December 19, 2006

No Such Thing

Another John Mayer tune. Here's the vid. From the chorus:

"I wanna run through the halls of my high school
I wanna scream at the top of my lungs
I just found out there's no such thing as the real world
Just a lie you got to rise above"

What could be more fitting to begin a post about international news? There'll be talk of Russia & the Great Lakes & Romania & Kalifornistan & artificial pot helping cancer patients & really big cats.

For starters on the edge of international we find this:

U.S. Coast Guard halts Great Lakes gun plan

Basically a bunch of environmentalists & such complained that the Coast Guard shouldn't be firing those toxic lead bullets. So the Coast Guard has relented to them while it pursues more environmentally friendly ammo. But the cute part is this:

"As part of its expanded responsibilities to police U.S. coastlines in the name of national security, the Coast Guard mounted gas-powered machine guns on the decks of its patrol boats and cutters, capable of firing 600 rounds a minute."

Using gas to power machine guns? Well what in the name of John Moses Browning will they think of next? & 600 rounds per minute no less? Why you'd have to go back to 1942 to find such an impressive rate of fire wouldn't ya?

On the less asinine side it looks like Romania gets it:

"Romania's president presented a report Monday denouncing the former Communist regime as 'criminal and illegitimate' and guilty of committing crimes against humanity — the country's first such official condemnation."

It gets better:

"The regime exterminated people by assassination and deportation of hundreds of thousands of people,' [President Traian] Basescu said. 'Behind the socialist humanism there was hidden the most profound contempt for people, for the individual."

But read the article while it's up. I always liked Romania for some reason, now I think that my initial impression is justified (now if they'd just re-think that whole EU thing). Of course there are some who didn't like the President's denunciation of Communism, but a lot of Romanians seem to understand the evils of Marxian thought. Maybe a certain domestic group of ours that also starts with an "R" will see the light one day. Maybe.

So at least some Romanians get it. Too bad Target doesn't.

& Russia - I had so much hope for them 15 years back. But it seems like they're choosing a side that definitely ain't ours. It looks like they're still aiding Iran with its nuclear program. Read the links within that link as Zombyboy David J has been on their tail for a while.

Meanwhile on the Dark Continent South Africa is about to ban canned hunts for the big cats. Now I'll be honest - I don't like the idea of cat hunting except when they become a threat to the humans in an area. I always thought felines large & small were predatory beauty in motion (or napping as the case may be). I'd even go so far as to say there are some cats I like more than most people I run into (& to be fair some would say I have "sucker" written on my forehead in Felidae). But I don't see the great depravity in what the article discusses. Now if these cats were being tranquilized pre-hunt or if they were being hunted at places where they had become used to human contact (such as a feeding point) then I could understand the necessity for such laws. But assuming a "fair chase" environment I don't see how a human has any big advantage.

You ever seen a Panthera leo up close? We ain't talking about no little tabby that you trip over when you get up in the morning. We’re looking at 350+ pounds of predator that can move at 35 mph. I do not care if it has been called "Fluffy" all its life & hasn't left a 2,000 acre enclosure - I'd shoot the thing until I ran out of ammo (including reloads).

Cats are the most frightening of predators - at least to me. Ever see your presumed-to-be domesticated housecat attack something close to its size? Small birds don't usually get the full treatment. Ever seen it tackle a squirrel or something bigger? They hold the prey with their front paws while they dig into it with their hind feet. Think Velociraptor with fur & useable forelimbs. For that reason I'd rather take on a big bear unarmed than a big cat. So I don't see how a captive bred cat would be any great advantage over a free roaming cat. Those predatory instincts won't have vanished & those claws won't have dulled any. But perhaps there's something I don't know about the situations which prompted the law & as I said before I'm not a fan of cat hunting except to protect people.

Course protecting humans can go too far & in keeping with the international theme (cause it damned sure can't be America) I offer this story from February of '06 about a town in Kalifornistan banning smoking almost anyplace (they generally said if you must smoke in your home it'd be okay. For now).

Going back to Russia (like it's that far from Cali) there's the tragic incident where bars on windows kept about 45 people form escaping a fire at a drug treatment center.

& speaking of drugs it seems that marijuana is currently winning the War on (some) Drugs. or at least it's kicking wheat & corn's combined asses. $35 billion a year? & it's not even government regulated.

Actually drugs aren't winning the War on (some) Drugs; the government is. But it's not winning because it's eradicating drugs. It's winning because it's increasing its' power to battle on against the drugs, thus expanding & growing. As long as it can keep doing that it'll be more than happy to fight on. There really isn't going to be a clear winner in the War on (some) Drugs, only losers, such as you & me & the Constitution.

But I should end this on a somewhat happy note.

Synthetic marijuana helps cancer patients: study

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Publicola at December 19, 2006 02:42 AM | TrackBack