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Don't Forget to Spay and Neuter Your. . . Um . . . Poorer Neighbors?

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After reflecting upon the devastating effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav on the Big Easy, Louisiana State Representative John LaBruzzo (R) tells New Orleans City Business that he supports government subsidization of a controversial plan to offer sterilization to "impoverished women . . . so that they will stop having babies they can't afford." Not surprisingly, many New Orleans residents recoil in horror when their resident eugenicist speaks of what amounts to a creepily Orwellian plan to eliminate the poor. Of course, LaBruzzo emphasizes that such measures would be voluntary (and paid!) and that no woman would be forced to have her fallopian tubes tied.

LaBruzzo's critics -- and there are, understandably, many -- tend to echo New Orleans Women's Health Clinic's Shana Griffin's assessment of the plan as fundamentally racist, arguing that "it is obvious" that LaBruzzo's plan targets "welfare recipients and those dependent on city-assisted evacuation -- poor, black women."

In response to such accusations, WDSU.com reports, LaBruzzo claims that his "plan isn't racially motivated" by "point[ing] out that more whites are on welfare than blacks."

Still, even without any racial implications, as the ACLU's Majorie Esman asserts, LaBruzzo's proposition may be interpreted as "a mean-spirited, misguided effort to eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor."

Esman's observation seems to be supported by the fact that "[a]nother part of LaBruzzo's plan would give tax breaks to wealthier families who want more children."

Despite the waves of criticism, WDSU claims that "67 percent of viewers said it's appropriate for the state to implement the program."


Rock Me, Sci-Fi Canadian Jesus!

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Referring to Jesus Christ of Nazareth:

He is like a mountie
He always gets his man
And he'll zap you any way he can.
(dramatic pause, points finger like a gun) Zap!
--Sonseed, "Jesus is a Friend of Mine"
Evidentially, Jesus has left the Mediterranean for Thunder Bay and, apparently joining forces with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has begun using weapons originally made for Logan's Run to hunt down lost souls.

Here's the video:

65-MPG American Car Not For Sale in America

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According to several sources including Business Week, CNN, and the Huffington Post, the Ford Motor Company, long renowned for its gas-guzzling automobiles, plans to release a sedan capable of getting 65 miles per gallon in November. The rather awkwardly named Ford ECOnetic, runs on diesel which, according to Mark Fields, President of Ford America, means that the car cannot profitably be sold in North America. Although the company intends to manufacture a gas-powered version of the car in Mexico, the relative unpopularity of diesel in the United States makes spending the estimated $350 millon needed to build a diesel engine plant in North America a rather risky business move for a company reportedly losing over $12 billion annually. So the car will be available only in Europe, where nearly fifty percent of automobiles run on diesel.

Even if you think of importing the "American" car from Europe, Ford argues, it won't be worth it. The Toyota Prius would still be a better buy and, given the restrictions the U. S. government has placed on diesel fuel, considerably easier for you to fill up. In other words, from a business perspective, Ford believes it won't be worth it to sell the diesel ECOnetic stateside (or in Canada, Mexico, Central, and South America, for that matter).

D'oh. Leave it to an American corporation to make it easier for Europeans to out-green us!

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From Reuters:

"Prosecutors in Russia want to ban the award-winning satirical U.S. cartoon South Park, calling the series 'extremist' after receiving viewer complaints, a spokeswoman said Monday."


"The Russian Union of Christians of Evangelical Faith had asked prosecutors to ban South Park after it said 20 experts had studied the show for its effect on young viewers.

The group's leader, Konstantin Bendas, said 'South Park is just one of many cartoons that need to be banned from open broadcast...as it insults the feelings of religious believers and incites religious and national hatred.'"

We Want a Google-YouTube Debate!

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Thanks to Barack Obama's commitment to avoiding debates that might involve the Democratic candidate answering non-scripted questions, it looks like the proposed Google-YouTube debate in New Orleans will not be happening. Just as Obama has refused to meet with John McCain (and, you know, average Americans) in a series of Town Hall meetings, the Democrat seems poised to ditch what could have been a truly wonderful opportunity for Americans to meet and discuss issues with the presidential candidates. Oh, and a great way to bring money to a hurricane-ravaged region.

But here's an idea: have it anyway. John McCain would attend. So would Ralph Nader and Bob Barr. And I bet Barack Obama would show up, miraculously finding the time he claims does not exist, if that happened.

Jello Biafra on Barack Obama, Ralph Nader

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Jello Biafra has a habit of speaking his mind, even when it's not what people want to hear. In the following clip, the former Dead Kennedys frontman and a popular fixture on the college lecture circuit, expresses a fear many American liberals have been uncomfortable voicing:

One of the dangers I find in the Barack Obama phenomenon is if he does turn out to be another insider, another Bill Clinton, it's gonna break the hearts of everybody who got off their ass to register to vote for the first time . . .

It's nice to see a bona-fide liberal unabashedly speak his mind and share his doubts about the Democratic candidate. It sometimes seems that any critique of Barack Obama is met with disdain by self-identified liberals and any mention of the junior senator's decidedly unimpressive legislative record is quickly reduced to conservative propaganda. But Jello Biafra is not conservative, not by a long shot and it will be pretty hard to explain away his concerns as anything even approaching conservative propaganda.

Biafra also mentions his proud allegiance to the Green Party as well as his intention to speak at the next day's rally for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

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