Framing the Dialogue

News Briefs – Volume XIV – Upside Down World

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories and this volume is chock full of stories from an upside down political world…

Brief 1:  The Keystone State (Pennsylvania) has recently announced that they are making changes to their appliance rebate program.  Pennsylvania budget deficit projects are not good so you would expect that a rebate program might be on the chopping block.  Not in Pennsylvania’s upside down world.  It was announced that the rebates are actually INCREASING, some by more than 100%.  In all fairness this is “stimulus” money (federal tax dollars versus state tax dollars). 

Brief 2:  In a related store, the Keystone State (Pennsylvania) has an appliance rebate program to encourage the purchase of energy efficient equipment.  One consumer found out what an upside-down world this is when he tried to purchase a new water heater under the program.  It seems that the specified heater is not available anywhere in the state. 

Brief 3:  There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the planned construction of the Ground Zero Mosque and the Cordoba Project.  Any number of politicians have stumbled into the controversy including Obama.  None were as bizarre as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who made a rather upside-down request;

“”There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how … this opposition to the mosque is being funded.”

I have heard many question who is paying for the mosque and who is behind the project since most of terrorist attacks against America and Americans has been perpetrated by Muslim Extremists.  Nancy, however, wants the finances of those who oppose the mosque investigated.  Cuckoo for CocoPuffs.  Someone must have explained it to her and she backtracked and suggested that both sides be investigated.  I would suggest that the federal government stay out of the local issue.  Remember the Tenth Amendment!

Brief 4:  A City of Pittsburgh Councilman proposes to ban all gas drilling in the City stating, “You don’t put oil and gas fields in urban areas.  There’s too much that can go wrong.”  It seems that the councilman needs to take a little course on risk.  Using his upside-down logic, the City of Pittsburgh should ban all automobile traffic, alcohol (try that at a Steeler or Penguin game), buildings taller than two stories, pedestrian traffic, bicycles, motorcycles, guns (believe me they’d love to), smoking (pretty much well under way), sugar, fats, tight ties, uptight politicians…  I could go on.  Shields has a legal background so it is upside-down that he has forgotten all about property and mineral rights.

Brief 5:  More gas.  It seems that gas companies have leased access to drill beneath a number of cemeteries in Pennsylvania.  NIMBY’s have taken up the cause, “They have cemeteries signed on for Christ’s sake. It’s disgusting is what it is,” said Elizabeth Schneider, an anti-drilling activist from Lincoln Place, where drilling companies have leases on more than 70 properties. “It’s very sacrilegious.”  All of a sudden a leftist finds God in this upside-down world!  I want to take her at her word showing concern for sacrilege, but saying “Christ’s sake” is pretty much against the third Commandment and dilutes her expressed concern for sacred ground. 

I would like to note that deep gas well drilling is not like strip mining for coal.  The intial drilling takes a few acres and once developed the footprint is rather small.  Drillers must lease any ground under which they will be extending the subsurface drilling and this does not necessarily mean disturbing the surface.  RINO Tom Ridge (former governor and first Director of Homeland Security) weighed in, “I’d have a tough time putting a rig down next to my tomb or next to anyone I’m related to.  Not next to mine.” and he WORKS FOR THE GAS DRILLING INDUSTRY!  He doesn’t seem worth the money if you ask me.

Brief 6:  Mixed news in the upside-down world of worker safety.  The Labor Department has released statistics that show the lowest recorded rate of lives lost while working ever!  Well not really just since they started actually keeping records in 1992.  Two things jumped out at me in the story.  This shouldn’t be a surprise since we have had nearly ten percent unemployment according to Labor, however the real jobless rate is around 22 percent.  With so many people out of work it isn’t a big surprise that fewer are dying on the job.  Any chance that OSHA reduced it’s number of employees relative to the reduction in workforce they have to monitor?  The second thing is that we have only kept records of working deaths since 1992.

Brief 7:  In what has to be the latest version of death by a thousand cuts a Muslim woman is suing Walt Disney because they will not let her wear a headscarf while waiting on customers.  If you have ever been to a Disney theme park you’d know that they are VERY particular about what their employees wear and how they interact with customers.  You’ll not likely see crowds of Disney employees smoking out back visible to customers.  Hopefully Disney will not buckle to the threatened lawsuit and I would be willing to donate some cash to their defense fund.  In anything but an upside-down world an American company should be able to determine how their employees dress not some disgruntled employee.  I wouldn’t doubt if the woman took the job knowing the outcome and planned to sue all along.  Considering how Muslim women are treated in Sharia Law this quote from the woman is amusing; “Their offer to put me in the back is humiliating,” she said in a statement. “They’re saying because I’m Arab, because I’m Moroccan, because I’m Muslim, they don’t want to see me in the front.”  Because she is free in America she can work anywhere else although McDonalds probably would not be too crazy about the burkah either.

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