Thursday, July 20, 2006

Making headlines

The July 17 front page story of the Daily Iowan read: “McCain condemns Hezbollah.”

Well no shit.
Did anyone in the entire universe find it surprising that a United States senator would side with Israel in its conflict with Middle Eastern Terrorists? Not that I necessarily disagree with his condemnation of Hezbollah, but was it really that big of a news story that it belonged as the front-page, above-the-fold headline in the DI?

The main reason it was a front page story to begin with was because McCain made the announcement in Iowa while campaigning for Mike Whalan, Republican Congressional Candidate for Iowa’s first District. It seems like the real story here was simply McCain being in the state and making comments with an international relevancy while being here. I’m not
saying this isn’t a story, only that it is a story more suitable for aside-bar or anything else that isn’t the major headline of the newspaper.
 Let me also say I am not a headline writer, nor would I want to be one, and I think the DI people usually do a pretty good job of figuring out what is newsworthy and what isn’t, along with the actual level of newsworthy-ness of a
particular piece of news.  So we can probably overlook this gaffe. Let’s just hope in the future that the lead story isn’t something all of us know is going to happen anyway.

Eric Kochneff

Sanctions on Iran should be last resort

Iran’s stonewalling of the benefits package offered by the Bush administration probably one of the most, if not the most, successful piece of proactive foreign policy the administration has produced — has weakened Iran’s position in its nuclear standoff. Russia and China, while still officially opposing sanctions on Iran, agreed last week to consider a U.N. security resolution that would require the “rogue nation” to halt certain nuclear activities or face sanctions.

This marks an important change; both countries have substantial economic interests in Iran and seem intent on forming a geopolitical counterweight to the West. The G8 countries also lent support to a Russian plan to establish international atomic-fuel centers, which would be useful in closing the gaping loophole in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that allows countries to synthesize fuel for “civilian” use. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite their difficulties on other issues — for instance, Russia’s recently botched entry into the World Trade Organization — both voiced serious concern July 17 that Iran had still not responded.

Iranian and Syrian support of Hezbollah, which Iran has been cozy with since its militant Islamist revolution in the ’70s, appears to be raising the stakes for what seems like an inevitable confrontation.

If sanctions are imposed, it would only serve to make Iran more irate and inward-looking. Although an oil embargo has been suggested, it is “seen as highly unlikely and … could further rattle global markets,” according to a New York Times article. Other restrictions on the table include “travel restrictions on Iranian officials, a ban on cultural exchanges and visas for Iranians, financial restrictions, [and] political sanctions.” If these sanctions were adapted without an effective oil embargo, it would be for the worst; the Iranians would still have an ample source of money for nukes, and the bile in their throats would almost certainly rise to the vomiting point.

The benefits offered by the Bush administration, on the other hand, look much better. Support for Iranian entrance into the WTO, ending a ban on selling aircraft and parts to Iran, access to nuclear reactors, and much more are all included in the incentives package, which would make crucial progress toward giving Iran a real and legitimate interest in international stability. There are certainly cultural obstacles to this approach, but these have been overcome in the past — witness the long-gone Christian ban on lending money at interest.

Iran’s shrunken, largely state-controlled economy gives it little to lose, as things are now. If Iran can be brought into the fold, the chances for peace are much better.

Tyler Bleau
Editorial writer

Hot dogs over independence?

Today is National Hot Dog Day, a wonderfully fantastic idea for a holiday. In fact, the whole premise of random holidays — National Pirate Day, etc. — is an excellent concept. I’m extremely glad great citizens of this country can counterbalance the idiocy of the holiday powers-that-be with grass-roots action.

The hot dog is one of the greatest truly American foods — the hamburger, after all, derives its origins from Hamburg, Germany. While the hot dog’s origins are also in dispute (frankfurters from Frankfurt, Germany, are the inspiration for hot dogs), the term “hot dog” itself was coined within the United States — but legend disputes just exactly who first used the term.

But I have a few problems with the date chosen as National Hot Dog day. It would make more sense to have the holiday fall on two alternate days. One, obviously, would be the date of the first printed usage of the term — admittedly, it’s hard to determine the precise date. The other, however, is my personal choice, but a present holiday already falls upon it. I speak, of course, of the Fourth of July.

Why this precise date? Well, for one thing, we need to replace this day’s pre-existing holiday. It’s stupid and irrelevant. Besides, this date holds Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog contest — by far the best event of the entire day and, perhaps, the entire year. It would only make sense for the greatest athletes in the history of the world — for the last six years, Takeru Kobayashi of Nagano, Japan — to hold one of the world’s greatest sports on the greatest holiday of them all — July 4, the new National Hot Dog Day.

Andrew Swift
Editorial writer

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

UN must take active role in peacekeeping

Where are the blue helmets? Israel appears to be fending for itself without a Lebanese soldier coming close to the chosen people’s state, but is it enough? The United Nations needs to take an active role as a peacekeeper in the Middle East. Surrounded by enemies, Israel must be assisted diplomatically, as well as militarily. Not only are its current decisions based entirely on self-preservation, but no matter what course of action it takes to succeed, it will be biased.

The magnifying glass of the United Nations would accomplish a few important things. First, it would allow the organization to be taken more seriously around the world by becoming involved in the decisions of a “Western nation.” Second, it would take power out of the hands of the United States and put it into the world community. The second point is debatable, because the United States provides the majority of U.N. funding. Both of these things are vital for the stability of the region.

But the most pressing reason for acquiring stability in the region with the United Nations is Iran, which, while years from having a nuclear armament, has made several threats against the Jewish state, claiming it will blow Israel off the map. Hezbollah can only launch small-scale attacks against Israel, but any nation, no matter how large an army, can cause devastation with a nuclear weapon. By putting a multinational force in the region, it becomes everybody’s problem, and when it'’s everybody'’s problem, the world will be forced to make a decision.

With the international community at the drawing board, a decision needs to be made that will increase stability and benefit the entire region, not just Western investors.

John LaRue

Sunday, July 16, 2006

One step forward, two steps back

As if the escalating violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians in Gaza isn’'t enough, there is now another front: Hezbollah, Lebanon’s militant group, has seized two Israeli soldiers in the latest confrontation in the region. What’s most incredible is not so much the violence, given the already turbulent nature of the region, but rather how the situation has rapidly degenerated after slowly moving in the right direction over the past several years. Both sides a have a share in the blame, and neither wants to back down.

These recent events highlight how violence, though some believe it to be an easy solution, is heartbreakingly ineffective in remedying the problems faced. In 2000, Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon after years of occupation. In 2005 Israel withdrew from settlements in Gaza and the West Bank, and Lebanon held its first elections free from Syrian interference — three major moves toward a more stable situation that were a longtime coming.

Hezbollah received 23 of the 128 seats in the Lebanese elections, and then things started going downhill. This, coupled with Hamas winning the majority of the seats in the Palestinian Parliament, has made matters all the more difficult because both are considered terrorists groups by Israel, the United States, and the European Union.

This is not a clear-cut conflict. The term “terrorist” is hard to apply given the military imbalances and the options available to conducting any sort of confrontation in the traditional sense. Both sides are guilty of dubious acts, be it suicide bombings by Palestinians or the targeting of civilian infrastructure as seen in the recent incursion in Gaza by Israel. Setting aside the immoral nature of these tactics, there is a practical argument that can be made against their employment. So far every escalation by each side has been built upon the prior misdeeds of the other. When there are no just means of resolution, then an “eye for an eye” really will leave everyone blind.

Deceleration is what is needed, as hard as that may be. It’s simple to say, “Just work things out peacefully,” I realize that, but there are actions that could expedite the process. A start would be for Israel to work with the governments of Lebanon and Palestine, even though that would mean dealing with Hamas and Hezbollah. As John F. Kennedy so insightfully said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Israel should jump at the chance to work with the Lebanese and Palestinian governments.

Peaceful resolution will fail when people feel they lack any political efficacy. I’d much rather have “terrorist” organizations try to work through democratic channels in resolving their conflicts than acting on their own.

Joe Dunkle
Editorial writer

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Don't forget about NASA

For the American public and NASA, it seems the honeymoon is over. We never pay attention to it anymore. We've stopped with the little gifts: the new rocket series, the renovations, the 5 percent of federal outlays. Even the Discovery’s raggedy appearance has mostly gone unnoticed. Those little mistakes and imperfections, endearing when things were getting underway, are now just irritating — we wonder why we put up with it anymore. And then there was that falling-out we had over the Challenger.

That last remark was not only distasteful, it was a mild example of the sick jokes that pervaded American culture for months after the disaster. For instance, that the crash was due to the astronauts freebasing Tang — or the one about the shuttlecock. This apparent schadenfreude, according to an article in the journal Western Folklore, betrays a frustration with NASA’s failure, which was also a failure for the country it symbolized. Maybe, maybe not. But since then, save for a brief interlude with the Red Planet, the public, and hence lawmakers, seem to have simply stopped caring.

This has, perhaps predictably, reflected itself in the steady declination of NASA’s budget, which has forced cuts to vital education and scientific research programs in order to satisfy an unchanging list of demands. The Discovery’s launch this week, already iffy because of insulation problems (pieces of filler fabric were found to be sticking out from the insulation), was approved anyway in order to stay on schedule with the 16 shuttle flights to be made to the international space station before the agency’s aging shuttles are finally retired in 2010. The number of pork-barrel programs attached to NASA’s budget has multiplied in recent decades, from six a decade ago to 198 separate “special interest items,” totaling more than half a billion dollars.

Budgetary stringency brought on by the war in Iraq have turned an additional appropriation of $60 million into a $190 million cut. Incremental cuts can end up costing far more than their explicit value — repairs put off today, say NASA officials, cost exponentially more to perform later, and forced cuts to research programs undermine the whole reason for being up there in the first place.

Although it may not always be immediately visible, the benefits of such research — necessarily public, because no private company could be remotely similar to NASA and stay afloat financially — are deeply felt and long lasting. From nonstick pans to the future of the human race, NASA is vital. A spacecraft was sent to Venus in April, for example, to gather information that may shed more light on global warming. Much of the technology for commercial air travel in use today was worked out by NASA some 15-20 years ago. The benefits to our economy, not to mention security in this area, have been huge — Boeing is widely known to be the largest U.S. exporter, and its 787 and other planes are directly tied to NASA developments. And, of course, there is the more distant possibility of settling other planets, should we end up destroying this one.

NASA has been good to us, and it deserves better than this. We need to recognize what we have in NASA is something very special and unique — and act accordingly.

Tyler Bleau
Editorial writer

Hardly a Democrat

I am utterly sickened by Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn. I am pretty liberal, but being liberal doesn't’t translate to automatically supporting the misguided actions of everyone else who puts a donkey on their campaign materials. Besides, Lieberman is only a Democrat in the most technical sense. They may put a “D” after his name on TV news shows, but I have my doubts.

Lieberman supports — and has always supported — the Iraq war. To be fair, a lot of Democrats in Congress supported the war, but Lieberman wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal in 2005, harping on the progress being made in Iraq and upbraiding fellow Democrats who dared question President Bush’s motives in launching the war.
He also is a fierce opponent of the most dreadful scourge facing our nation today — video games. He chaired a Senate investigation into Mortal Kombat in 1993, and more recently rallied against Grand Theft Auto. If I were a senator, I would probably spend less time worrying about fake characters being killed on video screens and more time being concerned about American soldiers being killed in Iraq.

But, in the latest escapade making me furious, Lieberman is planning to run for re-election to the office of senator of Connecticut, even if he loses to popular challenger Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary. This kind of divisive, “me-first” careerism is exactly why the Democratic Party is unable to successfully unite in opposition to the Bush administration. Some days, I question whether the Democrats could unite to fight their way out of a wet paper sack.

Lieberman insisted to CNN that he has a “higher loyalty” to some things other than the Democratic Party. He said his loyalty was to his state and country, but I’m pretty sure he was referring to his steadfast commitment to himself and his own career.

Jayne Lady
Editorial writer

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Parental guidance suggested

I love a good joke. So, I doubled over when I read a recent news headline titled "“Christian film’s PG rating troubles Congress.”" I could only imagine how outrageously entertaining the story could possibly be. I was not disappointed.
"Facing the Giants" is a film about a football coach who likes God and tells his players to like God. That was a dramatic oversimplification, but, frankly, it’'s a pretty stupid premise, and I doubt whether anyone will see it other than those still believing humanity was created by intelligent design. Whoops.

Anyway, the PG rating, suggesting parental guidance, means the Motion Picture Association of America has deemed some of the movie'’s content not suitable for children. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., in an uppity letter to movie-association Chairman Dan Glickman, wrote: “This incident raises the disquieting possibility that the [association] considers exposure to Christian themes more dangerous for children than exposure to gratuitous sex and violence.”
Frankly, Blunt hit the nail right on the head. Gratuitous sex and violence, no matter how much our “family values” experts tell us, don’t leave viewers completely brainwashed. If they did, daily life would play out like a scene from Grand Theft Auto Vice

But who knows what information will seep into a child’'s mind after watching a lighthearted movie with Christian messages? Kids aren’t going to know what they really want or really want to believe at 3 to 12 years old. So why try to indoctrinate them with pop culture? Isn'’t the church pulpit enough?
America, think of the children.

Andrew Swift
Editorial writer

Monday, July 10, 2006


A while back, I blogged about Representative Peter King's (R-N.Y.) wish to sue the New York Times over exposing a Bush administration program examining money-transfer records to hunt terrorists. Obviously, King is a complete loony. But Rep. King is going to have to bring his game up. Sadly (more like depressingly), he no longer wins first prize in the "Let's make the most outrageous statements possible" game.

Frankly, this story is the gift that keeps on giving. I was convinced King's statement could never be topped. But then, I saw a clip from Pravda - excuse me, Fox News that absolutely blew my mind away. Apparently Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox & Friends, has the answer to not only end this brouhaha, but to ensure security and liberty for America for the rest of time.

Let's create an Office of Censorship. Why? To vet all stories past the following question: "Does this hurt our country or is it of, you know, news value?" Kilmeade, you win this round.

But again, I'm still not all that impressed. In fact, I probably would have let this whole charade slide if it weren't for the name of the program: The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transcommunication. S.W.I.F.T. Suing newspapers, offices of censorship - that I can handle. But Swiftboating my own name? That's simply too far.

Andrew Swift
Editorial writer

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Mexico awaits a leader

Mexico’'s presidential race could be the latest installment in the burgeoning populist left’s grand narrative of Latin American political ‘destiny’.  Exit polls taken at a whopping 80 percent of polling stations found the two primary
candidates — Felipe Calderón, a conservative, technocratic, free marketeer, and López Obrador, a spendthrift leftist proffering a $20 billion welfare bonanza to Mexico’s poor — were too close to warrant a prediction, at 37.1 percent and 36.1 percent respectively.  Although both men wasted no time in declaring themselves the winner, each will face an agonizing wait until the votes have been counted.  With any luck, a campaign marred by US-style mudslinging won’'t come with a recount to match.

If Obrador is elected, it will continue a discouraging trend many trace back to the ascendancy of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, a man aptly described by the 2006 National Security Strategy as “a demagogue awash in oil money”.  Chavez’'s nationalization of the country’s oil reserves has been his primary political capital-generating asset, as he has spread it liberally among the country’s poor, his cronies, and even some friends abroad in his campaign to create a ‘unified’ leftist Latin America indiscriminately opposed to US interests. Although his massive social spending programs have provided food relief to the
poor and increased literacy, they have left the country much as it was before he was born—economically backwards, with a crumbling infrastructure and no way to support itself once the oil runs out.

Chavez, who is known for his personal abrasiveness and name-calling, also has a habit of interfering in the electoral affairs of other countries.  His oil money has bubbled up everywhere from his protégé Evo Morales’ campaign funds, to Ollanta Humala’s of Peru, to Obrador’s, whom he has also taken it upon himself to endorse.  Although Chavez ended up having to eat his words when Humala recently lost the Peruvian election (he has yet to follow through on his threat to break off relations with Peru if his candidate lost), Obrador’'s victory would expand an emerging bloc of Latin American leaders whose policies will ultimately be as detrimental to the interests of their own people as they are to the United States’.

It may turn out that, like so many other blowhards, Chavez is nothing but a paper tiger.  His radicalism and US-bashing have already proven divisive among the very countries he is trying to unite.  However, until this is borne out, the United States and its allies should continue to provide economic aid and guidance to those Latin American countries that are still receptive to it.  To be sure, improper development advice from imperious western financial institutions, particularly the IMF, are partly, or even mostly to blame for the difficult situation we face today.  It is nevertheless crucial that we learn from these mistakes and pursue Latin American development with a keen eye for the ‘little guy’ being swayed by Chavez and his thugs.

Tyler Bleau
Editorial writer

Stay off the . . . sidewalk?

A guy in Michigan was threatened with contempt of
court for writing “Bullshit money grab” in the memo
line of his check paying for a parking ticket.

I think that’s outrageous.

Yes, writing “bullshit” on your personal check is a
bit crude, but what if you feel the charges were
exactly that? Are we not allowed to express ourselves?
The check will cash either way. We not only have to
pay our tickets, we have to act happy about it, too?

My interest in this topic was largely philosophical
until I got a citation for riding my bike on the
sidewalk downtown. Did you even know Iowa City had
bike cops? I wanted to explain that I was doing it
because everyone else was doing it too, but I didn’t
think he would be moved by that line of reasoning. I
could have followed up with “I don’t have to do what
you say; you’re not my real dad!”

(To potential letterwriters – save your outrage. I
know the “no bikes on sidewalks” law is a safety
issue, and I invite you to give a eulogy on that
subject at my funeral when I am hit and killed by a
cellphone-using motorist while biking on the street

So, knowing I was guilty, I braced myself to take my
lumps like a grownup – until he handed me the ticket,
that is. $69.80?! The fine was marked at $45 plus a
surcharge. This was particularly confusing to me,
since according to the Iowa City city code the fine for bikes on the sidewalk downtown is only $10.

I’m sure this was all just a misunderstanding which
will be cleared up at my 8 a.m. court date. But if it
goes against me, don’t think I won’t be tempted to
squeeze “Thesechargesarecompletelybaseless!!” into the
memo line.

Jayne Lady
Editorial writer

The 3rd of July?

In his web-log, Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn makes a pretty good
case for changing the date we celebrate Independence Day.

 He suggests moving it to a “first Monday of every July” sort of thing, rather
than the fixed date every year sort of deal we have going right now.  All of the
other get-a-day-off-work holidays (Memorial Day, Presidents Day, etc…) were
changed some-time ago so that they would always fall on a Monday, thus granting
our beloved citizenry an extra day off work (provided you work at an
establishment that gives you these holidays off), and that seems like a pretty
good idea.

This year, the 4th fell on Tuesday.  Normally, I wouldn’t really have cared, as
I am a college student with a part-time job and most of the days I pretty much
get off anyway.  However, the lucky female I am currently involved with has a
full-time job in Des Moines, and it just so happens that she was visiting this
past weekend.  We were forced to part ways on Sunday, despite the fact that she
has a whole-nuther day off work this week!  It was truly a tragedy that neither
of us was happy to be involved with.  Had our government changed this holiday
years earlier, we could have spent a whole extra day with our lovely selves,
probably watching episodes of Seinfeld and generally behaving in a cute,
couple-y manner.

But seriously folks, our original day of independence
wasn’t really even on the 4th of July.  Is there any real reason to justify having it
on the same date every year?

I say: N-O.

What do you think?  Leave some comments and tell us.

Eric Kochneff

Politics shouldn't blind reality

A strong political ideology is what gives us all a side to be on and motivates us to be politically active. Yet, we mustn’t let it blind us to reality.

I grew up with conservative parents in a conservative small town. Since then, I have been sliding left for three major reasons.
First, I do not believe elected officials always “know what is best,” and they must be open with their constituents. I believe that questions must be answered straightforwardly. I feel the Bush administration cannot tell us the truth on a number of issues. It seems like we always get the answer that we should continue to provide support for whatever stance the administration takes.

Second, I believe the best way to counteract terrorism is to increase the image of our country abroad. We do this through cooperation with other nations. We do this through practicing what we preach — even at Guantánamo. We do not do this by trying to spread democracy with the barrel of a gun.

Third, our nation was founded on individual freedoms and the Bill of Rights. Therefore, the government should not try to take them away. As a devote Christian, I believe homosexuals have a right to raise a family together; we all have a right to practice our religions as we please; no citizen should be forced to live on $5.15 an hour, and every American should have health-care coverage. (We are required to have automobile coverage — what’s more important?)

Yet, I also believe government is not the answer to every problem. It is not the efficient, well-oiled machine it could be. Waste and corruption are real. Therefore, I still agree pork-barreling should be reined in, extra fat should be cut, and inefficient programs should be let go — the average citizen knows how to spend a dollar better than Uncle Sam.

Tomorrow, my views might change again, but that is the beauty of learning. After spending the past six weeks in Washington, D.C., I saw a side of government I could never understand by reading textbooks or newspapers. Some things frustrated me, while other things excited me — yet both situations made me feel more passionate about my beliefs.
Ultimately, we must all avoid the danger of avoiding the other side, simply because it is the other side, just as rational should never be superseded by partisan politics. I don’t value being labeled a D, R, or I, but, instead, value what I believe. Party platforms should be treated as such — platforms to bound from rather than stand on.

John Heineman

Monday, July 3, 2006

MacBooks one hot item

If you're thinking of purchasing one of Apple's recently released MacBooks or MacBook Pros, think twice. Because of a supposed over application of thermal grease, the sleek computing powerhouses have been reported to overheat causing application freezes and an annoying whir of the fan. 

Thermal grease is a metallic paste applied to processors to aid in the dissipation of heat from key components. The latest wave of posts on Mac enthusiast message boards and blogs offers some do-it-yourself repairs but any alterations to the inside of your MacBook not done by Apple, will void your warranty. Even with the most common repair, the reapplication of the thermal paste on the processor and other hardware, the effect has been minimal. The units still heat to a degree that can cause application freezes and the heat for some is annoying for users who set the laptop on their lap for long periods of time. It may be best to wait for the second wave of MacBooks and MacBook Pros, which are rumored to have a cooler processing speed.

But if you absolutely cannot wait here are some tips for keeping your Mac cool:1. Make sure the fans are not blocked and that they have a steady flow of air.  2. If setting it on a table, prop the back end up with a pencil to allow better airflow under the unit. 3. Try reapplying the thermal paste but this will void your warranty. 

Good luck.

John LaRue

False patriotism

Once again, July 4 is upon us. The holiday supposedly celebrating America's independence lands Tuesday, and with it come disgusting, virile, ugly displays of false patriotism. That's right, I hate America.

But seriously, being 'American' is not a solid basis for a real holiday. Grill outs, picnics, barbecues - these are not celebrations of our country's past, present, and future. And nowhere to be seen is an honest appraisal of both the rights and wrong of quintessential America.

The only images are the disturbingly ubiquitous flag and, of course, fireworks.

I hate fireworks. It doesn't matter what city you're in, the fireworks show is the same: stupid. I'm not scared by the loud noises and bright flashes, nor was I as a young lad. They're simply pointless: Why anyone would sit and watch some mildly colorful rockets for 30 minutes is completely beyond me. I've had only one memorable Fourth of July in 21 years.

You can bet I won't be partaking in any such 'holiday' festivities. Hell, I'll even be watching soccer! Take that America!

Andrew Swift
Editorial writer

Sunday, July 2, 2006

Why wouldn't you wrestle?

I’'ve been thinking about professional wrestling. 

There'’s an old story about how Macho Man Randy Savage used to lock his manager/wife, Miss Elizabeth, in a room. Yes. He locked her room in a room. He was afraid other male wrestlers would try to help themselves to her body. When it was time for Elizabeth and Macho to come out for a match, he would unlock her and free her. Because, you know yes.

Macho Man and Elizabeth would go out to his matches together.  Elizabeth would distract his opponents.  She would blow them kisses. Make eyes. Macho Man would go for the pin. Or a kick, when his opponent was looking at Miss Elizabeth.  Macho would smack the other guy. She was, in all honesty, quite a looker.

Savage and Elizabeth were married in real life, as of 1984. Then they were separated, but still appeared together at wrestling events. Then, in 1991, they had a wedding as part of their storyline on WWE (then WWF). At Summerslam, a Pay-Per-View event, they had to stand in the ring with a minister and Elizabeth wore a wedding dress and Savage wore a cape and then he carried her away to the backstage areas of the stadium after the vows were read and the kissed, etc. The next year, their real life divorced was finalized. Yes.

In 2003, Elizabeth was living with former wrestler Lex Lugar in Georgia. She took drugs. It was Xanax she was taking. She took too much. Then she died.

A few wrestlers have died recently.  Eddie Guerrero, Big Boss Man.  Owen Hart fell from the rafters and broke his neck and people at the arena thought it was a gag and cheered. After Owen died, they didn'’t stop the show. They kept wrestling, even though absolutely everyone knows that wrestling is fake. Yes.

Steve Sherman

Vaccine's side-effects not sexual

Earlier this month, the FDA approved the first vaccine specifically designed to prevent cancer. Gardasil, made by Merck & Co., protects against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes cervical and vaginal cancers and genital warts.
An amazing medical breakthrough, don’t you think?

However, some sectors of society are not too keen on the idea of vaccinating young girls against a sexually transmitted virus. Why, you may ask? Well, the vaccine is most effective when given to girls prior to becoming sexually active, and, as Bridget Maher of the Family Research Council put it to New Scientist, “Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful, because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex.”

Yes, clearly the threat of getting cervical cancer 40 years from now is what’s keeping girls from having sex — with that risk gone, who knows what could happen. Of course, it’s better for women to get cancer than have premarital sex.
Despite opposition from the religious right, the vaccine received another nod of approval Thursday, this time from the highly influential Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The committee, whose recommendations are usually recognized by federal heath officials, said 11- and 12-year-old girls should be routinely vaccinated.

As some conservatives writhe in religious discomfort, the rest of the logical population can appreciate the likelihood of the vaccine greatly decreasing the nearly 4,000 cervical cancer deaths each year in the United States.
The implied sexual evils resulting from the vaccine are imagined, and parents shouldn’t allow those predicting family-values doom to influence their decision to vaccinate their children against a potentially life-threatening virus.

Laura Michaels
Opinions editor