Monday, November 29, 2010


Normally, I gravely distrust the popular TV series, "CSI".

Why? Well, of course it is entertaining, intelligently written, and the characters are amusing. But I think it is also propaganda for the Criminal Justice system. You see these very intelligent, incredibly observant people in lab coats with a passion for finding the truth, armed with high tech equipment and solving the case on every episode. You get the sense that anyone convicted of a crime probably should be rotting away in prison (all 2+ million of them!) because with our accurate forensics, fingerprinting, and DNA analysis, they all are undoubtedly guilty.

Well, here is an article about Claude Jones, who was executed in 2000 in the state of Texas. You probably didn't hear about it in 2000. In 2000 it was just another routine murder, intelligently solved by the lab coat wizards with the DNA analysis. Well, today it seems the DNA analysis, based on a single hair found at the crime scene, was originally analyzed improperly. The hair belonged to the victim, not to either the murderer, or to the man the state of Texas put to death "within reasonable doubt".

Maybe that's just one case taken out of context? Well, if that is what you think, and you have no moral qualms with the murder of one or a few innocent people here and there in order to satisfy your outrage against other criminals who perpetrated completely different crimes, here is an entire database of wrongfully convicted people. Pull up a chair. Spend a few hours. It will be very educational for you.

Thus, I have been greatly disturbed by the soothing effect shows like CSI have on the national psyche. We might as well have a show where every week in Iraq heroic F-16 pilots drop 500 lb bombs on terrorist compounds without killing any civilians, or perhaps throw grenades into roomfulls of plotting Al-Queda. That would really help me to forget the troubling, actual facts of my government knowingly murdering over a hundred thousand people in a country that never threatened mine, and then concealing this information from me.

You can imagine my shock then, when, I learned CSI had done a show about the effects of Fracking Fluid disrupting life in a small town!

Read about it here.

If you don't know, "fracking" is the technique of injecting tremendous quantities of highly pressurized water, laced with over 600 toxic "trade secret" chemicals deep into the earth in order to break up rock and release natural gas. These chemicals have hospitalized and killed humans and livestock that they have come into contact with. The use of them also poses the risk of contaminating water supplies. Poisoning the earth to mine a product that, when burned, will poison the atmosphere. For profit.

So, read that article... it's a review of the show by an anti-fracking organization that is fighting the legality of the process on the East Coast. And props to CSI! I think you still impart a false sense of confidence into our tremendously flawed Criminal "Justice" system, but it seems you are not completely evil after all! Thanks for going out on a limb to produce this socially and environmentally conscious episode.

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