banner photo:

"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Man discriminated against for being a wimp?

Martin Mustapha, the Windsor man whose lawsuit against Culligan of Canada for $341 000 was thrown out yesterday by the Supreme Court of Canada, claims he is being discriminated against because he is "less robust". He was seeking the judgement to compensate him for "debilitating psychological injury" incurred after he found a dead fly in his bottled water.
Mr. Mustapha said the decision discriminates against the psychologically vulnerable by reinforcing a "get-a-life" attitude that he encountered throughout his legal battle.
"I simply don't believe justice has been served," he said. "This discriminates against people who are less robust in fortitude." To this day, he said, he still has a phobia of water and the thought of drinking it makes him nauseous.

Discrimination against people less robust in fortitude? Oh for crying out loud. The Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms (section 15) recognizes the following criteria worthy of the state's protection from discrimination:
Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Mr. Mustapha may be able to make the case that he is being roughed up by the jackbooted agents of the state because he suffers from a mental disability, but in this case wouldn't this be easily remedied by, oh, I don't know - growing a pair?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California's gay marriage decision

From the California State Supreme Court's decision today to overturn the state's law banning gay marriage:

Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation—like a person’s race or gender—does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.

Hear hear.

Incidentally, six of the seven judges on the court are Republicans, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican Governor, supports the ruling:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger released a statement immediately after the opinion was issued saying he would uphold the ruling.

"I respect the Court’s decision and as Governor, I will uphold its ruling. Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling," he added.

(ht: extensive coverage at Citizen Crain )

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Gordon Ramsay is nuts

I've never been able to watch a complete episode of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen - I can't understand why people put up with his over-the-top temper tantrums without shoving his fettucini up his fundament. I think he's mentally ill and someday we're going to read about him barricading himself in a clock tower with a rifle. This item from the BBC seems to confirm it - Gordon Ramsay is nuts.
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay says British restaurants should be fined if they serve fruit and vegetables which are not in season.
He told the BBC that fruit and vegetables should be locally-sourced and only on menus when in season.
Mr Ramsay said he had already spoken to Prime Minister Gordon Brown about outlawing out-of-season produce.
He says it would cut carbon emissions as less food would be imported and also lead to improved standards of cooking.
"There should be stringent laws, licensing laws, to make sure produce is only used in season and season only," he said.

Ramsay seems not to have considered the unintentional consequences of his proposal, which would lead to the ultimate leftist dilemma: save the Earth or save the Third World?

Following the chef's comments, Oxfam's head of research, Duncan Green, said he was sure "the million farmers in east Africa who rely on exporting their goods to scrape a living would see Gordon Ramsay's assertions as a recipe for disaster".
Mr Green added: "He [Ramsay], like all of us, wants to tackle climate change, but it is vital that we ensure that poor people who are already hit hardest by climate change are not made to suffer even further."

The BBC has helpfully added a list of locally produced fresh produce available in Britain during the winter:

brussel sprouts

Well, I'm sure the NHS is fully prepared to deal with the inevitable return of such great nostalgic nineteenth-century diseases as ricketts and scurvy that would follow the banning of imports of fresh vegetables and citrus fruits to the British Isles. Let them eat brussel sprouts.

(h/t: Ann Althouse )

Monday, May 05, 2008

Reforms in Cuba? Not so fast ...

Much has been made of the recent decision by Raoul Castro to loosen up restrictions on the lives of Cuban citizens - for example, the Cuban government lifted its ban on the sales of personal computers this week (although connecting to the internet is still banned for most Cubans). Most pundits are trumpeting the new rules as evidence of a more free & open Cuba, but Juan Carlos Hidalgo at Cato at Liberty says it isn't so:

A Cuban dissident I met in Havana last year sent me today an article he wrote about the real motive behind relaxing these bans. It has been reported in the state-controlled media that people purchasing these goods are later being investigated by the authorities who want to know the real sources of their income. As it’s widely known, the average Cuban salary is less than $20 a month, while the cost of most of these goods ranges in the hundreds of dollars. Many Cubans get their extra money from relatives in the United States, but many others run independent (and illicit) small businesses.

My friend tells the story of the first person to purchase an electric bicycle, which cost the equivalent of $1,070. This man had a small butter factory that apparently was very profitable, since he was selling the butter at a lower price than the government. After buying his electric bicycle, the authorities investigated him and discovered his factory. They proceeded to confiscate everything they found in his home, including the bike.