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Showing posts from January, 2007

Rotten Corn

President Bush made me smile tonight. He finally conceded that global climate change exists and that we should develop policy to deal with it. He supports production of plug-in hybrid vehicles, which are the best alternative we have at this time, in my opinion. Bush also seems to have abandoned his obsession with the hydrogen fuel cell and the hydrogen economy - which are about as unrealistic right now as living on the moon. However I have a problem with Bush's ethanol obsession. Developing ethanol is a great policy to propose if you are a politician and a terrible policy if you are an economist. The truth is: ethanol might reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but it will do virtually nothing to solve climate change and it will have a handful of harmful economic side effects.

To the untrained eye, ethanol looks like God's gift to the world. Ethanol is made from corn - so we're helping American farmers. It emits significantly less CO2 than gasoline - so it is good for the …

Christian Right vs. The World

A left-wing organization called Feminists for Life should be welcomed by pro-lifers with open arms. Finally.. a group of feminists that believe in something other than the "right to choose" has emerged. FFL wants Roe v. Wade overturned and wants abortions to be illegal. So what does the Christian Right have against these pro-life feminists? Unlike the Christian Right, who believes that banning abortion will instantly translate into a perfect, life fostering world, Feminists for Life actually tries to solve underlying causes of abortion. This drives the Christian Right crazy.

Feminists for Life are currently working on a project called the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Act, which would distribute $10 million per year to colleges in order to improve housing, health coverage, and child care for students who are pregnant or parents. This project achieves a few key goals. First, it allows pregnant or single mothers to stay in school, despite her parental responsibilities. Second, it giv…

Idiot Box

If there is ever a time to call the TV the 'idiot box' it is when the TV is tuned to Fox News. Apparently all smokers are now bad people. Don't get me wrong... I still support my contention that Smoke Free Ohio is a good idea, but I'm not about to go dump all of my friends who smoke. And I'm certainly not going to re-consider voting for any particular candidate because of his/her tobacco consumption.

Any good conservative should be outraged that this is the type of garbage his/her media is putting on their air. Obama may smoke cigarettes, but at least he didn't smoke thousands of innocent Iraqis in an unjustified war. Obama may smoke cigarettes, but at least he isn't a recovering alcoholic with DUIs on his record. Obama may smoke cigarettes, but at least he has proven that he can be a good leader and strong politician.

This just in... Altria's stock prices surges thanks to strategic product placement on Fox News. Did anyone else like the graphic that the…

Senator Gone Wild

Down in the great state of Tennessee our elected officials are once again hard at work to take away more of our freedom. State senator Doug Jackson doesn’t like some of the commercials that air during Conan. In fact, he dislikes it so much that he’s introduced a bill that would ban cable companies $50,000 for airing ads for “obscene products” (can anyone say ambiguity?). Jackson even came up with a cute name for his bill: The Girls Gone Wild Be Gone Bill. The AP quoted Jackson as saying, "This is being interjected right into our living room; people feel like, as they sit in their living rooms, they just have to surrender; there's nothing that can be done.”

Excuse me Senator, but I believe there are a couple of things the can be done. First, the best protection against obscene material on TV isn’t the V-chip or the FCC, it’s the on/off switch. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, shut it off. Second, how about putting the kids to bed at a reasonable hour. Even in the dirty sta…

Ignorance is Bliss

In America our media tells us all kinds of useful stuff: Middle-Easterners are terrorists... French people are jerks... the Chinese are out to get us... Israel is the second greatest place on earth... etc. This isn't a situation simply limited to the United States. I came across a clip from an Australian satire TV show produced by the same people who publish the Australian version of The Onion. When we wonder why people in other countries think we're stupid, it's because this is the kind of stuff they see and hear everyday.

Granted, the questions that the host asks are so easy anyone with a high school diploma should ace the little quiz easily, and 99% of the time people not shown on TV were probably right. What Australians see on TV are Americans who think John Howard actually walks the streets of Washington DC to talk to common folk; and Americans who can't answer very basic modern history questions; and American's who follow Bush like a blind sheep. This isn'…

Big Green Monster

It’s no secret that Wal-Mart is not my favorite company; but there are a few things that have happened over the past week that is starting to change some of my opinions. Last Tuesday, Joel Makower, a green business expert, blogged about Wal-Mart’s proposal to install solar energy systems on its stores in five states. And today, the New York Times ran a story on the front page of its business section about Wal-Mart’s campaign to push compact fluorescent light bulbs into at least 100 million homes in 2007. When Wal-Mart first announced its plans to go green, many, including myself, believed it was campaign to help a company with huge public relations problems. Now it looks like Wal-Mart is in a position to have a major environmental impact at a time when we need it the most.

The truth is, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are to energy issues what vegetables are to obesity: a perfect answer that doesn’t solve because Americans refuse to consume either vegetables or CFLs. This is whe…

Osama for President

CNN, the most trusted name in news... not so much. I no longer trust CNN to distinguish between Barack Obama (US Senator from Illinois) and Osama Bin Laden (Terrorist and leader of Al-Quida).

Did someone make a typo? Maybe. I wonder where the editor was on this one? Some might attribute this to human error (which we are all prone to); but I believe that when you brand yourself as the most trusted name in news, making mistakes like this is unacceptable. I’ve never been a huge fan of cable TV news, but I once watched CNN fairly regularly. Inside Politics and Crossfire were excellent shows that were canceled; Lou Dobbs’s show, which was once pretty credible, is now an entertainment program and the laughing stock of political punditry; and Anderson Cooper 360, my favorite show on CNN, now has to compete with prime-time TV. CNN is crashing and burning… fast.

Is there any chance I'll see "Osama for President" on CNN when they're running a story about Obama? Sadly, it wouldn…

Three Thousand

…is the number plastered on the front page of today’s Plain Dealer. It is the number of Americans killed in the Iraq War. Years after we waged this war, it’s easy to go on with our lives and forget about what it means. Newspapers stick their Iraq War stories in the back of the International section of the paper and Cable News is more concerned with Mary Cheney’s personal life and whether or not we say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” Whenever a major milestone occurs, say 1000, 2000, or 3000 American casualties, we spend a day or two thinking about it and then lose interest again. The Iraq War (or any war/conflict/genocide for that matter) has a human element. Every person who dies, whether they are American, Iraqi, European, or whoever has a profound impact on people close to them.

The Washington Post ran an emotional story on the front page of the first paper of 2007. The article, which is titled Cold Ground for a Summer Love, tells the story of a young woman who lost her boyfr…