Monday, August 24, 2009

With All Due Respect to Kool and the Gang

A letter of mine appeared today in The Philadelphia Inquirer:

It was trimmed; here, for thoroughness's sake, is my original letter in its entirety:

The argument that "ladies' nights" actually benefit men is ludicrous. Straight men go to bars and clubs mostly to eat, drink, and meet women; straight women go mostly to eat, drink, and meet men. Their goals are the same, so why should one group have to pay and not the other?

Furthermore, how do women feel, knowing that the bar is "stocking" the singles' bars with women as though they were fish in a trout pond?

Comparisons of ladies' nights to "kids eat free" or "senior early-bird specials" are fallacious, since most people get to be kids and senior citizens eventually, whereas most of us spend our lives as just one gender or the other.

What if a yoga class or crafts store allowed men to shop there at huge discounts? Women, rightfully, would be furious. Likewise, bars, clubs, car washes, and golf courses should treat everybody the same.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Joke About Poisoned Wine: "Disgraceful;" Joke About Assassinating Bush: "High Five!"

I see now that Rachel Maddow and the kind folks (he said charitably) at Media Matters are losing their [stuff] over Glenn Beck's stupid little joke last week. On his show, he pretended to share some wine with a cardboard cutout of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In one brief moment, he says, "By the way, I put poison in your -- no..."

The whole "sketch" was rather dopey, and I certainly doubt that I would have made the little "poison" joke, even if Speaker Pelosi were not in government. But to hear Media Matters tell it, you'd think Beck had designed a T-shirt with Pelosi's face shown in a shotgun's crosshair, or gave out directions to her grandchildren's grade-school classrooms. It was a dumb little joke that he made clear right away was such by "retracting" it.

Here's the question: was the left up in arms when Al Franken, at the 2004 Republican National Convention, joked about helping Al Qaeda to assassinate President Bush?

That's hardly the only such example of someone on the left "joking" about something bad happening to Bush/Cheney/Rice/etc., not even to mention the "Nazi"/"Satan" double standard that's also especially illuminated these last few weeks. But I ask this sincerely (sort of): If anyone has proof of MM or similar left-wing groups expressing outrage on the level of what is being expressed now, I'll applaud them for their consistency. I won't stay up waiting, though.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Agitator Beautifully Scrutinizes the Two Faces of Jon Stewart

I don't know who The Agitator is, but (s)he has Jon Stewart pegged perfectly, including his careful selection of when to be Mr. Kill You with a Smile with his guests, and when to fawn. This is smack on:

"Stewart’s interviewing skills are suffering, too. When he interviews people he disagrees with, he can be brilliant. When he interviews Democrats, he tends to sound like he’s hosting The Chris Farley Show."


Sunday, August 2, 2009

EMBRYO a Thorough, Airtight Work

Some months ago, I finished reading Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, put out by Princeton University's Robert P. George and the University of South Carolina's Christopher Tollefsen:

The book is thorough, airtight, and painstakingly researched in its presentation of the facts that human embryos, considered mere "balls of cells" or "potential human beings" by many people, are, in fact, "actual human beings with potential."

Those who support the destruction of human embryos -- specifically, for the purposes of stem-cell research -- have persistently argued that those who describe embryos as human beings are merely foisting their religious ideology or personal views on the rest of the populace, but George and Tollefsen make little to no reference to God or any sort of religion or religious belief throughout their work, instead presenting the facts of embryology (citing numerous embryology texts already in existence) and carefully picking apart the various arguments that have been put forth over the years by the pro-ESCR lobby. As someone who makes no claims of having inside information on what or who created us, I can tell you that the authors' arguments will convince the most confident atheist as well as the most devout believer. Further arguments are made as to what should be done with those human embryos currently trapped in a cryogenic limbo in fertility clinics.

Embryo is a good resource for those who'd like some more scientific substance in their defense of human embryos, and might give those who support embryonic research a little something to think about -- namely, that most of the people who oppose it really aren't anti-cure Luddites who wish to see more people suffering and dying from disease.