Wednesday, November 24, 2010

It's dirty in California

Los Angeles,

I believe a congratulations is in order for Bakersfield who knocked Los Angeles out of the #1 spot for being the dirtiest city in the United States. With the addition of hybrid tugboats now being used in Los Angeles and Long Beach harbors, soon enough L.A. might further lower themselves on the list! Either way, it's a good thing that Proposition 23--the measure which would have suspended the environmental regulations set by AB 32 in California--didn't pass because the State of the Air 2010 reports that California already has seven out of ten of the dirtiest cities in the United States.

Following Bakersfield and L.A. is Fresno, Visalia-Porterville, Hanford-Corcoran, skipping to #8 is Modesto, and the state capital Sacramento at #9. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ is in 6th place, Birmingham-Hoover-Cullman, AL at #7, and Pittsburgh-New Castle, PA in last place. The American Lung Association came to their conclusion by evaluating ozone and particle pollution caused by vehicle emissions, industrial & agricultural pollution, wildfires, and other environmental factors. They conclude that the 20 million people who live in these regions are more likely to suffer from asthma, bronchitis, and more severe diseases such as lung cancer. If only holding your breath was a solution!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hmm, should I torture animals or not? That's a toughie...

I seriously don't understand our species sometimes. We are the only known intelligent life in our universe (until proven otherwise) and yet some people simply cannot make rational, good decisions. While under the influence of drugs and alcohol, Englishman Colin Sherlock was arrested for torturing his pet cat Roxy by putting it into a microwave for 8 seconds, a clothes dryer for 7 seconds, a freezer for 20 seconds, and then dunking it into soapy dish water. The cat is lucky to be alive but shows signs of serious mental trauma.

So let's just make a comparison between Roxy and her previous owner.

Roxy, torture victim of Colin Sherlock.
Here's Roxy after her ordeal. She looks as though she is doing okay in still photos, but she is now extremely paranoid and and is likely to suffer lasting mental trauma. Did anyone mention that she's a cat? You can clearly see by her physique that she is indeed a cat. What could she--a cat--have possibly done to deserve to be tortured by this man:

Colin Sherlock, drug user and torturer or innocent animals.

So what now happens to Colin Sherlock? He's from England, after all, so you'd figure they'd have many medieval torture devices laying about for such an individual. Well, lucky for this man he gets the maximum penalty available: a whole 126 days in jail, and 10-year ban from owning animals. Excuse me while I golf-clap for the fellow.

What I really don't understand is why these crimes aren't taken more seriously and why the punishment for them is so minuscule. It is well known that one of the major characteristics of future serial killers is torturing animals. Instead of providing these individuals with proper care and sentences, we are essentially allowing them back on the streets to further their sadism. Whether you believe animals have rights and deserve to be protected by the law or not, would you really want this guy as your neighbor? Regardless of whether or not he feels remorse for what he has done--which he claims he does--would you want this guy living next door to you? I think not.