Friday, May 11, 2007

Make Yourself Scarce

We already know we're our own worst enemy. Penguins don't invade Middle Eastern nations or develop WMD. You don't see brown bears involved in stock inflation and accounting fraud. Raccoons get all the blame for various petty thefts, but really, they're not bad -- they're just masked that way. But back to the question... what about us?

THE AMERICAN EXCESS STORY. Paul Watson, president of the far-left Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, says the world's population needs to drop to less than 1 billion to save the planet. That's about the number of people who were on Earth at the time of the Civil War, according to a friend of mine. And with that in mind, Watson implies going back in time wouldn't hurt either.

From the Business and Media Institute:
Watson essentially called for humans to return to primitive lifestyles. “We need to stop flying, stop driving cars, and jetting around on marine recreational vehicles. The Mennonites survive without cars and so can the rest of us.”
Yes, and we also survived without indoor plumbing, light bulbs, electricity, and penicillin. Survived.

SWIPING SALVATION. It doesn't absolve you of sin, but the Catholic Church in Brazil has launched a new credit card.

The Church needs money for its work with the poor in places like the Providencia health center. The center treats forty people a day. People on the margins of society: beggars, prostitutes, transvestites. The doctors treat some seriously ill patients with diseases such as tuberculosis and AIDS.

Part of the proceeds from the Catholic card will be spent on the health center, representing a lifeline for the project, says its director, Doctor Linhares.
And thankfully, none of those proceeds will go to pay off pedophile-priest suits.

We're told the Brazilian Catholic Church might try an investment fund. Your Lightning Round wonders, could indulgences make a comeback?

OPENING NIGHT FIGHT. Two guys in the balcony got into a fight during a Boston Pops performance.

From CBS News:
CBS Station WBZ correspondent Joyce Kulhawik said one man objected to another man's talking. "A woman screamed, then suddenly it came to fisticuffs."

Witnesses said they heard a scream from the balcony, and the sound of chairs falling, then a second scream as the fight escalated.

At that point, [conductor Keith] Lockhart halted the performance while police intervened.
We have since learned it was all part of a pilot for a new CBS show: "WWE Symphonic."

ALL FOR SHOW. Florida's Democrats may make their January primary non-binding to avoid a spanking from party bigwigs for holding it too early. Dems would hold a caucus later to pick a candidate, which we guess is better than relying on touch screens or punch cards.

From the St. Petersburg Times:
"The danger is that every Republican candidate spends time here trying to win Florida, and the Democrats are noticeably absent, " said [Democratic activist Chris] Hand, a former aide to Sen. Bob Graham, who managed Alex Sink's campaign for chief financial officer last year. "That doesn't play out well in the general election. I wouldn't want to be the Democratic presidential nominee who skipped Florida's primary."
Or given Florida's voting problems, maybe it doesn't matter anyway.

CALLING ALL COPS. Cities in Phoenix's East Valley are running so short on police officers, they're looking as far away as Boston for recruits.

From the East Valley Tribune:
Scottsdale recruiters post advertisements in men’s restrooms at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Mesa patrol cars display bumper stickers that solicit applicants. And Mesa’s police chief personally called officers who left the department before his arrival and invited them back.
Good thing they're not looking in Chicago. Otherwise potential recruits would be telling them, "Wait 'till next year!"

VE HAVE VAYS OV MAKING YOU BUY PREMIUM. The state of Wisconsin is threatening to sue a gas station that's selling discount fuel to seniors and those who support youth sports.

From the AP:
But the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says those deals violate Wisconsin's Unfair Sales Act, which requires stations to sell gas for about 9.2 percent more than the wholesale price.
So gas profits aren't just inflated, they're mandated! In the words of a Lightning Round colleague: "Must be nice." While we're talking about gas prices, WiseGeek explains why gas prices end in 9/10 of a cent.

LITTLE EYEBALLS. Television advertisers continuously lust after a younger demographic. Seems they're getting it, as researchers have found 90 percent of U.S. kids under 2 regularly watch TV, DVD's and videos.

From Reuters:
But 29 percent of parents surveyed by [researchers] believe baby-oriented TV and DVD programs offer educational benefits.

“Parents are getting the message loud and clear from marketers of TV and videos that this is good for their kids. That it will help their brain development ... None of this stuff has ever been proven,” [researcher] Frederick Zimmerman said.
Your television correspondents at The Lightning Round have found the networks have several new infant-friendly shows in development:

"Milk Or No Milk?"
"CSI: Playpen"
"First Numb3rs"
"American Babbler"

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