Framing the Dialogue

News Briefs – Volume XVIII

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories…

Brief 1:  I have been somewhat angry at the folks who run the WikiLeaks website as they have repeatedly released classified military documents of the United States.  I am all for daylight, but it seems that these folks care very little for the troops that may be affected (and by affected I mean killed) because of the information contained in the data dumps.  A recent story suggests that the WikiLeaks people are contemplating a similar dump of documents from the Russian government.  The Time Magazine writer coyly suggests that the “Russian reaction will not be as reserved as America’s.”  Duh!  It will be interesting to see if the WikiLeakers have the stones to take on Russia.  They might just end up on the wrong end of a ricin-tipped umbrella

Brief 2:  The Big Apple’s Mayor Blumberg has had an epiphany and has found a way to save his fair city ONE MILLION DOLLARS!  It seems that by requiring double-sided copies, sending e-holiday cards, and reducing travel the citizens of Nuevo York will save a cool seven figures.  While that sounds great, the New York City Council approved their 2011 budget to the tune of a whopping $63,100,000,000.00 – that’s ELEVEN figures.  While a million is a great deal of money it pales in comparison to the total budget; it is a mere one-one-thousandth of a percent (0.001 PERCENT).  Some might call that penny wise and dollar foolish.

Brief 3:  Yet another reason not to move to California which is perhaps the uber-nanny state.  The City of San Francisco has adopted a law outlawing fast-food restaurants from giving away toys in “unhealthy” meals for children.  If there is a more compelling argument for smaller government I cannot think of one (I probably can).  Who are these enlightened individuals who know what is best for the rest of us?  My prediction is that restaurants will now have adult “happy” meals featuring smaller portions and a prize that parents can share with their children for eating their veggie burgers and tofu fries.

Brief 4:  Yet another reason that legislatures should be part-time comes from New York.  Local officials would like to commission a study to see whether men making cat-calls at women is harassment and laws should be passed.  I am reminded of a lyric from a Styx song; “too much time on my hands.”  I am not making light of how women feel about the practice and that it is not appropriate, but do we really need another law.  Do offenders become sex offenders?  Women should just be able to contact their employers to complain or maybe the workers would wear one of those stickers “How’s my Cat-calls” listing a toll-free number to lodge complaints.  Another tactic that I have noticed with politicians lately is the use of “studies” or “commissions” to provide backing to policies that they desire.  Rather than taking a stand, they want to be able to point to the commission…The Commission Made Me Do It.

The prelude to China's Tiananmen Square Massacre

Brief 5:  In what has to be a case of Pol Pot calling the melting pot black the United Nations Human Rights Council is planning hearingson a country that has been accused of egregious crimes against humanity.  Considering that this council counts as members such stalwarts of human rights as China, Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Cuba the accused must be a real bad actor.  Are we talking about perhaps Iran?  Russia?  Mexico? Afghanistan?  Believe it or not they have their sights on the United States of America.  It seems that some of our fellow Americans believe that we discriminate against Muslims, our police are barbaric, and we have held political prisoners for years.  Again someone please tell me why we not only belong to this corrupt organization and provide a majority of their funding?  Get the U.S. out of the U.N. and get the U.N. out of the U.S.  I liked John McCain’s idea of creating an organization of democratic societies.  I thought that was NATO.

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