In Location Parentis

In Location Parentis

In Location Parentis

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
April 28 2005 3:00 PM

In Location Parentis

Bloggers debate a new abortion bill; they also react to Vicente Fox's announcement that he will allow Mexico City's popular leftist mayor to run for president and wonder whether Ajax, a group of increasingly popular Web technologies, will result in a "whole new Internet."

In location parentis: The House has approved a bill that makes it illegal to take a minor across state lines to have an abortion without parental consent.

Critics are attacking the bill for many different reasons. "How about punishing the parents?" asksThe Political Dogs' Steve, a libertarian. Liberal Pandagon mocks a Republican representative's use of the phrase "abortion mills," wondering, "Are abortion clinics really 'luring' girls away by pointing out state laws?" Sure that her family wouldn't have allowed her to have an abortion, TheFifth Column writes, "I'd've taken to leaping from heights and punching myself in the stomach until I lost it. I thought about that when I was younger and sexually active. But the Democrats right now are interested in bipartisanly selling out the women and gay people in America in the interests of reaching the 'heartland.' "

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Parents' advocates are rejoicing. "As a parent, I am pleased this bill will likely become law. Teens cannot even get their ears pierced without parental permission, but they can get an abortion? I don't think so. A teen having an abortion creates two victims, the baby who dies, and the mother, who will be scarred for life. The least abortionists can do is notify the parents, so they can deal with those wounds," notes Kansas reporter Steve Forman on News You Need to Know. And on Reactions and Reflections, a pro-life "catholic, republican, borderline marxist feminist" gently dispenses advice to teens considering abortions: "[Y]our parents know your medical history; not to mention they can protect you from people who are essentially profitting off your hardship (it's called 'conflict of interests': be cautious in seeking counsel from people whose income depends on you; sometimes parents are a little bit better in figuring this out for their kids)."

Read more about the parental notification bill.

A more democratic Mexico?: Mexican President Vicente Fox announced Wednesday that Mexico City's popular leftist mayor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who was being prosecuted on charges widely deemed to be trumped up, will be allowed to run for president. Fox's decision comes a few days after around 1 million protesters marched in support of López Obrador *.

"The election of the mayor of Mexico City, Manuel Lopez, will mean there will be changes to the 'free trade' and OIL agreements that America exploits. Venezuela is watching closely. Americans forget that we buy furious amounts of oil from Mexico," writesCulture of Life Breaking News' Elaine Supkis. "I do think that the charges are politically motivated, so ensuring the political rights of people only charged with a crime is certainly acceptable," observes conservative Robert Mayer on Publius Pundit.

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La Profesora Abstraída's Michelle Dion, who lives in Mexico City, points out that Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, an ex-member of the PRI party, which opposes Fox, has warned Obrador "that his opponents would still want to remove him from the 2006 race and that 'accidents happen.' " She translates a Mexican news story and explains, "That last bit is a reference to the assination of the President of the PRI and the PRI's presidential candidate in 1994 in the months leading up to the election." Noting that Fidel Castro has called for Fox's resignation, credit counselor Tom Alday of Aldaynet smirks: "A self appointed dictator for life demading others retire is the height of hilarity."

Read more about Mexico's political scene.

Ajax cleans up: On Monday, Janice Fraser, the CEO of tech consulting company Adaptive Path, predicted that we are on a cusp of "a whole new Internet." She gushed over this two-month-old essay, in which Adaptive Path's Jesse James Garrett aggregated information about a Web-development approach that people have been using for years and gave it a name, Ajax. (Google Maps uses it.) According to Garrett, Ajax doesn't rely on communication between the user's computer and a server, "everything happens almost instantly, with no waiting for pages to reload." Claiming that Ajax might soon make Web pages obsolete, Fraser wrote, "The firestorm of excitement around the idea took us all by surprise. In mere days, the 'Ajax' meme was solidified. It was a tipping point."

Not so fast. Developer Ervin Peretz gripes, "It is grossly inefficient, and unintelligible. I can tell you first hand that it's excruciating for developers. … But it is portable and hurdle-free for users. It depends only on basic browser features and lots of CPU." Shravan Chinnagangannagari, the blog of a software designer, provides an extensive positive review of Ajax and insists, "Normal HTML pages aren't going away."

Read more about Ajax.

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Correction, April 28: The story originally referred to Mexico City's mayor as "Obrador" on a second reference. It should have said López Obrador. (Return to the corrected sentence.)