I Said, “Kill Me!”

Courtesy of CrimeNews 2000 comes this bizarre story about Florida man convicted of murder.

At his sentencing hearing, Ricardo Gill, 32, maintained his innocence (although he had plead guilty to the murder) but pleaded with a judge to execute him rather than send him to jail for life. The judge opted for a life sentence.

A couple weeks ago Gill’s cell mate, Orlando Rosello, was found dead, and The Gainesville Sun received a handwritten letter from Gill claiming he murdered Rosello out of anger at not receiving the death penalty.

“Had I been given the death sentence for a murder I did not commit,” Rosello wrote, “I would have accepted it and had it carried out quickly without any appeals or appellate reviews, but you chose to give me life, which I’m adamantly against.”

Of course the obvious choice for Rosello in that case would have been to commit suicide (of course it isn’t too surprising to learn that Rosello has a long history of bouts with mental illness, which probably explain his bizarre behavior).

Would a Worldwide Ban on DDT Increase the Risk of Malaria?

Rich nations such as the United States have long been pushing for a worldwide ban on DDT and are currently negotiating to ban the chemical along with 12 other so-called persistent organochloric pollutants. But DDT is still the most effective way to control Malaria in the developing world. Does the DDT ban impose unacceptable risks for people in the developing world in order to accommodate environmentalists in rich countries?

As the national Center for Policy Analysis pointed out recently, South Africa agreed to stop using DDT for malaria control in 1996. By 1999, however, cases of malaria began to increase dramatically — up from just a few thousand a year to well over 50,000 cases a year.

Using an exemption provided for some countries in the global ban on DDT, South Africa quickly returned to spraying DDT and the number of malaria cases has begun to decline.

Even without an explicit worldwide ban, only two countries — China and India — still produce DDT, and they do so mostly for internal use.

Source:

Environmental quandary: Malaria or DDT?. National Center for Policy Analysis, July 26, 2001.

Hare Krishna's Object to McDonald's Restaurant

I’ve heard of churches objecting to bars being built nearby, but members of a Hare Krishna temple in east Dallas are complaining that a proposed McDonald’s restraunt would offend their religious practice of vegetarianism.

“We just really feel offended that McDonald’s is planning to come here,” temple member Mike Meyer told The Dallas Morning News. “A big part of our religion is vegetarianism; it’s one of our main beliefs. It’s like an in-your-face type of thing.”

Of course the Hare Krishna objection to a McDonald’s in the neighborhood couldn’t havev anything to do with not wanting competition for the vegetarian restaurant run by the temple.

Source:

Hare Krishnas fight McDonald’s plan. The Associated Press, July 6, 2001.

The Horrors of those "Happy Cow" Commercials

The California Milk Advisory Board has been running ads featuring cows in fields with tag lines like, “Great cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California.” Last Chance for Animals filed a complaint against the ads a few months ago, claiming that the ads “deliberately mislead the public, as they do not reflect the horrendous conditions in which California’s dairy cows actually live.”

The animal rights group sent undercover footage of a couple dairies to the California Attorney Generals’s Office that the group claims prove that “the cows … are anything but ‘happy.'”

In a press release announcing the complaint, Last Chance for Animals urged activists to “please ask the Attorney General’s Office to issue an injunction against the CMAB, disseminate a retraction, and enforce a criminal penalty against the company.”

Source:

California “Happy Cow” Ads. Last Chance for Animals, Press release, 2001.

Karen Davis, Songwriter

Back in April, as it has for the last four years, United Poultry Concerns promised to protest at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The event was marred by rain, but that wasn’t about deter UPC. In a report for their Summer 2001 Poultry Press, UPC claimed that the “Big Chicken in the Sky Rains out Egg Roll, Not UPC.”

Apparently UPC handed out a pamphlet to kids and parents containing song lyrics written by Karen Davis meant to be sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Somehow I don’t think this is destined to become a children’s classic, but you can judge from the lyrics,

Chicken, chicken, why aren't you
With your mother hen so true?
Pecking, playing, running around
Taking sunbaths on the ground.
Chicken, chicken, why aren't you
With your mother hen so true?

Chicken, chicken, why aren't you? With your sisters and brothers, too? Scratching, running, having fun, Taking dustbaths in the sun. Chicken, chicken, why aren't you With your sisters and brothers, too?

Chicken, chicken, baby bird May your cheeping cries be heard, Hushed and soothed by those who see We are all one family. Chicken, chicken, why aren't you With your mother hen so true?

I suspect those lyrics made even the “Big Chicken in the Sky” cringe.

Source:

Big Chicken in the Sky Rains out Egg Roll, Not UPC. United Poultry Concerns, Summer 2001.