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Some Things Said… (January 07)

Japanese Broadcasters seem to “Get it” – Raunchy television show sparked public outrage, apology from broadcasters.

When New Year’s Eve rolled around this year, the Japanese took a cue from lessons ignored by American broadcasters: apologize and be done with it.

The phones started ringing off the hook as hundreds of furious and outraged Japanese viewers called NHK, the Japanese national broadcasting company, during a New Year’s Eve show complaining about the scantily dressed women parading across the screen. As a result, NHK apologized before the show was even over… –excerpted from an article by Lindsay Randall as found at the Concerned Women for America website, 1.04.07

Conservatives for Change

A couple of weeks ago, the Laws and Standards Committee of the Conservative Jewish movement sought to address the Jewish status of homosexuals. The committee did not simply reaffirm the traditional religious prohibition of homosexuality, in line with the outlook of Orthodox Jews. Nor did it simply discount such a prohibition, in line with Reform and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism. Instead, the committee issued a series of contradictory rulings.

One of the committee’s rulings reiterated the prohibition of homosexuality on the basis of Jewish law. Another affirmed homosexuality as an acceptable Jewish option, meaning that even rabbis and cantors may be openly gay. Yet a third ruling said that, while homosexuality is acceptable, it is not desirable; thus all effort should be made to treat it therapeutically.

These incompatible rulings capture the strains of the Conservative Judaism. It is trying with difficulty to hold within it members whose sentiments and beliefs are moving in opposite directions…–excerpted from an article by Samuel Heilman from the Houses of Worship column in Online Journal a free service of The Wall Street Journal 12.22.06

A dangerous obsession

The media and academia are continuously obsessed with “gaps” and “disparities” in income. As one talk show host put it, “It makes no sense” that a corporate executive makes over $50 million a year.

Ninety-nine percent of all the things that happen in this world “make no sense” to any given individual. Do you understand how your automobile’s transmission works? Could you repair it if something went wrong?

Do you understand how aspirin stops headaches? How to make yogurt?
Years ago, a famous essay pointed out that nobody knows how to make a simple lead pencil. That is, there is no single individual anywhere who knows how to grow the wood, mine the graphite, produce the rubber, and manufacture the paint.

Complex economic processes cause all these things to be done and coordinated by a wide variety of people, just in order to produce something as simple as a lead pencil. Multiply that by a hundred or a thousand when it comes to the complexity of producing a car or a computer.

If you cannot understand something as simple as making a lead pencil, why should you be surprised that you don’t understand why someone is making a lot more money than somebody else?

Moreover, if this obsession with income disparities is to be something more than mere hand-wringing or gnashing of teeth, obviously the point is that somebody ought to “do something” to change what you don’t understand…

excerpted from an article by Thomas Sowell found at 12.26.06

(We are inundated with the economics and politics of envy in this country and around the globe. This is an economist’s view of the effects of a very debilitating and controlling sin and how it is used by others to intimidate and forge both inappropriate policy and law. ED.)

From the “We’re so silly we can’t seem to help ourselves or our pets Department:”

If your dog is overweight, you’re not getting enough exercise

Help for overweight dogs, but not their owners, is on the way. Bloomberg has details:

The Food and Drug Administration today cleared Pfizer Inc. to market a drug called Slentrol for use in the estimated 5 percent of U.S. dogs that are obese. Veterinarians also could use it for the additional 20 percent to 30 percent that are overweight.

The medication, which Pfizer estimates will cost pet owners about $1 to $2 a day, could be used for the increasing population of dogs with weight problems due to overfeeding and lack of exercise, said George C. Fahey Jr., a professor of animal sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign who specializes in pet nutrition. As with humans, obesity can lead to diabetes along with heart and joint problems.

“It would be helpful,” Fahey said of Slentrol in a telephone interview today. “It would be more helpful if people could feed their dogs less.”

Or walk them more…

As found at The Iconoclast from the New English Review 1.06.07

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