CARDINAL SINS OF THE FATHERS...Child molestation or sexual abuse in the Catholic church has reached alarming levels according to - well, just about everyone. Members of the faith along with the general public are understandably outraged over learning that the church has a history of covering up the abuse through payoffs and shuffling the priest off to a different, unwitting parish. Even in Boston, Cardinal Law has been requested to step down as a result of the pervasive sex perversion scandal....According to the big book, "a child shall lead them." But need they be molested in the process? Too bad the church has been more concerned with protecting its image than innocent children....Were priests using the Hail Mary pass to score?...It’s time someone laid down the Law - or was that part of the problem?...If you look back on it, wasn’t it supposed to be Judas Priest that was corrupting the youth?...Didn’t anyone stop to smell the rosaries? Or at least post a warning sign: "After all, why do you think they call it ‘the rectory’?"...Sadly, only three months ago the Vatican issued new church rules for dealing with pedophile priests: they should stand trial in secret religious courts; not public criminal ones. So here’s a little poem for the occasion....All the hush money, For Mom and Dad and Sonny, Comes from the Vatican, Not the Easter Bunny.
CRAZY LIKE A FOX...Celebrity Boxing is the latest broadcast insult to viewers courtesy of the FOX network. Whether Tonya Harding and Paula Jones or Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams, there was something for any discriminating WWF fan. But in the wake of Mike Tyson’s efforts to acquire a boxing license, there’s one important question: Do Tonya Harding and Paula Jones need a license to box? According to the California State Athletic Commission, no; but they do still need to have their shots before they can get their dog licenses....The winner? Considering the high ratings for the show - FOX. The loser? Considering the high ratings for the show - America.
N’SYNC IN ORBIT...Lance Bass of the famous boy band has offered $25 million dollars to the Russians for a trip into space. Which raises the question, what has happened to the quality of our entertainers’ drugs? Once upon a time it only took $5 worth of acid to launch you into orbit....Yet what’s not widely known is that for a "MIR" $1 million more we could supersize the order and get rid of the entire group at once. Dollar for dollar, your best entertainment value.
SMELL THE GLOVE...The New York Yankees released outfielder Ruben Rivera after he reportedly stole a glove from teammate Derek Jeter and sold it to a sports memorabilia dealer for $2,500. (Now that’s an item with some real memory attached.) Rivera pleaded with the Yankees to reconsider their decision but to no avail. The message seems to be that in today’s sports it’s OK if you choke a coach, attack a referee, get charged with domestic abuse or spit on a fan - but let one millionaire steal from another millionaire in the locker room and look out!...I guess those big-time salaries just don’t go as far as they used to.
STATE OF THE STATE
FIGHTING THE SMOKE SCREEN...Health care advocates want to place an outrageous measure on the ballot this fall which would require Michigan to spend its tobacco-settlement money to fight tobacco-related illnesses as intended, rather than paying for college scholarships or balancing the state budget. Michigan government treats the tobacco cash settlement like the federal government treats the Social Security trust fund: a corner liquor store begging for a cash withdrawal....A fraudulent comparison? Not quite as fraudulent as suing for reparations based on a specific expected need and then once receiving the compensation just spending it on whatever you want. How needy were you if you can afford to do that? After all, this isn’t a private lawsuit settlement where an individual decides whether to blow it all on gambling and women. This is public. So maybe they should only limit it to lotto and hookers in rehab.
STATE OF THE NATION
COLOR-CODED FOR YOUR PROTECTION...Homeland Security Chief Tom (not Ruby) Ridge has announced a new color-coded US threat advisory system to create "a national framework and a common vocabulary" to deal with threats of terrorist attack as well as deflect criticism that he’s not doing anything. This is a change from the previous "scared-white" system of "be afraid, be very afraid" about everything, but nothing in particular. Well, vocabulary hasn’t been color-coded for me since...well, ever. Yet I do recall a certain children’s clothing line, Garanimals, but....It must be like the Forest Service. Remember when you’d drive by a forest station and they’d have a wooden Smokey the Bear sign out front with a slot to grade the day’s fire risk: Red - HIGH, Yellow - MODERATE, and Green - LOW. But instead of three colors, Ridge’s system has five: Red - Severe risk of terrorist attacks, Orange - High risk, Yellow - Elevated or significant risk, Blue - Guarded or general risk, and Green - Low risk....Chance of America actually adopting the system? No risk....How appropriate that Ridge’s head looks like that of a teddy bear. (Take a good look at his next press conference. That is one guy who’s definitely ready for a pic-a-nic basket.) It shouldn’t be surprising considering his whole position is about making America feel warm and fuzzy....And remember, only YOU can prevent terrorist fires....Well the greatest risk is believing anyone’s going to pay attention to any of this. Although it’s more serious, I guarantee Americans will pay even less attention to this rating system than they do to the Motion Picture rating system. (And who understands that? Explain to me how one exposed nipple equals five gunfights. I want to know.)...So how will Homeland Security back up each rating? What constitutes severe vs. high; elevated vs. guarded? Americans will still need to know specifics or the plan really won’t work. Or is that the point? Once again one would have to question authority and as we all know, that is strictly verboten!...Meanwhile, a pedestrian strolls down the sidewalk in a business district and says admiringly, "How about that window dressing!"
AND ANOTHER ONE’S GONE...(or soon will be)...Fred Thompson, the Republican US Senator from Tennessee has announced he will not seek re-election at the end of his term. With the announcement, Thompson joins three other Republican stalwarts in senatorial retirement: Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Phil Gramm - further challenging the party’s attempt to regain control of the Senate. Before going to Washington, Thompson was a successful supporting actor in many motion pictures, frequently playing the administrative heavy, whether corporate or governmental. It is expected that Thompson will return to Hollywood where he’ll not only receive a pay increase, he’ll also work with a better class of whores, con-artists and sleazeballs.
A PRESCRIPTION FOR DISASTER...The Bush administration is under fire for suspending a rule requiring pharmaceutical companies to test whether their products are safe for children. (Oddly enough the FDA rule had only been in existence since 1997. Tell that to someone who thinks we’re over-regulated in all areas of life.) Doctors groups and Democrats criticized the decision, with Sen. Kennedy saying the rule change "makes no sense." But you see it does make dollars and cents if physicians go ahead and prescribe drugs they otherwise wouldn’t....Using children as guinea pigs? That’s how they do things down on the pharm.
STATE OF THE WORLD
HOLD THE ICE...That’s easier said than done as last month a massive Antarctic ice shelf collapsed into the sea at an alarming rate, to the horror of researchers. 720 billion tons of ice sheet, about the size of Rhode Island, disintegrating in less than a month might be a warning sign of global warming to some; but President Bush still wants more study. What’s he waiting for, one the size of Texas?...Michigan receives maybe three real snowfalls all winter long and we’re supposed to ignore our own experience and believe there’s no global warming?...And since the US per capita contributes more to the greenhouse effect than we should, perhaps its time to make some changes for the health of the planet. One way would be to mandate increased vehicle fuel efficiencies, but instead the Senate voted to direct the Transportation Department to - you guessed it - give it more study.
STATING THE OBVIOUS...The UN Security Council approved a US introduced resolution endorsing the concept of a Palestinian state, although without criticizing Israel’s territorial occupation. For the first time the US no longer blocked such a plan and demanded an immediate mutual ceasefire. Whereupon Palestinians unleashed more suicide bombers and Israeli forces attacked the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority. Spokespersons for both sides said the latest bloodshed was the only possible way to meet their holiday kill quotas by the Passover-Easter deadline.
NEVER SAY DIE...An estimated 1,000 Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders are hiding in Pakistan, reportedly planning to resume fighting after US forces leave Afghanistan. But a recent Associated Press story on this had the following odd headline: "Taliban Regroup and Plan Comeback." Now, when exactly did these people become a music act? Despite their high hopes, I’ve got a funny feeling they may not have the same success without their old front man. R
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