Irritants VIII

After several weeks of pretty serious stuff, it’s time to go to a slightly lighter tone with another litany of what bugs me. Next week, it’ll be another heavy dose of elections. So please, enjoy.

How unjust do you find depriving someone of his/her vote? Now what if I added that this person was a felon, albeit one who’d paid the requisite debt to society and is back to a normal life? This is what happens in most U.S. jurisdictions. Why should someone be permanently deprived of a fundamental right of citizenship when he/she has already been punished? It may be arguably acceptable to deprive him/her of the vote while in jail (I think even that’s wrong), but there’s no reason to keep that bar in place %u218til death. It ought to be that when out of prison, the person’s right is automatically restored. Currently, even in places where people can restore their right to vote, they have to go through a rigamarole to accomplish the desired end. This is fundamentally unjust and even more so to the black community that loses much electoral clout as a consequence. I wonder if that’s intentional?

The October 25 LA Times reported the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Romania by vandals. The Jewish community suspects something organized because of the scale of the damage. This is not the first time it’s happened. The Justice Ministry has promised an investigation. Hmmm, this is worth reporting, obviously, according to the Times. And of course it is. But, I’ve got to wonder why the equivalent (and recent, not decades ago) destruction of our khachkars in Nakhichevan didn’t merit attention. Just to check my memory, I searched the paper’s site. Nothing. As of this writing, it’s too early to know if anyone has written a letter to the editor and if it’ll get published. I have not. Though another of my missives was published two weeks ago. Does anyone else follow and write to their local papers? Judging by the paucity of “ian”s appearing on the letters pages, I dare say not.

Once again, that luminous beacon of tolerance and human rights, Turkey, is giving free lessons on proper behavior. Back in August, President Abdullah Gul was urging Sudan to “act responsibly and end the suffering” in Darfur. Good advice huh? What’s that about a stick in one’s own eye;?

Subsidence (sinking of land) occurs in areas such as Long Beach, CA where oil is extracted causing all kinds of problems. I saw a picture of a fire hydrant towering six or more feet over what seemed to be a future housing development. Yet more oil is pumped out and water pumped in to get even more black gold out. But will that water stay where we want it too? What happens years later if all the efforts to keep the land from sinking lower are unsuccessful, the oil companies that benefited from the drilling are long gone, and people’s houses and other structures are being damaged/destroyed as, literally, the ground falls out under them? And, in the case of Long Beach, there’s an aquarium with massive tanks of water held back by glass that could break if the ground/floor level is impacted.

Oh well, I guess it’s unavoidable, back to the elections. October 28th’s Huffington Post reported that National Security News Service and Vanity Fair were seeking records from the U.S. Navy about a 1964 car crash at a Virginia base from which injuries resulted, possibly even a death. Guess why this is important. John McCain was possibly involved. If Chappaquiddick is relevant to Ted Kennedy, then this is something that voters deserve to know, about John McCain. The Navy is stonewalling despite a Freedom Of Information Act request for the relevant records. The courts are involved.

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