Category: "culture/news"

The second term jinx

It looks like Second Term Jinx is setting in for President Bush. He already had declining poll numbers, a Social Security plan that no one seems to like and a war that is starting to drag on. Now one of his top advisors has brought some genuine scandal to the White House. Karl Rove now at the center of the Valerie Plame Scandal. I'm still reading up on what exactly is going on. had an article on the front page today about this. One very interesting quote: "Bush said last year he would fire anyone found to have leaked Plame's name." If Bush's second term continues to be scandalous and unproductive, then he'll just be another victim of the curse of the second term. Clinton had Monicagate and Reagan had the Iran Contra. With so much going wrong for Bush, I don't think the Democrats will be very inclined to give him an easy approval of his Supreme Court appointments.

Basic human rights

I was mowing my yard a couple of days ago and I got to thinking about two conversations. One was with my mom just this week and one was with the late Dennis McCullough over a year ago. Dennis was a conservative who had a long career as an educator. Once I asked him what he thought about education being socialized. Did he think the free market could produce better schools for less money? He said that if all schools were private schools, then they would only want to accept the bright students, the ones who would boost their stats, and of course, the ones who could pay. He said that the disadvantaged kids would get left out in the cold because they schools wouldn't have to take them (as they do now). That simple fact was enough to make him go against the general conservative tendency toward free enterprise and support the government control and funding of education. I think what he was saying was that education is a basic human right for a civilized country and it shouldn't be denied to people based on economic factors.

As I pushed my lawnmower around my yard I was also thinking about the conversation that Mom and I had this week. She's a nurse manager for a dialysis clinic. We were talking about the exorbitant prices that drug companies charge for medicines, and the general overcharging that goes on in the medical field. So much of it goes to insurance companies in the form of malpractice insurance and health insurance. Mom said that she thinks the way things are are almost immoral. I that what she was saying is that health care is a basic human right for a civilized country and it shouldn't be denied to people based on economic factors. As I cut the grass I finally connected these two conversations and I asked the question: Which is a more basic human right, education or health care? I think it has to be health care. If that's true, then why does our country guarantee education to every citizen, but not health care? And why are we one of the very few developed countries in the world where health care is not guaranteed?

For more information on this, check out the Wikipedia article Publicly Funded Medicine.

Regular showers may cause brain damage

Regular showers may be health risk - Insert your own joke here.


CNN is podcasting - Podcasting

CNN has some podcast feeds now. Subscribe in your favorite podcatching client (mine's iTunes 4.9) and get audio news updates delivered to your desktop.


That is a big fish

Liberals at Fox News - Views - Iraq: Bush Myths vs. Reality

I could barely believe my eyes when I saw this article. Could Fox News really be fair and balanced after all? On the same page I saw a link to another: President's Stubbornness Delays Social Security Solution. But wait, both articles come from the same author: Martin Frost. Frost is a Texas Democrat who served in the US House of Representatives for 26 years until 2003 when he lost after some redistricting forced him to run in a Republican-friendly district. Frost then lost his bid for DNC chairman. I guess we can add Frost's name to the short list of liberals that work at Fox News. Now Alan Colmes* has someone to talk to at the water cooler.

*Actually Alan Colmes is more of a moderate than a liberal.

Fox News apparently doesn't mind hiring a liberal or two as long as they meet three out of four of the following criteria:

  • Lost recently
  • Funny-looking
  • Not actually very liberal
  • Jewish

I did a bit more reading and I was surprised to learn that Wesley Clark now works for Fox News. He comes close to meeting my requirements. He lost in 2004, he is fairly conservative and he has a bit of a Jewish heritage. But there's no denying that he's a handsome man.

NPR explores podcasting

Take this survey and let NPR know if you'd like to listen to some of their content via podcast. I think it would be awesome. At the end of the surver you can volunteer to participate in beta tests of new features.

World's Tallest Buildings

World's 10 Tallest Buildings - - That list is pretty fun, but the whole site is rather impressive. It's a giant database of skyscrapers and towers and you can create your own lists. I made one showing the tallest 20 buildings, including completed skyscrapers and those still under construction. Or maybe the tallest proposed, built and under-construction churches. If you make a list, post the link in a comment.


Real life liger

Drawing of a ligerReal-life ligerReal life liger - I don't think he has magical powers, but this cross between a lion and a tiger is huge. From the article: "He is three years old, stands 10 feet tall on his hind legs, and weighs about 1,000 lbs. (At maturity he is expected to reach 12 feet in length and weight about 1,250 lbs.)"

This is pretty much my favorite animal.

I got free comics

Kyle mentioned a few weeks ago that Dave from Yet Another Comics Blog was giving away free comics every day during the month of May. I sent in my entry and I was the winner today. Thanks to Kyle and Dave. I'm excited to check out my free comics.

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