Posted by: bridget | 18 May 2007

Friday Peanut Gallery Time

Isn’t this heartwarming? A man who killed seven people, execution-style, won’t go to death row. According to his defense attorney, “The same blood is flowing through his heart and veins that is flowing through ours,” Burch told jurors. “Before you can kill him, he has to be less than a human.”

A “jury of one’s peers” now encompasses those of the same blood type? So if this guy decides to put on a repeat performance, there will be a lot of donors handy? Voir dire must have been a nightmare for the trypanophobic.

Of course, when you walk into a restaurant, execute seven people you’ve never met, and leave their bodies in a freezer, you’re being a sweetie pie. Naturally, the parent defense card was played: apparently, no one who has children should ever be held to be fully responsible for their crimes. (This pachyderm was kidding when she asked if we would follow that system, but truth is stranger than satire.)

On the subject of satire becoming reality: the ACLU sued a Louisiana school district for having the audacity to let people give Bibles to impressionable young children. No school funds were used for the books. Because, obviously, children who so much as touch the Bible will be entranced by it, as it has the same effect on its readers as does the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.

“With her classmates and teachers looking on, Jane accepted the Bible out of a feeling of coercion and fear that she would be criticized, ridiculed and ostracized,” Cook wrote in a statement about the lawsuit.

Was that written by the Associated Press or the Onion? So she touched a Bible. She can also throw it out, use it as a doorstop or a paperweight, or take it along on the Girl Scout’s camping trip for kindling. No one is actually making her read the thing, and certainly no one is making her profess any belief, which is the core issue of First Amendment rights.

Cancer fears are found to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Apparently, people are so overwhelmed by the conflicting information being given out about how to prevent cancer that they simply give up trying. Those who are confused are less likely to eat well.

Of course, some of this is just bad statistics: people who are more educated are better able to process the information, less likely to be overwhelmed, and more likely to be able to afford fruits and vegetables. Of course, human mortality rates are holding constant at 100%. ;)



  1. “Was that written by the Associated Press or the Onion?”

    – and –

    “Of course, human mortality rates are holding constant at 100%. ;)”

    Thanks for the double LOL!

  2. I’d love to be on the jury panel of just one of these trials. . . . . Next Stop Lauderdale

  3. dad, i assure you you would never get on the jury :)

  4. Although I agree with your points on the school case I can’t help feeling like there is a better way to conduct the handouts.

  5. […] check it and due to its targeted quality I can tend to get through it efficiently. I saw a post at helvidiuspachyderm that caught my attention and left me with the desire to comment and then […]

  6. Did you know Theo that God’s command regarding capital punishment is repeated in all five books of the Torah- I think it is the only one repeated in all five books (Sabbath excluded).

  7. Of course there’s a better way to conduct the hand-out, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth suing over. The “harm” is pretty minimal – oh, wow, you had to touch a Bible.

    The root of the First Amendment protection is to ensure that the State does not endorse a specific religion (unlike in England) and, of course, that people are free to worship as they wish. There is no requirement in taking a Bible that you believe its contents, nor that you even read it. That is why I think the lawsuit is just an abuse of our justice system.

    If the Koran were handed out and reading assignments were given, in order to show the students how the “religion of peace” functions, would there have been a lawsuit?

  8. BTW Theo I never see you stop my blog anymore. Have my posts declined in their aesthetic value?

  9. Let’s go over the last five weekends for this pachyderm:
    Dog-sitting without internet.

    I’ll stop by when I don’t have to think for more than about two seconds. ;)

    Congrats, by the way, on the 170s! :) I saw that today and was very impressed. :)

  10. By the time you catch up with me I will probably be in the 160s…lol. I am hoping so.

  11. LOL! Good luck! What is the ultimate goal?

    Your wife must be happy with the new you. How is her weight-loss going?

    FYI – I’m a Rainbow Bar addict. :p to you!

  12. My goal is 159 lbs.

    It is an enjoyable addiction to say the least.

  13. Wow! I didn’t know that Catholics are no longer reading the Bible!!???

    We were required to read the tao te ching when I was in HS, I wonder if I should have called the ACLU???

  14. LOL, Kelly! Maybe you should have called the ACLU. One good pro-Christian lawsuit would stop all of this other nonsense. ;)

  15. Ha! You used the classic Onion title (“World Death Rate Holding Steady at 100 Percent”). My all-time favorite Onion headline.

    I love the killer’s brother saying, “I don’t think anyone should ever die, including my brother.” That’s brilliant. As for requiring that someone be less than human before they are killed, well, why doesn’t that apply to abortion?

    Regarding the Bible story, aren’t we really moving into torts territory here? 1st Amendment rights are supposed to occupy a higher realm than your basic assault, false imprisonment, or intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, which is what these morons are basically suing for. And if we are going to make our Constitutional rights synonymous with simple torts, well, isn’t there supposed to be actual damage inflicted for an action to be filed? If peer pressure and hypothetical disapproval is grounds for a lawsuit, then we all have hundreds of million-dollar claims available to us.

  16. Maybe you should take over blogging for me! You’re completely right re: the Bible issue.

    Yes, I remembered that Onion headline and borrowed it. ;)

    Yeah, gotta love it: too bad the killer and his brother didn’t take that attitude towards seven innocent people in a restaurant. As for abortion: I like to think of the death penalty as a really, really late-term abortion. ;)

  17. I learn at the feet of the pachyderm (plural, when you count the Pink Elephant). Actually I was just realizing how retarded what I wrote sounds if you don’t know what I was going for. . .namely, that standing to bring Constitutional claims has been expanded way too much in certain areas. :)

  18. If you would like to re-write it, I’ll edit it on this end. :)

    As I said, it sounds like the Onion wrote that description of “harm.” This isn’t exactly prior restraint, imprisonment for professing certain political beliefs, restricting the building of a church or its members from congregating… it’s a freakin BOOK. Sure, it’s “The” book, if you’re religious, but where’s the harm?

    It’s not even intentional infliction of emotional distress. No reasonable person is “distressed” at picking up a book and there’s no reason to think that this particular child would be scarred for life by it. The thing isn’t bound with human skin.

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