Sunday, December 31, 2006

My 100th Post and Happy New Year from Louisiana

Hello from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

I'm now in Baton Rouge where I will do research and teach about the biodiversity of the Philippines at Louisiana State University. There is something about Louisiana that makes me immediately feel at home. It must be the southern hospitality.

Louisiana and the Philippines have a shared history too. When the US State was once a French colony, the first Filipino migrants to what is now the USA first stayed here. Called Manilamen, these migrants worked as shrimpers.

Louisiana is the only US State where French has official status. Some street signs are still in French. The state is also the only one to have a civil law system as compared to the common law system in the other 49 states. Cajun French is being promoted and conserved.

100 posts and still going!

I can't believe I have written that much in a time of less than two years. All that material can make good fodder for a book!

Saddam hanged!

The papers here have Saddam being hanged. A cursory scan of what people think suggests that while almost all agree with the Iraqi court's judgment that he is a criminal, many are aghast that he had to face the death penalty.

I think people have realized that capital punishment is too kind for criminals like Saddam. I bet you can come up with a list of "worse than death" punishments for Saddam. In the 21st century, death is a punishment that no longer "fits the crime". That came from Gilbert and Sullivan's "the Mikado".

While I am against the death penalty as a deterrent to further crimes, I am against taking the penalty out of the statute books. Natural law, that grants a right to self-defense cannot really be changed but human fiat. I believe that capital punishment is something that should be there but should not be used.

I pray that Iraqis can come to terms with the passing of Saddam.

Looking forward to the Tiger Year 2007

The next year will be bit to ride on. After all who can really ride on a tiger? I wish you and your family an exciting New Year 2007.

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