"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So much to blog, so little time
It's been a busy few days in the old newroom what with campus massacres and Japanese politicians being gunned down in the street. That, and I have a bunch of books to review and an interview with jam-band moe. coming out on the weekend. Too little time to say everything I'd like to, but here is a quick round up of thing that caught my eye this week:

Gwynne Dyer looks at whether religion makes make people behave better: "In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adultmortality, (venereal disease), teen pregnancy, and abortion," while "noneof the strongly secularised, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing highlevels of measurable dysfunction."

In the hours after the massacre at Virgina Tech, I expected to see the trollish end of the right side of the blogosphere go ape and try to the blame the whole thing on muslimislamofascistboogymenunderthebed and to argue that this kinda thing wouldn't happen if more students and professors carried concealed weapons. And lo and behold, I was not disappointed. Debbie "Ann Coulter's crazier sister" Schlussel offers up a twofer and in the comments even tries to argue that "paki" is not a racist insult. Maybe she should consult Merriam-Websters or be like Dubya and try "the Google". While she's at it maybe she should look up "foaming-at-the-mouth hatemongering racist fuckwit" to see if they used her best side for the illustration. Next she'll say that she's reclaiming the term. Really, if I didn't know better I'd think it was a parody site run by flaming liberals.

As far as allowing or even worse, actively encouraging people to go armed on college campuses is concerned --y'know, I remember my university years (well, okay, I remember bits and pieces) and I think there may have been some beer-fuelled hijinks and youthful exuberance involved. And that was just the profs. There is no way in hell anyone I knew back then should have been packing a firearm -- we shouldn't have been trusted with anything more dangerous than a snowball. Encouraging students to go armed would increase their safety in the same way that filling your neighbors' swimming pool with hammerhead sharks would cut down on noisy parties and people peeing in the pool and burying land mines all over the golf course would keep deer off the greens.

The Japan Times shows us the evidence that the Japanese Imperial Armys sex slaves comfort women were indeed coerced. Predictably, Japan's largest newspaper is silent on the issue.

Oh, and on a Japan-related note, the extremely disingenous (and I am being civil here) Glen Reynolds can kiss my ass.

ATLANTA -- The United States has by far the highest rate of gun deaths -- murders, suicides and accidents -- among the world's 36 richest nations, a government study found. The U.S. rate for gun deaths in 1994 was 14.24 per 100,000 people. Japan had the lowest rate, at .05 per 100,000.

Glen tried to get his snark on about there having been a shooting in Japan, where they have very strict gun control. There was another one today. As is usually the case here when there is a shooting, one mobster shot another. You never hear of husbands and wives shooting each other. They occasionally poison, stab, bludgeon or strangle one another, but annual shootings for the whole country are equal to a single large city in the U.S. and the murder rate in this country of 125 million, crammed into a tiny space, is miniscule compared to the United States.

Handguns are strictly banned in Japan, and only police officers and others -- such as shooting instructors -- with job-related reasons can own them. Hunting rifles are also strictly licensed and regulated.
Crime syndicates, however, have smuggled foreign guns into Japan. Of the 53 shootings reported in 2006, two-thirds -- 36 -- were blamed on organized crime groups, the National Police Agency says.

No comments: