir."
"Oh take your time."

Lacking the equipment to dig down through the rubble, they called in a specialist team from the People's Liberation Army.

They had shovels.

They also telephoned his daughter and wife, and asked them to come to the site to keep up his spirits.

That would be the last thing I needed. After 100 hours of laying in rubble all I want is to hear my wife and daughter bitching about having to take out the garbage the last four days.

His daughter, Lin Yuan, told The Times: "I talked to my father yesterday. I called out: 'Daddy' and he said: 'I want water'. I was crying. He said he could not move at all."

"Water...and noseplugs please. It smells like shit down here."

It eventually took the rescue team 22 hours to free him. His body was pinned down by such heavy concrete that doctors had to amputate a part of one of his arms and one of his legs.

Oh this is one of those feel-good articles.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Perdue signs law allowing guns in restaurants

"I said where's my fucking entree!"

Georgians with carry licenses can tote their concealed guns on public transportation, in restaurants that serve alcohol and in state parks under legislation signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue Wednesday.

Great idea. Perhaps mixing alcohol and concealed firearms isn't such a great idea. Sure you can yell "The 2nd Amendment" all you want but our forefathers didn't have to deal with this kind of fucking traffic. The country wasn't so crowded. Besides, what do you need a gun in a restaurant for anyway? Waving a gun in the bartenders face isn't going to get you your martini any faster.

Mom indicted in MySpace suicide case

This is no good.

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted a Missouri woman for her alleged role in perpetrating a hoax on the online social network MySpace against a 13-year-old neighbor who committed suicide.

I may catch some heat on this since everyone is so very sensitive about children. But I don't think this woman should be charged. Well, wait, lets see what she's been charged with first. I assume it's some obscure law stretched almost to the breaking point.

Lori Drew of suburban St. Louis allegedly helped create a false-identity MySpace account to contact Megan Meier, who thought she was chatting with a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans. Josh didn't exist. Megan hanged herself at home in October 2006 after receiving cruel messages, including one stating the world would be better off without her.

Very sad. But not criminal. Dispictable? Yes. Disgusting? Absolutely. But not criminal. This is a can of worms we shouldn't be opening.

Salvador Hernandez, assistant agent in charge of the Los Angeles FBI office, called the case heart-rending. "The Internet is a world unto itself. People must know how far they can go before they must stop. They exploited a young girl's weaknesses," Hernandez said. "Whether the defendant could have foreseen the results, she's responsible for her actions."

See now this is the problem. Did this woman cross the line? That goes without question. Should she be held responsible for harassment? Yes. Maybe I'd go as far as Endangering the welfare of a minor. But holding someone responsible for a suicide is a road we shouldn't travel down. Why? Because where does it end? Do we start holding people responsible for other peoples actions. I did this story a while ago and still believe that the teens mother should have been monitoring her daughters online chatter more closely. I am in no way legitimizing the actions of this woman who harassed a 13-year-old girl on Myspace. I'm just saying we should look down the road a little and be wary of where this is headed. We have a tendency as a culture, especially when it comes to children, to go a little overboard in effort to protect them. Nothing in this country is hated more than people who prey on children. Not murderers, rapists, arsonists, no one. And sometimes in that effort we blind ourselves to damage we may be doing. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Drew was charged with one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to get information used to inflict emotional distress on the girl.

This is the stretch I'm talking about. Accessing protected computers without authorization is a charge usually leveled at hackers who target government computers. Harassing someone on a public website does not fail under this at all.

U.S. Attorney Thomas P. O'Brien said this was the first time the federal statute on accessing protected computers has been used in a social-networking case. It has been used in the past to address hacking. "This was a tragedy that did not have to happen," O'Brien said.

It is a tragedy. It's a tragedy that no one caught what was happening before this young girl took her own life. Tragic that she never realized that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. But not criminal. It's such a dispictable act that we feel the need to punish. I would rather see some harassment charges leveled at this woman. We start making people responsible for others' suicides and what's to stop charges being leveled at someone who breaks up with a boyfriend or a girlfriend and that person takes their life? What about a boss who fires someone and they kill themselves? Slipper slope we should approach with caution. I'm interested to see how this turns out.

9-year-old girl's twin is found inside her stomach

Ate her sister huh. Happens.

A 9-year-old girl who went to hospital in central Greece suffering from stomach pains was found to be carrying her embryonic twin, doctors said Thursday.

That should be nice and permanently scarring.

Doctors at Larissa General Hospital examined the girl and surgically removed a growth they later discovered was an embryo more than two inches long.

So how do you break this info to a 9-year-old? Hey, remember that tummy ache you had? Yeah, that was the unborn dead twin sister you would have had if you hadn't eaten her in the womb. Want a cookie?

"They could see on the right side that her belly was swollen, but they couldn't suspect that this tumor would hide an embryo," hospital director Iakovos Brouskelis said.

Oh come on, what kind of doctor can't look at a swollen stomach and not know it's the dead fetus of an unborn twin? Don't these people go to med school?

The girl has made a full recovery, he said.

Physically. Mentally she's still mumbling something about cannibalism.

Andreas Markou, head of the hospital's pediatric department, said the embryo was a formed fetus with a head, hair and eyes, but no brain or umbilical cord.

Well, lets just count our blessing she didn't poo that one out. Now that would be an awkward conversation.

California Court Affirms Right to Gay Marriage

Quick, I got to buy stock in glitter.

The California Supreme Court, striking down two state laws that had limited marriages to unions between a man and a woman, ruled on Thursday that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.

About time. I was starting to feel like I was living in medeval times here. So what if Bob and Greg want to get married? As long as they keep the blinds closed when they're having sex like the police told me I had to start doing, then all is good.

The 4-to-3 decision, drawing on a ruling 60 years ago that struck down a state ban on interracial marriage, would make California the second state, after Massachusetts, to allow same-sex marriages.

I'm glad gay people can marry now. Why you ask? Easy. Because there is nothing funnier and more colorful than two gay men arguing. Two gay women? Not so funny. Disturbing actually. Looks like a twilight zone episode based at a truck stop. Now of course I'm not talking about that GOOD type of lesbians, you know, like the ones on those videos kept behind the curtains in the back of the video store. But I've yet to see that in real life outside of strip clubs. Wait, what where we talking about?

The decision, which becomes effective in 30 days unless the court grants a stay, was greeted with celebrations at San Francisco City Hall, where thousands of same-sex marriages were thrown out by the courts four years ago.

Court grants a stay in 5,4,3...

It was denounced by religious and conservative groups that promised to support an initiative proposed for the November ballot that would amend the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages and overturn the decision.

And here come the religious nuts getting into everyone elses business. Wish we could ban them from expressing their opinions all the time. Yes we know, we're all going to hell. And if these are the people that populate Heaven, shit, Hell's sounding nice and fucking quiet.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Austrian incest father says he is "not a monster"

Oh no? So what's your definition of a monster?

Austrian Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter for 24 years and fathered her seven children, said he was no "monster" and he could have killed her and her children had he wanted to, according to his lawyer.

Convincing argument.

"I am not a monster," Austrian daily Oesterreich quoted Fritzl as saying in comments relayed by his lawyer Rudolf Mayer. Fritzl also criticised media coverage of his case as "totally one-sided".

"All the media is concentrating on is that I locked my daughter up in a dungeon in my basement, raped her, fathered seven children with her, one of which died and then I burned in the furnace, and how I kept them locked down there for twenty-four years without seeing the sun. What about all my charity work?"

In 1984, the now 73-year-old lured daughter Elisabeth into a basement in his home in the eastern Austrian town of Amstetten, drugged her and locked her up. He claimed she had disappeared to join a sect.

I don't know, maybe it's me, but sounds like a monstrous thing to do.

Three of Elisabeth's children were raised by Fritzl and his wife Rosemarie after he pretended his daughter had left them on his doorstep with a letter saying she could not care for them.

Webster defines monster as: any animal or human grotesquely deviating from the normal shape, behavior, or character. A person who excites horror by wickedness, cruelty, etc. I'm going to have to side with the media on this one.

The other three children remained locked up in the windowless basement with their mother. A seventh child died shortly after birth. The pretence unravelled when the eldest child of the incestuous relationship, a 19-year-old daughter, became seriously ill and was taken to hospital more than two weeks ago.

I'm think I'm missing Josef Fritzl's argument here.

The young woman remains in an artificial coma and needs artificial respiration, according to her doctor. "Without me (she) would not be alive anymore...I was the one who made sure that she was taken to a hospital," said Fritzl, who also has seven children with his wife Rosemarie.

But you were the one who made her need to go to the hospital in the first place. Shouldn't we just shoot this guy?

"I could have killed all of them -- then nothing would have happened. No one would have ever known about it."

Actually, calling this guy a monster is an insult to monsters. I don't think a word exists to describe this. I'll make one up...umm...horriflagerating.

Arabs say racism on rise as Israel turns 60

Really? Is racism really the "Big Issue" over there in the middle east?

Salwa Abu Jaber believes her story shows Israel discriminating against its Arab citizens, 60 years after the state was established as a haven for Jews.

So at what point does racism turn into common sense? I may catch some flack for this but lets look at it objectively. Let's say, everyday, you come home from work a gang of French guys walks ove. punches you in the face and takes your wallet. (Fucking French always getting me in the parking lot). Now, don't you think you'd be a little wary of the French after a while, say, 60 years?
Racism is when you judge people by the color of their skin, and yes, dragging a black kid by a chain tied to the bumper of a pickup truck because he's black is racism and its digusting. But I think we're more talking about judging people by their culture. When the MAJORITY of a culture or race engage in activities that further negative judgement from other cultures or races, is it racism? Is it racist of me to wonder if the Arab guy at the back of the plane has a bomb, is it racist of me to think the black guy with pants down to his knees and a white t-shirt on that could easily pass as a skirt might be selling drugs? Is it the color of his skin I'm judging him by, or his culture? As an Italian who happens to share my last name with a prominent mafia family in New York, I can relate on a lower level. I can't tell you how many people follow initial greetings with "wow, do you know anyone in the mob?"
Is it because I'm Italian, because of my last name, because of the Godfather movies or The Sopranos? Yes, sort of, but more because the Italian mafia has existed in America since the early nineteen hundreds. It's part of my culture, an unfortunate one, but still a part. And saying a few bad apples fucks it up for the rest of us isn't fair when its many, many bad apples.
In our PC culture, it's absolutely taboo to say black people commit the most crime, most terrorists are of Arab decent, or at least Muslim background, or saying Mexicans can't speak English but then you look at the world around you and you think, by God, it's true, I can't say it, but we all know it.
It's not racism when your culture projects a constant negative image. It's racism when someone thinks you're a drug dealer JUST cause you're black. But if you're dressed like a fucking drug dealer, speak in sentences beginning with "Yo dawg" or "muthafucka what!" and end them in "yaknowhatimsayin'" or "word up!" then don't start screaming racism when people assume you're uneducated and a criminal.
Be aware of the image you're emitting. And yes, it's very unfortunate that because the majority of your culture acts a certain way, thinks a certain way, you get lumped into it as well. Not all Arabs are terrorists, not all black people are criminals and not all Mexicans can't speak English. But the actions of the culture you belong to reflect in you. It sucks, but its reality. Maybe one day some of the cultures in this world will finally decide to take responsibility for their self-inflicted negative image and work at bettering themselves in the eyes of others and the eyes of their children who will mimic them to a T. Until then, you'll have stereotypical racism. Go ahead and cry about it for a few minutes and then learn to fucking deal with it. Life ain't pretty. We just like to pretend it is.

The 32-year-old mother of four from northern Israel said her five-year-old daughter has never seen her father, who lives in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Separated from the man for five years, she says she has been forced to divorce him.

So why's he live in the West Bank and you don't?

Thousands of families have been similarly split by a 2003 ban on Palestinians in the West Bank from reuniting with their families inside Israel, imposed citing security reasons after the Palestinian uprising or intifada began in 2000.

Why didn't daddy move to Israel with mommy and daughter in 2000? Why stay behind?

"In practical terms, Israel forced the divorce on us," Abu Jaber said. "We could not continue to live like this any longer. If this is not racism, then what is it?"


After 1948, about 120,000 stayed and were granted Israeli citizenship. Now about one in five Israelis is Arab, and many prefer to be called Palestinians like their kin outside Israel.

Link yourself with a violent culture and you'll be treated the same.

"Arab citizens ... are related to more as enemies than as citizens with equal rights," the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said in its annual report.

Prehaps it has something to do with the suicide bombings and the checkpoint stabbings and the rockets fired into Israel from the West Bank and etc.etc.etc.