Saturday, April 14, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up 4-14-2007

It's been at least a month since I did one of these, and here's why: To prepare for weekend wrap-ups, I usually send news stories to myself by e-mail over the course of the week. I choose most topics if they got a lot of attention during the week, or if it was just an interesting story, or if there were something else about the story that would qualify it for the Weekend Wrap-up. Well, lately I've gotten out of that habit, and that's put me out of the loop on what's going on in the news. As an opinionator, I just can't have that, so I'm going to try to get back into that habit as of now. But for today, I'll post some comments based on a scan of the Yahoo! News website.

Don Imus
I didn't have to scan the Yahoo! News site to know that this was discussed all week. I won't go into the details of why Imus got fired because it's been repeated ad nauseum all week. However, I do want to say that the reason Imus was fired was NOT because of his comments but because the advertisers for his show were dropping like Bush's poll ratings. In other words, CBS didn't fire him out of any sense of moral outrage, but because Imus was no longer profitable. In yet other words, it was all about money. Had it been a sense of moral outrage, they would have fired him outright instead of just suspending him for two weeks like they had done at first.

And then there's the matter of all those rappers who say much worse than "nappy-headed hos" and get away with it time after time. Many members of the black community have been speaking out on this for years to no avail. So long as there are consumers of such music, their protests will fall on deaf ears (because the sound of the cash register is drowning them out). If CBS is so morally outraged over Imus' comments, they should also take on the rap industry.

Critics now turn to rap
Since Imus is out of a job and now has nothing to lose, he should take his current public visibility and point out the hypocritical acceptance of rap music's usage of negative racial terminology. In fact, in this article, some critics are indeed trying to capitalize on the visibility of this issue "while the iron is hot." The article mentions that the last time that they were able to get their views heard was when Michael Richards had gone on his "n-word" rant last year. Why does it take white guys saying things like this before the media takes notice? In other words, why do they let the rappers slide with saying much worse? If the "n-word" is ugly for some people to use, then it should be ugly for all people to use. Allowing even blacks to use the "n-word" (and others) bares a hypocrisy that everyone will notice - even if they don't mention it. The "n-word" won't die out until EVERYONE gives up using it.

Abstinence programs
This news story talks about a study that says that students who take abstinence classes are just about as likely to have sex as those who didn't take those classes. No doubt that opponents of abstinence classes are going to use this whenever the issue is brought up again by the Bush administration. I'm not understanding something here, though. Diseases like AIDS are spread through casual sexual contact. Even condoms aren't 100% proof against AIDS. Only abstinence is 100% effective. So what's wrong with teaching teens to wait until later to have sex? It won't kill them - in fact, it might save them by preventing them from getting AIDS (among other sexually transmitted diseases).

AIDS is still a bad disease to get, right? So why object to an action that is 100% proof against getting it? Before someone e-mails me to tell me this: Yes, people can still get AIDS through blood transfusions and sharing infected needles - but those are separate issues. The issue here is the best means of preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted disease in teenagers (and everyone else, for that matter). Perhaps the word "abstinence" is being confused with the word "celibate", which is the foregoing of sex for life. "Abstinence" simply means "forestalling sex for another time" - it does NOT mean giving up on sex forever. But that's not what's taught for the most part. In fact, it wasn't until the spread of AIDS and the fact that currently there's no cure for it before "health classes" even mentioned abstinence as an option.

The reason that many teens - even those who went to abstinence classes - are still having sex is because pretty much, that's all they're taught from their friends and from the entertainment industry. "Cool people have sex. Only nerds and geeks don't have sex. You'll lose your boyfriend/girlfriend if you don't give them what they want" and other such arguments. They're being made to feel that they have everything to gain and nothing to lose if they give in. It's actually the reverse that's closer to the truth.

I don't want to come off as a prude by suggesting that sex is dirty and nasty. Far from it - sex can be a beautiful and wonderful thing - in the right context. But can two teenagers in lust truly understand what the right context for sex is? Wouldn't it be better for them to wait until they are mature enough to understand what the right context is? So what's the rush? There's still college to meet and greet other people - and even after college. Most college graduates are still in their early 20's. That's plenty of time to get to know not just others, but especially yourself. That's the best path to responsible sex.

Obama returns campaign contributions from lobbyists - sort of
In this article, we see that Barack Obama returned the money that had come from lobbyists. His reason is that he wants to set the example for Washington to clean up corruption. However, further down that article, you see this notation:

"While shunning lobbyists money, the Obama campaign still has relied on political and policy advice from Washington lobbyists and does accept donations from lobbyists spouses."

Uh huh. Yeaaaahhhhh.......

You see the problem here, right? Okay, Obie isn't taking money from Mr. Lobbyist, but he'll take it from Mrs. Lobbyist. So....

... this cleans up corruption how?

Granted, technically, Obie isn't taking money from a lobbyist - but c'mon! What possible incentive is there for a politician to clean up their act if accepting donations from the spouses of lobbyists isn't seen as a backdoor way of donating campaign funds? Obie is relying on the stupidity of a lot of people in order to get away with that.

Giuliani in drag
Yep, you read that right. Here is an article about Rudy Giuliani in drag. The article is questioning whether Giuliani should be doing stuff like that since he's running as a candidate for president. As a Republican, no less. Not only that, he's dressed in drag before. I say that he shouldn't do that anymore. It just ain't proper. Not only that - and I hope that Giuliani doesn't take offense at this - he makes an ugly broad.

Have a great week, folks!

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