But, alas... news is to me what smoking is to some. It's simply a filthy, nasty habit that makes me feel bad -- and yet I find myself consistently compelled to indulge in more. So I did:
To begin with something close to home... more job losses in March. Well over 600,000 was the figure I read the most recently. My area is, I believe, second in the nation for joblessness. Second only to Detroit. So we have a still-sagging economy. Of course, the New York Times had to run a story on how Louisiana is supposedly a positive test case for the injection of federal aid propping up an economy. The article points out that the state's unemployment rate in February was 5.7 percent - and, of course, all the credit for this goes to the injection of federal dollars for rebuilding. I, personally, think it might be important to research how much population was lost after Katrina, though... and since many of those displaced were among the poor, it's quite possible that the joblessness was simply redistributed to other states.
Then there's the news of the gunman in Binghamton, NY. Some dude goes into an immigration services center and opens up on the people there. Who knows why he did it? I can't comprehend it. Neither can the people in the media, but they're sure as heck going to focus on it for a good while.
The Iowa court has voided the state's gay marriage ban. And now there's a push to "extend marriage rights to gay men and lesbians in all six New England states by 2012." Huh. Funny that this is news... I thought there was a push to extend marriage rights to homosexuals nationwide. And I thought they wanted it done yesterday. But, as the NYT says, Iowa now has decency. "The Iowa Supreme Court's ruling for gay marriage is a refreshing message of fairness that makes the decisions to ban same-sex unions in states like New York seem all the more shameful." I'll bet that's the first time the elitists at the NYT ever looked at Iowa and felt anything but contempt and shame for them.
And then there's Pakistan... There are suicide bombings and serious unrest going on over there. But in the northwestern region of Swat, the government had reached a truce with the Taliban and Sharia law was introduced to the area. So now they have public floggings of 17 year-old girls for doing horrible things like leaving the house without a male escort. Or for being seen in public with a man who is not her husband.
But not to fear... the news isn't all bad. After all, Michelle Obama had her "moment" overseas. (Here is where we get a glimpse of the mainstream media's mentality.) See, Mrs. Obama, while in London, hugged the terminally ill, chatted with J.K. Rowling, and (while visibly emoting) spoke to a group of girls at a London school to "aim high." And I quote from the NYT: "But none of that, not even the meeting with the queen, can come close to finally appearing in the same camera lens with the former Carla Bruni, an Italian-born singer and former Victoria's Secret model now dominating the French political-fashion scene." Wow. I wonder if I should really aim that high... I mean, to stand next to a former Victoria's Secret model-turned-politicians-wife. Yes, sounds just too good to be true. (Please note the sarcasm here.)
And just for laughs I'll tell you, President Obama had some very earth shattering advice for Europeans. "I think that it is important for Europe to understand that even though I'm now president and George Bush is no longer president, Al Qaeda is still a threat." Hoo--eee! I'll bet they were confused on that just one minute before his speech. Perhaps some of them were, at that very moment, pondering such a philosophical thought. Good that he set them straight. Of course, in that same quote, Mr. Obama used his own middle name. What a breach of etiquette!! What? You mean it's now okay to use the name Hussein in connection with Obama? Oh, I'm so confused!!
Also, did you know that in a gesture of goodwill, Sarkozy of France has offered to take a prisoner off our hands from Gitmo? Isn't that nice of him? Yes, he'll take ONE. And he says that it wouldn't be right for France to just demand the closing of Gitmo and then wash their hands of the matter. That's not what being allies is all about. Apparently, being allies is all about making an almost meaningless gesture of goodwill -- since there are almost 250 more prisoners and we need to find someplace to put them.
In fulfilling his campaign promise of "hope 'n' change," Barack Obama is busy changing everything about our foreign policy. For one, he keeps insulting the Brits. Of course, he's tired - and I'm sure this is why he can't remember who our friends are. But still. And then, on the other hand, he's intent on making friends with the other guys. Russia and Iran immediately come to mind. But did you hear about Cuba? Yes, now it's in the news that our new, more hopeful government is signaling possible warming of relations with the Castro government. I guess this makes sense, as Obama might need their advice in how to make America over into a similar paradise. I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to try living in a country where it's preferable to grab a dinghy and take your chances with the ocean than to stay there.
And did you know that schools are now teaching empathy classes? Yes, apparently somebody discovered recently that middle school kids are mean. So now they're teaching empathy. Makes sense, I guess... so I wonder what else they're not teaching to make room for that. I think that empathy is something that kids need to learn, certainly. But why are they not learning this at home? You know, "Do unto others..." Oh, wait. Can't teach that. It's from the Bible.
So now... you're beginning to see why I say the news is just a filthy, dirty habit, right? Somehow, I read all this and I feel gross. And yet, there's a you've-got-to-be-kidding factor that makes me read on...