Sunday, November 14, 2004

Sunday Reading:

--- Howard Troxler has written an excellent column in today's St. Petersburg Times about the so-called "religious right" and their hypocracy. We are all sinners in the eyes of God, but many of these right wing theocrats forget the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:5:

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

--- Michael Kinsley writes in the Washington Post about the Bush Administration's complaints against "activist" judges. And he also makes mention of the Republican's platform plank regarding legalized abortion, and how their idea of an "activist" judge would rule:

But has anybody read the 2004 Republican platform on abortion? It doesn't merely call for reversal of Roe v. Wade. It calls for "legislation to make it clear that the 14th Amendment's protections apply to unborn children," and for judges who believe likewise. If fetuses are "persons" under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees all persons "equal protection of the law," abortion will be illegal whether a state or Congress wants to legalize it or not. More than that: There could be no legal distinction between the rights of fetuses and the rights of human beings after birth. So, just for example, a woman who procured an abortion would have to be prosecuted as if she had hired a gunman to murder her child. The doctor would have to be treated like the gunman. If the state had a death penalty, it would have to apply to both. And the party that now controls all three branches of government says this is already the case. Legislation is only needed to "make it clear," and judges are needed who will enforce it.

--- Now if you REALLY want to read something to get your dander up, check out this editorial in Friday's Tampa Tribune. The title says it all: An Abused Ashcroft Led With Dignity. Whoever wrote this piece must have been smoking some wild weed before creating this POS.

--- The Miami Herald has a story on a Miami-Dade police officer using a Tazer gun on a 12 year old child who was playing hookey from school earlier this week. The incident marks the second time a Tazer was used on a child; a six year old was hit with the 50,000 watt shock three weeks ago in a school principal's office when he threatened to hurt himself with a piece of glass. Friends, Tazers are excellent tools to subdue or catch criminals or others as an alternative to using lethal force, but hitting children with it should be out of the question except in the most extreme circumstances.

--- And also from Friday's Herald, columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. mentions the comments of a federal jurist who is concerned about the erosion of personal liberties. And this judge, A. Wallace Tashima, knows about such things first hand: As a Japanese-American, he spent part of his childhood in an internment camp during World War II.

--- Today's Lakeland Ledger has a feature on Neil Combee, who ends a 16 year run on the Polk County Commission tomorrow. The Republican becomes one of the longest serving members of the BOCC, and is retiring to return to his real estate and ranching businesses.

--- And the Winter Haven News Chief once again has a piece on the upcoming reopening of what will be known as Cypress Gardens Adventure Park. While Florida's first theme park will have many of the staples that made it famous in it's glory days, there will be interesting additions to attract families and young adults. If it is promoted properly, it could actually become a wonderful low-budget alternative to the bigger theme parks such as Disney and Universal Studios, or at least a nice addition to a family's Florida vacation at a much more reasonable cost. Check out it's Web site, too!

NOTE: The links to the Washington Post and Miami Herald articles require registration, but it is free of charge.


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