Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Side notes

My parents house is cable TV enabled, an expense I haven't been able to justify at any time since leaving home. Every time I'm at home or in a hotel room I mull it over once again. Although cable is home to some great programming (that WWII color series is particularly interesting), it's still not all that unusual for the upwards of 100 channels to have the same number of watchable programs as my rabbit ears: ZERO. As well, while I like cable news channels in small doses, I'm ever amazed at their ability to beat a story to death (Terri Schiavo, Natalee Holloway, and god forbid, the 2000 presidential election come to mind), and then prop it up on stilts to beat it some more, to the point that the story is but a faint smudge of its original relevance.

Speaking of which, the cable news networks are salivating like hyenas after a wounded deer with this Supreme Court vacancy thing. The sad part of it is, is that the Supreme Court should garner little interest; it's only its recent incarnation as a dictatorial legislature that drives up its interest. One news-head talked about 'pro-life' nominees, but in the conservative cannon, there's no such thing as a 'pro-life' nominee; just the belief that if it ain't in the constitution, it can't be 'read' into it. If you're going to beat a story to death, at least get the facts straight! (A former boss who was rather well educated (yet somewhat liberal) was amazed when I told him that not one fewer abortion would be performed the next day should the Court reverse Roe v. Wade.)

On a lighter note, I caught yet another baseball game - Reds vs. Astros. I'm not a big baseball fan, and I think the four games I've seen so far this season sets a personal record. My dedication should shine through with the fact that I haven't had to purchase any of the tickets for the games. Although the Reds were blown out 9-0, the crowd was sedated with the fact that they got to see future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens pitch seven scoreless innings. As a special bonus, he hit a ground rule double at his last at bat and eventually ran a run in. By the look of the many BoSox hats and shirts (not to mention the cheering), I think many came just to see him play.

Clemens hits one out of the park, on one bounce

One last note for something that bugs me a bit. Much is made of the stem cell debate, and I guess this is being pushed in Ohio as well. Legislatures around the country are seeking to affirm their progressive views on the subject by passing budgets that will fund research into the subject. Just to make this clear, this funding is CORPORATE WELFARE. If this stem cell research is such a great idea, then no help from the government is needed; but the fact that new bureaucracies are being set up to hand over cash to the cronies in state (and federal) government should provide a pause for thought on how viable the technology is. I've cleaned up a quote from this article to make the point:
Supporters of embryo stem cell research, including Nancy Reagan, say it could lead to cures for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other degenerative brain and nerve diseases. Opponents say taxpayers should not be forced to pay for such research when large numbers of them believe that the resulting destruction of the embryo is immoral because if denying welfare to pregnant teenagers is good, it's all the better to deny it to lazy, fat, rich white people.


RT said...

Well, I don't know if I would put it quite like that, because stem cell research could eventually benefit us all.

But I have to agree, why is the govt willing to throw dollars at it while denying dollars to other types of medical research? Maybe they think this is going to be the big one and they're going to make a bundle off of it?

Evil Sandmich said...

It's always worrisome when governments say "but it will make cash back for us". Governments are like the mafia, if they make blue widgets, they'll do their best to make sure the red widgets fail. This is why big businesses are usually for big government whose interests will be wedded to their own. Why work for a living when you can just sop off the American taxpayer.

Governments are also completely incapable of doing cost justifications, ROI, or even just determining how much to pay for something (the $500 Pentagon toilet seat springs to mind). This isn't because the people within the organization are incompetent, but because government has no competitor, thus it has no standard with which to compare itself; and it certainly won't go out of business for making poor investment decisions (anyone in Ohio for some 'rare coins'?)