News of the day

Comments on recent news items:

•Internet activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide rather than face possible incarceration. Was the prosecution over-zealous? Probably. Are they to blame for his suicide? No. The only person to blame for a suicide is the person committing it. Yes, we should fight bullying, even by those with the full prosecutorial powers of the federal government. But in the end, we are all responsible for maintaining our existence on this earth. 

•President Obama's press conference yesterday was pitch perfect. Raising the debt limit is a formality required to pay bills already incurred by Congress. It is not negotiable. His stance is admirable and correct, and I hope he maintains it. 

•Frontline on PBS has a documentary which I hope to see soon. I details how prominent Republicans decided to oppose President Obama on everything he put forth, no matter what the good of the country–– even if that meant opposing measures they used to support. If it came from President Obama, they opposed it. That was their fundamentally treasonous position. They put the good of party ahead of the good of country. And they're still doing it!

•Gun nuts are looking pretty stupid as they attempt to defend the right of everybody to own assault weapons in the wake of recent gun violence. The extremism of the National Rifle Association and the craven capitulation of Congress to their wishes has never been more evident. Let's hope that we can at least go back to the common sense of the assault rifle ban. It is clear that people who get their undies in a bundle over this, such as the talk show host Alex Jones, are just plain unstable. 

Do you know that there was a time that the NRA strongly advocated stricter gun control laws? It was in the late-1960s when Black Panthers were defending their right to bear arms. That gives you an idea what the organization is all about. 

•For some reason, I think the tide has turned recently in the policy debate between belief and science, a debate which never should have happened. Science needs to win if we are to survive. People who deny basic scientific evidence in favor of silly religious dogmas should not be reputable. There is plenty of room in the more rational branches of religion to admit the most recent scientific evidence, yet we continue to see people denying climate change, denying evolution, opposing stem cell research, denying anything, generally speaking, that might result in them leading a less piggish lifestyle. Ironically, they see continuance of their piggish and consumptive lifestyles as their right as so-called Christians! Drill, baby, drill! Jesus demands it!