Thursday, May 29, 2008

From the Wide World of News (and how it affects you)

What if all the bananas died off? What if our practice of creating mono-cultures, in order to maximize sales, led to the entire species of bananas being infected by a sickness that destroyed every last one of them?

It's happening.

"Bananas are dying. The foodstuff, more heavily consumed even than rice or potatoes, has its own form of cancer. It is a fungus called Panama Disease, and it turns bananas brick-red and inedible. There is no cure. They all die as it spreads, and it spreads quickly. Soon -- in five, 10 or 30 years -- the yellow creamy fruit as we know it will not exist."

If not even to learn about bananas, the story is well worth the time it takes to read. Once again, multi-national corporations are destroying our food and health in their desire to increase profit margin.

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Way back in the day (say, a few weeks ago), when the California Supreme Court awarded gays and lesbians the right to wed, a few anti-gay-marriage spokespeople jumped onto the "slippery-slope" argument; e.g., "If you allow gays to marriage, pretty soon all who oppose gay marriage will be forced to lay aside their religious beliefs." Many gay-rights activists mocked this argument, stating "gay marriage doesn't affect anybody except the couple; this is about the rights of gays, and nothing more."

At least one person is testing the waters, proving, perhaps, that the "slippery-slope" argument has some merit. A lesbian in the Bay Area is suing her doctors, who refused to give her fertility treatments because "their Christian beliefs prohibited them from furnishing the infertility treatment to a lesbian couple." The doctors in question went so far as to refer the woman to another clinic that would gladly treat her; for the plaintiff, that wasn't enough.

From the article:
"On Wednesday, [Justice] Corrigan suggested there are only two legal options for doctors with strong religious beliefs: Choose a field of practice that doesn't conflict with those beliefs or provide their services to anyone who needs them."

Personally, I find that a little chilling. Whether or not I was a supporter of gay marriage, the courts seem to be marginalizing religious belief, they appear to be placing State Law above personal religious freedom. That ought to give everybody pause, wondering just how much we want the state to interpret the way we live our lives. The slippery slope here may not be gay rights; in the end, it may turn out to be opening the door to the whims of Big Brother government dictating what we're allowed to believe and practice.

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Seattle has the 6th-best carbon footprint of 100 major U.S. Cities. But Los Angeles is 2nd on that list? And New York is 4th? Something seems screwy there.

Or maybe it's just the effect of the brush pile I've been burning.

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