A simple girl in a complex world
Saturday, July 19, 2003
I'm about 80 pages from finishing the book Eating in the Dark, which I posted about earlier.
It wanders a bit more than I'd like. Also, it's so obviously slanted left that if you placed it on a bookshelf, it'd fall over.
I had only one spot where I wanted to throw it, (in the Brian J. method) though. It's a library book, and it's a hardback, so I refrained.
On page 179, in a chapter called "Global Food Fight," I read this nugget about the crowd gathered on November 30, 1999 at the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle. The author has just mentioned the "phalanx of police garbed in black riot gear, helmets, and face shields."
Pandemonium erupted, and I joined the throngs of people streaming downhill, away from the melee. A tall, slender college-age boy ran up beside me shouting, "I've been shot. Our government is shooting at us!" Grimacing, he pulled up his pant leg and rubbed his calf. Another young man, apparently one of his companions, stopped up short behind us. "Rubber bullets!" he shouted breathlessly. "The police are shooting rubber bullets!" A third member of their group appeared, cradling a marble-size plastic pellet in his cupped hand. The police were apparently firing plastic bullets into the crowd.
"I can't believe the government is shooting at us!" the stunned youth mumbled in disbelief. Then he rolled down his jeans and turned to rejoin his friends, who were already scrambling back up the hill into the combat zone."
What's Seattle's newspaper, The Seattle Times, have to say about the event?
Most protesters, though, remained peaceful as up to 20,000 people from labor unions, environmental groups and local colleges rallied around the city, with the largest rally at Seattle Center. Most then marched downtown.
The worst of the confrontations began around 10 a.m. When police fired pepper spray at protesters, they in turn threw sticks at the officers, prompting police to move an armored truck into the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Union Street and physically throw protesters out of the way.
Book's still good, though - worth reading as long as you don't mind the bias. I should finish this weekend.
Please, if any of this surprises anyone, please e-mail me. I rolled my eyes no fewer than three times through the article.
The institute's survey found that 69 percent of those polled finish their meals most or all of the time, even when the portions are huge.
"Fully 30 percent of Americans now say they generally base the amount of food they eat on the amount they are served," according to the institute, which promotes research on the links between diet and cancer.
"In a country where 64 percent of us are overweight or obese, there is an alarming tendency to overlook the sheer amount of food we're eating," Dr. Barbara Rolls of Pennsylvania State University told a news conference.
On Thursday in Paris, in what can only be a publicity stunt or another manifestation of public idiocity, Pretenders' lead singer Chrissy Hynde got cozy with PETA in Paris (how...trendy).
Hynde and a dozen others, including leaders of the animal rights group PETA, were briefly detained by police after blocking traffic Wednesday on a main boulevard and smearing red paint across the restaurant's window to symbolize the blood of dead chickens.
"The protest won't end here," said the 51-year-old pop singer, who was scheduled to perform Friday in a pop music festival in western France. "Even if I shout for two hours I can assure you, I'll still have a voice for the concert."
Friday, July 18, 2003
Now it's a SCANDAL. I missed this afternoon update yesterday from the NRO on the pharmaceutical bill, but I just found it, so I'll be a nice human and share.
Frank J. of IMAO renders this advice (and so, so much more) about North Korea.
You can never be too cautious, but the missing arms expert's body's been found near London.
Okay, so the French nixed the word e-mail. Silly as can be, but okay. If they want to spend their citizens' money to find proper "terms" for the language, I really have no beef with that.
But what's next? Are the French going to discover/create a new programming language? Last I checked (being a web developer), all of the software languages I use are chock full o' lovely English words.
Hmmm. Lots of assembly code. Ick.
And what else do you get when you research kids and obesity? Video games and television. Here's what I've concluded from these three articles(just for fun). It may be true; it's most likely heinous fallacy. Aren't statistics great?
1) America's children are more concerned with food than sex. (Teen pregnancy down; weight up).
2) Video games decrease both actual sex and actual violence in our children's lives.
3) Kids are still drinking an alarming amount of alcohol (but only while playing video games), but the smoking rate has declined. This is probably because they have to go outside to perform this activity, but drinking can take place around the console.
4) Violent crime is down because children never leave their homes, and they're more knowledgeable about firearms (because of video games?) that they don't accidentally shoot themselves (or others) with the family gun(s).
Everybody! Buy six copies of Vice City, and shove those kids toward the console! Fat's in vogue, don't you know? I saw a man last night at Old Spaghetti Factory who sported a t-shirt proclaiming his pride in his body size. Your kid could be THAT GUY!
I'll probably expand this after work...
Thursday, July 17, 2003
The TVC is target more than Uncle Todd, I see. I blogged about this a few days ago, having received the mailing. Ponnuru obviously spent more time on his piece than I on my basic surface criticism, and it's quite a good read.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Now that we've given up cable, there's this.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
Wow, Pat Robertson must know something the rest of us mere mortals do not. He's delivered some pretty specific prayer requests to God, and, I'm sure will become very critical if he does not receive the answers he desires.
Robertson has launched a 21-day "prayer offensive" directed at the Supreme Court in the wake of its 6-3 June vote that decriminalized sodomy. Robertson said in a letter on the CBN Web site that the ruling "has opened the door to homosexual marriage, bigamy, legalized prostitution and even incest."
And, wary public, rest not your vigilant watch, lest this public prayer trend become a weekly feature for CNN. Soon, soon, I say, Reverend Robertson will need to beseech the Lord to put an end to Jerry Springer's senate campaign.
And, if he asks for a Segway (new or used), I'm going to have to decry him some more.
I'll keep my prayers private, thanks.
Monday, July 14, 2003
Of course, since I wrote about this, when I found the NRO article (Friday's - I missed it then because I was ill) entitled PETA-Fried, well, I felt I had to share.
My favorite spots?
In return, PETA didn't have to agree to do much of anything. The anti-KFC campaign would continue, though with a 60-day suspension. PETA would not picket the 2003 annual shareholder meeting. It agreed to modify its website assertions about KFC, and suspended "all planned billboards." And it promised not to undertake further "step-ups" in the anti-KFC campaign for 60 days — meaning that it would be at least 61 days before protesters returned to picket Bachelder's home.
The promised reforms may all be fine, appropriate, and humane changes in the raising and slaughter of chickens. Indeed, it is an important human obligation to treat food animals properly and to kill them as humanely as is practicable. But it shouldn't take pressure from fanatics for corporate executives to do the right thing. Indeed, acting under such pressure merely adds to the power of animal-rights liberationists, making them an ever-greater threat to the legitimate use of animals.
If KFC thought that it had bought peace and security from PETA by so clearly and publicly caving in to the organization's threats and intimidation, it didn't know its enemy. I use the word enemy in its literal sense. PETA's goal is not to reform KFC's practices. It isn't ultimately seeking a universal standard for humane treatment of chickens by food producers. These goals are mere tactical efforts on the way to PETA's ultimate goal: driving KFC — and all other meat-serving fast-food restaurants — out of business.
It must be understood that PETA-type fanatics do not see Holocaust on Your Plate as hyperbole or metaphor. For them, it is a literal truth. Down to the bone marrow in their vegan bones, they believe that KFC's cooking of chickens is morally equivalent to SS guards' herding of Auschwitz inmates into the showers. One can only imagine the future potential for demagogic advertisements should KFC's suppliers begin the gas slaughter of birds.
I got an "URGH!" from reading this, (the "bad-blood-shrug-it-off murderer") so I set it aside at lunch to blog about it later.
But that Scott Ott of Scrappleface does a far better job than my ugly rant, so I'll read more this evening and write less.
Sunday, July 13, 2003
I've been ranting too much of late. Yesterday, I checked myself - almost blogged about crazy Susan Smith and her desire for prison pen pals. I refrained. Good Heather. I guess I could've varied my style and written her an open letter, but I'll save that for someone worth my time.
A couple of reflections here today, that's all.
One, have you noticed how often conjoined twins are in the news now? I swear, they're EVERYWHERE. While it's obviously very sad that Laleh and Ladan lost their battle to live separate lives (and life at all), now conjoined twins are all the rage. We've got a new pair in Greece. And before that we had an interview with other conjoined twins - joined at the stomach- who would not attempt separation surgery. We have doctors in Dallas readying themselves to separate another pair.
I'm certain there have always been conjoined twins and surgeries - but Ladan and Laleh's journey in adulthood to lead separate lives seems to really have led the media to near frenzy about this topic. And, truly, it is fascinating. It's something most of us will never see or come into contact with without he media. And we humans are certainly fascinated by things we do not understand.
Yeah, go Lance. It's almost anticlimactic, isn't it? I mean, in the background of the Tour de France, behind Lance and all of the hubbub, you have Tyler Hamilton, who is riding nearly the entire race with a FRACTURED COLLARBONE. Everyone, as a chorus, please exclaim, "OUCH!" and shudder in horror.
If you have not been on a bike lately, I'd like to remind you of a few biking things. One, your hands FEEL the road - every pothole, every pebble, every bit of gravel - they all jar the bike. If your hands feel the road, and you're on the bike for several hours a day, I can assure you, your collarbone FEELS the road.
This man has grit. What's the press say? I searched CNN for him. Nada. Piffle. I'll not bother with all that - what's he have to say?
You can always leave him a note.