March 15, 2005--

News at a glance-- WorldCom, Bernie Ebers, AARP, Social Security, Italian forces in Iraq, gay marriage, heterosexual marriage, and cults of celebrity and tabloidism. 

            In the world of fraud, former WorldCom chief, Bernie Ebbers, faces the prospect of life imprisonment for involvement in a huge fraud that's nevertheless small compared to the kind of fraud for which politicians have gotten perpetual incumbency-- i.e., the Social Security Pyramid Scheme-- and for which the AARP collects "dues" from Aging Americans Ravaging Posterity to perpetuate that Pyramid Scheme.  The only difference between Ebbers and the politicians (and AARP "leaders") who've made a career out of promoting the Social Security Pyramid Scheme as though it were a sound program is that the politicians will be out of office (or dead) when their victims are left holding the bag, but Bernie wasn't as clever-- he left people holding the bag in real time rather than setting a financial time bomb for posterity. 

            On the foreign-policy stage, Italy now plans to begin withdrawing forces from Iraq for what was, at worst, a friendly-fire mistake, but at least the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has added the qualification that his government will set the timing for such withdrawal in part on the degree of progress in the ability of Iraqi forces to handle their own security.  

            Regarding social policy and constitutional law:  A judge in California (Where else other than Massachussetts?) rules there is no "rational basis" for laws granting preferential status to heterosexual marriage between one man and one woman vis-a-vis "civil unions" for same-sex couples, yet, ostensibly, he also ostensibly would rule that there are "rational" bases for denying such preferential status to polygamy, bigamy and incestuous unions between non-fertile relatives.  While religious fundamentalists muddy the common-sense water with what are essentially theological arguments, Secular Fundamentalists ignore common sense in a knee-jerk, anti-theological reaction that blinds them to the rational, non-theological bases upon which a society can rationally, sensibly and constitutionally accord preferential treatment to heterosexual marriage between a man and a woman (and should do so).  See Devolution Versus Evolution and Quantum Marriage.   Secular Fundamentalists would rather be wrong than in agreement with people of faith even when non-theological reasoning supports a particular position asserted (by people of faith) on the basis of theological beliefs.

            Regarding the news media:  Apparently so many viewers of "news channels" are so captivated by the cult of celebrity and sensationalism that "news channels" accord "news" coverage to things such as the Michael Jackson case vastly out of proportion to coverage accorded to issues that really matter in the long run.  It's easy to mock the "news channels" for appealing to the tabloid mentality (or prurient interests) to maintain viewer-ship, but  As Pogo once said, "We've met the enemy and he is us" (a pun that caricatured the military phrase, "We've met the enemy and he is ours" as in "we've defeated the enemy").  However, I do my part by changing channels (or turning off the television) when "news" programs focus on such stuff.  (Is limited information about criminal trials such as the one against Jackson "newsworthy"?  Of course, but not beyond very brief reports.  There's too much "sporting event" type coverage that serves as infomercials for lawyer as "commentators" on such "news" programs.)  Fox News made history by making itself a leftist-bias-free zone.  Perhaps a new news network could make history as a "tabloid-free/celebrity-free" zone, but not unless the apparent viewing tastes of millions of viewers were to change-- hence, back to Pogo and the Victorious Secrets News Network.

--Jim Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com.



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Mar. 15, 2005 #01 Daily Update at PoliSat.Com, where satire is always commentary, but commentary isn't always satire

Title:  Bernie Ebbers Demands Equal Treatment.

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