Friday, October 14, 2011

Is the Plastic Bag Ban in Pasadena Taking it Too Far?

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“No civilization in human history has collapsed for a lack of a means to convey small goods to their abodes,” Ellis Sterling said in an article for the Los Angeles Times. “However, civilizations have failed for abusing their environment and depleting their resources.”

Is it really going to kill people to remember to grab a few reusable bags into a grocery store when they go out and shop? Reusable bags not only cut out the 130 non-biodegradable plastic bags that one uses during a year, according to the Earth Resource Foundation, but they save you five cents per bag every time they’re presented at the register. The question shouldn’t be, is the plastic bag ban in Pasadena taking it too far, but it should be, why didn’t anyone think about banning plastic bags sooner?

There is absolutely no benefit to using plastic bags other than the mild convenience of not having to take bags with you into the store. It’s complete and utter laziness compared to the fact that plastic bags are continuing to demolish the availability of our natural resources, and the damage the environment from the extraction of petroleum used to make in the hazardous production and pollution.

Plastic bags take up to 1,000 years to decompose on land and 450 years in the water, which someone who isn’t probably going to last more than 100 years, should be ashamed of. So many marine animals and birds end up dying from being entangled or chocked with the chemical ridden plastic bags because people somehow convinced themselves that magic plastic fairies whisk the 500 billion plastic bags used each year and hide it in some other realm.

Plastic bags aren’t helping anyone. They’re reused by some as small trash can liners or lunch-pails a few times, but then they get a few holes in them and they stay buried in the ever growing landfills for the rest of our and our many future descendants’ natural born lives.

All it takes is to grab a few reusable shopping bags the next time anyone needs to buy beer and an emergency bag of Oreos to help save our planet from being overrun with trash. And the ban, which will take place within 60 days, and that requires grocers, convenience stores and vendors to stop offering plastic bags and to charge 10 cents for paper bags isn’t cruel and unusual punishment. It’s taking initiative on something that should have been done a long time ago.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Amanda Knox Leaving Italy

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Shouts of joy from Italian prisoners and family members were heard as 24-year-old, Amanda Knox, was taken away from her jail cell and sent back to the United States. Plenty of “Welcome Home Amanda” signs filled her home town of Seattle, Washington and half priced drinks were served in celebration for Knox’s overturned murder conviction, but all the merriment in the world will never ease the pain of murder victim, 21-year-old-Meredith Kercher’s, family or help find the other people responsible for Kercher’s death.

“If those two are not the guilty parties, then who are the guilty people?” Lyle Kercher, a brother of the victim, asked.

The Italian appeals court threw out Knox’s conviction on Monday in the sexual assault and fatal stabbing of her British roommate under the international spotlight due to doubts over compromised DNA evidence. The court’s decision to remove the conviction that placed Knox as one of three people who killed Kercher stunned the victim’s family and angered the prosecution leaving everyone following the trial with no sure way of knowing what actually happened.

The victim’s family, at one point, was all certainly convinced that Knox, her former boyfriend, Raffael Sollecito, 27, and Rudy Herman Guede, a drug dealer, were all guilty of the crime. The family had answers and was ready to put the trial behind them, but they were left with daunting questions when Knox and her ex were exonerated by the appellate panel.

The original trial was so watered down with uncertainty that such things like Knox telling police that she was there in the room when her roommate was murdered and then retracting her statement and saying that she was never there will keep your head spinning. The way the fickle trials took place only adds to the opinions of the Italian justice system being not at all as it is cracked up to be.

It leaves everyone but Knox, Sollecito, and Guede only speculating as to what really happened. Everyone can cogitate as to what might have happened but they weren't there to see it come to pass and anything at the crime scene possibly pointing to any one individual had to be thrown out because it was mismanaged.

Knox’s home town is also populated with individuals that trust the Italian justice system and believe that she is innocent. They assume that she was just a young college student caught up in a difficult situation. But there are many people who have followed the case and still think that Knox is guilty like after the first trial had proved and think that she should have served the 25 years in prison she was originally ordered to do, but because all of the evidence and testimony were compromised there is no way of knowing who’s right.

Without concrete evidence no one can ever know if Knox, Sollecito, or Guede was telling the truth, and with that, the realization of not knowing who else was really involved in the sexual assault and murder Merideth Kercher will haunt her family for years to come. No one will quite ever know if Knox was really innocent of the heinous crimes committed and it’s partially the fault of the sloppy police work used to collect the evidence to blame.