Monday, September 19, 2005

Advertising for the Adversary: Google Ads in the Bloggernacle

So, without naming names, I ran across the following in a google ad in a prominent bloggernacle site:

Out of MormonismTools for reaching LDS (Mormons) with the true Christian

Now, I have no idea whether bloggers are making any cash out of the ads, and some folks feel that being an equal opportunity advertiser is a good thing (i.e. no discrimination _against_ pro-Mormon sites), I don't agree. If I did do ads, I certainly wouldn't deal with a site that requires all ads to be accepted. The one above is just simply wrong (nor is it the only one, I'm just providing a sampling).

How does one feel about advertising wolves to the flock?
My guess is that folks don't care and feel that "their" readers are more sophisticated and can deal with such. Maybe so, but it certainly doesn't look right.

Soft on White Collar Crime: Why punish physical, and not economic, violence?

Today, two former executives of Tyco were found guilt of 2/3 of the 33 criminal charges against them, ranging from outright theft, to deception, to manipulating securities prices. They were sentenced to serve between 8 to 25 years in state prison and are eligible for parole. Together, they stole $150 MILLION from Tyco and inflated the stock value by over $400 million.

Yet...apparently even some prosecuters think that this sentence is too harsh; as "violent" criminals often get shorter sentences. Wow...what a non sequitor.

Is there something special about "violent" crimes that makes them more worthy of punishment? Frankly, the _violence_ done to Tyco investors and the company is far more appalling to me than if the two had killed a few members of the board of directors in order to get the money they stole. When grandma & grandpa's retirement fund gets wiped out by Corporate Criminals...why do we want to soft-pedal the culprits merely because they didn't _physically_ hurt anyone?

The truth is, they did physically hurt people. Think of the folks who lost their jobs, or didn't get jobs because Tyco didn't hire more, due to the monetary theft and stock drop after the theft and manipulation became public. Isn't causing people to lack money, who then often resort to violence, a physical hurt?

Sum: Monetary violence is just as much, if not more, damaging to society than physical violence. Spreading out the pain among thousands, rather than concentrating it on a few, doesn't make the criminals any less worthy of being locked up...permanently.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Impeach Nagin!

Yes, that's right. Impeach Nagin. The man has proved he is incompetent to lead a U.S. city, let alone a fairly populous one.

Let's start with facts:

1. The New Orleans disaster plan was a complete failure.
2. Nagin knew the poor wouldn't/couldn't leave.
3. Nagin knew it was his responsibility to get his constituents out of the city.
4. Nagin only made the evactuation "manadatory" after a phone call from Blanco; who herself only made the call after Pres. Bush got on her case.
5. Nagin had enough buses to evacute everyone; and didn't.
6. His police department fell apart on his watch. Wow.

The man has failed. Kick him out before it gets worse. If only he the decency to resign and let someone with some real management skills take over; rather than throwing a tantrum and blaming others to cover his own rear.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Is your Home Open to Katrina's Homeless? The Church isn't doing this Churchwide, so Contact Your Stake Pres. to Offer your home

Will you open your home to Katrina's homeless? I'm going to see if I can't get ahold of a stake president down in Louisiana or someone so that they can offer folks down there the empty rooms in my home. You can also do so via Craigslist: where some have already done so.

Donating money is great. Donating your living space is better.

Higher Gas Prices: The Silver Lining of Horrid Disaster

So, folks are freaking out about higher gas prices. However, this isn't a bad thing. Gas prices are currently about $3/gallon on average. However, this is distorted by $4-5 prices in areas with serious shortages; i.e. Atlanta, LA, MS, etc.

Frankly, higher gas prices are a good thing. Consumers respond to prices for the most part, not ideology. Higher prices will mean lower consumption and other "substitute" moves to compensate for the price increases. These will include:

1. Buying a vehicle with better mileage;
2. Increased car-pooling;
3. Increased use of public transportation; etc.

We also hear alot about "price gouging" and lots of political attention to this. Frankly, I ask why? It seems like officials in NJ will be wasting alot of time & tax dollars by "inspecting" pump prices. Gasoline is a commodity product; and folks should have to pay based on supply & demand just like any other product. There is no such thing as price gouging. If the price is too high; folks won't buy it. There is no "right" to gasoline. Sorry.

HS Kids Need Sex Ed? In what world?

So, some absurd # of HS students in this HS are pregnant. Towards the end of the article is a gratuitous swipe at the Bush Administration for supporting Abstinence only (i.e. ABC, Abstinence first, Condoms last) sex education.

Let's get real. Kids don't need sex ed classes. They get all the sex ed they need by the time they are 12 from movies, TV, their friends, etc; or at least enough to know what a condom is and how to use it.

If kids get pregnant, its a choice. Not lack of education. Get real. Maybe in Africa, but not in America does this type of claim make any sense.

The real debate is about whether we should condone/promote sexual activity amongst unmarried teenagers or support sex only after marriage. Only one of these options ensures kids get a two parent family with parents who don't have STDs/AIDS. To me, that ends the debate.

Clueless Dean & Gas Prices: Redux

Who do you trust to run your country? Well, not Democrats, at least not today. DNC Chairman Dean suggested that "Big Oil" companies should stop "gouging" Americans at the gas pumps. Sr. Dean doesn't seem to understand how gasoline is sold in this country. Sr. Dean seems to think that Oil Companies "own" the gas stations simply because they happen to have the same name as the oil company. Sr. Dean is ignorant of the fact that most of these gas stations are leased from the oil company in question and are de facto independent dealers who make profits on the gas they sell. True, the wholesale price is often dictated to them by the oil company in question, but it isn't as if Chevron or Shell could simply say "OK, we are only going to sell gas at $2/gallon at all our branded stations for the next month." They simply don't have the power to do so. Earth calling Dean. Go take your medicial continuing education classes and go back to being a doctor.

Asked in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" if U.S. oil companies should forfeit profits during the crisis, Bush said instead American corporations should contribute cash to hurricane relief funds.

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, seized on that comment. He said that while Bush was "asking ordinary Americans to do more, he ought to show some real leadership, and call on his friends in Big Oil to join in the sacrifice and stop gouging American families at the gas pump."