Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Scan

Foreign Aid

A lot of my friends oppose foreign aid, and there are plenty of reasons to feel that way. Not resonate with me, however, is the complaint that we should spend it here instead of there; God knows we spend too much here on swollen entitlement programs as it is, and we have so much plenty that we can afford to give some there.

So I just want to register my sense of pride as President Bush tours Africa to create political support for his President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief funding request of $30 billion. The Dems don't like the requirement that a third be spent on abstinence education and are threatening to hold up the funds.

Why? What harm would a bit more abstinence to for Africa? What complaints are there that there aren't enough condoms and medications in the $30 billion? And in this aid there is a lesson in Democracy and good governance that Africa desperately needs. As Bush told a crowd in Tanzania:
"I'll just put it bluntly, America doesn't want to spend money on people who steal the money from the people. We like dealing with honest people, and compassionate people. We want our money to go to help human condition and to lift human lives as well as fighting corruption in marketplace economies." (AP)
China is spending billions to woo Africa, but they're not showing compassion at this fundamental level that turns human hearts. Bush's proposal is for money that would be well spent, strategically and compassionately.

Friends Of Barack

The new FOB's -- socialists? Steve Bartin at Newsalert conjures up this passage, from pages 100-101 of Obama's Dreams of My Father:
To avoid being mistaken for a sellout,I chose my friends carefully.The more politically active black students.The foreign students.The Chicanos.The Marxist Professors and the structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets.At night,in the dorms,we discussed neocolonialism,Franz Fanon,Eurocentrism,and patriarchy.When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake,we were resisting bourgeois society's stifling constraints.We weren't indifferent or careless or insecure.We were alienated.
Funny, I don't hear "bourgeois" very often in his speeches nowadays.

San Diego Tax Dollars At Work

If you saw city fire fighters on a city fire truck in a gay pride parade, would it ever cross your mind that they were straight, on-duty and required by the city to ride in the parade to represent the city's position, not theirs?

It's true. In San Diego, a group of straight fire fighters is suing the city under sexual harassment laws for requiring them to ride in a Gay Pride parade. San Diego Union Trib columnist Gerry Braun writes,
I've read a few sexual-harassment suits in my time, and I find this one credible. The remarks directed at the firefighters – “You're making me hot!” “You can put out my fire!” “Show me your fire hose!” “I can't breathe, give me mouth to mouth!” “Pull out your hose!” – have been confirmed even by their critics.
How is the gay community, concerned as they are that we all be tolerant, responding to the lawsuit? If you guessed intolerantly, you'd be right. Braun:
An editorial in the Gay & Lesbian Times called the firefighters “sissies” and “wimps” before laying it on thick: “As far as we can tell, you are weak-wristed, unstable, unsuited, incapable little mama's boys.”
Caution: If you think that makes it OK to call a gay a sissy, wimp, weak-wristed or a mama's boy ... prepare to be sued.

Movie Break

Just watched a movie with Incredible Wife ... Saving Sarah Cain. It was a bit Lifetime-ish, but still a nice turn on the Amish in the city story, made by Michael Landon Jr. and other people with deep faith.

Red Hot And Green

Myself, I don't even want to know, but in case you're losing ... er, sleep ... over whether your sexual activity is appropriately green, you'll find ways to green-up your red hot sessions here. Here's an excerpt:
Sure, you love that hot-pink plastic [sex toy], but have you ever thought about what is in it? That item you’re hiding in the nightstand might contain phthalates, a chemical used to soften rigid plastics. Though nobody knows for certain if phthalates are harmful to human health, studies have linked ... blah, blah blah.
Greenies ... they can take the fun out of anything.

Extreme Bad Taste Case OK'd

Close to home, some good news: A judge is allowing the family of Nikki Catsouras to move forward with their lawsuit against a California Highway Patrol dispatcher who made gory photos from Nikki's fatal car crash public.

Attorneys for CHP dispatch supervisor Thomas O'Donnell, accused of releasing the photos, argued that it was his first amendment right to release the photos. As if.

What happened to the Catsouras family is a case of the worst sort of bad taste that grows out of the anonymity of the Internet, as photos of their beloved daughter's and sister's decapitated body appeared on numerous Web sites with insulting comments.

The Catsouras family has been able to shame many of the sites into removing the photos, but their only possible legal action is against O'Donnell for his scummy (alleged) action of releasing the photos.

One Web site I won't link to that includes links to the photos also includes a reader poll with these results:
Do the parents deserve to win their lawsuit? Yes, 57%, no 43%.

Should Web sites be allowed to show the graphic photos of Nikki Catsouras? Yes, 33%, no 32%
Obviously, people who visit these sites are a schitzy bunch: Rooting for the parents, while a significant amount of them root against them, too.

A Big 'Heh!' On Biofuels

What's wrong with me? Why do I get such glee from environmentalism gone bad? Especially when environmentalism and Congressional eagerness to score greenie points -- and get votes -- coincide?
With corn and soy prices both at or near record highs, the article tries to handicap which crop farmers will plant more of in the coming growing season. Impossible to tell, it concludes. Nevertheless:

Fertilizer producers benefit either way. Corn demands more fertilizer than soy or wheat. But price competition among the grains, stoked largely by federal supports for ethanol production, has bled generously into fertilizer markets.

That's boilerplate. Anyone who's checked out the stock chart of Mosaic -- the fertilizer giant, two-thirds owned by agribiz behemoth Cargill, recently profiled here -- knows that the fertilizer industry has been essentially printing money. (source)
Fertilizer, of course, is hated by the greens ... it's a chemical, for cryin' out loud, and its production produces gasp! greenhouse gases!

And every gallon of biofuels produced drives up fertilizer sales.

If anyone who says there are easy solutions to global warming that won't wreck our economy and negatively impact our health and well-being, their heads are full of greenhouse gases.

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