Thursday, June 30, 2005

My only regret is that i was not able to get this out in a more timely fashion:

an open letter to Senator Brian Harradine of Australia

Not that i suppose that he really gives a hoot what some foreigner thinks of either him or his policies, but sometimes a Yank just has to speak hir mind about things...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Clue #432 that the United States is really an oligarchy:

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Non Sequitor
U.S. Congress wants to make some changes to the provisions of the Patriot Act, and the resistance they're getting fascinates me.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told Congress in April that the government has never used the provision to obtain library, bookstore, medical or gun sale records.

But when asked whether the administration would agree to exclude library and medical records from the law, Gonzales demurred. "It should not be held against us that we have exercised restraint," he said.

If Gonzales et al really think that it's a matter of holding something against them, then it's doubtful that they really understand the issue at all.

Monday, June 13, 2005

A college student in Japan has been sentenced for his role in a suicide pact between himself and two others which resulted in the death of one person.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

It's official; nearly half of Americans (U.S.) are NUTS
Or at least that's what a survey in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry implies.

Do you suppose that wholesome, All-American lifestyle has anything to do with it?
random musing
More often than not, i often hear of what goes on offline being referred to as "real life", with the implication that what happens online isn't real. I'm not entirely sure why. You'd think with that line of thinking that nobody really dies in a suicide pact made online, since, afterall, the pact was all part of some not-real fantasy zone.

Monday, June 06, 2005

And the Experts can't understand why they aren't more popular...
A mental hospital in California is being investigated after five teenagers escaped and one hung herself. Nevermind that neither the patients nor the staff there appear to have adequate protection against being assaulted, what is really interesting about this story is that it appears that quite a number of the inmates are being misdiagnosed and, naturally, given improper medications. Remember, the folks running this facility aren't laymen; they're supposedly trained professionals who know what they are doing.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Meanwhile, in the land of Oz...
For those of you who don't know, Australia is considering legislation that would make discussion of suicide methodology via the internet a crime. One of it's main proponents, Senator Brian Harradine, is quite vocal in his support of the proposed law, claiming:

the bill under consideration educate[s] society that there is value in the life of every human being, and that special care should be provided to those who are vulnerable for any number of reasons.

Given that adolescents who are identified as homosexuals have a higher rate of suicide than the general population of that age bracket, and given Harradine's record of persecuting homosexuals, i have to wonder how sincere he is about finding value in the life of every human; some of the ideas that can be logically inferred from the combination of his words and actions are, to say the least, disturbing.

What is particularly puzzling is this: if Harradine is convinced that the people of Australia should provide assistance to "vulnerable" people, then why waste money on the creation and enforcement of a law that does absolutely nothing to provide the type of support these people apparently need? This law makes no provisions for treating depression, though Harradine repeatedly points to depression as a causal factor of suicide, nor does it do anything else than criminalize people for what amounts to what Orwell would call a "thought crime". It will make mere possession of descriptions of means to suicide a crime even if the person possessing it has no intention of disseminating the information and even though suicide per se is not a crime in Australia.

I plan to write more on this topic later.