Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This and that

A few thoughts on stories in the news:

– I'm not one of those atheists who thinks "In God We Trust" should be removed from our money or that we should start reworking the Pledge of Allegiance, but I think a Fargo man has a point in his license plate dispute with the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Brian Magee is appealing a decision by the department’s Motor Vehicle Division to refuse his request for a license plate reading “ISNOGOD.” In his appeal, Magee notes that the state has allowed plates reading “PRZZGOD,” “ILOVGOD” and “TRI GOD,” among others. Magee’s views are no less valid than the ones expressed on the religious plates. The state should either issue Magee the plate he has requested or recall all the ones expressing religious sentiments. Fair is fair.

– After months of doing nothing, Wal-Mart finally agreed to pull a whole line of Miley Cyrus-brand necklaces and bracelets from its stores because of the health hazard they posed. The retailing giant had known since February, based on testing conducted at the behest of the Associated Press, that the jewelry contained high levels of cadmium, a known carcinogen that also has been linked to bone softening, kidney failure and negative effects on brain development in children. The AP quoted Wal-Mart as claiming that while the jewelry was not intended for kids, “it is possible that a few younger consumers may seek it out in stores.” Not intended for kids? C'mon. It's cheap jewelry branded with the name of a young star of the kids show "Hannah Montana.” This whole story is black eye for Wal-Mart.

– Some of you might remember the name Anthony Hauser. He's the Minnesota man whose teenage son, Daniel, went on the lam last year rather than have traditional medical treatment for cancer. His family favored a nuts and berries approach to curing the illness, but Daniel eventually underwent chemotherapy and reportedly is doing well. Now it’s Anthony Hauser who is fighting what is described as a rare, aggressive form of leukemia, and while he's currently relying on a dietary treatment, he won't rule out having chemotherapy, if needed. My guess is that it most certainly will be needed, if the elder Hauser wants to save his own skin, and it seems that he's a lot less resistant to conventional medicine now that it's his butt in a sling. The Hauser family also notes that it's suffering “severe financial hardships” because Anthony Hauser hasn’t been able to work much. The next sentence in the AP story was the one that caught my attention. It notes that Anthony Hauser and his wife recently had their ninth child. The Hausers certainly have the right to be fruitful and multiply, but when you make the decision to have nine kids, I think you forfeit the right to whine about financial troubles.

– If you needed any more evidence that your state government is out of control, here it is. An AP story this morning noted that the governor is disbanding a special unit within the state Department of Transportation whose sole task is to push through paperwork to help state lawmakers curry favor with voters. The unit came to light through the investigation into the legislative corruption scandal. A spokesman for Gov. Ed Rendell says the 35 workers in the unit are being reassigned within PennDOT, and PennDOT will continue to help lawmakers with their special requests. Let me get this straight. Every one of these unnecessary jobs is being preserved, and the agency will still be doing the lawmakers’ busy work? This is asinine. And wasteful. But it gets worse. The report from the panel doing the legislative investigation also noted that the House Democratic and Republican caucuses spend nearly $1 million a year to employ dozens of people who work to, in the words of the AP, “expedite processing of mostly routine PennDOT paperwork for businesses and other constituents.” It's time that our state lawmakers quit spending their time figuring out ways to pander to voters in order to get re-elected and start doing their real duty. And their main duty, really the only one that is constitutionally mandated, is to produce a budget by June 30. I don't think I'm going to hold my breath on that one. There's a stench in Harrisburg, and the more we learn, the smell just gets worse and worse.

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Anonymous Sure Bank said...

Ok, so in a nation filled with mostly church going people, you want a godless heathen bastard to run around with a plate isnogod ? Father O'Connor up the road likes to box! Not a good idea.

We have this guy on tv yesterday telling us that there is no war on terror cause terror is a state of mind. What? That there is no such thing as Islamic Extremist. WHAT?

May 28, 2010 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

According to multiple polls, fewer than half of Americans go to church on a regular basis, and the percentage of people who identify with no religion is growing in this country.

May 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father O'Connor is welcome to take his best shot. Though since Jesus taught "turning the other cheek", I'd say you and Father O'Connor are prime examples of why more and more people dispense with the whole crock known as organized religion. Organized hypocrisy would really be more apropos. You-all can't follow your own dogma, but you expect everyone else to respect you for it.

June 3, 2010 at 9:27 AM  

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