Sunday, March 08, 2009

Absurdity In The News

Banning Barbie
A UPI dispatch datelined Charleston, West Virginia, states that American icon Barbie, could get an unwelcome present for her 50th birthday: she could be outlawed in West Virginia. A state lawmaker has proposed a bill to ban sales of the iconic Mattel doll and others like her. The proposal from Democratic Delegate Jeff Eldridge said such toys influence girls to place too much importance on physical beauty, at the expense of their intellectual and emotional development.

"Basically, I introduced legislation because the Barbie doll, I think, gives emphasis on if you're beautiful, you don't have to be smart," Eldridge said.

Barbie officially turns 50 this month, and the toymaker reportedly has some big plans to mark the anniversary. Stay tuned.

Larry Flynt Wants a Government Bailout
According to a recent article in the Los Angles Daily News, “adult entertainment moguls” Larry Flynt (of Hustler and Barely Legal fame) and Joe Francis (of Girls Gone Wild fame) are asking “Washington for a $5 billion federal bailout” to offset the decline in “U.S. adult-entertainment industry revenue” from $18 billion three years ago.

Looking at the reader comments on the LA Daily News Web site, was almost as entertaining as the premise of the story itself.

Someone named Gail-Tzipporah Saunders wrote, "Larry Flynt and Joe Francis must be joking. If not, they are living in a suspended state of reality if they expect a $5 billion bailout from Congress. Never mind that many of our elected officials are regulars; if they don't want to be caught with their pants down on this, then they'd better not give in to the request."

Well, Duh...

She adds,
"For the time being, if Flynt and Francis are strapped for cash, they could always sell their holdings at an auction. Hopefully, some Mormons will show up along with Rick Warren and the ever-loving Ann Coulter."

Meanwhile, one Rob Asghar noted, "It's just a publicity grab for this San Fernando Valley-based industry, right? Still, how exactly does GM claim it has more of a right to taxpayer money than Larry Flynt? One makes some obscenely bad products, while the other makes porn. It was GM that sold us the Hummer and now pledges to be more chaste in its future designs if we save it now."

He adds, "AIG alone has rifled through our pockets to the tune of $145 billion, beyond all the other bailouts that have been occurring. If Francis and other suffering local adult-entertainment workers want a mere $5 billion more, I'm not altogether sure they're any more unworthy of it than the other folks who are managing to profit off their losses."

However, Morality in Media (MIM) President Bob Peters issued the following response: "Perhaps the two 'adult entertainment moguls' are figuring that if they can keep Congress and the next President laughing about the 'U.S. adult-entertainment industry,' neither will do much if anything to ensure that the U.S. Justice Department vigorously enforces Federal obscenity laws against commercial distributors of hardcore 'adult' pornography."

The New York City-based group works to curb traffic in whatever it deems obscenity, and operates the website, where citizens can report possible violations of federal Internet obscenity laws.

Fake Money Used To Buy Fake Drugs
AP reports from Erwin, Tennessee, that a man was been arrested after police said he used counterfeit money to purchase fake OxyContin pills from an undercover officer. Unicoi County Sheriff's deputies arrested a 21 year old man and charged him with criminal conspiracy with schedule II drugs, forgery and criminal simulation.

Investigator Frank Rogers said the officer met with several people at a mobile home park (doesn't that just fit perfectly in this story?) and arranged for the suspect and another man to come to Unicoi to buy 76 OxyContin pills for $4,875. Officers said it was "obviously bad money," with some bills printed on just one side. Authorities also tracked down the device believed used to make the counterfeit money.

Well, at least he wasn't trying to use the fake money to buy Girl Scout cookies...

And finally...
Postmaster General Gets Pay Bonus As Agency Falters

Again from UPI: Dateline Washington, D.C. As the U.S. Postal Service considers cutting delivery service in the face of dwindling mail volume and rising costs, the Postmaster General received a big pay raise and a performance bonus last year — all authorized by Congress.

Postmaster General John Potter's base salary climbed to $265,000 last year from $186,000 in 2007. He also received a "performance bonus" of $135,000 (based on exactly what, I have to wonder. Inquiring minds want to know). In all his total compensation — salary, bonuses, retirement benefits and other perks — topped $850,000, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service said. At the same time, the Postal Service is crumbling alongside the economy as online communications increase competition.

The Postal Service lost $2.8 Billion last year when total mail volume recorded 202 billion pieces of mail, its largest single drop in history — down more than 9 billion pieces from a year earlier. Despite annual rate increases, including stamp prices set to rise another two cents in May, 2009 could be the first year since 1946 that the actual amount of money collected by the service declines. Potter told a Senate committee last month that if current trends continue, the agency could lose $6 Billion or more this fiscal year.

For this, Congress rewards him with a "performance bonus?" Aren't these are the same geniuses that are going to save our economy?

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