Thursday, February 1, 2007

Daily Manna (2/1)

Read this article detailing (with some unnecessary editorializing) the rampant use of a surprising loophole being used in theocratic Iran: In order to make sure prostitution and sex slavery remain legal under the muslim state, "mini-marriages" so to speak, are being arranged between working girls and their clients. These marriages, which then excuse the carnal act they precede, can last as little as one hour. Will the hipocrisy of fundamentalist zealots ever cease to amaze?

Check out this video of police officers in St. Petersburg, Florida cutting down tents, used by the homeless for shelter, with box-cutters. Yikes. This elevates 'Florida Policeman' to just below 'Texas State Executioner' on the list of jobs done with a heavy heart. Have a nice night's sleep, fellas.

Well, it seems Hugo Chavez' quest to turn Venezuela into a Castro-like totalitarian state will be completed well before any of his fiercest critics expected. You may remember Chavez from his charlatan rantings last fall before the U.N. General Assembly, calling Bush "Satan" and other assorted nonsense. After being elected democratically, on a populist platform, he has succeeded in grossly expanding his presidential powers, ostensibly to enact "revolution". This latest piece of legislation allows him to rule "by decree" bypassing congress (which is dominated by his party, anyway) and any other feeble checks and balances which now stand in his way. This is just one more reason for the world's free societies to pursue energy independence: without the staggering increase in the price of oil, Chavez would have been thrown out on his ass years ago. As it stands, he (alongside Vladimir Putin in Russia and Evo Morales in Bolivia) will continue to run their petroeconomies into the ground. Godspeed to the diminishing opposition party in Venezuela.

The United States has developed a new, nonlethal crowd control weapon: a heat ray that can be used from up to 500 meters away. The ray is made to penetrate the skin, causing its victims to flee for cover, although (with wide testing) it has caused zero injuries requiring serious medical attention. Volunteer reporters who were subjected to the ray agreed about there being no risk of injury, although they also said they felt as though their clothes were about to ignite. It's hard to know where to stand on this issue: on one hand, we welcome progress in nonlethal, crowd-dispersal weaponry as it helps avoid the always-ghastly scenario of a police force turning its guns on the citizenry it's sworn to protect. On the other hand, the liberterian impulse is to be suspicious of any technology that is TOO efficient in the corraling of crowds. Just imagine if Hugo Chavez got his hands on one of these.

No comments: