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Friday, July 12, 2024


While some of us were debating whether or not Harry Potter was inspired by the devil, others were trying to figure out what to do with — if it came down to that — a worthless government paycheck, and still more were arguing about a flurry of new tax-and-spend proposals, much happened in the world around us.
Many times, it is all too easy to be caught up in local affairs and forget that we live on a very large planet. Frankly, my own excuse is that local politics are so interesting that it is almost impossible to ignore them. However, today I would like to introduce a dose of outside goings-on into our little world.
– I'll start with U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania — famous for equating sodomy to bestiality, incest and just about any other deviant behavior he could spout off in a sound byte. It appears that the Supreme Court of the United States does not share his views. The court voted to strike down a sodomy law in Texas, and the ruling pretty well nullifies the sodomy laws remaining in the nation.
For those who disagree with the ruling, I challenge them to find more than 100 people in the Virgin Islands who would not be found guilty of sodomy under the current Virginia law, which, unlike the Texas one, is specific neither to sexual orientation nor to age.
– All of the talk about Sodom reminds me of Saddam, who has lost his top two henchmen/sons. On the other hand, the United States has lost its credibility by not finding the weapons of mass destruction upon which the war was premised. At last count, the United States was down 161 fine citizens, Iraq is down by many thousand and the United Nations remains out of the loop.
The world may be down by one tyrant, but all of the "facts" about the war seem so vague now as opposed to last November; and anyway, judging by the groans coming from Africa, tyrants are easier to replace. I really do hope that those guys find some weapons of mass destruction over there.
– While the French may forget the Iraq debate, they will not be able to forget Lance Armstrong. You know, the guy who has turned Paris into his own private victory platform. After battling back from serious testicular cancer, he has won the Tour de France five consecutive times. The burning question is: Will he win again next year by a lesser margin?
– President Bush has placed the "Head Start" program on the front burner. Under his plan, the program will basically be fried well done. Placing more of the burden on cash-strapped states will essentially end it. I’m no socialist, but this one actually worked; it would be a pity to lose it.
– On a final note, the mission control leader on the space shuttle Columbia's tragic final mission said that she knew nothing of the danger the craft was in. She said that engineers did not inform her of the potential consequences of the damage to the wing. She also said that a clearer line of communication between engineering and mission control would need to be established to prevent such an occurrence in the future.
Hey, guys out there, it has only taken us thousands of years to come to the point where we could have read the preceding three sentences and not wonder aloud why I used the words "she" and "her" to describe the person on the ground controlling a multibillion-dollar government craft piloted by men.
Some things do change, just not overnight.

Editor's note: Bill Turner is a writer, a former history teacher and the executive director of the St. Croix Environmental Association. He writes a daily commentary on events in the Virgin Islands that can be accessed at V.I. Buzz.
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