Showing posts with label Cynical Six. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cynical Six. Show all posts

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cynical Six

1. The GOP fell nine points in the Midwest they supposedly represent? Nice. As a married white guy in the Midwest, it pleases me to see the Republican Party is losing support from married white guys in the Midwest. They led us to a national nightmare, and people are finally getting that. Now, before the inevitable complaint comments that the Left is also culpable: yes, they are. They typically didn’t fight hard enough, and now that they’re in charge they’re acting just like the Republicans. So Obama invokes secrecy, decides not to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” continues Bush’s practice of raping the environment, and has now frozen universal health care advocates in the debates over health insurance. I knew a lot of this would happen; this is the reason why I couldn’t support Obama until Sarah Palin came along and scared the living shit out of me. I said that one of the reasons I didn’t like Obama is that he a naïve faith that the insurance companies would be able to sort out the health care reform. And we’ve seen that he had the same naïve faith that the same executives who destroyed the economy would be able to fix it. It doesn’t help now that the Republicans in Congress are refusing to support the energy bill or the climate change bill unless the Democrats drop their push for insurance reform. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. Nothing’s ever going to get fixed because everyone on the Right and the Left is a sore loser and prize their hurt feelings more than they do the welfare of Americans. And I don’t think President Obama really cares, either. Oh, I think he knows the problems we’re all facing. I just don’t think he cares about them. If he did, he wouldn’t have made a lot of these terrible decisions. Things are just going to get worse and then finally America won’t be the superpower anymore and some other nation or collective of nations can handle it. America’s looking more and more like a do-over to me.

2. Dick Cheney wanted to have an Iraqi prisoner tortured in order to gain a confession that Saddam Hussein was working with al-Qaeda. So the US is a nation that tortures for false confessions, too. And this is what Barack Obama wants to protect? I’d prefer to live in an America where human beings are seen as human beings.

3. President Obama has been taking one measure after another to conceal the evidence of Bush’s torture crimes—crimes which we all know now took place—but that hasn’t stopped other nations from releasing the photos. The Australian media has been releasing a lot of them, and it’s chilling stuff that, in my opinion, Obama is making all of us complicit in by hiding the evidence.

4. This Nancy Pelosi thing just seems like more and more distraction from me. When was she supposed to be briefed? Back when she was the fairly powerless House minority leader? Newt Gingrich wants Pelosi to resign because she claimed the CIA is lying? What about when he was Speaker and he was accusing the FBI of doing the same thing? Yes, I’m very unhappy with Nancy Pelosi, but it’s not because of this, it’s because of her apparent refusal to launch a torture investigation and the fact that she took impeachment off the table, which was basically a Congressional endorsement of the last two years of Bush crimes. The Right has once again dumped their memory files and decided that these years of torture are not the fault of any of the torturers, the leaders who authorized it, the medical staffers who enabled it, the lawyers who justified it, or even the Fox News cheerleaders who kept citing 24 as a realistic example of torture working. No, it’s all the fault of Nancy Pelosi. Give me a fucking break. This country is going to deserve everything it gets.

5. Do you also find it very discouraging that the only person out there cutting through all the bullshit on the Right and Left is Jesse Ventura? Check him out on talk shows here, here, and here. My God, it’s magnificent. He just steamrolls over the bullies (which is all Hannity is, a professional bully who screams at you if you don’t agree with him). And this is coming from a man who was waterboarded as part of his training. There need to be more people on TV like him, just getting to the meat of these issues that the talking heads just chew and argue over to distract us from reality. I may not love his politics, but I do like straight talk, so once again I find myself pushing for Ventura.

6. And then there’s Ida, the missing link (maybe). There have been a lot of superlatives put forth in the past couple of days. Is this animal the missing link? I think that remains to be seen, but certainly this amazing fossil discovery is going to teach us a lot about an early—possibly earliest—stage of primate, which on its own is pretty special and momentous. It’s an exciting discovery about our origins at a time when humanity seems to have no idea where it wants to go and what it wants to accomplish. At least it’s got the Creationists in a snit, which is always hilarious.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cynical Six

1. So, was the whole swine flu pandemic canceled, or what? I need to know what made-up non-issue I’m supposed to be panicking about, media!

2. I stopped reading most comic book blogs a long time ago because all of the conversation switched from whether comics were fun or not to whether comics were feminist or not. The newest pointless mini-controversy that everyone’s in a tizzy over is whether or not this new Marvel Divas is a giant bowl of sexism. Here’s the pitch from series writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: “The idea behind the series was to have some sudsy fun and lift the curtain a bit and take a peep at some of our most fabulous super heroines. In the series, they're an unlikely foursome of friends--Black Cat, Hell Cat, Firestar, and Photon--with TWO things in common: They're all leading double-lives and they're all having romantic trouble. The pitch started as Sex and the City in the Marvel Universe, and there's definitely that ‘naughty’ element to it, but I also think the series is doing to a deeper place, asking question about what it means...truly be a woman in an industry dominated by testosterone and guns. (And I mean both the super hero industry and the comic book industry.) But mostly it's just a lot of hot fun.” So, since no one has actually read a single page of this comic book yet, I’d like to know: is this actually sexism, or is this just another situation where people see something with stereotypical “girly” trappings and have assumed it can only be sexism?

3. New York City is charging rent at homeless shelters now. In America, they overcharge the poor and struggling with every kind of fee they can make up, but if you’re rich and you lose money, the government just gives it back to you. This country is on its way out.

4. Lt. Daniel Choi is a National Guard platoon leader, an Arab linguist, and has served one tour of duty in Iraq. And he’s been booted out of the military for coming out. The military in this country is so desperate for bodies that it has relaxed the rules so that felons convicted of violent crimes can get in, but being gay is considered far worse. Meanwhile, Pfc. Steve Dale Green was just convicted of raping and murdering a 14 year-old Iraqi girl and killing her entire family in a Baghdad suburb. So, that’s the type they’re letting into the military these days? Hey, if you snap and rape and kill a kid, that’s just a job risk, but letting a gay dude in the platoon, that’s unconscionable? Really?

5. The Obama administration has taken some more action against the rule of law in the Binyam Mohamed case, telling the British government that if the High Court allows American torture methods to be described, then America will no longer share pertinent intelligence regarding terrorism with the UK. Isn’t that threat itself a criminal act? I mean, it’s hard to say right now what America’s credibility is when it comes to counterterrorism intelligence, but telling a government that you will intentionally withhold potentially lifesaving information from them if you make them look bad in court… well, it would be childish if there wasn’t the possibility of lives being ended. It’s repugnant. Every time I think Obama can’t slide any further down the Bush path, he proves me wrong.

6. According to the fringe right, calling it an “enhanced interrogation technique” means it isn’t torture. If you call it an “enhanced dating technique,” does that still make it rape?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Cynical Six (Plus One)

1. Megan Fox has laughed off rumors that she might play Wonder Woman, saying she would never play Wondy because “She’s lame. She flies around in an invisible jet, but she's not invisible. I don't get it.” Four year-old girls everywhere get it, but it’s too complex for Megan Fox to figure out. I wonder if she wears slip-on shoes, too… Anyway, I’d just like to thank Megan Fox for taking herself out of the running; she’s one of the last, um, let’s be charitable and say actresses I’d ever want to see in the role. Now if I could just get Joel Silver and famed Joss Whedon fanboy Joss Whedon off of the project, I’d be much more excited about the possibility of this movie.

2. I’d also like to thank the judge who granted Amy Winehouse the court order keeping photographers 100 yards from her home. If I could never see a photo of her again I would be so happy.

3. So, Oprah is a fan of children dying, then? Because she’s giving a talk show to Jenny McCarthy, someone I used to like but has been using whatever influence she has to spread her anti-vaccination stupidity. She’s trying hard to convince parents in America not to vaccinate their children, because she mistakenly believes that vaccines are harmful. It’s people like her that we have to thank for the return of previously eradicated diseases like measles, because she chooses to put her child (and yours) in harm’s way in order to satisfy her misdirected anger at having an autistic son. Oprah throwing the weight of her marketing empire behind Jenny McCarthy is a tacit endorsement of a viewpoint that is not only scientifically unsound, but which injures and kills children. So count Oprah among the lunatic fringe, then (although she also backed Dr. Mehmet Oz, another crank, so I'm just restating the obvious because it needs to be restated--a lot). Lots of dead kids: this is what results from America’s contemporary “every argument is valid, no matter how crazy” and “teach both sides of the (nonexistent) debate” bullshittery.

4. Scarlett Johansson was supposed to direct a segment for New York, I Love You, the American companion to Paris, je’taime. Hers was apparently awful and is not going into the movie (although the producer is being admirably diplomatic and saying it just didn’t fit in with the theme). Sources who saw it say it was unwatchable. If it was even a tenth as good as her album of Tom Waits covers, it must have been painful indeed. Just stick to acting, ScarJo.

5. Someone from Top Gun comes out of the closet and it’s not Tom Cruise? Well, no, he’ll never come out. He's not gay, he's something else. You know those guys who are sick and can only relate to someone sexually when it involves pain and suffering, and are completely socially awkward because they can't relate to humans? That’s Tom Cruise. It’s got nothing to do with sex or sexual preference or love or anything healthy. It’s all about needing to punish people out of self-loathing. Oh, anyway, Kelly McGillis is apparently gay, if that interests anyone. Oh, and David Ogden Stiers came out, too. In related news, I like pumpkin pie and my wife thinks Reaper is the best show on TV. There are four personal preferences that shouldn't matter to anyone but the people making them and shouldn't be major news stories.

6. Thanks to the gossip sites in my feed reader, which are annoying but which I use as a picture source, I’ve been seeing all of these pictures of Lindsay Lohan swanning about in Mexico looking like Gollum on her “Please, God, I Need Attention or I’ll Die” media-stalker tour. The really sick part is that she keeps throwing her younger sister Ali, who I think is all of 14 or 15, in front of the cameras, but I won’t go on about that, because I always get a lot of “What’s the big deal about wanting to fuck a teenager?” comments. Instead, I’m focusing on the above picture, which kind of gets at why I wish Lindsay Lohan had died in 2005. Even her little sister seems to find it creepy, awkward, uncomfortable, and cynical that Lindsay seems to be purposely trying to play up some kind of suggestive lesbian/incest/underage fantasy trifecta. That may be the most pathetic picture I’ve ever seen of a has-been trying desperately to hang on to the spotlight.

7. Can I just say how glad I am that Robert Rodriguez’ Barbarella remake is dead? I really didn’t want to see that movie, and as a big fan of his, I’m glad to see him move on. This man is generating more and more projects that will never come to fruition, but this isn’t one I’m sad to see go. And I especially didn’t want to see Barbarella played by Rose McGowan. I used to love her, but since she suddenly got that unnecessary cosmetic surgery a few years ago, she looks less like sexy and fun Jane Fonda circa 1968, and more like an old Looney Tunes caricature of Greta Garbo.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Cynical Six

1. Does anyone remember the Summer of the Shark? Back in the summer of 2001, the media had nothing to report on, so it turned a couple of shark attacks into a major news story about how there was some kind of new, bizarre, unexplainable shark attack epidemic that was dooming us all. Nature had turned against us! Of course, it was really just embarrassing news hype; there were less shark attacks than usual that summer, and there had even been 47 previous attacks that year that got little to no coverage. But a bored media took something and blew it out of all reasonable proportion and made a lot of people look incredibly stupid in the months just before 9/11. That’s how I feel about all of this swine flu coverage. A few people have a new flu strain and some people (far fewer than the annual number of people under normal circumstances) have died, and it’s suddenly a plague? The world is in flames and the dead are rising from the grave? Welcome to the beginning of another early summer slow news cycle. Quit closing the schools until we know what we’re dealing with. Don't cause a panic until you know what you're panicking about. For now, get some blankets and some vitamin C, and drink plenty of water and wash your hands.

2. The Appellate Court rejected the Department of Justice’s invoking of state secrets on the Jeppson lawsuit. Five victims of the CIA’s rendition and torture program, which we now know to be instituted by the Bush White House, have brought a lawsuit against the US government, which the Bush administration argued could not be brought to trial under their greatly expanded “state secrets” doctrine. Bush argued that the entire subject matter could not be argued in court, even though the lawsuit alleged illegal behavior on his part. The District Court accepted this, and during the appeal, the Obama administration supported the Bush position and announced their intention to continue the policy. It was a major disappointment, and morally indefensible. Turns out it’s legally indefensible, too; the court ruled that state secrets do not entitle the government to demand dismissal of a law suit based on their flimsy “subject matter” assertion. They can only make claims to specific documents and other facts, not an entire subject matter. In other words, the way it’s always been used historically. Not only that, but the court has the right to determine whether or not secrecy is truly warranted on individual documents, rather than just taking the administration’s word for it. I guess Obama is going to have to learn that the president is not above the law.

From the ruling: “The sweeping characterization of the ‘very subject matter’ bar has no logical limit—it would apply equally to suits by U.S. citizens, not just foreign nationals; and to secret conduct committed on U.S. soil, not just abroad. According to the government’s theory, the Judiciary should effectively cordon off all secret government actions from judicial scrutiny, immunizing the CIA and its partners from demands and limits of the law.” In other words, Bush was placing himself above the law. Obama was trying to preserve that power. Chilling.

3. I really don’t believe for a second that we’re going to significantly withdraw from Iraq. They’re already inching away from this promise and finding exceptions, such as staying in Mosul because of the high insurgent activity. Some of the major bases aren’t closing at all. Secretary of State Clinton said “We are committed to seeing an Iraq that is sovereign, stable, and self-reliant, and fully integrated into the region.” That sounds like a longer occupation is in store. Especially since I still don’t believe that the current Iraqi government has plans to honor their commitments to the Sunnis; I think either they’re going to crack down on the Sunnis or the Sunnis are going to turn on the government. Either way, there’s going to be more fighting without US presence. There’s no way we can withdraw and still fulfill this stated commitment to a stable, unified Iraq. No way at all.

4. Check your federal withholdings, guys. New tax withholding tables issued by the IRS might be causing taxpayers to get hundreds of dollars more than they are entitled to under the “Making Work Pay” tax credit, which means you might end up owing next April instead of getting a refund. The IRS has acknowledged that there’s a problem with their tables but haven’t done anything to warn people about it. Like everything else the government does, it went out half-assed and unfinished, giving some people too much credit. For example, if you work two jobs and make $20,000 a year at each job, they’re giving you a $400 credit for each job, but you’re only supposed to get $400 total, so the government is going to want that extra $400 back next year. If you’re a married couple and you both work, they’re supposed to give you a total $800 credit, but they’re giving you $800 each and are going to want that extra 800 bucks back come tax season. Retirees are going to get screwed even harder, because the $250 payments that are supposed to go to people who don’t qualify for the tax credit are also going to retirees who have earned income (and the government will want that back) and retirees who have federal income taxes withheld from pension benefits (which are not earned income and don’t qualify, so the government will… you get the idea). So, another gold star for Timothy Geithner on this one. He admits he doesn't know how to deal with it, and that a lot of people in Treasury just want to ignore it. Nice.

5. So, the New York Times whines for a month about not getting to ask President Obama a question at his last press conference. Then they get another chance and Jeff Zeleny asks: “What has surprised you the most about this office, enchanted you the most about serving in this office, humbled you the most, and troubled you the most?” What is this, Miss America? No wonder print media is on life support.

6. You can’t go nude in a lot of Swiss cantons anymore. Several of them were named in German nudist magazines as the best place for naked hiking, so nudists or naturists or whatever started showing up and hiking in nothing but those giant backpacks. So it’s now illegal in Swiss towns to hike in the nude. Which is kind of depressing. I thought those people were supposed to be laid back. If you can’t get naked in Switzerland, where can you?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cynical Six

1. Alright, so... swine flu. Not only that, a pandemic swine flu, just to get all big and scary on us. And it's officially a public health emergency. I'm of two minds on this, so let me just delineate this.

One the one hand: America is completely vulnerable to this kind of a pandemic. Our health care system sucks. There's an economic crisis. These do work hand in hand to make this situation worse. In the last month on this blog, I said that there was every possibility that an illness of some kind could really hurt the population because of the twin crises of health care and the economy.

How many people do you know that are working two jobs because they can't keep up with their payments? Is one of the payments they can't keep up with health insurance? Are they more reluctant to go to the doctor for something as seemingly minor as flu symptoms, especially in flu season and with the insurance situation being what it is? I mean, they have to go to work, right? And do any of them have second jobs that are, say, in the service industry, like deliveries or waiting tables or retail, or do they work at schools? You know, jobs where they come into contact with a lot of people? Welcome to the pandemic, America! How are we supposed to stay home if we don't feel well when our bosses won't let us take a day off? You see where I'm going with this?

But, here's where the rest of my mind is on this: remember that episode of South Park where everyone in town gets SARS, so they have to go to the trouble of eating saltines and drinking 7-Up? Every year we're told about some outbreak that's going to kill all of us--West Nile, avian flu, SARS--and every year, we survive it. Now, I don't want to minimize this overmuch, because people have died and will continue to die, as people die of illnesses (including the flu) every year. There's reason to be concerned. But this is what viruses do; they mutate, they find ways to beat our immune systems and our medicines, and then we (hopefully) find a way to beat them back.

What I guess I'm getting at is this: there's a gigantic difference between a new strain of the flu that we don't know how to treat yet and a plague. And the media, predictably, is treating this like the end of days. Health professionals have been upcoming--it could be like 1918, or it could be a blip. So let's all calm down, keep ourselves as healthy as we can, and not let the media hype this into a scare.

2. I think it's also worth noting that the Republican Party was recently crowing about how they "saved" us from spending $780 or $900 million (sources I've read vary) on pandemic flu preparedness by getting it out of the recovery bill. Man, first they ridicule spending to monitor volcanoes, and then there's a volcano... now they stop us from spending for pandemic flu preparedness, and we've got a pandemic flu. I don't believe in God, but there's something in the universe that really wants to prove that certain people need to shut the fuck up. And the Republicans are blocking Kathleen Sibelius, Obama's nominee to head the Department of Health and Human Services, because she doesn't believe in abortion bans, so we're understaffed there, too.

I've heard a lot of people warn that we shouldn't politicize this pandemic, but why not? The right's trying to do it; they've been bitching that this is "proof" that we need tighter border security, as if that's the key to stopping viral infection. I live near Chicago, which has one of the biggest and busiest international airports in the world. What do you think is going to happen? And the right has also been claiming that this pandemic is some kind of tactic to push Sibelius' nomination through. So, you know, if the right is going to politicize the pandemic to play to the ignorant they rely on to help them get elected, why shouldn't everyone else use it to make the right look as stupid as they are?

3. It is interesting that President Obama announced last week that he's going to push through major health care reform using reconciliation, though. The Republicans merely whined in response that his attempt to bypass more filibustering somehow means they've won a victory by making him "sensitive."

4. It isn't surprising that Arlen Specter has switched parties and become a Democrat; he's always been a moderate. At least, that's how the Republicans have been playing it, and the Republicans have just gotten crazier and louder, the way they always do when they run out of ideas. They're all bluffing now and acting like it's no big deal, which is as funny to watch as it is predictable. With the Senate edging closer and closer to filibuster-proof Democratic control, they'd better be worried. They need an image rehabilitation badly, and Michael Steele is not the man to do it.

Oh, and when you find out that the Democrats who convinced him to switch parties did so by promising to back him in a primary against another Democrat, you get a sense of where the left's principles are these days.

5. It turns out that Tomas Norstrom, the judge in the Pirate Bay trial, is a member of the Swedish Copyright Association. He's even on the board of the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property. Wow, what a fair trial those Pirate Bay founders were given. Is it any wonder that so many people in the world are just flagrantly ignoring laws now? It's because the people in power give off the appearance that they write the laws in order to keep themselves in power over us. I mean, if I tortured a guy, it would be a crime, right?

6. Here's the anti-domestic violence PSA that Keira Knightley's in. It's very effective. Domestic violence is a real problem that not enough people are willing to talk about, and as we saw in this country recently (the whole Rihanna-Chris Brown thing), it's especially prevalent among the young in America. Too many teenagers said that domestic violence is understandable, excusable, and to be expected. No: it's wrong. It is always wrong. I think it's pathetic that UK television programmers have declined to air this. That's tantamount to being okay with it, I have to say.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cynical Six

1. I can't wait to see what President Obama's speech at the 2009 National Holocaust Remembrance Commemoration is going to consist of. This year's theme is "Never Again: What You Do Matters." Ironic considering that Obama's response to evidence of America's illegal torture agenda is "Let's get over it already." So, to recap, someone in power commits a crime, and does so knowingly, and the President's response is to do nothing? My disappointment in Obama deepens every day.

I basically agree with all of this (via Bleeding Tree):

The insanity of not wanting to prosecute someone for creating a system to harm other human beings actually hurts my brain. No wonder no one takes laws seriously in this country anymore; even our presidents ignore them.

2. Porter Goss has said that he and Nancy Pelosi were part of a group of Congresspersons who were briefed on America's secret torture policies: "Not only was there no objection, there was actually concern about whether the agency was doing enough." Sort of makes Nancy Pelosi's calls for a Truth Commission ring hollow. Maybe she feels guilty. It's all liars and hypocrites, only the team name changes.

3. I was very surprised, and pleasantly so, to see Fox News' Shep Smith getting so upset about America's torture (a word that Obama won't even say now). (Video via Andrew Sullivan.)

I'm glad he's pissed off. Everyone should be this pissed off. Obama and Rahm Emmanuel should be this pissed off, but they're not. That we are actually having a discussion about what degrees of torture are acceptable or whether or not the torture worked--rather than asserting that torture is wrong and that 24 is not a documentary--is beyond the pale. I am so fucking disappointed in this country and in our leaders.

4. By the way, you should read today's Greenwald. Apparently Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, says that Obama's decision to immunize CIA torturers is a violation of international law. I also agree with Greenwald's implication that it's hypocritical of Obama to have argued in his campaign that Bush's ignoring international conventions and legal obligations was wrong, only to do more of the same himself. It's becoming clear, I think, that torture was used to justify a war of choice that would lead to more torture. Another chapter in the dark and brutal history of stupid, stupid American imperialism.

5. By the way, why have I not seen any of the more political blogs talking about the fact that the CFO of Freddie Mac killed himself yesterday? I think that says a lot about how fucked we really are. I think we're way more fucked than anyone's telling us.

6. The only thing dumber than Obama's unwillingness to uphold the law and the reputation of America as a country that believes in the law is the politicization of this whole thing. The right is just spinning into a sort of abject stupidity you almost didn't think human beings were capable of. Calm down, idiots. This is not an attack on you. This is a demand that lawbreakers be prosecuted, regardless of party. Oh, and Miss California is not being persecuted because of her ignorance, she's being ridiculed. It's a free country, and people who believe that that freedom extends to everyone do have the right to think she's a bigoted idiot. Especially since she demonstrated it so well. I know you guys have been wallowing in your racist, prejudiced, criminal, backwards mudpool for the last decade or so, but that's over. Join the 21st century or get out of the fucking way.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Cynical Six

Trying out something a little different here.

1. I read this story on io9 about extreme Twilight fans (Twihards--how easy they make it). Anyway, these Twitards are apparently committing violence against people who don't like the books. I don't know how many of these incidents are true, but I know those people are out there. I've felt the hate in person. So I think I'm probably taking my life into my own hands doing "Twilight Summarized by a Smartass." But I'm still going to do it when I finally get my hands on a copy.

2. Meh. This first image from Robin Hood looks like more of the same from Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe to me, and I'm sick of both of them. Why do they keep making Robin Hood? Haven't they gotten it right yet? I don't think anyone's going to top Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks, or Richard Todd at this point. I do love that Scott has been saying his film will be a more historically realistic take on a person who may or may not have ever existed, "like Gladiator was." Gladiator is about as accurate a depiction of Roman history as Xena: Warrior Princess, so let's not make that claim.

3. Headline this morning: "Sadly, Zac Efron and Miley Cyrus beat Jason Statham at the box office." Well, it makes sense if you know two things. First, that the majority of people who go to the movies are kids and teenagers who prefer to see movies aimed at them. And second, that a lot more straight Americans are comfortable with their homosexual feelings now and don't need a closet outlet like Crank: High Voltage to make them feel tough about it.

4. Apparently, Oprah Winfrey has canceled her show on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre because it focused too much on the killers. But, how does America know how to feel about national tragedies without Oprah to put it in perspective for us?

5. Another headline this morning: "Perez Hilton embarrassed by Criss Angel." Join the club, pal. It's called Humanity.

6. Why does the media coo over Madonna's child abductions like buying a kid is cute, but comes down on some Indian guy for wanting to sell his daughter who was in Slumdog Millionaire? Isn't it the same thing? I mean, Madonna pays for those Malawian "orphans." So, it's cute to buy but inhuman to sell? I can't figure out this whole double standard. Did you know 11 million children are abandoned every year in India? And yet, Mother Theresa kept telling them to have more. Why bother?