Don’t get too excited over North Korea’s demolished nuclear reactor tower

Posted June 27, 2008 by jack rogers
Categories: News, politics

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North Korea showed a sign of cooperation with the U.S., destroying a nuclear reactor cooling tower today.  According to the Associated Press, Ri Yong Ho, director of safeguards at North Korea’s Academy of Atomic AP photoEnergy Research, hailed the move as a step toward the end of nuclear proliferation.

Before Americans praise this as a victory for U.S. politics and the Bush administration, let’s take a moment of pause.

North Korea is looking for U.S. trade sanctions to be lifted, and this was one minor step toward reaching that goal.  The fact remains that North Korea still has a lot of work to do before the threat of nuclear proliferation and weapons trade is ended.

And who is to really say how many bombs have already been shipped off to other countries?

Hopefully, Bush and his cohorts will handle this situation more gracefully than they’ve handled things in Iraq and Iran.

Supreme Court strikes blow against death penalty

Posted June 25, 2008 by jack rogers
Categories: politics, society

Tags: ,

The state of Louisiana allows the death penalty, but it won’t get the opportunity to put a convicted ABC News photochild rapist to death, a Supreme Court ruling says.

The 5-4 decision was a blow to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which supported the execution of Patrick Kennedy, who was convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

The Court’s liberal majority stood by the precept that putting people to death is brutal and demeans us as a society.  The conservative minority stuck firm to the notion that heinous crimes deserve heinous penalties.

Regardless of the opinions, at least for now, justice has been done.

Does America need Don Imus?

Posted June 24, 2008 by jack rogers
Categories: culture, Entertainment, people

Tags: , , ,

Imusonair.comShock jock Don Imus is back in the news for making what most sensible people believe to be a racist remark on his WABC radio show.

Imus made national headlines, when he made some racist comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team last year, which subsequently led to his termination from WFAN and MSNBC.

This time, Imus’ statement was less specific, but the interpretation is still quite transparent.

According to a Daily News article:

On Monday’s show, sportscaster Warner Wolf was talking about how (NFL player Adam) Jones had been suspended for a season and arrested six times.

“What color is he?” asked Imus.

“He’s African-American,” said Wolf.

“Well, there you go,” said Imus. “Now we know.”

In his own defense, Imus says the statment was meant to suggest that African-Americans are wrongly targeted by police because of their race.  Imus didn’t make this clarification on his show, though. 

What Imus said last year was unconscionable and his firing was the right move.  Many people believe Imus should never have been given a second chance.

After this recent remark, is there any other conclusion than to presume that Don Imus is indeed a racist?

And, in a society trying desperately to overcome centuries of prejudice, do we really need a guy  like Imus on the air?

Movies and media blamed for suspected teen pregnancy pact is

Posted June 23, 2008 by jack rogers
Categories: people, society, weird news

Tags: , , ,

Seventeen high school girls allegedly created a pregnancy pact in Gloucester, Mass.  Although she woudn’t confirm that such a pact to become pregnant actually exists, the mayor of Gloucester, Carolyn Kirk, was quick to lay blame for the creation of such an absurd pact. 

According to Kirk, the movie industry and media coverage of pregnant teen celebrities, like Jamie Lynn Spears, creates a “glamorization of pregnancy,” which ultimately led to 17 girls at one Gloucester high school becoming pregnant; all of the girls are under 16.

Kirk also took a shot at President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, arguing that too much time and money are dedicated to NCLB, leaving little for health programs that might teach young girls about safe sex.

One must wonder if Kirk left those most to blame unscathed. 

What about these girls’ parents? 

Are parents ever to blame for America’s wayward youth?

Edgy George Carlin took the edge off of the daily grind

Posted June 23, 2008 by jack rogers
Categories: culture, Entertainment, humor, people

Tags: ,

Some people found him a bit too baudy, even vulgar, but for most comedy fans, George Carlin helped take the edge off of the grind of many frustrating and stressful days.

Carlin died yesterday of heart failure, after a long and celebrated career of stand-up comedy, television and movie appearances.

What separated Carlin from most comics was his ability to take sensitive subjects, like abortion and obesity, and make them funny, even to pro lifers and overweight people.  Carlin understood who he was and believed his devout fans also got him.

“I have a kind of identity that I’ve carved out as my own, and people know that,” Carlin told the Daily Press in 2002. “I have this theatrically angry voice some of the time in my show, an aggressive tone, but I think people still see me as a kind of vulnerable person — an open, honest person laying it all out for your inspection.”

No critic could have put it better.

 

iTunes outsells brick and mortar store Wal-Mart

Posted June 22, 2008 by jack rogers
Categories: News, politics, Technology

Tags: , ,

In yet another sign of the power of the Internet, Apple Inc. is now America’s top-selling music store.  Apple’s mega-popular iTunes has toppled Wal-Mart, previously number one in selling music.

News like this makes one wonder how long it will be before bloggers pass the New York Times as the top-selling authors in America.

Phoenix Mars Lander discovers ice

Posted June 21, 2008 by jack rogers
Categories: News, Science

Tags: , ,

In case you missed it, the newsflash of the day is the Phoenix Mars Lander’s discovery of ice. 

This is not just any old ice.  It’s what NASA calls water ice that contains minerals.  Are you as confused as I on this one?  Water ice? 

Now, for the average onlooker, this may seem even more ridiculous than it is redundant.  After all, this is a $300 million, 90-day Mars mission.

The project’s designers, though, say this is a major discovery that validates the project and the budget.

So I guess congratulations are in order for a tiny space craft that’s traveled billions of miles so the folks at NASA can drink their vodka on the rocks.