Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Narcan, or: Why You Deserve to OD and Die

I wanted to relay this entry to you guys. Seemed like the kind of thing that young people these days ought to keep track of, even if you or your friends or whatever aren't in contact with "those druggies."

Pharmacy colleague (and I hope he doesn't mind my calling him that) and fellow blogger Abel Pharmboy* provides a most excellent summary of the current buzz in the blogosphere about statements made by Dr. Bertha Madras. Dr. Madras, in the event that you were unaware, is a head member of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy. And Dr. Madras would rather see opioid abusers die than distribute rescue kits that "encourage" opioid use.


What denying needles (and Narcan) to addicts does do is send a powerful message. It says "society doesn't care about you, and we're secretly hoping you die so that we don't have to deal with the problem anymore."

As a personal note, you'll probably meet fewer people in the universe with less sympathy for drug users than I have. I'm pretty spectacularly callous. But that doesn't mean I'm blind to what actually works and what doesn't. It means I won't claim I'm saving lives or solving problems if I don't care to do either.

These people.... they're potentially more callous than I am, and they're hiding it under a veneer of prim determination to reform these junkies by letting as many of them die as possible to teach the others a lesson.

Think about that for a second. Protective measures "encourage drug use" by reducing the risk. It means that the risk is what people like Madras think deters drug users (despite evidence to the contrary). But let's depart from the obvious factual problems here. The fact that this makes no damned sense in light of what drug users actually do is easy enough to see.

My problem is with the people who advocate this plan in the absence of evidence. With no evidence in favor of this, people like Madras are completely comfortable with the implications of these statements. Unless drug users continue to overdose, contract hepatitis and AIDS, and eventually die terribly... their plan doesn't work. Their plan depends on people dying tortuous deaths as an example to others. That's sick. Sicker than any junkie I've known, and I've known some gems.

This turned into a longer rant than I'd expected, but this upsets me. If you're comfortable with damning whole groups of people because you don't think they deserve to live, come out and say it. Don't pretend there's any compassion in a stance like that, and don't pretend that you're saying it because you think it'll somehow help them.

*Text from Abel Pharmboy's entry, in case you didn't check out the page: Since being distributed in 16 communities the overdose-rescue kits [at $9.95 each] have saved 2600 lives, nearly the number of people who perished in the combined terrorist attacks of 11 Sept 2001.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

im in ur langwidge, corruptin ur grammr

It's Like, IMing Is So Like Talking

So some linguists have been studying how similarly people approach IM conversations to the way they approach verbal ones. They did this by tracking linguistic trends that at one point were almost purely verbal, such as the quotative "like." People only used to use that in verbal speech, using more formal verbs such as "said," but now it's becoming really common in instant messenger conversations as well.

Instant messaging, a synchronous form of typed, computer-mediated communication, is becoming more conversational, blurring the divide between face-to-face speech and writing, suggests a new study.

Evidence for the change includes the growing use of forms of "to be" combined with the word "like," as in, "He was like, 'It's so interesting.'" The practice is commonly known as "Valley Girl speak," but linguists refer to it as "be + like" or "quotative like."

"What we document is the use of quotative like in spontaneous writing, where people are using it -- a lot -- as a tool for quoting the speech and thought of themselves and others," co-author Bambi Schieffelin told Discovery News.

"What this suggests is that IMers experience the activity of IMing as very similar to face-to-face talk," she added. "Indeed, we find that they go out of their way to develop styles of writing that make IM more like talk."

Another interesting point is what happens when you introduce speakers who have very specific opinions about what constitutes proper English. I know that I've had debates with my friends before over proscriptive versus descriptive linguistics, and it's interesting how many people advocate proscriptive language and still use the quotative "like," which isn't actually correct from that perspective. The descriptive perspective is given in this article, and there are some shades of meaning that are conveyed by the more general "to be+like" as opposed to "said," or "asked."

That's really just a tangent, though. The main thing is that typed communication is starting to take on the habits of spoken communication. Considering that people have been cursing the internet for corrupting "proper" English, it's something of a surprise to see the corruption of instant messenger conversations by a uniquely-verbal sloppiness.

It's like... how neat is that?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

im in mah womb killin ur babehz

What the Huck?

The world is much stupider than I think it is. I require daily reminders of this, though it really ought to be a given by now.

Today, Governor Mike Huckabee is scheduled to travel to Georgia to commemorate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. There he plans to join Georgia Right to Life to lend his support, as well as the focus of the national media, to HR 536. This legislation, also called the Human Life Amendment, is a state constitutional amendment that reclassifies the most effective and popular forms of contraception as abortion. The goal of the amendment is to create a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade while also defining life as beginning at fertilization. The anti-abortion movement believes that hormonal contraception (the pill, the patch, the depo shot, the nuva ring, the IUD) can destroy a fertilized egg. By setting in law the assertion -- the unproveable assertion -- that life begins at the moment of fertilization, the most common forms of contraception become abortion.


That's why, for many pro-life leaders, Huckabee's support of their anti-contraception campaigns makes him the real deal. Randy Alcorn, author of Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? (Alcorn's answer: yes) earned a spot on Huckabee's Faith and Family Values Coalition beside others who are deeply opposed to contraception.

Huckabee is not the only candidate wooing the anti-contraception base. Mitt Romney, as Governor of Massachussetts, vetoed a contraception bill claiming the emergency contraception was an "abortive" drug. The McCain campaign boasts he has always opposed funding of family planning programs. Neither of these two frontrunners have embraced the anti-contraception rhethoric and strategy as fully as Huckabee, however. When Huckabee describes himself as "consistently pro-life" this is what he means. If only the majority of pro-life voters who overwhelmingly support contraception understood that.


There. I feel that about sums it up.


I've added a new blog to my little list. Compartments: Secrets, Lies, and Living a Double Life

It's written by a callgirl, and goes through a surprisingly informative bit of her daily life. As an anthropologist, these are the details that tell me the most. The thing is... I knew in my head that a lot of women find sex work fulfilling and practical (at least as much as nine-to-fivers, that poor despairing cube-farming lot), but reading someone talk about daily life like this is just... different.

She's not blind to the practicality, or to the sexism. She's not blind to the emotional drain or the ego boost. She's not one of those victimized and exploited women who simply don't have the will or motivation to go get "real" jobs.

There are some things that are just about her, things like Lying to a Boyfriend, and the occasional entry about the jobs themselves, such as Fat Men Can’t Come. What was most interesting to me was not the humor or the frankness of the entry, but the conversation afterward. I'd never gotten a chance to hear about the "afterward." After the job's technically done, after obligations on all sides have been met. What is there? Sometimes a conversation about porn. Not so different from anyone else's post-sex familiarity, but certainly just the "single serving" version. She talks about that too, in Immediate Intimacy.

The temptation is always to look at this journal and treat it like a side-show curiosity. "Lookie there! One o'dem there whores just like on da HBO!" But that wouldn't be fair to the candid and sometimes moving accounts here. I knew before that sex work couldn't be all terror and desperation and sleaze, but even though I don't know where she lives or what she looks like or whether she'll have a call today... even if I don't know her as well as I feel I do... there's a person out there.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Men's Abortion Rights?

Bit of a hiatus while I get started on classes, but I had to relay this article I was sent.

Men's Abortion Rights: What Will They Think of Next?

Despite the lack of evidence for post-abortion syndrome in either gender, anti-abortion advocates suggest "lost fatherhood" can lead to domestic violence and an addiction to sex. Both claims seem to suggest a rationale for men behaving badly. Men, they suggest, experience symptoms of post-abortion syndrome equally if not more powerfully than women. Male victims throughout the country are sharing stories of "their abortions."


This has been your daily dose of WTFery.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


This is the best thing that has ever happened.

Y'know how Huckabee had that endorsement from Chuck Norris? HE AIN'T GOT NOTHIN' MAN!

I was in hysterics for a good few minutes. I couldn't speak or move or do anything but cry and laugh.

Edit: Twenty minutes later and I'm still chuckling. I changed my mind. I love politics.

HRC's Post-Iowa Panic!

I saw all sorts of interesting things while I was following links through a couple of blogs I've begun reading. Stuff that seemed worth mentioning.

New Hampshire Will Be Key Battle in GOP Civil War

Obama faces the prospect of severe and hostile vetting from his primary opponents, however. Upon her arrival in New Hampshire this morning, Hillary Clinton signaled that she intends to play on Obama's as yet unexploited political weaknesses: "Who will be able to stand up to the Republican attack machine?" she asked at an appearance in Nashua.

Hillary's aides point to Obama's extremely progressive record as a community organizer, state senator and candidate for Congress, his alliances with "left-wing" intellectuals in Chicago's Hyde Park community, and his liberal voting record on criminal defendants' rights as subjects for examination.

Along the same lines, ABC reported that Clinton aides gave the network various examples, of Obama's controversial stands. The aides cited Obama's past assertion that he would support ending mandatory minimum sentences for federal crimes, pointing to a 2004 statement at an NAACP-sponsored debate: "Mandatory minimums take too much discretion away from judges."

Yeah, this sounds a lot like desperation from that camp. As Phoebe replied to Yglesias' mention of this silliness:

Obama's death penalty reform was passed unanimously in the legislature, got the endorsement of COPS and PROSECUTORS, and started out completely divisive and doomed. Just -- look:

Not only is it not too liberal, but it's - all by itself - more than she's ever accomplished in her damn life. Or ever could.

This was something I didn't know about before. Thanks, Senator Clinton! One more reason to vote for Obama.

Another amusing point. In case people didn't believe me when I said that Clinton will change her tune to pander to whomever can get her elected....

In Analysis: Clinton goes for young voters, this point was made:

It wasn't long ago that Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign scoffed at the notion that young voters would deliver an election. How quickly things can change.

Just seconds into her speech Friday morning, Clinton was declaring herself the candidate for America's youth — stealing a page from the new Democratic presidential front-runner, Barack Obama. The night before, the under-30 crowd came out in larger numbers than ever in Iowa caucuses normally dominated by the AARP-card set, delivering victory for the Illinois senator who promised to bring change to Washington.

That's why after her third-place finish in Iowa, Clinton got off her plane in New Hampshire and declared: "This is especially about all of the young people in New Hampshire who need a president who won't just call for change, or a president who won't just demand change, but a president who will produce change, just like I've been doing for 35 years."

"I'm running for president to reclaim the future — the future for all of us, of all ages, but particularly for young Americans," she said a few seconds later.


"I did very well with people over 45, and I didn't do as well with people under 30. I take responsibility for that," she said. "I'm going to talk over the next five days as much as I can about creating opportunities for young people."

I thought this was a hilarious comment.

Hillary is now the new candidate for young people, since that’s what propelled Obama to victory in Iowa and she wants to win in New Hampshire. Because, obviously, despite her age and the common wisdom about needing to appeal to the AARP set, she’s going to boldly declare that children are our future and if we teach them well we can let them lead the way. Also, despite being the candidate for young people, she’s going to continue to question Obama’s experience, which, as every young person who’s ever lost a job to someone older knows, “experience” is totally not AT ALL code for “youth.” Good plan, honey. Do you think you can get your advisers to lay off the hooch and come up with a consistent message? That might help equally as much.

Oh, Hillary. *playful chuck under the chin* You so silly.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Iowa and the Poles of Protestantism

Iowa and the Poles of Protestantism (by Diana Butler Bass)

Now that the people of Iowa have chosen Republican Mike Huckabee and Democrat Barack Obama as their nominees for president, pundits will spend much of the next few days (until New Hampshire at least) analyzing the results. Many will note religion as an important factor—especially as evangelicals turned out largely for Huckabee.

But evangelicals are not the only religion story from Iowa. Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama represent something much more profound in American politics and religion. With Huckabee as a Southern Baptist and Obama as a member of the United Church of Christ, the two men symbolize the poles of Protestantism, the divided soul of America's majority religion.

Good to see that the left is attempting to break the conservative monopoly on religion. This was one of the notable things about this election from the start: the left is getting religion involved.

Enter no conflict against fanatics unless you can defuse them. Oppose a religion with another religion only if your proofs (miracles) are irrefutable or if you can mesh in a way that the fanatics accept you as god-inspired.
--Missionaria Protectiva, Primary Teaching

I think Obama's got a good shot at defusing the fanatics we're dealing with these days. Edwards has changed his tune drastically in the last few years building up to this election, and I think that the people he's trying to pander to right now are going to realize that's all he's doing. They need more than that from a candidate, and Edwards is so clearly insincere that hopefully his target constituency will realize it. Hillary's the same deal.

Unlike many folk, I'm not really all that worried about Huckabee getting the Iowa top spot. If I were going to pick a candidate who was most clearly insane and unelectable, that's the one I'd choose. I mean, heck. This is why people cross party lines to vote in each other's primaries: to get people like Huckabee the nomination because he'll be easier to tear down later.

This is particularly true if he's facing up against someone like Obama. A real bona fide fringe whacko only has a couple of things working in his favor. One is a clear monopoly on Good Godfearing American Protestantism. If he's up against Obama (who according to this article represents an equally old and powerful strain of American Protestantism), Obama will have this weapon at his disposal as well. That's how you defuse fanatics.

Without being able to invoke the status of "Only Good Christian Candidate," Huckabee will have to fall back on sense. He'll have to prove somehow that what he wants will work better than what Obama wants. The real question at that point becomes "work better for WHAT?"

Well, Huckabee seems to be in the crowd actively working toward the Rapture. What this means for the rest of us is that Huckabee wants to end the world as we know it. Repeat that so that you know you're really absorbing it. End the world. I don't want that to be the goal of my next President. In fact, I'd be happier with anybody who didn't want to end the world. Rapturists are not concerned with making this world a better place. Got it?

So how does Obama answer the question "better for what?" Better for women's quality of life. Better for racial/ethnic minorities' quality of life. Better for religious minorities' quality of life. Check his voting record--I posted it here--and see for yourself. Looks a hell of a lot better than "end the world ASAP," doesn't it?

Blah blah random election stuff

Barack Obama's voting record!

Huzzah! More stuff to look at. I think I'm getting a little better at this "informed voter" thing. Still. This is a really really cursory glance, and I'm sure there's a lot that I'm missing. If I should be including something and it's not here, lemme know. Also keep in mind that I'm starting from Obama's and comparing other candidates with him. That's because at this point he's my pick, so you need to be aware that my perspective is revolving around evaluating him more so than the others.

From looking at this sheet (and the many times that Obama simply hasn't voted), my first thought is, "I wish he were more staunchly pro-choice." For example, I'd have wanted him to flat-out vote no to this bill trying to "adopt an amendment that prohibits funds in the bill from being granted to organizations that perform abortions when a woman’s life is not in danger, unless the organization is a hospital." Hospitals aren't the only places offering abortions, and many low-income women end up at places like Planned Parenthood.

He didn't vote on one of those wonderful alarmist bills based in the fear of "abortion predators," (itself based in assumption that older men impregnate younger women so that they can drag them across state lines and abort their babies). The idea is to keep kids from getting abortions without telling their parents. It's a noble goal, but it's based in utter bullshit, and I rather wish Obama had said no, because the damned thing passed. Hillary also said no, but McCain said yes.

However, Obama at least voted "to expand access to preventive health care services that reduce unintended pregnancy (including teen pregnancy), reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women's health care." Hillary also voted yes on this, but McCain voted no. Same deal for this one in favor of actual sex ed.

As far as education goes, Obama voted yes on an amendment that would increase the Pell Grant maximum scholarship (by only $200, but still). This amendment failed with Hillary's support, and McCain against.

Now about those detainees. Obama didn't vote at all on a bill that'd keep the detainees from ending up on American soil, even in detention facilities. McCain was in favor of it, and so was Hillary. However, this one passed overwhelmingly, so it's kinda to be expected. I just think it's odd that Obama didn't vote. He did vote to invoke cloture (limit further debate, forcing a vote on the issue) on an amendment to reapply the habeas corpus requirement to detainees in the US. Sadly it didn't pass and the amendment kinda died that time around, but at least this time he voted. He also voted to remove language from another bill that makes it harder for people to invoke that messy habeas corpus nonsense. At least, I'm pretty sure what this was about. Correct me if you've got a better understanding. I think that my interpretation might be right, because it's the kind of thing McCain would vote against, and he did. Hillary was for it.

He voted along with most of the senate on some more regulations on lobbying and donations where members of Congress are concerned. Hillary also was in favor, but McCain was one of 14 against.

Here's a real doozy. While I'd prefer Obama be a little more into the 2nd Amendment than he is, at least he voted against this little beauty. See, the whole reason for keeping the government from disarming private citizens is so that they can't declare a state of national emergency and suspend... well, our rights. This amendment says that in a state of national emergency, the government can't confiscate legally-owned firearms. Obama was okay with this amendment, and so was McCain. Hillary plays into my paranoid fantasies by voting no.

Obama voted against English as our national language, but for English as the common language. Hillary also voted no and yes respectively, while McCain voted yes and no.

Obama, Hillary, and McCain all voted to bar immigrants with certain criminal histories. This applies to "immigrants who have participated in criminal gang activity, or have been convicted of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, human trafficking, obstruction of justice, domestic violence, or a felony count of driving under the influence." I mean, they're reflections of pretty common fears about immigrants and their families, but that doesn't mean these criminals suck any less.

Obama voted to increase the minimum wage. Hillary agreed and McCain didn't.

Iraq! Oh, shit. We've come to Iraq. I'll keep this one brief, since I don't want to end up rambling about this topic for a long while. There was a bill that apparently was in need of some cloture (instead of sitting and being debated forever) and Obama voted for cloture along with Hillary, while McCain didn't vote at all. This bill would give the DoD some more money, as well as setting some guidelines I bet Bush hated. Check the highlights to see what I'm talking about. Cloture wasn't invoked.

Obama said yes to embryonic stem cell research, as did Hillary and McCain. Unfortunately Bush vetoed, and the override vote failed. Damn.

As for Teh Gheyz, Obama not to invoke cloture on a bill that'd prohibit states from recognizing same sex unions. Hillary and McCain agreed.

Other articles about people's career history before the senate gigs.

In Trial Work, Edwards Left a Trademark

Mr. Edwards filed at least 20 similar lawsuits against doctors and hospitals in deliveries gone wrong, winning verdicts and settlements of more than $60 million, typically keeping about a third. As a politician he has spoken of these lawsuits with pride.


Indeed, there is a growing medical debate over whether the changes have done more harm than good. Studies have found that the electronic fetal monitors now widely used during delivery often incorrectly signal distress, prompting many needless Caesarean deliveries, which carry the risks of major surgery.

The rise in such deliveries, to about 26 percent today from 6 percent in 1970, has failed to decrease the rate of cerebral palsy, scientists say. Studies indicate that in most cases, the disorder is caused by fetal brain injury long before labor begins.

An examination of Mr. Edwards's legal career also opens a window onto the world of personal injury litigation. In building his career, Mr. Edwards underbid other lawyers to win promising clients, sifted through several dozen expert witnesses to find one who would attest to his claims, and opposed state legislation that would have helped all families with brain-damaged children and not just those few who win big malpractice awards.

Obama got start in civil rights practice

The firm of Miner Barnhill & Galland, many of whose members have Harvard and Yale law degrees, has a reputation that fits nicely into the resume of a future presidential candidate.

"It's a real do-good firm," says Fay Clayton, lead counsel for the National Organization for Women in a landmark lawsuit aimed at stopping abortion clinic violence. "Barack and that firm were a perfect fit. He wasn't going to make as much money there as he would at a LaSalle Street firm or in New York, but money was never Barack's first priority anyway."

As far as Hillary Clinton goes... I dunno about her career experience. Before doing some digging I can say all I've ever heard of her doing before her carpetbagging senate bid was plan dinner parties for her husband. Looks like she's done her work with children's and women's advocacy. This is an awesome thing to be doing, particularly if she's looking to justify the votes of feminist groups who're pushing for her election just to get a woman in office. At least she's got a good chance to do things those groups will want her to do.

I guess my objections to Hillary are harder to define. First off, it seemed like she was always pretty solidly in line with whatever Bush liked until it came time to make her own bid as a democrat. She goes with Bush on foreign policy (and hers looks a lot like what we've got now) but now all of a sudden this administration is some kind of common enemy for Hillary and a disenchanted population. Erm... What?

I just don't get good vibes from Hillary, and it's things like that. I know what kinds of things she says but I have no freakin' clue what the hell she wants.

So yeah. That's me sitting down for an hour or so and just looking at stuff. I don't know if that helps anybody or if I missed whole big spans of important material, but this is better than nothing.

Rhetorical tools reflect 3 Democrats' legal talents

Rhetorical tools reflect 3 Democrats' legal talents

While none of the three candidates typically mention rivals by name, Obama invokes his most directly. His new speech is centered around a methodical accounting of the strongest arguments his opponents have to offer, which Obama then analyzes to expose the weaknesses in their logic.

"You can't at once argue that you're the master of a broken system in Washington and offer yourself as the person to change it," Obama says, loosely translating some of Clinton's campaign statements. "You can't fall in line behind the conventional thinking on issues as profound as war and offer yourself as the leader who is best prepared to chart a new and better course for America."

He read versions of these lines late Friday night at a high-school gym in Muscatine slowly, making them sound like riddles, and his audience chuckled as he went along.

In his speeches, Obama also seeks to refute the charge made by Edwards that he is "not angry or confrontational enough."

"By acknowledging the strengths in the other guy's argument, you're saying, 'I'm willing to look at all sides of an issue fairly,' " Meyer said, in analyzing Obama's comments. "That allows you to establish your character with the audience."

In devoting a large share of his time at the podium to directly challenging opponents' assertions, Obama seems to acknowledge that there is a particular urgency to the mission of persuading the undecided voters he identifies as his targets at the outset of his campaign events.

I feel like Obama makes the strongest argument here. Step one of evaluating someone's beliefs and stances is not "is it right" (Edwards) or "is it safe" (Clinton) but DOES IT MAKE SENSE. Start at the very beginning. If it doesn't even make sense in the first place, the other arguments are automatically utterly irrelevant.

So yeah. Big surprise. The Lincoln-Douglas debater supports the candidate most attached to logic and reason. My bias is huge and awesome to behold.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Oops! Eminent Domain...

Pa. Supreme Court allows property seizure for private school

By The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A city agency acted legally when it seized a woman's home to help a religious group build a private school in a blighted Philadelphia neighborhood, the state Supreme Court ruled last week.

In a case pitting eminent domain against the separation of church and state, the state high court's ruling reversed a ruling by the lower Commonwealth Court, which had sided with homeowner Mary Smith.

"The principal or primary effect of the redevelopment plan ... is to eliminate blight in this particular neighborhood," Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Baldwin wrote for the majority.

A secondary effect could be the advancement of religion, but there is no evidence that is the primary goal, she wrote.

The city Redevelopment Authority condemned Smith's property in North Philadelphia in 2003 and transferred it to the Hope Partnership for Education, a Catholic organization that proposed a nondenominational middle school for the site, among other projects.

Smith appealed the condemnation, arguing that it benefited a private religious entity and was not for a public purpose as the law requires.

Common Pleas Court found the condemnation lawful, Commonwealth Court ruled that it wasn't, and now the Supreme Court has ruled that it is — provided the primary purpose is to remove blight.

Supreme Court Justice Max Baer disagreed, calling the majority decision unfortunate.

"I believe this is a case of direct government aid, in the form of a land transfer below market value, to a religious organization for the development of a religious school," Baer wrote in his dissent.

The result, he wrote, is the "direct financing of religious education with the primary effect of advancing religion."

The city, the Hope Partnership and Smith's representatives could not be reached for comment.

On The WitchVox comments page, Gypsy made a damned good point.

Since when does the Catholic Church support the building of non-denominational schools? While they may call it non-denominational, the key factor here is the hands of the Catholic Church in the mix. I would have no issue had the houses that were to be torn down were non-livable and included a housing complex someplace in the mix. But even imminent domain does not give the right of any agency to randomly tear down just any house with no set plan.

There are options to help restore homes that need some work but are basically livable...there is a section of my very own street which is nothing but HUD homes rented out under section 8 HUD...based on income and they are nice new houses. Plans such as that one, done with thought and yes checking legal references can help to revitalize a less than desirable community. But taking that womans house for less than the value of her property is stealing in any form of mumbo jumbo that the courts decide to rule against her under.

But done in the manner this apparently was wreaks of a violation of the first amendment right. That woman under the right of religious freedoms has the right to say she doesn't want a Christian school built where her house used to be. Sadly however I have little faith the our government will do the right thing. Non-denominational does not mean public and it does not mean non-religious...Besides that even if they made it a private school owned by the Catholic church but not a Catholic school, who is to say that after a year they could not close down for the summer, change the signs and bring in Catholic religious curricula. Complete with nuns and paid teachers...

Aside from that note, a private school is going to do what for a blighted neighborhood except to provide an education for those who can afford it, which most people in a blighted neighborhood cannot do. Those who can afford it will most likely be from a non-blighted neighborhood without the need that is prevalent in this one. Take care of the needs rather than create new ones.

I'm still not quite sure how pissed to be about this. I definitely agree with Gypsy here, but at the same time... if something like eminent domain can be legally justified at all, isn't objecting to this a little like shutting the door when the wolf is already in the house?