Arrivederci, Y'all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Arrivederci, Y'all!

The failed attempt to weaken Italy's prohibitions on embryonic research and human fertility options pleased Rocco Buttiglione, Italy's culture minister and an ally of Pope Benedict. In the wake of reports that only 26% of Italian voters had participated (a minimum of 50% is required for the referendum to be valid), Buttiglione offered this bizarre comment:
"The (electoral) results of today mean that Italy is maybe more similar to Texas than to Massachusetts."
Assuming that Buttigilone is a good, doctrinally pure Catholic -- as any friend of the pope's should be -- it seems odd that he would declare Italy "similar" to Texas, America's #1 state for executions.

And I don't believe that Italy is similar to the Texas described in this New York Times editorial from today's newspaper:
"At the start of the third week of jury selection in the (1986) murder trial of Thomas Miller-El, the first four prospective jurors up for questioning were black. The prosecutors requested a 'jury shuffle,' a procedure allowed under Texas law that rearranges the order of the prospective jurors who are waiting to be questioned. After the shuffle, the four blacks were sent to the back of the room, a position that made it more likely that they would never be questioned or allowed to serve."
Finally, I know that when it comes to providing the most vulnerable with a economic safety net, Italy bears no resemblance to Texas.

Even though Italy's child poverty rate (16.6%) is higher than the median rate for all European Union countries, Italy's rate compares favorably to the U.S.'s rate of 21.9%. Texas' child poverty rate is at the high end among U.S. states.

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