Archive for January, 2007

Israeli court: Family can have dead soldier’s sperm (CNN)

January 30, 2007

JERUSALEM (AP) — In a precedent-setting decision, an Israeli court has ruled that a dead soldier’s family can have his sperm impregnated into the body of a woman he never met.

Keivan Cohen, 20, was shot dead in 2002 by a Palestinian sniper in the Gaza Strip. He was single and left no will. But at the urging of his parents, a sample of his sperm was taken two hours after his death and has been stored in a hospital since.
[. . .]
On January 15, after a four-year legal battle, a Tel Aviv court granted the family’s wish and ruled the sperm could be injected into a woman selected by Cohen’s family. [I get the feeling that something is being omitted here–such as whether this woman must consent to being injected?]
[. . .]
Irit Rosenblum, a family rights advocate who represented the Cohen family, said the ruling was significant because it set a precedent for those seeking to continue bloodlines after death.

At the trial, Rosenblum presented testimony, including video recordings, in which Cohen expressed his desire to have children.

“He always said he wanted children,” she told The Associated Press. “But there were no regulations in the law that deals with using sperm from dead people.” [Hmm. First of all, notice the politically correct use of the genderless word “people” even though only men have sperm. Second, you don’t “use sperm” as if it were some tool for achieving your own personal goals. Human beings aren’t inanimate material to be worked and reworked at someone’s pleasure.]

Rosenblum said soldiers increasingly have been leaving sperm samples, or explicit instructions on post-mortem extraction, before heading to battle. [Sure, because it’s so much easier to be a dead dad than a deadbeat dad–no responsibilities whatsoever!]
[. . .]
“I think it is a human revolution,” Rosenblum said. “Ten years ago, who would believe that a human being can continue after he has died. I think it is great for humanity.” [I think it’s wrong, and, as usual, the children are going to get the short end of the deal. No real family and a father who knowingly unloads all of his fatherly responsibility on others.]


Philip Glass

January 29, 2007

Going to see the new opera “Waiting for the Barbarians” tonight. I haven’t enjoyed Glass’s previous work, but I’m told that this is a new sound for him. The ticket was free, so I figure I don’t have much to lose.

It’s always funny when the promo materials contain a typo. The Austin Lyric Opera site linked to above claims that Coetzee, the author of the novel “Barbarians” is based on, is a “University fo Texas Graduate.” Better fo than against, n’est-ce pas?

Kashmir video

January 19, 2007

Lucia Micarelli, 23-year-old violinist, toured with Jethro Tull last year. Looks like they had some great shows. Anyway, something pretty cool on her website. Check out the “Kashmir Live Video”. Tull and Zeppelin fans ought to enjoy this.

AP Bias?

January 11, 2007

The prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse rape case has repeatedly and publicly stated or implied the guilt of the three defendants–definitely not cool. You can read the whole sordid story, with first rate analysis, at Durham-In-Wonderland.

Now the Associated Press seems to have taken a page out of Nifong’s playbook. Check out this sentence, which condemns the defendant even as it exonerates him (important part in boldface):

The accuser in the Duke lacrosse sexual assault case told prosecutors in December that one of the three players charged did not commit any sex act on her during the alleged attack, according to court papers filed Thursday by the defense.

The attacker identified as Reade Seligmann only watched, she told an investigator, the papers said.

OK, AP, did he attack, or “only watch”? Yes, a person can attack another person in a nonsexual manner, but the problem is much bigger than this potential verbal contradiction. Merely to refer to the defendant as “The attacker”–before any verdict has been reached–is really bad practice. He hasn’t even been proven to have “attacked” the accuser (whose name is mysteriously never mentioned).

The anonymous AP hack strikes again in the last sentence of the piece:

Both Nifong and James P. Cooney III, an attorney for Seligmann, did not return a call seeking comment Thursday morning.

Let’s replace “Both . . . did not return a call” with “Neither . . . returned a call.” This might be a Curly idiosyncrasy, but I don’t think so.

“Poptastic” has reached the OED

January 10, 2007

All yous power pop fans out there take note: the Oxford English Dictionary’s looking out for you, too.

Designating or relating to a very good recording or performance of pop music. Also more generally: fantastic, excellent.
Popularized by the British television programme Harry Enfield’s Television Programme (1990-2), in which the term was used as a catchphrase of spoof radio disc jockeys ‘Smashie and Nicey’.

1992 Evening Standard (Nexis) 3 Apr. 31 ‘Hi, it’s Top of the Poptastic to be here. I’m quite literally Mike Smash,’ said the dyed blonde in the round-neck sweater. ‘And he’s me old mate Dave Nice.’ 1994 Daily Tel. 18 Aug. 14/7 Some BBC2 art guru likes them so much that he has nicked their poptastic CD for himself. 1997 J-17 June 110/2 Britpop fans could hope for no better. Your heart will swell with patriotic pop-tastic pride. 2003 Gay Times Feb. 100/1 Kelly Osbourne is the most poptastic popstar of the lot, bar none!

Concourse of Hypocrisy

January 5, 2007

Excellent gallery of real gas-guzzling cars sporting environmental and anti-war bumper stickers. From Berkeley, CA.

NY Times criticizes, ignores self + mini rant

January 4, 2007

In a nutshell, the Times ran a piece in early April 2006 claiming that El Salvador punishes women who have had abortions with 30-year prison terms. It cited one Carmen Climaco as proof. Well, in November, LifeSiteNews obtained the court ruling in Climaco’s case and discovered that she had been convicted not of abortion, but of strangling her normally-born infant.

The fact that the paper would allow such inaccurate reporting to be printed is bad enough. A certain type of reader might even call it a lie, and suspect intentionality rather than error. But the story went to a new level this week when Times’s ombudsman published an editorial admitting the error and criticizing the paper for not publishing a retraction or correction.

Just a heads up to anyone who reads the Times. The spirit of Jayson Blair is alive and well in New York.

This reminds me of something else from one of the most unhinged sites online: DailyKos. After the 2004 elections, the site published two maps side by side: one showing which counties voted Democrat or Republican, and another with a dot on the map for every American death in Iraq. Coincidentally, densely populated urban areas, which invariably voted Democrat, also boasted the highest concentration of Iraq deaths. Kos posted the map to “prove” that Dems were more patriotic than GOPers; and when one of his readers pointed out the speciousness of the logic, another reader replied:

The implication of the maps is false, but who cares, its an obvious implication and we should push it.

Can we trust the Times? DailyKos? Michael Moore? Al Gore? Jimmy Carter? What public figure is a committed liberal and also perfectly honest and fair in argumentation and depiction of his/her opponents?