Lou Pickney's Online Commentary
May 21, 2006
Am I the only person who is seriously bothered by the expendature of government tax dollars on advertising campaigns that promote pro-government stands? I'm not talking about in Communist China, or in totalitarian North Korea... but here in the United States.
There've been a series of TV ads proclaiming the positive aspects of police officers cracking down on seat belt violations, and how their efforts save lives, etc. At the very end of the ad there's the fine print, telling you that your government is spending the money it took from you to tell you how to think. I'm sure this goes over the head of most people. It infuriates me.
I called the North Korea government totalitarian, and it certainly is, but read the Wikipedia entry on Totalitarianism and think about what our own government does. I find it more than a little bit frightening. Particularly in an election year.
The internet is amazing. I've written that before, I know, but it really is. Earlier this week, for example, I ran across this, an argument by the late William H. Rehnquist that argued in favor of Oklahoma's law that allowed for a drinking age of 18 for females but 21 for males. It's a rambling mess of a dissent, arguing on points that are entirely unrelated to the case (you'd think he's reading from the MADD playbook or something at times -- and this was from 1976!) The point is that essentially he doesn't see it as being that big of a deal, so it shouldn't be a protected right. And he became our Chief Justice! Unreal.
There's a story on the wires today about how Merck has a vaccine that would drastically prevent cervical cancer in women. But there is actually, if you can believe this, a backlash among certain so-called "Christian" groups that won't want to require it to be among the injections that are standard for children going into grade school. This is a chance to eliminate 70% an entire type of cancer! The reason they're opposed? It targets four types of sexually transmitted human papilloma virus, or HPV, which is believed to cause more than 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases and 90 percent of genital warts. But because HPV is transmitted sexually, there are people in an uproar over it. It's quite insane. There was a girl I knew in high school who got it, and I'm talking pretty early on in high school, and she can't have kids now as a result. When religious fundamentalists get a voice in shaping politics, as they have now, it only means bad things for this country.
I'm beyond sick of hearing about Barry Bonds. Yesterday he tied Babe Ruth's 714 home run mark, which is great and all, but was built up *way* too much in the media. It is fun to see the post-steroid Bonds crumble, turning into a self-parody limping along, trying to reach Hank Aaron (which I doubt will happen.) I cheered against the Giants in the 2002 World Series because of Bonds. But the media overkill on him has been beyond annoying. Enough already...
LeBron James tried his best, but Detroit was just too much for Cleveland in Game 7 of their superb series today. The Cavs didn't have anyone else to go to (besides James) for scoring options, and their rebounding couldn't match up to Detroit. As it is, the Detroit/Miami Eastern Conference Finals rematch will be fun to see. We haven't heard the last from LeBron.
Family Guy was hilarious tonight in its season finale. The open for the final half hour was especially great, with the 24 parody, complete with Kiefer Sutherland doing the voiceover and a completely unexpected clip from The Chevy Chase Show. Good times, for sure.