Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Biscuits and Pork Chops...it's NOT what's for dinner

A friend had a great post today about a AAA baseball affiliate team in Allentown, PA. The team, the Iron Pigs, have as their mascot a large pig, affectionately named “Pork Chop.” Clever, right? Not so, say some local Hispanics, who apparently feel slighted by the mascot’s name, claiming it is (I'm not making this up) an ethnic slur. Under pressure from the group, the team changed the mascot's name to Ferrous. The name change, while actually quite clever, nevertheless, ticks me off.

When I read things like this I'm infuriated. It kind of makes me want to scream,"HEY! They're slaughtering Christians in the Sudan, yet somehow THIS PIG'S NAME has become your personal front burner issue. I can't believe THIS is the hill you want to die on!" I daresay silly, symbolic gestures such as this must constitute an insult for people of Hispanic origin who are reasonable, productive members of society.

First of all, I seriously doubt naming the mascot "Pork Chop" was intended to be any sort of an ethnic slur. Let's face it, the name made more sense than "Chicken Little," right? And, according to industry insiders, pork is officially "the other white meat." (NOW, who's the focus of the "racial slur"?)

Second, I find wisdom in these words: "He who takes offense when none was intended is a fool. He who take offense when offense WAS intended, is a BIGGER fool." (Emphasis added) If, indeed, the name of the mascot was chosen solely in hopes of offending Hispanics, then mission accomplished...thanks to the small cadre of complaining Hispanics.

You know, sometimes it's best to just embrace the "tag" you're given. I'm originally from Alabama and occasionally (and by "occasionally" I mean "unceasingly") people across the US think people from the South are, well, less than bright. In fact, sometimes, in referring to an idiot, they will call that person a "Bama." My response? It was likely meant as a compliment! Ain't no shame in 'Bama, baby!

You know, sometimes non-Southerners refer to Southerners as "biscuits." Again, I say, "Ain't no shame in biscuits!" Apparently lots of people agree with me because when the capital city of Montgomery held a contest in order to decide the name for it's new AA baseball affiliate team, the "Montgomery Biscuits" got the winning vote.

And I tell you what, those loyal fans in Montgomery LOVE their Biscuits! When the opposing team is up to bat, the chatter begins and all over Riverwalk Stadium you hear, "Hey, Butter, Butter...Hey Butter, Butter...SWING Butter!" And during the games they actually use air cannons to shoot biscuits into the crowd! Um, um, um! Nothin' beats fresh biscuits...except, maybe, fresh biscuits and a cold Coke-Cola! (Don't you just love the pat of butter in the little cartoon biscuit's mouth?)

At any rate, the point is it's not necessary to take offense over every little issue. Reserve indignant responses for stuff that really matters. In the mean time, put a biscuit in it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Headline: That Which Doesn't Kill You May Not Make You Stronger...Though It's Probably Safe To Ingest

Tonight my friend/classmate Rich launched his new blog. (Can I get a “Whoop!”) His topic of choice was nutrition, toxins, pesticides, organic foods, etc. It was a great post, as evidenced by the fact it 1) made me think, and 2) compelled me to comment. Once I formulated my thoughts, I figured as long as I was actually typing more than a paragraph, I’d slap it on here and call it a post. (See below.)

I’ve added Rich’s blog to my list of favorites (Deep Thoughts By Rich) and I invite all my loyal readers (and again, by “all” I mean “both”) to visit. He’s a smart fellow and, were I a betting woman, I’d wager I'll be asking him for a job or voting him into public office one day in the not-too-distant future. Good luck, Rich!


I was recently reading about "intuitive toxicology"—the mental shortcut ordinary people use to think about the risks associated with chemicals. One of the beliefs that underlie intuitive toxicology is that nature is benevolent—that human products and activities are more likely to be dangerous than the products of natural process.

As Rich pointed out, EVERYTHING is made of chemicals and, thus, EVERYTHING can be poisonous. What frightens me (typically on a daily basis) is the ability of alarmists to force broad policy change simply by playing on the fears and ignorance of members of society.

Anybody remember Alar? No? Well, I do. It was a pesticide used on apples—until the National Resources Defense Council released a study asserting that about 1 in every 4000 children exposed to Alar would develop cancer. Then, like clockwork, the media latched on and the real chaos ensued. The CBS "news" (and I use the term loosely) show 60 Minutes implied Alar was outright poison—I mean the kind Snow White's wicked stepmother/queen would use, you know? People were in a state of panic. Grocery stores refused to sell Alar apples and eventually the EPA declared it a human carcinogen—but only after Uniroyal (the maker of Alar) had already voluntarily halted all US sales of the stuff.

But here's the rub: NRDC's research was crap. They extrapolated from research conducted on mice in order to make their determinations. In order for their assertions to be true, all children consuming apples would have had to eat something like a "truckload" of apples or several thousand gallons of apple juice EVERY DAY. And even at that rate of consumption we could only expect 1 in 4000 of those children to develop cancer.

As it turns out, the real risk was something like 1 in 250,000—of course, those figures never got the same media exposure the NRDC study enjoyed. (Who cares about the truth, right?) In the mean time, Uniroyal and apple growers across America were...well, S.O.L. Their combined losses totaled somewhere in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And, in what can only be described as a cruel twist of fate, in the absence of Alar, some growers were forced to use substitute pesticides which were found to be less safe than Alar. Go figure!

The lesson here, children, is this: Resist the urge to heed the emotional call to arms on such matters. Do not add to the deintellectualization of America by buying in to any ol’ thing emitting from your television set. The world is full of people whose sole purpose is to foist off on you a load of kooky crap and all the while try to convince you it is science.

And that's all I have to say about the matter. For now.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Myth Behind Women’s Lib OR Why I See Hillary Clinton’s Face and Think “Birth Control”

Personally, I think of Hillary Clinton the same way I think of the birth control pill—as something ostensibly representing the liberation of womanhood but which, in actuality, does just the opposite. Just bear with me for a moment, will you?

To begin, I’d like to employ the assistance of my friends Merriam and Webster:

Word: irony
Pronunciation: \ˈī-rə-nē also ˈī(-ə)r-nē\
(1): the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning (2): incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result (3): an event or result marked by such incongruity

When The Pill was introduced, it was revolutionary and revered…I mean, there were country-western songs written about this thing. All of a sudden, women everywhere were like “Yea! FINALLY we don’t have to be pregnant any more!” True enough, but at what price? Look how many health problems (including weight gain, atherosclerosis, and possible links to cervical cancer) have now been associated with use of b/c pills. (After 12 years in pharmacy, I’ve heard all the sad tales.) So now, in this day and age when we demand hormone-free milk and free range chicken, we STILL have a bunch of hormone-infused women reveling in the false notion they are liberated and free from outside influence? Puh!

I guess I never understood why women didn’t demand more. Why, when the Pill was introduced, didn’t women say, “Ummm, no thanks. I’m not willing to shove chemicals down my throat on a daily basis, month after month, year after year. I’ll wait until you come up with some pharmaceutical concoction that renders men temporarily infertile, and THEN I’ll resume giving out the good stuff.” Had that indeed been the case (and had all women been serious and willing to hold out), you can bet your sweet you-know-what the pharmaceutical industry would have answered that demand!

Alas, women (thinking they were oh, so clever) single-handedly shouldered the entire medical responsibility for family planning, in fact, they acquiesced in droves. I’d argue the Pill did more to liberate men and make women more dependent. (Note to my fellow females: The only thing worse than going along with a bad idea like a bunch of sheep, is going along with a bad idea like a bunch of super-enthusiastic sheep, insisting the idea was yours!)

And in what way does Hillary Clinton resemble the Pill? I’ll tell ya’: Women (for whatever reason) look at her and think she is the picture of feminism. Newsflash, girlies: It ain’t the case.

First of all, she’s obviously suffering a serious identity crisis—what’s with the schizophrenic nomenclature? Senator Hillary Clinton was formerly known as Arkansas First Lady Hillary Rodham until husband Bill’s first national election, at which time she became Hillary Clinton. She remained Hillary Clinton until such time as husband Bill assumed the Presidency, when she became Hillary Rodham Clinton. Again, she stayed HRC until such time as she herself sought a Senate seat and, seeking to bank on her husband’s success, once again, re-monikered as Hillary Clinton. (I’m betting money that some time within the next year we will see Hillary Washington Lincoln Roosevelt Susan B. Anthony Sacagawea Jane Roe Rodham Clinton as the Democratic front runner. Anybody giving odds on that?)

Second, the Clinton formerly known as Rodham was also formerly known as a Republican…and not just “a” Republican—she was a Goldwater girl—a diehard right-winger. So what was the impetus for the big change? Opportunity knocked! That’s right, she met Bill (a Dem) and (to her credit) recognized he was going places generally considered off limits for a girl like her. (And by “like her” I mean “generally unimpressive and annoying to the nth degree.”)

No, no, Hillary Clinton is not a feminist—in fact, she is quite the opposite. She is a prime example of a woman who couldn’t succeed on her own merits, and instead rode her husband’s coattails and claimed it as her personal victory. She is what we in the biz call an “opportunist.”

So, there you have it, folks. THAT is why I see Hillary and I am instantly reminded of The Pill. They share several characteristics—both appeal to women, neither represent the true best interest of women, and most especially, they resemble one another in method, as they both employ the mechanism of farce.

Whew! NOW who feels liberated?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Feeling a little misunderstood

This post is dedicated to my good friend Aryn.

Recently she was in the grocery store where she was approached by someone asking for donations for a charitable organization. The girl asked, "Would you like to donate a dollar to breast cancer?" Aryn, being the funny, clever girl she is, responded, "No, thank you. I'm actually opposed to breast cancer." Funny, right? Apparently not to the volunteer. According to Aryn, "She sort of cocked her head, squinted her eyes and said, 'Well, aren't we all?!'"

Oh, the futility of wasted humor.....

I had a moment sort of similar to that a few years back--where I said something I thought was hilarious and the person to whom I directed my comment JUST DIDN'T get it.

I was ordering lunch at Sensuous Sandwich in Salt Lake. The guy taking my order subjected me to the usual battery of questions, given the circumstances:
HIM: Tomaoes, lettuce, pickles, onions?
ME: Yes, please.
HIM: Mayo, mustard?
ME: Yes.
HIM: Horsey?
ME: Neigh (whinnying and shaking my head slightly...like a horse refusing a bit of apple)
HIM: (.....silence.....)
ME: Hahahaha!
HIM: (...prolonged silence...)
ME: Ummm, no thank you.

It was weird...I felt as though I had to apologize for being funny....AND CLEVER!!!

It was wrong.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Law School Made Easy!

As some of you (more correctly speaking, BOTH of you) may know, I am currently looking for an institution of higher education from which I may purchase a law degree. I don't want to spend more time in a classroom, I don't want to take more tests, I never, EVER want to litigate. Heck, I don't even want to take the bar! I just want the J.D. after my name so I can command a better salary in my field. (Wow, clearly I'm so shallow you could fly fish in me, but hey...)

Anyhoo, I just went to PBS.org and found a great little game called Talking About My Constitution. I urge each of you (and again, by "each" I mean "both") to go to the PBS Website (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/capitalism/constitution.html) and take the quiz. Be sure to come back and tell me how you did.

I scored highest in First Amendment Rights, but only got half the Civil Rights questions correct. Hmmm...maybe I should study more before I continue in my quest to purchase a law degree. Better yet, anyone know a scalper?

Monday, October 22, 2007

We live in a Diet Coke world

I vigorously urge everyone to read Mark Steyn's piece "General Stark's War" from the NY Sun yesterday. (http://www.nysun.com/article/65002 ) In it Steyn addresses Rep. Pete Stark's (D-CA) House floor speech last week in which he lobbed nonsensical, biting, personal attacks at Pres. Bush in an attempt to garner votes to override the SCHIP veto. (Really, can somebody PLEASE put a fork in this thing? It's DONE already!)

For those of you who don't have time to read the article in its entirety, I have taken the liberty of cutting and pasting two of the most relevant parts.

It all started when Rep. Stark adroitly (puh!) mumbled the following in his floor speech: "The Republicans are worried that they can't pay for insuring an additional 10 million children. They sure don't care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you're telling us today? Is that how you're going to fund the war? You don't have money to fund the war on children, but you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people? If he can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President's amusement."

Okay, first of all, what the hell does that even mean? Was he sauced? Isn't being lit up during a Congressional debate against the law, Ted Kennedy notwithstanding?

Referencing the good congressman's slurred utterance, Mark Steyn noted: "Congressman Stark hit all the buzz words – "children", "illegal war", "$200 billion", "lies", etc – and these days they're pretty much like modular furniture: you can say 'em in any order and you'll still get a cheer from the crowd."

Aaaahahahahahaha!!! Modular furniture? 'Scuse me while I wet my pants! He then goes on to point out:

"A couple of weeks ago, the Democrats put up a 12-year old S-CHIP beneficiary from Baltimore called Graeme Frost to deliver their official response to the President's Saturday-morning radio address. And immediately afterwards Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin and I jumped the sick kid in a dark alley and beat him to a pulp. Or so you'd have thought from the press coverage: The Washington Post called us "meanies". Well, no doubt it's true we hard-hearted conservatives can't muster the civilized level of discourse of Pete Stark. But we were trying to make a point – not about the kid, but about the family, and their relevance as a poster child for expanded government healthcare. Mr and Mrs Frost say their income's about $45,000 a year – she works "part-time" as a medical receptionist and he works "intermittently" as a self-employed woodworker. They have a 3,000 square foot home plus a second commercial property with a combined value of over $400,000, and three vehicles – a new Suburban, a Volvo SUV, and a Ford F250 pick-up....How they make that arithmetic add up is between them and their accountant. But here's the point: The Frosts are not emblematic of the health care needs of America so much as they are of the delusion of the broader western world. They expect to be able to work "part-time" and "intermittently" but own two properties and three premium vehicles and have the state pick up healthcare costs."

Exactly! Who are these people? How are they disadvantaged in any sense of the word? How many of us wish we could work "intermittently" and still be able to afford a Volvo SUV? As it is, most of us work full-time and we are perfectly grateful for the ability and opportunity to pay off our 2000 Nissan sedan! The Dems could have paraded around any number of children, but they chose THIS kid to be their poster boy, THIS kid to be the face of America's poor.

Steyn is right--we want all of the pleasure, and none of the guilt. We want all the benefits, but wish to bear none of the cost. In short, we are a society of expectations. We live in a Diet Coke world.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pucker up, Sioux City!

As seen recently on YahooNews:

“SIOUX CITY, Iowa - City leaders have scrapped plans to do away with the Sioux Gateway Airport's unflattering three-letter identifier — SUX — and instead have made it the centerpiece of the airport's new marketing campaign. The code, used by pilots and airports worldwide and printed on tickets and luggage tags, will be used on T-shirts and caps sporting the airport's new slogan, "FLY SUX." It also forms the address of the airport's redesigned Web site — http://www.flysux.com.”

Bravo, Sioux City, Iowa! I mean, who hasn’t been faced with a similar dilemma? Let’s face it, we live in a fallen world and sometimes life just deals you a crappy hand. As I see it, at that point you have two choices: You can either sit around and gripe and moan and paint yourself as a victim—insisting the world understand and acknowledge you’ve been short shrifted OR you can enthusiastically embrace your circumstance, own it—I mean, hell, go ahead and put it on t-shirts, ball caps and luggage tags, right?! Why not?

At any rate, there’s a lesson to be learned here. There is something to be said for making the best of a bad situation and it is this: When the FAA gives you lemons, why not SUX?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

From David Letterman

“Top Messages on Al Gore’s Answering Machine”:
-- Hi, Mandy from The Cheesecake Factory. You left your credit card
-- George W. Bush here. Congratulations on your Latin Grammy
-- It’s Larry from Toyota. This global warming paranoia is great for business
-- Put on Letterman. Some idiot is going to jump over interns
-- This is Hillary. If you run for President, I’ll snap your neck
-- I’m calling from the EPA. Turns out there is no global warming
-- You’re just sweating because you’re getting fat;
-- This is Jimmy Carter. Want to use our medals to score some babes?

“Top Questions President Bush Asked the Dalai Lama”:
-- What is that, some kind of Halloween get up?
-- I got one for you—why do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?
-- Where’s Mrs. Lama?
-- Are you that Japanese guy my dad threw up on?
-- How’s business in Dollywood?
--I know your cousin Barack O’Lama.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

"The People Is A Great Beast!"

Okay, that settles it--people are morons! Did anyone else see this article in yesterday’s USA Today?


The lead statement reads: “A majority of Americans trust Democrats to handle the issue of children's health insurance more than President Bush, but they agree with the president that government aid should be targeted to low-income families, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. Two days before the Democratic-controlled House attempts to override Bush's veto of a five-year, $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the poll shows that opinions on the issue are mixed.”
Okay, fair enough, polls are split. No surprise there. But the way USA Today characterizes the results of the poll kinda burns my butt! No, make that it REALLY burns my butt! From the article:

“Fifty-two percent of respondents say they have more confidence in Democrats to deal with the issue, compared with 32% for Bush. Slim majorities back two positions at the core of the president's opposition to the expansion:

--52% agree with Bush that most benefits should go to children in families earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level — about $41,000 for a family of four. Only 40% say benefits should go to such families earning up to $62,000, as the bill written by Democrats and some Republicans would allow.

--55% are very or somewhat concerned that the program would create an incentive for families to drop private insurance. Bush and Republican opponents have called that a step toward government-run health care.

Taken together, the results show that while Bush may be losing the political battle with Democrats, he may be doing better on policy.”
How come when 52% say they have more confidence in Democrats, it's simply reported as a figure? But when 52% and/or 55% AGREE with Bush's central points of contention, it's reported as "slim majorities" backing his position???? Couldn't they have just as easily said "A recent Gallup poll indicates the number of people who agree with Bush is equal to or greater than the number of people who trust Democrats with health care?”

So what should we glean from this story? The majority of public sentiment toward President Bush on the SCHIP battle tends to vacillate somewhere between distrust (at best) and hatred (at worst.) At the same time, the majority of public sentiment toward Bush’s core SCHIP policies tends to lie somewhere between hearty agreement (at best) and mere acceptance (at worst.) And why the obvious dichotomy? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the vigorous and unrelenting public trashing of Bush by an obvious (and don’t forget admittedly) left-leaning media for the last seven or so years has taken its toll. And the people being “a great beast” (a characterization most often attributed to Alexander Hamilton) lumber about, subjecting themselves to all manner of drivel, never challenging the pied pipers of media, refusing to engage in spirited discourse based in logic and intellectualism; instead, they passively accept, and then embrace, what is so eagerly spoon fed to them…and thus, tragically, they become unrecognizable, even to themselves.

Warning from the Emergency Weather Service: Global Warming Rant Ahead

This will come as no surprise, but recently I was infuriated beyond belief. It all started when I read an article in the NY Times about global warming. I'll just say it--I think the unconditional belief in global warming is to many Americans what African kids are to Hollywood celebs--an accessory you just gotta have.

Please see the following article before you continue reading:


This New York Times story quotes scientists who note that “Arctic Ocean ice shrank far more than usual this summer, and global warming, due to the buildup of greenhouse gases, likely played a role.” Okay, fine. However, the last paragraph of the story notes “Sea ice around Antarctica has seen usual winter expansions recently, and this week is near a record high.” Period. Nothing more.

Hold the phone there, Gomer! So global warming is causing ice to melt more rapidly than usual in the Arctic, but what is causing ice to expand and thicken more rapidly than usual in the Antarctic?

And why didn’t the press pursue THAT part of the story? Can we please just concede there is still a lot we don’t know about the earth’s climate past OR future? Why are we trying to explain the ice reduction by citing global warming but not even bothering to attempt to address the ice expansion?

The Times story goes on to note: “Still, he and other scientists acknowledged that both poles were extraordinarily complicated systems of ice, water, and land and that the mix of human and natural influences was not easy to clarify.” To this profound declaration I had to respond, “Really, Al Roker? You don’t say.”

Is THIS the level to which science has been reduced??? Of course, those of us who question findings (aka drivel) such as these are accused of being anti-science. I believe in reality it is just the opposite--I revere quality scientific study, robust with meaning and integrity—this stuff doesn't qualify. Frankly, I'm offended for and in behalf of real science.

Just to set the record straight—do I believe we are undergoing a climate change? Sure, why not? However,
1) by their own admission we don't have enough data over time to make any firm conclusions. When you consider the long history of the earth, 70 or 80 years worth of data can hardly be considered a reasonable or significant sample, so why are we attempting to craft national and global policy based on such fleeting, insufficient data? And,
2) we know from geological, anthropological, and ecological study that the earth used to be much wetter than it currently is, after all, Lebanon and Israel were densely forested areas and much of France and India were under water, so I guess my question is:


Am I the only one who feels this way? Do I live in a world full of mindless sheep who, in spite of possessing perfectly good frontal lobes, refuse to ask critical questions?

Thoughts??? Questions?? Comments?? Emotional outbursts??